I’m back today with another character in my City of Mist series. The story and the gang are getting more involved (as things are designed to go) and this character is a barista working for Alexis and a confidante of Anna Rose. She’s also the first real vigilante I’ve done in this series and making someone really badass is fun in any system. Without further ado, here is Ms. Heather Dunbroch.
The quiet, even-tempered barista at Mad Hatter Tea Co. doesn’t usually attract a lot of attention from the customers despite her cloud of bright red hair. She takes orders and doesn’t usually mess up any details but isn’t talkative or responsive even to the regulars. She’s been working at the Mad Hatter Tea Co. for several years, though, and she’s gotten pretty good at it, even making friends with the other Rifts who frequent it. It’s somewhat ironic, then, that well before the four women started investigating weird occurrences in Belleview Heather was going out at night as a fast-moving, fence-jumping vigilante with a carved bow.
These skills have made Heather the one that the others go to when things look like they might get pretty hairy. At one point, Claudia pushed Heather to join her on a stake-out. Heather went with her and when the target spotted them and ran, Heather took off after them. She caught them, leaping off a wall and shoving them into a dumpster, but the man was seriously injured. Whenever Claudia asks her to help watch someone, Heather just sees the ambulance taking that man to the hospital.
Anna Rose knows what it’s like to have a parent who needs you and she often tries to help Heather do normal things and move past her pain. While this is mostly helpful to Heather, she also knows that their situations are totally different: Anna’s father is locked up for reasons that she can fight, while Heather’s mother is lying in a bed because her daughter “couldn’t hack it.” Whenever this inner conflict comes out, it causes Heather’s friends concern but she usually shuts down.
Merida from Brave
- Alexis Liddel: Help 2, Hurt 0
- Anna Rose: Help 1, Hurt 0
- Ophelia Calame-Harris: Help 0, Hurt 1
The Car Crash
Type: Defining Event. Heather’s relationship with her mother has always been strained. The two women couldn’t be more different and they sniped at each other for as long as Heather remembers. They were doing just that one day when a drunk driver careened into their car and flipped it. Heather suffered a broken arm and bruised ribs but her mother had extreme brain trauma. She regained consciousness eventually but when she did her body refused to move. The doctor’s called it “locked-in syndrome” but Heather always thinks of it as a curse that is due to her selfishness and childishness. She visits her mother daily now but knows that she can never make up for the things she said on that car ride.
Identity: “Anyone can be taken from you at any time.”
Power Tags: (A) A Need to Make Things Right, (B) Be There For Others When They Need You, (E) Closer to Mother but Never Further Away, (H) Never Wait to Do the Right Thing
Weakness Tags: (B) Holding Her Family Together, (C) Mother In Hospital
Type: Routine. Heather works behind the counter at the Mad Hatter Tea Co. These positions have a lot of turn-over but Heather is in it to stay for one simple reason: she doesn’t have to think. It’s hard work and there are a lot of details to focus on but those are details that stop her from thinking about her mom or about her own perceived failings. It’s at night, when work is over and the shop is closed, that the dark whispers come back and Heather feels her lowest. It’s little wonder that she walks the streets at night, looking for fights and working out her frustrations.
Identity: “Good, honest work is the best cure for most things.”
Power Tags: (A) Cafe Worker, (E) Good Listener, (G) Passively Taking in Gossip
Weakness Tags: (A) Quiet Brings Out the Self-Doubt
Type: Mobility. Though she comes across as a little clumsy and graceless, this is mostly a ruse to keep her head down. Heather is actually very nimble and athletic, running through the city at night with parkour moves that would put Daniel Craig to shame. She has a preternatural sense of speed and strength that allows her to best any would-be muggers or over-eager men from bars.
Mystery: “Who is the man in my nightmares always chasing me?”
Power Tags: (A) Uncanny Parkour Artist, (E) Climbing and Jumping and Hiding, (G) Never Let Them Pin You Down.
Weakness Tags: (B) Push Too Hard and People Get Hurt
The King’s Bow
Type: Relic. Heather has a magical bow that she got from her father (her real father) and which she always keeps nearby. It gets smaller when she puts it in a bag so Heather is able to carry it in just a slightly too-long backpack, despite it being an impressively tall longbow. She has a quiver of arrows too which refills with the dawn and she usually shoves that in as well which leaves little room for anything else. No one else is able to use the bow, which snaps in the hands of others. Well, almost no one: Alexis used it successfully once, though the reasons why that should work still confuse both women.
Mystery: “Who was my real dad?”
Power Tags: (A) Bow of Incredible Accuracy, (H) Weapons Must Be Used Well, (I) Sees True Forms
Weakness Tags: (C) Bow Destroyed by Fire