This is also the most attention I've ever put into the wing clasp. I trust it makes more sense as to how a wing comes out of it, now :D? Also man I love that grin. Most grinny I've ever drawn her, all thanks to all those various grinny portraits I've done throughout the challenge. Happy 'may!
NAME General Nimay
WHO IS THIS PERSON MAIN CHARACTER. Also, in the context of the world itself, Nimay is a swordswoman in and general of the Raykinian King's Own, Raykin's best fifteen warriors.
BRIEF BIO Nimay grew up in middle-class Ni-Yana, but because she doesn't remember any of that we'll skip it until Yamin comes up. As far as she's concerned, Nimay's life started at age seven when she woke up in one of the intensive care rooms of the palace healing house. She had only the vaguest of memory, such as her native language and a general impression of red brick buildings and desert that was her homeland. Nothing specific about her own life, except she was sure she'd never been dark skinned before, but not talking was normal. The yrae feather buried under the skin of her right bicep and accompanying wings, they were new, too. The first people she met were King Mithé and his son Nolryn, who quickly became Nimay's family. She spent the first few months exploring the palace with Nolryn as her guide, and found particular excitement in watching the army trainees at the barracks. With Nol (and also sword master Laeron and First General Niloren, though she didn't know it at the time) she managed to convince Mithé to allow her to sign up for training when Nolryn was due to start the next year.
So as a seven year old girl amongst fifteen year old boys, Nimay started army training, specialising with the sword. She had the crown prince as her sort of bodyguard to fend off the worst of the teasing, but plenty of it still got through, and on the odd occasion that Nol wasn't there she ended the day in tears. Raykin has tall poppy syndrome, you see, and all the boys were jealous of her yrae feather. They figured the only reason a seven-year-old girl should even be allowed to start training at all was the feather (which was actually true) and certainly the only reason she could ever beat them (which wasn't). So while all the higher ranking army people, the generals and weapon masters and King Mithé himself, were all waiting to see what she could do with her yrae feather, peer pressure enforced in her that she wasn't worth anything if she couldn't use her sword on her own. All through training she was determined to do everything without the feather's help, so she could prove to everyone she didn't need it. By the time she graduated at fourteen, she was as tall as half the boys in her class and just as muscled, and a hell of a lot better than they were, too. She graduated into First Company, along with Nolryn, with a message from her sword master, Laeron, that she had the skills to take that one step further.
A year and a bit later, Nimay did just that. She took up the Own challenge at fifteen and thrashed Nolryn's short-lived record of being the youngest Own rider in history. Likely to stay that way for a while to come yet, too, unless some other kid with an yrae feather chooses to use it. Speaking of, the boys were all insistent at that point that she started using the feather that had been talked up so much. They drilled her hard at what she could do with it, mostly using it to put more power and speed behind her own swings while holding back her opponent, tying up their feet or yanking their arrows off target. They all universally berrated her classmates for not encouraging this as she was going through training, but were equally excited to be teaching it to her themselves.
Nimay's first mission came that winter, a relatively routine mission to Sirrona to deal with a bandit problem. The mission turned sour on the return leg, though, when they were attacked by a group of black horse riders (basically Kazin's Own), who killed Naraan, the Own's best archer and, more importantly, Nol's favourite person ever. Nimay was pretty shaken by the experience herself, but not so much as Nol. She helped him get back on his feet and set aside the grief at least until they made it back into safe territory. She was a help to a lot of the guys, none of whom had ridden a mission without Naraan before. Basically what I'm saying is she started playing the leader early on.
The next few missions were more routine. Mission two was rescuing some diplomats imprisioned in the Assiraz dungeons, wherein the Own got to play at being stealthy. They call that one the Stealth Mission now. It was fun. Mission three was (yet another, according to the boys) mission to the borderlands, which are routinely invaded by Kazinians across the border because that's where Raykin's most profitable crops are grown--the barley that becomes their beer.
Upon returning home that same winter, an assassin invaded the palace grounds, but was quickly dispatched (by Nol's arrow) before any damange could be done. A week later, Mithé told Nimay that he'd been warned about this assassin before he'd appeared, and showed Nimay another, similar warning about another assassin due to attack that night. It was a bit of a bizarre thing, a portrait of the assassin in charcoal along with a short, cryptic verse describing him. Something in the yrae feather clicked in Nimay's mind, and she knew exactly what the verse was talking about. With only this ambiguous thing as evidence, though, Mithé couldn't send out the Eagles to take the guy in, so asked Nimay to kill him instead. From then on, Nimay was Mithé's personal assassin. To be honest, the longer I've thought on this the more I want to get rid of it, but two plot points hinge on it, so until I think of a better alternative, assassin!Nimay stays.
Plot point one that hinges on this: Later that winter, Nolryn proposed to her. Nimay turned him down purely because she knew she couldn't be as strong a queen as Nol would need. She could see, along with everyone else in Raykin, that he wasn't going to make a good king and that he'd need a better queen to keep him from making mistakes. He was still far better at any of that stuff than she was, though, and for that reason she knew she'd fail at being queen. Nolryn seemed to accept this at first, but Nimay soon realised he was avoiding her. Eventually she managed to confront him about it, at which point he accused her of hiding something big from him, something she and Mithé knew about but not him, that was keeping her from saying yes. Thinking he meant her being an assassin, she tried to feign ignorance, but Nol could read her well enough to know she was lying. His suspicions were something entirely different but that's irrelevant. She was hiding something he wouldn't agree with, and his trust was broken.
For months they avoided each other until they were forced together again for mission the third, escorting Mithé to Assiraz. Mithé, the archers and the swordies all worked on both of them to start talking again, but things were still pretty uncomfortable between them. Mithé still advised her against telling Nol about her being his assassin, though probably by that point if she had told him it wouldn't have changed anything, anyway.
By the fifth mission (bandits attacking trading caravans in Sissillya, linked in part to the borderlands missions) they could at least be professional to each other, and a good thing, too, because this was the mission when General Rau died. And d'you know what I've just realised I didn't do Rau in the Character 145. Bloody hell. Maybe I'll do a supplement later on when I think of anyone else who missed out. ANYWAY. Rau died, when he made a decision to stand and fight when really they should have run. Most of the other Own riders could see it, Nimay included, but if they'd run then it would have been even more disasterous than it had been. As it was, half of them couldn't fight after that battle, and their General was down. Nimay partly took over, with Nolryn's help because he makes a better general than he does a crown prince, in making decisions about where they had to go next, in getting everyone back on their feet, in how to avoid losing anyone else and keeping morale up until they made it back over the border, lots of things. This, along with plenty of other examples over the years, led to Nimay being promoted to general when they'd made it back to Ni-Yana and appointed the replacement swordie into the Own.
Her first mission as general was only a couple of months before plot started happening again in SH: Rust. This one was once again dealing with bandits attacking trading caravans in Sirrona, but rather than go to the queen over it this time, which rarely ever got anything done, the decision was made to go straight to the source and root out as many of the bandits themselves as they could. It was fun. Nobody died (except Inel's horse. RIP... whatever your name was. Spirit I think) and the boys all listened to her. Even Nol was getting back to being his friendly self, though still being more cliquey with the archers, but eh, that's archers. All in all, things were dandy.
And then, a month after they got home, Nimay's hrai-dani happened, and for a birthday present Nimay got a metric poo-load of plot. A twin sister! And she's got an yrae feather too! And who's this undead dude? He's here to dump you in the desert and steal your yrae feather back. And that thing about the assassinating, that's come back, too, because GUESS WHAT Mithé's dead now. But hey, twin sister, that's pretty cool, let's roll with that. Nimay's good at pulling out the rain cloud in a drought and building on that, so that's how she's dealing with everything from there on.
CHARACTER Nimay is stubborn, as much with herself as with anyone else. She'll be the first to take charge because it seems to her that nobody else can be bothered, or that they aren't leading to her satisfaction. Her stubbornness also means she bears long-standing grudges, lasting until the person who wronged her apologises.
Nimay gets stir crazy quite easily. She'll be the first to start training in a heatwave, however stupid she knows the idea is.
She knows the inner workings of people very well and is very insightful on human nature. Some of Nolryn's cynicism has rubbed off on her, but she's overall very positive. Like I say, she finds the rain cloud in a drought and builds on that.
Despite her inability to talk, she’s outgoing and loves the party scene. She’ll participate in conversation as much as she’s physically able, and laughs just as loudly as anyone.
She has a long fuse, but once she’s irritated, it’s best to steer clear. She has a habit of taking out her anger on those who weren’t the cause. Most often, her way of showing her anger is with what the Own has termed the ‘silent treatment’. She’ll either stare with folded arms and an unimpressed expression at whoever’s trying to argue with her until they’ve proven their point to her satisfaction, or she’ll completely ignore them until they’ve gone away.
Nimay hates emotional conflict. She can’t understand why people are purposefully at odds with each other when something so simple as an apology would fix everything. This applies to both problems between individuals, and the larger issues between groups, like the Riverfolk and desert people, or between Kazin and Raykin. This attitude is her main excuse as to why she'd make a crap queen. She has a tendancy to oversimplify things. She's a warrior. Hit things with pointy bit of steel, make it go away.
Nimay tries not to be prejudiced, but she gives new acquaintances the thorough scrutiny of an assassin, all in her first glance.
Nimay deals with stressful situations systematically, breaking it down into smaller chunks that she can immediately deal with, solving that, then moving onto the next. When several problems pile on her at once, she ranks them in order of importance and again systematically works through them, though too many will get her irritated with whoever brings her the newest ones to add to the pile.
On the eve of the border crossing, Nimay prepares by shutting out everything around her and staring at the fire. She visualises what’s to come and plans for it as best she can—where they should be by certain days, whether they can afford to spoil themselves, how to approach the mission in the best way to get them home safely. The only outward sign of worry is the way she fingers her yrae feather.
POINTS OF INTEREST