Fern appears to be in her early-mid 20s. She is fair skinned, with a light dusting of freckles on her nose and cheeks, and a few beauty marks on her face and upper body. Her hair is a medium-dark golden brown, worn long, usually with the front tied back. Her eyes are hazel, leaning towards green. She often dresses in earth tones, almost always green, but sometimes soft browns or purples.
Gangly and awkward-looking as a child and young teen, as an adult she grew into her height and features well. Tall, slender, and relatively graceful, with unmarred skin, Fern's upper-class and privileged upbringing is very apparent in her appearance and mannerisms. She is well-spoken and usually fairly well-mannered, but by this point has largely abandoned unnecessary and frivolous niceties. She dresses practically, having largely abandoned skirts and corsets and other ladylike attire, but is generally considered to be fairly fashionable in her sense of style.
Fern is often practical at all costs, and does not allow herself to form deep attachments to people or things easily. She is well-known for her kindness, thoughtful and empathetic nature, and courtesy, and is not cruel, but will do whatever is necessary to protect those she truly cares about. Those who are close to her would speak of her fierce loyalty and protective nature, and the way she often pushes through challenging situations with a cool head.
Fern is the youngest of three siblings, born to an exceptionally wealthy family in St. Louis, Missouri. Her father's father had made his fortune as a textile merchant, with connections to fashion houses in Paris, London, and New York - later passing it down to her father, Forrest Wilder, in 1862. Fern's mother, Daphne Wilder, died during her birth, leaving her to be raised mostly by their staff and an endless parade of governesses, as Forrest was often away on business, especially after the death of his wife.
Growing up, Fern often clung to the side of her older brother, Rowan Wilder. 9 years her senior, she admired him greatly...his endless charm and wit (and his tendency to get into trouble) were a source of great comfort and amusement to her. Rowan was one of the few constants in her life, and they loved each other dearly. He taught her the basics of hunting, snuck her treats at night, helped her escape her least favorite lessons, and covered for the scrapes she got herself into. Rowan's rebellious side eventually led him down a dark path though, as he fought against the increasing expectations their father placed on him. He began to spend many nights in bars and gambling dens, developing addictions to alcohol and gambling - expensive habits that drove a deeper wedge between Rowan and Forrest. Fern pleaded with Rowan to stop, desperately missing the warm and light-hearted brother she knew, but was mostly unsuccessful other than a few brief stints of sobriety for the next two years. In 1888, Rowan died at sea while on a trip to London, likely from alcohol poisoning.
Unfortunately, Fern's father made many bad business decisions over the years and had secretly become deeply in debt. In 1889, when Fern was 15, creditors ransacked the home, and left them nearly penniless. Fern and her family lived a life of poverty after that. Her father was too proud to beg or ask for help, and mostly left Fern and her elder sister, Briar, to their own devices, dreaming up new business schemes he'd never have the capital to start. Fern learned to hunt and forage, remembering a few tricks Rowan had taught her when she was younger, and maintained a small garden when she could...selling or trading what they couldn't eat for other necessities. It was an extremely difficult period in her life, and the family often teetered on the brink of starvation, but Fern soldiered through it and provided for her family as best she could. Briar refused to accept their new status and refused to get her hands dirty, often spending what little extra money they might have on new clothes and other frivolities...insisting her beauty and manners would find her a rich husband to save the family. Their father was of a similar mind and encouraged her. Neither seemed quite willing to face the truth of their new existence, or that Fern was the only thing keeping them alive.
In 1894, when Fern was 19, Briar became ill with consumption. Fern did her best to keep everyone fed and medicinal herbs stocked...but without the money for proper medical care, Briar grew sicker very quickly, and eventually so did their father. Fern never caught the disease, despite continued close contact for nearly a year. By then, both were dead. This experience heavily affected Fern, leading to her resistance to forming attachments, her protective nature and drive to provide for those she does consider family, her ability to push aside her emotions and continue on, and her later interest in medicine.
With no one to provide for anymore, one day she left their old and drafty little cabin behind, and began walking south with no real goal in mind...living off the land, often spending her nights outdoors or in stables/cheap hotels when she happened to find herself back in civilization. Her only goal to survive. Now she finds herself in New Alexandria, with no further south to walk.
"One foot in front of the other."
"I catch more flies with honey than vinegar...but I never forget that I am catching flies."
"I've been told that I light myself on fire to keep others warm...but I don't much mind, if it keeps the people I care about safe."
"Oh, you know, just another beautiful day in New Alexandria."
- Fern's mother loved plants, with an interest in gardening, floral arrangements, and herbology. One of Fern's most treasured possessions is a small book that identifies many common herbs and flowers in America, with a mixture of Daphne and Fern's notes scribbled in the margins. Fern's interest in herbs and plants stems from an early desire to be closer to the mother she never knew.
- Fern really enjoys drinking tea, and has become well-known for an herbal blend she makes to help her friends after they're injured (usually from fight nights). It contains yarrow, ginseng, spices, and honey. She has expressed interest in opening a tea shop/apothecary someday.
- Fern has struggled with anxiety most of her life, although she is usually very good at hiding it. Her brother Rowan gave her a small agate worry stone when she was small, that she wore smooth with constant use over the years. She buried it with him when he died, but still sometimes fidgets with her hands when anxious as if running her thumb over an imaginary stone.
- Fern surprised everyone by being a naturally gifted fighter, and has continued to receive training from (and eventually defeat) many well-known and talented fighters such as Antonio Delgato, Atticus Robbins, Floyd Marshall, and Rolando Bermuda. She has been enthusiastic in fighting and improving her skills, and gladly takes on most challenges she receives. She has often been heard saying that she fights with instinct more so than strategy, and that she appreciates fighting as an opportunity to vent her frustrations.
St. Louis, Missouri
American (French, English, and Irish ancestry)
Engaged to Declan O'Connell
- Father: Forrest Wilder (deceased)
- Mother: Daphne Wilder (deceased)
- Brother: Rowan Wilder (deceased)
- Sister: Briar Wilder (deceased)
- Adopted Father: Texas Harrington
- Secretary of Business
- Owner (The Wild Tea Shop & Apothecary)
- Management (Emerald Security)
- Trainee (Mountain Medical)
The New Austin Rangers (Friend/Associate)