|Stheno "Sloth" Gallu|
Countess Stheno Gallu, also known as Sloth, is a member of the demonic House of Gallu in the Andarian Empire in the Fourth Age. She's a rather passive yet intelligent individual who remains level-headed and analytical but is also protective of those working under her.
Stheno Gallu was one of the Seven Sisters, demons born to Jahi Gallu. At some point she and her sisters rebelled against their mother and sided with Vaetris L'andariel who recruited them into the Eastern Horde. Stheno became known as Sloth due to her rather passive outlook on life despite being a talented mage.
After the Cataclysm led demons into the Land of the Living, the Seven Sisters helped the Eastern Horde carve a territory in Eastern Yamato. Stheno grew fond of one of her servants, Rahovart, and turned him into her closest minion, while Rahovart answered Stheno's action with even deeper affection.
- "Pardon me, my lady, but do you really think we can pull this off? We're now right in the middle of an enemy territory, and our duty is to protect you. You're powerful and radiant, of course, but your opponent is also--"
- "Have more faith in me, Sloth. I planted the seeds of this plan a long time ago. Not even he can resist me."
- —Stheno and Nina Heeate L'andariel
Stheno, along with some of her sisters, accompanied Duchess Nina Heeate L'andariel to Oreinashi where Nina planned to have an audience with Duke Pazuzu and the Western Horde. Stheno questioned whether it was a wise move for just the Sisters to accompany Nina in the heart of an enemy territory, but Nina assured her that everything would go according to plan.
The group managed to sway the guards to take them in by appearing in seemingly helpless guises, but this was merely a tactic to get close to Pazuzu. However, when the captain of the Western Guard was annoyed by Nina's prideful behaviour and tried to make her submit in front of Pazuzu, Nina retaliated by blowing the captain up while Gluttony and Wrath disposed of nearby guards. The slaughter came to a quick end when Pazuzu, impressed by the demons' cunning, told them to stop fighting and inquired why they had come to meet him.
It was then Nina presented an elven scepter which one of her minions had stolen from Illunii earlier thanks to Jezebeth's successful infiltration, and she presented the scepter to the demon lord as a gesture of friendship while saying she could offer him much more if he was willing to listen to her.
- "I was mainly pointing out that some people are more useful alive than dead. Naga could've accomplished so much more had she survived, but she chose the easier path."
- "Dying for a good cause is never easy for someone full of life!"
- "On the contrary; I believe living is the harder choice. Dying is so simple, so easy that it sickens even me. Life, with all its hardships while remembering all the joys and sorrows one has experienced, is worth living for because we can accomplish so much more in life if we're motivated enough. I can sympathize with Mother on that front, and I hope to one day tell her that I haven't forgotten everything she's taught me."
- —Stheno and Jezebeth
After the mission in Oreinashi had concluded, Nina sent Stheno and her companion Rahovart to the Crimson Coalition's capital Trinity Gask to track down an artefact which Nina needed to fulfill Vaetris's plan. While there, the duo were joined by several others, including Jezebeth and Persephone Barca.
Stheno, Jezebeth and Rahovart went to see the Weird Sisters who they believed could help them locate the artifact, and the Sisters did help by mentioning a cryptic labyrinth which would claim a price from each and every one of them should they still wish to pursue their agenda.
After hearing the Sisters, Stheno allowed Rahovart to gather intel in the city while she and Jezebeth returned to chat with Persephone and ask her to conjure spirits who could help them locate this strange labyrinth which the Sisters had mentioned. Stheno also expressed regret at Naga's sacrifice during Jezebeth's infiltration of Illunii and had a brief argument with Jezebeth about how pointless dying for a good cause actually was. Once they had returned to the hideout, Persephone conjured the spirit of Belial de Ardyn who provided her with some cryptic information, but soon the female trio grew worried when Rahovart didn't return.
They eventually located Rahovart who had been caught by the Coalition's Mullencamp, and the trio made short work of the humans before freeing him. Rahovart revealed who had ambushed him, and Persephone and Jezebeth immediately recognized that he was describing the necromancer Razravkar Dominus whom they had faced in Illunii.
The four eventually located the portal which led to the labyrinth and entered it with their captive Geras Sylevar, not caring what the price for entrance would end up being. They intended to use Sylevar for a future ritual but first they needed to locate the artifact.
After traversing the labyrinth for a while, they came across none other than Razravkar who they had a tense confrontation with. After learning that Razravkar had come to the labyrinth to deal with the goddess Laverna, his companions had seemingly perished in a trap and they were in the domain of a strange fox demon named Izanagi who seemingly had plans for the goddess, Stheno believed that the Izanagi whom Razravkar had mentioned might in fact be a kitsune. Not wanting to waste a man of Razravkar's talents, she offered a truce because she believed they could use his services. Realizing a battle could lead to his demise, Razravkar agreed and joined with the party.
The group evaded several traps until they ended up locating Izanagi's accomplice, the shaman Irvin Finian and a boy who was revealed to be the god Dionysus possessing a mortal host. Irvin and Dionysus cryptically stated that they would take the group to what they sought, and this alarmed several group members who believed they were being lead into a trap. However, they could do little because Irvin and Dionysus were backed up by several ferocious trolls, so they decided to bide their time for now.
Once they reached the treasure chamber within the labyrinth, Razravkar suddenly broke free and rushed towards the battle ahead of them before anyone could stop him. While Dionysus went to interact with the people battling ahead and the trolls were distracted, Stheno ordered her companions to attack the trolls and subdue Irvin who was caught by surprise.
As she turned to address Jezebeth, Stheno realized Jezebeth was rushing towards a young Yamatian woman, Haruko Mizushima, in the distance. Stheno, knowing about Jezebeth's halfbreed heritage, lamented the fact that she would now discover something about herself, which could complicate things. She ordered Persephone to intercept Jezebeth before she could harm herself.
Things took a surprising turn as Haruko turned into a kitsune and gave birth to two kitsune twins whose bodies the gods Laverna and Dionysus entered, confirming Stheno's initial suspicions that kitsune were involved in the shenanigans going on in the labyrinth. This became even more apparent when the dwarf Thorn Stronghelm turned into a kitsune and called himself Katsutoshi Kobayashi who was in fact the fox demon Izanagi whom Razravkar had referred to earlier.
A dwarven necromancer named Janus Todd sprung a trap at that moment of confusion, catching many by surprise. Sylevar turned out to have deliberately let himself be captured under Janus's orders to observe Stheno's group from within, and now he finally acted, taking Rahovart hostage while Janus caught Persephone.
Stheno, realizing that Janus was planning something big, tried to stop his plan but was too late when Janus summoned an army of skeletons to stall her. The dwarven necromancer, Sylevar and their warrior accomplice Gilgamesh opened a portal to the Land of the Dead and took Haruko's twins, Persephone and Rahovart with them to use them later for some plan of theirs. Jezebeth was incapacitated by that point too as she realized she was in fact Haruko's child as well and thus had kitsune blood in her.
Before the three-way battle between the trolls, the surviving members of Stheno's group and the motley crew whom Razravkar had faced could continue, Mullencamp arrived on the scene to arrest everyone while the labyrinth began collapsing. Considering the danger they were in and the futility of battling when they had all been tricked by Janus, a truce of sorts was formed, and the Mullencamp took everyone captive for questioning.
Stheno pondered the implications of the events she had witnessed in the labyrinth and wondered how Jezebeth would deal with her newly revealed heritage and if she could still remain loyal to the Eastern Horde. She was also angered that her companions Rahovart and Persephone had been captured, and promised to return them because they were Eastern Horde property, not anyone else's.
Heart of DarknessEdit
After being caught by the Coalition, Stheno accompanied the rest of the caught party to a luncheon organized by Hannibal Losstarot. After Simon and Endoran L'Sarius explained that the collar would force her to obey the Coalition's every whim, Stheno scoffed at the idea, claiming that they had no idea what they were dealing with.
After Endoran made clear what she expected Stheno to do and how she would help the Coalition eavesdrop on the Eastern Horde, she let Stheno go and made her team up with Katsutoshi, once again using the guise of Thorn, to track down and retrieve the people kidnapped by Janus Todd from Malperdy.
Stheno and Thorn had a discussion in a local tavern, coming to an agreement that for now they had to work together to get out of this predicament they had ended up in and more importantly finding a way to get out of the Coalition's control.
They travelled to Reign where they came across a pair of merchants named Craft Lawrence and Holo. Realizing that the merchants were headed for Alent where Thorn knew his and Haruko's children would end up in, they decided to accompany Lawrence and Holo on their trip. Thorn and Stheno assumed the aliases of Mr. Jarral Baffik and Mrs. Stheno Baffik, pretending to be a married couple as Thorn insisted it would make the most sense...although Stheno was indifferent to Thorn's constant flirting.
They were stopped sometime later by a patrol from the Crimson Coalition and were brought to one of the Coalition's army camps in the area. Captain Ivan Chernenko informed them that they weren't allowed to travel to Alent while the Coalition was preparing a major assault on the City of Mages. This upset Lawrence and Holo, but Thorn and Stheno convinced them to stay calm because they'd figure out a way to slip past the guards somehow and carry on their journey one way or another.
During the night, Thorn kept flirting with Stheno who was both amused and annoyed by his act as she wasn't sure whether he was being honest or just teasing him. She decided to tease him back while mentioning about his marriage to Haruko.
The Coalition camp was attacked later that night by demons whom Stheno recognized as the Ebon Demons, or the Black Death unit who were elite demon assassins. She defended Lawrence and Holo from the attacks and then fled the camp with them and Thorn, leaving behind a chaotic battle between the surprised Coalition and relentless attackers from the Northern Horde.
The group continued the journey to Alent, now knowing that demons would not be far behind.
More info later.
Aliases and NicknamesEdit
- Lady Stheno
- Her title in the House of Gallu.
- What she is often called due to her seemingly lazy and passive behavior.
- Stheno Baffik
- She adopted this "alias" while posing as the merchant wife of Katsutoshi Kobayashi who was using the alias of Jarral Baffik.
She prefers the form of a dark-skinned woman with raven-black, braided hair and green, feathery clothes which are comfortable to wear.
Personality and TraitsEdit
Seemingly passive but highly intelligent and analytical, she tends to let others do the dirty work for her, which makes her look passive in others' eyes. She doesn't mind mild flirting with allies and enemies alike but for the most part she's serious and somewhat more mature than many of her more boisterous sisters. She sees wanton slaughter as a waste of useful allies and would rather settle disputes without violence if possible but won't hesitate to strike her oppontents down if her allies are being threatened.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Stheno is an adept mage, capable of sensing various magical energies and auras more easily than her sisters. When she chooses to channel her power, destruction tends to follow in her wake, although she believes her tongue to be a more efficient weapon because words can manipulate more people than spells ever can.
Stheno has conflicted views about her mother. On the one hand she did rebel against Jahi but as years have gone by, she has come to understand and somewhat sympathize with Jahi's actions and uses many of her teachings to her advantage. She genuinely believes Jahi would be happier with Vaetris if such a thing comes to pass that the two former friends could reconcile their different ideologies.
Stheno and Jezebeth have known each other for a long time and have developed a sort of friendhsip although Stheno has kept some information from Jezebeth for her own good. They have playful banter at times, and Stheno often has to dissuade Jezebeth from using violence as a last resort because she believes diplomacy is much more suited for both of their talents.
The kitsune Katsutoshi, whom Stheno knows better in the guise of the dwarven mercenary Thorn Stronghelm, keeps flirting with Stheno and seems to enjoy her company despite her being a demon, the very things he despises. Stheno sees him as a mysterious, somewhat obnoxious person yet also occasionally enjoys his free-spirited personality.
Stheno cares for Rahovart more than most of her servants, and he likewise returns her affections. She doesn't mind teasing him occasionally just to see his reactions but does appreciate his help and how he does the more mundane things whenever they're on a mission.