The Shadow Network
Kylie Machuv "Lilitu"
Quote: “I can taste your fear.”
Description: Lilitu is a beautiful woman of mixed Semitic and Mediterranean ancestry. Her wavy black hair spills to her waist, and her complexion is a pale coffee brown. Her gleaming, black almond eyes are set in an angular face with an aquiline nose.
The mask she wears to meetings with other Awakened is a full-face piece of polished grey metal with sharp and curving horns like a mass of snakes that twine out from beside the face and under the hood of her cloak.
When disguised as a sleeper, a single silver ring pierces her navel, and she has five piercings in her left ear and four in her right. Her wardrobe varies by situation, though she prefers leather, vinyl and the like. (A sense of fashion that earns her no end of chiding from The Professional during her infrequent visits.)
Liltu’s nimbus manifests as a crawling black frost that clings to all lifeless matter in her immediate vicinity. The frost fades quickly, and a given patch dissipates instantly if touched.
Dedicated Magical Tool: Heavy iron coin the size of silver dollar, inscribed with Atlantean sigils. One side has the character for “fear,” and the other, “enlightenment.”
Real Name: Kylie Machuv
Legacy: Bearers of the Eternal Voice
Order: Guardians of the Veil
Mental Attributes: Intelligence 4, Wits 3, Resolve 4
Physical Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 2, Stamina 4
Social Attributes: Presence 2, Manipulation 4, Composure 5
Mental Skills: Academics (Psychology) 4, Computer 1, Investigation (Body Language) 4, Medicine (Pharmaceuticals) 3, Occult 4
Physical Skills: Athletics 2, Brawl 2, Drive 1, Larceny 2, Stealth 3, Weaponry 1
Social Skills: Empathy (Personalities) 5, Expression 1, Intimidation 4, Persuasion 3, Socialize 1, Streetwise 2, Subterfuge 4
Merits: Artifact (Dirala’s Talon) 6, Language (Latin), Resources 2, Sanctum (Personal) 2, Status (Order) 1, Striking Looks 2 Willpower: 9
Wisdom: 4 (Narcissism, Suspicion)
Arcana: Death 3, Life 2, Mind 4, Space 2
Rotes: Death - Forensic Gaze (•), Animate Shadows (••), Quicken Corpse (•••); Life - Cleanse the Body (•), Self-Healing (••); Mind - Aura Perception (•), Misperception (••), Telepathy (•••), Read the Depths (••••); Space - Correspondence (•), Scrying (••)
Legacy Attainment: 1st – The Perfected Conversation
Mana/per turn: 14/4
Armor: 4 (“Misperception,” Mind ••)
Durability 5, Size 1, Structure 6 Mana Capacity 16
Description: Lilitu’s teacher gave her this dagger, as he had received it from his own tutor. He also passed on the story that the dagger first belonged to the powerful willworker, Dirala, in the days just after the fall of Atlantis, and that it once tasted the blood of an acamoth (or at least what passed for its blood). The weapon is 18 inches long, a foot of that consisting of a slender, narrow blade made of some mirrored black metal. The blade curves outward into a very slight leaf shape at the tip. The small cross-guard and egg-shaped pommel are of a polished marble, and the grip is the color of ivory, with the consistency of worn sharkskin.
Sometimes, when seen out of the corner of the eye, the blade seems wet with blood, and Lilitu finds the dagger appearing in her dreams more often than might be considered normal.
Effects: The wielder of Dirala’s Talon can expend Mana (her own or that held within the Artifact) to make attacks using the Space 3 “Ranged Blow” spell (see Mage: The Awakening, p. 238).
1st Attainment – The Perfected Conversation
Prerequisites: Gnosis 3, Mind 2, Life 1, Subterfuge 2
By simultaneously monitoring the mental state of the person the character is talking to and precisely controlling her own verbal and non-verbal communication, a Bearer of the Eternal Voice can become inhumanly convincing when talking to a single individual or to a small group (up to one extra person per dot of the character’s Manipulation) with whom the character can hold a two-way conversation. Whenever Whisperers attempt to lie to such a group, they can reflexively add a number of successes equal to their dots in Mind to the Wits or Manipulation + Subterfuge roll needed to successfully tell the lie. The mage can invoke this power a number of times per scene equal to his Gnosis.
Alternatively, the Voice can convince a Sleeper that an incident of vulgar magic was in fact something perfectly normal, thereby canceling the effects of the Sleeper’s Disbelief for the scene. The Voice spends an instant action talking to the Sleeper, and the player rolls Manipulation + Expression minus the Sleeper’s Composure. Success cancels the effects of that Sleeper’s Disbelief for the rest of the scene, and each success lowers by one the Sleeper’s Willpower for the purposes of consulting the Disbelief chart (the Sleeper’s actual Willpower is unaffected). This power can only be attempted once per scene against the same Sleeper; if it fails, he cannot try again for the rest of the scene.
Optional Arcanum: Space 2
If the Whisperer also knows Space 2, she can create a sympathetic connection between herself and someone she is communicating with via phone, video conference, Internet chat, or some other direct and immediate, two-way media. As a result, she can influence anyone she talks to via any of these methods.
Background: Kylie Machuv was born the daughter of Dr. Yitzak Machuv and his wife, Constantina. Her parents died in a car crash when Kylie was a young girl. She ended up living with Constantina’s brother, Spiro. For years afterward, she suffered from terrible nightmares about her parents returning to her, their bodies broken and mangled, their pleas delivered through voices garbled by rent throats and ruined faces. Kylie’s uncle, distraught over the death of his sister and her husband, dismissed these visions and tried to get his niece to do the same. As time went on, and Kylie grew into adolescence, he became ever more insistent. Eventually, when he grew tired of words, he resorted to violence. The shy, timid girl eventually learned to keep her silence — but the hauntings persisted, and Kylie spent her nights trembling in terror, trying to make the apparitions disappear.
In time, Kylie’s parents appeared to her less frequently, but she continued to carry the physical and emotional scars of her ordeals. As soon as she was able, she left her uncle’s house and lived on her own. She enrolled in college and became at least partly convinced that her uncle was right, she had imagined her parents’ ghosts; she wanted to believe that. The alternative was just too terrible. Instead, Kylie delved into the mysteries of the mind and wrote off the occasional manifestation as some expression subconscious guilt or regret. At last, the hauntings ended entirely. Kylie felt she could get on with her life She convinced herself that her parents’ ghosts were just the nightmares of a grief-stricken little girl.
While Kylie pursued her master’s degree in psychology, a final manifestation came. Her parents appeared to her while she was awake and studying. Unwilling to be bullied anymore by gruesome figments of her imagination, Kylie leapt out of her chair and confronted them, yelling and cursing at them. She commanded the specters to leave her alone, to give her back her life, because they were only dreams. Finally, after near half an hour of haranguing, the apparitions complied. Overwhelmed, Kylie collapsed into unconsciousness and dreamt of a great iron tower silhouetted against a mad crimson sky.
Kylie explored the limits of her power for several months. She won the notice of another willworker, The Professional, who would become her mentor. Rather than encouraging Kylie to deny the fear that ruled her youth, her teacher exhorted her to embrace that terror. She could command and control it, she said. She could even learn how to inflict it upon others and, thereby, rule over them. For the first time in her life, Kylie felt powerful. She took the shadow name of Lilitu after the legendary first woman of Hebrew legend, cursed and demonized because she would not submit to the authority of others. Lilitu became a creature of terror, just as she had lived in fear. She readily submitted herself to the beliefs of the Guardians of the Veil, believing that fear was a necessary tool to protect the Veil and the very society of mages.
Storytelling Hints: Lilitu is whipsawed between fear and desire. Her terrorized, abused childhood left her simultaneously yearning for human connection and driven to lash out in revenge. She loves and grieves for her parents; she hates them for haunting her. Banishing them finally gave her power over her fear, and she despises herself for driving them away. Lilitu sees the world as a place of tormentors and the tormented, and she has decided which side of that equation she wishes to be on.
Most of the time, a life spent hiding her terror lets her appear relatively well-adjusted. When Lilitu has the opportunity to indulge her morbid and sadistic obsessions, however, she gets a disturbing gleam in her eyes, and her tone of voice becomes almost fanatical.
Between a modest inheritance from her parents and her own magic, Lilitu has no need of a day job. In fact, she sees her work as a Guardian as the only task worthy of her prolonged attentions. She has trouble remaining interested in anything else for very long. Lilitu takes men as lovers, then drives them to the edge of madness with her magic before she cuts them loose; the more well-adjusted her lover seems, the more Lilitu’s envy and suspicion drives her to torment and abandon him. Were Kylie able to turn her psychological insights inward, she would likely realize what a damaged and incomplete person she is.