Contact: prettiestwhistles @ plurk; plus5vswords @ gmail
Characters Already in Teleios: Ivan (Being Human UK)
Character Name: Tara Maclay
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Canon Point: Season Six (just after "Dead Things"), plus CR AU experience (see below)
Murder (in defense of another): 1 year
Betrayal: 1 year
Disorderly Conduct: 6 months
Manipulation (magical): 2 months
Misuse of magical forces: 8 months
Trespassing: 10 monthsNew crimes:
Sneaking Out Without Parental Permission: 15 instances
GRAND TOTAL: 5 years, 5 months
Canon Character Section:
Wiki link; this Tara was taken from just after the mid-season-six episode "Dead Things," in which she tells Buffy that her return from the dead doesn’t mean she’s anything other than fully human. She has, however, heard a bit about what the future (probably) holds; see the CR AU section below.
One of the first things it's necessary to know to understand Tara is that she is a victim of long-term emotional (and, on occasion, physical) abuse from her family, especially her father. Fearing the magical talents of Tara’s mother (and, in my version, her grandmother), Tara’s father did everything possible to make sure Tara internalized the message that she is wrong, weak, and incapable of knowing what is best for herself. By the point I’ve taken her from, she has mostly recognized her abuse for what it was and has slowly begun to move past it, but she is only a few years out from a toxic situation that was present to a degree for her entire childhood, and acute for the two years between her mother’s death and her leaving home to go to college. She still has a deep reservoir of self-doubt and has to actively fight the impulse to second guess her own value. Her natural quietness was forced into an intense shyness that she continues to struggle to overcome.
On first meeting, Tara still comes across as quiet, even shy; that shyness used to be crippling, and she is still more used to listening than talking. However, her quietness now belies a greater confidence underneath. Through her relationship with Willow and her other friendships, Tara has come into her own and slowly begun to move past her earlier abuse. Tara is first and foremost a nurturer, and having people to care for (as well as care for her) is the most effective way she’s found to remind herself of her own value. Her friends serve as a surrogate family, and this makes her incredibly loyal to all of them.
Her protectiveness is probably strongest with Willow and Dawn, as they are her two closest loved ones. After Buffy and Joyce's deaths in season five, Tara and Willow moved in with Dawn and became her de facto guardians. The series makes it clear that Tara remains close to Dawn even during her breakup with Willow. Tara very much wants children one day, and though the circumstances that led her and Willow to watch over Dawn were tragic, she couldn’t help but value their time as a little family. Also tellingly, the first time Tara fights fights with a weapon on screen, it is directly to defend Willow from a demon. This is the only time we see Tara kill anyone (vampire, demon, etc.) in the main series. Though she's not a fighter by nature, Tara will not hesitate to defend those she loves with vigor and fearlessness if necessary.
In many ways, despite her shyness, Tara has always had a strength to her that isn't initially obvious to an outside observer. She came out as a lesbian in high school, which was the mid 1990s, to a family who already abused and feared her because of her potential for magical talent. Despite this, or possibly in part because of it, Tara has never been apologetic about her own sexuality. Though the series doesn’t specify, my version of Tara was sneaking out during high school, in part, to meet her first serious girlfriend. She had few places to feel safe, after her mother’s death – furthermore, her mistaken belief in her own demon blood meant that her father and brother already rejected her, regardless of who she loved. Her initial impulse to rebel against her father at all, after her mother’s death, suggests her emotional life is multifaceted; the loss of her mother created an anger Tara very seldom feels and even less seldom shows. This complexity also shows that her sexuality, while important to her, was not something she felt the need to prove, even as she struggled with how much she valued her magic and the fact that it set her apart from those around her.
Thus Tara’s willingness to keep her relationship quiet with Willow at first had little to do with an attempt to stay closeted, and everything to do with letting Willow lead in the relationship. In high school, she had very few friends, and as such she tended to respond to anyone who displayed any sort of affection by deferring and trying hard to please them so the affection wouldn't be later revoked. As Tara matured and her relationship with Willow grew, it became more a partnership and less of Tara following along. This growth eventually led to Tara standing up to Willow about her magic abuse and, eventually, leaving her. While Tara found this choice heartbreaking, she is unsure she would have been capable of making it at all just a few years ago.
On the whole, Tara is observant, empathetic, and protective. These qualities make her a very good friend, and though she doesn't tend to be on the front lines of battling evil, they also drive her to help defend those who can't defend themselves. She is one of the few main Buffy characters never shown as in danger of being seduced by evil. Tara’s arc is not one of temptation to act selfishly, but rather one of moving beyond the psychological wounds inflicted by those who should have loved and cared for her, and subsequently building a new life for herself. This is, in part, why Willow’s betrayal is so massive; not only does Willow break her word and use magic to cover it, but she wounds Tara deeply in a way Willow should have known better than to risk. It is not only that Glory's attack left psychological scars Willow reopened, but that Willow was someone who Tara allowed past her own defenses despite the difficulty of doing so. Tara finds herself betrayed where she should feel most safe. It’s an all too familiar pattern, and it’s a sign of Tara’s character growth that she stands up and says "No more," despite her ongoing feelings for Willow.
After her experiences in Taxon (see CR section below), Tara will find Teleios frustrating but, in some ways, a better choice than her alternatives (staying in Taxon or returning home). Her crimes, such as they are, are relatively minor; her guilt for them probably outweighs their actual significance. On the other hand, she’ll be inclined to help in any way she can, because she sees the direct good it does to those around her; it will seem, in some ways, less arbitrary than her previous experience.
Powers/Abilities: Tara is a witch, with various (though mostly moderate) magical abilities. These include making light, finding lost things or people (to a point), defensive shields, occasional offensive spells such as fire, and telekinesis. She also has "the Sight," which is the ability to see people's auras and thus tell when they are out of whack, enchanted, etc. I plan for her to lose both the ability to see auras and to work magic upon arrival.
Appearance: picture one; picture two; picture three
Game You’re Transferring CR from: The City of Taxon (taxonomites; Tara’s character tag) Note that my version was beenthroughhell. There are some posts under a different journal name from a previous Tara player who dropped before I joined the game.
How has your character changed from their canon self?
Tara was in Taxon for about a year, by her own perception. The biggest effects were twofold. First, becoming aware of her own impending death in her home timeline gave her a lot of anger and fear to sort through, though her temperament means she did so mainly behind closed doors. A seer provided Tara enough information that she approached Buffy about it, and Buffy told her the entire truth about the events that unfold as in the canon episode "Seeing Red." Despite her own inclination to keep her anger and pain private, Tara did allow herself to lean a bit on her friends – canonmates, and also the 10th Doctor, Sam Winchester, DG and an AU version of Ethan Rayne. The knowledge of her probable death left her with a lingering sadness and, much better hidden, of anger. It also created a sense that her time is limited, so she wants to do the good she can and spend as much time with those she loves as possible, in case she can't escape her fate.
Second, she ended up running her own magic shop and teaching other witches about their powers during her time in Taxon, which continued to bolster her confidence in her own self-sufficiency and allowed her to strengthen her own sense of identity apart from Willow and the Scoobies. In an effort to cheer Tara up after her discovery of her own death, Ethan helped Tara to set up a magic shop in Taxon; when he vanished, she took over entirely. In addition, Tara made friends with several other witches of varying abilities, and found she had a talent for teaching them. Even when Willow eventually arrived, Tara thought it important to her students – and herself – to continue, maintaining her ties to people beyond those she knew from Sunnydale.
In addition to the above, Tara will be less surprised than she might by people she remembers not remembering her, people from different points in their timelines, and the general situation of being swept into a place against one’s will for purposes that may or may not be clear. Teleios, while a shock, will not be as big a shock as it would have been without her former game CR.
Are they gaining any abilities from their time in game? Did the game setting take something from them?
No concrete additions or subtractions, besides the character development above.
- Tara finds out about her death and deals with the immediate emotional fallout (tags aren’t in brackets, but are dialogue-driven)
- Stefan Salvatore gets Tara out of a collapsing Castle Summers