Changeling the Lost: Shattered Dreams - Denver
Lilybeth "Avalon" Anderson
Avalon (Lilybeth Anderson)
About 4 sessions into game, the GM had the players unwittingly design their characters for when they escaped from the Hedge. Under the guise of having them help me to design some NPC’s, I provided Lilybeth’s player with the following description for which I wanted her to provide a physical description:
GM General Description
“The character I want you to describe lives a life of perfect
dicotomy dichotomy. Most of the time, they are pampered and loved to
the extreme, sheltered from the world and from all harm. When deemed
necessary, they are let out to stalk and painfuly dismember those that
threaten or displease her masters. She then documents her exploits in
grand works of art depicting the pain and suffering caused at her
hands, before cleaning up and returning to her sheltered life of tea
parties and feather pillows.”
When in her world of feather pillows and tea parties, she is the
perfect, beautiful image of a 14 year old girl. She is small,
delicate, feminine and incredibly graceful. She wears gowns of flowing
cloth so fine and delicate it seems spun from cobwebs and fairy wings.
No matter the style, it always seems to cling in all the right places,
always enhancing in ways that make her achingly beautiful to watch.
Her skin is pale, so pale it seems to glow, with a slight, delicate
pink shimmer. She has small, pale spots that shimmer slightly more
than the rest of her skin, almost resembling leopard print that trail
down the back of her neck and shoulders. Her hair is so pale it shifts
in color according to the light it happens to catch at the time –
prismatic. In the sunset, it may seem to glow with the reds and
oranges of the fading light, in the early evening it reflects deep
silvers that catch and reflect the flickering candle light. Beneath a
willow tree it may glow with the soft green of the sun through the
leaves and in the dead of night, it shines black, reflecting only
starlight. She likes to wear it in elaborate styles that leave her
neck and shoulders bare. She loves fine jewelry, opting always for the
most delicately spun styles, with only the most precious of stones.
Her eyes are large and black with no visible difference between iris
and pupil, innocent looking, and sweet. Her jaw is thin and graceful
and she has a delicate mouth that bears the slightest hint of a wry
smile. She is always clean and smells of jasmine. She hardly ever
touches anything that isn’t soft.
When let out to play, is when she truly comes alive. She uses her
beauty to get close to her prey before she kills. She wears no jewelry
and simpler clothes, often laced with shadow if she senses the prey
may be difficult to approach. She likes the smell of death. She loves
the feel of warm blood running down her arms. True beauty, can only be
found in pain. She has an unnatural strength and speed and as weapons,
carries only a small pair of curved knives. It brings her closer to
her work. Once the killing begins, she is as likely to use her hands
or even her teeth, as the whim carries her, as she is the knives.
Whatever seems most entertaining at the time. The only time she ever
laughs, or even truly smiles is when she is in the middle of a kill.
Her laugh, for those unfortunate enough to have heard it is harsh
enough to literally crack bones. She uses it skillfully when needed.
She often works quickly, if only because she becomes caught up in the
moment, but each stroke is the stroke of a master, designed to prolong
agony, and delay death until the very last possible moment. When she
kills, her eyes change from a solid black to a glowing red fire.
Killing is her one true source of ecstasy. She isn’t familiar with the
idea of a “clean kill”. An artist doesn’t worry about the mess, only
Besides the knives, she carries with her the tools of an artist –
brushes and some paints. Not all colors are available on the inside of
a human. Her art work is likely to incorporate any blood and viscera
that seem appropriate and at times include the semi conscious, moaning
forms of the dying themselves. It makes the piece more kinetic -
especially if they can still twitch a bit.
LilyBeth Anderson – Pre-Abduction
Age – 16
LilyBeth’s family would have been from the wrong side of the tracks, even before the town went bust. Her father took off when she was young and her mother moved herself and her girls in with their Grams. Her mom worked full time at the steel mill trying to support the family and Grams mostly had charge of the girls. Nicole was 2 years younger than LilyBeth. Six years ago, Nicole disappeared while playing near the steel mill. The entire town turned out to help search for her, but she was never found. LilyBeth’s mom took it very hard and obsessed to the point where she landed in the asylum, completely unable to care for her remaining daughter. She’s been there ever since. LilyBeth visits her mother once a week, but she has come to dread the visits. There are times when her mother is entirely lucid and wants to know everything about her life, and is mostly a normal mom. But there are other times when she’s lost in her own world, hysterical, and mostly unaware that LilyBeth is even there. The worst times are when she mistakes LilyBeth for Nicole. LilyBeth visits out of duty, but never knowing what she’s going to get means that she usually tries to keep the visits short and the thought of going is pretty stressful. LilyBeth long ago learned to tune her mom out on these visits and goes mainly out of a feeling of obligation. If she didn’t go see her, no one would.
For the last 6 years, LilyBeth has been raised by her Grams. The two of them are very close. But Grams health has been failing and in the last 3 years, Grams has gotten to the point of being almost completely bedridden and LilyBeth has become the primary caretaker in the home. She takes care of all the finances and runs the household, makes sure Grams gets all her medications on time etc . . . LilyBeth has taken a part time job at the Eat N’Park to make ends meet. They live mostly on welfare, her grams’ social security checks and whatever she can bring in working after school. She’s had to pawn a few things occasionally to pay for her grams’ medications. She isn’t sure how much longer she can keep the two of them afloat, but hasn’t told her Grams how bad things have gotten financially. She’s trying to make sure she finishes high school, but if things get bad enough, she may have to quit.
One family that really helped out during the months after Nicole’s disappearance was Sam’s family (Brandon’s character). They helped out financially with the search, paid off the family’s home to help alleviate financial worries and tried to be a great support emotionally as well. Sarah (Sam’s little sister) and Nicole had been very good friends and Sarah was traumatized by Nicole’s disappearance. Sam and LilyBeth got to know each other fairly well, but having mostly only Nicole in common, they didn’t ever necessarily become great close friends. They are friendly to each other, but that’s about as far as it goes.
She’s a great artist. Her room is filled wall to wall with sketches and drawings. She’s always had dreams of going away somewhere to study art, but she understands the reality of the world when it comes to “people like her”, and knows that she probably won’t ever get further from town than the next town over. LilyBeth leaving would crush her mother after Nicole’s disappearance and it would leave Grams without anyone to take care of her. She did, about a month ago, send away an application for art school, along with several samples of her work and is waiting for a reply. She knows that with the family obligations that she has, she could never really go, but she had to know that if things were different, she
would have gotten in. Besides, where on earth is she going to get money for art school? She hasn’t told anyone about it, especially not Grams. She draws nearly anything, but tends to do a lot of fantasy art – unicorns, fairies, castles etc . . . She’s pretty sure it would take a prince on white horse to get her out of this town. She can’t think of anything else that could.
She has an art book filled with sketches and plans for trips she’d love to take around the world. She’s filled it with maps and destinations all planned and sketches of the things she’d be sure to see while she was there. She keeps it hidden under the bed. But she’ll probably end up being the girl who dates the first guy who shows any interest, stick with him long enough to believe he might actually marry her someday, get knocked up, then get walked out on and end up being a single mom all by the time she’s 21. Mostly just because that’s what happens to girls who get stuck living in small towns with no real future.
She doesn’t have much time for friends what with school and work and caring for her aging grandmother. She tries to get out to things when she can, but sometimes Grams has bad days and she has to stick around at home. She’s been into the woods and has seen the quarry from a distance, but she’s never been swimming in it yet. She has a few sketches of it on her walls at home.
Despite the pressures of home and work and school, she isn’t resentful of her situation. It just is. She is tired and I think sending in her application for school was a small act of hope and rebellion, but she doesn’t really see herself ever abandoning the people here who need her. Sometimes she’ll sneak out in the night and head out to the forest just for the quietness of it all and she’ll pretend she doesn’t need to go back and that there isn’t anything waiting for her to worry about at home. Then she goes back home and kisses her Grams goodnight and tries not to worry about having enough money for food the next week, or whether or not they’re going to raise the prices of her grams’ meds again.
Additional Character Info
The GM asked the players to provide answers to several questions. Here are Lilybeth’s player’s responses:
1. Make a 2-3 word description of your base character personality.
2. What is your character’s greatest love?
She has an old broken down house out in the forest that she loves to visit. It’s probably from back in the 1800’s, and all that’s left of it is a few old foundations and some broken stone walls. It’s quiet there and it’s the one place she can go where nobody needs or wants anything from her. It’s the place she goes to relax and just dream. She tries to find time to get out there at least a couple times a week when she can. She has a very vague memory of being there with her dad and her sister when she was little, but that might just be filled in over the years.
3. What would your character be willing to sacrifice all else for
Her Grams’ health. She’d do just about anything for the promise of her Grandmother’s health.
4. What/who does your character hate/fear most in life.
LilyBeth both hates and fears her mother’s mental illness. It took her mom from her when she was young and she needed her mother the most and it carries the threat of being passed on. The thought of ending up in the asylum with her mom terrifies her.
5. Give me a description of your family and relationships with them.
Her mom’s been in the asylum since she was 10 and she knows her mom mostly through weekly visits that usually last about an hour or so. Sometimes her mom is pretty lucid and asks about her life and wants to know how she’s doing and sometimes, she’s lost in her own world and hardly knows LilyBeth is even there. LilyBeth never knows which it’ll be, so the very thought of going is stressful every time, but she goes out of a sense of duty and obligation. It doesn’t feel right not to go. Somebody has to.
Her dad ran out on the family when she was young, and she hasn’t seen or heard from him since. She assumes he was your typical small town loser. Sooner or later they all run out on the wife and kids. Don’t they?
She and her sister were very close before Nicole disappeared. She misses her a whole lot and tries not to think about her most of the time. Days will go by without thinking about her at all and then someone will say something, or something will change, or pop up to remind her of Nicole and she’s surprised every time how raw it still is. It hurts less when she’s prepared for it, but when she gets reminded of Nicole unexpectedly she occasionally has a hard time fighting back the tears.
Her Grams was a wonderful caretaker to her. Since Grams took her in, they’ve been very close, but with Grams’ failing health and the increasing responsibilities for LilyBeth, things have gotten strained between them. LilyBeth tries not to worry Grams with talk about bills, or doctor’s expenses, but lately that means they have less and less to talk about. LilyBeth loves her Grams very much, and feels like she owes everything to her, but she can’t talk to her about things, because it might put too much stress on Grams and affect her health. In the last year, Grams has been more or less bedridden and LilyBeth tries to make things comfortable for her and keep her at her ease, but doesn’t ever mention their failing financial situation, or her hopes of going to college someday. It would only upset her.
6. What are your plans after graduation?
Her dream (which fits better into the category of fantasy) would be to leave town and go to art school and travel the world. The reality is that she expects to stay in town taking care of Grams. Hopefully she’ll get more hours at the EatN’Park, or find something else more full time at one of the casinos that will help pay the bills. She doesn’t see much reality in the hope of leaving.
7. What hobbies do you have?
She draws constantly. She sketches anything and everything. She also likes painting, but mostly doodles. Her notebooks at school are filled with doodles and she has sketchbook after sketchbook filled with drawings. She’s hung a few of the cheerier ones in her Grams room. She has one of Nicole that’s framed that sits on her Grams’ bed stand.
She’s also a pretty decent cook. Her Grams started teaching her years ago when it was just to help out sometimes, but since she’s taken over the household, she’s found that she both enjoys it and she’s pretty good. She particularly likes to bake. It’s like art, but with food. Money is tight, so usually it’s cheaper food, but when she can splurge sometimes, she’ll buy nice ingredients and throw something together that’s really good.
She also reads. Just about anything that talks about faraway places especially. She flips through travel magazines and dreams about the places she would see if she only could get out of this town. The truth deep down is that even if she didn’t have Grams to care for and her mother to visit, she probably wouldn’t ever go. She’s full of dreams, but doesn’t have the courage to follow through on them. I think Nicole’s disappearance has sort of made her afraid of going out into the world. She’s more of a homebody than she ever would have been.
8. What is your greatest virtue?
Her sense of responsibility. She’s had to learn to care not just for herself, but for others as well and she takes that very seriously.
9. What is your worst vice?
Stubborn independence/poor pride. She CANNOT let anybody help her do things, particularly when it comes to her family and home life. She hates being seen as a charity case in a town filled with welfare recipients. It makes her feel like people believe she’s incompetent. She’s convinced herself that she’s capable of handling everything and rejects any and all offers of help, assistance or charity. Offering financial help is paramount to a slap in the face.
10. What is your greatest wish/deepest desire?
If asked that question she would immediately answer that she wants her sister back, but the truth of it is that what she really wants is to get out of this town go to art school. She wants the freedom to get on with her life. It was partly her sister’s abduction that trapped her here so getting her back would be an almost selfish desire. It’s been a long time since Nicole disappeared and there isn’t any real chance that she’s still out there, or that she’s still alive and LilyBeth wants to be able to move on. She hates to admit it and hates herself for thinking it, but she’d rather choose her own life now rather than clinging to the false hope that her sister might still be out there somewhere.