Calcite Cathak, the Gunbinder

Background

Calcite Cathak lived in a rough-and-tumble land north of the Great Spire. After the Day of the Broken Sky, the gods were quick to return to this place – but order was not. By the time Calcite was born, bandit kingdoms were the norm. The Cathak family here retreated to a stronghold in the mountains and hunkered down. They wanted to wait out this period of unrest. No such luck.

Not until Calcite.

Calcite wouldn’t stand for it. She saw the fields burning at night. She heard the weeping of the house servants and the stories of travelers. It tugged at her, wouldn’t let her sleep at night. She kept having visions of a future overrun with death and despair. So the first time one of the robber barons rode a platoon of ragtag soldiers into the Cathak compound, she shot him dead through the eye with a makeshift pistol at three hundred yards, and slept well for the first time in years.

Her family, of course, saw in her the potential for their return to greatness. She could be the weapon at the forefront of newly raise armies. Her amazing accuracy would not be enough, but perhaps with help, she could lead them to the glory that should have been theirs.

Calcite saw the greed in their eyes. She turned it to her own purposes. She willingly helped the family technologist shape her own body into an elemental conduit. Her long clothing covers extensive tattoos that allow the six holy elements to flow over her and into objects that she holds. She even learned how to match metals with the other elements – copper with electricity, steel with smoke – creating weapons that would strike with the power of the land itself. She fought the King of Rust and his mechanical golem. She slew the Dust Empress with her flock of terror-birds, picking them off as they ran down the canyon toward her. Calcite slept better every time evil left the world, even as the nightmares began to plague her waking hours.

Then Fulmine arrived, bringing tales of inspiration and honor. Calcite left her family, but not before she and Fulmine put the fear of the gods into the local bandits. The Cathak are now on the rise in Northern Province. They might be greedy, but family was family, and Calcite hated owing a debt.

Appearance

Calcite is thin, with light brown skin and brown eyes. Her hair is black with tints of indigo. She generally does not wear makeup, but does occasionally laquer her nails black. Her expression is usually a cautious neutral.

Her clothing is generally warm and practical. She’s not much for colorful fashion – it draws the eye too much on the battlefield. She wears brown leggings and shirt, a leather overshirt, boots, and skirt, and a brown cloth jacket. She has several guns, all of which have wooden stocks and various bright metal barrels.

Demeanor

Cold and reserved, at least on the surface. Underneath, she is moved more by emotion than by pure reason. She’s good at rationalizing her actions. Guilt is a major motivator for her as well. One week she’ll come up with a logical reason to take drastic actions; the next week she’ll come up with a course of action that will mitigate the fallout. She’s relieved to be working with Fulmine, to have someone to whom she can hand responsibility.

Intimacies: No one deserves to live in fear (defining), Power is a curse (major), I kill to save lives (major), Fulmine has helped give me meaning, Stratus is too greedy,
Catchphrase: Hold onto something.

Capabilities

Most children of the Great Families were trained in dozens of skills and trades, back before the Graze. These days not everyone does that. Calcite’s branch of the family tree had essentially given that up, and especially once she turned out to be a crack shot, there was little attempt to educate her beyond what was considered necessary. Luckily, they considered things like reading and writing, politics, geography, and outdoor survival to be important for someone who would be in battle.

Calcite has primarily been a heroine – an adventurer and a monster-hunter. She’s experienced at fighting both mortal and automata opponents. If you took away her supernatural powers, she’d still be quick-witted and agile, with an eye for detail and an excellent understanding of others’ motivations.

The blood of the goddess Starsight runs through the Cathak family, allowing some of them to see the future in specific ways. For Calcite, she knows exactly where to shoot to compensate for wind and movement, and for the greatest effect with each shot. Not that she always shoots to kill – she can just as easily shoot the gun out of someone’s hand, or give them a warning shot that takes their hat off. With a bit of effort she can even see where someone’s going to move, letting her fire an undodgeable shot.

Aim isn’t always enough, though, and for those moments Calcite has extra firepower delivered by elemental conduits tattooed into her skin. Given a few hours she can build a gun that channels nearby essence into bolts of elemental power. The copper-clad lightning gun she made for Fulmine is just one example. Calcite herself has steel smoke bombs, leaden pellets that can flood a floor with oil, titanium-barreled pistols that fire a spray of jagged crystal, a tin-stocked rifle that slowly eats metal targets at a distance, and a pair of aluminum fighting pipes that she heats with the power of steam. She’s creative with her powers, but needs time to prepare them. Without her regular maintenance, these devices slowly fail.

Connections

  • Calcite’s close family has mixed feelings about her. Some feel gratitude for what she did; others are angry that she left before she could do more.
  • The Dust Empress lives on beyond death, recouping her power and drawing other angry gods to her for an attempt on Calcite’s life.

Questions

  • Where do Calcite’s nightmares come from? They started before she began killing people – are they due to an overactive conscience, or an outside influence?
  • How will Calcite’s tattoos react to elements from another world, such as those from Creation?

Fate: Death

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