memoirsverse (memoirsverse) wrote,

Character Profile: Arabella Thorne

Name: Arabella Thorne.  (Not specifically a Memoirs!verse character-- this is a different 'verse, although she can be written in a shared verse that includes Evelyn and other Memoirs characters if anyone wants to)  The name on her birth certificate is Folger, which is her father's name.  She takes "Thorne" as a way of embracing the unbroken line of hereditary witches in her family, passed down through her mother-- this is the name they've used as their own for millenia.

Age:  30

Appearance:  Dark, nearly black curly hair that reaches the middle of her back, large gray/silver eyes in a roundish pixie face, pale to lightly tanned, smattering of very light freckles across her nose and cheeks, Irish heritage.  Average height (5'6 or so), about a size 12.

Personality:  Arabella is somewhat outgoing and sociable, though not exactly a party animal, and she often needs alone time as well.  She's a little bit tomboyish at times, though she also likes to wear flowy skirts and floppy hats, often with sneakers.  She's bisexual and polyamorous, enjoys sex with no puritanical guilt, but has some difficulty with actual romantic relationships due to the fact that her offbeat and strange life tends to either scare people off or attract the unstable-- though she does long for that sort of intimacy.

She has a pet ferret named Virgil and a Malamute named Ghost.

She reads a lot of books on witchcraft and magickal theory (which she is quite well versed in), as well as books on nature, animal behavior, quantum physics, and other sciences (which she grasps in a layman's fashion, sometimes with a bit of study and focus-- she reads these things to help her better understand the universe she works to connect with, and also try to understand something about how magick works), and has quite a library of them, but enjoys gothic mysteries and pulp fiction for light reading.  She will even occasionally, when no one is looking, indulge longingly in a silly bodice-ripping romance novel.

She drinks Guinness.  There is no other beer to her.  She'll also drink spiced rum straight from the bottle.  She loves pizza.  She's a halfway decent cook and quite a good baker, though she doesn't like to cook all the time.  She has a notorious sweet tooth, hence the baking.

She always seems to be trying something new on a whim-- from writing (very bad) poetry, to painting, to dollmaking, to playing the violin or flute or cello or piano, to working on cars, to computer coding, to plumbing, to gardening, to knitting and needlepoint-- but she has a bit of a short attention span, so if she has difficulty getting the hang of something at first (which does often happen because that's the way the world works), she tends to drop it.  Her house is overflowing with projects she started but never finished.  She's very creative, but doesn't have much skill with any of the arts, though she has a nice singing voice. She gets bored rather easily; when that happens, she either tends to slide into a sort of malaise, zoning out in front of the television or behind some light reading, or she will go out looking for interesting things in the world to poke at.  It depends on how much nervous energy she has at any given time, how restless she is.

She can sometimes be a little bit abrasive and sharp-tongued, but she has a kind and compassionate heart.  She is a problem-solver by nature, and her sharp mind will often immediately delve into possible solutions for any issues she comes across, big or small.  She is a very practical sort of person, and may be vaguely annoyed by head-in-the-cloud sorts.  She can sometimes forget to stop and smell the roses, or enjoy nature, marvel at a sunset-- but when she does, she is reminded of why she follows this path, feeling her connection to Earth and the cosmos.

Arabella lives in a big old Victorian house in (somewhere in New England) by the ocean, which has been in her family for generations, though most of the family avoid actually living in it due to its bizarre and often disconcerting nature.  The house is situated on a dimensional ripple, where the physical world sort of folds over into other layers of reality on a regular basis, and has a long history of weirdness and "haunting" associated with it.  The house will sometimes display odd reality-bending phenomena, such as entire rooms appearing or disappearing or moving to other locations.  Once, Arabella stumbled on an entire wing of the house that she didn't know existed, and then couldn't find it again the next day.  This phenomena seems to only effect the parts of the house that she doesn't habitually use or live in, so she wonders if she's somehow anchoring the parts of the house that she uses more often to her reality simply by being a part of them.

Personality Strengths: Intelligence, wit, compassion, adaptability, courage, boldness, sense of adventure, high energy, eclectic tastes, practicality, problem-solving, fast learner, loyal friend, selfless overall, confidence (which was developed over time).

Personality Weaknesses: Easily bored, short attention span, fear of insanity, short-tempered at times, pack rat and clutter, starts things without finishing them, can be judgemental, can be selfish, tends towards loneliness and malaise sometimes, often gets in over her head because she jumps in without looking at what she's doing, intimacy issues.

Abilities:  Arabella, as a hereditary witch, has certain innate abilities that were passed down to her from her matrilineal line.  She has some precognitive ability, and some extremely understated telekinesis, which pretty much means that she may make lights flicker, windows rattle sligthly or things suddenly fall over for no apparent reason when she gets stressed, distracted, or angry.  If she gets very emotional, she may blow the power or accidentally break something.  She's no Jean Gray, but she has been trying to figure out how to control and channel the abilities for quite some time now, and can on occasion move something very small an inch or two after several minutes of very intense, very deep concentration.  Her energetic field can sometimes passively interfere with electronics, an effect which intensifies during times of high stress.

She also has the faerie-sight, and can see, with varying degrees of clarity, the denziens of the Otherworld when they cross her path.  She was told (by some relative or another) that the Thorne line has faerie blood sprinkled rather liberally throughout its past, which they theorize is where they get their gifts from, though of course this could just be folklore too.

As a witch, Arabella works directly with the flows of nature and the causality of the universe, using a varied system of powerful symbols to open her mind and channel these flows.  Her spells tap into probability and potential world-threads, drawing them into her sphere of being so they manifest into the physical universe.  She also works with quite a range of Otherworld entities, including pagan deities and the fae, all of whom she approaches as sentient beings in their own right (rather than projections of her imagination and subconscious or thought forms like some of her family see them).  She doesn't follow a religious path (though she does have an aunt who is a solitary Wiccan), choosing instead to focus more on the practical aspects of her craft.  She utilizes an eclectic range of spellcraft to achieve her goals, from hand-created sigils drawn from statements of intent, to complex Hermetic banishing rituals, to folk magic and rootworking-- and very occasionally, when desperate, to the alien chaos of Faerie magick, which would slip a single stitch in the fabric of reality to unravel entire tapestries of What Is, before re-weaving them again with colors and layers and dimensions that don't exist in the human spectrum or experience.  She cannot do the latter without help from the fae, though. 

(As an aside: There are also male witches in the family tree.  Any child who displays natural ability anywhere within the family tree is given the name Thorne.  And the male witches take special offense to being called "Warlocks" because it's an old word that means oath-breaker or betrayer.  A few of the more pompous ones rather enjoyed calling themselves "Wizards" or "Sorcerers" though to differentiate them from what they perceive to be the "lower class" hedge witches.  Also, theirs is not the only old magickal family in existence.  There is quite a network hidden beneath the veneer of modern civilization, as Arabella discovers.  They aren't particularly organized, though there have been a few enterprising and power-hungry individuals who have tried.)

History:  When she was very young, Arabella's father, Thomas Folger, had her mother, Verity, placed in an institution due to what he termed her harmful delusional behavior-- Verity was a practicing witch at the time and he highly disapproved.  He raised Arabella in a home that for all appearances was loving (though he was actually quite overbearing and domineering), isolated from her mother's relatives.  Arabella was so young that she didn't really remember her mother, and Thomas kept her away from Verity as long as he was able to make the decision for her, telling her that her mother was insane because she saw fairies and thought she had magical powers.  It's unclear at this point whether Thomas had ulterior motives for his wife's incarceration.

Arabella had displayed many of her gifts at a young age, especially her Sight.  She was afraid, though-- afraid that she was insane, like she had been told her mother was, and that they would lock her away for the rest of her life, so she hid it and tried to suppress it.  When she was seven, she was visited by the Ghillie Dhu, all tall and lanky and dressed in leaves and moss.  He was one of the more benevolent fae (apparently, though like most of the Gentry, he was certain to have his own motivations), and he told her not to fear her gifts.  He gave her a seeing-stone-- a river stone with a hole naturally worn through its center-- as well as a few other small artifacts and talismans, and helped her begin to refine her Sight abilities, and he taught her small bits of Faerie magick, things that were very potent for a child to use (or even an adult human, really, because Faerie magic didn't tend to mesh well with humanity) but were given for a purpose.  She doesn't remember now what these spells were or how to do them, and suspects they may be buried somewhere in her subconscious.  She can't even remember if she did the spells or not.

The Ghillie Dhu never gave her a name, so she called him Gill, mostly because she found the perturbed look on his face when she did so to be endlessly hilarious.  "That sounds like a name for a fish!" he would complain, and she would point out that the problem would be solved by sharing his real name, and he would chide her about being careless with such a precious thing.  "But you know my real name," she would say, and he would tell her that no, he didn't, that her real name was different than the name that had been given to her, that it was something deeper and more intrinsic to your personality, that it was something she would have to discover for herself one day, and that once she did, she should never ever share it with anyone.  And that is why he called himself Ghillie Dhu-- or why he adopted the moniker, when the people in Ireland long ago saw him and named him for his dark hair.  He acted as her teacher throughout her childhood and teen years, and then abruptly and inexplicably disappeared around the time she met her mother for the first time since Verity had been institutionalized.  She had no idea what happened to him.

When she was sixteen, Arabella snuck away with a forged waiver and met her mother.  Unfortunately, Verity had not handled her incarceration very well, and was quite listless and unresponsive.  It took awhile for her to register that the young woman visiting her was her daughter (whom she had not seen since Arabella was very small), but when she did, she seemed to suddenly come to life, pulling Arabella into an embrace and whispering to her, "I know what it's like, Arabella.  I know what it's like to be what you are and know what you are and know what you can do and yet nobody believes you..."  Her mother spoke then of her side of the family-- Verity's two sisters, her aunt, her cousins.  People that Arabella could contact.  Arabella was hesitant, though, because it seemed they had left Verity on her own to rot.  They never even visited her.  Verity insisted they had a good reason for it, that it wasn't something they did easily or casually, that it had probably been the hardest decision they'd ever made-- but she did not explain that reason to Arabella.  Arabella was thus quite hesitant to contact her mother's side of the family at first.  The fact that she'd never even heard from them also dissuaded her from it, though she found out later that her father had threatened them with legal action if they tried to contact her or be at all a part of her life before she turned eighteen.  She would find out later that her Aunt Ariadne had requested that the Ghillie Dhu come watch over Arabella and teach her as he could.  She owed him a massive debt for it which the Ghillie Dhu will collect when he has need, though they are still on quite friendly terms.  Ariadne had known better than to thank the Ghillie Dhu for his help, which would have been seen as cheap payment, closing the deal in an insulting way rather than offering something that would restore the balance between them or leaving it open-ended so he could choose the price.  It is rarely advised to do the latter when dealing with the denziens of Faerie, but the Ghillie Dhu insisted on this occasion.

Arabella continued surreptitiously visiting her mother, and eventually Verity convinced her to try to contact her Aunt Ariadne.  The older woman, against her better judgement, decided to carry on communication with her niece in secret.  If Thomas found out, they would simply have to take it to court.  And that is exactly what happened.  In the end (with a little magickal push), it was ruled that Ariadne could see her neice on a regular basis, and Thomas could do nothing to stop it.

When Arabella turned eighteen, she moved out of Thomas's home and into Ariadne's condo, near the house where she would ultimately end up.  She attended college, meandering in her studies, uncertain of what she wanted to pursue, until she finally decided to study business management since it seemed to be the most practical choice.  During these years, she would often visit a lovely antique book store run by a charming old fellow who was a retired anthropology professor at the college she attended.  The two would have long conversations about everything under the sun while sipping lattes at the little cafe next door to the book shop.  She wound up working at the shop part time while attending school, at first just to help out, then to give herself a supplemental income, and eventually became so attached to the shop that she stayed on after she graduated.  He promoted her to assistant manager, then manager as his age began to catch up with him, finally signing her on as co-owner so the store would continue in her name after he passed on.  He was quite paternal towards her, a wise old father figure, and after a few years he began to suspect that she may have abilities other people didn't have, though it didn't really make a lick of difference in how he perceived her and he respected the fact that she didn't want to be open about it.

At some point during this time, Ariadne told her about the old Victorian house that had been in the family, that it had been more or less abandoned, though they still made regular visits to tend to its upkeep since it was such a big part of their family history.  She accompanied Ariadne once when it was her aunt's turn to give it a light cleaning, and fell in love with the house.  Her relatives thought her a little mad for it, but they agreed to let her move in and act as its caretaker.  She was twenty-one when she first moved into the house.  Nine years later, she is still there, and considers it Home.

Tags: arabella thorne, character profiles
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