To liken Iota an archipelago is not far from the truth, despite it being a Timeline. But compared with its sisters, powerful bands of magic tearing through voidspace, Iota is a meager facsimile - with most of its core rotted away, Iota is little more than a few bands of Universe Core terrain on which to build, separated by wide streaks of void. Magic circles made by the illustrious Ivory have stopped the decay, but there is no regaining what has been lost - and Iota's booming population, assisted by some voidspace-trawling tech, has nearly always been cramped for space.
For most of his life, these thoughts rarely swirled in the back of Verdell's head. It mattered, of course - he collected animals and plants as a hobby, and took measures to preserve as many specimens from rotting regions as he could. But it didn't really matter, personally - his house was Ivory's testing grounds for new circles, and once those were secured, they were easy to distribute among the rest of his sprawling homestead. He'd never cared for mortals, really - always more of Ochre's thing - and they kept off of his property well enough. Or so he thought.
Because one day Ochre approached him with a sheepish grin and a wild contract. They were running out of space. They wanted Verdell's land. It wasn't even all his land; somewhere down the line, the natural parks and reserves had become conflated with his tending and presence, and legally he had jurisdiction of it. And Ochre and his megacorps wanted it to build high density housing and skyscrapers and try to ease Iota's burden of people. When Verdell replied with a firm no, he had no idea the Pandora's box he had opened - and the slurry of sly and underhanded tactics the corps (and Ochre, implicitly) would use to try to convince him. Oh, Ochre himself never admits he's in on any scheme to usurp Verdell, but he has the power to stop any of the corps if he wanted to. He cares enough about appearances to let Verdell defend his territory - and the nature reserves he's become an unwitting guardian of - with lethal force, pays lip service to warning mortals to stay away unless approved. But he's a slimy worm all the same, and utterly unworthy of being Iota's head.
Not that... Verdell wants to be Iota's head, mind.
Click on the headshot to be taken to their profile (if it exists).
Threw their friendship in the gutter, and for what? The approval of some piss mortals who die faster than they can remember their names? For the prestige of Iota being some - some what, illegal voidspace tech seller? Chasing that high of validation, of feeling wanted, of attention - that was worth tossing aside everything they had? It's sick. It's like he never mattered to Ochre. It's disgusting that he cares so much about their old relationship that the idea still hurts. If the world's a kind place, Ochre's suffering just as much as he is, too.
Friend is a loaded term. It implies things like "keeping up" with people and "chatting" and whatnot. He and Ivory? No, none of that. But Ivory has a bit more sense on his shoulders - hahaha listen to him saying that about a career mage. Sorry, ignore him. Ivory - he isn't bought out by mortal stupidity or fantasies. He's got goals, concrete ones, that he whittles towards. He can be a bit airheaded, but that's never been a crime. So all in all, he's got higher marks in Verdell's books than Ochre does.
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Ochre's fuckbuddy. In darker moments, "Verdell's replacement". An enabler who delivers asspats and comfort like a well-oiled robot. They get high off each other's need for attention and have some fucky positive feedback loop going, like a drug. And they are definitely also taking Aryl's drugs, like, that isn't even a question. The most disgusting part is Aryl making passes at Verdell. Asking for a threesome. Tch. He's nauseating.
Ivory goes nuts over this guy. They've never actually met, but Ivory has talked so much about him that Verdell has absorbed some information by proxy. He's a wicked good mage and the guy that "fixed" Eta. Good for him.
They're nothing alike. Why does everyone keep comparing them? Phenyl is a languid, undisciplined drunkard who talks a big talk but follows through with none of it. If he really cared about Eta, then he'd put more effort into saving the damn thing. He's closer to Ochre in every way.
- Is legally allowed to stand his ground if people enter the reserves without permission (permission typically granted for scientists, researchers, and polite campers, with his explicit approval). Adept in many weapons, but likes the simplicity of a gun. Peace was never an option.
- In that vein, thinks pacifism is absurd and a roundabout way to avoid doing "hard work". Also thinks protests are useless unless they become riots.
- Why hasn't Ochre strongarmed him into handing over the rights? Easy - it'd spark an actual fight between them and Ochre would lose.
- Constantly dropping flower petals wherever he goes, which some Iotans consider good luck trinkets. Thinks it's weird but will give petals if asked.
- Most of his time is spent patrolling the wilderness of his "islands" and ruminating. Thinks through philosophy and what-ifs to pass the hours. He's got a lot of interesting ideas, if he ever had anyone to share them with.
- Not opposed to industry and apartments as a whole, just doesn't want it overtaking the animals and plants he spent ages collecting and crafting careful environments for. And also maybe now he's running primarily on spite for Ochre, but you didn't hear it from me.
- Has a dartboard with Ochre's face printed onto it.
Click the reference image to the right for fullsize.
- The pink stuff at the base of his horns and spine of tail are flower petals. He sheds them everywhere, feel free to include flowerfalls.
- Note the lil green thorns growing from his ankles.
- Please don't omit his prettyboy eyelashes.
- Skirt is made up of three layers of fabric, and invokes a flower.
- Usually looking pretty pissy. Looks soft and uwu until he's got a shotgun pointed at you.
Generic Anatomy Notes
- Muzzles are small and boxy, and they don't have a kitty or dog nose.
- Eyes can be stylized as you'd normally draw.
- Please note that they have four fingers and three toes.
- If the character has glasses, don't omit them!