Landsoftheblacksea:Main Page/players/fariya mithra camar
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A Half-elf Fighter-Mage-Cleric from the distant land of Jhon
Fariya never knew her parents but surmises that one of them must have been a mist elf. Her earliest memories are of an orphanage in Al-Ma’ij, on the coast of Southeastern Jhon. Nobody told her where she came from - although it was quite clear to her that several of them did in fact know who her parents were.
Full of curiosity and unsure of her place in life, little Fariya become an incorrigible prankster and a font of endless questions. The head of the orphanage, a dour old Jhonian woman named Najeeba, would give her answers in the early morning, as she made her kavve over the fire; by lunchtime, she would be telling her to get on with her chores, cease her wondering, and trust in A’Salam to provide; by afternoon, Najeeba’s patience wore thin, and she would curse Fariya, and beat her if she caught her. But to no effect – the next day, the girl started the whole process over again as if nothing had happened.
Finally, when she was old enough, and it was clear nothing could satisfy her endless curiosity, Najeeba made arrangements to send her to the madrasa to get an education. "If you can't be pure of blood then at least, A'Salam willing, be pure of spirit," she said as they packed her meager belongings. She didn't quite understand what they meant at the time but, did what she was told.
The madrasa was set in a compound in the lush grasslands north of the city. It was a school for both girls and boys, though the sexes were kept strictly separated according to harajj law. Her inquisitive young mind took in knowledge like the desert drinks up water. The head instructor, an elderly Jhonian imam named Ghaazi-al-Assimi, noticed and admitted that, despite the disadvantages of her birth, she was one of his most promising students. It would have been a waste not to train her further. He expanded her curriculum beyond religious instruction, to include arts and science. Her curiosity was unbounded, and she excelled in all subjects.
One day, a tall, thin, dark-skinned man dressed in black robes and a black turban came to the school. Ghaazi did not introduce the man, who took a seat on the cushions in the classroom as lessons commenced. The man watched with interest as the day progressed, and at the mid-day meal, he rose and stayed with Ghaazi in the room, shutting the door behind last student.
When Fariya returned, Ghaazi stopped her outside the classroom. He smiled, and pointed down the hall towards his personal apartments. “Fariya, mufadil – go to my rooms; there is a man here who wishes to speak with you. Be not afraid – he will not harm you; indeed, he has a great gift to offer you.” To her surprise, Ghaazi gave her a gentle, chaste hug – something he had never done, before pushing her towards the hall as he turned back to the classroom. “Go, and A’Salam go with you.”
She walked down the hallway, feeling nervous for the first time she could remember. Normally carefree and unperturbed by tension in others, something was different about this. Reaching the door, she steeled her nerves, and entered.
The tall man was seated at Ghaazi’s low desk, looking down at a huge book opened before him. The text was unrecognizable to Fariya – which given her training, was already unusual – filled with diagrams, patterns, and complex illustrations as well as text that seemed to shift even as she looked at it. A steaming cup of tea sat next to him, and another, empty cup beside it. The steaming teapot near the fireplace hearth.
Looking up at her, he gently but firmly closed the book. “Welcome, Fariya aif-sulalatan,” he said, without smiling. “Please, sit down.” He gestured to a cushion appropriately far away from him, across the desk.
“Do you know who I am?” he said, looking at her. His eyes were green – piercing green, but cold, the look reminding her of a snake.
Seeing her shake her head, he continued. “Indeed, and there is no reason you should. But I have heard of you. Ghaazi has talked of little else for a moon. He pestered me so much I told him I would observe you and judge for myself.” He paused. “And I am glad I did.”
He took a sip of his tea, but did not offer her any.
“Now then, Fariya. Are you happy here? Do your studies hold your interest?”
Her mind raced. She didn’t know what the right answer to this question was.
“You understand my question, yes? I wish to know if you are satisfied with the learning this place can offer you.”
She opened her mouth, but nothing sensible would come out.
“Perhaps some tea would help you collect your thoughts,” he said. His gaze never leaving hers, he lifted a thin, robed arm, and snapped his fingers. The teapot rose, floated over to her silver and crystal cup, and began to pour, right next to the pages of the book. She held her breath, but as she watched, not a drop spilled onto the pages. When her cup was full, the pot tipped back, and floated back down from whence it started.
The man looked back at her. “Now then, have a drink – and tell me if you would learn things beyond what Ghaazi can teach you.” The cold green eyes smiled even if the lips did not.
It was, of course, and easy answer.
The man revealed his name as Shaheer el-Nagi al Bajj. He ran a school for gifted young people just north of the City, and had come down at Ghaazi’s invitation. He agreed with Ghaazi that Fariya had gifts that would be a sin not to nurture.
Shaheer made Fariya an offer – she would split her time, with one month at the madrassa, focusing on intensive religious education and the rights of the priesthood of The True Faith – to become an acolyte of the True Faith herself, and help spread the faith. The second month she would journey to his school, where he would train her in the arts of his profession. And the third month, he would arrange for her to learn the martial arts – fighting with sword, dagger, and bow – from a well-known instructor in town.
She would keep this schedule until A’Salam indicated she was ready, and gave them a sign to that effect. When this happened, she would be released, free to do as she pleased, with one small catch.
In return for the gifts of learning and the powers that came with them her three masters would gift to her; she would be required to complete a number of tasks for them. The tasks would be defined at the time – he would not tell her anything now. Sometimes they would require her to travel to far lands; sometimes they would be dangerous; sometimes she might find them boring; but they would all be for the greater good of A’Salam, and his servant, the Amir-al-Emirs, Great Sultan of the Jhonian Empire.
To her, this was not a catch – to escape the monotony that had gripped her in this city, to see the world, to bring honor and glory to her god and her adopted land – these were incentives, not impediments.
She agreed, and her new life began.
For the next several years, she felt like she may have made a mistake. The hours were long, the instructors brutal and unforgiving, and her progress seemingly negligible. There were nights she actually cried – something she had never done much – from exhaustion and despair.
But slowly, painfully, she did make progress.
At first it was barely noticeable – the day her weapons instructor, a large but agile older man known only as Hazm, did not put her on her behind during scimitar-training for the first time; the evening where after the lengthy prayers were recited, she turned to find old Ghaazi asleep with a smile on his face, instead of being cut off before the end due to a mistake; and the day she got some tea into the cup, as opposed to everywhere else in the room (or no place at all).
In her third year, there came the day where Ghaazi corrected her, and she argued back – she had said the prayer correctly! Ghaazi, normally so placid and kindly, turned red, his bushy white brow knitting. He turned and opened the holy book to the correct page without even looking, and still staring at her, placed his finger on the passage in question. She looked down, then up at him, but not in contrition. His eyes widened, and he looked down.
She had been right.
The next month, as she sparred with Hazm, one of his attacks caused her to trip, and she landed on her backside as she had many times before. Incensed, she rose, and they began again. His bemusement turned to concentration as she unleased a barrage of attacks, and then astonishment as, with an unexpected twist of her wrist, she sent his weapon flying across the yard.
He watched it land in the dust, then turned and looked at her, smiling.
And the next month, as the kettle settled back down on the hearth, she looked at Shaheer. As usual, his expression told her nothing. He reached down, bringing the tea to his lips.
But when the gentle breeze came from nowhere to blow the steam away before he could, his eyebrow arched. That was the most she had ever seen him react.
“It would appear,” he said, sipping the tea and setting it down, “that A’Salam has given us our sign. It is time. You are ready.”
mufadil = Jh., “favored one”
aif-sulalatan = Jh., “half-breed”
Fariya found it hard to sleep on the ship. She had never been on one, and the constant rolling and creaking unnerved her. She lay in the net hammock in her tiny room, thinking how her life had changed in such a short period of time.
After her teachers had agreed that A’Salam had provided the sign that they were awaiting, Shaheer met with her one last time in his compound.
“As we agreed, Fariya, you are now free. Your only obligation to us is what you agreed to – that you would accept tasks on behalf of your God and your Sultan to help our cause and to glorify the True Faith. I shall tell you what the first of these tasks is.”
He poured them both tea before continuing. “You will take a ship from here – a small boat, really – which will take you to Ajuhar-al-Sahir.” He noted her eyes widening and the smile creeping over her face. He frowned. “No, child – you will not be spending time in that most holy and glorious of cities. No, there you will simply transfer to an ocean-going vessel – the merchant ship Ja’laz – which is bound for the heathen land of A’thur-von,” he pronounced the name carefully. “You will arrive in a city of this land – called A’vis Ar’mwaa by the locals, I believe.”
“You will be met there by my agent – a man in my employ, Wissam el-Jabour ibn Edris. Wissam can be trusted by you in all things – he will be your support and your guide in this foreign land as you act on my behalf. Heed his advice. He will courier any messages I have for you – they will be sealed with my signet, so.”
He showed her the intricate design on the large ring of his index finger – a seven-sided geometric pattern, with a mystical symbol at each of the points.
He sipped his tea again, looking at her. “The first task you must perform after you arrive is to retrieve an item that has been lost – or stolen. A merchant caravan bearing goods from our lands arrived in this city and from there traveled west. The merchant was a Jhonian citizen of impeccable reputation and most sanctified temperament, and was a friend and colleague from times past.”
“The man wore a ring – a golden ring, set with a single red jasper stone, engraved with fine writing in Jhonian on the inside, and several symbols of our craft on the outside.” He paused, letting her commit this information to memory. “This ring is very important to our organization, child. You must find it and put it into your possession. You do not need to return it to me – keep it, it will be of use to you in your mission for us. But do not rest until you uncover its location and have made it your own, and do not let another possess it.”
“Once you are successful, let Wissam know. He will send word to me, and will contact you once I he has my reply on your next task. In the time between, you may do as you see fit and as your resources allow. But go nowhere without telling Wissam how to find you.”
After they finished their tea, he rose. “You should leave now child – the boat awaits you at the docks, and the sooner you set forth, the sooner you can perform your task.”
From that point on, things were a whirlwind. The boat to the Capitol – which she saw so little of as she was whisked to the large, fat looking merchant vessel, where she was quickly shown to her room and told to stay there, being the only woman on a ship full of men that would be at sea for a long time.
The ship set sail soon after. She had seen the lands of her youth pass by as it sailed from the harbor, watching the fertile fields slip away, to be replaced by the unending dunes of the desert. Then they cleared the mouth of the sea, and entered the open ocean, and even that passed from view. Now, there was nothing but the waves to look at in all directions.
A voice roused her from her thoughts. She listened, not having caught it the first time.
“Land! Land ahead!”
She sprang to the small window, looking out. At first she could see nothing. But then, a vague shadow, which darkened slowly, eventually becoming the outline of a coast. Finally!
The boat was slipping into a harbor soon after. It was guided in by small barges, through what looked like a maze of swampy hillocks of land strewn randomly throughout the harbor.
Gathering her things quickly, she opened the cabin door and rushed above deck.
The plank had barely been put in place before she was half skipping, half running down it. She skidded to a stop at the bottom, practically running into the man standing there.
He was tall – not so tall as Shaheer, but tall enough. He dressed in similar clothes – black robes, a black turban. But that was where the similarities ended. He was not so thin as her teacher, but it was his hair – flaming red, and thick – that was the first thing that one noticed about him. He looked at her with yellow-green eyes from under bushy red eyebrows.
“Mussa Fariya, I assume,” he said, giving a small bow and touching his forhead and lips in the traditional greeting. “Well met and welcome. I am Wissam el-Jabour ibn Edris. How was your journey?”
He made no move to help her with her pack or equipment as they turned to walk along the wooden docks. “I’m sure you are tired, but we must talk now, as I will not stay with you long so as to not alert those who might oppose us to your presence. You should make for an Inn in the North Wall District – it is not far, I will provide you with directions. There take a room and rest.”
“This Inn is frequented by soldiers, mercenaries, and a variety of other transients who seek adventure and fortune. I assess that it would be an excellent place to start your task – Shaheer has informed me of your purpose, but we will speak of it no more.”
“Learn what you can there. Let your investigation take you where it must to fulfill your purpose. If you find yourself in trouble, or in need, you can contact me – I have rooms at an Inn in The Embers – The Bird of Paradise. You may ask anyone where to find it, it is well known. Call upon me there, and if I am not available, leave word how to reach you and I will contact you soon.”
They came to an intersection. “I will leave you here,” Wissam said. “Follow this street to the west. Take the last major turn to the north and west before you reach the next gate on the far side of this section of the city. Very near that intersection you will find the Broken Oath.”
He gave another small bow, and touched the lips and forehead in the reverse order that he had done when they met. “Fare thee well, Fariya, until we meet again. Keep thyself to the True Faith, and be not corrupted by the infidels of this land, nor their blasphemous beliefs. You are a shining child of Jhon, the favored of A’Salam – blessed be his name. Go now, and glorify him with your actions.”
Wissam turned and walked away to the south and west. Soon, he was gone in the mass of people moving back and forth.
She looked down the street in the direction he had told her to go. Taking a deep breath, she strode off in that direction towards whatever fate A’Salam had in mind for her.
Fariya is driven to fulfill her obligation to her master and there by become her own woman. Free from the confines of repayment of debt and favor. She appreciates the training she was given and is willing to repay her obligations to her master, but is willing to learn all she can and set herself up for a good life after her debt is payed.
* Motivated to purchase her own store and make her own way. * Learn everything and anything she can to better her life and improve her way of living. * Continue to bring the ways of the Jhon to others and prove that A'Salam is the only faith.
Faryia is interested in all forms of Crafts. She enjoys weapon collecting of all sorts. Wishes she was of stronger build to be able to wear better armor when fighting but is happy with her magic and wishes to collect as many spells as she is able. Hopeing to one day have a large library of her own to read and learn from.
- Quiet and Soft when in the civilized areas and cities.
- Fights like a caged animal when out of the Law controlled areas.
- Soft spot for young orphans and infirmed