From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
There is a queen, of six sevens and nines
Dust in your garden, poison in your mind
There is a king, that will steal your soul
Don't let him catch you, don't let him get control.
' What we do not make conscious emerges later as fate.'
- Carl Jung
res ipsa loquitur
-‘the thing speaks for itself’
I guess at the time I must have been troublesome. A recusant bride who couldn’t bring herself to mind her place. And indeed I did show an intellect unfitting to the age. I sought to elevate myself for others to acknowledge. My greatest aspiration was acknowledgement you must understand. I seem to remember taking my share of beatings for it as well. Yet I was haunted by my own potential, as others around me, inferiors, were allowed a place at the table of vindication.
There must have been a time when all my life suggested a purpose. I lived with the firm delusion that I had a reason to exist. The childish musings of a sharp, yet adolescent mind given flight, I felt I had a destiny not yet fulfilled. My greatest hobgoblin was found in doubt, an evil beyond all imaginings. I found my salvation from it in youth and the crushing straps of ego that bound it away from me like a contained poison in those distant halcyon years.
But time began to prize back my defenses, and I slowly found despair at the corners of my consciousness. My obdurate husband and even my children grew to despise what I had become. After my crimes and abandonment, and the loneliness of the sanitarium, I did not care. I felt I might never achieve my due, and that all my existence would be for naught. I would be forgotten, and I would never achieve my vindication before dyspeptic death should take me.
No one would ever notice my passing, or if they did be relieved by it.
But, I was to be proven horribly wrong. Something did notice.
Certainly when we look beyond our own bit of heaven between our legs we can find a cold, and twisted truth regarding our own perceived self worth. It is a hard lesson to stomach, but there it is.
My desire was delivered by a ‘man’ of science named Xoheri Mant.
Xoheri claimed to be Tibetan, but I know that now to be a lie. He was eastern to be sure. What was not a lie was the Nepenthe Elixir. I do know that I walked willingly to him and his promise from my cell. It was all that Mary Shelly thought and more, fantastic machines, electricity, serums, and life untold. I would gain time enough to change the world so I might be able to finally harness it for my deserved destiny. All in a blinding flash, and the pain of reaved rebirth.
Truthfully, I do not remember what I learned in the years that followed. From my first steps in the smoldering laboratory, to the losts bazaars of Kettamish beyond the Tuareg frontiers, most of it has escaped me. Strangely, at least in the case of this walking corpse, I do not have perfect recall of the past. Perhaps a blessing?
And yet, I do remember spending ceaseless terms in wandering. One city to the next. One forgotten dankness, to another. The mongrel languages, banal existences, and endless repetition of mankind. There were places forgotten, or not yet found by the eyes of mortals, now ossified in my memory with soft and vile remembrance. More tastes, and smells than coherent thoughts are these places, yet of course twisted by the state of my being, they are merely shades of ancient senses remembered.
I grasped for the shadow that was Xoheri in my travels, and caught for myself a specter of the wisp for my troubles.
Eventually, I found that I didn’t care to know where he had went, nor even the why’s of what he had done to me. At some point, in my lost and tangled memories, I simply wanted to remember why I sought him. What great original purpose had possessed me to find such a walking deity, and of what I might seek to launch at him as invective for my current state I have not a clue.
In the lacuna that had become my purpose, the emptiness wrote my answer.
What was I to claim? That an otherwise fungible existance, without reason for note, was some how now sanctified, and deserving of honor? The bitterness found me in the darkness of the slums of Macao, and I slipped into acceptance. I would seek no longer my creator, instead I would do what seems so hard for all souls. I would take responsibility for my sins, and embrace them fully.
In that simple moment I was in truth reborn! I no longer needed to understand my dreary past, but could make a dark and lovely tomorrow without remorse. I was finally free.
Unfortunately, such self assumed glory must bring out those who distain fulfillment and despise hope, and I fell into the tendrils of my new master, the Lord Recluse.
My dark master understood something about me that I had entirely forgotten. It was simply that I wished to be commanded. No, more than that, I longed for it. For in my freedom I could not hide from the truth of my existence. Only in my cowardly ways could I avoid the implications and complications of my own ‘destiny’ and the utter terror of judgment that it stoked in me. Xoheri had never sought what I freely offered in my long search, but Lord Recluse was only to ready to accept it.
That I can clearly relate this thing now, and yet still easily seek the comfort of his hateful crushing fist is evidence of how twisted my vitiated soul has become. Doubt, as ever before again played its cruel part.
Lord Recluse whispered to me that he could ‘complete’ what Xoheri had left unfinished. Why, o why didn’t I laugh in his face then? Fear? Yes some of that, one steps softly in the footsteps of gods. He could quickly extinguish the body which I so sought to preserve. Yet there was more to my fear, beyond just the spider and his mephitic ways.
“It tingles at first…”
Why again you ask?
At this point forgive me, for I must digress into one of my ‘hobbies’.
From my mortal days I have always had an eye for science and its possibilities, even if my memory has at points failed me at times in its pursuit. But in particular, necrosiology (the study of undeath) and it's related bioengineering has been my keen interest.
Where flesh is engineered, the grafting of a symbiote is not easily accomplished to undead flesh. In almost every case the symbiote rebels and tries to detach itself instinctually. Given the dark lord’s powerful biomechanical technology this would prove to be particularly messy to any host. And yet, it was accomplished, once, in my case.
Perhaps you have met others of my kind about? Have they misled you into thinking that they are romantic figures of passion and sensation?!
Undead flesh is by its nature without direct tactile sense. Yes we can see and move, but this is remote and autonomous to our consciousness. In truth, I really do not need my eyes to ‘perceive’, but I digress. Necrotic flesh is DEAD, it cannot feel anything, unless that sensation come from some other exo-terrene or infernal source. It is part of what makes us so indestructible and resilient. We undead live in isolation in more ways than can be imagined, but the primary agent is this ‘senseless’ existence.
And thus we come to our primary conundrum; how to control, or signal the symbiote thru long dead nerve fibers. One of Lord Recluse’s desires was to marry advanced technology to undead durability in his super soldiers. Up to my time, all their efforts had been abysmal disappointments (perhaps you have seen some of them hanging in his labs?)
As it turns out, the trick is to be turned in making a direct connection via an alien nervous system to my only ‘functional’ organ…the brain via a nano-filiment connection created by nanites.
Unlike exotic vampires (read magical/infernal), my vampiric nature was brought on through the ‘alchemical science’ of the Xoheri Mant, a form of early bioengineering used by the ancient Egyptians. My vampiric nature used the Nepenthe Elixir serum of a specially cultivated virus known as Solanum to alter the biology of my brain, and create a semi-stable platform for nearly immortal consciousness. Unlike the ‘regular’ virus that occasionally finds itself in outbreaks in the wild, however, I was not turned into a witless zombie, but rather something all together different.
In the variant of the virus I was given, concentrated human proteins, (e.g. human blood) can be used by the virus as a protean-media to curtail, and mend damage to the infected body. To a lesser degree this instinct to ‘feed’ on animal proteins can be found in the non- ruminant walking dead, but that variety of the virus does little to stave off the eventual destruction of the host corpse as that version of the virus cannot process the proteins so collected (Nor does it allow for ego, persona, or fashion… but again I digress.)
Establishing a neurological rapport from Lord Recluse’s symbiote to the solanum virus was the key to my success. Between myself and Lord Recluse’s research group we were able to derived an answer to the problem. A three way symbiosis of organisms.
By using my consciousness as the moderator, you could connect the two instinct-based organisms to create an entirely new balance. In essence I prevent the virus from killing the symbiote, and the symbiote extends its benefits to the host (me.)
It was a revolutionary thought, and one that I was driven to explore once Lord Recluse swayed me to its possibility. And exactly because of the other promises that such a solution might extended to me, I never truly considered the cost of the service I was to incur to my new master for this boon, nor gave concern to the nature of my symbiote. At the time I cared not.
But I did consider the possibility existed that I might actual ‘feel’ again, if only through a symbiote’s tentacle… and perhaps that there was some distant chance that the symbiote might stabilize my viral-brain enough to allow for consistent memories. There was also the possibility for the moderation of my primal needs for so MUCH vitae.
This was the promise that Lord Recluse offered.
This was the promise to which I now clung.
It seems both of our wishes were fulfilled.
“A taste of Eden”
The Doctor's Blackberry
(was secretly hacked by one of the students, and a computer virus now regularly updates a blog on the school network)
June 29th, 2008: What a curious and wonderful world. An enchanting mistress has made herself known to me, and I would seek to learn more.
She is known to me by the name of Headmistress Nadja (Crimson Conjuress.) I also was delighted to speak with Ivy (Ersatz Evil.), and to met Ms. Sibrina Styles (Mistress Nadja's executive secretary) in passing.
June 30th, 2008: I have decided to join Sigma Iota Nu in appreciation of the pleasant company and the staff position offered by Mistress Nadja. Further, I was much delighted to take my role as the Chair of Gluttony... there is so much I can communicate on this subject.
I do so look forward some evening to a discussion with Dr. Tod (In Absentia) of the staff to share thoughts on varied topics.
July 5th, 2008: I have been with the Headmistress, and she has accepted my gift of the Angel's Veil. It is my sincere hope that it may provide that, which I cannot (Ciraabi). To my eternal regret I continue to miss Dr. Tod! Damnation and HELL!!
I find Miss Sibrina the secretary lovely and correct. However, that imp Kelli is another matter. An impetuous little tart!
July 7th, 2008: I cannot stand it any longer!! I have had some hint of Dr. Tod's brilliance, but have yet to gain more solid data. I have sent one of my little 'children' to look about the lab and see if it is true what the students have been mentioned of Dr. Tod's regenerative knowledge. Hopefully a file or paper might be found.
Curse my existance! I engorged myself last eve, I took nearly the whole busload and yet... I am nearly spent already!! I think the virus takes more will than last I remember to placate. What has changed?!
July 8th, 2008: I am invigorated! Have spoken at length with Dr. Tod, and had a break through with her 'pet' Miss Yuri. A name came up from the trollop.."The Raven". She mentioned this name along with information about my condition that no other could easily guess. Dr. Tod has demonstrated remarkable skills in molding her mind to my ends. I will know more of this Raven!
July 12th, 2008: CURSE and DAMN that little bitch Kelli! Her and her TAINTED blood. Who does she think see is to mock me so!!! That's what she is doing...I know it. Musn't let the others see how she aggravates me. The other student may not see! Must be calm...clear my head..the Doctor is right. Must focus on the Raven. My GOD, the blood is calling now...I must find a meal...
July 14th, 2008: I have lost myself to the thrist. Dr. Tod!! I would rather live as a vassal to my demons than pay her price!!! How dare she....HOW DARE!!!! Tis too bad though..for her...she may have deprived me of my future...but my little friend did find a glimpse of her past.
Perhaps it is time to enlist...some assistance.
July 16th, 2008: Two loathsome wenches vie for my affection. How delightfully wretched. They profess much, but I see little pottential in either. I think I shall put them at each other to see what manner of parasites they truly are!
But of more important matters. My mistress has commanded me, and for my very soul and though it rends me to the bone, I shall try to see the truth of her words and make a peace with that fiend Tod. For all my appetites, my mistress' grace saves me from myself, and I will bow to her readily.
Abilities and Skills
- All the powers, and vulnerabilities of a seasoned Vampyr.
- Augmented by her biomechanical Arachnos symbiote.
- Has created many biomechanical 'children' (abominations) to assist her in her research.
- A noted cybernetic and Necromechanical engineer.
(she seeks the help of a talented biologist and medical doctor to help her with her research into nerve regeneration.)
- Has helped to shield the sorority from varied Arachnos interference, bureaucratic and otherwise.
Quirks & Persona
- Was an intense loner, until Nadja Bathory found her and brought her to the school.
- Comes and goes at odd hours, often with out a word, from her subterrean vault in the sorority's basement.
- Exhibits striking polarity in manner, going from ravenous and curt, to mannerly and calm.
- Is rumored by the girls to have "killed and devoured" her first student at Sigma Iota Nu, though no-one seems to remember who she was.
- Sometimes seen to leave bloody smears about the sorority house.
- Is still at times seen to be interacting with higher level Arachnos agents, though she professes an utter devotion to the Headmistress.
- Is an utter sociopath.