Quinn Jackson is a skinwalker from a large family of skinwalkers. He is the oldest of his siblings and has taken on a protective role over the others in his family, as well as others in his life. He is a traveler who feels a calling to the wilderness and struggles to spend long periods in cities crowded with humans.
He was the oldest and is old enough to remember the birth of his younger siblings. Unknown to his siblings, their mother and his mother are two separate people. After the youngest of his siblings, Amber Jackson, was born, the family was complete. Soon enough, the new mother passed away, and Quinn and his father were left to their own devices in caring for the others. Where the father worked to provide food and money, Quinn acted as a teacher to the others, cared for them, and guided them to what he hoped would be good behavior. For a while, it went fairly well.
During their childhoods, the father brought them up to be devout followers to the gods, the Huntress foremost among them. Although they would never return to the Skinwalker tribe from whence they came (for reasons the father never explained to them), their father taught them all the rituals and prayers, which Quinn practices to this day. He was fairly young when he talked his father into letting him get his first skin--that of a bear, almost fully grown but not entirely of its mother's size. After having observed the bear family for nearly a year, he captured the bear in a trap and claimed its skin for his own.
Because he had been caring for his siblings for so long, his apprenticeship occurred relatively late, but it ended up working out. Quinn was apprenticed with a mapmaker in a larger city, even farther away from the skinwalker people than where he had spent his childhood, from whom he learned a lot about finding his way around, especially by using the stars. Quinn's talent for drawing became especially useful during this apprenticeship, and he capitalized on it in his practice of drawing maps, drawing vegetation that could or could not be eaten (with plenty of notes on the matter), and learning to trace his path through the wilderness. It was during this apprenticeship that he acquired the second of his skins--that of something smaller, more stealthy than the bear counterpart, in the badger whose burrow he stumbled across during a trip away from camp for relieve himself.
Return to Home Edit
And then one day, his father was killed, and Quinn's apprenticeship was cut short. He returned home, seeking to put his father to rest but also to care for his siblings, as he knew they couldn't be in very good condition. When vengeance occurred, it was unplanned, and he deeply regretted that it. He loathed his part in the murder--he has always seen it as a murder, and it weighs on his conscience--and can't imagine how his siblings have dealt with their parts in it.
For a long time, he stayed at home attempting to take care of his family and to care for his siblings. He missed the outside world, craved the carefree wandering and the wilderness around himself. He made himself sick with sitting on the stoop and carving into branches and hunks of wood, trying to are for his family between daydreams about the woods.
When his sister left, he felt as though he finally had permission to go wandering about on his own as well.
Quinn left home because he couldn't bear to stick around anymore. He tried to stay for his siblings, but he couldn't make himself, and so he struck out on his own.
For a long while, he was all right. He managed to feed himself. In the winter, he would get jobs, find beds to share so he wouldn't freeze--unlike his bearskin, he wouldn't hibernate. He travelled far and wide, often spending much more time in his animal skins than his human one, and he often found himself forgetting what it was like to be human. It happened entirely on accident that he stumbled across a lemur, and decided that he ought to find a skin like it to help him survive in the foreign climate. Eventually he acquired the lemur skin and began roaming around in it as well. When he realized what spending this much time in animal form was doing to him, he tried to spend more time in human form, though he struggled at first.
He bounced between jobs; some lasted a few weeks, others only a few days. One job lasted only a few hours, when he found himself relying a little too much on his animal instincts and ended up disturbing his employer. The incident brought him to searching out another skinwalker tribe, though he never discovered it, he stumbled across a good friend from his childhood instead. Talking to Nala helped to remind him of his humanity, though he doubted she knew just how much. He went back on the job hunt for himself when they parted ways.
Eventually, he found a job as a gardener at the Sartre Estate, and that changed more for him than he expected.
Working as a Gardener Edit
He thought the younger son was attractive from the beginning, but it took a few months before anything happened. It began by getting his leg caught in a trap, and being discovered in badger form by the man. He expected to be killed, not released, but the trap sprang free from his leg and he wandered away, wary, but pleased.
Upon trying to recover his belongings when he went back into his human form and discovered them gone, he was a little worried.
After some time of awkwardness and some confrontations, the two reached a mutual understanding, and the relationship deepened from there. Quinn even got so comfortable with Florian Sartre that he revealed the reality about his being a skinwalker, and when Florian learned some more about his own childhood, Quinn suggested that maybe Florian was a skinwalker as well. This turned out to be exactly the case, something that turned out to be much more of a pleasant surprise than anything else.
Even while he was with Florian, he found himself suffering the call of the wilderness, and would disappear for days at a time to shed his human skin and feel the grass and dirt against his feet. It was on one of these outings that he was delayed, for he had been told to acquire a delivery and see its safe return, which led to some unfortunate consequences for the heir to the Sartre estate as well as having Florian and Quinn leave.
The Blight Edit
Not much later, the Blight hit, and travel became much more dangerous for the pair. As a result, they ended up seeking solace in Thrine, where Florian had a friend in Killian White. Although Quinn was initially reluctant, he craved the safety of the situation and acquiesced because he didn't want either of them to get hurt. He didn't foresee that Florian's heart would be stolen by the queen or that they would leaving the city relieved at the situation even as the danger once again enfolded them.
Eventually, they made their way to Caerleon along with some other refugees, hoping that the capital would be safer for them than wondering on their own, especially as it was closer than the tribelands. Quinn was still hesitant to return there, reminded of the fact that his family had essentially been exiled as far as he knew, and preferred the idea of blending in with the masses (even if the masses were inherently unappealing to him). While there, he took up the occasional fight to get the extra energy out of his system and to make some extra cash, which resulted in him meeting Nyctaeus.
And even when he wasn't participating in fights, they seemed to break out around him. As a result, he ran into Nala, who was apparently in Caerleon to join the Knights of the Round Table. Go figure.