Name: Preponderant Respite
Once, in a time long ago and hard to remember, he was someone that mattered. Pieces of memories still swirl in his mind - a dismissive handwave to Provenance's starry-eyed ideas; stroking down the edge of his favorite blade; the searing pain of Bereave's magic burrowing into the flesh of his arm and twisting it out of shape. Nothing is truly coherent in the vestiges of who he once was - as that person is long dead, buried under the weight of Alpha's corrupted heart, poisoning his identity from the inside out. When he looks at his Timeline, he feels nothing but disgust and hatred - his passion for it, his sacrifices in its name, all of it worth nothing after Bereave tossed him aside like a gnat and shattered his home over their knee with ease. It comes as no surprise, then, that Respite has joined the ranks of the Rapture Cult, a sect dedicated to disrupting Alpha and finally putting the damn thing out of its misery, ending its slow and painful extended death. He is an outlier among them, barely accepted by the others for his nature as a Fragment and primarily used as a battering ram against their more powerful enemies - a job he accepts quietly.
But his backstory matters little when his appearance alone is deeply unsettling. Scars of gold from years of self-mutilation in deference to the cult and its ideals litter his battered body, the parasite-metal feeding off of his magic and leaking out of lesions that never heal, a gold collar choking his neck and irritating the raw skin. But most terrifying is his sparkling golden halo and eye, showing his true nature - that years of consuming the poison-metal and deliberately cutting himself with it has altered his very core being, warping him into a hybrid of gold and magic - which he uses when he clashes against Cascade Circe and the Mercenaries, the cult's growing enemies. Seeing and knowing that he has perverted his very soul with an identity-sucking poison is more than enough to evoke both pity and fear in Alpha's people, but Respite finds empathy harder to come by.
Click on the headshot to be taken to their profile (if it exists).
It's not that he's physically scared of Scoria. The power imbalance between them is clear, and a point of contention among the other cultists, who find it untrustworthy despite Respite's years of loyal service. No, Scoria's rage... no, that's the wrong word. Maybe 'passion' or 'frustration' works better. It's not always that he's angry. But the things he can say, so flippantly, cut to the quick. He sees people as objects, as things to manipulate. But he's good at it. And is clever. And in control. And is his leader. So Respite obeys.
♥♥♥♥♡ Cascade Circe
A brat of a Gladar living off stolen magic, though not luck. He has skills - in combat, in magery, in ego. For a long while, they never saw much of each other - only the occasional skirmish if their two groups squabbled over the same bit of territory. But it didn't take long before the Mercs started directly opposing the cult, and their battles became more common. Or, rather, Respite 'distracted' Cascade and usually lost miserably. It took even longer for Cascade to start... taking him under his wing and taking care of him. Trying to heal him, feed him nice things, like it made up for anything. It's all fake - more Alpha tricks. But it feels... nice... it's so hard to resist submitting to him....
Relationship: Old Friend
One of few who are truly in the same boat as he is. Their history together stretches back as far as he can remember, in disjointed little snippets. Part of him wishes he'd tried harder to support Prov, clung to him more when Alpha began to corrupt. But he was just so busy trying to battle Bereave, he hadn't noticed how much Prov was suffering... and now he's a dead log of a person. Just another thing Respite failed to tend to. At least Cascade has started taking better care of him. He deserves at least that.
♥♥♥♡♡ Rapture Cult
They don't like him. It's very obvious. They whisper behind his back and give him baleful looks when he returns, wounded, from a fight. They find it hard to trust that Alpha's corruption truly left nothing in him, that he's not planning on backstabbing Scoria whenever he gets the chance. But they're mortals - they come and go. Some of them are scared, some of them are hateful, some of them awkwardly try to befriend him only to get snapped at and reminded of the chasm between them.
♥♡♡♡♡ The Mercenaries
Incredible how they all suck Cascade's cock as much as they do. They really admire him - no, venerate him. The cognitive dissonance of helping villages around Alpha and then turning around to traffick nubile young adults or provide a heaping of drugs to that village they just repaired the wells of seems to elude them. And they get too handsy whenever Cascade drags him back to their little hideout and parades him about like a prize.
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Ah, someone the cult dragged in briefly. One of many, really. Interesting that it was a fellow Originals Fragment, but nothing of interest past that. Hasn't seem or heard of him since learning they captured a Beta Fragment, so presumably he escaped or was killed. Who cares.
- Respite has consumed so much gold over the course of his life that he's adapted to it "sharing" his body and can use it like magic... which he does to unnerve and intimidate.
- The gold-harming began when Scoria, the Rapture Cult's leader, demanded a show of devotion from Respite to prove he agreed with their ideals. The cult then encouraged him to continue, claiming it gives him a power boost against Cascade.
- The amount of pain being ~40% gold causes him is so high that he can barely feel other injuries. His baseline normal is like a 12/10 on the scale.
- Cascade has a soft warm comforting blanket that he always wraps Respite in when he kidnaps him. Sometimes Respite steals it when he escapes.
- He enjoys soft taffy candy - think Starburst. He doesn't get to enjoy it often, though.
- Was once adept at dual-wielding swords like rapiers. Most of the collection is gone now, though.
- Wants to keep shrimp as pets some day, maybe far in the future, when everything is better. Cascade found out about this and won't stop having his servants make shrimp plushies for Respite.
Click the reference image to the right for fullsize.
- The yellow all over his body is from gold scarring, it doesn't have to be exact. It "grows" like mold over unscarred parts.
- End of tail is gone and entirely "consumed" by gold scarring.
- Yellow eye and halo is from gold consumption. His natural eye color is the dark red, same as his horns. He's touchy about it.
- Shirt's sleeves wrap around his thumbs, but not his other fingers.
- Scowling, aggressive poses work, but he can also be subdued & withdrawn.
Generic Anatomy Notes
- Muzzles are small and boxy, and they don't have a kitty or dog nose.
- Eyes can be stylized as you'd normally draw.
- Please note that they have four fingers and three toes.
- If the character has glasses, don't omit them!