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Character sheets, post drafts, etc. etc. etc.
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Physical Description
Standing at 5'1", Kayo stands at a height just slightly shorter than usual (which only helps her, really). Her most noticeable physical trait at first glance is her long curtain of pale green hair, which she takes very, very good care of (it takes her nearly an hour to brush it out in the morning, it's a nightmare). Her skin is smooth and fine due to an equal amount of care. She has a narrow face and a sharply pointed chin. Finally we reach her brilliant green eyes, which are slightly off-putting to some people: they glow dimly in low light, and her pupils are narrow and slitted, like a snakes. She's almost always wearing a smile; it's just unclear which kind of smile it is.

Personal History
Nigata Kayo did not have an exceptionally good childhood.

It was alright for the first couple years. Her mother—Nigata Kagami, an excellent doctor loved by all—had always been a touch strange, but she was too young to really understand anything about it. Until very early in elementary school, everything was fine. Everything was fine. And then her Quirk manifested itself just slightly later than normal. And it manifested itself while she was playing with her mother.

She doesn't remember a whole lot of this time, but she does remember her mother grunting in surprise and pain and then looking at her with sudden malice. And from then on, her childhood grew harder.

Her mother dropped the act, revealing herself as the raging narcissist that she was. Someone who only became a doctor for the accolades and praise. Someone who only acted nice because it made people love her. And somebody who had a minor and pedestrian Quirk to adjust her own pain tolerance. Because of her Quirk, Kayo's did very little to her. But now she knew that her daughter's Quirk was more powerful than her own. And she took offense. She became a monster to her daughter, alternately ignoring her, psychologically tormenting her, and forcing her to look in a mirror and use her own Quirk on herself until she was a screaming, crying wreck (mirrors still terrify her to this day). So it's not a stretch to imagine that Kayo began to pull inwards, and give herself the ego that her mother no longer did.

This was only aggravated in school, where she would occasionally accidentally use her Quirk on other kids. And though she apologized profusely, they began to avoid her, all but one. And so, the only way for her to rationalize it and preserve the ego that she was beginning to build up for herself was to assert: they're all dumb. Everybody but Kaoru, they're all dumb idiots. And to make it worse, as her Quirk began to build in power more and more, pain stopped repulsing her. Instead, causing pain began to...intrigue her.

All of these factors conspired to forge her into an obsessive narcissist who, additionally, was very fascinated by pain. And when she was a little way into middle school, these all combined to give her a horrible fixation on a classmate who she grew absolutely obsessed with. And when she fixed him with her eyes, when she caused that terrible pain, she felt a thrill like nothing else. Though she—with Kaoru's help—managed to escape her obsession, it still bubbled just under the surface, waiting for a new target. Crushing it down as best she could, she decided something then and there.

If her mom was that jealous of her Quirk, then what would insult her more than becoming a hero?

Character Arc
As a character, Kayo is an exploration on inversions.

She initially goes to IA out of spite for her mother, but eventually really, truly wants to become a hero. She starts her character arc with manipulation and obsession, and ends it with contrition and redemption. Rather than the character course of someone who wants to become a hero, aims straight for that goal and then perhaps dips down onto a dark place and becomes a villain, she is a character who starts on that dark path towards villainy, but manages to pull herself out of that doom spiral and become somebody that she can legitimately be proud of.

And so, her character development over time is just that. The obsessive pit that she digs herself down into is not only a low point for everyone else around her, but a low point for her own health, safety, and sanity. The way that she crawls out of that pit—the challenges she faces in order to get there, the people that she's hurt that she needs to hopefully make amends to—is where the great majority of her character will be, and I'm very excited to see it.

Quirk Description
Kayo is so toxic that even looking at her can be dangerous.

Her Quirk Venom Eyes can be activated any time she makes direct eye contact with somebody, directly tapping into the target's nervous system—specifically the pain receptors. With a pulse of a sickly yellow glow from her snakelike eyes, she can dial them up or down, causing either a searing, full-body pain or a deadening numbness, though she's significantly better at using the pain than she is the numbness.

There are a few limits on this power. Since it requires direct eye contact, it has a limited range, and is almost completely useless, at least at the start, on people who either hide their eyes, don't have eyes to hide, can't use their eyes, or have no nerves to aggravate. Each pulse from her Venom Eyes additionally accrues a brief cooldown period where her optic nerves need to rest from the sudden stimulation.
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Physical Description
Kirika is quite a tall girl, standing at nearly 170cm (or roughly 5'7"), with a stick-thin physique that looks more like a slender boy's body than a girl's. She feels somewhat like it should make her self-conscious, but she's thankful for it; anything to stick out more. Also somewhat helpful in that endeavor is her hair. Smooth and pin-straight, it falls in a violent silver-white curtain to more or less the small of her back. It matches her eyes, the pale gray of morning fog. The way she walks helps her grab attention as well: a smooth, crisp, snapping stride, moving perhaps a little bit more quickly than is necessary. It makes her look like she's perpetually hurrying, and it comforts her the way people look at her a little bit strangely when she's going about her business.

When not wearing the dour school uniform that she's entrapped within, she wears things that, while well within acceptable range, tend to stick out a little bit. Her most common example is a tan trench coat that her father gave her when she went off to school ("In case it's raining, sweetie!). It's a little longer on her than it is on her father, dropping just about to the middle of her shins. The summer is a little warm to wear it unless it's a particularly cool day, but she's beginning to grow attached just the same.

Personal History
Maki Kirika’s first couple years were completely normal. Her mother and father, an editor and photographer respectively, doted on her. And while of course she doesn’t remember anything of that time, it was almost idyllic until she was about halfway through her second year, when her Quirk manifested and she vanished. Not just from her parents' sight. Not just from their hearing. Not just from their photos and family videos. No, her face even vanished from their memories.

And so, her first memories are of smothering attention. Smothering attention and very seldom being left alone. And she didn't understand why, until one day she realized that her parents didn't notice her.

The next years of her life would be characterized by a feeling of suffocation. When she was at home, it was that feeling of suffocation that worried parents give. She had very little privacy; even being alone in her room was a rarity, even up through middle school. Personal space was a thing that belonged to other people, and her mom was never too far away to reach out and touch her hand. When she was at school, that suffocation was the feeling of choking fear that comes with being forgotten. Her Quirk was unstable for a long time, and there were times when she would simply vanish, and times when she couldn't reappear. Though she always told people that touch would break it, every time it happened, she would tense up when peoples' eyes skated over her. Even worse were those rare moments when touching people wouldn't break it, at least not for a few seconds. She thought. She never could tell on her own, after all.

About this time was when her attention-hogging personality began to come to the fore. She couldn't tell when her Quirk was active, it was true. At least not on her own. But if she was up in everyone's faces, when the whole room was looking at her, then she would always know. She would know. And, she convinced herself—in defiance of the facts—that the closer she was to everyone, the less likely it was to not break on touch. And with that personality came the start of a seething resentment. It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair that she always needed to make sure people could see and hear her before she did anything. It wasn't fair that she was terrified of fading away, being un-personed so thoroughly nobody would ever remember her. It wasn't fair.

But as she aged and gained some control over her Quirk, she began to experience another side of it. Yes, it was unpredictable, and when it went off without her knowing, it was genuinely terrifying. But, as she discovered when she was cornered on a city street at night before fading both her and her friend away, it could also be exceptionally useful. And that got her to thinking. Using her Quirk in public would certainly be frowned upon—if anybody could really tell, that was. But it would be difficult to learn how to keep it from activating on its own without any kind of instruction.

Somewhere to learn how to properly use her Quirk, to peel back the anger that she had towards it, and to harness its burgeoning power as a force for good? Well, she'd lived in Sapporo her whole life. Ishin academy was just down the road, right?

Character Arc
Kirika's character arc is founded deeply in her fear. How her fear is created, how her fear is handled, and how her fear is eventually resolved. She has a remarkably powerful utility Quirk, something that could be genuinely terrifying if she were to embrace it all immediately. But she can't properly use it, because she fears it desperately. She grew up being terrified of being un-personed and forgotten since she can remember, and it's going to take her a long, long time to move past that.

That moving on is going to form the crux of her character development. As she gains better control over her Quirk, her fear will slowly begin to abate. And though of course there will be moments of relapse where her Quirk activates all on its own and she returns to that instinctual fear, she will move past them, and eventually past that bone-deep fear to truly take advantage of the Quirk that she's been cursed or—she will eventually realize—blessed with.

Quirk Description
Kirika's Quirk, and the great object of her fear, is Null Field At a thought, she can project an invisible bubble around her, more or less five feet across. She, and anybody within that bubble, becomes imperceptible. They'll still trigger motion detectors, infrared lasers; they're still there. But living things struggle with the same. They're not made invisible. More like...they're rendered so unbelievably unremarkable that wherever they are, it just seem like the most natural thing in the world.

Other than the somewhat restrictive size limit that requires people to stay close to Kirika, there aren't a lot of inherent factors that limit its use. Though it does constantly drain her energy when it's active, it's more of a passive drain than anything else. She may become tired and hungry a little bit more quickly and easily, but it's nothing she really notices. So duration isn't an issue. The main restriction placed upon its use is when anybody within the bubble does anything that would get them noticed for sure. Touching someone, throwing an object with an easily traceable flight path, having their footprints followed back to them; when one member of the bubble is noticed, then it immediately pops and reveals everybody. And while there's no set duration on the Null Field, once it's brought down it can't be thrown up again for at least a couple minutes. No do-overs.

In addition, the field will break whenever Kirika falls asleep or is knocked unconscious—for the most part. Though unlikely, it can stay up through sleep. And this is when Kirika is the most afraid. Because if it won't break, even when she's not conscious...will it ever break at all?
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A T S U K O



“I'm bleeding, I guess. Shut up. Hurry and get outta here 'fore you get hurt.”
Overview

Name
小林熱子
Kobayashi Atsuko

Age
20

Gender
Female

Occupation
Hiki-NEET
Characterization & Conceptualization

What Do They Look Like?
Atsuko is a scruffy young adult a little on the shorter side, measuring in at just over 5'1," with tangled, unkempt blonde hair that goes for far too long between washes and brushes, and hasn't been properly cut in much, much longer. Because of that, it's longer than it used to be, going down to a few inches above the small of her back. Her skin is as pale as it can realistically ever become—after all, she hasn't seen the sun in years—and her eyes are fixed in a constant tired squint from not sleeping enough, with nigh-permanent shadows undercutting them from the same. Her frame is thin from not eating much or working out, and unless she needs to, she moves at a slow, languid pace, almost like she doesn't have the energy to spend. She has a long scar down the inside of her left calf from a childhood accident.

What Are They Like?
In a word? Tired. Not only is Atsuko physically tired much of the time, from the aforementioned lack of much food or exercise, but she's mentally tired as well. Consequently, she tends to speak in a bit of a bit of a monotone, quite lacking in inflection. Her voice is usually quiet and somewhat raspy, and she doesn't really show a whole lot of emotion—especially positive emotion—in large part because she sits in the bottleneck of a vast ocean of self-recrimination. She refuses to let herself be happy, because in her mind, she doesn't deserve to be happy. Because she needs to be punished for her crimes. Because she is a terrible person.

What's Their Story?
Atsuko grew up with her small but wealthy family—her father Akito, her mother Sakaki, and her younger sister Hana—in a small town some twenty miles north of the Sapporo city boundary in Hokkaido. They were all of them close, but especially the sisters. They adored each other, and as they aged, Atsuko began to feel a fierce older-sister protectiveness. For most of her life, she was altogether typical; healthy home life, healthy school life, and a future ahead of her.

But then she entered high school and everything started going wrong. Some students got it into their heads somehow that she'd cheated on her entrance exams. The bullying was merciless. She'd done something wrong. She'd hurt people. She was disgusting. But she could handle it, she thought. Better to not provoke even more bullying by going to a teacher who wouldn't believe her anyway. And though it certainly took a toll on her, she—self-confident, self-assured—made it through. But then, as she went into her third year and Hana went into her first at the same school, she realized with horror: if it was affecting her like this, then Hana would be destroyed, just by being her sister. And she refused to let that happen. So she struck back. A whisper here, a cruel note there. Unkind words etched into lockers and desks. Anything to keep them from targeting her baby sister. To keep her safe.

She did her job too well. Hana started crying. Wouldn't say why. Atsuko was furious. Obviously, somebody was still bullying her, and she needed to stop them. She became crueler. Never openly, of course. Quietly, subtly. More etched words. Worse words. Vases of flowers on desks. Then, a bit later, she overheard Hana crying hysterically to their mother, because all of her new friends had left her alone. Looked at her like they were deathly afraid of being near her, like they panicked if she even walked by, like they'd be punished for even talking to her. And Atsuko realized what she'd done.

She dropped out of school immediately. And she made it public. She was the queen bitch bully now, after all. She was the reason her sister was crying. Best to stay away from her. She hasn't left her house in two and a half years now, not even to go to Hana's graduation. After all, better to just stay out of her hair, right? Just keep on staying up late on the computer. Keep lying to people on the internet about a job so she wouldn't sound too much like a loser. Stay out of sight, out of mind, so nobody would ever need to connect Hana with her in their little town. Kobayashi was a common enough last name, right?

All she wanted to do was protect her.

Why Did The Wish Choose Them?
Before she messed everything up, Atsuko thought about being a hero. Not like an Eferion hero, nothing like that, but a kind of hero to Hana. Someone for her to look up to, at least. But that wish vanished years ago, replaced with a crushing sense of emptiness and stagnation. After what she did to her beloved baby sister, she hasn't wanted to be looked up to in a long, long time.

What "Hero" Will They Embody? Why?
All she ever wanted to do was protect Hana. She sacrificed her morals. She sacrificed her self-worth. She sacrificed her future. She will sacrifice anything, throwing herself under the bus in a heartbeat, to protect the people that she cares about. Who else could she be but the Hero of Defense?

What Belongings Will They Take With Them?
Atsuko doesn't keep much on her, day-to-day. Other than a pair of battered gray sweatpants and a rumpled black tanktop, she has her smartphone with around a quarter charge, and a comb stuck in her tangled hair.
Talents & Abilities

Mundane Talents
Given how much time she's spent on the computer in recent years, she's become half-decent at video games, which helps her hand-eye coordination. Additionally, she's exceptionally skilled at mathematics, her favorite subject when she was back in school. She's out of practice, but she could pick it back up again pretty easily. Finally, given how much time she's spent in her room, she is very, very good at being alone.

Achieved Abilities & Knowledges
This section should be empty at start.
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“Come on, come on come on come on hurry up! We're not gonna get there in time!”
Saffron Mergansett


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I did something dumb here haha
1x Laugh Laugh
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Physical Description
Lili is a fifteen year old girl, a little bit tall for her age at five feet, four inches. As a young teenager, she's physically not fully developed, slender and petite with little in the way of curvature. A cheerful smile constantly adorns her face, and her bright blue eyes constantly glisten with a barely-restrained excitement and verve for life. Her long, wavy blonde hair, cut in messy bangs in front and about to the small of her back, is filled with flyways, untamable no matter how much she tries to control it. And she does try to control it; she is very proud of her hair, and takes exceptionally good care of it even if it won't listen to a thing she does. Though her arms are stick-thin—she doesn't much use them for anything that would build considerable muscle—her legs are quite long and powerful for a fifteen-year-old, as befits a runner for her high school's track team. She has large hands, long-fingered and delicate, and is constantly self-conscious of them. She has a long, ragged scar that runs down the back of her left arm as a result of an accident she had with a bicycle when she was twelve, and she still hates the things today.

Calla is almost exactly the same in appearance to Lili. Her eyes, her hair, her height, her build, the irrepressible excitement in her eyes, the constant smile; from the outside looking in, she's almost indistinguishable from her IRL self. There are a number of very small changes, though, each of which represents a bit of her subconscious desires. Hair straight and tamed, falling all the way down her thighs without requiring much upkeep. Perfect. Rippled scar missing, replaced with smooth, unblemished skin. Perfect. Hands small and fine. Perfect. Nothing you would notice if you didn't know her waking self. She holds herself in a very relaxed way, tapping her feet and bobbing her head to a soundtrack only she can hear and speaking very informally to everyone. She wears an elaborate robe over lightweight clothing, no armor whatsoever.

Character Conceptualization
Lili's life has been a pressure cooker from the start.

Sophia and Anton Lindholm had tried to have children many, many times. But nothing. Sophia blamed herself, and Anton blamed himself. It was a tense, stressful situation for both of them, and though neither wanted to say anything about it, it was starting to stretch their marriage.

And then came Lili. The miracle baby. Born prematurely and with underdeveloped lungs, she spent her first two years in the hospital. Her parents hovered around her anxiously and constantly, worried for their little miracle. And when she got out of the hospital and all three of them went home, they wept with happiness. Their little girl was perfect.

Perfect.

The word 'perfect' would haunt Lili for the rest of her life. The word 'miracle' came with it. Her parents were absolutely doting, and she wanted for little. Up through six years old, her life was...perfect. And then she entered first grade, and the pressure started.

Sophia and Anton never yelled at her or scolded her. They never restricted anything of hers, and they never directly told her that she'd done something wrong. But whenever—even in first grade—she would bring home a poor grade, they would go quiet, subdued. Dinner would be awkward. Lili learned very early on that if she wanted her parents to be happy, then she needed to work hard. And as she aged and learned about why she remembered the hospital, how much of a 'miracle' she was, that pressure to make her parents happier only increased.

That's not to say she wilted. In fact, she thrived under the pressure. She began to take a fierce and intense pride in how well she did in schooling very early, and she began to put that pressure on herself instead of taking it from her parents. To always get the highest score on every exam. Soon, it began to extend past grades. She began to put pressure on herself to be as cheerful as she could. To make as many friends as she possibly could. To be the best friend to them as she could be. To be...perfect.

A girl can only take so much pressure.

In her last year of middle school—the workload more than she'd ever had before, more people to make friends with, harder to be happy—she snapped. During mathematics class, she received an exam back and did worse than she thought. The next thing she remembers is being at home, in bed, with her mom Sophia hugging her and crying. Her memories of the next week and a half are hazy and fragmented at best. Her complete nervous breakdown had made her parents feel horrible about what they'd done to their daughter. Their miracle child. Even once she returned to school, people, even friends, looked at her worriedly, like she'd break if breathed on a little too hard. Her omnipresent smile was rarely seen.

And then she was offered something by her parents that would change her life. Sophia's job as a lecturer was bringing her to Boston, Massachusetts, and did she want to come along and go to school there, make new friends?

She's spent almost a year in America now, and her smile's come back. She's taken it a little bit easier, joining the track team to find even more people to interact with. She'd always enjoyed running, after all. One of her new friends introduced her some months ago to a fantastic new game on the market, and always game to try something new, she booted up Pariah. She's happy now. But still, she nurses a secret guilt. Her parents worry about her so much. She wishes she could live up to their expectations. That she could be more...

Perfect.

Other Information


She speaks with a heavy German accent that I have literally no idea how to transcribe.
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Physical Description
Owing to an entire childhood spent barely escaping starvation, stealing food from those more dominant than she, and having her fingernails torn off as a result, Sirona is a short woman, standing at just a hair beneath 5'2", and less slender than she is skinny. Her eyes are piercing ashen-white-gray, and seem a bit more...glazed than most. Her hair is a wild mess of stark whiteness, and her skin is almost completely white as well. Around her head looms the Scar-Crown Usariom, a jagged tangle of black iron and silvery steel that twists above her in a sick parody of a halo. One of the most important features she displays, though—and the most damning evidence of the life that was inflicted upon her—lies in her smile. Unwavering, unchanging, unbreakable; the calm smile, perfect down to the last muscle, is forever scarred into her face, and even she can't change it.

As a general rule, she wears long black clothing, usually fairly tight, with light plating here and there. The only thing that's truly ubiquitous is a thick black cloak pinned in front with the Scilari symbol. Because of a specific incident in the pit, she is missing the last knuckle of her left pinkie finger.

Character Conceptualization
Before she had a name, before she had a life, before she had anything at all to call her own, Sirona was only "L.I.-14, Group One, Number 22."

Her childhood, if you can call it that, was a nightmare of empty stomachs and constant pain. She never learned to dominate others, to force her will upon them, the way one needed to in order to eat in the pit of the Locke Institute. She never really even learned to fight. A scared, broken shell of a child, all she could do was sit alone in the dark and cry.

And as was the way of the pit, the only thing that crying earns you is more pain. It was a vicious cycle for Twenty-Two. Crying. Pain. More crying. More pain. No matter how much she needed to, she just couldn't stop the tears. And so, the rest of the pit kids learned very quickly that Twenty-Two wouldn't—couldn't—stop them from taking whatever they wanted from her. Food. Water. Space. Fingernails. And, on one occasion, the last joint of her left pinkie. Until one enterprising youngster, L.I.-14, Group One, Number 17, came up with a brilliant idea: if this weak dumb kid couldn't stop anybody from taking from her, then she wouldn't have food. She would be desperate. So Seventeen reached out a hand to her. She would be given food. Tiny scraps of it, but enough that she wouldn't starve. And all she needed to do was everything Seventeen said.

Of course, that news didn't spread any slower than the lack of resistance. From then on, Twenty-Two was mostly left alone in her dark corner. Until some other pit kid, one with a spine, came along and gave her direction in life. Servility was as natural and necessary as breathing.

And then, when she was perhaps eight or nine, came Papa Locke.

She didn't know why she was being pulled from the pit. She didn't know what Locke wanted from her. But she knew that he saved her. He lifted her from the dark corner where she cried and let her eat real food, and sleep in a 'bed,' which she thought must have been the closest thing to perfect there could be. Whatever he wanted, she would give it to him, as natural and necessary as breathing. He was her Papa, and she was his daughter. Years passed by, and she grew more and more devoted to him. There were many words that could be used to describe her. Docile. Servile. Subservient. Compliant. Passive. Locke taught her many lessons, which were burned and scorched and seared into her mind as thoroughly as her own thoughts: be polite. Be calm. Be obedient. Be diffident.

And, above all...smile.

She was perfect, she thought. A perfect daughter. A tool. Even a weapon, said Papa, though she didn't understand how.

Undergo this procedure, said Papa Locke. And with the bliss of serving, the perfect daughter did as she was told. She was polite. She was calm. She was obedient. She was diffident. And she smiled. Even when she was strapped down, when her mind nearly shattered from the agony as liquid fire roared through her veins, as her body shattered, snapped, broke down, only to be reconstructed...still she smiled, face twisted in a permanent rictus of tranquility. Be polite.

When the procedure was over, she was...different. The pain wasn't as mind-warping anymore, but it remained trapped within her chest like molten metal. But the outside...she shivered...the outside was freezing. And she couldn't get warm. She didn't understand. It was like a switch had been flipped in her head as soon as the straps were let loose. Why Papa would do this. Why he would put her through so much pain. Why Papa hated her. And yet on the outside, she showed nothing. None of the pain, none of the heartache, none of the scorn. Be calm.

Fine. If he hated her, then she could hate him in return. No longer Papa. Just Master Locke. But before she could really process what this meant—what she would do now that Master Locke hated her, and how to live in a world of ice—she was given a strange circlet of sharp, twisted metal. Place it over your head, they said. Be obedient.

The pain only became worse. So much worse. For a moment, there was a feeling like her head inverting itself, and then a feeling of a circle of blades slicing into it. When the pain abated—though, like before, it would never truly fade—she blinked the tears from her eyes—she couldn't stop them—the circlet hung above her head, locked there for the rest of her life. As she thought of it, it began to dribble streams of liquid-hot steel. And yet nothing touched her. Indeed, far worse than the feeling of the blaze was the guilt that screamed inside her because of those tears. Be diffident.

And so she was bound irrevocably to the Scar-Crown and taken to Scilis, where she learned who and what she now was. She was a Hunter. And just like Papa—just like Master Locke said she would be, though she didn't understand it at the time, she was a weapon to fight the Void. She accepted her new duty with the resolution that she would never again obey Master Locke. He no longer owned her. She was free from his mental chains. He would never threaten her with sleeping in the pit if she messed up again. She had her own life now. And she gave herself a name. She didn't know what it meant. She didn't know if it meant anything at all. But she liked how it sounded, and she liked how it made her feel. Sirona. She was Sirona, Hunter of Scila. Hunter of the Void. She would never listen to Master Locke again.

But perhaps she isn't quite as far from him as she thinks. As much distance as she puts between them, as much as she has convinced herself she's free of him, as much as she knows she hates him...

She is still polite. She is still calm. She is still obedient to some extent. She is still diffident. She is still just a weapon. And she still can't shake that smile.

Other Information
TBD
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Physical Description
The first thing that people notice about Briddell is how imposing she looks. Nearly six feet tall and very muscular and well-built, she very much looks the part of the frontline brawler that she is. A pair of narrow dull yellow-brown eyes that show a deep dissatisfaction with the world—and beneath that, a profound sorrow—sits beneath shoulder-length hair, strands split between a rich chocolate brown and a gleaming golden-blonde. She leaves it loose-hanging and tangled almost all the time, though with some brushing and styling it cleans up rather nicely. She carries herself proudly, but the tightness of her muscles and the lines on her face show the anger that boils underneath her skin.

She dresses in a traditional Scilari style done up in black and red-brown for the most part, but has cut a great deal of her clothing down to make it both less restrictive of movement and less terribly hot around the burning heat that is her Embersoul. On the occasion that she ever runs into polite company, she carries an equally traditional Scilari shawl-robe that drapes long sleeves over her arms, but leaves her hard shoulders exposed.

Character Conceptualization
Briddell grew up in a Scilari orphanage from ten years old, one of the countless children of the Great War. The matron of the orphanage, one Ina Tamwell, is still the kindest person she has ever met. With a full orphanage—twenty children—she still managed to give them all the attention that they wanted and the food that they needed, and always had a smile ready. The orphanage, positioned almost directly on the border of Scila with Midnos, never had a vacancy; whenever a child died, was adopted, grew up, any way of leaving, there was always another to fill the gap. Despite all of her siblings vanishing, Briddell grew up as a cheerful, helpful child. She had never been close to her parents, and they certainly hadn't been close to her; all she really had from them was the name Loethwynn, and so Ina was, as far as she was concerned, her real mother. So shouldn't she help with the chores?

As she grew, that helpfulness and desire to help her mother matured into a deep sense of responsibility. Ina had put her heart and soul into raising them, and though none of her original brothers or sisters were still there, even as she aged past childhood and into her adolescence, she remained. Not out of a feeling of obligation, but a genuine desire to help her adoptive mother as much as she could. Ina wasn't getting any younger. Her strength was beginning to flag, and she could no longer give every child of war the attention they deserved.

And then, when she was sixteen years old, the sun stopped shining.

From the darkness beyond the pale came the ravening Void. And though the war came to an end, there was still no shortage of orphans. Two years later, before the Hearths had been conceived, Ina—she was over sixty by then—took a fever that would not break. And though she tried her hardest, Briddell just...couldn't help her.

With their guiding light gone, the children—some too young to realize why the sun wasn't rising anymore—began to lose that spark of hope that had always defined Ina's orphanage. So Briddell, unwilling to see them lose anymore, stepped forward. The Tamwell Orphanage became the Loethwynn Orphanage, and though she was barely more than a child herself and the days of plenty were long gone—the nice meals that Ina fed them all those years ago were nothing but a fading dream now—she gave it everything she had. It was at this time that she began to really practice her latent geomancy in earnest, determined to keep the fires of her home burning bright.

Years passed, and she came into her own as the new matron, taking a fierce pride in being called "mother." Strong and protective, she sheltered all of the children under her wings as best she could. With the advent of the Hearths, the Void wasn't so bad. Ina took care of her at the epicenter of a colossal war. There was no reason she couldn't do the same for her children. She knew, sure as she knew her own name, that this was what she was meant to do.

And then—a full twenty years after the Eclipse—a renegade group known as the Red Branch came to the border, let by a man named Fray. She didn't pay much attention to their machinations; she was busy enough as it was. But then it became worth paying attention to when the Red Branch was destroyed. Midnosian pyromancers roamed the streets of villages, burning them to the ground and stacking blackened bodies high. Fires in the night no longer brought comfort, only another threat to contend with. And the region—already under a very tenuous peace before—was destabilized completely. What knifes-edge peace there had been before was thoroughly shattered, and her beloved children were left in ever more danger. The Red Branch had ruined the land, ruined the people, ruined everything. Everybody was in danger now, and it was all the fault of Fray. And with all the chaos, she became sure that her natural geomancy just...wasn't enough. And though she spent the next five years deliberating and weighing the odds, she knew in her heart what she needed to do.

And so she left her protege, the next director of the orphanage—a girl eighteen years old now who she'd raised nearly from birth she'd named Eva, and a budding powerful pyromancer in her own right—in charge, and traveled to Kethiline. She knew what being a Hunter meant. No taste. No sleep. A soul replaced, and condemned to die. And, of course, an eternal engine of pain burning within her for the rest of however much 'life' she had left. But, if it meant she could keep them safe for one second longer...no price was too high.

Two weeks. She was only gone for two weeks. But when she came back to the region, which was only barely managing to knit itself back together in the loosest sense, she found the Loethwynn Orphanage—her beloved, and her home—in ruins.

And worse...all of the children were gone.

There was nothing left for her here. Her life—what remained of it—was shattered. The agony coursing through her was all for nothing, wasn't it? And a fierce hate for humans was kindled in her heart.

She couldn't protect the children she'd spent her entire adulthood raising. And it tore her up inside like nothing else ever could. So what was she to do, now, with a long, empty unlife ahead of her? With nothing left but the clothes on her back and the stone beneath her feet? She would travel, fighting the Void wherever she found them. And searching. Searching for anybody who had some information about her children. They couldn't all be dead. She would never believe it.

And if she ever found the ones who took them—who had taken her life and torn it to pieces—she wouldn't hesitate to bring down the mountain upon them.

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"Yes, my father is an English teacher. Yes, he named me. No, I'm not happy about it."


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Physical Description
Edgar is interesting among Pariah inhabitants, in that his quiet self-confidence causes his avatar Hvitørn to look exactly the same as him, with the exception of haircut and clothing. Golden-blonde hair inherited from his Norwegian mother, her incredibly fair skin so prone to burning in the sun, his father's amber-hazel eyes and six-foot lanky frame—everything about him just screams 'golden child,' metaphorically and literally. At work, Edgar wears standard laboratory protective equipment; long white lab coat over a button-up shirt, gloves, heavy trousers, smart formal loafers, and safety glasses over his own narrow rectangular wireframes. When not working, even when just walking down the street, he wears a smart, bespoke black suit in the business-casual style over any number of dress shirts, as well as black socks and more formal loafers. He really does need to be alone with his wife in his apartment to be anything less than business casual.

In Pariah, he has a similar sense of style. Close-fitting, equally-bespoke mage robes, done up in black with white trim and embroidery. He makes the concession of wearing well-tooled boots instead of his loafers. He carries his spellcasting focus—a brilliant pale yellow gemstone the size of his fist—with him at all times in a pocket concealed in his robes' voluminous sleeves. His trademark wireframe glasses remain, perched on the bridge of his nose at all times; though he doesn't need them to see as there is no astigmatism in Pariah, they're so integral to his self-image that they go everywhere with him. The only time he takes time to calmly remove them is if an enemy is closing in on him. It wouldn't do for an impertinent goblin to break them with a lucky hit, after all.

Character Conceptualization
Golden child indeed.

The middle child of five siblings—all sisters—Edgar was anything but the golden child. Quiet and unassuming since childhood, his busy, busy parents did their best, but he had the least attention lavished on him of the entire family. And you know what? He was fine with that. He was independent and driven, a model student. He didn't know exactly what to apply himself to as he aged; he enjoyed schooling well enough through middle and early high school, taking home perfect grades every time as though it were effortless. But at home, his parents were beginning to be concerned; with their daughters mostly out of the house, whether it be to occupation, college, or socializing, they realized how listless their only son seemed. But whenever they asked him what was wrong, they received a noncommittal answer as he stared off into space.

And then everything changed in his junior year with AP Physics. And he fell in love with it.

Suddenly, his home life shifted dramatically. He talked excitedly about what he was learning with his parents and his sisters, when they were home. He spent most of his free time poring over his textbook, lips quirked in a satisfied smile, as he relished the sensation of unraveling the mysteries of the universe.

With his perfect GPA and self-surety, he magnetized to MIT, voraciously consuming every single physics course they had on offer and striking a special chord with nuclear physics. He spent every spare moment studying. He aced all of his classes. And it was only in the first semester of his senior year, when he tried to talk to classmates about what he'd been studying and they looked at him like he was insane, that he realized he had...no friends.

None.

Of course, he hadn't been close to many people in high school, but he'd always had his sisters, and a couple acquaintances. But now, for the first time, he was alone. So terribly alone.

He kept working. He kept getting those perfect grades he was so proud of. But the excitability in his voice when he was answering in class was gone. He enjoyed it still, but it all felt so...hollow. He applied for grad school at MIT. Got in, of course. Kept learning. Felt hollow. Kept studying. Felt inferior. Kept moving. Felt distant. Stopped eating. Kept going. He realized he'd only lived for his studies. Ever. First grade through grad school. No friends. Not really.

Felt empty. Kept working.

Then, when he was 23, at the height of his isolation and depression, he met a graduate student of particle physics named Annalise Turner. And for the first time in his sad, limited life, when someone talked to him, he talked back to her. She was incredibly smart and liked to joke around, as little as he laughed. But, more important to Edgar, she seemed to have an inborn talent to cut through his deadpan expressions to figure out what was going on underneath. She teased him with impunity, but it was never malicious; she saw that he was incredibly alone. And she felt very, very sorry for him. They ended up spending a huge amount of time together, whether it was studying their respective fields or just...talking.

No points for guessing what happened next.

With her help and support—and eventually, her love (which he was very bad at dealing with, she laughed lightly)—he got through school. Graduated with honors when he was 27. Got a job in one of the fusion plants near Minneapolis. And then, thinking about everything that had happened in the past few years. All the new feelings that he'd experienced. All the confidence that he'd regained. And then, at the headwaters of Lake Itasca—in the fourth year of their relationship—he went down on one knee and proposed to Ms. Turner, with that same grave expression that he always wore. She gave a tearful yes.

Then told him to cheer up, and pushed him into the lake.

Some time later, after they'd been married for about a year, he heard something from a colleague. A brand-new video game made in Japan with proprietary VR technology with an enchantment system more like a science than anything else. Interest piqued, he picked up a system, and started to play it occasionally when he had time off and Annalise was busy with her own job as a professor. His colleague was right; he found the enchantment system endlessly fascinating, and resolved to spend some more time trying to figure it out. He loved physics, but he felt like he was...plateauing a bit in what he could learn. But here was a whole new world to figure out.

He couldn't wait.

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Physical Description
Cecilia Monaghan, known sometimes as CC, has a bit of a weird appearance. She has all the makings of someone stereotypically beautiful; California-sunkissed skin, wispy hair a beautiful honey-blonde, and--one of her really big claims to fame as an up-and-coming child star--eyes that appeared more purple than blue, like the old actress Elizabeth Taylor's were supposed to be. She's 5'6" and well-proportioned, with a symmetrical face and a cute button nose. Her figure, too, is no slouch; while certainly not an hourglass, her pear-shaped hips have certainly turned some heads over the years, even before she started obsessively padding her chest to make her appearance more balanced. But the thing is...she has all these makings of a beautiful woman, but methodically and categorically refuses all of them. She spends all her time inside, ruining her complexion. She refuses to wash and brush her hair most of the time, leaving it a matted, greasy, tangled mess. As mentioned, she does her best to balance out her prominent hips with a padded bust. Her lovely face is twisted with the most unpleasant, grumpy expressions 99% of the time she's conscious. She's the picture-perfect epitome of, well, what she is: a formerly-popular child star, now long burnt out.

Vizera, on the other hand, is what CC longs to be more than anything. She's not beautiful in the same revolting 'cute' way that Cecilia has always been considered, ever since she was catapulted into fame. She's sleek. Dangerous. All of the curves in her hips that she detests are smothered, and her modest bust follows suit, leaving her a tall, thin, whiplike woman with a jagged expression on her face, halfway between a grin and a grimace. Her usual attire--board shorts and a tank top--are discarded for a long, dramatic, black trench coat, capped with a feathered hat. Of course, Cecilia is still visible underneath--her hair is the same color, and her face has the same shape, her skin is still the same tan. If you looked carefully enough, you could easily pin the washed-up child star to Vizera. But one very important thing has changed: ever since the pressure started building, Cecilia learned to hate her violet eyes. They brought her nothing but attention, and she wanted absolutely zero to do with them. This, at least, is a wish that has been granted to her by Pariah: her eyes are a merciful red-orange.

Character Conceptualization
Vizera probably doesn't like you.

Or, well, that's what she lets on. Which might make you wonder why she spends time around you, because she sticks around for some weird reason. And it probably confuses you for quite some time, since she seems to...well, she doesn't seem to have the energy to hate your guts, but she seems like she would if she did.

But then you realize a couple days in when you're on a dangerous dungeon delve that gives you literally no loot and Vizera insists on accompanying you--and you can see her resisting being closer to you when you're moving through the dungeon--that Vizera probably doesn't dislike you. Or, well, she doesn't dislike you as much as she can not dislike anybody. No, what you end up realizing halfway through this lootless dungeon after Vizera stays close to you instead of wandering off searching for whatever someone might have missed is that, past her layers of irritability, annoyance, and bullshit, Vizera is desperately lonely.

And yet--in a seeming contradiction that might leave you confused if you don't understand what's led her to that point--she really seems to hate it when attention is on it. To DESPISE it in a truly fantastical way. She'll nose into your life, sure, but if you ask her a single thing about herself, either in game or IRL, she clamps her mouth closed in record speed and moves on. The insane pressure that has been placed on Cecilia for most of her life, and certainly all of her adult life, gives her an intense aversion to being the center of attention, and this carries through into Vizera just as strongly. She's done things that some would balk at to avoid being known; she monitors her position on the DPS leaderboard OBSESSIVELY, and whenever it breaks into the top five thousand slots she goes on a rampage of terrible group dungeoneering, throwing herself into hordes of enemies without building up her Heat and barely making it out in time to be healed. She throws entire dungeon raids into the garbage for the sole purpose of making as few waves in Pariah's overall community as she possible can. After all, better to be 'that one shitty DPS that ruined our raid' than a celebrity here too; one that will inevitably burn out once again.

She also seems to be online a lot more than most people are. She'll log time into Pariah for over ten hours a day, and that's part of the reason that she's managed such a specialized build and such a high level, despite only playing for a couple months at this point.

Recently, she's found another way to avoid notice; despite her trash position on the boards, she's managed to finagle her way into a guild called the Gloro Inquisitors with a couple well-done raids, and remains near the very bottom of the guild. After all, goes her rationale, who are paid less attention than the worst members of a good guild?

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Physical Description
Slender and short—only an inch or two above five feet and not quite skinny enough to see her ribs, but almost—Advance-Captain of the Midnosian Pyromancer-Knights is not the first thing that comes to peoples' minds when they see Sozaelamine Vaega Aricia. There are people who have asked her whether or not she's playing in her daddy's armor, ignoring the perfect fit, the hand resting on the pommel of the longsword, the confidence in her stance, the hard set of her soft young face, and the glaring judgement that dances behind her brilliant purple eyes. For the most part, she wears her knight's armor; plates of intimidating metal backed by chainmail and fitting like a glove. Done up in gleaming silver-black and chased with bright orange, it truly fits her like a glove. Since her transformation into a hunter, she's foregone the helmet, letting her short, pale gray hair fall freely.

She moves with a practiced grace that shows how skilled she is, and how strong. Not a foot out of place, not a move too sloppy, she is extremely invested in being skilled and in showing how skilled she is. Tein in particular rises and falls like a dancer's ribbon, scything through Voidlings in the dozens, if not hudreds.

Character Conceptualization
There was a silver spoon in Sozaelamine's mouth from the second she was born.

The scion of the illustrious Aricia family, she truly was coddled as a child, and through many of her formative years. Her parents spoiled her rotten and she wanted for pretty much nothing at all. Instead she looked over Midema from the balcony of her parents' manor and thought of herself as the master of all she saw.

Some years went by and she got slapped in the face with a harsh dose of reality when her parents grew sick of her indolence and kicked her out of their house. Not permanently, but long enough for her to spend some time having a think about who she wanted to be instead of slacking off all day. It was the Void Eclipse, there was no room for people like that in Midnos.

In the span of one night, Sozaelamine was catapulted from the highest rung of society down to the lowest level, booted firmly into the dirt of Midema. Her only option was to pull herself out of that dirt (well, it wasn't her only option, but something inside her refused to let herself creep back to her family in failure). So instead, she did exactly as her parents wanted and started getting her hands dirty. Over the next few years, she worked odd job to odd job and began to value the freedom more than the comfort, and stayed gone. Her muscles grew hard. Her eyes grew sharp. And one day—completely by chance—she happened to run into a woman named Keypiir in all her knight's finery. She saw Keypiir, and was instantly enraptured by this member of the Pyromancer-Knights. And Keypiir, for her part, looked at this young woman—still a girl, really, only barely fifteen—and saw within her the makings of a fine knight.

And so that is what she became. Taken underneath Keypiir's wings, she steadily rose through the ranks. As did Keypiir. Ten years hence, she attained the illustrious title of Advance-Captain. Sozaelamine, of course, what thrilled for her. Over the years, the two of them had formed a very close mentor-student relationship. And even something almost sisterly.

All that changed during one fateful defense of Galah, a small settlement in the outlying regions of Midnos. The hunters were dispatched elsewhere, and so the Pyromancer-Knights stood before the Void.

Too much. Too much. They were overwhelmed quickly, and the end of the world stood before them. All of the Pyromancer-Knights retreated, with the exception of Keypiir, still fighting to evacuate all the villagers, and Sozaelamine, who stood paralyzed looking out at the horror-night.

Then Keypiir—strong, brave Keypiir—ran up to her, brandishing a blade in her right hand a flame in her left, and let a small, sad smile show. "Live, Soza. Live."

She threw herself forward.

Sozaelamine ran.

Her next dream was tormented by the images of Keypiir's last moments. She should have been braver. She needed to braver. She needed to be as brave as Keypiir. She needed to be Keypiir, to show her fortitude and bravery to everyone. She needed to destroy the Void, just as her beloved mentor had tried to do so valiantly that horrible night.

And so, Advance-Captain Aricia submitted herself to the ministrations of Queen Ezlineia, and let the flame become her. Let it forge her into a brand against the eternal night, so that one day, she can purge the cloying guilt that clings to her, and make Keypiir proud.

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Physical Description
A tall woman of nearly six feet and rail-thin, Sansean doesn't so much stand as she looms, her narrow and pale-gold eyes holding undisguised judgement for anybody that they play over. Deep green hair frames a delicate face, long strands of it falling down to her waist in front. Her mouth is forever twisted into a frown, though whether sad or irritated, it's difficult to tell. Her body, in defiance of her Hunter strength, looks soft and weak, with little discernable musculature. She stays back in fights most of the time, and until she became a Hunter she was an academic and researcher more than anything else.

Her clothing is long and baggy, usually done up in some variety of green and capped with a deep brown robe of dense fabric. Though of course she never grows cold, the rain will always be uncomfortable, and it's convenient to be able to pass as a normal human being. In addition, it serves to mask the long strings of elaborate magical formulae tattooed all across on her upper back, shoulders, and and upper arms.

Character Conceptualization
As far as cities without bias go, Scilis is not one of them

The level of anti-Midnosian and Ldranti sentiment is...unsurprising. And understandably so, really; a countrywide slavery is still fresh in their collective psyche, and the festering open wound has only been bandaged by the Void Eclipse. Not clotted, not scarred, and certainly not healed. And the Scilis that Sansean was born was barely even bandaged. The Great War was still raging under the sun when she took her first breath. It was some months before the lights abruptly went out and the tenuous peace was struck.

As Sansean grew, she was surrounded with this fierce and independent hatred. It mattered very little that she had no context whatever for it; it was impressed into her young brain the same by her parents, who had fought in the rebellion themselves. She grew up with the firm belief that Midnos and Ldrant were just waiting for the sun to rise to continue their conquest. Around this time—perhaps twelve years after the Eclipseshe took a deep interest in the natural world. With the Hearths surrounding Scilis built by this time, it was safe enough for her to poke around the strange ways life had started to adapt without a sun to guide it. As she aged, this grew into a more scholarly interest in how things ticked, how they were structured. And as her nascent pyromancy began to develop a touch more, she began to research that too; the structure of magic, and all the ways it could be bent without breaking.

Her parents took note of this eventually, and instead of dissuading it, they asked an old friend of theirs whether or not he could make use of it. At seventeen years old, her intelligence, scholarly nature, and deep interest in how and why the world around her functioned earned her a spot at a place that would define her for the rest of her life:

The Locke Institute at Algaeon.

It was an unprecedented opportunity for her. A whole world had opened up for her and she embraced it with a fervent and delighted energy, growing her understanding and skill every day she studied there. She grew through the ranks rapidly, her meticulous eye and unmatched ability to retain and synthesize information quickly catching the attention of Locke himself. And just as valued was her clinical eye and loose relationship with value and conscience. Loose enough that she barely batted an eye at the horrors of the Pit and the crushing darkness of the ember farm.

More time passed. More pyromancer children came and went. She moved up more and more until she essentially became Locke's right hand, a firsthand observer of the conditioning and a confidante of all of his strange secrets.

Which was why she raised an eyebrow when he began a project that he didn't tell her anything about. It was completely blank to her; the only context she was given was "I'll have less time. I can't tell you why." And, a good assistant, she didn't pry. Years later until he finally unveiled the project: a new Hunter procedure. It was almost finished. But even looking at the formulae and procedure, she could see a few tiny errors here and there. He handed it off to her for finalization. She toiled on it for several weeks until she finalized her edits, creating a copy for her own records, then handing it off to Locke. And when the first melter came off the proverbial production line, she beamed with a fearsome smile.

A few weeks later, though...something began to bother her. A strange, niggling feeling in her chest whenever she saw one of the children go under the hunter's knife. And another week or so later, she realized what it was.

It was her conscience.

From that point on, she played...damage control. Not around Locke; she was careful to keep her previous persona up as best as possible whenever she was with him. But whenever he was gone—and she knew—he wouldnd't return and she was safe—she would sneak in to the poor children that Locke was grooming for their deaths or undeaths. She would talk with them. Give them little bits of real food. Stroke their hair, if they let her. But as more and more fell and became melters, she was certain: she couldn't stay. She just couldn't. She went to her small room-cum-office and, with the help of a particularly compliant child who had been conditioned and, as a side effect of her stay in the pit had lost her tongue and couldn't spill a secret, she tattooed every word, ever number, every symbol of her revised Lockesian Embersoul formula across her body before taking all of her notes and and, with a brief pulse of pyromancy, setting them ablaze. Then, with nothing left to her name but her deep brown robe to hide the horror on her body, she ran off into the night.

For the next year, she wandered, an itinerant healer. Her knowledge of anatomy and the human body allowed her to be a very efficient medic. To her, it was a form of repentance: all the poor children she had sent to the gallows weighed heavily on her mind, and every life she couldn't save only brought that crushing weight down harder. No matter what she did, she couldn't purge the memories of those children screaming as forever-pain overwhelmed them for the rest of their short lives. It was a constant terrible companion that she bore quietly and painfully. And so she eventually came to a conclusion of what she needed to do to repent all those that had become hunters because of her, and she traveled to Kethiline.

As she was recovering from the procedure, a new Gift for healing and a new and burning pain fresh within her, she discovered a strange book on the library shelf. And when she opened it, it sprang into the air next to her and...began to talk. Aschmat, it introduced it—himself, or at least his old grimoire that now had a kind of life. It had been cooped up in the library for over a century, it told her. And she would give her all the power that she asked of it—if it deemed it a good idea, of course—as long as she took it away from here.

Now her lifestyle as a wandering healer has been restored, this time far more powerful with the addition of her Gift. And with ever life saved and ever burn from the Embersoul within her blood, every town saved from destruction from the fire and lightning she and the Aschmat Grimoire scoured the Void with, she felt herself drawing ever closer. Perhaps she would never truly be able to redeem herself for all the pain she caused. Perhaps it would swing ever closer, but the asymptotic graph of forgiveness of sins would never truly be crossed.

But that didn't mean she wouldn't keep trying.

For as long as she needed to.

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Physical Description
Slender and short—only an inch or two above five feet and not quite skinny enough to see her ribs, but almost—Advance-Captain of the Midnosian Pyromancer-Knights is not the first thing that comes to peoples' minds when they see Sozaelamine Vaega Aricia. There are people who have asked her whether or not she's playing in her daddy's armor, ignoring the perfect fit, the hand resting on the pommel of the longsword, the confidence in her stance, the hard set of her soft young face, and the glaring judgement that dances behind her brilliant purple eyes. For the most part, she wears her knight's armor; plates of intimidating metal backed by chainmail and fitting like a glove. Done up in gleaming silver-black and chased with bright orange, it truly fits her like a glove. Since her transformation into a hunter, she's foregone the helmet, letting her short, pale gray hair fall freely.

She moves with a practiced grace that shows how skilled she is, and how strong. Not a foot out of place, not a move too sloppy, she is extremely invested in being skilled and in showing how skilled she is. Tein in particular rises and falls like a dancer's ribbon, scything through Voidlings in the dozens, if not hudreds.

Character Conceptualization
There was a silver spoon in Sozaelamine's mouth from the second she was born.

The scion of the illustrious Aricia family, she truly was coddled as a child, and through many of her formative years. Her parents spoiled her rotten and she wanted for pretty much nothing at all. Instead she looked over Midema from the balcony of her parents' manor and thought of herself as the master of all she saw.

Some years went by and she got slapped in the face with a harsh dose of reality when her parents grew sick of her indolence and kicked her out of their house. Not permanently, but long enough for her to spend some time having a think about who she wanted to be instead of slacking off all day. It was the Void Eclipse, there was no room for people like that in Midnos.

In the span of one night, Sozaelamine was catapulted from the highest rung of society down to the lowest level, booted firmly into the dirt of Midema. Her only option was to pull herself out of that dirt (well, it wasn't her only option, but something inside her refused to let herself creep back to her family in failure). So instead, she did exactly as her parents wanted and started getting her hands dirty. Over the next few years, she worked odd job to odd job and began to value the freedom more than the comfort, and stayed gone. Her muscles grew hard. Her eyes grew sharp. And one day—completely by chance—she happened to run into a woman named Keypiir in all her knight's finery. She saw Keypiir, and was instantly enraptured by this member of the Pyromancer-Knights. And Keypiir, for her part, looked at this young woman—still a girl, really, only barely fifteen—and saw within her the makings of a fine knight.

And so that is what she became. Taken underneath Keypiir's wings, she steadily rose through the ranks. As did Keypiir. Ten years hence, she attained the illustrious title of Advance-Captain. Sozaelamine, of course, what thrilled for her. Over the years, the two of them had formed a very close mentor-student relationship. And even something almost sisterly.

All that changed during one fateful defense of Galah, a small settlement in the outlying regions of Midnos. The hunters were dispatched elsewhere, and so the Pyromancer-Knights stood before the Void.

Too much. Too much. They were overwhelmed quickly, and the end of the world stood before them. All of the Pyromancer-Knights retreated, with the exception of Keypiir, still fighting to evacuate all the villagers, and Sozaelamine, who stood paralyzed looking out at the horror-night.

Then Keypiir—strong, brave Keypiir—ran up to her, brandishing a blade in her right hand a flame in her left, and let a small, sad smile show. "Live, Soza. Live."

She threw herself forward.

Sozaelamine ran.

Her next dream was tormented by the images of Keypiir's last moments. She should have been braver. She needed to braver. She needed to be as brave as Keypiir. She needed to be Keypiir, to show her fortitude and bravery to everyone. She needed to destroy the Void, just as her beloved mentor had tried to do so valiantly that horrible night.

And so, Advance-Captain Aricia submitted herself to the ministrations of Queen Ezlineia, and let the flame become her. Let it forge her into a brand against the eternal night, so that one day, she can purge the cloying guilt that clings to her, and make Keypiir proud.

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Physical Description
Slender and short—only an inch or two above five feet and not quite skinny enough to see her ribs, but almost—Advance-Captain of the Midnosian Pyromancer-Knights is not the first thing that comes to peoples' minds when they see Sozaelamine Vaega Aricia. There are people who have asked her whether or not she's playing in her daddy's armor, ignoring the perfect fit, the hand resting on the pommel of the longsword, the confidence in her stance, the hard set of her soft young face, and the glaring judgement that dances behind her brilliant purple eyes. For the most part, she wears her knight's armor; plates of intimidating metal backed by chainmail and fitting like a glove. Done up in gleaming silver-black and chased with bright orange, it truly fits her like a glove. Since her transformation into a hunter, she's foregone the helmet, letting her short, pale gray hair fall freely.

She moves with a practiced grace that shows how skilled she is, and how strong. Not a foot out of place, not a move too sloppy, she is extremely invested in being skilled and in showing how skilled she is. Tein in particular rises and falls like a dancer's ribbon, scything through Voidlings in the dozens, if not hudreds.

Character Conceptualization
There was a silver spoon in Sozaelamine's mouth from the second she was born.

The scion of the illustrious Aricia family, she truly was coddled as a child, and through many of her formative years. Her parents spoiled her rotten and she wanted for pretty much nothing at all. Instead she looked over Midema from the balcony of her parents' manor and thought of herself as the master of all she saw.

Some years went by and she got slapped in the face with a harsh dose of reality when her parents grew sick of her indolence and kicked her out of their house. Not permanently, but long enough for her to spend some time having a think about who she wanted to be instead of slacking off all day. It was the Void Eclipse, there was no room for people like that in Midnos.

In the span of one night, Sozaelamine was catapulted from the highest rung of society down to the lowest level, booted firmly into the dirt of Midema. Her only option was to pull herself out of that dirt (well, it wasn't her only option, but something inside her refused to let herself creep back to her family in failure). So instead, she did exactly as her parents wanted and started getting her hands dirty. Over the next few years, she worked odd job to odd job and began to value the freedom more than the comfort, and stayed gone. Her muscles grew hard. Her eyes grew sharp. And one day—completely by chance—she happened to run into a woman named Keypiir in all her knight's finery. She saw Keypiir, and was instantly enraptured by this member of the Pyromancer-Knights. And Keypiir, for her part, looked at this young woman—still a girl, really, only barely fifteen—and saw within her the makings of a fine knight.

And so that is what she became. Taken underneath Keypiir's wings, she steadily rose through the ranks. As did Keypiir. Ten years hence, she attained the illustrious title of Advance-Captain. Sozaelamine, of course, what thrilled for her. Over the years, the two of them had formed a very close mentor-student relationship. And even something almost sisterly.

All that changed during one fateful defense of Galah, a small settlement in the outlying regions of Midnos. The hunters were dispatched elsewhere, and so the Pyromancer-Knights stood before the Void.

Too much. Too much. They were overwhelmed quickly, and the end of the world stood before them. All of the Pyromancer-Knights retreated, with the exception of Keypiir, still fighting to evacuate all the villagers, and Sozaelamine, who stood paralyzed looking out at the horror-night.

Then Keypiir—strong, brave Keypiir—ran up to her, brandishing a blade in her right hand a flame in her left, and let a small, sad smile show. "Live, Soza. Live."

She threw herself forward.

Sozaelamine ran.

Her next dream was tormented by the images of Keypiir's last moments. She should have been braver. She needed to braver. She needed to be as brave as Keypiir. She needed to be Keypiir, to show her fortitude and bravery to everyone. She needed to destroy the Void, just as her beloved mentor had tried to do so valiantly that horrible night.

And so, Advance-Captain Aricia submitted herself to the ministrations of Queen Ezlineia, and let the flame become her. Let it forge her into a brand against the eternal night, so that one day, she can purge the cloying guilt that clings to her, and make Keypiir proud.

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Physical Description
A woman of perhaps 5'5" with an extremely average build, Quinnlash can melt into a crowd of people with relative ease as long as she pulls a hood over her head. Not only imbued with a pyromancer's ember but a pyromancer herself, her single eye gleams with a brilliant yellow light. Her hair is very long, kept in a tight braid that trails down her back. Though most if it is the dark gray it always was, bits and pieces of the fringes around her face have begun to bleed the same vivid hue as her eye.

While her body certainly isn't unfit by any stretch, it's not to the same standards that many other Hunters have trained to. Her tendency to keep her distance means that much of her evasive skills in combat rely on creating space between her and enemies as fast as she can. She's nimble enough, of course, needs to be in order to avoid being struck by any return fire, but not very strong. The most obvious place to see this is in her musculature. It is very apparent that she's not a frontline fighter by any means. What she lacks in strength, though, she makes up for in consistency. Though her muscles aren't overly strong, they are filled with a seemingly unnatural endurance and surefootedness even for a hunter. Bought and paid for with each backwards step taken while lining up a shot, that manifests in confident and easy movement, even in the most perilous situation.

She wears long, baggy, thick clothes with many layers, worn and tattered by now, as she travels. She no longer feels the cold now, heated as she is with an ember from deep inside. But deep within her, in a part that she despises, there is a fear that one day, she will lose what makes her human. That perhaps she already has. That her soul, already so fragile, will shatter like a pane of glass, and she'll lose something very, very important.

Character Conceptualization
Quinnlash was a scholar once. A books-in-a-library-in-Midnos, dyed-in-the-wool scholar. She'd been raised to be one her entire life. Ever since she could read, her parents—both reputable scholars themselves—had inundated her, drowned her, with diagrams, carvings, and so many books. Some as heavy as she was and varying widely in topic, the only way for her to keep her head above water was to swim. And swim she did, meekly accepting her parents' demands and doing her work, kept totally isolated in her room within the small but lavish house in the capital of Midnos. She grew very knowledgeable for her age as she simply read. Not that she could understand most of what was in the books. But what else was she to do? With nothing else around her, all the time she could ever want, and the only two people in her world constantly telling her to study at such a young age, what could she do but eat, sleep, and read? She didn't want to go outside. Her parents told her that it was dark. It was dark, and scary, and filled with things that wanted to hurt you. Best to just stay inside studying, right? She could go outside when she was older.

But when she was seven, she was allowed to leave the house. Just once, with her father close beside her. She clung tightly to him, looking fearfully at the dark world, as he took her to see a strange woman. The two of them spoke seriously in low voices for some time. What little she could hear, she didn't understand. Words like "magical affinity," "innate talent," "potential for phenomenal things." She had no idea what was going on, and flinched away, clutching to her father's clothing, when the woman reached her glowing hand out to her. She averted her pale violet eyes from her and closed them tightly, terrified. But no touch came, only a faint warmth that soon faded entirely. She opened her eyes in time to see the woman nod gravely at her father and then turn to walk towards her. And no matter how Quinnlash struggled, no matter how she screamed or cried—the pyromancer took her. The last things she ever heard from her family were two words from her father, as she tearfully begged him to take her back home with mama, please, whatever she did she was sorry, she'd be a good girl from now on, she'd never ask to go outside again:

"Goodbye, Quinn."

From then on, she studied different topics, in different ways. How to conjure flame. How to use it to defend yourself. How to exercise fine control over it. How to channel it for sustained periods. The work was grueling—mentally and physically exhausting. Months bled into years and years bled together, as she studied and trained as a pyromancer, first from a small group of skilled pyromancers and then—as her prodigal once-in-a-generation skill became apparent—by Ezlineia Aldos, the Pyromancer-Queen of Midnos, whom she became very close to. She even started calling her Mom.

Still, the habits ingrained into her by her parents held. Whenever she had time to spare, little enough of it thought there was, she would plod her way into Ezlineia’s library and find the book that Ezlineia told her to sink her brain into to distract her from the crippling fear she felt of the outside world. In reference tomes and manuals of pyromancy, the world was categorized. Understandable. Dissected. But whenever she stepped outside, it all bled together into a mess of darkness and confusion that she fled from time and again. She'd heard the stories of the Void. She'd heard tales about what lurked out there in the darkness. And she was, as ever, afraid. So she buried herself with scholarship and training, distracting herself from the terrifying world around her. She was a perfect piece of moldable clay: quiet, meek, obedient, desperate to be loved, and hopelessly eager to please.

Time ticked by, revealing Quinnlash, now a very powerful—if very inexperienced—pyromancer of 24 years, still lurking in Ezlineia’s libraries, reading about the world that she was ever and always too scared to explore, even past her doorway. There was a hidden, growing part of her that wanted, that desperately yearned, to see what was out there. But it was crushed beneath something far more meaningful that had bubbled up beneath her of late. Studies had been done in Midnos on how to fight the Void. How to resist their corruptive influence. She should know, she’'d read them all. But nothing she'd ever found in her mentor’s library knew what they were. And with that realization, the deep-rooted anger reared its head. She had been shut up her entire life, first of her parents' will, then Ezlineia’s, then her own. And now, 24 years into her life, what did she have to show for it? An exhausting fear. A horrible feeling of being trapped. And not a fragment of new knowledge to contribute to anything. She knew how to wield fire, but what did that matter if she didn’t even know what she was fighting?

Angry. Angry. Angry. Angry at the entire world. But she didn't let it out. She couldn't let it out. She closed in again. And she let it fester. It simmered beneath her for a year and a half, during which time she grew increasingly desperate to find out more about the Void. To find out something, anything, about the Void. A way to justify to herself the decades spent in isolation.

But she never did.

And nearing the tail end of her twenty-fifth year, the caldera of rage had swollen within her, growing more and more misplaced tremors of anger. Anger at her parents, who locked her in one room for years, and instilled deep within her the fear of the unknown that still dogged her feet. Anger at that damned pyromancer Elan for taking her away from her family when she was scarcely old enough to understand what was happening. Anger at Ezlineia, for her obsessed devotion to training her to become the next Queen. But most of all? Most of all, she was so furious it made her sick to her stomach at herself. If all the Midnosian studies on the Void were useless, what was she? Hiding in the library walls, never daring to take more than a few steps outside? Her whole life...what did any of it mean?

No more. No more calculating decisions for weeks before taking a single action. No more staring silently at the ceiling, unable to sleep, eyes fearfully darting about the room for hours. No more suppressing her emotions, crushing them down until they boiled her alive. No more books. No more. No more useless scholarship. No more being groomed to take the throne by Ezlineia. After all, a queenship was just another, shinier cage. Never again. No more. She needed to leave this place. To escape. To throw herself into something else, something so singular and savage that she could only ever think of it. Her brain screamed for it.

The caldera burst. The volcano erupted.

With barely a conscious thought, she found herself strapped to a table as a willing volunteer, with Mom standing above her.

"Are you really sure you want to do this, Quinnlash?"
"Fucking yes! Hurry up already!

The Queen sighed almost mournfully. And then came the pain. Her pyromancy warred with the ember growing within her, violently rejecting this foreign flame. Her skin peeled off and regrew. Her blood seethed and boiled. Her muscles were shredded, rebuilt, and shredded again. She vaguely remembers her bones snapping like brittle burnt twigs under their own weight. And her eyes incandesced, searing themselves white hot and bubbling within her skull. One of them ran out of her face, dripping like magma to the floor and collecting in a smoking, ruined pool. Only the other made it through the transformation from scholar to something far more dangerous, and it was forever dyed with a baleful yellow light.

In the years since, she's changed so much from the her that hid from the world that she doesn't even recognize what she was anymore. She's a different person now. The life of a Huntress was one that she'd only come upon through reckless abandon and overpowering emotion—sheer blinding anger—and so that is who she became. She barely even remembers the old Quinnlash. The Quinnlash that she left behind. And for that she is thankful, as she embraces a new Quinnlash. The Quinnlash who fights the darkness. Who embraces the constant pain. Who does all she can to not feel fear. Because if she does, then the rest of her—the one she's tried so hard to forget—may come creeping back.

Never again. Fight for the sake of fighting. Never again. Move on. Never again. Don't ever look back.

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She twitched. Her eye. Her feet. Her fingers.

Something was screaming behind her eyes. Something was screaming at her screaming IN her to

run. Run. Run run Quinnlash runrun run runrun runrunrunrunrun rrunrurunrnurunrnurruquinnlashrunrUNRUNRUNRUNRUNRUNRURNURNURNRUN

She could...barely make out what Daz was saying. Her eye twitched again. Her teeth chattered. Hard.

Elevator. Stay with. Daz. She nodded, head spinning. She tried to get up. She failed. Tried again. This time, she managed to crawl out of the boat, where she nearly climbed up Daz to stand.

Run run runrunrunquinnlashrunurnnnnn

She swayed, but stayed upright this time, mumbling out nearly incoherently, "Run Daz we need to run run run run we need to run right now run Quinnlash run run run run..."

She cut herself off. Breathe in. Breathe out. Close. Low. She shook her head. She felt like there was something inside of it. Something different. Something else. Shook it again. It cleared. Barely. But enough for her to stand on her own, and nod a twitching nod as her voice lost some of its feverish energy. "Stay close. Stay low."

Only then did her eye start to focus, her ears started to listen to the world again—runrunquinnlashrunurnnnnnyouneedtorunrunrun—and she saw what was happening on the boardwalk. She had to put forth soooo much focusss to keep her head straight run. It was already being bombarded from inside. Now all this too. She only just barely held back a scream.

She followed him as much as she could. She really did. She even made it a little way. But it wasn't long before she once again felt that screaming voice that was both her and inside of her and outside of her and not her and part of her and not screaming screaming RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN

She couldn't run. She couldn't. She needed to stay low, and stay close. But it was just so loud in her head. She fell behind, gasping like she'd run five marathons back to back. Besca. Besca was up there. She needed to...to...

She was falling.

She fell for a long time.

Into black.

Like ink.

Then she could see again. She was on her hands and knees. She tried to move. She couldn't. If she moved if she let herself move then the voice it was so strong it was filling her up it would take her and she would run and run and run and run and run and run and run and run

The place where she had an eye once pulsed and pounded with pain. She let out a weak cry. She couldn't run she couldn't run she couldn't run SHE COULD NOT RUN.

So, every single muscle in her body clenched like nothing she'd ever felt, it hurt it hurt a lot—she scraped herself off the ground. She stayed as low as she could. And she took one. Step. After. Another.

Whatever happened. Whatever happened. Besca was waiting for her. Besca was up there and Daz was taking her to see her she would know how to fix this—

She cut off the runaway train of her thoughts with a supreme force of will. Whatever happened. She COULD. NOT. RUNRUNRUNRURNURNURNRURN— She couldn't runnnnnnnnnn. No matter. What.
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"Quinnlash, look at me. You are not a monster, and you never could be."

Something inside of Quinn cracked.

Nerves connected. Synapses sparked. Thoughts darted around her head like a swarm of bugs. She felt like her brain was foaming, fizzing and popping wildly. Things snapped into place suddenly, puzzle pieces clattering around finding their matches. She felt like she was on the verge of something stunningly important. Something life-altering, building up inside of her.

All of a sudden, she remembered her conversation—if it could really be called that—with Roaki last night. She was a duelist pilot. Someone who only ever hurt others. She took that weapon, a weapon meant to save people, and used it to end them. And right then, she realized deep in her core:

She and Roaki were eerily similar, it was true. She remembered as much from that last dream-conversation. She'd said so to that version of herself, and she still stood by it. But there was one thing that was truly, deeply different: that was not the kind of pilot she wanted to be. But then the question presented itself, naturally, whipping through her head like a desert gale.

If she wasn't that kind of pilot...then what kind of pilot did she want to be?

A pilot that fought the Modir? No. It was true—or, well, it would be true—but that was the means and not the ends. She didn't want to kill them just to kill. She didn't want to kill them for revenge. The didn't even really want to kill them. She needed to. Important, but it wasn't—she flashed back momentarily to Quinnlash's assertion: We're a pilot. We should be killing monsters. That's what we're made for. That's our purpose.

Only no, it wasn't. A purpose wasn't what you did. It was why you did it. A note of protest rose from deep within her. She crushed it back down. No. Not now. Not today.

A pilot that kept her family safe? Again, it was true. It was deeply, painfully true. She cared more about Dahlia and Besca than anything else in the whole world, and whenever they hurt, she hurt alongside them. She wanted to protect them so badly she could feel it in her bones. But again—though it wasn't wrong—it also wasn't complete. She loved them. She loved them with her whole heart, and staying there on the Aerie was why she first became a pilot.

But somewhere along the line—the training, the study, the self-reflection—that had stopped. Or...not entirely. Her caring for them hadn't waned. In fact, it had only grown stronger. But there was a whole world along with them. What would she do if she kept Dahlia and Besca safe but Doctor Follen, the head chef, the nurses that had taken care of her when she was comatose died instead? What would she think? And there a world outside of Runa, as last night had taught her. Filled with people who she was sure were just like her, hurting just as much as she had. As she did.

So no. Her family wasn't the purpose for what she did. It was the catalyst. They were why she had become a pilot. But they weren't why she was a pilot.

So again...why was she?

She looked up at Besca's eye, so grimly certain, but so kind and caring. She felt the hand against her cheek, wiping away tears that weren't even there. She felt the warmth inside her, glowing from the inside as Besca fretted over her.

This. This was why she was a pilot. These things. These feelings. And not just for her. She closed her eye, memories of cold white walls enwrapping her. How many more out there had that kind of life? Alone, lost, couldn't find a way out?

She could be their lighthouse.

She knew it as soon as she thought it. This was why she was a pilot. Not for money. Not for fame. Not for personal gain, or to protect only those closest to her. No. Quinnlash Loughvein would be a torch. A burning brand, for people like her to find. People like Dahlia. A beacon to light up the world around her and keep everyone there safe.

She opened her eye once more. Looked Besca straight on in hers. Her voice had gone through a change, somehow. It was still shaking, of course. She was still terrified, still had to kill. But there was something else there too now. Something nebulous, subtle. If she thought about it, she wouldn't be able to pick it out. But she knew it came from finding something. A purpose. A kind of pilot to be.

Someone who would drag light with her into the future, no matter how dark. Who would set the night—

"Can I still change my Savior designation in time for the duel?"
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