Name: Melaina Shadowfoot
Race: Mix Blood: Fae, Siren
Height: 4' 10"
Weight: 102 lbs.
Occupation: Traveling Bard
Melaina is distrustful of everyone she meets. She has learned to live by the rule that since no one else will help her, then she will take care of herself and damn all others. Not knowing where she is going, she wanders aimlessly, having no true destination. Her temper - not fiery but subtle and as deadly as the currents of a riptide - can be cooled by her love of music, which draws her wherever it plays. She uses her own skill with music to make enough money so that she doesn't starve. She generally appears calm most often, perhaps even aloof, but her temper when struck can be a deadly force. She spends much of her time in taverns, where the drunker patrons get, the more they spend (or lose to quick fingers).
Despite her general dislike of all races in general and sea-races especially, she often finds herself assisting those in need. She has a soft spot especially for small children, but when she is injured or in need of rest, she trusts no one. She has been hurt too often in the past. When she does not need to be seen by others, she generally hides herself away in shadows or small places. This is especially when her small frame becomes useful.
Her skill at thieving serves her well but it came at a high price and the loss of her mother still haunts her. She spends much of her time masquerading as a human, occasionally wishing that she had not been born a mixed breed with no place to call home.
Her hatred of her kind aside, the sea still draws her and she finds herself staying to the coastal regions without thinking about it. She likes the freedom that traveling offers her, however, and the ability to turn to the water rather than rely on ships, as humans must so often do. She also does not fear the sea, though sometimes she hates it for being such a cage.
Melaina's mother, Marisol, was a Siren who fell in love with a Fae Lord traveling across the seas in which she dwelt. When she could not trick the Fae into coming into the waters, she instead followed him, out of the sea and onto land, disguising herself as a human and moving among the other races. Finding the Fae who she admired from afar, the two fell in love and had twin children.
Although twins are seen as beyond special in the eyes of the Fae, this did not stop a faction of the Court from rising up against the half-breed beastlings with the ability to sing another creature to their deaths. A coup threw the Court into chaos and a war erupted. Marisol fled, but in the chaos of their escape, her son was ripped from her arms. She was forced to flee with only her daughter, back into the waters and her homeland.
The Sirens live in tribes like the Merfolk, but their race is overwhelmed with females. They have a rule in their tribe about multiple breeding groups to try and breed more males. Upon returning to her tribe, her people were furious that she had given birth to a half-Fae creature. In order for her and her daughter to be permitted back into the tribe, she was forced to act as a broodmother to their species. She mated with whatever males of the species came to her, giving birth to their children, but not permitted to raise them. In this way, she spent her life in the Smoothhound Tribe for the next thirteen years.
Melaina was raised as an outcast. She was permitted to lives within the borders of the tribe's lands, but she wasn't considered a part of them. Although her mother gave birth to many half-siblings, even they considered her a half-breed of dirty blood. In order to avoid the teasing and, worse, the attacks by others, both child and adult, she learned to be silent and swift, to move so quickly that none could find her let alone catch her. She gained the name Shadow from her hateful kin, for she was not fully of their kind, and so often overlooked as nothing more than a trick of the light.
Her mother cared for her as best she could and though Melaina was not loved by her kin, she was loved by her mother, and that was enough. But the price her mother had to pay to keep them safe in the tribe took its toll on her over the years and there was no abating. She was used as a thing, not a person, and even though she gave birth to many a Siren, they were raised by the other females in the tribe. Marisol had no further connection with them after their birth.
When Melaina was thirteen, she tried to convince her exhausted mother to leave the tribe, to go to another place and make a home where they would be treated better and her mother could rest. Her mother argued that they needed to stay where they were safe. It was a full year before Marisol gave in and the two made plans to escape.
It took months but they took advantage of a pirate attack against another ship that had many of the tribe leaving to try and draw the sailors into the sea. The two stole aboard one of the ships, their forms shifting to appear human as all Sirens do, and they helped the crew to escape from the Sirens' calls while the pirates were drawn down into the sea. They sailed for days, leaping back into the sea in the middle of the night as the passed an island. The two swam to the port of Scara Brae and took refuge at an inn.
Scara Brae is a refuge where pirates and outlaws lurk and Melaina worked what odd jobs she could, making deliveries of items to crews or passing notes between pirates. It was dangerous work, moving among the outlaws and undesirables, but she became more valuable the more reliable she was. Melaina went by the name Shadow that had been given her by her hateful kin, and she proved her worth as she moved like a ghost among Scara Brae, trying to make enough funds to support both her and her mother.
Marisol was not doing well. Pregnant with the child of one of the men she had mated with before they made their escape, the fourteen years she had spent as a breeder in her tribe had taken its toll on her. She was bedridden most of the day as Melaina did whatever jobs she could find and learned tricks of the trade from the various pirates and thieves who moved in and out of Scara Brae.
When the keepers of the inn they were staying at trie to kick them out for being unable to pay, Melaina turned to stealing what funds she could. She paid the innkeepers ahead a few months once she had the funds, but she was caught by one of the head thieves, blindfolded, and taken into a secret base. She was charged with taking funds that rightly belonged to the thieves of Scara Brae and she needed to repay them for stealing from them. So they made her a thief in their organization and they told her what she had to steal. If she didn't, she would be deemed useless and killed so she would stop taking air that rightfully belonged to their group.
Her mother needed her there to care for her, so Melaina agreed. She went into service for the thieves of Scara Brae and she was trained to pick pockets and locks. She stole what they told her to when they told her to, and what money she was permitted to keep she sent to the inn to keep her mother safe and cared for.
When she messed up on a job, Melaina was caught by the law enforcement on Scara Brae and thrown in jail. She was abandoned by the thieves, who had no use for someone who couldn't perform the job, and so she was forced to spent three months in prison.
When she was released, she rushed to the inn to see her mother, but the funds she had paid ahead hadn't covered the care for her mother during childbirth. According to the innkeepers, while Melaina was imprisoned, Marisol had gone into labor, but there had been complications. After two days of being in labor, Marisol's heart gave out. The midwife who had been helping to deliver the child managed to save it, but she took it away. With Melaina gone and Marisol dead, the woman was given a pauper's burial.
Melaina was left without a home, her mother dead, and the half-sibling she had expected to help raise stolen from her. Kicked out of the inn when they learned she couldn't pay them, Melaina hunted down the thieves that had abandoned her when she was captured. When she did find them and they brushed her off as not worth wasting the effort of breaking her out, she attacked him. Her lack of skill left her beaten and abandoned in the streets of Scara Brae, with a warning from the thieves to get out within the next three days or she would be hunted down and killed.
With nothing keeping her there, Melaina made her way to the coast and took to the seas. She traveled for months aimlessly until she ended up on Corone, on the coastal city of Gisela. She found an inn and used her skills at picking pockets to gain enough funds for a few nights and meals. When she was in the main area of the tavern one night, a bard was earning money playing music and singing. When her funds ran out, she moved to another inn, one without a bard, and tried her hand at it. With her Siren's allure, she got more money singing than she did when picking pockets, especially late in the evening when there were a lot of people drunk.
But she never stayed in one area too long, lest someone figure out that she was more than a human with a talented voice. She moved across Corone, from inn to inn, rarely staying in the same place twice. She picked pockets when she had to and stole from houses and businesses when the need arose, but she mostly wandered without aim.
That would soon change.
Being of mixed blood, Melaina has attributes from both of her parents. She gained her Fae father's dark skin and black hair, but she has the same golden colored eyes as her mother. Although many sirens have the fish-like scales of smaller fish who they appear like in fin structure, Melaina and her mother were born to Sirens who take after smoothhound sharks. Their scales are small and each have sharp hairs like teeth, almost too small for the eye to see.
When Melaina is underwater, she takes on her shark-like attributes. Her dark-brown legs turn into a long tail with a narrow fin on the end and various dorsel fins along its length. It is blue-grey in color and the fine hairs along it are sharp to the touch. Her long, straight black hair is waist-length and flows around her like a black curtain in the water. Sharp fins sprout from her arms and her fingers are webbed, ending in sharp black claws. Her long tail makes her appear larger than she is and even her narrow frame cannot stop her appearing dangerous.
When she is on land, most of her dangerous exterior fades. She is under five feet in height, small for her age-group, and too thin. Her dark skin has an ethereal shine to it (a byproduct of her Fae heritage), and her long hair is silky. She dresses in soft, thin fabrics, the green and blue of the sea, the gold of the sand. Dressed in fine fabrics, alluring to those watching, she dances for those whose eyes she can catch. And if she cannot catch their eyes, she catches their ears as she sings. Between the beauty of her form and that of her siren call, she rarely leaves a place with empty pockets. And when she has no need of eyes on her, she disappears from sight, for no one takes notice of a shadow.