Bernadette St Martin
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Part of Captain Llyw's pirate crew, Bernadette is part weapons master, part muscle for the crew. Unbeknownst to most, she lives under a curse that ties her to the ocean, and yet, not quite a part of it. As a member of the crew, Bernie is in charge of the weapons and ammunition, two things she is quite fond of. Surly and somewhat distant on land, she lacks the panache of her fellow crewmen.

Info

Full Name: Bernadette St Martin
Age: 23
Hair: Red
Eyes: Hazel

Status: Alive
Occupation: Pirate - Master Gunner
Origin: Besançon, France
Allegiance: Rowntree

First Seen: More Like Guidelines Anyway
Last Seen: None

Description:
Bernadette is a pale young woman with red hair and a toned figure. Her clothes are generally an conglomeration of whatever she's found, along with a vest of kelpie hide that she is rarely seen without. Boots usually top off her outfits along with at least one knife hilt peeking out of them. A few scars mar her skin here and there, as well as a less-than-friendly expression that she wears. She bears herself with confidence, but not poise. She's got a roughness to her that shows in manner and voice.

In her mermaid form, she's a shadow of her human form, some facial features remaining familiar, but her skin is a sickly grey and rough to the touch. Her legs become a single, long tail that's shaped much like a dolphins. Her eyes black over and her hair becomes dark and slippery. It's hard to recognize her at a glance, and sometimes even at length.

Family:

  • Émeric St Martin - Father, sold into slavery
  • Aurore St Martin - Mother, sold into slavery
  • Sophie St Martin - Sister, whereabouts unknown
  • Gaspard St Martin - Brother, whereabouts unknown
  • "Victor" - band of rogues' leader, whereabouts unknown
  • "Vincent" - member of the band of rogues, whereabouts unknown
  • "Vivienne" - also a member, whereabouts unknown

(The band of rogues called her "Violette")

Portrayed by: Emma Stone


History

Luxury is a privilege not many have the opportunity to be driven mad by. For a young French girl living in Besançon, it took a scant eight years of doting, tutors, ponies and silk dresses before she longed for something different. She didn't know the other children in their little town nestled in the crook of the river Doubs, but watched them play in the water and run through the town from the safety of a carriage or high window. By age ten, she'd learned to resent the adults in her life for her solitude. So she decided to do something about it.

She sneaked out.

It was a simple matter of using the fact that her parents were more concerned with their wealth, and obtaining more of it, than with their daughter's whereabouts. And her nanny was too old, and too tired, to keep up with her. She'd slide out a window and make her way into town, hopes high that she would find a friend.

What she found was a group of children as bitter about her situation as she was, but instead of blaming the adults like she did, they took it out on her. They made fun, they ripped at her clothes, they threw things at her. But being a stubborn thing, she didn't cry and run away, she fought back. In the space of six months, she was known to the children and merchants of Besançon as a little fighter, and took to showing up at home with black eyes and cuts she would wear proudly.

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Her parents did not appreciate her newly found, rougher style. But not being what you might called natural parents, they left it to the nannies and tutors to attempt to correct her. But it was a hard road without much progress.

Just before Bernie's twelfth birthday, a band of thieves and crooks took to their remote estate. She was dragged out of bed and tossed into a locked, wooden carriage with her parents and household staff while the thieves ransacked their home. Their art, their library, their collection of artifacts, the things her parents treasured the most, were taken as spoils. And so were they. Taken prisoner by the band, and slowly sold off one at a time.

She didn't cry. Being the youngest there, it seemed to her that the thieves kept trying to provoke her into some sort of display. They sold off her mother, which had her father in tears, but she refused to comply. By the time the last of her family and tutors and nannies had been sold off, the band had decided she would be more valuable in the band, than she would be sold off.

When they started letting her out of the box, she started a series of escape attempts. The band considered them to be the height of amusement on the road. But over time, they became more of a habit and eventually a shared joke as she became more a part of this odd little family. They taught her how to fight better and defend herself, be it with guns or her fists. They taught her how to steal and how to haggle for the best price. Her youth made her an unsuspected rogue, and while the band would distract with their ruckus and gunfire, she would slip in to take the most valuable items, leaving the towns in the wake a little poorer and a little confused.

The band had a hideout and hoard nestled along the southern coast of France, set between two prosperous fishing villages. That is the place she learned to call home, and these men and women she stole with became her family. And as much as they pillaged and plundered, she found a certain amount of happiness with them.

When she was about twenty, there was a mage passing through the nearby town of Marseille; the rumors said he was a maker of talismans and good luck charms. It was curiosity that sent Bernie to look over his wares, rather than the need or desire that drove most. She ended up pocketing a flat stone with a carving of an ocean wave on it, wrapped up in strong ropes.

It didn't take long to discover that the talisman had power beyond a simple good luck piece. When she wore it, her legs grew together into a long tail, her skin turns rough and grey, even her hair altered into something not quite human. She'd never seen a mermaid, but she'd heard enough sailors' tales to guess that's what she'd become. When she took of the stone, she returned to normal, unharmed and unchanged.

She took to adding to their takings by using the talisman to rob the ships that came into port or drop anchor near the shoreline. And since it made her a pretty profit, she never bothered to return it to the mage and paying for it slipped her mind.

At first, she thought she was just forgetting to take it off, when she'd wake up in the morning with it hanging from her neck. She didn't really notice something was wrong until her feet started to feel like they were being cut up by broken shards of glass with every step. Looking at them proved it was all in her mind, but that didn't make it hurt any less. She was useless for months as she just tried to adjust to her new, cursed state. She would never truly become numb to the feeling, but after time, she learned to live with it.

But it changed her. She'd always been stubborn, but this required something deeper to keep herself from weeping over the pain every moment. She became something harder, as cold as the sea and just as deadly. Those in the band would attempt to cajole her into higher spirits, but it wasn't easy. Even when she was able to regain some of that earlier happiness, all it took was one step to remind her.

And she just could not give that mage the satisfaction of giving the talisman back and begging for help. She convinced herself it wouldn't fix her anyway, and that he would probably lash out at her all the more.

And he did, in a way. She didn't know it until later, but it was the mage that led the authorities to the band's hideout, and led to the capture of almost all of them. Only those who were on the road escaped, and she left behind the signal that it was no longer safe when she, too, was dragged off to jail.

Marseille had a very specific form of punishment for people such as the band, and they were shoved into cages and dropped into the ocean. For Bernie, it was an inconvenience, given that she discovered she still turned into a mermaid in the water. But while she struggled to break the lock on the cage door, she watched her band of brothers slowly drown. She did eventually get herself out, but the others had long since perished.

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She stayed in the ocean alone for weeks, adding to the mermaid legends around the southern coast of France, a bit lost and aimless. During this time of general malaise, Bernie was abducted by a man who fancied himself a Lord. Claiming the heritage of noble blood that spanned the generations and having the wealth and eccentricity to back it up, most people believed him. Or at least accepted his oddities. These days, it isn't something anyone can prove, but neither can they disprove it.

He found her in the waters when he was bringing his ship in to shore, and thinking himself ever so lucky for finding a mermaid this close to land, he netted her and put her in a sort of menagerie of odd creatures and rare finds in his ship.

The indignity of it all. He treated her as a pet, kept her in a tank, fed her and showed her off. Her displays of violence when she'd try to break herself out were, once again, seen as part of the fun of having such a being on board. He was simpering and obnoxious and she resented it heavily that he was able to hold her where others had failed.

She had never been happier to see a ship boarded.

Lord Devereux had plenty to sack, and since his vessel was more of a houseboat than a sailing ship, it was manned by a skeleton crew unused to seeing action. Bernie gathered the idea was to toss the mermaid back overboard and let her away to her mysterious homeland under the waters, but when they got her out of the tank and she started to dry out, they discovered she was not quite what she seemed.

And owing Captain Rhagfyr Llyw and his crew her liberty, if not her life, she opted to join up with their pirating ways. She wasn't a sailor, but she was terribly good at thievery and a boon to the ships with her skills in the water. And being a fighter, both in and out of the water, she was better as an ally. She had to learn to respect the more merciful habits of the captain, saving her Shoot First attitude for when he wasn't around.

It was only a matter of time before she proved herself useful and, more importantly, fiercely loyal and eventually became the crew's Master Gunner. Having little experience in how to sail, she made up for it with her knowledge and experience with ammunition and weaponry. From a wounded rogue with no star to sail by, this crew gave her a renewed sense of purpose, and she travels with them proudly.


Personality

Bernadette's youth was full of flippant misadventure and flagrant mistreatment of others outside of her 'family group'. While she is less flippant these days, she maintain the habit of being slow to collect people close to her, but fiercely loyal to those she considers to be part of her inner circle. They say there is no honor amongst thieves, and that may be true for most, but Bernie is faithful and dependable to her choice of family, be they honest men or rogues.

Outside of her chosen few, she has little care for other people. She doesn't dislike them, but she doesn't like them either. She can be civil, or even friendly and charming, but when it comes to it, their fate— be it good or bad— doesn't mean much to her. And in the case of an enemy, she does not hesitate or shed a tear at their passing. And all the better if it's her sending them on to the next life. She is not very good at reading emotions, be they her own or others. Displays make her uncomfortable, particularly her own, and she's likely to socially fumble or seize up when they occur. She is more practical than fanciful, despite her fantastical fate at present.

She is the type to see the various worst-case scenarios and can be something of a pessimist when things start to go wrong. Stubbornness carries her on, but when the chips fall, as they say, she is likely to blame herself for what she did wrong or didn't foresee. Depression is her greatest flaw, and low bouts take her into malaise and fits when she's at her worst. Her therapy come in the form of duty and work, and she often takes on more tasks than she can truly handle in the name of distraction.


Curse

Bernie has a talisman. A flat stone wrapped in a rope with a stylized carving of an ocean wave hangs from her neck at all times. Currently, the stone is unbreakable and cannot be lost. She can bury it under a mountain or throw it in the sea, but it will be back around her neck the next time she blinks. Originally, this talisman let her swim the oceans like the fish— specifically, as a mermaid— as if she were born there. But, once the mage who owned it realized it had been stolen, the gift twisted into a curse.

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One Hell Of A Swimmer

She turns into a mermaid anytime she is in water. A bath, too much heavy rain, anything that can well and truly soak her gets her turning whether she likes it or not. And she'll stay that way until she dries out. Or at least, until she's just damp, rather than soaked. When she's dry, she walks on two legs like any other person. When she's on land, it feels like she's walking on shards of glass. Soft grass, tough boots, it doesn't matter what sort of ground it is or what amount of protection she uses, the pain is constant. The only reprieve from either set of stingers on the curse is when she can manage to be mostly dry and on the water. That is, on a boat of something similar. The pain tends to set in as she walks along the docks from boat to shore.

Given that she is human by birth and in mind, despite the change her body, she has no knowledge or instinct when it comes to merculture. Truth be told, she's not even sure they actually exist, or if her altered form is something from the mage's imagination, since she tends to stay near boats and land. She doesn't know it, but all she needs to do is perform an act of pure selflessness to break the curse. Unfortunately, such acts are beyond her, as even her good deeds are performed with a selfish intent behind them.


See Character Notes for Bernadette and Logs for Bernadette.