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Alan "Pipes" Doran

Perhaps the most curious psychological case in Terah is that of Alan “Pipes” Doran. The third son of a Jzianrhae noble, Alan knew that he would most likely never inherit any respectable position in his countries government. As a result, he grew obsessed with stories of adventuring, probably believing that becoming an adventurer would be the only way to escape becoming a minor bureaucrat. He studied to become a bard in secret, and completed a correspondence course in music from the Bardic College of Vidava University.

When Alan came of age, he immediately left his family’s household and journeyed to the town of Jzian. There he discovered that the real world was nothing like his privileged upbringing. In the shadowy streets of Jzian Alan suffered every sort of criminal abuse known to man. During his short time in the notorious town he was mugged, robbed, beaten, stabbed, and sold into slavery.

Many of the psychological researchers who have studied Alan believe that the repeated traumas suffered in Jzian are what caused the psychosis that would figure so prominently in Alan’s later life. Other social scientists believe that the psychosis was the result of negligent parenting or even a genetic mutation, but everyone agrees that it was in Jzian that Alan’s psychotic tendencies first manifested. Criminals who had robbed or mugged Alan turned up dead soon after, under increasingly gruesome and macabre circumstances. Whenever Alan was injured, he would show up on the streets the next day with no trace of his previous wounds. The ship he was sold to, according to witnesses, “began shaking furiously, as if caught up in an unseen storm, whereupon it shattered into splinters.”

Shortly after escaping from the slavers, Alan began traveling with various adventuring parties, and became famous for escaping from dangerous situations, even when his fellow party members did not. His tales and songs of heroic last stands became some of the most popular and widely translated pieces of culture found in contemporary Terah, and—surprisingly—earned him the attention of many prominent adventuring parties, who all clamored to take him on for their most dangerous ventures.

It was then that the truth of Alan Doran came out. The adventurers who actually survived these dangerous missions came back and spread the word of how, under pressure, Alan Doran’s regular personality was replaced by a secondary persona which called itself “Pipes.” Pipes was evidently a powerful spark, who claimed to have an intimate knowledge of “the mechanics of sound and harmonics.” Alan’s ability to survive stemmed not only from his skill as a bard, but also as his skill as a spark. In sticky situations, Pipes could even coax flesh and muscle back into place with devices that generated what he called “sympathetic vibrations.”

Alan “Pipes” Doran has since become a prominent case study for psychologists all around Terah, an important subject of spark-related research, and an advocate for the mentally disabled.