Even a small town should have a good local community radio station, and New Haven is served by the intrepid reporters and newscasters of WMNH, a branch of the main NPR station in Portland. One of the more fanciful broadcasts, spun as radio theater of a sort, is provided by one Cecil Brannan, a man with a melodious voice that tells tales of odd things supposedly happening in the city. Those in the know come to learn that said stories are an actual report of the oddities of the local Hedge, with the occasional smattering of news from other supernatural sources.
Cecil himself is rather tall, with hair gone stark white in the front and black in the back. His eyes are a deep purple even with his Mask, and he has a certain air about him that implies that he's slightly unmoored from the world around him. Beneath the Mask his arms are covered with eldritch tattoos done in a similar purple to his eyes, and when the mood strikes and he is gifted with a vision of things to come a third eye opens on his forehead, flickering with static like an old television set turned to a dead channel.
Entitlement: The Order of Oneirophysics
Daniel Whitefeather appears to most as a light-skinned young man in his early 20s, with blond hair so pale it almost looks white and piercing dark-blue eyes. Behind the Mask all of the color has been leached out of him, which combined with his membership in the Oneirophysics has left him rather easy to miss at first glance. He is a fixture in the larger of the Goblin Markets that call New Haven home, acting as a greeter to the Lost who come to the market to trade. Those who break the rules of the Market find themselves at the business end of his anger; thanks to his oaths to do no harm, his punishments have become rather...creative over the years.
Deborah Hawthorne is the head librarian of the local library, pouring herself into her work instilling the citizens of the city with the importance of stories, both for their mental well-being and the knowledge that they grant. She serves a similar role for the freehold in particular, acting as a second to the Lord of Contracts and maintaining the libraries that grant so much to the Lost in the city.
The blonde-haired woman in her fifties shifts under the enchanted eye to reveal one with paper-thin skin, covered in notable quotes from various stories native to the Ironside and other places. Her eyes are the color of ink, and phantom fingerprints of the same appear with her touch and vanish soon after. It is rare to find her without a book in her possession, and indeed the satchel she often carries holds more than one would assume due to its size.
Mask: Elias appears to be a man well into his late forties and running to about 6'0, with a solid build and a look of having spent his life at hard work. His face is weathered and his eyes seem to be set into a permanent mariner's squint with his Irish pedigree on full display within his scruffy beard and curly reddish brown hair. His body is covered with numerous scars and tattoos that look old, like the sort of inkwork that went out of style decades ago. Being well into the span of middle age (in a physical context) Elias' body, albeit still powerful, is starting to show some signs of going to seed. His noticeable gut doesn't bother him, in fact he proudly points out that it's a reward for having lived long and well enough to earn such a feature. Elias' choice of wardrobe is plain and functional in the timeless manner of a working man, and it could just as easily be 1930 or the current era with him. While he has a distinct working-class accent there are tells within his speech pattern such as turns of phrase or words that have fallen out of use years ago.
Mien: While Elias looks like a burly middle aged human from the waist up his lower body is a six tentacled thing of aquatic horror. In short he is a human/octopus hybrid that's equally adept on land as in the water. His lower body is covered in a tight reddish brown seal-pelt instead of the slick skin of a mollusk. For those times when social requirements must be met, he has developed a system of working his body into a pair of sturdy trousers and boots. His outer devil may care attitude notwithstanding, there's always going to be that Ogrish temper lurking just below the surface, ready to take on the unwary or foolish.
Ellen Dufrense is a transplant from New Orleans, having moved north after Hurricane Katrina to be closer to family that lived in the area. She arrived already one of the Lost, and the freehold soon grew to appreciate her dedication to those who needed the most help in the community, both fae and mundane. She runs a small kitchen serving the best soul food one can find outside of the Crescent City, always with a smile and a hug for her regulars.
Ellen is a burly woman, with mocha-colored skin and dark hair that she usually keeps up while working. Her epitaph of "Mama Bear" comes to the fore under her Mask, revealing her to be a furred-and-clawed Ursa Major with teeth to match. She holds no fear, what with being of House Fiona, and has dived in to help others in dire straits with no qualms whatsoever.
Frederick Fazman, Freddy to his friends, has always been a bit of an odd duck. Fascinated with robots and animatronics from a young age, he had projects in various states of completion strew about whatever place he was living. That fascination ultimately caught the eye of his Keeper, who needed new frames for its own creations after the last batch broke; always a shame when that happened.
New Haven knows Frederick as the owner of one of the local pizza parlors, a tall and gangly fellow with spiky brown hair and dark brown eyes. Despite his warm smile, however, there is always an air of something...darker about him, a ting of oppressive fear that pops up at just the wrong time. The Lost can clearly see why, what with the man appearing as a shadowy mechanical figure; his form remains mostly human, with his glowing white eyes offering the only bit of color on his person, although when he smiles there are far more teeth than there should be and much too sharp besides.
Gabriel Nielson wasn't always the calm, reserved fellow that he is today. Something of a rambunctious youth, it took a visit to see a girlfriend going to college in Pennsylvania to have him end up in a completely different place, tasked with watching over long-abandoned structures in a world covered in ice and snow. The man who returned had absorbed that bone-chilling cold, his focus honed to a razor's edge and his goal to prevent others from being taken as he had been foremost in his mind.
Gabriel is an African American man of a rather handsome bent, keeping to business attire unless his duties to the freehold call for such things. Dark, soulful eyes watch over those around him, shifting to a dark purple in the presence of those who would hunt their own kind. Behind the Mask his dark skin is masked with ice, the hoarfrost penetrating deep and carving his features into something cold and immobile. His passion flares rarely, but when it does those nearby had best get out of the way.
Gwendolyn Matthews is a normal high school outcast at first blush, with pale blond hair and well-formed features that most would call pretty. Her interests in the macabre separate her from her peers, however, instilled by her time in a death-filled realm of Arcadia that imbued her with the preserved beauty of an incorruptible saint.
Most find it unusual that one so young earned a place as the Lord of Contracts for the Freehold, and more than a few have chaffed at being denied access to the libraries and stores of knowledge by the Fairest. There is more than meets the eye with the young Eiluned, however, and those who trifle with her soon learns why she has the position she does.
The right-hand woman of the Prime Minister, Helena Carothers has served in the role of Chancellor with aplomb for the last three years. Always on hand at just the right time, she knows the freehold like the back of her hand; some look at her askance due to her current allegiance to the Seelie court despite being a member of House Dairrean, but she has earned her keep and most keep the grumblings to a minimum.
Darkness imbues the features of the Chatelaine both in her Mask and Mien, with dark hair flowing freely behind her and her emerald eyes offering a small glint of light. Her hands are nimble, her steps quiet, and her presence minimal unless she needs to make herself known. Her dedication to the laws of hospitality is as fervent as any other member of her House, and woe betide those that break the fealty oath to the freehold...
The man known as Jasper disappeared from the Ironside some time ago - no one but him can say exactly how long - but he has been a fixture of the freehold long enough that some joke that he came with the Hollow that acts as its center. He has served in various roles in the freehold, including as the Seelie King on a number of occasions, and has been the Prime Minister of the freehold for the last six years.
Although rarely seen outside of the Hedge these days, Jasper appears to the mundane as an African American man in his early 40s, his build lithe like an athlete's. The darkness of his skin is reflected behind the Mask as well, the obsidian he was carved from gleaming in the light, and opalescent eyes watch over his freehold with no small bit of dedication to its safety.
If one was to look up the definition for the world 'hellraiser', it would be likely that a photo of Jeremiah Hawthorne would be there looking up at you with a cheeky grin and a rude gesture. The youngest scion of a family that has been in New Haven since time immemorial, Jeremiah has left the respectable business dealings to his older brothers and focused on both the burgeoning art scene in the city and the darker appetites of its inhabitants. He is a known patron of the arts as well as the co-owner for one of the clubs in town, and if something needs to be handled under the table he can usually point you in the right direction...for a price, of course.
Jeremiah is a handsome enough fellow, with a spark of mischief eternally in his eye and dark hair coiffed just so. The enchanted eye shows the stony-skinned devil he has become, looking something like a gargoyle brought to life with sizable horns curling up from his forehead. This transformation has done little to impact his impeccable voice; in fact, his time in Arcadia seems to have enhanced it, allowing him to wrap others around his finger like it was child's play.
Mask: Joseph's Mask (and Mien) are rarely solid in description, affected as he was by his Keeper's desire to create the Everyman that one could look up to and admire. Key details - eye or hair color, slight variation in height, etc -tend to shift slightly depending on who's looking at him at the time, influenced by what they find most attractive in others. Even so, one thing can be said for certain: Joseph looks like he stepped right out of a WWII recruiting poster. Muscular but not overly so, carrying himself with the pride of a man who knows he has served his country well, and no small bit of natural charisma.
Mien: His Mask has very little to hide, all told, as the changes that occurred in Arcadia were more of a condensing and perfecting of what was already present rather than making Joseph notably inhuman. He IS the ultimate pilot, the flying ace that can do no wrong and always gets his kill. He radiates a potent force of presence and a sensation of being More, being Grander than anything else around him; some could take as an air of arrogance while others find it rather attractive.
Kith Blessing (Narcissus' Blessing): Subtle changes in everyone's eyes making each viewer see the Romancer with visual traits they find attractive. This causes a -3 to describe the Romancer, which also applies to their clothes. Even cameras, both video and digital are affected by blessing.
Found with a bit of the Google:
Major Joseph Taylor
Date of Birth: July 24th, 1922
Assigned to 334th Fighter Squadron
Duration of Service: 1942 - 1945
Commondations: Silver Star, 1945 (First kill of a Me262 in flight); Ace (22 kills)
Ribbons: Silver Star (x2), Bronze Star (x2) with Valor Device, Purple Heart (x2), Air Ribbon with Valor Device, WWII Victory Ribbon, WWII Occupation, National Defense Service, Croix de Guerre
Aircraft Certified On: Spitfire Mark 9, Thunderbolt, P51 Mustang A & D
The nickname Treebeard was one given to JP before his time in Arcadia, and it's one that he's kept even though he now fits the name better than ever. A relatively normal guy before his Durance, JP now serves as one of the dealers of primo self-grown pharmaceuticals in the state, thanks to his 'special' garden tucked into the local Hedge. The role of drug dealer is a somewhat unsavory one, it's true, but he makes sure that his products don't get into the wrong hands and he's always fair in his dealings.
Like others of his Kith JP has a very arboreal look behind the Mask, the curly red hair of his Mien replaced with leafy vines and his tanned skin shifting to a dark, bark-like brown. Overall he is a jovial sort, always with a "no shit, there I was" story on call and a smile on his lips.
Julian Marshall is a member of the freehold's old guard, serving in a number of roles for the Seelie Court since his return to the Ironside in the 1990's. The current Seelie King is proud of his work in both the city and the freehold, running a number of successful businesses and acting as a pillar of the community. Unbeknownst to most, though, he was actually born in the city in the early 1920's, taken as a young man to serve in a nightmarish factory building God knows what for his Keeper.
Julian appears as a man in his early 50's but with the vim and vigor of a man half his age even with hair that has gone solidly white. That resilience can be explained when one looks under the Mask, as the gleaming brass, sapphire eyes and silver accents of his mechanical form come to the fore. He moves with far more grace than one would expect, his craftsmanship impeccable.
Entitlement: Magi of the Gilded Thorn
Justin Quinzel, along with his sister Natalie, is part of the latest generation of a motley tasked with maintaining the local maps of the Hedge surrounding the city. The fact that the pair owe allegiance to differing courts makes the arrangement rather sporting at times, but they don't let that get in the way of their work as Magi of the Gilded Thorn.
Justin is well-built but not overly so, able to handle himself for longer distances than one would expect looking at him. He keeps his dark brown hair relatively long, able to pull it back if the need arises. Behind the Mask he seems more compact despite his height, his skin firm as stone but not obviously rocky as one would see with an Earthbones or the like with faint scars that mimic the briars that he studies so fervently.
Mask: Kevin is a relatively handsome and plucky young man. He has a head of dirty blonde hair that seems to usually be in good order while he remains freshly shaven. His physique is Athletic, obviously not one to have skipped leg day.
Mein: He is a large creature of Obsidian and metal with glowing red veins fitted into the seems where his mortal joints would be. It's hard to tell if he's mystical or machinery with the veins running along like circuits and wires.
Entitlement: Knight of the Knowledge of the Tongue
New Haven isn't on the culinary map by any meaning of the word, but one young woman is aiming to change that. Malina Bernard is a native of the city, her childhood marred by the death of her parents and her time in Arcadia in a lightless realm, forced to hunt down her fellow captives and feast on their essence to survive. She emerged back on the Ironside in 2013 in the alleyway beside her old family home where her twin sister Jeznya lived; Jeznya took her sister in, naturally, and since then the two have worked together in the restaurant that they both now co-own, slowly putting themselves on the map.
On the surface Malina appears as a young woman of Polish descent, with black hair kept short and skin pale from a general lack of going outside; she runs a little on the thin side, often earning her the usual "don't trust a skinny chef" cracks. Behind the Mask her appearance can change greatly depending on how recently she has used her kith's inborn ability; normally stick thin with skin taut enough that it looks ready to snap, each 'feeding' flushes her form, first returning her to a more normal appearance and increasing to notable corpulence if she presses further beyond her needs. This increased girth dwindles quickly, however, the ravenous hunger gnawing inside of her consuming the absorbed energy and returning her to her diminished form in within hours.
Mellisandra Redmayne is one of those classic examples of new money moving into an old money town, and her bravado and level of arrogance has understandably rubbed some of the locals the wrong way. She gives not a whit, however, handling her own business in Dogwood Presence and ruling her homestead with an iron fist. She earned her place as the Foreign Minister with no small bit of manipulation in her favor, something that has grated others in the freehold who were going for the position raw to put it lightly.
Mellisandra has a classic beauty that calls back to the starlets of old, paired with a cold, insect-like stare that can unnerve those not expecting it. When the Mask falls away the queen bee that she truly is reveals itself, her form eschewing any extra legs but sprouting transparent wings, her body covered in a fine fur in the usual black and yellow stripes. As befitting one of the Aesin she maintains a number of bee hives on her property, using both the House gifts and her Contracts to command them at her will.
Entitlement: Guild of the Goldspinner
Michael Barrowman is a relatively recent transplant to New Haven, arriving in 2007; when asked for the reason he chose New Haven when coming to the States from his native London he jokingly replies that things were getting a little too hot under the collar at home and a small town would do just the trick. He has since made himself comfortable, running a jewelry store in the downtown area as well as learning the freehold's financial arrangements with enough alacrity and improving upon them with enough success to earn himself the position of Finance Minister for the freehold in 2013.
To say that Michael is a charmer would be an understatement; his brilliant smile brightens the day of even the grouchiest of sorts, his eyes are warm and his rugged good looks elicit swooning from both persuasions. His hands are exceptionally nimble, revealed to have a few extra joints for good measure behind the Mask, and his disarming nature often leaves his chosen marks completely unawares until it's too late.
Entitlement: Magi of the Gilded Thorn
The shadow to her brother's light, Natalie Quinzel is a no-nonsense woman who prefers working out in the Hedge and gets dragged out into the Ironside by her brother now and again to help her maintain some form of Clarity. She occasionally works as a nature guide for the mundanes, knowing the woods nearby better than some know their own homes.
Natalie appears as a stern-faced woman with long brown hair, her skin oddly pale for someone who spends most of their time outside. She dressed practically, with some sort of weapon always on hand. Beneath the Mask her features darken, leaving her to appear as a mobile shadow colored with the dark greens and browns of the woods at night; only her eyes, glowing a faint red when looked at from the right angle, can often be seen.
Robert Grady was a officer for the Portland Police Department in his youth, sidelined by an injury in the line of duty; when someone approached him with a new technique that could repair the injury and get him back in the field he signed up immediately, not realizing that the kind soul was actually a privateer gathering new bodies for his Keeper. His Durance was a whirlwind, allowing him to hone his investigative skills while pursuing case after twisted case that often ended up with his fellow captives dead or worse. He returned to the Ironside five years after he left but twenty years older, causing him to leave the family he had in Portland behind and move farther south. He now serves as the Home Secretary for the freehold, maintaining the grounds as well as managing any issues that come up between the members.
Robert is a tall man, broad in the shoulder and well-built for a man of his age. His eyes are keen, taking in everything and putting it in its proper place for later examination. He doesn't look too different behind the Mask, barring the leathery feel of his skin and the impression of filling more space than he actually does.
Samantha Flynn, or Nemo as she's known in certain circles, is a technical genius raised by a technical genius. A computer whiz at the ripe old age of 5, she zipped into college as quickly as she could manage and was in the process of getting her Masters at CalTech when her Keeper pulled her through her computer screen and she became another college student that couldn't handle the pressure and disappeared. Her body was digitized, the 'unimportant' bits cut away, and she spent the next three years (or 150 cycles, as far as she was concerned) running through her Keeper's electric maze. Upon her escape she returned to her father's home, discovering that he had actually gone to the same realm himself but escaped before any permanent changes could occur. These days she runs a small computer cafe in town, offering her services as a programmer and helping those less tech-savvy adapt to the current times.
On the outside Samantha is a pleasant young woman with blonde hair and a pleasant smile, a little ball of energy that zips here, there and everywhere. Behind the Mask she appears to be made of data made flesh, lines of bright blue light forming patterns on her black skin-suit.
No one knows exactly when Saoirse washed ashore fresh from her Durance, but she has become a fixture of the Unseelie Court ever since. Playing the role of the Siren to the hilt, she is a flagrant seductress and lures both men and women into peril, both mortal and moral. A leading member of House Ailil, she has been chosen as the Unseelie Queen in 2015 and 2016, using her web of influence to her advantage even though the true power of the freehold lies in the hands of the Prime Minister. She knows well what role she plays in the freehold, however, and she does not shirk its importance.
Saoirse appears to be a woman in her early 20s, although the Lost know her to be far older, with wide eyes and dark hair that always seems slightly damp, like she just got out of the water. Her eyes are an opalescent green, a color that only grows more enticing behind the Mask. Scales ranging from sea green to a brilliant blue cover the lower half of her body, a nod to the tail that she once had in Arcadia.
Everyone knows at least one bastard that you don't mess with, and for the majority of New Haven's residents that man is Stewart Keyes. Formerly a relatively scrawny kid that got himself in trouble on a regular basis, his "time away" (in prison somewhere upstate, as far as most people are concerned) turned him into a proper beast that brooks no contest to his prowess and a mean streak a mile wide.
Stewart is a mountain of a man to put it lightly, even before the weight of the Ogre's presence is factored in. He stands nearly seven feet tall, his form behind the Mask covered in dark brown fur mixed with patches of deep, blood red. His hands are clawed, his teeth sharp and his gaze merciless. He serves as a member of the freehold guard, gleeful when the chance to hand down punishment is put in his hands.
Exotic in appearance and temperament. The woman known as Talia can be friendly and open one day, but harsh and biting the next. Almost as if she takes on different roles as needed to tell the story of her life. Or the story of the world around her, or perhaps a different story all together. Aa a member of house Scathach, she tries to protect the Lost in general. As long as it fits the story being told at the time.
He was once a talented swimmer and electronica composer but then he was taken and forced to work in The Factory, where he was melted down into living liquid and evaporated into steam every day in order to power it's infernal clockwork mechanisms. He escaped with the help of a mysterious emerald sword and fought his way back through the thorns only to find, as so many have, that his place has been taken. Alone in the world and desperate, he turned to petty thievery, using his elemental contracts conferred on him through his transformation to his advantage. He stole only what he needed to, however, and now seeks to make a legitimate new life for himself as a composer and DJ.
He is a slender, svelte young man with striking blue watery eyes, blue-tinted skin and long dark brown hair that is always wet and dripping. His clothes are dark and worn, and he often keeps a hood over his head.