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The Black Lotus

The Black Lotus is an underground organization operating
out of Xiphis, Erythia. They strive for vigilante justice, and
will deliver it no matter the circumstances. After Erythia
fell into political turmoil, an ancient power revealed itself to
the Black Lotus. The Burden. With the spotlight overseas,
the opportunity was perfect. Too perfect.




Alphonse


Bio:
His father was a drunkard gambler, and his mother was a violently oppressive and hateful woman. While his father threw away the family’s earnings, his mother released her frustration on Alphonse. One particularly savage beating resulted in Alphonse losing consciousness entirely. The mother saw an opportunity. She carried the child in her arms, to the outskirts of the city. An orphanage. She knocked on the door, and informed the owner that she’d found a child.

Alph couldn’t get along with the other kids at the orphanage, and lived in a perpetual state of fear. He didn’t know the man who ran the orphanage. When he was at home, at least he knew who was beating him. One fateful day, Alphonse overheard talk of a monk visiting the town, seeking new and youthful disciples. He slipped out the back window, knowing that this was his chance.

Alphonse spent years in the monastery atop Bonetooth Mountain, practicing the same rituals, in the same spot, eating the same food, reading the same things. It was incredibly dull to a child. It was only when he learned of the true purpose for his being there, that he showed any interest in the religious practices. The Burden. If he were to obtain its strength, he’d be able to return home to his parents. He practiced hard, and put his heart and soul into everything he did. But in the end, he was the second choice. Another student, a young girl by the name of Faeyt, inherited the power. Alphonse was conflicted, having been spiritually enlightened in the monastery, but feeling defeated walking away without having gained the divine blessing. On his descent from the mountain, he came to terms with it. In the end, he was going home, and he was a new person. That’s what mattered the most to him.

When he arrived home, his parents were strangers. Skinnier than skeletons, their faces contorted around their skull’s structure. Excess flesh hanging from their faces in droopy bags. Perhaps life atop the mountain had been better than he’d thought. When his parents learned of his missed opportunity to inherit the blessing of the Gods, they were disgusted with their son. Perhaps a demigod son could save them from their crippling poverty. But, Alphonse had come to terms with second place. A deep connection with the Gods, food, and clothes, were more than enough to satisfy him. But, he slowly became an outcast. Kids didn’t care about some monk's spiritual enlightenment. The children were much more interested in the girl with superpowers.

The opinions of others swayed his stance on his monkship, and he loathed his teacher for not choosing him over the girl. Perhaps if he’d just put more soul in, he could have inherited such strength. His heart slowly turned to envy, as he wished more and more to have what he couldn’t.

It was at his lowest point, desperate to alleviate himself from the burning sensation in his heart, telling him to take what was so rightfully his, that the entity approached him. “It should have been your power,” It said, luring him in. “You worked so much harder than her. Such injustice cannot be tolerated.” Alphonse’s heart began to pound faster and faster. So fast, he thought he might burst. “I’ll make it yours. That’s how it should be, after all. All I ask for in return, is your partnership.” Alphonse’s teeth and fists clenched tighter than iron, his head pounding with dizzying frustration. He released a deep sigh, and shook the being’s outstretched hand. “You’ve got a deal.” The entity smirked grimly, whisked Alphonse away, and everything was black... for a very long time.


“This man understands that adversity and existence are one and the same.”




Xander


Bio:
Xander was a bastard child, raised by a single mother who never wanted him. Her feelings toward him were not subtle. She would regularly berate and beat him, taking out her pent up frustration with her circumstances. His clothes were ragged and torn, like that of a homeless man. He would hide from the kids in his area, but they would hunt him down, just to let him know how worthless he was. He’d come home everyday, his clothes more torn and dirty than before, bleeding and crying. His mother would pay him no heed.

When he came of maturity, he left home in seek of a new life. He bought fancy clothes, spoke with an impressive vocabulary, and carried himself in a prestigious manner, all so that someone would want him around. All so that he’d be desired. He claimed to be a rich entrepreneur from land afar, and people flocked to meet him. Everyone was clambering to his side, and he’d become a celebrity overnight. It was when he fell in love, that foul things began to transpire. For he’d conjured up lies to make himself more desirable. It had all been charade. When his newlywed wife asked to see his business, and his expansive mansion, his heart stopped. He could find no permanent solution, only prolongment. Soon after, an eerie figure approached him in the cobblestone streets under the dim moonlight. “The hole you’ve dug for yourself is deep. Too deep to climb out of. But, with my help, the facade of wealth and prestige you’ve made, will become reality.” Xander didn’t hesitate, and sold his soul to the entity.


“He will be laughing still... in the end.”




Scarlett


Bio:
Scarlett’s mother, Camilla, was truly a beautiful woman; sought after by every man in town. She was aware of her own beauty, and used it to swoon the most promising man she could find. She fell madly in love with a man named Reinhardt, who was a wealthy carpenter. Reinhardt loved Camilla simply for her looks. She made for an excellent piece to show at banquets and parties. When Scarlett was born, she sharply resembled her mother. Reinhardt had been wishing for a son, to teach carpentry to, and carry on the business. From the moment she was born, Scarlett was met with only contempt from her father.

As years passed, the two decided to have another child. Reinhardt, once again hoping for a son to pass his legacy onto. When he heard that their child would be another girl, he was outraged. He struck Camilla, leaving a terrible wound across her cheek. Weeks passed, and the tension slowly died down. However, her wound did not heal. It lingered, a broad scar across her otherwise flawless skin. A painfully obvious imperfection. The only reason Reinhardt had married the woman; her beauty, had left her. Thus, he did too.

The unbearable weight of raising two children on her own, accompanied by the heartbreak of losing the husband she truly loved, was too great for Camilla, and one fateful night, she plunged a sword into the stomach, taking both the life of the unborn child, and herself.

Scarlett was too young to understand what had transpired. In her eyes, her father had stopped loving her mother because she was no longer beautiful. She saw her mother’s final moments as a desperate act to relieve herself of being ugly, and undesired. As she grew older, she grew more fearful of losing her own beauty. If that were to happen, not only would her father stop loving her, but she’d never be able to find a partner.

One lonesome night, Scarlett was approached by an ominous figure. It promised her eternal beauty and everlasting youth, in exchange for her soul. Not wishing to suffer the same fate as her mother, she accepted the being’s offer, sealing her fate to an unfathomable evil.


"To her keen eye, gold gleams like a dagger's point."




Lycia


Bio:
Growing up in a home where alcohol was as plentiful as air, Lycia had a simple understanding of what a good time looked like from a very young age. Strangers would come and go from her parent’s bedroom, her father always smug and drunk. Her mother was a pure hearted woman, who worked tirelessly to make sure the house was to her husband’s liking, desperate for his approval and love. She was raised around adultery and alcoholism, which walk hand in hand with one another.

As she grew older, her desire to experience these things grew too strong to be resisted. She sinned and sinned, experiencing pure ecstasy on a daily, if not continuous basis. However, with time, the rush of these activities faded. She found less and less enjoyment in these coveted interactions. She sought for more and more, addicted to the stimulation.

Her enjoyment continued to deteriorate, until she found almost no enjoyment at all. She became terribly depressed. She’d lost the ability to enjoy the one thing that made her happy. It was at this time that a strange creature approached her under the veil of moonlight. “That feeling you so desperately seek. I’ll return it to you. I’ll restore the pleasures of the flesh, and your happiness will come back. All I ask for is a piece of you in return.” Without hesitation, Lycia shook the entity’s hand, and sealed away her soul.


"She searches where others will not go... and sees what others will not see."




Weiss


Bio:
Relentlessly abused by her step-mother, both verbally and physically. Her father was powerless to save her. His crippling loneliness, and weak will prevented him from leaving the woman. One night, as she cries quietly in her room, an unknown entity, surely born from evil, makes her an offer. In exchange for her loyalty, it promised to make everything go away. Desperate for happiness, she accepts. In the middle of the night, the house catches fire spontaneously. Weiss’ father sacrifices himself to save her from falling debris. Outside the blaze, she falls to the ground. Having only wished to rid herself of the torment and abuse her mother unleashed upon her, she blamed herself for her father’s untimely demise. Upon turning to see her stepmother, wounded and crying on the ground, she affirmed herself that it wasn’t her fault. It was her fault. Her father had been killed before her very eyes, and seeing the one she wished to rid herself of, sucking air she didn’t deserve, she was filled with rage. The same evil entity from before presents itself to Weiss. “Whose fault is it that your father is no longer of this world, dear?” somewhat hesitant, she answered. “She is. If she’d never been so cruel, none of this would have happened.” The entity heeded her verdict, and cast the woman back into the blaze, her screams echoing throughout the forest. The entity extended a hand to Weiss, “Now, it’s your turn to uphold the contract. My promise has been fulfilled.” Weiss took its hand, and thus, a powerful bond was formed. Weiss can simply be described as being a product of her environment. She is both compassionate and caring, but with no will of her own. Much like her father. Psychopathically, and unnecessarily cruel, much like her step-mother. She also possesses the power of an unknown evil, surely from the void.


"Tortured and reclusive... this one is more dangerous than she seems..."



Rin


Bio:
Rin was an ambitious child, working hard in school, responsible and mature. He had a promising future ahead of him. But, when his dear mother mysteriously fell ill, everything changed. She was bedridden, ghostly pale, and enduring agonizing pain. Without a father, and his mother’s life in danger, his concern for his future shifted. He no longer cared about his career. He cared about the well being of the woman who had worked so tirelessly to give him these opportunities. If she were to perish, he’d never forgive himself. She’d never be able to witness the great things he’d amount to. He spent all the money he could conjure from his part time job on medicine, but nothing proved to be of any affect. Her state was rapidly diminishing, and he knew he had to do something fast. He prayed at the local church, yet her condition still worsened. In his basement, he found an old tome which had belonged to his father, containing ancient, powerful dark magics. He scoured the texts for days, frantically searching for anything of use. He found a spell, which allowed the user to transfer their own life force into another. He risked it all, and found favorable results. His mother made a quick recovery after that, however, Rin’s health began to deteriorate. He had taken on the illness which his mother had harbored. He did his best to carry himself as he once did. If his mother were to find out, she’d be distraught. The illness was too strong, and he found himself unable to get out of bed. His mother was at work, while he was fading between states of consciousness. He knew he wasn’t long for this world. It was okay, though. He’d saved the woman who’d done so much for him. How could love be wrong? In his final moments, a figure who seemed to be made entirely of smoke approached him. “What good will your mother’s life do if it’s spent mourning her only son? I’ll return your health to you, in exchange for your soul.” Knocking on death’s door, Rin chose to live, if not for himself, but his mother. But in turn, he sold a part of his soul to the Devil. He lacked energy, emotion, anything. He was an empty vessel without purpose. He was a hollow shell of who he once was. His mother was terribly distraught with his choice to give up on his education. Her son had so suddenly become a complete stranger, but she could never understand.

Rin, the Aimless Drifter, left home in search of meaning. Never again to be seen. It was during his search, that the entity lead him to found the Black Lotus. An underground crime ring, which sought to undermine the Erythian government, and bestow vigilante justice upon the land. The Aethenian conflict granted a perfect window for just such action.


"To fight the abyss, one must know it."




Lennox


Bio:
Lennox (Lenny) was born into a fishing family, and was practically raised on the seas. He had a younger brother, August (Auggy). His family lived a decent life, making more than enough money to feed themselves, and buy some luxury items. But, as old age crept into their lives, their ability to haul fish grew smaller and smaller. No longer earning wages like they used to, they needed to do something fast. Lenny’s parents began to spike his food with growth hormones and steroids, which they’d purchased with their savings. Quickly, he began to haul more and more fish in their family outings, until eventually he was hauling more than his parents ever could. During supper, he was encouraged to eat lots and lots, but was forbidden to share with his brother August, who wasn’t fed particularly well. It was during one outing, where his life was torn apart. A creature from the depths of the sea, known only as the Deep Sea Leviathan. It emerged from the surface of the water without warning, and ripped the hull of the boat to shreds, knocking everyone to their feet. The parents tried to rush the kids to the lifeboat hanging from the side of the ship, but August didn’t make it. To save their only remaining child, their breadwinner, they dropped the boat into the water. As they did, the creature howled furiously, and wrapped its spiked tendrils around the parents, constricting the life out of them, before pulling them deep into the sea.

Lennox worked in a shipyard, desperately clinging to the smell of the sea. The only part of his parents remaining. He eats lots, to maintain his hulking stature, and to remember the warmth and fondness of dinner with his family. Food reminds him heavily of his parents, thus, he refuses to share with anyone out of habit.

One night, a shadowy figure approached him when no one else was around. “I can bring your family back. I can make you feel alive again. I can give you purpose. Just promise to stand by my side.” It was an offer Lennox couldn’t refuse, and he shook the entity’s hand; sealing away his soul.

(This isn't a picture of Lennox, it's a picture of the Black Knight from Fire Emblem. I don't actually have a portrait for him, so this was the closest thing I could find.)


"A glutton for punishment."