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OC Contest Entry: Colette CamembertTopic%20Title
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Neighborhood Friendly Tomato

Gender: Female

Location: Japanifornia

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Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:51 am

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Welcome! ...I apologize in advance for the length of this piece and the amount of tabs. Honestly, I did not originally intend for my entry to go the direction it went, but it happened, and there was way too much work put into it to go back at this point. Have fun reading, maybe?

Entrant's Name: Jane
Entrant's Website: Tumblr
Character's Name: Colette Camembert
Age: 28 (as of DGS 1)
Occupation: Barmaid
Brief Physical Description:
At a glance, Ms. Camembert is a few shades shy of her adopted surname: her complexion is a soft cream while her wavy locks are reminiscent of strawberry blonde or champagne pink. When not under wraps by any type of hat, bonnet, wig, or other headgear, the aforementioned locks are often curled into a peculiar habit driven up-do that’s reminiscent of a croissant with a seashell shape towards the back of her head. It’s short of a miracle that her up-do is able to stay in one piece. As for her eyes, they’re meant to be closer to amber than brown, but could pass as either when under the right light. Her build is sylphlike and she herself is agile, with both qualities maintained by the constant running around that accompanies working at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, a pub.

That said, she is rarely seen without her egg white apron: a part of a uniform she’s kept from her old job as a maid to a well to-do family in another part of England, now refurbished to help with her day to day activities at the pub and elsewhere in London. It contains a pocket on the right-hand side that appears usable but is sewn shut for vague reasons about sentiments and repairs. (There’s a slight bulge that shows up if pressed hard enough, indicating something solid and non-cloth like inside.) Her outfits tend to be reasonably comfortable, if not somewhat bizarre to be owned for someone of her income. She laughs it off by claiming she has to use her ‘wedding dress’ (or ‘insert some other event here’ dress) for something other than an ornament, but in the same breath tries to draw away some attention by tying together an old shawl.

There’s also a scar towards the mid-lower region of left arm that’s only noticeable once she rolls up her sleeves all the way. This was obtained in a street accident years prior when a carriage full of grandfather clocks crashed in the middle of the road, sending one of the big hands from a clock flying at her and leaving her with a large gash on her left arm.

Brief Personality Description:
Through time and time again, if there’s anything that Colette should be doing, it’s keeping to herself and sticking to the background. And she tries to, honestly. In fact, it probably would have worked out a little easier for her had life taken her another direction: as a young child, she was well on her way to becoming the textbook definition of a figurative wallflower. However, as it stood, life too had its own ways of twisting fates of the blissfully unaware. Serving as a playmate and eventual personal lady’s maid to a charismatic young charge, Colette was thrown into a world much different from anything she could have ever imagined and had to learn to think on her feet, being much more forward and observant--meticulous even, in that regard, when prompted--than the average maid to keep up with the pace. (The pressure increased ten fold once her charge started having Colette switch places with her for events and things--a charade they’ve since kept up for about a decade before parting ways on a high note.) These traits end up helping her immensely when working at the pub.

As a result, one habit she’s picked up over the years is making whimsical one-off assumptions and guesses on what’s about to happen--whether they’re right or wrong, she either feels she has to be ready for anything or at least give herself some sort of personal reprieve. Sometimes they’re serious predictions, based on previous facts and evidence available at the time, while other times she says something completely left field in a sarcastic or joking manner without prior basis for the claims. However, when she is proven right, her knee-jerk reaction is to exclaim “Called it!” with a smirk and a quirked eyebrow as she holds her left hand up in a cup like fashion while her right arm supports her left arm. Meanwhile, that same left hand goes limp and her jaw drops when a serious notion is proven wrong or she realizes that it’s a left field prediction that turns out to be true. (All this is less out of making a mockery of whoever she’s facing, and more out of getting some self gratification in the heat of the moment.)

Colette has the tendency to become very obstinate once she sets her mind to a goal that she deems must be done. It doesn’t matter much to her when it comes to miscellaneous facts such as “who started it,” or if she’ll get any credit for the deed (or have any such gain otherwise)--she just wants to see it finished, whether it be through herself or someone else. With little regard to her own well-being in the process, the line for her only shakily drawn when her loved ones and innocent people are at a major risk. (‘Minor’ inconveniences to bystanders withstanding this exception.) This works both for and against her favor depending on the circumstances; while dependable to those involved if goals intersect and the scenarios at times comedic when looking back at them, she can also land herself in trouble through the stunts she performs in seeing the goals through. If, for any reason, the goal can’t be completed, it eats at her mind for a day on average before she gets over it.

Although she’s tried to be better about this, her tolerance for grievances boils down to five stages: her left eye twitches, her mouth makes an obviously forced smile, her right arm (clenched into a fist) is held back, steam comes out of her ears, and then, when she finally gets fed up, her front curls unravel and comes together again as she yells in exclamation, lunging after whatever’s managed to completely crack her composure. She diffuses as quickly as she lunges though, and the temporary satisfaction of attacking what’s eating her is usually enough to placate her. There are few exceptions that are cause for her to be acrimonious by any means.

On a different note, she’s also developed a somewhat mixed concept of ‘self.’ While the circumstances regarding switching places so often are not malicious in nature, she sometimes has to stop herself from answering if she hears her previous charge’s name and other times is thrown off by sincere consideration for ‘Colette,’ wondering if she is really worth anything to be given that kind of care. (It doesn’t help that since the occurrence of certain events, she’s trying to be tight lipped about revealing too much about her past.) Skewed moral compasses aside, she is earnest and generally means well with what she does, treasuring kindnesses and wanting to offer kindnesses in turn.

Connection to canon characters (if applicable):
Colette is a barmaid at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, a pub that Sherlock Holmes and Iris Watson frequent for ‘sea trout,’ as claimed by the former of the duo.* They eventually become friends through the visits, though when she’s approached by them for information on events or hearsay that transpire at the pub, it takes a bit of prodding before she’ll finally stop what she’s doing and attempt to recall things. To a similar tune, through a bizarre turn of events, she also becomes an unofficial ballroom dance instructor for Ryuunosuke and Susato when they, along with Sherlock and Iris, visit the pub 2 years after the events of DGS1. At some point, she becomes a witness in a case that is prosecuted by Barok van Zieks, but has Ryuunosuke Naruhodou as the defense attorney.**

Spoiler: Potential spoilers for DGS1 Case 4 and Tobias Gregson
*Taking similar liberties in mind, with this scenario, Tobias Gregson sometimes also gets his fish and chips from the same pub.

Sherlock to my knowledge never mentions when or where the exact location of the good 'sea trout' so I placed it at that location and put the first meeting at 5 years prior to the events of DGS1.

Spoiler: Potential spoilers for Barok van Zieks, DGS1 Case 1, and Colette’s Case
**She first appears as a witness in a ‘flashback’ case prosecuted by Barok van Zieks versus an unnamed defense attorney 9 years prior to the events of DGS1. That court case isn’t played per say, but records of it are stumbled upon by Ryuunosuke and Susato while searching for other information for another case prior to her current case. Ultimately, it’s the reveal of her connection to this ‘flashback’ case that causes the pinning of the murder to move from the client to Colette herself.

Upon pressing her during the trial, it’s further revealed that she’s informally met Sherlock Holmes and John H. Watson through a DGS version of ‘A Scandal in Bohemia’ (SCAN) taking place 10 years prior to the events of DGS1. There she served as Irene Adler’s personal maid, disguising herself accordingly as requested under Irene’s plans at the time. (In this scenario, a few events in SCAN are altered within the DGS setting--a topic that’s for another time and place.)

Brief Background:
Colette initially appears as a barmaid who works at a pub called Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, which, while commonly acknowledged to the public for its’ talkative ashen parrot Polly as well being an ideal location writers have used to convene, is better known for being a good place to eat some ‘sea trout’ by the resident detective duo, Sherlock Holmes and Iris Watson. (In fact, the case begins when the group consisting of Ryuunosuke Naruhodou, Susato Mikotoba, Sherlock Holmes, and Iris Watson end up at the pub after a long day riddled with numerous near-accidents to all four of them (and a disproportionate amount of those aimed at Sherlock in particular). Instead of going home to 221B Baker Street, they chose to go to the pub as it was close, and it allowed them a momentary reprieve by having Ryuunosuke and Susato try the ‘sea trout.’) Through a series of unfortunate events in attempting to chase down a customer who left his order back at the pub, she becomes a key witness to the murder of
Spoiler: Potential spoilers for Colette’s Case
that Detective Sherlock Holmes and Professor James Moriarty.

From her point of view, the following occurs: On the night of the murder, the usual delivery boy (who turns out to be part of the Baker Street Irregulars) is unavailable to work at his usual time. While initially not a problem, complications occur when a customer forgets his meal at the bar. The pub owner calls out to the customer a “Wait sir!” but is too late as the customer is already out the door. Having caught just a spare glimpse of his dark green cape (as she wasn’t serving this particular person) and then her boss’ apparent distress, Colette instinctively grabs the meal, and runs out the door after the customer, making her mission to get it to him. This task turns out to be harder than she initially expected--the streets are bustling with city-goers, many of which are talking about a giant ball being held at one of the more prominent buildings at the center of London. Even her loudest yells aren’t enough to grab his attention, which didn’t help matters as the figure was distracted. Through sheer determination, she is able to barely keep up with the caped man, and when a carriage blocks her vantage point for a moment, the barmaid misses the fact that her target customer had accidentally bumped into another rushed caped individual--Barok van Zieks.

She ends up tailing the resident prosecutor to the building that housed Big Ben, still not aware of her mistake. Though hesitant at this point, she pushes through to get inside the building, and the world slowly goes black from her point of view, as she gets gagged with a wet cloth and then knocked out on the back of her head by whoever was keeping watch from behind the door. Upon coming to, Colette first feels the sharp pain on the back of her head before her vision clears, finding herself in a dimmed storage room with the packaged meal. Surprised to find herself free of any restraints, she picks up the bundle and looks around, then puzzled by the loud mechanical noises in this relatively peaceful room. As she adjusts her eyes to limited amount of light, Colette is startled by the sight of Barok still unconscious at another side of the room. Suddenly remembering how she got into her predicament in the first place, she approaches the prosecutor and places the meal at his side, her mission complete.

Unable to bring herself to wake him up in fear of what he might do, both out of wariness to what he might do if he assumes she was the one who knocked him out as well as dose of resentment for his reputation in court, she decides to “let him sit with his food and think about his life choices,” exiting the room unceremoniously… and nearly falling over at how much louder the mechanical noises were. A sinking feeling forms in the pit of her stomach as she realizes then and there that she’s way up towards the top of the tower where the gears are in motion, powering the giant clock. While rubbing her left arm absently, her are eyes wander around her, looking for a way out when a high pitched scream echoes through the chamber. Colette runs in the direction of the scream, rushing up a flight of stairs to a rush of wind and three shadows against the wall adjacent to her, lit presumably by the light of the moon. At this, the barmaid turns to the source of the noise only to find a clear view of the night sky… and the silhouette of a small, trembling figure. Bright green eyes meet amber, full of bitter tears and an unspoken whirlwind of emotions.

From outside, a large commotion rings out, with a crowd growing out of both shock and panic at both the bloody mess of bodies below and Iris Watson’s lone figure above. Finally breaking out of her own trance, she at last runs towards the girl and pulls her away from the makeshift spotlight. But, it’s a little too late for everyone, and all she can think of doing is giving Ryuunosuke Naruhodou’s inevitable next client a tight embrace.


(Of course, there’s supposedly more to this case that meets the eye, and in an attempt to free Iris from the defendant's seat, Colette pins the blame on Barok by changing her testimony.)

(And like cases of the past, Ryuunosuke is able to see through this.)

Spoiler: Potential spoilers for Colette’s Case
(Further pressing reveals that Colette was in a similar case more than ten years prior, except back then, the defendant was her late husband and clock craftsman, Benjamin Camembert.)

Spoiler: Potential spoilers for various cases surrounding and including Colette’s Case and DGS1 Cases 1-5
Note: This whole case happens 2 years after the events of DGS1, and digging up Colette’s past is one of the key acts needed to piece all the mysteries together that aren’t addressed by the time a case involving the World Fair occurs in the year following DGS1. What’s important about the DGS equivalent of A Scandal in Bohemia isn’t necessarily the investigative case itself, and instead, is what happens as a result of that case.

(Examples of prominent changes include the nature of the relationship between the lawyer and DGS Irene, which stays platonic as here the lawyer ends up being same lawyer who ‘betrays’ Barok van Zieks, and to return a favor, Irene helps this lawyer back to Japan. The wedding witnessed turns out to be between Colette and Benjamin, with confusion being set due to the fact that Colette is intentionally dresses up to look like Irene to help her throw everyone off, as Irene and that lawyer’s trip to Japan is moved up when Sherlock’s ‘King client’ enters the picture.

Meanwhile, Benjamin is implied to be intentionally killed off due to him holding the blueprints to the clock tower housing Big Ben, as well as him unintentionally taking the job position that Professor Moriarty was originally going to place one of his own people in.)

(...Err, I do have an in-progress timeline, but seeing how it covers events prior to this case and not this case itself, I don't feel like it's appropriate to include at this time. Maybe in a following post if people are interested?)

Link to entry:
Spoiler: Fullbody Shot (Large)

Spoiler: Progress Shot of a "Cut Scene"-Like Image (Large)

(I ran out of time to finish this one, but this is supposed to be a scene towards the beginning of Colette's case where she winds up teaching Ryuunosuke and Susato how to waltz. Better to submit what I do have though, right?)

  • Namesake:
    Spoiler: Potential spoilers for Colette's Case
    Colette bounces off the french name meaning “necklace” as she carries her mother’s precious locket in a pocket watch stylized manner.
    It also echoes the phrase “Called it!” in a subtle play on words (which she sometimes exclaims) that alludes to times when she guesses something is about to happen, and her one off predictions (sarcastic, non-serious, or otherwise) turn out to be right. Notably, she uses that catch phrase in court against both the prosecution and defense during her cross examinations, appearing in its own speech bubble similar to an “Objection!” Her name is also one letter away from “Cosette,” a french character from Les Miserables. They both share some similarities, namely: french ancestry with their mothers (who die at a young age, leaving their children to other families) and meeting their first loves at the tender age of 14.

    As for her initial surname, Lamar, it is both an English and French derived surname indicating a place in Normandy and coming from Old French la mare which means “the pool.” This is a callback to both her current last name and to her mother, as Marguerite is the French form of the Latin meaning of “pearl.” (Marguerite in turn is picked for the relation to jewelry since pearls are used for necklaces sometimes. Suffice to say, it is also picked for its closeness in sound to Margarita, a drink. Colette is currently a barmaid, and her mother did die of a poisoned drink, so...)

    Camembert, her adopted surname, is a type of cheese first made in Normandy, France during the 18th century, and later popularized in the United States following the invention of a box that allowed it to be carried and taken far away (circa 1890). This is both an allusion to her current work place, the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, as well as a subtle nod to her relations with American-borne Irene Adler.

  • Fiancé/husband: That said, Benjamin, the first name of Colette’s fiancé, is derived from the Hebrew/English name meaning “son of my right hand” and is supposed to be a reference to Big Ben, the bell which is housed in the same building as the big fancy clock that he is hired to help maintain as a right-hand man to another clock-specializing craftsman.*

    Spoiler: Potential spoilers for Colette's Case
    Similar to a famous namesake’s story in the Joseph narrative, Benjamin’s bag gets planted with a silver object as fake evidence, and when publicly searched, is sentenced to certain punishment.

    *I am now aware that “Benjamin Camembert” also sounds like name generator result of “Benedict Cumberbatch,” which, despite Colette’s sentiment for Sherlock Holmes and Benjamin’s unfortunate choice of color scheme, is an unintentional coincidence.

  • Pub: Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is an actual pub that dates back to 1538. Its rather unassuming nature and lack of natural lighting makes it an ideal place for the 221B quartet to convene with a little more privacy than other locations.

    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the real life author of the Sherlock Holmes series, is noted to be a regular of the pub, alongside other literary figures like Mark Twain and Dr. Samuel Johnson, as well as the Rhymers’ Club, a group of London-based poets. Polly the Parrot was also an actual famous figurehead in the pub for 40 years, only passing away in 1926 from pneumonia. Learning these facts, having Colette work there (and in turn having the DGS Sherlock Holmes author equivalent visit the location) only seemed natural.

  • Fish:
    Spoiler: Potential spoilers for DGS1 Case 4
    The creation of Colette literally stemmed from extended pondering over Sherlock’s invitation to a place with good sea trout following some time at the detention center in DGS1 Case 4. Sherlock consistently commending the place for its sea trout is meant to seem like an incredulous contrast to the pub’s appearance. Though they do sell sea trout as a dish, this begs the question, “Why would you seek out sea trout at a pub?” It turns out that the first time they officially met, Colette offers Sherlock and Iris sea trout for lunch.

Re: OC Contest Entry: Colette CamembertTopic%20Title
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Court Illustrator

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I know I've said it before that she's so well thought out and her case is so pieced out together but I just have to say it again!
i draw them barnlaws
art blog
Re: OC Contest Entry: Colette CamembertTopic%20Title
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♥ #LocalizeDGS or bust ♥

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Tryph is right, her backstory is so lovingly crafted and it's totally clear how much time and love you put into her, she's wonderful ;___; I love her outfit and the ballroom dancing scenes omfg it's so cute...
I'm Yumihiko Ichiyanagi and you're watching Disney Channel.

Re: OC Contest Entry: Colette CamembertTopic%20Title
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Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:51 pm

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Jane!! Goodness, I'm honestly amazed at how you've come up with Colette and her background, and how you connected everything! All the references! It's so well-written, too!
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