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The Empress
Noimage
Catherine de'Medici

Concept:

Mystic

Nationality:

French

Place of Birth:

Florence, Italy

Date of Birth:

13 April 1519

Hair/Eye Color:

Red/Brown

Height/Weight:

5' 6" / 110 lbs

Status

Member of TAROT


BackgroundEdit

13 April 1999

She looked in the mirror. For this occasion she had selected a simple business suit and slacks, made of course by the most currently fashionable designer. Today, her skin tone was lightened a bit, her hair dyed to a natural copper red, and her eyes fitted with green contact lenses. She would never become satisfied by the pale brilliance of fluorescent lights. Still, Catherine De' Medici, known now as The Empress of TAROT, admired her crisp figure. Perhaps she was never considered beautiful, but some had called her handsome at least.


There was also a mirror behind her, which she could see in the reflection. She closed her eyes and begun the incantation in a melancholy soprano. It was unlikely, but if anyone heard her, they likely would not understand a word of the ancient Egyptian. The growing scent of burning flesh mixed with silica dust forced Catherine to open her eyes as she continued the incantation. The image of herself that she saw in the mirror was there, lips moving in time to her chant. But now a second image of herself formed in the mirror behind her, lips moving in synchrony with her image. The second image appeared to bleb out of the mirror behind her, standing adjacent to the first image. And then it was done.


It was not something one could become accustomed to, despite the fact that she had done it numerous times already. Catherine turned to the doppleganger standing beside her, "Happy Birthday, dear."


As was normal for one newly created, her second was disoriented slightly. Catherine continued talking, "You are to be known as Margaret O'Reilly. You are a newly elected member of the British House of Commons and have the ear of the Prime Minister. Well, you already know what you will be doing, so I'm not going to repeat it. Here's your train ticket."


Catherine's twin took the voucher from her and seemed to be examining it. Margaret said, "Very well, Catherine. I will not fail."


After Margaret had left, Catherine couldn't help but smile. She walked to her desk and opened the drawer, pulling out the photograph of a paper that read "Looks like you died again!Empress is dead again." One of her people had intercepted it just two hours ago and took a digital picture. The Emperor was still on top of things. It was his handwriting after all and she knew whose handwriting it was. It seemed that he knew when she was dead even sooner than The Empress, herself.


Well, she thought. He is in charge of TAROT, but as always, Catherine De' Medici runs much of TAROT as the power behind the throne.


30 December 1588


The Huguenots and Catholics were at it again. Diplomacy was a knot within a knot, the kings of England, Spain, and Austria-Hungary all had designs on France. Even major nobility of smaller countries were entangled: Scotland, The Netherlands, and others. Chaos, utter chaos. What would come next? Would the peasants proclaim a republic and lop off the heads of all the kings and queens of Europe? She'd have to use her 'Tools of State' again soon.


It was frustration from the beginning. If only France could be ruled by a queen rather than a king, everything would be better, much much better. Instead Catherine could only advise her son. And this one was no better than the prior ones.


She quickly rounded the corner of the Palace hallway and stormed past her two attendants slammed the door of the room where she managed the affairs of Empire. Or, at least, the Kingdom of France, which was just as large as an empire. Quickly lifting a stack of papers, she found the book still there in the bottom of the drawer. No longer dusty it still smell slightly musty.


She quickly flipped the pages that contained writings and annotation in the cumbersome ancient Egyptian heiroglyphics. Half a year ago they were indecipherable, but after hard work in the hours that she was not minding matters of state, she had learned much about the language. Well, nothing was missing from the book. So, she set the book back in its hiding place and again pondered what to do about it.


Nominally it was hers. Well, at least she the manner in which she had obtained it was completely legal. After all MInister of State to the King of Spain had sent it to her as a gift. A gift requested by Catherine, Queen Mother of France, after her spies had intercepted a note that another party had arranged to steal it.


Spies and assassins. Her uncle had told her long ago that a ruler must use all the tools of state that were available. He had her read Il Principe as a child and tutored her on how to rule even before he, as Pope Clement VII, married her off to that fool Henry. And after her uncle died of illness, Henry's father began his ill-treatment of Catherine. That was the worse time, but it was also the time that she began to follow her dead uncle's advice. She used her 'Tools of State' and soon the second son of Philip I of France was king and Catherine was queen.


That was just the first time that she used the 'Tools'. By the time the fool of her husband died in that 'freak jousting accident', Catherine had her 'Tools' not only in France, but in all the major states of Europe.


Suddenly, Catherine realizing that she had just crushed a sheet of paper. She checked to make sure that it was not The Note. It wasn't and she was relieved. The Note was precious to her now, for the handwriting on The Note which spurred her to procure the book was none other than that of that enemy of the De' Medici who nearly ruined the family at the expense of a republic. It would be a small triumph to deny him the book, then.


For the bigger triumph, she would need to find this organization, TAROT, and make it her own. But first, she had to learn more about what the book -- The Tome of Spirit, its writers had called it -- had to say. It was already quite intriguing.


Personality and MotivationsEdit

The Empress is rivaled in her ability and thirst for schemes and plots only by The Emperor himself. The patience of each is beyond the ken of most people. However, while The Emperor will scheme and plot openly, the Empress prefers to use influence along with her spirit magic to influence events.


Catherine is endlessly patient, and utterly ruthless. She rarely acts openly (and almost never enters the field directly), but is content to act and manipulate through a series of agents, none of whom know they are actually working for TAROT's Empress


QuoteEdit

There's only so much you can do with money... Now, Power, that's a different thing altogether."


Powers and AbilitiesEdit

The Empress is a powerful and studied practitioner of Ancient Egyptian spirit magic, learned from the Tome of Spirit over the course of centuries. She has never sought out any further sources of mystic knowledge, and thus the width of her Arcane knowledge is not so great. Her power within that limited scope, however, is quite notable. Her spells enable her to kill from the shadows, to create duplicates of herself and others, to animate the dead, to clairvoyantly see distant places, and to keep herself young despite being nearly five hundred years old.


In addition to her magical skills, Catherine is a skilled politician, a genius as manipuating people of whom she wants something, and is skilled at moving unseen through the halls of power. She is a master of disguise, a skilled poisoner, and not that bad with a stiletto.


Over her lifetime, she has studied and learned most European languages (plus the two most important Asian languages, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese) fluently enough to be mistaken as a native speaker.


AppearanceEdit

Not plain, but not beautiful, The Empress impresses mostly by her charm and commanding presence rather than by looks alone. She has continually adapted her mode of dress to the times, rather than being trapped in the past like some other immortals she could name. She tends to dress in business suits and knee-length skirts during "office hours".


When absolutely needed, she has a costume, but she hates it. Her costume is an expansive black gown with silver beading, and trim, resembling something that she would have worn during the 1500s (though with better materials and absolutely not as heavy...) along with a small crown. She dislikes it, though, so she doesn't often wear it.

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