"I am Valthek, high councilor of the Vizjerei and master of the mage clans of the Yshari Sanctum."— Valthek(src)
A New StudentEdit
"Isendra's knowledge of elemental magic rivals mine, and I believe that you and she will find you have much in common. For you, there is no better teacher. Were I you, I would hope that I had not convinced Isendra to reconsider. You will have her, or we shall see how you fare on your own. History is littered with forgotten wizards who amounted to nothing."— Valthek and Li-Ming(src)
"Have I no say in this matter?"
"No. You do not."
The Sorceress Isendra brought Li-Ming, a rebellious student at the Yshari Sanctum, to Valthek. He was amused at her rebellious attitude, not to mention her declarations of being a Wizard. The girl gave him a demonstration of her magic, but he was umimpressed. However, he was impressed with her claim of ending the drought in the Heron River Valley. Isendra offered to train the girl, much to Li-Ming's chagrin. Nonetheless, Valthek allowed the Sorceress to take Li-Ming as her apprentice.
The training went ahead, but Valthek was concerned as to how not only did Li-Ming treat Isendra as her equal rather than her master, but that Isendra let the girl's attitude persist. When he caught Li-Ming looking at material in the Yshari Sanctum's library that held forbidden texts too dangerous to study, he took over the girl's training despite Isendra's protests. He tried to introduce structure to Li-Ming's life and present a course of study that would turn her interests toward "more acceptable pursuits." Isendra left, but they remained friends, and in contact. Isendra was convinced that Li-Ming would play a role in defeating the Lords of Hell, as per the existence of a prophecy, but Valthek was more skeptical.
"Your altruism is a credit to you, Li-Ming, but we mages cannot do this. Yes, there are times when we can use our magic to aid people, but it cannot be every time, and we must weigh the costs carefully before we act. This is not a matter of argument. You will listen to me."— Valthek(src)
Valthek became concerned as Kehjistan became afflicted by a drought, one that persisted for over a year and caused the empire to begin to crumble. He sent a message to Isendra asking her to investigate the cause of the weather while he took Li-Ming with him away from Caldeum to head into the desert. After several months, they'd found nothing, and were forced to head back to the capital. Li-Ming was convinced that a mortal hand or some other great power was causing the adverse weather, and Valthek was inclined to believe her, though he maintained that it could indeed be a natural event. On the way, they stopped off at Lut Bahadur, the city dying due to the effects of the drought.
Li-Ming went to a well and caused water to rise up from further underground. Valthek was incensed; yes, rising the water would help the city, but removing water from below could possibly affect another location, given that they did not know its source or where it flowed to. Isendra, who was present in the city at Valthek's request, broke up the debate, siding with her former student. They left soon after, Valthek and Li-Ming fearing for the future of the town. Valthek, for all his regrets, remained intent on non-interferance.
Half a year later, Li-Ming and Valthek headed back to Lut Bahadur, as they sensed that a great spell had been cast there. They arrived to find the air teeming with electric energy and the town abandoned. Valthek claimed that Isendra had tried to use magic to take the heat away from the air, but lost control of the spell. They found her body in one of the houses. Li-Ming maintained that she had not died due to magic, and despite Valthek's feigned ignorance, she was right; he'd assigned an Assassin to keep an eye on the sorceress, an order that had resulted in Isendra's death. They cremated her body and left, but a wedge had been driven between them.
Lighting a FireEdit
"You were my greatest student, Li-Ming, and I believed that in time you might succeed me and lead the mage clans. I believed you could surpass me. I am sorry that it has come to this. Perhaps it is I who has failed."— Valthek and Li-Ming before their duel(src)
"You were a good teacher, Master. And I did learn your lessons. But you will never understand the gift we were given. That is why I will surpass you."
Much to Valthek's concern, Li-Ming dedicated herself to researching more esoteric magics, her powers growing. One day, she met Valthek in the great hall of the Sanctum, informing him of the existence of a fallen star that had been seen in the west. She declared that her time had come, that the Prophecy of the End of Days had come to pass. Valthek refused to let her leave, and the two dueled. Unlike their first encounter years ago, their magic was more evenly matched, as well as being far more destructive, causing the floor of the great hall to cave in. Valthek fell down, his body lying in the catacombs. He warned her of the risks of not being able to control her power, but she was past caring. Valthek passed out shortly thereafter. The staff he had used disappeared not long after that.
In the aftermath of the duel, rumors spread of the event. The youth of Caldeum quickly began exaggerating the events to "mythic proportions." Abd al-Hazir wrote (as per the account from "official sources") that Valthek had been defeated through means of treachery and deceit, that the damage done was due to Valthek's own magical prowess, and that the duel had been anything but honorable.
Valthek awoke days later, his colleagues informing him that Li-Ming couldn't be found. He related the events of his time with Li-Ming to an Assassin, the same one he'd assigned to watch Isendra. While he was aware of the tomes that described the events that had come to pass, but feared what Li-Ming might unleash. Thus, he ordered the Assassin to kill his student.
A New Look at MagicEdit
"The magic emanating from these bracers is strange and unknown to us. Prior to their discovery, it was thought impossible to utilize the powers that grant one health to also regenerate one's might. Their very existence forces us to reconsider some of our basic understandings of the nature of magic."— Valthek(src)
Valthek became aware of a pair of bracers linked to the fallen angel Malthael, who had led the Reapers against Sanctuary. He theorized that their properties might dictate a revision of the most basic understandings of the laws of magic.
Personality and TraitsEdit
Valthek utilizes elemental magic, and (at least formerly) held a high opinion of his abilities. He believes that magic can be used to aid people, but not every time, and that the benefits and risks must be evaluated before each action. Isendra was of the belief that, along with herself and Li-Ming, Valthek was the most powerful living mage in Sanctuary.