Janet, Cherub Vassal of Stone, Angel of Broken Hearts

By Moe Lane


"'Well,' the Goddess said, 'your heart didn't heal straight the last time it broke. So we'll break it again and reset it so it heals straight this time.'"

- Children's Tales of North Arlen, ed. S'Lange
(The Door Into Shadow, pg. 223, trans. D. Duane)

Corporeal Forces: 4
Strength: 8
Agility: 8
Ethereal Forces: 5
Intelligence: 9
Precision: 11
Celestial Forces: 5
Will: 8
Perception: 12
Word Forces: 5

Vessel: young woman/3, young man/3, both with +1 Charisma

Skills: Dodge/4, Emote/6, Fighting/6, Knowledge/6 (Psychology), Medicine/3, Ranged Weapon (rifle/3, pistol/3), Savoir-Faire/3, Seduction/3

Songs: Ecstasy (Ethereal/6), Empathy (all/3), Healing (Ethereal/6), Memory (Corporeal/3), Nightmares (Ethereal/3), Opening (Ethereal/3), Solace (Corporeal/3, Ethereal/3), Succor (Corporeal/3, Ethereal/3), Tongues (Ethereal/6)

Attunements: Cherub of Stone, Armor, Inevitability, Vassal of Stone, Angel of Broken Hearts

Angel of Broken Hearts: Janet automatically recognizes those who have been seriously emotionally scarred by love. With a Perception roll, she may determine the circumstances that caused that scarring, which will give her a decent idea about how to put the poor unfortunate back together again...

Rites: Mend a broken heart (+2 Essence)

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time there was a Cherub, bright and happy and in love. It was a good time to be in love - in those bright days when the entire world was new, it was the best time of all to be in love. You could love without pain, back then. You could love, and know that the one you love didn't love you back, and it still wouldn't matter, because there was still the love, and there was no anguish about it all. You could love from afar, and dream idly about what would happen if your beloved would suddenly turn around, the Light in his face as he looked upon you, and whisper his own love into your ears - but if it never happened, that was fine, too. It was the love that was important.

Well, one day, the beloved did turn around, and the Light was suddenly in his face as he looked at the bright, cheerful and happy Cherub, and he did whisper words into her ear. True, they were not necessarily the words that she daydreamed about hearing, but did she really expect everything to turn out precisely like her dreams? The words that she got were honeyed, and powerful, and they caressed places in her soul that so badly needed caressing... so the Cherub listened deeply, and internally shushed any errant thought about the implications of those words. In fact, the Cherub ignored those implications until she found herself on a battlefield, sword in hand and charging her brothers and sisters: she awoke from her daydream to find herself somehow living a nightmare of treason and betrayal.

It broke her Heart.

During those lonely years trapped in Hell, the new Djinn sneered at love, spurned tenderness and tried her damnedest to crush softness under her warped paw. She avoided her former love (an easy enough task, alas, as that worthy no longer had any use for her - if, indeed, he ever had), both from revulsion at her former weakness and because he wasn't nearly as beautiful to behold as he once was. Instead, she found herself drifting into Lust's own honeyed embrace. So be it. Passion was for fools and tenderness was for weaklings - but lust could be slaked without risking betrayal. "Take what you can get" became her motto - and she became very good at taking.

Still, there were still those cold places in her soul. Not the 'cold' of her new nature - that was more ennui and apathy then anything else - but a cold that ached. It was like an itch that she couldn't scratch, but the worst thing was that she knew that someone else could, and possibly very easily. All she had to do was let them. But that would mean letting someone get close enough to see the ache, and trusting that that someone would soothe that itch, and not claw at it. The very idea could not be borne.

But neither could that itch, that cold spot begging to be warmed with kisses - and as the Djinn looked about her surroundings with steadily-clearer eyes, she realized that there was no one who could provide that warmth. Not her former beloved, not her fellow-demons and certainly not her current Prince: she saw, now, that she had picked Andrealphus' service simply because he retained a superficial beauty that reminded the Djinn of her first love. But he was not her beloved. There was no one in Hell that was worthy - yes, worthy, she realized with a sudden, wild hope - of love.

This truth broke her Heart, too - but this time it healed properly.

After her escape and Redemption, the Repentant Cherub found herself eventually in the service of Stone. She spent the next ten thousand years proving - first to Heaven, then to Stone, then to David and at last to herself - that she had learned from her initial mistakes and tribulations thereof. Love is supposed to make you strong, you see. It is supposed to bring you out of yourself so that you may connect with others. It is supposed to make you rise above your own petty, selfish concerns. Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes, love can become a crutch, or even an addiction - and when the object of that addiction or crutch goes away, you can all get twisted inside in response. You shrink into yourself, spurning what is real and freely offered for a chimerical dream and crippling internal fantasy that masks the pain, instead of curing it.

But, if you're lucky, you'll meet Janet. She'll look you over and become what you think you need - until you realize that you were a deluded fool to ever really want it in the first place. Fair warning; it will not be a pleasant exercise: ripping off a rotting bandage that has entwined itself into a badly healed wound rarely is. Janet pulls no punches: she loves humanity too much and knows that, sometimes, healing involves pain. If she must break a metaphorical rib or two to do surgery on your heart, so be it. When she's done with you, your illusions and delusions and justifications and excuses will lie at your feet, tawdry and mocking, and you will probably weep at the waste of all that precious time lost in obsession and uselessness.

But you will be free to truly love again.


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