The world is such a broad and diverse place. There are beings as diverse and adaptable as humans, as sturdy and tough as dwarves, and as wise and agile as elves. The elves live in the forest of the north, making them one with nature. The dwarves were once humans, who were trapped underground for generations, thought to be lost. Now, they have an affinity with the earth and amazing strength. The humans are everywhere- ever adapting, ever expanding. From a land to the east, across the Jaculus Sea, were a race of bird-people, called the T’Kal. From the southern desert emerged the Ztaari, a race of humanoid insects. From the depths of the forest which the elves dare not venture come the Naga- Human torsos with snake-like bodies and tails. And from Death herself are the rejects- the Severed. Those who Death believes does not deserve to rest, so they wander the Earth, unable to die.
And then, there are Monsters. Minotaurs, Imps, Goblins, Kobolds, and even those we have not seen yet. They threaten the land, craving nothing but chaos and destruction. The six races and the Severed formed an alliance against the Monsters, in essence, becoming one gigantic nation. But the threat of the Monsters has never declined, not even after a thousand years. To protect the cities and outlying villages, the Mage Guild was formed. The Mages protect the cities and villages with powerful magic that takes a lifetime to obtain and master. Thankfully, in addition to the mages, it is customary now for everyone to be skilled with a weapon when they reach the age of 10. And though the Monsters are very much a threat, they are considered “under control” by most everyone.
But sometimes, simply defending a place is not enough. Often, there are reports of particularly powerful Monsters that a single Mage would not be able to defeat. That is when people send for the Slayers. The Slayers are expert assassins, who always travel in pairs to take on these threats before they can wreak their havoc. Most Slayers don’t return from the first job, but they always get the kill, no matter the cost. They justify endangering themselves by saying that someone has to do it, or else the Monster they slew could have killed many others. To be a Slayer is to die fighting, protecting those you love.
And though the races are united, their lands are far apart. The capital cities of each are connected with portals ever since the alliance was formed, allowing freedom of travel to those who have coin. One can travel to Lapis, the underground city of the dwarves. To Arbor, the beautiful forest city of the elves. To Caelum, the T’Kal city atop a mountain. To Harenam, the city on the sand, built by the Ztaari. Or to Palus, the murky land where the Naga reside.
Magic is a wonderful thing. It can heal, it can attack, it can defend, it can do almost anything. But out of fear that Mages would run rampant, the Mage Guild only allows a select few to join. These are then trained, but are managed strictly by the Guild. Few make it to the end of training, and the rejects are killed in order to make sure no-one would abuse this power. Magic is still available to the ordinary citizen, of course, but it’s nothing more than basic telekinesis and parlor tricks. But, there is a way to gain magic power without training that rivals that of a Mage. You can make a contract with an Entity. This is illegal, and punishable by death. However, it is difficult to find an entity in the first place, and much more so to convince them to contract with you. In addition, you get very little power at first. To gain more power, you must complete tasks, set forth by the entity. They can be as vague or specific as they want. You don’t have to do what they tell you, but you won’t gain any power. So think carefully before you make a contract, if you get the opportunity.
These are the overall rules of roleplay and for how you should conduct yourself in the game.These rules work on a strike system. If you break them 3 times, you will be removed from the RP and totally ignored. No exceptions.
No arguments. If you have a dispute, talk about it on a PM thread that I’m included in. Don’t clutter the OOC or IC thread with squabbles.
Typical MCForum Rules and FRP rules (No meta, godmodding, etc.)
One character per person. If you want to make a new one, talk to me and we’ll remove your old character first.
No one liners. Put some thought into your posts and make them meaningful to the conversation.
If you want to tennis post or have a conversation like that, feel free to take it to a PM thread in which I am involved and post the result or the entire conversation to the forums in ONE POST.
Individual players (Including mods) cannot advance the plot or make "big plays" (Killing a tough enemy, things like that) without consulting one or more RP Mods. These big plays will be specified.
Playable Race List:
Ztaari(An insectoid race, They get random and unpredictable visions. A phenomenon known as Yokan. Pretty frail, but also fast and agile. Very similar to the Thri-kreen from Dungeons and Dragons.)
The Severed (A race of undead who have literally been ripped out of the land beyond by entities or dark magics. While rare, they are blessed with near immortality and inability to rot, though they are never at peace and may never rest.)
Naga (3-4 feet human torso, minus legs. 8-10 feet snake tail. Can switch between thermal vision and normal color vision. Venom without a known antidote that causes convulsions in their prey but doesn't kill them. Generally slow, stubborn and clumsy.
T’Kal (Bird people, have talons for feet and wings for arms. They also have a “Hand” on the elbow of their wing. Due to the fact that they have hollow bones (better to fly with) they tend to break easier, making them much weaker in melee combat and at resisting damage.)
If you want to start with magic, fill this out, too. No starting with a contract with an Entity, NO EXCEPTIONS:
Why should you have magic?:
How did you gain your magical powers?:
No OP characters.
If you have magic, it has to be minor. Nothing more than basic prestidigitation or simple parlor tricks. You cannot start as a full blown magician.
Keep characters realistic. After all, this is a low fantasy setting. Also say for glory and honor, huzzah in your application so I know you read these rules.
Unless your character is literally the most average person in their race, their strengths and weaknesses should be more than that of their race. That means that you shouldn’t put “Hollow bones” as a weakness if you are T’Kal because ALL T’Kal have hollow bones.
No previously established universes or characters from previously established universes.
Be creative. I reserve the right to deny any application I think will not mesh with the setting.
If you are denied 3 times, you will not have any further applications reviewed.
((SirE, i helped to build the world, so i might be of help.
The Severed are any race, but they're undead. I imagined them with a grayish tint to their skin to differentiate them, but this isnt necessarily true. As for immortal, Ice will have to specify.
You can be pretty much anything here, but no "good" magic, for now. You can have the "basic" magic mentioned, but nothing more than that. The only quality we must share is a reason to be going to a human city at around the same time.
And lastly, we have a Microscope group in Skype where we discuss the specifics of this RP, though we plan on throwing out other ideas here and there later. PM me your Skype and i'll add you to the group.
One last note: I will edit my application into this post.))
Name: Christopher Marc Age: 20 Gender: Male Race: Human
Appearance: Chris stands at 5'9" and has a light build - healthy, but not too athletic. It is clear that he at least has worked outdoors a lot. He is immediately striking for being strikingly average - exactly what you would imagine from a farm boy. His hair is a light brown, short but a little thick, with a slight fringe messily side-swept to his right. His eyes are brown and average, and his skin is a tinge tanned with no freckles or marks to be seen.
Strengths: Chris is good with his hands and is reasonably intelligent. He is physically quite fit and so is fairly agile in combat situations. He is reasonably good with his sword, using a style almost like fencing that makes him rather good at parrying. Combat-wise, he is a typical duelist. He can use his throwing knives for ranged purposes or underhanded, sleight of hand tactics.
Weaknesses: Chris' inexperience often leads to his downfall. He is intelligent, but uneducated and unwise. He thinks more highly of himself than he should and often makes bold moves, especially if there is money involved. He is not properly trained, and his knife throwing skills are not entirely on point. He is much more effective with them at medium-close range.
Weapons: Chris' primary weapon is his shortsword. Despite not looking like much of a fighter, he has become surprisingly skilled with its use over time. Combined with being so quick on his feet, his almost fencer-like swordplay has become quite impressive. He carries a set of throwing knives for emergencies and is a pretty good shot, but his skill with them is nowhere near exemplary. They often find use in underhanded tactics when the enemy has gotten into the rhythm of parrying his sword.
Clothing/Armour: The clothes beneath Chris' armour are simple but practical. His white cloth shirt is homemade, and his trousers are a light brown, covered in pockets for various useless items. His trousers are often tucked into his darker brown boots, which are always expertly tied and have very good grip in many conditions. His father had always told him that you can judge a man's work ethic by his boots, so he made sure to get a good pair. His armour is leather, tied to him with straps, covering his chest, back, shoulders, elbows and knees, as opposed to his full body.
History: Chris grew up on his father's farm, which didn't bring in too much money but did enough to get the family through - himself, his parents, his two older brothers and his younger sister. He was made to work on this farm from a young age, and was for a time quite content doing it. He was always smarter than the rest of his family, though. Maybe he wasn't actually that smart at all - his family in general weren't such, they were just average, hard-working good people. Chris was never sure, but his parents always told him he was destined to get off the farm, go to the Mage Guild and make it rich. Chris was quite content with his life - he loved his family, they all worked hard and they could afford their needs. Did they need anything else?
But the more he heard it the more he was convinced by the idea. Maybe the Mage Guild would be a good idea. Maybe if he did that, he would learn a lot and would be able to do something greater with his life. Maybe he could make his family proud and give them as much money as they needed to live good lives, rather than just getting by. It was during a slump in the family's income that he began to seriously consider the idea. He decided that this wasn't about him, he had to at least try, it was his duty. It was his duty to learn and reach his potential - whatever that was. It was his duty to fix the lives of his parents and brothers and sisters. He didn't want them to eat stew every day. He didn't want them to make all of their own clothes anymore. He wanted them to move to a bigger house with a bigger farm where they could make their own wealth for themselves and for the generations in the future. He had to.
So he pulled out the dusty old books his father had given him, and he decided to learn. He'd tried it before but was never committed enough to the idea to achieve anything. He practiced every night for months. He didn't tell anyone - he wasn't sure what they'd say. They'd started to jokingly call him lazy, but he had always felt like they really meant it, because they'd expected these great things from him and he'd been content on the farm. He didn't want to cause any excitement - he probably wasn't as good as they said he was anyway. He didn't want to disappoint them.
He eventually got better. He learned to make a very small flame, which he used to read in the dark under his blanket. He didn't burn pages too often. He struggled to hold it though and often had to relight it, and couldn't really move it much to effectively use it as a torch. This improved, but he couldn't quite get it. Telekinesis was a struggle. He managed it with some light objects, but couldn't hold them for too long, and they seemed to resist him as if they were many times their actual weights. Other than these kinds of small tricks, he achieved little.
When his mother caught him in the act, she had a long talk with him about where to proceed. He eventually told his father, even more embarrassed over the fact he'd hidden his magic for such a silly reason. Without hesitation, his father pressed him to apply for the Mage Guild, expectedly. He had been most worried about telling his father for this exact reason - his mother would have understood if he didn't want to leave the farm. He spent a little longer practicing, and his confidence grew. His family provided only positive reinforcement - completely incapable of doing any magic themselves. Chris began to believe he was getting pretty good - he probably was, to a degree.
He applied to the Mage Guild, and he was promptly turned down, not at all displaying the required abilities. Chris felt laughed off. His family had been so sure of him and his belief in himself had gone from uncertainty to certainty, yet it wasn't enough. He wasn't actually good enough, the expectations were too high. He was a little angry at his father at first, but this was quickly eclipsed by his anger towards the guild itself. He decided he had to live another life. Somehow, after being so sure he would be leaving the farm behind, staying didn't seem right. He learned about beings which could grant people magical abilities - Entities. This was the only way he would be able to use magic properly. It was highly illegal and felt wrong, but he was spiteful of the guild. He wanted to prove that he was good enough to use magic for himself - and to use it for good. He was tired of the world's elite holding him and everyone else back. He wanted to change the world, whether it actually deserved his harsh criticisms or not.
So he left home at age 18 to become a mercenary - a monster hunter for hire. Only this way would he discover these Entities, as they were called. And he would make more money doing it than working on an old farm - if he couldn't support his family in the Mage Guild, he'd find another way. He didn't need to rely on anyone else, certainly not the snobby elite in the guild. He would be independent, and would find greatness on his own. He already had some experience fighting off monsters during his life on the farm, but he learned a lot more in the thick of it. It was so different, and eventually he had become quite proficient with his sword.
Other: For glory and honour, huzzah - not words Chris would ever be caught using. Despite his spite towards the guild, he is humble and seeks to do what's best for his family and for the world.
Personality: Chris is well-meaning. He is polite to everyone he meets and can be quiet, though being on his own a lot and having to communicate with many people has developed a certain charisma and dry humour in him. He consciously agrees with his father's first and foremost principle: only two things matter in life - hard work and being good to other people. Consciously, he does believe this. Subconsciously, he fights his own demons.
He hides an underlying spite towards the Mage Guild and the system in general - he has strong opinions, and one of those is that knowledge wants to be free. He consistently feels that he has the right to the knowledge that the Mage Guild denied him. He is constantly going through mental battles between his humble side and his jealous, spiteful side. He likes to think the former wins, but he holds his grudge.
Minor Spells: Conjure flame: Chris can conjure a small flame which is used like a torch. He's gotten pretty good at this one, and it is his most commonly used spell. Telekinesis: Chris technically knows how to do this, but he practically gave it up. He seriously struggled to grasp it and could only lift, say, a pencil, and only for a few seconds. Vanish: Chris can make small objects disappear. It takes about a minute of focus on them (while they're stationary), and they... don't come back.
Why should you have magic?: Chris was pressured to learn magic all his life due to his father being convinced he was smart and destined to do great things. Eventually, during hard times, he gave in and began to learn properly. He was turned down by the Mage Guild, but still retains what he learned at home. He still practices, but he can never muster anything too impressive.
How did you gain your magical powers?: Reading and practice. A little natural affinity, but not enough.
((For how long will this roleplay be accepting? I would be very much interested in joining - the idea seemed cool since the premise itself was created, a while back - but I'm wondering if I have too many other commitments at the moment. It's quite unfortunate that this showed up within a week of such a similar roleplay as the College of Althalos - usually, I can't find enough fantasy which interests me on this forum; now, there's too much! Any way, if this will be accepting for a while longer, I do intend to join at some point in the future.))
((Also, you might want to add more of a description for the appearance of the Ztaari. I would not have had a clue what they looked like - there are many types of bugs and bug-humanoids - if I hadn't seen the image attached by Scarfking.))
((Edit: Also, I like the Latin place-names. Very well-meshed into the setting; they help to define the mood.))
Just to clarify, is this meant to be a free roam world(with largely no story planned other than the actual premise) or one that's a bit more driven by events and arcs that have been planned out to some extent?
Name: Ki'than (Key-thon, the "thon" like marathon. Ztaari don't use surnames.)
Appearance: Image attached. 6'1".
Strengths: Speed, agility, and reflexes are a good deal beyond normal humans, and above average for the Ztaari. He's also fairly smart.
Weaknesses: Can be arrogant at times, and and is much weaker in the cold.
Weapons: Two concealed daggers, and two short-swords by his sides.
Clothing/Armour: A simple tunic and cloak, with a small silver-coated pin holding it together at the shoulder. In the common language, it reads, "For honor and glory, huzzah" "Know your own limits"
Ztaari children receive a silver-coated pin at the age of 10, and written on it is a lesson that they should learn, decided upon by their parents. It's also customary that the child holds onto it until the parents decide that they've learned the lesson, and remove it. Should a Ztaari die before it is removed, they are buried with it.
Ki'than never understood why his said "Know your own limits". In his mind, he's always been above average, and never failed of his own accord. If only people would stop messing up, Ki'than could do so much better. Of course, things weren't really this way. People had tried to explain to Ki'than that HE was the one at fault, but Ki'than wouldn't listen.
Then, one day, when he was 17, a Griffon was sighted, and the town Ki'than lived in had sent for Slayers. They arrived, and Ki'than had saw the Slayers at the bar, drinking. He was insulted. The town had asked for help taking down a Griffon, and the Slayers had the audacity to get drunk the night they arrived? Ki'than would have none of it. Taking his weapons, he set out to kill the beast himself.
An hour later, and things were looking grim. Ki'than had failed miserably, and had no idea why. The Griffin had him pinned, getting ready to eat him. Thankfully, the Slayers arrived. They attacked the Griffon, and managed to down it, but one of the Slayers died. The other scolded Ki'than for being foolish enough to think he could take on a Griffon alone. Ki'than protested, saying that Slayers shouldn't be drunk on the job. The Slayer explained that what they were drinking were potions crafted by the Mage Guild to improve their speed and reaction time to take on the beast.
The Slayer sent Ki'than home and buried his comrade. Ki'than said nothing about the incident, too proud and stubborn to admit his own failure. The Slayer soon returned, however, and explained everything. Ki'than had been doubting himself ever since. Though he is still arrogant, and he cannot accept the defeat he experienced then. But that seed of doubt is growing, and eventually, Ki'than will realize just how limited he really is.
Personality: Ki'than likes to take his time with things, making sure he has a plan set before he tries something. He can "wing" things, but it's not his expertise, and he doesn't prefer it when there's time to think it through.
Other: Nice to see we got a lot of interest in this already.
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
Puella Magi Madoka Magicka is an awesome, feel-good, cutesy anime. You should watch it!
The night was dark, the straw sleeping mat soft, and the comfort of family warm and reassuring. Everything was well for Tressel the Naga, tangled up in the the smallish hollow with her parents and siblings. Everything was calm.
Until it wasn't.
Tress was shaken awake by her mother, tumbling out of the shadows of sleep into a world of pain and flame.
The Nest was ablaze.
All around, other nagas slithered and screamed, fighting with something that was indistinct in the flames and shrieking, an unearthly wail. Another gout of flame flooded over the Nest, and Tress's nostrils were filled with the stench of melting scales. Many of the screams fell silent.
Abruptly, they were moving, mother pulling her along by her arms, away from the unknown beast. Her tail, not as long as most of her older siblings yet, was dragged roughly over rocks, and Tress cried out in surprise and shock. Quickly, mother slapped a hand over the little nagas mouth and yanked them both behind a large rock, the Telling Stone that the elder used. Tress felt her tail snatched up and pulled close, out of view. For a moment, they sat in terrified silence.
Tress could swear she heard her own heartbeat.
And then, looming out of the smoke, was the head of a massive, scaly monster. One, massive eye, yellow and slitted and malicious, stared in her own. There was a faint hint of amusement floating within the golden pool of iris.
In a flurry of movement, it snapped forward, and Tressel felt a jerk to the side, and then the wind of it's passing. Her mother, screaming to wake the Severed, was pulling her away again, out toward the forest. A quick glance over her shoulder, and she saw that the creature was snapping at something in it's mouth, small and limp. A sudden dull pain blossomed in her side, and she looked down as they rushed away.
Her arm was gone. Simply missing, with great gushes of blood burbling out. She suddenly felt woozy.
The shadows swirled around her as mother pulled her through the trees, flying by at speeds she hadn't thought imaginable. The edges of her vision crept inward, darkness encasing her. Cold, she felt colder than normal. Colder than even a reptile should feel.
What felt like eons of pain later, they collapsed to the ground, mother sobbing, wailing over Tress as they lay on the ground.
The world spun, and the last thing Tress saw before everything went black was her mother, rising up and turning back toward the burning, glowing village, with a hard set to her jaw.
Rough singing. Large, gentle fingers. A person, two legs, vines woven through his hair, and a strange sense of peace.
Tress woke again, quietly this time. No siblings snoring, no shaking from a panicked parent.
She was alone.
She was lying on a bed of leaves, seemingly freshly fallen but piled into a mat. It almost seemed like a dream, but she was surrounded by trees, rather than rocks. And, when she attempted to rise a moment later, she found she was still missing a rather important part of her. Her left arm, cut off at the shoulder, was gone... but it was no longer bleeding. In fact, it was smooth and clean, with the look of new flesh. It was no longer there, but neither was the pain.
She inspected her side for a minute, trying to figure out what exactly was going on. She remembered her mother leaving, though not why, and a strange man who was watching over her. He seemed very kind, but he was no longer here.
The forest seemed calm. Birds tweeting, leaves rustling. She stood, ignoring her missing arm, and glanced around. The village was... that way. She remembered. Probably. Deciding there was no other option, she slithered through the trees.
A few minutes later, she could smell smoke. Faint, but distinct. She hurried onward, afraid of what she would see but hardly able to help herself. As she emerged from the treeline, her eyes filled with tears.
The Nest was gone. Burned to the ground, charred, unmoving lumps everywhere--bodies or homes, she couldn't tell which.
Slowly, she turned around, and slithered back into the forest. Her home was gone.
She leaned down to pick up a branch, putting it into the crude bag that hung down her side. Luckily enough, there seemed to be plenty of food in this vicinity of the forest, enough berries and fruits that she hadn't had to try her hand at hunting. Yet.
But when winter rolled around, she knew she would need some help. It didn't always snow around here, but it sure got cold, and normally Nagas slept through the coldest part. For that though, she needed a stockpile of food to munch while the winter days passed. She couldn't hunt when she was half frozen, and the bushes and berries would die.
She grabbed another stick, sticking it in her pack. Lost in her train of thought, she almost missed it when a twig snapped. But the sound made something inside her flip, and she froze in place.
Barely a dozen yards away was a massive bear. Brown, shaggy fur, tangled with branches and thorns, it lumbered slowly closer. Tress remembered hearing something about them eating berries, but one glance at it's massive claws that tipped heavy paws, and she decided not to risk it. Tossing the stick over her shoulder and slithering away as fast as she could, she searched frantically for a place to hide.
A moment later, the perfect place presented itself to her. A large tree, with a few branches just above her head. Not bothering to glance back and see how close it was, she lifted herself up by her tail and flopped into the tree, holding on tight with one hand as she slithered and curled upward around the branches, dodging limbs and leaves alike. The bag was dropped, landing on the forest floor beneath the tree.
After she was at least twenty feet up, she stopped for breath and looked fearfully down. The bear, far from chasing her, was standing in the same place, looking down at a stick. The stick she had thrown. It seemed confused.
With a sigh, Tressel settled down to wait. Maybe it wasn't dangerous after all, but it hardly mattered now. She would stay up here for a while.
The bear settled down at a nearby bush to pick the berries off, biting big clumps of them at a time. Tress sat at the top of the tree and watched until she grew bored, turning to look at the birds in the sky and the leaves on the tree she was in. It felt natural to sit still and wait, almost like an instinct. A small sparrow fluttered up on to a branch next to her, mindless of her presence, and whistled a small tune. She watched, fascinated, it's bright feathers shining in the sunlight.
The leaves were almost glowing as the sunbeams traveled through them, revealing the veins and lines in them. It looked almost like little maps, or designs by an artist. She reached out to touch one, feeling it's soft skin, the flexible green of the leaf. A breeze blew through the tree, setting them all to rustling, and she smiled at the sensation. This was good. It felt right.
She wanted to learn more.
She spent the next ten years of her life studying the trees and the world around her (when she wasn't gathering food, that is). The few weeks of hibernation were frustrating to her, as the leaves would die and the breeze would turn icy, and she was forced to sleep rather than be out among the forest.
Sometimes, she would get stuck on a leaf. Or a petal. Trying to find out what made it grow, why it fluttered and twirled in the breeze, where it came from and how the seed became a tree.
Eventually, though, she found that certain touches, certain words, certain movements made the leaf tingle with growth. That they felt her pretense, knew her intentions. If she wanted them to grow, they were more than eager to do just that. She would tap and twist and give, and the sapling or sprig or blade of grass would follow.
The wind was more difficult. She couldn't follow, couldn't watch it, couldn't even smell it. All she could do was feel it, and watch it's touch spread across the trees. So she tried to do the same, twist and spin to follow the wind. It was hard, very hard, and many times she almost gave up. But her practicing, her constant concentration of flowing, gave her something that many Naga did not have: grace. Her clumsy body, made for slithering over uneven ground in the most effective way possible, began to comply.
Eventually, she figured it out by pretending to be a tree. She took the leaves of the willow, long and fluttery and thing. She tied them in her hair, held them in her hand, wrapped them around her scales, gripped them with the end of her tail. She felt the wind flow through her hair and the leaves she held, as it pushed the leaves into long ribbons of movement. Something built up in her as she stood there, stock still, until she couldn't handle it anymore.
She did what no tree would do and moved with the wind. Flowed, slithering, jumping and flying and twisting with the pattern of the leaves that covered her. And finally, her practice, her patience paid off, for when she moved with the wind, the wind moved with her.
It was during this dance, clothed only in the leaves of the willow tree and twirling in circles in a lonesome grassy clearing, during this dance that she was discovered.
It was a hunter, or perhaps a woodsman, who'd ventured farther into the Naga Woods than most would dare, as the strange slither people always preferred to remain isolated. But there hadn't been any Naga sighting for years. So imagine his surprise when he stumbled upon a young snake-girl clad in the leaves of a weeping tree and dancing as if the world were hers. For a minute, he simply watched, entranced by the movements, not scared, as she surely didn't seem dangerous. But curious, awed.
After a few minutes, she tired, and opened her eyes again to find this grizzled old man standing there with an axe over his shoulder and his mouth agape. She squealed, and turned to run, slithering frantically into the trees, only to stop when he called out.
"Wait!" He took a step forward, crestfallen as she disappears into the forest again. "Ah won't hurt you!"
For a minute, Tress debated what to do. She could just see him, peering into the woods with a sad frown on his face. He didn't seem cruel at all, but then again... where was his tail? She remembered stories from her mother about men without tails, who walked on two stilt-legged feet, tottering from one place to another instead of gliding. She had never been sure if they were real or not, and even that dream on the night of the fire, of the man with legs instead of a tail, hadn't totally convinced here.
But here was one now, the first person she'd seen in years and years. She turned around to go back.
She slithered just into view again, glad for the leaves around her but still hiding most of her just behind a tree. "Who... who are you? How did you find me? Where did you come from?"
He smiled. "Ahm a hunter from the village on the other side of the mountain, miss, traveling to find new animals, new places. Ah ended up here, of all places, just in time to find you. Please, miss, are you a naga?" He gazed imploringly at her face, dropping the axe and scratching a bit at his beard.
She watched him for a minute. "...Yes. I am a naga. What about you? What are you?"
"Human, miss. Just human." He gestured around at the woods. "Why are you out here all alone? Where have the rest of the Naga gone?"
Tressel pulled back, hiding her face behind the tree. "They're all gone. It's just me, now."
He frowned at that. "Why is that? Did they leave? Why did you stay behind? Are... are you okay?"
She took a deep breath. "There was a dragon."
"Oh." He scratched the side of his head, as if unsure what to say. "Do... do you need somewhere to go? Ah could take you back to my village, Ahm sure the ladies would be happy to help, miss, find a place for you to stay." He added, hurriedly, "If you need it, that is."
She was struck dumb at the thought. A place to go? People to talk to? Even if they weren't Naga, they seemed nice enough, judging off of this man. Perhaps they really could help her.
But... what about her life here? She remembered her cave, the woods where she gathered berries and hunted rabbits. She'd gotten used to her world here, created a system. True, she could practice the magic of the forest, the breezes and the plants, anywhere. But she would be leaving behind her old life for a new one, something unexpected.
Eventually though, she was faced with the fact that the old reason she had stayed here was that she hadn't thought there was another place to go. She'd never left the Nest before, and when it burned it was as if it took the whole world with it. But now... now there was another option.
And Tress decided to take it. "I would. I really would."
The man blinked in surprised. "Well... that's settled then!" He smiled abruptly. "Won't they be surprised, back home?"
She almost slithered out into the meadow, before remembering that she was wearing only the willow leaves. Her old shirt had grown too small, and was torn and covered with her own blood anyway. There was nothing salvageable in the Nest, even if she'd been willing to go back. Panicking, she called out. "Oh, but I don't have anything to wear!"
The man blushed a little. "Ah, I suppose that grass skirt won't last you long, will it?" Turning around, he slipped a backpack off of his shoulders and dropped it on the ground next to his axe. Rummaging around for a minute, he pulled out a couple things, before finally holding up a brownish length of cloth. He balled it up and tossed it out to her.
Picking it up, she found that it was a rather large looking tunic, flexible enough to be movable, yet still slightly stiff from the leather on the shoulders and sides. She slipped it on, glad that it was mostly comfortable, and headed out, still clutching one of the long willow leaves in her hand.
The man looked her over with a nod. "Good, ah was afraid it wouldn't fit. It's my backup -backup tunic, just in case--" He stopped, glancing wide eyed at her left shoulder; the stump where her arm used to be letting the sleeve hang loose. She turned away and lowered her eyes, ashamed at his shock.
But instead, he broke into a hearty chuckle. "Looks like you've had some hard times too, haven't you, miss?" She glanced up to see him holding out his hand, as if in greeting... but it was missing two fingers, and half the palm with it. She gaped, and he laughed again. "Ain't nothing to be ashamed of, miss. It ain't your fault, I can tell you that, so don't you act like it was."
"Th-thank you." She smiled up at his cheery face. "Really."
He slipped his backpack on, still smiling. "It ain't no problem, miss. Now, let's get you back to town, and we can sew up that sleeve to fit later." He slung his axe over his shoulder and turned around, striding forward.
She slithered to catch up, matching his pace. "What's your name?"
He glanced over at her. "Morgen Hifwood, hunter and trapper extraordinaire. How's about you, miss?"
She glanced forward at the trail. Heading to a new home, a new life. "Tressel. My name is Tress."
"Are we there yet?"
Morgen chuckled. "Not yet. We're hardly halfway there, miss! First we've gotta make a stop at my cabin, to pick up some extra supplies."
"Don't you worry, the cabin is close! It'll be getting dark soon, so we'll spend the night there. I've got food and drink there, and you can take the bed if you want." He glanced up at the clear sky. "It doesn't look like rain, so I'll simply sleep under the stars." He peered ahead. "In fact, there it is now!"
Tress peered forward, and a smallish shed emerged from between the trees. It had a slanted roof, and a simple shutter for a window. All around it were wild flowers, and some vines crept up it's side. She smiled at the sight.
Inside seemed bigger than the outside somehow, but it was still a bit cramped for her entire tail. So she left most of it outside, standing by the door as Morgen cluttered around in the cupboards and drawers for some food. She couldn't quite stop herself from looking around curiously.
There were several mounts and hooks on the walls, holding ropes and survival gear, like a small knife and axe. There was a pot and frying pan as well, some bowls and spoons stacked on the small table.
A breeze flittered through the room, and a light jangling noise caught her attention.
Hanging in the corner was a coiled chain, hanging from a hook. It was slightly rusted and dusty, looking unused and uncared for. But it jingled like a windchime, the links gently rubbing against each other. It was interesting to her, what seemed like a combination of natural and unnatural. The sound, the shape, what it was made of, that was entirely artificial. But the way it moved... was like the wind and the leaves.
"Hmm." She glanced over, and saw Morgen looking at her. "Do you think you could do me a favor, miss?"
"Sure." It was the least she could do, after all.
He reached into another drawer and pulled out a small ceramic pot. "I haven't used that chain in a long while, and it could use a good oiling. While I make dinner, could you do your best to get that rust off, make it shine like it used to?"
She took the pot of oil gingerly, and the small rough cloth he handed her as well, taking them outside and setting them on the ground. Lifting the chain off the hook, she nodded at the firm weight in her hand, then returned to the oil and set to work.
It was hard, with one hand, to hold it in place. But she was able to prop it up against her tail and the edge of the rough shirt, then take the cloth and dip it just a little in the oil before rubbing at the metal links.
She was still at it when Morgen came out with a large frying pan and some vegetables, lighting a fire to cook them on. She was still working when the meal was done, and she took a break to eat the meat and vegetable stew he made. But then she resumed, scraping and scrubbing at the rust, leaving behind shining links.
It wasn't hard work, though it was long. But she didn't really mind. In fact, she almost enjoyed it, the way it moved in her hand and the clean links, the sound it made. She wasn't sure why, but she really, really wanted it to be clean again.
She finally finished as the sun was going down, while Morgen was cleaning up the dishes and the fire was dying down. Putting the cloth down over the little pot, she held the links up to the fading light. The chain sparkled in the sun, and Morgen let out a grunt of satisfaction. "Well done, miss."
She smiled. "Thank you. It looks... it looks nice now. Clean."
"You can keep it, if you want. Like I said, I don't use it often, and I can get another sometime if I find a use." He stirred the coals of the fire.
"Really?" She turned it over in her hand. Chain and metal could cost a lot, especially a nice one like this. She didn't know exactly how much it was worth, but she knew it would have been hard to make. "Thank you!"
He grinned, and waved off her thanks with half a hand. "It's no problem. Just make sure to keep it clean." With a small huff, he stood up and stretched. "I think it's about time to go to bed, miss. You can take mine inside, like I said. I'll take the forest floor this time around. I'm sure you'll welcome the change."
She wasn't sure what to say, exactly, besides repeating "Thank you," once again. She slithered inside, carrying her new chain, and looked around. Homely, but cozy. Hanging up the chain, she patted the bed. Soft, softer than leaves and twigs.
She glanced out the door again, seeing Morgen spread out on the ground and grass. He really was giving up quite a bit to help her, but he seemed glad to do it. When they got back to the village, she would have to find a way to help make up for that. Work, hunting, anything. Maybe she could have a family again.
Appearance: 14 feet long from head to tail, Tressel has brown, free flowing hair that extends to her waist and blue slitted eyes that always seem to be staring into you, even if it's just a glance. When she isn't paying attention to the world around her, her jaw usually has a hard set to it, but when she is talking or dancing her features smooth out and seem much more cheerful. Her long tail consists of shining scales that tapers to a thin tip.
Strengths: Her rather long tail is very strong, at least compared to most people. Among the other Naga, she is generally considered weak, but she has enough to work with what she's got. Rather than working out to get stronger, she practices her dancing, which increases her precision and speed instead. She's gotten to the point where she can slither through the trees and launch herself from one to another, and catch a falling leaf with her tail. Her tail is strong and fast in short bursts, whipping out to grab or tap something, but tires quickly from extended lifting.
She is rather smart as well, and loves to prove it, messing around with strangers and friends alike, creating small and large practical jokes for them to fall into.
Weaknesses: She's missing her left arm, and her right arm isn't all that strong either. Generally she makes up for that with her tail, but occasionally there are precise or delicate things that even her tail cannot help with, and one arm isn't enough, or stuff such as that. Unfortunately, her weak arm and slightly awkward tail make it hard for her to hold and use almost any weapon effectively, swords being too heavy for her arm and too awkward for her tail. She cannot hold her tail in the air for long periods of time on it's own, which makes swordfighting impossible. Much like holding your arm straight out and holding a rather large book, you tire very quickly. As such, melee weapons do not work.
Cold will slow her down, and enough cold can actually put her to sleep. Keep her that way for long enough, and she'll die.
Also, she tends to underestimate opponents, believing herself the better manipulist.
Weapons: This isn't to say she can't fight, though. Rather than a club or blade, or even a bow and arrow, she uses a large chain that is held tightly by the end of her tail, twenty feet long with a large hook on the end. She can hold either end of the chain, to make it lethal or simply a large metal rope. She treats it as an extension of herself, whipping it out to wrap around people or ledges alike, and can yank on it with quite a bit of power, given her rather lengthy tail of muscle that it's attached to.
Clothing/Armour: She wears a long blouse-like shirt, that covers her from shoulders to below her waist, and has a large satchel that hangs on her right side (the one with the arm). Perched on her head is a wide-brimmed straw hat with an eagles discarded feather in the top, a relic from her time in the woods. The chain hangs easily on a leather belt wrapped tightly around her waist when not in use.
Personality: Happy, but serious most of the time. Comes out of her shell when dancing and playing a trick, which often happens at the same time, becoming exuberant or joyful or mischievous. She doesn't like to tell her stories often or much at all, and can get coldly angry if deceived or pushed too far.
But despite the years she spent in the forest, she is remarkably well spoken, and has an understanding of civilization and people. She wasn't raised there her whole life, after all, just survived for a good number of years.
Other: Nearly forgot, huzzah and for glory and honor, huzzah huzzah... Yay!
Minor Spells: She can summon a small blast of wind or a peaceful breeze with a little concentration and movement, and can grow and revitalize plants by curling up or dancing around them for an extended period of time.
Why should you have magic?: She should have magic because, despite the strength of her tail and the length of her chain, she is not strong enough to compete with most anything, and this gives her a bit more use. Maybe. Plus, the magic is cool. Is this an out of character reason for why she has magic, or an in character one? IC, it's because she's lived many of her early years in the forest, and studied the nature of the woods as hard as she could.
How did you gain your magical powers?: Changed up a bit from before, she has now not just passively waited for magic to drop itself upon her, but dug herself as deep into it as she could, learning a few of the tricks from scratch, by practicing and watching and practicing and waiting and practicing some more.
((Alright, I've been convinced, and I'm glad to have an excuse as provided by the suggestions of GeorgeNinja. I hope this is a suitable application - it does assume a lot about what would be acceptable for the Ztaari, but since there's such little information, about any of the races, I felt as though I wanted to make some assumptions to make my application a bit more interesting. Scarfking, if any of this contradicts with what was imagined and planned, tell me, and I will change it. Also, another question: are these Elves immortal?))
Name: Qrin-Tkali (Seer of the Bird-People) (Not a surname, but an honourific, I suppose.)
Appearance: The skull of a Ztaari is a mantis’ mask - fangs-like mandibles; large, bulbous eyes; a huge protrusion of a skull containing a formidable brain; and, of course, a connection to the body itself. The body, it might be noted, is rather agile, despite the extra muscle required to support the two pairs of arms. These arms are large and strong, and at their tips are claws which act as grasping hands. The main arms of the Ztaari are the upper ones, and as such, they have grown to be larger than those which lie below, yet are perhaps more dexterous. Finally, the integumented legs are rather erect, culminating at last in the two-toed feet which are so suited for the scarred deserts of the south.
Strengths: Qrin has grown wise in old age, and he has grown experienced. A well-trained practitioner of kansani, the ancient tradition whereby a Ztaari, having grown old, shriveled, and weak, starves himself to the point that his body regresses to a younger, more fit form, Qrin has managed to live for longer than many of his species, and in his long years he has gained the knowledge of a thousand paths, the tradition of a dozen ways, and the skills of countless wanderers. He has lived a long life to become so formidable a warrior, and so impressive a survivor. He is, truly, a survivor above all else, for it is not physical victory which matters to him, but rather the prolongation of his own life to the point that he can learn his purpose.
Weaknesses: Of course, with age comes frailty, even for those who make use of the ancient traditions. Kansani is not a perfect art, and so, with each rejuvenation, Qrin has grown weaker and weaker, to the point that his exoskeleton, his flesh and form, are easily, too easily, crushed. A result of this, of course, is that he has grown cowardly, too, for he must be careful if he is to survive. To hide is better than to die, and to run is better than to take a risk and fly. Finally, of course, Qrin, as wise and long-lived as he might be, is indecisive and unwavering except in the face of danger. He has a lifetime of experiences to suggest that decisions must be made carefully and correctly, and once made, they should not be altered, for after all, if a decision is altered, does that not mean that it was wrong the first time? If so, does that not mean that the time spent to reach that decision the first time was therefore wasted? Such is the process of thought of a Ztaari wanderer such as Qrin.
Weapons: Qrin has travelled for many years to many places, and after that, he has wandered. He has gained skill with and affinity for many weapons, though in his long absences from civilization, he manages to carry only a select few with him at any time. So, what does he bring? Well, atop his old wooden walking-staff is a metal head, sharp and curved, perfect for piercing the husks and tissues of the various bug beasts which he encounters between the dunes of the desert. Then, at his side, in a sheath attached to his rugged belt, is a finely crafted dagger. Qrin uses this dagger to cut his food and shape his shelters, but to assume that he would not be dangerous with it would be a mistake. His staff and its iron protrusion are what he favours - they are easy to carry, have multiple uses, and allow him to maintain some distance between himself and his enemy. To stay utterly safe must be amongst his most astute goals.
Clothing/Armour: The apparel of a Ztaari wanderer is generally the same in broad strokes: brown cloth tunics, strong against the desert’s harsh winds and storms, but light in the heat of the sun. A belt for convenience, but no shoes - the feet of the Ztaari are well adapted to the sandy terrain, and in leaving their feet bare, a wanderer finds his connection to the sand comforting. For Qrin, it is a desperate attempt to gain some footing on his journey to understand his own realities. A wanderer must be grounded, so their clothes are simple, just as their surroundings are intended to be.
History: Qrin was born quite young, like most folk are. He has never found himself younger than he was when first born, and he doubts that he ever will, though he wonders how likely it is that he is in fact as young as he believes. This Ztaari wanderer wonders many a thing.
Now, mind you, it would only add to Qrin's wonderings if he were to recall that he had not been born with the name of Qrin-Tkali. What prescience his parents would have had to call him "Seer of the Bird-People" before he had seen those bird-people! No, Qrin was born with another, darker name, though it is now long forgotten, hidden in the shadows of the past and the memories of the present.
As Qrin aged he grew normal, like any adolescent might. He was fierce, and he was stubborn, but unlike many of his kind, he was not calm. Qrin was, amongst the Ztaari, an uncannily rebellious young bug. He had many a friend who was attracted to his unorthodox, trail-blazing behaviour, and he had many an enemy who was old and wizened with age. However, beneath it all, Qrin was deeply separate from his people, even at a young age, before his visions appeared. Often he would take great walks in the desert, or he would perform ju-mak, a sacred meditation ceremony, alone in one of the caves or abandoned tunnels. Some took note of this, and wondered why he acted so rash and forthright in public when in truth he seemed so reclusive and reserved. Others saw no deeper than his rebellion and his adolescent arrogance. Few made the connection between these two behaviours, both, at their core, a revolt against the conventions of society.
Some might convince themselves that Qrin began to receive his visions at a young age, despite the nearly non-existent evidence of such a thing occurring in any Ztaari community. Regardless, it is clear that the vision with the most drastic effect upon Qrin was that which he experienced around the age of 17. For Ztaari, this is yet young, as it is in humans, because despite their ability to perform kansani, few commit themselves to such an ultimately futile and debilitating process.
So the vision came upon him. He was in a market that day, as he was buying produce for that evening's dinner. Suddenly, Qrin dropped his basket. He cast down what he carried, and he began to thrash about in a crazed manner. "Get off!" he screamed, "Shoo! You horrid beasts!"
From that day forth, Qrin became still more reserved. His yokan did not cease; rather, for quite some time they only grew in intensity. A silent mania overcame him, and he was brought eventually to a point where he saw no other manner of survival than to abandon his tribe and become a wanderer of the desert, forever seeking answers and serenity, yet so rarely finding their quarry.
So now we turn to examine what has occurred in his life since that fateful decision to become so lonely a soul.
And upon a desert day...
Qrin stood atop a dune of sand. Staring out, into the great abyss of sky, out to the farthest reaches of that endless horizon, over the countless mirages and outcroppings and clouds, he did not know what was real. The sand he stood upon was firm, stable beneath his feet, but it could slide away, grain by grain, slowly replacing itself with sand from beneath until Qrin stood on a surface so alien from the first that each molecule which made it was different, and had never been the same. He would not have moved, but his reality - the base from which he sprouted, the stone on which he swayed - would have crashed and tumbled down a hill, and a new one, one hidden beneath, would have sprouted up in its place. So Qrin wondered - what was real?
This had been the purpose of his wanderings for many years - decades, most likely, though the old Ztaari had grown to a point at which he began to forget when he had left, and whence he had left. He had set out as a young bug to explore these deserts, and to find meaning for his visions, those horrid images of screeching birds, terrorizing innocent Ztaari. 30, perhaps, had been his age at the time, and though he had learned much since then, he still retained his body, in many ways. So, he wondered: if the passage of time, being so inconsiderable an event for him, could not be used to measure reality, then what could?
Qrin stood still no more. In an instant, he was bounding down the hill, tumbling like the sand, in sync with the will and the movement of the universe. Let me feel real! He pleaded, throwing himself into the wind, the flying particles of sand, the screeching blindness set on by the light of the sun. The rays shone, and they burned his eyes, but Qrin felt so empty that he did not know if it was his eyes which were burnt, or his soul, his soul fading away slowly and painfully, disappearing as if it had never been present. Yet who was to say that it had? Qrin had only his own testimony to account for that, and what good was the testimony of an aging Ztaari, afflicted by the insults of yokan. What was his worth?
How, for that matter, could anything have worth? He had left his people, like so many before him, in an attempt to flee from the hypocrisy and cynicism of society; he had run so he could be free, and so that he could think of his own accord, without stray influences from those with whom he lived. He had left for that reason, but in all his years of wandering these barren wastes, he had found no answers, only confusion and questions. So many questions.
A crumbling growl shook Qrin. Slowly, he rose, the sand pushing him up. He stumbled off suddenly, realizing that this was a real sensation - or, at the very least, one as real as was possible to be conceived. A head slowly protruded from beneath that tumbling waterfall of earthy grain.
It was a vile head, a ghastly, newborn head. This was an earth-larva, one of those horrid beasts which would someday grow into the great arthropoid menaces which threatened the settlements of the Ztaari, and which were so often vanquished by those wanderers, who, even in their absence, did serve their people. Some said that when the soul of an evil bug transcended this plane at death, a larva was born, a physical embodiment and reminder of misdeeds and their consequences. Qrin wondered, slowly: Who died and made you?
The larva was nearly free to the chest, and already its jaws gnashed at the prey which it could smell and see. So, too, can I hear, and see, and smell, and feel the sand which is disrupted by, and even, were I inclined to, taste, this abomination. But does that make it real? Does a history and a lore, told to me by those who I can only believe exist, really give me the right to find these beasts more real than those which I have felt pecking through my flesh in the depths of Yokan?
But, I will fight all the same, for I will never know what is real if this is and I allow myself to be killed by it.
With a shriek sent to terrorize mortal enemies, Qrin twirled his staff, extending the sharp point at its upper end to face the larva. Huge appendages flailed in the air, batting the spear-point away from the soft belly-carapace - once, twice, and then a miss. The jabbing motion, unimpeded by defensive movements, drove the blade into the soft juices which lay beneath the surface of the desert beast’s exoskeleton. The beast recoiled and shrieked in pain and defeat, but Qrin knew better than to be tricked by this false plea for pity. The pest would be a nuisance for days, driving him into battle after battle. It was only logical to end this matter at once - thankfully, that had been Qrin’s plan, so he could execute it without contemplation.
Repeatedly, the Ztaari wanderer sent his spear into the larva’s flesh, tearing the surface to pieces. If the shock and loss of fluids did not kill the beast, it would certainly die of exposure to predators on the surface of the sand. No creature could allow itself to burrow through sand with such a quantity of exposed wounds.
Stab! Qrin felt the ‘pop’ of the epidermis, could nearly feel the fluids mixed with the sand which was shot at him by the creature’s flailing death.
Stab! Qrin was only partially engaged in this task. He killed now without thinking so much of the death which he caused, because he was considering his ever-present concern. In this instant, he could think: How can one kill what is not real?
Stab! The beast screamed again. Qrin did not notice.
Other: I hope I have not intruded too much with all of this addition to Ztaari tradition and lore; there was so little available, I thought it only right to make some and not leave my character as a relatively blank slate. Perhaps that ambiguity, that freedom, is what drew me to them in the first place? Or the bugs. Bugs are cool. “For freedom and glory, huzzah!” one might say on the subject of bugs. Also, see here for the inspiration of kansani: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/178/4066/1210
((Commandosauraus, what you provided does not contradict what i had in mind. I approve the "Starve yourself" thing for the Ztaari- i think it's really interesting. And as far as i know, the elves die naturally, but their lifespan would be several hundred years.
George, i have a problem with what you said about the severed. "Oh, and they are immortal as in they no longer age, but they can re-die just as easily as any other race)". From what i know, this contradicts Ice's intentions, where he wanted them to forever wander the earth, unable to die or to rest. So i would assume TRUE immortality for them, but with some major downsides- perhaps insanity, or something like that. Let's talk further in Discord.
Oh, and if anyone wants to join our Discord server, PM me and i'll give you the link.))
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Puella Magi Madoka Magicka is an awesome, feel-good, cutesy anime. You should watch it!
I'm interested in joining this roleplay, and I am working on an application. But I do have a couple of questions. What do the T'Kal look like? Do they have beaks, are they covered head-to-toe in feathers?
I'm interested in joining this roleplay, and I am working on an application. But I do have a couple of questions. What do the T'Kal look like? Do they have beaks, are they covered head-to-toe in feathers?
The T'Kal look exactly like humans, except, "have talons for feet and wings for arms. They also have a “Hand” on the elbow of their wing."
She should not have magic simply because "She lives in the forest", or "Because she got healed through magic", or "Because she's surrounded by magic." Elves live in forests, and they have no innate connection to magic. Someone can be healed by a mage, and they don't necessarily get magic powers for it. A Slayer in training could live with a few mages while training, but they don't pick up on magic. If you want your character to have magic, you should have a good reason for it.
You're not denied because your app is bad. Trust me, it's very good. But you need to provide a GOOD reason to have magic, or not have magic.
Hmm, so a better reason to have magic. I was thinking of telling a bit more of her story, maybe. I sort of made up a forest deity on the spot, but I left it vague so he could be pretty much anyone. Perhaps he is simply another magic-worker, (a moderately powerful one, of course) who she meets up again and teaches her a bit? I feel like that would need a bit more of your approval, mostly because I'm not sure what other beings inhabit this world.
Another option could be that once she gets really down into the world and the forest, rather than just picking up on magic she really digs down and does her best to figure out what makes the plants grow and the breeze flow, working all through her years in the forest to understand it better and work with it as well. I could even take out the control over breezes thing if I need to, as it is a rather strange thing to learn, though I rather liked it, for effect, perhaps for guiding the chain in flight, and maybe leading up to more wind powers in the future.
Eventually, I want to have her tell the story of why she no longer lives in the forest (if the story calls for them to be somewhere else) and where she got the chain that she uses, and I'm not sure if it would be better in her History or in the RP itself, as that mini-story up there is already getting rather long.
Then again, there are spoilers. Doesn't make it any faster to read, but doesn't take up as much room, I suppose.
EDIT: So I've added a bunch more, and now I'm wondering if there should be a hard limit on how long I make this history or not? I've got one more section in mind where she gets her chain, and the feather she keeps in her hat, and while spoilers are helpful it still is fairly long. Then again, this is a whole forum based on reading and writing, right?
Appearance: Iris is a petite T'Kal who stands at 163cm (5' 4") tall. She, like many others of her species, has feathered wings. Her neat feathers come in a few different colours. The feathers on the leading edge of her wings are a light, dusty brown colour. While the feathers on the mid-section of her wings are a cream colour. The feathers on the edge of her wings are a vivid sky blue, which stands out from the rest of her plumage. Her face has a pair of sharp, brown eyes which sit above a thin, sharp nose. She has thin lips which cover a set of slightly crooked teeth. Her straight hair is a light brown, similar in colour to some of the feathers on her wings, and reaches to just above her shoulders. Her hair is brushed behind her ears, but a few stubborn strands on the left side insist on hanging down by the side of her face. Her legs are thin and end in a pair of taloned feet, each with three front-facing toes and a shorter back-facing toe.
Strengths: Iris is an agile T'Kal, she is good at evading enemies both on the ground and in the air. In fact, Iris is probably even more agile in the air. She is an excellent flyer, she is able to take to the air quickly and fly around before landing gracefully again. Finally, her last strength is her accuracy. Iris is an adept archer, and can hit an enemy from a fair distance away.
Weaknesses: As good as Iris is with bows and arrows, she is quite bad at close combat. She carries a dagger, but is untrained in how to use it effectively to take down her foes. She cannot shoot a bow whilst flying as she cannot use her wings to both fly and operate the bow. Iris dislikes combat where she cannot shoot her foes from a distance, and in such a case will attempt to gain distance between herself and her foes.
Weapons: Iris is an archer, she carries a longbow made from wood. Of course a bow isn't useful without arrows, so she carries 25 arrows around in her quiver. In case of emergency, Iris carries a bronze dagger for short range combat. Her talons can be used as weapons, but she would only ever use them as a last resort.
Clothing/Armour: Iris wears a sandy coloured tunic with a dull red trim, is has no sleeves as they would interfere with her flying ability. The tunic is lightweight and has a leather belt around the waist, on which is a cloth pouch which Iris uses to hold her money. Also attached to the belt is a sheath for her dagger. She wears a pair of cloth trousers, which is the off-white colour of natural cotton. On her feet are wrappings made of thin strips of leather, it serves to provide some protection for her feet from the rough ground while not covering her sharp talons.
Iris also wears a sleeveless, leather waistcoat which she leaves unbuttoned. On her back is her quiver, which is made from leather. On her head is a cowl, it is coloured a very dark blue that is almost black. She thinks of it as the colour of raven's feathers. The hood is mostly there to keep the sun off her head and she usually leaves it down. Around her neck is a necklace, it consists of a red ceramic bead with a smaller white bead on either side on a thread made of cotton.
A beautiful cliff with a thriving community built on it and into it, that was what visitors saw Iris's hometown as. But she saw it as home. She grew up in a small T'Kal village that was located on a high cliff by the seaside. Many T'Kal nests were built into the limestone, it was safe up high were the monsters that live in the sea couldn't get to. The earliest thing that Iris can remember is the view from her nest, it was almost like she could see forever. The sea and sky stretched on and on until they met at the horizon. Iris was the second youngest child of a merchant family. She had two older brothers and a younger sister. The eldest brother had become a trader, and had left on his own to seek his fortune while Iris was still young. They would all go on merchant trips sometimes, the rest of the time they stayed at the nest. Overall, Iris had a happy childhood.
When it was time for the second eldest brother to learn to fly, Iris would sit by the edge of the nest and watch her sibling fly. At the time Iris was getting ready to learn to fly herself and she was jealous of her older brother. This envy stayed until, before she was completely ready, she decided to try to take off. She mimicked what her brother had been doing, she took a run up and flapped her wings. She was nearing the edge of the nest, it was approaching fast. It was coming too fast, Iris began to panic but stubbornly continued. She slowly felt herself rising, rising into the air. She looked down, her feet were not touching the stone floor of the nest. She looked forward, trying to find her family in order to show them that she could fly. But she saw nothing but an ominously grey sky.
The wind picked up, drops of water began to fall. Somewhere in the distance there was an echoing clap of thunder. The inexperienced flier had trouble maintaining control. Iris was trying to do everything she had been told, everything except not to go out before she was ready. She looked back to the cliff, realising now that this was a mistake. She could see a familiar form coming towards her, and the familiar voice of her mother shouted to her. Guided back by her parent, Iris received a lot of worried fussing and lecturing from her parents. They were relieved that she wasn't hurt and surprised that she had managed to go out by herself at a young age.
Time passed and Iris grew. She had been learning to fly for quite some time now and was getting quite good at it. She would accompany her father on his trips to the other village in a wooden caravan which held all their stock as well as their supplies. Her father would hire a couple of Slayers every time that they left either village. The road, though short, was known to have monsters living around it. Attacks were rare but were a real danger.
This was what encouraged Iris to pursue archery, as good as the Slayers were she wanted to be able to help. She practiced daily, only stopping when she accompanied her family on their trip to sell their wares. She became quite good at it. She had now grown up to be a merchant like many others in her family. Her mother and father encouraged her to seek her fortune, like her brothers before her. So she did.
She tried being a merchant on her own for a while, but it was rough and lonely. When selling at a marketplace in an elven city one day, she spotted a group of merchants that appeared to be operating together. When the market closed she found herself speaking to them. She was invited to join their caravan. She would buy and sell just as she always did, but some money would go to maintaining the caravans and she would get a place to sleep, food to eat and friends in return. They were friendly people, and working with them proved to be much better than when she worked alone. So she joined the caravan and has been travelling with them ever since.
Other: "For glory and honour! Huzzah!" was something often said by one of Iris's friends from the merchant caravans.