Ikselam/Quail

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Trembling Quail



Character Background

Backstory

Fisher Quail was the unlucky fourth daughter, born on the unlucky fourth day of the most inauspicious of all seasons, Calibration. Many families would have abandoned a child so obviously frowned upon by Heaven, but due to the Fishers' vocation, this was not really an option for them.

Long ago, the Fishers of Arjuf followed the trade of their eponymous ancestor. Ever since the day Ledaal Harakses swept Quail's great-great-great-aunt Fisher Starling off to be his lover, however, they pursued a different, much more lucrative line of business: marrying their daughters off to sons of the Dynasty. This strategy paid off over the years, elevating them to the middle patrician class and giving them the resources necessary to obtain the finest tutors for their offspring. Quail's parents were confident that years of intensive schooling would be more than enough to compensate for her ill-favored birth, molding her into the perfect lure for mortal Dynasts.

Their confidence was misplaced. Although Quail grew up to be a lovely young woman, she never showed any aptitude for catching men's eyes -- in fact, she was terrible at human interaction in general. While her three sisters spent their time toying with their suitors, Quail spent as much time as possible in the family library, reading tales of ancient heroes and studying natural philosophy. Her siblings offered little sympathy; her eldest sister Pheasant dubbed her "Trembling Quail," a cruel nickname which has stuck with her to the present day. The only friend she had in her early years was her tutor, who encouraged her love of reading and writing.

Although her parents were exasperated by her failure (and didn't hesitate to inform her of that fact), they kept her around. After all, she saved them the expense of hiring an accountant, which was worth the money she spent on books. Then, one day, fate smiled on the Fishers. Pheasant, who by this time had married a mortal Dynast and, amazingly, become mistress to one of the Dragon-Blooded, paid a visit with her new paramour. With him came his friend, the Terrestrial Exalted Ledaal Keffen.

The youthful Ledaal apparently saw something in Quail that others didn't, since he requested that he be allowed to take her on as a servant. The Fisher elders were, of course, delirious with joy, and Quail was packed off to Keffen's estate. Shockingly, she found the change of venue to her liking. Keffen was an avid collector of antiques, and Quail's great knowledge of history made her his most valued assistant. She didn't exactly blossom, but her new master was kind to her (Quail, interpreting his solicitousness as pity, never realized that he was desperately smitten with her) and she got to do what she loved all day long.

Shortly after Quail's twenty-third birthday, she accompanied Keffen on an expedition to the Scavenger Lands, following rumors of the discovery of a First Age cache. Keffen acquired a few of the less-valuable items, and was preparing to return home when a group of assassins (probably anti-Realm terrorists) broke into his lodgings and attacked him. The young Dynast woke up just in time to avoid having his throat cut, but would surely have perished had not Quail, ignored by the assassins as she cowered in a corner, suddenly Exalted. When the red veil lifted from her senses, the assassins lay dead and Quail stood glowing and bloody in the middle of the room, clutching the ancient sword Keffen had bought from the scavengers.

Since she had saved his life (and since his initial fear of the Anathema was somewhat mitigated when Quail followed up her berserk fury by fainting dead away in shock), Keffen hurriedly arranged to have her smuggled out of town in a merchant caravan. With her went a small bag of jade, the sword, a small orichalcum amulet, and the Dynast's best wishes. Despite her newly Exalted state, Quail found herself more lost and afraid than ever before. Fortunately, she encountered Star Sapphire's Circle soon afterward, and was taken into their fold.

Description

Quail is a vision of surpassing loveliness, delicate and flawless. Her shoulder-length hair is a dark chocolate brown; her eyes are a deep burgundy. Her retiring demeanor typically only serves to enhance her beauty. She dresses in worn but presentable clothing, and always wears skirts, never pants. Her one piece of really fine clothing is a silk scarf decorated with a feather pattern.

Although stunningly beautiful, Quail is also very shy. Even those who are initially captivated by her looks become uncomfortable after spending more than a few minutes with her (mainly due to her ceaseless moping). Years of being ignored in favor of her more outgoing sisters have led Quail to believe that she is plain and uninteresting; she tends to discount the worth of her formidable intelligence and encyclopedic knowledge, and can't help thinking that she must have been Exalted by mistake. She doesn't yet have conscious control of many of her Charms, and finds her newfound martial prowess frightening rather than empowering. Since her Exaltation, it has become much more difficult for Quail to swallow her feelings, and the violent rages she occasionally flies into do little to convince her that she is not, as the Immaculates teach, possessed by a demonic Anathema.

Quail's strengths are her compassionate nature and great intelligence and learning. Her weakness is her almost total lack of self-esteem. Quail's strongest wish is to be a valued part of a group. Her greatest fear is of being totally alone.

Quail loves hearing stories about legendary heroes and villains. She has kept a diary since she was five.


Game Stats

Name: Trembling Quail\\ Caste: Twilight\\ Nature: Follower\\ Anima: Peacock\\ Concept: Wallflower\\

Attributes:\\ Strength 2, Dexterity 4, Stamina 3\\ Charisma 1, Manipulation 1, Appearance 5\\ Perception 4, Intelligence 4, Wits 3

Abilities:\\ Awareness 1, Brawl 1 (While Berserk +1), Bureaucracy 2, Dodge 3 (While Berserk +3), Endurance 4, Investigation 3 (In Libraries +1), Linguistics 4 (High Realm, Low Realm, Riverspeak, Old Realm, Flametongue)(Calligraphy +2), Lore 5 (Mythology +1, Antiquities +1), Medicine 3 (Diagnosing Illness +1), Melee 1 (While Berserk +3), Occult 3, Resistance 1, Ride 1, Stealth 1


Backgrounds: Allies 1, Artifact 3, Contacts 2, Resources 1

Virtues:\\ Compassion 3, Conviction 2, Temperance 3, Valor 1\\ Virtue Flaw: Red Rage of Compassion (Compassion)

Willpower: 6\\ Health: -0,-1,-1,-2,-2,-4,Incap\\ Essence: 2\\ Essence pool: 12/25(29)

Charms:

  • Dodge\\

Reed in the Wind\\ Shadow Over Water

  • Endurance\\

Essence-Gathering Temper\\ Willpower-Enhancing Spirit\\ Battle Fury Focus\\ Bloodthirsty Sword-Dancer Spirit

  • Linguistics\\

Sagacious Reading of Intent\\ Whirlwind Brush Technique

  • Medicine\\

Body-Mending Meditation\\ Flawless Diagnosis Technique

Equipment: Threadbare skirt, blouse, and jacket, silk scarf, sturdy leather satchel, journal, writing materials, Seven Stars Sword (wrapped in rags for concealment), orichalcum hearthstone amulet

Combat:\\ Base initiative: 7\\ Soak: 3B/1L/0A (unarmored)\\ Dodge: 7(10)\\ Attacks:\\ Seven Stars Sword: Spd 11, Acc 9(12), Dmg 5L, Def 9(12)\\ Bare Hands: Spd 7, Acc 5(6), Dmg 2B, Def 5(6)


Quail's Expanded Backgrounds

Allies

Quail's former Dragon-Blooded patron, Ledaal Keffen, would doubtless come to her aid if she contacted him. He is not a particularly powerful member of House Ledaal, having only graduated from the Spiral Academy six years ago; his primary interest is collecting and cataloguing antiques. An Aspect of Earth, he is also rather averse to taking chances, and would be quite reluctant to provide any assistance which might draw attention. However, not only is he completely infatuated with Quail, he also feels indebted to her for saving his life; he'd take risks for her that he wouldn't for others.

Keffen's dark eyes and long black hair stand out sharply against his pale skin. Although he is fit, athletic, and not unattractive, he still manages to project an air of bookishness. He's quite intelligent, and more creative than people give him credit for, but his mind doesn't work particularly fast; he prefers to think things out instead of trusting his instincts. This gives him some trouble in situations where quick reactions are necessary, and made him the butt of many of his siblings' childhood pranks.

Keffen is quite adept at making charcoal sketches. He plays Gateway atrociously, which annoys him to no end because it is something which should come naturally to his analytic mind.


Artifact •••

Orichalcum hearthstone amulet, currently empty.

Seven Stars Sword\\ Artifact ••\\ Straight sword, various materials\\ Speed +4, Accuracy +4, Damage +3L, Defense +4 (including material bonus)\\ Commitment: 4 (orichalcum)

This straight sword's blade is inlaid with seven stars, each with seven points. Four of the stars are orichalcum, one is moonsilver, one is starmetal, and the last is green jade. When attuned at a cost of 4 motes, the Seven Stars Sword becomes light as a feather, and provides strategic nudges to help its wielder use it to best effect. (In the First Age, it was a young Solar's training weapon.) It also hums like a tuning fork whenever it is struck.

Contacts ••

From her days as Keffen's assistant, Quail is familiar with a number of archivists, both in the Realm and elsewhere.

Resources

The last of a small stash of jade coins.

Misc. Notes

Although Quail's combat abilities rocket upward when she is under the influence of her powerful Endurance Charms, she does not yet have conscious control over these powers. She instinctively activates them when she is very angry or frightened.


Comments

Is it just me, or is Quail's artifact sword weaker than any normal artifact 2 weapon? It's practically just a straight sword. It should be artifact 1 (if that!). Maybe I'm reading it wrong? \\ -- DaveFayram

Yep, the sword is on the weak side. Especially since it's slower than a daiklave. Speed should be at least +5, and the essence commitment should be down around 2 motes. Even then it's flat-out inferior to an orichalcum daiklave, and should probably be Artifact 1, as Dave suggested. -- Quendalon

I think I purposefully lowballed it. It might also be that I didn't include the orichalcum bonuses. I can't really remember. I have this hazy recollection that it might have started out as +4 to all stats, but that people thought that was too powerful. Had the same reaction to Yieng's sword, which was originally extremely powerful, but got toned down considerably.\\ (later) I must have left out the material bonuses, because you can make the SSS from a daiklave by taking two points from damage, placing one point each into accuracy and defense, and taking one point from speed (not sure why I did that...). At that time I was operating under the assumption that one point of damage is worth one point of def or one of acc -- which I still think is more reasonable than the "damage is twice as important" school of thought.\\ How's +4 +4 +3 +4 sound?\\ _Ikselam

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