"…I need to feed my horse."
Rialynn was quite a handful for her poor single father when she was a child. It seemed that she was forever getting into places and situations where she didn't belong, though thankfully, most of the villagers didn't particularly mind. She wasn't a malicious child, merely curious, and if allowed to flood a person with questions, it was very easy to persuade her into assisting with duties and chores without pay. She usually got into trouble for running off toward the neighboring city to visit its library, and despite getting caught and punished repeatedly, she found that she just couldn't help herself. The city was loud and bustling and exciting, with numerous travelers frequenting the inns who were ripe with stories and tales to tell. Her father pleaded with her to take on a normal trade at home or at least attach herself to one of the village boys so she could enjoy a comfortable quiet life, and she did try to fulfill her father's wishes…but employment was found to be too repetitive and tedious, and the boys made her nervous. So back to town she'd go! Eventually her father was begrudgingly satisfied when she agreed to take up a job as a messenger/letter carrier, as it was at least some means of employment, and purchased her a sturdy brown mare to carry her from place to place. "It's cheaper than repairing all the boots you wear out," he told her.
She wound up befriending one young man in the city named Jaxon, initially drawn to him because she was interested in the fine sword that he carried. What started off as a few innocent questions became a highly interesting conversation. He was only too happy to relate a few tales to the curious sixteen-year-old, and even offered to teach her a few lessons in swordplay. She grew to love the rapier as a result, finding it an elegant weapon that she could easily use, and looked forward to their meetings in order to demonstrate how much she practiced. Jaxon was fun and easy for her to be around. He had a lot to talk about, and seemed far more knowledgeable than most other common citizens she talked with on an infrequent basis.
But that was because he wasn't a commoner at all. Jaxon was the eldest son of one of the local lords of the province, and the heir to a vast fortune as well as the title. He inherited both two years later, and when next he and Rialynn met, he exposed his secret and informed her that he had already made the arrangements with her father: she was to be his lady, as he found her companionship agreeable and even entertaining. Her father was delighted at the news…far more delighted than Rialynn was. Suddenly her friend had changed into a suitor, and the abrupt shift was upsetting to her. Their comfortable conversations had become awkward, and she was no longer able to keep her composure around him. He was speaking of intimate things, reaching for her hand. He was never unkind, nor did he treat her like an object or possession, but she simply had no idea what to do around him anymore.
So she fled.
She left a letter for her father, apologizing for the hastiness of her decision and thanking him for his kindness over the years, and felt guilty for just leaving him without any warning. She left nothing for Jaxon, however, dropping him like a hot stone and endeavoring to avoid crossing his path in the future at all costs.
On the road, she picked up with an old bard, offering to serve as a traveling companion and helpmate in exchange for his stories and learning some of the tricks of the trade. It didn't take long at all for her curiosity to explode into enthusiastic fascination, and she knew immediately that she had to be a bard too. Nothing else could possibly suit her, she said, and for two more years she served as his apprentice. She would cook the meals, he would spin the tales, and all was well until the day he died of an illness he'd been carrying for a very long while. Rialynn admits that those were the two happiest years of her life, and the bandanna she constantly wears on her brow is the same that he wore in all his performances as he claimed it gave him luck and courage. She believes that it carries a little of his spirit, and the keepsake is her most prized possession. She never goes on stage without it.
The following two years after that were spent roaming about the land, gathering more stories and songs for her repertoire, even occasionally engaging in adventures of her own when she fell in with a group of would-be heroes. Though she participated just as much as any other member, mention of her own involvement is always absent or attributed to another party member when she tells or sings the tale.
During her times of travels, there was only one group she grew particularly attached to. A woman named Sabien Wallace, one year older than Rialynn and hailing from a family with five older brothers, had sought to earn a coveted position as one of the king's elite fighters and head a special squadron of female warriors. No one took her seriously, and she was laughed off at the gates. Rialynn found the spirited and headstrong woman to be fascinating, and had a hunch that Sabien would one day grow to be very famous…one way or another. So she followed her, being handy enough with a rapier to earn Sabien's begrudging respect, to offer her support and encouragement in exchange for the chance to document some of Sabien's early adventures. It wasn't long at all before Sabien became fairly well-known, notorious even, for landing the two of them into hot water on dozens of occasions. They always managed to find a way out of each sticky situation, with Sabien earning a little more fame and status each time, but for one occasion: the two stumbled upon a plot of the king's Holy Man to take the throne, ending the monarchy in exchange for a theocracy. Rialynn could have cared less about the political reasons, but she did kind of care about not getting killed when they were discovered and pursued by the holy man's templars. Fortunately for them, they stumbled into the encampment of three of the king's former elite guards. Now that there were five of them against the four templars, the fight was easily and quickly won, and the templars were dispatched.
The ex-elite guards proved to be pleasant and entertaining company, with diverse personalities. The leader, a tall blonde man with a stoic and serious demeanor named Garyn, was fully supportive of Sabien's drive to command a legion of female agents of the crown. The second, Sarith, was formerly a templar before falling in with the king's elite guards after becoming disgusted with the political taint of his beloved religion. The third, Falkner, was a boisterous and jovial man who took great delight at teasing Rialynn, once he discovered her skittish behavior around flirtatious men, and was often the instigator that sent her flying toward the stables with her usual hastily-muttered escape excuse: "I need to feed my horse."
The three men had been driven from the king's service when they, too, chanced upon information that the Holy Man planned to overthrow the kingdom. The Holy Man reached the king first, telling him that the guards instead were plotting against him, and thus exiling them from the service and the country. But the three were faithful to the crown, and swore to expose the plot. Sabien and Rialynn pledged to assist them — Sabien would gain credibility in the eyes of the king if she played a crucial part in saving his life, and Rialynn, well…what else? She got to be part of the adventure of a lifetime.
Rialynn had a tendency to stray from the group after accomplishing any particularly important goals, for the sake of diversity. She didn't want to concentrate all her efforts on just one group. But she found herself drifting back to them more and more often, sometimes completely on accident. Though she wakes up in Nautilus around the fourth or fifth meeting with Sabien and the former guards, another couple of months would have found her a permanent member of the group until they manage to save the king and earn his good graces.
Rialynn is essentially a good-natured and happy sort of person. She enjoys a good laugh over a bad joke, and even when she's ranting about something that makes her angry, her wild gestures and over-the-top vocal intonations usually include a bemused grin. She's not easily offended, so it's rare for anything to truly piss her off. A hearty rant is about as far as she'll go, and she'll try to make her venting interesting to those who listen. She's almost always grinning, and gravitates towards others who possess a positive attitude almost instinctively.
Rialynn is a fairly charismatic individual, in that she can generally relate to her audience and get a feel for what people want: a tale of adventure, a sappy romance, a tragic song of unrequited love to drop a few tears into their steins… She has a knack for reading people and responding in kind in order to facilitate healthy relations. Her upbeat and positive mannerisms make her fairly pleasant as a companion, as she can usually discern between those who want to chat and those who prefer taciturn silence. She's hardly belligerent unless she feels the occasion to be so is wholly justified, and treats others with respect, avoiding sarcasm and condescension.
Ever since she was a child, Rialynn's been a curious person, only too eager to explore every last inch of every last thing she could find. Be it a tree, a building, or a person's past, she's eager to know it all, particularly if she can unearth a good tale or two. She loves to travel, and has been known to read for hours on end if she can find a book with a rich telling of the past or local legends. She can and will listen raptly to other storytellers, and has a keen memory for detail. But as soon as she feels she's learned everything she can, her wanderlust takes over, and she's soon on the road once more. Her wanderlust is strong, and she has a tough time staying in any one place for long periods of time.
In addition to her love for stories and dramatics, Rialynn's primary talents revolve around music. She can pick up new songs and instruments annoyingly quick, and has a good sense of rhythm and pitch. She occasionally writes her own melodies, but she prefers to perform the works of others. She's actually a bit of a nerd when it comes to music, and enjoys most anything so long as the lyrics aren't particularly crude or dreadful.
Not only does she love to hear the folk tales and adventures of others, Rialynn is eager to experience adventures of her own. She regularly falls into the company of fellow adventurers, whether it's due to safety in numbers when traveling from town to town, or to go exploring old castles and ruins for treasure, or to vanquish criminals and threats as necessary. If she manages to find a particularly famous hero or adventurer, she'll do everything in her power to secure an attachment to that person and write down their deeds of glory. If she's exceptionally impressed by the person, she may even compose a poem or a song for them.
She fancies herself as particularly dedicated to her craft, and there's very little that can shake her once she sets her mind to something that would help further enrich her abilities as a bard. Rialynn tackles adventures and dangerous situations with a true swashbuckler's heart, sallying forth with a bold cry and drawing her rapier to defend herself and her companions. She exercises healthy caution when it's necessary, but when it's clear that a fight is in order, Rialynn won't shrink back or flinch for an instant.
Those who get to know Rialynn are often surprised to find how different she can be when she's not doing anything bard-related. Certainly she doesn't hesitate to question others and learn about who they are, but when people ask her the same questions, she grows startlingly shy and reserved. She has difficulty in talking about herself as a person, or in mentioning her own ordinary mundane experiences (or what she considers to be mundane). It's much easier for her to relate the experiences of others, as she considers herself to be more of a medium or a messenger rather than a 'central character' so to speak. On stage, she's vivacious and energetic, with a knack for capturing attention and engaging the imagination of the audience. Off stage, she's quiet, usually wearing a little smile as she observes and records.
Though Rialynn is an exquisite actress and storyteller, she is an absolutely awful liar. She couldn't win a game of poker to save her life, she's so bad at bluffing. Through her years of practicing to express the emotions that match the song or story she's conveying, she's lost her sense of regulation when she's OFF the stage, and every little emotion she carries is blatantly visible on her face. Rialynn's an honest person, not necessarily because it's the right thing to do, but because she knows of this blatant flaw. If everyone knows you're lying before you've even got the words out of your mouth, then why bother trying?
Despite her inability to bluff and knowing her inability to bluff, there's still one particular excuse she always falls back on when she's in an uncomfortable situation: "I need to feed my horse." This is her number one escape plan when dealing with flirtatious or overly-friendly men who make her nervous. Rialynn's never been good with romance or romantic commitments. She'll eat the stories up like crazy, and hang on every word of someone's tale of how they first met their significant other, but she has no idea how to handle herself in any similar situation of her own. She freezes up, she panics, and she flees as best she's able. Some of her former friends and companions have since joked that she must have one fat horse, and some feign flirtation just to watch her scurry frantically back to the stables in a flustered fit.
Though she's had several adventure-mates in the past that she trusts and likes, the number that she would actually endeavor to keep in contact with can be counted on one hand. Rialynn's attachments tend to be very light, since she comes and goes on a whim, so there's usually not much time to get close to anybody. Admittedly, she prefers it that way. You can only glean so many stories and experiences from a person before they start getting the same from you, and as previously stated, Rialynn's severely uncomfortable about others showing any pointed interest in her. She considers herself very plain, and likes to be considered as plain. People should show more interest in the performance than the performer, in her opinion.
Rialynn also has a healthy respect for the supernatural. It doesn't matter how unlikely the truth of a village's local monster story happens to be, if there are precautions to take, she takes them. She has quite a collection of charms, dried herbs, and supposedly mystical incantations to be recited for protection or to ward off evil. None of them are inherently magical themselves, as magic artifacts are extraordinarily rare, but she tends to keep them anyway. Just in case. She's superstitious almost to the point of being gullible about it, because hey, better safe than sorry! So that means no looking into mirrors at night, always traveling with a pouch of salt, paying respect to the shrines of local deities, and occasionally leaving out honey-soaked bread to attract the protection and favor of benevolent spirits. If you asked her what religion she practiced, she would promptly reply 'all of them.' She follows the customs of whatever village she's in, or whatever group she's traveling with.
Healthy. That's usually the first descriptive term people would use to describe Rialynn. It's clear that she gets a lot of sun and exercise, with lean arms and legs and a smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose and the apples of her cheeks. She's not extraordinarily tall, being only 5'5" in height, nor is she particularly thin or curvy. Her shape is fairly average, and as such, not usually what people first notice about her.
Rialynn's face reflects a lot of her character, as she's extremely expressive — the arch or furrow of her thin brows, the tell-tale curve of her mouth, the twinkle or darkening of her hazel-green eyes…pretty much every emotion and expression she conveys, intentional or not, is as easy to read as a book for near-sighted elderly people. (This is good for her storytelling and dramatics; not so good when attempting to bluff.) Her hair is medium-brown in color with strong copper highlights, and hangs straight and long to about the middle of her back, parted on the side with the tip of her bangs skimming her left eyebrow. She tends to wear an old faded bandanna around her forehead, knotted in the back with the tails hanging a bit longer than the tips of her hair.
She has a tendency to dress plainly in most occasions, favoring white or cream-colored button-up blouses with the sleeves rolled up to the elbow, doeskin or light-brown cotton trousers (depending on the season), and a pair of brown leather boots rolled down at the knee. On rare occasions she'll wear something flashier for a non-musical stage performance, but she prefers comfort, and wishes for the audience to note her music more than her costume. When traveling, she wears a sturdy silver rapier belted at her waist.
Rialynn is very good at what she does: performing. She has a gift for music, and can learn how to play various instruments if given a few days to tinker around with them and make them work. It's almost irritating how quickly she can pick up new songs and remember stories in vivid detail. Occasionally she'll dance or juggle, but it's the music and the storytelling she enjoys most.
Rialynn may not be the strongest or most skilled fighter around, but she can hold her own with the rapier against an average opponent of skill. She relies more on speed and quick reflexes than any sort of real strength. She can throw knives if necessary, and has had practice in doing so, but she's better at fencing.
Rialynn awoke in the Northern District.
Agent Six - Six is another person that Rialynn doesn't know well, but likes. When he was inadvertently reverted to a teenager, he managed to scare Rialynn out of the house she'd chosen to live in. As a result, Rialynn now prefers to sleep in tents and travels frequently. It'll take a lot of convincing to get her to live in a house again, as she is nervous about said houses being haunted.
Caesar Salazar - Rialynn first met Caesar at Furman's while she was puzzling over a jukebox. He explained to her how it worked, and she found herself appreciating his intelligence as well as his patience when satisfying her curiosity. They quickly grew to be good friends. That friendship began to grow into an awkward attraction that Rialynn stubbornly denies, unwilling to change their friendship for fear of losing it. Secretly, however, she does like Caesar a great deal more than she lets on. He saved her life, and he's been careful not to restrict her freedom.
Dib - Interrogated Rialynn extensively once he discovered Caesar's feelings for her. She failed his questions miserably.
Doctor Holiday - Rialynn doesn't know Holiday well, but she likes and admires her. When Rialynn believed that Holiday's life was endangered by a mythical creature, she and Six went to the Northern District's plains to seek it out and vanquish it.