On the Table of Fate
Tova appears very average. Average height, weight, physique. Brown hair, green eyes, pale skin… typical elf. She dresses in a manner intended to draw as little attention to herself as possible. Simple leather armor, unadorned traveller’s attire. The only item she wears plainly that might seem unusual is a small nub of black antler, threaded on red cord and attached to her belt pouch. This is her charm against the gaze of Beshaba, the Maid of Misfortune.
She is pretty, but doesn’t put a lot of attention into her appearance – she might not have bothered to comb her hair this morning. She is fickle about hygiene, though, and not simply for want of luxury. She bathes regularly, and keeps her belongings in good repair. You never know when the only thing standing between you and calamity is a well stitched seam or contaminated pottage.
Tova carries herself well but comes across as paranoid and aloof. She is generally a good person, and would rather not bring harm to someone who doesn’t deserve it, but she is deeply untrusting and cynical, and unfaltering in her preference for staying alive and making a profit. Therefore, she is not above evil acts if she deems them the best choice (although she is just as repulsed as all reasonable folk by vile deeds).
It’s just that you can’t trust anyone.
Tova warmed her mug in her hands, swirling the ale in patterns. She weighs in her head the coins in her purse. It’s time to find work. It doesn’t matter what kind, really, as long as she gets paid – and nobody else turns on her. She won’t hold her breath; her luck isn’t the good kind.
The list seems too long. She doesn’t know what her sin was, that thing she did that drew the gaze of the Maid of Misfortune, but she thinks it must have been dire. It goes back as far as she can remember. The first time, everyone thought she was blessed. Powerful wizards had a grudge match too close to her village. She’ll never know what their quarrel was, only that it crossed the town’s protections and obliterated several buildings including her family home. Her uncle and brother rushed to the ruins with the other guards only to find Tova standing in the rubble, the sole survivor. Everyone mourned her parents, but Tova must be special.
Not long after, her flute instructor evoked illusion in a song he was demonstrating – and somehow summoned a fire elemental into the chamber, as well. The instructor and chamber were both badly (and expensively) burned. Tova didn’t singe a hair.
Then there was that training camp. Her brother was the lead Ranger, showing everyone important skills for detecting enemy activity and dangerous beasts. Tova went off to relieve herself. The camp was attacked by orcs while she made water, and her brother was among the many dead. That was his mistake, but people started to look at her differently. Maybe she isn’t blessed… maybe she is cursed? Luck charms come into vogue.
Or the scouting mission into that mausoleum with her squad? They didn’t listen when she warned them of the trap. How come they couldn’t see it? The group kept walking ahead of her, ignoring her, laughing at her joke, except she would never joke about that. So many badly hurt. When they return, the CO accuses her of deliberately endangering the party. Nothing can be proven, but everyone believes it.
The last straw for everyone was also the biggest insult to her. The merchants had given their employees leave for the evening, but one of their number felt that leave included Tova. Forced to defend herself against a fellow Elf, it was his word against hers at the trial. She was not convicted, but she was still considered guilty, especially given the loss her attacker suffered to his ocular socket. She smirks at the memory. She does not feel bad for that. Nonetheless, she left town within a fortnight and struck out on her own. Since then she has met bandits, plague, unscrupulous adventurers (if she ever meets that gnome who sold her out in that last town…), and all sorts of unsavory bastards. Sure, there are plenty of good folk too, it’s just impossible to know who is who. There are bad seeds everywhere, or just idiots. Unskilled bravado is just as dangerous as premeditated deception.
But… she still has that money problem. Which means it’s time to mingle, and watch out for herself.