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Henry Archer (Mask)

Once upon a time, there was an ugly little boy who was found wandering the streets of New York, cold and alone and badly scarred . . .

It is his first memory, and he will never forget it. He remembers the paramedic, broad and ruddy, lifting him onto the gurney in the back of the ambulance. He remembers the policeman's bushy mustache and rapid-fire questions: How old are you, son? Where are your parents? What's your name? What happened to your face? He remembers the policeman's frown when he can't answer any of the questions. He remembers the social worker, smiling at him through golden hair as she wrapped him in a warm, scratchy blanket. He remembers Lady Liberty, tall and majestic, lifting her bright torch over the social worker's shoulder, a beacon of warmth and shelter and hope. He remembers a relief so intense it's almost grief. He remembers what it feels like to be found.

The lost boy was taken to a children's home, where they told him he was five years old and named him Ethan Buckley. Unlike most fairy tales, his life there was neither very happy nor very sad. He was never adopted. Prospective parents wanted beautiful, undamaged children, not one with "a face like melted wax," as Ethan heard one potential father say. But Ethan never begrudged the other children the new parents or distant relatives who came to claim them. He considered all those lost-and-found children to be his brothers and sisters, and they loved him like they were. He could soothe and befriend even the most wounded of them, making them a part of a family he created out of nothing but lost hopes and shared dreams.

As he grew, Ethan came to understand that there were many lost, lonely, and abandoned people in the world, not all of them children. And he understood that he could help them. By the time he came of age, he knew his path, his purpose in life. He took a simple job to meet his simple needs, and the rest of his time was spent in homeless shelters and hospices and soup kitchens, where his kind words and sympathetic ear nourished more than the body.

During the day, Ethan worked in the mail room of a brokerage firm. Though he'd never aspired to more, in listening to the brokers and watching the markets, he learned that he had a knack for predicting profitable trends. And he was struck with an idea.

He contacted the network of brothers and sisters he'd built while growing up in the children's home and asked each of them if they would donate a small amount of money to fund a charity. He took their collective donation and turned it into a fortune almost overnight. He used a percentage (his fee as broker) to set up a small trust for himself, just enough so he could devote himself to charity work full-time. He became a celebrity of sorts, renowned for his compassion and good nature. It was this very compassion that would eventually bring him to the Master of the Estate's attention.

He was walking home late one night when he came across a young woman sitting on a bus bench and weeping uncontrollably. Ethan did not realize that this young woman was not a woman at all, but one of the Master of the Estate's creatures. She had been sent through the Hedge on an errand for the Master and had gotten lost trying to find her way back.

Ethan asked the young lady what was wrong and how he could help her. When she explained that she was lost, Ethan offered to help her retrace her steps. Just as they reached the trod that would take her home, the Master himself stepped out of the Hedge. The Master knew exactly how to reward the homely, misshapen mortal who had aided his servant. Ethan's protests that he neither wanted nor needed reward went entirely unheeded.

Henry Archer (Mien)

The Master remade Ethan, sculpting his flesh to smooth away every scar, every wrinkle, every blemish. Ethan became a living statue, with skin of malachite, hair like strands of obsidian, and eyes of faceted onyx. The Master of the Estate called his new sculpture Arrow in Flight, for that was the first pose he chose for the changeling--an archer poised to release an arrow from a drawn bow.

Arrow in Flight became, for a time, the Master's favorite objet d'art. The Master posed Arrow as a lover, a hunter, a dancer; made him the centerpiece at banquets and balls; moved his pedestal from room to room, wherever Arrow would best catch the light.

But the Master's interest ebbed and flowed, and during those times when the Master was occupied elsewhere, Arrow in Flight found himself climbing down from his pedestal and seeking out the dark corners of the Estate where the Sublime Chastisements were carried out.

Arrow did not fully understand his strange compulsion to offer soft words and soothing caresses to the broken and suffering. He was, after all, defying the Master's will. If he was caught (and he often was), he suffered those same punishments--or worse. It made him angry, at himself, and after each mission of mercy, he swore he would not give in to the urge again. But he always did.

Back in the mortal world, Arrow in Flight--now calling himself Henry Archer--tries to make sense of his time in Faerie. He is not a religious man, but he believes in destiny, in his all-important Path. He tells himself that his abduction into Faerie was simply a part of that destiny; after all, who needs comfort and compassion more than the tortured changelings held prisoner there? He has a whole new set of Lost souls to care for now, people that society at large cannot help or even understand. His own pain is, if not irrelevant, then at least necessary. It exists solely to keep him on his Path, to teach him what he needs to know in order to help his fellow changelings. He believes that. He must believe it.

[edit] Archer's Stats

  • Virtue: Charity; Vice: Pride; Concept: Hands-on philanthropist
  • Seeming: Fairest; Kith: Treasured/Stonebones; Court: Courtless (currently)
  • Attributes
    • Mental: Intelligence 2, Wits 2, Resolve 3
    • Physical: Strength 2, Dexterity 2, Stamina 3
    • Social: Presence 3, Manipulation 2, Composure 3
  • Abilities
    • Mental: Academics 0, Computer 3, Crafts 0, Investigation 1, Medicine 1, Occult 1, Politics 1, Science 0
    • Physical: Athletics 1, Brawl 1, Drive 0, Firearms 0, Larceny 1, Stealth 1, Survival 0, Weaponry 0
    • Social: Animal Ken 0, Empathy 3, Expression 2, Intimidation 0, Persuasion 2, Socialize 2, Streetwise 1, Subterfuge 1
  • Merits
    • Mental: none
    • Physical: none
    • Social: none
    • Changeling: Dual Kith 3, Goblin Vow 1
  • Wyrd: 3 (Glamour/Turn: 3); Contracts: Reflections 2, Separation 3
  • Health 8, Willpower 6, Clarity 7 ([Derangements])
  • Size 5, Speed 9, Defense 2, Initiative 5
  • Weapons: Weapon (Stats)
  • Armor: X (equipment/source)
  • Flaws: Amnesia
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