Philipe "Pip" Misneach
Pronunciation: fill-EEP-ay MISH-nuh
Philipe Misneach (a.k.a. Pip)
"What? Lucian, no, I... I don’t... I’ve never ridden before, I can’t --" He stutters. I cut him off before he can unravel further, placing a hand on his shoulder and fixing him with a look that says I know he can do it, and he won’t be alone. He glances at the horse with a mixture of terror and curiosity, then back to me, taking a deep breath. "Okay. I can try."
Pip is a paid stable hand for Laird Breith Sadach's estate. Despite being raised to follow traditionally feminine pursuits in his conservative homeland of Coimeádach, he has proven himself a natural horseman with the help of Lucian "Deordhan" Cathasach.
After the passing of his father when he was 21, he made a perilous journey from his home to The Kingdom of Éirigh, seeking a land that would accept him as a man with pay to match in order to support his family back home. Working odd jobs as he could find them, he finally arrived at Laird Sadach's Castle a year later, skin stretched taught across his starving frame, only to be turned away yet again.
Enter Caillte Dochtuir, the Head Ostler to Laird Sadach. Seeing the starving young lad sent on his way, Caillte couldn't stand by. He invited Pip to the stables, bringing along a meal begged of Madam Cochair for the lad. In a moment of weakness and frustration, Pip bared his soul to Caillte, and Caillte knew he couldn't let Pip go, the two feeling drawn to and safe with one another somehow. For the following two weeks, Pip shadowed Caillte in the stables. While he may not have proved himself competent or knowledgeable, his determination to do well impressed Caillte, who believed in him enough to hire him on permanently.
At least, that's what they tried to believe.
"I felt seen for the first time with him. One thing lead to another until...” Pip goes on for him, taking time with his words until Caillte has recovered himself.
“Until we found ourselves kissing in the hayloft one night as I divvied out the evening feed.” Caillte recalls, a smile toying with his lips, and the joy in his eyes is so deep and sincere that I feel I could float to the ceiling with glee.
General Physical Condition
After Pip's perilous journey across the border and months of searching for consistent work, his frame is still gaunt and recovering. He's no longer skin and bones, but he has yet to fill out again.
The flighty presence of a songbird. A smile that fills his features so thoroughly, he looks like he could fly at any moment. That sweet, breathy kind of laughter. Star gazing as his fingers intertwine with those of his beloved. When he's comfortable, a loud, assertive brogue that's as lyrical as it is powerful. Look for the small lad tripping over his own feet, and you'll find him -- if Caillte doesn't catch him first.
Apparel & Accessories
His clothes are often just a little too big for his thin frame, and worn nearly threadbare.
In his early life, Pip's parents feared that allowing him to live as his authentic self would spell disaster in their conservative and highly religious kingdom. Despite all protests, he was forced to study the acceptable feminine professions of Coimeádach -- namely, cross stitching and finding a husband -- and kept locked up within the home much of the time. His first opportunity for freedom came through tragic circumstances, as his father died suddenly of a heart attack, leaving his family in a treacherous position. His mother could only find work as a seamstress, and when they lost their home for lack of a patriarch, they were in desperate straits.
Knowing that one less mouth to feed would only be a blessing to his mother, and hoping that he could find better work elsewhere to help support them, Pip struck out on his own. Knowing that he would find nothing in Coimeádach, especially in a town where people knew him only by his dead name, he used his mother's contacts to gain a position as handmaiden to the daughter of an ambassador from The Kingdom of Abhainn. On the ambassador's return trip, Pip sailed down the Teorainn River, hoping to find his father's distant family in the Kingdom of Éirigh. Under cover of night, Pip pitched himself overboard, nearly drowning in his desperate attempt to swim across the narrowest part of the channel after underestimating the weight of his dress taking on water. Through sheer grit and determination, he came up on the solid ground of Éirigh, and struck out to make his own destiny.
Once ashore, he changed into the single set of his father's old clothing he could sneak aboard the ship, cut his hair with an old blade, and watched it float away on the gentle current of the river. It was a long and wearisome path before him, filled with more disappointment than he could have braced for. Éirigh was not the promised land he'd thought it was, and he found few willing to take a chance on him. Still fewer a lasting one. But after a year of odd jobs and the nomadic life of a beggar making it by on scraps, he finally caught a break when he met Caillte. And the rest, as they say, is history.
To send enough money back home to his family in The Kingdom of Coimeádach to keep them afloat, and to build a future with Caillte.
Savvies & Ineptitudes
When Pip takes Caillte’s place, moving to wrap the bandage firmly around my abdomen, he hesitates, taking in the scars across my back. He steadies himself with a breath, and keeps going without a word. I marvel at his tender touch, and the way he and Caillte work together so easily. He asks all the right questions, and I smile despite myself. They make a great team.
Pip was forced to learn traditionally feminine roles for most of his life, giving him a flair for fashion and navigating social classes. He is swifter with a needle than a pitchfork, and has not had the years of hard manual labor to build up muscle like most men of his class. His timid nature from years of being told that he was wrong can get in the way of his success, but he has more gumption and determination than most.
While he struggled to trust his instinct when he started, making him a pitiful excuse for a stable boy, he has grown to be one of Lucian's most trusted assistants. As he and Caillte have grown closer, he has also shown a natural talent for healing work, and Caillte has begun to train him as a healer. Few take Pip seriously at first, but those that get to know him trust him with their life.
The hours are long, with my focus split between the young horses and trying to keep Philipe from being trampled without a voice to tell him where to go. By the third horse in and out of the ring, I’m nearly ready to let them run him over, and itching to give Caillte a piece of my mind.
But as the hours drag on, I start to notice something about Philipe that makes me curious. His first instinct is almost always correct, but followed by a moment of hesitation or second guessing that leaves him directly in my way.
As the quote above implies, Pip has a remarkable instinct, both around people and horses. However, he constantly second guesses himself, which gives him a stuttering speech and a tendency to always be just one step behind where he should be. Because of this, he tries to blend into the background and make himself small as much as possible, but often fails, and ends up looking naive or out of place. He's also known for clapping his hands over his mouth to cover a small shriek, as he is quite jumpy much of the time -- something that the other stable boys take full advantage of in their pranks.
Contacts & Relations
Friends with Lucian "Deordhan" Cathasach, who is quickly coming to consider him as family.
Warning: Major Book One Spoilers! Seriously, if you intend to read the book, don't click. You will be sad.
Pip speaks with a heavy brogue accent, and his words are often flighty and stutter stepped. But when he has the courage to speak his mind, his words carry a force few are prepared for.
Wealth & Financial state
Pip makes a modest sum as a stable boy, but most of what he makes is sent back home to his family. He makes due with the food and rent supplied to the servants and staff, mending his old clothes whenever necessary, and Madam Cochair (at Caillte's urging) occasionally gives him hand-me-downs from her children.
"You aren’t alone in the world anymore."
Caillte is Lucian's brother, not through blood, but through friendship. He plays a major role in the OUTSPOKEN trilogy, and without him, Lucian would not have survived in Laird Sadach's household.
Lucian "Deordhan" Cathasach
The main character of the OUTSPOKEN trilogy, Lucian is a mute bond servant in Laird Sadach's service. We see the world through his eyes, experiencing Éirigh from the darkest fringes of society.
The Teorainn River forms the western border of Éirigh, traveling from the sea all the way to where The Kingdom of Éirigh, The Kingdom of Abhainn, and The Kingdom of Coimeádach meet.
Laird Breith Sadach
Laird Breith Sadach is the primary antagonist of OUTSPOKEN, particularly in book one. He is a cold and often cruel man, and the most powerful Laird of Éirigh.
Lady Meg Beygar
Meg is a young Lady seemingly lost in her fantasy worlds and ideas of romance, but there is far more to her than meets the eye. Her actions at the end of Book One in the OUTSPOKEN trilogy have lasting repercussions that will change the world.