Emily Ana “Phoenix” Shifter is the very first character to appear in Orderly Chaos, followed directly by Julian Halfway. She has remained one of the RPG's most consistently present characters. Setting the trend of ‘a cast of misfits’, Phoenix has the bizarre ability to conjure fire at will despite appearing human. Throughout the Adventures, Phoenix has been characterized by her optimism, obliviousness, and subconscious death wish. She is one of the most feminine females in OC – giggling, shrieking, and whooping freely – though she would incinerate anyone who suggested such a thing.
Phoenix was originally planned as an acerbic and lovely martial artist with badass firepower, but morphed into a
crusader for girly girls everywhere—proving that you can be feminine and cool after all.
Phoenix is under five feet tall, and is described as cutesy-looking and small, with a remarkably rosy complexion and rounded features. She is well padded but most definitely petite, with small round eyes (bright blue), a nose with a large and rounded tip, and a thick lower lip. She appears much younger than she actually is, still having most her baby-fat. Phoenix’s most striking feature would be the long, buoyant, red hair she inherited from her grandfather. It is orangeish and bright, extremely thick. This hair is her very pride, and she suffered great trauma when it was forcibly cut to roughly chin-length by Geier von Engelmacher in the Teatime Adventure; since then it has grown to around her shoulders.
Phoenix dons a blue dress and a white apron in The Drakhen Adventure and a brown button-up jacket with tan trousers and plain brown boots in both The Teatime Adventure and Roundworld! thread before eventually being dolled up by several native-worlders. In The Grunwaldstadt Adventure, Phoenix’s clothes remain unspecified, except when she borrows a dirndl from a castle wardrobe.
Phoenix is perky, vibrant, and sunny. She is clever but oddly oblivious, often missing what others find obvious. She is somewhat bashful and almost incapable of holding a grudge (the two exceptions being Lord Drakhen and Lord Pan). Phoenix is utterly trusting and quick to form deep attachments, but when she gets angry, something in her snaps. She straightens, her eyes narrow, her hands snap to her hips, her shoulders flicker, her voice sharpens, and she suddenly becomes very much like her paternal grandfather Theodore. Phoenix is quoted as saying that she is a simple person with a simple personality. She insists that anyone could know her entire soul in five minutes flat. In contract, Albus Weiss, Lord Pan, and Geier von Engelmacher have compared her to a ‘puzzle’. This may, on Geier’s part, be merely since her warm nature was so utterly alien to him at the time that it simply refused to register. Because of this, every instance it presented itself he was surprised all over again. Phoenix herself has very little self restraint or sense of order, and she is easily distracted. She enjoys nothing more than lollygagging with the people she loves.
Because of her fire power, Phoenix often refers to herself as a ‘firegirl’ or a ‘not-a-fire-demon’. Her skin bruises very easily, but acid only tickles her, and it is entirely fireproof. She stiffens (and has difficulties moving) in the cold, to which she is hyper-sensitive. When wet, Phoenix sneezes compulsively and grays up. Her fire dims and she becomes nauseous and sick. As for the fire itself, if she isn’t touching it she isn’t controlling it. Phoenix can’t make things spontaneously combust, but she can spread her fire in long pillars wherever she pleases. The fire is always trying to escape, and she has to make a conscious effort to hold it in. When excited or agitated in any form, she loses control and the fire can leak out in varying levels depending on her distress and restraint.
Pre-Chaos: Phoenix was born Emily Ana, to Christopher Rosefelt (town blacksmith) and Emily Shifter (town healer) in a small conglomeration of buildings on the edge of Lancre. She burst into flames for the first time a month after she was born, utterly shocking her whole family – her paternal grandfather Theodore especially. Having two Emilys in one house proved more confusing than first expected, and she was dubbed Phoenix for simplicity's sake. Shortly before she turned five years old, her parents had their final child, Molly Rosefelt. Between then and the age of twelve, Phoenix apprenticed with her father in his forge, as the heat complemented her pyrotechnic powers, and taught herself how to hold a sword properly. When she was twelve, her parents asked whether she wanted her mother’s name or her father’s. She took her mother’s and became Phoenix Shifter. After that, she spent much more time cooking and learning to read than forging. When she was eighteen, a strange vampire came to visit Lancre. Phoenix took an extreme disliking to him for reasons never fully explained. This ‘Lord Drakhen’, she eventually discovered, was heading some sinister plot involving a certain spell book. When her grandfather refused to acknowledge anything was wrong, Phoenix (who had been suffering from cabin fever for a long while now) took matters into her own hands. She stole the book herself and ran away to Ankh-Morpork when Drakhen sent his minions after her.
Post-Chaos: Once in Ankh-Morpork, Phoenix met several characters in a deserted alley (see Orderly Chaos Vocabulary), all just as unique as she was. Sharing a kinship in their oddness, they agreed to help her take down Drakhen. They saved the disc, and she returned home with her Grandfather. She remained there for six months before the gods dropped her in a hedge maze (see The Teatime Adventure). Afterward, Phoenix found herself in the Roundworld. She was able to return home for another six months before her friend and neighbor Geier was called to take the throne of his father’s kingdom. She accompanied him to present day Grünwaldstadt.
Mannerisms, Habits, and Pet PeevesEdit
Phoenix, like her grandfather Theodore, tugs her hair when nervous, frightened, bashful, or frustrated. She has a tendency to stand up on tables, stools, staircases, or really anything in the vicinity that could give her stature a bit of a boost. She hardly sits still and is always swinging her feet, wriggling her toes, playing with her fingers, tugging her hair, or juggling fireballs. When upset, excited, nervous, euphoric, dreamy, or otherwise emotional, Phoenix flames: sometimes at her fingers, arms, or wrists, but most often at her shoulders or neck. She panics in enclosed, crowded spaces when indoors, and she doesn’t like crowds in general. The “blue, blue sky” (as she puts it) is comforting to her. She often dreams of flying.
Phoenix is extremely possessive of her hair, and makes a point to physically tackle anyone who DARES to DEIGN to TOUCH IT, previous offenders being Geier von Engelmacher and Mary Garmin. That is common knowledge. What isn’t common knowledge is that the feel of strands of hair tugging at her follicles seriously turns her on, and she feels invaded when someone she isn’t involved with does such a thing.
Phoenix can make indisputably perfect chocolate chip cookies (to her own recipe) and bakes whenever she has a free moment, sometimes using her fire as an oven.
Relationships and Social LifeEdit
Phoenix’s open and optimistic nature lets her overlook unsavory aspects in anything and simply have a good time. This can be good, because she’s almost always happy and having fun. This can be bad, because she can get tangled up in nasty situations (e.g., being stabbed three times, kissed, and drenched in water all in one go - thanks, Herr Whore) since she is so utterly careless. In short, Phoenix gets along with everyone. She does, however, carry several notable relationships close to her heart.
Theodore Rosefelt: Phoenix spends much of her time in Orderly Chaos convincing her slightly insane grandfather that she is more than capable of taking care of herself. Despite this, he’s one of her closest friends, and she knows he’ll always be there for her. Phoenix often turns to her grandfather for advice when she feels lost, and out of all the people in Lancre, she always thought he understood her best.
Cassandra Larimar: Cass has been Phoenix’s best friend since the end of The Drakhen Adventure. Both women share a love for destruction and often fantasize about burning down and then blowing up Ankh-Morpork. They always have each other’s back and are constantly looking out for one another. Phoenix looks up to Cassandra (who she dubbed ‘Cass’) and sees her as an older sister.
Akhemi: At first, talking to Akhemi was like pulling hairs being drizzled with water to a firegirl. Not long after their less-than-pleasant introduction, Phoenix realized this guy was actually gosh darn funny (and a wicked warrior, too). Remembering quite clearly both his nasty and brutal streaks, Phoenix knows she has to be careful where she treads around Akhemi. Oddly enough, that doesn’t stop her from utterly adoring him.
“Julian, wake up! There’s a cute blonde with a crossbow!!”
– Phoenix, upon witnessing Thomas for the first time, directly after he shot five vampire slayers disguised as cooks and armed with stakes (and one steak).
When Phoenix first saw Thomas, he glowed in her eyes. Within five minutes, she was smitten. This puppy love forged on for the entire duration of The Drakhen Adventure and a good portion of The Teatime Adventure. Upon learning his dead girlfriend Lydia “Lola” Wording lived in his head, she backed off, but Phoenix didn't stop dreaming until he actually kissed her and both realized how wrong it was. Presently, they are very good friends filled with dreamy sighs and sad smiles, thoughts trying not to linger on what might have been.
Albus Weiss: Phoenix shared her very first kiss with Allie, in the rain under an awning on the outskirts of Ankh-Morpork. She had always found him a pleasant and intriguing individual, and she was utterly curious and flattered when he showed interest in her. Albus was charming and pleasant to the “sweet wholesome girl”, though he later admitted (to Thomas) that he only started their relationship because he thought her being with him was better than Phoenix mooning after someone (Thomas) who wouldn’t acknowledge her affections.
Geier von Engelmacher: Perhaps Phoenix’s most complicated relationship, Geier is one man to whom she has never felt indifference. Their friendship first started with utter confusion, moved on to burning hatred, melted into pity, kindled back to more burning hatred, mellowed to curiosity, and from there fell into a cycle of tentative friendship to loathing to confusion and back to tentative friendship again that reiterated several times. It wasn’t until mid-Roundworld! thread that Phoenix finally felt she understood Geier, and though the exact moment is hard to pinpoint, it was somewhere in there that she fell in love. She kept these newfound feelings to herself for a good while, guessing they’d scare him off (it was already hard enough convincing the damned misogynist he could count her as a friend; if he knew she liked him he’d freak and chop off someone’s head. Possibly his own. Maybe hers. Probably both.). Fervently jealous of his numerous romantic escapades (Phoenix either doesn’t try or fails miserably at hiding that fact), she eventually fed up and tried TWICE to announce her affections. The first, he was drugged, and promptly forgot. The second he DID freak out and things haven't been the same since. Phoenix is one of the few Chaosers capable of calming Geier when he flies into one of his temper tantrums fits of rage (often by stroking his ego). The two share a fascination for swords as well as a (bitter, on Geier’s part) love for books and significant hair fetish each. Phoenix started calling Geier “Charming” (as he is technically a blonde haired blue eyed son of a king, thus making him Prince Charming) near the middle of The Teatime Adventure, and Geier dubbed our favorite firegirl Feuermadchen (foy-er-maid-hen) the very first day they met.