Planeswalker Dossier: Kala, the Iron Doctor
Kala (The Iron Doctor; Sky Maiden; Mechanical Numen; Mistress of Gears; “Metal”)
♀ (Sexless) Biomechanical Planeswalker
Kala looks like a female human, made of metal. Her skin is a silver base brushed with copper and brass to achieve somewhat lifelike (though still metallic) tones. Her hair is spun gold wire, long and wavy. Her eyes are biological and bright green – some of her internal organs, notably the heart and brain, also remain fleshy underneath. Kala’s body is entirely sexless in a functional sense and even in a sense of what is apparent on the surface (she has no strict need to wear clothing as there is nothing objectionable for her to hide), but presents a very notably feminine form, with an hourglass figure (at least as far as a real person could achieve one) and significant bust. Besides that, Kala’s parts are highly resistant against heat, electricity, and physical damage (moreso than normal materials of their type) but are likely to seize up and even be damaged on exposure to extremes of cold. After the Mending, many of her critical systems broke down, but she was able to upgrade and repair those that preserved her life before losing motor function.
Due to her extreme durability and lack of objectionable biology, Kala usually did not wear any manner of clothing, but may take to it as she resocializes into the multiverse.
Upon emerging into the light once again after the Mending, Kala (or “Metal”) is a headstrong, principled woman. She believes that life and freedom are basic rights and stands opposed to those who would deny them to others. She badly wants to do good with her life and is driven to travel the multiverse as a healer and, if able, a reformer.
There are indications that before the Mending she was less focused on the individual: as Metal, she lost the edge of callousness that her immortal life had long ago created.
Kala has, after her restoration, become somewhat philosophically uncomfortable with her mechanical body, but recognizes its advantages and does not seek a mechanism of becoming a flesh-and-blood individual (indeed, she would have a very hard choice if presented with such an opportunity).
Kala is a phenomenally ancient planeswalker, but despite all that time she is not among the most powerful. She has a very refined knowledge of artifice, many mana bonds including access to all the colors of magic (though heavily skewed to blue and red), and knowledge of several potent spells, but in all cases she is only impressive by the standards of mortal mages.
Kala was born to a race of winged humanoids (possibly augmented humans) who called themselves the Sky Lords and the ordinary humans or other humanoids of their plane Groundlings. Notably, all Sky Lords of which Kala was aware had pure white wings, except for Kala herself whose wings were dappled grey. She found herself bullied and ostracized and eventually became a nearly complete recluse, even before she was an adult. In her privacy, she studied artifice heavily, ascending when she nearly killed herself in a laboratory accident.
As a planeswalker, she was quickly recruited by the Dominia Cabal and ended up in service to The Scientist, the planeswalker who would one day be known as Ellia the Endbringer. Kala’s knowledge advanced ceaselessly, and soon after her ascension she derived a means to meld machine and life, and used it to replace her wings with mana jets. After that success, she began to treat maimed mortals or sick by giving them artificial limbs or even organs. She continued to upgrade herself as well, “improving” on her fleshy parts by replacing them with machine until at last she was near wholly mechanical – only her eyes, heart, and brain were biological, sustained by the mechanical shell of the planeswalker who had become known as the Iron Doctor
When the Cabal Civil War came, Kala followed her mentor, The Scientist, and became an asset for the renegade faction. She turned her mechanical knowledge from healing to fabricating weapons, but hoped for a peaceful resolution. As the years dragged on and that looked increasingly unlikely, she produced many horrors, lying to herself that a swift end to the war would save lives. Finally, she was convinced to begin the fabrication of many Æther Vents for the rebels, in her willful blindness believing that the threat of a Vent stockpile would force a cease-fire lest the terrible weapons be used.
In the bitter conclusion of the civil war, Kala’s dreams and faith alike were shattered by Ellia’s ever-growing insanity and the horrific deeds that attended the deaths of The Mentalist, Ilinda, Mother Wailer, and The Chamberlain. Seeing no other choice, however, she continued to fight with her faction until the Vents were ordered deployed. Knowing then that she could not stop them, she fled, rocketing to some far corner of Dominia and trying to put the war and her part in it behind her. For the most part, she was successful, vanishing from the annals of history in the Multiverse despite her very distinctive nature.
Indeed, the next time Kala can be definitively placed on any plane is over five thousand years later, upon Ythol. Together with her former enemy Ilyria, the ogre planeswalker Bar-Sagrum, and the biomancer Vyntiria, she faced the horror known as Dantalion, subduing the monstrous Planeswalker and taking from it the artifact that would be known as the Ythol Annulus, though the plane of Ythol was ruined despite their efforts.
When debating what to do with Dantalion, Ilyria wished to kill it, while Bar-Sagrum did not believe in taking a life however wicked it may have been lived. Vyntiria abstained from any decision making on the matter, leaving it Kala’s choice. She sided with Bar-Sagrum, who took custody of Dantalion and imprisoned him on Ythol. Unable to destroy it any more completely, Kala, Ilyria, and the Vyntiria each took one third of the Annulus, and secured them on separate planes lest the artifact some day be reconstituted and employed. After this, Kala again vanishes into the mists of time
In the mending, Kala’s core systems began to fail and she retreated to an abandoned engine mine on Kalishin to repair herself. While able to reconstruct her life-support to handle the needs of a post-mending existence, her motor functions gave out before she could upgrade them, and she was left to wait until someone happened to discover the isolated area and, hopefully, help her repair herself. Faced with an unknown length of time alone in the dark, Kala sealed her memories away, storing them away from her conscious mind until she could no longer remember why her situation was something to be terribly distressed about. She would wait a hundred years – the blink of an eye next to her full lifespan, but an eternity for a consciousness with no past. She emerged, bereft even of her own name, as Metal. It is still unclear how much her core nature may have changed from the experience.
Kala is now very close to Mattias, who repaired her and of whom she is quite fond as a friend.
Kala’s metal body is very durable. It is nearly impervious to heat and electricity and sturdy in the face of physical abuse. She can repair almost all her core systems decently quickly if given the opportunity (presuming her arms and hands still function) and the area of her body where a major injury would cause swift death is much smaller than for a human, consisting of her head, neck, and left upper torso: she could survive, for instance, having her entire lower body obliterated, at least for long enough to planeswalk away and attempt to halt any cascading failures, which is more than could be said for a biological humanoid. Her sense of touch is less acute than a human’s. She doesn’t feel much pain in her metallic parts – she can tell when she’s been damaged and how severely but the experience is not debilitating. Her eyes, however, sense pain normally due to being organic.
Kala’s physical abilities include flight, which is very fast and agile, and with which she is able to hover in place