Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Regarding Maggie...

While going through some old papers, I stumbled across something interesting. I used to be a dungeon master back in my youth... so when I later started writing, it seemed only natural to make a form of character sheet for the different characters in my novels. I later got away from the practice and forgot about them. But I recently came across one of those old sheets, made sometime way back in 2009, and since it was for the character that I'm probably most often asked about, I thought I would share.

Maggie Weston
Book: Spiderstalk
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 425 lbs (due to tremendous muscle density)
Age: 20
Hair: Blonde (originally in long braid, later chopped short by knife
Eyes: Blue

Appearance: Maggie is a tall girl who appears muscular in a lanky way, much like a  professional beach volleyball player. She dresses in rural fashions, usually boots, jeans, with flannel shirts or black tee shirts, although she sometimes wears army surplus camouflage pants as well. Her face is angular, a bit harsh, and she has a slightly weathered look due to a great deal of time outdoors.
Her clothes conceal the fact that her torso is covered with a short fuzz similar to that found on the abdomen of some spiders. It covers an area similar to that of a one piece bathing suit. It  is mostly black and yellow on her back, featuring the same pattern as a corn spider, and almost completely black on front with the exception of two short diagonal orange stripes at the bottom of her ribcage,
Abilites: As one of only two known living third-generation talents of the Spider Tribe, she is far stronger (both physically and psionically) than the other talents of her people. This is because she has more of the Great Mothers DNA in her genome, meaning she is more spider and less human than the others.
The downside to this (in her case) is the spider fuzz covering her torso, and the fact she is a dedicated carnivore who requires a diet almost exclusively of meat. Her weight, due to her muscle density, also means she has serious negative buoyancy and can’t swim. Also, when greatly upset or preparing to fight, her eyes wills sometimes change to become more like those of a spider.
On the other hand, her physical strength is well into the superhuman range. Her bones are mostly composed of the same carbon nanotubes forming the great mother’s exoskeleton, and her skin is meshed with them as well. This makes her very resistant to damage. It would take a high powered rifle at close range to completely penetrate her skin, or some other projectile at extremely high velocity. The majority of firearms would bruise her at most. Since nobody actually put this to the test, neither she  nor her people ever had a precise understanding of her durability.
Psionically, she is also the most powerful of her tribe, although she does not possess the wide range of psionic abilities of Grandma Lilah (the other third generation talent). Under perfect circumstance (having veneno in her bloodstream, her companion nearby, and in an open but isolated area) she can detect a normal person's presence at almost a quarter of a mile, and actually read them at near a  hundred yards. Many factors can diminish this, including closer peoples thoughts drowning out more distant, having a large number of people around, physical barriers such as walls of different construction, etc…
Her psionic defenses are second to none, and when she has them fully up she becomes completely psionically undetectable, even to the best of her own people. Not even the rogue or the Great Mother can pierce Maggie’s defensive barriers when she has them at full.
She also has a latent healing ability, although not on a par with Grandma Lilah’s. It has not yet been explored or developed due to her difficulty with control, and that difficulty forcing the tribe’s elders to focus on training her to control her other, more immediate, attributes. So that ability only manifests itself as her having an incredibly strong constitution, and her being able to survive illnesses that should otherwise kill her.

Personality: Maggie has a complex, and often misunderstood, personality. Her mother died during the pregnancy, because Maggie started causing damage as she developed and became more active before birth. After a severe episode resulting in her mother's death by internal  hemorrage, Grandma Lilah performed a rough operation and managed to save the baby.
 Due to her tremendous strength and abilities, Maggie was completely isolated from other children until the age of seven. At that time she was finally allowed to visit Billy Clayton, who was two years her junior, but being a second generation talent, was more rugged and able to withstand an accidental lapse of control. It was still dicey at first, although they eventually became friends.
(In the book Billy will be officially sixteen, but is actually eighteen due to the tribes reluctance to make any newborn spirit singers “official” until they’ve survived a couple of years)  
So Maggie is only close with her father, her companion Molly, and Billy... and also carries a certain level of guilt over the death of her mother. The result of this will be her emotional stability being badly rocked when her father dies due to circumstances she created by saving the main character’s nephew.
Her training started at a very young age and focused on two areas. Warfare, and learning to control her strength. This has resulted in a serious, and somewhat repressed girl, who is often at war with her own emotions. She has had certain concepts of honor and responsibility deeply drilled into her, but those will be shaken as she starts to realize how her people’s adherence to the past, and its antiquated laws, was just as much responsible for her father’s death as her.
This will leave her faith in everything she believed in shaken, and utterly isolated with the limited exception of Billy.

So on the surface, Maggie normally comes across as forceful, stern, and sometimes harsh. But underneath there is confusion over her own identity, fear of losing loved ones, and an uneasy relationship with her own emotions.

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