Dana Darling

just don't ask her to pose for you


The first thing that everyone notices about Dana is that she’s a life-sized wooden doll. Her fingers have impeccable ball joints held together by magic, and though one might expect she’d be easy to break, she has nerves (and bones) of steel. She wears plain clothing most of the time, and tries not to dress extravagantly for anything or anyone that isn’t herself. Her dark hair is wiry and rests in two braids that never seem to have a hair out of place, and her eyes, though fully functional, seem to be painted onto her face. Similarly, though she has a jaw that functions as a human’s would, her lips are bright red—moreso than anyone’s should be. Her cheeks are painted with blush circles, and her eyebrows are startling in their expressiveness.

When she feels safe going somewhere, she’ll leave the removable wind-up key in her back at home, but she takes it with her anywhere else for protection. She’s gotten pretty good at hitting people with it when she feels threatened. It’s also used for giving her more energy in a fight, if necessary.

She can be a bit rough around the edges in personality, and fills the air with sardonic comments. Her closest friend is Brynnie, which is likely why they run a radio show together.

Dana excels at dancing, and has a fair amount of knowledge in repairing clockwork items. She’ll fix your music box, but don’t expect her to do it without earplugs.


Dana took on her name because it was all she remembered of her life before Arcadia. When her mother would call, “Dana, darling, can you wash the dishes?” she would get up and she would wash the dishes. This was the only memory she had of home, and as such she grabbed the name as her own and ran with it.

When Dana escaped her life as a wooden wind-up doll, traversed the Hedge, and returned home, she was just as surprised as anyone to find someone there, waiting for her. Rather than fly into a rage or flee in fear, however, Dana’s curiosity got the better of her, and she began making sarcastic comments about how easy she was to replace.

Her fetch caught on quickly, and the contest of self-depreciating humor began. It lasted for at least an hour, during which period of time Dana became comfortable with her fetch and decided that she would allow this person to keep her life, that she could build anew and would try to keep in touch.

Dana and her fetch, for all the disapproval from other changelings, are still close friends. Dana’s fetch has kept her safe on a few occasions, and Dana’s kept her own fetch from being killed on a few more. Her fetch hates the Gentry just as much as she does, and they’ve been working out a plot to kill her Keeper, once and for all.

In the meantime, though, she’ll be hanging out and doing her radio show, and maybe, just maybe every once in a while she can stand to play dolly for Brynnie.

Dana Darling

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