Aria (latinusername) wrote,

OC Penpals!

So I got this idea from reading puella_nerdii's advice column thread, and thinking to myself, "Writing to one of Puel's characters as one of my characters? That sounds like fun! --But they don't know each other very well yet! What are they supposed to talk about?"

And then I thought to myself, "PENPAL THREAD," and that brings us up to now.

So what is it?

Write to any of my OCs as any of your OCs! Or at least as a character you want practice with. Letters can be as long as you like or as short as you like. My characters will reply! They can have conversations, get to know each other, share things about their lives, ask each other questions, whatever suits their fancy. I always think it's a useful character development thing to let characters talk to new people. And our heads are all full of new people!

This sounds like fun--but I don't know you that well! I don't want to put my lame/stupid/boring/underdeveloped OCs on your thread and be a big exasperating no-clue-having party-annihilator! Should I just keep my mouth shut? Oh God, how are you reading my mind, this is creepy make it stop--

Please don't be shy, even if we've barely spoken before. =D I would still love to get to know some of your characters, and I'm sure we'd have a lot of fun!

Okay, who can I write to? What might they want to talk about for starters?

Okay, limiting this to characters from Gilded Souls who I am working on currently:

Michel de Baschi is a prickly-but-compassionate high society gent who cares about clothes, and art, and Catholicism, and being better than everybody else, but in a gracious way. He lives on a ship, which he hates, and is not suited for at all, but he's very loyal to his best friend who-is-the-captain, so he's stuck there. He has a lot of things to say about madness and doubting one's own sanity, if that's something your OC can relate to. Write to Michel for a more cerebral conversation, or if you want to exchange sordid and titillating stories (he has thousands).

Pallas Demopoulos is a sexy backstabbing genius. She gets into a lot of bad (read: dramatastic) relationships, mostly because she's addicted to stress. She grew up in an unfortunate boarding school in Constantinople, which gave her a fairly advanced grasp of moral relativism (and a pretty solid grounding in prison mentality). Not a bad choice of penpal for your scumbags and monsters (she doesn't judge), or anybody who enjoys a challenge.

Kent (just Kent) is fifteen years old and an apprentice magician and conman. He and his master travel all over the world doing magic, spying on people, and stealing things. He ran away from home when he was seven years old (for damn good reasons), and he has a lot of Feelings about his family. He's also bi-racial, which he's received a moderate amount of shit for in his life. He lives to be useful and valued. As a correspondent, you can count on him to be friendly, inquisitive, and very talkative.

And from the secondary cast:
Jefferson DeValk is a former soldier--on paper. He's one of those guys who never really stops being a soldier. He joined a rebellion that didn't work out, and then no army would take him. Sure, he could become a mercenary, but he's got some Goddamned principles. These days he boxes on the underground and does a lot of drinking. Write to Jefferson for Guy Talk.

Marianne Banas does not need your shit. Do you have shit? She is not your shit customer. If you also have problems with being fed shit, people giving you shit, or everything turning to shit, Marianne can probably empathize. She wants to change the world and she's not interested in your "reasons" for why that won't work, which you probably arrived at via some suspect method such as "thinking." Marianne doesn't need to think. Marianne KNOWS.

Wow, that was a lot of words. Okay, can I write to more than one character at once?

Please write to one character at a time, from one character at a time, at least until their conversation is rolling. =D

Thanks so much, guys, I hope we have fun!
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Mr. de Baschi (if that is the correct salutation),

Thank you for agreeing to this correspondence. I'll be frank: I'm out of the habit of letter-writing and haven't had cause to do so for quite some time, as most of my associates serve with me on the Maehriya and can shout for me if they wish to talk, so please excuse any errors in form. (The content must stand on its own.)

Your own ship intrigues me. I understand you are not primarily a sailor, and I sympathize, but you still have more experience with it than I. I can guess at some of its workings, but Sassen ships are generally unfamiliar to me, and ships such as yours that bear some Sassen features but have some features I do not recognize are even more so. I also understand you have a talent for finances. Though I have served on merchant vessels, I have been a mercenary, not an accountant. As the Maehriya turns towards more commercial ventures, I would be interested to learn more about what your job entails. I may not be the person who needs to cover such functions (though given our current crew, I suspect I will be), but someone does need to manage our finances. The Council of Elders has been -- reluctant -- to subsidize us since the conclusion of our conflict with Sassen.

I am also intrigued by your style of dress. I rarely have much time these days to attend to my own appearance, but I can appreciate it when people do. Your clothing bears some resemblance to what I've seen in Sassen ports, but there are marked differences -- and differences between your own dress and those of your crewmates. Do all men dress as you do, where you're from, or only men of a certain status, or is it personal affectation?

Thank you again, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Khari du'Arath
Dear Miss du'Arath,

(And please accept my apologies if that is incorrect--but as we've only just met it would amuse me too much to ask already if you are married)

Thank you for your comprehensive and exceedingly polite interest. On the subject of the ship, unfortunately, I must beg you to inquire elsewhere. It floats, on the water; it's made of metal, for the most part, except for where it is made of wood, and it has an engine, which makes a great deal of noise and which I have as little to do with as possible. Generally, as I understand it, one tries not to let it sink. I have expended considerable effort to ensure that my knowledge extends no further.

If the opportunity arises, you may want to bring the subject up with my friend Isaac Grey, who is the captain of the Magog. On the other hand, you may not, since once you start a conversation with Isaac about the Magog you rapidly begin to feel like you will never have the opportunity to talk about anything else for the rest of your life. It takes days of drinking to restore my ignorance and my equinamity to the level at which I prefer it.

As for financial matters:

To say that I have a 'talent' for finance is, unfortunately, to overstate my capacities. But I have an exceptional education in finance, and had actually made a respectable career out of it before my life went in an abruptly nautical direction. My duties aboard the Magog (at least, the ones pertaining to finance; not my duties which pertain to making certain that the captain is sober, not bleeding too much, temper is in reasonable check, etc) are threefold.

First, I inventory. This is exceptionally tedious, but apparently I am the only one aboard the ship who can count, and arrive at the same numbers every time. Oh--the Magog is a pirate vessel: I should most likely mention that. So, we capture ships, and take whatever we can find on them, etc. Sorting out what all of that is is my responsibility.

Second, I track markets. This is not something pirate operations generally bother with, but pirate operations do not often have extremely bored Ca' Foscari-educated financiers who wield sufficient influence with the captain to request sudden detours to Tenochtitlan or wherever, so. Keeping up to date with stock indexes when one is at sea for weeks at a time is, surprisingly, not especially easy to do. I am on very familiar and not always cordial terms with our radio operator. At any rate, once I have identified the best market for our stolen goods, I arrange for the sales.

Third, I manage our investments. I know it is not especially piratical to invest one's lucre in pork futures, or whatever it is at the moment, but I must admit that's part of why I enjoy it.

Needless to say we are extremely rich for such a small operation. Of course Isaac just spends most of it on the ship. Presumably, to some effect. I do my best not to inquire.

And you asked about my clothes! I like you. Well, I suppose it's a personal affectation (but isn't everything?); I appreciate beautiful things, and clothes are no different. I dress thoughtfully, and with taste, and I am willing to set aside money to satisfy my taste. There is not much more to it than that. So far as specific peculiarities of my wardrobe are concerned, you may be noticing what we call 'clockwork detailing.' The clothes of my world always have concealed details. Call it couture's response to the malaise of general society, but our clothes are nearly always more interesting on the inside, or upon very close inspection, than they are at first glance.

I hope you are answered, or at the very least amused. If you are of a mind to, please write back about your own situation aboard the Maehriya, and how you came to be there. I understand that she is, or was, a warship.

Yours sincerely, Baschi



6 years ago



6 years ago


6 years ago

May this letter find you well Mr. Kent,

This letter is to inquire about the specifics for your small canon. I did not want to assume measurements. I also needed to inquire what the last paragraph of the letter was about as I could make it out, perhaps the ink ran a bit somehow. Of course it may also just be a dialect I am not familiar with, please excuse my ignorance in that case, I often find myself at that disadvantage. I am sorry that I could not begin your project as soon as your letter was handed to me as I always try to do. I hope this delay has not caused you inconvenience.

May the winds blow favorably for you,
Master of Explosives at Tolly's
Dear Sig,

Did I order a cannon? I mean, obviously I did, because you got the order, and it has my name on it, which you have. My name, I mean, not the order. Although you also have that. What I'm saying is, I don't remember ordering a cannon, but now that I know I could potentially have a cannon in my life I'm definitely interested in getting one.

Did I already pay for the cannon? That's an important question. If I haven't paid for the cannon already, I might have to ask my master how much money we have lying around for cannon-related purchases. Hopefully that is plenty. Who could say no to a cannon? We'd find something to do with it. I mean, nobody expects you to just have a cannon. It's definitely got that element of surprise thing going for it.

Okay, so, measurements for the cannon. Um, all right...well, it has to fit in our wagon. Or roll behind it--cannons have wheels, don't they? Could you put the cannon on wheels and then give it an axle or something, and we could hitch it to the back of the wagon? Then I guess it could be a bigger cannon. But that sort of ruins the element of surprise factor, doesn't it, if the cannon is just out in the open. Okay, let me think.

Yeah, I guess the cannon has to hide in the wagon.

All right, so the wagon is being pulled by two draft horses, and it's twelve feet long and eight feet wide and it's made of wood with a lot of steel reinforcements. I bet we could carry a couple hundred pounds worth of cannon without straining the horses, at least in the summer months--we might have to store the cannon somewhere for the winter. Plus the ordinance for it--is that the right word? For the cannon balls and things?

What are cannons for?

Anyway, does that tell you anything useful? Please get back to me about what else you might need, because I really want a cannon now. How did you get into the cannon-making business, anyway? Is that a hard thing to pick up? I guess it involves a lot of gunpowder. Maybe that's not so safe.

- Kent.


6 years ago


6 years ago


6 years ago

(Honestly, this is a brand new character I'm working on with a friend. He's so new, in fact, that we don't have a name for him, so I suppose for now he'll just be 'PK'? It's what we call him, it means 'Peasant King'. Due to only having JUST learned to read and write, I thought maybe he should write in slightly fractured grammar with some spelling inaccuracies, but certainly not chatspeak, txt, etc.. If that's not okay, please go ahead and tell me to GTFO your thread >.<)

Too Michal de Bazhi Basci Basschi,

Gretings from my kingdom! Wel, i don't think it's oficialy one yet, but my friends and i are working hard on it! Its a bit of land no one else wanted, so i started living there! Its so awesom!
Im writing too you becuase my advyser avysoor tooter too- guy who helps me learn stuff says i need practis writing, and he said i need to talk with peopl who write good! Its so that other countries wil take me siriusly seriously!
Ass you can tell, i dont write good. I just started learning! I dont kno how the little kids do it so good! The guy who learns me says a six yeer old writes beter than me! Six is alot smaler than what i am! Im old enof enough too work on a plow, even be maried! So i realy need your help, mister Basschi. If you help me, then maybe i can help you! My kingdom is realy nice- we got a fortress and farms and everything! Maybe you can come visit? Then you can see i talk beter than i write. Ive been talking a lot longer than ive been writng!


(That's totally okay! It's a really cool approach to the format! =D)

To his Royal Majesty,

Please accept my congratulations and encouragement: I am always pleased to see anyone working to improve themselves. May I ask after your situation? It seems that you have come into a great deal of education very quickly.

You say you are a king of nowhere in particular; I confess I have never met a king before, although I was rather well-acquainted with a prince, at one point, but still, you are the most noble individual it has ever been my pleasure to converse with. How did you first learn that you were a king? Who was it that told you? Do you know what has become of your royal family? How are you a king with no kingdom to inherit?

I would assure you that you need not labor unduly at your letters; no king I have ever heard of pens his own correspondence if he is not of a temper to do so. Sad to say there have been royals of very august kingdoms indeed, with access to the finest education from a young age, who still would not express themselves in writing any better than yourself.

I am, at your Service,
Michel de Baschi.

Just Kent, that's really it? That's stupid. Anyway.

Don't show this letter to anyone else, and especially don't talk about it either, but how good would you say you are at magic exactly? Because I think I need some. Or to get rid of some. Nobody around here will tell me how that works, except that I should get things in writing first if I'm smart so that's why I'm writing you.

Anyway, what kind of magic do you do and what's it good for? You're not from some mountain, are you? My father says all the real magic things live in the mountains, but they're wrong and they make rotten deals and I don't want one of those. You'd better not try to give me one, I'll know if you try. But if you tell me what you can do and if there's something you need that I know more about than you, maybe we can help each other. Fair trades are better for everyone, right?

I'm serious about not telling anyone, though. If you can't keep a secret you're not much good to me at all.

-Senka Gavaric


January 22 2011, 07:52:47 UTC 6 years ago Edited:  January 22 2011, 13:38:08 UTC


Sure, I can keep secrets. My master wouldn't have kept me around if I couldn't.

Yeah, okay, you definitely don't want the magic that comes from the mountains. That's the kind of magic that splits your skin open like a cracked cucumber, and not even predictably so it's not like you can plan on it, if those are the kinds of plans you have. The only people who go to the mountains are lunatics, criminals, and missionaries. Although, you know, you hear stories, about what it's like up there, with the entropy storms, and apparently it's really interesting to watch, if your eyes don't melt out of your head. I don't know, I kind of go back and forth on whether or not I'd want to see it.

Anyway, how good am I at magic? I'm pretty good. My illusions can usually take in a packed room--maybe fifty people?--and can involve lots of objects, although I'm not so hot at environments yet, I can't seem to get the light right. I have a few tells, but mostly they're things you'd have to know my style to pick out. And I'm really good at nonvisual illusions, like weight and smell and resonance (not taste though, if anybody tells you they can do taste reliably, they're lying to you). So if you need something swapped for another thing, or you want to send secret messages or create a distraction, or something like that, I can handle it.

Things no illusionist can do is invisibility, homunculi, or actual conjuration, although some illusionists are so good you'd swear it was real. And there are ways to see through even the best illusions, but you have to know what those are first, sorry if I don't just tell you straight out but my livelihood kind of depends on this.

If you want a REALLY good magician, though, you'll want to talk to Master Branch. He's my teacher. The things he can do are just amazing. I mean, I know all apprentices talk up their masters, but seriously, my master is one of the best magicians in the world. I've seen him make illusions of hurricanes, or a whole city catching on fire, that fooled thousands of people and lasted for hours and hours. I mean, he made the stink of the smoke stick to their clothes, and their hair mat in their faces. I'm pretty sure he's even made himself invisible, not that he'd ever admit it to me. And he's always looking for work, especially if the job is interesting.

What do you need done, anyway? Magic's not something people really need unless the situation's pretty desperate. It has a tendency to backfire and turn all the windows in your house to sand, or make your teeth fall out, or make water run up the walls, and that makes people a little uneasy.

- Kent.
Dearest P,

First off, I must thank you for one of the most delightful nights of my life. You are without a doubt the very loveliest woman I have ever had the privilege of consorting with. But I confess that curiosity has gotten the better of me, and at the risk of appearing rude, I must ask what exactly you have done with the body. It would not do for some uppity, talentless copper to discover it and trace the deed back to us.

Forever yours,

[okay I kind of made this character up on the spot and it shows, but anyways this note is addressed to Pallas and this guy Adrian is sort of a male chauvinist.]
[Hahaha, I can dig it!]

My dear Adrian,

What a pleasure to hear from you again so soon. You are as solicitous as ever. I still have half the wine you gave me at the beginning of the evening; we should finish it together, don't you think?

I assure you, you have no need to worry about the 'arrangements.' As a member of the Tribunal I am above the inquiries of the common police force, and my fellow Inquisitors would take no particular interest in this case as I believe our new friend was fully paid up on all his taxes. Of course, whether the same is true of you I couldn't say; you may want to be certain your papers are in order, in case anyone should drop by over the next few days.

As for the specifics of the arrangements, rest assured I was discreet, but you must forgive me for not committing the details to paper. It isn't that I don't trust you, dear, you know that.

Mr. de Baschi,

Please forgive me for taking the liberty of writing to you when I am sure you have so many more uses for your valuable time than reading any letter of mine, and forgive me for any mistakes I may put down on paper, for I am quite tired. I was told to write to you by a distant acquaintance who suggested it might do me some good, though her manner concealed much about your person. If you are offended in any way, please pay this no mind. I am but an Intellectual, so you may well think it is of little worth to reply. From my acquaintance's manner, it seems that you may be of our ilk, though I have heard that where you live that they have no Intellectuals at all, and I should like to hear more about it if that is so. I have never heard of such a land as that and I find myself naturally curious. My other half has cautioned me that it is foolish to ask you about such things or even think of them myself, as it causes delays in my work and a melancholy mind, but I am writing this as I take a quick break. Rest assured I will return to my duties shortly!

I apologize for the haphazard nature of this correspondence. I noticed that my first paragraph is quite long, but as I have written in ink I suppose there is nothing to be done. And it seems rather rambling, as this paragraph is quickly turning out to be. I am used to writing letters only to my other half, and as she will simply ignore pages of nonsense, I fear you will read them all before you realize I tend to do this. My papers are more concise! Thoughts of my papers lead me to my main inquiry: while I am trained in economics, I am having difficulty with my current situation, and thought that perhaps you might give me advice. In an uncontrolled, competitive market, is there any feasibly way to stop rampant inflation without forcing a vast increase in production? The inflation mostly affects my "input costs" column, decreasing the overall profit of the household, and as you may suspect this puts me in quite a delicate situation. If you are uninterested in such matters or have no particular advice, I understand completely. Anything at all may help; I am at my wit's end; I am so tired I believe new words will help my mind cultivate new ideas.

Though this may seem impertinent, I wish to remain anonymous. The climate at this time is not conducive to mercy, particularly for writing a letter to anyone outside the borders of the Alliance. The return address indicated on this letter is that of the Intellectual school I attended. Please simply address any reply to "Ace-Wit" at the Intellectual school address, and those whom I trust will know who that is, and she will forward any correspondence to me.

Thank you.

Post-script (though it seems a bit odd to write one without having signed): If I may ask, is there a kind of art in particular that you enjoy? I have always had an interest in tapestries and paintings, but have recently developed a fascination with sculpture, though I have not had time to pursue scholarship in that area.

Post-post-script (I believe this is the first time I've ever written one): I am simply asking anyone I can think of about this, and since I am writing this anyway: In your opinion, what is the minimum amount of sleep humans need on average per night to stay healthy and sane?

Thank you again.


January 23 2011, 08:05:48 UTC 6 years ago Edited:  January 23 2011, 08:08:00 UTC

Dear Kent,

It is a relief to be able to skip the long introduction that is ordinarily tacked to the top of my letters. I never have to write it out myself, of course, it comes embossed on the paper, but I correspond with enough titled people to know that there always is a temptation to simply skim until I get to the interesting bits. Or at least to the point where the writing starts up in ink. I will not inflict that temptation on you. Instead, I will try to be succinct. (I am not as good at this as I would like to be).

My name is Eleanore, and I am the Princess Royal of the British Empire. I am also only slightly older than you, perhaps not even a whole year. When is your birthday? Mine is in March. March 14th. If you were born before December, we could have been in the same year at school! Provided we had both ever been to a proper school, instead of being supplied with the singular educations that we have.

I am actually very curious about your studies. Obviously you have lessons under your master, but do you ever have to do mathametics, or memorize poetry, or practice with languages? If the answer is no, I think I am a little jealous. I sometimes wish that I only had to study the things that interest me. Or that I am good at. (This cuts most of the sciences out of the picture, but I wouldn't miss them too terribly.)

But I am losing the trail of my question. Tell me, what do does your training entail? The Crown does not endorse the practice of your art, as I am sure you know, but I have seen wonderful illusions in foreign courts from time to time. You would not believe the fabulous things the Venetians can do! Or perhaps you would. Perhaps you are every bit as talented. I have heard from our common acquaintances that you are quite good. Try to fool me with something clever when we finally meet face to face, all right?

I really do think we should try to meet, even though it might be difficult. We both travel a great deal. Do you ever get tired of it? I get sick of the going, but not of being places. Though you and I must see very different things, even if we spend time in the same locations, don't you think? Can you pick a favorite? Even out of the past year? I have terrible time narrowing my list down further than ten. Though--maybe you will like this--I saw a gigantic squid pickled in a glass tank in the Royal Museum of the Kingdom of Bohemia several months ago. I remember it very well; each sucker on its tentacles was three times the size of my hand! Does your master ever take you to museums in your travels? If you go to Bohemia, you really must visit the squid. It is horrible.

Yours sincerely,
Dear Princess Eleanore,

Am I allowed to call princesses "dear?" I'm really sorry if I'm not. I know there's a lot of protocol when it comes to talking to princesses, and I don't think I know any of it. I know you're "Your Highness." That's about it. My master and I move in pretty high circles sometimes, but never anywhere THAT high.

So, I really hope I don't offend you and then you decide to behead me, or anything. (That's a joke. I'm pretty sure nobody beheads anybody anymore.)

My birthday is June 7th, so I think you're a full year and a couple of months older than me. But if you'd rather we were closer in age, you can imagine me with any birthday you want. I don't mind.

I've got a pretty good education, actually! There are some gaps in it, but I think my master enjoys teaching me things, and seeing how fast I can pick it up. And a lot of disciplines contribute to being better at magic. Maths, for example. I studied a lot of geometry and physics, and even a bit of calculus, because it helps me understand how to make my illusions behave and interact with the world around them.

I had to read a little bit of poetry, but not much. Selwyn got me to read as much literature as I needed to so that I'd be able to have conversations about it with rich people who read a lot of books. I had a very strategic reading list. I'm not much of a reader, to be honest. After a couple hours I start wanting to do something. But I've read many of the more obscure classics (but not a whole lot of the big classics, because nobody is impressed if you can talk about those--this is how Selwyn puts it, you understand, so I hope you're not offended if you're really, really into Hamlet, or something). And every so often some new book or collection of poetry is put out and everybody is talking about it, so I have to read that, too. It's honestly the part of my education I enjoy the least.

I have to learn a LOT of languages. As of now I'm fluent in English, French, and Italian (although my Italian could still be better), and I'm patchy but getting better at Greek, Welsh, and I've started on Nahuatl. I really really hope Selwyn lets me stop there. At least he doesn't want me to learn Latin. I like learning languages all right. Drilling it is pretty boring, and I usually do it for at least an hour or two a day, but it's very satisfying to go to other countries and be able to talk to people. When we're stuck for a while in a country where I can't talk to anybody, it gets very lonely.

Part 2


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6 years ago

Hello Pallas,

I haven't written a letter to anyone in years, so I'm pretty rusty. Last time I did I was in a very different situation, and can't seem to shake the feelings I had about writing then. Sorry, not an important issue.

I'm interested in getting to know you some more. You and I are very different people, but we both seem to be strong willed women, guess thats somewhere to start.

So, I hear you're quite the hell raiser. I'll admit to doing that some too, but I've calmed down a lot in recent years. The more I think on this the less I have to say.

Well, I've never been much for idle chatter, so I'll just introduce myself and leave the rest up to you.

My name is Gale, short for Abigale. I'm in my twenties and I have a steady job keeping the peace. I've been accused of breaking that peace some times, but thats a different letter. My favorite things include drinking, and shooting, and I'm damn good at both.

This letter is pretty horrible, so I'm just going to keep this short.

Nice to meet you, and hope to talk with you some more soon,

It has come to my attention that you are familiar with magic. The source of this information is irrelevant, but I am quite interested in knowing if you're any good at your craft. I have met many a so-called magician in my life, and a long life it has been. I've had many disappointments.

I'll get to the point, then. I am called Aldric Meitzler, though I have known many names as the ages progress. I am formerly of an order known as the Teutonic Knights. I say formerly because it has been over five-hundred years since I wore the order's cross and swung my axe for the cause. I've not known a single gray hair or sagging wrinkle in all my years - despite what some may say, immortality is not all it's made up to be, particularly when I'm bound to guard a cursed lake.

I can only hope this letter reaches you, as the lake very rarely appears within walking-distance of a courier willing to deliver this. I am also rarely with access to any useful source of information, thus this letter. What do you know of lake witches? At least that is what I assume she is - though I could also easily assume her to be some sort of water sprite. I sought out the lake for its power, and instead I was given immortality and trapped to never leave the shores and serve as its guardian.

In all honesty, I'd just rather hurry up and die. Immortality is a chore when I have to witness the sort of atrocities men can commit for the sake of enchanted waters.

You'd better have some answers,
Aldric Meitzler