RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Married to Arriman Canker SEXUALITY: Heterosexual OCCUPATION: Flower Shop Assistant HOMETOWN: Todcaster, England PREVIOUS RESIDENCE: Darkington Hall, England
DEMEANOR: Belladonna is sweet and friendly, if a little reserved at first around strangers. She is too used to being rejected and abused, and can seem somewhat melancholy often. Her white magic means that she exudes good, soothing feelings; just being near her makes people feel calmer and happier. QUIRKS AND NERVOUS HABITS:
POSITIVE TRAITS: Very kind and caring and selfless, good hearted, practical. Very open and accepting, believes the best of everyone. NEGATIVE TRAITS: She can be a little bit of a pushover. Somewhat naive and gullible. Can be blind to others faults when their negativity has an impact on her.
LIKES: Black magic, blight and decay and other dark things, healing, her friends, Rover, animals DISLIKES: Cruelty, spite, being a white witch, going to coven meetings, her inability to stand up for herself
SECRET DESIRES: Not so secret, but Belladonna desperately wants to be a black witch. A family, friends DEEPEST FEARS: Being alone for the rest of her life
TURN-ONS: Dark & dashing gentlemen TURN-OFFS: Ill manners, cruel natures
APPEARANCE: FACE: very pretty, high clear forehead, upturned nose HAIR: golden blonde, thick and very long EYES: Bright blue HEIGHT: 5' 4½" BUILD: Slender, petite VOICE: Gentle, soft, sweet, Northern English accent NOTABLE FEATURES: There is usually something living hanging from her hair - small bats, baby squirrels, young birds, etc. For more, see the section on her magic below. FASHION: Usually wears skirts, simple, practical, but pretty clothing
Belladonna is very sweet-tempered and is one of the kindest people you will ever meet. She cares very deeply for other people, even those who are cruel to her; she just doesn't have it in her to be mean or to stay angry with anyone for very long. She has a very forgiving soul and could never hold a grudge against anyone. The rare moments when she gets angry, it's usually because someone is hurting someone else. The moment she sees someone else in trouble she will forget about her own worries and drop everything to try and help them and make them feel better.
She can be a little bit ditzy at times, a little gullible and naive, but she works hard and rarely complains. She hates disappointing people and doesn't like to be a bother. She is a helper by nature, diplomatic and tactful, dutifully taking care of errands and chores and assisting people in whatever way she can. She can also be a bit of a pushover at times, trying to placate people, working to please them while they take advantage of her. She always wants to believe the best of people, and often plays the devil's advocate, and excuses whatever poor treatment is directed towards her.
There is a careful balance, especially in magic, of light to dark, positive to negative, white to black. You can't have summer without winter, day without night, life without death, community without self. Poor Belladonna is a winter child born to the summer. Witches work directly with these energies, and while Belladonna is a white witch, she desires nothing so much as to be to do black magic. Don't get her wrong, she loves being able to heal and sooth and make things grow, but she does so love mouldering decay and dreary depressing things as well.
Her love of black magic and her loving and caring nature are probably what led her to fall hopelessly in love with Arriman the Awful at almost first sight. She's rather girlish and foolish about it really - she hadn't really met him in person, only heard him speak to her coven at large, but she knew right then she was in love. She was also certain that she would never be good enough for such a fine and grandiose dark wizard. Luckily for her, he falls in love with her just as quickly and easily. He is the Hades to her Persephone.
Belladonna is very self-sacrificing and often very lonely. She is willing to set aside what she most wants and desires for the greater good. At the same time, she has some very strong desires, things she wants for herself - she wants desperately to do black magic, and wants to be with Arriman. But just as she is incapable of doing black magic, she is incapable of putting her love for Arriman over his duty to reign as a dark and terrible wizard - he needs a dark heir and she doesn't want to risk that they may have a white or even a grey magic baby, so even though he returns her love, she persuades him that they must part ways.
While witches and wizards are born to human parents, there are subtle things that set them apart from other humans even aside from their magic:
~ They are physically incapable of crying.
~ They are born with all their teeth and will instinctively bite (Though the only thing Belladonna ever bit were the caps off milkbottles so the bluetits could get to the cream).
~ Smoke from witches and wizards' chimneys blow against the wind.
~ They are far more resistant to things that might poison a human and can consume some toxic chemicals without issue. However, they can still catch illnesses.
White magic is strongly attuned to nature and healing and growth.
~ Soothing Presence - Belladonna tends to radiate positive emotional energy. People feel better in her presence, calmer, happier, more confident. Her smile stirs pleasant memories. She's subtly empathic and therefore feels driven to make them feel better.
~ Influence Surroundings - Flowers will spring up where she is, (out of the ground, the floor, bedsheets, countertops, etc.) and bursts of beautiful music will come out of nowhere, the air seems scented of flowers... if she's in a good mood, the results are all the more explosive. If she feels sad, it may start snowing or raining in her general vicinity, even indoors.
~ Animal Bond - Animals are very attracted to her and like to be near her. They crave her attention, affection, and approval. She can talk to them in their own languages. Almost all the time she will have something in her hair - baby squirrels, small bats, young birds, etc.
~ Healing Song - she croons little made up tunes and lyrics over the injured party and their wounds, even really bad ones, will heal
~ Growing Magic - She can make plants grow very quickly, very healthy and strong. Theoretically, she can grow new limbs for people
~ Conjuration - While she's not particularly adept at her control, she can create objects out of thin air - as long as they are full of life and light and beauty. Sometimes the things she conjures defy the laws of physics and reality. Generally, these objects eventually disappear as the magic fades.
~ While black witches have familiars, anything from pigs to octopi to clouds of flies, familiars are unnecessary for white magic. She can, however call on gods for assistance.
Of course, Magic has it's weaknesses as well. If a which tries to cast magic beyond her capabilities, it may fail or only work halfway. Attempting to perform magic they are not capable of will still have a magical result, but it won't be what they were attempting. For example, if Belladonna attempts black magic to turn a rock into an oozing decaying pile of roadkill, it will more likely turn into a beautiful pot full of lush impatiens with fat bumblebees at each flower.
Furthermore, there are a few quick and easy antidotes to magic:
~ Milk - poured over something or someone magical it will halt any spell, presumably drinking it will do the same.
~ Eating roses will remove magical influence
~ Holding a rowan twig will protect you from magic being cast on you.
Belladonna grew up in the northern part of England in a small town called Todcaster, which is near the North Sea. From a very early age it was quite obvious that she was a witch - the whitest sort of witch one could be. Animals adored her, flowers sprung up in her footsteps, and her mere presence brought peace and good feelings to those around her. Unfortunately for Belladonna, she would much rather be a black witch. Darkness and decay, smiting and ruin all seem so marvelous and wonderful to her, which is rather against the nature of a white witch, but she couldn't help it. She would dearly love to be a black witch but hasn't a drop of black magic in her.
She attended of coven of witches, but dreads meetings. All the other witches in her coven are black witches, and all except old Mother Bloodwort are cruel and harsh towards her. Even Mother Bloodwort is distant towards her, though never purposely cruel and will offer her some small kindness here and there. Their familiars, however, all adore Belladonna, and she usually spends coven meetings with the animals. She is only barely accepted into their coven and the other witches would probably celebrate if she left, but she keeps hoping that one day, if she stays near them long enough, some of their blackness might rub off on her.
Then one night at a meeting, Arriman Canker, AKA Arriman the Awful, Loather of Light, and Wizard of the North, appeared to their coven. He was a widely feared and respected black wizard. He needed an heir to one day take over all the smiting and blighting from him, and to pass down his home, Darkington Hall, and while he'd heard a prophecy that one day soon a new wizard would come, the wizard never showed. So he had decided to take a wife and have a child. To choose his bride, he was going to hold a contest, and whichever witch could do the darkest magic would win.
Belladonna fell in love with Arriman Canker from almost the moment she saw him. She didn't expect to win at all - how could she, with magic as white as hers? But with a little encouragement from some friends, she decided to try anyways, and joined her covenmates despite their jeering dismissal of her. Arriman's secretary, Mr. Leadbetter, and his manservant, Lester, were set to managing the affair, and the pair of them had their hearts set on Belladonna for the future Mrs. Canker. Even if she wasn't as sweet and loving as she was, even though she was white, she was definitely the most tolerable of all the witches of Todcaster. But the obvious choice to win was definitely Madame Olympia, a powerful and beautiful enchantress who had a reputation for her husbands mysteriously dying and leaving her all their money. She had her evil heart set on hooking her claws into Arriman, and had bought property in Todcaster specifically to qualify for the competition.
As the competition neared, Belladonna happened across a young orphan boy named Terence Mugg. Living at a rather horrible orphanage, he wasn't allowed pets but was desperately lonely. He'd found an earthworm and named it Rover, and when the Matron found out she stomped on the poor worm, nearly killing him. Belladonna healed Rover for Terence, and when the Matron, livid and cruel, came to fetch Terence inside, Belladonna shielded him and, much to everyone's surprise, cast a spell that made the Matron grow roots until she couldn't move. It wasn't exactly black magic, but it was very grey, and Belladonna was ecstatic. She and Terence determined that Rover must be a powerful familiar, and had granted her the blackness she needed. She took Terence with her when she returned to Darkington, and excitedly showed her newfound powers to Mr. Leadbetter and Lester.
It was Terence's idea, for Belladonna's magic trick for the competition, for her to raise the spirit Sir Simon Montpelier from the dead. Sir Simon was the resident ghost of Darkington, had murdered his seven wives 400 years before, and was one of Arriman's few friends despite his inability to speak. Arriman had tried and failed himself to raise Sir Simon several times; it was the most difficult black magic there was. And surely he would be overjoyed to have his friend in the flesh; Belladonna wanted to make him happy. Terence was confident that, with Rover granting her strength, surely Belladonna could do it, and win the competition, and marry Arriman and live darkly ever after.
As the competition continued, one by one most of the other witches failed to impress, their spells going awry, failing, and in one case, killing another competitor by accident. Only Madame Olympia did well, scoring 9/10 for a trick involving enormous plague-bearing rats cannibalizing each other. Belladonna was to go last, on Halloween, but to Terence, Mr. Leadbetter, and Lester's horror, Rover went missing. Belladonna couldn't do black magic without him, but they didn't want her to lose hope, so they hatched a plan to hire an actor to fake the raising without her ever knowing Rover was gone.
Belladonna's turn came, and when she announced her trick, Arriman was at first angered by the presumptuousness - not even he had managed it, what made this tiny little witch think she could? But he wanted to see if she could, and wondered if she'd guessed how dearly he'd love to have his friend alive. Belladonna started her spell, and Sir Simon appeared, fully flesh, just as planned. Arriman and the other two judges were ecstatic and didn't miss a beat declaring her the winner. Belladonna, meanwhile, had fainted from exhaustion and was taken to a bedroom in the hall to rest.
As it turned out, the actor the boys had hired never even made it due to car trouble - Sir Simon really HAD been raised, much to everyone's astonishment. How Belladonna had done actual necromancy without Rover was a mystery. But never mind that, she had won! She was to marry Arriman! Even better, from their first direct meeting, Arriman was as hopelessly in love with Belladonna as she was with him. It was during this meeting that Belladonna first realized Rover was missing, but Lester thought he knew where the worm had gone.
He and Arriman went to retrieve the familiar from Madame Olympia, who'd stolen him to try and ensure her victory. Arriman doused her in milk, a strong antidote for magic, and sent her packing while they took Rover back to Belladonna. But even with Rover back at her side, for some reason Belladonna couldn't do anything black. Arriman decided he didn't care - he loved her, white magic and all. It didn't even matter to him that whatever black magic she'd had before seemed to be gone now, she was perfect. But Belladonna wouldn't let him forget his duty to darkness, as a black wizard. The whole point of him finding a wife was that he needed an heir. She would never forgive herself if she ruined that for him by giving him a white baby, or even a grey baby.
It was at this time they realized Terence was missing - he'd been snagged by the police, who thought him a runaway, and brought back to the orphanage. He managed to escape... after doing black magic himself and turning the horrible Matron into a spider. Upon his return to Darkington Hall, it was discovered that he, Terence, was the new wizard that had been prophecied about. It had been Terence doing the dark magic all along, whispering spells along with Belladonna, and Rover was simply a worm, not a familiar. With Terence there to be the heir, Belladonna and Arriman could marry and it wouldn't matter whether their children were black, white, grey, or whatever else. They could have their happily ever after.
So Belladonna and Arriman were wed, and Terence was to live in his own little house on the Darkington Hall grounds. Belladonna even managed to sort of patch things up with her covenmates. And to keep Madame Olympia and Sir Simon out of trouble, Arriman set up the cruel husband-killing enchantress and the dreary wife-slaying ex-ghost with a little subtle love potionwork. And so began the rest of their lives.
Of course, it can't quite be that simple. While they really were each other's true love, Arriman and Belladonna still barely knew each other. Belladonna was not the horrible nightmare Arriman had feared, but it would still take some adjusting, the young white witch and her black wizard husband. They were perfect opposites in many ways, and while they balanced each other out, there would be conflict. And Arriman could say what he liked about not minding her white magic, that he loved her just as she was - Belladonna still longed for black magic. A witches magic is a very intrinsic part of her, so even surrounded by it, and by people she loved who didn't mock or scorn her for her white magic, she still felt isolated from the magic she loved best.