A heroic Name that was first held by the founder of the Dominion of Levant, three hundred years ago. This name is very culturally significant to the Dominion, with them considering those whom hold it to be royalty.
The first Grey Pilgrim was the leader of a Band of Five comprising of the Valiant Champion, the Grim Binder, the Silent Slayer and the Vengeful Brigand. The five of them rebelled against Procer, evicting them with the help of Ashur and would go on to become the rulers of the five cities in the Dominion.
The Pilgrim acts as a mentor to other newly anointed heroic Names. In some ways his Role is similar to that of the Wandering Bard, guiding heroes onto what he considers the right path. Unlike the Bard, he has much broader leeway in what he can do, as he is also capable of powerful healing Miracles and has considerable combat power. His combat power is implied to be contingent on him acting to protect others so that they can live to confront Evil, and is noted as being a mentor figure who gives heroes advice before vanishing, only to reappear and cover their retreat when they get in over their heads.
Catherine and Tariq both mention that the Grey Pilgrim's Role was that of a helping hand, to aid others in battle, countering Villainous powers and healing the wounded Heroes.
The Grey Pilgrim's revealed abilities are very versatile, but most are supporting or defensive rather than offensive, as Catherine puts it: 'It was easy to forget that, for all his power, Tariq was not meant to be the tip of the spear in a band or even the healer. He was, by Role, a helping hand. He was at his strongest and ablest when serving as that hand, as demonstrated by the fact he’d been able to once more use an aspect that he should have thoroughly exhausted earlier to save the Saint’s life earlier.'
Grey Pilgrims have the ability to heal people, both in large numbers and in people with very severe wounds. With skill and practise, a Grey Pilgrim may gain enough knowledge and experience to become better healers than even dedicated healing Named. For example, Tariq was noted to be the most skilled healer alive on Calernia, despite the existence of dedicated healing Named, such as the Forsworn Healer. He could even perform resurrections, despite that normally being the province of dedicated healing Named.
It is capable to pervert this healing ability into a plague-seeding ability, allowing diseases to hide within people for days until it struck, the Light causing a person's body to turn on itself and eventually lead to death. Though, to make the disease highly contagious, angelic help was required. Tariq mourns that the ability to create plagues was distressingly easy.
Other supportive abilities include being able to shape Light into many forms, such as protective globes, protective shields, shackles and a light source that reveals enchantments.
Last but not the least, is the main source of the Grey Pilgrim's offensive abilities; the aspect Shine.
Every Grey Pilgrim has wielded the aspect Shine, which is considered a staple for all of them. In Levantine legend, when the first Grey Pilgrim was a boy, he listened as a prince of Procer mocked the Levantines, stating that nothing save the sky falling would cause Procer to surrender its conquered lands. When he grew up, he plucked a star from the night sky and wielded it against that very prince, setting his palace afire and lighting the first spark of rebellion. Catherine calls this aspect a metaphor, presumably for the skyfall implied in the legend.
It was mentioned that the Levantines renamed the dawn sun from 'Morning Star' to 'Peregine', in tribute to this aspect. Heavily implying that the ability to wield a star became synonymous with the Grey Pilgrim's Role and Stories in their culture, resulting in every subsequent Grey Pilgrim gaining the exact same ability.
This aspect allows Grey Pilgrims to summon and wield a special form of Light. The starlight is extremely powerful, capable of smiting thousands of undead, destroying even the Sovereign of Moonless Night's massive gate into Arcadia and withstanding the Spellblade's purification aspect, which not even First Under the Night's Night could withstand.
At its maximum power, this aspect can summon a replica of the sun into the sky, bringing dawn early. This allowed Tariq to knock out the entire Southern Expedition in the Princes' Graveyard, though the process left him extremely exhausted.
It can only be used to its full potential when there are people to save, otherwise the Light of the Grey Pilgrim would be weak.
Hanno mentions that Grey Pilgrims use prayers and hymns to better control this aspect, but with practise, this became unnecessary.
Tariq Isbili: Tariq Isbili was born in Levante, the second from five siblings. At the age of eighteen years old, Tariq participated in the purging of 'the red plague' that beset the old city. Due to the fame he gained for fighting against the plague, Tariq's mother — who was the Holy Seljun of the time — decided to make him custodian of the rolls, a position that made him apparent heir to the Tattered Throne; however, Tariq considered his elder sister Yasa, who had been preparing all her life for the position, to be worthier of the title and he refused to accept
He left the city in a pilgrimage seeking to heal and do good for others, effectively forcing his mother to maintain Yasa as the heir. Before a sennight had passed, his own mother, the Holy Seljun of Levant, had cast him out of the Grey Pilgrim’s line in the eyes of Gods and men. Within the year, there was not a single written mention of him left in the entire Dominion.
Ironically and to her further humiliation, Tariq's actions earned him the Name of Grey Pilgrim, the most renowned of the Names in the history of Levant and the one from which his bloodline originated. Being thus both an Isbili — that is, a descendant of the original Grey Pilgrim — and the current Grey Pilgrim, he was successor in both blood and Name to the throne of Levant, "a royalty beyond royalty". Yet he refused to take the Tattered Throne, letting his sister — who he believed would make a better job of it than anyone else — reign in his stead while the whispers of the Choir of Mercy constantly led him across the continent of Calernia leaving little time for statecraft.
Tariq's life came to an end after he sacrificed his life at Hainut to ensure that the Dead King did not win the battle against the Grand Alliance.