Other Names: The Black Heron
Experts on the Deathlords rate Princess Magnificent as the second-weakest of the Deathlords (after Eye and Seven Despairs). She is an object of scorn to her rivals, despite being far more capable than her current status suggests. Only a single miscalculation brought her low.
When the Deathlords first entered Creation, they moved slowly and cautiously, aware they could not yet resist the awesome powers the Scarlet Empress had claimed for herself. Princess Magnificent occupied a shadowland near the present-day city of Great Forks. There, she constructed her citadel, the House of Bitter Reflections.
Against the edicts of her Neverborn patron, He Who Holds in Thrall, the Black Heron moved beyond the limits of her shadowland into Creation, where she sought to enslave three nearby tribes of refugees. Unfortunately, three powerful deities protected those refugees who defeatedand drove Princess Magnificent away.
After this humiliating failure, He Who Holds in Thrall called the Princess to the Labyrinth where (as she remembers) she was forgiven for her defeat as she could not have anticipated the intervention of such powerful deities.
Yet defying his commands had made the existence of the Deathlords known to mortals, gods and, worst of all, the Sidereals. As punishment she suffered neither agony nor Oblivion. Instead, she was bound to serve the First and Forsaken Lion, whom she has despised ever since.
Princess Magnificent will do anything, anything, to free herself from his control. She would destroy Creation just to persuade He Who Holds in Thrall to release her. Then again, she might betray the Neverborn cause if she thought she could gain her freedom in so doing.
The Princess Magnificent is far more beautiful than a Deathlord has a right to be. While no voluptuous temptress like the Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears, the Princess typically appears as a lissome beauty with haunting green eyes, skin like black porcelain, garbed in a cloak of black feathers, green silk robes and a headdress that resembles the head of a great bird.
On closer inspection, the observer might note that her head looks slightly too large and rounded for her body, that her eyes are too large for her head, and that her dainty feet never seem to touch the ground. These details give her a human touch of imperfection that actually heightens her attractiveness.
The Black Heron has no domain. When she fled the House of Bitter Reflections, she paused long enough to curse the grounds so that no other Deathlord could make use of it. Today, she remains with the First and Forsaken Lion in the Thousand, where she constantly schemes to undo her superior and seize his assets for herself.
THE BLACK HERON’S PANOPLY Edit
The Princess’s feathered cloak allows her to fly at will up to 50 miles per hour out of combat. It also serves as armor.
Her principle weapon is the Umbrella of Discord. When opened, this enchanted parasol stands five feet tall and nine feet wide. It was constructed from the bones and skin of five dead Solars, one from each caste. Its point ends in razor-sharp soulsteel. she actually forged this hideous weapon in the First Age before the Usurpation. a testament to her inherent ruthlessness
The Umbrella of Discord is one of the most powerful necromantic devices of the First Age. Anyone it slays is automatically sucked directly into the Void. What’s more, the bells attached to the umbrella’s 13 rib tips cause violent dissention among those nearby. As long as the bells continue to jingle, everyone within 100 yards, both living and ghostly, is compelled to attack any nearby allies. It can also generate a violent thunderstorm or darken the sky into utter blackness that lasts for one scene.
The First and Forsaken Lion built a soulsteel warstrider for the Princess’s use, named Joy in the Suffering of Others. This royal warstrider is nearly the equal of the Lion’s own Insidious Ebon Xoanon. Upon presenting it to her, the Lion said it could be hers if she would ask him for it. Her response was to spit on its fuselage and walk away.
THE PRINCESS’S COMBAT TACTICS Edit
Despite her weakness compared to other Deathlords, the Princess is an able combatant. She prefers to open the Umbrella of Discord and use it as a melee weapon. While its bells jingle, most of her enemies ignore her, even as she slashes at them with the umbrella’s deadly blade. The Princess Magnificent mastered the Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Style of martial arts, and the Umbrella of Discord and Her feathered cloak can function as “props” for appropriate Charms of that style.
Because of her Deathlord nature, the Princess Magnificent cannot use the final Charm in the Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Style, Invoking the Chimera’s Coils. She once sparred with the Green Lady, who also knows the style. Onlookers thought it was the most beautiful dance they had ever seen.
SERVANTS OF THE PRINCESS MAGNIFICENT Edit
The First and Forsaken Lion forbids Princess Magnificent from creating her own Abyssal Exalted. Therefore, she has done exactly that. By stealing one of the Lion’s Monstrances, the Princess Exalted a Moonshadow Caste she named Son of Crows. Currently, she hides him among the ghosts of a small village far from the Thousand. She visits him in dreams to tutor him in the ways of Exaltation. Despite her best efforts, it appears that Son of Crows’ Exaltation was flawed, for his insanity grows daily.
SERIES IDEAS Edit
Given that the Princess Magnificent is forbidden to create Abyssal servants, it would be difficult to build a series around her. More plausibly, she functions as a supporting character or possibly even an antagonist in a series set around the First and Forsaken Lion.
The Black Heron could somehow have freed herself from the Lion’s yoke. Perhaps she has found some way to Exalt a circle of Abyssals and guide them down the Labyrinth for confirmation by He Who Holds in Thrall. Presumably, the Neverborn believes the characters will serve their cause despite their unorthodox empowerment. In such a series, the characters might not even know the Deathlord’s identity— only that some mysterious patron gives them missions and guides their training.