Time for the very first character profile! I’ll begin with someone you’ve already met: Rhys. Remember him from the “Notebooks” post? Well, here he is again.
Character type: Roleplay (KtDA)
Name: Rhys-Aled Devaj Finnin
For short: Rhys
Age: 23, born January 11, 1992
Zodiacs: Capricorn, Sheep
Play-by*: Avan Jogia
*A “play-by”, or PB, is a celebrity (or sometimes an animated character, depending on the site) who a roleplayer uses to represent their character.
Rhys was my first character on Keep the Dream Alive and the first one I created after a short hiatus from roleplaying. As with all first characters, he has a special little place in my heart, and I love him to bits.
Rhys grew up with his parents and younger brother in South Carolina outside a fictionalized town called Brookfield. A very warm-hearted boy, he adored spending time with his brother Salil, and the two were as close as could be. He also loved helping out and surprising others, so he was always up to some sort of activity, secret or otherwise. When he picked up carving, he started bestowing upon his friends and family little trinkets he made.
Rhys has always been a hopeless romantic, a boy who loves deeply and purely and who wears his heart on his sleeve. He could see a quiet girl across the classroom and immediately fall head-over-heels for her, despite knowing nothing more than the title of the books she currently read. When he dated someone, though he tried to keep his feelings in check, he often sank too deeply too quickly, and while she felt their relationship was still on the casual side of the line, Rhys already imagined Christmases with their families. As such, Rhys has felt many an agonizing heartbreak, often times getting and remaining far more upset than anyone thought he should given the situation.
In the KtDA world, August of 2010 brought death via virus to anyone over the age of approximately twenty-two. Rhys, eighteen at the time, watched both his parents pass away. Unfortunately, he did the same for his younger brother, who died in the aftermath of the bombings that brought the virus to their area. Devastated, Rhys spent approximately a year and a half in deep depression and only ever left his house in search of supplies.
Just like all other times he got depressed, one unexpected little encounter snapped him out of it. Kids and teens from all around traveled past his home in search of refuge and aid. Where he could, Rhys assisted them, but far too often the younger ones reminded him of Salil, who died at the age of fourteen, and he had to subtly usher the wandering kids off.
This continued to occur off and on throughout the year and a half Rhys holed himself away, but for some inexplicable reason, one day it made a difference. By chance, he saw some children around Salil’s age not far from his house, and he noticed how they struggled to survive and find somewhere safe to live. Though they reminded him of his brother, this time they sparked an urge within Rhys to help them as much as possible. He couldn’t save Salil, but he could save these kids. It’s what his brother would want. As he often did growing up, Salil once again helped pull Rhys out of his depression.
Gathering up anything important or sentimental, Rhys bid a painful farewell to his home and walked with the kids toward the nearest city – Brookfield – where they have lived ever since.
Brookfield divided itself up into tribes based around jobs, and people living there had the option of joining one if they liked. Rhys gravitated toward the Owls, who serve as spiritual leaders and take care of the orphaned children. It was on his way to work one day that he met a woman who would become a crucial figure in his life: Delilah.
They bumped into each other by chance not far from Worship Road where Rhys worked with the Owls. Then a Cricket – the tribe of writers, musicians, actors, and other artists – Delilah introduced herself, and the two began talking. Both became infatuated with the other almost immediately. Lily even switched to the Owls tribe, for him and because it made for a better fit.
For various reasons, however, their relationship remained at “friends”. For months and months they had subtle flirtatious and romantic back-and-forths. Changes within the city, such as an outbreak of disease, and their own emotional struggles kept Rhys and Lily at a standstill – until a misunderstanding occurred.
Around Christmas, Lily knocked on Rhys’ apartment door. Overwhelmed by everything he needed to do to help out during the trying time, Rhys answered and tried to make time for them to talk like she wanted. Unfortunately, their intentions with the conversation went just millimeters from the other’s, and Lily ran off.
Rhys didn’t see her again until July, bringing about his first huge emotional crisis since arriving in Brookfield. He persevered, however, and managed not to spiral as far down as he had when his family died.
When they met again, Rhys and Lily had an awkward conversation about how the other had been and, after apologizing for before, they both finally confessed their feelings for one another. Their first official date happened at Lily’s apartment and was a simple little Italian dinner she tried her hand at making. Rhys commemorated the night, as well as other important aspects of their relationship, in a small box he began carving the following February.
He would never get to present it to her.
Towards the end of summer, Delilah went missing again, this time not of her own volition. The farm outside of town where she had been visiting friends was attacked, and someone dragged her off. Rhys desperately searched for any clues but found nothing. He spent only enough time with the Owls as needed each day – (as one of the oldest survivors, he played a large role in his tribe) – then spent the rest of his time asking questions, searching, or, true to form, crying.
At long last, sometime in October, he found her – only not in the way he expected. Various groups had been coming to Brookfield over the past year or two, inciting chaos or tensions and always leaving the citizens more distraught than they already were. A group called the Whips secretly made their way into town and began kidnapping people.
Rhys became one such victim.
One minute he was finishing up tribe duties in the church office, and the next he awoke in a strange house. Ropes bound him so he couldn’t retaliate against his captor, who had taken him, in essence, because she hated men and wanted to make them serve her.
Lo and behold, who happens to be in the same room as Rhys and this crazy lady?
Or, rather (as Rhys came to learn shortly thereafter, once the nutcase of a woman left), “Bella”.
Somehow, between her disappearance and their unexpected reunion, Lily had lost her memory. It devastated Rhys, but at least they were together again. As long as he had her in his life, he could be patient. He could help her remember. Heck, if he had to, he could fall in love with her all over again. Everything would work out. After everything they had been through, it had to. It absolutely had to.
About a month into his captivity, when some of the higher-ups were away, “Bella” incited a rebellion, and a number of captives escaped. The former lovers were among them. They made it back to the safety of the city.
But then “Bella” left again. With no memory of Rhys or the city, she clung to the one friend she had made after being captured, and the two of them haven’t been seen since.
That brings us to the present. Rhys can barely cope with her loss, which he believes is permanent now. His duties with the Owls are carried out to the bare minimum, and everyone can tell that, while he does care about them, all the smiles he gives are forced. He spends most of his free time in his apartment, often times toying with the finished box in his hands, one he would now never be able to give to the woman he believed was his future. Everything in the city reminds him of her, but he can’t find it in himself to leave, either, so he’s stuck floating in a world of misery while life passes him right on by.