The Shadow and the Flame
Fat lass, can still run...
Rubenesque – or if you are harsh, fat – but attractive with it. Heavy lidded eyes and plump lips. Long dark curled hair. Blue eyes, pale smooth skin. Likes her finery and jewels, likes feminine things, silk dresses and the like… currently though she possesses none of these things. Technically she is 220 years old, about 23 years old… and if you count falling though a gate as a rebirth… about 10 days old. She looks somewhere in her mid-twenties.
The picture is John William Godward’s ‘The Girl at the Door’
Loyal, Empathic, Pragmatic, Indulgent, Avoidant.
Intelligent, loyal, caring, compassionate, empathic, mediator, commander, strong to a set of beliefs.
Emotional cowardice, selfishness, indulgent, avoidance of difficulties.
Surface: deal with it as it comes. the past is past… the moving hand writes and having writ moves on… She has drawn a line under the past – and will talk about it only in the most cursory terms.
- Prefers to be part of a group, people or collection – those relationships define ‘home’ to her. Once defined she will be incredibly loyal to them.
- Moral compass: protection of those who have no other protection, no black and white, manipulation rarely justifiable, violence is a part of life, love & care are higher ideals
- Ritual Dagger – made by Andy’s Character when he was a smith on her world.
- Deck of Dragons
- She is wearing the most opulent and inappropriate set of dresses you can imagine.
- She will eventually accumulate quite a bit of baggage due to her liking of dresses and bits – she was famed in the army for being on campaign with a massive wardrobe. ‘Sail does not do ‘camping’ … she likes a soft bed, good food and good wine.
- Blushes easily – but with any strong emotion – anger is easily mistaken for embarrassment etc… but then she rarely reaches a point of strong emotion.
’Sail was the Commanding Mage of the Cadre linked to the 2nd Army Imperial Army – one of the longest lived of the Empire and the most lauded. As she saw it as her family & home she refused to leave them accepting that this choice stalled her career. She spent a long time forging links with that Army and was respected as a caring, intelligent and capable leader.
Prior to this her life, even for her, is somewhat fuzzy. What is known is that for a good while she was the Lover of Mock, A Pirate Lord and that long before she came to Imperial Army and their Sorcerers she was an exceptional Mage.
The 2nd army was decimated in the ongoing wars. It tore her apart that she could not defend them, and despite realising the machinations going on around her, she neither saved her cadre, her then lover, nor the army from massive devastation. She was left alone as one of the few survivors, and suspected because of it. Her loyalties in question she was unable to reconnect to any of the other survivors. During the arguments and the struggles that followed the 2nds decimation she threw a knife broken during the assault to a Smith in the remnants of the Army. The unamed Smith returned to her a knife of unparalleled sharpness and strength… and though she tried to find the maker again he appeared to have vanished… and she got the distinct feeling he would one day be again important.
Eventually she would discover that her failure to protect them and her subsequent survival was a planned manipulation of others in her Order. It also transpired that her tendency to avoidance; specifically her lack of will to use her Deck of Dragons (a tool which allows not only prophetic reading, but current time readings – showing the movements of major players in events as they unfold) when she knew catastrophe was close, had facilitated the plots against her and the 2nds. She took another lover and did her best to reconnect with the remnants of that army and protect them – but was betrayed and killed before she could do anything useful for anyone.
During her death a magical accident caused by the breaking of her own protective seals caused her Soul to become available and she was caught and reborn to a young plains woman. Her soul was manipulated in and born into another race, and her soul was melded to several others in the process. As a result her memory, full with the long years of her life, is also patchy and filled with the experiences of other souls.
Through her rebirth she comes to see her Deck of Dragons in a new light, because her birth suspended her between two worlds, effectively allowing her to exist in two worlds at once (she knows a limited number of gossamer words as warrens). This gave her new insights into the deck. She suspects that each card is in itself a gateway to another world/warren. She also suspects that the Deck as it exists in her world/perception is incomplete, suggesting a greater beyond. So she uses the deck and the knowledge it gives her to try and work out a better path for everyone than the ones they are being forced into by prophecies and sundry Gods.
During this time the card bearing the symbols of ‘The Tower’ comes up again and again in her readings, and it changes subtly showing light pouring out of the upper windows. Though the card bares no relation to events on her world it consistently comes up, in relation to symbols that she recognises as ‘beyond’. ’Sail puts these things aside, assuring herself they are personal metaphors and refocuses on the reality of the world she knows.
In a bid to help those she has been reborn to, her new people… and her friends of old she sets on new plans in the light of her new understandings. She bargains with Gods and walks the warrens/worlds – never telling anyone her plans, except one trusted friend… who convinces her that he cares, for he was one of the few that saw her rebirth. Despite all her efforts her plans fail, causing more ill than good.
As the mistakes and pains she brings pile up she is filled with self loathing. To make matters worse, even though she is reborn her lover (who whilst a brief dalliance but the strongest emotional link in her life), who not only ‘bumps’ into her and recognises her in her new form, starts to reject her. To him her actions are seemingly cold; unlike the warm and loving woman he remembers. Yet to protect her plans, that are entirely made of love and care she cannot explain anything to him, or to anyone. This coupled with her constant disappearances… not to mention the fact that her corporeal form at this point is that of a child eventually turn him against her. And ’Sail realises she is alone, except for one last friend, because no one can understnad what she is doing.
As things break apart she is convinced by her last friend to enact a world changing ritual for the sake of those she has come to call her own ‘people’, and indeed for everyone she has given a care for. As the ritual progresses she starts to see a more clearly what has transpired. Why everything has turned to dust in her hands.
Her ‘friend’, the only one she told anything to, has manipulated everything to ensure that she did what she was supposed to, spoiling all her plans for anything better. And more, he was aided and abetted by the other Souls she was bound to; as well as the greater powers of the World. Though she knows that many, including ‘her friend’ acted for higher reasons, she knows their actions as cold and is filled with regrets that boarder on dispair. During the flex of power from the ritual she sees a Door to the Stair.
Years Earlier, when she was still lover to Mock she had met a denizen of the Stair. His name was Michael, and seemingly in return for little more than a chat and a glass of wine he left open the Door he had used to come to her world. ‘Sail had inspected it, and come to understand it within her frames of reference, as part of a multi-verse which she concieved through the filter of Warren magic. With nothing left tying her to this form and this world she managed to sheer her Soul from its current corporeal form and take the Door onto the Stair in the hope that something… anything… ’the beyond’ her cards had once alluded to, was better than this.
She left when she had the chance, thorough a door revealed during the ritual – there was nothing left in that world for her, no family, no one to love, no one to protect or be with…. and ultimately she was scared that there was no one was left who liked her. It was essentially an act of cowardice, she could no longer face her world or what she was in it, and she did not want to stay and face the sum of hers, or others, actions.
Not knowing where she was, or where she was going – she took the first door on that landing that opened to her, and tumbled still in tears into the Garden that was being tended by one Sylvia Garridan. And so it began…