CONTACT: my discord is frogmaiden#8588
OTHER CHARACTERS IN THE PINES: none yet but apping Alice Liddell in the future probably
CANON: Original character here c:
CANON-POINT: Autumn 2016, marking the three year anniversary of her reawakening
Adora is an enigma.
No - it's not some metaphor for a surprisingly distant, mysterious person. All that she is revolves around a question that never got its answer: who was that dead person? Because that's how it all started.
Flashback to the turning point of Summer to the Autumn season, 2013. Two boys (read: young men), one witch and one necromancer, were out camping in the woods away from the stress of modern civilization in an attempt to write music and to get in tune with the natural world. And possibly to smoke some weed in peace. During a trek through a particularly wooded area, they came across the stench of decomposition and found a dismembered hand. Then an arm, its muddied bone poking out from a shallow grave. Fearlessly (read: foolishly) they dug up as best as they could, only to find several more dismembered pieces of what they soon realized was a young woman. Short, blonde and dark, milked-over eyes, separated into several pieces and already rotting away in the harsh environment.
Those two boys should have called the police but again, fearlessly (again: foolishly) decided to put her back together. "It's a matter of respect" and maybe it was, but how that led them to consider bringing her back to life is a step too large to comprehend. But they did it. Raoul - the witch - versus Jared - the necromancer - combined their very mediocre skills and did manage to reanimate her body, to piece it together for real and to bring her back - or better said, to bring back something.
A trauma so great as that of being taken away, hurt and killed, then dumped in a ditch would tear a soul apart. Maybe that's a little more literal than it was intended: at least that was the case with "zombie-girl", a speechless, emotionless husk of a woman that she seemed to be for the first hours. The first days. The first moments in a world she oughtn't have seen again, until she whispered her first words.
Hungry for meat, yes, hungry for flesh of some sort and though this is no story of "vegetarian
vampires zombies" it is a story about making due with what one can manage a lot of the time and maybe in her case it was animal flesh, the non-human kind. Raw, red and bloody and - actually her story isn't quite about that as much as it is about self-discovery. But in the process she learnt that hunger is a terrifying part of her, gnawing at her from inside-out like an indiscriminately oversized parasite every so often, forcing her into paint and anguish and sickness until it's sated. In the process she also discovered that biting a person won't "Infect" them because she is not host to a virus nor patient zero of a mass outbreak. She's a defiance to the laws of nature and so her existence bears flaws and punishment - to her and to those who awoke her, though in neither case did it quite turn out like they'd want to undo what was made.
She is a conceptual character but her story does develop - and as such a brief timeline of events by season is now presented.
Summer-Autumn: "Jane Doe" is discovered in the woods. Decomposing and torn apart, she's cleaned and put together by two magical humans who never read the proverbial "don't mess with the dead" manual, returning to (un)life in the form of an emotionless, seemingly mute husk. Flashforward a few hours to her first words, "I'm hungry". Her first meal is raw beef, the second is hot dogs. Unable to remember anything about who she was, she finds the name "Adora" and decides to name herself. The boys are impressed and somewhat scared. After the camping trip is cancelled, they bring her home to their shared apartment where the following weeks are spent both trying to figure out who she was before and who she is becoming. Unsuccessful with the former, they realise that the latter goes better than expected: she's quick to adapt to her surroundings without being frightened of modern technology or Jared's "surprise dinner" nights.
Winter-Spring: Some time into February a newcomer makes his presence known in their lives - a tall, strange young man easily discovered to be another, much more frightening ghoul going by the name Lazare. He's not out for blood or a haunting but seems to be drawn towards Adora's presence. He calls her "unexplainable" and admits he doesn't understand how she can be a ghoul but still retain something very human beyond her physical appearance. In the end it's one more person in the apartment but one more accustomed to living among humans. Adora now gets to learn more about her instincts beyond what Jared and Raoul could figure out while also learning to adjust to human life. She develops an interest for cellphone quality photographs and starts using sites like instagr*m to post bizarre little things (think #cursedpicture type of photos, weird light effects on windows, freshly-dug ground, rock formations, etc)
Summer-Autumn: First year anniversary of her awakening. By this point she's got a solid grip on her story: that she's "really into body mods" to pass her revival scars as artistic scarification, that she's just "really naturally pale" and that the red tints in her eyes is just a trick of light. She goes from natural blonde to black hair, starts sticking to straight hair and bangs as opposed to ponytails and white-blonde hair and spends an inordinate amount of time at a record store. At some point she meets Margaret (Madge) and Ian who she discovers are a duo of very different psychics and sort-of best friends. There's an odd attraction of elements and they all come together into the group - The Gang if you want to go into Scooby-Dooesque terms, really.
Winter-Spring: Another year is passing and her obnoxious amounts of time spent in record stores turn into an actual job at one instead. She works as a cashier and serves coffee and starts learning how to play some notes at home with the roommates. Her hunger becomes more manageable over time but she and Lazare keep it a secret where they go for food when it gets really bad. By this point she's had some jam sessions with her friends but Jared still struggles with coming up with a band name. It's fine for her - she's still shy, tries to keep out of the public eye, wears scarves and long sleeves and collars as much as possible. There's one event in which she almost ends up in the ER when she's particularly tired and carrying crates into the story late at night tires her further, to the point of her body physically weakens and her scars start to revert into wounds. A coworker insists on taking her to the hospital but Margaret gets her text and picks her up before anymore damage can be done. No one wants a hungry, tired and steadily angrier ghoul in the emergency room. It's not a one-time incident but it's a grim reminder to her that she can't push herself that far unless she wants to attract the suspicions of unsuspecting humans or particularly unfriendly supernaturals.
Summer-Autumn: Second year anniversary of her awakening and The Gang(tm) go on a camping trip. It's short-lived when Raoul falls and they think he broke his foot (he didn't!) close to the track they'd taken years prior before finding Adora's body. They decide it's a sign to just not go back there. That and the hands pawing at their tents despite there not being anyone else in the area during the first night are pretty good indicators that the place is No Good. Jared gets a connection and they do a photo shoot for an album concept and at this point they've just resigned to keep posting music under his and Raoul's silly named B*ndcamp account. They end up dressing up as private school students and taking pictures in a school that's been closed down and is being bulldozed soon to rebuild a newer, better one ("or something like that"). Adora is very impressed though shy to the idea of having her own photo on the internet.
Winter-Spring: It's revealed that Lazare was Margaret's "imaginary friend" as a child. Apparently he wasn't imaginary and she was right and there's an awkward rift because no one ever believed her and she's honestly a bit terrified of him even though he proves to be pretty much okay for someone who's constantly trying to figure out what kind of ghoul he thinks he's babysitting - Adora is pretty self-sufficient by this point though and definitely not babysat. She delves more into photography and spends a lot of her free time listening to 80s music and taking pictures. Over time but especially over these months, Raoul and her become closer and closer, a lot like best friends. She confides in him that she's beginning to feel some semblance of emotion beyond confusion or anger and has been for a long while but doesn't yet understand it very well. She also expresses her fear of growing steadily hungrier for humans because she hasn't tasted their flesh in a long time - which proves to him that she has before. On the other hand, he confides in her that his magic doesn't just go in the way of creating life but also removing it but that he's afraid of experimenting it further than on some of his plants. Jared is concerned when he finds rocks and sticks and even some small bones at their doorsteps but can't figure anything out from them - no trace, no "history", though it turns out to be a petty trick by some neighbourhood kids who overheard them talking about supernatural things. They start planning out a roadtrip for the next year.
Summer-Autumn: Third year anniversary of her awakening. A lot of Adora's time is spent working harder and helping with the roadtrips plans. She also does some vocals for some of the group's tracks though it takes a lot of convincing. And she wants her alias in the song credits to be "zombie-girl" as opposed to her name. This is also her canon point.
WHAT ARE YOUR CHARACTER'S STRENGTHS?:
Though introverted to a fault, Adora has a very strong sense of honour - not in a "I will fight for my family/nation/world" sort of way, but in an "I shall not tell others' secrets/I will not harm others" kind of way. She's got a strong resolve for what she considers small but valuable things like not eating someone's arm when she's just being a glutton for something she would like to eat but doesn't need to, or not getting angry when she knows it'll give her strength for a moment but will leave her a mess of blood and grunts in the next - you know. Things that aren't that small by human standards, but she's not human. Despite her nature, she's also got a caring aspect to her, one she got from spending so much time with Raoul. If someone is hurt she'll want to help. If someone is about to do a really bad decision, she'll give some advice if given the opportunity. There's a bit of sass to her on occasion, however; she's got self-assurance and doesn't think of herself as a doormat or lesser for being different, even among her crew of supernatural buddies. Over time she's grown to have a bit of a sense of humour which helps her in dealing with stress. She's not very funny, but she tries to break the ice. It also helps her.
WHAT ARE YOUR CHARACTER'S WEAKNESSES?:
It's not that difficult to tear her down with the right buttons. She doesn't deal well with crowds, invasive questions or extrapolation on why her kind is bad because a lot of the time, perhaps due to her inherent kindness, she becomes too sympathetic to others' struggles. She has a hard time putting her needs and values above others if she believes they're being target of injustice. She's also afraid of herself, or rather the worst side of her. The hunger she feels and the beast that lives deep within. Her anger is her greatest downfall, turning her into a small but momentarily vicious being. She's afraid of other zombies - again, because she's afraid she'll become less like a self-controlled ghoul and more like them. Another thing that scares her is finding out who she was; over time she's decidedthatshe doesn't want to - so the idea that she could just wake up one day and be two different people at the same time horrifies her to the core.
Adora is also weak to mind control so she's both scared of it and of it being used on her.
WHAT EVENTS OR CIRCUMSTANCES IN YOUR CHARACTER'S PAST HAVE IMPACTED THEM THE MOST?:
Being both an amnesiac and the victim of a bloody murder. Though she doesn't recall the circumstances of it, looking at herself and the various lines across her body are a constant reminder that she was once someone, that two people brought her back unwittingly and that one creature has gone as far as to call her a mistake. That she carries a story of a crime and the story of the punishment to her reanimators and that there are limitations she will have to live (... "live") with for as long as her body continues to move and her mind continues to think.
These things have shaped her into wanting to be more than any of that - than being a "Jane Doe" when she can be Adora, the photo and music-loving ghoul, than being a mistake because she's not "exactly" the way others her kind are, than being scars and hunger and red eyes and frail limbs.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOUR CHARACTER?:
Wanting to discover herself - her new self, not a past she doesn't know and one she rejects. Wanting to become someone rather than something and continuously learning not just to adapt but to exist. To live and experience life despite her peculiar circumstances, or at least the closest thing to it.
WHAT IMPRESSION DO OTHERS TEND TO HAVE OF YOUR CHARACTER?:
That she's "a bit of an oddity" - her sense of style is oftentimes dark and oftentimes cute and she's got "all those tattoos and body mods" (read: actual scars from actual stitches) but she still looks so quiet and doll-like that a lot of people have a lot of a hard time connecting it to the story she shares.
Others who know her true nature still do often consider her odd, perhaps because she stands out as being "too nice" or "too sweet" even for the dark nature they would think lies underneath.
Oftentimes what wins out though is people considering her very timid. Probably because she is.
IN WHAT WAYS DOES THAT IMPRESSION DIFFER FROM WHO YOUR CHARACTER REALLY IS?:
On the first topic, it's obviously the fact that's been approached already in which she can't just go ahead and tell people "Hi I'm Adora, I'm dead, wanna go out" or something along those lines. She's not a body mod enthusiast, she doesn't even think she would want to get a tattoo even if they're "really cool" in her opinion.
It also differs how people seem to assume that because she's got a gentle nature, that must mean she's either faking it or she really has no one grim bone in her body - she's not faking kindness, and she does have a dark side lying deep underneath. It's heavily connected to her hunger which is unfortunately a key point to her in case that hasn't been hammered into the table quite so thoroughly already.
All in all she's still very transparent in some aspects though - people consider her sweet and she can be. People think she's timid and she is. She's probably more scared of you than you are of her.
HOW DOES YOUR CHARACTER HANDLE CRISIS OR ADVERSITY?:
"Please do not yell at me I'm coughing up blood I should be the one yelling" is a pretty accurate way of describing her response to adversity - though not literally like that. Adora doesn't like to be involved in conflict and will avoid is as much as possible if only because she doesn't deal well with people directing aggressive impulses at her. However, her inability to fully grasp a lot of emotions that well also means she doesn't panic easily.
If it involves physical exertion that's where it's different - her body isn't 100% functional and because of the same magical hijinks that brought her back being faulty to a glaring degree, physical effort can go from causing her to cough up some blood to outrigt throwing up blood clots and, further yet (imagine, if she were in an accident or someone was torturing her or if she'd ran a marathon across the city without stopping) the scars from the stitches that were used to put her back together will start reverting to open wounds, the more exhausted the worst.
This doesn't apply to sleep exhaustion! I do mean that sort of effort on one's body that could cause tremendous pain, for instance.
WHICH 5 THINGS WILL YOUR CHARACTER REMEMBER UPON ARRIVAL, AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THEM?:
I - The distinct feeling of choking or drowning - the sound of bubbles and heavy movement are what make the latter plausible.
III - A sinking pain in her stomach. Red, raw, pulsing flesh. Her hands, red. Her breathing, heavy.
The thing she should fear most is her most basic impulse: to feed. Indiscriminately. Again hammering that point down because she doesn't voice it, but it's heavily looming in her subconscious mind at all times.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU FEEL WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER?:
PBs aren't everything! Mun is also a tired artist who is never happy with the icons she makes so there's some visual reference that needs to be added. Thanks for asking, mods!
Please understand this is the ghoul you're dealing with: here and here
Adora is physically small (like 5'3" small) and has a small frame. She's on the pale end of skin pigmentation with dark eyes that have a red tint to them. Her hair is naturally blonde but since her reanimation it grows white-blonde - she's been dyeing it black all these years.
Because her body was stitched back together by Jared before Raoul could start a healing ritual, her scars line up to where Jane Doe's corpse was cut. there's one linking her head to her neck, one on each arm shortly below shoulder-length, one on each forearm shortly above wrist-length, one on each thigh and one on each calf. Across her chest there's also a Y-incision and though there's some level of skill to it, it definitely wasn't performed in an autopsy (that much is obvious with her backstory). They're not red and covered in stitches, but they're scars, you know and the pulled skin shows to some obvious degree. In her world, regular humans who aren't privy to the supernatural world around them think she's done aesthetic scarification and she just rolls with it.
She has some other marks here and there but those are mostly faded; small signs of where her body was decomposing, and also a mole on her navel.
SKILLS, ABILITIES, & PHYSICAL WEAKNESSES:
Painlessness - Adora is insensitive to most agreeable degrees of pain. This includes slaps, scratches, probably a first stab wound or a light burn. She probably won't complain about stubbing her toe or being grazed by a bullet, but leave it in long enough and it'll probably grant some comment of discomfort, she'll probably start coughing up blood and realise her body isn't taking it. Anything that starts going beyond it causes her body to weaken, her wounds to revert to open ones and her instincts to start taking over.
Technical immortality - unless you probably smash her head in and really make sure she's a clumpy mess she'll regenerate form light wounds or even deeper ones as mentioned above.
Strength - only when adrenaline takes over and only momentary. Like, a lot of strength. Not Superman-levels but probably enough to face a muscly person and knock them down. The drawback is it only lasts a bit before her body starts breaking down similarly to what's described in the first point.
Strong sense of smell - especially for blood/meat. It doesn't mean she'll get hungry, but it does mean she'll know where to go if someone is injured for instance.
Hunger - a key factor to push her into an adrenaline-driven mode, except if she feeds she won't have as much of an issue regenerating energy and thus not bleeding out until she blacks out. This isn't even "I could go for lunch" hunger, it's the primal one that affects her senses and tugs at her ghoulish strings. The stronger it gets, the more likely she is to go into a frenzy; she'll start with moodiness, going into dry heaving and low grunting until she's driven by her sense of smell to just eat. You know. Raw meat, blood, guts, etc. Worry not! This level of senselessness would only happen if she were chained up and not fed for a long time, as opposed to just getting her hands on some meat on the local market for isntance. We don't want anyone eating anyone else here.
Empathy - not in the superpower sense, more in a "I have a bleeding heart" kind of way. Labeling it as a weakness because it means she often ends up putting others before herself and that can be easily used to anyone's advantage.
Weak emotions - this means she's more of an awkward person around others than it being a big flaw of character, but Adora doesn't yet understand a lot of emotions. I suppose this could be a point for empaths/mind readers or mind controllers though!
Poor physique - normally she's just very average. But she doesn't run a few miles, she doesn't carry big IKEA boxes, heck she'll be glad if you give her a hand with groceries. Really. Please don't make her try too hard, she'll be glad.
INVENTORY: Just her clothes, shoes and a smartphone with a camera - it's ok if it's removed upon arrival or doesn't work, she mostly just uses it to take photos. Also an mp3 player and a headset.