Daector Talmage is a genius polymath (scientist, physician, engineer) who oversees a clandestine facility known as Wornspire where he conducts medical experiments on humans that are found to be fertile for reproduction (among many other things). His work is funded by High Emperor Vralius, and much of the studies and experimentation is thought to be executed while under duress of orders from Vralius.
He managed to escape the complete massacre of everyone at Wornspire by the Lightsprawl Order with only one test subject, Serika. After placing her under the protection of Edulon, an Outrider, he was captured by Captain Lerich and his Vurg companion, Sleika. Sleika, a torturemaster by trade, interrogated Talmage and is ordered by Vralius to "instill in him a lesson that will forever be etched on his soul;" Sleika then skins Talmage alive and forces him to endure the dramatically more painful process of being fitted with synthetic skin.