Two hundred years ago he was cursed by the Forest Queen to be a changeling: taking the form of a man by day and that of an animal at night, transforming painfully during nightfall and sunrise. These animal forms change with the seasons -- a rabbit in winter, snake in spring, coyote in summer, and raven in fall. The time these forms last is not an even split of 12 hours as a man and 12 hours as an animal, but are based on the natural day/night cycle, and vary with the seasons. He is snarky and sarcastic, an expert Illimat player (swearing that he never cheats), and inclined to stealing people's watches.
- Travis was cursed by the Forest Queen when he was in his late 20s, and hasn't aged since. This is how Johnny first describes Travis at the beginning of the show, however throughout he also refers to Travis as appearing to be in his late, and then early, thirties. Likely Travis has the body of someone in their late 20s who has lived a very difficult and long life.
- Shoulder-length white hair.
- His outfit - usually a long, green coat with many pockets, fingerless gloves, loose-fitting shirt, pants, and heeled shoes - was once nice, but now looks a little shabby.
- He is 5'11".
- In spring, summer, autumn, and winter respectively Travis takes the form of a snake, coyote, raven, and rabbit. All of these animals are white with black eyes.
- During the Burza Nyth arc Gable describes Travis as 'very thin' but this is meant to insult him and need not be taken as canon.
Travis (nee William) was born over two hundred years ago, before the stars fell, to a rich family in a busy city. His mother died when he was young, but his father, step-mother, and their servants were cruel to young Travis. When Uriel (now Gable) descended upon their city to invoke the divine wrath of The Sovereign, they killed Travis' family. Travis was around ten.
As a young man in his early twenties, just after the stars fell, Travis found Gable's body washed up on a beach in Gavinport. He had been robbing corpses at the time. Gable tried to choke him, and he tried to shoot them, thus beginning the complex relationship they have now maintained for two centuries.
Five years later, Travis met Gable again in the parlour of the Forest Queen. The two of them played a game of Illimat with the Queen, in which Travis bet his mortality as his Okus token. While he won the game overall, the Queen claimed his Okus and cursed him, making him into one of her changelings.
An indeterminate amount of time later, Travis marries Margaret, then loses her to the river.
Roughly twenty five years after that Travis finds himself imprisoned by the Church of the Slain God, once again with Gable. As a snake, he escapes and steals keys from a guard, but remains in the prison, taunting Gable with them. He claimed he stayed for the free meals, but most likely he wouldn't leave without Gable. The day they are due to be executed they escape.
Some time after this Travis takes on the conman persona of Jolly Jack, then loses it in a bet to the current Jolly Jack.
Around a year before the campaign begins Travis meets Gable in a tavern. They were hunting him for a bounty, but instead of killing him they offer to neglect the reward and instead run away with Travis on the skyship Uhuru, which is docked at the port for a couple of months. Travis agrees to go with them, and two months later they both join the crew of the Uhuru, with Travis sneaking onto the ship.
Travis is present on the island during the mutiny and contributes to the decision to try and resurrect Captain Orimar Vale.
Travis, along with Jonnit, are part of the initial boarding party onto The Civility. Their job is to disable the cannons and get the featherweave off the ship. The season is summer, so Travis is a coyote during this time.
They succeed, and for the first time since becoming a changeling Travis is able to transform a part of his body at his own will.
The Burza Nyth arc is set in autumn, meaning Travis spends his daytime as a white raven (named Caramel by Gable). This is particularly fitting, as it also happens to be Burza Nyth's annual bird festival, Aur Pióra. In episode 18 he coins his catchphrase for the arc: "I'm a different bird!" the only phrase Travis decides he has been taught in bird form.
Travis competes in the griffin race, riding on a duck named Ferdinand that they purchase specifically for this event, and comes in second, grabbing the victory banner to earn their team extra points. Jonnit uses magic to help him win, but Travis refuses to acknowledge this.
After the race Travis remains in the hotel with Dref, as a raven. As a result he is present when Tiberius Youngblood, Dref's brother, shows up to kill him. Dref casts a silencing spell on Travis to protect him, and an unbinding spell when they are drawn into the cutting stone to prevent Travis from being killed. Travis watches Dref die.
They hold a funeral on the ship at which Travis speaks, then they burn Dref's body in the engine. The next day Travis sifts through Dref's bones for relics to sell. When Wilson reveals that Dref's whole heart was unburned in the fire Travis takes it off him and pockets it.
The next day Travis takes Lucas, Gable's peacock, and Ferdinand to compete in the next part of the competition. Despite now knowing any of the rules he does well, until the sun sets and he has to flee the competition while in the begginings of transforming. As a result 50 points are deducted, and their team emerges with an average score overall.
As a raven, Travis enters the falconry competition with Orimar as his trainer. Still not knowing the rules he flounders a little, causing havoc, but in the end beats a significant portion of the competition. The arena is then attacked by Red Feather Syndicate men, and the party are forced to flee. Travis receives a near fatal wound in the process, and the Captain's face is badly damaged. Gable tries to stay awake to look after Travis, but eventually both they and Jonnit fall asleep. Travis keeps himself busy learning about the joust, and just before sunrise realises he can use his lifeforce to heal the captain, due to having Dref's heart.
Whilst the joust is ongoing The Broker borrows Travis to help him frighten Red Feather soldiers out of the city. Travis suggest they use the same spell the broker uses to use ravens to deliver messages, but on Red Feather men. Once the message has been delivered the ravens die; he hopes the same will happen with the men. The Broker agrees, and asks Travis to give a blood sacrifice. As it is nearing sundown Travis is very willing.
Travis, as a bird, then accompanies Orimar to negotiate with a Red Feather leader. He has written a letter for Orimar that simply reads 'Get out.' This, combined with the Captain's steadfastness in death, causes the Red Feather Syndicate to reduce their forces in the city.
In order to help the ship achieve an emergency landing Travis climbs out onto the guide ropes to try and untangle them. Finding the task difficult he asks for the air of the Luminaries, and The Butcher responds. Making a sacrifice to The Butcher, Travis asks Lucas to tear off his arm, then grows it back in as a coyote's paw so he will have use of the claws. This is excruciating for Travis.
Back on the ship he asks for Gable's help. They try to heal him with divine magic, but what happens instead is they burn away his coyote arm and remove part of his changeling curse. This causes The Changeling to vanish from Travis' Illimat deck, and every time he pulls from it he draws The Island.
Feeling something is wrong, Travis visits the shrine to the Luminaries as soon as they arrive in Nordia. There he meets Margaret, a Black Lily who bears a striking resemblance to his deceased wife, down to her name. The uncanny resemblance knocks Travis sick - literally! - but once over the initial shock he relishes the opportunity to see her face again, even if it is on a different person. Margaret agrees to help Travis with his curse - she will restore his arm, and, if he wishes, make him mortal. For a price, of course. So for the next three days, until her spell is complete, Margaret makes Travis human.
Travis spends his first night as a human man drinking with Margaret and his friends, then watches the sun rise in the morning.
To fix Travis arm Margaret will need several things: he will have to confess three heartbreaks, make three promises, profess three loves, and, if possible, offer her a limb to replace his with. Travis picked up a changeling's rabbit foot in Burza Nyth, so the latter is no problem. Over the course of the arc, Travis provides the rest of what Margaret needs.
- The loss of his wife.
- The loss of Dref Wormwood.
- The abusive relationship suffered with his parents.
- To do whatever he can to protect Jonnit.
- To always be by Gable's side.
- To live a good life for himself.
- Margaret (his wife).
- Gable, his oldest and dearest friend.
- The Forest Queen (it's complicated).
During one of these discussions with Margaret, Travis decides he wants to be a mortal man, and tells Gable they will find a way for them to die, too. Later, when making his promise to Gable to always be with them, Gable fails to tell Travis that they discovered they can never die.
While performing the spell to remove his curse, Margaret tells Travis about Gable's deception. Deeply hurt, he tells her not to make him mortal. Margaret allows him to instead transform into an animal into the day and be a man at night. He then declares he is going to kill Gable.
The Mariner begins his attack and Travis and Margaret begin to flee into upper Nordia. To do so they must cross the river that divides the two parts of the settlement. Margaret offers to cast a spell and asks Travis to make a promise, so he does: "I promise not to let go of your hand." The intimacy of him promising to protect her, and the repeating of a painful history, get them across the river safely.
Halfway up the steps they get separated, so Travis partially transforms into a snake to blend in with the Drowned Sailors and makes his way to Gable.
Gable, fighting The Mariner's soldiers on the beach, is fully lost in their angelic form. When shooting at them does nothing to get their attention, Travis transforms into a gruesome chimera-type creature, with the tail of a snake, the body of a coyote, the wings of a bird, and the ears of a rabbit. They fight until they're both exhausted and collapse on the beach. Travis transforms back into a man and, coming to, Gable realises what he's done.
He berates them for lying to him and makes them promise they will do everything together from now on. Gable hugs him and apologises. They kiss briefly, before heading into upper Nordia to finish the fight.
Travis finds Margaret and says if she wants to join the fight she can, but he doesn't expect her to. Margaret says she will, for a price, and Travis gets a little frustrated at that, saying that this isn't doing him a favour, there are people's lives at stake. Then he kisses her, saying "that one's on the house," and leaves to join the final battle.
Whilst everyone is facing off against The Mariner, Margaret casts a binding spell between Travis and Orimar, through Dref's heart, so the two will better understand each other. She then tells Travis, "that one's on the house."
After the battle Travis and Margaret return to the Luminary shrine to agree on her payment. Travis will give her:
- Three days and nights of his life, allowing her to transform into whatever animal Travis may be at that time, or even Travis himself.
- A favour whenever she calls on him for it.
- The use of one of his skills whenever she may need it. Travis decides to give her his pickpocketing skills.
Margaret then joins the crew on their journey to N'Goni.
Jonnit is another member of the Captain's so-called council. Despite seeing Travis for the snarky liar that he is, Jonnit can't help but look to him for guidance, occasionally treating him as a sort of mentor figure. Travis never gives him actual helpful advice, but he does care for Jonnit deeply.
In life Travis was known to tease Dref, but his death had a profound impact on Travis in a way no one's had for a while. It is clear after his passing that Dref was very dear to Travis.
Travis and Gable have a very old and complex history. They have known each other longer than anyone else. They constantly bully each other and call each other stupid, but when it comes down to it they really care for each other and do not want to be apart. In Nordia they promise to always do everything together and share a kiss.
The Captain and Travis have a complicated relationship. Whilst alive it does not appear Orimar liked Travis much, and in death expresses that he doesn't trust him. However as Travis possesses Dref heart, and because Margaret bound them together, Travis and the Captain and inextricably linked.
A short while after he became a changeling Travis met a woman called Margaret who he loved deeply. They married and were very happy together, but the Forest Queen still had a hold on him. One day they found themselves fleeing from her domain. They had only to cross a river to escape, but Margaret got pulled under by the Rusulka and Travis, despite holding tight and being willing to die with her, began to transform into a snake against his will. After Margaret died he never fell in love that way again.
In Nordia Travis meets a black lily bearing the same face and name as his wife. They have an easy comradery, and Travis says that kissing her doesn't hurt but instead feels like the last day of summer he thought he'd never experience again.
When she departs in N'Goni Travis realises that, somehow, she was his wife, reborn by the river and drawn back to him by fate. But by the time he realises this she has already left.
A man Travis once gambled with and lost his name to. This wager had strange effects on Jolly Jack, though it is unclear what they were.
- Travis' signature drink is the Maelstrom.
- Travis is the only changeling to transform into multiple animals.
- Jonnit's failed attempt to entreat the aid of The Changeling to cast a spell in Nordia occurs at almost the exact time Travis decides to become a mortal. This wasn't intentional, but it sure is neat!