loquacious_raven: (Default)
Jo ([personal profile] loquacious_raven) wrote2012-11-10 11:20 pm

Maison Application

Player's Name: Beth, Bethy, Steahl
Contact info: steahl@yahoo.com Veldrin Dalharil on AIM
DW: loquacious_raven

Character: Jo Raven
Canon: OC
Version: NA
Canon Point: NA
Age: 19
Gender: Female

History: In classic American Dream and life of privilege terms, Jo led a charmed life. Wealth, schooling, society mixers and wardrobes. Her parents, while not the absolute darlings of society, certainly moved in the expected circles and upheld a high standard in their lives. They had a daughter, not for joy of a child, but for the image. The precious, precious image. Richard Ravensward, a Massachusetts senator, needed a family touch to get re-elected one year and his picture perfect wife agreed that her clients might also prefer a familial bond to make small talk over. The world was moving on and all their society peers were talking of baby showers and the proper things to wear to maintain a slim silhouette. So, in time, Josephine was born.

She was young, and healthy, and handed straight into the care of nursemaids and a succession of nannies while she was young. Her mother had no use for a mewling little thing, but when she was asleep, or quiet, or generally well behaved she was toted around like the next best thing in small pets. There were play dates and children playing quietly while their high powered mothers tittered and talk above them...and then the stories began. She remembers the first one, a tale of an uncle she wished she had, told to her favorite nanny when she was young. What she didn't know, couldn't know, was that she would have had an uncle if her father's brother hadn't died. No one spoke of him. He was a bit of a black sheep you see.

Not long after that other stories occurred to her, but she was learning to read and it was a wonderful thing. There was a world of tales out there to consume and dream about! While her world might expect starched school uniforms and teach the ways to address a diplomat, she could read about Sparta, or Mars, or the Benthic Depths! To be an author was an amazing thing and she had the mind to grasp the intricacies of writing...and so many stories to tell. Yes, she had stories to tell.

Even when the elementary schools became boarding schools, she was taking the time to write ideas and details in journals. They just came to her in an endless stream of characters and situations! But the boarding schools became...hard. And harsh. And harmful. Nothing but the best for the Ravensward girl and so she had competitive schools. Schools for the children that would lead the world. Her parents wished her to be a lawyer, it would lend itself well to her father's career. Or perhaps a company CEO. She was fast tracked for both as a matter of course. She started drinking coffee to extend her days at age ten; just like everyone else.

There were no friends at these schools. There were the winners, and the losers, and the rare outsider who avoided the backstabbing. No one came out a winner in such situations. No one. She was taught to invest funds, the money for her future life, her college career, was placed in her training investments. If she screwed up? If she fell flat in her money management classes? Well, she had no one to blame but herself for failing to attend college.

Josephine, being a bright girl with an odd turn of mind, decided she disliked the highschool environ she found herself in and applied herself, heavily, to graduating early. She excelled in her classes, superficially, offering forth all the proper work while staying up late at night to write her stories. She developed a severe case of exhaustion and a coffee addiction that bordered on dangerous, but she received her highschool certifications at age fifteen. She went home that summer with every expectation of getting to rest. She was sadly disappointed. Upon her return to the family home her parents sat her down with a packet of papers; a college application. It was all arranged of course, she'd be accepted, but the forms had to be followed.

And Josephine was introduced to the young man they deemed would suit her and she was expected to spend the summer with him.

She played along for some time, filling the forms in numbly, mailing them off properly, and attending all the summer social functions on the arm of a boy a few years older than her. As summer drew to a close and her future fiance murmured sweet promises of keeping his affairs away from the public eye as long as she did the same...she snapped.

It was a small, quiet, cold snap. She always broke in rational, chilling ways. She carefully packed all her journals, all her stories, and a bit of clothing and went off to college. Ostensibly. The driver dropped her at her campus to be sure and even carried her bags inside for her, and when he'd left she picked her bags up and caught the first bus downtown. She took a room under the name Jo Raven and settled her affairs, closed out her college investment funds, re-invested most of them elsewhere where her parents would never think to look, and settled into the serious business of procuring a passport.

It was amazing what the proper funds and a forged signature could gain a fifteen year old. Before the first week of classes on campus had ended, before anyone could think to call her parents about her absence from orientation classes, Jo was on a flight to London. Jo Raven placed most of her personal belongings in an airport locker and commenced a rambling walking tour of England. England bled naturally into Scotland, Scotland into Ireland, back down through the moors, writing all the while.

She had several short stories published under Jo Raven and two novels while touring the upper highlands and for a time she was content. Perhaps it was all the early conditioning of 'making something of herself' but she felt like life was incomplete after a while. She had more story ideas than ever, and no one to answer to but herself, but college wasn't a bad idea. She applied to a university in Yorkshire under her new nome de plume of Jo Raven, and was accepted when she turned eighteen. It was not what she had hoped for in higher education though. Full of the social elites and the social wannabes, driven, back stabbing...it was highschool all over again and she withdrew from the university after a single term.

Then she received an acceptance letter to a university she had never heard of, much less applied to. Jo thought it was a joke as it caught up with her as she was checking in on her belongings in London. She had never traveled to Germany though, and even if the letter was a farce the Black Forest had to be fertile ground for an author's imagination. She went.

The letter was not a lie.

Deep within the security of the German Black Forest was a university that tended to scout it students rather winnow down the applications. She fell into the orientation and full immersion German lessons like a child coming home. While she'd been free, and calm, and creative on her walking of the lands, she had not been truly learning and her mind had missed it. There were many highlights in this strange school; a chance to learn how to be social, to act her age, to meet her peers without fear of them attacking her with words or actions, teachers she could respect and an alumni association that insisted she learn fencing. The only bitter draught in the feast for her mind and heart was the revelation that her writing, her stories, her tales that she wove and wrote so carefully were not hers. The stories were the tales of the dead, the deceased, the lingering souls she could not see or hear but knew everything about as she would characters in any made up tale.

It is a year into her time at Schutzhafen, summer break and she has stayed at the campus rather than leaving. She has yet to truly come to terms with her ability to write the stories of the dead.

Personality: The key element that defines Jo is her independent nature. She learned at an early age to walk and even run on her own and hasn't stopped since. She holds her own counsel, trust her own judgment, and knows herself. Her mind works at right angles and curves to normal thinking, she can work around a problem AND through it at the same time, and usually reacts in ways that seem unusual for those who do not know her.

There is a great deal of life experience and second hand knowledge rattling around in Jo's head. Her stories come with so many rich details that it's almost, almost as if she's lived the lives f her characters. She herself may not have experienced breaking bones from falling out of trees but can describe it, and has, in detail. She knows what it is like and sometimes this knowledge that isn't exactly hers can get her in trouble. Mostly in the inter-personal arena. She has the knowledge of friendship, and love, and being carefree and young. She thinks she understands what people who have these things can be like...and she's a little envious. She is trying though, working to gain her own knowledge of social interactions that aren't solely based in the rabid social world she was raised in.

She trusts honesty. Jo never lies, though she may obfuscate and lead people to believe the sky is purple, she does not tell lies, even to the point of harshness. People who hold the same honesty with her, or react in honest, unscripted ways have her trust. Liars she tends to brush aside or watch intently. Honest fears she will do all in her power to alleviate. She has armed frightened people, she has accepted the word of people running from things she cannot see, and she questions AFTER the honest, emotional drive is past.

One of the coping mechanisms she developed early was an immense vocabulary. It is her weapon of choice, her shield against close ties, and now an ingrained habit. She uses an incredible number of words in conversation, for example why say 'I'm alright' when one can use the lovely, lovely language to say 'I find myself in a less than transient state of calm and singular relaxation' after all? Jo often has to be reminded to simplify her speech when in mixed company, and she does not mind the correction now, though once upon a time she would have.

As any avid writer, she is observant of her surroundings. Jo drinks in detail like someone who intends to use it later in describing a scene, her harshest critic is not a teacher but herself. She has little patience for her own failings, but has learned the value of setting scenes aside to rework them later, after she calms down. And yes, her quirky ability lets her know the story of a person? But it is her mind that makes those bibliographic inserts into coherent, readable tales and that is an iron-clad belief she clings to now. She has to believe that she isn't merely a ghost transcription device but a writer, and she has the self-will to enforce that belief.

Self-will is something she has in abundance. She has an utter belief in herself that is most commonly found in ego-maniacs, but in her is the result of a lot of introspection under stressful circumstances. Very little ruffles her personal feathers so to speak, not even the possibility of a crush now. Feeling an emotional draw to a person she finds visually appealing is new but she is handling that quietly and with a great deal of observation and thought rather than with what any would call a standard, teenage fluttering. Her hormones take a definite last place in her decisions despite her age, and she has the firm opinion that she may be appealing, physically, to someone her own age but they would soon find her personality repellant and therefore does not expect anyone to actually ask her to act foolishly teenaged regardless.

Fears: Growing up Jo had an aunt that no one talked about. Said aunt was institutionalized with schizophrenia and she truly fears that one day she may go unavoidably insane. Given her abilities Jo has recently begun to wonder if her aunt was misdiagnosed and instead receives stories as she herself does but...it is still a rather chilling fear.

Her newest fear is that her quirk of being unable to see the dead will result in something truly nasty being able to grab her and harm her. She did not realize she had this handicap until an insurgence of zombies on the campus, having only attended one funeral in her life and that closed casket, but it is an unsettling drawback to her ability.

She also, vaguely, and late at night in her nightmares, fears waking up one day to find that her freedom, her escape from her family, has been a dream. That she is snared in a world of expectation and driving hungers without the recourse of her writing. She'll awake as Josephine Ravensward-Albright, wife of a man her parents chose and existing in a sham marriage.

Weaknesses: Jo cannot see the dead. At all. Her bloodline, her family ability, once served a purpose long ago and was blessed with safety from the dead they told the tales of. That blessing has manifested more as a curse in Jo's generation, protecting her mind entirely from the dead to the point of not seeing corpses much less ghosts, vampires, or the like. She cannot see them. She cannot hear them. She cannot even smell them. The mobile dead can certain reach out and touch her, physically, though.

Mundane Strengths/Abilities: Jo is a very physically fit young woman. She runs daily, intense runs, and for the past nine months has had fencing and sword fighting lessons from some very exacting teachers. She also has an incredibly analytical mind coupled with a high intelligence that serves her well. She is not, however, special ops level of fit, nor a fencing prodigy. She is learning and healthy, not super human.

Sensitivity/Magical Ability: High: When Jo is in the vicinity of a ghost, a corpse, a dead being of sentient nature, she knows their stories. The details of their lives, as if they were characters in a tale, from their childhood and first kiss, to the secrets they wish kept, to their deaths. And she writes them, the stories are written down.

Alongside this knowledge is a spiritual safety. The portion of the blessing on her family that is still manifesting properly keeps her soul intact, her body cannot be possessed by the dead she is writing about, and the tie of soul to body cannot be influence. Ghosts and undead can certainly still drain the life from her, or push her down the stairs, they just can't take the soul from her body.

>>>Due to the odd nature of ghosts and undead powers TIED TO THE HOUSES in Portes, these beings alone are vaguely visible to Jo<<<

Supply List: One backpack containing: Seven pens and a box of pencils, a sharpener, three empty journals, one half full, a binder with class assignments, sewing kit (three bobbins of thread, mini sewing scissors and two needles), small emergency kit (two surgery needles, one yard of linen thread, antibiotic cream, three each of three sizes of bandaids, an ace bandage, four aspirin, four ibuprofen, two penicillin tablets, and a fillable bag for ice), three volumes of German fairytales and some dried jerky bits in an outside pocket.

Pants pockets containing: Two pens and one pencil nub, a small notepad, a pocket knife, two shiny stones, a beaten up and battered penny, and one broken string of glass beads.

One well balanced and unornamented longsword riding on her hip to 'accustom her to the weight and balance in all aspects of life' and because the alumni association tends to jump her if she seems unprepared for a lesson.

One crippled, yearling raven answering to the name of Munin. Status: Pet. Large vocabulary, attraction to shiny objects and interesting things to get into, able to flap, heavily, for short distances but incapable of true flight due to a broken keel bone when Jo found him.

Game Transfers: This character was originally played in Schutzhafen, an all OC game that was short lived. There were no major events barring the zombie event before the death of the game. Jo is extrapolated about a year into her school career.

Sample RP post: Jo paused as a chill slipped over her skin and down the fine hairs of her neck; something had changed. Clinging to the top of her backpack Munin rustled and quorked softly, inquisitive, but his talons tightened in the heavy fabric of the pack as she looked around. By rights this should have been the path to the front entry hall and from there to the gardens and the hedge maze for her practice.

By rights the walls should have been dark, polished wood over thick, gray stone that sang with solidity and age. Safety. There should have been a bust at her elbow showing the former Dean, a thin, worried looking man who still smiled a bronze, aging smile upon the students. The way should have stretched before and behind her, echoing and quiet with the school being emptied for summer. Instead the sound of her feet was muffled and bouncing back oddly and the hall was now...

...a room. Heavy, dark furnishings and shaded light, no windows and decanters of cut crystal. A mens withdrawing room. A smoking parlor her mind supplied. A place for great, aging lions to share cigars and brandy safe from the prying eyes and needs of the women who huddled in their own feminine bastion once upon a time.

While she didn't doubt that such a room could exist at Schutzhafen she didn't believe she could arrive there without intent or an invitation from one of the faculty, that meant this was most likely one of those events that students were warned about, a slipping she supposed.

A slipping to where though?

She licked her upper lip slowly and ran through the contents of her backpack in her mind. Ah, no, she did not have the extra credit form to fill out for this. Foolish of her. “Perhaps, Munin, we should quote Baum and caper merrily upon any road we find but I find such a tactic ill-advised don't you?”
“Coffee?” her bird queried.

“No, no, I don't have anything for you to drink right now you foolish bunch of feathers. Let's seek a kitchen shall we?” She lifted a hand over her shoulder to ruffle her bird's chest gently, slightly mollified by the fact that Munin seemed unworried by the transition. “Yes, let us seek a kitchen, or a fountain at the least.” And she could go bravely out the door couldn't she? Yes. She could.