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- "I could not do justice to her beauty -- in any medium. It is as far beyond me as the sky."
~ Sangurio Destheme, uncharacteristically
- "Hmph. I certainly don't think she's anything special."
~ the jealous and deluded Icefire Jasmine
- "You saw an 'exquisite angel' that put you in mind of 'gods and demons' and made you want to 'sacrifice yourself on the blade of love for her merest glance', eh? That'd be our Bethrel. Don't worry, dear, you'll feel better after a nap."
~ Meldina Grent, Tellnaught resident
In a city that attracts the finest, most graceful beauties in Creation, Bethrel stands alone. Indeed, she is so far past all competition that it's simply, well, not a competition. In any lineup -- and there have been many -- Bethrel drowns out the others so thoroughly that the owners of those brothels in which she works beg her not to show herself too often in the company of the other girls; they fear that the customers will be put off those seen in her company, perhaps permanently.
Although it seems certain that her beauty has to be supernatural, Bethrel is no magical being, and has no magical effects active on her. Multiple disinterested outsiders, known to be capable of sensing magic, have witnessed this fact (although, they often warn, her beauty could have easily been created with magic). (It's also been mentioned that faerie mind-magics have defeated even powerful magic-sensors. But after the fifth accusation of rakshahood, Bethrel started a fashion of lovely, intricate, filigreed iron jewellery, and continues to wear at least two iron armbands and a girdle at all times.)
Her attraction goes beyond the beauty, although her beauty is far more than enough. Bethrel has none of the hardness -- or self-consciousness -- that most beautiful people seem to develop unavoidably. She's sweet, vulnerable as a wounded bird, and takes an enchantingly modest, childlike pleasure from compliments and gifts. Occasionally, she retreats into moods in which she's quiet to the point of muteness, but everyone forgives her; after all, it's not like anyone that beautiful really needs to talk at all.
Bethrel works most frequently at the Red Cat, but she has no apparent sexual preference -- indeed, she welcomes debauchery with any humanoid with gleeful, charming abandon -- and will work for other brothels as well. She can get away with not having a specific contract because everyone's so desperate to have her, and she's her own agent; she's accepted no other terms since she appeared on the scene a few years ago. It seems as though every time someone complains about her terms, another client comes to see her who takes the city's breath away, and the whiner comes crawling back, begging to take her on under terms three times as bad. Bethrel has been paid to sleep with at least three Fair Nobles, several confirmed Council members, and a number of the gods; indeed, her most frequent patron is Shalrina, Daimyo of Faces, the powerful goddess of appearance and identity (reference: "Games of Divinity").
Strangely, rather than living in Cinnabar or even Bastion, both of which she could easily afford, Bethrel keeps an apartment in Tellnaught, and is actually quite active in the community there (though not any of its very few brothels). She helps out with the children, socializes with the other residents, and -- from all appearances -- totally ignores her high-class, decadent lifestyle whenever she's not working. The other locals have grown used to her, and some even claim that her mind-numbing beauty doesn't even register with them anymore (unlikely). All of Bethrel's closest friends are other Tellnaught residents, and while she's got her share of enemies -- especially considering how gorgeous she is -- there's a surprising amount of loyalty to her as well.
Bethrel is the most empowered whore ever. Here are the terms she insists on. They are enforced by the house she's working in at the time (if the house knows what's good for it, that is) as well as her personal twin Dragon-Blooded bodyguards of rather extensive age and experience, who answer only to her.
- Bethrel has just as much of a say in who she "works with", as she so delicately puts it, as anyone else.
- She does not belong to a given house. Wherever she's working for a night, Bethrel allows the house a relatively small percentage of her incredible fees in payment for its "hospitality", as she, again, delicately puts it.
- Everyone, from madams to other prostitutes to patrons, must treat Bethrel with no less than perfect respect, politeness and appreciation. Anyone who doesn't is unceremoniously and angrily turned away -- even if they're a client in the middle of a sex act.
- Bethrel is (pick one: a raksha; a goddess; the Scarlet Empress), and has been cursed by a powerful enemy to either suffer an unbearably dreadful fate or prostitute herself until (pick one: her true love finds and recognizes her; a certain amount of time passes; the being that cursed her perishes). Those who spread this rumour allege that every single witness to Bethrel's non-supernaturalness was paid to lie, and that Bethrel's iron pieces of jewellery are actually disguised jade tokens -- the mainstays of the curse.
- Bethrel is Razor Whip, the serial killer who has been targeting prostitutes' clients in Cinnabar.
Bethrel was born terribly deformed (in Tellnaught, as a matter of fact). Fortunately, she grew up in a loving household, and was blessed with one or two rare friends who saw past her flesh; she didn't become twisted with bitterness and hate, but her ugliness seemed to her to be the worst thing in the world. At last, when her parents died, she went to Shalrina and begged the goddess to make her beautiful, promising anything in exchange. Shalrina took the bargain; it took time and a fair outpouring of power, but she remade Bethrel's body into the paragon it is today (mechanically, I'd personally put this at Appearance 7), and Bethrel signed a contract that promised to serve Shalrina for fifty years or until personality-death. Unfortunately for Bethrel, she didn't understand just who she was dealing with; Shalrina is capable of switching identities between bodies, and often does. The terms of the contract state that Shalrina owns Bethrel's body, and the goddess has absolutely no compunction about forcing Bethrel to allow someone else to use her body, while Bethrel inhabits their flesh.
It's fortunate for Shalrina that Bethrel herself has set up a kind of "double life"; her friends in Tellnaught assume that she's working whenever she's gone, and if she's not seen around the brothels, she's thought to be in Tellnaught. Thus, for those who want to use Bethrel's body for a purpose other than enjoying a decadent courtesan's life (such users almost entirely account for Bethrel's "quiet phases"), it's easy to remove it to some other place entirely for a while, although steps have to be taken in the Nexus area to control the rumour mill -- Bethrel's about as recognizable as it gets. Still, Shalrina doesn't rent out Bethrel's body that much more often than, say, once every few weeks -- she wants to keep people from realizing what's going on. She does it too often for Bethrel, though, who hates it. Her body has been used for all sorts of things, and what Bethrel is most afraid of is that someone rash will get it destroyed.
Wow! I only made this link to fit the rules for the Tomb of shouting gods. This is an awesome entry! - Paladinltd
- Thanks. :)
Also I'm going to adjust my link to fit more with this pages backstory - Paladinltd
Ah... Mrs. Grent. -- OhJames