Still scribbling my silly little character studies! (Standard disclaimer: very very loosely based on people at work, and not intended to be a comment on anyone at all!)
He was not the maniacal-laughter type, but it was generally agreed that amongst the Evil Villains of the world, he was ranked pretty high. He was extremely good at his job; knew when to put a finger on the scales to tip the balance, and when to give a subordinate enough length to make their own bad calls. The clear eyes would look at you and judge you useful, or not; but that simply allowed him to use or discard resources for the project’s best interests. And the chastisement for failure was never extreme; but it left the subject with a pit in their soul, a chip on their spine, and the feeling that they had somehow failed beyond any measure of redemption.
He is always cold; his elegant bones hidden under sweaters and scarves, long fingers wrapped in woollen gloves. He drinks his tea steaming-hot, bringing a brief flush to sallow cheeks.
“Your wind is chill,” he says, even though the air is still today. “And it sings with strange voices.”
He was a Knight of the old school; he wore his sword on his hip and a smile on his face, ever-polite and ever-vigilant. He often came in with bruises, and spoke of his endless fighting practise; his daughters were being brought up in the old tradition, and he would grumble about their results on his limbs. But his horse was a roaring dragon; his skill with a pen as swift as that with his sword; and his smile brightened every conversation, despite his increasing scars.
“As old as the sea!” he says unexpectedly over a jar of potion in the kitchen.
“As old as the stars,” as we’re wrangling an imp back into a box.
“As old as the stones,” is his comment when the HR manager corners him to update her files, a folder floating at her fingertips expectantly.
“So how old are you?” I ask curiously as we’re taking a break from a piece of spellwork knotted beyond all recognition.
“Well, put it this way.” He scratches his head. “If I live this long again, I might stand a chance of seeing those builders finish my bloody conservatory.”
He stomps around, shaking the floor and rattling pens across desks; he doesn’t take up much space, but his small frame seems to carry twice as much weight as one would expect for his size. His emotions, too, are heavier; he can crack his craggy facade into a smile if you amuse him, but more often it is scored into the deep lines of a frown, settling down into the rocky crags of grumpiness with the ease of an eons-old fault line.
“OhmySTARS your DRESS!”
“It’s great, isn’t it? It has pockets! Custom portable mini dimensions, I can fit two elephants and still have room for my crossbow!”
“And aren’t those KillSheathe Sparklies? They look amazing! Have you tested them?”
“Only on watermelons, but I can split one with a single kick!” She twirls to show off the heels with their metallic stripes and glittering edges, and brushes a lock of blonde hair back into its twisted knot on her head, pinned with something that looks suspiciously like a narrow dagger.
“I didn’t know footwear could be weaponry,” one of the younger designers says, bewildered.
The tiny pixie spins with a happy smile, her dress swirling out despite the multiple items apparently residing in the pockets. “Anything can be weaponry! It’s getting it in fashion that’s the hard part.”