“I can tell when there is something going on and I know there is something here. There always is.”
During her whole life, few things were as fascinating to Lucille as other people. Rather than losing herself into fiction about fantastic creatures and other worlds, she’d always sought out to learn more about people, real people, seeking to know the stories of those around her, gathering those for her own amusement and soon working on sharing it with everyone else. Her inquiring nature, however, often drove her to push or ignore some boundaries, especially those concerning a story she might have considered particularly interesting. Back in high school, her behavior was often considered stalker-like, even if Lucille herself had never considered that to be quite accurate. It also wasn’t like her to purposefully take advantage of the connections and relationships she made, but when presented with an opportunity to dig a little deeper for a piece of information, she knew how to use any leverage she happened to have or how to make people grow comfortable enough to tell her the right things. That ended up leading her to quickly assuming an “agree first, ask later” behavior, believing on experiencing as many things as possible in order to have stories worth telling in the end.
However, due to her almost compulsive need to stick to her journalistic integrity, quite a few relationships were broken along the way, being worn down by her inability to keep a secret and her tendency to push people to talk more than they wanted to. She often sought out people that were as curious as she was, thinking that surrounding herself with those of a similar behavior would make it easier for them to stay, but it didn’t work as well as she wanted it to, and Lucille soon found it easier to simply disconnect her mind from herself and focus entirely on other people, often getting out of touch with her own feelings due to the sheer effort of trying to sync up with others. That didn’t mean that she shied away from social situations, but she’d always been good at listening, and through the years, Lucille learned to only make her voice heard when it mattered. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to bring attention to herself, but that she understood the importance of good timing, especially given the job she’d been doing. Being one to catch onto things rather quickly, Lucille is one to follow her gut rather than reason most of the time, her stubborn quest to uncover whatever truth she is choosing landing her into trouble more often than not. She does try to get out of things with some sense of dignity, but she’s had relationships and opportunities ruined by that quite enough times.
In a sense, going to Tala Springs would seem like she was running away from all her problems back home. But Lucille is not a coward – rather, she’s simply following her instinct that tells her there is something just waiting to be uncovered there, especially taking in consideration the reason why Mary Ann went to her in the first place. If it means having a time away from people she pissed off, – accidentally or not – it’s just a bonus to the whole situation. Accompanied by Hazel, one of the few friends she managed not to push away, Lucille is going to use every trick up her sleeve to unravel the truth, as unpleasant as it might be.
Maybe this is all a part of my flawed design, ‘cause I lie. Not because I want to, but I seem to need to all the time. - Flawed Design by Stabilo
“An aquatic pit viper with a nasty reputation, cottonmouths are finding it hard to co-exist with humans.”
Drake is someone who has had to fight for everything he has ever had in his life. As a teenager, he was bullied by humans and graced predators alike, for no apparent reason other than his weak appearance and his willingness to stand his ground and keep taking hits. He was not an aggressive teenager. Not until the day he was cornered. The day he was pushed over the edge. Not until the day he snapped.
A group of boys had cornered him and taunted him, little did they know that Drake had a knife on him. Out of anger, he had brought the knife to school and planned to perhaps use it. He had decided against it, knowing it was wrong. However, in this moment, the knife he had on him may have been the difference between life and death. A boy swung at him a punch, of which Drake easily dodged. He dodged another punch from another boy. But then something happened that he didn’t expect; one of the boys pulled out his own knife. Before Drake knew it, he had killed somebody. The other boy got him in the leg, but Drake got him in the heart.
The next few years, Drake spent his time in jail out of town, a special one for graced animals. Despite the murder being an act of self-defence, the evidence and eye witnesses were against him. It took those few years for him to plead his case, fight for his life, until finally they let him out. During high school, Drake had supposedly fallen in love with a girl, graced as he was, but not of his species; of prey, in fact. When he left prison, he had found out that she had been shot by a hunter. Ever since he has blamed himself for this. He was unable to protect her.
All of these events have cultivated Drake into the man he is today. He had promised himself three things; never fall in love until he’s sure he can protect them, never just sit around and wait for things to happen, and never forget… Never forget that humans are below you. That is why he is planning on pulling together a group of graced who are willing to dish out to the humans what they have been doing to the animals for as long as they can remember. He believes it’s time that humans are put back in their place, or at least are served a taste of their own game. Why should the animals be treated the way they are, when it’s the humans who are weaker?
Nowadays, he works as teacher of physics, chemistry and biology at the local high school, an example of what an exceptionally smart man he is. However, he had to fight for his right to work at the school, too. Parents knew about his background, everyone knew, he had earned himself a nasty reputation among Tala Springs, and it still remained even years after. But as said, it had been 5 years since he was released from prison, and it was official that his actions had been out of self-defence. He had studied to be where he was today (although being as intelligent as he is, it didn’t exactly need much effort on his part), and eventually he was allowed to teach. Funny thing is, he could care less about the students, especially the humans.
To everyone around him, he pulls off a taunting, nonchalant demeanour. He makes inappropriate jokes or statements that are specifically designed to hurt whoever he’s speaking to, and he doesn’t care. He has been looked down upon all of his life, but now he had a nasty reputation and people finally take him seriously. So why not embrace the reputation? He’ll go out of his way to make a witty gripe at someone, but he’ll likely not physically harm them, preferring to harm people with his venomous words. At least until he works out his syndicate. Then the humans will regret what they’ve done. For now, any physical harm that he does, is done in secret. Every now and then, when he hears about an animal being poached or hunted, he might go out in the night and exact his revenge on a random human, killing them silently with an overdose of his venom, but sometimes with other methods to ensure variety and avoiding patterns.
“Well someone has to care for you all.”
Name: Charlotte Riker
Species: White-tailed Deer
Sexuality: Up to player (Heterosexual, Bisexual or Pansexual)
Faceclaim: Scarlett Johansson
The Riker sisters are known around town as “the beautiful pair”, and they not only live up to the name, they exceed it. Both girls are show-stoppers all around, and not just in that small town way. They would attract attention anywhere they went. Charlotte, also know as Lottie or Charlie to her friends, is the older Riker sister, even if they do look like they could be fraternal twins. She also happens to be the less innocent of the two, and the one who has best understood humans from an early age. What choice did she have? She had to take care of her little sister and in trying to protect her and preserve her innocence had to grow up faster herself. You could say that Charlotte is a very dedicated person is almost everything she does, and she did her best, in spite of her own reluctances, to befriend humans, to get to know them and integrate as well as she could, on the outside remaining a loyal friend, while in the inside keeping enough distance. She was subtle about it too, finding ways to keep them out of her home whilst not offending them. A good thing too, because she often needed a break to just be alone with her sister, it was difficult forcing herself to be around humans when everything in her nature told her not to.
Fortunately as she met certain graced animals, it eased off a good deal of the stress, even if by then she was in terms of behaviour and public habits a lot more human than many of them. She’s even allowed quite a few boys to kiss and make out with her growing up, knowing that this made her desirable, which she assumed meant that she was fully accepted and respected. And yes, as far as the graced men and boys go, she’s gone all the way, even if she’s never really dated. Partially because she herself wanted to, but also because she counted on hearsay to give her a certain kind of reputation. Ian for instance is probably her best friend and the closest person to her after Fawn, and they’ve always had a sort of friends with benefits arrangement. But Lottie is far too concerned with caring for others, she has a tendency not to pay attention to her more subtle feelings. Having graced friends however helped her balance things out, even though Fawn tried to help, because for some time she was struggling with the amount of phasing she could indulge in so as not to lose her grace or end up stuck or lose her ability to change at will. On the other hand this has given her exceptional self control and discipline over her gift and she has a far better capacity at controlling her body than other graced, it takes a lot for her to phase involuntarily outside of full moons.
More than a pretty face however, Charlotte was capable of picking up human academics with a lot of ease and has gone to medical school, deciding to open up a very much needed clinic for Tala Springs. She had also intended to pursue Veterinary medicine, because who else will heal the graced when they’re wounded under their animal form? That pursuit was interrupted however when Fawn fell in to depression, and she ended up having to share her time between nursing her sister back to health and the clinic. She’s picked it up again, but secretly, knowing what the humans would think if she was looking to heal both people and animals.
“The Gods will come, it is all up to us. What you do is always your choice.”
Jack is the owner of Tala Springs restaurant, something that despite the small amount of inhabitants that the towns has, allows him to live very well and to give his family whatever they want and need. He’s exactly what you would expect from a person like him, the head of the family and the alpha of the pack. He has his rules and he makes everyone in town respect them, he’s not the one to be played with, he’s known for being understanding and yet he’s not the most patient person in the world, get him on his bad side and he’ll make you regret it forever.
To him his family is his everything and he will do anything to protect his pack. He’s especially protective over Emily and Alec, the younger members of the pack, since they are the future of the pack according to him. He treats Emily as if she was another one of his daughters, that’s why she allowed her to live with them under the same roof, taking one of the spare rooms of the house that is occupied by his kids. Alec is his little jewel, he’s very strict with him, always demanding and sometimes it may seem that he’s a disappointment but that’s only because he loves him dearly and knows that he can give more than what he already does. Finding him again after so many years and learning about what had happened hurt him deeply, no one else knows it but he went after the family that had adopted Alec and tortured him for almost ten years and ended up killing them after asking them why they had done it. Jack may be very strict and has his own sense of what’s wrong and right and whenever someone crosses the line and breaks his rules, he has to pay the price and there are no exceptions. The only people that can say have seen that real sensitive side of him are his family despite the fact that he doesn’t let that side of him show up very often. Still he’s always the man his kids will go asking for advice, he knows how to listen and will always find a solution to a problem, not only his kids but also other graced animals in town, making of him a very respected man. However that respect also leads to fear, he’s not the one you want to bother with useless issues or the one you would try to fool.
Jack is also a believer but only in something in particular, he believes in the Creek Legend and knows that it’s real just because unlike some people tend to forget, they are nothing but animals who were born with a gift that should be wasted like some do. That is why it’s so hard to have someone like Matt in the family, as much as he takes care of him, making sure he’s okay, he does hate what he has done to himself, dooming him to a cursed and crazed life. Somehow he hopes that even though it can’t be fixed, that a miracle is going to heal and make him go back being a complete graced animal. For the opposite cases, he just feels pity for his own because he didn’t make that choice but instead could do nothing but accept everything that was given. Jack only hopes that honouring the gods like he does every day and every full moon will give him the so hoped reward of having them coming to Tala Springs and do something to prevent more graced animals to take the same direction as Matt. Just like people fear and respect him, Jack respects and fears the gods, knowing that they can take his gift away from him and his family.
Currently, he’s looking for a new pair that will move to live to Tala Springs with him and his family and become not only a mother to the children he already has but to new ones that would make the pack increase into a very big family. He’s been looking around and he thinks that he may have found that new perfect wolf for him, his soon to be new pair. After the death of the other two, he believes that he has no luck, that why he’s been waiting so long until finding someone who is perfect for him.
With just a look they shook
And heavens bowed before her.
Simply a look can break your heart. - Miss Murder by AFI
Occupation: Head of the black market (drugs, primarily). Fronts as an adult store owner.
Species: Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
Sexuality: Up to Player
Faceclaim: Mia Kirshner
Lilith is a rather mysterious person. No one really knows much about her, no one really dares. She oozes power and sexuality to a point of toxicity, and with reason. She is the sole responsible for drugs being available in Tala Springs to begin with. Not to mention providing alcohol to minors, poached animals (including endangered species) and anything that your dark little heart may desire. Her operations extend outside of Tala of course, and has some very powerful clients who are interested in acquiring specimens of the local protected fauna, dead or alive. Of course she is extremely cunning and manipulative, a real snake in the grass both figuratively and literally. She doesn’t get her own hands dirty ever, however when it comes to her fangs, she doesn’t hesitate. What does it matter? Her victims never get away, and if the last thing they see is a woman turning in to a snake, the horror doesn’t have time to settle in before the venom does. She doesn’t have any family, snakes never do, and no one is quite sure where she came from, but has always seemed to be in the background, to most present inhabitants.
Lilith has little to no regards for animal and human lives and as little as she cares about the other graced, she knows the rules and wouldn’t harm them unless attacked. She is solitary and needs to spend a lot of time alone, both as a snake and as a woman, to maintain balance and avoid snapping, particularly at some of the more irritating individuals. She does however love plants and view gardening and botany as a therapeutic pastime. Naturally, she enjoys most the kind of plants snakes like to nestle in, but she also is affectionate of predatory and venomous plants. Venus Fly Traps anyone?
Cold and calculating, she is mostly devoid of any real emotion, particularly those pertaining to empathy and kinship. In fact it was a shock to her the first time she phased in to a woman, to discover this new brain layers on top of the basic reptilian brain she only possessed as a snake. Her underlings respect and fear her, none of them aware of her secret, contributing to the mythology surrounding her. None of the locals would ever dare get in her way and the Sheriff has never been capable of pinching her, even if he knows she’s responsible for a handful of illegal activities, what can he do when there is no direct evidence linking her to it? She runs an adult store as a front, knowing very few people would ever visit, let alone shop at it. Kind of strange no one wonders how she hasn’t gone bankrupt. But when two journalists appear in town to investigate strange phenomena, Lilith knows things might just be thrown out of balance. She finds out one of her own underlings called them in, greatly annoyed at this fact but knowing it is too late now to get rid of her.
“After Jesus and Rock n’ Roll, couldn’t save my immoral soul well, I’ve got nothing left to lose”
At a first glance, Angel might seem like your stereotypical high school rebel. She’s everything her name is not; sex, drugs and rock n’ roll all washed down with a hefty glass of alcohol. She knows how to party and how to go at it hard. But more than just your typical rock music enthusiast, she’s a singer, an aspiring musician with a wonderful voice. Being a talented singer she managed to form a band with some of the local boys with whom she tries to perform wherever and whenever she can. Angel doesn’t make any effort to hide the fact she likes to live on the wild side. When she’s not jamming with the band, she can usually be found at parties, flirting up a storm or sleeping in class to do so. She lost her virginity a long time ago and is perceived as eccentric by most of the town’s population with how open she is about her sexuality. Gender is the least of her concerns, she just likes to hook up with graced hotties.
Some might think that she’s just edgy, a rebel without a cause and while it is true she has a lot of anger, she usually expresses it in her music, rather than getting in actual fights. She’s quick-tempered but fairly laid-back, and she’s actually rather friendly with most people, preferring not to pass judgment over the preppier, more uptight individuals. She knows everyone’s little secrets, because underneath her spacey exterior, lies a very cunning and attentive little fox… Quite literally. Perhaps that is why she refrains from being judgmental, (except of Brandon), as she knows that she herself could be judged for this secret not to mention the other one. Her mother died when she was young, killed by a poacher, Brandon’s father and nourishes a profound hatred for Brandon after realizing what his father did and what he himself does today. When her mother died, her father began wasting away and stayed in his human form for too long, turning in to a deranged alcoholic, which is the real reason Angel avoid being home as much as she can.
Angel plans to try and find a way to sell Brandon out to the cops or the journalists by seducing him and trying to get him to make a mistake at some point. The question is, will her need for revenge exceed her compassion?
“Dad would be really disappointed if he knew but, I love to bake. I just do.”
Sabine Pelletier has lived in Tala Springs for as long as she can remember, the latest of many in a long line of graced Florida Panthers. Her parents very much drilled in to her head the fact that this was their rightful land, that they shouldn’t have to share it with humans. They recounted to her the tales of the gods and the sacred position their direct ancestor held towards them. She herself doesn’t really believe in the gods and what she perceives as legends and myths surrounding them. It did however leave her with a trained sense of superiority that seems to be a natural part of her aura. On the other hand she blends in perfectly with the locals in terms of habits and behaviour, the only thing distinguishing her seems to be her refusal to fraternize with humans. Ordinary people think she is being selective, but the other graced are aware she only sticks with them, when she chooses to be sociable. While Sabine does try to live up to her upbringing there is in truth, much more to her.
To begin with, her father was a skilled hunter both under his human form and his animal form and just like his forefathers lived primarily off of it, as well as a wildlife and forest guard. Indeed, there has never been a single poacher in her family. Why poach? This was their land, they respected and loved it, as well as the creatures inhabiting it. And while Sabine found this admirable, she was never able to admit to her father while he was still alive that she didn’t want to hunt. Her real passion was in baking, and she was very skilled at it indeed, which is why she became an apprentice baker at the town bakery. She doesn’t particularly appreciate the fact her superior is a squirrel of all things, but she recognizes his talent, he doesn’t charge to teach her and even pays her occasionally when she helps for larger orders, with the promise of a position when she’s done with her apprenticeship.
The other reason she hides her sensitive, artistic interior with an abrasive personality and aloof demeanour is not just because she was brought up to act like she was superior. It was also a matter of self preservation. Had her father known she was pining for Brandon during her teenage years, he would have tanned her hide and killed the boy himself. Her father was well aware that Brandon was the son of the hunting shop’s owner, whom he happened to know was a poacher. He was unfortunately never able to prove it, but the hunting accident that killed the man may’ve not been an accident at all. Even after her father died, or maybe especially after her father died, it left her with an internal dilemma in regards to liking someone who was not only human, but a poacher, technically thieving off the lands that were her birthright and killing the nature she loves.
“I come from a place where the night lasts for months. Where the sky is dark and the wind bites your bones and the hard truth is that you are always alone.”
Name: Diana Svartur
Species: Wolf (black with silver highlights)
Diana is a long way from her original birthplace. She was born in the cold, unforgiving lands of the Scandinavian north, Sweden to be exact. True kingdom of the wolves, graced and un-graced alike, one might think a wolf would be blessed to find a home there, but not Diana. Diana had been unlucky from the day she was born, for rather than the steely greys and whites of arctic circle, she was born jet black. The natural tendency in the animal kingdom is generally to reject individuals exhibiting an unusual characteristic. Particularly when, in a world where the best camouflage was a colour as white as the driven snow, one would stick out like a sore thumb. How could she possibly ever hope to catch any kind of prey if she could not creep up on it? Her mother loved her too much to simply let nature take its course however, and begged her pack to give it time, perhaps she would shed out a different colouring? She was right, as Diana grew older she changed colours… She went from jet to raven-wing black with silver highlights, and the she-wolf had to accept that her daughter could never fit in here. She taught her daughter everything she knew before giving her up to the local ranger, an old graced polar bear who was aware of keeping this mostly human-free kingdom separated from the rest of the world.
The old ranger taught her the importance of his job, the differences between humans, animals and the graced. He taught her that most wolves, the graced and ungraced alike, had been hunter to near extinction, and she developed a hatred towards humans, though she’d never met them. He home-schooled her, as the nearest schools were so far away they would have required her to board which was not an option. It was very lonely and very hard for her growing up, her inner wolf spurred on by a deep desire to be with her own kind. Often she would phase and go wander the lands in search of her old pack, or others… even ungraced companions would do. The old ranger warned her against it numerous times, but she kept insisting on doing so. The benefit was that she learned how to hunt. It took her a long time before she was capable of making her first kill, and while her human form grew mostly normally, her wolf form ended up being rather small, especially compared to the rather large Scandinavian wolves. What she lacked in power, she made up for in speed and intelligence. A good thing too, because by the time she actually did encounter one of her own kind again, she was attacked rather savagely. She narrowly escaped and was absolutely shocked. Diana reasoned that it was simply a bad encounter. But after the same thing happened a couple of times, she had to come to the conclusion that even her kin did not want her. It added salt to the wound of being left by her mother, no matter how much she knew she loved her, and sowed resent in her heart.
The old bear could see that she was growing restless, and though he’d hope she’d take over when he passed away, he was no where near his death bed and sent her to Tala Springs, after telling her about the gods of legend. He knew of the gathering that was taking place there and could feel in his old bones that Brother Moon and Sister Sun had reawakened and calling their children. He made her promise to return when he’d pass, and she was off. She took up a position as a ranger, which suits her knowledge and personality just fine. Diana is very weary of strangers, she doesn’t let people close to her, capable of getting quite aggressive if they get insistent. She avoids the other wolves out of habit, automatically thinking they will want to harm her. She doesn’t know it, but all she wants and needs is love, acceptance and affection.
”Fear is powerful, but love is stronger. It has to be…”
Mandy Goodman is what many of the regular folks from Tala Springs would call the ideal girl. No, an angel. She is one of the sweetest girls you’ve ever met and has never even hurt a fly. If unicorns were real, she’d have a herd following her every step as soon as she entered a forest. Her parents adore her and always taught her that love was the most important thing in all creatures. Everyone needs love, there are all kinds of love of course, and it did not really matter what the nature of your love was, so long as you harboured loving feelings for your fellow mankind, animals and all of the creation really. So love she does, or tries to. She tries to find the best in everyone, tries to show understanding to those who do things she considers bad, tries to never turn her back on anyone. Because more than anyone perhaps, she needs love, because love is the only thing that can fight fear. And while it is true Mandy seems to have a bottomless amount of love to give, she also has a monstrous quantity of fear in her heart.
You might think someone with so much kindness would be taken advantage of, but the truth is, to most people it would never even cross their minds to hurt her. Not even the throng of boys who pursue her recklessly would ever dare harm her in any way. Never has she encountered an animal that tried harming her either, domestic or wild, she just seems to have a way with them. She has good grades, she doesn’t do drugs or drink, has remained a virgin which added to her sunny, gentle exterior shields entirely the fact she is scared. She’s scared because she inherited Huntington’s disease from her father who is slowly dying, as he is in the last phases of the disease. Her mother is almost always in Tampa caring for him, and it has come to the point where Mandy is incapable of going to visit him because it is hard enough to face the fact she will die early, but to see what her death will look like in the face is a lot to take for a teenager. Additional testing revealed that her genetic variant means that is very aggressive and she could be dead by her late twenties, early thirties at best. No one in Tala Springs knows, except for her brother who miraculously did not inherit the gene for Huntington’s.
While she’s always kind to the boys and declines their advances as sweetly as possible, none of them ever caught her eye because simply put, she knows she prefers girls. She keeps this a secret because while she does not personally believe it is wrong, she’s afraid of what other people would think. After all, this is rural Florida. So to compensate for her fear and for her repressed romantic desires, she just spreads as much kindness as she can, to everyone.