Elvira Banes

A mage unaccompanied by a familiar, devoted sister, widow, soft-spoken storyteller, and traveller, Elvira Banes is trying to outrun her past. Nearly inseparable from her "brother" Arthur following the murder of her husband, she hopes that the two can finally make a fresh start in Dornie. She desires also to step away from her former criminal deeds and focus on an honest living dazzling children with her magic.


Full Name: Patience Elvira Banes-Saxon
Age: 25
Hair: Dark Brown
Eyes: Green

Status: Alive
Occupation: Storyteller and Con Woman
Origin: Kingsley, Cheshire, England
Allegiance: Independent

First Seen: An Intriguing Proposal
Last Seen: None

Description: Elvira's appearance is mutable given the nature of her brand of magic, but with minimal enchantment, she's 5'8” and olive skinned with dark brown hair that shows golden hues in the sunlight. Full brows create a slight arch above long lashes and expressive pale green eyes, while well-defined cheekbones and jaw line give soft angles and length to her feminine face. Though she tends to be caught wool-gathering often, looking sometimes haunted, her pale pink lips seem to quirk up in one corner, like there's a hidden smile always threatening to show itself.


  • Arthur Banes - adoptive brother
  • Byron Saxon † - husband
  • Marcus Banes - father
  • Kiley Banes - mother

Portrayed by: Eva Green


Patience Elvira Banes was born the only child of Marcus and Kiley Banes, and a mage. Shortly after her first birthday, a calico cat began to hang around the Banes' home, though Kiley refused to allow the feline in. It began leaving offerings of birds on the doorstep, but it was the way baby Patience lit up when she would see the creature that finally urged the Banes to take it into their home. This was the child's familiar, named Endures-the-Wait.

The little girl discovered her magical ability after her fourth birthday, when Endures-the-Wait told her she could look however she wanted, and so Patience turned her own hair the colour of blueberries. At the suggestion of her familiar, she kept her ability to herself, and practised by recounting stories to the cat that her mother had told her, illustrating them with her illusions. Miniature fire-breathing dragons, small towers with princesses trapped inside, and tiny, gallant knights to save the day. This practise would serve to become her trade in adulthood.

When Patience was only six, Endures-the-Wait was killed presumably by hobs. The girl woke in the night, screaming and sobbing, though she could not accurately articulate to her parents what was wrong. The bones of a cat were found in a field behind the house the following morning. Near catatonic for days, and weepy for months to follow, it took Patience the better part of two years to begin to recover from the loss of Endures-the-Wait. She took solace in her magical studies, resolving to grow stronger as an illusionist for her friend's sake.

It wasn't until Arthur Alden came into her life when she was eight that Patience truly started to come out of her shell again. And it was because of the marked change in their daughter's demeanour that Marcus and Kiley insisted Arthur join their family. Patience recognised Arthur's familiar for what it was, and felt drawn to the thirteen-year-old. Though she never let on that she was aware of the significance of the sparrowhawk, lest she have to explain how she understood the bond.

The Banes family fell on hard times as Patience approached her teens, and while she took on odd jobs around town to help out, Arthur's methods were less scrupulous. She had recognised his ability to talk people into giving him things, in ways that weren't always honest, but had ignored the behaviour or written it off as necessary in their situation. But once she finally got up the courage to tell Arthur that she was a mage like him, and demonstrate her ability, she discovered how dishonest he could be. Arthur was a con artist, and despite the crushing disappointment of the admission, Patience was persuaded to help him carry out his schemes.

Over the years, the two kept their family afloat, but with each success, Arthur became more bold. His schemes became more elaborate. Patience knew it was no longer about the stability of their family, but about the thrill of the game. So when he proposed to her that she convince Byron Saxon, who was set to inherit the business of governing shipping throughout Cheshire and the surrounding counties, that he should marry her, Patience agreed. Only once she'd gotten engaged and backing out would risk exposure did she make her demands of Arthur: She would marry Saxon, and he would give up grifting for good. It was only the evening before her wedding, after she tearfully confessed that the idea of marrying the man terrified her, but that she would do it for her brother and her family, that he agreed.

Now Patience Elvira Saxon, she discovered her fears of marriage where justified. Her husband was emotionally abusive, and not a gentle man. Especially if he'd been at the pub, which was nearly every night. She accepted that this was her role in life, but things only became worse when she had difficulty conceiving. She was nearly in her third year of marriage before she became pregnant. After she miscarried, Byron's abuse became physical. She hid the evidence with her magic, much to the bafflement of her husband, who began to wonder if his memories of having treated his wife roughly were only alcohol-induced.

It took nearly three more years of attempts before Patience managed to get pregnant again, and this time when she miscarried, she tried to hide the evidence from Byron. When he found out she had been keeping it from him, he beat her so severely that her nose was broken, and she was unable to find the strength to leave the house for over a week. Her husband said she had taken ill and lost the child, and that she wanted to be alone. In this way, his deeds were kept a secret. Except from Arthur, who discovered the truth of his sister's marriage through his own magical ability to see the history of objects he touches.

When Arthur confronted her, Patience tried to deny what he had discovered. She suggested he was misconstruing what he'd seen, or taking it out of context. But when he grew angry and began to shout at her, she broke down, reminded too much of her husband's moods. It was a relief to be honest with someone finally, especially her brother. She made it clear, however, that he stayed and endured what she had for his sake. So he would never have to go back to being a con man. She fully expected that he would hatch some scheme to have her husband thrown in jail, or come up with some way to nullify her marriage while not leaving her penniless. What she didn't expect was to find her husband murdered.

Fearing that Arthur had been behind what had happened, Patience set about allaying rumours that she had had her husband killed, while surreptitiously gathering everything of value to distribute between her parents, and herself and her brother. She suggested they leave Kingsley for good and start a new life elsewhere. He agreed, and the two set out north. And when they ran out of supplies and items to barter with, they returned to spinning stories and talking people out of their goods so they could survive. Patience, now calling herself by her middle name Elvira, is disappointed and ashamed by the turn her life is taken, but is glad she and her brother are safe. He's told her about a place in Scotland, called Dornie, where the two will be able to settle and live honestly again, and that gives her hope.


Quiet and withdrawn, for all that Elvira encourages others to trust her, she has a hard time trusting in return. Though she trusts her adopted brother Arthur, it isn't implicitly. He's lied to her before in ways that have hurt her deeply, but he's still her best friend and she knows he looks out for her. She can't say the same for the rest of the world.

Though she's done a lot of inherently dishonest things in life to get by, Elvira makes the attempt to be honest in all other aspects of her life. Admittedly, she doesn't find omitting information to be dishonest in most situations, but she feels less guilt for that than an outright lie.

Elvira genuinely enjoys her work as a storyteller. Having been an unhappy child, she takes a great sense of pride in making children smile now. More than anything, she hopes to make life better for those around her in her new home.


Elvira's natural talent for illusionary magic manifested while she was only a toddler. She had an instant knack for it, able to change her own appearance with only a thought. As she grew older, her skill grew, even without the guidance of her familiar. She could change the look of her clothes, hide her messes from sight so she could clean them up without being discovered, and eventually discovered that she could make things appear that didn't exist.

There is very little ritual required her superficial illusions - those that she supervises and keeps in sight, and under her own control. Causing an object to appear transfigured once out of her possession for any length of time, however, requires more concentration and a powerful charm placed on it. Generally such charms much be renewed, the length of time varying by the complexity of the illusion. However, if she can obtain the right components, Elvira is capable of permanently charming an object. For instance, she could potentially create a cloak that lends its wearer invisibility.

The illusions are just that, however. Illusions. A created lamp cannot actually illuminate a room. While it might appear to light up, it would be as if that light could not permeate anything around it. Any potential shadows cast by the false light would be telling as well, in that they would not be quite as they should be. A conjured basket of fruit would initially yield taste and texture, but the one consuming it would realise quickly there is no substance or sustenance to be had.

Despite the intangibility of these seemingly conjured items, a willing disbelief allows them to be interacted with. That is, if someone is aware they are dealing with an illusion and accepts what it represents, then the object will continue to seem real to them. Conversely, if a person was initially unaware that the object was an illusion, and discovers it in some fashion, they will summarily be unable to interact with it properly if they do not wish to accept the object as a reality. The illusion will continue to interact with its environment as though it were real, however. For example, a conjured orange, once discovered to be merely illusionary, and that illusion rejected by the person in possession of that orange, would find the orange would fall through their fingers. It could then hit the table, rather than fall through it or disappear, and roll along its surface and onto the floor. Someone unwitting to the illusion could then pick it up and be none the wiser unless otherwise alerted, or discovering.

Objects magicked to appear differently still retain their physical properties. A cloak with a large hole made to appear as though the hole does not exist would still be a rather draughty garment. A beret made to look like a straw hat would not offer the same protection from the sun. A wormy apple made to appear shiny and luscious would still taste rotten and maggoty if one attempted to consume it.

The easiest application of her magic is what she does her own physical appearance. It's also the trickery she engages in most often, as vanity and a small dash of paranoia cause her to make straight a crooked nose and make blonde hair dark brown instead. Changes to her brother's appearance are just as simple and second nature to her, though she generally only makes his attire look nicer than what the two of them can actually afford. Though changing an item to look like something similar is simplistic, Elvira's level of detail is what makes each illusion believable. The feel of wool fabric when one is really handling cotton, or the glimmer of gold when the item is actually iron are easy tricks.

An added benefit of her craft is that Elvira is able to detect the presence of illusions cast by others. She may be able to dispel them if hers is the greater skill, though she rarely sees the need to. She understands the inherent deceit in her ability and unless the intent is malicious, she does not begrudge others for their own applications.

For more, see: Character Notes for Elvira Banes
For logs in which Elvira appears, see: Logs for Elvira Banes