Net or Nettie (commonly used by her father, sometimes by her brother and friends, rarely by her mother)Race:
Miriel, the capital of AndúnëAge:
Neutral GoodReligion and Diety:
Talos (for Luck) and Selune (for Beauty and Love)Occupation:
Well-to-do Wanderer (with dwindling funds)Class:
Steffan Belsante, a businessman of forty-one years from the city of Miriel. As a boy he worked as a tavern keeper of his father's hotel, but now he owns a modest array of hotels, shops and warehouses in Miriel, with business connections in cities of Andúnë and beyond. He is a sharp businessman with an eye for smart investments and a penchant for risky ploys.
Ivonne Belsante (née Leycester), a thirty-two year old woman originally from the farm country near Stillwater, she moved in her childhood years to attend school in Miriel. She fell in love with Steffan Belsante and married him, becoming the mother of two children. She is an educated woman, clever and intelligent for her stature, she has given her husband sound business advice on more than one occasion.
Lucian Belsante, seventeen years and just one away from becoming a knight. He is currently squiring for Ser Rodrik, a Knight sworn to the Regent of Ronand.
Jarad Felwyn, a sixteen-year-old young man of promising influence; the second son of a shipping family, his family owns a moderate fleet of ships that the Belsantes could use in their business. Under the agreements of their betrothal, the Belsantes will be able to use the Felwyn's shipping business at cost. Jarad is a regal young man, proper and polite in normal attendance, but his facade disguises a more brutal creature underneath. Despite his flaws, and disdain for Vanetia's lack of more feminine talents, Vanetia finds herself falling in love with him.Possessions:
- A seven-year-old pony mare named Petra. She is a bay roan with a broad blaze down her nose, standing 13.3 hands tall. She has a somewhat stocky build from being well fed and a lack of regular exercise. Her tack includes a saddle built for a young girl, bridle and halter.
- A short recurve bow made of yew, wrapped in leather strips for grip.
- A quiver made of hickory, with an oilskin case, filled with steel-tipped arrows.
- A wardrobe of dresses ranging from linen to cotton to velvet. It also contains a couple silk dresses for special occassions.
- Common Tongue:
Like most Humans in Andúnë, Vanetia was taught the Common speech and is fluent in its usage.
- Speaking: Excellent
- Comprehension: Excellent
- Writing: Good
- Reading: Excellent
- Overall: Native Proficiency
- High Elvish:
Vanetia's father deals with various races, but by far the most common are High Elves, and he deemed it prudent for his children to be taught their language. However, Vanetia has had little opportunity to practice in a real world scenario.
- Speaking: Fair
- Comprehension: Fair
- Writing: Good
- Reading: Fair
- Overall: Limited Proficiency
- Height: 5'2" (157.5 cm)
- Weight: 98lbs (44.45 kg/7 stone)
- Eye color: Blue
- Hair color: Brown
- Handiness: Left
Vanetia is a petite young lady, measuring only up to her father's chin. Her slender figure and small stature makes her quick and nimble, a quality Vanetia is quick to exploit. Her skin is fair, and dotted with freckles, though they mostly concentrate on her long face. Falling to her breastbone, her long hair with just a hint of a wave is a rich brown threaded with a variety of shades; in a particular light it can even appear auburn. Vanetia usually keeps her hair down, or pulled back so that it fans out from her neck.
From within the curtain of her long face, her eyes pierce the marriage of browns with their porcelain-blue color, their cool pallet the only contrast to warm tones of her face and hair. A long nose rises above her small, pink lips, peppered with freckles that spill over onto her cheeks and forehead. She does not trim or pluck her brown-colored eyebrows as a noblewoman would, but they are not so unruly in their natural state.
Vanetia's wardrobe consists mostly of dresses, ranging from winter wools or velvets to summer linens and cottons. She has a couple silk dresses for very special occassions as well. Within the city, Vanetia will gladly wear a dress, but she dislikes the feel of road-dusted apparel. When riding or walking, she will generally wear more masculine clothing, riding leathers or breeches in place of a wide skirt. Vanetia will tend to wear long sleeves for as long as temperature allows, to cover up a nasty scar on the underside of her right arm.Personality:
If Vanetia had been born a commoner, or a noblewoman of the countryside, it is likely that she would have been a tomboy all her life. From an early age, she has cared more for physical activities, horse riding, archery, climbing, running, than for the proper talents of the daughter of a middle class family. For years, her parents indulged her, let her compete with her brother in some activities (though she was never allowed to handle sword), and roam the city of her own accord with or without friends. In more recent years, however, Vanetia has felt less of this freedom, and was asked to begin taking up the proper
activities of a young lady of her class. Though it comes with some dislike and regret for her younger, carefree days, Vanetia has played the part of dutiful daughter well these past few years. Now she wears dresses, practices needlepoint and rehearses courses with a tutor indoors.
Vanetia is not a submissive young lady. She is loyal to her family, friends and those who earn her trust. She would never think ill of her caregivers or friends, which is something of a naive holdover of loyalty. She is quick to act, with a tongue sharp but tempered by her courtesies. As intelligent as she is, her impulsiveness often leads to problems when a more critical, strategic approach would have been a smarter choice. This has the advantage of delivering her from situations where fear may have paralyzed the actions of another person.
She takes a pragmatic approach to life, eschewing morality or tradition when it becomes an inconvenience, so long as the end result is positive; and so long as she can see the endgame for someone else, she won't mind what methods they use to obtain it. On the other hand, Vanetia is sentimental and prone to hold a grudge if someone causes her affront for not apparent reason. Her pragmatic approach doesn't mean she's completely unconscionable, however, Vanetia is still able to feel guilty about actions she's taken, but if she can rationalize their practical usage, the guilt doesn't debilitate her.
In the right company, Vanetia is fairly haughty and self-confident. She feels comfortable enough to boast and maneuver around her friends and family, but this can disappear in the face of a stranger. This comes off as a combination of shyness and courtesy, as she will speak and act with the utmost politeness in this situation, but her demurred disposition in these circumstances has more to do with trust than the social graces.Skills:
- Marksmanship - Moderate Proficiency - Vanetia is a skilled archer...when the targets are stationary. Her training was held in the sterile environment of her home, she was not allowed to try her skill at the archery range or in a more realistic environment.
- Dagger - Low Proficiency - When Vanetia roamed the docks, she would often carry a knife or short dagger on her person for protection. Though she never has had to use it against someone, if she did, Vanetia would know little more than to stick them with the pointy end.
- Climbing - Vanetia has always had the natural talent to climb. Trees, buildings, it makes no difference, although it is much easier to climb in breeches than a dress.
- Athletics - Vanetia is a natural athlete, and with proper training could transform her innate agility and grace of movement into fully realized acrobatics and vaults to efficiently maneuver through her environment.
- Literacy - High Proficiency - As the daughter of a merchant, Vanetia was taught how to read, write and do her numbers. She can also manage some basic figures for accounting and finances.
- Etiquette - Moderate Proficiency - Vanetia was trained in the social graces as is proper for an upper middle class lady. While she wouldn't likely be taken for a noblewoman amongst other nobles, she's familiar enough with airs to make most commoners regard her as nobility.
- Needlepoint - Low Proficiency - Vanetia's mother tried her best to teach her needlepoint, but her work is sloppy and lacking detail.
Vanetia has a small amount of psionic magic potential. At the moment, the most she can do is enhance her visual accuity, but she may be able to learn or develop further abilities down the road. It won't make her into a full-blown mind mage, though.
Strengths & Weaknesses:
- Name: Perception
- Type: Mental Augmentation
- Casting Time: 1-3 seconds
- Casting Method: Focus and concentration on the target/area
- Range: Vanetia's line of sight + 20-30 feet.
- Area of Effect: Focused to Vanetia's direction of sight
- Duration: As long as Vanetia holds concentration, generally under 10 seconds
- Usage/Energy Drain: The longer she concentrates, the heavier Vanetia's eyes grow, simulating sleepiness. After about 30 seconds, Vanetia will lose her concentration and be somewhat fatigued.
- Description: Enhances and focuses Vanetia's visual accuity. She is able to pick up small details that someone may normally miss and extend her range of sight by a small measure. She can even see a flicker of someone's aura if she concentrates properly, allowing her to detect if someone is lying, ill, pregnant, etc, but this doesn't always manifest properly.
- Strengths: Vanetia is polite and courtious in strange company, but relaxed and bold among friends and family. She is also skilled at lying, which she's willing to use if it accomplishes some good down the line.
- Weaknesses: Dressing a tomboy in gowns and skirts does get rid of the tomboy. While Vanetia may have accepted the need to 'grow up' and put aside the rougher aspects of her childhood, she still favors physical activites. While this endears her to younger boys, it makes her something of an outcast among girls of her age and social class, who care little for Vanetia's masculine quirks.
- Strengths: Vanetia's rough-and-tumble childhood gives her some advantage in the uncivilized stretches between towns and cities. She also has inherited the business sense from her father and, coupled with her own pragmatism, gives her a chance to survive without the financial cushion of her youth.
- Weaknesses: Vanetia's softer upbringing has left her unprepared for the harsh realities of the world beyond her city walls. Long saddle rides leave her sore, poor food leaves her sick and lack of practical knowledge about the ways of the road leave her vulnerable.
- Strengths: Being a Human gives Vanetia the ability to travel almost anywhere without much suspicion.
- Weaknesses: Being a Human woman means that Vanetia looks out of place on her own, or without a male traveling companion. Her race is also far weaker than the more brutish races, and Vanetia is no exception.
- Strengths: Vanetia is quick and nimble, lightfooted, which gives her an advantage against bigger or armored opponents. She's able to dodge some attacks at close range, and finds a bigger advantage at long range where her bow is more effective. Her impulsiveness also gives her an advantage over someone who might be too cowardly or frightened to fight back.
- Weaknesses: Vanetia is not strong or physically built. She has only moderate stamina for a close-quarters fight, and a stronger opponent could easily overwhelm her indoors, especially when her escape routes are slim to none. She also has no practical combat experience, despite understanding the basics of the weapons she uses.
- Strengths: With the combination of schooling and a private tutor, Vanetia is well educated for her years. She is a quick learner, and one who can hone her skills and knowledge well with practice.
- Weaknesses: While smart and clever, Vanetia is quick to act, which can lead to impulsiveness when a more deliberate approach would be smarter. Her focus on a positive outcome can lead to making stupid mistakes or employing unwise measures in an attempt to pragmatically advance her progress toward a goal.
The tale of Vanetia Belsante begins in a birthing room of a modest house in the West Corridor of the City of Miriel, capital of Andúnë. She was born the second child of a middle class family that owned a sprawling complex of hotels, taverns, shops and warehouses scattered around the West and South Corridors, and the Docks. Thus, Vanetia's early childhood years were often spent roaming with her father from one property to another, and learning the lay of the city from all their travels.
As she grew older, Vanetia started sneaking, then venturing (with permission) off on her own. Her brother, Lucian, three years her senior, was at first a guide and protector. Eventually, as a small, seven-year old, Vanetia made her first foray into the city by herself. She began to befriend the boys of the South Corridors and the Docks, though their groups were often at odds. It didn't take long for Vanetia to pick up their skills in slipping among the shadows, scampering across narrow bridges or ropes and squeezing through impossible crevices in-between buildings or tiny tunnels.
It was during this time that Vanetia noticed her ability to make out details that her friends could only glimpse at. It was this ability that allowed her to spot the City Guard advancing through the crowd and made her an invaluable part of the street crews. Knowing she was allowed around for only that reason didn't bother Vanetia, she loved the thrill of being a shadow or narrowly escaping a big guardsman. She later honed her perception spell to allow her to see a flicker of their aura, which was most useful in telling if someone was lying, at least when it worked.
In her ninth year, a great illness befell the Docks area, and Vanetia was confined indoors by her parents for fear of catching it. It was in this time that she first picked up a bow and set an arrow to the string. While at first her attempts to hit a target were pathetic, earning her the laughs and jeers of Lucian, Vanetia didn't let it affect her. She persisted, strengthening her arms, practicing her aim, until she could easily hit the target. It didn't take long after that before she could outpace her brother in any informal contest between the two. Lucian's arms instructor, at first wary at the idea of a girl attempting archery, showered her with praise after this, and proclaimed Vanetia his best student of the bow.
When she was allowed back outside months later, Vanetia went armed with a knife that their arms instructor had show her how to use. It was a practical thing, for the city was still leery of the City Guard after the quarantine of the Docks and the mysterious death of the King's Steward. A showdown in the street was likely to be avoided by passersby and left unannounced to the Guard, and a fight in the alley even more dangerous. Her friends were less endeared to her cause, as well, feeling bitter by her absence during the Quarantine. Still, they allowed her to join them on their escapades and jaunts around the city, and soon it felt to Vanetia as if she had never been gone at all.
By the time Vanetia was ten, her parents began to exercise caution against her daily trips into the city. Her brother, Lucian, had been staying close to home for nearly two years, readying himself for the squire-ship their father had arranged for him. Vanetia resisted at first, feeling a certain kinship for the children she spent her days with, and none at all for the dusty tome of books and quiet parlors of needle-stitching girls her parents offered. With her older years and increasingly-feminine appearance, along with the city's more distressed attitude, it wasn't long before Vanetia was forced into an ugly situation out on the streets of Miriel. On her way back home one day, she turned down a deserted avenue, only to be confronted by a trio of young men who looked at her in a peculiar way. Before she could run, one of them grabbed her, and Vanetia drew her knife in response. A moment later, the knife had left her hand, and was digging across the underside of her arm to the chorus of three deep guffaws. In panic and a whirlwind of pain, Vanetia rammed into the man holding her, throwing him against a wall, and made her narrow escape. After that fateful day, Vanetia decided to acquiesce her parents' request, realizing the wisdom of their concerns. It was time for the tomboy to grow up.
Her parents were delighted at the change, and hired a private tutor to assist Vanetia with her studies, in addition to catching her up on the proper practices of a young woman of her class. Vanetia learned her courtesies, how to be polite in proper company, the way to stand and sit, and what to say to whom. She also learned centuries-worth of history, a glimmer of finances from her father, and the painful art of needlepoint from her mother. Over the years, Vanetia transformed from a rough-and-tumble tomboy into a respectable lady of her station.
As the years went by, so did things change. Her brother, Lucian, left to go north to squire for Ser Rodrik of the Northern Legion in Valgard. When she was thirteen, her father announced that he had arranged a marriage between Vanetia and the son of well-to-do family of ship owners. Vanetia accepted the match with the grace and courtesy she had been taught, but it wasn't until she met her future husband that she warmed to the idea. Jarad Felwyn was, in her eyes, a beautiful lad just two years older than her. And, though he passed harsh judgement on Vanetia's marksmanship skills, her poor needlepoint, the rough edges of her courtesies and even the freckles of her face, Vanetia fell deeply in love for her betrothed.
In the autumn of her fourteenth year, her father, a successful but somewhat reckless businessman, got into a row with a Knight Captain of the Knights of the Crown. It seems that the Knight Captain offloaded a great deal of goods, picked over from a recent seizure of a disloyal nobleman's estate, into one of Steffan Belsante's shops. Among them, a priceless medallion bearing the crest of the old Andúnë Emperor's house. Being a keen businessman, Vanetia's father quickly found a buyer for the medallion, a soul from the City of Narim, and sent it on the earliest shipment. The Knight Captain accused her father of theft, but having sold the item willingly, he couldn't find an ear among the bringers of justice of the city.
Warned by a friend that the Knight Captain intended to strike on his own, Steffan began to gather his family and belongings for a fast escape. Entrusting his properties to the safety of his friend, Steffan and his family, even a grumbling Jarad, ventured forth before daylight the next day to leave the city. Having bribed the proper officials, it seemed as though the Belsantes would make it through the city gates unopposed. At the gate, Vanetia and her mother were waved through, as were a pair of bodyguards for the road, but when her father approached the guard, chaos erupted. The Guardsmen threw off their cloaks to display the raiment of the Knights of the Crown and quickly seized her father. Without any choice, Vanetia was forced to leave behind her father and future husband, and the small party fled into the dawning lands beyond Miriel.
Now Vanetia and her mother head north for safety, cut off from their friends and funds, they are alone and vulnerable. The Knights of the Crown have not pursued them, but agents of her father's enemies are less scrupulous in their prey. Perhaps the Belsante women will find haven in Ivonne's homelands, or further north with Lucian's knight master. Steffan's business associates range across the cities of Andúnë and the eastern lands, but it remains to be seen whether they will be trustworthy or loyal to his wife and daughter. Their fate is uncertain, but their goals are clear.
Now let the tale unfold.Additional Notes: