|Too much to learn to fit in a box|
|Titles and Awards||0|
|D.O.B.||January 1st 1970|
|Folder||[Drive URL Link]|
Metatype - B
Attributes - A
Magic/Resonance - D
Skills - C
Resources - E
- 1 Character Information
- 2 In Character Information
"A melting pot takes fire", she said. Standing in front of the cracked mirror of the truck stop, she eyed her fragmented image. Tall, athletic - shapely, even. And, of course, red-skinned and horned. Not copper, mind - red like bricks. Red like fire.
She was born in Los Angeles, a girl child to Persian parents working in the extensive docklands - her father a longshoreman, her mother a waitress at the bar they rented a room above. They kept their heads low, worked hard, and took their Zoroastrian prayers seriously, in deep private. Then she was born. Nameless, crying in the night. The image of the div reborn - the night spirits that lead the faithful astray, the outcasts of heaven. A room above a dockside bar is not a place to keep a child hidden from General Saito's jackboots, and with many tears, she was given over to the gypsies that would smuggle people up to the Northern Crescent. They knew someone that would take in a child with her ... blessings. In later days, people would know her to be Oni, but in the 2040s, neither California nor the Persian diaspora knew of such things.
The traveling people, not truly Rromany but taking after the immortal lifestyle, knew their ways, and they knew their people. They trafficked weapons with the resistance against the Tir, telesma down south when they felt they could get away with it, information with everyone. And they could see the magic in the charcoal eyes of this girl child. They would raise her, and her gifts would benefit them, for the Shasta shamans were not their friends - not since the dragon joined the Council of Princes. With nowhere to go, this child would be one of them, loyal by upbringing, gifted by birth. It would be good, an edge they had been lacking. One of them, an old man of Bulgarian descend, named her Vatra, for he saw the sacred fire in her.
The California Gypsies meant her well, and they wished her to be one of them. Although they had no issues with the newest member of their tribe being a somewhat strange ork, she would always be "the magical child", rather than one of them, however much they tried.
Old Man Rostam taught her what little he knew - folk traditions of witchcraft and spirit charms, of whispered prayers to the ghosts in the redwoods and the cold mountain spirits. But he was no magician, no shaman. He used to be one of the travelling healers that peddled their wares across the land, before the war of the '30s tore it apart. Then he fled and ended up banding together with others that treasured their freedom. And now he was in charge of raising a child to stand with them against the darkness he felt coming in his marrow. He would try, and hope for the best.
On the roads and around their camp fires, between the Cascades and the redwoods of northern California, Rostam knew that the girl-child trust into his arms had a potential beyond his. He had seen many dawns - some true, some false - but his own day in the sun was coming to a close. Any future for the two of them would rest not with him, but with Vatra, who showed all the signs of growing up as tall and as strong as the trees around them.
Rostam's lessons on folk medicine received an ear from her, but it was obvious that she was listening for other things: listening for whispers he was barely aware of. Where the whispers of the world beyond this were an article of faith for him, there was an almost desperate need in her - a desire to rekindle a spark she lost with her parents, perhaps, but he could not find the wick nor the match, try as he might.
Long journeys to sacred caves, to the eldest of the trees he knew of, to find mandrake root and wish-me-well in shaded dells - she would travel by his side, and listen to his stories. There was a bond between them, but it would not last. He knew it, and he just hoped that Old Man Rostam would leave a heritage in some way in this strange child trust upon him.
Vatra grew up tall and strong, and she took to the gypsy tradition with gusto. More than her companions, she searched for the hidden meanings, the message in dreams, the message in a waterfall, the crackling voice of the log fire. Before she was ten years old, she could see the things Old Man Rostam had been telling her about - but it was just a bit different. He had believed, all his life - but never known, since he did not share the Sight. She knew, and she was grateful for his guidance, his care. By extension, she would help the rest of the band where she could, with scouting, with listening for the voices in the wind.
One day, the caravan ran into an ambush of corporate paramilitaries, intercepting the telesma trade for themselves. Normally, this would not pose a real problem - the paras were a relatively common presence. Not exactly appreciated, but they were strangers here, and thus noticed from far away, and easily avoided. This time, the company of Ares' finest was accompanied by a wage mage seconded from Chicago, on "recuperation / reintegration" after exercises in the Bug City.
Vatra had been out scouting with Rostam, for he was an old hand at this, and even though his body was no longer as compliant as it had been, he could spot trouble from a mile away. Entering a narrow valley, thick with underbrush, the two were greeted with the sight of a small squad with automatic rifles and one man in pristine new woodland camos, directing a ghostly-green apparition. Until they entered into their line of sight directly, there had been so sign of them, and the corporate mage smiled; he had been worth his wages once more.
The battle ended up being short and brutal. Rostam's old hunting rifle was no match for the military armaments the paras could bring to bear, but at the end of the skirmish, there was a strange child left, bloodied and streaked with smudge, amidst the carnage. That spirit - she knew it, when she saw it. Deep down in her, something was kindled, and she trust out her arms. Around her bullets flew, but she gathered this flame in her, and as Old Man Rostam sank to his knees, riddled with corporate reminders, a wild ejaculation burst out of her, a blaze of primal flame. In her, there was a roar, and she reared up, cried into the skies this fiery anger, the anguish of her loss - and yes, the dreams of Old Man Rostam for a new dawn in her name.
By Rostam's side she sank, down to her knees, her skin burnished, her eyes filled with a glow from another world. He smiled at her - his time had come, but not too late; he was complete. With his last breath, he whispered, "Find the sacred ashes, for yourself and for..." His breath failed him, and he passed. She buried him there, in the shadows of the roads he plied. He would not be forgotten.
With Old Man Rostam lost to the caravan, and Vatra ever more willful without his guidance, the troupe became skittish and unwilling to travel where they once did. Eventually, they split - some of them settled in Redding, others joined still-active groups, and Vatra returned, at long last, whence it all began She went back to the City of Angels. She knew not what the sacred ashes were, but she knew she needed tutelage and actual skills to fulfil the unspoken promise she made upon the old man's grave.
In Los Angeles, she quickly found herself welcome in the strangest place - the Lillian Theatre, home to the Sacred Fools performance troupe. Among the ragtag band of voluntary outcasts, one more stranger was only a richer palette, and hiding in plain sight was never so easy as on stage. Costuming came easy to her, and she would pick up on those slumbering gifts in their guidance - fire dances lead to sword swallowing and blindfolded acts of daring. She had found a home!
Among the people behind the scenes at the Sacred Fools was a shaman. She never spoke much of her own journey into the light, but she fostered the Gift in Vatra. One day, she told her she needed to find her own name, her own destiny, if she was to come into her power. Through the fire of a burning hoop she dove, and a long journey later, she faced the Simurgh - a legendary creature, dragon-like, part-phoenix, part-sphinx. It riddled her then, and she knew, at long last, her name - she was the Diva - Div-child, lady of the stage and the fire. She would bring her bright flame to the darkness. In her eyes there was a desire, now, and in her arms a strength. She was ready.
Backstage, when Diva returned, the troupe awaited her. They had seen the flames take her, and she had truly disappeared, through no trick they could find. And the shaman? They knew of none by the description Diva gave.
In the years since her time at the Lillian, now-named Diva has worked the shadows like the forecast of a dawn to come. She feels she has the potential to be a force of nature, certainly - but she lacks actual direction. She has been seeking training - in martial arts, in circus gymnastics, in virtually any tradition she feels can bring out her power and the grace of fire. What she does not have is a guideline as to how to harnass this power she is harvesting to something to believe in. She is going to keep her eyes open for ways to focus her potential, and people to share the journey.
Recently, Diva has arrived in Seattle. SoCal had become stifling, between the PCC and Horizon, with Aztlan waiting in the wings, and no place to be for someone yet to find their wings in the shadows. She has arrived with very little to her name but her talents, but those will hopefully suffice. She is confident in the faith placed in her.
Through some quiet inquiries, Diva has come into contact with an organisation called the House of Khorasan. They are, nominally, a study center for South and Central Asian cultures. Practically speaking, they are as much a common ground for those with elementalist interests as a meeting spot for business people of various Asian dispositions. Although initially hired to perform her spectacular firedances for the grand opening of their new headquarters Downtown, she has since become a well known face among them.
Narrative Significant Qualities
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