Character design: Blackwood by Hope Dunlap


Blackwood is a fairly green solider in Mikael’s heavenly army. Though he is not fresh meat, he is far from a seasoned soldier.

Before his death, Blackwood was an alphyn who lived in a world somewhat akin to feudal Europe. The main difference was that the heraldic creatures portrayed on the various houses’ coats of arms were manifest into physical beings. Heraldic creatures such as Blackwood served as guards to their homes, defending them alongside their lords against all that would challenge them. The creatures rarely lived alongside the men whom they defended, only appearing when they were needed or when they sensed a threat to their homes. It has always been unclear where they go, as it has been proven that they cannot be summoned at will and are entirely independent creatures besides that they are invariably tied to the Lords they represent.
Blackwood represented the Lord Blackwood, who owned a manor in the country. Due to the relatively small size of Blackwood manor there was little action, which made the alphyn restless. When a threat finally rose in the form of a neighboring manor, Blackwood was all too eager for battle. Unfortunately, not long into the conflict, the Lord Blackwood and his entire family were assassinated. As the life left the last member of the Blackwood family, so did their creature fail and die.
Once in Heaven, the alphyn took some time to consider things before volunteering himself to the army. He supposed that had he been less rash and desperate for a fight he might have sensed the Lord Blackwood’s danger and been able to save him and his family.

Blackwood is still eager for battle, but has gotten much better at keeping that eagerness in check. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on who you ask, this learned patience has curbed his thoughts and words as well as his actions. Honestly he doesn’t approve of Heaven’s methods any more than say, Balthazar does, (or something to that affect since I don’t pretend to be familiar with the more specific details of another person’s character,) but he doesn’t feel it his place to speak against Mikael and God and whoever else is responsible for things. Blackwood is, to some extent, a coward. Though it is easy to make him /want/ to fight, it is another matter entirely to actually get him to fight. This goes double, even triple, for when he is alone. He is steadfast in his belief of prior-planning and hates being put on the spot for fear of a failure equal to that he experienced in life. When faced with improvisation, he is likely to run. He isn’t a bad guy, though, and will feel obligated to help someone in need. However, he will do it at his own pace and will run (or at least be more likely to mess up) if he is forced otherwise. For now, he sees no way out of Heaven’s methods and is content to simply receive orders and carry them out alongside his troop-mates.

Blackwood’s virtue is Resolution, and his sin is Wrath.

Blackwood is illiterate.
In battle, he likes to wrap his ridiculously long tail around his waist like a belt. Otherwise it would be far too easy to chop off or grab.
He fights with a hand-and-a-half sword, and has a parrying dagger though he doesn’t always use it.