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Had a good day today. Went to the Louvre. Got through the exhibit on the history of the Louvre which was by turns fascinating and disappointing, when compared with the past two days; it kept making references to things that just tied them all together *click* in my brain, but in terms of the actual historical fortifications, it seemed vaguely artificial in comparison. I mean, sure, you tell me it's the original dungeon foundations and I believe you, but I'm standing on a brand new walkway and the walls and the ceiling are all slab concrete. Seemed a little less real. Then looked at medieval objets d'art, and was fascinated again, until I just overloaded and couldn't process any more. Then I came home.

Took a shower, booked some travel for our week off, learned that online shopping is not worth the hassle, loved on my garlic press a little more for dinner. *shrug* Low-key sort of day.

Anyway, on to the point of this post: yet more NaNoWriMo OCD. I'm really glad I really love this project, honestly I am.



So why did the Hawkfires leave Aerie, Ketthel, and their entire world so many years ago? 344 years American, 721 years Letasacian, to be exact. Isabella is a long-lived piece of work, to be sure.

Significantly longer than all that, actually. She's got several more thousand years under her belt than the entire Hawkfire clan, and then some. Where she comes from originally, when, exactly what she was called...nobody knows. She came to the streets of Aerie in 1493, calling herself Isabella, and so she's been ever since.

There's a longtime superstition that all of the truly bad things to go wrong with the Hawkfire line occur under their occasional males, and from that point of view, it's probably true that Kenet the Lonely (1481-1502) holds a certain responsibility for everything to go wrong at the end. His mother Zhanne II the Fierce (1452-1481) died in a disasterous fire that took out a large section of Aerie, and also killed most of the rest of the Hawkfire family and Kenet's wife, mother of Alire III the Foolish (1502-1533). He trusted very few people, and was close to none. Isabella showed up at the city as a quiet, competent scholar and artisan; he comissioned her as a city planner to help finish the rebuild and expansion of the outer walls, and more or less ignored her after that. Meanwhile, she built herself a power base, and got her fingers into any number of the city's defensive workings, enchanted and otherwise.

More importantly, Isabella got her fingers into Alire's upbringing. Though she didn't spend extremely much time with the child, she had her trust from the first. When Kenet finally died in 1503 (suicide, the eleventh Hawkfire to do so in the entirety of the line and the eighth since the coming of Letasacia), Alire was far more young, inexperienced, and succeptible to bad advice than actually foolish. Isabella simply made sure that all of her advice was bad. Her husband, and Zhesske XVI's father, was something of a bastard and several years older than her, plus sleeping with Isabella besides. Zhesske's marriage was arranged and relatively unwilling. She never spoke with her husband if she could possibly help it.

Zhesske XVI was a great deal more strong-willed than her mother, but by the time she was old enough to do anything about it, Isabella was more or less running the city anyway. After she killed Alire and let Zhesske inherit, Zhesske spent a very frightened two and a half months trying to come up with any way to either defeat or escape Isabella, before happening upon the possibility of leaving for another dimension entirely. After she fled, Isabella simply stepped in and assumed power over Aerie, and some distance surrounding it, altogether. A small section of the Ketthel province with about the same square area as New Jersey found itself sealed off by means magical and physical very quickly thereafter (more on that in Geography). The interior of that has been Isabella's own private domain for over seven hundred years.


The thing to know about Isabella, her motivations, her personality, is that she is a serial killer. Textbook and sinister. She is obsessive, she is meticulous, she is precise, she is cruel, she is calculated, she is goal-oriented, she is extremely controlling. She is patient, sort of, or at least when it comes to her own plans; she waited forty years between coming to Aerie and taking it over, and planned the fire and her appearance long before she ever showed up. On the other hand, she is extremely impatient with other people, and somewhat easily annoyed.

In appearance, Isabella's somewhat tall, very thin, and rather mild-looking. She has very short hair of light brown, going just slightly grey. Her clothes range from plain to extremely flamboyant. She's really a hedonist; she likes pretty things, beauty, opulence, comfort, and pleasure, however it comes. She likes men quite a lot, especially slightly older gentlemen with a few years on her own apparent age, distinguished and dignified and self-assured, and them especially when they're completely at her mercy. I really strongly never want to know what goes on in Isabella's bedroom, and I'm pretty much the author who wants to know everything about her characters from their middle name and date of birth to their favorite childhood flavor of popsicle.

Why she came to Aerie, why she's spent so very much time on it, well, is an interesting question. See, Isabella is not quite a typical serial killer, for all her personality and psych profile fit it precisely. That is to say, she's killed thousands of people, probably even millions in her lifetime; in many cases, for no reason other than her own personal enjoyment; but that's not really her focus. Isabella is millenia upon millenia old. Human lifespans are something like eyeblinks. What she really studies, stalks, and kills, slowly and drawing out the pleasure for as long as she can, are cities.

Ketthel's sort of a step up for her, really, being much larger than just Aerie, but she had her reasons for that too. For the past seven hundred years it's been withering in her grasp, tortured and dying slowly, turned into a desperately subjugated prisoner. It's very close to the point where it will slide almost silently into death, gradual and with that last, final little gasp barely perceptible, except that Isabella's been watching it for many thousands of years. She is, in a sense, evil simply for the sake of being evil...but that's really not how to look at her, not at all. She's a psychopath with a very specific, careful, focused psychopathy, and I'd love to get her on a couch some time, if I had the knowledge to properly analyze her. She'd frighten any FBI profiler set to deal with her, that's for sure.

As to why Aerie, why Ketthel...well, for starters, if she's taking that next step from cities towards countries, Ketthel made for a good starting point. Aerie was very much its heart and center, especially of the inner Ketthel territory where she was staking herself. It was a bustling, vibrant city, full of outside trade but also very self-sufficient, or at least capable of relying on only those parts of Ketthel closest to it, which meant she could do the cutting-off-from-the-world thing without killing it outright. Too, this Ketthel territory was very well-situated for cutting it off from the outside world. Lots of mountains to block the way, well-bordered.

The other thing is that Isabella, like all good, obsessive-compulsive serial killers, really very strongly hates to leave a job unfinished. She never has. But there was this one city, a couple thousand years ago...she took it and she took it down, little piece by little piece, so silent they never even knew she was there, and it fell, and it was lovely, and that was the end of it, job well done. Except that part of taking down a city is to dismantle every last bit of it, from its buildings to its cohesion to the people who ruled it, and the founders and rulers of this city left descendants. And now these descendants, using the same name, in another place, had another city. And she was going to take them out again, and nobody was going to survive it this time.

Yeah, that didn't actually go too well for her.

Eyelids closing on their own now, so I think I'm going to let that be. I'm positive there's something else I meant to put in there, but oh, well. If it comes to it, I can stick it in the 'Ketthel under Isabella' post. Unless it's stuff like Isa backstory and tech specs, in which case...okay. Two-minute rundown.

I don't know where she's from, but I suspect it might not be this dimension. Whether she has dimension-hopping capabilities is debatable. Personally, I find it likely that she has a small, networked little group that she knows how to get to, four or five of them including the one including Letasacia, and hops them when she really needs a new target. As to who or what she came from, I don't know, though I'd rather like to know. There exist universes where she knows, at least some small bit, about alternate universes, but even when she does she doesn't come near to properly understanding them.

Yeah. Typing with my eyes closed now. Sleep.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
artimahadanna
Oct. 22nd, 2006 09:42 pm (UTC)
I can't think of anything dear, but you know this better than I do. Put it in another post if you find anything, once you're awake!

(And yes, the titles were just going to lose all point, weren't they? ;) )
anaea
Oct. 23rd, 2006 04:13 am (UTC)
Apparently I can get my hands on a program that will completely clean the registry on Morgan thereby fixing much of Morgan's schizophrenia. Shall I go ahead and do it, or do you want me to not mess with her at all?
crystalizelight
Oct. 24th, 2006 06:26 am (UTC)
What all will cleaning the registry entail? Risks?
anaea
Oct. 24th, 2006 04:16 pm (UTC)
It's possible, just possible, that it will make your computer sane for a while. It's a hell of a lot less risky than what I did to her summer before last to get the registry errors down to a manageable level because it's just one program and from a trusted sources, as opposed to any free trial I could get my hands on. I suppose that it's technically possible it could screw up your system, but I haven't ever heard of a registry repair program that did that. People who don't know what they're doing in the registry, sure, but not a repair program written by somebody with a clue. Not that I'm tired of dealing with .dll errors popping up on Morgan and petitioning or anything...
crystalizelight
Oct. 26th, 2006 05:25 pm (UTC)
Sure, whynot. I'd let you do it and have no impact in even a supervisory capacity if I were there, after all...
anaea
Oct. 26th, 2006 05:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but I'm trying to be a good computer caretaker lady thing.

You know, Don's birthday party is tomorrow, and he didn't invite either of us to the party? We should start a club, methinks. It can be the jilted roommate club and we can sit around and pout a lot about not getting invited.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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