Born to a high-powered New York City ad executive and his socialite wife, Charisse spent a childhood of quiet agony, suffering not only the neglect of parents who didn't want her but also the abuse of a string of governesses and tutors who acted as surrogate parents and full-time tormentors. She was forbidden to speak in her parents' presence unless spoken to or to call attention to herself in any way and so learned to make herself as inconspicuous as possible. Silent and brooding, she developed a rich inner life and concentrated on listening rather than speaking, thinking rather than doing, and hiding rather than seeking.
When she was twelve, a new figure came into her life; one who taught her the meaning of terror but who also, inadvertently, opened her up to her inner self. When the shy, reclusive child failed to bring home grades that satisfied her parents, the Dunbars removed her from private school and hired a tutor. Thaddeus Berns assured Charisse's parents that he cold turn their child into a singular student and, in fact, her grades improved over the next two years. What her parents failed to notice, though, were the bruises and burns that marked her body; punishments for academic sloppiness.
Her life, which had resembled Purgatory, now became a Hell. Thaddeus excelled in techniques of 'persuasion' that could fall only under the category of torture. Out of desperation, Charisse discovered something about her body she hadn't known before. She could contort her extremely limber body into all sorts of configurations and so escape some of the more painful forms of "creative restraints" her tutor used to encourage her to concentrate on her lessons. When Thaddeus began demanding sexual favors from her, she experienced new pain and set her mind to escape.
The day before her 16th birthday, she ran away. Two days later, on a bus headed for Atlantic City, she felt lightheaded and sick. An elderly woman (a fellow passenger) convinced the driver to make an unscheduled stop along the New Jersey coast. There, in sight of the ocean, Charisse entered her Chrysalis under the watchful eye of a boggan grump who had recognized the warning signs of the impending change. Discovering her nature as one of the underfolk, Charisse tried to put her old life behind her. Renaming herself Charity, she followed her boggan guardian to a freehold near Atlantic City. There she discovered how to put her listening skills to good use; she became an information broker, watching and noticing everything that went on around her and selling her knowledge to the highest bidder. Her other skills, learned so painfully from her tutor, also served her well as she soon slithered her way into the beds of nobles and titled commoners, catering to their desires (however bizarre) and coming away from trysts with juicy tidbits of valuable information.
Eventually her talents, both in and out of bed, earned her a place in the halls of power and she found herself ensconced in Tara-Nar as a primary information source for the Advocates of the Parliament of Dreams. At Charity's first meeting with Lord Vardayne, the Ailil bard in Count Vogon's entourage, she thought he would serve as just another source of information. She never expected to develop real affection, much less to fall in love with a sidhe lord, but when she did, she made the most of it. The vagaries of fae society had other plans, however.
Charity looks even thinner and spookier than most of her kith. She wears castoffs and rags, torn into spidery tatters along her arms and hem, giving her the appearance of a secondhand-clothing queen. Her short, black hair, cropped to near crewcut length, seems almost out of place with her overall Halloween chic. Her enormous eyes, dark pools of wide-open pseudo-innocence, seem to take everything in. Around her neck, in stark contrast to her rags, she wears an elaborately fashioned necklace made of spun silver in the form of an intricate spider's web. The necklace cradles a stylized black jade spider in its center.
Charity makes a business of being invisible unless she wants someone to notice her. When she needs to, though, she can exude a high degree of sensuality and personal charm. Though she respects the power of words, her vocabulary consists of looks an body language and she makes the most of it.
War in Concordia Edit
If anyone knows anything about the state of affairs in Concordia, it's Charity. She is an excellent information source. The High King's disappearance and ensuing chaos brought Charity to a critical point in her life. Although her heart urged her to remain with Vardayne, her growing realization of the plight of the commoners drove her in another direction. She found that she knew too many ugly facts about the nobles and how they felt about the commoners to ally herself with any of the noble factions. She and Vardayne reluctantly separated, vowing that whenever the Dreaming allowed, the would find each other again.