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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Character Interviews » Dar - (The Winged Girl)

   
Author Topic: Dar - (The Winged Girl)
Josephine Kait
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Hello all, my name is Dar. Apparently my parents named me Daralia, but everybody just calls me Dar, or at least thatís the best thing they call me. See, Iím a Hoyden. What is a Hoyden? Well, as far as I can tell the only reason that Iím considered a hoyden and not an adventurer or even hero is that Iím a woman. My choice to wield a sword and determine my own fate means that I am an outcast, with no home, no family, and no chance to change what I am. Of course I wouldnít change it because at least itís better than where I came from. Does get lonely sometimesÖ

Now donít you go telling anyone I said that! I donít need anyone, either, in fact most folks just plain make my skin crawl.

Alright, enough about me, have you seen a girl of sixteen summers, ash brown hair, about yea tall, lovely singing voice, nameís Jayla? She was taken from her parentsí croft in the dead of night. Iím reallyÖ, I mean theyíre really worried about her, and I promised that Iíd get her back. Itís an almost impossible task, but I mean to see that girl home, or die trying. Well, Iím pretty good with this thing, <pats sword> so it is more likely that others will die while Iím trying, but my point is that I donít give up.

So have you? Seen her?

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LDWriter2
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Howdy back to ye.

I know many don't want any Hoyden's but Ach don't mind female adventurers I grew up around women who swung swords. I knew this one lass that could swing a sword like she was in a dance show. And her legs looked like twin towers...

Well, sorry to tell ye that I haven't seen any girls yea tall lately. Now that one Ach was telling you about could sing like a bird... But besides a group of wee female singers a week or so back I haven't seen anyone who can sing either.

But if you don't mind where be ye from? And are there any dangerous beasts in these here forests? I'm traveling myself Ach would appreciate any warnings ye can give me.

If you need any help Ach has this two handed claymore you might have noticed and I have this set of pipes here that makes a noise that might scare away most attackers and beasts.

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Robert Nowall
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My computer dictionary defines "hoyden" as "an offensive term that deliberately insults a young womanís self-control and thoughtfulness." Does this apply to you?
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Josephine Kait
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Yeah, most folks spit when they whisper ďhoydenĒ to one another as I walk by. Some folks donít bother to whisper. And some have lived to regret testing my sword when they sought to ďteach me a lesson about my wicked ways.Ē I choose to embrace the stigma for the freedom that comes with it.

Am I thoughtless? I was thoughtless enough to leave the house of the man who raised me, fed me, and beat me once every third night or so. I was thoughtless enough to not just stay to cook and clean for him, and be his handy punching dummy.

As for self-control, I didnít kill him did I? Surely that shows some self-control. Of course it might have had more to do with the fact that I knew theyíd hang me for it, no matter what he did to me. But I also left before he acted on that gleam he was starting to get in his eye, because then I probably would have killed him, or at least tried. I had more spunk than skill back then, and it took all I had just to get away.

These lovely woods we are strolling through have dangerous beasts a plenty. There are the usual bears, mountain lions, wolves, and such, but youíre one of the most dangerous yourself, man. Critters mostly donít trouble you unless you trouble them, but humansÖ well letís just leave it that I donít much care for most humans. Now if youíre referring to the rumors of Dragons in these parts? <laughs> I think thatís no more than the fanciful tales of careless shepherds. You should be safe as a babe to breast if you donít go bringing trouble with you, or starting some.

Like wanting to know where Iím from? Why, exactly, do you want to know that? Iím from here, the Kingdom of Thrice. You donít need to know what town, unless youíre planning to go there and make trouble for me. And I assure you that you donít want to do that. <looks you over> Well, it may be that youíre asking because youíre some kind of strange pilgrim or something, and this is your first time to Thrice?

Alright, Iíll tell you just a little about Thrice. Itís named for the Thrice-King. As legend would have it heís been here twice before and is supposed to return once more. The first time he gave us writing and the law, the second time he came as a priest, and he is supposed to come back as our King. Every time a royal baby is born, thereís this big to-do about finding out if this is ďthe oneĒ. Iím not sure I buy it, but I know better than to make a fuss.

Now if you donít mind, I need to see if anyone has seen that blasted girl. How about it? Anybody seen her?

[ March 13, 2012, 08:32 PM: Message edited by: Josephine Kait ]

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History
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<stops in passing and glances at the shikse with the large breasts, sees the larger sword and quickly raises his eyes to meet Dar's as she turns. clears throat>

Hmpf. A girl of sixteen summers, you say? Brown hair, silver-throated...'taken' from her parents' home? <removes skullcap and scratches bald spot ringed by greying curls> And her parents heard nothing? No sound of struggle? <shakes head and says mostly to self> Century after century and we learn nothing. Why is it that parents always forget being teenagers?

<louder to Dar> I saw, heard actually, a young woman of that description in 'The Nether Hare'...a tavern in the next town over. Her voice drew me off the street. A lithe little thing for such a voice. Sweet, joyful, strong...like a spring lark courting the sunrise.

She was with a young man, bookish...pale, dark-haired, gangly as a foal... looking out of sorts, if you know what I mean, among the hostlers and farmhands. The girl had eyes only for him, however. His eyes were strange though, irises so light a blue they were almost white, like ice. <shrugs>

You may still find them abed, perhaps--it's the rare teen who rises early unless pushed to it.<frowns as Dar taps her sword hilt. Their eyes meet and she stops> That is, if she be the one you're searching for. <adjust packs and takes a step along the track, pauses>

If you should be searching for her at all.
<walks away>

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Josephine Kait
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Searching I am and Iíll check it out. Truth be told, Iíll be glad of it if sheís only run off. Not to say I wonít knock some sense into both of them mind you, if it is her, but my instinct tells me that this is something far more sinister.

Jayla had no reason to run; Dale and Sara doted on that child, their only one. She could have brought home the swineherdís boy and they would have loved him.

Besides you donít know Jayla, that girl was downright content. Unnatural. Most folks donít know when theyíve got it good, especially young Ďuns, but she loved her ďlittle corner of heavenĒ as she called it. Not that I understand what she sees in the place, itís just a farm like a thousand others far as I can tell. I mean, I stay in one place too long and I get this itch between my shoulder blades. Course I do sometimes stay a whole week with Dale and Sara so maybe there is something special about the place, but now Iím chasing rabbits. No, Jayla did not leave by her own will; Iíd stake my own life on it. In fact, in a way I already have.

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Robert Nowall
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quote:
...that I am an outcast, with no home, no family, and no chance to change what I am.
Say, Dar, no home, no family...ever?
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Josephine Kait
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What respectable man would have me? And even if I found the rare creature that I could respect and love, who was willing to have what all consider to be damaged goods, he would likely lose everything by tying himself to me. How could I do that to one I cared for? I am tolerated, barely, on the edges of society. There are those who would see me dead just for being what I am, for the choice I made, but this at least the law prevents.

The law as it pertains to those it classifies as Hoydens is a thin ledge over a bottomless chasm. Short of taking my life, it is lawful to take anything else from me. My only protection is my sword and my wits. And even yet, I am not permitted to kill even in my own defense or I am named a murderess and to be punished accordingly. I have no rights under the law save for the most basic of human rights, my freedom, my life, and my speech. I have no right to property of any kind save that which I can protect myself. Money, food, clothes, horse, even my own body, anything I have is plunder to any bold enough to try for it. Of course, <grins> I have earned my reputation as a hard mark to hit.

The first few years were the worst, but I have made my choice. I cannot unmake it, nor would I choose to. You donít understand what my life was like before. I barely remember my parents and after they died I was given to the innkeeper who offered to feed me. He did feed me though I worked twice over for all that I got. He was also a mean drunkÖ <stares off, then shakes her head> well now, we donít need to go into all that just now, letís just leave it that Iím much better off. Even with as hard as it was right after I left, it was still better than it would have been if Iíd stayed.

Dwelling on the past just makes me angry, and anger clouds the mind. I do have one. The monks were quite surprised, but more than happy to teach me to read. Gentle souls, they taught me as payment for the illuminated text that I fetched for them after it had been stolen. It was one of the first jobs that I did, but even today if I stop by theyíll ask me if Iím ready for my next lesson. <smiles happily>

I like my life, Iím just very realistic about what it contains and what it does not. I hope this answers your question.

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Robert Nowall
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I have to wonder about the why of it. You're a legal outcast, an untouchable, an inside man at the skonk works...somebody your society doesn't respect the least little thing about. Not someone who would have reason to help someone...but you're about to help this Jayla person. Motivation?

Also...as for "no chance to change what I am"...I have a feeling you're about to try...

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Josephine Kait
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Well, there are always those as swim against the current like Dale and Sara. They have always been real decent to me, even if I don't understand it. 'Sides, Jayla is a friend, blast the girl, and I don't have so many as to be willing to part with one.

Especially when I can do something about it. This is what I do after all, find those as don't want to be found, in this case those that took her. (I dare say Jayla's pretty eager for me to find her.) I have to make a living somehow, and tracking fugitives or finding stolen property is about the only work I'm allowed. Probably 'cause they don't care if I get killed doing it, better me than one of theirs. Still, work is work, and I need to eat; I'm no thief or charity case. Turns out I'm even pretty good at it, course I should be after nearly fifteen years. Yep, I've been at it for more than half my life now.

So that pretty much makes me the only one who can find her who's even likely to try. So how 'bout it? You seen her?

[ March 15, 2012, 06:28 PM: Message edited by: Josephine Kait ]

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Robert Nowall
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You seem to have friends despite your legal and social status...
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Josephine Kait
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It still puzzles me why any would choose to associate with someone like me, but I am grateful. I mean, Iím good with my solitary life by and large, but sometimesÖ <gazes off> you just get to craving a kind voiceÖ

Er, well, that is to sayÖ oh hang it all. Fifteen years of building a rep as the toughest she-wolf under the moon, and itís all undone by a careless word to a sympathetic stranger. The wrong folks hear that Iíve gone soft and itíll mean clawing, biting, scratching my way clear all over again. That is if they donít just take me down by targeting all those they think I care for. That starts happening and Iíll know whose doorstep to lay it at. <glares, then sighs> AhÖ, but maybe I have gone soft after all this time. <straightens> But I damn well better have at least one more good hunt left in me. I mean to get Jayla home to Dale and Sara, no matter what I have to do to make that happen.

Well stranger, it has been good talking with you; youíre not such a bad sort yourself. You got any more of your thousand questions before I get moving again?

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angel011
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A female human kitten is missing? What does she smell like? Is there anything specific about her? Human kittens can be nice to cuddle with, if they're not the nasty kind.

You said that no respectable man would ever have you. What do you mean by that? Would you only accept to have as a mate someone respected by the society which rejects you? Or do you think you might be willing to accept a tom like you, who's tolerated only on the edges of society?

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Robert Nowall
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This Jayla...happy in her situation...but where was it going from there? Sixteen summers---well, we'll assume they're years and the same length as Earth-years for now---happy in her "croft," whatever that is.

But was it a stable situation? Surely she'd have to leave it, for marriage or for a career or somesuch. Were her parents comfortable with her comfort in their croft? Did she leave or was she pushed?

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Josephine Kait
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Robert, angel, sorry for taking so long to respond. I was off looking for Jayla. Still havenít found the girl yet, but I will.


Robert,

Jayla was happy in her situation and as the only child, she stands to inherit her parentís farm. Her and whatever lucky young man she marries. The farm might not be as large as some Iíve seen, but the split rail fences that Dale built, probably with his father, are straight and true. The house, though small, is nonetheless big enough for a family with several children. Jayla once told me that it has been a few generations since itís been truly full, but she always spoke of filling it to bursting, joking about putting children in the cupboards if she had to. No. She would never have left Meadowcreek, not willingly.


Angel,

Iím not quite sure how to explain a smell to a cat; in fact Iím not sure that Iíve ever had a conversation with a cat before, at least not the two-way kind. You arenít one of those Wildcats that Iíve heard of are you? They say that theyíre really just women, female warriors that can transform into large cats like the legendary TygerLili. You one of them?

Anyway, to answer your questions, it is not societyís respect that I mean nearly as much as my own. I think that I might be able to respect, and maybe even love, someone who respected me. But I have made a life, such as it is, of protecting those that cannot protect themselves from others who would prey on them. I could never choose someone who victimized others, and those are generally the only kind of men who are stuck on the fringes like me. That isnít to say that I havenít lain with a few, especially when I was younger and more foolish or hopeful. For my kind being hopeful pretty much is being foolish, but I suppose weíve all been there.

The men I have the most in common with are really the Marshals, adventurers, or the few Knights who do the same kind of work that I do, tracking fugitives or stolen goods. But those men are considered heroes while IÖ Well, I take satisfaction in knowing that what I choose to spend my life doing is good. And the gratitude of those Iíve helped is enough to keep my head out of a noose at the first false accusation. At least there are those who will speak for me if ever I need it.

In fact everything good thing in my life has come from those Iíve worked for. The monks who taught me to read did so in payment for the illuminated manuscript I recovered for them, one of my very first jobs. The leather armor I wear came from a Tanner whose wife had been raped. I swear I turned the men over to the Sherriff, if they were a little less than whole when they arrived, wellÖ they were alive. There are dozens of various merchants that still owe me for one job or another, which is my form of wealth. Anything I have may be taken from me, if I am not careful, but I can get nearly anything I need just by calling in a favor.

I am proud of the work I do, and have never taken payment beyond what someone could part with without pain. Good will is far more valuable to me than gold ever could be.

When I say that I like my life, I am not trying to sell you something. But I suppose it is only natural to long, just a bit, for those things we cannot have.

The things that we can have? Like my friend, Jayla, home safe and sound? Those are the things worth fighting for.

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