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Name: Esmeralda, the Mad Maid. Commonly called Esme.
Race: Human, with partial demon ancestry.
Esme is a tall, slender woman with a boyish figure. Topping out at six feet, she further accentuates her height with a large tricorne hat made from a gryphon's pelt. She has thick, lustrous black hair that falls unbound to her waist, and usually wears a strip of patterned cloth pushed back from her forehead to keep it out of her face. Fair-skinned, Esme has sharp, beautiful features, but this fact is often lost on those who get close enough to see; for, at some point in her youth, Esme's right eye was cut out from her face, and she wears a silk patch to cover the scars. Her remaining eye is a startling green that misses little.
As a graceful, agile fighter, Esme wears form-fitting clothing that allows for the greatest range of movement while still retaining the glitz of a pirate captain. Her preferred uniform consists of skin-tight leggings, thigh-high boots with a satisfying heel, and a white lace-up tunic tucked in at the waist with a red silk sash. A vixen overcoat completes the ensemble, with gold buttons and golden embroidery signifying the richness of the cloth. The coat conveniently hides a braided leather belt carrying her two most prized possessions: a pair of flintlock pistols, intricately engraved, whose names are Belladonna and Foxglove, respectively. Esme enjoys glamour and will often augment her appearance with pearl stud earrings, garish rings, bracelets and necklaces.
What will we do with a drunken sailor...
Despite being young, Esme has two things going for her: she's ambitious, and she believes absolutely in herself. Combined with a childhood spent aboard the ships of Vystriana and an eclectic collection of teachers over the years, Esme has a unique skill set that wins her competency far above those of her normal peer group. In fact, she often derides the "birds of paradise" she spots in port; twittering wives and girls who chase after the sailors and bat their eyes, much as her own mother once did.
Stuff him in a sack and throw him over...
Attuned to the types of people that are attracted to piracy, Esme openly encourages vices of pleasure, smoking, and drinking aboard her ship, provided they don't interfere with its operation. In a lack of discipline that would horrify naval personnel, Esme nevertheless keeps a strong hold on her people, and allows them to indulge themselves as a means of keeping up morale between hunts - that is, the raids of merchant vessels or rival ships. She usually carries a flask of fire rum for "liquid courage" and has a particular fondness for sweetgrass, though only when she's permitting herself to drink.
Feed him to the hungry rats for dinner...
While she can appear lighthearted, boisterous, and friendly to the untrained eye, viewing Esme as a double-edged sword would be a far more accurate guess at the truth. Ruthless and suspicious, Esme allows no one to get closer than she deems necessary, and has been known to cut out the tongues of sailors who ask too many questions, crew or not. She is not guided by any particular code of ethics in regards to her hunts and will murder a man in his sleep as easily as she shoots him on the deck. Betrayal is among the worst sins one can commit in her eyes, and she will hunt down a traitor with a vengeance that reminds those who follow her of how she became the Mad Maid. Conversely, those who trust her with their loyalty are closer to her than blood family ever were, and she will refuse tasks that put their lives in unjustified danger, defending their decisions to her final breath.
Shoot him through the heart with a loaded pistol...
Secretly, Esme is lonely. Since her father went missing four years prior on a risky trip across the Western Seas, Esme's contact with anyone who knew of her carefree childhood years has ended. The fame she acquired from the theft of The Last Shadow, a prized skyship from the fleet of the Famine demons, brought her an able crew and a cheeky bit of recognition down in the dockyards; but the advent of war with the Faction of Hope choked her ambitions and reduced her to a state of restlessness, wandering from city to city, reluctant to engage with the struggling powers but lacking the juicy merchant flow of only half a decade earlier. As the guttering flames of her last victory die away, Esme reacts with reckless spontaneity, spurring herself on to livelier and ever more dangerous pursuits in the hopes of breathing a bit of life back into a heart that has been numbed by the possibility of obscurity.
Way, hey, and up she rises, early in the morning...
Esme makes no secret of her marksmanship; she likes reminding her crew and guests of her deadly aim with Belladonna and Foxglove. The twin flintlocks are carefully tied to her own reiatsu, making them utterly useless to anyone who cannot overcome the deep soul-bond. Instead of bullets, they fire concentrated blasts of her own soul-strength, which is capable of destroying most physical materials effortlessly and can only be repelled by enchantments or strong defensive magic.
In addition to her firearms, Esme is skilled in the use of a rapier, and enjoys the intimidating effect of a well-used blade. She takes great pleasure in hiding them on her person; after a short adventure in Stroen'na, Esme commissioned her distinctive boots from a cobbler in Khankirae, using an ingenious design that spring-loads three-inch razor blades in the toe of each sole. Esme has no magical talent beyond the use of her flintlocks, but an unusually sharp intuition combined with a streak of good luck has gotten her out of impossible situations often enough to call it witchcraft.
Less mundane skills include: a basic knowledge of poisons and their antidotes; extensive knowledge of the "terrain" around Felnova's skies, with the exception of Alubria and Icemark; a knack for pushing her ship's limits to the margins of safety; modest swordwork; writing and cartography (she keeps a detailed log); and extensive ropework.
Christened The Last Shadow, Esme's skyship is a three-masted schooner crafted from the white oak of Kurai, and retains the pure unblemished color of the demonic wood. Originally part of Famine's skyship fleet, it has since been stripped of any defining markers; instead, Esme's vessel bears a figurehead in the shape of gryphon's head, with its curved beak open in an exaggerated cry. The Last Shadow flies sails of marbled blue and white, with dimming sheets for nightflying; in addition to its sleek shape, a foot-thick edge of blue steel reinforces the prow, making it a formidable ram. It has twelve in-line guns, six to a side, and is typically maintained with seven-man crews switching every twelve hours save in unusual situations. It is an incredibly fast ship, and, under Esme's command, typically uses a strategy of quick strafes to cripple an enemy before taking it.
-blazeh was here and did stuff- ;D
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