Character Name: Will Stanton
Fandom: Dark is Rising Sequence
Canon Point: Post Series, Just after the end of Silver on the Tree
Debt:Class A: 7 Years
Class B: 6 Years
Class C: 1 Year Nine MonthsGRAND TOTAL: 18 Years Nine Months
- Grave Robbery
- Property Destruction
Canon Character Section:
Since there are very few online resources for this series, I included a short summary of my own. If you need more detail I can write a more in depth summary.
Will grew up in a small village called Hunterscoombe in rural Buckinghamshire England, the youngest child of a very large family. He was an ordinary child, even if he was thoughtful and acted rather old for his age. On the eve of his eleventh birthday he went to sleep wishing for snow. He awoke into a time several centuries before his own, in the days when all of his village was nothing more than a clearing in a great forest. Feeling almost as if he was in a dream, Will followed a trail through his forest. After a few dangerous encounters Will found his way to a set of Great Doors standing alone on a hillside. They opened at his touch.
Will walked into a great stone hall lined with tapestries. There, he found two people waiting for him. Merriman Lyon, once called Merlin, and a birdlike old woman known only as the Lady. The two of them proceeded to tell Will of his heritage, now that he had awoken. They told Will that he was the last of the Old Ones, the first to be born in over 500 years. And that with his wakening the time for the last battle was drawing near. That he had a gift, one that the very law of the universe demanded that he serve and one that he could not refuse. That he was bound by his very nature to fight against the Dark.
At first Will was certain that they must be mistaken. But after Merriman guided him through the steps of speaking into another Old One's mind and starting fires with his mind Will reluctantly accepted his heritage as an Old One.
But this first meeting was not over yet. Merriman told Will that his first quest would be to reunite the six signs of the Light and gave him the name Signseeker. The first sign Will had already been given, but now Merriman recited a prophecy about them.
"When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back
Three from the Circle, Three from the Track
Wood, Bronze, Iron, Water, Fire, Stone.
Five shall return and one go alone."
Iron for the birthday, Bronze carried long,
Wood from the Burning, Stone out of Song;
Fire from the candle-ring, Water from the thaw;
Six signs the circle and the grail gone before."
But before Will could ask any more questions they were attacked by the Dark. They could not enter the Great Hall, but they called out to Will in different voices, trying to persuade him to open the door. When they used his mother's voice Will nearly gave in. But before he could approach the door his hand brushed against the Iron Sign on his belt which burned in warning, branding a perfect symbol into his forearm. A circle, quartered by a cross. The Lady healed him, and then drove the Dark away. But not without sacrificing all of her strength. With the way out freed, Merriman brought Will back to his own time. A few days later Will successfully retrieved the second sign from a man known only as the Walker.
Soon afterwards Will came to visit the village manor. To his surprise Merriman was there, posing as a butler. The two traveled to a Christmas Party in Victorian England. There, Will was brought to the Book of Gramarye. This single book contained all of the accumulated knowledge of the Old Ones. In a single moment of suspended time Will received his training and came into his full power as an Old One. Two other important things happened at that party. Will met a man named Hawkins and he received the Sign of Wood. Hawkins was Merriman's liegeman and adopted son from the twelfth century. He was brought forward in time for that night only to break the spell guarding the Book of Gramarye. But Will also witnessed the beginning of Hawkin's fall from the light. Furious that Merriman had risked his life to bring Will his education and jealous of the Old One's immortality Hawkins took the first step on his fall to the Dark. He would become the Walker that Will had met in his own time. Watching, Merriman told Will what would happen and that this was the greatest mistake their kind could make. For Merriman had placed more trust in Hawkins then the man had the strength to take. And with that, the two returned to Will's time.
Over the next few days Will continued to collect the signs even as the weather became colder and colder, bringing down more snow than Buckinghamshire had ever seen before. The Sign of Stone Will collected from an old church.
A few days after Christmas Will discovered that the cold was a part of the Dark's power. To break the chill and save the lives of his neighbors Will helped Merriman seize the candles of Winter from the Dark. Placed in the candle-ring of the Old Ones, the candles warmed and created a flower of fire with the Sign of Fire in the center. The Sign of Water came to Will resting in the hands of a Viking King on his funeral ship, unburied in the flood that followed the warming weather. With all six signs reunited, Will called forth Herne the Hunter and the Wild Hunt to chase the Dark to the edges of the Earth. And that was the end of Will's first quest.
His second quest came in the summer, when Will traveled to Trewessick in Cornwall. There, seemingly by coincidence, he assisted Merriman and three human children to recover a stolen Grail and a lost manuscript. Together, the two artifacts allowed Will and Merriman to decipher a coded prophecy in Ogam on the side of the Grail.
"On the day of the dead, when the year too dies,
Must the youngest open the oldest hills
Through the door of the birds, where the breeze breaks.
There fire shall fly from the raven boy,
And the silver eyes that see the wind,
And the light shall have the harp of gold.
By the pleasant lake the Sleepers lie,
On Cadfan’s Way where the kestrels call;
Though grim from the Grey King shadows fall,
Yet singing the golden harp shall guide
To break their sleep and bid them ride.
When light from the lost land shall return,
Six Sleepers shall ride, six Signs shall burn,
And where the midsummer tree grows tall
By Pendragon’s sword the Dark shall fall.
Y maent yr mynyddoedd yn canu,
ac y mae’r arglwyddes yn dod."
From this, Will knew that his next task would be in Wales. But he didn't know to what efforts the Light would go to send him there. Only a few months later he became desperately ill with hepatitis. So ill, that he quite possibly could have died if not for his immortality. He lived, but at the cost of all his memories of his life as an Old One. He was left with only a few scraps of verse, instincts he couldn't understand, and the desperate knowledge that he had lost something more important than his own life.
His family sent him to a sheep farm in Wales to recuperate, and he spent a few days slowly wandering the hills searching for what he had lost. On a hillside he met a white-haired and golden-eyed boy named Bran and remembered everything. Together the two boys would embark on a quest to find a golden harp and wake the seven sleepers. By the end of the adventure Bran's heritage as the son of Arthur was revealed. And Will acknowledged his own duty to serve as the Merlin to Bran's Arthur.
A year later Will returned to Wales for his last and greatest quest. Along with Bran and the three children from Trewessick they found the last great object of the Light and fought the Dark in one last battle. They won and the Dark was cast out beyond time. But with the victory came a great cost. The great work of the old Ones had ended. All of them boarded white ships to sail to the castle behind the north wind for their rest. All save two. Bran was given the choice to come live with his father, Arthur, but he chose to forget and live a mortal life. And Will's last task was to remain in the mortal world as the last watchman for his kind.
As the Old Ones sailed away, Merriman removed all memories of the great battle and magic from everyone's minds. Only Will remembered.
Personality:"I understand what you are saying," he said sadly. "But you misjudge us because you are a man yourself. For us there is only the duty. Like a job to be done. We are here simply to save the world from the Dark. Make no mistake, the Dark is rising, and will take the world to itself very soon if nothing stands in its way. And, if that should happen, then there would be no question ever, for anyone, either of warm charity or of cold absolute good, because nothing would exist in the world or in the hearts of men except that bottomless black pit. The charity and the mercy and the humanitarianism are for you, they are the only things by which men are able to exist with each other in peace. But in this hard case that we the Light are in we can make no use of them. We are fighting a war. We are fighting for life and death - not for our life, remember, since we cannot die. For yours."
On the surface Will is an entirely normal boy from the English countryside. He is quiet, polite and cheerful, with a wry sense of humor. There is a solid sense of practicality and capability about him. A lot of the time he appears almost aggressively ordinary and unremarkable. Will’s expression stays solemn a lot of the time, but he has a rare smile that lights up his face. He has an keen interest in things like folklore and ceremonies. Will enjoys learning about languages as well, although he likes the logic and formal structure of Latin best. Will also loves all the socializing and craziness that comes from being the youngest in a very large family. He loves the moments when all of his eight older siblings are home and making noise. He often teases people he is comfortable around with mock seriousness. Sometimes he makes outrageously pompous statements aimed at getting people riled up at him. He reads Medieval herbal treatises for fun, and is fascinated by anthropology and folklore. He loves visiting his father's small Jewelry shop in Eton, where he has been learning how to engrave gold.
But at the same time there is something oddly old about Will. As if he were ancient and young all at the same time. There are times when he simply knows things. When to act and what to say. Odd thoughts about events that happened long before he was born. Things about plants and animals and stars and people. He acts more like an adult than a child. For example, he has a way of avoiding fights with other boys his age by removing himself from the argument and being annoyingly reasonable. He has a way, also, of sliding into an argument and fixing a problem diplomatically without ever bringing attention to himself. There is something subtly reassuring and practical about Will. He hardly ever gets upset about anything. And he can be rather cryptic and philosophical at times. After some comments about religion, a local priest once remarked that he wasn't sure whether Will should be ordained or exorcised.
All of these oddities are caused by the fact that Will has another, much deeper, side to his character. In truth, Will belongs to a group of metaphysical beings who call themselves Old Ones. He was the last to be born and the one with the closest ties to humanity still. Although the Light is good and noble, it is not kind. It can be very cold and pragmatic. And it can be cruel, especially to it's own kind. Old Ones are concerned with the great battle against the Dark, fighting so that humans can have the chance to make their own choices. But Old Ones themselves do not have a choice about their own destiny. Once they come into their power they are bound to serve the interests of the Light. If they are required to sacrifice a few individuals for the greater good, they will do it. For Old Ones, duty comes first. Always.
For Will, who still has ties to his human family and human emotions, the demands of being an Old One can be hard. He still feels empathy for the humans he protects, and regrets the need for sacrifices. But at the same time, the part of him that is an Old One limits his ability to to empathize with human emotions like grief. In a later book, when a friend was upset over the death of his dog, Will was only able to offer him the wisdom of an Old One. At the time Will knew that it was the wrong thing to say. That the cold pragmatism of his kind was not what his friend wanted or needed to hear. But he was unable to be human enough to be what his friend needed. Another time, Will’s mentor told him that there were parts of his abilities as an Old One he could not understand because he still thought too much like a human.
When acting as an Old One Will is calm, serene and authoritative. Old Ones tend to be utterly unflappable and rather cold and pragmatic. They are not human, even though they may appear like ordinary people. Yet there is a sense of companionship among them. Old Ones only truly feel complete when they are in a gathering of their own kind. But because their duty to the Light will always come first, they spend most of their time alone among humans.
The important thing to know about Will is that he doesn't have a split personality or two minds or any other explanation for why he sometimes acts very different. Always, he is the same Will. It would be more accurate to say that he is one boy with two mindsets. There is the Old One that is Will, and there is the small boy who is Will. Both are the same. But in Will's daily life as the youngest child in the Stanton clan there is no need for the power and authority of the Old Ones. And so, that part of him that carries the ageless wisdom of his kind can sleep. And when there is need for the Old One , he can awaken once more.
Will always carries the knowledge of his duty as an Old One in the back of his mind. But he is also determined that his two worlds should not meet too closely. The magic and danger of his life as an Old One must not touch his human family. When an enemy form the Dark crossed his family's threshold on Christmas morning Will was outraged and would have reached for words to blast him out beyond time. And he would have done it, if his family hadn't been there. But in the end, if the Light demands that he risk or sacrifice his family and close friends, Will will do it.
Will isn't antisocial, but he does tend to be reserved and distant. He has a few friends around the village, and he is very close to his brothers. But he makes very few close friends.
Will is an Old One, a member of a race of magical beings created from one of two main polarizing magical forces of the Universe. Old Ones are of the Light and they are bound in an eternal battle against the forces of the Dark.The Light seeks to defend humanities right to free will, while the Dark seeks to enslave humanity to their own darker impulses. The Light acts through the Old Ones, pieces of itself born into the World as humans, while the Dark acts through humans who have sworn to serve it in return for power and immortality.
As an Old One, Will has access to a wide variety of powers. For sake of clarity I have divided them into categories.
Will is unaffected by time paradoxes. He can walk in and out of different times as he wills, and if he walks into a new time everyone there will remember him as always having been there. He can have visions of the past as well, either by walking into a time bubble or by touching an object and willing himself to see its history. He can stop time for the people around him or put a single person outside of time for a moment.
Will is telepathic only with other Old Ones and similar magical beings. He is forbidden from manipulating the minds of humans unless it is necessary to remove their memories or shield their minds for protection. He has an excellent memory. Additionally he has some ability with mental combat. He can sense the presence of other agents of the Light and Dark.
Will speaks a language called the Old Speech, which allows him to cast a variety of different spells. He also read the Book of Gramarye, which contained all of the knowledge on magic the Old Ones had collected since before the time of Arthur. Specific spells mentioned included the words to control the elements, learning to fly and swim from different animals, learning the virtues of different plants and animals and learning to walk the Old Ways.
Will is unable to die, but he is not invulnerable. He is just as easy to hurt and heals no faster than a human. He will just be unable to die from his injuries.
Will has a few human abilities outside his powers as an Old One. His father is a jeweler and has been teaching him how to engrave gold and other metals. Will has grown up on a small farm and knows quite a lot about the care of chickens and rabbits. Will is also a choirboy and is an excellent boy soprano.
In appearance Will is almost completely ordinary. He is short and stocky, with slightly long mouse-brown hair that continually falls into his eyes. His eyes are grey, with an odd look of oldness to them. Will's face is round and good-natured, but he maintains a solemn or stoic expression most of the time.
Just above his right wrist, on the inside of his arm, Will has a single unusual scar. It looks like a shiny hairless burn scar, but is in the shape of a perfect circle quartered by a cross.
Samples:Actionspam Sample:[A small boy in a battered sheepskin jacket stares solemnly at the video. He pokes at the device, an expression of mild curiosity on his face, before starting to speak in a light British accent.]
Ah, hullo? Is this thing on? Quite a strange little device. Not quite like anything I remember seeing before, I think.
[Will blinks, and smiles a little foolishly.]
But then I’m getting off topic. I've only just arrived here, you see. And I thought it would be terribly rude if I didn't introduce myself. Are there many people here?