Protection - Main Cast Bios NSFW

Short descriptions of Karya, Maritza, and Lethe to aid the reader and provide some backstory for the curious.

Author's note: The original description of this work on Eka's Portal was:

I haven't had time to write properly, so here are bios for Karya, Maritza, and Lethe. As it turns out, this was probably harder than writing properly; I'm not a very visual person, and descriptions are hard, man.

Oh well, writer EXP 😄 Hurray!

Karya Mullins #

At the age of 19, Karya is the youngest candidate for Silver Sage in history. She doesn’t exactly look the part, though. She has a small and unimposing figure, being both short (4’11”) and scrawny (90lb) as a result of spending far more energy on magic than she could take time away from her books to eat back in food. Her dark red eyes are almost always round with innocent curiosity or playfulness, and rarely show anger, though it is not hard to bring them to tears. The only thing that hints at her preternaturality is her hair, born a dull brown, but bleached pure, luminescent white as a result of the levels of magic that course through her veins. She rarely ties it up, preferring to let it flow down her back. Her skin has become almost as light as her hair, though not through any form of magic - rather, long hours of reading well out of reach of the sun turned her pale, a fact which even her travels with Maritza seem unlikely to change. She tends to dress simply, normally in a decent but plain robe and some sturdy sandals; whatever the case, her outfits always express her preference for convenience and comfort over protection or style. Karya doesn’t like to stand out any more than her hair already forces her to.

Even from her early days on her parents’ mill, Karya was unusual. She first manifested magical power at the early age of 7, and her parents - unable to afford any better education - gave her a tome of simple spells to hopefully put those energies to better use. She took to it easily despite her age, and began borrowing more where she could and slowly saving up to buy what the library didn’t offer. Her books were her life, whether they be the increasingly thick and wordy spellbooks she eagerly studied or the lighter romance stories she grew increasingly fond of.

At 18, Karya was on an errand to the market when her white hair and graceless but powerful magic were noticed by a high-ranking mage passing through. He took her as a pupil, training her personally in ways her books never could. With Archmage Reid’s help, some of the gaps in her magical education were filled in. He presented her to the Silver Sages on her 19th birthday, and they took a great interest in her. This was the beginning of the trouble for her; many noble families with magical talent disliked this, and wanted to see her removed from the picture.

It was Reid who hired Maritza, and suggested that Karya travel the countryside. He intended for Karya to gain some practical experience, hopefully resolving her twin weaknesses of naivete and timidity. It would also keep her a moving target until the Silver Sages made their decision and she could be brought under their protection. Though Reid would not admit to it, it was also a test - if she did not survive the trip, even with Maritza’s protection, she would not make a suitable Sage.

Though the loss of her books was quite hard on her, Karya has found a new companion in Maritza, and has grown extremely attached to her bodyguard in the months they have been on the road, even to the point of a crush. Karya admires Maritza’s strength and calm, and is thoroughly fascinated by the dragonling’s differences from herself. In particular, the idea of Maritza being able to eat a whole person alive stirs strange feelings in her. Perhaps it is just an unusual manifestation of her desire for her guardian’s attention, but Karya finds herself fantasizing about Maritza someday thinking her too good not to eat...

Maritza Drache #

As humans go, Maritza looks to be in her late 20s. As dragonlings go, she won’t say how old she really is, but “more than ten times that” is a good start. Unlike her charge, Maritza is tall (5’10”) and sturdily built (170lb), mainly from muscle. Her short auburn hair is kept neat and tidy, hanging straight down to her jawline with bangs carefully trimmed to stay out of her eyes. Her narrow eyes, orange and with slitted pupils, are almost always serious, often paired with a slight frown. Her thick skin is tanned and leathery, a gift from her draconic ancestors in the form of natural armor to protect her. She typically doesn’t rely on her body’s natural armor, however, as too many conflicts have taught her the value of a good - and well-concealed - set of enchanted armor. Her standard outfit, whether for combat or clients, is a heavy leather greatcoat over a high-necked forest-green shirt and black pants, both enchanted to be as resilient as chainmail while retaining the flexibility of fabric. Her feet are almost always in black combat boots.

Maritza has been in one fight or another for almost her entire long life. She was almost literally born of violence, as her human father and dragonling mother met on opposite sides of a battlefield during the Pherian War. Though her parents found their own cross-race unity, society as a whole did not, and the war didn’t exactly end in the dragonlings’ favor. After it ended, the young Maritza watched as the numbers of her fellow dragonlings decreased all too rapidly, and quickly learned to pass as an ordinary human. She adopted the false name Maritza Dale to head off accusations of draconic blood and taught herself a simple illusion to disguise her eyes.

For a good portion of her youth, Maritza raised a lot of hell on behalf of the remaining dragonlings. She was strong and learned the art of battle quickly, and was extremely well valued for her ability to blend in among the humans and strike from within when they trusted her. Maritza ate well in those days, and built up much of her hoard as it stands today from the spoils of the attacks. But in time she grew to hate what she was doing, seeing that many of their targets were helpless and had no crime beyond being well-loved humans whose deaths would scare many others. She began to feel she’d betrayed her parents, who had united the two worlds in their own way.

To atone for the monster she felt she’d become, she switched to the other side, offering her services as a bodyguard to the weak and vulnerable humans she’d previously preyed on. Though the pay was often less and she rarely ate the way she used to, she found it far more fulfilling to bond with her charges, play hero, and in some small way carry on her parents’ legacy. She met Archmage Reid on one such job, where he discovered the truth about her and promised to keep it secret.

Karya is by far the biggest job Maritza has faced yet, both because of the magnitude of the danger, and because Karya is nearly defenseless on her own. Maritza feels a strong and growing bond to her latest charge, and is absolutely determined to see her safely to Sagehood. It’s hard to ignore the other way Karya is special, too - she has a mouthwateringly delicious scent the likes of which Maritza hasn’t smelled in all her years, and it’s been so long since she’s had a good meal that it’s hard to resist a little taste...

Lady Lethe del Ombris #

Despite her dual life, Lethe was born into nobility, and it’s not hard to see it when you look at her. Whether she’s greeting guests at her family’s estate or sneaking around in the shadows, she carries herself with grace, poise, and confidence. She’s a little on the small side at 5’1” and 105lb, which she finds useful both for keeping unseen and allowing opponents to underestimate her. Though she is athletic, she has a lean build, important for her to keep up her image as an ordinary socialite with little physical training. A first glance at her cool blue eyes would take them to be icy and calculating, but there is hidden warmth underneath. Her long, jet-black hair hangs down below her shoulders in soft, lustrous waves. As Lady Lethe, she is never out of fashion, with a large wardrobe of dresses for every possible occasion; when she takes to the shadows, she wears a thin black catsuit, custom-tailored for quiet and flexibility, with soft leather boots to quiet her footfalls.

At 23, Lethe is the eldest daughter of the noble house del Ombris. Though she is loyal to her family, she had always wanted more adventure in her otherwise dry high society life. She found it one night not long after her 15th birthday. It came in the form of a thief, on the run from the law, who broke into her bedroom for a place to hide without realizing it was occupied. She agreed to hide him, and in return, he taught her some of his skills.

Combined with the talent for shadow-weaving she’d inherited from her mother, Lethe quickly became a shadow in the night herself, taking on shady jobs for the thrill. She chose her jobs carefully, preferring to target abusers of power and exploiters of the weak; this way, she told herself, it wasn’t “really” stealing. Her alter ego’s skillset grew in time; she learned to fight with a knife to defend herself, and taught herself the apothecary arts to cover the scrapes and bruises she took in her nightly work.

Though she struggled to keep her nighttime activities hidden, in time her younger sister Rosetta discovered them. Rosetta was sworn to secrecy, but resented that her thieving sister would be the one to inherit their parents’ estate, and plotted to be rid of her. She planted the first seeds in Lethe’s head when she heard Archmage Reid had presented Karya to the Silver Sages. How, she’d wondered aloud, could a simple commoner have that much power at so young an age? Unless, of course, she had sold her soul to demons.

It had worked all too easily. Lethe followed Karya’s progress, waiting for the perfect time to strike. A few months later, it came, and Lethe left the manor in the night to deal with the “witch”. Rosetta kept carefully quiet about Maritza’s true nature. After all, it would just be terribly unfortunate if Lethe ended up as a hungry dragonling’s midnight snack...