Character Bios [In-Depth]

Spoiler warning.

The Players

Shinra Burroughs SiderealThe Hero; Shinra is a calm, collected, and fairly disenfranchised youth doing his best to survive alongside his brother and the Syndicate that helped keep them alive. He doesn’t open up to others easily — if at all — and stopped actively trying to make friends outside of anyone but Jessiv, Deidre, and Baotomi around the same time that Baotomi’s first group of recruits — of which Jessiv was part of — were all killed in an Aesir raid a year and a half before the story starts. He doesn’t trust easily, and plays up his own minor weaknesses or insecurities to gauge others upon first meeting them. He knows that Jessiv gave up the group to keep himself alive, but will not betray his brother to Baotomi even despite how the event has changed the man for the worse; instead, he tries to do his best to make sure every mission he’s given is completed in the most efficient and bloodless way possible, and often goes it alone when a pick-up or a raid would easily require a group of three or more.

His and Jessiv’s motives for joining up with Baotomi three years ago are twofold — as orphans, they required the protection and the resources Kingdom provided to stay alive, conniving themselves into Baotomi’s good graces early on to assure themselves each a spot in the Kingdom hierarchy. Their true reason for staying, however, remains hidden from the man himself; Baotomi’s connections afford them the information network they need to track down their missing parents, who they (rightfully) believe to have been kidnapped for their involvement in an incident with Nevnx years ago.

Shinra is five-foot ten and built like a runner, with neck-length dark red hair and light green eyes. He has two tattoos: one on his left shoulder in the shape of two interlocking cogs — to symbolize his connection to his brother — while the other — a small golden crown — rests slightly above his right hip. His weapon of choice is a brace of pistols or a rifle, though he keeps his father’s ceremonial blade on hand “just in case”.

Jessiv Burroughs Sidereal — The Brother; Jessiv is a wild, outgoing, devil-may-care type who lives his life in direct contrast to Shinra. Where his younger brother is reserved and polite, Jessiv is loud and crude; where Shinra is diplomatic and calculating, Jessiv is antagonistic and headstrong. They are each in diametric opposition to each other, with Jessiv only taking the role an older brother should when it either inconveniences him or when he truly knows better from experience. Jessiv was the one who had to work to keep them alive once their parents vanished, and has the most real world experiences out of the two. He is loud, obnoxious, and teasing only on the surface, and possesses a great empathy that helps him both gravitate to and understand others. Where Shinra sees only possibilities or dreams, Jessiv sees truths waiting to be made apparent.

It is Jessiv’s fault that his entire generation of recruits — Baotomi’s first class — were ambushed and wiped out by the Aesir during a routine supply run. After being captured and tortured for two days, he gave up the group’s plans and was forced to watch as they were butchered down to the last man; it is only Baotomi’s timely rescue that saves him from suffering the same fate. It is also Jessiv’s fault that the pair are known by the surname “Sidereal” — which is the name of the District they are from — as it was the first word that came to mind when Baotomi had Deidre change their identities in the City’s vast computer network.

Jessiv is six-foot three and a half, and aside from being built exactly like his brother, has light brown eyes and sea-green hair. Like Shinra he has a tattoo of two interlocking cogs on his back — though his is on the opposite shoulder — and a tattoo of a crown on the back his neck showing his allegiance to Kingdom. He wears his hair longer to left, to cover the fact that he never recovered full sight in that eye after being tortured. His weapon of choice is Sidhe’s railgun (when she isn’t using it) or a pair of semi-automatic pistols.

Sidhe Leclair — The Girl; Sidhe is the gang’s youngest female member and also the only one out of all of them that knows the difference between a monkey and an Alan wrench. She acts her age — sixteen — in almost every sense of the statement, and is only tolerated by the older members of Kingdom for her mechanical expertise. While she is not a very important character per se, her death does catalyze the fact that Squall is a traitor and must be stopped at all costs in Shinra’s mind. Before this, however, she is only one capable of arguing and treating him as if he is only eighteen in both mind and body, which endears her to him. Her father also helps them gain entry into the Spire where Nevnx is located as a form of gratitude, since it was he who insisted she join with Baotomi and “see the real world” in the first place.

Sidhe stands at a whooping five-foot nothing, is built like a pixie with a little bit more chest and waist, and considers her dark pink hair not only a fashionable, but gorgeous. Her weapon of choice is anything and everything that she can find around herself at the time, though when not wrestling with someone she usually uses a rather large hand-cannon/railgun that hyper-accelerates a small bead of iron near the approximate speed of sound.

Baotomi Corvino — The Revolutionary; Baotomi is the prodigal, bastard son of of a high-ranking Merchant Lord with ties to both Nevnx and Bartiel himself. He is charismatic and understanding to a fault, and prides himself on being able bring people around to his cause with little to no coercion at all; he is so affable a person, in fact, that many of the members of his Syndicate sought him out themselves, rather than waiting to be recruited. Because of this, Baotomi treats each member of Kingdom as if they were all part of his extended family, and both triumphs and suffers all the more for it. He is equal parts the most driven and self-destructive of all the characters in the story, as he is more than willing to try and sacrifice himself for the greater good of the Syndicate even though he knows that his death will mean their disbandment — to him, their survival is more important than him fulfilling his near impossible dream of starting a revolution. He is compassionate, focused, and trusting — to a point — but also heavily scarred as well, as he believes his every mistake has cost him the lives of friends and loved ones.

Baotomi’s desire to be a revolutionary stems from three great “Traumas” he suffered through before the story began. Though he grew up wanting for nothing, Baotomi realized early on that his mother and he were being taken care of not out of love, but because his father needed to keep them hidden to protect his career. This, combined with the fact that his mother constantly told him stories of great, heroic knights who saved princesses in danger, meant that Baotomi grew up bitterly resenting the man for never being there for them — a feeling that was only compounded upon when a disease known as “Soot Lung” quietly took his mother’s life on his fifteenth birthday. Shortly after, Baotomi ran away and decided that, were things to change in the Spire, he’d need to both work outside their laws and come up with some way to unite people against the corporations that ran the practice of indenture slavery around the City.

Thus, Kingdom was born. And, thus, was also born the third and last “Trauma” that shaped who Baotomi was, as his work with Kingdom brought him to Celine — an Alice which he slowly fell in love with and who is also his father’s newest, most favored concubine.

Baotomi stands at six-foot two, all long-legs and arms and torso, has short and spiked dark black-blue hair, brown eyes, high-cheek bones, and a face that normally goes unshaven. His body is also tattooed in the following places: his legs (two smaller bands near the ankle, with a larger patch slightly above the second ring), wrists, (four rings int he shape of the Oroborus), belly-button (a razor-bladed sun), and neck (three slightly barbed rings with a golden crown in the middle). His weapon of choice is either a flechette rifle or a hand cannon that’s been illegally modified to hold seven bullets instead of six.

Kannazuki Asahina — The Strategist; Asahina is Baotomi’s third-in-command, and spends her time quietly running Kingdom’s more complex operations while Baotomi and Shinra are busy elsewhere. She is a serious, no nonsense woman respected and feared for her intellect and the near-perfect way she can grasp how battles or missions will play out – this, however, belies her rather frightfully apparent lack of sympathy for others, as she places results above most else in both personal and Syndicate-related matters. She is severe — to the point of alienating others with how plainly she speaks — and has trouble dealing with the day-to-day human interactions that Kingdom is best known for, as normal, emotional human behavior leaves her sometimes perplexed due to her upbringing. As a the daughter of a high-ranking Mercenary Captain, Asahina simply never quite learned how to handle social situations on a normal level, which led her to often mistrust and viciously use people until she met both Shinra and Baotomi.

Asahina grew up much like Baotomi did, and wanted for nothing. She is the daughter of a high-ranking Mercenary Captain most known for his tactical genius and the amount of enemies he had, and lived a violent lifestyle which she acclimated to, and overcame accordingly. For the first ten years of her life, Asahina was merely an accessory to her father’s work, and was “kept safe” and “out of harm’s way,” moved from place to place, and District to District to keep her out of enemy hands. Upon her eleventh birthday, however, her father began to comb her to succeed her mother – who was then a sickly, dying thing – as head of his espionage and counter-intelligence squad. Fast-forward seven-and-a-half grueling years, and she’s poised to begin leading the mercenary band herself until a chaotic stroke of misfortune – which is really her father’s fault for leaving her out of the loop due to pride — leaves her father dead, the band in ruins, and her family named shamed. She walks away without ever looking back, neither angry nor disappointed in the man – it was his own hubris that brought him down, after all.
She meets up with Baotomi sometime after this, and joins on at the same time Shinra and Jessiv do.

Asahina is five-foot eight, has vaguely Asiatic features, and wears her icy blue hair up in a professional bun or braid. Both of her ears are pierced, though she rarely wear earrings unless she feels comfortable enough to. The right corner of her lip has a small, vertical scar on it from when her father cut her during a fencing match, and the backs of her hands and forearms are also lightly peppered with faint scars as well. Her weapon of choice is a small, ornate custom handgun – one of her father’s – that shoots superheated bullets which explode upon impact.

Deidre Petrakis — The Informant; An Archivist cum information-runner for the local Syndicates and drug cartels in her part of the City, Deidre knows who’s really in charge of things and does her best to make sure that the little guys have a chance at surviving too. She is one of the only reasons that Baotomi’s gang is so prosperous, and constantly remains a strictly “off the books” resource neither her superiors nor anyone else knows about, using her connections on the Citywide Net to mask his work and keep him out of jail — all for a hefty sum of favor and money, of course.

Deidre stands at five-foot seven, has toffee colored skin, and wears her long ivory-colored hair back in a bun and a pair of braids on either side of her face. She has a single beauty mark right beneath her bottom lip, light aquamarine eyes, henna tattooed hands, and a single, rather-expansive tattoo of a biomechanical dreamcatcher on her left shoulder. Her weapon of choice is, rather obviously, the pair HUD glasses and the hair-pin/barrette-shaped headset she uses to constantly stay connected to the Network at all times. Shinra calls her “Deets” to piss her off.

Celine Philemon — The Concubine; an Alice who Baotomi has taken a shine to, but whose contract he can’t buy out just yet, forcing them to meet strictly through business.

Celine is lithe, graceful, stands at five-foot seven, and has waist-length black hair that she usually keeps suspended above her hair in ornate knots and loops. Her eyes are a light hazel-silver mix, and she has a vertical scar right above where her uterus should be. She’s Baotomi’s reason for doing a lot of things he does, least of which is forming his own syndicate to take down Nevnx.

Squall — The Traitor; Squall is an unassuming brunette secretly working against Baotomi’s group simply because he believes a bloody revolution will destroy the fragile peace the City has. He is partly responsible for the attack on Ouroboros that occurs at the beginning of the book — as he purposely misconstrued an order Baotomi gave him, which led to Ci-krus beating them to the punch — and is also fully responsible for Sidhe’s death, which he frames Geoffrey for. He is killed by Shinra when he and Jessiv track him down before Kingdom goes to take Bartiel’s citadel — Shinra stabs him in the back with their fathers sword.

Squall is five-foot eleven, has long brown hair he keeps tied back into a shoulder-length horse-tail, and wears narrow glasses that hide the color of his Bliss-blue eyes.

Ptolemy Corvino — The Officer; Ptolemy is a mirror of the life Baotomi could have had were he born from the “right” mother at the right time. As the legitimate second son of the Corvino family, he was given free rein on how he was to shape his life, and chose to devote himself entirely to “cleaning up” the city of the same kinds of people Baotomi surrounded himself with. He is driven and charismatic, fair and compassionate where many of his coworkers are not, and prone to laughter whenever the chance unveils itself. He believes wholeheartedly that the city can be changed by working within the system, and does his best to do things “by the book” when he is able to; as one of the very few uncorrupt policemen in the District the story takes place in, this both marks him for death and earns him respect from Syndicates and Aesir alike. His main motivation is to find a bloodless way to make peace between the Syndicates and the Corporations, as he truly believes he understands both sides of their conflict. He doesn’t know that Baotomi exists, but suspects that he does have a half-brother out there somewhere.

Ptolemy is a near mirror image of Baotomi physically, minus the tattoos and some of the man’s height (He’s five-foot eleven). He has hazel eyes, a scar underneath his chin – specifically at the junction of his neck – where someone tried to slit his throat, and is missing a small sliver of ear from where someone tried to shoot it off. He also has marked bags underneath his eyes from too many nights spent working, and smells vaguely of smoke or cologne, depending on whatever case he’s on.

Sicily — The Queen; Sicily is the Queen of the Masqued race, its last living nobility and the name to which all other Masqued bow to. Brother to dio, she spends her time running a little tea shop in one of the busiest sectors of the City, keeping a low profile by satiating her hunger once every couple of months.

Ci-Krus— The Assassin; A Masqued hired by the Nevnx coporation to assassinate each and every Median not under their control. Ci-krus is a walking mystery — tall, foreboding, and always as silent as the promise of death his name carries when it is spoken. He is a ruthless, mute monster of a man more concerned with the ends of a hunt rather than the means, and he will stop at nothing from completing a contract.

Ci-Krus stands at six-foot two inches, wears an all black, all leather jumpsuit and constantly keeps a ceramic mask shaped into the form of a sneering, bird-like animal on his person. His weapon of choice is a pair of vibroblades strong enough to cut through steel.

Bartiel — The Emerald King.

Lucifiel — The Fallen One.

The City — It should be self-explanatory.


 

The Accessories

Jessiv and Shinra’s parents, Jacob and Rachel Burroughs — Their father was a detective working for VANGUARD, and their mother was a brilliant pharmacist working for Nevnx. The both of them were murdered several years before the story began to cover up their involvement in the fiasco which killed 95% of the Masqued harvested by Nevnx — their father investigated and eventually found out what Nevnx was using the Masqued for while on assignment, while their mother worked on the team that unknowingly synthesized a way for the Masqued soul to be taken from their bodies.

Shinra and Jessiv believe them to both be alive due to the encrypted voice recordings Lucifiel has doctored in an effort to pit them and their allies against Bartiel.

Nestor Ventas — Inconsequential, other than he was complacent in setting the Burroughs up to be killed.

Kisaragi “Gear” Jinsuke

Geoffrey

Beatrice

Remy — A cab driver that Shinra meets in chapter 1.

The Keepers — Believed to be a sort of boogeyman that haunts the dilapidated alleyways and corners of the City, Ci-krus is actually a horde of insectile mutants connected through a hivemind, their only purpose being to keep the City running at all times.

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