Marisa St. John
Outer Skin. When you wear your pelt, you look like a seal. Without it, you can swim like a human, but with it, you can breathe underwater and swim like the dickens, and, if you want to, return to The Deep Kingdom. If you do return there, it’s for good, so make a new character.
Their Word. People can steal your pelt, but never destroy it. When someone withholds your pelt and demands you do something for them before they’ll give it back, carry 1 forward to doing that. If they don’t return your pelt, take a String on them.
Body of Water. When you go a day without submerging yourself in water, take 1 harm. Whenever you submerge yourself in water and can relax, heal 1 harm and 1 Condition.
Marisa’s earliest memory is of swimming, diving deep into the cold, gray waters of the Pacific. Her mother is there, she remembers, but she can’t quite remember her face. She knows what her mother looks like, of course; she has pictures from the time before her mother left. But in her memories, it’s just not the same.
Morgan MacPherson, Marisa’s mother, left when the child was three, and Steven, Marisa’s her, has never quite explained why. Not to Marisa’s satisfaction, at any rate. He always promised it would “someday.” Or “when you’re older.” It’d be good if one of them was here to explain some things now though…
Not long ago, Marisa found a sleek, gray-spotted pelt. Or rather, her stepmother Lisa found it while going through her dad’s belongings and asked if Marisa wanted it or if she should just throw it out. Instinctively, Marisa knew she had to have it. And she knew what she had to do with it. That night, Marisa snuck out of her house and down to the water. There, on the rocky beach, she slipped into the pelt and turned into a seal.
That was about two months ago, just after her dad, a marine biologist, left for another stint of field work at sea. He’d be gone for a few more weeks, probably, if not longer. And so her questions will have to wait. In the meantime, she’s learning what she can. From the internet. From her father’s dry biology texts and the books of Scottish mythology that she previously thought were out of character for him.
But mostly she waits. She swims or takes a long bath every day, knowing she’ll feel sick and unsettled if she doesn’t. She avoids her stepmother, who has noticed how she’s changed in the past few weeks and vacillates between annoyance and affected compassion. And she wonders. Why did her mother leave? Where did she go? And just whose skin has Marisa been wearing?