Aoife (pronounced Ee-fah) has dark brown hair, cut medium-long out of a carefree sense of practicality and worn loose when on her own time. While working, she ties it up into a simple knot, so as not to interfere with whatever she is doing. Her cheekbones are close to her face, with her mouth often set in a line of indifference, though she also has a habit of thinning her lips and jutting her jaw when someone does something particularly stupid or unappealing. Her eyes are brown with just a hint of green, and she bears very pale skin, matching her brothers. She has a few freckles across her cheeks and nose, and a few old scars on her hands from her young years, now warped and stretched as she has grown. She is thin, and hardly the strongest girl around, but it's not a problem to her. She often has noticeable dark circles under her eyes - a result of time spent caring for those who cannot care for themselves, her siblings included.
Clothing & Style
She does not dress to impress, and is generally seen in no-nonsense clothing when working; a plain white button-up blouse, long black skirt, and simple flat-heeled shoes, all accented with a ribbon tie for presentability's sake. In a more casual setting she'll wear whatever is practical - usually a sweater and skirt over standard female underclothing; a long corseted chemise, with garters and stockings, in keeping with what is respectable for the times. She also has a navy blue peacoat that she will wear over all this in colder weather, though it is more suited to frigid Ireland than the ever-changing temperature of Montana. In Missoula she bought a woolen shawl, and this has served her well for the springtime thus far.
Weapons & Equipment
Aoife has no personal weapons to speak of. Presently staying in the Wigfall Boarding House, she owns little but a trunk containing personal effects; clothing, reading materials (Tennyson's The Princess, a Medley at present), A notebook & pencil, a watch, some eighty dollars in notes until she gets on her feet, and various bits and pieces for tending to scrapes and bruises, which were, until recently, used primarily on her brothers.
Traits & Characteristics
(+) Literarily Proficient - Aoife is a fan of the greats. Poetry and prose hold places within her psyche, and she cites them often.
(+) Intelligent- Aoife is clever, more so than she really has any right to be. With a canny sense borne from the streets of Milford, an interest in literature, and a career path in medicine, chances are she knows what she's talking about on any given topic.
(+) Sanguine - Aoife is comfortable with blood, a product of both her childhood and adult life.
(-/+) Donegal Lass - Aoife speaks with a very noticeable Irish accent, highlighting her as a recent immigrant from the moment she opens her mouth.
(-/+) Professional - Aoife takes her work very seriously, for better or worse.
(-) Contemptful- Aoife does not often think highly of others. To earn her respect one must prove oneself beyond a doubt to be resourceful, brave, clever, and perhaps even kind.
(-) Blunt Personality - Aoife speaks her mind, and is unafraid to do so. This can put people off, but for all the unapproachability it gives her, it also lends an otherwise unattainable air of authority.
(-) Insecure - For all her demure self-confidence, Aofie harbors a degree of discreet insecurity towards her decisions with regard to family and career.
Aoife is a very no-nonsense sort of lady. She'll take very little rubbish before telling someone exactly how she feels, and a working-class Irish family has lent her the colourful vocabulary to ensure the point is not forgotten. Almost as soon as she could make decisions of her own she has endeavored to put distance between herself and the rough-and-tumble life of her siblings and father. In a way, it was they who brought her into the profession of nursing, by way of needing someone on hand to set their broken noses and wash their bruised lips, but as time wore on, this sense of duty has become very tiresome, and Aoife has not looked back since striking out on her own.
She is well aware that the role she holds in 1800s society is, at the very least, unconventional for a woman, and acts accordingly - knowing that she must work twice as hard as her male counterparts to avoid scrutiny and judgement in the medical profession. Ironically, she does not have the greatest bedside manner, thanks to her curt mannerisms and blunt nature, rather excelling at the more practical side of medicine; with steady hands and an encyclopedic knowledge. Despite this, she holds a great deal of stock in the nearly legendary Florence Nightingale, and looks up to her as a sort of role model by way of advancing the medical profession. Evidently she is dedicated to her work and will not let any silly business interrupt it. As such, she is good at what she does, and has the respect of her more progressive peers.
Though she may seem composed to all the world, Aoife harbors a fatal level of insecurity regarding herself and her decisions. She often inwardly belittles herself for failing to perform as well as she could, and every mistake she makes will devastate her. This is of course kept as suppressed as possible, so as to display no softness and maintain a perceived air of self-confidence to the outside observer.
A comprehensive knowledge of human anatomy is not her only facet, however. She is an avid reader, not just of textbooks and doctrine - but of great literature. She has an appreciation for the work of philosophers and poets, from whom she will recite every now and again. She also enjoys writing, and keeps a thorough journal - adorned with illustrations and prose alike. For the time being, she is indifferent towards the prospect of romance, but this is not to say she is entirely numb to the concept. A partner may show themselves with time, but Aoife would be no easy wife, owing to both her disposition and brisk nature.
(Former) Milford Doctor's Office (1868-73)
Nurse, Doctor's Assistant
Kalispell Doctor's Office (1876- Present)
Nurse, Doctor's Assistant
Aoife can set bones, bandage wounds, drain abcesses, and administer morphine with the best of them. In all but name, she is a physician.
Even the strongheaded Aoife could not escape the traditional woman's lot, though admittedly, the skill learned in housekeeping during her teenage years has come in handy in the doctor's office - for an unclean practice is as good as treating patents on the roadside!
Aliases / Nicknames
Wigfall Boarding House, Kalispell (1876)
Itinerant, crossing the United States (1875-76)
Itinerant, crossing the Atlantic Ocean (1874)
Place of Birth
Milford, Ireland (1854-73)
Kith & Kin
Patrick Leane - Father, Labourer in Missoula
Finn Leane - Brother, Labourer in Missoula
Liam Leane - Brother, Labourer in Missoula
Daniel 'Danny' Leane - Brother, Labourer in Missoula
Maeve Leane - Mother, Homekeeper in Missoula
Childhood (1853-65, age 0-12)
Aoife was born the fourth child, a girl to three boys. Her childhood was, understandably, entirely respective of that fact. With her parents ever busy trying to keep their heads above water, she was often the subject of pranks, the object of ridicule, and generally the holder of the short stick. Matters were not helped by the seemingly angleic persona of the eldest; Finn, always offering to help with chopping the wood, always first to volunteer for pumping water, and, of course, always first to kick Aoife under the table. Nevertheless, she learned to endure, as most do.
Milford, the town of her birth, was by no means a flourishing settlement, situated on Ireland's northern coast. The summers were cold, the winters were freezing, and life was all around tough. Her family was very much working-class, earning their bread with her Father's wage as a labourer. Maeve, her mother, was an altogether self-contained wife, and kept to herself for the most part. The first lessons Aofie learned from her were those in the lot of a woman; how to clean, cook, and wash. Though entirely willing to assist in this regard, the raucous fighting of her boisterous brothers seemed far more spritely, and indeed more interesting, at least for a time. Nevertheless, Aoife resolved that if she were going to be excluded, she would need to find her own way of occupying her time. With little else for a young girl to do, she joined the lessons hosted by the local church, and quickly became engrossed in the sermons. Far more interesting than the mundanity of woking-class life, she listened intently to the lessons of arithmetic, history, and reading, not to mention the healthy dose of injected catholicisim. Her peers were similar to her brothers in disposition, all jeering sneers and teasing, but she came to develop a sharp tounge, and quick wit. For a time, this was the life she lived; schoolwork, housework, and home life, but the brothers Leane did not remain boys for long. By the time they had matured into teenagers, and their brawls turned outward, it became clear that Aoife may well have lucked out in her exclusion. The streets of Milford were a hostile place, and roaming gangs of teenagers met, then fought, over the slightest provocation. All too often her brothers would come home with black eyes and bruised chests from their latest alley punch-up. Patrick, the Leane patriarch, was no better, lending himself to the bottle and then getting into his own conflicts.
Aoife quickly learned from her mother the art of home medicine; the cleaning of cuts, the icing of bruises. It became as much a part of her life as homekeeping had been, and by the time Aoife was twelve, she had treated, or assisted in the treatment of her fair share of wounds.
Teenage Years (1865-73, age 12-20)
One might have thought that once the Leane brothers put down their fists and picked up a job, things would improve, but it was quite the contrary. Joining Patrick at his labouring work, the boys only accompanied him on his dives to the town pub, blowing wages on whiskey and ending the nights with their noses broken in the ditch. Their care became a full-time job, and Aoife was often sleep-deprived from both her studies and duty to her brothers. So too did money become tight, with how much of it was going towards alcohol, culminating in Patrick being laid off from his job.
Deciding that she would need to take matters into her own hands, Aoife ventured for work at the local doctor's office, as an assistant, and was accepted, if only because the Milford physician was an old man, and incapable of keeping his surgery in order. Here, Aoife came to know her calling, with the expereince she had gleaned from treating her brothers translating well to the day-to-day cases of a small-town practice. She kept up with her studies, reading about Florence Nightingale and latching on to her example as a woman in medicine. Her study too came in handy with the work, enabling her to quickly understand the instructions given to her, and by the time Aoife was a young lady, she was capable of treating most patients all on her own. She continued pursuing her personal passions, avidly reading and keeping a journal, all the while she watched the sitution at home deteriorate. She came to consider the men in her family with a mixture of contempt and pity, even as they fulfilled their cycles and drained the family funds.
Journey to America (1873-75, age 20-22)
1873, and Patrick Leane, the unemployed drunkard, decided it was time for a change. The Irish had been emigrating to The New World for some two hundred years now, and he had decided to follow in their footsteps, in the hope of a less miserable life. Needless to say, Aoife was not impressed by his sudden change of heart, pointing out that it was quite clearly a play to regain what little dignity he could. Still, her mother and siblings seemed taken with the idea, and so Aoife reluctantly agreed to come along, if only for their sake.
Most of their savings went to passage and convoy out to the frontier, and a dreary passage it was indeed. At sea for some seven weeks, Aoife spent most of the time belowdecks, keeping to herself while the Leane men suffered the ill-effects of forced sobriety. When they finally arrived on the shores of New England, they were changed indeed, though possibly for the better. They joined a convoy ferrying immigrants out into the territories, and for a time, Aoife was to know nothing but an itinerant life, the thunder of horseshoes and creaking of wagon wheels an ever-present anthem. A few times they had scares, when native riders approaced the convoy, but the hired outriders always managed to frighten them off before the situation became unpleasant. It was late in 1875 when they arrived in Missoula, and while the Leane men were content to resume work as labourers in the more lucrative setting, Aoife had come to decide that it was time she distanced herself from her family. Their sudden sober streak had reassured her they would manage for some time yet, not to mention that she was rather sick of taking care of their careless mistakes.
On to Kalispell (1876, age 22)
And so, she continued on north, to the town of Kalispell, where she seeks work and a livelihood on the American frontier, alone for the first time since she was born.
Post-Arrival in Kalispell (1876, age 22)
Thousands of Miles From Home: In which Aoife departed from her caravan and made headway towards the settlement of Kalispell, only to find herself interrupting the hunt of one Robert Cullen, a fellow Gael who was living out in the wilds, prospecting. At his offer, she decided to expedite her trip by taking his mule, Abraham into town, rather than walking the rest of the way.
A Room With a View, and You: In which Aoife arrived at the Wigfall boarding house, in search of a place to stay. The enigmatic family arrived in force just as she was about to find somewhere else, and after some deliberation it was decided that she would indeed room with them for a time. After some discussion about her future place of work, Aoife proceeded to clean herself up after her journey, during which time Hector attempted to get an eyeful of her changing. Unfortunately for him, his plan did not go as expected.
Miscellaneous Reference Images;
Aoife will probably be a fairly 'social' character, most suited to drama and such, even if she would likely disagree with me.
"Yes, that sort of thing. I had to sign this paper for my claim to this old mine. I had no idea what was on it but the man told me nothing important, just needed for records n' such. He has the paper"
"Well, he hasn't come back to cheat you out of anything has he?" she voiced. The main issue with signing documents that you couldn't understand was of course that people would be liable to write whatever they pleased.
"Then another time I was doin' one of me fights for money and the man in charge comes up to me just before I am gonna git in the ring and shoves a pen in me hand, sez sign this here paper. So I did. Anyhow I won the fight but I didn't get as much money as I was promised... but he said he kept his part of the contract. That it was all on the paper."
"Oh, well, that sounds a bit more blatant." Aoife said. "Well, don't hesitate to call, if you need help in future - with your documents or your health."
They moved through the forest at a fair pace, and the sun arced it's way across the sky as the afternoon begun to get on. Indeed, as they traveled, so too did Aoife begin to grow a little sore in the saddle, for she was hardly riding properly, and even if she was, she would not have been wearing the right clothes. She found herself peeking ahead more and more frequently, seeking sight of the town.
"He's going to give some of his 'secret' stash away? I didn't tell you, but it's in the cabinet there over the basin, in the back, in a cracker tin." Mrs. Towberman told her with a laugh.
"Gotcha." Aoife replied, moving to open the cabinet and reaching inside to rifle around for the tin. Her hand felt metal and she pulled it out into the light, where she could properly pull off the top. Inside was a stick of chocolate, as she was told, and Aoife quickly snapped off a piece, before returning the stick to the tin, and the tin to the cabinet.
"And I'm sure he'd never miss it if you wanted to try a quick sample, you know, to be certain that it hasn't spoiled or anything!"
"Oh that's quite alright. I can't say I've ever had a great love of sweets." Aoife told Mrs. Towberman, as she carried the piece out of the kitchen and out into the hall, removing the apron from around her neck as she went. She followed the sound of voices out to where the Doctor and his patients were sat, cautiously stepping out into the room with her apron in one hand and the candy in the other.
"Hello." she greeted everyone in the room. "I've er, brought something for Briton."
"Oh thanks but no need. I'm too old now to learn such things."
Aoife nodded in understanding, she had expected as much. It was likely for the best, anyway, as she could not imagine having the patience to be a pleasant teacher.
"Although... on a few occasions I bin called upon to sign me name to certain papers. I have to trust the person there with the papers then, that he be tellin' me the truth of what all those words are sayin'. Maybe I could bring 'em ta you and you could read 'em and then let me know exactly what's on the pages. I mean next time of course."
"Aye, I could do that." she told him, though it was an odd request. She couldn't imagine who might come knocking about demanding Robert's signature, and it may well be that he was already being taken advantage of.
"Papers about hunting for gold and the like, you mean?"
"At least you don't need to worry too much, I very much doubt anyone is going to cause trouble at that boarding house...no one is addled enough to take on Miss Jemima."
"Yes, I wouldn't want to find myself on the receiving end of one of Jemima's swings." Aoife commented. That beefy girl could probably out-wrestle any of the Leane men.
"The same can be said for Miss Chappel and Miss Cory... she's a deputy, and Addy drives stage."
"Oh aye?" Aoife responded with mild surprise. She'd never heard of a lady in the business of law before, let alone as a deputy. Certainly this 'Miss Cory' must be an interesting character, and one that Aoife fully intended to meet.
Of course, a rough-and-tumble town made for rough-and-tumble townsfolk, and it stood to reason that the women of Kalispell were sterner stock than those of Boston or even Missoula.
"Oh, and before I forget - Doctor Danforth said he wanted chocolate, for Briton. Do we have any or should I fetch some?" Aoife asked, having suddenly remembered Jonah's earlier request.
Mrs. Towberman suddenly became quite animated in her description of the robbery, and so Aoife quickly cast her eyes down, reasoning that it would probably be best not to push the storybook angle.
"People need to know that Kalispell is not a place to defame with crime! Of course, once God destroyed the den of outlaws that was Whitefish, those men have to go somewhere!"
Oh, Whitefish. Aoife had in fact heard of that place; Kalispell's abandoned sister-town. She'd never heard anything about it being a 'den of outlaws', but, well, most people didn't like to talk about that sort of business in polite company.
"And there's been many more attacks since?" Aoife asked. "What does the Marshal do about it?"
"Well, to be truthful I never learned how to read or write. But I could certainly look at yer drawin's couldn't I now? Thank ye, if it's not too much trouble, I'd like that indeed."
"Not at all." Aoife replied. "It would be the least I could do."
The least it would be too, considering Robert had put his hunt and his livelihood on hold to bring her into town. Not to mention that the idea of him choking to death on his own vomit in the woods because he ate a bad mushroom left a poor impression on the mind.
As for his illiteracy, well, it seemed fairly standard for frontier folk, or indeed, most folk. The rest of her family had never bothered with reading or writing, and admittedly; it seemed a rather silly endeavor, given everything else that one had to watch for out here.
"Very well then, I'll come up with them as soon as I'm able. I should like to do a few sketches of the land around here as well, which should make for a worthwhile trip. Maybe I could teach you some letters, too. If you'd like." she offered. As like as not, Robert would care very little for literacy, but it was worth a suggestion.
“No! I don’t wanna see no silly old nurse, I gotta see a real doctor!”
The frantic words were a relief to hear, even if they were a little insulting. At any rate, it meant that Aoife could get back to the inventory work, and so she sat back down at the kitchen table. Where had she been? Ah yes, rolls of bandage. Eight, to be precise, but no sooner had she picked up the pencil, down the hall came Mrs. Towberman again, with the admonition that the Doctor's presence was once more required.
Aoife gave a short nod, and put her head down again. Bandage. Rolls. Eight of them.
The pencil touched paper and an adjacent door swung wide, from whence Jonah emerged, evidently having finished with his patient. She put down the pencil. Again.
"There's a girl, in the parlor, asking for you. Doesn't want to see me." Aoife told him quickly. Bandage rolls - Eight, she quickly scribbled, defying any divine intervention that might have further postponed that particular line.
"Wigfalls? Oh, well...'vexing' is an interesting term, although I do hear that Mrs. Wigfall maintains a meticulously clean establishment."
Aoife raised an eyebrow at Mrs. Towberman's annunciation, but did not question it. No doubt the peculiar family had a fair few rumors swirling about them, for how could they not?
"Brush some of that on and we'll let it rise by the stove. As I said, Kalispell is a decent enough place, and surrounded by the most amazing scenery on God's Earth, if I do say so myself." she continued, passing Aoife a bowl of butter and a brush, which the nurse took up immediately.
She dipped the brush into the liquid and proceeded to thoroughly coat the loaf from top to bottom as she was told, for no doubt the Doctor would like his bread nice and soft.
"Just keep in mind that it is still wild, there are Indians, bears, men who think it is far enough from civilization to make a safe place to hide...Why, the bank was just recently robbed, but the Marshal and some of the townsfolk put a stop to that."
"Robbed?" Aoife repeated, as she carted the brushed bread over to the stove. Why, Kalispell certainly was a storybook town, wasn't it? Every bit the western dime novel.
"By, y'know... outlaws, with bandannas and such?"
“Please Mam and can I see the doctor? I got money.”
"He's with a patient right now, but you can wait in the parlor. It should just be a few minutes. You may have a seat. Would you like some tea or milk while you wait? Dr. Danforth has a new nurse working for him, she's quite smart, if you'd like to talk to her instead?"
Aoife set down her pencil slowly, and stared at the list on the kitchen table for a few seconds. It would seem that the inventory would likely not come to fruition this morning either. This patient had better have a serious problem, or at least one worth adding to the ever-growing list.
She took a second to remove the scowl from her face, and rose from the table, ducking her head into the hall to listen for the girl's answer.
Aoife had come in fairly early that morning, for the encroaching height of summer had obviously not been lending itself well to the health of Kalispell's townsfolk, and the Doctor had needed plenty of help managing their inventory and attending to the influx of patients. She sat at the kitchen table, pencil in hand, as she marked down the various quantities of the medicines, creams, and syrups that adorned the surface around her.
Her brow was furrowed in concentration, and she scribbled with such speed that her exasperation was unmistakable to any eye. The busyness of the last few days had left this particular task on the ice for a while, along with time for meals, sleeping, and washing. Indeed, she'd hardly been back to her place at the Wigfall boarding house for two nights now, having instead slept in one of the practice's spare rooms, which, in itself then needed to be made up and cleaned, creating a cycle of work.
Needless to say, Aoife Ciara Leane was not at her most presentable; clad in sweater and shawl rather than blouse and ribbon, hair tied back sloppily, and with a mood to match. So when there came yet another knock at the door, she did not even lift a finger in reaction, leaving Mrs. Towberman to answer.
"Good morning, what do you need?" came the woman's voice from down the hall, and Aoife once again felt amazement at that lady's patience, for as yet another strand of hair slipped out of the knot behind her head, she had to take a moment so as to prevent a most vulgar outburst.
Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.
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