Sajani of the Vira
The Vira long believed their goddess, Sri Lakshmi, embodied the concept of freedom. Ever since she was a mere hatchling, long has Sajani wanted to live up to their goddess' symbolism. Thus, she followed in her mother's trail as a hunter, taking up the bow and eventually excelling in her craft. Though Sajani prevailed in many of her hunts, she did hold a great fondness towards animal husbandry. Frequently, she would task herself to gather food for the Vira's marid herd, milk them, or even round them up when they were frightened. However talented as she was, she didn't have a large circle of friends, if one at all. Her sisters, Aashi and Parvati, were her biggest influences. Aashi was another hunter, though Parvati was an expert in working with precious metals.
It was through Aashi and working with the marids that Sajani met Naruvi, a boisterous tribemate about her age that was tasked with gathering food for the marids. Naruvi's confidence and her passion for botany fascinated Sajani immensely, as Naruvi grew a fondness of Sajani's bashful demeanor. They soon became close friends, harboring a protective attitude over each other.
Sajani and Naruvi whisperered many confidential desires and fears with one another, but the extent of Naruvi's personal knowledge of the land would prove a dangerous secret. One day, the girls were out to gather grass to make hay for the marids, until Naruvi's keen eye spotted something particularly unique to the mountains of Gyr Abania. She pointed out a native plant to Sajani; the violet-petaled flora called the dream flower. It was then that Naruvi pointed out she had been stockpiling the plants for collection of the milky liquid their seed pods weep when cut. The 'striders' - members of the legged Spoken races, particularly the Five - were paying a handsome sum for these plants to make them into somnus. Sajani was ignorant of the drug's effects and risks, even its existence, but she was wary. However, she brought herself to trust Naruvi's reassurances that the profits could be magically altered, traded, and otherwise used to benefit their tribe. Possibly even buy medicines they had no access to and originally couldn't afford. Sajani knew Naruvi's motivations were her carefree spirit and desire to establish her own hoard, but she found part of her admiring that. At first, Sajani did not want to assist, but she soon learned the ways of the plants' harvesting process and growing locations from Naruvi.
Albeit, the Garlean Empire loomed over the Ananta's heads after taking Ala Mhigo in 1557. Naruvi had no faith clients would come with closed off roads and heavily monitored territories. With the want for her friend to see her ambitions through and to further support the will of Lakshmi, Sajani joined a resistance cell that the Vira had reached out to. She encouraged Naruvi to follow her, that she might help claim what was rightfully theirs. Naruvi did not meet Sajani with doubt.
The resistance cell had established an operation to gather ore for the creation of weapons, of which Naruvi and Sajani were to protect. Armed with their bows, the women set off for the mountain Gyr Jaswir. For eight suns, they guarded the ridge to ensure the discrete supply of iron for steel was carried on smoothly. What happened to the supply of iron was out of their control. They wouldn't even know that one the other end, they had a double-agent. On the ninth sun, their efforts were stopped by Garlean forces. The soldiers were maimed and the workers were slaughtered like livestock, the event seared into Sajani's mind. To create an opening for the rest to escape, Naruvi held the line, though Sajani refused to leave her side, despite her demands. Sajani soon couldn't if she tried. Sajani tried to knock Naruvi out of the way of the fire from the magitek vanguard the Garleans came with. Both Ananta took the blast, impaling Naruvi and killing her as Sajani suffered devastating injuries. To escape her own end, she diverted her way to a cavern and sealed herself inside for a bell. Fighting to stay conscious, she prayed to Sri Lakshmi until her seal was broken by other resistance members. They had fended off the Garlean soldiers, but they had to abandon Gyr Jaswir.
Sajani was returned to Vira Nilya after she displayed her inability to wield a bow any longer. Her traumatic nerve injury from the vanguard's blast had rendered her unable to pull her draw weight, much less anything over twenty ponze. She suffered from tremors in her hands and her head, causing the cell to turn away her status as a battlemaid. Sajani had wanted to return to her home victorious, but she ended up what she considered a failure. Her sisters took the time to nurse her back to health, but she was scarred physically and mentally for life.
With hopes it may give her sister a new avenue to go down, Parvati introduced Sajani to the concept of not using her magicks for combat, but for gemworking. The craft was unbothered by her tremors and made for a way to be useful around Vira Nilya. It was not the fate Sajani wanted to weave together with Naruvi, but she accepted it. She had recalled the supply of dream flowers Naruvi was keeping, even to that day. Sajani vowed to safeguard it and see a means to use them in a way Naruvi would have wanted, to continue following her ambitions.
With the liberation of Ala Mhigo, Sajani took part in the reconstruction of Castellum Velodyna, content to keep to metalworking. She was set to return home once her work was done, but Aashi had other plans for her. She had become a Velodyna Gatekeeper, having seen the many different kinds of people that passed through. Certain that the exploration would be a healing venture for Sajani, she encouraged her to reach out to the local markets to sell her gems and metals. Sajani did take after Aashi's word, but it wasn't fulfilling. It wasn't the type of healing she felt she needed. It was more nervewracking, being in the crowds and among so many 'striders'. She'd wanted to ride the thrill Naruvi lived with, the days they whiled away speaking of heading to the freed Ala Mhigo to try new, foreign things and be truly free in the underworld of society. Sajani knew that freedom came with a price and with plenty of risks. Still, was there not a price to pay for all freedom?
Her personal skepticism initially sacrifices her ability to approach others, but she manages navigate this with her attention to detail by reading character. In her desire to better herself, she situates herself as a follower instead of a leader.
Though shy, she has been motivated by her peers and especially her sister, Aashi of the Velodyna Gatekeepers, to explore what the regions beyond Gyr Abania have to offer. Occasionally, she finds herself needing to take breaks from crowds, but she does not turn away from an understanding hand extended towards her.
At first glance, she appears quite reserved for her fear of accidentally offending a stranger or embarassing herself. Once she warms up to an individual, they would find her rather eager to display how she values their friendship. Ironically, she fares the best with individuals louder and confident than she, as well as those being more driven by personal gain or improvement.
Notes & Trivia
- Sajani suffers from a tremor disorder in her hands and neck due to traumatic injury. Because of this, she may nod at random intervals and she has difficulty performing delicate non-magical tasks, such as handwriting and sewing.
- She's learned to read from the aid of her best friend, Naruvi. Garlean occupation prevented the spread of Ala Mhigan literature inside and outside of the country. With the country's liberation, Sajani enjoys Ala Mhigan and Thavnairian philosophical works, as well as mysteries. Most of all, one of her most treasured possessions is a journal she had compiled of the Broodmother's dessert recipes. She cherishes it even if she cannot write in it as well anymore.
- Sajani's favorite foods consist of eggs and tender red meats. She has a soft spot for rich sweets, particularly churma laddus. She is also fond of cardamom kulfi and rose rasmalai. She is fascinated how the 'striders' produce cheeses so different from the Ananta, of whom utilize rich and fatty Matanga milk.