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 Vanna, of Shadow Grove

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Dorian Leventhal

Posts : 153
Join date : 2011-10-06
Age : 33

PostSubject: Vanna, of Shadow Grove   Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:24 pm


Out of Character (tell us just just a bit about you outside RP)

Name: Sub

In Character
Name: Vanna
Age: 16
Gender: Female
Rank/Title: Free Folk


(For family, just enter names and if there alive or dead please)
Parents: Matthias & Helen Atwater
Grandparents: Absalom & Bethania Atwater; Lykos & Iris Greenfinch
Siblings: None
Aunts & Uncles: None that she remembers
Nieces & Nephews: None
Cousins: None that she remembers
Children: None yet
Grandkids: None yet


Skin color: Cream
Hair Color: Red
Hair length: Long
Eye color: Wears a brown-red cloth around her head to cover the scars (biologically had green eyes)
Size: 5’ 2”
Build: Thin
Celebrity Playby Brighid Fleming


Crushes: None at the moment
Mates/Spouse: Sendoa
Status: Single

-How I act-

The little girl known as Phoebe is gone, along with her silent stare of defiance. Much of what she knew about the world outside the Shadow Grove is buried beneath distant memory. The only thing that remains of her, perhaps, is her ability to assess the value of items commonly used for barter. Much of the little girl that she used to be has been replaced by the Grove shaman-girl named Vanna. This is not to say that the young woman possesses some sort of split personality disorder; instead, it is meant that the name ‘Phoebe’ no longer fits her.

Vanna is a spiritual young woman that reveres all forms of life. She speaks to the animals, and to the plants... and much like a wildling she firmly believes that the spirits of these things – and the Gods themselves – speak back to her through the sounds of nature. Her extreme love for nature and desire for freedom are the frequent cause for her independent refusal of things many others take for granted. The closed environment of the contemporary household makes Vanna feel closed off from nature; that lack of connection to the earth frightens her in a way that is very similar to claustrophobia.

Vanna loves music, dance, and having fun. She is independent, but is humble enough to ask for help when she needs it. Were Vanna to live in a more traditional village setting she would be far too proud to want to sit in the streets begging for money. Instead, she would beg to offer a service of hers – healing, prayers, music, value assessment, or magic – in exchange for money. Vanna has a consistent take(or accept)-only-what-you-need mentality because she would have little need to be weighed down by excess coin.

As a friend Vanna is kind, compassionate, and loyal... perhaps even to a fault. She has a rich sense of generosity, frequently giving what she can of her heart and what meager supplies she has in the absence of actual money. For the friend who is sad, Vanna would do anything to cheer them. For friendships with people who lack confidence, Vanna does her best to try to empower them.

Towards those Vanna does not consider a friend, the young woman can be deceptive. Her deliberate selection of the most valuable pieces in her tribe’s raiding party spoils, as payment for her work in assessing the value of their loot, was one way in which she got even with the people that killed her parents. It takes a lot of social wrongs to make Vanna angry with someone, and when she is angry she prefers verbal aggression. Vanna was never much of a fighter, living life as a reasonably gentle woman... but she does possess a hidden strength, a healthy dose of resilience, and a powerful will to fight for her life or for a cause if there is absolutely no other option open to her.

Like many who go through life without a sense of sight, Vanna has learned to adapt to her situation in the treacherous environment of Shadow Grove. Her remaining senses are heightened, making her highly perceptive to the world around her. She is also perceptive when it comes to the people she encounters, and this unusually intense intuition tends to disturb people. It is as if she is able to feel and read the subtle body language or energies of a given person without the need for sight. Vanna knows that these heightened senses do not make her invincible, nor are those feelings or senses always correct. Because of this she is sometimes innocent enough to be gullible and naïve, trusting far too much... or to the other extreme of being wary and suspicious and trusting too little.

While Vanna desires to live a spiritual, happy, and peaceful life, she refuses to be taken advantage of or treated like a doormat. If she has something on her mind, she won’t hesitate to say it. The situation depends a lot upon how those thoughts are delivered. The woman follows her intuition and will call things as she “sees” them... even if those things aren’t necessarily positive.

Overall, while Vanna is blind she picks up on a lot more than most might give her credit for. She can be a kind and generous friend... or a cunning and deceptive trickster for an enemy. She is more or less a nature-worshipper and without a connection to those elements, particularly trees, Vanna would surely wilt. The senseless destruction or massacre of plants or animals in the natural world (and the same of people, be it one or many) upsets and angers her. Vanna’s nature is innately fun-loving, with a strong sense of adventure not far behind.


Personal Background
She was born Phoebe Atwater, the first and only child born to merchants Matthias and Helen. Although the Atwaters were primarily residents of Whitewood, and had roots there in the form of a shop run by Matthias’ parents, Matthias and Helen were also part of a traveling caravan. Phoebe traveled with her parents and the rest of the caravan since she was three years old.

On a fateful trip back home, and running behind in the caravan’s schedule, the leader of said caravan believed that cutting through the Shadow Grove was the best solution to their problem. Matthias and Helen tried to warn the man that the dangers of the Grove were not the superstitious myth he waved them off to be. The caravan leader refused to believe this, and led them through anyway. Matthias kept his then-seven-year-old daughter close, knowing full well the dangers and tricks that the Grove played on the minds of men. Three quarters of the way through the Grove, the caravan was attached. Many were killed in the chaos, but some – including little Phoebe – were taken as hostages.

The hostages were rounded up, restrained, and taken before the chieftain for questioning. A young boy around the age of eleven from the group of hostages was chosen by the chieftain to tell him everything that goes on while asking questions of the others. In due time, Phoebe is brought before the chieftain. In response to his questions, Phoebe replied consistently with little more than a defiant stare. She had watched helplessly as the people of the Grove killed her parents, and as a result had no words to say to them. The young boy tried to protect Phoebe by telling the chieftain that she was a merchant’s daughter, and therefore knew what was and was not valuable among the caravan wreckage.

Phoebe was less than cooperative when presented with items from the wreckage. She settled a silent, defiant stare upon anyone that demanded an answer of her. The girl was punished repeatedly for being so uncooperative and disrespectful to the chieftain. The chieftain asked if Phoebe was a daughter of someone important, but the young boy advising him admitted that she came from a modest merchant family – one that was killed in the attack, and of no supreme importance to any nearby land. In the chieftain’s anger at being stared at with such defiance in answer, he declared the girl useless and demanded that Phoebe be blinded as a consequence.

She was given a strong drink to knock her out, and awoke in panic to being unable to open her eyes – her eyes had been removed and her eyelids had been sewn shut. As further punishment the Chieftain demanded a test of her: survive a week in the grove. The chieftain told her that if she could survive the week, she would be welcome to live as one of them and make herself useful. If she died, however, it wouldn’t matter much to them. Phoebe was carried off deep into the Grove in a makeshift cage, with only a walking stick, canteen, and a knife as her belongings. She was given instructions to not leave the cage until she could no longer hear the footsteps of the men that carried her there.

Phoebe crawled through the grove and lamented her fate. The loss of her parents... the loss of the safety of the caravan... and now the loss of her sight. For the first two days she lived on a diet of grasses and berries. On the third day, she caught a fish with the help of the pointed end of her walking stick. She built a tiny fire and cooked the fish on it. For the remaining days of Phoebe’s sentence she built herself a campsite and seldom ventured out from it except to gather food and water.

By the eighth day, Phoebe was welcome to the idea that she would be brought back before the people of the Grove and the safety of numbers. When she awoke the girl discovered she was still in her makeshift campsite, and not amongst the people who had captured her. It occurred to Phoebe that the chieftain might have deliberately forgotten about her. What Phoebe didn’t realize was that she made camp on sacred but darkly haunted ground that only the chieftain and the shaman would dare to enter... not those who had been sent to retrieve her.

On the thirteenth day of being stranded on her own in the Grove, Phoebe discovered a tree with a face carved in it. She deduced that it must be sacred to the people. The sap that wept from this tree was unlike any that Phoebe had tasted before. Phoebe spoke to the tree out of longing for a person to talk to, and she began to think that the tree maintained a coherent conversation with her. Phoebe swore that the tree told her of an old treasure site, forgotten by the tribe that left her behind. If she brought the treasure back to the chieftain, the tree said, then the tribe would welcome her to live a comfortable existence in the camp – like a princess.

Despite the surgical removal of her eyes, Phoebe found her wanderings through the woods to be easier than when she had first set foot out here on her own. She talked to the animals she found, killing only those that threatened her journey on the path to the treasure... or those that she needed to eat in order to survive. After many days of searching, Phoebe found the small treasure chest half buried deep within the sacred ground and dug it most of the way out. In an attempt to pry it free from the earth she pulled on the side handle; her hand slipped, and she fell backwards into a pit of quicksand. Phoebe struggled to get back to solid land, and called out to the sacred tree she had found for help. She found what she thought was a large branch and managed to pull herself out. What she didn’t realize was that a snake was also perched on said branch; once she was out of the quicksand she was seen as a threat by the snake, and it bit her. Phoebe cut off the snake’s head and pried its jaws off of her arm, but the damage was done.

Phoebe dragged the treasure chest and the dead snake back to her camp. She collapsed from blood loss and exhaustion at the base of her sacred tree. Before falling completely unconscious Phoebe collected some of the tree sap in a bowl she had made from the skull of a fox, muttered a prayer for the tree to heal her, and took a sip of the thick sap before the world went black.

Fever gripped Phoebe. She woke to strange drumming – a sound that wasn’t natural to the forest. The girl asked the drums if they were there to take her back to the chieftain. No response came except being doused with cold water. Phoebe could feel her face being pulled forward, and someone or something drawing a design on her skin while singing a chant. A cup – specifically her fox skull cup – was put into her hands and pushed towards her in urging for her to drink. Phoebe didn’t understand, but did so; the foul-tasting brew made her choke, and then made her sleepy. In the haze between being awake and asleep, Phoebe was told that she would know the Old Secrets in time, if she continues on the diligent path she has begun... and that some Secrets have already come to her from the Dreamtime and in drinking the Goddess Tears – the tree sap.

It took Phoebe a month and a half to find her way back to the tribal encampment that had initially sent her away. She carried the equipment she was given, new tools that she made on her journey, and the treasure chest all on a makeshift cart. The chieftain had little other option but to be impressed by Phoebe’s tenacity and will to survive, and thrive, in the Grove that he ceremonially accepted her into the tribe. The chieftain proceeded to give Phoebe a new name: Vanna; the meaning of the name implied that the girl was expected to be of great value to the tribe.

Phoebe, now named Vanna, lived ambivalently with the tribe over the next several years. She apprenticed herself to the shaman – a man whom she swore had initiated her on the path after having been bitten by a snake. The shaman denied having done any such thing. When she wasn’t studying with the shaman she was demanded to help the tribe’s raiders discern what items they brought back were of value and which ones were not. Vanna worked out something of a deal with the raiding parties: she would tell them what was valuable, if she got to make her own selection of the findings as her cut for the assessing work. Much to the displeasure of the raiders, Vanna frequently chose the most valuable trinket of the bunch.

A string of successful raids followed. One night Vanna had a dream about a raid that led to the decimation of the entire tribe if they tried to attempt it. She warned the chieftain, but much like the caravan leader of her past, he didn’t listen. Sure enough: the entire raiding party was killed after a long, hard battle. The chieftain had Vanna punished for foretelling such an unfortunate prophecy.

To attempt and impress upon the sixteen-year-old Vanna the importance of being a symbol of success, good fortune, and wisdom, the chieftain and the tribe’s shaman arranged for her to marry the chieftain’s son, Sendoa. Sendoa was a hot-headed and brutal young man. It was the thinking of chieftain and shaman that Vanna’s disposition and shamanic training could temper the Sendoa’s disposition and help him become a proper future leader. Vanna refused the match-making at first. It was only after the chieftain threatened her with execution that she reluctantly agreed to the marriage.

After the ceremony, which involved much food and drink, Sendoa attempted to consummate his marriage to Vanna. She refused his advances. Sendoa raged at her, and in self-defense Vanna had no option but to kill him. Knowing she would face a similar fate if she stayed, Vanna scrabbled up her most important possessions and fled the camp.

Family House Background
The Atwaters were modest merchants, buying and selling a variety of goods in such a way as to turn over a fair profit for their efforts. They were adept at assessing the value of their stock, and frequently kept the best of their acquisitions for themselves. The Atwater family was never so wealthy as to be acknowledged as a noble family, but they were not entirely poor. Their favorite goods to peddle frequently came from imports from Essos acquired by merchants at Kingslanding or The Fingers along various caravanning routes.

-Other information-

- frequently uncomfortable with various features of conventional living and “creature comforts”
- no combat training of any kind
- weaves between being too trusting and too wary
- suffers from insomnia and severe headaches

- Heightened senses and perception
- Highly intuitive
- Musically inclined
- Resourceful
- Insight into and practice with the Higher Mysteries and other forms of magic/seer abilities

Theme song: The Circle by Blackmore’s Night  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dJ-LYN6dqM

Misc Information:
Hand Drum: http://archaeologymuseum.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_4500.jpg

Stone Smudging Bowl: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NTS1dtvfAmc/UMrq9ovC9yI/AAAAAAAACKs/CfOMu0Wc4JA/s1600/New+guinea+bowl.jpg

Feather Fan: http://www.horsekeeping.com/ceremonial-home/fans/CF43-hawk-whitehawk-1.jpg

Flute: http://www.omimports.com/v/vspfiles/photos/FLT03-2T.jpg

Walking Staff: http://img0.etsystatic.com/048/1/5352502/il_570xN.703970886_aq5p.jpg

Wineskin/Canteen: http://mssantobookclub.pbworks.com/f/1225230579/wineskin.jpg
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