"I don't know what events have shaped my life until this point, nor do I know whose hand has guided my fate. But by the gods, I'm tired of people thinking they know more about me than I do. I will come into my destiny - whatever it should be - on my own. I will meet it with naked steel in my fist, a spell on my lips, and all the cunning and guile I can muster."
—Praz-El to his father
Praz-El is the main character of Might and Magic: The Sea of Mist. He is a great warrior who studies at the Magistracy of Soronne. He is described as a tall, powerful man with amber hair, pale grey eyes, and high cheekbones. He is usually dressed in loose robes, and is always armed.
Praz was the son of the necromancer Daria and a god of Darkness. At his birth, his mother sent him away to hide him from dark forces that wanted to kill him, and he was raised by the demon Nymus. The boy grew up without a name, and didn't know where he came from or who his parents were. He didn't even know the name of the demon who raised him, referring to her only as "Mistress".
The lessons were far from easy, but the boy quickly learned everything Nymus tried to teach him, and at the age of six, he completed her final tests in Nymus's arena. These consisted of grabbing a knife thrown at him, defeating a gnoll skeleton in combat, and jumping from rock to rock to cross a lake of lava. When he he reached Nymus, completing his final task, she told him that he would have to leave her. He would be sent to the Magistracy of Soronne, located in the Six Shards. There, the teachers would instruct him in the ways of the Light, as she had taught him the ways of Darkness. She told him that they would try to get him to choose a subject to focus in, but he should strive to learn everything, as he would have to master their teachings to prepare him for his path through life.
The soldier Govan soon arrived to take the boy away, and Nymus instructed him to tell his mistress that, whatever name she decided to give the boy, he would also carry her demon's mark of El. "I bequeath it to him, and my wish be honored."
The boy, now known as Praz-El, was taken to the Magistracy. Magistrate Bo, one of the leaders of the Magistracy and rulers of Soronne, decided to raise him as his own son, and Praz grew up in Bo's suite in the top floor of Eldrar's Tower.
Often, Bo's studies took him into the forests and lands beyond Soronne, and he always took his foster son with him. When Praz was eleven, Bo received a message from the Blighted Desert, where a group of dwarven miners had found some underground buildings that were slowly sinking into the shifting sands. While exploring the place, the two were trapped in one of the buildings, fighting off serpents as they dug from room to room to avoid being buried alive. Praz fell into a hidden treasure room, where he barely had time to grab a small glass tube full of with multicolored tiles before fleeing. They were up to their necks in sand before they were finally rescued. The tiles later turned out be a codex to a long-dead minotaur language, and the two were received as heroes when they returned to Soronne.
When he grew up, Praz was half a head taller than anyone else, and all the students feared his temper and fighting skills. As he'd been raised in solitude and didn't know how to make friends, the other students viewed him as heartless and unapproachable. Whenever he approached a table, the other students would abandon it to give him room. This hurt him at first, but he decided to ignore them and focus on his studies. Despite his reputation - or maybe because of it - many of the young women of Soronne were attracted to him, and he had many lovers.
He only had two close friends: the elf Telop Vine, and the ranger River. His father was good friends with the scholar Devlin Morely, and Praz was very attracted to his daughter Lissella, but the girl blew off all his attempts to flirt with her.
Praz was an amazing student, and was the greatest fighter and the most accomplished mage in his class. Soon, he grew too powerful to spar against the other students, to the point where he could only fight the instructors themselves. He could barely read, but was well versed in many fighting forms. Students were discouraged from wandering into the rougher parts of Soronne, but during his years at the Magistracy, Praz made a point of visiting nearly every part of the city. He got a reputation as a troublemaker, and some people placed a price on his head. Therefore, Praz never went anywhere unarmed, carrying his spell book and at least three blades at all times.
Like all students, Praz studied at all four towers: Eldrar's Tower for mages, Tork the Mild's Staff for clerics, the Circle of Steel for warriors, and the Shadow Tower for thieves. Unlike the other students, however, Praz refused to pick a single tower to specialize in, intending to follow the instructions given to him by his Mistress. However, the Magistrates felt that he set a bad precedent for the other students. One day, 14 years after he first arrived at the school, Praz was called into his father's office and given an ultimatum: the Magistrates had decided that he would be given one week to pick a tower, or they would kick him out. Praz asked his father which way he had voted, and Bo admitted that the decision was unanimous. Praz replied that if the Magistracy kicked him out, then he would seek his destiny elsewhere, and stormed out of the room.
Hanged Man's Inn
Telop had learned that a small band of thieves, one of which was injured, were staying at the Hanged Man's Inn. Praz and Telop broke into the inn in the evening, trying to steal the gold while the thieves slept, but they woke up and reached for their weapons. After a brief fight, four of the five thieves were dead. Praz promised the wounded man that if he told them where the gold was hidden, they'd let him live. The thief quickly told them where to find the gold, and even offered to tell their fortune - he had witch blood in his family. After the argument with his father, Praz was curious what his future held, and held out his palm.
The thief studied it closely, but suddenly, his eyes grew wide, and in a fearful voice, he whispered "Darkness" and "I see darkness everywhere." Angry and disappointed by this, Praz-El punched the man. Telop drew his knife to kill the thief, pointing out that he hadn't promised anything, but Praz-El stopped him, telling him that his promise counted for them both. The two left the inn to divide the gold.
The Sage's Rebuttal
Telop and Praz headed to the alehouse known as the Sage's Rebuttal, where they were soon joined by River. She flirted with Praz, trying to convince him to spend the night in the forest with her, but he declined, not wanting to start any rumours that could reach Lissella's ears and destroy his chances with her. Later in the evening, Lissella herself entered the tavern, looking for Praz. She reacted jealously when she found River sitting at Praz's table, and the two women had a fierce argument. To establish her dominance, Lissella used her magic to pull down the wagon wheel of lanterns hanging from the ceiling, then grabbed Praz's hair and pulled him in for a kiss.
But as their lips drew near, someone shouted that Magistrate Bo himself was approaching the tavern. Not wanting to be found by one of the Magistrates in a seedy alehouse, most of the students left. River, Telop and Lissella also left the tavern, and Bo sat down at Praz's table. He handed his son a letter from Murlank, where Praz was promised information about his past if the came there to study at the dark school. Bo told him that the letter had arrived earlier that day, and admitted that he had tried to force Praz to make a decision so that he wouldn't have to give him the letter. If Praz had made a decision, Bo would have known that his time at the Magistracy wasn't over. The chance to learn more about his past was very appealing to Praz. Bo tried to get him to stay another month, to think about his life, but Praz decided to leave the very next morning.
Later in the evening, Telop visited Praz in his suite in Eldrar's Tower, and learned that the young warrior had decided to leave the next day. River approached, telling them that she wanted to travel with him to give him some company on his journey. A group of guards suddenly ran past, and Praz learned that Lissella and her father had disappeared.
Believing that this was connected to an ancient fountain Devlin had recently found in the tunnels beneath Soronne, Praz ran off to investigate. Out in the streets, they saw that the town was under attack by the zombie hordes of the demon Sendark. River and Telop followed Praz as he cut his way through the attackers. In the tunnels, Praz learned that the town had been betrayed by Fahd Mandel and Lenik, the seconds-in-command of the Shadow Tower and the Circle of Steel, respectively. The two traitors had then begun to drain the fountain's power, and Bo had attempted to stop them. He was unsuccessful, and had been critically wounded before the traitors left.
Coughing blood, Bo told Praz that he had always seen potential in him. For years he'd managed to track down stories about a boy who had been trained by a demon, then locked away in schools to keep his birth secret. When the letter arrived, he finally figured out that the boy was Praz-El. His parents had given him many gifts, but also left him tainted in darkness, and Praz would have to control it, or it would be his undoing - and perhaps the undoing of the world. "Don't let the Darkness take you, Son", he said, and giving Praz one final hug, Bo passed away. Praz reached for his weapons and charged the zombies, mad with fury and grief. Unable to face this assault, the zombies drew back to their base, the floating city-island known as the Demero.
The next morning, Telop and River were approached by Captain Jarrell, the commander of the Six Shard's fleet. The druid Alagar and the witch Noleta Mareldi believed that the two traitors were headed to the Isle of the Dead to drain a second fountain and become even more powerful. They were planning on sailing out to stop them, and wanted Praz's help. Since he was now grieving for his dead father, they hoped River and Telop could help them approach him. When the group went to see him, Praz told them he wanted to be left alone, but Alagar offered him a chance to get revenge on the traitors that killed his father. Praz agreed to travel with them, and River and Telop told him they'd come as well.
The group boarded Jarrell's ship, the Crimson Raptor. There, they were also joined by Xarfax, a holy warrior who was an old friend of Jarrell. Xarfax and his warriors glared at Praz from the moment they set foot aboard, though Praz didn't know why. Telop offered to rough him up if he didn't stop staring, but since Xarfax was an experienced warrior, and Telop was so seasick he couldn't even stand, Praz didn't take him up on it. Praz was extremely thankful for Telop's loyalty in coming with him, considering how sick the elf got at sea.
One of Xarfax's warriors swaggered over to Praz, attempting to start a fight, but as he walked across the deck, a sudden wave threw him to the floor. The other warriors laughed, and Xarfax told them that the Old One was responsible. River asked him who the Old One was, and Xarfax was shocked that she didn't know the story. He began to tell them the legend, and the strange tension between them and Praz immediately broke. Praz thought the story sounded familiar, and wondered if he'd heard it before.
As the group sailed into the Sea of Mist, they were suddenly attacked by a swarm of undead ospreys, sent by Sendark to stop them from reaching their goal. It was a long and bloody fight, and many of Jarrell's sailors lost their lives, but Praz and Xarfax stood fighting side by side, cutting down the creatures.
During the fight, a wisp of green mist wrapped itself around Praz, and he found himself being transported away. Suddenly, he was standing a tropical land, on a precipice near a forest village that was being destroyed by a dragon. The dragon dove down to attack him, but a dwarf charged in and knocked him down to the ground, saving his life. After slaying an attacking wolf pack, they shook hands, and the dwarf introduced himself as Clancy. When he heard Praz-El's name, the dwarf's eyes grew wide, and he asked what he was doing there. Praz-El realized that the strange dwarf knew who he was, and started to ask him questions. Clancy revealed that he'd been a friend of Praz's mother, and that Praz had been sent away to keep him safe from those that wanted to kill him. He also let slip that the demon who had raised Praz was named Nymus.
The dwarf told him that he should go back home immediately, but Praz-El replied that he couldn't - the Mist had sent him there, and he didn't even know where he was. In addition, he finally saw a chance to learn something about himself and his past, and he didn't want to waste it. Clancy repeatedly told him to leave, but Praz held up his sword and demanded answers; he wanted to know who he was and why anyone had wanted to kill him. Clancy was angered at this, telling him that he had saved both Praz and his mother many times, and the young warrior was in no position to make demands.
A shadow swooped into a nearby tree, and they saw a winged troll observing them. Clancy killed it with a pair of throwing darts, but not before the troll managed to cry out an alarm. Praz-El spotted at least a dozen trolls charging them, and Clancy once again told him to get out of there. Praz-El wanted answers, but the green Mist returned and started twisting towards him. Just before Praz-El was sent back to the ship, he saw the trolls swarming over Clancy.
Praz returned to the ship, were he soon slew the last of the ospreys. They were now close to the Isle of the Dead, but were attacked by one of Sendark's zombie ships. Telop was wounded in the fight, and Praz rushed to his side to heal him, but all his attempts to cast healings spells did nothing. Telop bled to death in his arms. In a rage caused by his friend's death, and growing more and more aware of the darkness he possessed inside, Praz used his magic to destroy the zombies and tear their ship apart.
"Grabbing his sword, Praz stood. When he turned around, Alagar was standing before him, a stunned look on his face.
"You did it," he said. "You killed them all."
"Yes," Praz said, pushing past him and heading for the beach. "And I'm not done killing things yet.""
The Isle of the Dead
As they stepped ashore on the island, they were met by Clavis, one of Sendark's death knights. Clavis claimed that the two traitors had now also betrayed Sendark, and he wanted them dead. Therefore, he offered to show them the way to the fountain if the heroes promised to handle the fighting - this way, Sendark would get his revenge without endangering his own troops. None of them trusted Sendark or his minions, but they knew they might never find the traitors in time, so they reluctantly agreed. Clavis showed them a tunnel leading into a nearby mountain.
The group entered a great chamber, where the fountain was floating over a vast abyss. The two traitors were already in the fountain, draining its power, while Lenik's mercenaries and guards were guarding Lissella on the edge of the chasm. The heroes charged into battle against Lenik's forces. During the fight, they discovered that they should avoid using magic in the cave, as any spell they cast would clash with the fountain's power, causing the chamber to break up. At one point during the fight, River was battling a goblin near the edge of the chasm, and Lissella cast a spell to deal with the creature. The shudder of the cave threw River off the edge, and while she managed to hold on for a short time, she soon fell into the abyss. When Praz approached to see what had happened, Lissella turned to him with tears in her eyes, telling him that she'd tried to rescue River, but just wasn't strong enough.
The heroes knew they had to reach the fountain, but none of them were able to walk on the bridge of light leading to it. Thinking back to Nymus's final task, Praz decided to cast a spell on the rocks falling from the ceiling, causing them to float in the air. He then began to jump from rock to rock, soon reaching the fountain. Mandel was too overcome by magic to put up much of a fight, but Lenik proved to be more than a match for Praz. He was unable to defeat the traitor in combat, but Maven, one of Sendark's messengers, suddenly flew in and told him to destroy the gem at the center of the fountain. He did so, and the fountain began to fall into the abyss. Praz managed to jump to safety on the floating rocks, but the two traitors were far too slow. On the way back to firm ground, he rescued Lissella, who had attempted to follow him to the fountain, but had been unable to jump from rock to rock as he had. The group fled as the cavern began to collapse.
The heroes returned to their ship. Jarrell decided to sail to the northern nations and gather an army to free Soronne from Sendark's siege. Having lost his foster father and his only friends, Praz decided that there was nothing left for him in Soronne, and that he would travel to Murlank. As he was standing on the deck, watching the sea, Lissella tried to approach him. She told him that he looked like he needed some company, but he brushed her off. He wondered why she was no longer mourning her father, who had been slain by the traitors. He also wondered why she had attempted to follow him to the fountain. She told him she was trying to help him, but he pointed out that she couldn't even save River. He told her that he no longer loved her, and he certainly didn't trust her. "I don't believe you care for anything, and I think the reason I've been attracted to you is because we share a Darkness inside us that I can't hide. But I'm going to learn more about mine. And I'm going to change it."
He told her he would go to Murlank to learn more about his past. Lissella was angry that he'd leave her, and also envious - she'd heard about the school of darkness, and had even entertained the idea of going there herself, and was shocked that he'd actually been invited. Looking back over her shoulder, she posed her hips provocatively, and told him: "You're going to miss me, Praz." When he stared out at the sea and didn't respond, she walked away.
|The Sea of Mist by Mel Odom|
|Praz-El · Lissella Morely · Telop Vine · River · Sendark|
|Alagar · Arrak Southerly · Clancy · Clavis · D'Rebbik · Daria · Captain Jarrell · Devlin Morely · Fahd Mandel · Govan · Commander Lenik · Lumbarg · Magistrate Bo · Maven · Necros · Noleta Mareldi · Nymus · Palomar · Rifflin · Rolloph · Tasha · The Old One · Wyrengo · Xarfax · Xhristos|
|Axeoth (Tamarck) · Ardon|
|Albeys · Blighted Desert · Brass Sea · Burning Ash Forest · Demero · Heronport · Isle of the Dead · Makkall · Murlank · Nymus's arena · Sea of Mist · Six Shards · Soronne (Hanged Man's Inn · Sage's Rebuttal) · Tamaska · Threnoc|
|Beauty of War · Crimson Raptor · Crothar · Great dragons · Magistracy of Soronne · Warder's Promise · Winged troll|