Player InfoName Sar
PB Holly Conrad
Emily Martin AKA Bird Witch
"I'm a little bit wilder, I'm a little more free. Discovering on my own, discovering me. And nothing's clearer than it's ever been before. I'm not afraid to be alone since I left home."
— The Willis Clan - Since I Left Home
— The Willis Clan - Since I Left Home
Canadian born and raised, Emily is a fairly recent implant to Cheshire Hills. She came to stay with her cousin James, needing an escape from her overprotective parents. She's a practicing Pagan, leaning heavily toward nature magic, and does kooky things like pick up random rocks she finds at the beach or in the woods, holding them and feeling their energy. She puts faith in crystals and herbs, and always smells a little bit like rosehips and sage. She loves animals, birds especially, and will ignore the world around her if a bird comes into her line of sight. She's sweet, a little naïve, and is still learning how to live on her own. That's made much easier, of course, with the help of her new friends, and her incredible girlfriend Harper.
AppearanceEmily is not a petite woman. She's tall and leggy, slender but not skinny with a natural hourglass figure. The most startling thing about Emily, however, would be her hair. She views it as a canvas, and changes it more often that might strictly be good for it. If not for her eyebrows, she would probably forget what her natural hair colour actually is. Often, she doesn't even let her roots grow out before she dyes it again. Her favourite so far was pastel pink, and often looks longingly at that particular shade while browsing the aisles of the beauty supply store.
PersonalityEmpathic - While not an empath in the psychic sense of the word, Emily has always been the type of person to know when the people around her were in need of comfort or support. She has a kind heart, and will go above and beyond to help people, or animals who are in trouble or need a temporary home. She is a bit of a bleeding heart when it comes to animals, especially birds
Mellow - Emily has always been a chill kind of girl. She doesn't really care what people think about her, because the way she sees it is they already have an opinion of her, and they formed that opinion for a reason. If someone doesn't like her, why should she strive to change their mind? It is what it is, and that's all that it'll ever be. She doesn't like getting worked up, and tries hard to keep everything as lowkey as possible.
Imaginative - Having had a lot of time to spend on her own in her youth, Emily had not just had imaginary friends. She had created an entire fantasy world, with an entire cast of characters that she would write stories for. She drew maps, illustrated each and every 'character', and when she couldn't sleep at night, she would have conversations in her mind with them. And she holds onto this creative, imaginative spirit to this day. Her favourite time at her tabletop gaming group was when she got to roll new characters, because she always went full tilt with the descriptions and backstories.
Lovable - To put it simply, Emily is hard to dislike. Not one to toot her own horn, she doesn't go around advertising this trait, and will often wave off compliments with a shy flap of her hand. It's the Canadian way, after all. But she's sweet, and funny, and while she can sass someone under the table, it's always been done in love. She is never intentionally cruel, which is something that she's very proud of. Especially with the world the way it is these days.
Youthful - Perhaps it's because she was so sheltered for so long, Emily has never lost the streak of childish whimsy that kept her going as a little girl. She can walk through a wooded park, and whisper to the faeries she swears live there. She'll babytalk any animal she comes across, and joyfully collects bird Pokémon toys. This doesn't mean she's childish, or immature. She's just a Lost Boy; she's never really going to 'grow up'.
Skills + HabitsEmily is an artist, a dreamer, a collector of strange things, and a gamer. Amongst many other things.
ArtEmily has been drawing since she could hold a crayon in her chubby little fist. And her formless scribbles very soon started to take shape, each drawing better than the last. But it doesn't end at drawing — though that is her medium of choice. She also sculpts, paints, even does some wood burning. She never doesn't have at least one project on the go.
CosplayWhen Emily was around ten, she realized that costumes didn't just have to be for Halloween. It started with Princess Odette, from the animated movie The Swan Princess. She wanted to be Odette every single day, and she spent her allowance on an expensive blond wig (a proper one, not one of the horrible Hallowe'en ones they sell at Safeway) and she convinced her mother to teach her how to sew a dress. It took a long time, and there were several times where she wanted to give up when the sleeves came off in her hands, or the skirt was hemmed crookedly, but she continued to stubbornly teach herself how to read and use patterns, what the functions on the sewing machine were, and she picked at ruined stitches until she had blisters. In the end, she had a costume to be proud of, and a new obsession. Now she makes costumes for conventions, or just because she wants to.
Video GamesWhen she was a young woman, stuck at home because her parents would make snide comments if she were to go out, Emily found a way that she could escape without leaving the pool house. Video games were doors into new worlds, fantastical places where she could explore, or take out her frustrations, or just raise cute little creatures. Pokémon was the first, played on an old Game Boy that strained her eyes and gave her horrible posture from hunching over to see the tiny screen. And after that, it was a slippery slope. She would play almost anything that she could get her hands on, and if she didn't like the game, she would move onto the next. Anything she really hated was donated to a local toy drive, because just because she hated it didn't make it a bad game. She doesn't have a 'type' that she sticks to, even to this day, and will play a little bit of everything. The only things she doesn't like are FPS titles, and most sports games.
Friends & Family
- Harper Kaslow The woman that swept into Emily's life when she was still living in a hotel just outside the city limits. She's beautiful, dark where Emily is bright, and makes butterflies explode in her stomach every time she sees her.
- Chloe Stark Chloe is a little bit crazy, but that's exactly what drew Emily to her in the first place. She's hilarious, loves with her whole heart, and will be at Emily's door if she so much as breathes the words craft night.
- Likes birds more than most people, and will defend crows (her favourite bird) to the death.
- Loves media that makes her cry. Movies, books, songs, anything. If it's sappy, she'll love it.
- Has a good portion of the 1994 film adaption of Little Women memorized.
- Loves sweet things, and will often eat them until her stomach hurts, much to Harper's dismay.
- Hates the term 'bikini body' and figures if you want to wear a bikini, then putting one on your body gives you a bikini body.
- Plays the ukulele, the fiddle, and the Irish penny whistle. She is not Irish, she just loves the sound of it.
- Sometimes acts like a cat who wants attention. She will drape herself over Harper's lap if she's feeling needy, take her hand, and make her pet her.
- Affectionately refers to herself as a 'trash hobo'.
- Has more money than she knows what to do with, and donates thousands of dollars in gifts and food to the needy every Christmas. She has all she needs, after all, and if she can give a local family a holiday to remember, why wouldn't she?
- Talks to birds she sees on the streets. All birds are her buddies. If you don't like that, then avoid walks outdoors with her.
- She looks much sweeter than she is. It's all a clever ruse.
HistoryOnce upon a time, in a fantasy land known as Canada, one Benedict Martin founded an extremely successful construction company. It was a business that grew, and in almost no time at all was flourising enough that it provided his children with the means to live very comfortably until they grew old enough to take jobs there, and make their own money from it. There was one problem, however; the oldest son, Nathaniel, soon realized that he had no desire to work in construction, even on the administration side of things. It was boring, it didn't speak to him, and he felt antsy and crabby, which made his work suffer, which made his father testy. In the end, Nathaniel was asked, point blank, what he wanted to do with his life if not someday take over Benedict's carefully reared business. There was a surprisingly short pause, in which Nathaniel barely had to think about his answer before he said that he was interested in law. And while he had to deal with some ridicule from his family for not taking over the business, he simply stated that there were two sons, and Theodore was more than capable of heading the construction company. Law school went well, and all too soon he was sitting the bar exam, and getting a job at a successful corporate law firm. He still received a few sideways looks, but nobody fought him on his decision after that. And it was at the courthouse that he met a pretty, if sometimes infuriatingly opinionated, woman named Olivia LeDuc, and fell in love. And in the single most spontanious thing he would ever do, Nathaniel surprised everyone when he proposed to her after a scant six months of dating.
A few years later, Emily Michelle Martin was born at the end of the eighties, halfway through the month of October. Though it's impossible to say that she noticed the cheerful pumpkin cutouts and friendly ghost decorations that cheered up the drabby halls of the hospital when he was only a few days old, it should be noted that Emily always loved autumn, especially Halloween.
Like Nathaniel, Emily wanted for very little as a child. And though her parents had the means to spoil her absolutely rotten, Emily was the sort of girl who refused to spoil. Expensive clothes she was given were dirtied when she would climb trees to peer into nests, toys were shared with her countless friends so often that Emily would often forget that they had been hers in the first place, and give them away with a wave of her hand and a musical laugh. She was well provided for, but not materialistic, and while she didn't bat an eye when money would be transfered into her bank account or she was given a brand new car for her seventeenth birthday, she also paid these things very little attention in the way that... sure, they were there, but who cared if they weren't?
While Miss Martin had the heart of a wild child, and the itchy feet of a wanderer, her parents were a bit more conservative than that, and her father especially had a protective streak that kept her from being the wayward spirit that she longed to be. Things like summer camps and school trips were frowned at and dismissed gently, and her hurt feelings at not being able to join her friends on some adventure or another were soothed with gifts. Usually a pet; her parents had learned from a very early age that the easiest way to erase pain from their daughter's eyes was to give her something small and cute to cuddle. Which was how Emily wound up with three cats, a rabbit, and a grand total of six jewel bright exotic birds that would sing to her when she entered her room. In all honesty, it made her feel a bit like a Disney character, especially when she had a bird in each hand, one on each shoulder, and even one perched in her hair. It was hard to be mad at her parents when she had a cockatiel who could whistle the Imperial March and a miniature lop who begged for cheese like a puppy.
One of the best times of Emily's life came the summer she was nineteen. Her cousin James and his family came out to spend the summer, all the way from England. It was the first time she got to spend time with him, outside of family gatherings, and they spent those months together wandering the streets of Vancouver, talking and laughing and getting to know each other better. It was that summer that something... strange started happening. She and James were hanging out in her room, and after looking through her vast collection of sketchbooks — Emily had a lot of time to draw, while her friends were out sleeping in tents or hiking through Peru — he'd asked her to draw him something. Rolling her eyes tolerantly, she'd picked up a charcoal pencil and turned to a fresh page in her sketchbook. And then she'd started to draw, a cartoony caricature of her favourite cousin. When she was done, he practically snatched the page from the book, demanding he get to keep it. He flew from Emily's room, flapping the sheet of unbleached paper like it was something special, demanding his family come and see what Emily had done. And though she ducked her head shyly at the praise she received, that lit a spark in her. Maybe if she couldn't go out on wild adventures, she could still do something that would make her heart pound and her cheeks glow with pleasure. Maybe she could go to art school.
Satisfied that their daughter had settled on something that didn't involve travel or leaping out of an airplane, Emily's parents agreed at once to pay her tuition to VanArts. And for awhile, Em was happy. She came home every day smudged with paint or graphite, or babbling about the animation programs she was learning how to use. But after a few years, once she'd done all she could at that wonderful, bustling school that smelled like clay and paint and ink, that same feeling of... this can't be all there is... returned to her.
Five years after James' visit, and the day the spark had been lit in her, Emily felt cold and dim again. Between the feeling of being trapped inside the four walls of her bedroom, and her overprotective father who kept a close eye on her, she was desperate to get out. In the end, however, she didn't move very far. Mostly because of her little sister, who was eighteen years younger than her, threw an absolute fit when she learned her big sister wanted to leave. So when Emily finally wound up moving out, it was only to the pool house. Still on the family's property, it was a false sense of freedom. False, because the first time she brought a girl home to her place her father waited an entire fifteen minutes before sending Coralie, always eager to spend time with her big sister, across the yard to knock on her door. And that happened every. single. time Emily brought a girl home. Because while she had come out years ago, with a lukewarm reception, her parents had never been overly fond of the idea of having a gay daughter. So naturally, any time Emily had a date over, the best thing to do would be to provide distractions. Because if they could stop whatever they thought was happening, then... well, it wouldn't happen.
Finally, it all got to be too much. She couldn't have a romantic relationship, unless she never planned on bringing a girlfriend home with her. She had gone to school for various things, but was still unsure of what she wanted to do with her life. Her little sister was now a tween with a temper that would make her mother's homeland of Quebec proud. There were very few reasons for her to stay, and she had had enough. She had been talking to James, bemoaning her boring life, and he had told her about the neighbourhood in Illinois he had moved to. It wasn't anything special, he had said in a tone that suggested he didn't believe that for an instant, just a small and close knit community. And hearing him talk about it that way, talking bout his friends like they were a family, she knew that Cheshire Hills was a place where she could finally live her own life. Not the life her father wanted her to live. She could put down her own roots at almost thirty years old. It was a late start, but it was still a start.
It took a lot of convincing her parents to let her go ( apparently the argument of 'I'm almost thirty years old' was not enough to get them on her side ) and it was only when she mentioned that she would be living probably right down the street from James that they finally relented. Because as conservative and protective as they were, even they had to admit that their daughter wasn't happy. So they agreeed, under the condition that she not disappear into the cosmos, never to return. Which was something she was all too happy to agree to. Because while they drove her nuts sometimes, they were still her family, and she loved them. She had no plans to jump down the rabbit hole and live in Wonderland forever.
Once she and her family came to an agreement on her leaving, the process of actually immigrating from Canada to the USA. It wasn't a short process, and it was nearly a full year before she was ready to make the move. Who knew that leaving Canada would be so hard? But in the end it was worth it, when she could text her cousin, three days before she was scheduled to arrive, telling him that SURPRISE! He was going to have a new neighbour soon. Playing it off as a whirlwind decision, so she could come off as a bit impulsive and more interesting than she really was, nobody in Cheshire Hills would ever know that she wasn't the nomad wanderer that she came off as, and instead had been agonizing over the move for the better part of a year.
Emily had been there for a week when she met Harper. A close friend of the guy who lived across the street from her, she had spotted a slight woman with a mane of shiny dark hair and an air of... something otherworldly about her. Peeking through her curtains like a total creeper, she'd watched the woman disappear into Nick's house, lower lip caught between her teeth. And after that, it really was like falling. They'd gone to a birthday party, something her cousin had dragged her to, and exchanged shy glances and shy smiles over grocery store cake and red plastic cups of punch that had gone flat. And then, in a group message that she had been uncerimoniously dragged into, she had mentioned wanting pancakes. Harper had chimed in that she could go for some pancakes, and she would come pick Emily up. She brought her wild flowers wrapped in burlap, and Emily had fallen in love. It was the easiest thing she'd ever done, and loving Harper really was the first time she ever truly felt like she was coming home.
Emily, still living in Canada, and showing some love for the red of the maple leaves.
Emily with a rescue pigeon while volunteering at OWL Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society.
Emily and her girlfriend, Harper.