ARE YOU AT LEAST 16 YEARS OLD?: Yes.
IF UNDER 18 YEARS OLD, PLEASE STATE YOUR AGE: Faaaar over 18.
CHARACTERS PLAYED: N/A
NAME: Grell Sutcliffe
CANON: Kuroshitsuji (manga). English title is "Black Butler."
CANON REFERENCE: Wikia link, personally written history overview (Jack the Ripper arc), personally written history update (Campania arc). The last link includes information from a different game, so please disregard the final short paragraph.
GENDER: Gender identity is female, but biological sex is male. I will be using female pronouns for her.
YEAR IN SCHOOL/FACULTY POSITION: Adjunct faculty (office work), taking college level courses.
APPEARANCE: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3 (close-up).
Standing at 5'7" without heels and 6'0" with heels, Grell is a tall and lean redhead. She wears her hair to the small of her back, usually loose. As she is nearsighted, she is always wearing a pair of red-rimmed spectacles with a glasses chain. Her most striking features are her greenish-yellow eyes (akin to the color of a cat's iris), and her sharpened teeth. While Grell is transgendered, she is not transsexual which means her body type is still very masculine. She compensates with cosmetics and fashion.
Grell is, in the neatest and kindest way to put it, just the tiniest bit off.
She is an early antagonist in the series, a psychotic death god who moonlighted as Jack the Ripper with her temporary human employer. She’s bloodthirsty and ruthless, generally uncaring about the people she reaps as a death god, and kills allies without reservations once they outlive their use to her. However, she is also shown to be flashy, flamboyant and unabashed. When not actively attacking someone, much of her personality is a gay stereotype. It is important to note that Grell is transgendered MtF, not transsexual. If given the opportunity, she would undergo the operation, but in her time period, she cannot. (In the AU, her reason will be twofold: a lack of funds, and the instability of her living situation.) She frequently mentions her desire to bear children, but readily recognizes that it is impossible. She speaks in an exaggeratedly feminine manner, using the Japanese personal pronoun 'atashi' which is feminine, and the sentence endings 'wa' and 'no yo' to make her sentences sound girlish to a Japanese speaking audience. Her gestures and posture also speak to Japanese notions of the “onee,” or the drag queen stereotype.
She delights in theatrics, going so far as to stop work to reenact scenes from the movie Titanic. She puts particular stress on making a big entrance and making an even bigger impression, paying special attention to her appearance. She often references theatre, as when she compares herself to Juliet and Sebastian to (a reluctant) Romeo. Her hand movements are exaggerated, often using wide gestures and sweeps of her hands. This theatrical nature also helps her be adaptable, changing who she is when necessary. As Madam Red’s butler, she is bumbling, easily flustered, easily confused, directionally challenged, and terrible at her job. She spends most of her time either apologizing or ineffectually calming down Madam Red. She needed to escape notice as Jack the Ripper, so she did all she could to remain quietly in the background, and she mostly succeeded. As herself, however, she is confident, brazen, and efficient.
She enjoys flirting just to flirt, and flirting to unnerve her enemies. She does this endlessly with Sebastian, knowing he hates her, and also with her severe supervisor, William Spears. The less interested the object of her affection, the harder she tries to gain their affection (even if it’s done to annoy them). Grell is very honest about this and in supplementary materials revealed that the less interested or colder a person is to her, the harder she tries to woo them. The challenge presented in uninterested parties makes it worthwhile to her.
Grell will go out of her way to help those whose interests align with hers, as when she “fell in love” with Madam Red. She loved to see her covered in the blood of her victims, and her ruthlessness hatred of women who aborted their babies struck a chord with Grell. It was a platonic, but selfish love born from a mutual understanding of the heartbreak of being childless. Grell agreed to work in the human world as Madam Red’s butler to help her kill. However, Grell’s emotions often get the better of her, and when disappointed in someone, she doesn't see the need to keep the object of her affection around. Once Madam Red stopped being of interest to her, Grell killed her. In this and in most things, Grell is ultimately selfish. People are there for her amusement or benefit, and when they outlive their purpose, they die. In the AU, she won’t be as murderous, although she will often threaten bodily harm using her powers. The threat of lasting consequences of her actions would dissuade her from actively engaging as a serial killer, although the urge will always be present in her.
Grell’s love of the color red is tied to her bloody nature; red is the color of roses, passion and, most importantly, blood. Grell loves her job as a death god because it allows her to peek into people's pasts to see their dirty secrets. It also gives her an excuse to exercise her love of carnage and, an added bonus, is that she is very good at her work. Prior to the series, she had never deviated as strongly from her duties as when she killed for the Madam, but from Will’s attitude toward her and her non-regulation scythe we can assume she is normally far from an ideal employee. She readily bends the rules whenever it suits her needs. This presents in her alternate life in the way that she can only hold temporary jobs until arriving at the Institute.
And while Grell is a formidable opponent, she can also be used for comedic relief. When excited, she’ll toss one-liners and exaggerated jokes at her enemy (usually flirting). When upset, her fighting becomes erratic and she rants as she fights. She is extremely vain and freaks out if anyone tries to hit her in the face. She is also easily defeated once Sebastian stops her chainsaw because she's too distracted by it being broken to fight back. Grell is heavily reliant on her weapon and without it, her effectiveness in battle is cut in half. (In the AU, if she doesn’t have blood to manipulate, she’s fairly useless.) With her weapon, however, she is very strong – canon reveals she is stronger than Ronald Knox, but weaker than William Spears – and can hold her own in a grueling battle against a demon and another, stronger death god at the same time.
Power type: Blood Manipulation (Powerlisting link)
In canon, Grell is a death god, and has an unhealthy obsession with death and the color red. Blood-based powers would account for her canon and AU personality match in a world without death gods.
Overview: Grell’s blood manipulation allows her to take any free-flowing source of blood (animal or human) and draw from it to create objects. She can harden (or crystalize) the drawn blood into weapons, shields, or tools (haemokinetic constructs) or use the blood to fight (haemokinetic combat). To a limited degree, she is able to engage in haemopotent regeneration where she uses blood to heal minor to moderate injuries.
Methods: Grell needs a free-flowing or new source of blood in order to manipulate it, so her usual method is to cause her enemy to injure her first. Once she’s bleeding, she can use a small amount to harm someone else and then use their blood to continue the fight. In a pinch, she will inflict a small wound upon herself and her preferred method is to bite the pad of her fingers or her lips. After arriving in America, where the threat of violence against mutants is high, she had her teeth filed to points to facilitate blood drawing.
Strengths: Once an injury in inflicted, she can use the opening to draw as much blood as she wants from an opponent or herself. She can manipulate the blood’s shape and hardness to make tools, weapons, or shields as she sees fit, as long as there is enough raw material. The bloodier a battle, the more powerful she is as she can manipulate any fresh blood even if she wasn’t the one to draw it. She can accelerate personal healing, but it does not limit the pain she feels. In combat, she can use blood to create projectiles that can be forcefully thrown short distances, such as bows and arrows or “bullets” – hardened pellets thrown at great force.
Weaknesses: Grell must have fresh blood. If it is coagulated or the blood has been exposed to the air for too long, it loses its elasticity and she cannot mold it. She also requires line of sight on the source of the blood – either the person or the pool she’s drawing from. Once line of sight is lost (the person ducks behind a bookcase, the puddle is cleaned up, she leaves the area, etc.), the efficacy of the item created from that blood decreases and the item itself dissolves. The rate at which any blood creation dissipates depends on its size and the amount of blood and control needed to maintain its shape. A small pin, for example, might hold for an hour. A knife or short sword might disappear in as little as 15 minutes. Obviously, when using great quantities of her own blood, she experiences light-headedness, nausea, and other normal symptoms of blood loss. If her hemorrhaging is severe, she’ll lose consciousness and all items she created will dissolve. Without proper control, Grell can also draw out too much blood from an opponent, causing death. She cannot control blood that is inside a person, thus she can’t “Bloodbend” as is seen in series like Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Born and raised in London, England, Gregory Sutcliffe had a relatively normal childhood. Born the only son of a quiet suburban family, he should have wanted for nothing. His father held a high level position at a nice company and his stay-at-home mother had a side job as a midwife. Their neighbors loved to talk about how the Sutcliffes were an idyllic family. His father was kind, his mother beautiful, and Gregory unhappy. As a child, he fell in love with the fashion his mother wore, and unbeknownst to his parents began to dabble in wearing women's clothing in the privacy of his home. From the moment he slipped into his first red dress, he knew two things; he wasn't meant to be a son, and he could never tell anyone.
He began stealing and hiding his mother's makeup for his personal use, buying women's magazines to research how to better perfect his look, and hiding his clothes in the attic. His family was oblivious to his after school activities, and as a member of a youth theatre group, no one questioned why his mannerisms seemed a little different from most other boys his age. His father liked to remind him to be a man, giving him blue clothes, jeans, and sports equipment. His mother said it was just a phase. And while keeping his secret ensured his safety, Gregory’s frustration and anger built over time. He hated that he couldn’t be honest and the subtle intolerance in his family slowly drove him mad. Outwardly, he was a happy child to suit his parents’ expectations. Then his parents were blessed with the prospect of a second child late in life, a girl they planned to name Adele, and his father went to find the old baby things upstairs.
What he found in place of a crib brought their perfect life to an end. After the yelling and the broken dishes subsided, Gregory’s father stormed out to clear his head. Worrying that her husband would cause an unnecessary scene for the neighbors, his mother ran to bring him back and left her son nursing the first nasty bruises in his life. When they didn't come back after an hour, Gregory went searching for them, and found flashing lights and flares blocking a road a few neighborhoods over. The police told him a drunk driver had hit a couple on their way home. The woman was in critical condition in the hospital, the man had died at the scene. Oddly, he found he worried more for his unborn sister than either of his parents. The concern was legitimate, however, and while his mother survived the accident, his unborn sister did not.
Life changed drastically after Gregory’s father died. His mother, devastated by the loss of her husband and daughter, tried not to blame her son, but turned her attentions increasingly toward work. She began to rail openly against any and all differences, and idolized the perfect life she once had led. Gregory’s secret leaked, and school became a routine of fighting bullies and coming home with bruises. His theatre group was his only escape, but even that relationship became strained as he vented his frustrations from home and school on the stage. His behavior continued to become erratic and more aggressive until the day his mutation kicked in.
A particularly brutal beating at school was the trigger. A group of boys, determined to show that their school wouldn’t play host to nonconformists, cornered Gregory on his way home, overwhelmed him, and beat him mercilessly. In a desperate attempt to save himself, Gregory wished for a weapon and suddenly found himself holding a crude red shiv. Not about its origins, he stabbed his tormentors repeatedly in the arms and sides, fending them off. The boys jumped back, screaming about “freaks” and “mutants,” and Gregory watched as their blood melded to the shiv, elongating it to a wicked blade.
The day ended with one boy in critical condition, three with serious injuries, and Gregory arrested on excessive self-defense charges. No weapon was ever found, and he was eventually put through the youth justice system before being released after 8 months. With his theatre background, he convinced people he was truly remorseful for his angry outburst while secretly practicing with his newfound powers. When he emerged, Gregory renamed himself Grell and dropped all pretenses of being male. Her mother didn’t understand her choice and rejected her new daughter, choosing to pretend her son had died in the attack. She adamantly refused to believe anything Grell told her about a mutation, too, because “mutants don’t happen in nice families.”
Years passed, and Grell often found herself just shy of the wrong side of the law. She experimented in training her powers by using animals and transients, people who wouldn’t be believed if someone came along and transformed their blood into things. Over time, she realized she couldn’t empathize with the people she hurt and gave up trying to do so. It was all for the greater good of making sure she was never hurt again, so why shed tears for a homeless drug addict who underwent enforced donation of a pint of blood or two?
Grell moved around following graduation from secondary school, but had difficulty in maintaining employment. Her flamboyancy combined with barely concealed aggression didn’t make her the ideal candidate, but she managed to find temporary office work here and there. At age twenty-two, when her mother had an emotional breakdown, she returned home to help her. It didn’t take long to see that the toll of living alone in a broken home had pushed Grell’s mother beyond the breaking point.
Obsessed with the family she’d lost, she began stalking younger families in and around their neighborhood. Seeing no harm in a little obsession, Grell encouraged her mother to play out her fantasies by observing other people. It seemed to help her ailing heart and it kept her out of Grell’s hair while she looked for a professional mental health care facility to place her. Grell got a temporary job at a local gynecologist’s office, and spent a year trying to piece together what was left of her family.
Things seemed to be going well until the day she returned home early from work to find her mother murdering a young woman in their kitchen. Grell could only watch as her once loving mother berated the stranger for throwing away her family, stabbing her repeatedly with the kitchen knife. Before Grell could stop her mother, the woman died; and rather than call the police, she focused on getting her mother to talk. Grell learned that her mother had been seeing the woman to help her through the early stages of her pregnancy, only to find out that the girl had decided on an abortion. The tragic loss of her own child(ren, in her mind) caused Grell’s mother to resent people who chose not to have children themselves, leading to a psychotic break and ultimately murder. Her mother confessed to having killed several women over the past year while Grell was home (she said Grell’s presence aggravated her condition), and asked for her help in killing more.
Grell agreed to help her mother with one act of murder, but only if they went to the police about the other ones. She had her mother write a confession letter, sealed it, and put it in the post to ensure that her mother couldn’t go back on her word.
And then she used the murdered woman’s blood to smother her mother, and fled the country.
The death was ruled a suicide – the byproduct of a deranged mind – but Grell knew the truth. She wasn’t haunted by her act, but thought of it as the only loving thing she could do for her mother. Despite that, she also knew there could be witnesses who saw her take the mail out, or possibly even saw her use her powers, and thus Grell has never returned to England. She spent her recent years hopping from country to country; Europe, Asia, and then to America. She arrived in the United States last year, and through her travels found herself drawn to the promise of a school that might teach her to master her particular abilities without stigma or fear. She arrived at Xavier Institute looking for work, and was just accepted as a new faculty member doing menial office tasks and helping with the creative arts department, theatre in particular.
NETWORK SAMPLE: Test Drive Link
America was supposed to be glamorous. New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco were names famous throughout the world for their unique charms and high powered urbanites. New York, especially, had been on Grell's bucket list of places she absolutely had to live once she left England. Two years later and she had achieved her dream - or would have if she hadn't ended up in the back country. No malls, no fancy Fifth Avenue, and no clubs to stroll through looking for open-minded gentlemen; but, there were worse places she could have ended her journey than at a school for the gifted. At least no one from Interpol would be looking for her here of all places. She'd barely finished secondary school, and for all they knew, she was still somewhere in Europe.
It was an ideal job, safe and quiet, except for the endless amounts of paperwork this gig brought to her newly acquired desk. And the number of students she had to track down to fill in their international paperwork. For most students, the task wasn't especially difficult, but some were a little...camera shy, to be polite. If it were up to Grell, she'd call them a royal pain in the--
"Mr. Sutcliffe? I need a--"
"No." The sound of a snapping pencil emphasized the vitriol in her voice as she looked up from her work. The young girl standing in front of her looked as if she'd just set someone's puppy on fire with her mind. Part of Grell relished that look, knowing that she was terrified of her anger. It was tempting to draw the torture out and grill the student until she burst into tears - so very, very tempting.
But that wasn't what she was here to do. She had a job now, a respectable one. One that, should she lose it, someone upstairs would make sure it was her life that was turned upside.
"It's not mister," she finally said with a loud, exaggerated sigh. "How many times must I point out the title?"
Grell picked up her desk placard, jabbing her finger at the red Post-It note she'd attached just over her name with a large "MS" written in thick, black ink. The girl exchanged dubious glances between Grell and the makeshift placard attachment for a moment. In return, Grell raised the corner of her lips in a small sneer of annoyance.
A flash of her sharpened teeth jumpstarted the student into action.
"Y-Yes! Ms-Ms. Sutcliffe?" The sneer turned into a warm smile and the girl visibly relaxed before continuing. "Um, I need a form to start a club?"
She motioned to the table at the side with one gloved hand, all pleasantries and duty once more. "Of course, dear. Take one of those, have the required numbers of students and a faculty adviser sign it, then bring it back to me." Her lips parted as the smile widened. "I'm available as adviser, if you like."
"N-No!" The girl positively shrieked the answer. Grell leaned forward on her desk, resting her chin on the back of her hand as the student fidgeted. "No. Um, no, thank you, Ms. Sutcliffe. I'm sure you're very busy."
"Oh, I am. Quite busy."
With a nervous laugh, the student snatched her form and ran out the door, leaving Grell to snicker and realize how much she was going to enjoy her work.