Altair & Scratch



1 year, 7 months ago



Altair is a wizard's apprentice who specializes in spell casting and ghost communication. He has a ghost named Scratch, who is attached to him

Basic information 

Full name: Altair, Scratch

Nickname: None

Birthday: June 19th 2000

Species: Cockatiel, Ghost

Gender: Male he/him

Height: 5 foot 4

Sexuality: Heterosexual

Languages spoken: English (Altair), Unknown dead language (Scratch)


Likes: Magic, reading, space, writing, ghosts

Dislikes: Bright colours, loud noises, being in danger, demons, swimming


Altair is pretty nerdy. He loves books, space, ghosts, and all that stuff. Altair is fairly careful and will always analyze a situation before taking action. Scratch is basically the opposite. Scratch relies on instinct rather than intelligence. Scratch likes to play mean jokes on people. He also likes to bite. Both Scratch and Altair speak a language unknown to Earth, as well as English


Addictions: None

Mental illnesses: Anxiety

Physical illnesses: None

Disabilities: Amputee, Legally blind

Allergies: None

Fears/phobias: Losing a loved one


Spell casting. Altair uses magic and can cast some spells. He also uses Scratch. Scratch allows Altair to see and communicate with ghosts. For the most part Altair has control over their body, but in dire situations Scratch can take control of the body. When Scratch takes control Altair cannot be harmed.


Strengths: Magic, intelligence

Weaknesses: Unathletic, bird anatomy, eyesight

Weapons/tools: Magic, Spell casting


No one knows Altair’s exact hatch day, as he was abandoned as an egg. Left to die, somehow Altair hatched anyway. Luckily he hatched during the summer, when the air was warm and food was plentiful. If he hadn't he probably would have never survived.
Altair lived as a bit of a feral child. He couldn’t talk, write, read, or do anything else any “normal” kid could. All he knew what that he was a bird, and birds were supposed to fly. Flying looked easy enough. Not that he’d seen too many other people fly (he usually ran off if he saw someone) but from what he had seen, he knew you had to be up high.
But how high? Altair didn’t know. Trying to play it safe, he decided that he would jump from the highest place he could, so that he’d have more time to “get the hang of it”. This plan didn’t work out so well for Altair. After searching for about an hour, he found a cliffside. This had to be the highest place, right? Without hesitation, Altair jumped.
He can’t remember too much of what happened next. All it was was a blur of colour and sharp pain all over his body. He was still conscious when he finally got to the bottom, but he was in a state of shock. Somehow, even in that shocked state, he knew he had to find help. The last thing he remembers from that day is a walk through the forest, and a dark figure looming over him.
When Altair woke up, he was in a place he had never seen before. It was…. Inside. He had never been inside anywhere before. There was something odd about this place though. Everything was dull or grey in colour. Everything! The walls, the floor, even the lights! He seemed to be the most vibrant thing in that room.
Then he felt pain. The pain wasn't as bad as before, but it was definitely still there. There wasn't any pain in his left wing though…. Wait. Where WAS his left wing?! It was completely gone!! Altair screamed! He didn’t know what else to do! His wing was missing, how could it be missing?
Apparently there was someone else inside. They came running into the room at the sound of the scream. When Altair saw who, and what, it was, he screamed again!
The person was a cat! He was very tall, thin, and scary. The cat looked like he was an adult, maybe late 20’s. He also had tuxedo coloured fur, grey eyes, and these things in his ears (gauges, but Altair didn’t know that). The cat said something, but Altair didn’t understand. Eventually the cat got the message across that he wasn't dangerous. It took awhile, as Altair couldn’t really understand English, but he did it.
Altair stayed with the cat while he recovered from his injuries. While he was there, the cat taught him how to talk. The cat’s name was Brett. Altair liked him. Brett was the first person he could trust.
Brett eventually learned that Altair was an orphan. He had no home whatsoever. Brett found that appaling, and decided that Altair would live with him from then on out. Altair had no objections, he actually liked Brett’s house, even if the colours were weird.
Over the next three years Altair learned more about where he was, and who Brett was. The place he lived was called Astra city. Astra city wasn't like any other city. It was the last surviving place in its world. Well, not “world” per say. Astra city was its own dimension.
In this place, time stood still. It had been that way for over 7000 years. The stoppage of time was caused by a demon. Demons ran rampant throughout this dimension. Time didn’t affect them. The people who happened to be alive during that time period were frozen in time forever, like statues. That’s why everything from Astra city was so dull. The sun never rose or set there. Altair’s home happened to be in the daylight.
Brett happened to be a Wizard. He specializes in potion making, but he could do many other things as well, including interdimensional travel and spell casting. That's how he found Altair in the first place. Altair always seemed interested in Brett’s work, so Brett took him on as an apprentice.
Apprentice work was boring at first. All Altair did was run errands. Doing chores was hard though, but anything would be hard for a kid with only one arm (wing). Brett realised this.
Brett wanted Altair to be able to do more “normal” things. Altair couldn’t learn any sort of spell casting like this either. Most spells required two arms.
Brett had a plan. Not only were there demons in Astra city, but there were ghosts as well. Ghost “bonding” was a common practice in Astra city, in which you could bond a ghost to yourself, allowing the ghost to “work” for you in exchange for being brought back to the physical world. The only problem with Bonding is that the ghost doesn’t change its form. This makes finding the right ghost difficult.
It took two years, but eventually Brett found a suitable ghost for Altair. It had 5 “feelers” that could act as fingers, as well as a long tail that could act as an arm. Now there was a bigger problem at hand. Brett had never bonded a ghost to someone born outside of Astra city, and he didn’t know what would happen. But he took the risk anyway. Brett was an experienced Wizard, surely he could handle it. Right?
He took the ghost back to Altair and started preparing for the bonding. Everything was ready, and Altair was excited to finally have an “arm”. Brett began the bonding ceremony.
At first things appeared to go smoothly. The ghost was sucked into Altair’s body, and it was able to pop out in the correct place. But then something happened. Altair fell to the floor, and the ghost went back inside his body. He appeared to be having a seizure of some sort. Then the strangest thing happened. Altair's feathers started to turn purple! Not all of them of course, only his grey body feathers. There were also some star like patterns appearing too!
Whatever was happening eventually ended, and Altair got back up. He was surprised at his new appearance. What kind of cockatiel had purple feathers and legs? Brett started to laugh. Laugh! He was laughing at him! Altair started to get upset, until Brett explained why.
Anyone born in Astra city had a distinct look to them. Some were more subtle than others, but they all had it. Because the ghost was from Astra city, it gave Altair the “Astra city look”, which happened to be purple. Altair didn’t like this, but he’d much rather be purple than armless.
Him being purple wasn't his biggest problem not. It was the ghost. All bonded ghosts had a “warming up period”. It would last about a year, and would dictate whether or not the ghost was compatible with its new host body. The ghost didn’t like Altair, and it liked Brett even less than that. Its “fingers” were apparently razor sharp (something Brett didn’t know until it was brought into the physical world) and it liked to scratch everything. Only being 9 at the time, with the vocabulary of a 5 year old, Altair named the ghost Scratch. It seemed fitting.
In order to keep track of Scratches behaviour, Brett gave Altair a book to record everything. The book was enchanted, so that it would never run out of space. The only problem was Altair didn’t know how to write!
That’s where the training came in. Altair was suppose to use Scratch to write. This would teach Altair how to control him, as well as teach Scratch to obey his host. There was definitely a learning curve. At first Scratch just ate the pencil (which would make Altair sick, because they share a stomach). Once he figured out he was suppose to hold the pencil, he would just stab things. Eventually Altair coaxed Scratch to write. Once he learned how to control him more, writing was fairly easy. Scratch eventually warmed up to Altair, and the warming up period ended.
Altair could never fully control Scratch (presumably because of his earthly origins) but they got to a point where they could co-exist peacefully. Scratches personality eventually came out too. Scratch is very shy around new people. He usually he won't reveal himself unless he has to. When he's not around new people he likes to cause mischief. Most if it is stereotypical ghost stuff (rearranging furniture, knocking things off shelves, etc). His favourite thing to do is mess up Altair when he's trying to write.
Now that Altair had two arms, he could learn how to cast spells. Brett only taught him very basic spells though. Scratch wasn't capable of doing the correct gestured for the more complex ones. Altair enjoyed spell casting nonetheless. It made him feel more “normal” in Astra city standards.
There were only about 300 people in Astra city, and as an apprentice Altair got to know a lot of them while doing errands. There were only 12 qualified wizards in the city. Altair was going to be the 13th when he was ready. Life went on as normal, until Altair turned 15.
It seemed like a normal day. Brett had asked Altair to retrieve a book from the 3rd wizard. The only problem was that the 3rd wizard lived on the other side of the Midnight forest.
The Midnight forest was the most dangerous area in Astra city. The trees were so thick, that it was always dark there. That darkness attracted demons. Brett had never asked Altair to do something so dangerous, but he thought he would be fine with Scratch at his side.
The journey would be about a days walk. Altair got all the necessary supplies and started walking. Everything was fine at first. It was dark, and Altair had very poor night vision, but they didn’t encounter any demons. Scratch seemed to love the dark.
About two thirds of the way through their journey, Altair and Scratch encountered a demon. It was big, about the size of  a large dog. The demon was aggressive, and immediately started to chase Altair! He tried to run, but something strange started to happen. Altair couldn’t move. Well, he could, but he wasn't trying to. Why was he moving? Then he noticed, Scratch looked different. His claws were much bigger. His mouth was also gone! Altair heard himself screech. The sound sounded like something Scratch would make…
Without meaning to, Altair started to attack the demon. The fight isn't easily won. The demoon scratched and bit Altair quite a bit. Oddly enough, he couldn't feel it. There was no pain, and his body didn’t appear to have any cuts. Eventually he clawed the demon in half.
Once the demon was dead, Altair regained control over his body again. He had no clue was had just happened. Scratch didn’t look normal. His body proportions returned to normal, and his mouth was back, but he looked more… Ghost like. He was more transparent than usual, and he disappeared at the elbow (rather than the shoulder). Altair got worried, so he ran to the Wizard’s house as fast as he could.
Once he got to the Wizards house he demanded to know what was wrong with Scratch. He didn’t want to lose his arm again! The Wizard just chuckled, and explained that Scratch was just injured. “Just injured”. That pissed Altair off. He was hurt! That’s not something to be laughing at! Apparently ghosts take damage differently than mortals. They can’t be “killed” because they’re already dead. So when their injured they just become weaker. If they get too injured they’ll disappear completely, until healed. Scratch wasn't hurt very badly, but Altair wanted to know how he got hurt in the first place. The demon didn’t attack Scratch, it attacked him!
It turns out that Altair isn’t the only one who can take control of his body. Scratch can too. Under normal circumstances a bonded ghost couldn't do such a thing. But because Altair was from earth, things worked differently with him.
The Wizard gave Altair the book he had come for, and allowed him to spend the night there. When Altair woke up the next morning, the Wizard was gone. Not wanting to be a nuisance, Altair took the book and walked home.
Astra city seemed different today. As Altair walked through it no one greeted him. It didn’t even look like anyone was around. He thought that it was probably his imagination, and continued walking home.
His home was boarded up when he got there. All the doors were locked. Scratch eventually got sick of waiting to find a way inside, so he smashed open a window. They both got inside, but Brett was gone. Brett would often leave notes for Altair when he left without telling him, so Altair looked for one.
There was a note. This note seemed a bit off though. Normally Brett would write at least a paragraph explaining where he went, another explaining what he was doing there, and a third explaining what to do if he didn’t come back. This note only had two sentences. “Off to the library, be back soon”. It appeared to be written very quickly.
Altair was a bit confused by the note, but not worried. Why should he be? Brett said he’d be back soon. Scratch was starting to get fussy so Altair made some lunch, then started working on his daily tasks.
It had been a whole day, and Brett wasn’t back yet. Now Altair was starting to worry. The note said he was at the library. Why not go check then? Altair had been to the library tons of times, he knew how to get there. The whole time he was walking there something felt off. Almost as if something was watching him. Altair thought that was silly, and brushed the feeling off.
He got to the library with no issues. Unfortunately, Brett wasn't there. Not there? This is the only library in the entire city! Where else would Brett have gone? Altair admitted defeat and sat down. He was pretty nervous, so he started writing in his book. Writing always made him feel better.
Eventually someone showed up. It was the 11th Wizard. She seemed relieved that Altair was ok, even though they had only met once before. He was obviously confused, so she started to explain what was going on.
A thousands years ago a demon had stopped time in Astra city. The only way to banish the demon was a spell in a very sacred book. The demon was stopped, and the book was handed down through generations of Wizards ever since. Apparently the demon had finally broke loose. But time was already frozen in Astra city, so it had to find somewhere else to cause mischief.
Earth. The demon had gone to Earth. Brett apparently got word of this beforehand, and went to The Library. “The Library” was a place on Earth. It was huge, and it had books for spells and potions you could only dream of.
But why would Brett leave? Altair had gotten the book she had been talking about. She explained that some pages of the book were missing, and that they were at The Library. Brett had hoped that he could run and grab them in time, but he had apparently failed. Altair couldn’t stand the thought of his mentor being hurt. He demanded to know how to get to The Library! Surprisingly, the Wizard told him.
Altair set off to find Brett. The first stop was the Midnight Forest. Apparently there was a shrine in the middle of it. This shrine was the only way back to earth. Altair went through it.
He found himself in another forest. This one didn’t seem so spooky though. There was colour! The trees had nice green leaves, and there was green grass everywhere. So much green! It hurt Altair’s eyes!
This place was called the Noon Forest. The portal to Astra city wasn’t visible here, but Altair could feel its presence. The Noon Forest lead to a place called Topaz Town. The town was small, much smaller than Astra City.
Altair asked a few local townsfolk about The Library, but no one really seemed to know what he was talking about. They all seemed more concerned that he was a purple, one armed cockatiel, who was somehow carrying a backpack on his back like a normal two armed person would (The second strap appeared to be floating, because Scratch was hidden).
Eventually he found someone that would help him. His name was Redd. At first he looked like a normal goat. But this guy seemed to know exactly what was going on. He took Altair to his house. This guy lived in the shabbiest, dirtiest apartment Altair had ever seen. Altair started to get nervous again. That feeling only increased when Redd mentioned Scratch. How did this random stranger know about Scratch?! He was hidden!
Redd just laughed at the question. Then the strangest thing happened. His skin started melting away! It all made sense to Altair now, Redd was a demon! He had revealed his true form to Altair.
He was bright red (hence the name). The red hurt Altairs eyes. It was the brightest colour he had ever seen! Redd told Altair that he was a “friendly demon”, although that was debutable. He said that he’d help Altair get to The Library.
The two of them set off. The Library was in a place called “South America” near something called “The Equator”. It was far away, so they had to fly there.
Redd and Altair went to the airport and got on a plane. Altair loved it! He had never flown before, unless you count the time he lost his wing. He stared out of the window the entire time.
The two eventually landed and started heading toward The Library. It was quite a far walk, and there were more and more hostile demons the closer they got. Redd and Scratch seemed to have it covered though.
They reached The Library, and found Brett tied up in a chair. He told them both to leave, but they didn’t listen. Altair untied brett and gave him the book. Then the room started to spin. Like, actually spin. Books started sliding off the shelves and the three of them started to lose their balance. Then they could hear laughing. It was everywhere. Brett said that this was all a trap, and that the demon had lured them there in hopes of getting the book back.
The room was spinning slowly, but it got faster. Altair told brett to use the spell on the demon! The only problem with that was the spell was long, and it would take about an hour to recite. They only had one shot. If he messed up the room might be spinning too fast to try again. Brett recited the spell and the demon got trapped once again.
Brett took Altair back home after that. No one had gotten hurt, but they were all pretty dizzy afterwards. Life returned normal, and Altair continued his apprenticeship.

Artist notes

Reference: Scratch is optional


Altair somehow has more lore than most of my characters. I really freaking love him. He was inspired by my love for Cockatiels, and birds.

 His species was literally the only thing about him I planned. Everything else was spontaneous. I even considered making him my main fursona. Of course, that idea was dismissed quickly. I could never betray Sonie like that.