tagged siblings Cornelius and Penny for the 9 Random Facts meme something like two years ago. This is an update of both image and trivia for 2012. And by update I mean completely new stuff.
This is actually two memes in one! Kicked my own ass pretty soundly when reconceiving the illustration, I'll leave the old one up so you can LAUGH AT ME. GUESS WHICH MONTREY IS INVITED TO MOAR PARTIES. Political parties don't count. ALSO! The spelling of 'galatini' has henceforth been changed to 'glatni' to better reflect pronunciation (g'lat-nye).
Expect this in the future.CORNELIUS MONTREY
1) Cornelius' superpower is his uncanny knack for languages.
They don't exactly speak our lingos in the Network but consider him fluent in their analogies of English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, Russian, and Arabic. Also Kekahe, the Aagiean native tongue, which is superficially Hawaiian. (The Network equivalent of Mandarin is spoken by the aruguanians, the reptilian answer to humanity, which is notoriously difficult for humanoids to speak as it involves sounds and inflections you need a long tongue and toothy muzzle to physically make. A pleasant surprise was discovering his glatni shape fits this bill perfectly, though aruguanians say he spoke surprisingly clearly before.) He has a passable grasp on a handful of smaller languages, almost can't help picking up what he's exposed to. This has been infinitely useful in his ambassadorial duties.
2) Voices are not something you can get from pictures but Cornelius has, by a million miles, the most pleasant voice of all my cast.
It's the sort of voice that makes people pause to look around for the speaker, and has been known to cause rubbernecking and a number of ladies to faceplant into walls. His voice has been described as full, resonant, authoritative, relaxing, beguiling (says fiancée Diana), and absolutely disgusting (says sister Penny). He's very good at puttin' words together but undoubtedly part of his success as an orator has had to do with his gorgeous voice. (Of course he loses this in glatni form, his voice is recognizable but deeper, grainier, and with sharp S's.)
3) He considers his tail the embodiment of everything he loathes about his glatnism.
It can be a literal pain in the ass when it gets stepped on/carts rolled over it/doors shut on it-- notice he's got it pulled up like a paranoid squirrel in a lot of my drawings? I believe he's broken it before and spent a very miserable six weeks cast-bound, unable to shapeshift. It's bulky, unwieldy, and made for swimming around lagoons just like the rest of him which he has no love of doing, and he may never get over the sensation of ending two meters beyond his rear. Give him a year and he'll stop knocking things/people over with it, but he'll never stop being annoyed by it.
4) On that note,
stroking his fins makes Cornelius go blissfully glassy-eyed. If you get him extremely relaxed he will growl softly in his chest despite himself and he will defend to the death that it is NOT PURRING.
Whatever it is, it is cute.
5) He has a terrible horse allergy.
This wouldn't normally be an issue, except for centaurs. Reece and Harriet do their best to keep straight faces and their meetings with him short while he starts tearing up and sneezing himself into glatni form. He has the allergy in both bodies. It also applies to unicorns. It is funny.
6) He does NOT like children.
Children are like very small, noisy, sticky, emotionally unpredictable adults who can't follow simple commands or carry intelligent conversation. He's very little patience for them and will nod and smile humorlessly and try to brush them off as soon as possible. This is also his response to say, autistics, the psychologically unsound, and the senile. All his people skills lie in words and if someone can't keep up with him or even follow he's totally lost about how to connect with them. And to be terribly frank, if someone falls into that category he doesn't see much value in him personally dealing with them at all. Kids, however, tend to think that glatni Cornelius is for climbing on.
7) He's not really into cars,
and neither am I or I could tell you what exactly he drives beyond that it is long, white, silver, and very, very expensive. He let Frederick, his driver, pick it out, who animatedly informs him that it is absolutely top of the line, slicker than spit, the dragon's bollocks, and so on, explaining about diffusers and wheelbases, discs and tachometers, suspension and engine ratings, while Cornelius happily sips his coffee to the sound of jargon whooshing over his head. Thankfully he still fits into the thing these days, they often have the rear seats down and he curls up in the back with his laptop and briefcase for the morning commute.
8) What the hell does he do for a living, exactly?
Okay. First let's not bore ourselves with his entire resume, just know that it is shiny and extensive. The Montreys are an extremely well-off land/sea-owning family who get their income because their ancestors came to Aagiea and bought up some gianormous chunk of the unsettled area (indigenous populations don’t really count, of course). For generations they've taken a share of the profits from all fishing/harvesting done on their coastline and ocean, which is not too taxing to manage. So a number of Montreys have gone into politics in their spare time, as the most worthwhile occupation for any millionaire is to make sure the political and financial world stays balanced in favor of them being a millionaire tomorrow.
The most prominent position Cornelius ever held was just before his glatnism. He was the senior Aagiean senator (Aagiea is rich bastard haven galore- a powerful place to represent) and recently appointed head of the senatorial chamber making him among the dozen highest ranking government officials in the Network. But it couldn't last. After The Incident and his subsequent mutation, super-conservative Aagiea called for his resignation and a crushed Cornelius complied. Some months later, as he got his confidence back and started poking around for ways to return to the political scene, the out-going senator from the city of Altalamatox got in touch with him. They needed a new voice in the Senate for anti-humancentric policy, he needed a way back into it, they shook on it.
Sooo, today Cornelius is a senator representing the podunk city-state of Altalamatox, and, because neither job is very demanding, he is also their ambassador. Which is kind of a joke, but he's used that small power in ways his opponents find quite unfunny. How he's seen in government today is complicated but there's no denying he remains an influential figure.
9) Here's the run-down on Cornelius Challistan Montrey's name.
I'm sure I'm not alone on this site in getting color vibes from words/letterforms. I picked 'Cornelius' and 'Challistan' because they are long and fancy and because they are gold filigree in my mind's eye. 'Montrey' is a corruption of Monterey, California, specifically Monterey Bay, specifically the giant-ass aquarium there, which I have not been to since I was a kid living in Cali, but I loved the hell out of it. PENNY MONTREY
1) If her brother is a wizard of words, Penny's people-power is exactly what Cornelius lacks in spades: honest empathy.
She's not especially eloquent, can't write to save her life, but remembers names, faces, and stories and has a gift for making people feel wanted and interesting which has earned her a small army of friends and honorary family. She has, will, and would again give what little security or possessions she has if it will help out a friend or even a friend of a friend. She is highly un-prejudiced, helpful, eager, social, a bit crazy, and not unknown to attend parties of the sort that end by scaling the backyard fence when the cops show up.
2) Penny mutually disowned her family when she was sixteen
and spent the next few years bouncing around between the homes of a few of her friends' families, working low-end jobs and saving up "the first honest money I ever saw in my life" towards renting a place of her own. She's certainly not made bank by any means nor is she ever likely, as an animal handler and trainer, and while she still can't help feel a little put-out that her entire flat is significantly smaller than the master bathroom of the mansion she was raised in, she would never hesitate to declare her current living conditions are ten times more noble.
3) When she and Cornelius made amends,
they legally took each other as siblings again and he restored to her the equal chunk of the standing fortune she should have inherited when their father passed away. Which she has since been steadily donating to zoology/ecology research and conservation, zoos, charities and such. (Cornelius cringes but says nothing as he promised to.) She thinks the landowner system her family's coffers have grown fat on is rotten and won't use a
cent of it for herself. Whatever she inherits after Cornelius' death she'll do the same with.
4) Penny's given name is Penelope
but she's effectively deaf to it. Press the point and she might set some of her personal zoo on you.
5) I should introduce the personal zoo.
Last I checked she had a tankful of snowflake eels, two ball pythons (Terry and Graham), a tiny salamander of the firesome variety, a seven-foot long boa named Conder, and her best buddy Crikit the housegryphon. Outside her apartment (don't ask how she found a place that was okay with all her critters) she's made friends with a number of the animals she worked with at the Moco Macoa Zoo and later with the gryphons she assists in the training of.
6) Once, when she was twelve, she got in a huge fight with her parents
when they ordered she attend a fancy dinner they were hosting in the mansion. She locked herself in her room and didn't show up until second course. When she streaked the table. Wearing only her dad's best cape. Which got punch all over it. Along with most of the guests.
7) She has only vague memories of her brother Nathaniel
who died in service when she was nine, around fourteen years ago, but they're definitely fond memories and she likes to get stories from Cornelius about him. She likes to think they'd have gotten along and Cornelius agrees they probably would have, and that Nathaniel would probably have gotten along with her damned serpents as well. Penny wagers Nathaniel would have been cool with his brother's glatnism but Cornelius turns a little grey at the thought. Such conversations inevitably end sadly with the two sighing and lamenting the trio they might have been.
8) She has a zillion tattoos,
almost none of which show up in my drawings of her which is bad of me. It's all hippie nature stuff. She has a loop around one ankle of tiny silhouettes of animals she's known or worked with who've meant something special to her (the latest figure has a familiar long-finned tail and didn't notice his addition for months).
9) Second only to her love of animals is music.
When she and Eric start dating, which won't be 'til way later in the story than we're used to seeing on dA, they will waste many happy hours plugged in or at concerts and much hard drive space and hearing ability to their mutual love of all things NOISY. She was coerced into learning the piano as a kid but came to actually enjoy it once she could pick what to play. It's very possible she knows the guitar as well.
--If you weren't familiar with these two, yes they are siblings, yes they are nearly twenty years apart in age. It happens. I would crack a joke about their parents but Cornelius would smack me.