Welcome to the World of Gæia, a world of vast oceans and rolling fields, massive mountain ranges,
and harsh deserts, Continents of stable earth on the oceans and islands of mystery in the sky.
The world of Gæia is a land filled with all sorts of fantastical people and creatures, in a time of
magic and steel, where great wooden ships sail across the sea and sky.
A land of peace and violence, expansionism and isolationism, many empires have seen rise and fall
in the world of Gæia.
Our story will tell the tales of an unlikely group of adventurers and their travels,
as they embark on an epic journey of magic and might, in a land where monsters have returned to
terrorize the inhabitants of Gæia. This unlikely group will effect the world in a way they could never
Our journey starts here, in the town of Kar'Ein, a busy port city filled with commerce and trade.
This bustling city is a melting pot for adventurers and sellswords, as people travel up north to the
great mountains and forests of Lucanrai, south along the coast to the mercantile city states and
the vast Ahkari deserts, east towards the cities of the Varis Empire, or west across the great ocean.
In this melting pot of a city, our heroes, guided by fate, will find themselves thrown together to embark
on an unlikely journey to save the city and ultimately, the world.
Races of the World.
Though Kar'Ein is a primarily Hume town, all of the major races of the world can be found here, various Varyan guilds as well as several Ktareen caravans have arrived recently, and a small Adhir population exists within the city.
Hume: A race with almost the exact same physiology as humans, the humes are in general an honest and loyal race of hard workers. Mostly farmers, craftsmen, and laborers, Humes are typically peaceful by nature. The most populous race in the world, the average Hume stands at around 5'8", and have neutral hair colors such as brown, dark gold, auburn, and dark green. Though the most race populous in the world, they are generally stereotyped as being too trusting and gullible by nature.
Ktareen: A typically short and stocky race, Ktareens stand at about 5 feet and are broad shouldered and strong. As strong of wit as they are of body, the Ktareen are a clever and politically powerful race. Long ago, they ruled the known world, to this day, many still believe themselves to be superior to others. Their physical strength, as well as political prowess makes them a very influential race. The second most populous race in the world, they are typically stereotyped as arrogant and overly proud.
Varyan: An individualistic and adventurous race, Varyans are the most diverse race in the world. Mountain and sea tribe Varyans are immensely tall and strong, some standing at over 6 feet, while plains, desert, and woodland tribe Varyans are thin and lithe. Typically regarded as an underhanded and dishonest. Varyans are notorious for the raiding prowess and banditry, whether street thieves from the plains and woodlands, to burly raiders and bandits from the mountains and sea. A very intelligent and quick witted race, these quick thinkers are stereotyped as untrustworthy and sneaky.
Adhir: A tall and mysterious race, the Adhir are a rare site in the cities of Gæia. The Adhir are a tall and thin people, appearing the most unnatural or all the races, they are always over 6 feet tall and are extremely skinny with pale skin. The Adhir like to conceal their heads and faces with various clothes and headgear. The Adhir are strong of mind and frail of body, and by far the most magically adept of the four major races, many Adhir forgo walking and levitate themselves a small distance off the ground with magic. These masters of the arcane arts are stereotyped as mysterious and are regarded with an air of caution.
Gæian: Originally considered a race of monsters, these beastmen were soon found to be relatively civilized and could easily be integrated into society over the course of a few generations. Gæian, as they are capable of interbreeding with most of the four races, have found themselves a small place in society. Either with animal features, or completely animalistic in appearance. Their personalities are generally most similar to the personalities of the humes, as the two groups are the most closely associated, since Gæians are almost exclusively laborers or adventurers. Despite their large range of diversity and relative commonplace, Gæians are still stereotyped as unrefined and barely civilized.
Magic, Technology and more:
In this age of fantasy, the world is powered by both magic, and good old fashioned steel and wood. Technology is that of a typical fantasy world, with swords, spears, and axes being the mainstay of adventures and soldiers alike. Few people, as well as the entirety of the Adhir race, are given the innate ability to perform magic, which is cast via an object or focusing rune. Magic powers many of the newer innovations of the world and those with magical abilities are becomingly increasingly valuable. The newest form of travel is via airship, large wooden ships propelled by balloons and propellers powered by magic crystals.
Magic Crystals called Orients, are translucent stones ranging from the size of a palm sized gem to the size of a small boulder. The more pure a crystal is, the more magic it is able to store. Orients can be used to power various contraptions of the world, though they are used by adventurers to ward off the monsters of the world. Orients imbued with magical power radiate an aura that repel most monsters, though stronger auras are required to repel larger and stronger monsters. Monsters of the world range from small and relatively harmless, to massive and powerful, many monsters are able to be tamed, and just as many can be used as sustenance in the wild.
Siobhan de Lune, "Daughter of the Moon" (At least, that's how she's been billed recently)
48 (Somewhat equivalent to a 20-year-old Hume)
"Ah, how do you describe such a one? The Daughter of the Moon is beautiful, certainly. Exotic, definitely. Magical, well, I'd bet my mother's soul on it! You salty sea-dogs have never seen a woman like this, and never will as long as you live! Now, gentlemen, here she comes!! Get ready to hoot and holler and fall down to the floor in amazement, 'cause this is SIOBHAN DE LUNE!!!"
The men roared with excitement, the makeshift curtain parted, and there she was. Finally, Siobhan de Lune, "Daughter of the Moon" had taken the stage. The rumor mill had been churning over the past few weeks, maintained and sped along by the leaders of the troupe, and opening night on the waterfront was bigger than their usual crowd by far. Six or seven dozen people, mostly sailors, had turned up to see her... well, okay, not just her, but third billing ain't bad, right? She was tall and elegant, befitting her race, but not unnaturally so, and if her skin wasn't quite so pale she might have been mistaken for a rather tall Hume. Siobhan had decided to experiment this time, however, heavily emphasizing her Adhir traits. With a few lighting tricks and a long, flowing dress she almost looked like a spirit! The crowd was intrigued, and quickly quieted down as she stepped forward, smiling a mysterious, enchanting smile, and began to sing.
The songs were low and rhythmic, almost sensual, and many of the men in the crowd found themselves immediately thinking of the sea. Sure enough, before their very eyes, ethereal waves began to move and crash around her, their movements tied to the music, to her voice. They remained indistinct, however, shifting between forms, first waves, then watery dancers, moving with her movements, directed by her steps, and back again. It was almost spiritual, especially for the current audience, as memories of moonlight over the water, far out from land, came flooding back. As they watched, mesmerized, something began to seem wrong. The waves were slowly getting choppy, the dancers erratic, and Siobhan's own movements seemed to lose some of their elegance, replaced by jerks and missteps. Behind her, emerging from behind the curtain, were three men dressed for the sea, with cruel cutlasses in their hands and dark looks in their eyes. They advanced, and the performer seemed oblivious, continuing to sing of the sea. The audience was frightened, and a few men in the front even brought out their own swords, ready to leap on stage and defend her, when her last, sad note rang out over their heads.
There was silence, and stillness. The three pirates stopped, the ethereal dancers faded away, and slowly she turned to face her would-be attackers. Suddenly, there was a heroic fanfare from the band, the lighting changed from soft "moonlight" to harsh "sunlight" and Siobhan ripped off her dress! Beneath it, to their collective amazement, was the outfit of a swashbuckler, sword and all! "Ha ha!" She said, smiling at her deception. "You thought me a frail and harmless woman? Nay! I'll best the three of you at once!" The crowd whooped, egging her on, and she danced, leaped and "slashed" her way to victory, all the while singing completely different songs, fast-paced (but no less rhythmic) seaman's shanties. They sang along, laughing and jeering as the pirates who had seemed so menacing moments before were shown to be bumbling fools, falling easily to the swift and agile singer. There was even a duet, as the leader of the three began to sing back, and they had a battle of wits as well as swords.
Needless to say, the crowd loved it, and gave loud, raucous applause when the pirates were "dead". Siobhan ended the last song by throwing her captain's hat out into their midst with a huge smile, blowing a kiss, and dancing her way back behind the curtains and out of sight. Immediately, she was swept up into the arms of a large, colorful woman, almost as tall as her, and several times wider. The thin singer felt like she was being crushed, but didn't put up a fight. When Mama Bonita wanted a hug, she got one. "Oh, Siobhan, that was wonderful! One of your best, I'm sure of it!" Rubbing her bruised ribs, Siobhan just smiled, saying "Thank you, Mama Bonita. There's a great crowd out there this time, lots of sailors. They ate it up, especially the big fight at the end..." She suppressed a giggle. "I may have hit Hendricks a bit too hard with the sword after our duet... Apologize to him for me, will you?" As she spoke, she began jogging backwards, to the edge of the caravan, obviously not tired at all, and ready to finally explore the city.
Bonita just shook her head, sighing. "Don't get hurt, and remember that you have to do another show tomorrow night!" Siobhan was already vaulting over the little fence that separated "backstage" from the cobbled street beyond, and gave a noncommittal wave over her head. This is why, despite her talent, she could never take the top slot in the troupe: it was too much responsibility. She loved performing, but sometimes would disappear for days at a time, only returning when she had discovered some new story to tell or found her way into some beautiful young woman's bed. Truly, the only reason she stayed with the troupe at all was a sense of gratitude. She had been raised by the members of Mama Bonita's Traveling Tricks, from the day she was born. When she was old enough, they told her the story of how her mother, pregnant, tired and scared, had been found by the original Mama Bonita (the current Bonita's mother), lying in a ditch along the side of a dirt road. She took the poor Adhir into her wagon, and that very night the woman gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl.
Her mother, who said her name was Eva, barely lived long enough afterwards say one word. It was a whisper, so quiet that Bonita had to put her ear right up to the woman's tiny mouth, but she heard it: Siobhan. That was that. Eva died, but for the next thirty years her daughter lived on, oblivious to her origins. Growing at about half the rate of Bonita's daughter, who was a year old when Siobhan came, her childhood was... difficult. She was disliked by some of the performers, and many times they begged Bonita to find an Adhir family to leave her with in one of the towns they visited, but the wise old woman refused. "You don't call me Mama Bonita for nothing," she said, resolute in her decision. Thus, Rosa (who would become the second Mama Bonita) and Siobhan became sisters, and twenty years later, when Bonita passed away, Rosa took on not only the title and leadership of the troupe, but also the responsibility of raising her sister, who didn't look a day over ten. The new Bonita took the girl's life in a radical new direction, as she demanded that Siobhan find her talent, and perform in the show. It didn't take long for her skills to become apparent, and the little girl with the big voice was their most popular new attraction for years to come.
Life passed on. Rosa grew up, into a wise mother befitting her title, while Siobhan learned the wonders of the world. At a mere 28, she would sit in the taverns for hours, listening to old men ramble on about wars and politics and simple gossip, to explorers and merchants and sailors and thieves, all bragging or discussing or challenging each other. She would sit and learn stories, languages, how to read people, how to be just what someone wanted... And even with the body of a 14-year-old she could drink most of them under the table. She became Mama Bonita's crier, riding into towns days before the caravan, heralding the arrival of "the greatest show on Gæia", or negotiating deals with patrons, all by herself. During this time she picked up, variously, swordplay, horse-riding, lute and flute-playing, from noblemen and women she met, or just from the older members of the troupe. Being an Adhir, she could even craft her own orients, and even with substandard crystals always manage to provide impressive lighting and effects for all of the performers. She learned of the magical properties of music, of how she could inspire and empower her friends with song, and all the while grew older, bolder, swifter, and ever more beautiful. More importantly, however, she got smart. Her body matured, as much as it would, and Siobhan could finally make her own conquests... It was amazing how much neglected noblewomen would pay for a good night in bed, especially with a pretty young thing like her, and she singlehandedly supported the troupe through some very rough times in this way.
Now, finally, they were in Kar'Ein, one of the world's great cities, and they found a patron that would support them for years! "Our big break," Mama Bonita called it, but her sister was considerably less enthused. Long-terms gigs meant staying in one place, and even a city that had so many cultures clashing together would get boring eventually, right? Well, four years after that first impressive show, and Mama Bonita's Traveling Tricks were still not traveling. Kar'Ein was perfect for them, new people and new audiences arriving all the time, and they even had enough money after two years to buy their own theatre! By this point, however, Siobhan is tired of the constant performances, and has begun shirking more and more, in order to swap stories with sailors, or sing to a little pub instead of a huge audience. She was getting restless, and everyone knew it. Little did she know that soon, her life would once again become an adventure...
Name: Faulke Renning
Race: Gæian - Mousebæst - Faulke's species of Gæian reaches adulthood at age 12-14, and has a lifespan of about 70 years
Calm and confident, Faulke is the epitome of efficiency, in an efficiency sized body. Standing just over 5 feet in height, Faulke makes up for his lack of stature with his cool demeanor and ability to think under pressure. Professional and capable, Faulke prides himself in his ability to get things done, no matter how mundane the task. Unafraid to speak his mind, Faulke will speak up, and speak often, and will often point out flaws in the plans or ideas of others. Slow to anger, and somewhat blunt in attitude, Faulke is often mistaken for being cold as ice, and though this furry mammal will never admit it, he has a soft spot for youngsters. Faulke is also partial to cheese products, and may or may not indulge himself at the opportunity to obtain said products.
Faulke Renning, born as Fan Dormouse, was one of a litter of 15. Being part of such a large group of children, the quiet Fan often found himself forgotten behind the loud cries of his brothers and sisters. Living his early life as a part of a family of farmers, Fan worked hard for most of his childhood, for little reward, as he rarely spoke up or made himself known. As a Mousebæst, Fan was aware that death was a very common occurrence for the young ones, and by his fifth year of life, seven of his siblings had died. Mother and Father Dormouse, though saddened by their loss, paid it little attention, as Mousebæsts never had that long of a lifespan anyway.
Sometime during his 10th year of life, the small Dormouse farm was raided by a passing Ktareen war party, moving to put down some rebellious Gæian in the province. During their raid, the Ktareen soldiers mistook the Dormouse family's protests as a sign of resistance and rebellion, and their young and eager Ktareen captain ordered the rebels cut down. In the ensuing fight, Fan and three of his siblings fled the farm, the rest of the family already dead. As they ran, they were come upon by a group of rebel Gæian. As they explained their plight, the rebels took pity on them, as the loss of the family was a fault of their own. The rebels picked up the four Mousebæsts and left the province.
As Fan and his three siblings were integrated into the Gæian caravan, they were taught various skills. The oldest of the children learned mercantilism and management, one learned medicine. Fan and his sister learned the way of the blade and bow, becoming hunters and warriors. By the age of 12, Fan had made his first kill, and had renamed himself the persona Faulke Renning, Gæian bounty hunter, and swordsbeast for hire. Settling in the city of Kar'Ein, far away from the Ktareen province he was born in, Faulke and his siblings dispersed into the city, keeping eachother, and the other members of the caravan in touch, as they went their separate ways.
Over the next few years, Faulke established himself as a bounty hunter and swordsbeast of mild renown of one of Kar'Ein's Hunter Guilds, making more income in those years than his family's farm could have expected to make in its lifetime. Faulke found that he had a knack for violence, and was efficient in almost all manners of the business, using his contacts with his siblings and the remaining Gæian caravaneers in the city to complete his tasks. Having established a base for himself, Faulke is preparing himself for the most important kill of his life, the Ktareen captain who slew his family.
Name: Yuli Verbrant Undalta II
Nickname: Madam Li
Race: Half Hume, Half Ktareen
Fire magic. For the most part, it's the only magic that she can actually manipulate. She is able to manipulate it by drawing runes or by drawing upon the magic upon Orients that she carries on her. Even though she's a fairly proficient fire mage she typically panics before its use and is really incapable of using the magic in self defense as it could greatly burn, if not kill, a target. If she ever had to use her magic offensively she'd probably do it without looking and, most certainly, that would probably back fire. She utilizes her magic mostly for science as it is an extraordinary aid in chemistry, wielding and changing magical probabilities within Orients.
Arrogant and full of herself. Yuli Verbarnt Undalta loves to refer to herself in the third person, especially when boasting...Which she does all the time! She is a proud woman that comes from a proud, hardworking family and can come off as cocky and full of herself. She enjoys demonstration the full level of her skill to others, especially if she knows that she can do things that they either cannot understand or cannot compare to. She's a complete braggart. She thinks highly of herself and looks at herself as a prized gem that has no comparison. She has a confidence though that is probably incomparable. She honestly believes that she can do anything and will be quick to tell someone that she can. She will claim to have built the moon from salt and sugar then, by her own hand, chucked it to the stars. She is an excellent presenter and a fantastic orator, allowing her exaggerations and boasts to almost sound reasonable and factual. She lets her skill, talents, gifts and knowledge go to her head and she constantly gets herself into situations that are far too much for her to handle and is usually the first to get frustrated.
On the subject of frustration, she is completely unable to handle stress. For some reason, people believe she is amazingly skilled then ask her to do impossible things and when she attempts and fails she finds herself taking the failure hard and becoming uncontrollably irritated. That's only when dealing with stagnate things, like chemistry. However, when she is faced with real live situations that are pressing and the results are needed on the spot and she cannot deal with them she snaps. She is quick to cry, scream, yell, and run away...Usually in that order. She loses her cool when enough pressure is exerted unto her and she really can let not knowing something drive her into a spell of crazed mania or irrational fear. She can be quite the coward when dealing with frightening things, losing all courage she probably bragged about having in a heartbeat. If she ever had to deal with monsters she would panic and completely freak out, even if only moments ago she claimed she killed a dozen monsters just this morning before breakfast.
Monsters. But she doesn't believe in monsters. Monsters don't exist because there haven't monsters in, well, ever? So why would she believe something like monster's exist? She would be quick to tell someone the entire idea is silly and that what would be a monster is simply an animal they haven't met yet. She is highly logical in her approach to most things and, when pitted against something as mythological as monsters, she can't help but, in her usual high-and-mighty tone, explain that there is no way a monster could ever be real. They are as likely as the tooth fairy or ghosts, which she doesn't believe in either. Not that she has actually ever...Come face to face with a monster. But that doesn't matter, right? She believes in anything that she can prove with facts, logic, history and formulas and, if it can't be proven, then there is no way that it can exist. She even has a methodology regarding magic, being a talented manufacturer of Orients.
Despite her head-in-the-clouds mentality, she has a strong moral compass. She knows what is right and just and what is wrong and evil. This is partially due to the nature of her upbringing. She is not the sort that would ever do something to hurt someone else...Unless she absolutely had too and even then she would feel bad. She is the sort of girl that is virtually useless in a fight, as she doesn't like to be hurt and would rather run than actually hurt someone else. There is also the matter that, when pitted against a threatening force of great power or an intimidating presence she is pretty much a cowardly lion. Even when backed into a corner she would probably close her eyes and swing a bat or just, quite pitifully in fact, close her eyes and await the pending doom. She is incredibly soft hearted and although she may talk big she is highly self conscious. What others say to her do greatly affect her and, although she may hide it, she cares deeply for the well being of others. She would do whatever she could, building up as much courage as possible, to protect someone else from being hurt, even if that action put her in harms way instead. She is highly compassionate and kind and, although she may act as if she doesn't care and thinks she is better than everyone else, often times she thinks the worst of herself. She is quick to jealousy and really can't stand people who can naturally do things without trying hard or applying themselves.
She is a woman of charity. She doesn't like to see others suffer. She doesn't like to see people that are poor or struggling with their lives. Often times, she will stop whatever she is doing and do her best to help others. This can often get in the way of her studies, but she is usually happy about it. Her good-natured persona can demonstrate itself when she is helping others and her true, honest kindhearted personality can show itself in a setting where there are only individuals with little to nothing. She's been there and felt that, thus she feels there is no reason to show off to those that are poor or lacking the basic commodities that many take for granted. You could almost say she is selfless, which probably would be the opposite of what someone in the city would think of her.
Yuli Verbrant Undalta II, though called Madam Li by many. She was named after her mother, as her mother was a somewhat popular scientist. She was the first born child and, just like her namesake, takes completely after her mother, a Hume.
As a spoiled rich girl, Yuli was given just about everything she needed in life. Her mother was an Orient enthusiast and her father, Jeran Duran, a Ktareen and a mine owner. Yuli lived with her parents in their mansion in one of the larger cities. Her father was constantly gone to the mines and her mother constantly assisting with the innovation of some technology or other. As such, Yuli was left to her own devices often times. Unlike the cliche rich girl stereotype, Yuli was not a neglected child nor was she raised completely ignorant of the world, though she is still fairly naive. The staff of her family paid her plenty of attention and at least one of her parents was always home at any given time. The main problem with Yuli's upbringing was...Uncle Fertus.
Fertus Duran was her father's business partner and, as such, found his weaselly hands into his mother's research affiliations. He was smart. Really smart. Uncle Fertus was probably the smartest man that Yuli ever knew when she was a child and she always looked up to him, but, often times, she was a bit weary at the same time. There was always a strange look in his eyes when her parents weren't paying attention. Had she realized what that meant when she was younger she probably would have been able to warn her parents about Uncle Fertus and his green eyes. Uncle Fertus, like the cliche fat rich man in the family, wanted everything that her family worked so hard to build up. He wanted her father's money and he wanted her mother's esteem and, unfortunately, he managed to steal them both from Yuli.
When Yuli was 11 her mother divorced her father and, manipulating contractual rights, Fertus cut her father out of all his land and estate. Her mother ran off to Uncle Fertus, who was totally her brother-in-law by the way, and she remarried Uncle Fertus and became Yuli Verbrant Duran....Again. Uncle Fertus wanted everything his brother had and, unfortunately, there was no perfectly convenient protagonist to prevent him from taking everything and ruining Yuli and her father's life. It was a travesty. All their assets became zero and all their savings were already wiped clean. All the money her father mined for years in the mines and, eventually, worked his way into managing over were now in Uncle Fertus' pockets, and that fat pig never worked a single day in his life! He was always using his brother and milking off his brother's success...Only now, Fertus was the man with everything and her father with nothing.
Her mother made a plea for her daughter to come with her and was gracious offered spit and a tidal wave of juvenile insults instead. She wanted nothing to do with her mother. Even at the innocent age of 11 she understand just how terrible her mother was and how heartbroken she made her father. She adamantly decided to remain with her father and would forever spite her mother for her terrible selfishness and her Uncle for his underhanded betrayal of his own brother. She would never forgive either of them and, at the young innocent age of 11, she and her father moved away into an old, rundown cabin in a distant city away from any trace of her mother or Uncle.
When she was 12 her father managed to get a job working as a lumberjack, however he would be eventually laid off due to lack of budget by the mill owner. A few weeks later her father would work as a farmer, but he would be terminated when another associate stole a couple hundred pounds of grain and blamed him. A month after that he would work in a butchery, but the business would be foreclosed due to inability to pay it's dues. A week after that he'd find another job as a landscaper and, for a few days, the meager allowance was able to buy the two a bit of bread, water, rice and old vegetables to get them by, however he would eventually be replaced by someone who worked faster and better than he did.
Her father fell into a depression. It was so heavy that it seemed to just weigh down the very room he sat in. Often, he would just stare at a wall, thinking about what jobs he could take up next. Everyone around the town thought he was a little dull and heard about his inability to keep a stable occupation. They made him out to be inefficient and lacking any concrete discipline. Those words double by his inability to provide for his daughter tore him apart. However, whenever he saw her, he'd always smile and tell her that everything was going to be fine. That they were going to be alright. Even though they were both hungry and tired and dirty he would find some way to buy her a big house with lots of clothes and food again. Every time he said those words she felt like crying. She could feel just how hard it was for him. No matter the time of day, whenever he said that he would step out the house and start looking for work again.
Those times were so hard.
Thinking about her stupid mother and her fat, pig uncle made her so frustrated and then seeing her father...She wished that something terrible would happen to them.
When she was 13 she decided to take matters into her own hands.
If she was so much like her mother she would excel where her mother left off. She would find a way to turn this all around and make her father happy...Even if she would have to destroy him to the point that, in the end, he would never be happy. Though, she wasn't that farsighted then. She only thought of her plan and that it would work. She planned it for days and, finally when the time came, she went to her father and told him the one thing he was dreading to hear.
"I'm going to live with Mother,"
Without even a response she ran out and hopped on the next carriage and would find herself on her mother and uncle's doorstep many days later. She told her mother that she was tired of being poor with her father and her mother lovely welcomed her back. The next few days was a lot of primping and dying, but she was back in her fluffy, warm rich girl clothes. Even her uncle seemed happy to have her around, though there was still that weird look in his eye that completely bothered her. She knew not to trust that look anymore. Never again would she forget about just how terrible these two people were. She would find a way to destroy them.
So she did.
A few months in she studied her mother. She learned her science. When she showed interest her mother started to teach her about magic and Orients and how they were processed. She explained the complexities of the crystal and offered a long series of chemistry and geological classes that detailed the finite processes of Orients. Learning from her mother allowed her to sabotage all her mother's research projects and ruin her mother's reputation to the point of no return. She made her mother look a fool over and over again and all in disguise or hidden from sight. She was finding out that she was more talented than she realized. The complex requirements involved in her espionage missions were extraordinary. She was knocking on 14, yet she was a talented scientist already. She knew many things that others had only guessed at and that was simply from trying to ruin everything her mother built all her life.
Next was her uncle.
That boar-faced oaf would need the worst sort of ironic demise. She was in the middle of plotting his perfect defeat when he approached her a few days before her 14th birthday. He came to talk to her about how heartbroken her mother was about losing all her built up esteem. All the other scientist thought her mother was a fool. She would never be funded by any governmental grants or special interests again. Her career as a scientists would hold no monetary benefit anymore...It would only be a cost on his wallet and, well, he hated that. Just like a pig to hate sharing. He told her that he knew that she was behind it. He then told her that if she ever did anything to harm his - he honestly thought all that money was rightfully his - wealth he would kill her.
It was a wrench, but not one she was that intimidated to get around...Ok. Yes it was.
She hadn't realized until then just how scary her own uncle was. Elephants were big and enormous and heavy and smelly creatures, but they did have tusks after all. Still, this was all for her father. For those days that he loomed in the darkness, all by himself, muddling through all his failings and none of them were his own fault. Nothing was his fault! Her father was her courage and she would find a way to get everything back to her father. So that's when she decided too...Throw well over ten thousand Orients into her father's old mine and blow it up. She made it seem as if she'd purposely had it orchestrated, by uncle's designs, in the family's name. She'd gone through all the paperwork well enough and she'd made sure that all the people were out of the mines.
The damage was colossal...Even more so than she'd originally calculated.
It was like...What would happen if you put a hydrogen bomb inside a cave and jacked it up with caffeine and some amphetamines and locked it in a tiny, inclosed space.
Needless to say, whatever was left in the mine was blasted into the sky for free claim or it was covered under tons and tons of rock. The mines were also closed because, well, they didn't trust uncle festering fat with the lives of many innocent miners. It was perfect and she'd managed to attract all the attention from all the right people. She did a good job destroying both her mother and her uncle. She felt so accomplished. Even though her uncle still had plenty of wealth he wouldn't get anything else out of her father's hard work. She couldn't wait to share all this with him.
Well, she would have should she have successfully escaped.
The night of the explosion she was planning to run away only to be caught, bagged and tossed in a river. That guy...Who throws a little girl in a river? It was fortunate that she had an Orient on her and was highly proficent with magic of the fire type to escape. Naturally, that hog nose didn't know that she could use magic because he didn't know anything that mattered. He was all bluff and was only cunning and intelligent when he was conniving. But, her attempted murder was predicted too and, when he was only way back after having thrown her in a river -yeah. He decided to do it himself instead of using all that money to hire someone- he was promptly taken into custody, given a quick trial, and tossed in the brig.
Her mother, having run off with some other man that could help her, ran off. She was the worst anything in the world. Yuli regretted looking just like her mother everyday after she left her father.
Her father's assets were then left to her, simply because she was the easiest to reach and was a proven blood heir. That was actually more than she expected to accomplish. Not only had she shaved, tied up, and cooked the two black sheep but she even got their money back! All her father's hard earned cache of munnies was rightfully and legally hers. She ran to her father only to find...
Yuli experienced the height of her grief then.
She had been so thoughtless. It wasn't until just then that she comprehended the pain that she likely put her father through. He'd endured so much for her and devoted his entire life to trying to provide for her. When she left him, forsaking everything he'd wished to do, he had nothing. No reason to live. No reason to continue on. Everyone left him, cold and dry, and his depression took him and buried him like a cold winter. She fell upon the grave, feeling the significance of everything she'd done. Right now, all her accomplishments seemed shallow and pointless. She felt that, all of a sudden, she was that poor, hungry, tired little girl. Only...Now there was no one where to tell her that she would be alright.
Her entire world was crashing down on her.
Tears in her eyes, she swore not to let her grief become that dark cloud that drowned her father in icy rain. She swore that, no matter what, she would never let this happen to other people. This heavy misery that made your heart feel like cracking eyes left to dry in the scorching sun. She felt so hollow and cold and lonely. This was the worst sort of pain anyone could have. A pain that would never, ever go away. Regret. This was regret. For a few days, she let that regret consume her and drain her of all emotions other than agony and loneliness. Then, on the third day of all her sobbing, she stopped. She picked up her things, showered, combed through her hair, picked the nicest dress, and headed off to the largest city of Orient distribution and manufacturing.
She dedicated her life to becoming an incredible mage and a renowned scientist. She utilized her father's money and her mother's knowledge in order to build a business and learn all she could about how to properly utilize Orient and to create new technology. She has proudly created even a device that can travel the deep depths of the ocean, resisting pressure by manipulating the structure of the hull and the proper distribution of gasses inside. She called it a Submarine. Before she created such a device she traveled the world for many months for inspiration and, when she found it, she worked needlessly on it until she completed the perfect design. She has created various other types of technology, such as highly accurate mortars and Orient related hand grenades, however she hasn't found the one thing that she feels is good enough. She's been at this scientist game for a few years now and has a great deal of fame and respect in her own home town.
Currently, she is travelling the world in search of the next big thing. She is looking for the proper motivation to create a new super project.
Name: Aileen Thrael
Personality: The mercenary known as Aileen Thrael is in many respects quite an exemplary specimen of the plain's Varyan race. Not just in her physical appearance, but indeed in her strong presence, adventurous nature and her quick wits and intelligence. However, despite the reputation that her kind has earned as underhanded and dishonest people, Aileen is sincerely trying to make a honest and true living. This, however, doesn't come so much from a sense of true morality but rather from a stroke of stubborn pride at her life circumstances. Instead of a true honorable person by nature, she is a fake that for the wrong reasons tries her best to be honorable and true.
On the whole, the young Varyan is bright and cheerful, gallant and extravagant. With the usual disdain of her race for boring honest, her speech is riddled with exaggerations, hints and teases of her true meaning and from time to time vague cryptic responses. Meaning no harm with this way of expressing herself, to Aileen engaging in normal and straightforward talk simply sounds dull to her ears and like she's not interested in the conversation at hand. Still, despite this she is quite capable of sitting down and speaking in a humble, restrained way when the situation warrants it. She does understand that not everyone perceives language the way she does and her flowery way of speaking may be interpreted wrongly.
Aileen's drive and determination comes from her individualistic nature and her inborn pride. She delights in rising up to challenges, of perfecting techniques and honing her mind and body in ways which make her a greater version of who she already is. She does not think herself the best there ever is, far from that, but she relishes in that of her person which she can draw pride from. Thus, moments of failure and weakness when not in the right state of mind to accept them as new challenges and goals can be a sore point for the young Varyan, something that can make her spirit truly weight. It is that pride that moves her forward and fuels her curiosity, her desire to learn new and interesting things. On one last aspect, Aileen while not despising material possession is actually used to living on practically nothing. Rare is a possession to the which she builds an attachment besides its immediate utility as she has spent many a time living without a place to call home, with nothing but the clothes on her body and whatever she may carry around.
Background: If Aileen ever had parents, the young Varyan certainly does not remember. For as long as she remembers, Aileen has always depended on Aileen. There have been caretakers, comrades and even friends... but she has never had a true home, a place to belong to. The bonds that have joined her to people have always been something temporary... and no matter how strong the feeling behind them, they have become unraveled time and time again. A Varyan urchin in the streets, the plains and the caravans... one of those who lucky or smart enough to grow past childhood. She survived off begging, stealing, scavenging and the pity of families while she could court it. She joined gangs of fellow children of the streets and then abandoned them when they became disbanded, when the older leader got captured or when they turned to bully her. It was the only life she knew, one of fierce independence and survival. It shaped her and from it, her pride and individuality rose. She wandered from opportunity to opportunity as barely more than a child. From a crew of thieves, to a band of bandits. From assistant in a kitchen to page on a palace. Nothing was a constant in her life, besides her given name... and even that from time to time had to share space with whatever those around her desired to call her.
Still, she was quick and clever, without fear of blood or getting her hands dirty. Eventually her work started to shift from menial chores to finding her way into mercenary companies, bandits and other armed groups. There she started to learn the blade seriously at the tender age of 14. She wasn't exactly a natural, but she had the skills to pull it off and that was enough for Aileen. It was a source of basic source of strength... and thus, she dedicated herself nearly entirely to the study of it. She practiced on near all of her free time, she observed those who fought the best around her and learned from them, either directly or indirectly. She grew up and grew stronger, faster and wiser. Still a hot headed youth, but a tried and tested one. The youth traveled around with blade in hand, seeking new employment all the while and putting the knowledge of reading that one of the mercenary leaders she worked under. She studied manuals on the art of the blade on the few public libraries she found, she read history for entertainment as well as some of the more famous stories of the land.
However as Aileen started to cast away her adolescence, as she grew in skill and pride she faced one of the most bothersome obstacles of her life. Now that she was not a child, but a grown and confident Varyan, she was hit the hardest with the reputation of her kind. She faced mistrust, wariness and prejudice for her very race. She couldn't earn the trust of her employers and people constantly doubted her motives and intentions. Her pride in her work, in her accomplishments would not abide this. It was a fact that frustrated her until one day, a mage from a company she managed to find low level work with gave her advice. He inspired her to work hard to beat away such prejudice. To clean her name and do things right. Resolving to do just that, she and the old mage struck an odd friendship. The fought together and he even taught the young warrior the basics of magic, which her agile mind soaked up quite quickly. Two years after the fact sees Aileen wandering once again, looking for a very particular kind of job. A blade she has owned for a year now hanging from her back, a bit of magic energy swirling around her fingers and conviction clearly showing in her eyes. She looks for a mage that need protection, for her to work as their bodyguard. A well off and mysterious Adhir being the best match for her wishes. She wants to work honestly for one of the mysterious race, learning magic from a master while keeping them safe from close threats with her peerless swordplay. In her mind, such an arrangement will test all of her limits and may earn her the approval and confidence of a powerful figure... may earn her a good name.
Appearance: A broad, stocky figure leaned against the weathered column like a chunk of masonry fallen from the eroded cornice above. Clad half in buckled leather and the other half in dust, he holds a lit cigar dangerously close to the stray whiskers of his uncombed beard. While the Ktareen puffs glittering colors of enchanted smoke, he turns over a bronze artifact in his gloved hand: a figurine of his own race with orient stones for eyes. Squinting through a lens lodged below one of his bushy eyebrows, he examines the relic for flaws. "Precollapse... but damn these microfractures," he mumbled while stroking his dark beard, "they'll bring the price down by a quarter... maybe half." The sound of a loose stone falling in the maze of broken marble above pulled his attention immediately from the find. With well practiced motions he unslung from the rear of his bulging pack a crossbow studded with gears and loaded with clips of barbed iron projectiles. "Come out and say hi to Kitty, ya miserable scavs."
Name: Bertron Kaver 'Relic Hunter'
Personality: Bertron is pragmatic, clever, and occasionally unscrupulous. Most of all, however, he's curious... or at least he was, when he worked as a field archaeologist for the Academy and long before as a child growing up at the heels of dungeon delvers. Unfortunately as an academic, Bertron stepped on one too many toes among scholars who only read books about the past. One to many theories questioned, one too many egos pricked and Bertron was out of his job. With the skills of an archaeologist but no university who would dare hire him due to his reputation as a trouble-maker, he turned to the treasure hunting to make his living. What was once a labor of love and quest for knowledge became a quest for gold and orient instead. The loss of his innocence soured Bertron as he approached middle age, fermenting his persona from critic to curmudgeon and finally to downright misanthrope. However, as his reputation has grown and the scavengers seeking to 'acquire' his finds have become more bold, the prospect of working with others has become increasingly tempting, despite all the annoyances partnership would no doubt bring.
Background: Bertron's mother was an adventurer, an expert marksmen who served as a scout and guard on many a caravan and treasure hunting expedition. Bertron grew up on the road, in the shadow of ruins, and the deep dark of dungeons. From his mother he learned how to hold a target and squeeze a trigger without jerking the stock, but Bertron was honestly more interested in archaeology than archery. He listened to the scholars under his mother's guard, traded with them for books and engaged them in increasingly sophisticated discourse about the lost kingdoms, their knowledge, history and technology. In time, he began reading the inscriptions in the ruins they explored, learning directly from the remains of history.
When his mother was killed by Varyan bandits, Bertron decided to leave the adventuring life and follow her last bit of advice. He applied to the Rekard Academy in the great city of Rekard, built upon the foundations of an even greater city, once the capitol of his people's worldwide empire. Accepted with all due haste, he attained his doctorate and earned tenure as a field researcher in only a few years. He spent the next decade uncovering relics and lost knowledge for the University, but he became increasingly aware that many of the accepted ideas about his people, their rise and fall and even the civilizations that predated them were wrong. Unfortunately, those on the board of professors were disinclined to believe the radical theories of a mere 'field archaeologist' and so he was dismissed for 'academic dishonesty.' The last straw came when he experienced a bad fall during the charting of Edswerk, an ancient Ktareen citadel buried beneath tons of volcanic ash. Rather than payout the usual sum to have the broken bones and severed tendons mended by professional healers, they ejected him from the university, leaving the young archaeologist penniless and suffering from a limp which would afflict him the rest of his life.
Banned from any academic career by the influence of the Rekard Board of Scholars, Bertron began to hunt relics not out of curiosity, but merely to put bread on the table. His demeanor changed from one of wonder to a stark pessimism and, occasionally, greed. Forgetting promises he made to himself, he utilized his knowledge of the lost tech to build a weapon, an automated crossbow powered by orient stones or crank shaft. The weapon, which he named Kitty for reasons he never divulges to anyone, got more and more use as his reputation as a treasure hunter spread, luring more and more bandits into its sights. Coming to the present, Bertron is beginning to realize that as much as he hates people and splitting profit, working solo is becoming simply too dangerous. Reluctantly, he is now on the unenthusiastic search for an adventurer or two who are smart enough not to blunder into a trap before he finishes disarming it and honest enough to split a treasure haul evenly... with perhaps a bit extra for the one who translated those inscriptions which lead to the secret door.