Voyage of the Jeanne d'Arc
Mystic Path: Conjurer
Mystic Order: 2
Hair color: Stark White
Eye color: Silver w/ Red Sclera
Body type: Androgynous
Skin color: Ebony
Tikal stands out from a crowd, and does her best to minimize that. She has a fairly androgynous appearance and build, further emphasized by the fact that she generally covers herself up so as not to draw attention to her bizarre Shanrazi features. Many people, even her crewmates, tend to mistake her for male, and she doesn’t really care enough to correct them, even if it irks her just a little bit. She can often come up as unkempt and sloppy, especially since she’s typically drunk and doesn’t put a lot of care into her own personal upkeep, but for those who aren’t disgusted by her nature, she can cut a very exotically attractive look if she bothers to clean up. Her hair is generally cropped just past her shoulder and tied back behind her, bangs left loose and wild. Her teeth are sharp, with notably long canines.
Life was never easy for a Shanrazi growing up on Mars. Born to unemployed, unremarkable parents, Tikal was forced very early in life to fend for herself in a rare mixed settlement. Human settlers had, a few decades ago, managed to sweet talk the aboriginal Shanrazi into peaceful coexistence when they were granted the lands over an ancient subterranean dwelling by the Consortium. Without the attacks that other settlements often had to deal with, this town of Parmasi flourished, and for a short time so did the cooperative Shanrazi.
This would not last, however. As the human population grew and flourished, the Shanrazi population found themselves quickly overtaken and subjugated. The death of the original buyer of the land, Armand Parma, saw drastic changes in the rare policies that served to protect the sovereignty of the local Shanrazi. Parmasi began to grow further down, the Shanrazi quickly overtaken by the human settlement, and quickly assimilated there, much as they could be.
This is the world that Tikal was born into, the Shanrazi delegated to subterranean slums built over their prior dwellings, forced to adapt to a culture that devalued them, hated them, and feared them. Their ability to sustain themselves was taken away “for the good of the town,” but they were never provided means of employment to earn their living. Forced to scrape by, Tikal learned to scavenge around on the streets. From dumpster diving to grifting and conning, with her parents unable to take care of her properly, she made due as best she could.
She was wholly unaware of the awakening of her abilities at first, her spark unseen by her mundane father, her mother lost to illness and hunger when she was only 8. One night, a couple of months into her 14th year, she was out running one of her usual con games to try to make some cash for the evening’s dinner. The night was going pretty well for her until an old cloaked woman took a hand at her game…she kept herself mostly covered, though Tikal could see some evidence of mutation on the woman. Still, her money was just as good as anyone’s, so she went through her usual spiel. This woman, however, won. She played again, and won again. Even when the odds were against her, even when Tikal cheated, this woman somehow managed to turn it around until all of Tikal’s ill-gotten gains were gone.
The woman made a proposal for Tikal to get all her money back. She proposed a final round, where the woman would give back all of her winnings if she lost, but if she won, she’d keep them, and treat the girl to a homecooked meal. The woman was odd, and Tikal was suspicious, but it was either take her up on that offer or go hungry. Tikal pulled out every trick she had, but the woman somehow managed to catch her anyway, forcing the Shanrazi girl to concede.
The odd old woman took her back to a rather dingy hovel on the first sub-level of Parmasi, not really any nicer on the outside than the shack that Tikal and her father lived in, though the interior was much more lively, filled with all manner of fetishes and curiosities, and the place itself had a thrumming power in the air that Tikal could feel deep down. The woman discarded her shawls to reveal that she was not, in fact, mutated, but was something Tikal had only ever heard rumors of: an Orc.
That night, over a simple but tasteful dinner, the old Orc told the young Tikal many things. She called herself Morsha, and explained that she walked the path of the Conjurer…and that Tikal had the spark in her as well. She offered to teach her how to refine that spark, and the young Shanrazi girl could only think to all of the stories she’d heard of the incredible things Mystics were capable of. She agreed to train with her, hoping it would finally provide her with a way out of the squalor she’d been raised in. As she left, Morsha gave her the money she’d made through the night back and sent her on her way home.
She never told her father…the two had never been particularly close anyway, and Mishal quickly became more of a parental figure to Tikal than her real parents had ever been. Many of her current habits were picked up from her new master, who she soon began to affectionately call “Auntie” and who, in turn, called her “Little Tika.” She’d started drinking young, mostly because cheap liquor was safer than cheap water, but Morsha was a heavy drinker and that trait passed on to Tikal, as did her remarkably laid-back attitude towards life. This was refreshing to Tikal, for whom life had been a constant struggle up to this point.
After several years of training, Morsha finally declared Tikal a Mystic in her own right, and the girl bid both master and father farewell, striking out from Parmasi to make her way in the world, the spirits watching over her. She was the first crew member of the Jeanne d’Arc, with Shara returning to the ship not long after she’d acquired it to find that she’d made herself at home, and was lounging around drinking and chatting with the spirit that dwelt inside. It was an easy enough feat for the Shanrazi to convince Shara to let her stay…she needed someone to communicate with the spirit core, after all…