Salali Nutcracker the Captioner (/ sɑ ˈlɒl i / | [sah-LOL-ee])
Salali Nutcracker (a.k.a. The Captioner)
Salali Nutcracker, better known as "The Captioner," is a weresquirrel Literomancer who only recently discovered their powers. They have acquired a degree of celebrity for their realtime sound captioning of the Battle of Mount Mitchell for the OneWorld News Network in The Third Word War.
General Physical Condition
Salali stays active through music festivals and, until recently, walking everywhere, because they never learned to drive.
As a weresquirrel, Salali has always been small and slight of build. They have thin, wiry muscle and excellent twitch reflexes.
Being of partial Cherokee heritage, Salali has the sharp features of their Indigenous ancestry. Their complexion contains a coppery-brown tinge that shows up better under different lighting and depending on what they wear.
In all forms, Salali has buck teeth. They like to dye their hair in bright colours. Currently, they favour a blend of Lapin pink, lavender, and light blue. Salali generally maintains a squirrel's tail, even in human form, unless it is inconvenient to do so. They are proud of being a literomancer and they want people to know that they are.
Salali is twitchy and seems to constantly be in motion, even when sitting still.
Salali has a knack for being able to anticipate the future by a few seconds. While this is hardly the equivalent of prophetic visions, it allows Salali to start typing their captions before they've even consciously heard the noise, leading to almost pinpoint realtime accuracy. This may also serve them as a kind of "danger sense" that could allow them to start dodging directed attacks before they even start. It is believed to be one of the explanations behind their amazing twitch reflexes, and also leads to a knack for playing video games that depend on such a talent. They have never lost a thumb war or a round of Rock, Paper, Scissors. However, this ability might also contribute to their crippling stammer and their ADHD diagnosis.
Apparel & Accessories
When not at work and otherwise required to dress differently, Solali prefers a punk/metal aesthetic. They lean to a sort of retro 80s punk look. They have a belly button piercing and often display it with cropped shirts and low-rider jeans.
Salali was a good but not excellent student, hampered in part by their ADHD. They were always shy, and a loner almost to the point of being a shut-in, because a powerful stammer made it difficult for them to communicate. They were often bullied as a young child. Their home life was unstable at best. Their mother, a single parent, struggled with alcoholism, and they were placed in and out of foster homes and occasionally with relatives for much of their early life, giving them little chance to make in-person friends. They quickly turned to the internet for their social interaction, where their stammer did not hamper them, and developed an interest in creative writing in its myriad forms. This led to a pathological refusal to communicate verbally, and to the present, they prefer to type or write, rather than speak. Their one touchstone in their chaotic life was their younger sister Awinita, who was born deaf. They learned to communicate in American Sign Language at a very young age and developed a fluency that rivals their sister's. They became a strong advocate for their sister and for the deaf in general. They never allowed the two of them to be separated, no matter where they were placed, and even ran away on two occasions from group homes with Awinita because they were separated due to gender. Salali developed an interest in heavy metal and punk music when they and their sister were placed in a foster home with foster parents who were former bikers. They are especially fond of the old school music their foster parents introduced them to, and even started singing in a garage band when they discovered that they didn't stammer while singing. When Salali is forced to verbally communicate, they occasionally sing to get past the barrier. Salali started captioning school-produced videos to help their sister, and found they had a bit of a knack for it. They found a nice little side hustle producing captions for a local advocacy center for the deaf, and they discovered they enjoyed the work, finding creative ways to present their captions and to describe sounds. It was only in September of 2022 that Salali discovered that they were a literomancer and manifested their first shapeshift. They were excited about the prospect of helping out against the Horde should they return, but knew they didn't know the first thing about fighting and war, and were aware of their own lack of combat capability. However, when King Bob called for the aid of all literomancers, especially because the threat was directly facing their local area, they felt obligated to sign up. It occured to them that they could do captioning work to generate a literomantic battery of words during the conflict, that could then be used to power the attacks and rituals of more combat-oriented literomancers; and that this might also benefit the hearing impaired and anyone else who relies upon captioning to understand what was going on in the war. They met OneWorld reporter Barbarossa Sparklebeard when he came to Mt. Mitchell prior to the battle to set up for war coverage, and Barbarossa spoke to the network on their behalf. They were hired immediately. They had no idea what they were getting into. The realities of war were a horrible shock to the young literomancer, whose emotional reactions garnered a great deal of sympathy and public support. Salali has found a degree of fame they were not expecting as result of their captioning during the battle, which included personal commentary on the music, description of visual elements that were not present on the broadcast, and an explanation of events in realtime. They don't really know what to do with all the attention and their newly developed fandom. But since King Bob invited them to study at the university in Jurassica, NC, and since Queen Sable Aradia has volunteered to cover whatever living expenses and tuition the Sauropodans do not, they and their sister have moved to Jurissica and they have thrown themself into a deep study of literomancy. They are also teaching a class on literomantic captioning, which has helped to offset their expenses. Queen Sable has also referred Salali to their therapist, Dr. Velma Price, and is covering associated expenses.
Salali strongly identifies as non-binary and prefers to not be addressed by either binary gender pronoun.
Salali may be asexual, but they're not sure. They have little to no experience with sexual or romantic relationships, but that might be a result of their social awkwardness and natural shyness. If asked about it, they would eventually stammer out that they don't know because they haven't tried.
ADHD and a lack of financial options have delayed Salali's education, but they are now studying at the University of Jurassica, and are actively pursuing a Master of Arts so they can become the best literomancer they can possibly be.
Before their new career as "The Captioner," Salali worked as waitstaff in a fine restaurant in their hometown of Asheville, NC in the Sauropoda Protectorate. They also picked up some extra work doing captioning for an advocacy center for the deaf, which is work they continue to do between their busy school schedule. They have been offered a full-time position as a captioner for OneWorld News, but have declined so they can finish their studies. They have agreed to continue to provide captioning for important literomantic events, however, and are considering a part-time position with the World Literomantic Academy and its WLA News branch. They have also been offered a position, upon graduation, with Barbarossa Sparklebeard as his official captioner in the Ailurus Protectorate. They have no idea what to do with this wealth of options.
Salali has trust and attachment issues due to their unstable upbringing. They are also deeply horrified by the events of the Battle of Mount Mitchell, and are in therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Morality & Philosophy
Salali just wants to make the world a better place. They are a young idealist who genuinely believes in the power of love and hope.
Salali is in many ways an innocent idealist. They have a genuine desire to save the world and a belief that it is possible. They were excited by the discovery of their Literomantic powers and, even after the shock of Mt. Mitchell, are looking forward to using their powers for good.
This article is a work in progress, and may be subject to changes.
This article is part of a series related to streaming the Game of Tomes. For more information, see Streaming Game of Tomes.
Jurassica, Sauropoda Protectorate
Nut brown, wide and large
Long on one side, shaved on the other, dyed in bicameral colours
Red-brown with mottling
Quotes & Catchphrases
*captioner has gone off to find a mosh pit, see you at the extro*