Maura Alejandría Ruiz de Ayala
or Maura Ayala Rambaldi
The Life of Maura Rambaldi
Maura Alejandría Ruiz de Ayala was born in Valladolid, Spain, in January 1452 as the oldest of Esteban Ruiz and Marcela Ruiz de Ayala’s three children. Ayala’s mother had psychic visions in her early life until her parents had forced her to ignore her gift in order to become a devout Catholic; Ruiz de Ayala did not attempt to nurture her daughter when her own gifts awakened and led to Ayala’s pilgrimage to Rome, Italy, in 1470. What Ayala had realized was that she was not only a psychic but a Kamicatalyst, a term coined by Miyori Arashi’s grandfather, one of Pierre Gosselin’s associates in the mid-1960s, and understood that her being in Spain with her family put them in danger.
Not long after her arrival in Italy, the eighteen-year-old encountered the shrewd but ambitious twenty-five-year-old Milo Rambaldi. Ayala was drawn inexplicably by the mastermind Rambaldi; she had already sensed that he was part of her future and that she would play a part in his own. Ayala started on the first and second parts of what would become the Midnight Volumes after her first meeting with Rambaldi. A week later, Ayala runs into Rambaldi once again as she is the governess for a wealthy and powerful Italian family. They begin a covert courtship, and despite his moderate life, Rambaldi finds himself fascinated with Ayala. He proposes marriage in 1477.
Ayala suffered two miscarriages before giving birth to a stillborn son in 1482. Rambaldi worried that he would not have an heir to succeed him and they kept trying to conceive a living child. In 1486, Ayala met Francesca Ambrosi, Rambaldi’s “Chosen One.” She sensed that Ambrosi would have an impact on her life and ended up affecting her in turn with her gift of Kamicataclysm. In the wake of the tension incited by Ayala and Rambaldi’s childless marriage, Ambrosi and Rambaldi had an affair—an affair that Ayala foretold to Rambaldi (much to his disbelief). When Ayala was brutally attacked in 1487, Ambrosi had come to her rescue and died as a result. The attack was possibly brought on by touching a young boy with latent evil tendencies. Finally, at forty-three years old, Ayala gets pregnant for the last time.
When the permanent tribunals of Spanish Inquisition were established in Valladolid in 1488, Ayala watched worriedly in Italy. Her family was decimated in 1490, and she was not aware of any surviving relations at her death during the birth of Rambaldi’s child in July 1495. Because Rambaldi contained a piece of his own living tissue to be combined with that of the Chosen One (Ayala’s Warrior), the child is assumed to have been female.
Ayala’s burial place is unknown, along with the knowledge of the whereabouts of her daughter with Rambaldi, but her genealogy was tracked successfully by Evangeline Gosselin and her daughter Bridget.
The Fellowship of the Goddess
When documentation of Rambaldi’s existence was wiped away at Vespertini’s command, Ayala also faced anonymity, and any vestiges of their marriage and life together was eradicated so well that the union could never conclusively be proven. The Midnight Volumes were sold along with Rambaldi’s artifacts and deemed worthless. Some of the pages of the volumes ended up in the hands of Pierre Gosselin, the grandfather of Evangeline Gosselin and a Rambaldi aficionado. He cursorily researched Rambaldi at first until he stumbled upon the eye of Rambaldi inverted (>o<) as a watermark on the pages of the Volumes that he had acquired. He started to disregard the pages he had as real until he learned that the Volumes were written in a code that Rambaldi came up with himself—or at least one similar to all the others from the authentic Rambaldi documents.
Gosselin, after a few years, studied the inverted eye of Rambaldi and realized that the sign resembled the sign of the triple-deity in Wicca. He started to wonder, especially since the pages he had detailed traits of important people and not objects (or artifacts), if Rambaldi had written those pages at all. He figured that the watermark was deliberate, after discussing it with other Rambaldi seekers, and came to the conclusion that perhaps Rambaldi had a counterpart. His granddaughter Evangeline, who was in college at that time, suggested that Rambaldi’s counterpart was female. After all, the inversion of the sign of Rambaldi hinted at a contribution from another side, and gender seemed to be the benchmark.
After Gosselin’s death in 1955, Evangeline began research on what she called the “lost woman” of Rambaldi. It wasn’t until 1976 when the Globe fell into Alejandro Garza’s hands that she got the first whiff of Ayala’s existence: an inscription followed by her initials (M.A.R.). The Goldenrod and the Sword also have identifying inscriptions, but Evangeline was unable to find them before her death. Her youngest daughter Bridget took up her work afterwards.
Sharing her findings with other Rambaldi enthusiasts, Evangeline formed a group called the Fellowship of the Goddess. Garza was also a member, and the members endured skepticism from other Rambaldi enthusiasts who did not believe in Ayala’s existence.
The Midnight Volumes
Penned from 1470 to 1495 (when Ayala dies), the Volumes contain information about the members of the Tricorn, the triumvirate that is, according to Ayala, to save the Earth from destruction from the power of the Harbinger. It is believed that Ayala intended herself to be or aw herself as the Goddess, Rambaldi as their Guardian, and Francesca Ambrosi, the mysterious woman on page 47, as the Warrior.
Rambaldi’s prophecy was actually foretold by his wife; he omitted the part about the Goddess and the Guardian, seeing them ineffectual against the Warrior. The death of the Tricorn occurs after the Goddess has to sacrifice herself to save the world from Infinite Hell.
In the aftermath of the Italian Wars and the invasion of the French, Ayala and Rambaldi’s daughter Isabel Lucrecia Rambaldi (later Isabelle Carrière) was cared for by the Carrière family. When she was eighteen, Isabelle Carrière married wealthy French businessman Jacques Benoit and had three daughters, Éméline, Clair, and Geraldine. Nearly five hundred years later, her direct descendants, the descendants of her daughters, reunite.
The Globe: By the hand of the Goddess marked by Earth, the world shall be delivered from the throes of Infinity.
The Goldenrod: By the mind of the Man marked by the Goddess, the Chosen One shall receive her tutelage and the Goddess her wisdom.
The Sword: By the hand of the Chosen One marked by Man, the Goddess shall be protected from mortal harm, and death delivered onto any trespassers.
The member of the Tricorn devoted to the origin of their power. While she is not completely without the ability to protect herself from physical dangers, the Goddess primarily uses her actual given powers for protection, though the Warrior and the Guardian were created to protect her.
The member of the Tricorn devoted to the protection of the sanctity of the Goddess and the Power. A distinguished fighter, the Warrior will possess more brawn than actual power but his/her presence is important to maintain the balance of three.
The member of the Tricorn devoted to watching over both the Warrior and the Goddess. The Guardian seems almost on equal par with the Goddess; the Guardian shields and counsels both the Goddess and the Warrior on their prospective roles. Also holding the term of Kamicatalyst, the Guardian awakens the Goddess and the Warrior both. The Guardian herself/himself awakens in prolonged presence of either the chosen Goddess or Warrior.