Born Again Gardener
For the Director Only!
'Hope' is the thing with feathers - That perches in the soul - And sings the tune without the words - And never stops - at all." - Emily Dickinson
Neither blind nor illogical, the optimist finds a path through the darkness - while they believe in evil, they also know that good will ultimately prevail. Times can be terrible, but with work there is always light to be found. Less lonely, less stressed, for the optimist bad things can be changed with enough effort. They know that this can annoy those around them, but a little annoyance is a small price to pay for success and hope.
The world can be a better place. It has to be possible, or why even bother? You know you can pull it off, whatever it is, and things will be all right in the end.
KissThisThen was born amongst the Pure, and given the name 'Prodeo' in the hope he would carry his parent's clear genetics forward. His mother was a well regarded Patron, and his Father was a Breeder. He grew up with a range of half sisters and brothers, and was generally content, kept away from the travails and difficulties of the rest of the Sanctuary. This gilded existence allowed him to develop an optimistic and bright approach to life, though he was somewhat naive.
Prodeo was content with life working on small repairs in the Sanctuary until he could attend to his studies. Here he read heavily, devouring whatever materials were available. He was aiming to be a Breeder, enjoying the idea of raising children for the next generation and instilling his knowledge and hope within them. While he respected the War Kids and Savvy, the life of lack was not for him, and he was frankly glad.
Unfortunately for Prodeo, when he was a teenager, he noticed a white spot appear on his dark skin. He managed to keep it hidden for a few months, but as the vitiligo gradually spread, it was seen by his mother. She took him to the other Patrons, and they decided it was a possible sign of impurity. Since the cause was unknown, his mother gave him the choice of leaving for the War Kids or the Savvy.
Prodeo tried the War Kids only for a short amount of time before it became obvious that he was poorly suited - especially since he was not remotely used to the rations there, or the fact that he could do what he wanted with his body. Without the predictable safety of Fortunate life, he had a sobbing breakdown, becoming known as a waste, and only his mother's influence ended up with him being shunted off to the Savvy. Terrified that this might be his last chance, he abandoned his name, and called himself after something one of the War Kids had said to him in a grovelling attempt to ingratiate himself.
Fortunately for the ex-Fortunate, his previous experience with studying and reading started to bear fruit. He was humble enough to keep his head down and study hard, and was eventually moved to mycology and fungal remediation as well as permaculture. He dithered between Reaper and Etherite before selecting Reaper and focusing intently on his system-approach to growing large scale robust integrated food systems. A 'garden' designed by KissThisThen looks like a wilderness at first glance, but every single element, from bacteria to refuse, are important. All living things have multiple tasks and roles, and the primary goal is creating a self-repairing, self-engaging system. He works heavily with mycology and has been known to produce drugs for the healers to use, though toxins are easier with fungi.
Now a completely converted Reaper under the Green Man, KissThisThen spends his days up to his elbows in dirt, examining, testing, tasting. He watches for signs of minute mineral deficiencies, he listens to the sound of insects, he enlarges and expands whenever he can. Some might see him as greedy for too much space, for KissThisThen is convinced that he could make an oasis of Sanctuary given enough time. Produce more food than could ever be needed. He has become a fanatic, a worshiper of mycelium and plant root exudates, talking to his garden, always, always whispering. It will be salvation.
COMING TO AMERICA
Call it what you will - the rainbow-god of the Ashanti, Ouroboras, Jörmungandr, the creature of the Gnostic Pistis Sophia or the Kundalini serpent - many cultures have the concept of the great snake that purifies itself and the world through devouring its own shadow. An ancient alchemical concept, enough people have conceptualised, meditated, and believed in Ouroboras that his reality became a Truth.
The 17th century world view of America was of a magical land, filled literally and figuratively with gold. Conneticut itself was a hotbed of these concepts. And with those obessive alchemists came the Ouroboras, following the changes. The new obsession with chemical processes in the 18th century began to drain it of power. Yet alchemy continued - After six years of work two mortgages, several explosions, and two asphyxiations, researchers in California claimed to be able to produce the White Stone of the Philosophers. The Ouroboras was reinvigorated until 1934 when the researchers passed away, and practical alchemy vanished in a dust bowl.
The Soul of the World, with its power to move towards purity by accepting and devouring its own base nature, was strong. But the problem with essential truths that involve hope, acceptance, and self-improvement is that such things are hard and lack external reward. They are not as exciting as the rush to new gold, the creation of new sciences, nor the pleasures of the flesh. The times of the Depression make philosophy seem like a distant thing - it's hard to think about esoterica when you're starving. And gradually the great serpent has faded, twisting itself down to a restricted, controlled being. A man in a circus, attempting to devour the dark parts of himself, who remembered once encircling and purifying, destroying and recreating the world.
Pain and destruction has never stopped the Ouroboras. He will succeeed, and he will bring hope once more.
Oliver - though he often prefers 'Oh', is a contortionist at the Carnival. A rare example of the breed, he is both a front bender, and a back bender, and able to coil and curl his body with serpentine grace.
His flexibility allows him to work with the Spanish Web as a climber - contorting himself around the ropes and weaving back and forth until his partner-spinner has finished creating the complex knots and arrangements. While Oh is no master of the corde lisse, he can work with it and assist others in it. Due to his skills, Nyoka can end up in the position of assisting with machinery or other areas that require tight spaces.
The Ouroborus is an ancient alchemical beast of eternity and renewal, eating away at the old and creating the new. For the moment, when he has a few moments to himself, this one enjoys sunning himself or swimming. What he really wants to do is learn and grow, assimilating his own shadow nature, and he observes others in the Carnival to work towards this.
Harkaway Aerglo (Project Icarus)
Harkaway Aerglo is the science Mission Co-ordinator. He oversees the science side of the research mission, collects reports, and comes up with coordinated approaches to problems.
Aerglo's family has for several generations selected deliberately for intelligence as a result of the pressures of global warming. Since birth, Aerglo has been carefully adjusted for life for the corporation, at his teacher's insistence - he doesn't see his genetic contributors as parents. Being as intelligent and...carefully, precisely designed as he is, Aerglo is more or less socially inept while being brilliant.
Some of those who report to him say he is a sociopath - certainly, he maintains a peculiarly bright and optimistic view on existence no matter what he has to break to understand it.
Harkaway is a specialist in military applications, particularly shielding and engineering alternative solutions to hard vacuum, hard radiation, and vast temperature differences. If you need something to survive the unthinkable, Harkaway is your man.
Spear Thistle (Bonds of Blood)
The middle Thistle triplet, Spear Thistle adores both of his sisters with all of his PerkyGoth(tm) heart. He is brightly happy to support them in all of their endeavours no matter what the hour or weather, but in his own, seems to be a bit of a lost cause. While he works as an Intern in the Funeral home, it is something of a vague drift for him rather than a choice - he idolises his mother and father, and since THEY work there, HE works there.
It can be a bit hard to pin Spear Thistle down - he radiates optimism, as well as obsessing over whatever his latest doomed love affair or hobby is with absolute gloom. He has tried a lot of things, and while he is no good at any of them yet, he figures he has plenty of time to try more. Has been voted 'most likely to die getting into a stranger's van'.
A while ago, Spear had a Great and Gothic Romance with Cash Freeland that involved making out in graveyards. While Spear is a nice guy, he has a very weird and accepting family - he just never 'got' the problems Cash had with his. He threw all of his romance-loving heart into the whole thing, and the Dear John letter he got courtesy of Hector de la Huerta made him have one of his rare depressive episodes.
Since then, Spear has been focusing on his family - especially helping out his beloved sisters and his schooling. This year, his 'hobby' is the yearbook, but since the Student Council vetoed it being all black, he has stuck to trying to interview students about articles in it such as 'what would you like on your tombstone' and 'if you were reborn as an insect, what would you be?' and 'which Wednesday Addams quote best describes you?'. He has no idea what he is going to do next, but neither does anyone else, right?
Spear hates Hector and Cash and likes bugs and rats - he finds animals easier to deal with than people and has volunteered as a dog walker at the local shelter. He has asked out three girls to prom, and got the gentle let down from all of them, but maybe a bouquet of dead flowers and scarabs was not the way to go.
Hobby list so far: Taxidermy, Glueing Rivets On Things, writing poetry, Ouija Board reading, Tarot cards, the Year Book, making Bat Homes, Getting Stuck in Trees, Moping in Graveyards, Cursing Ex Lovers, being Mama's Special Boy, writing erotic Edward Gorey Fan Fiction.
Even in the toughest situations, you look for the best outcome, and strive to make it a reality. Undaunted by setbacks and surprises, you always hope and strive for the best, even if you often fall short of your mark. The world can be a better place. It has to be possible, or why even bother? You know you can pull it off, whatever it is, and things will be all right in the end.
Daniel Park (Isle of Dread)
Some people have special skills or talents. Yours is knowing people, knowing what they like, and knowing how to make the best out of any situation. You're a charmer and a leader, the one who never forgets a face or a name and always says just the right thing. You make people happy because you are happy. Publicity is all about confidence and charisma, always focusing on the bright side. You have that down to an art form.
This is going to be great! The Wellsons have spared no expense and thoroughly planned for a festival unlike anything you've seen. They've thought of pretty much everything, and they've hired the best publicity person out there: you. The Wellsons brought it all together, but you're going to make it shine. You know all the major players, both the performers and the VIPs. You picked the media and special guests, you know what they want and like, and you'll make sure they have the time of their lives.