"Murderer? I'm afraid you are mistaken. I am an artist, and death is my medium."
Character Name: Rikki
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Character Class: Wizard
Prestige Class: Assassin
Rikki was born in a set of triplets alongside two siblings. A brother who was named Tikki, and a sister by the name of Tavi. The three grew up together, and while Tikki and Tavi could both be seen as normal children, Rikki had grown up rather disturbed, with an obsession for death.
Rikki saw the end of one's life differently than others, rather than viewing it as a tragic end to one's existence, Rikki saw it as a sort of climax of life. Everything builds up to one's final moment in this world, and within that moment, Rikki saw something beautiful...
Was everything leading up to one's demise a result of their own doing? Like a soldier who perishes in a grand battle... Or perhaps one who ran, and was executed for cowardice? What were their final words? Did they scream? Or did they quietly accept their own fate?
There was an indescribable feeling with every passing to Rikki, and even the humblest of deaths told a grand story, some full of joy, some of sorrow, some of mystery, and some of intrigue. Rikki viewed the final fate of all life and everything leading up to it as a sort of "portrait" portraying the truest essence of one's very being, ironically, at the very end of such being...
It was this obsession that drove Rikki to begin killing, starting with her family. A tragedy of this magnitude would have such delectable irony; Rikki's parents, her siblings, slain by their own kin... Thoughts of the magnificence of the "portraits" of their deaths stirred within Rikki as she slit the throats of her parents in their sleep, and plunged her dagger deep into the chest of Tikki, who let out the most wonderful scream, changing into a gurgle as the blood pooled in her mouth, and finally silence as Rikki let the limp corpse fall to the floor. It was at this moment that something wicked had awoken within Rikki. A lust, an insatiable thirst to create the perfect killing; Rikki's "masterpiece".
Tavi, hearing the scream, had woken up and upon seeing her own sister standing over the body of Tikki, ran. She seeked sanctuary at the town's local church of Sarenrae, and was taken in by the priests and clerics. It was here that Tavi decided to become a paladin, with an oath of vengeance against her murderous sister, Rikki.
Rikki had fled town, living in the shadows from that moment onward, and relying on a basic understanding of the arcane to further her ability to remain hidden until she became capable of bending the very shadows themselves to her will. Rikki remained in hiding until she knew she had mastered the art of stealth well enough to begin her murderous rampage once again. Her modus operandi remained consistent for all killings. She would sneak near her victim, under the effects of a "reduce person" spell, taking on the appearance of a large black rat with piercing black eyes to match. If spotted, Rikki would quickly cast a spell to vanish and relocate to a better position to make her next move. After stalking her victim and determining a weak point, Rikki would weave the shadows themselves into binding chains, which would form around her query and tether them in place as they are engulfed in darkness. She then made use of extra-planar magic to appear directly next to her target; and finally, with all of her lust for murder, Rikki would pour all of her magic into a single strike before retreating... From an outsider's perspective, it seemed as though random citizens were engulfed in darkness, let out one final scream, only to be found dead once the darkness cleared.
This method of killing started wild rumors about a blood-thirsty eldritch entity haunting the town, with the sight of a vanishing black rat serving as its omen of certain death. Rikki would continue her serial killings until the town was abandoned, everybody either fleeing, or meeting their end to Rikki and her search for her "masterpiece." Rikki would then move on to the next village, until it too was barren.
Conflict arose, however, when Rikki returned to destroy the village from which she fled, and was reunited once again with her sister, Tavi...
(To be continued)
Character Name: Error 410 (AKA 410)
Birth Name: Stephanie Von Kaiser
Birth Year: mid 1990's (Spike Baby)
Character Role: Decker
Stephanie Von Kaiser and her twin, Lena, were born long before the awakening of the sixth world, an event that saw magic returning to Earth, and along with it, new mutations of humankind, and the return of creatures long forgotten, such as dragons. Both Stephanie and her sister were born as "spike babies", children born as magical races long before the awakening, thought to be a result of random pockets of arcane energies floating throughout our world.
Growing up, both Stephanie and her sister discovered that they had a knack for technology, specifically computer programming, and while Lena used her knowledge to become a blackmarket hacker for hire known as a "decker" in the sixth world, Stephanie used her knowledge to secure a more legal position as a spider at Mitsuhama Computer Technologies. It was a spider's job to plug into their workplace's matrix and defend it from hackers, thieves, and of course Shadowrunners, bands of mercenaries who commit crimes usually for the highest bidder. Mitsuhama being one of the largest corporations in the world, and especially with their company's origin as a string of Yakuza fronts, there was never a dull moment in Stephanie's line of work; but she was payed well, she was good at what she did, and she was happy... Until the great crash of 2062.
In the year 2062, a massive crash in the matrix resulted in the loss of untold and unfathomable amounts of data. People lost their jobs, their identities, and even their bank accounts as a result of this massive network failure. One of those affected was Stephanie, who lost her identity when her entire permanent record was destroyed, and consequentially her license to work. But while Stephanie had lost everything in the crash, her sister, Lena, could not be happier. The crash had deleted her criminal record, her personal record, and all data on her existence, giving her a clean slate; and now with the systems keeping criminals at bay weakened from the crash, Lena made a move to take herself to new heights... and lows. Everything that happened created a perfect opportunity for Lena to start anew... but this time, she started under her sister's name.
Lena had stolen Stephanie's identity, going on a crime spree and blaming everything on her sister, building a new identity from the ground up as a reckless criminal. Lena was now invincible. All systems were weakened, and even if Lena did get caught, she would never be the one to take the blame, she could not be touched, and she took full advantage of it. Meanwhile, Stephanie attempted to re-gain her life, battling in courts and attempting to gain her old life back, but when courts started throwing her out due to crimes she never committed, and when security agencies started chasing after her, she knew that something had happened, and that whatever it was, Stephanie could no longer work with the law. The legal system had failed, leaving Stephanie only one choice. She used her knowledge from her work as a spider to become a a hacker herself, and traced everything back to her sister, Lena.
In a fit of rage, vengeance, and justice, Stephanie abused the weakened system just as Lena had, and pinned all the crimes on the true perpetrator... in addition to adding a few new items to Lena's new record, including slandering her sister by making her a registered technomancer, all of whom were feared for their ability to physically interact with data and control electronics with their mind alone. Of course, Lena was no such thing, but being labeled as such would certainly make life very difficult for her. And finally, to send the message never to mess with her again, Stephanie needed Lena to know exactly who had screwed her over. As it turned out, Lena had been operating under the name of "Error 404" in reference to her record no longer existing; so Stephanie took up a new name of her own. A name similar so that Lena could easily tell who had done it: "Error 410". This is, of course, a reference to the internet from before the awakening; An error when data trying to be reached has been purposefully removed and will, in most cases, never return again.
There was no turning back. Stephanie had taken her vengeance, but the damage had still been done. With nowhere left to turn, Stephanie, now only known as Error 410, had no other choice but to become a decker herself in order to survive. Now she is only known as a strange mercenary with no identity or even any record of existence. A living ghost in our world with an enigmatic past... But if Lena could survive the law wanting her for crime, and the public wanting her for her abilities as a so called technomancer, perhaps that mysterious past will all come crashing back to haunt her.
Character Name: Nephelus
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Character Class: Wizard
Archetype: Wind Listener
Nephelus' earliest memory can be traced back to the anarchist city of Kaer Maga, ruled over by gangs and factions in a paradoxical combination of discord and harmony, each gang or syndicate controlling a single district of the city, and each holding enough power to control their turf, yet not enough to overthrow one another without riot. But beneath the city lies a mysterious labyrinth of unknown origins, holding horror, treasure, and knowledge alike; each waiting for those brave and foolhardy enough to attempt an expedition into the depths. Among these antiquated and enigmatic arcades lie what was once the chambers of the Council of Truth, a number of political refugees each banished from their homeland for crimes against hubris in the pursuit of arcane knowledge, and each of whom decided that the mysterious halls of the city's blackened vault would be perfect for the continuation of their research and experimentation... Until every single member of the Council mysteriously vanished, leaving their laboratories vacant, and all sorts of magical secrets and wonders behind.
Nephelus himself was found within these abandoned laboratories, unconscious in the middle of a large magic circle, the lines faintly glowing until a group of adventurers approached, and the faded energies powering the circle now completely dispersed. It was then that Nephelus awoke...
Nephelus had no memory prior to waking up, even his own name he had made up on his own out of necessity to have some sort of title by which he may be called, and the only clue to Nephelus' past was a tattoo on his back bearing a stylized hand with an eye in the palm. several copies of this symbol had been found throughout the area, which contradicted the Council of Truth's own insignia of a wide-eyed owl.
The adventurers escorted Nephelus back to the surface, where he began to question others on the strange tattoo, as well as if anybody could recognize him. He seeked augurs and diviners, yet none of them could look back in Nephelus' past before the point where he woke up in those defunct labs. To everyone's surprise, the first person to recognize Nephelus was a little girl, who showed him a wooden doll wearing identical clothing to that which Nephelus awoke in, even the similarities in bodily structure were uncannily accurate, down to every detail of the flowing spirals of blue commonly seen among sylphs that cut across Nephelus' pale skin. When questioned on the origin of the doll, Nephelus was directed to a toy-maker who had dozens of the dolls, each strikingly similar to him in every element. The toy-maker himself was taken aback upon meeting Nephelus, shocked to meet who looked to be a man identical to his own line of sylvan dolls... Yet there was no way he could have modeled the dolls after Nephelus because the toy-maker had never seen him in his life! But there was one difference between the dolls and Nephelus: the strange tattoo on his back. The toy-maker had said he had a customer, an elf whom wore a cloak which seemed to make a metallic rattling sound as she walked, and the silver clasp adorning the base of the hood depicted the same intricately crafted hand, with an eye opening from the palm.
Nephelus now had a new lead, and taking inspiration from the city's underhanded tactics in business, he began to grow proficient in eavesdropping and spying. Stalking information and hunting down rumors with singular veracity. Once hidden information began to divulge itself, revealing the origins of the cryptic hand, and tracing it to a cult that came about after the disappearance of the Council of Truth. The sect called itself the "Sivler Hand" and they devoted themselves to finding the secret of life and the essence of the soul itself. It would seem the cult had been using parts of the Council's dilapidated facility in order to orchestrate their own operations and analyses. It was now that a great secret had begun to crown into the realm of tangible knowledge, and the final piece of the puzzle was finding the elven woman... but what Nephelus was not expecting was for the woman to find him first.
Nephelus was at the local inn, when a note was slid underneath his door, its seal emblazoning the crest of the Silver Hand. The note itself had little to say...
"I have heard you have been searching for me, my child, and I am sure you must have many questions. If truth is what you seek, return to the chamber from whence you came, deep in the dormitories of the Council of Truth, and we shall grant you the revelation for which you so desperately yearn. We meet at dawn.
It could not be certain whether the note was a trap, or an invitation, but Nephelus could not let this opportunity pass, and he set out, back to the dungeon. Upon arriving, a group of hooded figures, each wearing cloaks that rattled with metallic objects affixed inside, parted way for Nephelus to arrive at the chamber where he was first discovered. They whispered and chattered to one another as he passed by, until eventually, Nephelus opened the door, and found an elderly Elven woman inside.
The woman introduced herself as "Solena", an Elder in the Silver Hand, and after asking what Nephelus called himself, claimed she was one of the many responsible for his conception. As Nephelus already knew, the Silver Hand were obsessed with finding what separated men from golems or androids, what truly gave them life... And Nephelus was the result of their investigations into the primal apex of our being.
It was not long ago that Solena had made a breakthrough in her studies, and formulated a ritual, that could possibly create the very essence of life itself, a soul. She purchased a doll to act as its vessel, and burned the Silver Hand's insignia into its back. The doll was taken to the under-city, deep into the Council of Truth's chambers, and became the recepticle of an intense magical procedure. Yet when nothing happened, the doll was abandoned, and the research shelved for archival as a failure... but it seemed the magical energies grew inside the doll, transforming it into a living, breathing sylph who awoke and began to call itself Nephelus.
The reason Nephelus could not remember his past before waking up in that chamber was because he had no past before waking up in that chamber, and Solena looked upon Nephelus as a mother would her son... It was all so much to take in at once, but with time, Nephelus decided to stay with the Silver Hand and live in Kaer Maga, helping the closest thing he had to a family and protecting them from prying eyes and inquisitive minds that would want to end their work; yet allowing those who could help them to gain an audience with the cryptic and secretive cult.