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Raven Anippe Smith

Raven's 9/2011 Character Sheet - Raven's 3/2014 Character Sheet (PDF)

Raven Smith is a courier, Scion of Sobek and slayer of Titanspawn. Self-named in part for her raven-black hair, she otherwise blends in easily with the mortal throng. Raven is of average height, well-built though not unusually so, and she's just tan enough that she can be taken for a wide variety of ethnicities. (Her primary visual concession to her unusual parentage is a Lacoste wristband.) On the other hand, two minutes talking with her will leave an indelible mark. Especially if someone insults her. When Titanspawn threaten the World, Raven goes from average to Titan Slayer in nothing flat.

Back story:
The name that used to be on my birth certificate isn't important. Dad was never around when I was growing up. Mom was OK, I guess. She made sure I had the basics, never went hungry or had to wear ugly crap to school, but she was...distant. Every once in a while when she didn't know I could see I'd catch her just looking at me, like she wasn't sure what to make of me. It didn't help that I don't look anything like her. Now I know why.

Being a kid, I cooked up this elaborate fantasy about my father, how he was someone important like a politician or a gang boss or something, and that when he was ready he'd come for me. I tried to do good in school, got decent grades, was good enough in that I was usually one of the first few kids picked for teams. Never the first, though, because the captains always picked their friends first, and I was never part of those groups.

When my thirteenth birthday came and went, and all I got was another cake from the grocery store and a couple of CDs, my fantasy bubble finally popped. I threw some stuff into my backpack and ran. It didn't take long to realize that "running away" doesn't usually work out too well if you don't have someplace to run to.

I don't know if it was just that I looked nondescript or what, but I learned pretty quick how to lift stuff from stores if I didn't try to take too much at a time. I also learned real quick that libraries were a pretty safe place to hang out. Cops don't generally troll libraries for truants. I had to be careful about over-curious librarians, but they don't usually bug you if you look like you're studying so I kept my nose in a book all the time. Didn't matter which book; I'd just grab one off a shelf at random on my way in. It was kinda boring at first, but better than the street, but then I started finding more interesting ones. Still no subject in particular, but I found myself actually reading instead of just staring at pages pretending.

That was about when I came up with "Raven Smith." One of the librarians was trying to be nice and wanted to get me a card, and I wasn't stupid enough to give her my real name. I know she didn't buy it -- I mean, come on, "Smith"? But I gave her my best big-earnest-eyes and she gave in.

Still, while libraries are like safe-houses with books, eventually they close. Things were bad enough that I tried to off myself. Twice. First time was pills and booze, way more than enough, and I woke up next morning with all the bottles neatly lined up. Second time, I slashed my arm from wrist to elbow, and when I woke up the next morning the knife was gone, my arm was bandaged, though all that was left was a scar you have to look careful to see.

At that point, I figured the only person who might be able to give me answers was Mom. I went home. The family that was living in our apartment didn't know anything about the previous tenant. Not a damn thing.

That was it. I ran, blinded by rage and tears, and when my feet finally stopped I was on a bridge over the river. Good, high bridge, no one around. I figured, if someone wanted me alive, they could fucking catch me, and I jumped. The wind sighed in my ears as I fell. I mean, it really sounded like a long-suffering sigh.

The boat I landed in wasn't like anything that had ever been on that river. Ever. The dog-headed guy in the boat had been the one who'd fixed me up after the pills and the knife. Anubis. He explained to me about who I was, or more to the point, who my father was. I was a daughter of Sobek, the crocodile god who was "god of destroying evil." He also explained about the Titans, and that they were the reason Dad'd had to leave Mom and I. He told me about the fight against the titanspawn, about Birthrights, about a lot of stuff. My choice of name amused him – he figured that, if the titanspawn did know about me, they'd assume I was a scion of Morrigan. I do get that a lot.

When he'd finished talking to me, the mists closed in. Everything went gray-white. When it cleared, I was standing again, back on the bridge, leaning on the railing. For a second, I thought it was all a hallucination, but there was a piece of weird paper in my hand. The 13 digit phone number he'd written was on one side, and an address here in St. Louis was on the other. It was for a pair of Scion foster-parents, people who'd retired from the front lines and who took in kids like me, Fred and Kimi Jensen, Scions of Baldur and Hachiman. They took me in, and though it took me a while, eventually I realized I had a family. They even did the paperwork so that Raven Smith is now my legal name. Oh, and they checked on Mom. She's doing OK, the titanspawn didn't disappear her or anything, she just really didn't know what to do with me, so when I'd been gone for a while she just moved.

So now, I have a family. Nadia, Scion of Vidar, is about a year older than me. She's been with the Jensens since she was a baby, so they're the only parents she knows. Ehioze, a Scion of Shango, is four years younger than I am. His biological parents were both mortal, since his dad was a Horse of the Loa, but they were murdered by white supremacists. About two years after I moved in, we got a five-year-old Scion of Tlazoltéotl named Jesus, who was pretty traumatized when he came in. I never did find out what happened to him. Even Jesus recognized the irony of his name, once he was old enough.

The guy who brought Jesus in was Mark Ferrari, a Scion of Hephaestus. He's five years older than me, but he's been at the Scion thing for a while. He was kind of a loner, but I guess Kimi got to him, because he started coming around more often and became kind of a big brother. It's not like he was another orphan, since he has a family. Boy, does he have a family.

When I was 16, Mark took me out to a track to teach me how to drive. In a Ferrari. One his father had helped design. Yeah, one of the names Hephaestus uses is part of that Ferrari family. That nondescript motorcycle I get around on? Mark gave me that when I turned 18, and it may not have the logo but it's a Ferrari under the hood.

Anyway, Dad finally got a chance to get away from the wars to see me on my 16th birthday, and we worked things out. He showed up again on my 18th, to give me my Birthrights. I wasn't real keen on the whole Xena thing at first, but eventually I realized that someone needs to fight the Titans, and not everyone has the ability to take down their spawn.

So, I guess I ended up following Dad into the "family business" after all.

Interesting variant of Sobek: