Are you over 15? Yes
Current characters in the game: None
Name: Helen Magnus
Canon and Medium: Sanctuary (television)
Age: 46 (in game) 274 (actual)
Pre-Incarnation Species: Source Blood Altered Abnormal
Pre-Incarnation Appearance: Example 1 | Example 2 | Full Body
Any Differences: Nope. Not really.
Starting Location: Locke City, NJ, USA.
Pre-Incarnated History: Helen Magnus was born to Gregory Magnus and Patricia Heathering on August 27, in the year 1850. She was brought up in Victorian London, and as a young woman she attended the Royal College of Surgeons. However, in that time, it was found unacceptable for a woman to become a doctor, and her application to be certified was repeatedly denied. Frustrated, but never one to back down, she went to her father, a leading physician of his time. She begged him to mentor her, to show her his work. He agreed, and her life was forever changed by what she learned.
Assisting her father in his work, Helen discovered a world she had never before known existed. His Sanctuary was home to creatures of myth and legend, creatures known as abnormals. She had found her calling.
With her father’s help, Helen was able to study at Oxford where she met four classmates who would become involved with her work, allowing themselves to be injected with a serum derived from pure vampire blood. Each received a unique gift from this experiment. Helen’s was longevity.
Her extremely slow aging has given Helen many opportunities she would never have had otherwise. She has witnessed incredible things in her life, major historical events most can only wonder at, and she has seen both the beauty and the darkness of life. It has also led her to have a unique perspective of the world we live in. Over the years she expanded her father’s work, creating a network which spans the globe providing sanctuary for abnormals everywhere.
A number of years after she first saved him from a creature which killed his mother, Helen brought Will Zimmerman in as her protégé. Of course, nothing goes according to plan, and his first remembered meeting with her is after her driver hits him in an ally. She then approaches him with an offer he finds difficult to refuse, offering answers to questions no one else seems to have. Together, they track a young boy with a unique appendage, helping him gain control.
But is anything as easy as it seems?
It was around this time that Helen's once fiancé, John Druitt, came back into her life, abducting their daughter. He threatened her life in exchange for Helen's blood, so that he might live longer. Helen gave him a sample of blood that she believed would kill him, and it appeared to work, allowing them to rescue Ashley.
Will chose to remain as her protégé, following her on a number of interesting missions. Each raised its own challenges, testing the bonds among the Sanctuary team. One of their earliest missions involved three witches, rescued from a crypt in Scotland. It was during this mission that they made an enemy of the Cabal, from whom they had taken the witches.
The Cabal would continue to hunt them until they eventually succeeded in capturing Ashley and Henry, who she had rescued when he was only a child. They turned Ashley into a vampire, thanks to her latent genetics. She was stronger and faster even then the original race, and worst of all, completely loyal to the Cabal.
Systematically, the Cabal set out to destroy the network of sanctuaries, one by one. They created others using Ashley's DNA, giving them a nearly unstoppable team to infiltrate the network.
In the end, they were able to hold the line, preventing the primary sanctuaries from falling. But it came at a cost. Several lost their lives, humans and abnormals alike, including Ashley who overcame Cabal control long enough to sacrifice herself in order to save her mother.
Later missions would hold even more challenges for her, though perhaps none quite as painful as the loss of her daughter. Over the next year, she learned that John's violent nature might be attributed to an electrical entity using his body as a host, leaving her to wonder if she might have been able to save him from himself after all. She also dealt with her good friend losing his vampiric nature, realizing it meant she might eventually be the only one left of the original Five.
Toward the end of the season, Helen's judgment was called into question. She had allowed a dangerous abnormal to live, while telling the other Sanctuary Heads she had killed her as per protocol. When they vote to have her removed from power, intending to finally kill the creature, Helen risked her own life to save her.
Soon after, the team discovered a holographic map, depicting a city. However, they could not seem to figure out what the map was telling them. This was when Adam Worth entered the picture.
Worth had tried to be a part of the Five when they all attended Oxford together. They had thought him dead, but he had actually been staying in the city shown by the map. But he hadn't followed their laws, resulting in him being banned from the city.
In his quest to get back, he sought out Helen, wanting to know what she'd learned from the map. He set up a meeting under false pretenses in an abandoned building, then trapped her alone with him using a time dilation field. She took a hell of a beating, and for nothing. Because she truly didn't know what he expected her to tell him.
When she finally got the upper hand, learning who he was, he set the time dilation nodes to self-destruct. She managed to get them both out of the building, only to discover he was dying. And not from any injury she had inflicted. A short time later, it becomes apparent that it is from his crossing through time and space, a form of radiation poisoning with no effective treatment or cure. Worse, Helen had been exposed to it as well.
Their new mission became finding the city in order to acquire a cure and keep Helen alive, even though she was resistant to their efforts, not wanting Adam to get his hands in the map. By using her own rules against her, they placed Will in charge, going against her wishes.
Eventually, they reached the city, known as Praxis and located in Hollow Earth. But again, things went horribly wrong. Adam escaped, with the aid of John. His decision to help the man (for his own gain) proved to be one that would come back to haunt them.
Unrest in Praxis had led to an uprising, and abnormals fled to the surface, some less friendly than others. Matters were quickly spinning out of the Sanctuary's control, the government stepping in and creating more problems than they were solving. But Helen's primary concern was stopping Adam, who intended to travel back in time and save his daughter. While his was a loss she knew well, she couldn't allow him to alter the course of history, regardless of his reasons. She and John tracked him to Praxis, which Adam had destroyed during his efforts to create a working time machine.
They were too late to stop him from going back in time, so Helen followed him through the portal, finding herself on a London street in 1898. She chased after Worth, firing several shots before he blew a section out of a wall, the falling debris knocking her unconscious.
She was taken to a cell, where her old friend and former partner, James Watson, found her and arranged her release. Being a detective, it didn’t take long for him to realize she was from the future, a future in which he had died. Together, they worked to stop Adam and prevent him from changing the timeline.
Once their mission had been completed, however, she still had no way back to her own time, but her longevity placed her in the unique position of being able to simply wait. It was intended to be a break, a chance to regroup and recharge before facing the future that awaited her. But she didn’t remain idle. Instead, she put a plan into motion, one that would save her Sanctuary in the future and allow her to continue her work without the governments’ interference.
A new Sanctuary was established, deep underground, safe from discovery. And once she had returned to her own time, she set into motion a series of events which would allow her to move her operation without anyone taking notice, even going so far as to fake her own death, destroying her former Sanctuary in the process.
Even those closest to her were not made entirely aware of her plans, it may be assumed. As she wanted Henry to move on in his life with his newly forming family and Kate to have the life she deserved with Garrus in Hollow Earth. However, she provided Will with instructions which led him to the new Sanctuary. And, together, they stood on the edge of a new future.
Reincarnated History: Helen Magnus was born August 27, 1965 to loving parents. Her father was a well-known, if not well-accepted, attorney accustomed to keeping odd hours; and young Helen passed a great deal of her time in his office, watching him work. Even then, she knew she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps.
When Helen was still a girl, her mother was killed in a car accident. This tragedy strengthened the bond between father and daughter and solidified her desire to go into law. As she grew older, Helen began helping her father in his practice whenever she could. By the time she had finished school, she was filling a significant role in his work, so instead of immediately pursuing her law degree, she spent the next few years working at his side.
Though she enjoyed working with her father, Helen inevitably grew restless, anxious to begin a career of her own. With her father’s support, she attended Oxford where she met a group of men who would become her closest friends for years to come. One in particular won her affections quickly. He was a gentleman, always treated her with the utmost respect, and soon she began to think she was in love. They had been together little more than a year when he asked her to marry him, and she readily accepted. Only a short year later, they were expecting their first child.
Helen might have been content to finish her degree and settle in London with her new family, but her husband did not share that sentiment. With their daughter just a year old and Helen’s degree unfinished, he asked her to leave England. More devoted to her family than her education, she reluctantly agreed, and they settled in Seattle, Washington.
As soon as she was able, Helen resumed her education, eventually earning a law degree. Starting as a paralegal while still attending university, she finally rose to the position of city attorney. For a time, they were happy and fate seemed to be in their favor. She had a well-paying job, they lived in a nice community, their relationship was strong, and their daughter was healthy. However, all of that ended when, at the tender age of seven, her little girl was diagnosed with leukemia.
In order to devote the required time and attention to their daughter’s care, her husband left his job, allowing them to keep Helen’s higher salary and better benefits. After more than two years of struggling with their daughter’s illness, the strain on their marriage was beginning to take its toll. By the fourth year, the cancer had gone into remission, but the damage had already been done. Realizing they could not repair their fractured relationship, they filed for divorce.
The years immediately following passed painfully for Helen. Her work began to suffer, and though she spent as much time as possible with her daughter, she could be distant. It was during this time that the neighbor boy, all but abandoned by his parents, came into their life, providing her daughter with a much needed companion, and providing Helen with a distraction from the troubles in her own life. She cared for him as a son, bringing him into her home and into her life, watching him grow into a young man.
Even this relatively peaceful time was not enough to draw her entirely out of herself, and shortly after her daughter’s fifteenth Birthday, Helen lost her job. Having little left to hold her in Seattle, it was not long before she decided to move. Wanting to separate from her past, Helen settled in New Jersey, bringing her daughter with her.
At her daughter’s urging, she finally sought help for her worsening mental state, finding it in a man who became more friend than therapist. Slowly, Helen’s moods began to improve, and she became more grounded in the world around her, reconnecting with the people in her life. Eventually, she was even convinced to start her own practice. While she still occasionally found herself on unsteady emotional ground, she was finally content in her life again.
First Echo: She recently witnessed a car accident, and her medical training kicked in when she rushed over to help, only realizing afterward that she’d never had that kind of training. The details of what she knew and did at the time are fuzzy and she retains no specific medical knowledge beyond basics, but it’s left her with the feeling that she is supposed to be a doctor.
Pre-Incarnation Personality: While her longevity has been a blessing in her work, it has often been a curse in other ways. Imagine knowing you will outlive virtually everyone you love. This is a reality Helen lives with every day. She is painfully aware that she will likely lose anyone she gets close to, either through her work or to age. Perhaps some of her most significant losses were those of James Watson, her partner and colleague of more than a century, and her daughter, Ashley.
Over time, this awareness has come to have a significant impact on the decisions she makes and the relationships she has. It has led to a tendency to push people away, hold them at a distance. This is how she has chosen to guard her heart. For example, in Requiem when she and Will find themselves confined to a submarine, she’s frustrated because she doesn’t understand her daughter, perhaps a disconnect attributed to her advanced age. Will makes the comment then that while she invites questions, she leaves or changes the subject when a conversation turns too personal. When she finally does give him an honest explanation, her response is, “I've buried a lot of friends, colleagues, lovers; more than you can imagine. You asked me earlier how I could relate to people? Well... dinner parties are hell.” She has a unique understanding about how precious life truly is and how short it can be. Few have known so much pain, so much loss. It has made it difficult to relate to others because they lack a similar understanding.
She has adapted to this understanding by keeping secrets, particularly about herself. Helen does not share personal information easily. In the pilot, when Will presses her for answers, she tells him as little as she believes she can get away with while still satisfying his curiosity. And when he continues to push, she grows noticeably frustrated, her tone becoming more brisk. Something similar happens during The Depths when Will questions her about his scholarship, learning for the first time that she had been the one to pay for his college education. It is a matter she clearly does not wish to discuss, and even when specifically asked, there is a significant delay before she answers, as though she is trying to ignore the question.
Though she sometimes appears soft, there is no question Helen is strong, capable, and passionate about her work. We see exactly how far she is willing to go in order to protect her work when we learn about The Five hunting down Adam Worth. It is also seen in the countless times she has risked her life for the Sanctuary. However, upon first meeting her, she can often seem distant. In truth, she is quite the opposite.
Helen is a very guarded individual, as much out of necessity as anything else. The unknown length of her life, and the uncertainty of her work has left her reluctant to open up to another person. Those she allows behind her walls are few, and she selects them carefully. It means a great deal if she is willing to open her heart to you, or even simply be herself in your company.
This is not to say she is shy about intimacy. She is comfortable with herself and her body, and she is surprisingly fond of physical contact, knowing that a simple touch can often mean more than words. Countless times throughout the series, we see her laying a hand on someone’s arm or lightly touching their back in reassurance. This is most obvious when she is with those closest to her, especially with her daughter. Her body language is more apt to voice her thoughts than she is, and if one truly hopes to gain insight into her emotions, they need only learn to pay attention to her eyes.
Helen is confident, occasionally to a fault. As a good friend once said, she’s the type to leap from a cliff, hoping she sprouts wings. She also tends to take others’ burdens as her own. She harbors a tremendous amount of guilt, often blaming herself for circumstances beyond her control. While she makes it a practice not to hold regrets, her mistakes and failures are rarely far from the surface, influencing her methods and actions. Because she does feel guilty so much of the time, she has a tendency to be somewhat reckless, and she would not hesitate to put another’s life ahead of her own. One instance in which this can be seen is during Fata Morgana when they had taken three witches from a crypt, only to realize an organization known as the Cabal had claimed possession of them. Despite her own belief that they were too dangerous to remain free, when the Cabal attack her Sanctuary with the intention of stealing them back, she puts herself at risk, making it clear that should they wish to remain, she would fight to protect them.
Though Helen has lived too long and seen too much to follow any specific religion, she has a great deal of faith. She is very spiritual, in her own way. She does believe there is something greater than herself, and at times, she draws strength and comfort from that belief. Still, what truly keeps her waking up in the morning is her work. She has devoted nearly her entire life to ensuring abnormals are given protection and common courtesy, while also working to protect humans from those abnormals too dangerous to be allowed freedom. She even went so far as to destroy the Sanctuary she had considered home for decades, simply so that she could continue her work in the best way she knew how, without interference for those who would alter the balance.
One of Helen’s more interesting qualities is her sense of humor. It is very dry and occasionally almost unsophisticated. This is usually only seen when she is in the company of those she considers close friends. We see this with Will in Next Tuesday. After crashing their helicopter in an abandoned oil rig and being stranded at sea, they spend nearly the entire episode bickering. But once the real reason for Helen’s insistence on keeping him nearby is revealed, some of the tension dissipates. In an effort to lighten the heavy mood, Will makes the comment, “It's hard, isn't it? Finding someone worth anything?” to which she replies, “You're kidding, right? I mean, there's plenty of fish in the sea.”
Underneath it all, Helen is caring and compassionate in everything she does, giving to others more than she would ever consider taking for herself. She is a very unique individual who has lived through things most could not imagine, but she takes it mostly in stride. Her work is never finished, and she will not rest until it is.
Any differences?: I hesitate to say that this Helen is more fragile than her canon counterpart, but in many ways, that is an apt description. She has not had the more than two centuries to grow accustomed to loss or any other terrible experience, so she doesn’t cope with it as well as she might otherwise. She has broken, and she is only just starting to find her footing again.
She remains loyal and determined and compassionate. But she leads more with emotion than she would in canon. She doesn’t do what she thinks is right, so much as what her heart is telling her to do. She’s more likely to act based on her emotional connection to a person or cause than on sound logic.
Another significant difference between this Helen and her canon counterpart is her fear. She is very much afraid of growing too attached to those around her, but it’s more than that. She doesn’t want to get hurt again, so she pushes people away, shies from commitment. But she’s also afraid of losing herself again. She’s afraid of being in that place again, neglecting her work and her family.
In short, she’s a great deal younger. She lacks the experience and the confidence that comes with being 274 years old. She doesn’t have the same courage or the ability to take all of that emotion and keep it from bubbling over. There’s a lot more uncertainty. She still has a lot to learn.
Abilities: This list is probably not nearly all-inclusive. She has over a century's worth of learning and experience to draw on, and sadly, I'm not nearly as talented as she is.
-- Longevity: During an experiment in which she was injected with a serum derived from vampire blood, she was graced with extreme longevity. She still ages, but incredibly slowly. This is why she appears to be in her mid-forties, though she is well over 100 years old. I will point out that while often viewed similarly, this is not the same as immortality. Helen can be injured or killed just like any other human. At most, the blood may have provided her with an added resistance to illness and somewhat improved healing, though this has never been made entirely clear within the series.
-- Education: Unsurprisingly, given her advanced age, Helen has had more opportunity than most to further her education. And she has definitely made use of it. As a result, she has several doctorates, including medicine, xenobiology, cryptozoology, and teratology. While her primary focus appears to be medicine, her work requires the active practice of each of these degrees. Due to the nature of her work, studying abnormals, she has a vast knowledge of a variety of physiologies.
-- Language: Having had decades to learn, and having lived or visited many different regions, Helen also has an extensive knowledge of several different languages. Among those which she can read, write, or speak (or a combination of the three) are Italian, Zulu, Cambodian, Norwegian, French, German, sign language (American and British), Morse code, Japanese, Greek, Spanish, and of course, English.
-- Combat: She has a familiarity with a variety of different weapons, including those invented by people within her network. However, she is most commonly seen with her handgun. She is also highly skilled in hand-to-hand combat.
-- Other: While most of this is based on headcanon or interviews, I tend to believe Helen is both artistically and musically inclined but has had little time to practice in recent years. I also suspect she has a hidden talent for cooking, though she rarely puts it to use. She practices fencing in her spare time.
It should probably also be noted that, while she certainly uses weapons and equipment easily found today, she also has access to more advanced equipment, such as weapons that emit a sonic pulse rather than a bullet. These are usually designed to be non-lethal.
What kind of involvement would you like your character to have in Save the Earth? At first, she's going to be very uneasy about things and reluctant to accept what's happening. But she will inevitably cave to reason, especially as she starts remembering more of herself. And then I'd like her to get involved figuring out what is happening and why her, specifically, because she doesn't think she has all that much to contribute at the moment. I think the setting will allow for a good amount of character development, building her confidence and helping her form more connections.
- Third Person: It's gotten dark enough she can only just make out the edges of the street through the thick glass of the window, and quiet has descended on the tiny, out of the way coffee shop. The place is perhaps one of the area's best-kept secrets, and she had been frequenting it for a number of years. Fortunately, they also managed to brew decent tea, or she would have stopped coming here long ago.
Tonight, though, she has other things on her mind. Her tea, setting on the table in front of her, has long since gone cold as she absently traces the rim of the cup, lost in thought. She's spent most of the evening sitting here, watching life pass by her on the streets outside, much the same way she has spent the past few days staring out of her kitchen window at home.
She feels distant, disconnected. It's been weeks since she's seen anyone beyond the scope of her work, something she usually prefers, but lately, the time alone is beginning to wear on her. In the quiet moments, the long minutes without her work occupying her mind, her darker thoughts have begun resurfacing.
Perhaps she should go home, lie in her bed, and try to pass the remaining hours until morning. Perhaps it would be for the best. Still, she sits in the corner of the small diner. No. Sleep will be better avoided tonight.
- Network: [Helen had thought, at first, that the feeling would pass. She must have read something or heard something that gave her the tools she needed to help those people, some memory drawn to the surface. But there was a distinct wrongness to it. As if the knowledge had been her own, but not quite.
And that didn’t explain the numbers.
The whole thing made her uneasy. Nothing had changed, yet it felt as though her life was no longer her own. It was all slipping out of her control again.
Finally, when she could no longer ignore it, she picked up her phone, dialing the apparently unforgettable series of numbers.
She didn’t know what she was expecting, but when the network popped up on screen, she pulled back in alarm, dropping her phone as if it had burned her. Silently berating herself, she picked it back up off the table and scrolled through the most recent entries.
A few moments later, she typed simply,]
I’m not certain I understand.
ANYTHING ELSE? Not that I can think of at the moment! I was still a little unsure whether or not it was okay to include close castmates in the AU history, but they can easily be generalized or edited to suit should anyone want to app one of them.