History (OOC Knowledge)
Though she continues to sound like a poorly-integrated Russian immigrant, Katia actually moved to Canada as a young child.
She didn't always value the traditions of the old country to the extent that she does now, but has always stubbornly insisted on keeping her name according to the old Russian style - which is to say, gendered. Katia has always been infuriatingly good at remaining calm and unmoved in the face of argument, preferring to allow the sound and fury of other people's passions to wear themselves out.
Extremely bright, Katia was a good student, and could have gone on to a distinguished academic career, had she had a taste for it. Instead, what she developed was an attitude problem - resisting what, to others, might seem to be her natural course in life - her destiny. She broke with the church, previously an important feature of her life, and drifted away from her family (whom she persistently mocked for their simple lives of piety, as well as their 'ridiculous' accents). Career-wise, she didn't do much of anything, taking on temp contracts and living a hedonistic life with an extremely short-term orientation.
She hadn't seen her parents for years, but now one of her cousins - someone she'd once been close to - was getting married. Would she come? Of course. Especially since her parents were willing to do the driving.
Something about the circumstances - maybe it was the family or community orientation of the event, or its religious overtones - caused her to start thinking over her life with dissatisfaction. As she saw her parents' familiar car turn down her street, she imagined all that she would say to them - that she was sorry, that she wanted to start over, that she would try harder this time. But she was never to get the chance. As her parents pulled up to the spot where she stood, another car came, seemingly from nowhere, and plowed into their car with sickening force. Katia only has dim impressions of what happened next - the scream of twisting metal (or was it voices?) and the crash of shattering glass - but she distinctly recalls what she was thinking: 'no, it's not my time yet - I can do so much better.'
Her journey through Stygia was a profoundly religious experience for Katia. With Romans 6:23 ("For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.") continually echoing in her head, she knelt on the cold ground, unable to speak, but silently pleading with whomever might hear her for another chance, unconsciously touching two fingers and thumb to her forehead and chest in the Eastern Orthodox way.
When the dire ferry pulled into view, she meekly complied with the silent ferryman's gesture to enter. Thinking that her prayers had not been answered and that this was the end, she prepared herself for whatever might come after death in the quiet stillness. Something drew her inexorably onward, as surely as the ferry slipped noiselessly down river. Katia was surprised to see the grim tower at the confluence of several such rivers, and yet, when the boat bumped silently against its leaden dock, there was an air of inevitability to it. Katia began to climb the tower, and the air became lighter and lighter - was this, then, the end?
- "Not the end, but the beginning," a masked figure in priestly vestments said. Katia had not seen him previously, nor had she realized that she'd reached the top of the tower. There was something she was supposed to say to this, she knew, and scrabbled dimly for half remembered childhood pieties.
- "Yes, because death is inevitable due to original sin and is necessary in order to attain eternal life." There, that was it...
- "And do you believe that?"
Katia started to say that of course she did, but stopped, knowing somehow that attempting to lie to this man would be a very bad idea.
- "I don't know. I used to. My parents do. But I haven't done anything with my life. Haven't done anything with it yet, I mean. I know I should believe in the grace of God, but if I am to be given eternal life, I'd at least like to try to be worthy of it."
Such a thing was, of course, impossible for a being so dire and dignified, but Katia could almost have sworn that he was smirking at her in sardonic amusement.
- "This is not a place of Grace, nor a place of mercy. If you truly desire to prove yourself worthy, however, it may be a place suited to your needs. There is always a reason for the things that happen, and none of us can evade our ultimate fate - and it is this which has brought you here to me. You are being given another chance. If you wish to take it, take my hand." The figure stretched out a hand that somehow seemed skeletal, despite the obvious counter-evidence of plump white flesh. A ruby ring gleamed wetly from the third finger, reminding Katia absurdly of blood.
As her fingers touched his, she found herself writing in a book. Without knowing why she did so, she signed her religious name: Yefrosiniya, after a 14th century noblewoman - the first from Moscow to enter a convent - known for her piety and healing gifts.
- "Do not fail." The words seemed to come from nowhere, but echoed with power.
In the end, although the accident knocked her out, Katia was uninjured save for some cuts and scrapes. A miracle, the doctors and nurses said. Her parents had been killed instantly. Although she has no way of knowing whether this is true, Katia believes with all her bitter, grief-stained heart that they were the ones who protected her, giving her the chance to live on.
Although the church has regained its importance in her life, the words of Romans 6:23 will forever ring hollow for her. Katia can't help but think that these simple words conceal a bitter irony.
She deliberately re-acquired a Russian accent after her Awakening. In part this was out of a desire for greater kinship with her heritage and in part as a deliberate strategy to confuse and deceive - for she became a Guardian of the Veil shortly after first joining mage society. She takes the unwritten laws of her new existence seriously and will use any means at her disposal to ensure that others do as well.
Both her mortal life as a virtuous daughter of the Eastern Orthodox Church and her supernatural life as the upholder of Awakened moral traditions now emphasize an orderly universe in which she has a definite place. She has never failed to answer to this higher calling since the time of her awakening - always keeping in mind the final instructions she received as she signed her name.
On the mortal side of life, she entered a nursing program with the assistance of church scholarships and a fund set up for her by the Eastern Orthodox community after the tragic death of her parents. Since completing her education, she had worked as a nurse in various religious institutions, impressing all who come across her with her austere simplicity.
The Thread Cutters
Katia believes that the tragedy of her life was the direct result of her refusal to go along with what fate had in store for her. She seeks to ensure that others will not make the same mistake. She had devoted quite a lot of thought and research into the best way to do this - but, in the end, she happened upon a reference to the Thread Cutters by chance.
Although it's clearly impossible for her to know for sure, she believes that the being she met at the tower was one of the Three - specifically, the being charged with endings. Devoted to him for, as she sees it, giving her another chance, she now serves him faithfully, forging her soul into a potent weapon for enforcing the dictates of destiny.
As of recently, that destiny sent her to Vancouver...
History (IC Knowledge)
- September, 2013: Arrives in Vancouver
- October, 2013: Assists in the disruption of a Doomsday Clock ritual
- March, 2015: Joins the First Strike (cabal)
Katia is tall and spare, with pale, somewhat lumpy skin due to frequent night shifts and lack of exposure to natural light. She dresses all in black, relieved only by a large, ornate, and somewhat morbid silver cross. Her appearance can lead people to mistake her for a nun.
The shadows of unseen, vaguely horrifying dark figures obscuring the coloured light of a stained-glass window.
- Katia is the Interfector.
- "People might think she's the good cop to my bad. That's their mistake to make. The cool-headed professionalism that Katia brings to the table simply affirms her willingness to do what must be done." -Neil Kingsley
- Dean Braxton: "...you all have acted with various degrees of honour."
- Katia: "I resent this accusation."
- Marcus Aurelius: "Fairy-tales are rife with examples of people defying fate for love. It always ends tragically though. You... would have been worth such tragedy."
Player Name Jessica Burch
C@M Number CA2010050107
Location Vancouver, BC
Venue Once More Unto the Breach