Reference sheet for TBOS! My annoying personal notes after a text wall.
Ophelia d’Arras Height:
5’ (152.5 cm) Weight/ Body type:
Slim, curvy, short, small Age:
Curly black hair, dark blue eyes, tanned skin. Not dirty, but worn clothes. A grey shawl kind of thing wrapped around a blue skirt which reaches to her ankles. The shawl has a golden-colored fringe with dried flowers – rosemary, pansies, fennel, columbines, rue, and daisies. She generally goes around barefoot though this will prove to be a problem for her, probably. Doesn’t bother with jewelry. Gift (Construct or Function or Page or what or nothing):
A construct in the shape of a card; long rectangular shape with rounded corners. "Card" Personality:
She’s a quiet girl; she’ll almost never talk on her own. When she has something to say or really express at all, it'll seem almost like she had an epiphany in a reverie while sleeping (yes). She’s not shy, but reclusive. Though it was all she’d ever known, she never felt at home with her nomadic gypsy family. She doesn’t really feel at home anywhere, and she kept herself isolated from most of the people around her for a very long time. This might be partially due to a drawn out form of teenage angst. However, it is also due to an overwhelming sense of pity she feels for almost everyone she knows. She’s sympathetic to a fault, almost unable to look past everybody’s hardships and can bring anyone down with quite possibly the saddest, most distant smile anyone’s ever seen. (So she’s a pessimist who faces it with indifferent resignation.) Most people avoid her because she makes them feel uncomfortable, and while she doesn’t mind… she also wouldn’t mind people staying either. (She's not physically, but emotionally clingy. A lot more so than she seems.)
She’s filled with a quiet kind of pride. She can let anything go, not holding grudges because she assumes she understands more about people than she actually does (while she’s wise beyond her age, it’s the wisdom of an outsider looking in rather than from actual experience). She conducts herself with (usually) grace and (always) dignity. History:
Born a gypsy in southern France, her mother was only half and her grandmother was French. Or they think. Ophelia thinks there might have been more to her than that (German?), but apart from questionable nationality (who could tell?) the only thing peculiar about her grandmother was that she handed down a journal. Ophelia got it from her mother when she was a young teenager rather than when she was older because she was quiet and so alone all the time. (It turned out to not be a great idea, because with the book Ophelia withdrew even more. Awesome?) She also received an amethyst pendant, but the passing down of jewelry is incredibly common so. She considered wearing it for sentimental effect, but decided against it and keeps it in the journal.
She and her family wandered around, settling somewhat. Ophelia was not very interested in tradition, and wasn’t very social in general. She mostly stayed inside and read, or wrote, in that journal. Her closest friend was Cordelia, her cousin who was also somewhat quiet but not nearly to such an isolated extent as her. She was still loved, but mainly because she was family. Otherwise even they were somewhat wary of her, kind of wishing she’d grow out of this phase or something.
When she was sixteen, and they were residing just outside Paris, she met August. Four years older than her, wandering the country quietly, she instantly felt some sort of connection. It didn’t take long for them to fall in some semblance of love. She left her family on fine terms, with her mother and Cordelia promising to stay outside Paris in case she ever came back or needed them. Also because her mother was old; Cordelia kind of stayed to care for Ophelia’s mother/her aunt.
August showed her his old tarot cards passingly, and she instantly took to them like a fish that just discovered water (somehow). There's another place she thinks she finds the answers about people.
Since then Ophelia wandered with August, until recently. Just eighteen, it’s spring of 1940 and WWII was declared by England and France last fall and Paris is in trouble. Ophelia, despite seeming lackadaisical about most everything, shows her actual loyalty and love (emotion that almost never got expressed; surprised herself, but hardly because she doesn't hold on to such reactions for very long) and is desperate to find her mother and Cordelia, or make sure they’ve left, or anything because there have been horrible things happening to the Romani people in Germany and places already affected by the Nazis. (Travelling, you hear about these things.) Overall, Ophelia is a very frustrating person. Abilities:
She has a stone – the amethyst pendant – that allows her to manipulate humid air slightly. (It has to be humid. You could say that it’s because of the water particles, kind of? It's a little more mystical than that but anywho. Subsequently, works well in fog.) With a few small gestures she can make a slight breeze but that’s the most it’ll get. Most assume it’s because it’s a weak stone, but really it is because unbeknownst to everyone, even Ophelia, wind is only its secondary ability. It acts as… a conductor, of sorts. It channels people’s feelings, emotions, intentions, etc. and when coupled with the journal, Ophelia can feel them like a cloud, particularly when she falls alseep with it. (This is why she thinks
she understands people. This is also why, for the most superficial
parts, she does.) Usually, for it to work one has to be emotionally balanced, but as a result of inadvertently using the stone since she was young, she naturally tunes in to it which ends up kind of suppressing her own emotions rather than balancing them. Something about that journal/those silly stones:
The universe her story is set in is hardly different – it just adds the concept of these stones. Each can control a very specific thing, however these things are almost limitless. From invisibility to summoning to transforming to the classical elements, somewhere out there there is a stone that can manipulate it. However, a stone’s abilities will always be very specific. There will be one aspect of this thing it can control and it alone, mainly because if it were to be any more powerful, it’d have to be a lot bigger than would be practical or even possible for anyone to use.
These stones have their powers because of a strong energy coursing through the earth, a flow of nature basically, and it rubs off the slightest on almost everything like static electricity (but less annoying). It sticks to denser things like rocks better, and after a couple thousand years in the nature system they’ve generally accumulated enough to be somewhat useful (another reason most aren’t very powerful...). Their specific ability is also a direct result of where they’ve been. Stones that have been underwater, or by a waterfall, will both have water powers; however, they will be slightly different because evidently one was in relatively stationary waters while the other was in, well, a waterfall. (It also depends what kind of stone it is.)
This energy runs through live organisms as well, but to a greatly lesser extent, of course. Things like rocks and trees get a lot longer time to just gather the stuff than organisms that live and die so fast do. However the energy interacts with living things better and people can take advantage of their relatively faint energy by using it as a something of a conductor into the stone’s. There’s really no art or way of commanding these powers, like tai chi, and most are commanded by simple hand gestures, but of course practice helps. (And then there’s the question of style. Some will just die for their style.)Tl; dr:
That’s how the stones work. They’re kind of weak but control a really specific aspect of nature.
Then, because the party just doesn’t stop, that journal. Centuries ago, it was buried in the roots of an old tree. Trees are pretty great hubs for that energy to collect; particularly in their roots. For a few centuries this book gathered energy before being dug up by Ophelia’s grandmother and used and handed down and etc. but basically, the effect this energy has on the book now is… not much. It’s got slightly more endurance than your average book, and what’s written in it stays in it, and there’s always enough pages. If you just keep turning them back, you’ll find everything ever written in it, and if you keep turning them forward, there’ll always be more, and it’s always the same not-so-fat width (about the width of a smallish textbook, with light paper). Ophelia keeps her amethyst pendant in here, by carving out some pages to make a hollow like drunkards carve their bibles to put in a flask.
The journal is old, has a little tear in it, dark red and faded black, and says "D'arras" Fighting Style/ Weapons:
Ophelia can’t fight. She can dance, run, and is quite nimble/agile, but she can’t fight. She could possibly hit someone with her journal, but it’s not a hefty tome or anything, and she's not very strong. She could improvise with whatever is around if need be, but not well, and if she were confronted with violence the first thing she’d try to do would be escape unnoticed anyway. Downfall/ Weaknesses:
She’s incredibly distant. She doesn’t say what bothers her, and stays quiet even if nothing’s bothering her, which gets confusing. She thinks she understands, so she doesn’t take the time to actually find out. She won’t stand up for herself, just leave. She still insists on being alone (though she knows she really doesn't want to be) even when someone is obviously trying to draw her out . It causes people close to her, namely August and previously Cordelia, incredible amounts of grief. Basically she’s hell to get along with. Relationship with Partner:
She’s as good as in love with August. It’s because she feels like he was alone, just watching people for as long (if not longer) than she was. A kind of hermits’ connection, if you will. She’ll do whatever he says without a second thought, and run with him to the ends of the world. She’ll open up to him more than to anyone else (which is still not a lot) and do her best to offer him the best in return. She can tell that she hurts him by being so far away, and she feels kind of horrible, but then the feeling ebbs away when she holds the journal and she tries not to think about it. She's not good at dealing with her own emotions. She’s just so used to things the way they are even though she knows they have to change. She thinks she'll change, work on that later, but then doesn’t.
She accepts August completely. Other random things:
She is really obsessed with those tarot cards. Once she got them she only spent half the time in her journal; the other half was just pondering the meanings of the Major and Minor Arcana. She likes finding parallels with them and the people she sees, even if kind of vague or off.
August, though he abandoned the cards, still knows what they are in depth and will always correct her interpretations between them and the people she points out. She doesn't really listen.
While she has a lot of pity for people that still doesn't mean she'll do anything. Just kind of sit there like "I knew it."
For the most part she thinks most things that happen are like... fate. (What is that called. Fatalism?) That she can't change things. So instead she focuses on knowing.
August Svizzera Height:
5’ 11” (180.5 cm) Weight/ Body type:
Tall, skinny, not quite lanky Age:
Short dirty blonde hair in a tiny ponytail, brown eyes. Cheap, almost-fraying clothes. White shirt, dark brown clip suspenders. Dark trousers that are almost a tad too long, scuffed shoes. Gift (Construct or Function or Page or what or nothing):
A page. Personality:
Outwardly, he’s very straightforward. A few rungs higher on the tact ladder than blunt. Smart, appropriately outgoing, nice, he treats people how he’d like to be treated, but he’s not a pushover. (He doesn’t actually trust most anyone he meets.) Sympathetic but strong-willed, determined, and stubborn, he can be a little ruthless; he often has problems with frustration. Primarily with Ophelia. But also with everything else. He has a history of depression. The worst of it is five or six years behind him, but occasionally… occasionally. Also, suffers from gender dysphoria.
He’s filled with pride, won’t let people get away with insulting him or Ophelia, since she won’t do it for herself. He’ll fight until he can’t, or more commonly as of late, until Ophelia drags him off. August is often strongly defensive and impulsive. History:
August was born in Italy, near Vatican City. A lot of his blood is Swiss, and his family was very religious and Catholic. Also, his original name was June and he was born female. Mild discomfort is a huge understatement of what he felt most of his childhood (and puberty and generally all the time). Being in the wrong body is really, unbelievably awful. But most of it he managed to not let show. He’d had aspirations to be involved in religion when he grew up, but those dreams evaporated when he told his grandmother about how he wanted to be a boy like he felt he was.
The following humiliation and disowning was quick and incredibly, incredibly painful.
Afterwards he resolved to wander about on his own, and, of course, as a man. He cut his hair (but still kept a ponytail), wore a binder, and ate less because when there’s less fat on your bones the less likely you are to look curvy and holy hell that was the last thing he wanted to look Goddamnit.
He also lost most of his faith; he still believes in God, but feels bitter about it. He completely gave up on organized religion. For a small while, he looked into superstitious things like tarot cards, but then only hung onto them for sentimental value.
It was hard for him at first; the travelling constantly, on low funds, wasn’t a problem, because in the Depression that’s kind of what a lot of people did everything on – low funds. Being alone all the time, wandering aimlessly, that was what was a lot more difficult to deal with. He dealt with it by addressing the latter problem, and found some sort of purpose – a silly young man’s endeavor, that anyone would probably regret spending so much time on in the future, but he decided to follow a scholarly kind of life and see all the great historical sites of Europe. Just to keep him occupied.
Which it did, for a couple of years (read: five years), until he met Ophelia. Gender Dysphoria:
He absolutely hates looking in mirrors. He hates his body. He hates just being like this. It feels completely and horrifically wrong.
It's this awful feeling that's with him all the time despite how little he shows it by now. In simplest terms, he's a man in a woman's body, and obviously that raises these incredible problems. (I try to explain this as best I can; I have looked it up as best I can. But this is something I can't say I'm an expert on so if someone knows this better it'd be really awesome if you could tell me about that. I really would love to know.) Abilities:
He has a peridot gem that allows him to levitate things. It’s more powerful than most stones (though not by too much; it’s pretty small), and cut nicely despite not being on any sort of jewelry. This is probably because he pilfered it from a church in a silly angsty fit of teenage rebellion. Luckily he’s past most of that. He keeps it in his pocket at all times and almost never uses it, though. (Sometimes he forgets it's there.) Fighting Style/ Weapons:
August isn’t well versed in any real form of martial arts, but he’s seen a few fights and has been assaulted on more than one occasion. As a result he’s good at improvising in a fist fight, and has a high tolerance for pain. For fights with something more dangerous than a fist, he’s also adept at admitting (temporary) defeat and running (and subsequently not getting caught. This has happened even more than him being assaulted). Usually, though, he doesn’t rely on his skills of not getting caught because he looks for a weapon and then goes back. He’s kind of reckless like that. Downfall/ Weaknesses:
Ophelia, being reckless, lacking trust. He’s protective of her to a kind of ridiculous degree. He sees what’s good for him, and does the opposite anyway. He’s impulsive, and in the rush of the moment often doesn’t bother to see things through though usually he would. He smokes. He doesn’t trust anyone when he first meets them and usually even after that, because he’s had a lot of experience with horrible people. He almost doesn’t trust Ophelia (almost). Relationship with Partner:
It’s almost like Ophelia acts the same to everyone. Even though he knows this isn’t true, because she acts differently with him, he can’t help but think this when she’s being particularly difficult. Still, he’s pretty much in love with her. You could describe him as possessive, but most of the times he’s chiding her for doing seemingly pointless things. She often does seemingly pointless things. Most of them are oddly sentimental and endearing, though, so he doesn’t mind them too much, but it’s still a little unnerving seeing her do such random things in her way, her distant, almost out-of-it way. Other random things:
A life of constant traveling has made him pretty decent at pickpocketing, though he usually tries to avoid it.
Constant traveling has also made it easy for him to pass by people in distress. Every man for himself (and his wife)!
(In case you were wondering, in his case his wife would be Ophelia.)
He would smoke almost constantly if he had the means to afford it. (He tries to avoid stealing too.)
Basically he has integrity. u___u ...flexible integrity.Basically, August is a smoking somewhat-paranoid, mostly-nice, often-reckless, completely-smitten guy.
Holy jeez. One,
this ref practically looks like a dump. Oh hell. Two,
despite so many promises made to myself and the recommendations of other people who were so great, I am still bad at making ref sheets. But I have decided that I will keep the descriptions in the artist's comments from now on. Why? Because one, being me, I'm going to forget stuff and it's easier to edit. XD Two, you can use the find feature! That is handy. I'm obsessed with that. Three, it's more acceptable to be a text wall... |D I'm going to be honest while I swear I've gotten better with it in comics, text walls in refs are still kind of like my hugest enemy ever so! Three,
though I still like them a lot, as I was writing/rereading what I had written for Ophelia I kind of got the sinking feeling she was sounding like a Mary Sue. Damnit, if she does someone tell me so I can rectify this. OTLLLL
Also guess who's scrambling to finish an audition again, I am! I am!
I could say something about how it isn't my fault but really it is. I tried really hard to start this one earlier, but it just required (actually, make that "required") so much research. @______@ Seriously. I spent hours researching gender dysphoria and feeling depressed. (By the way, about August,
if I get in, then I'd probably note my opponent about that. Maybe it's just me, but I just get the feeling that that's something that is better to be discussed than just outright said.) Then I researched WWII. Then I researched the porajmos (should that be capitalized?). Then I agonized: gypsy, or Romani? Gypsy is technically an exonym... And the tarot cards. So many tarot cards. @____@ I want a Rider-Waite deck now.
Argh. There was just so much. And my intellectual brain kind of had a field day but my artistic brain was like "GRAB IT AND GO, GRAB IT AND GOOO- wait, what's this" and in general my entire brain was just filled with excuses. Though a more decent reason would be this: I really want to treat certain subjects with care? Not so much as "THIS MUST NEVER BE BREACHED IN FICTION" because hell that's what creativity and fiction and art is for, damnit! But I didn't want to just say "HEY THIS IS INTERESTING" and then completely butcher it. :T You see some pretty horrible stuff on deviantART and I don't want to write a WWII story all about Nazis just because their uniforms are pretty.
Maybe this is just me trying too hard to be sensitive? But I guess I'd rather try too hard than be indifferent and insensitive. So. Yeah!
Oh dear I'll just stop right now. Audition hopefully coming up, if not illustrated then written. (If it were illustrated then it'd still be partially written. You'll see. You'll see.)
August and Ophelia are mine. :3
Also, if anyone gets any of the puns I have put in there, the silly stupid unnecessary puns, then I'll love you to the ends of time and space! BY THE WAY, IF YOU THINK THE PICTURE AT THE BOTTOM LOOKS LOPSIDED, THAT'D BE BECAUSE IT'S TO SCALE. SHE'S JUST THAT SHORT. HE'S JUST THAT TALL.