OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
Intent: Further flesh out the ranks of Enyo's posse by giving her a more unconventional black ops operative. Make a vampire who defies many of the usual stereotypes that pop up in modern popular culture.
Image Credit: Originally found the pic on Deviantart, but that source link no longer seems to work for me. Also found here on indeziner.com. That site credits Aaron Sims as the artist.
Role: Black ops operative, assassin. Enyo uses Valeria to do her dirty work. Her mental powers also make her good at interrogating willful captives.
Links: Iron Fist Consortium.
Force Sensitivity: Knight
Appearance: Popular culture would have us believe that vampires, being unaging, are ridiculously attractive. Except creepy mutants. It is pretty much mandatory for female vampires to look like supermodels. However, stereotypes are just that - stereotypes. Valeria does not look like a ridiculously attractive supermodel. Her appearance leaves little doubt about the fact that she is a monster and quite comfortable being one. Her skin has an undealthy pallour, resembling that of a corpse. If she does not feed for prolonged periods of time, her skin decays. Her eyes are yellow and predatory, while her shoulder-length hair is black.
The vampiress has retractable, serrated claws and elongated teeth. It should be noted that Valeria's bite is not pleasurable in the least. Moreover, her skin does not sparkle in the sunlight. Rather it and her eyes are very sensitive to the sun and extremely bright lights. Exposure to the sun can cause her skin to blister and is very painful for her eyes. For this reason she wears concealing clothing and googles when it's not dark. When it comes to fashion, Valeria favours practicality over style. She disdains fancy gowns or tight leather catsuits because both are impractical. Her footwear tends to consist of sensible boots that can withstand wear and tear and allow her to run in them. She loathes high heels.
Name: Valeria Artraxa Daeshani Taron. She is rather embarrassed by the long-winded name and just goes by Valeria or Val.
Loyalties: Herself. Also Enyo and her enterprises.
Wealth: Moderate. She doesn't really care for personal treasures or baubles.
Notable Possessions: Family heirloom ring. Also one of her sire's fangs and a severed finger of his. She keeps them in a jar. Various trinkets, mementos and trophies. Three Maalrass she keeps as pets. A lifelong subscription to the Thyferra Journal of Medicine. Mirage Cloaking Device, Pinprick Needler, Shadow Gun.
- Melee combat, hand-to-hand, and knife fighting
- Force Affliction
- Enhance Attribute
- Force Illusion
- Qâzoi Kyantuska
- Drain Knowledge
- Memory Rub
- Dampen Force
- Force Scattering
Personality: Cold, calculating, and a pathological liar. It is probably quite accurate to categorise Valeria as a high-functioning sociopath. Fully-embraced fiend is an appropriate trope for her. Valeria knows what she is - a monster. She is free of existential angst about her nature and does not brood on it. She is contemptuous towards vampires who feel bad about themselves. This is especially applies to vegetarian vampires. Her line of reasoning is that humans do not feel bad about slaughtering cows and pigs. By the same token, she feels no guilt about feeding on humans. As animals nourish them, their life force nourishes her. She is similarly contemptuous of vampire aristocrats who believe their castles and fancy titles put them above her.
Indeed, Valeria is not shy about feeding on members of her own kind. She believes this to be especially nourishing. Whether there is any truth to this is another question. But it fits with her Social Darwinist mind set. It should be noted that Valeria finds the idea of fornicating with humans or aliens digusting and refuses to indulge in it. She views it in the same way humans would view having intercourse with an animal. In other words, gross and deeply repugnant, to put it mildly. Valeria tries to maintain self-control instead of letting her hunger dominate her. Indeed, there are times when she tries to push the limits of how long she can go without or with minimal feeding. This is, as already elaborated, not because she views draining sentient beings to sustain herself as morally wrong. Instead it has all to do with ego because it shows her strength. Moreover, she views it as making a good hunt even more fulfilling.
While a fierce predator, she is also a surprisingly scholarly woman, who's knowledgeable in a variety of fields, such as history, chemistry and medicine. In short, someone one can have a civilised conversation with. Her patience, perseverance and accelerated senses make her a highly capable tracker. When it comes to feeding, she is attracted to people who have a, as she puts it, spark inside them. This can range from a talented artist to a conniving, ruthless crime boss or a pious, self-sacrificing healer. Of course, she will feed on peons, but that is just like having a ready meal or visiting a fast food joint. It is filling, but sometimes you want something with more substance.
Valeria is a thrill seeker, always looking for a new challenge to overcome or amuse herself. She enjoys hunting and fighting challenging foes. This can conflict with her generally sound, if unethical logic. Indeed, she was attracted to Enyo because she considered her life force to be potent...yet alien and bizarre. Intrigued, she stalked the Terminatrix, but discovered that she was a bit harder to snack on than anticipated. On an idiosyncratic note, Valeria has a habit of talking to herself.
Weapon of Choice: Blades, blasters, shatterpistols, concealed dart launchers, disruptors and the Force. Also makes use of poisons, her claws and teeth.
Combat Function: Valeria is a Sangnir, vampiric a creature that feeds on others by biting them. She has retractable, serrated claws, elongated teeth and accelerated senses. Both her teeth and claws are very sharp. Moreover, she possesses extreme strength and speed. Being a vampire, she has good tracking skills. Her enhanced senses make her a competent tracker and she is rather stealthy, enabling her to blend into the shadows and sneak up on opponents or evade them. She is good with blades, pistols and carbines.
When wounded, she can drain a being's life force to heal her wounds. However, this requires her to be in a position to bite them and serious injuries will take far more time to heal. She can still die from sustaining too much damage at once and there's no coming back from being shot in the head, getting it chopped off or being blown to bits. In this high-tech Galaxy, high-calibre slugthrowes, blaster salvoes and explosions are still a threat to her. The same applies to telekinetic impacts or physical trauma such as that inflicted by a hammer or mace. Valeria lacks proficiency in the effective use of heavy weapons and considers them crude. Thus she is not good at using them.
Moreover, she suffers from a condition that makes her skin extremely sensitive to sunlight and other bright lights. Exposure to sunlight is very painful for her and can cause her skin to blister. It also hurts her eyes, requiring her to wear googles. This makes her particularly vulnerable to fire, flashbangs and Force techniques such as pyromancy and Force Flash. Even UV light can be painful or disorientate her. Going without feeding for a long time weakens Valeria. If she has not been able to feed on someone's life force for a prolonged period of time, her skin decays, her abilities weaken and she is at the risk of succumbing to a frenzy and attack friend and foe alike because hunger overpowers reason. Moreover, it becomes far more taxing, if not outright draining, for her to use the Force in any effective way. Basically the longer she has not fed on someone, the more debilitating the effects.
Valeria is a Force-user, but a highly specialised one. She has no defensive powers worthy of note, zero telekinetic ability and no lightsabre training. She cannot even lift a pebble with her mind. Instead her powers lie in the sphere of mentalism and concealment. She is a powerful illusionist and mentalist, can conceal her Force aura and is very proficient in Force Suppression.
- Like all Sangnir, she has the ability to drain the life force of others through her bite, using the victim's blood as the medium. This is called Anima and can allow her to sustain her existence and mend wounds, fuelling brief surges of supernatural power. She can burn it to speed up the regenerative process when hurt.
- Stealthy operator. She excels at stealth, sneaking, assassination and the like. Moreover, she is a strong mentalist.
- As is typical for Sangnir, she has superior strength, senses, speed and reflexes, even without drawing on her Anima.
- Naturally she also has all the weaknesses associated with the members of her vampiric species. Her regeneration relies on Anima, which is carried through their blood. Fire is anathema to the Sangnir, as are heat-based weapons such as lightsabers and, indeed, the common blaster. She is not necessarily more easily damaged by it, but cauterisation makes the process of regeneration much more difficult. Specific to Valeria is a weakness to sunlight. Direct exposure can cause her skin to blister.
- To a Sangnir like her, the thirst for blood is no mere addiction - it is a need that shines above all others and if unfulfilled or overindulged it can drive her into madness, leaving her in a feral state that can make her a danger to herself and allies.
- Valeria is a strong Force-User, but lacks telekinetic powers of note. It takes a lot of concentration for her to perform baseline tasks such as lifting and moving small objects with her mind.
Valeria used to a medical student, but was embraced by the scion of a bloodline of Sangnir that could trace their lineage back to the days of the Old Republic. Perhaps even beyond. At least that it was their press said. Valeria is more than a little sceptical. The clan is probably a lot younger, with roots in the Four Hundred Year Darkness. Her sire Ignatius was a vampire who had grown obsessed with her for bizarre reasons. He seemed to harbour strange fantasies about them being a couple throughout unlife.
In any case, the clan lived on Serenno, where the clan had castles and titles. Inevitably, the head of the family was a Count, who prided himself on being a vampire of wealth and taste. Tradition, good manners and social protocol were important for the blue bloods. They had also outgrown certain 'primitive' pursuits, such as hunting for their prey. That was seen as uncivilised. Instead they kept a herd of brainwashed humans, who were treated as pets and served as blood cows. These humans tended to be descendants of people who had grown up in unfortunate circumstances and who had been indoctrinated to regard their servitude as beneficial to them. These thralls had been selectively bred to make them perfect blood cows and knew no life other than serving their masters.
Some of her clan members even refused to kill their prey. Or copulated with it. Valeria took to vampirism after overcoming the initial shock, but in a different way than her sire had anticipated. At an early age, she had a habit of sneaking into a nearby town in search of game to hunt. Her pursuits often took her to the seedier parts of town, where she had ample opportunity to indulge her appetites. She was not interested in gullible humans who offered themselves to vampires to be fed on in return for shinies and baubles. Nor did she want to lower herself to feed on mere peasants. No, she sought worthy prey. Often she came back home covered in blood and bruises. For she did not just go after the helpless, but actively sought out those who could pose a challenges. She preferred these hunts to feeding on serfs who offered themselves to her due to being indoctrinated.
Her family disapproved strongly of such activities. Only primitives hunted for their food. That's why they had industrialised the feeding process. Another thing that vexed her progenitors was the fact that Valeria did not conform to the usual standards of beauty, for she looked rather corpse-like and disdained the fine garments a lady of such a noble house ought to dress herself in. Her appearance was considered rather embarrassing, for the clan prided itself on its physical perfection. Her sire grew frustrated with her, finding her ungrateful and disrespectful since she did not give him the respect he believed himself entitled to. In short, she did not worship him. Moreover, he found the physical changes vexing, since they destroyed his 'romantic' fantasy. Valeria held him in contempt and considered him a pathetic leech. She would have respected him more if he had not, from her point of view, wasted his talents.
Once they came to blows and fought against each other in a duel. This occured after Valeria turned a girl Ignatius had become obsessed with into a Husk - essentially a zombie-like creature that lacked the 'spark' and good looks he was interested in. From her perspective, she was doing him a favour since his obsession had gone so far that he watched the girl while she slept.
Despite using every dirty trick at her disposal and showing remarkable tenacity, Valeria was ultimately bested. Though less cunning than her, her sire was stronger. She was forced to acknowledge his superiority and status as her maker. She did not care for the title, but to be humiliated in such a manner angered her. When Valeria was not seething over perceived slights or indulging her appetite for the hunt, she studied. She manifested a great interest in history, but also medicine. Ironically, she occasionally saved lives by putting her medical knowledge to good use. However, she also performed vicisections on people. Sometimes she did not bother putting them under first.
However, a life underwent a profound change when the clan became aware of rumours about an ancient artefact had been uncovered by archaeologists. The artefact in question was a sarcophagus, which was believed to hold the remains of an ancient energy vampire who had transcended the need to feed on other beings' life force and obtained true immortality. Valeria, who was a bit of a scholar, conducted research to disprove these beliefs, for she viewed them as baseless fantasy. Besides, being so transgressive amused her. However, her claims were dismissed and the pair was given the task of finding the sarcophagus.
After a number of adventures, which involved dealing with rival clans, vampire hunters, criminals and adventure archaeologists, they finally got their paws on it. Daring to open it when she was unobserved, she found that there was just a mummified corpse inside it. The family intended to open the sarcophagus and conduct an occult ritual meant to confer the elder's power on them. At least that was the theory. Using her powers of concealment, Valeria snuck into the chamber where the sarcophagus was being kept. She rigged it with with explosives. When the time came to perform the sacred ritual, she snuck away. The explosion was huge. A good portion of the clan was wiped from the face of the planet. Her sire survived - and Valeria took her time with him. Among other things, he was exposed to a lot of fire. This was a most unpleasant experience for him. Then she drained him.
She turned her back on the old castle, rightly fearing retaliation from surviving family members. Besides, the residence was old impractical and old. Over the years she honed her skills as an assassin, selling her services to the highest bidder. Serenno, being a planet inundated with nobles, was full of job opportunities for someone with her skill set. She also acquired a habit of taking trophies or mementos from her targets. Soon Serenno grew too small for her. The larger Galaxy beckoned. She accepted contracts from a variety of factions, such as Sith, the Black Suns and Mandalorians. Wherever possible, she sought out other others of her kind. Not because she wanted to join a new clan or build up a power base among them, but because she wanted to fight and drain them. She had acquired a cannibalistic taste for her own kind's blood. She also strove to acquire occult tomes that could enhance her knowledge and command of the Force. She soon gained a reputation for lethal efficiency, but also cruelty.
She honed her medical knowledge on the side. For a while she was employed by a rather dubious clinic on Taris. Ironically, while she did not care about the individual lives of her patients, professional pride compelled her to actually be a decent medical practitioner. It also set her apart from her unlamented clan, whose members would never have lowered themselves to do actual work. For a while, it was also a good cover job while she pursued her other activities. However, vengeful members of her clan eventually got to her. To get a patron and gain some additional protection from their wroth, she entered the services of Zara Teliti, also known as Darth Geist. Rather than reveal her nature openly, Zara concealed it behind a mask of civility by posing as a benign presence in a city characterised by racial tensions, rigid class barriers and lack of upward mobility.
In actual fact she was a corrupt politician and businesswoman taking advantage of Taris' widespread xenophobia to rouse the rabble. She was canny enough to avoid getting her hands dirty, but encouraged violent thugs to lynch 'uppity aliens'. This did not stop her from employing aliens to do her dirty work. Valeria was contracted to eliminate a rogue Jedi called Porgas Dan, whose crusading activities were getting in the way of business. She was also tasked with seizing compromising information he'd acquired about her employer. Thrilled by the assignment, Valeria spent a good deal of time stalking her quarry. She used her skills as an illusionist to obfuscate the evil inside her soul.
Toying with the Jedi, she leaked information to him, presenting herself as someone who wished to turn a new leaf and aid him in his noble crusade for peace and justice. When the time came, she led him into a trap. Believing that she would help him, he was instead ambushed. However, he managed to withstand her mental attacks and even disarmed her. Valeria had no lightsabre training and only used a vibroblade, so he had a clear edge over her, though he was injured in the process. However, instead of doing the sensible thing and slaying his opponent, he tried to turn her to the Light Side. Aside from giving the usual speech about the Dark Side led only to death and destruction, he reached out into her mind. Turning the mental connection against her, he tried to make her understand the evil she was enabling.
However, this backfired because it emboldened her. Lashing out against the Jedi, she was able to invade his mind and used her abilities to briefly dampen his connection to the Force. The disruption was brief and he fought valiantly, but she overpowered him with her superior strength and speed. After cutting his sword hand off and stabbing him in the stomach, she sunk her teeth into his neck and drained him. After acquiring his dossier, she met her boss' goons. However, the Sith had decided that her vampiric contractor knew to much and decided to backstab her instead. In retrospect, perhaps Valeria should have expected this. Her attackers carried weapons like disruptors and had snipers, so the energy vampire was at a disadvantage. She barely got away alive, retreating into the sewers. For a while she went underground, while her master's minions continued to hound her.
Needless to say she plotted revenge. Her brief contact with the Jedi had given her some additional insight into her former employer's schemes. One of those involved a tribe of Nekghouls. Geist had been using them to spread terror among the human population so that her alter ego could capitalise on this. In return they got shinies and baubles. Once she got what she wanted she planned to wipe them out. However, some Nekghouls had manifested doubts about this arrangement and had been contact with Porgas prior to his demise.
Presenting herself as a friend of the unjustly murdered Jedi, Valeria reached out to them. It took work to gain their trust, but she 'proved' herself by rescuing a Nekghoul who had gone missing. It turned out that the mutant had been experimented on in the facility of a medical company associated with Geist via proxies. Suffice to say the Nekghoul clan was not happy about this revelation. The moment to get even came when Geist's politician self held a rally at the spot of a Rakghoul attack. There she railed against aliens, alien diseases and human-alien marriage, for all three were great evils threatening to bring down Taris.
Knowing that she could not match Geist in mortal combat, Valeria kept herself concealed. Then a horde of bloodthirsty mutants attacked the rally. In truth, the horde was rather small. But Valeria used her mental powers to invade the minds of several people attending the rally. Using her powers, she sowed fear and terror in their hearts. Twisting reality, she made them believe that they were surrounded by barbaric aliens - and that Zara Teliti was one of them. Mayhem ensued as the crowd went berserk. Geist was stampeded by an angry mob. It was obviously difficult to kill a Sith Master, but she was eventually overpowered by sheer force of numbers. Valeria watched from the sidelines while her former employer was beaten and lynched. She left Taris shortly thereafter.
Eventually, her path crossed with that of Enyo Typhos. Valeria first laid eyes upon the Cyborg while watching her in a fighting pit on Lower Coruscant. She was impressed by the taciturn woman's prowess and intrigued by the spark inside her. She proceeded to stalk Enyo, using her skills to remain concealed. She was skilled enough to get close to the Cyborg and distract her goons with illusions. She pounced at what seemed like the right moment. Lacking experience in dealing with mind-affecting powers, Enyo could not counter them. Force Suppression negated or diminished her ability to use the Force.
However, the Terminatrix did not need her preternatural powers. As Valeria found out, Enyo was a good deal stronger than anticipated. Of the two, Valeria was the more agile and she tried to use her speed to her advantage. Being a Sangnir, she was strong, but the Cyborg was tireless. Using her mental powers to force her way into Enyo's mind backfired on Valeria, as it threw the Cyborg into a rage when the vampire stumbled upon a particularly painful memory and tried to use it against her.
It was a brutal fight, but eventually Enyo concluded the duel in her favour by beating the vampire into a bloody pulp and setting her on fire. Defeated, Valeria believed she would experience final death, but Enyo had other plans, for the vampire's skills had impressed her. So once she had established dominance and ascertained that the vampire was not employed by any of her rivals, she made a job offer. It went without saying that it was an offer you could not refuse, for the Terminatrix was not the type to take no for an answer. At first, she kept Valeria on a short leash - metaphorically.
One of Enyo's disciplinary methods consisted of denying her sustenance for several days while she was locked up in a tiny cell that was under round the clock surveillance. Then she gave the by now rather hungry recruit a test by making her carry out a hit on a problematic witness who had evidence about Enyo's unsavoury activities. Enyo assigned a capable but replacable minion to work with Valeria. If the vampire lost control and snacked on the minion or tried to run away she would be a failure. Moreover, Enyo had secretly implanted her with a tracking chip. This would mark her for termination if she tried to go rogue or could not control her appetites.
It was a struggle, but Valeria was able to pass the test and avoid eating the minion. Indeed, she kept the mission from going south when the police got involved. This helped sate her hunger. Pleased with the result, Enyo hired her as a black ops operative, recognising her skills as a tracker and professional killer. Valeria proved her usefulness in the various gang wars Enyo's syndicate was involved in. Eventually she learned the Cyborg's true agenda: taking over a corporation called Archangel Research and Design. She participated in the final battle that ended with the extermination of Archangel's original leadership. Enyo's trust in the vampire has its limits, as it tends to do with anything that's not a droid or a clone sibling. However, she keeps Valeria on retainer.