Monday, August 4, 2008

Character Development - Salome

Heroine: Salome Mercer/Kestrel Sinclair – age 20

-Job: Plantation owner, growing tobacco and hemp near Charlottesville VA, currently left in charge to an overseer. Shipping Magnate, as alter-ego Kestrel Sinclair. Kestrel was created to buy out Salome’s brother’s shipping business when he mysteriously went missing two years ago. The law forbade Salome, as a woman, from purchasing the business herself, so ‘Kestrel Sinclair’ came into being, as a mysterious rich man, interested in expanding the company. As Kestrel, Salome has become very successful.
-Appearance: About 5’6”, Black hair and very light, almost clear green eyes. Fair skin, but prone to tan to a golden color. Very fit, though shapely figure, from years of riding on the plantation and captaining her ship.
-Intellect: Salome has a good head for numbers, and is exceedingly logical. She has read widely, but finds no great joy in it, preferring the outdoors.
-Family: Parents deceased (Names?). Mother died when Salome was 10 years old, her Father when she was 16. Brother (Anthony [Tony]) Missing for two years.
-History: When her mother died, her father educated Salome and her brother, in anticipation of them taking over the plantation one day. Her father is dedicated to operating the plantation without the use of slave labor, unheard of for the time. Instead, he purchases slaves with the intent to free them and offer them a position as shareholder in the plantation. Salome is the more interested in the plantation of the two, and when their father dies, Salome buys out her brother in order for him to invest in a shipping business. With modest success, he disappeared on a routine trip to the Caribbean two years later, when Salome was 18. Declared dead, his business was put up for auction, and Salome purchased it as Kestrel Sinclair. She has run the business since, with constant expansion, while she continued to search for her brother, and leaving the plantation in the hands of her overseer. Now 20, a new stipulation in her father’s will has come to light. If her brother is deceased and she is unmarried when she reaches the age of 21, the plantation is to be sold to give her a large dowry and money to live on in a townhome in London. With her brother still missing, the only way to protect her property is to marry before her birthday. She heads for London, to see her father’s sister, whom she has never met, and to plead for a Season with her aunt as her sponsor.
-Aspirations: Salome wants to live her life with no one to tell her what to do. She cold-heartedly takes emotion out of her search for a suitable husband, looking for one she can tolerate and that won’t likely stand in her way. She also wants to find her brother, convinced he is still alive after all this time.
-Attitude: Salome is very logical and precise in her actions. She has a team of private investigators on call to research potential clients for her business, and even for a husband. She also runs a fleet of ships through the shipping company whose primary purpose is to gather information about her brother. She does not care a thing for what is ‘fashionable’, or what is ‘proper’. She has a deep caring and concern for those in her care, whether they be the shareholders on her plantation, or the crews of her ships. In turn, her employees are completely dedicated to her as well.
-Perceptions: Salome is an enigma to everyone she meets. She hides her emotions and thoughts so well, it is hard to get the upper hand when dealing with her. She is uninterested in social activities, and until now has rejected any men who have been interested in her. As Kestrel Sinclair, Salome has gained a reputation for being exceedingly shrewd, and has contacts around the world. It is rumored that Kestrel has even garnered the protection of pirates to keep ‘his’ shipping lanes safe. Kestrel has never lost a shipment, even if delayed by weather. There is a tight veil of secrecy regarding his person, as no one has ever seen or spoken with him, except through his agent. Even his crew cannot be penetrated by spies.
-Hobbies: Horses – When her brother is found safe, and she is free to lead her life as she would once again, Salome dreams of breeding horses on her plantation.
-Goals: To obtain a suitable husband that she can live with and will let her manage her business without interference. She wants to go home desperately and can’t stand the city. She also wants to find her brother, as well as who conspired to take him in the first place so she can extract revenge.

Hero: Donovan Tremaine, Earl Verney – age 25

-Job: Playboy – or so it seems. Since assuming his inheritance, to all appearances he is living the life, buying horses, gambling, escorting beautiful women to parties (though he never throws them himself). Secretly, he runs an inflammatory news press that decries the practice of slavery in the States, as well as the practice of indentured servitude out of Britain. His paper also fans the political flames leading to the war of 1812.
-Appearance: About 6’1”. Half-Indian through his mother. Wears his hair long in the Indian fashion, yet has piercing blue eyes from his father’s side. Reddish toned skin like an Indian as well. Lean and muscular physique.
-Intellect: Widely read and knowledgeable about all things political. Not much of a head for business, never having had much money until now. He leaves it in the hands of capable friends who invest for him.
-Family: Last living son of his line, inheriting title from skinflint great-uncle. His father had moved to the States (Boston), and ended up marrying a local Indian. Both were ostracized, so although sensitive to the Indian cause, he has no particular ties there. His father ran a small local newspaper, which is how he learned the business. His father was never officially disinherited, so upon his uncle’s death, he gained a title and a huge deal of wealth. No living relatives.
-History: After claiming his inheritance, he seized the opportunity to continue his underground paper free of suspicion by living in the public eye as a devil may care playboy. He is under pressure from his lawyers and friends to quickly marry and produce an heir, but he really longs for the kind of loving marriage his parents had.
-Attitude: He has an innate sense for people, which aids him in moving through high society, as well as in his underground activities. He feels a strong sense of right and wrong, and seeks to eliminate injustice. He is very good at disguising his true feelings.
-Perceptions: He is written off as a frivolous man, and those in society only refrain from calling him a ‘dirty half-breed’ because of his wealth and position.
-Aspirations: Very noble-minded, he wants to help bring an end to slavery and oppression, but he also realizes that his position as a ‘half-breed’ hinders him, which is why he must work secretly.
-Hobbies: Horses – the only thing he really likes to spend money on. He is building a breeding stock of racehorses.Goals: To continue his newspaper and build a respectable public image (when he finds the right woman), so he can overcome the stigma of ‘half-breed’.

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