Locksley Rin was 23 years old when her powers fully manifested a few decades ago. Much to her annoyance, she's usually mistaken for a teenager because of her diminutive size and youthful appearance. She's only 4'11", but she adds height by wearing wooden stilt sandals with a seven-inch tall single tooth. Like a lot of children, she once wore them to play at balancing, but they suited her, and so she wears them still. She's athletic, with golden skin, a dusting of freckles across her nose and cheeks, sapphire hair, black nails, and her mother's quicksilver eyes.
As champion of the Leviathan Street clan, she's well acquainted with the wrong side of the law, but her protective instincts far outweigh her violent tendencies. She's generally distrustful of authority figures, she hates bullies, and she values loyalty above all else.
Locksley's mother, Tesla Rin, was an accomplished assassin. Tesla was precise and ruthless, with a wicked sense of humor and a flair for baking. Before she was recruited by the Bone Scythe assassin guild, Tesla grew up on the streets under the watchful eye of Coralai "Auntie Cora" Wu, the Faginesque matriarch of a merry band of delinquent orphans.
Tesla survived years of wet work only to die while giving birth to Locksley. To this day, when a woman dies in childbirth, it's attributed, in whispered tones, to "Ketsukon's Curse." A simple superstition and wildly inaccurate. But in Tesla's case, it was true. She was the daughter of a former Fury named Lucira. Lucira was a Disgraced sentinel belonging to Achenar. She was one of the few sentinels who escaped extermination Like all sentinels, she was quickened to life with a drop of her patron god's blood. Although Ketsukon likely meant his dying curse for Achenar's progeny, it apparently affected his sentinels as well. A detail Lucira discovered too late.
Despite her ancestry, Tesla held no stock in Ketsukon's Curse, or curses in general for that matter. She believed her mother was simply another maternal death statistic. She was mistaken, and she lost her life while bringing her own daughter into the world.
And so Locksley was raised by her father, Maui Shirakawa. Although he was a mage, he wasn't interested in the guild's scholarly pursuits. He never made it past the rank of Fellow, and used his limited Weaving ability to help run his highly successful business. He was one of Blackmire's premier black marketeers. If it could be had, he could procure it, for a substantial fee, naturally.
Locksley spent her early years by her father's side, exploring his contraband filled warehouse, eating snacks at the conference table while he discussed rates with his clientele, and napping on the sofa in his office while he went over the books. But when she was seven, her father was taken from her by the Knights of Kuroshu.
Weeks earlier, the Metropolitan Guard had arrested Maui on suspicion of murder. They alleged he'd used magery to kill off some of his competitors, but the scant evidence was entirely circumstantial. He claimed innocence, not that that matters in Blackmire, but he was able to bribe his way out official charges.
When he learned his brush with law had gained him the unwanted attention of the temple of Kuroshu, he decided discretion would be the better part of valor. He planned to move with Locksley to a safehouse and lay low for a while. But before he could even finished packing, the Kuroshu's Knights swarmed Maui's luxurious flat.
When he heard them breaking in, Maui hid his daughter in the bedroom closet and turned to face the intruders alone. As the guards tore their way inside, he grabbed staff, ready to clear a path. Although his combat skills with a staff far surpassed his magery, he was still no match for the highly trained Knights in their fierce armor. It was a testament to his martial skills that he was able to kill one of them before they cut him down in the dark with their spears.
Staring at the growing pool of blood beneath her father, Locksley barely noticed when one of the Knights threw open the closet door, looming above her. As the light behind Maui's eyes began to dim, Locksley's own vision began to blur. Unaware of having moved past the Knights circled around Maui's body, Locksley found herself kneeling at her father's side.
Locksley's breath clouded. Her lips turned blue and her ears filled with the sound of her thundering pulse. The Knights' faceplates began to frost as the temperature suddenly plummeted. Dimly, she felt the flat edge of a spear blade tap against her cheek as one of them tried to get her attention. The words echoing from his owl shaped helmet went unheard
Her hand reflexively shot out to push the blade away, the sharp edge biting into her palm. The Knight laughed, crouching down to face her, but she didn't register anything he said. As her blood dripped onto Maui's forehead, Locksley's quicksilver eyes blazed with light. She roared in rage, and her strange orange blood ignited into cerulean flames that flooded from her hand. The flames sang along the Knight's spear and engulfed him in a torrent of cold fire. He was ash before the scream left his lips.
Another Knight aimed a plasma hand cannon at her head, and the soft crackle of electricity drew her attention. She stared into the barrel, her eyes regaining their focus. Time slowed. Demon orange blood oozed from her palm, and the nearest Knight gasped in surprise. She rammed her fist into the barrel, sending the cerulean flames up the tube before core could finish recharging the next round. He screamed, flailing as he tried to put out the flames. He slammed into the last Knight, sending his comrade crashing through the window to fall dozens of stories.
Locksley watched, numb, as the fire swirled around her. It continued to spread, pouring from her in waves and cremating every organism around her. As the flames left her to tear through the entire building, Locksley sat in the dark, carefully gathering her father's ashes. If the other residents had time to scream for help, Locksley doesn't remember hearing them. If anything, it seemed dreadfully quiet.
As the sun rose that morning, Locksley was still sitting on the floor amidst piles of ash covered armor. The cut on her hand had already healed, leaving only a small scar. When she heard soft footsteps approaching, she glanced up to see Auntie Cora staring at her in amazement. While the Guard had arrived outside, scrambling to figure out what had happened, Auntie Cora had slipped through their perimeter unnoticed.
When Maui and Locksley hadn't shown up at the safe house as planned, Auntie Cora came to check on them. The rumors circulating among the onlookers crowding around the building were varied and terrifying. Local speculation ranged from some sort of secret government weapon to vengeful demigod, but Auntie Cora knew the truth. Auntie Cora had helped deliver her fair share of babies over the years, and she was there when Lucira gave birth to Tesla. Lucira's blood was orange, but showed no other signs of demon lineage. Despite Auntie Cora's best efforts, Lucira died during the delivery. But before the light faded from her eyes, Lucira warned Auntie Cora about the powers she might have passed on to her child.
Although Tesla was stronger and faster than the average human, she had never manifested any powers of her own. But it's not uncommon for recessive abilities to skip generations. It was far too dangerous for a child to have such terrible powers, so Auntie Cora had them bound using a metal bracelet inscribed with a powerful spell.
And with nowhere else to go, Locksley joined the ranks of Auntie Cora's orphans. She was resilient, though, and she adapted quickly. But most of Auntie Cora's other wards were mundane humans, and they were leery of her. However, it didn't take long for her to befriend the another immortal youngster in Auntie Cora's care, a juvenile lesser demon named Hex.
Hex was a nine-inch tall demon minken. He had a feline face, a simian body, bat-like ears, opposable thumbs, retractable claws, and a prehensile tail. He was born and bred in a familiar shop, but he had bizarre aspirations to become a sorcerer in his own right. His natural Weaving was impressive, though, and he was the one who helped Auntie Cora bind Locksley's powers away. Another outcast, and adorable to boot, Locksley promptly adopted him as her sidekick. It was a bit of a challenge, because she couldn't understand him at first. But they developed their own hand signals to communicate, and soon they were inseparable.
When Hex started worrying about what to do for a familiar of his own, Locksley volunteered. Greater demons' magic is fundamentally similar to sorcery, but without the limitations of specializing in one kind. And they too use innately powerful familiars. Lesser demons are the most common familiars, but it wasn't unheard of for demons to use mortal Weavers, sorcerers in particular, because their magic is the most compatible. Other immortals could be used as well, but it was much less common.
So it wasn't completely out of the realm of possibility for Locksley to act as familiar for Hex. After several, nerve-wracking experiments, they discovered it could actually work when they successfully bond as sorcerer and familiar. Their familiar bond allows Hex a massive reservoir of energy, while Locksley's powers are safely siphoned away before reaching critical mass. In return, Locksley has access to some of Hex's indestructibility, allowing her to heal a lot faster while keeping her powers mostly bound. And they no longer had to communicate only via hand signals, since the familiar bond allowed her to understand him.
When Locksley was nine, the Bone Scythes discovered her and demanded Auntie Cora turn her over. The guild had high hopes for the daughter of the best assassin they'd ever had. They inspected the other orphans for potential recruits Auntie Cora was tired of the guild's whole Black-Scythes-before-blood mentality, but she couldn't afford to incur their wrath. So with a heavy heart, Auntie Cora handed over her favorite wards. But she sent Hex with them, smuggled along under the guise of a beloved pet, in order to keep tabs on them from a distance.
Locksley was placed under the tutelage of a Disgraced sentinel, a former Reaper, named Aegedia. "Dia" was tall, dark, and surly, but he was more than a match for a stubborn, contrary, rambunctious wiseass like Locksley.
Shortly after her arrival in the guild, Locksley met another apprentice, a ten-year-old girl named Jules Khando. Jules was a loner, preferring to keep her own company, mainly because of her ancestry. She was part fox sprite, hiding her two tails to avoid detection. In stories, fox sprites have a reputation for mischief and malice, and Jules didn't want to be judged based on superstition.
Jules was also just as competitive as Locksley, so they immediately became rivals. While Locksley excelled in close quarter combat, Jules had remarkable aim and was training under a master sniper named Ravenna Cho. Cho encouraged their rivalry. Both girls had anger behind their eyes and issues with authority, and Cho thought it would benefit both girls to refocus that anger into their training. Their rivalry provided them with motivation and challenges.
Two years after Locksley was "adopted" by the guild, another girl joined the apprentices, a nine-year-old named Chenzi. Chenzi was part demon and some of the other children discovered her secret, teasing her mercilessly. When Locksley saw an older, much larger girl named Pepper picking on Chenzi, her protective instincts kicked in. Without a moment's hesitation, Locksley hit Pepper in the back of the head with an old boot.
Jules wasn't a fan of bullies either, and she stepped in when some of Pepper's friends thought to interfere. It escalated from there and ended with Pepper on the ground wailing, with a bloody nose and a bite mark on her shoulder that would've matched Locksley's dental records if she had any. Locksley and Chenzi became fast friends, and Pepper was never bothered any of them again. Jules relucantly joined them, initially just staying close in case Pepper & co. sought revenge.
Although Chenzi did not possess the constitution for wet work, she had a stellar mechanical ingenuity. The guild immediately recognized her potential as a weaponsmith. While Chenzi learned how to craft weapons, Locksley and Jules learned how to kill. Their rivalry likely would have turned antagonistic if it wasn't for Chenzi, whose compassion convinced them to see the best in each other.
As time passed, it became more and more apparent that Locksley wasn't growing as quickly as the other children. Her appetite was more than healthy, voracious even, so it clearly wasn't a lack of nutrition. It was commonly known that demigods stopped aging once their powers developed, and Locksley's divine-adjacent sentinel powers had a similar effect and stunted her growth. Her powers were a secret, though, and Coralai had no intention of revealing to the guild, so her slow physical development remained a mystery. Her mental faculties were in no way impacted, and she was remarkably healthy otherwise, so the guild didn't worry about her diminutive size or youthful appearance.
After nearly a decade of training, all three girls were successfully initiated into the guild. They were inducted into the esoteric inner circle of assassins. They all received a tattoo of guild's insignia, a double scythe, on the bottom of one foot. The ink is only visible under a blacklight.
Within just a few years, they joined the ranks of the top assassins in the guild, surpassing even Tesla's accomplishments. Whether or not Locksley ever admitted it, even to herself, she enjoyed being the best. Until someone anonymously passed her an internal memo meant for Management's eyes only. Management had ordered Dia back into the field, but he declined, deciding he was done. However, Management had a different retirement plan in mind.
Although Locksley found Dia before they could finish him off, he was seriously injured. Locksley hid Dia away and set her sights on avenging him. While Hex looked after Dia, Locksley, Jules, and Chenzi set about razing the guild to the ground. Locksley had no interest in the majority of the members, her anger was reserved for Management. But she was perfectly willing to kill any of them foolish enough to stand between her and her targets.
Less than thrilled with the prospect of their own deaths, Management threw every assassin in the guild at Locksley and her rogue team. A few members decided self-preservation was the better part of valor and chose to stay to the sidelines, waiting to see how the dust would settle. The vast majority, however, followed their orders without question. They died bloody.
Locksley decimated the Bone Scythes, killing her way up through the ranks. When she scratched the last name off her list, she washed her hands and walked away. But Management had a back-up plan in the event Locksley succeeded in her retribution. They had broken their own rules and contracted the service of demons. A pack of lower demons, hulking beasts with tiny brains and scythe claws tracked Locksley and the others to the warehouse on Leviathan Street they were using as a safe house.
The ensuing battle shook the entire building, and no one walked away from the mêlée unscathed. Dia was trapped by falling beam, crushing his right foot. Hex and Chenzi struggled to free him while Jules harried the demons from above with a crossbow. Locksley darted among them, a tiny whirlwind of sharp steel. Noticing the other, one of the demons broke free from the pack and charged them. Locksley slammed into it sideways before it reached them. She shattered its knee, and it hit the floor screeching in pain. Before she could finish it off, one of its pack mates kicked her through the wall into the next room, crushing her rib cage.
While Locksley aspirated orange blood, the demon followed her through the wall to deliver the final blow. Leaving Hex to the buoyancy spell he was scrawling on the beam trapping Dia, Chenzi tore after her friend's attacker without hesitation. She grabbed a chunk of rubble and hurled it at the demon's head, knocking it off balance. Instead of disemboweling Locksley as intended, the demon raked its claws along her forearm. It sliced clean through her protective bracelet, breaking the binding spell as the steel shards spun away into darkness.
Blood streaming from its head, the demon turned, snarling. Chenzi shrank back as it towered over her. One of Jules' bolts came spiraling through the air, followed quickly by a second. The first bolt thunked into the demon's skull, and the second planted itself in the demon's throat. The demon's knees buckled as blood arced from its jugular, knocking Chenzi aside as it spasmed.
Her vision blurred with pain, Locksley didn't realize Chenzi was safe. It was dark, an she simply saw her friend collapse in a spray of blood. It didn't occur to her, until much later, the blood had been demon yellow. Consumed by rage, Locksley began to vibrate like a tuning fork. A blinding column of cerulean flames burst from her hands. She aimed the torrent at that demon, incinerating it before it had even hit the floor. Her own injuries healing rapidly, Locksley charged back into the fray, cremating the demons before they could react.
It was over in the space of a few heart beats. As the demons' ashes swirled around her, Locksley heard nothing but the rush of her own blood. The cerulean fire continued to spread, moving from her hands up her arms. She felt movement behind her and flinched at a hand suddenly touching her shoulder. She whirled, striking out with a roar. Only to find Chenzi standing behind her, eyes wide with fear. A lick of cerulean flame alighted on the tips of Chenzi outstretched fingers, and Locksley felt time stop.
Locksley wanted, desperately, to take it back, but she didn't know how. And it was too late, anyway. Before either of them could even blink, before Chenzi could even open her mouth to scream, her fingers, hand, wrist, forearm, and elbow were gone in a storm of cold fire and ash.
Just as the fire neared Chenzi's shoulder, a deafening peal of thunder sounded from nowhere. A flash of steel and flesh and feathers exploded into existence between Locksley and Chenzi, knocking them away from each other in a blast of freezing air. The flames on Chenzi had snuffed out completely. But Locksley's flames only flickered, and then roared back stronger. Perhaps in defiance, perhaps in defense. Either way, she was completely covered in cerulean fire.
But before Locksley could regain her feet and launch a counterattack, the interloper crashed into her and launched them both into the air. They crashed through the roof of the warehouse and slammed down into the cold darkness of the Leviathan River. She thrashed at her attacker in futile rage, her flames burning brighter and brighter as they sunk deeper into the murky waters.
And then she was swallowed by darkness. It felt like she was being ripped apart. Then it was over as soon as it had started, and she found herself in the freezing wastelands of purgatory. Her attacker stood several feet away, watching her with eyes that changed color. A sentinel, in his human form. His dark wings, speckled like the night sky, curled around him like a cape, the edges whipping in the icy wind. Locksley tried to stand, but her joints wouldn't cooperate. The cold siphoned her energy and smothered her flames. The sentinel made no move to approach her, waiting calmly until she finally lost consciousness.
She awoke in confusion, her body wracked with pain, still shivering from the freezing temperatures of purgatory. But she was back in Blackmire. And as she glanced around, she realized she was on the top of the tallest tower in Blackmire. The sentinel stood a few feet away, his back to her. He glanced over his shoulder as she wobbled to her feet.
He turned, revealing a teenage girl standing next to him. The girl introduced herself as Vastienne. Locklsey immediately recognized the name. Vastienne was a powerful demigoddess of magic. The sentinel, Severax, belonged to her. Severax had felt her sentinel power first bloom when she was seven. But then her power signature disappeared, safely bound by Hex's spell. And he had been looking for her ever since. Partly out of curiosity, partly as a threat assessment.
When her binding spell was broken, he felt her power burst ripple through the city. Severax tracked it to the source immediately, and intervened before Locksley's divine fire got out of control. He brought his prize back to his master for her orders. Vastienne was intrigued by Locksley, and decided to let her live, for now, despite Severax's objections. And with that, Severax and Vastienne disappeared.
Exhausted and in shock and still processing what had just happened, Locksley made her way to the back-up safe house where Jules and Hex were waiting with the others. Locksley had been away for several hours. The surgeon Jules had paid an obscene amount to make a discreet house call was still tending to his patients. Dia and Chenzi were both deep asleep with heavy sedation.
Chenzi arm was gone at the shoulder. Her wound had been wrapped and the flesh had been cauterized, so infection was not much of a concern. It was the shock and trauma that would require the most attention. And Dia's crushed foot had been beyond saving, so the surgeon had been forced to amputate Dia's leg at the knee. While the others slumbered through the day, Locksley remained awake, reliving the night's events in her mind.
Over the next few months, while Dia and Chenzi recovered from their injuries, Locksley tattooed her right arm with a new binding spell Hex designed. It took the form of a geometric band around her wrist and a leviathan curling around her forearm. Hex's rune spells are hidden among tiny scales and patterns. The leviathan represents the thing that scares her most of all, her own powers, of which she has little control and less understanding. And the wrist band Sealed her powers inside.
She is capable of great and terrible things, and she is quietly terrified of what she might do if she ever truly lets go. She doesn't want to be just another monster in the dark. She knows people are afraid of her, and it bothers her. Well, it bothers her when innocent(ish) people fear her; a small, dark part of her thrills when monsters tremble before her, and she will always do whatever is necessary to protect those whom she holds dear.
When the Hyperion Uprising broke out, Locksley and the others were conscripted into Blackmire's hastily assembled militia. During the three, bloody years of war, Locksley once again proved her skills in combat. After receiving a battlefield commission, she led her unit in victory after victory. Between Locksley guerilla tactics, Jules' sharpshooting, Chenzi's clever weapons, and the berserker rage of an ogre named Varga Wrathbone, they became infamous among Hyperion's soldiers. Called the "Ghost Legion" in whispered tones, Locksley's team became Blackmire's tip of the spear. They would steal into the front lines in the dark, raining terror among Hyperion's forces with their ferocity and skull-shaped rebreathing masks.
Their secret weapon was a captured battlecruiser called the Iron Lotus. As far as battlecruisers go, it's small, light, and manueverable. After hijacking the 250 ft. long airship, Locksley & co. used it as their base of operations. Hiding in plain sight among the Hyperion floatilla, Locksley and her unit conducted guerilla incursions among the other ships, wreaking terror among their enemies.
It was Locksley's unit that finally breached the king's flagship, the Carnifex, and sent it burning downwards into the dust. But Locksley's victory nearly cost her life. After Locksley cut her way through his personal guards, the mad king himself ran her through with his broken scepter, fatally damaging her heart. In what she thought was her final act, Locksley pressed forward, the scepter lodging farther until she could reach him. Blood foaming from her lips, she rammed her fingers through his larynx and ripped out his throat.
Locksley slumped to the floor, watching the king gurgle blood as the light dimmed from his eyes. The cacophony of the battle faded until all she could hear was the erratic flutter of her heart as it beat its last. Her own vision dimmed as she watched blood pool across the floor, the image reminding her of Maui's death. Her anger at the mad king's futile war fanned her internal flames. She sliced open her own arm using her short sword, cutting through the Seals on her wrist. An emergency precaution she had Hex include in his binding spell in case she ever needed a final solution. In her anger, she cut down to the bone. Her cerulean fire poured forth, and she laughed as the ship was consumed around her.
Locksley's team refused to leave her behind. Using jury-rigged suits of armor, they risked their lives to get through the flames surrounding her unconscious body. They wisely left the scepter in place until Locksley could be tended to by a combat surgeon. They took her to the best there was, Doctor Samara Bay, a talented sawbones who considered the challenge an honor.
Unfortunately, Locksley's heart was damaged beyond repair. But Samara refused to let her die. During hours and hours of surgery, he hooked Locksley up to a newfangled machine that bypassed her heart and pumped her blood for her. That was just a temporary solution, however. Locksley was given a clockwork heart. The first and only of its kind, it was built with Chenzi's usual combination of delicate artistry and raw power, and Samara's anatomical expertise. Unfortunately, it's not a permanent solution. It has to be manually wound periodically by Samara, and it requires upgrading and even replacement on occasion, because she wears them out.
In order to monitor Locksley's artificial heart, Chenzi made a complimentary leather wrist cuff watch that Locksley wears around her right wrist at all times. The back of the watch is etched with a rune spells linking the heart to the watch. The spells also prevent the cuff from being removed without the key, which Cutter keeps hidden in her clinic. And Hex has a spare key hidden in his pocket watch.
At first glance, the watch appears to be a standard chronograph watch with subdials. But anyone expecting to get the current time from it is sorely disappointed. There's a zero in place of the twelve on a normal clock face, and the clock's hands move in reverse, counting down the time until it requires replacement. The hands on subdials move in time to the beating of her heart, showing her when it requires maintenance.
Locksley painted a grinning skull on the face plate, the subdials where eyesockets would be, as a macabre reminder of its purpose. She also had Chenzi install a collapsible, spring-loaded blade. It's become one of her favorite close-quarter weapons.
The self-inflicted cuts in her wrist healed quickly, leaving three vertical scars, but the Seal she had broken on her arm band tattoo was n't repairable. Even if Hex could have simply re-Sealed the tattoo, completely binding Locksley's powers had repeatedly proven impossible. So he asked Chenzi to make Locksley a mechanical bracelet to his specifications. Chenzi made it out of the same high tensile titanium and tungsten alloy she used in her own prosthetic arm.
Locksley always wears the mechanical bracelet around her left wrist. Unlike her heart monitor, the maze lock can only be removed if Locksley's powers overloads it. In which case, it's rendered mundane metal once more and can be removed with simple tools. It's comprised of intricate, interlocking pieces engraved with another of Hex's binding spells. His previous spells attempted to imprison Locksley's fire powers altogether, but her increasing strength proved difficult to contain. So Hex designed his new spell to block and diffuse her powers, while still allowing her incremental access.
In order to access her fire powers, Locksley has to manually "unlock" the bracelet by moving certain pieces into certain places, like a puzzle combination. When the bracelet is unlocked, its pieces rearrange themselves into a maze and half a dozen large bore, spring-loaded needles pierce her flesh. As her blood pours into the bracelet's maze, Hex's rune spells diffuse and dilute her powers, allowing her more control when she releases her cold fire. And the pain from the needles helps her focus as well.
As it was with her divine ancestors, Locksley's power lies with her rage. And nothing raises her ire more than when her loved ones are in danger. Her sentinel speed and resilience is always on the surface, but when her dander is up, her fire fuels a strength that borders on demonic. However, she's weakest during the daylight hours. She heals relatively fast on her own, thanks to an impressive metabolism, but when she unleashes her flames, she heals in moments, leaving only faint scars. That particular benefit only happens between sunset and sunrise, though, and she's at her most powerful at midnight.
It took a few years for any of them to notice, but Locksley, Jules, Chenzi, Dia, and Hex stopped aging the night of the demon battle. Something about Locksley's powers fully manifesting seemed to have frozen their physical maturation. So far, no other side effects have presented themselves. It's a curiosity Hex has been researching in his spare time, but he hasn't uncovered any answers yet.