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Shadowborne: The HellQ

 

Introduction

 

Who are you? Sum yourself up in one sentence.
A girl lost in time with powers drawn from a shadow realm.

 

Do you have any nicknames, street names, titles, or nom de plume?
Síþwíf Klara calls me sister, but otherwise not that I know of.

 

What is your full birth name?
Muirne Sceadusangere of Kent

 

Where do you live?
Chelsea in London right now.

 

How old are you? What year were you born (if applicable)? 
Well. That’s got two answers,Síþwíf Dee and the Ministry of Powers say that I’m one thousand, three hundred and ninety three, born in the year 627AD. Physically I’m sixteen.

 

Physical Traits

 

What is your gender? If not applicable, please explain.
Female

 

How would you describe your heritage?
I’m English but from a long time ago.

 

How tall are you?
I’m one inch shy of five feet tall.

 

What is your body type?
I’m on the thinner side, although my figure is filling out a bit with the different food.

 

Do you have any particular weaknesses, such as allergies or physical disabilities?
I don’t have any disabilities, but my powers have some… issues. I sometimes transform uncontrollably, it takes hours to transform back. I am also vulnerable to fire, light and silver.

 

How do you carry yourself? Are you graceful, or heavy on your feet? Can you be stealthy, do you walk with confidence? 
I would like to say graceful, and I can be stealthy, although when I’m untransformed I’m not super great at it. As to walking with confidence… I suppose? It depends on the situation.

 

Describe your skin, eye, and hair colour. 
Well, I’m a bit paler than I was before since I’ve been inside more. I’m on the pale side now, and I’m freckly still. I have green eyes and red hair.

 

How do you wear your hair, if applicable? Do you have facial hair?
I generally wear it loose. I braid it if it keeps getting in my face.

 

Do you consider yourself attractive? Do others?
I don’t really think of it, although everyone in my village said I was.

 

Do you have any scars, tattoos, piercings, or birthmarks?
I have a few scars, no tattoos, piercing or birthmarks though.

 

Do you resemble anyone famous?
I really think I’m the worst person to ask that. I have no clue.

 

Do you have a dominant hand?
I am left-handed.

 

What kind of clothing do you wear?
I generally wear a wide variety of clothes, helped along by the variety of people who have given me clothes. Currently, I don’t have my own style

 

Do you wear makeup?
No, I have practised a little bit, but not much.

 

What is your vocal range? Is your voice distinctive in some way?
Someone called my singing voice a ‘Soprano’, but I’m not really sure what that means.

 

Do you have any distinctive habits, nervous tics, or mannerisms? Where did they come from, and what causes them? Do other people notice and remark on these habits? Do they annoy you or other people? 
I’ve taken to humming and singing when I’m alone, but haven’t done it around people much.


History

 

Where do you come from?
A village in the Kingdom of Kent


Have you made any major moves, or do you live in your hometown?
I live in London now, and my village doesn’t exist anymore. You could say that’s a fairly major move.

 

Do you feel loyal to your country of citizenship? Do you consider yourself patriotic? How do you feel about the government of your country?
It’s too early to really judge whether I have any opinions like that.

 

How do you feel about the place you come from? 
It was my home, and I dearly miss it, but there’s nothing I can do to get it back.

 

Where is your home town? What was/is it like?
It was in the Kingdom of Kent, which I suppose is just Kent now. It wasn’t an easy life, and there wasn’t the constant activity of London, but it was nice.

 

Growing up, were most of the people you knew similar to you or were you somehow a minority? How did that affect you? 
No one else was like me in my village, I was the only one with powers. It… it was hard at times. No one could help me with any issues I had with them and to a degree, everyone was scared of me. So it got pretty lonely.

 

Is there something you've always been really good at or really bad at? How has that affected your life? 
I’ve always been pretty good at singing and dancing, and most of the people in my village said that I was really good at talking to people, but I did lose that a bit since I’m in what might as well be a different world, language and all.

 

Were there any traumatic experiences in your early years (death of a family member, abandonment, orphaned at an early age)?
My mother died giving birth to one of my siblings, and one of my brothers got sick and died. Otherwise when I got my powers ranks up there. I was coming up on five years old, and my body just started changing. It took two days to transform back. A few days after that I popped into the Shattenwelt and nearly got eaten by a Shadowbeast, pretty traumatic as far as things go.

 

Briefly describe a defining moment in your childhood and how it influenced your life.
Well, other than my powers, the main one other than that would be when Dougal attacked my village, which I’m not going into detail about, but in the end, it’s why I’m here.

 

What stupid things did you do when you were younger?
The big one that stands out was this one time I played with a knife. I was practicing some of the fighting I had been taught, but I wasn’t supposed to be using that knife, so I tried to run away and hide when I heard my father coming back. Then I tripped, and cut myself open.

 

Where did you go to school? How much schooling did you have, and did you enjoy it?
I didn’t really have ‘school’, but I did get taught by pretty close to the entire village

 

Do you have any mementos from your childhood? What are they, and why did you keep them? If you have none, why not?
I have a few small things tucked away in my apartment. I picked them up after Dougal attacked my village, or had them on me before he attacked.

 

When did you decide to become a hero? Why? Did anyone influence you one way or another in the decision?
My entire village influenced me there. I was the only person anyone had heard of with powers, so it was just a natural step to ‘Be a Hero one day’ like the people in the stories. So in the time since I got my powers I was on that path.

 

Is the reason you give people for becoming a hero different than your real reason? If so, why?
No, it might be when I meet more people, but even then I’ll try sticking to the truth, just modernize the tale.

 

Do you have any deep, dark secrets in the past that may come back to haunt you?
If you count not wanting people to know that I’m nearly 1400 years old as a deep, dark secret? Other than that, my Secret identity?

 

Do you represent yourself as being different from who you really are? Why?
I can’t really say. I’ve always acted the way I do to my knowledge, but I might be different than I think.

 

If you do have these secrets, what do you fear would happen if the truth became known? How far would you go to protect those secrets? 
I just… I don’t want people to treat me differently. Some of the men from the Ministry of Powers treated me like a primitive idiot until Síþwíf Dee set them straight. I don’t really know what my limit would be, but I wouldn’t kill anyone or anything like that.


Do you have any sort of criminal record? If so, is it public knowledge?
I haven’t really had the chance to get one, so no?

 

Family


What are your biological parents' names? 
My father was Ailill Reódfeax and my mother was Áine Hwitjferjgt.

 

Were you raised by them? If not, please explain and describe who raised you.
I was raised by my mother and father until my mother died. The villagers worked to raise all the children.

 

 

What was their standing in the community? What did/do they do for a living?
My father was the village blacksmith, which made him a pillar of the community.

 

Where are your parents now?
Dead.

 

Did your family stay in one area or move around a lot?
We lived in the village for our whole lives, although we went to Canterbury a few times, but never moved.

 

How did you get along with your parents? How do you get along with them now (if applicable).
My father was a hard man, but fair. My mother… I don’t remember an enormous amount, but I remember her being kind.

 

How do your parents view you now, or how would they? 
I… I like to think they would be proud, but… I failed to stop Dougal, and I think that would affect their opinion.

 

Do you have any siblings? If so how many and what are their names? Describe your relationship with them.
I had two brothers, Cadwgan and Iorwerth as well as one sister, Aisling.

 

What was your birth order in the family?
I was the oldest, then it was Cadwgan, Aisling and finally Iorwerth.

 

Where are your siblings now (if applicable)? Do they have families of their own? What do they do?
They are also dead.

 

Do you stay in touch with them or have you become estranged?
Are- are you trying to be funny?

 

Do you love or hate one member of the family in particular?
I loved all of my family, although I have to admit my father was hard to live with at points.

 

Is any member of the family special to you in any way (perhaps, as a confidant, mentor, or arch-rival)?
I’d have to say my mother, while she was alive. Everyone else was trying to teach me to be a mighty warrior and such, she tried to teach me to be a person. To be kind.

 

Are there any black (or white) sheep in the family (including you)? If so, please explain.
‘Black Sheep’ is a bit harsh, but it would have been me. None of my family could really understand what it was like, having powers and everyone expecting me to be a Hero.

 

Do you have a notorious or celebrated ancestor? If so, please explain, including how it has affected your life.
Not that I know of.

 

Do you have a partner and children currently? If so, please describe them.
It’s a bit early for that, isn’t it?

 

If you do not have a partner or children, do you want them someday? How firm are you in your opinion on this, and what might change your mind?
I think I do, but I can’t say I’m ‘firm’ in that decision. It depends on if I find the right person.

 

What type of person would be your ideal mate?
That’s a good question, but I suppose they’d have to be able to accept what I am. Maybe I’ll know when I’m older.


Relationships

 

Do you have any close friends? If so, please describe them, and how you came to be close to them.
I feel like I’m getting close to the members of Vanguard, and I think how I came to feel this way is rather self-explanatory, they helped me when I needed it most. I would probably not be half as free as I am without them. 

 

Do you have a best friend? If so, how did they become your best friend? How close are you to your best friend?
I don’t have a best friend, I feel about equally close to all the major people in my life right now. I hope it changes soon.

 

If you were to go missing, who would worry about you?
Well, I know the Ministry of Powers would worry, due to that being their job, and I think Síþwíf Dee and Clara and Brega Sloane and Walker would all worry for me.

 

Have you lost any loves? If so, how did it happen, and what did you do?
In the romantic sense of the word? No. But otherwise, I’d say I’ve covered the subject.

 

Do you have any bitter enemies? If so, please describe them and their history with you.
Dougal, although I suppose that would be had. He attacked my village, killed those who tried to resist and captured the rest. He was awful.

 

If you have enemies, how do you think they might attempt to work against you in the future?
Dougal’s dead, but I imagine were he somehow alive through some magic or something and was after me, he’d try to destroy my life. Target my home, the Vanguard, that sort of thing.

 

What is the worst thing someone has done to you?
Killed my family and thrown me forward in time.

 

Where do your loyalties lie? In what order?
Vanguard, people, England and the Ministry of Powers, in that order.

 

Who or what do you trust the most? Why?
Vanguard, the people in it, not the organization itself. If it wasn’t for them I would have never gotten the chance to start again.

 

Who or what do you despise? Why?
Dougal, predictably. I don’t feel like I need to repeat myself again.

 

What qualities do you admire most in other people? Are these qualities you possess?
I admire a lot of qualities, kindness, honesty, bravery and so forth, and I’d like to think that I possess these qualities.


What qualities do you hate most in other people? Do you have any of those qualities?
My honest answer? I hate the cruel and manipulative, and I know that I can be the former. I try not to be though.

 

Do you have a secret identity? If so, who knows it? Do you hide it from people who are close to you? Why? 
Is that even a question? Yes I have a secret identity. The Ministry of Powers and the members of Vanguard know it. I don’t hide it from the people I am close to, they already know it.

 

Do you work well on teams and in groups? Are you a leader or a follower?
I’d like to think I’m good at both, but that remains to be seen, doesn’t it?

 

Are you on a super team? If so, how do you get along with your comrades? Do you trust them, or do you have secrets from them?
I work with Vanguard, and I think I get along well with them. As to the last part, if I didn’t trust them, I wouldn’t be a team member would I?

 

Are you a member of any church, fraternal organization, club, committee, political party, or other group? How much time do you spend on that?
I am not a member of any such group.


Personality & Beliefs

 

Who are your heroes?
Vanguard.

 

Did you ever become disillusioned with former heroes or idols? If so, why and what were the circumstances?
Not so far.

 

Do you like being a hero? If so, what is the most rewarding part? If not, what makes you keep doing it?
I… I like being a hero, for all that I’ve done of it. The most rewarding part is easy- I like to help people.

 

Is there anything that would make you give up hero work, or even switch sides?
To give up hero work I’d say, either a big enough betrayal by someone I trust or if it was to protect people. To switch sides is… if for some reason I felt I could help more from the other side but that’s still hero work I suppose… otherwise, I’d say if being a hero or just stepping aside compromised my morals too much. If someone like Dougal was to become a ‘hero’ I couldn’t support that and doing nothing is the same supporting them.

 

What are your short term goals (what would you like to be doing within a year)?
Síþwíf Dee talked to me about it. I’m going to be going to a school for heroes, which can hopefully help me control my powers.

 

What are your long term goals (what would you like to be doing twenty years from now)?
To be honest, outside of hero work I don’t know. I just don’t know enough to make that decision yet.

 

What is your greatest fear? Why? What do you do when something triggers this fear?
Magic. I can’t even watch a movie with magic, it stresses me out too much. I panic and start to shut down, and if it’s too much I try to run. I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth.

 

Is there anything you would give you life for? 
The people in Vanguard, and the people who can’t protect themselves.

 

How do you feel about money and material wealth? Do you desire it or disdain it? Are you miserly with what you have, or do you like to share? Is it a mark of success, or a means to an end?
I don’t really care all too much about money. I know it’s important and all, but the way this world works is still just a little alien to me, and the way money is treated is part of it.

 

How do you generally treat others?
I treat others as I would have them treat me. With respect and honour.

 

Are you a trusting person? Has your trust ever been abused?
While I am trusting, thankfully, my trust has not been abused.

 

Are you introverted (shy and withdrawn) or extroverted (outgoing)? Do you have a lot of self-confidence?
I wouldn’t describe myself as either, but I can’t really say. Everyone knew everyone in my village and since coming here it’s been a rather different experience. Maybe I’ll figure it out. I do think I have plenty of self-confidence, however.

 

How do you act around attractive, available members of your preferred sex? 
I’ve never really thought about it. I never thought about the boys in the village as such.

 

What are your most annoying habits?
Didn’t we already ask this question? I’d guess my humming and singing, but no one’s commented on it yet.

 

Do you feel contempt for any general category of people? Who are they, and why?
I'd say no, not contempt.


What is your favorite food? Do you prefer any particular type of food? Do you take the time to enjoy your food, or do you eat as fast as you can?
Well, my list of foods tried is rather more limited than most, but so far I'm going to say pumpkin pie, and while I do eat quickly, I enjoy my food.

 

What is your favorite drink (alcoholic or otherwise)?

I have had wine and beer a few times, but not since I arrived. I have tried tea and the bubbly drinks, and liked them. I can't say I have a favourite though.


What is your favorite treat (dessert)?
I think that got answered.

 

Are there any specific foodstuffs that you find disgusting or refuse to eat?
I can't say I've found anything disgusting, just things I don't like as much.

 

What is your favorite color? Are there any colors you dislike?
I like a variety of colours, but if I had to pick one I'd say… blue.

 

What sort of music do you like? Is there any that you hate?
I can't say I hate any specific kind of music, but I do love the music I grew up with.

 

If you have a favorite scent, what is it?
I like vanilla.

 

Do you have a favorite animal?
Always had a soft spot for dogs and foxes.

 

What is your most treasured possession? Why?
I mentioned the things tucked away in my apartment. The main ones are my father's knife, and a pendant of my mother's.

 

Do you enjoy "roughing it", or do you prefer your creature comforts?
I suppose I'm fine with that, since that compared to what I have now my whole life was roughing it.

 

Is there a job or a task you would absolutely refuse to do?
As in regular task, or hero task? Because if it's the former, no. If the latter, probably not, within reason of course.

 

Do you consider yourself a spiritual person? If so, how do your beliefs affect your life? How important is it to you?
Sort of. I was Christian, but I'm not sure anymore.

 

Was your faith influenced or molded by anyone special?
It was just expected. I never knew any different. But after everything that's happened I don't know where I stand.

 

If you belong to a religious organization, how often do you attend? Do you have a specific place of worship, or friends within the organization? How much do you agree with the beliefs of your organization? 
I don't belong to anything like that.

 

Could you kill? Have you killed?
I know I could. I even know I was planning on it with Dougal. And… I don't know about the second question. When I went after Dougal I wasn't thinking straight, I might have killed some of his men but I can't remember.

 

What circumstances led to you forming that conviction, or taking that action?
He took everything from me. My family dead, my people captured. I just… went mad I suppose. I forgot about being a person and just… well you know.

 

Are there circumstances under which you believe it is permissible to kill? What are they?
I- I don't know. I know that I wanted to kill Dougal, but would it have been justified? I don't think I can or should say.

 

How would you react to watching someone kill another person? Would your reaction be different if the killer was a friend or an enemy of yours? 
That's a tough question it may seem hypocritical but if someone tried to do what I tried under similar circumstances I'd probably try to steer them away from that path.

 

How would you react if something important was stolen from you?
I would try to get it back of course.

 

How would you react to public humiliation?
I suppose that depends. Was it an accident? If so I'd probably get over it. If it was intentional then I'd probably get mad but I wouldn't hurt anyone over it or something.

 

How would you react if a good friend or relative were purposely or accidentally killed? Has it happened to you?
If it was an accident I'd grieve. On purpose I'd probably try to get justice. And yes on both counts.

 

What do you consider to be the worst crime someone could commit and why?
The worst crime would probably be slavery, especially using powers to enforce it.

 

If your life were to end in 24 hours, what five things would you do in those remaining hours?
Five things… I’d probably start by telling everyone what was happening, then spend whatever time I could with them. I don’t really think I have more than that, other than help people where I can.


Career & Training


Do you have any special training in your hero skills? If so, where and how did you get it?
The entire village pitched in to train me as a hero, which was special for my time, less so now I suppose. 

 

Who taught you the most about your heroing abilities? What was your relationship with that person?
I’m assuming by heroing abilities I assume you mean my powers, in which case no one. No one had any idea how to train me there, so I’m self taught.

 

Do you have any particularly unusual skills? How did you acquire them?
I can sing and dance pretty well, which might be considered unusual. I learnt how to sing and dance since we did it during festivals and I really enjoyed it. They also helped for practicing since I learn to control my breathing well to sing and dancing helped keep myself in shape. 

 

Do you do something besides hero work for a living? Have you ever done anything else, or do you plan to?
I helped around the village, but that was just chores. Síþwíf Dee talked to me about attending a school for Powers, which is what I’m going to be doing soon.

 

What is your preferred combat style?
I stick them with my spear.

 

Have you ever received any awards or honours?
No.

 

What skill areas would you like most to improve in? Is there anything you can't do that you wish desperately you could?
I wish I could stop transforming against my will, otherwise, I just want to get better at my various skills.

 

How do you act around people who are more skilled than you in areas you'd like to improve? Are you jealous, or do you try and learn?
I listen to what they are willing to teach.


Lifestyle & Hobbies

 

What is a normal day for you? How do you feel when something interrupts this routine?
I wake up with the dawn, set an alarm and dance and sing for an hour. Then I shower after that, then have breakfast. Then I study for a few hours with breaks to keep myself sane. I have a light lunch, then practice fighting and practice my other skills. After that, I’ll read or watch something, which helps with my English, until I make myself supper. After that, I’ll wind down by relaxing until I go to bed.
I don’t mind interruptions since they are generally important, and it gives me a chance to talk to someone, which can be nice.

 

Do you have any hobbies, or interests outside hero work? What are they, and where did you pick them up?
Mainly singing and dancing, although I’ve been studying to catch up with people my age in terms of academics.

 

What do you do for fun?
Sing and dance, watch television or read, practicing fighting can be pretty fun at times.


Do you have a costume? What does it look like?
I wear my armour and a mask.

 

How do you normally dress when not in costume?
I’m sure I’ve answered this already, but my style is pretty varied, since I’m still finding what it is.

 

What do you wear to bed most nights?
This is getting a bit personal, no? I’m not sure if I’m comfortable… I have to answer it? What if I don’t? Fine. I generally wear a big t-shirt.

 

Do you wear any special jewelry? What is it, and what does it look like?
I don’t. I keep all the special things from my old life safe in my apartment.

 

Do you have a special place where you keep your valuables?
In a box on my closet.

 

What's your preferred means of local travel? How about long distance?
I tend to walk or run short distances, and I don’t generally have a preferred long distance method, since I haven’t really moved around a lot.


Miscellaneous

 

Have you ever made a will, or tried to make arrangements for your death? What provisions did you make? 
I haven’t, although now that you mention it I probably should.

 

If your features were to be destroyed beyond recognition, is there any other way of identifying your body?
Not that I know of?

 

What would you like to be remembered for after your death?
I would like to be remembered as a Hero, who did everything she could to help people.

 

Do you believe you pose a threat to the public? Why or why not?
I can. Were I to lose control of my powers or be mind-controlled I would pose a danger to the public.

 

What do you perceive as your greatest strength?
I like to think that I'm well trained, although we'll have to see about that.

 

What do you perceive as your greatest weakness?
I don't have the greatest hold on my emotions, and I don't always think things through.

 

As a player, if you could, what advice would you give your character? Speak as if he/she were sitting right here in front of you. Use proper tone so they might heed your advice…
You need to slow down and rely on others. You have all the time in the world to get better and people around you who are willing to help you, let them.

 

Edited by Kaede Kimura
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  • 11 months later...

Shadowborne: The Interview (20 Questions)

Muirne looked over at Charlie as he surveyed the questions he’d written down. A class project where the students paired up to ask each other questions made a lot of sense on paper, but when there were so many secrets floating around the class it made things slightly awkward during question sessions. So far all the ‘share something about yourself’ team-building exercises had been fairly straight forward given she could answer generally. Being “From Kent in England” wasn’t a lie, even if it wasn’t quite accurate.

 

Still, she felt bad about the fact that she might have to lie to him about things like that. She knew that everyone respected secrets around here, given no one had pushed her on why she spoke Old English or anything like that.

 

And again, “My parents taught me” wasn’t a lie… It just lacked context. She smothered a sigh. Honestly, given what the Raven family was supposed to be like she wouldn’t be overly surprised if Charlie had a written report on her tucked away in his ceiling that contained everything from her actual history to the family line and dental records of the lunch ladies.

 

“Alright then, gotta be something good in here, right?” Charlie was making his usual grin as he skimmed through the notes on the exercise. “Alright, let’s start with the basics, right? So, where are you from?

 

Muirne blinked, she’d just been thinking about that one. She cleared her throat to buy herself time. Just saying ‘I’m from Kent in England.’ seemed too little. Was that how specific he wanted? Or did he want her to elaborate? She could add more, couldn’t she? “I’m uh, from a small rural community in Kent.”

 

“Really? That’s all there is to it?” Charlie was sounding a bit suspicious now, in his playful manner. “Where’d you pick up that weird language you’re talking half the time, then? Doesn’t really sound like something you’d hear over there now, as far as I know.”

 

Muirne wasn’t sure if she was being messed with at this point. Was Charlie secretly a mind reader and had kept it hidden? Or maybe one of his gadgets let him do it? Muirne didn’t know technology well enough to dismiss that as an option. Still, she had just been thinking about her complete non-answer to this question, which made her feel worse about giving it honestly. She smiled over the table at Charlie before answering. “Yeah, my parents taught me to speak it from a young age. I didn’t even speak much English before a couple of years ago.” There, that was true. If you ignored the gaping hole of over a thousand years in the middle of the story.

 

Charlie winked. “Sure. If you say so.” He looked over the questions, found another. “So, why’d you decide to go out and be a hero? I mean, powers are cool and all, but doesn’t mean that you have to be a super hero.”

 

Muirne did not sigh and slump in relief when Charlie switched questions and anyone who said otherwise was a liar. This was a bit safer to answer without exposing herself. “There was never really anything else considered. As soon as I got my powers it was ‘Oh our Muirne is going to be a hero one day!’.” She put on a gruff deepened voice in an impersonation of her father if he was speaking Modern English. “I’ve never really considered anything else, and I don’t think I’d be much good at anything else. Besides, it’s not like helping people is a bad thing to aspire to do.” She smiled slightly at the boy as she finished talking.

 

“Hey, you got me. Pretty much why I put on the cape and cowl, y’know. But it’s a bit different from you, isn’t it? What if you didn’t have those powers, then what would you have liked to do?” This wasn’t a question from the sheet. It seemed like Charlie had his own questions to ask, too.

 

Muirne blinked and looked at Charlie. If she hadn’t had powers? Well, she’d be dead, but she guessed that wasn’t the answer he was after. Nor was ‘well I’d probably have just gotten married and worked a farm’ but she didn’t really have much beyond that. Maybe she should think instead about what she’d do if she suddenly lost her powers? Pursing her lips she took a few moments to think about it. “Well, ignoring the possibility of being a hero without powers like you, I would probably want to sing?” That was about as much as she could think of, her options back in her own time weren’t exactly broad.

 

“Aw, you wanna be a popstar?” Charlie was obviously teasing her here. “So, what about your strengths and weaknesses?

 

Muirne glared at Charlie at his first question, refusing to even dignify it with an answer. Instead, she focused on the second question. Did he mean physically, or in everyday life? She might as well answer both then. “Well, physically fire, silver and light all hurt me more than they do other people. Outside of that, you know very well that I struggle with technology and some of the more… complex words and phrases in English. As far as strengths go, I’ve always been pretty good at a variety of skills and of course have my powers.”

 

“Hey, it wasn’t my question,” Charlie countered quickly. “Oooh, this is a good one.” He grinned widely and winked at Muirne. “Who or what do you looove?

 

Muirne blushed at the question. He knew damn well the answer to that, and was just messing with her! She put her hands over her face, groaning out “Charlie, þú biaþ þá wierrest!1” Sighing into her palms she answered in modern English regardless. “You know I like Luke.”

 

“Again, not my question! Look, it’s right here on the paper.” Charlie made sure to hold it out to Muirne, making a point out of showing it. Taking it back, he found the next one and frowned. “I’m not a fan of this one, but gotta ask: Who or what do you hate?

 

Muirne frowned at the piece of paper as Charlie showed her the questions. She couldn’t really deny the evidence her eyes gave her. After he took the paper back she narrowed her eyes in anticipation for the question as he commented on it. The question gave her pause as she nearly said Dougal in a knee jerk reaction, but would that be too much? She didn’t suppose it was, provided she didn’t go overboard on the details. “There was a man named Dougal who attacked my home.” She swallowed, trying to force her emotions down. “Hate is about the right word for how I felt about him.”

 

Charlie frowned. “Yeah, I… are you afraid of Dougal? Or anything else for that matter?

 

Muirne’s jaw clenched and she took a few moments to breath as she struggled with the question. Eventually, she choked out her answer. “Yes. On both counts. Ever since I… haven’t been able to deal with magic well, even if it’s just on a screen. I still have nightmares about him sometimes but I know he can’t hurt me again, which helps.”

 

Muirne might have noted that particular question hadn’t been on the sheet, but Charlie didn’t point it out. “Hey, you got us now. We’ll keep you safe. Next one says something about your emotional state, so how do you feel? Personally I think that’s a lousy one after that previous question… Timing, right?”

 

Muirne smiled weakly as Charlie tried to reassure her. She did agree that the question was lousy though. “It’s always hard remembering back to then. And yeah, the question is well-timed. As to protection, thank you. It’s pretty safe to say that Dougal is dead though which is reassuring in some ways.” She clasped her hands in front of her and took another steadying breath before looking back to Charlie. “Next question?”

 

“What’s your greatest ambition, then? Hunting down this Dougal guy, or something else?” Charlie barely looked up from the sheet of paper in front of him.

 

Muirne scowled at the question. "Well, Dougal is dead, so I'm not too worried about hunting him down. Otherwise I mostly just want to become as great a hero as I can be. Both for myself and for my family."

 

“Yeah? Probably not a better place to do that, right?” He looked down at the notes, before picking another one. “So, you’re from England, and I’m pretty sure you were here with a member of Vanguard for your first visit, right? So, how does that work, being on Claremont and with Vanguard?”

 

Muirne relaxed at the more comfortable direction the questions had taken. "As far as I can tell it's not particularly complicated. I am a member of Vanguard who attends Claremont. I hear back to London to visit when I can and otherwise focus on my schooling." She smiled more easily now as she nodded back to Charlie to indicate that was the end of her answer.

 

“Yeah? What’s it like being on a big important team like that, and then having to spend time at school?

 

"To be honest it doesn't feel like a 'big important team' I know they're the primary hero team in Europe and everything but it's kinda overshadowed for me by who they are. They helped me when I was at my lowest and that is what matters to me. As far as comparing to school, I have to admit, I think I've been through more stuff at school than with Vanguard so it's kind of a moot point " Muirne chuckles lightly as she wrapped up the question.

 

“Fair point. Claremont gets crazy sometimes. The next questions all about family. You mentioned your parents before, but what’s your family like?

 

Muirne gulped as she processed the question. Well the short answer was dead, but there has been more than that. *Pleasant. That would probably be the best way to put it. My father was hard to live with at times, as were my siblings but more than anything…" She gripped the side of the table so hard it hurt. "I miss them terribly."

 

Charlie paused, looking up at Muirne. “What happened to them? Was it Dougal?

 

Muirne looked down at her hands which had turned white as she gripped. "Yes. It was him. I… he killed everyone." She deflated at her own words. It was a painful memory to recount but she'd get through it.

 

“I’m sorry. I’ll find some other questions.” Charlie’s eyes danced along the paper for a moment, until he settled on one. “You mentioned that you’re not a big fan of magic, but how do you feel about people with super powers being all around, how they’re, well, everywhere, both good guys and bad guys?

 

Muirne shrugged. "Honestly the support powers thing doesn't bother me the way I suppose it should. I had a hard time with Vanguard at first because in thought it was all magic and I couldn't deal with it, but I slowly learned and accepted that it's not magical. Obviously the bad guys bother me because they're bad guys but I'm not going to go catatonic over some guy lifting a car don't worry."

 

“What about you and Luke? I’m pretty sure dragons are magic, that doesn’t bother you?

 

Muirne looked slightly pained. "I try not to think about it too much to be honest. It helps that dragons as a concept are something I knew of before… you know. I think a big part of it is Luke himself, since he's… well, himself. Admittedly it's somewhat funny, the reason they dragons are a known concept was because I was supposed to go out and slay them not date them."

 

“Yeah, I think you might’ve read those rules wrong or something. Like, your forgot the letter at the start of the word.” Charlie winked mischievously at Muirne at his little joke, before shrugging. “Next question! Do you see yourself as a role model? Do you want others to see you as one?

 

Muirne paused for a moment to puzzle out the joke, slay without the s was lay… like laying an egg!? Her face turned cherry red from her blush and she hid her face in her hands. It was way too early to be thinking about that sort of thing! She glared at the boy for a bit from behind her hands before focusing on the question, at which she shrugged noncommittally. "Being a role model isn't something I've ever thought of. I'm not opposed to it, but it was never really the focus when I was training."

 

 “We’re almost done, then. Just a few more. What do you think about the world and your place in it? Anything you’d like to change, anything you’d like to do differently if you could?” Charlie raised an eyebrow, looking up from the sheet of paper without moving his head.

 

Muirne didn't reply for a few seconds, turning the question over in her head. "Right now I'm happy with my place in the world. I know I could do more if I wasn't at Claremont, but in the long run I'll be able to help people more because I came here. As far as changing things, there are a lot of injustices in the world that I do wish we could put an end to, but I know that a lot of them are beyond what one person can fix, and instead we can only fight against them when they come up."

 

“We all gotta start somewhere, don’t we? Besides, we do a lot of good here, don’t we?” Charlie shrugged. “Alright, just two left, then: What do you think the people closest to you think about you?

 

Muirne looked thoughtful at the question. "Well, I would like to think that the members of Vanguard like me and approve of my decisions, and I hope the people that I consider my friends appreciate me." She smiled slightly as she looked across the table at Charlie. "But I can't say anything more specific than that."

 

Charlie looked up at Muirne, he looked serious, smiling slightly. “Just one last question. Not something that’s anywhere on the sheet. How do you feel about being in the future?

 

Muirne opened her mouth to answer and then froze. He actually asked that, didn't he? Was Charlie a mind reader? The thought ran through her head at blinding speed. She cut off that train of thought. She looked across the table at Charlie. He wouldn't have asked if he didn't know she was in fact from the past, so lying was pointless.

She sighed, slumping in defeat. "It's been hard. When I first woke up I couldn't understand what anyone was saying, from my perspective I'd just been fighting and it just kept going from there." She rubbed her face with her palms before continuing. "I can't say that I regret being here anymore after everything I've done and everyone I've met, but it's… it's still hard." She slumped back in her chair after finishing her answer. She didn't think she'd regret telling him, he was her friend after all, but that didn't make it easier. That didn't mean the first question on her side wasn't going to be 'Are you a mind reader?'.

 

1Charlie, you are the worst!

Edited by Kaede Kimura
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Shadowborne: Origin Story

 

She heard her mother and father shout her name when the branch cracked beneath her. Her hair whipped into her face, and fear pulsed through her as she seemed to fall for eternity. The moment passed and she continued to plummet. Suddenly it was like a dam broke and something cold and dark ran through her from her core.

 

It didn't hurt when she hit the ground, but everything else did. The sun and warmth of the day burned and she didn't know why. Something was wrong, she could feel it. She felt it as she stood, the movement easy and flowing. She looked down at herself and screamed.

 

Where her body was supposed to be was instead just a mass of shadows that writhed in the light. "Muirne?" Her father's voice was filled with concern and something she couldn't identify.

Fear. Some unknown corner of her mind whispered and was pleased. She paid it no mind in her panic though.

“Fæder, hwá sy forþgang on?1 She asked before they both stopped at the inhuman tone of her voice.

 

“Ic magan ne forescprecan...2

 

Muirne curled in on herself. What was she supposed to do? How had this happened? What if- What if she was stuck like this? Her mother pushed past to crouch next to her, hushing her gently. “Ælcuht sy geférness oþ belimpan wáh.3” she said softly. Muirne stilled to look at her as she reached her hand out to her face.

 

But she never felt it touch her skin.

 

(Break)

 

It was the second day since she’d transformed, and Muirne was staying in the house while her parents talked outside. She heard her father talking. He sounded nervous. “Héo sy ne onwendednes edhwierft. Ic bió geférness begangan oþ þá oþres folcfry oþ déman hwá wé motan fremman.1

 

Her mother replied quietly and Muirne couldn’t make out what she said, but her father simply said “Gese.5” She wasn’t sure she wanted to know what he’d agreed to, given what she’d become. Her father departed, while her mother reentered the house.

 

“Muirne? Hwær biaþ þú déore?6

 

She was beneath the bed but didn’t say anything. She didn’t want to be taken away or hurt. She wanted to stay! She didn’t think her mother would make her leave but if no one knew she was under the bed than the folcfry couldn’t order her out and then she could stay and live under the bed and everything would be-

 

Her mother’s head blocked the gentle light that still reached her, and a gentle smile formed on her face, although she wasn’t sure how she could see it given the darkness she was sitting in, with the light coming from behind. Still, it was comforting to see her mother, her silhouette surrounded by soft light and that gentle expression.”Þær þú biaþ deorling. Þú fremman ne neód oþ bedíglian beneoðan þá bedd.7

 

Muirne slithered out from under her bed at her mother’s coaxing. She couldn’t hold onto her mother for comfort like she wanted to. They’d quickly discovered that the only way she could interact with people and objects was attacking them, which she would never do to her own family. The warmth of her mother’s body was nearing painful, but she took comfort in the proximity nonetheless.

 Slowly she relaxed, her mother’s presence making her feel safe.

 

 

And then she felt it. Her mother’s touch.

 

 

They both looked at each other in shock, and Muirne inspected her restored body with wonder and excitement. “Ic bió gewunelic gegn!8” She cried as her mother smiled wide and wrapped her in a warm hug.

 

“Þú biaþ déore!9” Muirne’s mother replied as Muirne bounced happily in her arms as she carried her outside into the sun again.

 

“Fæder neód ne bewrecan mé forsíþ!10” She crowed excitedly.

 

Her mother tutted, “Ic wyllan næfre habban gelifed hine oþ bewrecan þú forsíþ.11” She said chidingly. Muirne held herself close to her mother as she started to sing a lullaby. She could still feel the cold and darkness inside of herself and knew on some deeper level that she would be able to draw it out again and transform.

 

(Break)

 

Her father returned a few hours later after discussing what to do with the folcfry. Muirne woke up in her bed, having fallen asleep and being placed there by her mother. “-Gif Muirne dēþ ne þonne wé don ne habban ænig oþres ceasnesse, héo motan feran.12

 

Muirne froze. Her father sounded defeated. If she did not what? The way he’d said it meant there was an option where she didn’t have to leave, so what did she have to do? Scrambling out of bed she bolted to the door. She didn’t want to go, she’d do anything she had to. She burst out the door, her mother turning to face her while her father’s expression turned to shock as she threw her arms around him. “Fæder cweman don ne bewrecan mec forsíþ! Ic wyllan don æghwæt ic habban oþ don! Cweman don ne macian mec feran!”

 

Her father’s hands came to rest gently on her shoulders, squeezing them gently. “Þú don ne neód oþ feran. Þá folcfry hæfdon twegen costas for þú oþ belifan ond þú habban furðum forþēodest þá frumreed cost.14

 

Muirne looked up at her father curiously. He was looking down at her, and while she could never remember seeing him smile he still looked happy without it. “Ond hwá sy þá oþres cost, Fæder?15

 

Her mother’s hands were placed over her father’s and she jumped slightly at her sudden appearance. “Þæt þú cunnian oþ ágnung hit.16

 

Muirne nodded vigorously at the second condition, causing her mother to laugh slightly. She let go of her father’s waist and her mother picked her up again. It was nice to feel touch after her experience. Her father continued talking. “Sum of þá folcfry besprǣcon þæt héo meahte beon baldor.17

 

Muirne looked between her parents in wonder as her mother smiled at her, “Well deorling, don þú behéfþ oþ beon baldor?18” Muirne smiled and nodded vigorously again.

 

Spoiler

1 Father, what is going on?

2 I can not say…

3 Everything is going to be alright.

4 She is not changing back. I am going to the other free-folk to decide what we can do.

5 Yes.

6 Muirne? Where are you dear?

7 There you are darling. You do not need to hide beneath the bed.

8 I am normal again!

9 You are dear!

10 Father need not send me away

11 I would never have allowed him to send you away.

12 -If she does not then we do not have any other choices, she must leave.

13 Father please do not send me away! I will do whatever I have to do! Please don’t make me leave!

14 You do not need to leave. The free-folk had two conditions for you to stay and you have already passed the primary condition.

15 And what is the other condition, Father?

16 That you learn to control it.

17 Some of the free-folk mentioned that she could become a hero.

18 Well darling, do you want to be a hero?

 

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