eliotwaugh: (omg what | genuine laughter)
The Player
Name/nickname: Alix
Age: 30
Pronouns: she/they, it's complicated
Contact: avalonauggie@gmail.com, avalonauggie on AIM
Currently played characters: Dana Cardinal, Desire of the Endless (both of them so infrequently wow)

The Character
DW account: eliotwaugh
Name: Eliot Waugh
Alias: ehh usually he just goes by Eliot
Age/Birthdate: 24, birthdate July 28th
Species: Human (with an affinity for magic)
Canon: Lev Grossman's The Magicians and The Magician King
Canon point: about midway through the first book, while Eliot is living in bohemian squalor with his friends in SoHo after graduating from wizard college.
Played By: Nathan Stewart-Jarrett

Icon:


Abilities:
(strap in, this requires a bit of explanation!)

Eliot is a trained magician and graduate from Brakebills academy, which is about as stuffy as it sounds. Magic in his home universe is more like calculus or theoretical physics than anything else, involving a combination of natural affinity (some people have it, most people don't, and therefore magic is a secret from most of the world) and rigorous, boring training to memorize the various factors that need to be taken into consideration for a spell to go well (some people with affinity for magic do not have the type-A overacheiver competitive tenacity to put up with learning it).

Eliot's particular area of expertise groups him with the "Physical kids," magicians who are able to make real, structural changes to objects or their environment: think turning a bottlecap into a coin, or making a door in a wall, rather than creating illusions or talking to animals. Eliot's education has given him a grounding in a lot of areas of magic, but the down and dirty physical stuff is just what comes naturally/easiest.

His magic is limited by Circumstances and raw materials available. He can't make something from nothing, has to consider things like "where does the extra mass go" if he's trying to transform something, and he needs to know ridiuclous minutiae like the moon phase and planetary alignments and height above sea level, because that makes a difference in whether the spell works or not. Spellcasting usually looks like a combination of weird hand motions (oh no it's daylight savings time, I need to adjust my ring finger's angle just so) and spoken words, usually in some obscure language. Sometimes it's flashy, most of the time not.

Because of these factors, when Eliot comes through the rift his magic is going to be just a little off, whether because of a difference in magnetic field from his home universe, or UV radiation is a little different, or maybe just the gravitational constant of the universe is not the same as the one he knows. So until he acclimates or spends a lot of time reading books/scribbling on chalkboards and going "hmm," his spells are probably going to be humorously (or perilously) unpredictable, not working quite as they should. Like he's been sent back to his first year of school and doesn't quite have the knack yet. Aww, poor baby.

Non-magical abilities include really good skills as a cook, impeccable fashion sense, and the ability to appreciate fine wines.

Appearance:

Eliot is tall and thin, and takes particular care in his appearance. The image he projects to people is one of meticulous, conscious affectation. For example: he flaunted the uniform regulations at school by insisting on wearing cufflinks with his dress shirt. He has expensive tastes, and will dress to stand out from a crowd, but Eliot wears his clothes, the clothes don't wear him. Often seen with a cigarette or glass of wine in hand.

Eliot's defining physical attribute in the books is his jaw--it is noticeably twisted due to a birth defect and juts out at a weird angle. Because of this, he's got crooked teeth and his smiles look like grimaces. Grossman is a bit vague about the rest of him, but the implication is that Eliot's jaw is the only 'ugly' thing about him, hence the incredibly pretty Stewart-Jarrett as PB.

[Minor Book Spoilers Ahead!]
Eliot has a large pentagram tattooed on his back, which he was given in a traditional and arcane ceremony before graduating Brakebills. The tattoo holds a cacodemon inside him, which is a sort of magical insurance policy in case Eliot is ever in a serious life-threatening situation. The demon would be released by a specific word, at which point it would fight like, well, a demon, until it is either killed or the thing threatening its host is. But this is a one-time use deal, so don't expect Eliot to go whipping it out for any old danger.

Personality:

Eliot likes to be the center of attention, the classiest person in the room, the life of the party. He also likes lording it over other people, if only on the basis of his intellect and magic skills. He can be a pretty catty bitch sometimes, devolving into clique-ish Mean Girls type social exclusion if he's in an environment or relationship that's a bad influence on him.

The reason behind this is that Eliot had a very difficult adolescence, and it left him with a pretty huge chip on his shoulder (which he wears proudly as a flashy fashion accessory, if you will). Now that he's in a better place in life, he tends to luxuriate in his prominent social power. He's like new money, only with friendship: everything about him is ostentatious, and you can maybe discern the desperation behind it.

On the flip side, Eliot is not without an actual moral center. If he's confronted with serious injustice or a threat to his friends (whom he genuinely values and is super loyal to), he will step up and defend what's right. There's a really good person hiding under all this hedonism, and (spoiler alert!) it gets brought out of him over the course of the books, but I'm interested in exploring if/how Eliot will develop a sense of purpose and emotional maturity under the different circumstances provided by the Rift.

At the time of his entry into the Rift, Eliot is out of school and living a life of aimless excess, with no real direction in life or need to do real work to sustain himself (because magic makes it a hell of a lot easier to live comfortably in New York), but the glamour of being young and popular and highly skilled has started to wear off, and as often happens with emotionally-driven overacheivers when there's no academic system of challenges and rewards anymore, Eliot is not in a healthy place. He is prone to depression, and more prominently than that, he's struggling with alcoholism. He's aware that he's got a problem, but his lifestyle and mental health are not really motivating him to change that at all. He is a hot mess.

History:

Before the Game--
When the reader first meets Eliot in The Magicians, he is a princely and posh star pupil at an exclusive school of magic in upstate New York, but he was born into a poor family of conservative Christian farmers in eastern Oregon. He was bullied pretty extensively in grade school for his birth defect and for being gay and smart and daring not to hate himself (including one occasion where he was thrown into a dumpster because his pants were pressed), and there was more than likely some abuse in his home life as well. Headcanon ahoy: as soon as he possibly could, Eliot ran away to Seattle and tried to get by there for about six months until he was recruited to Brakebills. He cut all ties with his family, who probably think he's dead, and good riddance.

At Brakebills, Eliot took advantage of the fresh start in life (and the validation of his belief that he was always meant for something better), and reinvented himself. Finally he had the freedom to explore his identity and come to fully own it. His aptitude for magic meant that even at such an elite school, he never really had to work hard to apply himself: this did not help his emotional development. He cultivated a taste for the good things in life, because he felt he deserved them (because he's the cream of the crop, you see).

And what has he done with all that status and ability and prestigious education since graduating? Absolutely nothing.

Since Arrival through Rift--
The first thing Eliot did once he got through the rift was get drunk(er) and hook up with a guy he met in a bar. He didn't expect to ever see Johnny Truant again, but he didn't even know he'd hopped dimensions at the time.

He had a truly terrible morning after, with the realization both that he's not in Kansas anymore AND that his magic skills don't really work outside the Circumstances of his home dimension. He met Sunshine in the park and developed an admiration for her ability to make delicious, delicious food, her sass, and her magical skills.

He spent a few weeks on the streets, squatting in an abandoned building while frantically researching the history and science of this world in order to try to figure out what factors make this world different from his own and how he might adjust his spells to be able to be a magician again. Eventually Eliot was successful, and wasted no time in securing the resources to set himself up in the lifestyle of comfort to which he was accustomed.

He now has an apartment in the East Village, where he hosts the occasional drunken brunch keeps all his nice clothes and pretends that he doesn't miss any of his friends.

Eliot has a rocky relationship with the Dreaming--it's where he re-met Johnny, which is nice, but his magic doesn't seem to function properly in the Dreaming like it does in reality. He tends to set things on fire. And the Dreaming tends to put him in horrendously embarrassing situations.

Currently he and Johnny are fuckbuddies with the benefit of wow shit, friendship? and Eliot doesn't know quite how to feel about that because he does not have a history of forming emotional attachment to the people he sleeps with, and not sleeping with the people he cares about. Don't cross the streams! But against his better judgement he cares about Johnny (a lot), is leery/jealous of Gabe, and doesn't really want to deal with the fact that angels are real.

Also he popped Spike's canon cherry at drunk brunch, and hilarity ensued.

Writing Sample:
[[cw: casual, casual alcoholism]]

Par for the course, Eliot is drunk. No soirees tonight, none planned tomorrow, no Janet and no one to seduce, which leaves him with pub crawl, party of one. He's conquered a nice portion of the east side and is now staggering making his graceful way westward, cutting through the park. There's always someone to seduce in the park, but none of tonight's options meet with Eliot's exacting standards, and he breezes on by and makes a dutiful show of not feeling sorry for himself.

It's right around when he passes Bethesda Fountain that he feels it, something—wrong. Air and pressure changes, a shift in the whole je ne sais quois of the place. He comes perilously close to stumbling, halts abruptly and looks around, absurdly, like a prairie dog.

Nothing's different. Everything's as it was. Central Park, humid nighttime, the stars all accounted for, presumably, not that anyone can tell. And he's suddenly not sure, was there anything, or did he just have one of those odd, drunken little chills?

Good grief. He must be worse off than he thought. Tsk, tsk, Eliot Waugh, could it be you're losing your edge? This will have to be dealt with immediately. He needs to find a place to sober up.

He maneuvers himself to the west side, navigating the streets like the goddamn pro he is, until he finds what he wants, a desperately averagelittle dive called, adorably, Jake's Dilemma. Cheap and gross and just what the doctor ordered. He slips inside, takes in the early half-crowd with a disaffected glance, and sits himself down.


Anything else?

This was a huge wall of text, feel free to IM me if you want to hear me ramble EVEN MORE about all my Eliot feelings. I have so many. But For Your TL;DR Convenience, if you need a quick reference to some of the points about Eliot's character, here's a list of some of the tropes he's identified with from TVTropes:

Deadpan Snarker
Stoic Woobie
The Gift
Mr. Vice Guy
Sharp-Dressed Man
Straight Gay
Five Man Band: The Lancer

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