Another week, another Indines In-Depth. This week, we focus on one of the less examined characters in the World of Indines. Hepzibah is a character that has always been very interesting to write for, and who has an interesting psychology and history, shaped by being both an outsider to society while simultaneously being very valuable and sought after by the same individuals who have shunned her.
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“I have borne men back from death to life. But now I wish to see my homeland restored to life, and for that task, I chose you.”
- Hepzibah, to Rexan
"There's a deep darkness in the hearts of men. After all the layers are stripped off, that's all you find... If you care for them long enough, you'll see the face of that darkness too, in those you trust most. Then you'll realize the people you want to protect are full of wickedness, more vile than vermin."
- Hepzibah, to Amon
A sorceress with a talent for restoring the dead and manipulating the forces of life, Hepzibah was once one of the most revered healers in the Indines, and was appointed the royal healer of Jeffreys after the decline of Gesselheim at the end of the Centennial Wars.
After years of faithful service, the aging King Alexian XXVI of Jeffreys tasked Hepzibah with making him immortal. When she refused to obey the command, she was branded a traitor and thrown out of the country. After this event, she became disgusted with the practical applications of her art and gradually grew obsessed with the theoretical, traveling to Argent University to teach as an associate professor and study under Byron Krane.
Now she has turned her talents to returning the Dark Overlord Rexan to life, potentially plunging the world of Indines back into one of its darkest hours, the Centennial Wars once again. Allied with Dark Masters, who watch the world from outside space and time, Hepzibah draws power from her pacts with them by burning away her own life force–a fuel she easily replenishes from others. Despite her extensive talents as a healer and her innate understanding of life, she rarely uses her abilities to heal or save lives.
In BattleCON: War
Hepzibah resurrected Cherri in the events leading up to War, but brought her back fragmented, leaving a path for the Dark Masters to see Indines through her. Working together with Demitras and Heketch, Hepzibah has set up her laboratory deep within Rubara Keep, and is chiefly concerned with perfecting her resurrection spell and bringing back the Overlord Rexan, her longtime hero, whom she believes will restore the glory of her homeland once more.
In BattleCON: Devastation
Having successfully revived the Overlord Rexan, Hepzibah serves as his advisor and as the court magician of Gesselheim. Intent on ensuring the success of her plan to make Gesselheim a world power once more, as well as to continue pursuing the theoretical branches of her art, she restores the Elvan scientist Aaron Ross to life, giving him a new body and a new identity as Malandrax Mecchi. She hopes to turn Malandrax’s genius to creating weapons and technology that will give her homeland an advantage in the coming conflict.
Hepzibah also serves as a tutor to Magdelina Larington, who defects to the side of Gesselheim after learning that her spirit guide had controlled her mind. Hepzibah teaches Magdelina to take control of the spirits around her, leading to her appearance as a neutral-aligned boss in Devastation.
10 Facts about Hepzibah
- She was friends with Framboise Galston as a teenager, before Framboise became a Daemon.
- Hepzibah was born in Gesselheim, before the nation’s rapid decline after the Centennial Wars. Despite being over three centuries old, she appears young due to using her own body as a battery to contain life force. When she runs low on life force, she appears much older.
- The magic Hepzibah uses is called Vivimancy, a lost art from another world. The only other known practitioner of the art is Xenitia Zook. Because the secrets of the arts are lost, Hepzibah could only learn the art from the Dark Masters, keepers of lost knowledge from outside space and time.
- She was a member of the Blackspire Company after leaving the Jeffrian Military, but left that post as well after amassing significant personal wealth.
- The Bloodlight (her lantern) was created by Hepzibah using materials and secrets granted to her by the Dark Masters. It is an otherworldly weapon from Limbo (the space between the planes), and so its materials would be extremely valuable if it were to be disassembled. The Bloodlight serves to store excess life force that Hepzibah’s body can’t hold, and also works as a tool for extracting life force from victims.
- Hepzibah was the youngest of six brothers and sisters, all of whom are dead now. Some of her siblings’ descendants are still alive today, however.
- Hepzibah has a strong dislike of children, pets, machines, and town centers. She avoids crowded and noisy places whenever possible.
- Hepzibah was courted several times in her younger years, but has never married or had children.
- She is fascinated by genealogy, and knows all the major houses and royal lines of Indines. From a blood sample, she can trace a person’s heritage and family line.
- She collects teas from all across Indines and keeps them in a tea chest that she travels with.