She is 15 years old, and often appears as a 5’, curious and content girl with dirty blonde hair, apple red eyes, and ratty clothes. She wears a clanking metal gauntlet and a belt of woven hair. The image of a younger brunette girl in a singed nightgown lays over her own, and they are often accompanied by a ghostly black cat with glowing yellow eyes.
Grace Cyanide lives in The Illumination, a setting where videos of the supernatural go viral every day.
Her journal, I am 9 & MAGICAL, has 53 entries.
In addition to an accelerated healing rate, any major injuries Grace sustains are “fixed” by Obedience’s form lining up and taking the place of the affected area. The restored chunks, eyes, arms, whatever may come, appear just as Obedience’s: bluish and semi-transparent, but now functioning just as the respective physical flesh would. Currently, her middle left finger and left eye have been replaced.
This restoration is the biggest key to the girls goal that they’ve gotten so far. The bond they want so badly is within their reach- all it takes is getting hurt badly enough. Rather than opting to chop off Grace’s limbs in the name of it (which they could theoretically survive), the menagerie decided to continue Contracting so they can get hurt in ways that matter. Also, keep up with friends… it could be that they just like the rush.
You gain the following benefits at all times.
Any Injury you receive heals quickly, reducing its Severity by one level every three days, starting once it becomes stabilized. Battle Scars caused by your Injuries are also healed when the Injuries that caused them regenerate.
Grace’s horror show isn’t as traumatic to look at as it is to be targeted by; dealing mind damage in the form of fear and stress, being forced to live out Obedience’s burning for a few moments… the screaming, flames, and reflections are violently transferred to the target as they suffer the onslaught.
Being on the receiving end of this is brutal. It’s the girls’ oldest ability; the betrayal and pain were enough to keep Obedience’s soul at unrest, so when it’s all put towards someone’s mind in a few seconds, it’s the most reliably terrifying thing contained in the five foot frame.
Exert your Mind and spend an Action to activate. Select a Sapient target within 20 feet. Roll Intelligence + Influence at Difficulty 6. Affected targets may resist by rolling Mind at Difficulty 8 with a -3 dice penalty. If they are incapacitated or unconscious, they fail automatically and their Outcome is 0.
If the Contested Outcome is positive, the target takes Mind damage equal to the Contested Outcome. If you deal at least 3 Mind damage, the target will gain a new Trauma selected by you (the GM can overrule you at their discretion). This trauma may be removed by Effects or mundane therapy as per normal rules. Affected targets are aware that they are being attacked and can generally tell who did it.
Anyone who witnesses you during this Effect's activation will almost certainly be disturbed to see Obedience’s form vibrating and flickering in and out of sight like a camera shutter, classic horror movie style; the echoing screams that accompany Stake flames come from her own mouth, which opens with a distending jaw, pulling Grace’s unnaturally along with it. Their eyes and anything reflective on their body (including sweat and saliva) reflect orange violent fire.
Grace begins calling a cat and waving a ball of yarn. Obedience’s old kitty, Horatio, appears as a ghostly form covered in soot. Upon closer inspection, you may be able to tell he was once a calico. Horatio, at the GM’s discretion, may be able to perform small tasks that a mundane cat could, such as catch a bug or offer comfort. Additionally, he is able to perform a scratch attack, and the girls seem to be able to fully understand Horatio due to their mental ties.
Horatio usually resides in Grace’s mindscape, or between worlds- where Obedience half-exists already. He has been with them through the beginning, even when he couldn’t be seen… the most loyal of cats, our beloved Horatio.
Exert your Mind and spend at least two Actions performing the following ritual: Grace walks around waving her ball of yarn calling out for Horatio and inspecting places he could come out from. to activate. You must actively and obviously use A ball of yarn to activate this Effect. You must maintain Concentration while activating this Effect, and it fails if you are interrupted.
Summon a single Horatio at your location. They will last until they are destroyed. They are controlled by the GM but will follow any commands you give. You may have at most 1 minion active at a time.
Minions have 4 Body and can make melee range attacks with 5 dice to attack and +1 Damage. They cannot move faster than a walk and cannot dodge incoming attacks. They have dog-level intelligence, but are capable of communicating information back to you. Any Perception checks they make are rolled with 3 dice.
Your minion is able to Stealth with a 4-dice pool.
Grace covers her eyes and counts to five, slowly fading out of existence as she does so until completely gone. While she counts, Obedience is looking for hiding spots, though this isn’t exceedingly obvious.
Grace knows the importance of staying hidden. Being able to wriggle into small spaces already is helpful, but being able to slip past people in broad daylight is required for swiping necessities. This power is most often used for sneaking into the cargo holds of planes to travel long distances.
Exert your Mind and spend at least two Actions performing the following ritual: Grace covers her eyes and counts to five to activate. You must maintain Concentration while activating this Effect, and it fails if you are interrupted.
You and any clothes or equipment you are wearing are obscured from sight for the next hour. All attempts to detect you via sight fail. Detection attempts via other senses where sight would assist are rolled at a -2 dice penalty.
Entering Combat or being Injured does not cause the Effect to end early. Anyone you attack will immediately notice you; anyone else may re-roll to notice you each time you take a Combat action, at -1 Difficulty per Combat action you have taken. When the Effect ends, it is disabled for 1 hour.
Grace grins and tilts backwards like a trust fall which comes to a sudden, jarring stop a few inches above the ground. Grace goes horizontal and rises in the air with the ghostly white dress and wispy hair of her best friend trailing underneath them. As they get farther up, they’ll straighten up to vertical and take their place in the sky, hovering eerily.
Grace can’t come down from this display on her own- if she needs to, she’ll toss a rope down at a teammate to pull her along like a balloon until she settles to the ground.
Chamael was the inspiration- spending time with him had them jumping off a hotel bed, determined to fly just like he could. Cham was not happy.
Exert your Mind and spend an Action to activate.
You may levitate off the ground at three times your normal walking speed. The effect lasts for the next minute, and while it is active, you cannot choose to end the effect early, or come closer than 5 feet to the ground.
While in the air, your move speed and encumbrance are based on your rating in Mind instead of your Brawn and Dexterity.
The memories of crackling flames, shrieks, mournful yowling and responding jeers build a swirling cacophony around Grace, sparking against the ground until they catch with ghostly flames. Once a target is chosen, the circle darts across to them and grows with the successes of the attack. They may roll Mind at difficulty 6 to convince themselves the flames aren’t real.
This memory comes easy. While the flames still bring some stress, the girls are used to using them to their advantage by now; the anger, in fact, has become part of the fuel to the fire.
Spend an Action to activate. Select a target within 45 feet. Roll Intellect + Occult Difficulty 6. The target may contest by rolling Mind, Difficulty 6.
If the contested Outcome is positive, the target takes that much damage plus 3. Armor is fully effective against this damage.
This Gift's level is capped at 2 Gifts and cannot be increased further.
Horatio slips into existence for a second around Grace, clutching a piece of notebook paper in his teeth with care. Disappearing again and bounding through the aether, he brings the message to the target and appears beside them as well before entering their mindscape to deliver. The target gets a mental image of Horatio presenting the note with a cat’s mix of pride and disinterest.
The development of Grace’s mindscape built a home for Horatio. He’s used to making his way in and out of it- ghosts are in some ways merely memories, after all, so where else would he stay?
Spend an Action to activate. Select a target any distance away from you. You must have a specific target in mind, but you require only an intuitive understanding of them, such as their name, face, or Location.
You may send a single message to your target. It can be no more complicated than a multi-page letter or a long email.
The message will only be perceived by the intended recipient. You must share a common language for your target to understand the message.
This Gift's level is capped at 2 Gifts and cannot be increased further.
Driven up the wall or climbing to explore, Grace’s joints pop out of place and extend for easier movement. Obedience’s strength and uncanny power pulls their forms along in an almost spiderlike fashion, accompanied by either her grim determination or excited giggling.
Names are powerful things. When the girls learned Obedience’s name, it was like a lock clicking open… alongside the traumatic memories came potential energy, an embrace of the unnatural and a further understanding of what it means to be a ghost.
You gain the following benefits at all times.
You may move easily and without a roll in any of the following situations.
Grace conjures her Stake Flames in her small palms and presses them slowly to to the scar. They cleanse as rubbing alcohol would; burning, hissing, but sterilizing. The target is partially connected to Grace’s head for the ten minutes, and now knows Obedience’s fear and trauma. She lets out a low breath and removes her hands.
Columbus, Ohio: Doctor Murphy and Grace work together to remove the S.I.N. chip from it’s place, wrapped around Guido’s brain stem. Fatal exsanguination and paralysis are major risks, and between Grace’s assistance, all she can think about is how she’ll fix it… she is tired, and worried, and she made a promise.
The surgery was successful, but the stress unlocked something new, and Grace was able to use it later on to fix a scar of her own. The fear of the flames has stopped bothering them in short bursts, but ten minutes spent deep in the memory can still be too much for them, for now.
Exert your Mind and spend ten minutes to activate. Select a Living target within arm's reach. Make a Trauma roll when you activate this Effect. Select a Battle Scar on your target to treat.
The treated Battle Scar will heal over the course of the next week.
Obedience may jerk Grace’s body out of the way of incoming attacks, or swat them away completely. She becomes a little more “present” as she does so, brighter for just the flash of a second it takes her to deflect the damage.
Obedience would do anything in her power to protect Grace. It’s not just because Grace is what keeps her tethered to this world; they are best friends, and their bond is what makes them stronger in a multitude of ways.
You gain the following benefits at all times.
You have 2 Armor, which reduces incoming damage from all sources of physical attack except Fire. Armor from multiple sources does not stack.
Your Armor applies to Mind damage, reducing each instance to a minimum of 1.
Your Armor protects you against Injury from non-physical sources as well.
Grace focuses her energy towards pulling someone into that pathway. If successful, the target’s vision will flutter in and out between their real-world view and being flat on their back, laid out on a table surrounded by cakes and tea sets in a desaturated forest clearing. The Dead Kid Tea Party stares down at them with hollow, prying eyes: Grace, Obedience, Sally, Horatio, and Hope staring into the grey area between your body and your consciousness, and reading.
The pathway to Grace’s mind for other souls is wide open. In the past, visitors have been relatively invited, but as Grace becomes willing to do more… why don’t you come in and chat?
Exert your Mind and spend 1 minute to activate. Select a Living, Animate target within 20 feet You must maintain Concentration while the effect is active. Roll Brawn + Alertness at Difficulty 6. The target may resist by rolling Mind at Difficulty 7.
You are able to view your target's memories. The target is aware that their thoughts are being probed but not of the source of the probe. The Effect ends if the target moves out of range or your Concentration is interrupted.
You may ask specific questions about their memory - “what is their computer password,” “What were they doing at 4:00PM yesterday,” etc - but you cannot get answers to broad, analytical questions like “are they a good person?” or “what are their plans for the future?”
Spirits do not need to breathe, eat, drink, or sleep as humans do. It’s only logical that a girl that binds herself to so many would start to take on their attributes. This power is passive and not any more obviously supernatural than Grace already is.
The third spirit to possess Grace, Sally, made the ghosts’ influence “spill over” in a sense.
You gain the following benefits at all times.
You may go five times longer than a normal human without food, water, sleep, and air.
Called for and slipping out from behind Grace’s head like an ash-black Cheshire, Horatio comes padding silently down to the girls’ arms. A quick swipe of his claws, and a wound is opened- but on Obedience’s arm, not the physical one. The girls drip the ethereal blood into the mouth of the target, sharing blood free of all impurities to cleanse them. The target glows faintly blue from their throat, to their chest, to their stomach as their body is cleansed, but the process is not complete until 15 minutes later when they spit up blackened, viscous and diseased-saturated fluid.
Pesticides, maggots, lockjaw… there is no room for restrictive impurities in Grace’s body. They were sick of it, literally and metaphorically, so they found the cleanest thing they’d always have and made use of it. Blood that never darkens or catches disease, blood that embodies will and aid. Obedience will heal- she needs only herself to do so. Horatio has the short end of the stick with his guilt, but even that is temporary.
Exert your Mind and spend 15 minutes to activate. Select a Living target within arm's reach.
You may cure any single disease or poison afflicting your target even if you have not diagnosed or fully understood it. You may only cure diseases which can be treated with modern medicine. During treatment, the malady you are treating does not progress or cause additional damage or other effects.
Grace holds an apple (likely bruised and a little old) in her hands and focuses on good memories. With help from the Dead Kid Tea Party, the potency of the memories imbues the apple with a healing effect that reminds the target of whatever place feels like home to them. The fruit crackles as its composition changes, glowing Obedience’s ghostly blue from inside. The glow follows the bites of apple as they move from the target’s throat, to chest, to stomach.
“Happy thoughts, huh? Good on you, kiddo.”
The apples started when Grace became homesick in England. Missing Jersey and her old hidey holes, and farther back, her bedroom… blanket caves were always her favorite. Before she was able to recreate that with Chamael’s help, her desperation gave her a fix.
Exert your Mind and spend 1 minute to activate. Select a Living target within arm's reach. You must use up apple in order to activate this Effect. Choose a specific Injury on your target that has not yet been treated with this Effect and roll Intellect + Medicine at Difficulty 8.
If you succeed, the Injury is reduced in Severity by your Outcome. If you reduce its Severity to 0, the Injury is fully healed. Otherwise, it is partially healed and will heal the rest of the way at its natural rate.
This counts as a successful Makeshift Stabilization if the Injury was not already Stabilized; any Battle Scars caused by the Injury will remain.
If your Outcome is greater than the Severity of the Injury you were attempting to treat, you may apply any excess Outcome to other Injuries on the same patient.
During a Downtime, Grace can banish traumas from her or another’s mind by singing the nursery rhymes she used to calm herself down in the past. Usually, it’s “Rain, Rain, Go Away”… sitting across from the target, holding their hands, the way she thought it should be. All that’s really required is spending time relaxing and listening.
It was getting difficult to deal with the torrents of trauma from the jobs, and Grace can’t exactly go and see a normal therapist. Happy thoughts are already in her toolkit.
Exert your Mind to activate. Select a Living target within arm's reach. Over the course of one Downtime, your patient must communicate with you and reveal at least one of their Traumas to you, including the details of those Traumas and the circumstances of how they were acquired.
After the full treatment time has elapsed, you may remove one of the patient's revealed Traumas without incurring any Experience cost.
Your patient is required to Treat the dead with respect, they can hear you; and while they might not care enough about you to take offense, Grace certainly cares enough about them to get offended in their place. for the next month. If they violate this rule, your treatment is immediately reversed.
Obedience is able to temporarily puppet Grace’s movements to manipulate objects around them. As with all powers, the three eyes occupied by the girls glow their apple red while Obedience’s pale blue form grows a little stronger. They are also willful enough to land blows as if from cold hands on targets.
The girls’ forms have joined enough now that Obedience’s gestures no longer stray from Grace’s body. One hand joined at the middle finger, another melded into the Gauntlet- they are nearly locked in place, just how the girls want it to be. They are able to manipulate objects in the first place in the way most ghosts are; through a force of powerful (in this case combined) will, sending ripples through the currents of a half-existing realm which flows erratically adjacent to ours.
You gain the following benefits at all times.
You can interact with things that are within 75 feet without needing to physically touch them or be near them. Any rolls made for Actions taken in this way use a Mental Strength of 2 in place of your Brawn rating, a Mental Agility of 2 in place of your Dexterity, and otherwise use your own Attributes and Abilities.
Telekinetic actions have the following restrictions and behaviors:
Because of the girls’ joint life force, Grace cannot be killed by mundane means. Perhaps she never could, or perhaps she hit a benchmark in power that solidified this. The only thing that can truly take her down is the removal of her belt of dead man’s hair, and of course, an exorcism. On the event of her death, Obedience and the rest of the menagerie leave with a heartbroken wail as all of Grace’s injuries, hunger, thirst, and exhaustion that were prevented by her catch up and wither the girl into a bloody husk.
When Grace and Obedience first met, Obedience saved her life. She had been fatally wounded, curled on the pavement and crying in a pathetic anger before her attacker. Neither of them wanted her to die, and that is the reason they joined in the first place. Light filtered through the blue, wraith-like form of her future best friend became some perversion of the light at the end of the tunnel… and she woke up healed.
You gain the following benefits at all times.
If you would take an Injury that would kill you, you don’t die. Instead, you survive in an Incapacitated state. This state lasts for the next hour, at which point you fully return to life.
While Incapacitated, your only weakness is a proper exorcism, and if you take damage from it, you will die. Damage from other sources will still be dealt and can cause Battle Scars, but will never kill you. If your weakness is not immediately intuitive or obvious, attackers may be able to make some sort of knowledge roll to discover it, at GMs discretion. After you return, the Injury that would have killed you, as well as any Injuries sustained while Incapacitated, are healed. Battle scars obtained during this time remain.
Grace brings Sally out from her designated satchel and sets her in front of the dead body (or token for it). Grace’s eyes flashing red, then Sally’s, then the targets- like a chain- means the connection is successful.
Expend a point of Battery and spend an Action to activate. Select a Dead target within arm's reach. In order to target the Dead, you must have A possession of sentimental value.
The target can communicate in your language for the next ten minutes.
Sally Ingleton was a very unfortunate child, who lived a very horrid and traumatized life up until her brutal murder at the hands of her abusers. Her only comfort was a small old doll that used to have a voice box that said "Mama". Somewhere along the lines, the doll refused to speak any longer... that is until after Sally's untimely demise. After that, Sally's voice began coming through the box, demanding revenge and awareness of her plight. Once Sally's spirit was finally able to rest, however, the doll, dubbed Sally in honor of her former owner, retained it's ability to be a voice box for the dead.
Nikita “Widow” Stryker kept Sally as a friend and ally until her untimely demise in The White Ronin’s death traps. Grace Cyanide visited Widow’s grave, dug it up, and adopted Sally into her own Spirit Menagerie, and is now building their power together.
Spend an Action, Exert your Mind, and select a target within 20 feet. The target may communicate in your language for 10 minutes.
You may only communicate with the sorts of targets that your "Commune" Enhancements allow. Without at least one "Commune" Enhancement, this Power is unusable.
Sometime around the Salem Witch Trials, a girl was discovered by her senile, witchcraft-paranoid grandmother, talking to her cat. This may not have been a problem if the cat, Horatio, had not rolled in soot and appeared to the grandmother as some sort of shadow demon that her little granddaughter was communicating with. By some unlucky stroke, this grandmother was as respected in the village as she was fierce on her opinions, and the poor little girl was burned to death.
The Spirit (who has forgotten her name) was buried under an apple tree, which she bonded to; this bond has inexplicably kept the tree alive through sun and storm up until modern times, as The Spirit watches society develop around her. In these times, a little girl named Grace happened to take a liking to the apple tree. She would pass it on her way home and often spent time under it, eating apples, drawing, or reading. The Spirit took notice but was unable to communicate with Grace until the day that Grace was attacked near the tree- some druggie with undoubtedly ill intentions. The Spirit, enraged, is able to drive him off through the force of that rage and talk to Grace for the first time.
Grace lays dying on asphalt as The Spirit tells her an idea- let her inhabit Grace’s body to keep her alive, please, she doesn’t want to lose her. Grace agrees out of fear of dying, and The Spirit possesses her- two souls now living in one body peacefully, who soon become best friends.
Grace’s return to her home was met with terror; a bloody, filthy version of your own daughter with apple-red eyes and, most obviously, the flickering form of someone else overlapping hers. She was driven out violently and now scavenges in the woods under the helpful instruction and advice of The Spirit, seeking a way to keep The Spirit bound forever.
Place of Residence: Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, England
Update 1: Since the beginning of the games, Grace has become more cautious and straightforward. She isn’t as shy as she used to be, and lost her nervous stammer- perhaps she’s growing into a sapling of a good contractor.
Update 2: Grace has gained two things- a tattoo from Connor Inkz, and imprisonment. Despite the caution she’s gained, Grace was poisoned and landed herself in the hospital. A supernatural runaway isn’t the type you can just let go, and well...
Update 3: Grace, escaped with the favor of a Harbinger, has worked out with The Spirit that they need to wear a jacket for cover in public, even if The Spirit is offended by it. The jacket sufficiently covers The Spirit, unless you look especially close.
(-Each bullet point, is, of course, a star.-)
I’ve been trying to think about how to start this for awhile. I guess this you’re gonna go in someone’s collection one day, and that’s weird to think about, but I like it more than you getting buried with me or something. You’re promised to Mister Antiquarian (he won’t tell me his real name, but I told him it’s okay because he makes really good hot cocoa).
Yeah, that sounds right. Hello, future person, my name is you know my name already. And if you’re this far, you know a LOT. The version I’m copying after I write this down is gonna have explanations for some things, but this one in my hands right now is gonna stay the same. I wonder if it’s gonna have the same cover… hold on.
He says I’m gonna put it in a ledger, but I can draw a unicorn on it! Which is like a no This is confusing.
I don’t even know where I was before this. I know right now I’m in a place that doesn’t matter in terms of time and space, so I don’t think I need to explain it, but before that I was in Mister Jules’ mansion which he sold, but it wasn’t “his” anymore, so I guess a world really close to his? Still, I don’t know why the box was there if that’s not where I left it. Someone stole the van and there was a bunch of cough medicine I still haven’t figured out. So I looked for it, and ended up here, in the Red Door, which is run by the Antiquarian who’s an old nice guy and is helping me put the Greek spirits where they go. It’s not even locked back in the box!
Mister Antiquarian helped Mister Chamael on the job with the stupid fox faerie. The bottle I drew came from him, the one that turned tears into holy water. And I guess I never asked how Mister Chamael kept his head when he lost it… now I know.
He told me it’s a charm from the Green Knight, who got it from the Queen of Light and Darkness, and it allows you to replace your severed head once. It’s perfect. I hope that means something perfect for us.
I haven’t read my old entires in awhile… my handwriting was so messy…
I threw my books at them. Those were good books, fairy tales. I believed in them, and it seems silly now, but you never know what’ll show up I guess.
Oh, Mister Connor… I wonder where he is?
And Mister Doc.
Oh that drawing of Horatio is bad. Sorry Horatio.
(-There is a new drawing of him, which is not much better-)
I’m so proud of Sally for talking more with than she used to. She says she misses Miss Widow- so do I- but that she does like being able to talk whenever about whatever.
Ugh… Mister Abu.
I should write all of my bullet points as stars.
Oh, and Miss Mildred, and Mister Arthur, and Mister D.
And I want taiyaki now.
Obedience wants to say something:
Hello, future person. I hope that your acquisition of this journal or its copy has found you well, and in a true way. I would like to say that… I am glad for interesting history, regardless of its dangers.
(-The drawing at the bottom has been scratched out and redrawn many times, but appears to be the head and shoulders of an elderly man with spectacles. There is a teacup of what can be assumed to be hot cocoa next to his face.-)
My name is Obedience Bratcher, and I am Grace’s best friend. We have shared this body for what we can best estimate to be five years, and they have been, undoubtedly, the best five years of my life and death.
I was born in 1682, in a small village near what I hear has since become Tinton Falls, New Jersey. I lived for eleven years with my mother, my father, and my grandmother. When I died, the Salem Witch Trials had not yet begun… my burning was preemptive, but never heard of. I was still alive when they carried me away, though they never knew that and never will (unless Satan devises such punishment as to bring guilt into their hearts in Hell) and my burial was secret. I did not finally pass until the suffocation came.
After that, I spent the time possessing the seed that grew above my grave, growing with it over the years. It grew as I did; the first while was a fruitless, shambling existence, but as I calmed, the seed and I grew, and when we hit the surface, I began to learn. I forgot my name somewhere in the centuries… it was unimportant, and still is, but remembering has unlocked recollections I suppose are ultimately preferable to have. I was Obedience Bratcher, and then we were the apple tree.
I watched the world change from fields to metal and plastic. I had no mouth nor muscles in the physical world; in my angriest moments I could shake the beautiful boughs of my tree, and once dropped an apple onto the head of a particularly horrible man, but that was the extent of my movement.
Grace Richardson was not my first friend, even after death, but she tells me I was hers. She tells me that before we joined, she hadn’t known a true friendship. I am glad, even though the circumstances that led her to me were not desirable, that we are able to be as we are.
The last name Cyanide was our own creation. It is difficult sometimes to choose which to go by, Richardson or Cyanide- but Cyanide’s resilience is what we need, and so it is what we chose, and so it is what we are. She is… sort of… Grace Richardson, and I am Obedience Bratcher in the same degree, but we are Grace Cyanide.