Not much is known about Knolans past. Of the characters from the Battle Chasers universe, his character has the seemingly most mysterious and arguably the most haunting of origins. This is saying something when you consider the heartbreaking origins of his fellow teammate Garrison and the misunderstood and fugitive origins of his good friend Calibretto.
Knolan the wizard
While it is very apparent Knolan is an older human male, it has been speculated that he may have an unnaturally long lifespan, with possible estimation ranging into the hundreds of years of age. While the exact age has never been declared or revealed, the fact that he is one of, if not _the_ oldest human being on the planet _has_ been declared by creator and penciler Joe Madureira himself. It is unclear what has given Knolan this incredible lifespan though it may be speculated thacause of his upbringing in the arcane magics, he has magically altered his aging process or has come into possession of a magical artifact that grants him extended amounts of life (Knolan is often times portrayed wearing amulets and trinkets that can be assumed to hold magical abilities. Perhaps one in particular provides the extension of life). Knolan never speaks of his old age and, even at the speculated age of 500 or so years old, can still get around very well, enjoying the finer things in life all the while continuing his dedicated study of the arcane arts. While he tends to side with logic and reason over fighting, his age does not hinder his ability to fight using the arcane arts.
With so many hundreds of years under his belt, Knolan has become somewhat of a mythical figure in both the magical community as well as the civilian community. The man surpasses entire generations, and the stories of his magical prowess and talents pass on along the years. With this also comes the many years of experiences; some very good and others not so much...
Insomnia keeps Knolan awake; reading and studying magic late into the night
When readers first see Knolan, he is studying magic from a large tome. This is naturally expected of a wizard character; especially coming from a book so well surrounded in fantasy aspects. However, Knolan is revealed to be studying his tomes in the dark, unable to sleep, reading and re-reading spells. While the immediacy of a new visitor in Gully, the nine year old daughter of Aramus, gives him something to focus on aside from his studies, Knolan is first portrayed as a wizard with a minor case of insomnia. This would later be revealed, not as a casual problem of an older man, but a serious occurrence of nightmares; all of them dealing with a very dangerous figure in Knolans past.
Many times throughout the book, we see Knolan waking in the middle of the night from a nightmare. In these visions, Knolan is looking down into a pit or chasm alongside a group of other magic-inclined figures. This void that they are staring in is the apparent tomb of an incredibly dangerous and villainous figure. These events are clearly being recalled from Knolans long and storied past; one of the downsides of having such a long life. In his visions, Knolan is somber with a slight fear upon his face. Clearly, the group with which he stands is a powerful assembly of magic casters that are burying some criminal or villain alive. In one of his visions, it appears that the group is encasing the man in some iron shell with eye holes, ala Man in the Iron Mask, or even Victor Von Doom. These eyes stare back at Knolan with fear, pain, and hatred. It is often at this exact moment of the dream that Knolan wakes from the nightmare. This event will continue to haunt Knolan throughout the book and the severity of the dreams will increase as well.
An unexpected guest
Knolan and 'Bretto: usual conversation
Knolan would uncover the remains of an ancient War Golem; A 'race' of sentient constructs built by the dwarven master builders. These large constructs were created for a war long past (though Knolan, with his incredible lifespan, may have been young enough to remember or be a part of). Each Golem was custom built and given 'life', able to think and process information on their own. These magical Golems were equipped with fantastic weaponry and had enhanced strength. There existence was based on the priority of war, and thus were created to preform well within battle situations.
When the Great war had ended, the functional purpose of the Golems was reduced significantly. The War Golems were feared by the people that had paid for their construction. Afraid that the sentient WarMachines would turn on their masters, orders were issued forth to outlaw the golems and to decommission those still operational. This is the most likely case of Knolan uncovering the War Golem known as Calibretto. It is unclear whether or not 'Bretto was fully intact or not when found by Knolan. The possibility of a dysfunctional War Golem might pose a serious problem for one attempting to repair the construct. It is said that only the master dwarven craftsman could infuse life into the machines, using unknown and ancient techniques to forge these war machines. Lucky for Knolan, he happens to be in league with the head dwarven craftsman, Ramasith Ironhanded, and fixing a War Golem would prove a definitive possibility for the wizard.
However the case, Knolan would activate the Golems Sentience, breaking the current laws of the time which involved the decommissioning of all War Golems. In this machine made for war, Knolan would find a completely docile and friendly personality. Calibretto would provide a lasting friendship for Knolan, both characters having extended life (constructs are nigh immortal as long as they can be rebuilt).
Having an illegal and feared new friend, Knolan was forced to live a more private life (if his wasn't private enough already) harboring the giant construct from the prying eyes of the law. Within his estate, Knolan would allow Calibretto to participate in whatever nightly events he wanted, as well as keep him covered up (as best a giant Golem can be) when moving about the countryside ('Bretto looking more like a house with clothes). This change in lifestyle didn't seem to be a problem for the two and both were able to cope with the situation. Everything appeared as though things would turn out alright, aside from a minor case of strange insomnia. This idea of a quite life would be shattered the day Knolan and his new friend Calibretto would meet Gully.
Another unexpected guest
Gully, the nine year old titan
Enter Gully: the energetic nine year old whos chance encounter with Calibretto one night would shake up the quiet life Knolan had grown accustomed to.
On the fateful night when Gully's household fell under attack of Sebastius Nefar's Lycan warriors, Gully was forced to flee her home, leaving her nanny to fend for herself (nanny wouldn't last too long against the monstrous wolf-warriors). In Gully's possession was a magically sealed chest; the final parting gift of her father (who had disappeared fairly recently). After the Lycans had ransacked the Estate of Aramus (Gully's father), they soon began tracking the child who had fled from their sight earlier. With there animal-tracking prowess, they were able to find Gully and pursue her with great speed.
Into a deserted town, she attempted to hide from the creatures. When this tactic failed, she had nearly hit the end of the line. The lycans were moving in for the kill and searching for the chest Gully was in possession of. Before this could transpire, Gully ran into Calibretto. The docile war golem was out and about that night, apparently studying the nocturnal growing cycles of certain flowers. Calibretto was able to defeat the Lycan warriors with relative ease, to which he was then all alone with Gully, and not quite sure about what to do with the nine year old child.
Naturally, 'Bretto brought her to Knolan, to which Knolan was completely and utterly bewildered. Knolan has lived several lifetimes and was not expecting the young Gully to arrive at his estate, running for her life, searching for her father, carrying a magically sealed chest that, as a skilled magician, he could easily open. With the wisdom of many men, Knolan was able to sort the ordeal out fairly well, opening the chest with magics, revealing the contents that had remained mysteriously locked away even from Gully. The contents were none other than Aramus's gauntlets; The source of the great heroes power.
Completely perplexed of the situation, Knolan would soon seek the advice of King Vaneer as to what to do with the child and the gauntlets. This decision was extremely difficult for Knolan to make seeing as he doesn't exactly see eye to eye with the king. For one, Knolan has been harboring an illegal construct within his household which is directly defying the laws of the King. Knolan was also not as willing to trust the King as Gully was, wondering if the king would be able to even help them with the situation at hand. In short, Knolan decided that King Vaneer would better be able to protect the child from further attack and that visiting the capital city might garner some attention to helping search for the childs missing father.
Knolan required some 'preparations' before they could set off on their journey to the capital city. These 'preparations' are most likely the clothing material needed to cover the war golem so that 'Bretto could travel incognito. During Knolan's short absence from his estate, an attack on 'Bretto, Gully, and the house would occur.
Another set of Lycans had followed the trail of Gully from the previous night, and had picked up and continued to follow the scent, leading them straight to Knolans house. The Lycans were well prepared to deal with the War Golem this time around. Using some form of advanced weaponry, the Lycans were able to ambush the War Golem (simply by knocking on the door) and disabling him with a form of electronic shut down. 'Bretto was rendered completely immobile and unable to protect Gully.
Gully ran and gathered the chest with which contained the gauntlets of Aramus and attempted to hide from the Lycans. They were able to find her easily and, when forced into a corner, Gully had no other choice but to attempt to wield the gauntlets to protect herself. After a cosmic scene of energy from the wearing of the gloves, Gully then proceeded to punch the threatening Lycan through the roof, completely destroying a good portion of Knolans house.
After the events had unfurled and Knolan returned, he was extremely angry about the damages to his house. However, when he began questioning 'Bretto as to what had happened, he showed that he was only concerned with the child and her safety. He asked where she was and then went up to the visit the child. Gully was frightened that Knolan would ask her to leave after the damages she caused to the house. Knolan simply told her to get some rest and to forget about it for the night. He showed a lot of composure but did chime in before he closed the door, "We have a hell of a mess to clean up in the mornin'".
Journey to the Capital City
Traveling is complex with these three
No event in Knolans life seems to be mundane. An ordinary average trip to the capital city of King Vaneer seems like the perfect time for adventure; wanted or not. Two elements make this journey somewhat of a predicament.
1) Gully. The protection of the child is a major concern for both Knolan and Calibretto. The attacks on her fathers estate are still fresh on everyones mind. The Lycan warriors have proven themselves excellent trackers and, if they are actively seeking the child, are always a possibility of attacking at any moment. In this particular segment of the storyline, Gully has yet to wield the gloves with any sort of permanency (using them only once prior to this event, in the better effort of self-preservation. For whatever reason, perhaps uncertainty in the gauntlets powers, Knolan has advised Gully not to wear the gauntlets, though it would make her much less of an unprotected target during the journey). Gully is the main reason for taking the journey and so remains the number one priority of protection and attention.
2) 'Bretto is an outlaw. An illegal walking among civilians. This makes the journey much more harrowing for all. 'Bretto must be covered as best a giant construct can be, all the while, appearing to have some semblance of a human figure. In this world based in fantasy, creatures and even meta-humans of 'Bretto's size would not be as uncommon as it would be in a regular comic. However, this does not hide the fact that he looks like a large house with clothes; a giant sombrero of sorts to cover his face. If the disguise is to fail, it would draw immediate and unwanted attention to the trio. Golems are feared by the people, hated by royalty, and worth an incredible amount to bounty hunters and adventurers. The rare parts that make up the construct are highly sought after delicacies of the machinery world. One Lycan even mentions that 'Bretto may be worth twice his weight in gold ('Bretto weighing several tons himself).
With the increased difficulties added to the journey, the next event would prove completely unexpected. The group was ambushed by future teammate and current has-been swordsman Garrison. Garrison had been tracking Knolan and co for a while, attempting to liberate Gully from the wizard. The assault began with 'Bretto falling into a chasm trap, expertly covered by the swordsman. Garrison quickly apprehended the child but shortly after, his attempts at fleeing were stopped by a fire blast from Knolan. Knolan and 'Bretto exchanged some words and then the two were in action against the swordsman. When the safety of the child became a major concern (fear of collateral damage from fighting) Knolan sent out a warning to the swordsman. "I have not killed a man in quite some time but I will if I must to protect this child".
The old man in action
Knolan flexed his arcane might, boasting he could kill the swordsman in one breath to end the threat that he brought upon the girl. At these words, Garrison realized that both parties were only concerned for the safety of the child. The discussions that followed revealed that Gully had known Garrison from a young age. The reunion would not go over well. Gully would later reject Garrison and his attempt to protect her, asking him to leave. With this, Knolan led Gully and 'Bretto into the capital city.
The entrance into the city would be a complete shock to the group. The city was under siege from four super enhanced criminals who had escaped from skyhold prison. One of these members was an arcane caster, causing massive damage to city infrastructure. Gully was quick to realize the potential match up exclaiming, "Magic! That's you're department Knolan!" Knolan was quick to respond with witty humor, replying, "I don't save the day kid, I just try and enjoy it." With some encouragement from Gully and potential civilian lives at risk, Knolan begrudgingly summoned his flying cloud Nimbus and flew off to combat the rival wizard, muttering under his breath, "I'm getting way to old for this crap."
With literally hundreds of years of combat experience, Knolan is one of the greatest dueling wizards. His spell books contain all of the arcane magic he has studied and lifted from other wizards during his impressive lifespan. This lends to some unique and unorthodox spells of great power few wizards have ever dreamed of, much less seen in their lifetime.
Knolans run in with young wizarding talent Cranius proved to be one of the hardest battles Knolan had in a long time. Not much is known about the wizard that calls himself Cranius. He was confined to skyhold prison by the swordsman Garrison. During a liberation attempt by Red Monika to free Ryon Del Soya from the very same prison, an explosion caused by the two allowed Cranius to escape from the prison.
Now, set loose upon the capital city, Cranius was busy killing innocent civilians. Knolan flew up on his nimbus cloud to confront the evil wizard. At first sight, Cranius does not signify that he knows who Knolan is. He simply calls Knolan 'you old man' when they hold a brief conversation. Not much more was said as Cranius began his magical assault on Knolan casting an energy projection spell towards him. Knolan quickly countered with a defensive shield spell which nullified the effects of the energy blast. The magical trickery was just beginning.
Knolan summoned up an entire roof structure from below and encased Cranius within, crushing the life out of the rival wizard. Knolan clenched his fist tightly and compacted the ball-shaped mass of roof structure. It appeared that the fight had ended quickly, Knolan verbally congratulating himself for being so clever to outsmart his opponent.
Cranius proved to be much stronger than Knolan had anticipated. He was able to protect himself from within the wreckage and break away from the enclosure of roof. Knolan let his guard down to taunt his opponent and Cranius took advantage of the moment, casting a devastating spell that stops opponents hearts.
Knolan doubled over in pain, clenching his chest. The shock was apparent on his face and in his words. This seemed to be completely unexpected and Knolan had no counterspell or any way of defending against the attack. With no way of jump-starting his heart, Knolan slowly died away, falling from the sky. His body landed among the wreckage of the fight; motionless. Cranius then floated down to where Knolan had landed and attempted to 'absorb' a part of Knolan.
At this point in time, Cranius shows that he indeed knows exactly who the man he was fighting against. Congratulating himself on the victory of the great Knolan, Cranius thinks aloud to himself of the great knowledge Knolan had amassed in his lifetime. Knowledge that he, Cranius, would 'take' for himself. However the evil wizard planned to do this was never revealed. Upon grabbing Knolans head, the consistency of the dead body altered greatly into a stretchy, liquid-like form. This made the wizard pause before the body of Knolan exploded in a fiery blast, injuring the evil wizard and sending him flying away from the force of the blast.
Cranius was only fooled for a moment. He gathered himself up and screamed in rage. "Where are you old man!?" he yelled out to an empty area of the capital city. He knew that Knolan was still around, hidden somewhere in the city. Knolan began to speak to the wizard as if from nowhere, telling the wizard that he had lived a long time and that there wasn't anything he hadn't seen or anything he hadn't done in the world of magic. As Knolan spoke, he revealed himself to be one with the brick wall, elongating a neck structure with Knolans talking face upon the end of it. From here, Knolan reformed his body and cast a spell on Cranius. A banner of light formed beneath Cranius in the pattern similar to pentacle circles. Knolan warned the wizard not to make any sudden movements...
The hot headed Cranius was fool hearty and frustrated. He reached out to cast another spell at Knolan exclaiming, "I won't fall for another one of your tricks!". At this moment, energy swirled around the wizard, grabbing at him, encasing him, and pulling him deep into a void beneath the pentacle circle. The banishing spell had summoned the wizard into the earth and out of the realm of the living forever. Knolan had escaped death and shown why he is one of the best wizards alive. His unorthodox ways (banishing spells are apparently extremely unorthodox to cast in combat) and variety of spells make him difficult to kill and dangerous to fight.
August and the dream
The group in the dream
"The greatest threat to the safety of our world is free once more." The dreams that had been haunting Knolan, causing his insomnia and keeping him from peaceful sleep, were finally revealed in the worst nightmare for Knolan yet.
Prior to this revealing dream, Knolan's other nightmares were simply dreams; Images, pictures, thoughts. This recent dream was more than that. In it, he met old friends from long ago. These friends were quite real in the dream, able to communicate to Knolan. Knolan was also able to speak back. This provided a new and unique insight to the meanings of his dreams and why his nightmares of a past event were frequent in occurrence.
In the dream, he saw and spoke to Raimon, Tenasyia, and Ramasith Ironhanded. They appeared as ghoulish forms of themselves, having died at the hands of their collective greatest adversary. Knolan was unaware of their deaths prior to the dream and the revelation were upsetting and shocking to find out. Knolan was dressed in ceremonial robes alongside his old and former companions at the site of the grave. The tomb with which his nightmares had taken him so many times before, before being abruptly ended with the frightening eyes behind a cold steel mask.
Visiting the grave of August
Here at the grave of August
, the greatest threat to the safety of the world, his friends explained of their recent and unfortunate events that led to their untimely demises. Raimon was first to explain his tale, showing Knolan the trickery of August and how he had killed him through a demonic puppet. Tenaysia, the lover of August, was next to tell her tale. Her death came about with the delivery of a black rose, upon which the rose spoke to her on skin contact and then snuffed the life from her. The dwarven masterbuilder, Ramasith Ironhanded, told his story of being buried alive by August's henchman within his own workshop.
Of the group that was present at the burying of August, only Knolan and King Vaneer remained in the world of the living. The group of deceased friends then warn Knolan he is soon to join them in death. Their 'betrayal' of August was the cause of their deaths and all who took part in the burying of August would die in the name of vengeance. Knolan was spurred from his dream when his former friends began a zombie like attack on him, to which he rose out of bed wondering how August could still be alive.
The tale of August and his burial has not been fully revealed in the series. The only information known about the event is that, sometime, in Knolans past, he and a group of powerful people (Chief Dwarf Masterbuilder, King of the land, Head of Mana corporation, and Knolan being the most powerful wizard) had sealed away the most powerful and dangerous man of the time; August. The only snippet that can be gathered of Augusts power is that he controls sentient War Golems to do his bidding. These are the only revealed powers at the time. There are elements that can be speculated with the company involved in his burial.
King Vaneer had outlawed the war golems from existance, demanding they be shut down or de-constructed. The chief dwarven master builder was perhaps the one who oversaw the production and creation of all the war golems (as only dwarven masterbuilders could create these extremely complex and sentient constructs). Raimon, the leader of the Mana corporation, was probably the main fuel source for the war golems, or a major part in their 'birth' or coming to life process. Knolan was, perhaps, the only wizard talented enough to preform the burial spell. All of the people involved are directly related to some issue with War Golems. August claims that this group of people, including Augusts lover, had 'betrayed' him in some fashion and that, when he escaped from his prison/tomb, he sought vengeance to kill those involved.
With the knowledge of August returning from the dead/burial, and the fact that he had sought to kill those who had 'betrayed' or buried him, Knolan went on a personal quest to figure things out. He had to know for sure that his dream was true, and this would involve seeing the empty grave from his previous visions in person. Knolan had made up his mind that he would not tell his then teammates Gully, Garrison, and Calibretto. It is unclear whether Knolan was not willing to reveal this particular piece of his past with the group or that he was too worried for the safety of the group to allow them to tag along.
Work in Progress: Started 10/29
Expected finish date: 11/4