The Shadow Network
Taylor Upchurch "Athena"
Quote: “I think we can throw our backing behind that bill… if you can lend us your support on this other matter.”
Description: Athena is slim and carries herself with a vibrancy that infects those around her. She’s quick-witted and as adept at making pointed jests to get his point across as she is at thoughtful debate. A tall woman, she seems to go out of her way to avoid looming or intimidating others with her physical presence — her emotional intensity and sharp intellect, on the other hand, are fair weapons. Taylor is just as comfortable in sweats and a t-shirt as in a three-piece suit, and regardless of what she’s wearing, she looks as if his clothing was tailor-made for her.
Her nimbus is intense and those who interact with her are left with the feeling that even if they disagree with what she’s saying, every word from her lips is sincere and genuine.
Order: Silver Ladder
Arcana: Life 3, Mind 3, Space 2
Background: Taylor Upchurch grew up in a family that had felt first-hand the power political leaders wield. Her great grandmother had been a slave in Alabama before being freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, and her grandfather regularly told the story of the first time he was given the right to vote. There was no doubt in the Taylor’s mind that she was going to be a politician; she was giving acceptance speeches and trying to get the other kids to engage in political debate before she’d entered junior high. Unlike many of her peers, however, she never lost her idealism or her belief that within the democratic system lies the tools for an empowered system of leadership by the people, of the people and for the people.
Storytelling Hints: Taylor lobbies in Sleeper politics for causes that will serve not only to foster and better conditions for humanity in general, but especially those that hold the potential to allow the most aspiring to catapult out of the Lie-shackled situations into which they were born and to achieve as much of their full potential as possible. Realizing that hunger, illness, crime and abject poverty often preclude Sleepers from seeing beyond survival issues, she is an advocate of free meals for schoolchildren, work and training programs for the underprivileged and the expansion of education beyond the basic 3 Rs for those of all ages, income levels and socio-cultural backgrounds.
Within Awakened society, she’s sometimes teased for coddling her “pet Sleepers,” but she holds strong to the idea that only with a strong foundation beneath their feet can people truly reach the heights of which they are capable. Taylor’s allies in state government can be brought to bear on any legal issue she deems vital to “the cause.”
Sometimes getting a glimpse of the magical potential beyond the Lie is enough to inspire a soul who might have otherwise been lost to mundanity forever. Taylor’s reputation for discretion has earned her a bit of leeway when using spells to sometimes share the Mysteries with those who seem to have the potential to appreciate such things – or even to Awaken. This has made her enemies among the Guardians of the Veil, but she sees that as a worthwhile price to pay for encouraging her hoped-for protégés to awaken.