"There are no happy endings, only happy moments in time."
Due to a little accident with a phylactery, this is a very long story. I swear I'll write out a draft of it that I'm actually happy with, one of these days.
For now, here's the short version:
Israfel, whose name was not originally that, lived a fairly ordinary, non-magical life until her twentieth year, at which point there was a horrible, unforeseen catastrophe that ripped her world apart. Literally.
In the space of about two days, she went from grudging her puny, insignificant life to being one of a few scattered survivors.
Something could be said about taking care with what you wish for, but let's not rub it in.
Naturally, this lot had to suck it up and start being heroes. Insert much dramatic world-saving here.
Note: amidst all the adventure, there was romantic interlude between Isy and the big baddie responsible for the death of everything she knew. Don't worry about it. It's not important except that it more or less decided her destiny.
Anyway, he left her shortly after she saved his life.
She may still have a few abandonment issues over that.
But Isy moved on, married, had a kid (not necessarily in that order)
and then she accidentally turned herself immortal. (Yep, that's how it happened. Just an accident. That's her story and she's sticking to it, never mind any half-serious inclinations toward immortality beforehand.)
So after a nice, happy life turned a bit less happy when she outlived everyone she loved, Isy did a bit of world-traveling.
When that got old, she adopted a lifestyle somewhere between hedge witch and Merlin, selling her magic to make a living and training would-be heroes in her spare time. This went on for a century or two, and then she Woke.
Israfel is driven by two things; the desire to understand the universe and the desire to change it. As such, she is extremely curious and a great lover of puzzles. If you find yourself being interrogated by Isra, don't take offense. It means she finds you interesting. She is also something of a Devil's Advocate, quick to question anything or anyone labeled as "Good" or "Evil". This has, on occasion, led her to befriending fairly dangerous entities. One of the most notable examples was a marvelous friendship with a succubus (though it took several years before the demon would readily admit to liking her).
There was also that one time with the guy who tried to destroy her world.
As a result of this inclination, she is very big on giving second chances, or "as many chances as it takes".
While she tends to present a formal and proper demeanor, it is just a game. She will not be offended by crude behavior, and she may try to surprise her associates with a sudden casual act. She is also notoriously flirtatious, and though she generally favors the opposite gender, there have been exceptions. She is very rarely serious about this, however. If you find yourself the subject of such attentions, don't expect anything physical. This, too, is a game for her.
You may have guessed in reading this that Miss Oleski has a broad sense of humor and an even temper. She is, however, rather aloof. Her unexpectedly long life has given her time to distance herself from the more overwhelming of emotional states, and attachments do not come easily anymore. The tragedy of outliving one's friends is easiest to avoid by simply not having any.
As something of a contradiction to this, Isra has a powerful sense of loyalty and devotion. Yes, she is independent and prefers to do things on her own, but on such an occasion as she finds herself working closely with others over a significant period of time, she prefers not to take a leadership role. Instead she will latch on to one person above the rest and support them faithfully until such a time as the relationship becomes unnecessary or their goals differ so greatly that her loyalty wanes.
Similarly, if she happens to save a life, she is of the old fashioned opinion that said life becomes her responsibility. She will attempt to look out for someone she's saved in the past, based on this principle.
As to Waking, she has approached this recent change in her life with an open, optimistic mind. The workings of Nautilus remind her of her former experiments with magic, which she was unable to complete. She views Waking as a second chance, and has quite a bit of hope for the future.
Israfel's appearance is deceptively young. Lithe and soft-featured, she could pass as anywhere between twenty and thirty if one doesn't know how to recognize the age in a person's eyes. Her bone structure and coloration suggest a mix of Italian and Germanic roots, or the equivalents thereof. Her hair she keeps long, and wears either loose or in a single braid. She likes to have bangs, but tends to be very lazy about them, only trimming them once they've grown well past her eyes. She has an aversion to make-up and dyes.
Isy loves long, layered skirts, usually paired with a white blouse. Her favorite colors to wear are purple and teal, but once in a while she'll change things up with warm autumn colors or neutral grays.
As for footwear, she prefers sandals, if she isn't running around entirely barefoot. Boots are acceptable, but she can be very finicky about them. She detests anything with a raised heel.
She has little care for earrings or bracelets, but she is constantly seen wearing one necklace. It's a simple thing, clearly chosen as a keepsake and not for its beauty. It consists of a tarnished silver chain strung through a set of three rings. Two of these are silver, and matched in size and shape, but bear different engravings - one of apple blossoms and the other of swirls that might be wind or water. The third is pewter, with a setting molded to the shape of two roses, holding between them a cloudy, translucent, half-orb stone.
Israfel has a…. strange way of moving. It is a subtle thing, but she tends to bend and flex her neck and extremities more than is strictly necessary. This is a half-conscious mimicry of her favored animal forms, as one might guess when she curls her fingers like claws or tosses her head in an equine manner.
Before Awakening, Israfel was a well-practiced magician. She made a living off her lucid dreaming spells, was fairly handy at crafting enchanted trinkets, and was also fond of turning herself into animals.
At her age, though, she is used to taking her time. It took her over a year to regain her favorite animal forms - cat, wolf, horse and bird. Only afterwards did she put any real focus into more general Bending.
For several months, Israfel was content to reside in the Eastern District Welcome House. Finally, Nautilus saw fit to grant her the tiny magic shop she'd owned prior to Waking… minus all the furnishings. This was, Israfel believed, intended as incentive to break her procrastination on that Bending practice.
It is important to note that Israfel loves tea. Why is this mentioned here instead of in the personality section? Because tea has become very much a social tool for her. If she wishes to speak with you in person, she will invite you to tea. If she feels she owes you something, she will offer tea. Generally, just expect abundant references to tea when you're dealing with Israfel.
Still, no matter how much tea she's shared with you, keep in mind that Isra tries to avoid actual friendships. Instead, she has a habit of choosing individuals who've caught her interest, and keeping an eye on them. Don't worry, she's not really stalking you, though she may secretly think of you as her 'pets'.
On to specific relationships:
Sanji is the current subject of her flirtations. Again, this behavior is solely for the pleasure of wordplay, but she does quite enjoy the juxtaposition of Sanji's charm with his course attitude.
William Jesse was of particular interest to because of his beliefs. She herself is adamantly not Christian, and in fact holds quite a few qualms with the faith. However, she recognized many of her own basic ideals in Jesse, even if he claimed them under a different god. The Devil's Advocate in her loves a good debate partner, and agreeing on so many underlying points just makes it all the more complicated. Complication, for Israfel, is a good thing.
Death and Xemnas have both been marked as figures of intellect, power, and mystery. This triad combination has always earned her respect, even if she likes nothing else about the person in question - which is certainly not the case here.
Death she finds amusing in an awe-inspiring way. Being reluctantly immortal, there is an especial sense of irony in meeting this personification. She is also rather touched by his politeness and odd sense of fun (she's looking forward to next Christmas).
As for Xemnas, she has mentioned to him (over tea) that he reminds her of someone she once knew. She has not been keen to offer much detail on the likeness, however.
Prince Eric was, for a time, the closest she had to an actual friend. Unlike the others, there was no one trait of his that has captured her attention. Rather, she met him in a moment of vulnerability - one of those rare days when some of her old, well-worn melancholy had seeped its way past her cheery exterior - and she saw a bit of herself in the love-sick fellow.
She was also quite fond of his dog, Max.
More recently, Crichton fills the same role. She has shared with him a secret of her past that no others in Nautilus are yet privy to - that being her familiarity with modern Earth (or at least one version of it).