Ortho the Heartless

Background

The Heartless was second to be decanted of the Ortho clones. When it came time for the scientists of the Right Path to be murdered, the Heartless was the one who did most of the work. The first one was the hardest. After that, the rush of it has sustained him for years.

Once the Right Path’s laboratory lay in ruins, Eldest started rebuilding and plotting. Youngest traveled to nearby settlements and learned the state of the world. The Heartless kept them both safe. Even though they were intended as saboteurs, neither of them was really suitable for the task. Not the way the Heartless was. He looked near and far for those who might prove dangerous to his twins, and ensured that they never would. He picked off leaders and scientists, demagogues and explorers, anyone who might want to seek or expand. No one ever saw him.

There are rumors, of course. The most common is that a Celestial Aion arose for a particularly nasty sky-sign – perhaps The Death Of The Highest, or Punishment Beyond Reason. The Heartless doesn’t concern himself with rumors. Let Youngest spin them into stories to keep the peasants in line. There are always more threats to be removed.

The Heartless has taken a few excursions now and then, when things seemed safe. He visits places like the Godsfall Crater, the cliffs near the Straits of Silk, and Castle Volan. These places call to him. He finds tiny fragments of the Luminous Godkiller Weapon there, minute shards that will never weather away because no spirit will touch them. He places these fragments in his right eye.

He grows ever more unstable.

It is unlikely that the Heartless will let Eldest keep ordering him around, or that he will keep protecting Youngest. He wonders what it would be like to kill someone so like himself. Until he completely goes off the rails, though, he’ll still working to Eldest’s plan.

Appearance

All the Ortho clones have light skin and hazel eyes. Their hair is brown. Their fingers are long and delicate. An optical device is strapped to their right eyes, with a variety of lenses. They have difficulty seeing straight without it.

Heartless’ body is identical to that of the other Ortho clones. His expression is more serious, his affect more flat. Unlike his twins, the optical apparatus on his right eye glows with a blue-green light. Those who once fought the Luminous Godkiller Weapon might find the color of the glow familiar.

Demeanor

The Heartess lives for fear and slaughter. It excites him and makes him feel powerful. He’s exactly the sort of murderer who will draw out a kill if it seems like it might be safe to do so. Of course, if he thinks there’s a real danger, he’ll finish someone quickly and get out. He’s not a complete fool.

If placed in a situation where he’s not in power, the Heartless will tend to laugh uncontrollably and manically.

Intimacies: I will not feel powerless again (defining), Use my brothers as long as I can (major), The joy of the hunt (major), Stay hidden (major)
Catchphrase: Your future ends here.

Capabilities

The Heartless has a body well-trained in the ways of violence. He’s fast and strong. He’s double-jointed and can escape from most bonds with ease. He’s used to pain. He’s also very observant, and has lightning-fast reactions to anything that might be perceived as danger. Outside of that fairly narrow skill-set, there’s not much going on with him. He dreams of having control over others but can’t think of what he’d actually do with it beyond making them suffer.

As a hunter, the Heartless is fairly capable in the recovering wilderness of the Blessed Continent. He can set up shelters, find food and water, and track quarry through scrub and badlands. He’s good at staying hidden in populated areas. If there are hidden places nearby – underground tunnels, back rooms, etc. – he’ll find them right away. He never loses his way.

The Heartless fights primarily with a set of knives. He’ll get up close via stealth and take people out silently, one at a time, or cut them down from a distance with a thrown blade. He’s more assassin than soldier. His elder twin provides him with poison that he applies liberally to his weapons.

The lenses from their optical devices allow the Orthos to see dematerialized spirits and the flows of essence. If the device is knocked from their head (a difficulty 6 gambit), they will be disoriented for a round (no actions) and have great difficulty seeing straight afterward (-3 penalty on vision-related actions) until they can recover it. The lenses are made of adamant and quite sturdy.

The Heartless has a fragment of the Luminous Godkiller Weapon where his right eye once was. It shines through his optical lenses. Gods and spirits of all kinds fear him instinctively and will cower or flee. Some of the essence from magic used to directly attack him is syphoned off to enhance his speed and strength. This does not affect indirect assaults (like an essence-enhanced sword blow), only attacks of pure magic (like a bolt of Solar or elemental energy, or a sorcerous assault). If the Heartless kills a person, the eye destroys their soul as they die.

Connections

  • Pale Rondeau, god of murder, watches the Heartless with great interest.
  • One of the few survivors of an encounter with the Heartless, Siobhan Ragara now attempts to hunt the hunter.

Questions

  • How cocky is the Heartless? Is it possible to lure him out, or will he just retreat to strike another day?
  • How does the Heartless feel about letting the Weapon loose again? Would he do it just to watch it in action, or would he become jealous of it?

Fate: Murder

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