Katrine Malachy McCorbie
Ship : Stella Corbae
Title : Maker, diplomat, purveyor of fine handcrafted goods
Age : Unknown
Race : Human
Homeworld : A42a, an Earth clone planet whose technology is based upon steam generated power and crystals (quartz, amethyst, fluorite, etc)
Hometow n: Born in Dublin, Ireland
Date of Birth: Unknown
Katrine is an Irish lass with all that implies. She has a fiery temper and is very stubborn. She is loyal to a fault, fiercely independent and will, if necessary, fight to the death to protect the people and things she holds dear. These include her friends, the memories of her parents, and the freedom to choose one’s own path in the world. She is fiercely protective of those she names friend. Having no family, Kat makes her friends her family and will do whatever is within her power to keep them safe from harm.
Katrine, or Kat as she is known to her friends, is a Maker. She makes jewelry and items for the home, but she also Makes things. Using mechanical bits, crystals, forgotten treasures, etc she built her vessel, the Stella Corbae, from the ground up. Stella started as a tinker’s wagon but is now so much more. It travels on land, sea or air and is powered by a combination of steam and energy from gemstone crystals.
Kat, despite being Irish, is not much of a drinker but will have a drink with friends now and then. When she does drink she prefers good Irish uisce beatha (whiskey to those not from Ireland). The more in her cups she gets, the deeper the brogue in her voice. She worked long and hard to learn to speak without it but in times of stress it will also break through. And she has been known to use it deliberately to vex or amuse.
A flock of birds is often seen in Katrine’s vicinity. Ravens, crows, blue jays, mockingbirds; any of the corbids. She will also always be found wearing a clip with feathers from one or more of the corbie birds in her hair. More information on why Katrine and the corbie birds are so close can be found in her biographical information.
Above all else Kat is a firm believer in freedom; the freedom to make one’s own choices, the freedom to live one’s life as one chooses. She does not hold with physical or emotional captivity or those who try to force others to follow a way of living or believing that the individual does not choose for her or himself.
Kat’s parents were traveling tinkers and Ireland was originally their primary roving ground. However, with the adaptations her father made to their wagon they were able to travel aloft and often went far from the shores of their homeland. By the time she was 15 Katrine had been to China, Japan, the Ottoman Empire, Russia and even the Americas.
She learned everything one would expect the child of a tinker to know, but she also learned how to navigate and work on airborne ships, how to work with engines that run on steam and those that run on the energy from gemstone crystals, and how to convert engines from one power source to another. She studied physics, mechanics, engineering and design. In addition, she became fluent in several foreign languages.
When Kat was 18 her family was traveling by land through the mountains in France when an avalanche destroyed their wagon and killed her parents. She salvaged what she could from the wagon and, dressed as a boy, traveled on to Barcelona where she was able to book passage to Paris. From there she signed on to several airships over the years and worked her way through the ranks, learning new skills along the way.
In her travels Katrine has heard whispers and stories concerning her parents.. One of these was a persistent rumor that the avalanche that killed her parents was not an accident. She picked up hints here and there and was able to piece together enough to know that her parents were assassinated, targeted by dark forces hired to steal her father’s work.
For many years Kat travelled the world, searching for more information about her parents. She often worked as a pilot, navigator or cook on whatever airship she could find in need of services she could provide. If it was headed in a way she wanted to go she overlooked many things. She has even sailed with pirates but never killed anyone, stole anything from anyone who didn't deserve it or tried to control anyone else.
Katrine’s father was an inventor. Not only did he invent the technology to turn their land-bound wagon into one that travelled by land, air or water, but he was on the verge of a discovery that might have changed everything. He had stumbled upon calculations which, apparently, should be able to allow one to travel through time and control the exact time and location of one's destination. News of this brought visits from dark clothed individuals which oft ended in loud arguments between the visitors and Kat’s father. As time went on these visits became more frequent and their requests more forceful. But he never gave in and never gave them what they kept asking for.
After their last visit her father decided they needed to get away, go somewhere different. Where they went was a remote village in the Alps where they stayed for two years. During that time he often disappeared for days at a time into an underground workshop he'd built. Then one day some villagers came by and told the family of a visit by men wearing dark uniforms bearing a badge of red with black markings. When asked what the markings were all they could remember was that there was a black sun but what else was on the badge they were never able to tell the family.
Upon hearing this news Katrine’s father decided it was time to move on. They left in the middle of the night, heading eastwards. Her father feared trying to go aloft over the Alps so they traveled upon the land routes. Early on the fourth day of their journey Kat awoke to an odd quiet. She dressed and left the wagon to go see if she could figure out why it was so quiet. Kat was gone for about a half an hour when she suddenly heard a tremendous sound. Knowing what she was going to find, she headed back to the encampment.
Her fears were well founded. If she hadn't known exactly how far and in which direction she’d traveled (due to another piece of her father’s technology which would show one's location on a map), Katrine went back to the exact spot where they had been camped. When she returned to where the device indicated the encampment was Katrine was greeted by a scene of devastation and horror.
The avalanche had crushed trees on its way down the mountain and they stuck out of the snow in every direction. Upon the spot where the caravan should have been was a large red X. She could not bear to get close to it but knew she had to. As she’d feared, the red was blood. Kat couldn't be sure whose it was, but she know in her heart it was the blood of her parents
Katrine dug frantically and eventually found the wagon but it had been crushed by the snow and ice. She was able to salvage a few things, mostly some family pictures and other small odds and ends as well as a couple of books. She eventually found her parents, or what was left o' them, in the woods about a mile from the site of the avalanche. They had been brutally tortured and then left for the scavengers. Her father’s lighters and her mother’s keys had been left with them and she took those with her. It broke Katrine’s heart to leave them there but she could no dig graves for them in the snow and knew that she had to leave that place as quickly as she could.
After she fled the site of what happened Kat hid in the woods for many months. It was cold and wet and she was having trouble keeping herself fed. Being traveling people, her parents taught Kat about religion and other beliefs but stressed that all roads lead to the same place in the end so it matters not which one you choose to get there. She tried praying to the gods she had seen others pray to in her travels. None responded. In her delirium Kat called to the ancient gods of her homeland and one answered. She came in Her favorite form, that of the raven, and wrapped Katrine in Her wings to keep her warm. She sent Her Children, the jays, the crows, the magpies, the rooks, even Brother Raven, to find food and clothing. Once they had returned She left Katrine in their care.
Katrine stayed with the birds until she was able to regain her strength and find her courage and was ready to face living again. She came back when Katrine was ready to leave and bestowed several gifts upon the young woman. Several of Katrine’s avian companions decided to travel with her as she returned to the world. They have followed her across time, across continents, even into other worlds. It seems they consider her family and anytime she settles in one place for very long they gather others into the group. Sometimes the others stay with them when they leave, sometimes they don't. But now, as darkness once again threatens, her “family” has sent out the call and many have answered. If you find yourself in Katrine’s company, look up in the skies and you will likely see crows, jays, magpies and even ravens riding the thermals and keeping an eye on the lands around.
After her time with the birds, Katrine made it safely to Spain where she was able to sign on to the first of many ships, both sea and air. For many a year Kat worked in various capacities, sometimes for others, sometimes for herself. Eventually she was able to build her own wagon, the Stella Corbae, and start to work on some of her father's projects.
In her travels she has heard whispers and rumblings regarding her father and the fate of her parents. She has also seen for herself the badge mentioned by the villagers those many years ago. If you are reading this now you likely know who bears the sigil she saw so many years ago.
Recently Katrine experienced first hand the events at the Meeting of San Japan. It was as she had feared. She recognized the banner flown by Faust and those of his ilk. It is, indeed, a match to the badges seen in the village near where her parents were killed so many years ago! After years of roaming the world and the multiverse it seems that fate had brought her to a place where she has been able to learn more and more about those who were responsible for the murder of her parents.
At that time the members of the Order ignored her for those who were more visible and well known to the dark forces. Kat is not sure for how long she can remain unknown, however so time is of the essence and she is using hers to go through her father’s notes to see if there is anything there that might help in the fight to preserve our way of life and to keep the darkness from taking over the world. She has found a few things that show promise and she is diligently working on developing technologies based on his notes. It is too early to say what will or will not work but she has great hope for what she has come up with so far. As she develops each new technology, Kat has been spreading pieces throughout the SCARS fleet. Tesla cannon disruptors here, green aether technology there. Every little bit helps to keep the darkness at bay and to let the light spread a little further.
A note from Katrine’s journal following her encounter with members of the Order reads as follows:
“I have finally had a chance to see for myself the kind of people who were responsible for the death of me ma and da. I sent a drawing of the Order’s banner by bird to the village where we took shelter many years ago and the people who were there at the time confirmed it is the same symbol they saw on the uniforms of those who were last seen heading towards our camp that morning. The birds also tell me it matches what was seen in the forest that day in the place where…..
So, now I know the Order was behind the brutal torture and murder of me parents. I can only guess why they were targeted. Me da’s research. He shared much of what he did with me, but towards the end he kept me ignorant of what he was working on.
Given the total destruction of our campsite and our wagon it is obvious they were looking for something. Given the brutality with which they tortured me parents it is just as obvious they did not find what they were looking for. I believe they wanted me da’s notebooks. I know that he had a habit of leaving them in different places during our travels in case someone did try to steal them but where his last notes were put I do not know. So now I must puzzle out where he would have hidden them.
I must be careful, though. I have seen the face of the Order. I have been close enough to the devil Faust to breathe in the evil that emanates from him. I understand why people fear him, though I feel nothing but revulsion for that puppet of their master, the one they call “father”. There is one, however, that did inspire fear in…..NO…not here, not where THEY might read. I must keep it to myself, locked tightly away.
Now I must start my search for da’s notebooks. At the same time I must get to me workshop. I must needs work on more protective devices like the one I gave to Captain Delacru upon our meeting. I do hope he keeps it with him at all times in case he is confronted by those minions of evil! It will…..no, I must not put into writing what it does. It is enough that he knows…..”
Katrine was seen just prior to the declaration of war. At that time she publicly allied herself with SCARS but vanished shortly after the declaration of war. She has made several brief transmissions since and a coded journal entry has been discovered. It reads:
“SCARS and The Order are now at war. I have allied myself with SCARS because, like them, I believe in freedom and choices, not control by despots. The Order, like others before them (the Nazis and the Necromongers come to mind) are ready to crush those who do not fall in line with them. THIS I WILL NOT DO!!! They are the ones who brutally murdered my parents! I do not choose my position in this conflict lightly. I choose from my heart, to avenge what was done to my parents whose only sin was that they would not bow down and simply hand over my father's research to those who would use his knowledge to control others, to destroy worlds, brutalize the innocent and try to overrun the multiverse with their brand of fanatacism and mind control.
I have been using skills learned at me da's knee and those I have developed since. I have advanced his ideas and built upon and from them. My vessel has been armored and shielded to the utmost. I travel by secret ways from one point to another, never stopping for long and leaving no trail for them to follow. I will post messages along the way.”
So keep an eye on the horizon and an ear to the transmissions in the aether. Look to the skies and if you catch a glimpse of a corbie bird you’ll know that Katrine Malachy McCorbie can’t be far behind.