Lady Marina Redreef
Who is the happier woman, she who has braved the storm of life and lived, or she who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?
Description: Marina is a tall and lean figure whose skin is bronzed by the sun, complimenting dark hair and a bright, whiskeyed amber gaze. She is almost constantly in motion, but never in a way that comes across as fidgety or agitated. Instead, what shines through in the lack of stillness is complete confidence and fierce strength. She doesn't walk when she can stride, and she doesn't stride when she can prowl. Her body is slender but fit, with the well-trained and compact muscles of a swimmer. A wide, devilish smile lights up a face that carries a wicked scar lancing down its right side, a keepsake from some blade strike that once barely missed her eye.
Personality: Marina's heart belongs to the sea, generally speaking. To be more specific, it belongs to all the waters she's yet to sail, all the islands she's yet to make landfall upon, all the storms she's yet to brave, and so on. Marina is driven by the knowledge that the world is full of things unknown and sights unseen, and she wishes to know them and to see them. Novelty compels her, but she eventually becomes bored with things once they're no longer new, and familiarity breeds contempt: this goes for food, drink, furniture, music, fashion, lovers... everything except blood family. In others, she values this same level of curiosity, but she also values drive, ambition, and loyalty, particularly in the sailors she crews with. As both a sailor and a noblewoman, she wears twin masks of strict discipline and sardonic, sometimes bordering on cruel humor, but underneath there is a mother hen who cares deeply about those close to her.
Background: Marina and Ember Redreef were born identical twins, daughters to Baron Landis and Baroness Leticia Redreef. The customs of the Mourning Isles at the time held fast to traditional gender roles, and succession of the baronial title was a thing reserved for men. Baron Landis was a man concerned about his legacy, and so it was always in his plans to find husbands for his twin daughters and ensure the continuation of his bloodline. At the same time, his daughters were willful and stubborn in their desires to go beyond the traditional roles of Islander women. They were educated in social politics and administration, as befit noblewomen of the Mourning Isles, but they were also indulged in their desires for more active and adventurous pursuits, such as swordfighting and sailing.
It was sailing that especially held Marina's fascination. More than once in her youth, she attempted to run away from home and join a sailing crew. Each time, she was returned to Redreef Shores' castle, the Crimson Keep, by sailors who recognized the Baron's daughter and sought to receive a reward for keeping her safe from her own bad ideas. As the twins grew older, their personalities diverged in how they reacted to their feelings of stiflement. Ember became more aggressive, while Marina grew ever more restless.
When Baron Landis and Baroness Leticia died, they were without a son, and their daughters were without husbands. By legal right, the title of Baron passed to Landis's brother, Tiberius. By this point, Marina and Ember were old enough to rule. Tiberius was a spendthrift, and they felt that he would be Redreef Shores' ruin. So they decided that the legal right and the proper traditions could go to the Abyss. The sisters raised a rag-tag army loyal to them and sieged the Crimson Keep, starting a civil war over the right to inherit from their father.
In the civil war, Ember stood tall as the claimant to the Baroness title, and Marina acted as her strong right hand. They worked as a team, dividing up duties based on their strengths: Ember led the land forces; Marina led on the waters, bonding easily with the sailors and sea dogs. Though second-in-command of the rebel army, Marina was the most important piece in keeping it together. She possessed social graces and empathy sorely lacked by her sister, and it was Marina who was able to keep their under-equipped, often starving armies convinced that the twins were not leading them on a futile march to death.
In time, the law in the Isles changed, allowing women to inherit directly, and the civil war in Redreef was settled through a trial by combat. With Ember's claim to the title of Baroness solidified, Marina stayed by her side to help crush the initial waves of discontent. Since then, she has remained completely loyal to the rule of her sister, and has drifted in and out of the role of House Redreef's Voice. Marina quite honestly enjoys the relative freedom that is afforded to her by leaving the responsibility of ruling Redreef Shores to her twin. If she had to remain landlocked and bound by the duties of running a domain for too long, without the thrill of sailing uncharted waters or seeking some mythic treasure, she'd go mad.