Ashton looks very much like a human-sized adult raccoon that stands on its hind legs but acts like the human he is/was/wants to remain. His torso is rounded like a raccoon's and his fur is longish and fluffy (see link below this paragraph). His arms and legs would have the fur and coloring of a raccoon but be shaped a bit more like a human so that he can continue to do things in a relatively human way. However they are still raccoonish enough to be useable if he chooses to run or climb or respond to something in a raccoonish way! He would look quite like the following picture but upright. Oh, and wearing clothes.
Raccoon picture and info
Ashton's webpage with a sketch of him and some info about what he's like.
Another attempt at sketching a raccoon, this time with clothes on--not quite the outfit described, but it's a start!
Height: 5'9" (See Abilities)
Build: average for a humanoid raccoon, neither overly chubby nor skinny, reasonably physically fit.
Coloration (skin, scales, fur, feathers, hair, etc.): raccoon-colored fur (color per picture linked above)
Eye Color: black
Clothing / Armor:
He hasn't been in this animal form long enough to have gotten used to going around just in his fur! So he tends to still wear clothing, generally: dark blue patched denim pants with beige leather suspenders and a green flannel or cotton shirt (depending on how cool or warm it is), with a floppy brimmed dark blue denim hat. In bad weather he might throw a dark blue woolen mid-calf-length cloak around himself, although with his fur, he wouldn't find that as necessary as he used to when a human. He finds it handy to still have pockets available in the clothes, and just generally "feels naked" without them on. However, he had a couple times tried out and noted the effectiveness of being "fur-clad" only, when he had decided to be out at night, procuring the occasional "interesting item" he couldn't obtain in a more above-board fashion!
Occupation / Class:
Peddler, who really enjoys being able to give his customers a good quality item for a decent price, knowing then they will buy from him in the future when he passes that way again. Always on the lookout for something a little bit special to offer that will set him apart from other peddlers and make him memorable to his customers.
He makes it a point to collect songs and tales wherever he roams and uses them and playing music on his "whistles" as needed to procure a crowd when selling. "Whistles" = pennywhistles (also called tinwhistles), transverse (side blown) flutes, and recorders. Is learning about African music and instruments and how to play some of them. Also loves playing the violin/fiddle. And can pluck a few songs on a lap harp or a plucked psaltery. Has picked up a harmonica to learn that sometime, as well.
Good at picking up other languages, which allows him to sell his wares all over. Often seen reading, or writing in a notebook, anything from limericks to short prose to observations about things or just thoughts of interest.
Affiliations (family, friends, organizations):
Friends/Folks from Threads:
Shikoba Rangi Fern
Met in chat/some names known, some not:
Eric the Red Fencer
Accessories (weapons, jewelry, tools, magic items, vehicles, etc.):
A largish, well-and-often-patched brown leather satchel/peddler's pack with many different-sized "pockets" or "compartments" inside and out, useful for carrying around the constantly-changing items he offers for sale. He trundles this and a similar, but much smaller satchel of his personal possessions around on a handcart painted green and brown (effectively colored to blend in with shrubbery when he needs to tuck it out of sight from time to time).
The cart looks rather like a miniature replica of a four-wheeled gypsy wagon with wheelbarrow handles at the back. The sides of the cart are hinged so they drop outwards to create sales windows and shelf areas for showing off his wares. The cart is lined with either a technologically-advanced or magically-enhanced metal (he's not telling which) that is helpful in deterring any attempts to raid his inventory if he is away from it, while somehow not making the cart any heavier to push along than a normally-constructed wooden cart full of merchandise would be, if anyone other than him tries to push it. The cart is also well-locked if left unattended.
The wheelbarrow handles look like they could serve as hitching for a small mule or donkey, if he happens to have one. But at the moment he pushes it himself, and rather easily at that, making one wonder if there might be some magic involved to allow him to get it around as easily as he does.
Abilities/Skills & Power Level:
Has the ability of reducing his size and shape to that of a non-anthro raccoon, or anywhere in between, although he has not explored this option much yet and is still learning how to do it. Especially good at climbing almost anything, and has very good night vision. Can conceal himself quite well if he doesn't want to be noticed. A bit more dexterous and agile than a human. His fur would give him a certain amount of protection from cold. His raccoon senses would be more acute than his human senses would have been. And his animal instincts are beginning to become noticeable to him and occasionally enhance or detract from what he is trying to do, requiring him to figure out how to merge the two.
Curiosity can get him into trouble at times. Physically, he would be similar to a normal human or normal raccoon for what might hurt him. However, his fur might make it more uncomfortable for him in hot weather. His tail could be a detracting annoyance since he's not used to having one. And his animal instincts that are starting to develop can be at odds with his human way of doing things, causing unexpected results at least expected times.
Special Effects (if any): as yet undetermined
Description of Personality:
Relatively happy-go-lucky, quick to see advantages in any situation and make the best of them, if possible. Reasonably shrewd as befits a peddler nature, but does have a soft heart that gets the better of him occasionally. Takes a predominantly practical approach to life. Has a deeply sensitive, creative streak that is most noticeable through his music and writing. Can get a bit compulsive about finding a creative solution to a challenge.
He's mostly honest but occasionally gets in a mischievous mood, and can be a bit of a rogue if it suits him. He's not above occasionally "lifting" something if he really wants it and can't get it any other way, and is quite capable of rationalizing why it's better off being in his possession than with its true owner. But his soft heart won't let him take things from people who can't afford to replace them.
Quite likely to break into a song and dance or tell a tall tale or make up a rhyme to entertain children and, of course, their elders who could be potential customers. He introduces himself when selling as "Ashton Sinclair, Peddler Extraordinaire, with items for sale from the mundane to the rare!", (proclaimed with an accompanying hand-paw flourish and a bow).
Originally a human peddler, he was traveling around seeking good markets and good deals. While on his way to a certain keep, he began hearing strange rumors about its inhabitants, but he passed them off as prejudice, paranoia, or foolish superstition. He continued on to his destination, believing the existence of such rumors would allow him to get good deals out of the Keep's inhabitants.
But when he arrived, he discovered that there was indeed a powerful curse on the place: Anyone who remained within a certain distance of the Keep for too long permanently became a highly attractive member of the opposite sex, a child of no more than 14 years, or an anthropomorphic animal.
Unfortunately, he became infatuated by the feminine wiles of one of the amazonian inhabitants of the Keep, and lost track of how long he'd been there. A week later he was shocked to discover that he had begun growing fur, and it was too late to escape the curse. Within several days he had been completely transformed into an anthro-raccoon man.
As if that wasn't bad enough, soon after, he found himself somehow transported to the Dream, which was even stranger than the Keep he'd only just begun to get used to. Good thing, he figures philosophically, that he has a healthy dose of curiosity in his nature, and he knows from past experience that there is almost always something to be gained from almost any situation, if you know how to look for it.
A brief and character revealing answer to the question, "What is your ambition?": "Well, this raccoon form has some advantages, but I miss being human..." "Other than that, I became a peddler because it was a good way to make a living and still get to see new places and meet new people--life's too short to spend it doing the same old thing in the same old place all through it!"
When taking his leave, is fond of saying, "May the Muse never cease to amaze you!" Has also learned an African phrase, "Kaira Naata." which means "Peace has arrived".