BACKGROUND: True Identity (3)
DESCRIPTION: Female, 18ish. Height 53 (slightly below the Eisen average). Tanned complexion and fine-boned facial features. Large dark brown eyes. Hair very similar shade of brown, raggedly cut (by herself, with a knife) to just under shoulder length. Slender build (with "swimmer's shoulders") and graceful moves. Clothing best described as barbaric - fur, leather and canvas stitched into serviceable trousers and sleeveless tunic, with a Diggers coat for warmth. Her only ornaments are a steel chain Prophets Cross necklace and a 'Seeadler' belt buckle.
Krista's preferred weapon is her zweihander, which is always kept close at hand. Those belongings not actually worn on her person are carried in a rolled-up blanket.
DREXEL SWORDSMANS SCHOOL (Apprentice):
Zweihander - 'Seeadler' insignia on the pommel, otherwise very plain.
Panzerhand - Standard issue, above average workmanship. A gift from the academy and, arguably, the newest thing she owns.
Clothes - Diggers coat, sleeveless tunic, trousers, hiking boots (leather), belt / baldric with Seeadler buckle, Prophets Cross necklace (plain steel). Two knives (belt and left boot). Whetstone, Flint & Steel (Belt).
Book - Lots of drawings. People, places, and things seen (or dreamed!). Carefully wrapped in waterproofed material for safe-keeping.
Money - Very little.
die Seeadleren: die Seeadleren (the Sea-Eagles) was one of the Eisen Imperator's "personal" military units. Formed in 1382, the regiment was frequently assigned to ships or to duties along Eisens waterways (Theahs first Marines, perhaps?). Battle honours were many (including a token appearance at Tannen), and they were part of Reifenstahls forces during the War of the Cross.
In 1653, the group took in an orphaned child and she soon became a symbol of hope for them. Ultimately, with the Imperators suicide and Eisens break-up, it seemed like all hopes for their country were gone. They became mercenaries and, like many others, sought work outside of Eisen. Prior to leaving, the unit pooled finances and called in a few favours to have their adopted daughter placed at an academy near Posens border with Ussura. The understanding was that she would rejoin them upon graduating, with contact to be maintained via letter as the group went to Freiberg.
Then, the letters stopped coming...
Krista's Story: Fifteen years ago, die Seeadleren found her in the forest when she was about three years old. Her clothes were ragged, but originally such as the child of a well-off family may have worn. There was a village and a few farms in the area, but nobody there knew who she was.
The child was safer with die Seeadleren than she could ever hope to be anywhere else in Eisen. So she stayed, and her family cared for and educated her as best as they were able.
At 16, she went to an academy near the Ussuran border. It was a wholly new experience for Krista. Combat-related subjects were easy to someone with her upbringing, but other areas gave a lot of difficulty. Certain people at the Academy looked down on her as being little more than a wild animal, but she worked hard to earn the respect of all.
When die Seeadleren disappeared, Krista gave up her studies and began searching for them. She hiked across Posen to Freiberg, where she found that die Seeadleren suddenly left, destination unknown, around the time that the letters stopped being sent . Since then, Krista has worked as guard, duellist and riverboat deckhand while she tries to track them down. In the past several months, her travels have spanned much of Eisen to no avail.
Even so, the Daughter of die Seeadleren has not given up her search...
ANSWERS TO THE HANDBOOKS 20 QUESTIONS:
1. What country is your Hero from?
Eisen (Posen province).
2. How would you describe your Hero's physical appearance?
3. Does your Hero have recurring mannerisms?
Fear of the dark is not uncommon in Eisen and (given its various horrors) is even reasonable. Curiously, Krista has never been prone to this. That is not to say that she takes foolish chances or avoids daylight. Rather, she is no more or less guarded (or at ease!) at night than in the daytime. She sleeps at night because other people do so. Krista herself cannot explain this quirk - it is just the way she is. Furthermore, from the old soldiers who raised her, she has picked up a tendency to grab sleep at odd times and places - whenever she is bored and does not need to be on alert.
She also likes sketching. The artistic materials are usually no more than a piece of charcoal and whatever surface can be found (scraps of paper, bare patches of wall, pieces of board, etc.). Her style is very strong and clear.
4. What is your Hero's main motivation?
Her primary motivation is to be the best soldier possible. Follows a military-style daily routine - up with the sun, exercise, etc.. Never passes up oppurtunities for (friendly) weapons practice, as either teacher or student.
5. What are your Hero's greatest strengths and greatest weaknesses?
What seems like her greatest strength and her greatest weakness may be inter-related. Almost her entire life has been spent as the ward of a military unit struggling to survive in a devastated country, and any knowledge of things beyond that has mostly come secondhand. The hardships of soldiers in the field seem almost natural to her, a large teeming city would seem alien; and the decadence of Montaignes Royal Court would be repugnant.
6. What are your Hero's most and least favourite things?
Krista routinely hides a fondness for children and small cute animals. Favourite leisure activities are exercising with her weapons, sketching and reading. She is in awe of libraries and gravitates towards any in her vicinity. Her most valued personal belongings are her sword (a parting gift from die Seeadleren), her Prophets Cross (for her faith), and her diary (lots of sketches - mainly portraits, nice scenery, and so forth).
Krista has a definite impatience with foppish behaviour - it seems pointless to her. Having witnessed a lot of suffering, she positively hates bullies, and provides attitude adjustment for such whenever possible. Theus help any foppish bullies she meets.
7. What about your Hero's psychology?
What about it? See other answers. Eisen Doppel Soldiers have a reputation as gung-ho, posturing, swaggering braggarts totally lacking in caution. In contrast, Krista is soft-spoken and reserved. However, she will assert herself if needs be, and displays typically Eisen straightforwardness in her behaviour. To those who gain her trust, she is a good friend and staunch ally. Her sense of humour is strong but slightly crude, with a liking for occasional harmless pranks.
Despite an irregular education, she has a special respect for the advancement, preservation and passing on of knowledge. However, Krista also has major reservations about the Syrneth, since their artifacts seem too dangerous to deal with.
In combat, Krista tries to remain detached and professional. She is a fierce fighter, but does not enjoy killing, and has been physically ill after particularly nasty battles. There are absolutely no illusions about the glories of battle ( ... Nothing good about war, except its ending ... ).
Krista also sketches, when in the right mood. People, places and things seen in her travels are recorded in her "diary". Less often, faces and glimpses of scenery (vaguely recalled from she knows not where) are drawn. There is no doubt that these may be keys to uncovering her early life, but Krista surpassed impatience long ago, and is now content to carefully gather each piece of the puzzle as it comes. One day, things will all become clear but, until then, there is plenty else to do. Such as surviving.
She knows her drawings can be good - they have earned money or a respectable meal for her more than once. Still, encountering a "real" artist may be just a little ... intimidating.
8. What is your Hero's single greatest fear?
Her greatest fears centre on abandonment. Specifically, failing those who depend on her, or of being crippled in either body or mind.
9. What is your Hero's highest ambition? Greatest love?
Currently, her highest ambitions are to locate BOTH her families. Beyond that, there are no specifics. Probably everything else imaginable (in variable order - survival, wealth, respect, honour, true love, family, etc., etc.).
10. What is your Hero's opinion of his (/ her) country?
Krista considers herself an Eisen patriot, insofar as that is what die Seeadleren were, and that is how she was raised. However, Eisen has clearly ceased to exist as a nation. Maybe when the lessons of the War have been properly learned, the Iron Nation can rise again.
11. Does your Hero have any prejudices?
See other answers. Strong dislike / distrust of magic. NO regard for religious intolerance - she knows where this leads.
12. Where do your Hero's loyalties lie?
Her primary loyalty is to die Seeadleren.
13. Is your Hero in love? Is he (/ she) married or betrothed?
No romantic attachments beyond two brief liaisons in the academy, neither of which were especially traumatic. Krista is extremely cautious as regards matters of the heart. True love is probably wonderful but, based on observation, also makes you ... vulnerable.
14. What about your Hero's family?
What about it? See below.
15. How would your Hero be described by his (/ her) parents?
Kristas natural family is unknown, having been lost in the War. Krista sometimes recalls faces that MAY be relatives, but has no way of being certain. Her adoptive family are (?) very proud of her. They remember the waif they found, and see what she has become.
16. Does your Hero attempt to follow the code of chivalry?
Krista follows the code of chivalry, but does not let it substitute for common sense. Would have very few qualms about bending" (or in extremes, even breaking) the rules as regards particularly vile foes. Sees the wisdom of living to fight another day (and of denying this option to the enemy!), and also recognizes the value of lateral thinking.
17. How religious is your Hero? What sect of the Church does he (/ she) follow?
Krista was raised in the Vaticine Faith. Solid religious convictions - prays before eating or sleeping, and after battles. Also attends church when possible. For all that, Krista is very tolerant of Objectionism, perceiving the Inquisition as doing far more of Legions work than most of the heretics it hunts down.
18. Is your Hero a member of a guild, gentleman's club or secret society?
Swordsmans Guild, courtesy of her Academy training. Currently no other alliances or connections. Krista would find something admirable about most Secret Societies, but probably values her independance too much to go for full membership in any. Her leanings would perhaps be towards die Kreutzritter, Rose & Cross, or Sophias Daughters. The Explorers Society would beat even NOM as the Secret Society Krista is least likely to join (see 19).
19. What does your Hero think of sorcery?
Krista is VERY uncomfortable about magic. Does not regard individuals with magic abilities or Sidhe blood as inherently evil, but still wary of them. Absolute distrust of Syrneth artifacts, and will not mess with them if any semi-reasonable choice exists. Krista has never heard of Russian Roulette but, as far as she is concerned, Syrneth artifacts would have exactly the same quality. They can be harmless or even beneficial, but the user seldom learns otherwise until it is much too late.
As she sees it, the fact that the Syrneth are extinct is significant in itself. Religious leanings may be a factor, but hearing many gruesome stories about the results of messing with artifacts has set her attitude in bedrock (and given it a Dracheneisen shell!).
20. If you could, what advice would you give your Hero?
Good question. DON"T GET KILLED comes instantly to mind. Otherwise, there is that very cool line from 'The Scorpion King' - "Live free, die well".
Krista is based on 108 Hero Points. Given the detailed background and history worked up without benefit of the Fate Draw (which would give additional benefits worth at least that much HP), the bonus seems reasonable. If the campaign runs on a 120 HP budget (as many recommend); the 12 additional HP would go to increase the Wits trait to 3; increase the Climb knack to 2; and gain the advantage 'Indomitable Will'.
Kristas primary short- to mid-term objective is to find die Seeadleren. Bear in mind that they are / were a tight-knit group of aging soldiers, acknowledged patriots of a country that has hit rock-bottom with a resounding THUD. So the story told Krista about their seeking mercenary oppurtunities abroad could be the truth. Then again, maybe it isnt. Who can tell?
One possibility is that die Seeadleren have undertaken something very secret and dangerous. They could be seeking atonement for something in their collective past; attempting to restore Eisen to greatness in one fell swoop; hunting down a particularly nasty adversary for a final showdown; etc.. Maybe even some / ALL of the aforementioned!
With this in mind, Kristas search for die Seeadleren could end any number of ways. They may be okay (letters gone astray, or a graduation test for Krista?); marooned / besieged / trapped / imprisoned / lost somewhere; caught up in Secret Society / political shenanigans; involved in the Montaigne - Castille - Ussuran War; or have been wiped out or scattered for any number of reasons.
Kristas background could change to include:
Hunted / Nemesis (Somebody wants to wipe ALL Seeadleren from the face of Theah);
Hunting / Vendetta (die Seeadleren was destroyed. Now its payback time!);
Vow (Re-establish die Seeadleren);
Dracheneisen Heir (A Seeadler, or ally thereof, makes Krista his / her heir);
Treasure Map (something that die Seeadleren either had, or were looking for?).
It is conceivable that Kristas background could evolve through more than one of the above possibilities. Finally, the story of how she came into die Seeadlerens care is wholly based on what she has been told for most of her life. There are no guarantees as to accuracy or truthfulness. The basic story is already incomplete, with no clues as to why Krista was alone when found, or where she came from. In the final analysis, her official origin could be wrong. Could be.