Dayna Felice Soulie

A sweet old lady, unless you done her wrong.

Description:

Calling: Grandmother – Nature: Caregiver
Pantheon: Loa – God: Erzulie
XP: 35

Strength o
Dexterity oooo
Stamina oo
Charisma ooooo O
Manipulation oo
Appearance oooo OOO
Perception ooooo O
Intelligence oo
Wits oo
Academics o
Art (Dancing) ooo
Athletics oo
Awareness ooo
Brawl o
Command ooo
Control (Horse) ooo
Empathy oooo
Fortitude oo
Integrity oooo
Marksmanship o
Medicine oo
Occult oooo
Presence oooo
Survival o
Willpower ooooo oo
Current ooooo oo
Legend oooo
Current ooooo ooooo xxxxx x
Virtues:
Harmony ooo
Piety o
Order o
Vengeance oooo
Knacks:
Benefit of the Doubt
Serpent’s Gaze
Compelling Presence
Unfailing Recognition
Inspirational Figure
Game Face
Boons:
Blessing of Bravery
Vigil Brand
Rada’s Eyes
Petro’s Hands
Horse
Battle Cry

Relics:
Prayer Beads (Guardian and War Purviews)
Gris-Gris (Contact with Followers)
Damballah’s Silver Snake: A silver bracelet in the shape of a coiled snake, or maybe it’s a real snake, a little white (albino) boa. Depends on the moment.

Followers:
5 mortals (Family)

Languages:
English – Spanish – Haitian Creole – Profanities & Pleasantries (Brooklyn)

Bio:

Dayna Felice was born in 1958, the daughter of Marcel and Lidia Soulie. Sadly, her mother died just around then, and wasn’t around to raise her. All Dayna ever had of mama growing up was some old pictures.

Her father remarried not long after. His new wife Nattie and Lidia were as different as day and night from each other – Lidia was a slender woman, and Nattie was big. Nattie was pretty, but Lidia – she was beautiful, even just in pictures. Lidia had a smile like she was sharing a secret, where Nattie would just laugh right out, until her whole body shook. Lidia had smooth ebony skin, and Nattie was a soft brown that wrinkled by the time she turned forty. For all those differences, Nattie took care of Dayna like she was her own, and that house was full of laughter and good times.

Marcel and Nattie had themselves two more kids, Wilton and Roxie, and the kids all grew up together. They’d all go to church on Sunday, dressed up in their nicest – and they kept an altar to the loa, too, and got together for the ceremonies and songs to Papa Legba and all the Rada and Petro. It was her father that insisted on that, though Nattie never fought him on it – but it was Marcel who always made sure that the vigil candle was lit, and that they left a bit of good food for the spirits and ancestors. Dayna learned all that along with her saints, and sometimes she’d be the one leading the songs at the smaller gatherings.

As Dayna grew, it became more and more obvious that she took after her mother. She was a real beauty, and no question about it, and she had a grace to her that made her shine. By the time she was sixteen, she was already turning heads. One of them, she turned so far that she ended up pregnant. It’s pretty sure the kid was his – she was dating him at the time, after all, and she said there wasn’t nobody else just then.

Anyhow, she and Isaiah got married, and she started waiting tables to make ends meet. Their first son they named Vaughn, and he seemed a fine boy. Took after his father, too, which put that matter to rest nicely.

Things weren’t all pleasant with her and Isaiah, though. Dayna made friends just about as easy as breathing, and there were no few gentlemen among them. Isaiah got jealous, even when there wasn’t anything to it but friends – and there were some times when it maybe got a bit beyond friends, because there was nothing Dayna loved more than a night of dancing and flirting, whether it went anywhere or not – or was with her husband or not.

Maybe they could have worked through that, but there were other problems. Isaiah didn’t mind being a good Catholic, though sometimes he grumbled a bit at having to get up early for church on a morning when he could have slept in otherwise, but he took affront at having, as he put it, a Mambo for a wife. He didn’t want to have it, and Dayna wasn’t willing to leave that behind, on account of it being part of her life – not to mention just about the only thing that kept her in touch with her mother’s spirit. Things went up, and things went down, and maybe they just would have carried on that way, with the fights and with the making up, if it hadn’t been for an opportunity.

That opportunity came along in ‘77, not too long after the birth of their second son, Torey. Dayna was out dancing one night, and she met a man who said all the usual things about her beauty and her skill on her feet – and then he said something more. He was the manager of a dance troupe, and he wanted to have her be a part of it. At first she thought he was joking. Here she was, only nineteen and without any formal training. The only kind of dance he could want her for was stripping, and she didn’t much care to get mixed up in that business.

He insisted otherwise, though. Said it was perfectly respectable, and that they could teach her the moves – what she had was the grace and the stage presence, and nobody could teach that. Even gave her a ticket, so she could come check out the show for herself. So she did, and turned out, he was right. It was dancing – oh, sexy for sure, but not because the clothes were getting torn off, just in that way of the body moving to the rhythm of the music.

She came out of that performance, and she went right back around to the dressing room and told Mr. Balliger to sign her up. They filled out the paperwork that night, and she went back home to tell her husband what was happening.

Isaiah didn’t take it so well. She said it was respectable. He said she should think of her reputation, doing things like that. She said she was, and she’d be famous someday. He said it was bad enough she flaunted herself around town, but up on stage? He wouldn’t have it. She said she’d do it if she damn well pleased. He said she’d be wasting herself up there. She said it was good money.

He said to think of her children. She said, “I will,” and she took little Vaughn and baby Torey away with her, to a tiny little apartment, and she got her sister Roxie to watch over them while she went to the rehearsals.

It turned out she was just as good at Mr. Balliger had claimed she’d be, and before long she was part of the routine. It was pretty good money – good enough that she could take a season off when she got to showing too much from her third child, and make do just by working part-time at the lunch counter and on what money Isaiah would send her when he was trying to make up with her and convince her to come back and be a good girl again.

All that convincing was in vain. She had her first daughter, a beautiful little girl she named Yadira, and it wasn’t long after that she and Isaiah finalized the divorce. It probably didn’t help that her daughter didn’t seem to take after Isaiah much; or maybe it was just harder to see, on account of her being a girl after those little boys. There certainly was no denying that Dayna had other lovers in that time, and it was pretty reasonable to suspect that one of them had fathered her. Dayna insisted it didn’t matter none, and that she didn’t care if Isaiah gave her child support for Yadira or not, and so it shouldn’t matter to him either. He rather thought otherwise, but then, he always was a proud man, and he didn’t take to questions like that easily. Whatever the truth of it was, that child certainly didn’t reconcile them and maybe even hastened their parting.

Dayna kept on with her dancing, and she kept on with raising her children. Before long, she went and married again, to one of the men who had already been her lovers – or so the gossip said and she never bothered to deny it. Charlie worked in a machine shop, and as for her dancing, well, he’d already been to see her shows and his only complaint was that when she was dancing up there he couldn’t be dancing with her!

After they got married, they put their savings together with a bit of a loan from Charlie’s parents and managed the down payment on a little house with a yard. It was a fixer-upper, but nothing that Charlie couldn’t handle, and together they made that place shine. Charlie took good care of the kids, even though they weren’t his. Torey called him papa, though Vaughn never did. He remembered Isaiah, and sometimes when he was feeling rebellious he’d yell things about how his real papa would have let him do this or that, and never mind that Isaiah only came by on weekends now and then, and sometimes would go for months without even seeing his kids.

When Dayna got pregnant again, she figured maybe it was time to give up the late nights of being in the dance troupe. Particularly since it turned out Mr. Balliger was starting up a dance studio around that time, and he needed teachers. Well, that turned out to be something that worked out much nicer with the schedule of taking care of her kids, especially with Vaughn starting kindergarten and all. Meant she had to learn a bit more theory, but a few books and tapes and she picked up the fancy names for things without any problems.

That baby was another son, and they named him Shayne. That made six of them, and that little house never felt empty for sure, because they filled it right up with warm bodies and with love. Charlie did his mechanical work, and Dayna did her dancing, and they both raised up their children, and so it went for many happy years. Not so many as might be hoped for, but near as many as Dayna had lived before she met Charlie, she lived with him.

The first of their children to leave home was Vaughn, in ‘92. He turned eighteen, and he joined up with the army, on account of how seeing the world seemed pretty good to him, especially the bit where it didn’t involve sticking around at home.

Torey was next, but he didn’t go far. He got himself a job working as a filing clerk for the courthouse and a small apartment two streets over. He still showed up to all the family events – and those were starting to happen at Dayna’s house sometimes, instead of over at granmama and granpapa’s.

Yadira moved out when she got a job across town working as a secretary at a dot-com startup. They even called her an executive assistant! Real fancy. She was doing well for herself, and even met a young gentleman named Emmett who was working as a short-order cook at one of the lunch spots nearby. They fell in love and moved in together, and not long after Yadira got pregnant with a daughter.

Life seemed wonderful, but good things can’t always last. There’s always a dark side to go with the light one; that’s just how the world works.

Charlie died in ‘97, on account of a drunk driver that just didn’t see him. That was the excuse, at least. Dayna went to that trial, and she sat with her back straight and her eyes dry. She fixed that son of a bitch with such a stare that he was the one sobbing in the courtroom, and she saw him sent off to prison for a good long time. She was real tempted to cast black magic on him too, and get a spirit to torment him. In the end, she decided not to, but that was a real close call, and maybe she didn’t make the right decision.

Then it was just her and Shayne in that little house, and somehow it seemed way too big and way too empty, just the two of them. Yadira and her husband came to visit, of course, and so did Torey and whatever boyfriend he had this week, but that just wasn’t the same.

A few months after papa Charlie died, Yadira gave birth to a girl. They named her Kaylah, and everyone agreed she was beautiful. Just like her granmama, said Emmett, and Dayna laughed and said nonsense, she takes after her mama.

The day after she left the hospital, Yadira got the news that her company had gone under. She didn’t have a job anymore, and that apartment they’d been living in wasn’t going to be possible just on Emmett’s wages. Yadira could hardly go looking for work just then, and her with a new baby, so what were they going to do?

They started looking for a new place, but then Dayna went to them, and she said how empty the house was, just her and Shayne in it, and here’s them needing a place to live. It’s a good house to raise children in, and it’s all paid for with the life insurance, so they wouldn’t need to worry.

So Emmett and Yadira and little Kaylah moved in with Dayna, and she took the little bedroom off the kitchen, near the back door. They needed the space more than she did, for one thing, and for another, there were fewer memories here, made it easier to move on with her life. Papa Charlie had his picture on the family altar, and she gave him his honor.

They all lived together in that little house, and it was full of laughter again. Shayne moved out while Yadira was pregnant with her second child, and he got himself a degree in nursing and a job at the hospital.

Their second child was a son, and they named him Jarett. Granmama Dayna helped raise both of the children, and taught a couple classes at the dance studio, and went out with an assortment of gentlemen callers and friends and drank rum and danced until the morning light like a woman half her age, and it was good.

Yadira and Emmett decided to stop at two children, and when Jarett was in preschool and Kaylah was in first grade, Yadira went back to work part-time. It came as a surprise when she got pregnant again, with another daughter. Fortunately, there was granmama Dayna to help keep the household running and take care of little Alia, so all was well.

The family gatherings happened at Dayna’s house now, with great-granpapa Marcel and great-granmama Nattie getting old. Of course, she said it was Yadira and Emmett’s house – and most of the time, it was, but come Christmas or a festival, it was Dayna’s house again.

Marcel died in 2011 of a heart attack. He was 72. May we all live that long.

At the funeral, Dayna saw something strange. A woman, sitting in the back row dressed all in black. She looked strangely familiar; like a certain old picture – or the face in the mirror. Only, she wasn’t how Dayna looked now; she looked like Dayna had looked when she was just barely turned twenty, like how Lidia looked like in that old photo on the altar.

Just exactly like that.

Nobody else seemed to pay much attention to the woman, but Dayna told the others to go on to the reception without her, and she went up to her and invited her home for a cup of coffee.

The woman nodded.

Family Tree

  • Marcel (1939-2011)
    • marriage (1956) to: Lidia (1939-1957)
      • Dayna Felice (1958- )
        • marriage (1974) to: Isaiah (1958- )
          • Vaughn (1974- )
          • Torey (1976- )
        • separation (1977)
          • Yadira (1978- )
            • marriage (1997) to: Emmett (1977- )
              • Kaylah (1997- )
              • Jarett (1999- )
              • Alia (2005- )
        • divorce (1979)
        • marriage (1979) to: Charlie (1959-1997)
          • Shayne (1980- )
    • marriage (1959) to: Nattie (1940- )
      • Wilton (1961- )
        • married to: ???
          • Helen
      • Roxie (1963- )

Character Survey

What is your name?

Dayna Felice Soulie

What else do you answer to?

Most folks call me Dayna, or else mama or granmama.

Where were you born? Where did you grow up?

Brooklyn, New York

What was your religious upbringing?

Roman Catholic / Voodouin

Was there something you believed in as a child? When did you stop?

God, Jesus, Mary and all the saints, the Loa and all the spirits. I never did stop.

Who is your mother? When is the last time you saw her?

My mother was Lidia, but she died back when I was born. Nattie, my father’s second wife, raised me. I saw her last Sunday at church.

Who is your father? When is the last time you saw him?

My father is Marcel Soulie. He came by just the other day, dropping off a couple old movies he thought Jarett might like.

Anything else about your family you’d like me to know?

You’ve seen the pictures of the rest of my family, haven’t you? Here’s one from last Christmas, with us all gathered around the table….

What’s your earliest memory?

I must have been two or three, and mama Nattie had brought me to church with her while she practiced with the choir. The voices were just like angels all around me.

Where do you live? Describe your home.

A nice little house that I bought with Charlie. It’s Yadira and Emmett’s now, but I live in the small bedroom – the one on the first floor, their kids are up in the ones under the eaves that he finished.

What do you do for money?

I teach three modern dance classes a week at the studio. I don’t need much these days.

Aside from your home or a workplace, where do you spend the most time?

Well, I go to the community center pretty often. Teach a little dance class there for the kids, and help some of them with their homework. It’s probably there, or else it’s that little cafe Wilton’s daughter Helen works at. I go there for coffee a few times a week.

What do you drive?

I don’t, generally speaking. Emmett has a blue Buick that I use sometimes when I need to run errands, but otherwise I catch the subway or a taxi.

Describe your mobile phone

A red and black flip-top phone, about two years old. It has a camera and can play music, and Kaylah and Jarett are always changing the background picture.

What do you carry with you all the time?

My purse has my phone, my wallet (with pictures of the grandkids), a little notebook and pencil, a pack of tissues, some Advil, a few bandaids, and a couple granola bars.

What was the outcome of your last relationship?

My last marriage was Charlie, may he rest in peace. I haven’t had anything get that serious since, though I have a few friends I go out with on a semi-regular basis.

What was the last TV show you watched regularly?

Jarett was into that Airbender show, and I watched it with him. I see Good Eats sometimes, and lately Kaylah’s been watching that My Little Pony show with me.

How do you get your news?

We get the newspaper, and I read it most days while I have my breakfast.

References

As a young woman.

Dayna Felice Soulie

Scion: Cold War Mufi