size 69 (nice
Male | 23 | Sound
"You were prettier with your mouth closed."
You're not such an easy target
One minute I know you then I don't
I know you then I don't
"Legacies are made to be surpassed."
In many ways, Henry is the spitting image of his father; fair-skinned, blue-eyed, and sporting a head of thick, golden blond hair, always well looked-after. Standing a bit shorter than his father at around 5'9, his body strikes a fine balance between a lithe frame and practical musculature, just as Lady Sinnenodel prefers. Dressing in whatever style the Lady fancies that year, Henry is always sure to be put together to the letter of her command and keeps himself meticulously clean and cared for. Conventionally handsome, Henry usually sports an eerie, masklike expression utterly devoid of emotion, having long since learned to keep such silly mortal trappings to himself - or, better yet, expunge them completely. Despite this, his eyes have a chilling sharpness to them, always searching for traps, weaknesses, and opportunities.
Henry was raised to be the ideal Sinnenodel mage, and he would like to think he’s very close to achieving it. Cold and ruthless, there are no lengths to which he won’t go—or levels he won’t stoop to—to accomplish his goals, be they simply following orders or tipping the scales of fate in his favour. It cannot be overstated that his interests begin and end with himself, and to that end, he is zealously ambitious—a passion that currently manifests in the enthusiastic service of his Lady. Make no mistake, though; his loyalty does not stem from love, or gratitude, tradition, or any supposedly higher calling. No, Henry’s fierce loyalty stems squarely from his own desire to succeed, and there can be no success higher in this world than earning the favour of the Empress herself.
Having learned from a young age that mortal emotions are nothing but an obstacle in his path, he’s learned to suppress them, smother them somewhere safe and out of the way to be dealt with later - or preferably, never. However, that isn’t to say that he doesn’t entertain the occasional human urge. Quite the contrary; Henry has come to see the game of words and daggers the Sinnenodels play as quite the pastime indeed, and finds great entertainment in all the myriad ways he can pull the strings of his social fabric. He likes to have fun; it just so happens that his idea of fun is invoking the misfortune of others.
Above all, though, it bears repeating that Henry’s sole purpose is his own self interest. He will do, take, and endure absolutely anything to secure his own future, and Fate help anything—or anyone—that stands in his way.
No matter one’s status, it is impossible to completely escape the clutches of war; Henry Starag was no exception. Born in the year 507, Henry was a toddler when Lycans attacked his childhood home, forcing his father Aaron, his mother Eloise, and their cadre of allies to pull out every possible stop to defend themselves. If not for his father’s Lycan breakthrough and Max Alderman’s sheer magical might, Henry’s life would have been a short one.
But the only thing that ended that night was Henry’s direct involvement in the war; on an agreement that it was best to keep him safe, three-year-old Henry was sent to none other than Sybil Sinnenodel’s household, where he’d be protected from any and every possible threat excepting the Empress herself. There, safely tucked away in the heart of Sinnenodel territory and far from the war, Henry grew to forget most of that night, and lived in relative normalcy.
Instead, Henry grew up under the harsh and exacting tutelage of Sybil Sinnenodel and her household, and there was molded into the very finest example of what a Sinnenodel mage - and a Starag, for that matter - should be. But it wasn’t just the Empress’ creative methods or the competence of the mages under her employ that were responsible for Henry’s success. On the contrary; even as a child, Henry proved the perfect receptacle for their teaching, driven to excel and eager to use any method, no matter how underhanded, to do so. By personality alone, there was nothing of his father in him. Where Aaron was kind, Henry was cunning; where Aaron was gentle, Henry was ruthless; where Aaron was duty-bound, Henry was motivated only by the prospect of his own achievement. Not that there was anyone around to recognize the difference - Aaron was long since a changed man by the time Henry was becoming his own person.
Growing up largely apart from his parents, who were usually busy with the war, Henry enjoyed every luxury and endured every hardship a proper Sinnenodel mage was expected to, as if there was no war at all - more or less. From a young age he learned to keep his ‘human’ side carefully concealed, to tolerate Sybil’s frequent invasions into his psyche, and even to keep his very thoughts in check, lest he attract his Mistress’ ire. As he grew and learned more about his family, the Sinnenodels, and his place between the two, Henry came to recognize the gravity of the same lofty Starag lineage that inspired such zealous awe in his father. However, Henry wasn’t struck by admiration; rather, he was taken by the sheer scale of the achievements he’d have to someday outpace in order to finally step out from under their shadow.
And his ancestors weren’t his only competition, either. Aside from his own father and the other handful of accomplished mages who joined him in the war, Henry had Lena. Lena, the insufferable pile of perfect looks and feminine curves and infuriating talent. Lena, the ice mage he’d been engaged to marry since before either of them could walk, who had been his chief competitor for Sybil’s good graces throughout their entire shared upbringing. Lena, who matched Henry for every accomplishment without fail, who he hated and loved, who was probably the closest thing to an equal he had in the world’s entire population of mages. Lena, who he’d strangle if he could and whose company he resented so much and yearned for so dearly the second she was gone.
Yeah, that bitch.
Let it never be said that Henry Starag didn’t enjoy a good challenge, because if ever there was one, Lena was it. However, as of late, Henry has gotten an edge. New intel has come in on some potential to stir up Dawn Rising, the foremost band of terrorists currently acting the thorn in the Empress’ side, and it just so happens, it’s finally time for Henry to show his Lady what he’s capable of. True, he has very big shoes to fill, and very long shadows to overtake if he wants to truly make a name for himself beyond his father’s reputation. Fortunately, single-handedly toppling Dawn Rising from the inside should prove an excellent start.
Roan Levi Alserda
Male | 22 | Sound
"The next thing that bites me is getting a bite back."
"A caged bird's gotta stop singing."
With dark olive skin, deep green eyes, and graceful features, Roan always had something of a delicate look about him; something his vampire must have noticed, since she had those features enhanced with life magic treatments and plastic surgery until Roan took on the sort of refined, ethereal mien that served nicely as an attractive show piece. Always having hated being looked at like a decorative sculpture, Roan has since done his best to downplay his looks, letting his eyebrows grow back a little thicker, his skin get a little rougher, and dyeing his hair from its former glossy black to a very obviously bleached, out-of-the-bottle blue. A long scar mars his left cheek down to the jawline, further breaking up his formerly symmetrical face, and he hides his lithe, willowy build with oversized tees and zip hoodies.
Roan is famously easy to get along with. Easygoing to a fault, Roan has always been perfectly happy to go with the flow, preferring to follow the leader rather than striking out himself. He’s very forgiving of slights against him, preferring to err on the side of grace, and usually assumes (for better or for worse) that people don’t mean to be as harsh as they sometimes come across. But everyone has their limits, and if someone does manage to get on his bad side, he can grow immature, stubborn, and snarky. Of course, getting Roan to the point of spitting back is a feat in itself; in his personal life as well as in battle, Roan would much rather flee than fight.
Growing up with two bickering older sisters taught Roan to be an effective mediator, and since tension drives him crazy, he will often be found trying to help people work out their differences - whether his efforts are welcome or not. Averse to conflict and discomforted by seriousness, Roan does his best to keep the mood light, usually trying to diffuse tense situations with a joke or a change of subject. His discomfort with silence, especially, is even more notable these days; the longer people are around him, the more they will notice that his constant attempts at levity may be less of a personality quirk and more of a protective measure.
This is most evident in his relatively new aversion to being alone, a discomfort so encompassing it’s probably better described as a fear. So Roan does his best to keep people around, keep them talking, and keep them smiling - after all, too much time alone with his thoughts is bad news when there’s so much in his head he’d rather not think about.
Hailing from an orbital Eve territory, Roan’s upbringing was pleasant enough. Born to a single mother with two older sisters, it’s true that they weren’t the model of the nuclear family, and without a second income, they also struggled financially for a while until his oldest sister started working. But they were happy; Roan’s house was always full, be it with the people who lived there or friends and loved ones who stopped in. Even after his oldest sister married and started a family of her own, she was always over with her husband and children, filling the house with the happy noise Roan grew so fond of. It was a happy childhood, the memories of which Roan still treasures to this day.
But he couldn’t stay a child forever, and that fact was underscored the year he turned eighteen, when his Awakening crystal lit up and changed his life forever. Truth be told, while he was sad to leave home, Roan was a little excited at the prospect of serving a vampire; it was a chance to step out of the modest means he was so accustomed to, to make something of himself he probably couldn’t have as a mundane man.
He considered himself pretty lucky, too. He ended up with a vampiress named Bellamira Deale, part of some distant branch of the Eve family on the low end of the social hierarchy - still plenty rich, but largely uninvolved with the political machine. On top of that, she was decently kind to him. A bit of a diva, she liked things a certain way, of course, but she took a particular interest in Roan, doting on him like an exotic pet and grooming him to become a show mage. She was a great fan of his talent for music, hiring magic tutors to teach him how to enhance his natural ability with Sound magic, and she loved showing him off to friends at parties. It wasn’t always the most comfortable thing to be poked and prodded by rich vampires and looked at like more of a toy than a person - especially when they got a little more handsy - but Roan counted his blessings, and he was more or less content.
He spent two reasonably good years with Bellamira, but the novelty wore off when she decided that it was time for the ‘training wheels’ to come off and to induct him into service as a proper show mage. See, in her eyes, becoming a “proper” show mage meant changes; she told him they were simple ‘enhancements’, meant to play on his existing features, highlight his best qualities and minimize the bad ones, and that he’d be happier for them. But it wasn’t until he finally awoke from a whole host of surgical and magical procedures that Roan realized just how dramatic of a change Bellamira wanted to make. He couldn’t deny that he looked “better”, in a way; his features were smoother, his flaws tucked away, his assets exaggerated, just as she said. But it went way beyond ‘enhancement’; his eyes were green instead of hazel, he had an entirely different nose, and all the other features he was used to - even the flaws he never expected to miss - were gone. He looked more like a sculpture freshly carved than a real person, lacking the story of his life he didn’t realize was written in his features until they were gone. He barely recognized himself in the mirror.
It was jarring, but for a while, Roan tried to convince himself that he was okay with it. After all, Bellamira was pleased, he was turning more heads than ever, and he seemed to be on his way to a promising ‘career’ as a show mage; he should have been happy, right? Moon only knew most mages weren’t nearly that lucky, especially these days. But something still didn’t sit right with him. Deny or distract all he wanted, the changes still ate away at him. He no longer had his mother’s nose or his sister’s eyes. His home wasn’t full of life or laughter, just schedules and meetings and glorified busywork to keep the mages looking busy. He barely recognized himself anymore, inside or out, and he didn’t realize until it was too late how much he’d miss those faint echoes of his mom and sisters in the mirror.
When he could no longer bear the feeling of separation, he went to his mistress, all but begging her to turn him back, or at least to let him dial back the changes to something more subtle. But to his surprise, Bellamira, who had always been more or less amicable with him, was not pleased. She denied him fervently, insulted by his brazen rejection of her ‘gift’ to him, and made it clear who made the decisions in her house and who he really belonged to. Crestfallen and hurt, Roan accepted her decision, but fell into a numbing sadness.
Apparently Bellamira noticed how her decision was weighing on him, and surprisingly, attempted to make things right. But a vampire’s interpretation of making amends was much different than a mage’s. She approached him late one morning, where he was moping in his room, and tried to comfort him - he didn’t need to be sad anymore, because now he didn’t need to compare himself to anybody. He could ‘be his own person’, free from the burden of some petty family resemblance weighing down on him, because she’d seen to it that everyone in his ‘old family’ was gone.
Roan doesn’t remember much about what happened next.
It must have been dramatic, though, because the result was an open curtain, a pile of ash on his floor, and him running for his life.
The next few weeks were a blur, but at some point he joined up with a small local rebellion cell that had merged into a distant limb of Dawn Rising, less than ten people in number. He spent about a year with his small band of comrades, conducting small-scale operations that ultimately didn’t accomplish much more than soothing Roan’s burning need to do something, anything to make sure what happened to him never happened to anyone ever again.
When they finally got to make a move that might actually have made a difference, Roan’s endeavours once more ended in tragedy. Finding unexpected resistance and succumbing to a crucial organizational breakdown, the entire cell was killed; Roan was the only survivor, and even then, only because for the second time, he ran.
And again, the next few weeks - or was it months? It was so hard to tell - went by in a blur, and now he’s once more searching for a chance to join up with the resistance in the hopes that this time, maybe he can actually make a difference.