Cromwyll Morganstern

"But does the light stay on when the door is closed?"

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a character in “Tales from Fort Blackburn”, as played by Mosswine Leader


Real Name: Cromwyll Morganstern

Nickname/Codename/Alias: Tatterdemalion

Allegiance: Golems

Gender: Female

Age: 24

Appearance: Forgettable. 5'5" and 110 lbs, brown hair and eyes, and no defining features to speak of, Cromwyll embodies anonymity. When not on the job, she usually dresses casually in cheap t-shirts and jeans that she's not afraid to destroy. Her "uniform" consists of many layers of black and grey rags loosely bound together, allowing her full use of her power without compromising the integrity of her costume. On stage, she wears black buckle pants, her favorite jacket, and a pair of sneakers.

Personality: Grounded, but carefree, Cromwyll never really lost her childlike sense of wonder at things most people come to take for granted. Oftentimes she'll get lost in her own world while wandering the streets, playing make believe or chatting with strangers. To most people who only engage her in casual conversation, the impression she leaves with them is a ditzy woman lost on cloud nine. Those that take the time to get to know her, however, find a very astute and intelligent woman who simply views things through a simpler looking glass. She has no trouble focusing on the task at hand or being serious when necessary. A rational adult that hasn't lost touch with her inner child.

She is very passionate about music, and has her own garage punk band she formed with other street kids she's met during her time in Fort Blackburn. They're not well known or even that good, but they play with heart and have a lot of fun doing it. Their only venues are dive bars and shitty clubs, but then again, the type of people that go to those can't really tell the difference between good music and shitty music when doped up or drunk off their asses.

Personal History: The youngest daughter in a family of 7 children, Cromwyll was raised by very strict Orthodox Protestant parents. They did their best to contain their child's whimsical behavior, but it seemed that every time they turned their backs on her, she was getting into some sort of trouble or tormenting her siblings. They always suspected something was off about their youngest child, though their suspicions weren't confirmed until she turned 14 and unlocked her powers. They caught her eating out of a cookie jar, using tentacles sprouting from her chest to bring the delicious treats to her mouth. They ran her out of town, calling her a demon and forbidding her from ever returning. Six months later, Cromwyll had forgotten about the event completely and had moved in to a shady apartment building in the slums of Fort Blackburn.

She spent the next year getting to know all the tenants, breaking into their apartments to mess with their appliances. Something about her was too endearing to stay mad at, though, and she soon became the apartment's community child. T'was quite a sight, with hardened drug dealers and gang bangers taking time out of their day to bring her a lollipop or invite her over for dinner. That's not to say that some didn't try to take advantage of her, but those people were mysteriously found shredded in their apartments, and the message spread. 'Treat the Cromwyll kid with respect, for your own sake'. She became known somewhat by the lesser street gangs as the kid that hung out at their drug deals, pestering them about why the sky was blue or why cars worked. As she aged, Cromwyll gained more worldly wisdom, but never lost her ability to tap into that same childish wonderment that endeared her to so many.

One particular apartment harbored a down-on-their-luck punk band, and she liked to listen to their practice sessions from within the air vent to their apartment. During one practice session, while the lead singer was in the restroom and the other members of the band were out getting snacks, she snuck in and started her own solo jam session, singing one of their more practiced songs. It turned out she had a great set of pipes on her, and she impressed the lead singer so much that he asked her to stick around and jam with the band.

Sometime during her twenty third year, not that she kept track of that stuff, Cromwyll had become a small time home invader, generating many police reports of someone breaking and entering only to turn on the living room lights, or flush a toilet five times, or some such. One fateful night, she picked a house at random to see what kind of neato stuff was locked away inside. Her first target happened to be the fridge, always a source of infinite amusement to her. She had just begun rummaging through the contents when a voice from behind her startled the bejeezus out of her. Phase, a freelance thief with strong ties to the Golems, caught her in the act. Instead of reporting her to the police, Phase simply joined her in wondering whether or not the light stayed on once you closed the fridge door. He took her under his wing as an apprentice, while also becoming sort of her father figure. He eventually introduced her to the Golems, and after demonstrating her abilities and undergoing an interview with Mouse, they assigned her to the Assassination wing. She's been very happy and successful with her new line of work.

Powers, Weapons, Ect.: Body Horror: Cromwyll has no bones, and is simply held together by her force of will. This means she can fit through spaces small enough for a large rat to squeeze through and emerge unharmed. Additionally, she can morph her body to use her internal organs as meat tentacles or tendrils with mouths on the end.

Weaknesses: Being a hemophiliac, Cromwyll avoids sharp objects like the plague, which they are to her. Anything more serious than a papercut is potentially life threatening to her.

Any additional information we should know: Will Campbell is her adopted dad.

So begins...

Cromwyll Morganstern's Story


Characters Present

Character Portrait: William "Will" Campbell Character Portrait: Cromwyll Morganstern

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"But why does the fire make the log go away?" Big Charles gritted his teeth in annoyance. As much as he liked the Cromwyll kid, Christ did she have the strangest questions, and it was starting to get on his nerves. He turned to her, hands on his hips and flour all over his apron, clearly not happy that she was interrupting his baking.

"Because, Cromwyll. Because the fire makes the log go to heaven. Now...please...go break into someone else's house and play with their TV or something. I need to finish this cake and you're not helping me." She pouted initially, but finally relented, squeezing herself through his barely open window to the fire escape. Big Charles shivered. He could never get used to that shit. Taking a flying leap off the eighth floor of her tenement building, Cromwyll Morganstern plummeted to the ground, landing in a strange fleshy lump which slowly coalesced itself back into her normal form. She flipped her hood up and began to jog down the street, quietly singing the new song she'd been writing for her punk band under her breath as she planned a route. Tonight, the Upper Middle district seemed like a fun place to stir up trouble.

An hour or so of solid jogging found her in her desired neighborhood, though now the difficult choice of picking a house presented itself to her. Several homes she recognized from previous escapades, though one in the distance stood out to her. Slowing her pace as she neared the place, Cromwyll examined the outside for obvious signs of security. Nothing really stood out. Suspicious. Oh well.

"Ding dong, pizza delivery," she whispered as she sidled up to the front door to pick the lock. Locks definitely weren't her strong suit, but a bit of challenge here and there is good for the soul. Thirty seconds later, she was in. The interior elicited a low whistle from Cromwyll. This was a really nice pad she found herself in, so nice, in fact, that her suspicions went through the roof...for about all of three seconds, until she noticed the enormous fridge. Like a reverent worshipper approaching their deity, she slowly grasped the handle to the fridge and pulled the door open. There within, the mystical Fridge Light greeted her like a long lost relative, blowing the cold, refreshing wind of enlightenment upon her. The question: Does the light stay on when you close the door? Tonight was the night Cromwyll felt she would get her answer. Fate, however, decided that would not be amongst the list of activities she'd be performing. No matter how many times she opened and closed the door, she couldn't tell whether or not the light was indeed staying on.

Will was piloting his XC-3 through space, blasting away alien scum and getting ready to attack the mothership. As soon as he was about to bombard the core of the ship he was jolted awake by an unusual sound. It sounded very much as if someone was trying to climb up his house using big suckers, like in those spy movies. Will sat up rubbing his face, already forgetting the dream, and tried to figure out if this was one of those dreams within a dream. Just like the time he woke up and found a leprechaun in his kitchen. Which actually ended up just being a midget trying to rob his place, and it actually wasn't a dream. Dream or no dream, Will decided to at least check out what that noise was, which seemed to originate from the kitchen. Armed only with his wits and his pajamas, which consisted of some shorts and a shirt that said "Feed the Cook", Will felt ready to report whatever he saw to the police.

Tip toeing to the kitchen, Will tripped more times than he could count. It probably wasn't a good idea to tip toe while half asleep. Walking to the kitchen, Will kept hearing that strange noise. It didn't sound like giant suckers anymore, but as if someone was opening and closing his fridge. A sound he knew very well. Edging around the doorframe that led to the kitchen, Will looked at whoever, or whatever, was disrupting his sleep.

To his surprise, a girl stood in front of the fridge opening and closing it continuously. This was a lucid dream Will decided. Just like the time he "woke up" to find an unicorn messing with his toaster. Will tested his theory by trying to make a million bucks appear, which it didn't, so it probably wasn't a lucid dream. Lucid dream or not, Will was just too curious about what the hell she was doing. Being a bit more awake now, he tip toed to her, careful not to make a sound. When he was close enough, he stood next to her and said "Boo!"

Shrieking in terror, Cromwyll leapt on top of the fridge like a cat, leaving the door half open. Once she'd recovered enough of her wits to be upset, she made a pouty face at the newcomer, who she supposed was the owner of the house. Since he didn't appear to have any weapons on his person, Cromwyll decided it was safe to drop back down and continue her quest for enlightenment, though she kept one eye on the man. Literally, one eye examined the fridge while the other kept a laser bead on the owner.

"But does the light stay on when the door is closed?" she asked him, as if it was the most normal situation in the world. People always break into houses and fuck with fridges in the middle of the night. Why not?

Will chuckled as she jumped on top of his fridge. It was always fun to scare an intruder. It was never fun when the intruder attacked you after. This particular intruder, however, didn't seem to want to attack him, and instead went back to messing around with the fridge, somehow having one eye looking at the fridge and the other at him. Creepy. Will tried to replicate her eye motion, but to no avail.

Her question about the fridge light was also unexpected, but at least it gave him an answer to what she was doing. Even though breaking into a house to mess around with a fridge wasn't the most traditional thing done. Mildly amused, he pondered on this. If he were fully awake and rational, he would know that no, the light doesn't stay on. But not being a morning person, or late night person in this particular case, Will wasn't in his full mental capabilities. "I dunno." He said getting close to the fridge to figure out. "Try leaving it only a bit close. Maybe we can see that way."

"I'm bored...You try!" She backed away from the fridge, her eyes back to normal now that she trusted the man. It was his fridge, maybe he knew some secret to getting the answers. Taking a look around, Cromwyll shoved her hands into her sweater pocket, but her attention refocused as soon as the man approached the fridge.

"So...Is this your house?" The idea suddenly struck her that he could always be a guest here, or he might simply be house sitting. In which case, he might not actually know how to unlock fridgevana and true enlightenment. Oh well. Nothing to do but hope.

Will, what are you doing Will. There is an intruder in your house and you are fucking around with the fridge. Will, stop that. Was that the voice of God? No, it was the voice of Will's rational side, however small it was, which was just starting to act as time passed. Playing with a fridge while an intruder was right behind you unmonitored wasn't the smartest thing to do. Although Will had always been a little too trusty, or stupid. Those two words seemed to be interchangeable. Ignoring any piece of common sense, Will kept closing and opening the door. It seemed like a futile mission, finding the truth hidden in the secrets of the fridge, but when he was about to close it, the light turned off. "Aha!" Will said, pride and satisfaction filling him. "Look at this. The light turns off when you close it."

The secret has been revealed! Cromwyll dropped to her knees and touched her head to the floor. "Fridgevana has been achieved. We are the enlightened ones. We must spread the word to the uneducated masses. Praise the Discoverer!" She burst into laughter at the last part, unable to maintain the ruse. Standing up and wiping her pants, Cromwyll extended her hand to the man with a smile, though it was too dark to see.

"I'm Cromwyll Morganstern. I guess since you're awake I won't be robbing you. What's your name?" Her attitude changed drastically from the silly girl only moments before into a normal twentysomething woman. "This is actually a pretty nice place, especially for this neighborhood. I'd assume you have a fair amount of means to support yourself. I mean, this fridge alone probably cost, what, 2 grand? More than most people are willing to spend on a fridge, that's for sure." She felt herself at a loss. Cromwyll hadn't been caught before, and therefore had no frame of reference as to how to handle the situation.

After what would probably be an A+ on theater class, the girl stood up and offered to shake his hand? It was hard to see, being night time and all, so he clapped his hands. Light then filled the room and nearly drove him blind. The light clappers were cool as hell, but the sudden change from dark to light tended to be a pain. When he regained his vision, he shook the smiling girl's hand.

"I'm Will." Both relieved that she wasn't going to rob him, and slightly worried that she was going to rob him if he hadn't woken up. He should probably call the police, but who cared really, she wasn't going to rob him anymore, so no harm done. "Yeah, I do have the money to go by, err.. Chromewhim…?" Once again, too trusty for his own good. Might as well just shout his bank account number.

A bit of the girl came back when he mispronounced her name. "It's CROMWYLL. Crom. Wyll. Not that hard." She shook her head, finally relenting with a shrug. "Well, Will. How's a chap like you make like a bandit with such cash? You some kind of bigshot?" Shoving her hands into her pockets again, Cromwyll began her self guided tour through this elegant house, hoping that Will would tag along. She poked and prodded things, sticking her head into various rooms and looking for infiltration methods. At the foot of the stairs, Cromwyll turned to Will and jerked her thumb towards the second floor.

"That where you sleep?" Of course she didn't wait for an answer, and instead took the steps two at a time. She kept a mental note of all the things she'd seen, planning on delivering a blistering lecture on proper home paranoia once she'd seen the whole place. Maybe there was some hidden thing she was missing. Highly doubtful though. This Will guy didn't seem paranoid enough for his own good. Finally, she stopped at his bedroom, hands on her hips and glaring at it.

"Goddamn if this place doesn't just blow mine out of the water. You could rent my apartment just by selling your bedspread, I bet. Not that I pay for it..." she muttered, arms crossed. Sometimes Cromwyll hated breaking into rich places like these. They reminded her too much of the squalor she lived in now. Faucets that spit rust. A stove that backfires like a goddamn car half the time. Three blankets for a bed. Sharing dinner with cockroaches when she wasn't at someone else's house. Will probably had never dealt with that kind of shit even once in his life. It made her jealous.

Following her, Will tried to keep pace. He probably should be concerned that some intruder was walking around his house, examining everything. But she seemed like a nice person so he didn't really care much for it. Never ask Will for advice.

"Eh yeah, upstairs is my room. As well as the guest room and all that-" He was cut short by her hurrying up the stairs. Normally, the owner of the house would be leading the guest around, and not the other way around. Scratch that, normally one would call the police at the first sign of an intruder, and not let said intruder travel around the place.

Finally, she stopped in front of his room. For some reason, she didn't look to happy with it, glaring at it with contempt. "Well, I do like to live comfortably. Who wouldn't?" Having an expensive house had its rewards, mostly if you could afford it, which Will definitively could. "Where do you live anyways?" Probably not a place as nice as this. Probably not even a nice place by the sounds of it.

"4th and Turnbull," she grumbled. Just about the worst tenement in town, it was a very well known spot for drug deals, murders, and all other sorts of crime to breed unabated. She scuffed the carpet with her shoe a bit, suddenly embarrassed to be talking about her shitty home while standing in this amazing one.

"Your windows in the downstairs bath don't latch right. You should fix that. Also the vent in your laundry room leads straight outside. If I wanted to, I could have broken in through there. Your front door lock also needs some work. You should get a lock with better spacers so it isn't so easy to pick." Brushing past him abruptly, Cromwyll looked through the last few rooms on the second floor, moving without any real purpose. Just to make a point, she nicked one of the bars of soap from his bathroom while staring him in the face, daring him to say something about it.

"Well, Will. It's been an...enlightening experience. I won't keep you from your beauty sleep any longer, though. Have a great one." Cromwyll didn't meet his eyes as she trudged back through his house to the front door.

Oh, well that is a shit place to live. No wonder she was mesmerized by the fridge, poor girl probably didn't even have a fridge. He had to admit, he did like the kid, and the fact that she didn't try to steal from him counted as brownie points. "You know, I do have some extra space here, if you want to stay." He said, before she could leave. "And you could help me with making the house more secure, as you pointed out all the faults before. Plus, co-op games are kinda boring playing alone."

Wait what? Cromwyll turned to Will, eyes wide. Stay in a mansion like this? Not have to go back to the roaches and rats? She dashed forward and threw her arms around Will, hugging him tight. She almost burst into tears right there, but managed to control herself.

"You mean it? Oh thank you! Thank you! I promise I'll make this place more secure than ArmaMax headquarters!" She released her hold on him and dashed around the house, taking the stairs face first. After another hour of excited house touching and happy chatter, Cromwyll finally passed out half draped over the living room couch.