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Author Topic: [Hobbit + LotR] Barabal  (Read 2977 times)


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« on: September 22, 2015, 02:02:40 AM »


NAME:  Barabal
NICKNAMES (IF ANY): Cap'n, Cap, Captain, Ma'am, Sir, Old salt
DATE OF BIRTH AND AGE (AS OF T.A. 2941): August 27th, 2853 [88 years old]
RACE:  Black Numeroan
GENDER:  Female

HAIR COLOUR AND APPEARANCE: The tousled black waves smell heavily of salt and sweat, often mimicking the brackish breeze of the ports she has come to know well, reflecting the profession of a seafarer even to those who could otherwise object. Bad luck is drawn by those who cut their hair on board a ship and with that the captain agrees; thick and bountiful, the captain’s hair is kept long, falling in disorderly heaps to the middle of her back, trimmed only when feet touch solid land. When the hair becomes too much of a nuisance for the captain to handle, she finds herself braiding the mass briefly before abandoning further attempts. 

EYE COLOUR:  If one were to ignore the freckles, or the nicks and bruises, or the sometimes busted lip that the Numeroan sports, the female’s sharp, angular features are mostly unharmed. Above high cheekbones sit two russet colored eyes, staring out blankly into the world, never betraying whatever thought is dancing through her mind. Her heavy-lidded gaze, often making it seem like she finds something particularly vexing – which often times she does.

BODY TYPE AND HEIGHT:  Experience is etched on every motion that the Captain’s 5'9'' body makes, a cool confidence that warrants the smug smile on her subtly full lips and her sauntering steps. When Barabal moves, she moves with confidence – a purposeful stride of someone that knows what she wants and how to take it. The strength of her compact, pliant muscles – visible in subtle lines underneath her flesh – further fuel her demeanor, showing the body of a female that works for a living and whose survival relies in physical performance. Barabal’s legs echo with the same resilient strength as the rest of her body; lean muscles meant for sprinting – or swimming in some cases – generally remain out of sight, visible in rare moments of intimacy to people other than herself.

OVERALL APPEARANCE:  Dangerous. Every fiber of the pirate screams it desperately to those willing enough to listen; telling them to keep their distance, to turn their steps into a hurried retreat. Danger oozes from the knowing glint in her eyes - an aposematic warning, those that know Barabal would joke, one that both deters and entices. Freckles ghost across her golden skin, commonly found across the bridge of her nose and forehead and found in larger groups above her shoulders and chest. Once a thing of embarrassment and annoyance in her early years, it has been years since the captain has made peace with the nuance of her skin, turning it into something that amuses her to a certain extent, finding figures wherever she can, though this hobby of her remains unknown. Her profession, has not been kind to the female’s most notable feature and has littered it with remnants of scars – both old and new, which have caused further hyperpigmentation to occur. An old stab wound in her torso, teeters on the edge of her hip and is mirrored on her lower back where the exit wound is found. Dotting around her shoulder in even spaces is the remnants of an old bite, a constant reminder of the orc’s brutal, relentless nature when push comes to shove, “…fought tooth and nail until the end… literally...” and how a similar endeavor is unwanted.

When it comes to clothes, Barabal prefers a more utilitarian approach, often abandoning her tailored black frock coat, trimmed in careful white flowers, in her cabin. Underneath the item of clothing one will find a natural linen shirt with wide sleeves that gather together at her wrists. The captain is also known to sport a slim black waistcoat and a wide belt that cinches at the waist. Dark, slim pants are constantly sported by the female. What once would have been pristine is now worn, with stress marks of where they are commonly stretched. While frayed in some areas and clearly distressed, their comfortable fit keeps the captain from abandoning them, explaining that it would be nothing short of a crime. Flat-soled leather boots rise above the knee, continue Barabal’s need for comfort – protecting her feet and letting her move fast if needed be.

DISTINGUISHING MARKS:  Barabal’s ears have been pierced on multiple occasions - small gold studs marking the multiple times she has found herself leaving port from Umbar. Yet the most noticeable of her collection is a single chandelier earring that dangles from her right lobe. Made up of semi precious stones, slivers of red coral, a sliver of peacock feather and shell, the earring represents the first trip that the woman made on board a ship and the many years that it took to complete.

Her skin is loitered by remnants of scars that she acquired over the years, of the hard work completed underneath the arduous sun, and yet the woman’s body is not free of further ornaments. In the true fashion of the sailors, the captain has a collection of intricate tattoos that cut through her body. Her hands and feet are adorned with a vivid array of plants that snake their way up and along her limbs in playful shingles. The largest of tattoos that Barabal sports is located throughout her back. It is a tattoo that was created over a period of months, different artists building up on the previous design and making it their own.

WEAPONS:  A Cutlass that sits on the side of her hip, a slender hand poised on its pommel. Barabal's repertoire also includes a dagger kept on the small of her back which remains hidden save in moments of absolute necessity. If sparring or in a fight, the dagger is used in conjuncture to her cutlass, equally efficient in defending as well as slicing as needed be. Strapped unto her right leg is a sheath containing  three throwing knives.

FACE CLAIM:  Penelope Cruz

STRENGTHS:  There are certain strengths to being a Numeroan and experience is perhaps the greatest of them all. A combination of luck and birthing have given the woman a long life, where she has had her skills as a captain tested. These experiences, both successes and losses, have made the woman adaptable and not easily surprised. There is rarely something that can genuinely surprise her.  This, combined with her drive and genuine care for her crew, though the latter she rarely voices, has made her a woman worthy of command. Those she leads respect the Numeroan and she in turn them. A female captain is rarely unheard of and generally a thing of ridicule; as such it has become an advantage for the crew. Rarely is the woman taken seriously by other captains or privateers, a mistake which her and her men can happily take advantage of.

WEAKNESSES:  Her same passion has given Barabal a terrible temper, worthy of note to those who think about crossing her. Hell hath no fury, or so they say, and with the Harlot's captain that is often the case. When crossed, the woman is not ashamed of collecting dues, often focusing her attention on them in search of quick renumeration. The grudges Barabal can hold are many and fierce, rarely subsiding no matter the passing of the years.

ASPIRATIONS:  Lead crew/ship to infamy.   

FEARS:  There are few things that Barabal fears more than the loss of a crew member. In her years she has lost plenty of friends and colleagues to both the sea and the sword. It is a pain that she has yet to find solace for and for which she never will find one, of that she's sure. Death brings little fear to the woman, but capture is something she dreads. Perhaps it would be better said that she fears what might happen if that was the case. She would be demoralized, broken, and soiled. She'd much rather slit her own throat than fall into another's hands.

PERSONALITY:  Confident and persuasive, ruthless and cunning, Barabal combines the tactical approach of experience with a reckless daring. Those that meet the Captain for the first time will be met by a wily and manipulative character who is not keen to yielding under another.  A force of will, Barabal will often let her opinions known and when she does it’s often in a sharp and pointedly fashion.

At her worst, Barabal is cruel and merciless; transgressions against her - and against her men in turn - rarely forgotten. The black Numeroan is fond of collecting dues whenever they are necessary, seeing them not as a matter of ‘if’ but rather of ‘when.’ Years do little to dissuade her drive, though when Barabal reaches her goal she is often left feeling emptier than when she first begun.

Barabal is not completely without honor which is often seen in her appreciation for her crew. She cares deeply for them as individuals and for their well-being. Still, she is a woman that expects for people to pull their own weight - making their responsibilities and her expectations of them clear. Though grim and rough-edged, the Captain has a knack for sarcasm and dry humor which her crew has come to see - and likely find themselves on its opposite edge. Never one for laughing freely, the woman is nonetheless easily amused, crooked smiles shared in rare, quiet moments.  But her pride, for whatever is worth, often erases the small gesture with a barked order telling the quartermaster to ‘deal wit’ ‘em blasted slovenly blaggards.’

Barabal is fiercely independent and highly dislikes control; a person who thoroughly sees nearly all rules, traditions, and guidelines as self-imposed limitations that keep one from reaching their full potential. It is with that said that it comes as no surprise that most people who first meet the pirate would describe her as fearless  – notions which mirror into her work-ethics. Barabal is spontaneous, quick to adapt to a quickly devolving situation. Actions, after all, speak louder than words. Her rules of ethics are equally open for interpretation, rules explained to whatever would gain them greatest favor.

HISTORY:   There was a time when she feared the sea; when the roaring walls of infinite blue, the unyielding mass of inky darkness proved to be as terrifying prospect as the shadows were to a listless child. It was the painful spray of salty water against sun-kissed shins and the biting breeze that tugged restlessly against her clothes that allowed the Numeroan’s mind was left to run wild - for her heart to fitter painfully against her chest as the ships were loaded with spices, fabrics, and oils. To fear the inevitable stillness - the emptiness that she had grown to learn over her short life. The scents in these docks never wavered, the sounds a solemn song as the air was thick with cardamom and cloves. Familiar sounds, familiar sights, something which brought all but comfort to the child's soul.

Barabal would then watch in a display committed to memory, sworn to revisit with every passing year, as her father's impassive figure - his sharp, angular face and neatly cropped beard that covered his chin, would come into sight, his eyes gleaming gold against Umbar’s rising sun. 'Little sparrow,' he'd call her gently, a name that only he had come to breathe, his body sinking low as he called his daughter to his arms. Hesitant steps, tiny and slow, would comply to the man's request as dark eyes were suddenly unable to hold her father's gaze. He'd sweep a hand gently across her cheek, his voice reassuring as he tucked stray strands of dark behind her ear. It would be soon, he'd say, when they would meet again. The fates would be gentle, the gods kind, and their reunion fruitful. This image of her father, his eyes gentle to her daughter's tears, would be the last image to flicker through her eyes as the ghost of the man that her father was boarded the ship, Andaluz. As tears stained Barabal's cheeks, her lips pursed in desperation to restrain any sound, she watched into the distance, into the fire sky, away from the docks and into the dying light, that is where she watched the ship and the man aboard it disappear.

The days of solitude that followed was something that she was not quite accustomed to. She was taken care well-off, wives of her father's men always welcoming to her presence. Food was plenty, the care fulfilling, but the companionship of the one person who this life had yet to take was missing. A mother lost to sickness at a young age, far too young for the child's mind to recall, had made Barabal terrified for the waters to tear the man from her. The time they spent together, fading snippets, were far and few in between, warm memories that in those nights of solitude were replaced by uncontrollable fears. It was in these fits of terror-filled nights were images of mangled bodies disappearing beneath roaring waters that the child would find herself awoken in the middle of the night, body drenched in sweat and crying for a father that was not there to wipe her cheeks.

Months were akin to years to Barabal, days and nights quickly merging into a single mass. He was gone for a long time.

But as the seasons changed, the skies turned darker and nights shorter, the faint silhouette of the returning ships would dot the horizon. Every day then, as dawn threatened to break the sky, Barabal would rise from bed in a tangled heap desperate to see if the ship her father had departed on had returned. Five mornings the child woke without the Andaluz's familiar blue trim. Then as Barabal entered the docks during the sixth day, it was not the ship that first greeted the girl, but the dark hair and tanned skinned - far darker than it once had been - of her father, Nader. The child was taken in her father's arms, a sound of delight pulled from her lips as 'Baba' pressed kisses on the top of her head. Her nose buried to the brim of his coats, she still remembers the familiar scent - of sea water, cinnamon, and sweat. The routine was soon reestablished - father and daughter falling unto roles that often went ignored. A welcomed change of pace, something that Barabal often wished would continue to exist.

As the years came, the routine relived with the coming of each year, the child found age embolden the wishes that she had once made known to no other but herself. The request to the man first came a few days shy of turning fifteen, her braided her thumbed capriciously between her fingers and thumb. Her lips were parted, but just as quickly pursed, hands dropping listlessly to her side. When a breath of courage came across her, there was little Barabal managed to say. His answer was definite as his dark eyes looked up from beneath the letters he revised, his prominent brow's darkening his once youthful features. Her thoughts were frivolous, fueled by a romance of stories from far away lands; she would not accompany the merchant. A ship was no place for a woman; bad luck they said. Barabal's heart dropped as she watched the man return to his work, the fluttering of paper - the flicker of shadow and light - seeing her off. But it was not a thirst for venture that caused the young woman to seek a place in the Andaluz, nor was it a desire to see foreign lands, but a need for company that often went ignored. Two more times Barabal approached her father with the same question in tongue and two more times her father bestowed the same answer to her.

But for better or worse, Barabal's mind was made - whether her actions brought her father's ire or they were discovered soon before they could be fulfilled, there was nothing that could be done to dissuade the young woman.

There was no Barabal to view her father's departure that day, no ears to hear the man's parting prayer as he turned from familiar lands in order to sail unto the unknown. There was no oranges crossing the skies, no vibrant reds to make the air alight - there was just a stillness, an unbreakable heaviness that seemed to spill into the dark waters. Nader looked back only once, desperate to catch a glimpse of her daughter's face, but found no familiar eyes to see him off. He barked orders loudly as he crossed the deck making his way towards the captain quarters. But in the room that had been usually empty, occupied by nothing but a few pieces of furniture and books full of inventories, now leaned Barabal against the desk, chest bound and hair trimmed, book propped open in her hands. The sound of the opening door caused the female's eyes to flicker unto her father's, momentarily unsure. But she quickly recovered from the loss of words, turning to the man with the book open for him to see. All argument that Nader could have made at that point fell flat, his voice stilled. He made a move to take away the girl's new found possession, but quickly found it out of reach. "What is this?" She questioned at the detailed ships list. Nader made to it again, but once more his daughter moved back, her meek voice growing as she shook the pages before his face. Exasperated and furious, Nader tore the book from the young woman's grip, snapping it shut quickly as he tugged into his coat. Regardless of the rage that caused his blood to boil, his voice was tempered as he spoke, demanding to know what she was doing there. She gave no answer. With a defeated sigh and a partial glance in Barabal's direction, the man settled on his chair. Barabal remembers the way his fingers steeple across his lips, his brows knotted in quiet contemplation.

It didn’t take much for her father’s ruse to fall apart before the woman’s eyes – the merchant’s profession giving way to the life of piracy that dictated their life - the silks and spices she thought her father sold as a merchant was nothing more than a front. The man she knew, the man he presented in front of herself, was a lie. The sordid realization silenced her and he allowed for this to remain. They said nothing to one another for several minutes, eyes doing their best from straying away from the other. Finally, when the silence seemed relentless, a meek voice cracked from her lips, ’I forgive you.’

Barabal’s forgiveness by met by a derisive snort and obvious contempt. He had not asked for his daughter’s forgiveness, but respect for his decision which she had failed to give. While they could not particularly find themselves going back to the port for his daughter's unnecessary venture unto the ship, neither would he comply unto what she asked; instead she would remain in the cabin for the remainder of the voyage an unlikely companion to a world she should have never come to know. The days she spent in solitude, apt hands practiced coin tricks whenever proper, rolling them across her fingers. When that failed to sate her boredom, Barabal would read through her father’s journey – tales that her father's journals had detailed lovingly. But her father's ire while great, was not infinite and as the days passed, it subsided. Over time Barabal was allowed to find herself outside the captain's cabin - his books and maps no longer the only thing to keep her company. Her presence was not initially welcomed well by her father's men; the cabin-boy ruse that she had once coined falling apart in a moment’s glance. A woman would bring them back luck, they said, sour the waters and test them. But the port was weeks away now and the promise of coin too tempting to ignore.

No pray, no pay, Nader explained. Her relation to Nader did not save the young woman from the crews’ scorn, reflected in how she was worked to the bone. Scrubbing, rigging – cleaning the pish off the head a favorite of theirs – became her duties on the ship; she was tolerated at best, so long as she pulled her weight. Nader, could not agree more.

Barabal’s first voyage, however, was all but ill-fated. The waters were tempered and the breezes plenty. The storms that buffeted the vessel were never wretched. Time also eased the previous tensions that had kept Barabal at bay. Familiarity on the female's presence became something that the crew was acquainted with and when Nader had reservations on taking the woman off the vessel when docked, a keen mind - and keener tongue - eventually proved to be a fruitful gift for Barabal to have. But while the initial months had been peaceful, the dangers of the sea - and those that traversed it - had not yet been forgotten. It was on the eighth month, as Barabal became better acquainted with piracy, that the order was given by Nader that the girl's instruction under the blade would be absolutely crucial.

Training proved to be tedious at times - but a good way to spend the listless hours at sea. When the weather permitted, Barabal would find herself training under the open skies under her father's hand or that of his first mate, Maitiu. The sun would sear down upon her darkening skin unabashed, biting it raw. Sweat would seep through her cambric shirt with the movements that slowly became careful and precise. Fast. Hard hitting. Dirty. That is how the blade work was taught; in a fight little should be left to chance and by no means should she allow the other party to get the upper hand. Get 'em while they are down, lass, she was told, arm twisted painfully behind her back as the curved rapier clattered unto the ground, ...otherwise may prove to be your greatest regret. Barabal breathed a short puff as her arm was released, hair sticking to the side of her face against the sweat and grime.

With the years that came, Barabal’s presence became a commonality for the Andaluz. Faces aged with time, crew members falling to age, sickness, or the blade of another. With age, the woman’s role in the ship shifted, working her way through the ranks and to quartermaster. Her father’s daughter. Experience hardened the woman’s lines, her tongue sharpening and inexperience giving way to skill. The years were kind to the father and daughter, but the peace faltered. There was a time Barabal was afraid of the ocean, though it was not until she met those that traversed it that she truly saw how she was fearing the wrong thing. The sea is a cruel mistress, but nothing like those that live by her side.

Loyalties could falter.

The Andaluz swayed gently, the wood creaking under the cooling temperatures. Barabal slept in her quarters when the first sound came. The sound was minute, barely discernible above the sound of the waves, but it was strange. Dark eyes fluttered open, dreams exorcised from a tired mind as Barabal sat up in bed - the child's body long gone and now replaced by one of age. It had been nearly forty years now since she had first defied her father's orders and found herself traveling with his crew, and alongside it she had learned to listen for signs that often went ignored. Footsteps. Barabal rose from bed, pushing the blankets off her tired frame without much difficulty and silently reaching for her blade. With them secured in hand, the woman walked softly, making her way quietly out the room. She held unto a breath as the door creaked open, her lips parted wide as they took in a slow, steady breath. She saw him first, blade within his brother in arms, gave him no time to react as she took his life with a slice of her blade. The gargled scream echoed through the ship, alarming mutiners and crew alike. Chaos erupted instantaneously. Too fast for her to realize what was happening, too messy for her to see how much blood drenched their deck. The plight for survival was too great for her to notice when she was struck on the side of her face or how the blood was thick in her hands.

The attack had surprised them, caught them completely off guard. There had been no indication of disloyalty within the new crew, listened as good as any other and shared cups just as well. Yet just as easy some had grown weary of Nader’s command and sought to take the Andaluz as their own. As reality sunk, Barabal moved through the ship to their captain. Blades crossed, pain was white, and yet the daughter moved. She found him in time to hear the breath leaving his lungs through a startled cry. Sere, their First Mate, having struck the Numeroan captain down. The blade was still deep within Nader’s back when Barabal sliced Sere’s throat – a punishment too swift to sate the pain that he deserved. The mutiners were defeated soon after, their survivors chained to rocks during the low tide. They would let the sea claim what life she chose and as slowly as she deemed to be fair.

The losses, both physical and material, were too great for the Andaluz to continue its yearly voyage. Instead, they found themselves returning to Umbar without any voices or words. Their actions were mechanical aboard the quiet ship, faces unable to look unto each other fearing to realize how many were missing from their midst. The cry of the Albatross was the mournful tune that colored the breeze above their heads, the souls of the lost sailors pulled from the earth and carried unto the next. They were leading the ship ashore - home. They would bury the dead, tend to the wounded.

Barabal was surprised how many days her father lasted before his passing. For ten days, the man struggled; drifting in and out of consciousness.  Awake one and asleep the other. She still remembers how she held unto her father desperately as his last breaths were taken, his hands gently thumbing his daughters gentle features and her dark hair. My little sparrow, He uttered gently, his gaze no longer able to focus on the girl he had watched blossom unto a woman, a captain through and through, ...lead my soul. Barabal could hear as his breathing quickened, the words uttered again and again as a silent prayer as his body grew progressively colder and his motions eventually stopped.

In Umbar’s port, there was no joyful sound at the ship's early arrival. The was wailing - a loud, endless sound that carried itself across the port as the captain dis-boarded the ship and the bodies of his sailors, secured in the vibrant fabrics they were to sale, were carried down the Andaluz amongst them their captain. The majority of the crew left the Andaluz's services upon arrival; the stench of death had permeated the very essence of the ship and could no longer bring them fortune, they said. The Andaluz was docked, its decks silent and empty.

After their mourning, the men were buried at sea.

She buried her father at sea. Their bodies stitched inside rich fabrics and cushions before they were laid to rest. The Andaluz was rigged and sunk as men and captain took their final voyage. The final image that Barabal had of her father was as the Andaluz sunk into the blue water - a glimmer of red fabric, a breath of bubbles, before the still waters returned. They say that the soul of sailors are carried by birds - that Albatross and Sparrows land to rescue those final moments when they leave this earth. There are many to have been said to see this happen, though those who bear witness say it was not the sight of it that was of incredible context, but rather the feeling of unnatural peace that it brought. Barabal swears to this day that the warmth that spread through her body, the comfort that took her in its arms, was unnatural. It was white, the bird - a bright, crisp shade that skimmed the brilliant blue. Once, twice, the Albatross touched the waters with its gleaming wing of white before just as quietly, just as suddenly vanished to the skies above with a flicker of a shadow.

Llomerryn was often described as a city where no offer was refused; it was, some would say, unhealthy. But, it did provide exactly what Barabal was searching - a crew to continue her father's legacy. Using what coin they had gained, the woman procured a new ship, the Staunch Harlot, to carry on. His name, Nader, and his exploits were known well upon certain circles, so when news reached them about the requirement to find a new crew under the man’s offspring, there were plenty that answered. Survivors of the Andaluz soon followed suit.  Within them was a friend of Nader's, brother to his late wife and uncle to Barabal. It was more curiosity rather than partaking on the event that caused him to meet his niece for the first time, the spitting image of his sister if there ever was one. He helped her then find the right people, those who would not plan any mutiny under the woman's command, something to which he succeeded greatly. Within a couple of months, a crew of twenty, was readied for the departure again.

There was some hesitation in accepting the woman as their captain at first - appearance and gender were something that none of the older crew members appreciated from her.Yet the men that had worked under Nader knew of the Numeroan’s capabilities. Within a year's notice the Staunch Harlot begun to sail again, each voyage fortuitous, each voyage rich. Her father's spirit forced Barabal to purse a reach unto uncharted waters, every time their voyage taking them to farther.

For thirty years the woman has commanded on the Staunch Harlot both as pirates and privateers. And with many more years to come.

AGE:  Imma getting old.
EXPERIENCE:  Just a couple of years
OTHER CHARACTERS:  Acadius, Alderbrow, Dyri, Elanor Brandywood, Eriende, and Vashti Ada Tohrein
CONTACT:  PM, Cbox, Skype. All of the above?
Some men have died and some are alive
and others sail on the sea.
With the keys to the cage
and the devil to pay,
we lay to the fiddler's green.

« Last Edit: March 13, 2016, 11:13:44 PM by Ulmo »


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Re: Barabal
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2015, 02:07:55 AM »


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  • Galadriel: Tag for Whit/Thranduil. <3 [link]
    April 23, 2019, 03:41:52 PM
  • Galadriel: Tag for Becca/Celeborn. <3 [link]
    April 23, 2019, 03:19:03 PM
  • Friór: Super short (by my old trend) poke at some of my threads too <3
    April 19, 2019, 03:09:28 AM
  • Faramir: Another reply for Éowyn/Dory, this time in Like Little Fireflies! [link]
    April 18, 2019, 11:08:25 PM
  • Faramir: Reply for Éowyn/Dory! [link]
    April 16, 2019, 02:59:48 PM