Friday, April 30, 2010
Character - Dervish
This is a character I've played on Neverwinter Nights. I might remake her for a PnP game sometime.
"You can't join the guard," he said.
"You have to learn how to be a homemaker," he said.
"You're just a girl," he said.
"No daughter of mine is ever going to be a soldier," he said.
"Goodbye," I said.
I was the youngest of seven, the only girl in the lot. My father was the captain of the guard, one of the most respected positions in Cormyr. My mother died giving birth to me. I think Dad always kind of blamed me for that, on some level, though he would never admit it to himself. But more importantly, he didn't have a clue as to how to raise a girl. And he was always busy, training his men and fighting wars. Child rearing in my family was more of a communal effort, with each sibling doing what he could to help out. So in all I had six fathers, and I learned all I could from them.
It was a boy's upbringing. They taught me how to fight, armed and unarmed. Each had his own favorite weapon, and I learned them all. When I was ten, I won my first unarmed fight with one of my brothers. Of course he told me that he let me win, but I knew better. By the time I was thirteen, I could best any of them. By the time I was fifteen, I could beat three of them at a time. And when I turned sixteen, my father finally noticed what had been going on.
It was time to give me away, he figured. I was now the right age to find some nice young man, and spend the rest of my life in his servitude. The thought of marriage made me queasy. Volunteering to become some man's chambermaid and love-whore for the rest of my life? Why? I had no desire to commit myself to slavery, and I told my father so. But it was a moot point, my father said. No man would ever want me anyway, the way my brothers had raised me.
He said he blamed himself. By not getting remarried, he never introduced a strong female influence into my life. So now he tried to undo the "damage" that had been inflicted on me. He hired a governess, a prim, proper woman who was to teach me what it meant to be a lady.
She lasted about a week, which was longer than the next three. Apparently I was unteachable, or I just didn't want to learn. My father was at his wit's end, and very nearly married a woman he didn't even like, just so I would have a mother. I put a stop to that.
I told him I wanted to join the royal guard. We fought about it for over a year, and I finally left. I decided to try life on my own, to prove to myself I'd make as worthy a soldier as any man. I kept limited contact with home, never letting my father know where I was.
And then I received word that my oldest brother, Tobias, had been killed in battle. I was devastated. His last wish was that I would be given his favorite blade, the one which he wielded as he drew his last breath - his prized katana. From that moment on, I swore I would master this blade, that it would become a part of my body and my soul. It has never left my side since, it my constant companion, whether I am fighting, eating, or sleeping. When I place the hand on the hilt, I feel it as if it were the hand of my brother, and we go into battle hand-in-hand.
My former goal - to prove myself as strong as a man - was a silly child's quest to bolster her own ego. My new mission is to master my brother's blade, to let it once again sing in battle. And then, in some small way, it will be as if he still lives.
May your soul rest in comfort, dear brother. Your spirit will live on.