The Patrons: Drowning Mary
Favored District: Wharfs
Paradigm: Peace & Chaos
Always soaked in seawater, Drowning Mary appears as a corpse-like female with clothes and a large hat coated in kelp and barnacles. Despite her unnerving appearance, Mary’s most devoted pray to her as a symbol of peace and chaos who holds power over the sea, as well as a motherlike figure.
Drowning Mary embodies the calm sea with its bounties of fish, and a caring and loving parent; she can also become a tempest, much like a parent enraged. Since Brightborough is a coastal city, she’s often called upon by fisherfolk for good hauls, and it’s a rare child that isn’t brought to the Wharfs for a ritual baptism in the sea called the Brining.
At Attaway, Drowning Mary is considered the Patron of the Runners and the Gifted. The Runners make their livelihood in Mary’s backyard, so they often invoke her to ask for her guidance on runs in the Wharfs, as well as for her to keep Brightborough peaceful to make their work easier. Many Gifted consider Mary their personal Patron because of her balance between calm and chaos, much like their Gifts. Some devote themselves to her caring maternal side, vowing to keep their powers under control and only use their Gifts to help and protect others; others invoke Mary’s chaotic tendencies, asking for her aid to help grow their Gifts rapidly and bring swift retribution to those who’ve wronged them.
There’s a Runner strapping on his gear, donning suit vest, suspenders, and gun belt the way a soldier dons armor. He’s sweating bullets, trying not to let it show -- it’s his first real run leading a crew from the Still through the tunnels out to the Wharfs. He knows the paths by heart, knows the drop point for the goods, knows the schedule of the guards, but still he can’t shake the feeling he’ll screw it all up. He looks at himself in the mirror, holding back tears and trying to breath through the anxiety, and starts to recite a prayer to Mary in his head. The Grower, one of Mary’s priests, told him it’d bring Mary’s grace and calm. He smiles, almost feels her hand on his shoulder, regains confidence. He steps out of his cabin, tips his cap to the crew, and leads on.
There’s a Gifted holding their lover in their arms as they bleed out on a warehouse floor. They’re pressed behind a crate with others from Attaway as gunfire is exchanged from behind cover. The gangsters shooting at them stop to reload, and the Gifted shifts from feeling fear and pain to rage. They think about all the times they’ve been beaten up for being strange, different. They think about how this person was one of the first they’d ever met who accepted them for who they were, Gift and all. They think about the family they’ve made at Attaway, and what they’d do to keep it safe. And bellowing Mary’s name, calling on her tempestuous fury, they rise from behind the crate with lightning crackling at their fingertips, hurling it at the bumbling gangsters caught unaware.