Oswald Collingwood

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About Me

Quick Stats

Name: Oswald Collingwood
Pronouns: he/him
Age: 24 (March 3rd)
Height: 165 (Lithe)
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Light Blue
Blood Type: A Negative
Residence Location: Cordova
Occupation Location: Cordova

Occupation: Accountant
Vehicle: N/A

Psychic Stats

Age Abilities Appeared: Seven
Eye Color: Gold
First Ability: Illusion
Second Ability: Invisibility
Third Ability: None

Power Description
Illusions:
Visual illusions are second nature to him after so many years of playing with his imaginary friends turned nearly real. While he can create images directly from his mind - these will always have an etheral, dream-like quality to them -, he is much more proficient at recreating things he's seen with life-like accuracy. Tactile illusions are his second forte, though he cannot affect another person with any sensation he hasn't felt himself (e.g. he can create the illusion of being burned on the hand by a stove all over someone's body but not the true sensation of being burned alive). Aural illusions are a bit more difficult for him, as like with his visual illusions, life-like accuracy only comes from what he's heard before (e.g. he can perfectly replicate someone saying something he's heard them say before, but making that same voice say different words usually results in the quality being a bit off - not dissimilar to when a voice actor is replaced on an animated television show). Olfactory illusions are difficult for him, and, usually, he leaves this sense out, as he's only able to create a vague sense of the smell or flavor - mostly due to the fact his own sense of smell and taste are relatively lacking.

The creation of an illusion is the most taxing, requiring him to visualize and project the image - along with whatever else he wants to add - into the physical world. The concentration required is something similar to sketching - the more detail needed, the longer it will take. On average, a single-sense illusion (typically a purely visual illusion) requires the shortest span of time: recall the image and project the energy needed to materialize it. The more senses, the more need for cohesion, the longer it can take. Once created, the illusion must be maintained to continue existing, but it's similar in focus to reciting a well-known line of a favourite poem; the more illusions, the more lines to repeat.

His illusions are broken up into three different "classes": simple, intricate, and grand.
Simple illusions require very little focus to create and maintain, are familiar objects or animals (or specific people he has lots of practice creating), and are either purely visual or visual and tactile.

Intricate illusions require a fair amount of focus to create and a steady concentration to maintain, are much more detailed objects, animals, or people, and are usually visual, tactile, and aural at least.

Grand illusions require an intense amount of focus to create and his undivided attention to maintain, are entire reconstructions of events including objects, animals, and people, and are always visual, tactile, and aural. If the event requires olfactory, these illusions are usually included as well.

All his illusions typically require at least some practice to perfect as well as maintain; however, his grand illusions are, essentially, a one-man puppet show, and they are not something he can just conjure up out of his head on a whim. Depending upon the complexity of the "scene", it may take him weeks or months to get everything correct, though once learned they are much easier to recall and recreate. Usually, when in need of his abilities to defend himself, he sticks to simple illusions - though if he has the time, intricate illusions aren't so slow to create that they're ineffective in a fight - or flight.

Invisibility:
While moving, he is able to conceal himself from view and sound, but his scent and heat signature will still remain. If he stays still, he can completely mask his presence as long as he's able to withstand it. It's relatively easy for him to slip into invisibility, but maintaining it requires him to ignore a growing sensation of limbs "falling asleep" - that feeling when you know it's going to happen, but hasn't quite completely numbed you yet. This feeling steadily intensifies, increasing his anxiety and, eventually, sending his nerve endings into overdrive - a sensation similar to being pricked with needles over and over again with growing intensity.

Though theoretically, he can maintain his invisibility indefinitely, he's only able to withstand about thirty minutes while staying completely invisible and roughly an hour - give or take his current state of exhaustion prior - while moving.

While moving, normal humans will have a hard time smelling him or feeling his body heat, but Vampires and Werewolves will have no issue locating him.

If he reaches the point of "needling skin" from holding his invisibility for too long - roughly around the 20 minute/45 minute marks respectively - for every minute after he maintains the invisibility, he will have to endure two minutes of "backlash" once he releases the ability - his body will continue to be in pain even after he's no longer actively using the ability.

This ability doesn't require any sort of focus beyond enduring the mountain pain of maintainence.

Vampire Stats

Age Turned:
Eye Color: N/A
Level: N/A
First Ability: None
Second Ability: None
Animal Form: N/A
Group: N/A
Rank: None
Role: None


Power Description

Were Stats

Age Turned:
Eye Color: N/A
Sex: Male
Species: N/A
Level: N/A
Group: N/A
Rank: None
Role: None


Animal Description

Appearance

Clean: He looks like he smells of soaps and folds his laundry right out of the dryer. He looks like the kind of guy who washes his hands every time after using the toilet, like the kind of guy who doesn't double dip or share drinks with someone, like the kind of guy who wakes up and the first thing he does is brush his teeth and floss. Managed styled hair, pressed suits, unwrinkled t-shirts and sweaters, a crisp scent of cedar and something vaguely floral, shoes that get replaced before they get scuffed and shabby, underwear with any holes where they shouldn't be, moisturized skin, carefully clipped and filed fingernails, a smooth and close-shaven jawline... if he were to say he was the poster boy for hand sanitizer, most people wouldn't think twice.

Composed: He looks like he's spent years working up an immunity to bullshit - or however close he can get to it. He looks like the kind of guy who quietly nods and continues with whatever he was doing before someone started screaming at him, like the kind of guy who would stand out in the rain under his umbrella and patiently wait for one of the continually passing taxis to finally notice him, like the kind of guy who might offer a shallow smile after being told a joke and say something like, "That's funny". Calm and unassuming stares, quiet but firm tone, straight-backed posture, a deliberate and steady gait, gentle but intentional of touch, near silent nose-breathing, seemingly effortlessly organized trains of thought... there's no doubt when all of that meets the limit, he'll erupt in a blaze enough to rival Vesuvius.

Detached: He looks like he doesn't have much of an opinion on dogs or cats. He looks like the kind of guy who politely declines to hold his sister's baby with a shake of his head and a surprisingly insistent wave of his hand, like the kind of guy who doesn't celebrate his own birthday so he won't have to be held accountable for celebrating the birthdays of others, like the kind of guy who listens to practical podcasts about practical things because he just "doesn't get" music. Walking past panhandlers without a second - or even first - glance, a phone that's checked more often than a casual acquaintance's eyes during a passing conversation, simple and succinct texts, no background and the default ringtone, a picture library containing only the pre-loaded images... some people might say, "Wow, what a boring guy." while others may be more prone towards, "I bet he's a serial killer."

Inoffensive: He looks like that one guy who sat in the middle of the classroom during biology and would always answer questions correctly when called on but no one really knew much about him or cared to find out. He looks like the kind of guy who comes into the coffee shop every weekday and always orders the same artisan tea that's way too overpriced but always has to specifically order it because the barista never remembers who he is until he orders, like the kind of guy who's never invited to company events because the coordinators always seem to forget to include him, like the kind of guy who adds to a conversation and gets those reactive looks of surprise before anyone thinks to actually respond to what he said. Soft-footed, a neutral pallet of primarily greys and beiges, average height, attractive but in that generic sort of "doesn't he look like..." way, rarely ever making jokes with anyone about anything... if he wasn't so very much there when he does interact with people, it wouldn't be much of a surprise if he just faded away into nothing.

Wistful: When he's alone - or thinks he's alone - he looks a little different than he usually does, like there's something out of reach and if he can just figure out how to finally stretch out and take it, everything will fall into place. He looks like the kind of guy who's been through some damage and hasn't really figured out what to do with himself, like the kind of guy who still has dreams and ideas and keeps curiosities on that low-heat backburner in the mind, like the kind of guy who expends so much energy being a certain way that when he finally has a chance to be himself he doesn't know what that even looks like anymore. Dreamy gazes into the distance, subdued movements, quiet slips of a tumbling stream of consciousness, form-fitting t-shirts and joggers, mussed-but-still-neat hair, crossword puzzles and Sudoku... most people don't see it and even fewer would probably believe it.

Personality

Conflicted: So very little in life is black and white, cut and dry, A or B. Over the years, he's made choices - choices he regrets but rationalizes under the heading of "they were necessary". While he's quite practised at thinking one thing and saying another, it doesn't make the cognitive dissidence any easy to manage internally. He constantly wonders if who he is - who he is becoming - is who he should really be, and if not, who is it that he should be? He often comes across as quietly confident: a careful choice of words here, another unobtrusive but firm command there. Most everything he says or does passes through a wild, turbulent mix of internal musings - not that he'd ever let anyone see that on his face. All in all, he knows he hasn't handled his life in the way he should have, but he isn't sure if he wants to change things either.

Absorbed: Constantly questioning his own motives, morals, and musings, he doesn't have a lot of time to invest in other people. Most conversations consist of what he immediately thinks arguing with what his more rational, practised facade demands - which is exhausting. This tends to push him away from socializing - more often he'll listen and nod and observe. Less so because he's shy, and more so because he simply doesn't have the energy to invest in anything much beyond a "How are you? I'm fine, thanks." Every once in a while, when he's dragged into a discussion, he may let some of his true thoughts slip purely for the sake of escape. He's more concerned with the "why" behind what he's doing than the actual "what", leading to many of the more outgoing individuals who know him as an acquaintance to consider him rude - and rightly so.

Two-faced: Like many, many people, he is a product of his environment - and a change in environment present a change in the product itself. In public, where he's forced to share space will all the hundreds and thousands of strangers who, somehow, manage to have more of a sway over how he feels he should act than his own self, he is reserved and professional and - usually - polite. He doesn't engage if he doesn't have to; he doesn't get involved with anything that doesn't involve him - and even then, involvement is usually as reluctant as etiquette allows. He works in silence, eats alone, stands up for the elderly and pregnant on the bus, and he never asks anyone to repeat themselves. At home, he's more like how he used to be - or, at least, as close to it as he can remember. He's still quiet, still calm, but he lets his mind wander. He allows himself to indulge in daydreams and bitter-framed nostalgia. He contemplates and considers and teases his brain with all manner of puzzles and games and whatever else he can find to occupy his time. It isn't so much he intentionally does this - lies right to the faces of the people he's forced to interact with every day - so much as it's become a habit. What started as a defence mechanism became a very real part of him - one he isn't sure he wants, but is relatively convinced he needs.

Perceptive: His memory, specifically, is expansive. Drawn more to curiosities, anomalies, and patterns, he may be able to recall what subject topic he was subjected to the day before in that commonly vague sense that typically comes with recollection, but if someone wants to know what Amy was wearing last week, he has no difficulty envisioning that teal dress with the six polygons - because one of them was cut off by the seam, making it look as though it had seven sides as opposed to the six and fours of the others. He does well with citations of facts as well, but anything like poetry or music doesn't seem to have the same hooks to sink into his brain. He is also particularly attentive when it comes to people's facial expressions - much more so than the words they're saying or the tones they're using. He has a habit of checking reactions now and then to find a point of exit from the conversation - or to manage himself appropriately and create one as soon as possible.

Patient: Specifically he has a very high tolerance for other people and their issues. Not only can he handle most whining, complaining, or catty gossip without throwing up his hands and retaliating with a biting remark or exasperated exit, he can do so without ever once giving the indication he's not interested - though neither does he ever give much indication he's interested either. He prefers when people complain about their own lives, as it's much much easier to respond to than when someone is actually wanting a true conversation, and he tends to attract people who love to hear the sounds of their own voices and pat his shoulder and tell him he's "such a good listener". It suits him just fine, as long as they don't ask him to join in.

Driven: When something is started, it should be finished. He doesn't have a whole lot of absolutes in his life, but when it comes to seeing something through, nothing short of death will keep it from it. For this reason, he tends to be fairly judicious when deciding what it is he's going to apply himself towards. Once he decides what he's going to do, even if he changes his mind somewhere along the way, he makes certain to complete it. Some people might describe it as stubbornness, but a personal obsession might be more accurate: it's not that he forces himself to finish because he thinks it's the right thing to do, rather it's an obsessive compulsion driven by guilt. He's learned to manage it well enough, but it's one of the things he does nothing to change, finding it a fitting part of himself, even if it causes problems for him here and there.

Misandrist: Not entirely all-inclusive, he doesn't care much for most people. To care for someone is to expose oneself to pain and loss - two things he has no real love for. Unlike a true misandrist, he does feel a sort of pang in his chest every time he ignores someone in need or personally sees to someone else's misery. It doesn't stop him, of course, but his memory is speckled with the faces of the people he's hurt - both those he meant to and those he didn't. Part of his natural aversion to getting involved with other people has helped to colour this aspect of his personality; where it may have once been "this is uncomfortable" he now is more inclined to think of philanthropy and altruism as "a waste of time".

Lonely: Hating everyone is tiring, and he wasn't always like that. There was a time when he had friends - real friends - and though he can't bring himself to start over and try again, it doesn't stop him missing them - those times he used to have when things were simpler and he was stupider. Part of it is a self-inflicted punishment for his own idiocy as a kid, but mostly his loneliness is driven by fear. However much he may want to have someone in his life aside from his own whirling thoughts and potted plants, the thought of losing something he hasn't even found yet is far more terrifying than never having it all. So, instead, he convinces himself that the life he has is the one he deserves and that his loneliness is just a part of him, as much as the blue of his eyes.

Guilty: It comes in waves, that rush of remembrance, that tightening of the chest, the nightmares. He tends to ignore most guilt that doesn't have to do with his childhood, shoving it aside with a cold shower and morning run or drowning it out with an NPR broadcast about the current state of the rainforest. When it does get to him, he's prone to laying in bed, puffy-eyed, with a box of tissues on his bare stomach as he stares up at the ceiling for however many hours it takes for him to snap out of it. Most times, he lets it in. Most times, he controls when he falls apart. Most times.

History

The Collingwoods.

Old money - not quite founders, but close enough. Their name, like their contemporaries, carried weight and was not tossed around lightly by those who had the right to use it. Like any family, they had their secrets, their skeletons neatly tucked away inside of their expansive closets. The most well-kept?

They were witches.

Not everyone was fortunate enough to inherit the gift. There were plenty of Collingwoods who had never had an ounce of metaphysical power to call upon, even entire generations that the gene - if it was indeed a gene at all - seemed to skip. How surprising, then, when it was discovered that every single one of Byron and Rosalyn's boys had inherited the gift - all four of them. By far the greatest concentration of magic since the earliest generations of their family, the excitement settled as the boys grew older, as excitement often does, from doting and praise to expectation.

Gilbert, the oldest, discovered his healing abilities shortly after his seventh birthday - soothing his younger sibling’s scrapes after they tumbled out of a tree on the estate. A prodigy if ever there was one, his talents grew, and by the time he graduated high school, sights set upon medical school, he could cure the common cold as easily as a paper cut. Tall, athletic, charismatic, intelligent, and handsome, he was the epitome of a Collingwood.

Ptolemy, the second son, awakened to his telekineses just before his sixth birthday - knocking one of his younger siblings out of a tree on the estate. Though not nearly as prodigious as Gilbert, he was a clever imp of a child and progressed in power at a steady rate. The roguish, devilishly attractive young man caused plenty of problems for the upstanding family, but Gilbert had a way about him that, eventually, saw him transition into a respectable enough psychologist - after he developed the ability to read the minds of others, of course.

Beckett, the third son, found he was particularly amenable to the earth and the plants that grew within it on his fifth birthday - softening the ground to catch one of his younger siblings who had just fallen out of a tree on the estate. Though kind in his own way, Beckett was fascinated with the plants he was able to manipulate and loved spending his time studying them. It was no surprise that he excelled in biology, and was sought after by many prestigious companies for his "nearly magical" skills with research and development of hardier plant species fresh out of his undergraduate program.

Finally, there was Oswald, the fourth and last son. When he was knocked out of the tree, caught by the softened earth, and health by the tender touch of his oldest sibling, he had no awakening to new and mysterious powers like the others. Three full years passed before he discovered he was able to bring to life the thoughts in his head to dance and play around him in the real world. At that point, however, most of his parents' focus had been invested into his other siblings - and though they passingly appreciated the pretty little butterflies of light and silly, fanciful creatures, they found no practical application for it. Tricks of the light, illusions - but illusions weren't real.

While the others excelled in their own respective fields of interest, Oswald was satisfactory at everything. He was intelligent, but not the most intelligent. He was creative, but not the most creative. He was athletic, but not the most athletic. Everything he did, someone was always better at it than he was. It wasn't as if he didn't put in the effort - if anything, he tried harder out of a slowly swelling spite - but, every time, it seemed he simply wasn't good enough.

Gilbert pitied him. Ptolemy mocked him. Beckett often forgot he even existed - though that was difficult to take personally considering he tended to forget everyone else but Gilbert and their parents.

This wasn't to say his childhood was miserable. He always got what he asked for on his birthday and for Christmas - though if he forgot to tell his parents exactly what it was he wanted, they never guessed correctly on their own. He had friends, classmates who he spent time with and who didn't mind spending time with him if it was convenient. He had everything he needed just... not everything he wanted.

And what he desperately desired more than anything was to be noticed. To be acknowledged for something that he, and he alone, could do.

Of course, he was smart enough to never once consider revealing his abilities - however transient in nature they were - to the world at large. Even a child seeking praise wasn't quite fool enough break the single most important taboo of his family, repeated to him time and time again. But that didn't stop him from searching for the one thing that he could do - the one thing that would set him apart and prove to his parents, to his brothers, to everyone, that he was more than "the youngest Collingwood".

And that was how he stumbled upon the game.

Always searching, always yearning, he found the urban puzzles fascinating. All the hidden messages and missions were like they had been made specifically for him - or so he imagined up until the night he met her. She was playing too, and for the first time in his life, when she looked at him he felt as though she saw him, not a knock-off Gilbert or a marginally-more-social-but-dumber Beckett. She saw Oswald, and she wanted to see him. There was another, the other, and he'd considered her a friend at the time.

But friendship, unlike what people are so quick to assure you is the opposite, is alarmingly fickle.

When she died, so too did his desire to know anyone or have anyone know him. He blamed the other. He blamed himself. He blamed his family and his brothers and anyone and everyone. Where before he had so desperately sought to earn respect, earn praise, he no longer cared to. Instead, he faded into the background, accepted what seemed to be his fate. If the world demanded he be nothing more than the grey of the wall, so be it.

Though he searched for it after its morbid conclusion, the game never returned. Life was as mundane as it had promised him it would be as a child struggling so valiantly against the inevitable, and he no longer had much of a reason to do anything other than accept it. He went to university. He studied and passed his tests and wrote his essays. Somewhere along the line, it seemed his complete unremarkability decided to manifest itself in a gradual but complete removal of his self from everyday life, and still he shambled steadily onward. From time to time he thought of her, of them - all of them, and that was the only time he really felt. Felt like he used to. Felt like how he imagined he would feel forever when they were together, solving puzzles, breaking into houses, giggling and chattering and celebrating their own shortsighted genius.

He was offered a job as a staff accountant for his uncle's law firm in Cordova a few weeks before his graduation - one he took without question. His brothers scattered across the world, leaving his parents with an empty nest. They requested - or, perhaps, demanded - he stay with them for the first few years of his employment, which went about as smoothly as anyone could expect. Shortly after the second, he moved into an apartment a short way from the firm, finding living alone to be far preferable over his parents’ far too late, and now far too overbearing interest in his life both professional and personal. When the vampires were revealed to the world - and were-creatures shortly after - he wasn't surprised, nor was he particularly interested. After all, it had nothing to do with him. Not anymore.

At least, that was what he thought.

Other

Face Claim: Luke Powell

+doesn't drink coffee
+can't whistle
+mildly intolerant to dairy products
+left-handed
+prefers spicy food
+great at most non-latin ballroom dances but otherwise cannot dance
+better at sports that need hand-eye coordination
+irrationally scared of being out on open water +hates vampires +disinterested in other psychics and were-creatures

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