♥ Here's the story ♥ The times of the American Civil War were dark times, indeed. What was supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave was raining bullets, covered in blood, and smothered in smoke. Bombshells were scattered about, and corpses were all too easy to come by. It was also the time when slavery was a terrible issue, and despite Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st, 1863, not all of the slaves were freed. In some of the northern states, those of which remained loyal to the union, slavery was still going strong. This is where this story of love, drama, secrets, freedom, and justice takes place. Imani Avila is a young, headstrong girl with a strong heart and a steadfast soul. Sadly, though, she was born a slave. Gabriel Bradley is the son of the man who recently bought her. His father abuses her and works her like a dog, along with the many other slaves living among'st the vast lands of the rich man's estate. Gabriel, however, isn't as cruel and apathetic as his father, for he holds a soft spot towards the slaves that many white men don't possess. Could it be possible that a real relationship could blossom between the two? What set of cards will fate deal them in this brutal game of life? Will this caged bird finally taste true freedom? Only time will tell. ♥ ♥ Meet the cast ♥ These are the wonderful characters actively participating in the story~ Played By Elixir (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Played By Elixir (open) Played By Elixir (close) Imani Nicole Avila Age She's currently eighteen years young. Gender She's a beautiful maiden, but of course. Status Sadly, she was born into slavery. Personality Imani is a very headstrong and passionate young girl, though she has to keep these qualities under wraps due to her status as a slave. Though she has such a free spirit and a steadfast soul, she was born into a world where someone of her ethnicity isn't allowed to express such traits. Reluctantly, she has learned how to bite her tongue and keep her opinions to herself, though she has a sense of right and justice that will never truly be set aside. In a way, she's like a wild mustang. She can't truly ever be tamed, though she has to pretend like she is or she and possibly those she cares about will suffer dire consequences. Imani has always been eager to learn and grow as a person, and she pays very close attention to her surroundings. One can say that she's pretty wise for her years, though this may be due to all the hardship she has been through. She's a girl of strong faith, and she believes that everything happens for a reason. She's a hopeful dreamer, though she can be down to earth when she has to be. She never has her head stuck in the clouds for too long, for she knows she'll get shot down by the white folk eventually. Despite all the things she has gone through, she's never lost her compassion and her sense of strength. Someday, she'll stand on her own two feet, as free as the birds flying in the sky. Biography ((I may edit this in later or keep it a mystery. I'm debating. xD)) Played By Tayssi (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Played By Tayssi (open) Played By Tayssi (close) Gabriel Vincent Bradley Age He is currently 19 years Gender Nothing but a gentleman Status Born into wealth. Heir to his father's estate & business Personality Gabriel is shy. That's the best way to describe him. He can get rather quiet around people he doesn't know and to make matters worse, his father shoves him into different get togethers and parties all the time, where he is forced to converse with complete strangers or people he really doesn't feel comfortable around. And though he is technically his father's sole heir to the estate and his business, Gabriel would prefer to draw and to paint. That is his passion. And to read. It's not surprising when someone finds Gabriel sitting somewhere quiet, like under a tree in the shade, with a book in his hand or a pencil and sketch book. Gabriel is a very sweet young man. He's kind and considerate and will often bring more food or water to his father's slaves when he is able. He's understanding and tries his best to help when he can. He will listen to anyone's problems no matter how meagre. He's a very forgiving lad and much to his father's disgust, can occasionally be seen helping the slaves if they collapse. And though his father has told him many times to stay away from them, it's futile. Gabriel feels sorry for his father's slaves and wishes he could help them. Though many of them hate him because of his father, he still does his best. If you earn Gabriel's trust and loyalty, you have a friend for life who would help you with what ever he is able to. ♥ Introduction ♥ Imani Nicole Avila It's the middle of spring in the northern state of Delaware. The weather isn't too warm, but it's not too cold, either. Some could say that it's just right. Imani, Gabriel, his family, and all of the other slaves are currently on Mr. Bradley's estate. It's bright and early in the morning, so while all of the white folk can remain in bed for a bit longer, all of the slaves have to be up for their crack-of-dawn workloads. At least the weather is nice, right? ♥ Imani could feel the cool breeze blowing through the cracks in the small shack where she and the other slaves slept. It was her, a couple of younger kids, and about three elders that were working on Mr. Bradley's land. As far as she knew, he bought her because she looked like a capable, strong young woman. He also seemed interested because she didn't look like some of the other slaves. Why? Well, she was half African, but also half Spaniard. Her mother was a slave, and she fell in love with the Spanish man who assisted in managing the slaves for this certain white general. All Imani knew was that her mother had an affair with him, but he ditched her soon after he had his way with her. Broken and battered, her mother lost most of her spirit until Imani was born. To her, Imani was her only hope and faith, hence her given name. It actually means "faith." All through Imani's childhood, her mother taught her to never stop believing. She almost gave up herself, and she never wanted Imani to get to the same point. Trusting and looking up to her mother wholeheartedly, she obeyed her with bright and innocent eyes, despite the horrible conditions that they were in. Born into slavery, Imani didn't have a nice childhood. She still had nightmares about all the things her supposed father and the white general did to all of them, but she knew she had to remain the free spirited girl her mother wanted her to be. It was her final wish, after all. One of the other slaves in the shack was an early bird, having already gotten into the routine of waking up at the same time everyday. "Wake up, people," he spoke as he opened the door to the shack. Everyone else groaned in displeasure, but they all got up regardless of how they were feeling. If they didn't get to work, they knew what consequences awaited them. Time to tackle another day, Imani thought to herself as she got up along with everyone else. Her emerald green eyes shimmered as they stared out at the horizon. The sun was barely peeking over the land, coming to greet everyone. She smiled at the sight, giving the view a small wave as she laughed with a light heart. The others stared at her. "Are you alright?" One of the middle aged women asked her, her dark brown eyes filled with subtle concern. With a bright beam and a sweet shake of her head, Imani expressed that there was no need for their worry. "It's just a beautiful day, that's all," she stated, her irises shining with her undying optimism. The others seemed taken aback by this, but they didn't seem entirely put off by it. In a way, Imani was nothing less than a breath of fresh air. The others smiled softly before heading over to their stations at the fields. "She's a weird one," one of the girls spoke to another man. He nodded back at her, but both of them wore an approving grin. "Let's just hope she doesn't lose that spirit of hers after meeting Mr. Bradley and his men officially."