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Author Topic: Grallen Gast, Ashz - Oc, thief and Trickster.  (Read 6596 times)
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grallen gast
Softly Smiling Scoundrel
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Orc, Ashz-Oc


« on: February 08, 2009, 02:29:34 AM »

Grallen Gast, Ashz-Oc, Thief and Trickster

The guard captain leant back in his chair and put his boots up on the desk. The figure standing in front of him looked at him expectantly, from what he could see of her face. Sighing, he began to read the document he’d just been presented with…

Suspect profile

Name: Grallen Gast, also known as Smiler.

Gender: Female

Species: Orc

Tribe:  Ashz-Oc

Title: Softly Smiling Scoundrel

Age: 17

Height: Approximately one and a half peds.

Appearance: Small and fine featured enough to pass for a dark, harsh featured human, given a good light and a disguise, Grallen is not a conventionally attractive orc maiden, as far as orcs go in for physical beauty. Her dark olive-green skin forms a fitting backdrop for lamp-like eyes, round and lightning yellow, with pupils smaller than average. Her mouth is unusually full-lipped, but the pigment of her skin gives them an almost purplish pallor, with protruding teeth often visible, especially when she smiles, which she does a lot. Her sharply pointed ears poke through a nest of wild, green-black hair, straight and long and always falling over her face, as a kind of permanent mask. She wears a variety of clothing, usually including a heavy leather jacket, with a hood or a hat to help conceal her identity. For an orc, she seems to be unusually interested by clothes, though her attire is rarely flamboyant or particularly feminine.

The captain paused, looked over the top of the paper at his informant. She had moved to the other side of the room and was inspecting a picture on the wall, her back to him. She was attractive, as far as he could tell- had a good, slim but curvy figure, if a bit bulky in the rear. But then, that could all be down to the flowing green robe she was wearing, complete with veil and headscarf. All he could see of her were the glints in her eyes. Probably best not to ogle a foreign bird like that, who knows whether they take offense at that kind of attention. He turned back to the paper…

Personality: By all accounts, Gast is a dangerously fickle character. On first appearance, she might be judged engagingly direct, daring and wryly ironic. Certainly she always comes across as highly intelligent. But this is largely a front. Underneath, she is cynical, pessimistic and slightly paranoid, though she would say that it’s only paranoia if they aren’t actually out to get you. Her morals vary between questionable and nonexistent, and though she professes a fear and dislike of violence, that isn’t to say she won’t resort to it if pressed. Through her traumatic upbringing she has gained a short temper and violent instincts. Whenever she is scared, she has to battle with herself not to settle everything with a well aimed kick or bite.

Lifelong isolation has made her intolerant of the niceties of social interaction, and if she has something to say she sees little reason to alter her opinions for the benefit of others. She is also definitely of a thrill seeking mentality, her near fearlessness (at least of things outside her own head) lending her an insatiable appetite for risk and danger, or, as she calls it, “fun”.

Strengths.

Species: As she is of a race rarely encountered by Southerners, and surrounded by a nebula of rumour and misinformation, Grallen has scope for commanding considerable respect, particularly among the criminal underworld she inhabits. People meeting her for the first time often don’t know what to expect, giving her a degree of freedom in her actions perhaps not afforded to better understood races.

Cunning: Being intelligent, and exposed to many of the worst aspects of humanity, Gast has developed all the qualities needed to excel in a hostile world – she is a very good liar, naturally suspicious, and skilled at reading people quickly. Easily and subtly manipulative but sensible enough to know when to cut her losses and leave well alone, she is arguably a perfect study of the criminal mind.

Martial Skills: Grallen’s natural strength, speed, and sharp teeth give her the physical capability to be a deadly warrior, but what makes her truly accomplished is the steep learning curve she was forced to adopt as a slave and a denizen of the criminal underworld of Santharia (see History). Battling for her life against similarly desperate individuals taught her to fight dirty, whilst her ferocious temper, should she lose control of it, adds an extra element of sheer viciousness that gives her a fair chance against almost anyone she might meet. In fighting, as in all things, Grallen likes to be at an advantage, and so she has few qualms about behaviour that could be deemed unsporting by many. But then, as far as she’s concerned, it isn’t a game, or if it was she wouldn’t be playing. 

Weapon Skills: Though she isn’t particularly adept with any particular weapon, Grallen can handle a sword or dagger fairly well, and is something of an expert in making weapons out of more everyday objects. Given the choice, she is more likely to reach for a bottle than draw her sword, and uses such weapons with a speed and ruthlessness which has often left more experienced and skilled combatants at significant disadvantage.

Agility: Honed throughout her life, her light build and quick reflexes give Gast a grace and ease of movement even in the tightest situations. She loves to climb, and her fearlessness nature revels in the challenge of getting as high up as she can, as quickly as possible.

Weaknesses

Anger: In her eyes, her greatest weakness, Gast’s temper is inherited from a notoriously warlike father, who would have seen her innate ferocity as an admirable quality, and has been reinforced by the various hardships she has endured growing up alone. However, in a land which looks unfavourably on thieves and orcs, and without the mental discipline to control it, Gast has to battle with her instincts of violence, and lives in fear of losing. Should it get the better of her, she attacks callously and efficiently, uncaring who she kills or maims, unheeding of her own injuries, often only stopped when she exhausts herself. The strain of remaining calm can cause her to act irrationally, her mind filled with the relentless roar for blood, for revenge, for death.

Profession: Not only is thieving illegal, but her “customers” tend to take exception to her services. Gast would acknowledge if pressed that she tends to take unnecessary risks, and so often ends up on the run – she may enjoy the rush of being chased, but the fact is that it’s only fun because they might catch her, something that would almost certainly be deleterious to her health –

The guard captain snorted sceptically. “What’s this in the weaknesses section about “profession”? I’m a copper, kid; I already know thieving is illegal.”
“I’m sorry, sir, but you did request a “complete” report on the suspect.” Her voice was slightly husky, a calm monotone. Without looking up, he sighed. “Fine, whatever…”


Race: There is a flip side to being seen as an evil brutish orc, and that is that you are seen as an evil brutish orc, a breed of person not usually welcomed in polite company. As a result, she has to disguise her appearance, and nonetheless her pointed ears and yellow eyes are treated with suspicion by those predisposed to hate or fear orcs.

Cynicism: Grallen has led a hard life, facing violence, exploitation and exclusion on an almost daily basis from an early age. Subsequently, she is used to things being against her, and treats life with an ironic cynicism, verging on fatalism when she is unhappy. Those she knows are used to this, but others find her manner upsetting or rude. Seeing the world in such a grim light can cause her to overlook possible opportunities, and makes her prone to gloominess and even depression. She occasionally drinks a lot, and becomes violent when drunk, a danger to herself and others, but mainly others.

Hands: During the fire that killed Lucien (see History), Grallen burnt her hands and wrists quite badly. Though the injury was largely superficial, and could have been considerably worse, it has left her with pale, waxy-looking scarring all over her hands. It isn’t something that she allows to affect her, but it makes her slightly less dextrous, and less sensitive to touch, in some areas of her hands.

Breathing: The fire, possibly in conjunction with spending too much time in damp alleyways and smoky taverns, also left her with some damage to her lungs, which tends to resurface in particularly smoky, dusty or congested atmospheres. In cold, clean air she is fine, but her breathing tends to become laboured quite quickly if she tries to breathe dirty air. Wood smoke seems especially to aggravate the condition, causing her to cough uncontrollably within a few minutes if she doesn’t move away to a better ventilated space.

History: Grallen should have been set for life – the daughter of a respected member of the local council of Elders, whose ferocity in (and out of) battle had given him minor celebrity status among the Ashz-Oc. He was unusually proud of his only daughter, who easily matched her five brothers in play fighting, trouble-making, and the various other acts of minor violence and criminality that mark a happy childhood. She was all set to be a model warg-keeper and an excellent wife for whichever young man she wanted.

It was ironic, then, that it was in an effort to improve life for his family that Grallen’s father ruined everything for them. Perhaps it was purely in a spirit of vain pride that he challenged the authority of the clan’s warlord, seeking to depose him and take his place. Maybe he was getting old, and had been afflicted with the fear of time that comes with having too much of it. He always maintained afterwards that he had acted purely in the interests of the clan, but few others saw it that way. His challenge to single combat ended abruptly in his death, and the discreditation of his family. They were forced out of their land, and turned to wandering the margins in search of weaker families to raid, but they were leaderless and fared poorly.

Grallen took the fall of her father, and the resulting suffering of her family, very hard. She hated that they were treated like criminals because of the foolish risk one old orc had taken, and found the continued decline of her family impossible to bear. Aged only 12, she packed her few belongings on the back of her favourite warg, and left, never to return to her homelands.

She wandered aimlessly, heading generally southwards, for no reason other than curiosity than to see how the southern races lived. She made good progress, until she ran into the barrier posed by the prominent mountains. Unaware of the risk she was running in going so close to dwarven habitations, she carried on up into the mountains, until she was hopelessly lost in the forbidding peaks, unable to go forward and unwilling to go back.

She was already in serious trouble from exposure and hunger when the dwarves found her and it might have ended then and there if they weren’t suspicious she might be a scout, heralding a larger invasion. They couldn’t quite believe a solitary orc child could be stupid enough to head unprotected into their homelands, so they assumed she was a sign of a bigger threat, and took her prisoner to see what they could find out from her.

Even this probably wouldn’t have saved her, had the Kurakim colony she was imprisoned in not been visited by some unusual and unscrupulous traders. They were slavers, though they didn’t openly advertise the fact, and their offer to take Grallen off the dwarfs’ hands was grudgingly accepted as the best answer, given that no invading army of orc raiders had been unearthed, and some uncomfortable questions relating to whose idea it was to keep the orc captive were being asked. The slavers, recognising the price a young orcen girl could fetch in the south, for rarity value if nothing else, offered a price which helped the dwarfs to make up their mind.

Grallen, meanwhile, had spent the majority of her time in the prominent mountains either unconscious or wishing she was. A combination of exposure, hunger and thirst gave her a fever which took weeks to shake off, under the questionable care of the slavers. When she was finally recovered enough to take in her surroundings, she found herself in Nymerysys, a city bigger than any she’d ever seen, surrounded by people she couldn’t communicate with, who kept her like a captive animal, and referred to her only as “Green”, a label referring to her skin, and something she never stopped resenting, once she understood the meaning.

As her strength returned it brought with it an increasing frustration at her situation, and Gast began to react aggressively towards her captors, becoming at times so fierce she had to be restrained; her wrists bound or her head covered with a hood.
Thus when a shady character came enquiring after “good fighters, real animals”, the slavers were quick to point him towards the vicious greenskin, their claims about whose ferocity were significantly bolstered by the black eye she bestowed on the buyer when he attempted to look at her teeth. He bought her, though the language he used to describe the purchase even Gast could understand as offensive.

The man who’d bought Grallen worked for an organised gang of thieves and murderers, and had bought her to serve as an expendable bodyguard/ thug for the leader of the gang. Over the ensuing weeks she retreated into a mindless, fearful ferocity, spending most of her time chained to an armed “minder”, who controlled her every movement, and punished her instantly should she show signs of disobedience. The world over those weeks was a terrifying, incomprehensible and malevolent place for Grallen, as she still spoke barely any Tharian, and her recollection of the events that had led her to that point were confused to say the least.

Slowly, however, as her grasp of Tharian improved, she learnt to think clearly about her situation, and decided that her sole aim should be to escape, to be free again. After that, she reasoned, something would present itself. The key was in taking things one step at a time. She focused on learning about her surroundings, and the way things worked, and for the first time in a nearly a year, made full use of her intelligence and ability to learn quickly. Though she did her best to disguise her growing understanding of what was said and done around her, the slight changes in how she reacted to her surroundings didn’t go unnoticed.

It was around four months after she’d been sold to the thieves that she saw her chance to escape. The gang leader was holding a meeting in the back room of a crowded inn, when a large brawl broke out in the main bar. What Grallen had heard of the conversations in the other room, however, suggested to her that the brawl was a carefully orchestrated event meant to draw attention whilst someone eliminated the gang leader. Gast had no issue with that, but was very interested by the idea that the fighting would be fierce, disordered and sprawling enough to act as a diversion for a bare faced murder. Surely it could also conceal the escape of a small girl who nobody greatly cared about. In the event, she was surprised at how quickly and remorselessly she acted, jerking on the chain attaching her to her “minder”, and pulling him into the path of a flying bottle. He slid to the floor, writhing in pain at the glass embedded in his face. He wasn’t even aware when Gast reached out, took his dagger and used it to break the lock on the chain.

That would have been it – freedom in all its vaguely terrifying glory - if Grallen had paid a little more attention to the other occupants of the bar on her way out. As she left the bar, she was followed by a heavily inebriate dwarf, who, in his current state, was in exactly the right mood to exercise a little race prejudice against that long-standing enemy of the dwarven race – the orc. And this was a fairly little one, which helped. Grallen, exhilarated at the idea of freedom, and preoccupied with finding some way of breaking the iron manacle off of her wrist, didn’t notice the dwarf’s approach until her was too close – she was knocked down by a glancing axe blow to the leg, and could only scramble backwards as he advanced. It occurred to her, in the crystalline way that such thoughts appear when the brain is soaked in cold fear, that he was distinctly swaying, and not keeping a particularly strong hold on the axe. The stink of alcohol filled her nostrils, and she lashed out, half consciously, half instinctively, but with deadly accuracy, catching him on the chin with her foot, and sending him over like a felled tree. She had been lucky.

Unfortunately, being able to walk away from her first battle was still not really on the cards. The axe wound just below her right knee wasn’t deep, as axe wounds go, but Gast was in bad shape already, and found that she couldn’t get far enough without falling over and bleeding everywhere to feel safe from her ex-captors.

At this point the situation was further complicated by the arrival of a dark figure, wrapped in greyish robes, considerably taller than Gast, but easily as slim and graceful in his movements, probably a good deal more so. As Gast slid for the fifth time in as many peds to the ground, and tried, half panicked by his approach, to get back up, her awkward, painful movements doing nothing but tiring her out, he strode over to her, and crouched down to look her in her wide yellow eyes. With a face as impassive as a statue’s, he explained how he was an associate of the gang leader who was currently lying in at least two pieces in the inn not far from here, and he’d been keeping an eye on a young orc slave-girl, whose intelligent looks, and quick wits, were clearly made for bigger things than she was currently involved in. How would she like to work for him – as an equal, with pay and lodgings and free will – in a few little enterprises of his own. He offered a slim, pale hand, and Gast realised that he was an elf, the first she’d ever met. They shook hands, and he helped her up.

Over the next few days, Grallen found out a lot about the criminal underworld of southern Santharia, and considerably less about her new employer, who went by the name of Lucien. When she was back to good health, he started training her in combat, theft and basic trickery, and found her an excellent pupil. They worked together as thieves and con artists, during what Grallen would later view as among the happiest years of her life. It didn’t last.

Having recently looted a mansion and made a considerable amount of money, the pair were relaxing in an empty house in Horth, waiting for the heat to die down. Unfortunately the owners of the mansion had been tipped off as to their whereabouts, and set light to the house whilst they were sleeping. Grallen’s keen sense of smell woke her first, and she quickly sought out Lucien, but he was trapped, his room cut off by burning debris. Although she was able to get him out of the house, it wasn’t without sustaining burns to her hands, and Lucien was critically injured, struggling to breathe from the smoke damage to his lungs. She got him to safety, but passed out soon after. When she woke, he was no longer breathing.

In the year since then, Gast has been thieving seemingly randomly, though doubtless with great and ever improving skill. Occasionally she works for other outfits or with partners, but only briefly. She has built a formidable reputation as a skilled thief and a dangerous person to cross. Most recently, she is reputed to have broken a man’s arm and three of his ribs after overhearing him make an uncharitable remark about orc hygiene.

Familiars

A relatively large male Kyck-kyck frog, known as Earnest, who lives in Gast’s pockets and eats whatever she drops in there. She keeps him moist by keeping a cloth in the pocket with him, which she regularly soaks in water. The pocket itself has a waxed inside lining, so she doesn’t constantly drip water. He is remarkably tame and she likes to take him out and let him hop between her fingers.

Possessions

Usually several things that don’t conventionally belong to her, but she tends not to hang onto such things for very long.

Weapons

Grallen is not skilled in the use of any particular weapon, unless being able to break a bottle over someone’s head without filling you hand full of glass is a skill, which it kind of is. She can use almost any object as a weapon if pressed, but her time spent with Lucien persuaded her that to carry something which anyone can see is a weapon means you don’t get attacked quite so often. To that end, she has obtained a slim sword, of the kind that wealthy noblemen carry but never use. She’s fairly good with it, but prefers to see it as a non-verbal threat than a proper weapon.

She also carries a narrow- bladed dagger of much less ornamented design, but considerably more use, as it can be drawn in the tightest spaces, and the blade is blacked and oiled to stop it glinting or making a sound.

(Help help she’s locked me in a cellar and she says she’ll kill me if I don’t write exactly what she م

-shuffling the papers, the captain didn’t bother to look up from his desk at the woman.
“You’ve done a good job, there’s lots here we can use. I’m willing to bet that now we have this information we’ll have that overgrown toad hanging in days.”
“What did you say?”
A tone of growling menace in the girl’s voice made him look up. She’d slipped her robe and headscarf silently over her head, and stood directly in front of him, dressed smartly in suit trousers an expensive looking shirt, her yellow eyes narrowed. Suddenly she leapt, landing half on the desk, half on his chest. Papers flew from under her feet, and the Captain’s chair cracked into the wall behind him as she put her weight on it, pinning his arms to the chair with sinewy grasp and claw-nailed hands. Her demonic face was nailsbreadths from his, her yellow eyes filling his gaze. She grinned.
“It’s only polite, mister, to use my real name. Not many people know it; you should use it while you have the chance.”
He could see one of her feet leaving claw marks in his desk. Her grip on his wrists tightened.

“Grallen Gast.” He spat.

“Thank you kindly, mister.now, about all this nasty talk of hanging me, just for a few trinkets acquired a few accidental injuries. Let me just remind you that I wrote, or rather, got some clever little creature to write every word of the interesting little document you’ve just read, and it has been rumoured that my honesty is not entirely reliable. So, I might be a troubled ex slave girl who’s really just fallen on hard times, or I might… not. The way I see it, you can leave me alone and remain undecided, or you can come and get me, and find out.”

The captain gasped as she brought her knee sharply forward, slamming into his stomach and forcing the air from his lungs. She jumped lightly to her feet as he doubled up and tumbled off his chair, wheezing and spluttering, then bent down to his ear and whispered – “Personally, I would say that ignorance is bliss.”

Calmly, she went to the window, opened it, and climbed out. By the time the captain regained enough of his breath to shout for help, she was three streets away, and wearing a new coat that didn’t technically belong to her.




« Last Edit: February 28, 2009, 04:08:29 AM by Kalína Mërénwèn » Logged

When you’re entirely lacking in conscience or sense of risk, a frog will have to do.
Grallen's CD
Mannix
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2009, 08:48:41 AM »

Just a quick little thing, because I know your not finished, make sure to capitalise at beginning of your sentences. ;)

Mannix
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2009, 03:24:43 PM »

Orcs aren't really all that "blood-thirsty" here. You may have a tribe, or 1-2 within the tribe which do not display the general temperament, but many of our Orcs are actually quite intelligent creatures, beyond what many fantasy worlds portray.
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grallen gast
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2009, 12:27:08 AM »

yeah, soory, that's a hangover from the original idea. i'll try to hound out all those litle inconsistencies, but i can't promise i won't miss some, so pointing them out is always useful. buck i'll sort that soon.
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2009, 07:57:04 AM »

Alrighty ^^ Just wanted to clarify :)
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2009, 03:03:56 AM »

dad-da-da!
that's everything, i think. enjoy!
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2009, 05:52:03 AM »

Hoho, wonderful! Enjoy it I did. It's exquisitely well written, and full of splendid invention. I think I may say: as usual for you. (No?)

I don't know enough about orcs to judge whether Grallen could pass as human, as you write. I've only got two  comments:

If Grallen has written the document, she can write. That would be a strength, and also would need to be explained. Personally, I rather suspect that she hasn't written the thing at all, but maybe some scribe had good reason to, um, grant her a favour in exchange for, say, his life.

How did she come by the frog? (And its species is spelled kyck-kyck, according to the Compendium.)

EDIT: PS: comment No. 3: you misspelled 'thief' in your thread headline.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2009, 05:52:52 AM by Fu Luft » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2009, 05:18:55 PM »

Oh, another PS: Does she fight with her hands and teeth only, or does she also use weapons? If the latter, which? If she wants to have "a fair chance against almost anyone she might meet", maybe she does need a weapon?
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grallen gast
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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2009, 05:54:41 PM »

thanks Fu!
i'll work all those in some point today, theyre great points.
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2009, 12:18:20 AM »

Above average strength and speed are their own seperate strengths. Also, I'm lost in your wording of the Low Cunning. I believe you mean simply cunning. Also, weapon skills are a strength since the average individual doesn't have them. If you need any help finishing this character, PM me. I'm almost always around somewhere.

Happy to help,

Lorek
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2009, 01:29:09 AM »

Quote
There is a flip side to being seen as an evil brutish orc, and that is that you are seen as an evil brutish orc...
Rolling
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2009, 01:49:40 AM »

thanks Rhia!
and lorek, i've got most of your comments, and added a weakness to try and keep balance, but i didnt want to put strength as a separate strength, as it were, 'cos Grallen isnt really that strong - maybe stronger than average for her size, but not stronger than anyone who lived outside a lot and occasionally got involved in grevious bodily harm. heart
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2009, 05:40:47 AM »

Hello Grallen! Welcome to Santharia, even though I'm *pretty sure* I know who you are. I really like the format of the CD, and there are a few lines that are just exceptionally well-written! ;) But grammar-wise I've just got a few things. Look for Blue!

The guard captain leant back in his chair and put his boots up on the desk. The figure standing in front of him looked at him expectantly, from what he could see of her face. Sighing, he began to read the document he’d just been presented with…

Suspect profile

Name:  Grallen Gast, also known as Smiler.

Species: Orc

Tribe:  Ashz-Oc

Title: Softly Smiling Scoundrel

Age: 17

Height: Approximately one and a half peds.

Appearance: small<--Small and fine featured enough to pass for a dark, harsh featured human, given a good light and a disguise, Grallen is not a conventionally attractive orc maiden, as far as orcs go in for physical beauty. Her dark olive-green skin forms a fitting backdrop for lamp-like eyes, round and lightning yellow, with pupils smaller than average. Her mouth is unusually full-lipped, but the pigment of her skin gives them an almost purplish pallor, with protruding teeth often visible, especially when she smiles, which she does a lot. Her sharply pointed ears poke through a nest of wild, green-black hair, straight and long and always falling over her face, as a kind of permanent mask. She wears a variety of clothing, usually including a heavy leather jacket, with a hood or a hat to help conceal her identity. For an orc, she seems to be unusually interested by clothes, though her attire is rarely flamboyant or particularly feminine.

The captain paused, looked over the top of the paper at his informant. She had moved to the other side of the room and was inspecting a picture on the wall, her back to him. She was attractive, as far as he could tell- had a good, slim but curvy figure, if a bit bulky in the rear. But then, that could all be down to the flowing green robe she was wearing, complete with veil and headscarf. All he could see of her were the glints in her eyes. Probably best not to ogle a foreign bird like that, who knows whether they take offense at that kind of attention. He turned back to the paper…

Personality:   By all accounts, Gast is a dangerously fickle character. On first appearance, she might be judged engagingly direct, daring and wryly ironic. Certainly she always comes across as highly intelligent. But this is largely a front. Underneath, she is cynical, pessimistic and slightly paranoid, though she would say that it’s only paranoia if they aren’t actually out to get you. Her morals vary between questionable and nonexistent, and though she professes a fear and dislike of violence, that isn’t to say she won’t resort to it if pressed. Through her traumatic upbringing she has gained a short temper and violent instincts. Whenever she is scared, she has to battle with herself not to settle everything with a well aimed kick or bite.

Lifelong isolation has made her intolerant of the niceties of social interaction, and if she has something to say she sees little reason to alter her opinions for the benefit of others. She is also definitely of a thrill seeking mentality, her near fearlessness (at least of things outside her own head) lending her an insatiable appetite for risk and danger, or, as she calls it, “fun”.

Strengths.

Species: being<--Being of a race rarely encountered by Southerners, and surrounded by a nebula of rumour and misinformation, Grallen has scope for commanding considerable respect, particularly among the criminal underworld she inhabits. People meeting her for the first time often don’t know what to expect, giving her a degree of freedom in her actions perhaps not afforded to better understood races.

Cunning: being<--Being intelligent, and exposed to many of the worst aspects of humanity, Gast has developed all the qualities needed to excel in a hostile world – she is a very good liar, naturally suspicious, and skilled at reading people quickly. Easily and subtly manipulative but sensible enough to know when to cut her losses and leave well alone, she is arguably a perfect study of the criminal mind.

Martial Skills: Grallen’s natural strength, speed, and sharp teeth give her the physical capability to be a deadly warrior, but what makes her truly accomplished is the steep learning curve she was forced to adopt as a slave and a denizen of the criminal underworld of Santharia (see History). Battling for her life against similarly desperate individuals taught her to fight dirty, whilst her ferocious temper, should she lose control of it, adds an extra element of sheer viciousness that gives her a fair chance against almost anyone she might meet. In fighting, as in all things, Grallen likes to be at an advantage, and so she has few qualms about behaviour that could be deemed unsporting by many. But then, as far as she’s concerned, it isn’t a game, or if it was she wouldn’t be playing.

Weapon Skills:
(Have some odd spacing/bolding going on here - Just try to be consistent with the format ;))
Though she isn’t particularly adept with any particular weapon, Grallen can handle a sword or dagger fairly well, and is something of an expert in making weapons out of more everyday objects. Given the choice, she is more likely to reach for a bottle than draw her sword, and uses such weapons with a speed and ruthlessness which has often left more experienced and skilled combatants at significant disadvantage.
(Only single spacing needed here)

Agility:  Honed throughout her life, her light build and quick reflexes give Gast a grace and ease of movement even in the tightest situations. She loves to climb, and her fearlessness nature revels in the challenge of getting as high up as she can, as quickly as possible.

Weaknesses

Anger: In her eyes,<--no comma needed here her greatest weakness, Gast’s temper is inherited from a notoriously warlike father, who would have seen her innate ferocity as an admirable quality, and has been reinforced by the various hardships she has endured growing p<--up alone. However, in a land which looks unfavourably on thieves and orcs, and without the mental discipline to control it, Gast has to battle with her instincts of violence, and lives in fear of losing. Should it get the better of her, she attacks callously and efficiently, uncaring who she kills or maims, unheeding of her own injuries, often only stopped when she exhausts herself. The strain of remaining calm can cause her to act irrationally, her mind filled with the relentless roar for blood, for revenge, for death.

Profession: Not only is thieving illegal, but her “customers” tend to take exception to her services. Gast would acknowledge if pressed that she tends to take unnecessary risks, and so often ends up on the run – she may enjoy the rush of being chased, but the fact is that it’s only fun because they might catch her, something that would almost certainly be deleterious to her health –

The guard captain snorted sceptically. “What’s this in the weaknesses section about “profession”? I’m a copper, kid; I already know thieving is illegal.”
“I’m sorry, sir, but you did request a “complete” report on the suspect.” Her voice was slightly husky, a calm monotone. Without looking up, he sighed. “Fine, whatever…”

Race: There is a flip side to being seen as an evil brutish orc, and that is that you are seen as an evil brutish orc, a breed of person not usually welcomed in polite company. As a result, she has to disguise her appearance, and nonetheless her pointed ears and yellow eyes are treated with suspicion by those predisposed to hate or fear orcs.

Cynicism: Grallen has led a hard life, facing violence, exploitation and exclusion on an almost daily basis from an early age. Subsequently, she is used to things being against her, and treats life with an ironic cynicism, verging on fatalism when she is unhappy. Those she knows are used to this, but others find her manner upsetting or rude. Seeing the world in such a grim light can cause her to overlook possible opportunities, and makes her prone to gloominess and even depression. She occasionally drinks a lot, and becomes violent when drunk, a danger to herself and others, but mainly others.

Hands: During the fire that killed Lucien (see History), Grallen burnt her hands and wrists quite badly. Though the injury was largely superficial, and could have been considerably worse, it has left her with pale, waxy-looking scarring all over her hands. It isn’t something that she allows to affect her, but it makes her slightly less dextrous, and less sensitive to touch, in some areas of her hands.

History:  Grallen should have been set for life – the daughter of a respected member of the local council of Elders, whose ferocity in (and out of) battle had given him minor celebrity status among the Ashz-Oc. He was unusually proud of his only daughter, who easily matched her five brothers in play fighting, trouble-making, and the various other acts of minor violence and criminality that mark a happy childhood. She was all set to be a model warg-keeper and an excellent wife for whichever young man she wanted.

It was ironic, then, that it was in an effort to improve life for his family that Grallen’s father ruined everything for them. Perhaps it was purely in a spirit of vain pride that he challenged the authority of the clan’s warlord, seeking to depose him and take his place. Maybe he was getting old, and had been afflicted with the fear of time that comes with having too much of it. He always maintained afterwards that he had acted purely in the interests of the clan, but few others saw it that way. His challenge to single combat ended abruptly in his death, and the discreditation of his family. They were forced out of their land, and turned to wandering the margins in search of weaker families to raid, but they were leaderless and fared poorly.

Grallen took the fall of her father, and the resulting suffering of her family, very hard. She hated that they were treated like criminals because of the foolish risk one old orc had taken, and found the continued decline of her family impossible to bear. Aged only 12, she packed her few belongings on the back of her favourite warg, and left, never to return to her homelands.

She wandered aimlessly, heading generally southwards, for no reason other than curiosity than to see how the southern races lived. She made good progress, until she ran into the barrier posed by the prominent mountains. Unaware of the risk she was running in going so close to dwarven habitations, she carried on up into the mountains, until she was hopelessly lost in the forbidding peaks, unable to go forward and unwilling to go back.

She was already in serious trouble from exposure and hunger when the dwarfs<--dwarves found her and it might have ended then and there if they weren’t suspicious she might be a scout, heralding a larger invasion. They couldn’t quite believe a solitary orc child could be stupid enough to head unprotected into their homelands, so they assumed she was a sign of a bigger threat, and took her prisoner to see what they could find out from her.

Even this probably wouldn’t have saved her, had the Kurakim colony she was imprisoned in not been visited by some unusual and unscrupulous traders. They were slavers, though they didn’t openly advertise the fact, and their offer to take Grallen off the dwarfs’ hands was grudgingly accepted as the best answer, given that no invading army of orc raiders had been unearthed, and some uncomfortable questions relating to whose idea it was to keep the orc captive were being asked. The slavers, recognising the price a young orcen girl could fetch in the south, for rarity value if nothing else, offered a price which helped the dwarfs to make up their mind.

Grallen, meanwhile, had spent the majority of her time in the prominent mountains either unconscious or wishing she was. A combination of exposure, hunger and thirst gave her a fever which took weeks to shake off, under the questionable care of the slavers. When she was finally recovered enough to take in her surroundings, she found herself in Nymerysys, a city bigger than any she’d ever seen, surrounded by people she couldn’t communicate with, who kept her like a captive animal, and referred to her only as “Green”, a label referring to her skin, and something she never stopped resenting, once she understood the meaning.

As her strength returned it brought with it an increasing frustration at her situation, and Gast began to react aggressively towards her captors, becoming at times so fierce she had to be restrained; her wrists bound or her head covered with a hood.
Thus when a shady character came enquiring after “good fighters, real animals”, the slavers were quick to point him towards the vicious greenskin, their claims about whose ferocity were significantly bolstered by the black eye she bestowed on the buyer when he attempted to look at her teeth. He bought her, though the language he used to describe the purchase even Gast could understand as offensive.

The man who’d bought Grallen worked for an organised gang of thieves and murderers, and had bought her to serve as an expendable bodyguard/ thug for the leader of the gang. Over the ensuing weeks she retreated into a mindless, fearful ferocity, spending most of her time chained to a<--an armed “minder”, who controlled her every movement, and punished her instantly should she show signs of disobedience. The world over those weeks was a terrifying, incomprehensible and malevolent place for Grallen, as she still spoke barely any Tharian, and her recollection of the events that had led her to that point were confused to say the least.

Slowly, however, as her grasp of Tharian improved, she learnt to think clearly about her situation, and decided that her sole aim should be to escape, to be free again. After that, she reasoned, something would present itself. The key was in taking things one step at a time. She focused on learning about her surroundings, and the way things worked, and for the first time in a nearly a year, made full use of her intelligence and ability to learn quickly. Though she did her best to disguise her growing understanding of what was said and don around her, the slight changes in how she reacted to her surroundings didn’t go unnoticed.

It was around four months after she’d been sold to the thieves that she saw her chance to escape. The gang leader was holding a meeting in the back room of a crowded inn, when a large brawl broke out in the main bar. What Grallen had heard of the conversations I n the other room, however, suggested to her that the brawl was a carefully orchestrated event meant to draw attention whilst someone eliminated the gang leader. Gast had no issue with that, but was very interested by the idea that the fighting would be fierce, disordered and sprawling enough to act as a diversion for a bare faced murder. Surely it could also conceal the escape of a small girl who nobody greatly cared about. In the event, she was surprised at how quickly and remorselessly she acted, jerking on the chain attaching her to her “minder”, and pulling him into the path of a flying bottle. He slid to the floor, writhing in pain at the glass embedded in his face. He wasn’t even aware when Gast reached out, took his dagger and used it to break the lock on the chain.

That would have been it – freedom in all its vaguely terrifying glory - if Grallen had paid a little more attention to the other occupants of the bar on her way out. As she left the bar, she was followed by a heavily inebriate dwarf, who, in his current state, was in exactly the right mood to exercise a little race prejudice against that long-standing enemy of the dwarven race – the orc. And this was a fairly little one, which helped. Grallen, exhilarated at the idea of freedom, and preoccupied with finding some way of breaking the iron manacle off of her wrist, didn’t notice the dwarf’s approach until her was too close – she was knocked down by a glancing axe blow to the leg, and could only scramble backwards as he advanced. It occurred to her, in the crystalline way that such thoughts appear when the brain is soaked in cold fear, that he was distinctly swaying, and not keeping a particularly strong hold on the axe. The stink of alcohol filled her nostrils, and she lashed out, half consciously, half instinctively, but with deadly accuracy, catching him on the chin with her foot, and sending him over like a felled tree. She had been lucky.

Unfortunately, being able to walk away from her first battle was still not really on the cards. The axe wound just below her right knee wasn’t deep, as axe wounds go, but Gast was in bad shape already, and found that she couldn’t get far enough without falling over and bleeding everywhere to feel safe from her ex-captors. (You could go ahead and add this into your weaknesses section, if you're looking for another one. Which never hurts with such a great fighter ;))

Enter a dark figure,<--This little part doesn't make since to me. Maybe, "Then came along a dark figure", because as far as I know she was outside of the tavern, so he couldn't have "entered" per'se wrapped in greyish robes, considerably taller than Gast, but easily as slim and graceful in his movements, probably a good deal more so. As Gast slid for the fifth time in as many pads to the ground, and tried, half panicked by his approach, to get back up, her awkward, painful movements doing nothing but tiring her out, he strode over to her, and crouched down to look her in her wide yellow eyes. With a face as impassive as a staue’sstatue's, he explained how he was an associate of the gang leader who was currently lying in at least two pieces in the inn not far from here, and he’d been keeping an eye on a young orc slave-girl, whose intelligent looks, and quick wits, were clearly made for bigger things than she was currently involved in. how<--How would she like to work for him – as an equal, with pay and lodgings and free will – in a few little enterprises of his own. He offered a slim, pale hand, and Gast realised that he was an elf, the first she’d ever met. They shook hands, and he helped her up.

Over the next few days, Grallen found out a lot about the criminal underworld of southern Santharia, and considerably less about her new employer, who went by the name of Lucien. When she was back to good health, he started training her in combat, theft and basic trickery, and found her an excellent pupil. They worked together as thieves and con artists, during what Grallen would later view as among the happiest years of her life. It didn’t last.

Having recently looted a mansion and made a considerable amount, the pair were relaxing in an empty house in Horth, waiting for the heat to die down. Unfortunately the owners of the mansion had been tipped off as to their whereabouts, and set light to the house whilst they were sleeping. Grallen’s keen sense of smell woke her first, and she quickly sought out Lucien, but he was trapped, his room cut off by burning debris. Although she was able to get him out of the house, it wasn’t without sustaining burns to her hands, and Lucien was critically injured, struggling to breathe from the smoke damage to his lungs. She got him to safety, but passed out soon after. When she woke, he was no longer breathing. Maybe she got something like asthma from the damage to her lungs in the fire?

In the year since then, Gast has been thieving seemingly randomly, though doubtless with great and ever improving skill. Occasionally she works for other outfits or with partners, but only briefly. She has built a formidable reputation as a skilled thief and a dangerous person to cross. Most recently, she is reputed to have broken a man’s arm and three of his ribs after overhearing him make an uncharitable remark about orc hygiene.

Familiars

A relatively large male Kyck-kyck frog, known as Earnest, who lives in Gast’s pockets and eats whatever she drops in there. She keeps him moist by keeping a cloth in the pocket with him, which she regularly soaks in water. The pocket itself has a waxed inside lining, so she doesn’t constantly drip water. He is remarkably tame and she likes to take him out and let him hop between her fingers.

Possesions

Usually several things that don’t conventionally belong to her, but she tends not to hang onto such things for very long.

Weapons[/color]<--Looks like you have some extra coding here that needs fixed ;)

Grallen is not skilled in the use of any particular weapon, unless being able to break a bottle over someone’s head without filling you hand full of glass is a skill, which it kind of is. She can use almost any object as a weapon if pressed, but her time spent with Lucien persuaded her that to carry something which anyone can see is a weapon means you don’t get attacked quite so often. To that end, she has obtained a slim sword, of the kind that wealthy noblemen carry but never use. She’s fairly good with it, but prefers to see it as a non-verbal threat than a proper weapon.

She also carries a narrow- bladed dagger of much less ornamented design, but considerably more use, as it can be drawn in the tightest spaces, and the blade is blacked and oiled to stop it glinting or making a sound.

(Help help she’s locked me in a cellar and she says she’ll kill me if I don’t write exactly what she م


-shuffling the papers, the captain didn’t bother to look up from his desk at the woman.
“You’ve done a good job, there’s lot’s<--lots (no apostrophe) here we can use. I’m willing to bet that now we have this information we’ll have that overgrown toad hanging in days.”
“What did you say?”
A tone of growling menace in the girl’s voice made him look up. She’d slipped her robe and headscarf silently over her head, and stood directly in front of him, dressed smartly in suit trousers an expensive looking shirt, her yellow eyes narrowed. Suddenly she leapt, landing half on the desk, half on his chest. Papers flew from under her feet, and the Captain’s chair cracked into the wall behind him as she put her weight on it, pinning his arms to the chair with sinewy grasp and claw-nailed hands. Her demonic face was nailsbreadths from his, her yellow eyes filling his gaze. She grinned.
“It’s only polite, mister, to use my real name. Not many people know it; you should use it while you have the chance.”
He could see one of her feet leaving claw marks in his desk. Her grip on his wrists tightened.
(insert space here)
“Grallen Gast.” He spat.
(insert space here)
“Thank you kindly, mister.(space)Now, about all this nasty talk of hanging me, just for a few trinkets acquired a few accidental injuries. Let me just remind you that I wrote, or rather, got some clever little creature to write every word of the interesting little document you’ve just read, and it has been rumoured that my honesty is not entirely reliable. So, I might be a troubled ex slave girl who’s really just fallen on hard times, or I might… not. The way I see it, you can leave me alone and remain undecided, or you can come and get me, and find out.”
(insert space here)
The captain gasped as she brought her knee sharply forward, slamming into his stomach and forcing the air from his lungs. She jumped lightly to her feet as he doubled up and tumbled off his chair, wheezing and spluttering, then bent down to his ear and whispered – “personally<--Personally, I would say that ignorance is bliss.”
(insert space here)
Calmly, she went to the window, opened it, (and) climbed out. By the time the captain regained enough of his breath to shout for help, she was three streets away, and wearing a new coat that didn’t technically belong to her.

Ohh! I loved the last little section especially, the "new coat that didn't technically belong to her" and the "ignorance is bliss" part! Those were just a few suggestions to refine this (mostly grammatically), but really, I don't see any problems with approving this ASAP. Great job! Thumb up

I'll put up the pencil icon while you make these corrections, but then feel free to return it to the exclamation point!


~Sincerely~
Eléyr Fásamár
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grallen gast
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Orc, Ashz-Oc


« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2009, 01:20:11 AM »

thanks Eleyr, i think i've sorted all that, so i put up the comments wecomed icon. if you're not entirely sure you know who i am, i humbly direct your attention to the bottom line of my signature. :P
sorry i've been away, but the computer had an argumant with the mouse the day before i had to go for the weekend, so i couldnt get online to forewarn of my absence. back now, though. grin
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Eléyr Fásamár
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Elf ~ Kaýrrhem


« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2009, 06:37:38 AM »

Oh wow, I overlooked that buck But on the bright side my "guess" was correct at least!

Don't really have anything to nitpick further here, so congrats on a well-written CD~!

~First Approval~
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