Notices


Mundane Mortals

   
Lena Melikhin
Sasha’s Daughter

Born: 1992

Virtue: Kind (Given how manipulative she can be, it’s probably for the best that Lena doesn’t have a mean bone in her body…)
Vice: Corrupt (…though she’s got plenty of selfish ones.)



Background: Sasha’s daughter, Lena is what older and wiser heads politely call “trouble.” Born in Ukraine around the fall of the USSR, Lena ended up by agencies not entirely clear in the Hawksworth Academy, an exclusive girl’s boarding school in Essex, northeast of London. There, she’s proven to have a limitless capacity for getting into and out of trouble. Her curiosity, independence, and thoroughly contrary nature means that she tends to poke her nose into things that aren’t her business, but her wild imagination and rather casual attitude towards the truth (combined with the looks of a Slavic Cherub) means that she’s equally good at getting out of things.

In Hawksworth, Lena is something of a social ‘queen bee,’ at least among her band of budding juvenile delinquents. She’s starting to go a little stir-crazy within the walls of Hawskworth, and can’t wait to be allowed out into London. Then she can meet her Mysterious Uncle Alyosha in the daytime, and find out who he really works for.

Rank: 1
Mental 2; Physical 0; Social 4
Willpower: 1
Notable Powers: Manipulative Minx; Her Father's Daughter


Yanmei Gao
"Mei"



Virtue: Loving
Vice: Lustful (Yanmei's got a good head on her shoulders... If only it didn't completely turn off when a pretty boy walks by. Or a pretty girl. Lena)

Background: The daughter of a wealthy Hong Kong businessman and Lena Melikhin's partner in crime. Mei is quieter and less gregarious than Lena, and more than a few adults hoped that she'd prove to be a calming influence on the mischievous Ukrainian girl, but alas, quite the opposite seems to have happened. Thick as thieves is the expression that comes to mind.

Despite her seemingly quiet nature, Mei's in the drama club, with a penchant for swashbuckling roles. At heart, Mei's a romantic with a vivid inner life, and visions of being swept off her feet by a dashing prince -- or alternatively sweeping a dashing prince off his feet. She's also fences and is in the historical club, which makes one suspect that Mei wishes she had been born in an adventure tale.

Rank: 1
Mental 2; Physical 3; Social 1
Willpower: 1
Notable Powers: Dubious Family; Fencing Whiz; Romantic


Ajay Hewitt

Type: Mortal
Profession: Mechanic and occasional waiter



Virtue: Pragmatic
Vice: Miserly

Background:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jewel the Slaver
"Listen to me, my Pale Lady, as I weave you a tale of two brothers, and of the spirit that bore them across a sea of water and through a lake of blood. They were born a score of years ago, in the harbor named for the King, upon the island once known as Xaymaca, and then Santiago, and then Jamaica." Jewel said, her voice falling into a storyteller's cadence. There was something subtly hypnotic in her eyes, brilliant, color-shifting eyes. They were green-blue now, the color of the sea. "One was named for angels, and so D'Angelo he was. The other's namesake strode before the walls of distant Troy, and thus his name is Ajay. They were poor, but ever-willing to work, and so they lived."

"But how does one work when there is no work to be had?" Jewel said, her thousand-faceted eyes shifting to a shade of orange, reminiscent of the setting sun. "And so the brothers hatched a scheme, Ajay convincing his brother to throw the dice once more. They were young. They were willing. And by being born in that distant city, named for the King, they were subjects of this country's queen as well. And so they came to this land, seeking freedom from hunger and want."

"But the darkness of the soul followed them. They were poor, and so they took what work could be found. They painted, and ever was D'Angelo had a dreamer's eye for art. They fixed houses, for Ajay was ever cunning with his hands. And they heard of work, caring for animals at a slaughterhouse, in a town not far." The sunset in Jewel's eyes set, and they showed only crimson blood now. "The brothers came, but they had been lied to. There was no work there, not for them. There would be no workers there, but they were to be the animals. They were beaten, Ajay throwing his form across his brother to shield him from the blows. They were chained. And then a steady stream of blood was taken from them. They were the stock, their blood feeding monsters whose hungers were terrible, in the interests of mortals whose love of money was more terrible still."

"But a man cannot give blood forever." Jewel said, as the blood in those crimson eyes dripped away, leaving a wash of slate-grey, like stones upon the beach or a corpse's skin. "And so they became weak. And D'Angelo, never so hardy, fell ill. Dead men are of no use to they as hunger for blood and money."

Jewel scuttled off the thick cable, her feet still clinging to the silk even as she put her hands on each of the occupied cages. She hung like that, upside down, as she finished her tale. "But the spider could use them. Or find others that could. They are weak, Pale Lady, and sick. But they have a fire in their souls that not hunger nor blood could extinguish."
Ajay, along with his brother, immigrated from Kingston, Jamaica to the UK, only to fall into a rather unpleasant state of blood-slavery. He was being sold at the Goblin Market of the Spider-Span when Erin rescued him and his brother. These days, he works at the Cat's Cradle, though he tends to leave the front service to his more personable brother. He also does small jobs to earn more of a nest egg, and has recently become engaged to a nice girl named Jasmine "Jazzy" Palmer.

Rank: 1
Mental 3; Physical 1; Social 2
Willpower: 1
Notable Powers: The Man with the Plan; Slow and Steady Wins the Race


D'Angelo Hewitt

Type: Mortal
Profession: Maître d’hôtel of the Cat's Cradle, Painter



Virtue: Helpful
Vice: Gluttonous

Background:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jewel the Slaver
"Listen to me, my Pale Lady, as I weave you a tale of two brothers, and of the spirit that bore them across a sea of water and through a lake of blood. They were born a score of years ago, in the harbor named for the King, upon the island once known as Xaymaca, and then Santiago, and then Jamaica." Jewel said, her voice falling into a storyteller's cadence. There was something subtly hypnotic in her eyes, brilliant, color-shifting eyes. They were green-blue now, the color of the sea. "One was named for angels, and so D'Angelo he was. The other's namesake strode before the walls of distant Troy, and thus his name is Ajay. They were poor, but ever-willing to work, and so they lived."

"But how does one work when there is no work to be had?" Jewel said, her thousand-faceted eyes shifting to a shade of orange, reminiscent of the setting sun. "And so the brothers hatched a scheme, Ajay convincing his brother to throw the dice once more. They were young. They were willing. And by being born in that distant city, named for the King, they were subjects of this country's queen as well. And so they came to this land, seeking freedom from hunger and want."

"But the darkness of the soul followed them. They were poor, and so they took what work could be found. They painted, and ever was D'Angelo had a dreamer's eye for art. They fixed houses, for Ajay was ever cunning with his hands. And they heard of work, caring for animals at a slaughterhouse, in a town not far." The sunset in Jewel's eyes set, and they showed only crimson blood now. "The brothers came, but they had been lied to. There was no work there, not for them. There would be no workers there, but they were to be the animals. They were beaten, Ajay throwing his form across his brother to shield him from the blows. They were chained. And then a steady stream of blood was taken from them. They were the stock, their blood feeding monsters whose hungers were terrible, in the interests of mortals whose love of money was more terrible still."

"But a man cannot give blood forever." Jewel said, as the blood in those crimson eyes dripped away, leaving a wash of slate-grey, like stones upon the beach or a corpse's skin. "And so they became weak. And D'Angelo, never so hardy, fell ill. Dead men are of no use to they as hunger for blood and money."

Jewel scuttled off the thick cable, her feet still clinging to the silk even as she put her hands on each of the occupied cages. She hung like that, upside down, as she finished her tale. "But the spider could use them. Or find others that could. They are weak, Pale Lady, and sick. But they have a fire in their souls that not hunger nor blood could extinguish."
D'Angelo, like his brother, immigrated from Kingston, and passed through blood-slavery and Hedge-slavery. Mostly, D'Angelo works at the Cat's Cradle, usually at the front desk. A dream, pleasant sort of man, has an easy manner with customers. Also unlike his brother, D'Angelo has precious little in the way of ambition, mostly focusing on painting.

Rank: 1
Mental 2; Physical 1; Social 3
Willpower: 1
Notable Powers: Dreamer; Sweet-Natured

Emma Baxter

Type: Mortal
Profession: Receptionist



Virtue: Hopeful
Vice: Indecisive

Emma Baxter didn’t have the worst childhood, but there was a very generous amount of room for improvement.

Born in 1985, Emma spent her first two years with a mother who was not abusive so much as she was neglectful. Emma’s value was tied to the government benefits her mother received. When a neighbor spotted a grease fire in their backyard, Emma’s mother lost both the checks and the child. Thus began Emma’s experience with Mississippi’s infamous foster care system.

Her first set of foster parents treated their 14 cats better than their foster daughter. They were eventually evicted from their home after their hoarding rendered the place uninhabitable. Later, she ended up with a pair that was outright abusive. When Emma showed her supervisor the bruises, that somehow turned into them deciding she had behavioral problems and she went to a psychiatric facility. And so on, and so on from one unfortunate placement to the next.

Emma did her best to be the model child. She followed “children should be seen and not heard” before anyone had ever scolded her with the phrase. She was the picture of politeness and did her best to follow every rule her foster parents put in place, no matter how unreasonable. If Emma was perfect, there would be no reason for groundings, beatings, or being sent to bed without dinner. Unfortunately, no one can be perfect, and her foster families were more than happy to tell her just how far from perfection she was.

Under these circumstances, puberty for young Emma should have been a disaster… but she finally had her first good stroke of luck. This round of foster parents were actually somewhat competent at parenting, but more important was the other orphan she’d been placed with. In many ways, Cass was everything Emma wasn’t--outgoing, charming, and possessed of of a sizable rebellious streak. The two found they complemented each other well. Cass pulled shy, polite Emma out of her shell, and Emma sweet-talked teachers to get Cass out of detention. They were a perfect team.

Despite the downright pleasant home environment, Emma’s stay with her first good family lasted about as long as the previously awful ones. Their parents fell on hard times and both girls were moved--Cass to Louisiana, while Emma found another (mercifully tolerable) family nearby. The loss of her best friend hit Emma hard, but she’d promised Cass she wouldn’t go back into her shell. Not only did she keep her word, but she even mustered the courage to join the cheerleading squad in high school.

Emma considered herself a realist, then as now. She’d seen the uglier side of people. She knew that Hollywood happy endings didn’t actually happen, not really. Not for people like her. And yet, when she fell for a basketball player on an away game, and he for her, she couldn’t help but feel giddy as her life seemed to transform into a high school romance story. She and Michael met when they could, either at games or on weekends when one drove out to see the other. In between visits, they clogged up their family’s phone lines taking way too long to say goodbye.

But Emma-the-realist was right--these things didn’t have happy endings in real life. Not for her. When Emma announced her pregnancy to Michael, it was followed by the news that she was no longer welcome at her home. They were at least granted a small window of hope between Michael promising to stay by her side and his own disownment.

They managed to make the wedding special, even though the guest list was depressingly short. Their first apartment was a hole in the wall in the tiny town of Butler, but it was their hole in the wall. Life for the newlyweds wasn’t easy, but they did at least get the satisfaction of proving the rumor mill wrong when they both graduated.

Emma had Noah, Michael got a job, and they made things work well enough. After a few years, they even moved into a real house, albeit one that needed some work. Their relationship wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows, but both parents adored Noah and their devotion to their son was enough to help them through any rough patches.

It wasn’t quite a happy ending, but Emma told herself she didn’t believe in those. This was real life, and this was as good as real life got for a couple with no family in a tiny Mississippi town. She taught herself to be happy with what she had, and by the time her husband walked in front of a truck, she really was.

It was almost too good to be true when Cass, of all people, showed up at her door to help Emma pick up the shattered pieces of her life. Since they had split up as children, Emma had survived, but Cass had very clearly thrived. Her rebellious streak seemed to have manifested itself in an actual streak of white through her acid-green hair, and she was living in London while Emma got by in a town with more buildings falling down than going up.

When Cass’s charming Korean friend offered to move her all the way to London to work as a hotel receptionist… that was definitely too good to be true. She’d be free of Butler, Noah, now seven, would have a nice school, she would have Cass…

For all that Emma wants to be jaded and realistic, she’s never quite managed to strangle that part of her that refuses to believe this is all there is to life. If she would just dare to hope for it, she might find something more, something better. Emma knows it can’t last, that at some point the other shoe is going to drop, and yet there’s still that voice inside her that whispers, “but what if it doesn’t?”

Emma now works for the Fusang Tong, manning the reception desk in a hotel that is just about the nicest place she’s ever spent any length of time in. She does her best to hide her uncultured upbringing by being unfailingly polite and diligent. Emma adores her new life of excitement, not only because she lives in a big city, but some of the guests at the hotel are rather… peculiar. Deep down she knows it’s certainly just rich people being eccentric, but it’s fun to let her imagination run wild sometimes and pretend there really is a bit of magic in the world.

Emma Baxter is a slight woman with delicate shoulders that look as if perhaps the tragedies of her past have weighed her down to the point of compressing her. But her cornflower-blue eyes are still bright and curious, and her smile could light up a room. She tends to wear her long blonde hair down and dresses modestly in soft or neutral colors.

Rank: 1
Mental 2; Physical 1; Social 3
Willpower: 1
Notable Powers: Southern Politeness; Realistic Expectations





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