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Name: Leona d'Fierro
Age: Looks 25 Actual 247
Faceclaim: Eiza Gonzalez
"I was born in Venice, Italy, in the year 1774. Obviously, I was named after the great composer, Antonio Vivaldi. Five minutes after I arrived, my sister, Luna, came into the world. We both grew up in a stout, wealthy Catholic home, with three elder brothers: Sebastian, Leonardo, and Raphael. Our whole family was Initia; everyone being fire specialists. We were teased about it quite often, as Fierro basically means fire. So it was no surprise when my sister and I turned out to be fire specialists as well. The only thing was, we were seven when it became obvious. The Magister always said it was queer that two so young could specialise so But our family joy was short lived, as a plague swept through Italy shortly after our seventh birthday. My siblings remained unharmed, but my parents weren't so lucky.
Not much later, I realized faint red lines started forming down my back, forming odd patterns and shapes. I was scared out of my young mind. I scrubbed as hard as I could, trying to get them off my back and scratched as hard as I could. No matter what I did, they wouldn't come off. Thankfully, as I was born in a wealthy Italian family in the Renaissance era, I could wear long gowns to cover up what I saw at the time as imperfections on my back. Giving up on getting rid of them, I simply tried my hardest to ignore them. I focussed on living my childhood to the fullest, going to my lessons to improve my skill over fire. My siblings and I were extremely close and told each other everything. The only exception was my secret about the lines. Something told me I should keep that to myself. That something kept me alive.
I grew to be one of the most talented fire specialists in our clan; closely matched only by my twin. I realized I could generate it, as in produce fire out of thin air, and manipulate it to do whatever I pleased. As I grew into my teen years, the lines became clearer down my back as they grew as well, extending to the sides of my torso and extending down towards my thighs. Soon, even the expert fire specialist realized that we were too powerful for him to teach, we being my twin and myself. That's when the Magister said he would instruct us.
One day, when I was around the age of seventeen, I realized my sister and I would be late for our lesson with the Magister if she didn't get ready quickly enough. It was a common occurrence; my sister making all of us late. I ran up to her door, knocking frantically and yelling for her to hurry up. Finding her door was unlocked, I simply pushed it open. Through the thin layer of my sister's shift, I saw lines. I simply blinked in shock as she begged me not to say anything. With a sigh, I hiked up my dress to my thighs, showing her the lines that had formed on the upper half. We couldn't be mad at each other: for ten years we had kept the same secret about ourselves from each other. We agreed never to talk about it unless we were alone in our own rooms, behind locked doors. But on that one day, even when I was being taught by the Magister, I couldn't get the thought out of my head that I wasn't the only one. My sister had similar markings. What if there were more like us?
From that day on, I spent every waking moment in the library trying to find some sort of record of why I was like this. I soon gained the affection of a scribe my age there: Mattao Agrassi. I told him I wasn't looking for a relationship, but that never stopped him from staring at me. I had to be careful, I realized as I looked through many books. It was only months later when I found something I could use: an old leather bound book. Engraved in gold was the name Nikolai Dravén. Seeing that the earliest entry was in the year 205 AD, I simply flipped through, out of curiosity. I read of the same lines forming down his back, and the same extreme control over fire. Not wanting to be caught, I hid the book under my dress. I went straight up to my room and locked the door, spending the next few months reading over it. Nikolai Dravén called himself a Phoenix. The lines forming down my back would form wings, I realized that I could will them to become real. I spent all my time preparing for my maturity as a Phoenix. Of course, I shared my knowledge with my sister. We both spent our nights reading over the journal. The one thing that stuck out to us, however, was one specific entry: Nikolai Dravén was shunned by the Initia, left in exile to survive on his own. ""The Initia will and forever see Phoenixes as a threat; an abomination of nature,"" he wrote. ""Once discovered, a Phoenix will be cast out.""
At the age of nineteen, I matured. The lines down my back did indeed form wings, but turned from their red color to an inky black. My sister's wings, however, turned a deep, cobalt blue instead. Our control over fire was far ahead than anyone from the Initia, including the Magister. I was the more powerful one, but my sister wasn't far behind. One day, we foolishly decided to go for a swim in the lake not far from the clan. Due to what I say bad luck, Mattao decided to follow us like the pervert he was. However, once seeing the wings on our back, he decided to be a snitch and told the Magister. I suppose he knew about Phoenixes: he was a scribe after all. We were called to the Magister's tower, where we usually had our lessons. He told us he suspected us of being Phoenixes; we were, after all, far too powerful. So, he gave us an ultimatum: either we leave, or he kills our brothers. Luna and I agreed to leave, as long as our elder brothers weren't harmed.
We ran back to our house and packed, leaving notes for our brothers. I kept Nikolai Dravén's journal in my satchel, of course, so I could ensure the survival of my sister's and my own. As we readied the horses, I heard the sound of the execution horns. Wondering which poor soul was going to have his head chopped off, my sister and I rode into the city square, the heavy hoods of our robes shielding our faces from recognition. To my horror, I saw my three brothers on the stand. Before I could do anything, the three executioners swung, and that was the end for them. Anger flooded through me as I dismounted Ebony, my black stallion. Fire flew from my fingertips, burning the three executioners to a crisp. Screams of horror flooded my ears, but that wasn't it for me. No, I looked the Magister in the eyes. I saw fear cloud those jade irises of his, realising his proud display of power wasn't the best idea. I felt my wings peel off my back, and with that I burnt him too, watching him squirm as the red flames licked his body. As I walked towards Ebony again, I noticed my reflection in the waterway; my wings were black flames.
With that, Luna and I left Venice.
We travelled all around the globe, not settling down. In Nikolai Dravén's notebook, we knew we would age gradually, and be reborn whenever we pleased. But I always had this urge to find more of my kind: to make sure no harm came to them. My sister found it foolish, but gave in after a while. First, we realized we needed our own place. My sister suggested Pompeii, finding it kind of ironic. Nikolai Dravén stated in his journal that he thought the city of Pompeii was destroyed by the rage of a Phoenix. We headed there and rebuilt it to it's former glory.
Because of the many years that went by, I chose to be reborn once. It was right after we rebuilt Pompeii. I wanted a different face for a new start for the Phoenix I now was. It didn't hurt as I let myself be consumed by flames, seeing the black flames lick across my skin. I saw my skin fall to ashes. In the mirror, I saw my sharp features begin to crumble. I closed my eyes, and I let myself fall.
When I opened my eyes, I was a new person. I looked slightly older, my skin was paler, my hair was red, my eyes were blue and wider. From there, I left my sister in Pompeii and searched the world for Phoenixes who had been shunned and bused the way we were. In my dreams, I saw my people. I saw where they were. I saw what they went through. And I rescued them. I brought them back to our faction, and my sister and taught them how to use our powers. Rereading Nikolai's journal, I realized something. He wrote, ""All Phoenix clan leaders have the ability to know when a Phoenix is near. They also know where exactly a Phoenix from the moment their lines start appearing down their back. This knowledge gets clearer as the Phoenix matures. The clearer the lines, the easier to find."" Was I a leader? I found myself asking. Turned out, I was, and I dedicated my life to making a haven for my kind, and cutting down anything that stood in my way.
Centuries passed in a blink of an eye. In the 21st century, I found myself in Evermore City, and I’d made my home there. I reunited with my family (who turned out not to be dead) and even married a Nephilim named Alexander. I was happy, for the first time in over two centuries. However, things just couldn’t fare well for me.
I found myself captured in the year 2018. It was ironic that my captors weren’t enemies of mine, but of my husband. He was taken too, and they wanted to make him pay for some crime that had happened too long ago. I was his punishment, as I was pushed into a river, powerless as the water filled my lungs, and I breathed my last breath.
It was the pitiful end of Leona d’Fierro, the great Phoenix.
Only, it wasn’t my end. I felt the familiar sensations of flames lick my body, only, they weren’t the vantablack flames that were mine, but blue--a bright, bold blue.
I awoke alone by the side of the river, alone, but not myself. I was reborn, but not as a Phoenix--a Niveis. I’d heard of them from my travels. I knew what this meant: this was my last life, and it would be forever. I mourned the loss of my powers of fire for a week as I taught myself how to wield water as my weapon. Once I gathered my strength, I hunted for my killers, but they left no trace. Frustrated, I returned to the place I called home once more, knowing that there was only one person in the world who could help me find my killers, and find Alexander.
Positive: Patient, Strategic, Loyal
Negative: Distrustful, Manipulative, Stubborn