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19, AU: 198
Caliska is a rather aloof girl. She purposely keeps her distance from other people, mostly due to how traders are treated in the Holds. As a scout and a hunter for her trader caravan, she often arrives at a destination before the rest, which can often cause residents to assume her an exile instead of a simple messenger. She takes all this in stride, having built her mask of disdain long ago to keep herself from being hurt by Holder suspicion.
Due to her job within the caravan, Caliska is an expert tracker. With her keen eyesight and observant nature, she can track just about anything through just about anywhere. She's also a capable canine trainer, having had a hand in training the caravan's hounds as well as her personal one. Her skill with a knife is also worth mentioning, as she can use it as both a weapon and a butchering tool. Her archery is second to none, and her accuracy with a bow is incredible, though none of her skills have come without hard work and lots of practice.
Being part of a trader caravan makes Caliska aware of much more happening on at least the western continent than many who are Holdbound or Weyrbound. She is able to trade just as easily in information as she is in things, though she isn't often aware of the value of her information until someone wants it. Of course, trade in anything is pretty similar, regardless of what's being sold. An item that has no value as food or shelter is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
Once someone gets past her aloof exterior, they will discover that she's actually a very kind and caring young woman. She cares deeply for her family, and for her hound, Kenai, but she rarely lets anyone see that side of her. She's not very good around children because the only children she knew growing up were her siblings. The caravan simply wasn't a place where people often chose to raise their children.
Once someone has Caliska's trust, she'll be there for you through just about anything. She'll listen to your problems, though she won't always be able to offer a good solution. She could even help teach archery, if someone wanted to learn from her. She spends the time allotted to crafting lessons either on the archery range making sure her accuracy is still as close to perfect as she can get it, or helping with meat preparation and preservation in the kitchens.
She has a bit of a stubborn side when it comes to things she knows she does well. Archery and tracking, in particular, are her areas of expertise. If she thinks someone is wrong in regards to either of these things, she will say so. And she won't back down, either. She also has a bit of a pride / ego issue where she tends to try to do everything alone, instead of asking for help.
Caliska is a tall young woman, standing at six feet exactly, and has a clearly muscular build. Her muscles almost everywhere are clearly defined, from her arms and legs to her abs. Her skin has paled in recent turns, thanks to all the time spent inside during the day, but her hair and eyes have remained dark as ever. Her eyes are so dark they appear black except in the right light, when they are revealed to simply be a very dark brown. Her thick hair is black, and Caliska keeps it in a short pixie cut simply due to complications long hair can have during a hunt. At this point, it's mostly a habit. Were she to grow her hair out, one would notice a slight wave or even a curl to it.
Due to her position within the caravan, Caliska's hands are well-worn and calloused, covered in small scars from when she was first learning to use a knife. There is a single crooked scar down the inside of her forearm; her knife slipped when she was first learning to carve her own arrows.
She prefers to wear clothing that is practical over fashionable, and simply doesn't like dresses. If something requires dressing up, she would either wear what she has or not go at all.
Skarlette, mother, deceased
Calino, father, deceased
Naren, foster father, hunting teacher
Caliet, sister, SP:01
Karino, sister, WI:03
Calar, brother, SM:09
Scent hound Kenai, male, age 5.
- Kenai is possibly the only one Caliska will open up to or relax around, besides her sister Caliet. She trained him herself to assist in her hunts, a fact she is secretly proud of. With a trait known as a soft mouth, he can retrieve small kills without damaging them. He has a dense undercoat, which is perfect for the sometimes harsh winters of the west, and a dark, wiry topcoat. He has long, droopy ears that mark a scent hound for what it is. His deep chest and muscular frame, combined with his large size, make him a rather imposing figure. When not working, Kenai is a big softie around familiar people and children, and even other domesticated animals. He likes being petted, especially on the top of his head between his ears, and on his belly. The only times he gets aggressive are if he sees a person or creature as a threat to himself or Caliska, but due to her extensive training with him he will rarely attack first if a person is involved. Since coming to Dalibor Weyr, she has also worked to get him to be nonreactive to dragonkin, which has been met with some success. Regardless of how much she works with him, Kenai still gets startled and sometimes reacts in fear when a flit appears out of between near him.
Caliska, eldest daughter of Skarlette and Calino, born to a group of traders on the western continent, one of the few that traveled between Western Hold and Crescent Hold. Her younger sister Caliet was born when she was just three, and her other sister Karino two turns later.
Caliska was five when the white wherry plague hit. A few members of the caravan fell ill, and were left at one of the holds they passed in an attempt to keep the rest of the caravan from being infected. Another attempt was made by destroying all white wherry feather items the caravan possessed, despite the loss it would cause them. These attempts succeeded, and no one else in the caravan got sick.
It soon became apparent that Caliska needed something to occupy her time. At the age of seven, she asked if she could learn to hunt like the caravan's hunter, a stubborn old man named Naren, who was unmarried and had no children. She took quickly to the basics, not bothered in the least by the bloody parts of the work.
During the first few turns of her training, Caliska's mother Skarlette not only became pregnant again, but suffered a miscarriage. When Caliska was nine, they heard about the Lord Holder who had become Weyrleader, but all Caliska knew at the time was that it wasn't right for a Lord Holder to be Weyrleader too. She didn't entirely understand why, but she knew it was wrong.
Abut a season before Caliska turned eleven, her brother Calar was born. The age difference and Caliska's lessons meant that she wasn't as close to her brother as she was to her sisters. The next time they stopped at Western Hold, the season after Caliska turned twelve, they heard about the wedding, and how two riders were now leading the Hold. Everyone they spoke to seemed to have different opinions, but the general consensus seemed to be that it wasn't right for Riders to lead the Hold.
Around the same time, the Handler assigned to Western Hold was murdered. When it was eventually revealed to be foul play, suspicions turned to the caravan and its members, and though some was also directed elsewhere, Caliska was unaware of this. She believed that Western Hold thought they were to blame, and this turn of events began to lead to her dislike of the Holdfolk. They packed up and left after the same amount of time they had stayed during previous visits, and the adults decided that it was best if they remained away from Western Hold for a while. At least until suspicions died down to their normal levels.
Just after this incident, Naren finally began to teach Caliska how to use a bow. She took to it almost immediately, though at the time she wasn't always the most accurate. Around the same time, he began teaching her how to track a target. She was just fourteen when she made her first kill, a large wild wherry. Naren helped her clean and prepare it, and what wasn't cooked to eat that night was preserved to be eaten later. Naren used this chance to teach Caliska about meat preservation using what herbs the caravan carried and what could be found in the wild.
They had just reached Crescent Hold when the Storm of All Passes hit. The caravan's members were forced to seek shelter for themselves and their animals, which was much more difficult than expected. They knew there was suspicion regarding traders, but there was simply nowhere for them to house their animals. The few chickens froze, as did the youngest of their three caprines. Their burdenbeasts survived, as did the canines. One of the first nights of the snowstorm, Caliska found a puppy abandoned and nearly frozen in the snow. For some reason, instead of leaving it there, she picked it up and took care of it. She named him Kenai, and he just kind of became hers after she saved him.
When the storm finally passed and the snow melted, the traders still had to wait for everything to dry out before they could move on. The next season, a number of requests came for materials that could be turned into weapons or armor, and Caliska and her teacher traded a larger number of fangs, claws, and horns than normal. They heard later about the siege on something called the Palefolk.
It was the season before Caliska turned fifteen when the Doomfall happened. The caravan was caught by surprise with no shelter, and Caliska's parents were among the casualties that day. She was taken in by her mentor, Neran, while her siblings found themselves being cared for by other members of the caravan. Caliska put her all into her work after losing her parents, finding solace in being busy and providing for the caravan.
They didn't happen to be in Western Hold for the deposition of Lady Irohvyne, but it was all that was on everyone's lips around the cotholds under Western. Caliska began paying attention to the news, filing away all she heard in case she needed it later. She began to trade information as well as things. After all, no one knows the goings-on of Pern better than her traders.
Caliska was just about to turn seventeen when the caravan decided to send her to Dalibor to see if the Weyr was open to trading with them. The older members of the caravan insisted that she should have someone else with her, but she adamantly refused to go if she was given what she called a babysitter. So when they next reached Crescent Hold, Caliska took her hound Kenai and left the caravan to go to Dalibor. She turned seventeen on the way there.
Before she even got to the Weyr itself, Caliska knew trading with the Weyr would simply be too difficult, given that it was far enough away to need boats to ferry people from Crescent Hold to Dalibor Weyr. But she decided it was smart to go through with what the others had asked of her. One night, however, she found herself woken suddenly by what seemed to be a Hatching of some sort. Having never witnessed one, she followed the crowd toward the hatching grounds. There was a Gold Wher with a lot of eggs. Most of them hatched Blues, but a few didn't hatch at all. (Gold Nevisk of Au:14)
After seeing the Hatching, she was entranced. She asked around to find who to talk to about becoming a Candidate. After finding the right person, she was signed up as a Wher Candidate. She borrowed a flit to get a message to her caravan, telling them that traveling by sea with all their animals simply wasn't worth it, but that she was going to stay at Dalibor to try to become a Wherhandler. Secretly, she figured after graduating from Wherlinghood she could rejoin her caravan, this time with someone new to help protect them.
Among her Candidate lessons, she was required to take lessons on reading and writing, things no one had bothered teaching her growing up a trader. There were only two Wher hatchings during the next few turns, and she was left standing at both. It had taken quite a while for her to stop taking her bow everywhere, and even longer for her to leave her knife in her room when she didn't need it. But eventually she adjusted to Weyr life, despite expressing desire to explore the island beyond the Weyr. She requested permission to leave the Weyr during free time so she could maintain her hunting skills, but her requests were repetitively denied. She was allowed to leave the weyr with one of the adult Handlers when she wished to test her tracking skills, but these weren't frequent enough to satisfy her. When she isn't busy with chores or lessons, she helps out in the kitchens with meat preparation and preservation, her two cooking specialties.
Then, the Plague struck. It was right in the middle of an expedition to the South, one that Caliska was not happy with her inability to go on. She believed that with her tracking skills, she would be a benefit. And then the sickness struck Dalibor, and suddenly she wasn't quite as inclined. Being restricted to their quarters was probably what kept Caliska from falling ill in the first place, though she is not likely to admit it.
Adoption Preference: Returns to her caravan, if not then peacefully transfer.
Wher Name: Calisk
Cross Impressable: Yep
SubQueen Impressable: Yes
This section is completely optional
White > Black > Gold > Cyan > Brown > Iron > Bronze
Caliska considers herself an expert hunter and tracker.
She doesn't see herself as a leader, but I think something that can push her and help her grow would be the best match for her, as opposed to an antagonistic relationship.
No loss of limb, and nothing severe enough to force her to give up her bow.