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Juniper Varosa

"Let's make a deal, shall we?"

0 · 297 views · located in Polara

a character in “Legends of Gialpha”, as played by AtlasAtrium

Description


ImageCharacter Name: Juniper Varosa

Race: Human

Primary Skill: Noble of Shevasse (King's Valley)

Other Skills: Diplomacy | Strategy | Basic Swordplay

Basics: Age: 28 | Hair: Blonde Curls | Skin: Fair | Eyes: Blue | Height: 5'4" | Weight: 120 lbs.

Backstory: Juniper was raised in an environment of wealth and prestige for a majority of her life - her father was a renowned duke and her elder sister an equally well-applauded military captain. Between her and other two siblings, she did not have much to her name. She performed adequately in her studies and during her personal training sessions, but nothing she accomplished ever seemed to stand out. The 'runt of the litter,' so to speak.

While most of her family remained disappointed with her results, her history tutor had another opinion. Convinced that she had buried talents that were wasting away chained to the family estate, he encouraged her to travel and explore her true potential - her mother and father relieved to be rid of an eyesore in their otherwise pristine household, they gave her their blessing and sent Juniper on her way.

Juniper did not leave with high hopes, but she'd be damned if she didn't show those old fools what for once she made a real name for herself.

So begins...

Juniper Varosa's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Juniper Varosa Character Portrait: Tsudao

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"Right. Trolls."

With her hands folded and her arms resting on the polished wooden table, Juniper nodded in the 'I-really-don't-care' kind of way. In this small warmly lit chamber, the only sound that could be heard was the ticking of a wall clock and the cold, howling wind beyond the walls. The man seated opposite to her bit his lip nervously and hugged his arms tightly to his chest, waiting for her to go on.

"Listen, that's not what I came here to discuss," she said, staring sharply back into the averted gaze of the city rep.
"However, I assure you that it will be within your best interest to hear me out."

"We asked for your help and you agreed to it, what else could you possibly be here to discuss?" The man snapped back almost hesitantly, sweat dripping from his brow as a look of concern spread across his face. He wasn't used to dealing with noble types, but he certainly didn't want to piss one off. For now he held his tongue, though the message he'd been itching deliver was now crystal clear to the both of them.

At the other end of the table, Juniper reassessed the situation in her mind. Frostheim wasn't really a place for homebodies - a lot of travelers come through here following the trade route, but even among them only the toughest of the lot usually dared. The untamed winter valleys are not kind to those ill of body or dull of wit. Subzero temperatures, sudden blizzards, roads covered up by snow, slippery slopes, aggressive wildlife, trolls. . . the list of deathtraps in this place could go on and on.

"Your pest problem is probably being taken care of as we speak," Juniper finally said with a brief gesture of her hand. She unclipped a flask of water from her belt and took a drink, keeping her eye on him as she did so. As she screwed the cap back on, she continued, "Mobility is difficult in snowy terrain, so when trade stops it stops. Of course they're going to send a substantial force to secure the main trade route. What I want to know. . ." She clipped the flask back onto her belt and then produced a pen and a small map of the town from her bag. ". . . is where I can expect this motley crew of handy helpers to be showing up for their reward."

"And what do you need to know that for?" he asked as he put a hand to his chin, quizzically raising an eyebrow.

"There's something of value here in Frostheim, and the ones looking for it will raze it to the ground to get their hands on it. Your guards can only do so much to stop that - we need capable hands to drive them back, a 'wildcard,' let's say. It just so happens that these wildcards are away on bounty hunting business on your behalf, the perfect time for them to strike."

"Then we need to mobilize immediately-!" The man shouted as he slammed his hand into the table, but Juniper quickly shooshed him, ushering the panicked man back into his seat. The door cracked open a notch and a single green eye glared through - turning her head over her shoulder, Juniper furrowed her brow and gave a few dismissal waves toward the therian behind the door. It closed softly.

"Look, a full town alert is only going to mean that we lose the element of surprise," Juniper said in a hushed tone.
"They're more than prepared to take on whatever militia you have stationed here. Right now, the situation calls for a taskforce; if the people on your troll hunt are any good, they'll wrap this up before the enemy has time to mobilize themselves. Then, we'll intercept them with a surprise attack and push them back before they have a chance to lift a finger against Frostheim. If we're lucky, they won't have reinforcements to call in for at least a few days - we can use that time to secure the item they're hunting down and lead them away. Into a deathtrap, preferably."

The city rep slowly leaned back into his chair, exasperated and out of breath as if he were the one doing all the talking. He sighed deeply and closed his eyes, rubbing his palms against his temples.

"Okay, okay. Just. . . one thing." He opened his eyes. "How exactly do you know all of this?"

"You'll find eyes and ears anywhere you like, for the right price," Juniper simply replied with a sly grin. The man didn't look any less worried. Taking her pen with a trembling hand, he circled the rendezvous point of the adventurers and slid both the pen and the map back toward her.

"I pray to the Maker that you know what you're doing," he said quietly.

"Only one way to find out," Juniper said nonchalantly, procuring her belongings and exiting through the door with a final wave without looking back. And boy, what a thing to be looking forward to. If the shard really is here, anyway.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Juniper Varosa Character Portrait: Tsudao

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Stationed in front of one of Frostheim's personnel gates, two guards briefly exchanged nervous glances before turning attention back to the blue trail that was glittering its way through the bars. The one on the left was a younger recruit with a few strands of gray hairs poking out from underneath his helmet, subconsciously tightening the grip on his spear. There was a moment of shared silence between them, only the sound of the howling wind filling their numb ears. The older man on the right occasionally looked back at his partner as if waiting for him to speak.

At length, he finally did.

"S-Should. . . should we report this?" he blurted out, keeping his gaze forward on the snowed path. He'd been on the job for about a week now, but he wasn't expecting something peculiar to be happening so soon. Sure, there was a troll on the loose and hordes of goblins were attacking their trade routes, but at least Frostheim itself seemed to be safe from hostiles.

"We're not supposed to leave our station, remember?" the guard opposite to him replied quietly, the slightest hint of uncertainty in his voice. "Besides, I'm sure they've noticed by now."

"What do you reckon this is?" he asked, though he wasn't expecting a legitimate answer. The other man scratched his chin, looking thoughtfully up and down the trail before turning to him with ice blue eyes.

"Well, if I had to take a guess. . ."



". . . this looks like fae magic to me," Juniper said with her hands on her hips, walking back and forth as she observed the trail of blue dust. She waved her hand through the path as a test, but nothing happened. Squinting through the fog, she looked down both ends of the path. "Hey, Tsu. Isn't that way. . . ?"

"It's the way we came through," the therian wolf confirmed without looking back, arms folded over his chest.

"Thought so."

Behind the pair, the sound of boots crunching in the snow grew near. As they turned around, the owner of said boots gave a formal salute to the noblewoman and her guard with a stoic face.

"Your request has been accepted, ma'am. We have eight men on standby, officer Hail will be your section leader. Are these terms satisfactory?" As the woman concluded her message, Juniper clasped her hands together and gave a slight smile.

"I'm the section leader," Juniper said. "Tell Hail that while he is working with me, I have authority over his men."

"With all due respect, ma'am, I don't think the city council will agree to that. With the citizens of Frostheim involved, I believe they will not offer you more support unless you hand over the jurisdiction of the matter to the council."

"Then I don't want their help," Juniper replied bluntly. "I won't relinquish field command to someone that I don't know."

"Please reconsider," she said hastily, trying to find the right words before the older woman cut her off. "I assure you that officer Hail is very capable-" Instead, it would appear that cut herself off. After a few confused blinks, she stared up from the blue trail that was glittering behind them. ". . . what is that?"

"Well, that I wish I knew." With a stretch and a yawn, Juniper rubbed her gloved hands together and drew the woman's attention back to her again. Okay, let's see here. . . we do need those men, at least for the purpose of being trusted eye witnesses. That way, if anything goes south they can't just pin all the blame on me. Even better if I can get some of those plucky adventurers to sign up with me. With some reluctance, she sighed and closed her eyes for a moment.

When she opened them again, Juniper said, "Alright, alright. Tell them I agree to the terms."

With an expression of relief washing over her face, she saluted once more before promptly striding off.

"Not like you to give up the higher ground," Tsudao commented with a wry grin, playfully hitting her shoulder. "You aren't getting 'cold feet,' now are you?"

"Oooh boy, I am about this close to being so done with you," Juniper snapped back in mock anger, holding up her thumb and index finger with roughly a millimeter of space between them. "Come on, let's get moving. We must've moved all of sixty feet during the half hour we've spent here."

The setting changes from gialpha to Polara

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yevoc Cryoblood Character Portrait: Juniper Varosa Character Portrait: Tsudao

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"Are you sure this is a good idea?"

"Not in the slightest, but I've got nothing better to do and curiosity's got me by the tail."

"Says the one without a tail."

With her fluffy therian bodyguard in tow, Juniper decided to follow the trail inside of Frostheim. Exploring outside was out of the question, as she'd rather stay out of danger and keep close to their rendezvous point; who knew where it could lead them?
They had kept a steady pace trudging through wave after wave of thick snow when a young man - an elvish man? - sprinted straight past them right along the shimmering blue path.

"He's following the path," Tsudao stated the obvious.

"Come on," Juniper said excitedly, patting his shoulder and picking up her feet to trail the elf. "That's our lead!

"What lead?" the wolf asked, catching up to and then swiftly running past her. "I thought you were waiting for the adventurers."

"Open your eyes, Tsu, he was one!" she replied, already out of breath but not slowing down. "The swords, the disheveled clothes, he looked like he just booked it straight out of a brawl! Let's go make a good first impression, yeah?"

Rolling his eyes in something like compliance, the pair made their way into what suddenly formed into a mob. A minute ago, it didn't seem like there were too many folks prancing about, but now that so many had gathered into one, condensed ball of screaming and waving hands, it was like a sea of people had begun to bar their path.

"Is that him?" a woman shouted, hopping around the heads and shoulders of fellow gawkers to get a better look.

"A son of Cryoblood in the flesh!" A tall, grizzled-looking man raucously confirmed to nobody in particular, briefly fixing his cap before fumbling for the camera in his bag.

"He's a prince, he's a prince!" was another youthful voice, piping up from deep within the mob.

Suddenly, a piercing whistle rang out amidst the cheers and hoots, the following silence giving way to the howl of the wind.
The voices began to drop to hushed tones and murmurings, many of the heads turning to see the source of the noise. Before the crowd stood Countess Juniper Varosa, a grin on her face and a silver whistle between her fingers. At her side, the tall and imposing therian wolf folded his arms over his chest, glaring down at the masses with a sharp eye and slightly bared fangs.

Juniper released her grip on the whistle necklace, letting it fall against her collar as she performed a full curtsy. "Greetings, fine folk of Frostheim! This is more out of courtesy than anything, but perhaps you'd like to give the man some breathing room? Why, he's a living being before he is a prince, for god's sake!" The mob began to begrudgingly part as the golden-haired woman and her partner approached the elf, the former observing him intensely as she placed her fingers to her chin.

So, this one's a prince, is he? she thought, looking the man up and down with curiosity. Certainly not the crown prince by the looks of it, but high-profile royalty nonetheless. The first noble I've met since first stepping foot in Polara, in fact. The crowd slowly attempted to reform around him, but the intimidating bodyguard's very presence deterred their efforts, one hand wrapped loosely around the sword at his waist. This had less to do with making room and more to do with taking concern with Juniper's own safety.

"Well met, young prince!" Juniper said aloud, standing up straight and resting her hands proudly on her hips. "You certainly look like a busy man and I don't mean to keep you for long, but where exactly is it that you're going? I had some questions in mind, but before that, perhaps me and my aide could be of some assistance?"

Like the very trail that had brought them here today, her eyes sparkled a vivid blue, great fervor in both her gaze and the way in which she delivered her words. Hopefully, it was showy enough to grab his attention - or maybe she was being too showy?
Hm, hadn't considered that. This definitely might have come off as obtrusive and garish in the eyes of some, but he looked to be more warrior-y than traditional royalty so it didn't bother her as much as it should have.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yevoc Cryoblood Character Portrait: Juniper Varosa Character Portrait: Tsudao

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While Yevoc was grateful for the arrival of the young woman and her canine body guard, he was still a little confused by her interest in his destination.
“Thanks for that.” He nodded. “I’m not exactly sure where I’m going to be honest. It seems my trail has gone cold.” He answered as he walked through the gate of the graveyard. “So what’s with the sudden interest in me?” He asked skeptically. “Don’t exactly look like a reporter in that kind of armor.” He got to the headstone where the trail seemed to end before it had vanished and knelt down to read the engraving. The headstone had an odd tiny bowl atop a snowflake adorning the top of the headstone and a carving of the Snow Elf royal crest; a shield with a snowflake on it and a war ax and a sword crossed behind it. There was an even weirder sentence carved just below the crest.
“I bleed Coo thin.” Yevoc read out loud. “What the hell is that supposed to mean? Who is Coo?” He asked frustrated. He began pushing on the stone, looking for secret buttons or switches or anything that might open a door or path. He was desperate to find the reason why he had been brought to this headstone. He looked back to the young woman and her wolf and could easily see how crazy he must seem.
“The trail I was following led me here. It was supposed to be leading me to the source of an enchantment that was controlling the troll out there.” He explained, gesturing to the gates of Frosthiem. “There has to be something here.” He looked at the bowl again and noticed a small hole in the bottom that went through the snowflake and into the headstone itself. He read the carving once more. “I bleed Coo thin.” His mind suddenly started going into overdrive. “Ice in the blood!” he suddenly shouted. “It’s an anagram. Ice in the blood. They used to say that my family, the Snow Elf royal family, had ice in their blood. The name Cryoblood even implies that. I think I know what I have to do.” He pulled out one of his swords and sliced a cut across the back of his left hand. He held his hand over the tiny bowl and his purple hued blood began to drain down the hole at the bottom. The snowflake and the carving began to glow. The ground below them started to rumble and Yevoc jumped back as what should have been a grave opened sliding doors to reveal a staircase leading into a cave. “I think this goes into old Frosthiem. You wanna ask your questions, you’re gonna have to come along with me.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yevoc Cryoblood Character Portrait: Juniper Varosa Character Portrait: Tsudao

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At the beginning of the fourth era of Gialpha the king of the Nordic humans in Polara, King Ventis, ruled his people from the city of Frosthiem just south of the Snow Elf capitol city. He had heard about the Oblivion blade and the vile negation, and he knew that even a fraction of the power in the blade would be more than enough to keep his kingdom safe. He sent out his best knights and his court mage to find any of the shards they could. Soon after the court mage returned with one of the shards. The shard had the power to bend the elements to the users will. It was more powerful than the most powerful of neutral elves. At first he used the power for good and raised walls up from the earth itself to protect Frosthiem. However, soon his protection grew to obsession and paranoia. He began to refuse to let outsiders into the city, then he started attacking anyone who tried to enter the city. Eventually he grew so paranoid that he opened a crater and allowed the earth to swallow the city whole before sealing it back up from the rest of the world. The newest form of the city was built in the sixth era over the very location where the old city used to stand. In the sixth era as well the court mage of the snow elf kingdom discovered the remains of the city while excavating an ice sapphire deposit. He knew the legend of King Ventis and sealed the site under the guise of a grave. He also enchanted it so that only one of royal Snow Elf blood could break the seal, thinking that a royal family member would never even think of looking for the city, let alone sacrifice his own blood to do so. This was the cavern in which Yevoc now found himself.
As he walked down the small tunnel from the outside world Yevoc saw a dim green glow emanating from in front of him. He reached the mouth of the cave, not bothering to wait for a response from the blonde woman or her wolf body guard, and he saw an astounding sight. The entire city of old Frosthiem was lit by the dim glow of some bioluminescent giant mushrooms growing along the edges of the city. They were green and purple and illuminated the whole cavern. The city, however seemed to be completely devoid of life.
“Damn it, fucking spell dissipated. How am I supposed to find the damn source of the enchantment in this huge city?”