|Name||Tessala Elspeth Kent||Nature||Loner||Tribe/Type Kin to||Mokole|
|Chronicle||New Orleans by Night||Location||Avondale (Lake Cataouatche)||Avatar (picture)||Nicola Benedetti|
|Backgrounds||Other Traits||Gifts / Virtues / Resonance / Etc.|
|Pure Breed||Lore (shifter)||None|
Applied November 13, 2014
Approved December 7, 2014
|In a small community on the shores of Lake Catouatchie
near New Orleans, gossip reveals a few things about a new resident.
“She was third chair violin with the New York Philharmonic.”
“Well, she should, Julliard-trained as she is.”
“I heard that she burned out.”
“Well, I heard that there was a man involved.”
“I’m not one to pass things on, but...”
“Her mother Candace—and that one was no better than she had to be—and her latest husband died just 18 months ago. Flying in the Alps...”
“No, no, it was in northern Italy.”
“Well, she never even cared for little Tessala anyway, only what the poor mite could get her.”
“Poor girl, being raised by such a one. But old Tess couldn’t win against that one to get her poor Zachary’s little girl after he passed.”
“At least the girl has the sense to come to her people when her grandmother left her the house.”
“That rambling old pile!”
“Oh, it’s not so bad. Tess had been talking about having things fixed up...”
“Talking and doing are different things, and you know well, Rachelle Thibodaux.”
As for me, I hear the gossip, but don’t contribute my two cents, even though I’m the subject, the “poor mite.” Most of it’s kind, and the substance is generally correct anyway. Candace Jessica Harris Kent Tarcher Lancel Valensky Cipriani was decidedly not a doting mother.
And Grand-mère Tess was indeed starting to fix up the grand old pile she’d left me. She, fortunately, left an account to take care of the rest of the repairs.
What has concerned me more are the diaries. Both Grand-mère Tess’ and those of a slave known only as Magdala, the one Grand-mère Tess’ middle name and thus by extension I, are named after. Teresa Magdala... She became Tess early on. Dad just mashed them together and made it Tessala for me, and gave me his grandmother’s name as my middle name.
The Diaries, as I’ve come to call them, were in a cedar chest in the attic, carefully packed, along with a family Bible. A letter in Grand-mère Tess’ desk ensured that I found them.
Reading them has given me an education.
Grand-mère Tess’ father, Luc Brasseaux, had found that his father was not the son of Marie-Frederique Coudert Brasseaux, though he was raised as such, and was the natural son of her husband, Louis Brasseaux. Luc was approached by an old mulatto slave and given diaries. Thus the family Bible with The Diaries was not the one that had doubtless been in the family for centuries, but one that started with Louis Brasseaux and Magdala with the birth date of 1825 for Louis and an estimated birth year of 1847 for Magdala.
Subsequent generations are recorded as
Jean-Louis Brasseaux (b. 1864, d. 1902) married Charlotte Sealy (b. 1864, d. 1924)
Luc Brasseaux (b. 1892, d. 1935) married Elspeth Goddard (b. 1894, d. 1946)
Theresa Magdala Brasseaux (b. 1916, -) married Winthrop Zachary Kent (b. 1916, d. 1953)
Thomas Zachary Kent (b. 1948, d. 1986) married Candace Jessica Harris (b. 1962, d. 2012)
Tessala Elspeth Kent (b. 1987, -)
The Diaries have also given me another family secret. Magdala’s brother, Elkanah, was a mokole, a man who could turn to a lizard. Unlike many slaves, who were either Christians or followed voudoun or another religion brought over by their ancestors from Africa, Elkanah and Magdala worshipped Gaia, an earth goddess. The Mokole were known as “Gaia’s Memory.”
Magdala had asked a priestess of sorts, one she called a “Dreamspeaker” to place a curse on her descendants, that unless they mated with a full mokole, they would only produce kin. So apparently, I am Mokole kin.
Magdala, and in turn, Grand-mère, had done research and had set down what they knew about other types of men and women who changed to animals, including ravens, snakes, and wolves. Grand-mère had even written down rumours of sharks! She said that there were supposed to be a few types of cats, too, and that maybe something to do with them was what made all the cats in New Orleans go crazy last year.
I’m still learning what it is to be kin to the mokole. I know so little. But if there is anywhere that the mokole might be, the swamps of Louisiana would probably be one of the first places I’d check.