|Also Known As||Cio, Yab, Thief-Queen of the Shadeside Rim, Night-Walker, Life-Plucker|
|Occupation||Fan Fiction Writer, "Historian", Bookkeeper (former), Master Thief (former)|
|Affiliates||Gilded Cage Guild (former), Allison, Oscar|
Ciocie "Cio" Cioelle Estrella Von Maximus the Third (if you pronounce her name in a particular way, a magical name will appear, which calls to mind a similar naming) is a blue devil and the former bookkeeper for the Gilded Cage Guild. A cigar chomping, kleptomaniac, compulsive liar, Cio is known for her overbearing personality and a tendency to speak in a confusing dialect known as the Black Speech. Cio is rather particular about storytelling.
History[edit | edit source]
Yabalchoath[edit | edit source]
Cio was once the ebon devil named Yabalchoath, a renowned and widely-feared crime lord who headed a smuggling Guild with her husband Praman Nand. Ambitious in the extreme, Yabalchoath set her sights on robbing Yre, the fractal fortress of Mammon. The Heretic's Court, afraid of her growing ambition, approved the endeavor, hoping that it would result in her death and get her out of the way.
Surprisingly, however, Yabalchoath was successful in robbing Yre, managing to steal a fragment of Mammon's Key of Kings right from his brow. Endowed with the power of the Key, she went on a monstrous rampage of wanton decadence and destruction, building a criminal empire.
However, Mammon sought to reclaim the stolen shard of the Key and punish the thief of his vault. He bought the loyalty of Yabalchoath's horribly abused slaves, so that when the Concordant Harmonies decided she needed to be brought to justice, none of her servants came to her aid. Her empire was destroyed by the angels and her own rivals. Yabalchoath herself had her mask shattered, banishing her into the Void.
Working at the Gilded Cage[edit | edit source]
Yabalchoath's husband, Praman Nand, reassembled her mask painstakingly over the course of months, and re-summoned her to Throne as a lowly Blue Devil called Cio. However, she was not entirely the same devil, and thought that she deserved what has happened to her, swearing to never become a monster such as Yabalchoath again. Presumably, Nand was displeased by his lover's new personality, and this is how she may have ended up as a measly paper-pusher.
When Allison first meets Cio, she is working as a bookkeeper in Nand's Gilded Cage Guild. It is known that White Chain has visited her several times before, probably to coerce information out of her. Although Praman Nand is technically still her husband, she is now practically his slave, working as a bureaucrat to keep his pleasure house in Hell 71 running.
The Battle of Hell 71[edit | edit source]
When Allison first meets White Chain, they decide to take her to Cio in Hell 71 to have her remove Allison's Key of Kings. Cio initially tries to throw them out, afraid to deal with Keys again, but she is then forced to help them escape when Omun Vash and Delicious attempt to kidnap Allison to get the Key for themselves. Meanwhile, Number 1 rats out that Allison has a Key, causing the Battle of Hell 71 to break out between the various factions attempting to secure it.
Trying to escape from the chaotic battle, Cio fights her way through the pleasure house, hastily announcing her resignation in the process, and rescues Allison from Delicious. She then transports Allison back to Earth using the White Art of Division.
Accompanying Allison[edit | edit source]
Cio makes her next appearance in Wielder of Names, meeting with Allison in the Void, introducing herself as a "fanfiction writer" and offering her services to Allison. When Allison wagers her Key in a drinking contest to have Vladok take her to Mottom's palace, Cio attempts to help her cheat using the Red Art, only for Allison to win the contest fair and square.
When the Pursuers arrive for Allison, the pair are forced to flee on an Art-infused paper bird, ending up on the world of Mykos. When Allison decides to infiltrate the Palace of Radiance (which is staying on Mykos at the time) by herself, she leaves Cio behind to guard her things.
Allison's infiltration ends with a direct confrontation against Mottom, leaving her to be rescued by Cio once more, who comes to her aid with a flying ship she stole called the Yamga, crewed by Nyave, Princess and White Chain. Using the Key of Kings, Allison then teleports the Yamga away before Mottom could attack the ship.
The Heist of Yre[edit | edit source]
Cio accompanies Allison on the Yamga during their flight from Mykos. When Allison decides to rob Yre to rescue Zaid, she forces Cio to reveal her past as Yabalchoath. Allison then coerces her into helping her infiltrate Yre.
Cio recruits Oscar to help with the heist; however, since the job will involve a devil crew, a permission from Himself is also needed. After paying a visit to the White-Eyed Woman to gain audience with the king of devils, Cio suffers a breakdown, believing her attempts to distance herself from Yabalchoath to be futile and pointless.
As she relives her past actions as Yab during the heist, Cio sinks progressively deeper into her identity crisis, coming to identify more and more as her ebon self again. This eventually culminates when Allison (heavily corrupted by Incubus) leaves her for dead, causing Cio to snap and fully embrance Yabalchoath, attempting to murder Allison. She comes to her senses immediately afterwards, collapsing in tears, believing she had killed her. When Allison turns out to have survived, she reverts to her regular blue self, cussing her out in the Black Speech in tears. The two then kiss driven by the emotional turmoil, and Allison passes out.
Mammon and the Priests of the Count are fortunately distracted by the arrival of Mottom, who directly attacks Yre with her soldiers. Cio attempts to slip away with Allison's body in the chaos, and reunites with Oscar's heist team.
Personality[edit | edit source]
"Well, I'll tell tha a grand secret: people don't really change. They just grow thicker layers over who they really are, and pretend."
Cio has a rather abrasive, overbearing personality. She is very easy to rile up, and she will be quick to cuss people out in her crankier moods. She is also notably impatient, unscrupulous, cowardly and a habitual liar, but she can be surprisingly calm and mature in serious situations. She exhibits most typical personality traits of blue devils.
Instead of the standard Universal Metaconstant, Cio prefers to talk in the Black Speech, the thickness of which depends on her mood and who she's speaking to. When at ease or speaking to other devils, her speech becomes almost incomprehensible to non-devils, while she talks more clearly with humans, with only a few "tha"-s and such mixed in her sentences. During the heist of Yre, she drops the Black Speech almost entirely, to reflect her impending breakdown.
Probably her most important personality trait, however, is her deep-seated cynicism. Cio believes that people are unable to change, and they instead just construct new personas to avoid having to face their true selves. This belief may be projection for her own insecurities relating to Yabalchoath - she likewise believes that "Cio" is just a persona she made to avoid having to deal with what she has done when she was an ebon devil.
While she presents an expressive personality to the world, Cio is reluctant to reveal her issues and true feelings to people. It takes a lot for her to truly open up to someone.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Despite her low rank and small stature, Cio is an experienced and intelligent devil. Her long life has allowed her to amass a lot of knowledge about Throne's underworld and devil politics, and she has many connections around the Red City. Her skills at lying are also notable - she is good at manipulating people and bending them to her will with just words.
Her prior existence as an ebon thief-queen means she is adept at stealth and acrobatics. She is also shown to be a formidable fighter during the Heist of Yre, dispatching many of Mammon's cultists by herself.
The Art[edit | edit source]
Cio is a rather powerful vatra, proficient in both the Red and the White Art. Most of her spells center around the control of paper, which she can employ to devastating effects by "sewing" magical incantations into them. So far, she's been shown using incantations twice, once to raise a spinning wall of razor-sharp paper (My paper soldiers form a wall/Five paces thick and twice as tall), and once to help Allison cheat in the drinking contest against Vladok (Though she standeth two and five/She drinketh all the oceans wide). However, it has been shown that she can use the Art without incantations as well.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Cio's name is a pun; "Ciocie Cioelle" is pronounced the same way one would spell out "C-O-C-A C-O-L-A".
- She wears a red gemstone on her forehead; it is unclear if this is a ley-stone used to increase her ability with the Art, or a sign of a former bearer of a Key (notably, Maya also bears such a gem, despite not being a vatra).
- Abaddon had said that he imagines Cio's voice to resemble Eartha Kitt's with a Northern English or Yorkshire accent.
- Cio's ebon name Yabalchoath may be a reference to Yaldabaoth, the Gnostic "platonic Demiurge" with an envious, fiery nature.
References[edit | edit source]
- Wielder of Names 1-12
- KBSD 4-66
- Wielder of Names 2-34
- ABBADON's Tumblr
- Abbadon (January 30, 2014). KSBD 3:38. Chapter 3. Page 38.
- KSBD Tumblr
- KSBD Tumblr
- Seeker of Thrones 1-7
- Wielder of Names 2-35
- Wielder of Names 2-36
- Seeker of Thrones 2-8