Roan Levi Alserda
Male | 22 | Sound
_______________________________________________"The next thing that bites me is getting a bite back."________________________________________
- Anything with cinnamon
- Listening to stories
- Meals with loved ones
- People who think they're better than others (vampires included)
- Authority in general
- Being objectified
- Long silences
- Life magic
- Telling people bad news
- Drumming on whatever's around (tables, chairs, his legs, etc)
- Whistling, singing, otherwise making noise music
- Talking about deep, yet completely irrelevant topics
- Not taking serious things seriously enough
- Interrupting silences
- His focus is a little metal rock with the word "Hope" inscribed into it.
- He has a long scar on the left side of his face. He's pretty sure it's from his vampire scratching him when he attacked her, but he can't quite remember.
- Roan has no combat training of any kind. Similarly, since he escaped his vampire so early in his education, he also has not had any arcane training. Fortunately, his skill for subtle reconnaissance means he still has something to offer a team.
"A caged bird's gotta stop singing."
With dark olive skin, deep green eyes, and graceful features, Roan always had something of a delicate look about him; something his vampire must have noticed, since she had those features enhanced with life magic treatments and plastic surgery until Roan took on the sort of refined, ethereal mien that served nicely as an attractive show piece. Always having hated being looked at like a decorative sculpture, Roan has since done his best to downplay his looks, letting his eyebrows grow back a little thicker, his skin get a little rougher, and dyeing his hair from its former glossy black to a very obviously bleached, out-of-the-bottle blue. A long scar mars his left cheek down to the jawline, further breaking up his formerly symmetrical face, and he hides his lithe, willowy build with oversized tees and zip hoodies.
Roan is famously easy to get along with. Easygoing to a fault, Roan has always been perfectly happy to go with the flow, preferring to follow the leader rather than striking out himself. He’s very forgiving of slights against him, preferring to err on the side of grace, and usually assumes (for better or for worse) that people don’t mean to be as harsh as they sometimes come across. But everyone has their limits, and if someone does manage to get on his bad side, he can grow immature, stubborn, and snarky. Of course, getting Roan to the point of spitting back is a feat in itself; in his personal life as well as in battle, Roan would much rather flee than fight.
Growing up with two bickering older sisters taught Roan to be an effective mediator, and since tension drives him crazy, he will often be found trying to help people work out their differences - whether his efforts are welcome or not. Averse to conflict and discomforted by seriousness, Roan does his best to keep the mood light, usually trying to diffuse tense situations with a joke or a change of subject. His discomfort with silence, especially, is even more notable these days; the longer people are around him, the more they will notice that his constant attempts at levity may be less of a personality quirk and more of a protective measure.
This is most evident in his relatively new aversion to being alone, a discomfort so encompassing it’s probably better described as a fear. So Roan does his best to keep people around, keep them talking, and keep them smiling - after all, too much time alone with his thoughts is bad news when there’s so much in his head he’d rather not think about.
Hailing from an orbital Eve territory, Roan’s upbringing was pleasant enough. Born to a single mother with two older sisters, it’s true that they weren’t the model of the nuclear family, and without a second income, they also struggled financially for a while until his oldest sister started working. But they were happy; Roan’s house was always full, be it with the people who lived there or friends and loved ones who stopped in. Even after his oldest sister married and started a family of her own, she was always over with her husband and children, filling the house with the happy noise Roan grew so fond of. It was a happy childhood, the memories of which Roan still treasures to this day.
But he couldn’t stay a child forever, and that fact was underscored the year he turned eighteen, when his Awakening crystal lit up and changed his life forever. Truth be told, while he was sad to leave home, Roan was a little excited at the prospect of serving a vampire; it was a chance to step out of the modest means he was so accustomed to, to make something of himself he probably couldn’t have as a mundane man.
He considered himself pretty lucky, too. He ended up with a vampiress named Bellamira Deale, part of some distant branch of the Eve family on the low end of the social hierarchy - still plenty rich, but largely uninvolved with the political machine. On top of that, she was decently kind to him. A bit of a diva, she liked things a certain way, of course, but she took a particular interest in Roan, doting on him like an exotic pet and grooming him to become a show mage. She was a great fan of his talent for music, hiring magic tutors to teach him how to enhance his natural ability with Sound magic, and she loved showing him off to friends at parties. It wasn’t always the most comfortable thing to be poked and prodded by rich vampires and looked at like more of a toy than a person - especially when they got a little more handsy - but Roan counted his blessings, and he was more or less content.
He spent two reasonably good years with Bellamira, but the novelty wore off when she decided that it was time for the ‘training wheels’ to come off and to induct him into service as a proper show mage. See, in her eyes, becoming a “proper” show mage meant changes; she told him they were simple ‘enhancements’, meant to play on his existing features, highlight his best qualities and minimize the bad ones, and that he’d be happier for them. But it wasn’t until he finally awoke from a whole host of surgical and magical procedures that Roan realized just how dramatic of a change Bellamira wanted to make. He couldn’t deny that he looked “better”, in a way; his features were smoother, his flaws tucked away, his assets exaggerated, just as she said. But it went way beyond ‘enhancement’; his eyes were green instead of hazel, he had an entirely different nose, and all the other features he was used to - even the flaws he never expected to miss - were gone. He looked more like a sculpture freshly carved than a real person, lacking the story of his life he didn’t realize was written in his features until they were gone. He barely recognized himself in the mirror.
It was jarring, but for a while, Roan tried to convince himself that he was okay with it. After all, Bellamira was pleased, he was turning more heads than ever, and he seemed to be on his way to a promising ‘career’ as a show mage; he should have been happy, right? Moon only knew most mages weren’t nearly that lucky, especially these days. But something still didn’t sit right with him. Deny or distract all he wanted, the changes still ate away at him. He no longer had his mother’s nose or his sister’s eyes. His home wasn’t full of life or laughter, just schedules and meetings and glorified busywork to keep the mages looking busy. He barely recognized himself anymore, inside or out, and he didn’t realize until it was too late how much he’d miss those faint echoes of his mom and sisters in the mirror.
When he could no longer bear the feeling of separation, he went to his mistress, all but begging her to turn him back, or at least to let him dial back the changes to something more subtle. But to his surprise, Bellamira, who had always been more or less amicable with him, was not pleased. She denied him fervently, insulted by his brazen rejection of her ‘gift’ to him, and made it clear who made the decisions in her house and who he really belonged to. Crestfallen and hurt, Roan accepted her decision, but fell into a numbing sadness.
Apparently Bellamira noticed how her decision was weighing on him, and surprisingly, attempted to make things right. But a vampire’s interpretation of making amends was much different than a mage’s. She approached him late one morning, where he was moping in his room, and tried to comfort him - he didn’t need to be sad anymore, because now he didn’t need to compare himself to anybody. He could ‘be his own person’, free from the burden of some petty family resemblance weighing down on him, because she’d seen to it that everyone in his ‘old family’ was gone.
Roan doesn’t remember much about what happened next.
It must have been dramatic, though, because the result was an open curtain, a pile of ash on his floor, and him running for his life.
The next few weeks were a blur, but at some point he joined up with a small local rebellion cell that had merged into a distant limb of Dawn Rising, less than ten people in number. He spent about a year with his small band of comrades, conducting small-scale operations that ultimately didn’t accomplish much more than soothing Roan’s burning need to do something, anything to make sure what happened to him never happened to anyone ever again.
Now, his cell finally has the chance to carry out a mission that will actually make a difference in the lives of those under the Empire's thumb...