Charity Reed

Viscountess of Sacrifice

Attributes
Aspect 0 (5 AMP)
Domain 2 (5 DMP) (Weather 2, Protection 2, Healing 2)
Persona 3 (5 PMP)
Treasure 1 (5 TMP)

Estate Properties
Sacrifice lets you achieve things you normally couldn't (2)
Sacrifice is out of your control (1)
Sacrifice hurts (2)
Sacrifice is noble (2)

Secondary Estate Properties
Protection is vigilant (2)
Protection is specific (1)
Protection can be broken (1)
Protection keeps safe (3)

Weather sets the tone for the world (1)
Weather can change unpredictably (2)
Weather brings prosperity (2)
Weather brings disaster (2)

Healing restores health (1)
Healing mends wounds (1)
Healing removes disease (1)
Healing cannot fix what isn't broken (3)
Healing affects the body, not the mind (1)

Gifts
Luck

Bonds/Afflictions
Bond: I have something on you (3)
Bond: I'm selfish (2)
Bond: I hide my true nature (1)
Bond: I am rich (1)
Bond: Sunny, the leader of my mortal agents (1) (Anchor)
Bond: Tien, Chancel coordinator of sacrifices (1) (Anchor)
Affliction: The Camorra and I still have ties (2)
Affliction: I take care of my people (1)
Affliction: I must make a sacrifice to use my Estate (3)

Skills/Passions
Skill: Intrigue (4)
Skill: Social Interaction (1)
Cool 3
Shine 3

Sacrifice

Sacrifice has been around for a very long time, and has been misused and neglected for almost the entirety of that period. See, the thing about sacrifice is that it can't be easy. Your sacrifice has to matter to you, or it is no sacrifice at all.

Early humans understood this, sacrificing the very food off of their plates. And then, so the story goes, a titan 'took pity' on them, and taught them to cheat sacrifice. But of course you can't cheat sacrifice, any more than you can trick mathematics. So the sacrifices stopped working.

The aztecs did not fall into this trap of the western nations, continuing to practice Sacrifice to its full extent. But when the Spanish crossed the sea, the sacrificial magics of the aztec priests, which had seen their nation through hundreds of years of prosperity - bringing rain; preventing plague and famine; even turning aside natural disasters - were powerless against the conquistadors' swords. And so the magic was lost entirely.

Indeed, most all of the times sacrifices are made nowadays are complete accidents. The Power of Sacrifice is not called the Power of Self Sacrifice, but it might as well be. The idea, to most people, of sacrificing their house, or their car; their job, their child, their life savings; it is absurd. It is laughable. And yet they will throw their bodies and lives away with nary a second thought.

Becoming a Power

Let me be honest here. I've never been a nice person, not really. Sure, as a kid I was fine, but despite my mother's best efforts I never much cared for others. I fit in well enough, did my share of kindnesses - but my heart wasn't in them.

Then she died, and I was free. Free to run my life into the dirt. I was more foolish back then, blunt in my search for power, wealth and security. So yes, I made money, but I also made enemies. And soon enough the money was gone again. But the enemies weren't.

I had to started moving, hopping from place to place, learning a little more in each, until at last I settled in a small town and started laying down roots. Contacts, lending, information dealing, leading to blackmail and other such activities. I had become quite competent, if I do say so myself.

It was there that I took my first steps on the path that led me here. A man owing me a significant debt elected to pay it with valuable knowledge. He told me he was, though I couldn't yet have told you what this meant, a member of the Cammora. And through him, and them, my world expanded a hundredfold.

It all seemed fantastical at first, but after I saw the proofs I set out to learn every aspect of this new world, climbing within the Cammora as I had climbed through the criminal underworld before it. And really, I fit right in. It was the same dirty deal, information and favors, blackmail and bargains.

A few years later, I found myself part of a force launching a raid on some dot of a village. As we advanced, a lone figure stood to oppose us. Foolish, certainly, even for a Noble, for there were several Powers accompanying us. The one who stood in our way was strong, though, and this strength seemed to grow with every blow he took. He fell in the end, but cost us greatly before he died, and the delay threw our plan into turmoil.

As the rest of the force moved on towards our destination, I fell behind, scarce believing I was the only one who would take this chance. With careful steps, I approached the fallen Power where he lay in a ring of our dead, marred with countless wounds. And there, on that very field, I cut the heart from his chest and ate it raw, taking his power into myself.

Instantly, I knew I had made a mistake. Awareness of my new soul-shard slammed into me. Sacrifice, of all things. I, who had lived my life for no-one but myself, who had derided 'noble' acts as foolish, was now their living representation. So I fought. I raged. I sought to crush my connection to my power, to quell the flood of selflessness pouring into me.

I blacked out.

Next thing I remember, I was waking up in an unfamiliar place, with unfamiliar faces staring down at me. To this day I do not know why my new Familia Caelestis did not just kill me then and there, give my power to a worthy holder. But they didn't, and the next chapter in my life began.

My Life

Compared to many Nobles, my power is useless for spying. When you can see through the eyes of any insect, or hear through the ears of a persons very shadow, gathering information becomes trivial.

And yet despite this, my ennobling ruined the game for me. I had always survived and thrived on my wits alone. And it had been all the fun in the world. Because I knew that any mistake could be my last. One wrong move and I lose; die or get crippled or made someone's pawn. That breathtaking dance was my entire life.

And then, I became something more. In one move, I won the game that was my life. And while winning and losing are very different things, they have one thing in common. The game is over.

It's… strange, getting everything you ever wanted. Because what do you have left to live for? I know there are people who would disagree, who would say that enjoying your bounty is well worth living for. But I don't really think it is.

I kept playing the game, if only for sport. Nobles were still a challenge, and even if you gained nothing from it (what's to gain, when you have the whole world?), being owed a favor or having a juicy bit of blackmail could only be an advantage.

Beyond that - beyond my Familia, my eyes and ears, and my links to the Camorra - it pains me to admit that I just drifted. Lived an entire life in freefall, with no discernible goal. But what else was there for me to do? Dedicate myself to the War? Hah!

Appearances

People see me. They see a content-looking old woman, elegant and refined, named 'Charity'. And they hear 'this is the Power of Sacrifice'. And they get all sorts of marvelously wrong ideas about who I am.

Before, this would have been an incredible blessing. I could have used those impressions to my advantage, exploited a false reputation for my own ends. Now, it is simply a fact. At first, I laughed about it. If they only knew. Hah! But somehow, somewhere down the line, the pleasure dulled to nothing. And now it has started to hurt. Hurt because I remember who I used to be.

I have lost my old self. I still have the talent, the cunning, the secrets and contacts and connections I would need. But I have nothing to do with them, and haven't for far far too long.

Doubts

I'll begin with a poem. Horace. Dulce et Decorum est, he wrote, millenia ago. And when I was young it was true. Even I, though I may have looked on those who died for others as foolish, had to admit the nobility of their actions. To die for others was glorious, and had been since before those words were written.

Not but a few months after my commencement, another poem was written. It decried the first as false and harmful. And it was true. Horace's words… weren't. Not any more.

Down the long years of my life, I have seen countless other examples of this. The attitude of the world shifting to match my own viewpoint. And despite my selfishness, I have to worry that this is something bigger than me.

I used to assuage my doubts by telling myself that I wouldn't make much difference. That when I died, my Estate would pass on to some noble fool, as it had done for uncounted years. I would just be a blip, a flicker of time. I am no longer so sure of that. If things proceed as they are, I may well be the end of the chain. The last, broken link. When I was young I was the outlier, lonely in my self-absorption. Now those who honor sacrifice are the minority.

Perhaps this is conceit on my part. Overestimating my importance. But while I may be a bad person, there are many lines I never crossed. I hurt people, yes, but generally in small ways, profiting from their foolishness. And if I'm wrong, well, no matter, but if I am right I, myself, by my selfishness and stubbornness will have removed something that was once bright about the world.

I have spent a long time thinking about this. I have always lived for myself. But I'm going to die soon, so there's not much point to that any more. Perhaps it is time I considered the wider world, and the impact I could have on it. Perhaps it is time I stopped fighting my Estate when it urged me to action, no matter the cost to myself. I've had a good life.

I'm just an old woman, and growing sentimental. But I am old, and a line keeps going through my head, again and again. "Well, if you're going to die anyway, then do your best to act like a hero."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License