Technician Efreitor of Aviation 2. Grade
"Ja, smack the nacelle again."
17 | 163 cm | 55 kg
A diminuitive girl with a posture like rotten wood and the presence of a taiga hare, Tatjana Kirigina is a ghost that dwells in corridors of steel and crawlspaces of oil and engine smoke. Her attire is often bulky, resilient, but not quite baggy. Canvas trousers dotted with the stains of industrial fluids, a sweater to ward away the winds which whip through airship yards, and a durable coat which smells of burnt coals over it to protect the sweater's cotton. Dull orange hair, the color of the misty sunsets of her homeland, surrounds her in wispy, wild offshoots. Below that mop steel-gray eyes stare out at the world, stricken with apathy and hollowed of feeling. It is difficult to determine whether it is a vacant gaze or simply her choice to stare through the world in front of her. Always atop her head or at arms reach is the symbol of her craft and the uniform of her office: A pointed witch's hat, edges bitten by gear teeth and zig-zag tip bent down by the confined spaces she works in. On the face of its cone is a shield shaped emblem, its field the dark gray of construction steel and its charge the image of two gears held fast by a monochrome fist. Below, along the shield's pointed lower edge, the words "OLYAGOVSK-FOEVCH STATE IRON WORKS"
are written in bold red.Vital Statistics:
Mana Reserve: E
Control: DSpellcasting Class:
The needs of the Republic are many, and they are pressing. The magical technology of the far world poses an existential threat to the utopia of the new government, which wisely accepts that the bayoents of its former allies-by-proxy might one day be turned upon the cities of steel. So, for need to close the gap in development and continue the many-year climb from the dark age enforced by the parasitic aristocracy, the Verholt 'school' of artificery was forced into being through the modification of old ways which had survived suppression under vampiric rule. Countryside witchcraft became married to the steam powered march of progress, dousing rods put down for wrenches and boiling pots of herbs traded for cauldrons glowing with molten steel. The new government scraped together every expert it could find, and also anyone it could call an expert, and from arcane chaos a semi-standardized system of scientific spellcasting came to be. Trappings of the "old ladys' way" still pervade the new science, oddities forgiven in the motherland as the powerful traditions of the people but sometimes taken as superstitious or eccentric by foreigners.Notable Spells/Techniques:
The great beasts of iron and canvas that man has created are not born tame, as one might come to believe watching the great airships of Cresia cruise the sky. They frequently become unruly, parts breaking, magic becoming unstable. Hundreds of man-hours are the great bulwark between the majestic sight of a proud airship and the ruined, smoking wreck of so many failed endeavors to the sky. The builders of that bulwark are Verholt's technicians, magimechanical engineers with the responsibility of maintaining the fleet. Even a small personal airship can contain kilometers of runic inscription, and as designs have increased in complexity access to important mechanical components has only become more dangerous and labor intensive. A technician of the Republic must be as efficient as they are skilled, no matter the machine. A simple technique known by all who pick up the wrench is to diffuse one's own mana into the machine in minute waves, tapping along its exterior in a series of soundings to 'feel out' anomalous conditions within the structure, like what might be making the engine chug that way. It's always the last belt you thought to check.
The need for efficiency breeds a certain kind of improvisation, it is well known that the state has little use for slow, indolent workers. Rising to the occasion as brave heroes of the Republic and proving themselves above reassignment, a technician of Verholt knows how to expedite the important processes of a machine. After making sure enough how the internal scripture of a machine is arrayed and which magical structures correspond to its various functions, it is possible to briefly and sometimes safely interfere with or control those parts of the machine. Whether this is quickly powering an airship component for diagnostic testing or speeding the toaster so that you do not exceed the standard lunch hours, a technician with sufficient control can spike his mana into a machine, matching the operating signature of its spells and effectively tricking the system into working a certain way.Magical Items/Equipment:
Izanvek Central Craftwork Object No. 104
A large wrench, as long as her own torso and with a set of adjusting jaws that allow it to manipulate any of the assorted nuts and bolts used in Verholt's airship factories. Though it is specifically an airship technician's wrench, the greatest limitation of its universality is that in the great wide world there are indeed nuts and bolts too large for even Kirigina's monster of a wrench to engage. Notably absent are any manual controls for the jaws, which are actuated by the user's magic. Its long handle has a painted purple band at its jaw end, identifying its type at a technician's glance while its full name designation is etched down the side for closer reading. Following the object number is the serial number YS1004, denoting the factory of origin and serial number for this individual tool. Kirigina's is of a particularly early production number, indicating a date of forging that makes it almost as old as the girl wielding it. It was a gift from a senior technician. A technician's wrench is a matter of grave personal importance for him, the act of handling a No. 104's immense weight and first attuning oneself to controlling it are the rites of passage for those who work witchcraft in steel. The burning in ones arms as its ponderous weight turns is the fire of the revolution, and Kirigina was entrusted with a flame sparked in the Republic's first days. A fitting device for one of the youths sent away to secure many more years of triumph for the state.Short History:
Tatjana Kirigina was born in the twilight of the Last War, in a border settlement of what would become the Republic of Verholt which had been one of the first places caught upon the frontline between the coalition and the monarchist armies. The war had long since passed the place of her birth by, but what was left were pitch black, burned lands made destitute and lawless by the passage of political giants. From the ashes, Izanvek made flowers of steel bloom. The new state reconstructed aggressively, taking the fields made unsuitable for agriculture and turning them into factories for everything they would need to protect their hard earned freedoms. So wise were Izanvek's council as to craft laws which protected those freedoms against the failings of the people. When it was her turn, Kirigina was conscripted into the workforce and sent into the labyrinth of industry that had grown up around and ultimately consumed her hometown.
Her mother was a woman of middling magical aptitude, what would have less gently been called a witch had she ever practiced her craft. So distant from the arcane arts was her mother that she was unaware of that heritage until her own minuscule ability was used as an excuse to ship her off to the airship yards. It was a mercy afforded to the daughter of a man who had been fortunate enough to be appointed a production director in one of the many new factories. Spared a fate of slightly more manual labor and an oppressive existence in the belly of Verholt's industrial centers, she was taught the basics of how to turn a wrench and added to the collection of every artificer the country could mobilize to maintain its struggling fleet of early airships reverse engineered from Cresia's designs.
She was not a particularly successful engineer, but managed to grasp the basics of witchcraft well enough to survive. Kirigina made no grand contributions to the order of operations for the factories, never championed the repair of a notable airship, nor ever managed to fail so spectacularly as to be cast back down into the smog and soot. For all her mediocrity, she was well liked. Early in her days as a tech she was given the wrench she still carries as a show of acceptance from one of the more senior crew. None of them were brilliant, but they were a team, and it was there she learned the most important part of life in Verholt: the ability to look out for one's clique, to guard your fellows from the administration's example-making and from the subversions of opportunistic competitors. It was a miserable life, interrupted by moments of fulfillment and camaraderie.
However, all of it was to be taken away from her not by the efforts of others or any prevailing virtue or fault of her own character. No, her course was ordained by something simple and beyond her control, her youth. For many years the Republic had depended on importing talent, borrowing mages, administrators, generals, teachers, doctors, every scrap of knowledge they could to catch up to the other nations. They built everything from nothing in Verholt, the vampires had done their best to contain any development in their nation that would have elevated the stature of their human constituency. Ever gazing outwards, they had for years sent students abroad to absorb the teachings of foreign lands and return that knowledge to the state so that it may prosper further. The opening of Arkus Academy to worldwide students, of course, had sparked the establishment of a formal program to move young minds into higher magical education. As a young witch, and teachable enough, she was on the chopping block before long. Her things were packed for her, her letter of assignment from the bureau above her factory as well as her acceptance from Arkus Academy were delivered hand in hand. She would become one of Verholt's numerous tendrils abroad, her only responsibility to learn ravenously and learn well, for the glory of the Republic and the brightness of its people's shared future.