The Pikesburg Chronicles
Augusta Joan Hart
Augusta Joan Hart (goes by Joan) was named after St. Augustine by her father, a professor of divinity at Hedera. Her mother, a history professor, died in a car crash when Joan was in her early teens and it was in the midst of that crisis that Joan became a mage and a religious seeker. Her initial mentor (who has since passed away) was a somewhat eccentric nun, although Joan eventually found Catholicism to be far too conservative and male dominated. Joan attended Hedera and then an out of state Episcopalian seminary. While there, she nearly became engaged to a fellow student — the relationship ended when it became clear that he expected her to dedicate herself to supporting his career rather than following her own vocation. She served as a youth minister also out of state before returning to her home town to take up the pastorship of the All Saints Episcopal church in Pikesburg’s inner city.
She’s slowly begun to expand the congregation — her outspoken position as a social liberal has brought in some of the city’s upper class families while alienating others — and founded an interfaith shelter for women and children near the church. Joan straightforwardly hopes to do good in the world — and, indeed, to build a better world — a point of view that many individuals in Picksburg find it hard to believe exists, let alone share. She focuses her magic through prayer (albeit silent prayer in situations where spoken prayer would be uncomfortably obvious) and firmly sees the source of her magic as divine. She’s slowly learning the practical limits of forgiveness (she certainly doesn’t urge women to reunite with men who abuse them, nor does she hesitate to report such men to the police if she can without causing further harm), but she subscribes to a very broad, inclusive theology, and so is unlikely to assume that something is evil merely because she has no immediately place for it in her mythology. She’s more involved in mortal politics than in supernatural politics, a position which is at least tolerated by her follow Choristers.