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Ebon Jade Duskchild


Early Life

Ebon Jade Duskchild was born Ragara Jade Ewellen to a branch of the Great House whose existence is largely ignored by it and the Realm because it has failed to produce any Exalts in the last several generations. The family line has thus become seen as tainted or corrupted, and whispers spread by the other Great Houses have lead to great embarrassment for House Ragara. During the time of Jade's great-grandfather, the Head of the House sent her family to administer a stratapy in the South, largely a front to remove the embarrassment from the Blessed Isle and to a location where it would go unnoticed and hopefully be forgotten. During the following years, boredom lead to much dalliance amongst the locals, and many Half-Caste children were born. All of these were adopted into the family out of hope that one would Exalt and restore the line to prominence on the Blessed Isle.

Jade was the daughter of one of these children, taking on more of the traits of a Southerner than a Dynast. As she grew up under the love and care of her family, they became increasingly convinced that she was their best hope for Exaltation. She learned very quickly, had a quick wit and could carry on a conversation with those years older than her without missing a beat. With her charismatic personality and exceptional good looks, she could easily twist even the most hard-willed person around her finger. The family called in tutors from (relatively) nearby Kirighast to educate her to a quality as close as possible to a Realm Education; she learned and excelled at archery and martial arts, and she showed a surprising aptitude toward sorcery considering her status as a mortal.

When Jade was around 10 years old, and outbreak of the Great Contagion threatened her home. Her family, desperate to save her life (and her hoped-for Exaltation) sent her away to Kirighast, using its “Realm influence” to arrange a foster family capable of providing the comfort she was accustomed to and the resources to continue her education. She continued to flourish. When she was 13, she received word that it was safe to return home. She and a fair-sized escort took ship and began the long journey back. On the way, the ship was attacked by pirates. Jade fought bravely and well, taking down 4 of the band before finally being subdued. After months at sea, the pirate's ship finally put in to Great Forks, where Jade and her companions were sold into slavery.

Jade and many other girls were purchased by a Chiaroscuran merchant specializing in pleasure slaves. She and the others were “educated” in the arts of seduction and love on the voyage to Chiaroscuro. Upon arrival, she and several other girls were delivered to the Tri-Kahn's court. Because of her striking appearance, Jade drew the attentions of many and eventually became the favorite of the Tri-Kahn himself. This was not solely due to her attractiveness or her skill, but also to her intelligence and wit. Often the Tri-Kahn would summon her simply for her conversation.

The Golden Dragon

It was because of this friendship between them that Jade was granted her freedom on her 16th birthday. Finally, she could set out to return home to her family at last. The Tri-Kahn sent and escort of several Chiaroscuran soldiers and a few parting gifts that she was not allowed to refuse, including a golden plasma tongue repeater, brought up from the vault where Chiaroscuro hides first age artifacts, to defend herself with. Jade was loath to leave, as if she knew that setting out on this path would change her entire world, but the desire to see the family she had been kept from for six years spurred her forward. She and her entourage took ship to Thorns, which is about 3 days ride from her family's lands.

The voyage was long but uneventful, as was the first day of riding. Around midday on the second, Jade and her escort crossed paths with a group of the Wyld Hunt lead by a large Earth Jade recognized as being a distant cousin from the Realm who had stayed with them from time to time on various Hunts. As they neared the Hunt, Jade noticed him put a large white jade stick in the ground. As he stood back up, Jade began to feel a little queasy, but continued to ride toward the Hunt to greet them. “Hail, cousin,” she said, trying to fight off the nausea. Her cousin responded in kind, introduced her to the rest of the Hunt, then inquired about her strange escort. “I have been abroad since the Great Contagion swept through this area some time ago. I am finally return home, and these good men are here to see me there safely,” she answered.

“Well, you'd better hurry home cousin. An Immaculate astrologer has warned us of an Anathema about to Exalt in the area.”

“Indeed, it is strange that you should stumble upon us like this,” a monk in the brotherhood said, eyeing her suspiciously. “You are the first people we have seen since our arrival in this area.” Her cousin waved him off.

“If Anathema are nearby, I feel no fear knowing that you are here to dispatch them swiftly. Once you have, come to our home and we will show you no lack of hospitality.” Jade smiled at her cousin and lead her group off across the plains. Oddly, she felt immediately better upon leaving the Hunt and that odd piece of jade. As the sun began to begin it's evening descent, Jade finally caught a glimpse of the line of trees that stood behind her family's stratapy, still miles off. The group set about making camp.

Suddenly, there came the noise of heavy feet running and terrible snarling voices. Bursting from the tall grass were three Wyld Barbarians. They stared at the each other for a few beats, each equally startled by the other's presence, but as the rest of the band began to arrive, some running into each other's backs as they stopped abruptly, both sides reached for their weapons. The hoard surged forward, and the Chiaroscuran guard pushed Jade back and formed a line between her and the barbarians. Jade drew her PTR, silently thanking the Tri-Kahn, took aim at the biggest looking barbarian, and fired.

The fight lasted several hours. Jade had long since run out of ammo and was fighting hand-to-hand with a long knife she picked off one of the fallen guards as best she could. Barbarians were falling right and left, but the guard was not without casualties. Three were cut down fighting, and two others had been killed without mercy after falling injured. Finally two remained, Jade and a guardsman standing back to back, and they were surrounded. A scarred and tattooed man with goat horns growing from his head and wicked-looking claws walked toward them as the ranks opened to let him through. Many bowed their heads as the shaman passed. He looked over their torn, bloody clothing and tired faces and sneered. “Surrender!” he said, voice barely human. “You're finished. Surrender, and we might let you live.”

They had no choice. They lay their weapons down and put up they're hands. Four barbarians approached and forced them to their knees. The barbarian leader looked down at them then appeared to listen to something only he could hear. “Kill him,” he ordered. A barbarian drew his knife and plunged it into the guardsman's chest. He shuttered as blood pooled from his mouth, then fell to his side. Jade screamed.

“You said you'd let us live!” she shouted as she struggled against the men holding her.

The shaman laughed. “I said might.” Jade shot him a look of pure hate. The shaman laughed again. “Don't worry, my lady. Our Master has taken a liking to you. You will not be harmed, much, if you know what's good for you.”

Jade's heart skipped a beat as an invisible hand tightened around her waist. All around her she heard disembodied laughter that gradually coalesced right in front of her, along with the figure of a man. He was taller than the tallest Earth she'd ever seen, strong, and hideously scarred, and the look in his eye was one of pure malice and a strange hunger. Jade tried to pull away, but his grip only tightened. He laughed again, and his voice boomed, “Now, now, don't run away. Don't you want to be the mother of a god?” He chuckled to himself. “Not that you have much choice,” he snarled as he pushed her to the ground.

Jade closed her eyes. She didn't want to see what was about to happen to her. But what can I do? she thought to herself desperately. I can't kill a god. Then, there was a voice in the back of her head. Yes you can. it whispered. Yes you can. Jade's hand fumbled for her knife.

The god laughed again, “Good, I love spirit.” She clenched the hilt in her hand, brought it up, and drove it into the god's back. His laughter was cut off by a surprised gasp, then became howls of pain as he jerked to his feet. Jade began to glow, first faintly then brighter and brighter. She got to her feet and reached full incandescent aura. He dematerialized, but to no avail. Jade withdrew the knife and plunged it into his nonexistent form again and again as if he were flesh and blood.

Jade began to speak words that were not her own, and overlaying her voice was one of furious power. “Vanish, Least Spirit of trash. Know that this woman is my Chosen, a once and future Lawgiver whom you are not worthy to even look upon, let alone bend to your will. Now, die and be forgotten.” With that, Jade plunged the blade into his chest, and he was no more. She stood, surrounded by the barbarian hoard, fury carved in her face, in full Solar glory. Behind her, a setting sun burned, and a golden dragon riding a pillar of flame unfurled it's wings, a puff of flame escaping from its mouth. She looked over the barbarians and said, “Surrender, and I might let you live.”

What Happened Then

Jade watched the barbarians retreating, then realized what had just happened and that a Wyld Hunt was less than a day away. A Wyld Hunt that had been after her all along. She forgot everything and started running blindly in the direction of her home, knowing deep down that she would no longer be welcome, and not caring.

She ran much farther than she thought she possibly could, and at daybreak she could begin to make out the walls of her home uncomfortably close. Unfortunately, she also thought she could make out the telltale cloud of dust kicked up by galloping horses. What had happened the previous night had not exactly been subtle. She needed to take cover, to hide herself, so she took off for the tree line. Once in the forest, she slowed to catch her breath and caught the sound of running water. She slowly made her way to a small spring and caught her reflection.

The golden dragon was gone now, but she still shone faintly in the dim light, and burning brightly on her forehead was a half-filled golden circle, resembling the setting sun. “Twilight,” she murmured, and jumped, half startled by her own voice, and half wondering where that word had come from. She followed the spring for a bit until she found an abandoned animal den. She crawled inside, hoping the darkness underground would help conceal her glow, and fell asleep.

She awoke a few hours later, and started walking home. The shine was completely gone, but the mark on her forehead continued to glow. She ripped a strip of cloth from her dress and tied it around her head, hoping people would think it was a bandage; then she headed for home. It was odd. When she arrived home, she was greeted with such love that she started to feel dirty. She was Anathema. She was a demon and worse, everything she had grown up despising. She couldn't mislead them. She couldn't lie to her family, could she?

She cleaned herself up and changed clothes. Before going to join them, she checked her reflection one more time. To her relief, the mark was gone. She enjoyed a wonderful reunion with her family, but the secret kept gnawing at her insides. When it was time to retire for the evening, Jade went to see her parents.

“I have something I need to tell you,” she began, “but I’m not sure how. Much has happened since we last saw each other.” Jade took a deep breath and began to tell them her story. As they listened to all their daughter had been through, a look of awe began to grow on their faces. As Jade reached the events of two nights past, she stopped. “This is a very hard story for me to tell, but I cannot lie to you. That would only confirm what you have been led to believe about those like me. There may be good and evil among us, but that is no different than of humanity.”

Her parents looked at each other confusedly. “Jade, what are you talking about?” her mother asked.

Jade bit her lip, then continued her tale to the end. When she had finished, she sat quietly and watched her parents’ faces as the full implications of what she had just told them dawned upon them. The look of horror and hatred they gave her nearly killed her inside, but she stayed as she was and betrayed nothing of the pain inside her. Her mother was the first to speak, though it seemed to no one in particular. “What do we do?” Her father said nothing.

“You must decide that. I will not stop nor harm you whatever your choice, but I will protect my life,” Jade said and left them to their decision.

She woke early the next morning to a knock at her door. She opened it to find her mother standing fearfully in the hall. Jade stood aside from the door and she hurried inside. She set a bundle of some clothes, food, and a bit of jade down on the bed.

“Your father has decided not to call the Hunt. The Realm already thinks our line is tainted. If they find it has produced Anathema…” Jade’s mother shook her head and continued. “However, you must leave this place and never return here. If you do, we will be forced to do our duty and call in the Hunt for you. The moment you walk out the door, you will be dead to us.”

Jade nodded, barely holding back the tears that stung at her eyes. “I understand. Thank you, Mother.”

Her mother sighed and looked her over one last time. “You have grown so beautiful, my daughter. Despite what has happened, I am glad I got to see you again.” Then she walked out of the room.

Jade packed quickly and set out as the sky was becoming pink with morning. No one saw her off. She hoped that meant that no one would know where she went. She returned to the place of the barbarian attack, repulsed by the days-old bodies that still lay where they'd fallen, but driven by necessity. She took whatever food and supplies she could salvage. A quick search also turned up her spent PTR and the knife she used to kill the god. She took the PTR and left the knife where it lay.

Abandoned by her family, Jade wandered the South for many years. She took the name Ebon Jade Duskchild for her dark past and her Solar rebirth at sunset. Once, she found herself drawn to an isolated part of the desert where she discovered an old manse. Inside she found a fully grown hearthstone, later identified as a Gem of Seduction, and a set of discreet essence armor. Jade used the training of her youth, all aspects of it, to survive as an outcast in a harsh world. She often wore a scarf tied around her forehead to hide her Caste Mark in case she required Essence to fend off attacks on her life and the lives of the innocent, but still the reputation of the Golden Dragon began to spread throughout the South, and she was forced to evade Hunt after Hunt.

The Solar Deliberative

At age 21, Jade followed a rumor of an Anathema in a village outside Chiaroscuro. She arrived at the same time as the Wyld Hunt, and she and the other, a Zenith called the Azure Phoenix Ascendant, were captured, bound, and thrown in the back of an enclosed cart. Upon entering Chiaroscuro to be taken to the Realm garrison there, the caravan was attacked by a group of three Solars, Eclipse Whisper Iron Wind, Twilight Sagacious Maiden of Rose, and Dawn [Ken's Character], distracting the Dragon-Blooded long enough for Jade to shape sorcery and escape as a flock of birds and Phoenix to completely dismantle the cart. The five decided to join forces and began to travel together. [Ken] later left to rejoin his mercenary group, and after a year the group was joined by a Night Caste called Tatcys, as well as Gold Faction Sidereals Rain, Fleet Brilliance and May Blossom. Together they hope to reform the Solar Deliberative and restore Creation to the glory of the First Age.


Jade ultimately hopes to reconcile the Dragon-Blooded and the Solar Exalted.