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Raveled

Robin Cross

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Introduction

Who are you? Sum yourself up in one sentence.

I'm an ancient sorceress who is now turning her power to helping people

Do you have any nicknames, street names, titles, or nom de plume?

I was known as both the Raven Queen and Raven Starver, at different times in my life. I'm told that I shouldn't use those names now, however.

What is your full birth name?

The name on my birth certificate is Robin Morrigan Isla Cross, if that's the question.

Where do you live?

Above my shop and lab, in an apartment building in the North End.

How old are you? What year were you born (if applicable)?

That's an interesting question. I was born a few thousand years ago, but biologically I'm in my mid-thirties.

Physical Traits

What is your gender? If not applicable, please explain.

I'm a woman. Very much.

How would you describe your heritage?

I was born in the Middle East, except we didn't call it that back then. With traders and raiders, I suppose I'd be a Middle Eastern-African mix.

How tall are you?

About five foot, even.

What is your body type?

Fairly slender. Bony, even.

Do you have any particular weaknesses, such as allergies or physical disabilities?

I'm not as strong as most superheroes, but I don't think of myself as weakly. As for allergies, not that I'm aware of.

How do you carry yourself? Are you graceful, or heavy on your feet? Can you be stealthy, do you walk with confidence?

I'm always very careful about where I place my feet. I've been told it's very graceful.

Describe your skin, eye, and hair color.

Dark, dark, and dark. *Laughs*

How do you wear your hair, if applicable? Do you have facial hair?

My hair comes down to my shoulders. As for the second question -- I had an aunt that shaved every week. But I've never had to.

Do you consider yourself attractive? Do others?

Why, of course I do. And yes, plenty of people have been attracted to me over the years.

Do you have any scars, tattoos, piercings, or birthmarks?

Mm, some small scars. Nothing to write home about, though.

Do you resemble anyone famous?

I was told I look like Roasrio Dawson, but with sharper features.

Do you have a dominant hand?

I am right handed, yes.

What kind of clothing do you wear?

Usually something casual and loose-fitting. Jeans, Oxford shirts, boots.

Do you wear makeup?

Not as a rule, no.

What is your vocal range? Is your voice distinctive in some way?

Fairly high? Never been good with music, don't know well enough to answer.

Do you have any distinctive habits, nervous tics, or mannerisms? Where did they come from, and what causes them? Do other people notice and remark on these habits? Do they annoy you or other people?

I tend to swear in dead languages, but few people are linguists enough to recognize them. Side-effect of a spell.

History

Where do you come from?

A little place in the Near East that used the herd a lot of sheep.

Have you made any major moves, or do you live in your hometown?

When I said 'Near East,' I didn't mean Near East Coast.

Do you feel loyal to your country of citizenship? Do you consider yourself patriotic? How do you feel about the government of your country?

I don't feel any particular patriotism towards the United States. Kind of hard, when one was born before even the Greeks started tooling around with democracy.

How do you feel about the place you come from?

I miss my home.

Where is your home town? What was/is it like?

It's gone, now. It was... tiny. Sleepy. Pastoral. Little collection of huts and farms built up around some old ruins.

Growing up, were most of the people you knew similar to you, or were you somehow a minority? How did that affect you?

Very small group growing up, yes.

Is there something you've always been really good at or really bad at? How has that affected your life?

I used to be really good at herding sheep, but I haven't tried it for a few eons, so I can't really say.

Were there any traumatic experiences in your early years (death of a family member, abandonment, orphaned at an early age)?

Besides seeing everyone I knew run down by raiders and killed?

Briefly describe a defining moment in your childhood and how it influenced your life.

Again, see above about everyone I knew dying a violent death.

What stupid things did you do when you were younger?

Take bloody vengeance.

Where did you go to school? How much school did you have, and did you enjoy it?

No where. When my village was destroyed, I taught myself from the shaman's notes and journals. I can't say I really enjoyed that part of my life, but it was... satisfying.

Do you have any mementos of your childhood? What are they, and why did you keep them? If you have none, why not?

No. When I was finally ready to take vengeance, I burned everything I had left that reminded me of my family and my home. In retrospect, it was pretty stupid.

When did you decide to become a hero? Why? Did anyone influence you one way or another in the decision?

At first it was because being a hero, placing myself against tougher odds, was more fun than steamrolling the competition. Now it's because I don't like seeing folks hurt by magic.

Is the reason you give people for becoming a hero different than your real reason? If so, why?

I generally don't tell them about the decade or so that I ruled as a bloody-fisted tyrant over a magocracy, these days.

Do you have any deep, dark secrets in the past that may come back to haunt you?

C.f. above about magocracy. I trained a lot of people who have become more or less gods by now, and I suppose they might want to take a shot at their old teacher.

Do you represent yourself as being different from who you really are? Why?

I don't generally tell them about being a cruel magical queen. Would kind of undermine the 'hero' thing.

If you do have these secrets, what do you fear would happen if the truth became known? How far would you go to protect those secrets?

I think people might not trust me anymore. I like helping people out, but I'm not sure I'd kill someone just to keep my secrets.

Do you have any sort of criminal record? If so, is it public knowledge?

I haven't been caught, so I guess that's a no.

Family

What are your biological parents' names?

My father was called Doran, and my mother went by Summer.

Were you raised by them? If not, please explain and describe who raised you.

It was... complicated. A kind of 'the village raises the child' mentality.

What was their standing in the community? What did/do they do for a living?

They were shepherds. As far as standing, I suppose they were well-liked? I was a bit young to understand such things before they died.

Where are your parents now?

Probably turned to dust by now.

Did your family stay in one area or move around a lot?

We herded sheep, but we were pretty much tied to one particular village.

How did you get along with their parents? How do you get along with them now (if applicable)?

I respected them, and I loved them.

How do your parents view you now, or how would they?

I hope they would proud of the choices I've made.

Do you have any siblings? If so how many and what are their names? Describe your relationship with them.

I was an only child.

Do you love or hate one member of the family in particular?

Kind of late for that.

Are there any black (or white) sheep in the family (including you)? If so, please explain.

I guess I would be the black sheep, but I'm trying to fix that now.

Do you have a notorious or celebrated ancestor? If so, please explain, including how it has affected your life.

None I've ever heard of.

Do you have a partner and children currently? If so, please describe them.

Nope, nothing like that.

If you do not have a partner or children, do you want them someday? How firm are you in your opinion on this, and what might change your mind?

I don't know. Any partner of mine would be under attack by my enemies. I suppose I might like a family, but right now I'm too busy for something like that.

What type of person would be your ideal mate?

Someone strong, I suppose. I don't want to dominate him, after all.

Relationships

Do you have any close friends? If so, please describe them, and how you came to be close to them.

I have some friends. I don't know how if I'd describe them as very close.

Do you have a best friend? If so, how did they become your best friend? How close are you to your best friend?

Probably my best friend is Clara MacKenzie. She's a hydromancer who lives out in the Fens and works out at the Lonely Point Naval Base. You'd think it'd be quite the commute, but apparently not when you can skim across the water.

She checked out my store a week or so after I opened and we started talking shop. I enjoy her company, but sometimes I get talking about concepts that are a bit over her head.

If you were to go missing, who would worry about you?

Well, Clara I suppose. There's also two or three people I'm teaching magic to at any given time who would be surprised if I up and left town.

Have you lost any loves? If so, how did it happen, and what did you do?

Besides my family, no one I was particularly attached to.

Do you have any bitter enemies? If so, please describe them and their history with you.

Mm, no one comes to mind right now.

What is the worst thing someone has done to you?

Locking me in a magical tapestry for a few thousand years? I'm a better person for it, but I'm still mad about the whole thing.

Where do your loyalties lie? In what order?

I'm loyal to the precept of using magic properly, to help people. That's the only thing I think I need to articulate -- I mean, sure I want to protect innocents and my friends, but I mainly think in terms of using magic.

Who or what do you trust the most? Why?

Myself, honestly. It's kind of cruel, but I don't feel that anyone else can really understand properly.

Who or what do you despise? Why?

Anyone who uses their powers to hurt or control others. Those who have power should use it to help people, not to simply control them.

What qualities do you admire most in other people? Are these qualities you possess?

I admire truthfulness and self-sacrifice. I like to think that I know when to tell the truth and when it would just complicate things and put people in danger. As for self-sacrifice, I totally do that.

What qualities do you hate most in other people? Do you have any of those qualities?

I hate selfishness, and people who delight in small cruelties. I try to stay away from both of these things, without too much trouble.

Do you have a secret identity? If so, who knows it? Do you hide it from people who are close to you? Why?

I'm pretty open about me being a mage. It's kind of hard to avoid, with the life I choose.

Do you work well on teams and in groups? Are you a leader or a follower?

Mm, haven't had much a chance to find out, to be honest. I suppose I prefer leading and making decisions to following someone, though.

Are you on a super team?

Nope!

Are you a member of any church, fraternal organization, club, committee, political party, or other group? How much time do you spend on that?

Heh, no.

Personality & Beliefs

Who are your heroes?

Personal heroes? The story of Centurion is pretty inspiring. I mean, he lost his entire universe, tried to help this one, and gave his life fighting Omega. That's what a real hero does.

Did you ever become disillusioned with former heroes or idols? If so, why and what were the circumstances?

Well, I always expected my parents and neighbors to be able to protect me. When they all died, I guess that would count as disillusioning.

Do you like being a hero? If so, what is the most rewarding part? If not, what makes you keep doing it?

I really do like helping people. I guess what I like most is the idea that there's dozens of people out there whose lives would be much worse, or even much shorter. But because I helped them, they have the chance to be happy.

Is there anything that would make you give up hero work, or even switch sides?

I don't really believe in definite labels like 'hero' and 'villain.' I suppose I might work against some heroes at times. It would depend on what's happening.

What are your short term goals (what would you like to be doing within a year)?

I'd like to set up an occult detective agency. Something people could find in the yellow pages and call up.

What are your long term goals (what would you like to be doing twenty years from now)?

Wow. Twenty years? Uh, I suppose I'd like to have a special person in my life. And I'd like to put some magical threats behind bars, like the White Knight and the Followers of the Yellow Sign.

What is your greatest fear? Why? What do you do when something triggers this fear?

I'm afraid of heights. I have a recurring dream that I'm falling from a high place. I've never had a personal experience like that, so the only thing that makes sense to me is that it's some kind of premonition.

Is there anything you would give you life for?

Oh, wow. Big question. I like to think I'd die before letting an innocent stay in danger, but we really can't know that sort of thing about ourselves until it happens, right?

How do you feel about money and material wealth? Do you desire it or disdain it? Are you miserly with what you have, or do you like to share? Is it a mark of success, or a means to an end?

Money's... nice. Having money is certainly nicer than not having it.

How do you generally treat others?

I treat them like I want to be treated. Golden rule and all that.

Are you a trusting person? Has your trust ever been abused?

Are you introverted (shy and withdrawn) or extroverted (outgoing)? Do you have a lot of self-confidence?

How do you act around attractive, available members of your preferred sex?

What are your most annoying habits?

Do you feel contempt for any general category of people? Who are they, and why?

What is your favorite food? Do you prefer any particular type of food? Do you take the time to enjoy your food, or do you eat as fast as you can?

What is your favorite drink (alcoholic or otherwise)?

What is your favorite treat (dessert)?

Are there any specific foodstuffs that you find disgusting or refuse to eat?

What is your favorite color? Are there any colors you dislike?

What sort of music do you like? Is there any that you hate?

If you have a favorite scent, what is it?

Do you have a favorite animal?

What is your most treasured possession? Why?

Do you enjoy "roughing it", or do you prefer your creature comforts?

Is there a job or a task you would absolutely refuse to do?

Do you consider yourself a spiritual person? If so, how do your beliefs affect your life?How important is it to you?

Was your faith influenced or molded by anyone special?

If you belong to a religious organization, how often do you attend? Do you have a specific place of worship, or friends within the organization? How much do you agree with the beliefs of your organization?

Could you kill? Have you killed?

What circumstances led to you forming that conviction, or taking that action?

Are there circumstances under which you believe it is permissible to kill? What are they?

How would you react to watching someone kill another person? Would your reaction be different if the killer was a friend or an enemy of yours?

How would you react if something important was stolen from you?

How would you react to public humiliation?

How would you react if a good friend or relative were purposely or accidentally killed? Has it happened to you?

What do you consider to be the worst crime someone could commit and why?

If your life were to end in 24 hours, what five things would you do in those remaining hours?

Career & Training

Do you have any special training in your hero skills? If so, where and how did you get it?

Who taught you the most about your heroing abilities? What was your relationship with that person?

Do you have any particularly unusual skills? How did you acquire them?

Do you do something besides hero work for a living? Have you ever done anything else, or do you plan to?

What is your preferred combat style?

Have you ever received any awards or honours?

What skill areas would you like most to improve in? Is there anything you can't do that you wish desperately you could?

How do you act around people who are more skilled than you in areas you'd like to improve? Are you jealous, or do you try and learn?

Lifestyle & Hobbies

What is a normal day for you? How do you feel when something interrupts this routine?

Do you have any hobbies, or interests outside hero work? What are they, and where did you pick them up?

What do you do for fun?

Do you have a costume? What does it look like?

How do you normally dress when not in costume?

What do you wear to bed most nights?

Do you wear any special jewelry? What is it, and what does it look like?

Do you have a special place where you keep your valuables?

What's your preferred means of local travel? How about long distance?

Miscellaneous

Have you ever made a will, or tried to make arrangements for your death? What provisions did you make?

If your features were to be destroyed beyond recognition, is there any other way of identifying your body?

What would you like to be remembered for after your death?

Do you believe you pose a threat to the public? Why or why not?

What do you perceive as your greatest strength?

What do you perceive as your greatest weakness?

As a player, if you could, what advice would you give your character? Speak as if he/she were sitting right here in front of you. Use proper tone so they might heed your advice...

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I've been planning on how to expand upon my shield foci. It does a good job of protecting me from both physical and energy-based attacks, but it's an active defense. It doesn't require much to keep the shield up, but a sneak attack could prove hazardous. So, in order to protect myself from a situation like that, I've been looking into a more passive defense. Short of making the proper deals and becoming part-reptile (ew) the best chance looks like an enchanted suit of clothes.

The first step is choosing the proper set of clothes to work on. I need something that will cover my entire body but still provide a good amount of flexibility. Any sort of great-coat derivative would be good, but for proper enchanting it will need to be a a natural fabric. Leather looks coolest, so I'll keep an eye out for it.

The proper runes aren't a problem, but powering them could be. If I want this defense to always be on, I need to have some sort of power source worked into the jacket itself. Touchstones could work, but they would need periodic recharging.

I've started work on a prototype; gold wire on a dressmaker's dummy, stored in the lab. Problem: when running my spellfire through it, melted the wires to my dummy. Might not be able to use that as a power source. Tap into the ley lines in the city? Must think.

Biggest downside: the shield is a rigid defense, all or nothing. If it blocks an attack, it blocks virtually the entire thing. A coat, even a spell-wrought coat, would be more flexible and could let some force through. Coat also wouldn't be as concealable as the bracelet. Pros: passive, 'always-on' defense. Frees up my wrists for something else. And, longcoats look cool.

Device 3 (Spell-wrought Longcoat; Magic; Hard to lose; 10 PP) [8 PP]

Protection 10 (Magic) [10 PP]

No matter the season, rain or shine, Robin prefers to wear a dark red leather longcoat. The skirt falls to her ankles, and the voluminous cuffs often fall forward to hide her hands. No matter how hot or cold it gets, she prefers the thick, leather garment. Beside that fact, the only thing that suggests the coat's supernatural toughness is a thin tracery of metal wire, visible when the light hits it at the right angle.

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Elementalism seems to be part of the standard package for most practitioners, but I've never had much luck manipulating the primal forces of nature. Perhaps it was my unique initiaion, but my magic's always been more focused on the mental then the physical. Elementalism has always been a challenge for me, I don't see that changing anytime soon.

So, to kill two birds with one stone, I've been looking at creating a staff. It is traditional, after all, and part of the purpose of foci is to help with spells.

I don't think metal is the way to go and I don't want to deal with anything that has five or six foot long bones, which leaves wood. Rowan is out by its nature, but yew, ash, and oak are all possibilities. Pine would technically work, but I don't want to smell like floor polish while I'm working.

I'll need a conductor, too. Gold's not working too well with the coat, and it's a little ostentatious anyway. Silver could do, but I've been pondering at least a cap of electrum. Should at least do interesting things with magnetics.

Device 5 (Staff foci; Magic; Easy to Lose; Feat: Restricted; 25 PP) [17 PP]

]BE: Air Control (Air, magic; Feats: Alternate Power 5) [25 PP]

AP: Magnetic Control 10 (Magnetism, magic; 12 tons) [20 PP]

AP: Environmental Control 6 (Fire, magic; create intense heat & daylight, 250 ft radius)[20 PP]

AP: Obscure 10 (Water, magic; Visual and olfactory; Extra: Independent; Flaws: Partial, Fades) [20 PP]

AP: Strike 10 (Earth, magic; Feats: Affects Insubstantial 2, Accurate, Improved Defense; Extras: Knockback 3, Penetrating 3) [20 PP]

AP: Strike 10 (Electricity, magic; Extra: Area/Line [Targeted]) [20 PP]

When Robin expects trouble or wants to be obvious about being a practitioner, she carried a slender ash wood staff a full inch shorter than herself. The pale wood is bound in thin rings of some silvery metal, more like filigree than anything, spaced evenly down the length of wood. Most of the time there's nothing to suggest that the staff is anything special -- aside from the person wielding it -- but when Robin puts power through it, runes flare on the surface of the wood.

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I've been thinking of an experiment. Foci exist to help a practitioner cast complicated spells more quickly and easily, or as an anchor to help a set of spells last longer. Simple foci do one or two things, but even complicated foci with many spells run along a single, simple theme.

Is it even possible then, to create a foci with many disparate effects? I don't think any of the metaphysical laws that govern magic outright forbid it, but it wouldn't be easy. The reason foci are designed around simple central themes is that they are an order of magnitude more difficult than merely casting a spell. You have to hold the entire structure in your head while you physically prepare the vessel. Holding such energy at bay is mentally draining and dangerous. That's why the creation of foci are spread over several days, even though it might take less than a dozen man-hours of work to craft the device.

In fact, the more I think about it, the stupider and more dangerous this is looking. If my concentration slips for an instant, it could blow my lab and the building above it to flinders and leave a goodly-sized hole to Faerie behind. Eldrich or Seven would probably be able to close it double-quick, but I don't want to think about what would get through in the meantime.

So, different tack. Many, many smaller, dedicated foci. Q, why are foci so large and unwieldy? A, to hold the spells in place and an energy source. A foci could be very small, if it only did one thing, but it would only work a few times before it was a useless trinket again.

Hm. My shield bracelet doesn't have a power source. It simply holds the shape of the spell and I run power through that. Could I combine the two ideas, traditional foci and self-powered? I don't think it's impossible.

Device 2 (Charm Bracelet; Magic; Hard to Lose; Feat: Restricted; 10 PP) [9 PP]

Teleport 4 (Magic: 1 mile; Feat: Easy, Alternate Power; Extra: Portal; Flaws: Long-distance only, medium [Doors]) [10 PP]

Healing 5 (Magic) [9 PP]

Device 5 (Charm Bracelet; Magic; Hard to Lose; Feat: Restricted; 25 PP) [21 PP]

BE: Dazzle 5 (Memory, magic, mental; All senses; Feats: Eidetic Memory, Well-Informed, Alternate Power 3; Extras: Alternate Save [Will/Will], Perception Range, Mental effect) [25 PP]

AP: Healing 5 (Magic; Extras: Total, Restoration) [20 PP]

AP: Nullify Technology 10 (Magic; Counter all technology effects) [20 PP]

AP: Teleport 9 (Magic; Feat: Easy; Extra: Portal; Flaws: Long-Distance only, medium [Doors]) [19 PP]

Robin's not normally one for jewelry, but lately she's been seen wearing a charm bracelet around her right wrist. The central band appears to be silver and gold twisted together, and the charms are an eclectic mix: a half-open door, an eye, a horse in mid-gallop, and maybe a dozen others. Their overall meaning, if in fact there is one, is something the sorceress is keeping to herself.

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I've been putting some thought into my defenses again. I like the way my coat works, and being able to give it to straights has been a boon now and again, but I kind of miss my bullet-proof force field. I've been tinkering with my shield bracelet, trying to figure out how to raise the shield without interference from my coat shorting out both of them, and I've come up with a work-around.

Essentially, instead of creating its own shield, the redesigned bracelet will reinforce existing barriers. It won't make a paper-mache wall bulletproof, but it will keep it from getting wet and soggy. Best of all, since the magics involved reinforce conceptual barriers, it should strengthen my mental shields, as well.

Device 4 (Barrier Bracer; Magic; Hard to lose; Feat: Restricted; 20 PP) [17 PP]

Impervious Toughness 10 (Magic; Feat: Linked [Mind Shield]) [10 PP]

Mind Shield 10 (Magic; Feat: Linked [impervious Toughness]) [10 PP]

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Well, three months in town and I've finally got my wards in place, around my shop and lab and home. Go Super-Efficient Witch Robin, hey? They're all fairly basic as wards go; just walls of force along the perimeter. The lab itself had a fairly basic no-seeum spell on it that should keep folks out.

The net had holes. The wall around the apartment aren't nearly as strong as they could be. The wall around the store are stronger, but the wards are all turned to supernatural creatures; mortals -- and for that matter killed robots and Moltov cocktails -- won't even know it's there.

The shroud on my lab is powered by my magics, which means it only affects creatures with a mind. See previous note re: killer robots and Moltov cocktails. To get it to work on a broader range of subjects will require a more constant energy source than what I can muster at present

Super-Movement 1 (Magic; Mystic dimensions; Feat: Progression 7 [25,000 lbs]; Extra: Duration/Concentration) [11 PP]

Force Field 10 (Magic, wards; Feats: Selective, Subtle; Extras: Impervious, Duration/Continuous; Flaw: Limited [supernatural Creatures) [22PP]

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I'm considering another focus, something to focus my magic in a different direction. My power is basically mental, most often changing someone's sensory perceptions. With the right focus, however, my magic could affect the physical world. Telekinesis, basically, and maybe a few other tricks. It's pretty basic stuff, actually; I wonder why I haven't done it before now.

Device 9 (Magic; hard to lose; Feat: Restricted; 45 PP) [37 PP]

BE: Trip 10 (Magic, telekinesis; Feats: Improved Throw, Alternate Power 1; Extras: Range/Perception, Knockback) [42 PP]

AP: Create Object 9 (Magic; Feat: Stationary, Subtle 2, Tether; Extra: Range/Perception, Movable) [40 PP]

Just recently Robin's taken to wear a polished, black ring on the middle finger of her left hand. At first glance it could be simply hematite, but in fact it's obsidian, banded on either end by thin, nearly invisible lines of electrum.

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An opportunity has arisen, and I'm not sure how to proceed with it. It appears that a faerie barrow is up for -- well, not lease exactly, but I've been made aware that it's open for occupation. I could move my lab there, and in fact I'm quite tempted to. It would be well away from any populated region,m and the fey magics would ward to from any sort of detection or divination. Despite being literally a hole in the ground, I've no doubt that it would be very habitable. I would have to craft a permanent opening to it, but if I place that within my apartment, it would be two layers of defenses. The entire situation is very tempting.

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