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|“||She’s not ripe yet. Let’s wait a while.||”|
The Shrike loved to steal mortals away, but very few ever became changelings. Most died in horrible agony, impaled on gigantic thorns in the Shrike’s larder in the Hedge. One night she entered the mortal world intent on stealing away another meal, and instead found serial kidnapper Earnest Marker. She followed the depraved man, intrigued by someone who would take prey but not eat it, and eventually came to understand the madman.
Understanding him, though, requires the Shrike to descend into his insanity. She came to see people — children especially — the way he did. He didn’t see them as people; he saw them as grotesque abstractions of people, small representations of humanity. In that attitude, the Shrike found a point of reference that allowed her to connect with him. After all, she saw allof humanity that way, until Earnest showed her otherwise.
Earnest and the Shrike are not lovers. They do not possess feelings of lust or desire that can be expressed in the usual ways. Their lusts are expressed through causing misery and terror, and thus, the Shrike hasn’t changed too much. Her sadistic personality has simply shifted from the alien outlook of the True Fae to the pathetic and warped outlook of a human serial killer. Regardless of her motives, however, her victims will suffer just the same.
This Charlatan became what she is through curiosity, allowing her desire to understand another predator’s predilections to mesh with her own. Therefore, if her true nature were revealed to her (perhaps by an encounter with vileshrike hobgoblins), she might well decide to make Earnest Marker the newest addition to her larder. Or, she might simply flee into the Hedge and return only to capture Marker’s victims when he is through with them. All of that assumes, of course, that she could reenter the Hedge. If she is forced to remain on the mortal side of the Briars, she might simply find a suitable place and start a larder here.
The Shrike seems, at first blush, to be a simply “evil” character, and she could certainly make for a good antagonist for characters who wish to battle the worst of the Gentry. But she also makes an interesting statement about humanity. After all, she became a Charlatan because she connected with a human being, and the point of connection just happened to synch up with her own sadism and hunger. Everything necessary for such a beast was already present in Earnest Marker, a completely mundane human being.
The Shrike appears to be in her late 20s. She cuts her hawk-brown hair short and usually wears a leather bandana, as she feels uncomfortable with her head uncovered. Under her Mask, the Shrike’s hands are perpetually bloody, as are her teeth. Her laugh is a piercing, bird-like cry, and her cloak made of feathers and tiny bones is barely visible around her shoulders.
Mental Attributes: Intelligence 4, Wits 4, Resolve 3
Physical Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 6, Stamina 4
Social Attributes: Presence 3, Manipulation 3, Composure 2
Mental Skills: Academics 2, Investigation 3, Medicine 2, Occult 2
Physical Skills: Athletics 3, Brawl 3, Drive 1, Larceny 2, Stealth (Hunting) 3, Survival 2, Weaponry (Knife) 2
Social Skills: Animal Ken 1, Intimidation (Madness) 3, Streetwise 1, Subterfuge 1
Merits: Fighting Finesse (Claws), Iron Stamina 3, Iron Stomach, Retainer (Earnest Marker) 5
Contracts: Darkness 2, Fang and Talon (Birds of Prey) 2, Mirror 4, Smoke 2
Glamour/per Turn: 15/6
Frailties - Can only eat meat (bane); must laugh out loud when witnessing someone in pain (major taboo)
Mien Blessings - Nightmare Aura, Gift of the Sky (as the Windwing blessing), Tooth and Claw (as the Hunterheart blessing)
- Autumn Nightmares, p. 92-93