- "Your power is over. I've come to change the Order."
- —Koschei Dravaris to Belial de Ardyn
Duke Koschei Dravaris is one of the few surviving members of the earlier top brass of the Order of the Black Rose and is currently leading the Order. He began working for the Totenkopfs in secret after the Cataclysm and eventually betrayed his superior, Belial de Ardyn, who was assassinated in Dravaris's tower in Maar Sul City. He has since then covertly offered the Order's support to the Crimson Coalition while ostensibly still aiding the Grand Alliance in the war. He also has ties to the infamous Band of the Fox.
Life as SharkEdit
- "Love has truly blinded you, Fox. The old you wouldn't have been so easy to trick. Trust is a weakness rogues like us should never afford. Not that Vulture was innocent either, though. None of us are...that's why we were such an efficient Band because we did what we wanted without remorse. But it's time for me to move on to greener pastures with the king's and the judges' blessing. The dukedom is all but mine once I've proved to the court how I delivered the dangerous fugitives to the king's guard."
- —Koschei to Katsutoshi Kobayashi
Koschei Dravaris's early history remains shrouded...partly because he has lived a very long existence as a Lefein and most of his deeds are only recorded in obscure legends. He hailed from a family of Lefein engineers but was more ambitious than others of his kin. He sought more knowledge and was willing to dabble in the dark arts to gain it. This quest made him break from family traditions, and he ended up spending a few years in his youth as a member of Katsutoshi Kobayashi's and Haruko Mizushima's Band of the Fox under the codename Shark.
His quest for power and knowledge by any means necessary brought him to demons, most notably the archdemon Malakhia d'Zarnagon, who promised to give him what he sought if he used the demons' power in return. Koschei agreed and betrayed his companions in the Band of the Fox to gain access to demonic strength, and the dark power of chaos began corrupting him. He succeeded in his deception by framing a fellow Band member, Arlen Finian, for the Band's past misfortunes as well as for the attempted theft of the Dragon Diamond which had been in the Band's possession. However, he finally revealed his treachery in full when he led the kingsguard and Captain Gilgamesh to the Band.
Although Katsutoshi and Haruko escaped death by sealing themselves into magic crystal with help from the gods Dionysus and Laverna, and Malakhia disappeared without a trace when trying to unleash the Dragon Diamond's power, Koschei had still succeeded in his scheme. Gilgamesh, hailed as a hero for vanquishing the rogues, returned to the capital of Barjassil with Koschei on his side. Koschei received the title of Duke from the Court of Barjassil thanks to his involvement in the disbandment of the Band of the Fox.
Duke of DeathEdit
In the years since Duke Koschei Dravaris began using the dark arts more and more openly. His cruel ways of torturing his enemies for knowledge gained him the nickname Duke of Death. Whispers spread that Koschei had become a truly immortal, demonic being who fed on the life essence of others and that he had sired undead minions known as vampires. Koschei himself spread these seedy rumours more eagerly, often referring to himself as the first vampire.
Whether he was bluffing or not didn't matter in the end; people saw how he could rapidly regenerate himself...a technique which only demons could use, and this further fueled the rumours of his growing powers. What people didn't know that this power came with a cost as all of Malakhia's "gifts" did, and Koschei had to pay a heavy price for this ability.
Eventually the Lefein got fed up by Koschei's actions and fought him off. After a fierce battle Koschei was sealed into an impenetrable cave where he would die in obscurity. Matters remained thus and as millennia passed, the Duke of Death became the stuff of legends.
Twists and TurnsEdit
How Koschei truly re-emerged has remained a mystery till this day. All that is known for certain is that he appeared thousands of years later in Maar Sul City during the events of Darkness Within in the Third Age and joined the Order of the Black Rose. He worked together with Antigonus de Ardyn who became the Superior of the Order, and he eventually became one of Antigonus's closest minions who was tasked to travel around the world and find anything that could be of use to the Order alongside Antigonus's brother Belial de Ardyn.
When Koschei visited Virgil Albrigant, he sensed a strange demonic presence in the manor. He investigated the matter and found a person who turned out to be Omaroch d'Zarnagon who bore a striking resemblance to Malakhia, the demon Koschei had once interacted with. As Omaroch's group was trying to save the young Jonathan Ferron from Virgil's grasp, Koschei emerged from the shadows to defend Virgil. After a brief banter and battle, Koschei defeated Omaroch who had nevertheless stalled him enough to let other members of the group escape.
After putting Omaroch behind bars, Koschei discussed matters with Saleos, another one of the Order's operatives. He found out some time later that Omaroch had escaped from his cell in Virgil's dungeon and was now leading the prisoners out of the manor with help from the mercenary Raphael Darness.
Koschei personally intercepted the group led by Omaroch and Raphael and fought them. He almost proved superior once more until Omaroch used Koschei's dark powers against him. Before Koschei realized that he had been tricked, Omaroch and Raphael struck him down and seemingly killed him for good. However, they left him lying in a pool of blood and thus didn't realize that he managed to revive himself enough to limp away from the scene.
Since that encounter Koschei began plotting his revenge. He eventually found out that Antigonus was interested in meeting with Omaroch. With the power struggle between the Order and the Fire Lizards ongoing, Koschei realized he could use Omaroch for his own ends and get rid of the Order's top brass and thus become the new leader of the Order. His ambitions were further fueled when he met with the enigmatic Master who quickly convinced him to go ahead with the plan.
Things unraveled quickly, and Omaroch slew most of the Order's brass except for Antigonus's brother Belial de Ardyn. Koschei found this out after his encounter with Omaroch which ended in defeat yet again. The weakened Koschei couldn't kill Belial and usurp his position so he chose to bide his time and see what would happen in the future. Omaroch disappeared sometime later, and Koschei was relieved that he didn't have to face him again.
The Yamatian Invasion and the Great War lit the world in flames, and Belial was hard at work restoring the Order after Antigonus's death. Koschei contacted the Master at this time and found out that the Master was now gathering disciples, known as the Totenkopfs. Koschei joined the cult and even dragged Antigonus's children Mordecai and Desdemona de Ardyn in it.
The catastrophic events of the Cataclysm delayed Koschei's plans but he nevertheless helped the Master secure the Totenkopfs' power base in Maar Sul City. Koschei even hired many SAVAGE operatives to work for the cult, most notably George Bush. It was now only a matter of time before the Master and Koschei could finally strike at Belial and change the course of the Order's future forever.
Koschei used his position as a high-ranking member of the Order to allow Totenkopfs to infiltrate Belial's manor nearly a decade after the Cataclysm. Belial began learning more about the Totenkopfs and eventually travelled to Remon to find out why the cult had targeted him but remained unaware that this was exactly what Koschei and the Totenkopfs had wanted him to do all along so that they could proceed with their master plan.
A Crimson DawnEdit
- "Mark my words, Kos: you'll be betrayed just like you betrayed Gloriana! The Totenkopfs are treacherous to the core, and they'll dispose of you once they've used you!"
- —Belial de Ardyn to Koschei
Koschei received a message from Belial after the army of the new Grand Alliance had informed King Gerard Aurelac that Belial wished to speak to the Maar Sulais royals. He observed the conversation between Belial and Gerard on the sidelines, content with how things were progressing.
Once the conversation was over, Koschei approached Belial, finally putting his grand plan in motion. He lied to Belial about having received news of the Totenkopfs' activities and asked Belial to come meet him in his tower later that night.
The unsuspecting Belial took the bait and arrived at the tower only to realize too late that Koschei had set up a trap for him. It didn't take long for Belial to figure out that Koschei had been the mole he had been seeking all this time, and Koschei mockingly confirmed it. Belial stated that the Totenkopfs would eventually betray Koschei, but Koschei ignored Belial's words.
The duke personally slew one of his comrades, Gloriana, in order to frame her for Belial's assassination, and the Master himself appeared on the scene to draw Belial's attention away from the real assassin who turned out to be none other than Desdemona.
After Desdemona had dealt the fatal blow and Belial's fatally wounded body had plummeted down from the tower, the Master and Desdemona teleported away and Koschei, who had wounded himself in order to have an alibi, remained in the tower to wait for SAVAGE to come.
Koschei remained calm during questioning and explained to Captain William Blackmore the lie how he had been wounded while trying to protect Belial from Gloriana's attack. Blackmore believed Koschei who began arranging Belial's funeral. The duke intended to inherit Belial's possessions and become the new leader of the Order of the Black Rose.
However, Belial still had one card left to play... albeit posthumously. When Awar read Belial's will, it turned out that Khalid al-Saif was in fact Belial's son, which even Koschei hadn't been aware of. However, Koschei still had a few more plans to attend, and he contacted Daventhalas de Mont Hault, a fellow Lefein, and told him that he had a way to cure the Blood Fever from Daven's adoptive sister Nalaen Silverpond. Daven took Koschei's bait, not realizing the duke's true goals.
Koschei held a meeting later on which included George Bush, Desdemona, the Master and Awar who was working as an agent of the Totenkopfs with the intention to use the shard of Krystallopyr as a means to persuade the Sultanate of Karaganda to the Totenkopfs' cause.
Bush informed the co-conspirators that the charges against the Alliance heroes, whom the Totenkopfs had framed for the murder, had been dropped because of lack of proper evidence. Koschei didn't mind this because the mere thought of having traitors would make the heroes of the Alliance suspect one another, which had been Koschei's goal from the very beginning.
Koschei called in for a new meeting, which this time included Khalid. He was prepared to murder Khalid in order to gain power in the Order, but to his surprise Khalid was willing to make Koschei the leader of the Order while Khalid himself was busy dealing with troubles in the sultanate. This suited Koschei fine and he decided to let Khalid live and use him as an unwilling pawn in case Awar's plans failed.
As Khalid and the other heroes of the Alliance prepared for a journey to the sultanate, Koschei remained in Maar Sul City to further ensnare SAVAGE into his web of deception. He knew that Captain William Blackmore was incorruptible so he'd have to figure out a way to get rid of him and make the much more manageable Bush take his place.
More info later.
Aliases and NicknamesEdit
- Duke of Death
- Given by the Lefein to Dravaris for his tendency to bring death in his wake.
- Koschei the Undying
- A nickname given to Dravaris because of his ability to seemingly come back to life whenever he had perished.
- Dravaris's nickname while he was a member in the Band of the Fox. It referred to his sharp nose and ruthlessness.
A middle-aged, armored man with an evil goatee and a diabolic smile. Has brown hair, a sharp nose, and is clad in a light red cloak.
Personality and TraitsEdit
A scheming, backstabbing bastard. Acts in a rather charming manner while in public, which makes him ideal for court intrigue.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Skilled in the use of the sword and has extensive knowledge about magic, making him a competent red mage. He used to be able to regenerate himself but after the demons' dark powers waned in the aftermath of the Second Battle of Vulpengaard Keep, his regeneration no longer works as intended.
Antigonus de ArdynEdit
Koschei respected Antigonus's wisdom and provided him with Lefein knowledge. However, he was more than willing to serve his own interests and stayed out of the Order's headquarters when he anticipated what Omaroch was going to do to Antigonus.
Belial de ArdynEdit
Koschei served as Belial's most trusted advisor within the Order and was one of the few people who had survived from the massacre of the Order. Belial trusted Koschei, but he was away for many years and was not aware that Koschei had begun working with the Totenkopfs in order to gain more power within the Order. Koschei's treachery was eventually revealed when Belial was attacked by a group led by none other than the Master of the Totenkopfs. Belial warned Koschei about the Totenkopfs' treachery, but Koschei did not listen to him. Belial was killed soon after, and Koschei was glad to see him gone although he had to put up an act in order to fool the investigators about who had been the real mastermind behind Belial's death.
Daventhalas de Mont HaultEdit
Koschei manipulated Daven by revealing to him that both of them were members of the near-extinct Lefein race. Daven was surprised and pleased by the revelation, and Koschei used this to his advantage by "slipping" out information about a possible cure to the Blood Fever in the Sultanate of Karaganda which made Daven travel to the sultanate just as he had planned. Koschei thus saw Daven as a mere tool in a grand plan to promote the order of the Totenkopfs.
Desdemona de ArdynEdit
Desdemona's relationship with Koschei is rather formal. He was one of the first Totenkopfs she met and acted as her connection to the higher-ups within the Totenkopfs. She respects Koschei's wisdom and wants to learn as much from him as possible. Koschei sees Desdemona as a promising student who he hopes to use for his own gains. The two play a dangerous game, juggling deception and trust, but so far it has been profitable for both of them.
George has worked closely with Koschei for years, acting as one of his most valuable moles within SAVAGE. Koschei eventually used the heroic sacrifice of SAVAGE captain William Blackmore to his advantage by helping to appoint George as the next captain and thus gain better access to SAVAGE's files in the process.
Koschei tried to get into Haruko's good graces during his time in the Band of the Fox. However, he betrayed them while initially putting the blame on a fellow rogue Arlen who eventually lost his life. Haruko was shocked by Koschei's betrayal and how he had been working for Malakhia for all that time.
Koschei tried to get into Katsutoshi's good graces during his time in the Band of the Fox. However, he betrayed them while initially putting the blame on a fellow rogue Arlen who eventually lost his life. He mocked Katsutoshi's feelings for Haruko and claimed that they had made the once notorious trickster weak. Katsutoshi was angered by Koschei's betrayal and warned him that one day he too would be betrayed in return, whether by the Court of Barjassil or someone else.
Originally Koschei saw Omaroch as a pathetic being but after their second encounter he had to reassess his feelings. He began taking Omaroch more seriously after his defeat and eventually saw in him the power to get rid of both Antigonus and Belial. Koschei has had a hard time keeping track of Omaroch's movements since the Cataclysm, and so far he hasn't revealed himself to him in hopes of catching him by surprising and settling the score once and for all.
- Band of the Fox
- Darkness Within
- Daventhalas de Mont Hault
- George Bush
- House of Ardyn
- Omaroch d'Zarnagon
- Order of the Black Rose