Character profile sheet for unreleased solo project. Character is an non-playable character, who initiates the call to action for the player character and assists them throughout the game. The character design template was provided by the Pixelles Writing Portfolio Program.
Name: Harold ‘Hal’ Malloret
Age: 14 at death
Sex & Gender: Male, he/him pronouns
- Bones are dirt-stained and yellowed with age.
- Right hand is missing several phalanges.
- Acquires a beat-up paperboy cap early in the adventure
- The “herald”, who launches the player character on their journey for the rest of the game.
- A lost child.
- Character inspirations: Sokka (Avatar: The Last Airbender), Bobby Hill with self-esteem (King of the Hill), Young Ian (Outlander)
3-4 keywords (personality traits):
When the player first meets Hal, he is trapped in a moment from before his death, lost and disoriented, and seeking only to return to his family. When he realizes that he is a magically animated skeleton, he wants to find out the circumstances of both his death and resurrection.
Other character relationships:
Hal quickly latches on to the player character, calling her “auntie”, first as a sign of respect toward an elder, but soon with affection. It’s clear from his interactions with her that he misses his family. He is fascinated by her work as town undertaker, as people were buried by their families in his time, according to tradition. Hal is torn between sadness that townsfolk have abandoned the PC, but impressed at what the PC can accomplish by herself. He believes that she is not responsible for the walking dead roaming the town, but hopes her connection to the dead can help them find out what has happened.
Hal is very fond of the PC’s dog. When the PC brings Hal to her home, the dog stays close to Hal’s side from then on. Hal wryly notes that she must be waiting for an opportune time to have a little snack, but he takes comfort from her presence, talking softly to the dog while the PC is working.
Hal is afraid of the townsfolk, who consider him a demonic presence, despite the PC’s insistence that he is an ordinary boy (appearance notwithstanding). He doesn’t like the way they treat the player character with contempt because of the work she does burying the town dead.
Hal is both wary of and drawn to the other risen dead in the town. He wants to see if any of the dead know what might have happened to him to cause his death, but he’s also nervous being around them, knowing how the appearances of a mob of risen dead might drive the townsfolk to do something rash.
4-word Summary: Cheerfully tragic lost soul.
Voice Notes: Cheerful and optimistic in tone, with a wry streak of self-awareness at his personal failings. A usually self-assured soul shaken by the discovery that someone may have visited a violent death on him.
Audio Voice Quality: Male voice on the edge between childhood and manhood; sarcastic without being bitter; slight hollow reverb.
Quote: “I don’t remember how I died, auntie. Mayhap I was the sort of lad to drive a man to violence. Once, at least.”
Biography/Background: Harold Malloret, known to friends and family as Hal, is a cheerful young man, who lived with his mother and three sisters on his uncle’s farm about 150 years before the game begins. His father died before he was born in a vicious series of skirmishes between the working and ruling classes, but Hal’s extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins were all closely involved in Hal’s life, so he never lacked for role models and playmates. Hal is clever and responsible, but his curiosity often leads him astray when he should be focused on a task or chore. His curiosity became an inadvertently fatal flaw when, while tracking a fox he suspected of attacking the family hens, he stumbled across a band of smugglers, who murdered him and buried him in the woods. After Hal’s death, his mother decided to leave, bringing the Malloret family book with her to her husband’s ancestral land.
A century and a half later, an unknown necromancer raises skeletal dead all across the land, Hal among them. The veil of death obscures the time around a person’s passing, so for ones like Hal who died sudden or traumatic deaths, they are risen without knowledge of their passing.
Hal has a strong sense of justice, which causes him a lot of pain after he is raised from the dead. He can’t understand what could have happened to him to be killed and buried without ceremony and familial blessings, and part of him is worried that he might have somehow deserved it. Though he wants to find out what happened to cause his death, he is worried about what it might tell him about himself. Unfortunately for Hal, he falls afoul of the villagers before learning the circumstances of his death, leaving the player to discover it in his memory.
Unique Look and Important Items:
- Hal’s skeleton is yellowed with age, with dirt ground into the crooks and crevices. Where the bones are joined together, they glow with a faint, otherworldly light.
- Compared to the other NPCs, who are adults, Hal is slightly smaller, on account of his age and because he’s all bone, with no flesh or clothing to enhance his height.
- Malloret Family Tome: Hal is seeking this, hoping it will include details of his death. If the player seeks it out in the town records hall, they discover nothing, indicating someone has moved or removed it.
- After years of playing cards against his aunts and uncles and due to his natural intellect, Hal is a borderline card sharp. His mother refused to let him play for money, despite his skill, lest he fall in with the kind of outlaws and bad actors that killed his father.
- When Hal was growing up, he grew up around a lot of animals, on account of living on a farm. He was special pals with a barn cat he called Miss Kitty, despite Miss Kitty’s penchant for leaving mice in his shoes.
- Hal is afraid of the player character’s bees, on account of seeing a young cousin die to a bee sting, but when her hives are destroyed by the townsfolk, he is immediately outraged on her behalf.
- As the youngest child and the only boy, Hal was at risk of being spoiled as the baby of the family. However, he grew up fairly level-headed and responsible for his age, in part because of the strong influences of his extended family and community and in part because of his natural personality.
- Because Hal died 150 years ago, his method of speech when he first meets the player feels stilted and overly formal; it relaxes as he stays with the player.
- When he was eight, Hal was bit on the arse by a garden snake while taking a bathroom break in the woods. He would’ve gone to his grave before admitting it to anyone, but his big sister caught him washing the blood out of his britches in the creek, and convinced him to let Ma treat it.
- Hal was only allowed to have coffee once or twice before his death. The player character can fix him a cup, but she serves it to him with a towel, knowing what will likely happen.