Zoya the Disgruntled Cat

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Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2015 2:19 am
Name: Zoya
Race: lynx shifter

Zoya the Disgruntled Cat

Post by Zoya » Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:00 am

Name: Zoya
Age: 34
Race: Lynx shifter

Description: Stocky and compact, Zoya's no one's idea of beauty. She has short, raggedly cropped tawny hair that looks constantly in need of a wash, skin dark from exposure to the sun, yellow eyes that are usually glaring, and a patchwork of scars across her face. She can usually be found wearing the typical fur clothing of the northern shifters though she is a little less ostentatious than most, keeping her furs to just trims and ruffs around the collar and sleeves.

When Zoya is human she is constantly wearing gloves and if there's ever a time to be barefoot, she's got socks on. This is to cover her fingernails and toenails, which are dipped in silver. Angry red marks line her nailbeds and when it's particularly cold or damp, she limps from the pain associated with these. Her hands as a human are usually slightly curled to help deal with the pain and she sometimes has a hard time stretching out her fingers and feet fully.

As a lynx, Zoya is about the size of a medium dog. She weighs around 45lbs and has bright, tawny-gold fur with black spots on it. Her yellow eyes are the same in both lynx and human form. Her face is framed by a long, black-edged ruff and her ears have long tufts of black fur off the tips as well. She has big paws that are great for walking on snow and being sneaky. Her tail is short, about a foot long, and with a black tip on the end. Her claws are retractable, though when she's not around other shifters she walks with them out as much as possible due to the silver burning.

One of the most noticeable things about Zoya is that she smells very strongly. Part of the aroma is a pungent cream that she has to help with the pain caused by her silver claws, made from vinegar, honey, rosemary oil, and lavender oil. It doesn't necessarily smell bad, but it does smell very strong. If asked, she usually growls something about an old scar that refuses to heal. Zoya also deliberately keeps dirty to help hide the scent of silver on her.

Possessions: Zoya doesn't have much to call her own. Besides the clothes on her back she has a spare set, as well as a small knife and bowl for eating. She has a blanket and some money, though not very much. She carries no obvious weapons. She does have a pair of tiny silver daggers hidden in the tops of her boots, and these are easily the most valuable thing she owns.

Powers or Strengths: Zoya has had plenty of experiences getting the crap kicked out of her, particularly by werewolves, and as such has turned into a nasty fighter in her lynx form and is especially good at fighting werewolves. She is fantastic at ambushes like climbing up to the rooftops and jumping onto her opponents' head, or getting herself into a position to rake their bellies with her back claws. The more she's backed into a corner the more desperate she becomes, and as a small shifter, she's been backed into a corner often.

With the addition of her silver claws, she can be deadly for shifters. Her fingernails and toenails as a human are coated in silver, all the way down to the bones of her fingers and toes. She wears gloves constantly as a human to hide the silver from other shifters. As a lynx, she has totally retractable claws and has become very good at hiding her claws from other shifters (since wielding silver is tantamount to asking for a beating or death among her kind).

Zoya is also very adept at being sneaky. Being so much smaller than most of her fellow shifters, she can scramble into places and hide easily. She has large paws in her lynx form that are very good for creeping around silently as well. She's also really fast and agile and has learned the hard way how to duck out of attacks and dodge her opponents.

In her human form, Zoya is also a nasty fighter. She has no conundrums with fighting dirty and is great with her small silver daggers. Knowing shifters like she does, she knows she only has to graze them with the silver daggers to hurt them badly so she never bothers to go for a killing blow, and she is very good at slashing her opponents with her daggers to achieve her desired results. And even if her daggers are somehow not available to her, she still has silver fingernails in her human form and has no problem going right for the eyes.

Much to her baffled amusement, other shifters find her rather charismatic. She never really wanted to be a leader but her ideas about equality hold enough merit that others shifters tend to follow her against the wolves. With her world-weary demeanor and confidence in her self since getting her silver claws she's something of a beacon of hope to many of the downtrodden shifters in and around Zhaltev who are sick of getting kicked around by the wolves. As such, she does have a number of allies she can call on if she's in need of shelter or food when she's near Zhaltev. Some of her ideas have spread to other cities surrounding the shifter city as well (she's not quite sure how or why) and so there are a few other shifters outside of Zhaltev proper that she can rely on for the same things.

Weaknesses and Flaws: Zoya is much smaller than the average shifter, though she is large for a lynx. She tops out at 45lbs, about the size of a medium dog. She would be hard pressed to hold her own against a werewolf without the aid of her silver claws, though she probably wouldn't die. Probably. Especially if she gets ganged up on. More than one opponent without the assistance of her silver would be very bad for her, especially if she had mouthed off to the wolf shifters.

She doesn't like being a shifter. Well, that's not strictly true - she likes being able to turn into a lynx. What she doesn't like is the shifter culture, especially in and around Zhaltev. She wants to be treated like a human who can turn into a big cat, not just some feral thing who has to fight for supremacy. She doesn't like dealing with other shifters for that very reason. She hates feeling like she has to fight for her place in the pecking order when really she would prefer to just read a book or something.

The silver that is bonded to her pains her greatly. She has had her claws for about a year now and it was technology and magic that the Cyrti hadn't really tested. When she first got her claws it was mostly fine except for the slight burning around her nail beds, but now the pain has gotten much more severe. She has the beginning stages of arthritis in her hands and feet and the burning around her nails had gotten much worse. Zoya is worried about the progression of this, especially since no one really knew what the long term effects were. She does have a salve to help with the burning, the strong smelling vinegar, honey, rosemary, and lavender salve. It was crafted by the Cyrti to help and has more than a little magic in it to help with the burns. The salve is getting less effective as time goes on though.

History: Zoya was born to a small family of lynx shifters in Zhaltev. They lived a little outside of the city in an effort to stay away from clan politics. Zoya would venture into the city on errands for her mother and often return bruised and bloody - she was always small for her age and she was an easy target for some of the nastier shifters to pick on. Especially werewolves. Something about chasing a cat appealed to their natures and Zoya found herself 'treed' at the top of a building many times in her youth.

It wore on her. She hated being treated like a plaything, hated fearing to go into the city, hated the wolves who would chase her. Slowly that grew to be hatred of more shifters - the parents that couldn't keep an eye on their charges, the pack leaders who overlooked it as normal play for youngsters, and the syordan who seemed to encourage the hunting. As a result, Zoya didn't have many friends growing up, and was even distant from her own family.

She moved into the city at the age of fourteen on her own, hoping that if she fell in with the Jorvyk clan she would be better protected. She made a friend or two but she had already learned fear and distrust, and those friendships quickly fell apart. With the nominal protection of Jorvyk, however, she was able to explore more of the city. She discovered the Kalvova Library and took great solace in curling up in there with a book - many of her antagonists didn't care for book learning and Zoya enjoyed the escape.

In reading, Zoya found a whole world beyond Zhaltev. She was enchanted with Sartani, the city of the sky, and Corezo where everything seemed to be warm and bright and filled with intrigue. The library was hardly up to date with the recent works of Eyropa but Zoya read everything she could anyway, fixing the images of the cities in her mind. She desperately wanted to visit but she didn't know a thing about the world outside except for books, and the tales of the other shifters had her convinced that half of the world would want to hunt her down for her pelt.

She got older but her dreams never faded, no matter how many times she got chased for being a cat in a city of glorified dogs. Quietly and slowly she found a few others like her - a pair of otter shifters, another lynx, a coyote, and a handful more - who were also sick and tired of being used as chew toys for the wolves. They banded together and Zoya cut most of her ties with Jorvyk. She fell in love with the coyote, whose name was Sanchon, and they lived together in peace for about ten years. It wasn't much of a life, Zoya had thought even then, but it had been enough. She also had learned enough during that period from her own experiences and the tricks Sanchon taught her that she had been able to hold her own fairly well against whatever she was fighting.

That all came to a rapid halt one day when Sanchon was killed. They had just been out shopping, getting more bread and things, and a werewolf had started roughing Zoya about, teasing her like the wolves were liable to do, and Sanchon had snapped. She had begged him just to let it go before the wolves got too riled up and he had given her a slight, sad smile and kissed her. "It's not enough to just accept this anymore," he had whispered before turning to fight. Zoya barely escaped with her life and, once she got away from the alley that was drenched in blood, she didn't stop running until she was miles outside of the city. She was heartbroken and murderous all at once, and it took all of her willpower not to just storm back to the city and try to take her revenge.

However, she thought that her own death would bring about nothing. She was just one small lynx against a city of rabid dogs - she would need some help. Zoya remembered some of the old stories of the other cities of Eyropa and thought one in particular might be able to help her find what she sought - Sartani, once Cyr-Talanyi, where magic still flowed and changed and the deep mines produced gold and iron and precious gems... and silver.

She thought as she made her way north. She needed a way to hurt the shifters that couldn't be taken from her. She needed a way to not feel helpless. Some silver weapon, she was thinking, something to make her stronger as a human to fight them. She had never been particularly proficient with any kind of weapon - most people in Zhaltev found it better to just fight as animals rather than trying to learn weapons like a human - but dammit, she would learn.

When she got to Sartani she was surprised at the city she found. It was nothing like the books had described, though she did recognize that those books had been outdated by a hundred years or more. This city still had airships and was still carved into the side of a mountain but it was less bright and airy than she had imagined, its people more reserved and wary. It reminded her a little of Zhaltev with the mistrust of outsiders but she did her best to put that out of her mind. She found what she was looking for after a few weeks of dogged pursuit - a silversmith who was also a magic worker.

After she had explained what she wanted, pain had happened. Lots of pain. It hadn't come cheaply either. Though the silversmith had been intrigued with what Zoya asking, times were hard. Times were always hard. So Zoya was worked to the bone hunting and fishing and cleaning and gardening while the man worked on her new weapons. He hadn't told her exactly what he was doing to her and all she knew was that she was in pain almost constantly for months while he did whatever he was doing. Later, she discovered that he had been binding the silver to her bones in preparation for the claws themselves, and it had been a trial and error process. She had almost died more than once, he mentioned casually over dinner one night, six months in.

When she left Sartani she was both elated and frightened. The silversmith had given her new claws, filing down her natural nails and coating the remnants with silver bound to her in magic and blood and bone. It was a potent mixture, the silversmith had explained, and it wouldn't kill her. That didn't mean it didn't hurt - despite the salve that he had given her the pain was still intense. Nothing like regular silver burning, of course, but it was enough that she could never forget about it. It made walking on her paws and her human feet hurt until she had learned to accept it as her new form of normal. Still, she hadn't ever felt as powerful as she did the first time she saw her new claws, glinting silver out of her paws. Her fingernails and toenails were silver too, but that just looked like the tacky nail polish like some of the nobles in Sartani wore.

She made her way back south. She still owed the silversmith for the claws but she told him she had no way of getting money in Sartani. She had no way of getting money at all, really, at least not the amount she owed him, but telling him that would not accomplish anything. It wasn't the first time she'd stolen either, so it didn't really matter. Or at least that's what she told herself.

When she got back down to Zhaltev, she lingered on the outskirts of the city for days. It still held lots of painful memories for her - despite the time that had passed since Sanchon had been killed, she hadn't really let herself grieve for him properly. Now was certainly not the time to start though, so instead she sought out the downtrodden like she had done before, but this time with a vengeance. She was careful to steer clear of the werewolves. Just because she now felt like their equal in a fight didn't mean it would be a good time to actually pick that fight. All it would take would be one story of a lynx with silver claws and she would be killed, probably in her sleep like a traitor.

Despite all her cautions, that time still came and she ended up killing a werewolf - a Kharityn, one of the high up wolves that she had really not wanted to piss off. But it ended up being the only way she could stay alive so she clawed him to bits and then ran before the rest of Kharityn could figure out what had happened. She snuck back in just once to promise to bring help to her new followers and then fled south, deciding that enough was enough and if she had to find a way to bring the Empire down on the leaders of Zhaltev, so be it. Enough was enough, just like Sanchon had said before.
if you get treated like an animal for long enough, you become one

User avatar
Posts: 1959
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:08 pm
Name: Saruna Rischett
Race: Human

Re: Zoya the Disgruntled Cat

Post by Saruna » Sat Oct 03, 2015 3:33 am

This character is played by an established player.

#biologicallyconscientious||Characters and threads.