Name: Gilbert Nightray, „Raven“
Canon: Pandora Hearts (manga)
Canon point: chapter 63ish, as he discovers Glen's head. No joke.
Age: 24. However, he was technically time vortexed from around a 100 years ago while still a kid, so chronologically it's like 109. But biological and mental age is 24.
Gilbert has golden-yellow eyes and black wavy, apparently hard to tame hair (which even earns him the nickname „Seaweed Head“ from Alice). His height is 182 cm (around 5.9 ft), his build is quite slender (he was really tiny when he was a kid/teen) and his skin rather pale. He has a scar tracing from his left shoulder across his chest, left from the time when Oz accidentally slashed him with a sword while he covered who later turned out to have been Zai, Oz's dad. He also wears a sort of earrings (the kind that wraps around the side of ear without it being pierced or anything of the like). Plainly, he is generally considered rather good-looking.
He is said to always wear black and therefore looks quite monochromatic; his most common clothing includes black pants, black shoes, a white fancy-ish shirt (often with a scarf), a long black coat that reaches down to his knees (or a bit below) with what looks like long ends of a belt hanging from the back, a pair of usually white gloves and a black hat (like a low top hat, of sorts) which he is extremely protective of since it was Ada's gift (in front of strangers he was shown to claim it was given by his brother). He also has a gunholster strapped to his thigh, and always carries a revolver, often two, with him.
In the so called social gatherings, or nobility parties, he wears more formal clothing, including buttoned-up jacket (with the Nightray crest, I think, since Elliot's and Vincent's look very similar unlike others') and a sort of a shawl common among the nobility. Also, on such occasions, his usually somewhat wild hair is kept tied into a considerably short, low ponytail, which is held together by a ribbon, also similarly to his brother's.
Grown up Gilbert is rarely seen smiling, although his common sullen face when in public can be explained by him simply being scared of people rather than trying to keep up some sort of appearances. His default expression seems to be a sort of a light, worried frown; he also often looks irritated or sad, even pitiful or suffering (well, he kind of is everyone's bitch) - though, in fact, his facial expressions are quite various and different, grading from your usual bitter-angry-scowl to horrified, flaily or plainly embarrassed. He can also often be seen smoking, and that is usually accompanied by an expression that looks like he's deep in thought while in reality he's most likely desperately trying to calm himself.
His movements are usually considerably swift, fast if needed, but it will turn sharp and flaily when he's frustrated. He can be quite clumsy at times, that's possibly a relic from his childhood; but in dangerous situations his reflexes seem to work perfectly and not cause any trouble. He can seem somewhat shrunken when presented with attention, and generally doesn't suceed in hiding it if he's feeling uncomfortable. When irritated, with the rather firm walk, bitter look and the long black coat waving behind him, his form can actually be related to that of his chain's namesake, the Crow (Raven).
Gilbert and his brother, Vincent, were sold to a freak circus by their mother because of Vincent's red eye. However as it later turned out, both of theirs eye colour was significant as they were to become the next Glen and the next sacrifice to the Abyss. They lived on the streets for a while, Gilbert would always protect Vincent as people didn't take kindly to „child of misfortune“, until they finally made their way to the Baskerville manor. There, they met the current Glen (Oswald) Baskerville, who would become their master and mentor, doing a great daddy job, and Jack Vessalius, whom they befriended unaware of just how twisted he actually was.
Through a chain of lies, Jack, and Alice, Vincent was told that Gilbert would be killed during the first of the five ceremonies that were going to transport Glen's Chains into him as the next vessel. The first Chain was „Raven“. Distraught, Vincent followed crazy Miranda Barma's advice and opened the door to the Abyss, being able to do it because of his mark as the unfortunate child, convinced that he's saving his brother. It was the conductant to the start of the Tragedy of Sablier.
It's not really clear what happened afterwards aside from the fact that Gilbert tried to protect Glen and was injured by Jack, but both brothers were later seen in the Abyss and were finally spit out into the world around a hundred years later. Vincent remembered everything that happened however never told anyone; he was also unaware that Jack was pulling the strings. He was adopted by the Nightray household. Gilbert had for some reason lost his memories, looking terrified when he was found, and was first taken in by the Vessalius house as a servant for the young master Oz. That didn't last long, though, and after he befriended the boy and said boy was dragged into Abyss for ten years, Gilbert also joined his brother as an adopted Nightray. He also formed an alliance with Break, as Oz was the only „master“ he remembered and he was most important to him. Also the whole friendship thing.
Eventually Oz returned along with Alice and a very unusual contract, though back then nobody understood what it meant. Along with Gilbert and sometimes Break, they set off to a number of shenanigans, also finding broken pieces of Alice's memories. They were fragmented and ambiguous, and lead Gilbert to believing that his previous master had been Jack, the „hero“ of Sablier, while Glen was made out to be „the bad guy“ they were supposed to stop from coming back.
This illusion met its end when the last shattered sealing stone revealed that it was in fact Glen's remains inside, triggering the actual memories from deep within Gilberts poor, crazy brain. It was a terrible shock to him, and we see him heading out presumably to shoot at people. He quickly finds Oz and appears to be trying to protect him however instead shoots him on the command of Leo who is the new Glen, from the looks of it by pure reflex. The story hangs off there. LET'S FEAR FOR HIS SOUL.
Young Gilbert is mostly shown as sweet and kind but very quick to panic, flail and even break into tears. He often looks scared, seems to care a lot about what is 'proper' and not, and tries his best to be a good servant. Somewhat shy and quick to start stuttering when yelled at, and tear up at the tiniest things, he was most commonly regarded as a crybaby.
He appears to have changed quite a lot during the following ten years, but in reality he didn't change all that much, still keeping a lot of his older personality traits and reverting completely to his child self when drunk. He just seems to be better at keeping it all below the surface and, of course, growing up doing dirty underground work can make one be not all that open or friendly to people.
From the first glance, Gilbert is quiet and distant, even cold, however for the most cases, it is caused by his discomfort around people rather than intentional jerkassness. You could say he's actually afraid of people, feeling uncomfortable in social gatherings and often starting to stutter if he has to speak in front of others. While it is true that he can be cold or even cruel to people, it is only as long as he doesn't really know them – unless he's in his Psycho mode, when everyone except Master are likely to meet gruesome end, even people he considers important. He himself is terrified of such blackouts.
He is quite impatient and quick to lose his temper, though it doesn't necessarily always end in him being angry; while he is definitely easily irritated, it takes quite more for him to resort to physical violence unlike most quickly annoyed characters, and - his loss of coolness might also be due to spazz trigger than getting angry. He is also quick to panic or freak out due to this. There are all too many things to be said or done than can send him flailing around losing his almost-stoic face in an instant; some of those include 'improper' things (such as hearing Oz and Alice have 'already kissed'), bullying (such as Break sending him to the kitchen while strangling Emily for visual encouragement – to what he gets a little revenge by making coffee instead of tea, petty as it is), or anything relating to his hat (such as losing it).
At the same time, Gilbert is a bit of a pushover, it sort of being a running gag in the series itself. Everyone and their mother are capable of bullying him, starting with cats and finishing with sending him 'back to the kitchen'. His little adoptive brother constantly rejects or lectures him, his master loves pulling pranks on him, his brother seems perfectly capable of manipulating him, and so on. He also often seems to be easily influenced or swayed (though does display willpower at more serious points). If there is someone that can be branded as 'everyone's bitch' in Pandora Hearts cast, it is most likely Gilbert.
Generally, Gilbert's mindset seems to be that of a servant. Even after becoming a noble, he still appears to hold himself lesser than others, at times easily intimidated by, for example, Elliot, his youngest sibling. He acts obedient even when it's not really needed. It was made very noticeable throughout the series that Gilbert needs a master, as he sees serving as his main reason to live, possibly due to the childhood brainwash. He himself has addressed it as a 'place to belong', and even during the ten years that Oz was gone, he was doing everything for his sake in hopes of getting him back. He needs to be needed very much, and that is likely why he puts up with Vincent's creepy-ish clingyness most of the time; it's a reassurement that he's necessary for someone. That is also why he is so protective of his masters at whichever time; they are what allow him to feel needed and therefore he will protect them with his life, as a reassurance of his existence. It would appear he simply needs to live for someone else, otherwise he would break apart.
Gilbert is also very loyal, to the point of obsession sometimes; he never betrays Oz and feels horrible after exchanging the Vessalius household for Nightrays' after Oz is gone. During the ten years, he never abandons his original reasons for doing what he does, and when Oz gets back, asks to be accepted as his servant again. His obsession with the hat that Ada had gave him can be seen as a form of loyalty getting ridiculous; he appears to think of losing it as a betrayal to Vessalius' kindness. He also displays loyalty towards Break, who returned him hope ten years ago and made him his subordinate; while several times he openly insists he hates him, he still participates in his schemes and goes to help him when it is needed, most notable instance being the current claim of being his left eye after entering the fight scene.
Gilbert seems to constantly fear doing something wrong and continuously berates himself, thinking he's a horrible person for leaving the Vessalius household, later feeling guilty for staying away from the Nightrays', all of that summing up into one ugly case of self-loathing. At first, he doesn't think he's even worth talking to Oz or Oscar anymore, luckily, they smack that opinion out of him later on. An example of this can also be seen even in his childhood; he detests himself for wanting to abandon Vincent a few times, recognizing that as despicable behaviour, even if he doesn't actually do it. Even when wanting to help someone, he seems to somewhat doubt his ability to do it, especially if it's some sort of verbal comfort. It is also possible that he wears that much black because he sees himself as a bad, 'dark' person as well; then again it's also possible that it makes him more unnoticeable, and he definitely doesn't want any attention ever.
He is also kind at heart, though of course there are exceptions; while he has learned to effectively close it off and kill people in cold blood whenever the situation demands it, he seems reluctant to do any harm unless it's completely unavoidable. He doesn't exactly get attached to people too easily, but when he does, he will often try to protect them instead, though of course master always remains the first priority. He seems to be in fact terrified of his blackouts when he seems to be capable of killing just about anyone, as that is something he doesn't see as himself at all. His kindness sometimes cause him inner conflicts, for example when it concerns Alice (he hates her for contracting Oz, but while in his right mind he can't harm her as she's almost become a friend), or even Zai (he positively wants to kill him, but... OZ WOULD BE SAD. :( Can not do something like that). Of course, it doesn't help with his general self-esteem at all.
Also, he hates cats because he is absolutely terrified by them.
Skills and Powers:
Most important first; is cooking an ability? Yes it is! Gilbert is an excellent cook, surpassing countless desperate housewives with his skills of preparing food. Despite of that, he doesn't seem to like doing that very much and, unless it's Oz, will have to be bullied to get back into the kitchen.
In general aspect, Gilbert can be a rather good fighter; he is a member of a household which deals with underground work (including assassinations) a lot, and was implied to participate in it from relatively young age (possibly around 16). As such, he is also capable of quick thinking and reflexes, managing to make important or even cruel decisions if it's needed, as seen when he shoots the Pandora members after realizing they're being controlled by Zwei. Unless his buttons are pushed, he will be rather level-headed, and, if needed, even cold, like illustrated by the previous example. He also isn't particularly easy to fool, like illustrated when he shoots a fake Alice in Cheshire's place and when he figures out Break's blindness.
Marksmanship would also be a strength of his, as he wields his pistols quickly and accurately. His skills with a revolver apparently are only surpassed by his own younger brother, Vincent.
Finally, Gilbert is a legal contractor of the Chain „Raven“, and that, of course, gives him powers beyond those of a simple mortal. Even though it was implied to be one of the strongest chains, its powers haven't really been showed onscreen yet (it has finally appeared onscreen last chapter; I will update this section when new facts are known); and what we do know about it now includes:
it is the Chain of the Nightray house, and at some point belonged to Glen Baskerville along with Owl, Dodo, Gryphon and Jabberwocky;
it resembles a giant, terrifying crow with a skull for a head, always bound by a multitude of chains and surrounded by, probably, hellfire itself;
it most likely is a lot more powerful than Rufus Barma's Chain „Dodo“, since it stopped it without ever appearing and in a blink of an eye;
after Raven's power is used, it leaves a multitude of black feathers around;
it has the power of teleportation, though using that puts a lot of strain on the contractor;
its best known ability is the sealing power, that can be used on other Chains. It has been used to seal Alice's, or B-Rabbit's, powers. However it appears that while the seal is active, Raven's other powers can not be used (as it was shown using teleportation temporary breaks the seal);
Raven itself also seems to be able to create scary illusions, like a multitude of scary glowing eyes and manipulating itself into seemingly becoming one with darkness;
It is implied that Raven is more suited to killing humans than Chains, unlike Mad Hatter;
Raven's name and concept may be a reference to the monstrous crow from "Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There"; original quote being in a poem about a bird that scared Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum: „Just then flew down a monstrous crow, / As black as a tar-barrel; / Which frightened both the heroes so, / They quite forgot their quarrel.“.
His usual set of clothes (I think, anyway? And if not let's just say that he dream-dressed himself with whatever was the most comfortable), including the hat. The hat possesses sentimental value to him, and quite a lot of it. He also has two revolvers in his posession.
Also a severed head in his hands. He's clutching it for dear life upon his arrival. MASTER WHY WON'T YOU SAY ANYTHING. ;A;
His compact mirror is a small metal cigarette case. On the inside, there's a mirror on one side and fags holster on the other. Something like this.
[The video feed shows some messy black hair and a bit of a hat before more of Gilbert's face is seen. He's looking around a little frantically, like a home-alone child who's about to dive into his mother's underwear collection. The surroundings appear to be something like a back yard or an alley, what is also suspicious.]
[Moreover, Gilbert doesn't seem aware at all of the broadcast; apparently he's turned it on accidentally as his Lume is also the prized container of his cancer sticks. He's tucking a cigarette somewhere out of the side of the screen right now, looking around again and lighting it. You see, miss Alice has complained about the smell and demanded that he quits. And he can't let her live with that twisted old man of a Jack. But, you see, battle of will against tobacco is so much easier promised than done.]
This should be safe...
[And now he's busting himself. Also sighing in relief and inhaling the smoke like it's some sort of an amazing thing.]
That damned idiot - - ...tch.
['Rabbit' isn't all that befitting to Alice anymore, not really. As it turns out, she's not really it. He'll have to think of something new.]
Could be worse, I guess.
[Sighs again and leans against a wall, closing his eyes for a moment. Peace and quiet... and then there's suddenly an unexpected weight on his hat.]
[And then there's a cat's tail hanging in front of his face.]
[The grown man screams like a little girl, drops everything and falls over, quickly crawling away on his bum while staring at the kitten with eyes wide with horror, similarly to how the victim sitting by the door reacts to a zombie's arm breaking in by their face in horror movies. Except that this is real and perfectly genuine, and Gilbert is turning white and petrified.]
Third Person Prose:
Everything happens so quickly he barely takes notice, although right now he could probably miss just about anything. It just feels as if time had stopped, either around him or just in his head. Everything was a lie, everything he thought he remembered was a lie, and the shape of the truth was in his hands.
The severed head of his master, which he was clutching desperately as if that would make it all go away, blood slowly colouring the white parts of his clothes as he just stared in front of himself not seeing anything and just tried to remember how to breathe. His breath is loud and uneven, as if he's gotten his lungs shot at. Can't be. It can't be. It can't, it can't, it can't...
When he finally notices the surroundings, it's no longer the place he was just in, and there's no longer anyone, not even Vincent, around. A slight chill goes through him, but he's not capable of coherent thoughts yet and not sure he'll ever be again. Instinct tells him something is off, and he slowly gets up.
Everything feels as if it's in a cool, almost monochromatic dream. A stone arch... soundless surroundings... two quiet figures standing by guarding a passage. It almost feels like another one of those realms warped by the Abyss. There's just something surreal about it. For a moment, he almost forgets the head he's holding in his hands... but only for a moment. Master. What has become of you? Are you still out there --
What is this place?
Could it be the other's doing? They probably no longer saw him as an ally; various Chains could create illusions and other things. But that didn't matter. Whoever thought they could restrain him by putting him here... they'd simply have to perish. Nobody stands in the way of him and Master, after all. Nobody.
His eyes still unnaturaly widened, he takes a slightly staggery step towards the guard, suddenly tossing one hand to the side. As on command, several chains briefly shoot behind him as if framing something bigger but still invisible for the moment, and several black feathers twirl to the ground.
„Take me back.“
He steps closer. If he just kills them, the illusion should end.
He'll just have to do that.