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Willow Martel is a member of Del Cenere Gang, ranked among Los Linternas. He is the son of Wade Martel and Annabel Ellery, and younger sibling to Silvia Martel, Raeburn Martel, and Owen Martel though he is the only child of his litter. When his father died and his older siblings were elsewhere, his mother abandoned him too young, and during the time he was essentially orphaned he was taken in by Courtright family as a ward in the nearby Palisade. As the Courtrights act frequently as muscle, Will's training there focused mostly on combat skills.
He departed Palisade when he was old enough for the purpose of experiencing new sights and climbing the ranks of Del Cenere.
While not the most ambitious of their pack, Willow nevertheless is motivated to garner positive attention from his peers and work on overcoming the shyness typical of adolescence. He has managed this with relative ease, and as such is a exemplary (if not cookie-cutter) example of a Del Cenere Gang member. Once rather bias against wolves, his view on them has warmed considerably after forming good relationships with some wolves of the Kingdom New Caledonia. He keeps this to himself, but his wolf sympathy is something of an open secret within the Gang: the only 'mark' against Willow.
Although carrying no more weight than your average 'yote, and coming in a bit shorter at that, Willow's doggish fur makes him look bigger than he is. It is exceptionally soft and wavy, even curly during humid weather. Willow freshens up at bodies of water when he can get the chance, contributing to his fur's shine and softness. It is one of life's little comforts to him.
On closer inspection, Willow doesn't seem built for fighting. While under the surface, rigorous training has made his body ready for any form of combat, it doesn't show even in his two-legged form: his muscles are not naturally defined and even in Optime, where it is stretched just that bit thinner, his fur does a great job at hiding them.
His hair in Optime is a wavy mess of fluff, same as the rest of him. He holds himself in a way one might consider shy. He may hold himself, or more specifically, hold his hands behind his back, arm covering a long dark scar on the lower half. Willow has only just reached full maturity and it shows in the way he carries himself around. He does not like to be the center of attention.
- Speech: Southern twang that is typical of Del Cenere and Palisade, but it's clear he picked it up later in his adolescence, as it is not fully developed
- Conversational in Spanish, not fluent
- Scent: His scent is disguised with strong-smelling herbs, underneath that he smells almost as though he's still a puppy
- Quirks: Shakes when fearful or anxious
- Body Language: Friendly, with a hint of insecurity
Willow prefers his Optime form, especially because reverting to other forms may reveal his birth sex.
Lupus: 30 lb (13 kg) ↔ 22 in (56 cm)
Secui: 140 lb (64 kg) ↔ 37 in (94 cm)
Optime: 145 lb (66 kg) ↔ 65 in (5 ft 5 in) (165 cm)
- Willow is just barely average size for his species, although not so much his gender for obvious reasons. He packs a surprising amount of muscle for his height, though remains naturally lean. His Secui form is unique in that it is almost just as heavy as his Optime, the difference in weight being slight. So, although his Lupus form is as small as any other coyote, he can use his Secui form as intimidation to scare off larger predators that might want to pick a fight otherwise.
On a regular basis, this character...
- Bow & quiver of medium quality
- Spear of medium quality; it doesn't see much use, but it is well-kept
- Booze (poor to medium quality)
- Leather (medium quality)
- Cured meat (medium quality)
- Arrowheads (medium to high quality)
This character is open for trade for items they create.
Willow is still coming into his adult life and it shows in the form of his self-conscious disposition. He is still more concerned with himself than anyone else, to a point that is typical of his age. While once non-committal and malleable to an extent, he has chosen certain values and morals that he will uphold at any cost. He does not like to break the law or even bend it as some other Ashen do. He is capable of adapting if need be, but is emotionally a fan of routine and does gets irritated when his ways are challenged. He walks a tight-rope between rebellious and obedient. Willow heeds the orders of elders yet in ways purposefully 'misunderstands' them to suit his desires.
Fiercely independent on the outside, Willow hides a soft spot that in the past cost him dearly. Because he was once punished by life for trusting too easily as a child, he may refuse to do so again and is scared to be vulnerable, even around those that could obviously help him with his plights. He hates to have anything handed to him and prefers the satisfaction of hard work over shortcuts to glory or victory. He is promising in his dexterity and shrewdness that makes him a formidable combatant, especially being trained by the Courtright family.
Over his time spent in the Gang, he has become something of a social butterfly and usually can pinpoint names to faces easily. However, his communication with others is often surface-level: shallow. He still prefers to keep his inner emotions private, and may struggle to even identify what they are. He is rather observant to both people and his surroundings, though his greatest blind spot is dealing with complicated situations, emotional or otherwise. He tries to find the gray in life, but his habit is to view things in black and white.
- Alignment: Neutral Good
- Will keep his word.
- Considers the needs of the community in personal life.
- Believes everyone should be treated fairly and kindly.
- Feels guilt when he commits a wrongdoing and will seek to right his wrong.
- Motivations: Acceptance from his community, praise from peers
- Fears: Gaining a bad reputation, conflict with others
- Likes: Archery, good cooking, flowers
- Dislikes: Humidity, deer (at least they are tasty)
- Groups: Generally mistrusting of loner bands and packs that he has no personal experience with. He is paranoid of other pack's intentions regarding Del Cenere. However, he generally trusts New Caledonia and has had the most positive experiences with their members, despite them tending to be heavy in wolf blood.
- Species: Fearful of wolves due to his history, but it could be considered a stretch to say he is still strongly averse to them. He generally treats wolves better than other Ashen, and thinks of them now as their own complex beings that are not inherently different than coyotes, when before he would dehumanize them.
- Gender: While not prejudiced against women, they tend to 'fly under the radar' for him, as he has much less complex feelings about them than men. He does not spend as much time thinking about the women in his life, and may as a result be unintentionally insensitive towards them.
- Sexuality: He tries to just mind his own business, but his quick to judge nature can see him be both homophobic and prejudiced against polyamorous relationships. These biases are not hard set, and he is reconsidering them and trying to genuinely accept people of all walks of life.
Homosexual and homoromantic. Willow still struggles with internalized homophobia, but recently has been trying to overcome this. He is monogamous. Willow is not flirtatious and has a hard time even realizing when he is attracted to someone. His lack of experience makes it hard for him to pin down his emotions.
Willow believes in divine powers, but does not believe in a singular God. He does not think much about the prospect of deities and instead believes more heavily in concepts like karma, faith, fortune and luck.
Has used both marijuana and alcohol in the past and would do so again, although he generally strays away from tobacco, not liking the smell of it all that much. He is wary of shrooms due to a bad trip.
- Alcohol: Occasionally
- Tobacco: Rarely
- Marijuana: Occasionally
- Parents: Willow misses his father, and tries not to think too hard about his mother likely still being alive. As far as he is concerned, she died too when she abandoned him.
- Siblings: With the introduction of Raeburn back into his life, Willow has given some more thought to how he feels about his siblings but to no clear conclusion. He does have an idea of what family should be, and that he would like to have it. But he is afraid of either losing them like their father or being abandoned by them like by their mother, and as such keeps Raeburn, and any other siblings that follow, at arm's length.
- Mesquite del Bosque is a fellow Ashen that seems obsessed with him, though Willow cannot possibly fathom why. He regards him as a friend, and is completely as unaware as Mesquite himself is about any mutual attraction between the two. He likes to teach him archery, and worries about him.
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Willow is acutely aware that Mesquite likes to stalk him, and acts oddly around him but does not have the awareness to connect this to an attraction and Mesquite does not either. He wishes to help Mesquite grow into his best self, and tries to be a strong, dependable person for him. In return, Mes has improved somewhat, slow and steady progress over the weeks he has known Willow. The two are distant but depend on each other at the same time. Will has yet to truly let Mesquite see the most vulnerable parts of himself, but as Mes grows and continues to prove that he too is growing into a fully-fledged man, Will notices his good qualities more and more.
- Liam del Morte and Willow could be considered ex-'friends with benefits', although Willow would likely never describe it that way himself. They still get along and support one another from a distance.
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Liam is a full blooded wolf that Willow became indebted to after being caught stealing from him. The Caledonian noble was overall kind and forgiving to Willow, allowing him to work off his debt relatively quickly and teach him about brewing along the way. After conversing and visiting him more & more, Liam took taken a liking to Willow in a way that once made him...uncomfortable. During a visit to New Caledonia territory, Liam acted on these feelings and kissed him. This made Willow withdraw into himself and reconsider his biases. Since discussing the kiss at the Lancaster Stockshow in 2022, the two had a vaguely defined but sturdy relationship. They stated that they loved each other and met a few times after.
Liam always was open about his polyamorous tendencies with Willow, though Will did not fully accept this until later. Their relationship primarily centered around Liam teaching Willow about sex and love. Things trickled off to a steady end in the romantic when Willow defended Liam from would-be robbers. The traumatic experience reshaped how Willow viewed Liam and had him accept that it wasn't healthy for him to continue the more romantic and sexual aspects of their relationship. The two still deeply care about each other, but no longer engage in those acts.
- Camellia Courtright is Willow's honorary protégé. He gets along quite well with the Chispa and the two have a lot in common. With his history as a ward of the Courtright family, he views her in the same manner he would a nibling. He wishes to continue being a stable friend in her life that she can rely on as she grows older (and Willow does too).
- Bisbee Whitesage is considered a friend by Willow. She is just as friendly as he is and the two have generally pleasant conversations whenever they interact. He likes to hang out with her and generally gets along with other Whitesages he meets as well, such as Winslow, so he has a high opinion of her family name.
- Negative: Lorien Coara
- Sex: Liam del Morte
- Kills: Zachary (mNPC), Howard (mNPC)
- Sex: Stallion
- Species: Horse
- Date of Birth: March 2005
- Skills & Abilities:
- Rider trained
- Slow, poor endurance
- Smooth gait, so smooth you might fall asleep in the saddle!
- May attempt to buck if a rider tries to push him harder than he can handle
- Personality: Neither the youngest, strongest, brightest, or fastest. Rustbroke has his work cut out for him, but his saving grace is his reliability and extremely calm nature: a rarity for a stallion. He is perfect for beginner riders, and does great with newly shifted Luperci. This is what made him a good candidate to give to Willow in the first place, as Willow was both a beginner and recently shifted at the time of obtaining him.
- History: Rustbroke was given to Willow as a gift after he proved himself to the Courtright family. Before that, he was used as a communal horse in Palisade.
- Creator: Hydra Triangle
- Del Cenere Gang members may assume...
- Seeing Willow grooming or feeding Rustbroke
Ashen of Las Brasas or above may borrow Rustbroke for short rides around the Ganglands, just keep in mind his skills and personality.
- Up for Trade?: No
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Born in Maine, Willow got dealt a rough hand, although this did not make itself apparent at first. He was raised with kindness, albeit with a hint of indifference, by his dog mother and 'yote father. As he grew and neared his shifting age, Willow's father was killed by a wolf during Willow's first autumn alive. His mother, distraught, abandoned her pup to his own devices earlier than she should have.
By now a teenager, in the next couple of months Willow made by with scraps, thrown to him by the same pack in the area that had killed his father. Willow, unable to hunt for himself, decided to delude himself that his father had just been foolish. He thought that if he catered to the wolves in the area, he would be able to thrive, and they would accept him - after all, he had dog blood in common with some of the pack's members. This did not pan out. During a dispute over prey, his back was scarred with a long raking claw, and he was warned he would never be welcome. It was only his young age that made the wolves take pity on him and allow him to run away with his life. Since then, Willow took on a more cynical view not just of life, but of the wolf species in general, becoming prejudiced towards them.
It was for this reason, and others, he found himself in the nearby Palisade. There, he was taken in as a Ward by the Courtright family. At first, Willow committed petty crimes of theft behind the family's back, however when caught and reprimanded he learned to live by their code and serve them well to earn his keep. Because of them, he survived to see adulthood, learning a good deal of tricks along the way.
With Palisade behind him, Willow moved to Del Cenere, joining their ranks as an Encender. During his probationary period, Will struggled to juggle work and play, having not a small amount of misadventures in neutral territories. Despite this, he was promoted to Las Brasas in July. This, along with a mishap which involved him injuring his friend Liam del Morte during an archery competition, made Willow resolve to take life more seriously. He began work on his residency in Irving with the help of his pack mates.
Unexpectedly, his older brother Raeburn Martel showed up to join the Gang and figure out what happened to Willow. At first, Will responded with hostility, experiencing flashbacks of the trauma he had experienced alone without his siblings along with gender dysphoria. When regaining his composure, he began to form a bond with his older brother and took to accepting that he would now have someone of his own blood to work alongside him. Their relationship slowly grew over the months they spent, though Raeburn did not have the same ambition as Willow and found himself sitting at the Encender rank for quite a while.
Another shake-up in Willow's life came when, during a visit to New Caledonia, Liam acted on romantic feelings for him and kissed him on the lips: his first romantic experience. This caused Willow to withdraw into himself and give thought to his internal workings. Suddenly surrounded by people who give him care and support, Willow finds it easier to grow into a man. He participated in the Lancaster Stockshow in the form of the Clay Pigeons event. The Stockshow saw Willow back on his feet and putting hard work in after a couple of weeks of seemingly slacking off.
Becoming less prejudice and open-minded, even to his brother's lack of work ethic, Willow started 2023 off with hope in his heart. Raeburn, for his resolution, promised to show Willow he could turn over a new leaf. The Everglow event calmed Will's heart and let him be at peace.
Mere days later, Willow killed someone for the first time.
(This arc is still in progress...)
To read this character's threads, please visit their thread archive.
- Originally, Willow was intended to be modeled after the popular broody bounty hunter archetype. However, as he began to be fleshed out in his first threads, he instead grew into a friendly sniper. Some of this original concept was recycled to create his brother, Raeburn Martel, who is quieter by nature though not particularly broody.
- Icons & Titles:
- Is a reference to Edwin VanCleef from World of Warcraft. Edwin was once a hard working mason that did years of work to rebuild Stormwind City after the war, but after he and his guild were refused any of the promised pay by the nobles for their hard labor, he led an uprising against them. He says the hover quote to the player characters sent to kill him, thinking them blindly loyal to the nobles for no good reason. #EdwinDidNothingWrong
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