Portrayed by Irma P. Hall
|New Orleans Guilds
|January 25, 2005
Tante Mattie is a powerful voodoo witch; a powerful and unpredictable ally whose ability to see the future sees her move in inscrutable ways.
Name: Mattie Deveroux
Occupation: Chief Mambo of the New Orlean's Voudoun community.
First appearance: January 25, 2005
Little is known about the true past of Mattie Deveroux. It is assumed that she was born and raised in the bayous around New Orleans, and her combination of Haitian Creole and Cajun French hints to a mixed heritage. Mattie first was noticed in the early fifties; a thirty-ish woman who had the gift of The Sight, and a strong connection to the loa and voudoun traditions. Recognized officially as a mambo not long after, Mattie was inseparably intertwined with the Caribbean community.
When Papa Joe Gris-gris, the lead houngan died a few years later, it was Mattie who assumed his role as speaker for the voudoun community. Where there were older and more experienced men and women ahead of her, none commanded the level of power or the trust of the people as Mattie did. The New Orleans Guilds resisted the new mambo, but Mattie turned out to be a natural politician, twisting the Guilds until they had no choice but to work with her.
Since then, Mattie, referred to by most as Tante, has been the voice of the Caribbean underside of New Orleans. She proved effective in ending the inter-houngan intrigues that often diluted their power, and created new rules with the Guilds, putting more power and wealth into the hands of her people.
For the last twenty years, Tante Mattie has split her time between a shack out in the swamp, and a small neat home in the Lower Ninth Ward. Her house is also home to three women in their thirties, former students and now Tante's assistants. All three have a level of voudoun training, although none are full mambos. They run a small and profitable fortune telling business from the house, which seems to be Tante's main source of funds.
Tante's sight has always been something to be both amazed and afraid of. Her often inscrutable actions have a way of making sense years down the road, and as a result, the Guilds watch her as closely as they can, trying to dirive what she sees ahead. Because of that, and her nature as a third party, Tante has served as an impartial judge between Guild disputes, advising the Heads on her opinion.
In the late nineties, the assassin known as Gambit appeared in New Orleans, and made his way out to Tante's shack in the swamp. He was swiftly overpowered, and reduced to spending the next six months as Tante's personal slave, tending to the needs of the shack and the voodoo witch. As a result, Tante Mattie became the only person that Gambit ever learned to respect or fear; a powerful bond for the future.
It was Tante that Gambit, now Remy LeBeau, turned to for help during Marie-Ange's crisis, and in return for her aid, agreed to return to the bayou. She took in Marie-Ange Colbert and Amanda Sefton as students temporarily, while Remy dealt with the newest crisis with the Guilds. To both women, she became a powerful and complex presence. After Amanda made her deal with Selene, it was Tante that pulled Amanda back from her own death and appeared in the mansion to force a choice about the magic.
After that, and Remy's crippling, both of them returned to New Orleans with her, Amanda continuing her study of the theory of magic from the old woman, while Remy worked as her representative. Both left at the request of Pete Wisdom, but Amanda returned some months later when her powers returned. Tante's typically cryptic and evasive answers showed the witch that she had changed over time.
Following Belladonna Boudreaux-LeBeau's takeover of the Guilds, Tante Mattie has been forced to retreat back into the swamp to avoid the reach of the Guilds. Her powerbase in the Caribbean community is untouched, and the main question is when Tante will make her presence known again.
The full range of Tante's abilities are not known, but she has showed herself to be a powerful practitioner of the voodoo magical arts. Considered by the community to be the most powerful amoung them, Tante has shown to possess the ability to place powerful curses, impose her will on others, and communicate with the dead and with the loa.
The most often experienced part of her power is her Sight; a powerful ability to see the paths of the future. Tante uses a tarot deck in her readings, but it is not necessary. After years of experience with the Sight, Tante's restrained approach to it is understandable, and she has passed along a similar caution to other pre-cogs, like Marie-Ange.
Tante's shack in the bayou and the surrounding swamp is her place of power. There her powers are amplified to the point that she's shown to be able to manipulate the area itself, hiding her home and confusing would-be threats from entering.
A side effect of the magic is that Tante does not look her age, leading to all sorts of rumours about her real lifespan and whispers that she is immortal or has signed a secret pact to maintain her maturity without lapsing into old age. Tante merely smiles and says nothing when asked.
Socked by: Dex