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There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

Count on it.

The Basics

Whaddya expect from an exiled nomad? Tea and crumpets?

Want some sentence fragments describing what she looks like? No? Well here you go anyways! Black, coarse hair liberally scattered with varying shades of brown and red. Skin shading towards the darker end of brown, with a certain copper tone that could be, if you're being crass, described as orange or yellow. Dark eyes, grey with flecks of brown, giving it an almost dirty appearance. It's said that her former clan, accepted into one of the major tribes with enough time, was not purely of the Tribesmen.

She's wind rough, short and skinny in the way no girl would ever want to be, but she takes pride in her body. After all, it's weathered all the storms in her life, hasn't it? It has never betrayed her, or let her down. Sure, maybe she's lost most of her muscle weight, and gone all rusted out like an iron sword left to the rain, but she's still kickin' and don't you forget it.

At the height of her power she had an ability to draw a 120 pound composite bow, and aim accurately over long distances. Her right arm was much more muscular than her left, aye. She could also wield a short sword, daggers (though she don't pussyfoot around with that dual-wielding nonsense), and a spear -- competance with each in that order. Have to as a nomad, and its more important as a hunter. She was rough then, an' she's rough now.

Tattoos? Yeah, she's got 'em. The main one starts on her face, a circular themed brand that marks her as Nameless. She didn't want it when she got it, but she owns it now. Just like she owns the language. Oh yeah, it's foreign to her, but she learned it. And then, when she realized what accents meant, she learned to speak proper. Why? Cos if she's a scavenger, she ain't gonna be a sloppy one. But she will be one right down to her toenails, if that's what it takes.

Thinks herself a right proper cur, she does. Cos that's how you survive, on the streets. You're mean, and you don't give no emotion that ain't hard. So that's how she is, and that's what she does. Tanstaafl, and alla that. Charity and generosity were the traits of her people, but that ain't what she found in Cenril. She don't trust 'em no more. She's let go of a lot of things.

But not honor. No. Never that.

What is Honor?

Come closer and I'll carve it in ya.

Thistle's stubborn. Has to be, the way crap an' piss flows downhill to the river. She has two driving forces in her life, and they are as follows:

Keeping her siblings alive. Keeping herself alive so she can accomplish the first.

An' she'll do it her way. No one else's. She shows respect to those who've acted like actual people, and not dogs with bared teeth. She'll pretend to show respect when she's irritated. Money's a mean woman, but when it comes to debt, she relates it to a set of scales in her head. Owing someone has nothin' to do with material wealth, most of the time. She don't like it, never has, but when it coincides with her two goals she'll pack it in easy.

Mebbe not that easy, but she ain't tellin'.

The whole world's a threat, an' she'll do whatever she got to to navigate them hills. She don't trust easy no more, an' she got no use for friends. Weaknesses? Yeah, she gots 'em, but don't go tellin' her that. She won't believe you, no way. She thinks herself some impenetrable fortress that keeps out people, stray puppies and all manner of water, but she's human. Of all things, she's that, and there's no mindset in the world that'll keep her free of all the pitfalls that comes with it.

Cos when it comes down to it, she don't think so highly of herself. She can name herself an exile, a failure, a non-person whose duty to the Souls were never carried out so well. And what else can she name herself? Not Thistle. She abandoned that name when she became Nameless, as well as every other name. Call her whatcha like, cos her name done gone to the Souls along with all the other stuff that makes up a person's spirit.

That's what she believes, and no one gonna take it from her.

Really though, yeah, she was born and lived in a wide open, mostly flat space for a long time. She don't do good with heights, or forests, or in valleys. It messes with her head, and depth perception. Also makes her ability to shoot proper real difficult. She's a snob with bows, and can be one about martial prowess. What about magic? Her people're usually real choked off from magical ability, but their beliefs in their so-called Souls and the Nameless who serve Them have some interesting effects on those who take the marks.

Namely, that it opens up their magical ability, see? But maybe not in the way you'd be expecting' . . . .

The Past

Should stay past, and that's no joke.

Thistle was born into a clan of pastoral nomads. They were part of a greater tribe, and had summer and winter pastures. They weren't real wealthy, but they weren't poor either. Until the bad winter, that is. She lost both parents and most of their herd. So did most other folks, and it wasn't only her parents that died. That's the way of weather. Sometimes you get a calf, and sometimes you get a kicked bull.

Problem was, Thistle's people had a society with them unspoken rules about what was proper for men, and what was proper for women. True, there was genuine respect for both genders, and for the most part men and women knew how to do whatever it took to keep the clan going, but there are just some things men don't do unless it's an emergency, and some things women don't do unless it's an emergency.

And then there are things that just aren't done, period.

No one could take the kids in. No one would take a bride price for Thistle, cos she came with six other hungry mouths. At that point she had one choice left, and that was to dedicate her life to the Souls, casting herself out on the edge of the society by shedding her gender, name and spirit to Them, and beg a boon of the shaman who completed the ritual.

The boon? That she be allowed to raise her siblings as head of family. She was granted the boon, and that was her first step along the path to adulthood. She gave up the little girl's dream of becoming wife and mother, and became working parent, instead.

She ran into some bad folk along the way, who took advantage of her situation. She had to kill a man to make her point, and after that had to join the roving band of mercenaries known as Kin to keep food in her siblings' bellies by killing the predatory non-humans known to the Tribesmen as daimon. An' that's how she met Shiv.

So what happened after that? Ask Thistle.

OOC Notes

Thistle is a way for me to play around with gender identity. Her people referred to her as 'it'. I refer to her as 'she'. You can refer to her as whichever gender you want, she won't care.

She's starting off as an angry coward who contradicts herself pretty frequently and whose idea of fun is the hollow equivalent of dumpster diving, only with less noble intentions and more starvation. I appreciate patience with her and her foul moods.