Knave is a strange creature. To get a glimpse at her beneath her robes, one would think her a floating face in a sea of black; a pale, gentle face at that, white as a ghost paired with blood-red lips, as if wearing a thick layer of makeup, all graced with two big, black, bottomless eyes that suck in the souls of all who gaze upon her.
- Knave / Ageless (30) / Damned Soul:
While normally wrapped in many layers of fine silks, exposing only as much hair as she please and a mask little different from her true face, if one were to gaze beneath at the shadowy cloud around her body, one would eventually discern a withered, skeletal creature, little more than a collection of bleached bones.
When she feeds, however- be it upon mortal blood or life force or strong emotions, or even just the touch of one with strong magic- the black mist gathers, giving life to the creature it enshrouds until it's gone, leaving behind a pale, petite young woman with soft, ghost-white flesh and modest curves.
She walks about huddled over, face-down, diminishing herself beneath her tiny frame. She always tries to stay off to the side in groups, forgotten, and rarely looks at those she's speaking to.
In demeanor, she tends towards reserved silence. The magnitude of her own failures have broken her, and she tends towards restraint in how she acts upon the world. As often as not, her words are warnings of caution and predictions of failure, usually unwelcome.[/spoiler]
Born Lady Liandra of the Golden Vale, the creature known as Knave was once the third born of the Marquis of Golden Vale, a city at the edge of Lyonesse rich in precious metals and gems, one of the wealthiest in the city.
Though it was clear that she would never be successor- she lacked her little sister's shrewd intellect and her eldest brother's commanding presence, or even her elder sister's grace and beauty- she was raised in absolute luxury, wanting for nothing, expected to do nothing but be pampered and then die in obscurity, or maybe get married off on the off chance they could line up something worth bothering with. She grew up in a world decaying under the weight of its own decadence and treachery, spoiled and incompetent. A spoiled, useless girl.
A perfect target.
Such a foul place drew all manner of dark spirits to whisper sweet lies into the courtiers' ears, to feast on their perversions, to make the place their home and turn it into a foothold into the world, until it became fit for a much more powerful creature. A duchess of lust and pride and hunger who called herself All came into the court, and began speaking to Liandra in her dreams.
Her little sister was wise. By listening to All, she made her seem the fool. Her eldest brother was commanding, but by speaking All's words, she made him seem weak and foolish. Her elder sister was beautiful, but by embracing All, she made her look as a hag next to her glory.
And All asked for so little. A small place in the girl's heart, and in her mind. A moment in her body, to enjoy the pleasures of the material world, the slightest influence, that All might further help her ward. Small costs for another step towards glory and power; with the might of All, Liandra became marquess herself, having made herself declared heir apparent before removing her mother from the equation, and with her leadership, her kingdom prospered as never before beneath a strong leader who had unified the court. She had the love and support of her people, and she even had ambitions to become the very queen of the land, except there was one problem.
She had given an inch here, an inch there, and now, All was not a guest in Liandra's mind. It was All's mind now. And All's heart and All's body, and even All's soul. And All had no use for a spoiled little girl sullying her glory, holding her back; the girl was cast out, sent into the depths of Hell to be turned into a food source, gorged on the life and emotions of others that she might convert it into nectar for demons.
The years that followed are a haze; constant agony, ebbing and waning, spiked with instances of absolute pleasure to make it all that much worse. Even her past as a human is a blur, many of her memories stripped away as unnecessary, leaving only enough to know the depths of her shame, to know that she truly deserved to be there. Even her name was lost, forever leaving her as simply Knave, with no choice but to accept her eternity.
And then, she was ripped away. Like when she was cast into the pit, she was lifted out, called to the world of the living. She felt a body around her for an instant, before being rejected into the air, once more a creature unto herself in the mortal world. A bizarre, inhuman creature, but one not in Hell. Yet her bonds remained, leaving her in the service of some strange dark-skinned elven mage.
It is an improvement, even if she still must obey.[/spoiler]
1) Knave is a foolish girl who sold her body and her soul to a demon, giving it a foothold in our world and damning herself for all eternity, were she not rescued from her just fate and put in the hands of a mortal mistress.
2) Knave seeks salvation. Failing that, she seeks to keep others from being consumed as she was, that they may not share her fate.
3) Before her damnation, Knave had risen to the status of a beloved marquess of Lyonesse's most oppulent march. And then the demon who helped her do it ousted her from her own body and took the reigns of her homeland. Perhaps fate will give her the chance to return home before the demon in her skin makes her move for the throne.
4) Knave will not willingly sit by while another repeats her mistakes. If ordered to, however, she may have no choice.[/spoiler]
The Golden Vale rests at the edge of Lyonesse, a small realm blessed with incredible wealth in the form of some of the world's richest deposits of precious metals and gems.
With that wealth, however, comes those who crave it, and the march has a long and bloody history of dirty politics, assassination, blackmail and betrayal that often threatened the ability of the mines to produce at all.
Five years ago, the marquess passed away and was succeeded by her middle daughter, Liandra. Brilliant, beautiful and wise, the new marquess managed to snuff out the old ways within a year, unifying the courts and guiding the march's wealth sagely, turning the land of stagnant gold into a great center of culture and study.
In the recent war, Liandra has openly endorsed the Emperor's son, her funding making her one of his strongest supporters, and many suspect she seeks his hand after the war that she may join him on the throne.[/spoiler]