Talisa has been called beautiful before. She comes from a very genetically gifted family of Ithecal, and she holds fast to believing in her own good looks. She has light olive toned skin, which burns easily under direct sunlight but is really lovely when she manages to get tan. Her hair, which is a dark brown, goes down several feet, all the way to her tail. It's probably about six feet long and she takes meticulous care of it, brushing it out every morning and night. Often she wears it up so it won't get in her way, or in a braid when she hunts. Talisa knows her hair is insanely long, and many people have told her to cut it shorter. But she just can't. She believes it's part of what makes her beautiful, so each night is spent rubbing in hair oils and leave in conditioners to maintain a nice silky condition. She also loves to mess with her hair and try different hairstyles, usually elaborate ones.
Talisa has a long, slightly oval face, with a slightly large nose that leans down with a pronounced point. She has a splash of freckles across her nose that only really shows in the sun. She has a dimpled chin and carefully carved eyebrows. Her teeth, another thing she takes great care of, are very white- especially the fangs she has as an Ithecal. Her makeup is often very simple- lipstick and eyeliner. Every so often she'll put makeup over her freckles to hide them, but should someone tell her they like her freckles, she may stop that.
Her eyes are incredibly dark brown, almost black, and very doe-shaped. Her usual amount of eyeliner only pronounces them more, and she has very dark, very long eyelashes. As for her body- her torso, anyway- Talisa is fairly fit. She's small waisted with average sized breasts and lean shoulders. Her upper half is actually rather petite, which is quite different from her tail.
Talisa's father used to tell her how their tails match a kind of sea snake, seeing that she took after him that way. Her tail starts out slender at her waist but grows slightly thicker as it gets longer. It's around 8 feet long, with Talisa's torso being 3 feet tall. The front part of it is a lovely golden color that shines in the sun, but Talisa has a long strip of black going down the back of her tail. Her sisters used to joke that she was a skunk-snake. The very end of her tail is flat and has a black and pale gold stripe pattern- like that of a tiger, in a way.
Talisa loves fashion, so she always dresses very well. She enjoys wearing dresses that are long and go over a good portion of her tail. Though she's also been known to just wear a halter top when going hunting, showing off her lean abdomen and the beginning of her tail. She also isn't shy about wearing see-through tops that lets people see the bra or undershirt she's wearing. Talisa is extremely fond of jewelry, and can almost always be seen wearing earrings, rings, and necklaces- though she's not fond of bracelets most of the time. Most of her jewelry will be things she's made herself.
Talisa is warm. That's the best word to describe her when you truly know her. She's the kind of woman whose laughter sounds like a song and smile can light up a room. She's always had this way about her, this good and trustful nature that makes people like her. She, herself, is very trusting and forgiving, always ready to believe that people are good before she sees bad in them. It's debatable whether she'll ever truly give up on someone and say they're beyond help, because that just isn't in her nature. Despite this, she has seen evil in the world, and while she believes people have both good and evil in them, she also isn't naive. She's clever, and witty, and she knows when to trust and when to be on guard. She's a naturally observant person, and even though she has a good tell on a person's character, she does tend to hold a person at arm's length until she truly trusts them. Talisa is very eloquent, well spoken, and in fact quite talkative when the subject is right. However, she loves peaceful, quiet moments, too. Sipping tea and working on a craft is a perfect afternoon to her.
Talisa has what is called a "Rynmere accent". (A British accent in real life). She often stumbles with her words, and even uses improper words at time- not because she's uneducated and can't speak fluently, but because she's always aware of her hissing. She tries very hard not to hiss, because she's been made fun of for it in the past. As a child, her speech was filled with hisses and stuttering, leaving way for bullies to pick on her. She never quite got over that, and only speaks entirely clearly when alone with someone she loves and trusts. Alternatively, when she's worked up and upset about something, she speaks horribly. The worse she is, the harder she is to understand, until finally she's just a sobbing mess. It's very sad indeed when she gets like that, and she may not speak for a while after because she's so ashamed by her awful speech.
Talisa is extremely caring and compassionate. She would sit by a dying man until he took his last breath, even if he was a stranger. If she had a boyfriend and he got sick, she'd make him soup and spend the afternoon by his bedside, patting his forehead with a cool wet cloth. Talisa would dedicate time to volunteering, or spending time at an orphanage, or even just helping someone who needs an extra hand. She always tries to tip large when she has the money, and tries to give money to the less fortunate. It's an idle dream of hers to start up a charity foundation to help victims of wars and other disasters. In this way, she's a little bit of a sain.
Talisa is a very morally-strong person. She believes in good values. She has this strong sense of honor and faith, and she believes in living every trial to the fullest. It's part of the reason she has so many creative hobbies- she wants to be good at a little bit of everything. She's very intelligent and she enjoys learning. Talisa believes instead of letting others do things for you, learn how to do them yourself. She has a hardworking mentality, always determined. She's also a bit of a perfectionist- if she believes she's done something that isn't as good as it could be, she'll work on doing it again, better.
Above all, Talisa values two things:
- Family can hurt you, and let you down, but they are family. Talisa would never turn her back on family, even if they destroy everything she holds dear. She would selflessly give herself up for her family. And that goes beyond blood- if you are such a close friend that she considers you family, she'll do the same for you. Talisa also has great maternal instinct and has always wanted to be a mother. She wants the whole shebang- marriage, love, children. It's one thing she'd give up anything for. She's always loved animals and kids, and she wants many in her life. She's also always had this idea of courtly love in her head- the kind of man who will open doors for her and help her onto a mount and bring her flowers. A man who will be true to her, and treat her like a queen. It's a pretty big dream of hers.
- Talisa cannot stand lying and deception. It's one of the reasons she doesn't agree with her sister Sarethi's choices, which are full of deception. She believes in living an open life, and if she can't speak openly and honestly, she says so or says nothing at all. Talisa will not tolerate being lied to, it's a big no-no. If someone lies to her, and she finds out, they'll definitely be in the dog house for a while. Talisa may not be easily mad, but she'll make an exception when she's lied to- and Ethelynda help you if you're the one she's mad at. Talisa herself is a very honest person, to the point of being blunt. She doesn't beat around the bush, she tells it like it is. If you come to her for an opinion, she'll warn you beforehand that you may not like what she says but she's going to be honest. That's just how she is, and it's something so few people are anymore.
Now, all this isn't to say Talisa is perfect, because she isn't. She can be vain, to be certain. She's beautiful and she knows it, and she will notice other people's flaws. She may not say them out loud, but by Ethelynda she'll make note of them. She's also greedy- though she's unwilling to admit this. Talisa is a person who puts a lot of stock in material things. She loves the idea of having a large house with many acres, plenty of pets and fine items, and a shop to sell her wares. While she's very humble on the outside, it's obvious when you give her a beautiful piece of jewelry or a brand new bow, how her eyes light up. She tries for modesty and meek, polite words, but for those that know her, it's very clear she can be bought with shiny gifts. She can't really help this, and it's probably her greatest flaw. This stems from living so poorly for most of her life, in less than comfortable conditions. To get anything better than that is like a flower getting water to Talisa.
Talisa is very ambitious. She's also very amicable towards her enemies- because of one simple thing she lives by. "Success is the best revenge." Talisa believes this wholeheartedly. Instead of stooping to their level, she believes that the best way to show up your enemies is to live better lives than them. Be richer, be happier, have a better job, be better at your skills. She isn't the type to give up on anything, and this is no exception. Everything Talisa does is to better herself, her life, and her family.
Another one of Talisa's flaws, however, is being unfaithful. She tries so hard on this one, because she believes herself to being a very loyal person, especially to someone she loves. However, it has never come easy to her to avoid temptation. Her vanity makes it so she enjoys attention, especially from handsome men who find her beautiful. If they shower her in compliments, old-fashioned romantic gestures, and gifts... well, it clouds her judgement.
Talisa has varying opinions on many other things. However, she is opinionated in her own why because she knows what she likes and what she doesn't without needing time to think on it. There are many subjects she could give an opinion on. To name a few:
- The immortals are a huge part of Talisa's life, as she is very religious. So religious, in fact, that she has a slew of "good" immortals that she pays patron to. She feels bad if she goes a trial without praying to at least one of them, and always counts her devotion to her favorite immortals into her decisions. If she does something she knows is against one of their beliefs, it makes her quite frustrated with herself and she tries harder the next trial to make up to it. Before any decision, Talisa is probably going to pray to an immortal about it. To meet an immortal would probably be the biggest accomplishment of her life. To get a blessing from one? She may die of happiness. Talisa's is very emotional when it comes to the immortals.
- While they may not be immortals, Talisa worships mortal borns almost as much. Were she to ever meet one, it'd be likely for her to throw herself at their feet (or tail), and declare herself theirs. She used to trialdream as a child, wondering what it'd be like if Ethelynda was her mother instead of her actual mother. "Mortalborn" used to be her favorite game of pretend, slithering around with her head held high and a beaming expression full of pride.
- In truth, Talisa doesn't like mixed breeds very much. She wouldn't treat one badly, and she'd certainly give them a chance, but she finds the concept a little... strange. Because Ithecal cannot reproduce with anyone other than another Ithecal, Talisa knows there has never been a mixed breed Ithecal. So the fact that other races have them is quite strange to her. Races so opposite- like an Aukari and an Ellune- could have a child, and it baffles Talisa. She's a believer in true love, so she doesn't entirely think it's a bad thing. She just can't help having a bit of a surprised, dumbfounded look when meeting someone that is half of two species, because it's not something she's ever encountered with her own species before. There's also the fact that Talisa has never really been attracted to species other than her own. She thinks her mind is barred against it, because she wants children so badly some trial, and she can't have that with anyone other than another Ithecal.
- Both of her sisters know magic, and so does a knight under her mother's command in Rynmere. Talisa grew up meeting all kinds of people, mages included. She finds them quite fascinating- if not a little weird at times. For a short time, when they stayed in Viden one winter when the snow was so high they couldn't leave, Talisa found quite a few books on magic and poured over them, learning a good deal. She's always eager to talk to mages, to hear their stories and what they can do with their magic. She's even considered learning some magic herself, if she could find a teacher.
- Talisa despises pirates and thieves with a burning passion. They're vultures, preying off of other people's success, and goes against everything Talisa stands for. It's ironic, because she just moved to Scalvoris, a place known for its problems with piracy. But she'd do anything to protect that village, and make sure piracy ends. In her opinion, if you haven't earned what you have, then you don't deserve it and shouldn't have it. She'd go so far to say thieves and pirates deserve death as their punishment.
- Talisa has a very strict code. If a person deserves death, she has no problem giving it to them. In fact, she believes she's doing a good thing. But she'd never kill an innocent person or a child. If she has reason to believe the person she's about to kill doesn't deserve death, she'd stop. It's why she didn't follow her parents into the military- Talisa recognizes that soldiers are innocent pawns of both sides, killing each other so that the people who are really at fault don't die. She could never be a soldier, because she wouldn't be able to see a soldier from the other side worth killing more than her own employer.
- Let's go by race, shall we?
- Avriel - Terrifying. Talisa has never liked Avriel, stemming back to a time in her childhood when an Avriel mercenary scared her for fun. She isn't fond of the idea of flying, so she doesn't like them for that fact, either. So far, she's yet to meet an Avriel she's liked, so she tends to avoid them.
- Biqaj - Talisa's tail is like that of a sea snake, and she's always enjoyed water (she's actually not half bad at swimming). Because of this, she greatly likes the Biqaj. She also finds that they're pleasant people, and she's fascinated with their color changing eyes, as Talisa loves colors. However, she acknowledges the stereotype that most pirates are Biqaj- and that's one thing she can never accept, so she's a little wary when meeting Biqaj she doesn't know.
- Eidisi - Eidisi may be one of Talisa's favorite races other than her own. She made an Eidisi friend as a child who was deaf, and taught herself Common Gestures because of it. Talisa praises the Eidisi for their intelligence and how often their reasoning is in the pursuit of knowledge. She hasn't met many Eidisi, but she's liked the ones she has.
- Ellune - Talisa hates the cold, so she doesn't think she and Ellune would mix. However, she's never really known one, though she has met many, so she can't say for sure. She hasn't gotten close enough to one to pass any sort of judgement, and now that she lives in Scalvoris, she's content to avoid them- and the cold weather- all together.
- Humans - In all her life travels, this is the race that Talisa has come across the most. She's pretty comfortable with them, and probably knows more humans than fellow Ithecal. She doesn't really have anything good or bad to say about the whole race, as they all vary quite a bit.
- Hyludin - To date, Talisa has never met a Hyludin, though she has heard of them. Whatever they are, she's curious... but it'll have to wait until she meets one.
- Aukari - Talisa is probably one of only a few people who has never held anything wrong with the Aukari. She enjoys most of them, from their lovely red hair to the warmth of their skin. She hasn't met many, but the ones she has have been decent enough to earn her approval.
- Mer - Maybe it's because Talisa has always felt at ease near the ocean, but she's quite fond of mer. She's only met one or two but she finds them utterly fascinating and beautiful.
- Naerikk - The Naerikk are... unpleasant, to Talisa. While she finds them beautiful, she also finds them to be scary and primal. She thinks they have no sense of honor, and if someone told her a Naerikk was entirely evil, Talisa, who doesn't believe anyone is wholly evil or wholly good... well, she might believe that one. She dislikes their immortal, Audrae, and she tries to avoid Naerikk entirely. She's yet to meet a good one.
- Qi'ora - Talisa has great respect for this race. She met many Qi'ora when her family visited Nashaki, and even some in Rynmere and Viden. Being interested in crafting, she admires them for their talent in that field. She'd relish the chance to meet a Qi'ora and learn from them.
- Sev'ryn - Talisa has actually never met a Sev'ryn, oddly enough. She's heard a lot about them, though. She really does want to meet one soon.
- Tunawa - These tiny creatures are one of Talisa's favorites. She adores them. She finds them useless, but she thinks they're cute. Without meaning to, she acts pretty patronizing to Tunawa most of the time, because she seems them as little more than toys. Like a child's doll, except alive.
- Wisps - Talisa knows very little about Wisps, but she associates them with ghosts. Being against necromancy, it kind of freaks her out so she avoids them. Not that she's ever met one anyway.
- Yludih - These things fascinate Talisa. The idea of a crystal-made person who can change their very appearance without magic... it makes her heart race with exhilaration. She'd love to meet one, and study it. Maybe even make a friend of one.
- Lotharro - Talisa has never met a Lotharro before, actually. She hears they never leave Uthaldria (not exactly true) and that they're the male counterparts to Naerikk (very not true, and probably insulting to both the Lothar and the Naer) and that's basically all she knows about them. She'd be very interested in learning more.
- Raskithecal - Talisa looks on the Raskithecal with pity. She believes they are too set in their ways, and that they are misguided. In truth, she thinks of them rather like a cult gathering of her own people who have simply been led astray.
- While she actually doesn't see many outside of Nashaki, Talisa loves her own kind. She is biased towards them in fact, and will almost always form closer bounds with other Ithecal than any other race. She grew up so detached from her own people, other than her family, that it makes her crave more interaction with them. In her opinion, Ithecal are the best race. She's actually a bit miffed that Idalos is so human-ruled.
- Talisa doesn't have much of an opinion on sexuality. She believes love is love, but she's also heterosexual so she can't really relate with other sexualities. Talisa has only ever liked men.
Some things Talisa likes are: Dancing, freshly cooked or baked food, warm weather, soft beaches, shallow water, music, singing to herself, tea, keeping herself busy, cuddling with a loved one, impromptu dates, spontaneous adventures, hunting, nature, fashion, and jewelry, just to name a few.
However, she dislikes: Cold weather, snow under her tail, alcohol (most of the time, she may have some on special occasions or when she's upset enough), tears in her clothes, injuries, the scent of blood, tiny houses.
Talisa is deathly afraid of thunder storms. It's terrifying to her, so when it's storming, don't be surprised if she's curled up in a ball, under a bed, holding her tail and shaking. She's also quite claustrophobic and can't stand being in places made for humans, with human-shaped rooms (with low ceilings), human-shaped chairs and beds, and human-sized doorways.
These are all the things that make up Talisa, and so much more that can't be put into words. She's not entirely good, nor is she evil. She's just one woman, trying to keep her head high and live life brightly, and with a smile, every trial.
Ithecal are known for their prowess in battle, and for their honor. Talisa's family was no different. Her mother was named Irri, a beautiful green-scaled Ithecal woman who could shoot an arrow through the eyes of a hare from fifty feet away. Her father was named Rohan, golden-scaled like Talisa herself, and he was a formidable shield and polearm fighter. They were both mercenaries when they were young, fighting for different armies. The way her parents told it, when their her mother pointed an arrow at his face and he had his polearm pointed at her chest, they looked into each other's eyes and fell in love. Deciding it was a stupid war, they deserted together. For many arcs, her parents traveled together, fighting and living on the coin from bounties. They were so in love, that home was where they were, and they married only a season after meeting. Irri had trouble getting pregnant, but after many arcs, she was. That was how Talisa's older sister, Sarethi was born. Exactly three arcs later, Talisa was born. And three arcs after that, their sister Ashaya was born as well.
Growing up, they were a traveling family. Sarethi and Ashaya both had their mother's green scales, so Talisa stood out for resembling their father more. And, in truth, Talisa was daddy's little girl. She would often follow him around the mercenary camps they'd stay at, slithering along behind him like a proud little soldier. He even gave her her first bow at the tender age of seven, and began to teach her the basics of hunting. They were very close indeed... but the older Talisa grew, the more she disliked their life.
She remembers sitting with her sisters whenever her parents went off to battle or a dangerous bounty. The three of them would hold hands and pray to Ethelynda for their parent's protection. Talisa remembers the long hours of not knowing, of worrying that the last time she hugged her mother and father would truly be the last. She remembers the way the camp would be so eerily silent when most of the mercenaries were off to battle... or if battle was nearby or even in the camp, she remembers cowering with her sisters in a tent, listening to battle cries and the clash of metal. She had heard such awful stories of what happened to the losing side of battles- what would happen to women especially. Her mother had reassured her that being an Ithecal, most men would outright kill her than do anything unpleasant... but Talisa once heard her father whispering to her mother, "You shouldn't tell her that. Some men don't care and will find another way to use a pretty girl like Talisa." It used to give her nightmares, and when waiting for battles to be over, she would watch the tent flap and pray that no one would enter and find her and her sisters waiting there.
She also remembers what would happen after battle. The scent of blood in the air still makes Talisa sick, remembering sliding out of the tent and into the battlefield, seeing bodies on the ground. Some were still alive, groaning in pain, their wounds criss-crossing their skin. Others weren't... as lucky.
Talisa didn't care for the mercenary life. She loved traveling to certain places, sure, and she loved meeting new people. But she hated the uncertainty, the living trial to trial and wondering what the next would bring. She swore to herself she'd never wait around for a loved one to come back from battle again, because it simply bothered her too much.
As she grew older, however, life grew more simple. In her late teens, her older sister had already left home for Nashaki, and her younger sister was studying magic in Viden. As a result, Talisa was the last one left home. This was around the time her parents retired from mercenary life, and settled in Andaris city, in Rynmere. They both got roles in the military, and Talisa's mother got her own squad. Talisa loved Rynmere. She loved the climate, she loved the scenery, she loved the plush forests and gentle coasts. She never actually spent much time in the city, because she loved the country too much. Her mother opened a vineyard and brewery, and Talisa helped out a bit there.
It was at Rynmere that she had her first crush. It was an Ithecal boy named Jet who worked in the stables. He was sweet, and chivalrous, and Talisa- who hadn't met many other Ithecal- was totally moony eyed over him. Only... well. When they went on their first date, Talisa leaned in for a kiss... and he reached out and put his hand on her tail, just by her waist. Talisa got so nervous that instead of kissing the boy, she sunk her fangs into his neck instead. When she pulled back, the paralytic venom that Ithecal have was already taking effect, his body going stiff as a board as he flopped sideways.
Talisa was mortified at what she had done, and- forgetting about her first kiss entirely- she ran off. She was so embarrassed she didn't talk to him for weeks, and eventually they agreed to simply be friends. So to date, she hasn't had her first kiss, nor has she had any real relationships. Her standards are high and she'd only really date other Ithecal, which she hasn't seen much of yet.
Talisa knew that at some point she'd have to leave her parents. Talisa wanted to live on her own, to experience life. She had a small home outside of Andaris, but she sold it. With that, she left Rynmere and came to Scalvoris to become a seamstress, and hopefully include herself in many other hobbies. She isn't certain what will be in store for her, and to her displeasure she knows she'll have to stay in a human-built inn and do bounties for a while to earn enough money to get her own place. But Talisa sees the move as progress, and she's looking forward to her new adventures in Scalvoris.
Her mother gave her a pair of gold ear cuffs to take with her, as a reminder of home. They're in the shape of snakes.