In the demon world, there is no kindness.
Strength and authority – by which one might as well say “Strength and strength alone” – are the ways in which the creatures there relate to one another. Power over others is the law of the land, from the singed upper roots of the broken world-tree to the icy depths of the caustic sea. Power is all, no matter how it is obtained. Help is a feint; charity a lie.
Remember this should Hearttoucher show you compassion.
She and her sisters are born to one another. Their absentee mother is long distant from her progeny. The fleshcrafters take meat and pleasure from those with whom they transact, shaping these into future children – perhaps her own, perhaps another’s.
Were she in the demon world, she would draw webs of influence and pleasure that tightened slowly, forcing concessions from those who see themselves as mighty but who cannot rule their own minds. She would change their bodies and whisper into their minds until they became hers, or until they cruelly turned her out onto the basalt streets to run from their bloodthirsty underlings. She sees no reason not to follow the same path here.
If there is one thing that sets Hearttoucher aside from her kin, it is that she truly values the presence of her sisters. She misses them here in Red Jade Canyon, and wishes that Fedinta would call forth more of them so that she could have a coven of them. She has asked for this, and is beginning to build a need within Fedinta to see more of her kind here. Once that need is strong enough, Fedinta’s key will be able to open the door to several of them, and Hearttoucher will have companionship beyond the simple and vapid beings who live here.
Until then, she lives in a tower of tin and fire in an abandoned mineshaft, and her cult brings mortals to bargain away what little they have in body and mind. She will rule here for a time. It seems only right.
Hearttoucher has a light, vivid purple skin. Her eyes are black with irises of midnight blue. Every person who has come to her hidden tower describes her body differently, but all agree that they wanted it, badly, immediately. Her smell is intoxicating.
Hearttoucher reclines languidly on a bed of cushions within her tower, the walls decked in opulence. Much of this is from previous dealings with others in Malfeas, but some is recognizably the work of Red Jade Canyon. A ring from Siltanakkado, a beautiful carving from Fedinta, other gifts from those who adore her. She treats all visitors casually, as if their visit were nothing special, though her eyes speak differently. She is never less than confident, though she will be cautious when confronted by the Chosen.
When she works, she whispers sweet nothings to those she reshapes, alluring to them and meaningless to her. One can see genuine fascination in her eyes as she gently takes apart an individual, amazed at the way that Creation births and shapes its mortals.
Intimacies: “All things are meant to be reshaped” (Defining), “I am worthy of worship” (Major), “My sisters” (Positive), “I must one day return to the demon world” (Negative)
Hearttoucher’s primary gifts lay with taking apart and reassembling willing mortals into something they could not have become themselves. She has some talent for artistic expression, but it primarily shows itself in the crafting of flesh or the sating of it. As an older demon of her kind, she can tell many true stories of the demon world or of the First Age. She also has an addictive touch that brings the members of Siltan’s cult back again and again.
Several of the town’s layabout population, presumed dead during a particularly fierce ash storm, now guard Hearttoucher as if she were their most important ally (which may actually be true). In return for their service, she has enhanced them with a multitude of dangerous features, such as toughened skin and poisoned spines. Many of them look like demons themselves. They were not much to begin with, but she has given them every physical advantage they might wish for.
Hearttoucher is a practitioner of Black Claw Style, and is fairly comfortable with it. She can poison her enemies with a touch, beg her way out of the reach of blows, hold her opponents in a fearsome lock that sustains poison, steal weapons even as they are used against her, and work more strongly against those surrounded by her allies. Worst of all, those who witness the battle must fight their better nature to believe that Hearttoucher started it – even if she were not constantly surrounded by allies.
- Vithasa, young drifter who became her strongest guard. Large, confused, obedient.
- Phakasento, obsessed admirer trying to win her nonexistent favor. Eager, quick, desparate.
- Baltanokoshinka, the aged majordomo who announces at her “court.” Brazen, righteous, arthritic.
- Tashendanko, who fled her cult and is hiding in the mountains. Regretful, afraid, still addicted.
- Hearttoucher must know that her time in Creation is limited. Is she merely enjoying herself, or does she have a goal here?
- How many people are in Hearttoucher’s cult? How many of them have been enhanced by her magic?