Albert Mahogany was born the only son of Lord Berin Mahogany, a wealthy noble of the Kriterran Empire. Albert was born relatively late in his parents’ lives, with both of them already in their late thirties. Even from a young age it was apparent that Albert was a remarkably intelligent boy, which his father would take pains to nurture by providing the young Albert with interesting books and private tutors.
Albert, however, struggled in other areas. He had difficulty connecting with other children his age, and was apathetic towards most people other than his family. His mother would often say that he was more interested in studying the world than actually living in it.
During Albert’s formative years his father was beset by illness. Most of their time spent together was thus indoors, where they would spend time discussing Albert’s studies or thought experiments. While Albert enjoyed the time he spent with his father, he would notice, especially as he grew older, that his father’s condition was deteriorating.
The sight of doctors coming and going from his father’s bedside was ingrained in Albert’s memories and, when he was fourteen years old, his father finally passed away. It stuck fast in Albert’s mind that, even with his father’s great wealth and influence, he could only delay death, and never escape it.
It didn’t take long for his newly widowed mother to find a new husband. Finding the boy inconvenient and unpleasant to be around, Albert’s stepfather suggested sending him to the Academy of Kriterra. He loved to study more than he liked to be around people, after all, so surely the place would suit the boy.
This turn of events suited Albert just fine. As one might expect, Albert excelled at his studies. While he wasn’t especially talented with magic, he became quite well versed in alchemy and its uses, eventually transferring from the general studies program into the magic courses in his second year so he could further pursue alchemical studies and transmutation magic.
When Albert graduated with honors the current headmaster, Errus, would offer him residency to work in a research position at the school. He wasn’t particularly interested in returning home and attempting to carve out a life for himself in the Mahogany family household, so he accepted the position and began his tenure.
Albert still carried the memory of his father withering away before his eyes with him as he grew up, and this motivated his desire to uncover the mechanisms of life. Why does illness take some and spare others? Why do some races live shorter lives than others? What makes man smarter than animal?
These were the questions Mahogany sought to answer and, in doing so, he hoped to find solutions to the problems brought about by age and disease. Mahogany’s research would tackle the problem from many different angles: He would research the physiology of different races and half-breeds directly, he would plumb ancient historical records for tales of magics or artifacts that would cure any disease or grant immortality, he would create artificial life forms and work with summoners.
This, Mahogany thought, would be necessary to arrive at any solutions. There had, after all, been many in the past who tried to solve the problems of aging and disease with limited or no success. In the years Mahogany pursued his research he met many fellow researchers specialized in different fields and acquired a great number of contacts and patrons to help fund his continuing research. These wealthy patrons were concerned primarily with staving off their own deaths, but Mahogany was not above making use of them.
Albert had long since converted a portion of the Academy’s cellars into his private laboratory to protect his experiments from prying eyes. When Shay took up the position of headmaster he would quickly grow suspicious of what Mahogany was using the space for. Students occasionally reported unnerving noises, or seeing strange people disappearing into the lab and never emerging.
Still, Shay had no hard evidence of any wrongdoing and there was a great deal of political pressure on the Academy to allow Mahogany to pursue his work undisturbed, even if it meant the headmaster had to turn a blind eye to the occasional slave being delivered into the laboratory or student disappearing for a few days only to reappear with no memory of what had happened.
While his research may be ethically dubious, Mahogany has pushed forward understanding of biology a great deal with his work, as well as having developed several tools, magical or otherwise, that assist with his work. His work on genetics and biology have lead to the development of several new treatments for mana corruption and even drugs to assist with pregnancy for interracial couples.
Currently Albert’s focus is on his research in the Slimy Forest, studying the reproduction and behavior of so-called tentacles and other magical chimera to see if their self-replicating and regenerating properties can somehow be transferred to humans.
Mahogany is introverted and emotionally detached. He largely doesn’t care for people and finds their behavior erratic and unpredictable. He doesn’t socialize with other teachers at the Academy, or with his students, and he would look at invitations to do such as irritating. He works as a teacher at the Academy merely because it is a requirement of his job, and would prefer to avoid it if possible, so he is seen as grouchy and unfair by the students. The one joy he seems to take in teaching is mocking his students for failures that, from his perspective, are caused by their inability to listen or comprehend his lessons. When working on his experiments Mahogany is hyper focused and will often talk aloud to himself to parse his thoughts on his work when working on his experiments or other things that pique his interest. He would prefer to avoid using living test subjects for the simple reason that they are ‘more work’ than inert samples. Living subjects have to be kept alive and reasonably well taken care of for the experiments to be valid, after all.
Albert, compared to the other professors at the Academy, only has rudimentary skills in magic. There are likely some students who could outperform him in terms of general magical acumen. Mahogany’s expertise lies in alchemy and transmutation. He is skilled both in mundane uses of alchemy and using his highly specialized magical knowledge to achieve results that would not otherwise be possible. Mahogany can thus create magically infused potions, tinctures and poisons at a level beyond any other teacher. Mahogany (begrudgingly) teaches the Academy’s alchemy classes.
Shay: Shay has developed a distrust and dislike of Mahogany over the years due to his dubious experiments using the Academy grounds and Shay’s inability to stop them. Mahogany, for his part, bears Shay no ill will, but he likewise cares far too much about his work to allow the Headmaster’s concerns to stop him. The two only rarely interact directly as Mahogany is often secreted away in his lab.
Nimu: If anyone could claim that they were close to Albert, or had a bond with him, it would be Nimu. Nimu, the result of one of Mahogany’s many experiments, treats Albert like a father. Mahogany tries to keep himself at a distance from Nimu and consider her simply another, if useful, experiment. This, however, has not stopped him from slowly caring more and more for the girl the longer they’ve been together. He would, of course, never admit that.
Liz: Another of Albert’s experiments, though one he finds far less useful. Liz was one of the few subjects of dragon hybridization that survived the chimerization. Liz has retained enough sense of self to despise Mahogany for subjecting her to his experiments. To control her a series of magical charms have been placed upon Liz to keep her docile and suppress her memories. Albert would have disposed of her as a failure, but Nimu developed a fondness for Liz and proposed a breeding program using the chimera to try and transfer her traits into a more stable subject, so the professor has kept her around. She sometimes works as a laborer when properly controlled with charms.
R’Shiru: Albert doesn’t spare much thought about the Zev girl, mostly finding her a particularly annoying student in his classes. R’Shiru, on the other hand, absolutely hates Mahogany and has started investigating where he disappears after classes. Just what will come of this investigation remains to be seen.
<REDACTED> aka Nimu:
The LZ series of experiments were attempts to hybridize humans with dragon genetic material in an attempt to transfer their supposed ageless lifespans and great strength and resilience to humans. Most subjects died, however two survived: LZ-19 (Liz) and LZ-22. Both were deemed failures. LZ-19 remains on-site for use in further experiments. Experiment series concluded.
Side project headed by research assistant Nimu. Similar to TH series experiments, subject LZ-19 will be used to attempt to breed an heir with a human subject to pass on desirable traits without undesirable side effects. No success thus far. Experiment unlikely to produce results, but keeps Nimu happy.
The TC series of experiments is an attempt to create an artificial, magical life form with tailored, desirable traits and then infuse said traits into a human subject. Direct infusion has universally resulted in mana corruption and death of the host. TC Series of experiments has concluded and is continued in TH-Series
The TH series of experiments is a successor to the TC series. The goal remains to create an artificial magical life form with tailored traits intended to be passed on to a human host. However, rather than artificial chimerization the TH series focuses on creating an artificial life form capable of interbreeding with a human subject to pass the beneficial traits on to its heirs. Experiments underway, no conclusive data has yet been recorded.
Mahogany is from a rural town north of Eliorecia, the capital of the Empire. The kids from his village would explore nearby ruins for fun, and the ruins always fascinated him. Mahogany wanted to learn more about them and, as he got older, devoted himself to the study of magic and history to try and get accepted into the Academy. After graduating Mahogany did his thesis on ancient religions in Kriterra and got a research grant to excavate and catalog the ruins across Kriterra. In the process Mahogany became fascinated with the gods worshiped in these ancient places and where the beings, said to walk amongst their worshippers, could have gone. In one of the excavations Mahogany finds ancient jars still sealed shut said to be the blessings of the local deity. Analyzing the fluid found inside, Mahogany discovers genetic material and begins to try to artificially replicate the DNA. After several failed attempts, Mahogany manages to create Nimu by splicing in some of his own human genes where the samples had degraded. Mahogany was fascinated by Nimu, but also realized quickly that she would be dangerous to release into the world, thus she would live concealed in his lab and serve as his assistant. To some degree Mahogany thinks of her as a daughter. Mahogany’s research backers, however, wanted more than just a recreation of an ancient spirit, they wanted more practical results. Mahogany himself was concerned with his deteriorating health. Ideally Nimu’s genes could have been used to splice useful traits into humans, but any attempts to do so would inevitably cause the host’s eventual mana corruption and death. Thus, Mahogany would begin to look into other avenues of research, first by attempting to splice traits from the ancient dragons into human hosts to increase their life spans. This method met with minimal success, with only a handful of test subjects surviving the process and those that did were changed far too much to be considered successes. Mahogany’s current line of research is an attempt to create human-compatible genes via crossbreeding programs with the magical creations typically referred to as ‘tentacles’. These artificial constructs, often the result of mistakes in the creation of familiars or chimera, have an unusual capacity to interbreed with humans and other species and have great regenerative properties. However, attempting to splice tentacles into human hosts would, much like Nimu’s genes, lead to mana corruption. Instead, Mahogany hopes to create a human-tentacle hybrid via breeding in order to create a subject with genes capable of being spliced into any human without issue and grant them the same regenerative properties of tentacles themselves. This, he expects, would halt aging entirely.