City of Knives
A Thuranni illustrator and part-time assassin who likes his side-job more than he cares to admit.
Raised among the agents and assassins of House Phiarlan’s Serpentine Table, Calin Thuranni d’Phiarlan showed unusual proficiency in the Mark of Shadow’s more offensive applications. Apprenticed to the Paelion line in Karrnath, Calin flourished under the tutelage of the finest killers and shadow magicians in House Phiarlan. Though relations between the Thuranni and Paelion families had always been frosty, there was a warming of relations as the two families fostered each other’s heirs. It wasn’t to be though.
In 972 YK, Elar Thuranni d’Phiarlan, head of the Thuranni line secretly met with his family’s best agents and revealed an world-changing conspiracy. According to Elar’s intelligence, the Paelion family was plotting to assassinate the royal families of the Five Nations, as well as the leaders of the Twelve, taking advantage of the ensuing chaos to seize power over all of Khorvaire. Many countered that these plots were merely the ravings of madmen. Elar countered that most madmen don’t have the skills of Khorvaire’s deadliest spies and assassins. The Thuranni family decided that they had to act.
Calin was torn between loyalty to House and family, and loyalty to the Paelions who had trained him to become what he was. In the end, Elar’s evidence convinced the young assassin. The Paelion family needed to be destroyed, and Calin was uniquely suited to take part in its destruction.
On the Night of Bloody Knives, the opening battle of the Shadow Schism, Calin led his cell of Paelion shadow-killers to the waiting blades of a Thuranni ambush. Afterward, Calin guided the Thuranni strike team into the Paelion’s safe houses. As a trusted agent, Calin knew all of the traps and secret exits. The attacks were brutally efficient. Those members of the Paelion family not caught in the first ambush were cut down in their own homes. They were the best assassins in the known world, Calin argued, and the only way they could be taken down was to use every dirty trick in the book. No one would be spared.
Calin’s experience in the Shadow Schism would sour his taste for assassination. It was one thing to take down terrorists, criminals, and other scum in the name of King and country. It was another thing entirely to turn on one’s own friends, family, and mentors. Still, it rankles him to think that the blades of House Thuranni had saved the world from the catastrophic plots of the Paelion, and House Phiarlan still hates them for it.
Since the Shadow Schism, Calin finished his studies among the True Shapers’ Academy in Atur, eventually creating a cover identity as an engraver and illustrator for news and academic publications across Khorvaire. Settling down in Sharn, Calin has wormed his way into the good graces of the Sharn Inquisitive and the Morgrave University Press, feeding choice bits of information from his work back up to the Shadow Network. Recently, Calin’s been feeling restless, taking more and more side jobs and hanging around with other ne’er-do-wells in the Lava Pit. Calin won’t admit it openly, but he’s beginning to miss the thrill of the hunt.
Then again, keeping a low profile is probably a good idea for a man who’s pissed off the most skilled assassins in Khorvaire.