Arcanum: The Moon
Chisedes appears first in episode 12.
Chisedes was a student of Gilda Arhamboras’ before the witch wrought her violent separation from the Court of Rhadamanthus. Though Chisedes was a promising student with an ability to deeply understand sorcery and gifted with psychic sensitivity, she was a meek and unmotivated girl. She greatly admired Gilda and clung to her for reassurance, comforted by Gilda’s reserved and deliberate manner. Her primary feature of distinction at the time was that after the death of the thirty-six at the doing of Vagran, leading to Gilda striking out against her coven, Chisedes was the only novice involved in the incident that survived.
She had died temporarily because of Vagran’s magic, but by a turn of fate she was resuscitated before death seized its claim on her. She was revived as a changed person. For months after the incident, she oscillated between catatonia and nervous instability. What surprised and disturbed her caretakers most was that she made no mention of the perverse Vagran. Instead, the figure that haunted her waking mind was her own mistress Gilda, whom Chisedes described as being surrounded by a hungry cloud that lashed at the girl’s will, seeking to consume her consciousness and absorb it into Gilda’s. Though tormented by images of the necromancer’s phantasmal servant (later revealed to be Crochan), her admiration for her former teacher seemed to have magnified into something akin to worship. She spoke of “my dear Mistress” as a superlative paragon who transcended humanity and whom she herself would one day come to resemble.
It was later exposure to the captive Vagran that seemed to spurn Chisedes out of her disarray. She was reintroduced to the demon to uncover the effect he had had on her, and she reacted with ire rather than fear. She claimed to know Arhamboras’ feelings, and that she witnessed the witch’s hatred of Vagran for interfering with her mentorship. She vigorously mocked the demon: for some reason, his powers were now ineffective against her.
As her treatment progressed, Chisedes dove into self-organized training in the sorcerous arts, focusing on the mysterious necromancy that Gilda herself had practiced. True necromancy was unavailable to most witches as it required talents that few seemed capable of cultivating, including the power to understand the will of deceased spirits and to divine the secrets of their being.
Chisedes found it strange that this was so inaccessible to her peers, since the means of reaching beyond the veil came so naturally to her now. But she took this craft further than Gilda ever advocated. She sought to become one with the secrets of the nether in both spirit and body. She developed a method that involved imbibing the blood of recently dead and consuming the flesh of preserved cadavers. According to her explanations, this practice supplied her with the energy of the living body and comprehension of the spirit that passed from it. Despite how ghastly her craft was found by even her most pragmatic peers and teachers, Chisedes seemed to benefit from it and was not prohibited from it, especially as she displayed a hunger for this disturbing new diet.
Chisedes is the only sorcerer in present times to be formally recognized as a necromancer, aside from Gilda Arhamboras who bore the title originally. Because of her consumption of the bodies of the dead, she is known as Chisedes the Ghoul.
Her burgeoning craft began to manifest strange benefits. She lost color and weight, as if growing sickly, but showed signs of an extraordinarily resilient body. Her strength returned at increased capacity. Her personality grew gradually more eccentric and bizarre. She derived joy from unscrupulous things, was secretive, and behaved with unpredicted aggression and intensity to those around her.
Able to read the minds of the living by drinking a portion of their blood, and eventually able to manipulate her victims’ bodies, she quickly asserted her own place of power in the Court’s hierarchy. She became appointed to the position of Warden, and her chief duties included watching over and shepherding of the spirits, beasts, and lesser fey that the Court of Rhadamanthus held captive. She also held position as the custodian of Vagran and the few other demons held captive.
Evelyn explained in Scarbaros that the Ghoul was responsible for the decrepit condition of the Sybil as a result of her spells. One of Evelyn’s personal goals was to destroy Chisedes during the battle at Scarbaros. Despite a furious strike against the Ghoul, including cleaving the witch with viciously cursed weapons, Chisedes arose without difficulty and remanded Evelyn’s efforts to slay her.
Chisedes never appears to show fear, even in the face of King Adamas when he emerged from within Jubelon. Although she defers to Gilda, saying that she holds “nothing but reverence and fear” for her former mistress, she does not demonstrate any such emotion.