Cast and Crew
Good to go. CMW 3/day.
Name: Kalia Wright
Skills: Handle Animal; Craft: Seamstress; Healing
Feat: Animal Affinity
Kalia is pretty and confident- some might even call her headstrong. While the first trait is welcomed in farmers' daughters, the second often is not, and many townspeople whisper behind her back that she just needs to settle down with a firm man. Each of the village lads have taken a pass at her, but she has sent each of them packing, which is fine with her parents, at the moment, because they need her help around the farm. They are starting to notice that she is of marriageable age, however, which has, if anything, made Kalia a bit more fiery in temperament. Her preference for animals and books over handsome youths has also sent many good-wives' tongues tisking, but she pays them no more mind than need be.
In terms of dress, Kalia's is rather simple. She designs her homespun dresses more for utility than fashion, making sure that her skirts don't impede her movement. She does have a preference for light green dresses, which complement her emerald eyes and light brown hair. Freckles play across her heart-shaped face, but her eyes, brimming with intelligence, outshine all her other features. In terms of build, she is short, about 5' 2", and lithe.
Personal God: Like many of the townspeople, Kalia worships Cūyan, but she often also prays to Silonā, and she avoids disturbing moss whenever she can.
Power: Cure Minor Wounds
Kalia is a farmer's daughter, and her life looks much like that of the other farmers' daughters around town. While her father and older brother go off to the fields, she cares for the animals, mends clothes, and helps her mother and younger sister with the cleaning and cooking. She gets up before dawn each day to attend to her chores, but she often keeps the candle burning late as she reads the latest book she could get her hands on.
Kalia's younger sister lacks the ability to read and write- even her brother and parents have only as much skill as is needed to get by- but Kalia gained the ability from her association with the town priest. Given her ability to heal small wounds, her father sent her to the priest to learn a bit more of the healer's art, so that she could better attend to sick and pregnant animals. The gentleman obliged her with some instruction, beginning with lessons in reading and writing, so that she could read his one aging volume on veterinary medicine. She soon read through his tiny library and has since pestered every passing merchant for new books, though her family cannot always afford the expense.
She enjoys taking care of the animals, and they all seem to like her in return. Kalia's favorite animals are the goats, however. One kid in particular has taken to following her around the farm, even scampering into the farmhouse on her heels to trot up to her room. He is still tiny- smaller than the family's tomcat- but his attitude has won him the name "Spunk." Kalia had, of course, delivered the tyke, and his mother's labor had been long and troubled. Both mother and progeny were expected to die, but Kalia managed to save both, breathing life into the fragile newborn goat with her gift. Now she has grown accustomed to his company; she lays in bed and reads to him while he rubs against her leg, or sometimes she plays her small wooden recorder or sings to him.
Last edited by UrsprungDerLiebe; 02-13-2012 at 03:27 PM.
Character sheet- Myla
Good to go. Magehand every d4 rounds.__________________
Character sheet now updated.
Myla is light and exceptionally agile, but also suffered a poor diet growing up in her pariah family. I made this adjustment: DEX +2; STR -2; CON -2
I've then made a second adjustment of INT +2; CHA -2; WIS -2: Myla is an intelligent- if uneducated- young lady and a high intelligence also gives her the skills she would have developed to survive on the fringes of a rural society. However, her background and lack of concern for personal presentation doesn't make her immediately appealing (CHA -2). I suspect as she grows more comfortable around people this could change. Who knows, there could be a pretty girl under all the mud and dead animals! Or maybe a psychopath. As she's still a teenager I thought it appropriate to knock her wisdom down, too, despite her "street-smarts"...
Last edited by UrsprungDerLiebe; 02-13-2012 at 02:49 PM.
@Tahlon your image of Kalia on the character sheet is exactly as I imagined! Going to be quite a contrast between the two females in the party. This game is going to be great.__________________
Name: Wil Parnock__________________
Occupation / Class: Farmhand / Fighter
Background: Wil Parnock was about 12-years-old when his father, Brand Parnock, was found face down in Beldam Rill, a swift-flowing brook deep in the forest that runs out of the nearby woods and eventually widens into the village mill’s creek (it is usually just called the Millwater or Millcrick at that point, however, and fewer bother with the old name each year). As Brand was a reliable man and wasn’t known to go wandering in the woods, his death has remained a mystery. Wil’s mother Linny was unable to provide for her brood of children on her own even in a time of plenty, so she placed the oldest two where she could (Wil has a sister working in an apothecary’s shop one town over) and took her three younger children to live with her brother off in the mountains.
“You mind Master Redham now, Wil. He’s doing you a good turn. Work hard at what he tells you to do, and don’t ever make a fuss.”
With these words, spoken through tears, Linny Parnock left her son Wil in the care of Larner Redham and his wife Ella, ostensibly as an apprentice to the respected horseman and farmer; as it turned out, though, the boy was a convulsive, and the combination of his fits with his meager grasp of even the simplest household task proved such an unwelcome burden to his exasperated guardians that they could give him no job more difficult than mucking out stables for the first two or three years he was with them, at which point he understood enough of farm work and following directions to earn his keep as a stablehand (and to avoid being whipped).
Gangling and shy as a boy, Wil worked hard to please the Redhams and earn his place in their home, although he is well aware that he was thought of as an idiot by the village at large for most of his life. Even now that he is about 19 years of age and has grown out of the worst of his awkwardness into a warm-hearted and physically powerful young man, a few of his peers throw rocks when he isn’t looking or otherwise delight in playing tricks on the simple farmhand. Nevertheless, Wil has rarely experienced outright cruelty and holds no grudges.
Wil is most at ease among animals or young children; indeed, he is oddly beloved by the babes of Tima with whom he grins and laughs most foolishly, singing in his surprisingly clear tenor or carrying them about on his broad shoulders. Apart from his infrequent time spent with children or his work with the Redhams’ animals, Wil spends as much time as he can in the local church (as a boy he assisted the priest with sexton duties and helped keep the small temple clean); he also finds special solace in the woods and valleys surrounding the little village, although it is a simple love of trees and green growing things rather than any sort of religious understanding that motivates him.
Though otherwise healthy and physically capable, innumerable falls from innumerable fits have given the already plain-featured youth an almost brutish visage, covered as he is with scars and lumps (a split lip is his latest badge of shame, a quirk of the mouth that hasn’t healed right and reveals his long, crooked teeth). His smile is quick and genuine, however, crooked teeth and all. His sandy hair is shorn to a bristly shortness, further emphasizing the hard irregularity of his skull, and he is clean shaven (as Larner Redham requires all his farmhands to go without beards, hoping to foster an air of respectability among his people). Wil’s eyes are deep set and light gray in color, with the curious faraway glint to them common to epileptics.
Wil’s gift developed quite early in life – his infant brothers and sisters were found to stop crying if he hugged them, and as he grew he was able to disperse even headaches or the darkest gloom simply by laughing or kissing his family members. His touch can calm spooked horses enough to lead them to safety (a blessing during the last three days of weird weather), although they are not immune to further fright for very long.
The Storm Breaks (Story):
“Horses up tight,” said Larner Redham to his farmhand Samir, “you make sure of it. You and Wil.”
Master Redham was a man spare in speech and decisive in deed, but this was the third time tonight he had reminded his workmen to lock the stables. The entire household was on edge. Wil felt it keenly, a disquiet that radiated from each person and mingled with the frost of their breaths.
“Damn foolishness, this close to midnight. Horses aren’t going anywhere. Damn foolishness.” Samir’s grumbles competed with the nearly constant peals of thunder as the two youths shouldered their way through the wind and rain of the storm to the barn. The ground was cold and hard underfoot, and Wil found himself wondering about the weirdly unseasonable weather. Like a story, it is, he thought. I hope it snows.
“Samir?” asked Wil over the howling wind. “Hey, Sam. What if the rain turns into snow?”
By the time they got to the barn, he was in full grin at the idea of building a scarecrow out of snow at this time of year. Samir, short and strong and usually full of goofy good cheer, did not seem to be in the mood for Wil’s ruminations, however, as he struggled with the enormous padlock and chain on the door.
“Gods, Wil, leave off your idiot questions and help me with the lock: it’s stuck.”
Wil bent to the key, turning it as gently as he could. It wouldn’t even come back out, the lock was so cold and wet.
“It’s stuck, Sam.”
“Which I just told you that, dumb arse.”
Samir beat his arms and shivered. He jerked his head back toward the house. “Come on, nothing’s getting in or out. It was damn foolishness to come out here at this hour.”
Wil hesitated. “But the key…”
A particularly loud clap of thunder jolted their senses and shook the sturdy walls of the barn. One of the mares inside whinnied loudly in fright. Misty, thought Wil. Poor girl.
“Look, mate,” said Samir, stomping his boots on the ground to keep warm, “you can diddle the lock all night if you want to. You know I’m no shirk, but this is the third time tonight we been out here, and unless that bogeyman with the strange clothes has snuck into our barn – I’m kidding, Wil – then there’s nothing going on right now other than this accursed weather.”
As if to punctuate his words, the wind picked up its pace like a yearling given its head in a run on the first day of Vaivannā. A water trough at the corner of the barn screeched against its metal braces, rattling in place as if it would go flying off into the night at any second. Samir turned to go.
“Wait, Samir! Let’s check on the horses first. Don’t go home without me.”
The stocky figure of Samir said nothing but trudged all the way back to the main house, shoulders hunched against the pelting rain. Wil watched him until he disappeared inside, then turned back to the padlock. It was beginning to rust, as was the chain it was securing on the door, though it was newly made just before harvest. Strange. He stared at it for a time, mindful of the rain lashing his back and the wind whispering lurid secrets in his ears. It really sounds like someone talking to me. I wish they’d tell me how to get inside the barn. Wil shook his head, running a hand over his bristly scalp. Da would know.
Wil heard a loud knocking sound from inside, accompanied by more whinnying. They’re scared. Me too, a little. Wil found a muddy crowbar under a tub behind the barn and used it to smash the lock. It was satisfying to stretch out his strength for a good task like this, although he felt bad for the lock: it was now quite useless, his blow landing true right where the shackle hooked through the chain links, and the lock lay in two pieces on the ground.
Once inside, Will secured the doors against the wind with a mighty effort, hooking the crowbar through the handles. “All right, horses,” he called gently in his surprisingly clear tenor. “Nothing will hurt you. It’s just your Wil.” Even though the air inside was chill, it was still. The homey smells of hay and horseflesh warmed his imagination such that he “saw” the scents like colors, as if a small cheery fire was crackling away just outside his line of sight and its rosy glow was dancing around the edges of his vision. He smiled in the dark. “Good lads, there. Good horses.”
He took his time walking down the single aisle of box stalls, peering at each occupant and speaking quiet words of comfort. Misty and Meadowbock (a capering, foolish gelding; “You were the naughty one knocking against your stall, weren’t you?” he asked the gelding, laughing a little) each had their heads straining for a touch, so he patted them and whispered kindly nonsense until they whickered and withdrew.
The rain wasn’t letting up. The wind slackened a little from its earlier shrill pitch, though it still howled eerily around the gaps, rattling the door and moaning like a madman. Wil shivered and yawned.
“I can’t leave without I leave the door unlocked also,” he said to himself. “Right. I’ll miss my bed, but these poor beasts sleep without blankets all the time. Stay with them it is, then. Wil will take care of things.”
Decision made, Wil made himself a bed of clean straw and sung himself a silly song to keep away the chill that threatened heart as well as limbs. “Straw for strawberries, how very strange! Merry me, berry bee, the straw-sleeping man.”
His own red and gold words floated in his mind as he drifted to sleep, heedless of pelting rain and hungry wind.
* * *
Wil was in the woods in full day. Sunlight dappled the path he walked, and his eyes were dazzled with the greens and yellows of the lush branches that pressed in on every side.
”Da? Where are we going, Da?”
The young boy follows his father, watching his strong back as the man toils up the path that is suddenly heading uphill. His father is clad in a vest and a broad hat, but Wil cannot see his face.
The boy tries to remember his father’s face, picturing the strong chin and…
The man stops but does not turn around. Sunlight scatters all around them, nearly blinding; one of the branches pokes the child in his side.
I remember now, Da, Wil thinks in his own voice slurred with sleep, no longer the bright chirp of a child. You died in the rill. So pale, your face. Oh, Da.
He tries to reach out in his dream with his slender boy’s arms to touch his father, but he cannot move. Brand Parnock begins walking once more, disappearing up the path with surprising speed. A wind shakes the branches and leaves dance and crowd all around, blocking the departing figure from view. Wil is rooted to the spot. Da…
Wil surged out of sleep like a fish reeled in on a line. Something was wrong. He listened, stock still on his pile of hay. He heard nothing but the rain for a moment, but the silence had a thick presence to it: a heavy anticipation. He strained his ears.
Something screamed in the night, a wild wailing that wasn’t the storm. It made his flesh feel cold and crawly. Wil stood up in the dark, feeling for the wall and suppressing a shudder. He heard the ghastly scream again, this time much closer. A jackal here for the harvest, he thought a bit crazily, his mind still sleep-fogged. You’re late, brother. Who sent you?
The horses nickered quietly and he felt their fear even as his own began slowly melting away. “All right now, my beauties; it’s all right.” Wil continued to soothe them as he groped for the door. Why didn’t we bring torches? I’m such a dummy. The doors shivered in place, threatening to fly open. Light glowed from the cracks. Wil couldn’t find the crowbar he had left in the handles as a makeshift lock, so pushed open one side and peered into the night.
Rain puddled all in front of the barn, the ground still being too cold for it to do anything but run off. There was something queer about its color but it was too dark to say exactly what. Wil crept out and gazed across the Redham property. He could see candlelight in the farmhouse, but stranger by far was the light coming from the village proper. It wasn’t the light of torches, although now he could see men moving about down the nearby road, some of them with lit brands of fire, but something else entirely. The clouds reflected this eerie cold light, but Wil was too far away to see exactly what was happening.
Deciding to check in with his master, Wil left the barn as secure as he could by loosely looping the chain around the inside handles and tying it off before trotting through the rain to the house. At least this way the doors won’t fly all the way open. Jackals don’t eat horses, I don’t think.
END OF PART ONE
Last edited by Feldring; 05-04-2012 at 11:20 AM. Reason: added story; cosmetic changes (Sami = Samir)