Author Topic: Character Bios  (Read 102 times)

Ant

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Character Bios
« on: October 11, 2017, 10:03:22 AM »
Until our GM says otherwise this is just for your mortal self,
For those that want to make it public before we've all met


« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 11:32:41 AM by Ant »

Ant

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Re: Character Bios
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2017, 10:08:20 AM »
Yanni the barman



Yanni grew up in a leafy, middle class house in the gentrified belt of London. The son of bohemian hippies who ended the last ones in the squat and so bought it, being in the right place at the right time. In that environment he grew up free spirited, with dreams of chivalric knights, magical realms and adventure. These dreams lead him into LARP,  re-enactment and then EMA, but nothing quite satisfied his dreams despite his parents encouraging him to find his own path and encouraged his non conformity.

He also grew up tall, handsome and charismatic and as he got old enough to leave school and then home he drifted along in casual jobs until he fell into working in a cafe bar which he often thinks about opening for himself, if ever he could raise the readies, not that he needs the money or the work really.

The cafe attracts more bohemian types and those who might be off the mainstream, some of who he calls friend, even if they aren’t too close...usually because he is sometimes liable to be overly honest in moments of distraction. But he enjoys his life in the bar, the new people, the new fashions and the conversations with all manner of creative types, and of course those with the pretensions to it.

He is a tall, lean and good looking hipster with long hair and a full beard and bewitching violet eyes. He is generally of a serious demeanour, in dark clothes and looks as if thinking deeply about something . If ever he is relaxed and in close company he can be playful and full of jokes though, bright and beautiful.


« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 06:15:49 PM by Ant »

BioSpark

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Re: Character Bios
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 12:11:17 PM »
Frederick "Freddy" Connor

Freddy claims to have no living family members.  His parents passed away some years ago and he's been living rough ever since.  He does attend schools occasionally, as and when it suits him to make use of their libraries and computers, but hasn't been to the same one more than a handful of consecutive times for quite a while now.  He prefers to stay mobile and spends much of his time and effort evading truancy officers.

Physically, he's an average 10 year old boy but very skinny.  He has black hair set with a neat central parting and blue eyes, pale to the point of appearing gray.  He wears drab clothing designed to attract sympathy, usually a tattered cloth cap, short sleeved shirt and shorts with braces, all with several hand-sewn patches.  It does nothing for his self-esteem but having to live as a grifter (there aren't many stable jobs available for a 10 year old), he doesn't have that much choice and with an affected cockney accent, it really charms the tourists.

His personality is polite and reserved among mixed company and extremely precocious.  He's obviously well read, more than you'd expect for a homeless child.  If he's "working" he tends to come across as incredibly trusting, very open and often very tearful.

He never looks entirely well but assures you that he's quite fine, thank you very much for asking, but would maybe look much better for a hot meal if you are possibly being kind enough offer.

He carries a satchel everywhere which always contains apples and books, one being a book of maps and the customs of the area he's travelling in (always the first thing he buys in a new region as soon as he has disposable income) and the other being "Educated Edward's Encyclopedia for Enquiring Young Minds: Adventurer's Pocket Edition", a popular encyclopedia series aimed at outdoorsy preteens.

Freddy always carries a stuffed bear named Mr. Patch in one hand.  It's more threadbare than his clothing and is missing one eye.  He's ferociously attached to the bear, it's his best friend, and he would prefer that you didn't ask about it, thank you.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 08:02:19 AM by BioSpark »
Bless the children of the world
Give us all a chance to grow and live
Give us all you've got to give
Bless the children of the world

Bless the children of the world
We're the one's who'll have to carry on
Even though all hope is gone
Bless the children of the world

-Don Henley

TheNate

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Re: Character Bios
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2017, 02:22:37 PM »
Harun likes to read. You could tell that about him without ever having to engage him in a conversation. You’d think that you would have the same impression of him even if he didn’t wear glasses (which have the hipster bulky frames and which do not look right on his face, and feature a darker lens than the usual); he just has that bookish air about him. You might even notice that, behind those trendy-yet-badly-chosen glasses, peer eyes with an orange hue.

You would notice that he’s only a small chap, topping off at 5’7” on tippy-toes and that he favours darker, more subtle colours when it comes to clothing. His feet are covered with some worn, sturdy and clearly cared for Converse.

He always has a satchel with him, or at least he has whenever you’ve seen him around the bookshops and pubs that he frequents all over London. You’d just bet that he’s got a selection of books in there...

He seems a nice sort - a small, mixed race bloke (you'd guess at middle-eastern heritage) with a Northern Irish accent, scurrying from bookshop to bar, always on the move.
Imagine that. Into cheese!

Captain Shortworth

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Re: Character Bios
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2017, 03:36:31 PM »
Alsandair was just nine when he started playing rugby. His parents encouraged it, and the young lad fell in love with the game. It gave him an outlet for his boundless energy and equally consistent aggression. Not that he liked hurting anyone. Most people would be hard pushed to say that there was any malice in the young lad, and he was always apologetic if anyone got more seriously hurt than split lip, some bruising, or a graze from hitting the tarmac.

Within minutes of any fight, he was best mates with his opponents, slapping them on the back, congratulating them on a well-placed gut punch, or for taking a knock to the chest and staying on their feet. And if he hit you, you would know about it.

He was shorter than most lads his age, but bulky, with a barrel chest already developing, and wider across the shoulders than his Da. Rugby it seemed made perfect sense, and for a good few years it was all the young lad seemed to care about.

By thirteen though, other boys were getting to be his size, and his lack of speed and unwillingness to build up the stamina to run the full length of the field meant he was getting left behind a lot. His folks knew that without the sport though, the brawler would be back. So, they drove him to every practice, whether he wanted to go or not, and took him to the park to work on drills. With no time for friends or fun, Alsandair was growing restless.

In his teens he would be sneaking off and staying out late, sharing alcopops and sometimes stronger spirits with the older kids in graveyards, resenting his family, teachers, and team mates for pushing him so hard into something that was rapidly failing to hold his interest.

The drinking become more and more of a past time than anything else, and when drunk, the brawler was back, but missing a lot of the good-natured friendliness of his childhood scuffles. He’d come home reeking of stale lager and cheap whiskey, eyes blackened and nose bent. For a certain type of girl though, this never seemed to matter, and when he was “happy drunk”, his teenage years were a time of post pubescent fumbling and exploration with any girl that took his fancy.

This carried on for just about as long as it could do, and not long after his sixteenth birthday, waking up in the front garden with a blistering hangover and chipped tooth, his da dragged him indoors and verbally tore him apart. Alsandair wasn’t thinking straight at the time, for obvious reasons, but he had the confidence and knowledge of all teenagers and knew he was better off on his own.

He packed bag, grabbed what money he had saved and walked away, the shouts of parents ringing in his throbbing head. Feck ‘em.
They couldn’t force him to live out their dreams anymore if he wasn’t around. It took him a few weeks, some begging, and more shoplifting than he thought he could get away with, but eventually he was within the M25. That was one big city! Lit up like Christmas even though it was July!



After a few weeks, he stopped worrying about finding a proper job or place to say. He was a good lacking lad, and with his accent he could score with a girl and get a better night’s sleep than he could in a hotel, knowing how much it cost, or a shelter, knowing the risk of getting his stuff stolen.

When he couldn’t manage that, there were plenty of bridges to sleep under, and cheap booze to take the edge off the cold. Looking back, he was lucky. He could talk his way into most places, and due to his quick fingers always managed to keep himself dressed like he wasn’t sleeping rough, and he discovered a new form of music almost weekly.

It didn’t bother him what the music was, and he was just as happy at a punk gig as he was at a happy hardcore warehouse party. What mattered was the energy, the vibrancy, and of course the drink! Acid house, hardcore, grime, or death metal, it didn’t matter as long as he was having fun. He found an old Walkman in a charity shop, one that could record through an inbuilt mic, and made a point of bootlegging some gigs, spending his days walking around the capitol, exploring for hidden shops and CCTV blind spots that would give him freedom to make some money.

Finding the cassettes became a challenge, but one he loved! He had so many now, filled with music of all types, that he needed somewhere to store them. Gabbing a shopping trolley was as simple as using a pound coin then ripping the lock off down a dark alley, but he found a place to hide it, and made sure he could trust the other homeless lass who lurked around his hide away. Alsandair didn’t like staying put, and preferred to spend his nights in different places, but he didn’t want to lose his library.

Everything carried on like that for a while, and Alsandair was happy living his life. The music spoke to him, the primal desire of kids everywhere to rebel, to tell their Ma that they wanted to learn the drums; to repeat to their Gran that yes, even though it came out of a computer, it was still music; to roll their eyes at the teachers and reiterate that yes, they would make money off playing bass, thank you very much!

He liked the mosh pits, the scraps outside of chain pubs, and seeing the same wee lads the next night and giving them a big hug and conning the barmaid into getting them a pint on credit to show good spirits! He liked being a face, having people raise an arm to beckon him over from the other side of a packed gig, even if they didn’t know his name, or couldn’t be bothered pronouncing it right at any rate.

He was comfortable in his skin, and he more and more he was thinking of London being an extension of that. Because he was adept at using his goof looks and roguish charm to make friends, find places to sleep (and people to sleep with), and always find the right sob story to get a few notes in his pocket when he needed, he doesn’t dress like he’s homeless. True, in winter, he layers up with a plaid shirt and a hoody under his waterproof jacket, but that just seems sensible. He wears nice enough jeans, but no matter how much he looks after them, his big boots look very well lived in. He keeps himself mostly clean shaved, as his ginger hair is one thing, but a ginger beard is quite another. His hair is short, and looks like someone spent a long time giving a bed head feel, but it’s just a bit curly, and cropped short with his own hands. It is just a mess of a haircut, but like so many other things, he pulls it off!



It wasn’t all good though. There were nights when the rain was his only company, making the hot tarmac smell strangely beautiful, when all he could afford to drink was supermarket own brand whisky, and when food was a dropped burger by a taxi rank.

Not everyone was as good natured about a bit of a scuffle as he was either, and more than once the Polis got called out and he spent a night in the cells, while his drinking buddies had a few hours in the hospital. The worst of it came when he was nineteen, and a young punk got himself glassed.

Wasn’t his fault, but Alsandair wasn’t about to take responsibility either. He didn’t even know what the Fred Perry wearing townie was doing in that club? On another night, he’d be in a different club, and Alsandair would have had a grand old time with him! That night, in that place though, he was rubbing people up the wrong way, ignoring pit hospitality rules, and Alsandair had had enough.

Outside the club, he started the barney, pushing at first, then swinging his fists, raising a knee into the groin, as one does, pulling away from folk who were trying to separate the fighters, just to show willing. The townie had gone down, and a couple of skinheads tried to pull him away, but a broken pint glass was to hand, and the little shit jabbed into the punk’s face, tearing it open. Then again, stabbing into his neck, and again into his chest before three big lads pulled him off, leaving Alsandair standing, mouth gawping, before being pushed to run like fuck.

It’s been a rough few months since that…
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 02:39:36 PM by Captain Shortworth »
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Paul

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Re: Character Bios
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2017, 11:32:14 AM »
Erasmus Arclight

The industrial revolution was a busy time for Nockers, what had been their own private creations were going mainstream, some Nockers embraced it, some resisted it and some locked themselves away in their workshops and ignored the whole thing. Erasmus Arclight was one of those.

The world may insist on constantly changing in all kinds of inconvenient ways but Erasmus knows it's not a problem if you never go out in it. I mean, what is out there really except the annoying laws of physics that get in the way of mechanical genius, lots of banality and worst of all, people? Erasmus has his workshop deep beneath a scrapyard, also his Freehold, and that's all he needs thank you very much world.

By the simple expediency of almost never leaving his comfortable and familiar workbenches, lathes, tool racks and alchemical equipment, he has aged perhaps 30 years since 1822. His skills at crafting mechanical devices have kept a steady stream of fae business coming to his doorstep and provided the funds for his meager lifestyle and, more importantly, his own personal experiments.

Short, asthmatic and less than physically attractive, Erasmus was once, long ago, a young Jewish metallurgist and was generally regarded as exceptionally gifted but also irreconcilably odd - he would claim to have dreamed up many of his ideas for crazy inventions and they invariably didn't work, mainly due to the laws of physics constantly thwarting his brilliance. But those crazy ideas just wouldn't leave his head and unlike many fae whose chrysalis is a disconcerting experience, his was something of a relief, the world finally made sense. Narrowly escaping an attempt to commit him in his native Germany in 1822, he fled to London and set up shop there - workshop. And, well, that's it really, he's still there.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 07:23:59 PM by Paul »

TWIISTED

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Re: Character Bios
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2017, 11:20:12 AM »
Xander was an outcast as a child he always was on his own trying to learn new stuff from sleight of hand to full on conning people on the streets, he targets mainly people that are showing off their money and wealth as they are the best targets and most gullible and easy to pull it off on.



He has been living comfortably for a good few years from his scores tricks and cons he has a reputation for himself in the underground scene as one of the best thieves / hackers there is that you can find in New York, when one day he gets a phone call from someone random didn’t leave a name or anything just a number to transfer bitcoins to his wallet with a target, (it was his biggest transfer ever received before.

He got all of his crew together
The muscle Connor
The brains Jonny
The skirt Leanne
And his best mate Zie
she was his right hand man as they say just this time it’s a female they never did anything without each other if they had a score they were both there no matter who’s score it was.
All was going well they all had done their part in the plan they had done all there research they thought they needed to do but they were mistaken. But they carried on with the plan anyway.
They was on the last score for a while after this one if they could just pull it off they had hit the jackpot and would have to lay low for a while, mid heist I received a phone call from back at base were we had a few people on standby if anything had gone to shit so when we got the call I knew something was up…… then that’s where I heard we fucked up the target isn’t who they say they are they have been living under a new identity to try and catch you guys out we didn’t do all the research we needed to abort abort they have the power to make us all disappear with ease, its every man for them self-get back here no questions asked we will have it cleaned out by the time you do.

Me being the stubborn cunt I am who doesn’t like to take orders completed the score grabbed the hard drive and made my escape like I had never done so before it was point a-b no detour no changing route from a-b over cars busses rooftops through windows nothing could stop me or was in my way everything become my playground, I was the first on back at base shortly followed by Zie who when saw the base had been cleaned out came running to me until she saw I has the drive in my hand and she stopped dead in her tracks, she stated to scream and yell at me blah blah blah blah ……. We got into a fight and was pushing and shoving each other around when her footing slipped and she hit the ground hard her head bounced off the floor like a football there was blood everywhere I was in tears I immediately called the emergency services and then ran as far as I could away.

Not so long after I got a call from a family friend called Hudson who told me I had to get to the docks and I have the next 20 mins to do it in, so I ran again like never before and made it there with 30 seconds to spare were I was greeted by a piercing stare and the next thing I remember is im waking up on the docs at London no idea how I got here when I got there but I was greeted by this African American lady called Fleeta she was dressed very elegantly smelt like just come running out of roses and seemed to have some kind of media badge, I got the feeling she was not very fond of me and was only willing to help me cos someone had ordered it to be that way she threw me jobs to do around the press details and information to gather until I was back on my feet, she still gives me the odd job every now and then but I have mainly started to make my own jobs and find my own way.  I became quit the regular on the black market and have ties with everyone that deals on there. I met a few people that was willing to open doors for me as they had heard all about me and what I could do. I was set up with a tailor’s shop that I can do all my work from upstairs and the shop is run by a trusted employee that notifies us when any authority is in the vicinity esp. the feds. 

That’s where his story ends

Ant

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Re: Character Bios
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2017, 09:40:33 PM »
Sir Yavandir of The Spear



To the demi-monde he is a knight of the street, a would be warrior of ancient days. His demeanour is still serious, but now he dazzles in his bold, brave demeanour, and ready hospitality. He is every part the glittering Sidhe of tales and myth, beautiful when you have his grace, but terrifying in his wrath when pushed.

He is determined to defend the dreaming and if possible push out its boundaries. In his dreams he now glimpses his ancient life and the days when the fae were everywhere. He believes in the rules of the Escheat, but also that in the modern world pragmatism is sometimes needed. Sometimes though a stand must be made and a knight must do the right thing and the honourable thing,  even if it costs him dearly.

He is a warrior at heart, skilled in the spear and sword both, wielding them with supernatural skill in sure knowledge he is a knight of his younger dreams, fearsome when roused in battle, especially in defence of those in his care or in his circle.

His fae mien is clothing consisting of a thigh length black brocade horseman’s coat over a loose fitting, open necked silk shirt in a deep, rich blue, loose fitting black trousers and black Doc Martens shoes. Under his overcoat is a long and ornate dagger secured behind his back but easy to draw. His fingers carry silver and gold rings and his hair and beard are braided and woven with silver thread and around his neck a golden torc. Under his shirt he sports swirling tattoos of woad blue decorating his arms and across the back of his shoulders, though they look incomplete to someone who might study them, as if there is more to be added, or some have been removed.



Vestigia: A smell of forest clearings in summer, charcoal burning, hot metal and a tang of blood and the thrill of victory.

“Who am I? I am the centre of the storm, I am a master of the sword. Draw your blade, cur, or die where you stand.”
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 11:13:26 PM by Ant »

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Re: Character Bios
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2017, 09:20:59 AM »
Frederick Connor (formerly Persistence Clearwater)

"I'm sorry to bother you sir, but what's ter-min-al mean?  The doctor keeps saying it about mummy.  She's very ill and I want to get to the hospital so I can read her stories to make her feel better but I can't afford the bus fare.  Is ter-min-al serious?  And what's her-eddy-terry?  The nurses say I'm very brave.  They say it ever so often."

Freddy's memories of his childhood are still abnormally vivid.  He remembers little of the intervening time, just that his childhood was long.  Painfully long.

Growing up, Freddy's parents knew he was destined for greatness.  From an early age, he had an insatiable thirst for knowledge.  Where other children wanted to play, Freddy wanted to read and was never fussy about the subject matter.  Science, geography, maths, his mind was a sponge in the crystal basin of information.

Things took a positive turn for Freddy when he joined his first school.  Lessons were something to be endured, he'd self-taught himself beyond the curriculum years ago, but he began to interact with his peers for the first time.  He was never strong, fast or attractive, no, but Freddy was more intelligent than any of them and could use that to his advantage.  After all, why endure your own shortcomings and struggle to get what you wanted when you could utilise the skills of other people so easily?

It started innocently enough.  Freddy would barter with kids for toys and sweets.  As he matured and became more trusted, he'd barter for more intagible things; mostly favours and information.  Before long, the biggest boys and girls in the school were all Freddy's friends, though not through choice, because defying Freddy would make him cross and then he'd tell on you.  He had a terrible knack for knowing exactly what was going on during events at which he'd never even been present.

After his first school, Freddy became a little terror.  Everybody, not just the kids who were useful to him, wanted to be Freddy's friend.  If you weren't his friend, things happened.  Rumours started, you walked home from school crying, you became a target for bullies, you lost your packed lunch, you got blamed for things you'd never done.  Freddy had a way of manipulating and intimidating everyone to the point of even having the staff under his thumb, or at least the ones with the dirtiest secrets.  Of course, none of this ever came back to him, no.  He made sure never to attend any of the litle "incidents" he orchestrated and his alibies were airtight, his witnesses reliable and numerous.  There was also his reputation.  He was top of every class, even those that, by terrible arrangement, he never physically attended.  He was attentive and polite at all times.  A model student.

This ended in 1920.


One warm day in June, Freddy's 10th birthday arrived.  A special day for any child; such a big number.  As he blew out the candles on his cake, surrounded by dozens of close friends, Freddy made a simple, childish wish.

"I wish life could be like this forever".

Late that night, as the moon shone through his bedroom window, Freddy heard a voice, both strange and familiar but insubstantial as a spring breeze.  It made him promises.  It would grant his wish, it could also grant him so much more if he only knew the right requests to make, and all that would be required was a small offering.  A trifle, really.  He was about to become a teenager, yes?  All that the voice would require in return for granting Freddy's wish was a promise.  He would offer this voice his innocence, which he was on the verge of losing anyway.  Freddy agreed that this was hardly a large price to pay and as the moon shone on his wall, the shadows of the branches of the trees in the garden twisted and formed letters in the shadows.  A short, simple contract, the language not that of a legal professional but of a naive child making a playground trade.  Freddy signed without hesitation and the voice faded into the rustling of the trees becoming the usual background noise of the night.

His 11th year came and went.  By now, Freddy ruled his entire school and had operatives in adjacent towns.

His 12th year came.  His parents were becoming concerned at this point as Freddy was a full head shorter than all of his classmates.  They put it down to his being a late bloomer.

At 13, everything went wrong.  Freddy had not grown an inch since his 10th birthday, nor had he physically matured in any other way.  His parents sought the advice of healers, snake oil salesman, even mystics but to no effect.  Worse than that, the children in Freddy's school began to realise that it was foolish, really, to be afraid of this little boy.  This boy who used to yell and threaten and lie was so small to them now.  He began to lose credibility quickly and with it, realised he'd made a number of very powerful, very bitter enemies.  After one instance of physical assault which resulted in hospitalisation, his parents kept him at home and tutored him themselves.

By 18, still in the body of a child, Freddy left home under cover of night, wishing no longer to be a burden upon his family.  He would find his own answers.

In the modern day, Freddy is around 107 years of age but he has forgotten the actual number.  Everyone he knew from his old life is dead and he doesn't make new friends easily.  Adults are often condescending, his fellow children are dull and the elderly are frustratingly slow so he feels very little need for social connections.  He still suffers from disease and injury, knowing himself to be very mortal indeed, but his body simply doesn't age.  At this rate, barring a premature death, he doubts he'll die at all and may well outlive the society that he's come to loathe.  When he admits to any kind of reputable profession, he'll vaguely allude to being a researcher.  It seems a fitting trade for a lifelong collector of dirty secrets.

Mentally, Freddy (or Frederick as he prefers to be known to trusted company) is a VERY bitter elderly man, particularly around people who he believes are behaving in a patronising way or simply not taking him seriously due to his physical appearance (which he regards as a disability).  He's lived almost two lifetimes now, learning about the world as he's travelled it, but his body simply refuses to let him die.  He now realises that his unnatural lifespan is due to him being born (or turned...) Sluagh, though is a little resentful that it has taken the fey community almost a century to awaken him to this fact.

Having learned as much as is reasonably possible about the natural world, he's become fascinated recently with the occult and hopes one day to learn the true name of the creature that he believes cursed him with eternal youth in the first place.  While it would be incorrect to say he is devoid of morals, his advanced age has given him a perspective on life that some would consider mildly sociopathic.  When grifting his behaviour is entirely the opposite, tending toward being a very sensitive and tearful young man who trusts others easily.

Physically he looks much like he did before, clinging desperately to his mortal identity, the only one he's ever truly know.  He suspects that in a previous life, he went by the name Persistence Clearwater but he's not comfortable with it.  He's now a typical 10 year old boy but with greasy hair, greasy skin, dark circles under his eyes, a deathly complexion and slightly elongated limbs with slightly elongated fingers.  The first adjective most would use to describe him would be "ill".  He still refuses to let go of Mr. Patch.


Freddy has lived through everything life has to offer and believes he has the measure of most sentient beings, with whom he is not impressed.  He only hopes that the fey will prove more worthy of his time.
Bless the children of the world
Give us all a chance to grow and live
Give us all you've got to give
Bless the children of the world

Bless the children of the world
We're the one's who'll have to carry on
Even though all hope is gone
Bless the children of the world

-Don Henley

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Re: Character Bios
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2017, 09:23:22 AM »
Gerald Turner (generally referred to by Freddy as "Mr. Turner" or "Gerry" depending on current company)

Gerald Turner is a kindly 72 year old man.  He's also Freddy's mentor, dreamer and former tutor, though his dreamer aspect is a new concept to Freddy.  Gerald will not talk directly about Freddy and will deny knowledge of him unless pressed at length.  If forced to discuss him, Gerald will become incredibly agitated, often being reduced to tears and severe anxiety attacks.  Gerald knows Freddy better than any other person and utterly loathes him, having lived in terror of the child for years.  Unfortunately, he cannot end the relationship.



Jan 12th, 1988, Queensbridge Primary School

"Excuse me sir, could I speak with you for a moment?"

Gerald looked up from his marking.  School had ended 10 minutes ago but here was little Freddy.  The poor lad was known to be an orphan but never once spoke about it.  A lesser child would have played it up for sympathy but here he was, attentive in lessons, always top of the class, popular with his peers.  All he had against him was his record breaking collection of sick notes from his foster carer and that... bear.  Still, everbody has their eccentricities.  There was also the state of his clothes but you did see that sometimes.  Problems at home, no doubt.  To overcome so much adversity, Gerald really admired the lad.  He couldn't work out why "WATCH THIS ONE" had been written next to his name in the register on the first day of term.

"Of course Freddy, any time you'd like to.  Are you feeling better now?"

A polite smile.  Such a charming boy.

"Oh, much Mr. Turner, thank you.  I have a little problem, though.  You see, I don't like art lessons very much.  I think I'd have more fun in the library instead."

This was odd.  Not unheard of but most children tried this kind of thing with PE, not art.  The kids loved art.

"Don't you like art, Freddy?  All the other boys and girls do."

"Well, I'm not learning anything, Mr. Turner and I don't think teaching me to make pictures is a good use of our time."

Ah.  The term "dangerously precocious" (among others) had been passed around the staff room.  This was a classic situation and he'd been taught at university that the best way of dealing with it in this age group was to try to befriend the child, come down to their level, be a "fun" teacher.  Use inclusive language, refer to the group, not the individual, reinforce the sense of community.

"Freddy, you know we can't do that.  You know we can't!  The curriculum is laid out by people in big organisations who do lots of work to find out what the best things for you to learn are in order to make you a well rounded person!  I'm sure you'll grow to like art if you give it just a bit of a chance.  Now come on, stop being such a silly sausage and we'll see you bright and early on Monday morning."

Freddy gave him a look.  Just for a fraction of a second, there was a look.  It must have been Gerald's imagination because it conveyed emotions that a child shouldn't experience.  It was a look suggesting that he was beneath contempt, beaneath consideration like a slug, staining a brand new pair of shoes by daring to allow itself to be trod on.  It was an expression of scorn mixed with disgust and hatred, such hatred, absolute and white-hot.  He could almost swear that the bear shared it.

And just as soon as it came, the expression went.

"Okay sir, you know best.  I suppose I am being silly."

The following day, something started.  It was very innocent.  One child started sniffing in his English lesson.  The day after, two children were sniffing in science.  The day after it was 3 of them, then 4.  Eventually it was 10 but never the same group on any two consecutive days.  It happened in the hall, it happened in the corridors.  It was the kind of deliberate, calculated personal attack which only a child could commit without blame.  He was clearly a target for some childish joke, but there was no rule against sniffing.  He could hardly tell them off, especially in the winter.

It carried on for weeks.


March 16th, 1988

The children had left for the day, chairs all stood on desks, workbooks in trays.  Nothing left to do now but wipe down the blackboard and say goodnight as the cleaners came around.

"Good evening, Gerald."

He nearly cried out with surprise.  There was Freddy, sat at his desk!  He'd called in sick today, hadn't been seen in school at all (the staff tended to check thoroughly, even sometimes on teacher training days) and the classroom had been empty since the last child walked out!

"Freddy, good heavens, you'll be the death of me if you do that again!  Is everything okay?  I... heard you weren't well again today?"

"Sit down, Gerald.  We need to have a discussion."


That wasn't a good tone.  Establish a position of authority, find the root of the problem...

"Freddy, you know you must call me Mr. Turner.  Now come on, you're obviously having some sort of problem.  You know you can tell me anything.  I can keep a secret if you need me to."

"I do have a problem, Gerald.  Sit."


Maybe putting him at ease was the correct course of action.  Gerald perched on a desk.

"No, not there.  Sit on a chair.  Sit like an adult."

"Freddy, don't be silly, those chairs are for children, I'll never fit!" laughed Gerald.

Silly.  Internally, Freddy screamed.  Silly!  There was that word again.  He kept using that word!  Through the red mists, Freddy retained his composure, kept his expression impassive.

"Yes, they are for children.  It's quite appropriate, really, because I think I would like to tell you a story, Gerald, and I'd thank you to remain silent until I've finished.  It's about a teacher.  He was very much like you, Gerald, a lover of children, a family man, dedicated to his job.  But he had a problem, Gerald.  A nasty little habit.  Some called it a... dependency?"

The man paled immediately.  An excellent start.

"In his youth he was rehabilitated by the state; made clean by taxpayer monies.  Some said, perhaps rightly, that his short and, frankly, disrespectful lifetime of bad deeds didn't deserve such kindess but with support and nuturing care, he went into further education and made something of himself.  He never looked back at his past.  Never told another living soul, not even his loving and supportive family."

He was actually sweating!  Freddy took a chance.

"And he WAS clean.  He told himself every day.  But to the trained observer, to those who had the knowing of such things, he still had that hunger.  That annoying, insistant little monkey on his back, always prodding and always, always WANTING.  Denial is a terrible thing, Gerald.  He used to be a regular user of a terrible substance.  I think it's called cocaine.  I don't know what that is, young and naive as I am, but I bet you do, Gerald.  A big, strong, intelligent, wordly man such as yourself."

What little courage was still left in the man spurred him to defend himself.

"What the Hell do you think you're implying?"

Swearing.  Nobody had ever made this teacher, mild mannered to a fault, actually swear before.  That was definitely the crack.  A change of demeanour, apply just a bit more pressure...

"Oh, I'm implying nothing, Mr. Turner!  Goodness no, it's just a story.  It's a silly story, isn't it?  So silly that I haven't told it to anybody yet but I'm always looking for feedback, provided I can find the right audience to give me the right constructive criticism."

Turner looked like he might cry, now.  Was that rage or fear?  Regardless, time for the payload...

"Other children wouldn't appreciate it, they're as naive as I am, but I wonder if your wife would.  She seems like a good listener, from what I've heard.  And she likes stories, doesn't she?  After all, you've been telling Claudia stories for years, haven't you Mr. Turner?"

Freddy sniffed.  The last line had the desired effect.  Turner, now shaking and openly sobbing, slowly walked to the classroom door, locked it, sat on a hard plastic chair and was told, in no uncertain terms, how he was about to live the rest of his life.


Present day

Gerald has been suffering Freddy's extortion for almost 30 years.  He's tried involving the police and even on one dark occasion attempted violence against him.  Freddy has always, to date, proved one step ahead.  Even moving to a new town hasn't helped; Freddy likes to send a cheerful regular Christmas card to prove that no matter how far Gerald runs, it's ultimately useless.  With every conversation, every note, every glance on the street, Freddy likes to belittle, to overpower and to reinforce his position in the relationship.  He lets Gerald know that he brought this on himself with his patronising attitude.  This torment is his own fault and unfortunately, Gerald has come to believe this and now blames himself.

Primarily his relationship is that of an informant.  Freddy occasionally needs an intermediary for information gathering and a feeble elderly man in an advanced state of emotional distress is both expendable and easily explained in most situations, if need be.  Gerald's academic resources and knowledge prove invaluable, too.  However, Freddy doesconsider Gerald expendable and believes that having the old fool around is, at best, very convenient.

Gerald prays on a daily basis for the demise of the child; a child he now suspects to be a demon, incapable of remorse and now so inhuman as to be unable to age, but it appears that God isn't listening.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 04:08:01 PM by BioSpark »
Bless the children of the world
Give us all a chance to grow and live
Give us all you've got to give
Bless the children of the world

Bless the children of the world
We're the one's who'll have to carry on
Even though all hope is gone
Bless the children of the world

-Don Henley

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Re: Character Bios
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2017, 12:15:29 PM »
Alsandair had spent many lifetimes dancing through the Autumn world. Never in one place for long, even his beloved Ériu. A wanderer, a drinker, a fighter and a lover. Many things to many people, but never a bore.

He had a love of rhyme and song almost as big as his love of the drink, and although he moved through courts up and down the realms of men he was always happier listening to the songs of the downtrodden. There’s was the music of passion and energy, revolution and rebellion, either in spirit or action.

He danced and drank with poets and bards, firebrands and revolutionaries. Stood on pickets, marched in protests, and lived for what the next generation of youth would have to sing about.

As more and more of his Kith and Kin fell to banality, he knew the secret to keeping his interest in this world. There was always new music, and if you knew where to look, it was a source of passion and pride, and with that, flowed the glamour.

All things change though, and the poets were made laureates, singers faded away, and the world watched them go, enjoying the fall to drugs and ill humour more than they ever did the passion. Selling out, becoming homogenised, playing the same tired beats to the same unfeeling crowds. He could feel something waning, and for the first time, it worried him.

He knew what he had to do. Times always change, and eventually the world will wake to a new day, when people on the street will scream about injustices, will get a crowd fired up, will bring disharmony to those in power who feed on the normalities and everyday dreariness of the modern world.

When he wakes again, he hopes to find that passion, and if he can, he’ll join the chorus, and rage against the world.

Vestigia: The taste of cold greasy food, the sound of a baying crowd, the smell of fresh rain on warm tarmac.
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