Of Smoke and Mirrors
[University] Elisabeth Cecil
Daughter and only Heir to the Marque of Exeter, Student of Thaumaturgy, “Cousin Lizzy”
Elisabeth was in many ways a surprise to her parents, being both a very late child as well as being born a human to two fullblood eldren parents. And yet few would disagree that the twenty-one year old heiress to Barrowynd manor has indeed grown into a daughter to be proud of. She is a graceful, thin willow and though not very tall has all the charms of a newly sprung branch, fresh and clean like the morning rain of spring. But though her bearing earns her much admiration it was her features that made heads turn during her debut ball, for young Elisabeth Cecil has a face both fair and peculiar. In many ways she looks much like her father, yet in her his features has seemingly found perfection. Her lines as defined yet mild with a softly rounded jaw and a pleasant heart-shape face, dominated by a marked, slightly perked nose. Much like her father the cleft below her nose is prominent, raising the upper lip slightly and giving her mouth a slightly pursed quality, something which gives her face a somewhat questioning expression. Black hair in a colour like jet, graced with a faint hint in almost a bluish hue, hangs short and straight around her face, framing her features and making her slender neck seem all the more delicate. The hair, a seemingly constant trait in her family, is matched perfectly by a pair of deep set and very expressionate eyes a colour so light a grey they almost seem filled with distant cold mist. Quite unlike the sharp, sparkling and playful eyes of her mother Elisabeth’s grey eyes seem aloof and distant, almost a shade sorrowful though when she laugh they gain a warm and kindness that most find charming.
As a young lady of good breeding and background Elisabeth is always dressed for the occasion, and though it seems far from her passion she mostly keep in tune with whatever trend currently rides the nation. She seem to prefer softer and more muted tones, in particular dresses in soft shades of hazy grey, creamy yellow and warm tones of green. When dressing for occasion she favours contrasting brocades and embellishment, often with cloth-of-gold or similar sharp colours. She also has a more practical attire for when on outings with the university or attending events like tennis, involving a very lavished shirt and wide riding pants for women, as well as tall riding boots. She is also never seen without her wand, crafted from the heartwood of oak and carved with a slightly hooked end as well as an inlay of swirling, almost Celtic looking symbols.
Elisabeth Cecil, though looking very much like her father, seems to have inherited some of the independence, high spirit and general gayness of her mother, as she is quick to both a smile and an offhand joke. She usually makes for pleasant company, and though not exactly gossipy, she seems to genuinely enjoy the social hustle bustle of “The Society”. She is however also both a dedicated and hardworking individual with a real passion for her thaumaturgical studies as well as most other fields of learning, quite possibly as she sees in it a way to escape from the dreary everyday life of her childhood home in Exeter.
And yet, despite her undeniably very social and outgoing sides Elisabeth has some of that pessimistic, perhaps even fatalistic, streak that her father of late has so suffered from. At times, especially when lost in her own thoughts, a distant and faint hint of sadness seem to creep into her hazy grey eyes and she can oft times come across as a little reserved and cold at such occasions.
Cousin Lizzy as she is affectionately called by several of her cousins is a mere twenty-one years old and was very much a latecomer in the family, meaning that most of her cousins were a good few years her senior. Born on the 18th of March 1833 she was something of a peculiarity as both her parents were Eldren of long lineages, though her parents loved her no less for it. Living mainly a sheltered and protected life in distant Devonshire she grew up with few friends beyond a few of the servants children and the cousins she occasionally meet. In particular she grew close to her mothers family, spending many a spring and summer in Oxfordshire as her parents enjoyed the London season.
Elisabeths life was however still mostly a lonely one and she grew to be a bookish girl, much inspired by her uncle Thomas Cecil who made a name for himself as an adventurer and archaeologist. This interest, coupled with a latent and fairly strong talent for manipulating the quintessential powers, led her to learn the basics of thaumaturgy from her father after which she endlessly pestered him to allow her entrance into a University. Finally, aged twenty-one, she was admitted with her father’s blessing to the University of London where she has set about achieving her Thaumaturgical degree and obtaining a Guild licence. Where she wants to go from there, none yet knows.