time with Zion. 11 years occupation. 'Fortune Teller' & helping hand description. She runs her own tent (Madame Genovese's), offering 'fortunes', the rare 'spell', simple games of chance, and flourishing card tricks, meant to delight and keep people around long enough that they don't count their coin too closely when they leave. She also, occasionally, helps on the Midway proper - if things are going too right (a customer winning too frequently) or too wrong (people losing interest), she can offer a little...nudge to get things back in line if needed.
At a glance
- Has been careful to mellow out her accent - but its pure New York when she starts cussing
- Speaks fluent Italian
- Vegetarian, but will eat fish, if they can get it
- Has her own wagon, bought shortly after joining Zion
- Is well known for being relatively easy to bribe for favors (or help with petty pranks) - any half-decent liquor will do
- Smokes among company
Though Theo can - and does - work with both the Probability and Mind spheres, her refinement is in the former. She can 'see' and manipulate chance and luck. Though, in theory, she could manipulate most anything that has more than one set course, it becomes harder the more willpower (or natural force) is put into the action by the recipient of her little...nudges. If someone is consciously set upon one course of action, it becomes very, very difficult for her to push them off course directly - short of also accessing her second sphere - and, indeed, often can't be changed in any meaningful way anyway, so she tends to leave situations like that be, outside of emergencies. That said - the less conscious thought is put into an action? The easier it is for her to move it the way she'd like. The chance of an animal jumping one way or another, the chance of a step turning into a stumble, the chance of an ace of hearts turning up rather than an eight of diamonds, the chance of someone already sick coughing at the moment she needs to jostle them to get at their purse? Things of that level tend to be her day-to-day, and leave her little room for backlash.
It's the longer cons that tend to bite her - the criss-crossing of multiple paths of chance to bring about one perfect moment...that tends to be both where she needs to access the ley lines just to see where everything is going and where her backlash hits, outside of pushing too hard at something with too much will.
Her ability with the Mind sphere is far less refined, limited to something akin to empathy - she can feel intent and emotions, not suss out complete thoughts. She can nudge these as well, but generally only along paths that make sense - she can help turn anger into sadness, or intent to maybe head out to intent to hang around just a moment longer, for example, but not rage into joy or intent to hit into intent to hug - not without guaranteeing severe backlash. She mostly uses what she can feel to help direct what 'lines' of luck she tugs to help her more immediate fortunes come true, and to help single out good targets.
While certainly not up to date on every fad, Theo likes clothing and styles that invoke rich taste and quiet refinement. She'd rather a black silk ten years old than a bright yellow...anything actually, no matter how new it is. She keeps her hair short and neat, generally only taking the time to style it when actually performing. While never really managing to look 'casual', she does have a few older outfits that've lost their classic look - too worn to be chic, too comfortable to throw away - that help soften her edges when she's in the back-lot and away from the crowd.
Her wings aren't exactly uncommon to see, if one knows what to look for, given that she can get very easily lost in a long-con, and, if it's a busy day, even her simpler cons are easier to pull from the ley lines than her own reserves. Luckily - as lucky as having extra appendages appear out of nowhere can be - hers can be passed off as an overly elaborate cape, and fit quite well under a shawl if needed. Dragonfly shaped, separated into four parts, and long enough to reach the backs of her thighs, each transparent segment between solid, organic lines of black, appears as reflective and opalescent as glass. Some days, they're more gold. Some days, they're more blue. And still others, they're more green.
A confident woman overall, Theo has little issue both speaking her mind, and walking away if a situation calls for it. Not an easy one to rattle, there have been accusations of coldness and detachment, which Theo tends to find amusing - it's not that she doesn't care about anything, it's that she doesn't care about that, usually. There have also been accusations of selfishness, which...yeah, she'll own up to that one. She knows what she wants, and generally doesn't see why she shouldn't go for it. She doesn't ask other people to get it for her, but if she can get it herself? Why wouldn't she? That said, her tendency to put herself and her desires first has led to many a fight and even more hurt feelings, which she's willing to admit, and has even, in the recent past tried to change. It's a...bit of a rough going, but she is trying.
For all she dresses like an elegant socialite, Theo has little patience for politicking, hypocrisy, and 'holier-than-thou' personalities - she prefers to be frank and to the point when she's not performing. And, while she has no issue lying like a snake, she takes great pride in knowing exactly who and what she is - and she views others who do the same favorably. You don't have to be a saint, just be comfortable being a sinner.
Also far more at home in a back-alley pub than any high-class parlour, Theo will take a good, strong drink and a dance with a sailor over any fabulous gala, and she'll stand by that proudly - all while cussing and drinking said sailor under the table.
Born to a second-generation Italian family in New York, Theodora came into this world with barely a cry. A quiet baby in all the wrong ways, her parents' doctor gave the family little hope she would see her first birthday. When she actually got 'better' is up for debate - her parents too dazed and tired from worry to notice when the gradual slide downward mellowed out and started rising, but, by her first birthday, Theodora was as happy (and loud) as a baby should be.
Though the Marino family was not quite so hard off as to be in poverty, they certainly were a working family - her father in the slaughter houses, her mother as a housekeeper for a more well off family across town. Theo tagged along for much of her early childhood - she was always a good child that kept out of the way, even if there were a few...instances, where some shiny bauble might go missing. The family her mother worked for never blamed her, or her daughter, but one or two of the servants wised up right quick. Theo always had a perfectly sweet smile for their stink eyes. And if, when she first started discovering what she could do, they were the first victims of her pranks? Well, no one ever got hurt. Annoyed, sure. Frustrated, absolutely. But hurt? Never. She may have had an eye for shiny things, and preferred to get her way, but Theo wouldn't hurt anyone who was just doing their job. Especially not people like her mother and father - hard-working and honest.
That interest in the baubles and trappings of the better off never really went away though. And as she got older, she got much better at twisting and turning her abilities to get more and more of what she wanted. When she was about fifteen, she fell in a group of kids in a similar position - parents who worked hard, but families not quite in dire enough straits that they needed to work too just yet, and bored out of their minds. They were a petty nuisance on the streets - pickpockets, small cons and the like, and, small-scale as they were, they were good. Especially with her help.
At some point, they picked up a busker with a penchant for card-tricks. Looking back on it, Theo's pretty sure he wasn't entirely human either - but neither of them thought to bring it up. He taught her what he knew - and, when he was spotted by a businessman and offered a job as a dealer in his new cardroom, Theo went with. While she wasn't favored to be a dealer, there was plenty of work to be had - especially once the house figured out that she was essentially a luck charm - good or bad, however they preferred. And, when they finally let her deal as well, she could keep a crowd going at a table well into the night.
Theo learned a lot, bouncing between cardrooms, slowly but surely getting into more expensive and higher class places. Learned what men want. What they'd do to get it. (Learned what the often bored women at their sides wanted too.) Learned how far she could push someone. How to read what kind of push they needed. Learned who needed to be entertained, and who needed to be consoled, and who could stand to have their purse lightened. Learned that, with the right smile, the right friends, and the right luck? She could do anything she ever wanted.
She couldn't stop the raids though. (Okay, well, no, that last one she probably could've. Could've delayed it at the very least. But, well. She didn't take kindly to a few insinuations being made by the owner of that particular cardroom.) Out of a job, and not particularly looking to dive back in with the crackdown on cardrooms in New York around the time, Theo almost...accidentally stumbled upon Zion Mystique. She was absolutely delighted, once she figured out what it was, and decided almost immediately to stick around for a little while. That little while has now turned into just over a decade, and she has no plan of leaving anytime soon.
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