SPELLS & SHADOWS
Setup- Page 2-3
Character Bios- 5-8
Character Appearances- 9-
This story takes place in upstate New York at a special boarding school for characters that aren’t entirely human or animal, but anthropomorphic animal. This means they are animals that can walk, talk and think as people do. Some of the characters in this story may or may not have special powers such as pyrokinesis, or enhanced flexibility, or flight or whatever. While the setting for my story may resemble that of others, and some of the characters may seem familiar I assure my readers it is solely my own work and ideas going into the story. Throughout my story there will be plenty of inspiration from pop culture and things I’ve read, heard, or seen over my life, but what is represented with my story is all my own creation.
The school in my story is called “St. Frutio’s Academy for Unique Youths” and while it may resemble either Professor Xavier’s school from the X-Men series or Hogwarts from Harry Potter, I assure you it is its own separate institution, with its own creative enhancements. St. F’s was established in the early 1500’s by Saint Marcus Frutio. He founded the school when he noticed that more and more anthropomorphic creatures were beginning to be born, their presence somehow hidden from humans, either by enchanted jewelry they wore on their bodies, or by complex magics or other means. He built this school as a sort of safe haven for those who’s parents had to hide their offspring’s true selves away for fear of humanities cruelness. The school is protected by a magical barrier, which could only be penetrated by those who knew about the school and came from anthropomorphic heritage.
There are several dormitories or “houses” scattered throughout the grounds of St. Frutio’s with the main Castle and education center in the middle. They are: Vulpus, Lupus, Avuus, and Aquus. Some of the dorms are built to look like their surroundings. Each dormitory has a separate large bathroom for guys and girls, a common room, a small library for studying, a game room, and a small kitchen/dining room in case a student gets hungry in the middle of the night and needs some small snack or meal. There is an enchantment upon the bedrooms of each dorm so that neither gender can just walk into the rooms of their counterparts.
The Avuus House is camouflaged to resemble a large tree. In the center of the dorm is a spiral staircase with each floor’s rooms surrounding it. The first real floor of the dormitory is a good 50 feet off the ground and the higher up the tree you go the older the students will be.
Lupus House is inside a mountain to the north of the school building. Its more a subterranean dormitory than the others while still having water, heat and air conditioning pumped through it. It goes down to a depth of maybe 200 feet into the earth and this particular dorm took St. Marcus Frutio nearly a century of digging and hard work to make. First year students tend to live on the 2nd floor while the more experienced students lived deeper within the cave. The dormitory is carved into a natural spiral downward, each floor is level, but then at the end of each “floor” is a 30-foot staircase leading down around a soft corner into the next floor.
Vulpus house is a large wooden structure surrounded by large dense forest, with a natural tunnel connecting it to the main grounds. Its basically on oversized log cabin. This dorm is unique in that all the students of the dorm are encouraged to work and sleep together. There is a wall separating the boys from the girls but all the beds are each centered on a large wrought-iron heat source.
Finally we come to the Aquus House dorm. It’s a most unusual dorm because its at the bottom of Lake Frutio, in a subterranean cavern. Aquus House can only be reached by a glassed-in elevator tunnel leading down through a central shaft just a few feet from the lakeshore. The cavern itself is big enough the pyramids of Egypt could fit several times over inside of it. Fresh water is filtered in from above through pipes and recirculated through the complex of bubble-like domes. There is one central dome for the rooms most often used, rooms like the kitchen, bathrooms, common room, and study chamber. The actual bedrooms are on opposite ends of the cave to provide each gender their own privacy from the other.
Jake Shadowpaw- Born December 12th 1999, our hero, Jake Isaiah Fraveldt, lived well. Not just well be really well, his parents were both bringing in well over a seven-figure salary a month each. Despite their wealth they chose to live a simple, somewhat meager lifestyle. Saving their money away for emergencies, spending only what they absolutely had to. Because of this, Jake, while still not being the most fancily dressed kid at school never had to wear family hand me downs or tattered old clothes found in thrift shops, not that his parents didn’t try to get him to try… Jake was really more of a rough-and-tumble kind of guy, never falling in with the most polite crowd but knowing when to respect others when his friends would tend to push the limits of legality. Throughout school Jake passed most of his classes; science, history and languages were always his stronger periods and his teachers’d often appraise him for his flawless work. Classes like math, literature and some of the others weren’t as easy for him. He’d had to be tutored through them all his life. When he reached his last year of middle school his friends’ influence had sunk in and it was clear that drastic actions had to be taken or Jake would end up in jail or court within a year or two. Jake had gotten a tattoo, pierced his ears and dyed his hair a bright green. This irked his parents to no end, seeing their once handsome young son grow into this rebellious snide brute. They begged and pleaded with Jake to stop hanging out with his friends and to be how he once was, a kind and respectful young man. Jake wouldn’t hear it and after these conversations would go out and do some illegal act with his vandal friends. He’s had to be bailed out of prison on more than one occasion and has ultimately grown into a badass. Jake was the kind of guy who did what he wanted and everyone else could just “bugger off”. In the end his parents decided that enough was enough and he had to learn that his life was going to hell in a handbasket if he didn’t shape up and that his how his life changed forever. What he didn’t realize is that the magical barrier protecting the school is also enchanted with a special kind of magic that keeps students, and staff for that matter, from going off on violent tangents.
James Gelkos- Born March 25 1997, James Wylie Gelkos was a fun loving, free-spirited guy. Both his parents raised him out in the woods, teaching him how to hunt and gather food, wood and the other necessities of life. Their home was an extremely large hollowed-out tree. They used its bark to make their doors, its branches to fix up holes in the otherwise solid “roof” They lived in many senses, like their wild counterparts. They hunted and fed on mice and smaller creatures they found. James was raised with love and goodness and all of this helped him grow into a kind generous young man. Being raised in nature, James preferred to go with as few or as thin clothed as possible, so thin light fabrics, often made from silk or other thin materials suited him best. Anyone who met him would use one word to describe James, the word on everyone’s mind was free. James’s fur was an anomaly. Both of his parents were red foxes. When their son was born with purple fur they didn’t know what to think, but they put their worries aside and raised a fine young fox.
Jessie Parchen- Born on Friday May 13th 1996, Jessica Francis Parchen, Jessie to her friends, is a stunningly beautiful female griffon. Jessie had a sharp curved beak like a falcon, beautiful eagle like wings, a deep golden-tan coat of fur, long flowing red hair that swooped out from the back of her head and curled at the end into a spiral and taloned legs and arms. Her parents, hunters by trade, taught her to be merciless but kind, headstrong but respectful, in essence they raised her the exact same way each of them had been raised. Everything Jessie had, she’d had to work beak-and-talon for. This taught her that life gave no freebies and that if something needed to be done, it had to be done on your own. Jessie is a very brave, kind, if not sometimes kinda heartless. She may seem rude or callous on the outside but everything she says or does is for a reason, either to help a person or get them to realize what they believe isn’t always the case.
St. Marcus Frutio- Born two-thousand years prior to the establishment of the school in which he’s the headmaster, St. Marcus Frutio III is an imposing monster of a dragon, standing approximately 8’ 4”, not including his horns. Marcus used to be a kind gentle soul but years of draconic training and humanity devastating his species, killing them for sport hardened his heart and turned him into a fierce, battle-hardened brute of a man. Most of his body is covered in a thick carapace of dark grey scales except for his chest where they are a deep crimson hue and along his tail. Unlike most dragons, Marcus had no need for huge spines along his back or the highly weaponized carapace of many of his slain brethren. His strength comes not from his body, but from his mind. He is a skilled mentalist, able to conjure up a variety of ill-intended maladies and elements to his aid. Fire of course is one of the more common, but poisonous gasses, lightning bolts, spider webs, and so forth are among his favorites. With the end of the “dark ages” and things finally turning around in the 1600’s he noticed that more creatures like him were starting to be born, Creatures somehow hidden within the world of monsters that fancied themselves human. He found that these creatures rekindled a hope in his heart that he’d thought was long since dead and that’s when he decided to found a school. A school where the descendents of these magical creatures of nature, beasts of land, sea, and sky, could grow and learn in much the same way humans were starting to educate and raise their own young. After several centuries of traveling and picking up a few magical tricks along the way he finally found a suitable location in what is now called Poughkeepsie, New York. At the time it was an underdeveloped, empty, forested area. He chose a spot and began enchanting the land so that no human may ever discover it.
Courtney Van Goetha- Born January 1st, 1871, in a grungy district of Victorian London, Ms. Van Goetha has had many names over the centuries, some well known, some not so much. Not much is really known about her childhood because it was a very rough time for her. What is known is that she was born a weak-hearted mare with unusually bright green eyes, almost emerald in color but they shone like the stars in the sky. It’s this trait that, when she grew up and started working in a brothel, helped her draw in men of all sorts to help fund her life. It was on her way to her job one dark and stormy night that she happened upon what seemed to be a raggedy young human, of course the man was raving about giant blood-eyed bats so she figured he was just some loony vagabond hyped up on who knew what kind of drugs, so she turned to leave but she felt a sharp pain just above her hoof and she toppled to the ground. She looked down and the hair around her left hoof was streaked with blood. Hobbling to work she began to feel light headed and soon discovered that she could persuade anyone to do just about anything for her, and that sunlight stung her hide as if it was covered in bees. She realized and learned fast what she had become and for the first few decades abused them profusely. She’d started a brothel of her own, luring young men in to it, enthralling them and making them give up their lives to work there taking care of the ladies. As time went on though she grew tired and started several new lives over the years. One of her more notable identities was that of Elizabeth Bathory. When she was discovered, she faked her own death and fled to the new world where she lived off the blood of animals and this diluted her eyes into an iridescent blue color. Eventually St. Marcus Frutio discovered her and told her that she could remain on two conditions, that she didn’t feed on students and faculty and two, that nobody is told of her origins. She obeyed and was soon employed as an art teacher, after all who better to teach Classic Artistry than one who’d lived in that era.
Kross Vorten- Kross was born a stranger, a fox by birth, raised by wolves, taught by human hunter-warriors who spared him because of his form. Kross was born in the wilds of Taiwan and when he was 10 e set off and traveled the world with his adoptive parents who discovered him on a hunting trip. Jessica and Gregory Vorten were kind loving parents who didn’t care about how he looked and did all they could to give him a normal life and this taught Kross to look at everyone equally no matter what color their skin was or how they treated him. When he was 15 his parents gave him a sword that was said to be able to cut through any material, shoes that would allow him tread on even the most slippery of surfaces and goggles that would allow him to see in the dark as if it was daylight. Over the next few years until his 18th birthday, Kross was trained in many forms of secret forbidden martial arts and weapon tactics. At any one time you could be sure that he was carrying at least a dozen shurikens, throwing knives and miscellaneous other small handheld tools. When he started at St. Frutio’s, he’d had to bid his parents, and his loved ones goodbye, he knew they traveled around a lot and once they moved, he’d have no way of reaching them, so in a way it was a sort of goodbye for him. Whatever friends he’d make at the school would have to become his new family…
Corvin Stillhoof- A retired ex-spy with an unknown birth date, Corvin used to be Jake’s father’s assistant and friend back when Fraveldt or Fray, as he preferred to be called, was a spy. Corvin was smart, he’d come up with and invent all the tools that Fray would use on his missions, the inviso-suit for stealth, the super-traction socks for slippery surfaces, the gas proof mask with a built in rebreather for underwater missions or missions in space. On Fray’s last mission however Corvin was hit by a hi-tech ray gun that made him slowly turn into a half-robotic deer. When Jake first met Corvin, his horns were already made of a lightweight aluminum, his teeth and hooves were made of a titanium-steel composite and he’d started thinking more like a computer.
Chaso Hakai- Chaso Franklin Hakai, born to Lilith and Beelzebub, this young man is a spawn of evil, or that’s what he wants people to think anyway. He looks to be about 17, but is actually 1,700 years old aging at a very slow rate thanks to his parent’s lineage. Chaso grew up learning that tormenting the innocent was supposed to be fun, tempting them into earning a lifetime in hell for their sins. After a few hundred years he grew tired of the torturing and pain he and his parents caused and moved out. He wandered around earth, never staying in one location for more than a hundred years at a time. You see, for him a hundred years passed for him how a month would pass for the rest of the world. He learned the evils of the world and by the late 1500’s he vowed to help the world instead of condemning it and filling it with evil. He, like Courtney, has been known under many names throughout history. Some of his aliases are: Ghandi, Mother Theresa, and Martin Luther King Jr. among others. He is now enrolled in St. Frutio’s and only the headmaster knows his true identity. To the students he’s just another unique youth attending classes.
Daniel “Danny Boy” Barker- Daniel was born on the streets of big city Manhattan. People either didn’t notice he was a raccoon or didn’t care, either way he was treated like scum. His earliest memory was waking up in a gutter drain, alone and naked. A few days later he found an old couple living in a dilapidated old mansion surrounded by skyscrapers. To him this home was a haven from the terror of the nightlife and evils of the big city. From the time he was five on, he was a curious little chap; always sticking his little nose in places is shouldn’t be. If anyone was going to accidentally eat a berry from a bush that turns you purple for the day, it's Daniel. If someone were to be accidentally hit by a spell that came zipping out of the lab with an experiment gone wrong, it would be Daniel and as such Danny had terrible luck growing up and its this bad luck that causes him to have to wear diapers even as an adult. This same bad luck got him hexed by a animal hating witch a few years later. Below the ankle he now has human feet and his embarrassment at how people would think of him has him wearing shoes until he finds a way to reverse the curse. Danny found St. Frutio’s one day when he went exploring in the woods upstate. He didn’t see the buildings at first but after feeling like a light wave of water washed over him there it was in its splendor. He immediately joined and became part of the Vulpus house. Three years went by and on his 14th birthday he was elected the Resident Advisor for Vulpus Dorm. Danny is now is his early twenties, though he looks young enough to be a student. He helps out with the animals the school keeps, the grounds and whatever maintenance is asked of him.
Flavius Frutio- Flavius Frutio is Marcus’ only living relative. Flavius is several million years older than his little brother. Flavius was born shortly before that infamous meteor that hit the planet. He only survived because he’d been on the opposite side of the globe from the impact staying in seclusion at the bottom of the ocean. When he returned home his entire world had changed, his family and friends were gone; all that was left was a smoldering crater. He vowed to do all he could to help protect the world from natural disasters. Flavius spent millions of years learning earth and weather magic helping the earth change and grow into the world we know today. He was actually the one that broke Pangea into the continents that the planet has to this day. Various cultures throughout history worshipped him in many different forms. The Babylonians called him Nergal, Aztecs referred to him as Mictlantecuhtli, Egyptians gave him the name Anubis, Greeks and Romans used the name Thanatos; the list goes on and on. Throughout history he’s always been there protecting humanity, sometimes by saving them from destruction, sometimes by causing it. He knows that sometimes the only way to save something is to kill it. Flavius finally found his home in modern day Salt Lake City, Utah. His form his hidden by the unique belt he wears all the time under his rather cowboy-esque fashion sense. Flavius visits his brother every couple hundred years and checks up on him regularly.
Merrich Anker- Merrich was born the son of a fisherman who’d fallen overboard during a violent storm and been saved by a mermaid. The mermaid’s father cast a spell on the man turning him into a merman because he believed if the fisherman had told the crew, his family would no longer be safe. Merrich’s parents fell head over fin in love with each other and lived a long happy life. Then came their beautiful son. Merrich was a spry young boy; he would swim with sharks, and as he grew he came to wonder about what it was like for people up on the land. He swam away from home the day he turned 15 and never looked back. He explored the dark seafloor and it was there he discovered the ruins of the infamous Flying Dutchman. The ghost ship that his father had told him only existed in ghost stories told around the kelpfire. It was there that Merrich discovered a way to finally explore lands unknown to merkind and finally traverse the sun-bleached soils of the world above. He found a belt of enchanted sea-pearls that allowed him to turn his tailfin into legs and walk around on shore. Ultimately it was those legs that led him to St. Frutio’s.
Kiel Azaroth- Kiel is an anthro dragonfly and, as such, he grew up in a VERY large family of several dozen siblings. His parents were always too busy caring for everyone so when he left home as a kid, they didn’t even notice. He traveled the world for several years, serving in various armies across the globe when he discovered his true calling, magic! On what seemed to be an ordinary routine trip to the latrines, a glimmer of light in the distance caught his attention. He flew over to it sword in hand where he discovered a well-hidden cave, and called out. There was an ancient sorcerer living in exile there from an ancient Bedouin tribe that had lived there countless centuries before. It was there that Kiel first discovered the power of magic. Kiel begged the wizard to teach him, to take him on as a student and the wizard told him he’d only take him on as a student of the mystical arts if he got rid of “those confounded warriors to the south”. Those “warriors” were his fellow troops, but so bad was Kiel’s desire to learn magic that he went back and slaughtered everyone. He’s had to live with this atrocity and ever since he holds life in reverence. The wizard taught him many tricks over the next couple centuries, illusion spells to enchantments, spells of destruction to those of restoration. On Kiel’s 300th birthday, the wizard finally passed away having taught all he knew to the boy who had grown with him. Kiel now works at St. Frutios as the caretaker for the school, keeping the grounds safe, and helping to run the school store.
Ian Toruka- Ian is the most recent incarnation of the Egyptian god Sobek. Ian was born to an old married couple that had never been able to have kids due to both of them being sterile. When the old woman laid an egg one night, they had no idea the gift they’d been given. Ian grew to be a powerful caring young crocodile. The couple raised him with love, not caring about how he looked. To them it didn’t matter how he came to be, but what he was to them. He was their son and they loved him dearly. When Ian was five a band of evil magicians destroyed his village and killed the only people who had ever been good to him. This caused a fire to burn in his heart. The hatred of magic grew in him as he grew. Ian traveled the world putting his fashions on display on catwalks worldwide. He went to Paris often, and came highly recommended. After a few years Ian decided to go on a fashion hiatus and it was during that hiatus that he met the headmaster. Ian had traveled back home to visit the gravesite of his parents and there had met an old man in a beautiful kimono. The headmaster invited him to live and work at the school. Ian took the offer immediately. When he discovered the school Ian made the headmaster promise that the grounds around his home and workplace were to be free of the taint of magic. Ian built his home to reflect the temple his parents had owned. Mere days after arriving at the school he had disappeared without a trace. Nobody knew what had happened to him until the day a pair of wandering wolves stumbled upon and rescued him from his hideaway/prison in another dimension. Soon after returning to the school he started working at the school store plying the trade his mother had taught him. He was able to craft any form of clothing an anthro animal would ever need, from cowls and robes, to leather and metal armor to the uniform the school required its students to wear. Ian himself prefers to wear materials and styles that reflect both his origins and his home. He wears a top hat with a curled brim, a solid gold ankh around his neck, two gold scarab bracers around his wrists, a gothic looking flower print vest and a double-breasted sweater jacket. To this day he still distrusts magic-users, even though he doesn’t even realize that he himself is crafting the products at a magical pace thanks to his secret sacred origins. Having lived hundreds of years, Ian has accumulated a vast amount of wealth to support himself, his trade and his life.
Xale Warwick- Not much is known about Xale’s origins, who he is, what his history is, or where he came from. All the headmaster knows is that Xale showed up in his office one stormy night drenched head to toe, asking for a place to live. Because of his mysterious appearance the headmaster granted his request on the grounds that he protects the magical border hiding the school and to alert him if there is ever a breach in security. Xale is a mysterious, shady character with his own ideas of right and wrong. He can often be found at the Dark Woods sweeping up endless piles of leaves. He figures is a tough job, but someone has to do it.
Spyke Gevaldt- Spyke was raised by a loving Russian family and grew up like any other child. His father was a chocolatier and his mother was a pastry chef so he learned many a recipe from his family. When Spyke’s family died shortly after he turned ten. After that he was no stranger to the dark side of foster care, repeatedly abused by people who either used him for the government check they earned from him or took out their anger and frustrations on him by assaulting him. He ran away from home and traveled the world, often stowing away on boats bound for exotic locales and he learned many different forms of martial arts with which to defend himself. He learned Tai Chi from the monks in Nepal, Lua from the Hawaiians, Zen Do Kai from the aborigines, Dambe from the Hausa of West Africa, Tinku from the Incas, and Hapkido from the Koreans… But the martial arts weren’t the only thing Spyke learned in his travels; he also learned many different international recipes from moussaka to baklava, spinach tortellini to beef bulgogi. His specialty has always been and always will be chocolate pastries. Spyke recently returned home to the US and discovered that a school was built over the grounds where his parents had been lain to rest. He explained the situation to the headmaster and he was taken on as a teacher and private chef for the school. He lives with Ian Toruka and stays in a spare dojo-like room on the west end of the house. Spyke is able to shoot his needles out of any part of his body, be it from his head, tail, chest, back, arms or legs. These needles are hard as diamonds, can’t be broken or removed and will infect their victim with a variety of ailments, problems or transformations. Spyke can also change the size of the quills merely by thinking about it once they have been fired.CHARACTER APPEARANCES
Jake Shadowpaw- Purple and green fur like the colors on EVA-01 from Neon Genesis Evangelion, a tattoo above his navel but below his chest, several small differently colored studs in his ears and a black soul patch just below his lower lip. Jake tends to wear somewhat punky jock apparel; jerseys, compression wear, jeans, tank tops, and the kinds of stuff you would expect a skateboarder to wear basically.
James Gelkos- Light bluish-purple and white fur, a pair of striking red eyes of almost a vampyric semblance, long flowing purple hair that, unlike in his picture I sent you, will go down to shoulder length. James doesn’t really have any distinguishing marks or anomalous traits other than his fur color. He does have a birthmark on the side of his right shoulder that resembles a cat's eye. James would tend to wear very light fabrics, chiffon pants, thin breezy tops, usually going barefoot and shirtless.
Jessie Parchen- Think basically along the lines of what Jessie from Team Rocket looks like. Long swooping red hair that curls up at the end, startling blue eyes, a really effeminate feel about her. Her breasts are rather flat and if not for how she acted, she could easily be mistaken for a guy. She tends to wear more simplistic armored apparel. Leather and hide armors, fur lined boots, think more along the lines of what a thief or stealthy person would wear if they went hunting.
Corvin Stillhoof- Corvin tends to wear darker, more muted colors to offset his semi-robotic appearance. He basically looks like an anthropomorphic deer version of the terminator. He has one robotic arm covered with a pelt of synthetic deer fur, shiny aluminum antlers, titanium hooves and an input jack where his navel normally would be. Corvin like to dress the part of a butler because of his sense of tradition. He will most often wear a velvet tuxedo with a common black vest and silk bowtie most days, sometimes just the vest and tie.
Courtney Van Goetha- Courtney, having been born in the Victorian age of England, she tends to favor more classic hoop dresses and the kinds of outfits you would see royalty wearing. Long, flowing silk dresses full of crimson, black and white lace, corsets and bodices beautiful gothic jewelry and ruby red lipstick. She tends to favor darker colors for her wardrobe; blacks, crimsons, navy blues. Black frilly lace, garters and leather are an integral part of her outfits. She likes to say, “If its light enough to be seen when in the shadows, it shouldn’t be worn.”
Chaso Hakai- Chaso, having been born to two of the most famous creators of evil in all of history, prefers ragged demonic looking clothing to suit his demonic appearance. He has to metal horns at his temples, a rigid metallic skeletal structure similar to Wolverine from the X-Men, which occasionally manifests itself on his outfits as various plates of armor covering his shoulders, sometimes a gauntlet, other times a full body suit. He normally wears an interesting suit of armor with metal bands that wrap around his ribs. He wears a belt with a shrunken human skull mounted on it and a blood-soaked bandana around his devilish neck to hide the necklace of teeth he keeps with him as a reminder of his past and that wrongs he’s trying so hard to right.
Spyke Gevaldt- Spyke likes his clothes to reflect many different international styles. He wears his usual red black and white outfit the most, sometimes he will tie a headband around his head and he prefers to wear sandals over shoes or moccasins because of his sharp claws. He prefers materials like tight spandex, rubber and latex over heavier less breathy materials like wool, cotton and others. His quills not only offer him protection but also warmth so he really doesn’t need much to keep warm.