O'Brien

by Alaine

On this page... (hide)

  1.   1.  Characteristics
    1.   1.1  Appearance
    2.   1.2  Personality
    3.   1.3  Skills
  2.   2.  History
  3.   3.  Relationships
  4.   4.  Miscellaneous

O'Brien is a member of New Caledonia.

Born in Eilean Cù the bastard son of a shepherd woman, he jumped at the chance to join his vagabond father in Airgid Gleann. However, following a tragic accident and a traumatic encounter with a Badb witch, O'Brien fled the Silver Valley. He spent some time pickpocketing in Dublin before crossing overseas. He met his future family in Portland, where his impulsive defense of an old man sparked the brawl that sent the Troupe fleeing east. The band made their own luck on the road, gaining new members and strengthening their bonds with one another, and eventually opening La Estrella Roja.

O'Brien formed another strong bond, too: one with Willow Cormier. Torn between his loyalty to the Troupe and his love for Willow, he reluctantly chose the former, rejecting Willow's offer to live in her pack. However, when the woman seemingly disappeared that summer, O'Brien was drawn to look for her. He found her, in the end, but injury and other complications slowed their return home. Willow got pregnant in the interim, giving birth to two daughters: Beth and Doineann. They raised the girls the best that they could in the wilderness of Manitoba, until they were old enough to travel -- but Willow and Doineann lost their lives to an accident during a harsh winter. Burdened with grief and a promise made to Willow that they would see their children to her pack, O'Brien escorted Beth onward.

The pair joined New Caledonia at the end of summer. O'Brien hoped to leave once his daughter was settled in, but learning that the Troupe had suffered loss and moved on without him left him undecided. Though he didn't quite feel like he fit in with the pack, he contributed as a hunter and shaped his skills to become a proper rogue. [THEN STUFF HAPPENS HA]

Overview

Basics
  • Date of Birth: 28 May 2015
  • Gender: Male
  • Luperci: Ortus
  • Species: Dog
Heritage
Affiliations
OOC Information
Assumptions

New Caledonia members may assume and reference the following without discussion/asking:

  • Seeing O'Brien...
    • …wandering the lowlands, often accompanied by his daughter Beth.
    • …providing small prey, like rabbits and muskrats, to the pack stores.
    • …avoiding the company of most, and sometimes wandering beyond the pack territory.
Plot Opportunities
  • O'Brien will need help settling in and adjusting to pack life. Teach him about NC's culture, or assist him with finding a home.
  • Help O'Brien earn the Rogue and Hunter co-ranks!

1.  Characteristics

1.1  Appearance

Physical

O'Brien is, in a word, unremarkable; most folk wouldn't look twice at him, and he prefers it that way.

He looks like a nondescript mutt of common breeds, with shepherd-like coloration (mostly tan, with a black saddle and accents), and short but dense fur that sheds water well. Average in height, his build is somewhat lanky, with a deep chest and long limbs indicative of some sighthound heritage. His face is rugged, almost-handsome (not memorably so), with a disarming smile and gentle brown eyes. He has floppy ears that partially stand up.

In his Optime form, his hair is messy and a little wavy, slightly overlong but never below the jawline.

Forms

  • Lupus: 25 in (63.5 cm) ↔ 50 lb (22.5 kg)
  • Secui: 39 in (99 cm) ↔ 135 lb (61 kg)
  • Optime: 6ft 2in (62 in / 157 cm) ↔ 200 lb (90 kg)

Palette

Interaction
  • Speech: Husky, naturally quite quiet. Cannot get rid of his Scottish accent.
  • Scent: Spruce, cedar, peat moss, rabbit
  • Physical Expression & Quirks:
    • O'Brien makes a living being "invisible," so his posture consistently shifts to match his environment so that he's overlooked (e.g., matching body language with neighbors, looking unassuming in a crowd).
    • When exposed and in the open, he is often tense, his eyes flitting to possible escape routes. He telegraphs his discomfort by the lean of his body; if he's pointed toward a woodland trail, he wants to bolt that direction.
    • He fidgets with his dagger a lot.

Adornments

O'Brien favors nondescript outfits that helps him blend into his environment (whether woodland or crowd), or obfuscates his features. His closet isn't very diverse; he trades out tattered garments with near-identical replacements.

  • Dark forest-green cloak with a hood, frayed at the ends, dirty
  • Leather collar with a tarnished buckle
  • Thin, un-dyed wool tunic
  • Buckskin trousers
  • Leather belt with a dagger sheath
mor.nitesh @ flickr Alaine Despi Kiri San

1.2  Personality

Summarized: Quiet and reserved, warm and kind, loyal, superstitious

O'Brien is quiet and reserved, very private about his thoughts and difficult to get to know. However, this doesn't mean that he's standoffish; he's laidback and polite, with a strong moral code. While he pilfers things for a living, using his ability to hide in plain sight, he never takes from those down on their luck and would readily come to a stranger's aid. He's gentle and kind, if quick to shy away from personal questions.

His devotion to his loved ones knows no bounds, but he demonstrates his love through actions rather than words, which don't come as easily to him (as if afraid to name the feelings aloud). He's steadfast and loyal, wanting nothing more than to see his companions happy, even at the cost of his own. However, with a notable exception, he holds most at an arm's length these days.

Grief and guilt constantly shadow O'Brien, whose superstitious beliefs have deluded him into thinking that he's cursed. He attributes things like accidents to his mere presence (or lack of presence), and believes that anyone who associates too closely with him is putting themselves at risk.

Sexuality

O'Brien is bisexual. He has a preference for strong women (bonus points if they're taller than him) and beautiful men, and is attracted to kindness and confidence. He is a serious and committed partner, demonstrating his love through acts of service. He has a deep well of emotion and caring to give, but this is not always obvious. O'Brien struggles to express his feelings verbally; he often leaves things unsaid and holds back parts of himself from his love interests.

Spirituality

O'Brien is most familiar with the Coisricthe pantheon, with some knowledge of New Caledonia's Old Gods. He is extremely superstitious, performing little rituals to appease his gods (e.g., burying the hearts of his prey for Lugh). He is private about this.

He also totally thinks he's been cursed and is hella angsty about it.

Vices
  • Biases: Deep wariness toward witches and occultists.
  • Substances: Enjoys a good beer and a good smoke (tobacco or cannabis), almost exclusively socially. Because many of his marks are drunkards, he avoids getting plastered and likes to be in control. He is likely to have a bad reaction to stronger drugs; hallucinogens and paranoid delusions do not mix.

1.3  Skills

Note: Listed skills are those that the character has some significant talent or interest in to be noteworthy. Skills that have been mastered (and are best expressed as such) are marked.

Main Focus: Pickpocket, Rogue
  • Stealth (Master):
O'Brien's vocation depends on him being invisible -- often in plain sight. His unremarkable appearance helps with this, but O'Brien can "blend in" with a crowd and go overlooked by adjusting his posture and gait so as not to draw undue attention. For example, he can read a rowdy group and fit in by being just energetic-looking enough to match, as a quiet man in a loud bunch would be suspicious. Perceptive and graceful, he can dodge quickly through crowds and find escape routes others might miss. Soft of step, he is able to "stalk" through forests as well.
  • Sleight-of-Hand (Master):
O'Brien is an expert at pickpocketing the unsuspecting, as well as planting objects on people. This is thanks to nimble fingers, but also a talent for misdirection and -- most importantly -- choosing the right victims. He hasn't used these skills for more theatrical legerdemain, but it's only a matter of time before card tricks join his repertoire.
  • Climbing:
The best escape routes are the hardest to follow. O'Brien is adept at scaling trees and ruined buildings alike, with a generally keen eye for bad wood or loose stone that cannot bear his weight. He isn't the fastest climber due to his caution, and he is limited by what can hold his Optime weight.
  • Combat (Dagger):
Of note is O'Brien's utter lack of combat experience with his dagger. He often uses the weapon for show, and he can certainly stick it in someone's gut if he's lucky, but for all that he twirls and fidgets with it, he isn't good at using it.
Auxiliary Skills and Hobbies
  • Hunting, Trapping:
O'Brien hunts in his Lupus form. He is a fast sprinter, able to turn quickly enough to catch rabbits and squirrels. He has a high success rate when he hunts small- to medium-sized prey, though he is less comfortable hunting larger prey. Additionally, he can set simple snares along game trails and branches, and he's quite good at disguising them. However, many of his traps are knocked loose or broken when the prey is caught. He has no desire to learn more complex traps, not seeing a need.
  • Skinning, Wool Production:
O'Brien's deft hands make him good at skinning prey like rabbits. Though he can cure small hides through drying, he is unfamiliar with the tanning process. Raised in a community that kept sheep, O'Brien is knowledgeable about the early steps of processing wool: namely shearing the sheep (though he would need assistance with this), and scouring and carding the wool.
  • Whittling:
His father taught him the basics of wood-carving when he was young, and O'Brien picked it up again in emulation of Sawyer Cook and to busy his hands. He can make simplistic or stylized animal shapes; more complicated animals or larger projects look more awkward.


2.  History

CHAPTER 1 / CHARACTER ARC 1

O'Brien was raised in Eilean Cù as a bastard without a father. Even as a child, he did not avoid the clan’s discrimination: a bastard child marked an outsider by features as simple as flat-lying fur, he was treated as “lesser” in minor, subtle, but no less hurtful ways. When he acted out as a result, this only “proved” to the clan that he was trouble.

In adolescence, O’Brien met his father for the first time. Surprised but delighted to find that he had a son, Cormac invited the boy to come live with him.

O’Brien accepted the offer in hope of “finding his place” in Airgid Gleann, but he felt alienated by the Badb tribe’s religious fervor -- and especially perturbed by the shadow of the occult. He formed a mild phobia of crows as a result, often complaining to his father that he thought the birds were “watching” him. However, the tribe did test his cunning, and he turned into a stealthy hunter.

He lived with the tribe for several more months, but following a tragic accident and a traumatic encounter with a Badb witch, O'Brien fled the Silver Valley. Upon returning to his mother's homeland, he learned that she had died of an illness over the winter.

O'Brien spent some time pickpocketing in Dublin before crossing overseas, eventually making landing in Portland.


CHAPTER 2 / CHARACTER ARC 2
The Troupe
Duration: November 2018 - July 2020
Role: The Pickpocket

Laudem aperiam vix ad. Eam an dico tota habemus. Est tale lobortis convenire at, eu nec scaevola mnesarchum, cum enim commodo ea. Ei vix quaestio indoctum mediocrem, ius vocibus adipisci repudiandae id. Cum ei harum evertitur. Viris mediocrem referrentur ad quo, eum et mundi sonet utamur, falli novum viderer ea est. Hendrerit elaboraret pro te, sed elitr copiosae pertinax et, numquam efficiantur at usu. Dicunt denique an quo, tollit tibique ex his. Accusam aliquando torquatos eum et. Alii sale accommodare mea te. Ad corpora signiferumque vix, viris labores est at, purto nusquam sit eu.

Cu utinam dictas prodesset cum, in mel periculis argumentum. Ludus assentior sententiae et per, cu albucius noluisse prodesset vel. Habeo moderatius quo ex. Populo ceteros noluisse te pri, eum ea ipsum eligendi, eos ne quem atomorum. Ne legendos elaboraret pri. Mel ex eligendi quaerendum. Sed graece comprehensam id, tale accusam epicuri vim ea, at magna facilisi comprehensam quo. At ius zril impedit insolens, ex oporteat salutandi cum.


CHAPTER 3 / CHARACTER ARC 3
New Caledonia
Duration: 26 August 2022 – 23 January 2023
Ranks: Distinguished (Nov 2022 - Present)
  • Privileged (Oct 2022)
  • Commoner (Aug - Sep 2022)
Co-Ranks: • Rogue

• Hunter

Laudem aperiam vix ad. Eam an dico tota habemus. Est tale lobortis convenire at, eu nec scaevola mnesarchum, cum enim commodo ea. Ei vix quaestio indoctum mediocrem, ius vocibus adipisci repudiandae id. Cum ei harum evertitur. Viris mediocrem referrentur ad quo, eum et mundi sonet utamur, falli novum viderer ea est. Hendrerit elaboraret pro te, sed elitr copiosae pertinax et, numquam efficiantur at usu. Dicunt denique an quo, tollit tibique ex his. Accusam aliquando torquatos eum et. Alii sale accommodare mea te. Ad corpora signiferumque vix, viris labores est at, purto nusquam sit eu.

Cu utinam dictas prodesset cum, in mel periculis argumentum. Ludus assentior sententiae et per, cu albucius noluisse prodesset vel. Habeo moderatius quo ex. Populo ceteros noluisse te pri, eum ea ipsum eligendi, eos ne quem atomorum. Ne legendos elaboraret pri. Mel ex eligendi quaerendum. Sed graece comprehensam id, tale accusam epicuri vim ea, at magna facilisi comprehensam quo. At ius zril impedit insolens, ex oporteat salutandi cum.


3.  Relationships

Family
  • Parents: His mother was strong-willed woman who used "the eye" to herd her flock. Despite her clan's xenophobia, she treated her bastard son with compassion and understanding. He sorely misses her. His father was an Irishman with a silver tongue and wandering feet. He was genuine in wanting a relationship with his son, but he never quite figured out how to be a father figure. When he wandered off again, no one was surprised.
  • Children: O'Brien wants the best for his remaining daughter, Beth; he is motivated to protect and provide for her as best he can, but also wants her to be able to stand on her own -- and, eventually, have a better and safer life without him. She is an ever-present reminder of Willow, and so some sorrow tinges his unconditional love for her.
Other Relations
Key
  • Willow Cormier reminded O'Brien of the idyllic parts of his childhood; this and her kindhearted nature made him fall for her, hard.
  • The Troupe was like a family to O'Brien, and taking care of them and helping run La Roja was his driving purpose in life for a few years. He was particularly close with Malik (whom he had unspoken feelings for) and especially doted on Sawyer Cook (whom he viewed as a parental figure).
Notable
  • Fiadh Dubhthaigh was his best friend in the Badb Tribe. She died in a tragic accident that O'Brien blames himself for, the beginning of his delusion that he brings bad luck to those he cares about.

4.  Miscellaneous

Triva
  • Players familiar with my love of Critical Role won't be surprised to know that one of O'Brien's inspirations is Campaign 1's Vax'ildan. (In fact, he gets his name from, and shares a birthday with, Liam O'Brien.) However, while they share some traits (and O'Brien's issues with ravens are a nod to Vax's complex relationship with the Raven Queen), O'Brien was never meant to be canine!Vax, and never could be -- not without a Vex.
  • O'Brien is also meant to be a deconstruction of a super-cool D&D rogue. While he certainly has expertise in stealth, he absolutely sucks at combat with his daggers -- no sneak attack here! He was also chosen to have a "plain" design that emulates the dozens of generic shepherd mixes I've bathed at work.
Icons & Titles
  • His custom title "the raven itself is hoarse" (hover: by maggot-pies and choughs and rooks brought forth) comes from Shakespeare's Macbeth (albeit two entirely different scenes), and draws a connection between black birds and omens.
  • His previous title "here come the ravens" (hover: to take what is mine) was from Aviators' Here Come the Ravens, and honestly it was picked for those choice lyrics. O'Brien fears corvids and believes they're watching him and going to "take" his friends, family, and joy from him.
  • His raven custom icon is the Badb Tribe's symbol, representing his connection to the tribe that left such a mark on him. Its hover "their watching eyes / waiting for the rest of me to die" is a continuation of his original custom title's lyrics.
  • His dagger icon and its hover (times three) is a nod to Vax'ildan's catchphrase.
  • He received New Caledonia's bronze co-rank icon (the plainest of the three) at its disbandment. Its hover "there's no road that will lead us back" is from Way Out There by Lord Huron.
Categories: 2016 Births | Dog | Loners | New Caledonia | Raze