Character name: Shaun Poe
Current home: Just outside Hatchet Falls
Physical description: 6'3", 190, blonde, blue, one of the few people in town who still wears glasses
Special skills: Shaun is very good at getting people to do what he wants. He's a smart man, but he has an abnormally high amount of emotional intelligence and natural charisma, particularly using the written word. He was a political science major in college, and while that skill wouldn't seem useful after the apocalypse, he's used it as he can. This has given him a bit of a reputation of a slickster to others in the town, but he does what he needs to to keep things running along smoothly. He once harbored dreams of writing novels, but he was never good enough and, well, there's not much of an audience now. Still, he pens a column for the local newspaper, and he's active in the community theater. He grew up on a farm and knows a bit about agriculture, but if the town relied on him to feed them, they'd starve.
Occupation: Deputy mayor/newspaper columnist
Background: Shaun grew up in Hatchet Falls, attending the small school there. His family owned one of the largest farms outside of town, and he and his family still live on that property. His class was filled with borderline geniuses; for whatever reason, Hatchet Falls seemed to spawn lots of kids like this, though maybe it's the fact that everyone in the town pushed each other to be better. He's adopted, and had just begun the process of finding his birth family when the world ended. He was a poli-sci graduate from the University of Minnesota and had worked for several senatorial campaigns. When the end came, he was between campaigns and introducing a girl he'd become quite taken with on one of those campaigns around town, to his friends and family. (Technically, he was her boss, but he came to rely on her more and more as the campaign went on.) That girl later became his wife.
Shaun's very smart and highly capable, but he has a tendency to be a bit bullheaded and not see the way his actions affect other people. In that regard, his wife is a necessary check and balance on who he is. Of all of the people in Hatchet Falls, he's the most open about his desire to open the town up to as many people as the city can and about his desire to try to contact the outside world again. His work as deputy mayor frequently brings him into conflict with most people in town, but the other members of the council respect him.
A handful of his best friends from high school are still around town, including fellow council member Dale Josefson. Shaun's the kind of person who has a tight, close circle of friends but also a wide circle of acquaintance, the kind of guy who used to friend everybody he'd ever met on Facebook. He's an idealist who wants to believe the best of people, but he's also pragmatic enough to know that people rarely do their best.
He has allergies that cripple him every harvest season and make him largely useless in the fields.
Personality: Always quick with a joke, Shaun tries to deflect conflict before engaging in it. On the other hand, he's never lost an argument, usually because he's the one who keeps pushing well past the point when he should. In the past, he's had a bit of a wandering eye, but he's been faithful to his wife since meeting her. Though who knows how long that will last?
Family life: Shaun's the oldest son of Curt and Mary Poe, farmers who live about a mile from Hatchet Falls. His wife is Trish Carlton. He has one child, Holly, who was born just four months ago. He has one sister, who is presumed dead, and a biological family he never met.
Character name: Trish Carlton-Poe (but don't EVER call her Trish Poe)
Current home: Just outside Hatchet Falls
Physical description: 5'5", 130, red hair, brown eyes, very pale skin. She looks like the girl who sat in the back of your study hall and kept doodling in a sketch pad, never saying anything.
Special skills: Trish is the most loyal person you'll ever meet, dammit. Since all of her family is presumed dead, that means she's not going to take anything you say against her husband or her daughter. She was raised in prep schools, and that means that as a child and teenager, she took fencing. Will this ever come in handy again? So far it hasn't, but she'll be damned if she's ever going to let anybody beat her with a sword. Trish is also hilarious, capable of defusing any situation with a well-placed joke, useful when trying to counter her husband's stubborn nature. She's useful with a curse word - trying to temper this because of the baby, failing - and she's the kind of person who attracts other people. Not because she's super hot or anything (though she's very pretty), but because of something in her nature. Unfortunately, much of the time, she'd rather be alone. This can create some conflict with her more sociable husband.
Occupation: Head of the incipient Hatchet Falls University.
Background: Trish was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, a city thought to no longer exist. Her family spent much of its time taking care of her younger sister, whose heart condition meant that she required more attention than self-sufficient Trish. This means that Trish largely raised herself, not that this bothered her. She was smart and capable enough to manage, and she had grand dreams of becoming a professor, just like her mother. Unfortunately, as she got older, she found less and less interest in school, thanks to undiagnosed depression, and she bounced in and out of college before dropping out entirely to work on a series of odd jobs, culminating in working in the upper levels of a senatorial campaign, where her boss rather caught her eye. He was the first guy to show a serious interest in her, but also the first guy she let get terribly close.
Weirdly, the end of the world jump-started Trish's life. It was like everything had been wiped clean, like she no longer had to worry about what people thought of her or what she would do. What she would do was live moment to moment, just trying not to screw the immediate things in front of her up. Using the local library and what resources others brought into the town, she began the program of rebuilding the town's educational system, from the ground up. She's recently started a university, even if she'll only have two or three students at first.
She has a couple of close friends, mostly guys, though she and Jenni Sanford get along mostly because they have to.
She cheated on Shaun one time. He doesn't know.
Personality: Trish can be a little prickly, but in a way that people seem to think is largely a joke. She's always fighting off the depression that threatens to drag her under, but her new life in Hatchet Falls, her child, and discovering her purpose have all pushed her to be stronger. She mostly loves quiet nights in with her family, reading one of the many books she never thought she'd have time for before the fall.
Family life: Trish's parents, sister, and old friends are all thought to be dead. She's married to Shaun Poe and the mother of one daughter, Holly, who is four months old.