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The Homelessness Problem
Ellie Pierce
IC Information
Full Name: Ellie Lorraine Pierce
Full Title: N/A
Gender: Female
Age: 23
Tradition: Orphan
Essence: Pattern
Arete: 3
Height: 5'3"
Weight: 105 lbs
Nature: Renunciate
Demeanor: Loner
Hair: White
Eyes: Blue
OOC Information
Theme Song:
Quote:
Status: Current PC
Player: Puck


ParadigmEdit

Music therapy is built off the theory that the human mind, body, emotions, and even behavior can be altered by music. And it isn't just humanity. The gardener that swears her roses grow better when she sings to them. Animals calming at the sound of their mother's voice, or growing agitated at a howl. Sound can effect the world around us in ways we don't understand, but are dying to accept. We believe in the soothing power of music. We believe it can speak to a more primal part of us. That it can appeal to a more refined part of us. And it can. And it can do the same to all of reality. One just has to know how to listen and tap into the right song.

PersonalityEdit

Where once she was a lively, caring person, Ellie's life changing day sent ripples, not just through her lifestyle, but her self as well. Her caring nature has turned more inward, helping herself stay stable and together and living as best she can. She plays her music for the passersby, holding her hat out for money and lives with the hit to her pride and dignity as best she can. The knowledge that she came from so much more sometimes weighs on her, makes her a little skittish about accepting charity. Swallowing her pride for a bite to eat is still a challenge for her, but survival is the name of the game. She'd rather work for her food, as much as singing on a corner counts as working. Better than just begging outright, in her own mind.

SheetEdit

Attributes:

Physical: Strength 2, Dexterity 2, Stamina 3
Social: Charisma 2, Manipulation 2, Appearance 4
  • Appearance Specialty: Intriguing
Mental: Perception 3, Intelligence 3, Wits 4
  • Wits Specialty: Survival

Abilities:

Talents: Athletics 2, Dodge 3, Empathy 2, Expression 4, Scrounging 3, Streetwise 2
  • Expression Specialty: Songwriting
Skills: Meditation 3, Performance (Vocals, Flute, Piano, Violin) 4, Survival 3
  • Performance Specialty: Improv
Knowledges: Academics (Music Therapy) 2, Medicine 2, Science (Botany) 1

Advantages:

Spheres: Life 3, Mind 2, Entropy 2
Backgrounds: Avatar 4, Contacts 3, Dream 2, Sanctum 3
Willpower: 8
Arete: 3
Quintessence: 8
Merits: Spark of Life 5
Flaws: Echoes 4, Strangeness 1, Persistent Parents 2
Freebies (35)
Flaws: +2
Backgrounds: -5
Arete: -8
Spheres: -7
Talents: -6
Skills: -2
Quintessence: -1
Willpower: -3
Physicals: -5

Merits & FlawsEdit

Merits
  • Spark of Life
Something she never had occasion to notice growing up, but her time on the streets has given her insight into her own quick-healing nature and her time as a nurse showed her that she had the gift of healing. Some people have just got it.
Flaws
  • Echoes
Something of a backlash from her Awakening, as best she can figure it, as since that day, her shadow seems to have a mind of its own. Sometimes it moves about, or stands in a different direction or stretches out at high noon or doesn't appear at all. It is certainly something that gets her eyed heavily and outright avoided sometimes.
  • Strangeness
Perhaps from the trial-and-error fashion she learned magic, Ellie just sometimes can't predict what it's going to do. Sometimes it even seems to lash out at her for no apparent reason! Fickle thing.
  • Persistent Parents
Ellie's parents are the only two that haven't accepted that she was killed in the earthquakes in March of 2009. They just can't believe that. After all, there was no body found! Surely that means something. They continue to try to find traces of her to this day.

BackgroundsEdit

  • Avatar
Nevaeh, the Avatar that appears in Ellie's dreams as a literal Muse, surrounded by music and light and joy and decadence. She revels more than a bit in that decadence and she loves art and beauty and all those things a homeless person would generally find quite frivolous (who cares about the 'quality of silk' anyway?) and Ellie both enjoys and hates the reminder of the finer things in life than she isn't capable of acquiring at the moment. But they both love the music and Nevaeh inspires Ellie to what she considers her greatest creations.
  • Contacts
Homeless people! She knows them. That one begging for weed outside of City Hall? Check. The chick who hops up to clean your car windows at the city's longest red light? Double Check. The old man cackling into his coffee outside of the Barnes and Noble? Yep, him too.
  • Dream
It started the day of her Awakening, in her actual dreams, but since then she's learned to tap into this odd insight for a short boost in her skills and abilities.
  • Sanctum
Ellie lives in a derelict building on the bad side of town, and her sanctum is in the basement of said building. She keeps her instruments and incense and songwriting tools and other such things down there and people do seem to leave it alone. Perhaps a homeless person's personal space just isn't all that interesting.

FociEdit

Ellie uses music to tap into her magical abilities, all music she's written herself, generally conceptualized during a meditative process involvig the sphere in question. The songs help her concentrate and focus on those spheres, as well as soothing any listeners that may be around, just by virtue of their tone. All have been transposed and learned and memorized enough to play on any instrument she knows, including her voice.

  • Life (Discarded)
Cor Hyali - This song is uplifting, inspiring, even. Something that would be played behind moving speeches or dramatic fireworks displays.
  • Mind (Discarded)
Atrox Susurratrix - A haunting tune, reminiscent of music boxes and lonely nights in big drafty houses. Written to be infectious, the type of tune you won't be able to get out of your head for days.
  • Entropy
Mane Firma Limite - Slower and steadier, this song has a reassurance about it, firm and unbending as it slowly builds in intensity to a booming climax.

AdvancementEdit

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Advancement HistoryEdit

HistoryEdit

Ellie was born and raised in Crystal Springs. Her parents were prominent enough individuals, her father a lawyer and her mother a doctor, and she was born into a certain amount of privilege. The influence of her parents was minimal on her life, as both worked far more than they were at home, although Friday night dinners were something of a ritual in her younger years. When she was excited to see them and talk about her day. But most of her day-to-day life was spent with Ilsa, the nanny. And even with the thrill of an elderly woman looking after her, ahem, Ellie took to finding was to entertain herself.

It was her early teen years that found her passion in music and art and she dove into them with a gusto born of hunger as well as... well, extreme boredom. She kept this passion a secret from her family, playing it off as extracirriculars to pad her eventual college applications. She took classes ranging from vocal and instrumental training to songwriting to painting and art history. It was all she ever wanted to do. Unfortunately, her parents had limited her options to the medical field or the law or other similarly economically placed vocations.

They, of course, didn't know she was looking at anything else. After all, she'd kept up with school and shown interest and never hinted at anything else. Until they looked over the colleges she was applying to. There were plenty they approved of, of course, but there was a rash of fine arts colleges. She even had paperwork filled out for Julliard. Which was nice, but, of course, ridiculous.

The fight that followed was possibly the longest conversation the family had ever had.

Unfortunately, as they were paying for it, they chose her college. And they kept her close, right there in Crystal Springs. But, as she went through the standard general education classes... something else caught her eye. Perhaps the perfect compromise. Musical Therapy. So that's where she aimed. She dual majored, to get her bachelor's in that field, as well as getting her RN licensing. It was medical! And her family did, eventually, accept it. It was something useful, at least.

When she graduated, she went right to work for a group home, using her therapies to help adjust behaviors and emotions in the troubled youth of the city. But... it was not to last long. Only a few months, really, before Ellie dropped off the grid altogether. No one knew what happened to her. One day, she was at work just like normal, then nothing. After the earthquakes, nothing. Her parents filed a missing person's report, her boss promised to be in contact if he heard from her, but going on a year later and there's been no sign of her. Those that wouldn't accept her being one of the fatalities that day, have been forced to since. Just too long, the authorities would say, she would have shown up /somewhere/ if she was alive.

Of course, what they don't know is that in March of 2009, there was a supernatural event that rocked the city in ways most people never even knew. For Ellie, it was much more personal. One night, she fell asleep... and didn't wake up. It was a night, or however long it lasted, of fevered dreams. Nightmares that seemed real. And perhaps they were. Perhaps they weren't. But she was plagued by horrors and fears, claws ripping at her, acid burning, and all the while there was something building swiftly inside her. She didn't know what it was that was happening to her, she just remembers seeing... It. It was like a bird, a falcon. But large and twisted and evil. There was no better word for it, that creature that would continue to visit her dreams. She saw it climb out of a dark pit in those dreams, saw it take to the skies and consume the city in its parted beak, in its clawed talons.

It was that vision that caused the power growing within her to unleash, she heard it on a song, a march as if to war. She felt it pour out of her, it felt like a fire, like a raging river, like a hurricane, but it wouldn't be until she woke up that she saw the effects on the world around her. For one, she wasn't in her bed, but laying in a muddy pool next to a new cliff face out away from the city proper. There were broken trees around her, jagged earth, all the signs of an earthquake. One she seemed to be sitting at the epicenter of, and yet... unscathed.

It was the first of many mysteries she was to unravel from then on. That along with her new found abilities. And on her own as well. She had no idea where to find someone to help her, nor did she know that most of those who could were killed in the event that sparked her Awakening. She knew she should return to her family, but could she? Knowing she was somehow responsible, and knowing she didn't know how or why she was able to do these things. And worse, she didn't know how to control it. She returned to her apartment one last time to grab some clothes, her favorite and lightest instruments (Alas, poor Piano) and what money she had lying around. And then... she found herself a derelict building and started to try to figure herself out.

In the basement of that building, she found herself enough privacy to set up a little space for herself, a place away from others, if not totally away from danger if she were to trigger another earthquake. But, what must be done. There was a part of her that was... reluctant. Like admitting there was anything more than what she could see to believe in would mean admitting she wasn't entirely there. The accident did something to her mind, it didn't stir some sort of raw power within her. That didn't make any sense. But her rational mind was not the more persistant.

On her own, it took time to feel things out. Time to convince herself she wasn't crazy. Time to try to grab hold of the power within her. She started with what she knew. Healing. She understood healing, how the body and mind repair themselves. If only she could just... push it along. But, meditation and concentration were a bust. Staring didn't work much, either. It had always worked that way in the movies. Failure after failure sent her to her comfort zone of music, just trying to reassure herself, relax, refocus. While there was no sudden flash of magic at the sound, she did find herself feeling more... at home with the music. More at ease.

It started her thinking, the nature of music, the fundamentals of timing and notes, building them into a symphony in her mind. Her thinking is what finally started to shift her view of the world around her, now to take the same, mundane things and bring them together differently to create that symphony. It was something of an epiphany, and that night she heard the song in her dreams, played on a harp by a woman in flowing robes and adorned with gold. Ellie would carry that memory with her always, the first time she saw Nevaeh, the smirk on the woman's face, the elegance of her fingers. When she woke up, she grabbed her flute and started to play. She played the song for days, over and over. She didn't stop to eat, she didn't stop to change, she didn't even move. She just... played. She let the magic flow through her. Her first breakthrough and what felt like a giant step for mankind. Or well, for her anyway.

For months, she fell into endless study and experimentation. Her attention on the outside world? Minimal. Her assurance of her own sanity? Even more minimal. But she no longer cared, because she found her magic. And she was determined to master it. Still is. Her muse had different ideas, and nudged her toward more than just healing. She expanded her views on the idea of life, sure, but she also showed her the inner workings of the mind, teaching her the right song to reach into it. It was then that she started coming back out, to sing on the street. To experiment. To test. To play. She was a little manic when her magic worked outside of her own little world, like it hadn't really been real until she brought it out into the light.

After those initial moments of clarity and understanding, Ellie started to calm, to take things in stride, to accept her magic as a real, tangible part of her life that was no more odd than breathing or eating. There is always that nagging voice that she might be insane, maybe sitting in an asylum somewhere... but her mind no longer wanted to accept that as a real possibility. After all, here she can do magic. Her muse continued to nudge her along, though, knowing that she needed /some/ kind of guidance, on to the art of fate and the patterns there in. Learning the song there came easier, now that she was more familiar with the process. And less excitable. Her life became one of discovery and challenge, with the odd reminder to acutally eat and drink. Within her basement, the world formed for her. She started a garden, simply because she /could/, she made a makeshift desk that was swiftly covered in papers that were swiftly covered in music and theories and strewn left and right. But, odd as it is, she's happy in her little world, even with how very different it is from her old one.


MiscellaneousEdit

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