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Adele LaFlamme - Sybal Heim by DizzyMountaineer Adele LaFlamme - Sybal Heim by DizzyMountaineer
Ta-dah! I am finally done-ish! I still might render the Sybal form out a bit nicer and check with my art history professor for accuracy, but here she is! The French cat lady in all her glory!

I stayed up three extra hours to finish but it was all worth it... so worth it. And hey, I was reading up on the history of French Impressionism so I suppose this count as studying for my art history classes as well.

To all the lovely mods, please forgive the endless cascade of verbiage that follows below. I know I kinda barfed the history of the 1870s French art scene all over it in way too much detail. Please feel free to not read all the history. (It's more than half of the word count.) *cringes* It kept getting longer and longer and I could not help myself...

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Name: Adèle LaFlamme

Nicknames: Le Mademoiselle (also the name of her atelier), "Paper Cat" at night (for obvious reasons)

Born: 1855 AD

Age: 35 (as of 1891)

Physical Age: 19 (Entered the city 1875)

Height: 5’ 0”

Hair: Light brown

Eyes: Blue gray

Associated Primary NPCs
Etienne Robespierre - Bookkeeper & Studio Custodian
Magalie - Apprentice
John Blunt - Mutual friend through Robespierre


Faction: Disciple
Adèle is happy to be in Sybal Heim, more or less. She’s grateful for the opportunity it’s given her to establish a thriving studio, and she appreciates the city’s richly complex cultural heritage. That being said, she considers France to be her motherland and has little in the spirit of Sybalian patriotism.

Adèle generally stays out of trouble and minds her own business. She is reluctant to get involved in conflict, but has been known to intervene if someone stronger is pushing a weaker person around. The petite Frenchwoman is surprisingly capable in a scuff. A few Disciples have suggested she join the Airavata, though Adèle quickly dismisses the notion whenever it arises. She prefers not to be under orders, and prefers to settle things with words over fists.

Though she rarely makes any real trouble, she has been known to stir up plenty of fuss, particularly at night when her wild symbol prances about the city, painting every thing in sight with gleeful anarchy.

Despite her unsanctioned artistic activities at night and her penchant for stubbornly independent opinions, Adèle is less a rebel than she is a maverick, a woman just trying to go her own way. With things as they are, she’s content to stay in Sybal Heim, and with no desire to overthrow the Organizer, her status as a Disciple is simply a matter of course.


Occupation: Studio painter by day, graffitist by night, Adèle is above all else, an artist.


Sybal Formle Chat Coloré de Nombreux Plis (The Colorful Cat of Many Folds)
Adèle’s Sybal form is a peculiar creature similar in size to a tiger, a cat-like being with a body made of living paper, similar to folded canvas. All flattened out, this sheet of living canvas would be about 20 feet square, though it’s usually folded up, similar to a piece of origami into a form that appears catlike. The cat-like form is the default shape she shifts into upon sunset, although she can unfold herself, shaping her limbs into wing like foils among other peculiar tricks.

Running through this flesh of living canvas are veins of paint, and with merely a thought Adèle can direct them close to the surface to form patterns across the surface of her body. 

Attached to one corner of the enormous paper like sheet that composes her body is a long thin appendage. This tail appears to be made of ebony wood but is extremely flexible and can bend nearly in half on itself without breaking.

This origami feline possesses no head. Instead, a floating mask serves as Adèle’s center of consciousness. The mask is emotive, and can change expression, and very often sports a broad Cheshire grin.


Sybal Power: Universal Paintbrush
The tip of Adèle Sybal tail ends prematurely in a metallic cap, the last two feet of it being composed of a semi-liquid substance that has no set form, and can be shaped and controlled by her at will. Usually, this tail tuft takes a form similar to the bristled end of a paintbrush, since that’s what she uses it for the most. When not actively formed into anything, it floats around weightlessly in a collection of colorful blobs.

Harnessing her inner reserves of paint and channeling them outward through an opening in the tip of her tail, Adèle uses her Sybal power to do the one thing she loves most, painting. Her Sybal’s cat-like form is incredibly agile and can reach just about any place in the city where a paintable surface exists. And if a paintable surface exists, chances are she’s painted it several times.

Most people have no complaint about her paintings, as the paint her body secretes naturally dissipates in a few weeks. Many consider it extremely flattering to receive an artistic gift from her. Some people, however, are quite against having their property painted on and will complain.

Besides the typical brush form, her tail tuft can take virtually any other form she can imagine, such as keys to pick locks or even an extra hand to grab objects. Since the blobby substance that composes her tail tuft is quite durable when solidified it makes an especially excellent shield. She can form one about the same size as a large buckler, but is limited by the small amount of strength her tail has to wield it. Adèle must focus to keep any shape she forms the tuft into solid, and should she become distracted or knocked out of focus, the tuft will liquefy once more. 


Docile or Feral: Circumstantial Feral
With her consciousness enmeshed in a Sybal that grants her unlimited freedom of artistic expression, it shouldn’t be surprising that Adèle can let her personality run away sometimes. Normally Sybal Adèle appears white and her mask a simple charcoal gray, but should artistic inspiration trigger her feral tendencies, veins of gold flush over her mask and the plain white color of her canvas body sprouts a bold pattern of brightly colored diamonds resembling the costume of the pantomime stock character the Harlequin. A manservant known for his agility and trickery, the Harlequin entertains audience with his skilled acrobatics, cheeky wit, and his ability to always stay one step ahead of his master’s plans. Such a clever trickster represents very well what occurs in Adèle’s mind during this loss of self-control and once in this mood. She looses nearly all inhibitions and will not stop for any reason until her work is complete.


Personality: Adèle is a woman with a dual-edged personality. Publicly, although a relative newcomer to the city, she is well recognized as one of the finest painters in Sybal Heim. Her studio Le Mademoiselle in Ambrotos is a hub of culture where she frequently entertains guests with lively conversation over coffee while she paints. She has a quick wit and keen sense of humor, making her studio a lively place to visit.

But though her persona in the studio as welcoming and open, she’s also fond of privacy and extends the same courtesy to others. Although some of the juiciest bits of gossip often pass through her studio, Adèle knows how to keep a secret and makes good on her policy of refusing to be a vector for rumors. Consequently, she’s a safe shoulder to cry on, and many of her patrons come by specifically for the company of someone they can bear their troubles to.

Although remarkably chatty with her patrons during her studio hours and generous and warm while sketching in the Zenith, she also has a private, mysterious side, and outside her studio hours, she is notably more withdrawn and far less inclined to make conversation than she is to be the studious silent observer, paying close attention while still distanced from the goings on around her.

Adèle moves frequently, changing residences and even districts regularly to keep her level of privacy, although the location of her studio is openly public. Privacy isn’t the only reason for moving so often. A constant change of scenery is good to keep the creative juices flowing, she swears. And a good way to meet people you otherwise might not and experience their culture, all of which is excellent fuel for impromptu impression paintings. 

Her studio has numerous French doors, supposedly to create a feel of openness for her clients and gallery-goers. They also serve the purpose of allowing her to slip in and out easily without being noticed. During the daytime, when she's not sitting still and painting, she moves about very quickly and is rather difficult to keep up with at anything less than the briskest of paces. At night, only the fastest, most agile Sybals can keep up with her.

Though fond of the city and thankful to be a part of it, 
Adèle often feels the need to escape the hubbub for something a bit more peaceful. On such occasions she often escapes to the city’s outskirts with an easel, canvas, and palette of oils to paint the scenery as evening falls. These quiet times away from the clamor of crowds give her a chance to think and clear her head.

While generally calm, Adèle does have quite the temper when rubbed the wrong way. She can’t stand cruelty, arrogance, thoughtlessness, or stupidity, so beware and behave around her or else prepare to be cut down to size in very colorful French. She’s also rather impatient with other people, and finds it difficult to keep her composure watching someone else struggle to do something she can easily accomplish. Consequently taking on an apprentice has been quite a challenge for her, because as Magalie learns to be a skilled painter, Adèle must also learn to be a skilled teacher.


History: Adèle was born in Bordeaux, France in the year 1855, the only child of her parents. Her father, a merchant vessel captain, was often away at sea. Whenever he returned from his voyages after several months, he would always have lively tales to tell and exotic gifts for his wife and daughter.

One such set of gifts, a Japanese woodblock print and a box containing a menagerie of origami animals, inspired in a five year old Adèle a love that would become a lifelong obsession with art. Adèle’s parents paid for her to take art lessons and soon the young girl was painting everything she could get her hands on.

Her father died of typhus when Adèle was 15, much to her sorrow. Without his income to support them, Adèle and her mother turned to their estranged relatives for assistance. Just two weeks following the funeral, they left Bordeaux and went to live with her mother’s well-to-do older sisters in Bourges.

Adèle’s aunts were rather critical of their sister having married down and the living arrangement was unpleasant. It became unbearable after they turned their criticism upon Adèle’s art. For a woman, pursuing painting as a hobby was all well and good, but Adèle wanted to pursue art as a career, a startling notion amongst acceptable society and something her aunts frowned upon so long as she remained under their roof.

Rather than cater to her aunts’ whims, and set aside her passion for the sake of propriety, Adèle struck out on her own to cut a path into the male dominated world of art. With the generous backing of a sympathetic family friend, she moved to Paris and secured a spare room in the home of an elderly widow in exchange for serving as the woman’s assistant and companion. There, at the age of seventeen, she enrolled in the Académie Julian, one of the only art schools in all of France accepting women as students.

Adèle studied hard and learned her craft expertly, impressing her teachers with her eye for the human form. She excelled in the classical techniques, until one day her landlady invited a rather peculiar guest over for dinner. A man by the name of Édouard Manet.

Over dinner, Manet discussed the artistic endeavors he and his circle of friends had taken up, a radical new way of painting that rejected the use of heavy blacks and smooth layering of paint for bright, vivid colors and palpable strokes. Just two years earlier, his colleague Claude Monet rocked the art world with his Impression, soleil levant, and from that painting, a new style of art was christened. Impressionism. Among it’s devotees were other nonconformists: Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Most recently joining their rebellion was a female painter by the name of Berthe Morisot, who had spurned her successful gallery career to throw her hat in the ring with the rejected visionaries.

Entranced by Manet’s descriptions of the Impressionists and their Société anonyme des artistes peintres, sculpteurs et graveurs (the Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers), an independent organization to enable them to display their radical works, Adèle pressed Manet to know more as the meal progressed. When her landlady explained that her young assistant was enrolled as a student of the arts, Manet, impressed with the girl’s spirit, invited her to come to an upcoming Impressionist gathering.

Taking up the company of the elder Impressionists, who tutored her in their artistic philosophy, Adèle began to truly thrive. Paris came alive to her, a city of vibrant and dynamic culture that begged to be painted in all its every day glory. Out and about instead of enclosed with the confines of the Académie, she discovered a world of beautiful things to paint, including the Parisian street cats, which roamed about at their leisure, happily sunning themselves in front of Adèle’s easel while she painted them.

Adèle kept her new style of painting from her professors, who would not condone such paintings that did not conform to the ideals of Realism. She continued her studies, although the time she spent painting Impressions did detract from her approved course of study, and managed to graduate, though not with as stellar of reviews as her teachers had hoped. Though thankful for the professional instruction the Académie had given her, she was thrilled to be on her own and free to paint as her Impressionistic whims dictated. And though her happiness was at it’s peak, Adèle soon found herself traversing the darkest days of her life. 

As was custom for French artists, now that she had graduate from Académie, it was time to start building towards the goal of obtaining her own atelier, a private studio. In order to gain a studio, she would need money. Money would come from selling paintings, and in order to sell paintings, she would need to have her work shown in galleries. Adèle submitted work to dozens of galleries all over Paris. Every single one was declined.

When her elderly landlady died, Adèle was forced to seek other employment and lodgings. Sticking to her newfound Impressionist ideals, she tried to make ends meet through her paintings but found few clients willing to purchase the works of an unknown female painter. With money dwindling, she was soon forced to chose between paying rent, buying paint, and eating.

The final blow came when her apartment was robbed while she was out desperately trying to submit a painting to yet another gallery. Dozens of finished canvases were stolen, along with what little money she had left. Her rent expired the next day, and unable to pay it, Adèle sadly packed up her few belongings, including the woodblock print and the box of paper animals, before being kicked out on the street.

Penniless and homeless, Adèle spent the rest of the day wandering the streets of Paris with her easel in one hand and carpetbag in the other, with no where to go and no friends but the street cats who tagged along at her heels.

As evening drew close, Adèle worried about where she would she would stay and how she would protect herself alone on the streets after dark. Fretful and anxious, she rounded a street corner to find a forest of ancient trees before her, without any explanation as to how they had appeared in the middle of Paris.

At the sight of the forest, her feline friends fled. Adèle, however, intrigued by the sudden appearance of the forest and the hauntingly beautiful evening light shining through the dense treetop canopy, wandered a ways into its shade, erected her easel, set up a canvas, loaded her palette with a selection of oils and began to paint en plein air.

While she was painting, a very tall man appeared from among the trees. He introduced himself to the young painter as Theo and tried to begin a conversation with her. Adèle, however, was less interested in what Theo had to say and more interested in adding him to her painting. Every other word Theo spoke she interjected, asking him to move, turn, lift his head, and hold still to make the best use of the light.

Growing tired of her interruptions, Theo reluctantly agreed to pose for her as long as she promised to listen to him when she finished. Adèle agreed, finished her painting, and happily invited Theo over to view her work.

As promised she listened without interruption as Theo explained that the forest she had entered lead to a city know as Sybal Heim, inhabited by people from all eras and cultures by day, and supernatural monsters by night.

A rational woman, Adèle found it hard not to scoff at the notion of an immortal city full on monsters in the middle of the forest. Nevertheless, the forest’s inexplicable appearance intrigued her and she followed Theo back to the city.

She was amazed to find that Theo’s words were true. Sybal Heim truly did exist and it proved more stunning and culturally diverse than even Paris itself. Adèle was soon disappointed to learn that she could not leave the city. Though she wished to stay, she sorrowed that her mother and her artist friends would never know what became of her and would fear she had fallen into harm.

Dealing with the knowledge she would never see her mother or the Impressionists again and learning to cope with her nightly transformations, Adèle slowly settled into life in Sybal Heim. Although her Sybal form took a good bit of getting used to, Adèle eventually adjusted, learning to make the most of her marvelously foldable form which she suspects was inspired by the paper animals from her childhood and her beloved feral cats. By studying her box of paper animals and reviewing her many pages of cat sketches, Adèle helped herself learn how to put her new form to it’s best use.

Her greatest frustration with her Sybal form was that although it was a work of art, without thumbs she was unable to hold a paintbrush and was consequently unable to create art herself. It came to the point that after several weeks in the city staying up all night with nothing to do she because so frustrated that she ran about aimlessly, leaping from rooftop to rooftop and not looking at all where she was going. Catching a paper paw on a loose roofing tile, she tripped and fell, sailing down towards the street below in the soft fluttery way that paper tends to fall. On the way down, a corner of one fold snagged or a drainpipe, producing a snarled tear in her paper skin.

From that wound, instead of blood, she bled colors, colors as rich as the oils that coated her canvases. Struck with inspiration, her form flushed with brilliant colors and paint flowed freely from her tail. She rushed about enthusiastically painting everything in sight. With her new body giving her matchless agility, the entire city became her canvas, which she painted with both flair and verve.

Her “public art,” however, made quite the stir however when a few curmudgeonly citizens criticized it as “defacement” of property both public and private. It would take much more than that to dissuade Adèle from painting, however. Since her paints were a natural product of her Sybal and washed away after a few weeks or just one good rainstorm, leaving the architecture beneath undamaged, it would be a fantastic leap of legal logic for any Sybalian lawyer to charge her with defacement of property.

The city police, exasperated by the frequent and loudly voiced complaints of the disgruntled few, would drop by her favorite sketching spot in the Zenith and begging her to stop if for no other reason then to spare the a moment’s peace. Despite the opposition, though, Adèle continued to leap about the city after dark, spreading paint, beauty, and anarchy with every stroke of her tail and leaving a trail of gorgeous graffiti behind in wake. 

Meanwhile, she also started to thrive as an artist in the daylight hours as well. Adèle’s painting of Theo caught the eye of Minister Tristine, who offered to buy the portrait for a considerable sum. The portrait was framed and hung outside the Minister’s office where it was soon seen by many others in the city. It was the first taste Sybal Heim had ever had of French Impressionism, and the people were quite taken with it. Adèle soon had orders for more paintings and portraits than she could finish.

Slowly, as her popularity as an artist grew during the day, the voices of the naysayers were drowned up by the accolades of connoisseurs enchanted with the city’s new up and coming artist. 

With the money earned, she started her own atelier in this new city of vibrant culture which she christened Le Mademoiselle, and has continued to thrive in Sybal Heim since. In the past year, in the interest of teaching her craft to someone else, Adèle acquired a French Ghanaian apprentice named Magalie who now helps her run her the studio while learning the art of oil painting.


Additional Info:

    Adele works in Ambrotos but has lived in every district multiple times. Currently (1891-1893) she resides in Seele where she shares an apartment with her apprentice.

    Adèle is well known for her elaborate graffiti, which can appear in just about any place throughout the city thanks to her Sybal’s agility. The vast majority of her nighttime works are surreal in nature, juxtapositions of color and shape that resemble distorted versions of reality, but she has been known to paint more realistic scenery and figures on occasion, usually when her Sybal is still colorless.

    Adèle’s studio, Les Mademoiselle is in the riverside neighborhood of the Ambrotos district. It’s on the Kardia facing side of the river, street address 13 Rue de Roses, a convenient location that’s only a short walk away from the Zenith in Kardia where she often spends her afternoons sketching or painting. 

    While she lived in France, Adèle was very fond of cats. Nearly a dozen Parisian street cats came by her apartment daily to be fed and petted. She greatly misses her feline friends, which is likely the reason her Sybal form usually resembles a cat. Instead of signing her paintings, she hides a cat in every one of them as her personal mark.

    Being made of foldable paper has quite a few advantages. A pleat here, a tuck there, and my goodness, are those wings? When the temperature plummets, you can use a little piece of yourself as a scarf, too. Not to mention your friends may opt to unfold you and use you as an umbrella in the event of a downpour…

    Adèle has a strong generous streak, and has been known to give away portraits for free on a whim and frequently donates the proceeds of some of her paintings to good causes.

    Having no sons to pass his knowledge on to, Adèle’s father taught her the French martial art of Savate from a young age, a fighting style developed by French sailors which employs elegant high-kicks and open handed slaps. She’s proficient in it enough to crack a few skulls if she wants to, but mostly practices it by herself or with her apprentice as a form of exercise.

    Adèle still misses her homeland of France, the farms and wild life of the French countryside, and especially her mother. These were the first things she painted upon arriving in the city and she paints them often, hoping that by painting the things she loves, they will remain in her memory. Her original portrait from memory of her mother hangs in the center of her studio, a reminder of the life she left behind.

    Adèle is very particular about the colors she uses in her work. The vendors who supply the pigments she uses to mix her paints are very careful to take down her orders just right. There was an incident once, and only once, that has them all much too scared to make another mistake. Prussian blue is not the same thing as Persian blue. Get them wrong and deliver them late the day before Mademoiselle LaFlamme is to bring a painting to Kardia ordered by the Organizer himself, and a petite French woman shrieking at the top of her lungs will grab you by the ear and drag you through the streets to the Minister’s Estate faster than you can say parlez-vous français.

    Although thoroughly French, Adèle gets along best with those who share her sense of moral values whether or not they share her heritage. Anyone who behaves like self-centered hedonist is the bane of her existence. Not that Adèle has a problem with hedonism. As an artist, her craft is very much devoted to pleasure and the senses. She merely considers herself an altruistic hedonist, her paintings made to be appreciated by everyone, and despises those whose hedonistic focus is primarily selfish.

    Being French, Adèle appreciates a good glass of wine, but only a sip or two. It wouldn’t take much to render the petite painter inebriated and Adèle is unwilling to be incapacitated, valuing the virtue of a clear mind. She does, however drink coffee religiously, and there is always a fresh pot brewing in Le Mademoiselle so long as the studio is open.

    Although a Disciple herself, Adèle’s sympathizes with the Insurgent’s complaints. Her apprentice Magalie is also an Insurgent. This puts Adèle in a very difficult spot. While she prefers to remain as far away from conflict as possible, she also feels responsible for Magalie’s safety and thus finds herself frequently lying for and excusing her apprentice’s actions to protect her from getting caught.

Adèle's character submission is my idea baby, but :iconsybal-heim: is the brainchild of Turtle-Arts 
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:iconamazie-star:
Amazie-Star Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Awww... A faithful confidant with the soul of an artist. That's beautiful! ^^ Congrats on getting in: I can't wait to see how she adds her colors to the city! (Pun intended, as it were. Tehe!)
Reply
:iconsweven7:
Sweven7 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2016
I really like this sybal, it's probably my current favorite, and I love the storyline from where she entered the forest.Love Love 
Reply
:iconeldr-fire:
Eldr-Fire Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I loved reading about her! Her Sybal form and power are so cool. I also love how she painted Theo when she entered the forest. Very cool character to read about, introducing Impressionism to Sybal Heim! :)
Reply
:iconknight-of-god:
Knight-Of-God Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is very awesome! Her sybal is fascinating, I like her a lot. :meow:
Reply
:iconsachiia:
SachiiA Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow I love her so much!!
The Sybal Form and power are very creative and I love that mysterious side of her!!! I hope you get in! :love:
Reply
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