Ex-Corporate Bioresearcher turned Magical Medic
67 years old
Mala is a female Dryad, and her small stature, girlish face, and Elven immortality give her the appearance of a 16 year old. She has light green skin, green eyes, and naturally bright red hair. She is quiet, unassuming, and good natured, but with a potentially volatile temper.
Statline (0-7, 14 points to spend)
- Nature Knowledge
- Modern Medicine
- Animal Empathy
- Eastern Religions
- Glamour – A natural side effect of being a dryad. People that speak with Mala for even just a short period find themselves inexplicably drawn to her: her points seem more convincing, her convictions seem more earnest, and it’s easier to see the logic behind what she’s saying, no matter what it is. Mala’s glamour isn’t entirely under her control, and those around her, particularly those with sensitivity to magic, find themselves subconsciously influenced by her emotions.
- Healing – Mala can, with conscious effort, speed up the natural healing process by thousands of times. Though it’s very draining for her, smaller cuts and bruises can be wiped away in seconds, and even normally life threatening injuries can be restored in a matter of minutes. However, this only speeds up the natural healing process, and requires trained medical attention both during and afterwards to ensure there are no long term complications.
- Shape Plants – When in physical contact with them, Mala can guide the growth of plants around her to virtually any shape she pleases, as long as the mass of the plant allows it. Without careful effort, this results in the death of the plant almost immediately afterwards. Shaping growth in a sustainable manner takes a great deal of time, skill, and knowledge of the underlying biology, which is her preference in all but the most rushed of cases.
- Stun – Mala can release a short ranged wave of just barely visible magical energy from her person. It disorients and overloads the senses of nearby living things, and can sometimes interfere with sensitive electronic systems, or cause unconsciousness in some circumstances. The effects are greatly magnified for another magically sensitive entity, but most humans and metahumans can recover from it in 8-10 seconds. Though she can attempt to shield friendly targets from its effects, it merely lessens, instead of eliminating the effects.
- Barkskin – Though it takes its name and appearance from Mala’s nature inspired totem, Barkskin is actually more of a deflective shield than anything else. The targets skin darkens, and takes on a rough, cracked texture, while at the same time, a thick green mist begins to surround the target. Whether by the thickened skin, the obscuring mist, or some magical force, all but the surest blows are turned away.
- Dweomer Shield – Similar to the wave of magic she unleashes when attempting to stun, Mala can project an aura of magical interference around her. Existing magical effects in the area are disrupted, and new magical effects initiated or entering her presence either fizzle out entirely, or have strange and unpredictable effects. A powerful mage can force an effect through this interference with minimal disruption, but it requires substantially more effort to do so.
- Inspire – A slightly modified version of Mala’s glamour, that she has learned to harness consciously. Mala can inspire those around her, wiping away fatigue, restoring their motivation, and enabling them to reach physical heights they would not think possible moments ago. The effect isn’t superhuman, but her allies find themselves thinking quicker, reacting faster, and recovering from blows they thought would be incapacitating.
“Weapons are instruments of evil, and are not valued by a man of virtue./They are only used as the last resort to attain peace when all else have failed./If their use is necessary, it is best to employ with calmness and tranquility./Even if it means victory, it is not something pleasant.”
Mala Sarcassa is the only surviving child of Valo and Tianna Sarcassa, wealthy elven socialites, and members of the board of regional executive directors for Aztechnology. They had been attempting to conceive for many years prior to 2012, and it was only after UGE, and their emergence as elves, that they were finally able to have a child, making Mala among the oldest natural born dryads in existence. She spent much of her very early life immersed in high level elven politics that she had no conception of, and while she has learned to leverage the veneration she gains from her Dryad phenotype, it still deeply unsettles her on some level.
While she was a sickly child, she displayed truly astonishing magical aptitude from a very young age, particularly with living things. After finishing her doctorate in biotechnology from U-Dub, her university pedigree, natural magical aptitude, and no small amount of nepotism earned her a high ranking job in Aztechnology’s Northern Pacific R&D division, working indirectly under her parents.
She excelled in her work: designing and testing magically crafted pharmaceuticals for armed forces, to help them fight longer, react quicker, and recover faster. Her impressive paycheck, hedonistic lifestyle, and joy at being able to use her abilities to the fullest gave her almost four decades at her job before any of the ethical ramifications of her mission began to set in.
During those four decades, Mala rose prodigiously through the corporate ranks, even becoming a Team Lead by the age of 48 (still barely a teenager by Elven standards). Aztechnology is not known for having the most rigorous safety protocols, and during that time, she oversaw tens of thousands of trials, most of which were conducted on unwilling participants, usually with fatal outcomes.
She couldn’t put a finger on the exact moment when it occurred to her what she was doing, but somewhere in the vicinity of her 58th birthday, she just… left. Aztechnology has strict contracts, and someone with her level of trade secret knowledge rarely gets a retention offer. It was only because of her parents initial attempts to reach out to her that she was able to survive long enough to sell her belongings, and disappear into the wilderness surrounding the Seattle Metroplex.
It was out in the wilderness that she began to experience the fundamental spiritual underpinnings of who and what she is for the first time. She had been raised her entire life without a larger context for her Dryad phenotype. She understood that it made her rare and unusual, but never understood the deeper connection to nature it entailed. Likewise, she was always raised to understand how to make her magical gifts work, but they were always treated as just that: gifts, with no larger obligations or implications associated with them. She had been around plant and animal life before, but it wasn’t until she experienced nature for the first time that she became aware of the fundamental oneness of all things:
As soon as beauty is known by the world as beautiful, it becomes ugly.
As soon as virtue is being known as something good, it becomes evil.
Therefore being and non-being give birth to each other.
Difficult and easy accomplish each other.
High and low distinguish each other.
Before and after follow each other as a sequence.
Thus, one performs effortlessly according to the natural way without personal desire
And practices the wordless teaching through one’s deeds.
Inspires the vitality of all lives, without holding back.
Nurtures all beings with no wish to take possession of.
Devotes all energy but no intention to hold on to the merit.
When success is achieved, seeks no recognition.
Because one does not claim for the credit, hence shall not lose it.
She lived in the wilderness for 4 years, before she returned to the Seattle Metroplex to practice what she had learned. With the rest of her savings, she founded a clinic in one of the poorer neighborhoods of Everett, where she provides free of cost medical services to those who would otherwise be unable to care for themselves, particularly in the wake of organized crime and gang violence.
She has steadfastly refused to align herself with any of the larger powers in the area, and that has attracted no small amount of ire from the Mafia, Yakuza, and some of the larger gangs. No one is exactly sure how she’s managed to maintain the clinic’s independence this long, but the answer doubtless involves a bizarre cocktail of physical attractiveness, dryad glamour, and disarming sincerity, such that even the grunts on the ground sent to shake her down leave the clinic believing in her mission, without the ability to say exactly why. Likewise, she provides enough medical services to upstanding vigilantes of the area (including Ashleigh Grey) that even her more intractable antagonists are scared off eventually.
However, running a clinic is expensive work, and with Aztechnology still scrambling to recover her assets, she’s been forced to turn to shadowrunning to keep the clinic afloat. Her unique mix of medical and magical knowledge, healing ability, and disarmingly charming personal demeanor is a combination of skills difficult to find anywhere else.