Because names have power.
|Hometown||Drakehold within the Frostback Mountains|
|Residence||There is no permanence. Does the wind have a home? Even the stars forever move.|
|Specialization||Shapeshifter - fox and a sword tooth (which is a feline which looks like a cross between a snow leopard and a saber tooth tiger. Big teeth - hence the name.)|
|Behind the Mask|
She's built athletically and has paint or stains on her face when she pushes back her hood rather than the elaborate tattoos of many of the other clans. They mean something to her and any change reflects her journey both of the body and spirit. It isn't mere adornment or decoration the way the Lowlander use make-up, but rather something which is personal and ever changing as are the Avvarian people.
Her hair is dark and normally wind swept around her shoulders or rustling in her eyes. Those are piercing and very pale blue as she stares out into the world around her, and has an ear toward the world of the gods. Her lips are full, and when she walks it's one foot in front of the other, unconsciously like a fox. The way she carries herself is confident, but constantly alert and quiet.
Kitling's "robes" are made for travel and durability from natural furs, hides, and intended to be be warm in winter, but shed parts for the summer. Her boots are made by hand and built for walking and hiking. Her staff is polished wood, handed down from one Shaman to another in her Clan, and it's some kind of very hard wood. The top is carved ornately with a dragon's head and folded wings which vanish and it becomes part of the rest of the plain, dark wood. It's decorated around the top with polished river stones, a few small animal bones, and feathers.
As a Shaman, Kitling is very quiet, but not withdrawn. She watches and she sees, much as the fox and sword tooth, both of which she considers herself close to, because both have lent her their forms. She's spent most of her time since her Rite of Passage at fourteen among those two creatures.
The Twilight, or what the Lowlanders call the Fade does not frighten her, not even for the "demons." If one can dream a thing, then that thing will be. This includes the dark passions and desires of men, thus they come to haunt the waking world. When the spirits speak, she listens, although it is the job of the Shaman to know which give advice which is good, and which are to be followed at peril of the soul. Those who fail their Rite of Passage as Shaman are hunted in her tribe, becoming things the Lowlanders wisely call "Abomination." They did not listen wisely.
Kitling learned from her elder that names have power both within and without the spirit world, so she guards her true name closely as a thing most prized.
She can sit for hours, seemingly lost in her own thoughts, watching and patient, but can just as readily stand up and be prepared for battle. Nothing is permanent, not even marriage in her culture, so she is always quick to flow with the mercurial patterns of life around her. People and animals are one to her, all part of an ever flowing, ever altering, complex tapestry of life. Her role is not one of a leader, but that of an adviser. She's an interpreter of dreams and humbly listens to the call of the gods to guide her hand and magic.
Growing up in an Avvarian culture rather than among "civilized" humans, she knows nothing of Circles, Apostates or their rules. In her tribe the Shaman were people worthy of respect and an important part of life. The ways of lowlanders is mystifying to her, and cities make her nervous. So many people within them, and all of them seem to seek the natural order of Change. They ask permanence where none can be, because eventually even their walls must come down in the face of wearing rains and violent storms.
"Tell me, child," the old woman said as she hunched over the fire. "What do you see?" Her dark skin was a like tanned leather, mapped with deep wrinkles, but her brown eyes were clear and still sought deep into the soul. Kitling's raven, Leika cawed as he fluttered in a circle before perching on a branch inside the smoky interior of the hut-lodge.
Kitling threw the herbs into the fire and inhaled deeply from them, feeling the familiar sensation of her head growing light, and her eyes opening to the Twilight. "I see a darkness in front of me," she intoned as she remained in a firm crouch, her fingers latched firmly to her staff. "I cannot..." She gasped sharply, "There is a cry of pain! I hear it in me... oh gods have mercy!" Clasping her hands over her ears, she barely heard the low, throaty caw of the raven as it croaked in ominous agreement.
"Yes, child," her elder Shaman soothed, brushing back Kitling's hair. Although they both knew, as did all the Tribe, it was difficult to see the pain. "You are so young. So very young that you must take these truths into yourself. The land itself is weeping. The Mountain Father is strong in us, but he feels pain as does the Lady." Her voice crackled and rasped like old parchment. "A great darkness comes, my child, and even we must combat against it. Although all comes to a beginning an an end inside the eternal circle, this is outside its time. You must go, and the time for your change, child of the cat, has come. The Lowlanders need you, and the Tribal chiefs do not want to listen, even to their Shaman. So you must go, and help them where you can. Help defend and push back this dark thing."
Kitling felt the vision rush through her nasal cavities, over her young body, and rush down her spine with cold as bitter and cutting as winter wind. To leave her people? Her family? Everything she had ever known? She did not necessarily wish it, but nothing was permanent.
Thus she left with her few worldly possessions and Leika, traveling on soft secret paws as a fox. Defending herself as the sword tooth, and hunting by the wits of both to feed herself.
It was to them who she listened, as well as the wind sent by the Lady Sky. It was they who lead her unerring and true across leagues and distances almost unimaginable, almost directly to the Grey Wardens.