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Movies/Series: The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Year or position: First Year College Student
Non/Speaking Animal/Companion (if applicable): Djali the goat
Powers (if applicable): None of the supernatural sort. She is a consummate performer: an excellent dancer, singer, and a talented illusionist. Though she hasn’t received formal combat training, she is a feisty, formidable opponent, and will improvise with whatever is available. She is skilled with languages, as gypsies are by necessity multilingual.
Personality: Esmeralda is that rarest of things – a realist and an idealist. Esmeralda believes in what is best and brightest, and she believes it exists, no matter what the world around her might suggest. At the same time, her hard-earned experiences have taught her valuable lessons – that nothing is given in this life, that the things worth having are dearly bought. Naïve she is not: she is all-too-well aware that corruption exists, that the world is far from what it should be, but is that any reason to stop fighting, to lose hope? Absolutely not! She has unshakeable determination and will stand for what she believes is right, no matter what the cost (as she did when she opted to literally face death itself rather than compromise).
Despite her fierceness of will, she has a never-ending supply of compassion. Kind-hearted, sympathetic, and merciful, she would sooner think of others than herself. She does not hesitate to aid the downtrodden and less fortunate, even taking them under her wing in a motherly fashion (as is shown in her attitude toward her people’s plight, and in her friendship with Quasimodo). She is quick to find the goodness in others and slow to judge. When she forms an attachment, she is very affectionate, and sometimes it does not quite occur to her how her warmth might be misconstrued (she was ignorant of Quasimodo’s feelings toward her, believing fully that they were merely the dearest of friends, as she saw nothing misleading or amiss in her behavior, which speaks of ingenuousness rather than maliciousness on her part).
Esmeralda is confident, assertive, clever, witty (even downright sarcastic at times), resourceful, creative, and quick-witted. She is a charming and engaging young woman with an open, artless manner. All of these are useful traits for one who earns a living by dazzling onlookers. It is very telling, however, that she fits the entertainer archetype without necessarily wanting to be an entertainer – she freely told Quasimodo that if she could make the things he makes, they wouldn’t find her dancing outside. While she genuinely does love dancing (it is her art), she wants to be valued for more than that. To many onlookers, she is a pretty face; not many have taken the time to explore the sharp mind beneath.
Esmeralda is graceful – graceful in her movements (which unmistakably give her away as a dancer), graceful in her actions, graceful in her choice of words (a good example is when she tactfully suggested that Quasimodo rethink whether or not he was a monster without directly contradicting him). She is level-headed and clear-sighted: she knows when to bide her time and when to speak up, and she is not easily cowed or intimidated (as she proved during her one-woman-revolution at the Feast of Fools).
She is a figure of faith as well, despite the unflattering reputation of her people, as she continuously displayed an altruistic attitude throughout her story. She has a pure heart and a strong spirit: she is careful and wary, but she does not hold on to grudges. She is a multifaceted woman – there are many levels to her – and wisely, she does not allow anyone to take her in all at once with a single glance.
Canon Background: Ici
AU Background: Esmeralda grew up in a tumultuous city during an equally tumultuous time: the streets of fifteenth century Paris were not the kindest place for an orphan girl of obscure parentage, but to her, they were home. She learned responsibility and ingenuity at an early age. She found a family in her people: the gypsies, one of the most ill-treated minorities. No matter how bleak circumstances became, and no matter how often they went without, Esmeralda was aware that she never lacked what truly mattered – she awoke to the warmth of sunlight on her face; to the sound of birdsong; to her adopted family, who called her name fondly; to things that no one could take away from her. As a child, she was quick to pick up on the skills taught to her, such as dance and music, palm-reading, and the art of illusion (with the aid of tricks of the light, deception, and a few well-placed trapdoors). She was soon earning a wage, supporting herself. As the years passed, she expected to continue doing so, when life dealt her an unexpected hand.
There had not initially been anything to indicate that this particular Feast of Fools was any different from those of previous years. Esmeralda had donned her costume, fully prepared for the day’s festivities and her part in them…only there had been that poor boy, that shy, gentle boy, whose mask was not a mask at all…and the pleasant chaos of the day had turned to ugly cruelty…and suddenly there she was, carefully wiping away the remains of the crowd’s brutality and his shattered dignity from his face with her sash. When once the minister coldly chastised her for her efforts, she had responded respectfully, though his continued insistence had sparked indignation within her. This was her chance, her golden opportunity to speak the words that were constantly heavy on her heart, and would she shrink from the chance fate had given her? No! She would stand her ground even if she stood alone; she would speak for her city even if it would not speak for itself. She would pay for her noble impertinence, of course, and narrowly avoided being arrested via a theatrical escape, which led her to seek shelter inside the safest place in the city, the magnificent cathedral of Notre Dame.
It had not occurred to her, however, that once there, she might be forced to continue to seek shelter inside the cathedral indefinitely. This prospect unsettled her, much as she had enjoyed the tour of his bell tower that Quasimodo had kindly given her, as well as her efforts to gently coax him out of his shell that followed. When he offered to help her leave the cathedral, Esmeralda jumped at the chance, as she was anxious to return to the Court of Miracles – which, thanks to her new friend, she did. The day’s events still concerned her, but there was another worry to which her thoughts turned – that of the Mist.
The fact that no one could identify the cause of such a phenomenon (or when it would strike next, and who it might claim in its wake) left Esmeralda feeling helpless, a feeling she abhorred. All around her, people suffered and feared for their lives, yet she could do nothing to help them, or even soothe their terror. It was one thing to face an opponent that could be identified, but how could they band together against a foe both formless and nameless? Knowledge of one’s enemy was the crucial first point in any struggle. She would achieve nothing by remaining where she was and fruitlessly worrying. Thankfully, that was when her invitation to attend Disney Academy arrived – she read it once, twice, thrice, her spirits lifting a bit more each time. She hated the thought of leaving everyone behind, but she knew she was of greater use to them in a place where she might learn about their shared situation and how best to counteract it than she was remaining with them, ignorant and useless. She was determined to go – it was the second golden opportunity she had been given that day, and she would no more shrink from this one than she had from the first.
Appearance: Esmeralda's name is the Spanish word for emerald, so it's appropriate that she has large, expressive green eyes. She is slender, with a curvy, hourglass figure. She has an olive complexion offset by thick black hair. She is fond of jewelry, and any kind of hair ornament, so she will usually be wearing her trademark bracelets, earring, and hair ribbon. When not in her school uniform, she prefers the comfortable clothing she is accustomed to: peasant blouses, swingy skirts, corsets.
Classes: The five required general education classes; Latin, Swing, and Ballroom Dance; Musical Theory.
Clubs: Stay tuned...
Best Subject: We'll find out, but she is going to be especially drawn to political science, and anything regarding immigration and refugees.
Greatest Fear: Though Esmeralda would crisply assert she isn’t afraid of anything, her greatest fear is that of vulnerability/powerlessness. Specifically, the idea of not maintaining her independence is horrifying to her – being powerless, voiceless, and choice-less are all outcomes she cannot abide (as is illustrated in her risky escape from her sanctuary at Notre Dame – while she truly felt tranquil inside the cathedral, and appreciated being there enough to return later, it was the fact that she could not leave and had been forced into captivity that she could not stand). She might be perfectly content to remain in one particular place for an indeterminable amount of time, but the moment someone tells her she can’t leave? That’s the precise moment she decides it’s time to go. She would rather be mistress of her own fate than allow anything or anyone to choose for her, and the idea of not having that choice makes her blood run cold.
The material aspects of vulnerability do not faze her very much – poverty and danger have been a part of her daily life as long as she can remember, and she is both resourceful enough and positive enough to believe these things can be altered so long as one keeps one’s wits about oneself.
Regardless of her circumstances – even with her back pressed against a wall – Esmeralda is not one to show her cards. She could be in the worst of situations and would offer a brave smile (most likely accompanied by a sarcastic quip) rather than admit her fears.
How long have they been at the school: Since January 5.
Has your character been enrolled at the school before? Do they remember it? I know someone played her before, but I'm bringing her in as a new character - so no, she doesn't.
Relationships with other characters: Click here.
Kissing/hugging/etc: Definitely! She's a very affectionate person.
Injuries: Mundane injuries, yes; anything beyond that, run it by me first.
Killing: At this point, probably not.
Mindreading/memory wiping/etc.: Yes, this could be very interesting. Just let me know ahead of time.