In the World of Sages, the Seven Elementals gave birth to the magical Aether that flowed throughout the planet. Each created a single person to embody their power and desires. Jon the Compassionate is the most recent reincarnation of the Sage of Water. While he was born Mage, he was abandoned and raised as a Highlander in Cedar Village. Thus, he has gained fairer skin and his hair has developed into a spiky brown style that was parted in the middle. Its shape and volume maintained subconsciously by the Aether the flowed through him. Before he was taken as a slave by the Kingdom of Orion, Jon was a farm boy and has a naturally lean and fit frame which has only been refined into his late 20s. Although the scars he gained from this past has ruined his appearance somewhat. After a trip to the Colsana Archipelago, Jon got a Neithan Mark. A traditional tribal Mage tattoo that covered his right shoulder and pectoral muscle. A mix of smooth waves and sharp jagged points that call back to his dark past and title as the Sage of Water. Jon is a carefree and somewhat lazy man with an unstoppable wanderlust. Going wherever the wind takes him and sketching whatever he sees in his sketchpad. Part out of his own curiosity but a more significant factor was his time as a slave. Giving him a much stronger desire to enjoy his freedom. Even if it meant running from his divine destiny.
Being from a coastal farm town, Jon wears a somewhat modified Sleeveless Highlander tunic that extends down to his thighs. It was colored white and had ornate golden trim along the armholes, the inside flap of the tunic, and the bottom of it. The tunic itself was worn open, extending down to his lower abdomen to meet his leather belt which secured the tunic. The tunic was modified to have an additional hood to cover his head as needed. As someone who traveled frequently, he wore matching white pants that were baggy and loose-fitting. Like the open tunic, this was meant to combat the heat and allow for comfort during his travels. The pants themselves were kept firmly in place by tan leather banded Caligae that extended to below his knees. These were fairly standard sandals worn by both male and female Highlanders for long distance travel.
On the back of his belt was a pouch to hold his sketchpad and small supplies while leather armbands protected his right forearm. Despite being the reincarnation of the Sage of Water, Jon is actually near-sighted. Needing his silver-framed glasses to see further than a few feet in front of him.
Overall, Jon’s choice of clothing is meant to reference both his duty as a Sage and his youth being raised as a Highlander. Highlanders themselves being aesthetically modeled after Greco-Roman styles. For Highlanders, tunics and toga robes were the norm. Protecting them from the heat while still providing some protection. Often being worn as the only apparel beyond sandals and potentially jewelry. Always being worn modestly and covering much of their skin. But Jon’s had a prominent “v” in the middle. Extending from the head down to his lower abdomen with both the left and right side resting on the edges of his pectoral muscles. Giving it the appearance reminiscent of a vest rather than a tunic. As the Sage of Water, his clothes use entirely lightweight materials that wouldn’t be an obstacle while in the water. Though, being in a much older time period, the clothes are also extremely easy to remove for when he wants to swim normally.
As a hermit, he has no money (let alone keeps it consistently), so his outfit is meant to be simplistic in nature. He doesn’t care for lavish garb, accessories, or excess designs. The ornate gold trim was something inherent to Highlander design and serves as a good way of separating inner and outer portions of the torso as well as the bottom of the tunic from his pants. The open nature of his Tunic also allows for his Neithan Mark to be seen and more openly identify him as a Mage. A fact that annoys him as Mages are an Islander race and traditionally have darker skin and wavier hair. The only thing he carries with him that could be seen as something he did for his own personal flare, is the leather armbands he wears from the Kingdom of Celestia. A cherished gift from the Sage of Ice, Ly’ Jug the Merciful.
As a special shoutout, I was fortunate enough to have some sprite work of Jon the Compassionate done by my good friend Sixth Saint Masamune! I one of which is used as part of the thumbnail for Aetherius Saga. The other was a small full body image. So this gives him the special honor of being the first character to have both done for him. As you’ll see, he got every detail of Jon as I imagined in my head and it’s amazing.
Jon is the first character created for what became Aetherius Saga. A character designed to be a living beacon of hope created from continuous hardships. He serves as both the embodiment of how good people can be on Zeratal but also how horrible they can be as well. His unending optimism and positivity belaying the chaotic internal emotional state he has. Having survived being sold by his parents to Cedar Village and then again years later to the Kingdom of Orion as a slave, he now wanders endlessly. Unable to stay in one place for long due to the subconscious feeling that no perceived safe spot is truly safe for him. Being both a Sage and a non-straight individual, this was a very real concern. Hatred, prejudice, and manipulation are all too common for not just him but the Seven Sages as a whole. All playing a part in why he rarely actually shares or talks about himself. A subtle but telling sign about himself and the state of Zeratal. Though this will play a larger part in the story as the series progresses with Jon as one of the centerpieces.