Owl EyesCharacter Name:
Aspen Lea Terry-WilkesAlias:
Recently hired construction worker, Volunteer at a local Soup KitchenSeeming:
Even with the mask, Aspen cuts an imposing figure. Weighing in at well over 400 lbs and a height of 6'10, she fits in well among ogres. Among them, she is quickly recognized as a Gristlegrinder, with her Terrible Teeth
. To a mortal this appears as a collection of discolored and crooked teeth. Imperfect edges of scars circle around her wrists and ankles where manacles had once gripped her too tightly.
Those who can see her for what she truly is will notice an inhumanly wide mouth that hides several rows of glass-shard teeth, faintly prismatic in color. These are especially sharp, often covered in blood, and supernaturally strong despite their visible material. They make an unpleasant grinding noise whenever she chews and sometimes, enunciates certain words.
Additionally, without her Mask, light colored eyes instead appear a deep amber. In place of dirty blonde hair, it is instead a limp, greasy midnight-black. Her skin is a light gray color, mottled, and generally uneven in appearance. Hands and feet become larger. Her jawline turns wider, thicker, and brutish. Contracts:Contracts of Dream
1 - Pathfinder: Through this most basic Clause, the Changeling gains access to the realm of dreams. Without it, she may still view the dreams of others, but this allows the Changeling to literally step into the dream of a mortal.
Catch: Pluck a thorn from any natural plant and use it to shed a single drop of blood.Contracts of Force
1 - Might of the Terrible Brute: When this Clause is invoked, the Changeling finds that his muscles begin to bulge and ripple with power. His strength doubles for ten minutes and he finds that all but the heaviest and intractable targets can now be shifted. This Clause can only be activated while in combat.Catch: The Changeling is fighting multiple opponents unarmed when invoking this Clause.
2 - Ogre's Rending Grasp: The Changeling focuses his inhuman power against an inanimate object and finds that nothing can stand in his way. He can rip down a wall with his bare hands, bash steel doors open with a lead pipe, or even shatter stone as if it were made of sand. The only requirement for this Clause to function is the Changeling must be able to touch or clearly see the object he means to destroy.Catch: The Changeling invokes this Clause to remove a barrier that prevents his progress.
3 - Display Grandiose Might: The Changeling can now boost his strength in all ways that do not involve combat. Running, climbing, jumping, lifting and more become easier and more powerful when invoking this Clause. In all ways, the Changeling finds his strength doubled or even tripled when he needs it.Catch: The Changeling is invoking this Clause for the express purpose of showing off his strength to others.
4 - Gluttonous Feast of Health: Physical might does not come easily or cheaply. Tremendous amounts of energy are expended through use of inhuman strength and those who invoke this Clause find it easier to compensate for the physical pain and trauma this Contract and other sources can cause. When invoking this Clause the Changeling heals one significant wound for each pound of food and pint of drink consumed. This Clause is most often used to heal the bruising and tearing caused by inhuman powers, but can also be used to heal wounds taken in any other context.Catch: The food consumed when invoking this Clause was freely offered by a stranger.Contracts of Elements
1 - Sense the Elements: This Clause allows the Changeling to sense all forms of their associated element. Upon activation, he instantly knows the location and quantities of her element and associated substances within one hundred yards of him. This includes those substances that are only vaguely related to her element (such as fire and earth Contracts both can sense magma, or water and air Contracts sensing steam, etc), but this detection becomes "fuzzy" and only gives vague ideas of quantity and distance (i.e. "A Lot" or "Far Away").Catch: The Changeling carries some symbolic representation of their chosen element.
2 - Armor of Elements' Fury: The Changeling summons a raging manifestation of their chosen element to protect himself. This not only prevents damage from all attacks (regardless of element), but also damages those who attempt to attack him. This is not invincibility (a bullet may be melted by an Armor of intense heat, but molten lead can still harm him). Additionally, the Changeling can control how much of his body is covered by this protection (just his face, or his entire torso, for example), and the intensity (such as only covering a finger with intense cold enough to freeze a glass of water).Catch: The Changeling is touching his chosen element when invoking this Clause. In the case of elements such as air, there must be a strong breeze or similar "strong" instances to count.
3 - Control Elements: The Changeling is now able to control his element and is able to direct the movement of his element. Examples might include: directing a breeze to in a particular direction, wooden chairs move of their own accord (though not as if "alive" more like being dragged), flames avoid a designated area as it burns, etc.Catch: The area is completely dominated by the element such as air atop a mountain, earth in a deep cave, flames in a burning building, etc.Kith Blessing:
A Gristlegrinder has Terrible Teeth
in her terrible jaws: the character's bite is a two lethal attack, though it does require her to grapple the opponent first.Personality:
Like a stereotypical ogre, Aspen is plenty stubborn. On the flip side, that also makes her determined. She doesn't give up easily. This fits well with her optimistic nature. She's positive and prefers to see the positive in other people, rather than negativity. To her, the world is a genuinely good place where hardships can be overcome. All you need to do is try. This can backfire on her, though. In some cases she will lie to herself, flat out denying reality in favor of her goals at the end of the road.
She's also not the brightest. She's certainly book dumb, being captured at just about an entry level reading skill. But it is also easy to manipulate, control, or otherwise fool her. There can be a cleverness to her, especially when she's motivated. And it would be wrong to say that she can't contribute on a thoughtful level. It's just that she was taken during her formative years, where education is critical, not ideal for developing minds.
Aspen's more of an emotional sort anyway. She tends to wear her heart on her sleeve. When she's sad, she lets herself be sad. When she's scared, she lets herself be afraid. Rarely does she ever deny her feelings. Which means, she's also sensitive. Aspen takes to heart what others have to say and can easily be offended. The bad chain reaction in this case is an ogre's temper. She has one.
Socially, she's an ambivert. She keeps a genuine interest in other people but she is just as capable to become quiet if a situation or person feels daunting. Many others can find her to be weirdly immature or childish. Coming back to the mortal world has been hard on her and she struggles to view the world through the lens of an adult. That also makes her overly dependent on others, submissive, and too clingy for some.
Deep down, she's an insecure woman who is painfully aware of her faults. Even on a good day she's feeling self-conscious and overly concerned about what others think about her. Time spent in Arcadia feels blurry but the cannibalistic nature of her Durance remains strong. Knowing what she did to survive still fills her with self-hatred, even more knowing that her taste for human flesh still gnaws at her.History:
Aspen's past prior to her durance was one without tears or hardship. She was born and raised as an only child within the Columbiana Valley to loving upper middle class parents. They lived in a beautiful house out in the suburbs, owned a dog, went on vacations, and never went without. All four of her grandparents were alive and the family were surrounded by loyal friends.
These things are all still true; it's just that someone else is reaping the benefits of her former life. Her Fetch.
Aspen is also a victim of the Hedge's strange time flow, which makes it harder for her to resume her former life. Aspen was taken at the age of seven years old, returned to the mortal world at the physical age of twenty seven, while only twenty weeks have passed since she left.
Now after being back for a month, Aspen seeks to regain her past life. Currently, she is living with a few other members of the Freehold.
As for Aspen's durance, one day a curious sound drew her away from her family's backyard and out into the wilderness beyond. There, she found a wounded mountain cat and fed the creature a snack she brought along with her. Though a small and timid girl, she fearlessly began to lead the much larger but injured creature back towards her house, hoping her parents could help the poor animal.
A monstrous giant blocked her path. He mocked her for showing kindness to an animal that could easily kill her in seconds. True kindness meant providing a creature with the means to take what they need for themselves. To be strong meant to physically triumph over others, lest you be killed yourself. The giant boasted of how he would 'correct' the little girl. Without any say in the matter, the giant dragged her through the rocky pathways of the valley, leaving behind the mountain cat she had attempted to rescue.
He placed her underground in a cold, steel factory where she worked all day. The labor was tough and demanding, requiring of her immense physical strength which she did not have. A tiny human girl worked alongside monsters several times her size to help power the Gentry's impressive homes. They turned gears, pumped bellows, pulled chains, and pushed stone. When they were done for the night, they slept in chains against the walls of the factory on dirty and cold floors.
Feeding was a spectacle Aspen did not partake in. Their master would push in a poor mortal or a discarded changeling. The monsters she worked alongside tore them apart and devoured them alive. She would always run and hide in a corner, never watching. This took its toll as Aspen began to starve to death.
She was on death's door and all skin and bones before she caved. After a particularly gruesome feeding, the monsters failed to notice a chunk of flesh had slid to the corner. The small amount nourished her, fighting off some of the pains of hunger.
She continued to taste the human flesh with each feeding, promising to herself that she only did so to survive. Those people were goners anyway. They could never stand up to the monsters she shared a prison with. Gradually, her strength returned to her. But after each feeding, she could feel herself grow more and more. The pains of hunger were traded for the pains of her body's transformation.
Gradually and without realizing it, she became like them. She had become an ogre. She no longer sat in the corner and cried when presented with food, but actively took part in savagely rending apart the human captives. The human girl had disappeared from the crowd of ogres. An increase in height and strength allowed her to fully handle the forced labor in return for the promise of human flesh.
After years of service, when she had seemingly forgotten all of what it had ever been like to be a human, the giant summoned her to meet with her once more. He congratulated her for growing strong and in return she ripped him apart with strange ease. She did not immediately escape, attempting to run the factory as its new owner. But when it became apparent that were was no one bringing in food, she fled back through the Hedge.
It was the search for food that lead her back to the Hedge but on her way through it, memories of her former life rushed to her conscious thoughts. As the Columbiana Valley grew larger in the horizon, she remembered her loving parents more and more. She hastened back to be with them.
...only to have a less than happy return when her parents did not recognize her.