: Gertrude Heldaki
When she wasn’t hiding her face and skin beneath shawls and layers of fabric, Gertie appeared just as she was; an old woman. Her face was aged from years of anger and distraught, but also oddly tanned from overexposure to sunlight. Thin skin did not fair so well in the harsh ultraviolet rays of the outdoors, which happened to be where she’d spent most of her time. Coarse grey hair wrapped around to the back of her head in a loose ponytail, but no matter how long she tried to poke, prod, stretch, or oil it, it never managed to stay put for very long. It had been growing so slowly for the past few years, she often assumed it had ceased altogether. A pair of crisp blue eyes rested sternly behind a prominent brow and stubby nose. They were hollow and unnerving, yet striking in times of battle.
She seemed very unthreatening to the eye of a stranger however, as the top of her head with shoes included barely hit the five foot mark. Gertie was also packing a slight bit of extra baggage around the middle, but she made up for it with muscled arms and strong legs. Climbing mountains seemed to do that to you. Personal fitness was an area the old woman tried her best not to slack on, despite her magical capabilities. You never know when the need for that one extra bit of agility would arise. It was one of her many mottos. In addition, strong, manly hands were mangled and calloused from a lifetime of labor, and her boat-like feet sprouted awkwardly from near ankle-less calves. Beauty was in the eye of the beholder. An eye she would squish into the palm of her hand if that beholder thought otherwise.
Gertie didn’t care much for fashion, as was often shown in her clashing colors or patterns of spots with stripes. She would wear what was most comfortable. Most often you would see her in thick sweaters that would swallow the majority of her body and thin pants. When the heat was too much to bear, she’d switch to a thinner, but more blanket-like shawl that wrapped around her entire torso and then some. Leather sandals strapped over her knobby feet, cushioning her step with a pleasant foam. And finally, she carried a wide sack-purse, half the size of her entire body, over her shoulder wherever she went. Be it on a long trek to the faraway cities, or on a mere walk to the outhouse. Select few knew of the treasures that resided inside.
Oftentimes batty and just plain odd, at least to everyone else. Her world views and political opinions were completely logical in her own mind. She was very blunt, yet sincere. It would just be ill advised to ask her a question you didn’t want to hear the answer to.
Life had hardened her once gentle and forgiving nature. There was very little in the world that she held dear, and so she treated everything as such: takers of space. She was perfectly content to live out the remaining years of her life in peace; undisturbed by the irritating children that called themselves weavers of the mystical arts. Their silly incantations and artifacts made her laugh with embarrassment for them. If only they knew how to cast real
magic... she would enjoy a duel with someone who might pose the slightest challenge. But the morons were boring these days; too caught up in their own insignificant feuds over metal, dirt and flowers.
While usually uninterested in the world around her, there were times when Gertrude would emerge from her shell and perhaps partake in a discussion or two. But, usually only to shove her correct
views down the throats of the unimportant. In the rare cases she’d find an admirable companion to converse with, she would display a truly intellectual side of herself and moments of remarkable sanity. These individuals tended to mostly be, if not always, the Automatons.
She found the most entertainment in practicing and creating her own magic. She had great pride in her mastery over the talent. When all else failed, when the world broke into chaos around her, magic was the one thing she would always doubtlessly be able to bend to her will. It was her destined profession, and she had spent the majority of her life improving and honing her already impeccable skills.
Even though she was hot-tempered, stubborn, conceited, and out of her mind, at the end of the day Gertrude would always be reliable. Her loyalty would never falter. She was not two-faced or conniving; what she allowed people to see was exactly who she really was. There was no need for mind games or manipulation. The fact that humankind stooped as low as to often admire those qualities angered her. She thought her kind to be a proud race, and anyone who made the mistake of lying to her face would soon regret it.
She would be genuine and honest until the day her heart ceased beating.
Gertrude was only five years old when her parents were killed in the Unification Wars. She was sent off to live in a foster home with hundreds of other children like herself. She remained there for ten years, the rest of her childhood, until she was old enough to venture out into the world on her own at the age of fifteen.
With no family, no money, and no job, Gertrude was as separated from the world as the fourth dimension. She found work at a small tavern in Tarmoda serving drinks, where she stayed for several years after. Cobblestone streets lined a village of sturdy huts, and the surrounding forest wafted in the smell of fresh pine. It was a peaceful town, a pleasant change from the constant headaches of screaming children in foster care.
She spent these years getting to know her magical capabilities. It was an awkward introductory as she was never taught properly, and her subconscious yearned for better use. In the quiet of her tiny residence, she would clear her mind of all thoughts and let the magic flow through her veins. It was here where her mind first taught itself telekinesis. A cup flew as casually from the table to her hand as if it were retrieved by an extra limb.
When she’d saved enough money, the young woman ventured back out into the world, hoping to find more knowledge in magic. She still felt incomplete. A part of her was still missing and waiting to emerge.
Somewhere down the timeline, Gertrude joined a rogue mage group set out to create a better world. Or, for lack of a better word, a group of magical hippies. She had no interest in tree-hugging or making peace with the murderers of her parents, but she was
interested in their surprisingly powerful command of nature. She sought to further better her own capabilities, so she participated in several of their mundane tasks. In return, they taught her control through release. Allowing nature to do half your work for you. She strengthened her prowess in telekinesis, now capable of lifting half-ton boulders with ease and letting the wind carry some of its weight instead of her mind.
When she learned all she could from these particular mages, she parted ways again and journeyed up into the Ascaron mountains. There were rumors that a wizard resided there with ancient magic that was no longer in practice in the present world. It sounded exactly of the missing piece she was looking for.
Gertrude climbed. And climbed. Weeks passed while she climbed some more. She was following the vague directions of the few people who knew of his whereabouts. She passed crystal mountain streams, deep canyons, and minute villages of mountain folk, all while listening to the wind lead her way. When finally she found the small inhabited cave hidden high up in one of the most distant peaks, her heart fell into her stomach. The aged wizard lie dead beside the glowing embers of his fireplace. There was no blood on or around him. She would never know how he died, only that he did so mere days before she’d arrived.
She gave him a proper burial, one fit for a stranger, and informed the locals of his passing. Despite her disappointment in a long journey wasted, she did find something worthwhile: his spell book. In it, he had written down more magical secrets than she’d heard of in her lifetime. Through this novel, she taught herself to shapeshift into one of the most feared and respected beasts in all of creation. A griffon.
It took her years to perfect. The beginning results were the head of an eagle, the tail of the lion, or the massive golden wings separately instead of all of the above. When all of the pieces had finally come together into the grand masterpiece, Gertrude celebrated by spending a month straight in griffon form. She would later become an ace in combat.
On Gertie’s thirty-ninth year, she found herself impregnated after a drunken fling with another faceless wizard whom she would never see again. The child was a beautiful baby girl, with the eyes of her mother and an unmatched determination to succeed. The girl became Gertrude’s very heart, and at the age of six, she was already beginning to teach her the ways of the magical world; it was a gift she herself was never given.
But the child became gravely ill at age eleven, after she was poisoned by a samurai’s corrosive sword. The child had only been a causality, a civilian caught in the wake of a duel. Her arm was gashed with a deep wound, but it would not have been fatal. She was simply just too young to have any tolerance for the poison, and the healing magic required to revive her was only known by the specialists of the craft. In a rage, Gertrude slaughtered the man responsible for the accidental injury. She sent a telekinetic-infused shuriken soaring into the side of his throat.
Over the next few days, the woman brought her dying child to the nearest location of healing mages. She stormed through the area in a panic, begging any to help her. None did. This was why she hated her own kind. They give nothing unless they receive more back in return. She had no money, no means for payment, and she wasn’t serving the leaders. Of course they wouldn’t help her. Sympathy is not a common emotion for wizards.
An Automaton nearby heard her pleas, and brought her back to its kind in an underground city. The robots initially talked amongst themselves out of her earshot in hushed tones and steady voices. They told Gertrude they could save her daughter’s life by making her one of them. They would transfer her consciousness into a clone of their metallic bodies. She would be stripped of her magic, but she would live. And they would do this in exchange for Gertrude's loyalty.
Gertrude agreed gravely, like any rational mother would. She could not let her child die. Not her little girl. She’d had no allegiances to begin with; it wasn’t her service contract that saddened her, it was that her daughter would no longer have a body. She would never breathe again.
Gertrude stayed in the hidden city for a few years to follow, to make sure her offspring was thriving. She was aging into a fine young woman-bot, and eventually her daughter left for a larger Ardor city to pursue her own dreams.
The aged women fled back to the Ascaron mountains following this, where she remains today, awaiting the beckoning of the Automatons to bring them her servitude.
Ferdinand the Ditto
TMs: None. Gains moves and abilities of mimicked Pokémon.
While no obvious signs of gender, Gertrude bestowed a male name upon the Ditto. He was too low-maintenance to be female. She met the innocent creature in the Ascaron mountains shortly after she moved her permanent residence to its location. A fitting pair, the two shapeshifters formed an unbreakable bond that would intertwine their fates for years to come.
Ferdinand was thoughtful and innocent. He reveled in training at the old woman’s side. He was cunning, and had excellent tactical insight. But most of all, and opposite of his companion, he found joy in the happiness of others.
Ditto is also capable of transforming into inanimate objects as well as people. However, he cannot speak in human form, nor copy anything other than the body itself, leaving him naked and in need of clothing. A human copy will never be an exact duplicate; it will have several slight flaws in its physique. In addition, the more powerful the person he copies, the more distorted his version will become; this makes some transformations impossible to accomplish. There is also the possibility that Ferdinand will be unable to hold up his shapeshift. Making him laugh is a known cause for de-transformation.
: Gertrude can transform into a colossal griffon, a mythological creature half eagle and lion. A fourteen-foot wingspan stretches from its golden hide, and sharp talons sprout from its front paws. Most gruesome is its massive beak, capable of crushing the strongest of metals between its jaws. It is an assassin trained for combat; dangerous in the sky, but deadliest close-range.
: Capable of moving objects with her mind. Gertrude uses telepathy, in combination with the natural will of the wind, to manipulate the heaviest of items with devastating force. This ability is used most often on the Greataxe, significantly decreasing its weight so she can carry and wield it with ease.
: Malleable Suit
: Nicknamed "Heavy Betty". A weapon skillfully forged in the mountains of Ascaron. Made with iron and oak, it is a fierce weapon that is nearly indestructible combined with the boomerang effects of telekinesis.
: Small star-shaped blades capable of piercing armor at a long distance. Gertrude keeps these hidden upon herself for times when the greataxe is out of reach or inconvenient.
: A gift from the blacksmiths of the Automatons. It is an extremely lightweight and flexible metallic material. It has been later infused with magic to shapeshift along with Gertrude, and provide equal protective coverage of her griffon form.
OOC: Hope I did all of this right, gah. My RP virginity is officially taken.