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Lector Qiao

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Image:Scroll2.png "They say I have no respect for anyone. They are wrong. I respect fine wizards. I will respect you the day you become fine wizards. Until then, you are just meat that talks. Meat that talks too much."
- Lector Qiao, induction speech at the Royal Academy of Magic
Lector Qiao
RaceNuit, formerly Human
Date of birth68 BV (aged 591)
Place of birthTreval (Alahea)
TitleInformal leader of Sahova

Lector Qiao is a Nuit wizard and the leader of the Council of Five on the undead island of Sahova. He has recently overtaken Zarik Mashaen as the chief authority by rallying support among the top level of Sahovan wizards in the wake of the chaos caused by Supervisor Drainira's betrayal. Qiao used to be the headmaster of the Royal Academy of Magic, Alahea's top magical institute.


Qiao is famous in Sahova for burning through his bodies faster than most Nuit. Despite some amount of Embalming to preserve basic mobility and functions, his bodies show evidence of decay, though the worst of it is concealed under his red master's robes. It is thought that the unnatural rotting spreads from his hands, which are dark and calloused and possess a "touch of decay". Qiao can destroy life by just touching it for some time - a modified form of Leeching for which Qiao held a regular license (Leeching being restricted in Alahea).


Qiao is harsh, proud and extremely controlling. He trusts only an inner circle that receives privileges in exchange for supporting his leadership. Everyone else is considered fully expendable to the cause. Outsiders are, in particular, no better than animals. He revels in the politics of Sahova, and enjoys establishing his dominance on the wizard community by strength and cunning alike. Qiao speaks in haughty tones and is considered very quirky; for example, he likes to play mind games with those who dare approach him. He also does not tolerate anyone entering his personal space within three steps of his body, perhaps to avoid triggering his hands of decay by accident.

Qiao has a fierce rivalry with Zarik Mashaen, mostly due to Mashaen surpassing him as a wizard. While he has grudging respect for the man, this does not extend to Mashaen's followers. The clash between the two groups has taken a turn for the worse and Qiao's group has taken over following the blow to Mashaen's reputation that came when the citadel's Supervisor golem Drainira, a creation of Mashaen's, betrayed Sahova.


Qiao's magical pedigree is impressive to say the least; he comes from a long line of exceptional wizards whose blood even mixed with the Alahean royals in the distant past. He was bred and raised solely to be a perfect wizard, like his father and grandfather before him. He was appointed as the Headmaster of the Royal Academy of Magic when he was less than 40, an incredible feat (though partly justified by the shortage of wizards in the last parts of Alahea's war against Suvan). He considered the Academy as his personal fiefdom and ruled it as such, with no mercy on the students and even on the instructors who did not bow down to him.

He was perhaps one of the few volunteers for the Sahova project and the first to join. His reasons for joining are not entirely clear but he probably saw an opportunity to challenge his great rival Zarik Mashaen in an eternal playground. He forced several of his underlings, such as Mizelio Takk, to enter the program with him and led an influential faction from the very start. It was only after Drainira's betrayal that Qiao's group has come to the fore, eclipsing Mashaen's influence and reducing the Archwizard to a nominal leading role while Qiao and four other Nuit (the Council of Five) shape the citadel's future. Persecution against Mashaen's followers has been intense ever since.