Char Name: Jesabel (Jes)
Nationality: ½ Amadician, ½ Altaran
Skin: Altaran olive
Primary Weapon: Seax/mini-Seax (laced with paralytic poison)
Secondary Weapon: Quillion Dagger
Char Description Edit
Names are like pairs of boots to Jes. In fact, she’s gone by more names than she has pairs of boots. Born as Kristina Renalda, her father changed it to Jessika Thwyte, her husband changed it to Ana Kenan. Finally, fed up and having murdered the lot of them (or else murdered their murderer), she chose the name Jesabel for herself. Of course, the authorities wouldn’t have this and named her the Black Widow for the trail of poisoned victims she left in her wake while she made her way towards Shayol Ghul.
She isn’t particularly noticeable in a crowd. Nearing plump, she’s curvaceous while avoiding being luscious; pretty maybe, but never beautiful. Short, she’s easily underestimated but all to her advantage as most people who underestimate her end up paralysed with their throats opened and valuables gone. Not particularly strong, Jes is quick for her size.
Despite living four years in the Fortress of the Light with her upper-class father, Jes knows next to nothing about politics, court etiquette or anything else really. However, she’s exceedingly clever and street smart, with an acute knowledge of herbs and poisons.
Her violent past has crippled her emotionally from the time she was ten and her mother began beating her. By the time she had developed a conscience, everyone in her life sought to beat it out of her. She no longer has any compunctions about killing someone for no particular reason and since when has torture been any different than murder?
“José di’Marco, you have been convicted of being a Darkfriend for which the penalty is death and are hereby sentenced to hang until dead.”
“Reubin Renalda, you have been convicted of being a Darkfriend for which the penalty is death and are hereby sentenced to hang until dead.”
The man’s bored words cut across the town square invoking hatred among the gathered residents, come to watch one of their countryman hang for his crimes. Despite the Whitecloak war and the fact that this was Altaran land, albeit a bordertown connected with the capital only by lines drawn on a map, the executioner wore a white cloak bearing the golden sun of the Children of the Light. The irony of the situation was that had the executioner been anyone other than a Whitecloak, either some Altaran official from the larger town downriver or else the town’s own magistrate, the residents would have celebrated the death of di’Marco, a notorious drunk and thief. Instead, they glared angrily at the whitecloaked officer, some even braving a scrawled Dragon’s Fang to shout the murderer encouragement.
“Down with the Whitecloaks! Long live Altara!” Altara; simply a name and lines on a map to them but a symbol of their separation from neighbouring Amadicia and its gang of rabid pious murderers.
All of this, though, was far too advanced and complicated for the young girl standing at the edge of the crowd, clutching her muttering mother’s hand.
“Mama, what’s wrong?”
The Whitecloak dropped the trapdoor on the gallows. Someone had miscalculated the man’s weight though, whether by purpose or accident, only the Whitecloak would ever know for certain though every man in that crowd would put a pretty penny on it having been on purpose. So instead of dropping like a dead weight, his neck having been snapped in the fall, José kicked and trashed about on the end of his rope, feet dangling bare life-saving inches from the cobblestones. His hands had been tied behind his back and he strained against the bonds, desperate to free them.
The crowd surged forward, only to be beaten back by the two dozen armoured Whitecloaks. The collective shout was enough to drown out the high pitched scream from the muttering woman.
Lucky for Kristina’s sweet innocence, the backs of the men in front of her had blocked out the entire event. As the ten-year old led her mother away by the hand, who was still whimpering under her breath and staring, eyes glazed, back at the gallows, one of the Whitecloak guards slit the throat of the dying man.
“But mama, why? I thought you hated Amadicia.”
Jasmine quickly clapped her hand over her daughter’s mouth. “Hush, Kristine. We’ll be home soon enough.” She turned back to the innkeeper. “How much for a room?”
“For how long?”
“I’m not sure.”
“Business in the city?”
“Of a sort.”
The emaciated, greasy old man nodded knowingly. “Just don’t drag my name into it or…” his lecherous glance towards the twelve year-old girl completed his threat.
“If you touch her…”
“What will you do, bitch?”
“Her father is a Child of the Light.”
The old man recoiled as if slapped. “Whore! Get out of here.”
“Do you want your name dragged into this?”
He fumed. “Shai’tan take you, damned slut. A crown a night, no less.”
As her mother set about bartering, using insults and threats to her advantage, young Kristina took the opportunity to inspect the inn. It was a seedy establishment, even to her inexperienced eyes, and was nothing on the inn back home where she had lived thus far. The patrons, for the most part drunk despite the early hour, shouted lewd suggestions to her and one even tried to haul her up the stairs before she kneed him in the groin. The bouncer, it was the best term she could find to use to describe the monstrous, one-eyed, toothless tough slouching near the door, a rusty knife stuck in his belt and a heavy spiked cudgel in one fist balancing the tankard of… something in the other, stumbled up from his position at the door.
Her would-be, probably-was, rapist, stumbled up from his knees, one hand clutching his crotch and the other shaking a knife in her direction. “Slut! You want it rough, eh?” Panicking, Kristine backed up until her back met the wall. Tears streamed down her face. Her heart raced in her throat, choking her voice and incapacitating her ability to scream. Rough hands gripped her shoulders, hard enough to send pain shooting through her body and buckle her knees.
And the hands suddenly went limp and fell away. He joined her on the ground beside her, a pool of blood spilling out from underneath him and threatening to darken her skirt.
“You gonna stay down there girl? Or did I knife a willing customer?” The bouncer rasped at her, his breath smelling of sour ale. When he stuck his hand out at her, she thought for a moment that he was going to claim the prize he “won” but an out-of-place kindness in his singular eye told her he wasn’t there to hurt. Taking it, she regained her feet, stepping nervously around the corpse.
“N-n-n-no. I-I-I-I-I’m n-n-n-n-ot a p-p-p-p-prostit-t-t-t-tute.”
“Obviously not. No whore with that stutter would ever scratch a living.” Despite his crude humour, he helped her back to her mother.
“Mama, I don’t like it here.” she whispered as the bouncer returned to his seat and his ale.
Jasmine didn’t appear to notice her daughter’s terror or state as she led the girl up the stairs and to their room. There was a queer look in her eyes that Kristina had come to recognize and she knew she couldn’t press anything on her mother today.
The look had started after that man had been hung two years ago. There had been three other men, Darkfriends, hung by the Whitecloaks in the two years since and each time, Jasmine had become more and more withdrawn, prone to violent outbursts. Kristina was scared. Scared of the inn and scared of and for her mother.
“Hey Bouncer.” Kristina whispered through the locked door. The man who had saved her the first day in the inn had become her constant companion since, protecting her from the patrons who consisted of everything from cutpurses to murderers and every low level scum in between. He couldn’t remember ever having been given a name and had instead taken on the name of his profession, which he had been at some thirty years. It was a bit odd, the grizzled man and the young girl but he had taken a liking to her that had nothing to do with her body- unlike the other patrons who were daily thrown off and for the most part with a knife through their backs. Perhaps Bouncer had once had a younger sister that Kristina reminded him of or perhaps even a daughter or niece- he never said.
“Where’d mama go?”
“She didn’t say.”
“But you know?”
“Where’d she go then?”
“I can’t say.”
“Go to sleep, little one.”
“I can’t sleep without mama here.”
“She’ll be back in the morning.”
And with that, the little Altaran girl would settle down, back against the door and wait for her mother. Again. Every night, mama had gone out. Every morning she came back angry. Kristina was always afraid mama would hit her when she came back but Jasmine wouldn’t touch the child while Bouncer was at the door.
Time passed ever so slowly for the poor little twelve year-old with nothing to do but wait. Wait in fear. Terrified that her mama wouldn’t come back. Terrified that she would. Mama was different now. She was angry all the time and would sometimes hit Kristina when she was mad. Her olive-skinned cheek was blackened by a bruise from when mama had thrown her boot.
The moon, which shone brightly through the cracked window, illuminating the room in an eerie glow, was well passed its zenith when she heard the sounds of a struggle downstairs. This was nothing new after a full month in the Amadician hell, ironically named The Fortress of the Light. Likely one of the patrons had cheated another at a game of dice or at chop and had now drawn knives and were gambling in a different sort of way. A fatal sort of way. Bouncer might be called down any minute to drag the loser into the alley where it would be disposed of naturally. Naturally meaning the worms would get only bones, if that, to digest. First pickings went to the packs of wild dogs that roamed the Amador slums at night, if those weren’t beaten away by a starving beggar. Sometimes, beggar’s bodies joined the other corpses in the alley behind the inn where they had been ripped apart by dogs.
Despite being so young, Kristina got to know the ways of the streets quick. Only the strongest, smartest, quickest and cruellest survived. Just from walking down the street, clutching Bouncer’s hand, she learned to keep anything valuable hidden from watching eyes and that while a woman could always scratch a living in dark alleys, they had the tougher life out of the two sexes. And lastly- always carry a knife. Cut first or you’d never get the chance.
None of those lessons helped her any in what was to come.
There was a scuffle just outside her door. She heard Bouncer’s booming voice and another greasier voice that could have been one of the customers. Suddenly there was a grunt followed by a scream.
“Damn, the bastard took down Child Dascin.”
“I want in that room, damnit!”
“Give me your crossbow then.”
Something heavy thudded against Kristina’s door.
There was no reply. Suddenly very scared, Kristina scuttled under the bed.
The door opened and she could see a pair of boots. Polished until they shone save for the stinking mess on the bottoms. She didn’t know, nor did she want to know, whether or not it was mud. And there was blood on them. They were covered in blood.
“No one’s in here, Captain.”
Another pair of boots.
“Did you search the room?”
“Not much room to search.”
The sound of metal connecting with flesh.
“Save your witticisms for someone with a sense of humour Pryat.”
Both pairs of boots proceeded to thump around the room. Quietly as possible, Kristina slid her knife from the sheath Bouncer had made for her forearm. He had given her both knife and sheath the day after she was almost raped. The sheath was crudely made from the remnants of a broken wineskin, with bootlaces to tie it to her forearm. Bouncer had spent all month teaching her to draw it properly without cutting herself and deep gouges, not from her mother this time, left scars on her arm that attested to the number of times she had failed. The grizzled man had even managed to teach her to throw it properly, if not accurately, in their time together.
The knife itself was plain enough. Wooden handle and a foot long, it was too short to be a seax but too thin to be a butterfly knife, even though it had a twin. The edge nearer the hilt was jagged but smooth near the tip, allowing one to both stab and tear with the same weapon. “A gangster’s weapon,” Bouncer had told her, “you can either kill a man or torture him with one of these.” Its twin was strapped to Bouncer’s own enormous forearm.
Finally, the man, Pryat he had been called, got down on his knees and looked under the bed. Heeding Bouncer’s advice, she cut first. Lunging at him, she stabbed the knife down through his hand and a sheen of blood covered her face as the knife clipped an artery.
He recoiled, sending a string of unintelligible curses at her.
“Blood and ashes, Pryat, what the…”
The man thudded over as soon as he saw the blood pooling dripping from his hand. Too late Kristina realised both pairs of boots belonged to Children of the Light. Her heart pounded in her throat. Her mama once told her what happened to people who did something to anger the Whitecloaks. Tears streamed down her face and she would have used her own knife to slit her throat if it wasn’t stuck so firmly through Pryat’s hand.
“Come out from under the bed.”
Kristina was too scared to move.
“Get out or I will drag you out.”
She stayed still. Maybe, just maybe he was bluffing. The boots thudded closer. Hands took hold of the bedframe and with a sudden heaving motion and a loud crash, the bed was thrown against the wall. Scared stiff, the little girl scuttled across the ground, away from the hard face that stared her down. If only she had another knife…
“Are you Kristina?”
She didn’t reply.
“Answer me!” he yelled. So she nodded. “I’m your father.”
Shock would have paralysed Kristina if fear hadn’t already. She had known her father was a child of the Light and knew that he had raped her mother. Her mother had drilled it into her that he and all other Children were evil.
“Where’s my mama?” she whimpered, unable to call up enough courage to glare or spit or do any of the brave things they did in the stories to evil people.
“Your mama’s dead.” Kristine began to cry. The Whitecloak went on callously. “Apparently she’d been searching for me since she brought you here. Unfortunately for her, I don’t drink and so I was in none of the taverns frequented by the Children.” he grimaced, almost sneered. Alcoholism seemed to be something he disagreed with. “However I do occasionally frequent other places in the city to attend to some needs.” Kristine was old enough and certainly her time in Amador had educated her enough to know he was talking about whoring. “She finally found me in one of the establishments-“ brothels “-I frequent. She lured my friend and me into a room where she attempted to stab us. Being an idiot, she didn’t stab her target first, instead laying open my friend’s throat. I laid open her belly for that. While she was dying, she mentioned you and that if I hadn’t any mercy in me, I should recognise you as my bastard.”
For a moment he simply looked at her; judging and calculating her worth. “You are now called Jessika and are the illegitimate daughter of Captain Josef Thwyte.” Lazily backhanding Pryat across the face so the man would quit his whimpering, the Captain took hold of the man’s wrist and yanked the knife out. Pryat’s scream of agony sent Kristina- Jessika into a fit of tears. “Keep that.” her father said calmly as if one of his men weren’t writhing on the ground in excruciating pain. “I’ll teach you to really use it.”
Kristina nodded numbly and followed him out of the room. In the hallway were two corpses. One was another Whitecloaked man who they were lifting onto a stretcher for burial. He had a knife between his eyes. Bouncer lay sprawled out in the hallway where they had dragged him from in front of the door, a crossbow bolt in his chest. “One moment… father.” whispered the girl.
She knelt beside the gory body and lifted the left sleeve of Bouncer’s shirt. Untying the thongs that strapped the sheath to his muscular arm, she retied it around her own before kissing his cold cheek and whispering. “You lied. You promised mama would come home.”
Her father eyed her curiously before leading her downstairs, through the commonroom that was littered with the corpses of its patrons. The innkeeper lay facedown and sprawled out in front of his bar, a crossbow bolt sticking up through his back. Knives were clutched in his fists. Evidently he had tried to make one last stand before being taken down. Kristina felt no pity for him.
Outside, a boy held her father’s horse. “Captain Thwyte.” he said bowing.
“How many dead, Correas?”
“Child Ludley says two.”
“Child Sedwick, sir.”
“Have their bodies been removed?”
“They have now, sir.”
“Good. Tell Lieutenant Jameson to fire the inn.”
“Diego, shhh… Not here where anyone can walk in.” Her attempt at seriousness was ruined when he began kissing her neck and she giggled.
“Come on, Jess. I haven’t seen you all week since your father’s been around.” Diego Correas was everything any sixteen year-old could have wanted in a lover. He was tall, dark, handsome and chivalrous; he should’ve pacified her father. Hell, he was her father’s former page! The only thing preventing them from getting her father’s blessing was the red shepherd’s crook on his white cloak rather than the golden sunburst. “When then?”
He had her backed up against the empty infirmary wall and for a few minutes he had her tongue too occupied to answer. Rather than take up the sword herself, much to her father’s disappointment, she lent her hands in the infirmaries instead, learning the uses for herbs and poisons right alongside her knives.
Since moving to the Fortress of the Light, Jessika, she had all but forgotten her former name, had gathered quite an assortment of knives which she secreted in various sheathes around her body. She had kept the mini-seaxes from Bouncer, though she had made new sheaths for them herself- with minor help from Diego. The new sheathes were of leather, reinforced with steel. The tips were laced with a paralytic poison Jess stole from the infirmaries.
Besides Bouncer’s two knives, she kept two pairs of full-sized seaxes strapped to her shoulder blades, hidden underneath her blouse but easily reachable since all her shirts left her shoulders bare and hidden in her knee-high boots. These were laced with the same poison and, being only a foot and a half long, she was able to throw both with reasonable accuracy though not so well as the two knives concealed on her forearms. Last were the two pairs of quillion daggers she wore openly on her waist. These were the only knives she kept that were not laced with poison as they were too heavy for her to throw.
“Tonight, my room. Father’s dining with one of the Lord Captains tonight.”
It wasn’t until the door smashed against the opposing wall that Jess and Diego realised they were no longer alone. Unfortunately for the couple, the bed was in direct view of the door and Captain Thwyte got a good view of his former page-turned-Questionner on top of his bastard daughter. Jess knew from the moment his eyes went wide that this would end in bloodshed. With a roar of righteous fury, her father drew stormed towards them, eyed only for Diego.
Diego didn’t have a chance. Unarmed, naked and caught off-guard, he threw up his arm as the captain crushed the left side of his ribcage with a savage undercut. Jess screamed, terrified, as her father’s left hook shattered her lover’s jawbow. Helpless to do anything but beg, her pleading fell on deaf ears as her father yanked the Questionner from the bed and threw him to the floor. Straddling the naked body, Josef pummelled Diego’s face with bloody fists.
Suddenly, as Jess’s terror reached new heights, her father was thrown off Diego, flying through the air and crashing into the far wall. Physically un-fazed, Josef got back on his feet and turned burning eyes on Jess. “WITCH!” he accused, drawing his longsword and levelling it at her.
Frozen in shock, she watched unbelieving as her father advanced on her sword raised high. Instinctively a knife sprouted in her hand. It was the knife she had taken off Bouncer, laced with poison. For a fraction of a second, she considered the irony that her father would be hit with the knife of a man killed by his crossbow. Besides that though, little else went through Jessika’s head as she stood up and launched the knife across the room.
It buried itself between his eyes, quivering there for an instant before he collapsed to the ground.
“Does it ever bother you?”
“That I killed my father.”
“Damnit Jess, let it go. We’ve got a new life now. We’re married. He’s gone.”
“How can I get over it? I murdered him. It was wrong.”
“You didn’t murder him. It was self-defence.”
“It was patricide.”
“He killed your mother. Blood and ashes, Jess, he raped your mum! And it was your life or his.”
‘Yes, but you don’t know why he was going to kill me. I never told you that. I channelled! Light save me I channelled!’
“You don’t think I’m… you know… damned?”
“You don’t think my soul will rot for eternity after I die? That it deserves to rot for eternity?”
“What the hell are you implying Jessika?”
“Nothing… it’s just that.”
“Leave it alone!”
The conversations repeated itself again and again and again in Ana’s head. They had changed their names to fit their new lives in Caemlyn. She was Ana Kenan, an immigrant from Altara who worked in the small herbs shop down the street. Diego had become Daved Kenan, a Queen’s Guard and her husband.
Light blast her, what was she doing? Her husband! Her Light-forsaken husband! How could she! So what if he didn’t think killing her father was wrong? Was that any reason to…
It was over. She was a murderess. Death was the only sentence worthy of her crimes. Blood and ashes, she was a craven. She couldn’t even finish it off. Her soul would rot for eternity at Shai’tan’s mercy. Death! But she couldn’t, she wanted to live! Live and escape death! Never die! Escape an eternity of her soul’s suffering! Light damn her! Too late... She knew the Light-forsaken answer! Quite literally…
Jesabel replaced the bloody knife in its sheath. She walked out the door, leaving her new life, her conscience, her soul and her husband’s cold corpse behind.
Father: Josef Thwyte; Child of the Light
Mother: Jasmine Renalda; Serving wench
- Children rode through mother’s town (near border of Altara)
- Mother’s father hung as Darkfriend (mother’s father was a cruel man, allegiance to Shadow debatable)
- Group of young Children take daughters for sport
- Josef rapes Jasmine
-Jasmine gives birth to daughter, Kristina, nine months later
- Children take another Darkfriend from town, reminds mother of father’s hanging and her rape
- Mother & ‘Tina travel to Amador
- Mother attacks father in inn, revealing the parentage of the child and the location
- Father takes child and brings her to Fortress of Light
- Renames the child Jessika
- Jess is now indoctrinated as a Child and helps in their infirmary
- has fallen in love with a Questionner (Diego Correas)
- Father catches the two of them and throws Questionner out of the room, turning on Jess to beat her
- Jess kills father
- Jess & Diego flee
- changes name to Ana
- Ana and Diego have since married and he has enlisted in the Queen’s Guard in Caemlyn where she helps in an herbs shop
- Ana struggles mightily with ethical dilemma and the sin she committed
- Husband has shrugged off the murder and says the father deserved it for raping her mother
- Ana cannot face his constant reminder of her sin and murders him in his sleep
- Immediately regrets actions and verges on insanity
- Decides she is damned and though while she believes she deserves death, she is terrified of her soul being in the possession of the Dark One so decides to swear her soul to the Shadow and gain immortality
- Changes name to Jesabel