"All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger (it's impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer."
— Niccolo Machiavelli
Ian Chester RiversAge
19, August the 3rdGender
50% Greek, 50% BritishYears at Olympus Academy
"The beauty of this ride ahead, such an incredible high."
— Last Ride Of The Day (Nightwish)
Ian Chester Rivers is 5'11 tall and weighs about 160 pounds. He's pale, burns easily, is still a tad gangly, can't manage much of a beard yet, and much to his dismay, strangers usually think he's still underage. Thankfully, he's never been prone to baby-fat cheeks or much excessive fat in general; he's rather thin, his muscles lean - much like those of a runner (likely owing to his love of track and field). He has pitch black hair (neatly combed in the mornings), while his eyes can range anywhere from crystal clear icy blue to a deep stormy gray based on environmental factors and/or Ian's mood. He's rather meticulous about his appearance, as he can't stand shabbiness, worn-down or faded clothing, wrinkles, dirt, basically anything he doesn't consider presentable. He prefers dressing in dark (no, not goth, thank-you-very-much) semi-formal clothing, though on hotter days he'll take a simple monochrome T-shirt rather than confine himself to a stuffy dress-shirt, as much as he otherwise loves wearing them in combination with vests or sweaters. He appreciates subtle textile designs (black minimalist paisley, for example). He's fine with jeans or trousers, but wears sweats purely for sports and related activities.Personality
As for his demeanour, Rivers has an excellent posture and a graceful walk, but often seats cross-legged or otherwise folded in on himself. Ian is a bit odd with eye contact - he can keep it to the point of making others uncomfortable, but sometimes, he will look beyond them, as if through them, seemingly preoccupied with something else entirely. When he snaps out of it, he will simply return to stare at his conversation partner without any sort of apology or explanation, as if nothing had happened at all. More irritatingly (to some), he seems almost irreverently amused with that small soft smile of his - some interpret it as a smirk, some as haughtiness, yet others keep wondering what exactly it is that he amuses himself with. Truthfully, it's probably just a habit and the fact that Ian is predisposed to serenity and quietude. What may or may not irk people is his rather blatant checking of the time (on the silver-coloured watch he wears on his left hand), as if in a hurry or bored of the conversation. And that supposition may very well be true; some of the things that irk Ian are purposeless and willful time-wasting, needles cruelty (which he's more than willing to return), and people who disregard others' efforts. A habit he would very much like to break is tousling his own hair every once in a while, as it musses it up, but unfortunately, he can't seem to stop doing it. He also carries around a sketch-book, and is often seen scribbling in it. He often twirls his pen when thinking, and may occasionally nibble on it, though he's trying to limit the latter.
✔ Curious ✔ Patient ✔ Determined ✔ Ambitious ✔ Observant ✖ Indifferent ✖ Vindictive ✖ Dreamy ✖ Passive ✖ CriticalHistory
Ian is definitely an introvert, and prefers socializing in smaller groups or not at all, dislikes rowdiness, noise, and fake laughter. Naturally, he's ended up being dragged to several parties. He's rather made his peace with the fact the people around him seem to enjoy such activities more often than not. Besides, he's both curious and stubborn enough to try out new things and be tempted to go on dares, even if he knows they're stupid and he an idiot for allowing for such easy outside influence on his actions. He's heard himself described as someone living in his own world, non-caring of others or their actions, and entirely set in his ways. In answer to that, Ian might grumble something about souls and time, then quietly brood (sulk) for a while.
Ian is an exceptionally hard individual to anger, and even when he does loose his temper, he'll simply exchange his usual small smile in favour for blank-faced scorn, and may be tempted into violence. Ian is also an ambitious young man, setting high and exacting standards both for himself and others. He's usually too polite to say anything when others disappoint him (often) and too aloof to offer compliments when impressed (it does happen), choosing to stay silent instead (possibly staring at the person in question too), so he's caused a fair share of awkward moments. However, he isn't shy of insulting others, especially if, for some reason, he wants to provoke them. While he's not the type to care about gossip, and doesn't seem to pay much attention to people in general, he seems to know quite a bit about the OA residents - or perhaps he's simply good at pretending he's in the loop.
Natalia Florence Rivers, a renowned British violinist, said to have attained a hauntingly beautiful sound - after a period of grieving the death of her young fiancé - capable of moving even gods. And perhaps that is why Hades took an interest in her. Or perhaps it was simply because he sensed her wish to rejoin her love and wanted to comfort her. Maybe it was something so simple as the fact she'd been celebrating Samhain and he happened to take a liking to her. Either way, Natalia was moved by the gentleman of a lover, birthing a child by him, a son - and her new purpose. She didn't retire from being a musician, of course not, but while her playing captivated even more hearts (based on accounts she attained an even greater interpretative range and depth), her son was what she became truly dedicated to. She raised him the best she could, though as she didn't exactly know his father's nature, wasn't able to make the discovery easier. Nonetheless, Ian realized early on that he was unlike anyone else; sometimes dying little kittens (and other small animals) would make their struggling way to him, and, feeling their spirit was soon to pass on, he helped them along.
His mother was quite distraught that first time when she found Ian cradling an old raven in his lap, stroking it and whispering to it, and despite the morbid picture it painted, the boy seemed happy. Ian explained to his mother that he could see them (i. e. spirits) and speak to them. Natalia attributed that to an overactive imagination at first, though her thoughts couldn't help but turn to her mysterious lover. When concerned teachers and parents of other children mentioned to Natalia that Ian might be harming animals, she defended him fiercely, claiming that he was "the kindest little boy you could possibly ever know, even if he's a bit odd." And that was that. Ian never managed to connect to other mortals much, except perhaps those few that had similarly been termed "freaky" or "creepy" by the average majority. Ian didn't mind the solitary childhood - indeed, he didn't even perceive it as solitary, what with the spirits he could chat to, and the love his mother showered him with.
It was due to Natalia's idea that Ian attended a Samhain celebration at 9 years old, since he seemed to have such a connection to death. It wasn't the worst of ideas...but it was bloody awkward when Ian managed to summon Natalia's ex-fiance and Hades practically tagged along for the ride, having felt a call from one of his. It all ended better than anyone might have expected, however, as Natalia mediated any potential discomfort on both her the adult males' (and past lovers') part by firmly informing them that, yes, she still loves them both, but most of all, she loves her son, and they could just bloody well damn deal with the situation if she could. They did, and Ian got to know Hades quite well, though his mother's ex-fiance was simply another common soul in comparison, so he left the poor already-deceased to his mother. After making this initial connection to Hades, Ian visited him once in a while, even meeting his older half-sister at one of such occasions, whom he thought of as very cool back then. When Hades found Ian giggling as his sister showed him the fun of eternally damning the souls she presided over that one day, he heaved a great sigh, and proceeded to lecture them to the best of his abilities about the balance of things. It was obviously a half-hearted attempt, so it didn't really stick.
All things considered, Ian's life until enrolling into OA was fairly normal. He attended elementary school (and one or two years of high-school) alongside the mortals, honed his mind, trained his body, indulged in his love for the horrendous and horrific and monstrous in art, and sated his endless curiosity. He enjoyed learning, whether the subjects were mundane or not, and while his mother had no desire to bias him for (or against) any activities, Ian developed a love for music, and picked up some violin skills, though he'd never be a master at it. He took up track, partially because he didn't want to use his demigod abilities against common bullies, and partially because he liked running. He was one of the best in class grade-wise, but he was (as others, especially his teachers knew) socially awkward. Ian didn't dispute that, though he privately thought that he could talk to people just fine; after all, he had mother, Hades, and even a half-sister he spoke to, didn't he? He realized he might have been slightly mistaken once he enrolled into OA, but he endeavored to better himself, even in something so trivial as the thing termed "social niceties". He believes he's doing well so far.
"Weirder than his mother, and that's saying something."
Hades - God of the Dead, the Underworld, Subterranean Regions, Dreams, Curses, Death, Darkness, the Earth, Fertility, Riches, the Afterlife, and Metals.Relationship With Godly Parent
Ever since he's found about Hades, Ian has respected him, and that respect has only grown as Ian visited him once in a while. How could he not, when his father was so cool he had an entire Underworld to rule over? He was the King of the Death! Hades was the explanation Ian had been unknowingly looking for, and he was more than satisfied with Hades' answers to his incessant questions. Hades tolerated his fascination for death, what was more, he fondly ruffled the boy's hair - and yes, this annoyed Ian, but ultimately, it was ok, since it was his father doing it! - whenever Ian spoke of various torture-and-murder methods he'd heard about who knew where. Ian is fond of Hades and wants to prove he's worthy of the God's respect, though he's perfectly aware Hades does like, perhaps even love him.Demigod Abilities
Darkness, my old friend: Ian can meld into shadows, hide in them and traverse (short distances across) them, practically becoming almost invisible and partially intangible. He cannot pass through objects without at least some sort of opening (however tiny), does require a surface to become a shadow on, and is generally better able to use this power in dark, shadowy, or night-time environments. While his shadow-form enables great stealth, speed, and protection from most attacks, strong light will be still harmful to him. Additionally, he can orient himself perfectly well in darkness; not only can his senses function as well during night-time as well as day-time, even being blindfolded or underground wouldn't limit his perception.
We've turned kingdoms to dust: Ian can shape and manipulate earthen elements (especially soil, dirt, dust, rock, sand, ore, metals; while mud, composites such as concrete, glass, asphalt, and other artificially altered elements to a much lesser extent). He has power, but not quite the finesse of control, so though he can easily destroy a building or two, make dust-storms, fissures, small sinkholes or avalanches, Ian finds it difficult and time-consuming to create anything beyond the most simplest of structures (e.g. walls, spikes). He cannot create additional materials, nor can he refine existing ones. If he focuses, he can feel tremors in the earth. Additionally, Ian can comprehend the layout of any unknown land (to a 30 meter radius around him) or building (by touching it) - basically, he creates mental maps and/or blueprints very easily.
Come little children: Ian functions as a guide for spirits, souls, and others. If he so desired, he could conduct the best seances, as not only can he communicate with spirituals beings, Ian can also establish a temporary link between a spirit and any other living being. He can call on a single spirit to make use of their memories, knowledge, and power in exchange for sharing his body, but he can do this only once per day for a few minutes. If he calls or attracts multiple spirits, he can gain spiritual energy from them (think of an adrenaline and caffeine boost without the crash), not by consuming souls or any such ridiculous nonsense, but rather from the simple fact that Ian find such spiritual essence empowering in and of itself. While he does attract the dead or dying, and may be distracted by them at times, Ian can banish them where they belong easily enough. Especially malicious, old, and powerful beings could affect him more easily than most others, however.
Carry you down into sleep: His role as a conveyor of souls to the Underworld has made Ian capable of radiating an aura of peace, calmness, serenity, but most of all, acceptance of death. Those whose time of death is not yet near, will instead feel an overwhelming urge to sit down, nod off, just lie down, curl up, and sleep. This affects mortals and regular animals without fault, but other demigods and mythical creatures may be able to resist it based on their temperaments, affinities, and/or abilities. Poorly controlled, Ian's calming aura can easily get out of his hands, causing comas or death (to mortals).
Tom Sturridge | 8A2BE2