So everybody’s talking about them, but does anybody actually know who they are? Sure…we’ve all heard about the Black Family – ask anyone in this town and they’ll spout some urban legend about a cousin they knew who went to the enigmatic Burlesque Underground and was never heard from again…or some girl who got her heart broken by the Devil Incarnate and Antichrist all in one within the bowels of the Adult Playground.
But how do we separate myth from legend and gossip from fact? After scouring the interweb and taking a sneaky trip or two into the depths of the Underground, we managed to dig up a few truths about one of the country’s most notorious families…and their associates.
No alleged serial killer or misogynistic playboy can keep a good blogger down! So here it is…your who’s who guide to all things Black.
Apparently, once you’ve had it…you can’t go back. Or so they say.
JASPER BAELIAN BLACK
By now everyone has heard the rumours about the billionaire patriarch of the Black Family and his alleged dissociative identity disorder. But who is the person (or people) behind the frighteningly luminous blue eyes? According to local legend…there are a few of them…
Jasper (“Cookie”): Supposedly the ‘core’ personality, Cookie does not seem to have matured beyond teenage years. Though generally charming, jovial and friendly, he can be quite childlike, spoilt and moody…particularly when he doesn’t get what he wants. A hedonist with a devil-may-care attitude to life and the memory of a goldfish…he is married to Bella Jade Black and is the official King of the Underground. Although the biological father of Bethany Black, he has little knowledge of their relationship and still refers to himself as her ‘Uncle J.’
Baelian: A secondary personality rumoured to have developed in order to protect Jasper from the horrific abuse suffered at the hands of his father as a child, the ‘adult’ persona that calls himself Baelian is cold, calculating and more often than not martyrously brooding about the state of the world. He is vengeful, manipulative and hellbent on striking down all those who have wronged him. A sex, alcohol and cocaine addict, he never sleeps and spends most of his spare time weaving his tangled webs about everyone unfortunate enough to come into contact with him. Responsible for most of Jasper’s illegitimate children, he satisfies his hypersexuality with a considerably sized harem…but most often he is found in the company (and between the legs of) his co-dependant mistress Alina Bellamantis or his daughter Bethany Black.
Belladonna: A female personality that exists solely to protect Baelian (and by default, Jasper). She is clinically insane, biting and cruel…with borderline tendencies and an inability to feel real love. Psychological reports and hypnotherapy transcripts reveal Belladonna may have ‘materialised’ after an event she calls the ‘Cherub’s Feast,’ but no other information exists to indicate what may have occurred at this event to necessitate her existence. Considered ‘Daddy’s Girl’ at Jerald Black’s Fundays, Belladonna possesses all the feminine wiles she needs to survive, and was the alleged childhood sweetheart of Grigori Katorga, whom she was married to until recently.
Nikolai Alexei Katorga: Little information exists about this personality, save for whispers amongst those in the know that he is in fact a ‘splinter’ of Baelian’s mind, created as a means to deal with the often terrifyingly brutal sexual acts he was coerced and forced into performing as a child. Rumoured to be excessively violent and prone to frightening tantrums, he is a narcissist, a sociopath, a misogynist and a sadist. He speaks fluent Russian and claims to be the true heir to the Katorga fortune.
BELLA JADE ‘BETSY’ BLACK
Purchased for $50,000 from a heroin-addict mother when she was 8 years old by a suicidal Jasper, ‘Betsy’ was adopted into the Black Family and raised by Baelian as his ward. At 18 she changed her name to Bella Jade and was designated as Jasper’s official heir. She was married to him a few years later, declaring power of attorney over him as his mental health declined. It was Bella who insisted Jasper undergo the therapy that essentially unlocked his mind to the past and the alternate personalities he had buried along with it, a fact which still weighs heavily on her conscience. Bella Jade is currently the backbone of Black Family Inc. and manages many of the enterprises and business dealings that keep the family living in the manner to which they are accustomed. She has been called the ‘ice queen’ due to her cold and seemingly ruthless nature, though she is loyal to a fault and will do anything to protect her family. Torn between molly-coddling her man-child husband (and wrestling with Baelian’s aloof denial of any emotional connection between them), she is nonetheless one of the most stable individuals in the adult playground and has rightly earned the title of the Underground’s Queen. Though it was believed that she could not bear children, recent speculation is that she may finally be carrying a legitimate heir to the Underground throne.
BETHANY BELLADONNA BLACK
Spawned of an illicit affair between Jasper Black and his sister-in-law Betty, Bethany is the Princess of the Underground and Baelian’s eternal shadow. As childlike, moody and manipulative as her father, Bethany is at best charming and enchanting…and at her worst selfish, obnoxious and destructive. She has matured somewhat since a pregnancy and subsequent ‘accidental fall’ saw her losing her twin offspring (rumoured to have been fathered by Baelian, who also was allegedly the one who pushed her out of a window in order to ‘deal with the situation’), yet she remains the eternal spoilt child, obsessed with the idealised love she has for her ‘Daddy’ (and her spiteful contempt for her Uncle J). Though her grip on reality is mostly sound, she is prone to fantastical delusions of a future with Baelian (the only man she claims to love) and hopes that one day they will be able to be together. Previously wed to her former schoolteacher ‘Mr Nick,’ she is currently betrothed to Grigori Katorga in an arranged marriage orchestrated by her father.
ASINOE HARDCOURT-MIRROR / ALINA BELLAMANTIS
The only daughter of Janine Hardcourt and her Dominant/lover Marcus Bellamantis, Asinoe is rumoured to suffer from the same dissociative disorder as Jasper Baelian, having grown up alongside him as a victim of patriarchal abuse within the Black Family Estate. To date only two personalities are known to exist.
Asinoe: Outwardly gentle and kind, Asinoe’s unassuming demeanour and friendly smile hides a steel backbone and a tendency towards schadenfreude. After coming to the Underground in search of her ‘sister’ Alina (whom she believed had been kidnapped by a child-trafficking ring when they were children), she was hired as Jasper Black’s PA, allowing him to assist her in her search. Inadvertently falling prey to Jasper’s charms and the obsessive affections of Baelian Black, she fled the adult playground after the latter tried to kill her with a letter opener in a fit of jealous rage, heading to England in search of Marcus Bellamantis, whom she believed held the key to Alina’s whereabouts. Asinoe is considered the ‘core’ personality, though it is believed she has since merged with Alina.
Alina: Born in the throes of rape at 8 years old, Alina is a secondary personality and counterpart to Baelian Black. She is spiteful, cruel and jealous…and loves nothing and no one but Baelian, whom she believes belongs solely to her. She was the mother of Baelian’s first child at 12 years of age (a daughter named Lorelei who died not long after she was born) and is considered his ‘official mistress,’ assisting Bella and the Black Family and supporting the man she loves in his quest for vengeance against those who destroyed their lives. Unlike Asinoe, Alina was aware of her fractured personality from a young age and never believed the ‘sister’ fable that Asinoe had been brainwashed with. With Baelian’s help, she has managed to ‘assimilate’ Asinoe’s personality with her own (or so she claims), choosing to remain by his side and await the day when his crusade comes to an end so she can take him away from anything and everything that distracts him from her. Recently it was rumoured that she was having an affair with Grigori Katorga, though Alina vehemently denies such a connection.
BETTY DREAM BLACK
Married to Jasper’s brother Jett Black, Betty is the mother of Jasper’s daughter Bethany. Constantly drunk and high on valium, she spends her days flitting between Europe (where her husband is currently stationed) and her family back home in Melbourne. She spends one afternoon a week with Jasper giving him ‘cooking lessons’ (though they have yet to bake anything worthy of note since Bethany was born). Generally pleasant and quick to smile at anyone who will buy her a drink, Betty is still prone to bipolar mood swings and long periods of almost catatonic silence. Rumoured to be able to ‘clean up any mess,’ she remains (or pretends to be) completely oblivious to the questionable conduct of her Family…in particular the relationship between her brother-in-law and their daughter. She considers herself Jasper’s best friend, though this may have a lot to do with the constant array of drugs and alcohol he supplies her with. Betty’s parents died when she was very young, leaving herself and her sister Peachey in the care of their uncle and aunt – the Reverend Dream and his wife – who wasted no time drawing Betty into the Black Family’s perverted world of abuse and exploitation. These days Betty keeps mainly to herself, finding the Underground crowds too taxing on her nerves.
JETT BALTHAZAR BLACK
The only legitimate heir to Jerald Black’s fortune, Jett is the quintessential trust-fund baby and prodigal son. High class, educated and snobbish, with an air of terrifying elegance not seen since his father was young, Jett does not readily associate with the denizens of the Underground, finding them too ‘middle class’ for his tastes. Rumoured to be everything from an assassin to a serial killer (with his wife Betty haplessly cleaning up his mess), Jett’s penchant for violence and brutal sadism saw him quickly snapped up by European secret services. Adoptive father of Bethany Black (whom he raised as his own since her birth), he has a somewhat awkward yet highly affectionate relationship with his brother…and is one of Bella Black’s only trusted confidantes. He allegedly prefers the company of men – his marriage to Betty one of both convenience and propriety (though some believe he and Baelian planned the union as a way of getting the Dream girl out of their father’s clutches). Jett’s work keeps him currently residing in Berlin, though he is in constant contact with his family.
Summary/synopsis of LARP experience The Underground. All characters and story lines remain the property of N.Ristovski and the Underground. All character writings within the Underground are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
Copyright © 2015. Natalie Ristovski.