Lady Iovita Igniseri
Even a small seed can grow into something useful.
Description: Iovita is the kind of young woman who will be known as striking in a decade or two's time; alas, that those decades have not already settled themselves onto her sharp-featured face and angular frame. Her complexion is clear, dusky olive skin a warm compliment to the liquid-dark of her eyes, but even the dark, unruly tumble of riotous curls that falls to-mid back isn't enough to soften her. If an observer is of a charitable mind, she is merely unfinished, newly grown into height and length of limb; uncharitably, she is raw-boned and awkward, ineffectively faking her way to a grown-up sense of poise.
Personality: Oh, Io tries so HARD to be good: to be quiet, to be sweet, to be neat and tidy, to be and all the things that would make someone want to keep her around; all the things a young lady should be. OH, she tries so very, very hard -- and manages, at least half the time. No, that's generous -- a quarter, we'll say. If given leave, or in all-too-frequent unguarded moments: Iovita is quick-tempered and a little bit brash, headlong and reckless but whole-hearted with it; quick to love and easily heartbroken, sure, but just as quick to (mostly) recover from it. She has a stubbornly self-reliant streak born in response to being just old enough to understand the separation of being fostered, but not the reasons for it; it breaks down more easily than she would like to admit.
Background: Iovita Igniseri has the dubious distinction of being the third child of the Marquesa Igniseri of Granato. Born less than a year into the union between the Marquesa and her second husband, a lesser count who had courted her -- pursued her -- relentlessly. Her birth did little to improve the situation in the eyes of her seven year old twin brothers, Vincere and Pietro. Before she was even a person, she was already a point of contention: Vincere, seven minutes the elder and future Marquis, campaigned endlessly and aggressively for the name Teodora, up to and through the moment she was legally recorded as Iovita, instead.
Her father, Oberion, was bookish, intelligent, and not unaware that his stepsons favor eluded him despite his best efforts. Iovita, though, adored him: utterly and obviously. Precocious and often brought along for the twins lessons, she was an eager audience; despite her age she was included, encouraged to keep up as best she could.
When Iovita was five, her brothers thirteen, tragedy struck again: her father was killed in an accident in the Lycene countryside. Rumors surrounded the death, investigations and accusations all flying over her head. Iovita understood enough: that her father was dead, that Evidence said her mother was responsible, and that Something Needed to be Done. The damage suffered by the Marquesas reputation capital was staggering. In a play to keep her remaining capital intact, arrangements were made to strengthen bonds of loyalty: the children were to be fostered, to become wards of the two households. Iovita understood, up to a point - but when she heard her brothers were being sent to House Rubino, she stopped listening. She should have kept listening, though - her destination was House Zaffria. Not Rubino.
In Gemecitta, she was able to see her brothers with unpredictable regularity - not often enough, in her frequently and loudly voiced opinion. She was also able to return to her studies - at the same level. None of her instructors ever inspired the same level of adoration and zeal as her father had, but Iovita was still an avid and eager learner. A generously granted garden plot flourished with her, its contents revised and refined as they both grew; soon it was all but full of plants for healing, save a small section dedicated to ones for hurting.
Overshadowed by her mothers third marriage, Iovitas official declaration of intent to pledge herself as an initiate, and one day become a Mercy of Lagoma was met with little fanfare. If she had expected more, or was disappointed -- she hid it well. Her contact with her immediate family turned more often into correspondence, especially once her brothers gained their majority and returned to Granato. By the time she took her vows and began the life of an initiate, her own was - and had been for some time - marvelously uneventful. Uneventful, that is, until six months ago. The death by poisoning of her third husband, Marquis Sir Jalawyn Igniseri, heralded the Badger of Granatos heavily-advised departure from Arx, and appointment of her heir in her absence. That heir, of course, being the new Marquis Igniseri: Iovitas oldest brother, Vincere. With Pietro at -- or never far from -- his side, her brothers ventured to the capitol to take control of the failing boat -- the sinking ship -- of their family fortunes.
As soon as she found out about it -- about all of it -- Iovita Igniseri wasnt far behind.