You can take a xaela from the Steppe, but you can't take the Steppe from a xaela. Well, Sarnai's pale scales and steely resolve mark her as Raen, but she was born and raised within the Malaguld tribe and clings to the identity of a wild Steppeborn nonetheless despite being over a decade and a continent removed from the place of her birth.
An enigmatic individual to most, Sarnai tends to hold others at arm's length, unwilling or actively fearful of allowing people into her life. Her tendancy to isolate and focus on tasks over interaction come at complete odds to her hidden sense of empathy and altriusm - just one set of many, many conflicts and confusions that woven together make up a troubled mess of a woman.
Moulded by a harsh and unsympathetic life, Sarnai carries some rather serious psychological baggage. Rather than letting her bitterness and cynicism sour the world around her however, she has chosen to try and work with what she can to ensure others don't have to suffer as she has. Unfortunately, though her intentions are as benign as can be most of the time, her methods could use some work... To put it lightly.
Standing at 5'3" and weighing in at roughly 120lbs, Sarnai is an exceptional physical specimen for her gender and race, but woefully sub-average in stature for most others. What she lacks in height, she makes up for in pure functional muscle and battle-ready litheness. Robust and powerful, she could be described as having an amazonian build - not without its grace or some natural curves, but tempered in the flames of constant maintenance and a harsh life.
Every hair and scale on Sarnai's body is a uniform ivory-white, from her eyelashes, to the claws tipping her fingers, right down to her long and sinuous tail. She possesses curiously few scales across her limbs and torso for an auri woman, most of them being confined to her neck, face and a dorsal stripe which wraps around her hips. Her skin is porcelain pale, though it flushes easily under sun, exertion or embarassment. Her eyes are a startling shade of crimson, the only splash of real color against her otherwise rather bleached appearance.
Scars & Markings: Sarnai's body is covered in myriad scars from head to toe. Her proclivity to covering as much of her skin as possible in public means few if anybody really ever sees the extent of battles and disasters past upon her body. She rarely hides her face, however - and upon it too are marks of combat. Creeping along the left side of her jaw are two trailing gouges that start at the side of her mouth and then continue to the underside of her jaw, stopping just short of the crimson scarf she wears pulled up to cover the entirety of her neck.
Click for a full body map of her scars! -SPOILER WARNING-
Voice: Low, husky. Sarnai has an odd accent when she speaks common - a decade in La Noscea has seen her natural northeastern Steppe lilt muddled through with the broad accent of a Limsan ruffian. Her voice in itself is fairly distinctive - she very rarely shouts, speaking quietly most of the time. There is a rasp to her voice that is subtle when her volume is low and becomes more pronounced and harsh as she raises it. She has a tendancy to project very little emotion into her voice - on the occasions she does, she speaks in a much more melodious manner.
Clothing: Practical and low-key, with an inclination to things she can conceal some kind of protection into. High boots, loose shirts and leggings are her usual preferance for casual wear. She dresses for what she expects to deal with - as much as she prefers to wear medium-light clothing, she is also known to don a full suit of plate and chain when nessecary. While Sarnai does not appear to be particularly bothered about some leg being shown, she does not like revealing clothing and will avoid exposing her torso or neck at all costs.
She wears a length of crimson fabric to conceal her neck at all times, like a scarf - in the rare, rare occasions Sarnai is seen making use of baths or pools she still insists on keeping it on.
Moody, Prone to emotional masking, quiet, altruistic, paranoid, untrusting, inquisitive, eager to please
- Herbalism and Alchemy
- Horses and riding
- Sparring and duelling
- Helping others
- Spicy foods
- Music and singing
- Hunting, fishing and tracking
- Bathing in general, in any context
- Hypocrisy (Ironically)
- Loud noises, explosions
- Personal space invaders, unexpected physical contact
- Being filthy and unable to wash
- Overly flirtatious or lewd behaviour
- Ships, Chocobos, and Teleportation
- Humorlessness and unnessecary harshness
- An inability to atone for her failures, and causing more
- Explosions and gunfire
- Being abandoned or betrayed
- Deep water, drowning
- Failing or dissapointing others
- Falling to madness, becoming a monster
- Doing more harm than good
- Favorite food: Spiced dzo, tuna steak
- Favorite drink: Arkhi, whiskey
- Favorite colour: red, green
- Vices: Recklessness, Self-flagellation, an intense need to self-martyr, a tendancy to self-isolate, unhealthy coping mechanisms for her many disturbances, inability to trust, stubbornness, prone to depressive thinking, alarmingly low sense of self-worth and self-esteem
- Possible alignment: Chaotic Good
Sarnai is a damaged woman, and wears a thick suit of metaphorical armor to prevent the approach of any who she fears will hurt her. Repeated instances of betrayal and abandonment, recent and past, have caused wounds that have not begun to heal in the slightest. Her trust is a difficult thing to earn, and easily lost. She proves herself doggedly loyal to those who manage to prove themselves worthy, however - her devotion as deep as the sea, a thing of great value to her which she will cling to even if it carries a devastating price. It's easy to lose her trust... To a point. Once cemented, her loyalty is undying and she will lay down her life in an instant for one she truly, deeply cares for.
Despite being born and raised on the Steppe, a land regarded quite rightfully as wild, lawless and savage, Sarnai possesses almost something of a naivety about her. She clings to the embers of idealism, though she tempers her dreaming with reality and pragmatism where she can. There is a softness, beneath the armor and the scars and the shadows, that can take many forms, and that she secretly yearns to share with those around her.
Despite her constant alert and fear of a world that has been little but cruel to her, she remains adaptable and formidable of spirit. She is dogged and determined, willing to get up over and over and over again, no matter how badly she's beaten and no matter how much she suffers. Though she is prone to periods of depression that are difficult to pull her out of, and places far more value on the life of others than her own, one thing is certain - for every bone that is broken, for every scar that leaves her aching, and for every misfortune she faces, Sarnai will come back stronger each time. If more jaded.
Having known suffering for a close companion over much of her life, Sarnai is quick to spot it in others. And despite it all and her natural distrust of others - there is little she wants more than to ease the pain of those around her, especially those to whom she has formed a bond. Sarnai will readily sacrifice her own comfort, safety and happiness if she feels it will help someone in trouble. In her eyes, to knowingly inflict suffering on another is a sin - and to stand by and observe, when you can step in and make a difference, is a graver one still. Justice too, is a strange thing to define by the standards of someone who has spent half her life on the steppe and the rest as a sword to be controlled, but nonetheless Sarnai clings tightly to a strong moral compass and strives to be just and fair where she can.
Though she has done a masterful job of suppressing her own emotions for many years and now struggles to appropriately express herself as a result, she strives to be considerate of the feelings of others wherever possible. Despite this, Sarnai is something of a sucker and is not very good on picking up on dishonesty or manipulation. Because she tries to think of how people are feeling rather than what they might want, and she struggles to see the point of spite, she is prone to having her good nature taken advantage of. She has begun to wise up to this as of late, but it has gotten her into quite a lot of trouble and likely will for years yet.
Skills & Abilities
|| Martial Prowess
|| Magic Affinity
As with all Steppeborn individuals, the seeds of strength were sown young as a matter of survival. As comparatively close-knit as her tribe was, there was no room for the weak or the unspirited - and Sarnai knew this very early on. As soon as she was large enough to pick up her father's sword she was practicing with it, or her bow. She fought and scrapped with her peers, and when she attained dominance over them, she fought her elders.
She would have continued on the path of a powerful warrior as she grew, were it not for the fateful events that took place not long after her twelfth winter. From there, life grew harsher, and into the jaws of beasts and solitude the girl was cast instead.
For four long years the girl was isolated, roaming the Steppe and the mountains that crept along its edges. She learned much of fieldcraft in this time - perfected the techniques her parents had passed onto her as a matter of life or death. To this day, her survival skills are nigh unparallelled - The only place she would feel unsure of striding into with naught but the clothes on her back would be barren desert, and only because she has yet to test most of her skills there.
It was not only her survival skills she sharpened - keen to distract herself from her loneliness and to prove her survival wasn't just a mistake, Sarnai would seek out and kill the strongest beasts she could find, working her way up the regional chains of predators until she mastered the art of the ambush and hunt, until there was little that could challenge her with sword or bow in hand.
Her skill with the sword would become sharpened further still - to what some would call a mastery, when she made it over to Eorzea and enlisted with the Maelstrom's Foreign Levy. For the next ten years, the woman trained and fought and further hardened herself into something truly ferocious.
Sarnai's aether is... Unusual. Every mote of it within her body - drawn in and naturally produced - seems to have been corrupted heavily towards a Dark aspect, somehow. So heavily is the balance skewed in fact, that by all rights the woman should not be alive - it should have consumed her and reduced her to nothing. And yet, she walks and talks and breathes like anyone else... Most of the time. The peculiar circumstance in which the woman has been placed has lent a number of quirks, naturally, to the way it all works.
Please note this section is under constant update due to the constantly evolving nature of roleplay and character development. More names and details are availaible on Sarnai's Carrd site as it is less of a headache to make constant edits to.
Key: ♥-Romantic Interest ♦-Kin ♣-Friend •-Neutral ♠-Enemy ▲-Disliked
Qu White: ♦♣
A young hingan samurai who Sarnai initially met during her stint at Fate's Cross. The two of them never really interacted much until a leve gone wrong, in which Sarnai was gravely injured. Fearing (quite rightly) that she would run off during her healing period, Qu was assigned to guard her. Over the course of her weeks of infirmity the two formed a casual friendship, and then a deeper bond as they began working together on more dangerous adventures as battle companions and aspiring Selmers. The two were set to become a powerful team, and helped each other through many hardships.
However, Sarnai spread herself too thin, and her old demons began to resurface and drag her down. Sarnai and Qu's paths diverged and they parted on bad terms after she made clear she could not follow him on his quest any longer - Sarnai genuinely feared that she may be hunted by her former comrades, terrified to see the man she was once so close to and be forced to defend herself against him. She avoided him for months, until eventually Qu managed to seek her out and reconcile with her. Though she was tentative and fearful and mistrusting at first, Sarnai missed her brother figure and accepted him back with open arms. As she would have back then, she once more trusts him with her life and would lay hers down in an instant to protect him. She cannot follow where he leads any longer - but she will be there at the end of the road to comfort him, keep him company, and aid him however she can.
Sarnai however has found Qu sorely testing her patience as of late - while she will not abandon him, she has been forced to accept that he is, after all, young and stupid, and his teasing has begun to grate on her. Mistakes were made with dire, dire consequences - though she tries hard not to hold it against him, the woman knows she will never fully trust him with delicate troubles again.
Shinji Isogai: ♥♣
A frequently mysterious Hingan who Sarnai initially met at a bar as she rested between travels, and the first and only man she has ever loved. Initially, the raen male confused her endlessly with his advances and companionship - slowly, Sarnai came to accept him as a part of her life. She accepted the bond which he had offered to her initial confusion, and grew to cherish it dearly as he taught her how to feel again, and that not everything in the world was a threat to her. Meeting Shinji marked a turning point in Sarnai's life for the better - from where she slowly, steadily began to grow as a person beyond her traumas and hardships and bad habits.
However... Things was never pure or simple. Their relationship has been a confusing thing full of ups, downs, dissapearances, abandonments, accidental wounding and struggle. Sarnai, with her utter lack of social and romantic experience, her crippling lack of self-worth, and the blind trust she heaped upon Shinji that he would lead them... Found herself miserable as often as she was happy, as though Shinji never held any malice, he simply did not know how to handle her appropriately and often trod on her heart while struggling with his own demons. Admittedly, not at all helped by Sarnai's difficulty communicating effectively and hiding any feelings she deemed signs of weakness, which was most of them. After a near-death disaster with her stone forced Sarnai to confront the consequences of her meek acceptance of how others treated her, she decided to take a more aggressive and stern approach... With everyone, including Shinji.
Though Sarnai is still puzzling out various aspects of Shinji's behaviours and mindset, she has learned that the man she loves isn't perfect - That this is okay - and that it is perfectly healthy to voice her true feelings and concerns. Despite everything, their hardships and numerous bombshells dropped on both sides have cemented her feelings rather than crippled them. Now that the smoke has cleared and hearts have been opened, they have seemingly finally come together as something resembling a healthy couple - working together against their issues towards the same hope of a future they can share... Or rather, they would be. Fate once again has thrown a major wrench their way, this time through neither of their faults. Sarnai has grown intensely protective of Shinji and though she refuses to show it, spends much of her time quietly panicking over the thought that all of their struggles might not matter in the end.
Miira Kagon: ♣
Sarnai's relationship with Miira started off strictly buisness as a co-worker, after she was advised to seek her out for direction on her hiring into the Consortium - though she was always curious about the young shamaness, they never really interacted before she took Sarnai on as an Alchemy apprentice. Despite being her elder, the raen took her opinion and teachings in high esteem and strived to prove herself useful, capable. Though she was uncertain how to handle the other woman much of the time, eventually they formed a sort of friendship after it became apparent they had some rather unusual things in common. Though Sarnai frequently made (and continues to make) well-intentioned mistakes and acts of recklessness that drive Miira to fury, she still wants nothing more than to help the shaman and seek her advice in turn.
Miira has always been able to make Sarnai think and ponder things she might not nessecarily have wanted to otherwise dissect or accept - though as of late, Sarnai has begun to stand up on her own more and no longer sees Miira as simply a perplexingly younger authority, but also just another young woman with far too many burdens and troubles. Her desire to please her has evolved into a desire to protect and offer support. Pity it comes at a bad time; when Sarnai feels she has made her greatest failure to the Kagon...
Lucas Thawne: ♣
A man who Sarnai met through work, and who quickly baffled her with his flirtatious nature even as she came to enjoy his company for how well they got along. Though she was uncertain if she was even technically in a relationship due to Shinji having pulled a vanishing act again, she ultimately did not respond to his advances regardless and instead chose to maintain their rapport as good friends. The man displayed his trustworthiness to Sarnai early when she slipped up and demonstrated something rather dangerous in front of him in a fit of drunken playfulness, and he has since faithfully kept her secret as well as offering her aid in dealing with it. Since then, they have spent quite a lot of time together, sparring and hanging out and helping each other with various problems.
However, a depression spiral sparked off by stress and numerous upsets stole Sarnai's upbeat and friendly facade - and Lucas did not seem to be able to handle her at her lowest. Already afraid that he would abandon her after a tearful breakdown to him, she tried to put on a stoic and aloof front. Her fears, much to her sadness, were soon confirmed when the hyur vanished out of her life. Sarnai still wonders what it was she did wrong exactly - but has resolved to never, ever, allow herself to believe she can lean on her friends again.
Euclio Aurum: ♣
Sarnai met Euclio while she was working as a cook at Torama's den, and they had something of a complicated start. While he was pleasant enough on their first meeting, he managed to do several things subsequently that annoyed her intensely. For a length of time, Euclio (allegedly) inspired nothing but feelings of mild irritation and disdain in Sarnai, though he has slowly over the course of many encounters come to earn her trust, particularly after an incident in which he caught her up to no good and after a bit of a brawl he agreed to keep her secret and exchange some of his own as a gesture of goodwill. Though they frequently butt heads and on the surface can look more like enemies on any given day, Sarnai does secretly nurse a growing appreciation for the flippant young man.
This appreciation would grow into something more resembling a traditional friendship as Euclio again and again stuck his neck out for her unasked, at risk to himself, when Sarnai was in distress or weakened. While she still struggles with her perception of the man due to certain similarities he calls to mind and her own paranoia, she would probably call him a friend with some hesitance if she was asked to define how she felt about him, and would not need to be asked to offer him any assistance.
Euclio would again go on to surprise Sarnai by caring for her in a time of great vulnerability, when she was seriously ill and unable to fend for herself. That he had noticed she had gone missing and came to her unasked when nobody else did - going so far as to bring her food, encourage her to eat it, and try to cheer her up is something she would never have expected. She has revised her stance on the man, deciding that he is a good soul and that if he is willing to accept her as a friend, she will happily embrace him as such... Though they seem to have drifted apart of late, and Sarnai resignedly has begun to consider that perhaps she really does need to stop getting attached to people.
Irtei Buduga: ▲
A woman and a Buduga are rarely set up to be friends - Though she was willing to be amicable regardless of her inherent distaste of what she not-so-privately held as one of her least favorite tribes, the young man quickly proved belligerent, disrespectful and hostile. Sarnai would have been rather happy to simply ignore his existance and get on with her life, having absolutely no interest whatsoever in trying to force a rapport where mutual disdain and barely veiled hostility worked just fine.
... They made for some odd co-workers, certainly. However, over time, Sarnai has grown to ponder Irtei's predicament and zealous views. While she still doesn't care to waste her energy changing them, spending much time with a woman who DID succeed in befriending him has made her wonder what the fuck exactly is going on inside his head. Her curiosity and dislike are not mutually exclusive, however - Sarnai's feelings on the Buduga are mixed and unpleasant for the most part, though being recently forced to work together has had her try to push them aside... Especially as guilt over failing him in a major way chews within her.
Mugshots, Mockups, and Screenshots
Sarnai's Aether takes a rather unusual form
Stances on RP: While flexible, I prefer a more gritty, semi-to-heavily realistic take on the world. I have no interest in interacting with 'perfect' Mary-Sues or participating in hard lore breaks. Magic should have rules - physics should be entirely in play - actions should have consequences. Lightheartedness is A-okay! Grimdark is A-okay! Violence, brutality, mature themes of all types are A-okay! I will play anything as long as it makes sense within the narrative.
Hooks and relationships: Sarnai's backstory doesn't allow for a large amount of historical relationships, but if you're interested in working something out hit me up. I'm always glad to weave characters and the events that make them together to build a larger, more vibrant approximation of a living world. Any reasons to seek out particular characters are always cool to have.
RP combat and injuries: Open for most systems as long as they make sense to me. I can roll random dices or settle it through a fully organic RP exchange without any other tool, or a combination of both. I am a strong supporter of dealing with the consequences of every actions our characters do (except when true death, or other very dire things have to happen, which will need my consent).
Miscellaneous: That wiki page is pure OOC knowledge unless your character specifically knows or learned about it.
Important! If anything that my character does or says unsettles you in an OOC manner, or if suddenly you are not okay with something in my RP, please let me know right away! Communication is key! I take the divide of IC and OOC seriously - what Sarnai does, says, thinks, or experiences does not in any way match up with what I think, feel, say or would do.
Server and Timezone
Player Info: I am based in the UK and so follow GMT.