Sarika Agrona Gimbernard Edit
Age: 500-600 (and still able to kick your ass!)
WARNING! THIS WOMAN IS CONSIDERED A WAR CRIMINAL BY THE NATION OF TECUANITZL. IF FOUND ON TECUANI SOIL SHE IS TO BE TAKEN INTO CUSTODY AND REMANDED TO THE AUTHORITIES. LIST OF CHARGES INCLUDE MURDER, TERRORISM, AND WAR CRIMES OF A HEINOUS NATURE.
Although born before the founding of the Golden Script caravan (and its naming tradition), with a diviner for a mother a meaningful name was almost an assurance. Her name translates as "the bird sings of battle". Strangely apropos, the name may also translate as "the bird sings of slaughter".
Life and Exploits Edit
Early life Edit
The firstborn daughter of Esperetta Auryona Gimbernard, Sarika was born before the so-called "Constanza Incident", the result of the future Mama Retta's liasion with a Cochotl merchant named Lonan Ardhal. Lonan (merchant, supplier, and rumored pirate), though aware of his child, was by all accounts a hands-off sort of father, allowing her to be raised within Esperetta's natal caravan. Since Esperetta was often away, Sarika was primarily raised by her Aunt Melpomene and Uncle Erion. While her aunt hoped that she might become a dancer or a merchant, Sarika found her calling in the twin blades of the Blade Dancer school, excelling in combat.
Middle Life Edit
Following the "Constanza Incident" and the social reordering that followed, Sarika escorted her aunt to Thalasa Limenas, with the hope that Melpomene's health might improve with sea air and close proximity to other seers. Finding Maerisius suited her, Sarika put down roots, using money from her uncle to set up her own group of "freelancers". These freelancers operated under the name of The Dancing Blades, performing mercenary work all around Maerisius. Despite carving out a place for herself there, Sarika retained her ties to the home caravan, keeping her Gimbernard name and all the benefits this entitled her to, paying for the privelege by acting as the caravan's agent in Maerisius. Duties involved sending back sensitive information and dossiers on each city and family in Maerisius that the Dancing Blades worked for, along with notes on which places should be avoided.
During this period, Sarika had three children by various fathers. Her eldest, Roxanna Fiamatta Gimbernard, born of a Kaliskan wolf member of the Dancing Blades, immediately joined the Blades as part of the mercenary wing, specializing in front-line fighting and target acquisition. Her second daugther, Philomena Avani Gimbernard, born of a Cochotl gentleman of Vincini, expressed talent as a seer and was sent to train with her Aunt Melpomene, eventually joining the Blades as a tactician. Their youngest sibling, Rayner Alastair Gimbernard, was born as the result of an old Pyralian tradition. Sarika, whilst stationed in Pyralis, married a Human Pyralian Warrior, one of the only people on record as having defeated Sarika in single combat. This didn't last very long, given human (espcially Pyralian) lifespans, but for a time Sarika was happy. She had her Blades and her children, remained in the good graces of her caravan and her adopted country. She had even been able to help out her niece, teaching the girl to fight, granting her a safe haven, and getting a book out of the experience. All was well. This would, of course, come to an end.
Tecuanitzl and the Burning of Zacualco Edit
When the Guilds began their ill-fated attempt to open Tecuanitzl to the outside world, it was the Dancing Blades that were hired as security for the delegation alongside the Maerisian navy. Unfortunately, due to a an unfortunate choice of landing place, the intentions of the Guild were misunderstood, leading to confrontation between the Maerisians, led by the Pyralians, and the Tecuani, led by a powerful Hummingbird warrior known as the Herald of Dawn. The Maerisians lost and fled, leaving their dead behind them. Among the dead were Sarika's two daughters, Roxanna and Philomena. Sarika, driven mad by the loss, vowed revenge, especially against the leader of the warband, the hummingbird she now held responsible for the death of her beloved daughters.
When the Maerisians returned to the island they brought their best weapons with them, the might of Pyralis and the demolition experts of the Dancing Blades. Sarika set fire to the jungle, beginning a campaign of terror designed to harry the Tecuani forces and cause them to split their numbers. The tactics worked, causing the Herald of Dawn to split his forces and flee in an attempt to save a village soon to be caught in the consuming flames. Sarika followed, harrying him but not trying to kill him; while she had considered it, she wanted to save that pleasure for last, first forcing him to watch his world burn. When the Herald arrived at the village, it was already aflame. Before she could leap from her hiding place to kill him, the Herald ran into a burning building, returning with a small bundle and placing it in the ashes before running back into the building. The house collapsed, killing her quarry and whomever or whatever else he had been trying to save. Cheated of her prey, Sarika advanced on the small bundle, determined to destroy the last thing her enemy had tried to save. To her shock, the bundle was a small hummingbird chick, undoubtedly her enemy's daughter. Quite suddenly her righteous fury left her, a hollow ache taking its place. Before she could take another step towards the child, a widow bird cochotl descended, scooping up and making off with the child with a spine-chilling scream.
It was then that some of the Herald's men arrived, seeing Sarika standing with the inferno at her back mingling with her blonde hair and causing the gold in her skin to glitter, setting lights dancing in her black wings and eyes. Instead of attacking, Sarika left, melting into the fiery jungle behind her. It was this day that she earned the moniker she would use for the rest of her days, "Itzpaplotl" or "The Obsidian Butterfly". She would depart Tecuanitzl immediately, returning to her surviving son, never to return again under pain of death. She would later move the Dancing Blades headquarters to Minotia, ostensibly for business. The fact that that this move placed her close to her aunt (and one of the Golden Script's regular trade routes) was not commented upon. Her group continues to base itself out of the region, with Rayner stepping up to act as her lieutenant.
The Dancing Blades recently aided Maerisius in its defense following the raising of the Lost City of Altea, commissioned to do so by Sarika's niece, Esperetta Alia Gimbernard.