"Do you remember building castles with wooden blocks as a child? Well, I remember breaking them apart. Now I'm an adult, so I have my sights set on a really big castle."
Known by her heart-stopping beauty and her jewel-like green eyes which always appear to be presenting a wordless challenge, Maya is the last scion of a family that succumbed to the cruelty of reality.
Maya was born seventeen years ago as the young heiress of Malirien, a wealthy family in the Realm's River Province Administrative District. They found fortune through commerce, providing the ever-hungry Realm with high quality tobacco and wine. Maya spent her early years living in luxury; a simple, comfortable life she found extraordinarily boring.
It was very obvious that the young Maya was little interested in learning the skills of the trade. Economics, commerce, bureaucracy--such things made her yawn, to the exasperation of her parents, who certainly did not help by openly and constantly ensuring everybody knew just how much they would have preferred a son. That is not to say Maya had problems with her parents: she loved them, dearly, but she just could not stand the idea of becoming like them.
The Malirien family had established their household away from Greyfalls, in one of the many principalities which surrounding it. This meant Maya, despite her superior status, had little interaction with others blessed with wealth as her. So much the better, for she truly preferred the company of the common populace, slipping out of her house since she was as young as 11 to hang out with the servants' children during the afternoons and with the servants themselves during the evenings. Between jokes and tales and merriness, Maya found a love for the simple game of darts, which were at some point replaced with throwing knives. She lost her virginity in a drunken tryst at the age of 13 to a man twenty years her senior. She gleefully jumped into others' drunken brawls and just as gleefully got beat up herself. Her life remained simple, but at least it was fun.
However, as she enjoyed that simple life away, avoiding her responsibilities, its foundations gradually fell apart. Her father was old and no longer the savvy merchant and negotiator he used to be. Competition from Great Forks was gaining ground and taking away the family's clients with cheaper prices and a willingness to dabble in shadier deals. It reached the point where only centuries-old deals with the Houses Cynis, Mnemon and Ragara kept the family afloat.
It all fell apart about a year ago. Her parents were invited to the Blessed Isle by representatives of these three houses, to "renegotiate" the terms of those deals. They never made it back home. Suddenly, Maya was plunged on her father's seat without a clue of what to do and with the sudden and terrifying awareness of the fact that her family's tradition and riches were gone. A defamation campaign against the useless heiress was the last straw. Most servants and vassals of Malirien soon left, and when agents of the Great Houses appeared at the mansion's door, only a handful of servants put up a resistance.
The tearful girl quietly watched how the Realm, that big, alien thing which had given her and her family everything, was now taking everything away from her. Her family and friends, her entire life, was gone in a breeze. Those few who had stayed by her side, those who were loyal, not to the heiress of Malirien, but to Maya, the cheerful girl who visited them at the bar every night, were now opposing the agents of that Realm, to protect her and what little was left of her life. When the first of them was put down by the sword, something changed within her.
Several bloodied knives later, Maya was alone with her servants. They looked at her fierce green eyes, and they knew this was not the abominable Anathema the folk tales warned of. Maya looked at their hopeful, awestruck eyes, and she knew she had their loyalty, forever and ever.
Maya and her followers moved quickly, saving everything that could be saved before offering the mansion to the flames. They escaped to Nexus, where Maya purchased the largest house she could afford and left it to her servants before leaving on her own.
Maya Malirien hates the Realm, but she's patient. As much as she hates them, she also acknowledges she failed her parents. Her Exaltation has given her the discipline her father could never instill in her, and she has finally taken to learning the tools of his trade, for she knows her knives and her fists will not be enough to tear apart Creation's largest political body. She knows she's never been the smartest hay in the stack, but she also knows she has other weapons she can use: her family's records and knowledge, which she took with her to Nexus, and her own body, which can turn men into hapless marionettes.
The Realm WILL fall, eventually. She'll start small: build economical power, forge the right alliances and find the truth behind her parents' death. Then she'll make Greyfalls hers, for it has a very special spot in her hateful heart.
Maya appears friendly, boisterous, flirtatious and open-minded, but she does not believe in friendship. Every person she meets is a potential tool or an opponent to crush. She only trusts her few followers, and just barely, for she knows even they have a price. However, even as she's begun to dabble in the murky waters of commerce and politics, she's not forgotten who she is and the life she lived before. She loves to drink, to joke and to have sex. She frequents Nexus' bars to gather information as well as to have a good time. All the while keeping her Exaltation a secret, of course. When words come to blows, as much as she knows she has a nasty right straight, she will preferably rely on her trusty knives and her terrific accuracy. She does not go out looking for fights anymore, but she's rarely wary of getting her hands dirty. For money, connections and the potential for future benefit, she'll do pretty much anything.
Appearance: Maya grew into a tall and notably voluptuous femme, maybe even a little too voluptuous for her comfort (it's hard to move around and fight with large breasts, after all). She likes her long black hair, but she is practical and keeps it in a simple ponytail most of the time. Her face is narrow and defined by sharp features, a tiny, pointed nose and thin lips which she has the habit of licking at least twice every minute. She knows her body is as much a weapon as her knives, so she flaunts it within certain self-imposed boundaries. She usually wears tight leather pants and white shirts in a way that somehow makes her look like a dashing swashbuckler (she often wears hats just to add to this image). Even her chain shirt was custom made to reveal just enough of her cleavage.
Anima: A gigantic golden tree, gently showering Maya with its shining leaves.
Concept: Salacious Realm Saboteur-to-be
Strength 2, Dexterity 5, Stamina 2
Charisma 3, Manipulation 4, Appearance 4
Perception 2, Intelligence 2, Wits 3
Athletics 2, Awareness 2, Brawl 2 (Low Blows +1), Bureaucracy 2, Dodge 5, Endurance 1, Investigation 1, Larceny 2, Linguistics 1 (Riverspeak, High Realm), Lore 1, Performance 1, Presence 3, Resistance 1, Ride 1, Socialize 3 (Lying +2), Stealth 2, Survival 1 (Foraging +1), Thrown 5 (Throwing Knives +3)
Backgrounds: Contacts 3, Resources 2, Followers 2
Compassion 2, Conviction 4, Temperance 1, Valor 3
Virtue Flaw: Deliberate Cruelty
Essence pool: 13/31
Graceful Crane Stance
Deft Official's Way
Leaping Dodge Method
Reed in the Wind
Shadow Over Water
Harmonious Presence Meditation
Mastery of Small Manners
Wise-Eyed Courtier Method
Precision of the Striking Raptor
Returning Weapon Concentration
Triple-Distance Attack Technique
Equipment: chain shirt; fighting gauntlets; leather bag with change of clothes, money log and pencil, flint and steel, soap, hunting knife, rope, map and compass.
Base initiative: 8
Soak: 3B/4L/3A (chain shirt)
Throwing Knife: Speed 8 Acc 13 Damage +4L Def 13 Rate 3 Range 15
Fighting Gauntlet: Speed 8 Acc 7 Damage +3L Def 7
Kick: Speed 5 Acc 6 Damage +4B Def 6
Maya's Followers rating corresponds to her four remaining servants. They do not literally follow her everywhere, instead looking after her residence in Nexus and gathering information about people Maya is interested while she's away. While Maya does not fully trust them, at least one of them, a young maid called Vinessa, is absolutely loyal to her and would do anything for her. Maya has already developed a network of contacts within Nexus which keep her up to date on the flow of trade within the Scavenger Lands and on any suspicious movements from Greyfalls. She has a friendly association with Crow the Boy and her Sweeps.
Maya is a starting character, plus 15 XP, spent to increase Socialize to 3, Stealth and Larceny to 2, and to purchase the Presence Charm Harmonious Presence Meditation.