- Gender: Female
- Species/Race: Skylark
- Age: 20 (Season One) / 31 (Chronicles of Sarastrea)
- Height: 5'10"/1.78 m
- Weight: 120 lb./54.43 kg
- Hair Color: copper/strawberry blonde (like this or this); extremely long and voluptuous
- Eye Color: blue
- Skin Color: fair/unblemished tan
- Figure: slim and well-proportioned
- Sound Production: Carmen is a sound producer. Unlike a sound manipulator, Carmen is incapable of taking an existing sound and changing it, and is all about producing new sounds. Sound duplication is certainly possible, but not manipulation. Carmen can utilize all of her abilities from herself when in bird form, but when in human form she requires her trumpet.
- Carmen's Trumpet: Carmen possesses a supernatural brass instrument that resembles a grandiose herald trumpet. 3 feet long and with a 7.5" bell flare (the bell flare in the pictures is about 5"), it stands half as tall as its user. It is through this instrument that her music and sound production abilities are released to the world, and it can be used as both a solo instrument and a lethal sonic weapon. It can project any sound or combination of sounds Carmen can possibly think of - any timbre or combination of timbres, any amount of polyphony and counterpoint, and any dynamic from inaudible to shake-the-building's-foundation loud. It is the ultimate sonic expression tool.
- Dependence: The most obvious weakness in Carmen's arsenal is the fact that in human form Carmen's Trumpet functions exactly as Thor's Hammer does - although she can summon the instrument to her being at any point through the very limited telekinetic abilities she possesses (which is only useful for making menial tasks a little easier and thus not (yet) considered a full-fledged power), she is completely and totally powerless when the instrument is not in her hands and in fact on her lips.
- Nonfunctional: Although Carmen can shift to a gaseous bird form (hence skylark) that negates all need for the trumpet or really anything and is impervious from physical attacks, she cannot use sounds offensively while in this form and can only produce music, thus relegating this form to a defensive and primarily non-combat role.
- Inception Button: Carmen's last-resort ability, the Inception Button is a one-shot attack that completely uses all of her energy at once, rendering her powerless and extremely fatigued for several hours. It is an extremely low, extremely dense and extremely loud wall of sound played on Carmen's trumpet that, according to the post where it was used for the first time, "[shakes] the floor, [shakes] eardrums, [shakes] eyes, and [shakes] peace of mind." Carmen can focus the attack on a single location to be even more intense, but the collateral damage would still be high. The sound is so intense that it can cause buildings to collapse (see episode four of the Ganonshaw) and deal severe internal damage (or death, depending on exposure time) to listeners. This ability can be heard for five miles in all directions, and its effects worsen as the sound continues. Held long enough it could theoretically cause its victims to implode, but this would take continuous exposure for a time far longer than Carmen will probably ever be able to achieve.
- Inception Kick: Carmen plays a single extremely loud, short note with such ferocity that its target will be violently physically thrown backwards by the sound waves. Like the Inception Button, it can be directly focused on one target (maximum effect) or used on an area (maximum spread).
- Mosquito Tone: Carmen plays a note so high and loud that it acts as crowd control. While it does not do any lasting damage, it can cause intense head pain and incapacitate large groups of people, just as a very loud high feedback tone from an amp can. However, for those who cannot hear mosquito tones it has no effect.
- Sound Barrier: Carmen places her trumpet on the ground vertically (standing on the bell) and plays into it, causing a sonic forcefield to expand around a variable area. It drains energy while in use, however, so it is very limited in its use time. The bigger the area of coverage is, the more energy per second it uses.
- Wall of Sound: Carmen creates a wall of sound - literally. Actually "painting" the solidified soundwaves into existence by playing a figurative "wall of sound" with her trumpet, Carmen creates a solid wall of sonic matter, to be used in combat as a defense mechanism.
- Thumper: Carmen places her trumpet on the ground in the same way as to create a Sound Barrier, but instead plays powerful soundwaves into the ground that causes the ground to ripple, like a stone hitting a lake. The resultant wave can knock an opponent over but nothing more; however, the completion of this ability will give Carmen a temporary 50% power boost. The Thumper is directly inspired by the weapon by the same name in the PC game BattleZone (1998). (See the original Thumper in action)
- Symphony of Sorrow: This is an ability that is extremely potent but very difficult to carry out. Carmen performs a breathtaking piece of music that invokes emotional pain so strong that it is fatal. If the listener hears the entire hour of music from start to finish, they will die.
- Symphony of Salvation: The inverse of Symphony of Sorrow, this ability has Carmen play another breathtaking piece of music whose uplifting course can heal. If Carmen dedicates herself and plays the piece for many hours without stopping (pushing the absolute limits of her physical and mental stamina), she can potentially resurrect with it.
- Sonic Quake: Carmen plays into the ground using specific vibrations that cause an earthquake, no matter where the ability is carried out. Depending on how much energy Carmen wishes to use, the result can range from a small tremor to a devastating earthquake high on the Richter scale.
- Blunt Force Trauma: In an emergency close combat situation, Carmen can use her trumpet as a melee weapon, typically by either using it as a club or spinning it extremely quickly like a giant nun-chuck, which has the potential to cause a damaging sonic boom if spun fast enough.
- Telekinesis: A secondary ability set Carmen only developed enough to become a useful combat technique only by 2029 (Chronicles of Sarastrea).
- Catcher's Mitt: in Carmen's bird form she can only serve a defensive role. As physical attacks are ineffective while in the gaseous bird form, she can assist others without fear of being caught in the crossfire. Her most basic ability in bird form is as a sort of magnet for other attacks, spending energy to attract projectiles and other attacks to her and away of their intended target, which (if she doesn't pick off more than she can chew) dissipate or explode (depending on the attack) when reaching her.
- Skylark's Song: Carmen plays an extremely beautiful piece of music that lures any listeners to her, in typical siren fashion.
- Lark's Lullaby: Carmen plays an extremely beautiful piece of music that quickly lulls the listener to sleep.
- Sound Barrier: she can still use her Sound Barrier forcefield when in bird form, with the added bonus of not having to look at the ground and being able to hold it while not being in it herself. However, it still uses up the same amount of energy at the same rate.
With an elegant yet imposing face that can be ravishing or downright menacing, Carmen doesn't seem like the type to be an angel, which is handy because she isn't. She is no demon either, but is hardly perfect. To fully understand her personality you must begin with a typical, egotistical soprano singer. This is a girl who is, by all accounts, a diva, thinks herself above all others and is very outgoing to everyone - if only to flaunt herself to them. Now take away about 1/5th of the ego and half of the outgoing-ness and you pretty much have Carmen hit on the head. She wants to talk to others, but she does not shout about it and rarely even initiates it. She thinks highly of herself but does not impose it upon others in the slightest, instead preferring to let her striking looks and (mainly) the music she creates do the talking. She is inwardly judgmental, constantly observing and judging others but never saying a word of what she thinks. Her actual thoughts on a subject are often a mystery. She is nigh impossible to attract, having ludicrously high standards and not being particularly interested in a relationship in the first place.
The mythological Siren is a beautiful yet dangerous woman creature who entices sea-going vessels to crash on the shore with enchanting song. The real [in the context of Athalia] Siren is an altogether more complicated matter. Born from the universe when a supernova generates a particular set of frequencies that possess such ferocious energy and consonance with one another that they cause the spontaneous creation of a sentient life form - a Siren. Very few Sirens have ever existed, and they all have absolute control of all sound in the universe at all times. Carmen is a subtype of Siren called a Skylark, which manifests itself in two forms: a human form, where she needs a form of sound production (the trumpet) to use her abilities, and an almost gaseous form where she can produce and manipulate sound without need for the trumpet (which dissolves when she changes to this form). This form strongly resembles a huge bird, which is why she has been dubbed a Skylark. While Sirens - and thus Skylarks - do not "age", they do eventually dissipate after several millenia. They cannot technically be classified as supernatural because they come from the natural universe, but they possess entirely "supernatural" abilities and can often learn other abilities besides sound manipulation. Conceived from a supernova on the other side of the Milky Way galaxy, Carmen spent her twenty years leading up to Athalia learning the ways of the world - languages, cultures, and most principally music, allowing her to reproduce much of humanity's music through her trumpet.
Carmen arrived at Athalia and attented Criston Cross' welcome speech along with the rest of the students. Once that was done, she happened across Allan Lynch and Dani Hart having a confrontation that would later lead to the chaos at the party that evening, temporarily halting Allan's aggression.
Stopping at her room and writing a note to her then-unknown roommate (Lily Brightendale) in between meeting several main characters, she was drawn to the Student Center by the sound of music, being created by Cyrus Bane on his guitar. Joining him with her trumpet on the way, the duet eventually concluded and Carmen remained in the Student Center providing background music in the corner until the evening party began.
The party soon became packed, with Carmen and Nathaniel Terotrax up front providing the music. As the music became high energy, Allan smashed Dani through the table (he hadn't forgiven nor forgotten the events earlier) and chaos ensued. Observing for a while, Carmen eventually had enough as nobody else's attempts to stop the fight worked, and delivered an "Inception Button" with her trumpet that incapacitated both the two fighters and everyone else in the Student Center.
The next day, she made her way back to the Student Center to find it miraculously repaired overnight, with a painter (Leroy Yew) sitting in the middle. She sat down and began to play, and Leroy painted her, giving her the completed painting. It is here that Carmen met Seven for the first time as well.
Soon, after an emergency meeting in the auditorium was called, Carmen was outside in the garden when the skies turned evil, signalling the imminent arrival of underworld forces. Hastily flying to the auditorium in her bird firm, she waited for the Hellspawn to arrive. When they did, the auditorium was damaged and Carmen was trapped, leaving her powerless to defend against the Hellspawn. When the auditorium collapsed completely, it was her gaseous bird form that saved her.
Once the students were sent to Destiny Island to vacation while the Academy was prepared, Carmen immediately went and got in touch with her self-proclaimed sophisticated fashionista side by purchasing a beach outfit consisting of a bright sundress, designer flip flops and an extremely large sun hat. Heading to the bar, she ordered a Cosmopolitan martini from Nikola Lovelock and met Ara (A), observing some people she had already met and some she hadn't. WIth a laughter-filled escape fuelled by Ara's comments about Crash and Kathy as an engaged couple, she left the bar with Ara and was about to explore some of the island with him when Mercy Clueman announced the Beach Olympics over a megaphone.
In the first event, girls vs. boys water balloon dodgeball, Carmen unleashed her forgotten competitive side, mercilessly volleying water balloons at the boys and managing to avoid getting hit herself, despite her unsuitable attire. Soon she became engaged in an all out duel with Crash Waterfront, and by the end of the match had pelted him with countless balloons while getting very dramatically pulverized with one right in the chest. The girls were announced the winner and the next event was announced.
In preparation for the next event, the crossdressing obstacle course, Carmen prepared Ara in a huge, elaborate wedding dress and accessories, as well as Brako Rackshaw himself in a princessy prom dress and tiara. Meeting Katherine Argall in the process, Carmen was very satisfied with her work.
The race eventually began, and Carmen finally met her roommate, Lily Brightendale, without realizing she was her roommate, in between throwing paint-filled balloon bombs at the boys as they tried to climb a steep slope. Soon she ran over to the next part of the course and mercilessly pasted the boys with a foam cannon as they attempted to cross a rickety bridge. While manning the cannon, Ryuu Yamuachi ran up to her and grabbed her, carrying her in a bridal carry as he sprinted to the finish line (the race's item hunt required hiim to collect a girl). The pair collectively allowed Ryuu to finish second and to finally meet Carmen.
After the event and overall Beach Olympics winners were announced, the students (including Carmen) all went to the three dojos on the island to train. First entering the physical dojo with Crash and Kathy, Carmen began training by mock sparring with Kathy under Yutaka's direction, using her trumpet as a melee weapon. After Kathy was briefly distracted by Crash (which included Crash falling into and knocking over Kathy and Carmen), the trio (Carmen, Kathy and Crash) agreed to fight an army of fabric armies commanded by Yutaka Ito upon his suggestion.
The trio eventually defeated the fabric army after an unpromising start, but not before Crash found himself chasing the last dummy up Carmen's sundress skirt, much to her discomfort. Upon electing to leave the physical dojo for the ranged dojo, the trio henceforth referred to themselves as the Three Musketeers after Crash coined the nickname.
The three entered the ranged dojo, and Carmen was greeted by Little Feather, Garden, Ara (B) for the first time, and Mercy. After some conversation, Carmen grabbed her bow, set up, and prepared to fire, having taught herself archery theory from books. Before she could, however, Lily Brightendale hit her and Mercy with water orbs, and Carmen began to happily shoot arrows alongside Lily.
Soon though, Lily grabbed Carmen and Matthew Terrison without warning and pulled them to the shooting range, where after Carmen spent a good deal of time being extremely confused (particularly at Lily's heavy blushing), she learned from Lily how to fire a gun. After doing so, Lily called for a cease fire when Margaret Clementine was hugging Matt as he tried to shoot.
While Lily was attempting to resolve the situation, Xanthus (Lily's long-lost lover (see Kalmaysia Academy)) showed up and caused Lily to go into tear-filled shock. Carmen was extremely confused and concerned and rushed to Lily's aid after Lily called out to her.
Theo's Food Preference Test
- Love: "I should preface this by saying that I don't require food to survive, so I don't eat that often. It's so boring, you know, unless it's very good. I prefer the finest foods, which I understandably don't get a chance to eat that often. But...if we're talking drinks as well, my drink of choice is the Cosmopolitan. It's so...sophisticated. Like me!"
- Hate: "Anything common or ordinary. Since I don't have to eat, when I do eat I want it to be an experience."
- Mixed: "Anything that meets my standards but isn't at the very top. I always debate whether it's worth it. If it's free, it gets worth it much more quickly."
- What are you? Fashionable.
- How do you see yourself? Admirably.
- What is your personality? Cultured.
- Where would you like to be most right now? Anywhere.
- Why? Unimportant.
- What is your purpose? Music.
- Who are your friends? People.
- Why? Convenience.
- What do you consider most important to you? Life.
- Do you have any regrets right now? No.
- What would you like to do in the future? Live.
- Why? Because.
- What makes you angry? Evil.
- Why? Interruptions.
- What makes you happy? Music.
- Why? Therapy.
- What was the most important memory for you? Birth.
- How has that memory shaped you as a person? Alive.
- What are you lacking right now? Experience.
- Do you intend to do anything about it? Indeed.
- (Non-Canon) After the Ganonshaw finished its run, Carmen acquired her own private universe from Ganondorf that she named "Calandra Studios". In it she hosts her own entertainment program, Athalian Idol.
- A little known fact is that Carmen has an extremely beautiful singing voice - a true soprano sound matching her true soprano ego. It is not linked to her abilities and for all of her self interest she refuses to sing for anyone or even allow them to know that she can, although she practices regularly. It is her best kept secret and to unlock it is to unlock the key to the rest of her mind.
- Carmen owns quite possibly the largest fashion collection in the entire Athalia universe.
- Carmen does not need to eat, drink or sleep, but can for entertainment.
- Carmen was originally conceived as essentially a continuation of Driving Park's Kalmaysia character, Sasha Iranti. Her name was originally supposed to be Shira (meaning "singing" in Hebrew), until HylianRose pointed out that in one of the earlier roleplays there had literally been a siren character named Shira. As a result, the name Carmen Calandra was a last minute edit on an otherwise completed character sheet. She was intended to have her trumpet and ability set from the beginning (although additional abilities and tweaks were added during Season Two), but it was only when Driving Park completely embraced her diva personality that she came into her own as a character.
- Carmen has appeared on more non-canon entertainment program episodes than any other Athalia character, appearing in some capacity in three Ganonshaw episodes and the first Noxonshaw episode. She is also the only character thus far to have appeared in all three shows (including her own), and the only Athalia canon character to have hosted her own show.
- The surf shop cashier that Carmen bought her beach outfit (including gigantic sun hat) from in the beginning of Season Two was originally intended to be Driving Park's second character - a very laid back surfer dude with water manipulation. However, that idea never came to fruition and later in the season Mizuki "Kelly Miyabi" was introduced as his second character.
- Carmen is specifically listed as a weakness in Derek Keelan's Guild character sheet.