Willow has been alive for 140 years or so, but immortalized as a ten year old girl whose family has been Guardians of the Mansion for an indefinite amount of time. The curse is passed down through her family line and is now resting on her.
Name[edit | edit source]
Willow; aged 142 (born 1887); appears as a 10 year old girl. She was named for the Willow tree she was born under, which was a temporary gateway to the Mansion.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Willow has dark brown shoulder-length hair, brown eyes, and has a warm, tan skin tone. She is likely to be of American Indian descent, but her ancestors have traveled between our world and the realms of the Mansion that it is hard to say.
Gender and Sexuality[edit | edit source]
Cis Female, likely AroAce.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Willow’s personality can vary wildly due to her age and appearance not lining up. She has been alive for more than 140 years, but 130 of those years were spent in the Mansion, immortalized as a 10 year old. Although Willow isn’t completely immortal, (she can receive flesh wounds and can die) she cannot age.
She can appear quite senile at times, as she is old in age, and hasn’t, even after all this time, grown accustomed to the concept of immortality. She doesn’t consider herself to be a God- she dislikes the thought of that, and doesn’t think she is necessarily above anyone who happens to be in the Mansion. However, she does think of herself as some sort of authority and guide for the Mansion, as she has been there for over a century, although she lost count. (Time-space continuum is not very reliable in the Mansion.) 130 years of mostly loneliness and minimal human interaction in the Mansion has driven her to be slightly disorientated and crazy, and she will sometimes sprout nonsense, either from her age or her powers. Isolation plays a big part in Willow’s personality today, and it shapes who she is as well as her fears. She is afraid of being alone, but is not good at interacting people. Both lack of social interaction during her 130 years, lack of general knowledge of social etiquette even before she entered the Mansion, and changing times (she has not been in the outside world since 1897, so a lot has changed that she cannot comprehend) makes her slightly awkward to be around.
However, again at times she can seem exactly her age- like a ten year old. This is due to her not growing up properly- she hasn’t been through life normally, and lacks the experience in life. She doesn’t have the sense of duty that most gain as they go through life and start having to take on more responsibilities and difficult tasks. She is also not very fluent in English, though she gets better at this gradually as she interacts with the group. So sometimes, she will seem like an over-eager child, blissfully ignorant in some things.
Power and Abilities[edit | edit source]
Willow’s family is the guardian of the Mansion, which is sentient but dormant. They are there to protect the Mansion, and should a powerful being (like CharacterKiller) ever come to the Mansion in hopes of destroying it, or should anyone accidentally hurt it in any way, Willow’s family should be there to stop it before it happens, so the Mansion and all its realms and dimensions can keep existing peacefully.
In return, the Mansion takes care of her family in small ways. They never seem to catch colds, perhaps, or they always find somewhere to stay, that is perfect to live in, with a warm, suitable climate, and ample resources to last a while.
Although technically her whole family is the guardian of the Mansion, there is one specific Guardian role that is passed down through her family. The Guardian has to leave the family and live inside the Mansion, and while they can occasionally walk the same paths in parallel dimensions, the Guardian of the Mansion has to use his or her powers (the Sight) to track down newcomers to the Mansion, see if they’re a prominent threat, and keep the Mansion safe by keeping tabs on its inhabitants.
The Guardian of the Mansion is immortalized inside and does not age, but they are able to die. Once they pass on, their oldest surviving child becomes the next Guardian.
(If their children are deceased but there are living grandchildren, the oldest living grandchild of the oldest child will take on the role.
If they do not have children or if their children are deceased with no living grandchildren, their oldest sibling will take on the role.
If their siblings are also deceased, then the children of their siblings will take the role.
Following this general guideline, the Mansion always finds the closest living relative.)
The Sight is something given to the Guardian, and it is a gift of prophecy that is easily misinterpreted. It comes to the Guardian in any form of sight, feel, smell, or sound, and it is a hint at the future to come. Although one can train to be more attuned to the Sight, and therefore know more clearly what their visions mean, the Sight is an uncontrollable force in itself, and does not come as summoned. Rather, it comes usually when the Mansion has a need for the Guardian’s help.
History[edit | edit source]
Willow’s family is nomadic, and has traveled across the plains of America, although they stay mainly in the Southeast. Sometimes they slip unknowingly between dimensions during their travels, usually the Mansion protecting them from natural disasters, wars, plague, famine… The family often walks alone, but the Mansion recognizes the need for the generations to pass on, so every once in a while they will chance upon a village or a small settlement and settle for a while. They stopped at these places for anywhere from three months to one or two years, depending on the weather and other conditions. Perhaps one of the members of the family will fall in love, and take on a bride or a husband, continuing the family’s bloodline and guardian heritage.
Besides the stops at the settlements, Willow’s early childhood was a lonely and isolated one already. Her Grandmother was a Guardian, who passed on the role to her father, who became a Guardian when she was three. Her mother died in childbirth of her younger brother, two years her junior, so at this point her direct family only consisted of her Grandfather, herself, and her younger brother. Almost all of their surviving relatives travelled with them, but those were few in numbers. They also had hired help, but it appeared the Mansion did not welcome those people, for they would always wander off and never be found, get eaten by a wild predatory animal, or the occasional happy ending- fulfill their agreement with the family and set off towards home, or settle down in one of the settlements they stopped at.
Her Grandfather always told her stories about her parents and about her Grandmother, and while Willow listened with rapt attention, vowing to be the best Guardian there was, her younger brother (only introduced as The Creepy Butler in one of the versions of the NES) was skeptical and generally didn’t believe in the Mansion and the prospect of magic and multiple dimensions and parallel timelines.
At the age of 10, her father died in the Mansion, and Willow was brought to the Mansion. She had a generally uneventful 130 years, and has more or less experienced visions or flashbacks that did not belong to her- they belonged to the different versions of her from different timelines- but these visions made less sense than the Sight, and she did not get them often, and could not make sense of them when she occasionally did.
She spent her years sharpening her skills with the sight, and got as good as it as one could, as it was hard to grasp and impossible to control, just possible to be more attuned to it.
Meanwhile in our world (or the Real world, whatever it should be called), her brother remains convinced that she was only missing and there was nothing such as the Mansion, and spent years looking for her. During these years, his Grandfather passed first, and his aunts and uncles grew frail and died when he was in his thirties (due to lack of proper medical technology and his uncles and aunts not being under that strong a protection from the Mansion), until he was the last living descendent of their family.
The Mansion must have realized this, for he soon found out that he lived a lot longer than anyone else.
Once his aunts and uncles died and he had searched far and wide for his sister to no avail, he eventually chanced upon the Mansion itself, the actual building. And while his nomadic blood urged him to leave, something stronger urged him to stay. Something in his gut instinct knew that Willow was here, and he wanted to be near her, where he could almost feel her presence.
Over the years, he came to accept that this Mansion was, perhaps, enchanted, and then changed his approach, trying to break through the seams of this realm, so he can reach his sister in the other. But the Mansion was determined to keep him in this world- or their bloodline would surely die out. Thus, he stopped aging in appearance, and similar to Willow, lived for an abnormal amount of time.
Willow, on the contrary, could not feel her brother’s presence, and her memory of him grows hazier by the day as she was only 10 when they parted. She had met many people, many of whom she only glimpsed from afar, and they filled her head until she couldn’t remember all of their names, and the time has become a hazy, unreliable construct in her brain.
Originally named ‘the Curse’, it had a similar feel to the Guardianship in this version of Willow’s development and backstory.
To Willow, it sounds like a privilege, but feels like a curse.