It's Not the Years, It's the Mileage
Quentin is a hereditary Witch who has been around for quite some time.
He is the "nephew" of Nessa Du Valle.
Quentin has a very charming personality, and even when he's not at his best, his natural charisma still shows. He can be in turns cheerful, bitter, and resigned, all in a short time, and his emotions assert themselves strongly for the moment and faded soon after. It's difficult for him to maintain passion without hope, so at times he can seem like a plastic toy: colorful, appealing, even fascinating, but ultimately hollow.
He isn't empty inside all the time, though, and when inspiration is stoked inside him to do and to feel things, he can be a source of inspiration in turn for others. There's a vibrance in him not often seen, although much of this is due to his understanding that it is a temporary thing that he must appreciate while he has it and never take it for granted.
Quentin is easy to trust and easy to consider as a friend, whether or not he has someone's benefit in mind. It's simple for him to mingle and win admiration, though it's not always satisfying for him. Because of that, he can undervalue genuine interest in him or miss it, thinking it's just part of the crowd enchanted with the idea of him.
He does not trust others easily, however, and he is slow to confide his secrets in most anyone, especially after the last decades with the witch-hunters. He is difficult to really know, although he does, deep down, want to trust others and have more friends than he does. He may maintain defenses for his own protection, but there will always be the strong desire to connect with others, even if other aspects of his personality tell him to avoid it for simplicity's sake.
Normally, Quentin's ability to transform things is applied to things specifically created for that purpose. In a situation of greatest need, however, he can make a fighting force out of anything: furniture, plants, cars. Essentially any object that is capable of it can be made an ambulatory warrior against the opposing force. Whatever he empowers in this way will only be as tough as it would normally be, and none will have sentience or independent thought; he will still have to unite them with a focused target. He must remain conscious to direct them and to keep them animated, but he doesn't have to constantly impress his will upon them. They will all be able to attack the target or targets, once they are established.
This instant army lasts perhaps an hour at absolute maximum. The energy expenditure will catch up to Quentin once the items become no longer animated, requiring him to rest for a time proportional to how long he animated his forces. An extended period of time may even render him unconscious until he can recover some energy.
Quentin received extensive tutelage that, over the years, became outdated, but he has kept up here and there with learning and relevant topics. Most of what he has learned in relatively recent times has been limited to subjects he has some interest in, although he has made himself commit to learning modern basics simply to be able to function effectively in the modern world.
Quentin has a good foundation in using potions and other alchemical preparations to enhance his spellcasting, though naturally these must be prepared ahead of time and cannot be simply brought into existence from nothing. Even with Quentin's truly considerable abilities of transmutation, certain reagents cannot be imitated or duplicated in that manner at all, and others produce inferior potions and so forth. He isn't knowledgeable enough about alchemy to be able to "fudge" potions or most ingredients, though this may change with experience.
Having been trained in horseback riding as was expected of a noble young man in his time, Quentin became a skilled rider, although he never took the time himself to learn about training them; he became very good at maintaining them, however, and related well to them. His experience with animals is that they generally find him inoffensive. In many ways, he prefers the company of animals to that of humans, and as such, he has spent quite a lot of time around animals. Commonly domestic animals and household animals, including horses and other beasts of burden, as well as cats, dogs, and so forth, are easy for him to relate to, and he knows how to care for them.
Though he does not typically care to participate in sports or athletic matches, Quentin does keep himself very fit and knows how to maintain his body.
Quentin understands business and has good ability at running a profitable business. Skills he accumulated over the years shaped his outlook and made it even easier for him to modernize the concepts to fit the modern landscape.
Quentin is excellent at getting what he wants, and a large part of that lies in his ability to harness his charisma and natural charm. He can seduce, tempt, encourage, inspire, and delude, and he has few qualms about even outright deception if it is important enough to him. He understands well how people function and, pertaining to that, how he can use his natural gifts to his advantage. People often naturally find him compelling, fascinating, even attractive, whether or not they really like him.
Over the years, Quentin has had to defend himself a number of times. He tends to rely on magical protection or defense from his golems or constructs, but he doesn't depend on them entirely. Though he is best at bladed weapons such as daggers and swords, he can use a gun adequately, though he only has much experience using a revolver. He is also adequate at unarmed hand-to-hand combat, though he tends to push it more towards brawling than any more formal method of engagement.
Quentin is a masterful artist when he wants to be, and in a number of media. His greatest strength is sculpture, whether it is building something out of clay or crafting it out of a slab of stone. He is also good at sketching, working with ink, and watercolors. Though he has dabbled in music and understands how to read notation, even knows the basics of various instruments, he's a better listener than he is a musician. He has refined tastes, although he can appreciate the quality of any expression due simply to vast experience in some of the most robust and exciting periods of creativity.
Quentin has learned a truly massive number of languages during his time on Earth. Although some are less updated than others, he can still get by perfectly well in all of the tongues he has learned. He has learned mostly European languages and languages in that area, though he has picked up more than a little bit from elsewhere in the world. He is also able to understand a vast amount of runes, sigils, and languages typically used in grimoires or other magical documents.
Quentin has accumulated great volumes of knowledge over his life related to the occult. Much of course depends on what he has access to at the moment, but he grasps even advanced magical concepts and knows what is necessary to create magical items and potions, as well as cast complex spells. He also tends to understand whether or not a spell would be a good idea to cast at all and can get through misleading flowery wording that is all too common in magical script.
Quentin rarely hesitates to present something exactly as he knows will be advantageous when dealing with humans, especially those he neither respects nor likes. He has almost no qualms about deceiving others outright, although those he respects or cares about are generally exceptions to this rule. He is able to employ his charismatic gifts to influence others, and while he tends not to lie outright, he knows just how to paint something in a way that it will help the other person come to the conclusions he wants them to come to. Due to his knowhow and ability, he also tends to be able to come out smelling like roses by avoiding direct blame or fault. He is especially inclined to humble the lofty who, from his perspective, are guilty of buying their own hype.
Having lived for quite some time long before modern conveniences, Quentin is able to do things in an "old-fashioned" manner that would be completely beyond many modern people, most of whom would have to be specially trained to even know how. He knows various tricks and tips about the natural world that escape a modern populace, but he's not a survivalist. He just remembers the way things used to be.
Born with a talent for magic, Quentin can accomplish quite a variety of effects through witchcraft. These range from conjuring, enchantment, transformation, warding, or illusion to the summoning or banishment of spirits or creatures, to a variety of other effects. For thematic, role-play, and plot purposes Quentin's abilities are really nearly endless. For practical purposes, his castings all operate at the Enhanced level in most instances. With ritual preparation these may all be expanded, but any exceptional use would have to be approved by staff.
Quentin's abilities of perception are sufficiently superior to an average person's to be able to receive impressions from the flow of the very ether around him, and as such he may have vague impressions of likely events, for example having a good or bad feeling about something without any logical reason to do so. He can perceive and understand basic elements of auras and sense magic and spells, as well as identify magical beings without significant effort. He can also receive impressions of the nature of a person, whether a person is more beneficent or malefic. With the correct paraphernalia, such as a crystal, a mirror, tarot cards, or the like, he is able to scry, foretell future events to a more certain degree, and analyze items.
Quentin has the fundamental command of the basic elements of the universe. He can both manipulate and summon elements, but he is also aware of the rippling effects of major alterations such as affecting weather patterns, and as such he also knows that painstaking ritual preparation and accompaniment is really the only relatively safe way of such major changes. Lesser power stunts, such as producing and manipulating fire, encouraging plant life to maturity, are accomplished similarly through incantation, potion or charm, or ritual, but formal ritual is less important for acts with less far-reaching ramifications. Quentin manifesting a wall of fire to defend himself could easily be achieved through a simple incantation, whereas Quentin attempting to manifest a thunderstorm affecting the entire city of San Francisco would be irresponsibly reckless without a ritual to focus it.
Quentin is able to heal minor injuries, wounds, and sicknesses with little effort, although greater injuries and disease take proportionally greater effort. He is able to heal and purify with physical contact and concentration, though great corruption, ravaging through possession, or extensive disease may take greater energy and may even have a deleterious effect on Quentin himself. His gift at transformation allows him certain advantages in restoring life to the dead, although the ultimate result of that depends on whether or not the soul is still present; he can animate anything with often less effort necessary than most sorcerous types, but an actual resurrection of the person and not just a kind of soulless life of the form, which may or may not resemble the departed in personality, requires focus and concentration.
Quentin is proficient in illusions from glamours to more elaborate images, even able to engage multiple senses in his illusions. His illusions and glamours are typically most effective for a relatively short period of time and do not persist very long without him being physically present or in the general vicinity of where they are employed. The longer they persist, the less impact they have since most will have at least some indication, however difficult to determine, that it is not real. With greater effort and preparation, he can make them last longer and be more perfectly convincing for longer, as well as persist without his physical presence, but this requires effort proportional to how many senses they affect, how elaborate the effect is, and whether or not he will be there to bolster them with his own power.
Due to events in Quentin's life, his body is maintained at an ideal state and he does not age. He maintains magical protections at all times additional to those afforded to him by his immortality, but even without those added protections, he is still more resilient than a regular human and does not succumb to human disease or illness; the worst it will do to him is to manifest symptoms much like a cold. Neither his body nor his mind suffer from any detriment due to the passage of time, and his mental processes remain sharp as ever, as does his memory. Due to his unique nature and circumstances, he is fairly resistant to mental invasion and simply cannot be overpowered by any even enhanced human; he's far too contrary for that specifically. Because of the significant passage of time and volume of information, however, it can sometimes take longer to recall specific things if they haven't been regularly used or useful; no information of significant is forgotten. Even if Quentin's physical form is destroyed, it is possible that it may be reformed given time and willpower, though it will not be an altogether pleasant experience for him in any part.
Quentin has the basic ability to receive impressions of others' feelings and particularly prominent or focused thoughts, but he is unable to read a person's mind. He can engage in simple telepathic communication with other beings, but he cannot penetrate mental defenses of any even slightly formidable nature.
Through concentration and force of will, Quentin can manipulate objects and people remotely. He is able to exert a few hundred pounds of force at most, and it is limited by his range of perception and concentration. The heavier or more complex the object, the more difficult it is to manipulate it. An object like a pencil or a pen can effortless be suspended in midair or even made to spin indefinitely, so long as Quentin's interest in continuing the action lasts. He could move a chaise across a room, rotate it, and settle it gently into a new position with relatively little effort. However, moving all of the books from one bookcase to another would take significantly more concentration to make sure each and every object moves in concert and turns in the right way; similarly, moving a dozen pencils into a shape and animating that shape would also take much more concentration than just a pencil or two idly spinning.
Quentin was born with a gift, one that has helped him all throughout his life. His power of transformation is truly an awesome ability, with Quentin able to bring a statue to robust life in flawless facsimile of natural-born vitality. It takes no special ritual for him to animate non-living material, although focus and concentration are necessary to ensure the potent power does not cause dire side effects. He is also especially gifted in changing one thing to another or manipulating the form of a thing, and this requires no inordinate effort nor special paraphernalia. He can transmute things with concentration necessary that is proportional to the change in complexity; changing a marble bust to slate would take little effort, but creating a quiche from a basket of leaves would require considerably greater.
Quentin is able to use the Ways to travel great distances in mere seconds, and he is decently experienced in this method of travel. He is also able to employ portals and gates to and from specific destinations, even ones that may open to other dimensions or worlds. Through will and concentration, he may teleport very short distances, though this is an extremely dangerous application of the ability and as such is almost never used lightly and almost always used in line of sight only.
Quentin is essentially an amalgam being, having absorbed the mirror entity, which makes it extremely difficult to perceive the full image of who and what he is. It is more difficult to perceive his aura, his identity, and receive any sort of useful impression about him and his nature. It is also that much more difficult to specifically target him with magic good or ill, and it increases his resistance to mental and spiritual invasion such as telepathic assault or possession.
Even if he isn't as ancient as some powers still present in the world, Quentin has been around for well over half a century, and a person learns some very valuable things in that amount of time. He has lived through periods that most regard now as ancient history, he has done things in places that most people can only imagine, and he has taken something from every experience. Over the years, he has also trained his abilities and cultivated greater refinement than many others; the advantage of time has benefited him significantly.
Quentin is the nephew of Nessa Du Valle, a mighty sorceress with access to significant informational resources and considerable material resources in general. She is affiliated with the Witches' Council and is also a freeholding lady, as well as being acquainted with important magical figures that may be called upon in a time of need.
POWER OF THREE
Witches are well known for the "Power of Three." That is, they are especially adept at combining their individual strengths in order to cast much more powerful, impactful magics. Some of the most powerful spells a witch can cast require a circle of others to cast, and a circle is usually formed out of triads of witches, each wielding the Power of Three. Power of Three spells can be done by any three witches, but they have to have the same focus on their goal and ideally be on the same page. Witches who are at odds with each other may even have the spell fail or go wrong. For even greater effect, various groups of three can assemble into larger circles of nine or twelve, and a circle of thirteen is particularly potent.
Living for hundreds of years has its advantages, and one of the most obvious is that of material assets. Plainly speaking, Quentin has plenty of irons in the fire and has invested wisely over the years, as well as kept treasures secret that only he can access. He never needs any burden of labor; no matter what happens, he will be perfectly comfortable and prosperous.
Quentin is not just a hereditary Witch or human. The mirror entity's subsumption nonetheless affected him and has left him with certain side effects that were not anticipated, such as increased difficulty for even beneficial magic to target him specifically and difficulty even to perceive him in any way approaching a complete portrait.
The few who become close and important to Quentin are people whom he will pull out every stop to protect, no matter what a terrible position it might put him in. Those few he values enough to occupy such a precious position are worthwhile, in his esteem, to the point that almost nothing is too much to ask in order to protect them.
Quentin is as completely burnt out as a person can be with the human world, and he possesses no illusions that things will improve. After the atomic bomb, the only thing to awaken any sense of hope in him was the counterculture tide at the end of the 1960s. Then that wave broke. His subsequent experiences have left him instilled with a strong sense of futility, and he his optimism for the future of humanity is effectively zero.
Quentin suffers from occasional severe depression and disillusionment, and plenty of that is logically founded in his experiences with the world around him, even with the gift of magic. However, this is not just being sad every so often; at times, he literally cannot get through it simply by reasoning it out, and sometimes this makes him bitter and hostile when he doesn't really mean to be quite as harsh as he can come off as being. It can affect his decisions detrimentally and can have a negative impact on his relationships with others when those who know him don't understand how his life has affected him and may not even know how old he really is.
Quentin's doubt towards humanity is so considerable at this point that any human starts at a significant disadvantage in terms of his willingness to believe in the best or even have any hope. It's not a huge or insurmountable obstacle, but it requires effort for any human to persuade Quentin that they are not like any assumptions of the rest of their people and are worthy of respect and esteem. A relationship of trust will require more work than most to establish, because humans start out at a disadvantage in Quentin's esteem.
Over the years, Quentin has made a number of enemies, whether through his own fault or innocently. Naturally, some of these enemies are literally out for blood, including witch-hunters and crusaders. He has defended many of his own kind, and he has additionally been a primary figure in utterly eradicating an entire organization of witch-hunters that was finally extinguished recently. While he tends not to be super-visible, he doesn't go to much trouble to escape notice.
The main priority in Quentin's mind is having fun, enjoying himself, because the world is hopeless. Every new and attractive prospect for pleasure appeals to him, and he tends to be tempted out of his way to try novel experiences. If they end up being good ones, he can go out of his way to keep them in his life.
Quentin doesn't let just anyone know his true age and nature, and so sometimes the reality of his feelings and his situation aren't something acquaintances would realize or understand. This can make relationships difficult, especially when a simple statement of fact can come off as melodramatic or irrational.
During the heady years of the Renaissance, in Italy, a noble family welcomed a new addition: Quentin was born and became one of only two children in that family. His sister Helena, older by two years, never took to Quentin and, once they entered their teenage years, began to conspire to get him completely out of the way, resentful of the attention he received and the ease with which he affected those around him; she possessed far less of the charisma and charm that he commanded effortlessly, and no amount of study or diligence could catch her up.
Quentin had, it turned out, been the result of an impulsive affair with a decidedly non-noble father of one of the many nomadic peoples. It was hardly a significant matter and had been completely hushed and hidden from the very beginning of the pregnancy. However, Helena's prodding brought her closer to the truth, and it fueled her resentment even more. She could not tolerate a "Gypsy boy" daring to have the lion's share of what she felt only she deserved.
Their parents pleaded with Helena to leave it, but she was even more motivated than ever by her latest discovery. She began to arrange stunts in an attempt to shame Quentin and ruin his friendships and bonds. Since Quentin often patronized the arts and had even taken to art himself, she soured a relationship between a promising mentor and the boy, then ruined a number of Quentin's sketches and paintings. Quentin had a suspicion of what was going on, but he could never prove anything.
Tensions ran high, and their parents considered sending Helena away to Silesia, as they had a small house and some land there, as well as cousins of lesser nobility that could be trusted. Tragically, however, when one of Helena's stunts went awry, it ended her life before they could act. Though Quentin was not implicated -- if anything, the occurrence made it clear that the previous stunts had been arranged to make him look bad -- his parents nonetheless decided that they should send Quentin to Silesia, to at least get him away from the tragedy that had befallen the house.
Quentin did not care much for Silesia, though he continued his arts. In time, it became clear that there was something nagging at him. He noticed things others did not, though he also quickly learned to keep these things to himself. Eventually, on one of her occasional visits, Quentin met Nessa, whom he discovered was a close relation: his aunt. She taught him about his gifts, some of which had already begun to manifest, and urged him in the right direction for further study.
Quentin, having discovered this new interest, threw himself wholeheartedly into his studies, although the limitations of his time and place constantly frustrated him. Over the years and Nessa's visits, he learned more and developed in sorcery and occultism, but it never wholly satisfied him. Instead, it was like bread crumbs in a wasteland. He had tasted the potential for more, in beauty and glory and all those splendid things, yet he spent his days around pale imitations.
His natural curiosity and eagerness to learn brought misfortune upon him again when Nessa, in her extremely powerful but risky mirror magic, unintentionally left open a way he spotted and innocently wandered through, trapping him in a mirror realm for quite some time due to the differing quality of time within it and outside. During this time, however, he honed his abilities to an exceptional level, taking advantage of the reflective nature of the mirror world.
By the time he was finally freed, so much had happened that the standard of equivalent exchange meant that the mirror entity that kept him sealed away had to essentially give its entire being. However, it ended up being essentially absorbed by Quentin's stronger nature, in a not entirely expected but certainly welcome turn of events. It altered him fundamentally, as did his experience in the mirror world, and enhanced a number of his natural attributes.
Quentin arranged to continue meeting with Nessa regularly to develop his abilities, a possibility now that he understood the Ways and could navigate in realms outside the human world. He found pleasant distraction in the arts, most especially his favorite, golems. He could make golems of all kinds to serve his purposes, and his special gifts made it possible for him to create lifelike humanoid figures for whatever roles he wished, making it easy to keep a household and protect himself, the latter of which was becoming more and more essential as years passed.
When everything went sour in France and the Reign of Terror came, it hit Quentin especially hard; the majority of his time was still spent in the human world, with an occasional excursion to Nessa's or elsewhere, but these were relatively day trips. His mind started to wander from the human world and its diversions. Things had begun to shift inexorably, and despite his ability to maintain his comfortable lifestyle through careful application of his miraculous abilities, he soon found himself forced to move from one place to another as imperialism and ambition set one alliance against another in series.
It wore on Quentin's soul. For a while, his visits with Nessa became much more frequent, and then they curiously became far less so. He began to find places and occasions to simply lose himself with no sure way back. This fatalistic wandering bore him through so many years, and every time he returned to the human world, he faced an update to the inhumanity or some grand and terrible new atrocity. When the atomic bomb dropped, the last tatters of any hope that existed in his heart blew away.
For some time afterward, he was completely incommunicado, having retreated to a hermitlike existence on another plane, his every day only filled with his magical work and populated only by the golems he created for company and housekeeping. However, when the hippies and other counterculture formed a tide of hope, he found himself attracted back to the human world again. For the dawning of the 1970s, things still seemed to ride that wave.
Then the wave broke.
The rest of the 70s were a ride of attempting desperately to hold fast to the principles that had allowed them to get there. Quentin refused to believe that the hopefulness, the optimism, the rumblings of something far greater, could be allowed to sink. Then the 80s administered the coup de grace of the soul, and some kind of multileveled nadir consumed everything. What's more, the "satanic panic" of the 70s had stimulated an unfortunate surge of witch-hunters and Quentin, try as he might, could not simply avoid them or allow them to continue on without intervening. The rest of the next quarter-century he spent in a singular war against a group of capable foes. With every victory, he also felt a profound loss, time after time forced to destroy life in order to protect. It was hard on the soul.
Finally, he wiped out the last of the line of hunters that had plagued things since the 70s. It had been a long fight, the world was worse by then, and he had nothing left to give it. Maybe it would have something for him. Something to take the edge off. But first, he decided, he needed to seek out the one place he felt okay and the one person he felt good around: Aunt Nessa.