Fletcher Cruikshank

After being driven out of his original settlement, Fletcher Cruikshank and a handful of other like minds are a nomadic group of travelers who have banded together to protect themselves from the elements, ever-transient in their patterns. They also subscribe to magic cultist sentiment that Cruikshank does much to encourage, with him as its voice, in an effort to surround himself with competent people. He has the habit of collecting books and dealing with them like a currency.

He also does the same thing with his magical powers.


Full Name: Fletcher Cruikshank
Age: 35
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown

Status: Alive
Occupation: Um…
Origin: Berwick-upon-Tweed, England
Allegiance: Independent

First Seen: N/A
Last Seen: N/A

Description: Dark haired and dark eyed, with only a small amount of olive in his skin tone, Fletcher is of indefinite ethnicity without being very remarkable or striking about it. His is a little nebbish, standing at 5'8" with a coltish, kind of sunken sort of skinniness, and makes up for it presumably with some intellect, or at least, restless hands and an anxious kind of energy imply as much. There is a sharp, rattish quality to his features that is well defined with severe bone structure, and a fair amount of expressiveness that comes easy, making lies, thoughts and kneejerk feelings apparent in more extreme moments.


  • Madison Cruikshank † (mother)
  • ??? (father)

Portrayed by: James Callis


In a world where bloodlines are becoming a thing of some power, being an orphan and adopted by no one is an unfortunate way to begin.

Fletcher's mother did not die during childbirth, but she was weakened severely by it, being of a frail disposition in a community that did not richly thrive. His father is a point of mystery and little importance, apparently, as Fletcher never knew him or really ever asked after him — his mother's last name was Cruikshank, whether claimed for herself or inherited, and it was his as well. When sickness took her in his early childhood, he was able only to take her sewing box full of buttons, thread, thimbles and needles when told to get out of the property, already being reclaimed by the community-based council of power that ran the little Berwick-upon-Tweed settlement. He was handed to the orphanage, a devoutly religious place that was largely informal — those who cared for the handful of children that passed through it tended to come and go, checking in for a given day or an evening, donating food and education, the latter of which was mostly learnings of the Bible.

There weren't too many children, at the house, and Cruikshank recalls none of them save for this one girl, and even then, her name is elusive. He remembers her to be taller than him, older by a few years, resembling a small brick building and with a shock of red hair and no eyebrows. And a bully. Physical tormenting came in the form of regular shoves, jabs, attempts to begin fights, throwing his belongings out the window, and whatever else seemed to occur to her.

Fortunately, Cruikshank wasn't alone. His familiar— not that he knew this word, at the time— came to him in the form of plain looking birds and a sneaky female voice. It was a relationship he kept secret, at Shade's advisement, and one day, she asked him if he wanted to get back at That Girl. He did, badly, and she told him what to do. One evening, he took his mother's sewing kit from beneath his bed, used the scissors to cut slices from the underside of his bed, the thread and needle to sew it into a vaguely person-shaped doll, and buttons for eyes. It took him a fair while, occasionally stabbing himself in the fingers to do it, but Shade assured him that blood gave it power. Lastly, he stole a few long red hairs from That Girl's hairbrush.

That week, That Girl suffered from unusual ailments, usually intense pain at random areas of the body. Those with any medical skill were brought in to see her, but they could find nothing physically wrong with her. It was decided she was doing it for attention and was soundly ignored or punished whenever she cried out for help. For a week, Cruikshank made her life torture.

But what to do with the doll? Shade didn't know either. Not wishing to be discovered, he threw it in the hearth.

That Girl didn't die, but she came close. No visible injury was left on her, save for the side effects of shock, some seizures, an intense fever. It didn't take them long to discover the remains of the doll in the fireplace, or the slices of fabric cut from his bed. Cruikshank expected a beating, but instead, he was mostly just locked in a room, no one wishing to even talk to him. Only later in life would he know they'd come close to deciding he'd be dealt with via death by exposure, and it was only the intellectual curiousity of one of the religious elders that spared his life.

Life after that was a little surreal. By the time Cruikshank was in his early adolescence, he'd been living under the care of Angus and his family for the rest of his childhood. As adamantly Catholic as the rest, Angus was, it seemed, determined to put Cruikshank on the right track, perhaps just to see if one of those that are cursed with devil-magic could. He was taught all about the evils of his ability and what he was, about what magic did to the world, about the ungodly deities that lived beyond the veil, that cared nothing for human existence and would vanquish it with the ease of blinking if not for Catholic faith that staved it away like a candle struggling against the shadows. The Bible was not the only book in Cruikshank's curriculum, but many others as well — philosophy, folklore, occult scripture both before and after the end of the world. It was important that Cruikshank understand the depth of his sins.

Unfortunately, Cruikshank sort of thought it was all a good idea.

In the meantime, he was generally punished for any inclination towards sinful magic, whether it be talking to animals, toying with items in a way that seemed too fascinated, or even simply being too quiet. Dunkings into buckets of water, his hands lashed together, isolation under the stairs all became a little normal. He educated himself, however, to best avoid it, to say the right things to be seen as learning what Angus wanted him to learn. At age fourteen, he simply left his given home, and though the shadow of what he did at the orphanage hung over him for the rest of his life at Berwick like a cloud, it had also moved on a little. The religious sect that dominated the town was a majority, but hardly accounted for everyone. Cruikshank paved his way first in tutoring children— and even adults— how to write and do their numbers. Later, it would be with the buying and selling of magical trinkets to those a little more open to such things than those he grew up with.

They were carefully without negativity — tokens that women could wear to enhance their own fertility, or protective items made of iron to keep bad magic from the doors of family houses, or decorations for crop fields to encourage a good harvest. They were both inoffensive as well as effective, and Cruikshank took payment in the form of food, clothing, materials for his craft, and, if he could manage it, books, something he started fastidiously collecting and hoarding and trading with. He educated himself on his own ability and the mythos that surrounded magic in general, and educated others, too. For a good measure of his young adult life, he stayed at a cottage on the property of a farmer he'd helped prosper, and welcomed anyone who wanted to come talk about the evils of his ability and what he was, about what magic did to the world, about the ungodly deities that lived beyond the veil, that cared nothing for human existence and would vanquish it with the ease of blinking.

There was a lot of drugs and ritualised sex during this time too. Notorious stories circulated the community, but apart from sneers or shunning or disparaging whispers, Cruikshank did not get too much in the way of retaliation, due to mostly behaving himself.

Except for the murder of a prized pony, the only thing left of it being its treated skin hidden in Cruikshank's belongings, its corpse savaged by a few hungry Reds. Some suspected, but no one could prove it.

But as fate would have it, an unprecedented disaster afflicted the community. Six Green Tails destroyed an entire flock of sheep, injuring those who tried to stave them away. The magical nature of this disaster had blame readily pointing towards the little magic cultist group, turning even those of more open minds that had benefited from Cruikshank's power in the past against them. They were driven from the town in an almost predictable display of pitch forks and torches, the cottage set alight for all that it didn't even belong to Cruikshank, and the farmer's land was razed to ash and dust for the sin of housing this evil for his own gain. His family, along with Cruikshank's more devout followers, left that evening, taking some of the horses and caravans available to them and setting out into the colder north.

It has been some several months. Not everyone was fully equipped to a nomadic lifestyle, and eventually, the family that had come with them broke away, surrendering the equipment and animals to the group after some tense posturing about blackmail and the implication of Cruikshank's abilities. They acquired people of skill who traded abilities like hunting and protection and being able to tolerate the enclave of mysticism and drug use. Cruikshank worked hard at keeping such people close and around him, making himself important in ways of enlightenment and general guidance, although this was mainly spurred through the fact he had no idea how he'd survive without the people that travelled with him.

They would, eventually, need to settle somewhere.


Sneaky, underhanded, selfish and manipulative, are all qualities that Cruikshank works to conceal and sometimes succeeds in doing so, even. But they are an inherent part of him, beginning in childhood and continuing on into adulthood. Growing up with no loyalties except for himself and his familiar, Cruikshank is at least a very social lone wolf. He requires people to thrive without developing much in the ways of true attachment and responsibility in return, and this is mostly because he really doesn't trust anyone to feel very differently about him in return. This mostly gives him allowance to blackmail, snipe at, lie to others, but he has difficulty with things of higher stakes, such as murder or excess cruelty. The latter being an exception when he has been particularly slighted.

And although he certainly uses his own beliefs and the gullibility of others to his benefit, Cruikshank does have a genuine belief in his own ideology. It's just not sacred enough to not blatantly use to get ahead, whether that's through profit or getting laid. He is more self-centred about it than he lets on, not really believing that mundanes could ever be as powerful as he is while still believing that magic is threaded through all things, including mundanes. He has no belief in God, but does believe in a higher power, and does kneel to it when he feels so moved to do so. He does have a nigh on obsessive love of books, but this comes also from a natural inclination to hoard things — he has tools dedicated to his craft that he would defend just as fiercely.

Of the vices that do him no favours, Cruikshank's habit for hallucinogenic drugs dances a line between control and addiction. He has become quite accustomed to using them, and ordinarily restricts it towards rituals and enlightenment. He will, however, indulge otherwise, and is in some denial about doing so, usually justifying it as being relevant to the moment as demands.



Cruikshank's familiar manifests, for the most part, as a female magpie, who occasionally seems to outstrip his intuition in his own field. Her name is Keeps-to-the-Shade.

Ask him about his power and he'll say it's merely the ability to discover the magical properties in everything else.