"Mother Angelina? No, we've checked her history. Most remarkable, but nothing we can find really. Most of her prior stations have nothing but praise for her diligence, and off the record, surprise for how often she's involved in lingering deaths. Yes, there are some unusual patterns to these - her patients, but we have nothing to prove anything other than statistical anomalies."
"No, we have not found anything unusual in the random post mortems. No overdoses, suffocation, or other problems. The early ones seemed to simply give up quickly. Now, she does seem to attract the hard cases. One wonders how she can hold up so well. I was actually thinking of commending her in her review - none of the other nurses seem so attentive to the worst cases. "
"Yes, she's refused promotions before - she prefers to spend her time with the patients. She is terrible with paperwork, but the other nurses help out. And she is always so good with the families, especially when the patient lingers overlong. It is those cases she seems to get more of that throw her numbers off. Why, if she didn't get those, her patients average stay here would be quite a bit below average."
"So yeah, I think we should approve of her transfer to the Oncology wing - the patients there have a good survival rate and she really needs a change. She's done great work here."
Perhaps the large, matronly nurse with a warm embrace and a kind word, or perhaps that thin, aged nun with skilled hands. None of these faces shows what she truly is...
Somewhere in Eastern Europe, during the war that came to be called the Crimean War, a Nurse toiled in a bloodstained aid station. The moans of the wounded filled the air, already heavy with the smells of war. Cordite, viscera and the cloying odor of gangrene were heavy in the air.
Months ago, the woman had been driven to the depths of dispair, soldiers having raided her village and putting most to the bayonet, and doing worse to the women. She had survived, calling upon darker powers her peoples legends spoke of in whispers. If God forsook her, perhaps others would listen. And someone else did.
Now she performed her own vengence on the Evil - especially the so-called normal people. Feigning civilization, when chaos came they reverted to their true evil. The pretend good were worse then the irretrievably evil. The Power that answered her dark prayers had given her a gift. Those of evil that she caused to pass on would contribute a shred of their damned spirits to her, adding to her energy and granting her a taste of immortality.
As time passed, wars came and went, each more terrible then the next. After the bloodbath that was WWI, she moved again, changing form with the abundant energy the dying had imparted to her. This time she worked in Germany, taking service as a nurse for a Nazi Doctor, and found herself employed in one of the ghastly Death Camps.
After the war, once more she changed, coming to America as a war bride of an Officer. He of course, did not live for long - he was a poor husband, and violent to boot, and apparently had a hidden heart condition ("How odd? He fought for three years as a fighter pilot and died of 30 by a heart attack? How awful for his wife. Please send my condolences...").
She last 'died' while on vacation in Florida, lost while swimming and never found.
Weeks later, a new nun, a Polish immigrant, took employment at Saint Mary's Hospice....
Nothing. Any ritual equipment once used as a crutch have long since become superfluous. She now carries only those tools of her trade as a Palliative nurse.
A deceptively powerful being, she has accumulated much life force from her 150 years of harvesting shreds of damned souls.
Outwardly very religious and comforting, she has long been twisted by evil. The Power that gifted her had little hold over those good at heart, but the evil and the imperfect majority are his domain, and her cattle.
Those evil who fall into her care receive indifferent care, or perhaps a subtle hastening of their end. She draws from them enough life force to weaken them, quickening their fall to whatever ill they have. The Evil are where she truly feeds
The imperfect majority are her favorite victims. She helps them as best she can to preserve their lives as long as possible, allowing the pain and misery of their extended death throes drive them to despair and rage, unleashing their darker emotions and allowing her to subtly corrupt them to the end, to make them hers.
The truly good persons hold no interest to her, and those people are generally left alone, and ideally 'traded' to other nurses.
Occasionally, the healing she does to extend the lives of some of her patients takes fully, and the would-be prey instead leaves death's door. In such cases, she will leave to pray, but when unseen will fly into a silent rage, displaying a terrifying visage - her true form.
Preying upon only those due to die anyway, she has flown under the radar of those that would seek her type out. Her current method of murder is safe and she has had little reason to change.
Perhaps she has finally acquired enough life force to complete a transformation to something different, or she has been sought out by others seeking to follow her path to immortality.
Perhaps a mentor/patron of the PCs has fallen ill with potentially terminal disease, and is lingering as she tries to turn him to dispair and evil. As a powerful figure, he may cause problems as he falls, and some hint that something wrong is happening. When unmasked by the PCs, they find that the little old nun is a supernatural powerhouse capable of incredible powers...
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? Responses (8)-8
Apparently life-suckers are making a comeback. Not saying that this is cliche, since I've never seen it's like. Just noticing an overall trend.
As for this one, I like it. It's fleshed out, with a history, potential uses, motivation, and even a bit of mystery so that it can be dropped anywhere. The 'perfect recipe' for a submission. Give yourself a pat on the back.
Inspired by Manfreds recent Vampire subs though possibly she's something else...
Rather than a vampire, this is making me think of Ria's Sorrows. Excellent work Val, chilling!
Well, that patients die in the palliative care is not that surprising, it is more the persistence she displays, that is commendable... oh yes, it is a truly evil creature, and a very twisted one. I like her as well, creepy as she is. (And she is something else, though it's nice to be an inspiration for her.)
About her great power: unless angered, I would suspect that she could be relatively easy to repeal... but actually defeating her would an epic struggle. The hidden evil is hard to get rid of.
Just a really, really good sub. I actually tend to like her too, she is such a juxtaposition of different things. Great depth for a character. Kudos Val!
I really enjoyed this! Would make a really great story in addition to just the NPC. I would love to read about her on a vicious day.
wow, I love the opening!! GREAT NPC, val! And what Dark Dragon said.