Head of Voronin, Corpse Queen from the Frozen WastesGender:
Anastasia Aleksandrovna Voronin
FesObjective for the Grail:
Would you believe her if she told you she joined on a whim? Of course not. But, all the same, that cup is not exactly the goal per se. Certainly it would be nice to get her hands on such thing, but still, her main goal for the Holy Grail War is the battle itself.
Or rather, the exquisitely rare
materials she may acquire from it! Ah, just thinking about it is enough to make one’s heart beat with excitement, isn’t it? Such wonderful opportunity.
Still, she would be lying if she said ‘there is absolutely nothing else’. In fact, as many a magus hailing from the same location can tell you. . .
Why, there is this library. . .
A magus is nothing without their family. This is a known fact, and her situation is no different.
The Voronin — an old line hailing from Eastern Europe, they were those that took up their practices while under an era of persecution through the Middle Ages — a time when the Church was far more hands-on regarding ‘heretics’, particularly those of their brand, forced to leave their ancestral home for greener pastures.
A family of necromancers that sought the truth of eternity. A clan of fools that dabbled into forbidden practices for what they deemed to be a higher purpose, relentless in the pursuit of their chosen path. They thrived, making a home in Russia and establishing themselves among the slavic regions, trailblazers regarding their craft.
That was the sort of family she was born into. From the moment she could walk, she became immersed in education of anatomy, the study and symbolism of different body parts, methods of embalming and burial. Though she grew up and met peers once she left for London in order to continue her studies and honor the family name, none were ever friends.
The dead were closer companions to her than the living.
In a way, she was fine with such thing — power is intoxicating, and is there a grander power than that of twisting the natural order? To pervert and violate their forms, to disturb their rest and destroy their peace. . .in a way, it was nothing short of exhilarating. What is companionship compared to holding such things at her fingertips? She may hold herself with the decorum of a proper lady, but her true personality shines through, and it is hard to mistake her for anything other than a childish witch.
Yet, in that childishness, there was a heart, and that heart understood the lessons that had been drilled into her.
Death is an inevitability — and to be a magus is to accept it. Necromancers were considered to be even extremes within such society, often travelling to disaster zones or walking through battlefields to obtain the materials for their research.
But the creed of the Voronin did not accept death. It scorned death. It spoke of it as an inconvenience, an enemy to be destroyed, surpassed and forgotten. And perhaps she understood why.
‘There raise not the dead’.
‘One can never recover lost things’.
These are certainly facts of life. To overcome those rules, a miracle would be required.
But. . .if those you lose are gone forever, if you can never hold them again, if you must cry for their passing. . .is that end not unbearably sad? Is that end not terribly hopeless?
Death is scary. It is nothing but an ultimate separation that ends in grief. So in that regard, hating death, hating mortality, was perfectly acceptable. That is why that clan dedicated themselves to such pursuit, that is why that clan wished to achieve [ ]. That is why — they will achieve a miracle.
To do so, their path is that of ‘observing every death and every survival of death’, throughout history. If such an undertaking can be achieved then. . .they will surely find there an answer to ‘absolutely surpass death’, and touching the Swirl of the Root will come as second nature.
And then, there shall be no tears shed for the departed anymore.
A clan of fools who searched for happiness not in the future, but by clinging to the past, and molded this woman into what she is today.
Everything she does, she does because of her sense of duty toward her family — and because she truly pities those that die. In her benevolence, she gives them a second chance, she offers their bodies use, she makes them ‘better than what they used to be’. And with her art, all will be together forever.
She truly loves them.
Magic Circuit Switch:
The feeling of a nail being driven into her eye.Magic Circuit Quantity:
CMagic Circuit Quality:
Water & Fire (Origin: Desecration; Attribute: Restoration)
The basics were mastered in little time, as expected of someone of her position within such family. She attended the Clock Tower for instruction regarding General Magecraft — though it would be more accurate to say ‘politicking’, since such things had already been taken care of in her homestead — and later advanced her education in other departments. Possessing talent and charm — when she was not busy being creepy, that is — one could say that her trajectory was perfect.
Spiritual Evocation as a field was of great interest and she displayed above-average skill, and elemental magecraft was picked up on a whim to supplement her other capacities, but, as expected, the field where she truly excelled was Necromancy.
The art of giving rise to the dead, the art of beating the natural order, the art of ‘recovering that which has been lost’. That is the key Thaumaturgy pursued by the Voronin.
To begin with, Necromancy could be divided into two branches: processing select body parts to create different artifacts — perhaps something that could be called a mix of spiritual evocation and curses — and the more ‘traditional’ sort that raises the corpses for one’s own purposes — from corpses, giving rise to abominations that dwarf the living, grander than they were at any point before their deaths, remoulding flesh and bone.
The latter in particular is something she possesses exceptional talent for, even where the standards of her dedicated family are concerned — even Magic Circuits, which would normally remain outside of the reach of a necromancer, can be manipulated as the ‘physical part of the soul’ that can be found in the body. Stripping her minions of all but the barest minimum, she can craft horrors that suit each particular need to perfection.
She makes them strong. She makes them beautiful. She makes them better than they were.
To surpass death, they must surpass what they used to be. That is why, that is why —
Yeah, if they must be made monsters in order to surpass death, then so be it.
Regarding flesh, she has yet to meet any match. After all, her Origin facilitates the twisted experiments and her Attribute means getting the materials to a proper working condition to begin with is rather easy — she prides herself on the quality of her creations.
Naturally, as a side effect, she also excels in healing — but that is not something that sees much use.Crest:
Voronin family crest — hails back to the 12th century, situated right over her heart.Right Hand of Fate:
As it implies, a hand. Mummified, and stuck in the shape of a fist with the thumb between the index and middle finger, it draws upon an old belief that such shape can ‘ward off curses’.
Naturally, that sort of thing is not really true, given that curses affect the ‘fate’ of one, rather than their actual physical form. Rather, it is a sort of Mystic Code that acts as a ‘return to sender’ cheat, bouncing the effect back onto the individual that tries to curse her.
It was passed down by her father, and boasts of having faithfully served her family for more than three hundred years.Čërnyj Zahoronenija — Wailing Paradise of the Falsely Living:
The ‘secret among secrets’ of Voronin. In appearance, a great obsidian sarcophagus decorated with gold, a storage unit.
In their homeland, there exist traditions saying that the souls of the dearly departed linger in the hearth of the home to care for the living.
For them, a family of necromancers spanning centuries, the ‘hearth’ is the ‘symbol of their craft’. Though they might have had to move to different locales, they always carried such thing with them — and so, it gained that property of ‘being that which stands at the center of the household’ and ‘something that binds Voronin’.
The sarcophagus is the resting place wherein the heads of Voronin are laid to rest. . .a burial that takes place while they are still alive. They, who have already finished their business with the world of the living, enter the ‘world of the dead’ that is the grave, and thus become its inhabitants. Their dreams and grudges are inconsequential, their hopes do not matter anymore — once the crest has been passed down and their successor has been properly groomed, they are ‘dead’.
That is all that is required of magi, after all.
Each successive head becomes a subject for the next one to use as materials, a thing
to be crafted and modified. It was her father’s fate, and it will be hers many years down the line — and once that is over, they are sealed within the sarcophagus, to be used by the next head should the need arise. Combined with the properties of the ‘grave’, they willingly choose to ‘take over the role of the living dead’.
However, that is only part of the equation. Something else was needed to add the proper foundations to the process — for which they turned to the legends of neighboring lands, long ago.
There exists a common wisdom in the cold north — to become ‘draugar’, one needs only to interact with the evil spirits and the infection will set in — akin to curse upon their existence. That is why the head that began the process purposefully sought them out after their child was ready to take over, and why he accepted that curse.
From then on, from that first head to the current generation, all Voronins that are shunted into the sarcophagus are, too, ‘infected’ by the previous ones — and in doing so, they guarantee eternity.
Undeath for the foundation. Acquisition of roles as the path. Acceptance of fate as the trigger.
Denizens of a world for the dead while still alive. The choice of a clan of fools that could not let go of the past to the point this became an agreeable solution.
Perhaps a hopelessly, despairingly romantic one.
”Ahh, you annoyed me, you really did. With that said, you’ll get to see a spectacle before I flay you alive — now bear witness and be crushed by magnificence spanning seven hundred years.”Exceptional Benefit:
7 days worth of preparation.