The Power and Colour of Carine

When I saw this photo of model Alex Wek in Global Gathering for How To Spend It Magazine I immediately thought I was looking at a picture of Carine. The colour, the patterns, the hair, the pose… it’s all her. (Click on the photo to see the rest of the photoshoot. Styling by Damian Fox and Photography by Andrew Yee)

Carine is the last of Theodore’s companions for me to introduce you to. She meets Theodore with Jack when he first comes to Aurth. Carine and Jack have been in a relationship together for many years. In their partnership, she is the stability, providing a voice of reason and responsibility. Carine is a self-assured woman who does not depend on anyone for survival. I imagine her being a sort of feminist who sees herself as an equal to anyone. She would probably hate the fact that I brought up Jack in her introduction. So no more Jack or relationship talk – here are some character development facts about Carine.

Name: Carine Kinigi

Age: 28

Gift: Mass Manipulation – Carine can change the size of her body by increasing her mass. She can proportionally change her entire body or she can selectively change specific body parts. When she increases in size her overall strength also increases.

Physical Description: Carine is a Tutsi Rwandan from central Africa. Though her height can vary due to her gift, she is naturally tall and slender with long legs and arms. Her facial features are soft, petite and feminine. Her beauty belies the fierceness inside of her that empowers her to not back down to anyone or anything.

Fuchsia, lime green, electric blue, or orange – Carine loves vibrant colours. In her clothing she wears a kaleidoscope mix of colour and pattern. The outfits are an eclectic assortment of pieces she puts together, not because they match, but because she likes each individual piece. I see her wearing a shiny cropped kimono jacket, billowing harem pants, bright slippers and a colourful sash wrapped around her waist. She spends most of her time in the wilds of Aurth, so the clothes she wears often have some mud on them, and perhaps a few tears.

She thinks of her hair as a medium of self-expression. It changes with her moods and feelings. When Theodore meets her, she has her hair formed into three cones. One points back and the other two point to either side. It looks bizarre but she loves it.

Intricate golden markings of tribal patterns, flowers and words cover her skin. They are not paint or tattoos but organic metal extensions of her skin. If you were to run your hand along her arm it would feel like soft embossed leather. I say soft because her skin feels buttercream smooth. The same gold material has coated her lips and powdered her eyes.

Quirks/Hobbies: Carine has a fascination with anything weird and different. This includes people, animals, plants, art, food, clothing and anything else out of the ordinary. Normal is boring for Carine.

Her spirit animal: With this character I want to convey a demeanour of composure, strength and grace. I have this image in my mind of her being an eagle perched on the top of a dead tree; her only movements are her head scanning from left to right, surveying the grasslands around her. She is waiting for her prey to expose themselves in the grass below. When she has a clear target, she spreads her mighty wings and swoops down on her meal before the creature is even aware of her shadow.

In the A Gift from Aurth film, Carine would be played by Grace Jones because of her “I do what I want” attitude and avant-garde style.

Before Aurth: Carine lived with her family in rural Rwanda as cattle herders. She had been married to a man since she was 16 years old. They had three children together, two boys and a girl. She spent the majority of her time caring for her family and tending to their herd. Her family and home gave her an acceptable life and she loved them but she suppressed a strong sense of self to make it work. She found an outlet in her life by collecting fabrics from the market to alter her and her family’s clothing.

Political instability in Rwanda resulted in a cultural genocide of the Tutsi people in the mid-90s. Carine and her family were victims of this brutality. Her death at the hands of military extremists is how she found her way to Aurth.

Her biggest fear: Carine’s life had been a sequence of milestones determined for her by someone else. She recognized in her past how her gender, economic standing, marital status and culture all determined who she had to be. Even her death was decided at the hands of her murderer. Now that she is in Aurth, she has the freedom to become her own person and make her own decisions. Losing her freedom and returning to a life of powerlessness is her biggest fear.

Role: Carine’s responsible tendencies, her relationship with Jack and quick friendship with Theodore will bring the group together in an unexpected way early on in the story.

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