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[Player information]
Player Name: Bridgie
Age: 33
E-mail: BridgieRey@verizon.net
Other characters played at Cape Kore: Balthazar



[Character information]
Name: Courtney Crumrin
Canon: Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things (and subsequent series) by Ted Naifeh
Canon Point: Post-episode ten of the most recent series, plus a few years.
Age: 16

Appearance: Slender, bird-boned, and petite, although she’s about due for a growth spurt and has tall genes in her family. Courtney has platinum-blond hair cut short, which she usually pins back with a bat-shaped barrette. She has large eyes, a dark slate color that looks black from a sufficient distance away. In the series she’s deliberately drawn without a nose to make her distinctive in appearance, but for RP purposes her face is anatomically correct.
It should be noted that when she’s running a high level of magical power, her eyes frequently go all-black, or black with strange glints of color in the depths (yellow or blue).
Her clothing tends to be black and white, except for the dull green, military-style jacket she occasionally wears. She got it from a friend, and it has the name ‘Hart’ on the right sleeve. (A deliberate pun on the author’s part? Could be.)
Inventory: The clothes on her back, and the contents of her pockets, which are little more than spare change, gum, and a stone with a hole through the middle.

Abilities:

Physically, Courtney is petite and fairly weak. She’s capable of impressive stealth in the woods, but her endurance and fitness level are about average for a teenage non-athlete-type. She won’t be running marathons or winning sparring sessions with anyone, at least not without her magic.

Courtney is a witch, one of the last two of her line, and a magical prodigy in her world. In canon she has exhibited these magical abilities:
• Capturing and taming goblins (including enchanting them to attack a bully in her (the bully’s) sleep). This requires certain herbs, patience, and a magical circle, and is moot in Kore unless goblins show up somehow.
• Visiting the Faery Realm (also moot in Kore).
• Casting glamours. She can make ordinary people more kindly disposed to or completely repulsed by a given person. Requires certain herbs.
• Turning into a cat temporarily. This requires a specific herb, presumably only obtainable in her hometown, and therefore won’t come into play in Kore.
• Enchanting other students to do her homework. This is some sort of gentle mental manipulation. Probably it only works well on baseline humans and can be fought off through force of will. It gets you in trouble with the teacher, too, if you get caught.
• Rousing storms both intentionally and unintentionally in moments of stress or anger.
• Necromancy. Specifically, raising a deceased hobgoblin and enchanting it to do her bidding. This required specific ingredients, but it’s possible she can do less advanced forms of necromancy on her own.
• Telekinesis, including breaking shotguns into pieces in self-defense.
• The ‘evil eye’- Minor hexing that can include induced clumsiness and bad luck.
• Walking through windows and walls. This requires only a short cantrip.
• Causing plants to wither on command.
• Fireballs, light balls, plasma balls and spontaneous combustion. This appears to be activated solely through force of will.
• Levitation. In the comic she calls it a ‘light-foot spell’ and it seems to produce an anti-gravity effect rather than true hovering.
• Area-effect earthquake-like devastation. Interestingly, this was an effect of Courtney reading some of her own angsty poetry, with intent. The implication in the series is that witches all have a unique or “secret” well of power that they may find a way to tap in their lifetime, resulting in a way to make greater things happen than they or anyone else knew they could do. Courtney’s, apparently, is tapped through poetry, although she’ll be the first to admit the actual writing isn’t any good.
It should also be noted that Courtney is a descendant of a powerful part-faery or all-faery (the series is unclear) witch, and a certain familial responsibility to keep magic in check has been passed down to her.
Other sorcerers in her line are capable additionally of:
• Flight and enabling objects (such as cars) to fly. This is something Courtney is certain to develop with practice, but she’d be a little embarrassed to resort to the classic broom.
• Memory erasure. This is a threat the Coven Council used to maintain order in their ranks. Courtney doesn’t even want to learn this one.
• Magic removal. Ditto this.
• Shapeshifting. Courtney’s uncle was able to transform into a massive white wolf, and his twin has been seen to turn into a large white cat. This is a talent Courtney should theoretically be able to learn, but hasn’t yet, and I’m not sure what she’d want to change into anyway.
• Creating and subverting golems.
• Healing. Though she’s not shown doing this in canon, I suspect Courtney has some idea of how to stop bleeding and heal minor flesh wounds.


History:

Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things
#1 In the first installment of her canon, Courtney and her parents move from the city (unspecified, but I’ve chosen Philadelphia for ease of playing), to the small town of Hillsborough to live with Aloysius Crumrin, Courtney’s great-great uncle. Ostensibly, Aloysius is ailing and needs help around the large, older house he inhabits, but he presents a formidable, scowling persona and seems to have little patience with either Courtney or her flighty, social-climbing parents.

Courtney quickly notices strange things in the house at night. Small, creepy creatures peer at her from shadows, or eat scraps of rubbish while seated at the foot of her bed. On an insomnia-induced walk around the house, Aloysius shows a softer side, telling her that nothing in his house will harm her. At the same time, she discovers his private library full of magic books.

At school, she’s treated as an outsider. Most of the children are from very wealthy families, and tend toward cruelty and snobbishness. She does make one friend of sorts, a boy named Axel; however, when they take a shortcut through the woods to avoid the school bullies, they get separated and she runs into a large, feral-looking goblin (Butterworm by name) wearing Axel’s hoodie. The implication is that he’s killed and eaten the boy, and Courtney will be next if she doesn’t run for her life. She does.
After some further research into Aloysius’ library, Courtney discovers there are ways to tame the fearsome goblins. By means of flurry of dandelion seeds, a pool of still water, and an iron chain, she binds Butterworm and sends him off to terrify the leader of the school bullies into leaving Courtney alone.

#2 Courtney, depressed by how ostracized she is in school, decides to try and make herself better-liked via magic. She steals a book from Aloysius’ library and attempts a glamour spell which promises to make her irresistibly charming. She casts it once and looks in the mirror. Seeing no effect, she tries it again in case she did it wrong. With no visible effect, she assumes the spellbook was just a hoax and goes about her business.

The next day, she finds, of course, that the magic was very real. Other students are all over her, offering her food, sitting with her at lunch, and otherwise trying to make friends. It’s enjoyable at first, especially when one of the best-looking and most attractive boys in the school offers to meet her for ice cream after classes. Unfortunately, he turns out to be a bore and a jackass. As the pull of the double spell intensifies, Courtney’s classmates track her and her ‘date’ down, only to start fighting over their various levels of devotion to her. She sneaks away, horrified.

Likewise, her usually oblivious parents fawn over her at the dinner table, although Aloysius just gives her a suspicious look on his way upstairs. During dinner, her date from earlier appears at the door and coaxes a flustered and annoyed Courtney out of the house for a walk. He claims he’s in love with her in the most backhanded way imaginable, and tries to kiss her. She bites him in the lip and runs.

When she returns home, Aloysius pulls her aside and gives her a talking-to. He’s realized by now she stole his book and has been dabbling with magic, and she’s lucky she hasn’t gotten into more trouble as of yet. He undoes the spell for her (twice), and when she suggests he do it a third time, he warns her that that would act as a repulsion spell. She’s intrigued by this information, and the next day, when her date approaches her sheepishly to suggest she not talk about their aborted tryst in the woods, she casts the reversal on him, causing him to be rejected by other classmates.

#3 During a party, in an effort to ingratiate herself with the upper class women of Hillsborough, Courtney’s mother gets her saddled with a job babysitting the infant of a wealthy couple. Courtney is not happy about this in the least, but hopes she can settle down to an evening of letting the baby sleep while she watches television. Unfortunately for her, shortly after she arrives, the child is abducted and replaced with a changeling.

Courtney is tipped off by the changeling’s odd behavior, including breaking into the father’s liquor cabinet, smoking a cigar, and generally trying to frighten her. She’s not impressed, but concerned she’ll get blamed for the missing baby, she forces the changeling to lead her through the woods and to the secret entrance to Goblin Town, with the assistance of Boo, the resident cat.

The Goblin Market is every bit as exotic and overwhelming as one would expect, and while Courtney manages to keep her head long enough to try and reclaim the baby, a tricky move by the changeling (coaxing her into drinking a sip of water from the Faery Realm, a mistake Boo specifically warned her against) causes her to pass out. When she wakes, she finds herself in a cage and on the auction block. One of the more frightening elders bids for her: the Dreadful Duchess. However, she is outbid at the last moment by a cloaked stranger, who loads the cage onto his carriage and drives away from the Market.

Just as Courtney is about to truly panic, the carriage stops and the figure emerges, revealing himself as Aloysius. Boo apparently tipped him off in time to rescue her. Aloysius chides her for being reckless and foolish, and points out that the parents of the particular baby that’s been abducted to the faery realm are unlikely to notice the difference between it and the changeling. With Aloysius help, they retrieve the changeling to do its job and put the house to rights, thus securing Courtney many future nights of lucrative employment.

#4 In this episode, Aloysius leaves town on business for a couple weeks. On his way out the door he tries to reassure Courtney, but she insists she’ll be fine alone. For the first couple days, she manages, but she quickly finds ennui settling in. With no friends to speak of, alienated from her parents, and without her uncle’s lessons to fall back on, she’s first bored, then depressed to the point of illness.

After a day spent sick in bed, she’s surprised to find her parents acting like they haven’t even noticed her absence. It’s typical of them to be oblivious, but not to this degree. Soon she discovers why: some kine of doppelganger has taken her place, both at home and at school. As if this weren’t demoralizing enough, the creature seems far more adaptable to the social climate and manages to earn the warmth and approval of Courtney’s peers and parents alike.

Feeling the pain of being unable to fit in more acutely than ever, Courtney retreats to her room, but the doppelganger finds her there and speaks to her for the first time, trying to persuade her that letting it take over her life would be the best solution for everyone. Finally, it tries to get her to admit that it’s a better Courtney Crumrin than she ever was. It’s at this point she rallies at last, accusing it of being a sycophant and a phony and declaring that while she herself may not be a ray of sunshine, she deserves her place in the world.

Right after she kicks the doppelganger’s suddenly amorphous form out of her window, Aloysius returns and asks after her, concerned she may have been sick. She reassures him that she’s fine on her own, but softens it with a hug, which he returns after a moment, albeit awkwardly.

Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics
#1 Courtney is disconcerted to find a new teacher in her classroom. Calpurnia Crisp, as the newcomer is called, is sharp as a tack and sees right through Courtney’s magic tricks. As it turns out, she’s an old friend of Aloysius’ and quite a witch, herself. Courtney is more than a little disgruntled to find she now has to apply herself in school rather than enchanting her classmates.

At the same time, a dangerous hobgoblin known as Tommy Rawhead emerges from his dark corner of the Twilight Kingdom and begins slaughtering some of the members of the Coven. The Coven Council calls upon Aloysius to deal with Tommy, and when he agrees, Courtney is terrified for him. She decides to try helping him, with no clear plan, and finds herself face to face with the unstoppable monster. Fortunately, Aloysius intervenes at the last moment and defeats Rawhead by beheading him with a sword.

#2 An after-school tutoring session with Ms. Crisp turns into more than Courtney bargained for. As she sulks in her teacher’s living room, her white cat, Quick, speaks to Courtney. A moment later, Boo, who she met while babysitting before, appears. Evidently there’s an important feline function going on, and after some discussion, the cats allow Courtney to accompany them. On the way, she’s told to taste a specific herb in order to be able to keep up with them. When she does, she finds herself temporarily transformed into a fluffy white kitten.

The cat party turns out to be a ceremony to elect a new king. The previous one, Tobermory, sustained an injury recently that left him blind in one eye. A successor is to be chosen by means of a hunt through the woods. The prey is a will-o-the-wisp, and the primary contenders are Boo and a vicious gray cat that goes by ‘Mittens’. While talking to Courtney, Tobermory expresses worry that Mittens will win due to superior strength and hunting skill. Curious and concerned, Courtney tries to follow the hunters.

The cats aren’t the only creatures in the woods this night, however. Courtney soon sees signs of human hunters, and in the dark by a pool, she encounters a Night Thing with dark eyes and long, pointed fingers. His eyes meet hers and immediately he strikes her as a pure soul of sorts. Thus, later, when she finds him cornered by the coven hunters, she charges forth in her tiny cat-form and distracts one by tearing up his pant leg. The gesture would be futile, except Aloysius appears in the next moment and sends the Coven hunters home. He also tells Courtney to head that way herself, recognizing her even in kitten shape. On the way, she encounters Boo, wounded but alive, who explains that he lost the chase to Mittens. However, Mittens lost, too, having lunged too eagerly for his prey and drowned in the pond that houses Tommy Rawhead. The day was won by Quick, who may very well have played both tomcats (or possibly she and Boo were allies; it’s left unclear).

When Courtney returns home, Aloysius tells her he’s impressed by her courage the previous night and introduces her to the Night Thing she rescued. His name is Skarrow, and he’s sheltering under their roof for the time being.

#3 The reason for Skarrow’s flight and the pursuit by the coven hunters (including the marshal, Hector Hughes) is revealed: a recluse named Hermia Harken has been struck with some sort of curse. Every time she speaks, frogs pour from her mouth, and if she attempts to write, her fingers twist into snakes. Hermia is a fixture in the coven, an un-aging beauty from a powerful sorcerous family. Despite her lack of participation in Coven politics, she’s well-known, and the coven is quickly up in arms about her attack.

The assumption is that Skarrow, who lived with her and was her familiar after a fashion, is responsible for the attack. Aloysius doesn’t believe this is the case and demands a fair trial for the Night Thing, keeping Skarrow under his protection until such time as the trial can occur. Courtney, meanwhile, has fallen in puppy love with Skarrow, thanks to his quiet and gentle acceptance. Deeply attached, she determines to find out what’s behind the furor, even after Aloysius forbids her involvement.
Courtney gets Calpurnia Crisp to take her into Radley Hall, the Coven Council’s center of power, as field trip. In exchange, Ms. Crisp demands Courtney complete a poetry assignment she was determined to avoid. During the visit, she encounters Tobermory, wandering the Coven halls for his own amusement.

Later, with the help of Tobermory, Butterworm, and Butterworm’s younger brother Butterbug, Courtney sneaks into Radley hall, hoping to speak with Hermia Harken. Ms. Harken is too closely guarded, but after quick consideration, the group switches tactics, instead stealing the preserved head of Tommy Rawhead. After a scramble to escape looming golem guards, they retreat to her home.

#4 On a shopping trip to the Twilight Kingdom, for necromantic herbs, Courtney encounters the Dreadful Duchess, who tells her that Skarrow was a changeling child once, altered by a long time in the faery realm. Piecing together the story slowly, Courtney realizes Skarrow and Hermia loved one another, whether platonically or romantically is unclear. Her resolve to help him only strengthens.

In a classroom scene, Courtney reads her poem, an ode to her new friend and a lament that she can find no sure way to protect him. As she reads, a storm darkens the sky, intense enough to crack the panes of the classroom windows. After school, Courtney conducts a ritual in her room, around the head of Tommy Rawhead. After being summoned back to life, Tommy tells her he’s not able to reveal who ordered him to kill previously, but hints that she should ask herself who had the most to gain from his actions. It’s not until the trial that Courtney finally puts it all together: Hector Hughes, the marshall, was behind the murders and is behind Hermia’s curse. It’s a grab for political power.

Unfortunately, Courtney has pieced the puzzle together too late. Skarrow is found guilty, and, knowing the next step is likely his death, Courtney rushes back to her home to try to help him escape. She leads him through the woods and tries to force him to run back to the Twilight Kingdom, where the Duchess is waiting. He hesitates at the gate, though, and in that time Hector catches up. As Skarrow finally reaches for the Duchess’ hand, he’s killed by an arrow in the back, right in front of Courtney’s eyes.

In grief and horror, she blames Aloysius, and he, in turn, shouts back at her, caught up in his own emotions. The next day, talking things out with Calpurnia gives Courtney some measure of rationality back, but she’s not ready to take the death of her friend lying down, particularly when she sees Hermia has regained her ability to speak and agreed to marry Hector. Courtney raises Tommy Rawhead from the dead, presumably reattaching his head to his body, and commands him to kill Hector Hughes, who she tricks into meeting Hermia Harken by the marl pit. After Tommy drags him below the water, Courtney tells Hermia to leave town and never return or she’ll see to it that she takes the blame for Hector’s death. When Ms. Harken asks why, Courtney says she should have done more to save Skarrow.

In the aftermath of the drama and Hector’s disappearance, Ms. Crisp is appointed to the Council in his place.

Courtney Crumrin in the Twilight Kingdom
#1 Courtney returns to her old neighborhood in order that her parents might fix up their previous home and finally sell it. While there, she meets up with her old best friend, a boy named Malcolm. Things have changed since she left, though, and he’s fallen in with a bad crowd. The more time she spends with him, the more she realizes how much she, too, has changed, and the story ends with him furious at her for disapproving of his new friends. However, she’s noticed a subtle detail: the ghost of his mother, who died before she moved away, is still hanging around his home. Fearing this may be the source of a lot of his trouble, she banishes the spirit.

#2 Back home, Courtney gets roped into attending Saturday School, a special series of classes set up by the coven in order to allow children of magical families to socialize. Courtney immediately finds her magical peers to be just as obnoxious as the mundane ones. In addition, Hector Hughes replacement as Coven Marshal, a man named Templeton, suspects Courtney of unusual activities, possibly even foul play.

In lessons, the Coven kids learn about the history of their community, including the origins of the magic running through the town. It seems when settlers first arrived, a witch named Ravanna was already living there. She taught some of the settler women how to help the place prosper and eventually married Colonel Crumrin, Courtney’s own ancestor.

After Saturday classes, the Coven kids decide to try their hands at a little black magic. One of the boys, Blake Trianne, picks a spell called the ‘Curse of the Gruagach’ to try, and convinces his little brother, Joey, to volunteer. Courtney tries to intervene to stop them, but they take it poorly and drive her away.

Several days later, the children come to her for help. Just as she warned them, the curse they’ve attempted has no counterspell and the effect is the slow removal of Joey Trianne’s humanity. He’s becoming a goblin before their eyes, and they don’t know what to do. Looking in the book they used, Courtney quickly realizes the only cure is fruit from the orchard of the Twilight King himself.

#3-4 Courtney undertakes to lead the children into the Twilight Kingdom for Joey’s sake, convincing Butterworm and Butterbug to help her once more. As they go, Marshal Templeton follows, by now convinced that Courtney was involved in Hector’s death.

Upon arrival in the Twilight Kingdom, the coven kids are naively excited by the bustling goblin market, and ignore Courtney’s advice to go around and avoid the danger. They abandon her and quickly become separated. Each meets a similar fate: imprisoned, auctioned off, or tricked into captivity. Courtney, furious and impatient, is inclined to leave them behind, but chooses in the end to rescue them each in turn. When she retrieves one girl from the Dreadful Duchess, the faery woman’s reaction is intriguing. While she appears angry, she sends one of her own companions, a huge white cat, to guard them surreptitiously.

The most difficult rescue proves to be Connie, a pretty, sweet-natured girl who has been purchased off the block by the Twilight King himself. She’s been taken to his orchard and introduced to his other daughters, presumably changelings adopted much as she has been. He asks her to stay with him willingly, and she seems inclined to agree.

When Courtney and the others arrive to help her, Connie goes out to see them, but before their situation can resolve, Templeton arrives and threatens them. A scuffle results in both him and Courtney plunging over a cliff and into an underground river that ends in Tommy Rawhead’s lair. There, a skull speaks to Courtney, and she quickly realizes it’s Hector’s skull. She’s shocked by what’s become of him, but unrepentant. Seeking to escape Tommy, she scrambles up a cliff wall and is helped at the last minute by the Duchess’ Cat. Shortly after her, Templeton comes to Tommy’s Lair, and Hector’s skull blames Courtney for everything, saying that she’s working for Aloysius, who wants to rule the coven.

Tommy tells Templeton to be wary of the words of the damned, but he’s too far gone. Upon returning to the top of the cliff, he insists the children come with him, Connie included, but his harried appearance is frightening, and they refuse. In his rage, he shoots one of the daughters of the Twilight King, killing her.

Templeton hustles the children back toward the surface, but Courtney arrives with the Duchess’ cat, knocking Templeton over and slowing him enough to allow the children to get away. In the melee, the cat is severely injured, but not killed. This becomes important later on.
Back on the surface, Templeton catches up with the children, ranting about how Courtney tried to lead them all to the devil’s own lair and threatening to shoot her then and there. The kids stand up for her, and Aloysius, Calpurnia, and the head of the Council arrive just in time to defuse the situation. The children are led home, and ostensibly Templeton is to be dealt with the next day. However, he stalks Courtney with the intent of carrying out his threat, only to be stopped one last time by Aloysius, who turns him over to the Twilight King for punishment.

At the end of the story, the coven kids are grateful for Courtney’s intervention and make a friendly overture toward her, presenting her with a birthday cake. Connie is absent; evidently she has returned to the Twilight Kingdom to be the King’s daughter.

Aloysius, too, presents Courtney with a gift: plane tickets to Prague. He’s going abroad soon, and wants her to join him. She agrees.

Courtney Crumrin and the Fire-Thief’s Tale
Aloysius and Courtney’s trip abroad begins with a trip to visit an old friend of his, a religious man with whom he has frequent, lively discussions regarding mysticism and magic. The gentleman’s daughter, Magda, betrothed unhappily to a man of their town who takes her for granted, is also warily entangled with a Romani man named Jan, who is utterly smitten with her. Courtney’s sympathies are immediately with Jan, and she actively dislikes Petru, the fiancé.

After a minor altercation in the town, in which Courtney tries to stand up to Petru and runs into trouble, Jan comes to Magda’s home to apologize. He retreats when the moonlight comes out, and Courtney sees him transform into a wolf before her eyes.

After further investigation, it turns out all of Jan’s particular clan are werewolves, with a rich cultural history. Courtney listens to their stories one night and meets some of their members. It becomes clear that she connects Jan and his sad dark eyes with Skarrow, who she has not finished mourning for. When, later on, Petru returns from a hunting trip with a wolf bite, there’s speculation as to whether he will become one now, but the curse, such as it is, seems to make him more aggressive and angry rather than actually animalistic.

Courtney and Magda hear that there’s a raid planned on the innocent Romani tribe’s camp, and set out to intervene. Courtney seems determined that Magda and Jan should get together, but the woman herself is somewhat ambivalent, more interested in escaping her current situation than enamored of the alternative presented to her. Still, she tries to help intervene, and both girls nearly get killed by Petru and the hunters in the altercation that follows. It’s the wolves that rescue them in the end, but Magda decides not to go with Jan, and Courtney’s left confused and heartbroken.

The next day, Aloysius’ poor attempts at building her up backfire horribly. Courtney explodes into grief and despair, declaring that love is evidently worthless after all.

Courtney Crumrin and the Prince of Nowhere
Courtney and Aloysius continue their trip with a visit to Germany. A castle that is known as the ancestral home of the Von Krumrheins seems to house more than just antiques. Lady Isolde, a centuries-old vampire, and her son Wolfgang, also live there. Courtney first encounters Wolf without knowing what he is, and as he appears to be close to her age and in a similar position of depressing loneliness, she’s charmed. Before long, he reveals to her not only his true nature but also the reason for Aloysius’ trip abroad. Aloysius is dying of heart disease, and hopes Lady Isolde can help prolong his life with her sorcery. He’s refused vampirism repeatedly, but the Lady has had a long time to hone her skills and knows methods to keep him going another decade or so. She gives him an elixir of life in a small bottle.

Courtney is struck with horror at the idea of losing her uncle, falling into a despondency so deep she allows Wolfgang to begin the process of turning her into a ghoul. Even after seeing the crowds of lost souls he’s transformed before, wandering the town at night, she sees no better alternative, declaring that she’s tired of hope.

Aloysius, of course, has other ideas. While he fails at expressing his affection to her in any terms beyond irascible resignation, he does love her and prepares to fight Wolf for her life. Upset by the violence, Courtney intervenes, but before they can leave, Lady Isolde appears, enraged by Aloysius’ actions against her son. In the battle, Aloysius is injured, and Courtney is bitten a third time by Wolf, an action that should kill her. Mysteriously, they both survive, although Aloysius appears to have made a rough recovery. Courtney can’t figure out what he’s done to save her, but there’s a hint for the read in the form of the empty bottle of Lady Isolde’s elixir on Courtney’s bedside table.

Courtney Crumrin (final series) #1-#10
Courtney and Aloysius return home, the latter beginning to make peace with the idea that he has less than a year to live. He begins getting his affairs in order, trying to keep the worst news from Courtney, but he also asks the Coven Council to help him analyze the last of Lady Isolde’s sample in the hopes of finding something to help him.

Meanwhile, a new girl named Holly Hart appears in Courtney’s school. She stands out, like Courtney, and after a cranky beginning, they become friends. Holly develops an interest in magic as keen as Courtney’s, but she’s cleverer in some ways, able to learn from Courtney’s previous mistakes. Unfortunately, Courtney begins to worry about how freely Holly uses her magic. Holly, in turn, hears stories about Courtney’s previous activities. Each becomes convinced the other is bad news, and on an impromptu trip to the Goblin Market, Holly tries to get Courtney trapped by giving her tainted water. Courtney turns the tables, and Holly ends up on the auction block. While they each argue their points through the bars of Holly’s cage, Courtney, too, gets knocked out and captured, and both are given to the Huntsman, a wolf-headed man who leads a pack of wild animals to hunt. He feels the witches will be ideal prey for training, and sics the pack on them.

A wild chase through the Twilight Kingdom ends with Aloysius rescuing Courtney (as usual), but collapsing due to his illness. Holly and Courtney make up after a fashion, but the Coven interrogates Holly afterward, finding out all of Courtney’s activities and then wiping the girl’s memory.
Now aware that Courtney has hexed classmates and summoned Tommy Rawhead to kill Hector Hughes, the Council decide she must be put on trial for breaking Ravanna’s Law, a code set in place by the progenitor of their community, to prevent sorcerers from disrupting the lives of ordinary mortals or setting themselves over them. Calpurnia, knowing what’s coming, hastens to help Courtney escape, but Aloysius is conscripted by the Council to chase down his own niece and bring her back to face the Coven’s idea of justice.

At the same time, political currents that began building in the second series are coming to a head. There’s a contingent within the Coven that want to alter Ravanna’s Law to allow them to leave Hillsborough and use their powers to ‘help’ the world. The implication is that they will, in fact, put themselves over mundane humanity, perhaps starting out with good intentions, but judging from the way they’ve already begun murdering their own to get their way, those intentions won’t last long.

Aloysius may be aware of this and biding his time, as he chases Courtney, to make a plan to defeat the Council. Unfortunately, his own failing health is his downfall. After a hectic pursuit, he brings both Courtney and Calpurnia back to Hillsborough and declares he is going to pass judgment on the Coven, rather than the reverse. Before he can go further, he collapses once more, and the Coven passes sentence on Courtney, erasing her entire memory of witchcraft.

In the final episode, almost a reverse of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ plays out: the reader sees Courtney’s life as it must be without her magic and the lessons she’s learned from it. Horribly bullied, lonely, and resigned, she doesn’t know what to do for her hospitalized, dying uncle, until he asks her to read to him.

He’s obtained her journal, containing poetry she doesn’t remember writing. Upon reading it, everything comes flooding back to her, with a wave of eldritch power that sends her to the Coven Hall just as the vote over Ravanna’s Law comes up. As Ravanna’s last descendant standing, she tells the Coven they’ve unproved unworthy of their power, and her energy wrecks the hall, leaving the place in chaos. At the same time, the Dreadful Duchess comes to Aloysius and makes a bargain: she’ll give him the power to save Courtney one last time, but he’s to come be her companion in the Twilight Kingdom forever. He agrees.

The Duchess suggests they should just kill all the Council members, and in fact that Courtney should have done so, but Aloysius tells her Courtney’s innocence was hard-won. In the end, they erase memories and magic from the entire Coven, except for Courtney, and retreat into fairyland.

When Courtney awakes from her ordeal, her parents tell her Aloysius has died, leaving them everything but the house (which was left to Calpurnia), and that they’re moving post haste. They also tell her to wake her brother. As it turns out, Aloysius’ twin, Wilberforce, has been trapped in the Twilight Kingdom since he was about Courtney’s age, and Aloysius’ bargain with the Duchess has freed him. Moreover, it’s implied that Wilf was the huge white cat that helped Courtney in previous journeys in the Twilight Kingdom. Thus, despite the loss of her uncle, Courtney has a new partner in sorcery and mundane life upon which to rely and from whom to learn.


Personality:

Likes: Powerpuff Girls, unicorns, Alex Webb (a female musician who appears to be an expy of Ani DiFranco), bats, most cats, reading.
Dislikes: Pink, fashion and shopping in general (and the brands her classmates favor in particular, one of which, Weenci, seems like the unholy offspring of Hello Kitty and Abercrombie and Fitch), mushrooms, small talk.

Due to her uncomfortable relationship with her peers, Courtney has a knee-jerk reaction of contempt for popular teen culture, particularly the type that her wealthy classmates participate in most enthusiastically. She has no patience for false pretenses of friendliness or benign stupidity, and her attitude toward strangers can be downright acerbic. Luckily, she’s fully capable of taking what she dishes out, and a clever comeback fired in response to one of her barbs is more likely to please than offend her.

She relates well to outcasts and misfits, and even among the other children of the Coven she tends to fall into the role of outsider, a step ahead of them in her understanding of magic but several steps behind in her social development. It may be this sense of being out of sync with most of the humans around her that has led her to sympathize with the Night Things, as supernatural creatures are called in her world. She has been known to both tame and befriend goblins, to advocate for--and risk her life in defense of—werewolves, and to spend more time with a certain vampire than was good for her. Ultimately, the supernatural world makes more sense to her than her own world, and has the added benefit of looking more elegant.

Courtney’s tolerance for Night Things extends slightly beyond the rational, in fact: while she’s been known to command goblins under her sway to refrain from attacking human beings, she doesn’t bother to take vengeance on them for past actions. It’s just their nature. She’s also not above summoning them for her own purposes. It’s hard to tell whether she questions the ethics of that power, in canon, but it seems like she treads more lightly than the rest of the Coven in her behavior toward the goblin kingdom.

She questions herself a great deal, throughout the series, wondering whether her social isolation and emotional difficulties are deserved. Interestingly, she has a tendency to plow ahead with her plans anyway, ever a busybody and convinced she can rearrange the world to suit her better (or, if not, that at least it can’t possibly get worse). This has led to some serious consequences, both for her and for the people around her. Her intentions are usually, if not pure, at least reasonable from a childish perspective, but she’s done a lot of damage in the name of what she thinks of as justice. In this way, she’s actually a lot like Aloysius.

Courtney’s story arc over the series is about finding a way to be herself and still move through the world. She goes from questioning her identity in the beginning, deciding whether to mold herself to meet her classmates’ and parents’ expectations and choosing to stay true to herself—even though she’s not sure she likes herself much. From there she moves to questioning authority, deciding how much of her own power to exert on her environment, and discovering that her choices and actions have consequences.

Fundamentally, Courtney is a person who wants the world to be fair, if not kind, and is consistently disappointed in the callousness and uneven dealing of both the mundane world and the secret world of sorcerers, as well as her own inability to do better. She’s easily frustrated, but she’s more likely to vent her anger via poetry or in short, bitter quips than in long rants.

Her poetry is, in fact, about as good as any 13 year old’s, which is to say not very. She seems embarrassed about the quality of it, but dogged in her pursuit of this means of self-expression. Somehow this method of channeling her creative energy enables her magic to reach new heights in the climax of the series. Presumably it’s something she continues to work with after her canon ends.

Courtney’s story is also about learning how love and family work. In the beginning, she has a distant, almost adversarial relationship with her neglectful parents, and is quick to take up Aloysius as a paternal figure. Unfortunately, he’s as damaged as she is, if in a somewhat different way, and a bit ambivalent about the role she seems to want him in. Their relationship seems only slightly shaky through Coven of Mystics, until it falls apart at the end over the death of Skarrow. While they remain estranged through the Twilight Kingdom, it becomes clear that Aloysius hasn’t abdicated his responsibility for her; indeed, he may be taking this time to come to terms with it. In their trip abroad, his shortcomings become glaringly obvious, however, and his attempts to push Courtney into a less sensitive mindset instead lead her to despair. He’s willing to give his life for her, though, and by the beginning of the numbered series, their relationship has solidified into something both awkward and endearing.

Through her relationship with her uncle, Courtney learns that she can rely on other people, that they will make mistakes, but that they’re worthy to be loved and held onto in spite of those mistakes.

By the end of the series, she’s lost Aloysius, but gained a twin. Wilberforce Crumrin was originally Aloysius’ twin, but spent decades lost in the Twilight Kingdom, only to be freed at the end of the series. Courtney’s relationship with him begins on firmer ground than hers with Aloysius did. Some of the last scenes of the comic show her and Wilberforce hand-in-hand in the back of an SUV as Courtney’s parents drive away from Hillsborough to start a new life. Wilberforce’s narrative voice at the end describes Courtney as ‘the wickedest witch in Hillsborough’, but with clear affection.


[Samples]
As a note, in some of these threads I’ve played Courtney mid-canon, where she has no sibling, and others are post-canon, where she’s suddenly got a twin thanks to weird Twilight Kingdom shenanigans.
Action spam: http://sixwordstories.dreamwidth.org/68837702.html
Prose: (Chuck) http://bakerstreet.dreamwidth.org/780006.html?thread=497624806#cmt497624806
(Coraline, sadly short-lived thread): http://bakerstreet.dreamwidth.org/947213.html?thread=600594445#cmt600594445
(Musebox, Cain): http://thecloset.dreamwidth.org/6446.html#comments
Sort of a mix:
(Musebox, Wilberforce): http://thecloset.dreamwidth.org/7955.html?thread=268051#cmt268051



Anything Else? Although Courtney’s been aged up to 16, I’m using the original artwork from the comics for her, where she’s around 13-14. I’ve picked the most recent issues and the clips where she looks the most mature. She looks a little young for her age in canon, as well. Hopefully this won’t make anyone uncomfortable; I don’t really intend for her to get into sexual situations, but violence and horror are par for the course for her.
Courtney’s parents are never named in the books, but for ease of play I call them Darryl and Karen.

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Courtney Crumrin

September 2013

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