NEW πŸ“—Story: School Photo ❌


picture of Tzipora

Tzipora lo Ula de Helette Azela, often called Zelda by her friends, is the main character of this project. She was born in 2047 in Colombia, but lives in Vekllei with Baron.

Though born to Vekllei parents, she was raised overseas in Colombia and was later educated in the United States. Since her arrival in Vekllei, she has returned to school and has formed sincere and close friendships, stabilising the more neurotic and anxious parts of her personality.

  • πŸ’¬ Name: Tzipora “Zelda” Azela
  • πŸ’Ό Occupation: Student
  • 🏠 Residence: Seispri, Borough of Lola, Oslola, Vekllei
  • πŸ”„ Age: 16

Appearance #

Tzipora is blue-eyed and black-haired of mixed Gitana (Spanish Roma) and Ashkenazic heritage. She has a round head and a big smile, and is naturally athletic. She has dry, wiry hair that she parts in the middle. She speaks Oslolan serviceably, but prefers to communicate in English and has a Latin American accent.

She dresses in internationalist styles and has maintained a consistent taste throughout her life. She has a preference for loose-fitting clothing some would characterise as scruffy. She is most commonly seen in soft cotton shirts, shorts or dresses, uneven socks and flat shoes or sandals.

Personality #

Tzipora is nonconformist by way of ignorance or obstinance depending on the occasion.

She is paranoid and conservative, good-natured and austere, with a moral outlook bound by her deepest anxieties and obsessions. She can be thoughtful and astute, and is fascinated with objects and their history. She has many collections of many things she’s found.

She is a Catholic, but has a confrontational relationship with God and only attends mass on holidays, and usually prays to Mary instead. She also has Jewish ancestry and observes some Jewish holidays and traditions while living with Baron.

Tzipora may be intense and inward-facing, but she can also be disarmingly charming and self-deprecating. She has a good sense of humour. There are not many people that can so easily reconcile the contradictions between the peculiar and the healthy, the eccentric and the friendly, and the violent and the domestic. That’s part of her character β€” an essence of being that radiates decency, good taste and a respect for the spirit of all things.

picture of Cobian

Cobian lo Ro de Viviya de Queismesnah is Tzipora’s longtime friend and occasional girlfriend. Stern in manner and appearance, Cobian is easily remembered by her circular spectacles and stern fringe, styles maintained since childhood.

She has a close but tempestuous relationship with Tzipora, and a tepid connection with Tzipora’s broader friend group. She is polite in the middle-class sense of the word; formal among strangers, gossipy among friends.

  • πŸ’¬ Name: Cobian Queismesnah
  • πŸ’Ό Occupation: Student
  • 🏠 Residence: Alveg, Borough of Lola, Oslola, Vekllei
  • πŸ”„ Age: 16
Appearance #

Cobian is amber-eyed with black hair, descended mostly from Inuit-Scandinavian ethnic groups common in Oslola. She is tall for her age, and has mostly Inuit features. She styles her long hair in many different ways, most commonly in a bun or braids. She is healthy but inactive, and tans easily without freckling. Cobian is naturally graceful and well-mannered, traits Tzipora is envious of.

Her taste in clothes ranges from prim middle-class ensembles to more adventurous Brazza and Maoist Revival fare. Indigenous to Oslola, she is both fascinated by and suspicious of the outside world, and her cautious entry into foreign trends indicates her desire to move beyond her traditional Oslolan upbringing.

Personality #

When Tzipora meets her, Cobian is a figure of sympathy and irritation. She has the unfortunate quality of a social outcast trying to climb her way back inside, and people can tell. Once comfortable around Tzipora, Cobian revealed herself to be easy-going and loyal, a person of small pretensions and genuine friendship. In her own skin, she makes an excellent conversationalist, charmingly attentive and grateful.

Some people think she’s judgemental, and she can be. Her friends are immigrants but she knows little about the outside world, and is insecure about her provinciality, which can manifest as judgement or xenophobia.

On the other hand, Cobian is also deeply empathetic and finds interest in new things via her friends she’d never previously thought about. She makes up most of Tzipora’s social life, which leaves plenty of space for Zelda’s big personality and obsessions.

Zelda has a stabilising effect on Cobian, rounding out some of her conservative instincts through Zelda’s androgynous habits and far-fetched fascinations. But Zelda’s big personality does not include much talking or grace, and in these deficiencies Cobian’s social talent shines. Together they make a great pair, their neighbouring personalities aiding their best selves.

picture of Baron

Baron lo Ula de Tiria Spector is Tzipora’s guardian in on way or another. Whether he’s a surrogate father, adoptive parent, mentor or friend, his title is unclear but their relationship is fairly straightforward. Tzipora lives with him in Seispri and his relationship with her is both paternal and respectful as an equal.

Baron has spent most of his life abroad in some capacity in service of his government, and has few personal connections in Vekllei. He is a distant and serious person, but also mild and unopinionated. He is good at what he does.

  • πŸ’¬ Name: Baron Azela
  • πŸ’Ό Occupation: Director of Operations, Section 12, Home Office at National Intelligence
  • 🏠 Residence: Seispri, Borough of Lola, Oslola, Vekllei
  • πŸ”„ Age: 41
Appearance #

Baron is a Jewish man of middle age with a controlled posture. He has facial hair somewhere between bristle and beard, and a mane of greying brown hair. He is otherwise unremarkable, of about average height and weight, and blends into a crowd easily.

He is not a man of strong opinions in domestic concerns, and dresses for work even on his days off. Most commonly he is depicted with a suit or sports coat and tie. He smokes a wood pipe at home and cigarettes going out.

Personality #

Baron can be hard to get a read on, but he is not that complicated. His life and lifestyle are informed by his history, both here and abroad. He is basically a lonely figure, neither cynical nor optimistic, neither obedient nor rebellious, navigating his serious responsibilities with competence. His beliefs basically reflect his country’s values, if not quite their civilian aspirations.

Tzipora’s eccentricity cuts through a lot of this sober attitude, and it’s obvious they like spending time together. Tzipora is not that much younger than Baron was when he enlisted with the territorial service, and he has many things in common with her. She is not a needy person and they learn from each other, both trying to figure out how to live their new domestic lives.

He has a warm, platonic relationship with Ayn, who completes their household. They have a long history together at different distances, but are important parts of each others lives now.

picture of Ayn

Ayn Lai-Lebedev is a longtime associate of Baron and a maternal figure to Tzipora. She commands an affectionate and stable presence, intelligent and emotionally secure in her work and home life.

She was once engaged to Baron’s friend and comrade George Angelopoulos, who perished in the Haiti Intervention. She has remained unmarried and lives a social, if solitary life with a circle of close friends. Upon Tzipora’s arrival in Vekllei, she reconnects with Baron.

  • πŸ’¬ Name: Ayn Lai-Lebedev
  • πŸ’Ό Occupation: Strategic Analysis Officer, Section 8, Home Office at National Intelligence
  • 🏠 Residence: Nike, Borough of the Great Coast, Oslola, Vekllei
  • πŸ”„ Age: 41
Appearance #

Ayn was born to Russian and Hong Konger parents, and shares their hybridised surnames. She has the height of her Russian mother and the East Asian features of her father. She has good taste and carries herself well, which Tzipora finds both aspirational and intimidating.

She keeps her hair short and looks younger than she is. She smokes and drinks only socially, and otherwise keeps a tidy and modest lifestyle.

Personality #

Ayn is well put together. Independent, secure, intelligent and a respected source of good advice and wisdom, it strikes people as unusual that she has never married. Other than being old friends, there is not much reason for Ayn to give as much time as she does to Baron and Tzipora, but an affection for the girl and a desire to reconnect with Baron has added a new dimension to her life.

Ayn, Baron and Tzipora all have a sense of grief in their lives, and none of them have much family of their own. It is perhaps this aspect that makes their bonds as strong as they are, navigating social and platonic bonds rather than ones of blood or romance. Ayn is well-read and an adept conversationalist, and shares with Tzipora long conversations about news and politics. She also has a penchant for interesting earrings and Bossanova music.

picture of Moise

Moise Hasapis is Tzipora’s neighbour and one of her closest friends. Like Tzipora, he was born overseas and has only started schooling in Vekllei in late childhood.

Imposing in both attitude and posture, Moise is feared and respected among his peers, an unfortunate social situation that enables his renowned temper. An agitator and occasional victim of his strength, Moise is tempered by Tzipora’s inwardness and Coretti’s good-naturedness. He lives with his sister and father in Seispri, and has no relationship with his mother, who remains in Greece.

  • πŸ’¬ Name: Moise Hasapis
  • πŸ’Ό Occupation: Student
  • 🏠 Residence: Seispri, Borough of Lola, Oslola, Vekllei
  • πŸ”„ Age: 16
Appearance #

Moise is brown-eyed and dark-haired, with powerful Greek features inherited from his parents. Well-built and heavy-set, Moise is overweight when he meets Tzipora, and loses some of it through her help in exercise.

He is not particularly interested in his own appearance, but by habit or luck is characterised by a wardrobe of shorts, slacks, bright shirts and tennis shoes. In summer, he usually wears Hawaiian shirts, a fact Tzipora finds funny.

Personality #

Moise is hot-headed and sensitive, traits that leave him feeling cornered by the world. It is precisely this cycle of passion and anxiety that endears him to Tzipora, who recognises some of his traits in herself. He provides her a male perspective and straightforward advice, compared to Cobian’s more intricate and unspoken social rituals. In this sense, they have a different dynamic as a duo.

He dislikes his parents and is protective over his younger sister, Penelope. He has some interest in making films, since he is not particularly academic and doesn’t want to leave his sister for the army. He is uncomfortable with sharing his emotions, which upsets his girlfriend Coretti. Tzipora’s social intimacy with him is largely due to their similar shyness of emotion and stubborn independence, which counterintuitively binds them closely.

picture of Coretti

Coretti Gloria Adoula is Moise’s girlfriend. Born in the Congo, she lived in the Soviet Union before moving to Vekllei at 6 years old. She has a knack for languages and speaks Oslolan fluently.

She is sensitive and diplomatic, and is well-liked for her sense of justice and impartiality. Her relationship with Moise brings her into Tzipora’s circle, and her unprejudiced curiosity and social grace are traits her peers admire. She has a friendly, if unusual bond with Tzipora.

  • πŸ’¬ Name: Coretti Gloria Adoula
  • πŸ’Ό Occupation: Student
  • 🏠 Residence: Camro, Borough of Lola, Oslola, Vekllei
  • πŸ”„ Age: 17
Appearance #

Coretti is Vekllei-Congolese with dark skin and natural, short hair. She is slim, authentically pretty and graceful – and has many admirers for it.

She is not particularly fashionable and does not need to be. This modesty enhances her natural charisma. Like Tzipora, she has some affection for Nuova Grotessco styles and unpretentious dresses and turtlenecks sweaters. She likes patterned clothing and owns many types, which she rotates regularly – perhaps her only eccentricity.

Personality #

Coretti’s gentle good-naturedness leaves powerful impressions on all her meet her. She is the oldest of four sisters, and she applies these learned maternal qualities on her boyfriend’s volatile friends, who are opinionated and passionate.

Her goodness does not preclude her from her own interests – she adores music and good food, and unlike Lin Zhi, is more than willing to share the culture of her home country with her friends. She loves when gestures are reciprocated, a fact Tzipora learns quickly after teaching her how to cook Columbian food.

Despite her apparent differences in temperament with her boyfriend Moise, Coretti spends more time around vibrant hotheads than she does placid appeasers. Perhaps this is a behavioural legacy of growing up in a large, loud family. Maybe she is just attracted to big personalities. Either way, they appreciate her for it – her voice of reason brings them all closer together.

picture of Lin Zhi

Lin Zhi, who prefers being addressed by her full name, is Tzipora’s friend and occasional accomplice. She is surly, independent and uninterested in the opinions of others. She meets Tzipora at Moshel St School.

Like Tzipora, Zhi is a recent immigrant and despises her parents for uprooting her life to live in Vekllei, from which she has retreated into traditionally Chinese cultural dress and signals. Tzipora is fascinated by her. Cobian and Coretti fear her.

  • πŸ’¬ Name: Lin Zhi
  • πŸ’Ό Occupation: Student
  • 🏠 Residence: Cossack, Borough of the Great Coast, Oslola, Vekllei
  • πŸ”„ Age: 17
Appearance #

Lin Zhi is Chinese and has lived in Vekllei since she was 15. She speaks little Oslolan and mostly poor English. She has a serious face and round spectacles like Cobian, and brushes her long dark hair back. She maintains two unusual hair loops below her ears in braids, a style she has apparently invented herself.

Lin Zhi resents the burden of integration and demonstrates her foreignness through foreign styles, usually with traditional Chinese items or more contemporary Maoist fare. She wears loose Ku-style pants at home and school, which bear close similarity to Vekllei indigenous rouisha trousers, usually with Vekllei or Chinese strap slippers. She has a weakness for jackets and cardigans, and never leaves her arms uncovered.

Personality #

Lin Zhi is a girl under siege.

Tzipora first bonds with her over their social isolation as recent immigrants. Like Tzipora, Zhi speaks poor Oslolan and is deeply resentful of having to relocate to a foreign country. These poor language skills and deep anger are evident in her short, sharp speaking style and stern appearance.

She is sensitive to being made fun of, and considers many of her problems making friends to be racial in nature. Despite these emotional burdens, or perhaps because of them, Zhi is deeply loyal to her allies as long as they respect her social boundaries. Zhi is never the engine of conversation – but she misses her friends when they’re not there.