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Author Topic: Anastasia Argead  (Read 436 times)

Caster Sugar

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Anastasia Argead
« on: March 01, 2017, 03:20:52 PM »
CHARACTER

Name: Anastasia Argead

Age: 27

Species and Gender: Human Female

Symbol:

Occupation: Beacon Academy Security Guard

Appearance: Anastasia’s true appearance is a heavily scarred, mutilated face of terror. Although that might be a slight exaggeration, she is certainly not someone you would enjoy looking at. While most of the scars are focused on her face, most of her body does still have scars here and there, although some are scars from her life after the original mutilation. She is fairly short and slim. Her hair is long and brown and usually tied up in some way or another. 

She wears a modified Atlas military uniform embedded with a system to regulate her body temperature with dust as needed when activated to disguise herself from thermal vision. Depending on the temperature around her, using it for prolonged periods of time may be harmful to her health.

Her true appearance, however, will almost never be seen, as she spends all of her time disguised by her Semblance. She varies both her physical appearance and her illusionary clothing heavily, and she is unlikely to use the same appearance multiple times. Her current appearance will be displayed in the form of a picture at the start of every thread, and whenever it changes.

History:
Spoiler: show
Anastasia hails from Mistral. More specifically, from one of the few small settlements located outside the safe boundaries of the protection Mistral provides. It was small and relatively new - founded by some group of disgruntled pioneers who, for whatever reason, did not want to join any of the other (relatively safe) settlements that already existed. Whatever the reason for it, the fact remains that all of them were murdered, and the settlement burned to the ground.

It was bandits, of course. The only reason a settlement’s inhabitants would be butchered like that was bandits or the Grimm. Or both. Technically, in this case, it was both, but the Grimm arrived well after everyone was dead already. But more on that later.

At the time when the pioneers struck out, Anastasia was only eight, and a newly founded settlement was definitely no place for a child. The early days were filled with lots of hard work and suffering. While she obviously couldn’t be expected to help with the same things adults could, she was still expected to help regardless. Carrying things around, bringing food or drinks to workers and various other minor tasks that kept her busy all day. She learned to starve, to suffer through a freezing night without the warmth of a fire. Those few months were harsh, far harsher than any child should have to go through. Sure, her childhood up to this point had not been cushy in any sense and had certainly been harsh in its own way, but this was on a different level. In the end, though, it made her stronger. It instilled in her the will to survive, no matter the odds.

A will she would need not long after. A roving group of bandits discovered their settlement - still new and woefully undefended. The pioneers were a hardy bunch, with a fair few who had experience in a fight, but the bandits were ruthless. Attacking at night without any warning, they butchered people while they slept, and even when the alarm was sounded, the settlement’s defenders were too scattered and disorganized to put up any real defense.

Anastasia awoke to the urgent ringing of the alarm, but even as her father scrambled for his sword, the door to their small, flimsy shack was slammed open, a pair of bandits rushing in, maniacal grins on their faces. Although he put up a decent fight, all things considered, it was not enough against the savage skill of the raiders, and her father was thrown to the floor, knocked unconscious and with a nasty gash in his side.

After that… The things the bandits did to both Anastasia and her mother… Well, the less that is said of that night, the better. Anastasia herself barely remembers what happened that night, the memories long repressed, but the scars (Both physical and mental) still linger to this day. It was this night where she obtained her heavy facial scarring and many of the other painful scars across her body.

She awoke to the sounds of the Grimm outside. Not a good sound to hear at the best of times, but at this point she was in heavy shock, her mind already passing through the door of forgetting to shield herself from breaking. She was laid in the arms of her father, who had managed to crawl over to her, pressing ripped shreds of his shirt to try to stem her bleeding. It worked, and she did not bleed to death. Always a good thing to avoid.

The same couldn’t be said of her father of course. Oh no, he was very much dead. It seemed he had died still trying to save his daughter, as his arm was still clutching to a bloodied piece of cloth.

Now, though, she still had to survive the Grimm that were rooting around the settlement. Her mind turned fully to self-preservation. She erased any emotions from it - fear, panic, sadness, grief, anger, all of it would only lead to her own discovery and death. In the back of her mind, a tiny voice was screaming out in pain, but it was quickly silenced. She had to be silent, had to remain still and pretend she was already dead.

This was also the first time her aura awakened, and the first time she utilized her Semblance. With the only thought in her mind being “don’t be seen” over and over again, when she heard the sound of a Beowolf slamming against the shack, her mind went into overdrive, and she made herself invisible. She had no idea how she was doing it, however. It was purely instinctive, and without any skill, she was flickering in and out of visibility.

She was, once again, saved by her father, even in death. His blood coated her, and with her draped over his body she looked like part of the tragic scenery in the house. No Grimm bothered to look twice.

It was many hours before she began to felt safe - hours since she had last heard the cry of a Grimm outside. All was silent. Safe. For now, at least.

Thankfully, the bandits and Grimm had not burned everything. The bandits seemed to have been in a rush to leave, likely because they spent too long enjoying the pillaging. Regardless, it meant that there was still a fair amount of mostly unruined food and supplies around, and the settlement had a hidden stash of emergency supplies for exactly this eventuality.

Her mind still utterly singlemindedly focused on survival, Anastasia packed away what supplies she could carry. Maps of the area and food and water of course. She patched herself up as best she could with the scant few medical supplies, washing out the wounds carefully.
She didn’t want to linger longer than needed. Her survival instincts were telling her that her best hope would be reaching Mistral. From there… Well, it wouldn’t be easy either, but at least she wouldn’t have to worry about being murdered by Grimm. The journey there, though… would be difficult, to say the least.

She knew the general direction she needed to head in thanks to the maps the pioneers had brought, but these lands were far from safe. The closer she got to Mistral, the safer it would get, but in the beginning, especially, it was rough going. She had to stay away from open areas, waiting until night to pass through them if it was absolutely necessary. The moment she heard or saw the slightest hint of the Grimm, she immediately hid as best she could, pushing her Semblance as far as she could take it. She spent a lot of time moving slowly, constantly on the lookout for Grimm. When she had to sleep, she hid in the foliage as best as possible, smearing her body with mud as camouflage. She didn’t sleep much, though, not at night at least. She stole naps mostly whenever she found something that would serve as good shelter for hiding, which wasn’t particularly often.

Her supplies obviously did not last very long at the slow pace she was traveling, and so she also had to spend a lot of time foraging. Berries, roots, leaves, bugs, whatever she could find, she ate. When she couldn't find anything, she went hungry. She spent a lot of time hungry.

On the note of her Semblance, obviously she was still young and her aura undeveloped. She had trouble controlling her Semblance, and could not keep it up for long periods of time. But she practiced when she could, knowing that she would need it to survive. The best she could manage most times was a rough camouflage. Even so, it was this early development of her Semblance at such a young age that allowed her such mastery later.

In the later part of her journey, even when the area was mostly safe of Grimm and bandits, she still continued her routine almost robotically. Staying around areas where she could hide quickly and only crossing open areas at night. She panicked and hid the first time she saw another person, but after that, she remembered they weren't a threat. Not as long as she stayed away from them, at least.

Returning back to a life in civilization after the past months was strange, to say the least. Although it hadn’t been that long since she had been living in the slums of Mistral, at least back then her father had work to keep them fed and relatively warm. Now? Now she was one of the many dirty orphans running around the slums.

Although it was beginning to ‘awaken’ once more, Anastasia’s mind was still mostly in survival mode. What did she need to survive? Food and shelter. Shelter she could find in out of the way alleys or nests in rooftops, but food was a problem. She doubted she would be able to find any sort of work - who would want to hire a kid? So she would have to find the money, or the food, another way. At first, she tried begging. But the area was already filled with plenty of other beggars desperate for food, and people with money to give away didn’t exactly frequent such a poor area. So that was mostly a failure.

Which left stealing.

Anastasia had always been fairly quick, but her first few attempts at pickpocketing went badly. Her first attempt was quite obvious, and she got a few nasty kicks in exchange for her failure. The next few times… did not go much better, but at least all she got was a single blow to knock her aside. It still hurt, but not enough to discourage her. When she finally succeeded in stealing someone’s wallet, she was chased, and eventually caught. The beating she got left her in pain for the rest of the day.

It certainly didn’t help that by now her wounds had scarred over, making her look horrifically mutilated. People might be willing to help or overlook a pretty or cute looking girl, but she just looked a little scary. Maybe pitiable at best. Inhuman at worst. Still, she persevered.

The next year or so was harsh, but by now she was used to harsh. She went hungry often, but she was used to going hungry. She was getting much better at using her Semblance, now capable of properly rendering herself invisible. Sure, it was a little shaky when she moved with it, but all she had to do was lose sight of her pursuers for a brief moment to vanish from their sight. Very handy for escaping after stealing food or money. The better she got at stealing, the less she went hungry. The less she went hungry, the more chances she got to try more daring, interesting things with her Semblance. And the more she did that, the more her mind awoke.

With her mind awakening from its slumber, she was able to think of more things other than simple survival. She certainly did not want to spend the rest of her life living in the slums of Mistral, but she didn’t exactly know what she wanted. Did she want revenge on the Grimm? No, they hadn’t been the one to kill her parents. Revenge on the bandits? That wouldn’t really help anything. Enough time had passed by now that she could feel the pain of her parent’s death was mostly faded. Or it was still hidden away from her. Either way, it would be unfeasible to find the specific bandits that had attacked her town. They were probably dead already anyway.

What she did have an interest in, however, was the thievery. The feeling of doing something most wouldn’t dare to attempt and making it away time and time again. The feeling of having food, money, the desire to live comfortably in life. She hadn’t really known that feeling… well, ever really. So she resolved to make that her goal, for now.

But she would not be able to achieve such a goal by pickpocketing and stealing bread from stalls. No, she would need to be more ambitious. The main advantage she had was her Semblance. She had just been using it to hide from sight, and mostly when still. But it could do so much more with practice.

And practice she did, using her stockpiled supply of money to allow herself to spend more time practicing her Semblance as well as testing out fancy new ways of using it without having to worry about starving.

When it got to the point where the random crimes she was committing around the slums was no longer sufficiently challenging, she began to get involved in the shady underground black market of Mistral. There, she could find jobs perfectly suited to her particular talents. The work was far more dangerous - if she failed or was caught she would probably be killed or executed instead of simply getting a beating. But still, she thrived. Danger? It was nothing compared to lying in foliage, covered in foul sticky mud and trying to remain motionless as a pack of Grimm moved through the area just meters away.

Regardless, the next portion of Anastasia’s life taking odd jobs in the Mistral underground was an eventful, if somewhat uninteresting, time. Her specialty was thievery and spying, but as her skills developed she took on jobs to impersonate people, as well as using such an ability to go places where she normally would be unable to.

At this point, she was able to maintain a full illusion over herself anytime she was in public, which served well to keep her mutilated face hidden, as well as to make her practically untraceable. If she ever suspected she had been seen somewhere she shouldn’t have or that someone had betrayed her, she could simply change her appearance and be gone. If she was ever being chased, ducking into an alley and walking out as an entirely different person often threw her pursuers off her trail. People did also tend to take an adult more seriously than a kid, especially when it came to the kind of illegal jobs she was taking.

Anastasia saved up a very nice amount of Lien (Dangerous jobs pay well), although she preferred to take rooms in inns in case she ever needed to go on the run. She wasn’t particularly sure what to do with it. If she wanted to settle down and live a peaceful life, she had no way of making more, and she doubted the money would last for long. But in truth, she was growing a little tired of the lifestyle. As she matured, more and more she was realizing what exactly she was doing.

She was stealing from people who had worked hard to build what they had (She didn’t particularly mind robbing the rich upper class who probably hadn’t worked a day in their lives, though…), she was helping criminals kill people who could very well be perfectly innocent. She had even killed a few people herself when it had been absolutely necessary! It was beginning to weigh heavily on her mind. Did she really want to be a detriment to society? A criminal who could only cause more troubles for society?

In a somewhat abrupt realization, she decided to become a Huntress. She had the combat skill (You didn’t survive and thrive in the underworld without learning a bit about how to fight at least) and she was curious as to what it would be like to be fighting for the greater good of humanity, rather than the opposite. She had the money to pay her way through combat school, and she was the right age to attend a primary combat school. Worst case scenario, if she decided she liked being the villain, it would still provide her with valuable knowledge and combat ability. Always handy to have.

But she didn’t want to do it in Mistral. She wanted to get out of the city, to get away from the temptation of returning to her own ways. To get away from the memories of the early years.

She decided to travel to Atlas instead. She wasn’t entirely sure why. Maybe she liked the fact that they knew hardship, living up in the frozen north. Maybe she liked the fact that they seemed stricter and harsher than the other academies. More likely she saw a promising future career path in enlisting in their military. Regardless, she took the next airship to Atlas and enrolled in Alsius Academy.

Not much needs to be said about the following years. She went through both Alsius and Atlas Academy, learning how to fight the Grimm, learning teamwork and learning to use her Semblance even better. The romantic thing to say would be that she “found her true calling in life” and was “turned from the evil life she had lead in the past into a hero of humanity”, but that would not be true. Sure, she enjoyed her time. And as she grew older, she became more and more sure that she wanted to put her criminal life behind her. But she couldn’t really see herself as some brilliant hero fighting the forces of Grimm.

For one, she wasn’t an amazing fighter in any sense. She was decent. She was fast but not as skilled as some of the best, nor was she strong enough to compete. In a straight up fight, she lost against most of her peers. But a fight against her was never a straight up fight. Her tactics were more suited for fighting smaller groups of enemies - not as effective against the hordes of the Grimm.

She didn’t really feel much satisfaction in fighting them either. Sure, they had made her life hell years ago. They had murdered many, many people and were the scourge of humanity. She wouldn’t complain about putting them down, but it wasn’t exactly something she enjoyed doing whenever possible.

Shortly after graduating from Atlas Academy, she enlisted in their Special Operatives Unit. What kind of a military wouldn’t be thrilled to have someone who could impersonate any appearance and turn invisible at will?

In many ways, the kinds of missions Anastasia did as an Atlas Operative were similar to what she did as a criminal, except this time she was the one fighting the criminals. It was a good place for her to further hone her skills and abilities, and she put her talents to use many times.

Usually she worked alone, but occasionally she was assigned to a small squad of operatives for particularly difficult missions. Even then, she often was moving around alone, supporting the rest of the squad. Or perhaps sneaking in while the rest of the squad distracted any opposition.

In her spare time, she found that she quite enjoyed studying military strategy. From the doctrines and tactics from the Great War, to past conflicts, both against other men and the Grimm. In the present day though, most operational tactics were build around small squads rather than armies and large units making movements, so this knowledge was mostly just an idle fascination.

Her service in the Atlas military continued for years, until one mission where a mistake lead to her taking a very painful leg injury - she was left immobile until rescue could arrive. It was disturbingly reminiscent of the time she had been trapped in her shack, surrounded by the searching Grimm. Her leg mostly healed, in time, but it wouldn’t be strong enough to support her through constant, dangerous missions - often they could last a while, and the slightest slip up could alert people to her presence. Thus, it would be far too dangerous to continue. She was offered to have her leg replaced with a robotic replacement, but she declined and was given a medical discharge from the military instead.

She did not like the idea of amputating her (Still very functional) leg and was a little shaken over how close her situation had been. If she hadn’t managed to crawl into cover to hide, she would probably be dead. Or worse. She wasn’t particularly afraid of death, but it certainly wasn’t something she wanted to experience.

When she was still considering what to do next, one of her superiors, impressed with her service, offered to recommend her to one of his contacts in Vale who was looking for someone with her particular talents. Grateful for the opportunity, she accepted.

The contact turned out to be the Headmaster of Beacon. She was officially hired on as a simple security guard. In a school like Beacon however, where every student can defend themselves and teachers are all very capable of doing the same, there wasn’t really much for her to do. She spends a little time monitoring cameras set up around the school, but mostly as a pretense to make her seem busy.

This lack of real work does leave her plenty of time to make use of her talents in other pursuits, however...


Personality: In general, Anastasia is nice and light hearted. She can also be quite mischievous and she enjoys messing with people from time to time, but usually she is quite soft-spoken, preferring not to participate too much in conversations. She is not a very imposing or visible person, generally.

Anastasia has a strange sense of morality. While she believes general illegal bad-guy things are bad in theory, she is desensitized to them to the point where she doesn’t really react to them much. If she sees someone stealing, she’ll laugh it off and scold them lightly. She frowns upon violent attacks and murder.

She also has a strange complex about her appearance. She is a narcissist, but at the same time is extremely self-conscious about her appearance. More accurately, she enjoys changing her appearance to all sorts of different styles, but she is deeply uncomfortable over her normal looks (Unsurprisingly).

She is used to hardship and struggle and can push herself to survive almost any survivable situation. This is partly due to her strong willpower and dedication - she will work hard and not give up, no matter what she is doing.

Aura and Semblance: Anastasia is not particularly skillful at manipulating her aura in combat. In fact, she is really only capable of using it for defensive purposes. Even then, it doesn’t take long for her aura to deplete from blocking attacks and it does not provide her with any healing capabilities. Simply put, her defense is not very strong.

Her Semblance is the ability to manipulate light, bending and changing it to her will. This essentially allows her to make people see whatever she wants them to see. She is, however, manipulating the light itself, so she cannot be selective with who she is deceiving - including herself.

Whatever she is manipulating must remain in her line of sight for the illusion to persist. Otherwise, it begins to rapidly deteriorate after about half a minute. Her own body is excluded from this and is always counted as being in her line of sight.

It is harder to keep an illusion active on a moving target, and the faster and more erratically that target is moving, the harder it is. However, she is skilled enough to keep the illusion looking mostly intact even when moving. It takes particularly fast and/or erratic movement for the image to truly be hindered, in which case it will show as slightly distorted or blurred.

Making herself invisible is particularly difficult. She can do it while walking without the image being distorted, but when she moves around quickly or does quick actions like swinging a weapon it quickly becomes distorted and flickers somewhat. In combat, this means after a few movements it will rapidly become easier and easier to see her, until she can get a chance to get a moment to renew the illusion. This also applies if she is trying to make others invisible.

It is technically possible to see through her illusions, but it would require enhanced eyesight and extreme focus to notice the slight imperfection in her distortion of the light - the person would also need to know what they’re looking for, as the distortions are too minor to notice coincidentally. Of course, as her focus slips or the illusion moves around a lot (As mentioned above) it becomes easier to notice. Seeing through past the actual illusion is not possible unless the image is heavily damaged however, but it is possible to see through any invisibility in this way, if the conditions are met.

Her mastery of the ability is to the point where she can effortlessly maintain her disguise illusions on herself, including while asleep or unconscious. Again, invisibility is more complex and she cannot maintain it indefinitely.

 It would take multiple complex illusions to strain her, and even then she would be able to maintain them for hours, assuming perfect conditions (Low movement, total focus).

The illusions are strictly limited to light - they have no effect on sound or touch, nor does it mask her from thermal vision. Although she is manipulating light, she cannot focus it in the form of a laser or anything similarly offensive. 

Combat Behavior:  Anastasia does not fight fair. She will utilize every tool she has at her disposal in order to achieve victory. She will happily shoot someone in the back with her crossbow before running away.

She mostly avoids direct confrontation, however, preferring the stealthier approach. Disappearing from sight and backstabbing her foe, or preferably taking them out from a distance. If she loses the element of surprise, she can simply disappear again and make her escape.

If a confrontation is necessary, she is not helpless by far. She is still a fairly skilled fighter (Although most other trained fighters would be able to defeat her in a fair, straight up one on one), and can use her Semblance offensively, making her weapon seem to be a different length or size than it actually is, or blinding her opponent with a bright flash of light.

If she does take a few hits, however, she is likely to go down. Her aura is weak defensively, and although she can take a beating, without proper defenses it doesn’t matter how tough she is, a sword will still gut her just as easily.

WEAPONS

Name: Spear

Primary Form: A simple lightweight metal spear. It can retract to change its length at will, and the mechanisms for doing so are powerful enough to be used in place of a thrust.

History: Anastasia has always preferred simple weapons over anything complicated. As a result, she has never bothered to name any either.


Name: Crossbow

Primary Form: A fancier weapon, Anastasia’s crossbow is modern and very deadly. It is highly accurate, even at a distance and the sheer power of the bolts it fires is enough to match a gun. The range isn’t quite as far as a good gun of course, not can it be fired quickly, but it is quiet and deadly. As far as crossbows go, it is fairly average in terms of size, but it is much easier to redraw it for another shot than a normal crossbow, thanks to a combination of design and mechanisms.


Name: Shortsword

Primary Form: A simple straight shortsword, approximately 75cm long.


« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 04:32:03 AM by Caster Sugar »

Caster Sugar

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Re: Anastasia Argead
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2017, 01:38:44 AM »
Currently reworking the profile a little bit

Caster Sugar

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Re: Anastasia Argead
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2017, 02:46:59 AM »
Done. Last ~7 paragraphs of history rewritten.

Vox Machinae

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Re: Anastasia Argead
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2017, 03:21:44 PM »
TL;DR approved anyway.

+1.

EDIT: ... Apparently, since some morons need it spelled out, yes, that was Vox being a Vox, and it was read all the way.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 08:30:18 PM by Vox Machinae »

Koop

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Re: Anastasia Argead
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2017, 03:39:33 AM »
I spoke with Caster about various wording issues in Discord. Pending edits.
Kirkka Scarlet - Beacon Academy Groundskeeper - Dust and SCF Expert - SCF Tuner
Kaali Charen - First Year at Beacon Academy
Mia Brightspear & Waffle - Beacon Dust Shop Owner, Huntress, Bear Owner, Dust Expert. Also Waffle is a bear.
#d70040 #00FF96 #337AB7 #FFD700
Color/Format Scheme: "Talking." Thinking. Doing.

Caster Sugar

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Re: Anastasia Argead
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2017, 04:32:24 AM »
Semblance section edited!

Xarias Fury

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Re: Anastasia Argead
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2017, 06:24:42 AM »
Should be fine with koop giving the go for security guard stuff. Approved.
Students
Wisteria Lockheart - 1st Year student at Beacon. "Don't make me throw a book at you"
Shiroe Pendragon - 1st Year Student at beacon - "This is my monochrome reality" - Team MARS
Lavender du Lac - 1st Year Student at Haven - "The harder I try the further things drift away."
Ayaka Miyamoto - 1st Year student at Beacon. "Tsubame Gaeshi!" - Team ALIA
Vermilion Desdemona - 3rd Year Student at Beacon - "Only time you'd be above me is when your head rests on my pike"
Talen de L'eglantine - 3rd Year Student at Beacon
Kei Almas - 4th Year Student at Beacon - "Everything is ripe for the taking!"
Aurum LeBlanc - 3rd Year Student at Atlas - "Lay back, take it easy, and watch the comedy unfold"

Professors
Professor William Nox - "To contain the world in a grain of dust *EXPOROSION*

Koop

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Re: Anastasia Argead
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2017, 11:14:04 AM »
Approved!

Oh it was already moved. So... yeah. Just gonna leave the post here since Xarias mentioned me and I misread his post. I am still tired.
Kirkka Scarlet - Beacon Academy Groundskeeper - Dust and SCF Expert - SCF Tuner
Kaali Charen - First Year at Beacon Academy
Mia Brightspear & Waffle - Beacon Dust Shop Owner, Huntress, Bear Owner, Dust Expert. Also Waffle is a bear.
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Color/Format Scheme: "Talking." Thinking. Doing.