"Britannia loves a winner. Britannia despise losers and cowards. The very idea of defeat is distasteful to that which makes us Britannians."
Ephraim's world of origin is the Code Geass animeverse: he is one of Emperor Charles zi Britannia children and heirs, and as such in line for the throne. He is engaged in a serious rivalry with his twin brother Leander, who is his main competitor when it comes to the succession, as there is still doubt as to which of them is eldest and so has first rights to the crown. Ephraim's advantage in this rests mainly in his possession of a Geass which grants him a measure of empathy and, as it evolves, control over the emotions of those around him.
The problems started on June 19th, 1992, when one of the Emperor's consorts gave birth to twins and set the succession order in chaos. Leander and Ephraim cared little for it then though, and spent their early childhood together. Their mother's death in troubled circumstances three years after their birth was the first dark cloud on a horizon that was to slowly grow dimmer, and the storm broke two years after that, when they were separated. The reason behind it was never revealed to them; all they knew was that their father's men came one day and tried to tear them apart. They fought it, they did: Ephraim with all the stubborness he could muster and Leander with that Grace that was their last link to their mother. They were five years old. They lost, though not without some serious damage done mostly thanks to Leander.
And Ephraim told himself, through the screaming and the tears--this was the last time he was going to lose. Luckily for him, the military (for that was were he'd been relocated to, under the tutelage of a retired Knight) had no intention of allowing him to do otherwise, and when his brother was learning about the court's masks and dances Ephraim was being groomed to become one of the Imperial army's finest. There was no pampering here, and it was not rare for him to be left to deal with rather dangerous situations on his own (though under heavy surveillance): there was no better teacher than experience, thought his elders, and so it went. It was during one of the early incidents that he was granted the Geass: still shaken by the separation, he had been thought easy prey by enemy spies looking to undermine the royal family and had in fact nearly been killed in the resulting attack. He recalls little of the incident, can only grasp at blurred images, phantom pain, gunshots and the memory of a promise, or maybe a deal; all that really remains really clear about it is that he when he came back to himself his hands were covered in blood (not all of which was his), he was alive, and in possession of the Geass. Somewhere far away, Charles zi Britannia was smiling.
The next time he saw his brother, two years after the separation, was almost like meeting a stranger, albeit one that wore his face, and the affection that'd existed before was now replaced by a rivalry that grew more bitter as time went on. He was not sure what to attribute Leander's new hostility to, but it struck at his temper in such a way that Fine, Ephraim said, and returned to what was now home with clear eyes and a sharper laugh. He also threw himself into his training, attacking every challenge with that relentless determination that in him made do in stead of brilliance. He quickly graduated from basic training to running the simulators to piloting real Knightmare Frames to participating in real battles, albeit pulled back from the front lines and never in charge of the whole thing.
On turning seventeen he was presented with two things: a grinning Knight and orders for a raid on one the European Union's bases, which he would lead. He promptly took the first to bed, and the second he set to obey, calling for all the reports they had on the situation and the location before timing his attack and charging.
The enemies had been waiting for them, forewarned by some unknown mole, and the Britannian force was completely routed, losing almost a half of its machines and with relatively severe casualties. Including his newly-minted Knight, KF ravaged and cockpit pulverized by a single well-aimed AP shell from the other side's anti-Frame armory. That it was a quick death was the sole consolation. Ephraim would know: he felt every moment of it, his mind still attuned to the other's.
The debriefing that followed that debacle concluded with several points: first, that it had been a regrettable but understandable error, as he had taken all relevant measures to the data he'd had at the time, and that it hadn't been his fault the enemy had high-placed enough spies that they could falsify documents. Second, that he'd still fucked up big time. Third, that there were going to be consequences, because the Emperor had little tolerance for failure and rather disliked losses.
A summary, disdainful dressing down and a huge demotion later, he was being sent away like some cadet being kicked out of the military academy.
Funny how those things worked out, because that kind of was where his lieu of sentence would be. "So you learn some temperance", they'd said.
He'd see about that.
Not having spent all that much time at court or dealing with the more political aspects of the Britannian regime, Ephraim is lacking in the smooth-talking, intrigue-navigating skills that his brother is so good with. He makes up for it with a reckless, roguish charm and by being rather more easy-going and approachable. He does have some elitist tendencies, biased in favor of the military and the like: he'll be much more interested in people who look like they know what they're doing with their weapons and can bear some amount of discipline than less outwardly martial "civilians", though he'll be pleasant enough with them, if perhaps a bit more abrupt and condescending. He likes conflict, won't shirk from a fight and will just move in to get first blood: the best defence is a good offence, as he's been taught and has applied often enough to verify the veracity of the fact. He has a deep-seated need to prove himself and can get a bit too eager, or come off as a bit of a show-off, which isn't exactly the intent, though it does brush against it.
Deep, deep down, what motivates Ephraim is the constant desire to win. He is a sore loser, whether for casual, everyday, unimportant games or in the constant game of thrones and succession that comes with the family he was born in. Competitive, possessive and stubborn, he will do anything to get the upper hand and won't shirk from underhanded tactics. He does have a sense of honor, but he tends to lose track of it when angered or under stress, which leads him to make decisions he would regret afterwards if he let himself linger on them. Which is why he doesn't: Ephraim has long decided that the past should remain where it is, and only looks forward, or so he tells himself. If he sometimes wakes up feeling like there is blood dripping from his hands and ashes thick and dry over his tongue, well--who is there to tell?
It's been a long time since he's let anyone get really close to him. He's good at faking closeness, and his casual approach to things such as physical contact and/or intimacy lead people to believe he's more invested in a relationship than he really is. The sleeping around doesn't exactly help. Those he does care about often end up being pushed away by his possessive and, at times, clingy presence, which he has never managed to repress: the empathy granted by the Geass ensures that he copes better when he has an anchor he can trust, and he's been betrayed and has lost enough people that he'll constantly try to ensure those he still has are around and breathing.
AppearanceEditTall and lanky, with pale blond hair and green eyes. With the Geass activated, the iris of his left eye turns reddish-purple and the sigil superimposes bright red on the pupil, leading him to either wear sunglasses or tinted lenses whenever he can get away with it so he can use it without worry of being noticed. As it evolves, there will come a point where it will not fade, and eventually spread to the right eye. He's stronger than his lean frame would suggest, thanks to being raised in a rather military environment, but he lacks the grace that the court has imbued his brother with. He usually wears black, red or navy blues, and unlike most of the family shuns the most ornate, frilly stuff: he gets in enough scrapes that it'd be unpractical, and jeans are comfortable enough. Long sleeves aren't a constant, but he tries to wear them when he can: he's got some nasty-looking scars from training and other fun accidents peppered over his arms and chest, and explaining them to strangers is annoying.
Charles: Emperor. Lord Father. Respected, the way one respects a lion when it stands before you and seems to be considering whether to kill you or not.
Adelaide: Mother. Dead. Faint nostalgia: he only vaguely remembers her, and it's more attachment to a feeling than to the person.
Leander: Brother. Rival. Mirror. A mixture of betrayal, jealousy and possessiveness, because nothing is ever simple.
Schneizel: Elder half-brother. Only knows him from a distance and by reputation, but it is enough to prompt a mix of wariness and respect.
Cornelia: Elder half-sister. He's only seen her a couple of times, but it's been enough to cement what looks suspiciously like hero-worship for her.
[to be added to as moar happens. Jagz likes her nice leetle reminders/notes to herself]
- A sucker for shiny little mechanical thingies. Big ones too, but that's less embarassing to admit.
- Has absolutely no ear for music. If he ever gets a mic... run for cover.
- Prefers vanilla over chocolate.
Songs that I like right nowTheme songs for Ephraim include: Battle for the Sun, Say Hello to the Angels, Underwater, The Hand That Feeds and Empty Spaces.
- Ephraim has, unfortunately, through sheer shitty luck, been roomed with his brother Leander on the top floor of the boy's dorms. Their dorm is named after city-planet Coruscant, and thus is called Coruscant Residence.
- Jag needs a life.
Physically manifesting as a bird-shaped sigil glowing superimposed over his left eye when in use, Ephraim's Geass allows him to sense the emotions of those around him and to manipulate them subtly. As it gets stronger, it will reach a point where it grows out of control, spreading to both eyes and becoming permanent, granting him a greater mastery over emotions at the cost of an increased toll on his own stability. It is also not as reliable as mind control in that it does not give a hundred-percent chance of influencing the target: everyone deals with emotions differently, and someone that's grounded and has good emotional control would probably be able to notice something wrong or at least stop themselves before they act. It is, however, much more insidious: it can be affected over time, or just guided towards a certain broad goal, and were the user to know someone and their responses to certain stimuli, events and emotions, then to direct them would be quite easy. And all the while they'd believe they'd done it of their own free will.
Low-level empathy: he can perceive strong emotions in people physically close to him when he focuses. It only works on one person at once, though he can shift targets as he wills. The closest he is to someone, the easier it is, and physical contact is best; if changing focus from one person to the other, it can take a little while for him to disengage from the first and to connect to the second, and it takes quite some concentration and energy.
First signs of emotion manipulation at this level: he can slightly dampen or enhance strong emotions such as hate, anger or elation. He sees those as threads, for lack of a better word, and what the power allows him, more specifically, is to rearrange those threads; in this case, weaving them thicker or thinner. As for the empathy, it is only on one person at a time. Eye contact is required, and causes huge mental strain. Use of this makes his Geass activate, so it's easily noticeable by the target if he's not wearing shades or special lenses.
Reach of empathy grows wider: he can now catch emotions through walls or obstacles. Eye contact for the manipulation is no longer required, as long as person is in his line of sight, though much more efficient.
Empathy allows for perception of subtler emotions and/or mixed feelings. Still not pinpoint accurate, but good to get a feel of target's feelings at a given moment, and allows for better precision as manipulation grows slightly better. He starts to need isolation at semi-regular intervals as the Geass is a major drain on his psyche.
Geass gone out of control, spreading to both eyes and being impossible to turn off. Empathy is now constantly on: he has a much better feel for the emotions of his targets, at the cost of said emotions influencing his own. When not focusing specifically on one person, it defaults to that closest to him. Constant strain and exhaustion due being forced to constantly monitor himself and making sure he isn't acting on someone else's feelings. He may start requiring someone to stabilize him, or will try to find one: it is easier to settle if he focuses on someone he's "attuned" to.
Level of emotional control increases: he can now isolate specific emotions from the weave and bring them to the forefront or push them to the back of one's mind: not so much the enhancing/downgrading of level one, but rather making the person forget about that emotion altogether for a moment. Duration depends on the strength of the concerned emotions and the mind of the target.
Psychological strain diminished as Geass settles slightly, but he is still unable to turn it off.
Duration of manipulations last longer. Can now read two people at once, three if focusing strongly, though he gets overwhelmed fast under the information overload.
Emotional manipulation now includes being able to "insert" emotions in someone, eg threading anger in someone's mind to provoke or make them easier to set off. He can also twist existing feelings into different aspects of themselves: protectiveness to possessiveness, love to affection, annoyance to anger, etc.
He is now able to properly separate own emotions to those of others, lessening the strain and the "bleeding in". Constant monitoring also grants him an immunity to most attempts at mind-reading/control, as he will notice anomalies quickly and act accordingly (read, with extreme prejudice).
Fine-tuned manipulation: can now tweak the smallest elements, and influence the major/stronger emotions easily, as well as being able to do so in a way that is nearly undetectable by the target.
As is only fitting of an army-oriented Britannian heir, Ephraim has been trained in the piloting of Knightmare Frames and is quite adept at it, a proficiency that translates over to mechas and other huge armored, weapons-filled machines: their use, but also their maintenance, within reason. He's also pretty good with a gun and at close combat, though still well within "normal human" range.
Nothing yet D:
- A newcomer to the craziness, as Jagz has been
pushed over to the dark sideconvinced to join in for Academy: Okay We're Trying This Again.
- ILU guize