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|Clan||Seeker of the Sun|
|Tribe||Coeurl tribe of the Sagolii|
|Height||5 fulm 6 ilm|
|Also known as||C'kayah Tia|
|In game||Most days from 8-12 PM Pacific|
- 1 Character
- 2 Combat
- 3 Tendencies
- 4 Relationships
- 5 Rumors
- 6 History/Timeline
- 7 Character Addenda
- 8 Annotations
C'kayah Polaali (Ka-kai-yah Poh-lah-lee) - aka C'kayah Tia (Ka-kai-yah Tea-ah) - is an active, vigorous Seeker of the Sun living in the city-state of Ul'dah. Urbanized, compared to many of the Coeurl tribe, he typifies the sort of energetic Seeker who leaves to Hunt the World and decides that it's pretty nice out there. While he grew up in a traditional Coeurl Sunseeker sept, he has recently adopted his maternal grandmother's surname of Polaali. Very distinctly not a hero, he walks that grey area between mere decadence and villainy.
Note: C'kayah does not have the Echo, nor is a part of the Scions. He has no information on anything relating to the events portrayed in the game.
"I am tall for a Miqo'te, and I have always been blessed with swift feet and an athletic build. My coarse brown hair is unruly, like my father's. I used to keep it braided, but I spend the time now to keep it styled. My eyebrows, which are fine, I get from my mother, as I do my eyes. I have fangs, a legacy from my maternal grandmother, a Keeper of the Moon. While I do not dress like a tribal Couerl - I am too fond of stylish urban Miqo'te fashion - my mannerisms sometimes give away my affiliations."
Despite his tribal background, C'kayah has adapted to civilized society like a fish to water. He is curious, energetic, and adventurous, with the sort of overweening fondness for the trappings of civilization that sometimes develops in civilized barbarians. While he likes to portray himself as a the same carefree Miqo that he's always been, living through the Calamity has affected him, making him more aware that ignoring a threat does not make that threat go away. He doesn't tell anyone, but the last five years have seen him apply himself to study (of healing, of history, and of politics) with a diligence that is quite unlike him. This wider understanding, paired with his natural charisma, led him to develop an organized crime cartel whose influence could be felt throughout Thanalan before his eventual relocation to the Shroud.
Originally trained in his tribe as a hunter, he has continued to hone his skills, becoming an accomplished tracker and archer. While he picked up the sword during the Calamity, he considered himself only knowledgable enough to get himself into trouble. Since his disastrous encounter with Thunder, he's applied himself to the study of swordsmanship with an uncharacteristic drive. His overall philosophy of combat is that it is best to engage an enemy in a way that he knows they have been defeated before they are even aware that they are in combat.
"If I am in a fair fight, then I have done something terribly, terribly wrong."
"Likes/Dislikes: I like to roam, and I like to return. I like good food, fine wine, witty conversation with intelligent people, beautiful women (oh? Did you think that a Tia, by not breeding, has no knowledge of women?), and comfortable living. I like subtle and thought-provoking poetry and philosophy. Dislikes? I am not fond of Elezen, or at least those Elezen who maintain that the rest of us are merely invaders in their world. I dislike limitations. I dislike foolish behavior, maudlin sentimentality and boredom. Most of all, though, I like power and I dislike an empty purse."
- Clever conversation
- Beautiful women
- Religious iconography
- Fine food and strong drink
- Garleans (he blames them very specifically for S'aitei's death)
- Boorish people (a category into which he lumps any Roegadyn he meets)
- His main talent is his ability to inspire others
- He's a pretty decent hunter with good tracking skills
- He's applied himself to the study of the sword and has developed some ability with it
- He's becoming quite a good healer and a conjurer adept
- He's a good singer
- He's a surprisingly good cook
- He is a connoisseur of good wines and strong drink, though he dislikes beers and ales
- He has a weakness for beautiful women and is easily swayed and manipulated by them
I've seen the various ♥ icons handled differently. Here, they are a heirarchy, much like ●, ●, and ●:
♥ implies ♥
♥ implies both ♥ and ♥ ♥ doesn't really imply anything at all. It's complicated...
"My parents are C'xin Nunh and C'issapa Oya. My father is very conservative, holding to the "eternal ways of of Coeurl Tribe". My mother... is something of a free spirit. They said that she has Keeper blood in her, which I suppose means that I have it as well. My own wandering feet I have certainly inherited from her. Other relatives? You know how it is in a Seeker tribe, especially one such as the Coeurls. I have many relatives, many siblings by my father, yet only one (that I know of) by my mother. Some I got along with very well, and we exchange letters to this day, though I have not seen any of my siblings since I left to Hunt the World, twelve years ago."
- ● C'xin Nunh: C'kayah's father. C'xin is extremely conservative, and expects C'kayah to uphold the traditions of the tribe. Often distant with his children, C'xin nevertheless takes an active interest in their lives.
- ● C'issapa Oya: C'kayah's mother. C'issapa is an extremely free-spirited and free-thinking woman whose sharp canines and large eyes betray a mixed ancestry. C'issapa reveres Menphina, and it is from her that C'kayah developed his own devotion to the diety. C'kayah and C'issapa have always been extremely close.
- ● Mholii Polaali: A cousin from within the Morbolvine clan. When Miah Polaali was supposedly killed, young Mholii stepped in as Matriarch of the clan and came to C'kayah for help. He agreed to advise her as she developed her base of power. Mholi has since fled the Morbolvine clan, and taken refuge with C'kayah in Nymeia's Web.
- ● C'anmaia Polaali: C'kayah recently ran across his sister, who had also left the tribe to come to Ul'dah. The pair have since become inseparable, a small but strong kernel of family within Nymeia's Web. C'anmaia shares C'kayah's social, inquisitive nature and flirts heavily with many people, including her brother.
- ●● The rest: As is common with Seeker tribes, C'kayah has many brothers and sisters.
"I suppose my natural disposition is to make fresh acquaintances, and to break with them so readily, although always for a good reason, and never through mere fickleness."
- ♥● Aya Foxheart: C'kayah met this attractive Hyur when he passed through Fallgourd Float. The two immediately bonded over drink and flirty conversation. They saw little of one another for some months after that, until she relocated to Ul'dah and began to work in the Quicksand as a barmaid, when they renewed their friendship. They share similar outlooks, both having rejected the future their childhood was preparing them for in favor of living their lives as they want to. While it is clear that both are attracted to each other, he values her primarily as a friend and will do anything to help her, should she be in need.
- ● Kahn'a Ohditra: C'kayah first encountered this Flame soldier when he worked to defeat the terrorist Askier Mergrey. Since then he has crossed paths with Ohditra on more than one occasion. His natural distrust of any in a military position is tempered with a grudging respect for the Flame Private's abilities.
- ● Kiht Jakkya: Former Vice Matriarch to the Morbolvine clan and associate of an underworld figure C'kayah has dealt with in the past. Their relationship has sometimes been rocky, but they have gradually developed an enduring respect for one another that proved to be the foundation of a solid friendship.
- ● Lady Dusk: He has developed a strange connection to this powerful Duskwight mage. While they are sometimes seen conferring together, the exact nature of their alliance remains a mystery. Those close to him recognize that he views his relationship with her as particularly important.
- ●● Osric Melkire: A usually-mased Immortal Flame with whom C'kayah worked to stop Askier Mergrey's plans for detonating a ceruleum bomb in Ul'dah. While the two are sometimes antagonistic, it is clear that C'kayah holds a grudging respect for the man, considering him a beacon of honorable behavior in an otherwise unrecoverably corrupt organization. At the same time, Osric's staged hunt of C'kayah was a catalyst for the dissolution of his tribe, and he still holds an active dislike for the man that has only gradually cooled over time.
- ● Rhaq Embhre: He met this taciturn Keeper years ago, and over time they have developed a strange sort of friendship. She currently works for him, managing the Black Coeurl Trade Company.
- ● Roen Deneith: A disgraced former Sultansworn, C'kayah has known the Hyur for some time. Initially meeting her at the same time as Siha Xinkei when she was an apprentice, his respect for the woman has grown as he watched her struggle with the choices that first her heritage and later her heart presented her. When asked about her, he says that he owes her, yet he never says why.
- ● Roswyn Valhuri: A young Keeper woman who C'kayah's known for years. Their relationship has never been anything but rocky, though he has watched her life for years, lending aid when he can.
- ● Vi Lyrre: This beautiful Seeker arrived at his doorstep one day, demonstrating both a cryptic interest in remaining close to him along with a disturbing familiarity with his business. Hewing to the principle of keeping enemies close, he hired her for a time as a maid. During this time they met in private many times with L'vi alternately claiming a desire to help him and hinting that she had been paid to destroy him. While their relationship has never been anything but rocky, they have over time become solid allies.
"You may have heard that I am a smuggler, though I do not care for that term. Some have called me a thief, but I must point out that those who slander me with such terms have never been able to prove their accusations in court."
Common Rumors (Easily Overheard)
- "Him? He's a lush. Spends all his time drinking and feasting and wenching." - Ul'dahn wine-seller
- "Do you know the word débrouillard? No? Pity. I think it applies in his case." - Gridanian dye-maker
- "He's grown wealthy over the past year. One can't help but see the clear signs of Syndicate patronage." - Ul'dahn importer
- "He's an easy mark for a beautiful woman. Just look at the name he's taken!" - Ul'dahn courtesan
Moderate Rumors (Uncommonly Overheard)
- "He's a fantastic cook. That's all I'll say on the matter." - Ul'dahn courtesan
- "An easy mark. I took him for every gil he had." - Lominsan courtesan-thief
- "One of these days I'm going to catch him red-handed!" - Ul'dahn Sultansword
- "He bought a rare book of hymns to Nald'Thal for a sum that paid my rent for nearly a season." - Ul'dahn bookseller
Rare Rumors (Very Difficult to Discover)
- "He's always taking things from place to place. From the way he handles some of them, they're not just spices and coffee..." - Gridanian courtesan
- "Once when we were in our cups, he called himself the beloved of Thal. Told me stories of being killed and coming back. Ridiculous, of course, but I think he honestly believes them." - Limsan smuggler
- "He has unusual tastes, especially when it comes to receiving pain. He's very charming..." - Ul'dahn courtesan
PC Rumors (Feel Free to Add IC Rumors)
- "I have known him for a long time. No matter what anyone says, I still consider him a friend. I know there is a heart in there, somewhere. He just hides it well." - Roen Deneith
- "He's far more than his feather headed playboy image let's on. Of all the would be vipers slithering in Ul'dah's shadows, Kayah is far and away the most dangerous... next to me of course." - Torken Queb
- "I can appreciate a good liar when I see one." - Chokho Viqqoh
- "I hurt him in ignorance and he took at as deliberate. I'm not sure if we'll ever even manage to be friends once more." - Natalie Mcbeef
- "Ain't seen nor heard from him since that Redgrave business. Not sure I want to, either. Like as naught, anythin' I hear is somethin' I'll be needin' t'deal with. I've enough on my plate already without addin' Kayah to the mix." - Osric Melkire
- "I have seen that male at his strongest, and I have seen him at his weakest. Yet, I still understand him less than anyone I know. Only time will tell if he is friend or foe." - Kiht Jakkya
- "To me, there is no mystery to Kayah. He seeks to conquer on his own terms. Contrary to what he has others believe, he knows not of true love because he doesn't understand compromise. He isn't evil, but if he were I think we both know how dangerous those aforementioned combination of traits would make him." - Roswyn Valhuri
- "We're on friendly enough terms and help one another with business ventures should it arise. Though the Twelve keep tossing us in each other's paths, and it's made things...interesting." -Lilithium Altair
- "C'kayah? He's the kind of guy you just can't figure out. You think you know him, but you always find out something new when you least expect it." --Aya Foxheart
- "Wait - wait! C'kayah Who?" --Aya Foxheart
- "C'kayah...I'd rather not talk about him. I don't even really know him..." - Siha Xinkei
- "The lord I have seen twice that I know of; Thaliak only knows how many actual times. He did go beyond any favor or payment to help me and did tell me it was for love. Dare say that rings true above any written law. I cannot show enough gratitude for that heart." - Jancis Milburga
- "C'kayah.. think that's the one I talked to about rentin' a room.. Nice guy.. not t' bad t' look at either but don't tell him I said that. " - L'lani Tyata
- "He's positively charming, and exudes a certain aura that I should imagine that most women cannot pull away from. From what I know, not a bad word could be said of his nature." - V'lanya Mei
- "Good f'a drink an' some gossip. I ain' gonna' say I was always keen on 'im, bu' I rather like 'im, now. Sweet fella', so far... Probably a good ally t' 'ave, I'd think, ha?" - Meyla Sarka
- "The one with a whispering wander to his steps. I know him and more important, his reputation." - Aure
- "Kitten? I love it when he yowls. And for some reason, its quite frequently around him" her cheeks puff up. "But he is entertaining to play with." - Hotaru Gin
- "C. Were I to lead a business myself, I would choose to take after his example. He has my respect; something I do not easily give out." - Lynx
- "Oh yes, my dear brother. Yes, he's a fun one..." she begins to trail off. "Kayah is a good man, and a brother as well. If it wasn't for him, I would be rotting in the streets." - C'anmaia Polaali
- "Oh and one more thing. If anyone breaks his heart, they can expect to meet my fists. And if they're lucky... my fangs too." - C'anmaia Polaali
C'kayah was born into a sept of the Coeurl Tribe in the deserts around Ul'dah, C'kayah (like many Seekers) both loved the security of his enormous extended family and chafed at the restrictions imposed by them. Coeurl tribe children typically join a ton at adolescence, leaning to fill an adult's role with the tribe. With his love of wandering, he chose the Hunter's ton, learning the skills of tracking and shooting and enjoying the freedom that tramping through the wilderness provided. On his seventeenth name-day, he left his sept to Hunt the World, a Coeurl "travelling ritual".
1565-1572 The carefree life
Initially upon leaving his tribe, Ul'dah drew him in, as it draws in so many. When he first arrived he had no money, so life was hard for him. His skills were ill-suited toward gaining a living within the city, so he found himself earning his way through mercenary work, caravan-guarding and the like. Along the way he developed his rudimentary Couerl medical talents, becoming a decent frontier medic. Ul'dah is a decadent place, and he took to this decadence wholeheartedly, especially after attracting the notice of A'rela Nereh, a wealthy silver merchant. Twice his age and a notorious consumer of attractive young Miqo'te, he briefly became her slave while she, in turn, taught him to appreciate the comforts of civilization as well as the importance of connections, though he did not appreciate that lesson until years later. Back on his own when her attentions wandered, he began to supplement his income by smuggling and theft and soon grew wealthy enough to enjoy life in Ul'dah. All good things must come to an end, however, and he was chased out of that city in his eighteenth year.
Over the next few years, he made his way across the world, spending most of his time around Limsa Lominsa and Gridania. Like Ul'dah, these places combined plentiful opportunities for acquiring money with a wealth of pleasures on which to spend it. By this time he had developed a grab bag of competencies, allowing him to get by while avoiding the tedium of a full-time occupation: smuggling, petty theft (though never more than his victims could afford), fixing (in the sense of arranging matters), and even the occasional legitimate job. In Gridania he met his first real love, a young thief who called herself S'aitei Koei - an obvious pseudonym. Another Ul'dan refuge, S'aitei was an escaped slave with the lash scars on her back to prove the cruelty of that institution to him. Settling in the Shroud, they made the forest their home, living from the proceeds of C'kayah's smuggling. Their intense and unconventional affair lasted nearly three years, consuming them until they could no longer sustain it, like coal burned to ash. They remained close friends afterwards, and much of his apparent arrested adolescence and inveterate womanizing could be considered his heart yearning to return to those three devastating years.
C'kayah did not take the Garlean threat seriously at first, considering such politics to be inconsequential to him. As the clouds of war gathered, however, he began to see how he may be affected. Like many around Gridania, he learned to handle a sword in anticipation of a Garlean invasion of the city proper, though he moved to the city when the Gridanians set out for Cartaneau.
Like all who survived the Calamity, the devastation wrought by Bahamut and the red moon shocked him, giving him the full measure of the Garlean threat. He awaited the end with the other Gridanians, and when it did not come, he lent his aid as a medic to the streams of refugees and survivors. The event opened his eyes to the larger concerns of the world.
S'aitei disappeared during this time, and he presumes she died in the calamity. He nurtures a slow-burning hatred of the Garleans as a result of her loss.
In the aftermath of the Calamity, he gradually returned to his old ways. Smuggling and fixing, in his mind, were good ways to both help those who lacked what they needed while also giving him the money he desired. He has recently managed to placate the Ul'dahn Syndicate and was allowed to return to that city, where he began to give up his wandering life. Gathering a number of talented criminals, he began to contract out their services as the Nald'Thal's Hand Social Club. Once the Club reached a significant size and level of power, he left it in the hands of his old lieutenant, a Seeker woman named Emelie Annel, to pursue other opportunities. The Club operated for a time out of The Laughing Lady, a tavern known for its underworld ties, before shutting down recently.
His time at the head of the NHSC opened his eyes to the larger political landscape of the Ul'dahn underworld, and he went from observing it to trying to manipulate it. In the time since his departure from the NHSC, he has concentrated on building ties with ever more criminal organizations. Students of the Ul'dahn underworld sometimes speculate that he's engaged in a long-term manipulation of the underworld, with the ultimate goal of placing him on the Syndicate.
With his mate Natalie Mcbeef, he created the Cat Tribe, an urban Miqo'te tribe roughly based off of Coeurl Tribe customs. Kage Kiryuu and Shifu Karambit were more recent additions. However, recent allegations that he was behind an attack on the family home of Lolorito, the head of the East Aldenard Trading Company and member of the Syndicate, have led him to leave his tribe and mates, fleeing Ul'dah. The added strain of a second party seeking his life sparked a vicious fight that resulted in his abandonment by both Natalie and Kage, leaving him alone to face his foes.
Following his tribe's betrayal, he began to focus on restoring his network of underworld contacts and engineering a return to power, all while under pressure from Lolorito's assassins and bounty hunters. He immediately faced an additional complication when the rogue Flame Osric Melkire fingered him for an assassination attempt. He managed to turn this to his advantage, staging his own death to remove the threat from Lolorito and let him figure a permanent solution to the problem. This came in the form of a shadowy deal with a little-known Shroud-based underworld figure, who somehow managed to convince the Syndicate figure that C'kayah wasn't behind the attack. At the same time, his relationship with Roswyn Valhuri changed for the worse, leaving him shattered and easy prey for a clan of Keepers, the [Morbolvine Clan], who were associated with the bandit Thunder. Their unfamiliarity with keeping prisoners led to his easy escape
It was about this time that he encountered Kenthy Pennyfeather, an acidic and abrasive Sunseeker. The two developed an unlikely friendship, leading to their work in the Sea Wolf crime syndicate [Tylwyth Narah]. Soon after this he sold alchemical reagents to Lilithium Altair, a charismatic Hyur. He was immediately attracted to her, and pursued her aggressively. Nursing a freshly broken heart herself, she held him at arms length, though their mutual attraction prevented her from turning him away completely. Over time the pair grew close, finally admitting their love together and falling into a complex relationship which consumed them for some time before shattering, the pair parting for reasons neither are willing to discuss. At the same time, his relationship with Kenthy grew more and more solid, and the pair are now quite devoted to each other.
As Tylwyth Narah grew, the ruins of his relationship with Natalie led to an uneasy alliance between him and a number of renegade Sultansworn. Tasked with helping their attempts at leashing Osric Melkire and the Red Wings, he was given an extremely valuable Syndicate charter to establish a business in Thanalan. This led to the creation of the Guiding Hand Trade Consortium, an import/export trade concern which deals primarily in compact valuables. As the GHTC grew in wealth, he seemingly abandoned his criminal pursuits in favor of legitimate business, something he loudly maintains is true. Despite this, Tylwyth Narah continued to grow with C'kayah and Kenthy at the head. With Kenthy's disappearance, he shouldered the full load of leading the organization, leading to a breakdown of Thompsonesque proportions. Fleeing Thanalan with his significant wealth, pursued by the plots of an enemy he took into his ranks, he has gone into hiding in the Shroud.
With the passage of time, he has grown to realize that he has - at least for the present - given his enemies the slip. Leaving the shroud, he has retired to La Noscea to enjoy life.
Finding himself with more money than he knew what to do with, and growing tired of "sitting on a beach earning twenty percent", C'kayah has recently resurfaced, associated alongside his sister with the shadowy organization The Black Coeurl.
- Giacomo Casanova, an adventurer in many senses of the word.
- The Grey Mouser (from Fritz Leiber)
- Elim Garek (from Star Trek DS9), mainly in his love of clever conversation
Your character might know C'kayah from:
- Smuggling- C'kayah has done quite a bit of this, mainly between Gridania/The Shroud and Limsa Lominsa/La Noscea. Perhaps you needed something that he was able to acquire for you. Perhaps you stole something that he was able to fence for you.
- Romance- C'kayah is a notorious flirt and womanizer. Perhaps you had a fling with him in the past. Perhaps a friend or relative did. Perhaps you are angry with him as a result?
- Crime - C'kayah's association with various crime organizations has made him some unlikely allies and enemies. Perhaps you are one of them?
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