NAME: Charlotte Lucille Isabella AlderidgeAGE: 18GENDER: FemaleAPPEARANCE:Charlotte bears much resemblance to her mother, her grace, the Duchess of Grafton, the prized french beauty who, for a great many years, has been the object of much envy. Like her mother, Charlotte's fair appearances are the very depiction of ladylike grace, elegance and delicacy; a noble and aristocratic visage well suited to the daughter of a Duke. For most, there had never been a doubt that the Duchess' children would be beautiful, and Charlotte proved them all right even as a child.Charlotte boasted hair almost identical to her mother's, it fell from her head in long, dark chocolate brown tresses, ending at the point just before the centre of her back. Its soft, silken feel and appearance are resultant of much care. Her hair is washed and brushed regularly, thoroughly, and with great care. Charlotte would never be seen in public with unkempt hair, though that is not necessarily a result of her own efforts. She has always been tended to by servants, and her mother was sure to keep her daughter looking preened and proper, ensuring that her daughter is ever the lady that she was born to be. Resultantly, Charlotte's hair is often kept either tied neatly and close to her head in some sort of simple but aesthetically pleasing manner or in lively ringlet curls. So long as her hair is in fact styled, it is always in a manner that is both suitable to her features yet fashionable and respectable.Charlotte's eyes happen to be the one feature in which she doesn't look quite like her mother, but instead like her father, his grace, the Duke of Grafton. Like him, her wide and ever so slightly upturned eyes are a striking shade of cool sapphire flecked with a glittering silvery grey. They glitter like a crystal clear lake, a dignified set of features that seem to carry a certain intelligence. Despite the glimmering beauty they hold, there is a certain level of hidden restraint and struggle that can be seen if one looks carefully enough into her eyes. These enchanting eyes are framed by long, dark, and delicate lashes that starkly contrast her brightly coloured eyes. Just beneath her eyes rests something that at a glance could go unnoticed. She has faint dark circles beneath her eyes, the result of her struggling to get sleep as well as her declining health.The rest of her face is adorned by dainty and refined features befitting a lady of her social stature. Her complexion is the pallid shade of polished ivory with a light rosy colour on her cheeks. Her fair skin tone is so light in colour because for all her life she has been sheltered from the sun, often being kept indoors and under canopies when outside. It was very rare that she ever saw the sun and even rarer that its rays touched her skin. She bears no unsightly blemishes upon her face, her skin being as smooth as well cared for porcelain. This is once again the result of having nothing but the best things with which to care for her skin and a bevvy of servants to ensure she uses them. Across her nose and the upper areas of her delicate high cheekbones, run a spattering of very faint and quite small freckles, almost entirely unnoticeable from any great distance, but present nevertheless and somewhat more clear from up close.Charlotte's nose is small, not overly prominent, but relatively proportionate to her face. It comes to a definitive point, refined and as previously mentioned, a smattering of very faintly coloured freckles runs over the bridge of her nose. Her lips are by no means large or full, though their rather typical size and natural light pink colour are well suited to the more delicate and almost elven features of her face. The corners of her lips are most often lifted ever so slightly into a practised smile that she has perfected over the years so that she never appears to be either upset or angry by accident.Charlotte's relatively long and delicate neck leads down to an equally delicate and fragile seeming figure. Standing at no more than 5'3, Charlotte cuts a very unimposing silhouette, especially considering her small frame. Her health makes it more difficult for her to put on weight or muscle, she exhausts far too quickly for exercise, and most days her appetite isn't all that large so she only eats what she has to. The fact that she's usually stuck with rather simple foods that are, as her doctor says, the absolute best for someone with her condition, doesn't necessarily make her want to eat more. Her hands are soft and fragile with long fingers, unaccustomed to hard work, though the very tips of her fingers are often somewhat reddened from playing some sort of instrument.In regards to clothing, Charlotte's wardrobe is stocked with the finest gowns and accessories from both Paris and London as well as a set of heirlooms handed down through both sides of her family for generations. Though it's her mother who selects dresses and jewels in the shops, it's Charlotte who chooses which to wear every morning. Taught how to dress from a young age, Charlotte is aware of what to wear with what and tends to stick to a more refined and simple appearance, often only wearing a few accessories at a time as not to appear gaudy or tactless. Charlotte realises that how she dresses reflects upon her family and thus takes it as seriously as she does any of her other social graces. There isn't a single piece in her wardrobe that's not something that lesser nobles envy, everything she wears is chosen with the purpose of making her stand out as the belle of the ball, a symbol of the dignity of the noble house Grafton. Her preferred colours tend towards cooler shades such as powder blue and lavender, though cream, white and even gold are not entirely alien to her.PERSONALITY:Charlotte is composed of two different aspects, there is the carefully crafted front of poise she utilises to keep herself safe and there's the warmer side of her that longs to resurface, but she fears the consequences of not maintaining perfect control over her every word and action. Resultantly, she presents herself as tepid and ladylike, a symbol of what the ladies of the aristocracy are supposed to be. Her competencies make her stand out as someone who fits in exceptionally well, a peculiar paradox, but an enviable trait for someone of her status and position.The face she presents to the world is one that she has spent her entire life fabricating, taking lessons all her life on how to be the perfect lady. She is noted often for her flawless etiquette, a tribute to the labours of her governess who spent a great many hours ensuring that the social graces expected of a Duke's daughter were ingrained into her and so well practised that they were simply instinct. Charlotte needn't spare a thought to consider the proper etiquette for a certain situation giving her an air of ease and grace despite formalities that would trip others up. Comparatively, Charlotte has difficulty with informality. She is unadjusted to speaking to someone in a casual setting and thus she can come off as distant or perhaps insincere, but with time she can settle into such an interaction, though it requires a degree of comfort for her to do so.Her formal and polite manner is derived from the sense of dignity she has in regards to her family. All her life her father would remind her in little ways of the honour and dignity that came with being a member of the great house of Grafton, and that for centuries they have proven themselves, time and again, to be the pinnacle of the aristocracy. Though Charlotte secretly longs for greater freedoms, she is grateful for all that her family provides for her, she sees the value of protecting the long-standing legacy left to her by her ancestors and would hate to be the one to squander that which they spent their lives to perfect. Charlotte's drive to well represent her family only increased when she saw her brother face the consequences of failing to live up to the standards of the family. She respects the many who have worked their lives to forge the legacy and fears the consequences of not living up to it which is perhaps the perfect formula for procuring one's loyalty.The aforementioned fears also influenced her overall demeanour. Worried that she may make a fool of herself and thusly her family by being overly expressive and acting in only grand gestures, Charlotte has made a point of being quite mellow. The once cheerful and vivacious young girl quelled her impulses to present herself as calm and serene, just as one would expect from a highborn noble. She may at times appear somewhat unaffected by things, but it's all apart of an effort seem well put together. To keep herself collected, she goes to great lengths to avoid conflict even if her efforts are futile. Some forms of debate over topics such as art she can handle, but the moment things heat up Charlotte is the sort who simply chooses to walk away as not to create a scene or get worked up.In conversation, Charlotte often aims to seem logical and reasonable. Often times she takes on the perspective of a realist, choosing to use facts to determine the outcome of a situation. At face value, this means that she has the potential to come off as blunt or callous, but like her mother, Charlotte has learned to speak every word as though it is poetry. Through this skill, Charlotte can take these more analytical observations and present them eloquently to produce a certain effect. Nevertheless, realism isn't natural to Charlotte, often she verbally walks herself through the situation trying to make it seem like she's explaining her reasoning when really she's just attempting to figure out what exactly is the realistic response.Her true perspective is that of an optimist. She hides this behind a more logical front, but she always hopes for the best. Its this side of her that gives her hope that her brother may be happy with his new life, and it's this part of her that gives her the will to keep trying to be the perfect daughter. Though she disguises this fact, thinking others would find it too naive for the daughter of the great Duke of Grafton, it is possible to get it to show. When caught off guard by a question or if she's on a sort of rant she may forget to filter her behaviour. Nevertheless, this is one of the things that drives her to go on with her superficial life despite the perils she may face. Charlotte has also learned to redirect her sense of fun and whimsy into art. Once a child who could play for hours by herself using just her imagination, she always had a sense of creativity. A woman hired by her family to teach her of the arts would always demand she directed all her creativity into art and not little games. Charlotte, being the obedient pupil she was, gave up on her playful ways and practised music, dance, and art until she tired herself out. They weren't quite the same in her mind, but she was happy to learn more and improve and so she threw herself into her practices, hoping to become as skilled in each subject as her tutor. Following her brother's departure, her lessons and practices became the main focus of her day and her skills saw considerable improvement. This focusing of her more lighthearted and playful nature made it easier to act formally and gave Charlotte an outlet for any of her urges or inner musings.CONTINUES in next post...
Another of Charlotte's defining traits is intelligence and a passion for learning. Though her knowledge of more academic subjects is quite limited, a result of her being restricted to learning things deemed more feminine, she excels in her knowledge of what she has been taught, and her ability to pick up on new concepts is quite keen. She is happy to accept any opportunity to learn about something new. Though she doesn't show this side of herself unless it is brought out by someone else, once she gets going it is the easiest way to get her to let down her guard. She could go on forever about the things she has learnt and all the things she still wishes to know. It does become apparent in the little things she does over time, but until she is pulled out of her shell it usually doesn't come to the very forefront.Unfortunately, Charlotte often doesn't act much like herself and lacks much in the way of willpower. She does everything she can to be what parents expect of her in fear of ending up cast aside like her brother who was sent away for his unruly behaviour and though she would never act as uncontrollable he did she still fears losing everything that she has because of some screw-up. Charlotte has nothing that is truly and unequivocally hers and so she simply cannot risk losing favour with her parents and to maintain their favour she has to be the perfect lady. Even though she'll be far from home, she still has to be careful not to make a fool of herself, though Charlotte has never been away from her parent's watchful eye before, so to her, it is a degree of freedom she has never had before and thusly a world of new opportunities to make her own way in the world.HISTORY:The noble house of Grafton has stood as a pinnacle of English nobility and aristocracy for well over a century. The family has counted many great figures in history amongst its members and allies, and is respected even by the other duchies of England. The Alderidge bloodline can be traced back centuries earning them certain privileges that many other nobles lack and a degree of dignity that is a cut above the rest. Their heritage is a point of pride, and they are renowned for their refinement and grandeur as one of the great houses of England.The family's current head and the current Duke of Grafton is Duke Henry Charles of Grafton. Henry was raised to be an authoritative, honourable and dignified Duke just as his father and his father before him were. Henry holds himself and his family and high regard and as such will not allow them to live any life but the best. He is a commanding figure in the aristocracy, one that many look to as an example of how the nobility should present itself. His pride and grandeur, however, is not all there is to him, he is hardworking and respectable, he provides for those that depend on him and finds no greater honour than in helping those who need it, though this kindly nature does often get culled by his deeply ingrained sense of family dignity.The Duke's wife, Duchess Amelia Vivienne Isabella of Grafton, was a woman he worked tirelessly to pursue. Amelia was the fair and beautiful daughter of a French Marquess. Amelia's prospects were many, scarcely was there a man of noble blood or otherwise who did not seek her hand in marriage upon the very first time they laid their eyes upon her. She was as accomplished, fashionable and educated as any French noblewoman, but with the calm and proper sensibility of an English lady. She was the perfect wife and though it took time and effort, Henry procured her as his own and his wife became the envy of much of the aristocracy. She moved with the grace of a trained dancer and spoke with the eloquence of a poet and so one day would her children.The first child of the Duke and Duchess was a boy, the Lord Thomas Frederick Alderidge and the future Duke of Grafton. As he grew older Thomas was slight in frame, though impishly handsome and charming. In his early youth, he was a sweet and fearless boy, though what was once an endearing boldness developed into arrogance. He saw the pride his father had, imitated it and in his head contorted it. Though he wasn't unnecessarily cruel to others, he acted superior and condescending, as if even those ranked above him were just children. The Duke and Duchess loved their son, but the older he got more and more troublesome. He would behave flippantly and though he understood formalities and even followed some by mere instinct, he often overstepped certain unspoken boundaries.When Thomas was thirteen years old, their second child was born and her name was Charlotte Lucille Isabella Alderidge. With their son and heir already born, Charlotte's parents were more than happy to show her off like a young girl would a new doll. Even as a very young age, others would point out the uncanny resemblance she bore to her mother, the timeless french beauty. At the time Charlotte was entirely unaware of what that meant, but in her future, she would be flurried by shallow compliments on her beauty and elegance just as her mother always was. Until that day came, she would be pampered by her parents, dressed in the finest gowns to match her mother and wrapped in the softest blankets imported from distant lands.Charlotte was a decidedly quiet infant and toddler, she scarcely ever cried and she was by no means a gurgling baby. She never once had reason to shed a tear, all her needs were taken care of before she even knew she had them, there was a servant around every corner each who would pass her along to teach her this, or to help her with that. When it came to the babblings and noises made by most babies, Charlotte stayed quiet, and only when adults pestered her and accosted her in hopes of hearing a baby's pure and innocent sounds would she ever give in and make noises.Within the house of Grafton, family was a valued thing, the family was the thing they derived their pride from and as such, they often found companionship in one another. Though some would assume Thomas' condescending nature would lead him to dislike his younger sister he actually quite adored her. When she was a baby he would carry her around and when she was a toddler she would follow him intently, like his very own little helper, happy to do as he said. Charlotte was family to him and thus she was one of few people he thought was worth his time and so whilst he dismissed nearly all other boys his age, his younger sister became someone he cared for quite deeply. Being the daughter of a Duke meant more than just being something to show off. At the behest of Charlotte's mother, Charlotte was to begin her education from the moment she could speak. Her father arranged for her to learn the skills that were necessary of a lady in England at the time, such as reading, writing, dance, sewing, etiquette and fashion. Charlotte's intelligence was quickly apparent as she picked up subjects quicker than her brother had and was a talented problem solver, but despite her gift of intelligence, she had been confined to learning only the subjects deemed more feminine. Mathematics, science and business were far from her curriculum, though she did show some sort of natural gift for figuring the basics of such things out on her own.Charlotte's lessons were given to her by a governess by the name of Lydia Montfort, the daughter of a well to do Viscount down by the Southern coasts of England who had spent his entire fortune on a single investment that failed horribly leaving with him barely enough money to maintain his own staff. Without anything more than a title, his daughters, who once had both been very respectable young ladies expected to marry above their station, lost their prospects. With marrying them off no longer an option now that they had grown older, both daughters were forced to take up careers as governesses to help their father.Lydia Montfort was the pinnacle of what a lady should be which made her an excellent educator for Charlotte. Lydia also took her work very seriously as it not only gave her a place to stay in the home of the Duke of Grafton, but it also allowed her family back home to have a home as well. For Charlotte, this meant her governess was devoted to ensuring that Charlotte grasped every concept down to the finest details. She wasn't just taught to sew, she was taught to sew with the skill of a tailor and her etiquette was tweaked and improved upon until it was instinct for her to be perfect. The consequence of this was that Lydia tended to be strict, Charlotte had to do things right or she would not be given a break. Lydia provided a stark contrast to Charlotte's brother, who instead of telling her to be proper and ladylike, encouraged haughtiness and mischief. Charlotte often fluctuated between following each of them, her parents, although not always present, clearly wanted for her to behave as Lydia instructed, but she adored and idolised her brother which is why she also did as he did. She developed a pattern of behaviour. When around the nobility and other such respected individuals she would behave as expected, but when it was simply servants and family she would follow her brother about and do as he said which often got Charlotte in some form of trouble. There was a day where Charlotte had been playing in the gardens, having tea with her dolls. She had seemed unusually tired that day, but as far as any observers were concerned it seemed she was just having a more mellow day. She sat pouring pretend tea for the porcelain dolls and speaking in high pitched voices all while under a lightly coloured floral canopy that had been set up for her by to of the family's servants. It was nothing more than a simple escape from the constant lessons and events that pervaded Charlotte's every day. It seemed entirely routine until Charlotte collapsed.She had been playing normally until her brother decided he would try to raise the energy levels. Thomas chased her around under the canopy, much to her delight, but very quickly she began to feel tired, a sense of dizziness swiftly overcoming her. She panicked which only worsened the effects of what was happening. Charlotte fainted and could remember little else of that day afterwards. She had been rushed inside, carried by both her governess, Lydia, and a servant, with her brother following closely behind.Charlotte was brought to her bed and a doctor was summoned to her room by the Duke. The doctor took his time to determine what it was that was ailing her and performed careful tests in order to guarantee accuracy. He deemed her to be safe from any immediate danger, but there was more to what had happened than just a simple fainting spell or passing illness. She had an ailment of the heart, though the doctor painted the picture with broad strokes referring to it only as heart failure. The doctor informed the Duke and his wife quite firmly that her illness, from what he could tell, was not fatal so long as she was well cared for regarding both her diet and activity, though he also told them that it would never pass and she would live with it for her entire life.CONTINUES in next post...
The entire house took on a sombre tone in the following weeks. Charlotte was kept in her room at first. Lydia was to continue with her lessons, though she was softer on Charlotte for fear of overworking her too soon after the incident as it had come to be called. Charlotte's mother visited the room often to check in with her, to ensure she was alright and often during her visits she would tell her stories her life in France before she came to England to marry Charlotte's father. Charlotte was often enchanted by the stories her mother would tell her of the art and culture back in France, not just because it was her mother telling the story, but because she was thrilled to be learning something beyond etiquette and fashion.Despite the fact that she even saw visitors from outside the manor, Charlotte felt unusually lonely. Since she had returned to consciousness she had not seen her brother at any point aside from dinner. She was used to seeing him quite often despite the differences in their schedules, if only in passing. What CHarlotte did not know was that it was her parents that had arranged for it to be as such. Their son was a troublesome child and though his intents were genuinely just to play with his sister they had trouble believing it. It was so often he got her into trouble, and it was clear from how he was around others that he had a fickle understanding of respect which is why they were convinced that he knowingly pushed his sister too far that day, despite his assurances that he didn't realise she was feeling ill that day at all.Once she had fully recovered, Charlotte's life regained some semblance of normality, though from that point on there was never a moment she was not constantly being watched over by a caretaker. Neither her mother nor father was willing to let their daughter be left unattended following such an incident. She underwent her usual lessons, Lydia keeping a careful eye on her, when she played it was expected that a servant was watching, and she was escorted from place to place by someone they could trust. Everything she ate was always tailored to what the doctor recommended. Her life became very controlled, but this was a fact that even Charlotte, a child, understood to be important, for the loss of some privacy came with the guarantee of longevity in spite of her ailment.No longer seeing her brother led to Charlotte's wilder natures to be mellowed, and her insensibilities to be culled. She began to fit the role of a lady of the aristocracy quite well. There was no noble who could deny her perfect manners or her youthful charm. She had a childlike naivete and optimism that made it difficult not to be put at ease around her, even when things seemed hopeless. Spending more time with her mother with her brother often kept away from her she began to absorb her habits and mannerisms, from her light, airy and dance-like way of movement to the soft and melodic intonations of her voice. She became more and more like her mother with each passing day, and people told her this often and Charlotte could find no quarrel with it and was always proud to be compared to her mother.Eventually, Charlotte got a firm grasp upon the things she was learning, from sewing to etiquette she was quite gifted and so her mother spoke to her father about finally giving her lessons regarding other things such as art, music, culture and even some history. At first the Duke was hesitant, in the history of the house of Grafton very few women had ever been so educated, but he came to see the value in having a daughter who could match the charms and wit of any other lady and outdo them in any setting, a daughter who could shine as bright as the morning star. They hired a woman, from France where Charlotte's mother had been raised. Her name was Yvette Amirault, an older woman who was educated in the arts. In her youth she was a Prima ballerina, she later in life took on playing music to accompany the younger dancers, refusing to leave the spotlight, learning from the masters who had once upon a time accompanied her performances. Compared to her governess Lydia's more firm sensibilities, Yvette seemed a curious figure. Charlotte saw Lydia as someone to obey and respect, but Yvette was much more of a mystery. Charlotte would always question Yvette about everything and at times the woman would respond in kind and others, not at all. Yvette seemed bitter to Charlotte, unhappy with where she ended up whereas Lydia always seemed grateful for what she had. Charlotte had decided quite early on she would rather be like Lydia. Nevertheless, she learned much from Yvette that interested her. It was not as vital to her livelihood as what she was taught by Lydia, but it was certainly leaps and bounds more interesting. In the meantime, whilst Charlotte revelled in newfound knowledge, her brother had found himself restless. Thomas had truly done no intentional harm to his sister and yet his parents acted as if he had. Thomas loved his younger sister, but his parents did all they could to keep them separate, something which seemed cruel to him. He thought that she was like him, that she too was above the world and though they were far apart in age, they shared blood and to Thomas that was what mattered. To have his own parents take that away from him was, in his mind, a betrayal. He became wary of them, trying to decipher what ill will it was they had toward him, but this bred only paranoia and he began to act out more and more.Charlotte was quite unaware of her brother's state, she had grown accustomed to not seeing him as often and assumed that it was simply a coincidence. She would hear whisperings amongst staff and even words regarding him between her parents and Lydia who remained Charlotte's primary caretaker throughout the day to which Lydia had no objections as it gave her employment beyond just her lessons and thusly a small raise in payment. Charlotte knew her brother was sometimes troublesome, but she didn't realise the extent he had reached with his behaviour. His behaviour was kept a secret from much of the public and events he had before been allowed to attend he was barred from and even when he was somewhere he was always by the Duke who was keen on watching him. Charlotte, on the other hand, was toted around as a trophy, the perfect daughter that distracted from any imperfections that laid elsewhere.Charlotte was a stark contrast to her older brother, she was the ideal daughter, mellow and quiet, yet with a cheerful and sweet disposition. She learned to play the piano and violin and would put on small shows for her mother, father, Lydia and some other members of the staff with Yvette to oversee it. Yvette was not keen on being present for such things as it was often outside of her typical work hours, but Charlotte's father was happy to compensate her for it so long as Charlotte believed Yvette simply wanted to be there to help. She also liked to draw and paint in her free time a skill she was naturally quite good at and it became a good skill as it gave her something to do on days where her health was in a worse state and she was confined to her room. Fortunately, such days weren't overly common.When Charlotte was ten years of age, nearing upon the age of eleven, her family was graced by a great honour. NEarly half the nobility was to visit for a dinner party. The reason why had something to do with her father and something he had done somewhere though Charlotte was not told much more than that. Charlotte would never forget that day, but not simply because the creme de la creme of society was to eat at their table that night. It began that morning when charlotte had been given a reminder of all the proper ways to behave around the nobles. Lydia had been quite firm with Charlotte about this because even for her it was an important test, a test of how well she had taught the Duke's daughter. Her mother and father obsessed for hours about everything, doing absolutely everything they could to prove how truly important and noble the family was through even the finest of details. That night Charlotte's home rivalled even the royal palace in its splendour.When evening came Charlotte was dressed in her finest gown, imported from Paris and made of silks and fabrics from around the world. There was not a hair out of place on her head, she was immaculate from head to toe. She remembered seeing her brother pass her room as her mother came in to check that she was prepared. Even he was dressed well although there was a fair chance that he was forced to dress well. Nevertheless, Charlotte was happy to see that he would be there as well. Thomas was getting older and in truth, despite being heir to the title of Duke of Grafton, his outbursts and apparent narcissism had lost him all his prospects. This was, in fact, his first social appearance in a long while as it was becoming more difficult to make excuses for his behaviour. Their parents had only treated him more and more punitively as time went on fearing that he would tarnish their legacy.When dinnertime had arrived, Charlotte could remember the fanfare with clarity, the select group of highborn and wealthy guests all whispering to on another about the latest gossip. She remembered seeing the another man, a powerful foreign dignitary served before even her father, something that was entirely new to her, though she had been prepared for it by Lydia in advance. The night seemed to go by in luxurious simplicity until her Thomas spoke up, speaking right over the powerul man from far away lands. Charlotte was stunned, from what she was told that was absolutely forbidden. Her memories of what he said became jumbled, she remembered trying to quietly ask him to explain to her what he was doing, but he hadn't noticed. He shouted and gestured wildly, but was silenced by the Duke. Thomas was removed from the table and shortly after the dinner was concluded.Charlotte remembered how horrified she was, not just by the fact that her brother had acted like a maniac in front of the very highest members of society, but also by the fact that her father was so harsh to him. She was was worried about the family's reputation and well-being, but also about her brother. Lydia put Charlotte to bed early that night, but Charlotte couldn't sleep. Hollow voices echoed through the manor's gilded halls. She crept out of bed that night and followed the voices. She stood outside of the room they came from, it was her father's private study and she could see through the sliver of openness that it was her father, brother and mother arguing. She missed the beginning of the conversation they had been having where her brother had been spouting words far worse than even those he spoke at dinner. Charlotte only heard the very end.The Lord Thomas Frederick of Grafton, heir to the Ducal of the house of Grafton was from that day on to be known as Mr.Thomas Frederick Alderidge. He was disowned by his father who placed the honour of the family and the sanctity of the crown above his mercy for his son. Disinherited and shunned. Through Amelia's kindness, he was allowed to take some of his things and was given enough money to start a new life in the Americas, far from England. His father said if he heard Thomas had returned to England he would not stand for it and though he could not formally exile someone, the sentence he gave his own son was not far off from just that. Charlotte was beyond distraught. Her brother had said awful things, but she loved him and even though she didn't see him as often as she once did, she knew she would miss him. CONTINUES in next post...
When they finished and her parents were about to leave the room, Charlotte ran from the door to her bed. She cried that night because she had come to learn something that she didn't want to know. Charlotte was already aware that all those around her only spent time around her because they were paid to by her father. Lydia cared for her because it supported her family, Yvette taught her because it gave her enough money to pretend she still lived a poised life of glamour and respect, and the servants of the house only watched her small performances because they'd lose their jobs if they did not heed the orders of the Duke when he asked them to listen to her. No one ever knew she knew this because she kept it secret. Like Lydia, Charlotte wanted to be grateful for what she had and not bitter about what she didn't have like Yvette was. She was also aware of the fact that most of the nobility would have never realised she even existed were it not for her elaborate gowns and her father's title. There was only one thing that Charlotte was absolutely sure she had and that was the love of her family, but that night taught her that the love of her parents was conditional. She didn't know how far Thomas had pushed the limits but what she did know was that if she pushed the limits too far she too could end up exiled to distant lands. Were it not for her being such an idyllic child she realised that she may very well lose the affections of her parents. She also recognised the fact that this meant her brother was perhaps the only person who, despite his misguided ways, cared for Charlotte simply for the fact that she was his sister and that was enough. The one person whose love for her was unconditional was being sent away, banished from his own home. That night, Charlotte didn't sleep a wink. Charlotte spent the whole night awake thinking about what would happen the following day. She used that time to decide what she would do. That night Charlotte resolved to be perfect. To always listen. To do everything right. To be quiet and softspoken. To be ladylike. To bring honour unto the house of Grafton. To ensure she too didn't meet that fate. To be grateful for what she already had. This night marked a turning point for Charlotte and from that night on she became a very different version of herself.When the morning came Charlotte's parents came to her room. They had already sent Thomas on his way with what things he could pack. Charlotte could see the ink stains on her mother's hands. Amelia had stayed up all night worried. She felt her husband's actions were too much, but dared not speak the words and so she tried to do what damage control she could. She wrote letter after letter, explaining to the guests of the dinner in eloquent wording what had happened, proceeding then to ask that they not speak of it. In the envelopes, she enclosed a portion of money in order to ensure their silence on the matter. It was her who said goodbye to Thomas as he left whereas the Duke merely watched from a window. When they spoke to Charlotte, their voices were soft, a far cry from the voices she had heard just that night. They told her Thomas had disappeared on a trip that night leaving only a note saying he was headed to the Americas and that he apologised for his behaviour. This lie became the lie they told everyone, and with all those who saw it fairly compensated for their silence, it seemed a plausible and considerably less scandalous situation.Charlotte began to understand how Yvette could have become so callous and bitter. Yvette lost her sense of self-value and Charlotte lost her brother, and yet the world eerily went on as if nothing had happened. Charlotte's father had the formal paperwork that disinherited Thomas completed by the end of the week and was able to make it all go through quietly, likely involving cash incentives. Despite this, he acted as though nothing had happened, but until he had a second son, Charlotte became the heir to his title. Slowly but surely the Duke and Duchess worked up to saying they received a letter from him, forfeiting his title and though it caused some troubles they were able to handle it far better than they could the truth.In this time, Charlotte continued with her lessons. She didn't ask quite so many questions and simply did as she was told to. She excelled wonderfully and received praise from her parents, but the praise that once filled her with such warm joy seemed so much more fickle now. She found her joy only in little things such as the arts. With all her fundamental skills necessary for life as a lady polished she threw herself into learning how to draw, paint, play instruments, sing, dance and dress. She also enjoyed learning about distant lands where she could only hope her brother was travelling, perhaps with friends that he met in America. Charlotte's outward optimism was replaced by a calm sense of realism, though deep down she still always hoped for the best. She was generally quieter and her cheer and broad toothy grins were replaced by a faint serene smile and softer contentment. She was mellower, more graceful, and more ladylike, though somewhat less herself, particularly around her parents who she sought to please. She gained increased self-control, able to quell any urges she felt. She never acted overly excited, but simply appropriately excited, she didn't get angry, only disappointed. There was scarcely a lady twice her age who could manage such a regal bearing, but for Charlotte it became instinct. Her parents simply thought she was maturing and were happy to see her growing up, but didn't realise what truly inspired these changes. Her parents tried for a new child in order to have a male heir to carry on the family name, but their efforts were fruitless.As Charlotte got older the pampering never stopped, she was still given the finest gowns and accessories and she was still always with company, and Charlotte learned to accept that that was how she was going to live. Though it wasn't the same as receiving genuine affection from her parents she knew that that was how they showed they cared. So long as she maintained her perfect act, they'd never stop pampering her, they would always care. She did still worry about her brother but knew better than to bring him up or to tell her parents she knew the truth of what happened with him. She had managed to take a few of his old things that were left behind before her father had Thomas' room cleared out. A pen, a book, an old toy soldier and a music box. She kept these things deep in a trunk in her room where they would be safe and untouched by any of the servants who cleaned her room. The Duke and Duchess' attempts to have another child remained fruitless for years and though they still cared for their daughter there were certain parts of parenting they forgot such as finding a suitable marriage for her. They had grown so protective of her considering her health and following the incident with Thomas it became difficult to fathom letting go of the one child they had left who did nothing to merit being sent away, but when the Lockwoods spread the word that they wanted to find suitors for their children, it gave them an opportunity to find their daughter match who could parallel her noble ranking and gentile upbringing, as well as one who brought something more to the table than just a title. It was something that made them truly worthy of the perfect daughter of the great Duke of Grafton, and that was magic, the one thing that their money could not buy them and their power could not obtain for them.Charlotte, of course, was polite in her acceptance of her father's proposal that she consider marrying one of the Lockwoods, it was, after all, her duty as a nobleman's daughter to marry well. What Charlotte would never outwardly say was that she was almost excited by the freedom that would be given to her in going beyond the borders of her own home without her mother and father. She was also quite hopeful that by some chance she may actually find love, but of course, that would simply be the ideal. If the situation presented itself that she had the opportunity to marry a Lockwood, she would, at her father's behest, accept, whether or not she was in love, but she would languish in finding someone who truly cared for her as they would be the only person in her life who she felt loved her for her. Nevertheless, as she learned from her father, the family's dignity and the sanctity of the crown both come before one's own feelings.Charlotte was sent off with bags upon bags of luggage containing a wardrobe worthy of the Alderidge name, a violin, drawing and letter writing supplies, toiletries, and a few other personal effects. Charlotte was accompanied by a slew of servants each of whom was supplied with a specific duty by Charlotte's father to ensure the smoothness and ease of the trip and to care for her during her stay at Eldritch Manor. Fortunately, they were also to follow Charlotte's instructions meaning that she could send them away when she wanted some degree of privacy. TITLE: LadyFollowing her brother being disinherited by her father, the Duke of Grafton she became the heir. Her parents intend to have another son, but Charlotte currently remains the sole heir.FAMILY:Mother - Duchess Amelia Vivienne Isabella AlderidgeFather - Duke Henry Charles AlderidgeBrother - Lord Thomas Frederick Alderidge (Former; disinheritted)OTHER:- Charlotte plays piano and violin primarily though can also play the harp, harpsichord and flute with some degree of competency.- Charlotte is a skilled artist and writer, though her writing tends to be confined to neatly penned letters and little more.- Charlotte has picked up a fair amount of French from her mother, though still prefers English.- She has a crippling weakness for pastries though often has to abstain from eating them because her parents worry it'll affect her health which only makes her relish in eating them more.- As an Alderidge, she not only has a highly regarded reputation but also the backing of her father's extremely vast fortune.- Though her parents are always watching and caring for her they do so indirectly and she scarcely sees them during the day making her relationship with them strangely disconnected despite it being the only relationship she has that isn't based on her title or money.END.
The prince of darkness is a gentleman
Age: 16Gender: MaleMagic: James has the ability to create illusions. He can create images that don't actually exist, a wall that isn't really there or something as innocent as a cake on the dining table that doesn't exist. His illusions can create no damage themselves, as they are only projections of something but they can confuse and scare people. The larger the illusions though the harder it is for James to make. Also, the more detail involved the harder they are for him. People are the most difficult because he can't always imagine them properly in his mind and the illusions end up looking slightly off. He has never been able to give his humanoid illusions faces and they always end up like a blurry blob where the face should be. He's working on the faces, but has never seemed to master them. The only person he is able to make a full illusion of is his dead twin brother Charlie.|Appearance|
James is 5"10 so he'd definitely be considered tall for the time he lives in, although his posture brings him down a good inch. His shoulders are always curved in a disinctly dismissive way, as if he couldn't care less whether he looks like a commoner as he slouches about the house. If he were to stop slouching he might seem even more imposing, but as it turns out he is generally scary enough on his own that he doesn't need much help in that department. James is all sharp edges, sharp cheekbones that match with a semi- permenant careless glare that, if looks could kill, he could murder hundreds with when he wishes to. The razor-sharp smirk that usually graces his face finishes the look. Only the sharpness of his face stops him from looking utterly feminine with his long dark eyelashes and heart shaped face. His muscle might help a little bit too. The muscle he has gained from training, horse back riding and fencing means that he's not only tall, but solid too. He's not quite bulky but more lean with a lethal spring in his step. He manages to look carelessly royal. His hair is always ever so slightly messy and his clothing always slightly askew. He may not have the perfect posture or demeanor of a prince, but he manages to look power in any position he's in. His eyes are aways alert and altough he has his signature smirk, to see him really smile is a feat that most do not achieve in their life times. Only his siblings can succeed in making him smile or laugh but when he does, his whole face seems to light up.(Face claim: Fernando Lindez. Ignore the clothing!)
James is the definition of cold and calculating. A prince born with a heart of steel and a mind like clockwork, he should be the perfect heir. should be but his argumentative personality and lack of interest in the throne undermines any plans for him to take the role as head of the family. Not to mention the fact that he is not the first born. In fact, he's only the sixth Lockwood. Not that he minds, he had no desire to take on the responsibility required to run a family of such esteem. But while he might not have the slightest motivation towards heading the Lockwood family, he loves to take advantage of his privilage to get what he wants and simply to force others to do his bidding. While James may seem callous and unmotivated, he is still wicked smart and he is in fact motivated, although likely not by the right things. He spends a lot of time reading in his bedroom or outside in the gardens. His penchant for using books as friends has resulted in a mind that is oiled well for individual thought and a silver-tongue. His words are always well thought out and mostly meant to be biting and cold. Unlike his older brother Rowan who reads for scientific discoveries, James reads to understand people, to understand how they act and how to find their weaknesses. Like his brother, he reads for a reason but his reason is much darker. In fact, despite his similar interest in books, James is almost a complete opposite of his older brother Rowan. It truly shows that each sibling is truly their own.Reading is a relatively still activity though and James has a lot of energy he needs to get out each day if he wants to burn off enough steam to be able to fall asleep at night. So, he dabbles in just about every form of physical activity there is. Mostly he trains with swordfighting. He loves the powerful feeling that comes from having a sword in his hand. He can spend hours learning new moves and perfecting his footwork. He also spends a lot of time trying to figure out how to improve his powers. Illusions take an immense amount of energy and concentration so he is easily exhausted by them.The only people he is ever kind to are his siblings, who he treats with devoted and undying love. He is willing to do anything for them, especially his younger siblings who he sees as people who he needs to help take care of despite being only a year older. Although he loves his family very much, he doesn't actively seek their company, instead perfering to spend time in the stables with his favorite livings creatures in the entire world, horses. James has always loved animals but horses are his favorite. He has raised his own chesnut stallion, Acer (meaning keen and sharp in Latin) from a colt and broke him in himself. He spends most of his time in the stables when he's not reading or practicing his footwork for sword fighting or his magic. For someone with no motivation for responsibility, he is hardly ever hanging around doing nothing. Unfortunately his favorite pasttimes are those that others don't appreciate. When he's feeling bored he purposely makes life harder on the serving staff. Asking them to perform impossible tasks or fliriting with the younger of the servants. He loves to play around with smaller illusions and scare servants. He takes great joy in annoying other people... even his siblings sometimes.When it comes to romance, James finds love amusing but nothing more than a pasttime to keep life interesting. He has no intention of finding a proper suitor as he does not believe that any of them will reach his standards. Not only do none of them have powers but he is sure all of them are dimwitted idiots who do not deserve his time. He likes to toy with them a little bit but neve lets himself get emotionally attached.See, James stays away from people to protect himself. He doesn't want to get attached to anyone because while he is still young, he lost someone who could never be replaced and since then he doesn't want to get close to anyone. Because while he may act careless and mean, he can become deeply attached to people. He loves his siblings more than anything, they are the proof of his love. He has let them in because they are family, but no one else has had any luck since he turned nine.There is a soft side of James, but his soft side is also the side of him that can make him a monster. James is about as observant as they come. Because he makes illusions as his power, he needs to focus on details. In order to make the image of a flower he has to be able to perfectly imagine that flower in front of him. Anything wrong and the whole thing ends up looking ever so slightly off. As a result, he pays attention to everything. The colours of things, the textures and how the context they are in change how they look. A sword can look like many different things depending on the type, and he has to know all of them. In order to perfect his illusions, James draws. He draws everything, things as trivial as a cup to things as complicated as the horses he so loves. He madly draws his siblings and other people, trying to unlock the trick to making faces in his illusions but he still hasn't figured it out. The only face he can make images of is a face that haunts him, that of his dead brother Charlie.
James is a trouble maker, and was born one too. He was born in the dead of winter, an apt foreshadowing to his future cold personality. All was cold and dark that day, but there was a happy energy in their home because not only one child was being born that day, but two. The Lockwoods seem to have a special thing for twins, because born only a few minutes after him was a twin brother. They were immediately partners in crime, even from the age of one day old. James was the larger of the two babies by far, dwarfing his tiny brother. Despite being twins they were also unbelievably different. James practically came out of the womb screaming and crying while his brother quickly turned turned into a giggling sunshine filled boy. This made perfect sense, because while it took a while for James's powers to become apparent, his brother Charlie's became obvious when he set his bedding on fire. Too much sunshining fire to handle. Apparently within a few months, James and his twin brother Charlie seemed to have an ability to understand each other despite not being able to talk. They were always knocking things over, grabbing food off of everyone's plates and generally giggling and laughing to each other. When the two boys learned how to crawl, it was the most amazing thing. James figured it out first and then proceeded to seemingly help his brother figure it out too. They were a dynamic duo, never one without the other. When they finally learned to walk, all hell broke loose. James would distract everyone while Charlie set stuff on fire or stripped down and ran around in the garden screaming madly and generally wreaking havoc on the other members of the house hold. They would spend hours talking to each other, having conversations about things no one would ever understand. As James grew, he became colder and sharper, snapping back at other people and his trouble making personality became darker and more hurtful. Still, Charlie seemed to be able to calm him and talk him down from doing anything that might really hurt someone. Charlie undeniably made James a better person. They were like two halves of a whole, only truly full when put together. So when Charlie got sick, James wouldn't dare imagine a life without his brother. He refused to believe that Charlie was really sick. No one knew what it was. He was fine for the first nine years of his life and then one day he came down with a fever. No one thought much of it and the doctors said rest and hot tea would handle it. But a week later and it had only gotten worse. Charlie slid in and out of conciousness and it felt as though his entire body was burning with fever. As if his own powers were eating him from the inside out.
James sat faithfully by his brother's sid while he was sick despite there being concern of the disease being contagious. But James knew that it wasn't. Charlie had sometimes whispered concerns in the darkness of his powers taking over him. It seemed that they had a mind of their own and he couldn't stop them. Charlie had never told anyone else but James this, but it seemed as though his powers had finally gotten full control over his body and it was killing him. Charlie fought hard for his life and for a month he struggled for every breath but in the end, he was no match for the powers that the Lockwood family prized so much. It was a week after his and James's ninth birthday when he died. When Charlie died, James couldn't handle it so he chose not to believe it. He made illusions of his brother, could be heard talking to him. He hardly slept, haunted by the images of his brother, the illusions he himself created. He almost didn't seem aware that he was the one making the illusions. The image of Charlie trailed behind him everywhere he went, flickering in and out of existance as James's exhausted nine year old body struggled to keep the illusion up. He didn't talk to anyone, only mumbled to his imaginary Charlie, refusing to believe that his brother was gone. His other half was gone and James felt as though a part of his heart had been ripped out. He managed a couple weeks before the exhaustion of it all caused him to collapse in a hallway where he was found by a guard. Confined to his bed and no longer having the energy to keep up even the illusion of Charlie, James spent the next few days mumbling and talking into thin air. He just wanted the pain to go away. Everyone told him that the pain would fade eventually but it didn't. For an entire year he lived in the constant agony of his twin brother's death. He became as existant as his illusions, flickering in and out of reality as quickly as a ghost. But people were right, the pain does fade. James was expecting the pain to go away completely, which it never did but one day he found that waking up wasn't as hard as it had been the day before. He went from thinking about Charlie every waking second to every couple minutes to every hour, to once a day to once a week. He still thinks about him a lot but not as much anymore. Still though, he promised he would never love anyone as much as he loved Charlie.Which brings us to present day James. A boy who's heart has closed against the rest of the world. He still loves his siblings (even those who don't love him back or are just down right annoying) but none will ever be as loved as Charlie was.
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