Beginner: Adrenaline Rush, Flammable Objects, Handful of Flame, Sense Combat
Novice: Body of Flame, Immolate, Insight Emotion, Resist Fire
The former "Ice Queen" enjoys dominating others partially because of her natural personality, and partially because she is insecure. She has gained a bit of sass, but always with appropriete langauge - she doesn't sink to peasant slang or derragatory slander of others. Instead she has kept her harpy-like way with words while observing a more common-folk affection for the precious people in her life and doing the things that bring her joy.
Year 1775: Marlene and her brother had it rough, their parents died when they were fairly young, leaving the title of Marquis and heir hereditary to all of Phandaria on her brother's head at the age of 16. The two had always been close and she did whatever she could to support him in those efforts.
Year 1795: When she was 20 a nobleman named Kallast needed to marry in order to inherit his fathers county and blackmailed their family for her hand, her brother was furious. Back then it took all of her efforts to keep him from getting himself killed for murder. Luck was on her side though, shortly before the wedding Kallast was discovered to be guilty of murdering his father (in what he thought was a subtle attempt to gain the county early) and fled the law.
Year 1796: A year later a letter was sent to Marlene by her former fiancée detailing how she had to meet with one of his men to be led to his side, lest her family be killed. To this end she drugged her guards (assigned to her when her brother learned of the letter and her intent to comply with it for his safety) and went to do as asked in the hopes of sparing those she loved. Instead she learned it was a ploy to lure out Leonard (who of course found the drugged guards and went to stop her from turning herself over) and kill him so that when Kallast married Marlene she would the heir Phandaria instead of a simple Marquise. Watching his death only a few feet from her killed whatever softness Marlene had. It was then she made a vow, no matter what was stolen from her, no matter how hard the fall she suffered Marlene would always get back up. She would die before letting that rotten man break her. She was rescued by knights that had been alerted by her frantic sending for help during the incident, but Kallast made her a solemn vow that one day he would return for her and when he did she would obey him or he would kill everything she loved.
Year 1807: When she was 31 the Madrid line came under attack when Drucilla (the current Duchess) was found guilty of murdering several servants and put to death, she had no husband or hope for children and that left Marlene the inheritor of the lands as Duchess (just as Kallast has hoped). She asked the Steward (Lucien) to seek out a suitor for her so she would not hold the title alone. After all, it wasn't like she was going to fall in love anytime soon but duty did call for a marriage. The pick was a Viscount: Edorian Theramore. At first impression Marlene found the man a token noble with the brain of a peasant, but the longer she took to know him the more she found he was quite a poet and as ever formal as she herself. Though unsure she could ever love him, or what might pass for the emotion, she found him a reliable friend.
Year 1808: When she was 32 Marlene was kidnapped by a keise called the Collector. There she met other women that were his prisoner and when she was rescued she saw to their upkeep, bringing Khana and Kumiko into her home as wards of House Madrid.
Year 1809: Marlene had the scare of her life when she was 35. Edorian was killed in the dragon attack on the Knights Tournament. It was then that Kumiko showed she had resurrection powers by bringing him back and Marlene was beyond thankful. Shortly after she and Edorian finally managed to bond a bit.
Year 1810: When she was 36 Khana hit on Edorian and because of this Marlene had to teach the girl more about Aetherian society. In the process the two became close and Marlene tends to see Khana as a little sister or daughter that she looks after. She is oddly tolerant of the young girls primitive nature, often showing more patience then she would with anyone else.
Year 1813 & Year 1814: The coupe happened and Marlene, Edorian, Keyne and Gracie had the good fortune to escape in the midst of the chaos. Marlene was of little use, but she supported the rebellion however she could. Her most notable action in that year being when she assisted Essence and Louis in proving to Halja that Kallast was using her. Sadly this little assitance brought Kallast's attention to her and the man began haunting her dreams until his death when the King's retook the throne a year later.
Finally Marlene was free of the shadow that had loomed over her life and amazingly that prospect was frightening! She had lived her life with one foot in the grave, positive that Kallast would be her end, and yet she had outlived him. Now she had to face the thing she'd been free of: Her life.
Year 1819: Still insecure about intimacy and having a child of her own with Edorian, the couple met the demand for an heir by adopting the child of Edorian's dead brother Thomas: Clive. The boy was smart and well behaved, nothing like the children Marlene hated. The arrangment was ideal, even if the boy was in constant poor health. Shortly after she also agreed to foster Varek.
Year 1824: However when Marlene was in her 40's she was attacked while out horse back riding by insurgents who were left over loyalists from Lucien's rulership. They beat her, they raped her and they left her for dead. She had thought herself safe and in seeking solace to think she had not brought any gaurds - a mistake she will never repeat.
It wasn't long after this that she lost her husband, Edorian, to the plague that stole the elfin magics. She realized on his death bed how much he'd meant to her and how much she'd squandered what could have been a perfect relationship.
Year 1827: She meets and develops feelings for Dante but it never goes anywhere.
Year 1830: Varek dies. His death hits Marlene harder then she thought it might.
Year 1832: Dante is in and out of her life, Varek is dead and Clive is distant. Marlene finally realizes she's on the verge of mental break down, even tempted by crazy radicals to go against the crown. Shaking herself out of it she decides to do what is right and go dowager, letting the more level headed Clive take up the rank in her place. She leave to her home duchy and tries to collect herself.
By years end she takes up something unlikely: Opera performance / singing. At first she isn't very good but she has the figure for it and several very skilled teachers.
Year 1834: Marlene is substantial enough in her skills that she's now writing her own operas to perform and has become quite the well known face as a performer. Particularly she is popular because many knew her only as an Ice Queen and then they watched the raw passion in her performances. It was so unlike her that it was inticing to the people.
Year 1835: Feeling refreshed in who she is now, she returns to the capitol to perform and pick up her political life now that her head is in the right place.
Upon return to the capitol she was set up in a meeting with Dante via his friend (and her nephew James). The admitted, finally, their feelings and gave their apologies for their misconducts before. As a result the two began to work on getting closer, courting from then on.
Fredrick's death sends Taisie into a spiral of self destruction. As a result Chestin forces Marlene to take the girl into her home and mentor her.
Year 1836: Marlene and Dante become intimate and are officially lovers. She is also involved in an attack by robbers while the two are out on vacation and uses a gun to turn the tide in the fight. She finds that while she had previously disliked fighting she had never DONE it and has enjoyed the thrill of the whole thing. But she enjoys it because she likes the elegance and distance of the gun. She seeks out training from Lennox and acquires a very expensive new pistol model. With the weapon on her person she finds herself feeling instantly more secure and less afraid of being alone or outdoors.
Year 1837: Clearly she wasn't the only one to enjoy the thrill. She and James learn Dante has been out cage fighting. She is furious becuase he is comming home bruised from meaningless fights. Had he taken it up to make a difference or stop bad guys she might not mind, but this is just senseless brutality for sport!
Year 1838: Taisie is finally stable enough and moves out on her own again.
Year 1840: James comes over while she is visiting with Dante and learns about the adbuction of Eshana. She pulls some strings, even acquiring them a new ally, to help rescue the woman. In the process she learns about his romantic connection to the woman and tries to be of support.
Year 1841: Dante is determined to help in the Phairan-Aetherian war. He offers to take his medical team to the front lines and wants Marlene to come. She refuses. She has no place in the middle of a battle feild and knows it. However, after Dante is gone, she begins to train for espionage and learns from the harpies Nikkola is doing the same so she begins working with her.
Year 1843: Marlene is asked to investigate the new royal advisor, Cerrin. However it backfires when he becomes too interested in her, obssessive and cruelly so. Scared of him, Marlene takes off in the night after getting word from a secret source that Cerrin is looking for her and using Sable to get to her.
She came to JJ about her issues with Cerrin. He suggests she work as a spy within the Shattered Realm for the time being, as it is low profile work. He even nominates that she use honesty in this case instead of deception.
Upon arriving in Kingsbury, Marlene meets I’Frit (thinking he’s in charge) and presents her case – complete with her need to hide from Cerrin.
Year 1844 - Year 1852: Marlene spends her time "hiding" amoung the Shattered Realm and actually comes to enjoy life there. They are a rambunctious but loving group that quickly worm their way into her heart. She is particularly close to Faye (one of the only other women) and I'Firt (who trains her in knife throwing and guns).
Year 1853: Cerrin attempts to "collect" Marlene but gets more then he bargained for when he learns Cross is the God of Fire. He is chased off, for now.
Year 1854: The funeral for the member is held and all of the Shattered Realm are in attendance… until they notice fires in the direction of their inn! They find citizens fleeing the scene and the Emberlight Tavern is burned beyond repair. Outraged, Cross decides he’s had enough of this city and its bullshit. Let them deal with their own crime and stupidity. He’s packing the group up to move to the capitol so they can deal with the King’s bullshit more directly. Marlene expresses to I’Frit that she’s nervous given her situation with Cerrin.
Eventually I'Frit reaches his limit with the romantic tension between himself and Marlene. He makes his feelings clear but warns her that his passion comes at a cost - his fire, specifically. He cannot promise he won't burn her to death. She assures him she can find a way around that.
Marlene asks Akira to help her “test” something AEGIS gave her to protect her from fire. When he asks her why she is naturally a bit bashful about saying “for sexy times with I’Frit”. With the item proven to be working, Marlene goes to I’Frit and the two consummate their relationship.
Shortly after this, a young woman enters their ranks - Emeline. While she was a spy at first, when Marlene corners her for the truth she admits she wants to join them for real. Seeing the way they were like family, it was something she never found with the Cult of Asoth. They agree to protect her and let her remain with them.
When the Slada'sha armies came from Cardrinal Meridian, he and his people stood to defend the city while the defensive grid came online. As a result, he granted his fire to all those willing to fight that day. Two captains of the black-blooded zombies arrive but the Shattered Realm (Akira, Marlene, Emeline, I’Frit & Cross) and the Legionaries (Taren, Sarias, Kibo, Jean, Fawkes & Marek) show up to take one each. Eventually the city is saved and everyone in Shade’s Run is celebrating.
Just before the years end, Odette and Nikkola come to the Emberlight Tavern seeking protection. Marlene vouches for them both as worthwhile people - particularly since Nikkola is a personal friend. A meeting is held with Odette and Nikkola pleading their case to Cross. He ultimately accepts them, mostly because they are about family and friends over personal gain.
A few days later, Cross encounters Christopher on the street and sees how much more like the man he once followed the King has now become. He gives up on his rivalry against the Crown.
Year 1855: Cross talks with Akira, I’Frit, Marlene and Emeline about how the old anarchy motivation is put to bed. It’s a new year, they need a new cause for the Shattered Realm to become devoted to.
A month later, Essence is starving when she arrives in Shade’s Run late at night. Emeline, meanwhile, has to make a very simple trash run outside of the inn. When Essence picks Emeline as a quick-and-easy bite, Emeline has to scramble to get away and get help from those in the Emberlight Tavern. After Essence has fed (and slept with) Emeline, the Shattered Realm demand to know what the deal is. Odette vouches for her and Cross ultimately accepts Essence’s tale. Emeline also gets to see just how good of friends Odette and Essence are.
Year 1857: Marlene and Emeline are out with Akira and Danielle when they are attacked by Ross and Abel – who are after Emeline. When Abel and Akira’s fire go head to head, Abel decides to take him because he’s like the child him and Ross never had! Danielle is left to get an injured Marlene and targeted Emeline out of dodge and tell the others.
When the girls tell Cross and I’Frit what happened, it’s Emeline who explains that to rescue Akira would require a trip to Vox Diablos. The cult’s church is in a pocket dimension of the Dark World though. They’d need a Keise, or A’dalis, to get there. Cross looks to I’Frit and asks if he, as an entity of Fire, can pass into otherworldly realms. When he learns he can, he decides anything his minions can do HE can to.
The Shattered Realm get to Ross and Able’s dwarf sheep farm to rescue Akira. However, when Cross tries to unleash his powers on the proceedings he is stopped by Asoth. God versus God, the two end up at an impasse. Cross is forced to back off for the sake of his people’s safety but they get Akira back.
After, Jean and Cross talk about what it means for them if those twisted bastards have a God of their own.
Year 1858: Kris hosts a little drinking knight but with an important motive. He tells his friends (Fawkes, Danielle, Danx, Ichiko, Willow, Kero, Nicholas & Alessa) and the Shattered Realm (Cross, Akira, Emeline, Marlene & I’Frit) that he intends to go back to Cardinal Meridian and kill a damned black-blooded zombie – no matter what this time. He’s tried of feeling weak and scared. (Naturally the question of why he’s hung up on this could arise, since he’s never told his childhood friends what became of Zaphir.) See if anyone wants to come with him.
Kris and company (Ichiko, Kero, Fawkes, Alessa) arrive at Cardinal Meridian. He makes another attempt but suffers another relapse (which could be interesting if any of his childhood friends come along). He breaks down, admitting he feels worthless. First he was haunted by Zaphir’s face before death, now he can add his father’s lack of respect to his trauma. Akira, Cross and many of the Shattered Realm tail him to be sure he was okay but kept out of sight - at least until it is obvious they need to jump in and save the day.