The Lady Asquith
“You can control your destiny, but not your fate”
Helena Augusta Victoria Asquith was born to old, aristocratic blood and great familial wealth, the kind of fortune amassed from the bowed backs of others. Her illustrious family have been raised in the Di Inferi tradition for centuries, and were one of the founding families to immortalise their teachings by expanding into the sanctuary of the Americas. They maintain a marked influence in both continents through deep lines of blood and lineage. In fact if one truly knows what to look for, they need not look very far in order to spot the Asquith influence pulling subtle strings of power throughout the decades. They nurture this influence through politics, fame, abundant wealth, convenient marriage, and careful breeding. To the common eye they are known simply as being one of the most recognisable and richest names of antiquated nobility in England, second only to the defunct Royal Family.
Threads of Fate: Life
In her early twenties Helena travelled extensively across Europe and America, keen to see the world and determine her place in it. By now she had a particular curiosity about the workings of life, from the machine of the body to the ethereality of the soul. She attended lectures across the globe, and spent significant amounts of time and money accruing resources and networking. It was during this time that she encountered Danika Zayed, an equally strange woman, whom Helena might have found gauche but for the essence of something she had never perceived before in another. Curiosity on Helena’s part sped the brief friendship. She ended up saving Danika’s life.
Helena had used the ability to heal only once before then, on a favoured family pet she had been reluctant to let go to old age. Diablo was a large grey Borzoi she had raised from a pup, and he had been a companion at her side for most of her childhood. Lena saw no reason that the longevity the Di Inferi sought greedily for themselves ought not also apply to their animals, and it was such desire that first blossomed the power within her unknowing control. The twists she made within his body kept him alive some few months more. Eventually he grew ragged and gaunt; spent his time panting in pain. Determined, she tried again, but this time, to her consternation, he expired under her hands.
It was his time, her father assured her kindly. Advice Helena has never forgotten.
Danika was the first time she used her gift on another, and perhaps also the first time she truly considered the possibilities that might unfurl from her fingertips.
Threads of Fate: Death
Marriage was an expectation of the Asquiths, men and women alike, for it remains one of the easiest ways to forge connections and assets around the world. Helena had no great objections, but neither any desire towards that end, thus she offered no protestation to a convenient arrangement when it was made for her. It was a loveless union, but not a difficult one. They lived mostly separate lives, conferring occasionally on the manner of their future. Where they would live, when they would have children. The veneer of an ordinary life was useful. She travelled still, as did he.
She was in the reading room when she heard unusual sounds from downstairs, but did not react immediately, too engrossed in the paper she had discovered. It was the Illustris Project, a work published some years before, pertaining to discoveries made by a group of physicists led by one Dr Zayed.
When she did drift downstairs, it was to a scene of tragedy. Helena instructed the house to send for medical support. She laid her hands upon his husband’s wound, watched the blood seep hot around her fingers, and knew the ambulance would not arrive in time. The power shifted around her being, yet when she really looked at him, she saw nothing. The Di Inferi placed immortality upon an altar, but Helena only saw a natural order. The power drifted away. She was curious to observe how it happened in a person, but did not find it a pleasant experience. By the time the paramedics attended, it was over.
She had not killed him. But she had not saved him either.
When the police arrived Helena showed little concern or emotion for the man she purportedly loved.
That proved a mistake.
The court case was long and drawn out. Helena found the whole thing a wasteful drain given her innocence. Her apathy proved to be a morbid draw though; the media branded her a Black Widow, and the story raced through the Dominances, especially when it leaked that she had visited an abortion clinic in the weeks following her husband’s death. Helena continued to let the lawyers speak for her, unperturbed by the branding, and waited for the ordeal to be over. It was the kind of attention the Asquiths were not pleased to receive.
The jury deliberated for such a long time that Lena began to wonder in surprise if things might actually end poorly for her. But in the end she was acquitted. The jurors had been convinced of her guilt, but ultimately the evidence was not there to support it. Despite vociferous debate, they could not convict her.
Afterwards she moved to Moscow. The shackles of her family slipped free, for she was too tarnished now for the duties she had been born for, and none tried to prevent her. Helena did not look back.
Moscow seemed the perfect place to rebuild. Maybe some peripheral tug of fate brought her to the city where Dr Zayed keeps her office. Helena suspects her husband’s death was more unusual than it seemed, and not the simple break-in declared in the trial’s verdict, a mystery that does not fill her with vengeance but with a desire to peel back the layers to watch the inner workings. Meanwhile her attention turns to the gift she cannot control. Rumour of a dark variety was the thing to bring the Almaz to her attention. When it was clear she could not negotiate for what she wanted, she simply bought the place.
The Almaz is a fight club bolted into the Underground, but claimed exclusively by the favour of the obscenely rich. It was purchased by Helena not long after the devastating fight between Oriena Rusayev and Ivan Sarkozy caused considerable damage to its infrastructure. The refurbishment costs were considerable. Helena’s interest lies solely with access to the club’s mysterious healer Ilya and the children he uses to perform his miracles. Little has changed in the day to day running of the club, including its management. Helena is disinterested in the violence and feels no moral responsibility for the depravities that happen there, especially in the lowest levels.
She keeps an office, filled with books and curios such as skeletons and taxidermy, and sometimes attends the more gruesome or interesting injuries. Often she is accompanied by one or more of her three dogs. The animals are highly trained, and very loyal.
Appearance & Personality
Helena is tall and thin with naturally auburn hair. Her features are doll-like and often expressionless, with large deep-set eyes. Rules are important to her, though she has little sense of right and wrong, and no shred of empathy. She finds people frustrating, but is an excellent observer of them. In the main she prefers the company of animals, who generally behave as predicted. She is loyal if it is gainful, or if she perceives a consequence for disloyalty, but never for emotional reasons. To her own ambitions she is determined, and those who align with them will discover a formidable ally. She dislikes frivolous touch and disorder, and has no inclination to harm others. Violence is distasteful to her, though she is fascinated with the workings of the body. The ends justify the means in that regard. She has never been squeamish.
Channeling and Talents
She is a talented Healer and potential Restorer, and has a gift for perceiving those important to the Pattern. Her block is such that healing is currently the only thing she can do, and she must believe the person is worthy of being saved.
In every Age she is born with a profound gift for Healing. Sometimes she is born a minor ta’veren, gifted at shaping the world beyond her control. Sometimes she has the gift of sensing it in others, furthermore able to differentiate those individuals destined for greatness. She is never born with empathy, enabling her to act without being swayed by concern for others. Her soul is an arbiter of balance, taking no sides, and always respun with a desire to shape and change the world around her.
In some Ages, her soul is spun out with others. In the times these other souls are born, and the three meet, the combination of their various gifts is potent.
The 6th Age is one such time, where she is born as Klotho, one of the Greek Fates.
In the 3rd Age she was born as Talin, an Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah.