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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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Character notes for "Made for Togetherness"
These are the character notes for "Made for Togetherness."


Mamadou Latheef, President of the Maldives -- He has caramel skin, black eyes, and short black hair. He wears glasses. He is 37 years old. He is married with three wives. Khadijah is older than him, a rich widow he married for political connections. Hafsa is a year younger than him, married for affection. Elected after recent upheavals, President Latheef won on a progressive platform to stabilize Maldivian culture and ensure the survival of the nation in the face of climate change. He supports green energy, social programs, religious tolerance, and working with foreign interests for mutual benefit. While his people are wary about the religious tolerance, they recognize the urgent need to make allies if they are to survive. Mamadou has wavy black hair, black eyes, and brown skin. He is short, slim, soft-spoken, and overall unimposing. It's easy to underestimate him. He does not even realize that his exceptional way of understanding the future and influencing people are superpowers rather than ordinary skills.
Origin: Mamadou was born with the ability to influence people, which has grown stronger with age and experience. The extrapolative gift grew in later, probably around puberty.
Uniform: Business suit.
Qualities: Master (+6) Politician, Expert (+4) Environmentalist, Expert (+4) Family Man, Expert (+4) Seaside Skills, Good (+2) Endurance, Good (+2) Muslim, Good (+2) Tolerant, Good (+2) Wealth
Poor (-2) Respect from Other Nations
Powers: Average (0) Super-Extrapolation, Average (0) Super-diplomacy
Motivation: Preserve the Republic of the Maldives.

Hafsa Latheef -- She has tinted skin, brown eyes, and long curly black hair. She is 36 years old. She is the second wife of Mamadou Latheef, married for affection. She is the mother of Amani (8), Masirah (7), and Fateena (6). Hafsa loves her family and spends much of her time with them, but with so many children in the household it's hard to keep up. She also enjoys studying Islamic lore and working to merge immigrant cultures with local customs.
Qualities: Good (+2) Beautiful, Good (+2) Existential Intelligence, Good (+2) Extrovert, Good (+2) Islamic Scholar, Good (+2) Mother
Poor (-2) Too Many Children, Not Enough Hands

Amani Latheef -- She has tinted skin, brown eyes, and long wavy black hair. She is the daughter of Mamadou and Hafsa, older sister of Masirah and Fateena. Amani loves school and already knows Arabic, Dhivehi, and English with full fluency. She also enjoys long walks and bike rides around the islands.
Qualities: Good (+2) Stamina, Good (+2) Studious
Poor (-2) Arrogant

Masirah Latheef -- She has tinted skin, brown eyes, and long curly black hair. She is the daughter of Mamadou and Hafsa, younger sister of Amani,
older sister of Fateena. Cheerful and exuberant, Masirah is always getting into everything. She is fluent in Dhivehi, can get by in English, and barely manages Arabic because she can't sit still long enough to study it properly.
Qualities: Good (+2) Cheerful, Good (+2) Exuberant
Poor (-2) Can't Sit Still

Fateena Latheef -- She has tan skin, brown eyes, and curly black hair to her shoulders. She is the daughter of Mamadou and Hafsa, younger sister of Amani and Masirah. Fateena takes after her father quite strongly, and spends as much time with him as she can. She can't stand being alone, though. She loves the ocean and wants to work on the water someday, although she hasn't decided how yet.
Qualities: Good (+2) Emotional Intelligence, Good (+2) Ocean Lover
Poor (-2) Hates Being Alone


[Character by Dialecticdreamer]
Name: Genna St. Croix
Secret identity: (none)

Appearance: Genna
wears her hair long, usually in a single braid tossed over her shoulder
out of her way. She has a

Handedness: right
Eye color: light brown
Hair color: black, and wavy. (Think Pictish or Black Irish)
Notable feature:
scars from broken window, fall, fire, on left shoulder. Limited range of
motion. Height: 5' 5”, weight: 130 (sturdy rather than svelte).

BACKGROUND: Genna lost her family to a house fire (negligent parent with
overloaded outlet and space heater), but was saved when her older sister
Amelie literally pushed her out the upper bedroom window. Genna tumbled
down the porch roof and fell, chipping the ball joint of her left
shoulder. She moved in with her father's sister, who barely tolerated her.
When Genna was in college, she met Dominic and Saul when they worked on
remodeling the aunt's kitchen.

Dominic and Genna married when Genna was twenty-one,
unlocking the insurance trust from the fire. She used the money to pay for
her Masters degree and Montessori training from birth through Erdkinder,
and the rest allowed Dom to finish his degree in architecture while
working only part time. http://www.nemtecmontessoritraining.com/fees.html

They tried for a decade to get pregnant, nothing. After they STOPPED trying,
lol, she turned up pregnant a few months later. On bed rest due to the
high risk pregnancy, she ended up an at-home mom.

Birth date: April 6, 1975

Motivation: To protect her family.

Qualities:
1 master (+6) teacher
Good (+2) crafty
Good (+2) cook (especially improvising)
Good (+2) tolerant
(this is nearly a superpower)
Poor (-2) damaged arm, can't lift more than
10# on left side. Limited mobility, pain.

Origin: Probably a lucky stroke
of genetics. Genna is the middle child in a family of Scots-Welsh
immigrants. Her little brother Daniel had screaming nightmares, and was
petrified of fire by the time they tried lighting the single candle on his
first birthday cake. The family has always had a thread of unusual gifts,
but her father's inability to cope with his own 'oddities,' led nearly
directly to the death of both parents and Genna's older and younger
siblings.

Meta power: Gut instinct at Good (+2)

Genna trusts her
reactions to people, and sometimes to events, which has reinforced her
generally optimistic view of the world. When she needs to make a decision,
her gut reaction forms within just a few minutes, and becomes firmly
reliable after fifteen minutes of interaction with the other person
involved... often LESS.

When her opinion solidifies, it is almost always
reliable for four to six months, which allowed her to make "course
corrections" in her career without attracting attention, and managed to
streamline her college education, her teaching credential, and her
Montessori credentials all jammed into a very few years.

Costume: none

Uniform: Always wears long sleeve shirts, usually a ballet top under a
sweater vest or shawl collar sweater.

Transportation: VW van from 1974,
Twinkie yellow, converted into a camper. See picture for the map
“wallpaper” for the interior.

Common phrases: That's easy to make!
Breakfast is the most important meal in our family. How do you want to try
to solve that problem? Hang on, one more row/stitch/loop, etc. Nourish the
mind, body and soul.

Pet peeve(s): people leaving grocery carts in
random parking spaces. She will park, get out of the car, and return the
nearest left behind cart as a train or a spaceship for Matthew, but when
she's done unloading her cart, she also takes back an extra. Having a cart
actually DAMAGE the van will upset her for quite a while because its
stacks a pet peeve on top of the reminder that Dominic is missing.

Miscellaneous:
Genna was studying Judaism, with an eye to conversion, because Dominic's
best friend, Saul, is Jewish, but raising his nephew Shaun as a single
parent. Genna usually watched both boys while Dom and Saul were at work,
and being able to say Sabbath prayers was extremely important to
Saul.


[Character by Dialecticdreamer]
Matthew St. Croix
Name: Matthew Ian St. Croix
Secret identity: none

Appearance: Matthew is four, with rounded cheeks and a smattering of
freckles on his rather pug nose. A mop of curly black hair is kept braided
(Genna has NEVER cut his hair), and the boy wears denims and polo shirts
most days. (Genna has made most of Matthew's wardrobe, and her need for
employment meant that she has been dreading clothes shopping as a
result.

Handedness: right
Eye color: very light amber, almost gold
Hair color: black, curly, and worn surprisingly long. (Genna brushes and braids
it, usually twice a day.) Notable feature: His eyes are “strange,”
confusing strangers, but not in a way that they can explain. Height:
40-41” tall

BACKGROUND: A twin-who-is-not-a- twin. Born just two months
after Shaun, Matthew thinks of the boy as his twin, and the neighboring
houses had two beds set up, so that they were effectively sharing the
rooms, regardless of which address they were at that day. Matthew has
always been curious and active, preferring outdoor and imaginative play,
and it often takes two or three stories to calm him enough to sleep. He
prefers the practical life activities, copying the tasks he sees the
adults in his life doing, and LOVES the child's REAL tool set he got the
previous Christmas.

Birth date: September 21, 2010

Motivation: EXPLORE!!!!

Qualities:
Good (+2) Outdoorsy
Good (+2) Helpful
Good (+2) Quick study
Poor (-2) elective mute

Origin: Matthew won the genetic lottery for
recessive genes.

Powers:
Good (+2 ) empathic precognition
http://powerlisting.wikia.com/wiki/Empathic_Precognition
Good (+2 )
extrasensory perception
http://powerlisting.wikia.com/wiki/Extrasensory_Perception
Good (+2 )
disease immunity
http://powerlisting.wikia.com/wiki/Disease_Immunity
(This kicked in due to Aegis-based vaccinations starting when Matthew was a
newborn, but is not yet fully developed. Estimate that at age 9-10.)

Signature Stunts (1 or 2): What did you find NOW?
Costume: none

Uniform: When dressing himself, Matthew most often wears a long-sleeved crew or v-neck tee underneath a polo shirt of a contrasting color, and NEVER
matches his socks.

Transportation: Can ride a tricycle, a bicycle, and
swim in calm water. Has no fear of heights OR of large bodies of water.

Common phrases: Does not speak to anyone outside the family right now.

Pet peeve(s): He hates asparagus, but loves Brussels sprouts. People who use
baby talk to him get the UTTER cold shoulder. Cowboy boots are a flat-out
TRIGGER, for no reason Genna can figure out.

Miscellaneous: ALWAYS
carries a black bishop of the Renaissance chess set Dominic carved; it's
usually tucked into a pocket very near his right hand. His lime green
stuffed animal is a “dragon” named Pimmit. There's a squeaker in the
nose. Sleeps with Pimmit, and a quilt that Genna made for Shaun (taken
from their house in Santa Cruz, while Shaun has the quilt from Matthew's
bed in their house next door).


[Character by Dialecticdreamer]
Victor St. Croix
Name: Victor Kezan St. Croix

Secret identity: Not as
such, though he works for Kraken under the cape/online name Wyzrd.

Appearance: African coloration, very dark brown eyes, and his hair is worn
in shoulder-length braids (not dreads, which the picture shows. That's a
style chosen for his previous identity as Robbie.)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/96046307@N00/2176785252


Handedness:
Ambidexterous, but conceals it as right-handedness.
Eye color: dark brown
Hair color: very dark brown
Notable feature: In strong light, there are
scars on his hands, shoulders, back, and other places that all have ritual
significance, and speak to at least a decade of training and focus, in
much the same way that Asian martial arts incorporated tattoos or ritual
burns, etc. Mentions that there is a turtle image on his (right) shoulder.
Height: Barely an inch taller than Genna, 5' 6”-- it's one reason why he
can pass as fifteen instead of thirteen, which is closer to his apparent
age if looking only at his face.

BACKGROUND: His history is complex- divided into
origin and “current backstory.”

ORIGIN: Born on the spring equinox,
just at dawn, that date plus the fact that he was born en caul (complete),
and premature, all marked this baby as dedicated to the Anim-- Nature
spirits rather than deities, and he was immediately entrusted to the
tribe's magician for teaching and study. Every mother with a nursing child
contributed to feeding him, making him truly THE child of the village.

He got his first ritual scarification on the next spring equinox, a tiny
lunar crescent on the outside of his left forearm, and a solar image on
the right at the solstice. The first allowed him to gain extra rest and
recuperative ability while sleeping (and helped him sleep through the hot,
too-bright afternoons). The second gave him some protection from sunburn.
Once the four seasonal marks were in place, they ALSO formed a magical map
that fixed his location relative to the place he currently thinks of as
home.

Each scar has magical and tribal significance, but this is not
Chopec/Quechua/Tongan/Surma, etc. This is actual ritual magic captured in
Victor's skin. (Yes, he can train an apprentice, and if they maintain
their studies and devotion to the rituals needed, they will gain the same
blood magic abilities.)

CURRENT BACKSTORY: Dominic St. Croix met Alana Slate
when he was in college, and they had a brief but passionate relationship.
Alana became increasingly determined to focus on her “African roots,”
systematically rejecting more and more of modern America as
racist/elitist… and since Dominic IS a very, very white boy, LOL,
inevitably, she broke contact with him. He discovered through a mutual
friend that she'd had a child, but he had to go see her several times
before she owned up to the fact that he was the father. A custody battle
ensued, which Alana won by insinuating that Dominic's white, middle-class
upbringing would keep Victor from /truly/ bonding with her extended
family. Probably focus on Oakland, since it's far enough from Santa Cruz
to make visiting difficult.

Since altering Dominic's college/work documentation is
needed to insert Victor here, there's a strong reason for limited contact.
Dom sent presents, and tried to phone as often as Alana would allow.
Roughly ten months earlier, Alana finally told Dom that she had a terminal
illness, but her family refused to contact him when she died, and Victor
ran away from home some months before Dom vanished. (Which smooths out a
lot of the problems another police investigation would cause.)

Birth date:
Dec 31, 1999 (Nobody would ever pick that date for a fake ID… laugh!)

Motivation: To make the world safer for the ones at the very edges of it.

Qualities:
Master (+6) Blood magic (and ritual magic) lore
Expert (+4)
living off the grid
Good (+2) shady connections
Good (+2) sports,
preferring basketball and lacrosse
Poor (-2) weakness to running water
(Natural only. City water, esp. fluoridated, is enough to nullify the problem.)

Origin: A childhood of religious, rigorous training and rituals.
Power: Master (+6 ) Blood Magic
http://powerlisting.wikia.com/wiki/Blood_Magic
Signature Stunts (1 or 2)
His eyes become pupil-less, even orbs of blood red when he activates his
power, and sometimes the scar that corresponds to a particular result will
glow. It will ALWAYS break open and bleed for a few seconds.

Costume: Wyzrd is an online handle right now. No costume needed.

Uniform: Victor
is currently transitioning into his newest identity, and at Genna's
suggestion, might, maybe, allow her to coax him into listing his age as
thirteen right now. That will give them longer together before adaptations
or other back story has to kick in.

Transportation: He's probably driven
it, and probably hates it. The only exception is skateboarding, which he
LOVES. He can ONLY swim in chlorinated pools, not those with salt filters,
and risks drowning in waist-deep water.

Common phrases: I'm used to being
on the edge of things. Well, there HAS to be a simpler way to do that.
THIS is the pinnacle of human civilization? (I want to go live with the
orang outans!)

Pet peeve(s): The 'magical Negro' trope will make him swear in
the worst gutter Spanish ever heard. Being treated like a FOOLISH kid will
tick him off, and that one might lead him to spending a few days away from
the house (not technically a runaway, except according to the law).

Miscellaneous: When he learns that Matthew knows the beginnings of chess,
he'll make a point to play with him, games like “forts and infantry”
as well as proper chess games. Victor hasn't had someone /read to him/
consistently in decades, and he won't want to admit how MUCH he enjoys
that for a little while.

Victor

http://www.cute-hairstyles-haircuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/cute-african-american-men-curly-hairstyle.jpg


[Character by Dialecticdreamer]
Saul Hirsch (and notes)
Name: Saul Sebastian Hirsch

Secret identity: none
Appearance: Anglo, a stocky build, classic “bear” body type.
Handedness: right
Eye color: pale blue
Hair color: dark brown, kept short
and conservatively cut (before leaving). Let grow during his absence.
Notable feature: Beard and mustache, kept neatly trimmed but natural
lines. He will not shave it even if he feels he NEEDS to conceal his
identity. Height: 6'5”

BACKGROUND: Saul was the older of two siblings, born
almost ten years before his sister Melody (CHECK). Their parents were
established, his mother Susan a professor of Western History in San
Francisco, at a very small private (liberal arts) college, and his father
Samuel a concert violinist. They had a fairly typical childhood, heavily
involved in the community and their synagogue, and only hit a real
stumbling block when Saul did not want to go to college.

In fact, he vehemently claimed to be “allergic” to the idea. Instead of turning
into a 'do it my way or else' argument, as it did between Dom and his
parents, the elder Hirschs started looking for apprenticeships. Saul chose
carpentry and construction work in part because of the mentor making the
offer. He went to work for the company, and a few years later, dragged Dom
in for his own survival.

When Mel met someone, she fell in love hard and
fast. (CHECK) Tyler Scoresby Hirsch was a Gentile who was not willing to
convert, but wanted their kids raised Jewish, and took her family name to
emphasize that connection. They had legal documents drawn up almost as
soon as the pregnancy test results were in, but it didn't help. A bad
storm in winter, right after the new year, made a power line snap. Another
driver, in trying to avoid the line, did not see their car. They crashed
into another telephone pole.

Saul had some warning about his impending
parenthood, as his sister was kept alive in a medically supported coma for
as long as possible before C-section delivery. Shaun (his name already on
the family paperwork) came home to a sad and slightly over-anxious new
dad. The family of three had become four, and then five when Matthew was
born a bit later.

Unfortunately, that platonic closeness was misinterpreted by
the elder Hirschs and they chose to send gifts to Shaun on special days,
but the cards only read “Love Grandmom and Grandpop,” and the last
one, for his fourth birthday, was the first to include cash.” Saul has
encouraged them to keep in touch by being diligent with thank you notes,
and having Shaun draw pictures for them, but it wasn't until the pair
dropped out of sight that they began to reconsider what they thought they
knew about the relationships between Saul, Shaun and the St. Croix family.

They're going to need to use a private detective to track Genna down, but
they will. (They should arrive a bit before Saul and Shaun do, for maximum
impact.) Will they be able to make up with Saul? Genna will be more
cautious,

Birth date: April 6, 1983
Motivation: to share family
triumphs.

Qualities:
expert (+4) carpenter (primarily, a cabinetmaker)
good (+2) camping and survival skills
good (+2) family man
good (+2) auto mechanic
poor (-2) STUBBORN.

Uniform: Always wears blue somewhere,
whether solid, stripe or plaid, and he prefers Dickeys slacks in black if
he has to dress up (for temple, when he attends, he wears a sports jacket,
tie and slacks.) His boots are the dark burgundy Dickies
(https://www.dsw.com/en/us/product/dickies-trader-work-boot/345605?cm_mmc=
CSE-_-GPS-_-B_Shopping_Boots%20&%20Booties-_-New_Boots%20&%20Booties&cadevi
c e=c&msclkid=c9c475a366751e9566db2f65945edd94), though he has hiking
boots in a very dark gray (two pairs of each). His dress shoes get taken
out and polished so rarely that he puts newspaper dampened with vinegar
into the toes to make them a little more flexible.

Transportation: A fifteen-year old black Ford F-250 with supply lockers right behind the cab and locking bed lid.

Common phrases: Patience offers its own rewards. Today is a good
memory tomorrow. It's not what happens to you that builds character, it's
how you deal with it.

Pet peeve(s): People who dismiss him when
they find out that he's “blue collar,” and doesn't have a college
degree. His parents' comments about the relationship between the three
adults will set him off on a rant in Hebrew.

Miscellaneous: is
non-observant Jew, but becoming more focused on traditions now that the
boys are old enough to understand and participate MORE. Which, in turn,
pulled Genna into the same study.

https://www.immonet.de/service/tischler.html


[Character by Dialecticdreamer]
Name: Shaun Hirsch
Secret identity: (none)

Appearance: Brown
hair, currently growing out from a basic, short style.
Handedness: right
Eye color: blue
Hair color: brown
Notable feature:
Height: 41” tall,
already sharing a body type with his uncle (and mother). He's hovering just below the forty pound mark, but that won't get him out of his car seat and into a booster, because the car seat model is appropriate up to age nine.

BACKGROUND: Born premature, to an uncle who rearranged his work schedule
to come read to him every day after the funeral for Shaun's dad. Shaun
has been surrounded by a loving, but slightly unusual family since before
he was born. He's been slow to pick up some physical skills, which his
pediatrician hems and haws about possible brain damage due to the car
accident that killed his parents, but the same doctor insists that Shaun
is “close enough to a normal schedule, especially for a preemie.”

Shaun is a strongly visual learner, already reading at third grade level (a few
months ahead of Matthew's level). His weakest learning style is auditory,
which means he's going to need extra support learning Hebrew because he
cannot do so just as rote /sounds/.

Birth date: July 17, 2010

Motivation: To go and see EVERYTHING!

Qualities:
Good (+2) reader
Good (+2) methodical
Good (+2) patient
Poor (-2) cautious, nearly timid

Uniform: Shaun's favorite color is dark green, and almost all of his
shirts are that color. He prefers jeans (elastic waisted for a little
extra independence), and dresses for temple in white dress shirts with
handmade ties in green prints. Unlike Saul, he likes looking “grown up.”

Transportation: Shaun can swim and ride a tricycle, but has been reluctant
to try a bicycle, even with training wheels.

Common phrases: “Do you
think I can do/try that?” and “What's the next part?” Especially--
“I know, no books at meals!”

Pet peeve(s): Casseroles. (He likes
individual foods.) Colored socks (always wears white with play clothes and
black with Sabbath clothes). The word “ain't.” He doesn't hear it
often, but it confuses him, because he can't figure out how someone
goes from “IS NOT” to “ain't.” (It's easier to explain from “are
not,” but it's something Saul will have to handle while they're traveling.)

Miscellaneous: Shaun carries an action figure (an astronaut in
a space suit) from the rather extensive sets in T-America, the way Matthew
carries Pimmit. Shaun cycles through the names of male and female
astronauts every few weeks to choose a new one. The astronaut is Shaun's
choice of “reading partner,” almost treated as an 'invisible friend'.
His favorite toy is a wooden bulldozer with rubber tracks, hand carved by
Saul, and with them in the truck. His stuffed animal is a giraffe, but it
is pocket-sized on purpose. (It started out as an impulse buy when Shaun
was first teething, and shows its hard working life.)


https://i.pinimg.com/736x/04/79/f1/0479f19026132345949f7e1d27a680f7.jpg

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