Player Name: Ryan
Name: Rucian Valenna
Race: Mostly human, served with elf ears and a secret ingredient: just a pinch of fairy dust.
Weight: 150 lbs
Occupation: Primary School Art Teacher
Description: Rucian looks very much like a human; if his ears didn't have slight points, there's a good chance that no one would have guessed. His dark hair is generally tidy and kept short. His skin is a deep, olive-toned tan, and his eyes are such a dark brown that they're almost black. His nose is a little on the broad side, and he has a slash of a mouth: thin-lipped and a little wide. He moves with an unconscious sort of grace, catlike and quick. He wears modest but well-made clothing, typically in muted colors. He tries not to stand out.
Personality: Rucian is the quiet sort, but in a benevolent way, with a perpetual grin and a soft voice. He's unassuming and usually observant, preferring to stand in the background, to watch and listen. He can be very witty, and charming in small groups. He's generally good with kids, since he's pretty patient. He's very socially motivated, and will do what he can for those he cares about. He's very secretive because of the magical gift that he discovered in himself the year before, which has forced him into solitude, but he is used to a greater degree of sociability beyond what he gets from work.
When calm, he's observant and quick thinking, but he can be very easy to ruffle. Any sort of interaction with anyone he doesn't know well is bound to cause some anxiety, especially when he's out of the workplace. He doesn't drink often, only occasionally smokes marijuana and tobacco, and finds himself disinterested in the women that his friends have introduced him to. All he does is sketch-- usually from the window seat of his apartment-- so that he doesn't have to worry about what someone might ask him, so that he doesn't have to worry about revealing his secret.
He loves the hell out of his job, though. It's like it was tailor-made for him: as an art teacher at the elementary school, he gets to hang out and draw with kids all day. There are, of course, other things he has to do, and it can be stressful a lot of the time, but he gets a genuine sense of gratification out of it. He has made friends of a couple of teachers there. He makes it a point to never bring work home, even if it means staying at school until nightfall, or later.
Possessions: Rucian has a small apartment in the Residential District, about as near to the park as you can get while still living on a budget. It has one window with a makeshift seat: he's spent many hours sitting there, thinking and drawing and watching the world go by. The walls are decorated with the better sketches he's done. Otherwise, the apartment is spare: a bed, a table and chair, and a dresser take up half of it, while the other half is taken up mostly by the drafty hearth, with a spit and wrought-iron pot to cook with. He has charcoals and notebooks for drawing, sandpaper for sharpening, and a wardrobe comprised mostly of the plain clothes he wears to work. He has a job as a teacher in the elementary school, and this earns him a decent, steady wage.
Powers and StrengthsBlood of the Shadow Fey: When not exposed to direct light, Rucian can make himself transparent, though not invisible, and he can lessen gravity's pull on him. This does not protect him or make him immune to threats, physical nor magical, though it may make it easier for him to hide from such threats. The effect may last as long as Rucian is conscious and isn't being exposed to direct light of any sort, or when he decides to make it stop; he's not used it long enough to know if there's a time limit to its usage. This ability manifested last year, and he's been too busy hiding it to have any real experience with using it.
Artist: He has natural talent when it comes to drawing. He's especially talented at drawing scenes from the city and from nature, and still has trouble with drawing people.
Empath: He's good at intuiting what people want and how they're feeling based on their expressions, their body language, and the knowledge he accretes about a person over time. This is not a magical ability, but is rather the result of being observant and socially-motivated. As such, he can be misled.
Perceptive: He's good at putting details together. He's observant and quick-thinking, allowing him to analyze situations quickly.
Titre: Rucian was born in Marn, and has lived out his whole life there. As such, he has privileges within the city that Outsiders may never have.
Weaknesses and FlawsCompulsive Truth-Teller: Around the same time that he developed magical abilities the year before, Rucian found himself unable to tell lies. This hasn't been too much of a problem; he's taken to misdirection fairly well. He's noticed, however, that there seem to be rules about when he can avoid answering and when he can't. For example, he's noticed that if someone asks him the same thing three times, regardless of the time between questions, on the third inquiry he must answer their question plainly, as well as subsequent related questions.
Conflict-Avoidant: He will do everything he can to limit interpersonal conflict, but this can make him something of a pushover. If someone demands something of him and he is able to give it to them, and if doing so would likely result in a positive change, he will happily do so. He will almost never engage in physical violence if he can help it.
Oathbound: He cannot, under any circumstance, willingly break his word, and broken promises can cause him pain, nausea, weakness and any number of other symptoms. The severity of the symptoms seems to be contingent upon how he feels about the oath: unwilling oaths affect him less than promises made sincerely. This includes remarks made in passing, forcing him to be careful about what he says. This began the year before, when he began to manifest magical abilities.
Weak: He's generally weak, physically. He's not really had to fight at all, and he has no interest in the sorts of things that make a person stronger. He can't run far, or for long, before he becomes winded. Carrying anything heavier than 50 lbs is going to wear him down significantly, especially if he's got to carry it any distance.
Fey Aura: Anyone who knows how to look for magical potential could see it in Rucian. It's faint, but there, and if he were to begin to exercise his powers, it could grow stronger, making it harder for him to hide.
HistoryWhen he was eight years old, Rucian's father died. His mother, Dana, worked in a bakery and somehow managed to eke out a living for the both of them, though it wore her down. Rucian stayed pretty self-sufficient as a child; he did well in classes and readily learned how to cook for himself in the mornings. He'd relished that alone time, when the room was full of light from the open window and the air smelled of oats. One night, he'd asked her about his father, and she told him a little bit: that his name had been Jonatas, that he'd come here from Keltaris as a child to live with a distant relative, that he played the violin beautifully, that Rucian looked exactly like him. She would never say much more than that: every time he asked, she would get this distant look on her face, and say she'd rather not talk about it. After a while, Rucian didn't mind; it was clear that they'd been in love, and he had a few precious memories of the playful dark-haired man. He resolved to ask again when he was older.
When he was 15, he started helping out at the same bakery his mother worked at. He'd wake up with her, well before dawn, and they'd go down to the bakery together in the dark. She was a half-elven woman, and pretty in a fair way, with her red-gold hair and translucent skin, and with his dark complexion and tall, lanky frame-- he was already taller than she was, even then-- he was like her shadow in the pre-dawn dark. When the morning's bread was in the oven, he'd freshen up and head to school, and after school he'd return to the bakery, where he'd man the counter until they closed.
On days off, he drew. In the park, from secret perches around the city, down by the river, he drew. His talent earned him friends at school, and sometimes they would come with him on his art adventures. He loved those times, listening to his friends chat and joke as he serenely tore through his paper supply. A large portion of his money went to supporting his art habit; his mother never accepted his money, no matter how often he offered, so he figured he could at least take on those expenses. It was good that he got so much practice in; one of his teachers noticed a particularly good drawing of the Ofriyu Mar in winter, and he put in a good word with his friend in the University, and after Rucian submitted a portfolio to the University, he was offered an arts scholarship.
Two months into his college career, Dana died. It was almost as if, now that she'd finally managed to see him off to adulthood, she had nothing left to do. She'd died in her sleep on a cold fall morning. Rucian was devastated, and he channeled it all into his schoolwork and his art. He gradually lost touch with most of his friends, but he did well enough in school. He graduated with honors and worked in an art supply store for a few years, where he led a drawing class in the afternoons. There were times when he loved these classes, and times when he hated it; sometimes, he worried that the students were judging him, and he'd heard a few remarks about his ears amongst some of the older adults, but Rucian had a knack for seeing where a student was struggling, and encouraging them in ways that they understood. Eventually, his boss told him about a position opening up at the elementary school for an art teacher. He applied, interviewed, and fell into his new job gratefully. He was 26.
In the years that he's worked at the school, he's found it to be a mostly good experience. He gets paid well enough that he can afford to live alone. He generally manages to stay on top of the workload, and he's managed to make a few friends among the other teachers. A couple of newer teachers took a shine to him, and they would sometimes work together late into the night, venting about troublesome kids while bent over their respective grading and lesson plans. The kids are mostly good with him, probably because he keeps a low-pressure class and encourages each student to pursue the art form that interests them most. He's generally viewed as a passionate but gentle teacher.
He was walking home one night when he felt it for the first time: a sense, just beyond touch, of the heaviness of being and how he might be able to shake it off. Like a stretching cat, he slipped through shadows like cool water, gliding on dark air, and it felt like the most natural thing for a single, glimmering moment. Then reality struck him as he realized he was out in the open, floating, even if it was late at night and there was no one around. He slammed back down to earth as if he'd tripped. He jogged the rest of the way home. He was 31.
Since then, he's experimented with his powers in the privacy of his home once or twice, but is mostly terrified of them what they represent. He knows that people with powers disappear. And he desperately, desperately does not want to disappear, so he's been sticking to the background, but one by one, things have been changing. He tried to lie about having plans when another teacher asked if he'd like to come to a gathering later, but found himself unable to speak it, and a moment later he found himself telling the truth: that he was going to go home and draw, that he wanted to be alone. When the other teacher expressed concern, Rucian promised that he'd go to the next one. And when the next one came around, he found he could not say no, that his body got up and went by itself. Since then, he's learned not to make outright promises. He spends most of his free time alone in his apartment, sitting in the window and sketching.
Thoughts, notes and edits to be made:
- Tweak history. Comb out inconsistencies, convert some exposition to scene, divide into sections, don't write him into a corner.
- Did his mother not know about his fairy ancestry? If she did know, what wouldn't she tell him?
- More detail about his father? Could be used as a plot point later on: the fairy blood comes from his father, so what if his father was involved with the Paragon secretly?
- Comb through personality, strengths, weaknesses. Look for inconsistencies, smooth them out.
- Thought: I might be making him too anti-social. How else might he respond to the need for secrecy without going out of character?
- Add more to the physical description?
- Check for setting inconsistencies.