J'karu with Pukko at the docks in the Lavender Beds.
|Clan||Seeker of the Sun|
|Place of Birth||Sandgate, Thanalan|
|Nameday||6th Sun of the 2nd Umbral Moon, 1555|
|Guardian||Oschon, the Wanderer|
|Theme Song||Just Do It|
J'karu Rhome is an outcast of the J tribe of the Seekers of the Sun. While not devout, she commits her wanderings to following Oschon, searching for adventure and good times the world over. She is a free-spirited creature, but is never seen without the company of her lover and best friend, R'tahz Tia. Nearing the ability of a full archmage, she is adept at both black and white magics, but flounders when it comes to heavy physical fighting.
- 1 Personality
- 2 Appearance
- 3 Clothing
- 4 Biography
- 5 Traits
- 6 Combat
- 7 Relationships
- 8 Rumors
- 9 Music
- 10 Trivia
J'karu is an over all a carefree person, a free-spirit. She's laid back, happy and constantly ready to meet people. With this, she has a determination that sets her along a course till its termination. It should be mentioned, though, that she can be a bit scatter-minded when she doesn't have a task or job at hand, going hand in hand with her free-spirit, this can make her wander off on a thread or journey until she does find something more pertinent to focus on. That being said, J'karu has an inexhaustible curiosity. Left to her own devices, she would be content to wander the countryside searching for new views and tidbits of stories and folklore... or, perhaps most importantly, any new form of magic.
But she is wise enough to know that such wandering and adventuring is a good means of revenue. As such, she is keen enough to use her magical prowess to secure herself money to upkeep her equipment and wanderer's lifestyle. After all, any mage worth their salt, even one that casts via shear efforts and passions like J'karu, knows that some parts of the craft requires catalysts, so she is not fool enough to spend all her days wandering aimlessly.
She's not easily scared by much, except for Sea Wasps and anything similar to a jellyfish. For those, she typically runs on sight. As strange as it goes, she's a mite scared of being lonely... which is what would drive her back to the City States after a bout of wandering in the first place. Lastly J'karu's stubborn and can be a bit of a spitfire when you rub her the wrong way. She is more than willing to lash out with a sharp tongue if you piss her off, and has been known to hit people over the head with her mage's staff when they really rile her. ...And even go so far as to set them on fire.
J'karu, by nature, wears herself comfortably and seems very at home with her appearance. A tad on the short side, she stands five fulms and four ilms tall and has a lithe frame with petite assets. Her hair is brunette, though some would call it auburn with the right amount of sunlight, and is shoulder length — not too short to stab her in the eye constantly and not too long to be a hassle to brush. It lays haphazardly, but it is brushed away from her face to reveal natural tan stripe markings along her cheeks and forehead and slightly tanned eyelids. Her eyes are hazel-green with flecks of amber and narrow pupils, typical of Seeker traits. J'karu also bears a myriad of scars, most of them from travels and wanderings, but the most prominent are a pair on her face, one arching over her cheek, and another across the bridge of her nose.
She has a myriad of outfits in a myriad of colors and styles, each one as wildly varied from the last. Typically, though, she prefers a simple purple tunic and a sturdy, well-worn pair of boots and breeches.
When taking upon jobs of a more serious nature, her attire varies based on which type of magic her employer has asked her to attend for. Concerning black magic, she will wear an expensive robe made of the finest cashmere cloth. It's blue surface is warded and woven with many in-set spell designs rendered in silver and ebony thread. With this she prefers a pair of tough boar-skin boots and a matching set of vanya gloves and hat. When concerning healing craft, she wears a replica robe in the fashion of the white mages of past. Nevertheless, it goes without saying, her appearance and chosen attire is always appropriate for the wanderings or task at hand.
Born into the tribal life of the Seekers of the Sun miqo'te in Thanalan, J'karu led what amounts to a nomad's childhood. A small group of the J tribe, known loosely as the Sandgate tribe, would become all she knew in her earlier days, and, while her group did mingle with the other J tribal groups to keep bloodlines strong as miqo'te ways are wont, she knew little of the world outside the deserts of Thanalan and the scrub-lands around Drybone and Sandgate where her tribe lives. This can be attributed to the fact that the small village she grew up in was a mere two generations past its foundation, its nunhs relatively new and its populace made up of people that had decided to form a new J settlement when the prominent J tribe north of Drybone grew quite large, typically referred to as the Drybone tribe.
As such, J'karu had little lasting relationship with her father, J'rhome, a nunh whom was much more interested in keeping the newly founded settlement stable... and because she was the daughter of a wayward mother, J'ali Korran, who never seemed to have much interest in her daughter, this colored her youth somewhat, making her curious, independent and a bit of a wanderer. Much of her childhood was spent wandering the outskirts of the tribal claims. Her time not spent wandering was spent within her tribe's village and, as miqo'te are like to, she adopted a weapon and was taught how to use the dagger or short knife from a young age. Given the miqo'te inclination towards stealthiness in their fighting, she eventually honed some semblance of skill with double daggers. At the time, she had no knowledge of magic nor any inkling that it would be her preferred choice of combat at the time given the fact that her small, newly constructed village had yet to secure a suitable magic user to teach in their communal school for their cubs, unwed females and tias.
Thievery, Magic and Politics
For some years, this would be her lot in life and this would not change until three events happened. First, the word and tales of a mage in Gridania, that trickled south from the hedged boarder to her tribe, of a mage known as Louisoix Leveilleur. While the tales were much exaggerated by the time they reached Sandgate and were, in truth, quite sparse, they sparked the knowledge that there was something out there... magical. This was further fueled when the Amalj'aa became more active, and their veritable magic users became even more of an issue for all inhabitants of Thanalan equally. As such, her tribe put out a petition to the others: they were in need of a magic user to defend them against the Amalj'aa in their region.
Around the age of twelve, her tribe acquired the skills of a village seer and mage, J'shari Arran, whom began to instruct those youth in the tribe that showed ability with magic how to hone the skills they possessed. J'karu was among them and it quickly became J'shari's opinion that the girl had more magical prowess than she knew what to do with. The seer could barely keep up with the girl's appetite to learn spells... and she quickly came to the conclusion that the more J'karu wanted something to happen, the easier time she had making it so. Aether and nature magics were intuitive to the girl, giving her a strong grasp of how to fuel her personal power into the world's elements and bring them under her will. Conversely, written spells and formulae puzzled the girl and seemed to drive her to tears. J'shari was under the impression that J'karu was a caster of will and passion, someone whose drive fueled their magic, rather than their knowledge, and the miqo'te hedge-mage was right in that regards.
The second change came a year after J'shari came to the tribe and began to instruct the girl, now thirteen. The originating Drybone J tribe discovered that the Sandgate tribe had been stealing, having traced the string of thievery around Sandgate to the tribe itself. This caused a call of concern, that perhaps the offshoot ought to be absorbed back into another, larger tribe... either because it was having trouble getting by, or because it would cause the nunhs present to lose their breeding rights as retribution for turning a blind eye to the crimes of their youth. All elders, nunhs and prominent breeding females alike, convened upon the sands of Thanalan to discuss the issue. In the end, when the stories from the youths had been heard and the reasoning surmised, a compromise was reached.
All breeding nunhs in the tribe would lose their rights to breed and would become tias, having displayed weakness in leadership by not keeping the youth of their tribe in order and would be shamed for a cycle of seasons, unable to challenge for breeding rights for a year and a day. All tias involved in the issue would summarily be shamed for a season, unable to challenge for that time. Females involved were unable to accept courtship for the same amount of time. Finally, interim nunhs would be loaned to the Sandgate tribe for challenge purposes only, not to claim any female, but to serve as those that tias un-involved with the thievery, or those involved with it after a season's time, would challenge against. In all, the Sandgate came out of the ordeal lucky. Though a number of nunhs were lost from the breeding cycle for a year, it caused the tias in the tribe to redouble their efforts, fueled by the passion of reclaiming their tribe as their own from the interim nunhs. Though it took a year and some months before the final interim nunh was challenged and successfully beaten, the Sandgate tribe learned the harsh lesson the elders of the J had hoped they would.
This lead to the ultimate third change in J'karu's life. This political shift in her tribe had meant little to her at the time, especially given she had no relationship to speak of with her father one of the nunhs at the time of the denouncement. Her life had evolved well beyond the days of thievery she'd partaken in, and she had been too young at thirteen seasons at the time to suffer the consequences, just under the general age of fifteen when females began to receive courtship from nunhs. So she failed to notice that her tribe began to swing into action... primarily in the fact that the new nunhs and the impassioned tias in her tribe had been driven to better their community after the shame they had experienced... and particularly the fact that neighboring tribes had begun to become interested in the Sandgate tribe and the name they seemed keen on making for themselves, a better culture and a better, stronger tribe. In a word, she remained naive, wrapped up in playing with the elements of the aether around her, becoming J'shari's apprentice when she was of age. So, when she found herself smack dab in a dance of courtship with a nunh she hardly knew, she was summarily shocked.
J'raha Nunh was a well liked warrior from a neighboring tribe south of Sandgate, the Broken Water tribe, and had taken a keen interest in the Sandgate tribe and the bloodlines to be found there. Since the debacle and the public denouncement of the nunhs, he'd kept a close eye on the females, convening with a friend of his, a former breeding female of his own tribe, the mother of some of his children and the current seer of the Sandgate tribe: J'shari Arran. His friend informed him of a burgeoning power to be found in one J'karu Rhome, who might someday prove to be a well established seer of her own right. And given J'raha had lost J'shari when she'd past breeding age and left to serve as a seer and teach for the Sandgate offshoot, J'raha saw in J'karu a means to secure another powerful defender for his tribe against the Amalj'aa sharing their lands.
While there is some room for a female to decline the courtship of a male, J'karu had summarily not been expecting to be courted at all. So when the season for such affairs came and the tribes convened to allow tias to challenge nunhs and nunhs to court females from other tribes, J'karu found herself bizarrely hunted by a man whose name she had never heard of. She struggled to remember how to tell him she was not interested and not shame him in the same breath. As it were J'raha seemed to have his mind set on securing her and while he never tried to force himself upon her, he never let up. He was well liked among prospective females, a renown warrior, and in truth, a good example of what a good breeding male in Seeker culture ought to be. His only fault seemed to be a temper that he typically saved for the enemies to his tribe.
Conversely, each time she turned the male down, J'karu found herself in a predicament. There is little to be said of the matter, but it should be said that those that turn too many breeding offers down begin to become something of an oddity in the culture fueled for producing good bloodlines. She was no failure by any right and people knew she was becoming a prominent mage. Even if she had never received a breeding offer, she would have been an attribute to the tribe of her birth. But people simply found it odd that she would not take J'raha's courtship, or any for that matter, and many thought her a prude, accused her of unruly standards, going against nature or idiocy, both behind her back and to her face.
And after year and a half of offers from the nunh to the south, J'raha's temper got the better of him... as J'karu's also got the better of her. A visit outside of the breeding season brought J'raha to the dwelling J'karu had come to call home, a secondary building next to the dwelling J'shari lived in. As J'karu kindly thanked him and declined him once again, she turned to leave back into her home and he followed and lashed out, grasping her by the wrists and pulling her to face him and meet him in the eyes, demanding she give her reasoning for her disinclination towards him. The scuffle left him with a scorched tail and scorched pride when J'karu unleashed a small burst of fire to dissuade him from restraining her, finally growing frustrated with his adamance. His resulting panic as he attempted to put out the flame singeing him and the flare of anger it caused turned him upon her again and he cuffed her across the face, open clawed, accusing her of fighting a pairing that would bring strength to their tribes.
The outburst caused hostility to flare behind usually kind eyes and J'karu told him, straight out, that she didn't see the purpose behind bedding someone whose first words to her could be surmised with the phrase: “we should mate.”
At this, J'raha lifted her and pressed her against a wall. He threatened a great many things as she stayed still, waiting for his temper to simmer down. He could simply force it, he suggested. Enough people thought the girl an imbecile for fighting the tribal ways. Or he could see she was so disgraced that she would never become a breeding female, or worse yet, a village mage. J'raha stung and snapped at every possible path, but eventually he stopped and released his grip on her shoulders. He met her eyes and behind them found a passion that had once charmed him to her... the very single-mindedness that J'shari had spoken of when he had first heard of J'karu, the passion that fueled her magic. At first, he had thought the girl and her magic would have been a perfect match, something that would have brought strength to his tribe in Broken Water. Now he saw it was the very thing that would keep her from ever accepting his charms, from ever accepting anyone who felt them worthy of her. That she would be the one to pick her path in life because of it.
J'raha shook his head, denounced her as a Seeker, and left.
As it were, someone else also left that night. As she stood in the doorway of her home watching J'raha leave to find a suitable place to spend the night, she tossed about the idea. She was a friendly person, all together carefree.... but her tribe looked down upon her, people gave her sideways glances when she walked passed. She would never truly be accepted on the prowess of her magic alone. She was a successful mage, which meant she was expected to pass that success along in blood to her children. Nothing she did, short of having never gotten into magic, and impossibility now, would have changed that.
Armed with that realization and the realization that J'raha would not likely be the last to see her as an asset, she gathered a travel pack and filled it with what belongings she had to her name, then went to say her goodbyes to the only person she felt a connection with, J'shari. The village mage heard her out silently, as the girl gave her reasoning for leaving. The woman, whom had been the one who initially told J'raha about the girl, had always puzzled over her pupil. Truly an adept at magic, she'd never understood the girl's willful manner when dealing with J'raha... but she had always cared for her as if she were a daughter. So she gifted the mage with a staff, a simple wooden thing headed with a crystal globe and the carvings of leaves. She bid the girl to go to Ul'dah and seek out the Thaumaturges' Guild, where she might further her training, and wished her safe travels. With that, J'karu departed into the night, bound for Ul'dah, the red glow of Dalamud behind her.
Arriving in the city a few days later with little to her name, J'karu found the city overwhelming at first, having barely seen a house or building half the height of a tree. The girl balked at first, but eventually put one step ahead of the other and made her way into the stone behemoth. She lucked out at that point, in that she she eventually made her way into the adventurers' guild known as the Quicksand. For the next few months, this place became her home as she met Momodi and the lalafell directed her to the Thaumaturges' Guild, where she added her name to the long list of a great many souls who wished to try their hands at thaumaturgy.
It was not a few months after arriving till the Calamity struck. Ul'dah, a city already rife with issue and home of one of the more tumultuous Grand Companies, shook to her very core as the lunar prison shattered above. While J'karu is what one could have called an average citizen by that time, and while she had little to do with the Battle of Carteneau, every soul in Eorzea felt the turmoil that day, as the Allagan superstructure shattered and splayed across the realm. Some even say that the roar of Bahamut could be heard as far south as Ul'dah. She joined the many that felt the insurmountable fear the day the Calamity struck. And then she joined the first few that came to the realization that the Calamity was only the first of things to come. If that was a close scrape with Bahamut, if the creature had indeed been whisked away by the great mage Louisoix... what would come when the elder primal returned?
The Wandering Mage
With renewed fervor, she threw herself into learning magic as the realm around her recovered. Thaumaturgy came swiftly to her, the elements of fire, ice and lightning leaping to her fingertips and bending to her will. The staff she'd been gifted proved a well intended catalyst for the elements. It was not long before her teachers found nothing they could pass onto her and her teachers pointed out that there were other schools of magic she might learn from. That being said, J'karu began to wander. Perhaps it was the discovery of a symbol etched upon the rod of her staff, a curving thing that resembled a walking stick, the emblem of Oschon... Perhaps it was wanting to see the world beyond the tribal desert and Ul'dah. Whatever the case, she set out a few months after the Calamity and sought work as a wandering mage and adventurer, having officiated the position with Momodi before leaving. The lalafell promised to send her work by means of mail or leve retainers in the various settlements across Thanalan, should J'karu be inclined to check in with them from time to time, and the girl agreed to do so.
Driven on by a curious thirst to fill want she'd never realized she'd had during her tribal life, she left Ul'dah for Limsa Lominsa, deciding to take the overland course to Horizon and Vesper Bay before taking the ferry to the island settlement. Fulfilling the odd job as she went, she began to make a small name for herself, if only in the fact that Momodi knew she could have a capable thaumaturge answer the odd job that called for one within Thanalan. As such, J'karu has always made a point to let the Quicksand matron know when she was in the region.
Arriving in Limsa Lominsa, she met with the adventurer’s guild owner there, speaking to Baderon at the Drowning Wench shortly and inquiring about the guilds in the city. Upon learning of the Arcanists' Guild, the girl sought it out within the week. She opened the door and poked around a bit... before swiftly leaving. The idea of magic cast via diagram and formulae made her pale, and she rushed back to Baderon to pry anymore knowledge of a likely guild in the parts. The man simply supplied that arcane magic was the only magic in the area, but that there were other guilds she might try her hand out, or he could simply supply her with the odd job. Taking him up on the offer and keeping true to her nature, she swiftly proved to Baderon what she had to Momodi. Still, that wanderlust that had driven her to Limsa eventually drove her away, to seek new sights. Bidding Baderon thanks and farewell, she took the ferry back to Vesper Bay and traveled overland through Thanalan to the Twelveswood and Gridania.
There she found the Conjurers' Guild... and was quick to leap into its ranks. Like thaumaturgy, conjury came swiftly to her, though it took longer for her to grasp the healing aspect than the aspects of air, water and earth. Still, it was simply learning to channel her passion into healing something rather than beckoning the elements, something she found a knack in. Spending as many months with the conjurers as she had with the thaumaturges, she soon found she had learned what she could from them, just as she had in Ul'dah. And, as in Ul’dah and Limsa Lominsa, she made friendly with the local matron of the adventurer’s guild, Miounne, and took the odd job when she could.
Out of places to wander for the time, J’karu’s tracks found her back in Limsa for the time being, wavering over spending some time working out how to channel her energies into the arcane, the way she had come to with conjury and thaumaturgy... with the idle thought that she might be able to mix the two into a whole new kind of magic.
It was by saving grace that her being in Limsa Lominsa lead her on her current path, and perhaps the god Oschon was looking out for two wanderers that day, as he willed their paths back to the island. As such, no sooner had she send notice to Momodi and Miounne that she would be unable to accept Ul'dahn and Gridanian work and a notice to Baderon that she was in the Lominsan area... did she receive a letter back from Baderon about a potential job.
She arrived a few hours later at the Wench and heard the pub owner out. A mysterious ship and ruffians? A grotto she had not yet explored? She had heard of the Sastasha Seagrot, but she'd yet to set foot in it, having steered clear of the areas around the Sapsa spawning grounds in her last travels. Apparently, though, Baderon had already sent out someone capable in the ways of melee to the grotto, and, if she accepted, she could meet him there. Two others would join them after her, should she go by ferry, and together the four of them could rout out the presumed pirates that had taken up residence.
Accepting and taking the ferry to Aleport, she headed north. She was quick to discover that she and her would-be-partner was not the only groups hired for the job. Which was not unusual, given the livelihood of an adventurer was jobs like these. It was then she found the first member of the party she'd been hired with. He was as Baderon had described, a scruffy-looking, black-haired miqo'te. She smiled slightly, amused to find him “dozing on the job” as it were, and woke him with a tap of her staff. Introducing herself and taking his name to be R'tahz Tia, she sat with him to wait for the last two of their band. In the short time before the hyuran gladiator and elezen conjurer arrived, they spoke lightly of what adventuring life was like, and the various nuances of their preferred combat professions.
Once the rest of their party arrived, the group descended into the caverns of Sastasha. Battling and sneaking past unusually-hostile fauna in the initial areas, they soon came upon what the Maelstrom suspected: an encampment of the Serpent Reavers. Looking to take advantage of the pirates being unaware of their presence, the group pressed on and assaulted the brigands. Despite the pirates becoming alert to their presence, momentum and the layout of the caverns favored the smaller group, allowing a classic phalanx formation where the gladiator kept the enemies at bay, with R'tahz behind him lancing any pirates that left an opening, with J'karu behind him hitting with magic from beyond their reach, and the conjurer keeping them all alive. Eventually, they were able to clear out the pirate infestation and deal with the Sahagin chieftain that had been behind the pirates' presence. With the job completed, the gladiator and conjurer set off on their own ways almost immediately. J'karu hung back, asking R'tahz if he would mind if they traveled together, as she enjoyed talking to him and wanted to get to know him more. He was hesitant at first, until she continued on to explain that she didn't have many friends since she left her tribe, and that he seemed nice to her.
There was a wavering moment where she thought he might say no, but, to her internal glee, he agreed, and the two set out anew, this time as companions.
Early Travels and Honing Control
Shortly after setting out from Sastasha, the newly formed duo ventured across the island of Vylbrand back to Limsa Lominsa. Their route lead them to Swiftperch, where they remained for the evening when a rolling cloud bank breached the horizon and took the island into a vicious storm for the evening. Renting a room at a small inn, J'karu and R'tahz quickly found themselves hungry for an evening meal and hungry to learn of each other's travels and findings. As such, as soon as the innkeeper set them up with a warm meal, they spent the better part of that stormy night talking and trading tales back and forth besides the inn fireplace. In an admission, J'karu's mention of having never downed a drop of alcohol fell on the ears of the cheerful inn-keep. Giving the two a wink, he planted two tankards of golden ale before the couple and told them to give it a try.
J'karu quickly found that she liked the robust flavor of the drink a bit more than might have been wise. One tankard later found one very tipsy mage nearly planting her face on the floor of the common room. In the end, it took R'tahz helping her upstairs to put her to bed. They ended up sharing it, though nothing came of such, due to J'karu displaying a cuddly nature while inebriated and due to the fact she simply wouldn't let go over the other miqo'te.
The morning found the two with a bit of a bustle, but events quickly were laid out and no hard feelings were had, though there were quite a few chuckles. Shortly after, the two traveled back to Limsa Lominsa and began taking the odd job for a few months. During this time, it became apparent that the both of them were struggling in some fields concerning their preferred skill sets. R'tahz found himself lacking in some of the more upfront skills required of a close-end user of the lance and J'karu found herself lacking in the ability to aim with finite control.
As such, R'tahz began to invest himself more heavily in the Marauders' Guild. As he honed his skills with the axe, he began to teach J'karu archery as he had learned it in Gridania. After some month or two in Limsa while R'tahz had completed a new tier of training, the pair ventured back to the mainland and took up residence in an inn in Gridania, whereupon J'karu signed her name at the Archers' Guild and began her official training in the skill set. In short, the girl found the use of a bow incredibly different and beyond what she was used to and struggled with the skill at first. Over the course of weeks of challenge, she began to muster some semblance of aptitude with the weapon.
During the next month or two, J'karu and R'thaz spent time teaching themselves new ways to fight. Both of them practicing the bow in Gridania, while J'karu toyed with learning the lance from R'tahz, taking enough time to practice with it so that she wouldn't skewer herself should her hand be forced to use it. Meanwhile, R'tahz made periodic visits back to Limsa Lominsa to stay in touch with the guildmaster of the Marauders' Guild and not lose his new-found edge with the axe. During these times, J'karu found things became increasingly lonely... and it was because of this that Luciane got in touch with an old friend of her, a bard by the name Viyra Stonesthrow, whom began to coach J'karu in bardic magic to take her mind off of R'tahz's absence.
The Mage and the Dragoon
It wasn't until Saint Valentione's day came to pass in Gridania that the girl even realized she loved R'tahz dearly. As the day drew to a close, though, J'karu found herself talking to a candy vendor as R'tahz perused some trinket stalls nearby. The vendor pointed out that J'karu was buying couples' chocolates and that gave the girl a pause as she considered that she had subconsciously drawn to them.
Smiling, she purchased them and went to share them with R'tahz. Though both of them were red faced from admission, the blubbering fools managed to both choke out that they loved the other. The bubbly feelings that followed lead to a euphoria that J'karu had never before had the pleasure of experiencing. Finally, she had someone with whom she could share her life and her wanderings, never to part. The two grew ever closer and to outsiders it seemed as if their relationship has culminated over night. There never seemed to be a day where the two weren't together now, and R'tahz even accompanied J'karu to the Floating City of Nym to track down a more experienced mage so that she might delve deeper into the Void and hone what skilled thaumaturges call black magic.
The mage that the pair eventually found for J'karu was known as Aeri Sirhl, a Keeper of the Moon that had long since sequestered herself in Vylbrand and become a hermit. Though Aeri displayed that she was a remarkably odd individual and many that knew her half suspected that the Void had made her half-mad, the black mage agreed to teach J'karu. Still, she warned the would-be black mage in a moment of succinct clarity that taking the black involved opening oneself to the Void, something that could prove detrimental to one's mental state and might even lead to the Void draining all the energy from J'karu herself, leaving her a lifeless husk.
Determined to further her knowledge, J'karu took the task in stride and accepted the challenge of learning higher level black magics. Spending the better part of a year with Aeri, J'karu felt her feelings and temperament come under fire by the Void every time she toyed with opening Void gates and learned to tap its power to feed her own. It was a dangerous gamble, she found, something that could so easily be turned around on her, as Aeri had said. Nevertheless, every night she'd rejoin R'tahz and his presence would remind her of who she was and soothe her battered emotions. Every morning, she would wake renewed and fresh, ready to tackle the trials Aeri set before her.
A season would pass, leaving the couple in winter. Though the cold was bitter, their spirits were not. J'karu had learned all Aeri had to teach her... and that left the couple with one task left to tackle. The whisper of a dragoon who would teach R'tahz, who had already learned what he could from the Lancers' Guild. At almost the same time, a missive arrived from the Drowning Wench, that there had been a response from R'tahz's inquiries into an advanced trainer. And so, departing from the warm climes of La Noscea to the frozen wastes of Coerthas, R'tahz sought out a House Fortemps guard captain named Faucillien Sondraix, once a dragoon of some renown. Initially unwilling to impart his knowledge upon the young miqo'te due to Ishgardian custom that the talents of the dragoon, the tip of their proverbial spear against the dragon horde, was not be taught to those who have not sworn fealty to the Holy See, his heart was swayed by learning that R'tahz sought the skills to better his ability to protect J'karu. Agreeing to be R'tahz's teacher, Faucillien bade them make camp off the roads between Coerthas and the Black Shroud, where they would be close enough for him to travel to teach R'tahz while taking into account that they were ill-suited for prolonged living in the wintry wastes of Coerthas.
The nearby forests also provided handy training environments for the aerial combat style of dragoons, something also befitted by the lithe and agile nature of miqo'te. Faucillien spared no measure of intensity in R'tahz's training, setting physically-demanding tasks and training regimens that battered R'tahz to the hells and back, oftentimes forcing J'karu to get some good hands-on training with her burgeoning conjury magic. But no matter the beating that R'tahz took, he never once faltered in his determination to progress. His skills continued to grow with each passing day, and as he spent his days in training, J'karu herself was not idle either. Aside from practicing her conjury in keeping him well-recovered, she also took an interest in activity going on at the nearby chocobo stables. Apparently, a pair of chocobos had grown coats of feathers that were more reddish in color than the commonly-found yellow, and the Ishgardian breeders found to be a waste of effort and choboco feed. Discovering that the Ishgardians planned to put down the chocobos, J'karu immediately attempted to intervene. Initially they were having none of it, but as Faucillien happened by at the time and overheard what was going on, he requisitioned the two birds for House Fortemps' use, then handed over their ownership to J'karu. These would become J'karu's Ember and R'tahz's Streich.
An inquisitor soon arrived from Ishgard, come to get to the bottom of the matter concerning an outsider being trained in their ways. Under normal circumstances, the outsider would be declared in fealty to the dragon horde and the trainer a heretic. But, when it was discovered that Faucillien, a hero to the people and a retired dragoon in good standing, was the one doing the training, the inquisitor knew better than to risk a schism in the populace. Coming up with a better way to see the outsider killed for his hubris, the inquisitor declared that the Holy See's lack of involvement in the training of such an up and coming young dragoon was inexcusable, and considering the rate of his advancement, were prepared to rectify this error by granting him immediate admission into the ranks of the dragoon knights pending one final trial. That trial was solo combat against a significant draconic menace to the people of Ishgard: the dragon named Marraco.
Without hesitation, R'tahz accepted the trial and moved to hunt the massive monstrosity across the snowy wastes. Before he left the Observatorium, Faucillien caught up and told him in no uncertain terms that the task set before him was suicidal, that he would die, and that the approval, or lack thereof, of Ishgard did not confer or deny the skills he had developed over the past several months. R'tahz agreed that he was almost certain to die, and would have much rather taken J'karu and left Coerthas to go on with their lives, but how many other people would die if he didn't go stop the dragon? Faucillien laughed, saying that the boy was more a righteous paladin than he was a blood-mucking dragoon, but bade him walk the path that he chose. Behind R'tahz's back, however, Faucillien waited no more than it took for the young miqo'te to get out of sight before he went and found J'karu, informing her of the sham trial set by Ishgard and telling her that if the love he had witnessed between the two in the past months were not a lie, then she would follow and convince him to abandon the suicidal hunt, damn whatever the Holy See had to say on the matter. He didn't even have to finish his plea for her to go after him than she was already gone.
Any hope of convincing him to abandon the hunt was lost, however, when she heard the battle roars of Marraco carrying across the entire highlands. She arrived in the Snowcloak cliffs to find R'tahz cornered by Marraco, seconds from being swallowed whole. The fireball she unleashed on the dragon was potent enough to burn away the entire snowdrift that they were standing upon. Recovering his lance, R'tahz swept Marraco's feet from beneath it as it attempted to round on J'karu, turning the encounter into an unfavorable game that saw J'karu blasting it with ever more powerful magic when it turned to deal with R'tahz, and having itself tripped and hamstrung whenever it tried to take out the mage. Finally, R'tahz's positioning led it to unleash its devastating swinge upon a cliff face, burying itself in an avalance that J'karu attempted to bury it alive under by prodigious application of blizzard spells. Testimony to the creature's great power, though, it forcefully freed itself and then determined it wanted nothing more to do with the nuisance miqo'te, scrabbling up the cliff face and disappearing into the frozen wastes.
With the dragon dealt with, though by no means as dead as everyone involved wished for, R'tahz and J'karu returned to the Observatorium, where the inquisitor was all too delighted to point out that not only had R'tahz received help in his trial, but had failed to kill the dragon as specified, and as such was barred from the order of dragoons and given a day to leave Coerthas before being threatened with a death mark. Once the inquisitor had left, Faucillien told R'tahz that it mattered not the opinion of the Holy See, that R'tahz was every bit a dragoon as he, himself had once been. In commemoration for R'tahz having completed his training, Faucillien presented him with a replica set of the wyrm armor of the Ishgardian dragoons — having overheard a conversation between the two miqo'te that J'karu thought it attractive. With this, R'tahz had the affirmation that, regardless of Ishgard's official stance, the two would always be welcome in House Fortemps.
Dawn of a New Era
Following spending winter in Coerthas, the couple traveled back to the warmth of Gridania and the onset of spring. The change in clime was a welcome one and further raised their spirits. Blessed with having mastered their respective fields and having even acquired new companion mounts from Faucillien, the found themselves at a lull in activity in their lives. After discussing for a time as to what to do, J'karu decided to investigate the Conjurers' Guild in hopes that they might have more knowledge to pass onto her. This venture proved fruitless, as they reminded her that she had already come to glean all the spells and abilities she could from the guild and seemed to have grown as a conjurer for her time in Coerthas tending R'tahz's wounds. Frustrated at the prospect of not being able to grow as a conjurer, J'karu sought out other routes to furthering herself, knowing the Shroud as the home and haven of white magic.
Such ventures lead J'karu into the Twelveswood some month or so after the couples' return to Gridania. Having taken a job to investigate an aetheric disturbance in Bramble Patch, J'karu discovered its source was a young moogle who had become trapped in a diremite nest and was bleeding aetheric energy in its attempts to escape. Rescuing the critter and eradicating the nest, she began to tend to the creature's wounds. Her experience with moogles was limited, however, given she had only ever known them as mail couriers and, as far as J'karu knew, they were a secretive race that rarely showed themselves to others. As the moogle awoke from its pain-induced slumber it jolted up off the ground and floated about nervously, noting the subsiding glow coming from J'karu's hands as she quelled her conjury. The mage introduced herself, but soon found herself talking to no one as the moogle faded from sight, hiding itself in what J'karu assumed to be something akin to fairy magic. She remained for a time, just in case, but the moogle did not return, so she traveled back to Gridania.
Back in the city, R'tahz informed her that he had received a letter from the master of the Marauders' Guild, that he might hone the edge of his axe should he come attend in Limsa. Reminded of their time some seasons ago when R'tahz initially picked up the axe, J'karu was disheartened, but understood that R'tahz's desired path lay in Vylbrand, while there might be some knowledge of hers in the Black Shroud. With fond farewells, R'tahz boarded an airship to Limsa Lominsa later that week, leaving J'karu alone in the Shroud with nothing but her thoughts and a increasingly fruitless quest to uncover secrets of lost conjury and white magic.
As fate or Nymeia would have it, she did not have to wait long. Having acquired some esoteric tomes from a contact in Ul'dah shortly after R'tahz's departure, J'karu began to head-aching process of deciphering the spells within them and began to practice a rudimentary divine seal. Most of her days were spent practicing the spells in the Shroud, having come to favor the Lifemend Stump as a good location to bed down and camp for the night, should she spend too much time practicing into the afternoon and decide to sleep in the wilds for an eve. Some weeks would pass and one such night left her exhausted as she clambered into her tent. Slipping into slumber, J'karu was awoken in the dead of a moonless night to a white glow shining through the canvas of her tent and then pushing through the flap. It bobbed about, hovering over the tome she had set aside. Grasping her staff, the girl slowly shifted and spoke out, questioning the presence. The thing, whatever it was, jolted about in nervousness and flew in every direction at once, it seemed, batting into the canvas of the tent. Speaking in a calming voice, J'karu informed it she meant it no harm... and then slowly the form of a moogle faded into view. Recognizing it as the moogle she had aided in the Bramble Patch she was shocked to find that it began to talk to her in a small voice.
The moogle introduced herself as Pukko Paki, a young, by their terms, moogle whom was the equivalent of a white mage to her kind. For some week now, she had been following J'karu, curious to see what the mage could master of the ancient white magics. Enamored by the girl's want to learn, the moogle offered to help her learn the spells in the tome and pass on some of her own knowledge to J'karu. When J'karu asked why the moogle would and whether or not Pukko was breaking any tenants moogle kind had laid down, the beastman bobbed up and down and jingled, an action J'karu would come to understand as laughter. Pukko explained that she was something of a misfit by moogle terms and had long since shrugged off anything that might be considered "against moogle ideals" when she delved into exploring the Twelveswood and the civilization of the spoken races on her own. With that admission, a friendship was born between the wannabe white mage and the moogle.
Spring would warm into summer and frequent letters from and to R'tahz would keep her hopes high as she and Pukko, or Pukk as J'karu sometimes called her, delved into the tome and into passing skills on from moogle to miqo'te. It proved a daunting task, as some of the knowledge Pukko had did not translate well into the common tongue and many of the sigils in the tomes were worn with age. Nevertheless, J'karu began to emerge as what Pukko called a "hedge mage", or a white mage untrained by the padjal. As it were, J'karu came to found that such a thing was not uncommon. Given the padjals' fear that too much white magic would drain the Shroud as it had before, she found that there were a number of adventurers who had sought other means to further their knowledge in healing as she had. Conferring with them allowed her and Pukko to decipher a few more of the divine seals in her tomes, granting J'karu access to new spells to add to her arsenal.
Midsummer marked a turning point for J'karu, as Pukko declared there were no more spells she knew of to teach the miqo'te. Saddened by the prospect, because she believed it meant she was going to lose a friend, she was ecstatic to hear the moogle declare that she would be staying with J'karu to accompany her for a time. Which meant, of course, that there was one thing left to do... introduce the moogle to R'tahz. The newly christened warrior walked off the airship some days after the midsummer festival in Gridania, wearing replica armor of the warriors of old, as was his wont when it came to replica gear. Leaping towards him and throwing her arms around him. She had not realized how direly his absence had effected her, as she broke into tears of happiness at his return. J'karu decided then and there that, no matter where the Spinner took them, she would never stand to be parted from R'tahz for such an extended time again.
Venturing forth, J'karu pulled R'tahz into the room she was staying in at the Carline Canopy and took a deep breath as she explained in full the details she had left out in her letters: Pukko and white magic that the padjal thought better left unknown. At first, Pukko did not show herself to the dragoon... but eventually she faded into his vision as well, bobbing up and down in greeting. After an initial introductory period, the trio spent the evening in good humor, sharing their first of many meals together. As summer went on, J'karu, R'tahz, Pukko, and their chocobos Ember and Streich spent the rest of the summer venturing and taking odd jobs. Come fall, J'karu and R'tahz decided it was time for them to find a base of operations for the winter and sought out renting a room at the Oak Inn, giving them a place to call home for the days to come.
A spell caster at heart, J'karu's strengths in combat lie in a nearly inexhaustible ability to fuel spells by passion. Her magical talent persists and strengths based on how badly she wants a spell to go off or how badly she wants her goals. A savant at magics that draw from life sources and energies, this has made her quite capable of flinging elemental spells with ease and quite well-off when concerning healing, as the passion to protect her allies comes in both offensive and defensive flavors. On the physical hand, of all weapons, bows and light bladed weapons are her only strong suit. Over all, she prefers light swords and fencing blades, though she has yet to explore them seriously. J'karu has some knowledge of using a lance, given her companionship with a lancer, and picked up an axe for all of a month, but has not found either of them something she prefers.
- Arcane Magic: J'karu has found that she is wholly adverse to the ways of arcane magic, and thus, summoning. She has avoided the Arcanists' Guild in Limsa Lominsa for now, but perhaps her wandering will take her there one day.
- Archery: Having learned her archery from R’tahz and the Archer’s Guild in Gridanian, J'karu likes to think herself a decent enough bowman. Having spent a number of months working with the Archers' Guild in Gridania, she is well versed in the skill and has a fair easy time hitting targets required of her. Still, it is not and will never be her primary choice as far as combat is concerned, but she values the accuracy it brought to her mage skill set. J'karu also always keeps a bow at hand for emergency, usually it can be found on Ember's saddle bag for ease of access.
- Axes: What little she knows of using axes, she picked up from watching R'tahz as a marauder. In the end, though, she quickly decided that she had very little aptitude in the area and rarely uses the weapon. Most often she'll use it when she prefers the light armor she wears with it, a specially made set of thin plate mail she commissioned from the Armorers' Guild in Limsa Lominsa.
- Bardic Magic: Taking the advice of Luciane, the Archers' guildmaster, she sought out a Gridanian bard called Viyra Stonesthrow to teach her a way to infuse magic with the words of song. Though seeing a stint of training through, she did not find it to be her fancy and simply plies the ability now around the company of friends, but never when serious skills are needed of her. Viyra, at least, was pleasantly surprised to find that J'karu had a decent singing voice and can hold a tune well enough to channel the energies required to inspire fellow adventurers with her voice.
- Black Magic: Having since done what thaumaturges call “taking the black,” J’karu sought out and apprenticed under a black mage. After learning of a mage of some renown, J'karu sought out Aeri Sirhl, a Keeper living around the Floating City of Nym, and convinced the mage to help her further her knowledge and take her thaumaturgy beyond its normal bounds. As such, J'karu has reached levels of aetherial manipulation that black mages are known for, with spells such as Flare becoming a possibility, though taxing. As with any thaumaturge breaking the rules and delving into the Void to enhance their power, J’karu was met with the prospect that it might alter her attitude and mindset, or might plainly drive her mad. It is her love for R'tahz that kept her sane, and she suffered few ill consequences as she advanced through her training.
- Daggers: Having spent a number of her young years honing her ability in thieving, she picked up a bit of skill with daggers in her youth. While never executing them overly much in full combat herself, she is adept at the hand tricks involved with rolling them back over her knuckles and hands and making them dance. On top of this, she is not bad at using them as projectiles. Still, caught between a foe and a hard place with her daggers would likely not end well for her, but they serve in a pinch... As such, she always has one on her person somewhere, usually at her hip.
- Hand-to-Hand: Another swiftly forgotten school, J'karu took it up in hopes that it would aid her while she was learning the lancers' stance from R'thaz. She attended a number of public classes at the Pugilists' Guild in Ul'dah and prefers the use of a set of bladed claws to the blunt hora weapons, but short of being able to defend herself unarmed against an untrained foe, she would never be able to hold her own against anyone specifically trained in melee.
- Lances: Spending as much time as she has with a skilled dragoon, J'karu began using lances in hopes that she might find some melee weapon to her liking. Though lances are easily the physical weapon she has the most knowledge in after daggers bows, she would lose in a one-on-one fight between herself and an experience lancer. Still, she doesn't mind the weapon, and it gave her an excuse to train with R'tahz. Unlike with her dagger, though she only carries a lance rarely.
- Stealth: Like her knowledge of daggers, she picked up the ability to hedge about unnoticed in her youth. This gave her a light step and an easy grace that she carried into her other skill sets. By no means a master thief, she does have quick fingers... and could pick-a-pocket if she wanted to, but she might end up being caught by more hawk-eyed targets. It should be noted that she is not particularly fond of having this skill set and will only use it when pressed or when trying to make a point.
- White Magic: Though conjury was the field of magic she studied second, she is equally adept in it as she is thaumaturgy. She has dabbled in what the Gridanians and conjurers call white magic, having received some ancient texts from an Ul'dahn contact, Sabine Aislihn. While she is, by no means, a padjali white mage, she, like other adept conjurers, has begun to glean knowledge of the lost ancient white magic from other sources, becoming what some call a hedge-white mage, or a lesser white mage. She has found herself capable of the more common white magic such as regeneration spells and divine seals and, with the help of her recent moogle companion, has begun to delve deeper into the knowledge of white magic hidden in the Twelvewood.
◢ Common Rumors (Easily overheard.)
◢ Uncommon Rumors (Moderately difficult to overhear.)
◢ Rare Rumors (Very difficult or rarely overheard.)
◢ PC Rumors (Rumors from other player's characters.)
- J'karu's name is based on the Japanese alliteration of jackal, romajinized as jakkaru.
- J'karu owns a young pet cactuar named H'nry.