Flight of the Ravens
Wearer of the Shroud Mask
Dark-haired, pale-eyed Delilah is usually decked head to toe in Victorian mourning clothes, high collared and long skirted. This effectively hides anything of her shape other than what the bell of such a dress accentuates. She’s a somber seeming creature at casual glance: skin paled both with artificial powder, and naturally by her lack of time in sunlight. She oft drifts the streets of London, face veiled under a black-feathered hat, using her mourning camouflage to observe people and how they interact.
Lilah, as she asks her friends to address her, is much more than just a depressing shadow, though. She is quick-witted, sometimes sharp-tongued, and has a ribald sense of humor once it’s riled. She speaks with a Cockney twinge of accent, but is fairly educated for such an upbringing- she reads and writes on a high level, and seems to have more than passing knowledge of society behavior.
Lilah started life as upper-middle-crust. Yes, really.
Miss Deliah Katherine Cliffhagen. Aspired to be a private tutor in her early years, though that didn’t go as planned, no, not at all. Always a little too crazy for the family. Always saw things. Heard things. Talked to shades that nobody else saw, just like Uncle Ellis. Except Uncle Ellis was in Bedlam, for as long as she could remember. When she insisted too hard that the things she talked to were real…father would warn her that she was talking crazy, and madness ran in mama’s family, so she’d best guard herself. Talk like that could land one in Bedlam.
Lilah tried to comply and not talk about The Shades. But they saw her. Talked to her. Asked her to go do things, tell people messages. It was never something she could ignore, they seemed so desperately hopeful, and so much relieved when she would do their errands. Maybe Uncle wasn’t so mad after all. When their maid’s son was killed in a riding accident, it was natural that Lilah left flowers at the gravesite. They’d always been friends, grew up like a pair of odd, vaguely depressing siblings. When her father found out she was carrying messages back and forth to Miss Emma, the boy’s mum, Lilah overheard him talking to Mother about calling in a Doctor to ‘fix’ her.
That was enough. With the money she could scrounge, and the jewelery she could lift out of her parents’ dresser, she vanished into the shadows, guided by the only people she had come to trust: the dead.
Since, Lilah has done many jobs, but eventually landed gently working in the dark of night for her great-uncle – Ellis’s father, in his funeral business. Their arrangement gave Lilah a place to be, and gave him much needed help in the family business. It also let both of them keep some of their better-guarded secrets, so for now, it works.