|Fandom||Young Wizards - Diane Duane (Feline Wizards)|
The Book of Night with MoonEdit
Rhiow begins the book as a cat on her fourth life, who was offered wizardry when she was young and accepted it gladly. She trained under a worldgate technician to become one herself, and with her team of three managed the worldgate complex at Grand Central Station in New York City. In The Book of Night With Moon, she and her team discover a young kitten named Arhu who is on his Ordeal, the test given to all wizards when they are first offered their power. As they aid him on Ordeal, the worldgates at Grand Central begin to fluctuate wildly, giving them problems that have never happened before. The team makes a trip to Old Downside, a more "central" reality that takes place in the "same" physical space as New York. While preparing for the trip to Old Downside, Rhiow gives up a life in order to buy her gate team the amount of power they will need to carry a large body of both offensive and defensive spells. This puts her into her fifth life. The worldgates are part of a central structure of magic and hyperstrings that is at the base of a great mountain in Old Downside, and the team journeys through the incredibly dangerous catacombs of the mountain, which are inhabited by an ancient race of saurians who escaped here during the destruction of their species on Earth.
They discover that the saurians, who supposedly were offered the Choice by the Lone Power at the beginning of creation (more on that below) were actually tricked out of their Choice and are now enslaved by It instead. In the course of solving this problem, Rhiow's human Susan is killed, and she falls into a shock of grief that makes her begin to doubt herself as a wizard. As they come closer to the central structure of the worldgates, the team discovers that this reality - being more central than their own - is closer to metaphorical, and that the old legend of the cats from the beginning of time is still taking place here, as time is a fluid construct. By re-enacting the legend (and themselves channeling and sort-of becoming the Powers That Be for a short amount of time), the team is able to defeat the Lone Power and offer the saurians a true Choice, in which they reject the death the Lone Power offered in favor of freedom. Rhiow then returns to her own reality and into her role as a technician once again, having finished with this mission of her wizardry.
On Her Majesty's Wizardly Service (To Visit the Queen)Edit
NOTE: At this point in the gameplay, Rhiow does not remember the events of this book. Stacy knew that taking the memory of the end of the errantry while leaving the rest of the errantry would prompt Rhiow to ask too many uncomfortable questions, and so removed the entire chain of events.
Rhiow and her team are called to intervene in London, where the worldgate team is having inexplicable problems with their Gates dislocating and moving to random areas without prompting. Once their, Rhiow and her team discover that one of the gates has turned itself into a two-way timeslide into Victorian London, and that something horrible has happened in that historical London to upset the events of that timeline.
Timelines are inherently stable, but severe damage to a tangent timeline can cause it to collapse on the parent, destroying both timelines - effectively wiping out Rhiow's universe as she knew it. she and her team hurried to figure out what had gone wrong in the past so they could 'patch' a new timeslide - essentially overwrite the tangent timeline into the correct one. They discover that an advanced science textbook was dropped in this time by someone from their time - seemingly by accident, but when one is a wizard there are no accidents. Realizing that the Lone Power is at work behind the errant timeslide, Rhiow and her team begin to formulate a plan. The key to restoring the timeline is to prevent the assassination of Queen Victoria, so she stations Arhu and his recently re-discovered sister Sif in Buckingham Palace while she and Urruah try to find the book.
Deviation from CanonEdit
Upon successfully preventing Queen Victoria's assassination and recovering the physics text from Victorian London, the gating team return to modern London to meet with the resident team and enact the spell that will collapse the tangent timeline into their own.
Due to a sudden betrayal on the part of one of the London team, who is revealed to be possessed and in league with the Lone Power, Rhiow's team becomes trapped in between the tangent timeline and their home time, in a sort of limbo space between worlds. When they begin the spell to collapse the errant timeline, the Ohm strike through the tangent timeline - a weak point in the fabric of Rhiow's universe. Rhiow does not witness much of the attack due to being stuck in Gate-space and involved in a spell at the time, and her next memory is waking up on Stacy.
Rhiow awoke with no memory of the timeslide incident in London, remembering only the days of quiet and grief that followed the errantry in Old Downside. She automatically assumed that she had been sent to Stacy on errantry as a wizard, and set out to find how she could best help the crew. Initially, she discovered that her wizardry was behaving very oddly in a temporal sense - spells would end before she gave the 'end' command, at inconvenient times. This depressed her, however her spirits were uplifted when she discovered that Grand Central Station had survived and was in Stacy's City.
The Nightmare KingEdit
Rhiow's first real exposure to the weirdness that plagues Stacy were the strange events perpetrated on the crew by the Nightmare King. As a wizard, Rhiow immediately recognized this entity as a form of the Lone Power and guarded herself very heavily against its influences. She taught the meditation, an ancient feline prayer, to several crew members in order to give them a tool to steel their minds against the Nightmare King's invasion. During the battle itself Rhiow fought to hold the line against the twisted creatures being called up from the crew's minds and suffered a burn to her foreleg.
Corruption of HakuEdit
After the Nightmare King had been defeated, Rhiow and several others discovered the river god Haku in a mad rampage over the city. Drawing on the very last of her reserves, Rhiow was able to hit Haku with a neural inhibitor, although she fainted at the same time as Haku did. Other crew members were able to contain Haku in a cell in the brig.
Rhiow's recovery from the drain on her magic, the burn on her leg, and the added grief of realizing that Grand Central Station had been severely damaged was slow. Haku tested himself against his cell while Rhiow worked with Sam and Dean Winchester, Daimon Hellstrom, Static and Celena to devise a complex spell that would purge Haku of the corruption by negating its existence through speaking Haku's full name. Before she had time to fully build up her reserves again, Haku broke loose of his cell and Rhiow was forced to commence the plan early, although she was not ready. Despite the massive amounts of power added by Celena and Static, the spell drained her of her reserves again, bringing her to the edge of her life-force. Rhiow chose to spend another life in order to bring the spell to completion and negate the entity from Haku's mind.
In the mean time, while studying Haku's name, Rhiow had become aware that the lack of his home river was what made him vulnerable to corruption. Even as a lesser Power, he should not have been able to be taken by the corruption. Therefore Rhiow asked Katara and Stacy to help her build a river for Haku, which would be the wellspring of his power and his safeguard against future corruption.
When Haku awoke and Rhiow told him of what happened. She didn't mention the sacrifice of her fifth life, but as a reward for freeing him from the corruption Haku granted her a boon of another life, putting her back from a sixth-lifer to a fifth-lifer again. Rhiow told Haku of his new river and they went to fill it together.
Rhiow's experience during shore leave was interesting to say the least. Making good on a promise she'd given Sam during the events of the Nightmare King, Rhiow took Sam, Dean and Castiel to Zokez II's moon, giving them a small glimpse into what it's like to be a wizard. What followed was a road trip with Sam, Dean, Castiel, Kang, Tanis and Mordin that ended with a burger picnic that involved copious amounts of catnip. Dean caught Rhiow on video chasing Kang's tail and wingtips around while high on catnip. She still plans to punish him for it someday... somehow.
The Ohm launched a surprise attack during shore leave, and Rhiow was picked up on her way back to the ship and put in a pen with other pets by mistake. She managed to escape and make it back to Stacy before she was left behind, but it was a near thing and she had some close calls with Ohm.
Hostage and Yeerk IncidentEdit
Thankfully, Rhiow had a lot of down time after the events of Zokez II. She spent this time repairing the damage to Grand Central Station, socializing with the crew, and staking out a new place for herself at the end of Kang's bar in the Drunken Dragon Tavern. Then a formerly loyal crew member was revealed to be possessed by an alien parasite, infested Sam with a Yeerk, took a hostage and threatened to blow up the crew.
Knowing how dependent on and protective of each other the Winchesters were, Rhiow went straight for Dean. She found him putting together a small arsenal in preparation to presumably run into Shiva and get himself killed. Rhiow managed to convince him not to on the grounds that she could find Sam anywhere since she knew his name. While putting together the locator spell, she found that Sam's name had changed - the Yeerk's name was attached to his as a subjunctive clause, since they were currently taking up some of the same space. After a tense standoff where Dean demanded she magically destroy the Yeerk and Rhiow refused based on her Oath, they set off to find Sam. They found him with Iniss, another Yeerk who was controlling Tom Berenson. Rhiow had some tart words with him about his species' infringements on others' rights. While the four of them reconciled and planned their next move, a bomb in the pod caverns exploded, killing Cassie Lang. Immediately afterward, Shiva and its host, Kawalsky, were killed by Vision. Rhiow jumped to the pod caverns following the explosion to see if she could render aid.
Because of the Yeerk Schmuz's aid in Shiva's plot, Sam was detained in the brig while the Council decided how to try him. Rhiow offered herself as his Schmuz's lawyer and interpreter before the Council and began putting her opinion that Schmuz was as much an innocent victim as any other crew member in the ears of the important people she had befriended during her time on the ship.
A contagion released into the city caused the crew members to go into uncontrollable fits of rage, lashing out at anyone they saw. During this time, Rhiow volunteered to help transport people who were stuck in the city, at one point even helping to apprehend one of the infected (Prince Zuko) and bring him to quarantine. She traveled with Dean to help him track Sam down and then brought Goliath to the podpop in time to see him reunite with Elisa. At the same time, Rhiow realized that Arhu had been released from podsleep, easing her fears that she had mistakenly killed him during the events of the Nightmare King.
Election to the CouncilEdit
Due to some councilmembers being repodded, a special election was held to replace them. Rhiow, after much debate with herself, decided to run for Council. She won with the largest amount of votes.
She has since thought that perhaps she should have left well enough alone. While she respects her colleagues and understands that the Council is an essential part of the ship, the arguing grates on her nerves. She is also afraid that this is another symptom of how separated from her own culture she has become - felines do not have democracies, and frankly think them idiotic. However, Rhiow has decided to dedicate herself to this duty and therefore will fulfill it.
Sam Winchester: One of the first people Rhiow met on the ship. She immediately recognized in him a kindred spirit, and someone who most likely should have been offered wizardry, since he did the same sort of work. Over her time on the ship, Rhiow has come to consider the Winchesters to be part of her pride, Sam especially. She sees him as a colleague and a friend, someone whose opinion she respects and who she would trust unconditionally in a time of danger.
Dean Winchester: Sam's less stable older brother - he is pride because Sam is, and because Rhiow and Dean have been through quite a bit together. She watches him more warily than his brother not because he's easier to predict, but because he can be very singleminded when it comes to his family. He pointed a gun at her once. She melted it. She's fairly sure they regard each other with a similar wary respect.
Castiel: Rhiow is never quite sure what to make of Castiel. He should be a wizard, especially since he used to be a Power. She enjoys discussing the theories of wizardry with him and is fascinated by his talk of The One as God, but Powers in general make her nervous. Powers whose motivations she is uncertain of make her even more nervous, although she takes care not to show it.
Arhu: Rhiow's only true colleague aboard the ship, and one of the only other People there as well. Rhiow was desperately grateful to see him released from podsleep if only because it finally laid her fears that she had really killed him to rest. As an added bonus, Arhu was able to quickly grasp and articulate the problem with Rhiow's wizardry that she had been struggling with aboard Stacy. Her shields no longer collapse before she tells them to.
Kang: Perhaps an unlikely pair, since the two of them weren't very civil to each other upon first meeting. After a bout of polite embarrassment, though, they became fast friends. Kang is the first person whose advice Rhiow seeks out on the ship, and she spends a good deal of her time napping, messily eating fish or loudly teasing Kang on the end of his bar at the Drunken Dragon.
Schmuz: The Yeerk who has taken up residence in Sam Winchester's mind. Rhiow was his advocate before the Council following the hostage incident, when he was required to infest Sam and build several bombs, one of which resulted in the death of a crewmember. No matter what she may think about his species' cultural practices, Schmuz himself brings out an almost maternal feeling in her. She feels as if he doesn't have enough confidence in himself.
Iniss: Rhiow met Iniss during the hostage plot as well, and although they didn't exactly hit it off right away, Rhiow resolved to keep an eye out for him. She knows that it's very easy for the crew to hate Yeerks because of what they are, and she wants to prevent that kind of prejudice from taking hold. As long as Iniss holds up his side of the bargain - participating willingly in testing for false bodies - Rhiow doesn't have much of a problem with him. She makes absolutely certain to say hello to Tom whenever she speaks with Iniss, to keep him from feeling left out in his own body.
Plays-in-Traffic: She calls him 'cousin' because they serve the same force and fight the same evil, although they call it different things. They met during the Nightmare King plot, when Rhiow's dream began to bleed into Antonio's. Since then, she has considered him a friend and watches out for him.
Goliath: Rhiow pulled Goliath out of his dream during the Nightmare King, and ever since then the two have built a relationship of mutual understanding and respect. They share a home city, New York, and Rhiow likes to get together and talk with him about their favorite places to go. She got to see him happily reunited with Elisa once, and is determined to see it again.
Jono: More like an acquaintance than a good friend, Rhiow enjoys talking to him because he's generally upbeat, and it allows her to use the mental dialect of the Speech, which she has a danger of becoming rusty in since nobody else but the Yeerks need her to do it. Not that Jono needs her to precisely, but she enjoys it and thinks it only polite.
Wedge: At first, Rhiow's relationship with Wedge didn't look like it was going anywhere good. Their first encounter was when she called him to task about putting age restrictions on who could fly combat on Stacy. Rhiow is a firm believer in cultural relativism, being a wizard, and will soapbox about it if you let her. After Tycho took her in, she and Wedge were roommates for a time, and Rhiow found herself unwittingly adopted as Rogue Squadron's mascot.
Daja: Generally, Rhiow thinks of Daja as 'the polite young girl with the metal hand.' She's well aware that Daja is an accomplished mage in her own right, but can't help but be charmed by her manners, which have always been impeccable despite the oddity of a talking cat. She admires Daja's curiosity and thirst for new knowledge, as well.
Katara: Rhiow sees her as a girl with incredible strength of spirit, well on her way to having a disciplined mind of the same caliber. It's refreshing to see someone who is willing to help others whenever she can, and Rhiow remains grateful to her for helping dig and fill Haku's river.
Nanoha: The head of the Magical Department and thus Rhiow's boss. Rhiow isn't sure what to make of her magic since it breaks every law she has ever learned about it into tiny little pieces, but generally she considers Nanoha to be a kind-hearted person. Even if Rhiow eventually leaves the Magical Department, she will consider Nanoha a friend.
Tycho Celchu (repodded): When Grand Central Station was damaged in the fighting with the Nightmare King, Tycho offered to let Rhiow stay in his quarters until it was suitably repaired. The repairs being as extensive as they were, Rhiow ended up staying much longer than she had intended. It took them some time to work out the stickier parts of their relationship - mostly that Rhiow insisted on being treated like an equal, not a housepet. Although Rhiow hasn't seen him in some time, she remembers him fondly and misses him.
Haku (repodded): A lesser Power but a Power nonetheless, Haku is someone Rhiow formed a very close bond with during his time on Stacy. There's too much to go into here and most of it is detailed in her game history above, but Rhiow saw Haku as a colleague and kindred spirit, much like Sam. She still fishes his river and keeps a very close eye on it - as long as it remains unpolluted, she is confident that Haku is all right.
Rhiow's wizardry operates less like magic and more like programming. The Speech is essentially the programming language of the universe, and a wizard uses it to code hacks or patches that will temporarily override physics, or return matter to the state it was in at the dawn of time, among other things. However the cost for this magic always comes from Rhiow unless she has specified that it come from an outside force. The price of the magic and the size of its effect are always proportional, which is why Rhiow felt she needed to sacrifice a life in order to purge Haku of his corruption - big magic, big price.
The Calming of the Mind: Sunrise
I will meet the cruel and the cowardly today. Liars and the envious, the uncaring and unknowing: they will be all around. But their numbers and their carelessness do not mean I have to be like them. I will know doubt and fear: I will suspect myself of folly and impracticality in this seemingly hard-edged world, where things clouded or obscure are so often discounted as unimportant, and mystery is derided, and uncertainty is seen as a sign of an inability to cope.
But my commission comes from Those Who move in the shadows, indistinct and unseen for Their own purpose: Those Whom we never see face to face except in the faces of those we meet from day to day. In Them is my trust, until I am relieved of Their trust in me. I will learn to live with uncertainty, for it is the earnest of Their promise that all things may yet be well; and when, in the shadows, the doubts arise, I will close my eyes and say, This is no shade to Them; for my part, I will bide here and wait for the dawn.
For my own part, I know my job; my commission comes from Those Who Are. I will meet some today who think that day is blind and that night lies with its eyes closed; that the Gaze doesn't see them, or doesn't care. Their certainty of blindness, though, need not mean anything to me. My paw raised is Their paw on the neck of the Serpent, now and always. I shall walk through Their worlds as do the Powers that Be, seeing and knowing with Them and for Them, tending Their worlds as if they were mine: for so indeed they are. Silently shall I strive to go my way, as They do, doing my work unseen; the light needs no reminding by me of good deeds done by night. And in this long progress through all that is, though I will know doubt and fear in the strange places where I must walk, I will put these both aside, as the Oath requires, and hold myself to my work... for if They and I together cannot mend what is marred, who can—? And having done my work aright, though I may know weariness at day's end, come awakening I shall rise up and say again, with Them, as if surprised, "behold, the world is made new ... !"
The Strengthening of Spirit: Nightfall
When I wake, I will meet my old enemy uncertainty and its partners, the shadows that lie at the back of my mind and others: those darknesses which go about hunting for some action of mine to which to fasten themselves. They will lie in my road and say Why bother? or It will never work: or they will lie out long and dark behind me, saying, What difference have you made? It is all for nothing. But I need pay them no mind. They are only the servants of the Lone Power, and against me and Those Whom I serve, they have no strength unless I allow them the same. My commission comes from Those Who Are, the Powers that were before time and will be after it: the Powers Who made time, and to Whom it answers. My paw, lifted to strike the shadows away from the feet of the Event enacted, holds hidden within it Their claw that strikes the Lone One to the heart, day by day. So it was done anciently: so I shall do tomorrow. And for tonight, I admit of no shadow but that of my closed eyes, and I give Their claw the resting time to sharpen itself in dream on the Tree: for at eyes' opening, together We go to battle again ...
Even at the best of times, even when life seems normal, who among us can say with certainty that we'll see this world again tomorrow? Entropy stalks the world in all its usual shapes, and some less usual than others. I'll meet them, the strange and the deadly, but I don't need to crouch in fear or bristle at them in show of defiance. I know my job. My commission comes from Those Who Are. We stand together, They and I, in protection of the world They made and I keep. We may lose: there is always that chance. But meanwhile We keep watch at the borders, and contest the Lone One's passage. We will not let it be easy. We will not fall without selling ourselves dearly. And when in the worlds' evening we fall at last, and finally come home, We will find that we have brought with us what we love, bound to us forever by blood and intention: and the Lone One will stand with Its claws empty, and howl Her anger at the night. Then we will say, That was a good fight that we won: and come the dawn, We will make another world, and play the play again ...