Maple Blossom was born into a merchant family in Limsa Lominsa, the third and youngest child in her family. Her family's fortune was built on the trade business that her uncle, Roaming Oak, had built, which his brother, Standing Oak, had also profited from. With her uncle's business having elevated his family's social status, Maple had minimal exposure to Hellsguard culture, her family having adapted to the life of merchants as her father handled the Limsa Lominsan branch of his business. Maple's immediate family consisted of her father, Standing Oak; her mother, Cherry Jubilee; her eldest sibling, Tenacious Timber; and her elder sister, Cherry Blossom. Maple's relationship with her father and brother had always been rather strained, with her father rarely even acknowledging her existence. The young Hellsguard was much closer with her mother and sister growing up. Being born intersexual, a trait which had seemed to become rather common among Roegadyn women in recent generations, Maple often found herself feeling rather disheartened that she was different from other girls. Her mother would try to be supportive of her, but it was fairly obvious that she was as in the dark as she was in how to deal with it all. Cherry Blossom, on the other hand, seemed rather intrigued by this, as her interest in her sister's extra organ seemed to grow as time passed.
As a child, although Maple did enjoy feminine things, she also had a bit of a rough and adventurous side, an interest not shared by the other children in the rather well-to-do district of Limsa Lominsa where she grew up. Fortunately, she was eventually able to find a kindred spirit in Gatoli Catoli, a small, timid, green-haired Lalafell who would typically keep to himself, reading books while relaxing outside while the other children played. He was the son of a an officer in the Maelstrom, the heir apparent in one of Limsa Lominsa's oldest military families. As one would expect from his rather subdued nature, the Lalafell was not living up to his father's expectations, showing none of the natural skill with handling a great axe that his progenitor posessed.
Both identifying as outcasts among their community, Maple and Gatoli were drawn to each other, their differences in personality not seeming to get in the way of their budding friendship as they would often wander out into La Noscea, playing on the beaches. Calling her small friend "Gato," for short, Maple typically took the lead in most of their games, though Gato was typically the one who thought them up with that vivid imagination of his. Their frequent ventures into La Noscea eventually lead them to discovering this hidden alcove on a secluded beach which eventually became their secret secret place. Over time, the other children began to tease them for being outcasts and always sticking close to each other, referring to them as "the married couple." In their preteen years, Maple eventually got fed up with these teasings and kissed Gato right on the lips in front of other children, much to all of their shock. The children never seemed to tease them again after that, and Maple would often kiss Gato just to these him, enjoying that embarassed look on his face.
As they got into their teenage years, however, as with many childhood friendships, their relationship took a bit of a different turn. It had started one day when Maple had forgotten her swimsuit and decided to skinny dip in front of her Lalafell friend, his bashfulness of the situation soon turning to surprise as he realized the nature of Maple's sex for the first time. To Maple's relief, Gato still accepted her even after finding this out, as the two often skinny dipped together after this. As they both reached their adolescent years together, one of these skinnydipping sessions turned into a session of sensual touching and heavy petting. Were they to have any future rendezvous on that secret beach of theirs, the two teenagers curiousity may very well have developed into a physically intimate relationship, perhaps something more, neither of them seeming to mind their vast physical differences. But alas, it was not to be, as on that final trip to their secret beach, the Red Moon of Dalamud hung menacingly in the sky.
Fortunately, Maple and her family were able to survive the destruction of the Calamity, thanks to her the connections of her uncle and father. She was even able to find out that Gatoli and his family were among the survivors, a luxury few others were able to have in those chaotic days following that fateful day, with some having to search for years to find news on whether friends and family were alive or dead. In spite of this, however, Maple's path split from Gato as her family went to go live with her Uncle Standing Oak while they rebuilt their lives. Gato stayed behind in Limsa Lominsa, his father's strong loyalty to his homeland obligating him to help with the reconstruction effort.
Now finding herself in an unfamiliar land with her only friend no longer in her life, Maple and her sister Cherry Blossom grew closer with each other, closer than love between siblings would typically allow for. Cherry Blossom had developed an interest in an obscure sect of Menphina worship which held a core belief that platonic love and carnal love were to be treated as one in the same (a value that was, indeed, held by many Keeper clans). This ultimately lead to the sisters engaging in a forbidden and secret relationship, as Maple's insatiable sexual appetite began to awaken.
During their secret, impassioned sessions, the sisters interest began to take a somewhat dangerous turn as they began to dabble in the dark arts, seeking to use it to experience new realms of pleasure. It was during this time that Maple began to hear it: A voice in her head, a voice that was menacing, yet comforting at the same time. As time passed, Maple grew closer to this voice, telling it things she would have never told her sister, even a few things that she hadn't ever told Gato. Still, she kept a close relationship with her sister, or at least she did until her eighteenth birthday came and her father suddenly started caring about her again. That is, he started caring about the profit marrying her off could bring him.
Unlike her siblings, Maple had demonstrated an obvious lack of interest in the family business. Even her attempts to try and help out in her own ways had not been looked upon favorably. So Standing Oak decided to marry his daughter off to another merchant family, ideally one that would result in exclusive trade deals and access to valued trade routes. Fortunately, Maple's mother was at least able to talk him into allowing her to choose her own suitor, which served him just as well, for he had a long list of desirable suitors. However, Maple's idea of "desirable" differed greatly from that of her father's. Each suitor who would attempt to court Maple would typically only last one date, with the willful Roe being uncooperative and obstinate throughout. Although Maple was not entirely sure what she wanted to do with her life at this point in time, she definitely knew that she did NOT want to be bound to any of these spoiled rich boys whom she could not even stand to be around for more than five minutes before getting the urge to strike them in their smug faces.
It was during this time that the voice in Maple's head became louder and more frequent, taking on a tone and personality of its own. Eventually, the voice even took on a corporeal form as a white Carbuncle. Maple had often seen these cute fox-like creatures with their masters outside of the Aracanist's Guild back in Limsa Lominsa, often fawning over them whenever she'd seen them. The Roe woman kept her new friend a secret, not even entirely sure at first that anyone other than her could see the creature when it was summoned. Although even with her limited understanding of arcane, even she knew that the power behind this creature was not that of a normal Carbuncle. Although with some practice, she found herself able to use spells that healed and protected her while crippling anyone or anything that intended to do her harm, these spells were conjured through use of some sort of dark incantations that the white-furred beast whispered to her. Her sudden ability to emulate magic used by skilled arcanists thrilled her, but also frightened her, as she knew that none of this was normal. But who could she tell? The White Carbuncle would always seem to discourage her from such thoughts whenever they entered her mind, and she would quickly find herself banishing such thoughts from her mind. As time went on, her father bringing more suitors before her and her sister, while sympathetic, doing nothing to alleviate the situation, Maple soon began to feel that this strange creature was the only one left in the world whom she could trust, as little by little she felt herself become cut off from the world.
Four years passed, and Maple soon found herself back in the rebuilt Limsa Lominsa, where her father was reopening Lominsan branch of Standing Oak's business. Although she had returned to her childhood home, the young woman couldn't have felt more lost, especially after finding out that Gatoli Catoli had apparently skipped town with a rather large sum of his father's money. Apparently the Lalafell's failure to make it into the Marauder's Guild and carry on his family's proud legacy in the Maelstrom had lead to his father punishing him by forcing him to continue to make use of his non-existent Marauder skills in a dead-end job as a caravan guard for the Brugaire Consortium. Her childhood friend was now technically a wanted man, though few were able to fault the young Lalafell for wanting to be free of his vindictive father. Having still not chosen a suitor, Maple once wondered if Gato would have been among her potential suitors had he not run away, as his mother was the daughter of an influential member of the Brugaire Consortium. This idea amused her, as she realized she might not even necessarily be opposed to such an arrangement. Of course, such thoughts were pointless, as Gato was long gone, and if he ever did return to Limsas Lominsa, it would likely be in shackles. And so, the hunt for her suitor continued.
During one particular date with a suitor, she found herself starting to enjoy herself a bit. Although the man she was with, a handsome young Midlander, was not someone whom she could see herself sharing her life with, he was still rather charming and made her feel like she was beautiful. The only time Maple had been told she was beautiful was on one occasion when Gato had bashfully told her this upon seeing her in a dress, something which was extremely rare for her to do at that age. Going against her better judgement, Maple indulged the man's request to accompany him back to his home where their playful flirts quickly escalated into full-on intimacy. Unfortunately, this suitor was not as understanding of Maple's not-quite female status as her sister and Gato were as the man spewed hurtful insults towards the Roe woman, demanding she leave his home. The hurt Roe woman did as commanded, but only after giving him a strong right hook to the jaw.
Standing Oak, of course, heard about all of this, furious that the first promising suitor that Maple had met during this four-year ordeal had been scared away thanks to some "deformity" of which he had not been aware. Yes, Standing Oak's status as an absentee father meant that not only had he never done so much as bathed or changed a diaper on his daughter, he'd not even been present for her birth. He'd only now found out that she wasn't fully female, and demanded that she have her male organs removed so that her "deformity" wouldn't jeopardize her consummation with any future potential suitors. This time, the pleadings of her mother and sister fell on deaf ears, her father fully prepared to force his own daughter to mutilate her body so that she could be married off more easily. She was, as the White Carbuncle would put it in one of it dark whisperings, defective merchandise that needed to be "fixed" before it was put back on the market. Upon realizing this—even though it had been the White Carbuncle that had suggested it—Maple Blossom made her decision: She would run away from home, just as she had talked about doing with Gatoli years earlier as they discussed their dissatisfaction with their respective home lives. But where would she go? Her Uncle, as kind as he was, would not simply let her stay with him and hide her presence from Standing Oak. Maple didn't have any friends to turn to either, aside from the strange White Carbuncle that still followed her. In the end, Maple decided to go to one place that she felt still might hold some level of security and comfort for her: her and Gato's secret place.
As she arrived in that secluded alcove that had managed to survive the ravages of the calamity, Maple felt as if she had stepped back in time. For the first time in a long time, she felt comforted by something other than the words of that creature, and it was a feeling she was rather fond of. This feeling of calm was short lived, however, as Maple realized that even as she fondly recalled simpler days, she was still in the present, and she still had no idea what to do. Going back wasn't an option for her, this wasn't just some family dispute that could be worked out, she was not going to be her father's property. As her emotions boiled over with her yelling out her angry thoughts to what she thought was an empty beach, she soon discovered that this beach was apparently no longer as much of a secret as it was in her youth. A young, well-dressed, bespectacled, and effeminate-looking Lalafell had wandered into her childhood hideout, apparently in as much of an emotional rut as her. Apparently he'd been turned down by woman whom he deeply cared for and he'd decided to come here, a place that was special to him in his childhood. Maple soon found herself relating to the Lalafell's situation, telling him that this had been a special place for her as well in her childhood. Looking back at this event, the Roe and Lalafell would likely have been embarrassed at how oblivious they were to this situation. Sure the he looked much more effeminate and had better fashion sense and acted far more confident than that little Lalafell boy ever had, though that unique shade of green that was his hair should have made it rather obvious. That's to say nothing of his failure to recognize his childhood friend, who had changed very little since adolescence, aside from her height and figure. Yes, this rather large oversight likely would have been a source of embarrassment for them had it not been for the simple fact that when the finally did recognize each other, they both smiled and laughed harder than they ever had before.
Maple had been reunited with Gatoli Catoli, who has seemingly become a completely different Lalafell from the one she'd known all those year ago. At first this change was rather jarring to her, being so much more confident than the little boy she'd known, apparently having become rather lecherous. She soon decided she liked this new change, however, as he offered to let his old friend stay in his employer's estate, in his own personal chambers. Whether his offer to Maple was purely that of an old friend helping her out of a tight spot or if he sought to indulge an old passion rekindled inside of him, it made very little difference. That night, both of them desired the other, and both of them were willing to give themselves up to the other. That night, the childhood friends became lovers; and just as when they were children, their physical differences took away nothing from the experience, one which neither of them would soon forget.
Life as an Adventurer
During the week after her first night with Gato, Maple had learned that her childhood friend was now working as a butler for a rather prolific Elezen adventurer by the name of Destiney Delvanguard and her husband. Apparently Gatoli had been down on his luck and low on funds after suddenly losing his job as a courtesan and when Lady Destiney learned of his predicament, she offered to let him stay in a spare bedroom in her new house in exchange for maintaining the estate, as her life as an adventurer left her little time to take care of her house.
Maple Blossom is somewhat of a free spirit. Being bound to her family's budding affluential life was something that she'd always detested, almost never feeling like she made her own decisions. She is somewhat introverted by nature, having always hated being forced to go to the various formal events that her father dragged would drag her entire family to in order to raise his social standing. She has a bit of an aversion to social gatherings because of this, though smaller and more laid back gatherings can sometimes be within her comfort zone.
Thanks to her upbringing, Maple does try to come across as polite and welcoming when meeting people for the first time, though where she goes from there can be rather dependent on her first impression of the individual. When she lets her guard down, Maple can be rather sensual and even flirtatious. Due to her physiology, she can be somewhat needy in terms of her physical needs, although she is fairly open about her sexuality, so this is not typically a problem for her these days. In spite of this, Maple is rather weary when it comes to relationships, the countless number of suitors that her father forced her to court having left a bitter taste in her attitude toward such things.
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