Carolina Vox Character in Dark Londinium | World Anvil
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Carolina Vox

Miss Carolina Arundel

The megacity of Londinium is divided in to the bio-dome covered region, known as "The City", and its five bio-domed districts, "Guildford", "Tonbridge", "Reading", "The Thames Valley", and "St. Albans". Outside of these regions lie the areas known as "Dark Londinium", slum settlements full of the survivors of "The Last Great War", who eke out a living in the polluted lands under the watchful eye of their neighbouring bio-domed districts.   Travel between the districts or their outlying regions is exceptionally limited, and as such, Carolina Arundel, who performs as Carolina Vox, is unique amongst musicians for regularly travelling between the districts as well as occasionally performing within The City. Unlike many musicians Carolina does not shun the outlying areas of Dark Londinium and has been known to perform concerts in venues outside of the bio-domes.   Her shows run for multiple nights in special venues known as "Audioniums". Her genre is an Operatic Dark Techno mix, but this is only part of her appeal. Audioniums use a combination of music, visual displays, and drug-laced vapours to create a unique sensory experience for audience members. In addition to her music Carolina also manages these aspects of her shows.   These experiences excite, titillate and occasionally push the boundaries of what is acceptable within the socially conservative bio-domed districts. Her popularity, and family connections allow society's upper classes to overlook some of her eccentricities; not least that she spent several years living outside the bio-dome, and that she is rumoured to have a female partner.   In Dark Londinium, she embodies a rebellious counter culture, and also acts as an example to many young musicians who dream of escaping the outlying regions and finding a place within the bio-domed cities. However, Londinium does not see her as a real threat.

Physical Description

Body Features

Carolina is petite, with slender arms and legs, her aubern hair, styled in a close bob, frames her face and brings out the colour in her eyes.   She wears clothes at least a size larger than would normally be suitable, which emphasises her small stature and, by design, hides her body shape, which she does not believe should be people's focus.

Facial Features

Carolina's snow white skin, deep brown eyes and tendency to wear only minimal make-up is in keeping with her views on feminity within the city and districts of Londinium.   People who meet her note often note the apparent depth to her eyes, and comment on the almost unblinking stare she has as she assesses people.

Apparel & Accessories

Known on the music scene for her large fake leather jacket, with distinctive orange trim, as well as her tendency to wear gender neutral works overalls and heavy set boots, Carolina is nothing if not distinct in her fashion sense.   On the rare occassions that she has performed within The City dictates have required that she wear garb that the residents consider more appropriate, while she has always complied it has been on sufferance.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

The Loss
  Born two years after The Last Great War, within the Reading district, Carolina's early childhood was marked by illnesses. At the time, the bio-dome over Reading was still being constructed and toxic winds often blew in from the wastelands. Luckily, Carolina had a rich aunt in the more affluent district of Guildford; at the age of 3 Carolina's parents arranged for her a short recuperation.   Carolina would never return to her parents, within days her aunt informed her that both her parents had died of a lung infection.  
The Lie
  Carolina's aunt was the childless Governess of the Guildford District, she was good to Carolina. However, Carolina still carried a great sadness about the death of her parents. Carolina's aunt believed that music could heal her niece's heartbreak and so Carolina had lessons and learned to play a range of classical instruments, including Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Flute, and Harp, but it was at singing that Carolina excelled.   Her aunt doted upon her, and Carolina loved her aunt, but as she grew in age and confidence a rebellious streak arose within her.   There was a new genre of music sweeping the slums that surrounded the bio-domed areas of the city, called Dark Techno Music, it was raw, powerful, defiant and spoke to the pain that Carolina had never let go. She began to sneak away from school to hang out with a group of young musicians practicing out of an abandoned warehouse north of the bio-dome; to their heavy rifts her operatic vocals brought forth a deep emotional tone that resonated to all who heard it. It was not long before her aunt found out and limted her movements. Initially this angered Carolina, but she loved music and persisted with her practices, her aunt assuring her that she could get a place within the Operatic Guild and access to The City.   Then it was all stolen away. One afternoon, aged 16, and bored of practicing the same pieces over and over again, Carolina snuck in to her aunt's private retiring room. While searching the shelves for a more interesting piece she found a stack of letters, bound in simple brown ribbon. On poor quality paper, in faded ink and written with a shaking hand was a terrible truth; her parents had not died when she was 3 years old. Instead, her aunt had refused to return her after her restbite. For years her parents had tried to contact her, they had begged and pleaded, offered supplication and beseeched her aunt's better nature, but it had fallen on deaf ears. Upon reading the letters a great fire erupted in Carolina.   That evening, her aunt found Carolina and the letters waiting for her in the lounge. The conversation was brief but heated, her aunt did not deny the content, but chastised her for skulking around and for being unappreciative of the better life that she had given her. Carolina went to leave, her aunt threatened to cut her off if she left. Carolina left anyway.  
The Lover
  Initially Carolina lived with her Dark Techno group, but it was a hard life. Many of them were without parents, often living in ruined buildings, and eating only when they could afford to or steal enough to survive. Opportunities for work were limited, for most, criminality was the only job going, and they were the sorts of jobs where you either "got good" or you "got dead". Within the space of 2 years almost everyone she had known "got dead". Carolina's talents as a singer saved her, and allowed her to gain work in the club of Jerome Drax. It was there that she met Jennifer Drax, Jerome's sister.   Jerome's clubs were Audioniums, places which used music, visuals, and clouds of narcotics to create a transcendent way to experience music. For Carolina this was another revelation in her musical development, and she spent many hours talking and working with the technicians who ran and maintained those aspects of the show. Jerome did not appreciate the impact he felt this 19-year-old, mousy musician was having on his employees, but Jennifer insisted that he indulge her, and to even allow her to compose a few pieces for private clients.   Jennifer's interventions drew Carolina to her. Their relationship was quiet, built in the moments they could snatch outside of Jerome's gaze. To Carolina, Jennifer was worldly and mysterious, a key part in her brother's operations, though initially Carolina did not know exactly what she did. A few months in to their relationship that Carolina discovered that Jennifer was an assassin, taking out low-level targets on behalf of her brother's operations. While the gritty nature of the work scared Carolina, she trusted Jennifer.   Their liaison did not go unnoticed, Jerome continuing to be annoyed by the impact her felt Carolina was having on his sister, however Carolina was growing in popularity, and Jennifer continued to insist that he treat Carolina with respect.  
The Liability
  Despite the difficult conditions in living outside the bio-dome, Carolina was finally starting to feel at home away from the long reach of her aunt, but it was not to be.   Even though the corporate networks didn't server Dark Londinium, news reached them that the Governess, her aunt, was dying. It seemed that her aunt had finally offered a reward for her niece’s return, the likenesses that were circulated, while not taking in to consideration the effects of 3 years living outside the bio-dome, were a close enough match that Jerome made the connection.   One evening, as she left the club, Jerome confronted her about it, she'd brushed off his suggestion that she was heiress to the Governess, but he persisted, following her in to the cold dark alley outside. Through planning or through luck Jennifer was just returning at the same time. Jerome shouted at Carolina, Carolina tried to ignore him, but he made a grab for her. Jennifer intervened, grabbing Jerome's wrist.   Her steely gaze unwavering, Jennifer told him to back off, but Jerome was having none of it. He was sick of babysitting his sister, and indulging her stupid lover. As Carolina watched there was a flash of a blade as Jerome drew his knife. This was followed by a second flash as Jennifer drew hers. Jerome was strong, but Jennifer was quick, and in the acrid twilight Carolina watched as Jerome fell to the floor; a pool of blood, jet black, spread from his torso as Jennifer stood above him.   Jennifer seemed completely calm, she entered the club, and returned with Andrius Drax, her cousin and Jerome's second in command. She told him how a rival gang had attacked Carolina, how Jerome had intervened, and been killed in the process.   The week that followed was a blur, in Jennifer's apartment Carolina mainly slept. Her dreams filled with images of Jerome's face as he fell to the floor, or of her aunt, dying alone. When she was awake she cursed herself for her stupidity.   Jennifer came and went, sort the fallout of Jerome's death. Andrius knew the story wasn't true, but Jerome's empire was now his, and he had big plans. Jennifer confirmed that her aunt was indeed dying, and still desperate to make amends with her lost 'daughter'. Jennifer assured her that Andrius was working on a way to get them both back within the bio-dome. Carolina was, by all accounts, soon to be a very wealthy heir.  
The Liberation
  Three days later, dressed in a scruffy leather jacket with orange trim, and torn worker trousers Carolina was reunited with her aunt, while Jennifer waited awkwardly in the reception of the house, overseen by a butler who did little to hide his contempt.   Carolina and her aunt spoke for hours, the contents of their discussion being too personal to respectfully share here, but in the end they were reconciled. Carolina, heir to one of the last great fortunes of Britain, would return to the bio-dome and engage her passion for music.   Unwilling to lose the only person she had ever trusted Carolina arranged that Jennifer remain in the bio-dome, in time she would have many tasks, including assistant, bodyguard and eventually manager. While Carolina felt that her and Jennifer had an opportunity to start a new life, Jennifer was reluctant to leave her old world behind, and much to Carolina's chagrin, even continued to communicate and work for her cousin Andrius. Once Carolina has reached mass popularity Jennifer began to take advantage of their ability to travel between the districts to again work as an assassin, supporting her cousin's ever growing criminal empire by eliminating high value targets.   Carolina considered dismissing Jennifer, but ultimately, her love and dependence upon her stayed her hand. For her part, Jennifer was expert assassin, and skilled at leaving no clues which prevented anything being tied back to her or Carolina.

Employment

Following her return, Carolina set about establishing a career as a performer, she focused on her love of Operatic Dark Techno Music, preferring to target Audioniums, where she used her experiences in Drax's club to compose whole experience-suites that she would then perform.   Carolina was asked to make her music available on one of The Corporate Networks, however this would have limited its availability outside of the bio-domes and in areas where the corporations did not offer their services. Carolina did not want to limit her art and preferred to release the music part of her performances using an outdated technology known as 'Compact Disks. CDs had been popular at the turn of the millenium, before The Free Network (known as the internet) had allowed people to digitally access music. The Corporate Networks, shutdown The Free Network, and CDs became a common way for artists within Dark Londinium to share their music.   Though no official statistics exist to confirm it, she is believed to be the highest selling artist within Dark Londinium.

Mental Trauma

After her aunts death Carolina tried to track down her parents, only to learn that they died when she was ten. The loss of her true family haunts her still. Carolina's relationship with her upbringing, and her subsequent fortune, is complex. She feels like a fraud within the bio-domed circles, but she feels ashamed that she has had to accept some of their expectations to create her music. Because of this, she can quickly shift in mood, sometimes appearing to be articulate and sensible, before acting in rebellious or obstructive ways.   Carolina has some behavioural quirks, and a fondness for ritualistic behaviour which she seems to use to comfort herself. One example, is her insistence that venues provide her with a pot of Earl Grey tea, which her aunt use to serve her before she performed.   Witnessing the murder of Jerome by Jennifer still upsets Carolina. She loves Jennifer but Jennifer continues to work as an assassin for her cousin Andrius and this make Carolina uneasy.

Morality & Philosophy

Despite her young age Carolina has seen both sides of district life, and is aware of how differently things could have gone for her. Her music is her passion, but she also sees it as a vehicle to share messages about social justice. Her most popular song "Dark City, Dark Mind" is a politically charged song, that cannot be played with The City.
Age
24
Date of Birth
23rd March 2038
Birthplace
The Reading District
Children
Gender
Female
Eyes
Hazel
Hair
Auburn
Height
5'6
Weight
52kg
Quotes & Catchphrases
If Music has no power why are so many afraid of it? Why do they need to sanitize it, or sensor it? They attempt to make it palatable, to smooth out it's rough edges and wrap it in corporately controlled faux-joy.

Comments

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Feb 8, 2022 21:14 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

Great article! I love Carolina's story and her complex relationships with her aunt and Jennifer :D I imagine some people in the biodomes and the city must dislike Carolina and her "bad influence". Have they tried to do anything against her? Or do her fortune protects her?

To see what I am up to: World Ember 2023 list of articles.
Feb 9, 2022 10:11

Hi Amélie, thank you :) it's my first attempt so it's great to have some feedback. Thanks for you question as well, the original draft did actually talk about people's reception to her more. But, then I discovered that I'd accidently written 4,000 words (I didn't originally notice the 2,500 word limit, either) so I had to do a bit of editing, so now it's only touched upon. You are quite correct, some of her works are seen as subversive, the reason she gets away with it, as it were, are probably threefold:   1. The City is very insular, and rather arrogant, so they don't actually see her, or anyone, as a threat. 2. The rich of the Guildford bio-dome do respect her lineage, and her wealth; but also they view her as a bit of an oddity (there's a bit of 'The Savage' from Brave New World in it) she's a novelty, and while she represents rebellion she's also one of them and so kind of a 'safe rebellion'. This is actually part of Carolina's juxterposed view of her position, and why she can sometimes be reactionary for effect. 3. While The City is very secure, the districts have a greater dependency on their outlying areas, and thanks to Carolina's desire to provide her music to these regions she has a lot of popular support.   None of this is intentional, at least on the part of Carolina, she is amazingly talented, but there is a reason that she relies upon Jennifer so much, Jennifer can get stuff done, Jennifer can make stuff happen.   While this is a new world for me, I am enjoying working on it, if I continue the narrative then I envisage a situation in which Jennifer will use her 'specialist skills' to eliminate a threat to Carolina, without Carolina being aware, before it comes to light later. If that does come to pass then Carolina will ask her about it, and Jennifer will just shrug and say something like "Sure, lots of times". I think I'd like to explore the juxtaposition between Carolina's world view and Jennifer's more, and highlight why they actually need each other emotionally, rather than just practically. 2,500 words is too much to constrain my imagination :-D.   Hopefully that covers you question, and then some more things :-), I will have a review and see if I can bring some of this across a bit better, thank you.   I will most certainly also check out your entry, and also the world around it, I love alternative worlds, especially when they have a historical-fantasy angle!


I've written my first challenge entry => #BardChallenge <=, any feedback welcome :)
Feb 9, 2022 14:08 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

Ah that terrible word count limit... I know the pain :(   Thanks for you answer! This is more or less what I inferred from the article :D Ah yes, Carolina does strike me as still naïve and a bit wilfully blind sometimes. I was sure Jennifer was doing things to "help" her p

To see what I am up to: World Ember 2023 list of articles.
Feb 10, 2022 07:07

Morning Amélie,   I've given it a slight tweak based on your suggestion, thank you.   I think Carolina's been lucky, her initial privilage and her talent has got her the support she needs, so you are right she can afford to be wilfully blind and rebellious. I can only imagine how annoying it must be for Jennifer sometimes!


I've written my first challenge entry => #BardChallenge <=, any feedback welcome :)
Feb 9, 2022 09:42

Great read! Wow that was quite the tragic story with her aunt lying about her parents like that. The music sound pretty interesting as well, I wonder if only she uses the drug laced vapours or if other have copied it?

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
Feb 10, 2022 06:47

Hi Kefkejaco,   Thanks for taking the time to read my article, I'm rather touched by how much people have liked it. I'll read yours too :).   To answer your musing, audioniums are for more general performers but Carolina has certainly brought them in to the mainstream by utilising them in her performances and bringing skill technicians to work on them.   Thanks again,   Stan


I've written my first challenge entry => #BardChallenge <=, any feedback welcome :)
Feb 17, 2022 14:05

No problem ^^ Yeah some of us make try to read as much as possible from the entries :p Thanks for the answer and also for your read and like :D

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
Feb 9, 2022 09:59

Hi! Congrats for this entry, that's a well-written article. That's a sad, and complex backstory for this interesting character.   Regarding the form, I liked the simple titles of the elements of Carolina's life history. I would suggest one thing to improve readability: do you think you could add some mousehover snippets to the numerous articles that are being linked here? Wanting to learn about Londinium, Dark Londinium, or Dark Techno music forced me to switch to another article, which could be solved by some tooltips or hovering snippets of the articles.   Save from that, well done!

With love,   Pouaseuille.
Feb 10, 2022 06:40

Hi Pouaseuille,   Of yes, thank you I had completely forgotten about that feature, and that's a good suggestion. I'll turn it on now.   I will also pop over and have a read of your entry.   Thanks and all the best,   Stan


I've written my first challenge entry => #BardChallenge <=, any feedback welcome :)
Feb 10, 2022 00:02 by Cecilie Mylius

Hello:) I really liked reading your article. The language is well written and easy to understand. Carolina is painted as a very interesting, and very human, character, which I really appreciate. She is believable as a human being, with all her wonderful horrible traumas.   With Carolina having been involved with a 'gang' in Dark Londonium (and her continued involvement with Jennifer) is she ever in a quarrel with other gangs? Might she be a target for violence, or has her 'new life' in The City procurred some kind of safety from this? And if Jennifer has been able to 'sneak' her way into The City, might other gangmembers have done the same - and would this be a threat to Carolina, or moreso Jennifer?   I have SO many quenstions, I just want to know more about her, her story and the workings of The City (especially between the different social classes, very exciting). I see forward to reading more of your work:)

Feb 10, 2022 06:59

Good morning Cecilie,   Thank you! I'm so happy that people like it, and also Carolina. I am very keen to write about Jennifer, because, as I said to Amélie above, I would love to write more about the juxtaposition in the world views and attitude while highlighting why they really are a good couple both professionally and personally.   Your question is also good, while Andrius's gang has certainly benefited by having an assassin who can move easily between the districts they would certainly not be the only gang with influence within Dark Londinium. I would say that Carolina herself would be largely insulated from it by the time she is famous, partly because of her wealth and social position but also physically protected by Jennifer. I'd actually said to Amélie, above, that I was keen to expand the idea of having someone target Carolina, and to have Jennifer 'take them out' without Carolina knowing, only for her to find out later and be shocked at it. Perhaps that person could be a gang member when Carolina is making a performance in Dark Londinium? Of the possibilities, thank you for the suggestion :D.   Originally I made this world to allow me to enter a few of the challenges, I have a private world that I joined WorldAnvil to create, but I'm actually loving it and really appreciate people's enjoyment, so I will definitely work on it more!   I notice you have an entry too, are you happy for me to read it now, or is it still being fine tuned?   All the best,   Stan


I've written my first challenge entry => #BardChallenge <=, any feedback welcome :)
Feb 10, 2022 08:42 by Cecilie Mylius

Thank you for the quick answer. It makes sense her new position in life might have insulated her from her former gang involvement and Jennifer's physical attendance would be another form of protection - perhaps a bit more aggressive;)   And you are very welcome to read it now, it is not entirely finished, but I am happy with it so far. If you want to you are very welcome to give it a read:)

Feb 11, 2022 03:45 by Starfarer Theta

So much story and all of it well written. You clearly have put a lot of thought into this character. Well done!

Feb 11, 2022 08:08

Thank you :) I've not done this before, and had to do a lot of editing. I'm glad I managed to keep a clear understanding while doing that.


I've written my first challenge entry => #BardChallenge <=, any feedback welcome :)
Feb 11, 2022 07:11

You have done an amazing job of giving Carolina a believable life filled with many complicated relationships, both interpersonal and societal. Very well done. The only thing I could say that may improve it is adding in some more side bar content or perhaps some quotes to break up the main text a little bit.

Feel free to stop by some of my WorldEmber articles if you want. My favorites are The Book of the Unquiet Dead, Outpost of the Moons, and The Emerald Hills. Feedback is always appreciated.
Feb 11, 2022 08:10

Thank you, I had filled in a lot of the prompts on the sidebar previously, but realised that I carried a lot of that information within the text, and with more detail, so opted to keep it in the text. But of course, I can put custom information in the side bar, so I'll have a think about what I could re-organise and put in that :)


I've written my first challenge entry => #BardChallenge <=, any feedback welcome :)
Feb 17, 2022 14:21

What a tale of (literally) cut-throat people. I love it. You can see what toll the war seems to have taken on humanity. Jennifer is one scary woman, being both a loving partner to Carolina and ready to kill her brother in cold blood over her. I wonder if some of it will rub off on Carolina given time. I wonder whether Andrius is intending to target her for her connections and fortune in the future. It's an exciting story you crafted here!

If you have some time, I would much appreciate your feedback on my entry for Adventure April: Carbon Copy Paradise