Character Background 5: Priscilla McAlistair

26 Apr

Two days ago i officially began the composition of the 4th and final act. Before i get too far ahead however, it’s good time to do the final character background. So let’s talk about Priscilla.

Priscilla McAlistair is the daughter of Byron and his trophy wife, Charlotte. Although gay, as a popular politician it was in Byron’s best interest to be married, and Charlotte was willing. She was not blind at all to Byron’s lack of sexual interest in her, but he was a rising star with a great deal of money and could give her a child, which she wanted very much. A child and a secure, even posh environment to raise it was acceptable to her, and she and Byron were close and warm with each other throughout their short marriage.

After the events in Act 3, the city suffered a large amount of damage and order was restored by the imposition of martial law, which was never lifted. This was of course the very thing Byron had been decrying and railing about. He became even more rabid and it was while Priscilla was only a toddler that the police came to “ask him some questions” one day. He never returned and Priscilla never really knew him.

Charlotte raised Priscilla on her own, but became more nervous, fragile, and finally unhinged as time went on. After taking away her husband, the police not only watched her closely, but applied a great of deal of pressure and intimidation on her at every turn.

As the city became more and more of a police state, the general level of fear grew and Charlotte, who was clearly in great disfavor with the authorities, became more and more ostracized. Over time all this combined to shatter her nerves.

Thus Priscilla grew up with no father figure, an increasingly nervous and lonely mother, and in isolation. She also had Jasper the Doll.

Had Charlotte known that Jasper the Doll was still not only alive, but sitting in the house, she would have snapped, but Byron had hidden him in a series of secret rooms the large manor house had, and was arrested before he ever told her.

His daughter, snooping about, found him when she was about 11 and became immensely attached to him. She spent her adolescence with him as her primary friend, since she rarely left the manor and had almost no friends in the outside world. Indeed Priscilla, having spent the bulk of her life shut in the manor with a scared and nervous mother and a harsh, martial outside environment, had developed rather acute agoraphobia, that is, fear of the outside world.

Jasper was both her companion and as she learned to decipher his now rather adept communications (he strung together sentences using words and lines of songs being broadcast on the folk and country stations his mechanical body channeled) Jasper also served mildly as father figure. This was more pronounced for him, who actually knew that he was her great-grandfather and she is the first McAlistair he has real emotion for, in part because she reminds him of his daughter Fay (Priscilla’s grandmother) when she was young.

Priscilla, like most of her lineage, has a keen intellect, but after primary school was pulled out by her worried mother and left to teach herself using the ample collections of books in the manor library. There are numerous books on science and some political and economic texts, but she ends up favoring literature and so never actually develops real world skills. Priscilla is a happy recluse, living in a sheltered world, safe from the harsh and oppressive city outside, favoring fantasy and the company of a mechanical dead person over the actual world.

When Charlotte is eventually taken away to the Mental Ward, Priscilla shuts herself off in the house with no one but Jasper to keep her company. She and Jasper hole up in a secret room and start playing cards to pass the time. It is soon after this that the 4th Act begins.

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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Uncategorized



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