Emily Henderson Character in Clarkwoods Literary Universe | World Anvil

Emily Henderson

Emily Henderson was born Tamson Emily O’Rourke during the Earth-668 iteration of reality. After fleeing her disapproving family on Cape Cod, she made a brief attempt at a theatrical career in Boston before turning to sex work to make ends meet. And it was on the walk home one night that Emily, like her Earth-669 counterpart, was hoodwinked by a stranger into becoming a ferryman.


After a seeming eternity of service, Emily was finally able to do what all ferrymen must do in order to get out of the job: she tricked someone else into taking her robes. Finding herself in New York City in 1953, Emily—who was kinda-sorta 109 years old, but still looked 18—once again tried to make it as an actress. She didn’t succeed this time either, but she did find herself a man along the way. And so, in 1955, she married Ernest Henderson. Eventually, they had themselves two kids and settled down into a quiet life as landlords for an apartment building in Manhattan. Ernest died first, but even after her husband’s death, Emily was kept company by her colorful assortment of tenants.


In 2030, twenty-eight years after the cloning of Jesus of Nazareth from The Shroud of Turin and twenty years after Ernest’s death, Emily bore witness to an attack on the city by a creature born of New York’s collected sins. And after watching one of her tenants sacrifice himself to stop the beast, she swore to use her power to travel through time—developed during her years as a ferryman—to make things right.


It took her many attempts to find the right place to change the past, because of course the past doesn’t want to be changed, but after years of running apartment buildings all over the United States—from Boston to Los Angeles—she succeeded. In the year 1998, she found Jeremy Bassett—whose family owned the piece of the Shroud that would be used to clone Christ—and she convinced him to destroy it.


Her reward, though, was not the salvation of her universe. No, her rewards were the destruction of all she’d sought to protect and a new, cursed title: riverbender.


Life in Earth-669

The curse of the riverbender, of the person bold enough to alter the goddess Mira’s plan, is to see how their new, wished-for reality plays out—to witness what kind of changes were necessary to make such a thing a reality.


For much of her existence in Earth-669, Emily watched passively from a room in The Strumpet’s Sister. But when she saw the horrible ordeals visited upon this reality’s version of her extended family, she decided to step in and try to change the past again.


It didn’t help that she had developed a severe case of chronetic neural crossover and had come to believe that she was this reality’s version of herself and that she was even more directly responsible for the events taking place.


She traveled this time to 1915, in the hopes of stopping the death in childbirth of her beloved Silas’ final wife: Annie O’Reilly. But tragically, Emily was unable to change things this time around. Confronted by Annie during each of the several attempts she made to change things, Emily was never able to keep the secret that would ultimately break Annie’s heart and cause her death.


Annie, it turned out, was the daughter of Tamson O’Rourke’s long lost daughter Grace. This made Annie not only Tamson’s granddaughter, but also the granddaughter of her own husband. And it was this shock that killed her every time, no matter how many times Emily tried to stop it.


After admitting defeat and delivering Annie and Silas’ second and final child to Silas’ doorstep, Emily fled. But before she could get back to the safety of The Sister, she was brutally gunned down by an expert marksman hired by mysterious forces to put an end to this madness. The marksman in question? None other than this reality’s version of Emily’s cousin Sarah, who had been convinced that “[t]he crone must die so that the horror might end.”


And that is how Emily Henderson’s tragic life came to an end.


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