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[PLAYER INFO]

Player name: 'Sail
Age: ...over 21.
Personal Journal: [livejournal.com profile] ladyasul
Timezone: GMT -9 (Alaska)
AIM: NightsailC MSN: nightsail@gmail.com
Email: ladyasul@gmail.com
Characters currently in the game?: Serph (SMT: Digital Devil Saga)

[CHARACTER INFO]
Name: Skarrow
Fandom: Courtney Crumrin
Timeline: Very end of book 2 (Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics)
Age: "Adult" (centuries, but he doesn't look it at all.)
Gender: Male

Personality: To sum, he's sweet and gentle and quiet. He's lived his early life among other Night Things, so he may be wary of humans -- but at the same time, he desires their company, and moreso, their affection. He's sensitive to others' feelings, considerate, thoughtful, helpful, supportive. He's very docile, an assumed pacifist that hasn't lifted a finger to harm anyone, probably to the point of being a vegetarian. When in danger, he's likely to run and hide, and seek safety rather than stand his ground. He dislikes conflict, and will usually let others have their way, if it will prevent discord. He isn't likely to take charge in a situation, but to stand back and let others do what they will, and probably follow their direction. If he has information, he may not tell someone, due to either difficulty in communicating, or having doubts as to whether it would do any good, or if they would even believe him. He may, however, act on it himself. He prefers the dark, and tends to hide rather than stay out in the open. This can be attributed to simple shyness, as he is usually quite timid, even coming off as skittish, but it's also due to his upbringing and the habits it instilled in him of keeping to shadows, and a lack of much socialization with humans. After a life among other Night Things in the Underworld, he's a bit naiive, unused to outright dishonesty or dealing with others' illogical but strong feelings (like the typically human willingness to cause great harm and destruction for personal gain, for example) and therefore probably a little more trusting than he should be, but he's learning. He's also probably still quite unused to trying to emulate all of the usual human customs and habits, like walking upright all the time.

History: Skarrow was born a human child, but as an infant, a changeling took his place. He was raised by the Duchess, a gothic elf-looking noblewoman, and lived for several centuries with her in the Underworld (not Hell -- think more along the lines of the Goblin City, from the Labyrinth movie.) Night Things, however, seem to have little capacity for true love, and Skarrow yearned for more of it than they could give him ("He sought in human affection a warmth which my people don't possess.") He left for the human world, to the area known as Hillsborough, and came to live with a pretty witch lady named Hermia Harken, who had an open mind about Night Things, where most people would be prejudiced against them and distrusting. He spent a good few years with her, and she refused to marry the warlock Hector Hughes, preferring to be left alone with Skarrow and her studies.

Finally, the rumored worst of the undead Night Things, Tommy Rawhead, began to terrorize the community again after a century of banishment, killing two of the Council and their families. When the warlocks' Council tried to call on Miss Harken, as the resident expert on Night Things, to help them deal with Tommy, they found her under a curse which made her unable to communicate with them -- frogs would spew from her mouth when she attempted to speak, and her fingers turned to snakes at attempts at writing. Knowing of her companion, Skarrow, the warlocks who had called on her that night immediately suspected him of being behind these events. Skarrow fled the residence for the forest, where his path crossed with Courtney Crumrin's while he was being hunted by Hector Hughes, who was armed with a bow and arrow. Unknown to both Skarrow and Courtney, who had snuck out of the house and had taken the form of a small kitten, Courtney's great grand-uncle Aloysius Crumrin was also hunting for Skarrow, for a much different reason: the old warlock knew of Skarrow and Hermia's relationship, and he wished to protect the Night Thing from the other warlocks. Courtney managed to distract Hector so that Skarrow was able to escape, and when she returned to the Crumrin manor in the morning, she found Skarrow to be in one of the rooms there, as her uncle's guest. She kept him company that night, and they slept together on the couch.

While Courtney's investigations led her to discover who was really behind the summoning of Tommy Rawhead and the framing of Skarrow for it and the curse on Hermia Harken, Aloysius presented a solidly logical case to the warlocks' and witches' Council in defense of Skarrow's innocence, including pointing out that Night Things were not deceitful creatures, and his firsthand knowledge of Skarrow and Hermia's deep fondness for each other, not to mention Skarrow's utter lack of motive for any of the things he'd been accused of, but the Council let their prejudices guide them, and Aloysius was ordered to release Skarrow into their custody (where he would doubtless be executed.) Courtney hurried home and led Skarrow from the house to the forest, to a place where there was an entrance to the Underworld, a cave entrance framed by the roots of an old tree, where the Duchess was waiting to bring him back to the other world, where he would be safe from humans. Hector, however, had followed them... and fired one more arrow.

Skarrow didn't make it to the cave entrance.

Character Abilities: The ability to see in very little light ("night vision") sharp senses of smell and hearing, physical/athletic abilities, and an awareness and knowledge of magic. (Due to his upbringing, he likely knows how to do a good few miscellaneous spells, but finding the components for them in this world, and the recitation of the words for them, will probably make most of them prohibitive for him to perform anyway.) He can confirmedly read English, and can likely read at least one arcane language/writing system as well, especially whatever it is that could be considered common in the Underworld. Apparently has subtle telepathy, in the form of being able to talk to people without saying a thing -- that, or he's just very expressive. ("It's like I just know what he means. He doesn't have to say anything." ...to be fair, most of what he'd have said to Courtney was "thank you." The latter probability, simply making his moods well enough known, is more likely, and that's how I'll be playing him.)

Character Weaknesses: Skarrow is mute, in practice if not entirely functionally so (book 3, ch. 2: Night Things of the sort Skarrow is don't seem able to speak English well at all) and not great at conveying precise information directly (don't expect him to play a good game of Charades) and he's not well practiced at deception (Night Things are incapable of actually lying -- book 3, ch. 3 -- but this may apply only to those who were originally Night Things. Regardless, upbringing can be a powerful thing.) and while he can read, there's little evidence that he's capable of writing to any significant degree. He's unskilled at any kind of combat, and is probably too naiive for his own good sometimes, when it comes to humans, though he's learned to be far more wary, after recent events. Also, as a Night Thing, he's apparently sensitive/weak to iron -- while not outright causing a goblin pain, iron seems to have a vaguely prohibitive effect on them (Night Things seem to be relatively concurrent with more traditional European tales of the "fey folk" and the term is used broadly, as a label that encompasses everything from non-mortal-realm beasts, to undead horrors, to elf-looking people, to goblins and a menagerie of other things.) He loved the human lady he lived with, Hermia Harken, and was loved by her in return. It wouldn't be a stretch at all to say that emotionally, love and affection, and Hermia herself, would be one of his biggest weaknesses.

Weapons/Possessions: None. He only has the shoes he's wearing.

First Person/Script Sample:
*creeping out on all fours, silently, from the dense undergrowth just ouside a camp and looking around, firelight reflecting in his black eyes as he searches for signs of the camp's occupants, sniffing a few times... but no one's there. There's just their food, hot off the fire, morsels covered in a strong-scented glaze of some kind, skewered and lying across a couple plates.*

*remaining on all fours, back arched a bit, tail curling behind him as he stays tense and alert. He was looking for the camp's owners, to ask about the food... but somehow, the smell from it hadn't manged to attract any other creatures, even those who'd cooked it.*

....

*ten minutes later, the camp's owners still hadn't shown up. He sniffs at the food again. Reaches for it, only to pause and pull his hand back uncertainly. Frowns to himself, looking around once more, and then finally slides a mushroom off the end of one of the sticks, holding it delicately between two clawtips as he brings it up to his mouth.*

...!

*spitting that mushroom right back out now, grabbing it again and giving it a hurt look while trying to spit the sauce onto the ground. He'll just be putting that tidbit down onto the plate beside the skewers, and leaving the campsite in search of a stream. At least now he understood why no other creatures had come to take advantage of the unattended food.*

Third Person Prose Sample:
"Don't worry. You'll be fine."

Skarrow fidgeted with the pants' top, trying to get used to the feel of fabric pressing against his short fur, and failing. He ran a finger down between his side and the fabric against it, trying to push an uncomfortable little patch back down the way it should fall, only for the underwear to move again as he shifted his stance, and undo what he'd just managed.

Underwear, pants, socks, stubby little human shoes... at least holes had been added to accommodate his tail. He eyed the shirt with apprehension, not yet picking it up off the chair. How had he been talked into this, again?

She'd asked, of course.

Voices came in from the main hall as someone opened a door elsewhere. A man talking, saying something, and a woman's laughter....

"Don't worry."

He found an odd lump in his throat as he tried to swallow. There were humans out there, humans he didn't know. Humans she wanted him to meet, to show him off to, to impress. He felt oddly cold, despite her reassurances. Few people had ever come to her house, and of them, only one had been invited in to meet him. He'd been an older gentleman, someone with shoulder-length white hair and a long dark coat, who stood straight and confident, imposing in a way that almost made Skarrow want to curl up and hide behind the furniture. But there had been something in his expression, a kind of gentle quietness, a hidden smile in his eyes that said that it was all right, that Skarrow need not be afraid of him. At the way the old man had spoken, his voice soft, warm, Skarrow had found himself relaxing and coming forward, even daring to smile. He hadn't been ignored that meeting, even though he hadn't been expected to speak up to join in the humans' conversation, but the feeling that he was simply accepted was of no small measure of comfort to him, and seeing her smile, hearing such contentment in her voice, easily outweighed any unease he may have felt.

This time was not like the other. He hadn't been expected to put on clothing for the old gentleman friend of hers, to stand upright, to act... human.

"You'll be fine."

But if she wanted it -- if it would make her happy -- he'd do anything. He'd wear the clothes, and stand upright, and endure these other humans' scrutiny. He'd even button the shirt himself. And somehow, he managed, despite his own claws and the buttons themselves apparently trying to conspire against him. The sound of her voice, from elsewhere in the house, from beyond the door, was more than enough motivation to get the shirt on, and the vest after that.

He took a deep breath, letting it out slowly, and turned to the door, taking hold of the cool handle as he closed his eyes. He could do this. For her, he'd do this.

The handle wouldn't turn. He tried it again, but the rough surface was steadfast in its refusal.

...Rough? Door handles were not supposed to be rough.

Skarrow opened his eyes, sensing something wrong, and looked down at it.

It wasn't a door handle. It was a tree root. A knobby old tree root, sticking up from the soft ground below him. He wasn't standing in front of a door and preparing himself for the hall beyond it, he was curled up below the large leaves of some plants, with moss for a pillow.

This was not his world, and she was nowhere in sight. His back was whole and his heart unpierced, but he knew he would be a fool to expect to simply be able to return to her after what had happened. The surprise of finding himself alive again made the loss sting no less, nor the tears any less likely to cloud his vision every time he thought about it.

Choking back a quiet sob, he buried his face on his arm again and silently prayed to powers he wasn't sure he truly believed in that not only would he be back to sleep soon, but that she would be there again when he dreamed.

Additional Notes: YES, finally! There is now more info about Night Things and their magic here.

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December 2011

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