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Ste

 Overview Edit

She is a short, slight person with elvish features and long tapered fingers. She has large very green eyes that are framed with dark eyelashes (She has distichiasis). The most immediate striking feature about her is her long hair which is intensely red against her very pale skin. She is very pale from both working in the lab and avoiding the sun. She burns very quickly as she is so fair so she devoutly uses a strong sunscreen when she goes out. She doesn’t use a lot of make-up unless she is going to an event.

She often dresses in black. When she does wear colours she sticks to darker jewel tones of red, blue or purple. She also has been known to wear darker greys and browns. She always wears long gloves when going out and has a large collection of them to go with all her outfits. She also has a modest collection of wigs for when she needs to be inconspicuous.

Her blood type is AB Rh Negative and she has size 9 shoes.

She is allergic to peanuts, kiwi, avocado and bananas as well as certain medications. She does not like doughnuts or greasy foods or the smell of certain fruits. She is asthmatic and carries three puffers and an epi-pen at all times. 

She would most likely be within the criteria for OCD but she has never been formally accessed.

Aspects Edit

High Concept

  • Telekinetic Chemist

Trouble

  • (Former) Family is not final
  • Mind Mage Outcast

Aspects

  • Hidden in plain sight
  • Damn right I am going to rock the boat and make waves
  • Fear keeps me safe
  • Take a closer look
  • The best offence is a good defence

Early Life Edit

…I’ve got guns in my head and they won’t go
Spirits in my head and they won’t go….
But the guns still rattle…
(Spirits – By the Strumbellas)
 



Bijoux Ester Claramaé was born on September 9, 1993 at 9:33 a.m. by a waning moon at a moon angle of 186 degrees.  (Sun Sign – Virgo Moon sign – Pisces Rising sign – 23 degrees 29 ‘ in Libra, 20 degrees 30’ Scorpio, 23 degrees 36’ Sagittarius, Water Rooster Stone - Sapphire) on the Claramaé estate. She was the first non-twin to be born into the family and the 13th child, (weighing 3 pounds, 3 ounces and 19 inches long), having 6 sisters and 6 brothers respectively. She was evaluated to be healthy, although underweight, and; being born into a privileged family; grew up comfortably by material standards.

She grew up with magic all around her and had very little concept of how different she and her family were until she turned five and came to have a pure mortal friend, Kessa. She came to visit Bijoux one day when her mother with her sister Diamant in a levitation training session outside. She was holding several glass plates in the air simultaneously, something that took a great deal of concentration. Kessa happened upon this sight of plates floating around the girl and gave a shriek of surprise, breaking Diamants concentration and sending the plates to the ground where they shattered spectacularly, sending shards of glass everywhere. Bijoux was sure that her mother would be very angry but she merely smiled, patted Kessa on the head and sent her with Bijoux, who was standing nearby and saw the entire fiasco. The next morning, her mother woke her up and showed her the front page of the paper. Kessa was dead. After leaving Bijouxs house she had somehow fallen into the river and been swept away. One witness claimed he saw her purposefully and deliberately walk into the water and allow the current to take her. The police were questioning him but it was clear from the article that it would be ruled an accident.

Bijoux was in shock and stammered for an explanation. It was unspoken that her mother was harsh and she had dealt with “situations” before. But this was brutal, even for her. Her mother calmly folded the paper she had read to her and simply said. “It was a necessary lesson to teach. You will understand someday”

“You could have made her forget what she saw mother!” Bijoux burst out. “I have seen you do it before! She was my friend! Why did you make her suffer for being my friend? What lesson will she learn now?”

“The lesson was for you my dear.” Her mother responded, smiling wryly and tucking a strand of hair behind Bijoux’s ear “Remember it well.” and left the room.

She never forgot it, nor did she forget the funeral, which the entire family attended. As they stood graveside, her mother’s hand bit viciously into her shoulder the entire time. It was winter at the time and freezing cold. Her tears made icy tracks down her face.

It became apparent from an early age that Bijoux did not share her families’ gregarious standards.  She would often go off on her own and in cases of large social obligations, would simply disappear and no one would be able to find her. This bothered her mother to no end. It came to the point where her parents discussed having her evaluated by a psychologist specialized in mental supernatural abilities. However, in the end they decided against it as they were afraid what it would do to the families’ reputation as a whole. Doctors “in the know” were far and few in between and they were notorious for gossiping about their patients and even resorting to blackmail when it suited them. They ensured however she had an excellent education and when she showed an early aptitude for chemistry and biochemistry, they encouraged it for the most part. Her father, as a fellow scientist took great interest in her education but her mother remained far more distant.

Her mother insisted she learn how to play the violin, the harp, the cello and the piano. Although she can play all four competently to this day, she rarely does so and many people do not know she even has the ability. She never plays in public. When she is alone and distressed however sometimes she will play a single piece, over and over again, faster and faster until she is exhausted. (Usually Bach No. 1 in G Major) She has done it so often she does not require the music. She knows the notes and timing by heart.

They both also pushed her to be more active in social pursuits, urging her to attend the elaborate functions hosted by friends and family. These were a vast source of anxiety for her and with no place to channel this apprehension it expressed itself in an irrepressible need for control and order as well as frequent personal self-doubt. The need for order within what she perceived as chaos overshadowed almost every aspect of her life and may have led to the refinement of her mental abilities.

Also around this time, she began to experience wild fluctuations of emotions. It was terrifying and at first she thought she was going crazy. Because of this she told no one but attempted to stifle these feelings to no avail. Gradually, she noticed that the moods seemed to mirror the people in the room. Eventually through more vigilant observation she noticed it only seemed to happen when she touched an object or a person. At first these images and emotions came to her in an uncontrollable flood that made no sense. But slowly, through many careful experiments she started to be able to stem the tide and gain control over this. She also discovered it worked on objects, even when the person who had used it was long gone. It was through this way she began to study the true nature of her family. She also began to wear gloves almost constantly to protect against mental exhaustion. Her mother saw this as yet another “eccentric" trait to be stamped out.

One day her mother confronted her and briskly demanded she take her gloves off. She refused. Her mother demanded to know why. She stayed silent. Her mother. always quick to anger, tried to dispense her usual form of rebuke in the form of a painful mental smack but this time Bijoux managed to deflect it through reflex alone. This incensed her mother even more.

“I will teach you respect child!” she roared and unleashed a much more powerful version of the same attack. Bijoux closed her eyes, waiting for the axe to fall. But curiously, as she focused on what was sure to be a devastating attack, nothing happened. She had also been able to deflect this attack as well.

She looked nervously at her mother, bracing herself for the inevitable rage as she watched her mother’s expression turn from surprise to confusion. Surely, this would not go unpunished. But again, even more curiously, her mother looked her up and down and then broke into a broad, unsettling smile. Without a word, she left the room, signalling the end of the matter. After that, she was never completely at ease in her mother’s presence. Something had changed and even though she couldn’t say what it was, she knew instinctively that it was dangerous.

Bijoux was taught also from a very early age the importance and power of the Claramaé family line. She knew it was rare for men to take their wives names in the mortal world. For the Claramaé family it was an expected and mandatory tradition. Marriage required the groom and his parents and any siblings to be "blooded in" involving an extremely elaborate ceremony. No exceptions.

The family hierarchy was the matriarchs. Bijoux’s maternal grandmother, Spinel, reigned over the family with steely resolve. No one crossed her. And if they did, they met a sticky end. One time, she took a young Bijoux on her knee and nostalgically told her the story in graphic detail of how as a teenager, she forced her father to cut his own throat with the crystal wedding cake knife after he tried to rape her. Her mother went mad at the sight of her husband, finding his remains in the bed, dressed in a tux with the sheets strewn with rose petals. She chuckled gleefully as she recounted the difficulty she had with the tie and getting it to lie properly straight. Then, when her grandmother died (of natural causes), Spinel was named matriarch at a relatively young age. The first few years were a bit of a struggle (she usually chuckled here) but the family soon learned to “toe the line around her”.  She then explained that this is the reason they had what was called “The White Room”. The White Room, as you may have guessed was a room where everything, from carpet to curtains to furnishings, was a pristine, sparkling white. It was furnished with a crystal piano, a large diamond chess set and of course a crystalline mini bar. It also had a very high ceiling with a very large and elaborate crystal chandelier. The brightness and severe order of the room was enough alone to put you immediately on edge and the crystal from the around the room would softly tinkle as you closed the heavy white wooden doors.  “The room”, Spinel said “The place of my first triumph, became a symbol of my power and leadership. It also represents the purity of the bloodlines dear.”

Bijoux was always amazed how her mother would change when she was around her grandmother. The sharpness and the authority seemed to leave her and she would usually incline her head as a sign of respect, not meeting her eyes and softly respond “Yes mother.” Or “No mother” to any questions in practically a meek tone. Bijoux used to think this was absolute. She was certainly terrified of Spinel, with her brutal stories and her ability to make the temperature in any room drop several degrees. But as time went by, although nothing changed about her mother’s submissive demeanour, Bijoux would catch her glancing up when Spinel’s back was turned. To anyone else it would seem like an attentive look but Bijoux knew her mother enough to know the fire in her eyes. Bijoux wondered if Spinel knew also as she never met with her alone.

When she was 9, her father on a whim decided to take the family out on a trip. They would go for ice cream and watch magical fireworks being set off over the river by a family friend. Her mother pointed out that it was Father’s Day and he should enjoy some time with the children without her. This rarely happened but after some weak coaxing to try and persuade her to change her mind in turn of the family, they agreed and off they went. Bijoux had clear recollection of the fireworks. Her choice in ice cream was not spectacular; she almost always got some variation of vanilla. But the fireworks… They were indeed magical, becoming dragons that breathed fire and fairies throwing stars and filling the sky with pyrotechnic technicolour depictions. In some designs, he found ways to incorporate ice and water into it that were indescribable. When it was over, there was a hush over the crowd, almost like everyone needed a moment to reacquaint themselves with reality after that flashy splendour.

When they got home, the house was dark. This was not unusual. As they walked in, a servant was waiting for them with a summons to the White Room. They waited in the hall as their father woke their mother as she had long since gone to bed. She came with him a few moments later, bleary eyed and tying the cord on a long white silk housecoat with lace cuffs. She looked cranky at being roused at such a late hour.

They shuffled to the White Room and her mother knocked. No answer. She knocked again, a bit louder. Again, not a sound from within. Carefully, almost gingerly, her mother opened the door and softly called “Mother, may we enter?” Silence. Almost fearfully the small group shuffled into the pitch-black room. There was a strange smell, almost coppery. It was horrifyingly familiar but Bijoux couldn’t place it. There was a soft dripping sound coming from somewhere as if someone had spilt their drink on the carpet. Their shoes caused crackling sounds as they stepped forward.

“Mother, may we turn on the light?” she heard her mother say, still soft but her tone had changed. It was almost velvety.

The light came on and after a stunned pause the room erupted with screams. Amethyste fainted immediately while Perle turned a deadly pale white. Pierre gagged and ran out of the room. Verredemer grabbed the door frame for support. Beryle and Morganitte were both screaming while Desang and Obstinian tried to get them back to their senses. Axinite stood there looking stunned while Topaze and Diamant collapsed into each other’s arms crying hysterically. Rubis shook as if he were freezing.

For a moment, she couldn’t take it in. Then all at once it was all too real. Bijoux looked at what was left of her grandmother, hung by her ankles from the chandelier, rotating slowly, bound at the feet and hands and blindfolded. Her white clothes were covered in blood, too much to just be hers and it dripped on the white carpet in a giant puddle. The room itself resembled a blender of red being placed in the centre and being run without a lid. The whole room was splattered and sprayed with blood and it reeked of the distinct metallic scent. There was shattered glass everywhere and on the wall by the chest set, two distinct bloody handprints could be seen where the person was dragged across the floor, clawing at the rug.

Ebene turned to his wife in a daze, confused in his shock. “What could have done this?” Hs wife alone seemed unfazed. She looked down and pressed her lips together musingly.

“We will need to replace the carpet” was all his wife said.

Bijoux, aimless wandering in a daze by the chess set, never having been good with the smell and sight of blood, faltered slightly. The jagged edges of the shattered glass table tore her glove at the seam. As she grabbed the wall for support her fingers brushed the bloody streak leading to the handprints. It ran up her arm like flames on gasoline! In a moment, it had consumed her. Fire, she was on fire!

“Fire!” She screamed, grabbing her head. It bounced and resonated off the walls, tearing through her families hysterics and created a stunned silence. Everyone else stopped and stared at her, as if just remembering she was there. Her father tried to reach for her hand but she slapped it away with surprising strength “Fire! Help! I’m burning!” She shrieked, not recognizing her own voice, clutching her head. It didn’t feel like her voice. Rubis tried to grab her arms but she threw him aside also, sending him crashing into a cart full of glasses. Not used to his tiny sister having any strength, he was caught totally off guard. She wordlessly screamed, such was the agony of being torn apart, and in a flailing move sent the chess pieces flying.

Beyond words and still screaming, she smashed a glass water pitcher against the wall, soaking herself to no avail. The flames within her didn’t seem to mind.

It burned and scalded her from the inside. What happened next, she couldn’t remember. Or maybe wouldn’t remember. She wasn’t sure and it was a place she did not venture in willingly, even after she got older. There were flashes of trees. Of running. Of no shoes and of branches against her face. Her name being called, growing ever farther away. Of escape. Biting air cutting her throat. But suddenly, she was in the forest, by the river, clutching her hand with the torn glove, stained with blood, some her grandmothers and some her own from a small cut on her finger. She didn’t know where she was or how she got there. The riverbank was covered in sand and stones. All she could taste was the bitter panic at the back of her throat. She couldn’t even put what she felt into words. Vaguely, she realized her nose has started to bleed and she was crying and she didn’t know why. This feeling was burning so hot, potent and real and overwhelming her. She must explode, no person could hold so much heat. It came in another wave of searing pain and she grabbed her head and screamed again, weaker now and her voice horse. She wanted to run away but her legs seized up and she fell to the ground, battered over the rocks and felt the cold water on her hands and arms from the riverbank as she flailed to a halt. And all at once the flames left her and she was empty. Vaguely, she was aware of a moose across the river rolling and thrashing on the bank in the throes of death, making horrible baying sounds. Slowly everything quieted. The pull of the current steadied her a bit. She thought of what she just witnessed and felt despair. She was trapped and at the mercy of a terrible person. Death would be a release. She tried to roll toward the river but all her strength gone. The cold water lapped at her body, contrasting with the warm blood dripping down her face mixing with tears as she looked up at the stars that were not fireworks. That was the last thing she remembered before she passed out completely.

She awoke on bed, with a scorching headache. She had cooling packs on her forehead and neck and she could tell she had the remnants of a fever. There was a bandage on her head where she must have banged her head when she fell. She still was wearing the same clothes and had twigs and mud in her hair. She could also feel several tiny cuts and scrapes on her face and arms. The trees maybe? Her face felt stiff.

She became aware of voices outside her door. Her father and her mother. Her father a low baritone, her mother a barely suppressed soprano. Her father wanted to take her to the doctor. “She is my daughter and I am worried about her.” He pleaded. “She may be sick. She is so young to have seen that.”

Her mother’s voice was sharp and unmoved. “The other children are fine. She’s fine. She will be fine. She is a Claramaé. No doctor. No outsiders. End of discussion”

There was a short pause before the door opened and they both entered.

“Good! You are finally awake. You feel better, right?” Her mother simpered as she stepped over and took her chin between her thumb and forefinger, much too tight to be affectionate, sending the ice packs tumbling. “You gave us quite a scare. You are lucky your father found you when he did or the river could have swept you away. But you are fine.” A demand, not a question. She gave Bijoux’s chin a tiny but firm shake “Right?” Bijoux couldn’t help but notice that Mazarin’s arms were bandaged heavily underneath her sleeves.

Bijoux lowered her eyes and pressed her cracked lips together. “Yes Mama.” Her mother released her and straightened her dress as she walked out of the room, leaving her father to tend to her. He straightened the blankets and pulled up a chair.

He stroked her hair back and his voice caught. “When I found you in the forest, just lying there half in the riverbank, I thought you were dead too. The thought they had found you and killed you. Thank the gods you are safe!” he grasped her hand in his. “Never fear, your mother and I will always protect you. You are so special. You are my little girl.” And he kissed her forehead, rearranged the ice packs and got up to leave. “Now get some rest.” He said fondly and turned off the light.

Three days later, her Grandmother’s funeral was spared no expense. Bijoux was barely able to stand but her presence was mandatory and her mother made no allowances for her health. Swarms of people came to pay their respects and to pledge their loyalty to the new Claramaé family matriarch, Mazarin. At the end of the ceremonies, when everyone had left and the final ashes had settled, Bijoux alone saw her mother in front of large framed photo of Spinel. She allowed herself a smirk and slammed the picture face down on the table.

“So much for you.” She spat out.

Bijoux fled before her mother spotted her. Spinel had not been weak, not even with age. Under normal circumstance, she was the matriarch for a reason.  She again wished she had been able to roll into the river. But at the same time, she realized that she truly and desperately wanted to live. To really live in peace. She just couldn’t live like this indefinitely. Escape seemed as unreal as a fairy tale. But it was her only option.

She did get snippets of peace so she knew it could exist. The only time she was at peace was when she took out one of the families’ boats. The calmness of the water and the protection the boats wards provided her gave her reprieve from the near constant pressure of her life, especially from her increasing domineering mother.

As she grew older, she also began to have visions that seemingly foreshadowed future events. At first they terrified her and at one point she told her older sister Amythyste. However, her sister refused to believe her, citing she was being ridiculous and had an overactive imagination. Amthtyste told her brother Pierre of the incident who took her aside and questioned her about it. He didn’t believe her either but he realized how his parents would react and purposefully kept the information from them, knowing that this would alienate Bijoux even more. He also made a point to warn both Amythyse and Bijoux to never speak of it again, even in passing. Realizing it was futile and even dangerous to push the issue, Bijoux realized that this was a burden she would have to carry alone and never openly spoke of her visions again, worried and knowing the possible repercussions not only to herself, but to her brother.

When she was 12, one day her sister Perle ran into the room in a panic, her mascara creating dark streams down her face. Her mother was on her feet immediately and her father grabbed Perle’s shoulders and gave her a gentle shake. “What happened?”

Perle struggled to stammer out the answer. It was Zebrina, a family friend and fellow mind mage.

“They finally did it. I was there and saw the whole thing. They…they caught up to her on the pier. I was offshore...They didn’t even stop to talk. He took his sword and...oh there was so much blood!!!”

Her father shook her again, noticeably harder this time. “Did they see you?” His voice was steady but there was a note of steel in it. Her mother had gone very white.

Perle gulped and shook her head. Her father visibly relaxed a bit and let go of her shoulders.

He turned and looked at her mother and gave a single nod. “Apparently we will have to keep our affairs away from this council if we don’t want the same...special attention.” 

Later Years Edit

…But the guns still rattle
The guns still rattle
Oh…..
(Spirits – By the Strumbellas)
 She received her PhD of Chemistry with a minor of Biochemistry at an early age. However, she was very nervous as she had been having a reoccurring vision where she saw her own death. It was very vague and cloudy but it came together when she accidentally overheard her parents discussing her and what to do with her. Her mother said it was time she went through the “Blooding” ritual.

“That will straighten the little wench out.” She said scornfully. She heard the clink of ice in a glass.

“It seems a bit soon.” Her father’s voice was velvet through the walls. But her mother was unmoving.

“Now is the time! She is obviously exceptional.” She paused “A mother knows best.”

Bijoux was familiar with this as she had watched her siblings go through the same ritual and it terrified her. She realized she could not go through the ritual and immediately began methodically planning her escape. She was terrified of being discovered and would often check her work repeatedly, sometimes as many as 19 times, paranoid that she would miss something and give herself away. Her mother set her to rehearsing for the ceremony which would require her to play Brahms - Cello Sonata No. 1 for the upcoming blooding ceremony.

It took a month of careful preparation and smuggling essentials to her favourite houseboat, waiting for the ideal opportunity. She knew if she was discovered, she would never get another chance. But because of her checking and rechecking her escape kept getting delayed. At last she was forced into action by a vision and her parents.

On the eve of her blooding she had a dream. In her vision she saw her mother approach her as she stood frozen in a fog filled forest and smear her cheeks and forehead with blood ritualistically. Her mother than said something in a language Bijoux did not understand. It was only then Bijoux realized that her mother had gotten the blood from a deep gash on Bijouxs throat and that she herself was holding an over-bright silver dagger shaped like a crescent, dripping her blood. She heard the moose scream out pathetically as it had that terrible night. The last thing she remembered from the vision was her mother’s self-satisfied smile as the landscape went dark. Suddenly she was holding her throat, in front of the sink splashing water on her face, the water tinged with blood. She frantically tried to scrape the blood off her hands but to no avail. She looked up at the mirror screamed when she saw her mother’s reflection looking back at her. She awoke in a cold sweat and knew immediately that it would be now or never.

The reception that came before the blooding would be that evening. It was a enormous event, with a huge ballroom and a full orchestra. She herself was dressed elaborately in a black velvet gown and sapphires which were her birthstone. She also had pearls and diamonds woven into her hair. She found her father leaning against the counter. She gave him a quick hug and told him she forgot her cello bow in the house. Obviously she couldn’t perform without it and hadn’t she been practicing for this for many days at the ‘request’ (demand) of her mother? He shook his head indulgently and sent her off to fetch it. As she made to slip away but ran into her brother Pierre. He asked where she was going. She lowered her eyes and she said she had been sent to retrieve her cello bow. He gave her an incredulous look, obviously not believing her. Bijoux never forgot things. She braced herself for a round of questions. But after a hard look he stepped aside and let her pass. She never knew his reasoning for letting her go. 

Life on the run Edit

…I spent a lot of nights on the run
And I think “Oh, like I’m lost and can’t be found.”
I’m just waiting for my day to come
And I think, “Oh, I don’t want to let you down.”
Cause something inside has changed
And maybe we don’t want to stay the same….
(Spirits – By the Strumbellas)
 
Three months after leaving she found a note taped to one of the windows. It said simply, written in her mother’s extravagant writing on heavy paper “Family is final. Come home.” She burned the note and threw the ashes in the water. She didn’t stick around to see if her mother was in the area.

When she reached Moosonee, her boat had engine trouble and she became stranded. A boat with two fisherman came across her and helped tow her to shore and get the needed repairs. She was extremely grateful. But that night she had a vision of the two men standing, but their skin was greenish-white and rotting off, engorged with water. They dripped water on the deck of her boat and pointed to the clouds which swirled menacingly above. Then one lurched toward her, reaching desperately, his skin oozing off his bones and she stepped back, stumbling into the water. There were no words but she got the message.

She found them the next day as they prepared to go out for the day and tried to convince them to take the day off and that it would be dangerous to go out on the water today. But the harder she tried, the more they were convinced she was being irrational. One of them even suggested she go to the hospital to be checked out. She felt helpless watching them leave and did not understand why they did not believe her. Later that day, a freak storm hit the small town in the middle of the afternoon. They never found the bodies of the two men. Only pieces of the boat washed ashore. She couldn’t bear to stay for the funeral and left the next day.

Six months after being on the run, she was greeted by Rubis. She had been walking through the forest and suddenly he was standing there in front of her. He didn’t waste any time ordering her to come home. She refused and Rubis, who had never been very patient became enraged. After arguing for several minutes, he threw his hands in the air and caused several trees around Bijoux to uproot and fall all around her, dusting her in a cloud of snow and dead leaves. One of the branches gashed her face. She was very afraid but stood her ground, fairly sure (not completely) he would not actually kill her.  They would have probably continued to quarrel but a sudden sharp intake of breath made them both pause. A hunter, dressed in camo had seen Rubis’s magical tantrum and was frozen in fear, staring at Rubis. Rubis got even more riled.

“Oh, for fuck sakes!” he grumbled irritated and strode over to the man, pulled out a knife and slashed his throat before anyone could react, spraying the snow with an arc of red. She then walked back over to Bijoux, leaving a trail of blood drops behind him. He held the bloody knife in her face.

“We don’t leave loose ends. You had better come home soon.” He threw it, blade down into the frozen ground and with that he walked away through the snowy forest. 

Life in Thunder Bay, Ontario Edit

…And I don’t want a never-ending life
I just want to be alive
While I’m here...
And I don’t want to see another night
Lost inside a lonely life
While I’m here
(Spirits – By the Strumbellas)
At first after leaving she kept constantly on the move, worried that her location would be pinpointed again. But after several more months of persistent travel, she made her way down to Lake Superior to see if she could find a place to settle down near Thunder Bay. She was exhausted but feeling hopeful as there had been no further signs that her family was going to pursue her. Bijoux was lucky and found several bouts of contract work in her field which made it possible for her to live a relatively comfortable life and even save up a "rainy day" fund for the future. Eventually through utter chance, she was walking home from a coffee shop and saw a woman drop a mitten. When Bijoux ran to pick it up and give it to her, the tingling sensation of magical energy deviated from the glove. This woman was of the supernatural world! Her name was Maris Broaderan. She was surprised that Bijoux knew she was magical but after chatting with her a bit, there was an instant connection. Bijoux had been very lonely and was eager to meet some new people for a change.

The Thunder Bay Squad Edit

Maris slowly introduced Bijoux to the rest of the people in her circle. In all, there were eight. There was Bradwell who was a druid, Analeas the fire mage and part time photographer, Gemma who was a half fae portal expert and a supernatural scholar, Stepford who dabbled with illusion magic, Dralis who was also half fae, Fredrick, a pure mortal swordsman and Missy, a pure mortal who was an expert at technology and traps.

Bijoux, having been alone for a very long time, felt awkward at first with her new friends. But as time went by and she got to know them better, that fear started to fade.

Dralis was a bit paranoid but he taught her the art of fae deals “It is all in the wording” he used to say with a smirk. His job was helping people write contracts and he was an expert at it. He made himself quite a tidy living, working freelance. He was also a smooth talker and could calm down almost anyone who was upset. This was quite ironic as he had an explosive temper himself and an impressive vocabulary in all things vulgar. He believed in never showing your full hand and because of this his relationship was sometimes strained when it came to Stepford.

Bradwell was very chatty (almost to a fault) and was always going on tangents about nature and spiritual connections. But he was super loyal and taught Bijoux how to cook simple vegetarian dishes.  He took great pride in his garden and loved to show it off to people. Bijoux offered her expertise in helping him crossbreed roses. He won several awards in roses three years standing and often referred to his rose bushes as his “children”. When he found out about Bijoux’s psychometry he was always asking her to touch the leaves of the rose bushes so he” …would know what they were thinking.”

Stepford was the ultimate showman and he loved to be on stage, baffling people with his magic tricks. He was quite famous in the area and liked to push the limits of what he could do. No one could figure out his tricks but he thought it was hilarious when people still sometimes accused him of being a fraud. He also loved to play practical jokes on the group and took perverse pleasure in tricking Dralis in particular. “He gives the best reaction! Just having a bit of fun” Stepford would spout off with his thick Irish accent after Dralis stomped off, swearing. They always made up after though over a beer. Bijoux used to worry about Stepford using his magic so publicly but he told her to relax. He would say with a wink “I am in the business where everyone is an elaborate fake. No one can tell the difference. So I have to let everyone think I am a fake too. And doesn’t that make me oh so awesomely humble?”

Missy was a bit harder to get to know. She was the one person Stepford never messed with. Bijoux never got the full story but apparently he had played a joke on her exactly once. Whatever she did to retaliate obviously stuck in his mind. She was constantly in her lab, dabbling with her gadgets. She protected her lab fiercely and no one ever went in when she wasn’t there or without knocking. “The best offence is a good defence!” she used to say, pushing her glasses back on her nose. She adored her husband Fredrick and often would speak for both of them as he didn’t like to say much. She had a sharp quick attitude and Bijoux respected her for it. She made many technical improvements to the boat so that it would be impervious to magic energy and hexing, among other things.

Fredrick, Missy’s husband, was a very serious, extremely quiet person. Bijoux actually thought he couldn’t speak for a very long time after meeting him. He communicated almost exclusively through his body language and was extremely expressive that way. The rare occasions he did speak, it was usually just a few words. A few times, seized by the zeal of the moment, he would utter an entire sentence. But he was very kind and obviously devoted to his wife Missy.

Analeas was unpredictable at the best of times. He loved to use his magic to get dramatic, artistic photographs which he would then sell. He said that Bijoux’s hair “inspired him” and he once did a series with her standing in the sun facing away so her hair could be seen blowing in the wind, with fiery accents bouncing off of it. He called it “his masterpiece” and gave it to Bijoux as a present. He smoked heavily but never carried a lighter. He didn’t smoke around Bijoux or Maris as it made the both of them wheeze. He liked to impress magical visitors by using his powers to light multiple candles all at once. He had a severe scar on his left hand and a part of his left ear missing from what he called “an artistic misstep” His workshop was full of pieces that documented the group as a whole. He often said that “Causing trouble is the surest path to inspiration.” He called his work his “meraki” because he said he put a piece of his soul in every piece.

Maris, who was the first to introduce Bijoux to the group was a bit standoffish at first and gave the impression of being a snob. But once she got to know you, she was an entirely different person. She loved to watch old movies and would refer to having met several of the stars. She would laugh at Bijoux’s disbelief and remind her that she was much older than she looked. When she found out that Bijoux was magical, she introduced her to the rules of magic. She didn’t say how she came to learn them but she told Bijoux to be very wary of the people who enforced them, the White Council. But she was guarded about what she said and when Bijoux would press for information she would shake her head, chuckle and state she had already said too much. Because of this, Bijoux never told Maris (or any of the others besides Gemma) about her family.

Gemma and Bijoux were best friends the moment they met. Both being academics, they would debate for hours about the mortal versus magical perspectives on all things science. Occasionally they would travel to conferences using her portal magic so they could expand their knowledge. Gemma called these trips “Girls Night out” They also talked about books, music and other arts. Gemma was one of the few people Bijoux would play the violin for. Gemma used to always say “Don’t call it a dream, call it a plan. It sounds better.” Gemma was often instrumental for helping Bijoux find work and she even was able to support her in her battle to overcome her compulsions which were even more prevalent when she was stressed. “You mind is an ordered one.” She used to say “But you don’t need to control your thoughts. You just need to keep them from controlling you.” She would also say “Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. Simply that it no longer has power over you.” Eventually Bijoux told Gemma a little about her family. She had never told the others as she was afraid they would shun her if they knew. But Gemma was very understanding. She was the bastard child of a winter fae and spent many years being bounced around and used as a bargaining chip. She convinced Missy to design documents to create an alias of sorts for Bijoux in hopes it would keep her safe when she was working “I know what it is like to be different. If I did what everyone wanted me to do back then, I would probably be dead by now. Freedom is worth a little hardship.” She used to say. They eventually became inseparable.

For the first time in her life Bijoux felt safe, happy and secure. She had a new group of friends, a new purpose and was considering a permanent job working as a Q/A analyst for a pharmaceutical company. But in the end it was not to be.

The Loss Edit

It was approximately 16 months since she had left home when she received another letter. Written on thick heavy paper her mother ordered her to return home. She said this “tantrum” had gone on long enough and it was time for her to take her place and assume her responsibilities as a member of the Claramaé family. As she held the letter, she could feel the cold rage the letter was written with course through her hands. The letter was unsigned but she knew her mother had sent it. She felt Mazarins hand squeezing her shoulder and burned the letter, scattering the ashes in the water. As she looked at her reflection in the water, she thought of Kessa, not for the first time, and wondered if she felt fear before she was murdered.

She had never been a brave person or considered herself particularly courageous or heroic. She hoped she would be strong when the time finally came...

Gemma found her staring in the water and knew something was wrong. After a lot of pressing and cajoling, Bijoux, bit by bit, told her about the letter. Gemma laughed off the perceived threat, thinking it was not too terribly serious. But seeing her distress, Gemma convinced her that if they “went off the grid” for a couple months, her family would give up and go home. Bijoux was not entirely convinced, but lacking a better idea, decided to go along with the plan. Knowing that they could not do this alone, they called the rest of the group to make a plan of action. It was suggested that they hide in the Never-Never but Dralis was firm about that not happening. Always distrustful, he said there were too many spies for profit to make it practical and they didn’t have any way to buy them off.

Dralis decided the mountains would be the safest place for them. After Gemma portaled them to a remote area, they set up camp for the long term. The plan was to camp there for a month and then find a new location.

When she woke up on the ninth morning on the mountain, she had a terrible feeling in the pit of her stomach. The camp was silent and her friends were nowhere to be found. A note was nailed to a nearby tree. It simply read “Come to the precipice if you want to save them” scrawled in black pen. She could tell by touching the page that the letter had been written by Fredrick. But there was just a void instead of any feeling from the paper. The effect was eerie.

When she reached the precipice, she saw from a distance that everyone was on top, standing at the edge in a line. At first she was relived and even a little angry at what she thought was a practical joke but as she got closer she saw their faces were totally blank and unblinking, staring into nothing in the distance. She knew that look. She had seen it far too many times. A mask of death. She ran faster, fearing what would happen next. She thought of Kessa. She wondered again if they had the ability to feel fear. In that moment she had no idea what to even hope for.

All her friends began to speak in unison, as if this had been rehearsed, flatly and without emotion. The voices were her friends but the words were her mother’s “Remember and learn from this. The pain you inflict on us we will impose on you thrice fold. Their blood is on your hands. Return and repent or pay the price. You will never be free of what you are. Family is final.”

With the tones still ringing in the air, still in unison, they stepped forward into nothing, eyes steadfast ahead.

She screamed and desperately lunged for the nearest person. Barely in time, she cushioned more than caught the falling Gemma. There was the sickening thud of the other bodies hitting the ground and she was spattered with warm liquid. She touched her face with shaking hands and looked at the red on her fingertips. She started to scream.

Gemma was battered from the fall but miraculously uninjured. The scream knocked her out of her stupor and she jumped to her feet. She ran to the battered remains with shaking hands but it was immediately apparent that there was nothing that could be done for them. She grabbed the still screaming Bijoux and they portaled out of there, back to Bijoux’s boat.

She slapped Bijoux hard across the face to get her back to her senses and shook her by the shoulders, fighting back her own streaming tears yelling at Bijoux that there was nothing they could do for them and that they needed to move now. Bijoux struggled to catch her breath, breathing raggedly and choking on her words “I am sorry! I am so sorry! Please forgive me, I killed them! It was me! I am so sorry! I couldn’t save them...” Not sure what to do next and with Bijoux in a bad state, Gemma made the executive decision that they had no choice but to flee Thunder Bay. Gemma had contacts with the fae and thought they could hide out in the Never-never until this had blown over. That way they could plan, in relative safety what their next move would be. Gemma sent a message to her contact and they waited. Gemma tried to comfort Bijoux the best she could. Having survived the attack, she was finally able to tell Bijoux that she had no memory of going to the cliff so therefore they felt no fear or pain when they died. It was cold comfort however. For three hours they simply waited.

Bijoux sensed their presence before they were actually there. She begged Gemma to save herself but Gemma didn’t hesitate or even consider it. She swiftly opened a portal for the boat. She told Bijoux to stay with the boat and she would go through another portal to confuse them. She would meet her on the Saskatchewan River in 24 hours. Bijoux begged Gemma to come with her but Gemma said it was safer this way for both of them. She could move faster alone and they wouldn’t be able to track Bijoux in Saskatchewan very easily once she opened a new portal. She would see Bijoux in 24 hours at the latest, once it was safe. Her eyes were fiery as she spoke. They grasped hands and Bijoux begged Gemma to be careful. As Gemma portaled her away, an icy hand grasped her heart. She had a bad feeling about this. She tried to brush it off. She had bad feelings about everything lately. But the feelings refused to be brushed.

Bijoux waited for three days, not sleeping or eating from the stress, by the portal. But Gemma never came. Bijoux never found out the exact fate of her friend. Part of her didn't want to know. She didn't think she could bear the suffering and the blood of yet another friend on her hands. When Bijoux slowly realized she was not ever going to arrive, she picked up her violin from and started to play Bach 1 in G Major, softly at first, slowly at first, but gaining strength gradually. Again and again. She lost track of how long she played. She played the violin for so long her fingers started to bleed all over the instrument. Even then, she couldn’t bring herself to stop. She couldn’t feel anything. The only thing that was important is that the music continue, no matter what. She didn’t know what would happen if it stopped and she couldn’t bear it. She paced through the house, continuing to play, focusing only on the music until she collapsed on the couch from exhaustion and torment. When she woke up much later, she saw the violin and bow were drenched with blood as well as blood was dripped and sprayed all over the house and floor. She sat there for a very long time, not feeling or caring about the pain from her shredded, crusty hands. Finally...painfully...she pulled up the anchor and left. 

Depression and an Epiphany Edit

Sometimes…I get lost inside my mind…
I hate getting flashbacks of things I don’t want to remember…
The times I hurt people just by being alive.
My life is a constant battle of wanting to be alone and not wanting to be lonely
Bijoux Claramaé
She arrived in Saskatoon in March, 2015. At first she stayed out of the city limits, where no one would notice or care about her boat while she tried to figure out what to do. She stayed out of the city unless she for quick trips to restock supplies. She was sleepwalking through life, not really awake but not asleep either. She did the bare minimum of self-care almost mechanically. She bandaged her hands and stared out the window aimlessly, listening to the water outside. She forgot to eat and lost weight. It didn’t matter. She didn’t want to meet anyone, she didn’t want to try to rebuild her life and she certainly didn’t want to care about anything or anyone anymore. She had failed yet another group of friends. Just the latest of many. If it wasn’t for her, they would be alive. There was no doubt. The gruesome scene of broken bodies was burned into her mind and haunted her dreams. For the first time she wondered if there really was a place for her in this world. She didn’t want to die but she also didn’t want innocent people to die so she could live. For a long time, life was pain.

But as her hands slowly healed, she thought about it more rationally. She realized for the second time, that even if she wanted to, she could never go home again. She had seen too much and no longer would belong. She knew if she went back, her family would consume her. Even now, she didn’t hate her family. But she knew she must stay away from them as much as possible. All she could do now is work towards balancing out the wrongs of her past. The sins of her family; which she felt the weight of profusely. She knew she probably would never completely succeed but if she could restore the balance by even a small measure, maybe she could find a little peace. And really, she knew that in the end every aspect of the people she knew- the good, the evil, the chaotic and the lawful – were things that must be retained in order to maintain the balance, for things cannot be improved on except on a temporary basis and even then, it is only superficially. The pendulum swings back and forth, never still. Never ceasing. Such is the rhythm of the world. In the end, balance prevailed and kept things as they were meant to be, protecting the wheel of nature from becoming unstable, due to the nature of unnatural forces - supernatural and/or mortal – interfering with it. Each thing exists as a part of the whole, one as a check or balance to the other, with life necessary for death, happiness for suffering, good for evil, order for chaos and so on. Nothing must ever become predominant, lest it destroy the balance.

She had a purpose. It was time for her to move forward. Her self-imposed exile from humanity had ended. 

Saskatoon Edit

Her first task upon arriving in Saskatoon was finding a job. As luck would have it, the University of Saskatchewan Biochemistry department was hiring through VIDO. Her background and CV were very impressive and she had no trouble landing the job. They did question her quite heavily due to her age but she managed to satisfy their every concern. Despite being a little socially awkward from her long bouts alone, the other scientists also had social difficulties and this allowed her to fit in much better. But she still avoided frivolous socializing with her co-workers. The pain of losing her former friends was still too raw. For a while she lived under the alias “Bijoux Wiebe” (with the documents Missy had designed) As her boat had some wards already she found a place by the Traffic Bridge remnant and parked it in a sandbar. With the ward keeping people away and the traffic bridge remnant to walk on when she was content. At night she would sit on the bridge and watch the lights of the city appear. She imagined the people they represented and in some ways that made her feel less alone. 

Meeting The Squad2 Edit

Ph005 026nn

…I’ve been looking at the stars’ tonight
And I think, “Oh, how I miss the bright sun.”
I’ll be a dreamer until the day I die
And they say “Oh, how the good die young.”
But we’re all strange
And maybe we don’t want to change….
(Spirits – By the Strumbellas)
Proving Ground (Nika)

When she was still struggling with the remnants of depression, Bijoux had a vision of white court vampires. She felt this was a small chance to redeem herself and maybe start towards a better life.

Fae-lure to Save them (Nika)

Bijoux tries to warn her new friend Nika about impending danger with the Fae but he doesn’t believe her. But when her prediction comes true, she rushes to help defend him from the fae.

Protect the Innocent (Gaspar)

Gaspar came to her to analyse his blood for impurities from the curse he suffers from. The blood triggered a vision which Bijoux shared with Gaspar and he rushed off to Baton Rouge. 

The Squad2 Edit

Kaya Grey

Bijoux admires and looks up to this strong independent woman. But she is also slightly afraid of her as sometimes Kaya bullies her into doing things she is uncomfortable with. She doesn’t hang out with her socially since she started dating Adam as she is terrified of him. But she respects Kaya and values her as a friend and a loyal teammate.

Nika Alkaev (Deceased)

Nika was the first member of the squad that Bijoux met. After the experience with the White Court and the fae, and also since they both worked on campus, it made it much easier to collaborate. Bijoux felt oddly protective of Nika, and looked up to him as a mentor. She would often go to him for advice and they would have long talks about scientific breakthroughs in their respective fields. He also helped her find her “niche” with the group, especially at the start when she felt like the intruder. She was always grateful to him for that. He also played a big part in saving her from her family and helping rescue Violetta from the Rabbi.

When Nika died, she wrestled with the fact that she didn’t do enough to save him and that he was yet another friend she couldn’t save. But when Violetta came to live with her after leaving Alex, she realized that he had made his choice knowing full well what the consequences would be. Deep down, she knew if she were in his place she would do the same to save the greater good. Alphonse painted a small portrait of Nika, per her request and she keeps fresh flowers by it. She will never forget him and strives ensure his sacrifice was not in vain.

Rodrick Rowan

He seems nice

Alphonse Ruiz Herrero-Schmied

She enjoys hanging out with Alphonse although sometimes it makes her sad as him art reminds her a bit of Analeas. She enjoys his oddities and eccentric traits and enjoys going to coffee with him on occasion. She was extremely happy when he painted a beautiful picture of Violetta.

Jirou Yukimura

They are good friends and Bijoux would do anything to protect Jirou. But she finds him to be not serious enough and she holds him at a distance due to his connections with the White Council. She does this to protect him as much as herself. If she doesn’t tell him, then he cannot be guilty by association. She also is mindful that she has Violetta’s safety to consider and well she is friendly with Jirou, she is always mindful of where he came from, his family and who he strives to be.

Emma Ashford

Bijoux finds Emma very difficult to get to know due to her direct and abrasive personality. She still remembers how she used to watch from her yard when they went to Nika’s and that always made her uncomfortable. She feels she made some rash decisions “deal breaker” in the magic world by killing the fairy seamstress. She feels these choices could potentially put Violetta in unnecessary peril even though she would never voice this to Emma herself. Bijoux finds Emma quite intimidating and tends to not voice her opinion too much around her.  It doesn’t mean that she won’t help Emma as part of the group but she doesn’t socialize with her outside of the “missions”

Antares Fletcher

Bijoux doesn’t realize it but Antares knew one of her former friends quite awhile ago, before she met him. As a person associated with the Winter Court, Antares heard the name “Dralis” tossed around, usually with undercurrents of respect. Finally, one day he was sent out on assignment with this man. Although his reputation preceded him, Antares was impressed by his wit and guile. Together, they went on a volatile mission and not only managed to clear it but also acquired a large amount of information regarding contacts in the fae world which could be traded in the future. Antares was so impressed that they went for a beer after at a dive bar in Montreal. They laughed and joked until the wee hours of the morning and finally decided to call it a night. And he walked out of the bar and vanished. Antares never heard from him again.

Bijoux has a great respect for Antares and will always help when she is able. She wishes she could be as brave and daring as he is!

Gaspar Matys

Bijoux respects Gaspar greatly and hopes she can help him someday.

Lucas Vaako

Bijoux doesn’t trust Lucas and keeps close watch on him. She feels he makes too many autonomous decisions and doesn’t “keep the balance” as he should. She worries about him putting the group in danger and did not like some of his choices to kill people. They don’t socialize outside of missions.

Lokir Windcaller  (Dragoned)

She misses Lokir greatly and is always happy to see him socially even though she is a bit afraid of him and is very careful. She has never forgotten he is willing to take advantage of her naivety.

Felicks Selina Kyle

She did not know him but from what she has heard, he seems nice.

Kemen Ekaitz (Deceased)

She didn’t like Kemen. 

Other Associates Edit

Violetta Claret

She met Violetta when they saved her from the Rabbi. They share a special bond of friendship and Bijoux does her best to protect her and keep her safe. She knows what it is like to be alone and doesn’t want Violetta to have to suffer the way she did.

Sgt. Adam King

Bijoux is petrified of the police force and will not speak to any of them. Therefore, her and Adam have never spoken. If Adam tried to engage her in conversation, she gets a nervous expression and looks at the ground. Some of her nervous compulsions are sometimes visible. Further pressing would result in a full blown anxiety attack.  She refuses to go to the Police station under normal circumstances, although a few times she has been pressured into going for reasons of investigation. If he calls she gets someone else to speak to him on her behalf or just lets it go to voicemail. Because of this, they do not have a basis for any level of relationship. Bijoux hopes that there will never be a case where she is alone with any police officer.

Noella Roma

A young girl with strong powers that Violetta and Bijoux befriended and are mentoring in the supernatural.

Auberette

The official mascot of Deafening Harmony Hideout (Female polydactyl Chocolate Point Siamese Cat)

Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga owes her one small favour

Sinichi Yukimura

Bijoux knows Sinichi by reputation only for the most part. She met him when he came to the city looking for refuge at his brother, Jirous’s apartment. However, many people suspected he was there and the apartment was destroyed by several ambushes. Since the apartment was no longer safe, Bijoux offered Sinichi refuge in exchange for him soul-gazing with Alphonse to ensure his intentions were honourable and he wasn’t lying. He was a perfect houseguest and Bijoux tried to be an equally good hostess by ensuring he had enough to eat and that his wounds were tended to properly. She did not judge him for his actions and sympathized with the position he was in. She allowed him to stay until he made a decision about his future and then sent him off with food and medical supplies. She has not heard from him directly but knows that he has since joined the Jade Court of Vampires.

Arthur Ashford 

Her and Arthur have never spoken. If Arthur tried to engage her in conversation, she gets a nervous expression and looks at the ground. When she is with the group at Emma’s house and Arthur is present, there is a lot of awkward smiling and nodding. 

Presently Edit

She has never talked about her former teammates to her current friends. The experience is still too raw and she is still worried that it could happen again, which is something she doesn’t dare let herself think about. She doesn’t even talk about it to Violetta although she suspects Violetta senses her pain. She doesn’t want Violetta to know how damaged she really is. When Violetta asked about where she got Analeas’s painting, she said she couldn’t remember. If she doesn't tell anyone, she can keep the memory safe.

She has one really good photograph of the whole team, just hanging out. She herself is standing beside Gemma. They both are laughing because Gemma had just told a really bad joke. Frederick was standing behind Missy, his arms draped over her shoulders, making her look even smaller because of his giant presence. She was peering up at his face and smiling happily. Dralis was standing by Stepford, looking cranky as usual while Stepford was obviously antagonizing him further. Bradwell had a handful of flowers and was tossing one toward the camera. Maris was rolling her eyes and laughing and Analeas was smoking further down to make sure the smoke blew away, leaning against the wall and just taking in the whole scene with a subtle smirk. She keeps it hidden away in a secret compartment in her Crystal Room. But when she is alone, sometimes she locks the door, draw the curtains and takes out the photograph of her first group of friends. She looks at all the faces and thinks about what they were like. She will never forget them.