Juri, the Cheat

Background

What is it like to live without regret?

For many years Juri looked on at other people and regretted her own state. She wished that she were taller when she saw a lanky rich woman, or shorter when she saw a petite young girl in love. She wished to be smarter when she was tricked, or more foolish when she saw someone kindly take pity on an oaf. The voice of the songstress, the silence of the hunter, arm of the woodsman, the sickly legs of the well-loved ancient. Juri lamented all that she had and wanted for that which she did not.

She stole. She cheated. From her own perspective, she had nothing. No mother, any more. No father, ever. Just a rotten sister who was nearly as bad as she. If she took that which was not hers, well, she deserved something, and by her actions this was hers now.

When Argent and Juri left their homes, Juri was sure that the northeast would bring them the things they had always wanted. At the very least, seeing new faces meant that she met people who didn’t realize all the good things they had, and how easily they could be taken. Eventually she began to find a fair amount of glee in what she was doing. She didn’t just cheat and steal because she needed to; she did it because she loved it.

You can’t go around ruining peoples’ days all the time, but by the dragons Juri tries. She often poses as a plain village woman, of varying age. She’ll do this to play mean tricks on people, like telling them that harmonicas call deer, or that fish love it when you stomp around. She’ll also use the classic spirit trick of appearing before visitors as a despicable crone and testing their hospitality. Such legends are so common across Creation that Juri can get away with nearly anything. She has taken travelers’ belongings, even their horses, from right in front of them without retaliation. By the time they realize she’s not a local goddess, she’s long gone, laughing all the way home.

Juri would like to tell you what it’s like to have no regrets. If she continues this way, perhaps some day she will be able to.

Appearance

juri-500

Juri has the same cream-colored skin as her sister, but well-coiffed auburn hair instead of Argent’s blue-white. Her eye is a brilliant blue. She wears heavier dresses in dark colors, with pastel ruffles. She paints her forehead golden and dyes her lips red.

Juri currently has just a single eye. Her other one is in Argent’s head after Juri lost at gambling and couldn’t cheat her way out. This, more than anything, keeps people from realizing that she and Argent are twins.

Demeanor

Scornful, brash, and argumentative. Juri is a risk-taker, both in her personal life and in her gambling. She regularly refers to her “magical luck.” Argent rolls her eyes at this, but Juri has completely convinced the natives of Brown Ford that she is a supernatural entity. She accepts gifts without giving thanks. She is suspicious and superstitious herself, just like the villagers who follow her. She has her cult browbeat the spirits of the Glen into doing as she says.

Juri openly scorns her sister. She says that Argent “puts on airs” and pretends to be more righteous and mighty than she is. She doesn’t even use her real name! Juri won’t undercut Argent to her face (at least not in front of others), but she’ll definitely badmouth her sister to her cult.

For all her callous nature, Juri misses her mama just as much as Argent does. When she speaks with the spirits, she swears them to secrecy before asking after her long-lost owner. Otherwise they might tell the others how a tear ran down from her eye. No need to ruin her tough image.

Juri’s deepest fear is that Argent might disappear some day, the way Mama did.

Intimacies: I miss my mama (defining), I deserve everything (defining), Argent is all I have left (major), Argent is a stuck-up bitch (major), Take everything you have time to take.

Capabilities

Juri is a passable gambler, but she wins far more often than others of her skill. She’s not supernaturally lucky – she just cheats. She cheats very, very well. No one can follow her hands. She can tell when someone else is cheating, and isn’t afraid to call them out for it. She can even tell when someone’s about to pull an underhanded trick in a fight, like disarming or distracting or throwing sand in someone’s eyes. Those tricks won’t work very well against her.

Though cursed to see the ugly truth about herself, Juri always knew that she was hurting others with her pranks. Now she can tell who to prank even better. She can find even the ghosts of the dead and wheedle them into foolishness with the living.

Juri’s cult does not worship as fervently as Argent’s. Instead, they are a more practical bunch. Juri finds offerings left in secret places for her, primarily of money and drink. To be honest, they’re less of a cult and more of a particularly religious thieves’ guild. The local spirits obey Juri because their own worshippers are intimidated by hers. Juri uses her magical sight to find out where these spirits hate one another, or fear one another, and then leans on that until she gets what she wants.

Like Argent, Juri uses blackmail and the heavenly hierarchy to get the local spirits to do as she demands. Rather than calling the spirits outright, she sets up deals wherein her health is a condition of the deal. Those who attack her or even insult her will find the world itself turning against them. The more danger she’s in, the harder ghosts, spirits, and elementals will work to protect her.

Supporting Characters

  • Yonda Lackhand, the leader of Juri’s cult. Watchful, frugal, adaptable.
  • Uthrin Greyeyes, who called Juri a foul witch in public. Pushy, outspoken, deceased.
  • Kithra Miller, Uthrin’s daughter, who is building a conspiracy against Juri. Angry, honorable, realistic.
  • Valthoth Courier, who wants in on Juri’s scam. Prim, hardworking, resourceful.

Questions

  • What’s Juri’s final goal? Wealth? Control of the valley? More?
  • How far will Juri go to gain power here?
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