In The Mind Of: ‘Cassini’

To get to know our characters better, during the writing stages our writer and director Ashleigh Harley explored a set of questions from each of the characters perspectives. Here we consider the perspective of ‘The Wall of Lyon’s’ main character Cassini, and the back story that makes her the character she is today:

Cassini Sketch

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Silence.

What is your greatest fear?

I resent you asking me this question.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Fuck off.

What is the trait you most deplore in other people?

Asking too many questions.

Which living person do you most admire?

I’ve never met anyone I admire. The only person I can vaguely tolerate is my brother. I wouldn’t say I admire him.

What is your current state of mind?

What kind of question is that?

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

I believe compassion to be the most overrated virtue, all it amounts to is pain. I see no gain in it.

On what occasion do you lie?

I dislike people pressing me, I will lie in the face of danger when I see its benefits to me. So long as I don’t get caught I take what I can get. When questioned I lie. I also lie when I’m afraid, and to inadvertently mock others.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

I am perfectly content with my appearance. Thank you.

Which living person do you most despise?

Of whom I’ve met? Knight-Commander.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

None of your business.

What is the quality you most like in a women?

Not a bitch.

Which words of phrase do you most overuse?

I suppose, I don’t really speak. “No” would be high on the list if I were to choose.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

I have none.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would like to be more opposing upon people. 

When and where were you happiest.

I have never been happy.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

That is none of your business.

What is your most marked characteristic?

I am a product of my heritage; that is my most marked characteristic.

What is your biggest regret?

I live without regrets.

Do you have any close friends?

No. Perhaps. No, probably not.

What would you like to be remembered for after your death?

I don’t intent to die.

What kind of threat do you pose to the public?

A big one. Or at least, I like to think so.

What is your normal daily routine?

I wake at some point, usually once the sun is mid-way through the sky. I sleep where I please and do as I please. I bare no routine. You will find it hard to find me.

How do you feel and react when this routine is interrupted for some reason?

Glad.

Where and how where you educated?

I have received no education and nor do I want it, I know most of what they taught but I have no interest in it. I can read and write, as well as draw something that I was never taught. I know of history and of astronomy, sciences and many other subjects; how I have acquired much have my knowledge I do now know.

Who educated you, what was your relationship like with them and how did it effect you?

I reiterate, I have received NO education.

Did circumstances dictate your future?

One would assume so.

Do you or did you have any role models?

No.

What are your ambitions?

To leave.

What do you think of your brother? What do you like about him and what do you despise?

I think he’s annoying and invasive. I despise how he’s always trying to get involved, he is stupid and delusional thinking he will ever be accepted. What do I like? I suppose his hair is okay.

What form of discipline were you subject to as a child?

I was not disciplined as a child, I was free and always have been free. I was however punished, often for taking measures to ensure my survival. 

Did you feel reflection or affection as a child?

I most certainly did not feel affection, or anything for that matter.

What are your thoughts on religion?

I am.

What are your political beliefs?

I despise authority. That’s the extent of my politics.

Who is your mate and how do you relate to him or here? How did you choose?

Don’t go there.

How do you react to stressful situations?

I am the stressful situation.

Do you like to suffer? Do you like to see others suffer?

Yes.

Want do you want most? What do you want so badly, compulsively; and what are you will to do or sacrifice to obtain it?

Is that not clear?

Do you have any secrets? Are you holding them back, if so why?

Some. I feel no shame so mostly no.

What image do you try to project of yourself? Do you try to be visible or invisible?

The less I am seen, the better.

How honest are you about your thoughts and feelings? Do you show your true self?

No.

Cassini’s Childhood

Who were you friends with as a child?

Nobody.

What kind of trouble did you get in to?

I think a more appropriate question would be “what kind of trouble didn’t you get in to?”

Before you matured past adolescence, did a close adult figure attack or humiliate you? Have you ever been abused in any form? If so what was their relation to you?

Never been close to an adult.

As a child did you have enough to eat, clothes to wear and a consistent adult figure to protect you?

No.

What games did you play as a child?

I tried to avoid playing with other children.

Did you ever play pranks on friends or foes?

On foes. They were always very entertaining.

Did you have a friend that others be it other friends or family disapproved of?

No.

What crimes did you see as a child?

I committed them.

Did you ever have a pet?

I am not so fond on animals. Though I prefer them over humans.

Where were you in life 10 years ago?

Probably in a tree. I used to climb trees often.

Did you ever get left behind as a child?

I was never with anyone to get left behind. Therefore I would say no.

Questions In 3rd Person

Due to Cassini’s evasive personality she avoided answering most of these questions accurately and in depth, thus getting to know her character in 1st person in extremely hard as she builds firm boundaries between herself and others. No matter who they are. The only way to dissect her personality is to evaluate her piece by piece in third person and then consider her 1st person answers in relation to the honest 3rd person facts. If a question is not covered here it is due to the fact she answered it honestly.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Cassini’s perfect idea of happiness is to be loved. She builds walls between herself and others as a survival and coping mechanism of her situation. Her outer coldness is a result of the walls being present as inside she is very much locked within inner turmoil. The presence of the walls if very much keeping others out but more importantly keeping herself trapped in. She went through much emotional and physical trauma as a child, being abandoned by everyone and orphaned she knows of nothing but fighting to survive yet she desperately craves love; she will never admit this. On the surface of her character it appears she is chasing the dream to find the mythical species “The Fallen” of whom center within the stories of Lyon’s religion and by rumor appear to play a part in her heritage. She reasons if she were to find her father (one of The Fallen) she would finally be accepted and be among her own kind. She has made many threats to the villagers over the years that when this does happen she’ll kill them etc… and that this her incentive (for revenge) but her true reason is clear; it’s because she is desperate to be a part of something. She wants a purpose. Fenri can see this. It wouldn’t matter what it was but if she had those things she would be happy. What she fails to realise however is the potential for all those things lie only an arm’s reach from he; yet she is blind to see it.

What is your greatest fear?

Her greatest fear is to be alone. She spends much of her time in her own company and thus alone; she feels fear every day. Though it is fear rooted far deeper than is just the act of being by one’s self. When she is alone, she does not know who she is, and cannot stand to be left with herself. Knowing her actions to be impulsive and uncontrolled, when left alone it is exasperated. She fears to never see another yet hates being with others. It is a perplexing situation that is only relieved by her brother of whom understands her. In essence the fear lies with herself and what she may become.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Cassini tries not to reflect, it hurts deeply as she is in essence deep and complex; more so than any other character within in the Wall of Lyon but she does not show it. In the corner of Cassini’s mind where all her ruminating thoughts have become trapped lies the place where her self-deprecation and hatred remains. She despises herself for her actions, it is not so much what she has done to the villagers as in a way she feels she can justify it (though she does carry guilt) it is her overindulgence in hurting those close to her and in the moment, enjoying it. She despises her vindictive character, but would never let on she feels this way.

Which living person do you most admire?

Cassini mentioned her brother in her answer, which is some clue to the honest answer. The person she most admires is in fact her brother. He has no clue of this, anybody would swear she hates him.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Being orderly is probably Cassini’s most overrated virtue, she really does not care for organisation on any level what so ever. Her answer of her not caring for compassion was very much false, she does value it very much. She doesn’t care to express it, primarily she does not know how to but she values those who do possess it none the less.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

She is very insecure about her appearance, due to looking markedly different from all those around her she is very uncertain of the way she looks. Believing it to be due to her relation to The Fallen she tries to pass it off as a badge of honour, whereas in actual fact due to years of torment she is daunted by her atypical appearance. She is least satisfied with her eyes, of which are blood red. They remind her of a time she took someone’s life; the first time. It was a very messy kill. Cassini in actual fact has disdain for the colour red but also a hankering for it. This is a contributing factor to why she evades eye contact, she will experience moments of awareness of the colour of her eyes which will in turn cause her to feel claustrophobic, sick and utterly repulsed.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

This is a complicated question for Cassini, naturally she would deny loving anything. Initially she loves the ideology of freedom and that of being descended from The Fallen, it gives her a sense of entitlement of which she is greatly enamored by. But most significantly she does have a love that has stood out throughout her life, one that has remained with her all her life and that is her brother. Though she pushes him away, treats him cruelly and threatens him almost on a daily basis he is the only form of stability and love she has ever known. It is the deepest love in The Wall of Lyon and it frightens Cassini as she doesn’t understand it.

When and where were you happiest.

Cassini was happiest during her early adolescence, her entire life has been unhappy but this period was littered with many times of great happiness for her. It was the time in which she and her brother where cast from Eldon and forced to survive alone, though occasional interaction from the villagers and guardsmen was inevitable they were more or less secluded. She was content in her brothers company and enjoyed having him to herself, during this time they made childish attempts to carry out Cassini’s ambition of find the Walls and The Fallen but naturally all attempts failed. It brought them closer as siblings and she enjoyed the exploration, plus it only cemented further in her mind that all her beliefs were true. This was her happiest phase of life.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

I think the Cassini under all the layers she hides under actually regards what she lives in currently as the lowest depth of misery. Hence her desperate attempts to escape the world she lives in be it into another realm or the fantastical; depending on your perspective.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Her most marked characteristic lies within her personality, naturally. She tries to define herself by what she is as opposed to who she is as another way of blocking people out. It is undoubtedly her idealism that marks her out, as she follows it un-waveringly. Other almost equally strong characteristics attributed to her personality are; rebellious, faith and her tendency to be stubborn.

What is your biggest regret?

Cassini lives with many regrets, so many that they have merged into an enormity. The biggest however and the only one that stays in her mind relates back to her early adolescence. She took the life of her brothers closest friend Freyja out of jealousy and impulsion. She deeply hated her and was pleased with her efforts immediately afterwards. However after observing the impact it had on him she instantly regretted it. He is completely unaware of this.

Do you have any close friends?

Cassini does not consider herself to have or have had any close friends during the course of her life, she’s never befriended anyone this is true though she does have a close friend and this is her brother. She cares for him, though she’ll never admit it and relies on him. She needs him far more than he needs her.

What kind of threat do you pose to the public?

She is a known thief and many suspect her to be a murderer but there is no solid evidence to convict her. She is prohibited from entering Eldon due to her crimes as she’s deemed too high of a threat, many times the guard have attempted to capture her and imprison her yet it has never come to fruition. Now she remains away primarily from her own choice as they cannot control her. The threats she pose are of violent acts. Cassini is unafraid to kill and has been known to hunt members of the village to skin and devour them (this is only known as a fact by Fenri as he’s seen the evidence, it is mere rumour by the villagers of Eldon). She selects her victims by genetic group, meaning she kills off families. However her ultimate goal is to take down the Knight-Commander, she has no pattern in her attacks.

What is your normal daily routine?

Though she claims to live without routine, inevitable she does. She typically rises midway throughout the day. Where she rises is different every time, though there are a handful of locations that she has visited numerous times. There is little throughout Cassini’s day that constitutes a routine as each action from the next is disorganized, unrelated and unconsidered. Everyday however she will without fault visit the lake clearing and stare at her reflection for a great period of time, eyes locked on themselves. She is contemplating who she is. It is disturbing to watch. At some point she will decide to stop. Not every day will she hunt but most days have an objective relating to the villagers, The Guard or her desire to escape The Walls and find The Fallen.

Did circumstances dictate your future?

Circumstances completely dictated who Cassini is today and her future, I believe she would be a very different person and aspiring to different objectives for different reasons should fate have lent her a softer hand. The variables are too great to say what her future would have been but it is suffice to say that she would certainly be kinder of character and her more positive traits would be easier to see. 

What do you think of your brother? What do you like about him and what do you despise?

She answered the question falsely, more so than any other. She thinks very highly of her brother and appreciates everything he has ever done for her. She likes his compassion and his introspective nature, she appreciates his silence as it is true more often than not she would prefer quite. However she does find him invasive, I think more appropriately she finds the closeness of their relationship invasive. She desperately wants to open up to him but is compelled to push him away, she simple cannot be close to anyone.

What are your thoughts on religion?

Cassini’s statement of “I am” stretches far deeper than its statement. Sounding exceedingly arrogant using the phrase “I believe” would be inaccurate as to be a believer she would have to have made a conscious decision to believe; meaning that doubt would have been in her mind at some point. Instead the belief is so cemented in her mind that she has become a part of it and it her. She knows that the legends are true and she is physical proof. She is certain of every element of it and she herself marks herself as a part of The Fallen. 

How do you react to stressful situations?

She does not react well. As a survival technique she reacts immediately and drastically, in terms of survival it works for her; generally when faced with fight or flight she will automatically choose to fight. She reacts with force and intense focus, often supplied by frantic fear. She has a tendency to react with too much force, of which can never be predicted.

What image do you try to project of yourself? Do you try to be visible or invisible?

Cassini did answer this truthfully, she does not wish to be seen and would rather remain invisible to those around her. She has no desire to be noticed in any aspect what so ever. Her desire stems from her social apprehension, she despises people and is immensely uncomfortable with others. It would allow her more opportunity and freedom to do as she pleases, she is currently rather notorious which does not fit her ideals.

What kind of trouble did you get in to?

She was a trouble maker and still is, the only difference in her childhood it was somewhat more innocent. As she ages it becomes darker and far more serious; her intentions more defined. She trespassed, she stole, she pickpocketed, she harmed others, she set fire to the villagers homes. The punishment she received came in the form of violence, a beating, being whipped, chained, shamed, stoned. There were many attempts by the villagers to correct her behaviour but none prevailed, each attempt exasperated her ill intent and gave her further reason for her next move. She could not be contained. 

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