Ortho the Youngest was the last of three clones to be decanted. In his first few days outside the cloning vat he gained the confidence and admiration of the scientists of The Right Path, then stepped aside as Heartless slaughtered them and scattered them to the winds. On that fateful day he felt truly alive.
Youngest is the most social, most talkative and manipulative of the Ortho clones. It is the plan of the Eldest that Youngest will find heroes to pursue the Component, help them find the mechanism or ritual that controls it, and then take the power for Eldest himself. Youngest jumped at the idea. His heart yearns to recapture the feeling of total control that betrayal gave him. Naturally, he’d rather end up with control over the Component himself, so if those heroes happen to discover Eldest’s hand in things a little too early, and Eldest ends up in an early grave, well, life will just be that much sweeter.
Youngest has identified two potential groups that stand between the Component and its goals. One is the trio of god-bloods led by Calcite Cathak. They are hungry for the power that would let them rebuild the Blessed Continent. The other is Millie Eikar and her band of rogue engineers. They have the technological know-how to understand the Component and potentially stop it. Youngest just needs a connection; an “in” with these groups, and he’ll have them following him to the ends of the world.
His “in” is Sam Eikar. He saw the Component turn toward this young girl – her, specifically, while it was annihilating an entire town. He saved her, gained her trust, and deposited her farther along the Component’s path, saying that he was going back to save others. He’ll come in after she’s bonded with the Cathaks and/or Millie, introduce himself as her guardian, and accompany them on their quest to find the Component’s original blueprints in the wreckage of Castle Volan.
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.
Physically, of course, Ortho the Youngest is nearly identical to his elder clones. His clothing and accessories distinguish him somewhat. He wears white clothing (usually off-white after all his travels), including a cloak. His left ear has a fine chain across it, a little bit of jewelry that his twins lack. His hair is not quite so long.
However, the greatest difference is in he holds himself. He stands tall, looks people in the eye, and offers a firm handshake or a respectful bow. He often has a little bit of sorrow or regret in his eye. Someone who saw Eldest or Heartless would see an obvious connection between them and Youngest, but he would not be easily mistaken for one of them.
On the outside, he’s friendly and pleasant, with a streak of determination. Recognizing his own fragility in a dangerous world, Youngest tries to surround himself with allies. He’s the kind of person who will offer to help if he sees you cleaning a room, or ask whether you need someone to carry some of that water. He holds doors and carries tired children, but he’s not pushy about it. He responds to suspicion with “I guess I’ll just have to prove myself, then.”
When pressed on why he’s being so helpful, or when he has to explain an attack by the Heartless (who looks exactly like him, of course), Youngest admits that he has a goal that he doesn’t talk about often: defeating his clones. He gathers artifacts to prepare for an assault. (He’s actually giving them to Eldest.) He gets people out of the way of the Heartless. (He’s just using that as a way to gain trust.) When the time is right, he’ll go at them with everything he’s got. (This is true.)
Intimacies: Have the whole world wrapped around my finger (Defining), Pave the way for my brothers’ victories (major), My brothers should be working for me (major), There’s no reason to be mean.
Catchphrase: I have bad news for you.
Youngest is the slickest liar on the Blessed Continent. Catching him in an untruth is practically impossible – his body gives no sign. He’s a great actor. He’s also a compelling leader, exuding personal presence and visible empathy (faked though it may be). However, like his twins, he’s a bit over-specialized sometimes. He spends a lot of time on the road and has the stamina for traveling, but he’s not great in a fight. As good as he is at reading faces, he’s not that great at paying attention to his environment. He has a handle on people but not numbers.
The greatest assets that Youngest has are his connections with other people and organizations. So far he’s managed to stay fairly quiet within these groups. The folks at the top recognize and trust him, but he’s not a recognizable face for most outside the ruling class. Several of his alliances are noted below under “Connections,” but this should be considered just a sampling.
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.
In addition, Youngest has an advantage that lets him cover ground quickly: a Twilight Cloak. When it’s bright and sunny outside, or in the darkest hours of the night, it’s just a regular piece of clothing. For a few hours around sunrise and sunset, though, and in places where illumination is dim, it lets him step from one shadow to another. The cloak functions over a distance of about 100 feet. He can use it dozens of times in a row, stepping back and forth, making ambushes in combat or traveling many kilometers each day. He can carry one other person. If it’s damaged, it’ll be ruined, so he tries to stay out of a fight. Removing the cloak from him without damaging it would require forfeiting 5 rounds of control during a grapple.
- The Nellens Family has been one of his major targets in the local area. Youngest has gotten their trust and even some funding from them in the past, using it to “chase away” an unknown assassin (the Heartless).
- The warlord Nail-Eater thinks Youngest is full of shit, but has done business with him from time to time regardless, because everyone’s full of shit and he’s better than most.
- A band of would-be do-gooders named Starsight’s Children (they’re not) keep an eye out for artifacts of the Imperial Era for Youngest. He’ll gladly take away things they consider dangerous.
- Distributed Trading is a young but far-reaching mercantile organization, gaining wealthy members every day. Youngest has an extensive line of credit with them that many others would accept.
- How much information is Youngest willing to give out about his twins? Does he want to betray them soon, or is he still building his power base and just running people into the jaws of death in the meantime?
- How much has Youngest worked his way into the nascent spirit courts of the Blessed Continent? Is he as well-connected there as he is in the corporeal world?