Philomène Tysena

History
Philomène Tysena spent the first years of her life travelling with her mother, Amela, a silk merchant from Amishka. When Philomène was five her mother took her to Jasquon, to the Temple of Orielle, and told her that her father would take care of her now that Amela was to marry.

Her father, Raphael, was a priest of Orielle. He was a kind man, but not fatherly and so Philomène grew up with the children of the orphanage, taught by the other priests and priestesses of the order. With her mother she had already begun to learn several languages, as well as the basics of mathematics, but within the orphanage school she soaked up learning.

Philomène was not content to sit still, no matter how interesting her classes were, and often escaped the temple grounds to wander the city. She sat at the foot of traders, craftspeople, and even an alchemist. Philomène was unsure what she would do with her life but she had ambition. Though she was of no particular birth she wished to be rich and powerful, and influence those who were rich and powerful. And so, though most of her peers from the orphanage had begun trades and apprenticeships, she could not decide on her course. The priestesses had suggested joining the temple permanently and Philomène even considered the offer of a wizard who had promised her great wealth if she became his apprentice. Having no innate talent at magic or the money to join the university, there were few options available to her.

Then she learned about the Courtesan's Guild. As a child in the Temple, Philomène knew about sex as a holy practice, honouring the goddess Orielle and her gifts to humanity. While it had was a holy event within the temple, she hadn’t realized that it was also something that could earn her money and acclaim.

Some courtesans train in specific skills – in music, or voice, or painting, or any of a hundred different skills, in addition to their prowess in bed. Others learn a bit of every skill, mastering none, but able to entertain many.

Philomène studied languages, history, and politics. Anything that the influential do, she has learned to do as well – from cards to dueling to philosophy. Her drive to win has sometimes made her work difficult, it is hard to please a patron who has just lost the fifth game of wits to a mere courtesan.

Even still, with her charm and skill, Philomène is sought out by visiting nobles and diplomats, men and women who were looking for someone who could speak their own tongue in a land far from their own homes. Courtesan apprentices spend several years in training, and must pay back the Courtesans Guild for the time and money invested. Philomène was able to pay back her debt within five years after her debut.

Through her study of politics and history she has grown to hate the idea of a rule by birth or blood. Spending time with the most powerful people has given her a unique view of the intelligence and understanding of nobles. And she has realized that there is no reason for these men and women to be in charge of the government, the running of the world. Philomène has recently been studying the writing of obscure revolutionaries, who believe in a rule of the people, where every person has a vote in how the country is run. Where knowledge and ability are the basis for membership in Parliament, not birth and money. Or, in the case of Kingsgate, the random person who would find a magical hare. Philomène is determined to find the hare so that she might begin to change the way Jasquon, and Corenth, are ruled.

Philomène has two maids, a secretary, and works with a famous designer and seamstress to ensure that her dresses are always the height of fashion. At 25 years old she has her own studio, called the Atelier, where she entertains and throws parties for her friends and patrons from the highest classes within Jasquon.

Skills and Abilities

Primary Strength: Charming
Philomène has the ability to charm almost anyone. She knows the right thing to say, and when to smile in silence. And her charm hides a keen wit and cunning. She enjoys turning people to her will, making them believe that her ideas and plans were their own.

Secondary Strength: Educated/Skilled
Philomène is a student of the social sciences, of history, philosophy, and politics. She has studied nobility and alternate ruling systems.

Relationships

Xhan-Sui, Mistress Moth
One or two years ago, at the annual celebration of the Cloistered Hare the attendants buzzed with gossip. A stranger, from Tyeng, a wizard and beautiful lady had joined the hunt. Philomène forced a mutual acquaintance to introduce her to Xhan-Sui and then invited her to join the Seekers of the Hare. In the years that followed Philomène has encouraged a sort of friendship, though some, less familiar with the two women might call it a rivalry. Philomène has introduced Xhan-Sui to the highest of society. After learning of Xhan-Sui's interest in the rare and illegal of substances Philomène has also introduced her to the degenerates who would traffic in these unique medicaments.

And Xhan-Sui, invited to all of Philomène's parties, lends her unusual and glamourous reputation to Philomène's events, helping to ensure that all crave her invitations. Some, jealous or petty, claim that Philomène uses Xhan-Sui's power to inflame the desires of her patrons and would be patrons. But no one offends Philomène by saying this to her directly. In truth, no magic is needed for the courtesan skills that Philomène employs and she has never asked or paid for magical assistance. Secretly, Philomène wonders how magic could be used to bend people to her will once she finds the Hare, it's usefulness in inciting a revolution, or in subjugating the nobility. These thoughts she keeps to herself, though she has asked several hypothetical questions of Xhan-Sui, trying to learn the limits and abilities of a wizard's power.

Sytherielle Brightlove
Philomène met the young musical genius, Sytherielle Brightlove at the temple of Orielle. Philomène was there to pay her respects, to her father and to the goddess. She had just been accepted as a full member of the Courtesan's Guild. Sytherielle was there honouring Orielle by accompanying the service. Over the years, while Philomène grew as an accomplished courtesan, she saw Sytherielle grown in skill and acclaim as a musician and singer. Always impressed with Sytherielle's talents, when Philomène opened her private salon she requested Sytherielle to perform at many of Philomène's parties and events.

H.P. Lovelace
Not all of Philomène's friends and acquaintances are of noble birth. As a courtesan, Philomène has dabbled in the intrigues of the less reputable. Her own private and unspoken interests in an uprising have led her to some unsavory characters. And, the interests of her own patrons and guests sometimes require that she fraternize with the lowborn. Whether escorting a patron to a gambling barge on Eastdocks, or finding a source for Xhan-Sui's rarefied tastes, Philomène has learned to walk the dirty alleys of Jasquon almost as well as she dances at a noble's ball.

And one of her outings, she met Halstead Percival Lovelace. Philomène had heard some of the story of his family, but within her intimate circles he was of no import. When she learned of his less reputable skills he became much more interesting to her. They struck up a strange sort of friendship, though no one outside of the Seekers knew that they have even met.
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