- “I come to call down my destiny - and it is tall and dangerous!”
- ―Audrey to Jupiter
Audrey Scuttle (née Brown) is the main protagonist of The Deptford Mice trilogy. She is the daughter of Albert and Gwen Brown, and the sister of Arthur Brown. She was born on the 3rd of January in the Skirtings.
Audrey is a beautiful brown house mouse. Her features are delicate, and have been described as elfin. She has large brown eyes and a long nose tapering down to a tiny mouth. As a child, Audrey enjoyed dressing in lace and especially loved a pair of silver bells which Twit had given her that she wore on her tail. Usually she would have a pink ribbon tied into her hair in such a way that it appeared to be sprouting like a plant. Since becoming the Starwife, however, she has stopped wearing these things. This is likely because they are worldly vanities.
Audrey is very headstrong, brave and courageous. She has a fiery personality, and is often outspoken. If she dislikes someone, she will make no secret of it, and is apt to say things she may regret later if she changes her opinion of them.
She also tends to daydream, which makes it hard for her family and friends to believe her when she tells them about her real encounters with the Green Mouse.
Role in The Dark Portal Edit
- “I see a mouse, young and fair. Her brass is lost, and so is she; ribbons and lace adorn her.”
Audrey was first introduced on the morning of the Great Spring Celebration. It was the year she and her brother would receive their mousebrasses, but she was preoccupied with thoughts of her father, who had been missing for a whole day and night. She didn't understand why he wasn't there for such an important occasion, but believed he would show up eventually. It angered her when anyone suggested that he could in fact be dead.
Audrey, fully expecting her father to appear, decided to enjoy her day in the meantime. Twit bashfully approached her and gave her two silver bells from Master Oldnose's Green Mouse finery. She was delighted with them and put them on her tail.
After Audrey took part in some of the festivities, it was time for the giving of the brasses. Arthur went first and received The Sign of Family, the same as their father. As Audrey entered the Chamber of Winter, the once-harmless decorations somehow took on a life of their own and menaced her. The terrors of winter became frighteningly real to her.
Escaping into the Chamber of Spring, Audrey found herself in a beautiful land of growing things. Approaching and rolling away the decorative golden sun, she briefly saw a bewildered Master Oldnose before he disappeared and in his place was the Green Mouse himself. Audrey fell to her knees at the sight of him, and he offered her a mousebrass. Frightened, Audrey refused to take it at first, but suddenly she heard the voice of her father telling her to do as she is bid. She looked around, wondering where he was, but could not see him. He promised she would see him "before the end", and she took the mousebrass from the Green Mouse.
Suddenly it was all over and Audrey was back in the Chamber of Summer as it normally appeared with Master Oldnose. He said he didn't remember putting the brass Audrey was holding in his bag. It was The Anti-Cat Charm. Outside, Audrey's mother complimented her on her new mousebrass, and Mrs. Chitter remarked that she hadn't seen one like it for a long time, and that it wasn't very useful as there were no cats in the area.
Keeping her voice casual, Audrey asked Mrs. Chitter about the fortune telling rat she had been talking about previously, Madame Akkikuyu. She said that she heard she was in the garden the night before, and was by then probably off to her next stop through the sewers.
That night, Audrey slipped out of bed to go see Madame Akkikuyu in the sewers. She wanted to know where her father was, and believed Akkikuyu could shed some light on the matter. Akkikuyu demanded payment for her services, eyeing Audrey's new mousebrass. Audrey did not let her have the brass, saying that she was told to keep it with her always. Instead, she reluctantly handed over her silver bells.
[To be continued...]
Role in The Crystal Prison Edit
Later, she was forced by the Starwife to accompany the rat Madame Akkikuyu to Fennywolde. After Hodge, Young Whortle and Jenkin were mysteriously murdered, the fieldmice pointed their fingers at Audrey, thinking that she had killed them. They were convinced she was a witch and were about to hang her, but Twit invoked the Gallow's Law and married her in order to save her.
Role in The Final Reckoning Edit
Audrey returned to the Skirtings, leaving her husband behind. Many of the mice wondered just why Twit had married Audrey. Mrs. Chitter was even bold enough to ask if she should start knitting bonnets and booties for a baby. Audrey made it very clear that nothing like that would be needed. In setting the gossipy mice straight, she managed to get on the wrong side of them, and she was not the most popular mouse in the house as a result.
After all she had been through in Fennywolde, Audrey was finding life in the Skirtings very dull. Still, she tried to join in the Yule festivities. Later that night, she, Arthur, and Oswald observed the bats Orfeo and Eldritch leaving the attic and joining a vast group of their kind in a flight toward the city. The mice took this as a very bad sign.
The next day, Thomas Triton arrived in the Skirtings accompanied by the Starwife. Audrey was not happy to see the old squirrel as she still resented her for forcing her to go to the country with Madame Akkikuyu. The Starwife made a grave announcement; Jupiter had returned in spectral form. This news naturally came as a huge shock to Audrey and the other mice. When the Starwife announced her plan of consulting the bats in the attic, the mice were forced to tell her that the bats had gone.
The Starwife's great dismay and hopelessness at this moved Audrey and she felt pity for the old squirrel. She also felt angry, rather than frightened, at the news of Jupiter's return. It seemed that her fate was bound with that of Jupiter and, strangely, with that of the Starwife as well. In trying to comfort the Starwife, Audrey mentioned the possibility of getting a message to the bats. At that the Starwife brightened, and she gathered everyone to help her make a beacon fire to draw them.
Orfeo and Eldritch eventually arrived, but they were rude to the Starwife and cruelly mocked her. Audrey found herself taking up for the Starwife. The bats revealed their true purpose for coming back to the empty house in Deptford; they wanted to bring Oswald to a huge meeting at St. Paul's Cathedral where their kind would discuss how to defeat Jupiter. The Starwife was angered that the albino runt would be chosen to go with them instead of her, and in the days after Oswald's departure, she grew more and more depressed.
Audrey did what she could to comfort the Starwife, speaking to her whenever she had the opportunity. On one occasion, she asked if the squirrel missed her people. She replied that she did, but not her grey squirrel subjects as they never were her people. She explained to the confused Audrey that she was in fact a black squirrel, part of a noble race that had all but died out. The Starwife could never find any trace of the rest of the black squirrels, and came to the conclusion that she was the last. Because of that, she doubted if there would be another Starwife after her passing.
The sudden arrival of Piccadilly in the Skirtings stirred old feelings in Audrey. She stole away to her room to fix herself up for him. Audrey's mother caught her in the process of doing so, and the girl was greatly embarrassed. Her mother gently reminded her that things had changed. She was now the wife of Twit and could no longer have romantic feelings for Piccadilly. Audrey broke down in tears, saying that she wished Twit would have let her hang instead of marrying her.
In spite of her mother's advice, Audrey still attempted to confess her love for Piccadilly. But he was preparing to head for Jupiter's lair at the power station with Thomas, Arthur, and Barker to see if Audrey's mousebrass had the power to vanquish the evil god once again. Before Audrey had a chance to truly say what was on her mind, Piccadilly had to go. As she watched him leave, cursing herself for not telling him, her mother came up behind her and told her it was better that way.
Later, Arthur returned with a wounded Thomas. Nervously, Audrey asked where Piccadilly was. Arthur replied that the city mouse had seemingly gone mad and charged back to the power station. He was unsure of what happened to Piccadilly or Barker. Somehow, Audrey was able to sense that Piccadilly was dead and grief washed over her.
The Starwife explained that the ice spear that pierced Thomas's leg was enchanted with evil magic, and the wound would only get worse until eventually the midshipmouse would die. She suggested that the kindest thing to do would be to finish him off then rather than let him die the slow, agonising death he would face from the wound. Everyone was shocked at her callousness, but the Starwife insisted that her plan was for the best given the circumstances.
As Audrey watched the Starwife, she realised that she was able to read the old squirrel's thoughts. She angrily strode over to confront the Starwife, telling her that she knew she was capable of and considering healing Thomas but opted not to because everyone was going to die soon anyway due to the freezing winter. The Starwife admitted that Audrey was right. Audrey was furious that the squirrel would dare to decide how someone should die when she had the means to save them.
The Starwife agreed to restore Thomas's health, but on one condition: that Audrey help her. As asked, Audrey gathered what was left of the herbs the Starwife had used to feed the beacon fire and gave them to the old squirrel. Audrey was wary for she did not trust the Starwife and sensed she was up to something. Beginning the process of healing Thomas, the Starwife took off her Silver Acorn necklace and dangled it over the midshipmouse. But then her arm sagged and she announced that a firmer paw than hers was needed.
Believing that the Starwife was intentionally stalling, Audrey quickly volunteered and took the pendant. The squirrel resumed her spell. Strangely, the Starwife reached out and touched Audrey on the forehead, combing a circular shape in her fur. Then she cried out "May this new vessel serve you well!"
Gradually, Audrey began to hear a faint humming sound and a shudder ran down her arms to her paws. She spluttered with shock as she felt a colossal force travel through her body. A cold chill coursed through her veins and passed to her fingers. Sparks flickered along the amulet's chain and the silver amulet glowed with a white light. The humming sound filled the Hall and the light from the Silver Acorn grew. Everyone had to stop up their ears and shield their eyes. The radiance battered into Thomas's frozen body and left the house in darkness.
Audrey's eyes and ears still smarted and rang. She looked down and saw that white flames were still dripping from the Silver Acorn and onto Thomas's body. He cried out in pain, and in alarm Audrey realised that the spell must have been killing him. Audrey tried to throw the pendant away, but the Starwife gripped her paws tightly and refused to let her do so. As the white light finally died down and disappeared into the floor, Audrey finally wrested her paws free and flung the Silver Acorn away. But Thomas had turned completely into a statue of ice.
The Starwife approached Thomas's body and began beating it with her stick. There were protests but she ignored them and continued to smash the figure until it was completely destroyed. Then Thomas emerged, alive and well. Audrey had been wrong, and the Starwife really was healing Thomas after all.
Hoping to atone for her doubts, Audrey found the Silver Acorn in a dusty corner and attempted to return it to the Starwife. The old squirrel merely laughed and asked what she thought she'd want it for. Audrey was bewildered. But the Starwife explained that as Audrey took the Silver Acorn from her of her own free will and allowed the powers to channel through her, the pendant (and thus the Starwifeship) now belonged to her. Though Audrey protested, the squirrel said she was the new Starwife whether she liked it or not. Furious, Audrey tossed the Silver Acorn down the cellar steps.
The next day, the old Starwife was found having frozen to death in the yard (in a ritual of sacrificing herself that she planned and carried out). Thomas tried to make the other mice understand how important the squirrel was and that she needed to be burned in a pyre as she had told him she wanted. They were hesitant as their wood supply was limited, but Thomas would not be deterred and Audrey agreed with him as well. She ran inside to get the Starwife's bag as Thomas started the fire and tried to remember the speech he had heard the Starwife give at the funeral service for her fallen subjects in Greenwich. To everyone's astonishment, Audrey emerged from the house and finished the speech for Thomas, despite never having heard it before. After casting some herbs into the flames and finishing by saying "Speed to the Green!", Audrey turned and told everyone that the process was over and it would be better if they all went inside. They did as she told them, but wondered at her curious behaviour.
All at once there was a violent banging at the front door of the old house, and it was determined that Jupiter's spectral army was trying to get inside. Thomas hurriedly convinced everyone to follow him down into the basement to travel to his ship through the sewers. Audrey, swept away by the crowd, began hearing a soft voice in her head urging her to go back and return to the garden. So strong was the influence of the voice that she did turn back, pushing past everyone in her desperation to reach the garden.
Back in the house, all was quiet, though the devastation wrought by Jupiter's ghosts was readily apparent. Once in the garden, Audrey found the remains of the Starwife's pyre. Within it had grown a snowdrop flower. Audrey, amazed that anything could grow so fast and in such extreme cold, picked the snowdrop up and placed it into the waistband of her dress. She tried to return to the cellar and catch up with her friends and family, but was found that the ghosts were now beyond the Grille, jabbing their ice spears toward her.
In the garden once more, Audrey came face to face with another ghost... and to her shock and horror it was that of Kempe, the pedlar mouse. Brainwashed by Jupiter's influence, he attempted to kill her, but when her silver bell rolled out in the scuffle, he was distracted and she made her escape.
Exhausted and cold, Audrey collapsed then and gave up all hope. She waited for the midwinter death to claim her as it did the Starwife before her. Near death, Audrey awoke groggily to the voice of a bat named Hathkin. He said he had been sent by Orfeo, who had found Audrey, to save her. Regaining her senses, Audrey ordered Hathkin to fly her to the Greenwich Observatory where Jupiter was. He was hesitant, but she repeated her order, saying that the Starwife commanded it. Shocked at the change in her voice, Hathkin agreed.
On their way, Audrey and Hathkin encountered the shell-shocked Orfeo and Eldritch, who told them the sad news that Oswald was lost forever during his confrontation with Jupiter. Audrey was grieved by the loss of Oswald, but insisted that she and Hathkin carry on as her fate was tied to Jupiter. As they approached, an ice spear ripped through one of Hathkin's wings and he and Audrey plummeted to the ground. For a moment, Audrey could not find Hathkin, but when she did she realised that he had broken his back in the fall. He weakly told her goodbye before passing away, and she responded by saying he had won renown indeed for his heroic actions.
Still determined to reach Jupiter, Audrey moved swiftly to the base of the Observatory and looked for a way to climb up. After an arduous climb, Audrey found herself on the balcony that ran around the base of the Observatory's dome. Suddenly she heard a hissing sound from the darkness, and turned to see the light from a flame of starfire approaching, which meant one of Jupiter's ghosts was nearby. As the light grew, Audrey was horrified to see that the ghost was Piccadilly. Though she tried to make him recognise her, he was under Jupiter's influence and flung himself at her, intending to strangle her. As she battled for breath, Audrey kept trying to jog Piccadilly's memory.
She was eventually successful and, through tears, Audrey was finally able to tell Piccadilly how much she had loved him. Just then, they heard the voice of Albert Brown, who had come to escort Piccadilly's spirit to the other side. He told Audrey how proud he was of her and that he understood the feelings that were growing between her mother Gwen and Thomas, and wished them joy. Before leaving with Albert, Piccadilly told Audrey that he loved her too. They shared a tender kiss and then he was gone. Audrey fell to her knees in grief.
Audrey continued on her journey to face Jupiter. She shouted at the humongous cat spirit to turn and face her. Peering down at the mouse, just a tiny speck to him, he laughed at her mockingly. Audrey stood her ground and took the snowdrop from her waistband. She flung it into Jupiter's throat. All at once emerald fire ignited from the flower as it spun through Jupiter's cavernous gullet. He screamed as stabs of blinding green sliced through his fur. His ghostly hide turned livid green and golden flowers stabbed out of his skin. In his agony, he dropped the Starglass and it shattered, freeing the stars which then returned to the sky.
Audrey explained to Jupiter that she had cursed him with all the force of life, and as he proved he could not die, he would be consigned to the void where he would be tortured by the agony of spring throughout eternity. Her energy spent, Audrey dropped with fatigue. A fresh new day began to dawn and the earth thanked her, putting forth all its blissful delights to her in homage. She bowed her head and wept.
In the hold of the Cutty Sark, the Green Mouse appeared and thanked Audrey for releasing him. Though Audrey claimed it wasn't her and that the Starwife had sacrificed herself to create the snowdrop, the Green responded that she was now one with the Starwife. Audrey smiled, understanding what he meant. Turning to her mother and Thomas, Audrey told them that she knew what was in their hearts and her father did too and wished them happiness. The Green Mouse then blessed the union of Gwen Brown and Thomas Triton.
After a few weeks, Arthur and several other mice returned to the empty house in Deptford to see if anything could be salvaged. Audrey came with them and slipped away into the cellar where she found the Silver Acorn. On 28 May, Audrey took leave of her family and made her way to the old squirrel colony in Greenwich Park. She held the Silver Acorn up to the stars, then tied it around her neck. With a sad smile, she became the new Starwife.
Role in The Deptford Mice Almanack EditTen years after the fall of Jupiter, Audrey charged the red squirrel artist Gervase Archibald Brightkin with the creation of an almanack. Within he was told to set down every date and festival of the slightest significance in the calendar so future generations would not forget them. Though Gervase initially believed that only the days of the squirrel year would be needed, Audrey commanded that all folk be represented. To aid him in his work, Audrey sent Gervase to Fennywolde and Holeborn to interview Arthur and Twit.
Throughout the year, it became clear that there was unrest among Audrey's grey squirrel subjects. They resented her as she was not a squirrel, but 'merely' a mouse. This all came to a head when the Great Oak (in which Hobb was imprisoned in ages past) fell in a heavy rainstorm. It was believed that it was Audrey's fault. Then a pair of black squirrels appeared in Greenwich. It was a shock as that noble race was said to have died with the old Starwife. It was an older male squirrel named Modequai, and his beautiful-yet-aloof daughter Morella. When they first arrived, Modequai had an audience with Audrey and demanded that the Starwifeship be given to his daughter, but she refused him.
However, seeing Morella as the perfect replacement for Audrey, the grey squirrels began to plan a revolt. Eventually they barged into the Starwife's chamber, tore the Silver Acorn from Audrey's neck, and chased her off by shooting arrows and pelting her with empty acorn cups - the ultimate insult. What became of Audrey after that is currently unknown.
Arthur Brown Edit
Audrey is very close to her brother, although they are quite different, and at times he will call her out for her rude behaviour toward others. Arthur offers to accompany her to Fennywolde with Akkikuyu to see that she settles in. When she is falsely accused of witchcraft there, he (alongside Mr. Woodruffe and Twit) is very vocal in preventing her from being hanged.
When Audrey and Piccadilly first encountered each other in the sewers of Deptford, it proved to be a very awkward meeting. He was forced to explain to her that he had escaped with his life from Jupiter and Morgan whilst her father did not survive. As Audrey did not believe her father to be dead at the time, she refused to believe what Piccadilly was telling her and called him a coward.
Eventually, however, Audrey regretted her treatment of Piccadilly and grew to love him. He had always loved her from the very beginning, though neither could ever bring themselves to admit their feelings for one another.
The Starwife Edit
Albert Brown Initially Audrey hated the Starwife, seeing her as a rude old battleax. In exchange for curing the deathly ill Oswald, the old squirrel forced Audrey to take Madame Akkikuyu to the country and live with the rat until her death. After Akkikuyu died and Audrey returned to the Skirtings, the Starwife showed up there with a desire to speak to the bats. Her realm having been destroyed by the spirit of Jupiter, the squirrel queen ended up staying at the old house in Deptford.
Still resenting the Starwife for what she did, Audrey was initially cold when dealing with her and they got into arguments multiple times. However, she began to pity the old squirrel. After the girl asked whether she missed her people, the Starwife told Audrey she did, but not the grey squirrels who were her servants. She revealed that she was in fact the last of the noble race of black squirrels, and doubted if she would pass her title to anyone since she could find no trace of her kind.
Though their relationship was still rather tense, the Starwife liked the spunk she saw in Audrey, and began to consider the mouse as her possible successor. When Thomas and Arthur returned from a confrontation with Jupiter's army, the former's leg having been pierced by a magical ice spear, the Starwife recommends that he be finished off to spare him any further pain. Everyone is outraged at this suggestion, and Audrey somehow is able to read the Starwife's mind, discovering that the old squirrel has the power to heal Thomas but will not do it. After a private heated argument, the Starwife agrees to heal Thomas, but on one condition... that Audrey help her with the spell.
Sensing an ulterior motive, Audrey agrees but remains suspicious of the old squirrel. As instructed, she holds the Starwife's silver acorn over Thomas's frozen body. At one point, it looks like the magic is killing him, and thinking that was the Starwife's plan, Audrey attempts to throw the charm away. The squirrel prevents her from doing so, and as it turns out, Thomas was healed after all.
Feeling guilty, Audrey goes to apologise to the Starwife, planning to return her silver acorn to her. But the Starwife refuses, saying that the pendant now belongs to Audrey. The mouse doesn't understand, but then realises that while the Starwife was casting her spell to heal Thomas, simultaneously a ritual was being performed that transferred her powers to the girl.
Angry at being manipulated once again, Audrey refuses the Starwifeship and throws the silver acorn down the cellar steps in a fit of rage. Meanwhile, the Starwife goes out into the garden and ritually freezes herself to death amid the falling snow. When her body is discovered, Thomas performs the funeral ceremony she requested, burning her body on a pyre. Oddly enough, Audrey knows the words spoken at squirrel funerals, though she has never heard them before.
The powers of the Starwife continue to manifest themselves within Audrey. When the mice of the old empty house in Deptford are forced to flee through the sewers from Jupiter's spectral army, Audrey is compelled by a voice in her head to turn back and go to the garden. Though others try to stop her, she makes her way through the crowd. back up the cellar steps, and into the yard. There, on the Starwife's pyre, she finds a snowdrop flower and picks it. In the end, it is this that Audrey uses to defeat the spirit of Jupiter and banish him forever.
In the weeks afterward, Audrey accompanied her brother and some of the other mice back to the house in Deptford to see if anything could be salvaged. But the damage inflicted by Jupiter's army could not be repaired. As everyone else was tutting at the damage, Audrey slipped into the cellar and found the discarded silver acorn.
One starry night in May, Audrey took leave of her family and made her way to the abandoned chambers of the Starwife in Greenwich Park. There she finally accepted the Starwifeship.
Audrey is the Anglo-Norman form of the Anglo-Saxon name Æðelþryð, composed of the elements æðel "noble" and þryð "strength". The Anglo-Norman form of the name was applied to Saint Audrey (d. 679), also known by the historical form of her name as Saint Æthelthryth. In the 17th century, the name of Saint Audrey gave rise to the adjective tawdry "cheap and pretentious; cheaply adorned" (after a fair of St. Audrey where cheap lace was sold).