Due to the circumstances during her upbringing, Rosamond is tight-fisted when it comes to buying necessary things. If she is able to craft something herself she will mostly prefer to do it herself, and this only after having calculated the cost in detail for several possible options. Exceptions can happen in special cases.
Gambling is however something she can spend money on. This can seem irrational, and counterproductive, and Rosamond knows it. This doesn't mean she is able to abstain. Gambling is her main outlet for tension and other kinds of emotional pressure.
Rosamond has good intellectual ability, which has been honed by the life in a merchant family and her work in the family firm in the past. As she is from Ne'haer she also has the mandatory education of that city, which is fairly long. Thus she is good at reasoning.
Rational thinking is an important trait. Rosamond's thinking is very logical and rational. A few things may need to be sacrificed for the best of the total.
Tenacious and enduring :
Rosamond doesn't give up easily. Once she has decided to do something or agreed to take on a mission or job she will do it, even if it requires more than she was aware of in the start. She can be surprisingly tenaciuos and determined.
Stiff upper lip :
Keeping up the appearances is as ingrained as the economic view on things. Again, this is an effect of her upbringing. Rosamond tries to compose herself at all occasions whatever happens. This doesn't mean she doesn't have feelings and lacks softer sides, but it certainly means she will keep that to herself, most of the time.
Except for the few times something annoys her enough to make her angry. Rosamond isn't so composed when she is angry.
Rosamond is loyal to her friends, and she can forgive them many things. In return she expects the same. After all she has been trough her views on other people are not particularly romantic. Realism tells her to not expect anybody to be totally perfect.
Notorious daydreamer :
Like many other people Rosamond likes to escape from real life once in a while. She is prone to daydreaming and her imagination can be vivid.
Rosamond was born in Ne’haer to a merchant family which was ambitious, but not successful. There she grew up, in a home where keeping up the appearance and pretend to be better off than they were was seen as utterly important, as Rosamond’s mother had “married down” with the charming upstart Anselme Bruac, but refused to admit it. They pretended to belong to relatively more wealthy circles. But behind the scenes life was frugal and characterized by constant financial troubles and the need to always be economic and turn on every nel. Rosamond was taught the importance of never paying for anything she could do herself. A life-long reluctance to buy things was instilled in her.
One consequence of the family’s situation was that Rosamond had to learn to sew her own clothes, and the training started as soon as she was old enough to not destroy the fabric. At first she was tasked with sewing small things of leftover rags that couldn’t possibly be used for anything better. The girl sat for long hours, needle in hand, and sewed stitch after stitch. Once in a while she pricked her finger with the needle. And if the cloth she worked with what light of color she would watch her blood stain it and spread slowly in the weave, creating an irregular and fascinating splotch that could look like a flower, a star, a dragon. But if the cloth was black the blood didn’t show and she sewed on in the darkness.
Like so many other children Rosamond hadn’t understood that her family were paupers and their situation was lackluster. But when she reached the teens truth dawned on her. Their social position, their importance in the city, the obligation to behave as modestly as suited people of good social position and not be wasteful; all were lies, nothing but wishful imaginations of her mother’s conceited mind. Feeling betrayed and at odds with the parents, Rosamond found faults with most everything. This made her unwilling to stay in the house and she took every chance to sneak out and spend her time idling in a nice corner of the harbor of Ne’haer. The harbor was full of interesting activity and the ships in the docks made her dream about journeys to foreign lands. Oh, if only somebody would come and take here away from Ne’haer!
This was how Rosamond was at this age, full of unclear wishes and chaotic longing, but imagining somebody else to come and take her to her goals. And unfortunately somebody did turn up and aspired to do so. He was a biqaj boy and a teenager like her, with all the charm and allure of the biqaj at their best. There were many biquaj in Ne'haer, so Rosamond had heard their language rakhai all her life and learnt it in parallel with common. Now she learnt to know this boy and, and he also learnt more about rakhai, and how to speak it as a biquaj, not perfect, but good. Soon she was in love, just because she was ready for her first infatuation, and the boy had happened to show up and look gorgeous. He was so fun and told her so many fantastic bijaq stories.
Thoughtless instinct guided her. She questioned nothing. And when he gave her pretty fabrics more beautiful than anything she had worked with before, she didn't ask where it came from. She became enthusiastic and sewed, and sewed, and sewed and sewed, the needle going through the cloth until she felt dizzy. Just a few evenings later she put on an imaginative new outfit. The style was not so complicated, but it included a ridiculously deep neckline and other features she had picked up by looking at bypassing women in the harbor. This would henceforth be her style, she thought, when the boyfriend gave her compliments. But as it turned out, it wouldn’t. Her mother found out and the romance came to an end, though from some points of view it was “too late”. Separated from her lover she weeped a great deal in the room on the second floor where she had been locked in until she would “listen to reason”. Meanwhile the ship sailed, and the biqai boy was gone.
The family naturally hoped that Rosamond’s decent looks would attract a suitor from the wealthy part of the town. For this end, some money was invested in teaching her how to catch a husband, or more exactly, the art of seduction, although it was called “manners”. The teacher was a woman who was past her prime, but very elegant and seemingly refined. She started out by telling Rosamond a major key to attracting other people was to be entertaining and captivate them. Rosamond felt clueless when she was asked to give a sample of her talents. She fell back on the colorful biqaj stoires she had learnt from her former boyfriend and started to tell on of them, with more enthusiasm than skill. She had listened to the stories, but she was new to telling them. It was hard to retrieve everything correctly and she filled in her own things in order to make the storytelling go smoothly. Her teacher laughed, shook her head and interrupted her.
The instruction of how to do it better started. She learnt how to smile seductively while looking into a person’s eyes a bit longer than she normally did, how to step in just a little bit closer than she used to stand to people, and wave the eyelashes subtly. Subtlety was important, said the teacher. Blatant display of interest and intent would perhaps give instant attention, but instant attention was flighty. Instead she would give people something to think of and mull over, in order to make them obsess. And so Rosamond practiced the thing she had been told to do. She smiled, locked eyes, stepped closer, oved her eyelashes slowly and tried to do all this subtly. This was repeated until she didn’t feel subtle at all. It was terrible drill. But Rosamond was motivated. She wanted to marry somebody of good standing and leave her childhood home. If this meant she needed to practice at seduction so be it. She even learnt to cook the family specialty Bruac Chocolate Cake. Just in case!
It was time for a new wardrobe again. This time it wasn’t as randomly composed as the outfit she had made of the fabric the biqaj had given her. But her temporary teenage clothes were recycled of course, as the fabric was luxurious and there was no point in letting it go to waste. Rosamond dismantled it, stitch by stitch, dismantling the dreams of her first youth with it. The past was gone and she had to be rational. The time of dreams was over. Reason and rational thinking must take over. Once again she sat for hours, moving the needle in an endless row of small stiches, up and down and up and down. Of the pieces of her past “finery” she sewed what she hoped would be her future.
Despite the new clothes and the subtly seductive manners she didn’t manage to attract a husband though. Merchants were merchants, and money was money, and at the end of the day the nels was more important than manners and looks. The whole play came to nothing.
The family found it best to not waste any more money on the marriage project. Instead they wanted her to learn how to manage business. She was put to work in the family firm. Rosamond was now in her lower twenties, unmarried, a spinster on “the glass hill”. She sold the clothes that had been intended to support her imagined marriage and invested some of the money in a dark fabric of decent quality. She sewed her business outfit herself of course. No need to pay a seamstress for what Rosamond could as well do herself. With resolute determination spiced with bitterness she took the needle to the cloth. Stitch after stitch she sewed the drab and disappointing skirt and shirt of wool so dark grey that any traces of blood or tears efficiently disappeared out of sight. This was exactly the kind of clothes here mother always wore, with sparsely cut sleeveless tunic over it in order to make the clothes look more costly that they were. Rosamond knew these tunics were part of the lie about her mother’s life. But now she sewed such a tunic for herself; it was made of nice bottle green cloth and open in the sides, to held together with sash. Rosamond embellished it by sewing simple embroidered borders on it though. She wanted to be able to distinguish between her own things and her mother's.
When she had been working in the firm for a while and people started to see her as something else than somebody who had failed to marry, other sides of her started to show. Rosamond was after all the daughter of merchants and had lived with business management all her life. Without thinking of it she had picked up a lot of things about business management just by hearing the discussions. This had only been fragments of information to her earlier in life, but now when she started to take interest (to her own great surprise) she also started to sort out all the pieces of knowledge stored in her memory. With the support of the others in the family and by practicing in daily work, she began to construct understanding of trade beyond the simple transactions of buying or selling something. Trade was something else and much more complex. The way to learn this was mainly to think about it, develop her thoughts and ideas and speak with other people about it. And this was what she did. Soon she had a quite good understanding, on a superficial level, of how trade worked.
At this point Rosamond came to the conclusion that one of the reasons for the bad luck in business their firm had suffered from, year after year, might be due to bad research. Perhaps they would get better results if they paid more attention to what was going on around them instead of obsessing about the social standing? At first this idea met intense resistance, but when the first upset reaction had faded, the idea of increased research and investigations was found worth trying.
It was time to sew again, this time a disguise. It was a business investment paid by the firm and not by herself, so Rosamond demanded dark rose red silk, damask, the kind of fabric with a jacquard pattern in the weave. The dress she sewed of it was simple, but striking. She did lots of needlework, for days, and sewed patiently with hundreds to stitches. The color and the prospect of getting to dress to be somebody else, with a more exiting life, cheered her up. She sewed in a good mood. If her fingertips bled red didn’t show on red; at least not much. It was a beautiful garment indeed. But its true function was to overshadow Rosamond herself with it's blazing red glory.
In addition she bought the cosmetics she needed to complete the disguise. She applied them not generously, but the way she had learnt once upon a time, subtly. It was still her, but her face looked different when she was done, the dark contours around her eyes more salient than they used to be, the shimmering green shade on the lids drawing attention due to the slightly alien touch it gave her. This was also what she strived for. Dressed as a courtesan of dubious humanity she would frequent the places in the city where she could pick up hearsay or speak with people she could harvest information from. There were sometimes parties she could embellish with her presence, or she could attend religious ceremonies. She pretended to be well off, which she was good at after all the years of doing so. A mysterious courtesan from a vaguely defined “abroad” looking for a protector but not in a hurry to choose one.
The things she had learnt about being seductive came in handy now. Rosamond locked gazes with people, smiled seductively, steeped closer and waved her eyelashes to no end. As the repertoir started to feel limited and she felt the need of variation and development she ventured to add a few thing of her own. One of those things was her collection of fascinating biqai stories. Once she had caught somebody’s attention by the general seductiveness she proceeded to what she thought of as seductive storytelling. Perhaps she felt the satisfaction of revenge deep inside when she thought of how her teacher had laughed at her, long ago, and told her to stop it. Rosamond resumed the storytelling now. The memories had faded a bit with time, and she and her views had changed. What had once come out as exited babble came out as something else now. The stories she told wasn’t the lighthearted tales she had thought them to be in the past. They could seem to be, when she started, but she became better and better at snaring the attention of her audience. She thought to this as seductive storytelling, although the stories was about all sorts of topics.
This opened surprisingly many doors for her. And life as fake concubine on the outlook for a good enough partners was more fun than being a failed spinster. Rosamond discovered that she actually liked danger research and investigation more than she feared the consequences of being revealed. This was especially true as her other option was to spend the rest of her life as a grey mouse on the family firm, dressed just like her mother.
As Rosamond did a lot of investigations and research and they now had better information, they had “good luck”. This was chalked up to chance, luck and the grace of Immortals, but Rosamond had lost faith in the Immortals long ago. To her the financial upswing was due to human effort.
And now when they were wealthy she finally got married. A betrothal was arranged with the eldest son of another merchant family. Rosamond accepted this. She felt moving from her parent’s house to her own home was overdue, and the man she would marry was agreeable. Her preparations for the marriage consisted of sewing the bridal gown, which she spent many hours on, as she didn’t only sew, but also embroider it. It was light in color and she had to work slowly in order to make sure to not stain the fabric. Finally she had a totally spotless wedding dress. The marriage took place with much pomp and circumstance. The marriage was successful, and Rosamond was passionately in love. Her husband was pretty religious and went to visit the temple of Vhalar quite often, but she didn’t mind. She didn’t believe in courting Immortals. But there was no reason to start arguments about it.
Business is business. Her husband went on a trade trip. Meanwhile Rosamond kept the business at home up and running, adding at bit more to her insights in business management. Everything was fine, until the day when she started to realize the delay of her husband’s return couldn’t be explained by natural causes anymore. After a while it was clear to all that the ship and all onboard had disappeared. Her husband was finally assumed dead. But his family didn’t want to admit it and went for “missing in action”.
Rosamond was left between married and widow. Her life was stuck on a man who is most likely gone forever. At odds with her husband’s relatives now, she took her things and moved back to her parents hose, and buried herself in work at the Bruac family firm. During the days she kept a stiff upper like, worked and honed her skills at business management as best she could. But the repressed feelings craved an outlet.
A double life started. She worked dutifully in the days, but in the evenings she disguised herself and resumed her alter ego the mysterious courtesan. She visited the gambling dens of Ne’haer. She, who was normally so economic and averse to spend money, found herself taking big risks. It felt like the risks were so big that it wasn’t her fault if she lost. Luck ruled. Thus no failure could be blamed on herself. She could lose, but it wasn’t her doing. Rosamond found a kind of calming safety in putting everything in the hands of chance and just let come what would come.
This period of time peaked when she found the letter from her disappeared husband’s mistress. One evil day she found out that her husband had betrayed her! He had already been in a relationship with a woman marked by Vhalar at the time he married Rosamond. She thought of his many visits to the temple, as it had been called, and an extreme fury seized her. It’s hard for Rosamond to recall the details. Let it be enough said that she sought out and killed the mistress; a meaningless crime of passion over a dead man. Investigations of the murder ensued.
Rage, guilt and fear plagued Rosamond. Her feelings for the Immortals had moved on from doubt to hate. This latest turn to the worse in her life really convinced her that the world was screwed up and the Immortals was to blame. They were after all Immortals. They were able to improve the world, but they couldn’t be bothered. Or worse; perhaps they were unable. In which case it was even more important to stop them from destroying the world. Rosamond though of this, and sometimes she was so bitter that she spoke about it aloud.
The family firm decided to open a local office in Etzos. Rosamond took part in the planning but cared little. Life, and double life, went on as usual. Rosamond dampened her growing anxiety with more gambling and one evening she learnt to know a foreigner who said he was actually from Etzos. What a coincidence! But it wasn’t. The man was an agent sent to Ne’haer by the true ruler of Etzos. It was her way of speaking about the Immortals and the knowledge of the Bruac plans to send somebody to Etzos that had made him contact her. Finding out about her evening alter ego had been easy. It hadn't even occurred to Rosamond that somebody might spy on her.
Now she had found a friend who confirmed all the bad thing she thought about the Immortals. He shared her views and they ranted together. Her conviction that the world ought to be rid of them and humans ought to take over grew stronger. Step by step she was radicalized. When her friend offered to give her a letter of recommendation to work for the human cause in Etzos, if she was going there, Rosamond felt this could be her way to leave Etzos for a while and at same thing DO something for the human cause.
She offered to travel to Etzos and take care of the preparations for the family firm. As it was just the preparations, she got the mission and skipped town. She left with a substantial sum of nels in her pouch. Bad luck in gambling during the trip did however make her lose so much money that she wasn’t able to follow through with the plans. When she arrived to the gates of Etzos she had the clothes she was wearing, her light backpack, 350 gold nel and the letter of recommendation that could possibly give her a chance to work for The Tower, in some capacity. Investigations and research had been mentioned.
After entering the city and making practical arrangements, she took the rational path; she was new to the city but not without contacts. She would somehow get in touch with people working for The Tower.
And so the threaded story begins.