Boundary: Rocky Desert
Nature Feature: Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens)
▼ Growth points ▼
I'm not surprised she dragged you through the mud for bringing that up. I think it frightens her, knowing all that she was, and all that she lost... She is a creature of memory, like you and I, but you must understand that this wild hunt of hers is the only way she allows herself to honor that memory.
Dia was a desperado who's crimes, she'd say, numbered the stars. But before that—before the blood, before the water, before the dam, and before her disbarment— Dia was a lawyer.
Diaspore (“Dia,” affectionately, but not to her face) was a lawyer-turned-desperado living out of the Territory of Arizona in the late 19th century.
Dia's memory begins and ends with her boundary, which sprawls from the Salt River Valley to the Agua Fria National Monument, and maps in some places to a land claim she forged in order to impede development along the Agua Fria river. The ensuing dispute culminated with her disbarment, and, when she took up the black hat's revolver, ultimately claimed her life.
For 100 years, Dia festered alone in her grief and rage. She saw her current shape as punishment for her failure to protect the river, and this hatred for herself was matched only by her hatred for esk and other interlopers:
This one won’t appreciate your efforts any more than mine, I’m afraid. Wander long enough the washes and dry riverbeds of our deserts, and you may have already crossed her without knowing it. Diaspore never leaves her boundary, but she is watchful, and if she sees you she will do anything in her power to get rid of you.
You may be tempted to hide your intentions, but you must approach her with patient candor. Doubly so if you hope to ask something of her. Dia is methodical; She will posture at you, provoke you, threaten you, torment you until she finds the perfect words to make you leave. She can be fearsome, but you must remember she can not hurt you--- and would not, even if she could.
Please be mindful, though… I don’t know what you will find hidden behind the ocotillo door. I fear she doesn’t, either.
At the turn of the 21st century, something changed.
Nowadays, Dia is the self-appointed Warden of her haunt. She serves the land as she always has-- with a deep sense of love and respect for it that she could not afford others, or even herself. But where Dia once ran them off, she narrowly tolerates the presence of others in her haunt. For now.
This isn't to speak much of her social faculties. Dia will shadow those strangers who pass through, but only to hurry them on their way, or ensure that they do not damage the land. Likewise, she may aid those who approach her for help, but only out of a sense of duty. She is a frigid woman, and offers little in the way of emotional warmth. Those who show her kindness-- or even try to ply her for companionship-- are met with deep mistrust.
And those who seek to harm her boundary are met with startling violence. Dia is a powerful orator, and an unglamorous but effective saboteur. To her, there is no justifying such an injury; She will respond even to accidental slights with profound cruelty, if she sees fit. In truly dire straits, Dia will do anything in her power to protect her home.
Despite this, she seems to hold no desire to transgress the barriers between esk, and does not purposefully bring physical harm to any being-- living or non.
Dia is tolerant of stranger esk-- to a point. She is guarded around newcomers, especially abnormals, elementals, or enchanted esk that may have a heightened ability to damage her boundary. She tends to trail these visitors from afar, or accompany them in tight-lipped silence like a self-appointed parole officer.
Dia is tolerant of researchers within the Agua Fria National Monument. She seems strangely beholden to their well-being.
As far as anybody can tell, Dia is not on speaking terms with Kith. Merely mentioning the woman in her presence can cause Dia to lash out, or to withdraw completely. Meetings between the two esk are unpredictable-- some end rather benignly, others with a cryptic exchange of harsh words, and others yet with a mighty clash that shakes their shared boundary. That Dia transformed Kith is not a detail that either esk will volunteer.
Dia is intolerant of those who seek to harm her boundary and its inhabitants. She will do anything in her power to get rid of these individuals, just short of physical violence.
(This list is incomplete! If you have used Dia as a character in your stories, just let me know and I can add a little blurb.)
- Diaspore was not her name in life; It's a moniker of sorts used by those esk who had the misfortune of encountering her after her transformation. Dia does not remember her name, and rarely uses “Diaspore” to refer to herself.
- Dia doesn't really know how to be an esk. Whoever transformed her did not or could not stick around, and she is too prideful to accept help. Consequently, she cannot teleport or levitate, and instead travels by foot to each of her haunts.
- This is actually self-soothing for her. She dislikes doing things in ways that she couldn't in life, and she's developed some funny habits, as a result. For example-- Instead of using telekinesis, she may smash things into her form in order to carry them. This does not hurt her.
- Dia's ocotillo is nine times out of ten dormant. It will, however, erupt into life as the rains move through her boundary. This improves her mood considerably.
- Allegedly, it may even bloom... But this claim is hard to believe.
- While Dia's “speaking” voice is articulate, her internal dialogue is stuttering and sometimes fractured. When she is alone, this repetition comes to the surface, and she may repeat her thoughts back to herself.
- Diaspore is remarkably gentle with the flora and fauna within her boundary, who sometimes seek her out for help. She is visibly uncomfortable serving them under any capacity other than a warden, though.
- Dia does not perform transformations; the wounds of her first and only transformation are too young and too fresh in her mind. This is subject to change in the future...
- In general, Dia is asocial, antagonistic, and never leaves her boundary... but she may have moments of vulnerability. She can be depicted in other ways "just for fun," too!
Diaspore can be freely used as a character in your own stories. I have written quite a lot about her personality here, but I encourage folks to spin their own yarns about her, and to explore the dynamics most interesting to them. She has a storied reputation, and even the tallest of tales must have come from somewhere.
Dia cannot be used as a creator esk at this time. As her story unfolds, this is subject to change...
View past versions of Dia's story...