"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." -
Rowan Breen is the thirteen year old biological daughter of Bryn Breen, the Doyen of the Mysterium Lunae coven. In September of 2018, Rowan arrived at the Breen household after losing the only mother she'd ever known. A girl who has lived with voices, faces, and visions that sometimes terrified her and sometimes amused her, she is unaware of the magic that lives within as a result of her mystical roots. A new and extraordinary world awaits her in unassuming Emory Haven, Oregon.
Rowan Cassandra Hawke was born on May 1, 2005, the only daughter of a single woman who had waited way too long to conceive. Dr. Elizabeth Hawke was a professor of literature in the English Department at Harvard University, scholarly pursuits and her career in academia and as a writer having commanded the bulk of her attention until her late thirties. Still single at forty and with no romantic prospects on the horizon, Elizabeth began to feel the pull of motherhood, her only regret to date. Elizabeth applied the same diligence to conception that she had to her career in academia, researching sperm donors from clinics up and down the east coast, carefully selecting one of equal academic achievement, a tall blue-eyed gentleman of Nordic and Irish ancestry with a PhD who spoke about altruism, astronomy, and had an easy laugh that made her smile when she viewed his video profile. However, the first three attempts were fruitless, and further testing brought her the crushing news that Elizabeth was unable to produce viable eggs of her own. So began the second part of her journey resulting in Rowan's birth - the selection of eggs from a donor selected from a nationwide donor database because her physical characteristics were similar to those Elizabeth possessed. There was little information about the egg donor other than the fact that she had been a young college student at the University of Oregon at the time of the donation, but her pale, freckled skin and hair mirrored Elizabeth's, so she made the selection. Nine months after the first in-vitro attempt with the same donor sperm, Rowan was born.
As a single mother, Elizabeth was determined to provide Rowan with the very best opportunities life would have to offer, and she more than made up for Rowan not having a present father figure. The two lived just outside of Boston, and Elizabeth embarked on a two-year sabbatical, during which her time was exclusively devoted to motherhood and writing her version of the great American novel. She was a good mother - a loving and attentive mother - who threw as much heart and gusto into motherhood as she had towrd her career. Rowan was exposed to literature, music, and art at an early age and displayed an early talent for both art and storytelling. The mother and daughter pair were inseparable. Elizabeth took Rowan on trips across the globe and was determined to treat her to a full life, sharing her own zest for living as well as a passion for animals, especially horses - at a young age, Elizabeth, herself, was an accomplished equestrian, and she passed this love on to her daughter. By the time Rowan was of school age, Elizabeth enrolled her at the best schools in the area, and it was soon apparent that Rowan was an intelligent child with an expansive imagination, though teachers complained that she would daydream too often or fall asleep at her desk.
It was during the fourth grade that Rowan began to display some complicated behaviors. To Elizabeth's alarm, she began to disappear in the middle of the night, winding up in her nightgown in a local park, in the horse stables, and one time somehow finding her way to a graveyard at an historic church just outside of the city. If she was not sleep walking, she was having night terrors, waking her mother with crying or screaming. For a time, Elizabeth took to sleeping in Rowan's room, but Rowan was sometimes able to slip out without waking her, so a year later, she began to lock Rowan in her room at night in order to prevent her from escaping into the night. Physicians and psychologists were unable to prescribe medications or implement any interventions that seemed to work. The locked door worked to keep her safe.
Rowan was a kind and thoughtful child, introverted and quiet, and despite their close bond, never disclosed the extent of her nightmares or thoughts to her realist mother for fear of upsetting her. She'd heard whispered voices of what she perceived as ghosts from pre-school age, and she had strange premonitions, but she maintained a reluctance to reveal any of this to Elizabeth, for Rowan was aware of the degree of her mother's panic prompted by the sleepwalking episodes, and she did not want to give her cause for futher concern. So she internalized it all, and with that came a growing sense of anxiety that sometimes interfered with her sleep completely or her ability to focus. Rowan watched as her beloved mother grew more tired, the lines of concern showing around her eyes and marked by the dark circles beneath them, and Rowan assumed she was the reason for the growing change in Elizabeth, who seemed sadder, weaker, and was increasingly unwell.
These changes, as it turned out, had nothing to do with Rowan. Elizabeth had concerns of her own which she kept hidden from her now pre-teen daughter, as a medical evaluation after months of illness revealed her worst fear - Elizabeth had been diagnosed with cancer of the liver. It was a rabid, quickly growing form of the disease, and when treatments failed to show a sign of stopping its progression, Elizabeth was distraught as she faced the reality of leaving behind her daughter, who had become the love of her life.
But the Grans were watching. They had always been watching, having been well aware of the rebellious behaviors of their granddaughter, Bryn, during her college years. They were not ignorant of the fact that she'd donated her eggs for money during her second year at university, and they'd used their powers and resources to keep a close eye on the resulting offspring, for a young and potentially powerful witch coming into her magic and releasing it into the world with no guidance or knowledge about the consequences could have dire repurcussions. There was that, and the fact that this child was their beloved great-granddaughter, so there were other motives for keeping that connection in tact. Six months prior to Elizabeth's death, they made contact together, introducing themselves and offering to take Rowan into her biological family at the time of her passing. Full of gratitude and relieve but despondent about leaving her daughter behind, Elizabeth did her best to hide her illness from Rowan and spent every feasible moment with her until the final two months, when hiding her physical decline and the inevitable impending end was no longer possible. She passed away in September of 2018, leaving Rowan alone in the world, confused, angry at her mother, and cast suddenly into a family she did not know she had.
This is where Rowan's story begins, having been brought to Emory Haven, Oregon, by the Grans and placed into the care of her biological mother, Bryn. She is thirteen and the mirror image of Bryn, with the same delicate features, silvery blonde hair, and pale, freckled skin. She is a child of magic, but the only knowledge she has of magic comes from storybooks and the movies she's seen. Soon, so many questions will be answered as Rowan begins a new life and magical journey of self-discovery in the Breen household at Emory Haven.
Rowan is a gentle and kindhearted girl with an unusually keen sense of perception about others. The empathy she feels sometimes allows her to experience the emotions of others, a phenomenon that can be either wonderful or horrible, depending on the source. A girl with a significant amount of internalized anxiety already, this can be an additional stressor adding to the disquiet she already experiences, as she has not learned how to control her ability to detach. Her anxiety, coupled with grief over Elizabeth's passing as well as confusion over the unexplained things she feels, hears, and sees, can sometimes make Rowan seem to be moody or darker, despite her compassionate spirit.
Talented in various aspects of the arts, Rowan possesses a gift for storytelling and has an artistic hand when it comes to drawing, painting, or creating things. She is intelligent, mature for her age - some might even call her precocious - though she can also be impulsive and driven by curiosity to spontaneous decisions and poorly planned ideas, not uncommon for a girl of her age despite her maturity in other areas.
Her mother at birth fostered within her a strong love for animals - particularly horses and felines - and Rowan has had various pets throughout her life. She is also passionate about nature and can often be found tucked away somewhere with an animal at her side and her writing notebook or a sketchpad, writing or drawing the stories contrived from her very active imagination.
As an introvert, she often presents as quiet, but her keen observational skills are always at work, as is her mind. She can be goofy and silly when she is comfortable with others and has been known to engage in pranks or other acts of mischief both as a means to entertain herself or make others laugh.
Rowan is an insomniac and sleepwalker, who began to display these behaviors around the age of nine. Her night wandering when she is asleep has at times led her into places she shouldn't go to or has otherwise presented other safety concerns. The visible circles and bags under her eyes are physical markers of restless nights.
From an early age, Rowan has believed she is haunted by "ghosts." It is one of her most closely kept secrets, as she fears that hearing the voices or seeing the faces of people who confess to being dead might lead others to think she is lying, or worse, that she is crazy.
Rowan maintains a collection of objects that others might find odd. A dull, strangely shaped stone. A frayed fabric scrap of unknown origin. A dirty feather. The head of a small doll, missing an eye. She is always picking up such items, carrying them in her pockets, and storing them in a wooden box she keeps hidden beneath her bed. For reasons she does not often share with others, these items each carry some sort of special meaning. Some are memory markers. Some she considers to be good luck charms.
At the beginning of Rowan's story, she is unaware of her magical abilities. Rowan's belief that she is haunted by ghosts is telling of her ability to sense or communicate across the border, something that she will later discover. Paired with this has always been her unusually accurate predictive abilities and deja vu. These have always been aspects of herself that have incited more fear and shame than wonder.
As Rowan grows into her magic under the guidance of her biological mother, a new world awaits her. She will discover that that she is strongly elemental, and she will learn to conquer the fear of her abilities in divination and other psychic talents.