Jon Irenicus was at one time the most powerful elven wizard of Suldanessellar. He was famously outcast from the city by Queen Ellesime after attempting to use Tree of Life, the source of the elves' life essence, to attain powers that rivaled those of the Seldarine.
He was given the elven name of Joneleth, but was later referred to as The Exile or Irenicus, meaning "the Shattered One".
Irenicus appeared as a well-muscled, but rather abnormal looking man in the years after being disconnected from the immortal life-force of the elven people. He appeared to be missing the distinctive pointed ears of the elven people.
When he was a young mage of Suldanessellar, Joneleth had great confidence in himself and was beloved by the people of his city. Over time his confidence grew to hubris, and self-destructive hunger for power. He was wholly entitled, believing the power of the gods to be rightfully his for the taking.
Following his exile, Irenicus became a cold and embittered man. He became overcome with obsession, resentment, and ultimately could focus on nothing but revenge. Irenicus was incapable of experiencing empathy and in fact, became entirely emotionless.
Irenicus spent much of his time researched dark magic and engaging in horrific experimentation. Within his subterranean lair beneath Athkatla, he tortured and studied mortal captives by means of twisted magic. He developed some form of cloning and used this technology to create malformed servants who sought an end to their tortured existence.
Included among these unfortunates was an copy of Queen Ellesime that had been stricken with some form of madness.
As Joneleth, he was favored by his beloved queen, Ellesime. The two were lovers in life, and each of them cared deeply for the other.
Over time developed an unhealthy and ultimately destructive relationship with his "sibling" Bodhi. It was her insatiate nature that contributed to the development of his predatory hunger for more power.
Much of Irenicus' dark path stemmed from his obsessive love for Queen Ellesime. He was incredibly possessive of her and obsessed over the love they shared. When she decided to cut off his connection to the essence of the Tree of Life, and exile him from the elven way of life, he was unable to let go; turning instead to a life seeking power and revenge.
After he was stripped of his elven heritage, Irenicus was said to have married a woman named Lady Tanova. Their union incensed the foreign-born sorceress Centeol, who herself carried an obsessive love for Irenicus.
Life as Joneleth
Joneleth was one of the most skilled and powerful spellcasters in all of Suldanessellar. He was held in high regard by the elves of the city and seen favorably in the eyes of his lover, Queen Ellesime.
During his life Joneleth was strongly influenced by his "sibling" Bodhi, and her continual descent into madness. Not content with the power they possessed, as great as it was for Jon or somewhat meager for Bodhi, the pair set out to seize more for themselves.
By means of a dark ritual, Joneleth attempted to merge his life force with that of the Tree of Life, to attain power on the level of the members of the Seldarine. This nefarious act interfered with the connection shared by the elves and the tree, nearly killing many of the community's more vulnerable members.
For their crimes, Queen Ellesime and the Seldarine cursed Joneleth and Bodhi, stripping them of their elven heritage and divinity. They were shunned by their former brethren and outcast from Suldanessellar and the Forest of Tethir. The elven people no longer recognized the pair as their own kind – Joneleth the mage became Jon Irenicus, the "Shattered One", though most simply referred to him as The Exile.
Outcast and Exiled
Without his connection to the elven life force, Jon Irenicus was relegated to a mere mortal life, as long as those of most humans. While Bodhi attempted to counteract this by undergoing the process of vampirism, Irenicus was left to live with what he referred to as an "accursed mind" that was fraught with the simultaneous burdens of rage and senility.
While he still held an obsession for Ellesime, Irenicus at one point married a woman named Lady Tanova. Unfortunately for her, Irenicus had drawn the attraction of another, the sorceress Centeol. Centeol killed Tanova and awaited for Irenicus to reciprocate her love and passion.
After he divined the cause of her death, Irenicus traveled to Centeol's mage tower in the Cloak Wood and placed a curse upon her. Her body grew to distorted proportions, bloated and immobile – she was kept alive by swarms of spiders who brought her food to dine upon. He then raised Tanova as a vampire, where she found a new existence as one of Bodhi's vampire assassins.
Plotting and Scheming
One of his early attempts involved the purchase of the Sword of Chaos from the Bhaalist priest Korlasz. The blade had been used earlier that year in a bloody battle between the two Bhaalspawn, Abdel Adrian and Sarevok Anchev. When Irenicus was unable to acquire the sword, he sought out the aasimar known as the Shining Lady, Caelar Argent. Unfortunately, her blood was not potent enough for Irenicus' needs.
Throughout the War of the Shining Crusade, Irenicus was able to track Abdel Adrian following his departure from Baldur's Gate, to the site of the war's last battle, Dragonspear Castle. The night of the Coalition's victory over the Shining Crusade, in the Year of the Gauntlet, 1369 DR, Irenicus murdered the young noble Skie Silvershield and framed Abdel for her death. The Bhaalspawn hero was released from imprisonment by some of his powerful associates, after which he reunited with his half-sibling Imoen, and their adventuring companions. This was the opportunity Irenicus sought, two vulnerable Bhaalspawn whose divine essences could be utilized by himself and Bodhi. He had the group abducted in the middle of the night, and transported them south to the Amnian city of Athkatla.
Plotting Revenge in Amn
Irenicus imprisoned the two Bhaalspawn and their allies for some time. He tortured them and conducted horrific experiments in order to access their "untapped power". Unfortunately for him, his underground dungeon complex was assaulted by the Shadow Thieves of Amn and the adventurers who were still alive, managed to escape. When they reached the surface, a spell battle broke out and both Irenicus and Imoen were abducted by the Cowled Wizards and imprisoned in the asylum of Spellhold on Brynnlaw.
The powerful archmage quickly took over control of the island prison and continued his twisted experiments on its inmates and Imoen. After some time he was able to extract her divine soul and bestow it upon his "sister" Bodhi. When Abdel and his allies arrived to free Imoen, Irenicus was able to carry out the final part of his new plan. Using two individuals who Abdel considered his allies, the thief Yoshimo and pirate Saemon Havarian, Irenicus drugged the Bhaalspawn and stole his divine essence as well. He was now empowered with a portion of the powers of the dead god Bhaal.
After Abdel Adrian began the inmates of the asylum into an uprising, Irenicus was forced to expedite his plan of revenge against Suldanessellar. He traveled by portal to the Underdark city of Ust Natha and set up a meeting with Matron Mother Ardulace Despana. The drow of the Ust Natha were set to march on the surface along side other fiends, and assail Suldanessellar while Irenicus stole what he needed from the temple of Rillifane Rallathil, and once again performed a ritual to steal the power found within the Tree of Life.
Return to Tethyr
Irenicus' plan nearly came to fruition. While Bodhi had been slain in Athkatla, and the drow of Ust Natha were unable to mobilize their forces, Irenicus was successful in his part of the plot. His fiendish allies, and black dragon servant Nizidramanii'yt assailed Suldanessellar as he made his way to the Tree of Life. By means of his new ritual, Irenicus would ascend to the Seldarine and supplant Rillifane Rallathil in his role as one of the elven deities. He managed to capture Queen Ellesime, and poisoned the Tree of Life with three parasites that weakened her power.
Abdel and his allies confronted Irenicus one final time, freeing Queen Ellesime. After a terrific battle, Irenicus, Abdel Adrian and everyone else involved in the fight were killed, and transported to an aspect of Bhaal's Realm. Within that domain, Irenicus was able to transform himself into Bhaal's avatar, the Slayer. He summoned demons and devils to his aid, and attacked Abdel and his companions, armed with new and terrible powers. Unfortunately, the Bhaalspawn proved victorious and The Exile was defeated once and for all. In an eruption of magical energy, Irenicus fell once and for all – whatever was left of his being was transported to some distant plane, where he was feasted upon by some fiendish horde.
Behind the Scenes
- In the Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn game, Irenicus is voiced by David Warner.
- BioWare (September 2000). Designed by James Ohlen, Kevin Martens. Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. Black Isle Studios.
- Beamdog (November 2012). Designed by Philip Daigle, et al. Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition. Beamdog.
- Beamdog (March 2016). Designed by Philip Daigle, et al. Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear. Beamdog.