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 Iris Ravelli

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Iris Ravelli

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Posts : 15
Total Experience Points : 15
Join date : 2013-01-03

Character Sheet
OOC: Tsamo
Classification: Consular
Experience:
21/70  (21/70)

PostSubject: Iris Ravelli   Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:33 pm

The Basics



Name: Iris Ravelli
Age: 20
Element: Water
Classification: Consular
Birth Kingdom: Unda
Home Kingdom: Unda

Appearance


Playby: Rashida Jones

Appearance:



Iris has wavy, dark brown hair that just manages to reach the nape of her neck. Everything about her visage seems to align with what is common for her kin. She has olive-toned skin and freckles, along with hazel eyes. Clothing does not play a vital role in her day-to-day activities. She does tend to favor purple attire, but matters such as style and material are far beyond her modest education and interests. Generally, Iris does her usual housework in worn, nondescript shirts and trousers. Dresses are reserved for only the most special occasions, and the ones she owns still are not of the finest make. Upon fleeing her home, Iris managed to snag a particularly high-end old outfit that her mother owned in the days when she was accustomed to affluence and prosperity.

Personality


Personality:

Iris has always been a dreamer. Whether waking or sleeping, her thoughts are often consumed by the prospect of being someone and somewhere else entirely. In contrast to the grand desires she holds for herself, Iris’ mother has always had very modest hopes for her daughter. Fear of the dangers that lurk in the outside world, and a strong desire to adhere to the conventions she was taught in her youth (as well as her more selfish aversion to being left alone) are the prime motivators behind her choice to keep Iris largely confined to their small family home in Unda. While she follows after her mother in terms of her daily routine, she mirrors her father in temperament. Iris has a restless, curious spirit; she longs for what she doesn’t have or hasn’t seen, and her desires are not destined to be repressed; only fulfillment will bring happiness. That is, until her next wild and improbable dream strikes, of course. Her lack of experience has made her somewhat capricious as well.

Iris is often so overwhelmed by her own ambition and by the prospect of opportunity that she tends to have some difficulty actually making up her mind; and when she does, she is still prone to changing her course of action at the last moment, sometimes without thinking things over properly. But she is not entirely reckless. When faced with actual danger, or a situation that is generally beyond her own capabilities, Iris will grow cautious and frustratingly (from her perspective) hesitant. In these cases, she is forced to admit that her limited hands-on, practical knowledge of certain subjects can be a vexing hindrance in life. She is bright when it comes to book learning, but her ego is somewhat fragile due to self-doubt, and her decision making is sometimes clouded as a result.

Iris is known to turn cross and petulant when she believes her character and competence are being cast into question or suspicion. That tendency toward willfulness and defensiveness is due to the fact that she believes her promise as an individual is constantly squandered at home, and that her mother is consistently underestimating her and dismissive of her desires; In short, Iris’ tendency to be irritable toward those she believes are being condescending and her general distrust of authority figures outside of her home (as well as her dislike of answering to such individuals), relates back to the hidden insecurities created by her upbringing. As much as she tries to promise herself that she will not let her fate rest in the hands of others, inwardly she fears that she will never manage to break free of the shackles of her home life and as a consequence, will be doomed to a sad, simple life as a wife and mother with no identity of her own.

She is painfully aware that she does not have much direct experience with the world beyond her home, yet still her prolific reading has filled her head with a potentially dangerous dose of overconfidence. Sometimes she manages to forget that reading about something is not entirely the same as actually seeing or doing that thing. She jumps on any opportunity to demonstrate her education, and may even feel affronted when someone presents an idea that contradicts one she has read in the pages of her books, though she is not entirely unreasonable; such a situation usually only arises when she is very passionate about a subject. Still, her occasional failure to consider other perspectives could lead to some dangerous wake up calls in the future, which is another issue she doesn't tend to truly comprehend.

The stories she grew up hearing didn't always accurately depict the capacity for cruelty that exists in the world, so Iris is likely to be surprised by the condition of some of the places and people outside her home; in that sense, she has the capacity to be quite naive. Iris desperately clings to the hope that everything she has learned through reading is accurate and useful, and that all the hours she spent among piles of books were well spent. Her book learning acts as personal armor; if she were to become disillusioned with the notion that she had done the best she could in her circumstances, she would lose one of the only aspects of her herself (aside from her elemental abilities) she was always proud to see as being entirely under her own control and command. She works hard to appear fiercely independent and self-sufficient, but if one is knowledgeable of her weaknesses and shortcomings, it is fairly simple to see past the facade to the scared, confused youth that lies beneath.

She suffers from feelings of powerlessness and crippling indecision. Iris longs to escape her unsatisfying circumstances and move on to something greater, but she still maintains a strong sense of loyalty to her family, even her mother, who she often resents for keeping her hidden away and never allowing her to be challenged or tested. She is stubborn, and doesn't always agree with her mother, but she acknowledges and respects all she has done and sacrificed for the family; the most she hopes for is to one day understand why her mother chose to make the choices that she did. Iris simply does not wish to live the same life. For all her shortcomings, no one could ever rightly accuse Iris of being a bad friend or family member.

While she is understandably wary of strangers, when she manages to feel close to someone, she will do everything in her power to protect them and ensure their happiness and safety. The only issue is that the process takes quite some time for a person like Iris. She was given very little time to socialize with people outside her family, so Iris never had the ability to form any friendships or relationships while growing up. The prospect of intimacy both thrills and frightens her; she has no idea what is like to build a bond from the ground up with no familial ties serving as an obligation, and she has no clue what it is like to love and trust a person implicitly when they have no blood ties. Deep down, Iris wants to understand such complex connections and experience them for herself, but she is hindered by her own expectations and shortcomings; when it comes to interaction, she is easily discouraged. Upon meeting someone new for the first time, Iris is overcome by a desire to make the exchange flow perfectly, but she never gained the tools necessary to interact successfully. At times she is hopelessly awkward, as her thoughts never seem to adequately translate, and occasionally people's comments make her uncomfortable and confused, and she is unsure of the proper way to respond.

After enduring various dismal attempts at connecting with strangers, Iris has grown despondent and pessimistic in that arena. As much as she may desire to learn how to let people into her life and share experiences will them, she has failed so often that now failure is all she expects. These days, Iris tends to be on her guard when encountering unfamiliar individuals. She closes herself off from them because she dreads being judged and facing the painful sting of rejection. Some may interpret her initial hostility and restraint as coldness, but that is incorrect. That is not to say that any agitation she expresses is just a result of her feelings of inadequacy - it is still possible to cause her temper to flare if she thinks her boundaries are being violated - but more often than not, she wants to learn how to feel free and comfortable with herself, but can't seem to manage it. Much of the time she spent around her mother involved her swallowing her anger and keeping her emotions a secret, so Iris is familiar with what it takes to erect walls around herself in the interest of safety.

Still, when it comes down to it, her protective instincts may even run deeper than Iris herself realizes; she will never abandon those in need, as she personally knows what it is like to feel isolated and misunderstood, and in addition, she is accustomed to looking after all members of her family (even though she is the youngest, she is burdened with many responsibilities.) Even if fate dictates that she must do something unpleasant in order to give aid to others, she will do it. That of course requires her to temporarily abandon her anxieties and concerns, and lower the walls the surround her, but she is willing to do so if there is no other option. This is particularly true when she encounters a person in need who happens to originate from Terra. She has a special affinity for that place because of it being the location of her mother's birth, and she can still recall snippets of a dark time when she visited Terra not long after the start of the war with Ignis. The particularly gruesome images have stayed with her since that brief moment in her childhood, and she feels a special sense of kinship and solidarity towards Terrans who have suffered because of the war.

Above all else, she desires freedom. Iris wants to be independent, she wants to experience new things, and finally understand what it means to have an adventure worth bragging about. She is aware that her upbringing caused her a lot of harm: she was deprived of opportunities to grow and mature in the manner that most others do, and her lack of experience runs so deep that she tends to encounter difficulties relating to other people even on the simplest levels. Despite all that, she is willing to take the time to overcome her various concerns and anxieties if it means she will finally permitted to be in charge of her own destiny. Whether she realizes it or not, she has a strong spirit and sense of resolve; no matter how she is discouraged or constrained, she continues on. There is a feistier side to Iris that was often repressed at home, but she still has the chance to flourish and come into her own. She has much to learn about who she really is and what she wants from life, but she is at the point where she is tired of others taking command of her affairs, and she is finally prepared to start taking control of her fate - for better or worse.

Likes:


  • Cooking:

    Though Iris doesn't have a passion for cooking as much as a grudging sense of respect. Her mother grew up in a very wealthy household, and learned a great deal about the domestic arts from the women of her household. Her mother’s family held very traditional values – the home was a woman’s domain, and a proper young lady of their lineage expected to learn all the skills necessary to properly maintain a home. With that mindset still intact in her adult years (combined with a world-wariness instilled by traumatic events she witnessed in her youth), Iris’ mother passed on her knowledge to her only daughter.

    Iris enjoys the actual process of cooking very much – combining various ingredients to form one pleasing flavor profile, experimenting with contents to yield interesting results, seeing people react favorably to something she has prepared, and so on. The only factor that mars her appreciation of the activity and impedes full enjoyment is her consciousness of what her mother intended when passing down her skills. Iris’ mother wanted to provide her daughter with tools essential to living a quiet, modest life as homemaker. Sadly, such wishes are antithetical to what Iris wants of her own life, and she can’t help but be reminded of the life that has been planned out for her whenever she aids her mother in the kitchen.

  • Reading:

    Iris’ love of literature can be attributed to her father, who has been telling her stories of his travels and presenting her with gifts of books since she was a child. Iris has almost no practical experience with the world outside her home, so all she knows, or thinks she knows, was knowledge she obtained from the books she was given or the tales she was told. When she isn’t performing chores or moving about the house or the surrounding land under the watchful eye of her mother, Iris has her nose in a book. Most days she prefers to read by the low light of an oil lamp after her mother has retired to bed.

    It is not as though she is not permitted to do so; on the contrary, her mother worked tirelessly to ensure her daughter would be literate, it’s simply that her mother would not approve of the nature and content of her reading material. Her mother prefers to supply her with dry instruction manuals, while Iris herself favors the more dramatic and lively books handed down by her father. His gifts gave detailed accounts of intrigue, romance, combat, and adventure; all of the things she would never be permitted to experience while confined to their maddeningly average domicile. Iris learned of faraway places both real and imagined, and each night before bed, she stared wistfully out her window and ached to see at least one of them before the end of her life.

  • Water (and her elemental powers):

    As it is her element, Iris has a natural affinity for water. It has had an integral, indelible presence in her life since childhood. It is an element she shares with her father and brother, and to this day, she can still vividly recall how enraptured she was as she watched them train together in the evenings, long before she knew of her own power. Mariana had always hoped that Iris would take after her and show prowess as Plant elemental, but those dreams never came to fruition. Aldric was overjoyed when the true nature of her skills became clear in early childhood, but his wife was initially reluctant to acquiesce to his desire to train Iris along with Vincent. She had long accepted that Vincent would become a member of the Unda Navy like his father, but she didn't believe Iris needed to know the same things he was being taught.

    Vincent was learning to command his element and use it in combat situations, or when out at sea, and Mariana didn't feel that either scenario would be relevant to her daughter. It took much persistence and gentle coaxing on his part, but eventually he was able to gain her support, provided that her training was geared toward teaching her how to control her element in a manner that would benefit the household. For the most part, he adhered to his promise, but Aldric couldn't resist giving her the occasional self-defense lesson; nothing too trying or dangerous, of course - just enough that she would have some form protection if she ever landed herself in trouble.

    He respected and understood his wife's fear of the world, and the potential danger it could hold for a girl like Iris, but as much as he could sympathize with her intentions, he did not always agree with her actions. From his perspective, her relentless crusade to protect their daughter from the kind of harm she suffered in her own life had the potential to backfire. There was no way of assuring that Iris would go on to live the safe, quiet existence Mariana desired for her, and such coddling could put Iris at a distinct advantage throughout her life. His work kept him away from home often, and for extended periods of time (so cooperative, balanced child rearing wasn't always an option) so Aldric tried to make the best of a difficult situation; he did his best assert his beliefs and influence (and combat his wife’s overprotective tendencies) through the things he shared with his daughter: such as books, storytelling, and their element.

    Iris herself has always credited her element as the main reason for the relatively close relationships she was able to build with her father and brother. Work kept her father busy and away from the home for unpredictable periods, and her brother followed suit once he was deemed old enough. But no matter how long they had been away, they always picked up their training right where they left off, and her father and brother regaled her with stories of their time at sea and in lands far from Unda. The sea itself became a symbol for the freedom she desperately craved; she drank in the sight of it when she was permitted to see her father and brother off on a voyage; she a fondness for the scent of it, and has always associated it with the way Aldric and Vincent would smell after returning from a long voyage; she visualizes it whenever it appears in one of her stories; and she sees it in her head as she drifts off to sleep.

    Iris often imagines herself sailing across treacherous waters with her father and brother by her side, but the closest she has been able to get to such a connection is their shared control of water. If the sea was her freedom, her powers were the key to it; Presently, Iris makes an effort to hone her skills daily, though the most hands-on practice she gets when Vincent and Aldric are gone is when her mother wants her to mop the floors. In her heart, Iris believes that if she becomes strong enough, she will not have to answer to anyone, and not even her mother would think to stop her from living out her dreams.

    As for her classification as a Consular, Iris is somewhat ambivalent in regards to the subject and what it means to her. Her father has known elementals of nearly every classification, and so he has a keen eye for power and technique. Aldric often told his daughter that she was a natural talent, but for a long time Iris simply assumed that her father was just saying what he felt he had to in order to make her feel good about herself. But after some careful observation however, Iris was able to notice subtle things about herself and her abilities that her self-doubt may have caused her to overlook.

    For example, she picks up on new techniques swiftly, and with the right amount of focus and control, she can bring herself to an acceptable level of comfort with said techniques in equally good time. This new perspective on her abilities has caused Iris to begin to reevaluate the limits she had previously established for herself.

    She has begun to (albeit reluctantly) entertain the notion that she has the innate capacity to improve and work herself to a level that is quite impressive for someone of her age. The only downside to this revelation is that Iris remains concerned that she will never manage to sharpen her skills and fully tap into her unrealized potential. Though she does make an attempt to practice previously learned techniques every day, there is only so much time that she can realistically devote to her own betterment with her mother constantly breathing down her neck. There is no doubt that training with her father and brother proved to be an immense aid to her development, but the sessions are woefully infrequent, and her father still has to hold back to a certain extent in order to appease her mother. If Iris were permitted to practice in an environment that was constantly challenging and stimulating, she would surely flourish. The only issue is finding such an environment.

    Another concern of hers would have to be the social responsibilities that come along with possessing notable strength and talent. If she truly possesses some latent power that is somehow advanced for her young age, that has the potential to present more challenges that go beyond simply realizing that dormant and untapped talent. Even Iris is aware that more is expected of elementals of higher classifications.

    While power is certainly a point of pride for a person such as herself who often feels far too passive and impotent, it can also be a point of anxiety. She sometimes wonders whether or not she will ever be able to live up to and manage the demands her abilities may give rise to. While she doesn't feel as though she should somehow be indebted to the world at large over an aspect of herself that cannot be controlled, she does feel a certain personal responsibility to perform to the full extent of her abilities in order to make people take notice and treat her with respect.

  • Storytelling:

    One thing Iris love more than reading stories is hearing them. There's just something very special about hearing someone tell a story; from the way their eyes light up at their favorite parts, or the inflection they put on certain words, even the different voices and tones they adopt for the purposes of imitation. There's just a level of honest, direct emotion that Iris enjoys when hearing someone tell her a story aloud. But not all of it has to be fictional - in fact, she has a certain fondness for personal accounts; as she hasn't experienced much that she deems worth sharing, she sees the true anecdotes of others to be a little treat.

    She tends to collect them in her mind as if they were truly her own, though she is not at all under the illusion that they are. Just like everything else she holds sacred in her life, storing away the tales of lives more exciting than her own is just a method of escapism. For those few precious moments, she is permitted to view the world from the perspective of a person who has made more of a mark on it than she has, and experience their trials and triumphs almost vicariously through them. Even if she doesn't find herself so heavily invested in the experiences that another is sharing with her, she still locks the details away in her head. There's no telling when the contents of a seemingly trivial story can prove useful, and she never turns her nose up at the opportunity to absorb more knowledge (unless it conflicts with her book learning, in certain cases.)



Dislikes:


  • Cleaning:

    Unlike cooking, Iris has never been able to muster up any measure of respect for this menial task. There is almost nothing she detests more than dusting, and she finds having to get down on her hands and knees to scrub a filthy floor or chamber pot to be tedious and degrading. Iris finds that no one truly respects the work she does to keep the home pristine, and it pains her to see it return to its previous state of disarray at the end of each day. The only reprieve she receives is when her father and brother are away on business with the Unda Navy, but the work manages to feel even less rewarding in those times, as her mother still expects the house to be in top shape even with only the two of them around to see it. Iris is adept at making a surface shine or scrubbing a stubborn stain out of articles of clothing, but she sure as hell won’t be happy as she’s doing any of it.

  • Being told what to do:

    Iris has spent her entire life complying with all her mother has asked of her, so it's not surprising that she's quite tired of having her life overrun by the demands of others. Until the day she mustered enough courage to finally flee from the toxic situation, Iris never thought she had any other options. From a young age, her mother made sure to convey the importance and value of a properly submissive woman: one who always obeys and respects the higher-ranking members of the household. Mariana was mainly referring to the men of the household, a view which aligns with her traditional upbringing, but tacitly included herself into the equation as well.

    Though Iris always performed her expected duties with a mask of courtesy and perfect obedience, inside she was seething. To her, it was painfully obvious that she was not made to be the spineless, witless, and ultimately exemplary (by her mother's standards) young woman her mother was attempting to raise, but those internal objections always went unspoken due to fear and uncertainty. Instead of feeling safe enough in her environment to be willing to express herself, Iris swallowed her discontent, and carried that silent, repressed aggression with her each day that she was left alone with Mariana.

    The difference in how she regards strangers is that, unlike with her kin, Iris feels no real obligation or sense of duty when it comes to respecting authority and acquiescing to their desires. While her mother seemed to have an unshakable, suffocating grasp on her identity and her affairs for most of her life, Iris does not fear or bend to the authority of those she does not know. Though her insecurities can act as a hindrance to her confidence in certain social situations, she will not recoil when she feels that another individual is attempting to dominate or control her. The only exceptions would be if she sees herself benefiting from a certain situation (and thus, it is wisest to comply), if she feels that mouthing off will land thrust her into otherwise avoidable danger or turmoil, or if she independently decides that she is willing to do a small favor for someone out of a sense of goodwill. She is willful and vehemently objects to continue being controlled like some plaything, but she is also capable of being pragmatic and reasonable when she deems that a certain situation calls for a less passionate response.

  • The prospect of raising a family:

    Once she was seen to be old enough, Mariana began putting Iris through the same grooming process she endured when she was taught about what it means to be regarded as a proper young woman, and what expectations must be met in order for one to embody that ideal. Mariana made certain to pass down the traditional values and beliefs that her natal family always held. Based on what she was told in her youth, a girl of high standing is expected to revere and obey her family members - particularly the males of the household and her mother. Such a girl is also expected to know how to cook, clean, sew, and perform various domestic chores, though the luckiest ones will have servants to perform the bulk of such duties.

    Most importantly, a highborn girl is expected to marry out to a powerful and wealthy family that will bring esteem and privilege to her own, and bear many children (particularly boys.) Mariana herself rebelled against all of that for love, but her life has been fraught with pain since she made that choice, and in a warped and selfish sort of way, she believes she is protecting Iris by imposing such outdated and restricting conventions upon her. Iris does not know this about her mother however, and has rebelled against the idea of settling down to become a simple wife and mother ever since the world of literature exposed her to strong women who were perfectly content to live their lives as capricious adventurers and courageous warriors with no emotional ties.

    She does not look down on those who choose such paths for themselves, but she does not believe it is one she will ever wish to take. While undeniably curious about the nature of love and romance and whether or not either are similar to what she has read about, Iris is more concerned about the preservation of her personal freedom and sense dignity. The picture her mother painted of life as a spouse and a mother left Iris feeling as though there would be no fulfillment to be found. Her husband would expect to be obeyed, and all hope of adventure and experience would have to be forsaken in the interest of doting on children.

    Despite a certain fascination and curiosity regarding romance as it was portrayed in her books, Iris draws a fine line between fiction and reality when it comes to indulging in love; she has no problem reading about it and wondering what it might be like, but she does not feel she could ever stand to be so tied down and restricted in her own life. Some could consider this selfish of her, but she only wants to make the most of what is left of her youth. There are just certain sacrifices that seem too steep for her to consider.


  • Physical contact:

    Iris never managed to become completely comfortable with gestures of affection and closeness. She received both from her father and brother at various points in life, but her mother (the person she spent the most time with) always withheld such open displays of love from her. It's also important to note that her lack of companions growing up also deprived her of vital experience in this area.

    She never knew what it was like to walk hand in hand with a young friend, or be embraced by one. Because positive physical contact was such an irregular occurrence for her when Aldric and Vincent were away, it remained a rather foreign and uncomfortable experience for her. She finds it difficult to initiate and respond to, even if she feels a certain fondness for a person. It's not as though it repulses her, or is something she wishes to avoid completely, she just doesn't know how to conduct herself in vulnerable situations. Iris is very particular about her personal space.


Elemental Strengths


  • Creativity & Resourcefulness: Iris only received basic combat training from her father, so her use of her element is unlikely to strike much fear in the hearts of her enemies. The potential exists of course, but she has yet to tap into that particular side of her powers. Instead, she makes up for what she lacks in brute force by using her intelligence and imagination to dream up creative or useful ways to use her abilities. For example, if in an area that does not provide her with easy access to water, she is not against utilizing moisture from other sources, such as: sweat, tears, plants, and so on. She uses her element to make her life easier and to perform certain tasks quickly or more efficiently than someone without her powers might.


Elemental Weaknesses


  • Power and Experience (in combat): See above. She only has basic combat training down, and has had no experience using her powers in an actual fight.


Background


Family:

Mother: Mariana Ravelli, Plant Apprentice
Father: Aldric Ravelli, Water Master
Brother: Vincent Ravelli, Water Consular



History:

Aldric and Mariana were young lovers who met by chance while he was visiting Terra on business for the Unda Navy, of which he had only been a member of for a few short years by that time. While Mariana came from great wealth and status (they were natives of Sera, but immigrated to Terra prior to her birth and managed to become established there), Aldric's family lived modestly, but matters of class and culture did not concern the two. Despite objections voiced by family members on either side, Mariana and Aldric communicated frequently through letters, and sought to meet in personal as often as was practical and possible without interfering with Aldric's career. It wasn't long before they were wed, and hurried to settle down in a small home in Unda.

Mariana's family vowed that no more financial support would be given to her if she married the man they believed was beneath her in every aspect that mattered, but she did not relent, even when they swore that her mistake would condemn her to a life of unhappiness. Mariana and Aldric believed their love to be so pure intense that it would forever transcend such petty matters; they were simply young lovebirds with stars in their eyes. For a time, it seemed the concerns of Mariana's family were unfounded - she was perfectly content with her new life, and was positively overjoyed when she learned that she was expecting her first child. But such blissful times are not fated to last forever. Aldric was soon forced to return to work, as he couldn't risk taking any unnecessary time off now that he had a growing family to provide for.

With so much solitary time left to her, Mariana began to feel the absence of her family and friends very strongly. The prospect of motherhood was certainly exciting, but at that time, Mariana found herself feeling frightened above all else, and unfortunately she had no one to confide these conflicting and complicated emotions to. It didn't seem serious enough that her husband would need to be troubled with her anxiety, but she still couldn't manage to separate herself from her concerns entirely. Mariana contemplated writing to her mother in an attempt at reconciliation, but she wasn't feeling quite desolate enough to forsake her pride just yet. As an alternative, she attempted to seek comfort and companionship from the inhabitants of the small village in which she and her husband lived, but she found them to be simple and woefully inadequate companions compared to the high caliber of the company she kept back in Terra.

When she thought about it, she had been quite content before Aldric came into her life. She grew up in a traditional household of high standing, and from the moment she could talk, her family ensured that she received all the training necessary to mold her into a proper lady. Mariana learned the proper way to walk, talk, dress, cook, eat, and sew. They were grooming her for her eventual and inevitable marriage out to some lord or another, in the interest of solidifying connections with another affluent and powerful family. It was imperative that she impressed all potential suitors with her poise, restraint, and her extensive knowledge of domestic affairs, as such qualities were deemed attractive and highly desirable in the elite circles of society. Until she met Aldric, Mariana never questioned her fate. An alternative direction for her life didn't seem possible, because every other woman in her family had followed a similar path. She was resigned to her predetermined path, and was wholly complacent in her ignorance. But one chance meeting changed the course of her life, and she suddenly realized that the life she wasn't to live didn't align with what was expected of her.

So she rebelled against everything she had been taught and eloped with a man who was unlike any she had ever known - loud, vivacious, and passionate. Best of all, he expected nothing of her, and was the first person to ever make her question what she really wanted out of life. Her future seemed warm and bright with him, and seemed to expand out infinitely before her. Now, just over a year later, she felt the walls closing in on her again; the same barriers that had kept her confined in her old life, though she was not cognizant of their presence until she met Aldric. She missed the comforts of and quality of her old life, and the company that always surrounded her and catered to her whims back home. Her love for Aldric was renewed every time he returned from work, but the moment he left the house, she was once again consumed by her despondency. It took some time, but her husband eventually picked up on her discontentment; he resolved to make an effort to spend more time close to home, and promised that, if she felt comfortable doing so, they could make the voyage to Terra after the birth of their child so she could reconcile and reunite with her family.

Aldric remained true to his word, and he was a more frequent presence in their household. But the birth of their son Vincent soon arrived, and so thoughts of travel were pushed far from Mariana's mind as she focused on caring for the new addition to their household. Days soon turned to years, and when Vincent was five, his younger sister Iris was born. Mariana still longed to be on good terms with her parents and siblings and wished for them to be a part of her kids' lives, but motherhood provided her with a focus, and alleviated much of the pain that resulted from her homesickness and unrest. She and her family lived a quiet, pleasant life after Iris' birth. Aldric was enjoying a successful career in the Navy, and seemed to be making good progress toward captaining his own vessel. Mariana had finally acclimated to life in Unda, and was even enjoying intermittent correspondence with her mother, though the contents of their letters tended to be somewhat restrained and formal in nature.

The simple tranquility of the Ravelli home persisted, but it was not meant to last. When Iris was around five years old, there was word of tensions growing high between Terra and Ignis, and this troubling news renewed Mariana's interest in seeing her relatives in full. She was concerned for their welfare, and was planning to invite her parents to stay with her and Aldric until the situation blew over, but it didn't seem as though a letter would be the proper mode of conveyance for such a brazen request. Mariana decided that she needed to handle the matter delicately, and that the best way to make a serious attempt at repairing the bridges she had burned would be to finally make a personal appearance. She also believed that bringing her children would likely give her proposition more weight. That would be her way of extending an olive branch of sorts, by showing her parents just how adamant she was about including them in her new life.

She soon wrote to them about her departure, and began to make preparations. Aldric was reasonably wary about this idea, as it seemed to him that Mariana was underestimating the current state of affairs between Terra and Ignis, but it soon became clear to him that his wife would not be dissuaded. Knowing how much this meant to his wife and how long she had waited, he went to work on using his connections to secure his wife and children safe passage to Terra. It was no easy feat, but they managed to be smuggled in aboard a small boat. Though she was aware that times had grown difficult for Terra, Mariana had remained entirely ignorant to the true extent of the damage that had been done to her homeland. Had her husband been aware of what awaited her and their children upon their arrival, he never would have allowed them to leave.

The grand territory she recalled from childhood had been ravaged by war. Homes were scorched, raided, and deserted. Loss and misfortune had reduced once proud men and women to lowly beggars and vagrants. The air reeked of ash, sickness, and death. Her children were very curious about the disturbing sights that existed all around them, but she demanded their silence and somberly urged them forward. It suddenly seemed imperative that she find them shelter before making the trip to her family estate. Iris herself remembers very little of this trip beyond some vague flashes and impressions that have managed to remain with her over the years, but this is unsurprising as she was too young and naive to understand the gravity of what she was witnessing at the time.

These days, with the context behind what she had seen now fully apparent to her, she often wonders what it would be like to visit Terra again. Though her connection to it isn't nearly as strong as her mother's, Iris still respects her heritage and extended connections, and so she would not be opposed to returning. It could be said that her intense desire to venture out into the world is motivated by selfishness, but she is still a compassionate person for all her faults. If she really were to make her way to Terra again, it would hardly be a leisurely visit. In a way, she identifies with them as her own people, as being part of her history. Because of this, she feels a responsibility to one day lend aid to the struggling Terrans who have continued to suffer as a result of the war. Whether that ambitious dream will ever be realized, she cannot say, but she will not forget it.

After much difficulty, Mariana was able to ascertain the location of an old, trusted friend, but their reunion was not at all what she expected. The vibrant, elegant woman she left over ten years ago was haggard and dressed in soiled rags. Her new residence was more of a hovel, and her children seemed small and wide-eyed as they huddled in a corner. There was a deep sadness evident in her friend's features, and when Mariana inquired about what had become of her, the other woman informed her that she had very grave news to deliver, and that it would be best if her children did not hear it. Iris and her brother vehemently protested being left alone with the strange woman's sad looking children, but their mother would not tolerate any disobedience. Iris can still recall trying to befriend the emaciated group of youngsters, but they remained huddled in a corner and did not respond to a word she said. She was offended, figuring they were rejecting her out of hate, having never entered fear into the equation. But when she started raising a fuss, she was silenced by her brother. So that was the end of that, and she made very little effort to interact with the locals after being rebuffed by the children.

When the two women stepped outside, Mariana's life ended. She learned that the war with Ignis had sent Terra spiraling into chaos, and the wealthy district where they had grown up had been hit particularly hard. Their positions of privilege and power attracted negative attention on both sides; the enemy saw the upper class as representatives of the strength of Terra that needed to be crippled, and the lower class resented their continued good fortune as they starved and struggled in the streets. Enemy raiders came in the night and stormed the districts.

Many of the unsuspecting inhabitants were slaughtered in the attack, and those that were lucky enough to flee to safety without being hunted down had to leave behind all funds and material possessions. Homes were picked clean by the bloodthirsty and the desperate alike, and finally set ablaze once their interiors had been been sufficiently ravaged. Mariana's companion had barely escaped the attack alive; the only reason she and her children made it out was due to her husband's willingness to sacrifice his life in order to buy them time. She had not heard from Mariana's family since that night, and couldn't recall seeing anyone familiar entering or exiting their home on that dreadful night.

Unsure how to process the information she had been given, Mariana left without another word and rushed to her family estate with renewed desperation. Iris and her brother were extremely frightened when they noticed their mother leaving, but they were perceptive enough to know that she did not want them to follow. Though her memory of that day is spotty and unclear, Iris recalls her mother's retreat from the Terran woman's home quite clearly. In a way, it was the last time she would ever see the woman she had known for her last five years of life. After that, the new woman would be taking over. She was frightened in the way any child is when confronted with matters they cannot comprehend, but if she were to know and understand what the future was to hold for her after that moment, she would have had cause to be even more concerned.

The earliest sights Mariana encountered were not encouraging; many beautiful homes had been destroyed and left uninhabited. There were no sounds to be heard, save for the piercing wail that filled her ears as she ran. It took Mariana quite some time to realize that those sounds were emanating from her.

She had dropped to her knees in front of the home she had been raised in, a palatial estate of fine craftsmanship that had been reduced to nothing more than a wide expense of rubble and ash. The ground was stained with dried blood, and charred corpses could be seen amid the wreckage. Her body shook with grief, and she released a single pained scream as her heart was torn to shreds. The agony was amplified upon realizing that they all had been dead for quite some time, and likely never even received the letter that told of her intentions to visit. She remained kneeling in the dirt and howling through her tears for what could have been multiple lifetimes before something abruptly shifted inside her. Mariana swallowed her grief and locked it away deep in her heart; she was irrevocably damaged and hardened that day. This is something that Iris would not understand or appreciate or understand for many years, but she would be forced to endure the repercussions of her mother's choice to shut out the world for the rest of her own life.

Mariana returned to her friend's home with slow, deliberate steps, and collected her children without a word. Iris and Vincent were pleased to see her return, but it was plain to both of them that something was wrong with their mother. Her face was a stiff, impassive mask, free from the raw, unbridled emotion that had spilled out not long ago. She resolved to never shed a single tear again as long as she lived. Mariana and her children boarded the same ship that had brought them to Terra, and only said what was necessary for the crew to know that it was time for them to return home before she resumed her frigid silence. Her children pleaded with her for answers, but she provided none. Iris in particular had been looking forward to meeting her aunts and grandparents, and she simply could not understand why they had not gone to visit them. Still, no matter how she or brother begged and pleaded, their mother would not budge. When they finally reached Unda, Aldric was met with a similar reception.

In fact, many weeks went by before Mariana even felt able to leave her room. It took even longer for her to confide in her husband about what she had seen, but her children remained in the dark. They had no idea why their trip to Terra had been cut short, why they had not met their mother's family, and why she was acting so strangely. It was an absolutely terrifying time for everyone. The normal routine was thrown into chaos. Aldric was forced to spend more time at home, and when he absolutely had to leave home, it was up to Vincent to watch over Iris.

Being as young as she was, it was difficult for her to comprehend why the woman who used to tuck her in every night wouldn't even speak to her now. Her brother did his best to put on a brave face, but Iris cried almost every night for weeks. It wasn't as though she didn't love her brother or father, but she was just a little girl, and she knew of no other way to cope with the hardship and confusion. Her mother had been a constant, positive force in her life, and suddenly she was gone with no explanation. It was very difficult for Iris to adjust.

This tension persisted, despite Aldric's best efforts to raise his wife's spirits and get her out of the house. She resisted all of his attempts to pull her back to reality, and he was left to manage things as best he could while still giving attention to his career. The hold her grief had on her seemed so unshakable, that all members of the house were taken aback the morning they awoke to find her making breakfast. After months of pain and uncertainty, Mariana had returned to them - just not as she was before. When she first reemerged, Iris swooped down upon her mother like a bird who was closing in on its prey. She still did not understand why her mother had vanished for so long, but it was no longer important, seeing as she had finally decided to return. Iris felt that everything would just magically fall into place and things would resume as they had before. From Iris' perspective, it was like time had just frozen for a brief period, but with her mother back, things were surely destined to go back to normal. She did not know the true depth of her mother's transformation. Mariana had been damaged by grief, and morphed into the woman who was destined to make Iris' life a prison.

The horrors of war had shaken her and robbed her of the naive complacency her comfortable life had afforded her. Mariana saw danger at every turn; the world that had seemed so full of possibility when she married Aldric now seemed dark, tainted, and full of terror. She feared for her husband every time he stepped out the door, and she held on to that same fear for her son when he was fifteen and began working alongside his father, who had been recently promoted to the rank of captain. Mariana herself regressed, and fell back on the traditional values that defined her upbringing. In a way, she believed that the fate that had befallen her family rested on her shoulders. Perhaps it was her punishment for being too careless and bold, for forsaking all they had taught her to value.

The prospect of her husband and only son risking their lives at sea was agonizing, but based on what she had learned as a girl, she knew she had no power over them. Iris, however, was another story entirely. Mariana felt that she had a right to assert her influence over her daughter, who had no responsibility to follow in her father's footsteps or perform the work of men, unlike Vincent. And she also saw in Iris the potential to become her lifelong, obedient companion, as she was now terribly afraid of being left alone for very long. So she began to work on her impressionable, malleable daughter. In order to prevent her from making the same mistakes that she had made, and to keep her close to home and by her side, Mariana taught Iris all the rules and skills that were passed down to her as a young lady. Iris learned how to cook, clean, tend a garden, sew, and conduct herself like a highborn girl. She was taught about her inevitable future as a mother, and a wife to a respectable man from Unda.

Iris was aware of her mother's intentions; she hoped that this instruction would prevent Iris from venturing too far out into the world like she made the mistake of doing in her youth. She also wished to repress her daughter's willful spirit, which reminded her of how she had been when she defied her family to marry Aldric. But despite her mother's best efforts to place clear boundaries around her life, Iris never stopped dreaming, She had always loved to play and explore as a child, and she couldn't understand why her life had become so stringently confined to home, The outside world posed no foreseeable threat to her; it simply promised opportunity. Still, her mother dismissed her requests to abandon lessons in favor of leisure time, and eventually she learned to simply swallow her protests, as any defiance was rendered futile by her mother's iron will. Over time, even though she despised the menial, unfulfilling tasks she was made to perform, Iris began to buy into her mother's claim that she had a duty to learn such essential skills for the good of her family.

If not for the literature her father exposed her to, she might never have broken free from her mother's thrall and persisted in thinking for herself. Aldric felt guilty that work kept him far from his daughter so often, and he knew that Mariana was harder on her than she needed to be. Wanting to connect to his daughter while still refraining from upsetting his wife's already delicate condition, he began giving her special gifts in secret, as tokens of his affection, and to give her the time to be a child - something he was sure that Iris was denied of when he was not present. It started with small trinkets that he picked up on his travels, and his daughter cherished every one. But things changed completely when he made the choice to procure something a little more practical - a book. At first, Iris didn't know how to respond to this offering. Up to that point, she hadn't enjoyed reading very much. The texts her mother provided her with were very dry and unimaginative, often having to do with various domestic or horticultural skills she expected Iris to pick up. But Aldric promised her that the book he had found was unlike any she had ever read previously, so she was willing to give it a try in order to please her father, whose company she enjoyed very much.

Upon reading the book, she was astounded by tales she had never heard before: stories of adventure of the high seas, piracy and buried treasure, and perilous danger unlike anything she had known in her own life. Those stories appealed to her woefully neglected imagination. She devoured the words within a single day, and her father swore that he would find her another book the next time he was away. Being a man of his word, Aldric returned home from his next trip with two new books for his daughter.

Iris responded favorably once again, and so this secret tradition was created between them. He would bring her books to read, and she would read them after her mother had gone to bed, and would stash them under the floorboards when she was done. If he wasn't able to procure something new for her, Aldric would just entertain her with tales of his own adventures at sea. Iris was feeling closer to her father than ever, and she was finally starting to feel that there was a piece of her identity that was entirely her own - a side her mother could not control or influence. Thanks to her father's generosity, she was able to cultivate a love of learning and rediscover the intense curiosity and passion for excitement and discovery that defined her earlier years.

She found power in surreptitiously defying her mother; such subversive practices were a thrill. So imagine her delight when Iris discovered the benefits to possessing true power - something real and substantial. While the discovery of her abilities as a water elemental came as a massive disappointment to Mariana, Aldric was secretly pleased. He convinced his wife to allow Iris to sit in on the training sessions he conducted with Vincent - providing that her lessons did not revolve around combat, but the more practical uses of her powers. That was an easy concession to make if it meant giving Iris the attention and focus she deserved, though he did eventually decide to teach her basic self defense for her own protection.

The three bonded in a way that may have never occurred if fate had changed her circumstances, and Iris quickly took immense pride in her powers. Not only did they give her the opportunity to spend more time with her father and grow closer to her brother, but her powers also helped her feel as though she was her the way to becoming truly whole. They would be with her forever; they could not be stolen from her, and while she didn't have much freedom in what she was taught, she did have influence over how she used her powers.

Iris knew her mother was not pleased to see her deviating from her prescribed path, but Iris endeavored to make her rebellion as painless as possible. She still obeyed quietly, and kept up the subservient attitude her mother had grown to expect, but even her mother had been able to sense something bubbling below the surface. Iris had grow discontent and disconsolate; she remained due to a twisted sense of loyalty and obligation that still remained from the propaganda that characterized her childhood, but her heart and mind always drifted far from home. Whenever she had a spare moment, she continued to read and long for a life that held more meaning and importance than her own.

She had endured far too much, and was tired of suffering due to her own mother's fears and insecurities, Iris didn't know what she was meant to do, or what the real world had in store for someone like her, but none of that mattered as much as the fact that she knew that she could no longer abide being forced to waste her life and her potential. Iris knew she was worthy of some greater destiny or existence than the sad, quiet one she had been living for far too long.

That's why she was forced to make a difficult but unavoidable decision - she had to run. The choice came swiftly, and with very little preparation; she just knew. Iris packed the essentials (which included her favorite books), and fled into the night. It's not as though she abandoned all thought of her family, or more specifically, the mother who relied so heavily on her presence and obedience since she was a child. She wrote a detailed letter explaining her circumstances, which hadn't been easy. Her father and brother were bound to be understanding despite any concern they would feel for her well being, but her mother was a special case. Iris wrote multiple drafts of her goodbye, but it seemed that there were no words known to her that could accurately convey what she was feeling while avoiding shattering her mother entirely. When she slipped the note under Mariana's pillow, everything felt frighteningly real.

Part of her wanted to lean down and give her a kiss and bid her a proper farewell. Iris felt compelled to confess to her mother that she loved her no matter what, and that in her heart she understood that she was only doing what she thought was best. It wasn't until many years had passed that Iris learned about the incident that changed her mother's life. It certainly put things in perspective, even if she still couldn't wrap her head around her mother's unwillingness to communicate. Instead of saying any of those things, Iris remained silent and retreated into the shadows, hoping her courage wouldn't fail her as she finally set off into the world. Currently, she has no set destination in mind. As is sometimes typical of her, Iris has placed her ambitions to the forefront, while leaving concrete plans to remain as a secondary concern. For the time being, she plans to restrict her travels to Unda, in order to get better acquainted with all her home has to offer, but she doesn't intend to be limited to one location for very long.


OOC

RP Sample:

Quote :
Jared appeared in a flash of multicolored light, a large purple staff in his hands. He willed the weapon away, and it vanished in an instant, as if it had never really been there at all. "I'm really glad I learned that trick," He mused, taking some time to drink in the sights of this new world. Jared had learned a lot after training under the watchful eye of a man named Jackson. Thanks to his patience and guidance, Jared slowly began discovering his potential - tapping into power he had no idea he possessed. The details of his past still eluded him, but for right now, the young man was content with his situation. Of course, discovering the truth of his identity was still very important to him, but Jared had come to accept that he had a long road ahead of him. He couldn't force anything to happen.

If the memories were to come back to him it would be wonderful, but he couldn't let himself get caught up in the hope that it would all come rushing back in an instant, or stop living just because of the circumstances. Now that his health had returned to him, Jared was eager to see the different worlds he had heard so much about. It was all so fascinating. No two places were alike and the possibilities seemed endless. So, what was the harm in making some new memories while he waited for the old ones to come back? The man admired his new master and fellow apprentice. He wanted to be strong like they believed he could be. The best way to do that, Jared figured, was to venture out alone every once and a while - more life experience. His emotional strength was just as important as his physical. He had to prove that he was capable of meeting their expectations. That was Jared, always trying to please. Or so he had realized about himself recently. He wondered if he had been like that in his old life as well. There was no way to know though.

Jared looked up in awe at the magnificent blue castle that stood towering over him. His mouth hung open. It had been described to him, so the sight wasn't a total surprise, but the descriptions hadn't done the structure justice. It was one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen. Of course, he hadn't had the opportunity to see much else, so it wasn't like he could compare the experience to another. He looked up in wonder at the stars twinkling in the sky above. After only a few seconds on this world, he was already overwhelmed by all there was to see. Once he was able to relax, it dawned on him that this world seemed eerily still and silent. There didn't seem to be another living soul around the place. Now that Jared was aware of how utterly alone he was, the illusion of perfection was shattered. Something just didn't feel right. "Hello? Is anyone out here?" The continued silence was his only answer.

He looked back at the castle that had captivated him earlier. Was it possible that someone could be inside? It didn't hurt to check. Slowly he climbed a wide set of stairs until he reached the tall front doors and eased them open. He wandered around the castle for a time, still taking it all in with the same sense of childlike wonder. Eventually he found himself in a large foyer, which was just as grand as everything else he had seen thus far. Before him stood the biggest staircase he had seen set. The numerous steps were covered in a dark red expensive-looking carpet. "Anyone here?" He called out again, but there was still no response.

Jared figured he would continue his search since had come this far already. "I wonder if I'm even allowed to be in here," He said to himself softly. One would expect activity in a place like this, but there was nothing. Climbing the first set of stairs had been a workout, and Jared grimaced at the second set he would have to face. He went up the left side, stopping every so often to catch his breath. Though his strength was improving nicely, he was still feeling the effects of his earlier fragile state.

After what seemed like an eternity of stair-climbing to Jared, he reached another set of doors. With no thought to what could be on the other side, he pushed them open, and found himself in some sort of ball room. He let out a low whistle. "What a place..," He thought.

"Hello? Anyone?"

Alias: Tsamo

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Last edited by Iris Ravelli on Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:13 am; edited 43 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Iris Ravelli   Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:56 pm

Iris has been blessed as a...

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Iris Ravelli

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Character Sheet
OOC: Tsamo
Classification: Consular
Experience:
21/70  (21/70)

PostSubject: Re: Iris Ravelli   Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:31 am

Finally done! Iris' profile is now ready for review.

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PostSubject: Re: Iris Ravelli   Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:49 am

A review has been sent to your player account.
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Iris Ravelli

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Posts : 15
Total Experience Points : 15
Join date : 2013-01-03

Character Sheet
OOC: Tsamo
Classification: Consular
Experience:
21/70  (21/70)

PostSubject: Re: Iris Ravelli   Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:15 am

I've made some edits. I hope I got it all down :]
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PostSubject: Re: Iris Ravelli   Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:31 am

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