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A sketch of Cogitatus by Caela

Basic Information[]

  • Full Name: James Chronicle
  • Race: Human
  • Nickname: Cog, Cogswell, Coggy, JC, or James depending upon who is talking to him.
  • In-Game Names: Cogitatus, Cogitation
  • Classes: Mage, Paladin
  • Professions: Engineering (both), Enchanting (mage), Inscription (paladin) - (( For roleplay purposes, he has all three professions. ))
  • Occupation: Shopkeeper, Retired Adventurer/Privateer

(( See OOC Notes and Dual Class Explanation below for further explanation on this section. ))


  • Age: 30 (( Approximate - Blizzard only considers one year each to have passed between expansions. ))
  • Sex: Male
  • Hair: Black
  • Eyes: Brown
  • Weight: 180 pounds
  • Height: 5 feet, 8 inches
  • Garments/Armor: Usually wearing high-end combat mage gear with spelldamage-enhancing engineering goggles, or modest-performance paladin gear.


Lawful Good, leaning towards Neutral Good.


Generally shy, quiet, and observant when left alone, he's often friendly when engaged in pleasant conversation. His generally soft demeanor is in contrast to the imposing combat gear that he usually wears, the sort of contrast that one might find by imagining a child in plate armor.

His response to a crisis depends upon whether or not he thinks he knows what he's doing; he can be stern and dominant (sometimes even slightly arrogant) when confident, he'll be indecisive if he doesn't know what to do (sometimes resorting to stopgap measures to buy time to think).

He's intelligent and often analyzes everything carefully, sometimes to a fault, but he does try to be open-minded and consider the opinions of the people around him before forming his own conclusions. He has particular aptitudes with magic and technology and is often seen using both in the tasks he performs. While far from being completely inept in the social graces, he has been known to be tactless on rare occasion when he gets careless; he will often be quick to try to make amends if he thinks he's offended someone unnecessarily.

When all other factors are equal, he prefers order over chaos and tends to respect authority. That said, he's not personally comfortable in extremely rigid or regimented organizations and never formally entered the military, his current honorary rank of Lieutenant Commander notwithstanding.

Personal Background[]

Born in Lordaeron City, his parents made a somewhat unusual couple. His mother was a mage of the Kirin Tor. His father was a craftsman who took up engineering while implementing the gnomish designs during the Second War. Together, they ran a small shop in Lordaeron during the years between the Second and Third Wars, the Chronicle Mageworks and Engineering Shop.

During the early stages of the plague, his mother shared the concerns of the Kirin Tor and decided to move the family south to Dalaran until the crisis blew over. It was here that he briefly met Sirithil Nightstone, who would later become Magravaine of Lakeshire. When Quel'Thalas and Lordaeron fell, the Chronicle family moved southeast to Stromgarde to put a little more distance between themselves and the troubles, only to escape the destruction of Dalaran. Immediately after the destruction of Dalaran, they thought to themselves "Hmmm.... We're starting to see a pattern, here," and immediately moved southwards to the safety of Ironforge.

In Ironforge, the Chronicles were taken in by the Ironback family; Ragnar Ironback was a close coworker of James's father during the Second War. The Chronicles stayed with the Ironbacks for several months. During this time, his brothers Coriundas and Galarith began paladin training under the Order of the Silver Hand. Also during this time, Gnomeregan fell and the first refugees started appearing in Ironforge. James Chronicle and Jarrabean Ironback met one of these refugees, Morandy Twinklespark, by chance in Ironforge when the former two saved the latter from attempted suicide. The three have been close friends ever since.

The Chronicles soon moved to Stormwind to settle down permanently, and James spent the next few years studying at the Stormwind Mage Tower and under the tutelage of his own mother. It was during his studies that he picked up the name "Cogitatus", a moniker used by his instructors and classmates alike to playfully tease him about his tendency to overthink things. The name has stuck ever since.

After the completion of his basic mage training, he traveled to Northshire Abbey to assist the Stormwind Military in dealing with kobold and Defias threats in the area. He has been adventuring far and wide ever since.

Though his immediate family lives to this day, many of his extended family, neighbors, and childhood friends were left behind in Lordaeron to face the ravages of the Scourge. The fate of many of these remains unknown to Cogitatus.

Adventuring Career[]

Upon arriving at Northshire, Cogitatus accepted an ad hoc deputy position in the Stormwind Army and was given various odd jobs to fight common threats within Elwynn Forest, including (but not limited to): Defias, kobolds, and murlocs. However, Cogitatus soon because one of many ad hoc deputies to be asked to lend their aid to areas of the Kingdom from which Stormwind had withdrawn their armies; it was thus that he began his career as a migrant freelance privateer.

As a privateer, Cogitatus continued taking various odd jobs that generally called for violent action of some kind. Quoting the man himself: "I'll be bluntly honest, here. I make a living by hunting down bad guys, killing them, and taking their stuff for myself, punctuated on an irregular but frequent basis by paid contracts where I hunt down bad guys, kill them, retrieve something of interest for the client, and then taking the rest of their stuff for myself. As a combat mage, I try not to think about the fact that a lot of the 'good' that I do is accomplished by killing something or someone."

Cogitatus eventaully met and befriended Captain Lylly Nightstar of the First Anvilmar Cavalry. This friendship eventually led to him being inducted into the Cavalry in the unique position of Inspector when Cogitatus agreed to assist Nightstar into looking more deeply into the Morningsong case; Jezi Morningsong confessed to murdering her twin sister, Bellz Morningsong, though Captain Nightstar believed that something about the confession seemed suspicious. Regardless, Nightstar and Cogitatus were unable to uncover any new information and the case was abandoned.

Captain Nightstar again asked Cogitatus for assistance in investigating how technologies developed by a top secret Alliance Military research project called Project Kharanos wound up being implemented in Horde siege equipment. Though many subjects were interviewed for the investigation, the pair were unable to discover who was responsible. The case suffered a major setback when Captain Nightstar was ambushed in Dun Morough by a person or persons unknown, left for dead, and subsequently discovered and nursed back to health by a dwarf hunter named MaccDaggan. The injuries left Nightstar stripped of her memory and unable to continue her duties. (Lylly Nightstar later formally left the First Anvilmar Cavalry to start a fishing company called "Gone Fish"; see Fish Tales for more information.) Unable to make any headway in the investigation alone, Cogitatus admitted self-incompetence, resigned his post as Inspector, and abandoned the case.

Cogitatus resumed his full-time pursuit of his privateer career, which soon led him to become involved in Alliance-Horde conflicts. Cogitatus was often involved in the defense of Alliance territories that came under Horde attack, most notably Warsong Gulch, but also various Alliance cities and settlements. However, he has rarely participated in offensive operations against the Horde and has been quoted as saying that the Horde and the Alliance are not each other's worst enemies. Nevertheless, his service in fighting the Horde eventually earned him the honorary rank of Lieutenant Commander. What value or meaning this rank has is subject to debate: Cogitatus does not have a regular command of his own, rarely attempts to invoke his rank in situations where a clear regular military leadership already exists, and downplays his own titles in personal conversation.

His disinterest in offensive operations against the Horde does have a recent exception, however, in that he has often been seen participating in battles for the Alliance at Lake Wintergrasp, and has even attempted (unsuccessfully) to publish an operations guide to combat in the area. When questioned on this, he consistently replies that his opinion of the Horde has not changed, but that a search of Wintergrasp Fortress might yield a means to communicate with the Pantheon and call for help on Azeroth's behalf. Cogitatus has been seen on different occasions by different people studying Titanic ruins in many locations, Wintergrasp only being one such location. However, he abandoned these activities after the Algalon Incident, which demonstrated that contacting the Titans might be catastrophic to all life currently on Azeroth.

(( See "Out-Of-Character Notes", below, regarding battlegrounds. ))

Concurrent with his progression through the ranks, Cogitatus became associated with an Alliance-chartered organization of privateers known as The Swords and Spells United, whereupon he became heavily involved in their operations against the forces of Ragnaros, Nefarian, the Gurubashi, the Scourge, the Silithid, Kael'Thas Sunstrider's forces, Illidan's forces, and the Burning Legion. He eventually became one of SASU's many executive officers while doing so. More recently, he has been operating in Northrend fighting against the forces of Malygos and the Lich King.

Most recently, his efforts have turned towards the scholarly. Cogitatus was recently seen at a series of vigils held by the death knight Lirima Morsul, receiver of Uther's Tabard from Lord Uther the Lightbringer; Lirima was holding vigil each sunset at Uther's Tomb seeking any paladin who wished to step forward and become Heir to the Lightbringer's Legacy. Not putting his own name forward, he consistently claimed to be present as a historian, and finally published a book titled "Chronicles of the Lightbringer's Successor". With the publication of the work, James Chronicle became the only known survivor of the Chronicle family to write an actual historical work. The publication, however, did not garner much immediate attention, as it coincided with the increasingly severe earthquakes that preceded The Cataclysm. (It has even been rumored that while James Chronicle was waiting to speak with the new Lightbringer, Arialynn, in Theramore about the final round of fact-checking before publication, a particularly powerful quake inflicted a minor head injury on Cogitatus that the Lightbringer had to heal.) The copies of the work that were sent out to various libraries were quickly included into the book collections that were then being frantically secured to protect them from destruction.

Several months after the Cataclsym, he quietly retired as an adventurer and resigned his position in The Swords and Spells United and now tends the Chronicle Mageworks and Engineering shop. Since then, he has not otherwise been active in Stormwind or Alliance society, in adventuring, or in scholarly work.

Dual Class Explanation[]

Upon hearing of the madness of Malygos and the Nexus War, Cogitatus began to reexamine his extensive use of magic in his adventures and started exploring whether or not he had any affinities for the Holy Light. This began with guided meditation lessons which were eventually followed by deeper training, and finally leading up to the most serious training that the short timespan he has so far spent in it allows. He has not, however, given up his arcane practice, and so The Cathedral of Light regards his studies with respectful skepticism, and the assistance of his brothers Coriundas and Galarith (who are already paladins) was necessary to supplement his training. This almost crash-course training in the ways of the paladin shows in his practice: for example, his use of weaponry is effective but notably clumsy, and it seems sometimes to only be by chance or the fortune of the Light that he vanquishes the foes he encounters.

Of particular note, Cogitatus has described (to those who have asked him) the limitations of his dual-training. Quote the man himself: "Wielding the Light and the Arcane seem to me to require very different mindsets. Controlling the arcane requires intense and careful concentration; the forces are chaotic, and if you let your concentration slip, you could lose control of the arcane and those chaotic forces can lash out at you, kinda like a ship's sail whipping around in a storm at sea.... The Light, on the other hand, you have to meditate, call out to it and then let it come to you and flow through you. You have to trust it, and almost, but not quite, to surrender to it. Because they need different mindsets, I don't want to go playing mix-and-match, so it takes me a few minutes to safely and effectively switch between them."

(( This, at least, is my method of explaining why I have to relog characters between casting Flash of Light and casting Frost Nova. ))

Family Background[]

The Chronicle family is named after, and consists of, a long line of historians, bards, storytellers, and chroniclers, dating back to the founding of Arathor. James "Cogitatus" Chronicle is the fourth-generation descendant of a family offshoot that didn't take up the family practice, but retained the family name and remained in contact with the main lineage until Cogitatus's immediate family departed Lordaeron during the Third War (described above).

The family crest is a circle with an open book in the middle and a ribbon above the book. Upon the ribbon is written "History Never Ends". A miniature version of the symbol of Arathor appears above book, as well, but is still contained within the outer circle. Where this symbol overlaps the ribbon, the ribbon is in front of (and obscures) the Arathor symbol.

The symbol of Chronicle Mageworks and Engineering is a modification of this symbol: the original top ribbon reads "Chroncile Mageworks". A second ribbon that doesn't appear in the original family crest appears beneath the book in the new crest and reads "and Engineering". A wand is laid diagonally upon the left page and a gear upon the right page. The symbol of Arathor is replaced with the symbol of Lordaeron.

Other Family Background Notes[]

This isn't really a coherent section, just notes on family ancestors that I've invented and want to remain consistent on.

The Chronicle line originated with a man known as "Richard the Chronicler" who lived during, and wrote about, the founding of Arathor.

At some point, names of members of the family switched from being of the form "Name the Chronicler/Storyteller/Historian" to "Name Chronicle".

Adrianne the Chronicler often used a first person narrative, and focused her writing on events she personally witnessed.

Derrick Chronicle had a fondness for alcohol, and wrote histories regarding specific taverns and the art of brewery in general.

Mortimer Chronicle is a cousin of James Chronicle, rather than an ancestor, and is closest to being contemporary. Mortimer, like many extended relatives, have not been seen since the fall of Lordaeron. Mortimer Chronicle is a descendant of the main Chronicle line, meaning that he has direct ancestors in every generation going back to Richard the Chronicler who wrote at least one serious historical work. Contrast with James, Coriundas, and Galarith Chronicle, who are descendants of an offshoot line; their most recent direct ancestor to write a historical work of any kind was four generations ago.

Cogswell Chronicle is also a cousin of James, Coriundas, and Galarith, and a descendant of the same offshoot branch. He was a farm boy who lived near Brill, was about James's age, and enjoyed wooing (or trying to woo) rural girls in the Brill area. He was a carefree sort of person, and also has not been seen since the fall of Lordaeron. James Chronicle, on the rare occasions he has gone in disguise as a Forsaken, has posed as an undead Cogswell.

Out-Of-Character Notes[]

This character and this player are no longer in active play, as of September 2011, and cannot be contacted except by private message on the SASU forums at Reactivation is not anticipated.

The guild tag on my paladin, <Friends and Lovers>, is not currently an In-Character affiliation. The <Swords and Spells United>, however, is an In-Character affiliation.

Anyone of a scholarly nature will have at least a passing familiarity with the Chronicle name, as many historical records were written by Chronicles.

Cogitatus's immediate family are far less renowned, but anyone currently alive or undead, Alliance or Horde, who spent a large amount of time in Lordaeron amongst tradesmen and craftsmen could plausibly have heard of the Chronicles. The ruins of the old shop remain in Lordaeron City, in any event.

It should be noted that Cogitatus's participation in battlegrounds other than Warsong Gulch and Lake Wintergrasp is generally Out-Of-Character. Exceptions where such participation is In-Character will be explicitly accompanied by a story writeup; a writeup for Lake Wintergrasp was being contemplated at one point, but is no longer planned.

A story writeup for Cogitatus's dual training, slated to be titled "Dichotomy", was planned but not written. Completion is unlikely and not anticipated.

The Weekly Feature Award

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--Tai 14:59, 13 November 2007 (UTC)