Long ago, in the place beyond places, there was a forest that wasn’t a forest. How can this be, you ask? Simple. The forest had an incredibly abusive childhood. Every day, its father would beat it harshly and its mother would smolder and burn down the trees.
“Why do you do this?” cried the young forest. But its parents couldn’t answer, because they were gods, and the gods of the Wyld cannot speak. So, when the forest grew into adulthood, it carried the psychic scars of this troubled upbringing. It went to doctor after doctor and even turned to drugs to ease the pain. Eventually it suppressed the whole incident up to, and including, its own existence.
That is how one creates a forest that isn’t a forest.
However! This poor, disturbed collection of trees and small animals is not the focus of our narrative. Let us instead look closer, down into the soil with its pebbles of liquid mercury and earthworm crime syndicates. A flower grows, with bejeweled petals that smell of sharp wine and late nights.
She is a beautiful creature and the spiders spend long hours marveling at the way dew collects on her stem even as it smokes and burns away her flesh. The dew, you see, is made of acid. But she is so beautiful that the sunlight takes pity upon her. It crafts a hallelujah chorus for the little flower. The chorus wards away the acid dew, which makes the poor spiders lose interest. They only like it when things burn.
The flower has a secret. It has been growing a Heart, hidden behind its petals like a demure lady would hide the knife she uses to stab her adulterous husband. Unfortunately for the flower, someone knows the secret. Dead Beast Queen, a Luminary attached to the Opal Court, knows. She was the one who planted the flower, while the forest was contemplating suicide for the umpteenth time.
Now she comes, with gloves made from the hooves of a deer on her way to her mother’s, to pick the flower. She does so, though the flower has a special sword she has been keeping, and takes her home.
Dead Beast Queen pruned away the petals and stamens and pistils until the servant she desired stood before her.
“There!” she said, “you are a dagger and shall stab who I please. You will cut at their passions and ravish them of their convictions. Neither their valor nor their temperance will stand before you.”
The commoner raksha, confused as she was after being so harshly pruned, took the Queen’s words into her Heart and there she nurtured them. She was glad to have a purpose.
Description and Personality
As her name suggests, this raksha does indeed have three shadows. The first is blurry and indistinct and smells subliminally of lilac and orchid. It is alway there, regardless of the ambient lighting. The second shadow appears only in the light of a sun, where it is sharp and definite. It is tangible and feels like cold metal. The third and final shadow reveals itself under the soft brightness of a hunter's moon. It moves independently of its mistress, and has no smell or feel. Clumsy, white moths fly incessantly from its inky darkness, only to immolate when they feel the breath of the night air.
Three Bloodless Shadows garbs herself in the bright plumage of hummingbirds and the petals of exotic flowers. She can even take the form of a hummingbird, which she does when she wishes to spy on potential targets. When in more humanoid forms, she retains avian features due to a peculiarity of her Heart. Her hair is long and metallic, glimmering like a thousand jewels. Her cheeks are strangley pinched, forcing her lips to pucker outwards, and her bone structure is unnaturally fine and delicate. She minces along, head cocked to one side, ruffling her feathers and staring intently at those around her.
Despite the elegant appearance, Three Bloodless Shadows is not a clever creature. Oh, she is talented enough at Ravishing the souls of her ladies' opponents, but her brightly glinting eyes belie a truly dull mind. It is a sort of feral, social cunning that drives her and lets her execute her assigned tasks with precision. Lacking the direction of her mistress, Three Bloodless Shadows tends to putter around, idly picking at flowers or the occasional mortal slave.
Dead Beast Queen owns Shadows' Heart, Cup, and Sword. Shadows' Heart takes the form of a crystal phial, stoppered and filled with rose petals. Her Cup is a thin, elegant dagger which cries tears of liquid joy. Her Ring is a miniscule hummingbird figurine that flaps its wings from time to time. Her Staff is a chromatic quill that will take no ink. Her Sword is a threaded needle that can sew love and fear.
Name: Three Bloodless Shadows
Concept: Living weapon of her lady
Strength 2, Dexterity 4, Stamina 4
Charisma 2, Manipulation 3, Appearance 3
Perception 1, Intelligence 1, Wits 2
Diplomat: Linguistics 3, Socialize 3
Entertainer: *Investigation 2, *Larceny 5, *Performance 6 (Seductive Performances +3), *Stealth 5 (Ambush +3)
Worker: Martial Arts 4
Casteless: Dodge 4 (When Unarmed +3), **Survival 5 (Tracking +3)
Backgrounds: Birth 1, Gossamer 1, Style 2
Virtues: Compassion 4, Conviction 4, Temperance 2, Valor 2
Graces: Cup 5, Ring 1, Staff 1, Sword 2
Charms: Assumption: Assumption of Elemental Shape: Wood (149), Elemental Transformation (153), Dodge: Ill-Approving Eyes (157), Cup Combat: Heart-Cutting Style (159), Untouchable Performer Technique (159), Dissonance of Principles (159), Swift Wings of Song (161), Furious Malestrom Craft (161), Subversion and Transformation Artifice (161), Feeding: Ravishing the Created Form (163)
Bonus point spread: Major Grace – 3, Virtues – 6, Caste / Favored Abilities – 4, Abilities – 4, Minor Grace – 5, Specialties – 4, Backgrounds – 4, Attributes – 4