|“||No, you don't... You merely heard of what I do. I have a way. Just care about the results rather, will you?||”|
|— The Orbiorator|
The Orbiorator, also known by those on a more familiar level with her as Audel, is an eldritch fae sorceress with no set Freehold allegiance. Renowned for negotiating with the Keepers. She is said to dwell the Hedge and travese its portals not unlike a jet-set cosmopolitan would embark on a flight.
The Orbiorator claims not much to recollect from her time before her abduction. She remembers travelling much on tradig ships with winged lion flags across the Mediterranean with her parents. This makes her a former citizen of the Serene Republic of Venice, although most of the places she can evoke are port of calls like Malta, Athens, Heraklion, Rhodes, Alexandia, Nicosia, Acre Tripoli, Antiochia...
Actually It was a september's day in 1484 when a thirteen years old Adela went for a late afternoon play in the garden of the villa her family rented on Corfu. She was abducted and replaced by some Arcadian fabric the Fae hiding amid the canopies of the trees had at hand. She was caught by a vicius swarm of angry bees who turen out to be something entirely else. They were part of the Fiend, who himself was black as night but emitted an aethreal light and was surrounded by living clouds that acted as some sort of prehensile tentacles as they dragged her though the thorns which flayed off first her skin and some of her flesh, most of her memomries, and supposedly carved their vicious marks in to her soul.
Interestingly – and disturbingly – enough the Orbiorator has a clearer concept of her durance than her life before that. She was dragged in to the place called The Orrery. A wast vitreous dome or rather a globe with a myriad of various celestial configurations and solar systems arranged in to an unfathomable order of shifting and turning. The Orrery took place high above the thorny mountains and thick briar forests of Arcadia. The Empyrean, the Keeper of the Orrery delighted in its quasi automated replica of the superlunary realm and often hand-picked the various Beasts he used as living tags next to his arbitrary stellar constellations. There were a large number of Wizened present too, chiefly to maintain the smooth operation of the maddeningly complex mechanism. If Beasts were not descriptive for a celestial phenomenon the Empyrean usually made Fairest to fill in the role of description. Draconics, Bright Ones and Shadowsouls were the common choices. Tellurics were however the favorite.
Many of them were made to resemble actual or imagined "planets", "moons", "stars", "comets" and other "celestial" "bodies", each placed on to a transparent glass-like platter that became their mobile home for eternity at best, or until made to collide with a fellow captive. In that case the platters crashed in to another and the changeligs they housed inadverently sufferd lethal blunt force trauma. Also it was one of two options when a "nebula" was introduced onto the scene. (The other being "extinguishing" a "star".) Audel was given purpose at such an occurence. She was able to please the Empyrean performing her duty but also to keep 'being adequate' to an extent where she was affoded enough pause off of bliss to further obseve the course. The Gentry Lord was fond of her abilty to take up much of how the wheels and spheres turned and being perceptive and playing along. It was not easy, but being perceptive for years upon decades and centuries finally made patterns in the chaos be revealed. Even the Empyrean had a favored route to take in observing his playground.
It was premeditated. And she was proud of the fact. As her Keeper made her a Telluric, he blessed her with the Music of the Spheres. With this boon and with due course of nigh-obsessive observation Audel coud predict how the axles and spins of the Orrery turned. Once she knew she would be in occultation with a good number of platforms in between the Fiend and herself she took her chance. She leapt off her rotund glass pedestal. As she descended she knocked off another Telluric "nebula" of his platter as well. The built-in safety measures turned on and the fallen changelings experienced punishing pain right to the marrows. On the other hand some clarity seeped in to their minds as they writhed towards an opening on the dome's inner surface where they landed. They pushed themselves through just in time before a swarm of the Empyrean's servitor hobgoblins arrived with harpoons and nets in their claws in stead of the goblets and plates they usually were seen to carry. The pain projected to them turned in to unthinkable pleasure ever-increaing as they went further and further. Then there was nothing. No dome, nothing to hold on to, nothing to feel anymore, just the Hedge, closing in swiftly as they fell, again. There after some time untraceable there was the sounds and lights of a market and Audel dragged her unconsious fellow escapee with her there. There were hobgoblins and changlings abound. The latter throwing somewhat sympathetic glances at the two. She begged that "My brother and I need some help, please!" So are the ones fleeing Arcadia found by the Lost. – So far as her own telling of the story goes, at any rate... It's virtually unheard of that any changeling spent more than hundred years in captivity before their escape.
Among the Lost
Hovever even Audel did not remember exactly when she was captured it became obvious to her that her durance lasted indeed for centuries. As she made her way out the Hedge-market and its adjacent Freehold conterminous with Georgeown, Virginia, or Washington D.C. in the United States. She barely found the human world familiar. Technologial advancement was immense but even more perplexing was the habit of slave-trade especially blooming in Alexandria, Virginia and it entered the Goblin Markets as well. By the time she learned of the practice of changelings looking for their families and their Fetch, she have assumed that whatever life they lived it was certainly over and abandoned the prospect of doing so herself. Her "brother", coming by the name Aurel embraced the phylosophy of Winter and swiftly established a grounded presence in the budding Seasonal Court system that governed the Lost with unmached efficiency for numerous decades upon century to come. Audel certainly benefitted from his familial protection – a lifelong Motley Pledge, and many suspect that there was even more to that.
Unlike him however, she was not content to hide under blankets of secrecy. She was always – or at least from the time she tought to escape the Orrery – a woman of action, and as her name would have suggesed, audacity. Personally she was more interested with what she was given in Arcadia rather than what she lost, and it was foolish to put the honing and exploiting of those "gifts" behid her. She was often warned about the foolhardiness of delving in to the Hedgeborne magic of the Wyrd but she dismissed that as the superstition of the Lost.
The tale of the Orbiorator
It was not any sort of intentional fear-mongering among humans or changelings but rather her occult predilection that eventually made her regarded as an Autumn Sorceress. Frankly, she was more interested in the sorcery rather than in any other aspect of Autumn. Initially she was tied by one pledge or another to the Freehold at Georgetown/Washington D.C. but some of her services were implemented on a more translocal filed. This did not dropped her Mantle rating though, instead it increased significantly. Lost everywhere in the Commonwealth and even much further beyond knew there was a changeling who had a way doing what practically no one in their right mind would dare to: reasoning with the Gentry.
By that time she was more known by the name, The Orbiorator, wich, Lost lore or 'urban legend' said was an allusion to her ability to speak – and be heard, non the less – by the Others, the 'orator' draped in the mien of the shperes (orbis). Others postulated that it referred to the eloquent style of rhetoric known as periodic sentence, which equates with circular (orbital) oratory. She had an eldritch entitlement, being a member of the Legacy of the Black Apple, possibly among the first of them, and some knew of it. Most Lost thought that she must hate herself for undertaking such a insane line of work, other just thought that she may be mad. It did matter not for her, though. She knew that even the Fae have their limits. They are bound by pledges and oaths – and struck with frailies – along which there was a certain common ground for a dialog to be found and agreements to be brokered. Of course it was always a compromise at best and one's very soul were constantly on the line, but if They did anything, They respected the daring of the Legate for trying. Many were confused that how can one chagling came out of such an encounter unscathed, but the evidence of its possibility was there. It was certainly not easy. There was always a catch, a sacrafice... Sometimes a human had to be offered or a changeling had to be returned for a Freehold to be spared. Sometimes there were only options to chose the less horrible price to be paid. In one instance she offered a fellow chageling to be taken, then she made use of a Goblin Contract of Recalling the Lost. She did not pay the price herself of course, she sold the Contract to a motley member of the Lost in question, much to the surprise, relief, shock and suspicion of the present ones. Preparation was always the key and for that purpose the Legacy members did counsel one another on a world-wide scale. They were loosely scattered about the globe yet tightly knit in purpose and they did consult their Red Records regarding both Keepers case-studies, fae lore, and actual local history.
Along the less than easy road she acquired a number of Frailties herself too but also managed to gain boons that endowed her some of the more beneficial aspects of being virtually on par with the Gentry. Something was stuck with her from the timeless naure of the Fae, which also further offsetted by her high Wyrd rating and in tandem these conferred her significant longevity as she was past more than a dozen of decades since her escape from Faerie.
The Orbiorator has had her (in)famy and her uses, and when a motely or a Freehold called for assistance she rarely hesitated to heed. She was able to survive a negotiation with the Empyrean himself, who did not drag her back to his realm. Actually the Fiend revealed that he was distracted at the moment of her escape, partaking in a Legend. She on the other hand never revealed to others what she had to offer in return for her continued freedom, but some speculate – along with her "brother" – of a bargain that was struck to weaken her former Keeper's rivals in future dealings with those certain Others. So to speak she got scheduled negotiations – for good of for ill. She was also suspected to be a Loyalist by some Lost, though non dared to imply that to her face.
When it came to interceding with the True Fae, the Legacy of the Black Apple always ignored any command from the local Court when possible. They acted as independent agents of a larger pact. It was another important function of the Legates to negotiate with non-Keepers as well, which was in curious opposition to how they dealt with the Gentry, as they only did so at the request of the acting local seasonal Court. Were that intelligent hobgoblins compromising the safety or access to a Goblin Market on schedule or other supernaturals, like vampires interfering with the integrity or interests of a Freehold the Orbiorator was always open for and willing to mediate on behest of the Courts. This sometimes meant either cooperation with the Barons of the Lesser Ones or outranking and relieving them from the duty of reaching a diplomatic resolution for the situataion at hand for good. The most unexpected one of her solutions in dealing with hobgoblighs were when she sometimes uttered a single command that the creatures did follow seemingly humbled and without opposition. Truly, the Orbiorator possessed the bearing and the voice of the Gentry for most of them and it was that fact of disturbing virtual semblance that made her effective in her chosen vocation, frightening in her emotion-harvest – and distant from mudane reality. It was hovever vital for a Legate to keep her Clarity higher than medium level. She had a hard time to fit in to human society and felt either uncomfortable amog them or outhright irritated by the banal dross of their material existence and in turn was often considered to be strangely quirky to utterly mad by them. Finally she made a weekly literature or dramaturgy workshops, sometimes interrupted with voluntary work of tale reading or telling at children's clinics to provide herself with a required tact of "nomality"'s perception.</span>
Through the Mask Audel, sometimes "Adele" other times "Odelle" appeared as an almost thirty years old young adult with platinum blonde hair with the lower inner locks around the back of her neck being dyed black. She tied her hair in a pony tail if she wanted to look having a more ordinary one-color hair. She was always dressing relatively fashionable, preferring somewat inventive cuts in dresses, and favored black. She had a black apple pendant on a necklace or bacelet or as a brooch.
Despite she was taken as a 13 years olf girl, her true form was also allowed to naturally mature to an extent together with her artifical shaping in to her ecstheticized sidereal looks.
In her fae mien she appeared almost similar to her mortal guise. Her chalk-white skin emitted a faint empyrean glow, her hair was stark white and its inner reaches supposedly sprouting down just above the back of her neck looked like the starry night sky. Literally. Below the 'hood' of her hair, wherever there were ougth to be a shadow, the dome of the night-sky appeared through. It seemed somewhat independent of her person, for as she was moving about or tilted her head or shook her hair said stars did not change their place. It looked rather like a window on a perpetual night-sky, one rich in stars and colored with nebulas, however still dark. Her eyes were larger as they were in her human guise and they twinkled with the same purple-blue hazed stars shining through the irises surrounding the supernovas in the centre – which ones in contrast with the other stars and vapors – were anchored to the position where her pupils (or the 'apples of her eyes') should have been. Her ears were somewhat elongated and sharply pointed. She fitted her faint luminary body in dresses that were best described as 'inventive', or outright 'haute couture'. It was "to look reasonable to the Others" – she used to say, whatever that sentiment entailed or whatever was really passing as 'reasonable' for the True Fae's alien mindset and peculiar tastes.
Tells of the Legacy
She must have worn a Black Apple Pendant on a prominent place on her person – pinned to sleeve, lapel, or toching the skin – at all times. She couldn't possibly remove it. If she, or someone else or something other did, it appeared attached onto a silver chord hanging on around her neck, instantly. As with all Legates of the Black Apple there was a whiff of phantom apple scent hanging around her. It was a subtle sensation and even a pleasant one, but sometimes if she were using Glamour or if someone took a deeper pull of air while breathing might have smelled a more potent, sour odor underneath the more pleasant scent, resembling that of fermenting apple. It was still not pungent or unpleasant, but it unmistakenly hinted the phantom ligering of rot and decay. She also suffered of small striations of black skin appearing in small, strange places: between the fingers, behind the ears, underneath the tongue, on the inner thighs... The skin puckered and darkened there, and sometimes oozed faint rivulets of fermented apple-sap.
Her Mantle was decriptive of her sorcerous proliquites. It appeared as sparkles of phantom starlight – as if the stares tugged in her hair would have come forth occasionally along with hazy forms of falling dark leaves moving past on a gentle gust of pleasantly chilling breeze regardles of the actual season or weather condition or spacial confinement.
In tandem with her Mantle her Entitlements's signature subtle apple scent was even perceptible for ordinary mortals just as when manipulating Glamour or when invoking or just being in the presence of sufficient fear tiny sparkles of phantom stars did escape her as the poweful Wyrd couldn't be entirely contained by the Mask.
Initially Audel was living at a shelter sponsored by the Winter Court, then as her "brother" made significant rise in there she was invited to his Hollow. However when she started to pursue her own agenda and having her way to deal with things she was requested to depart as her very presence compormised their motley plege of lifelong mutual-protection in the long term.
The Orbiorator carved out her own niche within the Hege with the assistance of oathbound hobgoblins. It is of the size of a large apartment of four rooms, elaborate in design with quite a few clever details and an excellent supply of refreshments diversions and a magical amenities. A Looking Glass was set for the landlady's conevniece. Mirrors like that, or even mundane ones funcioned as actual means of translocation portals due to her uses of the Mirror Walk clause of the Contract of Reflections. Other amenitites incuded were Horticulturalist's Box for home-grow Goblin Fruits, a Dream Chaise recliner, a largely-functional telephone, "smart" Mood Lighting, and much-bloved Hedgespun Wardrobe providing a daily peace of clothing, often very extravagant. An Archive largely based on astrology and fae lore was also established at a study room. The Hollow's wardings are heavy for even the Orbiorator does not with a chance visit form a True Fae – hiding is for the best here, agreed upon without a second thought with dearest "brother" Aurel. The place is indistinguishable from the thorny brambles that make up the hedge. Some hobgoblings are dwelling nearby with a permit and an oath to either disorient or disable potential enchoachment. Despite that no one seems to think it could be safe in whatever deathwish-hewn abode the Orbiorator may dwell...
Aurel, whom the Orbioratior referred to as her "brother" was an Onyx Thane of the Winter Court of Georgetown, Virginia / Washington D.C. area. The actual fact of being siblings evaded any changeling though, chiefly because their shared escape from Arcadia happened a dozen decades ago, and practically not many contemporaries lived lately to verify its truth. In fact the male part of the duo reportedly claimed multiple times that he had not much memories of the escape, only that it was indeed Audel who carried him to a Goblin Market and arranged for both of them shelter themselves at a winter cottage. He referred to and addressed the Orbiorator back as "sister". Some told they were in fact in an even more intimate relationship. Others clamed they were just 'buisness partners' One bargaining with the Devils, and the other providing background to where they could hide from loss and to where could burry the profit. Most, if they even cared for it at all, could deduct however that the two were not biological siblings but motley mates who possessed a close mental and social kinship, a very similar durance and the same Keeper.
There were some facts tough that did really seel them as actual siblings. They were not just both Telluric Fairest but they both spent their durance at the Orrery in Faerie as captives of the Empyrean who assigned very similar roles serving as visual antopomorph representaions of nebulas. Much like that of the Orbioratior Aurel's Mien is glossy pale white skinned, slightly glowing, complemented with long poity ears and a poosessing hair that "held the whole of the spehres under its hood". As opposed to her sister he had not stark white hair on the outside but one that was white at the roots transitioning to an ashen shade an the tips. Unlike her "sister"'s thogh, his eyes not just bore the semblance and a reflection of violet supernovas, but were vivid light-show displays of supernovas against dark starry space that appeared in stead of a normal white of the eyes. They say Winter's Mantle is most tangible in its "absence". Truly Aurel's Mien was clear to a fault, making his unnaturally striking eyes often literally sparkling stars with the occassionally phantom hoarfrost flower lines passing by barely noticably in the air when he used Glamour. His Mask was more mundane than her "sister"'s, a decently shapely man with chiselled but stern, angular face, clean shaven, with shoulder lenght ashen hair, and dull grey eyes. A very-youthful 40 maybe?
His personality differed quite much from that of the Orbiorator. Where she took it as her vocation to greet and meet the True Fae, Aurel did his best to hide from them. He embraced the philosophy of the Icelaw. He did well remember who sheltered and tended to him after his escape, and saw the wisdom in Winter's ways. The Orbioratior never really did left Faerie in her heart, being as taken with fae magic as she was, and altough he argued countless times against what she planned and did, Aurel always provided well for his "sister". Be that shelter, financial aid, or knowlegde. As the Orbiorator started to become the "Fae-Magnet" she was, he "encouraged" her to leave their initally shared motley Hollow, and even helped her to get her own. He could not risk the literally ambigously "attractive" presence of Audel anymore. His job was to keep the Freehold and Winter's Lost safe and well supplied, not to invite hobgoblins and the dreaded Keepers onto the doorsteps.
They managed to pull together a dream Bastion (SaD p. 106) to make up for the ceisure of shared space. They It was built together with Wizened (former Empyrean captives) motley members the Telluric siblings adopted. These individuals were Aurel's courtiers, but to add to his sorrow they did not share the longevity the siblings cultivated in the end. So eventually the Bastion was left for only the two of them to use. Its of a mansion's size (3) complete with Battlements (3). It is psychoactive and takes on shapes and hues respondign the the occupants Wyrd. Audel and Aurel has the same high Wyrd rating (7) and when they are both present at the Bastion an odd meeting of transmogrification occurs, such as the same room becoming halved in materials and design, the Orbiorators side turning more dramatic, spooky, even organic while the Onyx Thane's side taking more reserved, minimalistic, often tectonic. Even a sofa might twist twofold as such if they would sit on it together.
Entitlements: Legacy of the Black Apple
Mental Attributes: Intelligence 5, Wits 4, Resolve 4
Physical Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Stamina 2
Social Attributes: Presence 5, Manipulation 4, Composure 4
Mental Skills: Academics 4, Investigation 3, Occult (Fae) 5, Politics 3
Physical Skills: Athletics 1, Larceny 2, Survival 3
Social Skills: Empathy 3, Expression (Oratory) 5, Persuasion 5, Socialize 3, Subterfuge 3
Merits: Arcadian Metabolism 3, Archive 3 (Astrology, Fae lore, ...), Danger Sense 2, Contacts 3 (Occult, Changeling Society, Neighboring Freeholds), Court Goodwill 1 (Winter), Gentrified Bearing 4, Hedge Gate Sense 1, Harvest 2 (Emotion, Dream), Hollow 10 (Size 2, Amenities 4, Wards 4), Mantle 3 (Autumn), Long of Days 2, Pledgesmith 3, Resources 3, Retainer 3, Status 1 (Freehold), Token 3 (Hedgespun Wardrobe).
Glamour/per Turn: 17/7
Curses: Fairest curse
Privileges: The Keeper’s Reprieve, Weighted Words
Pledges: The Motley Pledge, The Reaper's Pledge
Frailties: Cannot intentinally harm people of the actual astrological ascendant (medium taboo), Cannot possibly hide the Black Apple Pendant (minor taboo), Stargazing compulsion (medium bane), Counting compulsion for shooting stars (minor bane), Gets more easily compelled to oblige if people ask something of her while they were staring in her left eye while doing so (medium bane), Black skin striations (minor bane), Must eat goblin fruit at least once in a week, Repelled by the sound or sight of breakig glass (medium bane)