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Syllia Kelevra

There is always a fire striking somewhere beneath my skin.

0 · 533 views · located in RMS Titanic

a character in “"Ice-burg ahead!"”, as played by Εpιmetheus


S Y L L I A . K E L E V R AxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxAND THE OCEAN SWEARS THAT IT WON'T BE EASY_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________









L O O K I N G . G L A S S





She is a child of the streets, and she makes no attempt to hide it. Her brother makes sure she stays clean, so she lacks the tell-tale smudges of dirt marring her pale skin, but that's about as far as her attempts to look nice truly extend. She favors clothing that falls loose and comfortably on her scrawny frame, and while her brother keeps her wardrobe stocked with clothing lacking holes and made of fairly nice fabrics, she veers away from the traditional fashion of women. She wears pants and button-ups (and typically her favored pageboy cap), mainly because she enjoys the comfort of it, but also because she knows none of the idiots gambling in the back rooms of taverns would respect her if she wore fanciful dresses, much less let her join in for a hand. Plus, it's far more inconspicuous when she works her way through a crowd, picking pockets as she goes. She is not at a loss for all the good genes of her brother— has the same sparkling green eyes, the same long, elegant fingers— but the stain of her social class has detracted from any favor her delicate features and slim limbs might have earned her if that were different.

T H E . D E V I L ' S . D E T A I L S


As the resident gambler, it's no secret that she's highly partial to cards and card games, mainly because she can count cards and therefore control a deck, but she has no power of the way dice fall. She loves the atmosphere she gambles in though, the heavy darkness, just the general pub air. Surprisingly, she finds she really quite likes magic tricks. Even though being unable to figure out the trick frustrates her, it preserves the strangeness of it, and she never tries too hard to decipher it because of that. She's also a fan of the open markets she tends to see these tricks in, loves the vast opportunities for picking pockets and just looking at all the good people have to offer. She is a street urchin, and most of her life is spent trying to survive, but when she finds time, she dedicates it to art. She loves sketching, particularly with charcoal, and unbeknownst to her brother, she's spent a day's work before on a cheap pad and some charcoal pencils. And why not? Life gives her so few pleasures naturally, so there's no harm in taking some.


She's of a lower social class, but that doesn't make her any less of a person. She shares her brother's disdain for the wealthy who look down their noses at her, the asses who treat her like some kind of inferior creature. She differs from her brother in her opinion of book studies, knowledge she finds impractical and useless. She much prefers the far more practical information, information related to gambling. She's grown to like the activity as more than just a means of income, and she utterly despises losing, a hatred that extends beyond the gambling room. While she dislikes tasteless food as much as the next guy, she's also found she dislikes the burn of spicy foods, as well as the similar burn of particularly harsh liquors.


`◇ CLEVER&QUICK ; Streets smarts are paramount in her life, and that means more than just the impractical book studies. She's clever and a quick-thinker, very light on her feet. She may not know much about the latest scientific breakthrough, but she can count cards like nobody's business, and she can figure her way out of a bad situation with some shoestring and her wits.
`◇ COOL&COLLECTED ; This developed, of course, in a back room of an inn, playing card game after card game. She lost a lot before she learned to let her face settle into stone. It's helped her in the streets too, helped her blend into crowds and slip off into the alleys. She's learned to think a little longer before jumping into decisions, even if she hasn't learned how to hold her tongue.
`◇ OBSERVANT ; Much like her brother, half of her job relies on being able to pick up on facial and behavioral cues. She's learned to read even the best of poker faces, the slightest twitch of a jaw or furrowing of a brow.
`◇ HONORABLE ; Perhaps not in the most traditional of ways. She's not shy about cheating a mean out of his entire month's wages, but she's also not nearly as dishonorable as her brother. She keeps secrets told to her in confidence close to her heart, and should she ever find herself in another's debt, she's sure to repay the deed.


`◇ BRASH ; She often speaks without thinking, and despite all her street smarts, her quick tongue has gotten her into more than a couple of scrapes.
`◇ GRACELESS ; Unfortunately for her, she lacks all the social tact of her brother and is a terribly bad actress. She tried, once, to help him with a job and nearly got them both thrown in jail. She can't seem to hide her upbringing.
`◇ ANTAGONISTIC ; There are two things that serve to make this worse: her bluntness and her tendency to take any slights incredibly personally. She doesn't back down from a fight, whether it's one she unintentionally picked or one that was picked with her.
`◇ COCKY ; She's very confident in her abilities; one might say too confident. Sure as sin, pride will always bring a person to their knees, and while she's yet to let her assurance blind her, the day probably isn't too far off.

She is guilty of attempting to emulate her brother. She tries to be as heartless as he seems to be, to be as angry and spiteful. But they're both very different creatures. She's not happy with their station in life, of course she's not, and she doesn't not hate the pompously wealthy who turn up their noses at their kind. But she doesn't stoke a burning rage in the bottom of her gut. She doesn't let her spite fester and boil over into something ugly. Stas acts like more than he is, and she wonders if that's what's made him what he is. She's a street urchin, it's the truth, and that's the only part she plays. She's not unattached as he is. She's embraced her profession and her place. She has the same brusque manner as the people she associates, a sense of humor that's far from what would be deemed "appropriate" in high society. She lacks the sense of 'airs' that she knows high class women put on, a sense of detachment and mystery. She is open, never shy about approaching people she doesn't know well. She has her friends on the streets, and she's grown with them, in the same style as them. She's rough about the edges, wields the same unpolished words and carefree swaggering manner. There was always a brawl going down when she was growing up, and she used to be involved in some number of them. Not that she keeps her nose completely clean and out of fights these days, it's just that if she is in one, it's typically not between friends over some stupid matter. But the casual roughhousing has remained in her nature, and she always jostles her friends or friendly acquaintances, an amicable, light punch to the arm here, a nudging elbow in the gut there. She is rough in general, a perfect stereotype of a roguish pickpocket and thief. She has no honor in that sense, has no shame for her sticky fingers or for cheating at card games. But she always honors her agreements, is sure to never leave a debt unpaid. Her word is worth something to her; after all, she's never verbally promised never to steal or cheat. She's out to live her life as best as she can within the confines of what fate has thrown her way. She doesn't want to let the restrictions placed upon her destroy all her days and years. She is tough and she is clever, and she is going to take some happiness for herself in some way if she has to fight tooth and claw for it.

M E M O I R SxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxBUT THE OCEAN DON'T KNOW ME OR JUST HOW TOUGH I CAN BE
Her past doesn't matter as much as it could. She was born in London, with a brother two years older and a mother who was out of the house more often than not. When she was gone for good, Syllia didn't particularly feel as though she'd lost much. Her brother was resentful, she knew, but she couldn't see why. They had always been poor. They lost a roof over their heads and that was a shame, but Syllia didn't mind working to regain it. It wasn't as though she was pleased being bored stiff doing nothing all day. Her brother taught her how to pick pockets, and she quickly took to the streets. She was a natural, got caught far fewer times in the beginning than her brother. She made friends among others of her kind, despite the fact that her brother always urged her to not form any attachments. Life wasn't easy and it certainly wasn't fun, but some of the moments were.
She was fifteen when she first discovered gambling. Accidentally stumbled into the back room after a night of celebration out at a pub for a good days work with some other thieves. The men and women there were older, scarier, but they saw an opportunity to rob a young girl blind. So much for honor among thieves. But Syllia won a hand. Lost another. Then won one more. By the time her friend dragged her away, she was actually up a little bit. It was nothing substantial, but she was hooked on the thrill of the game. Gambling is mostly a game of luck though, and after a couple of nights of losing everything she'd made, she decided to dedicate herself to the sport.
She learned how to count cards from an old gambler for the price of a half week's work, but it was worth it. She learned tells and manipulation from him later, for another half week's wages. Just as worth it. He took a liking to her, starting teaching her some tips and tricks for free, and she kept winning until they kicked her out of the pub she frequented for good. The man taught her how to lose on purpose, and she hated the thought of it, but learned it was a necessary evil. She was well on her way to being a card shark, and she loved it. Her brother took up conning rich folks around the same time, and their income increased. While he waited on the long term payout, she kept them going in the meantime. When he traveled for a particular job, she stayed behind. She carved out a place in the dirty streets of London, and she liked that place.
She won the boarding ticket in a gambling game, a desperate last ditch wager from some poor guy who needed to win back some of what he'd lost. Curiosity got the best of her, and she won a match she should have lost, but it didn't matter anyway. Not if she'd be in the Americas in a matter of weeks. She brought it home and showed her brother, who promptly went out and nicked his own ticket. He managed to find them a ride to Southampton (how, she didn't ask), and soon they were both eager to see what was in store for them. Like her brother, she's on the lookout for some nice valuable to snatch, but their views differ on long term goals. She knows he only sees a new set of people to con, but she knows there are fewer blue bloods in the United States. More new money. Maybe more opportunity. She knows they both have their passions, and she's maybe just a little bit hopeful they can make something of themselves with those talents. At the very least, she's willing to try.





So begins...

Syllia Kelevra's Story


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evan Tuck Character Portrait: Stas Kelevra Character Portrait: Charlotte Whittaker Character Portrait: Syllia Kelevra Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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                        Yes. That was a yes, wasn’t it? He wasn’t quite sure what he had been expected. That was the answer he’d wanted after all. Maybe a bit more hesitation? The Charlotte he knew from the past was all hesitation. He was surprised, after her, to learn how quickly other women and girls of her status fell to his charms. He had been expecting something more arduous, taxing— a longer chase. But he was warming their beds within the month. His record was just shy of three days. Quickest con he’d ever pulled with a sizeable gain. He’d treated Syl to a nice dinner that night.

                        And yet, the approval came remarkably quickly. Perhaps she was right; being at sea far from the confines of shores seemed to loosen one’s inhibitions. He certainly wasn’t going to complain. He’d seen her face fall then brighten with his invitation. He was already halfway to the end of his game. The coldness in him smiled, ignored the pang in his heart.

                        “Lovely,” he said, forcing an expression of pleased relief onto his face. His internal dialogue prompted him, reminding him like an actor reading from a script— Mr. Kensington does not have the same calculating nature as Stas Kelevra, Mr. Kensington is new money, worried he will never be enough for a woman he loves should she come from a higher status. Mr. Kensington does not read expressions like Stas Kelevra; he does not know what reply to expect before it comes, he does not plan a response tailored to what the person opposite him would like to hear. Mr. Kensington is intelligent, but not wicked and clever. Mr. Kensington is a fool.

                        He had processed the information about her room number quickly, hadn’t let it phase him. It was interesting information, but he’d always known she was very wealthy. Now he knew exactly how wealthy. Some sick part of him was curious about the proximity she might afford him to the tenants of Room 1. Who exactly was put up in there? An older man, surely, but maybe one with a deadbeat son, seeking a competent successor? Perhaps one with a much younger wife, idle and bored, seeking some enjoyment? He shook the thoughts from his mind. Pursuing two jobs at once in such close quarters was too much, even for him. And he had already decided to dedicate himself to this one.

                        “I’ll be seeing you then.” He offered one last smile, then headed off to the exit. He waved at a man and offered a quick greeting (one he was sure would wave back despite not knowing him, one who would assume they’d met and have been too embarrassed to express that he’d maybe forgotten about the young man), another subtle action meant to cement his identity and validity in Charlotte’s eyes. If he was going to do this, he was going to do it right.

                        Following that train of thought, he pondered how exactly he was going to procure a proper outfit for the night. He’d brought his best suits, of course, and nice suits they were, but ultimately, at the night of the night, they were just suits. He’d need a tux. A proper one, sleek with no wrinkles.

                        He was pleased to have the time to gather his wits. There was no acquaintance to meet, obviously, but the meeting with Charlotte had caught him off-guard, and even slightly off the ball was never a good place to be with a mark. Especially one he’d once had an emotional vulnerability to before.

                        He retired to his room (Syllia showed up some time later, and obviously in a foul mood. He avoided speaking too much to her, and only filled her in on the basics of his evening plans) where he drew up a plan of attack, both for finding himself the nice tuxedo he required and for the evening in general. Sometime around 5:30 (the perfect time for the wealthy to start milling about the bar area to chat before dinner), he changed into a simple, almost dirty, outfit. One that reflected his true status in society. He mussed his hair, found dirt to put under his fingernails and on his hands. And then he walked into a staff-only room on the ship and no one paid him a second glance. From there, he took a staff uniform off a rack, changed in the changing rooms. On the deck of the first class, he walked by a maid staff. He bumped into her, apologized profusely, offered a charming smile. While she was blushing, he slid a hand to her waist and lifted the master set of keys off of her. He wondered how long he had before she noticed. She was sweet though, and he made a mental note to return the keys if he bumped into her again so she wouldn’t find herself in too much trouble.

                        With the keys, he ducked into a suite some ways down, found a tuxedo hanging in the closet, and changed right in the room. He threw the staff uniform out the porter window. It was 6:30 by then, and he had plenty of time to wash off his hands and face and fix his hair in the borrowed bathroom before simply continuing down the hall some to the front door of the second suite. He waited the thirty seconds it took for his newly acquired watch to reach the seven mark before knocking.

                        She opened the door and Stas let his jaw slacken slightly, eyes traveling down slowly as if to take in her appearance, a smile, seemingly almost involuntary, lifting the corners of his lips as he did. He laughed when she mentioned the incident she’d had with powder, lightly but with good humor.

                        “Nonsense,” he said, tilting his head to look down at the offending marks on her dress. He paused, then looked up again to meet her eye. “I think it gives it character. You’ll be the loveliest woman there.”

                        Again, he smiled, widely this time, combined with a short huff of a breathy chuckle. “Just give it a bit of a shake if you’re worried. It’ll be hardly noticeable. People will be much too caught up in your eyes and charming conversation to give it a second glance, I can promise you.”


                        The day had been... exciting, to say the least. Still, she was more than glad to be put all of the events that had occurred far behind her. If she was going to be on the ship for much more time, she’d have to keep an eye out for the man, be sure to avoid him. With any luck, she thought, he’d forget about her in a day or two and she’d never have to worry about seeing his mug ever again.

                        Truth be told, the whole harrowing experience was terribly frightening. She’d been terribly worried he’d hand her off the ship’s guards, that they’d keep her in holding until the end of the journey, that she’d rot in prison, or, Christ, that she’d never see her brother again.

                        She had nervous tendencies, it was true. Her mind raced in dangerous situations, and even though she always managed to squash the thoughts down, push them to the back of her mind until she found a solution, they always came back to haunt her when she was clear. Case in point, her hands was shaking like mad after she ran out onto the deck. It certainly didn’t help that she saw him chase her down. She spent a good couple of minutes darting from crowd to crowd, trying to avoid his gaze. Very nerve wracking. Just terrible.

                        When she was sure she was clear, she took the fastest route down to her cabin. She was surprised to see Stas, would have figured that he’d be casing out the top deck for good marks, but the events of the morning had dampened her mood, and she didn’t question him too much, not even when he told her of his evening dining plans.

                        Sometime after Stas slipped off to do god knows what, Syllia decided some nice air was in order. Help alleviate her mind and bring her back into good spirits again. She changed into a clean pressed shirt (not as stiff and starchy as the one Stas had forced on her that morning) but kept on the pants and, of course, her newsboy cap. It was ideal for her profession— concealed her face if needed, but never looked out of place. This time, she let her hair down. No need to conceal her gender. She wasn’t trying to pass off a member of the first class; she just needed to be easily forgettable.

                        Up on the deck of the ship, she spent some time simply watching the boat stir the water, keeping an eye on the horizon and letting the wind press against her face. After some time, she sat and pulled out her deck of cards to practice her counting. But a child, impressed with the fluid motion of her shuffling, approached and looked on with wide-eyed innocence. A grin sprung to her face as she demonstrated a simple trick for him. And then another. And another. Before long, there was a small crowd gathered around her, some second-class children but mostly poorer looking kids. Her heart ached for them. She was the same once, entranced and enchanting by the small illusions of cards and coins. The false magic provided a small escape. She did her best to entertain them.

                        “Is this your card?” she asked, for the second time. The child shook his head vigorously. Syllia feigned a frown. “Hmm,” she said, lifting a hand to stroke her chin. “Well, I don’t know what’s gone wrong then. Surely, it must be around here somewhere. Can’t have just gone off and disappeared could it have?” Again, she stroked her chin as the child squinted and looked down at the deck she held in her left hand. As he looked away, she took the card she had palmed much earlier and bit the edge of it as she brushed her hand over her mouth, leaving it hanging there. The bright grin on the child’s face as he looked up and saw his missing card hanging from Syllia’s mouth was priceless. She laughed as she pulled it away, but the general joy of the atmosphere was interrupted by a voice she (sadly) recognized. She jumped up from the crate she’d sat down on, ready to bolt along with the escaping children. But the boy she’d just shown the trick to had, in his fright, clung to her leg. She quickly shooed him away as gently as possible, but by the time he’d run off, it was already too late.

                        She found herself face to face with the man from earlier, caught in his bruising grip with a very small chance of escape. She winced for the second time that day, but this time it was in pain. His fingers dug into the soft flesh of her upper arms, which, lamentably, had always bruised incredibly easily. She’d be nursing the pain there for days.

                        “Come on,” she half groaned, half whined. “You can’t just let it go, mate, can ya?” She huffed and turned her chin up to return his glare, looking him square in the eye. “I didn’t cheat you nothing. It’s called sleight of hand, yeah? You heard of that before, have you? It’s not cheating. It’s a part of the game. Which, if you’ll recall, you agreed to play.” She lifted her forearm, using the minimal space between them to take the opportunity, despite her lack of much movement capability, to poke him hard as she could in the chest. “Cheating would have been if I’d switched out the queen entirely. But I didn’t. You never said I had to make it easy for you.”