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Explanation and Details

Arienne is a type of vampire known as a Malkavian, who are basically a great number of psychically gifted fanged lunatics who are all loosely and haphazardly connected to each other. Arienne's psychic connection with her Clan is her major social and emotional connection aside from her few Ghouls. Through it she communicates with the mysterious "Council", a group of one or more Malkavians (or a total delusion) responsible for her tutelage and continued monitoring.

Originally Embraced by an Antitribu of the Sabbat, Arienne survived the destruction of her Pack and hid in the sewers of Los Angeles, where she slowly discovered and developed her Vicissitude infection and her unusual mastery of it. Unlike many of the Tzimisce masters of this Discipline, Arienne understood the value of hiding in plain sight from the start, and many of her physical modifications are designed to be subtle and/or concealable. Using Auspex to enhance the delicacy and precision of her work, she spent several decades changing and building up her formerly frail body, eventually branching out to constantly upgrading her servants as well.

Physiology and Appearance
Arienne has no set form anymore, due to her constant tinkering, but she has a number of human or vampire-looking "disguise forms" she has used during the years. Her current default is a small, delicate-looking, passably pretty brunette nerd girl who looks almost completely human except for her pallor. Her lab coat, clothes and shoes, however, are actually perfectly disguised extensions of her body, and much of the gear she carries (especially her "leather" backpack) are actually Fleshcrafted constructs. Her default body normally has just above average strength and stamina, but the deceptive agility of a master gymnast. Like all vampires, she can boost her strength and stamina to peak human limits, though she will need to feed to maintain this power for very long. The same goes for her rapid-healing ability and the use of her Disciplines.

Personality and Manner
Arienne is an obsessive genius who maintains only the barest level of social acceptability in her behavior, as she sees the pursuit of social acceptance, standing or relationships to be irrelevant to survival or the pursuit of knowledge. She is sharp, clever and observant, but shares her insights with difficulty at best due to her obsessions and tendency to fall into high-level medical, biological, anatomical, philosophical or psychological technobabble. Anyone with a keen interest in these topics may find her tolerable or even fun, but they are the core of her mentality and she has to make a strong effort of will to drag her thoughts away from them completely.

Arienne is bluntly honest whenever she can afford to be, believing flattery and coquetry to be manipulative time-wasters. She does possess a degree of politeness, but she does not have an obsequious bone in her body. She can lie, and lie well, but does it so infrequently that even those who know her do not expect it of her. More often, if what she says diverges from reality, it is due to a firmly-believed delusion. Of which she has many.

Worldview and Insanity--and the Chaos They Cause
Arienne's primary delusional obsession is to continue the process of physical, mental and spiritual evolution toward higher and higher states of being, in both herself and others. Unlike the introverted Tzimisce and other Metamorphosists, Arienne cannot fully follow the tenets of her Path, as one of her core beliefs is that all biological life (and unlife) are all expressions of the First Cells--the original organisms from which all life evolved. Individual people, thus, are merely different expressions of those First Cells as they seek different paths of evolution. As a result, though she is picky about whom she will share actual knowledge with, she has no problem with using her powers to "improve" other people directly. After all, if for some reason she herself does not survive, other expressions of the First Cells may yet continue advancing after receiving her assistance.

This assistance, however, is only sometimes performed on a willing patient, and the results enjoy a varied reception. Arienne has restored sight to the blind and limb function to the crippled, corrected scars and deformities both physical and mental, and done a lot of good--but for every grateful, willing patient there are two who were Dominated, drugged or physically dragged down into her laboratory. Kindred and Kine alike have been subject to her experimentation, which is sometimes exploratory but usually focuses on correcting one or more qualities that Arienne views as detrimental to the subject's survival. Her alterations may even then be beneficial in some sense, but are usually done with a complete disregard for the patient's will, social standing--or sanity.

Thus she once saved a Blood Hunted Toreador model by giving him a new appearance--that of a pot-bellied, fiftysomething schlub with male pattern baldness.

The Nosferatu cannot be "cured" with Vicissitude, but their hideousness can be...modified. Unfortunately, although the Nos of Los Angeles deemed it "cool" when she made them all look like classic movie monsters, local authorities were displeased when she also Dominated them into gathering at Mann's Chinese Theater.

The local Tremere Chantry sent one of their own to try and capture her for interrogation and experimentation, backed up by a pair of Gargoyles. She send the three back to the Chantry as a box. Not in a box, as a box.

Tzimisce who meet Arienne tend to respond with polite curiosity and sometimes astonishment, and she has a few correspondents among them. Only one, a Sabbat diablerist, was ever hostile. His head, heart, and enough Vitae-filled circulatory system to sustain them were returned to his Pack, who decided to leave her alone after that.

Arienne has no real capacity for empathy, as she knows from reading so many minds that people's emotional wants often run contrary to what is actually best to them. She uses this fact as an excuse to physically alter and brainwash people, using the Blood Bond, Dominate, and Dementation to ensure both cooperation and secrecy. By bringing their emotions more in line with their new state of being, Arienne helps her patients adjust--sometimes driving them incurably insane in the process. She considers a certain percentage of failed projects to be acceptable in light of her many successes, and uses dying, mad or irretrievably crippled patients as raw materials, sometimes incorporated into the Living Laboratory.

Arienne believes herself to be, if not benevolent, then definitely working toward the greater good. Sometimes she is even right, which along with her apparent wide-eyed idealism can fool people into believing that she is indeed benevolent--even harmless. Unfortunately her complete insanity complicates the issue greatly. Her delusion is so ironclad that she will rationalize "treatment" of even the most vehemently protesting subject. For example, antagonistic behavior toward her is often interpreted as a desperate cry for help, and those who confront or scheme against her are most likely to end up in her laboratory. Only close associates and members of her own Clan get the courtesy of her asking first.

In addition to her primary delusion, she has a number of related delusions and compulsions. For example, she has a very strong connection to the Madness Network, to the point where she was tutored remotely by several Malkavians during her "training period". She refers to the denizens of the Network as "The Council", dismissing the malevolent whispers and insane babble mixed with the good information as "unfortunate flaws in the telepathic medium". Unfortunately, because she is amoral and insane, her definition of "good information" contains unfortunate flaws as well. Arienne credits the Council with her Embrace, subsequent survival, and tutelage.

She believes she must repay the Council with regular reports on her scientific observations, and therefore is constantly "reporting in", treating those on the Network or with sufficient Auspex to a constant low-level mumble of her technobabbly observations. At times, such as when she is completely absorbed in her work or under a great deal of stress, she will forget herself and wander around mumbling these things out loud as well. Particularly astute people might be able to discern her current intentions and opinions from these "reports", and since "walking around talking to oneself" is an almost stereotypical Malkavian trait, it makes her Clan fairly easy to discern by other vampires.

Although her knowledge of Sect politics is spotty at best, she understands that most vampires have a violent reaction to her Vicissitude powers, and thus keeps them secret as much as possible, including with judicious memory edits of any witnesses. Unfortunately one of her compulsions is constant advancement of her knowledge, abilities, and experiments. Thus she spends over half her existence cloistered away in her laboratory, continuing her research and treatment of patients in the only place she can work undisturbed. When above ground, she feeds her compulsion with constant research, observation, cross-referencing the enormous storehouse of facts in her mind, or lining up more patients. When she socializes intentionally, she always finds a way to use the time in a way that serves her driving goal.

Because of her particular type of vampire, Arienne is subject to fits of extreme, violent rage known as Frenzy. Unlike most vampire lineages, Malkavian Antitribu cannot resist these fits. To manage them, Arienne has a set of guidelines for interacting with others: she avoids doing it at all if she is hungry or already enraged, being especially careful to remove herself from her Ghouls and anyone she wishes to retain a relationship with. She avoids conflict with others for this reason as well. In matters of combat, personal threat or extreme insults, however, she almost invariably goes berserk. She has excellent control of her rages once they come, and can direct them fairly well, for example choosing not to attack allies or use Vicissitude in public. But essentially, she temporarily becomes a snarling, foul-mouthed, destructive, murderous, almost completely irrational little monster out to kick the ass and drain the blood of whoever is threatening her or pissing her off. Depending on the situation, the results can be hilarious, alarming--or horrifying.

Among Humans
Human beings only rarely hold an interest to Arienne as people. Interacting with them is fraught with complications, and their psyches are extraordinarily fragile. Those who do catch her interest as individuals are usually Ghouled posthaste to make them more useful.

As experimental material, however, humans are excellent subjects. They are made even more so by the fact that Arienne temporarily transmits her insanity when she feeds, temporarily leaving her victims as obsessed with transcending human limits as she is. Because she is so obsessed with subtle improvement, most of these changes are concealable or can be blamed on other things, and she tries to cover her tracks as best as possible. Nevertheless, now and again a story comes out in the city she is staying in about this or that paraplegic or amputee or blind person vanishing from their beds, only to reappear completely healed, with no memories or some impossible story about a friendly but creepy alien that "fixed" them. Other, less successful patients are often found wandering later, physically cured but in moderate to severe mental disarray.

Arienne has two Ghouls that are still capable of moving about in the mortal world. She treats them both well, rewarding their loyalty and even using anesthetic when "improving" them. One, Cosmo Luna, is a minor member of a local crime family, allowing Arienne to slowly develop street influence under the cover identity of a mysterious freelance "mob doctor". He acts as her public face, messenger and negotiator. The other, Maggie Las Cruces, is a former RN who works as her assistant, bodyguard, and procurer of raw materials. Unlike Luna, who is a recent acquisition, she has been with Arienne for over twenty years.

Among Vampires
Arienne possesses only a rudimentary understanding of Kindred society, Clans outside her own or what the Sects are fighting over. It makes little difference to her--she believes that politics and war are dangerous distractions from continued progress. She is nominally loyal to the Sabbat, but in reality she has no interest in her aims any more than she is interested in those of the Camarilla.  She is more concerned with threats against her Clan than her Sect. She remains a mostly subtle presence in any city she settles in, and is at least marginally cordial toward any other vampire that crosses her path, but her work comes well before any pursuit of standing among local Kindred.

Now and again she does business with her fellow vampires, especially members of her Clan. These range from surgical assistance to corpse disposal to supplying vitae and organs to special-needs consumers. When asked about her origins, she simply says she is Malkavian and may speak briefly of the Council. Most Kindred hear "Malkavian" and stop looking for coherent answers after that.

Her general views of the Clans and Sects are as follows:
Malkavian: Fellow projects of the Council and the only semblance of family she has.
Brujah: Bad-tempered sorts. Otherwise unremarkable.
Gangrel: Ideal survivors. Worth watching.
Nosferatu: Tolerable neighbors, but nosier than is ideal.
Tzimisce: Fascinating fellow scientists and explorers, if oddly formal.
Toreador: Useless.
Ventrue: Almost as useless as the Toreador, and dangerously touchy about their uselessness.
Tremere: Dangerous, hidebound, counter-innovative, insular paranoids.
Lasombra: Megalomanaical fanatics with their own unique and dangerous obsessions.
Setite: Tasty. High pain tolerance. That is about all she knows.
Giovanni: Who?
Panders/Clanless: Possibly the most promising of the lot thanks to sheer diversity.
Sabbat: Messy, but remarkably free of the social restrictions tying up its counterpart.
Camarilla: Bizarre creatures filling their existences following incomprehensible rules and pursuing a bizarre form of trade between bouts of generally pointless squabbling. 
Anarchs: At least their goals and point of view actually make sense.

Among Others
Arienne is barely aware that beings beside vampire and humans exist. She has noticed beings with auras different from those she has identified as belonging to those two, but she has not had cause to investigate this phenomenon yet.


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Dr. Arienne Darcy

July 2013

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