While most Burmecians tend to be on the tall side, this lady is mildly ridiculous. She stands at just over seven feet, if one includes her ears, while still looking like a stiff breeze could knock her down. Aside from being a beanpole, there are two other details that draw attention to her-the first is her odd coloring. While most of her body is covered by light armor and clothing, her hands and feet betray the fact that her white fur shows black designs that simply aren't found in nature-and if it's a dye job, then it's one she must spend hours on every day. Eldritch swirls and complicated designs dot every portion of her body that's uncovered. Which leads to the other defining detail-her face. Largely forgettable, aside from the open wound between her eyes, one that looks as though it was put there but a moment ago. She ignores the blood slowly dripping down to her snout, only wiping it off on rare occasion when it builds up.
Holdana is a cursed Burmecian. The black patterns upon her fur and the open wound between her eyes are a stopgap measure, tying her own life to that of a minor noble in Burmecia. She's thin as a pole and always hungry as a result, as well as a bit less resilient than she should be. She's an adept archer, but has little combat experience. She's hunting down the demon that cursed the noble, and has been doing so for the last five years.
Once upon a time, not too long ago, there was a thriving Burmecian family of four. The father was a wise man, a scholar of many things. The mother was an alchemist, brilliant beyond measure in her search for new medicines and cures. The father's brother was a bit of a layabout, but never short on good cheer or happiness, despite the constant rains of Burmecia. And then there was the daughter, a white-furred slip of a girl that grew like a beanstalk. A girl named Holdana.
The father taught the daughter how the world worked, and gave her the gift of an inquisitive nature-she was never satisfied with the answer of 'because I said so,' and often sought out her own answers.
The mother taught the daughter love, and gave her daughter the gift of health. An important thing, considering how she was often digging into the mother's alchemical supplies due to her father's gift.
The uncle taught the daughter what the world was, and gave her the gift of the world. He took her fishing, swimming, and all those other things when her father was too busy to do so. In these trips, she found that she was particularly adept at archery, and often came home with enough food for the entire family.
And then, when the daughter was ten years of age, things changed. Her father was given a position as a tutor to a young nobleman-a minor duke's son, but still important enough to hire his own teachers. So the family moved to the duke's manse, and the daughter found that she liked the son as well. The two were around the same age, but were as different as the sun and moon. While Holdana enjoyed the woods and trees and the rain, the boy stayed inside for most of the day. While Holdana was never satisfied with answers, he often accepted the first one given to him. Holdana never backed down, while the boy preferred to make peace whenever possible-even when it cost him. And whereas Holdana favored the bow, the boy was an adept mage. But while the two couldn't be more dissimilar, they were inseparable. And so the two families became entwined-there was even talk of marrying the two when they got older.
But alas, such a thing was not to come. Not that Holdana minded-while the noble boy was a fast friend, the two were too different for love. Holdana wanted to travel, to become a great fiend-slayer that protected the world. The noble's son wanted to become a diplomat, to bridge new alliances between Burmecia and the entire world. Holdana finally agreed that she could be his guardian, and he would have to talk her out of holding cells whenever she busted a haughty noble in the nose.
And then the noble's son found someone he wanted to marry. A little slip of a Burmecian lady, as fervent a scholar as he was, and seemingly a match for him in every possible way. She was polite, demure, and attentive. She was engaged to him for a year before the marriage happened, and Holdana trained under various fiend slayers until it came to pass.
Holdana was happy for her friend, and demanded to attend. She could never have guessed that her presence would save his life.
The fiance was gorgeous at the wedding, and the son was handsome. They made a perfect picture as they held each others' hands, reciting their vows. But after he recited his own vows, to give himself to her in every possible way...the fiance laughed. And laughed. And laughed. Her voice had started out tiny and sweet, but the laughter filled the halls by the time she finished.
Her appearance melted away. A Burmecian, but one that towered over the slender young man she was marrying. Her white dress replaced with a black one. A witch, a practitioner of black arts, one that had just gotten the young man to sign over his life to her. A willing sacrifice. And she had just kissed him to seal the deal, while monsters filled the reception hall around them to keep would-be heroes from interrupting.
A kiss that would have killed him, had Holdana not tackled her away. While most others had been shocked, or fought off the beasts that had just been created, she had eyes only for her friend. And when Holdana struck her, she interrupted the draining effect-but the Witch simply said she already had what she wanted, and spirited away with her small cadre of monsters.
It did not take Holdana long to find out what it was that the witch had. When the noble's son had offered to give her everything...that included his spirit. His body was still alive, but without a soul. He was a mere shell, and a dying one. Worse, when the witch had kissed him, she had left a 'gift.' He was bleeding from the eyes, the mouth, and the ears even as he laid there, helpless.
Not knowing what else to do, Holdana kissed him. No one there could offer an adequate solution as to why it worked, why Holdana now had a bleeding wound, why her fur was now marked by strange patterns. But he was no longer dying, and Holdana was filled with new knowledge and a new purpose.
The curse was now shared. Where it would kill one, now it only harmed two. And while the Noble insisted on sending his best after the witch, Holdana stayed silent.
Because she knew where the woman was. She could feel her friend's soul, tugging at her all the while. And she knew that, if she went with soldiers, there would be no chance for her to do what she wanted.
And so, under the cover of darkness, Holdana left. And in the back of her mind was a curse, a soul's tug, and how to make a Burmecian wish she had never been born.
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