Very conscious of the magely image, Kira will carry various tools of the wizarldy trade: an ornately carved stave of ironwood, with the eight-pointed star of chaos on its end; a runic flaming sword and a crystal ball, various enchanted rings and a small Firebird familiar.
Kira is sure to draw attention wherever she walks - six and a half feet tall, slender and muscular, she’s very unlike any of the ladies of Lyra, but the differences do not end here, for Kira’s heritage is apparent at first sight: her skin is lavender, the lips a deeper and the palms a lighter shade of violet, while her eyes, large and deep like the abyss, are a striking purple with amber dots floating in them.
Crowned with a mane of black hair, her head has several appendages protruding from its back - usually, these just hold her hair together, but they can serve as antennae, and when she’s tired, they wipe her eyes. Similar appendages protrude from her body along her spine, the longest and lowest of them being able to perform as a prehensile tail - these too usually wrap around her body - they clench tighter when she’s afraid, and tend to flick heir tips hence and forth when angry.
Not surprisingly, her teeth and nails are quite sharp, colored a sparkling white, on all six of her hands: of those, only two are attached to arms, the other four either just sit in the pockets of her robe or stroll around when not needed, and float when in use.
Should one examine her more intimately, he’ll find out that Kira is a hermaphrodite despite her female appearance.
While not wearing perfume, Kira has always a slight cinnamon-like scent.
Once, she preferred to dress in long, concealing brown robes as to be as inconspicuous as possible - this practice she abandoned, and dresses to stand out even more, in robes that emphasize her figure, in strong primal colours - snow white, night black, or striking reds or blues. She’ll adorn herself with silver jewelry bearing arcane symbols, generally half of the jewelry contrasting with the other half - for example, bearing the symbols of water ad fire respectively, or one half being adorned with sapphires and the other bearing rubies.
Kira carries herself with self-confidence bordering on audacity, always acting as if she belonged there. Her mimics are very lively and complemented by vivid gesticulation. Still, Kira is a good actor, and her face shows the emotion she wants it to show. Consciously, she exaggerates her mannerisms, like clapping her hands when happy, or appearing furious when angered.
Forbidden magic was forbidden for a good reason. Still, some think to know better and seek to dabble with arts they barely manage to understand, even less to control.
So did Melissa Savarin, one of the leading wizards of the Annuili-Dersa academy. A woman learned and well-versed with the Arts she was, so much that hubris slowly sneaked into her mind.
One eve she stood in her study, the flickering light of torches and candles dancing across the pillars and her half-naked body, as she drew arcane sigils across herself and the room, to ward against the powers she was about to call. Power did she seek, energies to strengthen the shields of the academy in a time of war - she sought to drain them from a being from the beyond, and finally, it heeded her call.
The air inside the pentagram went black, and when the smoke dissipated, a horror, all fang and claw, born on wings of midnight stood there.
Great was the mage’s surprise when it stepped across her seals as if they were not there, the moonsilver hissing, and melting. Slowly, it approached her trembling form, and then, she noticed: her sweat of fear had wiped the marks covering her, carrying them away, as if she was sweating blood.
She closed her eyes in the anticipation of hellish pain, and felt the fiend’s breath against her skin. Then, it spoke: “Thank you, manling, for setting me free. You shall be given the reward that is yours!”
Then, it claimed her, yet let the mage live, her body marked wherever its sweat fell upon it or its paws touched it. Great was the surprise of the academy inhabitants when a great fiend came flying, and infused the faltering wards of their home with flame infernal, only to take off and vanish, their foes crumbling into dust upon even touching the shield.
Greater even was their surprise when they found Melissan, her body slowly changing under the demon’s influence, but still alive.
She never recovered. A few weeks later, she gave birth to a child, and while Melissan was taken away into the salubrious hands of the Noionite Order, the Archchancellor of Anuili-Dersa claimed the child as his own, unwilling to hand it over to the murderous hands of the Ordo Mallei, the Fiend-Hunters. And his word was law, for the academy was not even subject to the crown itself. The black-clad men backed off upon seeing sorcerous lightning crackle across dozens of wizardly staves. Yet they did not give up.
The chancellor, Garamond Sturmhold by name, intended the child to grow up in the tradition of the academy, to serve the Arts and the people, and nurture knowledge in a barbaric world, and so he inscribed it into his academy, a student like any other, as soon as she saw her fifth winter. She was given the name ‘Kira’, meaning ‘Soul’ in the old tongue, for Garamond believed that while her body may show the fiend’s marks, her soul will be pure.
Not even wizards remain young forever, though, and the stave grew heavy in Garamond’s hands, before the child was twelve, and he was forced to retire. Still, the council was unwilling to go against the old wizard’s wishes, and let Kira study on, yet much changed, far too much for her to stomach. No longer under the protective patronage of the archchancellor, the people showed their true faces - fellow students mocked and tormented her wherever she went, their voices cruel and fists never far behind. The teachers were cold, the fear and dread behind their eyes plainly visible. Still, Kira surprised all: where most halfbreeds go amok after severe mistreatment, she just steeled herself, and did not lash out at her tormentors with sorcery and hellish flame like they expected, defending herself with just tears and a child’s fists.
In the cold of the night, she used to run off into the gardens, where in the darkness she sought solace, yet little she found, for in such corners, the voices of the beyond spoke to her, of deeds sinister and vile, and she had to flee again, back into the clutches of her fellows.
As time passed, Kira locked herself in most of the time, her proverbial turtle shell hardening more and more… if Henryk had not entered her life. A fellow student, ardent and charming, sending her roses, letters of love, pralines made through his alchemy? What more could a girl ask for? Finally, romance seemed to bloom in the waste that was her life.
Acceptance… affection… was that the warm feeling inside? That one which spreads through the entire body, warding against the chill of the night?
Finally the day came, when the letter, written on pink paper, accompanied by a single rose, bore the words: “Meet me by Lune’s light, my blissful love, and but the rose wear do, be clad but in the chill of night, oh purple dove, I shall belong to you. In the parks, by Helmgar’s fount, thee will I be, yours to be found.”
She followed his words, and sneaked out, the night breeze brushing softly against her bare skin. In the shadow of Helmgar’s statue she hid, waiting, and shivering, but not from the chill.
The wait was short, as soon, a voice thundered through the previously silent arches of the gardens, strengthened by the threads of magic to a painful loudness: “Behold the beast, in all its beauty!” and bright lights flared up, revealing the waiting students, previously hidden. The mass burst into malicious laughter, the waves of ridicule, scorn and mockery beating like hammer blows against Kira’s body. She fell to the ground where she stood.
Soon after that incident, before the smiles on the faces of her fellow students faded, Kira graduated, and took the first assignment from the academy that presented itself, with the intent to be as far from anyone who knew her as possible.
Sent to investigate the ruins of Hammur Hagus, an ancient city state, she delighted in the assingment, wandering through abandoned halls and digging through rubble and dust to uncover what was forgotten, shielded from the prying eyes of ‘mundanes’ by the cowl of her robe and simple illusions.
In the evening, she sat at inns, in corners dark, listening to the chatter that would drive the whispering of the night away, at night she slept in stables where the whispers of the horses would lull her to sleep.
One such eve, a band of drunkards sat at her table, and, sensing trouble, she sought to rise and flee, yet, in their audacity and drunken haze, they sought to strip her of her hood to see what’s beneath.
Though the thin veil of the glamor she had woven could have protected her, panic welled up in her heart, sweat ran down her brow, and all her inner voices called, in a choir that drowned out all sound: FLEE.
Desperate, she lashed out, with all six clawed hands, to ward off the assailants, and sprays of blood filled the air. And hell broke loose.
Stumbling over each other, the patrons of the tavern either fled, or drew blades, hatred burning in their eyes, chanting: “Demon! Hellspawn!” as they drew closer. Amongst them, a black-clad men stood, hammer in his hand, and the fire of zeal in his eyes, left hand rested upon a tome bound in fiend skin. “Bind it.” He spat out those words with utter revulsion, and the mob heeded his call - nets and ropes were flung at Kira, despite her shouting that she was a member of the Academy, despite holding up the pass with its gleaming sigil before like a shield, until she could not move, and her hands were caught in a sack, and smashed with stools and clubs until they stopped struggling. With a vile grin, the man stepped closer, and swung his right. “Feel the hammer of the reckoning, beast!” As it stuck against her skull, it was as if the night sky was drawn over Kira’s eyes, and unconsciousness claimed her.
The light of dawn was painful in her eyes, though with the left one she could barely see - see the bloodthirsty rabble assembled all around, waiting, like vultures for a wild beast to die. Then, she noted how high above them she stood… gazing below, she knew why: a stack of wood, reeking of oil, was assembled under her, her limbs tied to a stake, and the black-clad madman stepping closer, with a torch blazing in his hand. Looking to hr right and left, she saw two other victims - a half-elf, terror and pain marring his youthful face, and a young lass, with a feline air about her - a shapeshifter.
She’d shed tears for them, but had spent all on herself, and felt guilty for that.
When the flames began licking at the wood, and her robe, she felt almost air-headed, distant. Was this how it was supposed to end?
The shrieks of the other two victims singing a fitting requiem, she felt the flames climb up her legs, her belly, chest… and found that they did not hurt, just caress her, clinging to her like a child to its mother, dressing her like a fitting suit.
There, among the flame and smoke, and agonized shrieks, something snapped inside her.
Accompanied by the surprised gasps of the audience, she tore through the half-burned ropes, and stepped down form the stake, pacing towards the witch-hunter, ducking under his hammer-blow and grasping his wrists with her blazing hands, until he let go of his hammer and tome.
She called out loud, so that the shocked mass might hear: “Until today, you raised your hands against those who were different, those who could not stand up for themselves, but know this: from today on, I stand up for them, stand up for them all.” With that, she laced a burning kiss on the hunter’s cheek: “Thank you for making me realize this.”
Then, she stepped up the other two pyres, and set free the half-elf and the girl, both badly burnt yet alive.
With them stumbling behind her, she walked away, still ablaze, head lifted up high, proud like a queen.
“Don’t stand in my way.” she spoke, teeth bared, and the masses parted.
When she later returned to the academy, all were amazed by how much she had changed: no longer stooping and averting her gaze, but rather meeting them head-on, clad in a sparse robe of white linen.
Henryk stood there, grinning: “Look! Our beastie has returned!” Yet to his surprise, Kira did not shy away - she grasped his collar, lifted him up, and spoke, through clenched teeth: “You should be the last to be happy about THAT.” As the others watched, surprised, she smiled: “No, I won’t harm him… he’s not worth it.”
Having learned that Garamond died while she was away, there was little joy in the large inheritance he left her, but she put it to good use instead of refusing it - she founded an orphanage for children of mixed heritage on the academy grounds, and paid for stipendia of other ‘weird’ students, and invested some of the remaining funds.
Some of the faculty rejoiced at a student showing such constructive behaviour, yet others were furious at the upstart for flaunting the property of the old archchancellor, and staining their academy with halfbreeds and the ‘tainted’, first and foremost among them Aganazzar the Red, member of the Council of Eight, second only to the archchancellor himself.
While he could not find any legal reason to evict Kira from the academy once and for all, he knew a way to evict her from ...
Under the pretense of having ideas stolen from him and having been insulted by the ‘demon wench’, he called upon the tradition of the duel, where two mages who have a dispute that cannot be solved, battle each other. To the death.
Smiling under his well-kept moustache arrogantly, he strode into the shielded Arena of Equals, ready to char the upstart to the bone. How skilled could a mage of twenty winters be?
Against him stood, clad in but thin white silk, leaning against her stave, Kira, calm and reserved.
As soon as the third tolling of the bell signalled the start of the battle, and the assembled mages cheered at their respective favourites, he lashed out with all his power, raining down fire and ice, thunder, poison and acid on her. Confident that nothing would have survived that, he relaxed, only to see the unmarred figure of Kira stand there, grinning. With a subtle push of her own sorcery, she leaped forward, and closed her hands around Aganazzar’s throat, and strangled. Unable to utter even a single incantation, or to reach any of his wands, Aganazzar kicked wildly and watched as his tongue vent violet and his life slipped away, all while watching Kira’s pleasant, almost girlish, smile.
Standing over the lifeless body of her foe, Kira cheered out to the crowd, for she knew the law of the duel well - he who defeats his superior shall assume his place.
That eve, she stood on a cliff outside of the academy grounds, wind whipping in her face, and gazed down on the lands below, full of people filled with fears that lead them to inhuman deeds. Deep in though, she was very surprised to hear a deep voice behind her, speaking greetings. Turning, she found herself face to face with a horned beast, nine feet tall, clad in blackened armor and its leathery wings. “Forgive me my intrusion. I am glad to see you well and safe.” She stepped back in fear, a stone under her foot tumbling and falling into the depths below. The clawed paw caught her by the hand, and pulled her back up. “Who.. who are you?” she spoke, uncertain what to do. “I’m your father, Kira” the fiend replied.
She’d have beaten against his armored chest, and clawed at his face for what he had one to her, for the years she had to suffer, only if he did not hold her so tight.
When finally her helpless rage ebbed away, he spoke again: “You are destined for greatness, to lead more than just a few orphans and castaway children out of the shadow. I will be watching and aiding you.”
But she wound herself out of is grasp, and replied, defiantly: “I don’t want your help. Go away, and stay where you have been those twenty years!”
Smirking, he took off: “You will call. I know.”
Kira is the youngest Council Member the academy ever had, and in a difficult position. While an able mage, she has few allies - at least until those whom she supports grow up. Several non-human mages at the academy sympathize with her, as well as some people at court, though.
She is the founder of S.O.L., the Sympathetic Orphans’ League, harboring all those who don’t fit in elsewhere.
While she is a good soul at heart, still, fiend’s blood runs through her veins - she is aggressive and dominant, a true amazon, and her anger burns hot - some feel it already, like the hunters of Ordo Mallei, whom she seeks to thwart at every opportunity.
Likewise, her heritage shows in her sensuality: she’s a gourmet, fond of delicacies, soft fabrics, or a warm ad smooth body at her side - due to certain negative experiences, as well as the fact that most men are unable to cope with her strong personality, she prefers women, exclusively, a fact that may be a thorn in someone’s eye.
Currently, she has several goals:
*Better the image of those of strange heritage in the eyes of the public
*Find them a stable place in the society
*Stabilize her position at the academy
*Find out what her dear father is up to
*Thwart several xenophobic groups
She’s quite smart, and has lots of bookish knowledge, but still lacks sufficient experience.
A flaw might be that she is too biased towards those whom she aids - should one of her proteges turn bad, she might not be willing to admit it.
As for her abilities - she’s a talented wizard with a decent knowledge in several fields.
She is immune to fire, and highly resistant to most energy forms, be it electricity, pure magical energy, or frost. Also, she’s quite difficult to poison, and rarely becomes sick. She heals swifter than a normal human.
Still, a sword blow will harm her like anyone else - her physical prowess is that of a decently strong man, nothing more.
Her floating arms, should they be lost, will be replaced - she will birth new ones soon after the loss. Sometimes, she’ll have more than four, but the extras tend to become independent and wander off.
*Enemy of my enemy: if one of the PCs has a strange heritage, perhaps Kira is the one who will aid him in the times of a witch hunt…
*A friendly enemy? : the fiery infusion the demon gave the academy’s shields is still there, making up a significant portion of its defenses. This may be an explanation why the wizards sit so suspiciously still when that one specific demon goes on a rampage.
*When f(r)iends become enemies: Kira has still fiend blood, and she might come to the decision that the world is better without normal people. So, it takes a few heroes to stop her!
*A misguided friend: while the PCs may have befriended Kira, they need to put down some beast… that happens to be under her protection. What now?
*Misguided knights: paladins. Nice to have around. Until they freak out. The order has decided to put down that stain on the public image. Can you persuade those mounted tin cans to sheath their swords and talk?
*A friend ... an enemy? : Someone has performed heinous murders on several officials. Who might have been the culprit? The suspicion falls on Kira. Can you cleanse her name so that all what she worked so hard for does not crumble overnight?
*A related enemy: so… what about her old man? What is he up to? Perhaps he needs her to release some ancient horror? Or does he just want her to reduce public distrust against the strange so that his agents may wreak havoc?
*An enemy, soon to be related: what if father found a suitable mate for her, another half-fiend, and insists very strongly on her marrying him Yet, she does not want to… can you persuade an old demon to just let go?