kaylinneya: (Tattoo profile)
Personal Information
Name: Chicklet
Age: Adult
Personal Journal: Chicklet
Email / AIM / MSN / Plurk: Plurk - ChickletLARP
Current Character(s): Me, Clef, Spark, Gabriel

Character Information
Character Name: Private Kaylin Neya/Elianne (like with Me, Elianne is an old name of hers, not one she actually goes by anymore. She changed names when she changed her life.)
Fandom: The Chronicles of Elantra

Character History:
Kaylin was born Elianne to a woman known only as Tara in the fief of Nightshade. Kaylin has no memories of her father and may have never met the man, even as an infant. When she was very young, she met an older kid named Severn, and Severn understood what she couldn't back then. Tara was dying.

Severn took her away when her mother died, and they found a room for the two of them. He taught her to steal. She learned. He tried to teach her to fight. She resisted learning.

Then one day, in Winter, they found and saved a sick little girl named Steffi. She argued with Severn, and he agreed to let Steffi stay with them, until they found her another place. Kaylin saw Steffi as hers. Her little sister. Her doll.

A year after Steffi joined them, they found another girl. Again in Winter. Jade. They saved Jade from the Ferals that were hunting, as well as the man chasing her. The man was eaten by the Ferals. They took Jade in.

Steffi was pleased not to be the baby. Kaylin transitioned from seeing Steffi as a sister to seeing Steffi and Jade as her children, even though they were only one and two years younger than her respectively. Kaylin stopped when Severn wanted to teach her to fight, but didn't let the girls learn to fight. She wanted to protect them.

Winter. Again. When she was ten, the marks appeared on her arms and legs. They watched them being written there by magic, and thought she was going to die.

A month later, a child was found dead with the same marks. Benito. A month later, another child. Tina. This happened for YEARS. Every month, another marked child dead. Never Kaylin. But she knew every child. And they were all between ten and 12.

Meanwhile, Kaylin learned to heal. We get two different stories as to when she healed for the first time. She tells the Hawklord it was a kid that fell off his father's cart. Later she thinks about how it was a scar of Severn's, and how if she did it "today" she wouldn't have left a scar. Since there is no reason to think she lied, the odds are this was a writer's glitch, and I keep with the cart kid as the first.

Severn had made her keep her marks hidden, he made her hide her healing, but didn't stop her from healing. He scared her saying that if people knew about the healing they would take her away. She started daydreaming that she could swim through time like it was a river, find the marked children in time and heal them, that they were all healers like her. Wishes, fishes, and still she starved.

With the healings, the marks started changing. Severn noticed. One night he told them he had to go away, he went away overnight, and Kaylin, Steffi, and Jade thought he had died, maybe. There was still some "he can do anything" hero worship in Kaylin at that point. When he came back the next day, he was grim and hurt, but wouldn't explain where he had been or why.

Just before the longest night on the Winter when she was 13... (My presumption is her birthday is Nov/early December, and they had a fluid sense of Winter. Presumption based on how MUCH happened when she as 13. This, 6 months in Barren, crossing the river, joining the Hawks...) Severn gave her money enough to go to market. Sent her out. She suspected nothing. His overnight sojourn was all but forgotten. When she came home... the small room was washed in blood. Severn was standing there, covered in it. Steffi and Jade were dead, throats slit by the blade he still held.

Kaylin ran.

She ran from Nightshade, and crossed a barrier between fiefs (a thing she would later learn should have been impossible) and wound up in the fief called Barren.

In Barren she found a gap in a fence around a tower, and hid. The Ferals didn't seem aware of where she was and she hid in the grass.

In the morning, someone spotted her, a mostly bald woman named Morse. She told Morse she wanted to learn to kill a man. Morse was amused enough to take her in. Morse worked for the lord of Barren, also named Barren. (That's how the fiefs work, and yes it gets confusing in the books too). Since Morse worked for Barren, so did Kaylin. She was there for six horrible months. In that time she learned to fight, she learned to kill. She was assigned to kill. But much to Morse's disgust, Kaylin always wanted to know WHY the person had to kill and investigated. One time - a man who had killed the man who raped and nearly killed his baby sister - she learned and refused to make the kill. Barren sent Morse out to take care of the job, killing not just man but the sister and their old grandmother as well. Whole family, dead, because Kaylin didn't do what Barren told her to. It is strongly implied that Barren raped Kaylin to teach her her place, that she belonged to him, at this point - and that he did so potentially more than just the once as a reminder - but not actually said. She was still 13 at this point.

Finally, Barren sent her on a mission to redeem herself. She was to leave the fiefs, cross into the city proper where they had law and law enforcement agents - Hawks, Swords, and Wolves - and kill the lord of Hawks, because Hawk patrols along the river border were discouraging foot traffic from the city, and it was from the city that money came in to the fiefs. Kaylin was still 13 as she crossed into the city for the first time, studied the halls of law, and scaled the Hawklord's tower.

She planned well, slipped in one time the dome was open, and hid, waiting for him. She tried to kill him. She failed. He held her with magic - which HURT - he discovered the marks on her arms. He questioned her. He called in one of the Tha'alani - one of the race of mind readers who worked for the Emperor. The Tha'alani agent extracted the relevant memories and showed them to the Hawklord. And he made his choice. He reported everything to the Emperor, meanwhile, he told his Hawks to take care of the child.

She was taken in by the Hawks, and learned eventually that what she always wanted to do... to help... that was what they did. They solved crimes and helped save people. And... it was nothing like the fiefs. She was like a pet at first to the Hawks, occasionally people still call her the mascot when they feel masochistic. She spent time with Sergeant Marcus Kassan, his wives and his kits, learning what family means to Leontines - essentially upright sentient cats - and was absorbed into their pridelea. She was taken under the figurative wing of Caitlin, the human who was Marcus' secretary, and Caitlin helped her find her own apartment and learn to live on her own in the city. The winged Hawks were all at some point bullied or badgered into taking her flying. She LOVED flying. Teela and Tain, two of the immortal Barrani who worked for the Hawklord found her interesting and would drag her around. She found a home and a family with the Hawks. She took a new name - Kaylin Neya - and tried to forget her past.

Despite being a child, legally, she was taken along on cases as young as 14, while taking lessons. She HATED lessons and was horrible at most of them. But the cases... were fascinating usually. But one time she was with Teela and Tain when they were on a missing children case... that turned out to be a child prostitution ring, and as bad as that was... it was even worse, as some of the children were being taken apart for various magical rituals. Being maimed as they were slowly harvested for parts. It was the first time that Kaylin lost control of her magic. The first time she learned that she could do more than heal, she could kill. And with the first death, she lost control, and lost herself. He died too quickly, so she killed the next one more slowly, flaying him with her magic, layer by layer by layer.

Teela and Tain were able to stop her. And she didn't know this also had to be reported to the emperor. An artifact was taken from the hoard of the Arkon and loaned to her. It was a bracer, a sort of shackle. When it was on she couldn't use her magic, any of it. But the Hawklord broke imperial decree. He... gave her the code so she could remove it. He trusted her with that power. And he always knew when she took it off, because no matter where she left it, it returned to him. And he made her justify it, every time. She took it off to heal. And... he couldn't ever tell her not to heal. No one could.

She made a life for herself. The midwives guild mirrored her (her world's communication network) when a birth was going wrong. She spent time at the foundling halls. She became a full fledged Hawk, though her constant lateness due to her "nocturnal activities" - working as a healer in secret - and her own issues with waking up and punctuality, her pay was often docked, and she never got promoted above private.

And then, when she was 20... her past came back to bite her. (aka this is where book 1 starts)

There were new deaths being reported. Despite them happening in the fiefs mostly - where the Hawks had no jurisdiction because the fiefs technically are not part of the empire - they have been reported to the Hawklord, and one of the fieflords was willing to let certain Hawks come in and investigate. The fief was Nightshade. Kaylin was the senior Hawk on the team. One of the other two was a Dragon named Tiamaris - who she would later learn was one of the ones who argued that she should be killed at thirteen, and argued it again when she lost control of her powers - who had joined the Hawks just for this case as an expert on the marks (explained below) and as the most trusted member of the Dragon Court who knew the most about the fiefs. The final member of the team was a man with a face full of scars who had been a Shadow Wolf. the Wolves were the ones who hunted down the most dangerous criminals and made the arrests when the Hawks found out the who but did not find the criminal while investigating the crime. Shadow Wolves were the ones with authorization to kill. The Shadow Wolf... was Severn.

After Kaylin tried, and failed, to kill Severn in the Hawklord's tower, she was told to chose... work with him on this case, or give up being a Hawk forever. Which was how she wound up on a case to investigate dead children in the fief of Nightshade who were all marked the way she was marked with someone who had spent 7 years studying the marks and arguing for her death, and the man who killed her children.

On their first foray back into the fief of her childhood, they met the fieflord, The outcaste Barrani Nightshade himself. Nightshade was nothing like any of the Barrani she had ever met before and one of the first things he did was to put an ownership mark on her face. No warning, she had no clue what he was doing or why, but nearly every Barrani who saw it either wanted to kill him - if they were Hawks and were upset on her behalf, or wanted to kill her - for being a mortal who had the audacity to bear the Erenne mark of an outcaste. He said the mark would keep her safe in his fief from all but stupidity. That any who attacked her in Nightshade would have him to deal with. And his men... did seem to defer to her, and it let her move freely through the fief and investigate corpses that might have otherwise been kept from the City's law.

She learned that the corpses were sacrifices... being made to her. There was exactly one Outcaste Dragon, and he was using ancient and forbidden death magic to try and create a god of death and destruction that he could control.

(We learn later that the marks on her are the Marks of the chosen, and he was being opportunistic to jump on the chance, but there is the possibility he somehow influenced the choice. This is as of yet unknown. We don't learn until much later that she was not, in fact, the first Mortal to be chosen.)

The sacrifices were being made...to Kaylin. To the one who bore the original marks. The children were being killed to imbue her with death magic. But she had been using the magic to heal. She had been using the magic of death to give and preserve life. And that made the magic more hers, and made it harder for him to control her.

Nightshade had told Severn, in that night when he was missing, that whoever the sacrifices were being made to, there would be two on the longest night, and one or both would be close to her, emotionally and/or physically. Severn was too old to be one of them. But he knew it had to be Steffi and Jade. He killed them to spare them a worse death, or so he thought at that time.

Deep within Castle Nightshade, she discovered quite by accident, that the bracer that stops her magic also protects her from some magics, as it could not pass a magical barrier that an Old One tried to drag her through. She also learned Lord Nightshade's True Name.

In the middle of all of this, one of the foundlings had been hurt. Catti. She fell, and broke her back and neck. Kaylin rushed over and healed her. And that healing potentially doomed the child and Kaylin both.

When she had left the fiefs at 13, the deaths had stopped. They had restarted when they did because the window for the spell was closing, and he had to make one last attempt or give up any chance of controlling her, forever. They went from one a month to one every three days. And, unfortunately, Catti was a gift to the Outcaste. Kaylin had poured so much of herself into the healing, that he could use Catti to finish what he started.

He had his undead Barrani minions kidnap the child from the Foundling Halls. When Severn showed up, Kaylin again tried to kill him. The Hawks came in and separated them, Kaylin was put on report and taken off the case, but Kaylin's punishment was cut short. Tiamaris figured out that the link between Kaylin and Catti could work both ways. Kaylin was needed to find Catti before it was too late. He seconded her back on the case, called Severn, and they followed Catti's connection back into Nightshade.

They were running out of time. Kaylin could feel on her own skin as the marks were written on Catti. Tiamaris ripped a deeply moored fence out of the way, but it was Kaylin who used magic to blast a hole in the wall of the guard tower where Catti was being marked and prepped to be killed. They fought the undead Barrani, and Kaylin got to see Severn standing astride Catti's bound form, not killing her to steal the chance at using her for power, but defending her.

They rescued Catti, and they returned to the halls of Law. Where apparently a Barrani Lord, Lord Evarrim was waiting for her; despite having been told that she was on report and not expected in for at least a week. He was determined to wait until she arrived.

But arrive she did, with Catti. Kaylin lost her temper and snapped that unlike the Barrani, at least mortals had the sense to stay dead when they were killed, and suddenly Lord Evarrim had something more important to attend to. She was informed soon after by people who did not witness the interaction that she was not to mention the dead Barrani to anyone. And apparently Evarrim counted as anyone.

The Tha'alani had to be called in, because they needed to learn what Catti had seen. Because of Kaylin's hatred for the race of mind readers, and in deference to how much Catti had gone through, the Tha'alani brought in was Ybelline, the Castelord of the Tha'alani. She was brought in because she is gentle, kind, and almost impossible to hate. She was careful with Catti, and for the first time, Kaylin saw that the memories the Tha'alani took hurt them, saw some of the pain they suffered, and the first layer of her hatred and racism against them sloughed away. When Ybelline stumbled, Kaylin was the one who moved to catch her. Kaylin who once said she would sooner die than ever allow one of them to touch her again. While making their report to the representatives of the Dragon Court - her first meeting with Sanabalis and Diarmat and Emmerain - Kaylin's hatred of the Tha'alani thawed into her ability to start to like Ybelline, and Sanabalis became almost intrigued by Kaylin - both things that would strongly impact her life in the near future.

They took care of debriefings, and then realization hit. They had been able to save Catti because the timing to kill her wasn't right. That timing... was that day. Despite their injuries and exhaustion, Kaylin, Severn, and Tiamaris raced for Nightshade again.

Getting help from the Fieflord - and speaking with an Old One that added to the marks on her body - took time they could ill afford to spare, but gave them assistance they would much need. They left, with back up on their heels.

Lacking one connected sacrifice, the Outcaste was going to kill as many children as he could within the required time frame. Severn moved to protect the kids, not kill them. Again.

Then Kaylin came face to face with Makuron the Black - the only outcaste Dragon. With the Bracer still off, she faced off against him. She became lost to the magic screaming through her, and she sent it against him, used it against him, like a firehose, stripping away scales and flesh, just with the sheer intensity of the amount of magic she was streaming at him. Stripped bone and muscle until she saw the Word that was at the heart of him. A True Word, like the marks on her skin, the core and life of all immortals of her reality. She saw the word, she could have destroyed it... and thus him.

Except Severn stopped her. Because with her power flowing unchecked, she wasn't just killing the Dragon. She was killing the children. She could have killed Makuron and been free of him forever, but the kids would have died. And Kaylin would rather die a thousand times over than ever hurt a child. She let Severn stop her, haunted by the fact that she hadn't seen or heard them, hadn't even remembered they existed. But Severn had saved them, saved them all... from her. The Dragon got away. The other Hawks came and took the other children to the foundling halls, and to a better life than they ever had in the fiefs. It had been made clear the Death Magic could no longer bind or control her. What she had done with her powers, and her strength of will had made it impossible for Makuron to ever control her. So while he was still a danger, this particular threat was over.

And she slept for three days after. Fighting a Dragon, and channeling that much power took its toll on her overtired half-starved body.

When she returned to work after five days, she was given a choice. She would decide if Severn remained a Hawk or returned to the Wolves. The Hawklord let her make the choice. Because Severn had requested that the choice be hers. For all the pain and confusion, for as much as she told herself it was better if he went back to the Shadows and the past, curled in the warm hug of the Hawklord, crying into his tabard... she chose.

Severn remained a Hawk.

End of Book 1.

Book two brings us very shortly after the events of the first, Kaylin back on duty despite her injuries. Unfortunately, the Emperor has decided that her magic is too dangerous to leave untrained, and has assigned her magic lessons. Kaylin who hates magic, doesn't want to be reminded of what she almost did, and is terrified that becoming a mage will mean she'd no longer be a Hawk went from a sullen student to a resentful and actively insulting one. She chased off imperial mages rapidly, some simply by her failure to treat their experience and age with respect. Also, one time when told to light a candle, she cut it in half.

Marcus put her on desk duty, because of the mark she bore from Nightshade, the fact that Lord Evarrim was trying to get to her - and had been denied by the Hawks three times already - and the fact that the Barrani Castelords had called High Court during the festival. Marcus was trying to keep her safe, which chafed. And Teela had been called to Court and was possibly in trouble for failing to inform her Lord and Lady that Nightshade had marked Kaylin.

Kaylin resented all this protection. Resented more when Nightshade all but kidnapped her, claiming he did not want her anywhere near the High Court. Told her she would be free to return to her life if she wished when everything was over. He claimed it was not a kidnapping, but she was given no real choice, and he altered her mirror so her calls would go to his castle.

The call came late in the night, the Midwives. She ran for the delivery, one of the fieflord's guards - Andellen - in toe. He was somewhat awed by the birth, and by the infant, and after got her back to her apartment so she could sleep off the efforts. She was too tired to survive the trip to the castle. Severn was waiting there, and Andellen left her with him. She passed out before she could ask anything else.

Work the next afternoon - because she overslept and was late again - started with her new magic teacher. Lord Sanabalis of the Dragon Court. Who she quickly learned, was difficult, if not impossible, to intentionally annoy. Against her own determination, she even began to almost like him. They discussed her transcripts, her potential future, the fact that her bracer went to Severn now, instead of the Hawklord when she took it off. But before the actual lesson could actually progress, she was saved, as it were, by an emergency.

The Hawklord was waiting for her in his tower, and he wasn't alone. Teela was there, dressed in finery and standing in such a way that even after having spent the last 7 years being taught to look, spot, and notice - to watch like a Hawk, Kaylin failed to recognize her. At first.

There was a crisis at the High Court. A Barrani Lord had been poisoned. Not atypical, and not usually a cause for a crisis, especially not one that would ever involve a human. But the High Court had gathered for a ritual called Leoswuld, the changing of hands of the leadership, and this was the younger son of the current High Lord. Kaylin went to heal the Lord of the West March. She, Severn, and Teela were almost killed in the High Halls of the Barrani on their way, and only Kaylin's magical affinity made her realize there was a trap in time to stop Teela from running face first into it. She tried to do the healing on the Lord of the West March, but she could find nothing actually wrong with him.

And then... she fell INTO him.

Deep within the mind if the Lord of the West March was a forest, and eventually Kaylin realized the only chance she had of either finding him in his own mindscape, or leaving, was to plant something of herself. She planted her tabard, the Hawk, in his forest. A tree with golden leaves grew, and it drew him to her. He awoke, bringing her back to her own body. He named her Kyuthe - chosen family - and as such she was to be considered protected. This mostly outweighed the offensive mark on her face.

After she had left, she was brought back to meet the High Lord and the Lady of the High Court. She had Lord Andellen with her, and only her standing as Kyuthe to the son of the Lord of the High Court kept her, and him, from being killed for daring to set foot on the grounds - both belonging in some means to the outcaste Nightshade.

She wound up taking the test of name - which should have been impossible for a mortal, as mortals have no True Names. Also she took it with Severn, and taking it with someone else was likewise impossible. By the end of the test she had her own True Name and part of another. She learned during that test what Severn had done after she ran away seven years prior. He had buried her girls. He had gone alone, in winter, with corpses, protected their bodies, and buried them.

She got drawn into the situation unfolding. The Lord of the High Court was going to hand the control of the High Court to his son. Since his eldest son, the Lord of the Green was indisposed, by rights it should have gone to the Lord of the West March. But in an atypical situation, the brothers actually loved each other dearly, and the Lord of the West March was certain that his brother could still be saved. He planned to refuse Leoswuld, and that refusal would potentially end the world. Both roles had to be turned over during the ceremony, or the creatures under the High Halls - what was left of the Barrani who had failed the test of Name, and their beasts - would be free to decimate the city.

But the Lord of the Green had failed his test, and the Lady in her weakness, had done what no one should do and had gone to save him. Kaylin learned what Names meant to Barrani, and that the duty of the Lady was to go to the Source of True Names, and draw one out for each Barrani born, that the babies would not truly live until gifted with these Names. That the Lady had been ambitious pulling a name for her eldest son, and had failed to gift him with all of it. That had left him weak against the creatures below the halls, and one held what of his Name he had. The rest of the Name Kaylin had taken from her test went to him, and whole the name was too much to be held against him. He and Kaylin rushed through the worst of the fighting to the thrones so he could take the power offered.

Kaylin had come in the end, not as a Hawk or a Healer, but as a Midwife, helping with a life that had been waiting centuries to truly begin.

But the Lady, the Consort, she had been injured in the fighting and needed help completing her part of the journey. Kaylin and the daughter of the High Lord and the Consort helped the woman to the Source, where she offered herself, granting her power onto her daughter, the new Consort.

Kaylin, a Lord of the High Court, was named Kyuthe to the new Lady as well. Despite the mark of Nightshade. And despite the fact that by that point she was wearing the crest of Lord Sanabalis. She was granted one favour, ask what she would. She asked that Andellen be allowed to have the rest of the festival welcome in the Halls on his own. He was granted a hundred years. And with that, she had Andellen's loyalty forever, second only to his loyalty to Nightshade and the Castelords.

Thus ends book two, more or less.

Book three:
With the Festival ending, Lord Evarrim forbidden her, and the end of the world averted, Kaylin was assigned a new beat. Elani street. The place where a few genuine purveyors of magic sold their services alongside "Fortunes told!" and "Love potions here!". As actual magic is physically painful to Kaylin most of the time, and the frauds ticked her off, this was not her favorite beat.

There was exactly one person on the whole of the street she actually liked. - Evanton. He was a querulous old man who used a sort of magic that for some reason did not make her arms itch or hurt, and he liked her - as much as he liked anyone. Neither of them cared much about the other's almost intolerable rudeness, and that helped. Evanton made sure a report got to them about a theft, while insisting he didn't actually file the report himself. A reliquary was stolen not from his shop, but from the Garden within. For the first time, Kaylin got to see what it was that he really did for a living, following him through his cramped and messy shop, down a narrow hall, and through what looked like an old warped door... into the Elemental Garden. A place larger on the inside that managed to exist outside the Empire despite being firmly inside it. There were no ceilings, and she would come to learn that this is where the heart of the Elements live. The Elements for ALL worlds. She was warned to touch nothing, to not even look at anything for too long.

At a pool that looked small but was infinitely deep she saw what seemed to be the bruised face of a child. And it called out to her.

So they had a missing item from a room no one should have been able to get into without the Keeper - Evanton - and a missing child, neither officially reported. And then a message came to Kaylin. Ybelline wanted to see her. Ybelline had seen from Catti's mind how much Kaylin loved children. So it was to Kaylin she reported that one of their children was missing. Cut off from the Tha'alaan. Somehow.

All Tha'alani, Kaylin learned, were mentally linked through something called the Tha'alaan, which was actually a sentient portion of the core of Water. This book was huge for character development for Kaylin as she learned the history of the Tha'alani and became protective over them - seeing them as very childlike and innocent, and as she met the Oracles for the first time and discovered she had been wrong about them as well. They too were very like children. One, a young boy named Everly - who did not speak, but painted the future. In this case, her future. Her with all of her carefully hidden marks, in a dress she never owned, in the Elemental Garden.

A trip to the Archives which left the Arkon less than pleased with her ended with her laying a dead Dragon's soul to rest as she agreed to accept his burden - a reliquary with the name of Water.

With the burden, she could not enter Castle Nightshade the usual way, and had to take a more convoluted and dangerous route. It was below Nightshade that she met Elemental Water for the first time. It was Water she had seen in the pond - taking the appearance of a young girl to get her attention. Water begged for her help, as the man who has stolen the reliquary was trying to use it to control Water. Which would kill the Tha'alani and possibly wipe out the city. Kaylin agreed to help.

Everything wound up tying together in the end, including a murder of an older couple found drowned in their apartment, nowhere near a tub. The man who had kidnapped the child was one of the Tha'alani, but he had been born disabled and could neither read minds nor touch the Tha'alaan. He was being controlled by a man named Donalan Idis. Idis had been one of the people experimenting on the Tha'alani, trying to replicate their power for the Emperor. When the Tha'alani agreed to serve the emperor as his interrogation squad, the torture and experiments were halted. Idis had Grethan - the deaf Tha'alani boy - kidnap the child - Mayalee - to continue his experiments. For some reason Grethan could get into the Garden as well, and Idis had used him to steal the reliquary, having figured out that Water had something to do with their abilities.

Kaylin and the others rushed into the Garden to face Idis who had returned there. Kaylin was wearing the Elemental Dress gifted her by Water as protection - the dress in Everly's painting. She called upon Fire, telling it stories in exchange for Fire's assistance getting to Water as the Garden had rearranged itself and they were in a rush.

They fought Idis, and Kaylin, in a move she was sure was suicidal, managed to dive for the reliquary while Grethan - turned to their side - and the others had distracted Idis. She knocked it from his hand, and it - and her - fell into the Water.

Kaylin connected with the Tha'alaan, and saw that the Tha'alani were standing on the port walls, hoping to calm Water by their presence, hoping that as Water refused to kill who they were once, that they putting themselves there could get it to back down again.

Kaylin was able to close the reliquary, finally, with the strength of the Tha'alani focused on her, aiding her. And Water able to be fully in control of itself again, receded. The city, and Kaylin, were safe.

Idis did not survive, which was just as well as he was slated for execution. Grethan, because he could get into the Garden on his own somehow was made to be Evanton's apprentice and eventual replacement. She left the burden she took from the dead Dragon in the Garden. They took Mayalee home, but stopped at the Foundling Halls first because Mayalee had asked if Kaylin had any children and while Kaylin was saying no... Severn had said yes. This lead to taking the Foundlings to the Tha'alani quarter when she brought Mayalee home.

Thus endeth book three.

Book four...

Man on the street knew that the Tha'alani came out of their quarter en masse - which they never do - and stood on the port wall, hands joined, and a wall of water large enough to wipe out Elantra rose to meet them. Like Kaylin used to, most of the common folk feared the Tha'alani. They were different, and their mind reading abilities were nightmare fodder. So knowing nothing of Idis or the stolen reliquary or the fact that the Tha'alani had gathered to save them all, people thought the reclusive mind-readers had tried to kill them all.

Kaylin, having gotten over her bigotry was beyond furious and impatient with the people who hadn't, and the city was in riot. The Emperor had enlisted the royal playwright - Richard Rennick - to write a publicity piece about the Tha'alani that made them look like the good guys, without actually being allowed to mention Idis or the Empire's part in their tragic past. And Kaylin and Severn, having been in the Garden, and having a long list of things they're not allowed to actually tell Rennick, were sent to advise him.

Unfortunately, life rarely gives people one crisis at a time, and that was no different for Kaylin and the other Hawks. Marcus, their Leontine sergeant was arrested for murder by the Leontine Caste Courts. As they chose to keep it a Caste case, and as there was no one involved that was not Leontine, legally the Hawks could do nothing for him.

In his place, as acting sergeant the Hawklord assigned Constance Mallory. He had been vying for Marcus' job back in the day, and resented Marcus and how he ran his office. He especially had it out for Kaylin and was determined to see her fired. Her assignment to the Palace tending to Rennick was the only thing that saved her job at all. Severn even came in the mornings to make sure she made it to work on time for check in. But since Rennick kept hours like Kaylin prefered to, after check in, they had their mornings free, and used them to investigate Marcus' case unofficially.

Rennick wound up a little too fascinated with Kaylin's part in the prior crisis and trying to keep to Mallory's hours, and Rennicks, and trying to investigate Marcus' case, while also coming under personal attack... Kaylin was not as careful as she should be and let things slip that she shouldn't. Including taking him to the Tha'alani quarter to see for himself how they lived, and healing several dying Tha'alani adults in front of him.

While dealing with Rennick and Mallory and Marcus, Kaylin had gotten a call from a Leontine woman she had acted as a midwife for in a previous book. The birth had been odd, because there had been only one kit, the mother had an abnormally hard time of the birth, and none of the other wives had been present. Given the lack, Kaylin had, in addition to healing the mother and birthing the cub, acted as a wife and helped lick the baby clean. (Gross, but actually plot crucial, not that she knew it would be important. She just thought it was an honour she couldn't figure out how to decline.) The baby was even named for her, Roshan Kaylarr. Roshan's mother mirrored, asked her to come quickly and alone, that there was a problem with the baby. Kaylin went, but Severn went with her. They were attacked. The mother turned into some sort of horrible monster, and there was a whole lot of magical fire. Leontines, racially, didn't have mages. None of this made sense. But Kaylin got the baby out and safe, and took him to the only place she could think to take him. She took him to Marcus' wives, certain that the Pridelea could not only protect the infant, but could also clue her into what was going on.

The Pridelea explained what was going on. The mother - Marai was her real name - was sister to one of Marcus' younger wives, Sarabe. Sarabe and Marai had both been born red-furred, and in the wilds that would have been a death sentence. In the city, they were allowed to live, but forbidden to bear sons. Kaylin was horrified to learn that had they had any male cubs, the kitlings would have been killed. And of course, Marai... had a son.

Makuron wanted a son born of two redfurs, he wanted Roshan. He told him a story made of True Words that had changed him. Oogrim told the story as best he could to Marai, which is what had changed her. Kaylin begged Kayala and the others to keep the baby safe. They agreed reluctantly to try.

Kaylin approached Marcus in his cell about the situation, and got more of the story from him. He did kill his friend, but something had been wrong, off. He had kept it to himself, because it stunk of mage-craft, and if it was, he was afraid the elders would demand the death of Sarabe. He was protecting his wife. Kaylin got Sanabalis involved. Sanabalis told the Loentines a story, in the Old Tongue, using True Words, and calmed many of their fears. Kaylin saw the story as runes in the air as he spoke. They exhumed the corpse, and proved that the friend had in fact been possessed, Marcus had been acting in self defense, and would probably be free to go. Once the matter of Sarabe was decided. And they wanted the cub, to kill him, of course.

Meanwhile, Oogrim attacked the Pridlea trying to get to his son. Sanabalis granted them shelter in the Palace for a time, and compromised with Kaylin, promising to spare the child - for now.

Kaylin and Severn and some others chased Oogrim and Marai to the fiefs, and Kaylin called out to what was left of Marai. She claimed the right of Pridlea, claimed at as she was there for the birth, and licked the cub clean, she was one of Marai's wives, and one of Roshan's mothers. Her words got to Marai, and Marai begged her for a story to help her remember who she was. Not knowing where the Words came from, Kaylin told her. And Marai was herself enough to take down Oogrim, but not enough to survive it.

Rennick, going back to him, had learned that Kaylin had taken the foundlings to the Tha'alani Quarter when Mayalee was saved, and decided to use that. Because if ten year old orphans weren't scared of the Tha'alani, he predicted that grown adults would feel pretty silly taking up arms against them.

Kaylin tried to convince the Arkon and Sanabalis to spare the baby.

The Arkon finally offered a plan. He would tell the baby a Story. If Kaylin could convince him that the Story did what it should, if it would keep him from being like Oogrim, the baby would be allowed to live and grow until he gave them cause to change their minds. if Kaylin convinced the Arkon, the Arkon would convince the emperor. So the Arkon spoke, and Kaylin saw the words, she touched the ones that felt right to her, and lifted the baby to them. When she touched them, they turned blue, and that blue drained into the eyes of the infant. Blue was not a Leontine eye colour. But in the end the Arkon was satisfied, and the baby was Kaylin's.

But as much as Kaylin loved children, she knew her life was not suitable for one, she couldn't be the mom the baby needed. So she brought him to Marrin - the Leontine who ran the Foundling Halls because after her sons were killed for red fur, she had decided never to have kits of her own again, but had always wanted a family. So the foundling hall got its first non-human child. Roshan. Kaylin's son.

So ended book four.

Book Five:
This book mostly dealt with the rest of Kaylin's past, specifically her time in Barren. While working her Elani street beat with Severn - Marcus reinstated - there was a commotion at Margot's fortune telling shop. Thugs had broken a window, and when Kaylin went to arrest them, one of the thugs turned. Morse. The woman who had taken her in and taught her to kill when she was 13. Morse was there to deliver a message from Barren to Kaylin. Blackmail. Come back to Barren and serve him again, or he'd tell all her new little law abiding friends in the city why she crossed the river in the first place. Tell them everything.

Teela and Tain took Kaylin and Severn out drinking to weasel the story out of her and made it bluntly clear that they knew enough to know that it didn't matter what Barren thought he had over Kaylin. She had earned her place, and they and the rest of the Hawks who knew her would fight to the death if need be to defend her place among them. Except as they were Barrani, it was far from being sappy or reassuring.

In the end, Kaylin decided to go see what Barren wanted, but not alone. Severn and Tiamaris went with her. Morse cursed her for all kinds of an idiot for showing up when she didn't have to. But she took her to see Barren. Or rather... tried to. They were attacked on Capstone, halfway to the white towers where Barren lived, right at the inner edge of the fief.

Kaylin had been learning throughout why the fiefs existed - at the center of them, where there had once been one more fief, was a Darkness that threatened the whole of the world. The destroyed fief was called Ravellon. And it was Makuron's base of operations. The fiefs each have a special building that stands as defense against the shadows, such as Castle Nightshade. The person strong enough to be fief lord takes the fief, and the building, and they use their power to hold the border. Barren's hold was failing. The monsters and other Shadows were appearing more and more often, and if Barren fell, the city would also fall.

A chaos storm hit while they were investigating the odd Tower where Kaylin had sheltered her first night in Barren, and Tiamaris, Kaylin, and Severn were drawn through the storm and into the past. A past before the fall of Ravellon, where the fiefs were a rich part of the city. And in the past...they met Nightshade. Before he was outcaste. Long before Kaylin and Severn had ever been born. Seeing his mark on a mortal intrigued him. Feeling that she held his name fascinated him. He decided to tag along, and it was very very hard to tell him no.

They investigated the tower once again, and they were there when energy struck it, when it "awoke". When it went from being a tower to being The Tower. It was not where Barren ruled in her time. The border was falling because he didn't hold the Tower. But that was in the present. Back in the past, the Tower invited them in. And something about Kaylin and the marks of the Chosen on her skin awoke the Tower in a way none of the other buildings had woken. And the Tower... tried to communicate with them. Badly.

It tried to show that it understood Kaylin by showing her a nightmare landscape of her past, her dead. It read her mind and used what it found to try to communicate with her. It... did not go well.

The four of them finally found the heart of the Tower. When Tiamaris touched the wall, Kaylin could see words left in his wake. No one else's touch activated anything, and only Kaylin could see the words. They worked together to read them. They found the heart of the Tower, and the Tower took on the form of an avatar to try and speak with them more directly. She looked like Kaylin, but Kaylin with the one thing she always wanted. Wings. And without the marks that she hated. Kaylin came to realize that for all her power, the Tower was like a newborn, like a small child. It didn't understand. She and the others spoke to it. Kaylin named her, called her Tara, after her mother. She wasn't ever going to call any sort of child "it". They spoke with Tara for a while, and then Tara helped them get home, even though she would be lonely until they found her again. Or... so they all thought.

Kaylin now knew why Nightshade marked her and gave her his name when she first met him, because she had those things when he first met her. He was preserving the timeline by doing that, and by never letting on what he knew until she caught up to him that way.

They learned that before Barren the fief had been called Illien, and the fieflord of the same name had been a Barrani. By all accounts... Barren should not have been able to kill him.

They went back to Barren, learned that he was a human who had an imperial writ out for his death. He fled to the fiefs where the Wolves had no jurisdiction to hunt. There didn't seem to be a fieflord, the fief was falling. So he flung all his magic into the border, and called himself fieflord. But Barren was a name he took for himself, and for the fief. Because that was what the fief was, since he didn't hold it properly. It was Barren.

They returned to the Tower and found Tara and what was left of Illien. He had been fascinated with the buildings in the fiefs that anchored them, and had accepted her, taking the power of a fieflord for himself. But she had been so lonely for so long, and he was the first one to find the Words at the heart of her, the first one to reawaken her. And she refused to let him leave. She held him by his Name. He tried to divest himself of his name, he was that desperate to escape her, and he thought he could manage it thanks to his studies. He failed. He was determined to use what power he had left to destroy her. He had done a lot of damage to the Words at her heart. He tried to attack Kaylin and Tiamaris and Severn when they tried to repair her, and she attacked to keep them from killing Illien - he was HERS.

The problem was, once they killed Illien... the fief had no lord at all. Someone had to take the fief to keep the Shadows back. Tara turned to Kaylin. But it was Tiamaris who claimed the power. Having been allowed to take his true form several times while helping save the city and the world, he had decided he could no longer handle being told when he could fly. He claimed the fief as his Horde. Tara accepted him. They became each other's master.

Tiamaris went to go inform Barren and Barren's cronies that the Tower, and the fief were his now. He offered Barren to Kaylin, pointing out that if she killed him, it wouldn't be a crime because she was in the fiefs where the law wasn't in effect. Kaylin wanted to, but refused, insisting he should face justice for what he did, but that she couldn't be the one to deal it. She wasn't a killer, not any more. She chose not to be.

Tiamaris nodded, accepting it, and was going to hand Barren over to Severn as a former Wolf to bring back to the empire... when Morse sprung, killing Barren, spitting on his corpse.

Tara and Tiamaris got to work at once remaking the fief - now called Tiamaris - into the city writ small, and a place Kaylin would always be welcome.

So ends book 5. More or less.

Book 6.
Cast in Chaos. The title says it all. The Mirror in the Hawk's office that told the time had been altered by Mallory during his tenure to remind Hawks to clock in and out properly. It had never been changed back. And... it started acting oddly.

More odd things started happening around the City. The Mirror in the palace spun wildly out of control. Door Wards acted up oddly... and there were strange births. A baby born with a third eye, another born fully lingual. The rain of blood was the most useful, though, because it let them map the boundaries of the space of weirdness.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the epicenter was Elani street. Where the charlatans were suddenly performing actual feats of magic. And no one was more surprised than they were! Margot accidently informed a noble lady that her father was under investigation by the Hawks for embezzlement. Unfortunately, that warning gave him time to go to ground, making a difficult case nearly impossible. The Garden was a mess as the Elementals expressed their displeasure over whatever it was that was happening.

Magic use was banned in the affected areas, except for in the most heavily protected part of the Arkon's library, where he was authorized to use it sparingly. He had a large flat alter that served as a scrying mirror that gave them some information. A painting Everly had started was also helping.

The clues started to come together. Kaylin went to go find Evanton in the Garden to find out if he knew anything...and she fell off of the world. She was in what looked like the Garden at first but felt dead and empty to her acute magical senses. She turned for the door to leave, and it started to recede, the more she ran the faster it fled her. Soon even the illusion of the Garden fell away and she was running through a grey featureless nothing.

After trying everything else she could think of... she called out to Nightshade using his True Name. He heard her. So did something else. Nightshade was able to use the portal of his castle to rip open a passage for her in the fabric of reality, but whatever had heard her - which should be impossible - followed her. It grabbed her legs. Nightshade grabbed her arms. A tug of war ensued, and when it was clear Nightshade was ready to cut off her legs to free her, she managed to kick free. The rip in reality closed behind her, trapping whatever monster had grabbed her in the space between worlds. But where it had held her, the marks on her legs were faded. In some places, they were gone all together.

With that experience, they had a focus for their clues and did a lot of dangerous studying.

They learned that the place she had been was the path between worlds. The Arkon's multiple world theory was all but proven. It was all but confirmed that humans had started on another world, which was why unlike every other sentient race on that world, their eye color did not change with their mood, and why they seemed so limited in so many ways compared to the other races.

And she learned that the beast that stalked between the worlds was called the Devourer and that he ate worlds, and was the reason almost no one traveled the roads between anymore, because traveling attracted him, and he would devour the travelers, and if he could, the world they arrived on.

The chaos storms seemed to be the heralds of a portal between worlds opening, that there were people, Kaylin discovered, from another world, fleeing the Devourer or the Shadows - ambiguous as to which, and heading for her world. The portal would, if Everly's painting was right, open out over Elani street - the epicenter for the magical anomalies. Other than Evanton and Grethan who could NOT leave without risking the safety of the world by leaving the Elements unattended, Elani street was evacuated.

In an unprecedented move The High Lord of the Barrani and the Consort agreed to meet with the Dragons to work together to figure out a way to save the world. They needed to figure out how to keep the rift from opening. Kaylin disagreed, wanted to save the lost people. It led to a huge fight between her and the Consort, the kind of fight that were there not a crisis probably would have seen Kaylin dead.

Kaylin consulted with Evanton who agreed that they shouldn't be trying to keep the portal from opening. Not that he was taking sides on if they should doom the strangers or not. He just thought it was a waste of precious time and resources as he felt it was impossible. And the Elements explained to them what the Devourer was. He was one of them.

Kaylin convinced a few key others that they wouldn't be able to keep the rift from opening. Mostly by telling them Evanton said so. Sanabalis, Ybelline, and the Arkon went with her and Severn to the Garden. Ybelline went to Water, the the Dragons went one to Fire one to Air. Evanton tried to calm Earth. Kaylin and Severn went back to the road between worlds to guide the travelers, in hopes they could get there before the Devourer caught up to them, but Kaylin was also plan B.

She fed the Devourer words, she spoke to him, merged with him. She became him and he became her. She learned of his sadness, his loneliness. He wasn't trying to eat the worlds, he was attracted to the True Word at their cores, and he was trying to learn, trying to find a way in, and unmaking them accidently in the process. She brought him back to the Garden, and she and the others reunited him with the other Elements, helped him find his home. Renamed him the Maker, as now that he was with the others again, rather than unmaking Words, he could use their help to MAKE Words, and thus worlds. Even if the Old Ones were no longer there to populate the worlds they made.

The People, as the strangers called themselves, they knew of the marks Kaylin wore, the marks of the Chosen. But to them the Chosen was revered, not hidden and secret, and they saw her as a leader.

After some fast politics, some drums that revealed the Shadows at the heart of the fiefs, and a flight of Dragons... the People moved into Tiamaris to help fight the Shadows. Those too were known to them on their world, and the People had spent countless generations at war with them. They were horrified to find their new home also infested, but determined to succeed here where they had failed before.

Kaylin did her best to help them settle in, but there was no rest for the weary....

Right before the chaos ended and the portal opened, there was another odd birth - a woman laid an egg. She and her husband didn't want it, so Mydra dropped it on Kaylin figuratively and told her it was her problem.

Magic lessons with Sanabalis resumed, and lessons in etiquette with Lord Diamart. It had been decided she was going to have to see the Emperor sooner rather than later, and with her inability to hide her thoughts from her face, her swearing, and her casual attitude, it was pretty much agreed that if she met him, he would be forced to eat her. Since the Emperor would rather that not happen, she had to take lessons.

When Tara learned that, she threw herself into helping, much to Kaylin's chagrin. Thankfully, in a sick sort of way, a crisis came up that meant that Diamart's desire to increase her lessons was deferred as Sanabalis requested that she be seconded to him for an unofficial investigation. Tiamaris had requested assistance in his fief investigating an odd crime, since he did not yet have a police force, and even Tara who could see everything was stumped.

Two things seemed to be happening at once. People were going missing - and since one was from the city, but went missing in the fief, the jurisdiction got grey, - and a murder victim had turned up. Several of her. They had found multiple of the same exact corpse, dressed the same way, in various places.

Investigations showed that these cases were not directly related to each other, but that the dead lady was somehow connected to the new Shadow Lieutenant attacking Tiamaris' border.

Being her usual stupid self, and following her instincts, Kaylin reached out for the fiend...and found a person. Trapped and bound by his name, but a person. She was able to win his temporary freedom, and he crossed the border into Tiamaris. He was one of the Norinar - The People. He was one of their "Ascended" which basically meant that he was a special warrior with a special duty that no one could quite explain, and a magical sword. But when they showed the Norinar an image of the dead woman, they reacted and tried to keep the memory crystal that held her image. They seemed to almost revear it.

And things only got more confusing from there. Like Maggeron - the Norinar from the Shadows - obsession with his sword, which he demanded Kaylin take because he was no longer worthy to keep her safe or wield her. Like the odd ripples in space around the disappearances. Like the odd places the woman would keep turning up dead.

Eventually, however, they got an answer of sorts. There were nine identical women, they were Dragons, and had shattered themselves to escape Makuron.

In the end, Kaylin realized that the women didn't each have a name, they each had part of one very complex name. She was able to reconstruct it, and ran it through with the sword that was part of one of the women, which sealed the final piece and freed her from the Outcaste. She saved one of the women and one only. But once again there was a female Dragon in the world. Bellusdeo.

When the Emperor had taken the throne, Bellusdeo and her sisters had already been long gone. All the dragons present had been given the choice to accept his rule and serve in his court, or take the long sleep. It is unclear if any who chose to take the long sleep were female. But there were no females in the court. This left Bellusdeo in a very odd position. Because Tiamaris kept his ties to the court, she was the only Dragon awake who hadn't sworn fealty to the Emperor. Being the only female, there was an expectation that she would join the court, and start breeding. She rather resented that. She also resented going from a warrior Queen who was practically a Goddess to the Noirinar to being told she had to be protected. The final straw was when she was informed she would be living at the Palace.

She decided she wasn't having any of that, she was going to live with Kaylin. In Kaylin's one room apartment. Kaylin wasn't given much choice. At all.

Things went from bad to worse when a rogue Barrani who was old enough - as many Barrani were - to remember the Draco-Barrani wars wanted to kill Bellusdeo. He threw an arcane bomb into Kaylin's window.

By rights, Kaylin and Bellusdeo should have been dead. But the power from the bomb hatched the egg that Kaylin had been sleeping curled around, and the familiar that hatched from it shielded them magically. It then proceeded to eat two of Kaylin's marks and then fall asleep around her shoulders.

No one quite knew what the familiar was, but the Dragons were all insulted when she said it looked like a baby Dragon. It was the size of a cat, and to Kaylin's eyes, looked transparent, except for the dark opal eyes and the glittering teeth. Other than saving them when it hatched, it seemed content to just chew on her hair sticks, her hair, her ears, occasionally her nose. Other from that, it seemed like a lazy housepet that could fly.

Kaylin was forced to move into the Palace - it was safer for Bellusdeo - while looking for a new home. But the Emperor wanted them to live somewhere safe, Bellusdeo wanted a place large enough for Maggeron to live with them. Kaylin wanted something that was HERS that she could afford.

It didn't help that Kaylin was getting less sleep than usual due to all the roaring that could be heard from anywhere in the palace as Bellusdeo argued with the other Dragons.

Furthermore, things were going from bad to worse with the case that Margot blew open. Apparently the corruption ran deeper than anyone realized. But they were hitting dead ends all over the place. And they still hadn't solved the missing persons cases in the fiefs. Though they were pretty sure that they were happening more in Nightshade than in Tiamaris. And that Nightshade was complicit. Or at least he told Kaylin that his people were his, and if he wanted to sell them, that was his business.

Disgusted, she swore never to go to his Castle again, no matter how badly they needed information.... so of course he countered by sending a message to the Hawklord. He had information that could close the embezzlement case and wrap it up with a neat little bow. And he would trade.

The Barrani High Court was making a sojourn to the West March for a ritual telling of a Story. He intended to go. His deal was simple. They wanted the information, Kaylin went with the caravan to the West March.

The Hawks couldn't refuse the deal. But as Severn had been named Lord when Kaylin was, and Teela was a Lord of the High Court long before she was a Hawk, they both had rights to go as well and did. And so did the Consort, who was still livid with Kaylin, even though she had been proven right. Or perhaps because she had been proven right.

Despite being Outcaste, apparently they could not stop Nightshade from attending, and he was an old friend of the Consort's from when she was still just next in line.

Kaylin learned that this story was some sort of massively big deal, and like the Story told to the Leontines, it can change or alter Barrani. It is why only Lords are allowed to make the journey, because they passed the Test of Name and are secure in their Names.

Along the way, they stopped at the Barrani version of wayhouses. Halliones. The Halliones are, much like Tara, ancient, aware, highly magical, and sentient buildings. They decide who sleeps in which rooms and with whom. One of them led Kaylin to a room one night where a dress was waiting in the cupboard for her. As her clothing had vanished when she had bathed, she pulled on the dress. And was met with dead silence when she joined the Barrani.

The story does not always have a Teller and a Harmoniste, but when it does, it portends an epic telling, and a very effective and complex - and dangerous - story. Kaylin's dress was the Blood of the Green. The garb of the Harmoniste. The Hallione had chosen her. Nightshade was to be the Teller.

The Hallione were more awake this journey than on most, which could be the fault of the familiar, no one was quite sure. But some of them actually spoke to Kaylin, and others rotated her into different rooming situations, leaving her sharing a bed with the Consort, with Teela, and with Severn.

Her canon point is during this journey, which means that this concludes the history section until such a time as I update her.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Her backstory is complex and convoluted.
Character Personality:
Kayin Neya is determined to the point of being painfully and dangerously stubborn. That is perhaps the first and most important thing to know about her. This woman will wander lost for hours, refusing to admit that she is lost, even when it is painfully obvious to everyone around her. But that determination has also served her well. She survived a life that would have killed many others. She survived the fiefs. She survived the training to become a Hawk as a teenager. She was living on her own by the time she was 14.

Unfortunately her stubbornness also led her to being a horrible classroom student despite her natural curiosity and intelligence.


“You will, of course, be familiar with much of what these documents contain. These,” he added, lifting a half inch’s worth, “are your academic transcripts. With annotations.”

“You’re not supposed to have those – even I don’t have access to – ”

“As a man who is considering accepting you as a pupil, I have, of course, obtained permission to access these.”

“Oh.” She hesitated and then added, “What do they say?”

“You tell me.”

This wasn’t going the way the previous lessons had. So far, he’d failed to make mention of her “unfortunate beginnings.” Which meant he’d also failed to offend her.

“I’m waiting, Kaylin.”

“Probably… that I’m not very good at classroom work. Academic work, I think they call it.”

He raised a brow. “That was a very short sentence for this much writing.”

“They’re clever, they can say the same thing over and over without using the same word twice.”

At that, he did smile.

Oh, what the hell. “I’m not fond of authority.”

“Good.”

“I’m not fond of sitting still.”

“True, as well.”

“I get bored easily.”

“I believe the phrase was ‘dangerous levels of boredom.’”

“I’m not great with numbers.”

“You manage an argument over your pay chit at least once a month.”

“Oh, well, money’s different.” She frowned. “They said that?”

“No. That was private investigation on my part.”

“I’m a bit brusque.”

“Actively rude.’”

“I’m blunt.”

“‘Arrogant and misinformed.’”

“I’m a bit on the, um, assertive side.”

“I think the previous statement covered that, as well.” He put the papers down. “The rest?”

“Variations?”

“Not precisely.” He leaned forward on elbows he placed, with care, to either side of the documents in question. “You are, according to the teachers who failed you, frustratingly bright. One even used the word precocious. But you have no focus, no ability to pay attention to anything that doesn’t suit you. Would you say that’s fair?”

“No.”

“What would you say, Kaylin?”

“I want to be out there. I want to be on the beat. I want to be doing something. I didn’t sign up with the Hawks to sit still while other people risk their lives – ”

He lifted a hand. “I believe that this was also covered. And quoted. At length. Don’t feel a need to revisit it on my behalf. You did manage to learn to read. And to write. In two languages.”

“I had to,” she said woodenly. “The Hawklord – ”

He raised a white brow.

“Lord Grammayre,” she said, correcting herself, “said I was out if I couldn’t manage that. Because the Laws are written in Barrani – High Barrani – and if I didn’t know them, I couldn’t enforce them.”

“‘Represent them’ were the words he used, I believe. You learned to use weapons.”

She nodded.

“And you were skilled at unarmed combat.”

She nodded again. “Those were useful.”

“History does have its uses.”

“To dead people,” she said sullenly.

“Living people define themselves by their dead.”

She said nothing.

“You almost passed comparative religion. You paid very little attention to Racial classes.”

More nothing.

“Very well. Your teachers – Hawks, all – were of a mind to allow you to stretch your wings on the streets. I believe they thought it would knock sense into you.”

“You didn’t come here to discuss my academic record.”

“Actually, Kaylin, I did. I assure you I seldom discuss things that are not of interest to me. That would be called politics,” he added. “And I see that you – ”

“Failed that, yes.”

“Why?”

“Because I’m not going anywhere political. If you’ve read the records you know I’m a fiefling. I grew up there. I lived there. I probably broke a hundred laws without knowing I was doing anything illegal.” She had folded her arms across her chest, and she now tightened them. “I was born to the streets. I know them.”

“The streets of Elantra are not the streets of Nightshade. I’m certain your other teachers were willing to accept this rant at face value. Do better with me, Kaylin. I’m old enough to value my time.”

She stood up and started to pace.

“Don’t cling to your ignorance.”

“I’m not.”

“Don’t hide behind it, either.”

“I’m not hiding. Yes, the rest of Elantra is different. But people with power are the same everywhere – here they just have to be more clever about breaking the law. I’m not good with people who are above the law.”

“Or beneath it?”

“No, I understand them.”

“You’ve been willing to learn many things,” he continued, failing to notice that she’d left her seat. “You spent four weeks – without pay – at the midwives guild.”

She stopped moving.

“I told you, I do my homework. You also, I believe, spend time at the foundling halls – ”

“Leave the foundling halls out of this.”

” – teaching the orphans. To read. To write. You could barely stand to do this yourself, and I cannot think that this is an overt display of aggression. How, then, do you explain it?”

“I don’t.”

He nodded, as if the answer wasn’t surprising. “Very well. Let us change the course of this discussion somewhat.”

“Let’s not.”

He raised a brow over golden eyes. So far, she’d failed to annoy him; there wasn’t even a hint of orange in them.

“I am aware that teaching or learning are not the only things you do, at either the midwives guild or the foundling halls.” He raised a hand. “I am advisor to the Emperor, Kaylin. I am aware of the power you do possess. Sadly, so are the rest of the Hawks. Secrecy is not a skill you’ve learned.”

“Emergencies don’t lend themselves to secrecy.”

“True. Power does. Do you understand that you have power?”

She hesitated; the ground beneath her feet was shifting, and in ways that she didn’t like. She thought better of her need to leave the confinement of the damn chair, and sat again, hard.

“Yes,” he said softly, the tone of his voice changing. “I know what you bear on your arms and legs. I’ve seen the records. I’ve even examined them. I know that you’ve healed the dying, on many occasions. But I also know – ”

She held up a hand, palm out, and turned away.

He was a Dragon, through and through. “I also know that you’ve used that power to kill. To kill quickly, yes, but also to kill slowly and painfully. I understand that the Imperial Order of Mages can at times be insular. I understand that their insularity feels like condescension. I will not even argue that it is anything else, in your case.

“But you are playing games with something that you don’t understand.”

“You don’t understand it either.”

“No,” he said without pause. “And it is because it is not understood that it is feared. You’ve treated this as a game, Kaylin Neya. The time for games has passed.” His eyes were still gold, but his lower lids rose, lending opacity to the clarity of color.

“The Dragon Emperor is well aware of what you faced in the fief of Nightshade. We do not name the outcaste, and because we do not, I do not believe it has occurred to the Emperor – or his Court – that you can.”

She frowned.

“Names have power, Kaylin.”

“I… know.”

“Good. It is not to light candles that I have come – and yes, I am aware of what you did with the last one – although candles are a focal exercise that even the most junior of mages must master.”

“Why?”

“Because it shows us that they are in control of their power, and not the inverse. And for most, it is a struggle. You would be an object of envy for many of the students that pass through our doors.”

“I don’t want to pass through your doors.”

“No. And I think it best for the Order that you never do. I will be honest with you, because it is something you understand. We – none of us who know – are certain you can be taught. Do you understand this? We do not know what you are capable of yet. It is to test your capabilities that we have been sent.”

“Why didn’t they just – ”

“Say so? It may have escaped your notice, but the Imperial Order of Mages is not accustomed to explaining themselves to a young, undereducated girl.”

“You are.”

“I have less to lose,” he replied quietly. “And I am aware, as perhaps they were not, of how much you have to lose, should we fail. Or rather, should you fail.”

This caught her attention and dragged it round in a death grip.

“Yes,” he continued in that serene voice. “Should you fail, you will be called up before the Dragon Emperor. The fact that you are, without question, loyal to the Hawks has caused the Emperor – twice – to stay his hand. I cannot think of a person for whom he has stayed his hand three times. If you cannot be trained, if you cannot learn to abide these classroom chores, these boring hours spent staring at an unlit candle wick, you will be removed from the ranks of the Hawks.”

“Will I still be alive?”

Sanabalis did not answer the question.

“Can I ask a different question?”

“You are free to ask anything.”

“Who else has he stayed his hand with twice?”

Sanabalis’s frosted brows drew closer together. “Pardon?”

“You said you couldn’t think of a person to whom he’d granted clemency three times. That implies that you can think of a person to whom he’s granted it twice. I mean, besides me.”

At that, the Dragon laughed. The sound almost deafened her, and she was glad she was in the West Room; nothing escaped its doors. “You are an odd woman, Kaylin Neya. But I think I will answer your question, since it is close to my heart.” She didn’t ask him which heart; she understood it was metaphor.

“Lord Tiamaris of the Dragon Court.” Her jaw almost dropped; it probably would have if it hadn’t been attached to the rest of her face. Tiamaris, honorary Hawk, was so… prim and proper it was hard to imagine he could ever do anything to offend his Lord.

“Lord Tiamaris was the last student I chose to accept,” he added. “At my age, students are seldom sent to me.”

“Why?”

“I am the Court of last resort, Kaylin. If I judge a mage to be unteachable, or unstable, no one else will take him.”

“Because he’s dead?”

Again, the Dragon was silent.

“In your case,” Sanabalis continued smoothly, after the momentary silence, “you could have offended a full quarter of the Magi before you reached me. But because of the unusual nature of your talents, that was not considered a viable option.” He reached into his robes and pulled out a candle.

She wilted visibly.

“This is like, very like, Barrani,” he told her as he set the candle on a thin base and placed it exactly between them. “If you fail to learn it, you lose the Hawks.”

“And my life.”

“I am not convinced that they are not one and the same. I will take you,” he added quietly.



I think the conversation above with Sanabalis says a lot about her. She has given her all to being a Hawk, with the exception of what she gives to the midwives and the foundlings. She helps. She might not always go about it in the best ways, might not always be wise, and lacks tact. But ultimately all she wants is to help people. She wants to put criminals away, not for glory or to have a target for her rage, but to keep them from hurting other people.

Yes, people annoy the **** out of her most of the time. Any given moment she would have a list for you of people she is sure the world is better without. Margot and Mallory at the top of those lists usually. Nightshade also pretty high up. But she would also risk her life to defend them. Has.

When a noblewoman demanded that Kaylin arrest Margot, Kaylin would have been happy to... had the irritating fortune teller actually done anything illegal. But since she hadn't, Kaylin didn't. When Margot's window was broken in, and she was facing thugs, Kaylin was hoping for an excuse to arrest Margot, but didn't wait for Margot to give her one, she went in to defend the woman and the woman's property, no matter how much she hated the fortune telling shop.

Kaylin's hatred of Margot and the others like her stems from dreams. "The fiefs had a way of breaking the dreams they let you keep," she had said once. She used to dream of having finery...so she could sell it to have enough money to buy food. Margot and others like her sell dreams... but false dreams, and they have customers who pay more than they can afford in desperation for those dreams. And as someone who counted herself lucky as a child on days when there was trash she could eat, that disgusts her.

But still she defends their legal right to throw away their money, and their legal right to separate fools from their fortunes. Because she is determined to enforce the laws. (Represent, Kaylin. The Hawklord said represent the laws.)

Kaylin, as mentioned above, has next to no sense of direction. This seems to vanish in the face of an emergency, however. But when lives aren't on the line, she can easily walk in circles for hours. But emergencies change everything for Kaylin. Protecting and healing push everything else to the back burner. Rage, swearing, betting even, are forgotten when it is needed to save a life.

But when it's not? Rage, swearing, betting... That's a pretty good picture of Kaylin on a "good" day. She says that Barrani must enjoy grudges, given how long they hold onto the **** things. She is the same way with anger. But as she learns more about a situation, that anger often turns inwards.

She hated Severn for what he did to Steffi and Jade. When she came to forgive him, she turned that hatred inward on herself. When she asked him why he didn't kill her instead of them, and he said that it was because even then, he couldn't lose her.... she hated herself for surviving. Over and over we see her hating herself for surviving when her death would have meant the others would have lived. When she realized that the Barrani were not the monsters she thought they were, she hated herself for her bigotry, and lashed out at anyone who sounded the way she used to sound when talking about them.

Cursing. Linguistics are her only academic gift, or so she keeps claiming. She can speak fluently in 4 languages, but she can swear in 7 by the start of the books. By her canon point, she has also learned one swear word in High Barrani - which she thought was impossible - and one in Dragon. She is disturbingly proud of being able to swear in Dragon. Given potential triggers (and my own issues with swearing) when I play her, unless it is a direct quote from the books (like in a memory theater event) I ***** out her cursing.

Betting. Betting was the only pastime of her childhood she enjoyed. All fieflings bet, usually on someone else's messy death under their bare windows. She is proud of the fact that she introduced betting to the Hawks, and after swearing it is the primary recreational pastime of her department. Though they did laugh at her for ages when she was 14, and found out there was a maker of books and went to see what the odds were...

Kaylin can be petty. And when people laugh at her, she likes to get even. She was treated as the Mascot by the Hawks for a long time, since she was 13 when she joined, and so she had lots of cause for revenge. One time she stole everyone's inkwells except for one man's. She gave him invisible ink. There was a mouldy sandwich hidden in a draw, and a pitcher of water upended over a coworker's head. Eventually though, as her training progressed, the laughter (mostly) stopped. Not because of her pranks, but because everyone had to face her at some point in the practice ring, and short of the Barrani, almost no one could take her down. And having been trained by Marcus, Teela, and Tain, she fought dirty.

Wings! Kaylin has an obsession with wings, and with flight. The first time Clint took her flying, she was scared to look down, but once he coaxed her to look around, she found a love in the sky. She wished from then on that she could grow wings, that she had been born Aerian. That and the ability to go back and save all the lives she failed to save...those are her dearest wishes. As to wings themselves, she loves burying her hands in Clint's flight feathers because she loves the way it makes him curse. And most of her more inventive cursing involves flight feathers.

Children are perhaps the only thing she loves more than wings. Severn said that she had a whole other set of expressions for children, and she does. Around children the guarded look at the back of her eyes vanishes. She will do nearly anything to make a child giggle. She even let a Tha'alani child touch her face with his stalks before her fear had completely gone...because who could fear a child? She swung him up and around and played with him. She loves babies too, but when they can run around and giggle and squeal, that is her favorite age for children. Even as a child, she loved children. She took in Steffi and Jade when she was a year older than one and two older than the other. Her children. She will always have a weakness for children. And she once told Tiamaris that living children were the best way mortals had to define their lives.

Going back to expressions... Kaylin has a VERY expressive face. While there are characters in her canon with the ability to read minds, it is almost never needed with her. She can't hide her thoughts, and is constantly told she is an open book. Severn knew what she had seen in a keyed memory crystal because she got her "child in danger" expression on and then screamed in a way he had only ever heard her scream once before. But even people who know her less well react to her thoughts somtimes, even before she voices them. Nightshade often remarks in this. He also often does this. But he CAN read her mind, so it is unclear sometimes which he is reading when he replies - her mind or her face.

Starving. Kaylin grew up starving and even as an adult rarely gets enough food. Mostly because she often spends her pay chit betting. She will always sacrifice dignity for food when the trade is offered. Her stomach usually speaks for her, she is so often hungry, and even in situations when food is abundant, life often gets in the way of her being able to eat any of it. Exceptions being that when she meets him in the Palace, Sanabalis can usually arrange for her to have a full meal and time in which to eat it, and post her canon point when she eventually meets Helen.


Not sure what else to say. If Kaylin likes you, she'll probably try kicking your shins or hitting you at least once when you say something irritating. She oversleeps. She's grouchy. She seems to be ace but I'm not sure if that is because of Barren trauma or just who she is. She is jumpy about physical intimacy though because of Barren for sure. Her one and only attempt at dating, she tried kissing the guy, when he kissed back, she panicked and broke his nose. She's never had a desire to try again since. She was afraid when she thought Nightshade was going to force himself on her, but he made it clear he intends for her to come to him. She never has. She was confused when Severn told her that sharing a bed with her was difficult, because he had to restrain himself. That there might be a temptation had never occurred to her, and this was after he had told her multiple times that he was more or less in love with her and pretty much always had been. She had been fine sharing a bed with him until he said that, then she was mostly confused. She's shared her bed platonically many times with Teela and/or Tain and never thought anything of it. She doesn't always think much of anything about changing in front of someone unless they don't know about her marks, and she has no trouble sharing a Barrani bath with someone. (Think a huge room where the whole room is one big hot tub/sauna with minerals. like an indoor onsen). So she's not physically repulsed, she just... doesn't seem to feel any attraction or expect anyone to feel it for her. She even mentions in a thought section that she avoided brothels because the girls sometimes recruited the unwary - not that she was ever pretty enough to be in danger of that particular fate. So she gets that attraction is a thing, she just is befuddled when it is aimed at her. Given that both Severn and Nightshade are determined to win her over each in their own way...her cluelessness is kind of impressive. And at least partially a matter of her deciding not to think about it.

Powers and Abilities:

Got an hour? Lol. Okay. Here we go!

The marks. The marks are the basis of her power - presumably. She never tried anything before the marks appeared when she was ten. When she uses her power, they glow. When she is around other magic, they itch or burn, and sometimes glow. when they glow from someone else's magic, they HURT. Since she expects this when she is around magic...this will probably be the first ability she bends back, and she will have had no intention to do it. Just... she'll see bending as magic, and after a while she'll start hurting when she sees it, which will evolve back into her getting her sense back. Because I am mean. And I want it to her her. Because...yeah. It's very much a part of Kaylin, pushing past that pain. (A note, this seems to be the one magical thing that the bracer does not stop. Well, this and Nightshade marking her, since she had the bracer on when he did that.)

Healing. She doesn't know how she heals. She can't explain it. But she can heal. Damage/bleeding is the easiest for her, but she's healed poison as well. She can bring someone back from the brink of death. If she doesn't pause, she can go from healing to healing. But as soon as she takes any sort of break it all catches up to her and she can hardly stand.

Death magic - stronger even than her healing. Deadly. And when she uses it she loses herself to the joy of the magic, the thrill of the pain she is causing. Usually only the bracer or knocking her out can stop her when she falls too deeply into death magic, but sometimes some words can penetrate. Like when Severn told her she was killing the children....


Words. Words have power. Kaylin has a gift with Words of power. Even when she cannot read or understand them, she has an instinctive affinity for them. She has altered True Words time and time again, not knowing how they should look or what they mean. She followed instinct, and was right. Also when True Words are spoken, she can see them, and with her touch can affect them.

Communication with anyone who holds her True Name, or anyone whose True Name she holds. This would be Severn, Nightshade, and the Lord of The West March as of this canon point. If anyone apps one of them in, she can talk to them mentally from anywhere on the world. Or between them.

Elements - She is learning Elemental Magic with Sanabalis, and has befriended the Elements in the Garden. As of current canon point she can call and communicate with Water and Fire. Fire is simpler in a lot of ways. Water is more awake and aware because of her connection to the Tha'alaani. What I usually do in games is that Water explains that she is not all of Water. She can't reach the Tha'alaani. That she is the echo of Water that Kaylin brought with her, knowing nothing more of their world than she did in the moment Kaylin left. But when she gets too lonely in her other games she will summon Water, just to talk.



Items and their qualities:
Because of her canon point, she is wearing certain items that have their own magical properties.

Dress - Wearing the Blood of the Green... the dress is a special dress and magical. No matter what she has done to it, it doesn't wrinkle or crease or stain. Or tear. She was stabbed through the chest one time, bled a fair amount. When the blade was removed, she was still hurt, but the dress was whole and there was no evidence of the blood. She can - and will - toss it in a corner as soon as she gets proper clothing, all balled and wadded up. When she goes to put it on next, it will be fresh as though it just came from the laundry.

Bracer - in her world it inhibits her magic and always returns to the keeper - which is never her. And never someone she chooses. She knows the code to unlock it so she can take it on and off. It apparently has an ability to record, but she has no clue how to access that. Also sometimes when blocking magic (but only sometimes) the gems light up and go crazy. She doesn't understand why and can't control it. It is also unbreakable and she has used it to deflect sword strikes. For the game, I'd say it will still block her bending, because she expects it to. And that it will help strengthen her against bending being used against her, because she believes it will. But it won't actually make her immune. More that she expects it to do these things so she subconsciously is exerting her will to that end. I would like it to still be able to come on and off, and to go to a keeper, if possible, because that leads to a lot of fun threads. If that works?

Daggers - her daggers are in the pockets of the dress - because Teela would skin her alive if she tried to put her weapons belt on over her dress - and they are sheathed. They have been enchanted to make no sound when drawn. Evanton's magic. Other from that one spell they are ordinary daggers.

Sanabalais' amulet - an amulet with the face if a Dragon. She can use it as a focus to call Fire. She doesn't generally need it, but was ordered to wear it to remind the Barrani she was claimed by the Dragon Court.

The ring of the West March - the West March's seal. Power is, like the amulet, mostly political. Only magic is that it will always fit her finger, despite looking far too large when she takes it off.

Hawk ring - no magic, just an identifier.

For her communication item - would it be possible for her to have a mirror with her? That's what she uses in her world, but there were none in the caravan.


Samples

Network:
"Alright," [Kaylin said, her fingers still on the bottom of the mirror she used for communications. She looked underslept and ****ed off.] "Fine. I wound up in some other world. And you people want me to believe everything is free here."

[She swore in three languages at that, under her breath. She was... creative. That was for sure.]

"Let's even pretend I buy it for the moment." [It is clear on her face that she doesn't.] "If things are actually free, why the ****s are any idiots here actually committing crimes? I'm heading over to sign up to join this world's version of the Hawks, to be a cop since I'm stuck here. But if this is some *****ing utopia where everything is free, why in any of the nine ***s are any of you doing anything that would even REQUIRE cops?"

[Mind, if there were no cops and no crime here, she wouldn't buy it and she'd be even more ****ed off. She was contrary like that.]

Network Sample 2:
[Kaylin scowled at the mirror. It was odd to see her own face in the mirror so many days in a row. She rested a hand on the surface, as if to see if it was working. It was. Now she was broadcasting her face. Given that she swore in Leontine - which was a growling feline language clearly never made for a human throat.]

"Fine. Since I got this thing on, anyway," [she stared, because it was easier than admitting she messed up...] "Anyone know where I can find a map of this gods cursed place?" [She wasn't picky about which gods, really. And glad that no one who knew her was there, or they'd be laughing for weeks at the fact that she thought she could use a map to find...anything. She could use them to track patterns of a crime. But... not to find her way to a place. And she sure as ****s wasn't admitting to anyone here what she was really looking for. The Foundling Halls and the Midwives guild.]

[She realized she probably should say more. She was irritated at people who spoke to hear their own voice, but admitted to herself that she sometimes hovered on the edge of being one.] "Also... if anyone knows any useful words to share..."

[She needed something to bring home to try to keep Marcus from docking her pay. Again. Besides, she had a feeling she was going to be swearing a lot once Teela got done with her for vanishing. She still didn't buy this waking up thing.]


Third Person:

Kaylin looked around her room in the welcome house. It left a lot to be desired. But it was hers. No Hallione sending her to the room of someone who would rather have nothing to do with her. That was good. No Barrani bath. That was bad. She might have gotten a little bit spoiled on the trip. The carriage ride sucked. But the bath almost made up for it.

Of course... no carriage ride. No worry someone might be stupid enough to let Teela drive. And even better...no screaming Dragons.

She sat on the edge of the bed and let that sink in. No screaming Dragons. Not that there had been any, other than the familiar, since she left the city. But still... the lack was odd. Well, who knew, maybe someone would start swearing just as she fell asleep. Wouldn't put it past this place. That was just how her life worked.

She rubbed the marks on her arms. They didn't itch, but they were exposed in the mesh sleeves of the dress. She hated when her marks were exposed. Eleven years of hiding them made their exposure uncomfortable. She didn't know if anyone here would recognize them. The Norinar had.

Okay priority one was getting actual clothing. Long sleeved shirt, long pants, boots that weren't bright green. Armor if she could manage. A belt. She always needed a belt.

Her stomach growled at her and she revised her plan. Priority one... food. She still wasn't sure she could believe the claim that it was free. But she wasn't too proud to take some anyway. She just had to be wary for a trap.

She needed to find the local Hawks, or whatever the ****s they had here, and get a job until she could figure out how the *****s to get home.

She could call Nightshade. Her hand started to reach for the mark on her cheek, but she jerked it down. No. Never again. Not even to get home. She'd sooner let the Devourer eat her than call him again. Selling his own people was going too far. Strong arming the Hawklord into forcing her onto this trip was just that much worse. And she had a feeling the ******** wasn't going to pay her for the time she was on the trip. Trip she didn't want to go on.

And if she wasn't getting paid, neither were Teela and Severn. They could survive it, but Teela was going to be *****ed at her. And she would just as happily not deal with a blue eyed Barrani. Not when she was the cause of those blue eyes. And Blue eyed Barrani usually led to an orange-eyed Marcus....

Maybe it was better if she never made it home from the West March.

She dropped onto the bed, and almost jumped right back off. Not as obscenely comfortable as a Barrani bed, or the ones in the Palace, but more comfortable than her old mattress had been. She hoped she could sleep on this one. She had trouble sleeping when she was too comfortable. She wasn't sure why, but she knew it was true.

Okay. Food. Job. Clothes. Then maybe see what sports there were. That was always a good place to find betting in the City. And this place seemed more like Elantra than the fiefs at least.

But she'd have to wait to see what sundown would bring. Monsters, or crime? The former would give her an outlet for her frustration. The latter would guarantee her job security. Well, as much as she ever had.

Her stomach growled again. She growled back and got to her feet. She checked her daggers and her bracer, then headed out. She wore a green crushed velvet dress that swirled like a sun dappled forest, trimmed in gold with gold net sleeves to the wrist that dipped in green fabric to the ground yet never got a speck of dirt on it. She wore an ancient bracer.

From the neck down she was dressed like a noble woman. Dress, bracer, rings, the chain of her amulet dipping under the dress. Until you realized the chain was knotted halfway up her neck to keep the amulet from hanging around her stomach. Until you saw the pale face with the dark circles under the eyes. The small flecks of dried blood on her earlobes. The messy hair that she had staked back in a sloppy bun with a gnawed on hair stick. And going with absolutely nothing else, she had what looked like a delicate tattoo of deadly nightshade on one cheek.

Scowling, she headed out, stomping, rather than stepping, looking for something to eat, and watching for clues as to the nature of this trap....
kaylinneya: (Tattoo profile)
Personal Information
Name: Chicklet
Age: Adult
Personal Journal: Chicklet
Email / AIM / MSN / Plurk: Plurk - ChickletLARP
Current Character(s): Me, Clef, Spark, Gabriel

Character Information
Character Name: Private Kaylin Neya/Elianne (like with Me, Elianne is an old name of hers, not one she actually goes by anymore. She changed names when she changed her life.)
Fandom: The Chronicles of Elantra

Character History:
Kaylin was born Elianne to a woman known only as Tara in the fief of Nightshade. Kaylin has no memories of her father and may have never met the man, even as an infant. When she was very young, she met an older kid named Severn, and Severn understood what she couldn't back then. Tara was dying.

Passage from the book, where she explains this part of her history:

“When did you first meet Severn?”

“I don’t know.” She closed her eyes. It was easier, that way. Because nothing else about this conversation was going to be easy. If conversation was the right word; she suspected interrogation was more appropriate. “When I was five.”

“Five?”

“Five and something. I don’t remember the exact day.” But she remembered what had happened. Maybe opening her eyes was wiser; it gave her the anchor of the present, even if the present held the promise of very little future. “He was ten years old,” she added. “At least we thought he was. I know when I was born. He doesn’t. Know when he was.”

“I understood that. Continue.”

“I was five, and something.”

“So your memories, without extraction, will not be reliable.”

She swallowed. “These ones are.”

“Oh?”

“I almost tripped over a feral.”

His wings folded slowly; his arms crossed his chest. But his expression was marred by no new lines.

“I was out on my own. My mother was sick. She was dying. I didn’t know it then, but she knew. She…had asked me to go outside. To play. Told me when to come home.” She hesitated.

“You weren’t punctual as a child, either?”

“Not really.” As a child, she hadn’t known what the word meant. Not that her mother had used it. “I knew it was getting dark, though. And I—” She shook her head. “I was playing with sticks and rings.”

“In the streets of the fief?”

She nodded quietly.

“The feral?”

“Only one,” she whispered. “And I would have died, there. I froze. But Severn was there, somehow, at the lip of the alley that led to our place. And he had food. He threw it—really threw it—and it must have hurt like hell; it was meat. What passes for meat, in the fiefs. The feral hesitated, and this strange, tall boy grabbed my hand and dragged me all the way down the alley.” She could feel his hand in hers; could feel how large it was, how warm, and how steady. She had thought, then, that he hadn’t been afraid. “He knew my name. I asked him his. He told me. He wanted to speak to my mother, and that was the only time his hand tightened, the only time I was uncomfortable. But I wasn’t afraid of him.

“I don’t know what they talked about, Severn and my mother. He made me wait in the kitchen. But when he came to get me, his anger was gone. I think—now—she must have told him she was dying.

“Severn lived close to us. He liked my mother. I don’t remember why. But he started to run errands for her, and he would take me with him. He would go shopping for her when she wasn’t well enough to shop. Happened a lot, but I still didn’t understand. I was selfish,” she told him. “He was older, he knew so much, he was willing to talk to me, and I was just a kid,” Kaylin added, remembering. These memories weren’t so harsh. They would—without the rest—be almost happy. She couldn’t afford that. “But when she got…paler, he stopped taking me with him so much. I was afraid I’d annoyed him, but he was always happy to see me. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t go with him, not then. I do now. He probably stole more than he bought. He usually came by with too much. She hated that,” she added softly, seeing her mother with adult eyes, instead of the un-questioning allegiance of a child’s. Seeing, as well, other truths. “But because of me, she didn’t question him too harshly.

“I adored him,” she added, bitterly. “I looked up to him. He was ten. And he understood death. He knew that my mother wasn’t going to last the winter. He never told me. He just helped us, and waited.”

“What happened, then?”

“When she died, I had no place to go. I couldn’t afford the room she had rented. I couldn’t afford to bury her—not like you bury people in the outer city. The dead don’t care—that’s what we say in the fiefs. The living can still starve. My mother told me that a lot in her last few weeks.

“She just didn’t wake up one morning. I didn’t know a doctor. But I knew—I knew she wouldn’t wake up. I tried,” she added, remembering the slack, cold skin of her mother’s face. “I tried really hard to wake her.”

“Did you find anyone to help you?”

“You really don’t understand the fiefs,” she told him, but without heat. She had become resigned to this over the years; it was something that was so natural it was like the weather. “I just…stayed there. With her. Until Severn came. He always came,” she added, “in the winter. Every day. I don’t know why. I didn’t know what to do, and Severn did; he told me to walk, with him, and I went. We never came back. I was still five. He was still ten.

“He taught me how to live like he lived. He taught me how to look harmless and pathetic, and he took me to the edge of the fief. I used to beg along Old Nestor, just across the Ablayne. I used to look at the Outer city people, with their warm coats, and their new boots, and their money. I used to hate them,” she added, dispassionately. “But I’d take their money anyway. He taught me how to take it when they weren’t in the mood to give, too. We worked as a team.

“He didn’t like it,” she added. “No more than my mother had. But it was the fiefs…stealing was better than starving.” She brought her hands together, as if she were praying. It was the only way she could stop them from shaking. “I’m not proud of it,” she told him, staring at her fingers. “But I’m not ashamed of it either. It made me who I am.”

The hard part was coming now. She almost couldn’t say it. And the Hawklord knew. His silence was cool, but when she finally glanced up at his face, it was different. He was waiting, now. Would wait.

“When I was eight,” she said, her throat tightening, “I still adored Severn. He was thirteen by then. I thought he was a man. I thought he could do anything. It was winter—everything desperate happened in the winter.”

“Winter in the fiefs is harsh,” the Hawklord said quietly. Not, of course, to tell her anything she didn’t know. But the reminder that he understood was steadying.

“We were looking for food,” she continued, staring at the subtle gleam of the circle’s edge. “Or money. I had outgrown my clothing, mostly. We had a room to live in, but not much else. But on that day, we found Steffi instead.”

“Steffi?”

The walls of her throat closed. She bowed her head, trying to force her eyes to stay open. To stay dry. Her hands were moving in an open and close rhythm that spoke of heartbeat. “She was a year younger than I was.” Every word was surrendered slowly; each was anchored in emotion, and if she wasn’t careful, emotion would come with them until it was all that was left.

And what emotion?

She hit the floor hard with the flat of her palm. “She was really pretty. Not like me. Her hair was very pale, and it was long; her eyes were blue. Her skin was blue, too—but that was the cold. When she warmed up she was like a little, perfect doll. I thought of her that way,” she added, dispassionate, as if bitterness could be buried, or amputated. “As if she were mine. Because I found her in the snow.

“Severn didn’t want to keep her. But I did. I begged him. I pleaded with him. I even threatened him,” she added, a thin wail that sounded like laughter adorning the words. “I told him I wouldn’t go home without her.

“And in the end, he was angry with me. But he let me keep her. He brought her back to our place.”

She bowed her head.

“Kaylin. Kaylin.”

She looked up to meet his eyes, and saw instead that his wings were extended. Had the circle not been shining, she would have leaped from its confines to run straight into his arms. She had done that before. More than once. But she’d been younger, then. “You wanted to know,” she whispered.

And what emotion?

She hit the floor hard with the flat of her palm. “She was really pretty. Not like me. Her hair was very pale, and it was long; her eyes were blue. Her skin was blue, too—but that was the cold. When she warmed up she was like a little, perfect doll. I thought of her that way,” she added, dispassionate, as if bitterness could be buried, or amputated. “As if she were mine. Because I found her in the snow.

“Severn didn’t want to keep her. But I did. I begged him. I pleaded with him. I even threatened him,” she added, a thin wail that sounded like laughter adorning the words. “I told him I wouldn’t go home without her.

“And in the end, he was angry with me. But he let me keep her. He brought her back to our place.”

She bowed her head.

“Kaylin. Kaylin.”

She looked up to meet his eyes, and saw instead that his wings were extended. Had the circle not been shining, she would have leaped from its confines to run straight into his arms. She had done that before. More than once. But she’d been younger, then. “You wanted to know,” she whispered.

And what emotion?

She hit the floor hard with the flat of her palm. “She was really pretty. Not like me. Her hair was very pale, and it was long; her eyes were blue. Her skin was blue, too—but that was the cold. When she warmed up she was like a little, perfect doll. I thought of her that way,” she added, dispassionate, as if bitterness could be buried, or amputated. “As if she were mine. Because I found her in the snow.

“Severn didn’t want to keep her. But I did. I begged him. I pleaded with him. I even threatened him,” she added, a thin wail that sounded like laughter adorning the words. “I told him I wouldn’t go home without her.

“And in the end, he was angry with me. But he let me keep her. He brought her back to our place.”

She bowed her head.

“Kaylin. Kaylin.”

She looked up to meet his eyes, and saw instead that his wings were extended. Had the circle not been shining, she would have leaped from its confines to run straight into his arms. She had done that before. More than once. But she’d been younger, then. “You wanted to know,” she whispered.

He said nothing.

“He was good with her, in the end. He treated her almost the same way he treated me. Steffi was…a bit high-strung. She was afraid of Severn for weeks. But she trusted me. And in the end, because I trusted Severn, she let her guard down. He would go foraging for us. She wasn’t well,” she added, as if it mattered. “For three weeks, she coughed all the time, and she was hot. I thought she would die.

“I wish she had, now.”

Skipping to where she goes back to the story.


"Steffi was the third member of our family. Of what I thought of as our family. I told you she was cute—and she knew it—and that she was only a year younger than I was, something Severn always felt the need to remind me. But I thought of her as a baby sister, as the sister I had always wanted, and had never been lucky enough to have. She called me big sister, too. She wore my clothing when my back was turned. She ate my favorite foods. Sometimes I wanted to strangle her. But I never wanted her to leave. I loved her,” she added softly, as if the words had never been said before.

“She was with us for almost a year before we found Jade.”

“Jade?”

“I didn’t name her.”

“She was another girl?”

“Another girl,” Kaylin nodded. “As different from Steffi as a girl could be. Jade was two years younger than I was, maybe two and a half. And she was scarred, from forehead to cheek. She was darker than Steffi, and her hair was a mess of curls, no matter what we tried to do with it. She didn’t talk much.”

“You found her in the winter?”

“In the winter,” Kaylin nodded. “And at night.”

His brow rose.

“The ferals were out, then. We were watching them from the window in the room; the table was against the wall, and we could stand on it, press our faces against the glass. There was glass there—I think Severn stole it. I never asked.

“But I saw her, wandering in the streets below our window. She was furtive, like she was afraid of something—I know the walk. And there was reason; there was a man on her tail. With a knife. I called Severn—Steffi and I liked to look out, but it wasn’t something he did often—and he joined us, just watching. Then he sighed and looked at me, and I must have—I must have looked at him in the way I did when I thought he could do anything.

“So he rolled his eyes and told Steffi to stay indoors. He told her not to answer the door, if anyone came, and told her to hide, and then sneak out, if anyone got in. Me, he handed a large club. We went out after that strange, small girl. We should have died. It was night, and we knew better. But…” She shrugged, almost helpless. “The ferals were out.”

“And this…Jade?”

“She was their meal. Or would have been, if Severn hadn’t found her in time. I remember it. He was standing in the moonlight, in the open street. He had a long knife, and a club. He was—I think—afraid, but none of it showed. I didn’t think he was afraid, at the time—my impression is all hindsight. He shouted at Jade, and Jade almost ran, but I was there too, and I was quieter. I told her to stay between Severn and me; I told her not to scream, not near the ferals. I can still smell their breath.”

“But?”

“He cut the leader. He kicked. The leader drew back, and had no one else been out, it would have gone badly. But someone else was out—the man who had been hunting Jade. They ate that someone else instead.

“Jade wouldn’t talk about it. We didn’t press her. We caught her by the arms and we ran. The man was stupid. Maybe he was drunk. He screamed a lot, and it drew the rest of the feral pack. We made it back home to Steffi. She was just waiting for us, all white. She’d been watching from the window. She’d ignored every word Severn had told her. I would have, too.

“This time, when I asked Severn if we could keep this child until we found someplace else for her, he didn’t argue. He said, ‘only until we can find her a place.’ But he knew what that meant. Steffi knew it, too. She took Jade by the hand, and asked her name. Jade answered.” She shuddered. “I was nine,” she told the Hawklord. “I had a stick. I called it a club. Severn had two, and a dagger. He’d been trying to teach me how to use them, and I’d been trying real hard not to learn.

“But after that night, I learned. Jade was bleeding from the shoulder to the wrist, but she was…she wasn’t screaming. She was almost smiling. Steffi asked her who the man was—Steffi wasn’t even with us, but she’d seen it all from the small window—and Severn told Steffi to shut up. He never asked Jade. And because he didn’t, I didn’t.

“But Jade never hated the ferals the way the rest of us did.”

“Jade was seven?”

“Seven and a bit. Her mother was dead, she said. Severn didn’t believe her.”

“He said as much?”

“No. But I knew Severn. He let her lie. Steffi was sort of happy to have Jade at home, because it meant that Steffi wasn’t the baby anymore.” In spite of herself, Kaylin smiled at that memory. “Jade was furious being called a baby, but hers was a sullen fury, and it was hard to hate Steffi for long.

“We made it through that winter. Steffi and Jade slept together. I slept with them sometimes, and sometimes with Severn. It wasn’t—” she reddened. “We were kids,” she said at last. “He never touched me. Not like that. But it was crowded, we couldn’t take a step without hitting each other. Severn talked about finding us a bigger place. Things were going well, sort of. Steffi was a better thief than I was. Everyone liked her instantly. It’s easy to steal things from people when you’ve already charmed their socks off.

“But we didn’t find a bigger place. None of us could read. None of us could write. Severn was fit for work, but not the type of work we wanted. It would have kept him away for too long, and it would have meant working for the fieflord. That’s not a job with a long life expectancy in the wrong areas of the fief. Too many people with too much to prove, and the fieflord isn’t without his challengers.”

Skipping again to the important events.

“When I

was ten,” she said, when she couldn’t stand the silence for another second, “everything changed.” She lifted her arms. Beneath the buttoned shirt, the tattoos were alive; she could almost feel them crawling across her skin. “It was winter again. Sometimes I think the whole of my life in the fiefs was lived in winter.
“The marks appeared. We were listening to Jade sing. I was waiting to tell a story. I told them stories, and they were patient enough to pretend they were interested. Severn was leaning against the wall by the door. We didn’t have bolts,” she added, “and in the winter, people could get pretty desperate.”

“But Steffi suddenly pointed at my arms. I think she may have shrieked. Steffi wasn’t a screamer. Didn’t matter—Severn was off the wall as if it were suddenly on fire. He was across the room by the time I figured out what Steffi was pointing at.

“He held my wrist as the marks began to write themselves across my skin. He watched them. We all did. It was scary,” she added softly, remembering. The way they had huddled together in a room that was warm because it was small and it held so many of them. The way Jade had come to her side, had put a skeletal arm around her, as if the marks were scars. As if it made them more alike.

“But it stopped at the elbow. I didn’t notice the marks on my legs for another day, and I didn’t tell the kids. I told Severn. I was old enough by then to be a little self-conscious, but not much. He was Severn.

“We waited. We waited for three days for something else to happen. Steffi thought it was the plague. Severn told her she was an idiot. Oh, there were a lot of tears, then.

“But it was two weeks before we got what seemed like an answer, and it was a grim, terrible answer.”

“The first of the victims,” the Hawklord said.

She nodded. “A boy,” she added quietly. “My age. Benito. I knew him. He was the son of one of the two grocers that would actually let us near his stall. The grocer had seven children, and he knew what hunger did to the young. He knew that we would steal anything we could when his back was turned—and he did. Turn his back, I mean. He turned it just often enough. We paid him whenever we could,” she added. “And it was from his brother that we heard the news.

“His brother was really shaken. He talked about the marks. He talked about the death. He told us to be careful. He didn’t know about the marks on my arms,” she added, “because Severn made me cover them up. Even then.

“Jade was terrified for me. Severn said nothing. But after that day, he never let me out of sight. We waited, just waited. And a month later—another death. That was Tina,” she added bitterly. “She lived at the farthest reach of the fief. Before my mother died, we would sometimes play together.

“The deaths happened once a month. And every time one happened, we were frightened and relieved. Frightened, because a madmn was running free in the fief—not even the fieflord was able to catch him, and by that time, the fieflord had been informed. I hadn’t met him, then. I never wanted to. But we were relieved because it wasn’t me.

“Your power?”

“I was getting to that.” But she wasn’t; she was cataloguing every death. Giving it a name. And she would have done so until the hours had dwindled into night, and from night, into morning. He stopped her. “It was maybe six months after the marks appeared. A small boy had been thrown off the back of a cart, and he was lying in the road. He was bleeding. I thought he would die. I made it to him first, and I picked him up—Severn told me not to but I couldn’t help myself.

“He was shaking, and he was cold—he was barely awake. But I felt the cold, in him, and I felt other things, broken things, things that were somehow wrong. I couldn’t tell you what they were—not then. But I could mend them. I knew it.

“And I did. I helped the boy to his feet as his father got control of the cart and came running back. I didn’t tell his father what I’d done. Severn was holding my arm, and he shook his head. I always listened to Severn,” she added bitterly. “The man took his son, thanked his god, and thanked us for trying to help. He tossed us a couple of coins. We didn’t have a lot of pride. We took ’em and thanked him.

“But when we got home, Severn questioned me, and I answered him. He told me—he made me promise—that I would never tell anyone else. I asked him why—I was so naive then—and he told me that if I did, someone would come to take me away, and he’d never see me again. I hated that thought, and when he explained that if I could heal a stranger, I could heal someone powerful, I understood why he had made me promise, and I never spoke of it. But I did use the gift, and he let me.

“I used to think that I could find the children. The ones who were killed. I used to daydream that I could find them in time, and I could heal them all. I thought they were all like me, somehow—that they were healers, and that someone wanted to kill them all, rather than leave their gift in the fiefs.”

“You were wrong.”

She nodded quietly. “But the marks changed. I didn’t notice it, then. Severn must have. I can see this now, but then? It was just Severn, and he had always been my protector. He didn’t tell us when a new death had occurred, if we weren’t together when he found out about it. He didn’t tell us where. Sometimes we didn’t find out at all. I had no idea that the deaths were happening only in Nightshade. I think Severn must have.” She shook her head. “I got better at clubs and daggers. I got better at defending myself. Severn was larger, and faster, than any of us, but he pushed me, and I improved.

I didn’t want to teach Steffi and Jade. I wanted to protect them. I guess I wanted them to be children for as long as they could. It’s not long, in the fiefs. They were mine,” she added, “and I was Severn’s.
“But when almost three years had passed, and the deaths hadn’t stopped, Severn left us alone one night. He made me stand in his spot by the door, and he promised he’d be back—but he wouldn’t tell me where he was going.”

She closed her eyes.

“He came back almost a day later. The waiting was bad,” she added. “We knew the fiefs. We knew it was night. We knew he might never come back at all. But I wasn’t five anymore, and I had Steffi and Jade to think about. We could steal enough between the three of us to keep the room if we had to, and we could scrounge enough food so we wouldn’t starve. We’d never done it without Severn, and if I hadn’t had the two girls, I’m not sure I wouldn’t have panicked. But I did have them.

“When he came back, I was happy—for about five minutes. But everything about him was wrong. He was—he was hurt, somehow. He was frightened. I’d never seen him frightened before, not like that.” She closed her eyes. “I was thirteen,” she said softly. “I trusted him.”

“He watched me like a—like a Hawk. He asked questions, about the marks on my arms. They were just a part of me, by that point. No one had killed me yet. I answered him. That was all.”

“But three days before the long night, he sent me out foraging for food. He gave me money, so I wouldn’t have to steal single—he never trusted that. I went shopping. I suspected nothing. Nothing.

“And when I came home to the room…” She was shaking now, eyes closed. She couldn’t find words. And she couldn’t leave them alone. Struggling, she said, “The blood.” It was soft, a whisper of sound. “The room was covered in blood. It was everywhere. And Severn was there, part of it, covered in it. His hands were still wet.”

Her eyes were dry. “Steffi and Jade were dead. I don’t know if they fought him. I don’t know if he slit their throats in their sleep, or if—” her throat closed.

“I saw him. I saw him, and I knew. I screamed. I screamed at him. I—”

“You ran.”

“I had to run,” she said quietly, the intensity of the words a quality more than a sound. “I knew I couldn’t kill him. I knew I had to.”

“Where did you go?”

“It doesn’t matter. I went. I never looked back. I didn’t even bury them—”

She ran from Nightshade, and crossed a barrier between fiefs (a thing she would later learn should have been impossible) and wound up in the fief called Barren.

In Barren she found a gap in a fence around a tower, and hid. The Ferals didn't seem aware of where she was and she hid in the grass.

In the morning, someone spotted her, a mostly bald woman named Morse. She told Morse she wanted to learn to kill a man. Morse was amused enough to take her in. Morse worked for the lord of Barren, also named Barren. (That's how the fiefs work, and yes it gets confusing in the books too). Since Morse worked for Barren, so did Kaylin. She was there for six horrible months. In that time she learned to fight, she learned to kill. She was assigned to kill. But much to Morse's disgust, Kaylin always wanted to know WHY the person had to kill and investigated. One time - a man who had killed the man who raped and nearly killed his baby sister - she learned and refused to make the kill. Barren sent Morse out to take care of the job, killing not just man but the sister and their old grandmother as well. Whole family, dead, because Kaylin didn't do what Barren told her to. It is strongly implied that Barren raped Kaylin to teach her her place, that she belonged to him, at this point - and that he did so potentially more than just the once as a reminder - but not actually said. She was still 13 at this point.

Finally, Barren sent her on a mission to redeem herself. She was to leave the fiefs, cross into the city proper where they had law and law enforcement agents - Hawks, Swords, and Wolves - and kill the lord of Hawks, because Hawk patrols along the river border were discouraging foot traffic from the city, and it was from the city that money came in to the fiefs. Kaylin was still 13 as she crossed into the city for the first time, studied the halls of law, and scaled the Hawklord's tower.

She planned well, slipped in one time the dome was open, and hid, waiting for him. She tried to kill him. She failed. He held her with magic - which HURT - he discovered the marks on her arms. He questioned her. He called in one of the Tha'alani - one of the race of mind readers who worked for the Emperor. The Tha'alani agent extracted the relevant memories and showed them to the Hawklord. And he made his choice. He reported everything to the Emperor, meanwhile, he told his Hawks to take care of the child.

She was taken in by the Hawks, and learned eventually that what she always wanted to do... to hel... that was what they did. They solved crimes and helped save people. And... it was nothing like the fiefs. She was like a pet at first to the Hawks, occasionally people still call her the mascot when they feel masochistic. She spent time with Sergeant Marcus Kassan, his wives and his kits, learning what family means to Leontines - essentially upright sentient cats - and was absorbed into their pridlea. She was taken under the figurative wing of Caitlin, the human who was Marcus' secretary, and Caitlin helped her find her own apartment and learn to live on her own in the city. The winged Hawks were all at some point bullied or badgered into taking her flying. She LOVED flying. Teela and Tain, two of the immortal Barrani who worked for the Hawklord found her interesting and would drag her around. She found a home and a family with the Hawks. She took a new name - Kaylin Neya - and tried to forget her past.

But somethings wouldn't be forgotten. And some sleeping powers would awaken.

Despite being a child, legally, she was taken along on cases as young as 14, while taking lessons. She HATED lessons and was horrible at most of them. But the cases... were fascinating usually. But one time she was with Teela and Tain when they were on a missing children case... that turned out to be a child prostitution ring, and as bad as that was... it was even worse, as some of the children were being taken apart for various magical rituals. Being maimed as they were slowly harvested for parts. It was the first time that Kaylin lost control of her magic. The first time she learned that she could do more than heal, she could kill. And with the first death, she lost control, and lost herself. He died too quickly, so she killed the next one more slowly, flaying him with her magic, layer by layer by layer.

Teela and Tain were able to stop her. And she didn't know this also had to be reported to the emperor. An artifact was taken from the hoard of the Arkon and loaned to her. It was a bracer, a sort of shackle. When it was on she couldn't use her magic, any of it. But the Hawklord broke imperial decree. He... gave her the code so she could remove it. He trusted her with that power. And he always knew when she took it off, because no matter where she left it, it returned to him. And he made her justify it, every time. She took it off to heal. And... he couldn't ever tell her not to heal. No one could.

She made a life for herself. The midwives guild mirrored her (her world's communication network) when a birth was going wrong. She spent time at the foundling halls. She became a full fledged Hawk, though her constant lateness due to her "nocturnal activities" - working as a healer in secret - and her own issues with waking up and punctuality, her pay was often docked, and she never got promoted above private.

And then, when she was 20... her past came back to bite her. (aka this is where book 1 starts)

There were new deaths being reported. Despite them happening in the fiefs mostly - where the Hawks had no jurisdiction because the fiefs technically are not part of the empire - they have been reported to the Hawklord, and one of the fieflords was willing to let certain Hawks come in and investigate. The fief was Nightshade. Kaylin was the senior Hawk on the team. One of the other two was a Dragon named Tiamaris - who she would later learn was one of the ones who argued that she should be killed at thirteen, and argued it again when she lost control of her powers - who had joined the Hawks just for this case as an expert on the marks (explained below) and as the most trusted member of the Dragon Court who knew the most about the fiefs. The final member of the team was a man with a face full of scars who had been a Shadow Wolf. the Wolves were the ones who hunted down the most dangerous criminals and made the arrests when the Hawks found out the who but did not find the criminal while investigating the crime. Shadow Wolves were the ones with authorization to kill. The Shadow Wolf... was Severn.

After Kaylin tried, and failed, to kill Severn in the Hawklord's tower, she was told to chose... work with him on this case, or give up being a Hawk forever. Which was how she wound up on a case to investigate dead children in the fief of Nightshade who were all marked the way she was marked with someone who had spent nearly 10 years studying the marks and arguing for her death, and the man who killed her children.

On their first foray back into the fief of her childhood, they met the fieflord, The outcaste Barrani Nightshade himself. Nightshade was nothing like any of the Barrani she had ever met before and one of the first things he did was to put an ownership mark on her face. No warning, she had no clue what he was doing or why, but nearly every Barrani who saw it either wanted to kill him - if they were Hawks and were upset on her behalf, or wanted to kill her - for being a mortal who had the audacity to bear the Erenne mark of an outcaste. He said the mark would keep her safe in his fief from all but stupidity. That any who attacked her in Nightshade would have him to deal with. And his men... did seem to defer to her, and it let her move freely through the fief and investigate corpses that might have otherwise been kept from the City's law.

She learned that the corpses were sacrifices... being made to her. Where Outcaste meant in jail among humans, and had more complex ramifications, there were not supposed to be outcaste Dragons. There was exactly one. And he was using ancient magics to try and create a god of death and destruction that he could control. He was trying to create Kaylin Neya. The sacrifices were being made...to Kaylin. The children were being killed to imbue her with death magic. But she had been using the magic to heal. She had been using the magic of death to give and preserve life. And that made the magic more hers, and made it harder for him to control her.

Deep within Castle Nightshade, she discovered quite by accident, that the bracer that stops her magic also protects her from some magics, as it could not pass a magical barrier that an ancient force tried to drag her through. She also learned Lord Nightshade's True Name.

In the middle of all of this, one of the foundlings had been hurt. Catti. A little spunky redheaded girl who sings worse than Kaylin, and because of Kaylin, wants to be a Hawk when she grows up. (And she wants to be a Leontine, but that's a whole other issue). She fell, and broke her back and neck. Kaylin rushed over and healed her. And that healing potentially doomed her.

Kaylin learned that the reason Severn killed Steffi and Jade, was because that many years ago, Severn had gone to find the Fieflord, to find out if the deaths were happening in other fiefs, to learn about why they were happening. The Fieflord had a theory, even then, that if there was someone who had the marks, but hadn't died... that the killings were probably around them, that it only needed one, maybe two more. More powerful if they were strongly emotionally connected to her. Severn was too old. But Steffi and Jade were the right age. And if the last sacrifices had been made, the marked child would become a god, mind and soul gone, a powerful puppet for whoever was running the spell. Severn had asked the Fieflord if he could keep the children safe. Nightshade replied that he could give them a clean death. That was why Severn had killed them. He said that he couldn't lose her.

But the deaths had stopped when she left the fiefs. When the strongest bridge to her had been gone. They had restarted when they did because the window for the spell was closing, and he had to make one last attempt or give up any chance of controlling her, forever. Unfortunately, Catti was a gift to him. Kaylin had poured so much of herself into the healing, that he could use Catti to finish what he started.

He had his undead Barrani minions kidnap the child from the Foundling Halls. When Severn showed up, Kaylin again tried to kill him. The Hawks came in and separated them, but Kaylin's punishment was cut short. Tiamaris - the Dragon Lord who joined the Hawks for this case and had wanted her dead, but now understood why so many had spoken in favor of sparing her - informed them that the link with Catti worked both ways. Kaylin was needed to find Catti before it was too late.

The chase took them into the fiefs, and they were running out of time. Kaylin could feel on her own skin as the marks were written on Catti. Tiamaris ripped a deeply moored fence out of the way, but it was Kaylin who used magic to blast a hole in the wall of the guard tower where not only Catti, but several children were being marked and prepped to be killed. They fought the undead Barrani, and Kaylin got to see Severn standing astride Catti's bound form, not killing her to steal the chance at using her for power, but defending her.

They rescued Catti from a whole lot of Barrani that were dead in all ways she could identify, that felt... dead. Empty. Wrong... but were still acting, running around, and little things like being on fire or having bits lopped off didn't stop them. But they got Catti back, and they returned to the halls of Law. Where apparently a Barrani Lord was waiting for her. Despite having been told that she was on report and not expected in for at least a week. He was determined to wait until she arrived. Immortals.

But arrive she did, with Severn, who had put his tunic on Catti, and carried her back. And she lost her temper and snapped about dead Barrani, and suddenly Lord Evarrim had something more important to attend to. She was informed soon after by people who did not witness the interaction that she was not to mention the dead Barrani to anyone. And apparently Evarrim counted as anyone.


The Tha'alani had to be called in, because they needed to learn what Catti had seen. Because of Kaylin's hatred for the race of mind readers, and in deference to how much Catti had gone through, the Tha'alani brought in was Ybelline, the Castelord of the Tha'alani, in so much as the Tha'alani have or need a Castelord. She was brought in because she is gentle, kind, and almost impossible to hate. She was careful with Catti, and for the first time, Kaylin saw that the memories the Tha'alani took hurt them, saw some of the pain they suffered, and the first layer of her hatred and racism against them sloughed away. When Ybelline stumbled, Kaylin was the one who moved to catch her. Kaylin who once said she would sooner die than ever allow one of them to touch her again. While making their report to the representatives of the Dragon Court - her first meeting with Sanabalis and Diarmat and Emmerain - Kaylin's hatred of the Tha'alani thawed into her ability to start to like Ybelline, and Sanabalis became almost intrigued by Kaylin - both things that would strongly impact her life in the near future.

They took care of debriefings, and then realization hit. They had been able to save Catti because the timing to kill her wasn't right. That timing... was that day. Despite their injuries and exhaustion, Kaylin, Severn, and Tiamaris raced for Nightshade again.

Getting help from the Fieflord - and speaking with an Old One that added to the marks on her body - took time they could ill afford to spare, but gave them assistance they would much need. They left, back up on their heels.

They found a woman bleeding to death against a well, he child had been taken. Kaylin healed her, and they went where she indicated, to find her child. Her child and many others. Lacking one connected sacrifice, the one in charge was going to kill as many children as he could within the required time frame. Using all the powers and abilities at their disposal, Kaylin, Severn, and Timaris set about finding the person behind all of this to free the other children and end this. Back up was coming - both from the Hawks and the Fieflord himself, but the first round went to the three of them...

Then Kaylin came face to face with Makuron the Black - the only outcaste Dragon. With the Bracer still off, she faced off against him. She became lost to the magic screaming through her, and she sent it against him, used it against him, like a firehose, stripping away scales and flesh, just with the sheer intensity of the amount of magic she was streaming at him. Stripped bone and muscle until she saw the Word that was at the heart of him. A True Word, like the marks on her skin, the core and life of all immortals of her reality. She saw the word, she could have destroyed it... and thus him.

Except Severn stopped her. Because with her power flowing unchecked, she wasn't just killing the Dragon. She was killing the children. She could have killed Makuron and been free of him forever, but the kids would have died. And Kaylin would rather die a thousand times over than ever hurt a child. She let Severn stop them, haunted by the fact that she hadn't seen or heard them, hadn't even remembered they existed. But Severn had saved them, saved them all... from her. The Dragon got away. The other Hawks came and took the other children to the foundling halls, and to a better life than they ever had in the fiefs. It had been made clear that such magic could no longer bind or control her. What she had done with her powers, and her strength of will had made it impossible for Makuron to ever control her. So while he was still a danger, this particular threat was over.

And she slept for three days after. Fighting a Dragon, and channeling that much power took its toll on her overtired half-starved body.

People visited in those three days, took care of it. She remembered almost nothing of it. faint flickers. Severn feeding her. Teela and Tain. Caitlin. Clint and his baby. Marcus and one or more of his wives. Marrin. Tiamaris.

When she returned to work after five days, she was given a choice. She would decide if Severn remained a Hawk or returned to the Wolves. The Hawklord let her make the choice. Because Severn had requested that the choice be hers. For all the pain and confusion, for as much as she told herself it was better if he went back to the Shadows and the past, curled in the warm hug of the Hawklord, crying into his tabard... she chose.


“I don’t want him to leave,” she whispered.

He could probably feel the words more clearly than he could hear them. But his lips were beside her ear as he bent, protective now, as if she were in truth not yet ready to fly without guidance.

“I know, Kaylin.”

“But I don’t—”

“Hush.”

“I don’t think I can just forget—”

“You can’t, Kaylin. Don’t try. You are not Barrani, and you are not Dragon. Because you are neither, time will help, and only time.” He paused. “I will give you whatever time it is in my power to give. I will deny the request of the Wolf Lord.”

She hated tears.

Hated them.

But the Hawklord didn’t. He held her, in the height of his Tower, and for a moment, she pretended that she believed in the safety his arms offered.


Aaaaaaaaaand.... that was Book One. Thankfully, for the sake of writing a history section, it is the one that is most pivotal to her personally and to understanding her past. (also the above contained most of what is covered in the short story prequel, and in the flashbacks and backstory told to us in Cast in Silence - book five.)

Book two brings us very shortly after the events of the first, Kaylin back on duty despite her injuries. Unfortunately, the Emperor has decided that her magic is too dangerous to leave untrained, and has assigned her magic lessons. Kaylin who hates magic, doesn't want to be reminded of what she almost did, and is terrified that becoming a mage will mean she'd no longer be a Hawk went from a sullen student to a resentful and actively insulting one. She chased off imperial mages rapidly, some simply by her failure to treat their experience and age with respect.


"The girl is untrainable. She doesn't listen. She barely reads. She thinks like a -- like a common soldier. She is rude beyond bearing, she is stupid, and she is an insult to the Imperial Order of Mages!"


Of course that one stalked off after Kaylin's reaction to a tropic "light the candle" exercise was to slice the candle in half with her dagger.

Marcus put her on desk duty, because of the mark she bore from Nightshade, the fact that Lord Evarrim was trying to get to her - and had been denied by the Hawks three times already - and the fact that the Barrani Castelords had called High Court during the festival. Marcus was trying to keep her safe, which chafed. And Teela had been called to Court and was possibly in trouble for failing to inform her Lord and Lady that Nightshade had marked Kaylin.

Kaylin resented all this protection. Resented more when Nightshade all but kidnapped her, claiming he did not want her anywhere near the High Court. Told her she would be free to return to her life if she wished when everything was over. He claimed it was not a kidnapping, but she was given no real choice, and he altered her mirror so her calls would go to his castle.

The call came late in the night, the Midwives. She ran for the delivery, one of the fieflord's guards - Andellen - in toe. He was somewhat awed by the birth, and by the infant, and after got her back to her apartment so she could sleep off the efforts. She was too tired to survive the trip to the castle. Severn was waiting there, and Andellen left her with him. She passed out before she could ask anything else.

Work the next afternoon - because she overslept and was late again - started with her new magic teacher. Lord Sanabalis of the Dragon Court. Who she quickly learned, was difficult, if not impossible, to intentionally annoy. Against her own determination, she even began to almost like him. They discussed her transcripts, her potential future, the fact that her bracer went to Severn now, instead of the Hawklord when she took it off. But before the actual lesson could actually progress, she was saved, as it were, by an emergency.

The Hawklord was waiting for her in his tower, and he wasn't alone. Teela was there, dressed in finery and standing in such a way that even after having spent the last 7 years being taught to look, spot, and notice - to watch like a Hawk, Kaylin failed to recognize her. At first.

There was a crisis at the High Court. A Barrani Lord had been poisoned. Not atypical, and not usually a cause for a crisis, especially not one that would ever involve a human. But the High Court had gathered for a ritual called Leoswuld, the changing of hands of the leadership, and this was the younger son of the current High Lord. Still not enough to involve mortals on the surface, but with the Barrani, the surface was rarely even a hint of the truth. Kaylin went to heal the Lord of the West March. She, Severn, and Teela were almost killed in the High Halls of the Barrani on their way, and only Kaylin's magical affinity made her realize there was a trap in time to stop teela from running face first into it. She tried to do the healing, but she could find nothing actually wrong with him.

And then... she fell INTO him.

Deep within the mind if the Lord of the West March (and I wish there was a shorter title to use, and apologize that there really isn't anything that is shorter without being confusing) was a forest, and eventually Kaylin realized the only chance she had of either finding him in his own mindscape, or leaving, was to plant something of herself. She planted her tabard, the Hawk, in his forest. A tree with golden leaves grew, and it drew him to her. He awoke, bringing her back to her own body. He named her Kyuthe - chosen family - and as such she was to be considered protected. This outweighed the offensive mark on her face. Mostly. For most Barrani. At least outwardly.

After she had left, she was brought back to meet the High Lord and the Lady of the High Court. She had Lord Andellen with her, and only her standing as Kyuthe to the son of the Lord of the High Court kept her, and him, from being killed for daring to set foot on the grounds - both belonging in some means to the outcaste Nightshade.

She wound up taking the test of name - which should have been impossible for a mortal, as mortals have no True Names. By the end of the test, she did. One of her own... and part of another. She learned during that test what Severn had done after she ran away seven years prior. He had buried her girls. He had gone alone, in winter, with corpses, protected their bodies, and buried them.

She got drawn into the situation unfolding. The Lord of the High Court was going to hand the control of the High Court to his son. Since his eldest son, the Lord of the Green was indisposed, by rights it should have gone to the Lord of the West March. But in an atypical situation, the brothers actually loved each other dearly, and the Lord of the West March was certain that his brother could still be saved. He planned to refuse Leoswuld, and that refusal would potentially end the world. Both roles had to be turned over during the ceremony, or the creatures under the High Halls - what was left of the Barrani who had failed the test of Name, and their beasts - would be free to decimate the city.

But the Lord of the Green had failed his test, and the Lady in her weakness, had done what no one should do and had gone to save him. Kaylin learned what Names meant to Barrani, and that the duty of the Lady was to go to the Source of True Names, and draw one out for each Barrani born, that the babies would not truly live until gifted with these Names. That the Lady had been ambitious pulling a name for her eldest son, and had failed to gift him with all of it. That had left him weak against the creatures below the halls, and one held what of his Name he had. The rest of the Name Kaylin had taken from her test went to him, and whole the name was too much to be held against him. He and Kaylin rushed through the worst of the fighting to the thrones so he could take the power offered.

Kaylin had come in the end, not as a Hawk or a Healer, but as a Midwife, helping with a life that had been waiting centuries to truly begin.

But the Lady, the Consort, she had been injured in the fighting and needed help completing her part of the journey. Kaylin and the daughter of the High Lord and the Consort helped the woman to the Source, where she offered herself, granting her power onto her daughter, the new Consort. (Yes, this means that the old High Lord had most likely wed his sister, and that the new Lady was essentially married to her brother.)

Kaylin, a Lord of the High Court, was named Kyuthe to the new Lady as well. Despite the mark of Nightshade. And despite the fact that by that point she was wearing the crest of Lord Sanabalis. Thus ends book two, more or less.

Book three:
With the Festival ending, Lord Evarrim forbidden her, and the end of the world averted, Kaylin was assigned a new beat. Elani street. The place where a few genuine purveyors of magic sold their services alongside "Fortunes told!" and "Love potions here!". As actual magic is physically painful to Kaylin most of the time, and the frauds ticked her off, this was not her favorite beat.

There was exactly one person on the whole of the street she actually liked. - Evanton. He was a querulous older man who used a sort of magic that for some reason did not make her arms itch or hurt, and he liked her - as much as he liked anyone. Neither of them cared much about the other's almost intolerable rudeness, and that helped. Evanton made sure a report got to them about a theft, while insisting he didn't actually file the report himself. A reliquary was stolen not from his shop, but from the Garden within. For the first time, Kaylin got to see what it was that he really did for a living, following him through his cramped and messy shop, down a narrow hall, and through what looked like an old warped door... into the Elemental Garden. A place larger on the inside (like Castle Nightshade and parts of the High Halls) that managed to exist outside the Empire despite being firmly inside it. There were no ceilings, and she would come to learn that this is where the heart of the Elements live. The Elements for ALL worlds. She was warned to touch nothing, to not even look at anything for too long.

She is ever Kaylin.

At a pool that looked small but was infinitely deep she saw what seemed to be the bruised face of a child. And it called out to her.

So they had a missing item from a room no one should have been able to get into without the Keeper - Evanton - and a missing child, neither officially reported. And then a message came to Kaylin. Ybelline wanted to see her.

It took some convincing for Severn to be okay with them going to the Tha'alani quarter, as Kaylin's racism was well known. But they finally arrived - after he let her wander lost for three hours and pointed out that no, they couldn't log that time for pay. Ybelline had seen from Catti's mind how much Kaylin loved children. So it was to Kaylin she reported that one of their children was missing. Cut off from the Tha'alaan. Somehow.

All Tha'alani, Kaylin learned, were mentally linked through something called the Tha'alaan, which was actually a sentient portion of the core of Water. This book was huge for character development for Kaylin as she learned the history of the Tha'alani and became protective over them - seeing them as very childlike and innocent, and as she met the Oracles for the first time and discovered she had been wrong about them as well. She thought Oracles were deliberately vague so they could claim they were right later, no matter how things turned out. But most of the oracles, regardless of age, had the mental and emotional maturity of children. In our world, there would be those who would call the majority of them low-functioning autistic. They had no such words in her world, and she became protective over them as well. Including the little girl who couldn't remember if she had eaten that day, but claimed she could read Kaylin like a book, and the young boy - Everly - who could not or did not speak, but painted her in oils. Her future. Her with all of her carefully hidden marks, in a dress she never owned, in the Elemental Garden.

A trip to the Archives which left the Arkon less than pleased with her ended with her laying a dead Dragon's soul to rest as she agreed to accept his burden - a reliquary with the name of Water.

With the burden, she could not enter Castle Nightshade the usual way, and had to take a more convoluted and dangerous route. It was below Nightshade that she met Elemental Water for the first time. It was Water she had seen in the pond - taking the appearance of a young girl to get her attention. Water begged for her help, as the man who has stolen the reliquary was trying to use it to control Water. Which would kill the Tha'alani and possibly wipe out the city. Kaylin agreed to help.

Everything wound up tying together in the end, including a murder of an older couple found drowned in their apartment, nowhere near the tub. The man who had kidnapped the child was one of the Tha'alani, but he had been born disabled and could neither read minds nor touch the Tha'alaan. He was being controlled by a man named Donalan Idis. Idis had been one of the people experimenting on the Tha'alani, trying to replicate their power for the Emperor. When the Tha'alani agreed to serve the emperor as his interrogation squad, the torture and experiments were halted. Idis had Grethan - the deaf Tha'alani boy - kidnap the child - Mayalee - to continue his experiments. For some reason Grethan could get into the Garden as well, and Idis had used him to steal the reliquary, having figured out that Water had something to do with their abilities.

Kaylin and the others rushed into the Garden to face Idis who had returned there. Kaylin - wearing the Elemental Dress gifted her by Water as protection. She called upon Fire, telling it stories in exchange for Fire's assistance getting to Water as the Garden had rearranged itself and they were in a rush. (I think this was the first book where she called Elemental Fire and traded stories for help, anyway)

They fought Idis, and Kaylin, in a move she was sure was suicidal, managed to dive for the reliquary while Grethan - turned to their side - and the others had distracted Idis. She knocked it from his hand, and it - and her - fell into the Water.

Water is deep.

Kaylin connected with the Tha'alaan, and saw that the Tha'alani were standing on the port walls, hoping to calm Water by their presence, hoping that as Water refused to kill who they were once, that they putting themselves there could get it to back down again.

Kaylin was able to close the reliquary, finally, with the strength of the Tha'alani focused on her, aiding her. And Water able to be fully in control of itself again, receded. The city, and Kaylin, were safe.

Idis did not survive, which was just as well as he was slated for execution. Grethan, because he could get into the Garden on his own somehow was made to be Evanton's apprentice and eventual apprentice. Kaylin who wanted to hate him had to admit she couldn't think of a harsher and more fitting punishment. She left the burden she took from the dead Dragon in the Garden. They took Mayalee home, but stopped at the Foundling Halls first because Mayalee had asked if Kaylin had any children and while Kaylin was saying no... Severn had said yes. This lead to taking the Foundlings to the Tha'alani quarter when she brought Mayalee home. It was a splendid day for all, except perhaps the harrid adult Hawks who had to round up that many excited kids.

Thus endeth book three.

Book four...

The city was safe, and the peasants rejoiced. Except... they didn't. Man on the street knew that the Tha'alani came out of their quarter en masse - which they never do - and stood on the port wall, hands joined, and a wall of water large enough to wipe out Elantra rose to meet them. Like Kaylin used to, most of the common folk feared the Tha'alani. They were different, and their mind reading abilities were nightmare fodder. So knowing nothing of Idis or the stolen reliquary or the fact that the Tha'alani had gathered to save them all, people thought the reclusive mind-readers had tried to kill them all.

Kaylin, having gotten over her bigotry was beyond furious and impatient with the people who hadn't, and the city was in riot. The Emperor had enlisted the royal playwright - Richard Rennick - to write a publicity piece about the Tha'alani that made them look like the good guys, without actually being allowed to mention Idis or the Empire's part in their tragic past. And Kaylin and Severn, having been in the Garden, and having a long list of things they're not allowed to actually tell Rennick, were sent to advise him. They had first sent Tha'alani representatives to assist him, but it had gone... poorly. Thanks to the Tha'alaan, the Tha'alani cannot lie to each other. All truths are known, because all thoughts are shared. There are no secrets, and all hurts are dealt with long before they could fester. So they could not grasp how it was that Rennick thought that a play - that lies - could calm people down. The Tha'lanari - the Tha'alani who were trained to work with the "deaf", the non-Tha'alani - understood why the Emperor did not want people to know about Idis having tortured their people under his orders, so they knew why the full truth could not be told. But they did not understand what purpose lies could serve. So Kaylin and Severn came in to be intermediaries.

Unfortunately, life rarely gives people one crisis at a time, and that was no different for Kaylin and the other Hawks. Marcus, their Leontine sergeant was arrested for murder by the Leontine Caste Courts. As they chose to keep it a Caste case, and as there was no one involved that was not Leontine, legally the Hawks could do nothing for him. That he wasn't arguing against his guild did not help.

In his place, as acting sergeant the Hawklord assigned Constance Mallory. He had been vying for Marcus' job back in the day, and resented Marcus and how he ran his office. He especially had it out for Kaylin and was determined to see her fired. Her assignment to the Palace tending to Rennick was the only thing that saved her job at all. Everyone told Kaylin to let Rennick self-destruct, and just keep her head down and give him no reason to fire her. And she did her best. Severn even came in the mornings to make sure she made it to work on time for check in. But since Rennick kept hours like Kaylin prefered to, after check in, they had their mornings free, and used them to investigate Marcus' case unofficially.

Mallory was working his hardest to self-destruct, it seemed, as he banned swearing and betting both from the office. And then attempted to make the 14 Barrani Hawks all cut their hair to regulation length. Caitlin cashed in all of her vacation time, rather than serve in Mallory's office, and the whole tone of the Hawks became grim.

Rennick wound up a little too fascinated with Kaylin's part in the prior crisis and trying to keep to Mallory's hours, and Rennicks, and trying to investigate Marcus' case, while also coming under personal attack... Kaylin was not as careful as she should be and let things slip that she shouldn't. Including taking him to the Tha'alani quarter to see for himself how they lived, and healing several dying Tha'alani adults in front of him.

While dealing with Rennick and Mallory and Marcus, Kaylin had gotten a call from a Leontine woman she had acted as a midwife for in a previous book. The birth had been odd, because there had been only one kit, the mother had an abnormally hard time of the birth, and none of the other wives had been present. Given the lack, Kaylin had, in addition to healing the mother and birthing the cub, acted as a wife and helped lick the baby clean. (Gross, but actually plot crucial, not that she knew it would be important. She just thought it was an honour she couldn't figure out how to decline.) The baby was even named for her in so much as a Leontine male could be named for a human female. Roshan Kaylarr. Roshan's mother mirrored, asked her to come quickly and alone, that there was a problem with the baby. Kaylin went, but Severn went with her. They were attacked. The mother turned into some sort of horrible monster, and there was a whole lot of magical fire. Leontines, racially, didn't have mages. None of this made sense. But Kaylin got the baby out and safe, and took him to the only place she could think to take him. She took him to Marcus' wives, certain that the pridlea could not only protect the infant, but could also clue her into what was going on. She was befuddled when they made Severn stay outside, but Severn expected and accepted it.

The Pridlea explained what was going on. The mother - Marai was her real name - was sister to one of Marcus' younger wives, Sarabe. Sarabe and Marai had both been born red-furred, and in the wilds that would have been a death sentence. In the city, they were allowed to live, but forbidden to bear sons. Kaylin was horrified to learn that had they had any male cubs, the kitlings would have been killed. She was even more horrified to hear Kayala and the others explain why this was right. And of course, Marai... had a son.

The red fur was a mark of magery in Leontines. It meant that their hold on their existence as Leontines was weaker, that they were more susceptible to being remade. Leontines as a race had been created differently from any other race on the world. They were creatures that were wild and feral given sentience by the Old Ones, by one of the Old Ones telling them a story using True Words. But the Old One moved on, and when he or she or it returned, another Old One had told some of them a different story, and that story gave them power, and drove them mad. The first Old One eliminated the taint as best as possible, but it remained like a recessive gene (not that Kaylin has clue one what a gene is) in the species. Marai hadn't married, hadn't joined a Pridlea, and against all custom, she had a baby without being married. Roshan's father, Oogrim was a red-furred male. And someone - Makuron - had told him a story that had changed him. Makuron wanted a son born of two redfurs, he wanted Roshan. Oogrim told the story as best he could to Marai, which is what had changed her. Kaylin begged Kayala and the others to keep the baby safe. They agreed reluctantly to try.

Kaylin approached Marcus in his cell about the situation, and got more of the story from him. He did kill his friend, but something had been wrong, off. He had kept it to himself, because it stunk of mage-craft, and if it was, he was afraid the elders would demand the death of Sarabe. He was protecting his wife. Kaylin got Sanabalis involved, letting him turn it into a magic lesson if that was the cost of his help. Which is when she learned just how odd Marcus was for his reaction to Dragons. The other Leontines seemed to revere Sanabalis, and called him Eldest. Sanabalis told them a story, in the Old Tongue, using True Words, and calmed many of their fears. Kaylin saw the story as runes in the air as he spoke. They exhumed the corpse, and proved that the friend had in fact been possessed, Marcus had been acting in self defense, and would probably be free to go. Once the matter of Sarabe was decided. And they wanted the cub, to kill him, of course.

Meanwhile, Oogrim attacked the Pridlea trying to get to his son. Sanabalis granted them shelter in the Palace for a time, and compromised with Kaylin, promising to spare the child - for now.

Kaylin and Severn and some others chased Oogrim and Marai to the fiefs, and Kaylin called out to what was left of Marai. She claimed the right of Pridlea, claimed at as she was there for the birth, and licked the cub clean, she was one of Marai's wives (The marriage structure is weird.) And one of Roshan's mothers. Her words got to Marai, and Marai begged her for a story to help her remember who she was. Not knowing where the Words came from, Kaylin told her. And she was herself enough to take down Oogrim, but not enough to survive it.

Rennick, going back to him, had learned that Kaylin had taken the foundlings to the Tha'alani Quarter when Mayalee was saved, and decided to use that. Because if ten year old orphans weren't scared of the Tha'alani, he predicted that grown adults would feel pretty silly taking up arms against them.

Kaylin tried to convince the Arkon and Sanabalis to spare the baby.

"Had Marai died at birth, as is custom in the plains, we would not be in this position."

"Tiamaris - if we ALL died at birth, nothing bad would ever happen. Nothing would happen at all."


The Arkon finally offered a plan. He would tell the baby a story. If Kaylin could convince him that the story did what it should, if it would keep him from being like Oogrim, the baby would be allowed to live and grow until he gave them cause to change their minds. if Kaylin convinced the Arkon, the Arkon would convince the emperor. So the Arkon spoke, and Kaylin saw the words, she touched the ones that felt right to her, and lifted the baby to them. When she touched them, they turned blue, and that blue drained into the eyes of the infant. Blue was not a Leontine eye colour. But in the end the Arkon was satisfied, and the baby was Kaylins.

But as much as Kaylin loved children, she knew her life was not suitable for one, she couldn't be the mom the baby needed. So she brought him to Marrin - the Leontine who ran the Foundling Halls because after her sons were killed for red fur, she had decided never to have kits of her own again, but had always wanted a family. So the foundling hall got its first non-human child. Roshan. Kaylin's son.


“The Emperor has—has asked—the Elders to spare the child’s life,” Kaylin said, stumbling slightly on the words.
Marrin nodded gravely. “He is your son, by Pride Law.”
“Yes, but I don’t have a Pridlea,” Kaylin replied. “I don’t live by Pride Law. I used it, yes—but I’ve studied the law. I know how to use it when I have to.”
“And you had to, here.”
“Yes. I didn’t want him to die.”
Marrin was still waiting, and she was waiting in utter silence.
“I wanted—I want—him to be raised in a Pridlea,” she said quietly, looking for a moment at the baby’s wide, curious eyes. “But I don’t think he can be raised in the Quarter. He’ll suffer too much, I think. People are stupid when they’re afraid.”
“Especially when there are grounds for their fear.”
Kaylin hesitated, and then nodded. “But I don’t want him to grow up like Orogrim. He had to die. And now that he’s dead, it’s safe to think about what he might have been like, if he hadn’t spent his whole life knowing that the truth would be both feared and loathed. It’s so easy to get twisted out of shape, when you’re growing. And we don’t know what he’ll be.”
Marrin nodded. She was absolutely still, now. Even the children—well, the almost-children—noticed.
And then, after a long, awkward silence, Marrin sighed. “I will take him,” she said gently. “If that’s what you are trying—very badly—to ask me.” She held out her arms.
Kaylin looked at her. Yes, her eyes were golden, but they were filmed, Kaylin thought. Tears, something else, made the eyes glow in the soft light. “I can’t think of anyone else I would rather have raise him.”
She placed Roshan into Marrin’s open arms.
Marrin kissed his forehead, and hugged him.
“It’s not because of what you lost,” Kaylin said quietly. “It’s because of what you built. What you made for other children that no one wanted. What you’re still building day in and day out.
“And I know it’s a lot to ask, I know—”
“Oh, hush,” Marrin said softly, and there was something in her eyes, something in the baby’s, the blend of blue and gold so natural and so profound in its simplicity, that made Kaylin want to weep.
She hushed up instead.


So ended book four.

Book Five:
This book mostly dealt with the rest of Kaylin's past, specifically her time in Barren. While working her Elani street beat with Severn - Marcus reinstated - there was a commotion at Margot's fortune telling shop. Thugs had broken a window, and when Kaylin went to arrest them, one of the thugs turned. Morse. The woman who had taken her in and taught her to kill when she was 13. Morse was there to deliver a message from Barren. Blackmail. Come back to Barren and serve him again, or he'd tell all her new little law abiding friends in the city why she crossed the river in the first place. Tell them everything.

Teela and Tain took Kaylin and Severn out drinking to weasel the story out of her and made it bluntly clear that they knew enough to know that it didn't matter what Barren thought he had over Kaylin. She had earned her place, and they and the rest of the Hawks who knew her would fight to the death if need be to defend her place among them. Except as they were Barrani, it was far from being sappy or reassuring.

In the end, Kaylin decided to go see what Barren wanted, but not alone. Severn and Tiamaris went with her. Morse cursed her for all kinds of an idiot for showing up when she didn't have to. But she took her to see Barren. Or rather... tried to. They were attacked on Capstone, halfway to the white towers where Barren lived, right at the inner edge of the fief.

Kaylin had been learning throughout why the fiefs existed - at the center of them, where there had once been one more fief, was a Darkness that threatened the whole of the world. The destroyed fief was called Ravellon. And it was Makuron's base of operations. The fiefs each have a special building that stands as defense against the shadows, such as Castle Nightshade. The person strong enough to be fief lord takes the fief, and the building, and they use their power to hold the border. Barren's hold was failing. The monsters and other Shadows were appearing more and more often, and if Barren fell, the city would also fall.

A chaos storm hit while they were investigating the odd tower where Kaylin had sheltered her first night in Barren, and Tiamaris, Kaylin, and Severn were drawn through the storm and into the past. A past before the fall of Ravellon, where the fiefs were a rich part of the city. And in the past...they met Nightshade. Before he was outcaste. Long before Kaylin and Severn had ever been born. Seeing his mark on a mortal intrigued him. Feeling that she held his name fascinated him. He decided to tag along, and it was very very hard to tell him no.

They investigated the tower once again, and they were there when energy struck it, when it "awoke". When it went from being a tower to being The Tower. It was not where Barren ruled in her time. The border was falling because he didn't hold the Tower. But that was in the present. Back in the past, the Tower invited them in. And something about Kaylin and the marks of the Chosen on her skin awoke the Tower in a way none of the other buildings had woken. And the Tower... tried to communicate with them. Badly.

It tried to show that it understood Kaylin by showing her a nightmare landscape of her past, her dead. It read her mind and used what it found to try to communicate with her. It... did not go well.

The four of them finally found the heart of the Tower. When Tiamaris touched the wall, Kaylin could see words left in his wake. No one else's touch activated anything, and only Kaylin could see the words. They worked together to read them. They found the heart of the Tower, and the Tower took on the form of an avatar to try and speak with them more directly. She looked like Kaylin, but Kaylin with the one thing she always wanted. Wings. And without the marks that she hated. Kaylin came to realize that for all her power, the Tower was like a newborn, like a small child. It didn't understand. She and the others spoke to it. Kaylin named her, called her Tara, after her mother. She wasn't ever going to call any sort of child an "it". They spoke with Tara for a while, and then Tara helped them get home, even though she would be lonely until they found her again. Or... so they all thought.

Kaylin now knew why Nightshade marked her and gave her his name when she first met him, because she had those things when he first met her. He was preserving the timeline by doing that, and by never letting on what he knew until she caught up to him that way.

They learned that before Barren the fief had been called Illien, and the fieflord of the same name had been a Barrani. By all accounts... Barren should not have been able to kill him.

They went back to Barren, learned that he was a human who had an imperial writ out for his death. He fled to the fiefs where the Wolves had no jurisdiction to hunt. There didn't seem to be a fieflord, the fief was falling. So he flung all his magic into the border, and called himself fieflord. But Barren was a name he took for himself, and for the fief. Because that was what the fief was, since he didn't hold it properly. It was barren. Barren.

They returned to the Tower and found Tara and what was left of Illien. He had been fascinated with the buildings in the fiefs that anchored them, and had accepted her, taking the power of a fieflord for himself. But she had been so lonely for so long, and he was the first one to find the Words at the heart of her, the first one to reawaken her. And she refused to let him leave. She held him by his Name. He tried to divest himself of his name, he was that desperate to escape her, and he thought he could manage it thanks to his studies. He failed. He was determined to use what power he had left to destroy her. He had done a lot of damage to the Words at her heart. He tried to attack Kaylin and Tiamaris and Severn when they tried to repair her, and she attacked to keep them from killing Illien - he was HERS.

The problem was, once they killed Illien... the fief had no lord at all. Someone had to take the fief to keep the Shadows back. Tara turned to Kaylin. But it was Tiamaris who claimed the power. Having been allowed to take his true form several times while helping save the city and the world, he had decided he could no longer handle being told when he could fly, or being made to keep to a human form. The fiefs were outside the empire's rule. He claimed the fief as his Horde. Tara had wanted Kaylin, but Tiamaris had been at the heart of her as well, and had helped to awaken her. She accepted him. They became each other's master.

Tiamaris went to go inform Barren and Barren's cronies that the Tower, and the fief were his now. He offered Barren to Kaylin, pointing out that if she killed him, it wouldn't be a crime because she was in the fiefs where the law wasn't in effect. Kaylin wanted to, but refused, insisting he should face justice for what he did, but that she couldn't be the one to deal it. She wasn't a killer, not any more. She chose not to be.

Tiamaris nodded, accepting it, and was going to hand Barren over to Severn as a former Wolf to bring back to the empire... when Morse sprung, killing Barren, spitting on his corpse.

Tara and Tiamaris got to work at once. Tiamaris wanted to make the fief - now called Tiamaris - more like the city than like a fief. He had big plans. He wanted it to be a safe place. The Empire writ small, and all his. Tara took the form of a child, and used her powers to see every bit of her domain in eerie ways. She became known as "The Lady" to the people of Tiamaris, and there was a mix of fear and awe there. Morse became Timaris' main lieutenant, and Kaylin was always welcome.

So ends book 5. More or less.

Book 6.
Cast in Chaos. The title says it all. The Mirror in the Hawk's office that told the time had been altered by Mallory during his tenure to remind Hawks to clock in and out properly. It had never been changed back. And... it started acting oddly. Greeting people by names - including citizens that had no reason to be in Records. It got chatty. There were office betting pools over who was going to be the first to break it and when. Kaylin bet on Marcus.

More odd things started happening around the City. The Mirror in the palace spun wildly out of control. Door Wards acted up oddly... and there were strange births. A baby born with a third eye, another born fully lingual. The rain of blood was the most useful, though, because it let them map the boundaries of the space of weirdness.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the epicenter was Elani street. Where the charlatans were suddenly performing actual feats of magic. And no one was more surprised than they were! Margot accidently informed a noble lady that her father was under investigation by the Hawks for embezzlement. Unfortunately, that warning gave him time to go to ground, making a difficult case nearly impossible. The Garden was a mess as the Elementals expressed their displeasure over whatever it was that was happening. Grethan was freaked out about how the water in his wash bucket - in the shop, not in the Garden - started talking to him. He was afraid to even drink anything after that.

Magic use was banned in the affected areas, except for in the most heavily protected part of the Arkon's library, where he was authorized to use it sparingly. He had a large flat alter that served as a scrying mirror that gave them some information. A painting Everly had started was also helping.

The clues started to come together. Kaylin went to go find Evanton in the Garden to find out if he knew anything...and she fell off of the world. She was in what looked like the Garden at first but felt dead and empty to her acute magical senses. She turned for the door to leave, and it started to recede, the more she ran the faster it fled her. Soon even the illusion of the Garden fell away and she was running through a grey featureless nothing.

After trying everything else she could think of... she called out to Nightshade using his True Name. He heard her. So did something else. Nightshade was able to use the portal of his castle to rip open a passage for her in the fabric of reality, but whatever had heard her - which should be impossible - followed her. It grabbed her legs. Nightshade grabbed her arms. A tug of war ensued, and when it was clear Nightshade was ready to cut off her legs to free her, she managed to kick free. The rip in reality closed behind her, trapping whatever monster had grabbed her in the space between worlds. But where it had held her, the marks on her legs were faded. In some places, they were gone all together.

With that experience, they had a focus for their clues, and she learned from Nightshade, from the Consort who considered her a friend still, and from sneaking back into the Arkon's library to use the alter again since the doorwards were deactivated as part of the magic ban. They also consulted Tara who was well outside of the affected area.

They learned that the place she had been was the path between worlds. The Arkon's multiple world theory was all but proven, only details like Ravellon being an intersection between worlds (based mostly on how magic seemed to work oddly there back when it was still an active place, how Aerians couldn't fly over it, and based on it having a library that was so much bigger on the inside than the outside that extra-dimensional was to some people the most logical answer) remained uncertain. It was all but confirmed that humans had started on another world, which was why unlike every other sentient race on that world, their eye color did not change with their mood, and why they seemed so limited in so many ways compared to the other races. It was thought that they had come to this world from another, and that something big and massive had happened when they came through, wiping out a chunk of this world and remaking it.

And she learned that the beast that stalked between the worlds was called the Devourer and that he (Kaylin randomly assigns genders to the genderless, as we recall) ate worlds, and was the reason no one traveled the roads between anymore, because traveling attracted him, and he would devour the travelers, and if he could, the world they arrived on.

The chaos storms seemed to be the heralds of a portal between worlds opening, that there were people, Kaylin discovered, from another world, fleeing the Devourer, and heading for her world. The portal would, if Everly's painting was right, open out over Elani street - the epicenter for the magical anomalies. Other than Evanton and Grethan who could NOT leave without risking the safety of the world by leaving the Elements unattended, Elani street was evacuated.

In an unprecedented move The High Lord of the Barrani and the Consort agreed to meet with the Dragons to work together to figure out a way to save the world. They needed to figure out how to keep the rift from opening. Kaylin disagreed, wanted to save the lost people. It led to a huge fight between her and the Consort, the kind of fight that were there not a crisis probably would have seen Kaylin dead.

Kaylin consulted with Evanton who agreed that they shouldn't be trying to keep the portal from opening. Not that he was taking sides on if they should doom the strangers or not. He just thought it was a waste of precious time and resources as he felt it was impossible. And the Elements explained to them what the Devourer was. He was one of them, he was the one that bound them all together once upon a time. "He was our night, our dreaming". The elements had thought him their shackle and had ripped him away from them and cast him out from their worlds. Now they knew better, but they were afraid to take him back, afraid of his retribution.

Kaylin convinced a few key others that they wouldn't be able to keep the rift from opening. Mostly by telling them Evanton said so. Sanabalis, Ybelline, and the Arkon went with her and Severn to the Garden. Ybelline went to Water, the the Dragons went one to Fire one to Air. Evanton tried to calm Earth. Kaylin and Severn went back to the road between worlds to guide the travelers, in hopes they could get there before the Devourer caught up to them, but Kaylin was also plan B.

She fed the Devourer words, she spoke to him, merged with him. She became him and he became her. She learned of his sadness, his loneliness. He wasn't trying to eat the worlds, he was attracted to the True Word at their cores, and he was trying to learn, trying to find a way in, and unmaking them accidently in the process. She brought him back to the Garden, and she and the others reunited him with the other Elements, helped him find his home. Renamed him the Maker, as now that he was with the others again, rather than unmaking Words, he could use their help to MAKE words, and thus worlds. Even if the Old Ones were no longer there to populate the worlds they made.

The People, as the strangers called themselves, they knew of the marks Kaylin wore, the marks of the Chosen. But to them the Chosen was revered, not hidden and secret, and they saw her as a leader.

After some fast politics, some drums that revealed the Shadows at the heart of the fiefs, and a flight of Dragons... the People moved into Tiamaris to help fight the Shadows. Those too were known to them on their world, and the People had spent countless generations at war with them. They were horrified to find their new home also infested, but determined to succeed here where they had failed before.

Kaylin did her best to help them settle in, but there was no rest for the weary....

(and here the books start to run together more.)

For one thing, there was another odd birth - this one a woman laid an egg. She and her husband didn't want it, so Mydra dropped it on Kaylin figuratively and told her it was her problem.

For another thing, the people had once again seen something dramatic without having clue one what had actually happened. Since Elani was still quarantined - it now had a lovely little river running through it with some odd but pretty moss and flowers - she and Severn were assigned to Sargent Keele's division for a time to help take down reports from panicked people.

Kaylin was about ready to do ANYTHING to get out of that when anything came in the form of lessons. Magic lessons with Sanabalis resumed, and lessons in etiquette with Lord Diamart. It had been decided she was going to have to see the Emperor sooner rather than later, and with her inability to hide her thoughts from her face, her swearing, and her casual attitude, it was pretty much agreed that if she met him, he would be forced to eat her. Since the Emperor would rather that not happen, she had to take lessons.

When Tara learned that, she threw herself into helping, much to Kaylin's chagrin. Thankfully, in a sick sort of way, a crisis came up that meant that Diamart's desire to increase her lessons was deferred as Sanabalis requested that she be seconded to him for an unofficial investigation. Tiamaris had requested assistance in his fief investigating an odd crime, since he did not yet have a police force, and even Tara who could see everything was stumped.

Two things seemed to be happening at once. People were going missing - and since one was from the city, but went missing in the fief, the jurisdiction got grey, - and a murder victim had turned up. Several of her. They had found multiple of the same exact corpse, dressed the same way, in various places.

Investigations showed that these cases were not directly related to each other, but that the dead lady was somehow connected to the new Shadow Lieutenant attacking Tiamaris' border.

Being her usual stupid self, and following her instincts, Kaylin reached out for the fiend...and found a person. Trapped and bound by his name, but a person. She was able to win his temporary freedom, and he crossed the border into Tiamaris. He was one of the Norinar - The People. He was one of their "Ascended" which basically meant that he was a special warrior with a special duty that no one could quite explain. But when they showed the Norinar and image of the dead woman, they reacted and tried to keep the memory crystal that held her image. They seemed to almost revear it.

And things only got more confusing from there. Like Maggeron - the Norinar from the Shadows - obsession with his sword, which he demanded Kaylin take because he was no longer worthy to keep her safe or wield her. Like the odd ripples in space around the disappearances. Like the odd places the woman would keep turning up dead.

Eventually, however, they got an answer of sorts. The woman wasn't one woman, but nine women. Once they had been nine female Dragons, hatched in the same clutch. One female is rare. Nine in one clutch was almost unheard of. And they had no brothers. The nine had an odd psychic link between them, and odd powers. They loved driving the older Dragons nuts, and would make themselves look alike to confuse people. Because they were nearly the only females of their age, a lot was tolerated. But Makuron the Black got to them, filled their heads with lies and promises and found a way to claim their names. They were lost in a chaos storm, and they might have even created it to free themselves.

They had rebuilt their name and were trying to use the arrival of the People as a way to break through. The world the People had been from had been the world they found themselves on after the chaos storm, and they had taught the Norinar how to fight the Shadows. Each of them gave part of their name to a sword to be granted to the Ascended, thus putting part of their lives and selves into the sword and keeping that part of themselves safe from Makuron.

In the end, Kaylin realized that the women didn't each have a name, they each had part of one very complex name. She was able to reconstruct it, and ran it through with the sword, which sealed the final piece and freed her from the Outcaste. She saved one of the women and one only. But once again there was a female Dragon in the world. Bellusdeo.

When the Emperor had taken the throne, Bellusdeo and her sister had already been long gone. All the dragons present had been given the choice to accept his rule and serve in his court, or take the long sleep. It is unclear if any who chose to take the long sleep were female. But there were no females in the court. This left Bellusdeo in a very odd position. Because Tiamaris kept his ties to the court, so she was the only Dragon awake who hadn't sworn fealty to the Emperor. Being the only female, there was an expectation that she would join the court, and start breeding. She rather resented that. She also resented going from a warrior Queen who was practically a Goddess to the Noirinar to being told she had to be protected. The final straw was when she was informed she would be living at the Palace.

She decided she wasn't having any of that, she was going to live with Kaylin. In Kaylin's one room apartment. Kaylin wasn't given much choice. At all.

Things went from bad to worse when a rogue Barrani who was old enough - as many Barrani were - to remember the Draco-Barrani wars wanted to kill Bellusdeo. He threw an arcane bomb into Kaylin's window.

By rights, Kaylin and Bellusdeo should have been dead. But the power from the bomb hatched the egg that Kaylin had been sleeping curled around, and the familiar that hatched from it shielded them magically. It then proceeded to eat two of Kaylin's marks and then fall asleep around her shoulders.

No one quite knew what the familiar was, but the Dragons were all insulted when she said it looked like a baby Dragon. It was the size of a cat, and to Kaylin's eyes, looked transparent, except for the dark opal eyes and the glittering teeth. Other than saving them when it hatched, it seemed content to just chew on her hair sticks, her hair, her ears, occasionally her nose. Other from that, it seemed like a lazy housepet that could fly.

Kaylin was forced to move into the Palace - it was safer for Bellusdeo - while looking for a new home. But the Emperor wanted them to live somewhere safe, Bellusdeo wanted a place large enough for Maggeron to live with them. Kaylin wanted something that was HERS that she could afford.

It didn't help that other than the Arkon - who was old enough to have known Bellusdeo before she and her sisters vanished - Bellusdeo didn't get along with ANY of the other Dragons, least of all Dimart and the Emperor. Kaylin was getting less sleep than usual due to all the roaring that could be heard from anywhere in the palace.

Furthermore, things were going from bad to worse with the case that Margot blew open. Apparently the corruption ran deeper than anyone realized. But they were hitting dead ends all over the place. And they still hadn't solved the missing persons cases in the fiefs. Though they were pretty sure that they were happening more in Nightshade than in Tiamaris. And that Nightshade was complicit. Or at least he told Kaylin that his people were his, and if he wanted to sell them, that was his business.

Disgusted, she swore never to go to his Castle again, no matter how badly they needed information.... so of course he countered by sending a message to the Hawklord. He had information that could close the embezzlement case and wrap it up with a neat little bow. And he would trade.

The Barrani High Court was making a sojourn to the West March for a ritual telling of a Story. He intended to go. His deal was simple. They wanted the information, Kaylin went with the caravan to the West March.

The Hawks couldn't refuse the deal. But as Severn had been named Lord when Kaylin was, and Teela was a Lord of the High Court long before she was a Hawk, they both had rights to go as well and did. And so did the Consort, who was still livid with Kaylin, even though she had been proven right. Or perhaps because she had been proven right.

Despite being Outcaste, apparently they could not stop Nightshade from attending, and he was an old friend of the Consort's from when she was still just next in line.

Kaylin learned that this story was some sort of massively big deal, and like the Story told to the Leontines, it can change or alter Barrani. It is why only Lords are allowed to make the journey, because they passed the Test of Name and are secure in their Names.

Along the way, they stop at the Barrani version of wayhouses. Halliones. The Halliones are, much like Tara, ancient aware highly magical sentient buildings. They decide who sleeps in which rooms and with whom. One of them led Kaylin to a room one night where a dress was waiting in the cupboard for her. As her clothing had vanished when she had bathed, she pulled on the dress. And was met with dead silence when she joined the Barrani.

The story does not always have a Teller and a Harmoniste, but when it does, it portends an epic telling, and a very effective and complex - and dangerous - story. Kaylin's dress was the Blood of the Green. The garb of the Harmoniste. The Hallione had chosen her. Nightshade was to be the Teller.

The Hallione were more awake this journey than on most, which could be the fault of the familiar, no one was quite sure. But some of them actually spoke to Kaylin, and others rotated her into different rooming situations, leaving her sharing a bed with the Consort, with Teela, and with Severn.

Her canon point is during this journey, which means that this concludes the history section. Until/unless I canon update her in the future.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Her backstory is complex and convoluted.
Character Personality:
Kayin Neya is determined to the point of being painfully and dangerously stubborn. That is perhaps the first and most important thing to know about her. This woman will wander lost for hours, refusing to admit that she is lost, even when it is painfully obvious to everyone around her. But that determination has also served her well. She survived a life that would have killed many others. She survived the fiefs. She survived the training to become a Hawk as a teenager. She was living on her own by the time she was 14.

Unfortunately her stubbornness also led her to being a horrible classroom student despite her natural curiosity and intelligence.


“You will, of course, be familiar with much of what these documents contain. These,” he added, lifting a half inch’s worth, “are your academic transcripts. With annotations.”

“You’re not supposed to have those – even I don’t have access to – ”

“As a man who is considering accepting you as a pupil, I have, of course, obtained permission to access these.”

“Oh.” She hesitated and then added, “What do they say?”

“You tell me.”

This wasn’t going the way the previous lessons had. So far, he’d failed to make mention of her “unfortunate beginnings.” Which meant he’d also failed to offend her.

“I’m waiting, Kaylin.”

“Probably… that I’m not very good at classroom work. Academic work, I think they call it.”

He raised a brow. “That was a very short sentence for this much writing.”

“They’re clever, they can say the same thing over and over without using the same word twice.”

At that, he did smile.

Oh, what the hell. “I’m not fond of authority.”

“Good.”

“I’m not fond of sitting still.”

“True, as well.”

“I get bored easily.”

“I believe the phrase was ‘dangerous levels of boredom.’”

“I’m not great with numbers.”

“You manage an argument over your pay chit at least once a month.”

“Oh, well, money’s different.” She frowned. “They said that?”

“No. That was private investigation on my part.”

“I’m a bit brusque.”

“Actively rude.’”

“I’m blunt.”

“‘Arrogant and misinformed.’”

“I’m a bit on the, um, assertive side.”

“I think the previous statement covered that, as well.” He put the papers down. “The rest?”

“Variations?”

“Not precisely.” He leaned forward on elbows he placed, with care, to either side of the documents in question. “You are, according to the teachers who failed you, frustratingly bright. One even used the word precocious. But you have no focus, no ability to pay attention to anything that doesn’t suit you. Would you say that’s fair?”

“No.”

“What would you say, Kaylin?”

“I want to be out there. I want to be on the beat. I want to be doing something. I didn’t sign up with the Hawks to sit still while other people risk their lives – ”

He lifted a hand. “I believe that this was also covered. And quoted. At length. Don’t feel a need to revisit it on my behalf. You did manage to learn to read. And to write. In two languages.”

“I had to,” she said woodenly. “The Hawklord – ”

He raised a white brow.

“Lord Grammayre,” she said, correcting herself, “said I was out if I couldn’t manage that. Because the Laws are written in Barrani – High Barrani – and if I didn’t know them, I couldn’t enforce them.”

“‘Represent them’ were the words he used, I believe. You learned to use weapons.”

She nodded.

“And you were skilled at unarmed combat.”

She nodded again. “Those were useful.”

“History does have its uses.”

“To dead people,” she said sullenly.

“Living people define themselves by their dead.”

She said nothing.

“You almost passed comparative religion. You paid very little attention to Racial classes.”

More nothing.

“Very well. Your teachers – Hawks, all – were of a mind to allow you to stretch your wings on the streets. I believe they thought it would knock sense into you.”

“You didn’t come here to discuss my academic record.”

“Actually, Kaylin, I did. I assure you I seldom discuss things that are not of interest to me. That would be called politics,” he added. “And I see that you – ”

“Failed that, yes.”

“Why?”

“Because I’m not going anywhere political. If you’ve read the records you know I’m a fiefling. I grew up there. I lived there. I probably broke a hundred laws without knowing I was doing anything illegal.” She had folded her arms across her chest, and she now tightened them. “I was born to the streets. I know them.”

“The streets of Elantra are not the streets of Nightshade. I’m certain your other teachers were willing to accept this rant at face value. Do better with me, Kaylin. I’m old enough to value my time.”

She stood up and started to pace.

“Don’t cling to your ignorance.”

“I’m not.”

“Don’t hide behind it, either.”

“I’m not hiding. Yes, the rest of Elantra is different. But people with power are the same everywhere – here they just have to be more clever about breaking the law. I’m not good with people who are above the law.”

“Or beneath it?”

“No, I understand them.”

“You’ve been willing to learn many things,” he continued, failing to notice that she’d left her seat. “You spent four weeks – without pay – at the midwives guild.”

She stopped moving.

“I told you, I do my homework. You also, I believe, spend time at the foundling halls – ”

“Leave the foundling halls out of this.”

” – teaching the orphans. To read. To write. You could barely stand to do this yourself, and I cannot think that this is an overt display of aggression. How, then, do you explain it?”

“I don’t.”

He nodded, as if the answer wasn’t surprising. “Very well. Let us change the course of this discussion somewhat.”

“Let’s not.”

He raised a brow over golden eyes. So far, she’d failed to annoy him; there wasn’t even a hint of orange in them.

“I am aware that teaching or learning are not the only things you do, at either the midwives guild or the foundling halls.” He raised a hand. “I am advisor to the Emperor, Kaylin. I am aware of the power you do possess. Sadly, so are the rest of the Hawks. Secrecy is not a skill you’ve learned.”

“Emergencies don’t lend themselves to secrecy.”

“True. Power does. Do you understand that you have power?”

She hesitated; the ground beneath her feet was shifting, and in ways that she didn’t like. She thought better of her need to leave the confinement of the damn chair, and sat again, hard.

“Yes,” he said softly, the tone of his voice changing. “I know what you bear on your arms and legs. I’ve seen the records. I’ve even examined them. I know that you’ve healed the dying, on many occasions. But I also know – ”

She held up a hand, palm out, and turned away.

He was a Dragon, through and through. “I also know that you’ve used that power to kill. To kill quickly, yes, but also to kill slowly and painfully. I understand that the Imperial Order of Mages can at times be insular. I understand that their insularity feels like condescension. I will not even argue that it is anything else, in your case.

“But you are playing games with something that you don’t understand.”

“You don’t understand it either.”

“No,” he said without pause. “And it is because it is not understood that it is feared. You’ve treated this as a game, Kaylin Neya. The time for games has passed.” His eyes were still gold, but his lower lids rose, lending opacity to the clarity of color.

“The Dragon Emperor is well aware of what you faced in the fief of Nightshade. We do not name the outcaste, and because we do not, I do not believe it has occurred to the Emperor – or his Court – that you can.”

She frowned.

“Names have power, Kaylin.”

“I… know.”

“Good. It is not to light candles that I have come – and yes, I am aware of what you did with the last one – although candles are a focal exercise that even the most junior of mages must master.”

“Why?”

“Because it shows us that they are in control of their power, and not the inverse. And for most, it is a struggle. You would be an object of envy for many of the students that pass through our doors.”

“I don’t want to pass through your doors.”

“No. And I think it best for the Order that you never do. I will be honest with you, because it is something you understand. We – none of us who know – are certain you can be taught. Do you understand this? We do not know what you are capable of yet. It is to test your capabilities that we have been sent.”

“Why didn’t they just – ”

“Say so? It may have escaped your notice, but the Imperial Order of Mages is not accustomed to explaining themselves to a young, undereducated girl.”

“You are.”

“I have less to lose,” he replied quietly. “And I am aware, as perhaps they were not, of how much you have to lose, should we fail. Or rather, should you fail.”

This caught her attention and dragged it round in a death grip.

“Yes,” he continued in that serene voice. “Should you fail, you will be called up before the Dragon Emperor. The fact that you are, without question, loyal to the Hawks has caused the Emperor – twice – to stay his hand. I cannot think of a person for whom he has stayed his hand three times. If you cannot be trained, if you cannot learn to abide these classroom chores, these boring hours spent staring at an unlit candle wick, you will be removed from the ranks of the Hawks.”

“Will I still be alive?”

Sanabalis did not answer the question.

“Can I ask a different question?”

“You are free to ask anything.”

“Who else has he stayed his hand with twice?”

Sanabalis’s frosted brows drew closer together. “Pardon?”

“You said you couldn’t think of a person to whom he’d granted clemency three times. That implies that you can think of a person to whom he’s granted it twice. I mean, besides me.”

At that, the Dragon laughed. The sound almost deafened her, and she was glad she was in the West Room; nothing escaped its doors. “You are an odd woman, Kaylin Neya. But I think I will answer your question, since it is close to my heart.” She didn’t ask him which heart; she understood it was metaphor.

“Lord Tiamaris of the Dragon Court.” Her jaw almost dropped; it probably would have if it hadn’t been attached to the rest of her face. Tiamaris, honorary Hawk, was so… prim and proper it was hard to imagine he could ever do anything to offend his Lord.

“Lord Tiamaris was the last student I chose to accept,” he added. “At my age, students are seldom sent to me.”

“Why?”

“I am the Court of last resort, Kaylin. If I judge a mage to be unteachable, or unstable, no one else will take him.”

“Because he’s dead?”

Again, the Dragon was silent.

“In your case,” Sanabalis continued smoothly, after the momentary silence, “you could have offended a full quarter of the Magi before you reached me. But because of the unusual nature of your talents, that was not considered a viable option.” He reached into his robes and pulled out a candle.

She wilted visibly.

“This is like, very like, Barrani,” he told her as he set the candle on a thin base and placed it exactly between them. “If you fail to learn it, you lose the Hawks.”

“And my life.”

“I am not convinced that they are not one and the same. I will take you,” he added quietly.



I think the conversation above with Sanabalis says a lot about her. She has given her all to being a Hawk, with the exception of what she gives to the midwives and the foundlings. She helps. She might not always go about it in the best ways, might not always be wise, and lacks tact. But ultimately all she wants is to help people. She wants to put criminals away, not for glory or to have a target for her rage, but to keep them from hurting other people.

Yes, people annoy the **** out of her most of the time. Any given moment she would have a list for you of people she is sure the world is better without. Margot and Mallory at the top of those lists usually. Nightshade also pretty high up. But she would also risk her life to defend them. Has.

When a noblewoman demanded that Kaylin arrest Margot, Kaylin would have been happy to... had the irritating fortune teller actually done anything illegal. But since she hadn't, Kaylin didn't. When Margot's window was broken in, and she was facing thugs, Kaylin was hoping for an excuse to arrest Margot, but didn't wait for Margot to give her one, she went in to defend the woman and the woman's property, no matter how much she hated the fortune telling shop.

Kaylin's hatred of Margot and the others like her stems from dreams. "The fiefs had a way of breaking the dreams they let you keep," she had said once. She used to dream of having finery...so she could sell it to have enough money to buy food. Margot and others like her sell dreams... but false dreams, and they have customers who pay more than they can afford in desperation for those dreams. And as someone who counted herself lucky as a child on days when there was trash she could eat, that disgusts her.

But still she defends their legal right to throw away their money, and their legal right to separate fools from their fortunes. Because she is determined to enforce the laws. (Represent, Kaylin. The Hawklord said represent the laws.)

Kaylin, as mentioned above, has next to no sense of direction. This seems to vanish in the face of an emergency, however. But when lives aren't on the line, she can easily walk in circles for hours. But emergencies change everything for Kaylin. Protecting and healing push everything else to the back burner. Rage, swearing, betting even, are forgotten when it is needed to save a life.

But when it's not? Rage, swearing, betting... That's a pretty good picture of Kaylin on a "good" day. She says that Barrani must enjoy grudges, given how long they hold onto the **** things. She is the same way with anger. But as she learns more about a situation, that anger often turns inwards.

She hated Severn for what he did to Steffi and Jade. When she came to forgive him, she turned that hatred inward on herself. When she asked him why he didn't kill her instead of them, and he said that it was because even then, he couldn't lose her.... she hated herself for surviving. Over and over we see her hating herself for surviving when her death would have meant the others would have lived. When she realized that the Barrani were not the monsters she thought they were, she hated herself for her bigotry, and lashed out at anyone who sounded the way she used to sound when talking about them.

Cursing. Linguistics are her only academic gift, or so she keeps claiming. She can speak fluently in 4 languages, but she can swear in 7 by the start of the books. By her canon point, she has also learned one swear word in High Barrani - which she thought was impossible - and one in Dragon. She is disturbingly proud of being able to swear in Dragon. Given potential triggers (and my own issues with swearing) when I play her, unless it is a direct quote from the books (like in a memory theater event) I ***** out her cursing.

Betting. Betting was the only pastime of her childhood she enjoyed. All fieflings bet, usually on someone else's messy death under their bare windows. She is proud of the fact that she introduced betting to the Hawks, and after swearing it is the primary recreational pastime of her department. Though they did laugh at her for ages when she was 14, and found out there was a maker of books and went to see what the odds were...

Kaylin can be petty. And when people laugh at her, she likes to get even. She was treated as the Mascot by the Hawks for a long time, since she was 13 when she joined, and so she had lots of cause for revenge. One time she stole everyone's inkwells except for one man's. She gave him invisible ink. There was a mouldy sandwich hidden in a draw, and a pitcher of water upended over a coworker's head. Eventually though, as her training progressed, the laughter (mostly) stopped. Not because of her pranks, but because everyone had to face her at some point in the practice ring, and short of the Barrani, almost no one could take her down. And having been trained by Marcus, Teela, and Tain, she fought dirty.

Wings! Kaylin has an obsession with wings, and with flight. The first time Clint took her flying, she was scared to look down, but once he coaxed her to look around, she found a love in the sky. She wished from then on that she could grow wings, that she had been born Aerian. That and the ability to go back and save all the lives she failed to save...those are her dearest wishes. As to wings themselves, she loves burying her hands in Clint's flight feathers because she loves the way it makes him curse. And most of her more inventive cursing involves flight feathers.

Children are perhaps the only thing she loves more than wings. Severn said that she had a whole other set of expressions for children, and she does. Around children the guarded look at the back of her eyes vanishes. She will do nearly anything to make a child giggle. She even let a Tha'alani child touch her face with his stalks before her fear had completely gone...because who could fear a child? She swung him up and around and played with him. She loves babies too, but when they can run around and giggle and squeal, that is her favorite age for children. Even as a child, she loved children. She took in Steffi and Jade when she was a year older than one and two older than the other. Her children. She will always have a weakness for children. And she once told Tiamaris that living children were the best way mortals had to define their lives.

Going back to expressions... Kaylin has a VERY expressive face. While there are characters in her canon with the ability to read minds, it is almost never needed with her. She can't hide her thoughts, and is constantly told she is an open book. Severn knew what she had seen in a keyed memory crystal because she got her "child in danger" expression on and then screamed in a way he had only ever heard her scream once before. But even people who know her less well react to her thoughts somtimes, even before she voices them. Nightshade often remarks in this. He also often does this. But he CAN read her mind, so it is unclear sometimes which he is reading when he replies - her mind or her face.

Starving. Kaylin grew up starving and even as an adult rarely gets enough food. Mostly because she often spends her pay chit betting. She will always sacrifice dignity for food when the trade is offered. Her stomach usually speaks for her, she is so often hungry, and even in situations when food is abundant, life often gets in the way of her being able to eat any of it. Exceptions being that when she meets him in the Palace, Sanabalis can usually arrange for her to have a full meal and time in which to eat it, and post her canon point when she eventually meets Helen.


Not sure what else to say. If Kaylin likes you, she'll probably try kicking your shins or hitting you at least once when you say something irritating. She oversleeps. She's grouchy. She seems to be ace but I'm not sure if that is because of Barren trauma or just who she is. She is jumpy about physical intimacy though because of Barren for sure. Her one and only attempt at dating, she tried kissing the guy, when he kissed back, she panicked and broke his nose. She's never had a desire to try again since. She was afraid when she thought Nightshade was going to force himself on her, but he made it clear he intends for her to come to him. She never has. She was confused when Severn told her that sharing a bed with her was difficult, because he had to restrain himself. That there might be a temptation had never occurred to her, and this was after he had told her multiple times that he was more or less in love with her and pretty much always had been. She had been fine sharing a bed with him until he said that, then she was mostly confused. She's shared her bed platonically many times with Teela and/or Tain and never thought anything of it. She doesn't always think much of anything about changing in front of someone unless they don't know about her marks, and she has no trouble sharing a Barrani bath with someone. (Think a huge room where the whole room is one big hot tub/sauna with minerals. like an indoor onsen). So she's not physically repulsed, she just... doesn't seem to feel any attraction or expect anyone to feel it for her. She even mentions in a thought section that she avoided brothels because the girls sometimes recruited the unwary - not that she was ever pretty enough to be in danger of that particular fate. So she gets that attraction is a thing, she just is befuddled when it is aimed at her. Given that both Severn and Nightshade are determined to win her over each in their own way...her cluelessness is kind of impressive. And at least partially a matter of her deciding not to think about it.

Powers and Abilities:

Got an hour? Lol. Okay. Here we go!

The marks. The marks are the basis of her power - presumably. She never tried anything before the marks appeared when she was ten. When she uses her power, they glow. When she is around other magic, they itch or burn, and sometimes glow. when they glow from someone else's magic, they HURT. Since she expects this when she is around magic...this will probably be the first ability she bends back, and she will have had no intention to do it. Just... she'll see bending as magic, and after a while she'll start hurting when she sees it, which will evolve back into her getting her sense back. Because I am mean. And I want it to her her. Because...yeah. It's very much a part of Kaylin, pushing past that pain. (A note, this seems to be the one magical thing that the bracer does not stop. Well, this and Nightshade marking her, since she had the bracer on when he did that.)

Healing. She doesn't know how she heals. She can't explain it. But she can heal. Damage/bleeding is the easiest for her, but she's healed poison as well. She can bring someone back from the brink of death. If she doesn't pause, she can go from healing to healing. But as soon as she takes any sort of break it all catches up to her and she can hardly stand.

Death magic - stronger even than her healing. Deadly. And when she uses it she loses herself to the joy of the magic, the thrill of the pain she is causing. Usually only the bracer or knocking her out can stop her when she falls too deeply into death magic, but sometimes some words can penetrate. Like when Severn told her she was killing the children....


Words. Words have power. Kaylin has a gift with Words of power. Even when she cannot read or understand them, she has an instinctive affinity for them. She has altered True Words time and time again, not knowing how they should look or what they mean. She followed instinct, and was right. Also when True Words are spoken, she can see them, and with her touch can affect them.

Communication with anyone who holds her True Name, or anyone whose True Name she holds. This would be Severn, Nightshade, and the Lord of The West March as of this canon point. If anyone apps one of them in, she can talk to them mentally from anywhere on the world. Or between them.

Elements - She is learning Elemental Magic with Sanabalis, and has befriended the Elements in the Garden. As of current canon point she can call and communicate with Water and Fire. Fire is simpler in a lot of ways. Water is more awake and aware because of her connection to the Tha'alaani. What I usually do in games is that Water explains that she is not all of Water. She can't reach the Tha'alaani. That she is the echo of Water that Kaylin brought with her, knowing nothing more of their world than she did in the moment Kaylin left. But when she gets too lonely in her other games she will summon Water, just to talk.



Items and their qualities:
Because of her canon point, she is wearing certain items that have their own magical properties.

Dress - Wearing the Blood of the Green... the dress is a special dress and magical. No matter what she has done to it, it doesn't wrinkle or crease or stain. Or tear. She was stabbed through the chest one time, bled a fair amount. When the blade was removed, she was still hurt, but the dress was whole and there was no evidence of the blood. She can - and will - toss it in a corner as soon as she gets proper clothing, all balled and wadded up. When she goes to put it on next, it will be fresh as though it just came from the laundry.

Bracer - in her world it inhibits her magic and always returns to the keeper - which is never her. And never someone she chooses. She knows the code to unlock it so she can take it on and off. It apparently has an ability to record, but she has no clue how to access that. Also sometimes when blocking magic (but only sometimes) the gems light up and go crazy. She doesn't understand why and can't control it. It is also unbreakable and she has used it to deflect sword strikes. For the game, I'd say it will still block her bending, because she expects it to. And that it will help strengthen her against bending being used against her, because she believes it will. But it won't actually make her immune. More that she expects it to do these things so she subconsciously is exerting her will to that end. I would like it to still be able to come on and off, and to go to a keeper, if possible, because that leads to a lot of fun threads. If that works?

Daggers - her daggers are in the pockets of the dress - because Teela would skin her alive if she tried to put her weapons belt on over her dress - and they are sheathed. They have been enchanted to make no sound when drawn. Evanton's magic. Other from that one spell they are ordinary daggers.

Sanabalais' amulet - an amulet with the face if a Dragon. She can use it as a focus to call Fire. She doesn't generally need it, but was ordered to wear it to remind the Barrani she was claimed by the Dragon Court.

The ring of the West March - the West March's seal. Power is, like the amulet, mostly political. Only magic is that it will always fit her finger, despite looking far too large when she takes it off.

Hawk ring - no magic, just an identifier.

For her communication item - would it be possible for her to have a mirror with her? That's what she uses in her world, but there were none in the caravan.


Samples

Network:
"Alright," [Kaylin said, her fingers still on the bottom of the mirror she used for communications. She looked underslept and ****ed off.] "Fine. I wound up in some other world. And you people want me to believe everything is free here."

[She swore in three languages at that, under her breath. She was... creative. That was for sure.]

"Let's even pretend I buy it for the moment." [It is clear on her face that she doesn't.] "If things are actually free, why the ****s are any idiots here actually committing crimes? I'm heading over to sign up to join this world's version of the Hawks, to be a cop since I'm stuck here. But if this is some *****ing utopia where everything is free, why in any of the nine ***s are any of you doing anything that would even REQUIRE cops?"

[Mind, if there were no cops and no crime here, she wouldn't buy it and she'd be even more ****ed off. She was contrary like that.]



Third Person:

Kaylin looked around her room in the welcome house. It left a lot to be desired. But it was hers. No Hallione sending her to the room of someone who would rather have nothing to do with her. That was good. No Barrani bath. That was bad. She might have gotten a little bit spoiled on the trip. The carriage ride sucked. But the bath almost made up for it.

Of course... no carriage ride. No worry someone might be stupid enough to let Teela drive. And even better...no screaming Dragons.

She sat on the edge of the bed and let that sink in. No screaming Dragons. Not that there had been any, other than the familiar, since she left the city. But still... the lack was odd. Well, who knew, maybe someone would start swearing just as she fell asleep. Wouldn't put it past this place. That was just how her life worked.

She rubbed the marks on her arms. They didn't itch, but they were exposed in the mesh sleeves of the dress. She hated when her marks were exposed. Eleven years of hiding them made their exposure uncomfortable. She didn't know if anyone here would recognize them. The Norinar had.

Okay priority one was getting actual clothing. Long sleeved shirt, long pants, boots that weren't bright green. Armor if she could manage. A belt. She always needed a belt.

Her stomach growled at her and she revised her plan. Priority one... food. She still wasn't sure she could believe the claim that it was free. But she wasn't too proud to take some anyway. She just had to be wary for a trap.

She needed to find the local Hawks, or whatever the ****s they had here, and get a job until she could figure out how the *****s to get home.

She could call Nightshade. Her hand started to reach for the mark on her cheek, but she jerked it down. No. Never again. Not even to get home. She'd sooner let the Devourer eat her than call him again. Selling his own people was going too far. Strong arming the Hawklord into forcing her onto this trip was just that much worse. And she had a feeling the ******** wasn't going to pay her for the time she was on the trip. Trip she didn't want to go on.

And if she wasn't getting paid, neither were Teela and Severn. They could survive it, but Teela was going to be *****ed at her. And she would just as happily not deal with a blue eyed Barrani. Not when she was the cause of those blue eyes. And Blue eyed Barrani usually led to an orange-eyed Marcus....

Maybe it was better if she never made it home from the West March.

She dropped onto the bed, and almost jumped right back off. Not as obscenely comfortable as a Barrani bed, or the ones in the Place, but more comfortable than her old mattress had been. She hoped she could sleep on this one. She had trouble sleeping when she was too comfortable. She wasn't sure why, but she knew it was true.

Okay. Food. Job. Clothes. Then maybe see what sports there were. That was always a good place to find betting in the City. And this place seemed more like Elantra than the fiefs at least.

But she'd have to wait to see what sundown would bring. Monsters, or crime? The former would give her an outlet for her frustration. The latter would guarantee her job security. Well, as much as she ever had.

Her stomach growled again. She growled back and got to her feet. She checked her dagger and her bracer, then headed out. She wore a green crushed velvet dress that swirled like a sun dappled forest, trimmed in gold with gold net sleeves to the wrist that dipped in green fabric to the ground yet never got a speck of dirt on it. She wore an ancient bracer.

From the neck down she was dressed like a noble woman. Dress, bracer, rings, the chain of her amulet dipping under the dress. Until you realized the chain was knotted halfway up her neck to keep the amulet from hanging around her stomach. Until you saw the pale face with the dark circles under the eyes. The small flecks of dried blood on her earlobes. The messy hair that she had staked back in a sloppy bun with a gnawed on hair stick. And going with absolutely nothing else, she had what looked like a delicate tattoo of deadly nightshade on one cheek.

Scowling, she headed out, stomping, rather than stepping, looking for something to eat, and watching for clues as to the nature of this trap....

(794. Used a counter when I was done this time!)
Jun. 23rd, 2016 07:44 pm

WIP HMD

kaylinneya: (nap time)
This is a WIP please do not post yet.
kaylinneya: (Default)
My first ever permissions post! 

Kaylin can sense magic when it is near. She can differentiate between Elemental Magic and other kids of magic.
Kaylin can also heal. She has a strong healing instinct.


Everything else I believe can be discussed in advance.


Please feel free to contact me if you want to plot/have any questions.

Please post here if your character has magic, and let me know if it is alright for her to sense it before we play. Thanks!


Also, Kaylin has a guaranteed Trigger Warning: There will always be swearing ******ed out, or mentioned (as in "she swore creatively.") Also the potential for violence and for PTSD/triggery issues. If she replies to a post of yours and you do not want to play with her because of any of this please just let me know and I'll delete my post from your thread.


kaylinneya: (Default)
Player Info
Name: Chicklet
Age: Adult
Contact: Plurk: ChickletLARP, email: DWlogs@writeme.com, Aim: Bardess Ookami
Characters Already in Teleios:Gale Hawthorne
Reserve: Reserve


Character Basics:
Character Name: Private Kaylin Neya
Journal:KaylinNeya
Age:late 20s
Fandom: The Chronicles of Elantra
Canon Point: On the Way to the West March
Debt:
Class A: 34
Class B: 50
Class C: 264
  • List crimes you’ve created for your character here.

  • GRAND TOTAL: 81 years


    Canon Character Section:
    History:

    Kaylin was born in the fief of Nightshade, just across the Alblyne river from the CITY of Elantra. Technically the fiefs are outside the jurisdiction of the Emperor and his laws. In the fiefs the only laws belong to the lord for whom the fief is named, and he or she is the one who metes out punishment. Justice is a fairy tale.

    Her father is never mentioned, but she was raised by her mother, Tara, who did her best for the little girl. When Tara was getting ill, Kaylin met Severn. He was a few years older, 13 in total, and she thought of him as a grown man. He saved her from the Ferals - monsters that live in the fiefs - by throwing away meat "actual meat. That had to hurt." to distract them so they could get away. He understood what she couldn't, that her mother was dying.

    Severn started taking care if them, never discussed his own family situation. He stole enough to keep them fed, and when Kaylin's mother died, he took her away, and they found a new room to squat in. It was the fiefs, someone else would find the room, and would be willing to deal with the body in exchange for shelter. Save the fief lord, no one really owned ANYTHING in the fiefs. Doors had no locks. If you could defend your home, you kept it. And they were kids.

    It seemed, to Kaylin when she was forced to look back, like she lived her whole life in Winter in the fiefs, everything seemed to happen then. Like finding her "kids". One a year over 2 years, she found small children, desperate children, and she and Severn saved them from Ferals, took them in... She learned to steal to help feed them. They were hers. She loved them with all she had, and she learned to fight to defend them. Steffi. Jade. Hers.

    And then the marks appeared. They started one winter, on the longest night. Black, so black. "The marks would forever redefine black to her." They started on her arms and legs, filled her inner thighs, filled arms from shoulder to wrist. They didn't know what the marks were, but Severn was smart enough to realize they had to be hidden, secret.

    They found soon after a dead child. Someone she knew. The dead child was marked as she was marked. They were all sure she would die next. When more and more children turned up dead they kept waiting for it to be her, for they were all marked, and all killed the same way, all gutted. They thought it was happening everywhere.

    This was about when she discovered that she could heal. Severn could not stop her from healing, but helped her keep it secret as best as possible. And they lived. They survived, always sure she would be dead and soon.

    Then came the time when Severn gave her instructions, he was going away, maybe for more than a day and a night. No one was stupid to be out at night in the fiefs. Kaylin feared for him, but she trusted him. She followed his instructions. She protected Steffi and Jade. She didn't know he had gone to the fief lord. She didn't know what he asked or what her had been told.

    But when he returned, he sent her off to the market, with actual coins, to buy food. When she returned, the room was filled with blood, blood everywhere. And her children, her girls, Steffi and Jade were dead. Severn, covered in their blood, still held the knife that had slit their throats.

    She fled. She never quite forgave herself for not killing him, not asking him why... she fled. Her Severn had killer HER girls...

    She wound up crossing the fief border from the inside, which should have been impossible, and wound up in Barren, at the base of a tower that hadn't been used in years.

    Morse found her. Short haired, short tempered, foul mouthed Morse. And Kaylin, then under a different name, said "I want to learn how to kill a man." It was the right thing to say to Morse. Morse was Barren's second, and she took Eli (Kaylin) on as hers. Trained her, didn't hesitate to smack her or worse if she was being sentimental, soft, or stupid.

    Then Barren assigned Kaylin an assassination. Against Morse's warnings, she tried to find out the WHYs of the situation instead of just doing as she was told. Which was how she found out that the man had done what he did to protect his sister. She helped them escape. Morse found them later and killed them.

    Barren sent her on another assassination, and she was the only one that didn't realize that it was a death sentence. He sent her across the river, into the city, to assassinate the Lord of Hawks, Lord Greymere.

    The Hawks are one of the three branches of law in Elantra. The Swords keep the peace, the Hawks investigate the crimes, and the Wolves hunt anyone too dangerous or crafty for the Hawks to nail.

    So the little 13 year old girl, covered in marks that she thought would kill her went to go murder a man who stood for law and justice but let a river stop him from helping people like Steffi and Jade.

    She studied the Halls, she planned, she was surprised at the fact that no one immediately knew her for a fiefling. Finally she picked a time when the dome should be open and climbed the tower.

    She honestly did try to kill the Hawklord. She really did try. But by the time she left the tower, she had a new name - Kaylin Neya - and a dream. She was going to be a Hawk.

    The Hawks helped her find a place, and despite the fact that she couldn't actually BE a Hawk until she turned 18. She wound up helping on cases anyway, begging all the Aerian Hawks to take her flying. She found a home, a family with the Hawks. A new life.

    And then, years later, when she had officially been a Hawk for just a short time, Severn re-entered her life. While she had become a Hawk, he had joined the Wolves, and was being seconded to the Hawk while they investigated a strong of deaths in the fief of Nightshade... Children dying marked with marks like Kaylin's, in the same age range. But at a faster rate. Also on their team is the first ever Dragon Hawk, Lord Tiamaris, who had personally spoken up in Court that Kaylin should be killed over the power she wields.

    The end result of that conversation was the acquisition of an irreplaceable ancient bracelet from the hoard of the Arkon that keeps Kaylin from most magic. (She can still -painfully - sense it, she just can't use it) Tiamaris is not overly thrilled to find out that she knows how to take the cuff (she calls it a shackle or a cage) off herself.

    While technically the law does not extend into the fiefs, in this case, the fief lord allows them entry into his domain wearing the Hawk, and she has to go back to a place she left behind, with Severn at her side.

    The fief lord himself decides to meet these Hawks, and... what isn't clear until later is that he knows all three of them. Tiamaris he had met previously when Tiamaris had been researching the nature of the fiefs. Severn he remembered from all those years back, from the conversation that lead to the deaths of Steffi and Jade. And Kaylin... he met her in her future, his past, when the trio of Hawks wound up sucked back in time, later on. Of course, he is Barrenai, and gave nothing away when he "met" each of them that he knew who they were.

    But in his memory, Kaylin bore a mark. HIS mark. So he marked her in that "first" meeting.

    Over the course of the investigation, Kaylin spoke with an Old One, gained Lord Nightshade's true name, gained more marks, healed a young girl named Catti which lead to Catti being kidnapped, Kaylin loosing control of her power in her desperation to save her... and... Severn saving her. Saving all the children for her. From her. And oh yeah, undead Barenai? That's apparently a thing. A taboo thing that she should not have mentioned in front of the Arcanists.

    And she found out WHY the children were being killed. They were sacrifices, offerings to fuel the awakening of the Chosen, of a Dark God. Her. Mukeron, the only outcaste Dragon was trying to turn her into a Dark God bound to his will.

    She nearly killed Murkon, could have, but Severn stopped her, because the power that was flowing through her was also killing the children. She had lost the ability to hear or see them.

    Murkon got away, badly injured, fleeing for the heart of the fiefs. The Hawks, Kaylin with them, brought Catti and the other kids back.

    After Tiamaris went to court, this time to argue for her being allowed to live despite direct evidence that she took off the cuff and became a danger.

    The end result was that she was required to take magic lessons, if she wanted to remain a Hawk.

    She ticked off, insulted, and chased away every magic tutor who came to the Halls of law... until they sent a Dragon. She is pretty certain that it is impossible to intentionally irritate Lord Sanabalis, but... she does like him. It's the lessons she hates, though what she does wind up learning from him is so much more than just lighting a candle. He did however, wind up loaning her his medallion, a mark just shy of ownership. It was to balance the mark of Lord Nightshade.

    Kaylin drew the attention of the Barrani Arcanist, Lord Evarrim, and her friends Teela and Tain tried to keep them apart, but when the High Lord of the High court, the Lord of the West March falls... "ill"... with no explanation and no signs of poison, Teela has to make use of the only healer in the Empire that wasn't seconded to the Emporor. Kaylin.

    Kaylin already had the true name of Lord Nightshade after a "talk" with an "old one" went sour. The only way to awaken the Lord of the West March... was to take his name as well.

    He called her Kyuthe, publicly, and invited her to the Leoswuld. She didn't fully understand it, but she did understand that she couldn't refuse. While she was his guest in the High Halls she and Severn became the first mortals to pass the test of name; which meant they got true names and that they became Lords of the High Halls. the only non-Barani to hold that title. As though that weren't enough, she also helped the Lord of the West March save the life of his older brother, getting him, the Lord of the Green to the Leoswuld in time to save the world.

    Then she got called to the shop of one of the few magic users she liked, Evanton "The purveyor of odd junk and the occasional piece of real magic". It turns out he is the Keeper, a guardian of "Garden" that houses the Elements, well their cores. The Garden is what keeps the Elements from running wild, and something was stolen from it. A reliquary of water. And all the Oracles and portents spoke of the destruction of the city. By water.

    Over the course of this book, Kaylin wound up befriending the core of the Elements Water and Fire. And comes to loose her hatred of the Tha'alani, and through water, the Tha'aalan, the mind that connects all the Tha'alani, their communal memories... through Water. To Kaylin, Water will always look like the little girl that the Tha'aalan presented itself as to her, to get her to save a Tha'alani child, Mayalee.

    Kaylin became a beloved fixture among the Tha'alani, and she came to love them as though they were themselves children. The Tha'alani saved the city from the tidalwave that threatened, standing against it, while Kaylin, Severn. Eventon, and Tiamaris fought the mage who had the reliquary.

    But the first day back to work after that brought too many changes, too much bad news. The city had no clue the Tha'alani had placed themselves in the way of the wave. The people thought they CAUSED the wave, and rose against them in angry mobs. But everywhere Kaylin went to help the Swords people kept expressing sympathy. She had no clue why...

    Her Sargent, Marcass Kassan, who practically raised her since she "joined" the Hawks at 13 had been arrested for murder, and his replacement, acting Sargent Mallory Hated him, hated her, and would do anything he could, by the books, to fire her.

    Her job, which she equates with her life, was saved by 2 things, Severn making sure she gets to work on time by dragging her out of bed in person every morning, and all but dragging her through the streets (at least he brought breakfast, so she actually got to EAT, unlike most "mornings" which constitute her rolling out of bed as soon as she can, often some time after noon, to the snarls in her mirror of an angry Leontine - Marcus - spurring her on to dress and race to work as fast as she can). The other thing that saved her was that she and Severn were specifically requested, by the Emperor for a special assignment at the palace. Even Mallory couldn't override that.

    Thankfully the assignment at the palace was babysitting an ill tempered playwright named Richard Rennick who was himself tasked with writing a play that would make people hate the Tha'alani less. What was good about the assignment was that he viewed mornings the same way Kaylin did, and so they had the time between checking in at work, and when Rennick woke up to investigate Marcus' case. Despite being told not to.

    In this book she learned that the marks that now covered her back to the nape of her neck, her front to under the best, the whole of her arms and her upper legs, were Words. Not words, but Words. The Language used by the Old Ones to CREATE. These Words gave life, and are very like the True Names of the immortals. These Words were formed into stories that shaped the whole of a race, and in that shaping, created the Leontines from wild cats. And a different story, with different Words could twist some of them into monsters. There was a reason there were no Leontine mages, because the ones with the potential were to be killed at birth. Like one of Marcus' wives.

    Lord Sanabalis spoke to the Leontines in the Quarter. He told them one of their oldest Stories, reaffirming with the Old Words what they are, anchoring them. This was about when Kaylin discovered that when the Old Tongue was spoken... She could see the words, though no one else could until she touched them. And throughout the books she also learned to change them, reshape them, reshape life.

    She was able to save Marcus' wife, and the baby that was born which triggered this whole mess, which gave Maurkuron the Black a foothold into Elantra again, but could not save the baby's parents. Not their lives. Though she did bring the mother back to herself, and the mother chose to die helping Kaylin save their son. (Odd quirk of Leontine culture led to Kaylin being one of the child's mothers.)

    She left the baby safely with Marin, the Leontine woman who takes care of all the human orphans in the city. The play was a success, and peace... more or less returned to Elantra, insomuch as it ever exists.

    Peace did not last long, of course.

    The boundaries of the fiefs were weakening. Ravellon, the darkness of the final fief, encircled by the others, was pushing through... in Barren. A face from the past showed up on Elani street to deliver a message to Kaylin. Morse.

    Morse had a message from Barren, Blackmail. Barren figured that the only way Kaylin was still alive was because she never tried to kill the Hawklord, and threatened to tell the city why she had crossed the bridge if she didn't come for a meeting. She went anyway. With Severn. And Tiamaris.

    The monsters that spilled from the fief's borders made Ferals look like puppies. Morse called them One-offs. And there were Shadow Storms. One touches you and you're no longer you when you come out, and the effect is spread by touch. So of course a Shadowstorm swallowed Kaylin, Severn, and Tiamaris.

    They were dropped into the past. Into a time before the fiefs were the fiefs. Before there WERE shadows in the heart of Ravellon, and they met a young Nightshade, before he was fief lord, before he was outcaste.

    Just as the test of Name in the High Halls had made Kaylin face her past, the history and the truth behind the deaths of Steffi and Jade, the trip into the past taught them the true nature of the fiefs, and how they work and Kaylin and Tiamaris would up waking the Tower of Illien. What would have been Barren's tower if he had taken the fief correctly. But he hadn't, so instead of the fief of Illien taking his name, he and the fief BOTH took the name Barren. Because Illien was among the undead, the undying, but Barren could not take the fief fully, and leaderless, it was, in the most important way, Barren.

    They awoke the Tower and the Tower... tried to talk to them, tried to relate to them. The tower very much is not human. She took on a psudo-human form, first looking like Kaylin with wings and then when that failed... she took the form of a child. And she begged Kaylin to save her, to claim her, to become fief lord.

    Kaylin helped her, helped Tiamaris and Severn save her, but in the end Tiamaris took the fief, and the fief took his name. The tower... took the name Tara. Kaylin named her Tara.

    Since the fiefs are outside the law of the Emperor, Tiamaris was no longer beholden to the laws that restricted him from taking his true form and flying. He made clear his rule, and the one who needed it most kill Barren, and took Morse as his second. Together with Morse and Tara, Tiamaris settled into making his fief into the city writ small, his own empire, but one unlike any other fief. One with actual laws, where people would have enough to eat, safe places to live... Tara decided to start a garden. And Barren which held such horrible memories for Kaylin became Tiamaris... one of her favorite places to visit.


    And then the Chaos came.

    All manner of odd things happened. A rain of blood. Margot who was a fraud fortune teller told a true fortune with massive legal and political repercussions. A phony hair tonic actually cured baldness. The Elements in the Garden were in a frenzy. Odd births including an infant with a third eye, and one woman who gave birth to an egg. The egg went home with Kaylin, who kept meaning to bring it to Evernton, but never had a chance to.

    And in the middle of all of this... Kaylin fell out of the world. She dropped into a place between worlds that was no place at all. A little like the road between in Kingdom Hearts. The theory that humans were not native to that world was given much more credence as the chaos proved to be the approach of travelers whose world had been devoured by a creature they simply called The Devourer.

    To stop The Devourer from breaking through many people, including the Consort (female leader of the Barreni and wife/sister to the new High Lord who had been the Lord of the Green) wanted the portal closed firmly, leave these strangers to the Devourer. better than than letting them lead it to this world.

    Kaylin could not let that stand and worked at odds to her friend, sure the bond between them would be broken forever. What she managed to do, however was to bring the Devourer where he belonged. He belonged in the Garden, he was a part of that world, he was what united the elements and kept them in check. She saved him, though he ate some of her marks in the process.

    the new race was claimed quickly by Tiamaris, and since they spent their lives training against and fighting the very same shadows that plague the fiefs, they become invaluable in Tiamaris, helping to protect the boarders.

    And then Tiamaris sends word to the city, a request for help from the Lords of Law. A woman has shown up dead in his fief. Not unusual at all for the fiefs, though it is not what he wants from his... except... Tara who should be able to see and be aware of EVERYTHING in the Fief has no clue who she is or where she came from. Oh... and she's also turned up dead more than once. The same woman, multiple identical bodies on slabs.

    While investigating this crime, Kaylin learns the hard way that someone is practicing illegal magic to kidnap people from the fiefs sending them who only knows where.

    Except it is kidnapping in Tiamaris. Nightshade SOLD his people to this. Finally they solved the mystery of the woman, but not before they had eight identical corpses. She was a Dragon, the only female dragon awake in the empire, and Murkeron the Black had been trying to manipulate her into what he desired. But she was as a God to the warriors of the new Race who had joined the world, and she had sundered her True Name to survive, joining it with a warrior and his blade.

    Once that all got untangled, the Dragon, Bellusdeo, decided she was going to live with Kaylin. Kaylin who lived in a one room flat. Not one bedroom, one room. Her kitchen wasn't even a separate room from where she slept. A wall partially divided the space, but not fully. But Bellusdeo wedged her way in there, leaving Kaylin little way to refuse, though they were able to agree that her warrior had to stay in Tiamaris until they found a bigger place.

    Kaylin didn't want bigger place, she wanted her own place to be hers again.

    And then someone tried to kill Bellusdeo with an arcane bomb lobbed in through the window. The magical blast from the bomb leveled the apartment, as well as those above and below them... and packed enough magical punch to crack the egg Kaylin still took care of.

    From the egg hatched a familiar. (Kaylin ticked off almost every Dragon she knew by calling it a dragon, though it really really looked like one to her) A small transparent creature with sharp teeth that cast a shield around the women to protect them. He's the only reason they survived.

    Kaylin wound up having to move into the Palace, which she HATED while they looked for a new place. She wasn't allowed to investigate the assassination, winch also irritated the life out of her. There was also another case, the one Margot almost jeopardized, which Kaylin was also kept away from - it dealt with the rich and politically powerful and Kaylin lacks tact to a painful degree - but Lord Nightshade had some information...and he traded it to the Hawklord... his price was that Kaylin accompany him on a journey to the West March.

    A million and one political reasons why this was a BAD IDEA later, and Kaylin, Severn, and Teela joine the Barrani only caravan for the West march. A journey of months... if all went well.

    Of course, no Barrani journey could be simple or uncomplicated. The "campsites" were living buildings called Hallione that catered to the needs of the guests, and kept them from killing each other.

    The little not-dragon (who every now and again eats one of her marks) BIT one of the Hallione, waking it up in a rather spectacular fashion. And Kaylin... Kaylin found herself in possession of a magical dress that she could not refuse, that marked her as having a crucial role in the proceedings at the West March. Essentially the role translated into "Story Teller" though it was more a sorting than a telling.





    Personality:
    Kaylin Neya has a nasty habit of attracting what she dislikes most: Magic. She really hates magic, even though everyone she cares about tells her not to. "It's a part of you" Severn says at one point, when he explains how he can't hate it, and she shouldn't. And to be honest, it's most magic she hates, not all magic. She hates the magic that hurts, that makes her skin prickle, that is used to hurt other people, or to make it hard to investigate a crime. Doorwards, which are used almost everywhere in her world, have earned a special hatred in her heart.

    But she attracts magic. Not as an ability, but as a side effect of being her, mixed with some very... odd... luck. This has lead to some very interesting people becoming part of her life, both for good and for ill, and they have all left their mark on her, have all shaped her.

    But there are some base traits to Kaylin that no one will ever be able to change. Her instinct to heal those who are hurt, her desire to be doing SOMETHING, her disdain for classroom learning, and most of all... the way that children act as giant blinders for her.

    She forgets pretty much everything... for the sake of a child. If a child is in danger, saving them becomes her sole focus. (there is one strong exception, which I will get into in the powers section, but it has only happened twice, and children in danger were the trigger, both times) If not child is in danger, but one is running towards her, gleefully, everything gets dropped, shouldered, or sheathed so she can lift up the child.

    Kaylin used to be very prejudiced against one of the races on her world. The Tha'alani scared the life out of her, and she hated them. She thought she hated them with all her being. But the Castelord of the Tha'alani is impossible to hate, and she knew what Kaylin needed to break the last of the hatred and fear. She invited her to the Quarter... where Kaylin met the Tha'alani children. And there is no way Kaylin could ever fear children. She played with them swept them up, and accepted the child even touching her with the amphorae that had one scared her so badly. (They are used for mind reading, and Kaylin had once said in an office memo "if the other races can't walk around waving their weapons, how come the Tha'alani can?" Thankfully Marcus had the wit not to let that memo go any further than the Hawks office pool.)

    Kaylin discovered in all the Tha'alani a child like innocence that made her protective over them, as if most of them were children still despite their apparent ages.

    Kaylin shapes herself, and sees herself based on her failures. She does not see the fifteen people she saved, she sees the two who she did not. She does not see the cases she's helped to solve, she sees the one in front of her causing trouble NOW. She has a hard time visualizing the future, and has spent most of her time running from the past.

    She also always drives herself too hard. Too many things are too important to her for her to pick and choose. So even if she is due in at work, if the midwives call in the middle of the night, she goes, no matter what it costs her physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially.

    This leads into Kaylin's issue with punctuality. There are always office betting pools about her punctuality, and she finds it very irksome that she is not allowed to bet on herself. Her teacher, Lord Sanabalis, has taken to showing up more than an hour after their class time is scheduled to begin, because waiting for her might irritate him. He is the "court of last resort" and her teacher because she intentionally teed off every teacher before him. She actually likes Sanabalis, but often wonders if it IS possible to irritate him. He's avuncular enough that her annoyance is usually fixed more on the lesson than on the dragon delivering it. Given that the lessons are in magic, this is impressive indeed.

    Kaylin knows she is not supposed to use her power. She has a bracer that restrains her power, leaving her magic-less for the most part. She knows how to remove it, and will. Often. With great vehemence. The fact that she works for one of the Halls of law, and that it i by IMPERIAL LAW that she wears it at all times... It speaks to how deeply the need to heal runs. She can't do what she has to do wearing it, and choosing between someone's life and keeping the bracer on... life always wins in the end.

    But the bracer is there for good reason. There is a darkness to her power, a darkness that was meant to BE her power. She has lost control of it before, and it makes her a danger. She hates that darkness, that potential to loose control, and that is why she submits to the cuff in the first place. Well, that and the fact that the alternative was suicide via dragon.

    Kaylin likes things to be straightforward, and the fact that they never are is a constant source of frustration for her. And she would like a promotion and a better pay check. Given her punctuality issues however, that's not in the cards. She did however learn that among the Leontines (the large cat like race to which her Sargent Marcus Kassan belongs) there is actually a rank below private. Corpse. He says that whenever she needs a reminder to be glad she's a private.

    She will do nearly anything for the people she cares about, though. For the Hawk (which is an ideal, a goal, a belief all in one... but also also means Hawklord himself, to Kaylin) she actually managed to get to work on time (with help) so that acting Sargent Mallory had no cause to kick her out. She did this while investigating the crime Marcus was accused of against orders on her own time, doing her daily schedule at the palace with Rennick, and trying to help the Tha'alani recover from the rampant hatred and bigotry aimed at them as a reward for their assistance in saving the city.

    No one ever said life was fair, least of all Kaylin.

    For Clint, she learned to speak Aerian, because he loved it so much when she TRIED. For Marcus and his wives, she learned Leontine, though honestly it is also the language of choice for cursing in the office... She learned High Barranai because all the laws were written in it, but she learned low because she loved Teela and Tain so much. For Evernton, she holds her tongue - more or less. Even Bellusdeo gets some of that, despite being such a recent addition to Kaylin's life. Kaylin accepts her as a roommate in her already too small one room flat, and when someone blows it up trying to kill Bellusdeo Kaylin passes up the opportunity to get a place that is just hers again, and moves in to the (insert curses in 4 languages here, said really quietly because dragons have disturbingly good hearing) Imperial Palace; despite the fact that she hates the place, that she's sure that living there will make her stop... living.

    On and on the list goes. Parts of herself, parts of her life, shaped for the sake of those she loves.

    Kaylin is all spines on the surface. Sharp tongue, sharp knives, first to curse, first to bet what little she has, says the first thing on her mind... but inside she is a good and kind person, even if she works hard to not see it.


    Powers/Abilities:
    Pyshical/mental (non-magical) skills: Kaylin ha trained for more than 7 years in law enforcement. So even though she is small, she has decent strength, and has learned a lot about how to use leverage in throws, speed, and a lower target area to her advantage. She is used to being quick on her feet, even in armor. She knows how to fall and get back to her feet in a single motion. She knows some pretty impressive acrobatics.

    She also knows how to count things on the move, recognize faces in a crowd, and has trained hard to notice small details, small clues. They are constantly being told "You are a hawk, see like one".

    She is GOOD at her job. Except for the paperwork. And the showing up on time. And the wearing a clean uniform that isn't wrinkled and torn...

    She also has a natural gift for languages. She speaks Elantran, Aerian, Low Barreni, High Barreni, and Leontine fluently. She is learning a smattering of Dragon, though her ears nearly bleed listening to it. She knows some of the Old Tongue, not in any useful way, but more that she can recognize shapes sometimes, and how they were meant to be... and she sometimes starts speaking it without realizing she's doing so. She's also learning the tongue of the Norinarr - the new race living in Tiamaris. She is also gifted at inventive cursing. The foul language kind, not the magical kind.

    Communication abilities - She holds the True Name of Lord Nightshade AND bears his mark. She holds the True Name of the Lord of the West March. Severn holds her True Name. Through these she can communicate with any of those notables over extreme distances, and see through their eyes or let them see through hers. I would need to know if this would work in RC if they are not there. I do not think it would. But if any of them arrive in RC, she would be able to communicate with them that way.

    The magical list - Kaylin can summon the Elementals - the embodiments of the Elements - and converse with them. Water and Fire come easiest to her. She has the potential to master Air, but has not yet done so. Through Water she can communicate to the Tha'alani, any of them, and that I do believe would span the worlds, since it is cannon that all the Elements are rooted in her world, in that Garden, and that the elements in other worlds are parts of that whole, all connected to their source and root. So Water here would be as Water there. But Water is not all of one mind, so she can;t just magically know anything that happens near water, and while she theoretically COULD command Water and Fire at the least, she asks. Because she asks instead of commands, they still listen to her. I honestly do not recall how much progress she made with Elemental Earth.

    Kaylin can sense magic. Elemental magic is a slight tingle, more of a subconscious awareness, and does not bother her. All of the magic that Eventon does feels like Elemental magic to her. ALL OTHER MAGIC... It's a painful buzzing under her skin when she is near active magic. Even with the Bracer on. (more on the bracer below) If she touches something with active magic (like a door ward) it HURTS. She has gotten good at gritting her teeth, or swearing to make a sailor blush to get through it, but she hates it and where she can, she avoids magic. Low level magic usually just make her arms itch, and the itching is a sign to her. sometimes the marks will also glow around magic of any sort. (Though again, Evernton's enchantments do not seem to bother them, or her)


    "Kaylin?"

    "Hmm?" She was looking at the cross section of charms in a small case in one window—Mortimer's Magnificent Magic—and glanced at her partner's reflection in the glass.

    "You're rubbing your arms."

    She looked down and realized he was right. "They're sort of itchy," she said.

    He raised one brow. "Sort of itchy?"

    The marks that adorned most of the insides of her arms were, like the ones that covered her inner thighs and half of her back, weather vanes for magic. Kaylin hesitated. "It doesn't feel the way it normally does when there's strong magic. It's—they're just sort of itchy."

    "And they've never been like that before."



    Healing - Kaylin has a tremendous gift for healing. It is largely instinctive, though the coroner, Red, insisted she attend a few autopsies so she could learn the proper terms for some things. Still, she mostly sees things as "this is broke, encourage it to grow together...gently...gently... stop the blood flow here..." Injuries like a bad birth are easiest for her, poison is harder, illness harder still. While healing, her marks glow and she forgets her body. She usually comes out of a healing trance dehydrated, wrung out, and stiff.

    Hurting - a dark power resides inside Kaylin, one she fights. Most of the time it lays dormant, but there have been 2 or three times (depending on if you count the short story) where children have been in such danger that she took whatever power she could get to save them. But every time... the children saw her as the monster, and every time, someone had to stop her. The first time she killed three men. She dissolved the first to ash, and in the clutches of the darkness, decided he hadn't suffered enough... she skinned the other two alive before killing them slowly. (Willow: "Bored now!") Almost a decade since she got these powers, it's happened at most three times, and always when a large number of children were in a very very bad position, and it was the only way to save them.



    Kaylin had a magic that not even the most august of the Imperial scholars understood, and if it had been a weak magic, it wouldn't have mattered—much. But it was strong enough to withstand the full breath of a dragon in his true form. Strong enough to make a hole in a thick stone wall that was wider across than Severn. Strong enough to heal the dying.

    And the Emperor was in possession of all these facts, and more. Kaylin's glance strayed a moment to her arms; the length of her sleeves all but hid the dark marks that were tattooed there, in whirls and strokes, as if she were parchment, and they were the scattered telling of a story that was ancient before history began.


    Magical items (and non-magical items) of note that she has with her:
    A very expensive very fine gold and green dress that shows off her arms, and is apparently indestructible. It is called "The Blood Of The Green". It has matching shoes. They are also indestructible. Oh, SHE can get hurt wearing this lot, but the dress looks pristine, no matter what she does. She would probably burn it if she thought that wasn't suicide.

    She has her beat uniform - Leather pants, padding under, leather armor, chain mail shirt, tabard with a hawk on it, a pair of daggers in sheaths, enchanted so she can draw them silently. Good sturdy boots. The Hawk on her tabard is picked out in gold beads and if magic changes her clothing suddenly (that keeps happening to her) the hawk transfers over to her new outfit.)

    A hair stick. Not magical.

    A blue sleeveless low back short skirted dress... it is made of Elemental Water, and is "traditional" to be worn by Water's chosen. The fact that it shows off most of her marks has not been lost on her. The fact that every immortal thing that sees her marks (practically) calls her "Chosen" makes her wonder if Uriel, a long dead Tha'alani leader who bore the same marks, and similar powers, had to wear the dress. The thought makes her snicker.

    A signet ring that magically fits her finger and cannot be removed without her will unless you chopped off the whole finger. The rest of its power is political, and therefore not applicable unless a Barreni apps in.

    Lord Sanabalis' Amulet. It is a large coin with an impression of a Dragon roaring. It is on a thick gold chain, knotted because it is too long otherwise. It makes it easier for her use fire as a weapon, without having to summon the Elemental. It also helps her light the **** candle.

    A picnic basket. At the moment it has no food in it, unfortunately, but when it does, it preserves food for a few extra days.

    Her familiar. It looks like a dragon to everyone who isn't a Dragon. The body is about the size of a house cat, wings taller than the body, long prehensile tail, long prehensile neck. It sort of listens to Kaylin. Sometimes. When it feels like it. It is protective over her, but sees the oddest things as threats. It can eat magic and Words. It breathes out small clouds of chaos that can hover hover for up to two minutes, and wake deeply sleeping magical edifices by biting them. Kaylin is trying to stop it from doing that.

    The Dragon will get more powerful and gain other abilities, if she ever names it, but since she had JUST named it in the series and all it's new abilities have not yet been defined or explored, I'm keeping it pre-named. I might apply for a cannon update if the next novel has sufficient information.

    The cuff/manacle/bracelet/cage - It looks like a very expensive ornamental bracer/bracelet, being between the two in size. It is too small around to slide over her hand, and seems to have no hinge. It does have a series of colored jewels on the top. Sometimes, but not always, in the presence of large amounts of magic, the gems flash, same for if magic is being used on Kaylin. If she is wearing it and her marks glow, so too do the gems. She cannot pass a magical barrier/ward/protection wearing it even if it is permeable to the rest of her body. This has saved her life multiple times. She can take it off. The Hawklord taught her how to do so, even though he isn't allowed to.

    Kaylin, her wrist weighted by a few pounds of what was ostensibly gold, knew this firsthand. The bracer—studded with what were also ostensibly gemstones, and in and of itself more valuable than most of the force on a good day, which would be a day when their Sergeant wasn't actively cursing the amount of money being wasted employing their sorry butts—was also magical. It was older than the Empire.

    No one knew how it worked—or at least that's what was claimed—but it kept random magic neutralized. Kaylin had been ordered to wear it, and on most days, she did.



    The bracer is impossible to loose. It always has a keeper. She never gets to choose who the keeper is, and she never gets to be the keeper herself. First it was the Hawklord, then when she forgave Severn, he became the keeper. If it is ever too far from her for too long, it returns to the keeper's possession. One of the small vindictive pleasures in her life is tossing it on a trash heap or in the river; even when, and sometimes especially because, she hears Severn **** about the smell in his apartment. Given that he's a Corporal, given that he has multiple bedrooms, and never has to skip a meal because he's broke... she tosses it in the river a lot.

    With her when she is taken from that moment, she has her stuff with her, but what that stuff is is not specified. I'd love for her to have all the items listed above, the uniform and the rest shoved into the basket so that she is wearing the elaborate invulnerable green and gold dress (The blood of the Green), the bracer, the hair stick, and the familiar, but still has the rest. Especially her beat uniform, since that means more to her than life itself, and she HATES any day she isn't wearing it.

    Weakness: Kaylin has a lot of abilities, I wanted to talk more about her weaknesses, the balance.

    As I said above, kids are huge blinders for her. They are the be all end all for her. To protect a child, she will do nearly anything, no matter how much it might terrify her.

    Lying. Quite simply, Kaylin can't. Oh... she can get the words out... but no one is stupid enough to believe them. Trapped in a world between the Barreni (If they're speaking, they're probably lying) and the Dragons (she almost gets roasted insulting Tiamaris by IMPLYING he might be lying...) Kaylin would lie if she thought she could pull it off. She tries every now and again, and is aware that when she isn't called on it... it's because the other person is being polite.

    Politeness and tact. In High Barreni she can be polite, only because it is nearly impossible to be rude in that language. By design. She hates speaking High Barreni. Kaylin has a sharp tongue and a caustic wit. She is taking protocol classes to teach her polite behavior. The only reason it's going better than when she started is that Bellesduo joined the class, and she's even more irreverent than Kaylin, so she draws most of Lord Diamat's ire. Kaylin's mouth gets her into trouble. A lot.

    Speaking of trouble - Punctuality. Punctuality. Punctuality. Though I do give her slack on this one. She works shifts that can go ten or more hours of chaos past her scheduled out time, and on average 1-2 times a week she is called into the Midwives guild, in the middle of the night to come running, to save the life of a mother and child. Most nights she is lucky to find 3 hours in her bed before her shift begins and she has a very taxing job.

    Betting. All fieflings bet. It's about the only source of entertainment. When she came to the Hawks, she brought betting with her. She, however, more often than not, falls for the sucker bets. Being a private and constantly having her pay docked is only half of why she's always broke. The other half is betting.

    "What will you be missing?" he asked, when her impressive spate of cursing—in four official languages—had died down enough that he could be heard without shouting. Severn rarely raised his voice.

    "Game," she said curtly. "Ball," she added.

    "Playing?"

    She grimaced. "Betting." Which, for Kaylin, was synonymous with watching.

    "Figures. Who were you betting on?"

    She shrugged. "Sharks."

    "So you'll save some money."

    This caused an entirely different spate of swearing, and she punctuated this by punching his shoulder, which he thoughtfully turned in her direction. "You'd be betting on the Tigers, I suppose?"

    "Already have," he replied.



    She also has NO sense of direction....

    He paused. "Are you waiting for something?"

    "No, sir."

    "Good. Get lost."

    "Yes, sir."

    "Corporal?"

    Severn nodded.

    "Make sure that she understands that 'get lost' in this case isn't literal."

    "Yes, sir."




    Appearance:

    Short and slender. All her growth spurts happened when food was at it's rarest. Her hair is dark and ragged from her cutting it herself with a dagger whenever it bothers her. She tends to wear is "as if it were a bad hat, we know," pulled back and secured with a hair stick. Pale skin. Her arms, legs, belly and back are covered in thick black marks - Words in an ancient tongue. When she has ANY choice, they're covered. She also has a delicate "tattoo" of a flower - deadly Nightshade - on one cheek.

    CR AU N/A
    Game You’re Transferring CR from:

    How has your character changed from their canon self?

    Are they gaining any abilities from their time in game? Did the game setting take something from them?


    Samples:
    Actionspam Sample:
    [Kaylin stood facing the mirror on the wall of the room she was given. She touched the glass, and then spoke at her reflection.]

    "I'm not sure this message will ever reach you. I'm not sure if this mirror is keyed properly. Or at all."

    [She sighed, unused to seeing her own face in a mirror.]

    "I know you're not a messenger, but I didn't know who else to contact that could pass on all the messages that I need to pass along."

    [A lie. Badly told and she can see how badly told it was on her own face. She scowled at her reflection.]

    "Fine, but I didn't want to call him, alright?"

    [She took a deep breath.]

    "I fell off the world again, and I'll be ******ed if I'm going to call," [she gestured at her tattoo] "for help. Not again. Never again."

    [He was selling his own people to a mad mage. He was the reason she was ripped out of the city heading for the West March. And **** ***** ***** ****** **** **** ***** ****** it all, He was the one sitting and laughing with the Consort who wouldn't even talk to Kaylin. Well ****** him! And the fact that looking herself in the face, looking at how open her expressions were, and his smugness whenever he told her she was an open book only made her more ticked off.]

    "Look, I don't know where exactly I am, or how to get home, but I don't think I'm en route to the West March. I don't know what ********* happened, but it is what it is. Severn will probably call in with Iron Jaw, when he notices I'm missing. And then Marcus will need a new desk and I'm not there to haggle with the merchant, and we just got him OUT of jail...."

    [She sighed.]

    "Please tell the Hawklord and Marcus that I'm stuck somewhere, I'm not hurt and I did NOT get lost. This is NOT my fault. Also... Could you please ask Caitlin to send someone to check in with the Midwives guild and with Marin. Someone who ISN'T Morse, please."

    [She ran a hand through her hair, upsetting both the familiar and the hair stick. She sighed and fixed the latter, ignoring the former.]

    "Please tell Sanabalis I am fine, and that I'll try not to loose the bracer. And... Well, if I can, I'll contact Ybelline myself, and she can talk to Evanton, but if either of them want to know what's going on, please fill them and. And..."

    [She hesitated.]

    "Please hug Tara for me. Please tell her that I am trying to come back, but that I do not want her spending her power to help. She needs all of it to protect your borders. That's more important. Anyway, if you can get a hold of me here, I look forward to it. I'll try to keep control of this mirror. Thanks."



    Prose Sample:


    Kaylin paced along the borders of the small room, crossed the center, began again. She walked until she had the small space memorized, not just with her eyes but her body.

    She moved to the dead center of the room and began her stretches. She had checked that the door was closed and locked, then had stripped down, changing into her work pants and linen undershirt. Since the door was locked, she pushed up her sleeves, ignoring the marks. The familiar was curled on the pile of her clothes in an area she walked off as out of bounds, chewing on her hair stick.

    She finished her stretches, dropped into a crouch... and then she began her work out, practicing bare handed blows and blocks, her flips and dodges, moving easily and acrobatically all about the center of the room without ever touching the walls or her pile of junk.

    She'd say this about wherever she wound up, she didn't have room for this in her old apartment. And her rooms in the palace... well, the less said about those, the less chance some one would have to kill her for what she would say.

    She finished her work out, and considered, then she grabbed the ***** green dress. She's gotten stabbed in the thing and it came out perfect and clean...so... She used it as a towel to wipe herself down. She actually smiled as the pictured how mortified Teela would be. She might just be far enough away to be SAFE, being amused at the ticked off Barrani.

    She finished and tossed it aside, treating it like she did all her clothing. She shooed the familiar off her stuff, got dressed in her beat uniform, then went out to face the day.


    kaylinneya: (Default)
    Your name or online alias: Chicklet
    Your email: DWlogs@writeme.com
    Another preferred means of contact:Aim: Bardess Ookami, Plurk: ChickletLARP
    Character's Full Name Kaylin Neya (She has a True Name as well, and had another name in the past, I can supply those as needed)
    Character's Canon: The Chronicles of Elantra
    Character's Canon Point: On her way to the West March (middle of Cast in Peril.)
    Character's Journal Name: kaylinneya
    What would you like your character's tag to be?: Kaylin


    Answer the following questions in no less than 300 words but no greater than 1000 words put together...
    Character's background (their past and present):
    • Born in the Fief of Nightshade, she met Severn soon before her mother died. She was about five. He was ten.
    • After her mother died, she lived with Severn, as he did. She learned to beg. Learned to steal.
    • When she was eight and he was thirteen they found a little girl, Steffi. Took her in. Steffi was seven.
    • They found and took in Jade, who was a year younger than Steffi. Kaylin saw them as some mix of her little sisters and her children. She loved them, trusted Severn. Kaylin was nine. She started to learn how to fight, to protect her girls.
    • When Kaylin was ten, the marks began to appear on her legs and arms.
    • Two weeks later she found the first of the dead children who were marked as she was marked. There was a death a month after that, always marked children. For three years.
    • She discovered her powers around then, six months after the marks appeared, she healed a child. Severn convinced her to hide the healing as she hid her marks. The marks changed with every healing.
    • Severn left them home alone one night, when she was thirteen, and the next day he came back looking scared. Three days before the longest night, he sent her out to the markets to buy them food. When she returned, her girls were dead, Severn still holding the knife he used to slit their throats.
    • Kaylin fled, crossing the border between fiefs (which wasn't DONE), and wound up in Barren.
    • Morse found Kaylin and took her in. Taught her how to kill. Kaylin wound up working for the Fief-lord, Barren. Barren kept her for six months, turning her into a thug and an assassin. When she went across the river into the City to kill the Hawklord, she failed. She tried hard, but he stopped her. And for reasons she still does not understand, he took her in as a fledgling.
    • All the Hawks took care of her, helped her grow up. She was shaped by Marcus' Pridelea, she as shaped by Teela's odd humor, by Caitlyn's kindness. She begged every Hawk who had wings to take her flying. She tagged along underfoot on investigations. She took classes and managed to pass enough - barely - to be able to join the Hawks, officially, when she came of age.
    • Breaking up a child prostitution ring with Teela and Tain, Kaylin lost control of her powers, and instead of healing the men, she destroyed them, utterly. They were able to bring her back to herself, but not easily.
    • The Emperor issued her the bracer to lock away her powers. The Hawklord trusted her with the keys, the combination to unlock the bracer, though he told her never to do so. Since she could not heal with it on, she took it off often. But it always wound up back with the Hawklord.
    • Her life took on a pace. Betting, working, swearing, working some more, being on call for emergencies with the midwives guild, helping out at the foundling halls, her days were busy and insane, and she didn't always have enough to eat, but she had a life. She had a one room apartment that was HERS, and a place with the Hawks. She made her life about helping others and griping.
    • The deaths in Nightshade started again, Kaylin was teamed with the first ever Dragon Hawk - Tiamaris, and with Severn who had secretly joined the Wolves around when she joined the Hawks. Kaylin tries to kill Severn, twice. Nightshade marks her as "errene". She gets his name, and if not for the bracer would have been devoured by old magic. They discover that the deaths were part of a ritual to raise a dark God, the deaths... we sacrifices... to her. Kaylin nearly kills Mukeron the Black - the only ever outcast Dragon - who was the one trying to turn her into a dark God... and to control her. Severn stops her from killing him, because killing him would have also killed the children.
    • She's given the choice if Severn should stay a Hawk. She chooses him. The bracer starts going to Severn.
    • Kaylin gets called to the Barrani High Court to save the Lord of the West March, and becomes his "kyuthe". She gets tricked into taking the test of name and becomes a Lord of the High Court. She saves the Lord of the Green, and helps him complete Leoswald, becoming the new Barrani High Lord. She befreinds his sister, the new Consort, and helps her return their mother to the lake of names.
    • She helped with an unusual birth, a Leontine litter of one to a woman who shared her den with no other wives and had red fur. She didn't think anything of it, at the time.
    • Evanton, one of the few people who did magic that she actually LIKED brought her into the back of his store, showed her the Elemental Garden he is the Keeper of. Looking into deep water she saw the bruised face of a child who asked for her help. She finds out a reliquary has been stolen. She is tasked with finding it, but she wants to hunt for the child.
    • Investigating the child, she is invited to the Tha'alani Quarter. Kaylin was infamous among the Hawks for her hatred of the race, and she was an absolute racist when it came to them. Having met their Castelord, Ybelline, and having seen how she was with a child in Kaylin's care that Murkeron had almost killed, Kaylin's position softened to "Well, she's okay". Visiting the Quarter on her invitation, Kaylin met many of the children there, and learned that one of their children was missing. By the end of that visit, she not only no longer hated the Tha'alani, she felt protective over them.
    • Her investigations led her to the Oracles, another group she had always sneered at, and then came away feeling protective over. In both cases it was because of a childlike innocence. Kaylin came to have an issue with bigots, and knowing that she was a hypocrite never once improved her mood or her temper.
    • From there she wound up under the imperial palace with the Arkon. Once again under orders to touch nothing, she once again saw something no one else could see, and she took from the dead Dragon she found, his burden - a necklace only she could see that contained the true word for water.
    • The necklace kept her from being able to enter Castle Nightshade the regular way, a good thing as far as she was normally concerned, but she needed to talk to him, so she braved the back routes... where she met the young girl with the bruised eyes. The girl turned out to be a form of Water itself, and she begged Kaylin to hurry, to save her, because the stolen artifact could control her and would wipe out the city, including the Tha'alani, whom Water saw as her children, as their minds were all connected in the Tha'alaan - which was part of Water.
    • Kaylin befriended Elemental Water, found the kidnapper, they retrieved the reliquary back, she learned about an ancient Tha'alani warrior leader named Uriel, who had marks like hers, who had likewise been called "Chosen" and who had called all the Elements, first as friends, then as tools, then set aside war and led his people to peace. She learned, from his memories, ow to call the Elementals herself, and with their help, they stopped the Tidal Wave that would have destroyed the city. The Tha'alani, connected to her through the Tha'alan, through Water, marched along the walls of the port city, to defend it.
    • The city safe, or so she thought, all she wanted was rest. But all the city saw was a wave of water about to drown the city, and the Tha'alani standing before it. Idiots thought they had summoned the water and there were riots. Kaylin and Severn were dispatched, and when they went to see Ybelline, the Swords kept offering sympathy. When she returned to the office, she found out why. Marcus, the Sargent who half raised her since she was 13 was in jail for murder in a Caste Court. The new Acting Sargent, Sargent Constance Mallory hated Kaylin and wanted her out. But a special assignment at the Imperial Palace kept her more or less out of the office enough to keep from giving him the excuse to fire her
    • She investigated Marcus' "crime" while helping the Tha'alani, while doing her task at the palace, which was advising the royal playwright in his PSA play about the Tha'alani not being evil.She also gained more marks, and was almost lost - again -  to the ancient magic.
    • The issue withe the Leontines taught her why red-furred Leontines were generally drowned at birth in the wild, and not allowed to breed in the city. Marcus' friend had been magically possessed, and he had killed to protect one of his wives. Sarabe, who was red-furred. The mother Kaylin had helped birth her son, Roshan Kaylarr, was Sarabe's sister. She was unmarried, which was unheard of for a Leontine mother, and the father of the child was the son of a red-fur...and a mage.
    • In the end, Kaylin saved Sarabe's sister enough for her to choose her own death - stopping her mate and Murkeron (though not killing the latter). She was able to save the child, but to do so she had to invoke pride-law. So legally, Roshan is her son, and she is his only living parent. Her currently lives with Marin of the foundling halls, and Kaylin only sometimes remembers that according to the law, she has a son.
    • Almost immediately on the heels of the play and Marcus' return to work, an incident on her beat brought Kaylin face to face with a ghost of her past. Morse. Morse handed her a blackmail letter from Barren, which brought Kaylin. Severn, and Tiamaris into the fief. They discovered that the inner border was no longer holding and that monster - and worse -  were escaping into the fief. After nearly getting killed by what Morse called a "one-off" the three Hawks got dragged into a Chaos Storm... which dumped them in the past, to a time before the Fiefs were lawless communes ruled by the fief lords who were the defense against what lived in the center of the fiefs. They met Lord Nightshade before he was a Fieflord, and thus before he had ever met her. He was fascinated by her mark, his mark on her face, and stayed with them. They learned the true nature of the fiefs, and awoke the Tower of Illien in a way no other Fief had been awoken. Kaylin named her Tara. They wound up back in their own time, defeated Illien, and Tiamaris claimed the Fief as his own. He let Morse kill Barren, after Kaylin refused the privilege. Tiamaris shaped most of his plans for the fief, now called Tiamaris after him as Nightshade is Nighshade, after how the city was run... and from what he learned from and about Kaylin. Tara, one of the most powerful entities in existence adores Kaylin and keeps trying to come up with reasons she has to visit, and Morse has become Timaris' primary adviser/enforcer. 
    • Then the Chaos storms hit the city itself, but they weren't coming from the fiefs. One of the results of the chaos storm was her acquisition of a rather large egg that some woman gave birth to, but refused to keep. She also fell off the world walking through a door, and was almost eaten by the Devourer. The storm turned out to be the result of a race called the Norinnarr, who were trying to flee the Devourer, and find a new home. Kaylin acted against the wishes if the Consort, sundering that friendship, to risk everything trying to save the refugees.
    • With the Norinarr safe in Tiamaris, and the Devourer safe in the Elemental Garden, she again foolishly thought that she would get some peace.
    • A crime spree in Tiamaris led to his asking her and Severn for help. A woman was killed. Multiple times. The same woman. Meanwhile, other people were going missing. Despite the fiefs not legally being part of the city, they went and tried to help. There were also people missing in Nightshade, she discovered after falling off the world again. Nightshade, however, cared less for his people than Timaaris cared for his, and was unapologetic about having sold them.
    • The woman turned out to be a Dragon named Bellusdeo, who was deified by the Norinarr, and after Kaylin saved her by reconstructing her True Name from all the parts she had scattered, she was the only female Dragon awake in all of Elantra. She decided to move in with Kaylin.
    • Kaylin, not sure how to ask the Dragon who considered Kaylin one of her only two friends to please move the **** out, because the apartment was too **** small for the both of them, was suffering through having a moving shadow who was even more of a pest to her etiquette teacher than she was... Until an arcane bomb meant to kill Bellusdeo was launched through the apartment window.... the egg hatched, bathed in the magical energy, absorbing enough of it to create a shield to keep the women safe, and to keep more than three floors from being destroyed.
    • Kaylin had to move into the imperial palace, with Bellusdeo until she could find a place all parties considered acceptable - herself (she wanted to live near work, in a place that didn't require magic to open her own ***** door.) Bellusdeo (Who wanted room for her Norrinarr companion to live with them), and the Emperor (Who wanted Bellusdeo safe, no mater the cost). She was still looking when Lord Nightshade, unhappy that Kaylin now avoided him at all costs even more so than before, named his terms for helping with an extremely fragile case.... Kaylin would accompany him on the journey to the West March. She was NOT happy.
    • Teela and Severn both found excuses to go along as well, and as both were also Lords of the High Court, they could. Unfortunately, this meant traveling with a number of Barrani Lords, including the Consort, who was still displeased with Kaylin.
    • No one was happy when one of the sacred meeting sites, after being forced by the familiar to let Kaylin in, gave Kaylin a very fancy arm bearing green and gold dress that marked her as an important part of the ritual to come, the harmonisite.
    THIS IS WHERE SHE IS BEING PULLED FROM - EN ROUTE TO THE WEST MARCH BEFORE SHE FALLS OFF THE WORLD... AGAIN....
    Character's personality: As shown above, Kaylin is the type of person to put others first, always; but to gripe the whole time. She introduced the fief pastime of betting to her office, and has issues with her own hypocrisy. She loves to fly, and her greatest selfish dream is for wings of her own. She has a MASSIVE weakness for kids, and a lesser one for adults who are child-like. She wants to be busy, and she wants to have something that is just... hers. She doesn't much care about her looks, other than to cover the marks on her arms, legs, back, and belly. She wears her hair like a bad hat and is pretty much ALWAYS late. She has no sense of direction, and some pretty bad self-control issues. She also can forgive people too easily.

    History/personality TL;DNR 'due to her experiences, she's messed up and confused and always learning and changing, and so won't god mode' (Thanks to Ash!)

    Character's skills/abilities/powers:
    Physical/mental (non-magical) skills: Kaylin has trained for more than 7 years in law enforcement. So even though she is small, she has decent strength, and has learned a lot about how to use leverage in throws, speed, and a lower target area to her advantage. She is used to being quick on her feet, even in armor. She knows how to fall and get back to her feet in a single motion. She knows some pretty impressive acrobatics. She is skilled in basic melee weapons, and favors daggers.

    She also knows how to count things on the move, recognize faces in a crowd, and has trained hard to notice small details, small clues. They are constantly being told "You are a Hawk, see like one".

    She is GOOD at her job. Except for the paperwork. And the showing up on time. And the wearing a clean uniform that isn't wrinkled, blood stained, and torn...

    She also has a natural gift for languages. She speaks Elantran, Aerian, Low Barreni, High Barreni, and Leontine fluently. She is learning a smattering of Dragon, though her ears nearly bleed listening to it. She knows some of the Old Tongue, not in any useful way, but more that she can recognize shapes sometimes, and how they were meant to be... and she sometimes starts speaking it without realizing she's doing so. She's also learning the tongue of the Norinarr - the new race living in Tiamaris. She is also gifted at inventive cursing. The foul language kind, not the magical kind.

    Communication abilities - She holds the True Name of Lord Nightshade AND bears his mark. She holds the True Name of the Lord of the West March. Severn holds her True Name. Through these she can communicate with any of those notables over extreme distances, and see through their eyes or let them see through hers. She can also communicate with Ybelline and the other Tha'alani through Water.

    The magical list - Kaylin can summon the Elementals - the embodiments of the Elements - and converse with them. Water and Fire come easiest to her. She has the potential to master Air, but has not yet done so. Through Water she can communicate to the Tha'alani, any of them, and that I do believe would span the worlds, since it is cannon that all the Elements are rooted in her world, in that Garden, and that the elements in other worlds are parts of that whole, all connected to their source and root. So Water here would be as Water there. But Water is not all of one mind, so she can't just magically know anything that happens near water, and while she theoretically COULD command Water and Fire at the least, she asks. Because she asks instead of commands, they still listen to her. I honestly do not recall how much progress she made with Elemental Earth. Fire likes stories.

    Kaylin can sense magic. Elemental magic is a slight tingle, more of a subconscious awareness, and does not bother her. All of the magic that Eventon does feels like Elemental magic to her. ALL OTHER MAGIC... It's a painful buzzing under her skin when she is near active magic. Even with the Bracer on. (more on the bracer below) If she touches something with active magic (like a door ward) it HURTS. She has gotten good at gritting her teeth, or swearing to make a sailor blush to get through it, but she hates it; and where she can, she avoids magic. Low level magic usually just make her arms itch, and the itching is a sign to her. sometimes the marks will also glow around magic of any sort. (Though again, Evernton's enchantments do not seem to bother them, or her)

    Healing - Kaylin has a tremendous gift for healing. It is largely instinctive, though the coroner, Red, insisted she attend a few autopsies so she could learn the proper terms for some things. Still, she mostly sees things as "this is broken, encourage it to grow together...gently...gently... stop the blood flow here..." Injuries like a bad birth are easiest for her, poison is harder, illness harder still. While healing, her marks glow and she forgets her body. She usually comes out of a healing trance dehydrated, wrung out, and stiff.

    Hurting - a dark power resides inside Kaylin, one she fights. Most of the time it lays dormant, but there have been 2 or three times (depending on if you count the short story) where children have been in such danger that she took whatever power she could get to save them. But every time... the children saw her as the monster, and every time, someone had to stop her. The first time she killed three men. She dissolved the first to ash, and in the clutches of the darkness, decided he hadn't suffered enough... she skinned the other two alive before killing them slowly. (Willow: "Bored now!") Almost a decade since she got these powers, it's happened at most three times, and always when a large number of children were in a very very bad position, and it was the only way to save them.



    Any special equipment your character is bringing along? Because Q is Q, some of the things she will have with her when she comes to the ship, she did not have with her when she was taken (Mostly her Hawk's uniform and daggers). What she has:

    A very expensive very fine gold and green dress that shows off her arms, and is apparently indestructible. It is called "The Blood Of The Green". It has matching shoes. They are also indestructible. Oh, SHE can get hurt wearing this lot, but the dress looks pristine, no matter what she does. She would probably burn it if she thought that wasn't suicide.

    She has her beat uniform - Leather pants, padding under, leather armor, chain mail shirt, tabard with a hawk on it, a pair of daggers in sheaths, enchanted so she can draw them silently. Good sturdy boots. The Hawk on her tabard is picked out in gold beads and if magic changes her clothing suddenly (that keeps happening to her) the hawk transfers over to her new outfit.)

    A hair stick. Not magical. Would be pretty, if it wasn't so chewed up.

    A blue sleeveless low back short skirted dress... it is made of Elemental Water, and is "traditional" to be worn by Water's chosen. The fact that it shows off most of her marks has not been lost on her. The fact that every immortal thing that sees her marks (practically) calls her "Chosen" makes her wonder if Uriel, a long dead Tha'alani leader who bore the same marks, and similar powers, had to wear the dress. The thought makes her snicker.

    A signet ring that magically fits her finger and cannot be removed without her will unless you chopped off the whole finger. The rest of its power is political, and therefore not applicable unless a Barrani apps in.

    Lord Sanabalis' Amulet. It is a large coin with an impression of a Dragon roaring. It is on a thick gold chain, knotted because it is too long otherwise. It makes it easier for her use fire as a weapon, without having to summon the Elemental. It also helps her light the **** candle.

    A picnic basket. At the moment it is where all her changes of clothing are. When food is in it, it preserves the food a little bit longer. A magical refrigerator without making things cold.

    Her familiar. It looks like a dragon to everyone who isn't a Dragon. The body is about the size of a house cat, wings taller than the body, long prehensile tail, long prehensile neck. It sort of listens to Kaylin. Sometimes. When it feels like it. It is protective over her, but sees the oddest things as threats. It can eat magic and Words. It breathes out small clouds of chaos that can hover hover for up to two minutes, and wake deeply sleeping magical edifices by biting them. Kaylin is trying to stop it from doing that. It can break magical protections the same way.

    The Familiarwill get more powerful and gain other abilities, if she ever names it, but since she had JUST named it in the series and all it's new abilities have not yet been defined or explored, I'm keeping it pre-named. I might apply for a cannon update if the next novel has sufficient information.

    The cuff/manacle/bracelet/cage - It looks like a very expensive ornamental bracer/bracelet, being between the two in size. It is too small around to slide over her hand, and seems to have no hinge. It does have a series of colored jewels on the top. Sometimes, but not always, in the presence of large amounts of magic, the gems flash, same for if magic is being used on Kaylin. If she is wearing it and her marks glow, so too do the gems. She cannot pass a magical barrier/ward/protection wearing it even if it is permeable to the rest of her body. This has saved her life multiple times. She can take it off. The Hawklord taught her how to do so, even though he isn't allowed to.

    Kaylin, her wrist weighted by a few pounds of what was ostensibly gold, knew this firsthand. The bracer—studded with what were also ostensibly gemstones, and in and of itself more valuable than most of the force on a good day, which would be a day when their Sergeant wasn't actively cursing the amount of money being wasted employing their sorry butts—was also magical. It was older than the Empire.

    No one knew how it worked—or at least that's what was claimed—but it kept random magic neutralized. Kaylin had been ordered to wear it, and on most days, she did.



    The bracer is impossible to loose. It always has a keeper. She never gets to choose who the keeper is, and she never gets to be the keeper herself. First it was the Hawklord, then when she forgave Severn, he became the keeper. If it is ever too far from her for too long, it returns to the keeper's possession. One of the small vindictive pleasures in her life is tossing it on a trash heap or in the river; even when, and sometimes especially because, she hears Severn **** about the smell in his apartment. Given that he's a Corporal, given that he has multiple bedrooms, and never has to skip a meal because he's broke... she tosses it in the river a lot.


    I am still taking her from the canon, so no change from having been in Ruby City.

    Why do you want to play this character in Ten Forward, and what do you plan to do with them?

    I would love to see Kaylin join Security on the ship. She likes feeling useful and having something to do to help and protect. She also, once she realizes what the Federation is like, she will probably volunteer her services in sickbay as a healer. She works well as an investigator, so would volunteer for away missions.

    Writing Sample #1: <a href="http://ten-fwd-meme.dreamwidth.org/1226.html?thread=41674#cmt41674">With Tasha Yar</a>
    Writing Sample #2 (optional):

    Kaylin prowled around her new apartment. They called them quarters. They could call them coppers for all she cared, it was hers. These rooms were hers. Rooms. Plural. But the best thing, better even than not having to share her space with Bellusdeo was the replicator. When Tasha showed her that... She almost didn't want to go home. Almost. If she did have to go home, she hoped to be able to fill the basket first. Once she had been left alone in her rooms... she would never admit that she had eaten herself sick, but she had.

    And now she might have a new job for as long as she was here. The captain was not the Hawklord, and the ranks worked differently, but she could learn. She could get used to it. She wasn't sure how she'd feel about never going home again, but until she did, she could get used to being here.

    She resisted touching her tattoo. She wanted to know if she could communicate back... but she didn't want him knowing she could. But he was the one she could most likely each. She could try and contact Severn....

    She shook her head. Not a chance. She might be small and petty and selfish, and she might have forgiven him as much as she could... but while she was here... to make a new start for however long she was here... No. She didn't want Severn in her head. Not now.

    There was the Lord of The West March.... but she shied away from that too... But who else...?

    .....Ybelline. She could summon water, she could contact the Tha'alani Castelord.

    Suddenly she missed Ybelline fiercely. She missed the feeling of her warm arms around her, even the feeling of her stalks gently touching Kaylin's forehead.

    It was like the flood gates had opened, as though the Tha'alani woman was there, was picking through her memories. Face flowed though her mind, the people she would miss. Marion. Catti. Doc. Mayalee. Eventon. Everly.  Marcus and his wives and kits. She could almost feel herself buried in fur as the family crawled all over each other. The Hawklord, his wings lifted and spread, the light spearing through his feathers. Clint and Tanner on door duty. Teela. Tain.

    Tears ran down her face as more and more names, more and more memories hit her. Tara, running up to her and smiling, dressed as a farmer. Tiamaris, following behind her, looking amused. Lord Sanabalis.

    She shoved at her face. She hated crying. Caitlin was always good at bringing her back from the edge of tears...

    She looked around the room again. No mirrors. Suddenly... Suddenly she was less sanguine about being here. Red. Moran. 

    Names. Faces. People she would miss, little kids she had held. What would the midwives guild do if they hit an emergency? Would some one go visit her son with the other orphans?

    The communicator chimed. That would take some getting used to... but...

    She hurried into the new uniform Tasha had gotten her. Her first day on the new job... and she wasn't late. She wondered if there would be anyone to bet with over if it would last....

    kaylinneya: (Default)
    PLAYER
    Name: Chicklet
    Age: Adult
    Personal Journal: Chicklet
    E-mail: Dwlogs@writeme.com
    AIM/MSN/etc:
    Yahoo: Chicklet_Royal
    Plurk: ChickletLARP


    Please note, there are a lot of unique names and races in this series, and I am dyslexic. I will try to spell things consistently, and apologize if I fail. I know from experience, given the length of this, that proofreading might not get everything.

    Also: Massive spoilers ahead. You have been warned.

    CHARACTER
    Name: Kaylin Neya
    Canon: The Chronicles of Elantra
    Age: Mid twenties
    Timeline: in the middle of Cast In Peril
    If playing another character from the same canon, how will you deal with this?: N/A

    Personality:
    Kaylin Neya has a nasty habit of attracting what she dislikes most: Magic. She really hates magic, even though everyone she cares about tells her not to. "It's a part of you" Severn says at one point, when he explains how he can't hate it, and she shouldn't. And to be honest, it's most magic she hates, not all magic. She hates the magic that hurts, that makes her skin prickle, that is used to hurt other people, or to make it hard to investigate a crime. Doorwards, which are used almost everywhere in her world, have earned a special hatred in her heart.

    But she attracts magic. Not as an ability, but as a side effect of being her, mixed with some very... odd... luck. This has lead to some very interesting people becoming part of her life, both for good and for ill, and they have all left their mark on her, have all shaped her.

    But there are some base traits to Kaylin that no one will ever be able to change. Her instinct to heal those who are hurt, her desire to be doing SOMETHING, her disdain for classroom learning, and most of all... the way that children act as giant blinders for her.

    She forgets pretty much everything... for the sake of a child. If a child is in danger, saving them becomes her sole focus. (there is one strong exception, which I will get into in the powers section, but it has only happened twice, and children in danger were the trigger, both times) If not child is in danger, but one is running towards her, gleefully, everything gets dropped, shouldered, or sheathed so she can lift up the child.

    Kaylin used to be very prejudiced against one of the races on her world. The Tha'alani scared the life out of her, and she hated them. She thought she hated them with all her being. But the Castelord of the Tha'alani is impossible to hate, and she knew what Kaylin needed to break the last of the hatred and fear. She invited her to the Quarter... where Kaylin met the Tha'alani children. And there is no way Kaylin could ever fear children. She played with them swept them up, and accepted the child even touching her with the amphorae that had one scared her so badly. (They are used for mind reading, and Kaylin had once said in an office memo "if the other races can't walk around waving their weapons, how come the Tha'alani can?" Thankfully Marcus had the wit not to let that memo go any further than the Hawks office pool.)

    Kaylin discovered in all the Tha'alani a child like innocence that made her protective over them, as if most of them were children still despite their apparent ages.

    Kaylin shapes herself, and sees herself based on her failures. She does not see the fifteen people she saved, she sees the two who she did not. She does not see the cases she's helped to solve, she sees the one in front of her causing trouble NOW. She has a hard time visualizing the future, and has spent most of her time running from the past.

    She also always drives herself too hard. Too many things are too important to her for her to pick and choose. So even if she is due in at work, if the midwives call in the middle of the night, she goes, no matter what it costs her physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially.

    This leads into Kaylin's issue with punctuality. There are always office betting pools about her punctuality, and she finds it very irksome that she is not allowed to bet on herself. Her teacher, Lord Sanabalis, has taken to showing up more than an hour after their class time is scheduled to begin, because waiting for her might irritate him. He is the "court of last resort" and her teacher because she intentionally teed off every teacher before him. She actually likes Sanabalis, but often wonders if it IS possible to irritate him. He's avuncular enough that her annoyance is usually fixed more on the lesson than on the dragon delivering it. Given that the lessons are in magic, this is impressive indeed.

    Kaylin knows she is not supposed to use her power. She has a bracer that restrains her power, leaving her magic-less for the most part. She knows how to remove it, and will. Often. With great vehemence. The fact that she works for one of the Halls of law, and that it i by IMPERIAL LAW that she wears it at all times... It speaks to how deeply the need to heal runs. She can't do what she has to do wearing it, and choosing between someone's life and keeping the bracer on... life always wins in the end.

    But the bracer is there for good reason. There is a darkness to her power, a darkness that was meant to BE her power. She has lost control of it before, and it makes her a danger. She hates that darkness, that potential to loose control, and that is why she submits to the cuff in the first place. Well, that and the fact that the alternative was suicide via dragon.

    Kaylin likes things to be straightforward, and the fact that they never are is a constant source of frustration for her. And she would like a promotion and a better pay check. Given her punctuality issues however, that's not in the cards. She did however learn that among the Leontines (the large cat like race to which her Sargent Marcus Kassan belongs) there is actually a rank below private. Corpse. He says that whenever she needs a reminder to be glad she's a private.

    She will do nearly anything for the people she cares about, though. For the Hawk (which is an deal, a goal, a belief all in one... but also largely is about the Hawklord himself, to Kaylin) she actually managed to get to work on time (with help) so that acting Sargent Mallory had no cause to kick her out. She did this while investigating the crime Marcus was accused of against orders on her own time, doing her daily schedule at the palace with Rennick, and trying to help the Tha'alani recover from the rampant hatred and bigotry aimed at them as a reward for their assistance in saving the city.

    No one ever said life was fair, least of all Kaylin.

    For Clint, she learned to speak Aerian, because he loved it so much when she TRIED. For Marcus and his wives, she learned Leontine, though honestly it is also the language of choice for cursing in the office... She learned High Barranai because all the laws were written in it, but she learned low because she loved Teela and Tain so much. For Evernton, she holds her tongue - more or less. Even Bellusdeo gets some of that, despite being such a recent addition to Kaylin's life. Kaylin accepts her as a roommate in her already too small one room flat, and when someone blows it up trying to kill Bellusdeo Kaylin passes up the opportunity to get a place that is just hers again, and moves in to the (insert curses in 4 languages here, said really quietly because dragons have disturbingly good hearing) Imperial Palace; despite the fact that she hates the place, that she's sure that living there will make her stop... living.

    On and on the list goes. Parts of herself, parts of her life, shaped for the sake of those she loves.

    Kaylin is all spines on the surface. Sharp tongue, sharp knives, first to curse, first to bet what little she has, says the first thing on her mind... but inside she is a good and kind person, even if she works hard to not see it.


    Background:

    Kaylin was born in the fief of Nightshade, just across the Alblyne river from the CITY of Elantra. Technically the fiefs are outside the jurisdiction of the Emperor and his laws. In the fiefs the only laws belong to the lord for whom the fief is named, and he or she is the one who metes out punishment. Justice is a fairy tale.

    Her father is never mentioned, but she was raised by her mother, Tara, who did her best for the little girl. When Tara was getting ill, Kaylin met Severn. He was a few years older, 13 in total, and she thought of him as a grown man. He saved her from the Ferals - monsters that live in the fiefs - by throwing away meat "actual meat. That had to hurt." to distract them so they could get away. He understood what she couldn't, that her mother was dying.

    Severn started taking care if them, never discussed his own family situation. He stole enough to keep them fed, and when Kaylin's mother died, he took her away, and they found a new room to squat in. It was the fiefs, someone else would find the room, and would be willing to deal with the body in exchange for shelter. Save the fief lord, no one really owned ANYTHING in the fiefs. Doors had no locks. If you could defend your home, you kept it. And they were kids.

    It seemed, to Kaylin when she was forced to look back, like she lived her whole life in Winter in the fiefs, everything seemed to happen then. Like finding her "kids". One a year over 2 years, she found small children, desperate children, and she and Severn saved them from Ferals, took them in... She learned to steal to help feed them. They were hers. She loved them with all she had, and she learned to fight to defend them. Steffi. Jade. Hers.

    And then the marks appeared. They started one winter, on the longest night. Black, so black. "The marks would forever redefine black to her." They started on her arms and legs, filled her inner thighs, filled arms from shoulder to wrist. They didn't know what the marks were, but Severn was smart enough to realize they had to be hidden, secret.

    They found soon after a dead child. Someone she knew. The dead child was marked as she was marked. They were all sure she would die next. When more and more children turned up dead they kept waiting for it to be her, for they were all marked, and all killed the same way, all gutted. They thought it was happening everywhere.

    This was about when she discovered that she could heal. Severn could not stop her from healing, but helped her keep it secret as best as possible. And they lived. They survived, always sure she would be dead and soon.

    Then came the time when Severn gave her instructions, he was going away, maybe for more than a day and a night. No one was stupid to be out at night in the fiefs. Kaylin feared for him, but she trusted him. She followed his instructions. She protected Steffi and Jade. She didn't know he had gone to the fief lord. She didn't know what he asked or what her had been told.

    But when he returned, he sent her off to the market, with actual coins, to buy food. When she returned, the room was filled with blood, blood everywhere. And her children, her girls, Steffi and Jade were dead. Severn, covered in their blood, still held the knife that had slit their throats.

    She fled. She never quite forgave herself for not killing him, not asking him why... she fled. Her Severn had killer HER girls...

    She wound up crossing the fief border from the inside, which should have been impossible, and wound up in Barren, at the base of a tower that hadn't been used in years.

    Morse found her. Short haired, short tempered, foul mouthed Morse. And Kaylin, then under a different name, said "I want to learn how to kill a man." It was the right thing to say to Morse. Morse was Barren's second, and she took Eli (Kaylin) on as hers. Trained her, didn't hesitate to smack her or worse if she was being sentimental, soft, or stupid.

    Then Barren assigned Kaylin an assassination. Against Morse's warnings, she tried to find out the WHYs of the situation instead of just doing as she was told. Which was how she found out that the man had done what he did to protect his sister. She helped them escape. Morse found them later and killed them.

    Barren sent her on another assassination, and she was the only one that didn't realize that it was a death sentence. He sent her across the river, into the city, to assassinate the Lord of Hawks, Lord Greymere.

    The Hawks are one of the three branches of law in Elantra. The Swords keep the peace, the Hawks investigate the crimes, and the Wolves hunt anyone too dangerous or crafty for the Hawks to nail.

    So the little 13 year old girl, covered in marks that she thought would kill her went to go murder a man who stood for law and justice but let a river stop him from helping people like Steffi and Jade.

    She studied the Halls, she planned, she was surprised at the fact that no one immediately knew her for a fiefling. Finally she picked a time when the dome should be open and climbed the tower.

    She honestly did try to kill the Hawklord. She really did try. But by the time she left the tower, she had a new name - Kaylin Neya - and a dream. She was going to be a Hawk.

    The Hawks helped her find a place, and despite the fact that she couldn't actually BE a Hawk until she turned 18. She wound up helping on cases anyway, begging all the Aerian Hawks to take her flying. She found a home, a family with the Hawks. A new life.

    And then, years later, when she had officially been a Hawk for just a short time, Severn re-entered her life. While she had become a Hawk, he had joined the Wolves, and was being seconded to the Hawk while they investigated a strong of deaths in the fief of Nightshade... Children dying marked with marks like Kaylin's, in the same age range. But at a faster rate. Also on their team is the first ever Dragon Hawk, Lord Tiamaris, who had personally spoken up in Court that Kaylin should be killed over the power she wields.

    The end result of that conversation was the acquisition of an irreplaceable ancient bracelet from the hoard of the Arkon that keeps Kaylin from most magic. (She can still -painfully - sense it, she just can't use it) Tiamaris is not overly thrilled to find out that she knows how to take the cuff (she calls it a shackle or a cage) off herself.

    While technically the law does not extend into the fiefs, in this case, the fief lord allows them entry into his domain wearing the Hawk, and she has to go back to a place she left behind, with Severn at her side.

    The fief lord himself decides to meet these Hawks, and... what isn't clear until later is that he knows all three of them. Tiamaris he had met previously when Tiamaris had been researching the nature of the fiefs. Severn he remembered from all those years back, from the conversation that lead to the deaths of Steffi and Jade. And Kaylin... he met her in her future, his past, when the trio of Hawks wound up sucked back in time, later on. Of course, he is Barrenai, and gave nothing away when he "met" each of them that he knew who they were.

    But in his memory, Kaylin bore a mark. HIS mark. So he marked her in that "first" meeting.

    Over the course of the investigation, Kaylin spoke with an Old One, gained Lord Nightshade's true name, gained more marks, healed a young girl named Catti which lead to Catti being kidnapped, Kaylin loosing control of her power in her desperation to save her... and... Severn saving her. Saving all the children for her. From her. And oh yeah, undead Barenai? That's apparently a thing. A taboo thing that she should not have mentioned in front of the Arcanists.

    And she found out WHY the children were being killed. They were sacrifices, offerings to fuel the awakening of the Chosen, of a Dark God. Her. Mukeron, the only outcaste Dragon was trying to turn her into a Dark God bound to his will.

    She nearly killed Murkon, could have, but Severn stopped her, because the power that was flowing through her was also killing the children. She had lost the ability to hear or see them.

    Murkon got away, badly injured, fleeing for the heart of the fiefs. The Hawks, Kaylin with them, brought Catti and the other kids back.

    After Tiamaris went to court, this time to argue for her being allowed to live despite direct evidence that she took off the cuff and became a danger.

    The end result was that she was required to take magic lessons, if she wanted to remain a Hawk.

    She ticked off, insulted, and chased away every magic tutor who came to the Halls of law... until they sent a Dragon. She is pretty certain that it is impossible to intentionally irritate Lord Sanabalis, but... she does like him. It's the lessons she hates, though what she does wind up learning from him is so much more than just lighting a candle. He did however, wind up loaning her his medallion, a mark just shy of ownership. It was to balance the mark of Lord Nightshade.

    Kaylin drew the attention of the Barrani Arcanist, Lord Evarrim, and her friends Teela and Tain tried to keep them apart, but when the High Lord of the High court, the Lord of the West March falls... "ill"... with no explanation and no signs of poison, Teela has to make use of the only healer in the Empire that wasn't seconded to the Emporor. Kaylin.

    Kaylin already had the true name of Lord Nightshade after a "talk" with an "old one" went sour. The only way to awaken the Lord of the West March... was to take his name as well.

    He called her Kyuthe, publicly, and invited her to the Leoswuld. She didn't fully understand it, but she did understand that she couldn't refuse. While she was his guest in the High Halls she and Severn became the first mortals to pass the test of name; which meant they got true names and that they became Lords of the High Halls. the only non-Barani to hold that title. As though that weren't enough, she also helped the Lord of the West March save the life of his older brother, getting him, the Lord of the Green to the Leoswuld in time to save the world.

    Then she got called to the shop of one of the few magic users she liked, Evanton "The purveyor of odd junk and the occasional piece of real magic". It turns out he is the Keeper, a guardian of "Garden" that houses the Elements, well their cores. The Garden is what keeps the Elements from running wild, and something was stolen from it. A reliquary of water. And all the Oracles and portents spoke of the destruction of the city. By water.

    Over the course of this book, Kaylin wound up befriending the core of the Elements Water and Fire. And comes to loose her hatred of the Tha'alani, and through water, the Tha'aalan, the mind that connects all the Tha'alani, their communal memories... through Water. To Kaylin, Water will always look like the little girl that the Tha'aalan presented itself as to her, to get her to save a Tha'alani child, Mayalee.

    Kaylin became a beloved fixture among the Tha'alani, and she came to love them as though they were themselves children. The Tha'alani saved the city from the tidalwave that threatened, standing against it, while Kaylin, Severn. Eventon, and Tiamaris fought the mage who had the reliquary.

    But the first day back to work after that brought too many changes, too much bad news. The city had no clue the Tha'alani had placed themselves in the way of the wave. The people thought they CAUSED the wave, and rose against them in angry mobs. But everywhere Kaylin went to help the Swords people kept expressing sympathy. She had no clue why...

    Her Sargent, Marcass Kassan, who practically raised her since she "joined" the Hawks at 13 had been arrested for murder, and his replacement, acting Sargent Mallory Hated him, hated her, and would do anything he could, by the books, to fire her.

    Her job, which she equates with her life, was saved by 2 things, Severn making sure she gets to work on time by dragging her out of bed in person every morning, and all but dragging her through the streets (at least he brought breakfast, so she actually got to EAT, unlike most "mornings" which constitute her rolling out of bed as soon as she can, often some time after noon, to the snarls in her mirror of an angry Leontine - Marcus - spurring her on to dress and race to work as fast as she can). The other thing that saved her was that she and Severn were specifically requested, by the Emperor for a special assignment at the palace. Even Mallory couldn't override that.

    Thankfully the assignment at the palace was babysitting an ill tempered playwright named Richard Rennick who was himself tasked with writing a play that would make people hate the Tha'alani less. What was good about the assignment was that he viewed mornings the same way Kaylin did, and so they had the time between checking in at work, and when Rennick woke up to investigate Marcus' case. Despite being told not to.

    In this book she learned that the marks that now covered her back to the nape of her neck, her front to under the best, the whole of her arms and her upper legs, were Words. Not words, but Words. The Language used by the Old Ones to CREATE. These Words gave life, and are very like the True Names of the immortals. These Words were formed into stories that shaped the whole of a race, and in that shaping, created the Leontines from wild cats. And a different story, with different Words could twist some of them into monsters. There was a reason there were no Leontine mages, because the ones with the potential were to be killed at birth. Like one of Marcus' wives.

    Lord Sanabalis spoke to the Leontines in the Quarter. He told them one of their oldest Stories, reaffirming with the Old Words what they are, anchoring them. This was about when Kaylin discovered that when the Old Tongue was spoken... She could see the words, though no one else could until she touched them. And throughout the books she also learned to change them, reshape them, reshape life.

    She was able to save Marcus' wife, and the baby that was born which triggered this whole mess, which gave Maurkuron the Black a foothold into Elantra again, but could not save the baby's parents. Not their lives. Though she did bring the mother back to herself, and the mother chose to die helping Kaylin save their son. (Odd quirk of Leontine culture led to Kaylin being one of the child's mothers.)

    She left the baby safely with Marin, the Leontine woman who takes care of all the human orphans in the city. The play was a success, and peace... more or less returned to Elantra, insomuch as it ever exists.

    Peace did not last long, of course.

    The boundaries of the fiefs were weakening. Ravellon, the darkness of the final fief, encircled by the others, was pushing through... in Barren. A face from the past showed up on Elani street to deliver a message to Kaylin. Morse.

    Morse had a message from Barren, Blackmail. Barren figured that the only way Kaylin was still alive was because she never tried to kill the Hawklord, and threatened to tell the city why she had crossed the bridge if she didn't come for a meeting. She went anyway. With Severn. And Tiamaris.

    The monsters that spilled from the fief's borders made Ferals look like puppies. Morse called them One-offs. And there were Shadow Storms. One touches you and you're no longer you when you come out, and the effect is spread by touch. So of course a Shadowstorm swallowed Kaylin, Severn, and Tiamaris.

    They were dropped into the past. Into a time before the fiefs were the fiefs. Before there WERE shadows in the heart of Ravellon, and they met a young Nightshade, before he was fief lord, before he was outcaste.

    Just as the test of Name in the High Halls had made Kaylin face her past, the history and the truth behind the deaths of Steffi and Jade, the trip into the past taught them the true nature of the fiefs, and how they work and Kaylin and Tiamaris would up waking the Tower of Illien. What would have been Barren's tower if he had taken the fief correctly. But he hadn't, so instead of the fief of Illien taking his name, he and the fief BOTH took the name Barren. Because Illien was among the undead, the undying, but Barren could not take the fief fully, and leaderless, it was, in the most important way, Barren.

    They awoke the Tower and the Tower... tried to talk to them, tried to relate to them. The tower very much is not human. She took on a psudo-human form, first looking like Kaylin with wings and then when that failed... she took the form of a child. And she begged Kaylin to save her, to claim her, to become fief lord.

    Kaylin helped her, helped Tiamaris and Severn save her, but in the end Tiamaris took the fief, and the fief took his name. The tower... took the name Tara. Kaylin named her Tara.

    Since the fiefs are outside the law of the Emperor, Tiamaris was no longer beholden to the laws that restricted him from taking his true form and flying. He made clear his rule, and the one who needed it most kill Barren, and took Morse as his second. Together with Morse and Tara, Tiamaris settled into making his fief into the city writ small, his own empire, but one unlike any other fief. One with actual laws, where people would have enough to eat, safe places to live... Tara decided to start a garden. And Barren which held such horrible memories for Kaylin became Tiamaris... one of her favorite places to visit.


    And then the Chaos came.

    All manner of odd things happened. A rain of blood. Margot who was a fraud fortune teller told a true fortune with massive legal and political repercussions. A phony hair tonic actually cured baldness. The Elements in the Garden were in a frenzy. Odd births including an infant with a third eye, and one woman who gave birth to an egg. The egg went home with Kaylin, who kept meaning to bring it to Evernton, but never had a chance to.

    And in the middle of all of this... Kaylin fell out of the world. She dropped into a place between worlds that was no place at all. A little like the road between in Kingdom Hearts. The theory that humans were not native to that world was given much more credence as the chaos proved to be the approach of travelers whose world had been devoured by a creature they simply called The Devourer.

    To stop The Devourer from breaking through many people, including the Consort (female leader of the Barreni and wife/sister to the new High Lord who had been the Lord of the Green) wanted the portal closed firmly, leave these strangers to the Devourer. better than than letting them lead it to this world.

    Kaylin could not let that stand and worked at odds to her friend, sure the bond between them would be broken forever. What she managed to do, however was to bring the Devourer where he belonged. He belonged in the Garden, he was a part of that world, he was what united the elements and kept them in check. She saved him, though he ate some of her marks in the process.

    the new race was claimed quickly by Tiamaris, and since they spent their lives training against and fighting the very same shadows that plague the fiefs, they become invaluable in Tiamaris, helping to protect the boarders.

    And then Tiamaris sends word to the city, a request for help from the Lords of Law. A woman has shown up dead in his fief. Not unusual at all for the fiefs, though it is not what he wants from his... except... Tara who should be able to see and be aware of EVERYTHING in the Fief has no clue who she is or where she came from. Oh... and she's also turned up dead more than once. The same woman, multiple identical bodies on slabs.

    While investigating this crime, Kaylin learns the hard way that someone is practicing illegal magic to kidnap people from the fiefs sending them who only knows where.

    Except it is kidnapping in Tiamaris. Nightshade SOLD his people to this. Finally they solved the mystery of the woman, but not before they had eight identical corpses. She was a Dragon, the only female dragon awake in the empire, and Murkeron the Black had been trying to manipulate her into what he desired. But she was as a God to the warriors of the new Race who had joined the world, and she had sundered her True Name to survive, joining it with a warrior and his blade.

    Once that all got untangled, the Dragon, Bellusdeo, decided she was going to live with Kaylin. Kaylin who lived in a one room flat. Not one bedroom, one room. Her kitchen wasn't even a separate room from where she slept. A wall partially divided the space, but not fully. But Bellusdeo wedged her way in there, leaving Kaylin little way to refuse, though they were able to agree that her warrior had to stay in Tiamaris until they found a bigger place.

    Kaylin didn't want bigger place, she wanted her own place to be hers again.

    And then someone tried to kill Bellusdeo with an arcane bomb lobbed in through the window. The magical blast from the bomb leveled the apartment, as well as those above and below them... and packed enough magical punch to crack the egg Kaylin still took care of.

    From the egg hatched a familiar. (Kaylin ticked off almost every Dragon she knew by calling it a dragon, though it really really looked like one to her) A small transparent creature with sharp teeth that cast a shield around the women to protect them. He's the only reason they survived.

    Kaylin wound up having to move into the Palace, which she HATED while they looked for a new place. She wasn't allowed to investigate the assassination, winch also irritated the life out of her. There was also another case, the one Margot almost jeopardized, which Kaylin was also kept away from - it dealt with the rich and politically powerful and Kaylin lacks tact to a painful degree - but Lord Nightshade had some information...and he traded it to the Hawklord... his price was that Kaylin accompany him on a journey to the West March.

    A million and one political reasons why this was a BAD IDEA later, and Kaylin, Severn, and Teela joine the Barrani only caravan for the West march. A journey of months... if all went well.

    Of course, no Barrani journey could be simple or uncomplicated. The "campsites" were living buildings called Hallione that catered to the needs of the guests, and kept them from killing each other.

    The little not-dragon (who every now and again eats one of her marks) BIT one of the Hallione, waking it up in a rather spectacular fashion. And Kaylin... Kaylin found herself in possession of a magical dress that she could not refuse, that marked her as having a crucial role in the proceedings at the West March. Essentially the role translated into "Story Teller" though it was more a sorting than a telling.

    I am dropping her on the train during this journey. She will have fallen asleep in the carriage, and have woken on the train with a number of her processions that had been left in the palace.




    Abilities:
    Here is where the list gets long.

    Pyshical/mental (non-magical) skills: Kaylin ha trained for more than 7 years in law enforcement. So even though she is small, she has decent strength, and has learned a lot about how to use leverage in throws, speed, and a lower target area to her advantage. She is used to being quick on her feet, even in armor. She knows how to fall and get back to her feet in a single motion. She knows some pretty impressive acrobatics.

    She also knows how to count things on the move, recognize faces in a crowd, and has trained hard to notice small details, small clues. They are constantly being told "You are a hawk, see like one".

    She is GOOD at her job. Except for the paperwork. And the showing up on time. And the wearing a clean uniform that isn't wrinkled and torn...

    She also has a natural gift for languages. She speaks Elantran, Aerian, Low Barreni, High Barreni, and Leontine fluently. She is learning a smattering of Dragon, though her ears nearly bleed listening to it. She knows some of the Old Tongue, not in any useful way, but more that she can recognize shapes sometimes, and how they were meant to be... and she sometimes starts speaking it without realizing she's doing so. She's also learning the tongue of the Norinarr - the new race living in Tiamaris. She is also gifted at inventive cursing. The foul language kind, not the magical kind.

    Communication abilities - She holds the True Name of Lord Nightshade AND bears his mark. She holds the True Name of the Lord of the West March. Severn holds her True Name. Through these she can communicate with any of those notables over extreme distances, and see through their eyes or let them see through hers. I would need to know if this would work in RC if they are not there. I do not think it would. But if any of them arrive in RC, she would be able to communicate with them that way.

    The magical list - Kaylin can summon the Elementals - the embodiments of the Elements - and converse with them. Water and Fire come easiest to her. She has the potential to master Air, but has not yet done so. Through Water she can communicate to the Tha'alani, any of them, and that I do believe would span the worlds, since it is cannon that all the Elements are rooted in her world, in that Garden, and that the elements in other worlds are parts of that whole, all connected to their source and root. So Water here would be as Water there. But Water is not all of one mind, so she can;t just magically know anything that happens near water, and while she theoretically COULD command Water and Fire at the least, she asks. Because she asks instead of commands, they still listen to her. I honestly do not recall how much progress she made with Elemental Earth.

    Kaylin can sense magic. Elemental magic is a slight tingle, more of a subconscious awareness, and does not bother her. All of the magic that Eventon does feels like Elemental magic to her. ALL OTHER MAGIC... It's a painful buzzing under her skin when she is near active magic. Even with the Bracer on. (more on the bracer below) If she touches something with active magic (like a door ward) it HURTS. She has gotten good at gritting her teeth, or swearing to make a sailor blush to get through it, but she hates it and where she can, she avoids magic. Low level magic usually just make her arms itch, and the itching is a sign to her. sometimes the marks will also glow around magic of any sort. (Though again, Evernton's enchantments do not seem to bother them, or her)


    "Kaylin?"

    "Hmm?" She was looking at the cross section of charms in a small case in one window—Mortimer's Magnificent Magic—and glanced at her partner's reflection in the glass.

    "You're rubbing your arms."

    She looked down and realized he was right. "They're sort of itchy," she said.

    He raised one brow. "Sort of itchy?"

    The marks that adorned most of the insides of her arms were, like the ones that covered her inner thighs and half of her back, weather vanes for magic. Kaylin hesitated. "It doesn't feel the way it normally does when there's strong magic. It's—they're just sort of itchy."

    "And they've never been like that before."



    Healing - Kaylin has a tremendous gift for healing. It is largely instinctive, though the coroner, Red, insisted she attend a few autopsies so she could learn the proper terms for some things. Still, she mostly sees things as "this is broke, encourage it to grow together...gently...gently... stop the blood flow here..." Injuries like a bad birth are easiest for her, poison is harder, illness harder still. While healing, her marks glow and she forgets her body. She usually comes out of a healing trance dehydrated, wrung out, and stiff.

    Hurting - a dark power resides inside Kaylin, one she fights. Most of the time it lays dormant, but there have been 2 or three times (depending on if you count the short story) where children have been in such danger that she took whatever power she could get to save them. But every time... the children saw her as the monster, and every time, someone had to stop her. The first time she killed three men. She dissolved the first to ash, and in the clutches of the darkness, decided he hadn't suffered enough... she skinned the other two alive before killing them slowly. (Willow: "Bored now!") Almost a decade since she got these powers, it's happened at most three times, and always when a large number of children were in a very very bad position, and it was the only way to save them.



    Kaylin had a magic that not even the most august of the Imperial scholars understood, and if it had been a weak magic, it wouldn't have mattered—much. But it was strong enough to withstand the full breath of a dragon in his true form. Strong enough to make a hole in a thick stone wall that was wider across than Severn. Strong enough to heal the dying.

    And the Emperor was in possession of all these facts, and more. Kaylin's glance strayed a moment to her arms; the length of her sleeves all but hid the dark marks that were tattooed there, in whirls and strokes, as if she were parchment, and they were the scattered telling of a story that was ancient before history began.


    Magical items (and non-magical items) of note that she has with her:
    A very expensive very fine gold and green dress that shows off her arms, and is apparently indestructible. It is called "The Blood Of The Green". It has matching shoes. They are also indestructible. Oh, SHE can get hurt wearing this lot, but the dress looks pristine, no matter what she does. She would probably burn it if she thought that wasn't suicide.

    She has her beat uniform - Leather pants, padding under, leather armor, chain mail shirt, tabard with a hawk on it, a pair of daggers in sheaths, enchanted so she can draw them silently. Good sturdy boots. The Hawk on her tabard is picked out in gold beads and if magic changes her clothing suddenly (that keeps happening to her) the hawk transfers over to her new outfit.)

    A hair stick. Not magical.

    A blue sleeveless low back short skirted dress... it is made of Elemental Water, and is "traditional" to be worn by Water's chosen. The fact that it shows off most of her marks has not been lost on her. The fact that every immortal thing that sees her marks (practically) calls her "Chosen" makes her wonder if Uriel, a long dead Tha'alani leader who bore the same marks, and similar powers, had to wear the dress. The thought makes her snicker.

    A signet ring that magically fits her finger and cannot be removed without her will unless you chopped off the whole finger. The rest of its power is political, and therefore not applicable unless a Barreni apps in.

    Lord Sanabalis' Amulet. It is a large coin with an impression of a Dragon roaring. It is on a thick gold chain, knotted because it is too long otherwise. It makes it easier for her use fire as a weapon, without having to summon the Elemental. It also helps her light the **** candle.

    A picnic basket. At the moment it has no food in it, unfortunately, but when it does, it preserves food for a few extra days.

    Her familiar. It looks like a dragon to everyone who isn't a Dragon. The body is about the size of a house cat, wings taller than the body, long prehensile tail, long prehensile neck. It sort of listens to Kaylin. Sometimes. When it feels like it. It is protective over her, but sees the oddest things as threats. It can eat magic and Words. It breathes out small clouds of chaos that can hover hover for up to two minutes, and wake deeply sleeping magical edifices by biting them. Kaylin is trying to stop it from doing that.

    The Dragon will get more powerful and gain other abilities, if she ever names it, but since she had JUST named it in the series and all it's new abilities have not yet been defined or explored, I'm keeping it pre-named. I might apply for a cannon update if the next novel has sufficient information.

    The cuff/manacle/bracelet/cage - It looks like a very expensive ornamental bracer/bracelet, being between the two in size. It is too small around to slide over her hand, and seems to have no hinge. It does have a series of colored jewels on the top. Sometimes, but not always, in the presence of large amounts of magic, the gems flash, same for if magic is being used on Kaylin. If she is wearing it and her marks glow, so too do the gems. She cannot pass a magical barrier/ward/protection wearing it even if it is permeable to the rest of her body. This has saved her life multiple times. She can take it off. The Hawklord taught her how to do so, even though he isn't allowed to.

    Kaylin, her wrist weighted by a few pounds of what was ostensibly gold, knew this firsthand. The bracer—studded with what were also ostensibly gemstones, and in and of itself more valuable than most of the force on a good day, which would be a day when their Sergeant wasn't actively cursing the amount of money being wasted employing their sorry butts—was also magical. It was older than the Empire.

    No one knew how it worked—or at least that's what was claimed—but it kept random magic neutralized. Kaylin had been ordered to wear it, and on most days, she did.



    The bracer is impossible to loose. It always has a keeper. She never gets to choose who the keeper is, and she never gets to be the keeper herself. First it was the Hawklord, then when she forgave Severn, he became the keeper. If it is ever too far from her for too long, it returns to the keeper's possession. One of the small vindictive pleasures in her life is tossing it on a trash heap or in the river; even when, and sometimes especially because, she hears Severn **** about the smell in his apartment. Given that he's a Corporal, given that he has multiple bedrooms, and never has to skip a meal because he's broke... she tosses it in the river a lot.



    Weakness: Kaylin has a lot of abilities, I wanted to talk more about her weaknesses, the balance.

    As I said above, kids are huge blinders for her. They are the be all end all for her. To protect a child, she will do nearly anything, no matter how much it might terrify her.

    Lying. Quite simply, Kaylin can't. Oh... she can get the words out... but no one is stupid enough to believe them. Trapped in a world between the Barreni (If they're speaking, they're probably lying) and the Dragons (she almost gets roasted insulting Tiamaris by IMPLYING he might be lying...) Kaylin would lie if she thought she could pull it off. She tries every now and again, and is aware that when she isn't called on it... it's because the other person is being polite.

    Politeness and tact. In High Barreni she can be polite, only because it is nearly impossible to be rude in that language. By design. She hates speaking High Barreni. Kaylin has a sharp tongue and a caustic wit. She is taking protocol classes to teach her polite behavior. The only reason it's going better than when she started is that Bellesduo joined the class, and she's even more irreverent than Kaylin, so she draws most of Lord Diamat's ire. Kaylin's mouth gets her into trouble. A lot.

    Speaking of trouble - Punctuality. Punctuality. Punctuality. Though I do give her slack on this one. She works shifts that can go ten or more hours of chaos past her scheduled out time, and on average 1-2 times a week she is called into the Midwives guild, in the middle of the night to come running, to save the life of a mother and child. Most nights she is lucky to find 3 hours in her bed before her shift begins and she has a very taxing job.

    Betting. All fieflings bet. It's about the only source of entertainment. When she came to the Hawks, she brought betting with her. She, however, more often than not, falls for the sucker bets. Being a private and constantly having her pay docked is only half of why she's always broke. The other half is betting.

    "What will you be missing?" he asked, when her impressive spate of cursing—in four official languages—had died down enough that he could be heard without shouting. Severn rarely raised his voice.

    "Game," she said curtly. "Ball," she added.

    "Playing?"

    She grimaced. "Betting." Which, for Kaylin, was synonymous with watching.

    "Figures. Who were you betting on?"

    She shrugged. "Sharks."

    "So you'll save some money."

    This caused an entirely different spate of swearing, and she punctuated this by punching his shoulder, which he thoughtfully turned in her direction. "You'd be betting on the Tigers, I suppose?"

    "Already have," he replied.



    She also has NO sense of direction....

    He paused. "Are you waiting for something?"

    "No, sir."

    "Good. Get lost."

    "Yes, sir."

    "Corporal?"

    Severn nodded.

    "Make sure that she understands that 'get lost' in this case isn't literal."

    "Yes, sir."




    Network/Actionspam Sample:

    [Kaylin sighs, running a hand over her hair. She looks at the watch again, then fixes the hair stick she had dislodged.]

    "Might as well try it," she muttered.

    [The watch hadn't FELT like magic, but she hadn't tried to use it yet. Now she would. Checking that her cage - the ornate bracelet she wears - was in place, she reaches for the watch, then stops again. She glanced at the Familiar draped around her shoulders.]

    "Want to bet this will hurt like a *****?" She asks it.

    [The dragon looking beasty simply yawns, then begins gnawing on her hair-stick. She sighs.]

    "Can't be worse than a mirror..."

    [And with that she knew who she had to check in with first. Not Teela, who would be rabid without showing it to know how she was, not Seven who would show it but not in a way that the Barreni would recognize. Not Marcus as much as she longed for the office and her job....

    She touches the watch surface.]

    "Call Marin," [she instructs, hand still on the watch. Her shoulders slump as nothing happens.]


    Prose Log Sample:

    http://rubycity-ooc.dreamwidth.org/490852.html?thread=15962212#cmt15962212
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