What choices have we all made in the realm of schools and philosophies and toasts and traditions? What scars have we suffered, and what works have we inspired? Mine have been…
School: The Nocturnals, pursuing free-form poetry that reflects the nature of the Neath.
Philosophy: Unaffiliated - a combination of various esoteric, transcendental and practical approaches to learning.
Tradition: The Adventuress, using strength of mind and body to uncover the secrets of the world.
Toast: The Topsy King, and his crew of scholars whose reach exceeded their grasp.
He also carries a scar on his face (because, well, I was feeling frail and generally wonky myself, and figured it was only appropriate) and inspired the story "The Devil’s Courage" (because if there was one thing that working outside the law demands, it’s thrilling rooftop heists.)
School: The Celestials, preserving the traditional sort of literature he grew up on.
Philosophy: The Implacable Method - a cool, calculating, cunning approach to information-gathering.
Tradition: Unaffiliated - bareknuckle boxing, stick-fighting, gratuitous use of dynamite - whatever it takes to get the job done.
Toast: The Cheery Man - a good old-fashioned London gangster; a comrade-in-arms as much as a rival.
Hubris carries a scar upon his torso - a natural, even trifling, consequence of a life full of athletic activity - and his savagery toward his enemies inspired the book "The Crimson Shadows."
School: The Bazaarines, because, while she might not be deeply cultured, she does understand business.
Philosophy: The Anchoress’s Legacy - inspired by years of odd discoveries living among the lowest (and highest) of London’s alleys and rooftops.
Tradition: The School of Hard Knocks, learning to hunt and to kill through necessity.
Toast: The Gracious Widow - out of sympathy for her lost family, and of admiration for a fellow keeper of secrets.
Juniper also bears a scar on her soul, having lost so much in so little time, and her enigmatic life in the shadows of the city inspired "The Thief With Neither Face Nor Name."
School: Unaffiliated - while far from uncultured, she considers art the servant of politics, and has little use for art movements for their own sake.
Philosophy: The Unconfined - because fie upon the Ministry, and Summerset, and anyone else who seeks to keep knowledge from the masses!
Tradition: The Duellists of the Tomb-Colonies - neat, precise, graceful and deadly.
Toast: Her own self, as a representative of the Calendar Council’s stake in the underworld.
Valuing presentation and skill equally, Esther has avoided scarring. Her criminal past has inspired the rather exaggerated text "An Angel Among Thieves."