- “I come to call down my destiny - and it is tall and dangerous!”
- ―Audrey to Jupiter
Audrey Scuttle (née Brown) (b. 3 January) was an English house mouse, the daughter of Albert and Gwen Brown, and the sister of Arthur Brown. She was born in the Skirtings, part of a mouse community in an old empty house in Deptford.
Audrey is a beautiful brown house mouse. Her features are delicate, and have been described as elfin. She has large brown eyes and a long nose tapering down to a tiny mouth. As a child, Audrey enjoyed dressing in lace and especially loved a pair of silver bells which Twit had given her that she wore on her tail. Usually she would have a pink ribbon tied into her hair in such a way that it appeared to be sprouting like a plant. Since becoming the Starwife, however, she has stopped wearing those things - likely because they are worldly vanities.
Audrey is very headstrong, brave and courageous. She has a fiery personality, and is often outspoken. If she dislikes someone, she will make no secret of it, and is apt to say things she may regret later if she changes her opinion of them.
She also tends to daydream, which makes it hard for her family and friends to believe her when she tells them about her real encounters with the Green Mouse.
Role in The Dark Portal Edit
- “I see a mouse, young and fair. Her brass is lost, and so is she; ribbons and lace adorn her.”
Audrey was first introduced on the morning of the Great Spring Celebration. It was the year she and her brother Arthur would receive their mousebrasses, but she was preoccupied with thoughts of her father, who had been missing for a whole day and night. She didn't understand why he wasn't there for such an important occasion, but believed he would show up eventually. It angered her when anyone suggested that he could in fact be dead.
Audrey, fully expecting her father to appear, decided to enjoy her day in the meantime. Twit bashfully approached her and gave her two silver bells from Master Oldnose's Green Mouse finery. She was delighted with them and put them on her tail.
After Audrey took part in some of the festivities, it was time for the giving of the brasses. Arthur went first and received The Sign of Family, the same as their father. As Audrey entered the Chamber of Winter, the once-harmless decorations somehow took on a life of their own and menaced her. The terrors of winter became frighteningly real to her.
Escaping into the Chamber of Spring, Audrey found herself in a beautiful land of growing things. Approaching and rolling away the decorative golden sun, she briefly saw a bewildered Master Oldnose before he disappeared and in his place was the Green Mouse himself. Audrey fell to her knees at the sight of him, and he offered her a mousebrass. Frightened, Audrey refused to take it at first, but suddenly she heard the voice of her father telling her to do as she was bid. She looked around, wondering where he was, but could not see him. He promised she would see him "before the end", and she took the mousebrass from the Green Mouse.
Suddenly it was all over and Audrey was back in the Chamber of Summer as it normally appeared with Master Oldnose. He said he didn't remember putting the brass Audrey was holding in his bag. It was The Anti-Cat Charm. Outside, Audrey's mother complimented her on her new mousebrass, and Mrs. Chitter remarked that she hadn't seen one like it for a long time, and that it wasn't very useful as there were no cats in the area.Keeping her voice casual, Audrey asked Mrs. Chitter about the fortune telling rat she had been talking about previously, Madame Akkikuyu. She said that she heard she was in the garden the night before, and was by then probably off to her next stop through the sewers.
That night, Audrey slipped out of bed to go see Madame Akkikuyu in the sewers. She wanted to know where her father was, and believed Akkikuyu could shed some light on the matter. Akkikuyu demanded payment for her services, eyeing Audrey's new mousebrass. Audrey did not let her have the brass, saying that she was told to keep it with her always. Instead, she reluctantly handed over her silver bells.
As Akkikuyu told Audrey her fortune, it became clear to her that the rat had no real mystical powers. She mentioned Audrey having brothers and sisters when the mouse only had one sibling, a brother. But whilst in the middle of giving her phony predictions, the astonished Akkikuyu experienced true clairvoyance for the very first time. She saw a vision of Audrey quashing the army of Jupiter, the evil god of the sewer rats, in her crystal ball. Stunned and wanting to get rid of Audrey so she could try to comprehend what she had seen, Akkikuyu dismissed her by telling her her father was dead. Angered, the mouse ran away.
Making her way through the sewer tunnels, Audrey encountered a young grey mouse from the city named Piccadilly. They immediately took a liking to one another, but when she told him her name, he seemed startled. He explained that the day before, he had met her father Albert in the sewers. Piccadilly had watched Albert be captured by Jupiter's lieutenant Morgan, who handed him over to the rat god. Albert tossed his mousebrass to Piccadilly, who barely escaped with his life. The grey mouse was told to give the brass to Albert's wife, Gwen. Furious at hearing yet again that her father was dead, Audrey chose not to believe Piccadilly and declared that she hated him for leaving her father in peril. Still, she agreed to take him to the Skirtings to meet her mother.
Audrey and Piccadilly came upon Arthur, Twit, and Oswald. They had gone through the Grille to look for Audrey, only to have been attacked by a vicious band of rats. The rats were taken by surprise by the newcomers and fled. As the mice made their way back to the Skirtings, Audrey realised that her mousebrass was missing. She had lost it in the scuffle.
When Audrey's mother heard Piccadilly's story, she calmly accepted her husband's death. Gwen told her children to promise her that they would never enter the sewers again. They made the promise. However, Audrey remembered that her mousebrass was still in the sewers and now was unsure how she would get it back. Upon her explaining the situation to Oswald and Twit, they agreed to go searching for her brass. When Piccadilly arrived, Audrey dared him to accompany them, subtly accusing him of being a coward. But as Twit insisted only two need go, Piccadilly went in place of him, as Oswald's presence was necessary due to his dowsing skills.
Audrey sat in the basement waiting for them, right in front of the Grille. She felt horrible for making Piccadilly and Oswald face danger to recover her brass for her. As she was sitting patiently, a rat's claw grabbed her and pulled her roughly through the Grille, causing her to faint.
When Audrey awoke, she found herself in the company of a group of rats. Their leader, One-Eyed Jake, informed her that they had been sent to fetch her and bring her to someone. She demanded to know who, but he wouldn't tell her. After sending Vinegar Pete and Leering Macky to find Piccadilly (whose presence was also required), Jake decided that the group would rest a while until they returned. Out of curiosity, Jake asked Audrey about the deity worshiped by the mice. She explained that it was the Green Mouse they honoured. When he then asked her who it was she thought he worshiped, she assumed it had to be Jupiter. In response, he excused himself and Audrey from the rest of the group, then led her down to a hidden chamber in the sewers. He explained to her that it was a long-forgotten temple to the three old gods of the rats, the Raith Sidhe. As Jake prepared to sacrifice Audrey, he was interrupted by the arrival of Fletch. The two of them got into an argument about Jake's disloyalty to Jupiter, and ultimately Fletch was murdered.
Audrey managed to escape and told the rats waiting outside what had happened. They weren't surprised, for they long believed Jake and Fletch would have it out sooner or later. Macky and Pete returned, not having captured Piccadilly. Audrey was relieved. Then the rats ordered her to sing for them. Faced with no choice, she did so. Much to Audrey's shock, the rats began taking turns dancing with her. Worst of all, the blood soaked Jake emerged from the temple and demanded his turn. The mad dance only ended when Madame Akkikuyu arrived. Using her herbs, she summoned Jupiter to appear in the rats' bonfire. He expressed his disappointment in them for failing to follow his orders, and revealed to Jake that he knew all about his secret worship of other gods. Jake was punished by slowly being burned alive. Soon all that was left of him was a pile of ashes.
Jupiter then requested to see Audrey, and though she stood in front of the flames, he could not see her. He guessed that she was being shielded by a protective spell, though if she was Audrey knew nothing of it. Frustrated, Jupiter told her that when she faced his true physical form, she would be unable to hide from him. Akkikuyu was ordered to take Audrey the rest of the way to his altar chamber.Along the way, Akkikuyu expressed regret at having to deliver the innocent mouse girl to Jupiter. Taking notice of this, Audrey tried to use these feelings of sympathy to her advantage, suggesting that the rat could still let her go if she wanted to. But Akkikuyu replied that it was far too late. Audrey persisted, asking the rat what she would do if she had a place of her own to call home. For a brief instant, Akkikuyu was filled with hope and planned to fulfill her dream of running away and being happy with Audrey as her new friend. But the arrival of Morgan crushed Akkikuyu's hopes. She was forced to carry out her orders, and left Audrey alone before Jupiter's dark portal.
Jupiter commanded Audrey to come to him, but she refused to do so. Then, to her horror, her feet began to move on their own, shuffling nearer to the portal. Oswald was watching, and he threw Audrey's mousebrass to her. She stopped in her tracks, shaking her head free of Jupiter's evil spells. She taunted him, saying he would have to come out of his portal to get her. In a rage, Jupiter complied, crawling out of the dark portal for the first time in hundreds of years. He was revealed to be a horrific giant cat, covered in warts and boils. Just then, Arthur, Twit, Piccadilly, Gwen, the midshipmouse Thomas Triton and the bats Orfeo and Eldritch arrived in the altar chamber and rushed to Audrey's aid. In his anger at the multiple attacks and jeers he was receiving, Jupiter lost his balance and fell into the sewer water. He managed to climb back up and prepared to eat Audrey. She flung her mousebrass at him. Brilliant emerald stars burst from it and burned Jupiter's fur. He desperately tried to put the flames out, and once again toppled into the water. As he struggled, the ghosts of his many victims appeared, pushing Jupiter down and drowning him.
Audrey stared down into the dark water, wanting to be sure Jupiter was gone for good. As she did so, the ghost of Albert Brown materialised and smiled at her. Finally, she accepted her father's death. She collapsed, weeping, into her mother's arms. The mice prepared to return home.
Role in The Crystal Prison Edit
Oswald fell gravely ill after returning from the sewers, and Audrey assisted her mother, Arthur, Piccadilly, and Twit with caring for their ailing friend. Audrey felt responsible for what happened to Oswald, as she had him go into the sewers to retrieve her mousebrass. She visited him in his sickroom, and when he lamented the fact that he would never receive his own mousebrass and wondered what it might have been, Audrey broke down crying and replied that it would have been the sign of utmost bravery.
Thomas Triton arrived unexpectedly in the Skirtings, and told Audrey that he had been sent to fetch her. The Starwife, the ancient squirrel queen, wished to see her. Audrey was confused, for she had never heard of the Starwife before, but agreed to go. Twit decided to accompany Audrey and Thomas on their trip as well after the latter promised him they would be back in time to say goodbye to Oswald. The three of them set off for Greenwich Park.
As Thomas began describing the intimidating nature of the Starwife to her, Audrey started getting nervous and suggested they turn around and go home. But he insisted that she go through with the meeting, and reassured her by adding that perhaps the "old boot" had mellowed a bit since he saw her last.
Upon meeting her, Audrey immediately disliked the Starwife. She was appalled at the squirrel's callous treatment of Thomas and Twit. Her impression of the Starwife was that she was a rude old battleaxe. When the Starwife called Audrey forward, she asked the girl to recount the tale of Jupiter's downfall, and she complied. After Audrey finished her narrative, the Starwife told her the other reason she wanted to see her. Madame Akkikuyu, starving and mentally unhinged, had been found wandering around Greenwich Park. Though the rat could not remember much of anything anymore, she held onto the dream of running away and being happy in summer sunlight. Akkikuyu vaguely remembered Audrey and associated her with that positive memory, as the mouse had been with her when the idea had come to her.
Because Akkikuyu trusted Audrey as her friend, the Starwife thought it best if the mouse accompany the rat to a place where she could find happiness. Twit planned to return to his home, Fennywolde, after the death of Oswald, and the Starwife deemed the remote field a suitable place for Akkikuyu to go as well. Audrey was to stay with Akkikuyu for the duration of the rat's life. Horrified, Audrey refused to do as the Starwife asked her, saying that nothing could change her mind. In response, the Starwife performed a spell that created a cure for Oswald's sickness, then said that she would only allow the mice to take it and heal their friend if Audrey would agree to accompany Akkikuyu to the country. To her dismay, Audrey was forced to do what the Starwife wanted. As the group of mice was leaving, the Starwife added that if Oswald was cured and then Audrey decided not to hold up her end of the bargain, he would fall ill once again.
Oswald was restored to full health and the mice of the Skirtings held a celebration. Though she was glad to see Oswald well again, Audrey's happiness was tempered by the fact that she needed to fulfill her end of the Starwife's bargain. Her impending trip to Fennywolde with Akkikuyu weighed heavily on her mind. Audrey told her mother and brother about the situation, and Arthur volunteered to accompany his sister to Fennywolde to make sure she settled in all right.Audrey went to find Piccadilly so she could explain the Starwife's bargain to him. To her dismay, Audrey saw he was dancing with Nel Poot, and was further annoyed to see him choose her as his partner multiple times. Having caught her glance, Piccadilly sauntered over to Audrey and asked what she wanted. She told him that she only wanted to say goodbye to him and thank him for all he did for she and her family. She added that she and Arthur would be leaving with Twit to go to his field, and that Piccadilly could wave them off if he wanted.
Piccadilly was stung by her attitude and Audrey herself couldn't understand why she was being so cruel. She wondered if the Starwife put a spell on her too. Angrily, Piccadilly replied that he would be returning to the city the next day as Oswald was better and there was nothing else to keep him there. Excusing himself, he rejoined the dancers as tears filled Audrey's eyes. She slipped away to her room, heartbroken. The next morning when Audrey awoke, her mother gave her a note she'd found from Piccadilly that said he had returned to the city. Audrey knew the true reason he left was because she hurt his feelings, and guilt overwhelmed her.
Thomas came with news that Audrey was to leave that night, and that a merchant mouse named Kempe had been persuaded by the Starwife to lead the group to Fennywolde. At Greenwich Pier, Audrey, Twit, Arthur, Akkikuyu and Kempe boarded a tourist cruiser that would take them part of the way. Akkikuyu later approached Audrey at the deck railing and began a conversation with the mouse, who was at first quite tense. But as Akkikuyu explained how confused and frightened she was by her barely-remembered past, Audrey felt pity for her and comforted the rat. Akkikuyu hugged her and she did not pull away.
Immediately upon arriving in Fennywolde, Akkikuyu saved two fieldmice boys, Whortle Nep and Samuel Gorse, from the clutches of the owl Mahooot. To Audrey's bemusement, Akkikuyu was hailed a heroine by the country mice. Audrey felt the need to intervene, though, when Akkikuyu created what supposedly was a healing potion for the boys. She was afraid that the rat did not know what she was doing and would accidentally poison the two fieldmice. Akkikuyu was astonished and hurt that Audrey did not trust her judgement, and responded by downing a bowlful of the concoction herself. To Audrey's embarrassment - but also relief - her fears were proven wrong.
Audrey had an idea to make a corn dolly as a decoration for the newly-opened Hall of Corn, and set to work plaiting straw together as a crowd of fieldmice gathered and watched in wonderment. Without warning, the pious mousebrass maker Isaac Nettle stormed towards her. Quivering with rage, he denounced her creation as a blasphemous effigy that was an insult to the Green Mouse. Audrey was confused and tried to explain that it was a simple decoration, but he would have none of it. When Twit and Mr. Woodruffe intervened, Isaac backed off, but took the corn dolly with him, intending to destroy it.
Audrey had unknowingly and unwittingly made another enemy as well: the beautiful, conceited fieldmouse girl Alison Sedge. Alison saw Audrey as a rival and was jealous of the attention the newcomer received from her own love interest, Isaac's son Jenkin. It was in fact Alison who had brought Audrey's corn dolly to Isaac's attention.
On Midsummer's Eve, Audrey witnessed a spectacular celebration in the field overseen by the Green Mouse himself, but when she awoke the next day no one else could remember what had happened. It frustrated her as she knew in her heart what she had seen was real, but still she agreed when Arthur asked her to be silent lest she embarrass them.
To everyone's shock and horror, several fieldmice began to turn up dead in the field, having been strangled. Many of the Fennywolders actually suspected Audrey was the killer, buying into Isaac's claims that she was an evil witch. Suddenly Audrey found herself being shunned and scorned by many, though her brother, the Scuttle family, and Mr. Woodruffe knew she was innocent.
Late one night, Jenkin met with Audrey and to her utter surprise, proposed to her. He didn't believe the things his father was saying about her, and planned to move out on his own. Thinking of Piccadilly, Audrey gently turned Jenkin down, telling him that she knew Alison was the one for him. Without warning, the two of them were attacked by Audrey's corn dolly, which had somehow been brought to horrifying life. It chased them through the field, threatening to strangle them with its looped head. Once they were out of the field, the corn dolly quit chasing them, but seemed to be waiting for something. Then Mahooot swooped down and grabbed Jenkin, carrying him off. Audrey screamed.
When the Fennywolders gathered around her, the stunned and petrified Audrey informed them weakly that the owl had Jenkin. Grief-stricken, Isaac whirled on Audrey, blaming her for what had just happened to his son. Madame Akkikuyu appeared and convinced the fieldmice to go with her to fight Mahooot and try to save Jenkin. Meanwhile, Audrey told Arthur that she and Jenkin were chased by her corn dolly. He advised her not to tell anyone about it as they already mistrusted her enough. Akkikuyu and the Fennywolders were unsuccessful in saving Jenkin, but the fieldmice managed to savagely torture and then kill Mahooot, much to the disgust of Audrey, Arthur, the Scuttles, and Mr. Woodruffe.The next evening, the evil corn dolly revealed itself to the astonished crowd of fieldmice. It attacked Audrey and she desperately cried for it to stop. To her horror, the dolly obeyed her, falling limp. Now convinced that Audrey was the one who had enchanted the dolly with evil magic, the Fennywolders were ready to burn her as a witch. Mr. Woodruffe tried to stop them by saying that to do such a thing would be obscene, and in response, Isaac decided she would hang instead. Arthur, the Scuttles, and Mr. Woodruffe watched helplessly as a noose was tied around the terrified Audrey's neck. Then Twit had an idea. He invoked the gallows law, which stated that if a willing spouse could be found beneath the hanging tree, then the accused would be reprieved of any crime. Though Audrey truly loved Piccadilly, she accepted Twit's offer of marriage to save her life. Grudgingly, Isaac Nettle performed the wedding ceremony, though it was made clear that Twit and Audrey would be banished from Fennywolde henceforth.
Later that night, a fire broke out in the field. A traumatised Alison Sedge suddenly appeared, telling everyone that Madame Akkikuyu had been working for an evil spirit who was the real culprit behind the murders. Audrey, Mr. Woodruffe, and Isaac Nettle were trapped in the blazing Hall of Corn. Audrey managed to escape with the delirious Isaac before collapsing with exhaustion. Sadly, Mr. Woodruffe perished when he went back to try to retrieve Jenkin's mousebrass, which Isaac had dropped.
Several days later, Audrey awoke in the Scuttles' winter quarters. She was saddened when Twit informed her that Akkikuyu had burned to death in her own bonfire. However, that meant that Audrey was now free of the Starwife's bargain and could go home. As the Fennywolders now knew Audrey was innocent, she and Twit were no longer banished. Still, Twit insisted that Audrey need not feel obligated to stay because she was married to him.
Audrey and Arthur remained in Fennywolde awhile longer to help clean up the fire-ravaged field. But soon the day came when it was time for them to leave. After saying their goodbyes to the Scuttles, the siblings departed Fennywolde.
Role in The Final Reckoning Edit
- “Jupiter would surely seek her out and get his revenge. To her astonishment she did not feel afraid and she found herself scowling rather than crying. It was a strange mood which she did not understand. She felt that her fate was bound up with that of Jupiter and curiously enough with that of the Starwife also.”
- ―Audrey's reaction to news of Jupiter's return
Audrey returned to the Skirtings, leaving her husband behind. Many of the mice wondered just why Twit had married Audrey. Mrs. Chitter was even bold enough to ask if she should start knitting bonnets and booties for a baby. Audrey made it very clear that nothing like that would be needed. In setting the gossipy mice straight, she managed to get on the wrong side of them, and she was not the most popular mouse in the house as a result.
After all she had been through in Fennywolde, Audrey was finding life in the Skirtings very dull. Still, she tried to join in the Yule festivities. Later that night, she, Arthur, and Oswald observed the bats Orfeo and Eldritch leaving the attic and joining a vast group of their kind in a flight toward the city. The mice took this as a very bad sign.
The next day, Thomas Triton arrived in the Skirtings accompanied by the Starwife. Audrey was not happy to see the old squirrel as she still resented her for forcing her to go to the country with Madame Akkikuyu. The Starwife made a grave announcement; Jupiter had returned in spectral form. This news naturally came as a huge shock to Audrey and the other mice. When the Starwife announced her plan of consulting the bats in the attic, the mice were forced to tell her that the bats had gone.
The Starwife's great dismay and hopelessness at this moved Audrey and she felt pity for the old squirrel. She also felt angry, rather than frightened, at the news of Jupiter's return. It seemed that her fate was bound with that of Jupiter and, strangely, with that of the Starwife as well. In trying to comfort the Starwife, Audrey mentioned the possibility of getting a message to the bats. At that the Starwife brightened, and she gathered everyone to help her make a beacon fire to draw them.
Orfeo and Eldritch eventually arrived, but they were rude to the Starwife and cruelly mocked her. Audrey found herself taking up for the Starwife. The bats revealed their true purpose for coming back to the empty house in Deptford; they wanted to bring Oswald to a huge meeting at St. Paul's Cathedral where their kind would discuss how to defeat Jupiter. The Starwife was angered that the albino runt would be chosen to go with them instead of her, and in the days after Oswald's departure, she grew more and more depressed.
Audrey did what she could to comfort the Starwife, speaking to her whenever she had the opportunity. On one occasion, she asked if the squirrel missed her people. She replied that she did, but not her grey squirrel subjects as they never were her people. She explained to the confused Audrey that she was in fact a black squirrel, part of a noble race that had all but died out. The Starwife could never find any trace of the rest of the black squirrels, and came to the conclusion that she was the last. Because of that, she doubted if there would be another Starwife after her passing.
The sudden arrival of Piccadilly in the Skirtings stirred old feelings in Audrey. She stole away to her room to fix herself up for him. Audrey's mother caught her in the process of doing so, and the girl was greatly embarrassed. Her mother gently reminded her that things had changed. She was now the wife of Twit and could no longer have romantic feelings for Piccadilly. Audrey broke down in tears, saying that she wished Twit would have let her hang instead of marrying her.
In spite of her mother's advice, Audrey still attempted to confess her love for Piccadilly. But he was preparing to head for Jupiter's lair at the power station with Thomas, Arthur, and Barker to see if Audrey's mousebrass had the power to vanquish the evil god once again. Before Audrey had a chance to truly say what was on her mind, Piccadilly had to go. As she watched him leave, cursing herself for not telling him, her mother came up behind her and told her it was better that way.
Later, Arthur returned with a wounded Thomas. Nervously, Audrey asked where Piccadilly was. Arthur replied that the city mouse had seemingly gone mad and charged back to the power station. He was unsure of what happened to Piccadilly or Barker. Somehow, Audrey was able to sense that Piccadilly was dead and grief washed over her.
The Starwife explained that the ice spear that pierced Thomas's leg was enchanted with evil magic, and the wound would only get worse until eventually the midshipmouse would die. She suggested that the kindest thing to do would be to finish him off then rather than let him die the slow, agonising death he would face from the wound. Everyone was shocked at her callousness, but the Starwife insisted that her plan was for the best given the circumstances.
As Audrey watched the Starwife, she realised that she was able to read the old squirrel's thoughts. She angrily strode over to confront the Starwife, telling her that she knew she was capable of and considering healing Thomas but opted not to because everyone was going to die soon anyway due to the freezing winter. The Starwife admitted that Audrey was right. Audrey was furious that the squirrel would dare to decide how someone should die when she had the means to save them.
The Starwife agreed to restore Thomas's health, but on one condition: that Audrey help her. As asked, Audrey gathered what was left of the herbs the Starwife had used to feed the beacon fire and gave them to the old squirrel. Audrey was wary for she did not trust the Starwife and sensed she was up to something. Beginning the process of healing Thomas, the Starwife took off her Silver Acorn necklace and dangled it over the midshipmouse. But then her arm sagged and she announced that a firmer paw than hers was needed.
Believing that the Starwife was intentionally stalling, Audrey quickly volunteered and took the pendant. The squirrel resumed her spell. Strangely, the Starwife reached out and touched Audrey on the forehead, combing a circular shape in her fur. Then she cried out "May this new vessel serve you well!"
Gradually, Audrey began to hear a faint humming sound and a shudder ran down her arms to her paws. She spluttered with shock as she felt a colossal force travel through her body. A cold chill coursed through her veins and passed to her fingers. Sparks flickered along the amulet's chain and the silver amulet glowed with a white light. The humming sound filled the Hall and the light from the Silver Acorn grew. Everyone had to stop up their ears and shield their eyes. The radiance battered into Thomas's frozen body and left the house in darkness.
Audrey's eyes and ears still smarted and rang. She looked down and saw that white flames were still dripping from the Silver Acorn and onto Thomas's body. He cried out in pain, and in alarm Audrey realised that the spell must have been killing him. Audrey tried to throw the pendant away, but the Starwife gripped her paws tightly and refused to let her do so. As the white light finally died down and disappeared into the floor, Audrey finally wrested her paws free and flung the Silver Acorn away. But Thomas had turned completely into a statue of ice.
The Starwife approached Thomas's body and began beating it with her stick. There were protests but she ignored them and continued to smash the figure until it was completely destroyed. Then Thomas emerged, alive and well. Audrey had been wrong, and the Starwife really was healing Thomas after all.
Hoping to atone for her doubts, Audrey found the Silver Acorn in a dusty corner and attempted to return it to the Starwife. The old squirrel merely laughed and asked what she thought she'd want it for. Audrey was bewildered. But the Starwife explained that as Audrey took the Silver Acorn from her of her own free will and allowed the powers to channel through her, the pendant (and thus the Starwifeship) now belonged to her. Though Audrey protested, the squirrel said she was the new Starwife whether she liked it or not. Furious, Audrey tossed the Silver Acorn down the cellar steps.
The next day, the old Starwife was found having frozen to death in the yard (in a ritual of sacrificing herself that she planned and carried out). Thomas tried to make the other mice understand how important the squirrel was and that she needed to be burned in a pyre as she had told him she wanted. They were hesitant as their wood supply was limited, but Thomas would not be deterred and Audrey agreed with him as well. She ran inside to get the Starwife's bag as Thomas started the fire and tried to remember the speech he had heard the Starwife give at the funeral service for her fallen subjects in Greenwich. To everyone's astonishment, Audrey emerged from the house and finished the speech for Thomas, despite never having heard it before. After casting some herbs into the flames and finishing by saying "Speed to the Green!", Audrey turned and told everyone that the process was over and it would be better if they all went inside. They did as she told them, but wondered at her curious behaviour.
All at once there was a violent banging at the front door of the old house, and it was determined that Jupiter's spectral army was trying to get inside. Thomas hurriedly convinced everyone to follow him down into the basement to travel to his ship through the sewers. Audrey, swept away by the crowd, began hearing a soft voice in her head urging her to go back and return to the garden. So strong was the influence of the voice that she did turn back, pushing past everyone in her desperation to reach the garden.
Back in the house, all was quiet, though the devastation wrought by Jupiter's ghosts was readily apparent. Once in the garden, Audrey found the remains of the Starwife's pyre. Within it had grown a snowdrop flower. Audrey, amazed that anything could grow so fast and in such extreme cold, picked the snowdrop up and placed it into the waistband of her dress. She tried to return to the cellar and catch up with her friends and family, but was found that the ghosts were now beyond the Grille, jabbing their ice spears toward her.
In the garden once more, Audrey came face to face with another ghost... and to her shock and horror it was that of Kempe, the pedlar mouse. Brainwashed by Jupiter's influence, he attempted to kill her, but when her silver bell rolled out in the scuffle, he was distracted and she made her escape.
Exhausted and cold, Audrey collapsed then and gave up all hope. She waited for the midwinter death to claim her as it did the Starwife before her. Near death, Audrey awoke groggily to the voice of a bat named Hathkin. He said he had been sent by Orfeo, who had found Audrey, to save her. Regaining her senses, Audrey ordered Hathkin to fly her to the Greenwich Observatory where Jupiter was. He was hesitant, but she repeated her order, saying that the Starwife commanded it. Shocked at the change in her voice, Hathkin agreed.
On their way, Audrey and Hathkin encountered the shell-shocked Orfeo and Eldritch, who told them the sad news that Oswald was lost forever during his confrontation with Jupiter. Audrey was grieved by the loss of Oswald, but insisted that she and Hathkin carry on as her fate was tied to Jupiter. As they approached, an ice spear ripped through one of Hathkin's wings and he and Audrey plummeted to the ground. For a moment, Audrey could not find Hathkin, but when she did she realised that he had broken his back in the fall. He weakly told her goodbye before passing away, and she responded by saying he had won renown indeed for his heroic actions.
Still determined to reach Jupiter, Audrey moved swiftly to the base of the Observatory and looked for a way to climb up. After an arduous climb, Audrey found herself on the balcony that ran around the base of the Observatory's dome. Suddenly she heard a hissing sound from the darkness, and turned to see the light from a flame of starfire approaching, which meant one of Jupiter's ghosts was nearby. As the light grew, Audrey was horrified to see that the ghost was Piccadilly. Though she tried to make him recognise her, he was under Jupiter's influence and flung himself at her, intending to strangle her. As she battled for breath, Audrey kept trying to jog Piccadilly's memory.
She was eventually successful and, through tears, Audrey was finally able to tell Piccadilly how much she had loved him. Just then, they heard the voice of Albert Brown, who had come to escort Piccadilly's spirit to the other side. He told Audrey how proud he was of her and that he understood the feelings that were growing between her mother Gwen and Thomas, and wished them joy. Before leaving with Albert, Piccadilly told Audrey that he loved her too. They shared a tender kiss and then he was gone. Audrey fell to her knees in grief.
Audrey continued on her journey to face Jupiter. She shouted at the humongous cat spirit to turn and face her. Peering down at the mouse, just a tiny speck to him, he laughed at her mockingly. Audrey stood her ground and took the snowdrop from her waistband. She flung it into Jupiter's throat. All at once emerald fire ignited from the flower as it spun through Jupiter's cavernous gullet. He screamed as stabs of blinding green sliced through his fur. His ghostly hide turned livid green and golden flowers stabbed out of his skin. In his agony, he dropped the Starglass and it shattered, freeing the stars which then returned to the sky.
Audrey explained to Jupiter that she had cursed him with all the force of life, and as he proved he could not die, he would be consigned to the void where he would be tortured by the agony of spring throughout eternity. Her energy spent, Audrey dropped with fatigue. A fresh new day began to dawn and the earth thanked her, putting forth all its blissful delights to her in homage. She bowed her head and wept.
In the hold of the Cutty Sark, the Green Mouse appeared and thanked Audrey for releasing him. Though Audrey claimed it wasn't her and that the Starwife had sacrificed herself to create the snowdrop, the Green responded that she was now one with the Starwife. Audrey smiled, understanding what he meant. Turning to her mother and Thomas, Audrey told them that she knew what was in their hearts and her father did too and wished them happiness. The Green Mouse then blessed the union of Gwen Brown and Thomas Triton.
After a few weeks, Arthur and several other mice returned to the empty house in Deptford to see if anything could be salvaged. Audrey came with them and slipped away into the cellar where she found the Silver Acorn. On 28 May, Audrey took leave of her family and made her way to the old squirrel colony in Greenwich Park. She held the Silver Acorn up to the stars, then tied it around her neck. With a sad smile, she became the new Starwife.
Role in The Deptford Mice Almanack Edit
- “I can only say that the present Handmaiden of Orion is less formidable than her predecessor, but when I saw her I was most startled. Since the beginning of days the office of Starwife was held by one of the five royal houses of black squirrels but not so today. She who now wears the silver acorn is none other than a mouse - and one of dubious background to boot!”
- ―Gervase Archibald Brightkin
Ten years after the fall of Jupiter, Audrey charged the red squirrel artist Gervase Archibald Brightkin with the creation of an almanack. Within he was told to set down every date and festival of the slightest significance in the calendar so future generations would not forget them. Though Gervase initially believed that only the days of the squirrel year would be needed, Audrey commanded that all folk be represented. To aid him in his work, Audrey sent Gervase to Fennywolde and Holeborn to interview Arthur and Twit.
Throughout the year, it became clear that there was unrest among Audrey's grey squirrel subjects. They resented her for being a mouse in a position traditionally held by a squirrel. This all came to a head when the Great Oak (in which Hobb was imprisoned in ages past) fell in a heavy rainstorm. It was believed that it was Audrey's fault, for she was 'merely' a mouse. Then a pair of black squirrels appeared in Greenwich. It was a shock as that noble race was said to have died with the old Starwife. It was an older male squirrel named Modequai, and his beautiful-yet-aloof daughter Morella. When they first arrived, Modequai had an audience with Audrey and demanded that the Starwifeship be given to his daughter, but she refused him.
However, seeing Morella as the perfect replacement for Audrey, the grey squirrels began to plan a revolt. Eventually they barged into the Starwife's chamber, tore the Silver Acorn from Audrey's neck, and chased her off by shooting arrows and pelting her with empty acorn cups - the ultimate insult. What became of Audrey after that is currently unknown.
- The Anti-Cat Charm: When she came of age, Audrey was given her mousebrass from the very paws of the Green Mouse himself. She used it to defeat Jupiter, who had turned out to be a cat when he crawled out of his lair for the very first time in hundreds of years. In the process, however, the Anti-Cat Charm was lost and Audrey was left without her mousebrass thereafter. It was eventually revealed that Morgan had found it, and with Jupiter having returned in spectral form, the mice believed that if they could get the brass from the rat, it could possibly be used to banish the evil cat spirit forever. However, the plan failed and Jupiter destroyed the Anti-Cat Charm by simply breathing on it and turning it to ice which promptly shattered.
- Silver bells: During the Great Spring Celebration, Audrey was given a pair of silver bells by Twit, which he had taken from Master Oldnose's Green Mouse finery. She loved them and began wearing them on her tail. On the trip home from Fennywolde, Audrey lost one of the bells. It was found by Kempe, who planned to return it to her, but he was killed by the spirit of Jupiter before he had a chance to do so. Audrey then lost the other bell in her confrontation with the ghost of Kempe, who attacked her while under Jupiter's evil influence. The bell distracted him as it brought memories of his death back to him, and Audrey managed to escape.
- The Silver Acorn: As the Starwife, Audrey wore the Silver Acorn pendant around her neck. However, it was taken from her during the squirrels' revolt and given to Morella.
Arthur Brown Edit
Audrey is very close to her brother, although they are quite different, and at times he will call her out for her rude behaviour toward others. Arthur offers to accompany her to Fennywolde with Akkikuyu to see that she settles in. When she is falsely accused of witchcraft there, he (alongside Mr. Woodruffe and Twit) is very vocal in preventing her from being hanged.
- “I know my sister, and believe you me, she likes you a lot.”
- ―Arthur to Piccadilly
A grey mouse from the city, Piccadilly proved to be the love of Audrey's life, though initially she despised him. When Audrey and Piccadilly first encountered each other in the sewers of Deptford, it proved to be a very awkward meeting. He was forced to explain to her that he had escaped with his life from Jupiter and Morgan whilst her father did not survive. As Audrey did not believe her father to be dead at the time, she refused to believe what Piccadilly was telling her and called him a coward.
Eventually, however, Audrey regretted her treatment of Piccadilly and grew to love him. He had always loved her from the very beginning, though neither could ever bring themselves to admit their feelings for one another. While in Fennywolde, Audrey turned down Jenkin Nettle's proposal because of Piccadilly (and also from knowing that Jenkin was meant to be with Alison Sedge). When the Fennywolders later accused her of being a witch and she was forced to marry Twit or be hanged, Audrey's thought sadly of Piccadilly. In spite of her marriage, she still wanted to let the city mouse know her true feelings when he unexpectedly showed up in the Skirtings again. Though her mother discouraged her from doing so, she was determined to confess her love, but couldn't get the words out before Piccadilly was called away.
After his death, Audrey was confronted with his ghost while on her way to face Jupiter. Through mind control he had been turned into a vicious member of Jupiter's spectral army, but Audrey was able to jog his memory and finally told him she loved him. He replied that he loved her too and kissed her before crossing over to the other side.
Audrey never got over the loss of her true love. When Gervase Brightkin showed her sketches he had made of Piccadilly based on descriptions he had heard, she could not speak and rushed away quickly. Upon recovering, she requested the largest of the paintings for herself and had it hung behind the Living Throne.
The Starwife Edit
- “Can she be the one?”
- ―The Starwife, about Audrey
Initially Audrey hated the Starwife, seeing her as a rude old battleaxe. She especially resented the old squirrel for forcing her to go live with Madame Akkikuyu in Fennywolde. Upon returning to the Skirtings after Akkikuyu's death, Audrey was dismayed to see the Starwife arrive there unexpectedly. But she began to feel sympathetic toward the squirrel, whose realm had been destroyed by the spirit of Jupiter, and who now seemed utterly lost and hopeless.
Admiring Audrey's spunk and cleverness, the Starwife chose her to be her successor, tricking her into accepting the high office. Upon finding out what had happened, Audrey was outraged, realising that the squirrel queen was just as wily as ever. But when the Starwife sacrificed her life to create the enchanted snowdrop flower that would be the undoing of Jupiter, Audrey began to understand that everything she had done was ultimately for the good of all. She also finally accepted her role as the new Starwife.
Audrey is the Anglo-Norman form of the Anglo-Saxon name Æðelþryð, composed of the elements æðel "noble" and þryð "strength". The Anglo-Norman form of the name was applied to Saint Audrey (d. 679), also known by the historical form of her name as Saint Æthelthryth. In the 17th century, the name of Saint Audrey gave rise to the adjective tawdry "cheap and pretentious; cheaply adorned" (after a fair of St. Audrey where cheap lace was sold).
- Robin Jarvis has said this regarding Audrey's future: "The labours and trials of Audrey are far from over for, it is written that the world will be plunged into a blood drenched darkness. Once again she will be forced to battle evil in one final, desperate struggle."
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ The Deptford Mice Almanack, 3 January
- ↑ The Deptford Mice Almanack, 28 May
- ↑ The Oaken Throne, Chapter 14 (The Fall of the Oak) - "Hobb is not merely trapped within the shell - his very being is locked within the nature of this and as long as it lasts, and a squirrel sits upon the Oaken Throne, so shall the term of his imprisonment."
- ↑ The Deptford Mice - Audrey