CONTACT: plurk: buttadventure
OTHER CHARACTERS IN THE PINES: n/a
NAME: The Witness (Eshkol)
CANON-POINT: A few months after being summoned up by a Main Character™.
A full background of Eshkol would be a pretty lengthy one. Even he doesn't remember all the details anymore— or even most of them. But the most important part of the story is the beginning: the summoning ritual that created him.
A complex spell was carefully written and performed, and a new sort of creature sprang into being. The only name he was given by his creator and first master was a title: the Witness. And although he was bound by obedience to this master, his main purpose was to witness a crime. The spell was written so that as long as he never breathed a word about the deed, the perpetrator would never be found guilty or punished. As a finishing touch, to help with this important rule of staying silent, he wasn't given a mouth. (More than that, even, the Witness makes no sound at all — he can even knock on a door and not make any noise.) It was a perfect spell, and terribly useful if you had a lot of shady doings that should never come to light. His first master used him for a handful of political murders and coverups, then called it a job well done and banished him again.
That wasn't the end of it, though. The spell had been written, and if the ritual was performed, the Witness would return to serve whatever new master had summoned him. He became a thing of arcane legend, passed along from would-be master to would-be master. His entire existence was serving these people, and with no frame of reference, he had no objections. At least, not at first. As his existence stretched on, resentment began to grow. No other creature he'd ever seen had its free will bound as thoroughly as he did to his masters — but why, what had he done to deserve that? But his resentment was silent, just like the rest of him, and there was nothing to be done but serve.
But no spell is ever perfect, even one as apparently foolproof as the Witness's summoning. It took him a few hundred years to realize that there was a loophole. He learned that masters should be careful with what they say to him; a secret, as defined by something intentionally kept from at least one other person, told directly to the Witness breaks the contract. And when the contract is broken, the Witness finds his voice. The Witness's mouth is a counterpart creature very rarely seen, and should it ever rear its weird little eyeless head, then whoever summoned him had better hope they’d either not used him for anything too reputation-ruiningly horrific, or been a very decent master. His mouth can make all the sounds that the Witness hadn't been able to, and they come out all at once in a rush of noise. Sometimes this shapes into words, and sometimes those words are stories of the misdeeds he's done and seen. He's torn apart the careers and lives of a few masters to pieces this way, to his great satisfaction.
But these little mouth-related episodes aside, a very straightforward life followed his initial summoning. He was summoned, he served, he obeyed, he witnessed, then whenever a master decided he or she had used him to his fullest potential, he was banished and sent back to a black, silent, enclosed place of waiting. The passage of time is impossible to track while he's there, and his awareness only surfaces when he's called back again. And he always is eventually. It might be 5 years between masters, or it might be 500. The Witness had no way of guessing, and after a while, stopped caring. His entire purpose was merely to serve, and his masters were nearly always men and women who viewed him as nothing more than an incredibly useful tool. Sometimes he was given names. Sometimes he was treated decently. Sometimes he wasn't. It never mattered very much to him; if he had a terrible master, he only had to wait for them to send him back to his dark place of waiting, or grow old and die, and unintentionally send him back to his dark place of waiting. It always happened sooner or later.
But sometimes there were more interesting masters. Some of them even stood out to this increasingly jaded being, whose story remained untold to each new master he served. And eventually there was Damian Witzbold. Damian was a young man who at first seemed no different from the others: a greedy, self-serving, power hungry sort who would probably be taking full advantage of his new possession. It was the respect that Eshkol (a name he'd picked up from the previous master, from whom he'd been a gift for Damian) first noticed. Damian treated all of his subordinates with respect, even that silent man who offered no opinions either way. That alone wasn't so unusual, and would have been overlooked, if not for the people Damian surrounded himself with. They were all trusted and valued, just as Eshkol himself was, and they even seemed to regard Eshkol as an equal among them. It was almost as if he had friends. One of them, a seemingly young girl who was somehow even older than Eshkol, even took it upon herself to teach him to write. For the first time in his long, long life, Eshkol had not only respect and acceptance, but a way to express himself, and people willing to take that expression into consideration.
It was all really very, very strange.
It will be shortly after learning to write that Eshkol leaves his own world.
WHAT ARE YOUR CHARACTER'S STRENGTHS?: Eshkol is a patient creature, maybe the most patient you’ll ever meet. He knows that he’ll outlast any bad situation, and though he’s annoyed about it (and just about everything else) on the surface, he’s really just waiting for it to pass. He’s also tenacious — whether that be through determination to get his passive aggressive revenge on someone he doesn’t like, or the surging loyalty and and desire to protect he’ll feel to anyone that shows him kindness. He doesn’t take action much, but when he does it’s decisive and whole hearted.
WHAT ARE YOUR CHARACTER'S WEAKNESSES?: Eshkol suffers a disconnect from most people or creatures he’ll meet. He’s seen so much, and so many people, that he believes he can’t be surprised anymore by much of anything, and dislikes engaging beyond expressing his annoyance. Why should he, when generally speaking, things are so temporary? For the most part he frankly doesn’t care, and can’t be roused to much emotion beyond irritation.
WHAT EVENTS OR CIRCUMSTANCES IN YOUR CHARACTER'S PAST HAVE IMPACTED THEM THE MOST?: The general weight of the dark things he’s done for various masters have numbed him into a creature that can’t be shocked by much of anything, and played most of the role of making him what he is today. A few key events stand out somewhat, like his first murder, but for the most part, the passage of time has eased them into an unpleasant but tolerated blur. More recently he’s been treated as a comrade and a friend for nearly the first time, and it’s woken him up from his usual irritated autopilot through life.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOUR CHARACTER?: More generally speaking, Eshkol only plans to outlast whatever current unpleasantness he’s being subjected to. He’ll steal little snatches of victory over an unkind master if he’s able to, and one could certainly say pettiness and spite motivate him, but on the whole he’s just waiting for the people around him to die or be done with him. More recently however, and in potential circumstances in game, he has been and could be motivated to protect and help people around him that he decides are worth it. And once someone has sparked that in him, it will become his entire motivation. It’s worth noting that he also has a finely tuned sense of and right and wrong, grown from seeing so very many wrongs. He rarely has the opportunity to right wrongs (or just dole out comeuppance for them), and he has accepted his limited agency and the fact that he’ll see a great many wrongs go unpunished, but he does take the chances he gets.
WHAT IMPRESSION DO OTHERS TEND TO HAVE OF YOUR CHARACTER?: Eshkol looks like a creepy mouthless man that hates the guts of basically everyone around him, as exemplified in his dark, potent glares and whatever rude gestures he’s learned to make. He’s typically as unhelpful as possible, lethargic in most things, and is clearly hating every moment of being in your presence.
IN WHAT WAYS DOES THAT IMPRESSION DIFFER FROM WHO YOUR CHARACTER REALLY IS?: The initial impression really isn’t far off from reality — although Eshkol has learned to make that his default, and will display it even when he’s not feeling particularly hostile. Under that, though, is the deep seated tolerance and well hidden patience that comes of knowing that he will outlast any current annoyance. And when and if it finally applies, his loyalty and friendship doesn’t look all that different from his irritation. He has the permanent scowl mothers warn their children against.
HOW DOES YOUR CHARACTER HANDLE CRISIS OR ADVERSITY?: For the most part, Eshkol tends to assume that crisis and adversity don’t apply to him. He’s a tool that someone else uses to handle their own crisis or adversity. As such, the stakes are never very high for him. He’ll proceed as he always does, putting in exactly as much effort as he has to, and he’ll deal with whatever consequences come of it. In the rare occasions that he’s fighting a more personal struggle, he becomes very grim and efficient. After all, he’s very old, and has seen and learned quite a lot. He knows what he’s doing.
WHICH 5 THINGS WILL YOUR CHARACTER REMEMBER UPON ARRIVAL, AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THEM?:
→ That his name is Eshkol. | Picked because it would be the only time he remembers his name as Eshkol and not the Witness, which would humanize him a bit.
→ How to write. | Let’s be honest, we only have so much patience for RPing charades.
→ Keersin’s face. | This is the girl that taught him to write and has shown him the most kindness of anyone he’s ever met. She puts him in a good mood (which facilitates new CR nicely).
→ That he’s annoyed about something. | Because he’s always annoyed about something, it’s fine if he doesn’t remember what; this will keep him not too different from how he’ll be as memories start to come back.
→ And that he hates birds. | They’re just assholes, all of them.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU FEEL WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER?: Just that, without a master in game, anyone could bring out his nasty mouth by telling him a secret. He would most likely just use it to bitch and whine.
SKILLS, ABILITIES, & PHYSICAL WEAKNESSES:
As a magical construct, he can break himself down into a gross black goo and rebuild himself in any way he’d like. He primarily uses that to shape himself into sharp edges for doing some violence, but it also means he can absorb pretty much any wound or injury from paper cuts to dismemberments, or squeeze himself through any small passage. He could feasibly use this to change his appearance in any way as well, but he prefers not to.
When his mouth emerges (a result of someone telling him secret) it follows the same rules, and also it’s particularly apt at ripping into and swallowing people. He’s not sure where they (or pieces of them) go once they’ve been swallowed; maybe they go to the place he hangs out in between summons. Who knows.
He hasn't directly done much besides violence and basic serving and waiting, but he has seen an awful lot. He has a few assorted, mundane skills picked up via observation, depending on what he's watched his masters doing (a few examples: knitting, sailing an airship, caring for a horse). As of recently he has learned to write, and he has very lovely handwriting.
He has a weakness to absence of sunlight. Since he can’t eat he absorbs sunlight for energy (and expels it once used as oxygen through vents in his back), and being kept in complete darkness weakens him. Too long without sunlight and he would eventually cease to function. It wouldn’t kill him, but he’d be rendered immobile and helpless until next exposed to light.
He’s also weak to fire and extreme heat, as his black gooey bits can’t reshape themselves if they’re actively being burned or boiled. Subzero temperatures slow him down, and it becomes more difficult for him to reshape himself. He can recover from both of these states if brought to a more normalized temperature.
Absolutely nothing. Even his clothing is part of himself, formed along with his body.
DIALOGUE-HEAVY: An LJ entry...... with apologies to your eyes, god that site functionality