At first, Irenicus appeared to be a surreal villain with a keen interest in torturing Gorion's Ward with unusual magic. However, he revealed that his motive for said torture was to unlock his victim's latent 'power', thereby benefiting from them in the long run. His obsession with a woman he had previously maintained a relationship with revealed a much more human (or elven) side to him. It later became apparent that Irenicus's embarkment on his dark path came about partly from love. His possessive nature eventually became too much for his partner to bear, and unable to let go, Irenicus turned to pursuit of power and revenge, which in turn led to him becoming utterly twisted. However, not only love was responsible for his downfall.
He was unusually well-muscled for a mage, and his body showed the ravages of time as a result of being disconnected from the life-force and immortality of the elven people. Irenicus' face was deeply veined and invariably beared a cold, disdainful expression. Jon's ears appeared to have been surgically removed and replaced with a form-fitting skullcap that covered the rear half of his head. The exact purpose of this skullcap was unknown, though it (possibly in conjunction with Irenicus' armor) presumably served as some sort of life-support function. This was especially likely in light of the self-imposed vampirism used by Bodhi (Irenicus' likewise-exiled "sister") to sustain her own existence. It was also possible that Irenicus' bodily modifications allow him to augment or better focus his considerable magic power.
Joneleth was his elven name, and Jon Irenicus was later revealed to mean "Jon the Shattered One." The name "Irenicus" was born out of Joneleth's hatred, self-pity, and desire for revenge on Queen Ellesime, and the people of Suldanessellar, for his exile.
Irenicus was an ultimately unsympathetic character who sought to claim divine power to which he had no right. This hubris was in contrast to the motivations of Bhaalspawn individuals such as Sarevok and Gorion's Ward, who could at least pursue Bhaal's power under the excuse of heredity.
Irenicus' magic was, like Irenicus himself, actually elven in origin. The extent of Irenicus' magical ability was first seen to be unusually potent, then beyond spectacular. In terms of ability and power he ranked among the most powerful wizards in all of Faerûn, rivaling famed mages such as Elminster Aumar and Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun. In combat, Irenicus was swift, decisive and overwhelmingly potent, eradicating opponents with only a single choice spell at a time with horrific efficiency. Irenicus could cast spells of the ninth level or even beyond, and often disintegrated or detonated enemies in an instant. A fractional display of his terrific power was shown in Waukeen's Promenade, where he dispatches several dozen experienced assailants with his powerful magics. Irenicus commanded some spells that are not even available to any other, a notable example being Rapture of the Father, a death spell that appeared to be able to instantly kill six enemies with no regard to magic resistance. He also had a unique cloning spell with which he cloned Gorion's Ward and friends to keep them occupied while he made his escape.
His lair seemed to confirm that he was a strange character. Grossly deformed creatures kept in containers revealed a complex character; while speaking with the surviving creatures, the ward learned that they were formerly in good standing with Irenicus. The creatures were tormented by their wait for Jon to return to bring them back to life, or from the brink of death.
Irenicus was already a powerful spellcaster, and the power he sought was the power of the gods themselves, trying to enter the elven pantheon. Thus, he was punished for his lust for power by being stripped of what made him elven. No longer being able to feel with the same intensity as before, he became bitter, obsessed about his downfall, and embarked on a mission where it was hard to tell if his objective was that of gaining power or satisfying his revenge. The elves of Suldanessellar referred to him as 'the Exile', and it turned out his lost love was for the elven Queen Ellesime.
At some point following his exile Irenicus, crossed paths with Centeol, a former sorceress who was in love with Irenicus. She revealed that Irenicus's lover, Lady Tanova, was murdered by her, in order to gain Jon's love. However, Irenicus divined the location of his lover's murderer, and upon confronting Centeol, transformed her into a huge, grotesque guardian of spiders.
Spellhold and the WardEdit
After capturing and torturing Gorion's Ward, who escaped, he caused a huge explosion within the city of Athkatla that reduced part of Waukeen's Promenade to rubble. Furthermore, he eliminated several Cowled Wizards that were sent to arrest him thereafter, before eventually surrendering by choice, rather than continue his violent actions. He was sent to Spellhold, an asylum based on the island of Brynnlaw.
The party of Gorion's Ward resolved to track down Irenicus and save Imoen from his clutches. Irenicus quickly proceeded to overrun the entire aslylum, killing all of the wizards with ease and taking control of the premises. Irenicus' true, evil intentions were revealed once the ward reached Spellhold. Irenicus finished his torturing of the ward, and in doing so stole the main character's soul. Bodhi accomplished the same feat, taking Imoen's soul. Effectively, Imoen and the ward swapped fates with Bodhi and Irenicus. Trapped in the lower halls of Spellhold, the ward suffered delusions, until they were able to turn into the Slayer, an avatar of the dead god Bhaal. The party escaped Spellhold, following Irenicus into the Underdark, and eventually to the elven city of Suldanessellar.
Irenicus' scheme was finally revealed; he planned to seek revenge upon the elves of Suldanesselar by inciting a war between the drow and the elves. During this, he would drain the energy from the Tree of Life, thereby effectively replacing Rillifane Rallathil in the Seldarine and becoming an elven god. The ward and their party stopped the assault on Suldanessellar, and faced Irenicus atop the sprawling tree, and slew him.
Upon dying, the soul of the ward dragged the entire party down into the depths of the Nine Hells. Only after participating in the Hell Trials, would a final showdown between Irenicus and a horde of demons against the ward and their party commence. The ward was victorious and they eventually reclaimed their lost soul, and returned to the world of the living. Irenicus suffered a fate worse than death at the hands of many demons.
- Irenicus was voiced by David Warner.
- Video games