A Character in House of Bells.
Concept: Detached, austere savant
Anima Banner: Inky black clouds of water begin to cover his face and body
Theme: 'The Boy with the Arab Strap' by Belle and Sebastian
Anothis is the child of Ledaal Myana, a noted but ill-liked sorceress, and Tepet Barudos, a mid-ranking general (himself the son of the author of a famous work on strategy). His parents do not get on and see little of one another and Anothis spent most of his childhood on a chilly, storm-wracked northern island owned by his father’s family, with a few elderly slaves and a vast military library for company. His principal form of diversion (which doubled as a makeshift primary education) consisted of going over accounts of long-ago battles, considering and analysing the decisions made by the generals, and considering what other options had been open to these generals. He developed a cold brilliance and precision in carrying out these mental exercises. Because of the circumstances of his upbringing, it came naturally to the boy to see others as mere game-pieces, extensions of his will, and to see the world itself in abstract terms, as a game or puzzle to be solved.
On one of her fleeting visits, his mother discovered this talent when her son destroyed her in a game of Gateway, a game at which she was skilled. Myana followed up their game by quizzing Anothis in number of different ways, offering him economic, military, and abstract problems to solve. She found that the closer to purely abstract the problems were, the more brilliantly incisive Anothis’ powers of deduction and reasoning were. He seemed much less comfortable in trying to account for the human factor and sometimes completely out of his depth. This led to some curious weaknesses. Anothis was actually far better playing against a skilful Gateway player, one whose play was rational and careful, than against a weak, easily bored one who might play recklessly. Anothis could predict the first kind of player but not the second.
Myana was pleased that her strange, sullen and silent son had finally revealed some kind of use. Soon afterwards, it was agreed that he should be sent to the House of Bells to train as a strategist.
Anothis generally speaks in a mumble or a low whisper and rarely makes eye-contact. He is averse to physical contact (other than settings such as martial arts practise). He has no concept of small talk and very rarely volunteers anything even remotely personal (and is uncomfortable with such revelations from others). Although he obsessively follows the movements and engagements of generals whom he admires, he is detached and apolitical about it -he is as interested in the Bull of the North as he is Tepet Ejava.
Essence Die: d6
[D8 or D4+1E]
Still Waters Running Deep (Water)
Mind Like a Diamond, Hard and Brilliant
Austere and Detached
Martial Arts (As Though Every Move Was Planned Years in Advance): d8
Investigation (How Could He Know That About Me?): d10
Lore (War): d8
Awareness (Spooky-Intense Observation): d8
War (Strategic Prodigy): d10
Melee (A Swordfight is Just a Short, One-Man Campaign): d8
Presence (Makes People Uneasy): d6
Artifact (The War Room): d6
Family (Mother a Noted Sorcerer): d8
Reputation (I Heard He Beat Cathak Garel at Gateway): d6
War Excellency: d8
Investigate Excellency: d8
Elemental Concentration Trance: You may absorb a week's worth of research material in a single day.
Enfolded in the Dragon's Wings: Allies are not harmed by your elemental anima.
Tireless Footfalls Cadence: When you call out a rhythmic pattern such as a song or chant, soldiers under your command are able to easier resist fatigue.
Scent-of-Crime Method: Gain a D6 on any roll used to determine someone's guilt.
Falsehood Unearthing Attitude: Spend 1E and target an individual. For the rest of the scene, if the target lies to you, you'll know instantly.
Tampering Detection Technique: You may instantly know if a single object has been tampered and the changes made to it within the past year.
The War Room
Given to him by his mother, the War Room is a conceptual space, somewhat akin to a memory palace. Anothis first needs to compose himself in the lotus position. He then enters into a kind of trance, in which he enters the War Room –actually an infinitely extendable mental stronghold –stairs, doorways, passages, bridges, going on forever. As with a normal memory palace, Anothis can store things he wishes to remember here and can sometimes draw new and startling insights from the details of their arrangement here.
However, Anothis can also set events in motion in the War Room, and observe how they play. For instance, if trying to predict the outcome of a battle, Anothis could set representations of the terrain and the respective troop numbers in the War Room and observe the results. Of course, this is dependent on the quality of Anothis’ information and his own strategic insight (his mind is the ‘programming power’ behind the War Room), so it can’t provide him with answers that he couldn’t work out himself eventually. However, the War Room is much quicker and extremely reliable.
Virtue Flaw: Don’t Touch Me (Temperance)
1XP Goes out of his way to avoid significant physical contact
3XP +1 Limit When he offers (or actively accepts) a gesture of sincere affection or dislike or reveals something personal about himself
10XP +1 Limit Makes or accepts a major personal sacrifice on behalf of or from someone else; declares sincere love (platonic or romantic) or hatred for someone else.
Limit Break: Goes into an almost catatonic state, mentally reviewing a whole cycle of past battles and engagements and muttering discussions of the strategy involved to himself.
That Isn't What I Do
1XP When refusing to do something he doesn’t feel confident of succeeding at
3XP After succeeding at something he has never done before
10XP Solving a big problem using skills other than the deductive and reasoning skills he relies on