| Avis Ingram
"Is it not lovely that we are so various?"
Dedicated diarist and arcanist Avis I. is a curious, contemplative Midlander with a fondness for libraries, tavern storytelling and the sublime sea-winds of Limsa Lominsa.
An "adventurer" who enlists in a variety of odds-and-ends to earn her keep, (including freelance writing and ghostwriting of the purple prose variety), Avis seizes every opportunity to wander. She has even returned incognito to her native city of Ul'dah a few times since her self-imposed exile a year ago.
Avis is currently employed as a personal assistant to Professor Jigumundo Darkbore. Though he operates from the University of Aether in the Goblet, she avoids the area for personal reasons and organizes his research from her room in the Mizzenmast. She is mostly found wandering La Noscea (and recently, the Shroud as well), ready to chat up and (ask endless questions of) any stranger that catches her interest. The Eagle & Quill bookstore in the Mist has also become one of her favorite haunts, and it's there where she indulges a recent fascination with history, while working with others on translation of a certain Nymian tome.
A great observer and lover of life, of sights, sounds, people and words, Avis's keen interest in stories is telling in her conversations. The larger, the better. She tends to be candid in her remarks and sometimes relentless in her questionings once they begin; while insightful, these may border on intrusiveness and tactlessness. Calm and wry in demeanor, sometimes playful, Avis enjoys listening to others and participating in conversations of a rowdy or philosophical nature, but never actually reveals much that is important about herself.
Though perceptive, Avis lacks self-awareness - her pride being her one great blind spot. She is also capricious and somewhat commitment-phobic (again, she is likely to be unaware of either of these). She has a tendency to dive after the latest project of intrigue, but her level of investment in it largely depends on how interesting she eventually finds it. Also, while she can grow easily fond of people and indeed considers the making of new friendships an important priority, she rarely attaches herself intensely to anyone and requires much solitude at intervals. An introvert at heart, intensely private, Avis's free-spirited nature means that even close friends have found her strangely pensive and detached at times.
Conversely, as a romantic and idealist, Avis can be fully fixated on an ideal or cause or wildly devoted in love when it happens, and in fact quite enjoys the abandon of all this - but such situations tend to be exceedingly rare or, in the case of the former, short-lived.
The reason: Avis left Ul'dah with the understanding that it had grown too small and bitter for her, but having only half-seriously scraped her way through childhood and adolescence without any accomplishments to her name (other than a string of boyfriends and a gift for grammar), she now finds herself still bereft of any strong purpose or "calling". She has little actual ambition beyond seeing the world and recording it, and though there is joy in the variety of tasks she engages in from day to day, she is only just beginning to realize the hollowness of adventuring without a cause.
Generally, Avis has good intentions. She is highly accepting of, if not embracing, difference and ambiguity.
- ■ Avis is proficient enough in arcanima to experiment with runes. Perhaps she'll even write her own spells someday. If she ever works at it.
- ■ Storytelling and storycrafting.
- ■ General 'scribery'. She's been noted to 'have a way with words', and is more than happy to lend her pen for any cause at any price. Usually.
- ■ Research - Avis can be ruthlessly thorough if she's invested enough in the topic.
- ■ Wandering. ...this means she has decent knowledge of many areas outside of cities, however, especially Lower and Middle La Noscea.
- ■ Lacks ambition and discipline - at times a little too flighty for her own good.
- ■ Though light-footed and somewhat hardy from all the walking she tends to do, Avis is completely hopeless at physical combat.
- ■ Curiosity killed the cat.
- ■ Uh... books?
- ■ She seems to consistently have great trouble alighting chocobos gracefully...
- ■ Explorations and expeditions.
- ■ Books, libraries, words.
- ■ Philosophical conversations.
- ■ Wit and humour.
- ■ Learning. (Diligence is another matter.)
- ■ Strong wines and teas.
- ■ Ruins and old places of historical interest.
- ■ The sea and areas of natural beauty.
- ■ Teasing socially awkward people, apparently.
- ■ Children. Why do they make such noises? Why do they demand?
- ■ Ul'dah and members of the Ul'dahn elite.
- ■ Chauvinism.
- ■ Nagging.
- ■ Confinement - physical or otherwise.
- ■ Excessive or embarrassing displays of emotion.
- ■ Overdependence.
- ■ Criticism.
The sickening sand storms that year had brought Avis to them, along with the plague – or so the Lady of the Ingram family delighted in proclaiming, draped out melodramatically along her favorite couch. This, however, never troubled the girl Avis, youngest of her siblings; on the contrary, she reveled in the extravagance of the myth-like retelling of her birth and in her burgeoning status as potential black sheep of one of the richest and most well-connected Hyur families in Ul’dah. She was reticent and rebellious from infancy, preferring the company of “flowery words” and her own imagination to numbers and lists, and, increasingly, the rowdy streets of the city to the carpeted corridors of her home.
In her adolescence and early adulthood, Avis took to mingling and developing close relationships with people from less privileged classes, more for a misguided taste of danger and a different world than any strong sense of empathy or social justice. In considering herself above her family’s elitism and narrow-mindedness, Avis, too, became arrogant. She was a constant source of exasperation to the rest of her family, the Ingrams, willfully displaying disinterest in trade and business, negligent as an accounts scribe, even failing abysmally during a brief stint as their shop manager when she wrote love poems to her new Highlander lover behind the counter while a thief, pockets full, whistled her way out.
Jasper was his name; he was resourceful, daring and in equal measure ardent and ironic in his affection for Avis, who was the same, matching him in thought for thought, word for word in the dissonance of their accents and speech. The Calamity hit Ul'dah hard, but Jasper saw it as his opportunity to finally ascend the social ladder and make a place for himself on the battleground of the vicious Ul’dahn marketplace, and was, occasionally, not above disreputable means to achieve his aims. He would have succeeded had he not begun playing for the wrong side, becoming entangled in the years-old rivalry between the Ingrams and another trading giant; when things came to a head, the Ingrams and their partners sent men to crush the competition. Literally. Jasper was found among the remains of his stall, quite broken in back and spirit, while his wealthy bosses reconvened with their enemies and brokered another deal in the coolness of their halls. Jasper's companions understood the nature of the resistance they faced and bowed out quietly, packing themselves and Jasper back home – if a refugee camp could be considered home. Some months later, Avis received word of Jasper's death in Little Ala Mhigo, and folded her returned, unopened letters away.
Only belatedly aware of the connection between their youngest daughter and the latest casualty in affairs of trade, and more annoyed than surprised by this, the Ingrams prayed that the youngest daughter’s self-confinement mean that she knew her place at last. Of course, this ‘peace’ was short-lived. Within weeks Avis was back to roaming the streets of Ul’dah blithely, almost like her old self, but not quite - while a scathing allegorical polemic against the upper class began circulation among literate members of society. It was dismissed by some, critiqued for its clumsy flamboyance by others, and would not have made waves had its clearly caricaturized characters not borne a hilariously punishing resemblance to the members of the Ingram family. Admittedly, Avis enjoyed the attention for a short while – in particular the sweet howls of mortification from her family members – but it eventually grew intolerable. At 24, Avis finally felt compelled to quit Ul’dah, and set off for Limsa Lominsa to forge a different life under a different name - Inkwood.
Some of these rumors are untrue or are greatly exaggerated. Please feel free to add your own rumors under PC!
◢ Common Rumors (Easily overheard)
- ■ "Yeah, she's comes by t' mix around w' us lowborn. Nice girl. Strange ideas. - a Pearl Lane squatter
- ■ "Oh, she always liked her men. I think her taste extends to Lalafells." - a snooty card-player at Ul'dah's airship landing
- ■ "Weird chick, always with pen and paper, and a damned big laugh if y' ask me." - a Drowning Wench regular
- ■ "I... I hear she's been going around asking people if they need letters written for them in exchange for stripteases on the street!" - a deeply-offended missionary to Limsa Lominsa
◢ Rarer Rumors (Difficult to overhear)
- ■ "She wrote some pretentious allegorical garbage condemning her parents. What was the title again? The Pusillanimity of Puks. Or something to that effect."- a bespectacled thaumaturge at the Ossuary
- ■ "Ah, the Ingram ingrate. For all 'er moony talk, she's just a spoilt brat if y' ask me. Rotten, the whole lot of 'em." - an Ul'dahn merchant
◢ PC Rumors (Rumors from the character's of other players)
- ■ "Great Assistant. Well organised and hungry for knowledge. She would make a great pupil and powerful mage. Little too curious about details though..." - Jigumundo Darkbore
- ■ "Don't push it, Inkwood! You are my close friend and a personal Assistant, but that DOESN'T mean you can do what you want with me... You big tease..." *blush* - Jigumundo Darkbore
- ■ *the temperature becomes rather warm with a growing wry grin* "Oh - oh, you would ask me about her, hm~? She.. is Many Things, but Free, like the breezes by the sea, is an apt way to see her~ And, well, if you do chance to meet her, be not without a tale, or any stories you may avail, hm~? And perhaps answers to numerous questions that may thusly hale~" *the grin has definitely become a dorky one by the end, and not without some snickering* - Xavarian Mystrife
- ♥ Romantic Interest ♥ Platonic Love ● Good Standing ● Neutral Standing ● Poor Standing
- ♥ Kokoniku Papaniku: “The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money.” Mark Twain's maxim, however, doesn't seem to apply to Kokoniku and Avis's longstanding best-friendship. The generous, good-hearted Lalafell's a rare entrepreneurial success of the bourgeoisie in Ul'dah, and he has been responsible for topping up his fledgling adventurer friend's money pouch when she only has enough gil left for that one emergency letter. (Rumour has it that Sir Fabuli, her chocobo, was partly funded by him as well.) They still meet up once every few months, and reunions consist of reclining atop walls for lengthy bitching sessions about the elite of Ul'dah, just like in the good old days. [NPC]
- ? ● Ja'rhem Khalaa: Going by the name of 'Kingsley', this miqo'te rogue charmed his way into Avis's, well, good books with his way with words and literary inclinations. Then he made off with her money pouch and journal. Understandably, Avis's crossed, to say the least. Her list of colorful descriptions and insults for him, however, betrays fascination with 'poorboy cat' - something she'd probably freely admit to if she weren't distraught about someone else being privy to her penned secrets.
- ♥ Jigumundo Darkbore: Avis has recently become a part-time research assistant to this grim Professor, whose incomprehensible dislike of Miqo'tes and general grumpiness have sufficiently amused and intrigued her. She works in short-lived spurts, however, always too restless to linger for long; despite the sporadic nature of her appearances, Jig (as she calls him) still seems to regard her highly. After Jigumundo reveals his past to her, she avoids him for a time, but has since overcome her emotional struggles on this matter and cemented their friendship. She's terribly fond of him, of teasing him, and of teasing out his nicer side. (She's also vouched to be a more reliable secretary, though whether she'll make good on that remains to be seen.)
- ● Khyran Oisin: Avis rescued this hollowed-out hyur from rain and near-death with water, a bag of rolanberries and chocobo rides atop a fussing Sir Fabuli. At a shelter, one curious question led to another, and in an afternoon Avis found herself compelled enough by his abilities and character to promise a solution to a certain problem of his. She isn't sure if she likes him or pities him more - one thing's for sure, though, she trusts him to tell hard truths, and is intent on looking him up again.
- ● Kurt Steel: A perplexing young man. Their second encounter is a prime example of Avis's curiosity and penchant for, well, euphemism getting the better of her. His difference in personality between their two meetings unsettles her - not least because it annoys her, somewhat, that she's not read him accurately. She has found herself attempting to salvage what's left of Mr. Nice Guy by offering herself as a drinking buddy... that invitation, however, hasn't worked out quite as elegantly as she has hoped.
- ●Melody Adagio: Avis has met Melody, Jigumundo's lover, on a few occasions, and she appreciates the spunky and industrious Lalafell's company. While she senses that their worldviews may differ, the fact that they can exchange friendly banter and semi-snarky sidestepping remarks is assurance that they should become more than acquaintances. (They're likely to be, if Jig's word is anything to go on...)
- ●Ramona Spencer: The Little Ram is... a recent acquisition, having pledged her fighting and book-lifting abilities to the thoroughly amused scribe for a free ride to Limsa Lominsa. Curiously enough, Avis feels a vague, 'big-sister' sense of responsibility towards the driven, yet troubled young woman. Still, she rarely acts on her worry, and accepts that Ramona will insist on being everywhere doing everything - which also makes it difficult, fortunately enough for her, for Avis to hold her to the terms of their contract. Avis does want to take a less distanced interest in her minion's affairs, however, especially where her love life and growing powers are concerned.
- ●Vetiver Kaji: A Doman, chanced upon at Memeroon's trading post during an impending (and subsequently ignored) thunderstorm. Avis finds her interesting company and has only barely managed to restrain herself from asking one too many questions about the woman's Othard origins and personal life - especially after Vetiver reveals herself to be an Au Ra. Avis is both flattered and amused by Vetiver's open flirtation, though slightly wary of her loneliness and genuine concern; her request for a particular type of story from Avis is an intriguing challenge, however.
- ♥ Xavarian Mystrife: Fellow scribe and student of Jigumundo Darkbore, who seems uncannily similar to her in independence and interests. Avis's initial curiosity and light-hearted teasing of the duskwight's awkward, bookish personality has led to the development of Something completely unprecedented - a series of enigmatic letter exchanges that is a whole new realm of thought and experience for Avis. She is now in love with him, young and odd as he is, and what they share is no longer something Avis is very much interested in defining. Most waking moments (or, well, slumbering, too, given their fondness for sleep in open spaces) spent in Xavarian's company is still rich, surprising, and intellectually satisfying, and so she's only intent on continuing their Mess.
- ●Y'shenn Tia: An old friend from Ul'dah. They reconnected recently when Y'shenn initiated a letter exchange in a bid to learn to write better. Avis is grateful for his letters, for their (often amusing) simplicity and optimism, and for the bittersweet memories of an Ul'dahn childhood that they inevitably bring. At least some things don't change. (Perhaps Y'shenn's handwriting and spelling will, for she always corrects his mistakes.)