(last name unknown, and so dubbed Streetborn)
Age: 18 * Height: 5'2" * Appearance: Curly Amber Hair, Blue-Green Eyes
Employed at the Avian Gardens, Heathfield Commons

Her life began the same way as too many unfortunate others. A wintry night, a late knock at the orphanage door. A blanketed bundle was left on the stoop - an infant, newborn, its spindly arms waving to emphasize its distress as it squalled. Pinned on the raggedy blanket it was swaddled in, was a bit of parchment with a single word scrawled upon it:  Karina.  It was the only thing she'd ever receive from the mother who gave her up.
The toddler she became was a bright button with  huge eyes and a mop of soft curls, and the overtaxed Mistress of the orphanage had high hopes that Karina would be snatched up quickly by some adoptive family. But Karina was a handful even then and it only grew worse when she gained the power of speech. The prospective parents who met her were startled by her pointed questions, discomfited by her stubborn independence and unnerved by the fits of anger that would arise out of nowhere. She was a child troubled by the question that nagged every orphan: why did her parents abandon her? Not having an answer tormented the girl and her behavior only grew more unruly as she grew older.
In that rough town, overrun by crime and parentless children, the orphanage was also a market for all the low-lives and miscreants who needed lackies. The Mistress of the orphanage was tipped coins by the adoptive "parents" to ask no questions. Some children didn't have it so bad, taken away to work as servants in rich houses or unpaid laborers in workshops. Others weren't so lucky. When Karina was eleven years old, she was picked out of the line-up by a well-dressed couple who named themselves Alfred and Francia Hadley. Within an hour she was borne off to the biggest house she'd ever seen. The Hadley's were, indeed, wealthy merchants... but they did not make their riches with the wool they sold at Sunday market.
Young Karina was introduced to an underground world of spy networks and blackmarket dealings. The Hadley's had no intention of actually adopting her as their own child, of course, dashing any hope for a family that she might have dreamed of. She had to make her own way while fulfilling the tasks they gave her. They started her out small, running errands or delivering messages, until their agents began training her in petty crimes such as lock-picking and pickpocketing. Dressed as an urchin boy she was easily able to blend into the crowds, and her quick thinking and fast legs kept her from most scrapes. Karina soon found that the Hadley's "employees" were a unit of their own, a gang that she fell in with for survival. Many of them were children like her, falsely adopted into the same fate. They scrounged food together, huddled for shelter together... and when one of them froze in the brutal winter temperatures, or was captured by police or simply vanished... they together wondered which of them might be next.
Two years after she joined the gang, when Karina was thirteen, Alfred Hadley was killed in a business deal gone bad and Francia left town. The most senior of them stepped up as the new leader, a volatile man named Eddy Onelip who gained his moniker from a bar fight in which most of his upper lip was sliced off by a knife. Eddy was much more savage in his approach than the Hadley's had been, for he had no reputation to risk. Despite her unwillingness, Eddy bullied Karina into becoming involved with the grittier side of their "business". She was trained to break and enter homes and shops undetected, steal valuable items and documents, and how to use a knife to defend herself and get away quick. Though she never wounded a person more than enough to prevent them from giving chase. Without any other choice, Karina hazarded her safety and her misgivings at the ringleader's orders. This is the key to survival on the streets.
Eddy had a brother, Garson, who lacked his brother's wits but made up for it with brute strength. He was the muscle of the gang, and he had his eye on fifteen-year-old Karina. One night she was heading back to their lair after a successful job and was confronted by a drunken Garson in an abandoned alleyway. He shoved her up against the wall and started ripping at her clothes, even untying his own pants in anticipation of the act he was determined to perform - whether she struggled or not. The second he looked down, Karina didn't think, she pulled out her bootknife and stabbed Garson in the heart. It was a mortal wound. As she stood over his bleeding body she looked up to see Eddy standing there, staring at her. He had seen the whole thing. With a roar he tried to catch her, but she darted past and started running. She's been running ever since.
Fleeing the northern regions where she had lived, Karina sought out the protection of orphanages in the far reaches of the Wildlands but nobody would take a girl so old. And no shops or places of industry would hire a girl so young and shabby. She wandered, stealing food when she could, sneaking into barns or storehouses to sleep at night. She was half-starving by the time she came across a poor couple named Ferdin and Mara Strupt. They lived in a hovel and frittered away their coin on drink and trinkets. When a desperate Karina tried to steal Ferdin's wallet, he caught her, but instead of throwing her to the police he offered a deal. In exchange for the wallets, jewelry and other trinkets she brought them, she would earn a place on their floor to sleep and an occasional morsel to eat. Without any other prospects, she resorted to the only skills she'd ever learned, stealing and pilfering enough to keep Ferdin appeased.
Nearly two years after she'd been with Ferdin and Mara, Karina was returning to their house when she saw none other than Eddy Onelip nearby, walking away. It was then that Karina knew it was time to flee once more - but there was a catch. Eddy had gotten to Ferdin and Mara first, telling them the story of her murder of his "innocent" brother. When Karina tried to leave town, Ferdin stopped her with the blackmail of her past. But the old man knew that Eddy would kill her if he turned her over, and also knew that the talented thief would be of no use to him dead. So he let Karina go.... on one condition. Ferdin would keep her location secret, as long as she returned every so often with enough contraband for them to live on.
Karina fled town, making her way through the lands until she came upon a kingdom unlike any others she'd seen before. Heathfield, a land where people were kind and accepting, where room and board at the local tavern was provided by a benevolent monarchy. She made friends, even got a real honest job, but to fulfill her end of the deal she had to return to Kildare every so often with the illegal spoils for Ferdin. As time went on and she become more and more comfortable with her new life in Heathfield, Karina grew weary of the bargain that forced her to continue this stealing lifestyle, one she had been condemned to at such a young age. Confronting Ferdin with her last sack of stolen goods, she told him she was finished and left Kildare with no intention of ever returning.
Of course... with Karina breaking her end of the deal, Ferdin was free to rat her out to Eddy, which he did as soon as he could. The problem is, Ferdin doesn't know exactly where Karina has been living. Eddy bullies Ferdin into giving him money to hire spies to find her. Finally, months later, his clients come up with solid information leading him straight to Heathfield. Together with a few other members of the gang, Eddy makes his way south to finish the wily streetrat who killed his brother and has managed to evade him for so long. This time, he has a plan...

*Profile  under construction. No IM or childish play accepted.*
*Pictures used are to represent how Karina would look. No Claims Made*

Heathfield Webpages
Heathfield Messageboard

Hit Counter