Player Name: Kat
Weight: 169 lbs
Her skin is a speckled tan, often with reddened areas from prolonged time out in the sun. Her hair is a silvery grey that is kept neat at all times in an orderly bun at the back of her head. Her eyes are a solid blue, though the whites of her eyes have become wet and slightly grey with age. Her skin droops slightly at her jowls, and distinct lines trace from nose to mouth, over her brow and between her eyebrows. They are not too deep, but when she is quiet or still and her thoughts are allowed to wander they become more graven in her features. They were earned over the years, and as her experiences grace her so too does the map of her body change.
She is not an obese woman, but children have thickened her body. Her form is matronly and more than a little bit chubby, and her curves have softened and matured into a stately womanhood that is pleasing in its motherly reassurance. Her hands are thin and bony, the delicate tracery of veins clearly visible, and the slender arrangement of bones a slight giveaway to her slightly noble heritage. Yet, her wide set eyes and proudly arched nose give her an almost quizzical look; a certain girlish innocence that points towards a pretty youth. Her mouth is small, and her lips pert. They purse when she is upset or feeling prickly, and her expression can become quite fierce. A mother's trick, in all likelihood.
Her movements are slow, her bearing holding a stateliness that only the middle aged or old can carry; more of a tactical means of avoiding injury and strain than any certain inbred regality. But, the lines upon her face proclaim that she is more inclined towards laughter and smiles than any sort of coldness. And perhaps it might be noted that her shoulders are a little stooped, and her legs not entirely straight. For her life, those sorts of things can be forgiven. It is not that she is so old necessarily, but that the weight of choices made and harsh things in the path bear on her. She shows them as much as she would a physical scar or dimple. She is learning how to become a person not burdened by the unnecessary, and perhaps as more time passes she will become stabler.
She is a curious person, and she can often be seen squinting at someone or something, asking after an explanation. To the locals of Shim, she is something of an oddity. She is like a hermit come into society, and her postures and speech habits sometimes shadow that thought.
She owns her own small parcel of land, a garden on it and the small house upon that. An extension upon this house is a shop where her late husband worked, and now she sets up the tools she needs for sewing within it. In that vein she has all sorts of tools for tailor work, from a loom to various needles and threads, and often she has many different cloths hung up around the shop.
All of her husbands tools and bits he never sold she still keeps.
She has a small savings stashed away someplace, enough to live comfortably for the rest of her life. She's a frugal person, and so her actual possessions are relatively few.
She's a good tailor.
She has a capability for magic, though after her father was arrested she's locked it away within herself.
She owns her own house, and a shop.
She can garden relatively well.
Her mind is strong, and her temper mild. She remembers things well. She is resourceful, and knows how to ask questions.
She can barter for items.
She was a shut in for so long that some of the more practical aspects of dealing with people have been lost. She wouldn't blink if someone told her she had to pay a toll for a bridge. If she was looking to rent a room, or get an item unrelated to the food she's accustomed to or sewing items, it is very likely she'd buy it for way too much. In that same vein, it'd be relatively easy to pull a scam on her. Though she maintains a healthy wariness of strangers it's worn down in easy and friendly conversation.
For all that she's lived in SHim so long, she's kept to herself for most of it. She doesn't know much about Marn at all, nor much about the people who have been her customers for years.
She doesn't do well with wide open spaces. After having lived so long in a small house, in a well known area the thought of being in a large, unknown area is very indimidating to her. Could possibly induce a panic attack.
Similarly, large quantities of people terrify her. She doesn't know what to dow ith herself. She'd be an easy mark for a pickpocket.
She's a little nearsighted. Age will do that to you.
Her endurance is slight. It is unlikely she'd be up for strenuous anything, be it traveling or otherwise.
Her parents were young, and foolish when Saruna was born. They were both amidst the youngest of their respective families, and in Eyropa that meant that they were not useful for much besides what trade they could pass amongst themselves, or tying up alliances with other families. Pagon Yristen, her father, was of an old bloodline, and considered of genteel bloodline to pass for the rustic upper class. His family owned an estate in the country, and survived off of vast lands that the peasants broke backs over to stay alive. He was second youngest of twelve children and soon enough when he came of age at a young fourteen he was glibly handed over to a tradesman. Pagon would make his fortunes elsewhere, and bring back enough respect and worthiness to build upon the family name.
They all had the Touch, as it was called by the poorer class, which lent a magical grace to whatever trade they were beholden to. For Pagon, it was woodworking that he was hauled off to, and he learned the finer applications of his craft. Eight years of the ten it would take to complete his apprenticeship, and he met her. Kalienne Modanich, daughter of the merchant Pagon's master took many commissions from. They were so young. They fell in love. He was older than her, he being twenty-two and she a mere fifteen, but it was common for women to be wed young in that area. All he had to do was finish two years of apprenticeship to become a journeyman and have the freedom to branch away from his master. All he had to do was keep it secret so they could elope. They failed.
The Yristen household found out about Pagon's indiscretions, and the Modanichs were prominent enough that a daughter -- even a younger one -- who was defiled before marriage would be a blow to family name. They demanded the two married, but the Yristens were not so happy being connected to the merchant class. Orgoff, the head of the Yristen family, gave his blessing over it only if the child of Pagon and Kalienne's union was wed off to a younger son or daughter of a family more noble than they -- and deepen the political ties that bound the two families together. The two agreed, seeing no other choice; such a sway had Orgoff over his children. It never occurred to Pagon to simply take his bride and leave to another country. He was not a coward, but neither was he overtly wise or brave.
Saruna was born, the eldest of three. Kalienne's health was frail after Saruna's birth -- much to the harrumphing disapproval of the women of Yristen -- and her children after Kalienne proved to be weak too. The lastborn died at age three, and the middle child was claimed back into the Yristen household to be trained as an accountant when he turned ten. Kalienne and Pagon's relationship turned bitter as their eyes turned to their oldest daughter, thirteen and promised to a twenty-year-old, named Lukol, whom she'd met infrequently, but who had taken to Pagon -- now a master -- and had become his apprentice some time before. The two got along well, and Pagon found strength in the young man who reminded him so of himself.
Once Saruna turned fourteen, she was wed to Lukol. Shortly thereafter, the family picked up roots and disappeared -- Pagon had found the courage to defy his family one last time. They followed the trade route Kalienne's father often took, and found themselves traversing through Thar Shaddin. They stayed in Marn for a long time, as Pagon tried to ply his trade and Kalienne used her knowledge as a merchant's brat to sell his wares. A year had passed when they were able to buy land in Shim, and they settled there. Pagon opened shop with Lukol as his journeyman, and a short year passed in relative happiness.
Then the officials in Marn traced back a certain number of magically tampered wooden objects to Shim. Pagon was arrested, and the family never heard from him again. Kalienne withered, and she had few moments of happiness with grandchildren before she succumbed to her own heartbreak. Saruna was twenty-two, and mother of two children. Times were hard for her and Lukol, their inherited business treated as taboo even though Lukol had no magical talent of his own. They dug in, those two, and made it work. Saruna learned how to sew from a kindly grandmother in Shim, and though she was treated as an outsider she made do. Lukol learned to go into the forest to cut his own wood, and made objects both simple and plain.
They led a simple life, much different from the life their parents had led in distinguished wealth. They squirrelled away what money they could, and used to rest for living expenses and to expand business. They were never fully accepted into Shim, but were acknowledged as good tradesmen and decent people. Their children were accepted openly, but none of them ever really liked Shim and its people, nor the neighboring city of Marn. As children are wont to do, they chafed at the barren lands surrounding the town, despite the expanse of forest, and longed for the grand tales of Eyropa. Still, their house was big enough and secure; barred door and a roof that didn't leak. Time passed in a blur of work and family life, and for most purposes Saruna was content. She didn't have much time to think for herself. She cooked, and she cleaned, and she sewed. There was a respect between herself and Lukol that spilled over into fondness. She didn't mind. She'd never known the passion that had afflicted her parents, and she didn't much see the point of it.
When she turned thirty-one she received correspondence from the Yristen family. They wanted to know about the family, about Pagon and Kalienne. Saruna, being naive in the power play of distinguished families, replied with blunt honesty. She didn't know that it would eventually lead to her children leaving her. She held a fierce love for her children, and she was a good mother. She was no defense against curiousity and wanderlust, nor had she any guard against this distant family whom she couldn't remember particularly well. She shouldn't have been surprised when a servant and retinue showed up for her children. Should have been wary enough to turn them away. But, they promised education of her children, and a freedom for them to learn trades of their own. At the very least, the servent reasoned, they should know their family. Saruna had infrequently seen her grandparents on her mother's side -- they still occasionally came through Marn (and thus Shim) on trade business -- but never the Yristens. So, she sent off all but her youngest two children at five and three.
The eldest never came back.
The two middle children had nothing but tales of their adventures and praise for the pomp of Eyropa, none of which could be found in Shim. She received letters frequently from child and family, and she was learning to dread them. At thirty-four, when the servant came again, she had a better mind to turn them away. But what mother, when looking out over Shim and its decaying parent Marn, could really have hope for better lives for her children? She let them go. She hated herself. Lukol often turned west and would stare off -- he gave no complaints. He knew that there was more security in his and Saruna's family. They bickered about it at night.
Slowly her children weaned from her apron strings, until at age forty-four she had none left. Her only, cold consolation was that they were all doing well, and were comfortable in Eyropa. Often she'd considered pulling up roots and following them west, but Lukol didn't want to. He was really all she had left. Until, later that year, he didn't come out of the forest. He was never found, and she gradually accepted the fact that she was well and truly alone. For the first time in her life, the house was empty, and she had no one asking for her time. It was terribly lonely. It was horrendously terrifying. When she cooked, the dishes were remarkably few. When she cleaned, it stayed clean.
She sewed an awful lot those first few years. She had nothing else to do. Her money multiplied, but with no need to worry over weddings and dowries she had nothing to do but tuck it away. At forty-eight she picked up gardening. Slowly, painfully she expanded her life to all the things she'd never had time before to do. She learned that she liked to sit at the window and watch the sunrise. She learned that cutting wood tightened her back and made her sweat like she'd never sweat before. She didn't like that much. She learned that over time pulling out her late husband's gifts to her over the years didn't make her cry as long, or as hard. She found that solitary walks through town could be pleasant, and she also began to understand that the people of Shim did not despise her, and they were not unfriendly.
The world drew open before her, and slowly the restrictions she'd placed upon herself began to fall away. She marveled at it, and the deep core of loneliness and boredom grew. She is not dead yet, at age fifty-four. She is beginning to like the world, and question where she ought to be in it. In fact, she has a lot of questions to ask, and all the strict patience of a mother behind those questions.
Her first question is what happened to her father all those years ago. And from there, well, time will always tell.
When she had her children:
20 - oldest
21 - second oldest
23 - middle
26 - second youngest
28 - youngest
Lately Saruna has been given to brooding. She took in a stray, widowed young farm worker named Derin. Saruna thought she could offer Derin support in finding her mother, but that was soon shunted to the side after Saruna took in another stray, Gustel. Gustel was not all that he seemed, being a spy sent by the expansive Hanser after Hanser had been given reason that Derin might be a little more magical than she put on. Gustel confirmed this magicality, after Derin faked cursing Gustel.
The result of this was a report to the Guard, and a few months after Gustel left town a guardsman and battlemage, Fayane and Melagone, showed up at Saruna's door. Terrified, she had no other option than to take them to Derin where she worked at the Red Chalice Inn. While there, unable to stand the sight of Derin being arrested, Saruna pleaded with Fayane to let her send a note to her neighbors. Saruna and Fayane left, and Saruna managed to convince Fayane that she should betray the Guard to help Saruna.
Meanwhile, thanks to the aid of Kori, Derin managed to escape Melagone. Being a Demon in secret, Derin switched out the body of "Derin" for the body of "Rosemary". The four of them met at Saruna's home, and after talk they agreed on a means of clearing Saruna's, and the now 'deceased' Derin's, names.
Fayane took Saruna and Melagone back to the courthouse, where the case was dismissed on the grounds of misunderstanding. But while she was there, at the courthouse, Saruna couldn't help but remember her beloved father, who disappeared in the hands of the Guard long ago. The court seems weak to her, and where there is a weakness there is a means to exploit it.
Saruna intends to avenge her father and her ruined family (which she blames, rightfully or not, on Marn) by inciting a revolt against the government.
She is putting herself way in over her head, and she doesn't even know it.
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