Lara, when she's cleaned up and wearing clothes that aren't torn and burned, looks like a college student, specifically one who might also be a cheerleader. She generally keeps her hair in a ponytail, which heightens that impression. Depending on how she's dressed, she may have one or more visible scars on various parts of her body, mostly her arms and legs.
Lara is a driven woman, by her own curiosity and by what she's realized about her past and her father. She needs answers, answers to everything, and once she has a goal she doesn't stop until it's achieved. This determination and inner steel have allowed her to survive and win) in situations that have killed literally hundreds of other people, but it also means that her moral rules are more like guidelines, completely ignored in the right situation.
She's genuinely enthusiastic about the past and history, and tends to nerd out over ancient things. While she used to hate tombs, the fact that they contain antiquities and writings means they end up being among her favorite places to explore.
Lara genuinely likes people, likes talking to them and hearing their stories, likes telling her own. But when she's in work-mode she pushes everyone away out of a conviction that if people go into danger with her, they'll die while she walks out comparatively unharmed.
She has, since her first stay at the Madonna Inn, mostly recovered from the trauma of Yamatai and learned how to be an actual functioning person as opposed to the pile of twitchy survival instincts the island turned her into. She still has the instincts, of course, but she's better at not letting them take over when it's not necessary.
Skills & Abilities
Lara is a trained archaeologist, able to read/understand and translate a multitude of ancient and modern languages (including Japanese, Russian, Greek, and Latin). She is an expert climber and orienteer, capable of picking locks, and possesses a high degree of skill with a wide range of weapons: bow, handguns, shotguns, rifles, climbing axe. She is capable of repairing and modifying all those weapons, if not building them from scratch.
Lara also has insanely high pain tolerance and is able to keep moving and fighting even with injuries that would cause most people to curl up weeping or just pass out.
She is a skilled bartender and field medic due to working the late shift in a dive bar called the Nine Bells to pay her way through university.
- a knife made from a shard of propeller from her crashed plane - souvenir of her most recent adventure
- a mostly hand-made recurve bow, which she refuses to abandon as it's saved her life multiple times
- Mask of Ix Chel: a golden half-mask decorated with feathers and a golden snake, symbolizing Ix Chel, Mayan goddess of the full moon
- shiny artifacts
- overly independent, rejects teamwork even when it would work better - This might also be termed 'egotistical' or even 'self-centered' but neither of those hits the mark exactly. Lara is often an extreme example of 'if you want something done right, do it yourself'. While she has learned to accept assistance from others, Lara still default believes that once she decides something needs to be done, SHE is the one who needs to do it, the only one. This is likely to be problematic only in event/otherworld scenarios, as it will lead Lara to get in over her head without backup.
- overwhelming focus - It's canonically said by her best friend Jonah (who has followed her on enough 'adventures' to know better than anyone) that when Lara is focused on something, everything else in the world stops existing. Lara has ignored legitimately severe injury in favor of whatever her current focus is, she's stayed in collapsing temples because she's not finished taking pictures of a mural that she thinks is a clue to her next step. When focused on a project or goal, Lara will ignore everything up to and including her own survival in pursuit of it. In peaceful times, this tends to show itself as little things like forgetting to eat or sleeping at odd hours. In dangerous times, it could be literally lethal for herself and anyone around her.
- occasional hair-trigger violence - A big part of Lara's recent life has been ruled by violence. Under stress or when upset, Lara now sort of does look for something to fight or kill. Even when she's not stressed, she's rarely still. Movement and action is comforting to her, and she'll often choose 'do something!' even when 'be patient and wait' might be a better idea.
Lara Croft is the daughter of Lord Richard and Lady Amelia Croft. Her mother disappeared when she was very young, and Lara has virtually no memories of her. Her earliest memories are of her father, being taken on his 'adventures' along with his friends Captain Grim and Conrad Roth. When she was about five, though, her father went on an adventure that he declared to be too dangerous for her, and when he came back he was... different. It upset Lara, but not as much finding his body after his suicide did. After that, she was raised by Conrad Roth as per her father's will. She never exactly got over her father abandoning her like that, but she also didn't dwell.
With Roth as her guardian, she did well in school and also went on adventures - she climbed mountains, explored jungles, learned to navigate by sun and stars, learned how to use weapons. When she got older and had to decide on university, her vast inherited fortune would have allowed her to go to Cambridge as her parents had, but wouldn't pay out for any other university. Only partly out of spite, Lara opted to go to University College London, and pay her own way by bartending.
There she met Sam Nishimura, and the two became close friends, with Sam taking the more studious and dedicated Lara out for new kinds of adventures on the town, and Lara keeping out-of-place American Sam from spinning too far out of control. Once they both graduated (early) it was Lara's idea to put together funding for a reality show slash expedition to find Yamatai, the lost empire of Sam's ancestors.
They did. And it was a nightmare. Their ship was wrecked in a storm and they were all cast away on an island that turned out not only to be Yamatai, but to be host to a horde of savagely cultist other survivors, a horde of undead Stormguard still bound to defend their Empire, and a not-exactly-dead Sun Queen full of rage and still possessed of her shamanistic ability to call storms out of a clear sky.
Saving even a few of her partners (including Sam) cost Lara her innocence, her conviction of being a good person, most of her ability to trust, and both of her surrogate/replacement fathers in Captain Grim and Conrad Roth. But with the Sun Queen destroyed and her cultist adherents broken or killed, it was actually possible to leave the island and be rescued.
Aboard the ship leaving Yamatai, Lara found she was filled with a new conviction to find the real truth and real answers of the world and thus prove that her father hadn't been the madman the world painted him as being. Of course, that was the point at which the universe decided it was time for another curveball.
She was deposited at the Madonna Inn, still filthy, wounded, and traumatized. While at the Inn she recovered somewhat, not enough to be comfortable around most of the people at the inn, but more than enough to fall in love with Kitty Pryde. More than enough that, when she abruptly found herself back on the rescue ship departing Yamatai with her months-healed wounds reopened, all she wanted was to find a way to go back.
Abandoning everything in her life except her hunt and paranoid about being followed by a conspiracy called Trinity, she pursued legends of an all-powerful mystic Source reputed to be able to do anything, including grant immortality, supposedly contained within the legendary city of Kitezh. The truth proved to be more complicated and more painful: the Source was real, but it granted immortality at the cost of your self, the long-ago Prophet who'd discovered it hundreds of years before was still alive (a kind man named Jacob), and her almost-stepmother Anna was not only terminally ill and looking for the Source herself, she was the one who'd killed Lara's father, on Trinity's orders.
Lara wanted to use the Source to get back to the Inn, but she couldn't allow it to be used at all. Ultimately, she destroyed the Source, killing Jacob and ultimately consigning Anna to a slow death from disease. (Or not, as Anna was later executed by Trinity during a confession to Lara.)
Lacking any further leads regarding artifacts that might allow her to travel to the Inn, Lara embarked on a series of revenge-strikes on Trinity cells, trying to dismantle the organization that had murdered her father.
This led her to Cozumel, in Mexico, and the Key of Chak Chel: an ancient dagger, one half of two artifacts that, when combined, were reputed to grant the power to 'remake the world'. As a bonus, Trinity wanted those artifacts, too, and Lara wanted to spike their wheels. Unfortunately, when she took the Dagger from its resting place without already having the Silver Box of Ix Chel, she touched off the Cleansing: a series of apocalyptic events that would end with the death of the sun. From there, it was a race with Trinity and against the possible end of the world, to gain the Silver Box.
Ultimately, she failed. Trinity gained both artifacts and started the ritual to remake the world 'without fear, pain, or conflict' - a world wholly ruled by them, lacking all dissent. Once more, Lara regretfully let her dream of forcing her way back to the Inn go by allowing herself to step into the mythological role of Ix Chel: sacrificed by Chak Chel to banish the creation/destruction god Kukulkan and renew the sun.
Which is why it's a puzzle when, after laying down on the stone table and closing her eyes to let Chak Chel cut out her heart, she opens her eyes again on a very familiar road.
Story So Far