Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
Social Rank: 8
Concept: Gifted Islander Artist
Marital Status: Single
Hair Color: Golden brown
Eye Color: Green
Skintone: Golden Fair
Description: Autumn shades warm the complexion of this petite maiden, aspects of the season's heat tempering cool undertones. Flawless skin the hue of fine china provides the canvas upon which alluring features are limned, the most arresting among them a pair of long-lashed eyes; doe-like and ocean deep with green irises traced in blue, the emotions in them ebb and flow with crystal clarity, her mood and temperament as easily evinced as if read through undiluted glass.
The regal line of a patrician nose is complemented by her mouth's lush bow, winsome dimples playing coy in their presence with every smile, only to demurely retreat with lips at rest. Allaying such a portrait of cool femininity, golden-brown tresses gleam beneath sunlight's effulgent caress, burnished waves -- when loosed -- spilling about a curvaceous form in a lustrous torrent reminiscent of a lioness's silk-spun mane.
Personality: Karina is a creature of passions, and she shies from none of them. She defies the common image of introverted artist sketching in the corner, and is as charming as the most seasoned courtier when she wishes to be. Genuinely interested in those around her, she freely asks questions and can be engaged in conversation about the driest nuances of law and the most salacious gossip of court with equal enthusiasm. Her friendship when offered is fast and fierce, her loyalty stronger than iron, and her bad moods as damaging and uncontrolled as fire on dry wood.
Background: Karina Seabright is the youngest in a family of four, with two older brothers and an older sister. Her father Pyotr is one of House Grimhall's most steadfast naval captains, having commanded a medium sized fleet from Grihem's Point for most of his career. Her mother was Dolores Grimsea, the younger sister of Anneke Grimhall nee Grimsea, the wife of the future Duke Harald's. Unfortunately, Karina's mother Dolores managed to run afoul of the tyrannical former Duke Eugine Grimhall over a minor slight, who pressured her to marry Pyotr under threat of attainting and utterly destroying the Grimseas if she did not comply, but Duke Eugine's cruelty was undermined by the fact that Dolores and Pytor had long been fond of one another and she was not particularly troubled by losing her noble title.
No childhood in the Mourning Isles is idyllic, the threat from pirates constant even during times of relative peace, yet Karina's came close. Though she missed her father when he was away keeping Grimhall waters safe, he always came home, and in her younger years, she would be the first one running down the docks to meet him. Her family was as traditionalist as any in Grihem's Point, though they kept only two thralls, a married couple with small war debts that were paid off within half a decade. They chose to stay on, and thus Karina's experience with the practice was that of family and warm memories.
Such traditionalism may have meant the young woman aspiring to wed a worthy warrior, bear sons, and little else, yet Karina was indulged with more. Oh, Pyotr would have put his foot down hard had she asked to train with the fleet, or taken up a blade for the Legion, yet she yearned for neither. What she craved was art, and the girl had a gift for it. From the age of five when she was given her first set of charcoal pencils and a pot of paints by a doting salt parent she was drawing realistic images of the world around her. Landscapes of such quality that one imagined walking right into the canvas, and portraits that could capture the very essence of who sat for them. Many claimed her touched by Jayus, for by her teen years her work began to eclipse those with lifetimes of training and experience.
As her artistic skills progressed (and as her parents' marriage cooled), her parental bond seemed to shift from father to mother. Granted, it may not have been entirely by choice. The more promise Karina that showed, the more intent Dolores became on shaping her directly. By the time Karina was sixteen, Dolores was devoting the majority of her time to her youngest, becoming Karina's most constant companion and pushing her at all times to excel.
Opposition to this rigorous lifestyle came not from her father, who was spending more and more time away, but from a local of Karina's age, Yvgeny Saltcliffe: a commoner of no renown, average ability, and a relaxed take on life. And he was as wildly in love with Karina as she was with him. The more time that she spent with Yvgeny, the more her studies faltered, but her happiness was self-evident. Everyone expected to see them grow old together. At the start of the Gyre conflict, however, they appeared to fall out, and Yvgeny was last seen shipping off to join the fight, his vessel one of many that sank to the bottom of the sea off the coast of Setarco.
After Yvgeny's death, Karina withdrew. Friends stopped coming by, and the extended family stopped asking for news of her when it was always the same: she was painting. Wandering. Uncharacteristically quiet. Alert and gregarious in all previous years, the young woman would now hover at the periphery of gatherings like a ghost. Eventually, Karina was sent away from Grihem's Point to the mainland, accompanied by the written request of the Admiral that House Grimhall take her on as a lady-in-waiting to the Duke's son's new wife, Vanora. The claim was that only in Arx could Karina find teachers whose artistic skills she had not already surpassed, and while this may have been true, it was also self-evident that something had to change.
Still, all agree that since the loss of her beloved, her art has moved from exceptional to masterpiece.