Author Topic:  Special Feature Applications  (Read 93828 times)

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  • Offline JT
  • Re: Special Feature Applications
    « Reply #195 on: May 13, 2017, 06:56:01 PM »
    Name: JT
    Character name: @Lorelei Faulkner
    Feature you are applying for: Obscurial Shadow
    Application:

    Obscurials in America: Possible Context

    While hinted in the original books through Dumbledore's sister, Ariana, Obscurials have been fleshed out in greater detail in Fantastic Beasts. Ariana's condition was rare, and indeed the instances of a magical child becoming an Obscurus is highly improbable. Even in the United States, what we know so far hints that Obscurials were considered eliminated long before Seraphina Picquery's tenure as MACUSA President.

    In my perspective, with the United States' extremely large population and dense metropolitan areas, MACUSA would have been extremely proactive in identifying Obscurials to prevent the potential damage they could do and their risk of exposing the magical community. However, there are pockets of communities that have often been ignored or forgotten by society at large. It is in these place where muggleborn children are especially vulnerable to forming an Obscurus. From Rowling's perspective, even if we ignore references to religious conservatism that's unique to the country, the no-maj of the United States have always been more wary, even antagonistic, to any signs of magic compared to other muggle populations around the globe. Worse, they are much more likely to believe that magic exists than to ignore it.

    During the period of Lorelei's birth, a perfect storm of circumstances may have contributed to forming Obscurials. The Cold War and the Red Scare was building, and suspicions toward neighbours, friends, and even family ran high. There would have been great pressure to conform, to hide and suppress anything that hinted of seeming abnormal, for fear of being labelled as an ally of 'the enemy.' Worse, many towns that relied on coal, manufacturing, and other labour industries were finding that the economy could no longer sustain those jobs. As these fields were shifted overseas, the country focused on skilled labour and the service industries. As a result, many communities fell into hard times, falling into poverty, left behind as the country focused its energies to its cities.

    The Appalachian region was one one of the hardest hit during these changes, especially in the small, home-rule cities in Kentucky. Theses cities generally consisted of just about fifty families, and were forced to consolidate resources with neighbouring towns to fund schools and public services. Fairly remote and a great distance from the nearest metro area, these communities were trapped after the collapse of coal mines. High unemployment, limited education opportunities, a lack of competitive service-industry skills, and an increasing dependence on painkillers prevented many from escaping a difficult life. In addition, many of these communities still hewed strictly to American notion that success was made independently, with limited help from the government.

    For the American magical community, MACUSA's strict enforcement of non-fraternization with no-maj was a blessing in multiple ways. As muggleborns were often the result of a latent magical gene, due to a squib or magical relative far in their family tree, this probably limited the number of muggleborns, lowering the risk of a magical child being born from parents who would be antagonistic to magic. However, Scourers who escaped MACUSA's hunt for them may have integrated into no-maj communities, starting family lines that were non-magical, but held onto believing its existence and getting rid of it.

    Feature to Character

    Lorelei would be a muggleborn witch whose lot in life was borne from all these factors coalescing. Born from an extremely poor family, in a town of limited means and opportunity, she is representative of those forgotten by society. If she had been a no-maj, perhaps she would have suffered silently, with the rest of the world going about, business-as-usual. But as her magic awakened, Lorelei's circumstances were made worse. Perhaps if she had some advocate, or some encouragement, she could have been a regular witch. But as she tried to suppress her magic, it in turn formed into an Obscurus, exploding as a dangerous parasitic entity whenever she could no longer bottle everything in.

    Obscurials often died around their tenth year, unable to control or suppress the magic seeking to be released. MACUSA may have intervened long before children ever reached this stage, providing counselling to those young enough to be rehabilitated, or containing those deemed too far gone. For Obscurials identified so late, they did not have the luxury of time that counselling needs to be effective. The most one could do was palliative, to ease their suffering before their Obscurus took every ounce of their magic and life force. For Lorelei, she was near the age when most Obscurials would have perished, and she was already losing control.

    How she managed to survive with her magic becoming a parasitic entity is similar to how some people can somewhat withstand a Dementor's presence while others succumb to them. At the core of Lorelei's personality is her innate belief in the goodness of the world. Despite the neglect and abuse from her parents, particularly her mother, Lori has never blamed the world for her ills. She has always internalised her circumstances as her fault, but she has always held onto the idea that if she tried harder, behaved better, changed herself, her family might grow to love her. While full of self-loathing, Lori had never harboured thoughts about ending her life, or wishing she could disappear. Rather, she believed she could change for the better and rid herself of the shadows. The desire to be a daughter her parents could cherish---or a girl that the other schoolkids could accept---kept Lori going. It wasn't necessarily a happy outlook, nor a healthy one. Indeed, her wish for outward approval meant she seeing current herself as inferior, unworthy, and undeserving. Still, it was a faint hope in her bleak life. It was this core optimism that her Obscurus could not fully consume, similar to a Dementor being held back and even driven away by a focused, happy memory. Instead, it made her resilient, strong enough to live despite being drained by her Obscurus, protecting her life force.

    Being left alone in the woods at a young age, Lori had grown to appreciate the stark beauty of the Appalachian wilderness, and she believes this natural beauty is a manifestation of 'goodness.' Even when parts of the region were destroyed by the formation of mines and logging companies, only to be abandoned when the economy tanked, Lorelei could appreciate the small moments of beauty: dandelions dancing in the wind, a vista of the rolling hills. Even the mine shafts were like scars that gave the mountains a story, something that was part of its history, but didn't define it. She extended that view to herself. She considered herself a bad girl, and why her parents beat her and neglected her. But since they didn't abandon her in the middle of the woods, she felt there was some part of her that could be saved.

    Still, no matter how resilient a child was, as she grew, so did the Obscurus. By the time she was eight, no amount of optimism could hold back an ever-growing magical parasite. After her latest Obscurial episode, Lorelei may have died, had she not been found by Hester.

    Saving her required drastic magical intervention, dangerous magic that many wizards would be hesitant to perform. For MACUSA, the risk of using such measures, which often bordered on Dark Magic, was not worth the trouble. But luckily, Lorelei was found by Hester Park, a pragmatic witch whose views of right and wrong were often grey. She sympathised with those who were dealt a terrible hand at life, and sought to give Lorelei a wildcard. Working with Sampson Irons, an expert in Obscurials, they would have had the experience and the gumption to perform the dangerous magic needed to save Lori.

    Ilvermorny's education is comprehensive, attuned to the diversity of wizards and witches that enter its halls. Magic in the Americas could often be done with the use of wands, channelled into crafts that were more elemental in nature. Sampson and Hester, both highly skilled in these elemental magicks, would have performed a complicated spell to contain Lorelei's Obscurus.

    Forming Obscurial Shadows:

    An Obscurus was essentially a witch's magical ability, transformed into a parasitic entity that feeds on its host. It and the witch are paradoxically the same and different. It is the part of a witch that she denied, wishing to have never existed. Formed from her suppressed emotions, an Obscurus is sentient, acting on those thoughts and feelings that a witch locked deep within herself. While it is ultimately a destructive force, an Obscurus is also a protective entity. Often, an Obscurial is taken over by her Obscurus when she feels powerless and threatened, causing her magic to lash out and attack. As Lori grew, so did the Obscurus, feeding on her until it took over, leeching her magic and vitality. Without the intervention that occurred for Lorelei, the Obscurus would have continued to drain her energy until both were consumed and annihilated.

    To prevent that from happening, the Obscurus needs to be contained. In Lorelei's case, this involves an arcane seal involving Shadow and Oath magicks. The seal is essentially a contract, binding the Obscurus into the witch's shadow. This prevents the Obscurus from becoming corporeal, unable to physically damage its surroundings or harm people. The Oath magic involved is a ritual binding on Lorelei to 'do no harm,' essentially sealing the majority of her magic away. This would have reduced the power of her Obscurus, enough for it to be contained. The magicks of the Americas are famous for its binding and warding, though often channelled through artefacts and fetishes. In this manner, the binding fetish would have to be especially guarded to prevent someone from undoing the seal or using it to control the individual who is bound to it. The danger of it being potentially taken and having someone possessing an Obscurial was not something Hester or Sampson were willing to take. Instead, the fetish used was Lorelei's own shadow. In this case, it would always be in Lori's possession.

    However, the seal also means the parasitic entity has been preserved. Whereas other witches, if given time and support, can accept their magic and eventually rid themselves of their Obscurus, Lorelei is forever bound to hers until her last moment. This means that Lori, despite being mostly at peace and happy with her life, can never fully get rid of the dark thoughts and feelings that originally formed her Obscurus. Like many witches who have survived years of trauma, Lori can never fully erase what she had gone through, and simply lives her life as best she can.

    As an Obscurial Shadow is essentially a witch's magical force, containing it into her shadow means there is often very little magic inside of her. This severely impacts her ability to perform most types of spells, especially those requiring the use of wands or charming objects. Additionally, the Obscurial Shadow is still parasitic and sentient, still leeching magic and energy from its host. This means Lorelei's life span has been considerably shortened. Whereas many magical folk can easily live past a hundred, Lorelei probably will not live past her 60s.

    However, in Lori's point of view, considering that she would not have lived past her 8th birthday without Sampson and Hester's magical intervention, she sees her lifespan as having been extended rather than diminished. The extra time she was given would be enough for the years of therapy she needed to address and move past her traumatic childhood.

    Living with An Obscurial Shadow:

    Like many girls that would later form House Irons, Lorelei required a long time for her emotional recovery. While she never entertained the idea of ending her life, Lorelei had a terrible view of herself. She wanted to be better, which in her mind was being anyone other than who she was. She hated her magic, and while Hester may have been saddened at taking away a young witch's magical potential, Lori saw it as a blessing.

    Still, what was left of Lori's magic needed to be mastered and controlled. Shadow magic was an arcane branch, rarely practised until wizards and witches entered Ilvermorny, and only when they began taking the elective. Lorelei needed to learn it immediately, including the mental and emotional fortitude necessary for the craft. Otherwise, her shadow would be constantly out of control, ruled by the sentience of her Obscurus rather than herself.

    To start, Lorelei's recovery required being her placed in a bright room where no shadows could form. Without the fear of her shadow raging and causing trouble, Lori could focus on herself. While it appeared like she was put in solitary confinement, Lorelei considered the bright room as her safe space, free from the shadows that long plagued her. In this room, she learned the true nature and history of witches. She learned from Sampson and Hester that magic, while potentially dark and dangerous as her mother taught her, was also capable of producing beauty and goodness.

    As she gained better control of her shadow, including the overpowering emotions that fed the Obscurus, Lorelei has been able to 'tame' her shadow. She has grown like witches who have been able to channel the emotions caused by their traumatic past into healthier avenues of expression. Through years of support from House Irons and Ilvermorny, Lorelei learned to accept herself as a person of worth. Her increasing self-confidence, combined with her inherent optimism, keep her grounded and unable to be overtaken by her Obscurus. Instead, she has been able to commune with it, and over the years the two have developed a slightly more symbiotic relationship. While the Obscurus continues to leech away Lori's life force, it posses no danger of taking her life in the near future. The sentience of the Obscurus also remains, which recognises that Lori is no longer in danger. Instead of being a menacing, antagonistic entity, it has slowly become more cooperative, acting more mischievous and even playful than malevolent. Lorelei is also able to draw magic back from her Obscurus in order to perform some limited wandwork.


    Traits and Limitations

    Possessing an Obscurial shadow, Lorelei's life in uniquely situated. She cannot perform wand spells more complicated than what most third years master. However, her latent ability had always been great, now just channelled to very specialised fields. With most of her magic sealed into her shadow, she represents the pinnacle of this branch of magic, all of its benefits and its pitfalls. She can naturally perform Shadow Magic with ease, including the ability to slip and out of shadows. This is how Lorelei tends to travel outside of the the Floo network or a portkey, as she doe not have the ability to Apparate.

    In addition, Lorelei's shadow often acts on its own, like an unruly pet. Over the years, she and her Obscurus have developed a much more symbiotic relationship. Her shadow will often act instinctively to protect her when it senses danger or her distress. In normal situations, her shadow is more playful, changing shapes and wanting to play hide-and-seek. Unlike most Shadow Magic practitioners, Lorelei's own shadow can leave her in great distances, as it is essentially a part of herself. Despite it being a parasitic entity, her Obscurial Shadow is instinctively protective of Lorelei, and may act out on its own if it senses its host is being threatened. While unable to violently attack as it could during Lori's childhood, it can still cause harm through manipulation of Shadow Magic.


    Future plots:

    Classes
    Lori's SF would play an integral role in all of her lessons as a professor. Her Obscurus functions like most shadow summons, demonstrating the need for skill and control when dealing with shadow manipulation. She often uses it to show what happens if a witch loses control of a summons, as well as what one can achieve when having achieved mastery. As an Obscurus may be considered in the realm of Dark Magic or Dark Creatures due to its inherently malignant nature, Lorelei teaches Shadow Magic in recognition of its use in both benevolent and Dark Arts.

    Ernest Franklin
    Ernest is one of the few professors currently teaching who had taught Lorelei back during her Ilvermorny years. Due to Lorelei's unique case, professors would have been given advanced notice of her condition to monitor her and ensure she poses no danger to herself nor other students. Ernie's kind nature made him one of Lori's emotional pillars during her time in school. Despite being dreadfully poor in his classes, helped her earn passing grades through extra assignments. His support also extended to inviting her to holidays with his family. This has allowed Lorelei to experience what loving households are like, which has helped tremendously with her emotional growth. Later, when Lori first began teaching at Ilvermorny, Ernie acted as her mentor, helping her adjust to her new role. Due to her limited wandskills, Ernie assists her from time to time by preparing the necessary charms in her classroom so she can conduct particular lessons. The two remain on close in both professional and personal terms. The emotional support Ernie provides has helped, and continues to help, Lori maintain the mental stability needed to keep her Obscurial Shadow in check.

    Sampson Irons
    As the person mainly responsible for Lori's recovery, Lorelei is deeply indebted to his efforts saving her. Their interactions will often reference her state of being, how well she's managing her Obscurus, as well has his coven. Sampson is an authority figure on Obscurials, so their threads can be used to further develop MH-lore about it. Based on own Special Feature (pending), the two gain intimate knowledge on the emotions, thoughts, and magic that bring an Obcurus to parasitic sentience, in hopes of using that knowledge to identify young witches who are vulnerable to forming one.

    Iron Witches
    Several drivers are planning to create students who make up the current coven of House Irons. As a professor and the first Iron Witch, Lorelei acts as their mentor during the school term. She also interacts with those staying in House Irons during the summer term, as she helps with its daily operations after the school year ends.
    • Axel's Shimmer Vega: Shimmer came into House Irons when Lori was still helping the coven full time. As an Obscurial, Lorelei also had to struggle with maintaining control, knowing the dangerous consequences when she lost it. Shimmer is a young woman who also struggles with maintaining control, often flying into a rage when she feels things are not going the way she desires them to. Their personalities are very different, but Lori would understand when Shimmer enters one of her rages, and accept her despite all her faults, as both have an unspoken understanding of each other's past. As House Irons tutors witches in elementary subjects before Ilvermorny, Lorelei would have taught Shimmer subjects in English, History, as well as Shadow Magic. Because of their contrasting personalities, their relationship is complicated. Lorelei is aware of Shimmer's tendency to take advantage of others and to make choices that put herself first. Still, she continues to mentor Shimmer in hopes that she can learn to make choices that put others first.
    • Ashton's Alyson Graves: Lorelei would have been living in the coven and teaching students there just before she was hired at Ilvermorny, and like Shimmer, has taught Aly a few subjects like writing, history, and shadow magic. Lorelei isn't precognitive, but as an Obscurial, she knew the things she dreamed was actually her Obscurus taking over at night. She connects with Aly about how it feels when things they 'dream' are actually real. Like with Shimmer, Lori acts as a mentor once Aly began studying at Ilvermorny. She checks in and discusses Aly's dreams, acting as a counsel and as a supportive figure.
    RP sample using the feature:

    The warm glow of candlelight flickered in the room. That was a fact. Whether it gave a comforting—even romantic—atmosphere, or an ominous one dealt in the realm of opinions. Lorelei's feelings felt strongly in the latter camp. She didn't like the long lines of shadows that danced upon the pillars and walls. It felt like walking into a vampire's lair, rather than a classroom. Indeed, without desks or chairs, just a high ceilinged room with various candlelit floor lamps, it seemed better set for a gothic film than an academic lesson. Worse, the classroom was her own. Lori could never reconcile how her greatest magical strength gave her the worst anxiety. She wished she'd been a different type of witch, one who was great with a wand or some other craft where she could teach in beautiful open spaces and plenty of light. But that dealt in the realm of fantasy.

    Lorelei reprimanded herself for such thoughts. There was no point in wishing to be different. She was who she was. All she could hope was to be the best version of herself, and to be comfortable with that. She focused on the facts, and shifting her opinions to one that felt more optimistic. The long shadows meant it was easier to cast magic of an already difficult craft. Her students would need all the help they could get this lesson.

    But then again, even if she dealt with just the facts, it was the absolute truth that she was anxious. Feelings have to be recognised, Lori told herself. Don't push it away. Accept it, and let it go.

    She breathed deeply, but didn't dare close her eyes. Calm, but constantly alert, Lorelei noted that one particular candelabra cast an odd shadow. It was longer than it naturally should be, and even in the curve of the ceiling, the way it warped to look like a cat was unnatural. Lorelei looked down, realising her own shadow was missing.

    'Come on now,' she spoke softly. 'Behave yourself. There's no point frightening the children.' She looked back at the candelabra, noting its arms now cast just four tendrils on the wall. She looked at the opposite side of the room, scanning until she spotted an nondescript area of darkness in the far corner. Without looking away, Lori shook her head and reached out to a small shadow next to her, cast by a single lamp. Her arm disappeared into the thin void, only to appear across the room like some floating appendage. Quickly, she snatched at something, which just looked like air, before she pulled her arm back until she appeared whole again. 'We'll have time to play later,' she said calmly, seemingly to no one.

    At first, it seemed Lori pulled out absolutely nothing, but her gaze was not on her outstretched arm, but to the nearby shadow. It flickered and warped, until a darker mass spread and began to fill onto the wall behind her, mimicking her silhouette, forming her shadow as it normally should.

    'Thank you for listening. Now let's greet our new group of kids this year and give them a fun little hour, shall we?' Lorelei dropped her arm and took a cautious step forward, watching her shadow follow along, with no abnormal shifts or disappearance. She walked to the door, opening it to greet her newest pupils.

    'Welcome,' she said in her usual breathy voice, barely above a whisper. 'Do place your things in that corner, and stand by a lamp. We'll get started momentarily.'

    pending ~ Please check your PMs
    « Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 02:35:41 PM by JT »



  • Offline Meridian
  • Re: Special Feature Applications
    « Reply #196 on: May 19, 2017, 09:33:50 PM »

    Name: Meridian
    Character name: Kantalaa Sampson Irons
    Feature you are applying for: Dreamwalker

    Dreamwalking is the practice of entering another person’s dreams for use in intelligence gathering,communication, or therapy. Though it is deeply rooted in divination, many argue that dreamwalking should be classified as a type of mind magic, alongside occlumency and legilimency. Unlike a legilimens, a dreamwalker does not have access to a dreamer’s memories unless the dreamer allows it, though the dreamwalker has far more tools at his or her disposal to steer the dreamer’s mind toward revealing their memories.

    Dreamwalking is, at its most basic, the ability to use dreams as a backdoor into another person’s psyche. And like with other mind magic, there is a spectrum of susceptibility when it comes to dreamers: some people can pick out a dreamwalker in their dreams in an instant, while others could go years without ever knowing their dreams have been manipulated. Dreamers with high emotional turmoil or a lack of self-awareness are the most vulnerable to a dreamwalker’s influence based on their situations.



          Personality
    Sampson Irons is a gentle man in his late sixties, exuding the wisdom of someone who has seen many horrors and learned many truths from his travels. He is worldly and intelligent, in both academics and matters of the heart. He is soft-spoken and compassionate, with a dry sense of humor and the wry, almost long-suffering, patience of a man who has raised nearly thirty Iron Witches from childhood to adulthood. Many, if not all of them, see him as a surrogate father or grandfather. In another life, Sampson would have done well in a life-long professorship. He is disciplined and articulate, with high-standards and a particular love for almost all forms of literature that he always wants to share with anyone who will listen. That being said, he is also a little bit intense and is usually not the type of person one would want to make an enemy of, as in his youth he cut his teeth breaking people from the inside out for the government.

          History
    The only son of a practiced voodoo priest and a shadow magician, Sampson Irons has always had an interest in unusual magic. There was much about the world he wished to learn about, and unearthing mysteries to expand his knowledge was a huge motivating influence in his academic and personal life. He studied hard in school, always the type to spend his days in the library even on Field Days. He found that he had a particular skill for divination, more specifically Dream Divination. After graduating with top scores on his CHEPIS and WENDIGOS, Sampson entered the MACUSA as an intelligence agent. He carved out his own position as an interrogation specialist, using his skills at dream divination to extract important information for the government’s use.

    For more than fifteen years, from the time he was nineteen until he was thirty-five, Sampson Irons was dedicated to the MACUSA. He was a man of supreme focus and patriotism, never letting anything else in his life get in the way of his work as be honed his rare his craft. He was a government man through and through. In his tenure at the MACUSA, Sampson is credited with saving many lives, despite his methods being somewhat morally ambigious. He would have been content to remain at the government, but a few years later Sampson had started his own family and had a wife and child to take care of.

    Due to his wife’s declining mental and physical health, he eventually left the MACUSA for a much more settled job as the new Dream Divination professor and school counselor at Ilvermorny, his alma mater. Five years later, when Sampson was in his early forties, his wife took her own life and Sampson gave up his position as professor to take care of his children. The circumstances that led to his wife’s suicide shook the famously-stoic man to his core and from that point forward he decided to devote his life to saving other women from abusive homes from meeting the same fate.

    In 1973, Sampson opened the House Irons Coven Home as a safe haven for young witches, who for various reasons were in danger in their own homes. His ability to enter another person’s dreams was no longer wielded as a blunt weapon of interrogation or psychological torture, but rather a surgical instrument used to heal. With the consent of his patients, he was now able to enter their dreams, mold their dreamscapes, and begin the healing process from within the psyche. House Irons became home to dozens of girls, who grew up under his protection. He became like a father or grandfather to many. His decades of experience with the human mind, and his insight into the unique wounds left by abusive homes, informed his future job as someone who dedicates his life to mending what is broken.




    For in dreams we enter a world that is entirely our own.
    - Albus Dumbledore


    The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure.
    Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by any invader.
    The mind is a complex and many-layered thing, Potter.

    - Severus Snape


    A dreamwalker’s most invaluable skill is mental strength. To enter another person’s dreams requires an immense amount of mental and physical stress, as well as focus and a deep sense of self. Dreams are, by their very nature, unpredictable and deeply affecting. An unfocused or unskilled dreamwalker risks their powers backfiring and their minds becoming the ones affected by their own magic. Dreamwalking is, in many regards, more dangerous than occlumency and legilimency because reality is extremely fluid in the mind, opening the dreamwalker to a host of psychological side-effects and injuries even as an uninvolved bystander. Because of this, dreamwalking is a heavily regulated study and anything more than dream interpretation is carefully monitored.

    Dreamwalking is broken into four levels: Novice, Reader, Invader, and Narrator.

          Level 1: Novice
    Any student who has yet to achieve an A or B CHEPI in Dream Divination is considered a Novice. Novices are limited to dream interpretation and this stage is mostly academic. They are more focused on reading literature and learning how to interpret a dreamer’s self-described dreams. They learn the importance of symbolism and why understanding a dreamer’s personal history and personality is the key to understanding dreams.

          Level 2: Reader
    Readers do not have to rely on a dreamer's testimony. Readers can actually view the dreams of a sleeping person as they happen, though it has to be 1) in real time, 2) through physical contact, 3) during an extensive ritual. Readers need the permission of the dreamer to enter, as they are usually not skilled enough to do so without affecting the dream and waking the dreamer up. They can watch the dream as it unfolds, but they are entirely trapped as a spectator within the dream until subject wakes up, usually six or eight hours later. While they are “under” (a casual term used to describe dreamwalking), they have no awareness of what is going on around their physical body, leaving them in a very vulnerable state.

          Level 3: Invader
    Invaders, sometimes called Affecters by those who think the existing term is too aggressive, are no longer spectators to the dreams they walk through. They are subject to the dreamer’s musings and meanderings, but they are able to interact with the dreamer while they are sleeping. They can speak to the dreamer, or carefully tweak the path the dream follows. Communicating to the dreamer by asking questions or playing as a participant in the dream is relatively normal for a dreamwalker at this level. Changing the path of the dream’s narrative is done sparingly, and is contingent on the dreamer’s mind being receptive to the change. Invaders can usually enter and leave dreams at will, though they are still very much at the mercy of the dreamer.

          Level 4: Narrator
    Narrators are expert dreamwalkers—individuals who have mastered the art of manipulating dreams into convoluted and layered stories unfolding in front of an unsuspecting dreamer. Narrators are nearly undetectable to the dreamers, able to blend seamlessly into a sea of faces or appear to the dreamer as someone they recognize to keep them their mind open and malleable. Though the morals of the practice change from Narrator to Narrator, practioners at this skill level are able to use certain amnesia and obliviating spells to leave no trace of themselves or even the dreams to the dreamers while their influence lingers. The most impressive skill of a master dreamwalker is called dreamscaping. Narrators are able to build and construct entire dream environments (called dreamscapes), turning the tables on the dreamer. Usually, the dreamwalker is at the mercy of the dreamer’s unpredicatable mind’s path as it dreams, but Narrators are able to build entire worlds within the mind and manipulate the narrative to their advantage.



          Character Exploration Opportunities
    I personally find that one of the best ways to get to know your character, aside from playing them out, is taking a magnifying glass to the events and quirks that have shaped them into the character they are now. Since we usually RP in the present tense, there are few chances to play out those important events. Dreams are not constrained to the same reality and time scale, so past and potentially future events, as well as situation that can be dreamed about, are all fair play. Characters can interact within dream memories and discuss them as they unfold. I was really interested in examining the driving forces that motivate certain characters in their daily life, and I think both parties could benefit from it. In addition to this, there is no location restriction, as dreams can take place in any environment, real or not.

          Limitations
    Dreamwalking is not the kind of magic that someone can learn as a hobby. To have any sort of lasting effect on another person through dreamwalking, the wizard has to devote a huge amount of time and study to it. Narrators are usually in their late fifties after a long lifetime of study. There is the possibility that a power like this could easily be too overpowered since dreamwalkers are literally able to build dreams, but at the same time it puts a lot of power into the hands of the dreamer. At all levels, from Novice to Narrator, the dreamwalker is trying to work with or around the dreamer’s existing dreams and are at the will of the mind they are currently in. Unlike with legimens, dreamwalkers are not working within reality per se and at the end of the day, it is the dreamer that holds all of the determination powers if they realize they have it. Dreamwalkers, whose minds become intertwined with the dreamer when they are under, are a high risk of suffering from psychological trauma as a result of magical misfire, or if the dreamer turns on them.

          Fit with Sampson
    Despite the many avenues of abuse possible with this ability, Sampson has no interest in making money or doing harm with his powers. There was a time when he was younger and working for the MACUSA that he dedicated his craft to performing his patriotic duty to the country. He used his powers as government-sanctioned coercion, and has seen how powerful it can be in the wrong hands. But even when he was using his powers for less-than moral reasons, he never crossed the line or used his ability to inflict irreparable damage. He is the kind of character that treads very carefully and recognizes the immense responsibility of his power— constantly reminding those around him that their magic is not a toy, and using it as a weapon will do more harm than good. This becomes especially important when he meets troubled witches who tend to have much more powerful emotion-driven magic capabilities than regular people.

    Currently, Sampson uses his powers for good. He uses his ability as a therapeutic tool: helping victims of abuse, violence, addiction, and other dangers to pull themselves back together from the inside out. There are many walls that the mind will put up to protect itself, but those can be a hindrance when it comes to healing. he is a firm believer in facing one's fears, and dreams are a safe place to do so. His services are not limited to only his wards, but to others as well. He is willing to help anyone who needs it, and can always be found at House Irons.

    With the consent of his patients, he ventures into their minds to help them face their fears and gain their own power. His drive to help others with his abilities comes from the two decades he spent with his wife before she took her own life. She had come from a home of abuse and violence, and even after she escaped, the scars remained. Sampson must have tried a thousand times to use her dreams to help her, but he realized there were some things that were just too deep to fix. This motivated him to focus on helping people when they are young, to heal them before it is too late.




          General Plots
    This feature has a lot of potential, especially when combined with all of the amazing new characters, organizations, business, and plots that have come out after Ilvermorny opened. First and foremost, Sampson uses his abilities to help young witches and wizards. He has used and continues to use dreamwalking as a way to get people to open up and deal with their own problems. He helps the Iron Witches, but is also a mental health expert at Ilvermorny, there to guide and advise anyone who is looking for it. He works at Ilvermorny, meaning he is colleagues with the many incoming professors. Though it is unlikely he’ll use his powers with them, there are plenty of opportunities. And though he is technically retired, Sampson hasn’t lost his patriotic duty and is willing to answer the call.

          Specific Plots
    JT's @Hester Park and Heather's @Natasha Newberry have been hanging out in the same circles for more than half a century. They are all close to the same age and went to school together. They all also joined the MACUSA at around the same time, with Sampson using his dreamwalking to enter the dreams of those who wished to do the nation harm. Natasha and Hester were also instrumental in the building of House Irons. Though the two had a friendly rivalry at work, they joined up to give Sampson guidance when it came to helping young troubled girls. The two women are both still heavily involved in House Irons, donating care packages and offering ministry internships. They also know that if they are ever in need of his skills, they can call in the long-standing favor he owes them, and he'll dust off his interrogating skills to assist the government.

    JT's @Lorelei Faulkner is the unfortunate victim of an Obscurus shadow (pending application), and is one of the original Iron Witches. She came into Sampson's care right after the coven's opening, and has since been helping Sampson better understand the Obscurus nature and the formation of Obscurials. As the Obscurus is formed as a result of emotional trauma, Sampson was often forced to walk in her dreams to help her heal her severe emotional and traumatic injuries from the inside out. He is currently one of the United States' leading experts on Obscurials, as he regularly meets young witches who have a high risk of developing them. Lorelai is now a professor at Ivermorny, and has since learned to live with her shadow, but she and Sampson are still close.

    @Ashton 's Alyson Graves is a dream clairvoyant (pending application), which only served to exacerbate the difficulties of her childhood. Julianne is still in the early stages of developing her abilities, meaning her dreams often leave her confused and emotionally distraught. As a dreamwalker, Sampson would be able to enter her dreams in order to both help her make sense of her visions in the initial stages, and to help her calm down.

    Also part of this plot is Sophie's @Julianne Graves. She is Aly's sister, and unlike Aly, Julianne is very wary of others and does not want Sampson to help her sister, which is going to lead to some tension between all three of them. Julianne is also part of House Irons, and Sampson is not her favorite person. She doesn't trust him with her sister's secrets and does not think he should be involved at all.

    @Dylan 's Christian is the last piece of this plot with the Graves sisters, and is going to be a real problem for Sampson. Christian has dark secrets of his own (aka he's a serial killer / vigilante), and has started to show up in Aly's dreams. Even if Sampson doesn't know the true depths of Christian's darkness, he is wildly suspicious of the younger man is does not approve of him hanging around Alyson-- especially since Aly and Christian are as close as they are. While Sampson is no stranger to disliking the men that come near his daughters, this is going to be an exceptional challenge for him.
     



    It was on nights like this that Sampson remembered Cora the most. Cora had hated the storms, and every time one rolled through, Sampson and his children prepared for a bad night. It had been more than twenty years since then, but even now the rain put him on edge, as if something bad was just waiting to happen.

    Outside the wind was howling, daggers of rain beating mercilessly against the sides of the house, threatening to wash the roof tiles from their post or topple the nearby trees into the bedrooms. The wind ripped around the house, sending an eerie echo through the halls and rattling the windows in their panes. The coven home stood like a sentinel in the storm, a safe plum-colored cloister that protected its residents from the dangers outside, from the harm of both nature and man.

    Sitting in his office on the sixth floor, Sampson put his quill down, removing his wire-framed reading glasses and rubbing his eyes tiredly. The ancient grandfather clock on the opposite wall ticked loudly as the time approached three in the morning. The light of his flame lamps sent sharp shadows crawling across his bookshelves and along the star-painted ceiling. It had been a late night for him, once again. He was working through a large stack of names from the farthest reaches of the United States, dealing with the impossible task of choosing which witches needed help the most.

    It was…frustrating, to say the least. It seemed the world was no better now than it had been when he had first opened the coven home. The young witches in these files were all suffering-- how could he justify helping one but not the other? One of these girls was already addicted to seraphim through her drug-dealer mother. Another was being abused by her live-in uncle while her parents turned a blind eye because he helped pay rent. Another was pregnant and living with her abusive boyfriend who hit her about as often as he used her body to pay his debts to loan sharks. These girls were all young, vulnerable, and too poor or scared to leave their situations. Extracting them would be difficult, and that was assuming they wanted to leave. There was ugliness lurking around every corner, and it was all he could do to keep these young witches from being dragged into dark rooms they would never come out of.

    A frantic knocking on his door pulled Sampson from his thoughts and he called for the visitor to enter. Ms. Winters, the coven matron of House Irons, entered his study. She wore a silver sleeping robe, and her disheveled appearance out of bed at this hour was enough to bring him to his feet before she even opened her mouth. Apparently there was a problem with one of the newest girls and it was causing a disturbance. Sampson was about to ask who it was, when there was a loud crash somewhere downstairs and the whole house began to shake.

    Sampson pushed past Ms. Winters and rushed down the stairs, his grace as he navigated the tight corners and all but flew down the halls unusual of the imminent septuagenarian he was. His black loafers skidded to a halt in front of the room, finding the door already ajar and a crowd of girls gathered in the hallway. Inside the room, two of the older girls, Belladonna and Morgana, were restraining one the younger girls against the wall as she screamed wildly. Furniture was flying around the room, books being hurled against the walls, and chairs being smashed against the windows in a hurricane that rivaled the storm outside.

    “Ms. Winters, please return the other girls to their rooms,” Sampson said calmly, striding forward through the chaos, narrowly avoiding being struck int he side of the head by a flying bedside table. He came upon the three girls on the other side of the room, and pressed his right thumb to the forehead of the screaming girl. “Lilith,” he rumbled deeply. “Hiberna!.”

    Lilith collapsed like a ragdoll, and behind them the furniture crashed to the floor in a jarring silence. Sampson instructed Belladonna and Morgana to bring Lilith to the nearest stable bed and lay her out. Belladonna pulled up a chair beside the bed and Sampson sat down, thanking her. He pulled his wand from inside his vest pocket, pressing the dark wood to his temple. His other hand rested flat on Lilith’s forehead. Sampson’s eyes slowly closed and he took in a deep breath, feeling the magic dulling his senses and sending him headlong into a deep bewitched sleep to search for Lilith.

    ~*~

    Sampson blinked, feeling the familiar haze that took a moment to calibrate whenever he entered someone else’s mind. Every inch of his body, from the tips of his fingers to the ends of his toes, vibrated with a strange air. His palms flickered in and out of focus like he was a mirage. He looked down, seeing his familiar wingtips standing on a bright-but-worn cobalt-blue carpet. He looked around at the high arched marble ceilings, massive stained glass windows, and wooden pews that seemed to stretch onto infinity. Everything was bathed in an ethereal white light, but rather than being angelic, it felt…blinding. It was too harsh and bright to the point that is was almost uncomfortable. 

    His footsteps echoed in the unnaturally empty space as he walked down the row of pews. He recognized this strange place as a center of worship, a place frequented by no-maj on Sundays. In most situations, Sampson would be nonplussed to find a church in someone’s mind. Many people, magical and mundane, sought refuge in religion for various reasons, and he was never one to judge that need. But in his case— in this mind— the appearance was deeply troubling. Every detail, every piece of wood and glass, was sharp and crisp—too clear to be just a dream. It was a place Lilith went often, whose minute detail was seared into her memory like a brand.

    Lilith Shelley, age eight, was House Irons newest Iron Witch. Sampson had adopted her from her mother less than a month ago, and it had been a long and drawn out battle. Mrs. Shelley was a fundamentalist, a religious woman with a very strict view of what was holy and what was not. When her daughter had her first sign of magic, it had been…troubling…to say the least. Sampson always placed a high priority on witches born to no-maj parents with very deep religious views. Unfortunately, there were still pockets of the country, particularly small towns, where witches were killed for the misfortune of being born into a superstitious family. Sampson and Ms. Winters had dropped everything when they learned about Lilith’s fate, and rushed to get her. The conditions they found the poor witch in were atrocious. It seemed there were still some people who thought magic was an unholy plague that a child must be "cleansed" of, and employed some of the most barbaric methods to do so.

    Sampson wasn’t sure how long he walked down in the dream, but he took great care not to disturb anything around him. Lilith had barely spoken ten words to him since she arrived, and he hadn't pushed her. He wanted to see exactly what nightmare had trapped the poor girl and caused her to go into a dreaming rage. He had seen many victims of abuse suffer the same side-effects, the long-term trauma often manifesting itself through suppressed magical powers. It spoke volumes of the agony and suffering within, and that was where the healing had to start.

    Eventually, Sampson managed to make his way to the front of the room, where he found Lilith. She was strung up, her hands and feet nailed to the wooden structure on the wall behind her. Her skin was covered dozens of cigarette burns and angry red welts. On her head sat a laurel of thorns, each one pricking her skin. The symbolism was not lost on Sampson, who felt his heart clenching with a deep sadness.

    “Lilith,” he called calmly.

    There was no response.

    “Lilith, can you hear me?”

    Still, no response.

    Sampson shook his head in disappointment, then sat back against a railing behind him. He stared at her for a long time, his dark eyes flickering over the horror before him. He sat in complete silence, and they were like two statues facing each other. So this is what the poor girl dreams about. Sampson could try all he wanted, but his voice would not reach her even here. Not yet. There were limitations to his magic, and whatever had hold of Lilith's mind had been there for a long, long time. The dark shadow that was looming around the corner had been given too much time to grow.

    ~*~

    Sampson opened his eyes.

    His mind spun like a top, but he quickly righted himself and grounded his spirit back in the waking plane. Behind him the night was starting to fade into a dull sunrise, red and purple peeking over the horizon. His back ached from sitting so still for the last two hours. Ms Winters was standing beside him, looking at Lilith worriedly.

    Sampson removed his hand from Lilith's clammy forehead, and he shook his head.

    “It's worse than we thought. The existing damage is too extensive," Sampson said, standing up.

    Ms. Winters asked what he saw as she placed a blanket over the now-sleeping girl.

    "Something quite terrifying, I am afraid," he said softly. "She is not beyond our help, but it will be a long recovery for her. Our only hope is to lend her the coven's strength until she is ready to leave that place on her own."

    That was just the way it went with some of the girls who had come from truly atrocious conditions. There was a limit to what his magic could do in a situation like this. But until then, that horror would be her prison.



  • Offline Lwineah
  • Re: Special Feature Applications
    « Reply #197 on: May 25, 2017, 06:48:04 PM »
    ~ most species bare their teeth as a threat ~

    Name: Lwineah
    Character name: Ezekiel "Zeke" Rzhevsky
    Feature you are applying for: Unregistered Werewolf

    ~ as a display of aggression, of leadership ~

    The Prey: Ezekiel is a Muggleborn wizard, who in his early years struggled to find his part in society. He always felt out of place, different than others and having bad luck stuck to his feet.

    His older brother Iskandar was their parent's centre of attention which left him feeling lonely and invisible. Like he's not enough. He really wanted to hate his brother for this but Iskandar was the only person that really paid attention to him.  The only person that really cared for him. Iskandar always protected him, played with him, simply always stood by his side, while Zeke followed him around like a lovesick and clumsy puppy. He fancied him, envied how strong he was and crawled into his bed whenever he was haunted by bad dreams. He was a quiet and fragile kid with growing brother complex.

    Then came the letter, throwing this sensitive pipsqueak into a new huge world that had him clinging to Iskandar's side tighter than before. However, he was also hoping. He felt like he got a new chance to find where he belongs and make some friends. His brother's friends weren't the best choice, he found out soon. Eventually though, he managed to find a female and bubbly companion who helped him with studies as much as possible. He was clumsy, shy, his magic was weak, making Zeke struggle in classes greatly. Basically all of his grades were barely average apart from Marine Animals & Forest Beasts, where he always excelled. As if this wasn't already enough for him, his classmates and older students started to pick up on him, tormenting his already grey days. He felt even more out of place and lonely than before. Before he became a stupid wizard. He didn't like this gift at all, he hated it. He hated everything and everyone except Iskandar.

    Then his brother went missing. It was before Zeke's sixth year, when Iskandar graduated and their father took him to a hunting trip. They never returned that Holidays and Ezekiel almost didn't attend another year at school. His grades dropped even lower, the boy was barely hanging in the school. He became more distant and introverted and pushed away everyone who at least tolerated spending time with him. He spoke rudely to anyone who stepped closer than he liked, making others dislike him even more. At least he wasn't bullied anymore, being one of the oldest students in Koldovstoretz at that time. His magic was due to his mental state even weaker than was usual for him which only made the boy want to snap his wand in half and leave. He wanted to forget about ever being magically gifted. He planned to go back to a non-magical life in a non-magical world and live normally after graduating. Muggle life might not have been perfect but it was lot less of a hell for him.

    When Christmas during his seventh year came around though, Zeke was given a miracle. His brother, breathing and alive, showed up at the door of their house. Ezekiel wouldn't ever admit it but he cried, when he saw Iskandar before him. It was one of the best things that ever happened to him. For a while, his world had brightened, became better. But this all came to a stop, when a full moon came around and a horrific creature barged into their house. His mother was killed without mercy that night and Zeke almost ended up the same. If it wasn't for the solid and sharp object his hand brushed against as he was pulled, he might haven't survived. The night was full of moments that were a pure luck on his side which gave him the opportunity to see sun again.

    Zeke was able to escape the creature by using the sharp object, hitting the wolf into head with everything he had. He half-ran and half-crawled into another room and locked himself there and blocked the door with other things. He snuggled into a corner then and waited, weak and wounded. The smell of blood provoked the creature, it banged on the door the whole night, little by little until it was able to get inside. For Zeke it was hell. Longest minutes of his life before, even though it was just a few minutes, the sun slid inside the room and the creature above him started to change and shrink, shape into something else. Someone else. Zeke was terrified before but it was nothing compared to the second he recognized the person. He never felt so hurt and betrayed in his whole life like in that moment. Iskandar had always been his safe haven, someone he could trust and give his life to. Someone who would never hurt him. In one painful moment everything he believed was shattered to pieces.

    Zeke was shocked to find out his brother did all this to him. He assumed his father probably didn't come back for the same reason. He didn't let the other touch him, didn't want him to, he was terrified of him. His brother seemed to be weak though and Ezekiel found himself standing on his feet and heading for his room to pack his things. He ignored everything else in the house, his stomach doing dangerous flips, and left, despite his wounds and the fact he himself was really weak and exhausted. Of course, it didn't take him long till he blacked out. It was another pure luck on his part that a young healer found him there and treated his wounds. At that time though, Zeke wished to die instead as he found out what had became of him.

    The Wolf: When Zeke was turned, it was a real curse for him at first. He was frightened by the realization that he was going to transform into such rabid animal once a month, every full moon. He was seeing the creature as a monster. He tried to find somewhere to stay, went from city to city, muggle or not, but everywhere he felt like he was being watched. He felt like everyone could tell upon looking at him. Like everyone was judging him. Him, the freak of nature. Zeke desperately tried to find a place to stay. Find himself a job but eventually he was always fired, or he left from fear of really being discovered after a night of full moon, when his jaws got color by red. He also came to despise people a bit for their prejudice against what they feared, which later made him leave the civilization completely. He withdrew into deep forests and stayed there. Alone, he was finally able to focus solely on himself. He was able to calm down and think. He was able to get to know his own being and this curse. His wolf.

    What he hated, he came to love in the end. The bite opened him another way to different corner of this world, where the boy finally found himself. The longer he lived with the wolf the more he became comfortable in his own skin. The more he learned how to coordinate his body and use the abilities, like better senses of the wolf, to his advantage. He came to love the night, when he could transform, and run around the dark forest, no problems on his mind. He came to love nature and wild. He came to understand his wolf, took it as himself.

    Zeke grew stronger and more independent. From a fragile boy became a brave wild man. His hurt turned into bitterness, loneliness and the feeling of betrayal into anger. He spent out of cities years before he was driven away by Werewolf hunter that found him. He came back to civilization but has a hard time blending in. Sometimes, when he's not careful he acts more as an animal rather than wizard.

    He doesn't know how to act, when he talks to people, and to say the truth he would rather not to have to talk to them. He's still very reserved and quiet. He doesn't trust people. Being himself, not taming his wolf, being free doesn't mean he's a monster like many believe. Previous experience proved him that majority say about Werewolves to be dangerous bloodthirsty things that are too dangerous or not as high standing as others. He got to feel what fear of Werewolves in people can do to his kind. He got burnt and learned not to get close to fire. Despite holding back, keeping himself isolated, Zeke is still, just as wolves are, sociable creature that likes the presence of others. He wants friends and physical contact, he’s quite needy and hungry for it, had always been.

    However, Zeke is easily hurt, which usually makes him bare his teeth. He has serious problems with anger. Those bottled up feelings from years, hurt, unfairness with which he met as werewolf had made him not only bitter but also moody and quite aggressive. He is led by his primary instincts, survival ones, that tell him to fight or attack where's a threat. He puts his everything into what he does, never does anything half-assed but leaves what doesn’t have any purpose. He is very judging, quick to jump into conclusions, and serious. His humor is quite morbid and dark, if it could even be called like that. A smile is rather rare thing for the Werewolf.

    Zeke has strong sense of loyalty and sticks to people he cares about and trusts. He would give up his life for them, to protect theirs. Even if he’s hurt by a person he cares about, he can’t help but still feel responsible for their safety and wouldn’t be able to hurt them any seriously. His wolf is very moody just as Zeke himself is. Black fur, smaller but sturdy body that gives advantage in speed, sharp canines and claws. Eyes burning ember with flecks of blue that show a humane intelligence. He has a great memory for scents. Some provoke the animal, bring out the beast, some though can make the wolf act calm, a bit domestically. The wolf respects familiar scents as it knows they don’t mean harm. Being around though, is still like walking on a minefield. One wrong or suspicious move and it ends.

    ~ it is a reminder that these clenched jaws ~

    After my last application, I thought the next time I would sent one will be for the same character, Zeus Tolyniev, and his deformed curse with some edits I needed to do. Instead I ended up going for an “ordinary” werewolf with a completely different nature, in their core. As far as I can compare these two, the only thing they share is that these two men are both Russian and have some wolfish characteristic features.

    Ezekiel is a Werewolf who embraces his wolf, while Zeus was supposed to fear it and fight it. He was supposed to suffer and live in concern of him hurting the people he loves. But as I sat down to edit his application I somehow couldn’t bring myself to do it. I felt like something wasn’t right there. I didn’t have a single good idea how to fit his differencies into werewolf’s body so it wouldn’t be too abnormal and non-werewolf. How to explain why I didn’t want a normal werewolf. I even considered just making him without any deformations few times but it went nowhere, it didn’t seem right and I was stuck either way. I couldn’t put the finger on it though. Why?

    Then I started brainstorming on Ezekiel. I just wanted to know a bit more about him, he had been lying in my sandbox for a while. I can still remember how he suddenly jumped out of bush at me, totally out of nowhere, as a black rabid wolf. Then I read this fanfiction about a boy, a guy who lived in wild from his birth and didn’t know how to act human, and somehow this clicked with Zeke’s character. That was my primary image of him, a raw idea.

    Then Katya wrote me about plots for Iskandar, asking about Zeus. Sadly, I didn’t really have any ideas plus Zeus was supposed to be bitten by his mother not an unknown werewolf. I decided to offer Zeke, and somehow those two ended up becoming brothers. It was the breaking point for Ezekiel because suddenly the whole history and his character and why he is how he is started making sense to me. He grew in front of my eyes, so I focused on him and decided to make application for him first, putting Zeus aside for a while.

    When I started working on the app I came to a realization about Zeus that made me see what it was that seemed so wrong about him and why I couldn’t get any ideas on him. I realized I was trying to fit Zeus into something he wasn't. I simply took the black veins and his other differences, that are what he is, and tried to fit him into a wolf's coat. A wolf's coat that belongs to someone else, precisely Ezekiel Rzhevsky. I was really surprised by how easily Zeke and his feature came to me, how perfectly he fitted the image of werewolf and how quickly he developed. Most importantly, how comfortable I felt about writing all of this. I didn't have to sit and think for hours about how to fit him into this, how to write his application and what to say - until I got a headache from it and done just a one crappy paragraph. With Zeke I sat down and simply wrote, it all came to me as my fingers ran over the keyboard. I gave up trying to force Zeus into something else and dropped the idea of him being werewolf, putting him aside to figure out what the hell he really is. And I finally gave all my attention to Zeke and this application.

    Becoming werewolf allowed Zeke many things. He found his freedom and started getting to know himself. This allowed him to grow. To become strong and confident. To become his own person that doesn't have to depend on his big brother in everything. To have his eyes opened with harsh reality of having to fight for everything. Of having to live his own life not his brother’s. Of having to stop pitying himself and whine and hate all useless detail instead of the real thread. Stop being a crybaby and trying to make himself his own grave. It allowed him to see what he wants from life, what’s really important and what not. The bite made from a fragile and weak boy that was scared of the big world out there, a samurai. Not a soldier that listens to orders, but an independent warrior of honor.

    All I can say is that everyone has a way of getting to know themselves. Everyone has a way of learning and growing. Everyone has a way of searching for the things they want from life, where they want to go, what do they strive for, how they’ll cope with what the future offers them to their content and how they’ll use mistakes and dark moments to become even stronger and most importantly...happy. How they’ll learn from bad experiences? The bite was a start of this.

    Being a werewolf is Zeke’s path of finding and learning that keeps his eyes open to reality.

    ~ can and will open your yielding throat ~

    General plot: Is about Zeke and how he will continue to grow. How he copes with being back in cities, having job and the need to talk to others. It's about him learning again what it means to act as human but don't loose himself. It's about him trying to blend back in, find a life. He isolated himself to grow up, get his own person together, now he needs to start making the life he never had before. Friends, maybe some old familiar faces, and a partner, having the chance to finally explore his desires. I’m eager to see how he will cope with his hate towards wizards and learning manners along the way so he wouldn't be suspicious to the outer world. Healing his lonely and dried out heart. I feel that this offers many kinds of potential plots and threads with various characters and situations. I want to start with Zeke almost from the beginning, few months after he started living in London. Freshly after he worked out the contract with the Ministry and found a tiny place to live in so he wouldn't have to sleep homeless on streets.
    Iskandar Rzhevsky: Will try to search for his brother and that will have him come near the London. During the full moon he will come across his younger brother in his wolf form but they will not recognize each other. Because Iskandar will be on Zeke's "territory" and the other will feel threatened, he will attack Iskandar. They are going to fight, both will live and one of them is going to win, both injured badly after. Later, Iskandar will find his brother and upon their first bump-into-each-other they will recognize the other's scent which will result in Ezekiel being angry and hurt once again (probably throwing a fit), bringing out the pain from years ago. Iskandar won't give up on this, trying to make his brother trust him again. He will hung around him, making the other only annoyed at first. The future where this develops is uncertain but I'm pretty sure it's gonna involve this special feature and bits of it rather often.
    Dante Boscono: Is a Healer at St. Mungo's. He works with creature induced injuries and is gonna meet Zeke after he comes to the hospital to treat his wounds which he got during the full moon. Dante will bump into Zeke after a while again, as he gets injured during the full moon pretty often, and eventually figures out who Ezekiel really is. He's not gonna tell anyone though and that will make the Werewolf trust him and open up to him a bit. Those two will probably become friends. There's a one more plot for later, when Zeke gets into fight with his brother Iskandar in his wolf form, he will try to apparate to his apartment but injured and weak ends up somewhere unknown. By a lucky coincidence he will end up at the door of Dante himself who will take him in and treat him.
    Niska Zukov: Will definitely know about Zeke being a werewolf. Niska is the one who took him under his wing and is going to help him with blending in. He is a strong fighter, able to handle Zeke, when the wolf flips and have enough patience to cope with the stubborn wizard. He probably helped him with searching for a job or what he could look for in the first place, so it would fit his persona and his abilities. He will teach him how to act like a human not a wolf, put a bit of social sense into his head. Possibly teach him better English since Zeke's ability to use languages has turned pretty imperfect over the years of living in wild. There is a lot of possibilities of what could happen during his time with Niska as well, considering this special feature.
    Medusa: Lives on an island alone. During his first years in wild Zeke traveled a lot and was able to visit the island and meet Medusa. Since she isn’t completely human he feels closer to her and is going to come back to the island to visit her. He will probably tell her about being a werewolf willingly, maybe even show her what he can do without the full moon. And who knows, he might visit her more times than once. 
    Ashley Morigan: Is a Vampire hunter just as Zeke is. They will work together on hunting them and along the way will become friends. Zeke is going to develop a strong feelings of friendship towards him, trusting Ashley. Eventually though, Ash is going to find out about Zeke being Werewolf which will make Ashley hate him and Zeke feel betrayed and angry once again. Ashley is probably going to try to kill Zeke eventually. That only makes questions like 'will they ever be friends again' arise and another plots will have to find answers for it, which will definitely involve Zeke's wolf side as well.

    ~ and i want you to think of this the next time i smile ~

    A loud thwack predicted the arrival of a bloody clothed man. An elegant robe, falling from his shoulders was covering majority of his body, revealing only dark jeans that hugged his legs. He was barefoot and his face was hidden under cowl. The man slowly started to walk down the meadow, nearing a forest that towed far away from where his eyes could see.

    Zeke stopped before entering the woods and sat down, pulling the cowl away. He looked up and just watched the sky for a while as the sun that was slowly lowering, colored horizon to shades of red and orange. The left corner of his mouth lifted up slightly for a quick second. It was a beautiful view.

    He leaned against a tree, blue eyes trained upwards, while his fingers ran over the grass. He took a long deep breath, enjoying the fresh air and the sound of birds singing. Those were one of the many things he missed since he started living in city. Also the smell of needles or flowers. They were things that were really rare in London. Smog and other foul smells only killed his nose. On the other side, if he wanted to go back to living in wild he could. Only, he didn’t want to. He wanted to have a life, wanted to know how does it feel to live like others. Maybe then, if he’ll see it’s not for him he’ll leave. But he wanted to know what he already forgot and what other’s had on daily basis.

    Tonight though, he was going to be all by himself. Will be himself. He could feel how his wolf was restless. How much the animal, the beast wanted to get out. He couldn’t wait either even though he never knew what he did during the full moon. But the feeling of running through the forest, the light of the moon, always came back to him in dreams. He called them memories. Fragments.

    Zeke didn’t wait until the sun disappeared, leaving the earth in the clutches of night. He wasn’t able to sit there for so long. He slid off his robe and jeans, leaving his skin bared. He folded his clothes into a pile and placed it beside one of the trees. Kneeling, he then gave one last look to the aggressively colored horizon before he ordered his body to move. He leaped from the ground in a one swift movement, feet digging into the dirt, and he was disappearing in the forest’s depth.

    As he ran, the trees around were only dark shadows to him. They were passing him every second like a never ending crowd of spectators. He zigzagged between the tree trunks with ease, used to the feeling of sharp things hitting his bare feet. Used to the sting, if a thin branch slashed his skin. He ignored it, it wasn’t a pain worth attention. Instead he focused on the feeling of freedom as he ran. The wind against his bare skin that made his heart flutter in happiness. He got to feel it much less than before and he missed it. He missed running miles of wild nature, race against the wind, fight against a fiery river. That was a real feeling. That was a real ecstasy, something that the people in cities were robbed off. He pitied them for it. For being so blind. They weren’t able to see what they had right under their noses. But people were blind to many other things. Led by fear.

    Ezekiel stopped.

    He looked up to the sky that was now almost dark. He looked around, breathing wildly, everywhere only trees. He could feel sweat trickling down his back as he continued deeper into the forest, now simply walking.

    The dark came soon, the moon as well and Zeke found himself scratching the bite mark on his left pecs that started to itch. It was all going fast. His body was buzzing and heating up. Zeke closed his eyes to focus on the feeling. The heat slowly increased and soon his muscles started to burn. He could feel the light of the moon on his skin.

    He growled, feeling the strong pull inside his gut that was telling him the transformation was starting. A second later his eyes opened, revealing a bright ember orbs that hungrily stared at the white planet on the sky, asking for more. He groaned as he felt his teeth growing into sharp canines and opened his mouth to take in the scents surrounding him. He inhaled sharply, when he heard the first disgusting cracks, followed by a sharp pain. The man cried out. His mouth soon turned into muzzle, limbs shaping and lengthening. All along the man sniffed in pain, black fur sprouting from his bare back. Suddenly, his neck snapped sharply to the side in a unnatural way, a loud crack echoing. There was a long terrifying silence.

    Then a howl cut the stillness open.
    « Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 07:08:40 PM by Lwineah »

  • Online Rinn
  • Re: Special Feature Applications
    « Reply #198 on: May 28, 2017, 02:19:48 AM »
    Name: JT
    Character name: @Lorelei Faulkner
    Feature you are applying for: Obscurial Shadow
    Application:

    Obscurials in America: Possible Context

    While hinted in the original books through Dumbledore's sister, Ariana, Obscurials have been fleshed out in greater detail in Fantastic Beasts. Ariana's condition was rare, and indeed the instances of a magical child becoming an Obscurus is highly improbable. Even in the United States, what we know so far hints that Obscurials were considered eliminated long before Seraphina Picquery's tenure as MACUSA President.

    In my perspective, with the United States' extremely large population and dense metropolitan areas, MACUSA would have been extremely proactive in identifying Obscurials to prevent the potential damage they could do and their risk of exposing the magical community. However, there are pockets of communities that have often been ignored or forgotten by society at large. It is in these place where muggleborn children are especially vulnerable to forming an Obscurus. From Rowling's perspective, even if we ignore references to religious conservatism that's unique to the country, the no-maj of the United States have always been more wary, even antagonistic, to any signs of magic compared to other muggle populations around the globe. Worse, they are much more likely to believe that magic exists than to ignore it.

    During the period of Lorelei's birth, a perfect storm of circumstances may have contributed to forming Obscurials. The Cold War and the Red Scare was building, and suspicions toward neighbours, friends, and even family ran high. There would have been great pressure to conform, to hide and suppress anything that hinted of seeming abnormal, for fear of being labelled as an ally of 'the enemy.' Worse, many towns that relied on coal, manufacturing, and other labour industries were finding that the economy could no longer sustain those jobs. As these fields were shifted overseas, the country focused on skilled labour and the service industries. As a result, many communities fell into hard times, falling into poverty, left behind as the country focused its energies to its cities.

    The Appalachian region was one one of the hardest hit during these changes, especially in the small, home-rule cities in Kentucky. Theses cities generally consisted of just about fifty families, and were forced to consolidate resources with neighbouring towns to fund schools and public services. Fairly remote and a great distance from the nearest metro area, these communities were trapped after the collapse of coal mines. High unemployment, limited education opportunities, a lack of competitive service-industry skills, and an increasing dependence on painkillers prevented many from escaping a difficult life. In addition, many of these communities still hewed strictly to American notion that success was made independently, with limited help from the government.

    For the American magical community, MACUSA's strict enforcement of non-fraternization with no-maj was a blessing in multiple ways. As muggleborns were often the result of a latent magical gene, due to a squib or magical relative far in their family tree, this probably limited the number of muggleborns, lowering the risk of a magical child being born from parents who would be antagonistic to magic. However, Scourers who escaped MACUSA's hunt for them may have integrated into no-maj communities, starting family lines that were non-magical, but held onto believing its existence and getting rid of it.

    Feature to Character

    Lorelei would be a muggleborn witch whose lot in life was borne from all these factors coalescing. Born from an extremely poor family, in a town of limited means and opportunity, she is representative of those forgotten by society. If she had been a no-maj, perhaps she would have suffered silently, with the rest of the world going about, business-as-usual. But as her magic awakened, Lorelei's circumstances were made worse. Perhaps if she had some advocate, or some encouragement, she could have been a regular witch. But as she tried to suppress her magic, it in turn formed into an Obscurus, exploding as a dangerous parasitic entity whenever she could no longer bottle everything in.

    Obscurials often died around their tenth year, unable to control or suppress the magic seeking to be released. MACUSA may have intervened long before children ever reached this stage, providing counselling to those young enough to be rehabilitated, or containing those deemed too far gone. For Obscurials identified so late, they did not have the luxury of time that counselling needs to be effective. The most one could do was palliative, to ease their suffering before their Obscurus took every ounce of their magic and life force. For Lorelei, she was near the age when most Obscurials would have perished, and she was already losing control.

    How she managed to survive with her magic becoming a parasitic entity is similar to how some people can somewhat withstand a Dementor's presence while others succumb to them. At the core of Lorelei's personality is her innate belief in the goodness of the world. Despite the neglect and abuse from her parents, particularly her mother, Lori has never blamed the world for her ills. She has always internalised her circumstances as her fault, but she has always held onto the idea that if she tried harder, behaved better, changed herself, her family might grow to love her. While full of self-loathing, Lori had never harboured thoughts about ending her life, or wishing she could disappear. Rather, she believed she could change for the better and rid herself of the shadows. The desire to be a daughter her parents could cherish---or a girl that the other schoolkids could accept---kept Lori going. It wasn't necessarily a happy outlook, nor a healthy one. Indeed, her wish for outward approval meant she seeing current herself as inferior, unworthy, and undeserving. Still, it was a faint hope in her bleak life. It was this core optimism that her Obscurus could not fully consume, similar to a Dementor being held back and even driven away by a focused, happy memory. Instead, it made her resilient, strong enough to live despite being drained by her Obscurus, protecting her life force.

    Being left alone in the woods at a young age, Lori had grown to appreciate the stark beauty of the Appalachian wilderness, and she believes this natural beauty is a manifestation of 'goodness.' Even when parts of the region were destroyed by the formation of mines and logging companies, only to be abandoned when the economy tanked, Lorelei could appreciate the small moments of beauty: dandelions dancing in the wind, a vista of the rolling hills. Even the mine shafts were like scars that gave the mountains a story, something that was part of its history, but didn't define it. She extended that view to herself. She considered herself a bad girl, and why her parents beat her and neglected her. But since they didn't abandon her in the middle of the woods, she felt there was some part of her that could be saved.

    Still, no matter how resilient a child was, as she grew, so did the Obscurus. By the time she was eight, no amount of optimism could hold back an ever-growing magical parasite. After her latest Obscurial episode, Lorelei may have died, had she not been found by Hester.

    Saving her required drastic magical intervention, dangerous magic that many wizards would be hesitant to perform. For MACUSA, the risk of using such measures, which often bordered on Dark Magic, was not worth the trouble. But luckily, Lorelei was found by Hester Park, a pragmatic witch whose views of right and wrong were often grey. She sympathised with those who were dealt a terrible hand at life, and sought to give Lorelei a wildcard. Working with Sampson Irons, an expert in Obscurials, they would have had the experience and the gumption to perform the dangerous magic needed to save Lori.

    Ilvermorny's education is comprehensive, attuned to the diversity of wizards and witches that enter its halls. Magic in the Americas could often be done with the use of wands, channelled into crafts that were more elemental in nature. Sampson and Hester, both highly skilled in these elemental magicks, would have performed a complicated spell to contain Lorelei's Obscurus.

    Forming Obscurial Shadows:

    An Obscurus was essentially a witch's magical ability, transformed into a parasitic entity that feeds on its host. It and the witch are paradoxically the same and different. It is the part of a witch that she denied, wishing to have never existed. Formed from her suppressed emotions, an Obscurus is sentient, acting on those thoughts and feelings that a witch locked deep within herself. While it is ultimately a destructive force, an Obscurus is also a protective entity. Often, an Obscurial is taken over by her Obscurus when she feels powerless and threatened, causing her magic to lash out and attack. As Lori grew, so did the Obscurus, feeding on her until it took over, leeching her magic and vitality. Without the intervention that occurred for Lorelei, the Obscurus would have continued to drain her energy until both were consumed and annihilated.

    To prevent that from happening, the Obscurus needs to be contained. In Lorelei's case, this involves an arcane seal involving Shadow and Oath magicks. The seal is essentially a contract, binding the Obscurus into the witch's shadow. This prevents the Obscurus from becoming corporeal, unable to physically damage its surroundings or harm people. The Oath magic involved is a ritual binding on Lorelei to 'do no harm,' essentially sealing the majority of her magic away. This would have reduced the power of her Obscurus, enough for it to be contained. The magicks of the Americas are famous for its binding and warding, though often channelled through artefacts and fetishes. In this manner, the binding fetish would have to be especially guarded to prevent someone from undoing the seal or using it to control the individual who is bound to it. The danger of it being potentially taken and having someone possessing an Obscurial was not something Hester or Sampson were willing to take. Instead, the fetish used was Lorelei's own shadow. In this case, it would always be in Lori's possession.

    However, the seal also means the parasitic entity has been preserved. Whereas other witches, if given time and support, can accept their magic and eventually rid themselves of their Obscurus, Lorelei is forever bound to hers until her last moment. This means that Lori, despite being mostly at peace and happy with her life, can never fully get rid of the dark thoughts and feelings that originally formed her Obscurus. Like many witches who have survived years of trauma, Lori can never fully erase what she had gone through, and simply lives her life as best she can.

    As an Obscurial Shadow is essentially a witch's magical force, containing it into her shadow means there is often very little magic inside of her. This severely impacts her ability to perform most types of spells, especially those requiring the use of wands or charming objects. Additionally, the Obscurial Shadow is still parasitic and sentient, still leeching magic and energy from its host. This means Lorelei's life span has been considerably shortened. Whereas many magical folk can easily live past a hundred, Lorelei probably will not live past her 60s.

    However, in Lori's point of view, considering that she would not have lived past her 8th birthday without Sampson and Hester's magical intervention, she sees her lifespan as having been extended rather than diminished. The extra time she was given would be enough for the years of therapy she needed to address and move past her traumatic childhood.

    Living with An Obscurial Shadow:

    Like many girls that would later form House Irons, Lorelei required a long time for her emotional recovery. While she never entertained the idea of ending her life, Lorelei had a terrible view of herself. She wanted to be better, which in her mind was being anyone other than who she was. She hated her magic, and while Hester may have been saddened at taking away a young witch's magical potential, Lori saw it as a blessing.

    Still, what was left of Lori's magic needed to be mastered and controlled. Shadow magic was an arcane branch, rarely practised until wizards and witches entered Ilvermorny, and only when they began taking the elective. Lorelei needed to learn it immediately, including the mental and emotional fortitude necessary for the craft. Otherwise, her shadow would be constantly out of control, ruled by the sentience of her Obscurus rather than herself.

    To start, Lorelei's recovery required being her placed in a bright room where no shadows could form. Without the fear of her shadow raging and causing trouble, Lori could focus on herself. While it appeared like she was put in solitary confinement, Lorelei considered the bright room as her safe space, free from the shadows that long plagued her. In this room, she learned the true nature and history of witches. She learned from Sampson and Hester that magic, while potentially dark and dangerous as her mother taught her, was also capable of producing beauty and goodness.

    As she gained better control of her shadow, including the overpowering emotions that fed the Obscurus, Lorelei has been able to 'tame' her shadow. She has grown like witches who have been able to channel the emotions caused by their traumatic past into healthier avenues of expression. Through years of support from House Irons and Ilvermorny, Lorelei learned to accept herself as a person of worth. Her increasing self-confidence, combined with her inherent optimism, keep her grounded and unable to be overtaken by her Obscurus. Instead, she has been able to commune with it, and over the years the two have developed a slightly more symbiotic relationship. While the Obscurus continues to leech away Lori's life force, it posses no danger of taking her life in the near future. The sentience of the Obscurus also remains, which recognises that Lori is no longer in danger. Instead of being a menacing, antagonistic entity, it has slowly become more cooperative, acting more mischievous and even playful than malevolent. Lorelei is also able to draw magic back from her Obscurus in order to perform some limited wandwork.


    Traits and Limitations

    Possessing an Obscurial shadow, Lorelei's life in uniquely situated. She cannot perform wand spells more complicated than what most third years master. However, her latent ability had always been great, now just channelled to very specialised fields. With most of her magic sealed into her shadow, she represents the pinnacle of this branch of magic, all of its benefits and its pitfalls. She can naturally perform Shadow Magic with ease, including the ability to slip and out of shadows. This is how Lorelei tends to travel outside of the the Floo network or a portkey, as she doe not have the ability to Apparate.

    In addition, Lorelei's shadow often acts on its own, like an unruly pet. Over the years, she and her Obscurus have developed a much more symbiotic relationship. Her shadow will often act instinctively to protect her when it senses danger or her distress. In normal situations, her shadow is more playful, changing shapes and wanting to play hide-and-seek. Unlike most Shadow Magic practitioners, Lorelei's own shadow can leave her in great distances, as it is essentially a part of herself. Despite it being a parasitic entity, her Obscurial Shadow is instinctively protective of Lorelei, and may act out on its own if it senses its host is being threatened. While unable to violently attack as it could during Lori's childhood, it can still cause harm through manipulation of Shadow Magic.


    Future plots:

    Classes
    Lori's SF would play an integral role in all of her lessons as a professor. Her Obscurus functions like most shadow summons, demonstrating the need for skill and control when dealing with shadow manipulation. She often uses it to show what happens if a witch loses control of a summons, as well as what one can achieve when having achieved mastery. As an Obscurus may be considered in the realm of Dark Magic or Dark Creatures due to its inherently malignant nature, Lorelei teaches Shadow Magic in recognition of its use in both benevolent and Dark Arts.

    Ernest Franklin
    Ernest is one of the few professors currently teaching who had taught Lorelei back during her Ilvermorny years. Due to Lorelei's unique case, professors would have been given advanced notice of her condition to monitor her and ensure she poses no danger to herself nor other students. Ernie's kind nature made him one of Lori's emotional pillars during her time in school. Despite being dreadfully poor in his classes, helped her earn passing grades through extra assignments. His support also extended to inviting her to holidays with his family. This has allowed Lorelei to experience what loving households are like, which has helped tremendously with her emotional growth. Later, when Lori first began teaching at Ilvermorny, Ernie acted as her mentor, helping her adjust to her new role. Due to her limited wandskills, Ernie assists her from time to time by preparing the necessary charms in her classroom so she can conduct particular lessons. The two remain on close in both professional and personal terms. The emotional support Ernie provides has helped, and continues to help, Lori maintain the mental stability needed to keep her Obscurial Shadow in check.

    Sampson Irons
    As the person mainly responsible for Lori's recovery, Lorelei is deeply indebted to his efforts saving her. Their interactions will often reference her state of being, how well she's managing her Obscurus, as well has his coven. Sampson is an authority figure on Obscurials, so their threads can be used to further develop MH-lore about it. Based on own Special Feature (pending), the two gain intimate knowledge on the emotions, thoughts, and magic that bring an Obcurus to parasitic sentience, in hopes of using that knowledge to identify young witches who are vulnerable to forming one.

    Iron Witches
    Several drivers are planning to create students who make up the current coven of House Irons. As a professor and the first Iron Witch, Lorelei acts as their mentor during the school term. She also interacts with those staying in House Irons during the summer term, as she helps with its daily operations after the school year ends.
    • Axel's Shimmer Vega: Shimmer came into House Irons when Lori was still helping the coven full time. As an Obscurial, Lorelei also had to struggle with maintaining control, knowing the dangerous consequences when she lost it. Shimmer is a young woman who also struggles with maintaining control, often flying into a rage when she feels things are not going the way she desires them to. Their personalities are very different, but Lori would understand when Shimmer enters one of her rages, and accept her despite all her faults, as both have an unspoken understanding of each other's past. As House Irons tutors witches in elementary subjects before Ilvermorny, Lorelei would have taught Shimmer subjects in English, History, as well as Shadow Magic. Because of their contrasting personalities, their relationship is complicated. Lorelei is aware of Shimmer's tendency to take advantage of others and to make choices that put herself first. Still, she continues to mentor Shimmer in hopes that she can learn to make choices that put others first.
    • Ashton's Alyson Graves: Lorelei would have been living in the coven and teaching students there just before she was hired at Ilvermorny, and like Shimmer, has taught Aly a few subjects like writing, history, and shadow magic. Lorelei isn't precognitive, but as an Obscurial, she knew the things she dreamed was actually her Obscurus taking over at night. She connects with Aly about how it feels when things they 'dream' are actually real. Like with Shimmer, Lori acts as a mentor once Aly began studying at Ilvermorny. She checks in and discusses Aly's dreams, acting as a counsel and as a supportive figure.
    RP sample using the feature:

    The warm glow of candlelight flickered in the room. That was a fact. Whether it gave a comforting—even romantic—atmosphere, or an ominous one dealt in the realm of opinions. Lorelei's feelings felt strongly in the latter camp. She didn't like the long lines of shadows that danced upon the pillars and walls. It felt like walking into a vampire's lair, rather than a classroom. Indeed, without desks or chairs, just a high ceilinged room with various candlelit floor lamps, it seemed better set for a gothic film than an academic lesson. Worse, the classroom was her own. Lori could never reconcile how her greatest magical strength gave her the worst anxiety. She wished she'd been a different type of witch, one who was great with a wand or some other craft where she could teach in beautiful open spaces and plenty of light. But that dealt in the realm of fantasy.

    Lorelei reprimanded herself for such thoughts. There was no point in wishing to be different. She was who she was. All she could hope was to be the best version of herself, and to be comfortable with that. She focused on the facts, and shifting her opinions to one that felt more optimistic. The long shadows meant it was easier to cast magic of an already difficult craft. Her students would need all the help they could get this lesson.

    But then again, even if she dealt with just the facts, it was the absolute truth that she was anxious. Feelings have to be recognised, Lori told herself. Don't push it away. Accept it, and let it go.

    She breathed deeply, but didn't dare close her eyes. Calm, but constantly alert, Lorelei noted that one particular candelabra cast an odd shadow. It was longer than it naturally should be, and even in the curve of the ceiling, the way it warped to look like a cat was unnatural. Lorelei looked down, realising her own shadow was missing.

    'Come on now,' she spoke softly. 'Behave yourself. There's no point frightening the children.' She looked back at the candelabra, noting its arms now cast just four tendrils on the wall. She looked at the opposite side of the room, scanning until she spotted an nondescript area of darkness in the far corner. Without looking away, Lori shook her head and reached out to a small shadow next to her, cast by a single lamp. Her arm disappeared into the thin void, only to appear across the room like some floating appendage. Quickly, she snatched at something, which just looked like air, before she pulled her arm back until she appeared whole again. 'We'll have time to play later,' she said calmly, seemingly to no one.

    At first, it seemed Lori pulled out absolutely nothing, but her gaze was not on her outstretched arm, but to the nearby shadow. It flickered and warped, until a darker mass spread and began to fill onto the wall behind her, mimicking her silhouette, forming her shadow as it normally should.

    'Thank you for listening. Now let's greet our new group of kids this year and give them a fun little hour, shall we?' Lorelei dropped her arm and took a cautious step forward, watching her shadow follow along, with no abnormal shifts or disappearance. She walked to the door, opening it to greet her newest pupils.

    'Welcome,' she said in her usual breathy voice, barely above a whisper. 'Do place your things in that corner, and stand by a lamp. We'll get started momentarily.'

    pending ~ Please check your PMs

    Approved!


  • Offline Samm
  • Re: Special Feature Applications
    « Reply #199 on: May 30, 2017, 05:49:54 PM »


    Name: Rinn and Samm
    Character Names: Nsia and Dajon Asante, 4th year Ilvermorny twins

    Feature you are applying for:
    Aeromancy, an original Special Feature

    Introduction:
    We have spent weeks developing this feature together, researching Caribbean and Ashanti folklore, legend, and myth, and making sure to develop a special feature that was not only interesting to us, but also playable with plenty of options for plots and threads and character development. We know a joint application for a special feature is unusual, but because of our characters being twins, and their powers being like two sides of the same coin, we thought it best to put everything together in one application. Thanks for your consideration~

    In Caribbean folklore, there are mythical creatures called Mami Watas, who are also known as the Sirens of the Sea. They are mermadic creatures who were rumored to lure unfortunate sailors to their untimely demise for a number of nefarious reasons. While they share similarities with the European and Slavic sirens in mythology, such as their curiosity about humans and love for shiny baubles, legend also dictates that they were at times malevolent and sinister in nature. In their stories, they were often blamed for the death of sailors, the violent destruction of ships, and the harsh storms that plagued the Caribbean archipelago.

    There is also a legend about a specific type of Mami Wata. They were referred to as "Weather Workers" or “Aeromancers”. In mythology, this unique breed of sirens were rumored to use the might of storms as a tool. Adept in weather magic and capable of conjuring and controlling storms, they would use their powers to drag passing ships into their coves and wreck them on the rocks. Stories about Aeromancers indicate they had the ability to conjure lightning, intense winds, thunder clouds, and rains. Rare to the clan were the few who were not only able to control the weather, but also divine the future from it. The Aeromancers worshiped the elements, saw glimpses of the future in their storms, and were revered and feared by other communities.

    With these great creatures in mind, we have created an original special feature called Aeromancy. In the following application, we will explain the story about how the Aeromancers came to be on Spider Island, what has happened to them since, and how their unique magic was passed on to our characters, Nsia and Dajon Asante.

    Before Spider Island was inhabited by humans, it was a natural haven of magical creatures, both on land and in the seas surrounding the island’s pristine beaches. The Mami Watas, a specific breed of Caribbean Sirens, were one of those creatures. Inhabiting the clear waters and beautiful beaches on the south shore of the island, they lived in relative peace with the land creatures and the Papa Bois (Father of the Forest). For centuries, they drew ships in with their weather magic, conjuring great storms as a clan with the strongest of them seeing visions of the future in the lightning and clouds. Although humans had inhabited the island for centuries, there had been no issues between the two civilizations. They had even been useful to one another. It was rumored that some islanders had even mated with the Mami Watas during those first few years of Spider Island being founded and that rumor is in part why the island still holds the Cova Muzicka tradition every year.

    It wasn't until the Obeah witch Madam Yaba, claiming to be a Myal medium, came to the island nearly one hundred years ago that things began to change. The then young witch was hungry for power and youth and coveted the position of Riva Muma. She wanted to lead the people of the island, to gain immense power, and to be revered like the current Riva Muma. However, traditionally the position was only granted to a female member of the Asante family. Madam Yaba’s ineligibility forced her to put together a plan: she would siphon the magic from the Mami Watas and with that power, the island community would be forced to give her the Riva Muma position.

    The Mami Watas, capable of divining the future, saw visions of Madam Yaba's arrival and of her malicious plan, and so hid themselves away. Cloaking themselves from the island, they have remained an enigma since their mysterious disappearance. It is rumored that they still reside in the waters off the south beach, but are unreachable by humans. The residents of the island noticed the disappearance of the Mami Watas, but they did not launch an investigation. Magical affairs, the deal with the Papa Bois, and the welfare of the citizens on the island took precedence. Madam Yaba, however, was furious and hurt by their disappearance and the subsequent ruining of her grand plan. Without their power, she could never hope to be elected the first non-Asante Riva Muma. She needed a new plan and more than half a century later (and quite a few failed attempts to reveal the hidden Mami Watas), she finally decided on a new plan. Islanders considered it to be just an urban legend, but Madam Yaba found out that the current line of Asante were descended from the Mami Wata sirens. And so she began to put her plan into action.

    Thema Asante, next in line to inherit the Riva Muma title and mother to Dajon and Nsia, became Madam Yaba's new target. Thema and her husband, Baako Sosseh, had already been blessed with one child, but Thema knew they would need a female heir to inherit the position of island leader. They struggled for some time to conceive until Thema was pushed to desperation. Against Baako's wishes, Thema travelled to the south side of the island to plead with the Myal medium for help. Unlike her suspicious husband, Thema believed the strange old witch was there to help. Madam Yaba, with her devious plan in mind, agreed with a faked apprehension.

    First, the old witch gave Thema a round of oils and good luck charms supposed to promote fertility, but when those did not yield results, Thema pushed for more extreme action and Madam Yaba obliged. She performed an ancient spell and performed a tribute to the Ashanti Earth Goddess said to be the creator of humans and the Goddess of fertility, Asase Ya. It would be two more weeks before Thema was finally with child, twins actually, and suddenly Madam Yaba went from being the spooky witch on the south side of the island to the savior of the Asante Riva Muma line. Thema and Baako were forever in her debt, and even as the pregnancy moved along, they often went to Madam Yaba for assistance. Nearing the middle of her third trimester, Thema began to have complications with her pregnancy and naturally she went to the Madam Yaba for help, unaware that this had been a part of the old witch’s plan all along. After decades of trying relocate the Mami Watas with no luck, Madam Yaba had come across a ritual once practiced by the very same clan. In order to pass their unique weather manipulation and divining magics on to their sometimes halfblood offspring, the Mami Watas would complete a ritual in the magical waters of their cove. Madam Yaba determined that if she could complete this ritual with someone descended from the Mami Wata clan, she would be able to awaken the Mami Wata’s powers in the babies and then be able to steal their magic for herself.

    Madam Yaba convinced Thema and Baako that the safest way to deliver their twin babies would be in the water just like their ancestors on the island had done for generations. It put less stress on the mother and the babies and without much deliberation, the couple agreed. Funnelling the magic of the cove, the completion of the ritual, and a powerful lightning storm in the distance, Madam Yaba delivered healthy twin babies who had Mami Wata blood running in their veins. What she hadn't planned for was how long the magic would take to manifest. Children of the Mami Wata clan were not able to fully control the weather and only a select few adults would ever learn to divine the future from it. As children, the Asante twins seemed entirely human, but Madam Yaba kept a suspiciously close eye on them nevertheless. She paid them so much interest that it never quite sat right with their father Baako, and when he began to ask questions, he met his untimely death while on the southwest shores of the island, suspiciously near Madam Yaba’s cottage.

    As the children grew, their powers slowly began to show, starting small with things that could be easily written off as coincidence and more recently becoming something they could not ignore. We have plenty of future plots with them both with other characters and a line of developmental threads with the two of us to progress their story.


    Legend tells us that historically Aeromancers could control the atmosphere. They could bring rain, summon intense winds, create lightning, and generate tropical storms. Most often, they would use their powers to lure in sailors with both their song and their storm, causing ships to crash on the rocks near their cove. A small portion of Aeromancers were also born with the special gift of divining the future from weather and were able to glimpse visions of the future in thunder clouds and lightning bolts.

    With the twins at their current age of 14, they are just beginning to learn about their abilities. When they were younger, they seemed to have a connection to storms that could have easily been written off as coincidence. When Nsia was frustrated, winds seemed to be stronger and when Dajon was upset, rainfall increased on the island. However, as they begin to reach maturity, these coincidences will become more and more frequent and more and more less like coincidences.

    If approved, the twins will experience more of a showing of their innate abilities. They will learn they are able to affect small amounts of weather such as a gust of wind, movement of clouds, or a brief, small rainfall. The twins, like their Aeromancer ancestors, are incapable of creating weather from nothing. They can merely manipulate what is already in the atmosphere.

    In the future, as the twins grow, research, and discover more about their abilities, they will have more control and intent over their magic, though this might not happen for many years. They will learn to manipulate varying types of weather and in larger volume. Together, they will be able to channel their magic to be able to produce storms, but it will take a large amount of energy.

    As they age, they will also unlock the ability to divine the future inside of weather. In the beginning, these visions will be rare, confusing, and highly unreliable. The future, with its fluid nature, is always in motion and the twins will struggle to understand and decode the meaning of the various possibilities shown to them in their visions.

    Nsia, being a reactive and highly emotional personality type, will be most adept at conjuring lightning and affecting wind while Dajon, being a more controlled and slow burning personality type, will excel at generating thunder, affecting changes in precipitation particularly rainfall, and manipulating clouds. Together, they will have the power to bring a tropical storm to full force, using their thunder and lightning magics together in unison. It is within these magical storms that they will begin to truly understand and be able to divine the future.


    While their innate magic affords them more abilities than the average witch or wizard, there are also many limitations to their powers.

    Undeveloped Abilities: The twins’ magic will be especially limited in the beginning stages. All of their powers right now are just beginning to emerge in a meaningful way and are still very undeveloped. Nsia and Dajon are limited not only in their ignorance of their magic, but also because they won’t know what it is at first, how to control it, or even where these gifts originated. It will take a long time for them to be proficient and adept at controlling their magic so in the meantime, they will need a lot of time grow and develop into their powers. It will be a few long years of trial and error.

    Lack of Proper Instruction: Due to the mysterious disappearance of the original Mami Wata clan on Spider Island, the twins have the challenge of learning their magic without real instruction. They do not have a teacher, the residents of the island rarely offer information that isn't simply misleading gossip, their mother refuses to share details, and there is very little text about the Mami Watas left. Besides all that, at the start, the twins will not even know the Mami Watas are their ancestors and the key to unlocking more information about their innate magic. All of this will slow their learning process down tremendously, and thus, they will be forced to learn as they go.

    Manipulation, not Creation: Nsia and Dajon will not be able to conjure weather from nothing. Their abilities are limited to manipulating weather that is already in existence. For example, Dajon would not be able to conjure rain if there was not already precipitation existing in the atmosphere that he could manipulate.

    Unreliable Divination Ability: At the start of harnessing their magic, the twins may be able to see visions of the future in storms, but the visions will be vague, confusing, and ambiguous. It will be almost impossible for them to accurately foresee the future and in the beginning stages of their magic, they will not even believe that the future is what they are seeing. It will take learning and discovery of their magic before they fully realize what their magic is capable of. In addition, their visions also may often be inaccurate. The future is always changing based on choice and free will, and the twins may see options of the future, not what will happen concretely.

    Energy Expenditure: Nsia and Dajon will have to learn early on to pace themselves through their magic because this particular brand of magic is especially draining. They will not be able to manipulate the weather for very long and it will not have a large reach, especially in the beginning stages of learning their magic. The negative side effects of utilizing their magic, both consciously and unconsciously, include dizziness, extreme fatigue, difficulty breathing shortly after using their magic, and even fainting spells. These effects can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days and in the early stages, the recovery period will last much longer.

    Limited Scope: Their powers of weather manipulation are limited in scope. In the beginning stages of their power, they can only affect a very small range of weather conditions such as manipulating rainfall in a small radius or affecting a small gust of wind with little force behind it. As their powers develop, they might eventually be able to work together to create storms from both of their powers, but never so much that it could alter the balance of the Earth’s atmosphere.

    Limited Distance: Because they cannot generate weather and can only manipulate atmospheric elements, they can only control that which is relatively close in proximity to them. They don’t have a large scope of reach and most often must have visual sight of the storm to be able to manipulate it.

    Limited Affinities: The twins each have an affinity for specific weather elements and there isn’t much crossover between their powers. Historically, this specialization was what happened with ancient Aeromancers as well. Each Aeromancer specialized in a certain element. Nsia, for example, specializes with lightning and wind, while Dajon with thunder and rain. Nsia wouldn’t be able to control thunder and rain like Dajon can, no matter how hard she trained and vice versa.

    Limited Capabilities: Because Nsia and Dajon inherited their magic from their ancestors, they only inherited the capabilities their ancestors possessed, specifically manipulation of storms (lightning, thunder), rain, and wind. Neither twin will have nor develop the capabilities to affect other weather-related conditions such as thermal temperature or heavier precipitation like snow or sleet.

    Limited to Precognition: The twins’ abilities to divine the future from a storm only allow them to see future events, not past ones. They are precognitives, just like their Aeromancer ancestors were.

    Vulnerability: Nsia and Dajon are not immune to the effects of the weather they manipulate. They are not innately protected from the conditions. If they have manipulated rainfall, they might get wet. If they’re not careful with where they aim lightning strikes, they could find themselves in trouble. There is a high risk of danger when they use their magic and not something to be taken lightly.


    In many ways Dajon is the opposite of his younger twin sister Nsia. Where she is reactive and prone to swift emotional changes he is more composed, collected, and calm. He tries to let things wash over him but more often than not he ends up dwelling on them later. He lets things fester underneath the surface until he is so upset about them that his emotions finally boil over. This is why I think connecting him with Thunder works so perfectly. He has a slow burning type of emotional core but when he is finally ready to let it out it can be explosive.

    Dajon is the type to outwardly ignore things but inwardly regret them and condemn himself. He is always second guessing and going back over the things he has done and wondering how he could of done them better. He blames himself for anything that has gone wrong and when the pressure of being a perfectionist becomes to much he tends to lash out. Most of his tantrums are private, screaming into his pillow, breaking things in his room, but more and more frequently he has let Nsia’s wild emotions feed his own. There can be no thunder without lightning.


    Nsia is like a tropical storm wrapped in bold colors, high levels of emotion, and a smile like the sun. She’s bold but loyal, outgoing but vulnerable, and smart but hides it. She lives in the moment and yearns for a life that’s the opposite of ordinary. She doesn’t mind the spotlight as long as it’s of her doing, she gets along well with boys, and she’s the lifeblood that holds her siblings together.

    This special feature would work really well for her personality. To me, she’s already like a tropical storm and having the powers to manipulate and control storms is only an extension of her character and something that developed quite organically for me as a driver. Storms like the ones the twins will be able to manipulate are often more common in spring and summer, which fits perfectly for Nsia because she is very much a summer type of girl. She’s unpredictable like lightning, inconsistent like the wind, and it would be a great opportunity to develop her character through a special feature like this.


    We have reached out to many drivers to ensure that this special feature would be played out in our threads.

    Zelda Morningstar
    Zelda is a friend of Nsia’s and someone she’s looked to ever since Sampson brought her with him on one of his visits to Spider Island. Because Nsia trusts Zelda and knows she is very much into books, grimoires, and spells, she convinces Dajon to go to Zelda to see if they can help them and ask if she’s seen anything like their magic in any of her books and grimoires. Zelda will try to help and eventually suggest the twins going to Sampson for further help.

    Sampson Irons (Meridian’s WIP - Leads Iron Witch Coven)
    Sampson is a distant relative through their father’s side and the twins hold him in high esteem and view him as mentor. When they start to suspect their magic, they will go to Sampson for help, advice, and guidance. Threads with Sampson will help us play out the development and discovery process as the twins learn what exactly their magic is.

    Isaah Asante (Axel’s WIP, 2nd year Ilvermorny student)
    Isaah is cousin to Dajon and Nsia and played a big role in one instance of the uncontrolled magic that revealed itself in their youth. At home on Spider Island one day, Dajon and Isaah were arguing as their cousins and friends, Nsia included, spent the day at the beach. The argument turned heated and they began to roughhouse in the water, the fight turning more serious than playful. Nsia, quick to defend her brother, stood a few feet away on the shore, yelling at Isaah to quit it. When Nsia caught sight of her cousin giving her brother a bloody nose, intentional or not, her anger reached new levels. A storm that had already been brewing in the distance materialized quickly overhead and a freak bolt of lightning hit the water, very close to where Isaah and Dajon were. Both boys were knocked unconscious by the electrical impulse and had to be rescued from the water. The twins will later connect the dots and realize with the help of cousins and other islanders who were there that day that this was a unintentional display of Nsia’s affinity for lightning manipulation. In addition to that role in their childhood history, we have also plotted with Axel to have Isaah help his cousins investigate and search for more information about their heritage and ancestors.

    Betsy Mae Bird
    Betsy Mae Bird has an on again/off again friendship with Nsia, but she’s more friendly with Dajon. With Inga, we brainstormed some ideas where both Dajon and Nsia could accidentally have their powers activated. One thread idea is to have Dajon and Betsy go on a date, but Dajon gets so nervous he accidentally makes it rain. Another thread idea is a confrontation between Betsy and Nsia when Nsia becomes jealous of someone else having Dajon’s attention. When her emotions get away from her, Nsia accidentally causes small lightning bolts to shock Betsy.

    Debbie Wilder
    After the twins find an ancient document that they think might help them understand their powers, they go to Professor Wilder to ask for her help with the translation because the twins know of her involvement with the Archaic Languages club. The threads that come from this interaction between the twins and Inga’s professor will help us further the plot of the twins’ search for information and answers about their magic.

    Isonade Oshiro
    Once word gets out (and word travels fast on Spider Island) that the twins have inherited the ancient power of the Aeromancers, Iso will sail to Spider Island to see what he can learn from the twins’ future divining abilities. The effect of Iso’s arrival on Spider Island might be more mayhem and chaos created than information actually gathered, but it will be an interesting aspect of the twins’ magic to play out. It is both an example of why their magic is coveted and therefore dangerous, but also shows just how unstable their magic is at the onset as they won’t be able to give Iso any concrete details, if any at all.

    Daisy Neeley & Cooper Beauregard (Jenny & Sophie’s WIPs respectively, 4th year Ilvermorny students)
    After a particularly bad bout of visions or fainting spells from their visions, Dajon suggests he and Nsia go to Daisy and Cooper, who are known to excel in Potions, for help. In the beginning of their discovery phase, the twins will seek out various methods of ‘solving’ the issue before they figure out what the true cause of their symptoms are. Nsia is reluctant to go to them for help because she doesn’t get along well with Daisy and Cooper, but eventually she agrees and they enlist their two yearmates for help.

    Ernest Franklin
    Ernest Franklin, Professor of Charms at Ilvermorny, will be another plot/thread candidate for the twins. Our idea is to have one of the twins bring about some of their magic accidentally either in class or in some other setting where Ernie will be a witness to it. The professor, who has vast experience with atmospheric charms, will wonder at the circumstance and start to question their magic. Since Ernie has also been on the ICW, he has had a lot of contact with weather manipulation problems around the world and might prove to be a valuable resource to the twins as they discover more about their magic.

    Mary Lou Bird
    In June of this past term, Dajon had visions of his friend  Mary Lou Bird getting elected as Vice President to the Student Government Association. While there were numerous visions, Dajon just brushed it off as a weird coincidence, but ended up mentioning it to Mary Lou, believing that his visions were true and that she would win the election. It turned out that Mary Lou didn’t win and the disappointment made the friendship a little awkward between Dajon and Mary Lou. In the future, we plan to thread out other visions with Mary Lou and the twins so we can write how they all respond to new visions, if Mary Lou will trust what the twins say, and how the visions will further affect their friendship.

    Tu'ipelehake Muagututi'a (Kaisa’s WIP, 4th year Ilvermorny student)
    Nsia is very close friends with Tu'ipelehake and will rely on her friend as she goes through the discovery and learning process of her magical abilities. Dajon is always friends with Tu’i as well. We have a fun thread planned where Nsia is confiding in Tu’l about strange things that have been happening to her, but then leaves suddenly as she sees Dajon enter the room because she hasn’t worked up the courage to tell him that something is wrong with her and she knows he’ll be able to easily tell she’s keeping something from him. When Dajon sits down to talk to Tu’i, he also begins to tell her about things that have been happening. It should be a fun, comical thread that we’re all excited about playing. 

    Melanie Moraes (Taylor’s WIP, 6th year Ilvermorny student)
    Two years older than the twins, Mellie Moraes is a friend of Dajon, but not as close with Nsia. Dajon is familiar with the crush Mellie has on her sister’s boyfriend so when one of the twins has a vision of her sister’s boyfriend breaking up with her sister, Nsia is adamant that they should tell Mellie the good news. Dajon, however, is not so eager because they know their visions aren’t reliable or even accurate. When Nsia ends up telling Mellie and then her sister’s boyfriend ends up proposing to her sister, Mellie is disappointed and then angry at the twins for giving her false hope.


    Nsia's Sample:  (Written by Rinn)
    Nsia huffed through the corridor. “Excuse me,” she said to two younger boys who were taking up the whole hallway. The look on their faces as she breezed past them told her how harsh her tone was, but she couldn’t care. She wouldn’t. It would just be one more horrible, terrible thing on her very long list of things that had gone wrong today.
     
    Her morning had been just flat out wrong. Her hair was unusually frizzy and only getting more nad more unruly as the day went on. And then at breakfast even though she tried to put on a brave face, she had watched as a sixth year girl flirted with Keo right in front of her. The nerve! Sure, he might know her feelings, but it wasn’t like she was sitting right there and hadn’t already been talking to him first. And plus! Alchemy had been hell today. She hadn’t gotten the assignment right and the answers she did know, Daisy had ended up being called on to answer. She didn’t get along well with the other fourth year and just thinking of her brought on another surge of annoyance. And then! Those two boys in the hallway annoyed her and plus the fact that it had been rainy and gloomy for the past few days and she needed to see sunshine and feel it on her face almost as much as she needed to breathe.
     
    So when she stepped outside and saw the dark storm clouds looming overhead, she glanced up and lifted her hands to her hips. “Really?!” she asked of the sky. “Can’t get one stinking day of sunshine,” she muttered as she set out down the grounds to one of the benches where she often met her twin. Dajon was already there when she arrived, lounging with a book as if he had no cares in the world. Except maybe what lay on the next page of his book. And that made her even more upset because here he was the picture of cool and she could barely hold on to even tendrils of calm and composure.
     
    And she felt that ugly thing inside her rear its head. The thing she couldn’t name, but she felt it all the way to her core. It made her shake and seethe at the same time. “I’ve had a horrible day already,” she announced to her twin with a snap of her hands on her hips. “And it’s not even lunchtime yet.” And then because of the way he was just lazing there, she narrowed her gaze, envy in her eyes. “How come nothing affects you? You’re so annoying.” The last she said with less heath in her tone, but the passion was still in her eyes and she could feel it welling up inside her.
     
    “Ok I’m going to do the thing,” she said in warning like she normally did before she vented. It was a common thing for her and her twin. She ranted for several moments, her voice getting high and pitchy, the back of her neck getting hots, and the more and more she vented, the less and less oxygen she felt she could draw in. She felt her anger boiling over her proverbial cup and the envy she felt toward her brother only added to it. Plus the jealousy towards that sixth year girl flirting with Keo and the desperate yearning she felt for the weather of Spider Island and home.
     
    She felt her feelings spin out of control, taking her with them on a wave she had no hope of controlling. Her eyes fluttered close as her emotions turned into a whirlwind. And that was when the flash happened.
     
    “What was that?!” she said, glancing up. The white behind her lids had been so intense and she looked up at the sky, suddenly feeling the weight of the day on her shoulders. “Was that lighting?” she asked as she collapsed next to him, the energy and anger she had felt moments ago draining out of her and leaving her feeling deflated.

    Dajon's Sample: (Written by Samm)
    As dark clouds rolled along above him Dajon welcomed the breeze on the back of his neck. Storms at Ilvermorny were nothing like the ones they had grown up with on Spider Island but they were acceptable. They reminded him of home, making him miss it more, and served as a lackluster substitute all at once. Dajon always missed home while he was away at school but he kept that to himself. He barely let even Nsia know exactly how much he missed the storms and the ocean and most especially their family. At least he had some of them here with him, at least he had his sister. He'd been sitting outside for a little while now waiting for her in their usual spot. Like they had done back at home the twins had found a spot of their own as soon as they arrived at school. They met here often after classes, especially now as they grew older and began to take different electives. Unlike his sister however Dajon was a dedicated reader and any free time he found himself with was almost instantly filled with whatever book he was currently in the middle of. Once he began a book it was difficult to get him to put it down, he read at breakfast, smuggled the book into classes, and stayed up entirely too late with the light of his wand illuminating the text. The cloud coverage and lack of sun wouldn't dissuade the intellectual young wizard from finishing his chapter, not even the threat of rain overhead could force him inside. Besides, he had always felt more comfortable in the rain, the inner turmoil of the clouds suited him.

    When Nsia finally arrived Dajon continued to read, using the hand not holding the book to trace the line he was currently on until he finished the passage. It was a book chronicling the the 16th century expedition to the South Pole let by the famous wizard Atticus Augustinus. It was thick, dense, and highly technical which to most would be supremely boring but to Dajon it was rivetting stuff. One day he was going to explore, he would find some hidden magic that the world had forgotten and be renowned for it, but for now he was stuck at school forced to live vicariously through his idols. As his fingers traced the last sentence in the paragraph and he felt he was at a good stopping point he slid the thin feather book mark into place and closed the book. He didn't like to ignore her but she rarely waited for an opening before she began to speak, he'd heard what she had said and it made him smile but first he had to finish his paragraph. Now that he was finished he turned to look up at her and sat up straighter, realizing he had been heavily slouching into the text. "Thanks, it's good to see you too Nsia." He replied dryly before chuckling and waiting for her to get situated. Even if they hadn't grown up basically connected at the hip he would of known what that look on her face meant, she was going to do the thing.

    He remained quiet, ever the good listener, even as the storm above them began to rumble. The dark clouds cast strange shadows on her face as he listened to her words. He watched as her anger and frustration built and built. Dajon cared about what was upsetting her, he wanted to fix it, make it go away, but for now he just listened. He knew it was sometimes better to just let her get it all out. She didn't need his help, she didn't need rescuing or protecting, she just needed to rant sometimes. He traced the raised letters on the cover of his book as she continued but then something different happened. Instead of her getting past it she seemed to get more and more upset until she seemed overcome by her emotions and then a wild crack of lightning lit up the sky behind her. Dajon had been staring at her when it happened and the bright light of the electricity in the clouds forced his eyes to shut, burning the image into the back of his mind and then quickly replacing it with another. He was overcome by an intense pain behind his eyes as a vision of his deceased father and a bolt of lightning filled his mental space. As his hands rushed to his ears his sacred book fell to the ground, falling into a puddle of rain water from earlier. A loud thunderclap rang out above them, like the clouds were speaking to them, and Dajon felt like he might pass out.

    When the thunder finally stopped the pain behind his eyes began to fade, he almost remembered the images that had flashed by but they were blurry and difficult to decipher. He felt like the harder he tried to recall what he had just seen the more it slipped by. Slowly he opened his eyes back up to see a confused Nsia sitting in front of him. "I just.... I saw..." He blinked hard, unable to put the words together and a little bit scared, "It was dad..."


    "Forever silent most shall live without fame and glory,
    For those who truly shine the best,
    Have yet to tell their untold story."
    -- Axel





    the sammbox. | huffletough

  • Online Rinn
  • Re: Special Feature Applications
    « Reply #200 on: May 31, 2017, 06:37:14 PM »
    Resubmitting this application!

    @Taed / @Eliott Sasseville
    Third time's the charm ;)



    The name "Pasteltongue" will eventually, in character, be Eliott's clever nickname for this odd form of moment-capture empathy that he has never heard of before.

    Eliott has always had a natural artistic leaning, an inherited gift from his mother. But he also has a heart for helping people and trying to understand them, and I think that makes him perfect for a form of clairvoyance. Instead of touching or hearing or seeing other people, however, he can look at any piece of canvas art that is not his own - whether it be a masterpiece in the Louvre or a scribble on a kindergarten wall - and feel what the artist was feeling at the time. Eventually it will come to the point where he can "see" the artist making the art because he will pick up the psychic echoes of his/her surroundings as well as his/her own feelings. And, if the art was done specifically as an emotional conduit, the psychic echo of the artist will be strong enough that Eliott can literally have a conversation in his mind with the echo - stuck in a sort of mindmeld with the painting and not able to actually physically move while his consciousness is tuned in to the artist - and be able to interpret their feelings and stimuli.

    All of this, of course, assumes that he can actually learn how to master his talent. The gift is suddenly appearing during a crucial part of his development, like all the stress of adulting has unlocked it (or perhaps broken down a wall keeping it tucked away). The triggering incident will probably alarm Eliott and he will possibly think that he is going crazy, as nothing this strong ever happened when he was younger. Discovering the talent will make him question his already tenuous ideas about what his job choices are and whether he will actually be able to handle a career in medicine, or art, or both. Ultimately El will end up doing a lot of soul-searching and really buckle down and discover what he has to do as an adult in the wizarding world with an unusual gift.

    What I like most of all about applying for this special feature is that, in much the same way that I am still feeling out the character of Eliott (who I adopted from Kita and haven't had a lot of opportunity or muse to RP thus far), Eliott will be feeling out this bizarre new ability. But the focus will not be solely on the Pasteltongue power. It's more like this is a metaphor for the process by which a teenager or a young man (or woman) suddenly finds himself (or herself) an adult. Like Eliott's planned reaction to being a Pasteltongue/Pastelmouth, new adults often find themselves terrified, clueless, and not sure what they are going to do with their lives anymore. Giving this special feature to Eliott is as much about finding your place in the world as it is about finding your hidden talents.


    @Sabrina Sasseville
    The entire reason that Eliott wants to become a Healer is because of his sister. She has been weak and sickly from literally the moment she was born, giving the family some bad scares numerous times, but especially recently when she considered taking her own life. Eliott wants to give Sabrina a reason to live that she will accept, and as of right now he can only conclude that is finding a cure, or a better treatment, for the strange malady that ails her. As time goes on Eliott will continue to talk to his sister and try to treat her, and as his Pasteltongue manifests he will be able to understand how she feels by having her paint instead of speaking, circumventing her reticence about sharing the details of her health problems.

    @Keichelle Sasseville
    As one of Eliott's other sisters, Keichelle, approaches graduation, she too is planning to go into a medical field and indeed has already been accepted at the Jehenne de Brigue Institute. Eliott has applied here as well, but has also been pointed to an internship at Saint Mungo's in England, and he does not know whether he should attend school with his sister or take the early job in another country. The decision that he has to make will be compounded by the discovery of his Pasteltongue talent. As he confides in Keichelle there will probably some tension about Eliott "taking" her dream especially now that he already has something special that sets him apart. With his sister's help or hate, he will have to gauge whether it would be better for him to stay in France where it's familiar, or to distance himself from his family while he transitions into adulthood.

    @Maddie Girard
    A longtime friend of the Sasseville family, Maddie is nearly as close to El as she is to Sabs and Elle. So when she discovers his amazing new ability, she's going to be ridiculously excited and want to constantly paint things for Eliott to examine and talk to for her. She also will be a little jealous about his odd talent and want to have something like that, which could potentially cause a bit of a separation between Maddie and the older Sasseville boy.

    @Ségolène Lereaux
    A fellow Beauxbatons graduate a few years older than Eliott, and with a similar gift, Ségolène Lereaux would be someone to whom Eliott could turn when the burdens of his talent prove too much to handle. They can offer support to each other and Ségolène can even try to use some of her own techniques to teach Eliott how to master his newfound power.

    @Ben Fletcher
    As part of his future medical career, whether right away or after some schooling, Eliott will be offered a cooperative apprenticeship ad sciens in a nursing program through St. Mungo's. His assignment and supervisor will be Ben Fletcher, a four (or eventually more) years' experienced Healer, who will be pleasantly helpful teaching Eliott the ropes. When Ben discovers Eliott's power, he will be fascinated by it and will be a major factor in helping Eliott determine how to use his Pasteltongue to help patients. Although Eliott will (hopefully) work with many people at St. Mungo's throughout his training, Ben will be his primary mentor and go-to guy.

    @Louise Ellington
    One might think that, after discovering he could read the past through paintings, Eliott would stay away from art galleries. But there is too much of the artist in him, and while interning at St. Mungo's, he won't be able to stop himself from investigating Lou's Gallery in London. Whether this is a one-time event that overloads him, or a recurring thing, is up in the air right now. Much depends on what he sees and feels first, and how shopowner Louise Ellington reacts to Eliott's powers - and if he chooses to confide in her or not.

    http://fontmeme.com/spray-paint-fonts/ use font family Misdemeanor font color #FFEBFF and size 20 for other plot people


    THURSDAY, 28 JUNE 2001, 11:47 AM

    "This is a really good drawing!" Eliott said to the student that was showing him her artwork. She had come up to him while he was watching the regatta, presumably because one of his siblings or their friends had pointed her in Eliott's direction. A year had passed since he had graduated, and still he had some renown as one of the super artsy painters that had come out of Papillonlisse House. In truth the proportions of the picture were all wrong and the shading was badly done, but for a twelve-year-old with no real training in art, it was pretty decent. Although he wasn't sure what the flowers were supposed to be, they were bunched together very closely and sitting in what appeared to be a beam of sunlight that was making everything much more colourful.

    The girl gave him a slight frown and said, "You aren't just saying that? I mean you really think so?"

    Eliott chuckled despite himself. Obviously she wanted his valued opinion as an "accomplished" artist, despite the fact that he hadn't been able to land any real painting jobs or commissions since he'd graduated. "Well, let's take another look," he said, and glanced at the painting with a bit more focus. He started examining details, trying to pick up more clues from context of what she was trying to convey. For the most part it seemed to be a nice peaceful picture, but there were a lot of shakes in the shading and an occasional harsh dark line -- when suddenly he was looking at the painting being made from the point-of-view of the female student, focusing on the things she was focusing on while painting it...

       This will be pretty and peaceful.
       I want to use lots of bright lights and colours and make it look like the gardens in Chateoil

    not dark like my bedroom Papa says there's a boggart in my closet
    I think he's trying to scare me cause I never found anything

    I sleep better at Beauxbatons because I can't hear Papa and
    Mama fighting all the time I think one of them is hitting

    I remember how beautiful Chateoil was last June and the nice gentleman tried to
    give me a flower but he was looking at me funny

    this will be crocuses and lilacs because they always stick together with each other
    like a big bunch of flower friends

    those Ombrelune girls are so mean just because I have secondhand
    robes and books they think they're better than me

    I wonder why I was put in Bellefeuille, I want to be an artist when I grow up,
    can we grow plants indoors or is that not allowed?
    Aunt Emiline had a Venomous Tentacula before she died
    but I don't think that's what happened to her

    maybe those Papillonlisse kids can help me

    I think I used too much red in this, if I scribble over it in purple maybe it will look okay

    Eliott gasped as he jerked his head back away from the drawing, and he felt a pulsing pain between his eyes that probably had something to do with the blurry vision and dizziness he was feeling.

    "Uh... I really like these lilacs and... crocuses you drew?" he said uncertainly, and was rewarded by the girl's face transforming into a delighted grin. "They're a really pretty shade of purple."

    The girl gasped and jumped up and down, "You like it? Really?"

    Eliott managed to rearrange his face into a more convincing smile as he said, "Yes, it's not too red and it's very well-shaded. You have a talent for drawing flowers, sweetie. You should be really proud of this - don't let anyone pick on you or tell you otherwise."

    "Oh wow! Thank you thank you thank you!" the girl grabbed her painting (nearly ripping it) and held it tight to her chest, running off to tell someone about the great compliment she had gotten. Eliott smiled after her, but then his face fell as he tried to figure out what on earth had just happened. How had he known what she was drawing... and where had all those other thoughts come from? Had he... picked up on some of her own feelings?

    Pending. Please see PMs~


  • Online Rinn
  • Re: Special Feature Applications
    « Reply #201 on: May 31, 2017, 06:37:50 PM »

    Name: Meridian
    Character name: Kantalaa Sampson Irons
    Feature you are applying for: Dreamwalker

    Dreamwalking is the practice of entering another person’s dreams for use in intelligence gathering,communication, or therapy. Though it is deeply rooted in divination, many argue that dreamwalking should be classified as a type of mind magic, alongside occlumency and legilimency. Unlike a legilimens, a dreamwalker does not have access to a dreamer’s memories unless the dreamer allows it, though the dreamwalker has far more tools at his or her disposal to steer the dreamer’s mind toward revealing their memories.

    Dreamwalking is, at its most basic, the ability to use dreams as a backdoor into another person’s psyche. And like with other mind magic, there is a spectrum of susceptibility when it comes to dreamers: some people can pick out a dreamwalker in their dreams in an instant, while others could go years without ever knowing their dreams have been manipulated. Dreamers with high emotional turmoil or a lack of self-awareness are the most vulnerable to a dreamwalker’s influence based on their situations.



          Personality
    Sampson Irons is a gentle man in his late sixties, exuding the wisdom of someone who has seen many horrors and learned many truths from his travels. He is worldly and intelligent, in both academics and matters of the heart. He is soft-spoken and compassionate, with a dry sense of humor and the wry, almost long-suffering, patience of a man who has raised nearly thirty Iron Witches from childhood to adulthood. Many, if not all of them, see him as a surrogate father or grandfather. In another life, Sampson would have done well in a life-long professorship. He is disciplined and articulate, with high-standards and a particular love for almost all forms of literature that he always wants to share with anyone who will listen. That being said, he is also a little bit intense and is usually not the type of person one would want to make an enemy of, as in his youth he cut his teeth breaking people from the inside out for the government.

          History
    The only son of a practiced voodoo priest and a shadow magician, Sampson Irons has always had an interest in unusual magic. There was much about the world he wished to learn about, and unearthing mysteries to expand his knowledge was a huge motivating influence in his academic and personal life. He studied hard in school, always the type to spend his days in the library even on Field Days. He found that he had a particular skill for divination, more specifically Dream Divination. After graduating with top scores on his CHEPIS and WENDIGOS, Sampson entered the MACUSA as an intelligence agent. He carved out his own position as an interrogation specialist, using his skills at dream divination to extract important information for the government’s use.

    For more than fifteen years, from the time he was nineteen until he was thirty-five, Sampson Irons was dedicated to the MACUSA. He was a man of supreme focus and patriotism, never letting anything else in his life get in the way of his work as be honed his rare his craft. He was a government man through and through. In his tenure at the MACUSA, Sampson is credited with saving many lives, despite his methods being somewhat morally ambigious. He would have been content to remain at the government, but a few years later Sampson had started his own family and had a wife and child to take care of.

    Due to his wife’s declining mental and physical health, he eventually left the MACUSA for a much more settled job as the new Dream Divination professor and school counselor at Ilvermorny, his alma mater. Five years later, when Sampson was in his early forties, his wife took her own life and Sampson gave up his position as professor to take care of his children. The circumstances that led to his wife’s suicide shook the famously-stoic man to his core and from that point forward he decided to devote his life to saving other women from abusive homes from meeting the same fate.

    In 1973, Sampson opened the House Irons Coven Home as a safe haven for young witches, who for various reasons were in danger in their own homes. His ability to enter another person’s dreams was no longer wielded as a blunt weapon of interrogation or psychological torture, but rather a surgical instrument used to heal. With the consent of his patients, he was now able to enter their dreams, mold their dreamscapes, and begin the healing process from within the psyche. House Irons became home to dozens of girls, who grew up under his protection. He became like a father or grandfather to many. His decades of experience with the human mind, and his insight into the unique wounds left by abusive homes, informed his future job as someone who dedicates his life to mending what is broken.




    For in dreams we enter a world that is entirely our own.
    - Albus Dumbledore


    The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure.
    Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by any invader.
    The mind is a complex and many-layered thing, Potter.

    - Severus Snape


    A dreamwalker’s most invaluable skill is mental strength. To enter another person’s dreams requires an immense amount of mental and physical stress, as well as focus and a deep sense of self. Dreams are, by their very nature, unpredictable and deeply affecting. An unfocused or unskilled dreamwalker risks their powers backfiring and their minds becoming the ones affected by their own magic. Dreamwalking is, in many regards, more dangerous than occlumency and legilimency because reality is extremely fluid in the mind, opening the dreamwalker to a host of psychological side-effects and injuries even as an uninvolved bystander. Because of this, dreamwalking is a heavily regulated study and anything more than dream interpretation is carefully monitored.

    Dreamwalking is broken into four levels: Novice, Reader, Invader, and Narrator.

          Level 1: Novice
    Any student who has yet to achieve an A or B CHEPI in Dream Divination is considered a Novice. Novices are limited to dream interpretation and this stage is mostly academic. They are more focused on reading literature and learning how to interpret a dreamer’s self-described dreams. They learn the importance of symbolism and why understanding a dreamer’s personal history and personality is the key to understanding dreams.

          Level 2: Reader
    Readers do not have to rely on a dreamer's testimony. Readers can actually view the dreams of a sleeping person as they happen, though it has to be 1) in real time, 2) through physical contact, 3) during an extensive ritual. Readers need the permission of the dreamer to enter, as they are usually not skilled enough to do so without affecting the dream and waking the dreamer up. They can watch the dream as it unfolds, but they are entirely trapped as a spectator within the dream until subject wakes up, usually six or eight hours later. While they are “under” (a casual term used to describe dreamwalking), they have no awareness of what is going on around their physical body, leaving them in a very vulnerable state.

          Level 3: Invader
    Invaders, sometimes called Affecters by those who think the existing term is too aggressive, are no longer spectators to the dreams they walk through. They are subject to the dreamer’s musings and meanderings, but they are able to interact with the dreamer while they are sleeping. They can speak to the dreamer, or carefully tweak the path the dream follows. Communicating to the dreamer by asking questions or playing as a participant in the dream is relatively normal for a dreamwalker at this level. Changing the path of the dream’s narrative is done sparingly, and is contingent on the dreamer’s mind being receptive to the change. Invaders can usually enter and leave dreams at will, though they are still very much at the mercy of the dreamer.

          Level 4: Narrator
    Narrators are expert dreamwalkers—individuals who have mastered the art of manipulating dreams into convoluted and layered stories unfolding in front of an unsuspecting dreamer. Narrators are nearly undetectable to the dreamers, able to blend seamlessly into a sea of faces or appear to the dreamer as someone they recognize to keep them their mind open and malleable. Though the morals of the practice change from Narrator to Narrator, practioners at this skill level are able to use certain amnesia and obliviating spells to leave no trace of themselves or even the dreams to the dreamers while their influence lingers. The most impressive skill of a master dreamwalker is called dreamscaping. Narrators are able to build and construct entire dream environments (called dreamscapes), turning the tables on the dreamer. Usually, the dreamwalker is at the mercy of the dreamer’s unpredicatable mind’s path as it dreams, but Narrators are able to build entire worlds within the mind and manipulate the narrative to their advantage.



          Character Exploration Opportunities
    I personally find that one of the best ways to get to know your character, aside from playing them out, is taking a magnifying glass to the events and quirks that have shaped them into the character they are now. Since we usually RP in the present tense, there are few chances to play out those important events. Dreams are not constrained to the same reality and time scale, so past and potentially future events, as well as situation that can be dreamed about, are all fair play. Characters can interact within dream memories and discuss them as they unfold. I was really interested in examining the driving forces that motivate certain characters in their daily life, and I think both parties could benefit from it. In addition to this, there is no location restriction, as dreams can take place in any environment, real or not.

          Limitations
    Dreamwalking is not the kind of magic that someone can learn as a hobby. To have any sort of lasting effect on another person through dreamwalking, the wizard has to devote a huge amount of time and study to it. Narrators are usually in their late fifties after a long lifetime of study. There is the possibility that a power like this could easily be too overpowered since dreamwalkers are literally able to build dreams, but at the same time it puts a lot of power into the hands of the dreamer. At all levels, from Novice to Narrator, the dreamwalker is trying to work with or around the dreamer’s existing dreams and are at the will of the mind they are currently in. Unlike with legimens, dreamwalkers are not working within reality per se and at the end of the day, it is the dreamer that holds all of the determination powers if they realize they have it. Dreamwalkers, whose minds become intertwined with the dreamer when they are under, are a high risk of suffering from psychological trauma as a result of magical misfire, or if the dreamer turns on them.

          Fit with Sampson
    Despite the many avenues of abuse possible with this ability, Sampson has no interest in making money or doing harm with his powers. There was a time when he was younger and working for the MACUSA that he dedicated his craft to performing his patriotic duty to the country. He used his powers as government-sanctioned coercion, and has seen how powerful it can be in the wrong hands. But even when he was using his powers for less-than moral reasons, he never crossed the line or used his ability to inflict irreparable damage. He is the kind of character that treads very carefully and recognizes the immense responsibility of his power— constantly reminding those around him that their magic is not a toy, and using it as a weapon will do more harm than good. This becomes especially important when he meets troubled witches who tend to have much more powerful emotion-driven magic capabilities than regular people.

    Currently, Sampson uses his powers for good. He uses his ability as a therapeutic tool: helping victims of abuse, violence, addiction, and other dangers to pull themselves back together from the inside out. There are many walls that the mind will put up to protect itself, but those can be a hindrance when it comes to healing. he is a firm believer in facing one's fears, and dreams are a safe place to do so. His services are not limited to only his wards, but to others as well. He is willing to help anyone who needs it, and can always be found at House Irons.

    With the consent of his patients, he ventures into their minds to help them face their fears and gain their own power. His drive to help others with his abilities comes from the two decades he spent with his wife before she took her own life. She had come from a home of abuse and violence, and even after she escaped, the scars remained. Sampson must have tried a thousand times to use her dreams to help her, but he realized there were some things that were just too deep to fix. This motivated him to focus on helping people when they are young, to heal them before it is too late.




          General Plots
    This feature has a lot of potential, especially when combined with all of the amazing new characters, organizations, business, and plots that have come out after Ilvermorny opened. First and foremost, Sampson uses his abilities to help young witches and wizards. He has used and continues to use dreamwalking as a way to get people to open up and deal with their own problems. He helps the Iron Witches, but is also a mental health expert at Ilvermorny, there to guide and advise anyone who is looking for it. He works at Ilvermorny, meaning he is colleagues with the many incoming professors. Though it is unlikely he’ll use his powers with them, there are plenty of opportunities. And though he is technically retired, Sampson hasn’t lost his patriotic duty and is willing to answer the call.

          Specific Plots
    JT's @Hester Park and Heather's @Natasha Newberry have been hanging out in the same circles for more than half a century. They are all close to the same age and went to school together. They all also joined the MACUSA at around the same time, with Sampson using his dreamwalking to enter the dreams of those who wished to do the nation harm. Natasha and Hester were also instrumental in the building of House Irons. Though the two had a friendly rivalry at work, they joined up to give Sampson guidance when it came to helping young troubled girls. The two women are both still heavily involved in House Irons, donating care packages and offering ministry internships. They also know that if they are ever in need of his skills, they can call in the long-standing favor he owes them, and he'll dust off his interrogating skills to assist the government.

    JT's @Lorelei Faulkner is the unfortunate victim of an Obscurus shadow (pending application), and is one of the original Iron Witches. She came into Sampson's care right after the coven's opening, and has since been helping Sampson better understand the Obscurus nature and the formation of Obscurials. As the Obscurus is formed as a result of emotional trauma, Sampson was often forced to walk in her dreams to help her heal her severe emotional and traumatic injuries from the inside out. He is currently one of the United States' leading experts on Obscurials, as he regularly meets young witches who have a high risk of developing them. Lorelai is now a professor at Ivermorny, and has since learned to live with her shadow, but she and Sampson are still close.

    @Ashton 's Alyson Graves is a dream clairvoyant (pending application), which only served to exacerbate the difficulties of her childhood. Julianne is still in the early stages of developing her abilities, meaning her dreams often leave her confused and emotionally distraught. As a dreamwalker, Sampson would be able to enter her dreams in order to both help her make sense of her visions in the initial stages, and to help her calm down.

    Also part of this plot is Sophie's @Julianne Graves. She is Aly's sister, and unlike Aly, Julianne is very wary of others and does not want Sampson to help her sister, which is going to lead to some tension between all three of them. Julianne is also part of House Irons, and Sampson is not her favorite person. She doesn't trust him with her sister's secrets and does not think he should be involved at all.

    @Dylan 's Christian is the last piece of this plot with the Graves sisters, and is going to be a real problem for Sampson. Christian has dark secrets of his own (aka he's a serial killer / vigilante), and has started to show up in Aly's dreams. Even if Sampson doesn't know the true depths of Christian's darkness, he is wildly suspicious of the younger man is does not approve of him hanging around Alyson-- especially since Aly and Christian are as close as they are. While Sampson is no stranger to disliking the men that come near his daughters, this is going to be an exceptional challenge for him.
     



    It was on nights like this that Sampson remembered Cora the most. Cora had hated the storms, and every time one rolled through, Sampson and his children prepared for a bad night. It had been more than twenty years since then, but even now the rain put him on edge, as if something bad was just waiting to happen.

    Outside the wind was howling, daggers of rain beating mercilessly against the sides of the house, threatening to wash the roof tiles from their post or topple the nearby trees into the bedrooms. The wind ripped around the house, sending an eerie echo through the halls and rattling the windows in their panes. The coven home stood like a sentinel in the storm, a safe plum-colored cloister that protected its residents from the dangers outside, from the harm of both nature and man.

    Sitting in his office on the sixth floor, Sampson put his quill down, removing his wire-framed reading glasses and rubbing his eyes tiredly. The ancient grandfather clock on the opposite wall ticked loudly as the time approached three in the morning. The light of his flame lamps sent sharp shadows crawling across his bookshelves and along the star-painted ceiling. It had been a late night for him, once again. He was working through a large stack of names from the farthest reaches of the United States, dealing with the impossible task of choosing which witches needed help the most.

    It was…frustrating, to say the least. It seemed the world was no better now than it had been when he had first opened the coven home. The young witches in these files were all suffering-- how could he justify helping one but not the other? One of these girls was already addicted to seraphim through her drug-dealer mother. Another was being abused by her live-in uncle while her parents turned a blind eye because he helped pay rent. Another was pregnant and living with her abusive boyfriend who hit her about as often as he used her body to pay his debts to loan sharks. These girls were all young, vulnerable, and too poor or scared to leave their situations. Extracting them would be difficult, and that was assuming they wanted to leave. There was ugliness lurking around every corner, and it was all he could do to keep these young witches from being dragged into dark rooms they would never come out of.

    A frantic knocking on his door pulled Sampson from his thoughts and he called for the visitor to enter. Ms. Winters, the coven matron of House Irons, entered his study. She wore a silver sleeping robe, and her disheveled appearance out of bed at this hour was enough to bring him to his feet before she even opened her mouth. Apparently there was a problem with one of the newest girls and it was causing a disturbance. Sampson was about to ask who it was, when there was a loud crash somewhere downstairs and the whole house began to shake.

    Sampson pushed past Ms. Winters and rushed down the stairs, his grace as he navigated the tight corners and all but flew down the halls unusual of the imminent septuagenarian he was. His black loafers skidded to a halt in front of the room, finding the door already ajar and a crowd of girls gathered in the hallway. Inside the room, two of the older girls, Belladonna and Morgana, were restraining one the younger girls against the wall as she screamed wildly. Furniture was flying around the room, books being hurled against the walls, and chairs being smashed against the windows in a hurricane that rivaled the storm outside.

    “Ms. Winters, please return the other girls to their rooms,” Sampson said calmly, striding forward through the chaos, narrowly avoiding being struck int he side of the head by a flying bedside table. He came upon the three girls on the other side of the room, and pressed his right thumb to the forehead of the screaming girl. “Lilith,” he rumbled deeply. “Hiberna!.”

    Lilith collapsed like a ragdoll, and behind them the furniture crashed to the floor in a jarring silence. Sampson instructed Belladonna and Morgana to bring Lilith to the nearest stable bed and lay her out. Belladonna pulled up a chair beside the bed and Sampson sat down, thanking her. He pulled his wand from inside his vest pocket, pressing the dark wood to his temple. His other hand rested flat on Lilith’s forehead. Sampson’s eyes slowly closed and he took in a deep breath, feeling the magic dulling his senses and sending him headlong into a deep bewitched sleep to search for Lilith.

    ~*~

    Sampson blinked, feeling the familiar haze that took a moment to calibrate whenever he entered someone else’s mind. Every inch of his body, from the tips of his fingers to the ends of his toes, vibrated with a strange air. His palms flickered in and out of focus like he was a mirage. He looked down, seeing his familiar wingtips standing on a bright-but-worn cobalt-blue carpet. He looked around at the high arched marble ceilings, massive stained glass windows, and wooden pews that seemed to stretch onto infinity. Everything was bathed in an ethereal white light, but rather than being angelic, it felt…blinding. It was too harsh and bright to the point that is was almost uncomfortable. 

    His footsteps echoed in the unnaturally empty space as he walked down the row of pews. He recognized this strange place as a center of worship, a place frequented by no-maj on Sundays. In most situations, Sampson would be nonplussed to find a church in someone’s mind. Many people, magical and mundane, sought refuge in religion for various reasons, and he was never one to judge that need. But in his case— in this mind— the appearance was deeply troubling. Every detail, every piece of wood and glass, was sharp and crisp—too clear to be just a dream. It was a place Lilith went often, whose minute detail was seared into her memory like a brand.

    Lilith Shelley, age eight, was House Irons newest Iron Witch. Sampson had adopted her from her mother less than a month ago, and it had been a long and drawn out battle. Mrs. Shelley was a fundamentalist, a religious woman with a very strict view of what was holy and what was not. When her daughter had her first sign of magic, it had been…troubling…to say the least. Sampson always placed a high priority on witches born to no-maj parents with very deep religious views. Unfortunately, there were still pockets of the country, particularly small towns, where witches were killed for the misfortune of being born into a superstitious family. Sampson and Ms. Winters had dropped everything when they learned about Lilith’s fate, and rushed to get her. The conditions they found the poor witch in were atrocious. It seemed there were still some people who thought magic was an unholy plague that a child must be "cleansed" of, and employed some of the most barbaric methods to do so.

    Sampson wasn’t sure how long he walked down in the dream, but he took great care not to disturb anything around him. Lilith had barely spoken ten words to him since she arrived, and he hadn't pushed her. He wanted to see exactly what nightmare had trapped the poor girl and caused her to go into a dreaming rage. He had seen many victims of abuse suffer the same side-effects, the long-term trauma often manifesting itself through suppressed magical powers. It spoke volumes of the agony and suffering within, and that was where the healing had to start.

    Eventually, Sampson managed to make his way to the front of the room, where he found Lilith. She was strung up, her hands and feet nailed to the wooden structure on the wall behind her. Her skin was covered dozens of cigarette burns and angry red welts. On her head sat a laurel of thorns, each one pricking her skin. The symbolism was not lost on Sampson, who felt his heart clenching with a deep sadness.

    “Lilith,” he called calmly.

    There was no response.

    “Lilith, can you hear me?”

    Still, no response.

    Sampson shook his head in disappointment, then sat back against a railing behind him. He stared at her for a long time, his dark eyes flickering over the horror before him. He sat in complete silence, and they were like two statues facing each other. So this is what the poor girl dreams about. Sampson could try all he wanted, but his voice would not reach her even here. Not yet. There were limitations to his magic, and whatever had hold of Lilith's mind had been there for a long, long time. The dark shadow that was looming around the corner had been given too much time to grow.

    ~*~

    Sampson opened his eyes.

    His mind spun like a top, but he quickly righted himself and grounded his spirit back in the waking plane. Behind him the night was starting to fade into a dull sunrise, red and purple peeking over the horizon. His back ached from sitting so still for the last two hours. Ms Winters was standing beside him, looking at Lilith worriedly.

    Sampson removed his hand from Lilith's clammy forehead, and he shook his head.

    “It's worse than we thought. The existing damage is too extensive," Sampson said, standing up.

    Ms. Winters asked what he saw as she placed a blanket over the now-sleeping girl.

    "Something quite terrifying, I am afraid," he said softly. "She is not beyond our help, but it will be a long recovery for her. Our only hope is to lend her the coven's strength until she is ready to leave that place on her own."

    That was just the way it went with some of the girls who had come from truly atrocious conditions. There was a limit to what his magic could do in a situation like this. But until then, that horror would be her prison.




    Approved!


  • Online Ashton
  • Re: Special Feature Applications
    « Reply #202 on: June 01, 2017, 02:52:46 AM »

    Name: Ashton
    Character name: Alyson Graves
    Feature you are applying for: Precognitive dream clairvoyant



    Description of the character:  Alyson isn't the most levelheaded person. She tends to act rather impulsively on occasion, particularly when her mood swings. She acts entirely based on the intensity of her emotions and this can make her seem fickle and moody at times, but she feels it's best to act completely organically and to do what feels right in the moment. When she's feeling particularly down in the dumps, she has a tendency to run away to secluded places, whether that's onto the roof, into the woods, into the city, or simply under the covers on her bed.

    Alyson is very into artsy things, even though she doesn't consider herself particularly talented in any one area. She likes theatre, music, poetry, painting, drawing, pottery (including making subpar ceramic dishware), and other things that are close or distant relatives of these. On the flipside, she does enjoy things that kids from the wrong side of the tracks generally indulge in -- drinking, sneaking out, shoplifting, smoking, parties, and sometimes all of them at once. Growing up poor required the Graves sisters to come up with their own fun and their own means of survival, so these are all things near and dear to Alyson and her sister, Annie.

    An introverted young witch, Aly can be prone to isolating herself. Not ever wanting to feel like a burden to others, she prefers to be alone rather than trying to smother her intense feelings. With people she is immensely close to, there can be exceptions to this rule. Even though she's introverted and a bit shy upon first interactions sometimes, she doesn't usually have issues talking to people and, in fact, can keep conversations flowing for as long as necessary. She's also funny and can be quite radiant when she's on the upside of her emotions. Aly is an average student according to her marks, but she really is very intelligent. She's got a creative mind, overflowing with daydreams and idle thoughts and disractions that aren't always relevant to classroom learning. She enjoys learning new things and picking up new skills, but institutionalized learning has proven to be riddled with a little too much structure for her preferences and so she usually churns out an average classroom performance.

    Alyson feels things with unusual depth. When she feels comfortable, she's the type to wear her heart on her sleeve. Around most people, though, she's afraid of being ridiculed for that kind of sensitivity like she has been in the past. She doesn't open up to many people anymore and has a tendency to internalize those feelings and experiences. When she doesn't talk these things out with others, Alyson can get lost in her own head and overthink, sometimes making a big deal out of what would seem more minor to others. Aly often feels very lonely and misunderstood because of all of these things, so she tends to cry a lot and display other outbursts of emotion when she feels too overwhelmed. She's easily hurt and very sensitive, taking things to heart and dwelling on them much of the time.

    Aly doesn't really dispute people's ideas of her, even though she knows some of them might be incorrect or gathered from very brief insights to her personality. She does not thrive on conflict and prefers to avoid confrontation altogether, allowing people to think whatever they please even if it affects her detrimentally. She enjoys being liked, but Alyson doesn't care enough about being liked to attempt to change anything about her personality or her behavior.

    In a sense, Alyson doesn't have a very defined moral compass. She's fairly openminded and is very much in favor of people doing whatever makes them happy and whatever makes them feel good. She generally minds her own business and is not particularly concerned with sticking her nose where it doesn't belong. This can make her dreams rather difficult to deal with at times. The exceptions have to do with the people she cares about most. When it comes to other people, Aly is kind and sees no reason to go out of her way to be unkind. She's compassionate and empathetic, caring deeply about how other people are feeling and how she makes them feel. Alyson had a rough childhood and certainly was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth, so she makes sure that she does everything in her power to listen, understand, and take care of other people.



         introduction:

    I've never had a character that was exactly right for the Sight, even though the feature has always sort of intrigued me. Most of my characters have had strengths that made their homes in branches of magic other than divination or anything related, but when Alyson's concept popped into my head, I made the connection almost immediately. It meshes with her personality, it makes sense with her history and her habits, and it's going to create several plots that involve multiple people that I'm really, really going to enjoy playing out. In addition to that, there's a lot of development in the future for Alyson because she is just beginning to realize the ramifications of her ability and what it means. I'll be discussing each of these things below.

         personality:

    Alyson's personality lends itself to this feature really well. There's a good amount of give and take between her personality and the Sight that contributes to her character as a whole. To begin, her personality has most of the basic "requirements" for a seer: one main thing is that she's really quite talented in divination. Alyson's whole family is talented in the subject in varying levels, and it's her strongest subject because of the way she approaches life and looks at things, even outside of school. Alyson is not a big fan of showboating. Her talents and skills lie in areas that are more subjective -- such as divination, music, theatre, art, and other things that require a good deal of internal processing and thought. She's not very good at overtly flashy subjects that are more specifically skill-based and prefers to focus on things that have a little wiggle room.

    This being said, she's openminded and has a very active mind. This provides a better platform for this type of magic to manifest and she's a good candidate to begin learning how to harness it. Her openness to new ideas and her creativity do not "block" the magic. Alyson also spends a lot of time alone. Naturally introverted and a deep thinker, Alyson isolates herself to think sometimes. While she tends to go with the flow and what feels right at the time when she makes decisions, that certainly doesn't mean she doesn't spend time dissecting things. She thinks about her interactions with others, thinks about her dreams, thinks about the consequences of things, thinks about how things made her or others feel. She even overthinks a lot, contributing to some intensified emotions and slight feelings of paranoia at times. She can fixate on small pieces or details of things, especially if that's all she's given to work with(as she is in her dreams at times).

    She's empathetic and compassionate. Her visions are another way for her to relate to others. However, these pros have their cons in a situation like this one. Alyson's visions are very intense and very personal, and they can cause her to act differently -- her visions can induce negative behavior and have contributed to her character and who she is. Aly often indulges in substance abuse, can be very mentally volatile and unstable, and forms relationships based on codependent or tumultuous terms.

         history:

    Alyson's history also contributes to the feature making a whole lot of sense and adding to her character and the way she's developed thus far in her life. As I said before, Alyson's whole family is talented in divination. Her mother was the most unique of the bunch, also having visionary dreams: the difference between them being that Alyson's mother did not possess any magical ability. Alyson's mother experienced visionary dreams even before she was married to Aly's father. No-maj doctors, however, dismissed these visions as psychosis. Eventually, when no-maj prescriptions did nothing to help, Alyson's father turned to diluted magical sleeping drafts to try and alleviate his wife's pain. They sent her into sometimes days-long comas with deep enough sleep to dull her visions, but it was clear they weren't meant for no-maj use. Following addiction to the potions, her mother experienced plenty of drugged-up spells that left her unable to care for her children, especially after Alyson's father left them all to pursue his off-brand vigilantism.

    Aly's visions began early in her life. As a small child, she didn't know what they were and assumed everyone else had bright, vivid dreams that were often sensory experiences. This was not the case, obviously, but as much would not be revealed to her until much later. Alyson and her sister, Julianne, had an extremely rough childhood in Brooklyn after their father's departure. Their mother was almost always useless and, to their knowledge, their father was dead. All they had was one another. Julianne knew about Aly's dreams because they slept in the same bed and would comfort her when they were particularly scary. This built a sense of codependency between the sisters and they need one another to confide in about such things even now.

    Several years before Aly and Annie started at Ilvermorny, they were adopted by Sampson Irons and, by extension, House Irons itself. Sampson has been an integral part in Alyson's realization of her ability and learning how to cope with it. In addition to that, however, they share extra magical abilities having to do with dreams. Having never really known her real father, Sampson has been Aly's father figure for a long time and provides what she considers to be extremely valuable counsel and advice, as well as therapeutic measures when she really needs them. At House Irons, Alyson also met Lorelei Faulkner. Lori was a valuable mentor in shadow magic and a tutor in other subjects to Alyson as well as a maternal figure. As an Obscurial, Lorelei could connect to Alyson about her dreams and could understand the difficulty discerning dreams from reality. They still check in with one another.

         limitations & ramifications:

    With every special ability, there are limitations to what the person possessing the ability can do. Each person with the Sight has visions that manifest themselves differently, even within the realm of dream precognition. To be totally honest, Alyson is 100% new to this ability and doesn't really know the first thing about harnessing it or controlling it. Her visions come very naturally to her and they sort of just run their course.

    She's also very limited in her knowledge of what her visions actually are. Usually, Aly's visions come in intense flashes in random increments at random times in her sleep. Sometimes they're fuzzier, sometimes they're vivid, sometimes they last longer, and sometimes they are very short. Her visions are most of the time limited to one sense: they can be auditory, visual, comprised of smells, or anything else. More intense visions can be a mixture of any of these things and can knock her out for hours.

    She experiences a lot of pain with many of her visions. They cause migraines and body aches most of the time. With longer or more intense visions that might show her disturbing things, she's experienced cold sweats, weakness, shaking, vomiting, nosebleeds, and combinations of all of these things. Her visions can have detrimental affects on her for days following and can make her very weak cognitively and physically. She sometimes has a hard time telling which dreams are nightmares and which ones are visions, but how realistic the scenarios are tends to point her in the right direction in determining that.

    While only just learning the extent of her ability and what it can do, eventually, Alyson would like to learn to limit the pain and before that, to learn to predict when they are coming so that she can prepare and protect herself from the repercussions.

    Not all of her visions are negative ones: the positive ones tend to be more figurative than the negative ones and include things like smells, taste, pleasant emotions, and general feelings of relaxation. These come to her randomly as well and have even shown up in her idle daydreaming.



         general plots:

    I've got quite a few general plots planned out for Alyson that I haven't totally fleshed out in addition to the more specific plots I have and some that I might want to pursue in the future for development as well. Alyson's gift really affects each and every area of her life and will be something I'll be playing out in nearly every thread she has. It is so close to her and so personal that it's a part of who she is and how she functions and copes with things on a daily basis. It affects her relationship with her parents and with her sister as well as the people close to her. It causes her to go through cyclical patterns and to experience major highs and lows, both of which I'm excited to explore and play out. I eventually want to pursue a more intense low that will cause her to spiral further into her substance abuse problems and her instability, and some of the plots I've got planned with people already could contribute or feed into that.

    Additionally, I have a couple general plots with some students that I'll flesh out more as I write her history and the respective drivers of these characters do the same. I've spoken with @Mickie and @Taylor about involving their girls -- Mickie's character being currently in the works and Taylor's being Mellie. Alyson will develop friendships with each of these girls and tell them about some visions she has concerning their lives. In these situations or other ones that might involve fellow students, I really want Alyson to misinterpret some of the things she sees and to stir up problems that way because, let's face it -- who doesn't love a little drama in their student plots? (Or plots in general, if you're me.)


         sampson & lorelei:

    Sampson (@Meridian) and Lorelei (@JT) are both incredibly important to this feature and I'm beyond excited to have real adults involved in Alyson's development as she's had quite a rough time of it when it comes to parental figures. They're each going to help Alyson to understand, discover, and learn to cope with her gift in different ways.

    Sampson has been like a father to her since her childhood and as a dreamwalker can help her in ways that other adults cannot. Alyson's intense therapy sessions with Sampson and her utter confidence in him is going to strengthen their bond and is also going to be a point of contention between Alyson, Sampson, and her sister Julianne.

    Lorelei was one of the original Iron Witches and spent a lot of time at House Irons when Alyson and her sister arrived there as children. As an Obscurial, Lorelei is someone that Alyson feels comfortable talking to about the ambiguity of her dreams and whether or not they're actually real. Sometimes this can cause a bit of an identity crisis in Alyson and Lorelei is likely one of the best people out there to understand as much. They check in with one another and write one another on a very regular basis, and in the absence of her mother, Lorelei has become something of a maternal figure to Aly.

         christian:

    Christian was originally a plot brainchild for this feature and luckily, I pawned him off on an excellent writer. @Dylan is going to be writing Christian, a wizard ten years Alyson's senior that she will become involved with in more ways than one. Christian is a talented vigilante Auror for MACUSA who, unbeknownst to Alyson, trained under her father to learn his craft. This strange connection will reveal itself later, but the one Alyson knows of at the moment has to do with the dreams she is having about him. The summer before her fifth year at Ilvermorny, she's going to begin seeing him in her visions -- committing what seem to be rather heinous acts and harming other people.

    While she's home with her sister visiting her mother and using the no-maj subway to get somewhere (or something to this effect, details to be hashed out) she's going to see him and recognize him from some of the painful visions she's been having. Alyson will witness Christian committing a serious crime against another human being and while Christian has a rather skewed set of morals, it doesn't mean he doesn't possess them at all -- so he doesn't harm her.

    Following their first interaction, he's going to keep tabs on her and they'll keep in touch. He's intrigued by her and vice-versa: the girl who has seen him and gotten to know him in her dreams. She tells Christian when she sees the fugitives he's hunting and tells him what she sees him doing to successfully incriminate them.

    As someone who is ten years older than Alyson, the relationship that they are eventually going to develop is going to be... complicated. They care about one another, they take care OF each other(as far as they're concerned), and they know one another's secrets. This is a complex plot point that is going to be instrumental to a lot of Alyson's development and will affect many areas of her life, including her eventual reuniting with her father and the knowledge that he is alive. All that being said, the unusual nature of her relationship with Christian is going to spark doubt and concern in many other close relationships she has.

         annie:

    Julianne is Alyson's sister, played by @Sophie, and one of the people she is the closest to and tells the most things to. However supportive of her Julianne is, she has some issues with Alyson's ability and especially with how much she seems to be publicizing it (according to Julianne). Alyson is beginning to confide in others whom she considers to be important in her life about her ability. This includes Sampson, Lorelei, Christian, Ezra, Atticus, and perhaps a couple of other individuals.

    Julianne is of the opinion that it should be kept private and absolutely not advertised or strengthened, so this is going to cause some interesting tension between the sisters and between all parties involved in Alyson's revelations to other people. Even though Aly is going to become frustrated with her older sister, Annie has been there from day one and has always looked out for her sister. They have an unbreakable bond and a relationship that doesn't lend itself to quitting, so I am excited to play out their trials and development as siblings.

         ezra:

    Ezra has been one of Alyson's best friends at Ilvermorny since their first year there. They care about one another immensely and do almost everything together. They grew up in similar situations: on the wrong side of the tracks with not a whole lot of money and multiple mouths to feed. While it was Ezra's mother who left and not his father as in Alyson's situation, they can relate on a lot of points.

    Alyson feels comfortable confiding in him, being herself, and being open with him. They do crazy things together, they tell each other secrets, they support one another -- and in doing so, Ezra is going to be one of the first people that Alyson has told about her visions. He helps her through the bad spells and is there for her no matter what she does (even if it's not necessarily healthy) and has begun to harbor some more-than-platonic feelings for her. While she's mostly oblivious to them, @Rinn and I are looking at playing around with visions concerning these emotions and with Ezra helping her cope with her Sight in general. I'm very excited about this plot and how involved and intricate it's going to be as well as the fabulous feelings of guilt and confusion these two are going to inevitably experience due to the nature of their very close friendship.

         atticus:

    Last, but not least, there's Atticus. Atticus is a polite young man a year ahead of Alyson that she'd known, up until last term, as a friendly acquaintance. It turned into a little more than that when they were paired up as partners in one of their classes, helped one another with homework, and got to know one another better. As a person who easily develops attachments, Alyson took an almost immediate liking to Atticus.

    For awhile, they dated, or so Alyson thought, and some pretty monumental things happened between them. During this time, Alyson was under the impression that their relationship was exclusive. Near the end, she had a vision of Atticus with another girl. Instead of asking him whether or not it was true, she was happy to casually break it off at the end of the term and to ignore him all summer.

    This coming year, there's going to be some unresolved tension between them due to that miscommunication and the heartbreaking vision, but eventually, Alyson's sister is going to intervene and the two are going to settle on becoming good friends instead of trying to pursue anything romantic further. This is going to provide Alyson with some solidarity down the line because of some things they have in common, and I look forward to developing this relationship more as it blossoms into whatever it may be.



    RP sample using the feature:

    Thump. Thump.

    ... Ba-dump.

    It was hard to tell whether or not the slowing bumping in her ears was her heartbeat or something she was hearing in her dreams. In her unconscious state, Alyson winced, trying, to no avail, to ignore the building noises that were crushing her head. Making her feel like it was going to implode under the pressure. Overlapping into hysterical cacophony. A few seconds later, she rolled over in her sheets. Her hands flew up to cup her ears and a searing flash of red light illuminated the delicate skin behind her eyelids, drowning out all the slow beating to make way for a harsh ringing that she wasn't sure even dogs could hear.

    Did the beginnings of visions always have to hurt so bad?

    She knew she was asleep. Knew she was dreaming. Seeing? Both? Neither? That, for some stupid reason, didn't mean she could yank herself right out of the unconsciousness back to the real-people world. Anytime one of her visions had been interrupted, it had been by someone else. She wished she was with Ezra. (Was she with Ezra?) Wished he were there to shake her and to assure her it was over. She couldn't even remember where she was or when she'd fallen asleep.

    Alyson grunted and clenched her fists over her ears, beating gently on them with the heels of her palms, hoping that the tensile strength she was transferring to her hands would subside the gnashing of her jaws. The echoing, slapping sounds of footsteps on pavement faded in and replaced the ringing, and for a minute, the pain was gone. Aly couldn't make a lot of sense of what happened next. Running. Heavy, labored breathing. Running, running, more running -- she wasn't sure whether she'd only heard it or seen it or even knew who it was, but whoever they were -- they were running. From something. Or someone.

    When she woke up from visions, especially in the middle of them, it often felt like catching her breath inside burning lungs after having been underwater for a really long time. Like a mother cat was pulling her baby out of the hawk's talons by the scruff. It was harsh, but it meant safety. Peace, if only momentarily. Foggy shapes came into blurry hazel view and Alyson's shoulders shook as she resurfaced, grabbing weakly at whoever's arms were grasping her shoulders. "Aly. Aly! Alyson!" The voice garbled almost unintelligibly, strong hands shaking her until she came to, eyes wide and glassy from the effort it had taken to endure the vision.

    Useless vision, if you asked her. She was beginning to like sleep a little less. There was always a decent chance she'd walk in expecting to count sheep and walk out of the burning house that was her mind some time later on in the night. Or early morning, if the birds were singing, and sometimes they did. It made the ache in her teeth from grinding them so hard throb a little less. Made the pounding in her skull a little less loud.

    "Who -- whosair." Alyson shook her head, noticing the labored breaths heaving her chest and attempting, surely, to slow them down. "Annie? Wha -- happened to me? Was I ... screaming?" She slurred, eyes narrowed while she blinked the last remnants of her dream away. "I'm sorry."



  • Offline Taylor
  • Re: Special Feature Applications
    « Reply #203 on: June 02, 2017, 06:28:30 AM »


    Name: Rinn and Samm
    Character Names: Nsia and Dajon Asante, 4th year Ilvermorny twins

    Feature you are applying for:
    Aeromancy, an original Special Feature

    Introduction:
    We have spent weeks developing this feature together, researching Caribbean and Ashanti folklore, legend, and myth, and making sure to develop a special feature that was not only interesting to us, but also playable with plenty of options for plots and threads and character development. We know a joint application for a special feature is unusual, but because of our characters being twins, and their powers being like two sides of the same coin, we thought it best to put everything together in one application. Thanks for your consideration~

    In Caribbean folklore, there are mythical creatures called Mami Watas, who are also known as the Sirens of the Sea. They are mermadic creatures who were rumored to lure unfortunate sailors to their untimely demise for a number of nefarious reasons. While they share similarities with the European and Slavic sirens in mythology, such as their curiosity about humans and love for shiny baubles, legend also dictates that they were at times malevolent and sinister in nature. In their stories, they were often blamed for the death of sailors, the violent destruction of ships, and the harsh storms that plagued the Caribbean archipelago.

    There is also a legend about a specific type of Mami Wata. They were referred to as "Weather Workers" or “Aeromancers”. In mythology, this unique breed of sirens were rumored to use the might of storms as a tool. Adept in weather magic and capable of conjuring and controlling storms, they would use their powers to drag passing ships into their coves and wreck them on the rocks. Stories about Aeromancers indicate they had the ability to conjure lightning, intense winds, thunder clouds, and rains. Rare to the clan were the few who were not only able to control the weather, but also divine the future from it. The Aeromancers worshiped the elements, saw glimpses of the future in their storms, and were revered and feared by other communities.

    With these great creatures in mind, we have created an original special feature called Aeromancy. In the following application, we will explain the story about how the Aeromancers came to be on Spider Island, what has happened to them since, and how their unique magic was passed on to our characters, Nsia and Dajon Asante.

    Before Spider Island was inhabited by humans, it was a natural haven of magical creatures, both on land and in the seas surrounding the island’s pristine beaches. The Mami Watas, a specific breed of Caribbean Sirens, were one of those creatures. Inhabiting the clear waters and beautiful beaches on the south shore of the island, they lived in relative peace with the land creatures and the Papa Bois (Father of the Forest). For centuries, they drew ships in with their weather magic, conjuring great storms as a clan with the strongest of them seeing visions of the future in the lightning and clouds. Although humans had inhabited the island for centuries, there had been no issues between the two civilizations. They had even been useful to one another. It was rumored that some islanders had even mated with the Mami Watas during those first few years of Spider Island being founded and that rumor is in part why the island still holds the Cova Muzicka tradition every year.

    It wasn't until the Obeah witch Madam Yaba, claiming to be a Myal medium, came to the island nearly one hundred years ago that things began to change. The then young witch was hungry for power and youth and coveted the position of Riva Muma. She wanted to lead the people of the island, to gain immense power, and to be revered like the current Riva Muma. However, traditionally the position was only granted to a female member of the Asante family. Madam Yaba’s ineligibility forced her to put together a plan: she would siphon the magic from the Mami Watas and with that power, the island community would be forced to give her the Riva Muma position.

    The Mami Watas, capable of divining the future, saw visions of Madam Yaba's arrival and of her malicious plan, and so hid themselves away. Cloaking themselves from the island, they have remained an enigma since their mysterious disappearance. It is rumored that they still reside in the waters off the south beach, but are unreachable by humans. The residents of the island noticed the disappearance of the Mami Watas, but they did not launch an investigation. Magical affairs, the deal with the Papa Bois, and the welfare of the citizens on the island took precedence. Madam Yaba, however, was furious and hurt by their disappearance and the subsequent ruining of her grand plan. Without their power, she could never hope to be elected the first non-Asante Riva Muma. She needed a new plan and more than half a century later (and quite a few failed attempts to reveal the hidden Mami Watas), she finally decided on a new plan. Islanders considered it to be just an urban legend, but Madam Yaba found out that the current line of Asante were descended from the Mami Wata sirens. And so she began to put her plan into action.

    Thema Asante, next in line to inherit the Riva Muma title and mother to Dajon and Nsia, became Madam Yaba's new target. Thema and her husband, Baako Sosseh, had already been blessed with one child, but Thema knew they would need a female heir to inherit the position of island leader. They struggled for some time to conceive until Thema was pushed to desperation. Against Baako's wishes, Thema travelled to the south side of the island to plead with the Myal medium for help. Unlike her suspicious husband, Thema believed the strange old witch was there to help. Madam Yaba, with her devious plan in mind, agreed with a faked apprehension.

    First, the old witch gave Thema a round of oils and good luck charms supposed to promote fertility, but when those did not yield results, Thema pushed for more extreme action and Madam Yaba obliged. She performed an ancient spell and performed a tribute to the Ashanti Earth Goddess said to be the creator of humans and the Goddess of fertility, Asase Ya. It would be two more weeks before Thema was finally with child, twins actually, and suddenly Madam Yaba went from being the spooky witch on the south side of the island to the savior of the Asante Riva Muma line. Thema and Baako were forever in her debt, and even as the pregnancy moved along, they often went to Madam Yaba for assistance. Nearing the middle of her third trimester, Thema began to have complications with her pregnancy and naturally she went to the Madam Yaba for help, unaware that this had been a part of the old witch’s plan all along. After decades of trying relocate the Mami Watas with no luck, Madam Yaba had come across a ritual once practiced by the very same clan. In order to pass their unique weather manipulation and divining magics on to their sometimes halfblood offspring, the Mami Watas would complete a ritual in the magical waters of their cove. Madam Yaba determined that if she could complete this ritual with someone descended from the Mami Wata clan, she would be able to awaken the Mami Wata’s powers in the babies and then be able to steal their magic for herself.

    Madam Yaba convinced Thema and Baako that the safest way to deliver their twin babies would be in the water just like their ancestors on the island had done for generations. It put less stress on the mother and the babies and without much deliberation, the couple agreed. Funnelling the magic of the cove, the completion of the ritual, and a powerful lightning storm in the distance, Madam Yaba delivered healthy twin babies who had Mami Wata blood running in their veins. What she hadn't planned for was how long the magic would take to manifest. Children of the Mami Wata clan were not able to fully control the weather and only a select few adults would ever learn to divine the future from it. As children, the Asante twins seemed entirely human, but Madam Yaba kept a suspiciously close eye on them nevertheless. She paid them so much interest that it never quite sat right with their father Baako, and when he began to ask questions, he met his untimely death while on the southwest shores of the island, suspiciously near Madam Yaba’s cottage.

    As the children grew, their powers slowly began to show, starting small with things that could be easily written off as coincidence and more recently becoming something they could not ignore. We have plenty of future plots with them both with other characters and a line of developmental threads with the two of us to progress their story.


    Legend tells us that historically Aeromancers could control the atmosphere. They could bring rain, summon intense winds, create lightning, and generate tropical storms. Most often, they would use their powers to lure in sailors with both their song and their storm, causing ships to crash on the rocks near their cove. A small portion of Aeromancers were also born with the special gift of divining the future from weather and were able to glimpse visions of the future in thunder clouds and lightning bolts.

    With the twins at their current age of 14, they are just beginning to learn about their abilities. When they were younger, they seemed to have a connection to storms that could have easily been written off as coincidence. When Nsia was frustrated, winds seemed to be stronger and when Dajon was upset, rainfall increased on the island. However, as they begin to reach maturity, these coincidences will become more and more frequent and more and more less like coincidences.

    If approved, the twins will experience more of a showing of their innate abilities. They will learn they are able to affect small amounts of weather such as a gust of wind, movement of clouds, or a brief, small rainfall. The twins, like their Aeromancer ancestors, are incapable of creating weather from nothing. They can merely manipulate what is already in the atmosphere.

    In the future, as the twins grow, research, and discover more about their abilities, they will have more control and intent over their magic, though this might not happen for many years. They will learn to manipulate varying types of weather and in larger volume. Together, they will be able to channel their magic to be able to produce storms, but it will take a large amount of energy.

    As they age, they will also unlock the ability to divine the future inside of weather. In the beginning, these visions will be rare, confusing, and highly unreliable. The future, with its fluid nature, is always in motion and the twins will struggle to understand and decode the meaning of the various possibilities shown to them in their visions.

    Nsia, being a reactive and highly emotional personality type, will be most adept at conjuring lightning and affecting wind while Dajon, being a more controlled and slow burning personality type, will excel at generating thunder, affecting changes in precipitation particularly rainfall, and manipulating clouds. Together, they will have the power to bring a tropical storm to full force, using their thunder and lightning magics together in unison. It is within these magical storms that they will begin to truly understand and be able to divine the future.


    While their innate magic affords them more abilities than the average witch or wizard, there are also many limitations to their powers.

    Undeveloped Abilities: The twins’ magic will be especially limited in the beginning stages. All of their powers right now are just beginning to emerge in a meaningful way and are still very undeveloped. Nsia and Dajon are limited not only in their ignorance of their magic, but also because they won’t know what it is at first, how to control it, or even where these gifts originated. It will take a long time for them to be proficient and adept at controlling their magic so in the meantime, they will need a lot of time grow and develop into their powers. It will be a few long years of trial and error.

    Lack of Proper Instruction: Due to the mysterious disappearance of the original Mami Wata clan on Spider Island, the twins have the challenge of learning their magic without real instruction. They do not have a teacher, the residents of the island rarely offer information that isn't simply misleading gossip, their mother refuses to share details, and there is very little text about the Mami Watas left. Besides all that, at the start, the twins will not even know the Mami Watas are their ancestors and the key to unlocking more information about their innate magic. All of this will slow their learning process down tremendously, and thus, they will be forced to learn as they go.

    Manipulation, not Creation: Nsia and Dajon will not be able to conjure weather from nothing. Their abilities are limited to manipulating weather that is already in existence. For example, Dajon would not be able to conjure rain if there was not already precipitation existing in the atmosphere that he could manipulate.

    Unreliable Divination Ability: At the start of harnessing their magic, the twins may be able to see visions of the future in storms, but the visions will be vague, confusing, and ambiguous. It will be almost impossible for them to accurately foresee the future and in the beginning stages of their magic, they will not even believe that the future is what they are seeing. It will take learning and discovery of their magic before they fully realize what their magic is capable of. In addition, their visions also may often be inaccurate. The future is always changing based on choice and free will, and the twins may see options of the future, not what will happen concretely.

    Energy Expenditure: Nsia and Dajon will have to learn early on to pace themselves through their magic because this particular brand of magic is especially draining. They will not be able to manipulate the weather for very long and it will not have a large reach, especially in the beginning stages of learning their magic. The negative side effects of utilizing their magic, both consciously and unconsciously, include dizziness, extreme fatigue, difficulty breathing shortly after using their magic, and even fainting spells. These effects can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days and in the early stages, the recovery period will last much longer.

    Limited Scope: Their powers of weather manipulation are limited in scope. In the beginning stages of their power, they can only affect a very small range of weather conditions such as manipulating rainfall in a small radius or affecting a small gust of wind with little force behind it. As their powers develop, they might eventually be able to work together to create storms from both of their powers, but never so much that it could alter the balance of the Earth’s atmosphere.

    Limited Distance: Because they cannot generate weather and can only manipulate atmospheric elements, they can only control that which is relatively close in proximity to them. They don’t have a large scope of reach and most often must have visual sight of the storm to be able to manipulate it.

    Limited Affinities: The twins each have an affinity for specific weather elements and there isn’t much crossover between their powers. Historically, this specialization was what happened with ancient Aeromancers as well. Each Aeromancer specialized in a certain element. Nsia, for example, specializes with lightning and wind, while Dajon with thunder and rain. Nsia wouldn’t be able to control thunder and rain like Dajon can, no matter how hard she trained and vice versa.

    Limited Capabilities: Because Nsia and Dajon inherited their magic from their ancestors, they only inherited the capabilities their ancestors possessed, specifically manipulation of storms (lightning, thunder), rain, and wind. Neither twin will have nor develop the capabilities to affect other weather-related conditions such as thermal temperature or heavier precipitation like snow or sleet.

    Limited to Precognition: The twins’ abilities to divine the future from a storm only allow them to see future events, not past ones. They are precognitives, just like their Aeromancer ancestors were.

    Vulnerability: Nsia and Dajon are not immune to the effects of the weather they manipulate. They are not innately protected from the conditions. If they have manipulated rainfall, they might get wet. If they’re not careful with where they aim lightning strikes, they could find themselves in trouble. There is a high risk of danger when they use their magic and not something to be taken lightly.


    In many ways Dajon is the opposite of his younger twin sister Nsia. Where she is reactive and prone to swift emotional changes he is more composed, collected, and calm. He tries to let things wash over him but more often than not he ends up dwelling on them later. He lets things fester underneath the surface until he is so upset about them that his emotions finally boil over. This is why I think connecting him with Thunder works so perfectly. He has a slow burning type of emotional core but when he is finally ready to let it out it can be explosive.

    Dajon is the type to outwardly ignore things but inwardly regret them and condemn himself. He is always second guessing and going back over the things he has done and wondering how he could of done them better. He blames himself for anything that has gone wrong and when the pressure of being a perfectionist becomes to much he tends to lash out. Most of his tantrums are private, screaming into his pillow, breaking things in his room, but more and more frequently he has let Nsia’s wild emotions feed his own. There can be no thunder without lightning.


    Nsia is like a tropical storm wrapped in bold colors, high levels of emotion, and a smile like the sun. She’s bold but loyal, outgoing but vulnerable, and smart but hides it. She lives in the moment and yearns for a life that’s the opposite of ordinary. She doesn’t mind the spotlight as long as it’s of her doing, she gets along well with boys, and she’s the lifeblood that holds her siblings together.

    This special feature would work really well for her personality. To me, she’s already like a tropical storm and having the powers to manipulate and control storms is only an extension of her character and something that developed quite organically for me as a driver. Storms like the ones the twins will be able to manipulate are often more common in spring and summer, which fits perfectly for Nsia because she is very much a summer type of girl. She’s unpredictable like lightning, inconsistent like the wind, and it would be a great opportunity to develop her character through a special feature like this.


    We have reached out to many drivers to ensure that this special feature would be played out in our threads.

    Zelda Morningstar
    Zelda is a friend of Nsia’s and someone she’s looked to ever since Sampson brought her with him on one of his visits to Spider Island. Because Nsia trusts Zelda and knows she is very much into books, grimoires, and spells, she convinces Dajon to go to Zelda to see if they can help them and ask if she’s seen anything like their magic in any of her books and grimoires. Zelda will try to help and eventually suggest the twins going to Sampson for further help.

    Sampson Irons (Meridian’s WIP - Leads Iron Witch Coven)
    Sampson is a distant relative through their father’s side and the twins hold him in high esteem and view him as mentor. When they start to suspect their magic, they will go to Sampson for help, advice, and guidance. Threads with Sampson will help us play out the development and discovery process as the twins learn what exactly their magic is.

    Isaah Asante (Axel’s WIP, 2nd year Ilvermorny student)
    Isaah is cousin to Dajon and Nsia and played a big role in one instance of the uncontrolled magic that revealed itself in their youth. At home on Spider Island one day, Dajon and Isaah were arguing as their cousins and friends, Nsia included, spent the day at the beach. The argument turned heated and they began to roughhouse in the water, the fight turning more serious than playful. Nsia, quick to defend her brother, stood a few feet away on the shore, yelling at Isaah to quit it. When Nsia caught sight of her cousin giving her brother a bloody nose, intentional or not, her anger reached new levels. A storm that had already been brewing in the distance materialized quickly overhead and a freak bolt of lightning hit the water, very close to where Isaah and Dajon were. Both boys were knocked unconscious by the electrical impulse and had to be rescued from the water. The twins will later connect the dots and realize with the help of cousins and other islanders who were there that day that this was a unintentional display of Nsia’s affinity for lightning manipulation. In addition to that role in their childhood history, we have also plotted with Axel to have Isaah help his cousins investigate and search for more information about their heritage and ancestors.

    Betsy Mae Bird
    Betsy Mae Bird has an on again/off again friendship with Nsia, but she’s more friendly with Dajon. With Inga, we brainstormed some ideas where both Dajon and Nsia could accidentally have their powers activated. One thread idea is to have Dajon and Betsy go on a date, but Dajon gets so nervous he accidentally makes it rain. Another thread idea is a confrontation between Betsy and Nsia when Nsia becomes jealous of someone else having Dajon’s attention. When her emotions get away from her, Nsia accidentally causes small lightning bolts to shock Betsy.

    Debbie Wilder
    After the twins find an ancient document that they think might help them understand their powers, they go to Professor Wilder to ask for her help with the translation because the twins know of her involvement with the Archaic Languages club. The threads that come from this interaction between the twins and Inga’s professor will help us further the plot of the twins’ search for information and answers about their magic.

    Isonade Oshiro
    Once word gets out (and word travels fast on Spider Island) that the twins have inherited the ancient power of the Aeromancers, Iso will sail to Spider Island to see what he can learn from the twins’ future divining abilities. The effect of Iso’s arrival on Spider Island might be more mayhem and chaos created than information actually gathered, but it will be an interesting aspect of the twins’ magic to play out. It is both an example of why their magic is coveted and therefore dangerous, but also shows just how unstable their magic is at the onset as they won’t be able to give Iso any concrete details, if any at all.

    Daisy Neeley & Cooper Beauregard (Jenny & Sophie’s WIPs respectively, 4th year Ilvermorny students)
    After a particularly bad bout of visions or fainting spells from their visions, Dajon suggests he and Nsia go to Daisy and Cooper, who are known to excel in Potions, for help. In the beginning of their discovery phase, the twins will seek out various methods of ‘solving’ the issue before they figure out what the true cause of their symptoms are. Nsia is reluctant to go to them for help because she doesn’t get along well with Daisy and Cooper, but eventually she agrees and they enlist their two yearmates for help.

    Ernest Franklin
    Ernest Franklin, Professor of Charms at Ilvermorny, will be another plot/thread candidate for the twins. Our idea is to have one of the twins bring about some of their magic accidentally either in class or in some other setting where Ernie will be a witness to it. The professor, who has vast experience with atmospheric charms, will wonder at the circumstance and start to question their magic. Since Ernie has also been on the ICW, he has had a lot of contact with weather manipulation problems around the world and might prove to be a valuable resource to the twins as they discover more about their magic.

    Mary Lou Bird
    In June of this past term, Dajon had visions of his friend  Mary Lou Bird getting elected as Vice President to the Student Government Association. While there were numerous visions, Dajon just brushed it off as a weird coincidence, but ended up mentioning it to Mary Lou, believing that his visions were true and that she would win the election. It turned out that Mary Lou didn’t win and the disappointment made the friendship a little awkward between Dajon and Mary Lou. In the future, we plan to thread out other visions with Mary Lou and the twins so we can write how they all respond to new visions, if Mary Lou will trust what the twins say, and how the visions will further affect their friendship.

    Tu'ipelehake Muagututi'a (Kaisa’s WIP, 4th year Ilvermorny student)
    Nsia is very close friends with Tu'ipelehake and will rely on her friend as she goes through the discovery and learning process of her magical abilities. Dajon is always friends with Tu’i as well. We have a fun thread planned where Nsia is confiding in Tu’l about strange things that have been happening to her, but then leaves suddenly as she sees Dajon enter the room because she hasn’t worked up the courage to tell him that something is wrong with her and she knows he’ll be able to easily tell she’s keeping something from him. When Dajon sits down to talk to Tu’i, he also begins to tell her about things that have been happening. It should be a fun, comical thread that we’re all excited about playing. 

    Melanie Moraes (Taylor’s WIP, 6th year Ilvermorny student)
    Two years older than the twins, Mellie Moraes is a friend of Dajon, but not as close with Nsia. Dajon is familiar with the crush Mellie has on her sister’s boyfriend so when one of the twins has a vision of her sister’s boyfriend breaking up with her sister, Nsia is adamant that they should tell Mellie the good news. Dajon, however, is not so eager because they know their visions aren’t reliable or even accurate. When Nsia ends up telling Mellie and then her sister’s boyfriend ends up proposing to her sister, Mellie is disappointed and then angry at the twins for giving her false hope.


    Nsia's Sample:  (Written by Rinn)
    Nsia huffed through the corridor. “Excuse me,” she said to two younger boys who were taking up the whole hallway. The look on their faces as she breezed past them told her how harsh her tone was, but she couldn’t care. She wouldn’t. It would just be one more horrible, terrible thing on her very long list of things that had gone wrong today.
     
    Her morning had been just flat out wrong. Her hair was unusually frizzy and only getting more nad more unruly as the day went on. And then at breakfast even though she tried to put on a brave face, she had watched as a sixth year girl flirted with Keo right in front of her. The nerve! Sure, he might know her feelings, but it wasn’t like she was sitting right there and hadn’t already been talking to him first. And plus! Alchemy had been hell today. She hadn’t gotten the assignment right and the answers she did know, Daisy had ended up being called on to answer. She didn’t get along well with the other fourth year and just thinking of her brought on another surge of annoyance. And then! Those two boys in the hallway annoyed her and plus the fact that it had been rainy and gloomy for the past few days and she needed to see sunshine and feel it on her face almost as much as she needed to breathe.
     
    So when she stepped outside and saw the dark storm clouds looming overhead, she glanced up and lifted her hands to her hips. “Really?!” she asked of the sky. “Can’t get one stinking day of sunshine,” she muttered as she set out down the grounds to one of the benches where she often met her twin. Dajon was already there when she arrived, lounging with a book as if he had no cares in the world. Except maybe what lay on the next page of his book. And that made her even more upset because here he was the picture of cool and she could barely hold on to even tendrils of calm and composure.
     
    And she felt that ugly thing inside her rear its head. The thing she couldn’t name, but she felt it all the way to her core. It made her shake and seethe at the same time. “I’ve had a horrible day already,” she announced to her twin with a snap of her hands on her hips. “And it’s not even lunchtime yet.” And then because of the way he was just lazing there, she narrowed her gaze, envy in her eyes. “How come nothing affects you? You’re so annoying.” The last she said with less heath in her tone, but the passion was still in her eyes and she could feel it welling up inside her.
     
    “Ok I’m going to do the thing,” she said in warning like she normally did before she vented. It was a common thing for her and her twin. She ranted for several moments, her voice getting high and pitchy, the back of her neck getting hots, and the more and more she vented, the less and less oxygen she felt she could draw in. She felt her anger boiling over her proverbial cup and the envy she felt toward her brother only added to it. Plus the jealousy towards that sixth year girl flirting with Keo and the desperate yearning she felt for the weather of Spider Island and home.
     
    She felt her feelings spin out of control, taking her with them on a wave she had no hope of controlling. Her eyes fluttered close as her emotions turned into a whirlwind. And that was when the flash happened.
     
    “What was that?!” she said, glancing up. The white behind her lids had been so intense and she looked up at the sky, suddenly feeling the weight of the day on her shoulders. “Was that lighting?” she asked as she collapsed next to him, the energy and anger she had felt moments ago draining out of her and leaving her feeling deflated.

    Dajon's Sample: (Written by Samm)
    As dark clouds rolled along above him Dajon welcomed the breeze on the back of his neck. Storms at Ilvermorny were nothing like the ones they had grown up with on Spider Island but they were acceptable. They reminded him of home, making him miss it more, and served as a lackluster substitute all at once. Dajon always missed home while he was away at school but he kept that to himself. He barely let even Nsia know exactly how much he missed the storms and the ocean and most especially their family. At least he had some of them here with him, at least he had his sister. He'd been sitting outside for a little while now waiting for her in their usual spot. Like they had done back at home the twins had found a spot of their own as soon as they arrived at school. They met here often after classes, especially now as they grew older and began to take different electives. Unlike his sister however Dajon was a dedicated reader and any free time he found himself with was almost instantly filled with whatever book he was currently in the middle of. Once he began a book it was difficult to get him to put it down, he read at breakfast, smuggled the book into classes, and stayed up entirely too late with the light of his wand illuminating the text. The cloud coverage and lack of sun wouldn't dissuade the intellectual young wizard from finishing his chapter, not even the threat of rain overhead could force him inside. Besides, he had always felt more comfortable in the rain, the inner turmoil of the clouds suited him.

    When Nsia finally arrived Dajon continued to read, using the hand not holding the book to trace the line he was currently on until he finished the passage. It was a book chronicling the the 16th century expedition to the South Pole let by the famous wizard Atticus Augustinus. It was thick, dense, and highly technical which to most would be supremely boring but to Dajon it was rivetting stuff. One day he was going to explore, he would find some hidden magic that the world had forgotten and be renowned for it, but for now he was stuck at school forced to live vicariously through his idols. As his fingers traced the last sentence in the paragraph and he felt he was at a good stopping point he slid the thin feather book mark into place and closed the book. He didn't like to ignore her but she rarely waited for an opening before she began to speak, he'd heard what she had said and it made him smile but first he had to finish his paragraph. Now that he was finished he turned to look up at her and sat up straighter, realizing he had been heavily slouching into the text. "Thanks, it's good to see you too Nsia." He replied dryly before chuckling and waiting for her to get situated. Even if they hadn't grown up basically connected at the hip he would of known what that look on her face meant, she was going to do the thing.

    He remained quiet, ever the good listener, even as the storm above them began to rumble. The dark clouds cast strange shadows on her face as he listened to her words. He watched as her anger and frustration built and built. Dajon cared about what was upsetting her, he wanted to fix it, make it go away, but for now he just listened. He knew it was sometimes better to just let her get it all out. She didn't need his help, she didn't need rescuing or protecting, she just needed to rant sometimes. He traced the raised letters on the cover of his book as she continued but then something different happened. Instead of her getting past it she seemed to get more and more upset until she seemed overcome by her emotions and then a wild crack of lightning lit up the sky behind her. Dajon had been staring at her when it happened and the bright light of the electricity in the clouds forced his eyes to shut, burning the image into the back of his mind and then quickly replacing it with another. He was overcome by an intense pain behind his eyes as a vision of his deceased father and a bolt of lightning filled his mental space. As his hands rushed to his ears his sacred book fell to the ground, falling into a puddle of rain water from earlier. A loud thunderclap rang out above them, like the clouds were speaking to them, and Dajon felt like he might pass out.

    When the thunder finally stopped the pain behind his eyes began to fade, he almost remembered the images that had flashed by but they were blurry and difficult to decipher. He felt like the harder he tried to recall what he had just seen the more it slipped by. Slowly he opened his eyes back up to see a confused Nsia sitting in front of him. "I just.... I saw..." He blinked hard, unable to put the words together and a little bit scared, "It was dad..."


    Approved~





  • Online Rinn
  • Re: Special Feature Applications
    « Reply #204 on: June 10, 2017, 05:02:31 AM »
    ~ most species bare their teeth as a threat ~

    Name: Lwineah
    Character name: Ezekiel "Zeke" Rzhevsky
    Feature you are applying for: Unregistered Werewolf

    ~ as a display of aggression, of leadership ~

    The Prey: Ezekiel is a Muggleborn wizard, who in his early years struggled to find his part in society. He always felt out of place, different than others and having bad luck stuck to his feet.

    His older brother Iskandar was their parent's centre of attention which left him feeling lonely and invisible. Like he's not enough. He really wanted to hate his brother for this but Iskandar was the only person that really paid attention to him.  The only person that really cared for him. Iskandar always protected him, played with him, simply always stood by his side, while Zeke followed him around like a lovesick and clumsy puppy. He fancied him, envied how strong he was and crawled into his bed whenever he was haunted by bad dreams. He was a quiet and fragile kid with growing brother complex.

    Then came the letter, throwing this sensitive pipsqueak into a new huge world that had him clinging to Iskandar's side tighter than before. However, he was also hoping. He felt like he got a new chance to find where he belongs and make some friends. His brother's friends weren't the best choice, he found out soon. Eventually though, he managed to find a female and bubbly companion who helped him with studies as much as possible. He was clumsy, shy, his magic was weak, making Zeke struggle in classes greatly. Basically all of his grades were barely average apart from Marine Animals & Forest Beasts, where he always excelled. As if this wasn't already enough for him, his classmates and older students started to pick up on him, tormenting his already grey days. He felt even more out of place and lonely than before. Before he became a stupid wizard. He didn't like this gift at all, he hated it. He hated everything and everyone except Iskandar.

    Then his brother went missing. It was before Zeke's sixth year, when Iskandar graduated and their father took him to a hunting trip. They never returned that Holidays and Ezekiel almost didn't attend another year at school. His grades dropped even lower, the boy was barely hanging in the school. He became more distant and introverted and pushed away everyone who at least tolerated spending time with him. He spoke rudely to anyone who stepped closer than he liked, making others dislike him even more. At least he wasn't bullied anymore, being one of the oldest students in Koldovstoretz at that time. His magic was due to his mental state even weaker than was usual for him which only made the boy want to snap his wand in half and leave. He wanted to forget about ever being magically gifted. He planned to go back to a non-magical life in a non-magical world and live normally after graduating. Muggle life might not have been perfect but it was lot less of a hell for him.

    When Christmas during his seventh year came around though, Zeke was given a miracle. His brother, breathing and alive, showed up at the door of their house. Ezekiel wouldn't ever admit it but he cried, when he saw Iskandar before him. It was one of the best things that ever happened to him. For a while, his world had brightened, became better. But this all came to a stop, when a full moon came around and a horrific creature barged into their house. His mother was killed without mercy that night and Zeke almost ended up the same. If it wasn't for the solid and sharp object his hand brushed against as he was pulled, he might haven't survived. The night was full of moments that were a pure luck on his side which gave him the opportunity to see sun again.

    Zeke was able to escape the creature by using the sharp object, hitting the wolf into head with everything he had. He half-ran and half-crawled into another room and locked himself there and blocked the door with other things. He snuggled into a corner then and waited, weak and wounded. The smell of blood provoked the creature, it banged on the door the whole night, little by little until it was able to get inside. For Zeke it was hell. Longest minutes of his life before, even though it was just a few minutes, the sun slid inside the room and the creature above him started to change and shrink, shape into something else. Someone else. Zeke was terrified before but it was nothing compared to the second he recognized the person. He never felt so hurt and betrayed in his whole life like in that moment. Iskandar had always been his safe haven, someone he could trust and give his life to. Someone who would never hurt him. In one painful moment everything he believed was shattered to pieces.

    Zeke was shocked to find out his brother did all this to him. He assumed his father probably didn't come back for the same reason. He didn't let the other touch him, didn't want him to, he was terrified of him. His brother seemed to be weak though and Ezekiel found himself standing on his feet and heading for his room to pack his things. He ignored everything else in the house, his stomach doing dangerous flips, and left, despite his wounds and the fact he himself was really weak and exhausted. Of course, it didn't take him long till he blacked out. It was another pure luck on his part that a young healer found him there and treated his wounds. At that time though, Zeke wished to die instead as he found out what had became of him.

    The Wolf: When Zeke was turned, it was a real curse for him at first. He was frightened by the realization that he was going to transform into such rabid animal once a month, every full moon. He was seeing the creature as a monster. He tried to find somewhere to stay, went from city to city, muggle or not, but everywhere he felt like he was being watched. He felt like everyone could tell upon looking at him. Like everyone was judging him. Him, the freak of nature. Zeke desperately tried to find a place to stay. Find himself a job but eventually he was always fired, or he left from fear of really being discovered after a night of full moon, when his jaws got color by red. He also came to despise people a bit for their prejudice against what they feared, which later made him leave the civilization completely. He withdrew into deep forests and stayed there. Alone, he was finally able to focus solely on himself. He was able to calm down and think. He was able to get to know his own being and this curse. His wolf.

    What he hated, he came to love in the end. The bite opened him another way to different corner of this world, where the boy finally found himself. The longer he lived with the wolf the more he became comfortable in his own skin. The more he learned how to coordinate his body and use the abilities, like better senses of the wolf, to his advantage. He came to love the night, when he could transform, and run around the dark forest, no problems on his mind. He came to love nature and wild. He came to understand his wolf, took it as himself.

    Zeke grew stronger and more independent. From a fragile boy became a brave wild man. His hurt turned into bitterness, loneliness and the feeling of betrayal into anger. He spent out of cities years before he was driven away by Werewolf hunter that found him. He came back to civilization but has a hard time blending in. Sometimes, when he's not careful he acts more as an animal rather than wizard.

    He doesn't know how to act, when he talks to people, and to say the truth he would rather not to have to talk to them. He's still very reserved and quiet. He doesn't trust people. Being himself, not taming his wolf, being free doesn't mean he's a monster like many believe. Previous experience proved him that majority say about Werewolves to be dangerous bloodthirsty things that are too dangerous or not as high standing as others. He got to feel what fear of Werewolves in people can do to his kind. He got burnt and learned not to get close to fire. Despite holding back, keeping himself isolated, Zeke is still, just as wolves are, sociable creature that likes the presence of others. He wants friends and physical contact, he’s quite needy and hungry for it, had always been.

    However, Zeke is easily hurt, which usually makes him bare his teeth. He has serious problems with anger. Those bottled up feelings from years, hurt, unfairness with which he met as werewolf had made him not only bitter but also moody and quite aggressive. He is led by his primary instincts, survival ones, that tell him to fight or attack where's a threat. He puts his everything into what he does, never does anything half-assed but leaves what doesn’t have any purpose. He is very judging, quick to jump into conclusions, and serious. His humor is quite morbid and dark, if it could even be called like that. A smile is rather rare thing for the Werewolf.

    Zeke has strong sense of loyalty and sticks to people he cares about and trusts. He would give up his life for them, to protect theirs. Even if he’s hurt by a person he cares about, he can’t help but still feel responsible for their safety and wouldn’t be able to hurt them any seriously. His wolf is very moody just as Zeke himself is. Black fur, smaller but sturdy body that gives advantage in speed, sharp canines and claws. Eyes burning ember with flecks of blue that show a humane intelligence. He has a great memory for scents. Some provoke the animal, bring out the beast, some though can make the wolf act calm, a bit domestically. The wolf respects familiar scents as it knows they don’t mean harm. Being around though, is still like walking on a minefield. One wrong or suspicious move and it ends.

    ~ it is a reminder that these clenched jaws ~

    After my last application, I thought the next time I would sent one will be for the same character, Zeus Tolyniev, and his deformed curse with some edits I needed to do. Instead I ended up going for an “ordinary” werewolf with a completely different nature, in their core. As far as I can compare these two, the only thing they share is that these two men are both Russian and have some wolfish characteristic features.

    Ezekiel is a Werewolf who embraces his wolf, while Zeus was supposed to fear it and fight it. He was supposed to suffer and live in concern of him hurting the people he loves. But as I sat down to edit his application I somehow couldn’t bring myself to do it. I felt like something wasn’t right there. I didn’t have a single good idea how to fit his differencies into werewolf’s body so it wouldn’t be too abnormal and non-werewolf. How to explain why I didn’t want a normal werewolf. I even considered just making him without any deformations few times but it went nowhere, it didn’t seem right and I was stuck either way. I couldn’t put the finger on it though. Why?

    Then I started brainstorming on Ezekiel. I just wanted to know a bit more about him, he had been lying in my sandbox for a while. I can still remember how he suddenly jumped out of bush at me, totally out of nowhere, as a black rabid wolf. Then I read this fanfiction about a boy, a guy who lived in wild from his birth and didn’t know how to act human, and somehow this clicked with Zeke’s character. That was my primary image of him, a raw idea.

    Then Katya wrote me about plots for Iskandar, asking about Zeus. Sadly, I didn’t really have any ideas plus Zeus was supposed to be bitten by his mother not an unknown werewolf. I decided to offer Zeke, and somehow those two ended up becoming brothers. It was the breaking point for Ezekiel because suddenly the whole history and his character and why he is how he is started making sense to me. He grew in front of my eyes, so I focused on him and decided to make application for him first, putting Zeus aside for a while.

    When I started working on the app I came to a realization about Zeus that made me see what it was that seemed so wrong about him and why I couldn’t get any ideas on him. I realized I was trying to fit Zeus into something he wasn't. I simply took the black veins and his other differences, that are what he is, and tried to fit him into a wolf's coat. A wolf's coat that belongs to someone else, precisely Ezekiel Rzhevsky. I was really surprised by how easily Zeke and his feature came to me, how perfectly he fitted the image of werewolf and how quickly he developed. Most importantly, how comfortable I felt about writing all of this. I didn't have to sit and think for hours about how to fit him into this, how to write his application and what to say - until I got a headache from it and done just a one crappy paragraph. With Zeke I sat down and simply wrote, it all came to me as my fingers ran over the keyboard. I gave up trying to force Zeus into something else and dropped the idea of him being werewolf, putting him aside to figure out what the hell he really is. And I finally gave all my attention to Zeke and this application.

    Becoming werewolf allowed Zeke many things. He found his freedom and started getting to know himself. This allowed him to grow. To become strong and confident. To become his own person that doesn't have to depend on his big brother in everything. To have his eyes opened with harsh reality of having to fight for everything. Of having to live his own life not his brother’s. Of having to stop pitying himself and whine and hate all useless detail instead of the real thread. Stop being a crybaby and trying to make himself his own grave. It allowed him to see what he wants from life, what’s really important and what not. The bite made from a fragile and weak boy that was scared of the big world out there, a samurai. Not a soldier that listens to orders, but an independent warrior of honor.

    All I can say is that everyone has a way of getting to know themselves. Everyone has a way of learning and growing. Everyone has a way of searching for the things they want from life, where they want to go, what do they strive for, how they’ll cope with what the future offers them to their content and how they’ll use mistakes and dark moments to become even stronger and most importantly...happy. How they’ll learn from bad experiences? The bite was a start of this.

    Being a werewolf is Zeke’s path of finding and learning that keeps his eyes open to reality.

    ~ can and will open your yielding throat ~

    General plot: Is about Zeke and how he will continue to grow. How he copes with being back in cities, having job and the need to talk to others. It's about him learning again what it means to act as human but don't loose himself. It's about him trying to blend back in, find a life. He isolated himself to grow up, get his own person together, now he needs to start making the life he never had before. Friends, maybe some old familiar faces, and a partner, having the chance to finally explore his desires. I’m eager to see how he will cope with his hate towards wizards and learning manners along the way so he wouldn't be suspicious to the outer world. Healing his lonely and dried out heart. I feel that this offers many kinds of potential plots and threads with various characters and situations. I want to start with Zeke almost from the beginning, few months after he started living in London. Freshly after he worked out the contract with the Ministry and found a tiny place to live in so he wouldn't have to sleep homeless on streets.
    Iskandar Rzhevsky: Will try to search for his brother and that will have him come near the London. During the full moon he will come across his younger brother in his wolf form but they will not recognize each other. Because Iskandar will be on Zeke's "territory" and the other will feel threatened, he will attack Iskandar. They are going to fight, both will live and one of them is going to win, both injured badly after. Later, Iskandar will find his brother and upon their first bump-into-each-other they will recognize the other's scent which will result in Ezekiel being angry and hurt once again (probably throwing a fit), bringing out the pain from years ago. Iskandar won't give up on this, trying to make his brother trust him again. He will hung around him, making the other only annoyed at first. The future where this develops is uncertain but I'm pretty sure it's gonna involve this special feature and bits of it rather often.
    Dante Boscono: Is a Healer at St. Mungo's. He works with creature induced injuries and is gonna meet Zeke after he comes to the hospital to treat his wounds which he got during the full moon. Dante will bump into Zeke after a while again, as he gets injured during the full moon pretty often, and eventually figures out who Ezekiel really is. He's not gonna tell anyone though and that will make the Werewolf trust him and open up to him a bit. Those two will probably become friends. There's a one more plot for later, when Zeke gets into fight with his brother Iskandar in his wolf form, he will try to apparate to his apartment but injured and weak ends up somewhere unknown. By a lucky coincidence he will end up at the door of Dante himself who will take him in and treat him.
    Niska Zukov: Will definitely know about Zeke being a werewolf. Niska is the one who took him under his wing and is going to help him with blending in. He is a strong fighter, able to handle Zeke, when the wolf flips and have enough patience to cope with the stubborn wizard. He probably helped him with searching for a job or what he could look for in the first place, so it would fit his persona and his abilities. He will teach him how to act like a human not a wolf, put a bit of social sense into his head. Possibly teach him better English since Zeke's ability to use languages has turned pretty imperfect over the years of living in wild. There is a lot of possibilities of what could happen during his time with Niska as well, considering this special feature.
    Medusa: Lives on an island alone. During his first years in wild Zeke traveled a lot and was able to visit the island and meet Medusa. Since she isn’t completely human he feels closer to her and is going to come back to the island to visit her. He will probably tell her about being a werewolf willingly, maybe even show her what he can do without the full moon. And who knows, he might visit her more times than once. 
    Ashley Morigan: Is a Vampire hunter just as Zeke is. They will work together on hunting them and along the way will become friends. Zeke is going to develop a strong feelings of friendship towards him, trusting Ashley. Eventually though, Ash is going to find out about Zeke being Werewolf which will make Ashley hate him and Zeke feel betrayed and angry once again. Ashley is probably going to try to kill Zeke eventually. That only makes questions like 'will they ever be friends again' arise and another plots will have to find answers for it, which will definitely involve Zeke's wolf side as well.

    ~ and i want you to think of this the next time i smile ~

    A loud thwack predicted the arrival of a bloody clothed man. An elegant robe, falling from his shoulders was covering majority of his body, revealing only dark jeans that hugged his legs. He was barefoot and his face was hidden under cowl. The man slowly started to walk down the meadow, nearing a forest that towed far away from where his eyes could see.

    Zeke stopped before entering the woods and sat down, pulling the cowl away. He looked up and just watched the sky for a while as the sun that was slowly lowering, colored horizon to shades of red and orange. The left corner of his mouth lifted up slightly for a quick second. It was a beautiful view.

    He leaned against a tree, blue eyes trained upwards, while his fingers ran over the grass. He took a long deep breath, enjoying the fresh air and the sound of birds singing. Those were one of the many things he missed since he started living in city. Also the smell of needles or flowers. They were things that were really rare in London. Smog and other foul smells only killed his nose. On the other side, if he wanted to go back to living in wild he could. Only, he didn’t want to. He wanted to have a life, wanted to know how does it feel to live like others. Maybe then, if he’ll see it’s not for him he’ll leave. But he wanted to know what he already forgot and what other’s had on daily basis.

    Tonight though, he was going to be all by himself. Will be himself. He could feel how his wolf was restless. How much the animal, the beast wanted to get out. He couldn’t wait either even though he never knew what he did during the full moon. But the feeling of running through the forest, the light of the moon, always came back to him in dreams. He called them memories. Fragments.

    Zeke didn’t wait until the sun disappeared, leaving the earth in the clutches of night. He wasn’t able to sit there for so long. He slid off his robe and jeans, leaving his skin bared. He folded his clothes into a pile and placed it beside one of the trees. Kneeling, he then gave one last look to the aggressively colored horizon before he ordered his body to move. He leaped from the ground in a one swift movement, feet digging into the dirt, and he was disappearing in the forest’s depth.

    As he ran, the trees around were only dark shadows to him. They were passing him every second like a never ending crowd of spectators. He zigzagged between the tree trunks with ease, used to the feeling of sharp things hitting his bare feet. Used to the sting, if a thin branch slashed his skin. He ignored it, it wasn’t a pain worth attention. Instead he focused on the feeling of freedom as he ran. The wind against his bare skin that made his heart flutter in happiness. He got to feel it much less than before and he missed it. He missed running miles of wild nature, race against the wind, fight against a fiery river. That was a real feeling. That was a real ecstasy, something that the people in cities were robbed off. He pitied them for it. For being so blind. They weren’t able to see what they had right under their noses. But people were blind to many other things. Led by fear.

    Ezekiel stopped.

    He looked up to the sky that was now almost dark. He looked around, breathing wildly, everywhere only trees. He could feel sweat trickling down his back as he continued deeper into the forest, now simply walking.

    The dark came soon, the moon as well and Zeke found himself scratching the bite mark on his left pecs that started to itch. It was all going fast. His body was buzzing and heating up. Zeke closed his eyes to focus on the feeling. The heat slowly increased and soon his muscles started to burn. He could feel the light of the moon on his skin.

    He growled, feeling the strong pull inside his gut that was telling him the transformation was starting. A second later his eyes opened, revealing a bright ember orbs that hungrily stared at the white planet on the sky, asking for more. He groaned as he felt his teeth growing into sharp canines and opened his mouth to take in the scents surrounding him. He inhaled sharply, when he heard the first disgusting cracks, followed by a sharp pain. The man cried out. His mouth soon turned into muzzle, limbs shaping and lengthening. All along the man sniffed in pain, black fur sprouting from his bare back. Suddenly, his neck snapped sharply to the side in a unnatural way, a loud crack echoing. There was a long terrifying silence.

    Then a howl cut the stillness open.

    Pending. Please check PMs~


  • Offline Luciana Bertinelli
  • Re: Special Feature Applications
    « Reply #205 on: July 03, 2017, 11:50:23 AM »
    Name: Lowri
    Character name: Luciana Bertinelli
    Feature you are applying for: Elemental - Advocate Madin

    I would like to apply for Luciana to be retconned as an Elemental, with the first affinity of earth. It is something I've had in the background since creating Lucia, hence her love for herbology and never having played her as being noticeably talented in any wand-based subjects. However I lacked the courage to apply for the special feature because the more I played her, the less "earth-like" she became in my eyes. Having put her under the microscope recently for a sheet update, I've come to the conclusion that Luciana actually does fit the element of earth, even if it's not immediately apparent. I'm also very interested in the idea of (pardon the pun) nature versus nurture. I would therefore like to portray Luciana as someone who once had all the qualities that you would generally associate with the vast majority of earth elementals, however due to her upbringing has become more inclined to dark tendencies. If approved, Luciana would be a conflicted elemental; one who still possesses the core traits of an earth elemental: loyalty, honesty, and love -- albeit twisted, corrupted, and perhaps no longer recognisable.


    Suitability:

    As a child Luciana was thoughtful and caring -- and she still is these things for the people she loves. She was warm and friendly, but growing up as the daughter of a mafioso, Luciana soon learnt that these traits were not acceptable in a business where fear is more powerful than love. She learnt to disguise her feelings in order to hide what she was taught was weakness. The only emotion she really struggles with is anger; it builds in stages, bubbling away until it erupts in a rage. Luciana is deeply loyal and family-oriented, and the few who she considers friends may as well be a brother or sister. She is very protective, bordering on possessive, of those she cares about. 

    An observant young woman, Luciana is empathetic if not sympathetic, able to pick up on emotions and she is usually good at being able to tell when she is being lied to. Despite being a good liar when she wants to be, Luci is honest, blunt and at times inconsiderately truthful -- it all depends on what she believes is best for the situation. Her determination and ambition make her unafraid of hard work, and she thoroughly enjoys working with her hands. Luci likes a few select indoor pursuits such as theatre or visiting art galleries, but is most at home outside; gardening has long been her favourite past-time.

    Despite the persona she has crafted for herself, deep down Luciana is still a good person at heart. She loves life, she's becoming jaded with the wizarding world's obsession over blood purity and is likely to develop further down this path if she is approved as an elemental. Disenchanted with "man", she is angry that muggles are allowing the world to be ruined by pollution, genetic modification, herbicides and other chemicals.


    Implementation:

    If Luciana was approved as an earth elemental, I would need to update her sheet to include references to her discovery, training, and any interactions that are of importance. I would also have to adjust Luciana's NEWTs to take into consideration her poor skills in wandmagic.

    Heritage: Luciana's father is the head of an organised crime syndicate based in Neroli. The woman who she believes is her mother died in childbirth, according to everything she has ever been told. In truth, this woman was murdered by Luciana's father in order to hide an affair. An affair that resulted in the birth of Luciana to a muggleborn magiflorist. Luciana has no knowledge of any of this, though I would be interested in her finding these things out in time, and perhaps being part of future development. I imagine Luciana's real mother was an elemental herself, or at least carried the gene, as there are no other known elementals in the Bertinelli family.

    Discovery: Luciana would have been identified as a possible elemental towards the end of her first year at Beauxbatons. The most logical person to discover her would be Peter Alva as a teacher at the school and her counter-element, however I realise Julie isn't active so wouldn't want to assume this is okay. Alternatively I can come up with an NPC, either an older student, or a visiting adult elemental. Due to being identified at the end of the year, they would have made a decision not to confuse her right before the summer break, instead waiting until the beginning of her second year.

    Training: Having essentially been discovered at the very beginning of her second year, Luciana would for all intents and purposes be 'one year behind' in her training, i.e. in her second year at Beauxbatons she would be learning first year elemental spells. She would be a very studious pupil, wanting to advance herself as quickly as possible, so it is possible she could 'catch-up' with hard study.  Having been out of school for one year she would now be into the Advocate stage of her elemental career, and as one of the two higher elements she would likely remain an advocate for a few years. She has not yet decided upon a Second Affinity, and she is not sure that she wants to split her focus.

    Rogue Attack: The attack on Beauxbatons occurred in the February of Luciana's fourth academic year, which would mean she had only two and a half years of elemental training by this point and had not yet completed her initialisation. Luciana would have presumably thought herself equipped to help out, but in reality would likely not have been much more than a liability. The senior elementals would have encouraged her to keep out of the way, and begrudgingly she would have done so -- for this reason her elemental ability would have remained hidden from the wider student body. Having known nothing of the Rogue before, she would have been afraid. Following the attack Luciana would have become very interested in who the Rogue were, what their ambitions were, and what they offered elementals as a people. Seeing the power they had would show her that the Council wasn't the only teacher of their craft, but she would also be wary of their defeat.


    Future plots:

    Luciana and Zoé Deveaux have a long standing feud, which in all honesty is more down to Luciana than Zoé. In the same academic year at Beauxbatons, Zoé was discovered as an elemental before Luciana and this would have likely been a reason for her to resent the Papillonlisse. Following this, there was always a rivalry, at least from Luciana's side. As they grow older, Lucia will move further from being a friendly rival with Zoé, their counter-elements playing a large part in this.

    Another fellow Beauxbatons student, Pascal Lefèvre, was of a complementary element with Luciana: water. Finally glad to have someone at the school whom she could confide in about her abilities that wasn't an ice elemental, they shared their student service in gardening. They would practice casting elemental spells together, helping the Beauxbatons student gardens to flourish.

    After visiting the Council and upon learning more about it and its history I believe Luciana would disagree with their mentality, but her self-preservation would tell her that they are too strong to oppose. With an older, wiser elemental behind her she certainly has the potential to go Rogue if the Council don't make a stand where she believes they should. Nolan Cairns is unhappy with the Council and is likely to try to get Luci to join him as he notices her reluctance to fully immerse herself in Council life. He is against "wand-wavers" and as Luciana comes to the realisation that she's not a normal witch, that  -- foregoing an untimely death -- she will live longer than anyone she currently knows (with the exclusion of other elementals), being an elemental will come to define her.

    There would also be those who would try to keep her loyal to the Council. First among these would be Simon Ainsworth, an ice elemental who will, upon finding out that Luciana is becoming disenchanted with the Council life, do his best to convince her that the Council is the best option. He will be one of few ice elementals that Luciana gets on reasonably okay with, but more out of respect (and perhaps fear) than any natural affinity towards him. Another pro-council elemental she would have interactions with would be Kanat Zhanalin. Kanat will pick up on Luciana's growing distate for the Council, and there is the potential for tension to develop between them.

    Memphis Gredel is a Council elemental based in Neroli. With there being few elementals that Luciana has met who aren't obsessed with the Council and living in Inverness, she will relish the opportunity to be around "one of her kind" on her home turf, and they have a lot of common interests.

    Other than the above character-specific plots, which focus on fellow elementals, I'm sure I will be able to use Luciana's elemental ability in a number of other circumstances. As a budding herbologist, Luciana will be able to use her element on a daily basis. She will be interested both in creating new hybrids and reviving species that may be going, or already have gone, extinct. I have spoken with Meridian about Luciana possibly joining the Akashic Scholars in exchange for information on elementals and/or herblore, for which Luci would be able to use their giant greenhouses, play around with ancient seeds/spores, and potentially in her meddling let loose some sort of dangerous mutant plant as a future plot.

    At the Guild, Luciana will meet Dragos Şerbănescu. They will trade knowledge on elementals. Luciana will likely learn some Rogue spells from him and from the guild texts, and in turn she will teach him as much as she thinks is safe -- she would be wary of his interest, worried that he may be more of a threat than an ally. There is the potential for both Luciana's and Dragos' desire for knowledge to threaten their mutual agreement.

    Partial immunity to plant based poisons and toxins will come in super handy in potioneering. This will likely be a supplemental source of income for the time being, though as Luciana becomes more in tune with plants she may let her potion making fall to the wayside in favour of advancing her herbology if she is still able to support herself.


    RP sample using the feature:

    A warm breeze washed over Luciana, gently ruffling through her leaves. She was in her morphed state, nestled comfortably in the gardens at her home in Neroli. It was safe to transform here – she hadn’t yet mastered full awareness of her surroundings when in her morphed form, and so she only did so where she felt comfortable.

    The gardens of the Bertinelli villa had once been tended to by a gardener, but he had been dismissed over a year ago. Luciana had a vision of how she wanted the gardens to look and, more importantly, she had a connection with each of the plants there. Foolishly, the poor man had interfered; his plan had been to modernise the garden, try something more uniform and minimalist as was becoming the fashion. He over-pruned several bushes and ripped out a number of established flowerbeds – hardly a major crime by landscaping standards, but they were her babies.

    The young elemental had erupted in a rage, large cracks forming in the lawn, new shoots growing rapidly where their brothers and sisters had once blossomed, and long vines coiling their way around the gardener’s legs, torso and neck... Luciana’s father had arrived just in time to calm her, relieving the man of his position with both a handsome redundancy payout and a credible threat should his daughter’s ‘condition’ ever be spoken about.

    So now Luciana was the only one permitted to look after the gardens and they had flourished under her care. It wasn’t perfectly manicured, the hedges were not impeccably trimmed, but it was typical of a Mediterranean climate: herbs, citrus, olive trees and colourful blooms everywhere.

    Lucia’s form of the moment was a rosebush. She was surrounded by a bed of low lavender hedges and had been here for some time, most of the afternoon in fact. She could feel the balmy sun on her leaves, the wind caressing her petals, the rich soil that she was rooted into. As Luciana kept half of her focus on maintaining her morphed form, she had shifted the other half of her focus to what she hoped was her surroundings. It was hard to differentiate from what she imagined or remembered, and what she could actually sense in the present moment. The familiar perfume of the blooms around her, the warmth of the sun, the cool breeze; she could feel but she couldn’t see. She could hear, but it wasn't clear, almost like she was listening through a wall.
     
    If Luciana had been herself, that is her human self, she’d have rolled her eyes at her inability to do something she believed should be simple enough. As a plant she could feel what a plant felt, but that wasn’t much use. She would only be able to be reactive, not proactive, should she ever be threatened.

    Luciana began thinking about becoming a person again and as she did so the rosebush grew taller, the thick foliage pulling back as the branches consolidated into two arms and the trunk into a torso and legs. The brunette took in a deep breath, stretched her arms above her head and wiggled her toes in the earth before opening her eyes. A brief moment later she stepped out of the flowerbed and began to make her way back towards the villa. She would have to try again tomorrow.



    Though not required, I thought I would include the below to show how I imagine Luciana's level of mastery in her element based on her age and study. If you believe she would or wouldn't know a particular spell please do let me know. If anything this is more for my own reference.

    MASTERED SPELLS

    Luciana has mastered the following spells. She is able to control the texture and composition of earth, influence the shape and growth of a plant, and is able to conjure the element in a context that is not natural. She has partial immunity to the element, including any naturally produced poisons or toxins. She also has a full mastery of morphing, able to morph not only herself but inanimate objects and other people as required -- though she has only done this a handful of times as she prefers to morph alone. As I understand it, it takes longer for an elemental to be fully aware of their surroundings whilst morphed - something she is currently working on.

    As she has never had to fight in a real situation Luciana rarely uses the incantations that are best suited for battle. Instead she mostly focuses on the creative spells, those that grow or heal. She does however have an interest in Rogue spells and those taught outside the council, and has at least a theoretical knowledge of them if not practical.  Talented at creation (for she has spent much time focused on it), it takes little physical effort for Luciana to encourage plants to grow and flowers to bloom.

    MADIN - summons the element of earth
    MADIN MAXIMO / MINIMO - increase or decrease the amount of the summoned element
    MADIN CUBO / DICUBO - a ball of mud strong enough to cause damage, two balls coordinated at once
    MADIN GRAV - a protective shield of earth, a thick and solid wall
    MADIN FLOREO - makes all flowers blossom
    MADIN ADAUGESCO - plants grow in minutes
    MADIN VINCIO - magical grape vines, can tie people or things up
    MADIN DESERTO - creates a patch of quicksand
    MADIN VIA - short-lived bridges or passageways made from earth
    MADIN PAPAVER - magical poppies sprout and blossom, opium makes everyone sleep within seconds; hard to cast
    MADIN RACEMIFER - magical berries with healing properties for flesh wounds and cuts or other physical injuries


    STUDYING

    As an Advocate, Luciana is now studying the following adult-level spells. She already has good control of two of the adult spells, SPINAE and DIVIDO

    MADIN SPINAE - hedges of thorny bushes
    MADIN DIVIDO - produces wide cracks in the ground
    MADIN BESTIA - summons a large number of wild animals to fight
    MADIN LUTI - create clay statues
    MADIN DEMONUS - difficult, animates the statues from LUTI


    THEORETICAL KNOWLEDGE

    Luciana knows of the following spells, but has never used them. If backed into a corner in a fight she would possibly unleash one of the following in her desperation:

    MADIN IACERA - ground shakes in a powerful earthquake
    MADIN FUNGO - grows lethally poisonous mushrooms
    MADIN TENEBRA - makes trees and plants of a forest move closely together to block daylight, allowing elemental to work unseen
    i   g o t   a   f e e l i n g   i n   m y   b o n e s ,   c a n ' t   g e t   y o u   o u t    o f   m y   v e i n s



    y o u   c a n ' t   e s c a p e   m y   a f f e c t i o n,   w r a p   y o u   u p   i n   m y   d a i s y   c h a i n s

  • Offline Taylor
  • Re: Special Feature Applications
    « Reply #206 on: July 04, 2017, 04:54:32 AM »

    Name: Ashton
    Character name: Alyson Graves
    Feature you are applying for: Precognitive dream clairvoyant



    Description of the character:  Alyson isn't the most levelheaded person. She tends to act rather impulsively on occasion, particularly when her mood swings. She acts entirely based on the intensity of her emotions and this can make her seem fickle and moody at times, but she feels it's best to act completely organically and to do what feels right in the moment. When she's feeling particularly down in the dumps, she has a tendency to run away to secluded places, whether that's onto the roof, into the woods, into the city, or simply under the covers on her bed.

    Alyson is very into artsy things, even though she doesn't consider herself particularly talented in any one area. She likes theatre, music, poetry, painting, drawing, pottery (including making subpar ceramic dishware), and other things that are close or distant relatives of these. On the flipside, she does enjoy things that kids from the wrong side of the tracks generally indulge in -- drinking, sneaking out, shoplifting, smoking, parties, and sometimes all of them at once. Growing up poor required the Graves sisters to come up with their own fun and their own means of survival, so these are all things near and dear to Alyson and her sister, Annie.

    An introverted young witch, Aly can be prone to isolating herself. Not ever wanting to feel like a burden to others, she prefers to be alone rather than trying to smother her intense feelings. With people she is immensely close to, there can be exceptions to this rule. Even though she's introverted and a bit shy upon first interactions sometimes, she doesn't usually have issues talking to people and, in fact, can keep conversations flowing for as long as necessary. She's also funny and can be quite radiant when she's on the upside of her emotions. Aly is an average student according to her marks, but she really is very intelligent. She's got a creative mind, overflowing with daydreams and idle thoughts and disractions that aren't always relevant to classroom learning. She enjoys learning new things and picking up new skills, but institutionalized learning has proven to be riddled with a little too much structure for her preferences and so she usually churns out an average classroom performance.

    Alyson feels things with unusual depth. When she feels comfortable, she's the type to wear her heart on her sleeve. Around most people, though, she's afraid of being ridiculed for that kind of sensitivity like she has been in the past. She doesn't open up to many people anymore and has a tendency to internalize those feelings and experiences. When she doesn't talk these things out with others, Alyson can get lost in her own head and overthink, sometimes making a big deal out of what would seem more minor to others. Aly often feels very lonely and misunderstood because of all of these things, so she tends to cry a lot and display other outbursts of emotion when she feels too overwhelmed. She's easily hurt and very sensitive, taking things to heart and dwelling on them much of the time.

    Aly doesn't really dispute people's ideas of her, even though she knows some of them might be incorrect or gathered from very brief insights to her personality. She does not thrive on conflict and prefers to avoid confrontation altogether, allowing people to think whatever they please even if it affects her detrimentally. She enjoys being liked, but Alyson doesn't care enough about being liked to attempt to change anything about her personality or her behavior.

    In a sense, Alyson doesn't have a very defined moral compass. She's fairly openminded and is very much in favor of people doing whatever makes them happy and whatever makes them feel good. She generally minds her own business and is not particularly concerned with sticking her nose where it doesn't belong. This can make her dreams rather difficult to deal with at times. The exceptions have to do with the people she cares about most. When it comes to other people, Aly is kind and sees no reason to go out of her way to be unkind. She's compassionate and empathetic, caring deeply about how other people are feeling and how she makes them feel. Alyson had a rough childhood and certainly was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth, so she makes sure that she does everything in her power to listen, understand, and take care of other people.



         introduction:

    I've never had a character that was exactly right for the Sight, even though the feature has always sort of intrigued me. Most of my characters have had strengths that made their homes in branches of magic other than divination or anything related, but when Alyson's concept popped into my head, I made the connection almost immediately. It meshes with her personality, it makes sense with her history and her habits, and it's going to create several plots that involve multiple people that I'm really, really going to enjoy playing out. In addition to that, there's a lot of development in the future for Alyson because she is just beginning to realize the ramifications of her ability and what it means. I'll be discussing each of these things below.

         personality:

    Alyson's personality lends itself to this feature really well. There's a good amount of give and take between her personality and the Sight that contributes to her character as a whole. To begin, her personality has most of the basic "requirements" for a seer: one main thing is that she's really quite talented in divination. Alyson's whole family is talented in the subject in varying levels, and it's her strongest subject because of the way she approaches life and looks at things, even outside of school. Alyson is not a big fan of showboating. Her talents and skills lie in areas that are more subjective -- such as divination, music, theatre, art, and other things that require a good deal of internal processing and thought. She's not very good at overtly flashy subjects that are more specifically skill-based and prefers to focus on things that have a little wiggle room.

    This being said, she's openminded and has a very active mind. This provides a better platform for this type of magic to manifest and she's a good candidate to begin learning how to harness it. Her openness to new ideas and her creativity do not "block" the magic. Alyson also spends a lot of time alone. Naturally introverted and a deep thinker, Alyson isolates herself to think sometimes. While she tends to go with the flow and what feels right at the time when she makes decisions, that certainly doesn't mean she doesn't spend time dissecting things. She thinks about her interactions with others, thinks about her dreams, thinks about the consequences of things, thinks about how things made her or others feel. She even overthinks a lot, contributing to some intensified emotions and slight feelings of paranoia at times. She can fixate on small pieces or details of things, especially if that's all she's given to work with(as she is in her dreams at times).

    She's empathetic and compassionate. Her visions are another way for her to relate to others. However, these pros have their cons in a situation like this one. Alyson's visions are very intense and very personal, and they can cause her to act differently -- her visions can induce negative behavior and have contributed to her character and who she is. Aly often indulges in substance abuse, can be very mentally volatile and unstable, and forms relationships based on codependent or tumultuous terms.

         history:

    Alyson's history also contributes to the feature making a whole lot of sense and adding to her character and the way she's developed thus far in her life. As I said before, Alyson's whole family is talented in divination. Her mother was the most unique of the bunch, also having visionary dreams: the difference between them being that Alyson's mother did not possess any magical ability. Alyson's mother experienced visionary dreams even before she was married to Aly's father. No-maj doctors, however, dismissed these visions as psychosis. Eventually, when no-maj prescriptions did nothing to help, Alyson's father turned to diluted magical sleeping drafts to try and alleviate his wife's pain. They sent her into sometimes days-long comas with deep enough sleep to dull her visions, but it was clear they weren't meant for no-maj use. Following addiction to the potions, her mother experienced plenty of drugged-up spells that left her unable to care for her children, especially after Alyson's father left them all to pursue his off-brand vigilantism.

    Aly's visions began early in her life. As a small child, she didn't know what they were and assumed everyone else had bright, vivid dreams that were often sensory experiences. This was not the case, obviously, but as much would not be revealed to her until much later. Alyson and her sister, Julianne, had an extremely rough childhood in Brooklyn after their father's departure. Their mother was almost always useless and, to their knowledge, their father was dead. All they had was one another. Julianne knew about Aly's dreams because they slept in the same bed and would comfort her when they were particularly scary. This built a sense of codependency between the sisters and they need one another to confide in about such things even now.

    Several years before Aly and Annie started at Ilvermorny, they were adopted by Sampson Irons and, by extension, House Irons itself. Sampson has been an integral part in Alyson's realization of her ability and learning how to cope with it. In addition to that, however, they share extra magical abilities having to do with dreams. Having never really known her real father, Sampson has been Aly's father figure for a long time and provides what she considers to be extremely valuable counsel and advice, as well as therapeutic measures when she really needs them. At House Irons, Alyson also met Lorelei Faulkner. Lori was a valuable mentor in shadow magic and a tutor in other subjects to Alyson as well as a maternal figure. As an Obscurial, Lorelei could connect to Alyson about her dreams and could understand the difficulty discerning dreams from reality. They still check in with one another.

         limitations & ramifications:

    With every special ability, there are limitations to what the person possessing the ability can do. Each person with the Sight has visions that manifest themselves differently, even within the realm of dream precognition. To be totally honest, Alyson is 100% new to this ability and doesn't really know the first thing about harnessing it or controlling it. Her visions come very naturally to her and they sort of just run their course.

    She's also very limited in her knowledge of what her visions actually are. Usually, Aly's visions come in intense flashes in random increments at random times in her sleep. Sometimes they're fuzzier, sometimes they're vivid, sometimes they last longer, and sometimes they are very short. Her visions are most of the time limited to one sense: they can be auditory, visual, comprised of smells, or anything else. More intense visions can be a mixture of any of these things and can knock her out for hours.

    She experiences a lot of pain with many of her visions. They cause migraines and body aches most of the time. With longer or more intense visions that might show her disturbing things, she's experienced cold sweats, weakness, shaking, vomiting, nosebleeds, and combinations of all of these things. Her visions can have detrimental affects on her for days following and can make her very weak cognitively and physically. She sometimes has a hard time telling which dreams are nightmares and which ones are visions, but how realistic the scenarios are tends to point her in the right direction in determining that.

    While only just learning the extent of her ability and what it can do, eventually, Alyson would like to learn to limit the pain and before that, to learn to predict when they are coming so that she can prepare and protect herself from the repercussions.

    Not all of her visions are negative ones: the positive ones tend to be more figurative than the negative ones and include things like smells, taste, pleasant emotions, and general feelings of relaxation. These come to her randomly as well and have even shown up in her idle daydreaming.



         general plots:

    I've got quite a few general plots planned out for Alyson that I haven't totally fleshed out in addition to the more specific plots I have and some that I might want to pursue in the future for development as well. Alyson's gift really affects each and every area of her life and will be something I'll be playing out in nearly every thread she has. It is so close to her and so personal that it's a part of who she is and how she functions and copes with things on a daily basis. It affects her relationship with her parents and with her sister as well as the people close to her. It causes her to go through cyclical patterns and to experience major highs and lows, both of which I'm excited to explore and play out. I eventually want to pursue a more intense low that will cause her to spiral further into her substance abuse problems and her instability, and some of the plots I've got planned with people already could contribute or feed into that.

    Additionally, I have a couple general plots with some students that I'll flesh out more as I write her history and the respective drivers of these characters do the same. I've spoken with @Mickie and @Taylor about involving their girls -- Mickie's character being currently in the works and Taylor's being Mellie. Alyson will develop friendships with each of these girls and tell them about some visions she has concerning their lives. In these situations or other ones that might involve fellow students, I really want Alyson to misinterpret some of the things she sees and to stir up problems that way because, let's face it -- who doesn't love a little drama in their student plots? (Or plots in general, if you're me.)


         sampson & lorelei:

    Sampson (@Meridian) and Lorelei (@JT) are both incredibly important to this feature and I'm beyond excited to have real adults involved in Alyson's development as she's had quite a rough time of it when it comes to parental figures. They're each going to help Alyson to understand, discover, and learn to cope with her gift in different ways.

    Sampson has been like a father to her since her childhood and as a dreamwalker can help her in ways that other adults cannot. Alyson's intense therapy sessions with Sampson and her utter confidence in him is going to strengthen their bond and is also going to be a point of contention between Alyson, Sampson, and her sister Julianne.

    Lorelei was one of the original Iron Witches and spent a lot of time at House Irons when Alyson and her sister arrived there as children. As an Obscurial, Lorelei is someone that Alyson feels comfortable talking to about the ambiguity of her dreams and whether or not they're actually real. Sometimes this can cause a bit of an identity crisis in Alyson and Lorelei is likely one of the best people out there to understand as much. They check in with one another and write one another on a very regular basis, and in the absence of her mother, Lorelei has become something of a maternal figure to Aly.

         christian:

    Christian was originally a plot brainchild for this feature and luckily, I pawned him off on an excellent writer. @Dylan is going to be writing Christian, a wizard ten years Alyson's senior that she will become involved with in more ways than one. Christian is a talented vigilante Auror for MACUSA who, unbeknownst to Alyson, trained under her father to learn his craft. This strange connection will reveal itself later, but the one Alyson knows of at the moment has to do with the dreams she is having about him. The summer before her fifth year at Ilvermorny, she's going to begin seeing him in her visions -- committing what seem to be rather heinous acts and harming other people.

    While she's home with her sister visiting her mother and using the no-maj subway to get somewhere (or something to this effect, details to be hashed out) she's going to see him and recognize him from some of the painful visions she's been having. Alyson will witness Christian committing a serious crime against another human being and while Christian has a rather skewed set of morals, it doesn't mean he doesn't possess them at all -- so he doesn't harm her.

    Following their first interaction, he's going to keep tabs on her and they'll keep in touch. He's intrigued by her and vice-versa: the girl who has seen him and gotten to know him in her dreams. She tells Christian when she sees the fugitives he's hunting and tells him what she sees him doing to successfully incriminate them.

    As someone who is ten years older than Alyson, the relationship that they are eventually going to develop is going to be... complicated. They care about one another, they take care OF each other(as far as they're concerned), and they know one another's secrets. This is a complex plot point that is going to be instrumental to a lot of Alyson's development and will affect many areas of her life, including her eventual reuniting with her father and the knowledge that he is alive. All that being said, the unusual nature of her relationship with Christian is going to spark doubt and concern in many other close relationships she has.

         annie:

    Julianne is Alyson's sister, played by @Sophie, and one of the people she is the closest to and tells the most things to. However supportive of her Julianne is, she has some issues with Alyson's ability and especially with how much she seems to be publicizing it (according to Julianne). Alyson is beginning to confide in others whom she considers to be important in her life about her ability. This includes Sampson, Lorelei, Christian, Ezra, Atticus, and perhaps a couple of other individuals.

    Julianne is of the opinion that it should be kept private and absolutely not advertised or strengthened, so this is going to cause some interesting tension between the sisters and between all parties involved in Alyson's revelations to other people. Even though Aly is going to become frustrated with her older sister, Annie has been there from day one and has always looked out for her sister. They have an unbreakable bond and a relationship that doesn't lend itself to quitting, so I am excited to play out their trials and development as siblings.

         ezra:

    Ezra has been one of Alyson's best friends at Ilvermorny since their first year there. They care about one another immensely and do almost everything together. They grew up in similar situations: on the wrong side of the tracks with not a whole lot of money and multiple mouths to feed. While it was Ezra's mother who left and not his father as in Alyson's situation, they can relate on a lot of points.

    Alyson feels comfortable confiding in him, being herself, and being open with him. They do crazy things together, they tell each other secrets, they support one another -- and in doing so, Ezra is going to be one of the first people that Alyson has told about her visions. He helps her through the bad spells and is there for her no matter what she does (even if it's not necessarily healthy) and has begun to harbor some more-than-platonic feelings for her. While she's mostly oblivious to them, @Rinn and I are looking at playing around with visions concerning these emotions and with Ezra helping her cope with her Sight in general. I'm very excited about this plot and how involved and intricate it's going to be as well as the fabulous feelings of guilt and confusion these two are going to inevitably experience due to the nature of their very close friendship.

         atticus:

    Last, but not least, there's Atticus. Atticus is a polite young man a year ahead of Alyson that she'd known, up until last term, as a friendly acquaintance. It turned into a little more than that when they were paired up as partners in one of their classes, helped one another with homework, and got to know one another better. As a person who easily develops attachments, Alyson took an almost immediate liking to Atticus.

    For awhile, they dated, or so Alyson thought, and some pretty monumental things happened between them. During this time, Alyson was under the impression that their relationship was exclusive. Near the end, she had a vision of Atticus with another girl. Instead of asking him whether or not it was true, she was happy to casually break it off at the end of the term and to ignore him all summer.

    This coming year, there's going to be some unresolved tension between them due to that miscommunication and the heartbreaking vision, but eventually, Alyson's sister is going to intervene and the two are going to settle on becoming good friends instead of trying to pursue anything romantic further. This is going to provide Alyson with some solidarity down the line because of some things they have in common, and I look forward to developing this relationship more as it blossoms into whatever it may be.



    RP sample using the feature:

    Thump. Thump.

    ... Ba-dump.

    It was hard to tell whether or not the slowing bumping in her ears was her heartbeat or something she was hearing in her dreams. In her unconscious state, Alyson winced, trying, to no avail, to ignore the building noises that were crushing her head. Making her feel like it was going to implode under the pressure. Overlapping into hysterical cacophony. A few seconds later, she rolled over in her sheets. Her hands flew up to cup her ears and a searing flash of red light illuminated the delicate skin behind her eyelids, drowning out all the slow beating to make way for a harsh ringing that she wasn't sure even dogs could hear.

    Did the beginnings of visions always have to hurt so bad?

    She knew she was asleep. Knew she was dreaming. Seeing? Both? Neither? That, for some stupid reason, didn't mean she could yank herself right out of the unconsciousness back to the real-people world. Anytime one of her visions had been interrupted, it had been by someone else. She wished she was with Ezra. (Was she with Ezra?) Wished he were there to shake her and to assure her it was over. She couldn't even remember where she was or when she'd fallen asleep.

    Alyson grunted and clenched her fists over her ears, beating gently on them with the heels of her palms, hoping that the tensile strength she was transferring to her hands would subside the gnashing of her jaws. The echoing, slapping sounds of footsteps on pavement faded in and replaced the ringing, and for a minute, the pain was gone. Aly couldn't make a lot of sense of what happened next. Running. Heavy, labored breathing. Running, running, more running -- she wasn't sure whether she'd only heard it or seen it or even knew who it was, but whoever they were -- they were running. From something. Or someone.

    When she woke up from visions, especially in the middle of them, it often felt like catching her breath inside burning lungs after having been underwater for a really long time. Like a mother cat was pulling her baby out of the hawk's talons by the scruff. It was harsh, but it meant safety. Peace, if only momentarily. Foggy shapes came into blurry hazel view and Alyson's shoulders shook as she resurfaced, grabbing weakly at whoever's arms were grasping her shoulders. "Aly. Aly! Alyson!" The voice garbled almost unintelligibly, strong hands shaking her until she came to, eyes wide and glassy from the effort it had taken to endure the vision.

    Useless vision, if you asked her. She was beginning to like sleep a little less. There was always a decent chance she'd walk in expecting to count sheep and walk out of the burning house that was her mind some time later on in the night. Or early morning, if the birds were singing, and sometimes they did. It made the ache in her teeth from grinding them so hard throb a little less. Made the pounding in her skull a little less loud.

    "Who -- whosair." Alyson shook her head, noticing the labored breaths heaving her chest and attempting, surely, to slow them down. "Annie? Wha -- happened to me? Was I ... screaming?" She slurred, eyes narrowed while she blinked the last remnants of her dream away. "I'm sorry."


    Approved~





  • Offline Basil Stringfellow
  • Re: Special Feature Applications
    « Reply #207 on: July 08, 2017, 12:49:56 AM »

    Hey boy, take a look at me, let me dirty up your mind
    I'll strip away your hard veneer and see what I can find

    Name: Dylan
    Character name: Basil Stringfellow
    Feature you are applying for: Occlumency and Legilimency



    The queerest of the queer, The strangest of the strange
    The coldest of the cool, the lamest of the lame
    The numbest of the dumb, I hate to see you here
    You choke behind a smile, a fake behind the fear
    The queerest of the queer

    When I first conceptualized Basil, I had a feeling that he would eventually come to apply for this feature. How could he not? A character who is so focused on exposing the secrets of others while holding tightly to his own would absolutely wish to study this unique branch of magic. He would be completely enthralled, and willing to do whatever it took. He would put in the hours, and he would take the risks, because the rewards are great. However, due to Basil's parselmouth application, I held off on applying for anything else for fear of making Basil look overpowered. The question stuck with me: is it really okay to have two features for the same character?

    After a great deal of consideration, I decided that it absolutely can be, depending on the circumstances. Basil's two abilities do not build on each other. They are as different as night and day and obtained in different ways—occlumency and legilimency are learned abilities requiring a great deal of study and the parselmouth ability is hereditary and innate. Moreover, possession of these abilities will affect Basil differently as well. While Basil's parselmouth feature is central to his character, personality, and history—this feature will be central to his plot and character development.

    As with all special features, especially mind-magic, it is important that as a driver I am able to responsibly handle the feature in a way that is both realistic to character and sensitive to the wishes of other drivers. I would like it known that both of these things are high priorities to me and something I plan to keep in mind as I play Basil slowly learning these new abilities and developing these new skills.




    This is what he pays me for, I'll show you how it's done
    You learn to love the pain you feel, like father like son


    occlumency;

    Basil's occlumency will be the most important part of this feature. Basil is an intelligent and hard-working character who enjoys challenging his mind and anything that could give him an advantage over others. With the right teacher, he has the innate intelligence and strength of will required to develop such a feature, and will take to lessons quickly. With the career path he has chosen, and circumstances beyond Basil's control, he has developed a very real need to protect his mind from foreign invaders that goes beyond a selfish desire to keep his own secrets.

    Basil will soon be in possession of information that could damn others and himself. He is already in possession of some of that information. He is surrounded by unsafe people, powerful legilimens (such as the Stringfellow patriarch, Yarrow) with a desire to look into Basil's mind and pick the secrets out. To remain safe, Basil must remain protected. This is the primary reason why Basil is interested in this ability, and why he will be so willing to pour his sweat, blood, and tears into obtaining it. Basil seeks to live as a free man, safe with his secrets.

    The interesting thing about occlumency is that it is an ability that is entirely learned. Anyone with the skill, desire, and drive can achieve it. This is in direct contrast with Basil's parselmouth feature which is entirely hereditary. Basil is a good student, highly intelligent, with high marks in his many N.E.W.T. subjects. While he can often be impatient, Basil is known to be someone who does not shy away from hard work when it leads him down a path towards his goals. He is the kind of person who does not take no for an answer and can be highly persistent. This is the exact way Basil will approach his training, and why he is an ideal candidate for this type of learned feature.

    As you will see in the history changes section below, I plan to have Basil study this skill for several years in his history under the guidance of a NPC mentor. Through his work with this mentor, Basil will have a firm understanding of the basics of occlumency and be moderately proficient in the skill. Upon approval of this application, Basil will be able to protect himself from Yarrow's gentle probing, but would not withstand an intense battle of minds. Due to the nature of his family dynamic, Basil has spent a great deal of time focusing on hiding his occlumency ability. He is gracefully subtle and wandless in his casting, and can hide that he knows the skill even when he is unable to hide anything else. The ability has life-or-death consequences for Basil, as learning occlumency is expressedly forbidden by the Stringfellow patriarch.

    As I continue to play Basil through his future plots, he will grow in both skill and ability.


    legilimency;

    While Basil began learning occlumency for practical reasons, legilimency is what Basil has always been most interested in learning. Basil has always been fascinated by the human mind, and seeks to pull back the layers on everyone he meets to see what's at their core. Basil is known for pushing boundaries and playing mind games. To Basil, legilimency is a tool to further these goals. Despite his explicit interest in this field, Basil has no experience whatsoever. The mentor who trained him in occlumency saw no need to teach Basil legilimency as well, believing—perhaps rightfully so—that the young boy may abuse his skill or use it for nefarious purpose.

    It is likely that Basil would do just that. His thirst for knowledge and understanding of the human psyche is great enough that he will be unable to resist utilizing his skill, especially when he is new to it and at his very clumsiest. He will use his ability on his friends and loved ones without their consent (but, obviously, with their driver's consent), and have to deal with the fall out of such a blatant disregard for the privacy and feelings of others. He will also attempt to use this ability on strangers, sometimes with interesting results. Through each attempt, Basil will learn a little more about his craft and about what he should (and should not) do. Many attempts will fail to produce any information, or will only produce information sitting on the surface of the mind. However, every taste will only fuel Basil's desire for more knowledge and therefore more power.

    Like occlumency, legilimency is an entirely learned feature, available to anyone with the foundation of occlumency, the drive, and the skill to learn. Basil has already established a moderate degree of proficiency in occlumency, which will be integral in his development of the legilimency ability. As you will see below in the future plots section, Basil has two established legilimens who have agreed to teach Basil how to delve into the minds of others.  This is the final, missing piece on Basil's quest, as these mentors give him the opportunity to learn a skill that would be otherwise nearly impossible to learn on his own.

    Upon approval of this application, Basil will have no ability in legilimency. He will begin from ground zero, and slowly develop his ability IC through the completion of threads.


    physical limitations;

    Basil will find himself, when using this feature, dealing with a great number of physical ramifications he was not prepared for. Basil's body is weak and sickly to begin with, so the burden of such great focus will often result in physical fatigue, weakness, dizziness, migraine headaches, and especially nosebleeds. As Basil learns to control his power, and stops attempting to use it beyond his level of expertise, these negative symptoms will diminish.




    The queerest of the queer, hide inside your head
    The blindest of the blind, the deadest of the dead
    You're hungry cause you starve while holding back the tears
    Choking on your smile, a fake behind the fear
    The queerest of the queer

    Basil grew up in a very strict family, under the watchful and probing eye of the Stringfellow patriarch, Yarrow. Yarrow, who is a legilimens, would occasionally show the reach of his power by worming his way into the minds of his children and grandchildren. Basil never thought of this as weird. After all, it was the only thing that he'd ever known. There was no secret safe from Yarrow. Even his thoughts were not private. He didn't think anything of it when, at ten, he told his former caretaker and current confidant, Rowan, about how strange it felt to have someone else searching around inside your mind. He was surprised, when Rowan was so offended by the concept. It was Rowan who taught Basil that his mind was his sanctuary and that his thoughts should be his own.

    Rowan spoke to Basil about a way to defend himself and his privacy against Yarrow, but was unsure that Basil would be able to learn it, or even have the opportunity to learn it. Rowan was, himself, a ghost. He couldn't have taught Basil the ability even if he knew it, which he did not. However, he knew someone who might be able to. Rowan, who had once been a high-level ministry employee, helped Basil write a letter to one of his old friends from the office, Azrael Hartwood, about potentially training Basil in the skill. To Basil's great surprise, Azrael responded to the letter and agreed to meet with young Basil at Rowan's home to begin training. Basil was young but eager to learn. The first few lessons involved no wand magic at all, and were entirely focused on meditation and strengthening the mind and Basil's power of will. Basil caught on quickly and was always practicing. Basil was not the type of person to give up on something just because it was difficult.

    A few months after his first year at Hogwarts began, Azrael finally began teaching Basil the true magic portion of occlumency. His first few attempts were pitiful at best. Despite his practice to strengthen his will, Basil still lacked the necessary magical skill and power to complete the magic. Azrael was patient and went slow, taking baby steps with Basil. Soon, Basil was able to deflect Azrael's weaker attempts. Basil learned the basic tenants and was left to practice the skills and exercises in between formal lessons with his new mentor. This went well for a few months until the next time Basil came into contact with Yarrow.

    From the first time the patriarch entered Basil's mind, he knew the young Slytherin had been disobeying him. The Stringfellows were forbidden from learning occlumency, specifically so they would be susceptible to Yarrow's probing. Basil was too young to be fully aware of this rule, but he soon became intimately acquainted. The traditional punishment was death, but due to Basil's age and his skill still being in its infancy, Yarrow gave him his life, as a small mercy. Instead, he locked the young boy inside the iron maiden for a period of two weeks as punishment for his disobedience and gall. During this time he was given just enough water and food to survive, but no more.

    When Basil emerged, he nearly was dead. He was traumatized and ill and confused from lack of restful sleep and severe malnutrition. One thing, however, was abundantly clear. He never wanted to cross Yarrow again. He blew off letters from Azrael and focused instead on schoolwork. He focused on gaining the weight he'd lost and nursing himself back to health. He focused on forgetting everything he'd learned out of fear that he would again be locked away, or worse. Basil continued in this manner for an entire year. During this time, Yarrow watched him closely but ultimately determined that Basil wasn't a threat and that his punishment had appropriately deterred the other.

    It was near the end of the year that Basil's fear began to fade into anger. An independent soul and rebel from the moment he understood the concepts, Basil believed that Rowan was right. His thoughts were meant to be his own. He had the right to think whatever he liked without being punished for lack of agreement. He soon grew bitter and resentful, and began having second thoughts about ending his training.

    Basil was beginning to have all sorts of thoughts that Yarrow would object to. He often daydreamed about his grandfather's untimely demise, and planned different ways in which the deed could be done. He didn't truly plan on going through with any of these—he was no murderer, not yet—but he knew that having those thoughts could have gotten him killed just as easily as learning occlumency would. Though he was still afraid, Basil was certain there must be a way for him to have both his emotional and mental freedom and his life.  There must be a way to learn this without getting caught...

    Basil was humbled when he sent his first letter to Azrael that he had in a year. It took Basil a great deal of convincing and explanation before Azrael would agree to train him again. Basil had to explain why it was so important for him to learn this skill and what he planned to do to make it so he wouldn't suddenly go radio silent again. Basil pressed the necessity of hiding this ability and he and Azrael focused specifically on this skill. Within the next few years, Basil became a master at this particular use of his magic.

    By the next time Yarrow looked into his mind, Basil was skilled enough at hiding his ability to go undetected. With his ability to hide his ability near-perfected, he slowly began focusing on hiding his thoughts and feelings, too. Currently, Basil is moderately skilled in occlumency, able to protect himself from some of Yarrow's probing and hide thoughts that he desperately wants to hide while simultaneously hiding his ability. He continues to train, though Azrael is growing too old to continue teaching. This has left Basil hungry for a new mentor with new skills and a drive to teach Basil what he knows.




    I know what's good for you
    I know you're dying to


    dieter;

    Upon graduation, Basil will be taken on as apprentice to Dieter Meer, an established occlumens and legilimens. Dieter will teach Basil many skills during their time together, including intimidation, torture, and the art of information extraction. Basil will be a sponge, taking in these dark skills. During their time, Dieter will also work with Basil to strengthen is occlumency and begin to teach him the basics of legilimency. The nature of his job will necessitate both of these skills, and Basil will take his training very seriously.

    While originally these training sessions were meant to be played out in an IC manner, with Castor's hiatus, this will be played off-screen and through introspective development in his other posts. When Castor returns from his hiatus, the lessons will resume IC.


    pyxis and sleep no more;

    Without his consent, Basil has been recently “awakened” as a sleeper Death Eater. Despite his surprise at being selected and despite the fact that he would not have willingly joined the ranks, Basil is a true believer in the cause and wants to do right by his new “friends.” In addition to his private lessons with Dieter, which were meant to benefit Basil in his career and personal life, Basil will also begin training with senior Death Eater, Pyxis Hartridge Abercrombie who is also an established occlumens and legilimens.

    Pyxis is a master at occlumency who will have plenty to teach Basil. Pyxis will also endeavor to teach legilimency to Basil with a little push from the younger man. However, Pyxis is only moderately skilled in this area and, as such, there will be a limit to how much Basil will realistically be able to learn from him, as well as how quickly he will be able to learn. Like with Dieter's plots, this will occur in a mixture of IC and off-screen interactions. Unlike with Dieter, Pyxis will require Basil to undergo an unbreakable vow to not disclose Pyxis' identity as a his mentor.


    rosaline and the death of sampson;

    If approved in her own application, Pyxis will also be teaching occlumency to Rosaline Bane, Basil's best friend and soon-to-be fiancée. Basil and Rose will be able to work together to practice under Pyxis' guidance.

    Additionally, Basil will soon be involved in one of Rose's wicked power-plays, as she seeks to assassinate the patriarch of the Bane family, Sampson, and take the power for herself. Basil will be there to help in any way necessary, as well as shield Rose's plans from Sampson, who is also a legilimens. This will cost the elder man his life, and be the first time that Basil uses his powers to create a real and lasting change for someone.


    eris;

    In addition to Dieter and Pyxis, Basil will have a third mentor to learn from in the form of Death Eater and Unspeakable Eris Rosier, Lowri's WIP. Lowri will be applying for Eris to be both an occlumens and legilimens. Eris will catch Basil's attention within the sleeper cell and he will immediately want to learn from her, knowing that she has more than twenty years of experience in both areas of magic. With a little bit of encouragement, Eris will agree to teach Basil. However, she will come on strong and harsh as a way of attempting to weed him out of her hair. To her surprise, Basil will be a quick and persistent study, able to take whatever she throws at him and eagerly throw it back. Like the others, these training sessions will occur in-character and will progress through threads.


    jocasta;

    During the month of February, when the Hogwarts students were off to recuperate from the presence of the dome, Basil found himself involved with his first real scandal. One of his close friends, Cabhan Daley was kidnapped by his father and tortured. In order to get away, Cabhan took his father's life, and immediately recruited his best friends, Rose and Basil, to help him. Basil helped Cabhan hide the body and gave him an alibi, stating that they were together at Basil's home during the crime.

    Unfortunately for Cabhan and Basil, the disappearance of Aeary Daley did not go unnoticed. Aeary was a known and prominent pureblood wizard. His disappearance was considered a priority by the auror office and was highly suspicious in nature. Lead auror, Jocasta Silverman was assigned to the case. Jocasta is already an expert occlumens, but soon Ashton will be applying for her to be a legilimens as well.

    She will question Basil about Cabhan and Cabhan's father in a traditional manner with no success. Basil is a keen liar and very good at spinning a story. Suspicious, Jocasta will use her legilimens ability on Basil to try to root out some additional information. As Basil's occlumency will be less powerful than her legilimency ability, she will be able to glean some information from him. However, Basil will still be able to hide a few key facts. Without the information Basil is willingly concealing from her, she would be unable to prove any of her suspicions against him.

    Despite this, Jocasta will be watching Basil closely from then on, certain there is more to the young boy than what meets the eye. This will be especially interesting considering Basil's less-than-legal line of business as well as the fact that Basil is a marked Death Eater and Jocasta is a member of the Order of the Phoenix. There is also the possibility that Basil may get pulled into the station for official question and that, due to Basil's wealth and influential family status, he will be let go by a corrupt official working for the Bane family. This opens up a whole realm of new plots—both those which use Basil's special abilities and those which do not.


    donnie;

    As a newly initiated Death Eater, Basil has been tasked with gathering as much information as possible to help the cause, specifically specialized information. This is the reason why Basil is told to target Unspeakable, Donncha Kearney. Basil first meets Donnie as a friend of a friend. He meets him through Rosaline, who knows Donnie through Lorin Odell. He is fascinated by his work, both in arithmancy and with the department of magical law enforcement (especially since he will, at this time, be dealing with Jocasta, as mentioned above). However, what primarily interests Basil is his work within the brain room of the department of Mysteries. Despite Basil's best tricks, he's unable to gather any information from Donnie the old-fashioned way, as the man is very tight-lipped about his profession. Basil decides this is the perfect opportunity to use his legilimency ability, and tries it on the older man. Donnie, who is applying to be an occlumens, will be able to easily block Basil's clumsy attempt.

    While Basil is masterful at hiding his occlumency ability while it is in use, he is very clumsy with legilimency and it will immediately be apparent to Donnie what has happened, which will make him very wary of Basil indeed. Basil will end this interaction with no information and a new enemy. Donnie may even choose to pass along information about Basil's attempt to read his mind to his friends in the Order of the Phoenix, which may cause the group to consider the possibility of a new dark force attempting to permeate the new ministry.


    jimin and the wild hunt;

    Basil and Jimin Woo aren't exactly Romeo and Juliet. At least, they don't look much like it. They're both dirty boys, involved in too many adult things too early. Both obsessed with the morbid and macabre, neither of which take no for an answer. They're too alike to be opposites, yet they're just as star-crossed as any famous lovers.

    Basil is a pureblood wizard, a marked Death Eater, who believes that muggleborns are filth, meant to ruin the wizarding world. He believes they are below him. Jimin is a muggleborn (or so they think), which is something that makes this pairing so odd. Despite the fact that it goes against everything Basil believes to be true, he's found himself irresistibly attracted to the other. That feeling is mutual.

    There is nothing healthy about what the boys are or what they have. They deal in lies and fantasies, in vice and desperation. Jimin has claimed to love Basil from the moment of their first kiss, which cynical Basil doesn't believe is possible. Basil knows there could never be anything between them but this dark, tainted... whatever this was. It is because of this twisted game, that Basil will find it acceptable to use his new ability for fun, breaking into the mind of his lover and revealing the startling truth beneath—the truth of Jimin's love for him.

    This truth will leave Basil feeling particularly torn between his personal desire, to be with the other, and his duty to the Death Eaters which have marked him. This is only further complicated by Basil's genuine belief that wizarding blood is superior to muggle blood. Knowing that their blood could never mix would lessen the blow, since it is not possible for them to produce halfblooded offspring, but Basil will feel like a blood traitor for even considering it. What Basil doesn't know, is that Jimin is actually a pureblood as well, technically, though he was still raised as a muggle. Finding out that not only are they of the same blood status, but also from the same family (the Banes), will lessen some of his angst, while creating new conflict.

    Jimin, whose first romantic encounter with Basil was immediately following the revelation that Basil had been reading his private diary, will not react to the intrusion the way many others would. Instead of making Jimin feel violated, being able to share his thoughts and feelings with Basil in such a way will make him feel validated. The use of legilimency between them will become commonplace—accepted, if not expected.

    Basil will also be engaged, at this time, to his good friend Rosaline Bane. Rose, who is also a sleeper Death Eater, has found a muggleborn of her own to love. She will end the engagement to Basil to be with her love as a blood traitor. This will carve a pathway for Basil to let go of his biases in the same way, and grow more comfortable with the idea of leaving this mindset behind.

    Later on, as Jimin grows older, he will become a part of a secret society known as the Wild Hunt. The Wild Hunt is in a direct conflict with the Stringfellow family, and seeks to strip the family of the last of their influence. Basil will use his power to delve into the mind of his lover and extract all information he can about the Wild Hunt, and attempt to use this information against them as a part of mediating the conflict between them. As this is information that Jimin desperately does not want to give up, it will involve the abuse of trust between them, which Basil will need to repair if he does not want to lose his relationship.




    You can touch me if you want
    You can touch me
    But you can't stop.

    Even now, it still hurt sometimes. Basil could never understand how a purely mental exercise could cause such physical fatigue. It would be worth it, though, in the end. This was a necessary endeavor—not just a flight of fancy or an expression of teenage rebellion. This was integral to the dark-haired teen's livelihood. He was in too deep now to pull back, and because of that things needed to be perfect. He needed to push through the pain and exhaustion.

    Azrael was hard on him, as he always was, but the strict discipline was good for Basil. He needed to hear the gravity of the situation (”you're dead”) when he failed, and his successes didn't need praise. His praise was his silence. If Azrael was Yarrow, picking through his mind, Basil would either be successful or end up dead. That was the reality and it wasn't lost on the young Stringfellow. Even so, he ached. His head was swimming with the beginnings of a migraine and he felt dizzy. He wiped at his nose and tried to hide the drop of blood that he found on his sleeve. Again? He hadn't been pushed this far before. He hadn't bled from the exertion in years, now.

    It never failed to surprise Basil, the vulnerability he felt when he knew someone was searching through his mind. It was a surreal sensation that he couldn't describe to anyone who had never felt it. It was as though he wasn't alone. Undetectable to the untrained, but glaringly obvious to him now that he was aware. He took a deep breath, fingers white-knuckled against the desk he was leaning against. He pushed back, gently at first.

    It would be all to easy to push the other out of his mind with a clumsily overt force, but he was beyond that. He was not an auror, throwing his weight around and standing defiantly in the face of a dark wizard. Rather, he was an artist. He was there to paint a picture and painting was meant to be delicate, careful, and crafted. He was supposed to gently guide the probing towards a thought that was safe, or slyly show it's way to silence. The point was in not being caught, in being very careful, to not push too hard, lest he'd give the game away. He had been clumsy before, he remembered. He had used his power of will like a hammer, beating against Yarrow until he forced the older one out. He had paid dearly for that mistake. As he gently probed, he felt Azrael push deeper, and he slipped—quick, a flash of skin on skin and whispered words into a dormitory pillow. Jimin. Oh, no.

    He pushed Azrael out hard, clumsy. He took in a deep breath as his mind cleared and he waved his hand in his mentor's face. “Please, Azrael... please...” He begged. God, his head felt like it was splitting open.  The older man relented, and gave Basil a moment to compose himself, the blood flowing from his nose even more freely now. He must have been out of practice if he was still bleeding. That said, this was the first time in awhile that things had been so long, so intense, and Basil was improving. He knew that had been a good attempt.

    “What was that, Basil?” Azrael asked. Basil blushed brightly, knowing exactly what his mentor had seen and being ashamed to tell him. He cleared his throat as he stood back upright. He was feeling loads better with just a moment to breathe. His head still ached, and he thought he might need to sit down, but other than that he wasn't shaking anymore. He was stronger than he'd been before. He hadn't lost consciousness this time, which was good.

    “I-that was nothing, just a—“ Basil stammered. He couldn't finish explaining away his homosexual encounter before Azrael interrupted him.

    “Just a failure.” The older man spoke quietly. Basil seemed a little thankful that he didn't seem to mind the content of the thought he had pulled up, and seemed more focused on the fact that he had pulled up something at all. “You need to learn to prioritize your focus. You're very good at making sure I don't feel a thing, but if you give up a memory because you're expending all of your energy on making sure that I don't know what you're doing, you'll never be able to hide anything important. It only took a little push to reveal what you didn't want me to see...”

    Basil nodded, knowing his strengths and weaknesses as well as the older man. This was one of the things Basil was proud of. He was well-aware of the things he did well and even more aware of the things which needed improvement.. “I'll be stronger on the next one. I promise.” He offered. “Now?” He asked, eager. He was still woozy, but he hated to leave it on a loss.

    Azrael shook his head and offered Basil a seat at the table. “Have some tea, first, and clear your head.” He offered. Basil knew this wasn't a suggestion, but, rather, a demand. He sat, and it felt good. He wiped at his nose again, and took a deep breath. Azrael poured his tea and produced a small vial from the pocket of his robes. To Basil's surprise, it carried the seal of Asclepius's Apothecary & Greenhouse, Rosaline's potions shop. He looked up at the older man, intrigued.

    “A revitalization potion.” Azrael suggested. “It should help to strengthen your constitution—help with the headaches, the nosebleeds...” He offered it to Basil. Always the skeptic, Basil looked the vial over before he chose to drink it. He took it down in a swig, washing the bitter taste down with sugared tea. It began working instantly. Basil would need to stock up on these. Luckily, he knew the potions mistress.

    “It's been a long time since you bled, Basil. You're pushing yourself too hard, too soon. You should practice more on what you already know. Let the new skills come in time.”

    That wasn't what Basil wanted to hear at all. He wanted to be ready for more now, while he still had Azrael to guide him. The wizard was getting old, getting ready to retire and give Basil fully over to his new mentors. He wanted to be stronger first, but his ambition was hardly matched by his physical capabilities. Perhaps the potions would help more if he took them first. Perhaps a little confidence would help, too. Azrael, for all his strengths, still made Basil feel like a small child. He was awed by him, he idolized him. It made it easy to take the other's advice. He worried that Dieter might not take the same hard-handed but caring approach. He might push too hard, or not enough. Azrael seemed to instinctively know how much was just enough. This was likely because they had worked together for so many years.

    “I won't get better if I don't push myself.” Basil argued gently. He couldn't bring himself to argue with the older man fully. Azrael had a point and Basil knew it. He just didn't like it. He stirred another sugar into his already sweet tea and took a sip. Better.

    “I know that I can handle it. I'm just... out of practice, is all. School this year was hard with the dome and the demons, and I—” It sounded like a pitiful excuse, but it was partly true. School had been particularly hard on Basil in the past year.  “I can do better if we keep practicing. I know that soon you won't be around to help. I want everything I can get before that happens.” He drained his glass eagerly, a sparkle in his eye again. The potion had really worked its magic. His nose had even stopped bleeding.

    Azrael raised a brow but nodded as he, too, placed his empty cup onto the table. “If you insist.” He began. “We'll try something slightly different. Take more tea.”

    Basil obliged. He was pouring the warm liquid into his cup when he felt it, like a tingle. Azrael was already probing. He tried not to think of Jimin again, and instead began to push back. Azrael smirked, then asked Basil to pour a cup for him, too. Holding a conversation while protecting himself? This was new. Interesting, though, and useful...
    B a b y ,   I ' m   a   s o c i o p a t h ,   s w e e t   s e r i a l   k i l l e r .

    O n   t h e   w a r p a t h ,   c a u s e   I   l o v e   y o u   j u s t   a   l i t t l e   t o o   m u c h .

  • Offline Taylor
  • Re: Special Feature Applications
    « Reply #208 on: July 31, 2017, 12:35:19 AM »
    Name: Lowri
    Character name: Luciana Bertinelli
    Feature you are applying for: Elemental - Advocate Madin

    I would like to apply for Luciana to be retconned as an Elemental, with the first affinity of earth. It is something I've had in the background since creating Lucia, hence her love for herbology and never having played her as being noticeably talented in any wand-based subjects. However I lacked the courage to apply for the special feature because the more I played her, the less "earth-like" she became in my eyes. Having put her under the microscope recently for a sheet update, I've come to the conclusion that Luciana actually does fit the element of earth, even if it's not immediately apparent. I'm also very interested in the idea of (pardon the pun) nature versus nurture. I would therefore like to portray Luciana as someone who once had all the qualities that you would generally associate with the vast majority of earth elementals, however due to her upbringing has become more inclined to dark tendencies. If approved, Luciana would be a conflicted elemental; one who still possesses the core traits of an earth elemental: loyalty, honesty, and love -- albeit twisted, corrupted, and perhaps no longer recognisable.


    Suitability:

    As a child Luciana was thoughtful and caring -- and she still is these things for the people she loves. She was warm and friendly, but growing up as the daughter of a mafioso, Luciana soon learnt that these traits were not acceptable in a business where fear is more powerful than love. She learnt to disguise her feelings in order to hide what she was taught was weakness. The only emotion she really struggles with is anger; it builds in stages, bubbling away until it erupts in a rage. Luciana is deeply loyal and family-oriented, and the few who she considers friends may as well be a brother or sister. She is very protective, bordering on possessive, of those she cares about. 

    An observant young woman, Luciana is empathetic if not sympathetic, able to pick up on emotions and she is usually good at being able to tell when she is being lied to. Despite being a good liar when she wants to be, Luci is honest, blunt and at times inconsiderately truthful -- it all depends on what she believes is best for the situation. Her determination and ambition make her unafraid of hard work, and she thoroughly enjoys working with her hands. Luci likes a few select indoor pursuits such as theatre or visiting art galleries, but is most at home outside; gardening has long been her favourite past-time.

    Despite the persona she has crafted for herself, deep down Luciana is still a good person at heart. She loves life, she's becoming jaded with the wizarding world's obsession over blood purity and is likely to develop further down this path if she is approved as an elemental. Disenchanted with "man", she is angry that muggles are allowing the world to be ruined by pollution, genetic modification, herbicides and other chemicals.


    Implementation:

    If Luciana was approved as an earth elemental, I would need to update her sheet to include references to her discovery, training, and any interactions that are of importance. I would also have to adjust Luciana's NEWTs to take into consideration her poor skills in wandmagic.

    Heritage: Luciana's father is the head of an organised crime syndicate based in Neroli. The woman who she believes is her mother died in childbirth, according to everything she has ever been told. In truth, this woman was murdered by Luciana's father in order to hide an affair. An affair that resulted in the birth of Luciana to a muggleborn magiflorist. Luciana has no knowledge of any of this, though I would be interested in her finding these things out in time, and perhaps being part of future development. I imagine Luciana's real mother was an elemental herself, or at least carried the gene, as there are no other known elementals in the Bertinelli family.

    Discovery: Luciana would have been identified as a possible elemental towards the end of her first year at Beauxbatons. The most logical person to discover her would be Peter Alva as a teacher at the school and her counter-element, however I realise Julie isn't active so wouldn't want to assume this is okay. Alternatively I can come up with an NPC, either an older student, or a visiting adult elemental. Due to being identified at the end of the year, they would have made a decision not to confuse her right before the summer break, instead waiting until the beginning of her second year.

    Training: Having essentially been discovered at the very beginning of her second year, Luciana would for all intents and purposes be 'one year behind' in her training, i.e. in her second year at Beauxbatons she would be learning first year elemental spells. She would be a very studious pupil, wanting to advance herself as quickly as possible, so it is possible she could 'catch-up' with hard study.  Having been out of school for one year she would now be into the Advocate stage of her elemental career, and as one of the two higher elements she would likely remain an advocate for a few years. She has not yet decided upon a Second Affinity, and she is not sure that she wants to split her focus.

    Rogue Attack: The attack on Beauxbatons occurred in the February of Luciana's fourth academic year, which would mean she had only two and a half years of elemental training by this point and had not yet completed her initialisation. Luciana would have presumably thought herself equipped to help out, but in reality would likely not have been much more than a liability. The senior elementals would have encouraged her to keep out of the way, and begrudgingly she would have done so -- for this reason her elemental ability would have remained hidden from the wider student body. Having known nothing of the Rogue before, she would have been afraid. Following the attack Luciana would have become very interested in who the Rogue were, what their ambitions were, and what they offered elementals as a people. Seeing the power they had would show her that the Council wasn't the only teacher of their craft, but she would also be wary of their defeat.


    Future plots:

    Luciana and Zoé Deveaux have a long standing feud, which in all honesty is more down to Luciana than Zoé. In the same academic year at Beauxbatons, Zoé was discovered as an elemental before Luciana and this would have likely been a reason for her to resent the Papillonlisse. Following this, there was always a rivalry, at least from Luciana's side. As they grow older, Lucia will move further from being a friendly rival with Zoé, their counter-elements playing a large part in this.

    Another fellow Beauxbatons student, Pascal Lefèvre, was of a complementary element with Luciana: water. Finally glad to have someone at the school whom she could confide in about her abilities that wasn't an ice elemental, they shared their student service in gardening. They would practice casting elemental spells together, helping the Beauxbatons student gardens to flourish.

    After visiting the Council and upon learning more about it and its history I believe Luciana would disagree with their mentality, but her self-preservation would tell her that they are too strong to oppose. With an older, wiser elemental behind her she certainly has the potential to go Rogue if the Council don't make a stand where she believes they should. Nolan Cairns is unhappy with the Council and is likely to try to get Luci to join him as he notices her reluctance to fully immerse herself in Council life. He is against "wand-wavers" and as Luciana comes to the realisation that she's not a normal witch, that  -- foregoing an untimely death -- she will live longer than anyone she currently knows (with the exclusion of other elementals), being an elemental will come to define her.

    There would also be those who would try to keep her loyal to the Council. First among these would be Simon Ainsworth, an ice elemental who will, upon finding out that Luciana is becoming disenchanted with the Council life, do his best to convince her that the Council is the best option. He will be one of few ice elementals that Luciana gets on reasonably okay with, but more out of respect (and perhaps fear) than any natural affinity towards him. Another pro-council elemental she would have interactions with would be Kanat Zhanalin. Kanat will pick up on Luciana's growing distate for the Council, and there is the potential for tension to develop between them.

    Memphis Gredel is a Council elemental based in Neroli. With there being few elementals that Luciana has met who aren't obsessed with the Council and living in Inverness, she will relish the opportunity to be around "one of her kind" on her home turf, and they have a lot of common interests.

    Other than the above character-specific plots, which focus on fellow elementals, I'm sure I will be able to use Luciana's elemental ability in a number of other circumstances. As a budding herbologist, Luciana will be able to use her element on a daily basis. She will be interested both in creating new hybrids and reviving species that may be going, or already have gone, extinct. I have spoken with Meridian about Luciana possibly joining the Akashic Scholars in exchange for information on elementals and/or herblore, for which Luci would be able to use their giant greenhouses, play around with ancient seeds/spores, and potentially in her meddling let loose some sort of dangerous mutant plant as a future plot.

    At the Guild, Luciana will meet Dragos Şerbănescu. They will trade knowledge on elementals. Luciana will likely learn some Rogue spells from him and from the guild texts, and in turn she will teach him as much as she thinks is safe -- she would be wary of his interest, worried that he may be more of a threat than an ally. There is the potential for both Luciana's and Dragos' desire for knowledge to threaten their mutual agreement.

    Partial immunity to plant based poisons and toxins will come in super handy in potioneering. This will likely be a supplemental source of income for the time being, though as Luciana becomes more in tune with plants she may let her potion making fall to the wayside in favour of advancing her herbology if she is still able to support herself.


    RP sample using the feature:

    A warm breeze washed over Luciana, gently ruffling through her leaves. She was in her morphed state, nestled comfortably in the gardens at her home in Neroli. It was safe to transform here – she hadn’t yet mastered full awareness of her surroundings when in her morphed form, and so she only did so where she felt comfortable.

    The gardens of the Bertinelli villa had once been tended to by a gardener, but he had been dismissed over a year ago. Luciana had a vision of how she wanted the gardens to look and, more importantly, she had a connection with each of the plants there. Foolishly, the poor man had interfered; his plan had been to modernise the garden, try something more uniform and minimalist as was becoming the fashion. He over-pruned several bushes and ripped out a number of established flowerbeds – hardly a major crime by landscaping standards, but they were her babies.

    The young elemental had erupted in a rage, large cracks forming in the lawn, new shoots growing rapidly where their brothers and sisters had once blossomed, and long vines coiling their way around the gardener’s legs, torso and neck... Luciana’s father had arrived just in time to calm her, relieving the man of his position with both a handsome redundancy payout and a credible threat should his daughter’s ‘condition’ ever be spoken about.

    So now Luciana was the only one permitted to look after the gardens and they had flourished under her care. It wasn’t perfectly manicured, the hedges were not impeccably trimmed, but it was typical of a Mediterranean climate: herbs, citrus, olive trees and colourful blooms everywhere.

    Lucia’s form of the moment was a rosebush. She was surrounded by a bed of low lavender hedges and had been here for some time, most of the afternoon in fact. She could feel the balmy sun on her leaves, the wind caressing her petals, the rich soil that she was rooted into. As Luciana kept half of her focus on maintaining her morphed form, she had shifted the other half of her focus to what she hoped was her surroundings. It was hard to differentiate from what she imagined or remembered, and what she could actually sense in the present moment. The familiar perfume of the blooms around her, the warmth of the sun, the cool breeze; she could feel but she couldn’t see. She could hear, but it wasn't clear, almost like she was listening through a wall.
     
    If Luciana had been herself, that is her human self, she’d have rolled her eyes at her inability to do something she believed should be simple enough. As a plant she could feel what a plant felt, but that wasn’t much use. She would only be able to be reactive, not proactive, should she ever be threatened.

    Luciana began thinking about becoming a person again and as she did so the rosebush grew taller, the thick foliage pulling back as the branches consolidated into two arms and the trunk into a torso and legs. The brunette took in a deep breath, stretched her arms above her head and wiggled her toes in the earth before opening her eyes. A brief moment later she stepped out of the flowerbed and began to make her way back towards the villa. She would have to try again tomorrow.



    Though not required, I thought I would include the below to show how I imagine Luciana's level of mastery in her element based on her age and study. If you believe she would or wouldn't know a particular spell please do let me know. If anything this is more for my own reference.

    MASTERED SPELLS

    Luciana has mastered the following spells. She is able to control the texture and composition of earth, influence the shape and growth of a plant, and is able to conjure the element in a context that is not natural. She has partial immunity to the element, including any naturally produced poisons or toxins. She also has a full mastery of morphing, able to morph not only herself but inanimate objects and other people as required -- though she has only done this a handful of times as she prefers to morph alone. As I understand it, it takes longer for an elemental to be fully aware of their surroundings whilst morphed - something she is currently working on.

    As she has never had to fight in a real situation Luciana rarely uses the incantations that are best suited for battle. Instead she mostly focuses on the creative spells, those that grow or heal. She does however have an interest in Rogue spells and those taught outside the council, and has at least a theoretical knowledge of them if not practical.  Talented at creation (for she has spent much time focused on it), it takes little physical effort for Luciana to encourage plants to grow and flowers to bloom.

    MADIN - summons the element of earth
    MADIN MAXIMO / MINIMO - increase or decrease the amount of the summoned element
    MADIN CUBO / DICUBO - a ball of mud strong enough to cause damage, two balls coordinated at once
    MADIN GRAV - a protective shield of earth, a thick and solid wall
    MADIN FLOREO - makes all flowers blossom
    MADIN ADAUGESCO - plants grow in minutes
    MADIN VINCIO - magical grape vines, can tie people or things up
    MADIN DESERTO - creates a patch of quicksand
    MADIN VIA - short-lived bridges or passageways made from earth
    MADIN PAPAVER - magical poppies sprout and blossom, opium makes everyone sleep within seconds; hard to cast
    MADIN RACEMIFER - magical berries with healing properties for flesh wounds and cuts or other physical injuries


    STUDYING

    As an Advocate, Luciana is now studying the following adult-level spells. She already has good control of two of the adult spells, SPINAE and DIVIDO

    MADIN SPINAE - hedges of thorny bushes
    MADIN DIVIDO - produces wide cracks in the ground
    MADIN BESTIA - summons a large number of wild animals to fight
    MADIN LUTI - create clay statues
    MADIN DEMONUS - difficult, animates the statues from LUTI


    THEORETICAL KNOWLEDGE

    Luciana knows of the following spells, but has never used them. If backed into a corner in a fight she would possibly unleash one of the following in her desperation:

    MADIN IACERA - ground shakes in a powerful earthquake
    MADIN FUNGO - grows lethally poisonous mushrooms
    MADIN TENEBRA - makes trees and plants of a forest move closely together to block daylight, allowing elemental to work unseen

    Approved! @Lowri





  • Offline Taylor
  • Re: Special Feature Applications
    « Reply #209 on: July 31, 2017, 12:36:12 AM »

    Hey boy, take a look at me, let me dirty up your mind
    I'll strip away your hard veneer and see what I can find

    Name: Dylan
    Character name: Basil Stringfellow
    Feature you are applying for: Occlumency and Legilimency



    The queerest of the queer, The strangest of the strange
    The coldest of the cool, the lamest of the lame
    The numbest of the dumb, I hate to see you here
    You choke behind a smile, a fake behind the fear
    The queerest of the queer

    When I first conceptualized Basil, I had a feeling that he would eventually come to apply for this feature. How could he not? A character who is so focused on exposing the secrets of others while holding tightly to his own would absolutely wish to study this unique branch of magic. He would be completely enthralled, and willing to do whatever it took. He would put in the hours, and he would take the risks, because the rewards are great. However, due to Basil's parselmouth application, I held off on applying for anything else for fear of making Basil look overpowered. The question stuck with me: is it really okay to have two features for the same character?

    After a great deal of consideration, I decided that it absolutely can be, depending on the circumstances. Basil's two abilities do not build on each other. They are as different as night and day and obtained in different ways—occlumency and legilimency are learned abilities requiring a great deal of study and the parselmouth ability is hereditary and innate. Moreover, possession of these abilities will affect Basil differently as well. While Basil's parselmouth feature is central to his character, personality, and history—this feature will be central to his plot and character development.

    As with all special features, especially mind-magic, it is important that as a driver I am able to responsibly handle the feature in a way that is both realistic to character and sensitive to the wishes of other drivers. I would like it known that both of these things are high priorities to me and something I plan to keep in mind as I play Basil slowly learning these new abilities and developing these new skills.




    This is what he pays me for, I'll show you how it's done
    You learn to love the pain you feel, like father like son


    occlumency;

    Basil's occlumency will be the most important part of this feature. Basil is an intelligent and hard-working character who enjoys challenging his mind and anything that could give him an advantage over others. With the right teacher, he has the innate intelligence and strength of will required to develop such a feature, and will take to lessons quickly. With the career path he has chosen, and circumstances beyond Basil's control, he has developed a very real need to protect his mind from foreign invaders that goes beyond a selfish desire to keep his own secrets.

    Basil will soon be in possession of information that could damn others and himself. He is already in possession of some of that information. He is surrounded by unsafe people, powerful legilimens (such as the Stringfellow patriarch, Yarrow) with a desire to look into Basil's mind and pick the secrets out. To remain safe, Basil must remain protected. This is the primary reason why Basil is interested in this ability, and why he will be so willing to pour his sweat, blood, and tears into obtaining it. Basil seeks to live as a free man, safe with his secrets.

    The interesting thing about occlumency is that it is an ability that is entirely learned. Anyone with the skill, desire, and drive can achieve it. This is in direct contrast with Basil's parselmouth feature which is entirely hereditary. Basil is a good student, highly intelligent, with high marks in his many N.E.W.T. subjects. While he can often be impatient, Basil is known to be someone who does not shy away from hard work when it leads him down a path towards his goals. He is the kind of person who does not take no for an answer and can be highly persistent. This is the exact way Basil will approach his training, and why he is an ideal candidate for this type of learned feature.

    As you will see in the history changes section below, I plan to have Basil study this skill for several years in his history under the guidance of a NPC mentor. Through his work with this mentor, Basil will have a firm understanding of the basics of occlumency and be moderately proficient in the skill. Upon approval of this application, Basil will be able to protect himself from Yarrow's gentle probing, but would not withstand an intense battle of minds. Due to the nature of his family dynamic, Basil has spent a great deal of time focusing on hiding his occlumency ability. He is gracefully subtle and wandless in his casting, and can hide that he knows the skill even when he is unable to hide anything else. The ability has life-or-death consequences for Basil, as learning occlumency is expressedly forbidden by the Stringfellow patriarch.

    As I continue to play Basil through his future plots, he will grow in both skill and ability.


    legilimency;

    While Basil began learning occlumency for practical reasons, legilimency is what Basil has always been most interested in learning. Basil has always been fascinated by the human mind, and seeks to pull back the layers on everyone he meets to see what's at their core. Basil is known for pushing boundaries and playing mind games. To Basil, legilimency is a tool to further these goals. Despite his explicit interest in this field, Basil has no experience whatsoever. The mentor who trained him in occlumency saw no need to teach Basil legilimency as well, believing—perhaps rightfully so—that the young boy may abuse his skill or use it for nefarious purpose.

    It is likely that Basil would do just that. His thirst for knowledge and understanding of the human psyche is great enough that he will be unable to resist utilizing his skill, especially when he is new to it and at his very clumsiest. He will use his ability on his friends and loved ones without their consent (but, obviously, with their driver's consent), and have to deal with the fall out of such a blatant disregard for the privacy and feelings of others. He will also attempt to use this ability on strangers, sometimes with interesting results. Through each attempt, Basil will learn a little more about his craft and about what he should (and should not) do. Many attempts will fail to produce any information, or will only produce information sitting on the surface of the mind. However, every taste will only fuel Basil's desire for more knowledge and therefore more power.

    Like occlumency, legilimency is an entirely learned feature, available to anyone with the foundation of occlumency, the drive, and the skill to learn. Basil has already established a moderate degree of proficiency in occlumency, which will be integral in his development of the legilimency ability. As you will see below in the future plots section, Basil has two established legilimens who have agreed to teach Basil how to delve into the minds of others.  This is the final, missing piece on Basil's quest, as these mentors give him the opportunity to learn a skill that would be otherwise nearly impossible to learn on his own.

    Upon approval of this application, Basil will have no ability in legilimency. He will begin from ground zero, and slowly develop his ability IC through the completion of threads.


    physical limitations;

    Basil will find himself, when using this feature, dealing with a great number of physical ramifications he was not prepared for. Basil's body is weak and sickly to begin with, so the burden of such great focus will often result in physical fatigue, weakness, dizziness, migraine headaches, and especially nosebleeds. As Basil learns to control his power, and stops attempting to use it beyond his level of expertise, these negative symptoms will diminish.




    The queerest of the queer, hide inside your head
    The blindest of the blind, the deadest of the dead
    You're hungry cause you starve while holding back the tears
    Choking on your smile, a fake behind the fear
    The queerest of the queer

    Basil grew up in a very strict family, under the watchful and probing eye of the Stringfellow patriarch, Yarrow. Yarrow, who is a legilimens, would occasionally show the reach of his power by worming his way into the minds of his children and grandchildren. Basil never thought of this as weird. After all, it was the only thing that he'd ever known. There was no secret safe from Yarrow. Even his thoughts were not private. He didn't think anything of it when, at ten, he told his former caretaker and current confidant, Rowan, about how strange it felt to have someone else searching around inside your mind. He was surprised, when Rowan was so offended by the concept. It was Rowan who taught Basil that his mind was his sanctuary and that his thoughts should be his own.

    Rowan spoke to Basil about a way to defend himself and his privacy against Yarrow, but was unsure that Basil would be able to learn it, or even have the opportunity to learn it. Rowan was, himself, a ghost. He couldn't have taught Basil the ability even if he knew it, which he did not. However, he knew someone who might be able to. Rowan, who had once been a high-level ministry employee, helped Basil write a letter to one of his old friends from the office, Azrael Hartwood, about potentially training Basil in the skill. To Basil's great surprise, Azrael responded to the letter and agreed to meet with young Basil at Rowan's home to begin training. Basil was young but eager to learn. The first few lessons involved no wand magic at all, and were entirely focused on meditation and strengthening the mind and Basil's power of will. Basil caught on quickly and was always practicing. Basil was not the type of person to give up on something just because it was difficult.

    A few months after his first year at Hogwarts began, Azrael finally began teaching Basil the true magic portion of occlumency. His first few attempts were pitiful at best. Despite his practice to strengthen his will, Basil still lacked the necessary magical skill and power to complete the magic. Azrael was patient and went slow, taking baby steps with Basil. Soon, Basil was able to deflect Azrael's weaker attempts. Basil learned the basic tenants and was left to practice the skills and exercises in between formal lessons with his new mentor. This went well for a few months until the next time Basil came into contact with Yarrow.

    From the first time the patriarch entered Basil's mind, he knew the young Slytherin had been disobeying him. The Stringfellows were forbidden from learning occlumency, specifically so they would be susceptible to Yarrow's probing. Basil was too young to be fully aware of this rule, but he soon became intimately acquainted. The traditional punishment was death, but due to Basil's age and his skill still being in its infancy, Yarrow gave him his life, as a small mercy. Instead, he locked the young boy inside the iron maiden for a period of two weeks as punishment for his disobedience and gall. During this time he was given just enough water and food to survive, but no more.

    When Basil emerged, he nearly was dead. He was traumatized and ill and confused from lack of restful sleep and severe malnutrition. One thing, however, was abundantly clear. He never wanted to cross Yarrow again. He blew off letters from Azrael and focused instead on schoolwork. He focused on gaining the weight he'd lost and nursing himself back to health. He focused on forgetting everything he'd learned out of fear that he would again be locked away, or worse. Basil continued in this manner for an entire year. During this time, Yarrow watched him closely but ultimately determined that Basil wasn't a threat and that his punishment had appropriately deterred the other.

    It was near the end of the year that Basil's fear began to fade into anger. An independent soul and rebel from the moment he understood the concepts, Basil believed that Rowan was right. His thoughts were meant to be his own. He had the right to think whatever he liked without being punished for lack of agreement. He soon grew bitter and resentful, and began having second thoughts about ending his training.

    Basil was beginning to have all sorts of thoughts that Yarrow would object to. He often daydreamed about his grandfather's untimely demise, and planned different ways in which the deed could be done. He didn't truly plan on going through with any of these—he was no murderer, not yet—but he knew that having those thoughts could have gotten him killed just as easily as learning occlumency would. Though he was still afraid, Basil was certain there must be a way for him to have both his emotional and mental freedom and his life.  There must be a way to learn this without getting caught...

    Basil was humbled when he sent his first letter to Azrael that he had in a year. It took Basil a great deal of convincing and explanation before Azrael would agree to train him again. Basil had to explain why it was so important for him to learn this skill and what he planned to do to make it so he wouldn't suddenly go radio silent again. Basil pressed the necessity of hiding this ability and he and Azrael focused specifically on this skill. Within the next few years, Basil became a master at this particular use of his magic.

    By the next time Yarrow looked into his mind, Basil was skilled enough at hiding his ability to go undetected. With his ability to hide his ability near-perfected, he slowly began focusing on hiding his thoughts and feelings, too. Currently, Basil is moderately skilled in occlumency, able to protect himself from some of Yarrow's probing and hide thoughts that he desperately wants to hide while simultaneously hiding his ability. He continues to train, though Azrael is growing too old to continue teaching. This has left Basil hungry for a new mentor with new skills and a drive to teach Basil what he knows.




    I know what's good for you
    I know you're dying to


    dieter;

    Upon graduation, Basil will be taken on as apprentice to Dieter Meer, an established occlumens and legilimens. Dieter will teach Basil many skills during their time together, including intimidation, torture, and the art of information extraction. Basil will be a sponge, taking in these dark skills. During their time, Dieter will also work with Basil to strengthen is occlumency and begin to teach him the basics of legilimency. The nature of his job will necessitate both of these skills, and Basil will take his training very seriously.

    While originally these training sessions were meant to be played out in an IC manner, with Castor's hiatus, this will be played off-screen and through introspective development in his other posts. When Castor returns from his hiatus, the lessons will resume IC.


    pyxis and sleep no more;

    Without his consent, Basil has been recently “awakened” as a sleeper Death Eater. Despite his surprise at being selected and despite the fact that he would not have willingly joined the ranks, Basil is a true believer in the cause and wants to do right by his new “friends.” In addition to his private lessons with Dieter, which were meant to benefit Basil in his career and personal life, Basil will also begin training with senior Death Eater, Pyxis Hartridge Abercrombie who is also an established occlumens and legilimens.

    Pyxis is a master at occlumency who will have plenty to teach Basil. Pyxis will also endeavor to teach legilimency to Basil with a little push from the younger man. However, Pyxis is only moderately skilled in this area and, as such, there will be a limit to how much Basil will realistically be able to learn from him, as well as how quickly he will be able to learn. Like with Dieter's plots, this will occur in a mixture of IC and off-screen interactions. Unlike with Dieter, Pyxis will require Basil to undergo an unbreakable vow to not disclose Pyxis' identity as a his mentor.


    rosaline and the death of sampson;

    If approved in her own application, Pyxis will also be teaching occlumency to Rosaline Bane, Basil's best friend and soon-to-be fiancée. Basil and Rose will be able to work together to practice under Pyxis' guidance.

    Additionally, Basil will soon be involved in one of Rose's wicked power-plays, as she seeks to assassinate the patriarch of the Bane family, Sampson, and take the power for herself. Basil will be there to help in any way necessary, as well as shield Rose's plans from Sampson, who is also a legilimens. This will cost the elder man his life, and be the first time that Basil uses his powers to create a real and lasting change for someone.


    eris;

    In addition to Dieter and Pyxis, Basil will have a third mentor to learn from in the form of Death Eater and Unspeakable Eris Rosier, Lowri's WIP. Lowri will be applying for Eris to be both an occlumens and legilimens. Eris will catch Basil's attention within the sleeper cell and he will immediately want to learn from her, knowing that she has more than twenty years of experience in both areas of magic. With a little bit of encouragement, Eris will agree to teach Basil. However, she will come on strong and harsh as a way of attempting to weed him out of her hair. To her surprise, Basil will be a quick and persistent study, able to take whatever she throws at him and eagerly throw it back. Like the others, these training sessions will occur in-character and will progress through threads.


    jocasta;

    During the month of February, when the Hogwarts students were off to recuperate from the presence of the dome, Basil found himself involved with his first real scandal. One of his close friends, Cabhan Daley was kidnapped by his father and tortured. In order to get away, Cabhan took his father's life, and immediately recruited his best friends, Rose and Basil, to help him. Basil helped Cabhan hide the body and gave him an alibi, stating that they were together at Basil's home during the crime.

    Unfortunately for Cabhan and Basil, the disappearance of Aeary Daley did not go unnoticed. Aeary was a known and prominent pureblood wizard. His disappearance was considered a priority by the auror office and was highly suspicious in nature. Lead auror, Jocasta Silverman was assigned to the case. Jocasta is already an expert occlumens, but soon Ashton will be applying for her to be a legilimens as well.

    She will question Basil about Cabhan and Cabhan's father in a traditional manner with no success. Basil is a keen liar and very good at spinning a story. Suspicious, Jocasta will use her legilimens ability on Basil to try to root out some additional information. As Basil's occlumency will be less powerful than her legilimency ability, she will be able to glean some information from him. However, Basil will still be able to hide a few key facts. Without the information Basil is willingly concealing from her, she would be unable to prove any of her suspicions against him.

    Despite this, Jocasta will be watching Basil closely from then on, certain there is more to the young boy than what meets the eye. This will be especially interesting considering Basil's less-than-legal line of business as well as the fact that Basil is a marked Death Eater and Jocasta is a member of the Order of the Phoenix. There is also the possibility that Basil may get pulled into the station for official question and that, due to Basil's wealth and influential family status, he will be let go by a corrupt official working for the Bane family. This opens up a whole realm of new plots—both those which use Basil's special abilities and those which do not.


    donnie;

    As a newly initiated Death Eater, Basil has been tasked with gathering as much information as possible to help the cause, specifically specialized information. This is the reason why Basil is told to target Unspeakable, Donncha Kearney. Basil first meets Donnie as a friend of a friend. He meets him through Rosaline, who knows Donnie through Lorin Odell. He is fascinated by his work, both in arithmancy and with the department of magical law enforcement (especially since he will, at this time, be dealing with Jocasta, as mentioned above). However, what primarily interests Basil is his work within the brain room of the department of Mysteries. Despite Basil's best tricks, he's unable to gather any information from Donnie the old-fashioned way, as the man is very tight-lipped about his profession. Basil decides this is the perfect opportunity to use his legilimency ability, and tries it on the older man. Donnie, who is applying to be an occlumens, will be able to easily block Basil's clumsy attempt.

    While Basil is masterful at hiding his occlumency ability while it is in use, he is very clumsy with legilimency and it will immediately be apparent to Donnie what has happened, which will make him very wary of Basil indeed. Basil will end this interaction with no information and a new enemy. Donnie may even choose to pass along information about Basil's attempt to read his mind to his friends in the Order of the Phoenix, which may cause the group to consider the possibility of a new dark force attempting to permeate the new ministry.


    jimin and the wild hunt;

    Basil and Jimin Woo aren't exactly Romeo and Juliet. At least, they don't look much like it. They're both dirty boys, involved in too many adult things too early. Both obsessed with the morbid and macabre, neither of which take no for an answer. They're too alike to be opposites, yet they're just as star-crossed as any famous lovers.

    Basil is a pureblood wizard, a marked Death Eater, who believes that muggleborns are filth, meant to ruin the wizarding world. He believes they are below him. Jimin is a muggleborn (or so they think), which is something that makes this pairing so odd. Despite the fact that it goes against everything Basil believes to be true, he's found himself irresistibly attracted to the other. That feeling is mutual.

    There is nothing healthy about what the boys are or what they have. They deal in lies and fantasies, in vice and desperation. Jimin has claimed to love Basil from the moment of their first kiss, which cynical Basil doesn't believe is possible. Basil knows there could never be anything between them but this dark, tainted... whatever this was. It is because of this twisted game, that Basil will find it acceptable to use his new ability for fun, breaking into the mind of his lover and revealing the startling truth beneath—the truth of Jimin's love for him.

    This truth will leave Basil feeling particularly torn between his personal desire, to be with the other, and his duty to the Death Eaters which have marked him. This is only further complicated by Basil's genuine belief that wizarding blood is superior to muggle blood. Knowing that their blood could never mix would lessen the blow, since it is not possible for them to produce halfblooded offspring, but Basil will feel like a blood traitor for even considering it. What Basil doesn't know, is that Jimin is actually a pureblood as well, technically, though he was still raised as a muggle. Finding out that not only are they of the same blood status, but also from the same family (the Banes), will lessen some of his angst, while creating new conflict.

    Jimin, whose first romantic encounter with Basil was immediately following the revelation that Basil had been reading his private diary, will not react to the intrusion the way many others would. Instead of making Jimin feel violated, being able to share his thoughts and feelings with Basil in such a way will make him feel validated. The use of legilimency between them will become commonplace—accepted, if not expected.

    Basil will also be engaged, at this time, to his good friend Rosaline Bane. Rose, who is also a sleeper Death Eater, has found a muggleborn of her own to love. She will end the engagement to Basil to be with her love as a blood traitor. This will carve a pathway for Basil to let go of his biases in the same way, and grow more comfortable with the idea of leaving this mindset behind.

    Later on, as Jimin grows older, he will become a part of a secret society known as the Wild Hunt. The Wild Hunt is in a direct conflict with the Stringfellow family, and seeks to strip the family of the last of their influence. Basil will use his power to delve into the mind of his lover and extract all information he can about the Wild Hunt, and attempt to use this information against them as a part of mediating the conflict between them. As this is information that Jimin desperately does not want to give up, it will involve the abuse of trust between them, which Basil will need to repair if he does not want to lose his relationship.




    You can touch me if you want
    You can touch me
    But you can't stop.

    Even now, it still hurt sometimes. Basil could never understand how a purely mental exercise could cause such physical fatigue. It would be worth it, though, in the end. This was a necessary endeavor—not just a flight of fancy or an expression of teenage rebellion. This was integral to the dark-haired teen's livelihood. He was in too deep now to pull back, and because of that things needed to be perfect. He needed to push through the pain and exhaustion.

    Azrael was hard on him, as he always was, but the strict discipline was good for Basil. He needed to hear the gravity of the situation (”you're dead”) when he failed, and his successes didn't need praise. His praise was his silence. If Azrael was Yarrow, picking through his mind, Basil would either be successful or end up dead. That was the reality and it wasn't lost on the young Stringfellow. Even so, he ached. His head was swimming with the beginnings of a migraine and he felt dizzy. He wiped at his nose and tried to hide the drop of blood that he found on his sleeve. Again? He hadn't been pushed this far before. He hadn't bled from the exertion in years, now.

    It never failed to surprise Basil, the vulnerability he felt when he knew someone was searching through his mind. It was a surreal sensation that he couldn't describe to anyone who had never felt it. It was as though he wasn't alone. Undetectable to the untrained, but glaringly obvious to him now that he was aware. He took a deep breath, fingers white-knuckled against the desk he was leaning against. He pushed back, gently at first.

    It would be all to easy to push the other out of his mind with a clumsily overt force, but he was beyond that. He was not an auror, throwing his weight around and standing defiantly in the face of a dark wizard. Rather, he was an artist. He was there to paint a picture and painting was meant to be delicate, careful, and crafted. He was supposed to gently guide the probing towards a thought that was safe, or slyly show it's way to silence. The point was in not being caught, in being very careful, to not push too hard, lest he'd give the game away. He had been clumsy before, he remembered. He had used his power of will like a hammer, beating against Yarrow until he forced the older one out. He had paid dearly for that mistake. As he gently probed, he felt Azrael push deeper, and he slipped—quick, a flash of skin on skin and whispered words into a dormitory pillow. Jimin. Oh, no.

    He pushed Azrael out hard, clumsy. He took in a deep breath as his mind cleared and he waved his hand in his mentor's face. “Please, Azrael... please...” He begged. God, his head felt like it was splitting open.  The older man relented, and gave Basil a moment to compose himself, the blood flowing from his nose even more freely now. He must have been out of practice if he was still bleeding. That said, this was the first time in awhile that things had been so long, so intense, and Basil was improving. He knew that had been a good attempt.

    “What was that, Basil?” Azrael asked. Basil blushed brightly, knowing exactly what his mentor had seen and being ashamed to tell him. He cleared his throat as he stood back upright. He was feeling loads better with just a moment to breathe. His head still ached, and he thought he might need to sit down, but other than that he wasn't shaking anymore. He was stronger than he'd been before. He hadn't lost consciousness this time, which was good.

    “I-that was nothing, just a—“ Basil stammered. He couldn't finish explaining away his homosexual encounter before Azrael interrupted him.

    “Just a failure.” The older man spoke quietly. Basil seemed a little thankful that he didn't seem to mind the content of the thought he had pulled up, and seemed more focused on the fact that he had pulled up something at all. “You need to learn to prioritize your focus. You're very good at making sure I don't feel a thing, but if you give up a memory because you're expending all of your energy on making sure that I don't know what you're doing, you'll never be able to hide anything important. It only took a little push to reveal what you didn't want me to see...”

    Basil nodded, knowing his strengths and weaknesses as well as the older man. This was one of the things Basil was proud of. He was well-aware of the things he did well and even more aware of the things which needed improvement.. “I'll be stronger on the next one. I promise.” He offered. “Now?” He asked, eager. He was still woozy, but he hated to leave it on a loss.

    Azrael shook his head and offered Basil a seat at the table. “Have some tea, first, and clear your head.” He offered. Basil knew this wasn't a suggestion, but, rather, a demand. He sat, and it felt good. He wiped at his nose again, and took a deep breath. Azrael poured his tea and produced a small vial from the pocket of his robes. To Basil's surprise, it carried the seal of Asclepius's Apothecary & Greenhouse, Rosaline's potions shop. He looked up at the older man, intrigued.

    “A revitalization potion.” Azrael suggested. “It should help to strengthen your constitution—help with the headaches, the nosebleeds...” He offered it to Basil. Always the skeptic, Basil looked the vial over before he chose to drink it. He took it down in a swig, washing the bitter taste down with sugared tea. It began working instantly. Basil would need to stock up on these. Luckily, he knew the potions mistress.

    “It's been a long time since you bled, Basil. You're pushing yourself too hard, too soon. You should practice more on what you already know. Let the new skills come in time.”

    That wasn't what Basil wanted to hear at all. He wanted to be ready for more now, while he still had Azrael to guide him. The wizard was getting old, getting ready to retire and give Basil fully over to his new mentors. He wanted to be stronger first, but his ambition was hardly matched by his physical capabilities. Perhaps the potions would help more if he took them first. Perhaps a little confidence would help, too. Azrael, for all his strengths, still made Basil feel like a small child. He was awed by him, he idolized him. It made it easy to take the other's advice. He worried that Dieter might not take the same hard-handed but caring approach. He might push too hard, or not enough. Azrael seemed to instinctively know how much was just enough. This was likely because they had worked together for so many years.

    “I won't get better if I don't push myself.” Basil argued gently. He couldn't bring himself to argue with the older man fully. Azrael had a point and Basil knew it. He just didn't like it. He stirred another sugar into his already sweet tea and took a sip. Better.

    “I know that I can handle it. I'm just... out of practice, is all. School this year was hard with the dome and the demons, and I—” It sounded like a pitiful excuse, but it was partly true. School had been particularly hard on Basil in the past year.  “I can do better if we keep practicing. I know that soon you won't be around to help. I want everything I can get before that happens.” He drained his glass eagerly, a sparkle in his eye again. The potion had really worked its magic. His nose had even stopped bleeding.

    Azrael raised a brow but nodded as he, too, placed his empty cup onto the table. “If you insist.” He began. “We'll try something slightly different. Take more tea.”

    Basil obliged. He was pouring the warm liquid into his cup when he felt it, like a tingle. Azrael was already probing. He tried not to think of Jimin again, and instead began to push back. Azrael smirked, then asked Basil to pour a cup for him, too. Holding a conversation while protecting himself? This was new. Interesting, though, and useful...


    Approved!