Demeanor: Maria Vargas acts every bit as sweet as her sugar skull-themed face would suggest. She is a creature of laughter and light, always doing her best to see the best side everyone has to offer while steadfastly ignoring the worst. The girl is gentle and compassionate, prodded on by vague, flickering memories of death to encourage others to experience and love their lives.
Nature: ::Spoken by her father in regards to a painting of Maria dancing with the devil while blindfolded:: “Trust me. She knew who she was dancing with the whole time. She just chose to see the good in everybody. I personally don’t think she should change that about herself. It is possible her energy could even bring the good out in the devil”.
Maria is a plump little angel of a girl standing at a whole 5’4”. She smells delightfully of honey bourbon frosting and sugar; the scent follows in her wake and lingers, working better than any air freshener ever could. Her face appears to be richly painted in vibrant colors like sugar skulls often seen in the Day of the Dead, her skin is white as porcelain with intricate designs all throughout and her hands are stained rich red as blood. Her bright eyes are a glowing marigold yellow and her waist-length hair is a rich burgundy. Maria often dresses in gothic and Lolita styles, favoring predominantly black tones spiced up with vivid pinks and violets. She is never, and we mean never, without a pair of bright red dancing shoes. She has a single scar – a bullet entry wound right in her forehead.
"Artifact" Design (4): Maria rose from the dead with the knowledge of creating sugar skulls… but not just any sugar skulls! She can infuse all of the sugar skulls she makes with joy incarnate, easing the sorrow and pains the world often burdens people with simply by being eaten. (Brains)
Perception (3): Maria died from a simple moment of inattention. Now she looks around herself in an almost paranoid fashion, allowing herself to miss nothing. She is a happy creature, but she isn't quite willing to face death a second time. (Brains)
Persuasion (3): Maria has experienced death. She has dedicated her life to try and talk people out of seeking it in all of its forms, instead opting to act as a counselor and sympathetic ear (and occasional voice of reason) to those in need. (Brains)
Academics (2): Maria has not wasted her time here! She’s studying all she can, because she never had a real chance to do so in her old life. (Brains)
The Devil’s Dancing Shoes (4): When Maria starts dancing, everyone dances with her if she so wills it. She can force everyone in the area to dance alongside her whether they wish it or not and it is said she can even dance the dead back into their graves.
Casting the Bones (3): By sliding the skin back on her hands, plucking the bones of her hand apart and casting them across a surface, Maria is able to read the portents they contain to glean important information about her current situation or quest or even glimpse into the future. She’d better remember to gather those bones back up again, though!
Night Mare (2): By shedding her skin and spending a turn, Maria can force her skellington to twist into that of a winged, skeletal steed blazing with harmless fire. People can ride her! She can fly! Or she can make her flames deadly!
Skin and Bones(Severe): As a Calaca, Maria is a skeleton eternally bound to her skin. If her skin is stolen she is doomed to walk around forever as a spooky scary skeleton until it is returned to her. If it is destroyed, she must steal the skin of some innocent dead person, and that’s terrible. Her joints are also especially weak and flimsy; it isn’t uncommon for her hand or even entire arm or leg to fall off mid-conversation. Sometimes her head might roll right off her neck. If she takes off her skin and her bones are stolen, she must find an ossuary or graveyard from which to steal more!
List everything your character carries on their person here. Be reasonable.$50
Fancy Smartphone (in a pink decodenned case!)
Red dancing shoes
And everything that they keep in their dorm at SunnyBrook. Anything that's not listed here or in the section above will be difficult for the character to retrieve.
Many, many gothic Lolita outfits. Like, all of them. Ever.
Many more dancing shoes.
Desktop Gaming Computer
Hello Kitty Backpack
Maria Vargas grew up in Cabrini Green, the most dangerous ghetto in the whole of Chicago. Her family was desperately poor, which means that Maria often went hungry, froze in the winter and suffered heat stroke in the summer. Her education was …not stellar; the schools in the area were terrible at best, and dangerous hives of scum and villainy at the worst. Through it all however, Maria and her family laughed. They danced to keep the cold away in winter, they broke open fire hydrants to keep the heat away in summer, they survived on beans and lentils and powdered milk donations from churches and goodwill pantries.
Whenever her family could afford to do so, they nurtured Maria’s talents for dancing and art; she cherished her paints and charcoals, stretching to last for months what should have lasted weeks, and when her family saved up for over a year to buy her a pair of red dancing shoes for her birthday, she was never seen without them. She was a child that saw the most slimy, diseased underbelly humanity had to offer and came through it all with twinkling eyes and an open heart.
The dangers of Cabrini Green, however, could not simply be danced away. Maria was in terrible peril every time she walked to and from school alone, which she often had to do. There was open gang warfare in the streets, there were kidnappers, muggers and thugs. Maria had always been lucky enough to evade the worst of it all until one horrible evening. She was walking home with the meager groceries her mother had sent her to fetch when It happened.
It was a simple thing, really. It was a cruelty of chance, a mocking twist of fate that led Maria to be hit by stray gunfire. She collapsed to the ground, her groceries spilling all about her and soaking up the blood that pooled around her head. No ambulance came for her, no help was called, and so Maria died that evening, cold and afraid and alone, staring up at an uncaring, iron-grey sky.
Her funeral was a humble affair that was attended by many; she was a child beloved by family and friends alike, and the mourning for her was real. Some time after the wake, but before Maria was meant to be buried, her father lay collapsed and weeping alone at the foot of her little pine casket. A woman, an elderly woman, dressed in black rags and whom her father did not recognize, approached the grieving man. She offered a bargain – Maria would live and dance again, dance into all eternity, if he would but give up his ability to see her do so… or to see anything at all. He accepted.
The strange woman worked swiftly; she painted Maria’s body with ointments and makeups and strange-smelling unguents that soaked into her skin, staining it forever and loosening it from her bones. She swiped those same unguents over her father’s eyes, forever blinding him, but when she scooped the goo from his eyes and spread it instead over Maria’s, they fluttered open and glowed a brilliant marigold. Maria danced her way out of that casket in her little red dancing shoes and into the arms of her blinded father. The strange woman? She was gone when they turned to thank her, quickly as you please.
The burial was never performed; people asked questions. Where was the body? What was going on? There were all sorts of unpleasant rumors flying about the Vargas family even as said family tried desperately to hide their daughter from the unbelieving eyes of the outside world. They couldn’t keep the secret forever however, and nosy neighbors saw Maria shiver and shake out of her own skin, walking around as a spooky skeleton! The Global Watch Unit came visiting soon after and while her family fought desperately to keep their baby, they were eventually subdued and Maria dragged to campus. She’s making the best of it though! Here she can live in a safe, clean environment, with good food and air conditioning and heating and an education she’d have killed for in the past. It’s not so bad.
- Maria speaks Spanish!