Avaline Corvidae
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Avaline Corvidae RPC
Name:
Avaline “Ava” Corvidae

Race:
Vampire, formerly human

Age:
Sixteen going on 135.


Origin:
Scotland – her surname was Dunning, until she had it changed.


Family:
None. Parents are long dead; never had any kids, and only took up with one young man.

Height:
4'10''

Weight:
98 lbs.

Characteristic Song:
Fear a Bhata

Appearance:

Elfin and fun-sized would be ideal words to use when attempting to describe Avaline’s general body shape. Her bust is not exceptionally generous for her size, but it does catch some eyes, and her thin waist complements her form quite nicely. Her hair, usually done up in a complex side tail, is black as jet, with a trail of excess hair that reaches down to her butt. She is not a creature of limitless grace and pure beauty, however. Comely as she is, eternal undeath has darkened and perverted her facial features, leaving her with an appearance that usually evokes fear and unease upon first viewing, rather than admiration.

Her skin's deathly pale complexion calls to mind the lifeless pallor of a porcelain doll, and bears no resemblance to anything that had ever been alive. This is inherently unnatural in the eyes of most, and it is this journey through the uncanny valley that accounts for most of the apprehension Ava's appearance inspires in others. Her cheeks, once full and flushed with life, are now gaunt and hollow shells of what they once were, robbed of the flush of color that used to hang about them. Even her eyes are not immune to the physical corruption eternal undeath has wrought upon her. Her irises, once a beautiful cerulean blue, have turned an unsettlingly unnatural ruby red, and her eyes have sunken and developed dark circles, which only underlines the effect by lending her eyes a sharpened, feral appearance. The fear Avaline can evoke increases slightly whenever she flashes any kind of smile broader than a smirk, but that's mostly just because her fangs are bared for all the world to see.

Avaline is usually clad in a black tank top with spaghetti straps, bearing a lavender-colored emblem resembling fangs on the front, for obvious reasons. She frequently wears an off-black woolen sweater over this that hangs loosely off her shoulders. She sometimes wears black leggings and violet pantyhose with a matching skirt and pair of boots, but she usually prefers a pair of form-fitting black jeans and leather combat boots bedecked with studs and straps. The final piece of most any outfit she wears is a hair pin shaped like a skull-and-crossbones, and when she's not wearing her sweater, she can be seen with wide leather bracelets on, in black.

Personality:

Avaline is generally quiet and keeps to herself, and often seems altogether bored with the world around her, judging by how she doesn't smile that much. That’s not to say she isn’t good company once she warms up to you. If you’re lucky enough to be on friendly terms with her, you’ll find that she is a very invested and loyal individual with a few odd quirks. She’s very good at nursing grudges, though, and regaining her trust usually isn't very easy.

Abilities:

Super strength: Avaline is substantially stronger than a human. She doesn’t have to worry about preserving energy, as she is undead, so she can perform feats of strength that would be impossible for most humans, like lifting a fully-stocked refrigerator.

Super speed: She’s also capable of moving much faster than humans can.

Super reflexes: Ava is far more agile than any human, and she has excellent fine motor dexterity. The primary benefit of this is that it prevents her from running too fast to stop, as she usually prefers not to get embroiled in fights.

Heightened senses: Ava has better senses of hearing and smell than a living human does; she can also see up to fifty yards away in the dark.

Heightened stamina: Ava is like the Energizer bunny. She just keeps going, at least for longer periods of time than ordinary humans would. Precious little can really tire her out, and she does not have to sleep during any time of day at all. Sleep deprivation doesn’t have any effect on her physical or psychological well-being.

Healing Factor: Ava can heal from nearly any wound except decapitation and being impaled through the heart on a wooden stake, without antiseptics and at a very fast rate. She can even regenerate lost tissue, but her healing factor makes performing surgery on her extremely difficult. This also makes it harder to ensure that bone fractures heal right, which means her bones usually have to be broken at least twice. Cuts, abraisons, and bruises aren’t even considered injuries due to how well she can heal, and staking her is made difficult by the presence of her ribcage.

Shapeshifting: Ava can transform into a vampire bat or a raven, but usually prefers the latter – it’s why she changed her last name to Corvidae.

Strengths:

Avaline's greatest strength is, by far, her pacifism. She staunchly refuses to take up a weapon or throw a punch, and she prefers to defuse a tense situation by walking away from a fight if she is given the option to do so. It's not that she doesn't understand the "might makes right" mentality; she does, and she doesn't have a problem with it. She just doesn't want to be the aggressor in a situation, and prefers to be assertive by refusing to give someone who is antagonizing her the satisfaction of getting to her.

That doesn't mean she's weak or that she doesn't have the resolve for fighting if she has no other alternatives. When cornered, she'll use everything she's got to fight back until she can find a way out. Her strong sense of self-preservation is her second-greatest strength, although it can also be one of her greatest weaknesses under the right circumstances.

Weaknesses:

Her greatest personal weakness is cowardice. She’s generally very good at keeping a cool head, but if she’s up against something or someone that manages to genuinely terrify her, she’ll gladly throw anyone under the bus if it gives her a chance to escape from the situation. This is precisely because she has a strong sense of self-preservation: she knows she’s not powerful enough to stop what she’s afraid of, so she throws other people at a fear trigger and legs it. She can overcome the fear if something much bigger and more important than herself is at stake, but it takes a tremendous effort of willpower.

She has very few weaknesses tied to her vampirism. She can walk in the sunlight, holy water just splashes against her like regular water does, she can cross running water or a threshold, and garlic only affects her because of a mild food allergy she’s had since she was alive and because of her heightened sense of smell. She doesn’t have an obsessive-compulsive desire to count objects or untie knots, either, and silver won’t hurt her. She does, however, need to drink blood on a regular basis, generally at least once in a full twenty-four hour day. She can go without it for a few days, but, as previously mentioned, that’s the longest she can go before she attacks people in a frenzy. Also mentioned previously are the drawbacks of her healing factor.

Her shapeshifting ability carries with it a set of limitations. Firstly, she can only transform at night, with a few short windows of time during the daylight at dawn, noon, and twilight. Secondly, she doesn’t revert to human form during any other time, which means she can, for example, be stuck as a bat or raven for a whole morning. Finally, being trapped in a birdcage cancels out her ability to shapeshift, even if she’s a bat instead of a raven. If the door is open, she can escape, but until she does, she’s stuck like that. She still has to drink blood, though, and being in a frenzy is enough to overcome the limitation of being trapped in a birdcage.
Background story:

"'Are you sure you want this?' We stood in silence for a moment, his sunken eyes staring into mine as he waited for my answer. I didn’t say anything, but he read my answer in the look I was giving him. Of course I want this, I thought. Why are you asking me this now? He sighed. 'Eternity is a potent nepenthe, young thing,' he said, his voice rumbling with palpable consternation. 'But I’d be lying to you if I told you it could take away the pain entirely. D’you have any idea how much you’d be giving up? You have what I don’t – a chance to grow old and enjoy life each day at a time, maybe settle down and build a family with someone else – and you’re telling me you’d willingly piss that away just because your man jilted you and you don’t want to feel the pain? Stupid, mad bint, is what you are. I made the same choice for the same reason all those years ago, and look at what it did to me.

'Look at me, miss; really look, and tell me you really want me to help you make the same mistake I did. I need to hear you say it, loud and clear.' I did as he told me to do – looked him over a moment or so – and then caught his glance. Though the tears were welling up at the corners of my eyes, I would not be deterred. So it was that I said, without further hesitation, 'Yes. I want to become a vampire.'

The next several minutes are something of a blur, and I can’t remember what that stranger looked like. What I do remember is the last sensation I ever felt before waking up alone several hours later, drenched in rain and tucked away in some backalley in the bad part of Edinburgh where nobody cared much about dead Janes. The last thing I felt in life was intense pain coursing through my entire body, pain that radiated outwards from my jugular, where I'd been bitten, the kind of pain that could drive someone mad and which only ever seems to escape in the form of anguished screams. I sometimes wonder whether my sire was secretly enthused by the prospect of a willing donor, but that hardly matters now, and it didn't matter to me much then, either. All that mattered in that moment in time was finding a medicine that could mend the deepest pain of all; a broken heart. For how could I continue living if I couldn't have the heart of my boatman?

In life, I had been a young Scottish maiden named Avaline Dunning, living in a port town across the Minch from the Isle of Lewis, on the mainland. I wasn’t nobility, but Grandad was a peerless fishmonger that made his family rich off the catch brought in from the North Atlantic. This left my dad, Alexander Dunning, wealthy enough to win the favor of Carlisle Windsor – an old money type, distantly related to the royal family – and, more importantly, the hand of his beloved Beatrice. Because of my grandfather’s life of labor, I grew up in comfort, never feeling the need that I would come to see in so many poor families living in the hearts of the big cities. My childhood came and went as you might expect, pampered, well taken care of, however you want to say it. But I was also instilled with a sense of honesty, and practicality. Not a shred of the money our families had together was to be wasted on unwise endeavors and extravagant purchases made for any reason besides being a rare treat.

I was an only daughter, so it was expected that I’d marry into another wealthy family when I came of age; my parents even had a few suitors in mind already, chosen from a few families of similar social backgrounds. It wasn’t a fresh suitor sitting pretty that caught my eyes, though. With his strapping, burly physique, and his dark hair, and with the most beautiful blue-green eyes I’d ever seen, it was a fisherman in my family’s employ that had my heart at first sight. It was something out of a penny novel, our little romance. My parents disapproved of how we looked at each other, but it hardly mattered to me. Their chastisements were worth the tender moments we shared. He was the Romeo to my Juliet. Of course, if you know anything about that play, you would say that’s hardly a flattering comparison. For me, it ended up being a little too on the nose.

It wasn’t until I’d snuck out one night to look for him at one of his usual haunts that I saw him for what kind of man he really was. He was at a humble tavern in a hamlet not far down the shore, sitting across from another young woman taken with him, saying everything to her I’d heard him say to me, thinking he had eyes for me alone. I bolted out the door, but he’d seen me. He tried to stop me from running, but I guess at some point he’d given up the chase, because I didn’t see him again that next day. I was devastated, and my dad was livid with him for breaking my heart. The last time I ever saw him, about a week after that night, he was on our doorstep, pleading with my dad to keep his job. Dad dismissed him without question. My parents decided upon a groom and I was set to meet him a few days later, but I had other plans.

I had no desire to be married off to someone I'd never met before like I was just someone's property, but at the same time, it seemed like I couldn't find a man on my own who could make me happy and really mean it. It was an insane lose-lose game to play, from where I was standing. So, I left the house for Edinburgh the same night I was told I was going to be married off, telling the hired help it would be better that my parents didn't know where I was going. I took enough money to get me down to Edinburgh, with a length of rope taken from the dockyards that I was planning to hang myself with. I nearly did it too, but a friendly neighborhood rescuer got in the way.

It was that same mysterious stranger that saved my life. At first, I cried out of desperation. I also cursed him with all kinds of coarse and un-ladylike language, most of which I’d picked up from my Romeo during the course of his work. How could anyone see fit to make a poor, jilted girl live when she clearly desired no such thing? I got to know a little bit about him after a few nights, though, and it soon became clear that he and I were kindred spirits. He was, at heart, a kind man who’d suffered a cruel and undeserving slight, and he had drawn from the experience the same conclusion that I did.

He was also long dead by about two hundred years, and possessed of some supernatural qualities he’d gotten by making the same choice I ended up making. I begged him, pleaded with him in the most pitiful ways, to let me in on his little slice of eternity to ease the pain in my wounded heart. It took some doing, but he eventually relented just after sunset one day. I awoke several hours later drenched from head to foot in rain, only to find he’d left me there. I went by his usual hiding spot, hoping against all odds that he'd stuck around to leave me with whatever knowledge he could share to get me started. Instead of him, though, I found a note in his handwriting, telling me I was on my own, because he had no interest in showing a headstrong heiress the ropes when it came to being a vampire.

Nothing about vampirism comes naturally aside from the thirst, and I had to learn everything else about it mostly firsthand, on account of being abandoned to make or break it on my own. There is no analog switch that turns on your body’s ability to take in blood, to begin with. You have to wean yourself off normal food and introduce more of your liquid diet a little at a time. Then you have to spend what seems like a decade and a half studying the anatomy of whichever animals you’d like to turn into, because it’s not as simple as just willing yourself into the shape of, say, a bat unless you know what you're going to be turning into from the top down. You will eventually be able to shapeshift without having to consciously remember all of the anatomical research you've done, but that takes years of practice.

I met a vampire who said it was like puberty all over again, only without the fun parts. A refreshingly brisk summary, I think, if uncomfortably close to the truth.

After taking some time to get used to the changes, I struck out into the wider world, just to occupy my limitless well of time with wandering. I crossed paths with other vampires sometimes, and on occasion, I'd even take a few days off from traveling to settle down amongst an established nest. I even went back to my home town after awhile, to find out how much had changed since I left. I learned that my parents eventually got the help to fess up and tell them where I was going. They sent people to look all over Edinburgh for any signs of me, but, of course, I was never found. They called off the search after two months of fruitless searching, and held a memorial service, having concluded that I had died and been buried as an unknown nobody.

I also heard that my dearest Romeo became an embittered drunk who passed away of an apparent suicide. He was found floating in the river five years before my triumphant return after he lept into the water during a biting winter night, so I guess I got the last laugh. I couldn’t afford to stick around for very long, though, not with so many people there who were still alive to remember what I looked like.

I never went back there after that. I was around to witness both the greatest and the worst things that happened in the recorded history of my home world, Earth. I saw the fall of the British Empire, and the stock market crash of 1929 that snowballed into the Great Depression. I saw two wars that completely changed the world. I was there in Dallas when John F. Kennedy was assasinated. I saw so much pain and anguish grip my world that I eventually wanted out. In the year 2007, a way out presented itself in the form of a goddess of nature. She told me she had an important task for me. I was to be an emmisary on another world – another Earth, under another name. It was an Earth where I wouldn’t have to hide what I was for very much longer. My story didn’t end there, of course. I witnessed a lot of things, both great and terrible, in this world, too, but I’m no longer a lonely stranger wandering wherever the wind takes her. Eventually, I dropped my old surname, and took up the name Avaline Corvidae.

Still, I can’t help but hum an old song penned in my homeland every now and again. It’s an aria, penned in Scots Gaelic by another woman that had been in a relationship with a fisherman roughly a hundred years before I was born. She got a happy ending, though; her boatman married her after he realized what he was doing to her, mine didn’t. And when I hum that song, I can’t help but wonder whether I’d have gotten a happy ending myself, if he’d only been a better man."