(Bonus) Some Stuff about Natalia

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The first thing I did when thinking about Chuubo’s Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine was come up with a set of four Powers specialized in the four Attributes.

Aspect girl is Natalia Koutolika, the Prodigy.

You can also play Antony Koutolika, if you really want to play a boy and you want to be the Prodigy. The disadvantage is that as a boy you will have a Y chromosome searing its way through your genetic makeup, plus, additionally, cooties. The advantage is that you will be broodingly handsome, you will have an easier time persuading your father to share his vodka with you, and people will be less likely to make fun of you for being strong enough to punch out a bear. However please be advised that vodka is made out of old potatoes and even when you are a girl who can punch out a bear people will only make fun of you from a safe distance.

In any case, who is She?

Natalia Koutolika was the best of her human generation. The smartest. The strongest. The most altogether awesome.

Also she was a little Russian girl, and very clear on the fact that it doesn’t really matter how strong or smart or awesome you are. When you are a little Russian girl changing the world is off the table.*

She may or may not have had KGB assassin training. That’s ultimately a player call.

Either way her heart froze over by the time she was 10. There’s a lot of Chess in her, and an awful lot of Freddie in particular, and at some point she just stopped caring. It was all useless.

Her family decided that this wasn’t good for her.

So they took three trunks of luggage and they went down to the boats and they spent four days in a small, dark cabin, and finally they landed at the docks of an inland lake in a little place called Town.

They pretend that it’s normal.

They pretend that it’s just a normal move. They may even believe that. An Imperial miracle was involved, and mortals have a tendency to believe what Imperial miracles think they should.

But Natalia doesn’t buy it.

She knows that you can’t get from Russia to the middle of an inland lake that is not in Russia by boat. Also, there’s a woman who lives in the sun, the hands of the Principal at her School are always dripping with blood, everybody’s speaking a vaguely Sanskrit-like language she’s never heard of but can understand fluently anyway, and that’s before we even get into the whole thing with the vampires and their “pillow-teeth tea.”

She knows that something’s up, that Town doesn’t make sense.

But her family just laughs. “You are being silly, Natashenka,” they tell her.

It’s all right.

… you wouldn’t think it could possibly be all right, but it is. It’s better than all right. It’s awesome on a stick, in fact, and the stick is also made out of awesome.

Because everything that was awful and broken about the world, everything that made her say, “There’s no point, there’s no use in even trying” was premised on the idea that the world was less crazy than the idea of fighting for justice and goodness and hope.

By the time she’d gotten through orientation at School she was aware that, in her little world at least, this was no longer true.

Let’s See, What Else?

So if you’re playing the Prodigy, your blood type will be B. (Blood bees live in your veins. They’re not vain about it! They just live there. Vanity bees think highly of themselves but if they got into your veins they wouldn’t have the first idea about what to do with themselves. Then white blood cell bees would eat them. That’s just the way things happen in the wild blood wonderland frontier.)

This Entry is Not About Bees

Right!

OK. Um. You would like borscht, because it is a Russian food and I don’t really know many Russian foods. You would also like baguettes because it is easy to imagine you having a baguette at School, eating it there, having it stolen, having someone give it to you, having someone break it while fighting near you, and the like. For borscht this is possible but more difficult to imagine. You would also like iced coffee because that’s just how cold and black and bitter the Prodigy’s heart can be.

It is important to drink things that resemble your heart. For instance, if you really love the world, you should drink something inherently amusing, like beer brewed in the tomb of a dead comedian, so that no sooner will you take a sip then you will spit it out again in a loving message to everything around you. (There are actually multiple reasons why you might do this.) Or if you are a sweetheart you might want to drink partially hydrogenated corn syrup. However if there are other sweethearts nearby they might want to stop you from doing so.

But This Entry is ALSO not about what people with different kinds of hearts should drink

Your animal would be the Dragon. Unlike Chuubo, you are not a dragon in any meaningful respect, nor can you turn into one barring a prodigious use of disguise skill and a lot of papier-mâché—but you are awesome enough to claim the best animal for yourself anyway.

Powers

Functionally, Natalia is a Power with:

  • 5 MP (generic)
  • Aspect 3
  • Affliction: Frozen Heart
  • Affliction: Outsider
  • Bond: Hero in the Making

Not that anyone with Aspect 3 really needs mundane abilities, like, ever, but she has some anyway:

  • Skill: Martial Arts 3
  • Skill: Mathematics 3
  • Skill: Sailing 1
  • Skill: Student 1
  • Skill: Russian Émigré 0
  • Cool 3

None of her mundane abilities are Passions. This doesn’t mean that I took Passions out of the rules, for clarity. It just means that none of her mundane abilities are Passions.

Variations

The Prodigy comes in a wide variety of engaging, exciting variations, including:

  • Antony Koutolika, a boy
  • Natalia Cordova, from Spain
  • Natalie Coutourier, from France
  • Ms. Mithrida Koutolika, 28 years old, the newest teacher at School

The degree to which any of these variations actually changes anything depends wholly on the player. Presumably you will either play towards stereotypes, play against stereotypes, or pick the last name you like best.

  • Strictly speaking, “changing the world is off the table” was Natalia’s opinion and not mine. Although I think that when you are 10 it is probably pretty hard no matter what.

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