Beisdean Skye
beisdean.jpg

Beisdean Skye (pronounced BAES-tchan) is a name that might well be remembered by those who lived in Dornie 13 years ago when the boy ran away, perhaps literally from personal demons. The stories told say the boy, the bastard child of a prostitute, could see and speak to the dead — some even claimed to have been present at the funeral when he had been possessed by the dead child being mourned.

After traveling to find control for the dark and mysterious magical ability that haunted him day and night, Beisdean has returned to Dornie to pay his respects to his recently deceased mother. With little but his horse, some clothes and some books to his name, Beisdean may end up having to start anew in Dornie rather than make the long trip back to what had been his home in the south of England for so many years.


Info

Full Name: Beisdean Skye
Age: 27
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Blue

Status: Alive
Occupation: Former bookshop clerk/Unemployed
Origin: Scottish
Allegiance: Undecided

First Seen:
Last Seen:

Description: Long limbed, lean and tall at 6’2”, Beisdean Skye cuts a striking figure in a crowd, even if he doesn’t always intend to. His hair is that burnished brown shade that tow-headed children often get later in life, tending to lighten toward the shade of wheat in the summer or darken to a richer maple in the winter. Not quite fitting with the apparent youth of his face is the tinge of silver already appearing at the temples. If his hair can be compared to plantlife, his eyes are the moody gray blue of the ocean. He varies between clean cut and carefully scruffy, depending on the occasion and his mood, though it is rare to see him with more than a few days’ worth of whisker growth.

His clothing is a mix of form and function; though they are not the finest in material, his garments are well cared for, showing a concern with his appearance that is uncommon for young men of little means. One might go so far as to call him a bit of a dandy, given his attention to details and his fondness for colors that flatter.

Family:

  • Slàinte Skye † - mother

Portrayed by: Ben Hill


History

bskye1.jpg

It was more than 25 years ago that Slàinte Skye came to Dornie, accompanied by no husband, wearing no wedding band, but in the company of small toddler named Beisdean (he himself was accompanied by a playful marten, indicating the tiny child to be a mage). Young herself, and especially beautiful, Slàinte was able to take up her trade at the Dovetail. The little boy’s blond curls and big blue eyes, along with a seemingly innate ability to flirt, made him a favorite with his mother’s coworkers, and he never wanted for babysitters. She never gave a name for his father, but given her profession, no one really expected one.

Given his companion’s presence, Beisdean’s magic nature was obvious — but just what he could do was unclear. The first signs were that the boy would talk or wave to people no one else could see. Some of the Dovetail’s residents chalked it up to imaginary friends; they had seen mundane children do the same or had even done the same themselves as children. But what seemed harmless, even amusing in his toddlerhood, soon grew stranger and more frightening with time. Beisdean would sometimes wake, crying in the middle of the night, saying one of these invisible people had awakened him, that they were making demands of him, that they wouldn’t leave him alone. Sometimes, he would grow quiet, refusing to talk to anyone at all, except to tell his mother that a mysterious they were listening.

Most of the time, Beisdean was a charming little boy, able to make friends with ease and swiftness, an avid storyteller and maker of games. His lively imagination would earn him an audience of listeners for his stories or an eager cadre of playmates for one of his games of make believe. The two sides of the little boy, light and dark, so to speak, worried his mother, but there was little she could do except listen and try to understand what seemed to be haunting him.

When Beisdean was ten, one of his playmates was killed when thrown from a horse. It was the first time someone he knew well had died. At the funeral, Beisdean began to speak to the dead boy’s family, speaking of matters only the family knew about, from the perspective of his late companion. Beisdean apologized for disobeying the day of the child’s death, as if he were Seamus and not himself. When he was through, he collapsed in exhaustion. The funeral congregation was shocked and awed by the nature of the young mage’s power — he could see and speak to the dead; the dead could speak through him.

His life would never be the same.

From that point on, his prior playmates mostly avoided him, finding his magic ability frightening and something to whisper about. Sometimes on a bet, a brave child would ask him questions about the dead people he had admitted to seeing almost constantly around him; sometimes, if a child had lost a loved one, they might come to him in earnest for his help. Beisdean didn’t care for either of these requests.

He retreated from their society, keeping to the brothel instead — at this age, he was at least useful and could help with chores, and the ladies there never asked him about his magic, at his mother’s request. While trying to protect her son, she actually was doing him a disservice — left to deal with the magic on his own, Beisdean received little to no help in learning to control the spirits, and he began to lose grip on what was “real” — or at least, what everyone else could see — versus what existed just for him and his increasing entourage of spirits, each growing more and more demanding in their need to communicate through him.

As he approached his mid-teens, knowing he would need to find work and that very little was suitable for him when having one of his “visits,” Beisdean chose to leave town in search of the guidance his mother had not found for him. His travels took him to the village of Burnham Market in the north of England, where he met a mage named Christopher with a similar power. Christopher used his ability for profit, channeling the spirits of the dead for those willing and able to trade for the correspondence. He was able to teach Beisdean to summon forth a specific entity, and, more importantly, to dampen what he called Beisdean’s “shining,” what Christopher compared to a beacon of light bringing the spirits from all over to the young man… sometimes regardless of their — and his — will. The “shining” could not be put out entirely, but it could be dimmed, said Christopher, and through learning to do this, Beisdean was able to have some semblance of a normal life.

While Christopher was willing to share his practice with Beisdean, the younger man had no desire to willingly draw to himself the spirits of strangers; he only wanted peace and quiet. At 18, he left the north to make his way to Clovelly in the south, where he found work that fit his self-imposed solitude — a clerk at a book shop, owned by one of Christopher’s cousins.

Eventually, with his new, relative freedom from the spirits, Beisdean found himself making friends in spite of himself. He kept his magical abilities secret, calling his familiar simply a pet, and, after a couple of years of slowly re-entering society, found himself once more a favorite among a crowd of people his age. Perhaps a backlash to his years of being ostracized, or maybe because of his upbringing in a brothel, Beisdean became somewhat of a libertine and a wanton, favoring neither gender. Anything closer than physical pleasures and friendship seemed impossible to him because of his magical ability, but he had no qualms about taking the pleasures wherever they fell.

For the first time since childhood, he found life to be enjoyable, but there were still the dark moments juxtaposed with the light. Despite his ability to dim his “shining,” the stronger, more adamant of spirits would find him, and they didn’t seem to care if they were interrupting him at work or at play. This resulted in, at best, quiet and odd conversations that made little sense, or at worst, Beisdean raging at something or someone that wasn’t there. Since Beisdean’s magic was a secret, most of friends thought he just ran a touch “mad,” or had too much of whatever recreational substance they might have been indulging in. One or two might have had their suspicions, but he was never confronted on it, and his charm and wit at other times outshone the bad.

Somewhere along the way, Beisdean took up correspondence with his mother, having regretted leaving her without saying goodbye. When a letter in an unfamiliar hand arrived, the Dovetail as its return address, he knew it would not be good news. Indeed, it was not; his mother had died from a bad fall. She didn’t own much, but what little she had was his, and she had asked for him to come “home” and pay his respects.

The thought of returning to Dornie terrified Beisdean. While he could summon her and speak with her himself, doing so so far away from their home felt wrong, and he felt unready to face someone so close to him — especially if he was defying her last wish by staying in Clovelly.

And so Beisdean Skye returns to Dornie 13 years older, a man where he was once a boy.


Personality

Beis3.jpg

Beisdean’s most basic personality is one like his mother’s — easygoing, charming, a little whimsical, and imaginative. He is a natural talker, prone to exaggerating details and using figurative language when telling stories. As a book seller, he has sold many a volume telling of its wonders only to have the buyers return to complain that the book wasn’t as good as his telling of it. He has sometimes thought of trying his hand at writing himself, but he lacks the discipline and, thanks to his magical talent, the ability to focus whenever he needs.

The darker days of his childhood have led him to dislike his own magic — since his training with Christopher, he has not attempted to summon spirits on his own. It’s a bit like the Golden Rule: because he’d like them to leave him alone, he leaves them alone. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to play by the same rules as he does. When he is visited, he can become angry and upset, even irrational, at what he sees an invasion of his privacy. Somedays he is more inclined to be helpful than others; and it all depends on the nature of his “guest.”

Growing up in a brothel, Beisdean has little romantic ideas about sex or, well, romance. Low in status but high in charm, he has no problem with getting sex wherever and with whoever he wants that will have him, but he also has no illusions about getting married and having a family. His life is too crowded with spirits to try to share it with a family — or so he thinks he feels, but that might change if he met the right person.

Despite being visited by the dead, Beisdean is not particularly religious; if the ghosts he sees are evidence of an afterlife, he isn’t particularly keen on being a part of it. Instead, he sees the ghosts as he sees all magical things — they exist, at least for him, and they have little to do with God or heaven or hell. They simply are.

Beisdean is not particularly immoral or moral — he wants to enjoy life and lives by a “live and let live” sort of motto. He can be vain and sometimes selfish, acting in his own interest rather than that of others if it’s easy to do so without too much censure. The flip side is that he can be shamed into doing the right thing because he does care what others think about him.


Magic

Quivi sospiri, pianti e alti guai

risonavan per l'aere sanza stelle,

per ch'io al cominciar ne lagrimai.

Diverse lingue, orribili favelle,

parole di dolore, accenti d'ira,

voci alte e fioche, e suon di man con elle

facevano un tumolto, il qual s'aggira

sempre in quell'aura sanza tempo tinta,

come la rena quando turbo spira.

beisdean3.jpg

Their sighs, lamentations and loud wailings

resounded through the starless air,

so that at first it made me weep;

Strange utterances, horrible pronouncements,

words of pain, tones of anger,

voices shrill and faint, and beating hands,

all went to make a tumult that will whirl

forever through that turbid, timeless air,

like sand that eddies when a whirlwind swirls.

(Dante's Inferno, Canto III, lines 22-30)

Beisdean sees and can communicate with the spirits of the dead. Whether these are actual souls or some residual echo of their essence left behind, he does not know. Whatever they may be, their minds are set on their past; they do not speak to him of any sort of afterlife, but instead seem to flock to him as a medium for whatever pressing matters they might have had on their minds at the times of their deaths. They see him like a candle and alight upon him like moths to flame.

Like the living, there are some kind and some cruel. Those who were unkind in life are no better in death; they will manipulate and torment to get their way. Some simply wish their messages sent to their survivors, some leave when asked, some simply wish to have some company and a conversation — their needs are manifold and sometimes seem nonsensical. When he could not control his “shining,” trying to communicate with sometimes as many as dozens at a time was maddening.

To limit the number of spirits visiting him, Beisdean has learned to “dampen his shining,” as his mentor Christopher stated. This takes some amount of concentration at all times; it is similar to tucking in one’s stomach — it is a little uncomfortable and a lapse in concentration can ruin the effect, but eventually it grows easier. Beisdean tries to keep the spirits at bay at all times, but a sudden shock, mental or physical, can make him lose his control. Usually such lapses are momentary, and he can regain control before he is bombarded by the spirits, but something as distracting and longer-lived as intense pain could keep him from putting his “shield” up, so to speak, for a much longer duration. When he is sleeping, his control is gone, and thus he is often woken at night by the spirits.

Despite the control, at any moment, the most determined of spirits can still find him. Those who have recently died or who feel they have the most pressing of messages will find Beisdean’s “beacon” most easily.

The strongest willed of spirits can likewise overtake Beisdean and force him to communicate or act for them — this, thankfully, happens rarely. After such a “possession,” Beisdean is left exhausted and feeling ill — and embarrassed for whatever nonsense he said in public while under the control of the dead. He is conscious of the communication and actions that happen when possessed and can remember it afterwards, but is unable to stop it. For whatever reason, the spirits seem to be able to do this for only a brief time; it has never lasted longer than five minutes.

darklight1.jpg
Darklight in his usual form.

A rarer aspect of his power is that if he visits the place someone has died, the spirit may choose to show him the nature of their death in that place, or he can do it for himself. This takes the form of a very realistic vision that Beisdean sees from the perspective of the dead. What the person went through in their death will be conveyed through the senses, though of course Beisdean will come out of the vision without any (physical) harm done to him. Like the possession, this can leave him extremely exhausted and ill feeling. During such a vision, he is unaware of the present but instead caught in the past for several moments, rendering him vulnerable to his immediate surroundings.

He has never seen spirits of mundane animals, but it is possible he could see the spirit of something magical if such an entity chose to reveal itself to him. Such creatures do not flock to him the way human ghosts do, however.

Beisdean’s familiar usually takes the form of a pine marten, though he sometimes take the form of a raven for flight. He goes by the name “Darklight."


Miscellany

  • Hooks, relationships, and other information can be found here
  • Logs can be found here