Classes: Rogue 1 | Cleric 1
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Kaia was always a spirited child, forever tagging along with her two older brothers, Dymos and Talos from the time she could walk. When Myron, the youngest in the family was born, the younger two often teamed up to match their wits against the oldest in their games and adventures, and came out on top, often enough.
Their father, Alcander, was a prosperous merchant from a family of prosperous merchants, dealing with contacts throughout the five kingdoms. He and his wife, Melanie, were happy to encourage he children in their games, encouraging the boys especially to develop the wits they would need to become canny businessmen later in life. To that end, the children often accompanied their father on his trips.
The most fateful of these trips took place when Kaia was 15. She and her brother Talos were to accompany her father on a trip to Friestadt, where Dymos, now 19, was becoming more involved in managing their father's business. Aware of the danger of raiders, their vessel traveled in convoy with other vessels of Alcander's fleet, and those of his trading partners. Unfortunately, their precaution was as necessary as it proved futile: The vessel was separated from the others in a storm, and the lone ship, heavily laden with valuable trade goods, proved an alluring target for The Sea People!
The attack was swift. The captain had posted men to watch for raiders while the crew effected repairs, but their watchful eyes saw nothing in the dense morning fog. A fierce yell of an unintelligible dialect was the crew's only warning, and their only chance to seek the means to defend themselves. Alcander's first thought was for the safety of his daughter. He ordered her to hide to the best of her ability, and she fled to the hold, to hide herself as best she could among the stacks of amphora and chests of silks and spices. Talos took up a spear and set to guard this precious cargo, but though valiant, his efforts were in vain. Kaia imagined that she could pick out the tortured screams of her family above those of the other crewmen and passengers. The she heard nothing but the celebratory calls and growls of the victors in their unintelligible language.
All too soon, they descended to the hold to take stock of their ill gained fortunes. Kaia knew that it was inevitable that she should be found and killed, like the others: there was no place to hide on the ship, and who knew if they would take it whole or simply plunder and sink it? She was doomed, and fear rooted her to the spot. Her wits returned as they approached her hiding place, and she tried to sneak past them to reach the deck and a new place to hide. Perhaps they would gorge themselves on wine from the hold, and she could steal away in a boat, or try to swim for shore.
A strong hand grabbed her by the hair and lifted her up. He laughed as she shrieked, flailing and biting at her captor ineffectually. He threw her against the bulkhead, and as she lay stunned, they raped her for the first time.
Kaia and the handful of other surviving women were kept in a filthy, airless compartment aboard the pirates’ vessel. They were fed and water, but beaten for talking to each other, or trying to escape. They served as nightly entertainment for the crew on the voyage back to the Sea Peoples’ homes. Once arrived, they were divided and sent to live in the slave enclaves. There she met other women who’d been taken captive, from the five kingdoms and beyond. Life quickly became a routine of brutality. The captives were raped frequently. Some of the men were worse than others; those features marked them as other than wholly human made Kaia’s flesh crawl at their touch. Resistance was punished, and those who were too troublesome disappeared, along with those who did not prove fertile. Women who became pregnant were also taken away, and returned once their children were born, to be subjected to more of the same.
The general feeling in the slave encampment was of despair. There seemed no chance of escape to any freedom but death. In the second week of her captivity, three other girls killed themselves in a suicide pact: two had just learned they were pregnant, and the third had just been returned after her own child was stolen away by the grim-faced women of the Sea People. Many older captives, those who’d had many children taken and seen many other women come and go, had truly abandoned all hope and performed their tasks as though they were soulless automatons.
Kaia was young and healthy, and a pregnancy was pretty much inevitable. She hid it as long as she dared, refusing to give up hope like so many others. She tried stealing things that she hoped could help her in some escape attempt, and hiding them: some food, a knife, a net. Most of her attempts were foiled, but she was able to secure a small sharp needle that she hid in her hair. Eventually she was taken away, where she shared a locked room with a woman some years her senior, and whose pregnancy was much more advanced. From her, Kaia learned what to expect. Once the woman’s child was born, she was taken away, and Kaia was left alone. With privacy and respite from regular sexual predation, she was able to keep her wits better and think – and plan – somewhat more clearly. She also began to pray.
Kaia realized that the only way that she could successfully escape was if she could hide very well, so she practice as best she could: keeping still for as long as she could stand, teaching herself to walk softly. She hated the idea of giving up her baby, and came to resent the older woman who callously registered the development of her pregnancy as much as the men who had raped her. This solemn midwife was sometimes accompanied by a younger attendant or assistant. She hated the thought of them taking away the life growing inside her as much as she hated that their men had planted it inside her. She hated to give them anything more. When they were alone, she talked to her child, promising that though she couldn’t take him (or sometimes her) when she escaped, she would come back. One way or another, she wouldn’t let her child stay with these people forever. And still she prayed.
When the child, a son, was born, she pleaded, cried and begged the women who attended her to hold him, just once, before they took him away. After a brief unintelligible argument between the women, the younger girl brought her the boy. Kaia took her son, and before the attendants could react, took her stolen needle and gouged the infant twice on his tiny face, leaving a crossed mark framing his right eye. The child was quickly taken away. “I will know you,” she thought, “If you live.”
Kaia was severely beaten before she was released, with hardly a chance to recover before the rapes began anew. But now she had a plan, another reason to try harder, her practiced skills, and her prayers.
She waited until she was in as good condition as she imagined possible. Waiting until the others were asleep, she made a circuit of the dormitory in the dark, seeking the best point of egress. She watched for three nights to learn the patterns of the guards before she slipped away out of the compound the first time, to learn what she could about what lay beyond. She was looking for the harbour, and ships, as she knew that her only chance would be to stow away during one of their raids, and seize whatever opportunities presented themselves once at sea. She hid herself as best she could aboard the vessel that seemed best provisioned, hoping that it was going to be leaving soon. Her instincts served her well, and they put to sea at dawn the next day.
It was difficult to keep out of sight of the crew, but she had the advantage that none of them suspected that they even could have a stowaway. They’d left too early for her to be discovered missing from the dorms. She spent most of her time lying very still and quiet under the bulk of a spare sail, listening for signs of danger. She would creep out at night to filch small amounts of dried fish and water from their provisions, and if she had a chance, she would scan the dark horizons for some close island.
The fourth day, a commotion among the crew told her that they’d spotted prey. Was there anything she could do to save this crew? Could they help her? If she disabled the raiders’ ship, they would just keep their target vessel. Otherwise, they would leave it, and their victims, adrift. But no survivors meant no help for Kaia. And what of the new captives they would surely take? She prayed again for inspiration. A sudden impact told her that the raiders had successfully rammed their target, and the attack was on.
The first thing she did was take a small sharp knife she’d filched and hid it in the room where any new female captives would be kept after the raid. If nothing else, maybe one of them could put it to good use, and if she were recaptured, she’d at least have something to work with. She kept another knife for herself. There wasn’t much she could do for the people on the ship at this point, but she might try to keep some of them alive and hope the vessel would still float. For the moment, she needed to hide, and the best place to do so, she thought, would be in the water. If necessary, she could camouflage herself as just another corpse tossed overboard. The Sea People were all busy with murdering and pillaging and it was easy for her to slip into the water and swim towards their prize. It was a Medeiran vessel, probably laden with wine. She could only hope that the raiders would at least see fit to take the plunder to their own vessel before they proceeded to get drunk. At least if they were drunk, it would be easier for her to hide from them.
She swam towards the hull and around to the other side, and managed to grab on to a length of line hanging through one of the oarlocks. She could hear the fighting going on aboard, just like in the attack that had killed her brother and father. It was hard to think that for a second time, she could do nothing but hide, and that the tactic might yet fail her again… Time seemed to slow down as the raiders scoured the vessel for more prey. A few minutes, or mere moments later, they began tossing the dead and wounded overboard. A young man, a Madeiran she guessed, who was missing most of his left arm, fell near her, and the water around them turned red. He was still alive, for now – at least, he was still screaming and flailing weakly. Others floated or sank lifelessly. The dying boy turned his eyes towards her.
Guttural laughter from above told her that the Sea People were well distracted for the moment. She had regained her strength from swimming to safety, but did she dare leave it to try and help someone who was dying in front of her? Kaia swam towards him, hoping he didn't have the strength to try and drown her. He seemed much weaker already, and though he grabbed at her to keep himself from sinking more. She managed to get behind him and pull him back towards the line she had left. Looping it around his good hand, she cut a shorter length, and wound it as tightly as she could around his stump. The stream of red seemed to lessen some, but her patient had lost consciousness. She looped the rest of the trailing rope around him again, and hung on to his body.
She could hear them rounding up the women, and distracted herself by concentrating on the boy she had half saved, trying to keep his head out of the water and trying to gauge whether or not he was breathing, and had a pulse. It was difficult not to dwell on their fate, and she hope that one of them might make good use of the knife she'd left, at least.
After an eternity in water that felt colder by the minute, she heard them leaving. The ship shuddered as they withdrew their ram, backing water, and heading out towards home, or their next victim. She waited a little longer, until she couldn't stand it any more, and climbed up over the bulkhead. The deck was awash with drying blood, and the hull breech was clearly letting in water. The ship wasn't sinking quickly, though – she was lucky enough in that. Kaia said a quick prayer of thanks and set about salvaging the situation as best she could.
The first thing she did was to bring the boy she'd saved on board. There wasn't much more she could do for him beyond tightening his tourniquet and trying to get him to drink some of the drinkable water she'd found on board if he woke up, so she laid him out on a drier part of the deck. She couldn't steer the ship on her own, so she would have to trust to the tides, or the will of the gods, which ever was stronger, that they would be carried somewhere safe. She rolled and dragged whatever heavy items remained over to the undamaged side of the vessel, hoping to bring the hole out of the water, but she wasn't strong enough to move much of any use. When she'd done what she could, she stripped out of her wet clothes, and lay them out on the deck to dry.
She'd never intended to fall asleep, but her exhaustion made it inevitable. She woke up when she felt the cold sea lapping at her ankles. The moon was high overhead, and it illuminated an island towards which they were floating. Her charge was feverish, but alive. They would make it.
They survived on the island for a week before another ship, from Freisland, saw their signals and picked them up. The boy, Andal, was delirious with fever for most of the time, but a healer on the ship was better able to treat him. He wound up losing the rest of his arm, pretty much up to the shoulder, in order to stop. The Captain listened to Kaia's tale, and took her back to the capital, where she was reunited with her oldest brother, Dymos, over a year after she'd been assumed lost forever. He sent word to the rest of the family, but kept her with him for a while to make sure she was alright. At her request, he also helped Andal, who had no other contacts in the city, get word to his family and to his employers back in Medeira.
During this time, she made several visits to the main temple of Glit, and talked a lot with the clerics there, about what had happened to her, and why she had been able to escape, and survive, and how much she believed her prayers, and Glit himself, had helped her. They encouraged her to join the priesthood, if she felt that she had been so strongly influenced by him. She thought about it at length, but she couldn't stay in the city just then either. She wanted to see the rest of her family again, and soon enough, her brother accompanied her back to Agathos to see her mother and her younger brother, Myron.
She did apply to the clergy while she was in Agathos, however. She has spent the last two years) studying with the local priesthood. Dymos returned to Friesland, where he manages part of the family business. Their mother, Melanie, manages the main branch of affairs in Agathos, with Myron's (and to an extent, Kaia's) help. They continue to be quite successful, with contacts and trading partners in many other main Five Kingdoms ports.
Kaia has recently complete the last part of her initiation period– wandering the Five Kingdoms for three months – and is on her way back to Friestadt to formally enter the priesthood.
At the beginning of the game, Kaia will be either in or on her way to Friestadt for the final part of her training, though she will be traveling with one of her family's trading caravans, which means that you can put her pretty much wherever it is most useful for you to have her :) Or, and Andal can still be around, maybe somewhere. Or not, up to you. I thought it would be cool to have him become a one armed priest of death, but he is only medium important. He can't really go back to sailoring, though, and Kaia would probably try to keep in touch with him wherever he is, and try to make sure he didn't just end up begging in the streets. I mean, she saved his life, it would be a shame to see it wasted now. ;)
She is close to her remaining family, but very committed to her chosen path. Her family is pretty understanding of why she has chosen this path, but her brothers, especially Dymos, are quite protective of her because they don't want to lose her again. She really hates the sea People, and is committed to finding a way to destroy them and recovering her son, if it is possible. She does carry some mental scars from her experience, and is a bit touchy about relationships with men, but she's more likely to get angry than be cowed. She is generally quit witted and free-spirited.
Physically, she is somewhat on the small side. She is 5'6", and relatively slim, though her body has of course been affected somewhat by her pregnancy. Her features are small and sharp, and her brown eyes are very expressive, sparkling with merriment and excitement, or flashing dramatically in righteous anger. She keeps her curly black hair very short, and it is usually held back out of her fact by a hair band of some kind.