THIRTY-THREE ; STABLEMASTER ; METALWORK, HORSESPEAK
One of the largest families in Nore would be the Hart household, with a grand total of six boys and one girl. Thomas grew up in the shadow of, Cillian, the only older sibling he had. Of course, compared to Cillian’s attractiveness and charisma, Thomas’ spindly, baby-faced awkwardness got him nothing but polite smiles and false interest until Cillian interrupted to liven up the conversation. Thomas learned early to follow his brothers’ lead and keep his mouth shut, but only in public. In private, he was his own person, able to learn how to use what he had to his advantage - a quiet voice and a patience that lasted for hours. While his brothers caused trouble in town, Thomas took to animals.
He knew he would have an affinity to horses, as every boy in his family had horsespeak. Although his magic had not yet surfaced, Thomas turned out to be no different. Between the ages of ten and fifteen, Thomas spent more time around horses than he did people. After that, he sought out his own path, finding a job as a stable boy for the Thompson sisters. The pay was low, and the work could get hard, but he was able to get along much better than any of the other boys working there. His magic came in handy and he found companionship in the horses. They were wittier and smarter than the people he saw every day, and much easier to ignore.
Years passed, and Thomas moved from the nobility to the palace, where he took on an apprentice, a small and broken boy named Eliott. It was only withElliott’s sister’s pleading that he agreed to it at all. Still, the boy managed to prove his worth time and again with diligence and dedication, and Thomas has never been left wanting. Now, he’ss able to act as though he’s got a much better position in life than most of his brothers with the clothes and other luxuries the Caddocks give him for such hard work. And as much as he doesn’t like to leave anyone behind, it’s worth it to be out of anyone’s shadow.
Proud and driven, Thomas believes that hard work is the best way to get what one wants in life. He doesn’t exactly approve of lords and ladies simply being given anything they want, though he does still respect social classes. The nobility is given respect, and he has no particular love fore servants. Thomas himself expects some disrespect from those above him as well, and he won’t fight back when it comes.
But the one thing refuses to put up with is being ignored. He fought so hard to be noticed as a boy that, at this point, if he has something to say, he makes sure he’s heard. And by now, he has a lot to say. With the whispers of rebellion, and with the visiting royalty making his day even harder than it was before, Thomas’s days are filled with as much sarcasm and complaints as they are with jokes and work.
Like the rest of his family, Thomas has metalwork - the ability to manipulate metal anyway he wants - and horsespeak. While the former is rarely used for anything but idle entertainment, the latter is used nearly every day. Thomas spends lots of times talking to horses - so much so that he sometimes forgets they aren’t people.
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TWENTY-EIGHT ; TRADER ; IMMUNITY
Samson was born to a father who had to work hard for the money they came to have as a tradesman. Though he never earned the title of Lord in the end, his father was respected throughout the kingdom as the equivalent of one, enough to see that his family was never looked down upon for being without an official rank. Neither Samson nor his sister Madeline ever bothered to question it, nor did he bother to question anything else, growing to be a sociable boy who enjoyed simpler things in life – jokes, games, and the occasional stolen dessert from the kitchen. Although the eldest of a well off family, he just couldn’t acclimate himself to the fancier way of living, and so although his family held great renown, the son himself was the object of much derision. From that, he made it his goal to be the most dutiful son he could be, to avoid disappointing his family even more. He was apprenticed to Lord Cariott at thirteen, to learn how to work the trading booth despite having little interest in the trade itself. But Samson lost his parents soon after, and had to make do as best he could. He quickly befriended Victoria, the youngest at the time. Just as quickly, he came to completely loathe the older sister, Adelaide, with her haughty insults and lofty manner.
It was his sense of duty and honor would be his downfall. An old friend had asked for Victoria’s hand, but had been refused due to a time honored tradition, where the eldest daughter must be married off first. Samson was approached by his friend, begging for his assistance in wining the hand of the girl. Samson was hesitant at first, but when he went to ask his father’s opinion, he was told to marry Adelaide. And so, with a heavy heart, he did his duty to his family and friend. Not that he ever came to love his wife, however. Despite Victoria and Madeline’s insistence that she was a good woman, Adelaide only got worse with time. Samson did his best to be a good husband to her, but he held out hope that perhaps a happy life could be had between the two, and that maybe she wasn’t as bad as she made herself out to be. But after the sudden and mysterious death of Lord Cariott, Samson was forced to see who exactly he had married. He had been unwilling to see just how twisted a woman she had grown to be; it wasn’t hard to Samson to put two and two together. After that, he never forgave her, giving up on any hope of a marriage.
Disgusted, they no longer sleep in the same bed, and lead separate lives from one another, unless required to put up a good front in public. But Samson hasn’t told a soul. It would ruin his name just as much as her own, and, with his business and trading still not big enough to support itself, he cannot risk a bad reputation. Besides, if she could murder her own father…what might she do to him?
Samson has contented himself, for now, with his work and his friends, chatting and gossiping and enjoying the company of almost everyone he meets, working to build up his reputation as a merchant, and enjoy his own life as well despite the dark cloud hanging over it.
Samson is well known to be much wiser than he acts. There is never a situation when he isn’t prepared with a joke or a piece of gossip, and never has he been rendered speechless in his life. Making friends comes naturally to the sunny Samson, though it seems enemies come just as easily, when he’s decided he does not like someone. As much as Samson is capable in knowing just the right words to make a good impression, he uses it mercilessly to make a bad impression on Adelaide the most. If he can’t out her, he can sure as hell make sure she isn’t happy with her life. Business gets done efficiently and quickly in all walks of life for Samson, be it socializing, irritating, or simply doing business.
He is very protective of those around him, as expected of a man like him. Samson tries to ensure Madeline and Victoria are happy, and he has a special spot in his heart for young children. They never fail to make him smile, and, every now and then, Samson has been known to stop and buy something for them to eat or play with. He doesn’t mind if they take advantage of his generosity. Samson knows well that people need the money, and he doesn’t bother trying to guess whether the children he spoils really need it or not. There isn’t a point in judging them - not in his eyes anyway. People are people, and only one is beyond redemption.
Completely different than immortality, immunity allows Samson to go around unaffected by magic, at least directly. He is unaffected by sneak magic, and cannot be harmed if someone touches him with flames created from magic. However, if something with that fire is set aflame, that can burn him as easily as anything else might.
The Girl who Clings to Spring
TWENTY-THREE ; SEX WORKER ; EARTH
Rosalyn was three when her father died. He was killed when a tunnel collapsed upon him deep inside the mountains. Their mother could never cope with the loss and sits at home now, singing lullabies or staring out windows. Rosalyn’s first memory is of her brother. Ariel raised her himself, and she never once questioned his judgement. How could she? Without him, Rosalyn was and is well aware that she would have been as good as dead. In her mind, he can do no wrong, and does everything she can to let him believe the same about her.
Ariel has done his best to keep her young and innocent, forgetting that she is no longer a child, but twenty-three and old enough to take a husband. But she still looks young, no older than fifteen perhaps, and Ariel insists she is not old enough to take care of herself yet. But while he is out in the mines, working to dig silver and iron out for the smithies around town, and sleeping deeply when he finally rests his head, she is working herself to earn gold for the family. And when he returns, she does her best to keep his hopes up, reminding him that winter will be over any day now, and soon the sun will come out and flowers will bloom. She pretends not to notice when he only pretends to believe her.
At least he does not question when she tells him she has been cooking and cleaning and making friends during the day. Rosalyn invested in clothes befitting a sex worker and took up the position three years ago. She relies on how young she looks to attract patrons - and their gold. Whenever anyone asks, Rosalyn tells them she was born into slavery, but fled as a child - that sex work was all she had ever known. The only thing that keeps her going is knowing that Ariel is still happy, and that, one day spring will come. But as she grows older, it becomes harder and harder to hide her true age. Some of the people around Nore are beginning to catch on to who she is and how old she is, and Ariel is starting to question where she disappears to each night. There’s no way she can keep the act up forever, but with half the town believing she’s an escaped slave instead of a freeborn woman, there’s no way she will be let go so easily either. It’s only a matter of time until someone figures something out that Rosalyn didn’t want to be known.
Rosalyn is a wonder in the Kingdom of Nore. She’s made it seem as though she never lost hope, not once, and she still has such great faith in the future. More than that, she is genuinely a firm believer in the idea that no-one is all bad, and has gained the trust of many unexpected people around the Kingdom. Perhaps because Ariel won’t let her grow up, that she pretends for him. But even if Ariel still insists she is sweet and young and innocent, Rosalyn is not as sweet and witless as she makes it appear.
Over the years in the whorehouse, she has learned more than a few ways to get by. Pickpocket and lying come easily when necessary, but she almost always resorts to using her body to get her way. It’s more reliable than tricks anyway, and it makes a few coins as well.
Rosalyn has a unique power that seems almost useless except when cleaning. She can manipulate the earth and the dirt however she wishes, moving it across the floor or picking it up entirely and dropping it somewhere else.
The Little One
EIGHTEEN ; SEX WORKER, ENSLAVED ; MAGICLESS
Lydia “Rettie” Hatter
There was once a little girl by the name of Lydia Hatter, a sweet little fool who wore ribbons and bangles and wanted nothing more in the world than to fall in love and get married and become a mother. Her father was a hatter and her mother sang sweet songs as she helped in the shop. She liked gossip and dancing and dresses that spun when she did, and she liked hearing stories and songs and learning how to speak foreign languages. Her family loved her, as did all five of her brothers, and all the girls she spent time with. Of course, all of them were merchants’ daughters or nobility, if she was lucky. Lydia never concerned herself with those below her, but to her friends, she was simply a delight. For a while, everything was perfect. For a while, nothing was wrong.
Two years ago, however, Lydia fell in love with a man by the name of Grigor Stradden. Madly and deeply in love with him, though she knew what sort of man he was. Still, she was young and stupid and in love. Still is. He lured her away one night with the promise of giving her everything she had ever wanted. Instead, he gave her nothing but grief. She was ruined her first night in the Whorehouse, and has been nearly every night since. She hasn’t heard from her family since, but that may be because Stradden had her change her name to one more properly suiting a lady of her standing. She chose the name Rettie.
Slowly, she’s grown accustomed to her new life, learning tips from the other girls and taking skills from the favorites. She’s taken, especially, to watching Carmilla from afar. Rettie still has not given up on the prospect of befriending her, and still makes advances whenever she can. But as she grows older, so, too, does she grow colder. Rettie is realizing what sort of place she now lives in and the place she holds in society. Though she still is gentle and quiet, there is no doubt that Rettie will soon start looking for ways to leave and, with any luck, return to her family.
Rettie is very much a young and sweet girl. She likes her dresses and ribbons and gossip, but would never turn down an exciting story, always the one to gasp and cry and laugh whenever it was called for. She once believed in every single one of them, but now that she’s older, it’s harder to fool her. Lies and betrayal are becoming more and more a part of her life as she works to survive with what means she has, decorating her hair with jewels and working to earn as much gold as she can to buy her own freedom. She is not yet bold enough to take what she can and flee on her own just yet.
But being a enslaved has taken a toll on the girl. Nightmares plague her nightly of punishments and cruel patrons, and haunt her in the day. She’ll barter with the best of them until someone touches her without warning, and Rettie’s defences spring up. She still tries to act as foolish and sweet as she once was, pretending that nothing is wrong.
Rettie’s magic has yet to show it’s true strength. However, when it does, she will have the same magic as the rest of her family - heat. Or, rather, the control of the temperature of a room. Already, there are signs showing that her magic will surface soon - rooms growing cold when she’s sad, heating up when she’s embarrassed and so on. Soon, Rettie will realize it’s her own fault and be able to control it herself.
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TWENTY - FIVE ; FIGHTER IN THE RING, ENSLAVED ; WAR
Katto may be the champion in the ring, but it is the Ram, Rago, who is known worldwide. Born to a sex worker on the far Eastern side of Sol, he was raised in the streets learning both the language of the Deserts and the common tongue. Even as a child, Rago knew what he wanted to do with himself. The first time he saw fighting, a curb-side demonstration by the champion of that neighborhood’s ring, the young boy fell in love with the sport. He worked hard as a child, proved himself useful enough to the slave trader that he got a job as an assistant and translator.
After long enough, Rago was able to convince the driver to let him fight, though the older man was reluctant. The driver’s fears were dashed quickly. Rago proved himself quickly, beating his much larger and much louder opponent in under five minutes. He rose to the top in a matter of months, the undefeated favorite if the easternmost ring of Sol. When challengers stopped stepping up, he was sent out to fight in the most popular ring at the very center of the kingdom. But even then, people quickly learned that there was no way to beat him. Rago was just too good. At some point along the way, he picked up the nickname ‘The Ram,’ though no-one, not even he really knows how exactly it came about. About eight years ago, Rago heard of one more ring, where they were desperately in need of a champion, of a real fighter and a trainer. The idea of snow and ice every day of the year wasn’t exactly pleasing, but finding someone to fight was just too tempting.
The young man tagged along with the next caravan headed north and joined thepeople in the Whorehouse. Grigor was happy to give him a spot amongst the warriors, though kept him far away from Katto. Rago has developed a grudge against the other man, though he couldn’t explain why. But the hatred and anger is there nonetheless. Women have taken a liking to Rago if they don’t fight. Still, at least once a week, a patron will pay to spend an evening with him. It’s strange how many are still surprised at what a bad date he is. But when it comes to women, Rago never fails to disappoint.
The Ram is exactly the sort of fighter that is loved in the ring. Not one for conversation, Rago lets his actions speak for him. Of course, this also means most of his communicating is done in battle. A fighter who loves fighting, Rago doesn’t have much to say that isn’t related to the sparring and news from the ring.
Usually serious and seemingly thoughtful, one might be surprised to find how dimwitted Rago actually is. The only education the boy got was how to speak the common tongue and the language of the Deserts. This helps him while training the newer fighters, but almost nowhere else. He finds himself creating reasons out of nowhere to hold grudges, and he doesn’t bother hiding him. If he doesn’t like you, you’ll know.
A rarer sort of magic that effects the emotions, war magic can create or stop fights in a second. It boils the blood, and enrages the mind so that anyone Rago chooses won’t be able to do anything but attack the first person they see. While he never uses it outside the ring, he often uses it to get the more nervous or so-called ‘noble’ fighters and enslaved warriors to start the battle.