Who is Astor Snow
Astor Snow is drowning.
She has been for a long enough time to hardly need to breathe. Or maybe that’s the norm for her.
Plagued with a rare condition called Devil Syndrome, Astor is a product of neglect, a trauma survivor, and the child of an actual mass murderer. She navigates life with a combination of paranoia and cynicism.
On the outside, Astor manages to hold it together. For the most part, she just seems bored and disinterested. At her worst, she just seems a bit underwhelmed. It takes practice to hold in eons of agony, the constant need to scream and claw at her skin, and an inability to love that has followed her since childhood.
Still, Astor makes it all work. And she tries her best to understand her condition instead of shying away from it (with the help of her best friend, Noah).
Astor and The Real Person
Astor hasn’t been a person for a long time. She struggles to understand not only her place in the world but her significance to other people. It’s part of the reason she’s so open to being led. Take her wherever. Tell her whatever you need to tell her. All Astor wants is to feel like a person, and deriving that shapes most of her everyday life.
Astor works as a speech therapist at her children’s school, Reginald Elementary. When she isn’t working there, she takes clients at their homes, enjoying the free time away from her personal duties. It’s not that Astor doesn’t like being a mother, wife, and best friend – those are all the best aspects of her life. It’s the other thing weighing her down—the thought of having to leave it all someday.
The thought of doing what her birth mother promised she needed to do to be a real person.
Astor pretends it doesn’t exist and cooks.
She pretends it won’t happen and reads.
Nothing will stop it from happening, though, especially not Astor.
When Astor shows out, she shows out.
Every woman in Astor’s family, foster and birth, has been a dresser. Fashionistas. The strict mother of two won’t ever allow you to see her in a pair of sweatpants and live. She’s fond of flowing fabrics that feel, look, and are expensive. Astor’s lingerie drawer could finance a world war and maybe the effort to rebuild countries after it.
While she’s mostly modest, Astor takes note from Noah every now and then and lets her curves show. Astor’s also a neat freak that refuses to allow even a loose hair, and she bleeds this neatness into both of her children. Her husband can be a bit messy, but Juke and Noah keep themselves perfect to appease Astor’s tastes.
Astor is seductive without meaning to be, and this somehow translates in any fabric or stitch of clothing that touches her skin.
Astor has never been able to produce tears. It doesn't matter the situation, her eyes don't even have the capacity to mist over.
Astor has been having severe issues with her eye for months. It's painful in light and filled with a pressure she can't quite describe. The issue is more pronounced when she's around Noah, and it's almost unbearable in the mornings when she wakes.
If Astor is feeling angry or sad, the eye throbs, the pupil blooming and spreading over the iris. Astor does her best to ignore these malfunctions. Her mother had the abnormality in both eyes.
Growth and Speech
Astor experiences extreme hair, nail, and tooth growth and has to maintain it regularly. She's obsessed with keeping a neat appearance, sometimes to the point of anger or anxiety. The young Devil (as some people with Devil Syndrome are called) underwent extensive treatments as a teenager to correct her sharp teeth.
Astor is also decidedly well-spoken, pronouncing every word to the detriment of her friends. She isn't often amused, but has a calming effect on those around her when she is.
Astor doesn't need to eat often, but she does out of habit and to keep her husband happy. It's worrisome to watch her go day after day without any food, so he pretends she isn't suffering from Devil Syndrome, and they eat as a family. When Osh is away for work, Noah and Juke tend to make sure Astor keeps eating.
Without their nagging, Astor can go a long time without any food or water. If she takes starvation too far, she can have a hunger burst ... and no one wants that.
When angered, Astor is quiet. She's excellent at holding in emotions and putting on a blank face. The circumstances have to be extreme to bring reactions out of the stoic woman, and even then, she is typically collected about it.
On rare occasions that Astor has an outburst, it's best to find earplugs or duck for cover. No one wants to deal with the consequences of Astor's actual anger or extreme emotion. It's not human.
Since childhood, Astor has experienced intense panic attacks at the smallest inconvenience. Things that can't be explained in one word scare her sometimes. When she's feeling overwhelmed, Astor tends to retreat into herself, and if she can't do that, the panic attacks start.
They're vicious. Astor's imagination is second to none, and the scenarios that play across her mind break her down to the core. Her friends and family look out for signs of oncoming panic attacks and do their best to avert them.
Friends and FamilyAstor is adored, but she's also despised. Learn more about her relationships with the people around her below.
Love is complicated. The love between Astor and Osh is a bit more than that.
Osh Snow has known Astor since she was born. In fact, his entire existence has been about protecting, loving, and understanding her. While he has some issues with the forced pairing (that he doesn’t often share with Astor out loud), and the fact that he was created to protect her, Astor loves Osh without question. In fact, she’s only ever loved one other person. Astor and Osh also survived a number of traumas together, most of which were caused by Astor’s mother Alicia.
Osh can be dismissive. He’s a daydreamer with a rage that often bubbles over into violence against anyone Astor pinpoints as an annoyance for her. The two have a muddled but loving relationship, and they raise their children with ideals and stereotypes that were beaten into them for years and years.
Alicia Free probably loves her daughter. Probably.
It’s something Astor could never really figure out. On the one hand, Alicia seems to go through great pains to make sure her daughter is protected. She even convinced her best friend to have a child (Osh) to follow and protect Astor through life. Alicia taught Astor how to be glamorous, how to be noticed, how to be smarter than her potential enemies. She taught her to question everything and accept nothing.
On the other hand, Alicia has enough ulterior motives to leave every person she meets wondering what she really wants. Astor’s childhood was made up of neglect, severe physical and emotional abuse, and soothing words to follow every bit of blood drawn. She remembers her mother, who is now missing in action, as being manipulative and endlessly scary. Another victim of Devil Syndrome, Alicia managed to avoid some of the more telling symptoms, but she never let Astor forget she had them. The woman was filled with endless poise and darkness, and Astor barely survived her antics (including the murders of Astor’s father and Osh’s mother).
But Alicia has always asserted – through blood and horror and tears – that the only person that mattered to her was Astor. And Astor never knew her mother to be a liar.
Noah DillBest Friend // Foster Sister
Noah is a walking pile of cigarettes and best friend to Astor.
They go way back. Noah’s family fostered Astor a few years after her father was murdered, giving her access to expert medical care for her condition. Noah, a bored and tiny hellion, immediately took to Astor’s uniqueness. And Astor immediately took to being Noah’s little experiment.
A smart girl (both in her brain and in her mouth), Noah’s background in science helps her delve deeper into Devil Syndrome than anyone else can say they have. She is the main factor behind a large chunk of Astor’s happiness and willingness to participate in society. Where Astor fails in personality, Noahs meets and uplifts her tenfold.
The two are completely different but dangerously inseparable. There’s not much Noah wouldn’t do for Astor.
In fact, there’s not much Noah HASN’T done for Astor.
Juke TeroyBest Friend
Something about Juke is …off. Something about him is just a tiny bit wrong.
And it’s wrong in the same way Astor’s existence is wrong. She could never put her finger on it, and never really tried to, but Juke Teroy is the male version of Astor Snow. Their friendship means the world to both of them. It’s a natural bond that seems unnatural at the same time, and they’ve never thought to question it.
Juke is the husband of Noah, the best friend of Osh, and a constant irritation and companion to Astor. He believes in family, shares the history of parental abandonment that plagues Astor, and refuses to let parts of his past present themselves to the people he cares about. Astor considers him to be an essential part of her life.
There’s also the small hint of something else between them. It’s a thing that bothers both Osh and Noah. The bond between Astor and Juke might just be a little too… tight.
And more and more, whatever is off about Juke is starting to be more than just a little thing.
Moose is Astor’s heart. The somber 10-year-old could be called a Momma’s Boy – he believes he’s responsible for the care and growth of the women in his family and acts accordingly. Moose adores Astor, but ultimately looks to his father for guidance.
Astor’s obsession with neatness (and her badly hidden disdain for weak men) play a major part in Moose’s personality. He is attentive, forceful, and willing to match his father in both rage and calculation to protect his family. Moose often finds himself having to be the sole protector of his younger sister, Astrid, against his mother.
Astor has high expectations for any man in her life. Moose is far from an exception, but so far he’s met the challenge every time.
Astor has a rocky relationship with her daughter, Astrid.
Astrid is charismatic, sweet, and overly positive. There’s no way to know where these attitudes came from – she stands out from the somber aura of her family like a sore thumb. The 6-year-old also struggles to speak, a fact that irritates Astor to the point of rage a little too often.
Astrid is well aware of her mother’s disdain but isn’t able to return the feelings. She tries her best to improve their relationship, going as far as to avoid speaking entirely in her mother’s presence. The little girl lives an entire life outside of her family’s gaze. This is only made possible by Astor’s unmitigated neglect and rage when it comes to her daughter’s existence.
It’s something that bothers Astor from time to time. Is this the way she actually feels about Astrid, or is this something that exists deep within them that can’t be avoided?
BackstoryA few sounds and stories to expand on Astor's subtle personality!
Astor Snow is drowning. She always has been.
Click a link to read more of Astor's story through shorts and snippets (more coming soon).