Name: Ree of Vuena
Head Title: The Bloodless/Bloodlust, depending on who you ask
Other titles: The Blood Goddess, The Eternal Sacrifice, Everyone Incarnate, The Living Weapon, The Red/Crimson/Sanguine Knight, The Bloodletter
Relevant Faction(s): Nation of Iyna (Citizen), The Knights of Rondi (The Crimson Knight)
Age: 32 at the beginning of Rondi and the Ten Knights
Height: 160 cm
Weight: Depends heavily on how much she “has with her” at any moment, but assume when not using her talents she’s roughly 55-60 kg.
Original series: The Sun in The Crimson
Personality and life:
Everyone has challenges. We are told that, to get along in our society, it is necessary to see value in everyone’s struggles, and that while some pain may appear worse, we as humans cannot levy our woes to be greater than that of someone else’s, because the value of a given pain is entirely subjective to the bearer.
To many of the worldly, there appears to be a wisdom to striking this argument down: “Ahh, but what of privilege? What of the king to the peasant? We are simply born differently, and that itself is reason enough to complain about the cosmic state of things. No no: it is not enough to act in society to raise our stature, we must also bear God to witness for the crimes he has committed against us. We suffer, so the world itself must be cruel.”
This is an idea that has raced through Ree’s head many times. What is the reason for pain, and why is it that she seems to have more of it than anyone else she knows?
Ree’s story started young. When she only twelve she was separated from her father and mother when the rival city Shincoatl attacked their own. Ree and her father were killed and her mother was kidnapped. The girl and her father were left in the same pit, their bodies mutilated after repeated attacks by the wild soldiers from the rival city.
Ree didn’t understand what was happening. In the flush of pain overwhelming her, and the emotion lifting of the event, she immediately assumes she had died and entered the afterlife of her culture: the Bloodstream.
It took some hours to gain enough composure to piece together what was happening to her, and after repeated passings by, a healing man by the name of Akot realizes she’s actually alive, and has simply been silent for the duration of the attack.
Intrigued, he pulls her up and away from the pit, believing her to be a blessing from the gods. She’s parted with her father, never to see him again. He had been dead for hours, yet for some reason she could still feel his presence until she was lifted out.
Over the next few days and a lengthy, agonizing restructuring process, Ree’s body reforms by the careful hand and needle of Akot. Before much longer, she regains her capacity over speech, which immediately turns to questions about what had happened. Children in their Athens-like city are not told much about the ways of the outside world, so this is in fact the first time she’s even heard of the concept of war between nations.
Akot explains the circumstances leading to the attack: a sacrifice upon the altar of their god: the death serpent that holds the boundary over life and death. Understandably, Akot is not sympathetic to them, marking them as crazed murderers who create the problems of the world to solve an unclear problem – Death is not honor, why should one pursue something, be it for themselves or for others, that is a natural part of life?
He feels that, just as one swallows naturally by chewing their food, so too must they leave their way of “chewing” fate in the form of these sacrifices. If only someone could kill the death serpent, then they would have no other reason to fight.
His words weigh heavily on Ree, and the hole left in her by the absence of regular childhood is replaced with thoughts, not of revenge, but of healing the world through slaying their concepts of sacrifice and death. “It is a link that must be destroyed,” she would think to herself. First thing’s first: her mother.
Asking on it, Akot says that her mother will likely be used as a sacrifice for the next full moon, and to make peace with it. Akot is obviously aware of the girl’s rather extreme talent for endurance, and trusts her to leave his care once she can walk. It’s only a three day walk to Shincoatl, and arriving with time to spare, she attacks the situation with her rhetoric.
The people of the city are blind to her pleas of help and insulted by her constant complaints of the city’s way of doing things. This is an experience that’s almost as painful to her as losing her parents; to meet a populace that shuns ideas on the basis of their appearance and delivery, rather than their heart.
Over the course of her short ministry, she begins to realize something unique to her as a person, she can feel the connection between herself and people around her. It’s faint at first, but before long she can clearly tell out people at a distance at any time of day, even with buildings between them. From the feel of their blood alone, she gains an uncanny power of sense, not just for the presence and state of others, but something deeper. Even when sleeping on the streets, she could feel the connection with others, nonexistent in their own minds, but an ever-present reality for her.
Despite the severity of the situation, her attitude only improves: a growing sense of cosmic victory takes precedence over her, to the point that she believes that her quest is preordained for success.
In a way this is true; but like all of humanity, rarely in the manner it is expected.
After a few nights, she is forcibly lifted from the streets by the high priest’s son, Pno of the Moon, who was enamored with her beauty, despite her numerous injuries. With no knowledge of who she was or why she was in the city, Pno makes vigorous efforts at her affection, but the moment he chooses to use more than his wealth to persuade her, he is met with an untimely demise.
She was afraid, and then suddenly, there’s a body in front of her: Not simply a body, but the remains of a person separated with the skill of a surgeon into their component parts – it was as if she had fallen asleep for a second, and then the high priest’s son was destroyed.
The guards burst in from the sound, and immediately mark her for a goddess of death.
It is a unique point of the city’s religion that only Shincoatl may be worshiped, and it is to be applied from the dogma that all other deities are to be humiliated, stabbed a hundred times, and thrown to be contained in the “god pit”.
To spare the description of several rather exceptional moments of violence, Ree’s body lies in several dozen obliterated segments within a lower chamber below the city’s infrastructure: the joint disposal site for the combined waste of the massive city. This is where her story would have ended a second time, but once more, she simply languishes in the blood.
Surrounded by the corruption of time and waste, she feels not simply the mass of the whole bloody millions of gallons, but all the people within it. Their blood becomes her blood, and their nerves become her nerves. Just like during the raid, she feels the combined agony of hundreds of thousands of people. She connects to them all through the blood, and just like the first time, it changes her.
Her entire universe descends into a delirium of pain. She suffers from unspeakable trials on behalf of all those dead around her. Time passes in such a way that it loses all meaning. All parts of her destroyed psyche alight with constant eruptions of kaleidoscopic punishment. It becomes not a question of where and when it hurts, but how she notices it. Space and self lose meaning, and all that is left is the agony. Everything she is exists in obliterating pain, and yet she simply will not die. Every moment she feels she has felt her last, ever more in all directions torment her in a way that cannot be understood by average humans.
After all, few have had to forgo the separation of nerves within a specific limb to the point where they can be distinctly felt, and she can feel the nerves of every corpse down there.
Every memory and learned mannerism over her last twelve years are sheared over by the rare and secret teacher, that which speaks only through one’s situation – and it speaks loudly.
Then, she feels it.
A human has entered the city-wide pool, flooded to his waist with the combined putrefaction of untold crowds. She is unsure of who he is or why he is here, but she focuses every ounce of concentration on the steady sloshing of his body. The mere existence of a solid, moving sensation that isn’t immediately causing her pain lifts what little there was left of her conscious mind, and gives her an anchoring point.
The human sits down into the pool, suspiciously close to where her viscera had landed, and he simply reaches out his hand as if expecting someone to take it.
She focuses everything she can into the task of touching the man somehow, showing him that she’s alive, and at once, the pain begins subsiding. Like a lake-sized mass of human waste and death, she realizes that she not only feels what others do when connected by the blood, but can move with them as well. Using all she has, she forms a single hand from the viscera, and clasps onto the awaiting man.
He stands up, and she can feel herself coming with him. Out from the pit, he draws her up, an unspeakable mess of herself and many others. She feels more than one pair of hands helping her up – in her moment of delirium, however, it feels as though all the hands are coming from the same person.
Less than five minutes had passed since she was thrown into the pit, but that alone was enough to make her someone new.
To go on would take too much time for the format of these simple dossiers. The goddess of Reeism has had a storied life before even Rondi’s summoning, after all. One would expect such a person to be bitter at life, but over the course of her journey, she instead forms a personal philosophy that instills an outlook of almost nuclear positivity. Her world view seems to only improve as her understanding of the universe increases, much to the chagrin of some of Rondi’s more severe knights, and much to Salavaine’s delight.
Primary Magics and Abilities:
Being a member of the exceptionally rare “true” immortal classification, Ree is capable of enduring outstanding physical trauma to her body without dying or losing of consciousness. She can bear any punishment, even down to the molecular level, and still maintain a sense of self separate from “the bright abyss,” which is the primary sensation of death that greets the majority of sentient beings in their final moments. Other than one of Rondi’s other knights, Oidhche, she is the only multi-cellular being known to be able to remain alive after being spread entirely down to their molecules, which is unfortunately something she’s had to deal with more than once.
Being immortal and having learned sanguimancy, the amount of practice she’s received in the art places her on a post-grand-master wizard level. She is in fact so good at “connecting” blood and manipulating the joints within their parts, that she can form her total presence into any form she requires, as well as harden blood by increasing pressure at various points. This leads to her ability to not simply cut with blood, but smash, blast, protect, lift, and pierce with it as well.
Like any outstanding sanguimancer, she can control the blood of others so long as they have no scutumancy to protect against the interference, but the scope and range at which she can employ body-puppetry is something that makes even Oidhche nervous, and that guy is a full-on creep lord. It’s hard to blame him, though: there’s something uniquely disquieting about witnessing an enemy kill another via an explosive growth of solidified blood from their jugular vein.
Hobbies and Interests:
-People, their worries and outlooks on life
-Physical interaction with other living creatures, which most certainly gets her in trouble
-Eschatology and philosophy
-Cooking for people
-Xingah, or at least [REDACTED]
-A high-energy friendship with Salavaine, which occasionally includes Meav as a third wheel when she’s “feeling it”
-A worrisome obsession with Arraine and his apparently delicious “special moon blood“
-An awkward mutual trust between herself and the Grey Knight, mostly because of how unopinionated he acts all the time