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Ketchka

0 · 110 views · located in Chapter One: The Prophecies Fortold...

a character in “The Flameseeker Prophecies”, as played by MilkHoney

Description

KETCHKA
(catch-kuh)

”Magic makes for a great and terrible plaything.”




❝ More Than Just A Name ❞ & ❝ Under the Armor ❞



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BASICS & APPEARANCE
”Use what you’ve got."


-Nickname
----

-Age
20

-Gender
Female

-Eye Color
Light Amber

-Hair Color
Black

-Height
5’11”

-Weight
165 lbs
NOT human, NOT fat. Girl’s got a tail, scales and horns, and none of that comes light.

-Skin Tone
Human skin is light olive, scales are gray

-Build
Medium build, long limbed, wider hips than chest to accommodate tail. Soft muscle, indicative of daily exercise, but not physical training.

-Body Markings
As far as Carions go, she has an unusually high number of keeled scales on her head while the rest are plated flat. Five horns on crown. Frilled and bladed tail. No scars or tattoos.


”Magic can wipe away a scar, a cut, a bruise, a break. Magic can even dam tears, or silence screams. Magic can take away everything, skindeep. The rest is yours to keep."



❝ Under the Skin ❞




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MENTALITY
” Nothing is so frightening as belief in prophecy. "


-Fears
Prophecies. Vengeance. Kidnappers. Mage houses. Prisons. Lethal violence and unnatural death.

-Likes
Magic. Heat. Weather of any sort. Swimming.

-Dislikes
Prophecies. Excuses. Small or crowded spaces. Locks. Child abuse. Being controlled. Spilled blood. Porridge. All of it, in that order.

-Quirks
Ketchka pretends to be human, unless she's around Carion of the opposite gender, at which point she can forget a lot of important things. Has something to do with 20 years of Carion girls, and mating hormones.

Ketchka doesn’t play chess. There is something emotionally disturbing about moving pawns around a board, sacrificing one piece for another.

Ketchka doesn’t believe in following prophecies and especially not the Flameseeker Prophecies. She doesn’t understand Nor’Lok and Ergoth’s sacrifice. She’s too familiar with magic and mages to believe no one tampered with the Prophecy since for their own gain, or that the future was so precisely read that nothing which happened in the interim changed the future, or that there were no misinterpretations. Prophecies are dangerous. They change people’s behavior; people have faith they will be saved by someone else instead of putting forth their own effort, while others force the situation, as if the prophecy will not come to pass without their making it happen. Then, when people get hurt or die, it isn’t their fault, “it was fate”, or “the end justifies the means”, and “this is so much bigger than any one person”.


-Personality
Curious. Intelligent. Studious. Pacifist. Mediator. Compassionate. Creative. Spirited.

A runner, not a fighter. Competitive. Possessive. Critical. Confrontational. Distrustful.





❝ The Story of Heroes ❞




LIFE
”You can’t force fate."


-Relationships
------

-History
Ketchka has been shaped by a history that began long ago.

Before the Beast King, mage houses functioned like craft guilds, apprenticing youths, recognizing masters, and guaranteeing the public quality goods and services for their money. After civilization was forced underground, and populations collapsed, the mage houses fell.

The revival of the mage houses was orchestrated to fulfill the Flameseeker Prophecies, by human mages who were far removed from the traditions, wisdom, and history of mage houses. The new mage houses were exclusive and served to aggrandize their coalitions of talented mages with exhibitions of power and opalescence. The mages themselves were generally prone to power games and hedonistic follies; perhaps because they were placeholders waiting for a child spoken of in prophecy, they were bitter and yearning for lasting fame. They are a source of modern suspicion and hatred toward human mages. Regardless, their devout reverence for the Flamekeeper Prophecies bordered on religious fervor.

Ever since the advent of Carions, the first of the signs they waited for, the mage houses have been racing to collect girl orphans. Sometimes, in their impatience, the more ruthless houses watched births, and ensured all conditions for the prophecy were fulfilled. And how to gage the power and prestige of the mage house itself? They’ve been at war, stealing orphans and cursing their brethren into subservience or destruction.

Ketchka herself has been under the roof of many mage houses, kept locked away like a trophy in a treasure room, both guarded preciously and denied affection. She was just one of many, a very awkward child, and not favored as a likely vehicle of destiny. She bonded with the other orphan girls, but learned the hard way there is a steep difference between taking care of fellow prisoners and friendship. As she aged and showed an aptitude for magic, her value grew. With each mage house, Ketchka was exposed to new master mages with vastly different magical styles, and older orphans who didn’t care for competition.


In her fear of each successive mage raid, Ketchka tried to disguise herself as a human, hoping to use the chaos to escape. After the first few attempts, she lost the edge of surprise, and never again came close to leaving.

Now, at the precious age of twenty, time has run out. The likelihood of her being the child in the prophecy is deemed insignificant, and she’ll be released from the care and protection of her last mage house, Yideas. Not all mage houses release their orphans, and she’s been warned of what happens in other houses to old orphan girls.

Should she wish to learn the identity of her parents and how she came to be orphaned, she has the opportunity to stay in Yideas, work for them to take other children and perpetuate the horrors she fears and loathes. If she refuses to serve Yideas, no amount of scrying will grant her answers or closure. Nor a target for vengeance.

Ketchka left yesterday.

Ketchka is traveling disguised as a human, a trick she hasn’t played in so long that rival mage houses shouldn’t be wary of it. She’s been receiving some of the best possible mage training in the last ten years, and her specialty is integrating vastly different forms of magic, so it is almost impossible to find a chink in her personal spells. She’d rather endure the danger of discrimination against human mages than be picked up by a rival mage house. If she feels she is being tracked, she’ll do something dangerous, painful, and stupid: remove the well of magic from her core and hide it. This makes her invisible to anything tracking magic, but pretty damn defenseless if found by ordinary means.



So begins...

Ketchka's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dar'Athrax Character Portrait: Ketchka

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Ketchka decided she hated mountains.

In her youth, the mountains had been a grand thing, full of freedom and adventure, of tall beauty, and muted promises of home. She’d dreamed of the rocks and the rills, the heady scent of hemlock and cedar, of crisp white snow and creeping morning mists, nameless red berries and the singing of nesting wrens. She’d dreamed aplenty, yet never stepped foot upon. The mountains had always been an untouchable dream, a symbol of everything that was out of her reach, no matter which mage house she’d been sequestered within.

Yesterday found her not only on her first mountain, but traveling it ass over teakettle. Between leaf litter and pine needles, mud and slush, wet rock and something she highly suspected was freshly heel-ground fungus, she hadn’t made it an hour solely on the merit of her own feet. The mountains were determined to take her down. There was intent. She was sure of it.

But she knew how to adapt when surrounded by the enemy. Ketchka had picked at mud drying on her fine clothes, taken a deep breath of mountain air (a lungful of earthy damp and aftertaste of lichen eating away at sandstone, not exactly the aromatic bouquet she’d anticipated) and learned how to step sideways to walk straight. If she didn’t adapt as quickly and smoothly as she remembered now, the truth was kept between her and the mountain. Today, her feet were as sure and nimble as any goat’s. Today, the chipmunks did not chitter their amusement and rush to get out of the way.

The ground gave way to soft shapes by noon. She’d left the mountain range behind, bearing no knowledge of when great peaks had lowered and the sky widened, and no clear view stretched behind. The sun released sweetness from the seed-headed grasses, cast shade beneath the oaks. She took the easier paths at the edge of riparian ditches, following trails used by cloven hooves daily until the earth hardened and polished like fine cobblestone. There were willows and black walnuts ahead, running perpendicular to her current deer trail, their greedy roots better than any dowsing rod, but by that time she already could hear the river.

Water. Freshwater. After walking fifty miles over rough terrain, it was enough to make her feel a little greedy herself. In Yideas, every bath had reeked of salt from the inland sea, every swim shared with toothed eels. This stream was languid in its movements, its bottom clean shale and polished river rock, positively begging her to throw off her boots and wade in.

She had one boot off already and was balancing on one leg when she spotted the dead body high on the bank.

“No. No-no no no no. You can’t be here,” she admonished, throwing the other boot down and rushing over. It looked Carion. Big, and Carion. And like a dragon had chewed on it and spat it back out. “If you’re alive, I’m going to kill you. You ruined a perfectly decadent swimming hole,” she said. Ketchka threw her pack down and knelt in the sedge, quickly aware blood saturated the ground as it rose up through the knees of her mage-black gown. He was wet, and smelled. She couldn’t tell if he was breathing, but nothing had eaten his eyes, so he probably wasn’t dead, despite all appearances otherwise. It was fair to say he was unconscious then.

Even mostly dead, he looked like a warrior. Ketchka bit her bottom lip. This could go bad. She didn’t know him, and the unpredictability set her teeth on edge. But he was Carion. He was hurt and weak. He wasn’t a mage. She didn’t see any other choices, right now. She’d do her best to save him.

She threaded human hands into his hair, checking his skull for contusions. She had needle and black thread in the pack, intended for mending her clothes. If he stayed unconscious, it would be easier for her to sew him back together, but he’d probably die before the last stitch. Ketchka closed her eyes, hovering a hand above his heart, and delivered the magical equivalent of adrenaline. It was a dose of pure energy: the backwash tasted like ozone to her own senses, but to a body incapable of manipulating magic, it no doubt hurt. She wanted him alert, talking. Ketchka couldn’t see inside him to pinpoint which injuries were killing him, but she wasn’t going to risk pumping him up with blood if he was going to leak like a sieve into his lung, for example. She moved both hands to his temple, setting the fleshy pads of her fingertips against the faint hollow where she could feel veins delivering blood to the brain. With a little pressure, she could return him to unconsciousness, if need be. With his amount of blood loss, it shouldn't be hard. She was ready for it, if the shock didn't rip him from her grasp.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dar'Athrax Character Portrait: Ketchka

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Awareness was thrust upon Dar'Athrax and shot through his heart much like a spear should. There was a brief convulsion- as if his body had to check to ensure everything still worked. He couldn't tell if it was more appropriate to say whether his limbs were weak or numb, but he managed to heft himself onto his knees and one arm. The other arm hung limp, but he could still move his fingers- the shoulder itself wouldn't move or hold weight. He dug his tail into the ground to compensate and provide additional stability. At this point, he noticed a woman nearby- hand on his skull. If everything turned out well, she'd be his savior- experience kicked in, and he began to list what he knew.

"Right shoulder," the words came out of his mouth in a rushed fashion- his body was pumping adrenaline like crazy. "Broadhead arrow, two pronged and all the way in-preventing use.They're designed to caused massive bleeding and kill large game. Around seven more are in back with broken shafts,only three pierced- guessing about a thumbs length of penetration." Strength returned to his limbs during his report, and he grew warm. He had fallen for such a simple ambush and nearly been killed for it- all this time and he'd basically gotten no better! He sat up straight and untied his blades and shield with his left hand. Their weight caused them to sink into the wet dirt- self loathing and anger allowing him to push himself ever further.

His raised posture gave him a better look at the woman in front of him- she appeared human. She was definitely on the tall side for a human though. His instincts were telling him he was missing something, but instead he focused on clearing his back. He deliberately kept his gaze leveled at the girl and slowly moved his left hand around to his back. A bit of blind fumbling occurred before he located the first shaft. There was no pain when he gave it a test wiggle- his armor had caught it. Without any hesitation he yanked it out of his armor- the metals screeching in protest. The arrow was held forward, tip down at his front- the girl may have had a cautious attitude but he doubted she had actually understood his full statement. It was for this reason he held the arrow forward; the head itself was about the size of a human hand and weighed a pound and a half.

"In case you were wondering what a Broadheaded arrow looked like," he kept his voice steady before dropping the arrow. He reached back again- this time from the hip and found another, this one had gone into him. With a grunt, he pulled this one out too. The area burned, but he felt the wound closing...he always healed quickly when he was angry. This arrow was also cast aside but it was the last one he could reach with only one arm. "Pardon the belated pleasantries," he didn't exactly have much experience with the opposite sex. "The name's Dar'Athrax. Don't worry about inflection, it's impossible without a forked tongue- gratitude for the save." At this point he paused, unsure exactly what to say from there. After all he had a million questions and he couldn't be sure of this woman.