As a Naerikk, Linika's attention to her aesthetic adornments is a high priority. In both her application of make-ups, and in the accessorizing of her attire, her aim for a grand statement of style and color, without broaching the realm of garishness, is absolute. And while different cultures draw the line on what is decorative overkill in different places, none could accuse her of a mismatch in any way. Her self display is consistently applied and harmonious, in both stylings, and in range and intensity of color.
Also, as a Naerikk, her readiness for combat is a constant. Linika's outward apparel of colorful silk scarves and flowing shawls conceal the underpinnings of leather protection. Her rings are primarily brightly cosmetic stones of little value, save for the element of surprising impact when she swings a fist. More than one of them may conceal a dose of poison or narcotic aid. Visually, she prefers layers of colors, swirling in motion as she strides about town. The loose flowing sleeves of her arms and leggings are unlikely to betray the daggers frequently hidden there. The sandals are adorned with colorful affectations, the shiny, decorative metal fittings on the toe covers giving the same martial benefit as the rings on her fingers.
She is quite fit, due to her regimen of exercise and diet, though the slight bulk of leather might make it seem otherwise. Linika is not on the tall side for her race, standing 7 inches beyond 5 feet. There is always just a trace of slouch in her walk. This is not from any sort of lax posture or defeatist attitude, but rather from the knowledge that a stiffly erect posture does not lend itself well to swift and agile reaction to danger. Her eyes, lined with color and glitter like all Naerikk, are always moving. Her long hair is dark as the Cylus sky, and is coiffed with long, colorfully beaded pins that will serve as weapons in a pinch.
Since becoming "Adored" of Yvithia, Linika has a subtle blue tint to her skin. It requires considerable cosmetic detail to hide this feature, as well as the darker, bluish, scar-like Xypha mark across her right eye. But even when circumstances cause this mark to show through her cosmetic efforts, most people who see it refuse to believe it is not mockery, falsely applied on purpose as an insult to Viden, its culture, and its queen.
Cold as Ice - Ashan 42, 718
Cold as Ice: Although she was treated after her unwise dip in the icy waters of Synnefa Bay,
Linika will find that a cough lingers in her lungs. It’s annoying more than anything, flaring up with seeming randomness although it’s particularly noticeable when she exerts herself.
Linika displays the characteristically subtle disdain for non-Naerikk people, though she is capable of concealing it when necessary. She knows she will occasionally have to endure such company in her bid to unravel what may allow her matron goddess, Audrae, to usurp this city, region and world, and take it for her own.
Progress toward this goal is the most likely thing to bring genuine
joy to her face. While there are certain to be times where the suffering of an enemy will bring a smile, it will be a cold smile, edged with malice. But as an agent of Audrae, under the guise of having been exiled by her people, Linika's true joy will truly soar untainted with each step she accomplishes toward this end. This is not only because of her genuine belief that Audrae and her race are meant
to rule Idalos, but it also brings her closer to the time when she can cast off this shameful title of "Eill" and be welcomed back into Augiery's fold.
She is manipulative and untrusting, though an assessment of strength and reliability will cause her to develop respect for a non-Naerikk. And any person she truly respects
she will treat honestly, save for revealing her purpose.
Born to a "Reapon" guardswoman, it was expected that Linika would follow in that martial tradition. But she found instead a calling to chemistry. Early on, she was finding ways to glean effective substances from seemingly harmless sources. Nothing world-shaking; but this or that garnish, dipped in this or that sap, and placed on this particular dish, caused the one who ate the dish to become comically dizzy, or have their words slurred. Her talent was noted silently.
This first brought reprimand upon her for her horseplay. But as her attempts to follow her expected
path resulted only in disappointment for both herself and her Reapon mother, it was soon decided that perhaps she should indulge her affinity for creative chemistry after all. There was soon an operation against the rising power in Athart, on the great peninsula across the Southern Main. Athart had refused to honor a slave trading arrangement, and Linika was ordered to accompany the reprisal team, to provide toxins for the weapons.
The operation went wrong and the team found themselves in retreat from a much greater force, with the likelihood of becoming slaves themselves. But Linika had discovered a plant with a unique characteristic that not only greatly increased the potency of her toxin, but allowed it to be spread as a clinging airborne malaise that gave all the appearances of a disease. She also calculated what derivatives would give her team a resistance to this toxin sufficient to operate with few debilitating effects.
But it needed a live body to properly "percolate". Without getting permission, she maimed one of her own team and left her to be captured, to spread this "disease" to their enemy. All the Athartians sickened then, and were easily killed, except for a few taken back to Augiery as slaves. And as an added bonus, Athart mistakenly blamed the servants of Lisirra for the ambush.
But her Naerikk "sister" died as well. And though it allowed the rest of the team to escape, it was still a violation of basic Naerikk policy. Linika knew she had committed a grave transgression, and stoically awaited punishment. But either the Invini or the Immortal Mother herself had been impressed by the girl's quick-thinking ruthlessness. And her effective, spontaneous application of such a newly discovered reagent gave the powers in Augiery an idea of just what a natural talent she was. And it was decided then how Linika could be both punished and
employed to the benefit of Audrae's agenda.
It was known that the Immortal Yvithia hated Audrae with a passion. It was also suspected that there was some connection between the humans of Yvithia's city, Viden, and the relatively recent appearance of the race, the Eidisi. It was decided that Linika would suffer a very public shaming and exile, accompanied by the branding of the title "Eill", for her crime against her Naerikk "sister". But the real purpose, as she was told in private, was to go eventually to Viden and spend what time it took to get accepted as an exile and reject from Audrae's fold.
She would probably encounter other Naer women upon her travel north, and would have to bear the sneers of "Eill" as part of the "punishment"
aspect of this decision. But she was to infiltrate and spy out this enemy stronghold, find its secret, and use her skills with toxins to undermine whatever program Audrae's hated enemy had underway there. Only then could she return to Augiery, to heroic renown.
Knowing of the sub-zero climate in Viden, she was assigned to first spend some time in the mountains of her own southern continent, developing the knowledge to survive such an environment. As well, she studied a map of the layout of Viden. She was then warned that she should also expect little or no welcome from Viden's NON
-Naerikk inhabitants, and that this would also serve as suitable punishment, in addition to the long term away from the sisterhood of Augiery.
She was instructed to take nothing provocative with her, seeing as she would most likely be under great scrutiny when she arrived. Any talents and equipment she needed to obtain would have to be by her own conniving. As a result, the bulk of her provisions centered on preparation for the cold weather. Lastly, she was reminded that any other Naerikk she encountered would know only that she was "Eill", so she should speak nothing of her mission to them, nor expect any help from them. Wits, patience and opportunism would be her only trusted allies.
Linika does not fool herself. This mission is risky in the extreme, with painful repercussions potentially coming from a variety of directions. She knows she was selected because of her crime. If she dies in the attempt, it will be justice for her guilt. If she succeeds, it will also be justice, as it is the only thing that could offset that guilt. It has now been five arcs since that Athart incident, and Linika has settled into Viden.
and developing over the course of two years' REAL TIME role-playing, with this major step by Yvithia,
and this betrayal by Audrae,
and many smaller steps in between, Linika has turned from Augiery to embrace Yvithia as her new Matron Queen. She received a warning of the global attack by Lisirra, Aelig and Syroa's shadow beasts in the Cold Cycle of 716, and sought to warn her "Great Mother", Audrae. But because Audrae's enemies gained some benefits of the warning as well, Linika's cover as a traitor and exile was made genuine and she became a marked, priority target of Naerikk hatred and violence.
It took a great deal of this to bring Linika to the brink of truly rejecting Audrae however, as she would always tell herself that it was "just a ploy" to reestablish her cover story with "faked" threats. But Yvithia took the belligerent operative under her care, marking her with her blessing as a means of redeeming a character with such a pure level of devotion. Linika, of course, considered the mark a curse at first, but soon found the new abilities she'd gained to be useful, and even to be life-saving in the case of one assassination attempt.
As an additional perk, the fact of her unique status as the perfect person to be a spy for Viden was not lost on her. Such singular status as "the best" of anything would naturally appeal to her. And finally, when she was killed in a fight, by a poisonous snake that was supposed to have been removed from the fighting ring, but was treacherously slipped back in, Yvithia came and resurrected her, at no small detriment to her own health. This finally cemented Linika's devotion. And as a hybrid Naerikk/Edisi, unique in all the world, Linika has found a new purpose in a life given wholly to Yvithia.