Character's full name: Odessa
Aliases: Odessa Raynor, Samuel Alexander
Played By: JP
Character Type: Immortal
Hair Color: Blonde
Eye Color: Blue
True age: 1152
Apparent age: 35
Build: Tall, lean with a muscular undertone.
Any other languages: Norwegian, Icelandic, German, Greek, Latin, most other Nordic/Germanic languages, fluent in English with an accent.
Any special skills: Archery and herbal knowledge.
Personality: Fiery and passionate, Odessa is opinionated and fearless when standing up for the rights of the underprivileged, particularly women. She thinks all women should be strong and independent.
Born in Norway in 850 A.D., Odessa was raised in a Viking tribe by her strong mother and warrior father. From the time she would walk, she could sword fight. Her father taught her everything he knew and her mother encouraged her strength. The world was cold and hard.
By the time she was a teenager and her mother had born many other children, Odessa was riding with her father. While they called themselves a war band, they were not warmongers. They made it a point to defend the weak or oppressed against attackers who had struck the first blow.
She wounded countless times in the skirmishes, even knocked unconscious and never thought much about it until one day her wounds seemed to heal on their own, instantaneously with a blue lightening. She kept the secret to herself, fearing her people would not understand. It scared her; she could only imagine what it might do to her kin.
In 1089, her party joined forces with another band to defend a village which was being raided by Celtics. There she met a man who called himself an immortal. He told her the ways of ‘their kind’ and revealed she would not age again nor could she die save for one rather gruesome way. He also told her a baby had been born in that settlement by the name of Mursi and one day, he too would be as they were.
Mursi’s people and hers traded often but she had made it a point to avoid him, praying that one day she would know more and be able to tell him more than she had been told of their kind. She continued to ride with her father another twenty five more years before finding themselves fighting alongside the same settlement again. This time, Mursi was one of the warriors – a rider and an archer. He had grown into a man, handsome, skilled, brave and strong. But also wild and free.
During this battle, her father was struck a fatal blow. He lay dying as they took victory over their foe. He lasted only an hour after they had laid down vanquished their foe and the pain she felt at the loss was worse than any wound she’d ever imagined.
It changed her to her core. Mursi had not reached the point where the blue lightening came and while they had become good friends, she found it near impossible to tell him the truth. She did not want to break his spirit by telling him he was different, that he would be hunted by strangers for years and years as he watched his kin die out just as she had watched her father die, all the while being powerless to stop it. Instead, she merely departed without saying a word.
She continued to fight, moving along the country side enough that no one seemed to notice her lack of aging. When someone did, she would find a new home among other warriors.
Her ideas and ethics were different from the direction of the world changes. She fought against a female sacrifice on funeral pyres, proclaiming that women were as important as men and if a woman should be sacrificed with the death of a chieftain, then a man should be sacrificed upon the death of a great warrior woman.
As time moved forward and women continued to be seen as unequal, she made it a point to always fight for equal rights for the ‘fairer sex’, no matter the country or the reason for oppression.
As the 1800s began, she found it was easier to pose as a man in order to maintain her status as a fighter. She cut her hair and would dress in men’s clothes. She wore a fake beard to avoid being mistaken for a young boy.
By the mid-1800s, she found her way to the Americas. She was enchanted by the newly forming country and the changing outlooks. A war was waged against slavery and many people were freed. She fought for the Union Army. The loss of life was great but it was for a noble cause.
Once the war ended and the country began to rebuild, Odessa made her way westward. It was a time of exploration and discovery. Dropping the male act, she took some time to just be herself. Finding a small, up and coming town, she built herself a house and set up a school on the ground floor. There, she began to teach English and history. Many families had come through looking for their fortune in gold and she enjoyed educating the children while their fathers mined and their mother’s kept house.
A young black farm hand named Samuel came to her, asking if she would teach him to read in the evenings. He had been recently released from slavery and wanted to start a business. He was a smart man, kind and eager to contribute to the community. His tale of woe was great – he was the son of a slave and her master. His mother had been the victim of rape and he the result. He was sold off to another farm. It was from that farm he escaped and fought for the Union Army. Now, a freed slave, he just wanted to learn and become more than he ever thought he could be.
He picked up quickly and with a charming smile and soft eyes, it was really no surprise Odessa found his company far superior to most. Of course, at the time, she knew it was a forbidden relationship. Still, as months passed and she saw him more and more every day, it became harder and harder to ignore the love she had for him.
It was Samuel however that acted upon their feelings first. During a tutoring session when he could take it no more, he leaned over and kissed her. Their passion burned brightly for several weeks. Their secret love affair was kept from the public eye for a while, but one evening the town Mayor happened to stop by the school house unexpectedly. Feeling entitled to come and go as he pleased, he did not knock or give warning of his arrival. When he came through the door, he found Samuel and Odessa locked in an embrace.
While Odessa attempted to lie and say they were just friends, the Mayor wasn’t having it. He created enough of a ruckus to gather neighboring attention. Before long a mob of men were carting Samuel off, demanding to know how he dared to think he could kiss a white woman. Odessa fought as hard as she could which earned her several hard blows. But she was grossly outnumbered and before midnight, Samuel was lynched.
Devastated, Odessa left town the same night and found herself wondering the desert, feeling defeated and helpless for the first time ever. A few towns over, she stopped in a bar and came across a group of Indian bandits who had recently robbed a train of its cash. They were trading the cash in for goods to take back to their tribe. This was not necessarily noteworthy, except for that among them was a white man who spoke their tongue. He seemed to be accepted as one of them. And even more interesting was the fact he was immortal.
She attempted to make conversation with the group, but they were very close lipped and nearly slipped away the moment she began to ask questions about the white man. Clearly, he was being protected by this tribe. But before they could go, she quickly asked them if they could help her avenge a death.
After telling them about Samuel, the group seemed to agree that a raid of on the Mayor’s house would be idea – it would get them the supplies they needed for their devastated people including weapons. The Indians were being choked and forced even further West. They were running out of land and they knew it was time to fight back. But more than this, it would avenge the death of an innocent man. She came to understand the white man’s name was Elan and that he’d been with the tribe for a very long time… through many generations in fact. He was well guarded and thought of as a gift from the Great Spirit. She did not feel the need to tell him that he was not alone in his immortality and that he was not as special as his people thought he was.
Under Odessa’s lead, the group struck at dawn. They emptied the old man’s cupboards, weapons closets and left him to deal with the bitter woman whose love her had hanged the night before. They rode off as the Mayor lay headless in the street.
Odessa spent the night with the Indians and the next morning she headed back East, to where people were more civil. And sane. By the time she arrived in Maryland, she had taken back on her male persona, donning a beard and mustache and taking on the name Samuel.
Under his disguise, she found a way to be involved in both great wars in the 1900s.She remained in the U.S. as she saw women fighting for their rights. It was a culture of excess, but at least women seemed to be moving in a forward direction and she felt she could be herself there.
In the 1980s, joined the U. S. army as a woman and maintained a status there until the flu gripped the world. The orders that were passed out were to maintain and control the truth, at *any* cost, an order she didn’t agree with. She refused to kill innocent people in order to cover up a government blunder. In the final days, she deserted her post in Arizona and retreated into the desert to avoid detection and has been surviving out there ever since.
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