Tariq Isbili of the Pilgrim's Blood is the latest holder of the Name Grey Pilgrim, also known as Peregrin by many heroes, and a champion of good who has earned a reputation of fostering young heroes.
He is one of the most powerful Heroes currently alive, only the Saint of Swords in considered to be in his same league.
Tariq is a quite old Levantine man, who dresses in grey robes and walks with a staff. He is mostly bald, with a few tufts of white hair crowning his head, and his face is normally clean-shaven. He usually appears weary, though in conflict situations his Choir can support his physical energy.
Although understanding and fatherly, the Pilgrim can be determined. Despite understanding that peace could possibly save many lives his will is subordinate to that of the Heavens. He puts the peace that his people could prosper from, as well as the moral compass of the country, before his own thought and feelings. He also has a great deal of respect for the current First Prince who has made it her life's work to create a united Procer.
He follows the Choir of Mercy. It is the Angels' whispers that guide him to any place where he is needed and provide him with information he might need and that no other mortal has, so he ultimately chooses to obey whatever they command of him, since he considers them wiser, much like the White Knight Hanno does with the Choir of Judgement.
Tariq does not keep his promises, especially to villains. He believes that it is more important that he do good than to do what he said he would.
Tariq is very genre-savvy and very adept at manipulating stories. This makes him a formidable opponent.
Tariq Isbili was born in Levante, the capital city of the Dominion of Levant. He is a member of the Isbili family, also called the Pilgrim's Blood since they are descendants of the original Grey Pilgrim who founded their country. The Isbilis are the ruling line of Levant, and it is from them that their ruler, the Holy Seljun, is elected every time.
He is the second from five siblings: Yasa, Tariq, Bakri, Idhari, and Sanja. At the age of eighteen years old, Tariq participated in the purging of 'the red plague' that beset the old city, an ancient district within Levante, and caused people to die of high and painful fever. His two youngest brothers died during the six months the plague harrowed their city, Idhari due to the plague and Sanja assassinated by orders of their own mother for taking bribes.
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, knowing that this would infuriate his mother as it would be an affront to her honor and a public humiliation for defying her authority.
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.
However, being a Grey Pilgrim born from the Pilgrim's Blood all but guaranteed him the power to control the actions of Levant. He could mandate the country into war or foster peace between its nations; his very presence is considered an honor to man and hero alike. He earned this respect by at some point being involved in every hero's life either providing necessary advice or by saving them at critical points in a battle.
Sintra Marave: Tariq's lover, who he met in his youth when she was hunting a chimera. She was ruler of Alava but couldn't be openly seen with Tariq, since it would cause inner turmoil in Levant that the head of a Bloodline married the Grey Pilgrim as it would be seen as an attack towards the Isbili's authority.
Catherine Foundling: From their first meeting], Tariq had a personal fondness for Catherine, but was also deeply disturbed by her power and allegiance to Below. He became a reluctant heroic nemesis to her, as a leader of the Tenth Crusade, and made multiple attempts to arrange her death and/or gain power over her.
Heroes: As the Grey Pilgrim, he is widely known and respected among all the Good nations of Calernia. Even most of the Proceran heroes have been mentored, advised, or rescued by him at at some point. In Levant, his reputation and power are far greater than that: He is a vastly popular religious leader as well as a potential political power, not to mention the most powerful and accomplished Hero among their royal lineages.
Tariq, while not considered a powerful fighter, is still considered dangerous due to his ability to revive, heal, and aide fellow heroes with the right advice at the right time. When the heavens allow it he can also unleash plagues that infect whole cities. He is able to 'see' the feelings of individuals, allowing him a sort of lie detector. He also is able to maneuver stealthily, appearing as if out of nowhere. In his own words he simply moves where the other people aren't looking. Years of experience as a priest has allowed him to heal the sick and he is considerably experienced with his powers as a result.
Beside the power to use Light that every priest has, Tariq as a Named priest can use it to greater extent. He has the ability to use starlight, which seems to be part of his Aspects as Grey Pilgrim. He has proven to be capable of creating an extremely bright light that can be used to burn someone to ashes or as a concentrated beam of energy capable of destroying a Fae gate.
His Name does not allow him to save multiple individuals at once, and the greater the miracle, the greater the cost. His gift can sap his energy from him; when he unleashed the plague the heavens saw fit to make him experience the deaths of each individual who died.
His known Aspects are Forgive', Behold, and Shine.
Behold: Allows him to see the true feelings of people, which enables him to know when they are lying and discern their true natures.
Forgive: Can be used to return a single slain ally to life once per day. This ability can be reused after each dawn to "forgive" anything that occurred the day before. He can only resurrect an individual once, and depending on the circumstance of the death he might be prevented from resurrecting them at all. He also can resurrect heroes and villains.
Shine: Said to be an Aspect used by previous Grey Pilgrims. Summons a shining star that appears as an imitation of the sun. It may also be the source of his ability to attack with starlight. In Levant, the morning star is known as the "pilgrim's star" because of this Aspect.