Magic shouldn’t work. It’s paradoxical. It’s purely a chaotic energy. It cannot be understood. It shouldn’t work, not because it doesn’t exist, but because no one should be able to make sense out of it enough to make use of it. It is senseless.
Ergo, the only way to make sense out of it, is to force it to make sense to you. Almost everyone sees it differently; a mathematician sees it as equations while the linguist sees it as language that can command the world if pronounced correctly. This is why there are different techniques at using magic, even though they all manipulate the same magical energies of the world. They all do the same thing with the same material, but they all do it differently.
Philomena Rosecroft is the daughter of a wealthy family stretching back to the second world war. Despite her parents’ practical mind set, Philomena never saw the world the same way. Her sexuality made her anxious around her family and she got herself into a crowd she believed would accept her.
Philomena found she had a knack for the arts and although her career as a painter never took off, it didn’t slow her down. Her “friends” helped to inspire her by selling her hallucinogenics. It was a time when she felt like she could be herself, to be really inspired. But that was before a burglary back at the Rosecroft manor went sideways. Mr and Mrs Rosecroft had gone to a charity event, one that Philomena had ditched, but returned unexpectedly to pick up the invitations they had accidentally left behind. The burglars had guns and shot them both in panic.
After the event, Philomena was guilt ridden and lost all hope in making sense of the world. One last time, she took a larger dose of hallucinogenics, larger than she had ever taken, and started painting in her daze. But something snapped, or it fell into place, or it did both. As the world around her fell apart before her very eyes, the walls and ceiling melted, the furniture came apart, something suddenly made so much more sense to her. She could see raw power of the universe. She could see magic. And it all made sense to her.
Her realization that magic was art, that she could create magic using symbols, allowed Philomena to slowly but surely become an expert at magic even before she caught the attention of the current Merlin. Even though their techniques were different, Philomena combined their knowledge rather than going one way or the other. Using the Merlin’s knowledge of talismans, Philomena crafted her sorcerous paintbrush, which channels her magic with even greater ease.
During her apprenticeship, Philomena Rosecroft realized how messed up the world really was. She saw how the parahumans either threatened or fought to protect those who had cast them out. And she saw those who suffered for it. She decided to open up her family’s manor and take in the children who suffered because they were too different for the rest of society. Although the house is in her name, Rosecroft’s Home for Extraordinary Children, she leaves most of the day-to-day to the two caretakers she employs.
There are two noteworthy tropes that can frequently be seen in the comic book world. First of all is the master magician, the sorcerer supreme, who guards the world from mystical threats from beyond the world’s dimensions. Second is the team of adolescent heroes, often cared for by a more experienced figure. Philomena Rosecroft is Zygma World’s answer to both of these tropes.
First and foremost, she is the master magician, one of the greatest sorcerers in the universe, and destined to become the next Merlin. Second, she is the patron of a home for children with special skills and powers which the rest of society simply cannot handle. Because her involvement with the home pretty much ends there, except from time to time, I won’t give much detail on Rosecroft’s Home for Extraordinary Children just yet (it will be the subject for a later post).
Philomena is a sorceress, an artist and a fighter. Although she didn’t grow up for it, she has learned to take up arms to protect the world from various dangers, thanks to her training with the current Merlin.
Rosecroft’s primary Complication is her Home for Extraordinary Children. Although she is not always present, she will sacrifice anything for the children’s protection. It is also the greatest reminder of her family and her origin.
Philomena also has a rival, the Merlin’s other apprentice who left because of his envy of Rosecroft’s magical aptitude. Known today under the pseudonym the Alchemist, Geoffrey Dallas has vowed to show his superiority over Philomena Rosecroft, eventually.
Finally, Philomena’s sexuality sometimes causes her anxiety and fear of being shunned by her peers, even though she has the power of obliterating anyone who’d mistreat her for it. Her support of the LGBT community is admirable, but she prefers to keep her sexuality a secret from those who she does not consider her close friends.
- DEMONIC ATTACK: Somewhere, a portal has opened that leads into a demonic realm. Rosecroft seeks the assistance of the heroes to find it and keep the demons off her back long enough so that she can perform the necessary ritual to close it.
- THE NEW CARETAKERS: Rosecroft requires the assistance of the heroes after her employed caretakers disappear. She plans on going to find and rescue them, but needs the heroes to take care of the children in their absence.