Bastelle (Archons of the Northern Waves)
Aliases (if any):
Origin of Power: Endowed
- STA 9
- STR 4
- AGL 6
- AWE 5
- PRE 4
- FGH 11
- INT 0
- DEX 0
- Toughness: 9
- Fortitude: 9
- Wllpower: 9
- Dodge: 11
- Parry: 11
- Initiative: +10
- Essence Cutting Claws +11 close combat, Damage 9, Affects Insubstantial 2, Incurable, Reversible, Penetrating 5
- Essence Rending Claws +11 close combat, Weaken 10 (Resist: Will, Affects: Toughness) Affects Insubstantial 2, Incurable, Reversible
- Pounce +11 close combat, Improved Trip (Acrobatics +16 vs target's Acrobatics)
- Animal Empathy
- Attractive 2
- Benefit: Office (Archon) 2
- Benefit: Wealth 17
- Venture (Sapphopolis: Violence 3, System 3, Communal 5, Special 1) 3
- Eidetic Memory
- Fascinate (Persuasion)
- Improved Initiative 1
- Improved Trip
- Inspire 2
- Instant Up
- Move-By Action
- Second Chance (Trip)
- Skill Mastery (Acrobatics)
- Uncanny Dodge
- Headquarters: Palace of Everflame (Huge, Toughness 10, Communications, Computer, Defense System, Fire Prevention, Gym, Infirmary, Library, Living Space, Personnel, Power System) 3
- Fame 11
- Acrobatics 10/+16
- Persuasion 16/+20
- Insight 5/+10
- Perception 5/+10
- Expertise: Administration 5/+5
- Expertise: Synopticon 5/+5
- Flawless Body
- Immunity (Poison, Disease, Heat, Cold, Critical Hits) 6
- Regeneration 5
- Leaping 4 [4pp
- Movement (Wall-Crawling 2, Safe Fall 1) 3
- Speed 4
- Sense (Darkvision) 2
- Essence-Cutting Claws
- Damage 5 (STR Based, Affects Insubstantial 2, Incurable 1, Reversible 1, Penetrating 5)
- Alternate: Weaken 10 (Resist: Will, Affects: Toughness, Affects Insubstantial 2, Incurable 1, Reversible 1)
- Damage 5 (STR Based, Affects Insubstantial 2, Incurable 1, Reversible 1, Penetrating 5)
- Palace of Everflame
- Huge, Toughness 10, Communications, Computer, Defense System, Fire Prevention, Gym, Infirmary, Library, Living Space, Personnel, Power System
- Violence 3, System 3, Communal 5, Special (Concealed Technology) 1
- Motivation: Pleasure
- Relationship: Her wives
- Reputation: Lazy, self-indulgent, hedonist
- Fame: Archon of Sapphopolis
- Responsibility: Archon of Sapphopolis
Bastelle is self-indulgent, hedonistic, and lazy. But she has good points too. She cares deeply for her city and its inhabitants. She loves each of her 1058 wives, and while occasionally playing the fool for her own amusement, she never forgets any of their names, or faces, or what they like or dislike, or their birthdays or other important anniversaries, or which also love each other, or hate each other, or what they do within her domains. And, despite being wildly polyamorous, she's faithful in her own way, only pursuing women that she fully intends to have a permanent relationship with. She's also very straight-forward and honest, which is for the best as she's not very good at being deceitful. She considers her marriages to be open, and welcomes her wives having relationships with each other or people from outside the family entirely. Not all of her relationships with her wives are sexual in nature; some are women that she admired or that admired her.
She values peace and prosperity as necessary prerequisites to pleasure, and so works within the Covenant to deal with any threats.
She is one of the Few, an Endowed, born to her power. Her cat-like features marked her as one of the Few from birth, and she was raised to rule. Her preferred style of rulership is very relaxed, and mostly delegated to her wives. She sees her role as one of inspiration and ceremony more than governance, which is probably for the best as she's resisted all attempts to beat technical skills like law into her skull. In fact, her first wife, who she married when she was 16, was her legal tutor, and now serves as the appointed Governor of Sapphopolis. Now 29, she has over 1050 wives, some working in her household, others pursuing their own interests.
Also at 16, Bastelle ascended to Archon of Sapphopolis when the previous Archon, Steel Lily, was slain in battle with the Hadalians while protecting Sapphopolis.
Her own powers are not particularly flashy. Her primary power seems to be a form of physical perfection. She is strong, tough, and fast, with an innate sense for close-quarters fighting. Her secondary power is her cat-like nature. She can leap and run far better than a normal human, she can fall any distance and land safely on her feet, she climb any surface while retaining her full mobility, and see in the dark. But her most mysterious power might be what she refers to as her 'Essence-Cutting Claws'. She can imbue her claws with power, allowing her cut even insubstantial things, pierce some of the toughest armors, and the wounds she causes can not be healed except by the passage of time, but she can also undo any wound caused by her claws should she choose to.
Venture & Headquarters
Sapphopolis lies on a small bay on a small island. It is a tranquil city, within its rings of defenses. Sapphopolians prefer technology to be as unobtrusive as possible, giving the appearance of a pre-technological lifestyle, while maintaining most of the benefits of technology. The city is criss-crossed with canals, and gondolas or walking are the primary forms of personal transportation. This pre-tech aesthetic is one of the city's more notable features, and there is a small market in other cosmopoli among people that appreciate the aesthetic, or find themselves in need of a piece of tech that hides its true nature.
Few buildings are over four stories tall, except for the Palace of Everflame, named after the first Archon of the city, and home to the current Archon; the Great Hall of the Council, and the Cathedral of Saint Sappho. The Palace, the Great Hall, and the Cathedral all face on large plazas, ringed by stores, restaurants, and multi-family homes. Smaller plazas are scattered throughout the city. Most of the homes within the city are multi-family, but some single-family homes can be found in the surrounding hills.
Shops, homes, offices, small gardens, parks, and other services are jumbled together throughout the city without much rhyme or reason. Heavy industry, and large facilities like hospitals, are located out of sight beneath the city, or under the surrounding hills. The main shipping and air port is outside the city, on the other side of the hills, so as to not disturb the tranquility of the city.
While technically Sapphopolis is under the absolute rule of the Archon, this is a prerogative that Archons of Sapphopolis have not traditionally exercised, except in times of emergency or crisis. In practice, there is the Council of Advisors, made up of a mix of elected and appointed members, selected from the Many. The Council drafts laws, develops policies, and recommends judges for the Archon's approval, which, most of the time, is automatically granted. The Archon and the Archon's household implement the policies and serve as the bureaucracy of city. Under Bastelle, the Archon's household is lead by her first wife, who she appointed Governor of Sapphopolis in her name. Other wives head up the security and other services. Not every person with a position of authority within Bastelle's household is her wife, but the majority are.
Cats, even before Bastelle, are highly regarded within the city, as the sacred animal of Saint Sappho, and cat iconography can be found on most buildings in the city. Cats themselves can be found everywhere in the city.
The city was started as place of worship of Saint Sappho, the saint of lesbian love, and to this day most of inhabitants are women, though not necessarily lesbians. Who Sappho was is a bit of a mystery, but she was venerated by Everflame, who founded the church. The most popular current theory is that she was Everflame's ancestor. A smaller faction within the church thinks that Sappho was a more distant figure from Earth That Was, possibly an ancient one of the Few. Disagreements are generally polite, since they both agree with Sappho's teachings, regardless of who she was. Some scholars from outside the church speculate that Everflame invented Sappho when she founded the Church, in order to give Everflame's philosophy more weight. Bastelle doesn't really care one way or the other, since her opinion is that Sappho's teachings are meant to be lived, not debated.
Men are not formally excluded, and some have chosen to live in Sapphopolis, been born in the city, or married in to the city, but they are a minority. Some of the men of Sapphopolis adopt more feminine styles, so as to not stand out as much, while others emphasize their masculinity. Though of course the women of the city are hardly universally feminine either, and many of them also choose to emphasize their masculinity. For some reason, perhaps some forgotten sacritech, nearly 75% of the children born in Sapphopolis are female.
Palace of Everflame
The Palace of Everflame is situated at the very edge of the city, on the bay. While it looks very decorative, in the manner of Sapphopolian aesthetics, it is in fact a formidable fortress, and the first line of defense against attacks from the sea, should the outer defensive rings be breached. As such it also serves as a very visible reminder of the Archon's duty to protect her people.
Inside, it has all the comforts of home, some preserved in memory of past Archons, others at the request of the current occupant. Portions of the Palace are open to the public (with proper, unobtrusive, security screening). When Bastelle is present she welcomes visitors to come by her residence to chat, eat, and otherwise mingle without regard for status or position.