Burning Sands - Dark Sun 4e
Female Mul Battlemind
Weight: 160 lbs but she’ll beat you to a pulp if you ask
Hair Color: Golden blonde
Eye color: Amber
Distinguishing features: Hair is long but only grows in a long stripe down her head, leaving the scalp on both sides bare. Has tanned skin with silvery-white tattoos across her face, down her arms and on her upper outer thighs in geometric patterns.
Quirk: Jaz has a weakness for fine things, a throwback to her time training as a dancer in a luxurious home. Give her a fine piece of silk or a well-crafted piece of metal and her knees get weak with covetousness.
Jazeera, a Mul, was born of a dwarven father and human mother and therefore, destined for slavery from her first breath. However, Jazeera was small for her breed and though Muls were worth much as slaves, at age 10 she was to be left in the desert to die of exposure, a waste of resources since she would never be able to do the work of a sturdy Mul. Fate intervened, for better or for worse, and a group of nobles happened to see her being led away. Drunk, the group assessed her and one noble wondered out loud if anything refined could ever come from a “brutish, ignorant Mul”. Instantly, many denials were made but it made them wonder if such a thing could be done. Wagers flew among the lot and it was decided that Jazeera would be trained as a dancer and if she was presented during a feast, she would have to impress the lot of them for it to be a success. So it was that Jazeera underwent 6 long years of training to become a dancer, unaware of her true purpose, only knowing that somehow she was saved from death and cushioned in luxury. She diligently practiced, surrounded by music, perfumed air, good food and soft fabrics. She was pampered and loved it.
At 16, her instructors deemed her ready. Excited yet anxious, she nervously awaited her cue. As the music started, she flowed in graceful swirls and arcs into the banquet room, scarves wrapped around her legs and arms slowly pulling free and becoming extensions of her body. The thin cymbals on her fingers chimed as she twirled and her body bent in amazing contortions. The tattoos across her body seemed part of a design to enhance her dancing, flashing at key moments across the expanse of her tanned skin. She lived and breathed her dance until the last note died away. Utter silence reigned and her heart beat heavily. Why was there no applause? Had she danced horribly? But then came the applause of one set of hands, joined by another and another until there came a wave of enthusiasm. Jazeera felt faint, lighthearted with relief. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed her trainer motion for her to stand and she did so, raising her head slowly. She bit back a gasp of shock, for not only was she ringed by clapping nobles but the sorceror-king himself, Kalak, sat above her, his dark eyes gleaming with some unknown expression. He flicked his fingers and soon an escort was beside the young female, ushering her from the room. Dazed, she followed quietly until they rounded a hallway leading to a magnificent courtyard. She questioned the two templars at her side as to where they were going and why her trainer was not with them. A smug look played between the two as they told her that she had been deemed worthy to grace Kalak’s bed. Repulsed, Jazeera recoiled and made her refusal…loudly. Perhaps things would have gone differently for the young Mul…if Kalak and a small entourage of templars, nobles and servants had not been following nearby. Incensed with her insult, Kalak sentenced her to death. Jazeera was quickly dragged into the dungeons, her execution slated for the next day in the arena. As she sat on the cold stone ground, she sank into a depression. Was this what all of her life was to be? Sunk into a mire of despair, it took some time for her to realize that the guards were talking…about her. With mounting fury that shook off the numbness of hoplessness, she listened as the guard-slaves mocked her, revealing the wager between nobles that had saved her from early death only to subject her to this. They laughed at the utter impossibility of turning a lumbering Mul into a graceful dancer and even more they scoffed at her lack of intelligence for turning down the opportunity to grace the king’s bed. She had been nothing more than entertainment and not the kind she had hoped to be! They thought her little more than an animal and it caused a deep-rooted rage to slowly build within her, simmering all night as she awaited her day in the arena, a fire building in her mind like an inferno waiting to be unleashed.
The next morning, other guards came to take her to the arena. As she stepped out onto the sun-baked sand, her eyes widened with shock. So many people and they were here to see her die! She began to tremble and as she looked up into the wizened visage of Kalak, her trembling increased, not from fear but from rage. How dare this pitiful, ancient wreck of a man sentence her to death just because she would not sleep with him? Why did he have so much power over the lives of the people of Tyr when her own people, the hardy Mul, were nothing more than slaves? The noise of the crowd faded, dulling to nothing more than a breeze in her ears. Suddenly, her guards, every one a templar himself, flew away from her like leaves in a brutal windstorm. As they picked themselves up and charged at her, she suddenly felt alive, her nerves sparking and her blood sizzling in her veins. Adrenaline coursed through her as she slid into a defensive stance, nothing learned but somehow natural to her. She spun as the first templar rushed at her, coming up behind him with but a thought and disarming him, his arm cracking in an ugly way. She looked down and beheld herself holding a weapon for the first time in her life and it felt right, natural. She fended off her attackers with ease, dancing and weaving between and around them in arcs and circles, deaf to the growing cheers for her and roars of laughter at the guards’ expense.. Surrounded by the rousing encouragement of the crowd, the sorceror-king sat back, musing on the little dancer and the possibilities she could bring for his planned Ziggurat Games. With a negligent wave of his beringed hand, he brought the entire crowd to silent, hushed halt. Eyeing the wounded guards, the enthralled crowd and the panting but defiant Mul, he once again sealed her fate, beginning the life she would forge as a future star of the arena.
Jazeera underwent no additional training, the trainers scoffing at her. Why should they waste their time training her when it was doubtful she would survive the week? Each time she returned victorious from another arena bout, she was told it was luck. But week by week, her popularity and fame grew. Jaz danced with flare and grace, her natural showmanship causing her to make reckless, daring moves that would cause the audience to hold their collective breath and clutch at their seats until she finished, unharmed and smiling. Every move she made was based on gut instinct and the need to please the crowd. Over 3 years passed and she was still undefeated, be it man or beast who was her opponent. She strutted through town, giving her followers what they want, a dramatic, showy fighter. Alone, however, she was completely different. Her fear with every new match manifests itself as bravado, the more scared she was, the flashier and more confident she seemed to those around her. Unlike the dancing butterfly she shows to the outside world, she remains introverted and does not socialize with her fellow fighters except for one, Karim. The ex-noble, dubbed Wild Child, was partnered with her for several bouts and she found herself trusting him to watch her back, a very unnatural reaction to be had from her. Recently, she has found herself chafing at her life in the arena. Though her lifestyle is relatively luxurious compared to the average Tyr citizen, with guaranteed food and water and a place to sleep, a sharp blade continually hangs over her head. Jaz wonders what it would be like to be free and not have to worry if the next match will be her or Karim’s last. She has heard that the Ziggurat Games promise freedom to any who win…..