Feb. 5th, 2010 03:14 am
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[personal profile] comewither

Out of Character Information
Name: Atreyu
Username: [ profile] steelthorns
Are you over the age of eighteen? y
Current characters in Baedal: NA

In Character Information
Character Name: Mabeline Casey Albans (known alias are Mabel Albans, Mabel Adams, Casey Jones (yes her middle name exists to make a Casey Jones reference))
Username: [ profile] returntous
Fandom: Original Character (based on the Slender Man Mythos and a mixing of creepypasta)
Played By: Rutina Wesley

Original Character Section
Physical Description: Mabel stands at about 5’10” and stands on the thin spectrum of things; she gets a lot of exercise and often lacks a range of nutrition, and sometimes when money is tight, food is sacrificed in favor of gas. She wears her hair in braids and needs to use reading glasses she can’t afford; long periods of intense research leave her with horrible headaches.

Her clothes are preferably functional and long-sleeved, though she makes up for her lack of range by frequently wearing bright colors and – when the situation calls for it – ridiculously colored hats. There’s this cowboy one with pink and purple sequins that she saves for special occasions.

Mabel’s scars, hidden by her clothing, are a mixture of long scratches, a few burns, and a few bite marks. There’s usually a fresh set to replace the ones that fade with time, though thankfully, she’s never had a problem with infections. The most noticeable scar is the pale mark that covers her back; what had been a hand-print in her youth grew to resemble a tree as she got taller, fingers stretching into branches and the base becoming a gnarled trunk. It tends to get the most remarks, but fortunately, it’s the easiest to hide.

Sexuality: Mabel identifies as straight. She’s had a few same sex encounters, but they were usually fueled by copious amounts of alcohol and unusual situations she doesn’t normally find herself in. Most of her hook-ups have been in bars, and she avoids even considering sleeping with anyone in her profession for fear of burning what few bridges there are. Sex itself is something Mabel views casually, scratching an itch – she’s careful about who she picks and to use protection, but sex is not something she wants to develop attachment through. Attachment means staying in one place, and since hitting eighteen she’s never been much for that.

World Information: Ghost stories have been around as long as there have been people to believe in them. Along with the creation of gods to explain the weather and myths to tell the story of creation and destruction, there have always been smaller, stranger creatures to convey the smaller, stranger aspects of life. And although through time belief in vampires was explained away by science, werewolves regulated to literary devices, aliens banished to fringe magazines, and even beings like the Old Hag repackaged as sleep paralysis, those stranger aspects of life remained.
The internet is a treasure trove of such stories, warning of encounters with black-eyed children with sinister intentions, creatures in caves best left untouched, things that lurk on the edge of suburbs and wait at the foot of your bed. And while the television is saturated with ghost hunters and paranormal investigators chasing after what can’t be seen and heard, the stranger things in the world are left untouched by the average person.

The fringe of the fringe tend to go untouched, not because they are unheard of, but because they are not believed. Cryptozoologists could go on for ages about chupacabras and the Jersey Devil, but they tend to fall silent if you ask them about the scarred thing that sits at the edge of the bed and waits for you to wake. Ghosts hunters, those in it for the fame or for the hobby, will give you a hundred different reasons why ghosts behave the way they do, but they don’t have a thing to say about the tall man with too many limbs who waits in the woods. They’re just stories, they’d argue. Things made up by the internet. There is no Rake hiding in your closet, no faceless Operator with his ever-changing boundaries just waiting for you to cross them.

They’re wrong, Mabel could tell you, about him not having a face. She’s seen his teeth.

There’s a select few who do, of course, and many more who live just long enough to leave their messages behind on the internet. They die, or disappear, or seem to never have existed at all, but the world’s a big place that can swallow you whole, and a few strange stories left behind aren’t enough to get much attention. For the most part, the world carries on like it would without these things. Politics gives America its first black president as well as ever-continuing wars. Nature wrecks havoc and global warming continues to be a rising concern. People of faith continue to believe what they believe, scientific progress continues to happen. But those dark corners of the world are just a little bit darker than most people would like to believe, and they can reach out and eat you up if you stare into them long enough.

History: Mabeline Albans was the only child of Robert Albans and Maria Cormack-Albans, a middle class family that for the first few years of her life lived in Denver, Colorado. Nothing at all was unusual about her life until, at the age of three, her mother swerved to avoid hitting something in the road, rolled the car three times, and ended up in a crushed heap at the bottom of a hill. Maria suffered permanent spinal injuries, as well as blindness in her left eye and brain damage that left her with impaired speech abilities. For the rest of her life, the doctors assured, she will suffer from permanent pain.

Mabel was thrown from the car and found by the side of the road. Seemingly unharmed, in-depth medical examinations found nothing wrong about her except for the appearance of a scar-like hand-print that stretched from her lower back to her left shoulder. Though the doctors wrote it off as a birthmark, both of her parents swore she never had such a mark before.

Mabel’s childhood from then on was marred by the increasingly mounting medical bills for her mother and her parents’ conviction that something was indeed wrong with her. She would stare at blank walls for hours, her eyes following nothing that anyone else could see. Sometimes she would wake them in the middle of the night, babbling away at nothing as if she was having a conversation. They would find her in odd places, sitting on the counter or perched on a chair she could not have been able to climb on her own. Maria, unable to find her daughter inside the house and limited by her injuries to search outside, spotted Mabel walking back to the front door, arm held out in mid-air as if she was holding hands with something unseen. When she learned how to talk, she would spend hours chatting about her imaginary friends. It struck most people as cute – until they asked her to describe them. Mabel learned very quickly that no one wanted to hear about the people with gray-black skin and melted eyes, mouths that didn't close or fingers made of bone. It wasn't quick enough to set her parents' minds at ease.

But the Albans had more concerns. When Mabel was five, her father lost his high paying job as an engineer, forcing them to move from the suburbs of Denver to the crowded and dangerous streets downtown. Her parents began to have a lot of fights Mabel didn’t understand, fights about the bills, fights about Robert’s drinking, fights about Mabel. More importantly, she somehow knew there was something wrong with the mirrors that needed her immediate attention. She kept seeing dark shapes moving in them, especially when her father was around. One time, she watched his reflection stop, turn away from the tie-folding it was suppose to be copying, and give her a look filled with hate.

At age six, while her mother was in the hospital recovering from another operation, Mabel discovered that her father had hung himself from the ceiling fan. She sat on the couch and waited. After a few hours, she went to tell the neighbors that her father wouldn’t come down and make dinner. She saw her first psychologist after she began to tell people that the thing in the mirror made him do it. It was around this time that she realized the people she could see were ghosts - dead people that no one else could see, but at the same time were afraid of. She didn't understand that at all. Sometimes they scared, like when they grabbed or pulled her, and sometimes she got hurt, but they didn't really want to hurt her. They just wanted attention.

For the next period of her young life, from six to eleven, Mabel was bounced between her mother and her grandparents. She was nearly expelled from school three times (for fighting) and had to transfer once (no one would tell her why). She was sent to a therapist whenever they could afford it, even long after she stopped talking about her friends that were just like ordinary people, but had gray skin and climbed on walls and sometimes they were missing parts of their body. It was the scratches that worried them, the long bloody marks that looked like they had been caused by nails that appeared on her arms and sometimes her face. Mabel swore she didn’t hurt herself, but nobody ever listened. The stress of it was finally too much for Maria. After the death of her grandfather, forcing her grandmother to devote her full attention to aiding Maria, Mabel was sent to live with her Aunt Ellen in Jones, Washington – a small town centered around a lake and nestled in the foothills of the Cascades.

Ellen, a lawyer and a very rational woman, was the first grounded person Mabel knew. She sent Mabel to therapy, even though she detested it, but she also taught her to engage other people. Under Ellen’s guidance, Mabel managed to graduate from school and actually had a few friends along the way – they were outcasts, like her, and there was no doubt they considered her the weirdest of the lot, but they counted as friends. Ellen encouraged Mabel’s research, and didn’t judge her for her heavy preference for the weird and macabre taste in books.

There were other problems, of course. Mabel didn’t mention the ghosts anymore, but they continued to leave their mark on her life, scarring her skin, leading her to break into places (which lead to a now sealed minor criminal record of breaking and entering), and sometimes shouting at seemingly nothing in public. Then was the darker side of things, like finding out what caused the Camptons to abandon their new home with all of their things left inside it (the dark things in the mirrors. She smashed very one, but the Camptons never came back), or going after the creature with hands of nails lurking in an abandoned amusement park (she smashed it to pieces with her metal bat, but they didn't reopen the park ever again).

And there was black-suited man who would sway with the trees who frightened her the most – she saw him quite a few times, sometimes near, sometimes far, but could find nothing to explain him. The dead would never let her approach him to find out for herself.

Upon graduation from high school and suffering an increasing guilt at the thought of being a burden to her aunt, Mabel set out on her own, moving from place to place, doing a series of unsatisfying jobs, and alienating a slew of roommates along the way. She fell into paranormal investigation when her then-current landlord mentioned an intense interest in the topic – and a desperate need to get to the bottom of the banging noises in the attic that was chasing away her tenants. Mabel climbed up the stairs and discovered a woman with blackened skin pounding furiously on the wall. She took her by the hand and led her outside under her landlord’s astonished watch, and became a paranormal investigator from then on.

It was a difficult process – Mabel’s lack of education and connections did not make it any easier, and her shunning of technological doohickeys undermined her credibility among the better organized paranormal groups. But she had an astonishing success rate; if she could not convince a ghost to leave, she could at least do her best to tell the residents what they wanted, or at worse, that they were there, confirmation that most others could not provide. Over time, Mabel was able to build up a network of contacts and connections. Like her, they operated on the fringe of the fringe. Marty Goldstein, an avid Jersey Devil follower and admin at several sites devoted to strange sightings, often refers her to the creature cases a bit too odd for most self-respecting creature hunters. Ashley Chen, a small-time psychic and full-time mom, can be relied on for heated arguments about the spiritual side of things and good info for the not so suitable for television cases. Amal Al Harbi tends more often than not to be Mabel’s partner in the obscure, tracking down crumbling texts and strange sources.

Throughout her still somewhat short career, Mabel has been aware of a few things. The dead could be found anywhere that there was life, and there was nothing to explain why some remained as the rotted corpses she saw and some people did not become ghosts at all. The strange, the truly strange, the strange that swallowed up lives and ate away at the insides of small towns would always exist no matter how much the bigger world ignored it. And if she stayed in one place too long, if she got attached or considered stopping for good, she would always start seeing that slender man standing amongst the trees, waiting for her to cross his threshold.

(Note: This version of Mabel does not incorporate previously played incarnations.)

Powers: Wards - Mabel has an assortment of different wards that she’s cobbled together through trial and error. Though influenced by other symbols and alchemy signs, her wards are of her own invention and involve a lot of spirals, circles, and curving lines. She avoids sharpness in her drawing, always looping and connecting, and her medium is usually chalk, salt, or – if she has to – dust. The wards are very simple, consisting of commands like ‘DON’T CROSS’ or ‘STAY OUT’ and only have an effect on her intended supernatural targets. They’re crude and only work due to an infusion of her own power that she doesn’t quite understand. They wouldn’t stop a very powerful creature, especially one with superior magical abilities, but they’re effective on ghosts and the smaller creatures she normally deals with.

I See Dead People - To Mabel, the dead take on a very specific form – voiceless corpses who shamble down streets or crawl on walls, unable to communicate to her with words. Ghosts have a tendency to be naturally drawn to Mabel, another reason why she does not stay in one place for very long. Because of her inability to understand them, the dead are quite forceful in other ways – when she was little they used to pull her around by the hair. Nowadays she has more experience with being firm and avoiding their grabbing hands until she can get them to calm down – though she’s not always successful. Their inability to communicate often frustrates them, and her inability to know what they want makes them impatient. She’s often rewarded with bruises, scratches, and cuts, forcing her to wear long-sleeved clothes at all times. Her presence, though, is calming to them, and she can sometimes convince them to leave a place or ‘move on’ – it is her opinion that the whole moving on bit is bullshit, but she has no other explanation for why they sometimes disappear. Being in a different place, it's highly likely Mabel will encounter a greater range of ghosts - but her ability to communicate with them depends more on what kind of differences they have to the ordinary dead.

Almost Alive - Mabel can most accurately be described as mostly alive; on all fronts human, she is entirely that. But those with psychic or other abilities to sense the living will note something quite off about her. Her mind is a haze, making thoughts hard to pin down, and her soul ‘feels’ half-attached, as if it’s been anchored to her body in some unnatural way. Vampires and other flesh-eaters will find her blood unappealing, and those with heightened senses with note that she smells ever so vaguely of rot.

Proxy - Mabel’s strangeness is due to her nature; she is what is sometimes known as a proxy, or an agent in the Slender Man Mythos. Proxies are supposedly empty vessels in which the Slender Man uses to do his bidding – however strange or senseless that bidding is. In Mabel’s world, the proxies are the already dead, empty bodies infused with the Slender Man’s direct power and under his influence. They are dead and empty, they cannot be saved.

Mabel, however, was still alive when she was infused with this power – not only alive, but just a child, capable of aging. She retains her own personality and much of her own control. She is also, therefore, much more dangerous than the average proxy due to this control. Though she’s unaware of it, she’s capable of channeling it though other people, taking over their minds and using their bodies as puppets, though her range is highly limited. Mabel herself has to be in an altered state to do that, however, and the only thing so far capable of triggering it is the Slender Man.

Talents/Abilities:: Mabel has become somewhat of an ‘casual expert’ at breaking and entering. She has a criminal record that consists of breaking and entering, trespassing, and property damage, but she considers those to be learning experiences – she’s not only much better at it now, she’s much better at not getting caught.

Mabel never officially got any training in how to research subjects, but over the time she developed her own methods that more or less work to her advantage. As a result, Mabel’s used to looking in places most other people don’t – visiting roadside museums, tracking down personal collectors, finding those weird books nobody’s touched in years, and keeping a close eye on internet chatter. There’s a lot of fact or faked things to sort through on the internet and she’s still developing her instincts in that area, but she has a knack for it. Most other paranormal researchers, she’s found, didn’t follow the weirder side of things, giving her the break on the better – and unfortunately more dangerous – cases.

Fighting is something else she’s become good at with necessity, which again is something she was forced to learn on her own rather than getting any training. As a result she fights dirty and she doesn’t hesitate to hit first, but she’s also pretty smart about knowing when to cut and run when the situation calls for it.

Personality: Mabel has struggled throughout her life to relate to other people, but the huge alienation she experienced during her childhood has really effected her ability to connect to people. She's frequently described as abrasive by other investigators and quite often clients; she's not afraid to speak her mind and she won't hesitate to start a fight if she thinks she's in the right. She's forceful when she feels ignored and she's quick to anger. She has to be, in many cases - most people don't take her seriously as an investigator, even with her record and recommendations, until she proves it to them, and that has her patience worn thin.

In more social contexts, Mabel finds it easier to relax and have fun with people, just so long as she doesn't have to get all that close to them. Alcohol is a godsend - it loosens her right up and she's fully capable of cutting loose and having a good time. This backfires if she accidentally talks about her personal life while drunk, but that's happened less and less over time. She has the easiest time being social over the internet, where a bunch of pixels and data means that nobody has to look her in the eye and she that she's hiding something.

Mabel's biggest challenge is her refusal to talk to people about her life. She doesn't tell her professional contacts about the tall man in the trees, even though she knows his name and reputation by now. She rarely speaks to her mother anymore. Even Aunt Ellen gets a stripped-down, cheerful account of her life. While Mabel doesn't hesitate to flat-out tell people she sees ghosts - that is, after all, her job - she's used to people not believing or listening to her, and doesn't discuss her real problems. This has caused strain between her and Amal, who feels that Mabel would be better off if she had a place to come home to and people she saw on a regular basis.

Mabel also has trouble asking for help, especially when she needs money or when she's scared. She's used to the idea of having to rely on herself, and she's internalized her mother's silent blame for her father's death. Mabel accepts her existence as a magnet to not only the 'harmless' dead but to the stranger and more dangerous things as well. In keeping people away from her, she avoids repeating her father's death, even though deep down she's not really sure if that was her fault. She's well-versed in the stories, though - weirdness could act like an infection. The more people got involved, the more dangerous the situation became for them. She considers that a burden she'd rather face alone.

Object: Mabel’s carrying a small backpack with her, containing her wallet (some cash, driver’s license, a few fast food punch-cards), a medium-sized notebook filled halfway with her personal notes, two cases of fresh chalk, several small bags of salt, a package of medium-sized long candles, a book of matches, and a small plastic bottle of holy water. She only carries that last one to reassure clients, though.

Reason for playing: Mabel was picked up in part to try to deal with the lack of representation of people of color in the general state of the Slender Man Mythos so far, and also just because I liked the idea of someone who sees ghosts – horrific, terrible ghosts – and isn’t negatively affected by it. Because Mabel is pretty solidly from the horror genre itself, I feel that she would fit in pretty well with the general feel of the game and its structure.

I don’t have any plots at the moment in mind – one aspect of Mabel is that due to her constantly moving around, she lacks a supportive structure and doesn’t have a lot of friends, so I really look forward to getting CR with her and having her develop relationships and connections with the other characters. I’m also fairly interested in the ‘urban myths’ of Baedal, and I think it could be cool to get Mabel involved in exploring those in the future, but it’s not something I would want to do right away.

Gods: Eliandre would be the best deity for Mabel. Although technically Mabel’s job description is being a messenger for the dead, in her experience they quite often don’t have anything meaningful or significant to convey – they only want to be heard. As a paranormal investigator, however, Mabel functions not only as someone who tries to solve issues and understand things, but her general presence brings calm to the dead (alternatively, when they freak out at her they usually need to tell her something desperately and/or she is in danger) and a certain level of peace. She does not, however, engage in any sort of trying to make them pass on or the like. Not only is she not convinced there’s any kind of afterlife, she’s of the opinion that if they like it here, they can stay if they want.

Writing Samples
First-Person Network Post: Job Hunting at Taxon.

First-Person Journal Post: It's been seven days and Jeffrey Davidson (sn: liekastar) hasn't resurfaced on the forum (subthread marked 'Last Day' check this). Most people are calling fake on this, I don't know though. Fakes like to advertise they like getting attention. LS only posted to a couple of threads and he didn't talk to the most active users at all.

Timeline: 2 months ago LS mentions a nightmare about something growling. Over the next few days he talks about it being so sudden and unexpected that he wakes up every time.

1 month ago LS starts mentioning dreaming about something human-shaped and pale sitting at the foot of his bed. He comments 'lol u guys are giving me nitemares' but he keeps talking about it, even after a few regulars tell him to take a break.
Last week he told jerseyddd that he thought it was real, but then he deletes that post before she can screencap it.

jerseyddd mentions this to Crowley1, the admin, which sparks the thread discussing whether or not it was real.

LS introduced himself as Jeff D. in his first post and said he lived in Salem, Oregon. According to the local news, Jeffery Davidson was last seen seven days ago, and police are suspecting a burglary and possible homicide. Details are sketchy.

Worth looking into??? Need gas. Talk to Marty tomorrow.

Third-Person Arrival Post: Mabel gets up, straightening from the crouch she doesn't remember landing in, staring wide-eyed at the room she certainly has never seen before. This is new, but she can't call it all that unexpected. What had she been doing before? Running? No, she had been sleeping in her car, that she was sure of. She must have been dreaming of running, but her muscles are tense and her heartbeat is racing. Had she been running?

It is a small room, devoid of decoration. There’s a table with a device and some sort of pamphlet sitting next to it. This doesn't strike her as anything so weird in the normal context of what weird was for her. The walls aren't bleeding, helpfully. There isn’t any sign of decay or warping at the corner of her eyes to suggest she's fallen into some altered state. She studies the odd device, dubious. It doesn't look like it was going to suddenly form teeth and bite her, but you could never be too careful.

She picks the pamphlet up with her fingernails and holds it at eye level. “Baedal, huh?”

The pamphlet, predictably, does not respond. She carefully sets it down again, sighing. “Well. Could’ve been worse.”

Third-Person Action Post: Escape from the messenger.

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February 2012


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