Lady Vera Melaeris
I want to truly be alive. I want to feel my heart pumping in my chest. I want to feel blood moving through me -- hot, and salty, and real.
Description: Tall and wispy, with the gait of a prowling cat, rarely does Vera enter a room unnoticed. Her face is all sharp features with high, regal cheekbones and a finely sculpted jaw. It's a delightful contrast to her soft, doe-like eyes hidden beneath long, dark lashes. That wide-eyed wonder might be a facade of feigned innocence, but it's impossible to tell at a glance. Her voice is gentle, lilting, and possessed with a certain sultry undertone. It's fittingly delivered by full, heart-shaped lips that the Marquessa is prone to oh so sweetly biting, when she's possessed by the urge to frown or feeling shy. Prematurely greyed hair frames her pretty face, tumbling down in gentle waves and complimenting her dusk-colored skin. Years of journeying has not left Vera unscathed, with the occasional faded, white scar hiding beneath her silks. Most notably, she returned with Shav-style tattoos decorating the canvas of her delicate hands in intricate patterns of deep blue.
Personality: At first glance Vera is a demure and reserved woman, all soft-spoken words and doe-eyed looks. Yet meek doesn't quite describe her. The Marquessa is never one to cow to the demands of others nor run away at the first sign of danger. She's simply more passive, preferring charm and compromise to aggression. Rarely does she ever offer harsh words, striving to understand a person's motivations fully before judging them. It's always fascinated her, how people tick, and she'd gladly spend hours discussing culture, religion, and upbringing with someone new. Getting lost in other people's stories is what first drove her to look outside of Astarrea, to leave the beaten paths in search of little recorded knowledge. That wanderlust never faded, even if it's now bound by duty and obligation. And she bears the weight of that duty with a sweet smile, having always been predisposed towards kindness and acts of public generosity. Some might claim that her gentle nature is fake, a carefully crafted facade, and that she's nothing more than a half-lycene schemer. Or worse, a mild-mannered flake.
Background: Marquis Lyron Melaeris was a prideful man, confident to the point of fault in his ability to lead. He lived for glory, for fame, and a daughter never really factored into those plans. Yet his wife, Lady Veranica Rubino, would bear him two girls and only one son. Raviv was the eldest child and the most doted upon. The weight of the March was placed on his shoulders and the young man was groomed to be equal parts a student of theology and war. Rarely did he ever see his two younger sisters. The girls were left to the care of their mother and grandmother, tutors carefully arranged by the older women.
For young Verasha, every day was filled with lessons. Politics, history, linguistics. A relentless parade of books and teachers made up the bulk of her childhood and the only games she was allowed to play were thinly disguised drills. Cards to teach bluffing and how to detect lies, rhymes or songs meant to ease remembering difficult facts or tricky pronunciations, and stories that were more parables than fiction. Everything she did, from the color of her dress to the amount of food eaten during dinner, was scrutinized. The rigidness of Vera's life was deliberately put in contrast to the freedom her cousin Amir was given. It was, as her mother gently explained, to teach her how to survive in a house where her opinions did not hold as much weight. To teach her, that she needed to work twice as hard as her brothers and male cousins.
And Vera did. She threw her everything into mastering whatever challenges they set in front of her, excelling especially at learning new languages. With quiet, meek acceptance she won more and more freedoms. At fifteen, Vera was sent to be fostered in Gemecitta and given remarkable free reign over her day to day activities. A test, if she had ever seen one. For the next three years, she performed the exact same regimen as the one she followed at home entirely of her own free will, unforced. When she returned to Astarrea, her mother said not a word but Vera swore by the look on her face that there was approval in those stern eyes.
The approval did not last very long. Verasha used her new-found adulthood to leave her home city behind. Diplomatic missions to meet with nearby Abandoned tribes, brokering trade with a coastal city, tagging along on others' expeditions as a translator. Anything but staying indoors. Her wander-lust seemed insatiable, dragging the woman from one corner of Arvum to the other. Often she spent the better part of each year completely gone from Astarrea or Arx, only stopping in to celebrate holidays or report to the Marquis on political matters.
When her father finally died and Raviv became the new Marquis, Vera expected to be named as a Voice. Instead, she was passed over in favor of her younger sister. In act of childish rebellion, the then twenty-four year old simply up and left to gods' know where. Letters kept the family generally informed on her well-being and during her absence, Vera did secure the occasional trade contract for the house. Yet she rarely mentioned where she was at any given time and it seemed, the location often changed on a whim. The various keepsakes sent from these travels, still clutter the family manor to this day.
When she returned, freshly thirty, Verasha already had streaks of grey in her raven black hair and Montag at her side. Raviv welcomed his sister back with open arms and mild concern, promptly assigning her a job as minister of loyalty. Anything to keep his wayward sister home, safe. Seemingly tempered by her nearly six years abroad, Vera contented herself with joining her older brother in Arx and becoming a member of the Society Of Explorers. She could have her fun, exploring and adventuring but within the safer confines of an actual group. Funny that it would be her brother in more danger, as the young Marquis joined in the conflict that would eventually be named The Pirate War. He would soon die in the naval battle for Setarco, leaving Verasha to take over in his stead.
|Aiden||That the Marquessa has personally taken it upon herself to wade through the ruins of what was once a great city, in effort to aid a people she is not responsible for, shows the merit of the woman's morales and heart. It is something any person can respect.|
|Bliss||Oooo, there are a few things I can tell about this one immediately - and the first is that she has to have some absolutely fascinating stories.|
|Caith||I have a million and one questions -- she is so elegant and graceful and charming and funny but she also has tattoos on her hands and looks like she has been places and seen stuff! I want to know more.|
|Catalana||I like her spirit. I love a good sense of humor and I hope to get to know more of her to enjoy it.|
|Delilah||A Thrax marquessa with all the elegance of the finest in the city. Not only does she enjoy the hunt in exploration and intrigue, but she's a polyglot, and a fine one at that. I foresee a mutually beneficial relationship.|
|Gaston||The first time I met Vera she got it in her head that I had tattled on her when I did not. Since then, it has been nearly impossible to shake her first impression of me - not that I tried terribly hard. On paper we should get along. We are both explorers. In practice, I don't think we will ever see eye to eye.|
|Jeffeth||A Marquessa who doesn't really want to be a Marquessa, it seems. But she has lovely stories and is very lovely besides. I hope I can hear more stories from her soon.|
|Lucita||Well spoken newcomer to city who has interesting relatives and seems interesting herself. Am looking forward to getting to know her better.|
|Valarian||What a fascinating woman! Exotic and beautiful, yes, but far more than that. Intelligent and witty, humorous and with such a story to tell! And I hope to hear them all. Perhaps we'll get to adventure together, but at the very least she can teach me much in things I am ignorant of. I wish I could return the favor.|