The Otter’s HoltOr, Xanthe describes their fursonæ to
you in prose, because they can’t draw

About Xanthe

Xanthe van Otterburn was born twenty-summat years ago to the loving union of one Henk van Herten and an Olivia Otterburn, in the untamed wilderness of rural North­­um­­ber­­land. (Mr van Herten got the short end of the stick when it came to picking their child’s name.) While their ancestry consists mostly of English otters and Dutch harts, they also happens to be about one eighth goat on their father’s side — it doesn’t show to the un­­ac­­quain­t­ed observer, but if you know them, you can tell.

After their antlers prevented them from joining the family plumbing business, they found a fulfilling occupation as a writer of low-rent horror fiction — indeed, Return of the Curse of the Book of the Night of the Weretaur is set to be adapted into a major motion picture this autumn. Keep your eyes peeled!

When theyres not hammering away at their typewriter, they can be found collecting knick-knacks and tchotch­­kes at nearby car boot sales, tending to their garden, or gathering with friends at the Faun’s Hoof. (The beer’s not great, but it was either there or the flat-roofed Werespoons on the other end of town.)

Physically, their fur is an even brown, with lighter patches on their chest and face. From the waist down, they sports jagged, cervine legs and hooves — with the generously-sized asterisk of their large lutrine tail.

Their otherwise humanoid hands are bound by aqua­­dy­­namic webbing between four of their fingers, though their thumb is un­­con­­nec­t­ed and can move in­­de­­pen­d­ent­ly. On their torso, they may be depicted either flat-chested or with a modest pair of breasts. It’s furry; i ain’t gotta explain shit.

Moving up to their head, it’s mostly lutrine in form — whiskers, booper, small ears, the usual — excepting the stonking massive antlers which jut out from the top, forever ruining their ability to wear hats. (Trust me. Theyves tried.) Their wavy, mousey-blond hair falls down to just above their shoulders (think Jeff Bridges), accented with a dashing purple streak on one side of its parting. They sometimes also sports a blonde goatee, depending on how theyres feeling. (You didn’t think that eighth-goat thing would come back, would you?)

Their voice is gruff and an­dro­­gyn­­ous, like a chain-smoking Bea Arthur, with a strong Geordie accent.

Fashion-wise, you’ll usually find them in some sort of horribly clashing colourful outfit — a tie-dye dress; a leather jacket with a hot pink shirt underneath; a sparkly purple trenchcoat. The only thing you can be certain of is that, feminine or masculine, textile or in the buff (in the brown?), they’ll be wearing their trusty golden caduceus necklace. (Two snakes, not one!)

About Marcy

Born thousands upon thousands of years ago, Marcy the satyr is a priest in the Cult of Phanes, an ancient group of time-travelling hippies who prevent suffering and spread Bacchic joy across space and time. Over the years, they’ve helped stop dozens of wars, organise the “spon­ta­ne­ous” ceasefires of 1914, and personally intervened in hundreds of future lives.

Marcy’s tangled, tatted locks of golden hair fall far down their back, nearly touching their tufted tail. From the front, it covers up their hazy, half-open blue eyes (partly drugs, partly time travel messing up their sleep schedule), and almost smothers the lavender blossom perched above their right ear.

Spots and scars from past rites and jobs dot their tanned white skin, one of their dark-furred legs even sporting a noticeable gash right along its calf. (Magic and medicine could fix it up, but theyves rather taken to the look.) Their more ani­mal­istic features come from a chimera of different ungulates: their ears are akin to those of a fawn; their messy mane is inter­rup­ted by the arcing horns of a ram, while a golden goatee drips from their chin.

Marcy isn’t par­tic­ul­arly flamboyant, and their deep voice makes no attempts at femininity. Like the Deity whence their cult takes its name (and, indeed, like most all of its members), they possess cha­rac­ter­ist­ics of both sexes, though you’d never know if they didn’t tell you. Theyres heavyset, but not unfit: theyres no body­buil­der and their abs aren’t too chiselled, but a physician probably wouldn’t take much note.

Theyres no great fan of the cult’s official drab salamander-fur vest. It might have saved their skin from sabres and snipers more times than they can count, but it just cramps their style, man! When travelling to times of peace, they’ll ditch it the moment they arrives, AD-era puritans be damned. Despite the reputation of their species and their distaste for drab shirts, Marcy is by no means a complete naturist: attached to their belt hangs a leather loincloth, passed down the ge­ner­a­tions and decorated with la­by­rinth­ine patterns of meanders and knots.

The belt to which that cloth is attached holds all the things they might need while travelling forth in time. A blunted knife is used to intimidate (but never wound), lavender and other… soothing substances ease the mind, and what might seem like mis­cel­la­ne­ous scraps — gypsum, rosemary, hand sanitiser, a mysterious flask — are vital to a ritual if they ever wants to get back to the past.

They don’tesn’t look a day over thirty, but an old soul sits behind that unwrinkled face. The same magic that lets the members of the cult travel through time also keeps them young and fresh; by Marcy’s estimation, they themself must be well into their seventies.

Marcy is slow to anger and quick to befriend, with a chill, convivial attitude and the most boisterous laugh you’ll ever hear. You’d think it’d be a good asset for the job, but the same talent that makes them so good at spreading peace and love also makes them liable to deviate terribly from the plan during missions, bunging off with whatever and whoever takes their fancy. (The record for how long they took before returning to the summoning circle currently stands at four weeks, two days.)

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P.S. Here’s my Furry Code.

FMO3a/FX[satyr]2w A->++ C-- D>+ H++ M- P++ R+ T++ W- Z- !Sh R# a- c++n d-- e- f h# iwf+++ !j p- s#

1 comment

  1. Slimy says…

    Despite the lack of art I have to admit I really enjoyed the atmospheric descriptions. BTW I'm from Omicron-5, how'd you know to put it on the list?

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