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Fern-hunting parties became popular, allowing young women to get outside in a seemingly innocuous pursuit with less rigid oversight and chaperoning than they saw in parlors and drawing rooms. They may have even had the occasional romantic meetup with a similarly fern-impassioned beau. — Bree


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WANTED:

Bunny Devon for Anne Devon. My fair lady of the night
Separating was also not a great idea, though they weren't doing great at staying together anyway. If she were to volunteer to be the human sacrifice.. well... Hogsmeade had plenty of debutantes anyway...

Barnabas Skeeter in CYOA: Group D


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Well-Traveled

Complete threads set in ten different forum locations. Threads must have at least ten posts, and three must be your own. Character accounts cannot be combined.

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Explorer
Explorer



33 year old Halfblood
5 ft. 9 in.   ❤   Unattached
played by Lynn
123 Posts


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J. Alfred Darrow
"He's just been - um, catastrophe adjacent, I guess."
— Zelda Fisk
PROFILE

Full Name: John Alfred Darrow

Nickname(s): Since the expedition he introduces himself and signs letters as “J. Alfred Darrow” because that sounds more like a professional adventurer’s name. Family or family friends who knew him as a child likely still call him "Johnny," though he's not keen on it. Hogwarts mates would know him as either "John" or "JD."

Birthdate: 20 December 1854

Age: 33

Occupation: Explorer

Blood Status: Halfblood

Residence: In the cabin on board his ship, the Voyager, docked in the hidden magical part of the Thames. It's not ideal. It's pretty cold in the winter.

Hogwarts House: Gryffindor

Wand:

The wand John received prior to Hogwarts was Maple and dragon hearstring, 11", and swishy, but it was destroyed in the shipwreck of the Sycorax.

The only functional wand left to the survivors (and the one still in J's possession) was Acacia, 11 1/2", phoenix feather, springy, but as it wasn't matched to him and is very particular about who it performs magic for, he seldom used it. Attempts to cast any magic with it resulted, at best, with an underwhelming shadow of what he was trying to do, and at worst with a dangerous backfire.

Following his return to England, Alfred eventually purchased a new wand for himself, which was Redwood & unicorn hair, 11 3/4", pliant. Although there is no indication that this wand would perform poorly for him, Alfred has been hesitant to attempt any complicated spells with it due to previous poor experiences with the Acacia wand.



Family: Barclay Darrow, Father [1818-1879]
Evangeline Darrow née Hardacker, Mother [1828-1884]
Evander Darrow, Brother [1849]
— Laura Darrow, Sister-in-law
Evelina Lloyd née Darrow, Sister [1853-1883], and family

John Darrow, Grandfather [1772--1867]
Lillian Darrow née Brown, Grandmother [1793--1884]

Hamish Darrow, Uncle [1815]
Morag Darrow née McGonagall, Aunt [1825-1843]
— Ramsay Darrow, Cousin [1843-1884] and family
Gillian Darrow née O’Toole, Aunt [1835-1863]
— Casper Darrow, Cousin [1854]
— Caitriona Darrow, Cousin [1857-1861]
Fairy Darrow née Porter, Aunt [1849-1881]
— Mercutio Darrow, Cousin [1865]
— Tessa Darrow, Cousin [1867]
— Penelope Darrow, Cousin [1868]
— Gilderoy ‘Roy’ Darrow, Cousin [1872]

Aileen Denbright née Darrow, Aunt [1812]
Winfield Denbright, Uncle [1799]
— Leander Denbright, Cousin [1834], and family
APPEARANCE
A short youth, Alfred eventually grew in to a man of average stature but has always been thin, which was only exacerbated by years of living off the land in Central America. Unlike his two older siblings (both blond), JD has dark hair that grows quickly. Although he was rather well-kept before the expedition, he acquired a large beard and a rather fearsome, tangled mane while abroad. The former disappeared when he reached America, but he isn't used to not having it and still sometimes reaches up to tug on his beard before realizing it isn't there. He kept his hair as long as fashion would allow, not wanting to make too drastic a change all at once and already feeling like he was walking around in someone else's body just by virtue of being fit with new clothes. He tries to comb it into something tame every morning, but often forgets that it matters what it looks like and musses it throughout the day, which leaves him looking like a wild man again. He writes with his right hand, and would do wandwork with the same if he ever felt inclined to use a wand.

Aside from his hair and his thinness, the wilderness wrought some other changes on his body: a series of tattoos stretching over most of his chest and back, including his upper arms (in this style). When fully dressed these are not visible. He's still not really used to wearing shirts again and often feels like they're unreasonably itchy, which causes him to fidget.

"Had this man, perhaps, escaped from St Mungo’s spell damage ward? His hair, at least, certainly suggested that might be the case." — Rebecca Grey in Get in, Get Out, and Stay Alive

PERSONALITY
Alfred often pretends to be more confident than he is, in order to try and command the respect he feels he ought to have as the de facto leader of the expedition, but is rarely taken seriously by those who know him well. He second-guesses himself frequently and can easily be swayed by the interference of others. He is frequently restless and feels as though he ought to be doing more with life, but lacks a singular drive of his own. He greatly enjoys traveling but isn't keen on South America any more, for obvious reasons. Although typically socially awkward and rather quiet, Alfred opens up considerably when asked to talk about sailing, the sea, or his adventures thereon.

Mr. J. Alfred Darrow, who is too awkward and famous to be fake, at least. — Zelda Fisk's history.

OTHER
— Amortentia —
Sea Salt, Coconut, and freshly cooked pork because it reminds him of celebrations with the tribe not because he's secretly a lardass

— Sex Life —
Alfred is quite certain he is straight, despite those close to him always believing him to be otherwise. He may flex on that at some point because Lynn isn't as sure as he is.

Alfred lost his virginity at 19 to a Boston girl named Rosie. She wrote him long letters afterwards which made him feel pretty awful for abandoning her, and he has since developed quite a hang-up about being too bold with any respectable women lest he give them the wrong impression.

Alfred has slept with four prostitutes during his early naval career in various foreign ports, but gave up the practice after seeing first hand the effects of venereal disease on a shipmate. He has a very great fear of dying from syphilis and was celibate from 1878 - 1888, when he drunkenly slept with Zelda Fisk #whoops.

Alfred's experience at sea gave him a rather unique take on homosexuality; he essentially thinks that it's something that can just happen to men who don't see women often enough, like coming down with a case of cabin fever. The remedy for this is taking care of your own needs before you can start getting anxious about it, so unlike most Victorian men, Alfred indulges in that frequently.

— Transportation —
Alfred can apparate, but is out of practice. He generally prefers lengthier forms of transportation whenever practical, as he feels that floo, apparition, and portkeys skip the journey and are sort of "cheating." He can fly a broom passably well for transportation's sake but never had any interest in Quidditch.

Alfred is a sailor and can easily manage any small vessel on the open sea. He is very familiar with all of the necessary work required to get underway on a larger vessel and can navigate with either charts and dead reckoning, or through use of the stars.

— Wandless Magic —
Alfred has learned some very minor wandless magic, from his years living with the tribe in Central America. This procedures for casting these involve both hand gestures and some chanting, which tends to alarm respectable British types, so he avoids performing any when in the company of others. Among the spells he can perform wandlessly are: a 'stitching spell,' most useful for mending small tears in clothes but can also be used on wounds if you have a really high pain tolerance; a 'cracking' spell most commonly used to open up coconuts and other difficult-to-eat-fruits; a spell to clean water; a spell to create a small spark for fire-building; and a 'fastening' spell which can be used to secure one item to another, provided it doesn't need to hold too much weight.
HISTORY
Childhood
(1854 - 1866)
John Alfred Darrow is born the second son and third child to Barclay and Evangeline Darrow. From a young age his brother teases and bullies him (not because Evander is actually mean-spirited but because he's a little boy being a little boy) and this, combined with the fact that he doesn't have a name beginning with 'E' and doesn't look like either of his older siblings makes young 'Johnny' feel like an outsider. At one point Evander tries to convince him that he's a changeling child and not a Darrow at all, and that someday he's going to spontaneously turn into an evil imp and eat the rest of the family. Johnny has nightmares about that because Evander is an ass.

When he is six his older brother goes off to Hogwarts, which makes the family a much more peaceable place for Johnny. He grows very close to his older sister Evelina and the two often play make-believe games. Johnny is an inquisitive and curious child who often gets lost and is frequently caught daydreaming when he ought to be paying attention to his governess.

Hogwarts
(1866 - 1874)
John heads to Hogwarts in September as is sorted, as his father was, into Gryffindor. He enjoys being around more people his own age, but is otherwise rather ambivalent to school as a general rule. He isn’t studious enough to really take to any of his classes, isn’t athletic enough to have much of an interest in Quidditch, and isn’t magically adept enough to delve into any particular field. He gets an early reputation as a day-dreamer and spends more time in class doodling than he does taking notes, much to his professors’ chagrin.

In third year he adds Ancient Studies, Earth Magic, and Muggle Studies. Following his OWL results he drops everything except Astronomy, Charms, Earth Magic, Herbology, and Muggle Studies. The only thing he has any natural aptitude for is Astronomy, but does passably well on his NEWTs all the same. His older brother Evander has gone off and gotten himself a career in the Ministry, but John doesn’t really feel that’s the right route for him. He isn’t particularly enthused by any of the departments and can’t imagine being happy working in an office and doing paperwork. That being said, he isn’t sure what he wants to do, since managing a shop or something would be a) disappointing to his family and b) just as dull as working in the Ministry. He could have become an academic, except he was never particularly, uh, academic, which puts the kibosh on that plan.

He ends up meeting Captain Errol Peppersmith at a career event midway through his seventh year, and the man sells him on the idea of turning to the sea for a career.

Adult Life
(1874 - 1882)
Captain Peppersmith owns a sort of “contracting Navy,” since the Ministry of Magic seldom has a need for a magical Navy and therefore doesn’t keep a standing one. The ships are generally understood to be at the service of the Minister should a need for them arise, but in the interim they are hired out to escort shipping traffic in dangerous waters, run about combating pirates, and that sort of thing. The Captain’s real ambition, though, is to mount an exploratory voyage, and he spends several years gathering funds for what he always refers to as “the voyage.” Although John is merely a low-ranking officer, the Captain’s enthusiasm is contagious and he does everything he can to be placed on the expedition when it finally comes to fruition, the preparations beginning in 1881 for a journey stretching most of 1882 and scheduled to return in spring of ‘83.

Aside from the Thrill of Exploration, John has another reason to want a place on the voyage: he’s become rather enamored of a young lady, but as a second son and a rather young one at that, he doesn’t have the means to marry her. That doesn’t stop him from making all sorts of romantic overtures, however, and the two are very close. John is convinced that being a member of this expedition will make his fortune and his reputation, and that when he returns he’ll be in a stable enough place to marry his sweetheart. With that in mind, the two are secretly engaged before the voyage departs.

The Voyage of the Sycorax
(1882 - 1887)
It does not take long for disaster to strike the Sycorax after she departs England in early 1882. A sudden outbreak of dragonpox for which they had brought no suitable medicine takes the life of a handful of crewman and the ship's healer, though luckily a quarantine keeps it from spreading further. The Executive Officer, William Percy, perishes as well. In the days that followed JD would wonder whether the unexpected shorthandedness of the crew might have made the difference in the upcoming storm, but at the time Captain Peppersmith had no idea what he was sailing in to. After crossing the continent of South America, the Sycorax is caught up in a typhoon and crashes into the sea (which, as a flying ship, she is not designed to handle). Several more crew members perish in the storm and half the roster is laid ill with seasickness for days following. The Sycorax is damaged but still limping along, and Captain Peppersmith makes the decision to turn back towards South America in order to make port and effect some repairs before setting sail again.

Unfortunately, the ship's primary navigator had perished in the gale, and although the remaining officers try their best at navigation, the overcast sky thwarts their attempts to steer the ship steadily to Brazil. Believing themselves to be somewhere very different than where they are, they crash the ship into the northern edge of the Andes mountains, and all but four of the officers are killed in the crash. Those remaining are Captain Peppersmith, Randall Coarse, William Fitzpatrick, and John, along with about fifty crewmen. Captain Peppersmith takes a few days to conduct Astronomy calculations and determines that in order to reach Brazil they ought to head North, which they do--it is not long, however, before the aging Captain begins to flag. Finally overcome by the elements and the terrain, he dies less than a month after the crash.

This power void sees the remaining men split between Coarse and Fitzpatrick, with John choosing to side with the former. Coarse continues North, while Fitzpatrick heads South--or at least, that was the idea. Since Coarse's group, including John, eventually finds the camp of Fitzpatrick and his men after they've all perished, no one is really sure which direction is which anymore.

One by one the men drop due to illness, animal attacks, eating poisonous foods, or from the conditions of living off the land. Coarse comes down with water sickness and begins to go crazy in what John imagines is probably 1883, and though for the sake of decorum John tries to continue pretending he's in charge the charade can't last long. Coarse wanders off in the middle of the night and falls down into a ravine, from which the remaining men lack the ability to rescue him. He dies a few days later, calling out for his mother.

This, unfortunately, leaves J. Alfred Darrow in charge. Lacking any better ideas, he continues to press north until they are out of the mountains--which, unfortunately, brings them into contact with unhappy Locals. Most of the men are killed in a raid, leaving only John, an archaeologist, and the cabin boy. If ever there were three men less likely to survive in the wilds of South America, it would be them.

Survive they do, though, first on their own (somehow) and then by more or less joining a local village. Alfred continues to keep the ship's log, but without any serious hope of ever publishing it as a tale of the exploits of the expedition. Maybe, he thinks, someone will find this long after the three of them had died--he keeps the record more as a log for the families back in Britain who might, someday, want closure. He decides this might just be what his life is, now, and he ought to learn to live with it. He learns the local dialect and gets a series of tattoos. He forgets what he looks like and stops trying to cut his hair or beard.

Years go by. Eventually, while on a hunting trip from the local village, Alfred stumbles across a small collection of colonists from Spain and recognizes a flash of magic. Wizards! He doesn't speak the language but produces a wand for them to examine, and manages to convey to them, in the most basic of terms, his story. They agree to help him and his friends get back to civilization. The only snag in the plan is that the cabin boy doesn't want to go; he'd prefer to settle down with a local girl, apparently. Not willing to waste time trying to convince him, Paul Pince and Alfred are soon shunted off to America (they are now, apparently, closer to America than they are to Brazil, which means they were way off on their navigation). After being interviewed by the MACUSA, they are allowed to clean up and given a portkey back to England.

Alfred is a bit disappointed, when he finally comes in contact with a mirror again, to discover that years of living off the lands has not endowed him with a sense of confidence or swagger. He looks, if anything, disappointingly young to have been through everything he has.

The Return
(1887)
After returning to England to find his mother and sister have died while he was away and everything else has gotten... well, just worse, generally, Alfred begins to feel restless. After indulging in a minor identity crisis when he discovers the Navy is no more, he decides that he ought to follow in Captain Peppersmith's footsteps and create an adventure of his own. His brother Evander is significantly less than thrilled, but who cares what Evander thinks?

Fundraising goes well, and the expedition to discover the lost isle of Avalon sets sail in April of 1883. Before it leaves, Alfred gets himself into a bit of a situation with a girl — the situation being that she's made it clear she likes him quite a bit, and although he did try to discourage her early on from becoming too attached, one thing leads to another a few days before he leaves and he ends up drunkenly taking her virginity. He feels awful about it, and is largely convinced that she will (and probably should) hate him forever because of it.

YOU LIKELY KNOW...
— That Alfred left with the Sycorax expedition in 1882, unless you weren't the sort to pay attention to the news at that point.
— That Alfred was declared dead (along with the rest of the expedition) in 1883.
— That Alfred returned in September 1887.
— That Alfred is currently planning a second expedition, to locate the lost island of Avalon.
— At least one of Alfred's various extended family members, including Hogwarts Deputy Headmaster Hamish Darrow, the Ministry's Evander Darrow, the Holyhead Harpies' Penelope Darrow, or Minister Ross' governess, Tessa Darrow.
YOU MIGHT KNOW...
— That Alfred has been "strange" since his return from abroad.
— That he reportedly lived with savages as one of them for several years.
— Any manner of outlandish gossip related to the above two points.
— That Alfred has rather extensive tattoos on his chest; he occasionally leaves his shirt unbuttoned low enough to catch a glimpse of them and they were speculatively covered in Witch Weekly once.
YOU DON'T KNOW...
— That he was once very much enamored with a lady friend.
— Much about him personally, really, except that he's a bit awkward in social settings.
PLAYER INFORMATION
Played By: Lynn

Contact: Ask for Skype

Plot Preferences: I prefer to have fast-moving threads with posts of 50+ words. I write my posts as long as I feel they need to be and do not "match" post length in most cases. If a thread "dies," I generally prefer not to revive it unless it is plot essential.

I love drama in my plots and am fairly comfortable with most topics and subjects as long as they are handled appropriately. Strong language, violence, and sex are all okay when the thread calls for it, but I don't thread smut just to have it. I have killed tons of characters in the past and am willing to do so in the future if it's properly built up in narrative.

Networking: The Room Where It Happens

Registration Date: February 5, 2018

Date of Birth: December 20

Local Time: July 22, 2018 at 10:31 AM

Status:
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Joined: February 5, 2018

Last online: July 16, 2018 – 3:10 AM
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