|Gear||No armor. Hides knives: one in each boot, one on each hip, one strapped to each wrist, lockpicks and a small scalpel-like knife braided into her hair.|
|Behind the Mask|
Kallian had always been…different. Where the others were fair, she was dark; where the others cowered, she played. When the feral dogs would come through the alienage, she would bait them with her hide and make them run after her, long legs skipping over ill-kept cobblestone, tall even so young. The dogs never caught her, the guards never caught her, only her mother could catch her.
Her mother, dark like her, with blue eyes rimmed by black lashes, and hair tangled up in a braid. Kallian loved her mother. Adaia would always put a flower in her little girl’s hair, light and golden like her father’s had been, once, before he’d had to deal with two troublesome women in his life. She would give her sweets and tell her she was the most beautiful little girl in the world.
Her mother was strong, and fast, and she taught Kallian the secret of knives. Elves could not wield weapons, it was against the law. But knives were tools, something anyone would need, to cut knots from fishing line, to eat their food, to shave or cut thread, or any other manner of useful things. Knives were the key.
Kallian was good with knives. They were not like daggers, which were large and scythed through the air. They were definitely not like swords, or arrows, or any other manner of sharp-edged things. Knives could stab, yes, but they could fly, too. Some could pick locks, others were so small they could be concealed in the weaves of long hair. Knives were sly, and could be deadly or painful or exacting, and so knives were perfect for elves, for a clever little girl and her clever mother. Only Kallian and her mother could snicker at the insult knife ears. It was their little joke, the secret they kept when Adaia left in the middle of the night, finger to her lips and a wink to her daughter. It was always after a woman came to their house crying, and her father always sat back, tight-lipped and grim until her mother came home, long after Kallian had drifted to sleep.
One night, Adaia did not come home, and her father never quite lost the sadness in his face, not even when he was smiling. Kallian never saw happiness reach his eyes ever again, and the young girl soon realized that she had lost two parents that night.
Not to say Cyrion was neglectful, or unloving. He cared for his daughter, loved her, gave her everything, but there wasn’t much warmth. Kallian emulated that, personified it, but no one could tell. The lovely, exotic elf with the dark skin and the light hair, the cheerful laugh and the ever-ready hug, with the deep blue eyes and gentle smile, was everyone’s darling, the community’s golden child.