Alera, the Blood Siren
Queen of the Aswang, Mother of Tieflings, True Head of House Molndal
Lady Alera Molndal (a.k.a. The Blood Siren) (she/her)
Alera, the Blood Siren, mixes the power of her magical voice with three different curses that she has turned to her own advantage. She has lived through the past two centuries in the guise of many women, both famous and infamous.
In these public lives, her voice raises her to fame and riches before “dying” a tragic death at the age of 27. In between lives and behind the scenes, the Blood Siren has built a vast network of wealth and power that she controls with an iron hand.
The Charmed Life of Alera Molndal
I was the eldest child of the richest, most powerful family in the world. The law gave what was mine to my dullard of a younger brother. I would have to take what was entitled to me.
More than two centuries ago, Lady Alera Molndal was the first child of the wealthy and powerful House Molndal. She grew into the greatest beauty of her generation and was also blessed with the voice of an angel. Her looks and talent were nothing more than bargaining chips for her father, Duke Valerys, to use for the good of their House.
Always strong-willed, Alera argued that her natural talents made her a better heir than her oafish younger brother, Rielin. The Duke ignored her protestations and married her to King Alain of Corgi. Shortly afterwards, Corgi was overrun by the orcish Empire of Borthakar. King Alain's household retreated to exile and Alera vowed that she would not be a beggar queen-in-exile.
Papa married me off to a fat old man reeking of the detritus of his vices.
I followed the rules. I kept myself "pure". I made myself lesser. I refuse. This will not be my life.
Queen Alera turned her misfortune into an opportunity, leaving her husband behind to begin an acclaimed concert tour of Western Krosia, the "Liberation Tour, featuring Queen Alera of Corgi". On tour, she finally found freedom from the men who had controlled her life. Alera took full advantage, building a network of followers and allies loyal only to her. She amassed a fortune rivaling that of her birth family. She took a multitude of lovers in every city and nation that she visited.
Most importantly, she discovered that her voice could work literal magic. With the beauty of her songs and the force of her will, she finally took her destiny into her own hands. A hunger for power awoke inside her that she continues to feed into the present day.
I look out into the crowd and every eye is locked onto me. They all belong to me.
Mother of Tieflings
As Alera's fame and wealth grew, she lived her life only for herself. She dropped the title "Queen of Corgi" and toured as "Alera the Golden." She easily forgot the bloated cuckold rotting away in exile. As her arcane power grew, she pushed the limits by mixing simple charms into her performances or altering her appearance with illusions. She hired unscrupulous tutors who taught her how to harness her abilities. Her search for increasing power led to her consorting with diabolical powers.
It's not that simple, but then it never is. I fell in love. Me. His name was Elvio Basilio Abad, the only singer I ever met who could keep up with me. He was beautiful, with brown skin, broad shoulders, and a laugh that made me feel like a good person for the first time in my life.
A good man, so of course he was married, happy, and had a child on the way. He was the only man who ever turned me down. I had to have him. It didn't matter how. I cast a love charm on him. I ruined everything.
In the bloody aftermath of a charm gone wrong, Alera fell into real despair for the first time. To reverse a tragedy that she was completely responsible for, Alera descended into Hell and made an infernal deal. When she returned, the Abad family was restored and Alera was pregnant and accursed.
She returned to a husband she couldn't care less about. She easily convinced the gullible King Alain that he had sired her child. She remained just long enough to give birth to a healthy, apparently human, boy. She promptly returned to her tour and a parade of lovers who would be subjected to her curse.
The curse. Yes, the devil's price for bringing back Elvio and his family was twofold. First I would bear a devil's child, a cambion who would grow up to become a mortal king. Second, my lovers would be cursed and their children would be touched by Hell, hidden tieflings ready to become soldiers in the army of my unborn child.
Honestly, I didn't care what they were planning. I just wanted Elvio to have the life he deserved.
Back on the road, Alera took on her new role as an agent of the lower planes with complete gusto. She left goodness behind her along with the love she had felt for Elvio. She arranged for her child to be raised in her father's household in the City of Molndal. She spent the next decade on the road avoiding her dreadful husband, controlling father, and hell-spawned child.
Eventually, Alera's plans were discovered when the Lords of Greystone investigated the suspicions of King Alain. They revealed that Alera's child was a half-devil cambion, not the true heir to the throne of Corgi. When the news reached her, Alera felt only relief. She vanished into exile along with all the money she had accumulated.
In the end, it was all for naught. On the Day of Dispelling Elvio and his family were revealed as tieflings themselves and killed by an angry mob.
Scandal and War
The novelty of Alera's scandal was quickly drowned out by the Night of the Shattered Moon and the onset of the Far War. Even the devils she worked for were preoccupied with the invasion. With a little money and a few strategic assassinations, Alera's transgressions became a mere footnote in history.
Alera lived in exile alone, unknown, and far from the levers of power. She thought long and hard about her life. Her raw ambition had brought her nothing but loneliness and exile. She...
Look, I'll just tell you like it was. I had spent my life reacting or running away. I was sick of it. From now on, others would react or run away from me.
With reality under invasion and herself exiled in a minor estate, Alera really thought about her life and place in the world. Her connections had been stripped away from her. King Alain had somehow died a hero in the first years of the Far War. Her cambion child had disappeared with his infernal retinue shortly after his true nature was revealed. House Molndal tried to ignore her, except they needed access to her wealth to shore up the House's position in the new Concordance for Survival and to help build the Bulwark of Light.
Curses of the Blood Siren
As she approached her fourth decade, Alera was determined to hold onto her youth and beauty. In a world of magic, her unlimited resources had kept her youthful, but it wouldn't work forever. Alera began to research dangerous and forbidden methods: lichdom, extraplanar bargains, cloning, and soulforged transference.
She settled on a hybrid method that involved mixing Vampirism while ingesting a black balut to turn herself into something between undeath and an aswang. Her research said that those with strong wills could survive such an ordeal and maintain their core identity by balancing the two curses against each other.
The process was loathsome, but here I am, alive 200 years later and still mostly myself. Some of the other methods just weren't available to me. Others required horrific things like sacrificing children or cannibalism. I don't mind getting my hands bloody, but I'm not a monster!
Drawing on her previous experience in Hell, Alera brazenly sought out the dark beings who could help make her scheme a reality. She made individual bargains with Valentine, King of Vampires, and Yugangi, Rani of the Aswang. On the day she selected for her death, she gathered the last of her friends and allies together for a magnificent feast and concert. As the last of them departed in the wee hours of the morning, she went upstairs to the arms of the Vampire King.
Alera's mortal body died in the process of her transformation. Her death caused a minor ripple amongst her ardent fans, but was quickly forgotten amidst the chaos of the Far War. The day after her burial, she clawed her way out of the grave and ate the black balut that Yugangi had left for her. It took her several decades to balance the dark urges she had willingly embraced. Alera found her way back to herself through music. Singing a song or playing her instruments allowed her to focus purely on her own mind and emotions.
She discovered that she can survive on the adoration of her audience by draining small amounts of their psychic energy. When on tour, she can go for months, even a year, without consuming mortal flesh and blood.
Many Faces of Alera
I spent twenty years learning to ride the balance of my three curses. It was long enough for my misdeeds to be forgiven and my songs to find a new life. I survived on the flesh and blood of animals, the odd shepherd, and adventurers who dared to breach my home. Maybe I do have a little of the monster in me!
After two decades, the Blood Siren emerged from her dark cocoon. She took the life and identity of a traveling songstress, Liv Ström, who specialized in singing the old songs of Alera the Golden. As in her first life, fame, riches, and allies were drawn to the magnetic power of her charisma and talent. This time though, she moved through the new world of Concordance and Sovranty with purpose. The Blood Siren sought out what was denied to Lady Alera: the rulership of House Molndal.
Rielin was the Duke and an old man by this point, heavy and complacent after a lifetime of gluttony and easy power. He had seven sons, each more horrible and full of pride than their father and grandfather. Her seventh nephew, the child of her brother's final wife, was different. He sang and danced and lived the carefree life of a genteel noble who would inherit wealth, but no responsibility. His name was Elvino Molndal.
My wretched brother had a child named Elvino! Just one letter away from my lost love. I saw in him the child I could've been if I'd been born with the right jewels. There were only six obstacles between him and the life we deserved.
The last decade of Duke Rielin Molndal's life was filled with sorrow. One by one his sons fell to scandal and tragedy, proving themselves unfit to be Head of House Molndal or dying in mysterious accidents. On his death bed, his sixth son was exposed as a traitorous warlock, loyal to the Far Realm. Rielin's final act was to elevate his insignificant seventh son as his heir.
I emerged from the shadows as my brother took his final breaths. "Hello my little dumpling! No need to look so shocked. Of course it was me the entire time as your unworthy sons fell, one by one. But rest assured, our House will be in good hands after you pass. My hands!"
His eyes grew wide and his weak hands struggled as they reached for me. It felt good to see his light fading away.
"Oh! And when you get to Hell, please give them my greetings!"
Running the Show
The Blood Siren has been the secret head of House Molndal for three human generations. She grooms the heirs and has a genuine interest in the well-being of both her nephew Elvino's descendants and of House Molndal. As the House's power and influence grow, so does hers. The Duke of every generation and a few other members of the House know that the Blood Siren is their true mistress.
Over the decades of her undeath, she has lived in the guise of a succession of mortal women. She had to abandon her life as Liv after a tax investigator almost uncovered who she really was. Since then, she has masqueraded as actual daughters of House Molndal. When a suitable daughter of the House reaches their late teens, they are given to Alera on the night of their Debutante Ball. She puts them through the same vampiric/aswang ritual that she went through and then takes their place. The young vampire spawn is trained in secret for the next two decades and eventually inducted into Alera's Sisterhood of Sirens.
I took everything that I ever wanted in my first life: fame, beauty, riches, power. I'm the true Head of House Molndal, Queen of Vampires, and Rani of the Aswang. The last thing I will achieve is to reclaim the name Alera Molndal.