C'io Behkt (/'kai-oh bech/; Seeker: Io of the Coeurl Tribe, daughter of Behkt) is a Miqo'te Seeker of the Sun originally from the Sagolii Desert. A passionate adventurer, loyal to her ideals, she travels Eorzea as work demands, sometimes as a courier along dangerous paths, but now more often as a practical scholar of magic and Allaghan techniques. She seeks ways to meld her martial upbringing with her aptitude for magic.
She is tall for a miqo’te and athletically built from a life of hunting in the desert and labour in the city. While she first came to the city with short-cropped hair, she’s allowed her orange-brown hair to grow out past her shoulders. From the five years she spent living with her tribe in an underground Allaghan vault, a small scar from the cut of too-tight goggles is still visible on the bridge of her nose. Despite her transition to magic over weaponry, C’io eschews robes, no matter how augmented, for more flexible and protective adventuring gear, and always keeps a sword close.
ϟ Call to Adventure
C'io learned from her mother, a seer of the tribe, how to listen to the world. Growing up in the Sagolii Desert, she honed that gift and used the spiritualism her mother instilled her with to augment her martial studies. The balance of influences in her upbringing allowed her to become consciously adaptive, like the shifting sand, though it also isolated her for thinking differently despite her adherence to tradition. C'io never felt alone, however--not when she could hear the many other voices of the Sagolii.
Sadly, the voices turned unpleasant five years ago, both in her tribe and in the land. While the land screamed under the weight of Dalamud, the red moon of destruction, her father, C'behkt Nunh, fanned the fire of fear and uncertainty in the tribe. As a Nunh of great pedigree, her father wielded tremendous influence. When he spoke of escaping the Calamity by driving the nomadic settlement deeper in the desert, many, including C'io's terrified mother, listened. Although C'io wished to join the cause of nearby Ul'dah, she stayed with the tribe for her mother's peace of mind and helped them find new, more isolated but increasingly dangerous, hunting grounds.
Years later, C'io finally emerged to make her way to Ul'dah and to find new voices of hope. Her tribe still remains hidden from the world, but C'io refuses to stand by any longer. She will use her gifts, heed her calling, and struggle ardently for the good of Eorzea.
5 traits that describe C'io:
ϟ Io of the Coeurl Tribe
"Power is domination, control, and therefore a very selective form of truth which is a lie." - Soyinka
The Coeurl Tribe with which C'io is familiar differs from those villages in Eastern Thanalan which are the basis for popular Coeurl Tribe anthropology. The greatest divergence lies in the idea of the Nunh as head of the household rather than as subordinate or chosen by the women of the tribe. In the Coeurl C'io knows, the criteria for Nunh and the rituals surrounding Tia challenges are owned by the women of the tribe and based upon what consensus demands are the tribe's current and long-term needs. For example, a Nunh who achieved his position during a time in which martial prowess was favourable may one day lose to a Tia in a time wherein mysticism or guile are the deciding factors. It is this mutable selection process that drove her father, C'behkt Nunh, to take advantage of the Calamity by cajoling the weaker members of the tribe into following him into the Allaghan vaults where, once isolated from the keepers of the old ways, he twisted the old order to ensure the longevity of his patriarchy.
Not an uncommon tale. What is uncommon is that C'io left, in time. She carries with her a carved gemstone of ancient Allag, a trophy from a hunt in the strange vaults her people now inhabit.
C'io has never forgiven her father. His influence on her is evident in how she clings to her traditions and in how she remains wary of arrogant Nunh and ambitious Tia.
She still loves and misses her mother.
ϟ For Coin and Country
"For me, justice is the prime condition of humanity." - Soyinka
Ul'dah was more than the valiant adventurers the hero-worshiping C'io had associated it with; the city-state greeted her as a sulphurous, splendid furnace bubbling with poverty and exhaltation, garishness and inventiveness, squalor and the powerful, all-consuming sense of self-sufficiency that marked a culture that did not give a damn for anyone else and for anything else that had happened before the last fiscal year. Often was C'io confronted by Ul'dah's worst facets and its many attempts to lure and bind her in the thrall of cold coin, a trap set to keep in check the many desperate refugees of Ala Mhigo. She avoided most with a penchant for honest labour, the rest by following her intuition and avoiding unscrupulous patrons and refugee demagogues.
As a result, her most stable employment lay as a courier; the moogles, who only appeared to a select few regardless, did not suffer the same prejudices rampant in the city-state. Through their network, she secured occasional contracts with employers of calibre. This, and her skill as a gladiator, enabled to escape the fate of most of Ul'dah's itinerants.
C'io worked closely with and lived among the Ala Mhigans, but ultimately could not help them in any lasting way. The problems between Ul'dah and its refugees were too far beyond one person to alleviate, but she touched what lives she could.
Many times, Ul'dah tested her faith in it and in herself. It still does. The city, more than the wilds, drowns her in helplessness.
ϟ Tempered by Flames
"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed." - Carl Jung
The Immortal Flames enlisted C'io for her knowledge of the land. A trade city such as Ul'dah requires that the roads surrounding it remain clear; coin, after all, can not circulate from hand to coffer if trade does not flourish, and trade flourishes only when risk is kept at a minimum. Though it was not a glorious march to Cartenau or a desperate stand against the Empire, C'io navigated with pride each Flame squadron along drake paths, through old hunting grounds, and swiftly to far-flung objective sites without stirring the baleful suspicions of the territorial Amal'jaa.
It is a truth of conflict that she did not always succeed. Sometimes, soldiers died; more often, they were taken. The Immortal Flames, stretched thin and held back by the hand of politicians and merchants more willing to trust in the avarice of the Brass Blades than the noble Flames, could not always rescue all. So it was that, when her turn came from being too slow on the retreat, too busy herding squad members toward a prearranged escape route, C'io did not expect miracles...
Yet two she received in rapid succession.
The first was long in the making. When the Amal'jaa brought their train of half-starved prisoners, already weakened by weeks of exposure and thin rations, before their dread and corrupted god to be Tempered, the blue flame simply could not find purchase in her soul. Arrogant, proud, and dismissive of their city-state captives, the beastmen had neglected any search or confiscation of belongings, and so it was that C'io still carried with her that carved gemstone of ancient Allag, once pried from the body of some ineffable vault-beast. The call of the Amal'jaa primal awoke her stone, which instead began to flood its alien memories and influences into her as it slated an age-old thirst on Ifrit's power. Though not enslaved, C'io was nontheless pushed past a threshold and into liminality, given possession of a juxtaposition of minds she would later need to analyse.
The second miracle was coincidence: the happy timing of an Immortal Flames operation to put down the Amal'jaa ritual. Having learned from previous encounters, the suppression teams had, perhaps unkindly, lain first in wait for Ifrit to exhaust its subversive blue fire on the already weak prisoners. The first squad rushed in against these new enslaved, clearing a path for the second and third to engage the primal directly.
Still dazed though also aware of the gravity of her situation, C’io set herself to aid the Flames in the swift cull of their former allies. With blows heavy and half-hearted, she noted the empty look in the eyes of the Tempered and found it too close a reminder. Her father, the demagogue, her tribe, the enslaved. Her mother, a fanatical believer in both. Every once-ally slain also felt to her a sister felled.
The Flames recognised her survival with equal parts caution and awe. They recorded her in their book of those who had survived a Tempering or who had been close to the primal when it fell. They also accepted her request for a leave of absence with kind, if silent, understanding.
In the time alone, she resolved to learn more about her gemstone of Allag and about the strange word it echoed in her mind: Summoning.
ϟ The Oath We Swear To Ourselves
"To abide by one's own sense of justice is to embrace the paladin's creed. Sworn or unsworn [...] the only true oath we swear is the one we swear to ourselves." - Solkzagyl
Some of these rumors may be untrue or greatly exaggerated.
◢ The Usual
"Isn't that miqo'te girl familiar? Coulda sworn she was working as a teamster out by Silver Bazaar just last week."
"Her tail and posture reminds me of one of them bloodsand gladiators. A sibling, most likely; you know how those tribal miqo'te are."
"Hey, do you think she's one of those Ala Mhigans?"
"Hired her a while back. Doesn't say much, but good worker, few complaints. Didn't want a full time position, though. Pity."
"Look there she goes talking to herself again. She's strange, no question."
◢ Quite Uncommon
"I hear she used to be with the Flames, but she alone survived some ill-fated mission and they discharged her. Left the city for a long time after that, she did."
"Swear one o' the sultansworn and her exchanged nods like they knew one another!" / "Inconceivable."
"I keep seeing her purposefully cross the street to avoid other miqo'te. Why's that?"
◢ Very Rare
"Tch. What a preachy whore..." / "Oi careful she don't hear you. I know someone who called her that once. Some big rat came out of nowhere and just bit him! Thal's balls, had to check him at the physicker for diseases after that."
I am an incurable chatterbox and love meeting new people, so do message me if you see me online! I also can become very distracted from tells, particularly when entering and leaving instances which don’t allow me to maintain an ongoing conversation, so do forgive me if that happens. When I do give my full attention is when I am RPing or discussing possible stories – both to respect your time and to respect mine. If you see me in game and my RP tag is up, feel free to join me in RP or ask where I am. And if you have an active plot that you think I would be a good fit in, I would love to hear about it also!
Roleplaying and the Importance of Communication
My limits on C'io are straight-forward. I will tend to follow the logic of the fiction, except in cases where it would be best to discuss beforehand the consequences of long-term or permanent harm. If an aspect of RP makes you uncomfortable in a scene we're playing, please send me a /tell and let me know if we need to negotiate it; I will do the same for you. OOC communication as fellow authors is very important, more important than potentially keeping immersion.
Roleplaying and Lore Adherence
Quite obviously, as an in-character Summoner in possession of a window into harnessing Ifrit’s energy, C’io exists as anathema to some of you. I believe in adhering to lore, but I also believe that the lore presents to us ways in which our characters can wield with proficiency some of the skills that the game gives to us. I use this belief to give others that same chance, and hope it will be extended to me also that I might continue playing what I love. That said, I do attempt to adhere as best as possible to the sensibilities of each storyline and my co-players who are involved in it.
OOC Musings on Playing C'io
C'io marks the first time I have chosen to play someone truly, genuinely good, and it is extremely difficult but also rewarding.
In the past, I have tiptoed on the scales of morality, exploring themes and motivations for villains and accidental anti-heroes. Traditionally, the Byronic Hero is mine, and I was glad to own it because the Byronic Hero is dramatic and popular and easy. So, so easy. It is no exaggeration to say that I have fallen in love with some of my old characters, one of whom in particular became my identity for a time.
But C'io strays far away from that, and in a way, her break from her father is a metaphorical exhibit of that: her father, the charismatic and manipulative demagogue nuhn Behkt, is closer to what I would normally create. She faces her problems earnestly and with a mind for fairness, and handles her heavy prejudice against the sexual politics of her people with the awareness that individuals all deserve a chance and that her experiences colour her perception. She feels for the dispossessed, does not care to exploit others, and lives by scruples even she acknowledges as difficult.
C'io is a better person than I am, which makes her difficult to play, but is no less flawed. She’s sexist, sometimes a little feckless, and needs to pay the bills. She knows her ideals are impossible and overwhelming for a single person, yet she follows them anyway (perhaps foolishly) and combats that futility with as brave a smile as she can muster. She fails by her standards often.
I’ve always considered myself closer to the Byronic anti-heroes I’ve portrayed, but I will be glad if, in our time together, I can learn to be more like C'io. She embodies what my work now requires of me despite my cynicism and personal failings; she inspires me to be better than who I am.