PLAYER: Max Fauth
Background/History: Ilsa was born in Hong Kong to the poor but honest owners of a small, family-run corner store. An only child, she was well loved and cared for. Although her schooling was modest, she excelled in her classes, and seemed to have a knack for making friends and drawing the attention of the right people. As she grew, she realised that it was more than a simple knack; she was actually 'hearing' the thoughts and feelings of those around her. She had also been subconsciously influencing others with these same powers, although only in minor ways.
As she realised her abilities, she began practicing and developing her powers. Her grades climbed as she 'read' answers from teachers' minds, and she was soon surrounded by 'newfound' friends. Yet even as she became a personal success, she felt a need to do more—both for herself, and her parents. It seemed easy to make money off her abilities, but doing such quickly drew the attention of criminals. Before long she was under pressure to use her powers to further the career of a petty crime lord, with her parents being listed as collateral in case of a failure. Backed into a corner by these demands, she lashed out at the criminals' minds, turning them on one another. The ensuing bloodbath wiped out the gang to a man, leaving Ilsa standing as a horrified witness to the carnage.
She quickly withdrew into herself, damning her powers and her own arrogance. She longed to be rid of them, longed to be normal. But even as she denied them, her powers grew stronger, and her control was slipping. She could hear thoughts from all around her, no matter how she tried to block them out. The young woman drew even further away from people, trying to isolate her from the constant bombardment of mental noise. But this same 'noise' brought a new opportunity --- a dEsperate gunman with a hair trigger and seemingly nothing to loose. Calming herself, Ilsa concentrated on his thoughts. She probed his doubts and fears and used them to talk him down and dissuade him from violence.
Ilsa thought long and hard on her future from there. It seemed that she couldn't ignore her abilities, yet she was under no compulsion to use them. However, even though they could do great harm, she also knew she could help people with them. Having left school, she set out to find a way to balance her powers in life.
Personality/Motivation: Intelligent, thoughtful and adaptable, Ilsa has come to greatly understand people around her. Though she sometimes lapses into cynicism, she tries not to be bitter about the problems her powers cause and instead works to find new ways to use them. She is generous, charitable and forgiving, although seemingly cold and reserved in person. She is used to seeing the best and worst in people, and often seems ready with a smile, even when things are at their worst. She is however very secretive about her powers; even though she can be sensed as an Esper, she never admits to having any abilities beyond the common Esper sense
Quote: "It's not as bad as you think. It rarely is."
Powers/Tactics: Technically an Esper, Ilsa's powers are very rare, even amongst Espers. She can reach into the minds of others, 'hearing' their thoughts, feelings and memories. While she can easily scan the thoughts of those around her, she must concentrate to deeply scan an individual target for more important or hidden information. She can also use her power to control others' minds, although this takes considerable effort. Using this power, she can either subtly influence their actions, making such seem natural to her target, or take full control and bend them entirely to her will. She is however loathe to use this last option.
A number of secondary abilities allow her to scan the minds around her, searching for specific people, ideas and information in a crowd. She can also establish a telepathic link, allowing instantaneous mental communication with another. Finally, she can draw on the innumerable skills and memories she has 'acquired' through mind reading, guiding her both in combat and in any number of different tasks.
Although she has worked hard to control her powers, she finds that such is frequently beyond her. She will often subconsciously scan those around her, overhearing their surface thoughts. In addition, her powers are boosted by skin contact, to the point where she can see someone's every thought and memory by simply brushing their skin with her own. She however has no control over this power; it simply seems to happen on contact. These thoughts and memories are often so powerful that they can temporarily effect or control her, as she takes on aspects of the subject's personality.
Understandably, she takes pains to touch as few people as possible.
Appearance: Of average height and build, Ilsa tends not to stand out in a crowd which is quite how she likes it. Attractive often despite her efforts, she wears her golden blonde hair long, but frequently pins it back. Clear green eyes watch the world from behind half-moon spectacles, giving her an astute, intellectual demeanour. She never leaves her apartment without being clad head-to-toe, usually in a flowing dress or overcoat, universally featuring high collars and long sleeves. This is topped up with a pair of soft leather gloves. She tends to dress in darker colours, preferring deep reds and black.
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