This is Sanyo news! The warmth of summer has just arrived, the odd chill that was spring is now gone! We got some strange news for you rumor mongers though. It seems that there is a cherry blossom tree atop the Bubble. All attempts to have it taken down seem to have failed. For now it still seems to be under investigation.
Basics Full Name: Marian Hailey Wilson Nickname(s): "Mary" (common nickname), "Reaper" (online handle, occasional call sign when investigating) Age, D.O.B.: 18, March 20 Gender: Female Category: Persona User Arcana: Death Grade/Career: Paranormal writer and investigator, Third Year at Mishiro High Ethnicity: Caucasian (British) Family: She has a father and mother back home, of 48 and 46 respectively. Names? Names are hard so I haven't come up with them.
Appearance Marian, or Mary as she prefers to be called is a woman of five foot five with light, fair skin. She has very wavy blonde hair, usually kept to shoulder length but otherwise left loose. Her eyes are hazel in color. She typically wears a mellow expression with very subdued changes. Even when ecstatic she'll rarely wear more than a small smile, and even when furious she keeps a calm expression. The only times this changes are when she's confronted with something that really, genuinely interests her. Usually something of a supernatural persuasion. She has a slender figure and is a lot curvier than she usually lets on, sporting a sizable bust. Her body, especially her arms and legs, has a small but noticeable amount of muscle tone, gained primarily from spending a lot of time exploring.
She typically wears heavy outfits that (not necessarily by intention) hide her figure. She's particularly fond of a heavy, purple dress that may have been more popular several decades ago. But since it's not very good for being out in the wilderness, when she's exploring she'll usually wear something a bit more practical. For that, her outfit of choice consists of a comfortable shirt and either pants or shorts and tights, all underneath a heavy, knee-length coat and hiking boots. For headwhere, she'll typically wear a felt hat with an upturned brim, although she insists that the only thing that goes well with her favorite dress is an old-fashioned mob cap. Navy blue or purple are her colors of choice, but she'll deviate from them during warmer months, where she'll wear lightly colored blouses and skirts to keep cool.
Personality Likes: The paranormal, the supernatural, the unexplained, and the fascinating Dislikes: Stifling normalcy, being unable to see eye to eye with people, routine, skepticism Hobbies: Exploring old and haunted places, writing, getting into trouble for strange reasons Goals: Go pro with her paranormal investigation, make enough off of that and writing to live on.
Mary is, by all accounts, a very odd person. Her default personality is a strange meeting of opposites: open, yet reserved. She keeps the appearance of being a shy and reserved girl, and tends to be fairly cautious about what she tells people about herself. This, she would say, is because she has a long history of "weirding people out" when talking about her interests and hobbies. At the same time, if she's actually caught in the act, so to speak, she doesn't try to hide anything and will sometimes tell people more than they ever wanted to know. This also happens when something catches her interest and sets her into an excited mania that she has trouble calming down from. Outside of situations like this, getting her to open up requires a lot of patience and a lot of care to not accidentally make her retreat. Either that or a forceful personality, a drink or two, and a point of commonality. Other than her overly cautious attitude, however, she's usually friendly, although occasionally prone to snark.
As for her interests, they're very simple. She's interested in the paranormal, the supernatural, the unexplained, and the fascinating. Having grown up believing she had the ability to sense things that shouldn't quite be there, she's become naturally drawn to them, and shares a sense of familiarity with them. Of course, any kid is interested in things they don't know, but Mary takes it to a rare extreme, one that has persisted now that she's an adult. She wants to understand them too, especially the things that other people claim "can't" be understood. That said, while ghosts are very high on the list of things she wants to know more about and understand, if it's suitably mysterious and unexplained, it will probably also catch her interest.
Although she usually tries to avoid weirding people out, when she does it intentionally she can do it so well that it can be hard to tell if she's acting or not. Mary has an often neglected talent for the dramatic, as well as for making things that sound perfectly innocent to her sound unsettling or creepy to anyone else. And when people encourage her, she likes to portray herself in such a way that makes it seem like there's some mysteries surrounding herself, as well. Even she isn't certain if her odd behaviors, such as the times she's ended up on a school rooftop or wandering around outside on cold nights, are because of this self-portrayal, or she just started playing up her strange behavior to create a mystery out of it. That, however, is a mystery she doesn't want to solve just yet. Because while life has the potential to be a fascinating experience, it's only as fun as you make it.
History "Oh hoh hoh...You're teetering on the boundary of a world beyond human understanding, aren't you? I wonder what the future will have in store for you, she who seeks out the Underworld."
Like many people, Marian's story starts with her parents. There was no dramatic meeting, though, or freak circumstances that could never happen to anyone else. Her mother was a pilot who frequently flew in air shows and anywhere else that she could show off, while her father was a research professor. She was born and lived most of her life in Great Britain, although her family moved around a couple times times while her father searched for stable funding for his research: she was born in Yorkshire, then they moved first to Aberdeen in Scotland shortly after Mary's birth, then seven years later they finally settled in London. In Marian's early years, her mother stayed at home to take care of her, and only went back to flying once they settled down and didn't have to worry about moving again soon. That wouldn't be for seven years, though.
As for Marian herself, she was unusually attentive for an infant. She always knew when mommy or daddy was in the room, never slept when they were around, and rarely slept even when they weren't. As she started to get older, she picked up basic sensory and cognitive skills faster than most children her age. She looked to be a typical gifted child in the making, but in her third year something strange happened. Up to that point, there was one other person who lavished attention on her: her grandfather. After Marian was born, he moved in (and around) with the family due to a diminishing ability to take care of himself. He took care of Marian when her parents were away, and quickly came to be considered as much a part of the family (to the extent a toddler understands "family") as mommy and daddy. When she was three, however, his advanced age and growing illness over the last several years finally caught up with him, and he passed away. For several days afterwards, Marian would frequently be found staring at a corner of the room, or an empty chair, as though seeing something that wasn't there. In time, she started doing it less and less, seeming to either accept that nothing was there, or become accustomed enough to its presence to pay it no mind. She does, however, start going by Mary, the name her grandfather always called her.
A few years after that, Mary, being the adventurous child that she was, started to go exploring. At least, to the extent that a kid her age could explore. Her family got a dog around that time, who quickly bonded with Mary and would almost always stick by her side on those adventures. A few years after that, she started school. She was noted by her teachers to be very intelligent, but also very introverted. She always seemed to be off in her own world, a world that usually involved drawings of old men, dogs, and childlike representations of the coast near her home. It was only when Halloween approached that she actively paid attention without having to be told. The first time she learned about 'ghosts', something seemed to click with her. But no one ever found out what it was until, at age seven, her family left Aberdeen behind and moved to London. On her last day in the old house, out of nowhere, she said "I have to say goodbye to Grandpa before we leave." Then, later, 'reported' that he wished them well and said they didn't need to worry about him anymore.
Whether she had actually seen a ghost, or just put a familiar concept onto an 'imaginary friend', no one could know. It would just become one of Mary's many mysteries.
Once she moved to London, Mary started to become more open, interacting with her peers more and more. While her teachers took it as a sign that she was coming out of her shell, her peers' reactions quickly put a stop to this growth and caused her to start retreating again. It started when she excitedly proclaimed that she had talked to a ghost. She was immediately asked to prove it, but claimed that the ghost had stayed back in Aberdeen and wouldn't have wanted the attention anyway. Then the other kids started to think that she was lying, or otherwise just weird, and started to avoid or pick on her. Frustrated, Mary stopped talking about her grandfather's ghost, but still actively pursued anything related to them. She became interested in ghost stories, but kept that interest to herself. A similar process repeated itself when she learned about ESP, and believed herself (after passing a test involving patterns on cards that could have easily just been dumb, blind luck) to have it. She weirded out her peers and eventually stopped talking about it, but became interested in the subject and by extension stories that involved psychic or other supernatural abilities. Another year or two later she got into fortune telling as well, but by that point had already learned what would happen and just never talked about it unless someone else expressed an interest first. Coupled with her growing interest in other girls rather than boys as she reached her teenage years, and she had come to realize that she was, intentionally or not, making people around her uncomfortable by being open.
Around the time Mary turned fourteen, her father's work had stabilized enough that he had plenty of people working under him in his lab, and as a consequence was able to take time off and travel much more. He took advantage of this to travel around England and beyond, and when she had time off of school he would take Mary with him. Only, the places Mary wanted to go were always a bit odd. Old castles were a sensible one, but other places as well were either rumored to be haunted or had enough history behind them that being haunted was an expectation, not a rumor. Soon after the first of these trips, she got recruited into a paranormal club at school, and started writing her own material on the side. It was just supposed to be a collection of ghost stories at first, but to her surprise, she managed to sell the finished collection to a publisher.
During summer vacations, she was occasionally able to travel to other places. The first summer this happened, she went to America, and was inspired by the folk tales of the countryside and especially the old West. The second year, she and her family traveled through most of Europe. When school started again after this, however, things took a turn. She got involved in a missing persons case, where someone from school had disappeared seemingly out of her own room. Mary had been content to let law enforcement handle it, until she found her missing classmate by chance, and had to chase the shocked and frightened girl into an abandoned building. Both of them were in the building for hours before Mary finally managed to convince her classmate to come out and go back home.
Neither one of them were quite the same after that, with Mary's classmate showing symptoms of PTSD, and Mary herself becoming, if anything, even stranger. Another incident involving her and an abandoned building ended with her getting in trouble, and reassuring police that "it's okay, I was leaving anyway. He doesn't want anyone in there." A couple weeks later, she'd been found sleeping on the school roof...at night, in the rain, under a propped up umbrella. Later still, she missed a week of classes due to illness, after which it was uncovered that she'd been out late at night, in the middle of winter. Never any explanation why. While she stuck with her paranormal club for awhile, and though she had been opening up more and more again, she eventually drifted away and styled herself as an "independent investigator" because she and the rest of the club had trouble relating to each other. And all the while, her writing continued to get stranger. At least one story featured other worlds, while another featured a main character who spent a week locked up in Alcatraz despite living in the present day, and despite the fact that Mary had never been that far west to gain inspiration from it.
She wouldn't travel outside of Great Britain again until 2020. Around the beginning of the year, her old clubmates forwarded several online rumor posts to her regarding the city of Sanyo, Japan. Though Mary was inclined to dismiss them at first, the volume of them caught her attention. Reports of parts of the city going dark, and strange fog patterns. And buried under what seemed at first just like a spell of odd weather, a small handful of people going missing, only to turn up the next day, barely conscious.
After a lot of persuading that bordered on nagging at times, Mary managed to talk her parents into letting her go. The trip was scheduled during her spring break, plus a few extra days on either side that she promised her teachers she would make up before the end of the term. She just had to hope that when she got there, around the beginning of the Japanese school year, the incident would not already be over.
Equipment Mary's weapon of choice is a simple quarterstaff her grandfather once owned, that from wear and tear through the years looks more like a hiking stick now. How well she can actually use it as a weapon is a matter for debate. Upon awakening her Persona, it becomes a like-new metal staff.
Notes Mary's Japanese is actually very good. Despite the short notice of the trip, she has been studying intensely for several months, as though knowing that she would go to end up in Sanyo City eventually. Maybe she just wanted to follow in the footsteps of Lafcadio Hearn.
The mask that appears on Mary's face is solid white, with glass eye openings and a beak over the nose - nearly identical to the iconic plague doctor's mask.
Melinoe herself takes an appearance similar to Mary's, complete with the same style of blonde hair and mob cap. However, the Persona's body is pale white with the appearance and texture of porcelain, with pieces cracked and broken off on the left eye, arms,legs, hips, chest, and even one on the cap. Most of the torso is left completely open, exposing the rib cage and most of the spine. Strange energy taking a red-black hue constantly spills out of the body's openings, forming into ominous looking eyes and the shapes of ghosts as it escapes. Melinoe's right arm and leg are also made of this strange energy rather than the broken porcelain of the rest of her body.
Melinoe was a Greek underworld goddess who presided over populations of the dead. She was born from Zeus (disguised as Hades at the time) and Persephone, and because of this was half-divine and half-cthonic. She was said to wander the Earth with a train of ghosts at night, and was called a bringer of nightmares and madness.