Im Jin-ah (Nana)Appearance:
Beauty might be only skin deep, but for Alicia that's enough -- more than enough. She does not bare her face to anyone; what the Mask fails to hide completely she further covers up with an arsenal of cosmetic products. For all appearances Alicia is human, and a rather well put-together one at that.
Strip away her defenses, and one is confronted with a twisted shell. Her skin is even more flawless than before, but utterly bloodless in appearance except for the ends of her mouth. Though it is closer to a maw -- stretching entirely too wide and dyed a striking red, the line grows crooked at either end, the skin with a roughness at odds with the rest of her. The planes of her body are flat and lacking in curves while her fingers are unnaturally long, each digit habouring an additional joint, flattening from the last knuckle to form dark, oblong pads.Contracts:Contracts of the Forge
Contracts of Smoke and Mirror
- Rewriting the Image: Alter the details of a two dimensional image.
Catch: The Changeling is altering an image of someone else into the Changeling's own image.
- Trivial Reworking: Temporarily alter the shape of a small object in some minor way. This never lasts for more than an hour and the basic concept of the object cannot be altered, but any details can be rewritten.
Catch: The Changeling is reshaping an item that she stole from someone.
- Discreet Conjuration: The Changeling can remove a small object from her pocket, desk drawer, other out of sight location where the object could fit even if it were not in that place before this Clause was invoked. The object's existence and rough location must be known to the Changeling before it can be summoned, but can come from anywhere in the world.
Catch: The Changeling is paying an enemy for some information or service with the summoned object.
- Hidden Reality: Create or change some minor feature of surroundings that was not previously obvious. If the detail is being observed in any way (such as the "unlocked" door being connected to sensor to detect if it is unlocked) than that detail cannot be altered through this Clause.
- Paths of Desire: Opens a gateway that leads into any location of the Hedge which the Changeling is familiar.
Catch: The Character has buried a vial of his own blood in the soil at his destination.
Contracts of Dream
- Nevertread: Allow the Changeling to leave behind, depending on circumstance, either no trace of his passing or deceptive traces. Catch: The changeling is barefoot when using this Clause.
- Pathfinder: Gain access to the realm of dreams. Without it, she may still view the dreams of others, but this allows the Changeling to literally step into the dream of a mortal. Catch: Pluck a thorn from any natural plant and use it to shed a single drop of blood.
Meticulous and devoted individual, Alicia tends to focus on small details, often ignoring the big picture. She also dislikes being around other Changelings, as they can effortlessly see past the mask she so painstakingly built. Her fear of her true appearance being revealed also extends to her intense dislike of physical contact and focus on physical appearance. Make no mistake, Alicia is every bit a Wizened and not a not a Fairest. She is timid when expressing her opinions, and can be extremely ambivalent when it comes to commenting on appearances.
Alicia will never ask others to comment on her appearance. In fact, doing so is to tempt bane. For if she receives a lukewarm response, it would throw her into confusion that in severe cases would manifest itself similar to dsyphoric mania.
Additionally, Alicia behaves in a manner similar to how someone suffering from verbal paraphasia*
would. Messing up when vocalising simple opposing concepts, she might say yes when she means no, or exclaim that something is cold when scalded. Alicia is aware of her speech errors and will often correct and counter correct herself, making conversing with her potentially difficult. On the other hand, Alicia is extremely aware of more subtle differences, and has not problems verbally pointing out a patch of turquoise from a background of green for example.History:
On one otherwise utterly unremarkable day, Cassia was approached by a stranger on her way home from after-school activities that ended late. It was a woman, one who would not have looked out of place in Mucha's works. So when asked "Am I beautiful?" Cassia had replied affirmatively with almost no hesitation. The woman smiled.
The edges of her lips parted and tore, extending the grin impossibly wide. With her mouth reaching from ear to ear, the stranger had asked again, "How about now?" Frightened by the sight, Cassia did what any child would have - she ran. As fast as her legs could take her, she ran. Alas, it was a futile effort, for the woman kept simply reappearing in front of her, mouth still wide and bleeding, asking again and again -
"Am I beautiful?"
Already in tears, Cassia' legs gave out on her and she collapsed. There was no escape, and she blurted the first word that came to mind without thought. For the first time in her conscious life, Cassia lied.
The woman laughed, the sound of it raking through every fiber of Cassia' being like shards of glass. The woman was one of the Gentry, and she had seen through the child's sniveling lie with ease. Declaring that she would give Cassia an equally beautiful
appearance, the Gentry took the child with her back to Arcadia as her newest servant.
Cassia' master took great joy in tormenting her -- mocking her day after day with a repeated question - "Am I beautiful?" If the kidnapped child answered yes, as she had at the start, her master would slit her mouth to mimic her own and then be commanded to smile. It was done with a blunt blade, and the wound would heal quick enough that her mistress could torment her again and again. No matter how many times her mouth was widened, Cassia still found the pain unbearable, crying and screaming until her throat turned hoarse.
"Am I beautiful?"
Oh, how Cassia wanted to scream out that the Fae was the ugliest thing she had ever set her eyes upon. But she had only ever answered once in negative, for the Fae were cruel in their punishments of insolent servants.
It was a seemingly endless cycle, further warped by the twisted progress of time in Arcadia. Each day - she would be asked the same question, and each day she craft artifact after artifact of glass, smiling and bleeding. Her master tasked her to cover the house -- it was only a house in a very basic sense of the word; it was nothing like a house -- cover it with mirrors fashioned from glass. It was a ridiculous task given the impossible architecture. Cassia was not alone in her duties, but to be caught skiving... Each servant treated the other like they were not there, passing each other by multiple times daily without so much as a word. The fear that ruled Cassia' actions was absolute, and even when the others plotted and tricked and tried to escape, Cassia remained in the mansion and continued to clean. The Fae refused to give them any tools to work with; her hands were soon twisted beyond regcognition, the flames and Arcadia itself molding them to suit her master's purposes.
The fear was constant, so constant that Cassia somehow found herself slowly, but surely growing numb to it. It was as if her being had split into two. Her body continued to shiver and tears would fall freely, but she felt a lengthening distance from herself, like she was watching someone else. Was she dying? Cassia hoped so. As the strain on her mind grew, so did a seed of nonchalance, until --
"Am I beautiful?"
"I don't know. Average, I guess?"
The Fae was completely stumped by her servant's answer. Unknowingly Cassia had found her mistress' weakness. Watching the Fae be stilled and silenced by confusion, instinct took over and pushed Cassia to run out of the mansion. A re-enactment of their first meeting, but this time, the Fae did not follow. Hope bubbled within Cassia, powering her strides.
The Hedge proved to be another almost insurmountable obstacle, but a chance crossing of paths with a member of the Summer Court ensured that she returned, at long last, to the human realm. It was with the help of the Court that Cassia cobbled together her new identity of Alicia Jung. Inspired by the tale of Kuchisake-onna