V Y X L U M I N A E is a cruel Jack who possesses a shard of the sun. She grew up in ruins west of Neverlost before making her way to Milave and the Field of Voices in Orrila. Abandoned at a young age, she learned to survive by salvaging what she could from the ruins. Vyx doesn’t like to talk about her past; instead, she delves into the histories of other people, other places. If her difficulties hardened her and made her distrustful, they also gave her the adaptability and skill to become a talented treasure-seeker.
On first impression, Vyx seems friendly and easy to open up to—even understanding, having overcome so much hardship in her life. Perhaps, in her way, she is genuinely sympathetic to the people she meets, but she won’t hesitate to use their vulnerabilities against them. She only cares about herself because if she didn’t who else would? She wasn’t always cruel, but she suffered too many betrayals not to be.
One betrayal from many years ago stands out with particular sharpness in her mind:
Vyx, on the urging of someone she considered to be her dearest friend (she had few friends even then), had joined an expedition for a much sought after artifact. It was an endeavor through a crumbling ruin with many complex passageways and false chambers. Vyx was first decipher the artifact’s location from coded maps and clues. She was first to discover it and dusted off her find and held it up for a better glimpse in the light. She was in a precarious position as she examined it, standing ominously above a deep, open tomb. Her partner, blinded by greed, took the opportunity. Vyx was unceremoniously shoved. The artifact was snatched from her hands. She crashed to the bottom of the tomb, landing painfully on her right hand. She heard the snap of bone as her wrist broke and felt, also, something sharp cutting into her palm–becoming embedded there. In that same moment, what little light there was went out. Her partner, her former friend, her now-and-forever enemy, had sealed her in.
Vyx sat a long time in darkness, cradling her broken wrist. It might have been hours, but more likely, days, hunger and despair gnawed at her. The darkness was becoming her friend. She didn’t mind being engulfed in bitter thoughts. Lost, alone—at least here she was free of those who would feign friendship to get what they wanted. She sat in the darkness a long time before realizing, abruptly, it wasn’t so dark anymore . . .
Light came, whether she wanted it or not. Oddest of all, the light came from her. She could feel the sharp, stabbing heat of it, the shard that had embedded itself into her palm when she fell. It glowed and pulsed, becoming brighter and brighter until a beam shot out of her hand like a whip of light.
So it was, on her darkest day, Vyx Luminae found her way through a series of labyrinthine passageways and out of that ancient tomb. When she emerged, she was different. She was cruel. Just as a shard of light became part of her, so, too, did the darkness.
About Zoe Marzo
Zoe Marzo is a Los Angeles-based writer and MFA candidate. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus. A casual gamer, she is a big fan of Numenera, D&D, Lovecraftian board games, Borderlands, and Skyrim. Follow her on social media @zoe.marzo / @zoe_marzo