Drusilla was born Doreen Cunningham in Atlanta, Georgia, the daughter of a police detective and his wife, an English teacher at a local junior high school. The family had a house in a nice neighborhood, Doreen went to a good school, and there was always enough love to go around.
From Doreen’s earliest recollections, her mother’s brother, Berin, was a frequent visitor to the house. Doreen always enjoyed Uncle Berin’s visits, for they often meant excursions to all sorts of wonderful places, and meeting all sorts of interesting people. Sometimes he would let her act out stories she made up with his collection of puppets, or tell her tales about brave knights and fantastic beasts.
On Doreen’s thirteenth birthday, Uncle Berin took her to Whitehall Keep, a bed and breakfast in Athens, Georgia for lunch. The food was delicious, and their own small celebration coincided with a recreation of a medieval tournament the establishment was holding on its lawn. Utterly fascinated, she watched the jousting with shining eyes, and suddenly colors seemed brighter, sounds purer, and smells sharper. Somehow, she remembered a time when she had fought on the field of battle, mounted on a noble charger, her silvery armor gleaming in the sun as she wielded a flashing blade and scattered her foes before her. A rush of images swept over her, and she felt as though she might drown in the tide of visions.
When the wave finally subsided, she was lying on a soft bed, with her uncle and a beautiful golden-haired woman bending over her. Strangely, Uncle Berin looked different – the shirt and slacks she remembered him wearing earlier had been replaced with gleaming armor, and a fine sword hung at his belt. His dark hair was bound in a club at the nape of his neck, displaying delicately pointed ears. The lady beside him was clad in a floor-length gown of wine-red velvet, its wide sleeves trimmed with silver silk, and her ears were pointed, too. Almost without thinking, Doreen reached up to touch her own ear, and found that it tapered to a delicate point as well.
“Welcome to the barony of Vellumton, little one,” the lady said in a pure, sweet voice. “I am Baroness Ellawyn ni Fiona.” She exchanged a small smile with Berin, and continued, “Your uncle – who has been very worried about you – is known to us as Sir Berin O’Donnell ap Scathach.” She then turned her smile on the girl, and asked, “Do you know who you are?”
Opening her mouth to say, “Doreen,” Doreen stopped for a moment as the jumble of images swirling through her head suddenly fell into place. Her gaze met Ellawyn’s and Berin’s, and she answered with certainty, “I am Drusilla of House Scathach.”
The three years that followed were full of training in the ways of Drusilla’s new life. Berin taught her the ways of the sword, and Ellawyn and her husband, Baron Arawn ap Fiona, instructed the new changeling in the intricacies of court life. During these lessons, Dru also spent some time at Willows Heart, the freehold of King Meilge ap Eiluned, where Berin was Captain of the Guard. While she did enjoy the pageantry of royal court, Dru was less impressed with some of the fae she met at Willow’s Heart, a number of whom didn’t seem to care all that much about right and wrong.
There was also the matter of Baroness Sabrina of Peachtree, an old friend of Berin’s, whom Dru considered a vain, deceitful manipulator. Berin, however, would hear nothing against Sabrina, and this threatened to drive a wedge between him and Drusilla.
Fortunately for all parties involved, Ellawyn noticed Dru and Berin’s strained relationship, and suggested that Dru come and stay with her and Arawn, ostensibly as a summer job at Whitehall Keep. This was agreeable to everyone, and Dru spent the next few months in the Barony of Vellumton.
It was at Whitehall Keep that she met a satyr named Tamara. Vibrant and vivacious, Tamara introduced Dru to the pleasures of love with another woman, and in that relationship, Dru suddenly found what she’d been missing with boys. She and Tamara spent several idyllic weeks together, only to be torn apart when a message came from Willows Heart – the time had come for Dru to make her courtly debut in the presence of His Majesty. Reluctantly, Dru packed to return to Atlanta, but then Tamara consoled her by informing Dru that she would attend her beloved’s debut, and, once it was over, they could find an excuse to return to Vellumton and continue their relationship.
Once back at Willows Heart, Dru endured her formal presentation to His Majesty and the cotillion that followed, wanting nothing more than to shed her confining gown and feel Tamara’s caresses on her bare skin. She dutifully exchanged pleasantries with a bewildering array of nobles, though it did not escape her notice that many of those nobles were young men. One of these in particular was a stuffed shirt named Neithan ap Fiona, a protege of Sabrina’s, who seemed determined to attach himself to her by any means necessary.
After finally evading Neithan, Dru made it to a secluded balcony, where she knew Tamara waited. Shedding her encumbering evening gown, she sank gratefully into her lover’s arms, and the two shared an ecstatic night under the stars. All might have been well, but the two were discovered, asleep in each other’s arms, in the early morning by a servant who immediately sought out his superior for instructions on how to handle the situation. Unfortunately, his superior reported directly to Baroness Sabrina. Sabrina severely upbraided Drusilla for her impropriety, and Dru hotly retorted that she saw no need not to avail herself of the same license that Sabrina did. In the ensuing uproar, Dru was forbidden to visit Whitehall Keep ever again, and arrangements were made to send her to an exclusive boarding school in South Carolina.
Though the circumstances surrounding her admission to Hollingsworth Academy were less than ideal, Dru actually found friends there. Two of these were a pair of fellow sidhe -- Branwyn ni Gwydion and Rowena ni Fiona. The three of them soon formed a close bond, and started spending much of their free time together. By the time graduation came, they were extremely close. Branwyn and Rowena were even willing to experiment in physical intimacy with Drusilla, and although neither of them could replace Tamara, the ache in Dru’s heart lessened.
After graduating with honors from Hollingsworth, Dru decided to remove herself from Atlanta, and thus she chose to go to Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. Sabrina was utterly shocked that Dru would want to go to school among “Yankees,” and Drusilla secretly found pleasure in her reaction. Though it pained her to leave her Uncle Berin, she promised to visit him during her vacations, and to keep in touch with him even while she was at school. Besides, she reasoned, since her dream was to become a teacher like her mother, a certification program completed in one of the northern states would be more advantageous than one completed closer to home.
Adjusting to life in a new city was hard, especially when she took into account the cooler weather, but once classes started, Dru was far too busy to be all that homesick. She applied herself diligently to her studies and got good grades, but sometimes she felt as if something was missing.
Over the course of the semester, she found herself bonding with her roommate, a girl from the upstate New York area named Sandra. The two spent many evenings sharing any number of things, and Dru found herself falling for her roommate. Around the middle of the semester, she finally worked up the courage to confess her feelings.
Unfortunately for Dru, Sandra did not share her feelings, and she violently rejected Drusilla’s advances, leaving Dru confused and hurt and Sandra nervous and fearful. The two of them lasted out the rest of the semester rooming together by keeping their contact to the absolute minimum that they could. For Dru, it was almost a relief when Sandra moved out at the end of the semester.
Much sobered by this chain of events, Dru returned to her parents’ home for Christmas vacation. Seeing her family and a number of her old friends over the break cheered her up, and by the end of the break she was ready to return to school to face a new semester.
Mortal: Doreen Cunningham (or “Dru” as she prefers to be called) is a striking young woman with fine features. Thick black hair hangs to her waist, sometimes held back from her face with a hairband. Her eyes are an unusually vivid shade of blue. She prefers comfortable casual attire in shades of deep blue, white, or black, and always wears a representation of a black unicorn’s head somewhere on her person.
Faerie: Drusilla’s hair is a rich raven-black that glimmers with deep blue highlights when the light strikes it just right. She has an unblemished porcelain complexion, and displays the fine features and pointed ears typical of the sidhe. Her eyes are a deep sapphire blue, and her clear, level gaze misses nothing. Her usual voile consists of a gambeson of quilted midnight-blue leather, cinched at the waist with a belt of black leather tooled with images of unicorns in a forest. Her legs are covered by form-fitting black trousers and soft leather moccasin boots decorated with the image of a rearing black unicorn with a silver horn and hooves. A slender sword is belted at her hip, encased in a scabbard decorated with a black unicorn’s head with a flowing mane and a silver horn.