mother gentle, darling and stalwart
The softly softly approach.
Mother Gentle is the pageant queen mother of the forest. Loving and caring to the highest degree, she’s a kindly, neighbouring figure. Her appellation is more to do with her conduct, since she’s a first time mother with only one son (pending research). She spends most of her dotage on this son, Darling. He’s the light of her life, and her style of parenting is indulgence. She doesn’t push him too hard, and coddles him with love. Catkiller does not, of course, like her. Much of the motivation for that is envy, but she’s also convinced that her style of mothering simply doesn’t prepare kids for life. She’s convinced that Mother Gentle is soft. Catkiller does her a disservice, though. Whilst she has the roughness to handle the Weirdwood, Mother Gentle does not. It’s a brave, brave thing that she goes in. For her part, Gentle doesn’t dislike Catkiller. She finds her abrasive, of course, but is also sympathetic. At heart, Gentle is a sincere, if naïve character, who would have fared better out of crisis.
A tall, handsome doe. Soft looking. An animal version of the ever-present ‘prettier woman’.
Gentle’s main vocal characteristic is her sincerity. I’m not sure how to portray that, as such, but perhaps we can use her neck – have her talk on the same level as other animals. Alternatively, does have a set of readily recognisable mannerisms and behaviours that we can draw on.
Saving her son, just like Catkiller. At the same time, though, she’s less prepared to deal with what that means. CK wants to deliver her son – and will pay the cost. Though Gentle is ready to die, her motivation is essentially to get her son back in her arms, something which is not realistically going to happen.
A precious, ill-equipped thing, missing his mother.
Darling is barely equipped for life, let alone the horroring of the wood. He’s been coddled by Mother Gentle since he was born, and maybe he would have been fine if given a little more time to grow up. As it stands, though, he’s a hypochondriac scared of basically everyone and everything. When he’s kidnapped, Darling can’t keep it together long enough to work with Scratch towards anything. Instead, he sits and pretends nothing is happening whilst waiting for his mother to come save him.
A somewhat scrawny deer foal. A bit gangly with a permanent deer-in-headlights appearance.
About what you’d expect – Darling hides away from most things. He’ll very rarely look at anything scary in the eye.
He doesn’t like change, and wants everything to go back to normal.
Somewhat self-styled patriarch of the forest.
Stalwart isn’t in charge, as such, but he’s a respected figure in the forest, and is used to people doing as he says. Catkiller, of course, couldn’t give two shits for him. When the Horroring happens, he puts himself in charge of evacuating the forest, and tries to stop Catkiller from going back in. He thinks himself a realist, and sees little point in trying to save a little badger corpse from an insane crow.
Stout, dominant boar. Grizzled and elderly, but big.
Standoffish and assertive.
He’s just a quintessential ‘man’.