kingsroads: (oh my god this is gonna suck)
Jonathan Strange ([personal profile] kingsroads) wrote2017-03-25 02:40 pm

mask or menace app

NAME: Kates
AGE: 24!
JOURNAL: [personal profile] kates
PLURK: allikateor
RETURNING: yup! I play the Doctor

CHARACTER NAME: Jonathan Strange
CHARACTER AGE: 30something
SERIES: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (BBC miniseries)
CHRONOLOGY: post episode 5
CLASS: hero!
HOUSING: shove him anywhere

BACKGROUND: Hot damn, it's a wiki. This is a book wiki link, but the television series is a relatively straightforward adaptation of the book. The most notable difference between book and television is that Strange is a much better husband to Arabella in the miniseries.

PERSONALITY: Jonathan Strange declares himself a magician after doing one spell & being told that he's a magician by a man found under a hedge. So basically, he's pretty darn arrogant. Strange is proud of his magical achievements, sometimes showing off and being dramatic for the sake of showing off and being dramatic. And hoo boy does he think he's hot shit. After a few months of studying with Norrell, Strange is berating Norrell for not focusing on the role of fairies in English magic, condemning his ideas. Strange doesn't seem to acknowledge limits. He'll do dangerous magic that nobody else has done with the full confidence that he'll master it perfectly and nothing bad will happen. He doesn't really know what to do when confronted with those limits. Noticeably, Strange spends a good week or so trying to raise his wife from the dead before he actually accepts the fact that it just won't happen.

He's got mixed feelings about authority. On the one hand, he routinely questions Norrell even when he's just starting in his studies, especially on subjects that Norrell glosses over but Strange thinks important and/or vital. (Strange views this as the prerogative of a pupil, Norrell views this as a deliberate attack on English magic.) But on the other hand, he's perfectly willing to follow Wellington's orders in a wartime situation. No matter what, though, Strange is desperately seeking recognition. Whether from his father, from the army, or from Gilbert Norrell, Strange wants people to think that he's important, or at least competent. When he first goes with the army, he's exceedingly over-eager, trying to show his use to Wellington without really thinking through the suggestions he makes. Later, once he's won the respect of the foot soldiers, Strange seems downright grateful as they salute him.

Strange is exceedingly impatient & impulsive. He always thinks with his gut, doing irrational things (such as breaking into Norrell's house) that are downright stupid but make sense at the time. His impatient nature can translate a bit into scatter-brainedness. After visiting the King's Roads for the first time, Strange is so impressed and so drawn into that realm that...he straight up forgets to tell his wife & friends where he is, vanishing for several hours in the process.

This impulsive and impatient nature ties into Strange's firm belief in desperate times calling for desperate measures. While Norrell is dead-set on keeping English magic respectable, Strange has no compunctions delving into blood magic or black magic in order to get what he wants or accomplish his goal. That doesn't mean he likes what he does. Strange is visibly shaken when he raises three dead Neapolitan soldiers, praying as he brings them back to life and drinking himself into a small haze when he can't actually kill them. Strange is overall less interested in the 'respectable' and more interested in the esoteric. A book about the Raven King is his favorite book, and he keeps bringing him up in conversation with Norrell. He is 100% up for going back to the old ways, exploring old magic and summoning fairies to try and solve a problem. He's interested in the mysterious and not understood simply because it is mysterious and not simply understood. It's not safe in the slightest, but who gives a damn! It's interesting!

Fighting in the war affected Strange more than he realized. Physically, his hand trembles occasionally. Mentally, it's a whole other story. He occasionally finds himself lost in memories about the war, slipping into something slightly akin to PTSD. That being said, he doesn't mind fighting--if requested to by government, he'd probably do it. He takes pride in being the Duke of Wellington's magician and regularly hangs out with his army buddies outside of a war scenario. But hoo boy will he downright hate fighting the entire time. When asked by Wellington if he could kill someone, Strange replies, "I suppose a magician might, but a gentleman won't." He's got a BIG thing against killing and doesn't want to be the cause of anybody physically suffering. Even in times of war, he tries to keep up a gentleman attitude and tries to keep up the notions of respectability that he and Norrell are trying to promote with regards to English magic.

Despite the fact that he's impulsive and arrogant and can be a bit of a jerkass, one of the people he's routinely kind to is his wife, Arabella. The two are happily married and he really does love her, even if he forgets to show it occasionally. He constantly thinks of her and wants to make her happy, to the extent that Strange's willing to give up practical magic at her request. When Arabella goes missing, Strange instantly devotes his time and effort to finding out where she is and making sure he brings her home safe. When she dies...well, that's the start of his descent into madness. At this point in canon, he's not entirely depressed per se, but is certainly a bit more morose and disheartened at her (supposed) death.

MAGIC: fair warning in advance, this part is gonna suuuuuck, mostly because Strange is relatively OP. At this point in canon, he's got ALL sorts of magical skills that are frankly a bit ridiculous. While he does have a ridiculous amount of innate magical talent, it's also honed through actual work and studying books about magic. Strange's magic is a mixture of combinations of already written down English spells, him making up and improvising his own shit, and occasionally blood magic. Appearance wise, his spells are a lot more physical, flashy, and flamboyant than Norrell's more subdued method of using magic. Strange definitely can do more than what we've seen him do in canon, but I'm listing what we've seen him do in canon mostly as an example of the sort of magic he does.

Also, symbolism: there is a lot of symbolic nonsense. Strange makes horses made out of sand out of a particular patch of sand named Horse Sand (the sand horses are then used to push upright a boat that had run aground). Likewise, his spell to retrieve the King of England from wherever a fairy summoned him to involves familiar objects: the king's slipper and music from the harpsichord the king is playing. Finally, the big 'bring back the Raven King (big fancy magician from a couple hundred years ago)' spell that Strange and Norrell (his former mentor and ex-friend turned friend again) perform at the end of the series involves fruit from trees descended from those the Raven King planted and the river from the Raven King's hand. It's a good bet that if Strange is doing any sort of mad complicated magic, he'll need something symbolic in there.

The more precise when naming something in magic, the better. Twice in series two spells have gone slightly off target because nicknames or descriptions were used instead of actual names. For example, a spell cast on Strange was targeted at "the English magician", so Norrell ends up dragged into it as well.

- MANIPULATION: A lot of Strange's spells are manipulating something to doing something else: turning sand into horses of sand to upright a boat, creating flat roads from the terrain for soldiers to easily march on, sending water up from a well to put out a nearby fire, enchanting vines to pick up and toss people, creating a giant hand out of mud, etc.

Most of these spells require incantations and concentration. In a battle situation, Strange is only able to cast one 'make something do something else' spell at a time: he can't help keep soldiers from entering a gate because he's too busy enchanting the vines to pick up people. Occasionally he can instinctively use this magic: he instinctively created a giant hand out of mud to hold a soldier that was about to kill him. The magic requires him to be physically touching whatever he's manipulating or to be as near to them as possible.

A lot of the spells he casts are mid-sized magic. For instance, when Strange enchants vines to stop soldiers who were trying to climb up a wall, he's only able to enchant a small section of vines on the wall which grab four or so soldiers. When he tries to do a big spell (move an entire forest), it fails miserably. That failure of a spell to move a forest is important because in casting that, Strange mentions that he's got to magically 'talk to the trees' in order to make it work. This sort of 'asking nature politely if it would participate in the spell' happens in-series with major spells (moving a forest, summoning the Raven King) so who the hell knows if it works with smaller spells.

Needless to say, all this is a long way of saying that Strange could probably flood a house but certainly couldn't flood a city and he would be pretty good with magic that involves nature or the elements but absolutely rubbish with magic that involves any sort of modern technology. Don't ask him to enchant your toaster, it probably won't work.
- WEATHER: Strange can create mist as well as rain.
- SPYING: He can cast location spells to scry and see where someone is or what they are doing. These spells usually use water and a basin, but sometimes they can use other surfaces. This can be a specific person (ex: Arabella) or someone more general (ex: my enemy). Noticeably, the scrying spells only work in the realm someone is currently in. When Arabella is taken to Faerie, Strange is unable to find her with a scrying spell.
- REFLECTIVE MAGIC: Strange can travel from place to place via reflective surfaces. His traveling involves magically entering something called the King's Roads, which is a realm built by the Raven King, hidden behind the mirrors of England. Strange says the incantation, touches the mirror, and sort of vanishes into the mirror. Likewise, when he comes out of a mirror, he just sort of magically pops out of it, keeping the mirror remaining whole.

The kings roads has funky architecture and consists of literal roads: Strange has to walk from one place to another. The kings roads is hidden behind all the mirrors of England, though we only see Strange travel through larger sized ones. Strange can also travel via puddle, sort of magically vanishing from the room once he says the proper incantation and steps in said puddle--it's unknown if puddle travel is via the Kings Roads or not, but I think it's a reasonable assumption to say that it is.

Of course, the Kings Roads don't really EXIST ingame but I'd like to keep the traveling aspect of his magic because he's an idiot who would probably use it to get himself in trouble (though I am perfectly fine with nerfing it entirely if need be). Since the kings roads don't exist in this universe, if the traveling through reflections aspect of the mirrors is kept, Strange would feel tired/sore to the proportional amount of the distance he traveled--if he traveled two miles, it'd feel like he walked two miles. So like, he couldn't just fuck off to Russia, and it would be a lot easier for him to travel with mirrors to the next block over compared to the next town over.

Also, he summoned the King of England through a mirror and swapped a book with it's reflection in a mirror, leaving the reflection of the book out in the real world while the physical book remains in the mirror. The reflection is intangible and I guess the actual book is hanging out in the king's roads or something. Really, we just see it happen like once and that spell is NEVER USED AGAIN.
- SUMMONING: Strange summoned the ghost of Maria Absalom, a dead magician, who appeared to him in a dream. Likewise, though he doesn't know it at this point in canon, Strange successfully managed to summon the gentleman with the thistle-down hair, a powerful fairy from his world. The problem here is, the gentleman cloaked himself with magic so Strange couldn't tell he summoned him in the first place. As far as Strange is concerned, he can't do this.

- MAGICAL PERCEPTION: Strange is able to tell when Childermass (a magician) cloaks himself in shadow via magic, when John Segundus (a different magician) magically enters his dream, and he can slightly hear the gentleman with the thistle-down hair talk while the fairy magically cloaks himself from his sight. Other characters in the series are a lot better at perceiving magic than he is. For instance, there is no sign that Strange recognizes the enchantment that Lady Pole has been placed under, while John Segundus does. Also, Childermass manages to recognize faerie magic RIGHT off the bat, while Strange spends part of episode 5 under an enchantment that he's got no clue about.

- ILLUSION MAGIC: He knows a spell of revelation and another of disillusionment as he combines those spells to make his 'travel through the mirror' spell work in the first place. We don't see what these do, he just mentions to Childermass that he can do them. I imagine they're pretty basic 'see through illusions' sort of spells but again! Who knows! Thanks canon!
- NECROMANCY: Here's the one that's definitely going to get nerfed, Strange raised the dead. He brought three Neapolitan soldiers back to life. Unfortunately, they were brought back in the condition they died in (rotting!), they were brought back via blood magic (that's bad shit!), they were brought back directly from hell (not good!) and Strange couldn't find a way to actually dispatch them back to hell (fire ended up being the way.) Thankfully for all involved, that experience traumatized Strange so much that NOPE, WE'RE NOT BRINGING PEOPLE BACK VIA BLOOD MAGIC, NO THANKS BUDDY.
SO NOW LET'S TALK ABOUT NERFING because what the fuck Jonathan Strange, this is ridiculous. At this point in canon, we haven't seen him do extreme levels of magic but, considering that the last episode has him & Norrell shoving the entirety of English magic into a butler, he's certainly got potential to be powerful. As a brief note, I'm totally up for further power reductions/clarifications because goddamn is this section ridiculous. Bringing people back from the dead is right out. The offensive capabilities of his magic are limited to destroying/manipulating one city block or less. Any weather magic will be in a localized area, likewise of that city block radius. Traveling will go directly from mirror to mirror, cutting out the King's Roads entirely, as it's canon specific. Noticeably, Strange doesn't have any defensive magic (he is a GENTLEMAN, tyvm) and doesn't show signs of any healing magic, so I don't have to worry about that part.

As for scrying, I'll put up a permission post for something like "can Strange creep on your character to find out where they are" for the probable invasive aspects of his power. I imagine summoning is mostly out as there aren't that many faerie or ghost characters ingame, but I'll definitely put it on the permission post so in case we do end up getting like, Oberon or something, the player & I can plot it out there.