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 Sophia, Knight of Saulot

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Indian_Summer
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PostSubject: Sophia, Knight of Saulot   Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:23 am

"If the shadow blocks out the sun... there will be Light!
If it stays 'till the sun is set... there will be Light!
If the sun never shows its face again... there will be Light!
No matter how dark the city gets... there will be..."
- Father of Death, Act II: The Father of Death


Login: Bright_Lights
Primary Characters: Haven di Bernardo, Koani Ehawee

Sophia

Nature: Defender
Demeanor: Loner
Concept: Knight-Errant on the Run
Clan: Salubri
Generation: 8th (See Background explanation.)
Sire: Haurvatat

Base NWN Race: Human
Age: 249 Years
Weight: 134 lbs.
Height: 5' 4"
Special Features: Sophia has a third eye situated upon her forehead, which seems to almost move independently of her own two. Generally, she tends to keep this under a hood and veil.
Personality: Ponderous and thoughtful, as well as stubborn to the core. Her tenacity knows no bounds. She has a protective streak fostered from long ago, and she holds herself at length from people she speaks to. Having been betrayed in the past by allies can do that to you.
Class Intentions: Paladin, perhaps Cleric in the future. Cleric, with liberal amounts of fighting classes.

Biography
It has been long- so long, so very long, since she was born,
within the heart of Iran, long ago when the Kingdom of Jerusalem had been founded. Then, in Astara, there had been such chaos- The country's blood, the Persians, had failed to push out the Arab invasion, and they were downtrodden- The very air spoke of the oppression of their new inhabitors, who had done away with their majesties (none of which she had ever seen, for she had been born in the ruins of the empire). The forced Muslim religion, as well, left a terrible taste in her mouth, and secretly, her father, his face now blurred and distinct in her mind's eye, brought her information of the Zoroastrian religion, which had, only years before, had priests of the faith executed harshly.

The man had access to such knowledge, for he was a scholar of the highest degree. She had been taught that, yes, the Persians had allowed freedom of religion, as long as the government had been acknowledged superiority, and the lifeblood of the Persians- their culture- was being stifled from them through their persecution by the Arabs. She was taught many things by her father, and she was ravenous for any scrap of information that came her way- for it was not the way for women to know things, and she knew that careful observation was her only chance to learn things. And after all, her father was entirely unsure of how to raise a daughter, with a mother gone due to childbirth. Womanly things were for a woman's touch, and he knew nothing of the sort.

Indeed, most of her life had been to keep herself hidden and out of the way, though her remarkable tenacity tended to have her stand her ground when she was called out. This only made her life harder, however- be it by the backhands of family who thought her spirited conviction unbefitting a woman, especially of their station (there were appearances to be kept up if she was to find a suitable husband), or the Arabian guards that patrolled the city, merciless within their chance to cause mayhem for a Persian. Of course, she was not one to be harassed without returning a few blows of her own, and when she was finally dragged off, she was promptly returned to her father with scores of bruises and cuts. Due to his station, however, her father was useful to the city's officials, and many a time she was spared worse that would not be offered to those who were not so priveleged.

Her father tried to talk sense into her, pleaded- and most times, his reasonable arguments would stay her obvious drive for the most part, but it also only made her even more steadfast in her ideals. Indeed, for her knowledge of Zoroastrianism, she was supposed to actively battle falsehood- and the things the Arabs were doing, burning Zoroastrian texts and scaring everyone into silence, even as they were making them pay for their protection... It was wrong. So she dug in her heels and staunchly stuck to her ideals- although silently, for now.

Would that the Arabian scourge was the only horrific thing visited upon her. In 1118, when attending a Zoroastrian gathering, as evening fell, the people there were attacked by men, making even the most proud Persian cower beneath their gaze. She did not understand what was going on- of course, not until the attacks started. They played with the small group of men and women, first, like felines. There were three, warriors all, Arabian regalia gracing their clothes. And when their eyes met hers, she felt her heart nearly stop- In those cold eyes, she could see the depths of nothingness. These men were not servants of Ahura Mazda, the lord of creation, they were the opposite- servants of Angra Mainyu. She tore her eyes away, and felt panic rise in her heart like a frightened bird, and she gave pause when she witnessed the others. Feeling her old resolve well up again, she did something quite unbecoming for a young woman- and something quite stupid. She picked up one of the kilij sabers from one of the Persian men's belts and called the Arabian men out, (though her feet shook, she remembers now with no small twinge of shame) and she told the others to run.

Stupid, stupid girl. The girl was immediately cut down for her foolishness. And so, when she lay bleeding, feeling sand grit into her wounds and having the dirt and sand kicked into her face and bloodied marrings, she could barely, just barely, make out the others of the group getting away. Despite herself, she was glad, though quite distressed at her rapidly degrading condition.

And then, in that hazy moment between awareness and the next step to death, choking upon her blood, she heard a high pitched battle cry, comparable only to the mighty eagle- and a shrouded figure that brought a strange, straight blade to combat the curved blades of the men.

And then she passed out. She dreamt of tales of Zoroastrians, of her father's voice. She dreamt of blossoms and precious rain- and somewhere, far away, she felt a tightness around her body.

Awaking in a daze, the woman found herself sheltered indoors, the room within which she was sequestered darkened- the windows were covered in thick curtains, and the door was tightly shut. Fearing the worst, she pushed herself up, with strength amounting to a kitten's, and no small amount of torturous agony. Collapsing back upon the crudely-stuffed bedding in spasming torment, she felt a hand upon her shoulder, and she cried out in pain as the hand firmly settled her back down on her bed.

"Hush." The feminine voice gave her pause, and she looked up, bleary from her tears from the wound. "I am no healer, and you must pay attention." The woman spoke in Farsi, and the girl narrowed her eyes through her tears to focus through the cloudy sight of pain. The woman wore a Sarband headdress, long robes of some fine material, and gold adorned her nose and ears in the form of rings. The girl gave a soft whine, before finally giving up her struggle and flopping to the mattress, succumbing to the pain and simply becoming still.

Seeing this, the strange woman nodded to the girl, and continued quietly. "You are going to die." The girl tensed, at that, and sputtered, before the woman held up a hand. "You have no choice of that. I am no healer, and there are none who are going to be able to heal your wound, as grievous as this is. However- Know that the ones you gave yourself for were able to flee. They survive, and they have you to thank." The woman looked upon the girl with great pity, for a long moment. The girl looked up at the ceiling, her eyes filling with tears, both weeping in mourning of her life and loss of aspirations, but also in gratitude of the others who had gotten away. The woman silently dabbed at the tears, that they might not fall into the wound and cause more pain than need be. She gave the girl her moment to mourn herself, cleaning the tears from her eyes and the blood from her mouth. The woman's gaze lingered too long upon the cloth, stained with the girl's blood as it was, and summarily threw it away.

When the girl was done with her quiet lament, the woman settled beside her and spoke quietly. "Were it not for you, those people would not have survived. The men that had attacked you were stronger- far stronger than you could imagine."

The girl croaked. "They were servants of Angra Mainyu." The woman smiled, her eyes crinkling behind her veil.

"...Yes. They very much were. And in your honor, I shall offer you a choice." The girl's glazed eyes moved to look towards the robed woman. "I will end your pain and torment, and let you proceed to the Bridge of Judgement and Paradise, with no more indignities-"

"Please," the girl croaked. The woman smiled softly behind her robe, before continuing.

"-Or you can join me, in my struggle." The woman finished softly, motioning to the strange blade she carried, straight and double-edged. The girl looked at the woman in confusion, coughing up a speck of gore. "I understand it is confusing. It is your choice, however." The woman kneeled by the girl's side. "There are more of those demonic men- the servants of Angra Mainyu- who will hurt many. You do not have to fight them, but they are still in the world- and they are plentiful. My quest is to destroy them all, and help those who would suffer at them and their ilk." She paused a moment, and said quietly. "The way to do so, is to take unlife as your mantle. I will not lie to you, honorable one- it is not a blessing. It is a curse that I shoulder and bear... But one to find enlightenment, as well as help those who have none else. After all- Ahura Mazda cannot work alone." The woman looked at her quietly, while the girl shook a moment, in fear of the clear madness she was demonstrated. The woman smiled simply, and removed her Sarband, revealing, upon the center of her brow, an almond-shaped, dark eye, that looked upon the girl benevolently. The girl gasped and gulped for air, but was certainly more willing to listen, after that. And when the offer had been given, the girl asked for time.

And time she was given. Her caretaker gave her the solitude to think, and the robed woman busied herself with preparing more bandages. The girl looked down at her wounds, then at the ceiling, and closed her eyes, imagining the tenets that had always been decreed unto her: Active participation in life through good thoughts, good words, and good deeds were needed to ensure happiness and keep chaos at bay. She thought of her father- her father who loved her, her father who slapped her, her father who chided her, her father who worried about her. She thought of her good neighbors.

And upon opening her eyes, the girl accepted. The woman gave a soft, pitying smile, and leaned forward, piercing the girl's neck and killing her.

Thus the girl became cursed with her lust for blood, for all existence, but also granted a goodly cause. Upon awakening, she immediately felt the pangs of thirst in her belly, and the scent of blood- though it was her own- drove her nearly mad. The indignity was then deepened as the robed woman carefully forced her mouth open and drained a waterskin down her throat- and it burned her throat, it filled her senses, it made her eyes open wide, wider than they had ever been, and she screeched at the indignity of being fed something so dead, but it was wonderful and fantastic at the same time and the best thing she had ever drank-

And finally, the mania drained from her, as she collapsed back onto the mattress where she had once lay, which stank of old blood and dead flesh. The year was 1118 when she died. The night immediately after her passing, her father was informed of his daughter's death by a long-robed woman with a straight sword. Some hours later, two women in long robes silently fled the city of Astara, and the girl bid her home goodbye silently with unfallen tears- as the sweet remnants of Persia were not safe for their kind.

In the years following, her sire- who called herself Haurvatat- instructed her upon the ways of their kind- Cainites, she called them, after that strange scripture of the west. She was enlightened of the bygone times of her new People, and of the heredity of the 'clan' she was within now, Haurvatat taking her careful time with the girl, explaining what she could not explain before the Embrace, given their previous haste. Interspersed between these lessons, the girl was given her own weapon- a proper kilij, not the dull and useless thing she had wielded futilely against the men- the Baali, she learned- that had attacked her small gathering before. Though she had done little damage in her brawls before, now her body was faster, and stronger- it did not simply have to do with physique- her flesh simply moved. The girl watched herself with faint horror at the more subtle marks of her loss of life- and the more obvious, the drinking of blood from living conquests... Though, as she was instructed by Haurvatat, from Saulot himself, never to drink from men who feared her. Thus she sated that terrible hunger upon beasts and bottles, and the occasional ravager that would seek to visit harm upon two women.

After she had learned the basic arts of the kilij and the 'longsword' that Haurvatat favored, Haurvatat judged that the girl was taught by another. By this time, it was now 1123, and the girl was told by Haurvatat that she would need the experience of one she had not grown used to to learn further. By such a time, she had been taught how to use her new, lifeless powers, able to touch the living and sense the time upon which their death knells would visit them, to raise her senses to preternatural degrees, and certainly far less easy to bruise and hurt than when she was alive. As well, she had found that, like Haurvatat, she had acquired an eye upon her brow, one that matched her own and allowed her to see somewhat into her own enlightenment when she practiced Valeren's powers.

When she was not sparring with Haurvatat, she was fed upon knowledge as well as training- when they had traveled, they had traveled through the domains of the horrific Tzimisce, crept through fiefs, announced themselves at the Courts when needed, and arrived at London. All through this time, she was glutted to her heart's content upon mounds of intelligence, from the most basic philosophies of the Code of Samiel to the speculation of other religions and the wars that others fought for them, and even Golconda. Within the Baronies, Haurvatat introduced her, momentarily, to others of their ilk- and to the healers, the other half of the Salubri that they belonged to. However, Haurvatat admitted to her childe, that was not the reason they were there- and true enough, the healers of Saulot soon departed, and they made their way to the opening of the Saint Bartholomew's Hospital. While Haurvatat and her childe could not enter the hospice, the girl from Astara watched in fascination as the gates were opened to welcome in those in need of help.

Blending into the crowd, the girl and her sire made their way through the crowd, before carefully making their way to the hall of another. The girl was introduced to her new tutor, a Brujah. Bidding Haurvatat farewell, the girl was given a series of training rituals. Unending they almost seemed, and many a time the girl clashed with the Brujah elder, though the man was as flintlike with her as he was with any of the other students. Indeed, perhaps he was even harsher upon her because of her gender, and at times, it was that mule-like relentlessness that kept her going- though sometimes, as well, it was her downfall, and she would find herself upon her back in the sparring ring, bested by another. She learned her lessons, through that, tempering that unshaking perseverence, and learned to compromise a little more.

After a year's span of this unforgiving training, Haurvatat returned, eyeing over the girl's growth, and resolved that it was the moment to begin the Time of Testing.

Among the few other Salubri warriors she had spoken with, the girl understood that it was this time that this was what would prove herself. Thus, when the girl was left in the wastes for the night, without even clothing to cover herself, no weapons to defend herself with, there to meditate upon those who had come before her, and her task.

And in Saulot, Samiel, and the ideas of her tasks, she found her purpose. She returned the next day with a shaken, but resolute, direction in her stride. All was clear to her.

Then the true training began: the scaffolding of her knowledge was built upon even more, and she was even taught to scribe- whereas before, she had only been able to read the texts. In addition to her beloved Persian alphabet, she learned the language of English, Hebrew, and Latin, as well as how to speak the tongue of Enoch, long passed along the Salubri and used to communicate with each other.

The training was, indeed, long, and spanned seven passings of seasons, and many travels were taken while this tutelage was underway. When the time came, in 1130, the girl was found to be satisfactory, and taken to the blooding.

The blooding for the girl from Astara was the most deeply intimate thing she had ever experienced. Haurvatat brought her student into the Germanic forests they had been traveling through at the time. She bid her to lay herself bare, and put all that she had brought with her to the ground. This, the girl did, and they settled to sing in gentle hymns of Zarathustra.

"I praise good thoughts, good words, and good deeds and those that are to be thought, spoken, and done. I do accept all good thoughts, good words, and good deeds. I do renounce all evil thoughts, evil words, and evil deeds."

Around them, nothing stirred, not even the wind as the two women's voices blended, though neither were particularly good singers. It was as if the moment was too sacred to ruin, and none disturbed the two. It was then that Haurvatat bid the girl to stand in a circle upon the ground. It was a simple circle, drawn into the ground with a stick.

Haurvatat circled the girl, almost prowling, and questioned her mercilessly, of the things she had learned. When the girl stuttered, or gave pause, the elder drew her hand back and gave her a harsh slap, and sometimes hit her with the flat of her blade, testing the girl's control of her rage. The girl stood still, nevertheless- and though she could have fought, she did not, for all the anger and turmoil that rose inside her in objection to the punishments piled upon her over and over. She was questioned in Enochian, then Latin, and the girl answered as such, holding her ground even as she grit her fangs against her teeth, digging her stubbornness in even against herself, adamant in her resolve.

"Who are you!" She roared, finally, after the girl was beaten and bleeding, her elder having made good use of her disciplines to try and stir the bestial rage within her. "Who are you, that would claim that you will hold this Code of Samiel as dear as your own blood!" Haurvatat shrieked with the fury of the eagle, all those years ago. "Who are you, that would serve the world and be numbered as one of Saulot and Samiel's line! Give me the name that would do these things!"

It was then that the girl heard, as if through a cloudy haze, the feminine voice of a woman she had never met because of tragedy, and her heart ached. May she be called Sophia.

Thus the girl said the name to her sire, and Haurvatat smiled, tracing a holy symbol in the air. "Then be you Sophia, and speak to me thy Code as a warrior should."

This, Sophia did, and Haurvetat held her hand to the girl-no-more, pulling her up as an equal. "Be thou childe of my blood, and sister of my sword. I shall stand with thee, back to back, against all who wish us ill, and shall be with thee in the hosts 'ere Judgement Day." Sophia smiled to her elder, and clasped her hand, returning the oath. She dressed, and rearmed, and they returned quickly to the haven they took shelter at, for daylight began to peek over the horizon.

Thus Sophia battled the Baali and those who had once slain Samiel, joining the crusade of the Salubri. For three years, she became a new warrior within the ranks.

Then It happened. Perhaps it was a curse that followed Sophia. The great Calamity that destroyed the world around the Salubri- the Usurpers' cold blooded murder of Saulot in 1133. The then-neonate soon caught wind of the Tremere's lies against the Salubri, and before she knew it, Sophia found herself surrounded by enemies. She shrouded her eye against sight and bid a tearful farewell to her elder for both of their safety, separating within Spain and departing to traverse the world. For the next two-hundred and fifteen years, Sophia kept to herself, traveling where needed, killing what was terrorizing those who were in need of help, and avoiding the traps that were set for the remaining childer of Saulot, or escaping the traps that were laid for her. Turning to her former allies provided her no quarter, and so she fled, trusting few and revealing herself to fewer.

When she finally heard word of the diablerie of Mokur, paraded as the last elder of the Salubri clan by the Usurpers, Sophia made a small memorial for the fallen elders, nearly mad with the grief of the loss of her clan's progenitor and her dear family. However, this did not stop her wandering and her search for Golconda, indeed. Sophia lamented, indeed, but she continued upon her doggedly intent pursuit, hunting down those who supported the Usurpers and the Usurpers themselves where she can.

However, as soon as she arrived and took care of whatever threat was in the area, soon she was off again- such was the life she was forced to lead. With the Salubri suddenly thought of as soul eaters, there was simply no other choice. So the girl from Astara found herself traveling through Italy at the end of her 215 wanderings, upon a boat away from the beseeching eyes of the scouts of the Usurpers and Baali, until it was pulled into a storm. Try as she might to help, the boat was doomed to crash- and when the Salubri gained her bearings once more, she found herself peering up at the depths of the underground catacombs that the cursed isle of Omen had dragged her to, to a man in dark robes and a torch clucking over her like a hen.

Relevant Information
*Sophia is from Astara, Iran.
*She is a Salubri of the Warrior Caste- Thus her practices of Valeran extend to more warlike concepts, aiding her in battle and in her tasks as a childe of Saulot.
*She has the background Generations 5- therefore making her effectively 8th generation, as the normal starting generation in the Salubri: Dark Ages Clanbook is 9th. Any more allowed by DMs is fine by me, but otherwise, going beyond 8th without permission or discussion seems just cheesy to me.
*She is stubborn. She'll never give up. Ever.
*She did know of Saulot, but she never really, honestly met him. This didn't mean his diablerie did not affect her- it did greatly, as it did with all other Salubri.
*She is careful to make sure she is not identified as Salubri, and tends to keep to herself but for people in need. Even then, she tends to help as anonymously as possible.
*She wears a headwrap that covers most of her face, so as to hide her third eye without looking too terribly inconspicuous. However, it's quite obvious she's from a quite distant land.
*She believes vampirism to be a curse, much like every Salubri- and therefore will never ghoul or Embrace... Especially upon an island, where such things would certainly draw attention to her.
*The way that Sophia acts, it would be incredibly easy to mistake her for a Brujah. She is fit and striking, and carries herself with a quiet, but simmering passion under her deathly skin, in such authoritative ease that it would be increasingly easy to mistake her for one of the Zealots.

Intentions with this character
So why does this character have to be a Salubri? Conflict. Whether it is to protect the Salubri or hunt it down, the Salubri are a plot device as well as a character. Due to their rarity, as well as the terrible lies associated to them, wherever they walk is bound to allow PCs to choose several ways to go into conflict.

Why Paladin? Because according to World of Darkness' Dark Ages Salubri Clanbook, the Paladin class in NWN not only stands the closest to what I see Salubri as (at least, the warrior caste- The healer caste is more cleric-y), but the spells paladins are offered most closely fit the Path of the Warrior of Valeren that Salubri are offered. It does not require any more widgets than that- and I'd be entirely happy to spend extra Blood Points on widgets if they do come into being and are in need of them.

I have more interest in roleplay and conflict than powerfarming and PVP- As well, the idea of the vampire that is damned doing their best to seek redemption, with the whole world turned against them... It's incredibly inspiring, and it is something that I would like to try my hand at. I am confident that I can roleplay this clan well and within server parameters, as well as provide others within the servers many opportunities and story hooks to get involved in.

Attributes
PhysicalSocialMental
Strength Charisma Perception
Dexterity Manipulation Intelligence
Stamina Appearance Wits

Abilities
TalentsSkillsKnowledges
Acting Animal Ken Academics
Alertness Archery Hearth Wisdom
Athletics Crafts (Smithing)Investigation
Brawl Etiquette
Law
DodgeHerbalism Linguistics
Empathy Melee Medicine
Intimidation MusicOccult
LarcenyRidePolitics
Leadership StealthScience
Subterfuge Survival Seneschal

Advantages[center]
DisciplinesBackgroundsVirtues

Auspex Generation Conscience
Fortitude Contacts Self-Control
Valeren (Warrior)
Courage

MeritsFlawsPath : Humanity
Blooding the Code
Stubborn Willpower
Scent of the Other Blood Pool ?

Merit/Flaw Information:
Spoiler:
 

Other than all this, I'd be happy to see what the DMs think! Thanks for reading that GIANT WALL OF TEXT.


Last edited by Indian_Summer on Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Sophia, Knight of Saulot   Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:44 pm

A few more details that I felt like adding, for even more insight, should there be any need of it.

Themes:

Idealism versus Cynicism - It's important to remember that idealism does not equal a good or happy ending, and it most applies to the Salubri. Unbeknown to Sophia, the Salubri will eventually turn to diablerizing their elders when created to sustain the clan's survival, the numbers falling to seven at any given time. This, however, does not stop her from hoping and attempting to do her best, even in the face of overwhelming odds- although she is ever suspicious, and does not trust easily.

Hope Rides Alone - Isolation and loneliness will play a big part in the character. Her search for companionship while also not becoming attached for the chance to be betrayed or draw attention to those she cares for provides the usual problem for most heroes that must eventually be accepted; As much as she would like to, she can't save them all.
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