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 the Faun

Some believe in fairy stories, and the ghosts that they can't see. I know that I could do so much, if I could just believe in me.

Nov 17 2017, 04:22 PM Quote

the Faun

43 (appears 20-ish)
Servant of the Good Doctor.
original concept
Jacqueline Emerson

Discord (FennecFyre#2737) , EST
You'd never guess that the wretched creature cowering before you, all cloven hooves and curved horns and ragged auburn fur, had been human once. There's nothing there, besides the fact that it usually walks upright and can still yet speak (a girl's voice, surprisingly, raspy with disuse and soft as a bird's wing), that could possibly be called human. It doesn't deserve to be called human--for better or for worse. The furred face is just a smidgen too long, with a goatlike muzzle and elongated ears that flick and swivel at any stray sound. Sunken eyes--beast's eyes-- are usually hidden underneath a tangle of clumsily-cut auburn locks, but they carry a pale golden color, with horizontal pupils. It walks in stooped fashion, balancing unsteadily on gangly furred legs terminating in cloven hooves. For all their spindly appearance, they carry a surprising strength, bearing the creature away from danger in great leaps and bounds. Shaggy forearms end with clawlike nails, its only weapon against the world. Finally, slinking along behind is a tufted tail, swishing nervously about the creature's hocks. No finery adorns the pitiful faun, only a ragged and grass-stained tunic, belted and buckled around its scrawny form.

And yet...

The nameless creature doesn't even believe it herself, but a spark of humanity still yet lurks beneath the animal skin she's forced to wear. Push her far enough, rouse her anger, coax a rare and shining laugh from her, and for just a moment, the mask falls out of place. The fur recedes, the face softens, the eyes take on a decidedly more humanoid appearance. She might have even been pretty once before, fine-featured and petite, with tousled auburn hair and warm hazel eyes. The cheerful young woman might still be there, one tiny ember smoldering in the heart of a fire long since extinguished.


And where did that young woman go, you ask? Why, she was snapped up and crushed by the black talons of the Fae, of course.

For years now, possibly decades for how strangely time passes in Allutheria, she's been trapped in Fairyland following a madman's bidding, but there was a time in her life when she was truly happy. The girl comes from a village nestled in the Hyadies mountains, insulated from the troubles of the outside world. She was the middle child in a farmer's family, surrounded by siblings and spending her days running wild with them through forest and field. While often the quiet, overlooked one among them, she was content with her lot. Her life was simple and idyllic until her thirteenth year, when, after an unusually-poor harvest, winter descended with a vengeance. Cold and starvation stalked through the village like a pair of ravenous wolves, culling the old, the weak, and the young alike. When one of her younger brothers joined the line of frozen graves dug at the edge of the village, despite her parents all but starving themselves in order to feed their children, she was unable to stand by any longer.

She tried her best to help. She'd spend hours out in the woods foraging for roots and nuts, risking both the cold and the beasts, but a child her age had little hope of accomplishing much of anything. The few bits of food she managed to bring home made little difference, and her family seemed doomed to suffer more losses before spring finally arrived. The death of her brother had broken something within the girl, and she eventually decided that if one of those losses had to be her, then so be it.

It was pure desperation that drove her out into the woods for the final time and call out, invoking the stories of goblins and bogeymen she and her siblings had been told. Don't stray off the path, don't go out after dark, don't be bad, or the goblin king will get you! they had said. Well, it was the goblins she called for now, offering her soul, her blood, anything for the survival of her family. In the frigid dusk, among snow and pines, she suddenly found herself surrounded by green-skinned, bugeyed goblins and their Fae overlord. Her request was answered with an ultimatum. Food and supplies would be delivered to her family in the middle of the night, but she was never to see them again, nor would she ever be allowed to tell them what she had done. Her loyalty and obedience would be absolute, and if she stepped even a toe out of line, then it would be her other siblings who would pay the price.

She was terrified, but held her ground. The world wouldn't miss one farmer's daughter, and her family didn't need another mouth to feed. She agreed, signing herself over in exchange for her family's survival. Once brought into the Labyrinth and siphoned of her youth, she spent the next several years as a court servant alongside other changelings, until she was sold off to a Fae gentleman, and her story shifted from a simple tragedy into a horror in its own right.

To the 'Good Doctor', as he preferred to be called, humanity was a disease, and he was the cure. The worth of a human life lay only in their usefulness to the Fae, and it was the Faes' right to shape their subjects to be as useful as possible. It galled him, then, that the seemingly-inferior race was now master of the world they had lost. He had made it his mission to not only bring humanity to heel, but ensure that nothing, neither god nor mortal, would ever threaten Fae dominion again. Through dark, eldritch magics and vile experiments, he would accomplish his great work. And the unfortunate souls he conscripted would help him. Some were cut apart and then pieced back together, infused with both Allutheria's magic itself and bits and pieces of it's nameless horrors, broken and twisted into guards and servants. Others were sent out to assist in his experiments. Some, like the girl, were subject to both fates. His spells and potions required ingredients, and it would be the girl's job to retrieve them for him, combing the tangled wilderness for goblin fruits and alien herbs, and to catch the squirming and sharp-toothed specimens that wriggled through the muck. A frail human form, along with frail human dignity, was of little use in the wilderness of Allutheria, and so she lost both in order to make her more suited for traversing the land on her endless missions. She grew to know the wilds well, however much she came to loathe and fear them, and during the rare moments where she wasn't off gathering reagents for her master, she could often be found curled up in some corner of his black keep, trying to catch a precious few moments of rest.

Like a river smoothing the rough edges off a stone, she was worn down bit by bit, changed in both body and mind. Subdued and quiet, yet resilient, she served her master without protest. It was only years later, when the Blight would ravage the mortal world, that things would change. She learned that her little village had been wiped off the map, its inhabitants slaughtered or fled. Though she would never know her family's fate for certain, she was sure they had perished, and the walls she had spent years building up were torn down by grief. With nothing left to lose, she rebelled, attempting to flee over and over. Invariably, she would end up lost and alone in the wilderness. And invariably, the Good Doctor would find her, and chide her gently for being so willful. Then he'd drag her back to the castle and the night would be rent with screaming.

The twisted black mark etched into the skin above her heart was more than enough to keep most changelings in line, but the Good Doctor had another way of controlling his servants, one he had devised himself. Through terrible spells, he stole her very name, binding her to his side as a thrall and ensuring that she could never knowingly disobey him. "Faun" would become her only title, a product of her warped appearance. She wasn't a person, after all--just a beast at her master's beck and call.

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Just once I want my life to be like an 80’s movie, preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason.

Nov 20 2017, 11:17 AM Quote

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