Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood and Bourbon
Emaciated, imprisoned, & half-mad swordsmith and duelist
“…wow. A mannish freak like you? Who could ever love someone as ugly as you, Amelie?"
“I could. I loved my body, Yvette.”
—Yvette Devillers to Amelie Savard
Amelie’s angular, well-bred face has strong features, thick eyebrows, and bright blue-gray eyes framed by thick but short black hair that gives an uninterrupted view of her neck and shoulders. They’re good shoulders, if a little broad for a girl, and firm and strong. Her voice is low and easily made loud. She looks fairly androgynous in most clothes, and can even be mistaken for a boy under the right lighting or angle.
Despite her thin face, Amelie’s body is toned and tall, standing at five feet eight inches. She is very much the picture of fit, with a flat and toned stomach, and thick arms and legs that are marked by nicks and scrapes from years of hard work and harder play. This is especially evident along the left side of her back, where a shower of red-hot shrapnel once burned through her clothes. It’s the toned and dexterous body of a strong working woman, though some might find it intimidating.
Her style of dress and accessory echo her body; practical and sometimes masculine clothes, not a high heel or skirt between her luggage cases on arrival to New Orleans. She accessorizes with various rings and necklaces, usually blocky and hand-made out of tool steel, things she’s either made herself or was allowed to take with her from home. Despite her masculine preferences, she isn’t against putting on a feminine face or donning a dress, though she’s tone-deaf to the ins and outs of fashion. She freely admits she needs practice at being female.
Name: Amelie Savard
Date of Birth: October 2nd, 1998
Weight: 150 lbs
Eye Color: Blue-Gray
Hair Color: Black
Amelie was born and raised in Quebec City, Canada. Her mother was a well-off young woman from Boston, who had shed her money to come and work as a jewelry artisan and dueling instructor in the ‘Villages of Bicolline’, bringing a pedigree of several championships in sabre fecing. Bicolline itself being over 100 hectares of private property just an hour outside the Quebec Capital, two period-correct medieval villages hosting year round faire and battle events. Her father was born and raised in the small town of Shawnigan, a lifelong armorer and master smith like his father before him. It was a classic love story, two star-struck lovers whispering in French midnights and living their dream jobs with a little bundle of joy in the beautiful city of Quebec, along the Saint-Laurent river. Taking their work home with them to teach their infant child, detail and fine work in the city, forging and selling their wares in Bicolline. It was a good balance.
They raised Amelie in a world of pretend knights and monsters, taught her how to take care of herself and be a good person, and most importantly; the value of hard work. Years went by, and she stuck by these values hard and fast, she forged her first knife at the age of six, got top grades in school, and become the little black-haired mascot of the small shop their family sold their wares out of. The little genius with a hammer and a big gap-toothed grin, nicknamed the Forge Gremlin after she’d allegedly bitten someone attempting to shoplift.
As Amelie grew older, she discovered she very much took after her mother, feeling excluded from the testosterone of the village’s main events. Big men crashing against each other in droves with weapons they could barely used when backed into a corner, with the occasional broad-shouldered woman you could only identify when she pulled the mask up. Ironically enough, it was a visit to her aunt in New Orleans that sparked a second great passion in her life. Amelie was gifted a history book by her aunt during her visit, and she read it down to the letter, falling in love with the world when women could take up swords that called upon grace and skill, and clash swords in blink fast honor duels! Sabres, rapiers, estocs, and ornate cuirass, when swordsmanship became an art form instead of a way of war. That was, unfortunately, the only time she had visited and met her aunt in person, only hearing her voice in Christmas phone calls from then until she turned 17.
Her father’s guidance and her mother’s strong personality helped spur her ethic and reinforce her passion, and her favorite history book often became the subject of bed time stories. Great romance, insult, and grudges in the city of Nouvelle Orleans, carried over from across a great sea. Other stories of the period told of the War of Spanish Succession, the Great Northern War, even the tale of the Forty-Seven Ronin. This same youthful abandon caused Amelie more trouble. Amelia especially fell in love with the idea of magical weapons, so well forged and blessed that they could do impossible things. Even speak to the person wielding them. It caused a habit in which she names her weapons. She made her first saber at 10, and practiced with it as much as she was allowed, to emulate the heroes of fiction and history. Even getting a visit from the Mounties for sneaking it to school, a severe punishment waiting for her when her parents pulled up to the school.
Amelie was 12 when it happened. Child as she was, she didn’t see the issues that were happening in her own home. Still she doesn’t understand it. They slowly started arguing, her father spending days working and getting takeout instead of spending time with the family. Her mother slowly getting colder and colder towards her own family. There was even an incident during practice when her mother stepped too far, and hurt Amelie. She didn’t even react, instead admonishing the child to get back up. It wasn’t half a year later that one day she woke up and…her mother was gone. Most of her things packed in the night in their Quebec city home, while father was in the villages overnight to help set up an event. She called her father, and he was surprised as his daughter. It devastated them both.
Amelie didn’t eat or sleep for days as they picked their lives back up. They sold their house and moved to the small town of Shawnigan, just 30 minutes outside of Bicolline, and after a mourning period, she saw her father less and less. Waking up, making her own breakfast and lunch, school, practice, clean, sleep. On weekends, her social life was taken up filling her mother’s position at the shop, hammering hot steel while her father slowed down more and more over the months. After years of hard work and hardening of the heart, the store was almost all her own work, and her father was at the end of a bottle sitting half conscious at the counter making sure it didn’t sell. Their village, however, cared, and seeing how bad things had gotten some knight in shining armor or lady in waiting called child family services.
After just a few months, her paperwork had been finalized for dual citizenship. Freshly 17 years old, she was officially the ward of her New Orleans-based aunt. Someone her mother had talked about quite a lot, but she’d never been able to meet. It was exciting as it was terrifying, going to meet the sister of a woman she’d metaphorically buried already. Would she be angry at her sister? Think her weak like her mother and father? She’d heard good things, but she’s also heard coarse whispers, and stepping off the plane into the cool night of a city she had longed to visit, she wondered what was in store for her.
Driven. Maybe dangerously so. Amelie was deeply mentally scarred by what happened with her parents. But they say when bones break, they heal back stronger than before, and in the young woman’s case it was a metaphor that proved correct, if a bit exaggeratedly so. After just a few months in Canadian child services care, she was making requests. Books, time in the gymnasium, the return of her belongings from her now emotionally divorced father.
While her temperament has never been an issue, the blow to her heart pushed her to guard her self worth voraciously. She needed to have good grades, needed to be a master armorer and duelist, couldn’t let up trying to be impressive. The best. This severity shone through in her insatiable drive to better herself, her room a sea of books and diagrams. Amelie even blew through her public school curriculum, though her time spent doing things other than homework held her grade back from straight As. Socially, she showed her vulnerable and relaxed side very rarely, but she found success at least pre-child and family services gathering friends and chasing romance.
Still, Amelie believes that it was her fault that her mother left, and her father chose himself over her. Maybe if she was better, or they had to worry less about her, they would have had a happier relationship. Maybe if she was never born, they’d be better off. Questions like that, however silly, still pop into her head from time to time.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that Amelie is still only 18, and she hasn’t gotten the chance to experience much thanks to her parents, and her own work ethic. There’s still part of her that wants to try and relax and be normal, much as it sometimes scares her to think she could be so weak as to cave to it too far. Moments of romance, friendship, tenderness, and moments of luxury she has rarely been afforded.
• What is the worst thing Amelie has ever done? After weeks of taking offhand comments, jealous quips, bitchy jokes, Amelie’s patience with one girl ran out when her clothes were stolen while she was in the showers in the group home she stayed in between being taken from her father and sent to her aunt. During group therapy, the young woman ripped the leg off her chair and used it as a makeshift club, bringing it to the head of the drugged-up slut she was forced to sit beside in the bi-weekly sessions. No one was shocked as they sprang up to restrain Amelie.
• What is the worst thing Amelie can imagine herself doing? Amelie remembers the days her father would push her and yell at her, drunk off his gourd. One incident included the girl drawing a weapon on her own father, injuring him with a bladed slice across his face he needed to visit hospital for. Sometimes she thinks back to that moment. Things were always complicated with her father, but when the subject of killing a stranger in self-defense comes up, it doesn’t twist her gut around nearly as badly as it should, giving her a taste of shame and resolve in equal measure. Recent events have further re-inforced a deep hidden readiness to defend herself. Fatally.
• What is the worst thing Amelie can imagine someone else doing? History buff as she is, there is no end to the tortures she has read upon. Even her parents told her horrible things that happened to spook her on Halloween. Back in modern times, however, she has a particular disgust for cannibals. Not the kind who are sick with things like Wendigo sickness, or who are starving in remote places. More the pedantic kind, as with the old Hannibal movies where messing with his brain seemed just to be edgy or to amuse a sick mind. It disgusts her.
• What has Amelie forgotten? Playing in the woods testing her newest creation, a very young Amelie was following a horrible stench through the forests of Quebec. She came across a cave entrance, and when she saw motion she hid in the bushes to watch from afar. A limp man was being dragged into the cave by something she couldn’t quite see—shrubs and branches always seemed to get in the way. It was only after the man’s feet disappeared past the rocky entrance that the screams started. Amelie stood up to run, but ran headlong into a tree she could have sworn wasn’t there. When she woke up it was night, and she was huddled with her stuffed buffalo in a RCMP officer’s police car and he was driving her home. She was told she’d fallen out of a tree, and had a doozy of a cut on her shoulder to prove it. Her fever dream locked and filed away under nightmares, and that scar on her shoulder just from a sharp branch.
• What is the most traumatic thing that has ever happened to Amelie? Amelie doesn’t like to talk about it, she hadn’t even talked about it with her father after it had happened. Not until child family services came did she admit to it. During one of her father’s angry drunken benders, he threw a bottle at her. Her response was to draw a blade off the wall at him, a sharpened blank with no hilt or guard. It only escalated the situation. Her father, furious, came at her. The young girl swung without thinking. She cut her own father’s cheek open and sent him screaming to the floor. When Amelie peeked out of her room a day and a half later, her father didn’t speak about it, the doctors having stapled his face back together and sent him home with anti-scar cream. She had to look at what she’d done to the man who once read her bedtime stories until she was taken from him.
• Maternal grandfather + maternal grandmother
• Christina Roberts (b. 1969)
• Felix Savard (b. 1974) + Abigail Savard (née Roberts) (b. 1973)
• Amelie Savard (b. 1998)