Archivist note: This article is from an older recovered archive and might be obsolete or in need of updating.
Most recent revision is shown below, by Bookworm.
A neurotic feline moreau with symptoms of schizophrenia, with several forms of obsessive compulsive behaviors. They were a nurse at the Wilde Hospital, orderly at the Murgam Asylum, Major Domo for Emerson Lighthouse (reluctantly), and assistant to Dr. Maddox Lionheart. They believed themselves to be cursed with awful luck and had a sour outlook on life.
Beryl grew up wild in the Black Forest of Germany in a clan of felines, once familiars now broken. They believed themselves cursed beings, plagued by bad luck because powerful accidents often occurred near them. This phenomena was described in The Engine.
They were forced to leave their clan at an early age for a crime committed in their own sleep. They learned very little of her own history, and instead tried to understand a harsh world on their own. Instead, she suffered through several misadventures, bringing harm to many including themselves. Eventually they found their way onto a ship where they stowed away by accident and found by Oskir, the man who would teach them English. He also taught them that heroes were worthless, that the world was safer for men than women, and that they couldn’t trust anyone. Also, that they made a good decoy for Oskir.
Beryl was unable to translate their name from the High Singing (catspeak), and when they did he insisted their name should be Mr. Arnold if they wanted to stay alive. Once again, they endured many misadventures which left them running for their life, Arnold screaming angrily at their companion at the top of their lungs.
They lived as an urchin, but without community beyond Oskir, eating out of the trash and surviving in oversized coats until Oskir’s friend, Dr. Thaddeus Solsen, found ‘Arnold’ sleeping on his desk. ‘He’ had broken into his office to take a nap in a warm place, and was sleeping on Thaddeus desk.
Dr. Thaddeus Solsen spoke with Arnold, and introduced them to Dr. Maddox Sinclaire. The woman who would eventually become Arnold’s witch. The two would grow close over time, though neither could stay out of trouble. Dr. Thaddeus Solsen would often have to intervene to protect Arnold from their legal nightmares, and Dr. Maddox was often rescued by her future husband Tim Lesinger or Arnold.
Her fiance was killed due to a feud with the Metier family, and in her grief she asked Dr. Thaddeus for a change of scenery. He told her that New Babbage was a place she could escape the Metier’s, and establish herself on her own.
‘Arnold’ saw her leaving and offered ‘his’ services. They were uneducated except for what Dr. Thaddeus and Maddox had elected to teach, but wanted to help her survive.
They were fourteen years old when they came to Babbage the first time, an adult for their people, and were quickly overwhelmed with how ill prepared Dr. Maddox was for their arrival. Their journal, which was eventually destroyed, detailed much of the first four months of their new lives, until Arnold was struck by lightning.
They got their first job from Blackberry Harvey shortly after first meeting them as a nurse and orderly at the underwater Wilde Hospital and Huxley Hall.
Arnold had many, many, many misadventures that they didn’t want, taking part in the Metier incident, becoming Emerson’s reluctant Major-domo (twice), participating when Dark Aether Falls, and being one of the few in current times to hold a Cloud Angel within their paws. During the ‘Summer of the Raptor’, when Dr. Dinosaur attempted to use hypnotic machines to take over the city (poorly), they were first called a hero by Tepic Harlequin. Arnold took as an insult thanks to Oskir’s tutelage and refuted this title to their dying day.
During ‘Arnold’s’ second winter in Babbage, they revealed that they were female to other Babbagers. Shortly after this, they were suspected of several murders that were taking place around the asylum where black fur was found. Even Arnold thought they might be guilty, but the true culprit was a werewolf with black and white fur. This did not stop Henry Cortman, a sick Northman from Wuldram Shores, from staging an attack on the asylum. The villain succeeded in injuring Dr. Thaddeus Solsen and taking hostages, and demanded the cat in revenge for his lost men.
Arnold walked outside and said, ‘Go ahead and shoot me,’ and was shot in the head. Leuitenant Heinrichs took out Cortman ending the threat but not swiftly enough to help her ally. Fortunately for the feline, their brain was not a human one and despite being a shot right above the eye this was not a kill shot for her people. They were a vegetable now though.
Eventually, the familiar that had been known as Mr. Arnold recovered but had no memory of who they had been and forged their own life, learning their true name eventually and returning to their Heart-name Beryl, and the Face-name the cats gave them: Strifeclaw. Though their previous memories were eventually restored, they had no intention to return to their previous nature.
Though Beryl and Arnold have some similarities, the biggest difference is that Arnold wanted to die, but Beryl just makes poor decisions thanks in part to her injury.
Community Page old site: Mr. Arnold
Community Page Current: Beryl Strifeclaw