Character Name: Mara Novares
Having inherited her father's height, Mara is fairly tall, standing at 5 ft 10 and weighing roughly 130 pounds due to said height. She has sleek dark brown hair reaching down to the middle of her back in length, and blue eyes. She has a lean build and, like most Tairens, an olive skin tone.
Perhaps one of the most distinguishing traits of hers would be a multitude of scars on her back, some short, some long and deep. This is the main reason she prefers not to keep her back exposed, and will steer well clear of the topic should it ever come up.
Having grown up on the streets, where pessimists usually didn't last long, Mara is moderately optimistic. Over the years, she has learned to listen to her gut feelings, and will not hesitate to back out of something if she doesn't like it. Though this means she tends to follow her heart and emotions at times, she's fairly rational, and tends to keep an eye on what needs to be done before making important decisions.
She is a proud woman, taking a great amount of confidence out of being independant, and this alone has given her more than a fair share of courage. Though still not really used to depending on a group of people to keep things running, she nevertheless looks out for their safety as well, appreciating their thoughts on a matter even though she doesn't speak it.
Place of Birth/Raising: Godan, Tear
Though she has little to no recollection of it, Mara was born as the daughter of Meilan and Rosana Novares. Her father wanted nothing to do with her for being illegitimate, and her mother died of an illness several years after she was born. Effectively orphaned, she had had to live off of the muddy streets of Godan, forced to scrounge together her food or not eat at all. Banding together with a small gang of other children, she managed to pick up the tricks of the trade, and developed a good amount of cunning through use of the noble art of larceny.
Still, she eventually reached the age where she would no longer be able to avoid notice in a crowd due to her height. She was still more agile, but it was getting exceedingly harder to shake off her pursuers, and this made her think of a change of profession. Given that she lived in a large port city, she headed for the docks to see if she could find a more honest line of work... Or at least one where she'd not be chased all the time. Becoming a prostitute wasn't even worth considering in her eyes.
Thus, she managed to get a job on a fishing vessel. Though the captain was at first a bit hesitant about allowing women on board as part of the crew, Mara seemed capable enough. Using her natural agility to her advantage, it quickly became clear the captain had no need to become disappointed. Despite the obvious -- and some less obvious -- initial friction between her and the rest of the crew, she proved her worth to them quickly enough, and it wasn't long until she was being treated as a full member of the crew.
That was, until the pirates came.
The attack came with little to no warning. One minute, Mara and the crew were just working on the routine checks of the netting, the next, catapulted rocks were flying to either side of the ship as warning shots. Being unarmed, the vessel was forced to surrender, and was subsequently boarded. Faced with nothing much in the way of valuables to take, the pirates left again with some token posessions and... a certain young girl.
As teh fishing vessel was left behind, its rigging sabotaged to buy time for their escape, Mara found herself on a ship full of pirates. Morale seemed to be low, though the captain didn't seem to be noticing as he threatened her, by giving her an option to choose between sleeping with him and sleeping with the fish.
She chose the fish.
The heads of the closest pirates jerked up in surprise, some elbowing others as they gathered around the two of them, amused at the sudden turn of events. Not wanting to be embarrased in front of his crew, he threatened her again, trying to intimidate her by unsheathing his sword. Anger and pride taking the upper hand, she replied with what could be described as 'various comments on his mental state, as well as choice of bed partners', leading to loud laughter amongst the crew. The captain, enraged now, ordered her to be keelhauled. Laughter stopped then, and there were some protests, but the captain wouldn't back down, and Mara wouldn't apologise either.
When she emerged on the other side of the ship, the barnacles on the underside of the ship had turned her back into a bloody mess. Half drowned, bleeding heavily and fighting to keep consciousness, she was pulled over the rail. At the sight of the captain, it took all of her remaining willpower and determination to slowly stand up again, earning the respect of most of the crew. It was only until the captain stormed off to his cabin that she finally allowed her knees to give in, hitting the deck with a dull thud.
She awoke in one of the cabins, the smell of sweat and salt water telling her that it was where the crew slept. Too weakened to even raise her head, she turned to look at her side, noticing a man standing there. She tried to speak, but even though the words sounded distant and garbled to her she managed to get the message across as he noticed she was awake. After checking her bandages, he nodded to himself before starting to talk.
He introduced himself as Timeon, and he was the ship's doctor, pressed into service when the ship he had worked on originally had been boarded. Ignoring the captain's order that she be tossed overboard, she was hidden inside of the crew's sleeping quarters where he treated her wounds. She was too weak to protest when he told her to get some sleep, and managed to do just that while her back was still throbbing painfully.
Several days later, when Mara had regained enough of her strength to stand again, Timeon helped her walk around the ship. It turned out that the crew had made her the unofficial ship's mascot when the former captain had been ousted in favor of another. Still, she couldn't help but feel... at home, somehow. The old captain was gone, not really leaving her with any reason to hate the pirates. Timeon and the crew treated her like family and when she really thought about it... the life didn't even seem that different compared to what she had been doing as a child.
Several years later, she had worked her way up from a member of the crew to become one of the officers. She was well liked on the ship, and she returned the feeling, having finally found a place where she belonged. When an arrow took the life of the captain, she was elected to be the new one. Opting for a less risky path, she used the collection of looted flags kept in the captain's quarters to optimal effect, flying whatever colors would be to their advantage when posing as 'honorable traders' to sell the supplies they looted off of merchant vessels.
One such assault got her a rather odd looking weapon: It looked like the quarterstaff she had known from her childhood in Tear, only this one had double bladed axe heads attached to both sides as well as steel tips at the ends. Every infamous pirate she had heard of had something to distinguish himself from the others, and she decided then that this strange weapon would be hers. In comparison to a regular quarterstaff, she found that the weapon allowed her more power and momentum at the cost of accelleration and speed, but it was a price she found she was ready to pay, confident as she was that her natural agility would be enough to compensate for the loss. Given that at her current level of skill she's more likely to hurt herself with it than others, she decided to only practise with it on shore, where her footing would at least have a semi-decent chance and she didn't have a ship to oversee.