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Trigger Warning: Arachnophobia. This page contains images of spiders. You have been warned.
Generally Known Information
Name: Penelope "Nella" Sophia St. Claire
Age: Early 30s
Current Location: Atlanta, GA
Known by the Garou Nation
Right of Acceptance?: Yes
Fera Breed: Ananasi
Deed Name: It Was a Dark and Stormy Night
Sept: Hope's Resurgence
Pack and Position: Checks & Balances, Secretary (Beta)
Faction: Gaderin (Tenere Wyrsta)
Type Approval #: USA-SE-WA-1702-037053
Player Contact: Justin M.
Player Pronouns: They/Them
VST Contact: Atlanta Apoc VST (Mike B.)
VSS: Frontlines of Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
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Penelope Sophia St. Claire, know as Nella to most people they know, was born and raised in the Atlanta area. A child of the reclusive, wealthy and influential St. Claire family, they led a perfectly comfortable and privileged mundane life prior to undergoing their First Change. Since then they has served their family and their breed in more esoteric ways.
Penelope is known publicly to have inherited the holdings and property of their late grandmother Dorissa St. Claire after she passed away in 2014. In mortal circles Nella is a reputable though eccentric collector of rare and priceless books, antiques and antiquities, and macabre oddities. As well they are known to have a Ph.D in Cultural Anthropology as well as being a published author in the field by way of two small press books in print that deal with the subject of parallel mythology which is their area of expertise. Penelope is also known to be a practicing pagan and identifies as a witch. Nella is also known to identify as queer and gender non-conforming.
Within the Garou Nation and among the Fera they are known to be very knowledgeable with regard to a wide range of shifter lore subjects. In the past they have been willing to exchange information on certain subjects with other shifters provided something of valuable was being gained for it. Specifically Nella is known to have an interest in the stories, tales and legends of the shifters. Anything relating to such lore is of considerable interest to her.
Penelope is also one of the first Ananasi to have expressed an interest in joining the Garou Nation and to have completed their Rite of Acceptance. They are an advocate for the equality of the fera breeds within the Nation but has not begun pushing that agenda as of yet, though they has made it known their opinion on the matter when asked. They have made it clear that they seek to dispel the rumors and negative perceptions surrounding the Ananasi that still seem to prevail amongst the other shifters, which they attribute to ingrained and yet entirely outdated bias again the werespiders.
"Please darling, just call me Nella."
Penelope in her crawlerling form.
I just wanted a pic by the coffin.
"What did he do *this* time?"
- 1985: The year Penelope was born. (December 27th)
- 2000: Attended same high school as Jake, Ari and Clickbait.
- 2001: First Change took place.
- 2003-2011: Attended college to get their degree in Anthropology with a focus on mythology.
- 2007-2011: Service to the Ananasi gathering and preserving lore and knowledge that may be lost during the Apocalypse.
- 2009: Reconnects with Clickbait and other high school acquaintances who are also now shifters. Starts dealing mundanely in the trade of rare books, antiques and other oddities.
- 2010: Has their first novel on comparative mythology published, small press run.
- 2013: Their second book on myth parallels across cultures is published, small press run.
- 2014: Penelope’s grandmother and mentor, Dorissa, perishes. Penelope inherits her estate and holdings and her mansion in Atlanta.
- 2015: Joins the Checks & Balances pack and undergoes the Right of Acceptance.
- 2017: Joins the Atlanta Sept.
The St. Claire Family
- Dorissa St. Claire, grandmother (deceased, 2014)
- Mathias St Claire, great-uncle
- Nerissa St. Claire, half-sister
- Natalia Richardson, half-sister
- Nico Richardson, half-brother
"Everything is a story, a narrative. Every strand of the Great Web. Stories are the greatest tools, the sharpest weapons, the cruelest shackles. Our beloved Queen tasked me with learning every story I can. She told me to question their meaning and purpose and understand the underling connections between them. So that is the part I play, that is my role in her story, and yes I question even that because that is what she told me to do."
- Penelope when asked what their purpose is.
"You trust any story because no story teller is without personal bias, limited perspective or emotional failings. Every narrator is unreliable. So each story must be picked apart, even the ones you want to trust. Even the ones that seem unquestionable. Even the ones that picking the threads of apart reveals things you wish you could not know. So the hardest lesson to learn is that you cannot trust the lesson itself, you must question it's wisdom and worth."
- Penelope when asked the hardest lesson they've learned.
"The itsy-bitsy spider of course. Have you ever truly thought about it or did you just write it off as a simple child's rhyme? Consider that it is a modern telling of the Sisyphus myth. Not familiar? That is the myth in which a god condemns a person to cruel punishment for trying to help mankind escape the certainty of death. For this he is punished to have to push a rock up a mountain; upon reaching the top, the rock would roll down again, leaving Sisyphus to start over. It is a exercise in futility but one that Sisyphus cannot escape or even necessarily accept. While this has a myriad of meanings mortal life, I consider an even deeper meaning. That Sisyphus is the Weaver That Is, forever unable to escape the webs she endlessly spins and becomes more and more entangled with. You see the Weaver, Sisyphus, the isty-bitsy spider are all doomed to rote repetition, forever caught within their own wilful ignorance of the futility of their situation. Their arrogant defiance lead them to become trapped in patterns they can never escape. The irony in that, should not be lost on anyone and the meaning and purpose of such a story must of course be deeply considered least the rain wash you down and you mindlessly try to climb the waterspout again and again."
- Penelope when asked their favorite story.
"Nothing any of the changing breeds have tried by ourselves has even remotely worked to fix the balance of the Triat or stave off the Apocalypse. The only considerable success we achieved was through working together. Remember how we kept the great caerns from dying out completely from dying by putting aside our bullshit for the greater good? Well that is the only way we all will survive and have any chance of fixing a world on fire. If you can't deal with that, kindly fuck off and die in that fire, darling. The rest of us don't have time for your issues. We can gladly get back to hating each other for the sins of the past when we're not all dead and the Wyrm isn't laughing over our corpses."
- Penelope addressing the reason the garou and fera must work together.
- Penelope is cold to the touch because she's actually dead inside.
- She'll only teach lore in exchange for stories of great value. Literal great value. Who knows what a perfectly mint copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 would get out of her.
- She has warehouses full of random nick-knacks and other assorted junk she is just waiting for the right time to break out.
- She used to be comprised entirely of black widow spiders, but one by one has replaced herself with the jumping spiders to avoid detection for some crime committed long ago.
- Has a terrible fear of snakes.
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.
― Muriel Rukeyser
All stories are about wolves. All worth repeating, that is. Anything else is sentimental drivel.
All of them?
Sure, he says. Think about it. There's escaping from the wolves, fighting the wolves, capturing the wolves, taming the wolves. Being thrown to the wolves, or throwing others to the wolves so the wolves will eat them instead of you. Running with the wolf pack. Turning into a wolf. Best of all, turning into the head wolf. No other decent stories exist.
― Margaret Atwood
There are people. There are stories. The people think they shape the stories, but the reverse if often closer to the truth. Stories shape the world. They exist independently of people, and in places quite devoid of man, there may yet be mythologies.
― Alan Moore, Swamp Thing, Vol. 2: Love and Death
Stories are like spiders, with all they long legs, and stories are like spiderwebs, which man gets himself all tangled up in but which look pretty when you see them under a leaf in the morning dew, and in the elegant way that they connect to one another, each to each.
― Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys
The mythological figure of Penelope is especially associated with preservation and protection because it was she, with her constant refusal to cut the thread of like, who preserved the life of her husband Odysseus through his many adventures, even after a death curse had been laid on him by the Trojan Queen and High Priestess of Hecate. Penelope, whose name means Ôveiled one,' was really a title of the Fate-goddess who could determine men's destinies by the treatment of her woven threads. When she cut, the man would die. According to Homer, Penelope unwove her web each night rather than cut the thread that represented Odysseus; and so he escaped all dangers and eventually returned to his home.
― From The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Robert Fitzgerald, Book 5, ll.