Rivencaira "Rivera" Capelle is a character in Ex Libris Lucifer. A long-time partner of Akila Praeceps, she met him during the 10-Year War as a dull and gloomy soldier and war painter who wore long-sleeves even in Granea's dratted heat. It was in this war that she lost her left eye. An unrivalled scribe in her division, she carried with her sheaves of papers and rolls of scrolls and used whatever medium she could find to write on them, be it ink, burnt wood or in one instance, even her own blood. Some of her best works remained unconsumed. Anonymous paintings by her hands have gone to war museums as dynamic yet accurate depictions of battles.
Frail-looking but unexpectedly strong, Rivera takes no shit and forgets faster than she forgives. Her small stature (in comparison to her partner Akila) and insistence on dark, unrevealing garments gives her the air of a black cat who lurks in Akila's shadow. While she is more verbal, sometimes to a degree of childishness, she knows to shut up when it comes to diplomacy and let Akila do the work.
5' 4" | 162cm
|Weight||124lbs | 56kg|
|Eyes||L: Gold | R: Blue|
Rivera ties her straight hair back in two low pigtails and packs a wardrobe of mostly black clothes. In her left socket where her old eye was, she keeps a gold-irised eyeball made of fine glass. The eyelid still bears a scar in the shape of a cross. Normally she wears long chaps with boots whose toecaps and soles are leaded with weight. Iron plates in the knuckles of her gloves protect her hands when she gets into a scuffle. Despite her true age, she still looks about age 19, due to being a victim of magic abuse.
War painters have thankless jobs. They don't usually help fight so why should soldiers fight for them? They sit close to the frontlines and paint the scene as quickly as they could to bring news back to their people. Those who do not paint fast enough often die from ranged artillery. War Painters are sometimes used as high-vantage-point scouts who bring back detailed overhead maps of enemy camps... if they make it back alive. Some say being a war painter is a waste of talent, but what else is there for artists who cannot fight to do in war? Thus others say "Let them die doing what they love."
- Fast Painting - Rivera's training as a war painter has given her a unique, rapid style that combines finger painting and charcoal strokes. As such, she can paint a scene with unnerving attention to details in under 90 seconds. This skill has become indispensible to her work as a bookmage.
- Grand Escapes - A war painter's best trait is not her painting but her ability to get away after painting. Rivera is fast on both rough and flat terrain. In addition, she has learned how to completely erase her presence for up to 5 seconds at a time if in motion and as long as a minute if standing still.
- Resourcefulness - War Painters do not usually have the luxury of inks. Some of Rivera's best paintings were drawn from ashes and charcoal. In the vivid depiction of a freshly killed corpse, she used the blood of the corpse itself, brushing it onto paper with her finger tips and the crossbow shaft's fletching. Rivera makes do with what she can find and her imagination sometimes gets the best of her.
- Stomach of God - Rivera does not get grossed out or shocked at death. She wasn't very queasy to begin with and continued to develop her resistance from staring at dead bodies for ten years.
- Wood Burning - Rivera makes some money peddling protective charms to tourists that she makes by burning thin slabs of wood with super-heated pins. Occassionally she turns out with a few hair ornaments. She makes a somewhat meager living doing this.
- Woodsman - To supplement for what money cannot buy, Rivera kills small game in the woods and forages for edible things. Most of her skills, she learned from soldiers during the war who had been trappers or hunters before they joined the Alliance.
- Kumfergor and Podapo - Rivera learned some hand-to-hand combat but is not particularly talented in this field. She relies on her intuition to find her opponent's openings more often than is smart. However, when her intuition is correct, she will put all her power behind a single set off combos, hoping for a 1-hit KO. It makes her a reckless and ineffective fighter but it is more or less enough for any basic amount of self-defense.
- Longshot - Rivera's only use of a non-magic weapon is a long-ranged, extended-barrel rifle imported from a far away land. It was a spoil of war she picked up during a ship raid and she uses it to cast magic from a distance further than her longest cast range. This rifle can shoot up to 600 meters, averaging at an amazing 400-meter range. She has never killed anyone with it.
- Scribe - Rivera's scribal abilities are exceptionally good, partially because of her training as a war painter. Her sharp personality enables her to churn out spells quickly when she is angered or focused. As such, her spells are much more effective when she is pissed off.
- Translator - Rivera's lack of concern for people (other than Akila) reflects itself in her total inability to understand anything anyone else has written.
- Reader - While Rivera's true talent lies in scribing, not many know that she can be quite a creative reader. Rivera finds ways to write her sentiments in various mediums other than paper (for instance, tying patterns in string) in order to shorten the time between scribing and reading. She is all too happy to keep those experiments to herself and have Akila read all her spells for her.
- Rude Impersonations - Rivera appears calm, maybe even cool, on the outside, but she will take that mask off as soon as no one's looking and impersonate the people she doesn't like behind their backs.
- Sleep Anywhere - Rivera can fall asleep anywhere she wants, whenever. Waking up is the other story.
- Failed Experiment - A set of unusual tattoos cover Rivera's body. This result of a failed human experiment gives Rivera her semblance of youth and an iron-clad magical defense against fire and other magics at the expense of her rapidly dwindling lifespan.
Famed artist Gerdonnel Depris, sponsored by the provincial king of Amoe, could work with just about any medium. From sculpting to painting, sketching to carving, curators and critics followed his every brushstroke while buyers from far overseas paid exhorbitant sums for his works. People expected great things from Gerdonnel, so when he had a daughter, people expected her to be as great as anything else he created.
But Eliade was nothing like her sweet mother or her limelight-loving father. From a young age, she rarely cried except when brought into her father's studio. She grew up without a single friend and was, in all aspects, a plain and gloomy girl.
The first signs of social tension grew when the peasants of Amoe banded together under under an orator. He talked about the inane spending of the privileged and denounced the upper middle class who sucked up to nobility while their comrades suffered in poverty. The masses called for justice, and in that fervor, they saw a violent solution: raids.
The Depris house was among the first to be ransacked. They slaughtered Gerdonnel and his wife, burned his art and stole his valuables. There was nothing but fire in their Ceraisona villa after the catastrophe. Even Eliade had been stolen. The rebels dared not kill a child... but what were they to do with her? At age 8, Eliade was eerily placid through it all. She ate well and made her bed in the mornings, acting as if it was normal. The peasants finally put her with a farmer and his wife on Ihura.
"Rivencaira," they named her. She was too quiet and too dark for a child of her age, always wearing solemn clothes and never making a single friend. Her dark blue eyes were like glass windows, reflecting the ocean, thus "Dark Fortress" was a name that suited her the best.
The war broke out two years later when she was 10. She was safe at Ihura where it was too far south to see battle. Rivera studied at grammar school and worked on the farm until she was age 15. As soon as she became an adult, she packed what little she had of inks and papers, took the fastest boat to Amoe, and enlisted as a war painter with the talent she inherited from her father. At this point, the war had ran half its course and personel became more scarce. Even a war painter like her was welcome.
She met Akila Praeceps there. It was he who first realized that her impractically warm clothes hid something she did not wish to share with the world. Many war painters would paint and perish but only Rivera seemed to thrive on painting the dead and dying. Perhaps it was Akila's perception, or perhaps it was just that obvious: Rivera was practically impervious to fire.
She came out of a flamestorm with half her clothes burnt from her body. Bits and pieces of markings showing through the ashes. Gerdonnel Depris' last and greatest piece was a lace-patterned book-protection spell tattooed onto the body of his only daughter. Of nearly 200 soldiers, Akila, Rivera and a measly 14 other men survived.
Rivera vanished for the most part after the war. The only way to find her was through Akila... but who looked for her? She signed none of her war paintings and kept none of them. No one knew for certain what relations the two had with each other either. Those who remember her only recall her when they see a cat-like black shadow in the corners of their eyes.
Gear and Equipment
Poster Tube of Paper
A meter-long postertube carried over one shoulder not only houses her large-sized papers for more intricate spells but also her disassembled sniping gun. The tube is clasped and both ends and can be opened from either. She keeps a change of clothes and some emergency other materials at the bottom. Her scribal materials are at the top.
She usually wears chaps that protect her legs as well as carries her inks, paints, and threads. It's hard to say just what you can find in Rivera's pants but it's harder to get into them.
Rivera's gloves have metal-plated knuckles and her shoes have metal-weighted soles and toes.
- Rivencaira's name referenced a folktale called "Aeryasure" (Stormy Skies). A dark fortress was built like a bridge over a river long ago, sprawled like a bridge. Those who crossed under the fortress noticed... the fortress never made any sounds. No soldiers marched and no men drilled. It seemed devoid of life but lights lit it at dusk and were dimmed at dawn. The fortress was, in fact, guarded by the spirits of those who lost their lives in battle there, and to this day, still thinks they are fighting a war.
- Capelle is a name of sanctity, meaning "chapel." It is a common last name.
- Rivera sucks at mending clothes. She often annoys Akila to do it for her.