Where wild minds come to rest
In my day dreams I often create characters that I can look up to. They are the embodiment of certain traits I want to have in my real life. For example the character pictured, Saint Leah Brighton of the FSK is extremely pious and environmentally minded. In her specific case, I tailored her story so she could stand for what she believes in even if she is punished and tortured. I want to be like that so I created her story I can live through.
(Her halo inscribed in Latin reads: Arressito Dispensatore Domus Saltus Deo et Hominibus; which means Steward of the forest of God and men.)
As for her story, Leah was born into a good and loving family in the FSK right when their huge neighbor, the United States, was collapsing. After the collapse of the United States, almost all semblance of order outside the city walls of the FSK vanished. It turned into a very violent world, this was the world that she grew up in. As a child, her family would take her to church services in the sacred forest every Sunday, and every day after school she would return to the forest and explore. Leah found the forest to be extremely spiritual, something that most Kennedians longer felt. It was during her teenage years that she learned that certain companies in the FSK were planning on plowing down the whole forest to make way for the expansion of the city: a move previously prevented by strict US border security. These companies were toying with public opinion to sway the Kennedians to vote to demolish the forest in order for them to make money. Many of these companies were foreign owned, but also were para-militaristic in a sense due to the fall of America.
It was during these times Leah felt a spiritual calling to save the forest she loved so much. The Sacred Forest is actually a living cemetery where Kennedians have been buried under saplings for centuries. She wrote a book called the Gospel of the Trees, AKA the Book of Brighton, which became an instant best seller all over the Kennedian world. It stated that the Holy Spirit of God flowed through all living things and the souls of the people buried in the forest became the life essence of the trees. If the people allowed for the removal of the trees, they would be basically killing their deceased relatives again by disturbing their graves and reborn lives as trees. This book was so successful, Brightonism became a recognized religious movement in the FSK, which totally decimated the many corporate plans of tearing down the forest.
After her victory, she moves to the Cloister of Bedson Grove to become a nun. She finds her peace with God while in the cloister, which is deep in the woods away from the city.
A fairly large bounty has been placed on her head by several companies wanting her dead in revenge for their great loss of profits. About one million Kennedian Cervos for her capture alive so she could be killed by the CEO of a development company. One million Cervos is huge money (close to $15 million USD in today's cash). Leah was betrayed by one of her sister nuns, who called in a bounty hunter to capture her in return for 100 thousand Cervos. The bounty hunter came in the dark of the night and took her away on horseback without a fuss: Leah believed that this was her destiny.
The horseman delivered her to Northland, a complete wasteland of a city overrun by gangs. It was here that she was to be killed by the CEO of the development company. But through a stroke of luck, and a change of heart from the bounty hunter, she was able to escape the corporation inside the city of Northland. Leah gets captured again, but this time by a human trafficker collecting slaves fit for house labor. The man chains her up, alongside fifteen other people and locks them in a carriage headed towards the Western Union. Inside the dirty carriage, Leah never gives up faith and her good attitude even if the people around her were dying.
She spent three years inside the Western Union, being sold from owner to owner, and one step ahead of the Western Union's government looking into illegal slavery. She was forced to clean and do chores, among other things. Finally, she is sold to a woman from the South Empire in South America, and they make their journey south on foot. Her new owner treats her like a friend, not a slave, but still refuses to give her freedom. After a good ten years wandering to the south, doing odd jobs and sleeping on the streets, she makes it inside the walls of the South Empire, which is not entirely evil and backwards like the old American propaganda suggests.
Meanwhile back in the FSK, Leah has been ruled dead in absentia by the government. A Kennedian religious tradition that happens once every one hundred years is called the festival of the Canonization, which is a deeply religious festival and court that votes on whether anyone that has died in the last one hundred years deserves to be a saint. Many times no one becomes a saint, sometimes there are one or more. But the criteria for becoming a saint in Kennedian religious tradition requires the person to be dead, be deeply religious, performed a brilliant act of faith against all odds, and often times they are martyred for their faith. According to the Kennedian population, Leah fit these criteria nicely (they all thought the company actually killed her). They voted her a saint. Kennedian sainthood is a huge deal, big statues, and parks and towns are named after you, a holiday in your honor, people pray to you, and you are considered holy in the eyes of God. Culturally speaking, this is huge. Sainthood under no circumstances can be revoked after it is voted upon, so people don't take this seriously.
Leah is forced to stay fifteen years in the South Empire alongside her owner who loved adventures. At one point she was put a submarine with her owner to escape the authorities. The submarine took them to the Galapagos Republic in the middle of the Pacific, where her owner was forced to sell her when they upon hard times. Leah was sold to an expatriate Kennedian man who recognized her when she took a shower and cleaned up. After all, she was on the backside of her own book, which he kept at his side at all times. He was so shocked and awestruck he freed her immediately and came with her on her long journey home.
When she finally returned to the FSK, people were in awe: they thought that their holy saint came back from the dead. In accordance with Kennedian law, she was required to have a hearing with the Department of Transcripts and Testimonies in the court house because she was legally dead, so she had to explain her story to the court on how she was alive. This testimony lasted several days and drew record crowds to the hearings--they all wanted to hear the living saint's story of survival. The transcript was printed into a book and sold throughout the world. In all this pandemonium Leah never lost her faith in God or her beliefs. Since sainthood could not be reversed, she lived with being the world's only living saint. It was definitely weird to walk in a park and see your statue standing in the middle of it--living people never had statues made of them, it was considered vain and egotistical. She just had to learn to live with this fame.
I know that this was long, but I would like to know did you like the story? the drawings? I know that this story doesn't provide much details, I'm summarizing a summary of the story. If you want to hear more just ask! :D Do you make characters you look up to?