Lady Valentina “Viluy” L'vovna Romodanovska Alias/Pseudonym:
+Viluy is her witch name and is a bastardization of Вилю́й (Vilyuy)
, the name of a river in Central Siberia.
+L'vovna is her patronymic name. Romodanovska is her family name.
+She changed part of her name to dissociate herself from the family after what happened between her and her brother.* However, her mother and father's names are still subtly reflected. Lavery preserves her father's name (Note: Lav
is the Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian variant of the Russian лев (lev)
. Both originate from the Proto-Slavic word lьvъ
and mean lion
), whereas Rivington is in honor of her mother Riva who died in childbirth when Viluy was four. (Note: Рива (riva)
)*See Background for more detailsGender:
I merged Viluy's character from the 90s anime and manga with the history and culture of Victorian England and Russia, and the traditions of Slavic witchcraft.Appearance: *I'll update this part once I get a chance to finish my drawings.
Viluy is a young, fair-skinned woman with piercing turquoise blue eyes. Her hair is short and silvery white, with the bangs grown out to her chin. She prefers to leave her hair down with minimal curling, but will wear it up in a low bun if the occasion calls for it.Clothing:
In general, Viluy wears simple dresses, usually with no more than one or two colors of fabric incorporated into the design. At one point in her life however, she wore elegant ball gounds and bustle dresses. In fact, her favorite dress is a crimson and green bustle dress that her father had custom tailored for her months before his passing.
Since Viluy found employment and lodging at a local pub, she must wear appropriate attire to satisfy her job's requirements. While working, she always wears a long black maid dress with puffy bishop-style sleeves. Underneath her maid dress is a turquoise slip skirt to match the frilled star collar around her neck. This slip skirt extends slightly beyond the length of the dress to conceal the scuffed white flats on her feet. Viluy wears a basic periwinkle-blue mob cap positioned on her head so that the slant is slightly toward the left side of her face. To match her mob cap, Viluy has a tattered periwinkle-blue sweetheart apron with triangular patchwork in various spots where the fabric snagged.Personality:Negative Traits:
Arrogant, Condescending, Pedantic, Selfish, Straightforward* Positive Traits:
Logical, Intelligent, Studious, Straightforward*
(*In most situations this would be considered negative for a woman in Victorian society)
Viluy is very straightforward and arrogant. Her unladylike conduct outwardly challenges the established gender roles of Victorian society, oftentimes causing others to look upon her with scorn and consider her unsuitable for marriage. Viluy however could not care less about the feelings or opinions of others. She deems herself far too important to censor her thoughts and will speak her mind -usually in a caustic or condescending manner- regardless of popular opinion. This boastful sense of entitlement stems from her childhood—a time in her life where her affluent family's social status privileged her to do whatever she wished, including studying at London's finest schools.
Those who get to know Viluy beyond her attitude will likely see her as an intelligent young woman with an inquisitive eye for the advancing sciences. After all, she is quite studious. Whenever Viluy finds a topic suitable to her interests (e.g. steam-powered engines and alchemy) she catches on pretty quickly and tends to excel at whatever aspects of her study she puts the most effort into. However, she lacks genuine passion for subjects beyond their technical writing and applications, and typically ends up using the knowledge she gains from them to put down others or cause trouble (ei witchcraft). Although Viluy is well-educated in the sciences, she maintains a peculiar fondness for the occult. She practices witchcraft regularly, channeling her energy from a duster and special ointments she creates from potent forest plants.
When it comes to making decisions (or potions
), Viluy is very logical. She does not allow her emotions to cloud her judgment or actions. Only when logic and reasoning fail her will her true emotions emerge, usually in the form of denial or anger but rarely as love or compassion. Viluy seldom expresses these emotions openly oftentimes referring to them as inferior. This lack of emotional respect causes her to view marriage as nothing more than a loveless contract to maintain status in society. As far as Viluy is concerned, to base one's marriage on romantic love and passion in place of status and wealth, is to risk condemning oneself to a life of hardship and struggle. Weapons:Mosaic Duster:
An over-sized Victorian-style feather duster with a thick handle. Both the handle and the feathers possess a color similar to Viluy's tattered blue apron, though the intensity of this blue color varies from feather to feather. The Mosaic Duster is no ordinary cleaning tool. Its thick bundle of feathers is generally tipped with a peculiar layer of black dust or oil caustic to the touch. In combat the Mosaic Duster can be used to whip up clouds of corrosive particles. Outside of combat, Viluy uses the duster as a medium to channel her witch powers.Witch abilities:1) Potion making / herbal pharmacopoeia:
concocting potions, ointments and/or medicines from plants and whatever else is available in the home.--Alchemy
(“Any magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value.”
-Dictionary.com) 2) Visions and communicating with spirits:
Note that Viluy's visions and encounters with spirits are hallucinations caused by her body's response to the toxicity of the components in the concoctions she creates.3) Spell casting:
tossing salt onto crossroads, whispering into the wind, sitting quietly in front of a candle or an amulet, and channeling energy through a medium (duster) are examples of what Viluy might do during an incantation in attempt to heal wounds and illnesses, uncross spells, make predictions, and/or cause harm to others.Background:
Born into a wealthy Russian family, Valentina “Viluy” L'vovna Romodanovska and her younger brother Vikentiy “Vincent” L'vovich Romodanovski were heirs to the family fortune, with Viluy first in line. She studied in London's finest schools, free to learn about the advancing sciences as she wished due to her family status and a doting father who supported her eccentricities. As a young woman it was obvious she was into odd hobbies with a flair for the occult. She was known to take long walks alone, oftentimes disappearing for hours into the woodlands on the edge of town. She would also spend an unusual amount of time wandering the family estate and visiting her mother's grave, typically gathering plants along the way for the various medicines and ointments used during her secret late night rituals. Although her father saw no harm in these odd hobbies, her brother found them despicable, disgusting, and a direct threat to his status in the family. He did not understand why Viluy had been chosen by her father to inherit everything. As the Romodanovski's only male heir, he believed that he deserved all of the attention, privilege, and wealth—not her.
When their father passed away suddenly of a coronary, Vincent seized the opportunity to defame his sister's name and claim the entirety of the family's fortune. Using Viluy's shady reputation as a witch against her, Vincent accused her of preparing a poisonous potion and pouring it into their father's cocktail at the Romodanovski dinner party the night before. With assistance from bribed authorities of the Scotland Yard, he attempted to frame her for murdering their father by planting phony evidence at their father's estate.
Desperate to prove her innocence, Viluy consulted a reputable doctor from Oxford and requested that he perform an autopsy on her father as an independent second opinion in the murder case. Although the doctor's findings suggested a natural cause of death (i.e. ventricular fibrillation), the authorities dismissed the evidence on the grounds that Viluy bewitched the doctor to report in her favor. Her brother however feared that word of the renown doctor's research would reach the extended family back in Russia. To ensure that the report never reached the public eye, Vincent offered the authorities a handsome bribe to confiscate the documents and burn them. Without the report, the remaining evidence seemed questionable enough that the authorities were willing to convict Viluy of murder and deny her claim on the estate. However, when Vincent brought her case before the Assize judges, they would not sentence her to death by hanging, as the family still possessed diplomatic immunity. Instead, they left her punishment and retributions to the discretion of her extended family in Russia.
The extended family in Russia, a very superstitious bunch of aristocrats, was split on the issue. Her father Lev's side of the family doubted Vincent's claims and believed the murder was a “spoiling” with Vincent himself as the cause. They suspected him of being a jealous koldun
from birth with the sole purpose of tearing the family apart, and dismissed his accusation as a weak attempt to pass his crime onto poor Viluy, who they viewed as a victim of klikushestvo
after witnessing her break down in absolute hysteria. In contrast, her mother Riva's side of the family had no doubt that the death was somehow tied to Viluy's hobbies—namely her fascination with witchcraft, which was far too alarming to leave undiscussed—and the fact that Lev seemed to encourage her unladylike conduct and curiosities during his lifetime.
Although the extended family bickered for weeks over these finer details of the trial, they did manage to agree upon one thing: that Viluy should be exorcised by the Orthodox church and then exiled to Siberia in fear that the international incident would disgrace the family's name and direct lower class violence toward them, especially
if word of witchcraft reached the nearby villages. In addition, they decided that Vincent should also receive a visit from the church to clear up any remaining concerns of black magic within the family. However, when word of the family's verdict reached Viluy's uncle (Lev's blood brother), he was outraged. He thought that the punishment was absolutely ridiculous for a young woman, given the doubt that he had about Vincent's character and the credibility of the actual trial. In response, he attempted to convince both sides of his blood brother's family that simply disowning their female heir would be enough of a punishment since it would cut her off from the family wealth. Furthermore, he strongly advised for them to at least get her psychiatric help in London so that she could have somebody to care for her and help her ease into her new life without them, using the argument that it would have been what Lev wanted. Fortunately, Viluy's uncle managed to sway them away from the idea of exile with his adamancy.
Once the punishment was finally agreed upon, Vincent stripped Viluy of her inheritance and the majority of her belongings before the rest of the family signed her off to an asylum in London. Viluy of course did not go along with this plan willingly. Belligerent, thrashing, and cursing, she threatened to destroy her brother with black magic for betraying her and ruining her life. The doctors at the asylum eagerly placed her into solitary confinement for her hostility, and quickly diagnosed her with dementia praecox
and moral imbecility for her belief in witchcraft and her failure to conform to the established roles in society. Viluy had to put up with a full month of unsanitary conditions and treatments before she was able to fully assess the building and courtyard to make her escape during a cold October night after the asylum's final head count was taken.
Viluy fled to her uncle's property in Canterbury, as he was the only person in her family that she still trusted. Although her uncle was disappointed in her running away from the arrangements he had purposely made to soften her sentence, he agreed to do her one last favor and let her stay with him in secrecy, but only temporarily. He could not take in Viluy permanently because he risked losing his family status, but he could use the law in her favor. Under the Lunacy Act, the asylum only had 14 days to recapture her, and because he was able to keep her hidden for those two weeks, the family would now have to go through the trouble of writing up a new proposal to send her back to the asylum. Viluy's uncle was convinced that this responsibility would fall into the hands of Vincent, the only other member of the Romodanovski clan permanently residing in Britain. As a result, he was not worried that Viluy would be in any sort of danger because he knew that Vincent wouldn't bother preparing a new proposal.
When Viluy's uncle finally turned her away from his home, he presented her with a small gift—an elaborate blue and gold pendant necklace and Riva's favorite pair of earrings which Lev had instructed him to give her as a wedding gift—and revealed to her what Lev had planned for them, but warned her that this would be the last time they would ever see each other. She was heartbroken.
With her reputation tarnished by the undesirable label of an “insane and murderous witch,” Viluy struggled to make a living without the financial support of her family. She picked up cleaning jobs, but never kept them for more than a few months at a time due to her belligerence and lack of empathy toward the lower class. Viluy currently works alongside five over women as a maid (and occasionally as a bar-keep) at a pub tucked away on the edge of town. Under the supervision of the pub's well-mannered innkeeper Eudora, Viluy cleans the guest rooms, lobby, floors, kitchen, etc., and lives with the belief that society owes heavy retribution to her for the misery and injustice her brother has caused. Additional Information:
+Lev was a wealthy Russian ambassador who moved his wife and daughter with him to London. His wife died two years later during the delivery of their son.
+Noble and aristocratic Russian women had the right to hold property, which is why Viluy had been considered for her family's estate. (Note: The family also displayed inadvertent favoritism toward Viluy due to their underlying belief that Vincent's birth was a “spoiling.”)
+Viluy's “uncle” is the man that her father would have planned for her to marry.
+While practicing witchcraft Viluy has experienced visions of buildings and objects disappearing before her eyes. Whether or not these visions parallel events of the “fading” is open to interpretation, Viluy has never witnessed anything of its kind outside of her hallucinations.
- RP Sample: