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Created on 2013-07-26 01:48:44 (#2059360), last updated 2016-01-25 (86 weeks ago)

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Lady Elfleda.


Æðelflæd (pronounced 'Ae-thel-flade', which would have meant 'noble beauty').

'Elfleda, the Corruptress'.
'Leviathan's Bride'.
'Emissary of the Black Light'.

Usually, Elfleda possesses extremely pale skin, with a striking contrast of jet black for eyes, hair, nails and the elaborate gothic dress she wears. Those with psychic awareness will probably detect a ferociously dark, billowing aura of sickly corruption, radiating out around her.

She can, however, change this to a much healthier complexion, when wishing to appear like an ordinary human being. During these times, she reins in her spiritual influence to the smallest, tightest degree possible, so as to prevent those with psychic intuition keying too obviously towards her.

The latter might also detect several dark servants scuttling around her, invisible to human eyes, who act as advisers and personal bodyguard.

At one time, the young woman who would later be known as Elfleda, was known for a far more innocent personality. The daughter of nobility, perhaps even royalty, Æðelflæd's age harkens back to a time before her Britain would be invaded by the Normans. Although being groomed for an eventual marriage, as most young women of her station were, Æðelflæd might have shown signs of a sharp intellect, but it was mixed with a playful streak of mischief. She enjoyed her birthright, yet felt more at home dancing or singing freely and, when possible, communing with those who knew of nature and the magic of the wilderness. Some of her happiest times were when she judged things safe enough to journey to a riverbank and try to speak with the dragonflies and birds found along there.

This life was to end in the captivity of sinister priestly activity...

Ancient texts remain unclear on when it was took place, but all seem to agree on Æðelflæd being abducted one night, either by direct enemies of either her parents or the interests they represented. Some form of sacrificial ritual was enacted, but no hero came to rescue this maiden in distress:

'And lo, Æðelflæd's light was snatched and taken from all mortal grasp. The beast, Leviathan, it was summoned and did look upon Æðelflæd's virgin heart with a great yearning. Unto its embrace, she fell. Caged in shadow. A bride with gifts corrupt.'

Either through force or by illusionary lies, Æðelflæd was deceived and polluted to serving a new purpose: Emissary of the Black Light. An empowered diplomat, essentially, for the originating architect of hell, itself. An entity which undoubtedly goes by many names, but which she most often seems to identify as 'Leviathan'.

While she would have spoken a language completely foreign to that known today, the reasons for her presently speaking with an upper-class English accent are probably to mirror her original upbringing; offering tantalising clues of her historical beginnings, without really giving any of importance, at all. At some point, she chose to take on the name of Lady Elfleda, which is little more than an contemporary updating of her original title. Most of the time, however, she prefers to confuse and obfuscate potential enemies, by presenting herself as Beth or Pythia. Quite why these, in particular, nobody seems to know, but they do allow her to appear separately to those working in concert with one another and keep them individually in the dark.

Although she is perfectly capable of lying, Elfleda chooses, most often, simply not to. She prefers speaking truths, albeit by twisting the meanings behind them. She is heavily protected by darkness and works on its behalf, but she remains, above all, a diplomat and operates accordingly.

However, Elfleda's speciality is that of actively corrupting the innocent, able, if she so chose, to turn teachers into child molesters, holy people into worshippers of depravity and even the most mild-mannered of human beings into practitioners of the obscene. Perversely, this directly reflect how she, herself, might have been recruited.

She is the keeper of hidden secrets. The protected wanderer through nightmares.

An entity one should avoid.

Elfleda's chief ability is in the field of actively weaving corruption. The more time she spends in an area, the more sickly and corrupt it will become, simply by virtue of her presence. In a few cases, especially with repeated, prolonged visitations, this can make some properties seem as if they are haunted, with odd sights and sounds being known for a while after the event.

However, if deciding to, she can corrupt targets who possess no protection: This will take the form of an invisible cloud of spiritual 'pollution', which she would cover someone with, strengthen and, if given enough time, start to infect someone's very aura with. The person in question might not even realise Elfleda happens to be the one responsible, unless she makes it clear. This is not at all painful, but it is spiritually destructive, as it causes someone to start relishing sinful wickedness, rather than wholesome virtue.

As an example, a target might start wondering what the problem is with cheating at a game of cards, then decide to do so, before graduating to even worse acts, including rape and murder.

Assuming this only temporary, the target will eventually recover and gradually start to realise just how wrong hat they did under her influence, happened to be. Unfortunately, this influence can be addictive and, if offered a further time, will have the drug-like effect of relieving them from any such feelings of guilt; causing the target to be open, yet again, to more acts of darkness.

By this method, Elfleda essentially works like a virus, using what could be termed 'karmic entrapment' to lead others down a path of shadows.

A much more direct for Elfleda to achieve the same results in a much more powerful way, is to give an open-mouthed kiss to someone; effectively bypassing any spiritual protection and forcefully pushing her essence into them, where it will take root in a much more volatile fashion than by mere osmosis.

Please note that she does not 'produce' evil within someone. Her corruptive agent merely represses the 'good' within someone, whilst blossoming into life any dark impulses which are naturally residing within them. Even the slightest bad thought, perhaps dormant since childhood, can still be dredged up from someone's subconscious and reignite old addictions or passions.

Other talents Elfleda has access to are an accumulated wealth of occult knowledge, as expected of an entity of her age and station. It is also worth noting that, due to representing the forces of darkness, themselves, the more related to the realm of demonic someone happens to be, the more of an inadvertently maternal presence they would feel from her. Slayers, for instance, whose power emanates from a demonic source within them, might feel more of a subconscious connection to Elfleda, than an ordinary human being. For vampires, this would be even more so.

Through this, Elfleda can function in her appointed job of conveying messages without having to justify it.

Conversely, it can also mean a relatively 'normal' human can provide much more opposition against her than, say, a Slayer or werewolf could.

Elfleda also has the advantage of not being wholly solid all the time. When in conversation, she generally is, but converts to and from shadows when journeying between one place and another. Dimensional portals of black gas serving to transport her between different realms.

Mixed in with all this, Elfleda might not be confrontational in a physical manner, but if attacked, does have the protection of invisible servants.

It should also be remembered that Elfleda works primarily in an emotional medium and is an extremely gifted empathic. This is how she chooses the most vulnerable of targets.

To know of her abilities, one might think Elfleda to be an extremely formidable enemy. In this, they would be correct, but it is her very nature which can be the key to some of Elfleda's greatest weaknesses.

Her realm is that of shadow. Even the smallest sliver of this allows her to remain in an area. Without it, however, in a place bathed in that simplest of weapons, light, Elfleda simply cannot exist for any real length of time. In fact, should one be able to somehow trap her in a container of mirrors and fill it with light, this would be the surest way to, if not destroy, then severely diminish and imprison her.

Then there is her name... One of the reasons for her changing it, is to avoid her true name from being used in magical incantations, designed to harm her.

Likewise, although capable of bypassing some magical warding agents, those of sufficient strength can completely prevent her from interacting with a target.

Her empathic nature is also potentially a weakness and could well be used against her: Should an enemy realise this and learn how to truly empty themselves of all emotion, this would allow them to take her by surprise, as she would have no way to detect any unseen approach early enough.

While the use of light and magical charms could be easy enough to use against her, Elfleda is kept in something of a mystical cocoon. It would be difficult, but not impossible, to penetrate this and potentially open her up to the influence of those who would seek to remind her of who and what she once was. It is not that those memories have been forgotten, so much as that Elfleda has been influenced and conditioned to interpret them in a different, disdainful way than she might otherwise do. Her family and loved ones from times of old still seek to rescue her from the fate she succumbed to, after all.

Ironically, this would essentially be using a form of 'reverse corruption' upon her, making it a form of poetic justice.
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