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Audra Leonora Lilienthal


Ship: Neo Dulcimer

Title: Mechanic, Engineer

Age: 23, 24...she's not really sure which

Race: Human

Homeworld: Avion

Hometown: Kareburs (reminiscent of a German town)

Date of Birth: September 26, 1792




Personality

Curious and inquisitive. Has a tendency to get herself in trouble by investigating something she shouldn't, but will back off when asked to. Things that click or make any mechanic sounds peak her curiosity the most. Enjoys analyzing things. Because of the four years traveling by herself, she's a little wary of people's intentions at first, but will eventually warm up when shown a kindness or fed something. Once assured of a person's truthfulness, Audra will be a fierce defender. She's typically found between the walls of the ship working on repairs or else in her workshop, designing or building some random device, but either way, a little grease-smudged. Clothing wise, she'll usually be in an under-tank (with chest-binding) and slacks only while working; she has to be reminded to put on shoes and a shirt before heading out for a mission. She will dress feminine on occasion, but usually with some persuasion. Rather relaxed speech pattern, but will speak like a high-born when needed.

Biography

Audra Lilienthal was the only child of renowned mechanic and tinkerer Gustav Phineas {C}Lilienthal and his late wife Nicholetta, his former assistant. When Audra was three, she and her mother were injured in an accident involving one of Nicholetta's more ambitious designs. While the child was relatively unharmed (some damage to her left hand and various cuts and bruises), Nicholetta died hours later in the hospital from internal bleeding. His wife's death rocked Gustav to the core, and his business began to fall to the wayside. His apprentice William, as well as William's lady-friend Katherine and his brother Erik, helped the Lilienthals pull their life back together and business was successful again. William and Erik joined Gustav in the workshop, and Katherine took over the household and caring for Audra as a big sister.

As Audra had grown up with the workshop as her playroom, no one was greatly surprised when she was found with her late mother's clockwork doll in pieces on her lap. The child, eight at the time, insisted that she just wanted to know how the 'clicking' worked. Her father started her mechanics training on pocket watches and clockwork toys, teaching her the basics of tinkering and mechanics. Again, few were surprised (mostly the school mistresses) when, on her 14th birthday, Audra announced that she no longer wished to attend school of the mind (and feminine repression) and wished to apprentice herself to her father and his trade. And so, for five years, Gustav had three capable apprentices, two strong young men who could work the heavy machinery jobs, and a small girl who could spot and fix the most minute gear jams. However, after hearing her announcement, Katherine (now married to William for 3 years) bargained with Audra to at least continue lessons in mathematics and sewing. She agreed and took on the duties of office manager and "shop girl" in addition to working in her father's workshop.

A few bad habits she picked up during her apprenticeship was only wearing slacks and under-tank (with chest-binding), due to her father and the boys' influence. Shoes are also optional in the back-shop, unless big machines were being worked on. Occasionally, when she was being "shop girl", Audra would dress feminine, wearing light-weight shirts with an under corset or harness, but always pants. Her speech pattern also broke down to a very simple, "short-cut" way of speaking, but she will revert to her learned speaking behaviors when needed. She also doesn't write in a typical script; instead, she, her father, and William and Erik write in something called Tinker's Script, developed by her grandfather, as a way of keeping designs and notes secret.

As his daughter neared 19 years of age, Gustav began to worry about the increasing rumors of the Order and their...recruitment of bright young minds. His boys, he knew, could handle themselves if the situation arose, but his Audra, he knew she could take care of herself but she was still sheltered when compared to the boys. When the rumors became whispers of truth, Gustav pleaded with Audra to leave their home and go into hiding, for her own safety. With as many times as she had slipped away from him growing up, he had no worries about her being able to get away. When she finally consented to go, taking only her toolkit, some clothing, and her mother's treasured doll, it was with much pain. Gustav convinced the town records to be changed, saying that Audra too had been killed in the accident that had killed her mother, and had all other records of her life destroyed.

Against his wishes, Audra continued to use her surname out of pride and respect for what her father had to do, though she has used various aliases when she feared her name may be recognized. For four years (she thinks...it's been hard to keep track of time), she has snuck onto ships as a stowaway to keep ahead of the Order. When in a port, she hires herself out as a mechanic to earn money for ship travel and food (and a room occasionally).

In the port of Rystin, Audra was going about her usual business, having just finished a {C}repair on a widow's generator-engine, when she came across a gathering in the town square. Edging closer to the group to hear the speaker, she realized it was a missionary from the Order, proclaiming the superiority of the works and protection of the Order. Glancing through the crowd, she saw that some were awed, some confused, a hand full obviously not listening, but on the very edge of the group, she spotted three people who looked positively angered at the words. Later she was to find out these three were Captain Lazuli Delacru, Luthiem Hargreaves, and Dr Thaddeus Vale. While she watched the three, a shot rang out through the crowd, calling her back as the missionary ducked, his guards jumping into the crowd to subdue the gunman. As the crowd swelled and broke, Audra slipped towards the row of grounded airships, looking for the one most ready to leave. She found a likely ship and snuck on board, hiding herself inside the air vents where she was rarely found.

Unfortunately, she didn't count on finding the one ship inhabited by ghosts, and after coming face-to-face with one, her scream drew the attention of the Neo Dulcimer crew. After explaining how she got on board, Audra defaulted to asking to stay on as a mechanic. Captain Delacru agreed, and Audra got to work on the airship, never really unpacking so as to be ready to leave when asked. After passing the third port and not being asked to leave by the captain, as she usually was, Audra decided to not bring up the issue again and has been the mechanic for the Neo Dulcimer since.

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© Airship Isabella 2012

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