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[personal profile] windlion

So I found the Excessively Detailed Headcanon Meme and set it aside as something I wanted to do eventually, and today, I tackled it for Rafe~  And suddenly I discovered, how many ways can I say "Prim, proper, somewhat anal retentive, with little to no life?"   I'm going to have to do Foxfire next just so that the comparison is blindingly obvious.  I feel like they repeat a lot more here than they could have; maybe I'll switch out some of the questions for things that are more exciting or cover fresh ground. XD

Rafael DeCrescenza:


What does their bedroom look like?

 Rafe rents a room under the rafters of a relatively tall building; a garret, what used to be a servant's room. It's a bit more than twice the length of his bed, and narrow; he can stand with his arms spread and have his fingertips rest on both walls. Thankfully it has a window looking over the roofs, and on a good clear day, you can see the glimmer of the water past them.

The furniture made in dark, scuffed wood came with the room and suits its older, spartan nature. He has a thin bed beneath the window that would be inhospitable to two, a small writing desk that is barely more than a glorified table with academic aspirations, a hearth grate just inside the door, a set of pegs for cloaks and hats across from it, a shallow set of drawers that still overestimates his wardrobe, and shared access to the bathing room and water closet at the end of the hall.

He has some furnishings, thick second-(or third-) hand curtains of a dark shade that used to be black and red but now is more of a faded brown, a homemade quilt in earthy colors, and perhaps woven mats or braided rag rugs beside the door and the bed. There's too little to be cluttered, and he keeps it quite clean and organized.


Do they have any daily rituals?

A fairly rigid schedule and routines, yes; rituals? Probably not.


Do they exercise, and if so, what do they do? How often? 

Rafael's an officer of the watch, so he participates in the regular training intended to keep them fit and fighting as a unit, two or three times a week. He participates more than some officers but less than others; he has few partners for hand to hand close-quarter combat when he's not working with his men. Thus that'd be his weak point, versus target shooting, which he can do solo. He's an acceptably average sword man, finds the dagger frankly ridiculous, and while he was competent with it, he's grateful to have left the truncheon behind. Greater height means greater range, so he's better suited to weapons that complement him.

In addition to training, he mostly walks places in the city; he'll often jog or run the five/ten miles to the station then get ready there. Whenever possible, he'll spend at least half his shift walking with one of the patrols, which can sometimes be exciting indeed.

He has a great deal of endurance, a respectable amount of athleticism, slightly above average balance and reflexes, and below average constitution.  He's not nearly as hardy as most, with few reserves.

What would they do if they needed to make dinner but the kitchen was busy?

 Be confused that they had a kitchen. XD Rafael mostly takes his meals from common areas; the cafeteria when he is on duty, and dinner set aside from the common table at the boarding house. (Given his hours, his dinner is actually whatever they have for breakfast, which means it's often cheaper.) He can do a small amount of cooking on the grate in his room, like warming a leftover pot of soup, toasting bread and cheese, or heating a kettle, but it's really not suited to the purpose. Sometimes he'll take meals out in the city, either at the pub he frequents once or twice a week, or from street stalls, or even more rarely, an actual restaurant when he goes to visit his sister.

Cleanliness habits (personal, workspace, etc.)

Very. Clean. His room is spartan, and like his wardrobe, shabby but aggressively tidy. He keeps his uniforms impeccable, so they'll last longer. He himself bathes often, keeps clean shaven, and rather severely restrains his hair into the neat uniform plait on duty. His desk at the station is kept very organized, to the point where the people who want to mess with him know that they can bother him by leaving things jumbled or scattered across it. It's likely partly training, partly attention to detail in a situation where he dares not do less than perfection, and partly anal retentiveness that some would say borders on OCD. While he might drop clothes on the floor after a bad day, he can't pass them the next without picking them up, and same goes for any other kind of mess.

Eating habits and sample daily menu

Cheaply and not as often or as much as he ought to, considering the calories he burns on a regular basis. As a sample. . . sparse breakfast of fruit or cheese, bread and black tea. Lunch at the station from the cafeteria, often soups or pastas, heavy on vegetables and beans: things easily made cheaply in bulk to spread across many people and hold for hours. The meat is usually poultry, mutton or seafood, and usually taken with watered ale/lager or strong tea. (There is a separate officer's mess that normally stocks slightly better options and more often seafood or meat with side dishes, but at the smaller stations it's only staffed for the day shift. For the night shift they may either purchase separate meals, have meals reheated from earlier in the day, or eat what the men are eating. Rafe usually opts for the last option.) Dinner after he returns to his room in the morning is often something like porridge with fruit like dates or figs, or poached eggs, smoked fish, and somewhat uneven but plentiful home-baked bread, taken with juice in season or water. When he eats out, he tends to default to ales or lagers instead of beer or wine. He probably prefers wine over the other alcohol options, but coming from a vintner's family he actually has a palate for good wine, and it's a lot cheaper to find decent ale than decent wine.
(In a modern common world, he'd be the guy that's coffee-and-a-bagel for breakfast (sometimes hold the bagel), cafeteria goulash or spaghetti special for lunch, more coffee, tons of coffee, microwaved Lean Cuisine or Hungry Man for dinner depending on what was on sale. Sometimes sandwiches! Sometimes take out Chinese or leftover pizza! It's not exactly a balanced diet but he'd try harder in a modern setting with the better understanding we have of nutrition.)

Favorite way to waste time and feelings surrounding wasting time

Rafe is very terrible at being at loose ends; he prefers working and having things to occupy himself. He doesn't think much of people who waste time that they could be using for something productive. He used to be better at relaxing when he had more people to relax with; the closest he comes to wasting time these days is when he visits the pub and is surrounded by the academics who are his better friends. He tends to listen to their conversations more than he speaks, and picks up a lot of information that way. On the rare times he doesn't have some work to occupy himself, he has secondhand books to read, usually related to topics that his academic friends are discussing. (His hours of operation are such that there's rarely much open unless he has the day off.) He's not much for fiction these days, though he'd sometimes read adventures in his youth.
He's usually at his most relaxed with his nuclear family, as he doesn't have to try to be anything around them, but even his vacations are usually to help them during busy times.

Favorite indulgence and feelings surrounding indulging

He hasn't always been this frugal, but these days an indulgence for Rafe would be anything that costs more than he'd ordinarily spend (which is little), or anything that wastes time. Sleeping in, buying a frivolous book or better food, paying to see a play or orchestra. . . those would all be indulgences for him. Like anyone, an indulgence is a guilty pleasure, but he's excellent at the guilt part of that. He feels heavily that any money he spends is money he isn't sending home to be better spent helping his family. He has a natural bit of jealousy for people who can indulge more than him, combined with some scorn at the rich who have no concept of how far their money could go if spent more wisely. On the other hand, he doesn't actually want to be a rich noble or aspire to being a top commander.


Not particularly, no. XD If powdered wigs were a thing, he'd suffer through it in uniform but not without. Rafael's not very concerned about his own attractiveness; rather, he thinks he's considered ugly and feels like attempting to spruce himself up would just be painfully obvious as an exercise in futility. He strives to be presentable and orderly instead. (He doesn't realize he's actually attractive to certain folk, and even more so when he's rumpled.)

Neuroses? Do they recognize them as such?

The poor bastard. Perfectionist, workaholic, something of a damaged self-esteem. He's aware he's more tightly-wound than most everyone else, but he's not about to sit down and think about his shortcomings—unless something's gone very, very wrong.

Intellectual pursuits?

He hasn't had a lot of formal education beyond what's common in the country, though as a business family they're quite literate and capable of balancing books. He paid attention and did well in training, including the officer's training of tactics and procedure. He'll read academic texts sometimes on his time off, but he's probably learned more from listening to his scholarly friends talking shop than his own studies. He's not any sort of genius, but he's intelligent enough to grasp base concepts solidly and good at retaining information.

Favorite book genre?

As a boy, he read a lot of adventures when he could. These days, he tends to pick up secondhand academic texts, which is easy in Sarassa. He doesn't always read them in great detail, but he'll try to pick up what he finds useful or interesting.

Sexual Orientation? And, regardless of own orientation, thoughts on sexual orientation in general?

Bisexual; his first forays in his teens were with an older boy, then his first long-term, serious relationship for about two-three years in his early twenties with a young woman of about the same age. It's more socially acceptable to prefer women, so Rafe is not entirely comfortable or upfront about his preferences. He acknowledges that variations in orientation exist and is tolerant of them, but it's hard for him to be outwardly supportive without potentially bringing up his own leanings, so he's mostly carefully neutral. He's not terribly comfortable with the concept of brothels, but he's been at least once. (He was a military recruit at a base with a bunch of other military recruits, including sailors and marines. Oh, he's been.) He prefers intimacy with one person in a committed relationship, but that didn't quite work out the way he was intending. Since he got his heart broken, he's stuck to very infrequent one-night stands, and he would hardly spend the money on whores.

Physical abnormalities? (Both visible and not, including injuries/disabilities, long-term illnesses, food-intolerances, etc.)

Tall. Tall and rangy! He's about 6'4” or so, and easily several inches taller than average, but no heavier than average. He's thinner than he ought to be, and wiry with lean muscle. He has better than average distance vision; he might have eyestrain headaches after working on paperwork or reading for too long (which is often). He has a few scars, mostly from knives, mostly received on duty: one about an inch long diagonally beneath his left cheekbone, one a bit longer above his right temple into his hairline creating a silver streak, a few minor ones on his arms including one notable puncture straight through his left forearm, and a more serious sword scar about four to six inches long low on one side above the hip.
He gets very, very seasick; he had to spend three months at sea for training, and that's one of the major reasons he's as thin as he is. He could barely keep enough water down to function, and it never really got better until he was back on land. He lost weight he didn't really have to spare. His two older brothers are of similar height, but both are easily a third if not half again his weight.
He tries to let on as little as possible, but he has a very lovely singing voice. (He hates public performances.)

Biggest and smallest short term goal?

Do his job, and do it well. That's both big and small and enough to fill his plate, but he wouldn't mind also getting to see his sister on his day off.

Biggest and smallest long term goal?

Help get his family out of debt and back into business. Stay in the ranks.

Preferred mode of dress and rituals surrounding dress

Rafe isn't actually very particular about what he wears or how fashionable he is; he prefers to look respectable. To him, that's clean clothes, as neat and tidy as he can manage. In uniform, that means inspection-perfect. Off duty, it means second-hand clothes that mostly fit right, in as good a condition as he can afford. (That tends to mean he has drab colors, well-worn but not patched or threadbare.) He tends to look like an academic, as that's what's cheapest secondhand in Sarassa. People would guess he's a scholar, or a bookkeeper, or a middling merchant.

Favorite beverage?

He defaults to tea or ale; his favorite is likely a full-bodied red wine like a pinot or merlot, sometimes a dry white.

What do they think about before falling asleep at night?

What he has or hasn't done that day and what he needs to do tomorrow. He's usually on task.

Childhood illnesses? Any interesting stories behind them?

Illnesses, nothing more than the usual. I think he's had his fair share of childhood misadventure; there was a broken leg as a nine or ten year old after a good fall. He's lucky it was a clean break, set well and healed up without any ill effects. His brothers have no idea how it happened. None. None at all.
For better or worse, Rafe had a few months on crutches, mostly indoors, with books, lessons, and his toddler little sister to look after. (And a good object lesson on what happens when older siblings don't do their duty looking after their younger. . . Rafe's actually very attached and protective of Sofia.)

Turn-ons? Turn-offs?

Interestingly enough, both his tall, fair, and lean brothers have gone for short, curvy, dark-haired ladies. Rafe's not telling if he's similarly minded. He does apparently like 'em feisty and strong-willed. And dark-haired. Sometimes.
Meek, overly submissive carpets need not apply. Nor the overly arrogant and preening melodramatics.  He has no patience for hysterics or drama queens.

Given a blank piece of paper, a pencil, and nothing to do, what would happen?

A to-do list or notes regarding his current tasks to organize his thoughts for a report.

How organized are they? How does this organization/disorganization manifest in their everyday life?

I THINK WE'VE COVERED THIS. Borderline-OCD organized, where any mess or things misplaced usually indicates he's at the end of his rope. Messy spaces bother him; mess annoys him at best or distracts him and drives him to snappy irritation at worst.

Is there one subject of study that they excel at? Or do they even care about intellectual pursuits at all?

He pays more attention to math, engineering and artificer's doings than art, history, or anything of the natural sciences. He does have a reasonable grasp of anatomy, mostly of use in that he sees more dead bodies than anyone but doctors, scientists and artists. Rafe's specialty is mostly common sense and putting details together to form a picture. He has an appreciation of art and culture, and actually likes music and some plays, but he'd never study it himself.

How do they see themselves 5 years from today?

He has no grand plans, he just hopes to keep doing what he's doing and advance at average pace. Maybe if he gains another rank, he'll be able to pay off his family's debt, and eventually have a better space for himself.

Do they have any plans for the future? Any contingency plans if things don’t workout?

See above re: plans. Contingency. . . in a pinch, he thinks he'd go back to his family's vineyard. He might seek out a position in the militia or border guard if he found himself too itchy to stay.

What is their biggest regret?

As of the beginning of the story, it's probably that his long-term relationship didn't work out. He's accepted the loss, but not done well at moving on and living his life fully. He doesn't regret the fire because he regards that as beyond human control; he could wish it didn't happen, but there was nothing he or his family could have done to prevent it or have it go down differently.

Who do they see as their best friend? Their worst enemy?

His best friend is probably actually his sister, Sofia. They're very close; they're not the sort that talk about everything with each other, but they're very supportive and don't need to put everything into words. He has a number of people who'd count themselves his friends: a half-dozen academics at the pub, several people at the firing range, and an odd scattering of people throughout the ranks he's served with. He's very reserved, though, and not likely to reach out to spend time with people, though he'll converse with them if they prompt it.
His worst enemy. . . Rafe is close-mouthed about this, but he has a few rivals amongst the officers at the station where he wouldn't cry at their funerals. Including his superiors. Being a poor, upright country boy has not won him that many favors amongst the casually corrupt elite.

Reaction to sudden extrapersonal disaster (eg The house is on fire! What do they do?)

As an officer of the Watch, he's actually pretty good at this! Evaluate the situation, react according to how to best preserve life first, then property. Send for assistance if necessary. Organize potential responders. Participate in resolving the situation, then evaluate and repeat organizing in the aftermath. This is the kind of thing he's trained to do and excels at.

Reaction to sudden intrapersonal disaster (eg close family member suddenly dies)

He's kind of terrible at this! Become a complete mess for a week, then abruptly bury it all under work and obsessive busy-ness. You might think his current behavior actually resembles this, wouldn't you?

Most prized possession?

Rather than a physical possession, he's very proud of having his job and doing it well. I think he may have had some keepsakes he prized that got destroyed in the fire, then the engagement ring that he had to sell, and he was rather more pragmatic after.

Thoughts on material possessions in general?

He used to have a more conventional approach to material goods, having things he liked more and prized more, but having his family put into such a pinch and losing so many things put what he really needed into perspective. Rafe was never very materialistic, this just pushed him even more into the “If I don't need it to survive, then I don't really need it and I can do without. Even then, basic goods can be replaced.” So he's now much more aware of the cost of things, much more cautious about spending, and takes care of his belongings so they last. He probably either can do his own mending or has family/landlord who can do it on the cheap. And if he had to evacuate, he could leave everything behind without looking back. He's pushed to detach himself from physical objects, to see them as just things.

Concept of home and family?

Family is very important to him; home is where the family is. He has his own rooms in the city, and he does consider the city to be his hunting grounds, except that nebulous quality of home still belongs to the villa he grew up in, with his family gathered for harvest or holidays. He respects his parents and grandparents, he is fond of all his siblings, and he dotes on his little sister. He doesn't understand how an argument or disagreement could fracture a family or lead to one not supporting another. He thought that he wanted to have a family of his own eventually; one of the things his former lady love did that hurt him the most was point out that he was a poor prospect for that life.

Thoughts on privacy? (Are they a private person, or are they prone to ‘TMI’?)

Private, if at all possible. Personal difficulties should be his own to bear; having to ask for help or sharing his woes is a failing on his fault, a weakness. He's not perfect at this, no one could be, but he hates feeling like a burden. Of course he doesn't consider anyone else who needs help as weak, it's just his own impossible standards. He does, however, feel very uncomfortable when other people overshare.

What activities do they enjoy, but consider to be a waste of time?

Any truly unproductive hobbies aren't things he can really enjoy, since he'll feel restless the entire time he should be doing something, anything of worth. Education isn't a waste of time, so reading anything remotely of worth is fine. He still likes fiction and seeing plays, yet he doesn't let himself indulge often.

What makes them feel guilty?

What he believes are selfish actions make him feel guilty as hell. So that can be anything that involves spending more time or money on himself, or just anything that looks to be more in his self-interest. He's terribly easy to guilt into taking on tasks because he'll just regard it as his duty, and that doing anything less would be shirking. And if he's ever resentful of what his duty is, well, he feels even more guilt about that, too.

Are they more analytical or more emotional in their decision-making?

Analytical, which is why emotions he can't ignore blindside him sometimes.

Would they consider themselves a Type A or Type B personality?

Type A, yet he's not overly ambitious, he's just a workaholic.

What recharges them when they’re feeling drained?

Sleep. :P And time spent with family and friends, when he can actually relax and stop focusing so much on what he needs to do next.

Would you say that they have a superiority-complex? Inferiority-complex? Neither?

If anything, inferiority complex. Rafe's a poor country boy in the city, up to his elbows in the noble/wealthy quarter, policing the elite. It's been a rough ride. He's not conventionally attractive or charming, and people have let him know that, too. He's understandably a bit prickly and aware of his shortcomings; he doesn't like to let himself dwell on them.

How misanthropic are they?

Rafe sees a lot of the bad side of people, and is more likely to be pragmatic or pessimistic about a stranger's actions. . . yet he genuinely believes in being the shield between bad people and bad circumstances and the generally good masses. He believes in the innocent civilian. If someone threatens any other person on the street, Rafe will get between them.


Work? Work. Work work work work work. But really, on his off days, he'll rotate extra training, going down to the gunnery range, finishing work he can't complete at the station, visiting his sister once a week, some reading, writing letters to send back to his family, and going to the pub for a few hours of music and conversation with his friends about anything but his work. He has to maintain his things and keep his rooms clean as well, though he pays for his uniforms to be washed, tailored and mended at the station.  It's rare that he finds himself truly at ends without something that needs doing.

How far did they get in formal education? What are their views on formal education vs self-education?

Rafael passed through the minimum education for any citizen, plus additional lessons in arithmetic and commerce given his background. He then went through basic training, and a few years later, officer training as a sergeant. There was no particular training provided to jump between sergeant to lieutenant; his candidacy was tested by a fairly rigorous oral and written exam which he had several months' forewarning of the topics on it. (They still threw him a few curve balls; his exposure to merchants, farmers, and academics saved his hide by giving them answers they didn't expect but couldn't argue with the validity of. The exam is usually more of a formality and very, very easy for well-sponsored candidates.)

Paracen is the city of universities, so of course he respects formal education though he practices self-education.  Formal education would be valued as being more prestigious than self-study, more of a privilege than a right.  He's proud that his sister is attending the university.


Sarassa is a crossroads of trade with at least three major influences on culture; there's a lot of religions to pick from. And then there's science. Rafael may have been raised with the influence of one or more major religions, has certain swears that come more easily to his lips, but what he believes in is what can be explained to him in concrete, demonstrable terms. So that's to say he's much more of an atheist than anything else. There may be gods and spirits out there, but he hasn't met them yet. Until he does, he doesn't have faith in them.

Superstitions or views on the occult?

Rafe knows that there's magic in the world; it's kind of impossible to deny that it exists. He's skeptical about how people believe it works; he's not seen any convincing explanations that he's willing to grant credence to. He's very stubborn about accepting superstitions as being plausible. This means he's what people call a Sarassan skeptic or ground; his firm doubt can break the enchantments set on artifacts by shamans or priests. His superiors are aware of this and have used Rafael and people like him for the purpose. (It's one reason he was promoted, or at least, one reason they were able to push his promotion through.)

Do they express their thoughts through words or deeds?

Rafe might use words to express his thoughts, but his feelings show in his deeds.

If they were to fall in love, who (or what) is their ideal?

Rafe's hoping for a committed partner; someone strong-willed and supportive and in it for the long haul. He probably couldn't articulate what his ideal is, as he's not a very demonstrative romantic sort. He tends to gravitate more towards vibrant, outspoken people, not necessarily great beauties but people of interesting character with some spark to them.

How do they express love?

Care and devotion, with unquestioning loyalty. He might not be very good at delivering romantic lines, but he'll be the first to have their back. He'll actually relax around people that he trusts and loves.

If this person were to get into a fist fight, what is their fighting style like?

Sloppier than he wishes it was. XD Fist fighting is not his forte, by a long shot. He'd have to be very angry before he got hot-headed, and when he's angry he tends to be pointed go-for-the-kill, aiming for a knockout. (Every chance in that scenario that they go from provoking him straight to taking a fist in the face.) If he's kept his temper, he's going to be more cautious, dodge or block blows, and wait for a good chance to land a solid hit using his superior reach. He doesn't exactly have an iron constitution; a few good hits will lay him out. It's just he's been hurt before, and he's not terribly afraid of it.

Is this person afraid of dying? Why or why not?

Does he want to die, no. Will being afraid of dying keep him doing something he feels he has to, no. Rafe's prone to undervaluing himself versus others, so if he feels like it's an acceptable trade off, he'd go willingly. He hasn't quite gotten it through his head that he's not supposed to be expendable, that his life isn't a commodity to be spent by his superiors. He's not nearly as afraid of dying as he is of failing people. 


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January 2017


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