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Category Archives: John Thornton

Presenting my new Armitage craft project

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I’m still on RA sabbatical, but more importantly, I’ve had things shaking up in RL too.

I had written more about it, but decided to move it to a separate post.

Aaaaaaanyway, it’s not all been about wake up calls and climbing out of comfort zones, which has done me a world of good btw.

I’ve also continued doing things like cross-stitching to relax me and focus my monkey brain (not to mention that when you’re busy holding your needle, thread and canvas, you can’t exactly be shoving food in your gob…).

I’ve completed a bunch of cross-stitch projects, but felt a staggering lack of designs that were… a little closer to my fangirling home…

So, what’s a fangirl to do when what she wants hasn’t been done yet?

Why, she rolls up her sleeves and does it herself!

This is still very much a work in progress and to say I’m free-styling it is a staggering understatement, but can you tell who’s emerging?

John Thornton cross-stitch patter 1

This is actually the first part, I’m trying to figure out cross-stitch Thornton, am contemplating Margaret and thinking about fonts and Victorian borders to create a nice pretty North and South image that will be easy to do, even for beginners.

The main issue I have is that poor Thornton dresses like an undertaker and I refuse to spend my time stitching Margaret’s drab brown gown, so I’ve been trying to figure out the clothes designs and colours (you can take a girl from fashion design college, but you can’t take that anal way of thinking about garments out of the girl…).

I also need to think how to create a cross-stitch pattern on my computer so I can share the pdf with others (any help/advice/tutorials very much appreciated).

Beyond that, I’m already thinking BIG and, as always with Armitage, the sky’s the limit!

Once I get a handle on making cross-stitch patterns, I shall be turning to you, fellow Armitage Admirers and Richardettes, to come up with character quotes and the like.

I’ll be working on the pattern a bit more today and will keep you posted :)

 

Top of the Mornin’ to Ya, Liebste Freind! or Yay! I have my very own Pocket Shrine®

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I can’t believe the scheduled  posts I prepared to go out during my hiatus are out already.

I’ll be updating you on some of the things I’ve been working on in my next post, but today I wanted to share with you a beautiful gift I got from a dear friend :)

On Friday I received a package that brightened up my day.

Dear Guylty has gifted me with:

The first John Thornton Pocket Shrine®!

John Thornton Pocket shrine

In years to come my grandchildren will take it to The Antique Roadshow and it’ll be priced a staggering amount of money, but will never be worth as much as it does to me now!

John Thornton Portable shrine 2

In addition, I also received some Thornton’s chocolates that will NOT end up in my belly, but will grace my Shelves of Shame Admiration.

Heres how the shelves are shaping up:

Armitage admiration shelves 1

This gift brightened up my day and reminds me just how special the friendships I’ve made among our little community of friends are!

Now, Frau Guylty, I have my thinking /creative cap on, but I doubt I’ll come up with anything quite so adorable :)

Part 1: Trudy’s post + N&S Quiz + Book Giveaway

Dear Readers,

81uiI+fCcwL._SL1500_      Today I have such a treat for you I can hardly contain my glee!

Fellow Richard Armitage/North & South connoisseur and author extraordinaire Trudy Brasure has accepted my invitation to share with us her take on Gaskell’s masterpiece and she’ll be spoiling us today and Friday, so make sure you stop by.InConsequenceSmall

Most of you are familiar with Trudy’s writing as she has long been considered one of the most notable fanfiction turned published authors with an uncanny ability to capture our Mr Thornton and make us fall for him hard all over again.

I leave you in the capable hands of my guest blogger and one of my most favorite N&S continuation authors (not to mention a thoroughly lovely person…):

Trudy Brasure

Trudy author pic

Five things you probably didn’t know about me:

1. I had a great childhood. As one of nine children, I was surrounded mostly by brothers. Boys? Yeah, we got ’em. I faked my first crush in school to fit in with the crowd. Heck, I didn’t find boys that mysterious or enchanting in those pubescent years.

2. My obsession before I discovered John Thornton/Armitage was … um… Abraham Lincoln. What can I say? I love a good, brooding man in a top hat.

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3.  My first plane ride was from Toronto to Paris – alone, at age 17 – to stay for a month with the family of the exchange student our family had hosted the summer before. Unforgettable adventure for a small town girl from Pennsylvania.

4. I’m the organist/pianist on Sundays at the church I attend. All those years of piano lessons were not wasted!

5. I’ve never been to England! I know, I know…. it’s really quite presumptuous of me to write stories set in a place I’ve never been. Thank goodness for my British editor. I’ve been close, though! My husband and I spent our honeymoon in Ireland and Scotland.

Get your pencils (or quills) ready for QUIZ TIME!
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(John has studied hard for this.)

Think you know North and South? I’ve seen a few fun quizzes posted here and there. But they were too easy.  Try this mean baby if you’ve read the book.   Hey, if you’ve read my stories you might be able to answer a handful of these.  Level: Wicked

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post for the answers!

1. How old is Margaret at the time of Edith’s wedding?

2. Where is the Lennox family from?

3. What military rank did Aunt Shaw’s late husband hold?

4. What is Mr. Bell’s first name?

5. Is it Bessy or Bessie?

6. What is the port town nearest Helstone?

7. How did Leonards happen to be at the station to discover Fred?

8. What are Mr. and Mrs. Hale’s first names?

9. True/False:  Gaskell was a master of precision in writing the sequence of events.

10. What pet did Aunt Shaw have?

11. What is the name of Frederick’s intended (and later, wife)?

12. Name one of the books that Hannah Thornton reads from.

13. What personal tragedy did Hannah silently recall during her visit with the dying Mrs. Hale?

14. True/False: The Great Exhibition is mentioned in a conversation between Thornton and Mr. Hale.

15. True/False:  Thornton discovers that Margaret has a brother from Mr. Bell.

16. True/False: Higgins calls Thornton a bulldog.

17. Mr. Thornton made a point of visiting Helstone while returning from a business trip to what venue?

18. True/False: Mr. Thornton attends the funeral of both Margaret’s mother and father.

19. What is the name of the member of parliament who comes to dinner at Aunt Shaw’s house in the penultimate chapter?

20 . How much time passed between Thornton’s post-riot declaration of love and the final scene in London in which Margaret offers her fortune to Thornton?  (a.) six months  (b.) a year  (c.) 18 months  (d.) two years

BOOK GIVEAWAY!

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If you loved the angst and repressed passion Richard portrayed as John Thornton in North and South, you’ll love my new story! In Consequence puts a twist in the story at the time of the riot which spins the developing story of love and attraction in a whole new direction.  Available for free at C19 and Wattpad, In Consequence is also for sale as a Kindle book at Amazon. It will soon be available in print and as a Nook, ibook, etc. as well.

Leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win a copy of In Consequence – paperback or Kindle. (worldwide) The winner will be announced next Thursday, February 6th.

Share what you love most about N&S, ask me a question, or talk to me about my story or Gaskell’s.  There’s nothing I enjoy better than engaging in discussion about North and South!  

Coming up tomorrow: Trudy’s pet peeves regarding all things North and South as well as the answers to the quiz!

The Book Giveaway is now finished!

winner

Finding Comfort in Beauty

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Just a quick one today :)

I have so many other posts, some inspired by that mega conversation we had a few days ago, all floating around in my head, in need of constructing and scheduling.

They are coming, along with a mini tutorial and a post/message I want to dedicate to an online friend who’s struggling.

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This post was inspired by an exchange I had with Morrighansmuse regarding what we watch when we need to find some beauty to counterbalance the blues or some drama you may inevitably be dragged into.

Morrighan mentioned that Thorin was her go-to, and I can see why he would be, although I hope she might elaborates on the topic more in future.

Yesterday I needed to catch my equilibrium and take my mind off things, so I started with a few documentaries, but they didn’t engage me.

Then I thought surely The Forsyte Saga would do the trick, but I just couldn’t focus fully and Damian Lewis’ Soames deserves my full attention ;)

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I found myself reaching for an oldie but goody.

Out came my trusted North and South DVD.

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Isn’t there a limited to the amount of times you can watch it and be mesmerized by Mr Thornton?

How can I still find little details that captivate me.

I don’t know how you do it but, Mr Thornton, you make any bad day so much better :)

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So, what is your go-to viewing when things just aren’t going your way and you need a pick-me-up?

What lightens your mood when the dark clouds above your head don’t want to dissipate?

Talking about things that are an immediate boost in happy feels, anyone up for one of these?

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I’ve tried to find the author of this beauty, but to no avail.

Whoever you are, you’ve created something that most RA fans desperately want and producers/companies don’t want to supply us with.

Update: Just found out it was Jonia who visualised my dream!

Please check out the whole post as she’s come up with many other wonderful suggestions!

John Thornton and Soames Forsyte. The Women They Love.

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As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve become enthralled with The Forsyte Saga and I’ve threatened to continue subjecting my dear readers to more scattered thoughts on the plot and characters, so here it goes…

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Today I will be focusing on the, in my opinion, central relationship in the series, meaning that of Soames Forsyte and Irene Heron.

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I’ll be doing so by comparing them to another favourite pairing of mine, Margaret Hale and John Thornton from North and South.

Let me start by stating my opinion and them I’ll spend the rest of the post trying to claw my way back up from the hole my statement has created.

The difference between the outcome of the Forsyte relationship and the Margaret+Thornton one is determined not by the amorous men, but by the women they loved.

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If we compare Soames and Thornton, they actually have a lot in common

Both are respected members of Victorian society, successful, admired and come from tight-knit families.

They are viewed as authorities, but deep inside they have issues of low-self esteem, though the origins are different.

Despite their cool exteriors, under those well-cut expensive clothes beats a heart full of passion and they both fall for women who society would deem beneath them as both Irene and Margaret are plain old skint.

What’s even more interesting is that both gentlemen develop feelings for, and woo, women who simply don’t like them.

Despite knowing that their affections are not reciprocated, but encouraged by others (Irene’s step-mother, Hannah Thornton), against their better judgment, they both propose marriage.

This is where the seemingly correlated stories depart.

I argue that it is Irene and Margaret who determine the outcome of their respective plots by the decisions they make at this crucial juncture.

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Irene Heron is under the guardianship of her pragmatic step-mother and they are living on a tiny income generated from her deceased father’s estate.

Mrs Heron is desperate to get rid of her beautiful step-daughter as she has plans to re-marry and feels that Irene attracts too much attention from men.

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When Soames Forsyte appears, a wealthy bachelor from a prominent family who is clearly enthralled by Irene, Heron’s widow bullies Irene into accepting the man who is so very different from what she envisioned her true love to be.

It’s this crucial decision to marry a man she doesn’t even like that sets the stage for all the following events.

In her last act of independence, or maybe in an act of sheer desperation, Irene forces Soames to promise that he will let her go if their marriage is not a success.

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Although Soames seems like a man who keeps his word, she would soon learn that her husband is nicknamed The Man of Property for a reason and that he would never allow that which he possesses to be taken away from him.
Therefore, Irene is trapped in an unhappy marriage to a man who, although passionately in love with her, makes her skin crawl.

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When John and Margaret find themselves at the point where marriage seems like the most logical option, and Miss Hale’s reputation hangs in the balance, instead of taking the easy way out, she acts on her pride and stubborn nature to decline his offer.

Of course Margaret is in slightly different circumstances than Irene as she has the support of her family and her financial situation does not force her to accept the marriage proposal from a wealthy bachelor.

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Let’s for a moment, as some N&S fanfiction authors have before, imagine how the story would progress had Margaret accepted Thornton.

She would be tied to a man that she, of her own admission, didn’t like and felt was beneath her, someone who was in trade and would treat her as a commodity to acquire.
By moving to Marlborough Mills she’d lose her independence and would be forced to become a member of a tight-knit family who thought very little of her.

Forced into such circumstances, the natural growth of affection that we observe in Gaskell’s story, would probably never have taken place.

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Mr Thornton would marry the woman he so passionately loved and desired, but would have to be aware that circumstances, and not her affections, drove her into wedlock.

From what we know about Margaret’s character, if forced to marry John, I venture a guess that she’d have no qualms about expressing her misery and, apart from doing her wifely duties, she’d be unable to form any attachment to him.
What’s more this situation would have been made much more difficult because of Hannah Thornton.

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Although the Forsyte family is very close, and meddling in the affairs of the members is almost like a sport, I felt Irene was supported by them till the moment she ran away (and, in some cases, even beyond that point).

This is evident when Irene discusses her failed marriage with June Forsyte and Soames’ mother.

They both, in their own way, try to help Irene in her misery, offering very different solutions to the crises she had found herself in.

Margaret Irene

Margaret would have been offered no such comfort from the women around her.

Of course, one may argue, that once married Thornton would never treat his wife as Soames did Irene.
I’d hate to give the impression I believe John would exhibit the same possessive behaviour by smothering his wife and forcing himself on her.

The relationship between Thornton and his mother proves that he regarded women as his equal and I think he would extend that to his wife, although he adopted a paternalistic approach to Fanny.

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 I believe that John would have offered Margaret as much space and freedom as the times and social conventions would have allowed him.

One thing, though, that the men have in common is they’d both  find themselves under one roof, and in such close proximity, to the women they desire and yet cannot have.

Perhaps in hopes of warming Margaret’s heart, Thornton would have taken actions which could be deemed beneath him, but I’d like to think he’d wait patiently for Margaret to discard her prejudices and open up to him.

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Nevertheless, I truly believe that had it not been for Margaret’s stubborn nature, her disregard for what was appropriate, her recklessness at rejecting a man who was such a good match, she saved them both from a miserable marriage and allowed for events to unfold as they learned more about each other, culminating in some juice kissing and a marriage founded on love.

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Had Irene taken a leaf from Margaret’s book and found the courage to reject Soames despite the pressures, I think she would have encountered a like-minded man, an artistic soul with whom she would have formed a happy marriage with.

Despite being Irene Frostbite rather than Forsyte throughout her marriage to Soames, we learn that she is capable of great passion towards the man she loves.

Had she been released from the prison her marriage had locked her into, I truly believe she would’ve learn to think better of Soames and both of them could have moved with their lives rather than linger in painful limbo.

Speaking  of the possessive smotherer, undeterred by rejection, he would have probably found another object of desire to add to his collection to stifle, another piece of pretty property that would have complemented his position in society.

More importantly, he would have found a woman willing to subject to his vision of what a marriage should be, one who could settle for being merely his wife and a mother to his sons.

In other words, had Irene and Soames stayed true to their hearts, they would have got their ‘happily ever after’.

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If you haven’t seen The Forsyte Saga, you can watch the episodes on YT.

To read more about the concept of love and marriage in The Forsyte Saga, check out  this great post by Feminéma.

Welcome to The Amazing Armi Gift Shop!

ArmiBannerNo3.Edit
*Guest blogger alert part 3*

So I’m not going to lie, I experienced some mild panic when deciding what to do for my final post of FanstRAvaganza4.
I didn’t worry too much at the beginning of the week; I figured that the Gods of Armi-inspiration would visit me in the night and I’d wake with a fab-tastic idea for post 3!
Well, that didn’t happen.
But I did have a Sir Guy dream, which is never a bad thing! ^^

Anyhoo.
I’d scribbled down an idea in the “maybe” column when I’d first started brainstorming for the Armi lovin’ event:
“Some kind of fantasy shop…Armitage stuff”

Now, I like “stuff” as much as the next girl. One can never have enough stuff.
But hang on one cotton-milling minute!
What if there was a magical place where you could buy all kinds of Armitage…stuff?!
From stationery to clothing to utterly random accessories?!
Everything with his insanely beautiful FACE on it!
I would be in there every day, stocking up on goodies and collecting points on my Armitage loyalty card.

Okay, so there are already a few awesome Armitage related items on the market.
From Guy of Gisbourne action figures to Thorin Oakenshield lego.
Not to mention the amazing Hot Dwarf King mug a muchly amazing Hot Elf King loving friend bought me for Christmas ^_^
(I talk about my Thorin mug a lot, because I love it a lot)

But this shop…
Oh lordy, THIS shop would stock all of the above AND MORE!

So, without further ado, I invite all of you to the unveiling of

ArmiShopSignEDIT
This shop is full of all kinds of Armitage delights!

Where would you like to go first?

Perhaps the make-up department?

SIR GUY  has just launched his new range of glorious GUYliners!

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Buy your GUYliner today!

You too can smoulder and smirk your heart out!
A.GUYLINER.1
And swoon over all the pretty promotional posters! ;)
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Across from the make-up counter you’ll find all kinds of funky accessories…
All EXCLUSIVE to The Amazing Armi Gift Shop!

May I suggest some adorable
JOHN THORNTON NAIL TRANSFERS?!
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The handsome cotton mill owner is waiting to adorn your nails!!
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Over in the kitchen department, you can get your mitts on
THIS SPLENDID TOASTER!
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It really is fit for a (Hot Dwarf) King!!
It even toasts Thorin’s delicious FACE onto every slice!!
YEY!
*
Also available is this limited edition
LUCAS NORTH LUNCHBOX AND THERMOS!
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Take it to work!
Take it to the park!
Take it to bed!
YUM!
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Perhaps you’re on the lookout for some charming footwear?
Look no further!
Harry is ready & waiting to keep your feet warm with these
SNUG SLIPPERS!!
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Look at his wee happy face!
How could you possibly resist?

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Looking for something a bit more dangerous?
Why not trust Sgt. Porter and take home this nifty
SWISS “ARMI” KNIFE?!
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Use it responsibly though, peeps!
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I hope you’ve enjoyed looking around!
Please visit again soon!
*
There is something for every jolly Armitage Admirer at the
AMAZING ARMI GIFT SHOP!
It’s just a shame it only exists…
…in my head! -_-
For now!
Teeheehee!!
;)
*
What marvellous items would you like to see Armi’s face (and *ahem* other body parts) on?

I’d quite like a pair of Armi scissors…where his glorious legs are the blades.
Mind you, I’d probably be prone to accidents with those in my hands! -_-

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Well I’ve certainly enjoyed bloggin’ around this week.
Thank you so much for having me, Agzy!!
And thanks to everyone for welcoming me into the Armitage bloggin’ fold with your lovely, funny and amusing comments!
*HIGH-5s all round!*
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Merry FanstRA4 everybody!
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Marry, sleep with or take as your date to a school reunion…?

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*Guest blogger alert part 2*

Hello again, fellow Armi enthusiasts!

Some saucy silliness for you today! Teehee!

On day 2 I asked you who your fave Armitage character and “go-to” viewage is.
And I told you all about mine. With the aid of some pretty pictures ;)
On day 4 of FanstRAvaganza I’d like to know which of the tall beauty’s nice, not so nice and a lot nicer than some characters you would….
Marry.poster.2
:)

Now, that charming chap from Leicester has played an array of characters.
From tall handsome strangers…
Hellooo, Harry Kennedy!
To brooding “bad boys”…
Sir Guy, throw me upon your steed & run away with me!
There’s been topless tough guys…
Oh, Sgt. Porter, I do like your…gun! >_>
And most magnificent spies….
Well, you know my feelings on THAT MI5 agent… *ahem*

Righteo!
Just to spice things up a bit, and make it more fun. (And because I’m a bit of a meanie! ;P).
I have chosen 9 of Armi’s characters and, picking their names out of a hat, (or in this case, my Thorin Oakenshield mug), I have split them into
3 random groups of, er, 3.
Consider each 3 in turn.
And tell me
(please)
If you absolutely definitely HAD to make a choice
(and let’s pretend you do!)
Who would you…

A). Marry

         B). Sleep with

                C). Take as your date to a
school reunion?

It’d be marvellous to know your reasons too!

First group of beauties:
Group1Poster

Second group of swoon-er-roonies:

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Third group of hot potatoes:

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I know it’s tricky (very tricky!)
But think it through. Mull it over. Make yourself a cuppa and ponder the pros  and cons of each option.
*
I had to think long and hard myself.
For group one
I finally decided I would….

MARRY: Lucas North

I couldn’t NOT marry my favourite spy. Plus I would get to wake up to THAT FACE every morning, stroke his glorious tattoos, and swoon over his legs all the live long day! (You know, when he’s not off spying & stuff!)

SLEEP WITH: Sgt. Porter

He’s just so tough and strong and steaming hot!!
I’d want him to pick me up and throw me on the bed! Yum!

TAKE AS MY DATE TO A SCHOOL REUNION: Thorin Oakenshield

How impressive would it be to bring a Hot Dwarf King from Middle-earth to your school reunion? Everyone would be in awe of him. Plus he’d have much prettier hair than all those bitchy girls you went to school with! Also, he could defend your honour with his sword fighting skills!!
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My choices are of course subject to change. -_-
*
As for groups 2 & 3…
I’ll have to think on it some more and get back to you! ^^

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Well, I hope you enjoyed my little game!
Can’t wait to hear what you’d “do” with all these Armi-licious characters!
*
P.S. If you have any thoughts on anything else you’d like to – *ahem* – “do” with these characters, or any others I’ve not mentioned, please feel free to share that too!

Perhaps you’d like Ricky Deeming to take you for a ride on his motorbike? ;)
Or maybe you’ve had thoughts about spending time with Monet and his….canvas?! ;)
Don’t be shy: share!

^_^

Merry FanstRA4 everybody!

Images borrowed from: RANet
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