Hidden Winds Holt

Character Creation Rules

The two most important things we look for when reviewing new characters are 1) that all of the rules below have been followed, and 2) that your character has something new to offer.  We do not need more than one character with the same personality, or the same motivations or fears, and we will turn away new characters who are too similar to ones we have already.  Any CIS you submit to us is an application and does not guarantee you a place in the holt.  As with any application it will be reviewed and returned to you for revision if we deem it necessary.  If after three tries at revising the same character, we still deem that character unacceptable, we will deny you entry into the holt.  However, we will let you know exactly what needs to be revised and how best to do it; we're not trying to drive away all potential members by keeping our standards a secret.  We do not want to make this holt impossible to join, but we do want only unique, quality characters, and our standards for admittance are higher than in most holts. Please keep this in mind while creating your character.

Character Name:  The name of your character.  Look over all the other names first to make sure you are not using the same name as someone else, or a similar name.  Avoid using name bits that have already been used (i.e. Snowhair, Coldsnow, etc).  Another thing to avoid is using names that start with common letters.  When we have six characters whose names start with the letter S, and you submit a character with an S-name, we will ask you to change it.  F is another extremely common first letter.  C'mon, there are 24 other letters you can use.  The rest of the alphabet needs some lovin' too!  If you have problems thinking up a name, contact us and we will help however we can.  
~Cub Name: The name your character was given when he or she was born.  Depending on the age of your character, this may also be the character's current name.  Traditionally these Wolfriders change their names after successfully completing a soul search.
Soul Name: Please tell me you know what this is.  You should make sure your elf doesn't have the same soul name as any other elf in the holt.
Gender: PLEASE tell me you know what this is.  NOTE: We find ourselves in the strange position of needing some females to help round out a currently male-dominant tribe, so step right up with your ladies.  
Age: 1-20: cub, teenager
21-100: young adult
101-500: adult
500-1000: elder
1000-up: will not be allowed
Please note that Tallstag, at 816 years,  is the eldest member of this tribe.
Family: You must include living family members (blood relations, such as parents, siblings, kids, and any adopted family including soul-siblings, but not mates because they're special and get their own place below this one) and include both their names and their relation to your character.  Though not required, you may also list dead or missing family members, giving their name, relation to your character, and current status (dead or missing).  This info is useful for members who write stories of their character's pasts.  (NOTE - if you submit a character that has no living family, and if that lack of living family is not important to his or her personality, I will most likely make him or her the cousin or uncle or niece or something of another character.  In a Wolfrider tribe such as this, complete isolation is unlikely at best.  If you have a serious problem with this, just let me know and I'll remove the relation from the website.)
Lovemates: Name of any lovemate, current or past, whether that lovemate is a current one or a past one, and whether he or she is alive, missing, dead, etc.  If it wasn't serious or didn't have an impact on your character, you can just mention that he or she has had lovemates in the past, and not go through the hassle of coming up with more names for characters that are most likely dead.
Lifemates: Same with lovemates, with the added stipulation that elves don't break lifematings, so any past lifemate should be dead (unless there are dramatic extenuating circumstances which will need to be cleared by us first).
Recognized: No if not, name and status (alive, dead, missing) if yes.
Skills/Hobbies: What is your elf good at?  What does he or she like to do in his or her spare time?  Be creative but keep in mind the climate (so your elf doesn't like building snowmen) and the fact that these are Wolfriders (so your elf doesn't enjoy a quick jaunt down to the local 7-11 for a Slurpee).
Weapons/Tools: Primary weapon your elf carries on his or her person for hunts or personal protection.  Also include any tools he or she may use (i.e. a tanner would use scraping rocks and the like).
Tribal Duty: What does your elf do to be of use to the tribe?  Is he a hunter, a gatherer, a tanner, a healer, a rockshaper?  Cubs are too young to have decided a duty yet, so their duty should be cub.  If you have problems finding a place for your elf, contact us and we'll help.  Keep in mind that a tribe that consists of six tanners and two hunters wouldn't really work that well, so try to avoid any duty that has already been taken by two or more elves, with the exception of hunters and gatherers, of which we can use as many as want the job.  Certain duties  (such as chief and hunt leader) are held by one elf, while others (such as tracker, scout, herbal healer, howlkeeper, dancer, and tanner) should be held by no more than two elves at the same time.  Further information on the position of dancer, currently held by Snowcat, can be found here.
Hunting Party/Gathering Party: If your elf's tribal duty is hunter, he or she is in the hunting party.  Same with the gathering party.
~Wolf bonding
All elves possess sending and wolf bonding in varying degrees.  The following magics are allowed (please keep in mind magic will be rare in this tribe, and you must have proven you can handle the participation requirements before we approve your elf developing a magic talent):
Healing - held by Buckthorn
Rockshaping - held by Rainweaver
Plantshaping - held by Shadowspark
Weather sense (not true control)
Songshaping - held by Piper

The following magics are not allowed.  No exceptions.
Black sending
Paralysis (the "Look")
Flesh Shaping (at least, beyond what healers do in the course of their duties)
Animal Imitation
Astral Projection ("going out")

Please do not submit a character with a magic talent unless it is your second character and you have proven that you are an active member deserving of a magical character.  If you are submitting your first character, do not submit a character with any magic other than sending and wolfbonding.  It will not be approved.  Once your probation period is over, and if you have shown active participation, feel free to contact us about the possibility of your elf developing a magic that is not already held by another character.
Personality: What are your character's dominant personality traits?  Is he or she outgoing or shy?  Outspoken or quiet?  Wolflike or elflike?  This part will dictate how you play your character, so spend some time on it.  It is suggested that you not make elves that are loners.  We know it's fun to play tragic, angsty, the-whole-world-is-against-me characters, but experience has shown us that many people use a loner character as an excuse to be inactive in the RP; this will not be tolerated.  It takes a skilled RPer to be active with an elf who likes to be alone, so if you're confident that you can pull it off effectively please contact us and we'll see if we can't come to some sort of compromise.
Likes/Dislikes: What does your character like (not like to do; that was covered in hobbies)?  What does your character dislike?  
Fears: What is your character afraid of?  Keep in mind that all characters should be afraid of something, whether that something is abstract, such as losing a loved one, or tangible, such as spiders.  
Hair: What color is your character's hair?  Is it long or short, straight or curly?  How does he or she wear it?  Keep in mind that colors like blue and green and purple will not be allowed, and that silver and white are fairly rare.  If there are already five silver-haired elves in the tribe, chances are a sixth one will not be allowed.
Eyes: What color are your character's eyes?  Keep in mind that outlandish colors, such as bright pink, will not be allowed, and that odd shades, such as silver or purple, are rare.  Are the eyes round, or almond-shaped?  Do they typically convey a certain expression, such as joy or sorrow?
Facial Features: Does he or she have an angular face, or a square one?  What does the nose look like?  Are the forehead and cheeks prominent?  Is the chin pointed or round?
Height/Build: Wolfriders do not exceed four and a half feet in height; four feet is the average.  You do not have to give an exact height in feet and inches, but at least give some indication of how your character measures up to others (i.e. taller than average).  As for build, is your elf muscular or scrawny?  Voluptuous or slender?  Lean or wiry?
Typical Clothing: What does your character wear?  You can get as descriptive as you like, or as vague as "pants and a shirt" and leave the details up to whatever artists may choose to draw your character.  Keep in mind that this is a warm climate, so heavy layers of thick clothing will not be condusive to your elf's comfort.  Also keep in mind that the primary material used for clothing is various animal skins dyed with whatever dyes can be taken from nature; jeans and t-shirts are not an option, and neither are bright neon green leather vests.
Color Scheme: What colors does your elf prefer to wear?
Jewelry/Decorations: Does he or she have any necklaces, bracelets, earrings, hair doohickeys, armband thingies, etc?  This tribe has had dealings with trolls, so jewelry doesn't have to consist merely of bits of dead animals.
Special Possessions: Can be anything that he or she would hold dear, for whatever reason.  Possibilities are skins from dead wolf-friends, jewelry given by mates, weapons that have remained with him or her for a long time, even his or her friendship with another character.  If your character has nothing special that he or she holds dear, please explain why.
Personal History: Any significant history goes here.  Elaborate, but within reason.  Include only events that have had an impact on your character, and only the outline of those events.  Details can be filled in by a story.  When filling this part in, please keep in mind that these elves have never seen humans before (with the sole exception of Kesna's single and brief encounter), and only have very old, vague tales of them.  Neither have they met Preservers, so your elf's history shouldn't detail how he watched his family killed by humans and was saved by Preserver webbing.  Please also keep in mind that these elves have had precious little contact with other elf tribes, and those were isolated incidents and strictly with individuals.  All new characters are from this tribe.  They can either have been there the entire time or have gone missing a while back and are now returning, though we'd like to keep the second option to a bare minimum.  This also means that in his or her travels, your elf cannot have met and lived with another tribe.  

Wolf-friend-  NOTE: This is a Wolfrider holt.  All bond animals must be wolves.  If you have enough in the way of privileges, we may allow your character to have a pet of some sort, but it will not be a true bond and it will happen rarely.
Name: Its name.  Adhere to the same guidelines as you did for naming your character, which means that yes, you will have to keep the names of existing characters and wolves in mind.
Age: These wolves carry a small amount of elf blood from the halfbreeds that bred the other way, which is why the elves can bond with them.  Because of the elf blood, they typically live longer than your average wolf, up to thirty or forty years, though injury and illness usually end life long before that.
Gender: Figure it out.
Appearance: What color is the wolf's coat?  Are there any odd markings?  Is the wolf short and fat, or tall and skinny?  Include any scars.
Personality: Is the wolf territorial and prone to fights, or laid-back and placid?  Keep in mind that personality often determines rank within a pack, so if your elf is bonded to the low wolf, that wolf will not be territorial and vicious, same as the pack leader will not be laid-back and slow to take offense.  Please include a rough estimation of where your elf's wolf is in the pack ranking, but keep in mind that there can't be two pack leaders, and most wolves will fall somewhere in the middle.

(This portion will not be posted on the website)
Your Name: First a must, last optional.  If you go by a nickname, you may use that in place of your given name.
Age with Birthdate: This is to make sure we're not allowing a bunch of small children to join.  Aside from wishing you a happy birthday when yours rolls around, we will not release this information to anyone.
Preferred E-mail address: This is necessary so that we can add you to the yahoo group.
Holt Involvement: What you plan to do to fulfill your participation requirement (art, stories, poetry, etc.).  Although the main focus is on RP, that is not all you have to do.  You will be expected to do something else as well; please list that form of involvement so we have some idea of what to expect from you and can better help you if you get stuck for ideas.

If after reading this you are still uncertain what we're looking for, take a gander at these:
Unacceptable Character #1
Unacceptable Character #2
These are not actual submitted character sheets.  However, every element of them pointed out as unacceptable has at one point shown up in a CIS submitted to this holt.  We are not making any of this up.  We are, however, presenting it all mooshed together into two characters for the ease of better demonstrating our standards.

"But," you might say, "there are CISs for established characters here on the website that don't follow all of these rules!"
"Yes there are," I would reply. "The reason for this is that nearly all of the characters here have been transplanted from at least two other holts of which I was a member.  I know the players and I know the characters and so I do not need long involved CISs from them which serve to show me that they are well thought-out characters who have depth - I know they are.  I know no such thing about you, good stranger, and so you have to prove yourself, same as they all proved themselves a long time ago."

NOTE: As soon as we receive an exceptional CIS, it'll be put up under the heading of acceptable character to further aid in clarifying what we're looking for in this holt.