a.k.a. Thema Antea (?)
PSYCHIC (Abomination Discipline) 4
A humanoid female well into middle age, with metallic silver hair and amethyst eyes. She is quite tall and very slender (almost frail), with a sharp bone structure and golden skin tone, untanned but not pale. She has a sickly-looking stain on her skin, as though something had been poured over the back of her head and smeared everywhere it would be hard for her to see on herself. Whatever it was left a greasy purple-gray stain. She has a crude eyeball brand between her shoulder blades. She appears really sad and really kind, as if she is accustomed to giving and receiving care and respect.
The word that echoed in her mind from the Prologue was “Remember.” In the shared nightmare of Chapter 1, she was clutching an oversized knitting needle with a blue eyeball on the end. She has proven able to use magic, though not in the usual arcane tradition. She uses emotional and thought components instead of somatic and verbal ones, and has no need for mundane material components. She speaks Taldane, Draconic, and Aklo.
In Chapter 2, she remembered her own name, and detected psychic significance from the violin, the rapier, the morningstar, that battleaxe shards, and from many objects within the pouches collected by Ray. From those, she kept the woman’s golden wedding ring (which felt like hers) bearing the inscription G.V.–T.A. 4700, a crystal that warmed to her touch, and a bag of what appear to be bleached and polished halfling finger bones. She also took the violin, a sickle, a crossbow and fifteen bolts.
In Chapter 5, Dora was brought down by a doppelganger and when revived, flew into a maniacal rage that was completely out of character from anything the others had seen before, even speaking differently. She seemed to wrestle between states throughout the battle, and a few minutes later, dealing with the stubborn survivors behind the barricade, the rage briefly re-surfaced again.
In Chapter 6, Ray confronted her about the change, which she could only explain as a momentarily loss of control over her emotions, when she receded and “something else” came forth. She assured him that when she wanted control again, she was able to attain it.
Afterwards, it was Dora’s idea to search Gull’s books to compare their handwriting against the writing within before they healed him back to consciousness, to avoid the risk of him not allowing them access. She was not clever enough to restore the items exactly as they found them, and Gull was able to tell they had displaced his things, damaging his trust in them. Later that same day, she used psychometry to delve into Grip’s constable badge and Ray’s memories, finding success with the former and not with the latter. In fact, she seemed certain that she could not reach Ray’s memories of himself because they had somehow been removed from his mind.
In Chapter 7, she acquired a pair of gaudy pink boots with catskin lining. Later that same day, after Ray implied Gull couldn’t be trusted with some of the items the party had recovered, she apologized to Gull for having rifled through his things the day before.
When the party reached the chapel and was undertaking Winter’s test of patience, Dora performed a psychometric reading on a small silver box the party recovered from the laundry room, and saw a priest of Pharasma (wearing the same clothes as a ghoul Dr. Oathsday was experimenting on) tying it to his forehead with a leather cord. Dora spent the test of charity helping Loic take his medicine.
When Gull related the details of his nightmare to Dora, she was struck by the description of her “fortress” as a “mansion on a hill” as it resonated with her method of casting spells using thought components. She also told him she didn’t believe they actually had been married, and couldn’t imagine she could have a child out there in the world and not know or feel it. She promised not to hide anything from Gull in the future that she might learn or remember about it.
In Chapter 13, Dora performed a psychometric reading on the violin and caught a glimpse into another world. In Chapter 14, Dora learned that she could understand the Modern Osiriani language, and on the morning of 28 Lamashan, 4718, Dora used psychometry in an effort to understand the fungus-haunt near the barricade and to perhaps learn how to destroy it.
In Chapter 15, Dora took a necklace with a lesser talisman of warrior’s courage and another unidentified magical bead on it from Dr. Losandro‘s desk. While in the administrator’s office, Dora used her automatic writing ability to determine whether or not entering the rainbow fog in would bring weal or woe, and learned that entering was probably dangerous, but that learning something useful would be possible.
When the party reached the Briarstone Asylum records room and Ray began to read the file attributed to “Thema Antea,” Dora recognized it as her own. The file revealed that she is an aasimar of human descent, probably Kellid. She learned she was from Thrushmoor in Versex County and was committed on 15 Lamashan 4718 along with her companions, and that she had been an employee of H.P. Lowls. She learned she was the wife of patient “Vatticus, G” and the mother to patient “Vatticus, B.” whom the party determined were Gull (or someone with the same name) and Ray. Lowls warned that she was “possibly contagious”. Her attending doctor was Arosh Chawaar. On 16 Lamashan 4718, she was observed to mutter “Remember” repeatedly in the Taldane tongue overnight, in multiple voices (at least two).
In the Act I Interlude, it was revealed that 39 years ago, when she was nine years old, Dora once stood, at dusk, on the polished, blue-tiled floor of an audience chamber fit for a king (but possessed by a monster) in the aftermath of something terrible. She stumbled backward into a corpse, let out a faint moan, and then ran away as tears clouded her vision. Soon the Stranger found her and took her by the hand, and after saying “You will do nicely,” she asked Dora what her name was.
In Chapter 16, Dora revealed that she shares her body with an entity known as Thema, though she knows very little about her, except that Thema tends to come forward when her body is threatened. She believes Thema to be extremely dangerous, unstable, and angry. Dora has promised the party to find a way, since there is nothing to be done about Thema at the moment, to make Thema useful to their endeavors.
In that same conversation, Gull realized that Dora’s eyeball brand was the mark of a Technic League slaver known as “Baron” Feshka Nellit.
In Chapter 17, the party learned that Dora is an Aasimar, a Native Outsider. She has acid/cold/electricity resistance 5, and a daily ability to cast corruption resistance on herself or others. She has bonuses to Diplomacy and Perception, and this accounts for her metallic skin and hair, as well as her unusual eye color.
Later that chapter, she outfitted herself in comfortable men’s clothing from the personal effects room at Briarstone Asylum.
Dora was clearly deeply impacted by what she saw in Chapter 17 while reading the mind of the insane man at the edge of the pit that lead to the Briarstone crypts, and she began caring for the terrified arctic fox they found there. She named it “Reynard” and soon developed an intense—and mysterious—relationship with it.
In Chapter 18, upon meeting Ratch Mamby, she learned that she speaks the Abyssal language.
In Chapter 19, Dora was rescued from the clutches of death by a lesser talisman of healing power, after being stabbed in the neck by the doppelganger known as Mr. Gabriel.
In Chapter 20, Dora’s madness was revealed to be a delusion. She began receiving counseling from Tolman to aid her recovery.
In Chapter 26, Dora’s dream from Dr. Losandro’s office was revealed, prompting all sorts of questions about her relationship with Thema Antea. Dora later revealed to the party that Thema may be working against them in their dreams.
In Chapter 27, during the encounter with the Nightgaunt in the North Courtyard, Dora tried to return to the forefront of the body she shares with Thema, but failed, and Thema released Reynard into the fog. When Dora returned, she ran after him alone to recover him, but he would not talk to her in the aftermath.
In Chapter 28, Gull tried to get Tolman to perform a divorce proceeding between himself and Thema, but this instead led to a very strained conversation amongst the party as Dora did not feel right either intervening between the two.
In Chapter 29, Dora worked with Grip to create a secure carrying harness for Reynard, so that Thema would not be able to easily release him.
During the battle for the chapel in Chapters 29 & 30, Dora located the invisible Horsepiss (which led to the other survivors being able to take him down), healed an unconscious Ray in the midst of a rat swarm (contracting filth fever in the process), and directed the final assault on Benji Bald-Belly as he ravaged Bates‘ face.
In Chapter 31, Dora managed to move her madness to a latent state, and began traveling with Reynard for companionship rather than out of psychological need. In the same chapter, she learned that she is fluent in the Orcish and Hallit languages.
In Chapter 34, Dora learned that the fox she called “Reynard” was actually Barnabus, and the dead fox the party found in Chapter 3 had actually been Thema’s familiar, Reynard. After a frightening experience with a psychometry reading on Thema’s wedding ring where her body tried to harm itself of its own accord, Gull and Ray surmised that the sickly stain on her back was the result of having something growing on her body. Dora determined that looking too deeply into things that were Thema’s might be problematic.
In Chapter 35 (Part 1), Dora’s attention was drawn to the “Foreign Trader” card of a harrow deck, which depicting a veiled figure in yellow bearing an armful of misshapen rubies, and she recovered memories of the Stranger. Later, when she was able to make out the words Zandalus was chanting, she learned she was fluent in the Kellish language.
In Chapter 35 (Part 2), Thema (while in control of Dora’s body) killed Aggra Loomis, Ulver Zandalus, and the Tatterman.
In the Act I Epilogue, a 9-year-old girl (that the Stranger called Dora) told the Stranger to call her “Anathema.”
In the Act II Prologue, Dora learned that Thema had another child, but she continued to feel no connection to the details of Thema’s life. However, she recognized that seeing a memory through Thema’s eyes meant they were more deeply connected than Dora has been willing to admit—though she could not bring herself to claim to have been Thema at one time.
In Chapter 37, Dora recognized Iris Hill as “home,” and knew that the thoughts she uses to complete her spellcasting are drawn from there.
In Chapter 39, Dora realized that the sign outside The Booklayer resonated with her spellcasting—specifically the thought component of building a wall of knowledge, brick-by-brick.
Later that same chapter, at the Sleepless Agency, Dora was not recognized—not even as Thema—by Cesadia Wrentz.
First Reference: Prologue