A young American female sharpshooter performing across New Europa.
Ability at Which She is Great:
Four Abilities at Which She is Good:
Ability at Which She is Bad:
Current Fortune Hand: 2S, 8S, 4H, 7H
Oakley was born Phoebe Ann Mosey in a cabin less than two miles northwest of Woodland, now Willowdell, in Darke County, a rural western border county of Ohio. Annie’s parents were Quakers from Hollidaysburg, Blair County, Pennsylvania: Susan Wise and Jacob Mosey. A fire burned down their tavern in Hollidaysburg, so they moved to a rented farm (later purchased with a mortgage) in Patterson Township, Darke County. Annie was the sixth of Jacob and Susan’s six children. Her father, who had fought in the War of 1812, died at age 66, from pneumonia and overexposure in freezing weather when Annie was only 6 years old.
Annie began hunting at the age of six to support her siblings and her widowed mother. She sold the hunting game for money to locals in Greenville, as well as restaurants and hotels in southern Ohio. Because of poverty following the death of her father, Annie did not regularly attend school. When Annie was eight or nine years old, she was put in the care of the superintendent of the county poor farm, where she learned to sew and decorate. She spent some time in near-slavery for a local family, where she endured mental and physical abuse; it is a period of her life she does not often care to discuss.
In the meanwhile, her mother married Daniel Brumbaugh, had a ninth child, Emily, and was widowed a second time. When Annie reunited with her family at age 13 or 14, her mother had married a third time, to Joseph Shaw. It was Annie’s skill with a rifle, and her rapidly growing fame, which paid the mortgage on the family farm by the time she turned 15.
Annie has performed with a number of shooting acts in the United States, won several local and regional tournaments, and collected on several hefty bets. In an international tournament pitting marksmen of the United States against those of the Twenty Nations Confederation and the Bear Flag Empire, Annie earned the nickname of “Watanya Cicilla,” translated as “Little Sure Shot,” from fellow marksman Running Bear, denoting both her skill and her small stature of a mere 5 feet in height. In that particular competition, Annie reputedly used a .22 caliber rifle at 90 feet to split a playing card edge-on and put five or six more holes in it before it touched the ground.
Now in her early 20’s, Annie Oakley’s victories in American tournaments have brought her to the attention of European promoters. She has joined the “Taste of America” show, touring New Europa under the patronage of Cristobal Bardeaux, better known as “Cristo!.” In the past, he was a revered actor on the stages of New Europa, but now has moved into directing and producing “extravaganzas fit only for the eyes of the most cultured and lettered circles.” Rather than performing in converted barns, warehouses, or vaudeville theaters, Cristo! has gathered what he believes to be an exemplary cast of purely American artists.
Enmities and Alliances:
Show business has a way of building enemies as surely as it forges opportunities. In both performances and competitions, she has traveled the border with the Twenty Nation Confederation, and in doing so has earned the respect of many of the native tribes, a frank admiration she returns equally.
There are many of her own countrymen who view her friendship with the tribes of the Confederation with disdain. Annie has earned something of a personal nemesis in rival female sharpshooter Lillian Smith, who has also won the right to compete on the European circuit. Smith, who is younger, prettier, a flashier dresser and a shameless flirt, brags incessantly about her abilities and claims Annie Oakley is a prude, a hack, and a grubby savage-lover whose reputation as a marksman is more the product of pagan magic than actual skill.
Virtues and Vices:
For all her success, Annie is remarkably humble and down-to-earth. She is friendly, considerate, and polite. For all her lack of a formal education, she has what the Americans like to call “horse sense” in abundance; though hers is a simple grace amid the splendors of New Europa, in her own way she is a classy lady.
However, Annie could teach mules a thing or two about rock-headed stubbornness. She takes such pride in having pulled herself up by her own bootstraps that she has little patience for those without the gumption to do likewise. Though she is too polite and good-natured about it to be considered scornful or derisive, she has done just fine without all that fancy schmancy book-learnin’ and honestly doesn’t see what all the fuss is about most of it.