Kieran’s base appearance is a Caucasian man in his early 20’s, with short brown hair with blond highlights, brown eyes that turn green in the proper light and a thin build. While handsome enough as far as most would be concerned, the effects of his legacy inflict an uneasy sense of otherness just under the skin that makes it harder for him to interact with others naturally. He tends to dress casually, not wanting to drawn any more attention to himself than was necessary.
Kieran’s Ideal, however, is another story entirely. With light red hair, pale skin, dark brown eyes and near-perfect features, it is the body that he always thought he should have. Despite the disgust he feels at how he sold his soul short to gain it, he still dons the Ideal to relish what he could never truly have otherwise. As the Ideal he tends to be more outgoing and friendly, all smiles and confidence.
Thanks to a potent desire to fill the Husk with something, he uses Life magic on a regular basis to change his appearance. He is a fervent study of the Masques used by the Guardians of the Veil, having internalized a surprising number of them in his short time with the order.
A Gallery of Masks
|The Bright Mantle|
|The Opener of Ways|
Alexander Monroe was the youngest of five children in a very conservative family that lived in Topeka, Kansas. His father was a preacher and hammered the faith into his offspring. Alexander played along as best as he could, but realized from an early age that something wasn’t quite right. He felt more comfortable with his sisters than his brothers, and the thought of growing up into the man his father wanted him to be terrified him. He spoke with his mother about these feelings once and only once: she told him that such thoughts were sinful, and continuing on in that manner would lead him to damnation. The beating he received from his father after said conversation further cemented that he would never speak on the matter with his family again.
His high school years were less than pleasant as he felt trapped in a body that was slowly becoming alien to him. His grades suffered, his mood worsened and he withdrew from most of the social scene. His one saving grace was the school’s drama club; there, he could pretend to be anyone other than himself. He Awakened during his junior year of high school, sitting in front of the mirror in the green room at his school’s auditorium putting on makeup for the performance that evening. As he watched, his reflection changed shape, becoming the woman that he truly desired to be. She extended her hand through the glass with a warm smile and, as he took it, his soul ventured towards the Supernal. Standing at the foot of the Watchtower where the first of every being dwelled, he took on the name Bennu, the Egyptian phoenix said to have perched on the mound of earth that became the world. By the time he returned to himself, he was standing at center stage after the performance of his life, the crowd erupting in applause and something akin to pride visible in his father’s eyes.
Before anyone from the local Consilium could find him, however, Bennu was snatched up by a pylon that kept an eye on the local schools for fresh Awakenings. He became a good little follower of the Exarchs, his personal devotion to the Raptor and the promise of the body that he saw during his Awakening driving him ever forward. That level of mastery over the form was taking longer than the young mage could stand, though, which frustrated him to no end. In time, he caught the eye of a local member of the Swans who saw something of worth in the boy. She brought him into the fold, telling him that going through the mundane transition process would never give him what he really wanted – the body that he saw during his Awakening. Joining the Chrysalides could give him just that, and it would last far longer than the normal Life spell if he managed himself wisely.
By the time his soul was ready to take on the change he had graduated high school and was readying himself for college in California. The initiation into the legacy was successful, the Ideal everything that he wanted it to be and more. The Ideal became a different being entirely in his mind, the embodiment of his self-identification as a woman. While this shift calmed much of the inner turmoil he had been dealing with over the years, he quickly realized that, with so much of himself wrapped up in that concept, his Husk was truly that: a husk, drifting in the wind with nothing to fill it. As time went on, he began to realize exactly what he had given up by taking the easy path to what he wanted, and became disgusted with himself. He spent more and more of his free time in the Husk reshaping it, creating new faces to see if he could find one he could look in the eye.
The initial cracks placed in his allegiance with the Exarchs widened when he arrived in California. They pylons there were far more ruthless in San Diego, which was somewhat jarring. The local Swans were no better, each Salon the embodiment of cattiness and petty one-upmanship that he very much would have preferred to leave behind in high school, thank you kindly. He worked his way through a theatre degree at UCSD, falling into a number of roles while putting his knack for disguises and shapechanging into costuming and makeup design. He was pulled away from time to time, of course, by work for the pylon to shore up the Hegemony’s place within the city and do whatever needed to be done in the fight against the Pentacle. He wasn’t happy, but he had little choice in the matter.
Bennu’s ultimate departure from the Seers started with a conversation with another Swan, one of the locals. Mid-sentence, something changed in the other Swan’s eyes. She began to speak with him hurriedly, almost begging him to listen to her. Her mentor stepped over quickly and took her out of the room to ‘calm her down’; the look in the woman’s eyes before she was led off stuck with Bennu for some time. A few months later, the Swan found him again outside of the Salon and explained – quietly – that she had been a member of the Pentacle before being mind-warped by her current Pylon. Sick of the pettiness that surrounded him, Bennu agreed to hear her out, and any remaining loyalty to the order crumbled as she explained why the Pentacle worked as it did to preserve Atlantis and bring it forth again to remake the world into something good. This, he realized, was what he had been looking for, and the two got to work on planning how to get out of their respective situations.
His co-conspirator was eventually taken back in by her pylon, but their plans were safely hidden in his mind while he watched for the signs of the conditioning fading once more. Once the moment was right, he kept her away from her mentor long enough for her original personality to reset and reached out to one of the Pentacle cabals that his pylon had been harassing. It took some serious effort to convince them of his intention to defect; their Mystegogue was able to attest to her being taken hostage by the pylon that was keeping her, though, which helped somewhat.
After being scrubbed of every sympathetic connection that could be found, the pair spoke to the Consilium council of San Diego and gave them a sizable amount of information on the local pylons, blowing the lid off of a Seer operation that had been in the works for over a year. After being vetted by the local caucus, Bennu was inducted into the Guardians in short order; unlike the Seers they actually tested Sleepers to determine their worth instead of outright suppressing them, and the Masques caught his attention with a fervor few but those already part of the Faceless could match.
Given new mortal identities that his former allies couldn’t touch, Bennu was spirited off to Oakland before things got too hairy; the Guardians intended to protect their new asset by sticking him somewhere that no sane mage would actually look for him. Although thrown together with one of the most rag-tag group of mages that he’s ever come across, Bennu is thankful. He seeks a way to reshape his soul once more, correcting the damage he has inflicted on himself as best he can. Only time will tell if he will succeed, but the presence of a Bene Ashmodei in the cabal gives him some hope.
True Name: Alexander Monroe
Legal Name: Kieran Wetherford
Shadow Name: Bennu
Path: Thyrsus (Warlock of the Primal Wilds)
Order: Guardian of the Veil
Age: Early 20s
Nimbus: Organic material around Bennu feels malleable and pliant, not unlike soft clay.
Primary Arcana: Life, Mind
Inferior Arcanum: Fate
Favored Attribute: Composure
Attributes and Skills
Crafts: 1 (Photography)
Investigation: 2 (Body Language)
Empathy: 2 (Emotions)
Expression: 2 (Imitation)
High Speech 1 (Free)
Masque (Bright Mantle) 1
Masque (Opener of Ways) 1
New Identity (Kieran Wetherford) 4
Sanctum (Cabal): Size 1, Security 1
Status (GotV) 1
Striking Looks 2 (Nearly Perfect) (Ideal only; bonus reversed while in base form)
Tempers and Derived Traits
Arcana and Rotes
Honing the Form (Life 3): 7
Hurried Rest (Mind 2 + Life 2; GotV): 7
Supernal Vision (Prime 1): 5
Build XP – 48/50
Dexterity 3: 15
Presence 3: 15
Occult 2: 6
Crafts 1: 3
Spec - Crafts: 3
Persuasion 2: 6