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Katarina

You can't choose what stays and what fades away

0 · 285 views · located in The Land

a character in “-C O N D U I T -”, as played by Korrye

Description

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Name: Katarina or Aria for short.
Age: 20

She is a: Huntress, and a good one at that. Katarina's mother and blood sisters were traditional women and she was the first to fully find herself adept at the hunt. She is lithe and silent in stalking her prey, often leaving on her own and not trusting a companion to be quiet enough. She is skilled at archery and can shoot close to anything, from a fleeing deer to a diving hawk. She is an adept huntress who prides herself on her ability to forage and feed her sisters. On top of being a skilled archer she is a strong climber and often finds herself closer in tune with nature than to her own emotions. She is much more comfortable on her alone in the woods than in the villages. Paired with her archery comes an intellect for identifying safe herbs and berries as well, a knowledge gained from her mother.

Personality: Katarina grew up around women who often took solace in gossip and folklore. She found herself immersed in old wives tales and discontent with her family's stories of war and men. She was distant as a child and has remained more so as she's grown older. Bothered by the constant gossip and nosiness of her siblings she much preferred to wander alone through the cities and into the woods. Katarina has always been an individual comfortable in her own skin but her discomfort in large groups led her to pursue the art of the hunt. Her peaceful and quiet nature has led her to become a skilled huntress at a young age. Despite her agility and talent, she has earned herself few close friends. Her solitude has left her something of an outsider to many. Katarina trusts few people and those who aren't close to her often hear little from her. Yet, when defied or threatened Katarina can quickly become the opposite of her cooler side, a hot-tempered vixen more than willing to throw a few words and punches at the opponent. Her words can often get her into trouble with the elder women and on a few occasions men. Her confidence can lead her to making claims she can't readily fill but despite this Katarina will always do her best and protect her own kin. While her family treats her like something of an outsider she is still ultimately loyal to them and her sisters. Her dedication to the hunt has earned her a reputation as capable provider but the thankless response of her sisters has of late been getting under her skin. Given that she often bottles up her emotions, it will take provocation before she makes her thoughts known. In summary her traits are: cool, tactful, lithe, tempered, loyal, typically quiet but can be scathing when provoked.

Description: Katarina is a huntress and as such she is typically found wearing hand-made leather and animal skins that provide mobility but coverage. She is often found wearing shorts sewn of leather and spun fabrics and a loose tunic when casual. When hunting she wears a leather top that is tight to her body and colored to blend with the forest and terrain of the woods, with leaves sewn into the bodice and shorts. Her apparel changes with the seasons, however. In the summer she'll wear more bustiers and revealing tops while in the winter months she's often found wearing long cloaks and animal furs for warmth. Physically Katarina is a looker, with her calculating golden hazel eyes often capturing the attention of any individual first. She is 5"11 and incredibly lithe and toned from her time spend in the woods, either climbing, running or simply spending hours traveling long distances. Despite this she is still 140 pounds. While skinny, her body packed tight muscle. Her shoulders are broad and her chest endowed paired with curvy hips. Her skin is dark from hours spent in the woods and under the sun. While tanned she also had a host of light freckles across her nose and one prominent one above her upper lip. Her hair is long and a reddish brown in color, often left loose when casual or tied back in a bun or braids during the hunt. Her mother has knotted feathers into her hair on occasion as well. Her appearance suits her well given her fiery when provoked personality.

Likes, Dislikes and personal fears: Katarina much prefers nature and solitude to village life around her gossiping sisters. She is most comfortable in silence and surrounded by the sounds of uninterrupted life. She has an appreciation for the woods and mother earth. She is passionate for the hunt but at the same time loathes her need to kill. She values the sacrifice animals give and surprisingly she is religious to an extent. She has a profound love of animals and trees, preferring greens and natural colors to unnatural neons and pastels. That said she much prefers the woods and natural rivers than lakes or larger bodies of water. She's not a strong swimmer and as a result she is often fearful of water deeper than her armpits. She fears drowning or falling from a high tree - two events that happened to her as a child. She dislikes crowds fiercely and finds herself uncomfortable in groups. She is undeniably independent and much prefers to work alone. She has a hard time trusting anyone as her family and friends have fallen through on her many times. She is close guarded as well and fears her secrets will be spread around her sisters as gossip and rumors. She hates the nosiness of her sisters and family, much preferring to remain focused on her own life and tasks at hand than the lives of others. Further she is uncomfortable in thunderstorms and more so during the winter. She's a summer child, much preferring the heat to snow.

Thoughts on men: Katarina is inherently curious about men and while hunting has encountered a handful. Her sisters and family have told her conflicting stories about the creatures and yet what she's encountered has hardly equated to what she's been told. Her curiosity has often distracted her and on several occasions she's lost a good catch - stag or boar - because she's become pre-occupied with watching a man. She finds them brutish and authoritative, something that excites her and scares her. She understands that men and women are meant to come together to continue life, but she wonders why they continue to be segregated.

So begins...

Katarina's Story

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Character Portrait: Katarina
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#, as written by Korrye
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The setting changes from the-land to The caravan

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Character Portrait: Katarina
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#, as written by Korrye
Katarina "Aria"
Huntress


It was barely dawn when Katarina was aroused from her sleep. Her body woke of its own accord as the mourning doves kept in the coops next door began to coo and rustle restlessly. Despite her physical desire to stay in bed the lithe twenty year old rose from her loose sheets and twisted bedding to go to the bath and dress. As she rose and slid her feet into a worn out pair of sheepskin slippers her eyes cleared from sleep to focus on the faces of her blood family. To her left was her mother curled up on a small bed in the corner with her six year old sister Osha. She stepped gingerly over her second sister Manon, thirteen, who slept on a mattress beside her own bed. As the eldest, Katarina was the provider. While her mother was an expert seamstress and textile worker, her hands had become crippled with pains and agonies that limited her ability to work. While her blood sisters tried to learn, Aria was left to her own devices to provide. As she stood in the doorway to their bedroom she pulled her huntress tunic off of the wall and a loose cotton shirt to wear over it. With the clothes over her shoulder she turned to look back on her family, her face dim and tired. Manon blinked twice and met her gaze before rolling away from her bitterly. They were so divided.

Slowly she closed the door behind her and as quietly as she could moved on. The kitchen and sitting room were both still dark. She moved around their house knowing where everything was, her hands sliding over the wooden counters and into the cupboard to find a breakfast packed for her by her mother the night before. She pulled the paper bag down from the cupboard and slid it into a small leather backpack left on the kitchen table. As she pulled her tunics over her head her long red brown hair became tousled and filled with static. The day was dry, which was good. It meant there wouldn’t be any rainstorms and the animals wouldn’t be restless.

Aria moved into the bathroom and looked into the mirror, seeing her electric looking eyes and steely gaze. She sat down on a beat up wooden stool and pulled a brush through her nearly hip length hair, pulling it over her right shoulder to braid it tightly before winding it into a tight bun at the base of her neck. A few loose strands hung over her forehead but she left it messy. She cared little for her looks. A huntress had to be functional, not pretty.

As she washed and prepared for the day she found herself focusing on the trip at hand. She had been on a handful of convoys before but had often stayed behind in order to pick up the slack when the other huntresses traveled. This time it had been demanded by the elders that she go and while she didn’t quite understand why, she could not disobey them – much to her family’s chagrin. Manon hated the idea of her sister leaving the village and they often fought about Aria's occupation. Her blood sister complained about Katarina abandoning them to die in the midst of her trees – trees she seemed to love more than her own family. She fought back and said that she provided and used her skills to ensure they didn't starve or become dependent on others. Her mother sat quietly by all the while, merely disappeared with her daughter’s decision to pursue such a violent profession. Hunting.

Aria pursed her lips and sighed. While her family seemed to disagree with what she was doing, she knew it was right. It felt natural and she never felt better than when she was in the woods. With that she collected her lunch and satchel off the kitchen table, heading outside.

As she left the house she moved to a rickety shed behind their small abode, unlocking the front panel gingerly and entering the musty building to collect her pride and joy – her bow.

The weapon was a deep colored wood, lacquered and painted a deep mahogany but detailed with an ivory grip and emerald colored details that allowed it to blend with the woods. As she gripped it the bowstring echoed and the vibrations went up her arm – a feeling that seemed to put her in harmony. She moved swiftly to collect her quiver and hand-made arrows before taking a worn path behind their house into the woods.

The sun was beginning to rise as she walked swiftly and alone through the thick brush. The huntresses didn’t often like that she went out alone but she so preferred it. She walked skillfully and as light as a fox, her balance not allowing her to snap the slightest twig or branch and disturb the hunt. Her breathing slowed as she reached a thick cedar tree. Slinging her bow over her shoulder she took a running start at the base before scaling three levels of branches to perch, her back to the base of the tree and her feet balancing on a thick beam. She smelt the air, crisp and fresh with the morning sun, and began to scan the area, her bow in hand and an arrow notched and ready. As she sat there she watched the sun cresting over the hills, careful not to be late this morning when she knew she would be leaving with the caravan quite early. It hadn't been necessary that she hunt this morning but it was routine for her to start the day off doing so. Why break with that?

It may have been minutes or an hour, but she was still all throughout it. When a doe walked cautiously underneath the tree her eyes honed in on it, watching the animal gracefully lower its head to nibble at the underbrush by the base of a nearby tree. She watched its muscles quiver and pull with the arch of its neck to the forest floor. She watched it eat for several minutes before raising her arrow and bow to take aim. She leaned her head to her shoulder and back again, closing one eye then the other. Aria exhaled deeply then inhaled, releasing her arrow on the latter before watching it fly with killer precision.

Right as she released the arrow a branch snapped behind the base of the tree a few feet away. The doe snapped alert and bolted and Aria’s arrow landed in the back of its thigh as a result. The creature screamed and kicked, its leg immediately lamed. Aria growled her frustration, leaping down from the tree and rolling to prevent injury. She stalked the animal as it attempted to limp and run away. She notched another arrow quickly and took an archer’s stance with precision. Within seconds she fired another arrow into the creature’s heart, watching it struggle and collapse a moment later. Aria turned to look over her shoulder, snarling as she watched a small apprentice huntress meekly look at her from behind a tree. Ren. She was no more than thirteen and horribly unsteady on her feet. She had olive colored skin and crudely cut black hair, all paired with the most earnest looking eyes. “I’m sorry Aria!” she shouted, rushing over to the twenty year old with sincere disappointment in her face. “But you still got it at least!”

“It shouldn’t have had to suffer such fear,” Katarina snapped, sighing lowly and turning away from the apprentice and approaching the animal. She knelt at its feet and closed its dead eyes. She placed her hand first at the base of the arrow in its right thigh, feeling the warmth of its flesh under her fingers. The pelt was beautiful, but its blood still coated her hands and quickly so. She closed her eyes. “I thank you for what you give us and for your life giving us life,” she murmured, before pulling and twisting the arrow out with a violent tug. The apprentice grabbed the bloodied arrow from her, and then second one as well. When Katarina rose to pull the deer over her shoulders the apprentice remained silent, walking slightly ahead of her as they returned to the village.

The center square of Talon was incredibly busy with the caravan’s multiple wagons being prepared for their two month journey between their sister villages. As she approached her shoulders were beginning to minutely strain under the dead weight of the doe. She walked past many of the sisters, nodding her head, before she headed to the huntresses keep where the doe would be prepared and distributed.

With her catch left behind she washed the blood from her clothes and returned home. Her sisters were at the table, eating. Manon looked up and upon seeing the bloodied white tunic turned her head back to her breakfast. Osha’s eyes widened but her view was quickly blocked by their mother Ceri.

“Quickly change. I’ve left you your clothes on your bed for the journey. No need to be late,” her mother ushered her.

There was no comment as to what she had caught or why she was bloody. She simply moved and dressed in her formal huntress attire, the deep green backless tunic and boots and greaves. Instead of the formal skirt, however, she doned a pair of tan leather shorts that hit above the knee. She tied them with a dark belt. She packed the rest of her essentials in a larger over the shoulder bag made of red cotton and beaded. When she moved into the kitchen her blood sisters remained quiet. Her mother kissed her forehead and pushed her down into a chair, pulling two black feathers off the table.

“They fell from Dani’s raven. I thought you would like them.”

“I do,” Aria murmured, holding one her hand while her mother undid her hair and knotted the feathers above and under her right ear. Once they were knotted her mother swept her long wavy red brown hair to the right and pinned it into a side pony tail, allowing short pieces to remain loose if they didn’t pull through. When she was done Katarina stood, looking at her mother silently before finding herself pulled into a tight hug.

“You will come back to me. Promise. It’s the only way I'll let you go,” Ceri told her. Aria swallowed and pushed her forehead into her mother’s shoulder. “I will. I promise.”

“I am so proud of you,” her mother told her, pushing her back and smiling weakly. “I’m not,” Manon chimed in. The twelve year old looked bitterly at her. “I love you too Manon. You had better take care of Mama while I'm gone.”

Aria moved around the table and kissed Osha on the head in the crown of her blond hair. “And you too Oshi. I’ll be back. It’s only two months.”

With her goodbye’s finished she returned to the village center, dressed and ready and praying her family would be fed and taken care of by her village sisters while she was away. It wasn’t like Ren could fulfill what she provided.

As she stood there mulling in own thoughts Assah approached, content with the weather. “Look’s like we are nearly ready to go,” her fellow huntress smiled. “I should hope or else we’ll be late,” Katarina replied. She knew her full name would be of little use these next two months. Only her mother called her by it. To all others she was Aria and they all seemed to know that she didn’t wish to spend more than a minute longer away from the village than she needed to. As she waited for them to leave she kicked the dirt with her boots, uncomfortable in them and their weight. She was uncomfortable with the entire idea of a journey to be honest but with the others so excited she hid her dread behind a thin smile.

The setting changes from the-caravan to The Land

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Character Portrait: Assah Character Portrait: Leotie Character Portrait: Hollow Character Portrait: Katarina
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#, as written by shmband
Leotie glanced to Hollow and offered a subdued smile. It was difficult to know if a pleasantry from a huntress was truly on amiable terms or whether there was something to be read between the lines. However, Hollow's simple question seemed innocent enough.

"I hope so." Leotie replied, "Half the challenge with these journey's is that you cannot know for sure whether you are preparing for a hiking trip or an ambush."

She eyed the girl as she continued towards the other Huntresses, paying heed as Hollow's mother approached her and kissed her as though it would be the last time. Nobody was under any illusions that these trade routes weren't dangerous. The understanding between the settlements of the women and the nomadic male groups was less stable that one would be comfortable with, but it was difficult to imagine that the men would be bold enough to attack a caravan of this scale. It wasn't as though anyone could fail to recognise the mutual dependence men and women had on each other, even if it did seem to extend to nothing more than the continuation of their race. That was a topic Leotie didn't much like to think about, since she personally hoped that it would be a faculty she would never personally have to contribute to!

With an impatient sigh she returned to her hut and gathered the things she had already prepared for the journey which were not loaded onto Azalea, her horse. Pulling the wolf pelt over her shoulders always felt like a sort of 'point of no return' when it came to the execution of any given task. It wasn't something she chose to wear at any other time, and in some ways it helped to demarcate the times of action from the times of ease. It also felt like it gave her body a bit more of a balanced weight whilst carrying her polearm.

With everything she needed, she returned to where the caravan was gathering, noting that the crowd had not yet grown much. With another sigh, she took a few steps towards the three huntresses and stood nearby. There was no point standing all alone and sticking out like a sore thumb.

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#, as written by Korrye
Katarina "Aria"
Huntress


Katarina stood and swallowed as she watched several sisters quarrel over the way in which one of the caravans was being packed. The huntress impatiently shifted her weight foot to foot, discontent that it was growing later and that she was literally standing and doing nothing. Sighing she walked over to the back of a caravan, watching as one of the younger traders struggled to lift a box. Without thinking Katarina extended her hands, palms facing the box, and willed her energy to help lift it. As women they had all been blessed with powers by the Goddess Marianne. It was known that some became conduits but they all had the basic telekinetic powers. Her fingers felt the spark of energy leave her and lift the crate and she smiled when her fellow sister no longer looked strained. She recognized the girl as one who typically travelled. Her name was Rae.

“Thank you Aria,” the trader smiled. “Only a few more to go.”
“Of course, not a problem. Where are they?” Katarina replied, more than willing to keep helping if it meant a quicker departure.

With the last three crates she aided in lifting them into the last caravan. Once they were stacked Rae leapt onto the pile of goods gracefully and began to tie them down with the help of another sister. “Aria, it would be best to get your horse ready. It won’t be long now before we depart,” Rae advised with a smile as she secured a long rope to a clip at the base of the wagon.

Katarina was quick to head to the stables where several apprentices and stable girls had been taking care of the fleet of horses. Aria had used one horse in her lifetime whenever she needed one. The mare was large and daunting to most of the women, and brutally stubborn with most. She was jet black with a silky mane and tail, what one of the elders called a thoroughbred. Aria had named her Jet as a foal and ever since she’d began her huntress apprenticeship she’d worked with the mare. Most were content to offload the horse onto her as she had a habit of kicking and biting unfamiliar people.

Katarina bridled the horse and saddled her simply. The more elaborate gear had been claimed by the conduits and guardians leaving some riders bareback. Aria didn’t mind as she was a seasoned rider. Several times a week she was hunting on horseback in the woods, especially if a larger bear or cougar was running afowl. It was some of the others she worried about, especially some of the younger girls not used to days on end atop a horse.

When she was adequately prepared she walked the horse back out to the caravan gathering. Most of the sisters appeared to have assembled and others encircled the village center to say good-bye. She spotted her mother and little Osha but Manon was nowhere in sight. Katarina swallowed, blowing her blood family a kiss and hiding her fear. She pulled Jet towards the caravan and swung onto the mare's back with ease and grace. She shuffled herself in the seat and the horse pranced sideways for a moment before Aria tightened her reins. "You're as hesitant as I am," she murmured to the horse. She patted the mare's neck soothingly and sat tall in her seat, bow and quiver over her shoulders and saddle bags packed with extra necessities and her own personal belongings. All she needed was the command to go.

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Character Portrait: Katarina Character Portrait: Brea Character Portrait: Seren
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Brea grabbed a bridle and swallowed thickly, already nervous for the journey. Trips were nothing to her, as she had been on several before. Week trips to the lake where the banished lived, and simple things as such. Two months was longer than she was used to, but nothing she couldn't handle. Something just seemed wrong. A dark feeling the the pit of her gut made her rethink her decision in going. Noticing someone had spoken to her, she snapped back to reality, letting her train of thought derail.

Seeing Seren, she smiled. She had seen the conduit around Eagle Talon, and had spoken to her on occasion, but had never really gotten to know her. She nodded in answer to her question, and pulled the reigns of a dark bay mare from a stall to the right of Brea's stall. "She's already set up. I was going to bring her along, just in case she was needed." She handed the reins to the air conduit. Brea loved horses, and had always gotten along with them. She raised her mare from a foal, and gave her the name Kaia. The mare was given the namesake of a horse Brea's mother had had when she was younger. She lost the horse in a battle against the manly brutes known as Men. Not knowing many sisters in Eagle Talon, Brea usually spent her time riding the terrain with her mare.

Placing a red blanket under the dark saddle, Brea mounted her horse, and guided her through the stable. Noticing Aria, she waved and smiled. Being as huntresses believed they were better than the other sisters, Brea befriended Aria, thinking she was different. After departing, she guided Kaia to a caravan.

Placing a hand on her throat, she fiddled with the necklace that lay warm against her skin. A single ember rest slowly burning in the small gem. A conduit always needs a piece of their element near to use their power at hand. For Brea, being a fire conduit, the smallest of burning flames could supply enough energy to give her power. The chain of the necklace was dark leather braided thinly together. The jewel itself was black, with a faint red hue. It supplied Brea with enough power to light a candle, or enough to burn everyone in her path.

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Character Portrait: Katarina Character Portrait: Brea Character Portrait: Seren Character Portrait: Tala
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Tala rose from her small bed as the purple light of dawn shined on her through the window. She gave a large yawn and stretched as the light shone brilliantly on her lovely skin, warming her to a degree. Today would be the day that she was to go on her second trip to trade with the bigger village of Eagle's Wing and she was a bit nervous for it. She was certain that should the trip not go well, the blame would be placed on her as she was the oldest Guardian. She ran a tough brush through her long, black hair and hoped the trip would go well. She set about finding her clothing and armor in her little hut and upon finding it, slipped the lighter bits of armor on. She packed the remainder of the clothing as well as supplies need for repairs to armors and weapons. She also packed a whetstone, a handy piece of stone that sharpened weapons to a fine, deadly point.

Tala braided her hair in a slow, meticulous manner. She always enjoyed doing so and it reminded her of how her mother used to plait it for her. There was no mother now to play with the hair she so valued in life. There was nobody but Tala in this little hut built for two. it was true enough Tala valued her "sisters" so to speak, but she felt they never truly understood her the way her only flesh and blood did. Illness and disease had been a large factor in killing her own ancestors off, leaving her to hope she didn't fall prey to it as well.

She sighed as the morbid thoughts ran through her head. It's best not to dwell on this, she thought to herself It will only make you all the more anxious. She finished plaiting her hair and grabbed her sword and shield. She strapped them securely onto her back and grabbed her deer hide pack of supplies and left her hut. The morning was inviting and women were setting up booths to sell their produce and such at market. Tala mulled over buying an apple before her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of crates being loaded into the trading caravan. She looked around to see Aria using her power to load crates onto the caravan. What a waste of energy. she thought absentmindedly. Aria then turned in the direction of the stables and Tala thought it best to get her horse, Pema, from the stables as well. Dismissing the idea of buying an apple just yet, she made her way briskly toward the stables.

Upon arriving just behind Aria, she saw that the stables were a little crowded with some of the trading party. She didn't feel very much in the mood for conversation today so she gave a small nod to Aria, Brea, and Seren and saddled up Pema for the trip. She quickly finished the task and gave Pema a once over making sure that sh felt well enough for the long journey. She gave a satisfactory nod to herself and lead Pema from the stable out into the daylight.

Tala came to a stall and bought an apple for herself and Pema. As she was feeding Pema her apple, Aria was getting atop her horse. She walked over to her and spoke. "If you'd like, you may give this apple to your horse. It will be a long journey after all." she said holding out the apple for Aria to take.