Spellborn: Nhiana Flammeon – Master Deathhand

At one point during TCOS development we created the Discipline Masters, a set of the Enclave's greatest heroes and prime examples of what to expect from the Disciplines, our class system. While they were put in the game, they never got the attention I wanted them to have, nor were all assets used. I envisioned them as a band of contemporary heroes the players could fight alongside to in specific scenes.

Marlon Kromodikoro, Dennis Zoetebier and yours truly created a bio for each of the Discipline Masters and this series is meant to showcase each of them. The game itself only contained minor bits and pieces.


Nhiana Flammeon should not be alive. Being the daughter to one of Shroud’s great Deathhands meant that as a child Nhiana ingested and inhaled more poisonous substances than most have to suffer through in their entire lifetime. At the age of 5 she already had experienced hallucinogenic substances, been in a coma thrice and contracted various rashes all over her body.

Her father Araneus Flammeon did not really care for his daughter’s well-being, but the little girl and her brother managed to survive despite the hazardous environment they grew up in. At the age of 16 Nhiana already was up and about in her father’s laboratory deep within the Shroud High House and knew much more of substances than any of her peers or her superiors for that matter. Indeed, she knew a little bit too much about them and was able to adapt her mood and personality at the drop of a hat by simply consuming the right substances.

When the entire family blanked out during a ‘family meeting’ in 984 and Araneus died as a result, High House Shroud intervened and sent both Nhiana and her brother to Ringfell to detoxicate themselves under the auspices of one of their Shadowguards. The Shadowguard returned to Parliament poisoned to the brink of insanity making no sense. While Shroud was initially enraged by this, they started receiving letters from Nhiana in which she explained she was travelling the shards searching for new toxins that would not harm their users. Her brother was apparently 'lost'.

Shroud was not entirely convinced, but when she started sending in samples ready for immediate use, it became clear that it was probably in their best interest to let the girl play her game. In 993 Nhiana returned to Shroud High House and handed in her research, which astounded everyone. Especially the ‘practical application’ part in which it turned out she had been responsible for the elimination of various anti-Shroud persons throughout the Enclave. She remained at the High House, but her addiction to various substances still caused trouble amongst her fellow Shrouds. As a sort of solution to require her to remain sober, Shroud pushed her forward in 995 to become the Master Deathhand at Hawk’s Eye Academy. So far it has not really worked.


Talking to Nhiana is akin to talking to a drunk. She’s very proud of her own accomplishments, but she’s even prouder of the fact that most poisons, toxins and venoms don’t have any kind of effect on her anymore. Combined with her frequently intoxicated status, Nhiana is a difficult person to reason with. Despite this perpetual state of intoxication she still is a true Master Deathhand and can turn even the most common substance into a lethal toxin at her leisure. It is said she’s also a wonderful assassin, but there are no records whatsoever of this, which for many Shrouds is all the proof you really need.

It comes with the territory of being Dutch, I suppose. The endless stream of foreigners asking you about drugs (and subsequently being surprised or even insulted that you never used drugs despite being Dutch), can become tiring. Nhiana was partially born out of that annoyance; if the people want a Dutch junkie, then by the Light they would get one.

Nhiana was to be the epitome of drug-abuse. A dangerous person to just about everyone, but at the same time so aloof, you wouldn't be able to get a clear image of her. Not that she could ever get one of you, but still. There were some shades of Jack Sparrow to her, but I only realized that after completing her. I also liked it how she managed to be a 'rogue' element within House Shroud, while still maintaining its standards.

Marlon managed to capture her spirit (or soul if you read this and your name is Sven Ehrentraut) perfectly in the concept art. Kind of sad we didn't get to expand upon her 'adventures'. And of course, for those having reached the latter parts of Ringfell, her brother was far from lost and could be found rambling about Speyrfolk on Rawhead Landing.