Basil (BAZ-uhl * BAS-uhl * BEY-zuhl * BEY-suhl | / ˈbæz əl * ˈbæs əl * ˈbeɪ zəl * ˈbeɪ səl /)

Basil streams under the name "cottonspun" on Twitch. They are one of our Discord server team members, a community mod, and an all-around neat person.

Steward of Verdant, Steward of the Garden, Baron of the Leaf, Master Gardener Basil (a.k.a. "cottonspun") (they/them)

Basil, the Baron of the Leaf, once known as "cottonspun," is the current leader of House Verdant. Their title as Verdant's leader is "Steward" or "Steward of the Garden."   As a Spirit Cat, the closest descriptor to what Basil is would be "Litwalker," since they are not a "natural born mortal creature" of this world. However, this is not entirely accurate, as they were not summoned by another Literomancer. Their origins, however, remain mysterious.

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

Basil is a cat of poor constitution and variable size. Since the Steward of the Garden is a sort of ectoplasmic spirit-entity, measuring physical condition is a difficult task at best, and may not be applicable in the way we understand it.

Body Features

The Steward of Verdant is a Spirit Cat who is notably fluid in nature. Due to this semi-fluidity, they literally melt into fluorescent orange slime when sleeping or under duress. They may appear in a variety of different sizes, with variations on shape and presentation. They do, however, sweat and show weariness as physical entities do.

Facial Features

Baron Basil's visage perpetually presents a scowl due to their furrowed brow and ^ -shaped mouth. However, once people get to know Basil, they realize it's just a case "resting beech face" that makes them seem wooden and forbidding to new acquaintances.

Identifying Characteristics

The Steward's fur is fluorescent orange, and their eyes (of which the right wanders) are green. They typically are seen in their mostly-solid form, which has a cat face, cat ears, cat legs, and cat paws, but human hands and no tail.

Physical quirks

The Baron of the Leaf is shy and startles easily. They may partially melt into ectoplasmic form several times in a conversation if they find the person they are speaking to intimidating.

Special abilities

Basil’s Literomantic strengths include analysis and alteration. Their complexly woven pattern-based spells are too slow to be suited for Combat Literomancy. Basil is also a shape shifter, having a solid and a goo form. Their solid form is, well, solid while their goo form takes on a non-Newtonian state. As an ectoplasmic entity, Basil is capable of squeezing into any space that is not airtight with no personal harm.

Apparel & Accessories

Basil has been known to compensate for any constitutional weakness with their impeccable sense of fashion. They are rarely seen without a waistcoat, long-sleeved shirt, and loose cat-pants that cuff just below their (cat) ankle. They are commonly seen with a brown, belted hip satchel with a notebook and one particular fountain pen. They sometimes need a monocle to read fine print, and they have adopted a habit of wearing a straw hat and leather gardening gloves after their retirement from the Catguard. Often, they can be seen wearing coveralls and practical gardening gear when working the Community Garden.   Prior to assuming the leadership of House Verdant, they typically wore a fidora.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Baron Basil, formerly known as "cottonspun," is the former volunteer "Catguard," which was a catch-all job that included Cat Castle management duties - food, library, new Felis orientation, and protection and care of The Catarch. When Basil retired, they were replaced by the elite bodyguard unit, the Katze Ward. They were quiet and shy, but devoted to their cause. As loyal as they were to their Queen, a deeper meaning called to the orange ectoplasmic kitty. Something growing and green.   When Sable Aradia encouraged Queen Misades to seize the vacant Major House position left by the diminished power of House Tiki, "cottonspun" decided that the time had come to follow the dream that was in their heart. They began the reclamation of the neglected Kittering Community Garden, and encouraged anyone who wished to come and claim a plot.   The community took an interest in the developing project. House Felis offered their enthusiastic support, and even the Mother of Bunnies dropped by to trade and lend a trowel. Newly dubbed the "Baron of the Leaf" by the Kitty Queen, Baron Basil, as they were now calling themself, quickly found support for their growing project; the first such supporter being the Kitty General themself, Aydan Nightshade. They soon petitioned the Great Houses for recognition as the leader of the new House Verdant.   Remembering their protective service, both to House Felis, and to all Tome Knights during the Second Word War, Basil found their petition had strong support. Almost immediately, their budding House was recognized.   The Baron of the Leaf is now actively claiming the lands of House Verdant granted to them within House Felis territory. According to rumour, there is an old manor house somewhere in their Barony, and they are seeking it out...

Employment

Basil was employed as the first and only Catguard of House Felis until their retirement at the end of April 2022. They passed on their Cool Cat Shades — the mark of the Catguard Captain — to Purry Allen.

Accomplishments & Achievements

During the Autumn of 2021, Basil came across a mysterious, ornate door in the attic of the Cat Castle. Through mistakes and consequent experiments, Basil figured out that the door can lead to multiple locations. This useful door is rarely utilized, however, due to its out-of-the-way location, and uncooperative temperament - it remains stuck shut unless its user wields sufficient focus.   This artifact, dubbed the “Jenkins door” for the inscription on its external mail-slot - was investigated by Felis literomancers, contributing to advances in Felis portalling practice. Collaboration between Aydan Nightshade and Basil led to development in both their areas of literomantic focus. Basil has developed literomancy which summons The Jenkins Door for use outside the Attic in emergencies, though to do so is mentally taxing (and leads only to the Attic).

Morality & Philosophy

Basil believes in growing plots gently, plant(s)ing them and letting them sprout as they will. They clearly support collective, community activities and love to exchange ideas and encourage growth. They try to always speak in the positive, and they avoid displaying anger and other forms of negativity.

Personality Characteristics

Motivation

Basil seems to be driven to help other Tome Knights to grow at their own pace. They have a soft spot for new Tome Knights and they work hard to guide those new to their Literomantic powers.   The Steward of the Garden is also very food-motivated. When not eating or hungry, they think about ways to ensure food security for themself and the folx they care about.

Social

Contacts & Relations

Basil has had very little contact with life beyond the Cat Castle since House Felis adopted it as headquarters in Sept 2021. They were involved in an organizational capacity for the reconstruction of the Cat Castle and reclamation and expansion of Kittering Village. During that time as Queen Misa's personal guard, Basil formed close friendships with Kitty leadership and made acquaintance with some of their allies, including House Lapin and House Chiroptera. Basil takes time to grow into new relationships with folx, and will remain a wallflower in anything like a crowd.

Family Ties

Though unrelated except through shared cat-ness, Basil considers everyone in House Felis to be extended family.

Social Aptitude

Basil is extremely shy, and may react to attempts to bring them out of their shell with even more discomfort and social awkwardness.

Speech

Despite their shyness, the Baron of the Leaf is an eloquent speaker. They are soft-spoken, but their speech nevertheless commands attention. They do not make use of a lot of slang. No one has ever heard them swear.
Alignment
Neutral Good
Current Status
Recovering a manor house, digging a garden
Current Location
Species
Conditions
Age
Indeterminate due to time as stray before finding Felis; not particularly spry - perhaps middle aged
Children
Current Residence
The Cat Castle
Gender Identity
Basil identifies as gender-neutral, since they prefer to speak in terms of what something is, rather than what it isn't.
Eyes
Green cat eyes (right tends to wander)
Hair
Tufty ectoplasmic furlike emanations
Skin Tone/Pigmentation
Fluorescent orange
Height
5' on a good day (half-cat form)
Aligned Organization

An ectoplasmic orange cat, reading in a basket (watercolour and ink)

Basil Reading by cottonspun

An orange cat in waistcoat, tipping a fidora and slipping on a pair of sunglasses

Basil as the Catguard by cottonspun

A cat in the foreground, tipping a straw hat and giving a V sign, with a garden in the background. Text:

Be Verdant by cottonspun



Cover image: Iron Tome by Misades
Character Portrait image: Basil Portrait by cottonspun

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