wildmage_daine: (Default)
The Player
Name/nickname: Carrie/Platy
Age: 28
Pronouns: female
Contact: Platy121 on AIM, nobleplatypus on DW and LJ
Experience: Sporadic fanfiction over the past eight years, some goofy RP over AIM
Currently played characters: N/A

The Character
DW account: [personal profile] wildmage_daine
Name: Veralidaine Sarrasri
Alias: Daine
Age/Birthdate: Sixteen years old
Species: Demigoddess (her mother is human, her father is Weiryn, a minor god of the hunt)
Canon: The Immortals Quartet by Tamora Pierce
Canon point: After Emperor Mage, but before the fall of the barrier
Played By: Sarah Bolger

Icon:
http://www.dreamwidth.org/userpic/5349269/1852376

Abilities:
Daine has Wild Magic, which gives her a strong bond with animals, particularly mammals and birds (with the occasional reptile or amphibian thrown in). She has been able to speak with them since she was a child, and has since expanded her abilities to healing animals and shape-shifting. Before she learned to shape-shift, she would occasionally "ride along" with an animal via a telepathic mind-link, but shape-shifting rendered that ability rather obsolete. She wouldn't waste an animal's time (or risk an animal's life) for something she could do herself.

Her power is not limitless; she can tire, and even 'tap out' if she uses too much of her magic in one go. She can, however, give herself a temporary boost by getting herself cold and wet (salt water works better than fresh), and can borrow strength from animals willing to lend her some, though she has to be physically close to those animals for it to work.

Most creatures love her--with the exception of rats, which are unimpressed by her and distinctly uncooperative--and will come to her defense when she is threatened, whether she asks them to or not. If she loses her temper, animals within her range will react with potentially violent outbursts, but she's been learning to keep her emotions in check lest her friends be hurt on her account.

Being Weiryn's daughter, she's also good at hunting, tracking, and wilderness survival. She is particularly skilled with a bow.

Appearance:
Daine is about 5'5" tall, with curly, brown hair and hazel eyes. She's of average build, healthy, and in good shape thanks to her job, which entails a lot of pony-wrangling and some combat training. Daine can usually be found wearing whatever she deems the most sensible, such as a long-sleeved shirt, tunic, breeches, and boots, as well as a silver badger claw on a thong around her neck. The claw is a gift from the badger god, and is the only article of clothing that remains with her when she shape-shifts. Though not especially graceful, she is quick and surefooted. When she's thinking, she tends to nibble on her thumbnails, despite efforts to break her of this habit.

Personality:
Due to her bond with animals, Daine feels a natural obligation to help them when they're in need. If she spots a creature in distress, she will rush to its aid without hesitation--and without much regard for the various social faux pas she may be making in the process. There's plenty of time for embarrassment after the fact, and the animal's welfare comes first.

An unfortunate side effect of her closeness with animals is that she sometimes feels a bit disconnected from humanity. It might be as mild as a sense of fond exasperation for her "two-legger" friends, or more marked frustration at the casual disregard many display towards animals and the environment.

Daine has a strong sense of right and wrong, and moral relativism is not a concept that comes easily to her. She may find it difficult to understand why an otherwise good person would do something she thinks is wrong. She is also quite stubborn, and dissuading her from her chosen course of action can be difficult.

Though she can read and write, she's only had a few years of formal education. This is sometimes reflected in her speech; she is plain-spoken as a rule, and sometimes makes grammatical errors (like "them" instead of "those"). These occasions are rare, though, and are no reflection on Daine's actual intelligence, which is considerable. Her knowledge of mammalian anatomy is particularly thorough, and she's a fast learner when there's an obvious incentive.


History:
Daine grew up in a small mountain village called Snowsdale, in the country of Galla. She lived with her mother, Sarra, the local midwife, and her grandfather. Her father was unknown to everyone but her mother, and despite Daine's pleading and pestering, Sarra refused to tell her the identity of her father. Not knowing her father led to some stigma in her village, and no small amount of frustration for Daine.

Though the villagers weren't particularly friendly, their animals were. Daine had a knack with animals, particularly her pony, Cloud. She also helped the local falconer train his birds. Her grandfather taught her how to track, hunt, and fish, and she took to those tasks with natural ease, spending much of her time in the woods around her home.

When Daine was thirteen, bandits attacked her village while she was away. Her mother and grandfather were killed, along with many of their animals, and Daine arrived too late to save anyone. Her grief over the loss--and her rage at the local villagers for failing to even check on her family after the bandits had gone on their way--led Daine to, in her words, "run mad." She joined with a local wolf pack and hunted down the bandits that had killed her family, picking them off one by one with the help of the wolves. She behaved much like a wolf herself, running about on all fours. The locals assumed she had gone insane and attempted to hunt her down--a task complicated by their own horses' and dogs' refusal to cooperate--and Daine was forced to flee. Cloud helped her to remember who she was by nipping at her until she stood upright. Once she came back to herself, Daine made her way back to the ruins of her home, salvaged what she could, and headed to Galla's capital, Cria, to look for work.

She was hired by a horsemistress, Onua Chamtong, who was transporting a string of ponies to Corus, the capital of neighboring Tortall. Along the way, they found Numair Salmalin, a mage who had shape-shifted into a hawk to escape pursuers--a group of immortals called Stormwings, which are similar to harpies. Daine and Onua fought off the Stormwings, and Daine managed to find hawk-Numair hiding in a hollow log. Due to a miscalculation of just how many hallucinatory drugs his captors had given him, Numair was too sick and addled to change back on his own. Daine helped take care of him as a hawk, and ultimately was called upon to help him shift back into a human.

Once Numair was human again, he was able to use his considerable skills and knowledge to help Daine with her magic. Daine initially scoffed at the idea of having magic--the prevailing type was known as The Gift, and she knew she didn't have it because her mother tested her repeatedly--but Numair was able to convince her that she had Wild Magic, a type that few knew about or were willing to acknowledge.

She found work in Corus with Onua and the Queen's Riders, helping the new trainees with their mounts. Numair continued to teach her how to manage her magic and gain greater control over what she could do. Under his tutelage, she learned to speak to animals telepathically and to heal them. At first, Daine was hesitant to sink too deeply into her own magic for fear that she'd run mad again, but when she worked up the courage to tell Onua and Numair of her history, Numair created a magical barrier between Daine's sense of self and her magic, so she'd never forget who she was.

She received further input from the badger god, an animal deity who visited her on occasion. She first met the badger shortly after fleeing Snowsdale. He appeared to her in a dream, and explained that her father had asked him to keep an eye on her--though he neglected to say who her father was. He had checked on her when she was a baby, but forgot how quickly time passes in the human realms and had trouble tracking her down. In order to keep a closer eye on her, he gave her one of his claws as a token, which she wore around her neck. It was the badger god who told her that she could share an animal's consciousness. In doing so, she eventually learned to shape-shift entirely.

As Tortall was unofficially at war with neighboring Carthak, her skills came in handy as far as espionage was concerned. By riding along with a squirrel, she could sneak into enemy camps without arousing suspicion and count their numbers. She was also able to put her skills to use on the battlefield, as the local wildlife were eager to help defend their homes against invaders. Despite her reservations, she eventually allowed them to fight because the mental effort of holding them back was too exhausting.

She also used her wild magic to help deal with the various immortals that had been appearing in recent years. A magical barrier had previously kept creatures like Unicorns, Griffins, and Stormwings in a separate realm, but enemy mages were tearing holes in it and allowing immortals to pass through. While many of the immortals had human heads and were capable of speaking for themselves, most of the animal-shaped immortals could only be understood and spoken to by Daine.

One of the creatures accidentally brought through the barrier was a pregnant dragon, whose kit was killed in the transfer. Daine inadvertently healed the dragon kit while stopping the mother from killing Numair. When the dragon realized her kit was no longer dead, she left to give birth in a nearby cave. Out of gratitude, the dragon joined a battle against Carthaki raiders a short time later and was killed. Daine wound up caring for the baby dragon, Skysong, whom she nicknamed Kitten.

Most recently, Daine traveled to Carthak with a Tortallan peace delegation in a last-ditch effort to avoid total war. The emperor, Ozorne, had a menagerie of birds that were ill, and the Tortallans' hope was that Daine's ability to heal them would aid them in the talks. En route, the badger god visited Daine and gave her yet another ability: the power to raise the dead by touching them. This power was unrelated to her wild magic, and she didn't have much control over it; she first learned the nature of the badger's "gift" when she tried to bundle away a tiger-skin rug and it came to life beneath her hands.

Over the course of the talks, it became clear that the gods were angry with Ozorne, though their displeasure only manifested in a series of grim omens. They could only truly act through a human vessel, and as it turned out, that vessel was Daine. After she succeeded in healing the birds, Ozorne drugged and kidnapped her, using her disappearance as an excuse to end the peace talks. When Daine awakened and escaped captivity, she learned that Ozorne had executed Numair, and lost her temper (to put it mildly). Using her borrowed ability to raise the dead, she awakened a museum full of dinosaur skeletons and tore the palace to the ground. With the help of a trio of hyenas, Daine hunted Ozorne down, cornering him. In order to escape, Ozorne plunged a Stormwing feather into his arm, which turned him into a Stormwing. Since he had taken the shape of an immortal, he could never change back. Rikash, a rather sarcastic Stormwing whom Daine found almost tolerable, assured her that his fellow Stormwings would bring Ozorne to justice.

Daine then discovered that Numair wasn't dead, after all; Ozorne had executed a very well-made copy called a simulacrum (a word Daine could never manage to pronounce). Daine was profoundly relieved to find him alive, if somewhat sheepish about the ruckus she caused. With Ozorne successfully ousted, the gods took back Daine's necromancy gift, also to her profound relief. Kaddar, next in line to the throne and a decent guy, became the new emperor of Carthak. With the threat of war removed, the Tortallan delegation returned home.

It's been a month or so since Daine's return from Carthak, and winter is setting in. No new holes have been torn in the barrier, but previous assaults have left it stretched and weakened. Things are as close to normal as they're likely to get.


Writing Sample:

Daine Sarrasri knows that wandering about with only Cloud for company might not be the wisest idea she's ever had, but the recent snowfall is too tempting. It's been months since she's had the chance to take a quiet ride for no reason but the pleasure of it, with no particular destination in mind and no need to hurry. Given how busy things have been--and how busy they're likely to get, as it's only a matter of time before some immortals cause a ruckus somewhere--she's happy to seize the chance while she has it.

At least there haven't been any new holes torn in the barrier of late. And the forest around the castle is safer than most, thanks to frequent patrols. It's not a guarantee that there won't be trouble, but she has her bow--already strung, just in case--and she's quick enough with her shifting that she's not too worried. If anything, it's Cloud's safety that's a concern. Daine taking a hawk shape and flying off wouldn't do her pony much good.

Cloud lets out an indignant snort, reminding Daine that she's not a helpless foal in need of coddling. If there's trouble, it's as likely to come from the Stork-Man as an immortal.

Daine can't help smiling at Cloud's less-than-flattering nickname for Numair, but it turns into a wince a moment later. She isn't sure what to think about her teacher's recent protective streak. Given what happened in Carthak, she supposes it was fair enough at the timeā€¦ but she hopes he isn't planning on continuing with it now that they're home.

Which is why she didn't tell him she was going out--best not to give him the chance to get into a pet.

A jay's warning call startles Daine and Cloud, who stops in her tracks. There's something up ahead that has the animals upset, and Daine catches something through the bare branches--a glimmer, or a flicker--that reminds her of the holes she's seen torn in the barrier. A quick survey of the nearby animals confirms that there are no two-leggers about, though. Barring mages, who could be making the hole? Daine's mind races as she slips off Cloud's back. Is the barrier so weakened that holes are just appearing? There's a problem they don't need.

"Stay put," Daine orders Cloud as she draws an arrow from her quiver and edges toward the spot where the flickers seemed to be coming from. If any nasties show up, she wants Cloud to have a head start. She doesn't feel any nasties, though; there's no unpleasant buzz of an angry immortal in her mind. If there is a hole in the barrier, nothing seems to be passing through it. Frowning, she steps forward.

There's a whinny from Cloud, and then the world gives a sickening tilt that blurs Daine's vision and sends her sprawling. She lands harder than she expected to, because there's suddenly no snow to cushion her. Instead, there's a crunch of frozen grass, and the wind is knocked out of her.

As she gasps for air, she realizes that she can no longer hear Cloud, not even in her mind. Her range with Cloud ought to be miles; how can she not hear her? In a panic, she casts her magic out like a net. There are squirrels, pigeons, a fair number of cats and dogs, rats (lots of rats), and--she jerks back as soon as she reaches a menagerie, only lingering long enough to confirm that it's not their majesties', but one she doesn't recognize.

She pushes herself up, her hands still clutching her bow and arrow, and blinks to clear her vision. She doesn't recognize anything, not the smooth lawn, or the trees, or any of the People she can hear. Even the air is unfamiliar.

Where is she?

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