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Nickname: Viper (Vermin Name), Lily (Woodlander Name)
Full Name: Iris Anella (Given Name, Rarely Used)
Affiliations: Lord of the Flies
Iris is a slender, petite young mousemaid. She is bit shorter than most others of her species, and considerably slighter. While she is relatively healthy now, she was a weak and sickly child, and it shows. Iris looks very fragile and slender, as if she could be easily broken. Her muscles are ill developed for strength, and not accustomed to physical stress. But, she is by no means helpless. She can run quickly in bursts and climb rather well due to her light frame. Because of her relatively small size she can duck and hide well, and has an edge in moving to evade attacks she is aware of. Her paws are quick and slight, which combined with her use of poison means a blink at the wrong moment can mean the difference between life and death when facing Viper.
Iris is a pretty young creature, who's lovely face does not betray the darkness she can channel. Her fur is a light, hazel-brown color, with lighter creamy white patches on her underbelly and throat. Iris’s fur is very soft and short, so she is more comfortable in warm climates, and very silky to the touch. Iris tries to always comb her fur and keep in peak condition, washing it often so it holds it sheen. Her wide, sky-blue eyes seem to belong to one even younger than she, and hold an aura of childish innocence. She has a perfect smile that can charm the birds out of the trees. Her appearance is such that she could easily be described as "cute." While Iris may not be exactly what one might describe as glamorous or gorgeous, she is certainty a fetching maiden, particularly in the guise of "Lily." She is eye catching among the woodlanders, and she uses her beauty to her advantage in all circles of beasts. If she cannot win men's hearts with reason, she is hardly above using her appearance and well faked interest.
Iris has a somewhat high pitched voice, sweet and soft. She speaks calmly and deliberately, choosing words carefully, though she will accelerating her speaking pace when talking about something that excites her. This normal voice of hers is hardened and noticeably lowered a bit as "Viper," as vermin respect strength of will. Her voice can turn very quickly from her normal sweet tone to a very harsh and cold blade with changes in her feelings. This cold tone is often coupled with a smug smile of victory or a grim glare of disappointment or anger. As Lily, she puts on mannerisms of a normal woodland maid, sweet smiles and a light walk, sometimes a hint of a skip. As Viper, her walk is slower, more deliberate, and confident. As Viper, she often has materials to take notes on hand, and will do so frequently. When separated from these tools, she will keep mental notes until they can be copied to paper.
When Iris resided at Redwall, she always had a preference for simple but colorful dresses. She preferred them to the gaudy outfits of the rich or the plain tunics of the other Redwall beasts. She still wears them occasionally, when she is blending in with goodbeasts, and playing her part. When in her “Viper” guise, she wears a black long sleeved shirt and leggings. Over her paws, Iris wears elbow long black gloves and knee high boots. Over all this she wears a black, hooded cloak. All this makes her real identity hard to see when dressed this way. “Viper” wears a belt around her waist, and one over each shoulder, so that she can carry many items such as poison vials and knives. Along with this she has a large hip pouch in which to keep her writing tools.
Iris is a very confused and complicated beast. Years of pain and hardship have hardened her heart. As cold as she may sometimes seem, she is at heart still a good beast. Deep inside all she really wants is to be loved. But she has convinced herself that love is nothing but a lie, an act used to control beasts, like every other tool. Since her parents died, Iris never felt anything she would call love. With this in mind, she believes the best one can do for oneself in life is to gain further power, influence or riches. She sees this as the ultimate goal of life, what everybeast is trying to attain. She can see no deeper reality or motives, breaking everyone down to these base desires. Lust, desire for power, wealth, survival, that is all anybeast wants. Iris wants to do more than just survive, she wants to live. She wants her name stamped on Mossflower forever.
Iris is a good conversationalist and can maintain friendly relationships when she wants to. She often needs to form relationships, whether with vermin or goodbeast, though friendliness from her is nothing more than an act. She is an excellent speaker, capable of manipulating her target audience, whoever that may be. She can use fancier words and language against the intelligent, and simple speak against the dull. Iris is an impenetrable liar. She can pretend very convincingly to actually like someone, when she would like nothing better than to see them dead. It is impossible to tell when she is honest, or spinning a web. No change in tone or normal indicator of dishonestly can be found.
Iris is a fast learner, and already incredibly intelligent. She learns the mannerisms, strengths, and weakness of others quite quickly. Each time she runs in with another beast, it becomes more dangerous for them, as she has already analyzed their previous encounters and devised methods against them. She has a photographic memory, and sets to heart and paper everything she learns. She is skilled with battle tactics and planning, and as such is difficult to have as an opponent in a battle of leadership, though she rarely acts as a field commander. Her forte is that of the master pulling at the strings, as well as an effective spy and field agent. She rarely kills or captures targets herself, though she will often lure them to their doom. Iris has a lot of book smarts, as she loves to read.
Because Iris is smarter than most of the beasts she knows, she tends to view them as below her. However, she will normally not express this sentiment, unless challenged by a subordinate. This is rarely an issue, as normally her decisive attitude and intellect as Viper make her a clear leader. She respects vermin for their sense of freedom and take what they want outlook, but views the majority of them stupid. She is sometimes frustrated by this stupidity, but is happy to exploit it. She sees goodbeasts as equally stupid, but in a different way. She sees them as hopelessly caught up in their ideals, which crumble against the harsh reality of the world. Still, she will use them and their ideals to further her ends when she can. Whenever engaged in honest conversation with one, she will show her clear disdain for their views and express her feelings of superiority.
Iris will always treat potential equals with caution, trying to judge them to see if they are a potential threat, ally, or actually inferior. If an actual equal, either in mind or an intimidating beast for other reasons, Iris will try to win their friendship so she can safely determine if they are useful to her. Iris is not above being subordinate to another, either for convenience or actual admiration. She will treat a superior with respect and faithfulness, though she prefers to be in charge herself. Though she has never (like most beasts) met The Lord of Flies, she is content to be a leader within his (or her) organization, as it is furthering her place in the world.
Iris tends to remain calm in any situation, keeping in the personality she is currently pretending, typically either Lily or Viper. However, she is not emotionless. When frustrated or angry, her voice is noticeably raised in pitch and her normally flawless intellect may slip briefly. However, she is hard to bring to anger. When victory achieved, she may become coldly smug and gloat. But, she is careful not to make the mistake of claiming victory before it is won, even if it seems certain. Iris is not incapable of love, desire, or affection, but they are very strongly suppressed. Love to her is a joke, and she dismisses her feelings of attraction as distractions. She shows happiness in victory or in the things she takes joy in, like a good book or a meaningful conversation. She has a lot more emotion than she would lead people to believe, inside Iris isn't so much different from any other mousemaid. If Iris is driven to the edge and her plans start crumbling around her, if someone drives her far enough to face who she really is, then she will crack. Deep down she is still a fragile mousemaid, never really given the time to mature, and she will behave quite erratically and immaturely when faced with this. This can appear to be insanity, but is really the outward manifestation of an internal battle, which could go either way. Normally these cracks are brief and she soon returns to the calculating mask.
Iris does enjoy a good meal when she can get one. Like vermin, she is willing to eat birds and such, though she will not stoop to cannibalism. She is not gaudy by any means, but she likes nice things, the occasional jewel or shiny trinket. Wealth to her is measured in these, in knowledge, possession of books, and the amount of beasts who answer when you call. She likes demonstrating a little power and wealth to her vermin minions occasionally, a bit of gold here, some silver there. She will reward them to encourage loyalty.
Iris hates Redwall and everybeast associated with it. Within her mind this hatred has grown and seethed for years, as illogical as it is. She blames the Abbey for her parents death, she puts the suffering of the woodlander's on their heads. To her, their ideals are foolish and harmful to those who follow them. They live a life of greed and selfishness masked as giving and caring. If she ever had the means, Iris would like nothing better than to break down the walls of the Abbey and show them the reality of the world she thinks they are blissfully unaware of. It is one of her ultimate goals to do what no beast has effectively done, conquer Redwall Abbey.
Iris always carries a pouch with a diary and writing tools. She makes notes and logs of everything she deems important, and is very methodical about this process. She doesn't possess any weapon in particular which is unique to her. She will switch weapons to suit her needs, but prefers light arms like knives and daggers, often poisoned. Iris often has a variety of kinds, such as throwing knives, short slashing dirks, or stilettos for piercing armor. She will carry small vials of poison for use on weapons, or food. She lacks strength, so poison is often her only option to kill. She is rarely unarmed, but as Lily she will have very few weapons, like a single knife in a boot (with a poison coated sheath.) Iris loves jewelry, and will often wear a small pair of gold-sapphire earrings, even as “Viper.” They were taken from her dead mother’s body, and are her only reminder of her parents. Jewelry is a sign of wealth and power to her, which she enjoys demonstrating.
Intelligence: Iris is a genius, in matters both ordinary and military.
Trickery: Iris is brilliant at disguising her true motives and personality. She can fool anyone into thinking she is a simple mousemaid, just as she appears. She is an excellent liar, and her masks are kept up almost constantly.
Agility: Iris can move quickly and gracefully. She can be quite hard to pin, and harder to catch.
Connections: Iris can summon up almost and entire horde when needed. Not instantly by any means, but being high up in The Lord's web means there are many threads you can pull.
Immaturity: While Iris is intelligent and devoted to her causes, she was never emotionally prepared for these events. She is still a young girl in body and heart. When in extreme stress, she may revert to unpredictable immature behavior. This "cracking" disables her as a direct threat, as her deadly intellect is handicapped until she recovers. However, this is very rare.
Fear of Bloodwrath: Iris has seen beasts in the Bloodwrath before and is deathly afraid of them. She can not use her reason to escape their anger, and he small blades, poisoned or not, will do little to halt them. When faced by them, Iris will instantly crack and will do anything to escape them.
Physically Weak: Iris lacks physical strength and combat ability. She can hold up in combat as long as she has room to move, but when trapped or grappled she can be quickly overcome. She has no skill whatsoever with anything heavier than a rapier.
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Iris grew up a small farm on the edge of Mossflower with her parents. She was an only child, and quite sickly. She was often ill, and very weak. She spent nearly as much waking time in bed as she did not. This made life very hard for her parents, who were split between caring for their precious daughter and tending the farm. They were quite aware of the existence of Redwall, but being stubborn and land relying folks, they never turned to the abbey for help. Iris’s father was actually the first to plant a dislike of Redwall in Iris, though he never could have seen it become the intense hatred it did. He told that the beasts of the abbey were lazy, communal beasts, who didn’t know the good of a hard day’s work. He told they really couldn’t be trusted to get anything done, and were sheltered from the real world by their walls of stone. Iris's parents tried to teach her to help cultivate the land, but she was rarely well enough to do so.
Iris was no older then six (human years) when a vermin gang attacked the small house at the break of dawn. Iris’s parents managed to hide her before the vermin broke down the door and captured them. Iris was forced to watch from her hiding place as the vermin killed her parents. She would have cried out and been caught, but fortunately for her, she passed out because of fear and sorrow, together with her weak disposition. Soon afterwards, Iris was found by some Redwallers who had been alerted of the attack by a few witnesses. They drove off the vermin and found the survivors, Iris being the only one. When she awoke, she found herself safe at the abbey. But the truth than her parents were gone forever struck her again and she could do nothing but cry for several days.
Iris refused all food and attention for that period. Her distrust for the Redwallers, spiked by the emotion of her parent’s deaths, grew into a hate. She came to blame them in her mind for the whole tragedy. Why hadn’t they gotten there sooner? Why hadn’t they saver her parents? With how weak and young she was, it was wonder she survived this trial. But eventually, she recovered, and was raised by the monks along with the other young beasts of the abbey.
Iris began classes in reading, writing, and more. She had a natural intelligence and aptitude for learning, and so she soon outclassed the other students in all areas. Not only that, but she had a great love of reading, often delving into the abbey’s library. During her time there, she read more books that some of the residents probably read in their lives. She would read books that hadn’t been touched for years, not even by Redwall’s scholars. Here she learned the art of warfare, trickery, poisons, and weaponry. She had a strange fascination with these, which she tried to keep secret from the others. She wondered why the abbey seemed so unprepared for war, why no one seemed to understand these concepts.
There were many good beasts in the abbey, but Iris’s mindset made her focus only on the bad ones. While the brothers of Redwall were caring of Iris, her peers did not take so kindly to her. They were annoyed by her favor in eyes of the teachers, and some just spiteful because of her strange background and physical weakness. Though she grew stronger, she was still often sick and weak, sometimes walking with a little pair of crunches to keep her from falling. Her peers mocked her appearance, her weakness, her intelligence, and anything they knew would hurt her. Iris came to believe some of them, and she attacked herself just as fiercely from the inside. She hated who she was, so weak and ugly. Iris had always dreamed of the kinds of adventures she read about in books. She wanted to be pretty, she wanted to be loved. She wanted to be a warrior, a hero. But her oppressors made sure to remind her constantly than this was complete nonsense. The bullies picked on her constantly, sometimes even taking their anger out on her physically. She had not the strength to fight back, and she didn’t trust the brothers enough to ask for their help.
After about four years at the abbey, Iris decided she had enough with that life. In her eyes, the Redwall system was flawed and broken. They called themselves goodbeasts, but they did nothing to make sure evil things didn’t happen outside their walls. To her they were selfish hypocrites who cared for nobeast but themselves. One night, having grown strong enough to walk and run on her own, she took a haversack of supplies from the kitchens and stole away over the walls, dropping down on a secured length of rope. She tried to survive on her own in the woods, using her book smarts to aid her, but quickly realized a little girl stood little chance in the wild. She was found by a few squirrels and taken to a orphanage run by Gilligan, a tough old otter.
In the orphanage, "Little Creek" as it was called, Iris adapted to the harsher world outside the abbey walls. The children there, ranging from babes to young adults, were of all species. Iris soon learned the distinctions between "vermin" and "goodbeast" were hardly as black and white as the beasts at the abbey seemed to believe. Vermin had killed her parents, but many of them here were far kinder to her than the bullies at Redwall had been. Gilligan was a hard fellow, but fair. He fed the orphans and gave them a place to sleep, but they worked their share. As they got older more responsibility fell to them, both in tasks and in caring for the younger. As she grew older, Iris was given tasks shared by the older beasts. They worked as petty thieves, helped serve beasts passing through the area, and delivered messages. It soon became apparent that all the tasks, as silly and different as they were, seemed to come from a single higher power that Gilligan swore allegiance to. This higher power, The Lord of the Flies, was given almost mythical status by the beasts who claimed to follow it. As far as Iris could tell, no one had seen it, or even the beasts who had seen it, everyone got their orders from someone above, who got their orders from someone above them.
Now a young adult and more or less alone in the world, Iris turned more and more to vermin for companionship. She found the majority of them to be stupid and savage beasts, but she admired their independence and ambition. Iris began to think a bit like them herself. Why should she be limited to being a simple mousemaid? She had brains, she had plans. If she wanted, she could make herself something more. And the stupid vermin would her path to glory. While nobeast seemed to know much of anything about The Lord of the Flies, the organization built around this "beast" seemed to be a stairway to power. Serving The Lord well meant you gained connections and subservient minions quickly.
Under the name “Viper,” Iris began her life as a vermin beast. She gained some skills with stealthy robbery and poisoning, aided by her life as a lackey in Little Creek. Iris was never meant to be just a follower. She proved her superior intelligence to the simpler vermin, leading them on to greater victories from behind. What higher ups existed in the web of The Lord noticed her, and Iris soon rose to prominence. With a great track record and the deaths of other bosses in the organization, Iris soon become one of the most affluent leaders. She is still of the belief that the Lord of the Flies exists, as orders continue to come down from somewhere. But they are always delivered by a different runner, sent by someone unaware of who sent them the message. So many levels of security exist it is impossible to find the source of any of these messages, and it is likely those who met The Lord are not even aware. Iris is also a great boon to the organization as she has the advantage of being able to enter Redwall at will. As Lily, she seems to be the most innocent and gentle of mousemaids. She can infiltrate woodlander settlements at will. Using this and her growing power with the vermin, she hopes to one day have her revenge on Redwall, constantly denying the mousemaid within.
(Sorry for two parts, apparently there is a max length of post.)