Name: Ciern Perelion Age: 23 Gender: Male Race: Human
Art by guastavosasquatch
Often seen in armour, full-clad and training, many are surprised by Ciern's voice and androgynous appearance, having no facial hair, and sharp facial features. He has short red hair and a rough complexion, with large blue eyes, steady but often seeing far beyond. Ciern's build is on the shorter, thinner side. He bears a quite a few bruises and scars, particularily burns along his left arm from abusing his fire magic too much. He does his best to cover it up with bandages and give off a clean look, trying to live up to the finer standards of the Iron Roses. It's unclear if it is really effective at hiding, or if his real reason is that he cannot bear the sight of them himself. He smiles often out of courtesy, and his default expression is a peaceful but sombre smile. But careful observers will realize that he rarely does truely smile, and from time to time Ciern can be seen spacing out and looking off into the distance. Despite so, he insists it's nothing to worry about and simply that he is tired from travelling around.
Personality: In a contrast to his past reputation, Ciern is a passive and soft-spoken knight. He reserves judgement and deliberates in many decisions in favour of listening to all opinions first. He is careful to not offend anyone, and generally avoids confrontation with allies or peers. Fiercely loyal to the Order and even more so to the Knight Commander, if pressed, Ciern is willing to fight to protect the Order and serve his purpose. Ciern also suffers from a near debilitating levels of low self-esteem, and rarely rises to defend himself from insults, abuse or accusations. He can't take compliments and will have no idea how to respond to affection or praise, becoming confused or ignoring it entirely. His sense of guilt and inadequacy often prevents him from taking the initiative and acting out of line, and he feels it's best if it stays that way. Others could mistake Ciern for someone with a weak will, but it's quite the opposite. Having survived several battles and years on the run, Ciern's determination and zealous pursuit is unrivalled; akin to a fading fire, dying but never fully extinguished. He believes that if life was hell, then he must live it to repent for what he had done, no matter how much hardship he must endure. Otherwise, Ciern likes coffee and muffins, and thinks it's sacrilege to put raisins in any muffin, especially if it's the chocolate kind.
Brief Backstory: Former knight of an smaller, lesser known order called the Order of Obsidian Judgement. The Order mostly kept to itself, fighting for the protection of a sacred mountain shrine. Although Ciern was still an initiate, not used to the Order's strict rules in his profoundly young age of 14, he was spoken of as a prodigy for his prowess as a spellsword, wielding both close combat and arcane spells with devastating efficiency. But for unknown reasons, the Obsidian Judgement ceased to communicate with the outside world. After a while, a scouting party was sent to investigate the silence; and found the Judgement's keep destroyed in a catacalysmic battle with no survivors. Further investigation found one note - that Ciern had set the keep on fire and destroyed the Order "to make an example", and that he was still alive and had escaped the battle. After a few years, the former knight as captured. Although his sins were grave and Ciern refused to discuss his motivations for his actions, his skills as a fighter and genuine regret let him a special condition for the Order. In exchange for a life of fealty to the Iron Roses and pious repentance, Ciern was granted a shaky membership in this Order, though it was still a controversial decision viewed on many as too trusting of a former criminal.
The truth is that Ciern never actually commited the crimes he claims he did. The Obsidian Judgement was secretly running a highly dangerous and morally dubious blood ritual that went awry and drove most of the participants insane. The insuing battle to contain the chaos set off a chain reaction within the keep's explosive storages, destroying the Keep and all its members as a result. Ciern, knocked out of the battlefield from a prior blow, became the sole survivor of the explosion. Unwilling to let the world know that the Obsidian Judgement was corrupt, Ciern made himself a scapegoat to preserve his order's honor. Ciern agreed to servitude under the Iron Roses on the condition that this secret is never revealed. Only the previous Knight-Captain who took him in knew about this truth, and is Ciern's most jealously guarded secret.
Equipment: Ciern's armor is a combination of a knight's plate armor and a mage's leather tunic, sacrificing outright protection in favour of a stronger affinity to magic and higher mobility. Its silver gleam and simple red decorations are devoid of any flair, save for the Iron Rose crest on its breastplate. It is polished and clean, if not scratched and well-worn from long term use. His left gauntlet is replaced with a glove with indents and channeling runes to serve as a focus for his spells, as well as handle more delicate objects. Ciern also carries a standard-issue sidesword and estoc on his horse with no outstanding modifications, save for inscription "Paramortis" scratched on the wood of the hilt. He also carries a dagger for general purposes. Though Ciern has memorized the incantations for his spells, he keeps a tough parchment and pen to note down new incantations he comes across.
Skills: As a spellsword, Ciern is trained extensively in both swordsmanship and arcane arts - and weaving the two together in one fluid style, he is a devastating, chaotic combatant and lends credance to those who considered him a prodigy. Ciern's fighting style is a mixture of both observation and aggression. Although he will attempt to learn and study his opponents before making committing moves, he has no trouble switching quickly to an aggressive style once he had adequately learnt his opponent. He will relentlessly pressure his opponents with quick parries and ripostes, attempting to outmaneavour his enemies and give them no time to retaliate. Ciern's spells focus the chaotic spectrum of magic, specifically, fire and lightning. High in pure destructive power but also carrying risks of self-injury and mana upkeep, Ciern mostly limits himself to small-scale projectiles in conjunction with his swordplay to further add pressure to his opponents. However, Ciern is reluctant to use offensive magic and has since abstained from using magic unless truly desperate.
Other than battles, Ciern is fantastic at cleaning and general housework, having put on household duties several times when he was a part of the Obsidian Judgement because of his magic having the tendancy of being a little too destructive. He seems a little embarrassed of this, but will not object if asked to employ his skills.
"Mana runs out. Spells get dispelled. Pacts expire. But a fist never fails to deliver...was that a cool line?"
Age: 16 Appearance: Short, amber hair, always messy (he makes sure of it) with sharp black eyes. Rough complexion but otherwise youthful, energetic face. A couple of scratches here and there with a bandage stuck to his chin (thinks it looks cool. actually doesn't know how to remove it). Burn and shock scars on his back and chest, but mostly covered by his clothes. Knuckles discoloured by frequent bruising. Quite tall and lanky, but has a few toned muscles. Wears loose, baggy clothing and often is seen wearing uniform improperly (doesn't mean it though. maybe.) Often seen sneaking off somewhere he's not supposed to be, but unfortunately has the tendancy to get lost in otherwise straightforward areas.
Strength: C Speed: C Precision: E Endurance: B Mana Reserve: D Control: D
Physical Empowerment Unlike many practices of magic, Callum tends to get a lot more physical. Using internalised magic, Callum can enhance his physical endurance, strength and speed. Training this technique almost exclusively, Callum has become especially attuned with this type of alteration, being able to keep up his empowerment for a long time with high mana efficiency. Reckless burst usage, however, results in physical trauma afterwards.
Dispel Shield Callum can project a phantom shield from his lead bracelet that dispels incoming arcane attacks. The shield shimmers blue and has a resistance upon touch, but it is too weak to defend against physical strikes (and a physical shield would be a bit too derivative). Though its main strength is against projectile and elemental attacks, it also has a field that weakens the effects of all hostile magic in Callums vicinity.
Mental Fortress Callum can be easily mistaken for a happy-go-lucky type who never focuses. Actually, that's not a mistake - it's true. But when he sets his mind on something, he sure as hell don't give up on it. As a combinaton of both dispelling and his own determination, Callum can shrug off most attacks on his mental state (aka strong against mind control), as well as having a stronger ability to see through illusions.
Arcane Momentum Though Callum hates to admit, his Perenias heritage does afford him benefits. Unique to House Perenias, Callum and his bloodline has a tendency to "attract" more mana in accordance to adrenaline, exhausion and pain reception. The effective result is that Callum's magic becomes stronger as a fight draws out or Callum is injured/in pain. Callum is aware of this, but not does not yet realise the true potential of this property.
"Super Juice" Flask A flask of "super juice" that Callum claims is the source of all his power. When pressed, Callum will confess that he just bought a mana potion from the store. In reality, it's just water mixed with honey as Callum does not have a sufficient enough stipend to afford mana potions to simply use off-handedly. Whatever 'boost' that Callum gets from the flask is more or less a placebo effect along with a sugar rush.
Lead Bracelet A bracelet to act as foci for dispelling shield, gifted to him by Judge Markus. A budget quality bracelet that has a projection rune inscribed on it to help with the creation of the shield. Although it's a little worn and scratched over the course of Callum's tussles, Callum keeps it on his person "for the sake of the memories".
Improvised Lockpicking Kit Made out of a couple of hairpins and various other stationary. Although Callum desperately wants to use it on something, he sadly does not have neither the patience or the dexterity to use it properly and instead likes to use the "authorization via kinetic trauma" method. He still keeps it, as he is proud to have made it in the first place.
Callum's parents wanted nothing more than just a quiet, disciplined child who could carry on the family tradition of prestigious elementalists. Unfortunately, Callum turned out to be the exact opposite: rowdy, undisciplined, mischevious. Callum constantly escaped his life shut in the study to get into a tussle with...well, anything. Animals, siblings, sometimes even the janitor who was tired of the loud anklebiter. The only "proper magic" he seemed to be able to grasp (or willing to grasp) was dispelling from his uncle serving at Verholt, and even this was not sufficient to compensate for his apparent "feral" nature. This family difference between Callum and the rest of the family desperately attempting to keep Callum in line grew and grew until at the age of 14, Callum was given an ultimatum. Win the next town wizard tourney or get kicked out. So Callum trained up the only way he knew. Punching. Punching things really, really hard. Using his physical empowerment and the one spell he learned, he focused on the tactic of dispelling his opponents while closing gaps to disarm through physical combat. In the end, he didn't quite win, only placing 3rd overall when his magical capability was too lacking to dispel his competitors adequately enough. True to their word, his family kicked him out of his home (though Callum did not miss the claustrophobic environment) and spun a tale that Callum was an illigitmate son of a cousin. However, one of the judges of the tourney, Judge Markus, was impressed by his unique tactics and saw untapped potential for Callum to become a great mage. Markus reccomended Arkus to Callum, which the now homeless mage took up with half-reluctance and half-excitement.
Personality: Jolly and friendly, Peregrine is a rare sight to see in the desolation of the apocolypse. Peregrine works well enough as an independent agent, but does not mind the brief companionship when meeting others in his travel. He does not hesitate to help others when he is in the position to do so, and although can be dismissed as impulsive and delusional, is actually quite thoughtful and deliberate. Peregrine makes a point of refraining judgement of others, especially of other Arisen. He knows that whatever their past may be, the future is what they make of it - which holds true in particular in the apocolypse, where the world holds no previous grudges. In similar spirit, Peregrine is also very driven to a certain goal when he sets his mind to it, but also holds no qualms if he deems such a pursuit a meaningless act. After all, no one is waiting for them, so why not take the long way around? Peregrine feels sorrow for all that was lost in the apocolypse, and even moreso that he does not remember anything explicit from his past. He feels a sense of loneliness and conflicted as he is aware that he feels like he's lost something he never had in the first place. But knowing that there are much greater things to fight for than to be bitter over one's past, Peregrine strives to hide his pain and deflects much of it with jokes and pretense. Perhaps he will find the child from his dreams again, one day - but not today. Today he forges on.
Skills: Scouting and Pathfinding, Scavenging and Improvised Craftmanship, Ranged Weapons Mastery
Memory: Peregrine has nearly no memories of his past life, but he's pieced together what happened rather vaguely from the eulogies that were carved around his grave. Although the writings are nearly faded away, he managed to discover that his grave was the grave of a well-travelled frontiersman and adventurer, commissioned by the king to explore new lands to conquer. After staying behind to help another injured adventurer on the mountaintop, he died of unknown means and his cadaver was later found and reburied with modestly celebrated fortunes. However, Peregrine does remember one fuzzy memory of a child calling out to him through a snowing day, and the smell of warm stew. But whenever he tries to recall any more of who that child was, he only cements his belief that he knows absolutely nothing about them, only a certain sense of longing and loss. Peregrine wishes he could believe that the child was his own, but is unsure if this delusion will only make him more lonely.
Memento: A short, silver chain with the falcon crest on the end of it, hanging from the hilt of Peregrine's armour. The crest is elaborately guilded in purple and gold, with the falcon holding a bundle of arrows in its beak. Although Peregrine isn't that emotionally attached to the crest, he believes that if he was indeed the man of the eulogies, something to signify his identity would be something that may come useful later, on the off chance that its supposed royal authority is recognized.
Acquired Skills: • Translator 1 - Allow understanding of other languages • Fire Magic Mastery 1 - Enables the user to use black fire magic. Further leveling up this skill will improve and strengthen the power of this magic, and allow new techniques to develop. • Iron Will 1 - Strengthens resistance against mental attacks and mind control. Further leveling up this skill will strengthen resistence as well as discernment of illusions and other 'trickery' based attacks. • Kaireth's Blessing: Magic Insurgence - Gain additional 2000 points (multiplied by base level) to Intelligence and Dexterity
Personality: Bitter and distant, Olivia is still vengeful over her death. Although she has had time before her burning to calm down and process her immediate anger towards her traitors, she mistrusts others in general and especially hates lies and traitors. She hardly makes friends and rarely divulge her opinions, almost all of which are critical and cynical, and will keep up an appearance of neutral stance against strangers and 'allies'. She is pragmatic and an industrious worker, and often works independently although she does acknowledge the practical benefits of teamwork. She is surprisingly casual and hates formalities, viewing them as pretentious and pneumatic.
Despite all her outward anger and proclaimed hatred of others, Olivia is at heart a very kind person. She will never acknowledge it, but she has a natural tendancy to help others in need even if it puts herself at mortal danger. She likes compliments and praise, and can be caught off-guard although she will assume sarcasm or bad intent against strangers. As much as she hates others, she is also wrapped up in self-hatred, further supported by her skills that are almost exclusively hurtful of others and a feeling that she needs to keep up her persona of cynicism.
Background: Olivia was born near Boston into a poor family, who had to leave her at an orphanage because her family could not afford to care for her. She spent her childhood growing up in the orphanage working to support other orphans within the community. Despite her stunted upbringing, Olivia was a very dedicated and zealous worker, being popular within the orphange for her silent determination and piety for God.
When the mass hysteria struck and witch trials began, Olivia did not believe in the witch hunt. She believed the panic itself was a demonic ploy to sow chaos and fear into people. Despite her young age she attempted to mediate and keep the community together during the witch hunt, with very little success. As the town and its surroundings descended further into hysteria and started to go for the orphans, Olivia helped hide the orphans away from the mad eyes of the public; until she herself was accused and had to go into hiding.
But she was betrayed by the orphanage keepers as well as the very orphans Olivia helped hide, and was quickly caught. After a short, unfair "trial", she was pronounced a "leader of the witches" and Olivia was imprisoned for a few days. She was burned at the stake along with the rest of the accused, and cursed God and all of the world to her last breath. ________________________________________
Other: Olivia still believes in the presence of a God but also believes that God is unempathetic and even malevolent, and her second life is simply another ploy by God to torment her. She still forges on, driven by spite. If God wants her death, she will make him work like hell for it.
Name: Noxis "Nox" Terraphia Species: Human Age: 21 Sexuality: Straight Birth: UGC Yggdrasil, in transit near Trappist-6 system Height: 5"3' (discounting Noxis' arguments that hair counts)
Appearance: Short and lithely built with a young voice, Noxis looks far younger than he is chronologically, comparable to that of a human teenager. Thin and androgynous, he is often mistaken for a kid and annoys him when he is attempting to impose a sense of authority. Much of his skin looks scarred and unnatural, being discoloured like a bruise and is painful to the touch. Consequently, he is often seen in loose, baggy clothing that further reinforces his image of a teenager wearing clothes far too large for them. His go-to choice is a long sleeved navy T-shirt and pants, but he also likes to simply wear fieldwork armour.
Source: Hans Christen Andersen, Fateverse
Personality: Laid-back and relaxed, it's a wonder how Noxis keeps his job. He rarely takes his scouting duties seriously, often wandering off places he was never designated and sometimes keeping souvenirs and trinklets for himself. Although it may be late, he is a 'reliable' worker who always comes up with a detailed analysis backed up with his sharp eye and keen observations. However, he has been previously reprimanded for his 'reckless unsanctioned improvisations', though the message never got to Noxis.
He likes a good downtime more than anything, and could try to find any sort of loophole to earn him extra sleep time. Although he comes off as very friendly and helpful, his views are quite often very cynical and critical, especially of authority figures. Either working alone or within a group, he does not mind, although he seems to lean on teamplay to cover his inherent weaknesses of a scout. Or perhaps it is because it's easier to steal stuff in a group, though Noxis will never admit that.
Noxis tends to be good enough at keeping relationships on a 'friendly' and 'collegue' level, but he will avoid any closer sort of relationship. He will joke around and never truly consider anyone else as his friend, keeping everyone at a certain calculated distance in case they end up on the wrong side of his fieldwork. This of course, means that he feels lonely most of the time despite being surrounded by what others believe is his friends. But Noxis knows that this was the path he had to walk, and he cannot turn back now.
When given a certain target or duties relating to his 'dodgy' line of work, he will continue to joke around until enacting the mission, after which he will make a very startling turn of personality. Discarding all of his jokes and carefree attitude, Noxis becomes a laconic, cold professional that only cares about the task he is given. He will ignore previous relationships or morals, only that he finishes the job. Perhaps this is his true nature, and his flighty outward persona is a mask to deal with the consequences of his actions.
Role: Field Recon, WRAITH Enforcer (Infiltrator) Nox's official role is field scouting and reconnaissance. Although deep terrain scanning and drones are able to cover most of the alien territory at large, there are still areas that are left unexplored and unable to be explored by simple drone scans. Either they are obstructed geographically or they require closer attention - this is where field recon agents like Nox comes in. Equipped with scanners, micro-drones and a trusty scout rifle, Nox defends field scientists, maps out hard to reach areas and tracks animals and other autonomous targets.
Nox's other more...deviant role is being a WRAITH enforcer. With the Phantasm augmentation, Nox's strong suit of infiltration can also be re-kitted towards assassination. Nox despises the role and hopes that he will never have to enact upon his duties, but if he is charged with such a duty, his primary focus is assassinating key figures and working with other WRAITH agents to enforce order and focus on the primary objective of the Andromeda project.
As haphazardly the crew was put together, the council that oversaw the project was keenly aware of the possible dangers of quasi-democratic systems and made sure to build in the necessary contingency plans in case things went REALLY wrong. The WRAITH protocol is a protocol that activates when the primary directive of the Andromeda project is threatened, or there is a real and present danger of a rebellion or hijacking (i.e. military coups, ideological brainwashing). Serving as one of the last lines of defence, when activated, WRAITH protocol gives directives to sleeper agents to eliminate the leaders of the threat, using any means necessary. Because of the controversial nature of the protocol, WRAITH is classified and technically illegal. However, with the disaster that wiped out the initial crew of the Monolith, all contacts from other WRAITHs have been cut off, and Nox is unsure if other WRAITHs survived.
Multi-purpose field scanner Standard issue for light field scouts, this handheld device that looks like a barcode scanner is small enough to easily fit into the palm of the hand and can scan anything from foreign biological matter, molecular structures of the local geology, and the environmental status of the atmosphere. Reinforced to withstand the wear and tear of field work, it is infamous for its sturdiness and durability. Unfortunately due to hardware contraints it can only provide surface level analysis and record - deeper analysis and in depth sampling must be stowed away for scientists with more robust and complex equipment that are often confined to shipside.
Gryphus Exo-Suit - Shade III customised REGIS corps exo-suit, designed to enhance user mobility and protect against extreme elements. Initially a military exo-suit, many of its arms fire protective pieces have been replaced with layers of radiation protection, heat protection and a reinforced impact distribution fiber-cage. Its micro-hydraulics and boosters are designed to boost the user's agility, allowing them to keep up with the rigours of scouting. It is fitted with a grapple, health and status monitor, communications units and emergency medical nano-bots. A visor has been augmented unto it to allow it to cycle through different modes of vision such as heat, biological signature and night vision. It is also extra-small, to suit Noxis' small statue. Its soles have been lined with extra rubber to make Noxis look taller than he actually is, although he will attempt to argue it's for protection purposes.
Seraphim Series - Scout Rifle and Sidearm Issued for scouts like Noxis, the Seraphim series is an assortment of kinetic projectile based weapons. Although it can be loaded with standard titanium-3 bullets for combat purposes, its firepower has been turned down in exchange for its ability to load 'exotic' projectiles such as trackers, temporary drones and shape-charges. Its durability and cheap maintainence cost also has made it firmly within the standard use of scouts.
Phantasm Omni-Camo Augmentation An extensive augmentation that is wired throughout Noxis' body, and is also the cause of Noxis' many ailments. True to its name, when activated it casts a personal field of camoflague that hides the user and small objects within contact from heat, digital, and of course, vision-based detection. It is mostly self-contained and requires little outside power besides from Noxis himself. However, keeping up the camo-field for extended periods of time has severe drawbacks and causes cluster headaches. As such, Noxis tries to use it in short bursts and rations his use of it carefully in missions. However, this does not mean he is willing to use it for ulterior purposes, most notably for smuggling cookies and other snacks from the kitchen. Unfortunately, the culinary staff knows Noxis and most of the time catches him afterwards.
Specter Marksman Rifle Noxis' personal favourite, the marksman rifle has seen Noxis through many missions. Firing compact slugs of exotic sub-atomics, it boasts supreme range and penetration capabilities that can punch through projected shields, armour and even light vehicles. Its high cost of production and equally high cost of maintainence, as well as its inability to fire more than a couple shots before requiring a long cooldown time made it impractical for widespread use and was eventually discontinued. But for Noxis, who only took out a very select few individuals, the sniper rifle became a go-to when he needed long range fire. It is currently in a dismantled status within clandestine locations of his cabin.
Equipment dedicated to WRAITHS and may only be used when the WRAITH protocol activates, this equipment is strictly off-the-books and technically illegal in terms of intergalactic law. Although some of this equipment was transferred over from the REGIS corps by Noxis (such as the sniper rifle), the rest of the equipment was actually under the ownership of the now deceased WRAITH agents and have now been reassigned under Noxis. Noxis only uses his personal equipment, leaving the other equipment in respect to the now deceased agents. It is stashed in an undisclosed location onboard, although the accident that wiped out the previous crew of the Monolith was close by, and it's unclear whether the equipment is in working condition.
Previous Branch: Wyvern Cadets - REGIS Corps
Biography: Born into a wealthy arms trade "family", Noxis wasn't really given a choice on his career path. In fact, despite being human his birth was a very genetically engineered, augmentation heavy one - a vessel for a specific purpose. To carry an augmentation called the Phantasm System - a highly experimental camoflague system that would project a optic distortion field to mask one's presence both visually and digitally. It aimed to replicate Utarah levels of augmentation in humans and raise human soldier competitiveness in the specialist market - but the augmentation rejected Noxis' physiology and left Noxis with many disabilities including stunted growth, chronic cluster headaches and retrograde/anterograde amnesia. Noxis endured many years of gene therapy and augmentations to offset his conditions, although it never fully cured his headaches. By the time he was out of his therapies, he was already old enough to be inducted into his planterary cadets program, the Wyvern Cadets.
Understandably angry and rebellious against his authorities that deprived him of something granted so freely to others, he left the cadets early to join a fringe mercenary group called the REGIS Corps. Outside of both the legal and conventional moral systems, this mercenary group was specialized in off-the-books enforcement and "peacekeeping", most notably quelling rebellions and eliminating problematic figures. Due to Noxis' unique augmentation, his skillset was the perfect for an infiltrator and sniper unit, carrying out various assassinations through his self-contained omni-camo and escaping far before anyone notices his traces.
Initially serving as part of the vanguard teams that ran at the forefront of REGIS operations, Caesar-2 and Nero-1, Noxis' willingness for morally dubious actions in service of ensuring the mission's holistic completion let him join the much more secretive and darker chain of operatives, the Damocles fireteam. Listed only as an old callsign that was discontinued years before Noxis' conception, the Damocles fireteam had an instrumental task in several undisclosed operations. After a certain mission, Noxis decided to leave the Damocles fireteam - a controversial decision given the gravity of Noxis' knowledge and participation in the Damocles missions. Traditionally, the only way out of the Damocles fireteam was death.
Thus began a game of cat and mouse - Noxis' connections he made through his brief but packed career within the underground allowed him to pull favours and cover his tracks for the initial part, and with his augmentation well suited for both stealth and exfiltration, he made sure that he left as little trace of his existence as possible. But he was also attempting to escape his old fireteam that specialized in tracking down its targets to its very last breath. For several years, Noxis lived as a fugitive from the Damocles team, each taking potshots against each other. But soon Noxis realized neither he or Damocles truly wished to make the lethal move against one another and Damocles was only pretending to hunt him down under orders of REGIS. Noxis decided that there was only one way to resolve this 'peacefully' was to leave the galaxy entirely.
The solution would come in the form of the Andromeda project. The only thing he had the skillset for was the position of enforcer of the WRAITH protocol. essentially sleeper agents that aimed to quell attempts of mutiny in case things went awry. Undoubtably, Noxis' moral detachment and previous work in REGIS made him a prime candidate. Apart from his enforcer position, he managed to secure a recon and scouting duty. Aboard the Monolith, perhaps he would finally be able to leave everything behind and make a life of his own choosing.
Affiliations: U.A.F, WRAITH
Relationships: Noxis has no interest in romance or companionship. Instead, he had a grassroots network of associates that he trades 'favours' with, which came especially handy during his escape from Damocles.
Trivia #1 Noxis has a sweet-tooth and is very susceptible to bribery. However, it does no favours to his image of an immature kid and so he tries to eat them in secret. His favourite is chocolate chip cookies, and will cry if you give him raisin ones in disguise.
Trivia #2 Noxis has a sniper-bullet necklace, fired at him by his collegues in REGIS when he was leaving for Andromeda. Although it was in technicality an 'assassination attempt', it was more a formality and a final farewell. Noxis keeps very few possessions that he keeps on a sentimentality basis, but this is one of them.
Effect: The User gains increase durability in all equipped items and reduces their equipment break chance from actions by 25%. If the User's equipment is "destroyed", it is instead broken. In addition, the user gains a shield skill point whenever the User gains a weapon skill point from training or skill use.
Gender: Female Age: 22 Race: Human
Ciara thought she was smart. Or at least, she was above average. Even though she neglected her studies, from her early age she managed to top her classes all the time, from math to science to english. Seen as a prodigy both from her family and her peers, Ciara often wandered off and fooled around with her mischevious gang of friends rather than truly make an effort to make her talents shine, something that her family wanted her to do but could never force her.
She was one of many who fell prey to the mistaken hubris born from an early headstart. As soon as she entered high school, she was faced with the reality of consequence. Going straight from the top of year level all the way down to the struggling bottom, she never quite recovered and despite her best efforts to patch up the growing leakages within her academic knowledge, only really managed to climb up to C+ level.
It was a shock to her pride, but it was far too late for Ciara to really get back on the academic race. Much of her studies fell wayside, and Ciara sorted to her old habits of hiking. Much of her actions were still hamstrung by both financial and academic pressures, and after graduating college with a sub-par humanities degree, she struggled to find a stable job within an overly competitive job market. She had to resort to simple services and part-time work to offset her livelihood.
But she wasn't without her connections, and the time spent fooling around on the internet and online gaming did land her a rich friend with rather exquisite interests and famously known for his reckless generosity. When Ciara turned 23, her friend bought her the VR headset - or rather, gave it to her after playing it himself and deciding that the game just gave him a headache. Though Ciara was never too invested in the VR field either, she thought that she would just try the game for a few days and if she wasn't too interested either, she would just sell the thing and buy tickets for the next WWE match or something.
And, well...she was stuck there. The whole 'stuck in game' never really struck Ciara as too mortifying, as many of her peers did. It sure beat supermarket attending, huh? Plus, Ciara was pretty sure she could get away with welfare payments and unemployment benefits, plus there would probably be a class-action lawsuit that could further offset student loans...hmm? Oh yes, she should probably get out of here first.
Class: Paladin (Planned Battlecleric)
58 - Base Stat 2 - Paladin Bonus 5 - Oligam's Longsword
34 - Base Stat 2 - Paladin Bonus 5 - Oligam's Longsword
30 - Base Stat 5 - Power Treads 5 - Gauntlet of Might 5 - Oligam's Longsword
15 - Base Stat 5 - Oligam's Longsword -20% - Steel Full Plate Armour -10% - Carved Kite Shield
Aggravate (1) - User makes a single target attack the caster for 30 seconds. 50MP. Action Cost: 1 - Cool Down: 30 seconds
Bless (2) - User blesses target, increasing their Natural Resistance by 5% for 30 seconds. 100MP. Action Cost: 2 - Cool Down: 1 minute
Magic Shield(4) - User gains a magical shield that reduces the next physical damage by 20%. 150MP. Action Cost: 4 - Cool Down: 1 minute
Even the Odds (5) - User deals magical damage to a single target equal to user's currently missing health. 300MP. Action Cost: 6 - Cool Down: 2 minutes
Holy Fury (7) - User gains +10% Strength and +10% Agility for a few moments. 350MP. Action Cost: 4 - Cool Down: 3 minutes
Emit Purity (8) - User glows with silvery light for a few moments, dealing low damage and slowing down all nearby targets. 300MP. Action Cost: 4 - Cool Down: 2 minutes
Bless Weapon (9) - User enhances their main weapon, making it deal low spell damage for the next 3 normal attacks in additional to normal damages. 200MP. Action Cost: 3 - Cool Down: 1 minute
Radiating Challenge (10) - User declares target an opponent. The target may only directly attack the User until one or the other is dead. 500MP. Action Cost: 5 - Cool Down: 3 minutes
Greater Bless (11) - User blesses target, increasing their Natural Resistance by 10% for 30 seconds. 200MP. Action Cost: 4 - Cool Down: 2 minutes
Mass Aggravate (13) - User makes all opponents nearby attack the user for a 30 seconds. 250MP. Action Cost: 3 - Cool Down: 1 minute
Repel the Enemy (14) - User lets out a burst of energy, pushing all opponents away. 200MP. Action Cost: 4 Cool down:1 minute
Valor (1/Paladin) - User dashes forward, ignoring all movement status effects. Does not remove status effects. 100MP. Action Cost: 2 - Cool Down: 1 minute
Shield Raise (1/Paladin) - Shield User only. User raises a shield, reducing incoming ranged attack damage for 30 seconds. 50MP. Action Cost: 1 - Cool Down: 1 minute
Meditate (5/Universal) - User focuses for few a minutes, recovering either 200HP or 200MP. 0MP. Action Cost: 2 - Cool Down: 3 Minutes
Castling (5/Paladin) - User grabs a nearby friendly and pulls them aside and replaces their spot. 100MP. Action Cost: 2 - Cool Down: 1 Minute
Living Wall (5/Paladin) - User steps infront of the target. Next attack by the target is automatically redirected to the user. 100MP. Action Cost: 2 - Cool Down: 1 Minute
Will Breaker (5/Paladin) - User hits a single target with their weapon, dealing medium concussive damage and stunning it. 100MP. Action Cost: 3 - Cool Down: 2 Minutes
Greater Dash (10/Universal) - User dashes to a close location incredibly quickly. +20% chance of Evasion. 150MP. Action Cost: 2 - Cool Down: 1 Minute
Shield Bash (10/Paladin) - User bashes a target with their shield, stunning it heavily. 300MP. Action Cost: 3 - Cool Down: 2 minutes
Oath (15/Paladin) - Every day, User may choose and swear an oath. User gains effects of the chosen oath until midnight. Oath may only be used once a day. Oaths may generate Valor Points (VPs), a unique point resource. Some Oaths may require User to spend VPs to activate. 0MP.
[ Uphold thy honor, at all cost ] - User gains +2 Valor Points. [ Accept any challenge, no matter the odds ] - During the effect, User must fight against a target that has higher level than the User does. If User wins, User gains +4 Valor Points. [ Suffer not the witch to live ] - During the effect, User deals 10% increased damage against Spell-using opponents and gains 10% Spell resistance. If User slays a Spells-user, User gains +1 Valor Points. [ Abhor the unclean ] - During the effect, User gains +20% damage when using Paladin Actions. Costs -1 Valor Points. [ For Justice and light ] - During the effect, Spells from Holy Discipline cost 50% less MP. Costs -10 Valor Points.
Vengeful Smite (3) - User has a 20% chance to deal low spell damage to target that has managed to deal melee damage against user. Passive. Fortress of Wood (6) - User's Natural Resistance is increased to 11% permanently. Passive. Fortress of Stone (12) - User's Natural Resistance is increased to 12% permanently. Passive.
Bounty (1/Universal) - User gains D10 extra Renn whenever they receive Renn from GM. Passive. Greater Bounty (5/Universal) - User gains D10 extra Renn whenever they receive Renn from GM. Stacks with Bounty. Passive. Grand Bounty (10/Universal) - User gains D10 extra Renn whenever they receive Renn from GM. Stacks with Bounty and Greater Bounty. Passive.
For Honor (5/Paladin) - Whenever user takes physical damage greater than 20% of their maximum HP, user gains +5 Strength for a few minutes. Stacks. Passive. For Glory (5/Paladin) - Whenever user takes magical damage greater than 20% of their maximum HP, user gains +5 Intelligence for a few minutes. Stacks. Passive. Honor and Glory (5/Paladin) - If For Honor and For Glory both were activated in the recent times, user gains immunity against physical and magical damages for a few moments. Passive.
Inspiring Presence (1/Paladin) - Whenever User takes damage, user has a 5% chance to either recover 200HP or have target nearby friendly gain 150HP. Passive. Aura of Confidence (10/Paladin) - Nearby friendlies of the User gains resistance against negative emotions. Passive.
Sturdy Clothes (Common) Raincoat (Common) (Prot: Soaked) Power Treads (Uncommon) (+5 STR) Teleport Ring (Common) (Teleport 1/Day)
Steel Full Plate (Common) (17U/19P/21B/14C, -20% AGI) Gauntlet of Might (Uncommon) (+5 STR, +100 HP) Helm of Resilience (Common) (2U/5P/5B)
Diluted Red Potion x2 (Common) (+15% Health) Sentry Ward (Common) (Alerts against nearby enemies 1hour) Smoke Bomb x5 (Common) (-ACC/EVA for small area)
Armour shattered. Supplies depleted. But she had her shield, and had given them her word.
Ciara looked blank-faced behind her helm, scanning through the corridors filled with unreceding darkness. Even if this was the outer layer of the sewer dungeon, the stench was enough to rot one's vision as well as their smell. The helm's visor was dented and broken, acid and sharp claw attacks taking their toll. She would have taken it off, had it not been one of the only armour pieces that was still intact.
Splashes, then the emergence of a hooded figure with a visible limp. He was back. "Anything?" Ciara said, her voice cracked and tired. Coffee. She needed coffee. She wasn't taking the stat reductions that signified the sleep mechanics kicking in, but her body ached for it. The hood peeled back and revealed a shaking head. "Previous entry point's cut off, looks like we need to go through the sewers proper." "Maze?" "Yep." "God's a bitch." "Christian?" "Atheist."
How did she get here? Bunch of idiots decided to run off on their own, tackled a dungeon far beyond their expertise and apparently their intelligence, gotten lost and called for help. Or that was what the mission description said, anyway. It was a surprise timed quest for five, but only four came along. They decided to go ahead anyway, with the time constraints ticking down and NPCs pleading them to go. Ciara was there for the larger portion of the hefty bounty, but the quest sure made her eat her decision.
They took Joker when he was scouting out, cut his routes and ripped through him like ravenous overgrown rats. Poor guy didn't know what hit him, until he was covered in angry tooth and claw. They went for Krem and Hedon next, while they were breaking the perimeter that held the hostages inside. Specifically, a hidden boss that tore through Krem like paper, slicing his health down to zero in one fell swoop. Damn well could have taken Hedon with the same strike too, had she not dived stupidly in front of the blow and broken most of her armour.
Hedon wordlessly looked to the string of NPCs, and Ciara followed his gaze. All 'round about teenager age, just the right enough maturity to stay quiet, but apparently not enough to not wander into an obvious death trap of a dungeon. Ciara used to scowl at them, but now she was just too tired to. Or maybe she grew too familiar with them, having been in their position before. Bravely stupid, stupidly brave. Thinking they were undefeatable, until defeated. Except, well, without the murderous rampage of sewer monsters.
"Good news is," Hedon said, bringing Ciara's attention back, "there's a door near here with a lever on the opposite. Think the mechanic is supposed to be, one person leads hostages through the maze, the others hold the horde off, then flick the lever to let the defenders out. Bad news is..."
He didn't have to finish. Ciara wanted to growl, wanted to complain. But she just sighed again instead. "Well, bad news or not...let's get this stupid thing over and done with." She stretched, downed her potions and monitored her stats. Drat. Fatigue debuffs now.
"We can just...run. Abandon the quest." Hedon suggested uneasily. "Better odds than you alone down here." "Yeah? Well I could switch off this stupid game, take a dip in a jacuzzi, sip a double espresso and deal with any of this idiocy when I actually give a damn." Ciara snarked, then adjusted the helm to move her squashed bang out of her eyes. She looked back at the NPCs, who had drawn closer to the pair now, with eyes too real for Ciara to ignore. Then she said with a sniff, "But you know. Immersion."
Hedon nodded slowly grim-faced but understanding. As the scout left to lead the NPCs into the exodus beyond, she turned and drew her coffin-like shield, its heavy iron studs glinting stoicly in the darklight. Ciara shoed a line on the ground with the sewer-mud, and listening to the footsteps of a thousand teeth chattering on the hallways, sunk her shield down.
She will hold.
She got out, in the end. Hedon's conjecture was right, and the scout had brought backup just in time to pull Ciara from the clutches of the overwhelming swarm. Although the NPCs wanted to thank her, Ciara quietly took her share of the bounty and supported by Hedon, headed to the nearest inn. All she muttered was something about missing test revision before passing out.
She ended up spending all that Renn just to gain her broken equipment back and a fresh set of not-sewer-smelling clothes. Even though the game assured her that there was no "sewer smell attribute", she could swear she could smell the stench all the same. God damn it. It was like student loans all over again. Spent a day down in hell and all she got was a title and a stupid T-shirt.
Added Actions: Shield Raise (25) Inspiring Presence (25) Will Breaker (125) For Honor (125) For Glory (125) Honor and Glory (125) Living Wall (125)
Added Spells: Magic Shield (100) Even the Odds (125) Fortress of Stone (300) Mass Aggrevate (325) Repel the Enemy (350)
Ciel's malnutrition at birth made him look much younger and much shorter than his age, and other's attitude to treat him like a child annoys him. Ciel still hopes that drinking enough milk will make him grow taller and look more imposing. Alas... Ciel's preferred attire is usually tough leather and nearly fully covers him from head to toe, although most of the times he just wears whatever is given to him, which is just plain cloth.
Defeatist and shy, Ciel has a strict line between his friends and his enemies, acting quiet and aloof towards those he does not know. Unless Ciel has an especially strong stance in terms of morality or decision making, Ciel will act conflict avoidant in terms of decision making. He has trouble speaking and will stutter a lot, which is partially why he stays silent for most of the time. However, this does not mean that Ciel is not expressive or cold, as Ciel will do his best to help others he views as friends. Ciel is easily flustered and although he will appreciate compliments, doesn't actually know how to handle attention. Ciel is industrious and gets restless if there isn't anything to do, even if it is menial tasks. Most of the time, this means scouting nearby places or eavesdropping on others to see if he can help them without being noticed.
However, Ciel is surprisingly vengeful and will viciously hunt down all those who betrayed him, the Crown and the Lalunes alike, and especially those who came from his original town of Naravini. When enraged, Ciel's usually calm disposition will turn into a clinical cruelty, aiming to tear enemies apart both emotionally and physically. Personal morality mostly hinges upon trying to find the best for the people he has decided to care about, even if it means he has to do morally questionable actions to reach that end. Ciel is painfully aware of his amorality, and beats himself up over his need for vengence; but in the spur of the moment, he can't help but let his suppressed temper rise.
Ciel longs to feel like a part of a group, even if he tries to convince himself that he's better off alone. He has a complex about his skin condition that makes him difficult to feel tactile sensations and pain in general, and will pretend that he is able to feel things more than he really can. Ciel is good at keeping up appearances and insist everything is fine, but deep inside he knows that something fundamental died within him.
Ciel's hobbies usually involve going up to the highest vantage point and gazing out at the landscape or the stars. He's heard that apparently the stars were supposed to represent tales of epic battles and flawless heroes, but has never gotten a chance to hear them. Perhaps out here Ciel would be able to find someone who does know.
Naravini was a sprawling economic powerhouse during its prime. The city itself grew initially over a cave system within a frigid sea crag as a measure of safety from bandits. Initially a city-state, it joined with the nearby Kingdom of Praxim in exchange for their powerful arcane knowledge and alliance. When trade started to flow through from West to East, the city's tight control over the few safe roads that passed through the surrounding mountain ranges became powerful economic assets. Along with the merchants and annual fairs, mercenary security troupes formed to accompany those who sought safety from the inevitable bandits that patrolled the old roads. But as travellers started to search easier ways to pass through the mountain ranges, Naravini's economic center was threatened.
The lord of Naravini, Baron Teshmire, came up with a 'solution'. In secret, he hired the most dubious troupe of Naravini, a family-run guild of the Lalunes. With a wealth of hush money, he ordered them to strike down every adventuring party that ventured the mountains. As the legend of the ghosts of the 'haunted' mountains grew, so did Naravini's wealth and Teshmire's greed. The Lalunes became a staple for Teshmire's operations, some of which included abduction of children to indoctirnate them at a young age. With a shadowy force to enforce his might, Teshmire ruled over Naravini unopposed.
But sure enough, the Lalunes could not stop the adventurers from progressing entirely - and soon a breakthrough was found that allowed safe passage across the previously uncrossable mountains and crags. With power slipping away and vengence on his heel, Teshmire's growing paranoia made him take the rest of his still-vast reserves of wealth and flee deep into the Naravini cave systems, never to be found. The Lalunes, now without a sponsor, warped into an autonomous criminal group of contract killers.
Naravini fell into disrepair and in place of merchants and seafarers, pirates and bandits seeking refuge from prosecution within the sea fortress-like city of Naravini filled the streets. Even the most foolish adventurers seeking to find 'the lost gold of Naravini' came to fear the madness of the rotting city. When it became clear that the once proud city of Naravini was turning into a haven of criminals, the Praxim Crown sent a force of elite magi and knights to crack down. Although it initially seemed like the Crown would take the city through sheer might, the criminal underworld mainly spearheaded by the Lalunes used the city's labryrinthine caverns and streets to their advantage. The city became stagnated in a gruelling quagmire - fights between the Crown forces and gangs were constant, and every day seemed like a miracle that the city remained somehow standing.
Some argue that the war that wages within Naravini is a waste of resources, others believe it is a necessary means to root out the criminal underworld for good. Only those who pull the strings from behind know the true nature of the battle for Naravini.
Ciel was born into one of the most turbulent times of port city of Naravini, stuck between the war between the Crown and the criminal underbelly. Perhaps had he been born into a kinder environment, his natural talent for arcane magic and curiosity could have been fostered; but instead, it became a curse that painted him as a candidate for the Lalunes. Abandoned at birth due to the dire cirumstances, he was inducted into the Lalunes as a responsive measure against the arcane attacks of the Crown magi.
Dropped into a world of desperate competition but naturally disposed to concede than fight, Ciel grew up being content with the smallest share and instead seeking affirmation and belonging. Ciel was blindly loyal to the guild, throwing himself into the most dangerous attacks against the Crown forces in service of a guild that had apparently saved him from the streets. He didn't care how cruel or how degenerate his actions were, as long as there was a clear distinction of 'us' and 'them'.
However, when his group was ambushed during an attack against a Crown stakeout, he was trapped within a cave and blockaded by the Crown forces. At first he awaited rescue as he had ensured a message was relayed back to the Lalunes. But when a message of a blank note was returned to him, it became apparent that the Lalunes had abandoned him. Ciel realized that the Lalunes were never the saviors that he had fantasized, nor was he any better for serving them. Ciel was just a pawn and a disposable blade now past its usefulness.
Heartbroken and betrayed, Ciel quietly allowed himself to be captured by the Crown forces. The judge took pity on Ciel and instead of an execution sent him to nearby quiet cities to serve his peonage. Recently released early for his good behavior, Ciel doesn't quite know what to do. Ciel was aware of his past crimes and was aware that he can't ever go back. Naravini was still in gridlock and there was little Ciel could do to exact vengence on anyone either. Ciel has been serving menial jobs in local military troupes, as well as help out local farmers in penance. But the walls of Naravini were always in the back of his mind, daring him to enter again.
Stats: Strength (STR): D Vitality (VIT): C Dexterity (DEX): B Intellect (INT): B Wisdom (WIS): E Charisma (CHA): F
Resistances: - Pain, especially tactile senses - Minor Cold - Minor Darkness (nightvision to a limited extent, can't see past artificial darkness)
Equipment Fey & Fel: Twin daggers Ciel received from a local blacksmith when he helped them get rid of bats from a cave. They're plain daggers with casting ambers in their hilt, doubling as arcane tools. Aside from occassional rust and wear, the blade is relatively well-kept.
Minor Herbalist Kit: Tools and small bandages to allow basic salves and poutices to be made from scavenged herbs. The toolkit itself is mostly improvised from various tools from other kits.
Shortbow w/ Arrows: A plain wooden shortbow with a handful of arrows for long range combat.
Lalune guild badge: A small copper badge with a flying owl. Has no uses since Ciel was effectively disavowed by the guild, but he has since kept it for sentimentality purposes.
Blank messaging paper: A grubby, little scrap of paper used by Lalunes to message each other. Similarily kept for sentimentality purposes, in spite rather than fondness.
Skills & Spells Mark: Single out a target and set a corrupting Mark on them. Gain armor penetration and critical hit multiplier against a Marked target. Marks persist until the marked target disengages, either the user or the target is defeated. A maximum of 3 Marks can be maintained. This skill has a Mana cost.
Vanish: Disappear from detection with a camoflaging spell. This can be used out of combat to increase stealth effectivity, disappearing nearly entirely from visual detection for the user only. This can be used in combat to disengage an enemy and escape combat. Fails against enemies with high detection skills, and is ineffective against arcane or thermal detection. This skill has a Mana cost and Cooldown.
Execute: Attack with the intent to kill, targeting existing wounds to ensure a kill. Deal bonus damage against opponents under 50% HP, scaling with critical hit multiplier. If used against a Marked target, consume the Mark to recover large amount of stamina, and immediately reset cooldown of Vanish. This skill has a Cooldown.
Silence: Within a small field, suppress hostile magic. Completely negates effects of weak magic, but has reduced effectivity against magic stronger than the user. The user may completely concentrate on Silence to increase effectivity at the cost of continuous Mana drain and inability to react to incoming attacks. This skill has a Mana cost and Cooldown.
Hidden Fangs (passive) : The user deals bonus damage when attacking from stealth or when using concealed weapons against unaware targets. Against Marked targets, deal additional armour piercing damage and recover mana.
Dynamism (passive): The user is especially focused against their Marked targets, and gains increased dodge chance against attacks from Marked targets. Becomes more effective over time, but is reset when attacking unmarked targets or when focus is disturbed via status effects.
With a short and thin stature and blank look, December looks like a doll with too little stuffing. Her body is covered in old scratches and bruises, especially down her forearms. She is rarely seen in neat clothing, although she sometimes does grudgingly tidy up. Her movements are slow and flowing, like she is permanently inebierated.
Age: 19 Gender: F Element: Darkness
Personality: Air-headedness or thoughtfulness? Apathy or stoicism? For December, it's probably both. December is quiet and aloof, often hanging back from action and avoiding confrontations. She is a follower type who goes along with whatever seems to be the most convinent at the time, but often gets lost in her own thoughts and blanks out. She is hard to excite but easy to please, being content with the most frugal conditions as long as she gets a plenty of sleep and doesn't get pushed around too much. However, behind her mask of indifference, December is surprisingly bitter and cynical, especially against her family. She feels lonely and helpless, but feels compelled to help others in worse positions. She is troubled by doubt and low self-esteem, and she often goes day to day living on pure spite against herself.
Bio: Born into relative wealth, December was a trouble child. Not because she was disobedient or rowdy, but quite the opposite. Although the Inanis family was in a prestigious service position and had served the Council for several years, December's parents were secretly ardent opposers against the Council. They wished for a spirited child destined to take down the Council. Instead, they would often find their child lying around, completely still and staring into nothingness. She was silent, anti-social and reserved to the point that she was mistaken for being a mute. She received frequent beatings both from her parents to try and "toughen her up", with little success. December learned to bury her emotions deeper under her usual guise of blankness, as well as try and take care of herself in face of neglect and isolation (neither of which truly worked). December often befriended birds in lieu of human interactions, her favourites being ravens.
December's troubles did not stop there, however. At her Awakening, the crystal didn't function at first. Actually, December was spitefully suppressing her magic, no matter how many times her parents would try to "convince" her. So December's apparent inability to conduct magic was buried under bribery, and her official element was noted as 'Fire'. As a punishment, her parents poisoned the ravens in the park and forced December to bury them. When December attacked her parents in a fit of uncharacteristic rage, they had her restrained and forced to go through the Awakening once again. Darkness. A writhing, chaotic and powerful aspect of Darkness, kept in control underneath December's calm surface.
Suddenly her parents were very, very interested. In terms of raw potential, December was unlike many had seen. But due to December both conciously and sub-conciously supressing her magic, combined with December's habit of skipping regimen in favor of naps, it had rarely surfaced. December was then given a choice. Continue to pretend to be a Fire mage and be sent off to serve a Count, or foster power within the Academy. Seeing a lesser of two evils, December decided to attend the Academy. Perhaps she would find relative peace and quiet there.
Habits: December tends to compulsively scratch her scars when she is nervous, leading to even more scarring. As such, she tends to wear several layers of clothes as a preventative measure. She is also very self-concious about her scars, and rarely wears anything short of winter attire to cover them, even in hot weather. December tends to leave things unfinished, especially in terms of cleaning. December washes her clothes, but leaves them lying around. She sorts her belongings, but tends to leave a majority of it as 'Other'. December finishes most of her sentences, but December's few personal belongings include a hairpin that doubles as a lockpick. December picked up a strange habit of trying to absent-mindedly lockpick whenever possible, but so far has only been able to successfully unlock her mother's jewlery box. Her other belongings include a pouch of bird seeds, preserved raven feathers, and two suspiciously expensive rings.
Full Name: Arlene Nadalia Senn Titles: Lady Senn Nicknames: Lemon, Lemonade to her friends (because apparently lemonade was a thing in medival times)
Personality: Austere and stalwart, Arlene personifies an immovable glacier. She is rarely surprised and will almost always be the one to follow a code to the letter, at least in the view of the higher authorities. Under scrutiny, Arlene acts the part of a model student and is nearly always called upon to discipline peers. But for those who Arlene views favourably, she is always there to offer silent help and lets them go.
Arlene puts large emphasis on family pride and the concept of inheritance, which she strangely doesn't impose on Aria. Insulting the Senn name is the easiest way to earn her wrath, even if Arlene does not act upon it. Instead, it is manifested in a cold shoulder and a conspicuously intensified monitoring on her part, which usually cumulates in getting into trouble or being forced to extra gruelling training.
Arlene is seen in every available training, especially physical training. When she is not training she is seen patrolling down the corridors and keeping close watch over trouble makers, and when she is not doing that, she is helping teachers train younger peers or away on civil missions. However, she apparently always has time for Aria, whether to help her work out personal problems or related to management, with insights in both relationships and philosophy.
Wrapped beneath layers of both self-control and anger, Arlene is a very tired person. Pushed right from her childhood all the way to the eve of her youthful years, Arlene wonders if she had not been a Successor and not thrust in such an environment, what she would have been like. But just as soon, she will regard even the thought as weak and cowardice. She acts surprisingly vunerable when complemented and even more if she is pampered, but will recover quickly to reinstate her decorum.
Arlene apparently likes the country crests and strategic maps, but strangely her gifts are instead precious flowers and plants.
Legacy: Successor of Kay. In line with Kay's legend of bottomless stamina, Arlene's powers surround defensive abilities, shining out especially in attrition and territory control. She can create barriers and shields made out of spiritual light, cutting off enemy advance and reinforcing allied positions. Although visually similar to Aria's light-based abilities, these spiritual lights don't seem to have any connections to the element. Combining temporary terraforming and buff amplification when in the vicinity of her allies, she can secure hardpoints and act as crucial pivots in large scale battles. Her actual stat are below average out of the roster, certainly falling behind stat powerhouse characters such as Lucien or HP sponges like Bors - but given her high scaling with equipment and skills that frequently grant invincibility frames, her effective tanking ability becomes exponentially powerful if her niche and complexity is used correctly.
Interestingly, Kay's legacy seem to offer mostly raw endurance, elemental resistance and some potential magical abilities that could have instead taken form as a berserking style that cares nothing more than hitting the enemy down until one of them falls. These powers, however, have been modified and honed by Arlene's personality of restraint and discipline that focused Kay's power and bravado into the strategic focus in the game.
Mechanically, Arlene is a reliable tanking character to introduce some of the more complex mechanics of the game, signaling the strategic element of the game that reward a methodical, team-based style. Her death in the mid-game removes much of the powerful team formation and invincibility skills that previously cushioned player mistakes, marking a mid-game difficulty spike where the game becomes much more unforgiving. Due to the player base learning quickly that her death was unavoidable, Arlene was usually neglected in terms of training her up as they regarded her as a 'dead investment'. Throwing an underleveled Arlene as bait to distract powerful foes was a common strategy to those disinterested in Arlene's character, spawning community jokes like 'Suicide Arlene'. The fact that higher skill trees locked behind impossible affection levels didn't help.
Normal Route: Arlene was one of the very first characters in design and was meant to serve as a long time companion to the player character, with a fully fleshed out backstory and quite an extensive route also built for her. However, wider media coverage deemed a gay pairing with the female lead to be 'unsavoury' and 'degenerate' and pressured the developers to remove the character from the game. Although the RE/Birth's community backed the developers in keeping Arlene as a prominent character in the final release of the game, the developers decided to avoid further controversies entirely and simply relegated Arlene to a soulless side character whose job was mostly to provide exposition and in-game tips. As a consequence, her story is cut abruptly and is killed off-screen in the mid-game, regardless of the player character's actions/routes. The manner in which she died garnered some backlash, but it was generally understood that it was mostly a pacifist solution.
The remaining story roots before the ret-con was still left intact as it was too ingrained in both the need for a beginning tutorial character and Arthur's own backstory. As one of the oldest families in the courts of Caerlon, the Senn family has an effective tenure within the royal council. Having seen several wars, battles against the corruption and disasters in their time, they are well respected among their peers - that is, they would have. Having taken the brunt of a bad famine a few generations prior along with mismanagement of their fiefdom, the Senn family has been ostracized for their fall from grace and have continuously been assaulted with calls for their expulsion.
The result was that most of the extended family of Senn had given up attempting to hold power, having no proper leadership, save for a particularily bitter blonde girl by the name of Arlene. Having grown up with tales of lost wealth and having to deal with the snobbishness of the other families that were supposedly superior to them, much of Arlene's life was a fight for her family pride driven by seething spite. When she was identified as a Successor, she did not lose any time in turning herself into a political bargaining chip to secure her family's position. Her vigilant insistence in reclaiming her House made many enemies in other bloodlines as well as her own - but it also inspired respect and a silent solidarity in many others.
Arlene initially acts outwardly indifferent to Arthur, even if Aria chooses the most friendly dialogue options and gifts her the most lavish presents. Although Arlene begrudgingly agrees to pair up in missions and train Aria, much of her attention is apparently instead directed towards training. Yet in many encounters where Aria is in trouble, Arlene will sweep in to defend her. When she hears about Aria's preferences in clothes or hair style, Arlene can be found trying to buy such clothes in the marketplace. If confronted about this, Arlene will ardently deny that any personal feelings were involved.
Regardless of the routes Arthur chooses, Arlene is seen supporting Arthur's decisions. Even when Arlene is acting cold in the earlier parts of the game, in-game dialogue and scattered lore suggests that Arlene continuously vouched for Arthur's leadership. Arlene knew that, although she finds it rather unfair that she is relegated to an auxillary to Arthur despite her efforts in keeping the Senn house alive, as a Successor to the holy ability to cleanse the corruption Arthur is the only one who could save her homeland. And for that, Arlene willingly break her famously stout pride in order to serve Arthur.
By the mid-game, if Arlene's affection is high enough, Arlene will confess that she deeply respects Arthur. She hints not-so-subtly that the mantle of responsibility should be in Arthur's hands, but is also simultaneously aware of how gruelling it can be. Depending on the route the player chooses, Arlene will die either in trying to divert the attention of a pursuing army or defending a village from a rampaging monster. Arlene will make preparations for a hand-over regardless of affection levels however, with a heartfelt letter tucked away within family documents, apparently knowing that she will most likely die in an intensifying political climate.
Definitely not Atalanta from F/GO Pretend that the bird in the background is an owl, because Olas would get sad if you call him an eagle.
Name: Gael, the Unwilt Epitaph Weapon: Bow and Arrows Combat Orientation: Balanced
Primary: Given by GM. Your character will have significantly higher resistance to these elements, and the aptitude to learn spell/ skills of these elements
Wind - The ever-changing and ever-shifting element. Whilst most other elements are rather generalist, this element is specialized for characters with a focus on speed. Has many utility and attack skill and spell.
Light - Having an all-embracing property, it specializes on wide-spread effects, be it healing or damaging. A very well-balanced element in terms of offense-defense-support spell / skill availability. Water - The source of all life. It specializes in support and healing department, though some offensive spells are available.
- Weapon Summon: The ability to materialize your weapon of choice at will - Superior Dexterity: Your character starts with increased accuracy and skill with weapon handling, and has higher aptitude in increasing this stats - Superior Strength: Your character starts with increased muscle power, and has higher aptitude in increasing this stats - Blessing of the Forest King: When outside of battle, the energy "Olas of the Forest" exudes will repair the damages done to your physical body. Greater wounds take longer to heal, but anything short of missing limbs and/or organs should heal given enough time.
[indent] [indent] Tier 1: - Superior Agility: Your character starts with increased flexibility and maneuverability, and has higher aptitude in increasing this stats - Target Definition: Once Gael spots a target, she is able to track it through obstacles such as darkness, magic barriers or invisibility. They are represented as sillouttes with white lines to track their movement since they were last seen. Wears off if Gael does not continue to track their movements.[/b] [/indent][/indent]
"Shrewd, discerning and alacritous, this one intends to last."
Lenicivus ves Cteline, "Lein" Former Helmsman of SSS Rochambeau Estranged of the Shardlands
Skills "Best Damned Helmsman" - Lein's good at steering those flying tubs; really good. His natural talents in astronautics, cultivated from early childhood in the wind tunnels of the Shardlands and most of his life spent behind the steering wheel all coalesce into an instinctual competence at any sort of vehicular navigation. Direct combat isn't necessarily his speciality, as his career as a smuggler has taught him to profit off running over mutineering. But when the chips are down and one needs an exit strategy, Lein will always be ready to fly.
Crossbow Marksman - Lein's primary role at hunting parties back in the Shardlands was the bait, but he was also trained in marksmanship to take down smaller enemies. By smaller enemies, it can either mean the occasional flying lizard, or the occasional raider foolish enough to appear down the iron sights.
Hardened Survivalist - Don't ask why he's taken up cooking or why he's good at finding food. He'll just going to laugh and say he'll never tell.
Equipment Arm prosthetic: A prosthetic of bone and rope, honed with a considerable amount of craftsmanship. It's not the prettiest around, but it makes up for the lack of polish with fine motor control as well as containing hidden compartments for a switch-blade and some poison pellets. Yvelin scarf: An enchanted scarf with a series of bells attached to the end of it. Given to Lein as per Yvelin custom, it has natural cleansing wards that filters any air passed through it. The bells chime at the presence of significant wind in a distinct pattern attributable for each scarf. Goggles: A goggle made of thick glass and leather. This one's well-worn but has since been a long time when it was last used. Gale-ripper crossbow: A steel-reinforced crossbow with low weight but high draw power. Its steel ammunition is designed to cut through wind and thick armour, but the tensile strength has since been toned down by Lein so as to not puncture ship hulls. Fancy tail brush: For the sophisticated and vain.
Weaknesses Arrogant and weak to flattery, he'll do much to prove himself as a competent pilot and take on dangerous tasks just to prove to himself that he could. Although his actual skill has kept up with his ego thus far, his constant compulsions for panache might just outlay his stakes... He has much repressed guilt over failing his duties as helmsman in the Rochambeau, and his ego is a manifestation of deflecting blame. For if one is supposedly flawless at their work, how could they have possibly caused such a calamity? Although he's also 'pardoned' for his crimes and he's so far only taken jobs outside the ire of the Navy, he's still on the hook for a number of charges. As long as he acts his part in being beholden to a nameless benefactor's beck and call, he's good in the eyes of the Navy. So long as he doesn't act out of order, that is...
Backstory Hailing from the flying islands of the Shardlands, Lein had long since understood the meaning of survival. He grew up watching his neighbors thrown into flesh-ripping wind-tunnels by local warlords, village islands being smashed to pieces by rampaging astral beasts, and entire tribes falling under the unfortunate vice of delisium abuse. His family was the few that kept to the old traditions, even if it meant being driven into the coldest, inhospitable parts of the Shardlands by ousting warlords that constantly fought for delisium geysers. The Yvelin have endured much suffering, Lein was taught, and they would endure as long as necessary. And it would be up to Lein to carry on the torch.
But Lein had different ideas. Ever since he had glimpsed at a stormless sky he dreamt of being taken up into the void and conquer the very edges of the horizons, travelling the world and seeing other worlds not filled with poisoned winds and screams in the distance. Although his carefree attitude and aptitude in gliding curried much favour with his tribe, he was always missing in important gatherings and celebrations. His aloofness conflicted with his family's priorities of preservation and tradition, and no amount of cajoling or berating could stop Lein from sneaking out from his storm-watching post to watch warships sailing to and fro. Such a friction came to a head when Lein became of age, when he rejected his rite of passage. He had seen what delisium did to others, and with delisium abuse slowly creeping into his own family, Lein instead chose to take his chances with a passing smuggling ship.
Thankfully, Lein's skills with the glider translated well into astral seafaring, quickly climbing up from a deckhand to helmsman. He never took to captaining ships and moved between ships and allegiances quickly. Nonetheless, he grew a small following of infamy from his navigational talents and tendancy to agree to the most dangerous heists. He eventually settled on The Rochambeau, which to his description, was the "dumbest bunch of hooligans saved by sheer luck".
Not much is known about Lein's last voyage on The Rochambeau - not the cargo, the objective, nor even its navigational history over the course of three months. All that is known is that a passing trading ship happened on The Rochambeau, run aground against a rocky cluster. Upon exploration, they found a dessicated corpse of a void Leviathan, entire crew emaciated from hunger and dead from delisium poisoning, and the arm bones of a Yvelin, picked clean. They also discovered an imprisoned Lein, clutching unto an empty vial of delisium in one arm and the other amputated and missing. Even under interrogation, Lein did not elaborate, simply stating that he had a "disagreement with the crew" and it "cost them more than it cost [him]". Afterwards, he was arrested for a rather staggering number or charges, but after a dubious bargaining plea and a couple smuggling runs under an unmarked banner, Lein was pardoned. What exactly he smuggled, Lein does not care to elaborate or even has cared to find out.
Lein disappeared from much of the smuggling scene, only to reappear with a prosthetic arm and acting as if nothing happened. Only, he ran mostly safe runs (still legally dubious but arguably deniable) and a motivation to accrue as much wealth as possible. After he heard of the blockade on the Shardlands, Lein asked around for a sponsor to break through the blockade and retrieve Yvelin refugees stuck inside, but with tensions running high between the militant forces within the Fragment, not much has come of it. Besides, he has shown a particular interest in delisium and a potential cure to its effects...
"On one hand, the mere existence of the Fragment that once used to be called the Shardlands is a miracle. On the other hand, none of its inhabitants would agree with you."
The atmosphere of the Shardlands is far less defined than other established Fragments, to the extent that the upper atmosphere is dominated by astral creatures. Astral energy readily filters all the way down to the surface, and the local flora and fauna have long since adapted to compete with astral beasts - giant burrowing bears and flying centipedes often have territorial fights in the mountains of the Shardlands.
What common logic of gravity seems to be reversed here, as landmasses tend to be tugged upwards by an invisible force, and floating islands held down by giant plant roots are a common sight. The geology is porous, with wind tunnels several hundred meters in diameter spewing powerful winds of dust and rock into the atmosphere. Traditional buildings that stretch across large tracts of lands is impossible here, and instead the local populace, the Yvelin, have instead developed a sporadic residence on the floating islands. 'Land traversal' is an impossibility in most circumstances; travel is often performed with hardened gliders and airships that ride the wind currents across the terrain. This, however, also makes the Shardlands an ideal place for shipwrights and astrologers alike to study the effects of void traversal - provided they find a safe place away from the violent wildlife.
The unfortunate history of the Shardlands is intertwined with the land's most abundant and arguably most cursed bounty, zephrite. Typically found deep underground, it is often carried by the wind Moulins to the surface atmosphere, where it reacts with the astral energy to create a potent drug-making material called delisium. In its raw form, it has a mild hallucinogenic effect as well as a temporary boost to one's physical and magical capabilities. Long term exposure or repeated use of delisium, however, results in psychosis and arcane corruption over the course of a few years. For several centuries, the Kurin have used the drug as both a form of innoculation against the corrupting effects of the void as well as a way to fight off the astral creatures. The imbibing ceremony at the Kurin's rite of passage is the most important event in their life, as it marks their coming of age but also shortens their lifespan to just under 50 years. The Kurin's life in an atmosphere saturated with delisium results in the their signature red hair as well as some natural resistance to the deleterious effects of delisium.
The more concerning form, however, is refined delisium. It significantly increases both the positive and negative effects of the substance, imbuing any users with enough power to perform extraordinary feats of both martial and arcane prowess. However, it also significantly hampers mental functions and drastically increases tendencies toward aggression and mania, as well as reducing one's lifespan to a few short years. When the refinement process first became known to wider public, the Shardlands were soon inundated with military presence both from the heartland empires from more established Fragments and criminal warlords vying for control over delisium geysers. The Yvelin populace have either become embroiled in the bloody conflict, have been pushed out to the most inhospitable corners of the Fragment, or worse, become delisium addicts.
The Shardlands as it stands is in a deadlock - the Yggdrasil has issued a blanket embargo on all delisium trade and a strict perimeter that restricts access to the Fragment, and remains a criminal safe haven that can slip through the security. The wider Yvelin diaspora, then, have remained locked outside of their own home Fragment, though few have ever made plans to return.
Out of his many idiosyncrasies and non-sense ramblings, Juice is very, very particular about his appearance. Namely, that no-one knows what he actually looks like. His head is covered at all times with a helmet of some kind. Most of the time he will wear a jet black motorcycle helmet studded with kevlar, spray-painted with yellow streaks and a tanned visor.
The rest of his clothes tend toward practical and protective, with dark overalls mottled with burn marks and shoddy needlework. He wears a large thick fake leather jacket with matching gloves with hundreds of pockets sewn into the inside to allow for a large carrying capacity (of which Juice seems to have some arcane system of organization). When he is out travelling he dons a huge backpack of undoubtedly explosives and crafting materials, various welding tools and wires hanging off the side.
Being constantly buried under several layers of clothes all the time, his overall build is hard to determine. He is very short for his proclaimed age and is quite lithe, jumping around and constantly trying to get into places he really shouldn't be getting into.
"Is it my problem? Probably. Is it today me's problem? Now we're getting somewhere."
| BLOOD TYPE |
Juice has a talent for being able to teleport several times in quick succession, an advantage that he uses frequently in combat to drop explosives at his enemy's feet before jumping to a safe distance, or repositioning quickly between blows in close quarters engagements. Too much exertion leaves Juice exhausted for a long time after the initial adrenaline rush.
| SKILLS / EQUIPMENT |
Two-Bit Brilliance - Is Juice dumb? Is Juice actually smart, pretending to be dumb? Is Juice pretending to be dumb to hide the fact he's actually dumb? No one knows, but he'll have some deep knowledge in disparate, obscure subjects like artificial intelligence persuasion, old world classic literature and gourmet cooking. Rare insights like these surprises everyone including himself, and he doesn't discuss much about how he knows them.
Tick Tock... - Bombs. The love of his life. Juice is positively unparalleled when it comes to making stuff blow up, or making stuff that makes stuff blow up, making cocktails of explosives from scavenged materials. His bombs are particularly compact and tend to leave a lot of shrapnel and fire in their wake, although he can also (begrudgingly) make shaped charges and smoke bombs when asked.
Theoretically An Engineer - There are unfortunate times when explosions can't solve everything. Although not formally trained in engineering and probably won't be of use in computer-based problems, Juice can rig up some strange but useful contraptions out of duct-tape, corrugated iron and other scavenged materials.
Fun Boxes - Not even Juice remembers all the hidden caches he's left all across the world, mostly filled with explosives, but sometimes also accompanied by food, medical supplies and curious memorabilia. They're marked by a fox symbol spray-painted in yellow to stand out amongst the ruins. Although Juice himself refuses to open the stashes for some unspoken reason, he'll be happy to point them out and defuse the traps that are often rigged around them.
| LIMITATIONS AND WEAKNESSES |
Famine - Without supplies there can be no explosions. Although Juice's bombs are very compact and he hordes and carries as much as revenant-ly possible, a lot of wind will be taken out of his sail when he runs out of them. When this happens, he'll usually resort to just making himself scarce and leaving the scene, even abandoning his allies if things turn dire.
Danger Close - It's hard not to target everyone in a certain clearance distance. Not that Juice is particularly picky.
Not My Problem - Juice has a very simple priority checklist. Does something need exploding? Does it sound like fun? No? Then he's probably not very interested. He has very loose definitions of morality and priorities, and if he's not very interested he probably will have to be forced to help out.
Anonymity Necessity - Juice fiercely defends his real appearance underneath all his masks. If his helmet his knocked off by a strike or an explosion, he will drop every other action to retrieve his helmet or otherwise look for a way to cover his head. He will also avoid anything that might have personal links to him and refuse to answer questions about where he came from or if anyone else would recognize him, save for one name; Rogie.
Adalia is less a person but a ball of anxiety shaped in the vague suggestion of a person. She's highly motivated to perform well in her given assignments and has a strong sense of moral alignment, but it may also be due to a certain naivete. Due to her long times in isolation, she doesn't have a good sense of interpersonal skills and tend to be lonely most of the time.
| ANIMA |
A pistol that fires bolts of energy that when hitting a target, covers them in a blue stasis field and freezes them for a variable duration. The field is powerful enough to stop most small arms fire, though targetting larger objects than the average human will decrease both the strength and duration of the stasis field. It also has a secondary effect of assisting the aim and accuracy of its user, especially when targetting those perceived as allies. Expensively furbished, whoever initially procured this gun was quite the opulent type indeed.
| BACKGROUND |
Adalia's childhood memories are mostly of isolation. She was told that she was sick, and meeting other people was dangerous to both the public and herself. Her parents were never around, and Adalia's only companions were the attendants that were rather unwilling to converse with her. Adalia's abode in a secluded mansion in the 4th Pillar was quite opulent indeed, with luxuries and comforts that most inhabitants of the Metropolis could only ever dream of.
Her apparent sickness was however, only a small part of the reason behind her quarantine. She was really the illegitimate child of a wealthy casino business family, and though her existence to the family wasn't shunned, Adalia was kept out of polite discussion. Left on the sidelines, Adalia was left to her own devices, as long as she didn't make a scene and avoided public scrutiny.
Adalia did cultivate an academic career over her time being stuck inside, however, as well becoming familiar with handling Anima after a brief look into the less legal practices of her family business. In recognition of her surprisingly strong affinities in dealing with destructive Anima, Adalia was inducted into a small research institute in the 7th pillar exploring the effects of the Fog on Anima usage (with her caretaker's begrudging approval). With an aversion to social interactions Adalia's work was mostly solitary and Adalia's clumsiness and general unfamiliarity with anywhere outside her comfortable mansion didn't help, but Adalia found a mentor and her first parental figure in the elderly head of institute Dr. Romanov.
Such times didn't last long. As after a disastrous attack from an Entity, Romanov was removed from the institute after allegations of illegal experimentation, disappearing from the public eye without a word. Apart from a couple of encrypted datapads that Adalia managed to recover before the Agents swooped in, Adalia was left with no trace to where her mentor had gone and even little guidance. With nowhere else to go and refusing to simply return to a silent life within her family mansion, she applied to being an Agent in a vague hope of finding any more leads on Romanov's whereabouts.
| ADDITIONAL INFORMATION |
Sometimes seen with a gas mask rebreather to help with her weak lungs, as well as bandages all across her body. It has been confirmed that Adalia is indeed sick with a chronic illness of some kind that leaves her skin prone to scarring, but whether or not it is infectious or as serious as Adalia's parents have impressed on her is yet unknown. Nonetheless, it is not debilitating, and Adalia remains operable for the time being.
Lein is possibly the furthest you can get from the stereotype of the honourable Hundi. He's sarcastic, disquiet and arrogant, holding no true reverence to no creed nor code and an open displeasure at notions of romantic chivalry. Although he knows when to shut up and sit still when it counts, there's always an undercurrent of wild mischievousness to much of what he does. As soon as Lein's superiors look the other direction, he's always looking for ways to tug the end of his chain, make a quick pocket of coins and slack off when he can't do either.
Despite this usual mischief, Lein does have a strong sense of kinship, however, and though in rather unconventional, round-about ways, Lein always strives to return a favour when he is granted one. He's likely to deflect with a cynical remark when pressed about his loyal side.
In a rather odd turn, he has a strange obsession about always having enough food to eat, even willing to carry more than his fair share of cargo if it means they are well-supplied.
| BACKSTORY |
Of the many banners that adorned the Hundi castles, the blue and gold banner of House Estouls was once counted as among the greatest. Following a strict code of traditionalism and ceremony, those who held its crest were seen as exceptional combatants that frequently 'conquered' smaller Houses through duel-marriage pacts. But this was a long time ago, and decades of political sabotage, mismanagement and inflexibility led to the pitiful decline of the Estouls name.
Lenivicus ves Estouls was the youngest of the House, but for his exceptional talents in marksmanship, was regarded as the future of the House. So it was impressed upon him the value of holding honor above all else, and the weight of his life would be measured in the laurels of the Estouls banner. But as his many siblings were 'conquered' by other Houses one by one, Lenivicus also taught himself the price of that honor, slowly eating away at his family.
And so Lenivicus developed different ideas. He spent much of his nights looking up at the skies and dreaming of claiming dominion over the stars that had thus far been so maligned for his family. His aloofness conflicted with his family's priorities of preservation and tradition, and no amount of cajoling or berating could stop Lein from sneaking out from his training grounds to watch the stars. Ceremonies often devolved to arguments between Lein and the few remaining House members over the point of all the empty seats at the table. When Lenivicus was denied his Rite of Passage and was ordered to remain within the House grounds to train, Lenivicus was outraged at this display of hypocrisy from the 'traditionalist' Estouls. He renounced his House and stormed off in a Rite of his own declaration.
In the next couple of years, 'Lein' made his way through the world, eventually resorting to thievery with the occasional piracy. At this point, Lein's retelling of his next couple of years before he was impressed into the Roses become... messy. On some days, he regales locals about how he fought bears for a living, others he describes in flush detail how he took up work as the bodyguard of a mysterious elven lord. None of these tales explain how he lost his right arm, nor where he even got the prosthetic to replace said arm. Some way or another, he showed up in front of the Knights' keep one day and asked to be taken in, claiming he "lost a bet". After showing off his marksmanship skills, he was inducted into the Knights (though some might say suspiciously too hastily).
Ever since, Lein had become quite good at performative brinkmanship; lax just enough to annoy his superiors but never enough to be kicked off.
| EQUIPMENT |
Enchanted scarf: An enchanted scarf with a series of bells attached to the end of it. Given to Lein as per tribal custom, it has natural cleansing wards that filters any air passed through it. The bells chime at the presence of significant wind in a distinct pattern attributable for each scarf.
Fancy tail brush: For the sophisticated and vain.
Worn Estouls crest: Lein keeps this hidden away, even if he's always tempted to throw it away.
Ironripping shortbow: A reflex bow with high tensile strength, designed for fast knocking and incredible penetrative power at short ranges. Operated with a thumb ring, it can either be loaded with regular arrows or steel darts to further enhance its short-range potential.
Advanced steel arm prosthetic: An astoundingly intricate invention of artificery. Composed of carefully shaped iron and encased in enchanted steel, it is quite durable and only slightly heavier than a regular arm, whilst its rope operated ivory fingers allow for accurate dexterity. It seems far too expensive for some common rogue to get their hands on, but any sign of its maker has been long since scratched off. Hidden compartments contain a few spare steel darts and a small blade.
| SKILLS |
Having been raised as an heir to the Estouls, Lein's not too bad at the standard knightly affairs, being familiar with the ins and outs of horse riding and courtly manners (though it's been quite the while since he's bothered), as well as some familiarity with swords and shields. If someone were to force him to act the part, he probably could.
Lein's marksmanship make quite clear why he was laden with so much expectation from his House; he can knock and fire arrows at a frightening pace, pelting his enemies while maintaining a taunting distance with alacritous dodges. Though his accuracy falls off quickly outside of optimal ranges, Lein's adaptability in grabbing whatever weapons he can improvise with helps mitigate his weaknesses in most bar brawls.
During his wandering days, Lein also picked up some odd connections and skills here and there - though none of these he makes apparent right up until he takes advantage of them. As a regular bar patron at the local haunt the Lonely Frame, Lein's quite good at dice games, especially cheating at them.
| TALES |
A worn crest, threaded with royal embroidery. Smudged with finger grime.
A piece of a Veltan fishing hook.
Three weighted coins, one with both sides as 'heads'.
A complex looking gear from an unknown artificer.
A stub of a whale oil candle.
A reference paper for a cipher, with a symbol of Mayon imprinted in the corner.
A can of a balm for leprosy.
Three quills fashioned from griffin feathers.
A torn ledger of his 'stakes' and 'tabs' at local bars.
Two pieces of dried jerky, from unknown meat substance.
A roll of bandage, stained slightly from old blood.
| Twenty-something? | Female | No Thoughts Head Empty |
| Appearance |
Though she's appeared in many department positions, she's always returned to the Crisis Resolution department as a high impact field operative. No matter wherever she appears or how serious her office is however, she is consistently breaking dress codes and turning up to work in tardy and casual clothes, trying to catch up on whatever is considered 'trendy' by modern standards. The only consistent article of clothing is a simple rain jacket she dons whenever she gets into a combat situation. Combined with her aloof and awkward nature, she always looks out of depth despite being one of the longest serving operatives.
| WEAPON |
A lantern made out of old corrugated iron and glass, housing a luminescent orb within. When powered, it projects a field of heavy illusory rain that supresses all sources of light in all nearby surroundings except for those near the lantern. Since most of Nine's spells draw strength from relative luminosity, Nine's arrival at a combat scene is usually heralded by the sound of storms.
| MAGIC: RADIANCE |
Refract - A simple spoken spell that upon invocation temporarily speeds up the user's physical movement. When in effect, observers will see both the user that was sped up and a translucent after-image that move in regular speed. Though its effects can be extended through concentration, its resource draw also increases rapidly - thus it is usually employed in short, quick bursts.
Recall - A written spell that draws upon a subject's memory to create hardlight mimics of an object. Hardlight does not copy the original properties of the object, and always takes a luminescent shimmering yellow. The accuracy of the spell is dependent on how detailed the memory of the object is - the more detailed or recent the memory is, the better the mimic captures the finer details. Within the range of the light source, the object can be controlled remotely by the person recalling. Hardlight is incredibly durable, inflexible and persists for a long duration until it is dispelled or the original source of the light it was summoned from is snuffed out. The spell is most often used to recall Nine's sword in a combat situation.
Cleanse - A spoken spell that shoots a large beam of concentrated light towards a target, designed to punch through defenses and incinerate the target. Unlike more elegant methods of anti-magic that deconstructs the components of a spell, the beam seeks to crush all defenses through sheer overwhelming firepower, effectively challenging Nine's opponents into a duel of raw arcane strength.
Drown - A written spell chanted to a steady rhythm, enveloping an area in a fog of complete darkness. Those outside will see a storm that steadily thickens until nothing is visible in front of them. Those caught inside will find it impossible to sense anything outside of their immediate radius, and without a special magic resistance will have difficulty moving or breathing. Often reserved for high priority targets since it draws too much attention and even after being dispelled, leaves after-effects of lowering local luminosity.
| TALES |
"Do you want to go for a walk?"
It's something I used to say. I know it's my whole job, but I've never really got good at talking to people. Especially if they're freshly on the other side and are freaking out, so I tried to give them space and let them figure it out on their own.
Not this kid though. The whole room was a mess. A tiny one room apartment that was molded over by a leak from somewhere and you couldn't step anywhere without bumping into some pile of trash or overdue bills. The windows were all taped over and the gas faucet was open. You get the point. Was never easy the first time, and never got easier since.
This kid was barely anything more than skin and bones with some dirty cloth over him. Think he might have been somewhere near the ball park of 10 to 14, but it might have been that he hadn't eaten anything for a long time and shrunk him. Maybe years ago, way too far for a kid like him, his face may have been free of bruises, his hands free of cuts, but it was impossible to know. When I found him, he was sitting on what little free ground in that tiny hole of a place was still left, staring up at the rafters.
We stared at each other for a while. It was like staring into a mirror. And we just understood. He knew who I was. I had a feeling he knew that I was coming way before I did. When I offered, he just nodded. So without anything else, I took out my lantern and took his hand and led him into the gentle night rain.
I've always liked the rain. The way the hazy white streaks just wash everything away, the way the noise of the whole world quiets itself just to listen to the rain drizzle on. It gets lonely to walk alone in the rain, following the barely lit streets, but at least it's a good way to let people figure themselves out on their own. The kid sure enjoyed sticking his hand out in the rain, so it worked in a way.
As we turned through the exit of the city and out into a park, I asked him if he had anything he wanted to do before we finished our walk. The way his eyes widened, I think I was the first person to ask him that. We sat down under an awning somewhere and watched the rain jump across the lantern light.
After a bit, he finally said something.
"Will I meet my mom?"
I don't... what am I supposed to say? I've checked what was on those bills. I didn't mean to pry, but, their last names were different. She had cut contact years ago.
Sorry, I still don't know what else I could have done.
I lied. I said I met his mother a couple years back. That she told me how proud of her son she was. That she loved him, and she can't wait to meet him. Just a few steps into the After, and he'll be in her arms.
I think he knew I was lying, because he didn't ask anything else. We walked on silently, all the way to the Rail. No words. Just the rain. He got on, and he smiled at me for what must have been the first time ever.
Miss Death, please consider this as my request for transfer from the Deliverance department. I am far too simple for this line of work, and I am afraid I am but a blunt instrument.
In ignoring all else but appearance, it apparently is a small human. It's hard to tell much of its bodily features, as anything under the neck has been covered with a mass of tattered and charred clothes, though scars can be seen creeping up from below the collar. It wears a simple leather armor that once bore the crest of something intricate, but anything distinguishing it had long since burned off. Its face remains shockingly unblemished, its red eyes peering blankly underneath long silver locks of hair. It has a certain polished beauty to it, and had it been in better clothes one could mistake it for a life-sized doll or a pampered heiress.
Yet looking at it inspires a deep sense of unease. Is it because it stands unnaturally still, yet with every look it has shifted ever so slightly in position, as if reality is unsure where to place it? Or is it because its eyes remain lifeless, staring directly into the distance unless its attention is arrested? Perhaps the explanation is the simplest. It is the Abhorrent, and any living thing has a instinctual horror to that opposes the idea of survival itself.
Its epithet is no judgement of morality. It is a non-equivalence, twistedly elegant in its simplicity - the world lives on, or the Abhorrent does. Whoever people it had championed, whatever ideals it had upheld, all must be set aside. Countless continuities lay waste at the Abhorrent's feet, a fact beyond human prescriptions of 'intent' or 'malice'.
Passive 1 - Unreturning Causality writhes against Visrii's form, attempting to reconcile the repulsive break in the world's fabric. Timelines break, wither and die, peeling into desperate loops and eons of logical links trapping itself into unbreakable self-referential chains. This revulsion of energy has been forged into the memory of a weapon, man's first and most vicious - a blade of one unreturning line.
Visrii will attack twice per round. It will ignore buffs to Evasion, Defence and Immunity once its HP is reduced below 50%.
Passive 2 - Unbound The moment that caused the Abhorrent to exist was obliterated as soon as it was created. It ceased to be a mere single point against the tides of time, but a line with infinite intersections. Now what was Visrii is, always was, and forever will be, an aberration. It is as it is, because it can be as nothing else. It is a proof that will always refer into itself, upon itself, until it crashes against a force that overcomes such an assertion and declares it no more. And until then, Visrii will walk on, unceasing.
Any debuffs cleared in the battlefield will heal Visrii for 5% of HP per debuff and give it a 10% Attack buff the next time it attacks. Any debuffs inflicted on Visrii will be cleansed when an allied unit takes fatal damage.
Field Effect It will not let you go.
Any characters who take fatal damage on field will be instantly revived with 100% of HP, with one stack of persistent debuff Unfinished Lullaby that reduces all attributes by 5%.
Attack 1 An unceasing flame sears 4 targets for 50% magic damage, then collapses into an explosion for additional 25% magic damage. If successful, apply Unstable Teleology.
Unstable Teleology 1 Stack - Character takes 10% of max HP per stack as physical damage per turn. 2 Stacks - Reduce healing effectiveness by 50%. 3 Stacks - Skill seal. While this debuff remains active, the character's HP cannot be reduced below 1. This debuff may be cleansed for free with a Free Action that inflicts a friendly unit with Fracturing Ontology.
Attack 2 A gaping wound appears on 2 targets, dealing 100% physical damage. Visrii then attacks the targets for additional 50% magic damage. If successful, apply Fracturing Ontology.
Fracturing Ontology 1 Stack - Character takes 10% of max HP per stack as magic damage per turn. 2 Stacks - Physical and magic defense is reduced by 30%. 3 Stacks - Reduce all Agility and Dodge to 0. While this debuff remains active, the character's HP cannot be reduced below 1. This debuff may be cleansed for free with a Free Action that inflicts a friendly unit with Unstable Teleology.
Resonance Cascade If either debuff gains 4 stacks, or a character receives both debuffs, clear all stacks and take 10% piercing damage per stack cleared. All nearby allies take 25% damage of the Resonance Cascade and randomly gain one of the debuffs.
Attack 3 Summon 3 Refractions with 50% of Visrii's attributes. Each Refraction repeats the attack Visrii took one turn prior, and is dispelled upon taking fatal damage. Heals for 10% of HP when Resonance Cascade is triggered.
Attack 4 Attack triggers after Visrii takes fatal damage. Nullify all buffs, field effects and passives. All friendly units take 10% piercing damage per Unfinished Lullaby stack added across all friendly units.