Libby Beckle (ISW) Sept 21, 2013 22:45:13 GMT -8
Post by Kaya on Sept 21, 2013 22:45:13 GMT -8
Name: Libby Beckle
Pronunciation: Lib-ee Beck-ul [lɪbi bekəl]
Weyr/Location: Ice Stone Weyr
Dad – Brenston Beckle (41)
Mom – Milly Yondrest (deceased)
Older half-brother – Jold (deceased) (father: Giels Lastuv (deceased))
Lirie (deceased) (NPC)
Pets: Iron firelizard Anchor (born: 75.13.20)
Appearance: Libby has a bit of red the wind has brushed into her light skin. Freckles spark across her face from one ear the other and up her nose, they are present but less pronounced elsewhere. Her face is made up of many curved lines and a round nose. She has a scar slanted through her right eyebrow just right of the center, leaving a gap between one half of the eyebrow and the other. Underneath are pale greyed green eyes. She has brown-red hair that she usually ties back into a runnertail. Her bangs are long and sometimes slip out of the holder and fly freely around the sides of her face. She’s of unremarkable weight, a runner’s build, and the remainder of her body is fairly devoid of curves. She’s not done growing, though she’s unlikely to get much taller than her current height of just under 5’4”. (Played by: Monika Jagaciak)
Personality: Libby is a survivor. She tells herself she has what it takes and then presses forward. She doesn’t talk about what’s happened, but it shapes her every move. Her goals revolve around avoiding the past and preventing its recurrence. She longs to have connections again after being a drifter for so long without a hearth to call home. She’s worked to provide for herself but luck has pulled her through on more than one occasion. She mistrusts when others treat her with undeserved material kindness. She comes from a mindset where you cannot get something for nothing. There is always an exchange. Her past won’t let go of her present life and asserts painful memories on occasion. She’ll emote the change in how she’s feeling (except around enemies) but she won’t share the real reason she’s upset most of the time. She suffers from a nagging feeling that won’t let go of her heart, especially if anyone mentions the scar on her face. Both she and Lirie were injured by that tunnelsnake, but she’s alive, and Lirie’s not. She misses her friend greatly. She’s still waiting for the day they can run through the mountains and explore together.
She’s ready to be traveling companion to anyone who acts the part. Friendly, nice, won’t stab you in the back. She’ll lie if it seems easiest for her, though she tells herself her motives are justified. She’ll share parts of her past, cherry picked for good moments, true or false.
Her life’s goal is to be a LifeWing Rider. She has idolized the great birds into miracle workers and covets having one of her own. She is ready to overcome any obstacle to achieve this, whether the path to her imagined security is in the light or the dark.
She’s exceptionally skilled with a knife. It’s saved her life on more than one occasion. She’s not flashy about it though. Surprise is one of the biggest advantages to have in a fight.
(Notice: This history contains medical gore)
Libby’s family’s story begins when a young Milly Yondrest was swept off her feet by a roguishly charming sailor named Giels Lastuv. His work was dangerous and demanding, and wanting to spend what parts of the Turn they could together, the young Milly moved north to a chilly coastal fishing town with her new husband. Barely nine months after they’d been together (though in truth, perhaps less), they welcomed a baby boy of their own into the world. Jold was Milly’s pride a joy, growing into an adventurous boy who often scraped his knees only to go out and have it happen again. Things were, in Milly’s estimation, perfect.
The shattering end to that life came suddenly. At the end of the fishing season after their third Turn together, Giels’s fishing ship simply failed to come into port. As boats trickled into the harbor later than usual, the village realized just how much worse that season had been. Ships were damaged from storms and their catch, usually worth a good deal of marks due to the difficult and dangerous work needed to bring it in, was pitifully small. But for Milly the sea and all its creatures could be shoved between: it had stolen her husband. Those were bitter, angry months that followed. In the midst of her third and darkest month alone, another man pushed his way into her life. Brenston Beckle was bold, confident and persistent, and while Milly pushed him away at first her hurt needed something to stuff into the hole that would not close up. He was a source of contention between Milly and her best friend Frecia. They didn’t speak for most of Milly’s second pregnancy. Not long after Jold turned five his sister Libby arrived. If Brenston had been away and a little distant while Milly was pregnant, he was downright cold after she had the baby. They would argue and then he’d disappear again, sometimes leave a little money under the door before leaving on a ship again. Several months later he’d come back, silver tongue in tow, and they’d make up. This pattern of fight, leave, and make up went on for Turns.
Young Libby, not finding her parents to be consistent, found stability in her older brother Jold. She admired him like no other. Libby started bringing home as many scrapes as Jold, to her mother’s chagrin. The shaky family scraped by for Turns until Libby was seven. That night there was a yelling fight like no other, and the dish cupboard was emptied of half its contents. Libby stayed in her room. The next morning Jold had a shining black eye, the floor was covered in broken dishes and Brenston was nowhere to be found. The next several sevendays are a blur in Libby’s memory. They healed, time moved on, and the 12 Turn old Jold was offered training by a party of fur trappers heading further north. Milly wanted out of the now awful fishing village and so convinced Jold, who was already considering the offer to take the men up on their offer of apprenticeship for their craft.
So it was that the little family moved away from the sea and into the sparsely treed mountains of the western northern continent. And things got better. Milly, a new place giving them all a new start, made friends with the two other women her age in the mountain camp. She was happier and looked a good deal better than Libby had ever seen her in her life. Jold took to his work and made a small bit of pay to support the family from his work. And Libby found her first and only best friend, Lirie, living in the little cabin next to theirs. These were the best Turns of Libby’s life.
With her brother and Lirie’s dad at work, the girls were left together around the camp. They’d make up stories of the great adventures the menfolk were on when they were out and would follow them around once they got back, watching them prepare furs for market or cure their own meat. They were a hardworking, sufficient camp, getting what they could from the land and trading for the rest when the men left to trade their furs. Some particularly bright days Libby and Lirie would taunt the edge of the forest where they weren’t supposed to go, but the slightest rustle would send the girls fleeing back to camp. Jold chased them back in a few times, and they laughed at his mock roars as they ran back into camp. Other days they’d sit on the roof of Lirie’s house, watching for their families to come home whilst talking. It wasn’t a bad way to grow up.
When Libby was twelve the hunt was particularly good that season. Being as old as Jold was when he started his work, Libby followed him out on a collecting run to help carry the trapped animals home. They were nearly done with their route when two men ambushed them. “The furs,” one said in a clipped voice that would not take no for an answer. Jold stood tall and his look proclaimed his refusal. He had worked hard for this catch, and he was the one who took care of the family. “Wrong answer,” the other one said and darted forward to grab at Jold’s bag. They tangled and the man punched Jold in the face, sending him staggering backwards. The seventeen Turn old was starting to get his balance back when the other man tore the pack from his back and Jold felt the ground beneath him give way. The ledge over the cave that belonged to one of the furry, dead things in Jold’s bag crumbled mercilessly. The teen fell, back first, yell caught in his throat. Then came that sickening thud that Libby tries not to remember.
“Shells, man!” one thief swore. The two of them scrambled back, stolen goods in tow. They did not want to add murder to their list of known crimes.
“Jold!” Libby called, sobbing. She rushed down the slope around the side of the cave in a panic. “Shells, Jold, no. Jold.” She looked around frantically. The men were gone. “What…what do I do?” she asked, wondering if he could even reply. A branch stuck straight up through Jold’s body, Libby’s shoes and everything around him were turning red. “Faranth, Jold! Listen. What do-?”
“Help me up,” he groaned, not sure what to do with his body. It hurt. It hurt bad.
She managed to get him up, and together they staggered nearer to town but the gravely injured teen collapsed before they got there. Libby ran. She ran and ached and tore into town. People came, they went out again with her, brought Jold back. Her mother was crying. They sat by the cot the camp people put him in inside their little shack, neither Libby nor her mom spoke. There was nothing to say. There was nothing to do.
The camp buried him the next day, along with her mother’s spirit, Libby said. Milly lost the shine in her eyes at the death of her son. She couldn’t shake it. Months of dreary winter passed by them and she didn’t improve and caught one cold after the other. Libby found herself an orphan on her thirteenth Turnday. She moved in with Lirie and her dad. A Turn past, the seasons changed, though not for Libby. It was always cold, and lonely. Even Lirie drifted away from her for a while. Then several months before she was fourteen the other girl decided enough was enough. She pushed her way back into Libby’s mind and demanded that they do things. So they started working around the camp to make it look nice. They straightened and fixed up and even Lirie, with a ghost of her mother’s green thumb, her dad claimed, got some of the local wildflowers to take in patches around the camp. Things were starting to feel normal again. It didn’t last.
In the last of what could pass for summer in their part of the north, Lirie dragged Libby much further out into the woods than they had ever been. They were “old enough” now, the older girl insisted, and had certainly earned a day off after all their hard work. It was an adventurous afternoon filled with tree climbing and a light lunch of the trail food they’d brought along. It was a day ripe with imagination and the two teens talked about how their journey through the unknown mountains could pan out. They stopped at a cave entrance to further discuss their fantasy. They sat and let the water they’d brought along dribble down their chins and, for the serious girls, even occasionally laughed. Without warning, a dark shape lunged at Libby’s face. It writhed and stretched out its ugly claw, raking it across her right eyebrow. Lirie had seen the tunnelsnake but a moment sooner. She grabbed onto it as it tore into Libby’s brow, saving her eye. The snake, no better held than a stream of water, flashed its head around and sunk its sharp fangs deep into Lirie’s arm. Screaming erupted from both girls, pain and fury. A knife sunk into the twitching snake. They extracted it from Lirie’s arm, wrapped the bite wound and traveled home. They thought the worst was over.
They were chastised for going out into the woods alone. Still, Lirie complained of hot, red, intense pain in her arm. Her dad took a good look at the bite, dressed it, and sent her to bed. It was the best they could do. He offered her assurances that it was a bite, it would hurt, and it would get better. Lirie slept fitfully if at all, the redness spread throughout her arm and it became swollen. Hours later when she was checked again she was feverish and still in intense pain. The camp heard the news, the little community did what they could. It wasn’t much. They had never seen anything like it. Her skin and tissue decayed and died before their very eyes over the course of a few short days, it turned color, darkened, blistered. They made the hard decision. They removed her arm. Libby remembers, less what happened, more the images, the pain on Lirie’s face, her friend’s feeble attempts to reassure her. Lirie fought, the infection won. It took somewhere around a sevenday before it all became too much for her. Libby would like to believe that Lirie is somehow better now, her spirit wandering the mountain forests they once loved, but she will never admit it, and racks those feelings up to girlish desperation for comfort.
For the first time in her life, Libby was completely, utterly alone. They had all died…or abandoned her.
Lirie’s dad made it silently clear he didn’t want Libby to stick around. He moved all her things, few as they were, from his shack to the one she used to live in. So the thirteen (almost fourteen) Turn old took the clothes on her back, her pack filled what essentials she had, her trusty knife, and left. It didn’t matter if she died in the woods. It didn’t matter if she got lost, starved, or made it somewhere else. No one wanted her, no one needed her. Still, she headed for the only other place she knew: the fishing village by the sea. She doesn’t remember how she got there, just that she hurt, and she did.
Her rough attitude and harsh looks didn’t gain her any sympathy, nor many jobs. It wasn’t until she stopped asking the womenfolk and headed into sailor territory that she found work. An old captain asked if she could cook. She said yes. They were in port for another sevenday and if her work was good he was interested in taking her on as the ship’s cook. Libby didn’t believe the offer, eyes narrowed with skepticism. He just wanted a free sevenday of work out of her. So he paid her up front. She didn’t know what to do with that. No one she’d ever known had been that trusting. So she cooked and washed dishes and put up with rambunctious sailors who liked to pick on the girl with the scar. Her cooking was passable, but to hungry sailors it was good. She was hired and they set sail further south. The taunts and occasional off color remarks to her person continued for the better part of a month. On a wobbly day at sea, one man “stumbled” his way into her personal space. So she “accidentally” broke his nose. The crew took a much greater liking to her after that. In addition she wouldn’t hear her name again for about Turn and instead answered to Knuckles.
She stayed on with their crew for about five months total. Her last stop was just outside of Icy Caverns Hold. They were taking a big shipment of supplies up there. Libby had grown restless, and try as she might, she never grew to like being on a ship. The pay was decent, for an orphan with no credentials, but she was ready to move on and put more distance between herself and the vast expanse of watery nothingness that called to mind too much of her past. So with mark and work she bought her place on the sled team that was running the supplies up to the icy Hold. The trip was miserable in the extreme ice and snow, the cold wind biting at any exposed flesh it could find. Libby had grown up around extreme weather, but this was a new experience with cold for her. When they arrived she tried to pay the sled lead more than they had agreed on, due to her lack of general help along the trip. He declined and wished her luck: she would need it.
It didn’t take Libby long to discern the climate of the Hold. Secrecy, deception and crime were all prevalent, the latter merely in the shadows alone and punished severely and swiftly if brought out into the Hold’s feeble sunlight. While she tried speaking to the Hold’s women first for more “suitable” employment for a girl her age, none she found were welcoming of a newcomer with a meager skillset. So Libby faded into the shadows. She was a nameless girl without connections, a good prospect for employers, but dangerous for her. The first jobs were the hardest, finding her way, staying unnoticed, and one unruly client. That man now walks with a permanent limp. The danger didn’t lessen, more what changed was Libby’s awareness of it. She became very good at what she did: delivering messages and goods from point A to point B in secret. If work was slow she’d hire out as a daylight messenger, taking more…legal cargo between places. After nine months as a smuggler, and more close calls than Libby would like to admit, she found a new path. Much of her success, in the end, chalked up to luck. And it was going to run out.
During a daylight run, routine and safe as they come (which doesn’t say much for Icy Caverns), a frantic, disheveled woman interrupted her route. She forced some money into Libby’s hands (not nearly enough for even a simple letter) and shouted for Libby to go immediately to the Lord’s residence and fetch lady Eira as well as sir Girindi, as his wife’s time had come and the baby was swiftly on its way. When Libby hesitated with a skeptical glare the woman continued her shouting and promised the runner a much larger sum upon her return with lady Eira and sir Girindi. A very lucky payday at hand for relatively little risk, Libby sprinted off. As it happened, the doormen on duty were directly under sir Girindi’s command and knew for truth of his soon to be born child. Libby was permitted entry and followed the men to collect Girindi and Eira, but what shocked her was not so much the opulent home and workspace of the Lord, although it was impressive, but rather the enormous and colorful bird statue that watched over the proceedings in the hall. And then the statue moved. Libby swallowed a scream. It was not a statue. She had never seen anything like it before. She followed after the doormen who were largely unbothered by the large bird in the room. She hoped that was the case, and not that they had simply failed to notice it.
“Lady Eira, Sir Girindi,” she bowed as she was presented by the doormen. The two frowned at her. In a shock Libby tried to meld into a courtesy but it was a failing attempt. Still she had more important news than formalities. Still she was sorry for the slip up. That bird… “Your wife, sir, it’s her time. I’ve been sent to find you and Lady Eira and to bid you return to her.”
And so in little time the entire party was setting off at a good trot back the way Libby had come. The bird followed them. In front of the Hold proper Eira, dress and all, leapt up to the bird’s back (so they had noticed it) and then, more amazing still, they took to the air. Libby followed Girindi back to his home on foot to find Eira already there fast at work. While they had been gone Girindi’s wife’s condition had declined and it was looking to be a very difficult delivery. Libby had nothing to offer, but with every pair of hands inside busy, none of them were available to pay her. In fact, it was as if they’d forgotten she existed at all. So she had a clear view of the goings on while she impatiently waited for her money. She didn’t know how little she would get now for her other letter, it being so delayed. Somehow in the chaos, she found herself moved from idle door watcher to active kitchen helper. Still the tensions ran high in the house. Libby had no idea how the baby process went, so she waited. It seemed nearly everyone else in the house was in the same boat as her. It felt unusual to be on such equal ground with such varied persons.
And then a wailing and screaming alerted the house. And it was done. At last. A babe was born. The woman who had sent Libby on his errand had a baby girl in her arms and was trying to console her. And an exhausted woman was nearly ready to pass out into sleep on the bed, her daughter successfully born into the world. Girindi was beside himself with thanks for Eira. He praised her and offered gifts, which she suggested he make to the Aerie, and wondered what to do with himself and his tear stained face. “My daughter is alive because of you,” he thanked her again. And Libby wondered…it all started to piece together in her mind. The strange noises, this girl, the healer, her bird.
“What are you?” she asked as Eira walked by.
“A Lady of the Hold, here, first, and a LifeWing Rider of the Aerie, there,” she replied with a tense voice. She was tired and had no time for wide eyed brats who asked too many questions.
“A LifeWing…Rider?” Libby repeated. Was that, “Your…bird?”
“She’s a LifeWing and has a name, girl. Now back to your duties, whatever they are,” Eira ordered. She was ready to collapse somewhere. This birth had taken so much from her and Wivish this day. For any lesser man, she did not think she could have spent so much.
Libby frowned and slinked off, a glance back with a glare directed at Eira. She had an amazing gift in that…LifeWing? But her personality was ugly as the shady Hold. She thought she was better than others because of her birth and this bird. Their first impressions of each other had not been made well.
Eventually Libby was paid by the original task giving woman, though she was so exhausted she had to count the money out three times. Libby went to take her leave into the dark streets and deliver the letter. She took very little pay for the trouble, but Libby felt it wasn’t right to argue. She apologized. She wanted to be employed in the future, after all.
On her way across the Hold to find her regular hole, or one like it, to curl up in, Libby saw the large bird – LifeWing, she reminded herself – sleeping in the courtyard. She snuck through the ornate fence and went to have a better look. Even in the moonlight the bird’s beak and feet seemed bright, she knew from the day they were truly red, through looked much darker in the night.
And as she closed in a question occurred to her. “You have a name?” she asked. It came out louder than she meant for a question asked to herself. But what came next sent her rear on a collision course with the ground.
It’s Wivish. came a soft voice fresh out of sleep.
What do you want?
Libby’s mouth opened and shut as she tried to answer. “I…I’ve never seen, like you, before…Lady Wivish,” she used the title like she was supposed to with Eira.
An amused chur came from the LifeWing. I am not Lady. I am Wivish. And you are?
“Libby,” she said. “What…what were you doing at Sir Girindi’s house?”
You do not know?
“I’ve never seen a LifeWing. I learned the word today. I’m…originally from a small port town, far from here. I didn’t know much about big places like this ‘til a few months ago…”
I see. It is well. You learn. Though your curiosity be better used not sneaking up on sleeping ones and in homes that are not yours.
Let me answer your question, but then you should be off. Eira’s family does not like others in their home without permission, understandably. Though it’s fun to have guests. …Ah, anyway. Where was I? Oh. My job. I’m a healer. I…heal people. Though I suppose Eira and I deliver babes mostly.
I said one question. I am very tired, much as I like guests myself. Now off…
Libby squeezed back through the fence to hear one last thing from Wivish.
Over the next several sevendays Libby learned quite a bit about LifeWings and the Aerie. Now she knew the questions to ask, the things to listen for. She learned of the great power LifeWings had, the ability to save lives and heal the hopeless. They performed feats that most healers could never do on their own. To Libby, this was the picture of LifeWings she painted for herself. She couldn’t hear enough of them even though the consideration of their skill hit on old wounds. If only a LifeWing had lived where she had lived. Her brother, her mom, Lirie…they might all be alive. And with one, if she took new people into her life, she could protect them from the disasters that had plagued her past life. She would be a LifeWing Rider and protect her future loved ones. She just needed a plan.
It was no small journey between Icy Caverns Hold and Ice Stone Weyr, and thus the Aerie of Ice Stone as well. The Hold and Weyr, she learned, had severed ties right as she was learning the Aerie even existed. The frustration lead her to search for more information. It seemed those of the snowy nunatak still interacted with smaller camps on the edge of the Hold’s influence. She would travel there, and then hire a ride from that camp to the Aerie. And then she would be a LifeWing Rider and fate would be forever stayed from attacking her as it had in the past.
So she took a risky job that would pay very well when done. She didn’t want to take it, but with relations as they were with no sign of improving and perhaps even degrading further, Libby did. This one last job and she would be done with risking her life for the shadows of Icy Caverns.
Things were going well. For a little while. As she approached the drop site for the first package someone was already there waiting for her. She was jumped, a scream, arms around her, her knife into a thigh, more yells, a groan, a kick, her feet pulled out from under her. She was on the ground. Panic. He was laughing at her, pulling her up by her hair. And then her knife was in him again. Twice.
She shook, she took the package from the ground. She needed this job. She took her knife from the shocked man. And she ran. She delivered the rest without feeling, barely thinking. She got lucky. She tripped on her own feet at least twice. And then she hid. She hid and barely ate. She listened. They had found him, that man. He was dead. It had been defense…
She fled. She over paid and went out with people done delivering their ore from a mining camp. She stayed there a few days. People started to stare at her more. She left to another camp. And with luck that one had a sled that went to Ice Stone. She tried to pay the team leader the rest of her money. It felt dirty. He wouldn’t take it all, only a “fair sum” not to trick a “young girl.” They didn’t know. They couldn’t know. They brought her to the Weyr with smiles and a hot drink. Libby asked for a place in the kitchen. She knew she could do work and be kept there. And she would find the right time, in a few days when she could stop waking up covered in sweat and fighting away the shakes, when she could ask to be a LifeWing Rider. She would listen and learn and achieve this goal. It was her guarantee for the future. With a LifeWing, she would be safe. Always. Everyone she cared about would be safe. Her life would be shielded from any more misfortune. She had only this last goal to accomplish.