Delilah Etienne Character Type:
IndoctrinatedPhysical Description and/or image:
Delilah is a powerhouse of a woman, standing at about six foot two inches and weighing in at a fiercely athletic 164 pounds. This is a chick who cares not one jot about what other people think of her or her gender, prizing personal wellness and strength above all else. Her dirty blonde hair is typically cut short and slicked back out of her face, practical and professional. But for all the muscle and confident swagger, it's Delilah's eyes that really draw one in and send them reeling backwards in equal measure. Like two glaciers they are, a blue so blinding as to be nearly white, glaring with all the intensity of a hawk scoping out its prey.
She's never found without coils of silver chain around her arms and neck (though the latter are designed to snap off easily enough), and even a few wrapped about her abdomen for good measure.Sex:
- Street-Fighting: Though not professionally taught in any established martial art, Delilah is a bruiser through and through. Years spent in illegal underground fighting rings have taught her much about surviving in close quarters with a desperate combatant. Every weakness can be taken advantage of, every object in sight can be used as a weapon, and no rules apply when it comes to defending yourself from harm. The woman fights like a feral cat with the strength of a small bear, and is generally extremely unpredictable with her movements; such is the strength of her improvisation.
- Marksmanship: Delilah first held a rifle in her grip at the age of six, and knew all the intricacies of most firearms by the age of seven. By eight she could reliably dismantle and reassemble just about any rifle, pistol, or shotgun she was presented with. Sometimes it pays to have a father with a healthy love of Second Amendment. She's a damn good shot and she knows it, and will always try to put as much space between her and her opponent when she can manage it.
- Singing: Those who have actually heard her claim that Delilah's voice could melt even the blackest of hearts, but they are few and far between. The most she manages most days is a lilting hum, or some old tune whispered under the breath whenever she thinks she's alone. A broken songbird.
- Survival: Though at her prime in marshlands and other damp climates, Delilah knows how to live off the land for long stretches of time without contact with civilization. She prefers to stalk her targets in cities and towns, but if it comes down to it she would stalk right into the belly of the beast if it gave her the opportunity to gut it like a fish.
Hailing from deep in the swamps of Louisiana and born to an old Cajun ex-Marine and his second-generation French immigrant wife, Delilah had a rather unconventional upbringing. Her father had been shooting for a son to carry on his legacy, but when he wound up with a daughter his stubbornness just wouldn't allow him to be disappointed. Gender be damned, Savoi was going to have
the rough-and-tumble child he'd wanted. As soon as she was old enough for her blonde locks to start getting long, he promptly buzzed 'em right off and raised her as the boy he couldn't manage to get.
Of course, his wife didn't simply exist in the background. Dione (who had been adamant about naming her daughter something appropriately feminine, much to her husband's chagrin) taught her what it meant to be a young lady whenever her dad wasn't around to get all irate about it. Fortunately for him, it became swiftly apparent that she took after her dad's sensibilities.
The family lived out on the water in a particularly scenic part of the state where the air wasn't quite so filthy with mosquitoes, but the nights were often noisy as the swamp came alive with all manner of wildlife. On more than one occasion a wily snapper or an alligator would wander too close to the front porch and need to be staved off with shovel (for the former) or a well-placed shot between the eyes (for the latter), and Savoi made damn sure his daughter knew the proper respect that a loaded firearm deserved.
It wasn't the guns that Delilah loved though, for her dad had more talents than just being ornery and ex-military. Like many down that way he fancied himself a bit of a saxophonist. Unlike
many down that way, he also happened to be a damn good one. His instrument had been passed down from his father, and he'd taken to it like a fish to water. It was a massive thing, for his old man had been a veritable giant, and as a kid Delilah couldn't even manage to get her hands around it. So she'd merely listen to her dad play whatever came to mind, all the feelings he was too gruff and proud to talk about washing out of him in his music. It was never more to him than a side hobby, an excuse to go down to the local bar and play for tips, but to her it was the gateway to a strange and exciting world of sound and expression.
Unfortunately, it wasn't a world that she'd ever get to experience. It was sweltering night when her childhood came to an abrupt end, at only eleven years old. A noise woke her in the night, the sound of splintering wood punctuated by two sharp cracks from a rifle, a crash, then silence. After a few minutes and no word from her father, she'd plucked up the nerve to venture out of her room, through the billowing mosquito nets, and down the hall to the parlor.
The walls were painted a sickly shade of red and the humid air stank of bile and excrement, but they were merely the horrid backdrop to the thing
dominating the center of the room. It was, quite simply, the largest god forsaken alligator that the girl had ever seen, and what's more it was standing upright on two legs
. Everything was off about it, from the hulking shoulders and the too-large arms rippling with muscle and ending in a too-human fist, to the twisted smile that was too sadistic to possibly be natural. It stared at her out of the corner of its eyes, stark blue pools that practically mirrored her own in their sheer coldness, grotesquely tilting its head back to swallow the morsel of meat that had once been her father's right arm. "Sorry, sweety,"
it said, sounding not unlike a man attempting to whisper cruelly through a mouth full of razorblades and broken glass, "But yer a wee too small fer my likin'. Maybe I'll come back fer ya in a few years, when ya put summir meat on dem bones, eh?"
He laughed then, a hateful sound that would stay with Delilah for the rest of her natural life. Unthinking, numbed to what she was witnessing, her small body jumped at the rifle the beast had forgotten on the floor. The monster sideswiped her with the entire length of his powerful arm, flicking her into the wall like a worn out ragdoll, but not before a single shot rang out and a fountain of blood splattered from what had once been the thing's right eye. The last thing she remembered was a pained roar, an explosion of wood, and utter darkness.
The next few years were not kind to Delilah, and she wasn't kind to them. The mere fact that she'd managed to survive was nothing short of a miracle according to the doctors, but she knew better. The Etienne's were made of sterner stuff than that. But her father was dead, and her mother with him, and she knew that whatever distant family would come to claim her would be no family of hers. Turns out she didn't have much to worry about in that regard, as the only blood she had was either too drunk and unfit to take up the responsibility, disinterested in accepting her, or back in Europe and far out of reach. Much to the surprise of her physicians and the police, she insisted on being put up in an orphanage. Of the talking alligator she told no one. She was a kid, but she wasn't stupid. The last thing she needed was to get sent off to the Funny Farm, not when there was a murderous git that needed to get what was coming to him.
Her education was questionable, and she gave the Sisters and just about every other authority figure all the trouble she could muster up, but she was smart and learned quickly whenever she applied herself to something. It's just that she tended to apply herself to target practice out in the woods and beating up schoolboys in back alleys, was all.
When she came of age, having done a damned good job driving away anyone who would even dare to think about adopting her, she received all of her parent's possessions and their property, as per their joint-will. They had put everything they had into raising her--their money, their time, their hopes and dreams, and ultimately their lives. It would take some doing, but she wasn't about to let all of that go to waste. She sold the property and all the old wounds that came with it, bought a sturdy truck with a flatbed, and packed up all the essentials (the guns, mostly) before hitting the road and the wider world.
She knew what her prey was from books nicked from the library. A Skin-walker, a half-man who could wear the guise of any animal (or person)
he chose by wearing its pelt in order to pass through the wilderness unchecked, and whose voice as as malleable as water and could deceive any who heard it. Knowing that the killer could be anyone or anything did not deter her, for those ungodly eyes
were burned into her vision, staring back at her every time she fell to slumber.
And she knew exactly what she would do to the bastard once she tracked it down. Savoi's old saxophone had still been at his side when the man was torn apart. It was a grim realization that her arms were large enough to hold it properly, only now that it had been stained with his blood. She didn't dare to play it, but took a few lengths of steel and welded them to support its brass frame, covering the bend with cruel silver spikes, and added a sizable handle just past the mouthpiece. To anyone else it would have been a desecration to mutilate the treasured heirloom like that, but in her eyes it seemed a most fitting instrument of revenge.
The past few decades have been spent on the road, taking odd jobs here and there for a few months at a time whilst tracking down whatever shifters she could find, conversing with others of her informal trade and those who knew the Old Legends themselves. Delilah's been working as an interstate truck driver for the past few years, using her shipping lanes as a convenient excuse to travel about the country while getting paid to do it.