Monday 18 September 2017

Solomon's Bedrooms

A couple of years ago, I wrote a piece about one of my favourite characters, Svetlana, that I've been thinking about quite a lot recently. For those not familiar with her, this is my Pathfinder character, full name Queen Svetlana Lian Surtova nee Chekhov, and I'm very, very fond of her. 

Like a lot of Pathfinder games, there's a risk of murder-hoboism which I've been seeing people talk about recently and I think that's why I've been thinking about this specific post, because it's about her bedrooms - her centres of living. The thing that prevents the hoboism aspect, at least. Despite my introduction to the post, I found writing about her rooms helped hook me deeper into her character and give me that closeness despite the fact we haven't played the game in ages. Which has me wanting to do this for other characters - which is where I'm running into a bit of a stumbling block, because I don't have a good idea of the rooms of either of my current characters. But I'll give it a go, starting with Solomon

Solomon hasn't had a bedroom since way before the game began, which means even the hammock on their little boat (the one you haven't met yet) is more permanent space than she's used to.

Her first room was the orphanage dormitory, with bunkbeds of boys. The blankets were worn, the mattresses thin, but it was all she'd ever known and suited her fine. There was nothing to personalise her bunk, but everyone knew their own and (generally) respected each others.

That changed when her periods started and she was shipped off to live with the Rev'd Barkwell's sister. She and her husband thought they were extremely generous in offering 'Sally' a comfortable bed and a room to herself, but the mattress was too soft and, being used to a room full of children, it was too quiet and lonely for her. There were dolls in this room, but she was too old to want to play with them. A small desk gave her a space intended for embroidery and bible study - she was dilligent with the latter, but not the former, seeing no point to the frills of stitching. It was never her room.

After she ran away and joined the Pony Express (or similar set up, seeing as we discovered after I wrote the background that the timing was wrong for her to have worked for them), her bedroom became a bedroll in the wilderness, and I think that's really the way she likes it. A campfire, a kettle, and her guitar. Out here, the quiet didn't bother her the way it did indoors. Out here, the stars keep her company.

Of course, that was before the nightmares started. Heading west in the hopes of finding answers, she's shared the trail and various dives with her new friends. They've recently 'acquired' a boat and all have their own space on it. Solomon isn't entirely comfortable with this, but Tesla (whom she normally has to share with, due to his poor hearing meaning he's the only one who can tolerate her screaming) sleeps in the boiler room with the ghost rock, Carson seems to want his own space, and she hasn't really got to know Chin. (No doubt if Honoria and Peter - the Rev'd's sister and her husband - had tried to teach Solomon more gently, more compassionately, she'd have learnt from them it wasn't appropriate for an unmarried woman to share a room with an unmarried man, but she left before that lesson took hold and it's never occurred to her to be a problem, what with God being her chaperone and all.) 

Solomon's space has a few photos in it - a hobby she took up after meeting the journalist Lacy O'Malley. Her guitar's there too, which frightens her because she's seen how easily boats can sink and she does not want to lose her guitar, the first thing she bought with the money from her first job as a pony messenger. A few notebooks with songs scribbled in. Her things are tucked beneath her bunk. It's a pretty bare space: she suffers too much wanderlust to have gathered enough possessions to make it anything else.



  1. Wow. Yeah, that's a very cool way to give a character some serious depth and humanity.

    1. I'm really enjoying writing these - thinking I might move on to favourite outfits when I've done rooms for all my major characters