I’m noticing a certain darker trend in my character designs lately… Not sure why that is, but it IS producing some interesting concepts, so for now, I think I shall run with it.
Here is character concept #2! 😀
This is Katarina Eichel. Her family came to America 12 years before Katarina was born. They ran the Eichel Bros circus, which employed Katarina and her uncle’s Karl’s entire families.Her parents had acquired a small collection of show ponies, a small trained bear, and a host of cousins working as clowns, acrobats, and jugglers. Katarina, displaying great natural flexibility from a very early age, was trained as an acrobat from the time she could walk. The audiences loved her. The site of a 7 year old girl turning flips and sailing gracefully between trapeezes when her cousins threw her between them brought roars of applause. One little boy had even shyly handed over a stuffed bear to her after a particularly good show.
When Katarina was 16, things went sour. The war had dragged on longer than expected and people were losing interest in things like circuses. They had little enough money to get by on as it was, and they regarded circus-folk as a tolerable amusement at the best of times. People began to eye their bright circus wagons with suspicion whenever they rolled into town and called them beggars, theives, and worse. The fact that everyone in the circus spoke with German accents ranging from mild to thicker than tar did not help matters. The bear starved until it went mad and had to be put down. The ponies were stolen or eaten, and cousins drifted away into this or that odd job when they could be found.
Two weeks from Katarina’s 17th birthday, they were near starvation. Towns ran them out on sight, hunting had proved dismal, and those who remained could find no work. One week from her 17th birthday, Katarina began to work as an escort at the edge of the town, though she did not tell her family where the gifts of chicken, or bags of flour had come from. Pretty, with a woman’s figure already, she found no shortage of furtive clients. She fed her family this way for two months before rumors about the “circus whore” began to circulate. It was only a matter of time before they reached her parents’, who put two and two together in very short order.
The confrontation was loud, but brief. Katarina did not deny what she had done, saying simply that she did what she had to to keep the family alive. They sobbed that no amount of food was worth the price of a young girls’ virtue. Katarina lost her temper. She had suffered rough hands yanking her hair, men calling her “whore”, “trash” drunk, disgusting men, throwing themselves on her. And she had endured all of this so that her family, the very people who berated her now, could eat. Could survive. She asked them if they would have preferred to starve. Her parents were horrified. They threw out all the rest of the food she had given them, despite her protests, and through sobs and jumbled prayers – disowned her on the spot. When further arguments fell on deaf ears, she packed her things and left.
Now Katarina works as a bounty hunter. She can outmaneuver, distract, and/or disable any man she’s met yet. A few have learned the hard way that making lewd comments or worse, trying to get a hand on things you shouldn’t in a fight is a quick way to lose a finger, or suffer “mysterious” accidents that leave bounties singing a few keys higher than they started.
While it pays the bills and keeps her fed, she’s tired of scrambling around after horse rustlers and common thieves. Lately, she’s been making plans to pull up stakes and go off in search of a better life.