whip_poor_will: (murder me in ostia)
יְהוּדִית ● "Ravine" ([personal profile] whip_poor_will) wrote2017-01-06 08:04 pm

application for [community profile] hadriel

Player name: Revu
Contact: Plurk: [plurk.com profile] citygrit; AIM: ReverieWulfram; Discord: revalev#6927
Characters currently in-game: Rey ([personal profile] circumitus)

Character Name: Yehudit (goes by “Ravine”)
Character Age: 3,386 (died at 32)
Canon: Original from a currently unpublished series (Days be Done) + a published novella/audiobook (Departed: A Dead Man Does Tell Tales)
Canon Point: Book 1 (Culling the Crows), Chapter 1: Stuck in the Middle

World Description:
Days takes place several hundreds of years in the future, in a post-apocalyptic setting. It is ultimately set up after the “end of the world”, also known as “the Collapse”, over 450 years prior to the current time the story takes place. While the year itself is actually 2779, it is not commonly known how much time has passed between “the end” and now. Most don’t really spend much time fussing over details, but people generally believe that the year is 298 A.C. — as in “After Collapse”.

The world ended when a supposed “cure” turned out to be a highly contagious necrotizing disease. It was also very, very airborne, resulting in the deaths of most of the human population. The only reason humanity was not wiped into extinction are the OASIS reservations, which were originally intended for marine colonization and exploration by an international organization known as the Oceanic Agency for Subaquatic Inhabitation and Stasis (also known as OASIS, since that’s a mouthful). I have more information on the pre-story events here.

In addition to a distant futuristic setting, the world of Days also features an alternate history in which several humans are born with psychic gifts, also known as “psi”. These are people capable of telekinesis, premonition, remote viewing, and some are even able to see ripples beyond the fabric of their own reality and into the land of the dead.

This universe exists with the knowledge that spirits, a possible afterlife, and other worlds exist.

Among the many facets of the otherworldly plain are the Psychopomps — deliverers of dead souls, also known as “reapers”. Psychopomps are the remains of a human soul, selected and reshaped by an Entity of the dead known as the Memitim. Typically they favor a psi over any other mortal soul, as they possess abilities that are ideal to adapting to their transition.

More details on the layers of worlds and the souls that inhabit it can be found here, to save on space and sanity.


She was Yehudit, a seer during the times of Neo Babylon.

A child born in the Kingdom of Judah in 607 B.C., Yehudit always had the gift of prophecy. It was weak during her childhood, not fully developed, but she picked up on things here and there that she shouldn’t have known. Things people did that they told no one. Secrets that were kept from her ears. Later, she started hearing voices, only to realize that she was afflicted with the thoughts of others around her. This had caught the interest of a young man named Mordokhay, who Yehudit shared some of her visions with.

When she was nine-years-old, Yehudit’s parents, Lemuel and Shira, had a son named Elimelech. Yehudit was immediately taken with her baby brother, but her time with him and the rest of her family would be cut short just one year later.

For three months, King Nebuchadnezzar II sieged Jerusalem. This was due to the Judean king allying with Egypt, and refusing to pay tribute to the Kingdom of Babylon. After stomping out the many rebellions across the Levant, Nebuchadnezzar appointed a new Judean king and took the late predecessor’s son captive.

Also taken as prisoners were thousands of Jews, and were deported to Babylon on March of 597. Her father, Lemuel, did not survive the journey, and it wasn’t long after their arrival to Babylon that Yehudit was separated from her mother and brother. Due to Mordokhay, who had let slip to some Babylonian nobles of Yehudit’s gift of prophecy, the young girl was spared a slave’s life. In order to live as a free citizen, she helped in advising Nebuchadnezzar and his counsel, and was treated quite fairly by the people of Babylon. There, for the rest of her life, she was to serve at the court, and became acquainted with a former Jewish nobleman named Belteshazzar. News of Mordokhay faded away and the boy left forgotten, as she grew more accustomed to her role.

Her services, however, came at a price, as Yehudit’s abilities only grew as she got older. Not only could she see events of the past, future, and possible outcomes, but she could look into the minds of those around her, going so far as to reach into their heads and drive them into madness.

Still, Yehudit was an invaluable advisor for her talents by many within the Babylonian dynasty. Having seen into the minds of so many deranged and sickly people, that experience had driven her into near madness. At some point, she would secretly project her madness onto others of lower class, unintentionally inciting murder within the city.

As time went on, Yehudit’s state of mind already began to deteriorate by the age of twenty-seven. She started having intense delusions, and difficulty telling what was real and what were visions. Somehow, she managed to find it in her to keep up the illusion of sanity over the next five years, but she started making questionable choices. Like sometimes she would flub up a prophecy, seeing only a possible outcome as opposed to the actual future. Furthermore, the barrage of thoughts invading her head became impossible to shut off, let alone ignore.

For the first time in two decades, she was approached by Mordokhay, who had been working for some of the Babylonian noblemen of the court. Because of his position, he overheard many things unnoticed, and word had gone around of a gifted boy named “Shadrach”, who was to be sent to the court to take her place. Yehudit’s unstable condition had labeled her as a liability, and she was wearing out her welcome in the Babylonian court. There were even rumors of a plan to assassinate her, and Yehudit’s gifts had only supported her fears and paranoia.

As it was still difficult to discern which would be the actual future and which was only a possibility, she confirmed with Belteshazzar and his connections at the court: The boy’s original name was said to be Elimelech. And he was of the age that Yehudit’s brother would be, had she not left the remains of her family behind to become a prophet and advisor. As it turned out, her mother — Shira, who was married to a merchant man — had sold Elimelech to the Babylonians to serve the court, as the boy had begun to develop gifts of his own at an early age, not unlike his older sister. Gifts that could supposedly benefit the king.

In order to avoid her inevitable assassination and the reunion of her brother, Yehudit fled under the cloak of a lunar eclipse, which she had foreseen. The locals, on the other hand, did not, and were horrified by such a phenomenon. While the people of Babylon were in hysterics, Yehudit made it to the city outskirts before having a vision of Mordokhay’s capture, struggle, and immediate execution, as well as her own death.

Yehudit was then caught by the king’s soldiers at the recently constructed Ishtar Gate, where her abilities became unstable once again. She then suffered the psychic equivalent of a meltdown. The soldiers, seemingly intending to make advances on the prophet, were now deranged. Yehudit had seized the minds of one, now weakened, and prompted him to turn his blade, forcing him to behead her.

Nebuchadnezzar, disheartened by the loss of a valuable advisor, had given Yehudit a proper burial. Though, not long after, Yehudit’s body disappeared from the crypts, and was never seen again.

Shortly after her death, the prophet’s soul had promptly been appropriated by an Entity known as the Memitim, from whom she learned of her brother’s fate. As a result of his inherit abilities as an empath, he had died the same time she had been decapitated, leaving the Memitim to steal away both souls of the sister and her little brother.

But while Elimelech’s soul would remain in Limbo, tortured and unable to move on, the Memitim allowed him only peace unless Yehudit agreed to become a Psychopomp. If she didn’t, they would erase Elimelech from existence, as if he was never even born at all.

For the brother she never got to know and not wanting to risk his soul on the gamble of a bluff, she became the Psychopomp, Ravine.

Fast forward to a few thousands of years. Over the course of history, “Ravine” has been only one of many Psychos to reap the souls of the dead. She had come to appreciate what she does, accepting her fate and even getting to meet many people. Many times, she gets to see the worst of humanity, but sometimes she is able to see the best in a person during their final moments.

As a Psychopomp, she even had better control over the abilities that had attracted the Memitim to her in the first place, in addition to newer ones that came with being a ghostly immortal being. She learned a lot about people over the millennia, becoming quite personable with those that she sends over after their lives end. But not once has she ever been able to answer the simple, most obvious question:

What comes next?

The sad truth is that she doesn’t really know, because she has never been to where souls go after they’ve been reaped. Whether or not if they end up anywhere at all is a question she would rather not know the answer to. Instead, she just prefers to assist in the troublesome transition, wanting to spare the more distraught and despondent ones from the experience she had received when she died.

And every so often, the only option she has to ease one’s transition after their death is to cajole them with a sweet lie. Ravine is not above telling one what they want to hear in order to get her job done, no matter how hurtful the actual reality may be. No one is ever perfect.

The unexpected happened.

Whether it had been malice, intent, or incompetence, the Memitim lost the soul of Yehudit’s brother it had been keeping. In the autumn of 1684, Elimelech’s corpse manifested in a field outside a small Connecticut town called Windbridg. But before Ravine could get to him, two children of Dutch immigrants found him. The young brother and sister had grown curious of the dead man who was coming back to life, and helped him to their small settlement.

Rather than asserting herself back into her own brother’s life, Ravine refrained and kept her distance, only watching him. She found that he had no memory of what had transpired over two thousand years ago, and she decided that that was for the best. He would have no memory of the trauma of his death, or of the time he had lost all those years of being in Limbo. Surprisingly, he managed to integrate fairly well into his new life with his gifts.

On the other hand, his gifts also led to his ruin. One decade later, Ravine returned to that sleepy settlement to find her brother hanged at a tree, left to rot and unable to revive in his current state. Despite her resolve not to meddle with the affairs of the living, her brother wasn’t necessarily alive. So she cut him down and sat with him until he was able to resurrect himself, learning over time that he has turned out to be a true immortal and thus, unable to die.

Once again, she had to make a choice. She let her brother go, allowing him to live his life by wandering the earth, finding himself under the new identity of a man named “Vincent Spiker”. All the while she did her work, existing in many places at the same time. Throughout the millennia, the role had become her. She even dutifully tracked down candidates for the Sacraments for the Memitim, a process that results in the Entity feeding off a particular, unfortunate soul on the brink of life and death.

It wasn’t until she met a young girl in the mid-1800s, bearing the birthmark of a sacrifice, that Ravine had begun to question her role in this many-layered world. Though she had sent many of their lineage to the Memitim, Elizabeth Moss was the first to have ever made her feel human. Because Elizabeth turned out to be pretty gifted herself, capable of seeing reapers whether they wanted to be seen or not. Because of this, Ravine looked after Elizabeth, rather than sending her to the Memitim.

As fate would have it, though, the girl was afflicted with tuberculosis at the young age of eighteen, where Ravine had stayed by her side until her dying breath. However, Elizabeth had been ripped from her by a fellow Psychopomp, where both her body and soul were sacrificed, defiled, and fed to the Memitim.

After Elizabeth, Ravine decided that she didn’t want to help the Memitim any longer by sating them with such sacrifices, seeing the Entity as unnecessary and greedy. Her trust in the Entities in general had faded, and Ravine promised herself that she would help the souls of the dead, bring them peace in any way she could, but she would never allow another sacrifice to suffer.

That was a promise to herself that she should have known better than to keep: More than a century and a half after Elizabeth’s demise, the Memitim had found a new sacrifice. This one was a woman named Naomi Spijker, a distant cousin of the sacrificial lineage and a descendant of the family who had once adopted her brother, now still going by “Vincent”. What more, Vincent had befriended Naomi after being drawn to her by her ancestry, which further complicated matters.

Ultimately, the Sacraments came to an end when a being calling himself Grayson, who served another Entity, had claimed Naomi’s soul. As a result, this fed the power of the Entity he served while nulling its effects for the Memitim, weakening them. Grayson, Ravine learned, was a Wight, a unique creation exclusive to an Entity he called the Aegror.

While the Memitim was an Entity for the dead, the Aegror served a different purpose: To spread sickness and disease. As it grew from the strength of Naomi’s soul, and the souls of others that its Wight sent them, they were able to overpower the Memitim. The other remaining two Entities, as a result, did not interfere with the Aegror for the next three hundred years.

And then the world ended.

It didn’t necessarily end per se, but humankind went stagnant for a time. After a cure had evolved into a pandemic that would later be commonly known as Dead Cell, the world’s population was dwindling at a rapid pace. Many fellow Psychopomps became overwhelmed, lost the strength to continue, and reaped themselves or vanished entirely. Also with Grayson’s interference and the Aegror’s power backing him, he was able to devour fallen Psychopomps to strengthen himself. This left even immortal beings vulnerable.

Only a few Psychopomps remained, and Ravine was no lucky one by any means. However, she had made it her goal to stay in this world until the bitter end.

But it didn’t end — it just went to sleep for a time.

Humanity prevailed. Few survived the Plagues that nearly wiped out their entire species thanks to a worldwide organization, OASIS, which had already organized ocean reservations for people to live all over the globe. Down there, humans were able to sleep or live safely within the underwater reservations.

Unfortunately, during the centuries that the sleepers remained in stasis, the surviving few maintaining each reservations experienced technological malfunctions, leading to their deaths. Some were killed by disease or starved to death. As tensions rose with rations dwindling, a madness took hold of the many survivors aboard the reservations, and were wiped out. Before their untimely deaths, at least one survivor in each reservation manipulated the systems’ calendars and reanimation schedules for those still in stasis. This caused all systems to reset to zero, leaving no indication of the present date for remaining survivors. Any concept of the passage of time had been destroyed. Furthermore, most of those who would eventually wake up from their 153-year sleep would have any recollection of the old world. Only a precious few had memories of the lives they left behind, and were either driven to insanity or ascended to leadership.

But it would be over one hundred years before humanity would ever set foot out of the water again. During this lull, the Psychopomps were overwhelmed by the dead souls that plagued the earth, and the Aegror’ Wight played a key role in their downfall. One by one, the reapers fell, either corrupted into Shedim or destroyed by Grayson. Many even abandoned their obligations, finding the Door leading into Limbo. With the Memitim debilitated, it was easy for one reaper after another to pass Limbo to end their immortal existence on the increasingly more ravaged planet.

By the year 2779 (298 years after the event known as the “Collapse”), only four known Psychopomps remain. While a few immortals endured the end of the world, such as Vincent (who had decided to join those in slumber under the ocean to avoid isolation, as well as dying over and over from disease because that would suck), they had but a small presence in this new world.

As for Ravine: The next stage of her story begins in a small Mexicali town, within a bar known as the Ratón Borracho, where she is waiting to meet an old, old friend.

(An extended version of Ravine’s history can be found here.)

First impressions would have you think that Ravine is an intimidating, typical “grim reaper” type. It doesn’t take long for the warmth in her demeanor to settle in, revealing a much kinder and more peaceful side to death than you would think. She isn’t bubbly, neither is she gloomy. If one had to describe her after a few seconds of knowing her, one might daresay to consider her calming.

Death is a harsh transition, and as such Ravine endeavors to make it as easy as possible. But she is more than just a bridge between life and death. She listens. She watches. She observes. Almost to a fault, as it isn’t in her ethics to intervene in most cases. When it comes to a person’s lifeline, she is unable to cut the string any sooner or later, regardless of how sweet or how deplorable that person may be. For over three thousand years, she has watched humanity flourish and fall. She The dynamic between understanding the value of living souls is what makes Psychopomps so indispensable: Having once been human themselves, it is easier for them to sympathize and reason with the dead. And, when push comes to shove, it is up to them to deal with the restless souls that stray from that bridge reapers are tasked to stand.

Unfortunately, she is a bit of a liar as well, willing to say whatever it takes in order to put a restless soul’s heart at ease. If telling a recently deceased spirit that they will be greeted with family and loved ones on the other side, she will do so. Rather hear about that sleazy lawyer that got you saddled with a life sentence will be burning in Hell for all eternity? Done deal. Whatever it takes to prevent a soul from remaining in the Zones, where they are vulnerable to shades and Shedim, possibly becoming corrupted into the former themselves.

While a good listener and a calming presence, Ravine is a reaper of few words. It may as well be, as she is prone to bouts of manic episodes, whether she express it through cryptic ramblings to bursts of laughter. Possibly a byproduct of having lived for so long, or of her “gifts” that allow her to enter the minds of others. Ravine likes to think that she knows herself very well, but she knows other people better. Even without reaching into their minds, she is incredibly intuitive, able to discern one’s true façade with little effort. Another possible byproduct of her age.

But again, her inclination to avoid conflict of any kind prevents her from taking action. If she perceives one to be “evil”, who is she to cast judgment? It has never been her role to decide who lives and who dies, which has evolved into an indifferent disposition. One could almost call her lazy, as she would much rather stay out of the business of other people than to get involved. It’s an unfortunate case, considering what she is capable of. With great power comes great... boredom. In fact, sometimes she has a hard time differentiating people. If someone were to ask her what her favorite historical figure she has ever “met” is, she wouldn’t be able to tell you. Mostly because she doesn’t see the difference. After so long, names and faces and accomplishments and atrocities blur just together. History doesn’t change, and she’d just rather not think about it.

That doesn’t mean she can’t enjoy some things, though. While unable to relish in the pleasures of food, sleep, and sex, there is one thing she loves: Driving, flowers and gardens. Perhaps the latter two might have something to do with her roots (it is believed that the hanging gardens of Babylon were among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, though it is debated whether they truly existed. Who knows? Maybe she does). The former stemmed from having watched the technological progress of the human race, from carriages to cars. If it’s one thing that Ravine would break the rules of the universe to do, it’s to drive. What a rebel.

More than anything, Ravine is a pacifist. She abhors violence, and does not partake in combat beyond the unruly souls that meddle with the living (to her, that is enough). Though she may be a capable fighter, she would not harm a breathing creature, whether it be a danger to others or not. Instead, she would rather sit and watch how others handle it, maybe even offer a comment or two. One could easily call her cruel or cowardly for her inaction, or even just as monstrous, but in her mind that is just how things are.

Due to the way Ravine can travel between the layers of worlds of the living and dead, she isn’t used to not having control over whether or not she can be seen. Unless that person were a gifted psi, she typically can make herself “invisible” to those around her. Not being able to do so whenever she pleases will be a source of great discomfort for her, as someone who is so used to being an observer more than anything else. She is uncomfortable when people stare at her or acknowledge her presence; a source of anxiety which she would attempt to brush off with levity, but it’s a concern no less.

Because she is uniquely aware of quantum mechanics and the multiverse, she is also conscious of the fact that she is a fictional character. Also has knowledge of the multiverse, alternate realities, and as such has developed something of a fatalistic approach towards life. This is why she so often avoids intruding on affairs that don’t concern her, as Ravine believes that she is powerless to change things. Which is ironic, for someone who has such power over her own story. She views herself and those around her as puppets, pulled by the strings of their master manipulators. Despite the role tasked to her and the uncertainty that she confesses to the souls she reaps, she does not believe in any god, nor does she believe in an afterlife.

All there is, is a curtain call to all stories. A relief that will come to everyone in the end.

> The clothes on her back
> The bone scythe that is literally on her back
> A sweet pair of shades

Ultimately, these items are not physical properties, as she manifests them via her own will.

I have both a separate link and permissions post for Ravine’s special abilities. I will, however, use this section to specify in-game limitations listed on her abilities page, plus some other noteworthy skills:

Precognition and Telepathy: These will greatly be reduced for the game setting. Unless given mod and player permission, she will not have access to any future or past knowledge. Game-wise, this can be explained as a mental “block” of some kind, which is feasible seeing that this is not her world. I should also note that, due to her sense of neutrality, she will never play whistleblower to any of the unsavory types in game, so you can trust that she won’t be making any PSAs to the network announcing that Big Bad is planning a killing spree. She’s polite like that!

Thanatokinesis and the Bone Scythe: To clarify, Ravine absolutely cannot kill a player character. Or, she could, but it would go against her morality. Killing can also result in some serious consequences that may turn her into an unstable Shedim, which she would much rather avoid. If it would be possible and only when given permission, she might be able to interact with a recently deceased character before they are revived by Hope, but that would be a case-by-case basis. Given that people are capable of being revived, she would not reap anyone after they have been killed, anyway.

Spatial-Temporal Lock: Able to exist outside of time and space, Ravine can, in other words, make herself invisible by slipping into a “zone”. This allows her to observe from a reality where only the dead (in addition to psychics and those with knowledge of how to communicate with the supernatural) can interact with her. The gods of Hadriel will, of course, be able to see her even if she attempts this trick.

In canon, this gives her a kind of limited omnipresence, but that will be greatly restrained in-game for everyone’s comfort and sanity. It should go without saying that she will not be able to “teleport” herself outside of the caves or phase through areas that the gods would not want her to go, and would not go anywhere without mod or player permission.

Furthermore, due to the nature of her existence, Ravine has a unique awareness of the Fourth Wall, though she doesn’t often address it. She is very mindful of the psychology of others than to blurt that their life is a lie.

Negotiator: The pen is mightier than the sword is a cliché that Ravine lives by. Though she may not have much use for penmanship, she doesn’t fight with fists or guns (or scythes) but with words and a sense of empathy. Despite having the power to easily end a conflict deliberately, she chooses not to, and instead would rather resolve problems by talking and allowing the other party to make their own decision. Violence is boring and she ain’t got time for that.

Well, except for Ravine, who typically has all the time in the world...

Experience: Having lived for so long and dealt with various types of individuals/souls, Ravine is very knowledgeable in the world. While I wouldn’t call on her to fix your air conditioner or build you a bazooka or construct a time machine, her understanding of cultures and alternate universes makes it easier for her to connect with others. Almost in a manipulative way. Her interests are limited, as she would prefer to discuss metaphysics and quantum mechanics than Sun Tzu or the new 9mm line extension you saw in the latest Guns & Ammo subscription.

Note to the Mods: Let me know if you would rather that I nerf/nix any of these abilities. It wouldn’t be a deal-breaker for me!

For someone who is as powerful as Ravine, she is not one for taking action and asserting herself into other people’s problems, even if she has the ability to solve them easily. While she isn’t above lending her counsel or offering an opinion, she tends to prefer to stay out of the affairs of the living, as her matters usually concern the deceased. However, there have been a few exceptions in the past: When she finds a particular interest — be it a “gifted human” (anyone with special abilities, such as a psi or another immortal), a spirit, or a non-human — she tends to snoop into situations even when she may not be wanted. She does not have any concept of personal space or privacy, as she is prone to peeking in, watching, and dipping into other people’s thoughts and dreams without that person’s permission or knowledge. This is largely due to her presence as a reaper, and has interacted with the dead more than she has with the living.

She also lies, withholds many secrets, and lacks any strong sense of standards and justice. Just because she doesn’t go around killing and wreaking havoc doesn’t mean that she feels personally devoted in one’s integrity. Quite the opposite, in fact. Some may dare even consider her lazy, but it isn’t so much that as she has existed for so long in a position where impartiality was key in her role, she just doesn’t feel inclined to ethics. She’s a reaper, not a saint, but she isn’t chaotic, either. She is true neutral at best, and apathetic at worst. Though she can present words and gestures of kindness, it’s no mystery that there is something very absent in her humanity. After all, she has had to send both innocent and guilty to their uncertain ends. It has never been her job to act as judge and jury — merely the executioner.

Unless circumstances are deemed exceptional by her, and she has invested an interest in the individual, don’t expect her to rush into burning buildings to save children and their pet fishes anytime soon.

Action Log Sample:
Test drive meme links: 1 and 2!