Name: Devon (surname escapes him)
Species: Fey-Touched Donkey (Former Human)
Appearance, Part One: For most of his life, Devon was a fairly average-looking human, roughly 5'10", with brown hair and gray eyes. His fashion choices never had much variety, generally sticking to t-shirts (mostly gray), blue jeans, and tennis shoes. He'd been overdue for a hair cut and tended to push his hair back, rebellious though it often was against even this. He kept himself looking decent, but never made much of an effort beyond that, nor saw much need (formal occasions aside).
Appearance, Part Deux: Traces of the above have carried over, but... it factors in less than Devon would like. He now looks like a donkey in blue jeans who's learned to walk upright. Walking on four legs would be more natural and comfortable to his new physiology -- going bipedal remains a minor balancing act, and it doesn't take much to tip him forward. But his psychology is another matter: much as he's warmed a bit to moving around on all-fours, walking on two legs remains his top choice.
His fur markings are about as close to "donkey classic" as one is likely to get: light gray fur over most of him (a common shade in his old choice of shirts, he's noted), smoothly bleeding to white in socks around each hoof, the end of his muzzle, small circles around his eyes, and coating the undersides of his stomach, chest, and neck. His mane and the tuft of fur at the end of his tail buck the monochromatic trend. They match the shade of his human hair, and share some of its texture: the tail tuft is roughly fifty-fifty between human and animal hair, while his mane starts nearer the human end of the spectrum near the top of his head, gradually becoming more of a donkey mane as it goes between his long ears and down the length of his neck. There are some more subtle distinctions from a typical donkey, including a somewhat shorter muzzle, more human eyes (still gray), and a more expressive face by human standards. Thanks to The Fairest's blessing, he always looks better groomed than he likely should, fur less scruffy and coarse than one might assume of a donkey. Devon's new form is actually quite good-looking. As donkey-people go.
The pants are about as far as clothing goes with Devon. A shirt wouldn't be comfy and the tennis shoes would be pointless on his hooves. Relevant: he recoils from the idea of having them shod. That said, he is willing to be quite stubborn about keeping those pants. Aside from a comforting reminder of his humanity and his modesty, they were a gift from one who became something of a foster mother to him. Of course, the value isn't strictly sentimental: the things are just plain practical. They breathe well, they repel dirt and water, they resist wear and tear, they have a hole for his tail, they fit perfectly with room for adjustment and freedom of movement, and they may well have other properties he's not even discovered. Most important of all, its every clasp and seal was designed with his new body in mind, easy to remove, don, and otherwise adjust. It's hard to imagine a pair of pants that could suit him better.
~ Putting the U in Unicorn's Visions ~
~ At an unusually relaxed stand ~
~ In a state of awkward confusion (blush and non-blush flavors) ~
(Thanks to Thechemist57for letting me put up the reference!)
(Thanks to Gaeva for including him in the banner a ways back, and for the Easter contest art!)
(Thanks to Tonic/Indu for the impromptu imagery!)
- (Related: Thanks as well for the sketchy rendition of aforementioned foster mom's attempts to set him up with a human-turned-pony-centaur)
Wow, I had not realized I'd had so many until I went scrounging for them. XD Many sincere and heartfelt thanks to all of you who volunteered such art! I'm blown away whenever it's happened. If I missed anyone's, I'm very sorry for the forgetfulness, so please give me a jostle!
Personality: A kind and caring person, Devon tries to think the best of everyone he meets. Still, he's been taken advantage of for this trusting nature in the past, which has taught him some degree of caution. Just not very much. He's a friendly guy with a fondness for comedy, and enjoys making others laugh as much as he enjoys laughing himself. He appreciates it for its own sake, as well as smoothing over the rough times. He finds it particularly helpful as a way to cheer up, which he needs sometimes; he's an introspective sort, and can take a turn for the moody. This sometimes manifests in a bitter and sarcastic streak, particularly when he's frustrated, and especially when frustrated with himself.
Yes, Devon doesn't have the highest opinion of himself; he sometimes wonders if he wound up an ass because of the sort of person he is. Needless to say, he doesn't think much of his new species and can be very sensitive about it. Disparaging attributions can sting especially hard when coming from those he trusts or cares about. That said, paradoxically, if such remarks are made by one close to him with care and sensitivity, he can find them a comfort, as though it isn't such a big deal after all. In fact, particularly when not feeling too much self-pity, he may even use them himself from time to time -- and not even in bitterness. Still, reminders of things he's lost may make him a bit somber. But no matter how much one may be tempted, likening him to Eeyore is ill-advised.
Devon isn't much on taking initiative, particularly for his own benefit. He does enjoy helping others, though. He can sometimes come off as a bit skittish and indecisive, as he likes to have time to think something through. Even if this sometimes leads him to never deciding on any action at all. Perhaps related to this, he has, let's say, a healthy respect for his own mortality, and pride will not keep him from running if he thinks it's best. That said, he's not a complete coward or a pushover: he's unlikely to abandon someone, and has even been known to do stupid things if someone seems to be in trouble. Indeed, he can be as stubborn as he looks when he has reason to care about something or someone.
Traits: Devon's form is a donkey's, for good and for ill. He has great strength for a creature his size, though hooves instead of hands set some limits on what he can do with it. He likewise has great endurance and balance, and a body well-suited to surviving rugged terrain, mountain and desert both. To the surprise of none, he can also throw a pretty mean kick. Some fey magic also seems to amplify his strengths beyond an ordinary donkey's when doing things for which donkeys are known. His strength and endurance become exceptional when, for instance, hauling heavy burdens -- though there's a lot of reluctance, there. He can even run at a good pace on four legs. Still, much as he's able to walk upright so long as he keeps his balance, he isn't at all swift when on two-legs; even when on all-fours, he has endurance, but not a body built for prolonged sprinting, so he can tire quick enough if he doesn't pace himself. Further, the Fairest's blessing can't fully compensate for how his shape is somewhat awkward, particularly for one so unused to it. His ears are incredibly keen, and he's been amazed at how well the goofy-looking things have helped him hear something coming or pinpoint something's origin. Though they certainly make loud noises quite painful. Last and most dubious of all, he can perfectly replicate a donkey's full array of sounds. Whether he wants to or not, it seems: his speech has many times turned into an animal's bray mid-word. It's like a bottomless fountain of embarrassment for him.
On a more personal level, Devon is fairly bright. Not exactly a genius, but clever enough, particularly if trying to outwit one who expects a donkey to be stupid. Likewise, his knowledge is mostly of a world no longer relevant to his new context. This includes what little understanding he had and people he knew from before he found himself in this new forest. He was and is a big fan of fantasy, which gives him some knowledge base and expectation for some of the strange things he runs into. Of course, not everything will conform to this, and he knows it, so this can both lead him astray and keep him less from committing less than perhaps he should. It may also mean he gets starstruck in the face of something or someone that is just so cool. He has several years of experience training in the martial arts, though even if he hadn't been a year or two out of shape, this wouldn't do him much better in his wildly different body. He's tried to adapt some of the principles, and it's certainly helped, but it's a long road ahead. He's not sure his new shape is ever going to be any sort of great fighter.
He's picked up quite a few strange tricks and benefits from his fey side. Most of this is a strange assortment to be covered later. Most obvious, however, is a small blessing of grace: not to put too fine a point on it, the touch of The Fairest made him purdy. Like, objectively good-looking. It is in her magic's nature to create aesthetic beauty in an entirely incidental fashion, and Devon's form is no exception. He generally comes across as more "cute" than "handsome," though beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder. This superficial enhancement extends beyond the visual: it smooths over his voice, his movements, even his smell, lending Devon a little extra grace and appeal he wouldn't otherwise have. It will help in a pinch, but he can't coast on it. At the end of the day, an ass is still an ass.
The fey are known for their grace and beauty, but also for some unusual frailties. Devon is no exception. For one, Devon is unable to speak of The Fairest or her prison, when not speaking directly to her, and all such attempts will find him braying. His reaction to iron is even more extreme. He can feel when a bit of it is near, as an uncomfortable, almost itchy feeling. Physical contact is excruciatingly painful and cancels all faerie magic upon him, even returning him to his human form for the duration. Once contact breaks, however, the curse comes back with a vengeance, often reducing him to an ordinary donkey in all but mind. The longer the iron made contact, the longer it takes before he returns to normal.
Faerie magic of The Fairest's sort is the stuff of stories, and in more ways than one. Through resonance with stories, fables, and symbolism, such fey creatures gain unusual muscles to flex. Devon inherited some of this from the force that reshaped him, and it grants him some interesting capabilities. Still, while gaining some magic is welcome -- and has a certain wish fulfillment to it, he can't deny -- he's not exactly thrilled with most. Most spring from the seed of his asinine nature, after all. As eating a head of cabbage transformed him opened his heart to this magic, several abilities share a strong association with the fairy tale, Donkey Cabbages. Still, there are plenty of more general capabilities. What's more, his headlong rushes into things may have begun opening doors to him with a more... heroic aspect.
Wind Warp: Most directly from that story is this neat trick, emulating the wishing cloak. Devon may travel to a location he can see or which he has within a few seconds' memory. With a few seconds to focus, no stress, and a clear view, he can arrive just where he wishes. Losing each of those will worsen his aim. A swirling breeze (mostly a special effect) kicks up at both the points of his departure and his arrival, before he vanishes from one to reappear at the other. Once acquainted with this tell, an attentive opponent can catch wise to Devon's movements. Its utility is obvious, though the sudden shift of perspective can disorient the traveler. It only gets worse as he tries to go farther or travel multiple times in short order. He can generally manage about 30 feet before he'll need a few seconds to recover. Longer if making several "hops." He can also transport a few other creatures and things on such jaunts (including any loads he may be carrying), leaving behind any he doesn't wish to carry. Each addition increases the resulting dizziness, and passengers arrive just as out of it as Devon.
On one particularly tense and dramatic occasion, Devon managed a much more powerful version of this magic. The gusts reached windstorm levels and he conveyed himself and his two young companions to a place he could neither see nor had reason to suspect existed. The particulars of this incident are still a mystery to him. The air had been filled with a strange energy at the time, and that no doubt played a role. Whether something similar will arise again remains to be seen.
Pillow's Gold: When he awakens everyday, Devon will find a small piece of gold beneath his pillow. The wording matters, however: no pillow, no gold. For this reason, he knows nothing of this blessing. Which is just as well: there's only so much money one can carry in jeans pockets. Saddlebags would hold more, but, well... Yeah...
Stubborn (as a Mule) : Donkeys and mules have strong instincts for self-preservation, earning them a legendary (if unfair) reputation for stubbornness. Devon can channel this symbolism, if he really digs in his heels. Good luck budging him if he does: with at least one hoof on something sturdy his mind set, he is supernaturally hard to move. He can even keep from falling down a mountain, if he can plant his hooves and focus himself. The Fairest has said even planting a hoof may be a crutch: in principle, he could stop himself in mid-air by sheer stubborn willpower alone. He's short on confidence and in no rush to test that. Nor can coercion do much to make him, even the magical sort: while not strictly immune to mind control, he's naturally resistant, and it's all the stronger when his focus is deliberate.
Heroic Armaments: Drawing on his hero complex, Devon can conjure some tools to suit a hero. These take the form of a sword (can't use), a shield (can't use), and a saddle (doesn't want to use). Well. Suit a hero's steed, at least. The saddle can also include a form of leather armor, not unlike barding, which can be useful to him (the saddle is frustratingly non-negotiable). All together, it completes a look a narrator once ascribed to him: a donkeyknight in saddled armor. Another saddle-linked option includes saddlebags. Perhaps to make the saddle by itself seem attractive. Any contents spill out when dismissed. In any case, Devon can outfit himself or someone nearby with any or all of these, though only one instance of any at a time (e.g. one sword for a friend, one suit of saddled armor for himself, but not a set of armor each). Each is of high quality, perfectly weighted, sized, and shaped for its recipient and comes with any straps, sheath, or the like to secure it comfortably. The items can be called and dismissed at will, and mend themselves while dismissed (being outright broken demands three days, though anything less takes no more than one). Devon is familiar with how to use this ability.
Voice of Bremen: Donkeys are not known for pleasant voices, so Devon should count himself lucky he wrangled a knack for song out of his curse. Granted, the braying still cuts into his singing, but at all other times the quality of his performance is exceptional, from pitch to tone to tempo to recall. Any equine, canine, feline, avian, or creature with such traits near him picks up the same sort of vocal aptitude. What's more, those benefiting from this magic (including Devon) can harmonize together perfectly on a song, with timing and pitch as though they had practiced together all their lives. There is no compulsion to join in, but all affected pick up an intuitive understanding: they have only to act in line. Of course, "the same sort of vocal aptitude" carries an appropriate form of Devon's speech impediment: an impromptu concert may degenerate into a barnyard chorus of brays, barks, yowls, and squawks. That's likely still music to someone's ears, at least? And it doesn't seem to carry over to those creatures when not singing.* Likewise, if individual singers or a group actually practice a song together, the incidence seems to fall off a bit.
* Though it certainly can: if you, the player, think it would be fun/interesting/amusing/whatever for your affected character to slip in inadvertent animal sounds when talking near Devon, you are welcome to use this as an excuse.
Cabbage: This is something of a cruel joke. Devon transformed into his present state from eating a bit of cursed cabbage, and can now call heads of cabbage to him, as a sort of emergency food supply. He can call two in a day. However, they come in 'good' and 'bad' varieties, and sampling is the only way to tell them apart. The 'good' is as filling as a square meal for someone of Devon's size and delicious enough that it can be hard to stop eating. The 'bad' is that, too, in addition to transforming the one who eats it (further) into a donkey. The degree of change and duration can vary wildly: someone may change completely (including an inability to speak, use any magic, etc.) for a day after nibbling a leaf and another may simply get pointed ears for an hour after eating it all,* though it seldom lasts longer than one day. Fortunately, someone changed by the 'bad' cabbage can change back completely or in part* by eating of the 'good' cabbage. Devon can't become human this way: his cursed form is his normal form, at least where the magic veggies are concerned. He also doesn't know he can do this yet, though wishing to feed himself or another may activate it reflexively.
* Naturally, this is entirely in the hands of the character's player.
Family: Devon's family is in his home world. However, much like his last name, he hasn't been able to remember much about them since he left. He vaguely recalls his father, mother, and little brother, but nothing distinct. It's the same with his friends, too. He misses them all when he thinks of home, but... It does him no good, so he tries his best to avoid it.
The Fae maiden who cursed Devon almost acts like a big sister or mentor sometimes, but she usually treats him like a pet. It's not much, and it's embarrassing, and he resents her in general. But it could be worse, he supposes.
There were some Devon had grown close to in the old world, regarding as friends. None closer than Thoee and Deen. They showed him great kindness soon after his change, when he really needed it. He felt comfortable trusting them with his little secret, and had a number of good times with them. He's sure they knew they meant a lot to him, but he never said they felt like family. He was convinced this would burden them, hardly a fair repayment. It tears him up inside, now, in this new world where they may see him as a stranger. If they exist at all.
Known History: Yet to come!
How did your character find these lands?: Devon could do with an answer to that question, himself. His first visit to Deep Forest came after one moment in his college dorm, and the next in the wastes beyond the tree line. After some time there, as things took a turn for the particularly insane, he now finds himself back in the wastes beyond a slightly different tree line. And everything old feels varying shades of new again.
Anything Else We Need to Know?: Sweet Georgia Brown, did this really take a month and a half? o_o Oye. Uh, anyway! Giving this a shot.
First RP in these lands:
Devon groaned. He was on his back with his eyes closed, shut tight against something bright. He wished that something would go away. 'Sleeeeep...' Not that he found wherever he was to be very comfortable, now that he thought about it. While it had a certain pleasant heat, it was hard and uneven. 'This is the worst bed I've ever... Is there even a pillow...?' It began to stir in him that these were not sensible expectations. Still, they struck him on some level as though they should be sensible. He decided to blame the throbbing in his head. And the soreness in his... everywhere. He decided to blame that for taking so long to realize his "something bright" was, well, the sun.
Regardless, headache and aching body or no, Devon felt he should survey his surroundings. If only to find a better place to lie down. So, with another groan, he pulled himself up to a sit. He felt strange, even beyond the general soreness. 'Blah...' His hands felt oddly stiff, too, but that was a minor concern. Even if they'd fallen asleep, they'd still serve well enough to block out the sunlight. He proved it, setting one right above his eyes. 'Okay... What have we got here...?' He squinted out. And saw that what he had was a sunny, dusty, rocky plain. Also a hoof.
One of these got more attention than the other. "AAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!" Devon's scream rang throughout the wastelands in which he found himself, and likely beyond. Donkeys had some lung capacity, after all. Also catching his eye was the white fur where he had expected to see a naked human wrist. Heart racing, he followed it as it turned to gray down his arm/foreleg. In short order, he noticed quite a few other things: the twin of his first hooved forelimb, his longer and fuzzier face, his much longer ears pressed flat against his strange new skull, the legs under his blue jeans as inhuman as his arms with single-toed hooves of their own, and that jostling said legs the wrong way tugged on the tail he hadn't known about. Exploring himself and finding his body in such a state left him a bit of a panicked wreck. Though... it also left the strangest sense of deja vu.
"I! What! How could? Why!?" Stammering helped a great deal: when one suddenly wakes up in some sort of animal body, hearing that one can still talk is of great relief. Even if that discovery also carries a note of deja vu. Much like waking up in the wastelands, actually... 'I... Have I...? ... I have been here before.' Memory rushed back to him. Sort of. It was an odd feeling, almost like a dream he'd just been having or a story he'd just read. But he was convinced of this accuracy. Even if he was unsure he was remembering it all perfectly clearly. 'Lying out here... The Fairest... That stupid cabbage... And... And I've been this way a little while... haven't I...? ... And... And I was a lion for bit, I guess?' He paused to look at his hooves again. No wonder part of him had almost expected to see paws. 'And then the... the giant mountainous frogs and reality melting and...
'Wait, that's it!' The donkey's ears perked up high. The unfamiliar-yet-familiar sensation distracted Devon a moment before he tore himself back to his thoughts. 'Uhh, that's it. All that reality melting that was going on...' True, having gone from the River, to the Forest, to the Mountain, to the Swamp, and now to the Wastes, he'd had a busy day of bouncing around. It had also been responsible for his short stint of lionhood. It would seem easy to pin the tail on it for his being a donkey again, as well as the muddled memories. Still, even as he thought this, he had some doubts. 'Something about a dream... I think...' He had the strangest sense that old issue was resolved. Or at least beyond a means of impacting him. All of this now... It felt different. Somehow. He couldn't put his finger on the reason. Thinking of that expression, he spared his hooves a wistful glance.
"Argh," Devon sighed, shaking his head. "This is getting me nowhere..." It was a strange and stressful situation. His body might have been comfortable in that desert environment, but he knew his mind wasn't. He needed to get somewhere a bit more inviting. Things might make more sense after a rest, too: the distractions of his shape and his situation had kept him from noticing his headache and sore muscles, but they'd merely faded into the background. They'd be back with a vengeance. So, awkwardly and with some twinges, the donkey boy groaned and pulled himself to his feet. His two feet, mind: tired as he was, part of him knew four-legging it would have been best, but he found himself very reluctant to walk like an animal. He heard a few pops from his back and then a few more from his neck as he stretched it. "Ahh..." He began to look around for greenery. 'Okay. You're in the Wastes. You can't miss The Forest from here, so just... Ah! Good. I'll just... go...'
Indeed, Devon couldn't miss it. Within seconds he spied The Forest a ways off from him. Well. A forest, anyway. '... Uhh... What.' It looked different than he'd expected, even if the 'how' escaped him. There was a mighty sand dune in front of him, but a few things were evident. Sure, the titanic trees he remembered were still present, but they didn't start where the sands ended. They seemed much further off, with a noticeably more... normal forest in their path. With another unfamiliar forest of pine trees far off to his left. The donkey stared a good long while, feeling his ears droop. He tried to lighten the mood by joking with himself. "... Well. Guess I'm not in Kansas anymore. ... Again..." 'Tried' was the operative word. His ears dipped lower.
Sighing and head spinning, Devon trudged off toward the dune in front of him. He idly wiped some sand out of the fur on his back with his hooves. 'Just... find somewhere to rest for now. I can make sense of this. I can. I hope... Heh. Hey, I always meet people out here. Maybe I'll run into someone with a clue...?'