- "We strive to eradicate our enemy. But at what cost does defense become offense? Offense to pillaging? Should defense turn to killing innocents? Bystanders? Children even?"
- — Priya
Priya was born to a man of war and a pious woman of faith; just as her elder sister Surina. Early on, she had always been fascinated with her father and his stories of adventure and combat. Utmost of all, she yearned for his triumphant return. Despite being an outsider, due to his position in the military, little if any disrespect was shown afore him.
To the people of Grandall, Sergio Salgado, her father, was a hero. A commander whom was only surpassed by one man. That man was Girardot Argezas; General of the Grandallian Military Force. She had met him on occasion, he seemed a kind man as well as a humble one, yet she cared not much for him initially. This lack of care was due to his beard. As a child, it scared her and in one instance, Priya ran from Girardot only for Surina to stand in her defense.
Priya also recalls Surina punching Girardot with all her child-like strength as well. For most of her childhood, Surina has always been the one to protect her, and with this a fact, Priya sought to prove her strength so that she would not need a "Protector" or "Guardian".
Growing up, there had been one person within her eyes, and that had been her father and her father alone. He was her sun when compared to Girardot's guttering candle. Throughout her life, Priya was exposed to a nurturing and caring environment despite it normally being intruded upon by the military. Yet in time, this soon would take root. Priya had begun to show interest within swordplay--an interest her mother disliked. With Surina already taken by the selfsame interest, she did not want to lose them both to the same fate. This Priya understood even at the age of six.
Thus it was decided, Priya's mother barred her from partaking in the swordplay or "Devil's Work" as it was deemed. Instead, her mother wanted her to do feminine things such as clean, knit, wash clothes and cook opposed to practicing with a deadly weapon.
"...but mother, anything can be used as a deadly weapon 'twould mean that naught could be done in either fashion lest you compare both as dealing with weaponry of destruction."
Just like Surina, Priya was a "Spit-fire". Sharp with her tongue and even sarcastic as a child, yet in this case, despite her mocking tone and her smile, her words were spoken true. Her mother still would not stand for it...
Her words and thoughts were ruled as heresy and as such, Priya was sent to live with her grandparents. This did not last long as Surina had joined her. According to Surina, the dresses that their mother had bought, were sold in order to pay for Surina's safe travel. Their grandfather did not see the smile upon Priya's face but their grandmother did--yet, she returned a warm smile to Priya.
After a small discussion, an agreement had been reached. They both could stay but under no circumstances were they to practice with their weapons (which Surina brought with her). This was until their grandparents deemed it appropriate for them to engage in such acts.
Aside from the mundane duties of chores and preparing supper for weeks, they were given a chance to spar, yet, despite their excitement, they did absolutely terrible. Their skill had waned after weeks of not practicing and they were both yelled at for doing so terribly. On a positive note, their grandfather was pleased that they were trying and for the fact that Priya tried to work her way around with a technicality: Priya managed to sneak in small bits and pieces of time with a replica of their father's Bladed Lance but the times in which she practiced, were in the dead of night.
She continued with this for a few weeks so that she could grow accustomed to the heft of the weapon. Night after night, she practiced and night after night, she made sure that Surina was long asleep and that her grandparents were also sound asleep.
Priya knew she had broken the rule long ago, however it could not be helped. But, Priya was NOT using a sword. She had even spoken this aloud at night when she held the weapon firmly in her grasp. Unknown to her was that her grandfather was indeed awake and had even watched her practice.
"...You did well with the replica, which is the only reason why I am giving you both this chance." As he departed, Priya felt relieved, but also triumphant. Turning to Surina, she pointed at her and exclaimed:
"Innocent Determination trumps Valiant Aggression yet again!"
"Shut up you damn liar!"
Under her grandparents, Priya resumed her interest and had even chosen the perfect form of weapon--the lance. With her petite frame, she was given a smaller and lighter weapon to practice with. This weapon was a Spear. Over time, her petite frame grew accustomed to such heft and now, she was capable of using the Replica and with her prior conditioning, it became that much easier. Her grandfather was furious for Priya to do such without his consent but after seeing her choice, he understood it well. The nights he watched her drop the weapon and fall, scrap her knees and elbows, she continued to practice. Many a girl her age would have cried or panicked of a ruined dress or sullied hair - but not her. Not his granddaughters.
Within her eyes had been determination. This determination was clear to him as it was to her father. Priya wanted to be just like Sergio which is a deep contrast to Surina. Idolizing and wanting to become opposed to resentment and wanting to stand above all else. Their mother had little control over Surina as a child and it was evident to everyone. Yet Priya was the softer of the two. Whereas Surina would scream and argue, Priya would politely speak and rationalize with logic - sarcasm and mockery were not spared from her logic whatsoever. In the end, her grandfather kept it a secret from Priya's mother - his daughter - about her recent activities the same with Surina.
As with what she sought to become, her weapon of choice was of little surprise and reflected this. It was a lance. A modified variant which was bladed and not only that, it was one which was a replica to her father's (the weapon which Surina would soon carry). Her grandfather was amazed that she sought not glory or coin, but through her own will, she sought to be just like her father. It struck him as most young women fawned over the husband they wished for or how a dressed looked as they wore it but not Priya. She held the same determination and admiration that young boys held for their fathers and other heroes and warriors.
With this amazement, he could not even begin to attempt to be deter her. As such had taken place, her grandfather himself, instructed an eight year old Priya on how to properly wield and train with her newly purchased weapon.
She was eleven when Xiao Mei introduced himself and she was fourteen when she knocked him to the ground. She had practiced with her counter attacks and believed that she had gotten them down, only for Surina to knock her to the ground.
"Always keep your guard up!"
Still, she had quite the way to go if she were to stand as an equal to her aggressive sister.
As the months drifted by and soon became years, their grandparents soon fell ill and as such, it took not long for them to pass. With little left to go on, Priya and Surina went back to their mother's home--yet, things were no better. Sergio and Girardot had returned the same day only to suffer from wounds they had received. The report spoke of an ambush by the only other survivor, however, nothing else could be gained as he died within a few hours.
Priya and Surina both asked question upon question of who did what and who should pay, yet, their mentor ushered them out of the room. He implored them to let the doctor work in peace.
Days had passed before anyone had left the room and Priya continually sat in front of the door just as Surina had done.
"D-do you think...?"
"Shut up, he'll live."
Surina was older than Priya by a full year, not only that, but she was more driven as well as instinctual than Priya. However, under her fierce mien was one whom cared deeply for her family. This mien has carried her elder sister for years and due to loss, it had doubled its fervor.
After three long days, the doctor emerged with another man whom was a Scribe. Yet, their news was not pleasant. Sergio had died. The doctor had done all her could but naught could save their father.
Ultimately, Priya remembers very little of that day and the days immediately after. She recalls her mother's depression and unending grief; though soon after that, she succumbed to an illness and had perished. As far as Priya knows and as far as she can recall, her parents had both passed. Her father from illness of wounds and her mother, from grief; despite these facts, Priya grew up believing in the innate purity of each and every person. More importantly, had been the fact that she and Surina were aided by Girardot in their time of need.
He divided his funds and helped them keep their parent's home--but only if they themselves put forth effort to keep it. The two discussed how they would manage to do such and soon came to an arrangement:
Priya knew how to sow and knew well enough of how to tend to crops and cook. Surina understood the ways of a forge as well as the occupation of being a weapons merchant. The two of them stuck to what they knew and were able to meet Girardot's standard. With constant demand and preparation due to the coming cold months, the younger sister (Priya) took to making soups and other mixtures of meat with bread. With her father's knowledge in spices and "exotic foods" (spanish) the populace took to her choices over some favored sellers.
They were completely successful in short.
In time though, she would join the military and be a soldier of the Grandallian Army. As she learned from countless women and men around her, she was beyond proud of herself that she had been following in her father’s footsteps for he too, was a soldier of Grandall and he had passed as a fine commander. The General, immediately seeing the resemblance, took pride in teaching Priya and Surina even though; Surina was the colder of the two siblings.
With her graduation behind her, Priya has new hopes set within her life as she is just as her father, a commander, and as General Girardot predicts, she will be just as great a commander as her father.
She was soon saddled with Border Patrol but it was expected. She was a new commander and one whom has yet to see real combat. The weeks had come and gone but in the middle of September of the year 1605, that changed.
Priya, now twenty and preparing to go on to her twenty-first year, was plunged in the middle of an ambush set forth by unknown foes. These enemies used the darkness to their advantage but did not expect her to carry herself as a warrior. The commander met her foes with pride but before all else, utmost caution. She progressed slowly and faced each enemy with calculated precision and bounded them when she needed to.
In the end, Priya emerged victorious.
What was unforeseen were the effects that victory brought. According to reports hailing from their ally, The Kingdom of Dalkia, were that they too had been attacked by what appeared to be the same group; however, the fleeing enemy, now deemed Brigands, were supposedly spotted mixed in with retreating Grandallian soldiers.
She could not believe what she was hearing...yet in light of this, Dalkia had now declared war on Grandall...
Gungnir holds a significance to Priya. Not only was it the name her father bestowed upon an old wooden sword of her from her youth, it was also a powerful mythological weapon. One which belong to the Norse God Odin. Also known as the AllFather.
Her weapon, her Bladed Lance, is similiar to her own father's in much of its appearance but it holds noticable differences: its weight for one, was much lighter so that it were more of an ease to use for her. Another is that there are several divets within the blade which allows Priya to trap and strip weaponry from her enemies.
|The Mantis War|