Storytime: Suddenly A Twin
Now this is less of a traditional story to tell, and more like talking about backstory. Just so you’re aware.
See, years before I adopted the name as my own I created a character for a free-form RP environment. That was the first appearance of Rita Wulf. Old werewolf, accomplished shape-shifter, self-taught mage and pretty much who I wished I could be. I was in my early 20s and trying to figure out who I was.
Rita is somewhere over 2500 years old. She doesn’t exactly remember much from her early centuries, but her best estimate is that she’s somewhere between 2500 and 2800 years old. As far as she knows, she has no surviving family from that time. Among her earliest memories is the werewolf who bit her being killed with fire on the same night it bit her, so not even her ‘sire’ remains. But that’s a different story. ( She wasn’t even a she back then. )
Eventually she met up with other weres and learned more about herself. One of which being that there are several types of werewolf, along with many other werebeings. And one of the characteristics of her kind is improved magic resistance. This applies both to having spells cast on her, and trying to use magic herself. In spite of this, she has spent a lot of time and energy learning how to use elemental magic anyway. Her progress is generally slow, but since she has had a couple of millennia to practice by now, she has become quite powerful and resourceful.
As she is mostly self-taught, some of her spells have been a bit unconventional. You could not unfairly claim that she got certain spells wrong, simply because she would often be more concerned with what she wanted to achieve than the method by which to do so.
After seeing another mage use a magic double spell, she decided that having one of those for herself would be helpful. Even though this mage used an entirely different type of magic, so it wasn’t simply a spell she could copy. She instead had to devise her own way of achieving the same result, ignoring any thoughts that maybe her type of magic wasn’t suited for such things.
Early results were not encouraging. Barely more than illusions, her copies would dissipate in a few mins, or upon coming in contact with any living being that produced bio-electricity. In theory regular electricity would do the same, but she didn’t care to test. After a lot of failures, she decided to alter her approach. Instead of trying to create a semi-autonomous image of herself, she figured that maybe she’d have more luck essentially copying herself. This ended up requiring her to pour quite a lot of herself into the copy to make it stable, but considering her personal strength and energy-reserve was well above any normal being, she had little concern about that. And as such the magical clone spell was created.
Because of the imperfect way she arrived at this spell, the end result was that she could only ever create one clone at a time. It required quite a bit of initial energy to summon, plus her double continuously claimed a bit of her strength while it was active. It wasn’t a huge drop in her power, but it was there. As a safety measure, the clone would automatically un-summon itself after 24 hours. It could also do pretty much anything she could do, though it was only about a third as strong as she was. For most people, that was more than strong enough.
Though as time went on, and the more the spell was used, the clearer it became that the clone was developing its own distinct personality. Somehow the memories, or soul, or whatever you want to call it, was stored between each time the clone was summoned. It was no longer just a copy, it was becoming a person of its own. Rita had already taken to calling her double Marie, because saying something like ‘other Rita’ didn’t seem right at all.
So the day finally came when Marie asked Rita for her freedom. She was aware of who and what she was, and just being a summoned double was frustrating. She wanted a life of her own, and the chance to live it. Rita wasn’t exactly taken aback. In a way she had been expecting it, as she wasn’t blind to how Marie became ever more independent. So she had been idly researching what it would take to split them apart. To actually create another person who was pretty much her equal. It wasn’t going to be easy. But Marie deserved the chance. Plus, it would be nice to actually have a sister after all these years. Sure, she had a lot of children, grand-children and so on after two and half millennia, but no siblings or parents. For all intents and purposes, she was the start.
But now the matriarch of the Wulf clan was coming up with a plan. In her favour she already had access to a crossroads. A place where portals and doors to other places and realities were easy to establish and maintain. That would make harnessing the energy she required easier. And she needed a LOT of energy.
It took weeks to set up. Making sure the magic circle was without blemish. Acquiring the proper reagents. Finding a suitable energy-source, a super-nova, in the right phase. Establishing a series of portals around it with proper energy-funnels. All ready to get activated at the right time. Now as a bit of superstition, mostly on the basis that it probably couldn’t hurt, Rita decided to perform the ritual on the night of the full moon. Well, the night it would be full moon in the place she was born. As the crossroads area was essentially everywhere and nowhere, it didn’t have a full moon as such. But even after so much time, after moving so many times, even after going to different planets and realities… there was still something in her that told her when the moon was full at “home”.
So the night came. Marie was summoned, and told to stand in the circle. Rita began weaving the spell. For those of you familiar with The Wheel of Time, I basically based Rita’s magic system on that. She honestly couldn’t remember the last time she had so many threads spinning at once. Weaving and inter-weaving, and gradually triggering all the energy-funnels. It was exhausting and painstaking. A misstep could let the energy slip and fry everyone currently in the crossroads, and possibly escape out through any open portals or doors.
After what seemed like an eternity to the both of them, the spell-web was finally in place and charged up. All that remained now was to trigger it and cast the spell. The following flash was blinding. There was a burning sensation in their very souls. But all the preparation paid off. It worked. Marie was free, and essentially equal in power and ability to Rita.
There was of course a cost. Rita had expected it to be harsher, but it was still a loss. Her magic ability was reduced. It was likely just a setback, and could be regained in time, but it was also possible that a portion of her total potential was lost for good, and that she could never become as powerful as she might have been without doing this. There was no real way to know that. Fortunately her physical ability seemed to be untouched. She was exhausted at the moment, but she was seemingly not weakened long-term. And finally she had lost the ability to ever cast the clone spell again. That was off the table for the both of them.
The newly forged twins also had a bit of an empathic bond between them. They always have at least a vague idea of where the other one is, and how they are doing.
While they initially looked identical, it wasn’t long before Marie decided to change her appearance slightly so it would be easier to tell them apart. Rita’s preferred appearance is looking like she’s about 40 years old, with strangely warm, blue eyes and natural-looking dark brown hair. Marie made herself look younger, somewhere about the mid-20s, and changed her hair-colour to a bright red. And while that wasn’t entirely intentional, her eyes seem a bit more crisp, almost icy-clear, even though they’re still blue.
Their personalities also showed clear differences quite soon. Rita remains the more motherly and emotional of them. She is very protective; quick to action and reaction without necessarily thinking things through all the way. Marie is somewhat colder and much more calculating. She quickly discovered an interest in business and sought a job. Though Rita is infamously bad with technical things, Marie has found quite an interest in tinkering. And in her eagerness to establish her own life, she also quickly threw herself into dating. After a few not-so-successful partners, she ran into her future wife: Joan. Who is a succubus. And CEO of the company Marie worked at. You could say Marie is both too young and too old to have much in the way of shame, though she will insist that her position is not (entirely) because she shagged the boss. Joan, on the other hand, entirely insists that it is, and talks about her sexual exploits with Marie to anyone who will listen, because it amuses her to do so.
Rita continues her role as matriarch feeling happy that the family is bigger. While her sister was acquired in a very unconventional manner, she doesn’t dwell too much on that. Very few things in her life have been all that conventional to start with.
And that’s the story of how Rita became a twin sister. I hope you enjoyed it.