Skald Masha Zabrocka (a.k.a. Songweaver, Little Crow)
No one wanted to bring Masha along when she snuck along to see us go off on our adventures, but even at as young as she was she had what it took to be a Skald and she had a song in her heart that helped us along the way even when all seemed lost. - Thorvid the Red
General Physical Condition
She has had some training in her travel to strengthen her body and size has allowed her to be faster than she appears.
Apparel & Accessories
Masuka: The traditional fur hat of her people that have been known to keep even the strongest cold out. Skald Armor: Modified clothing for skalds to protect themselves from harm.
Dorma: A musical instrument similar to a lute, but different in shape and design.
Defying FateMasha's early life was nothing of interest, but it wasn't easy either. Her parents died when she was very young and were placed in the care of her uncle and his family. Being raised to be a traditional Ruskev wife when reached the age to marry. She was obedient and accepted the fate forced on her believing that there was nothing for her other than that life. That was not until a traveling Skald came into their camp and told many tales of heroes and the greater world beyond her camp. But most notably she became entranced with the music that was played by the skald and the ballads he did. This caused some awaken inside of her that she never thought was there, a thirst for adventure. After the skald left she began to become less and less content with her current path of life and began to change things for herself to have a better one. She would also become keener in learning from her cousin Nadine Wolfkin as she was training to become a warrior as she had the skill to become one. Believing that she could become one when she became older and go off into battle like the warriors of old. However, her age and size made it hard for her to actually and her cousin told her to wait a few years. Considering she hated where her life was going, she didn’t want to do that at all. But Looking back at the skald she began to get the idea of being one and asked her aunt to teach her how to play a Dorma. Considering women were allowed to play music she had no problem with and neither did her uncle as it would improve her marriage potential. But it would be the starting point of becoming a skald and would be sooner than expected with the arrival of a certain individual.
Career StarterOne day when their clan moved their camp for more fertile hunting grounds, they ended up crossing paths with a Warband of Norrians and a standoff began believing that they were going to raid their camp. However their leader rather than drawing his sword gave their Cosloc, a skin of mead instead and festivities later took place in friendship for it was none other Darius Harkon and the Storm Guard that came to do trade with them. During their stay the young teen began telling tales of his and his band's exploit and that he was planning to sail across the world seeking greater glory. Masha was quite intrigued by him and his plans considering he was only a few years older than her and was already a warrior and leader. By the time they left the camp, several young folks joined him, including Nadine, and many farewells were given to them for good luck. Despite being ten, Masha snuck away to join them and left only a note. She made sure not to be spotted by them nor anyone from the camp following her by the time they made it to the coast and get themselves a longboat for the journey. Masha managed to get aboard the ship by hiding in one of the food crates and no one noticed. It was not after a few days into the journey she was discovered when she finally had to go to the bathroom and was surrounded by surprised warriors. Many of them were angry that an entire crate of supplies was gone as most of it was thrown out and the rest eaten. Many wanted to beat her, but Nadine managed to stop them before they could, but she received a harsh spanking from her from coming along. Afterward, she would be made to work around the ship as they were too far out to return home and continued onward. After a little while, she began to learn more about the members of the guard and their stories most notably Thorvid the Red who was a skald himself and seeing the potential decided to take under his wing in the arts. After Considering they were at sea for a few more weeks, she became a fast learner in the arts of music and began to dabble in poetry as well. She was quick on her feet and with her Dorma in hand became a part of the guard and had them singing along to the tunes she played and the tales she told. It was from here she would become a part of a much larger story with them.
Improving Her CraftIn all of her life, she never thought she would see the magnificence and beauty of the outside world. From the great city of Vatia to the untamed beauty of the Dark Continent she would witness it all. Often tagging along on the many adventures of the Storm Guard and a few side quests among its members such as Magnus the Slayer and her cousin Nadine. Along with her, travel would learn from the other musicians and their cultures and add them to her work as she saw the beauty in them, even learning a few languages along the way. She even began to improve on more of her fighting skills and well as she grew older and her body stronger. Though did need an attitude adjustment as she often tried to prove herself only to get herself in trouble. But when she was not getting into trouble she began to play her tunes in any tavern that was near or staying at. Her years of travel were worth it in the end as her wit with poetry and singing the exploits of the Storm Guard had made her quite spectacle to see. Her voice was also coming along despite it changing the older she became, but she quickly learned to adapt and use it to the best of her abilities. She would gain the name of Songweaver for her ability to come up with songs quickly and implement other forms of music and poetry into her performances for an exotic appeal. She would also become the official chronicler to the Storm Guard and write all of their exploits across the world and despite her wanting to make their tales more extravagant than what happened she went against it as she wanted everyone to know who they really were and sometimes the truth is more important than a good story. But most of all she was often the one who would keep the guard together and focused when they need to be when they went through the hardest challenge that they went up against. She was a good motivator too as no adult ever wants to be shown up by a cocky teenager.
On A New PathAfter she finally returned to Norria, Masha decided she wanted to set out on her own as a Skald and bid farewell to the Storm Guard. She did quite well for herself in the many mead halls across the land as she spread the tales and adventures that she had witnessed, along with a few songs to boot. But after a few weeks, she decided to find her people and tell them that she was okay. The reception was not as welcoming as she would expect. Her aunt and uncle were furious about her leaving and tried to keep her in camp to at least try to salvage her chances at marriage. Masha was not so inclined to do so and told them that she become something more and had seen the world and its wonders. She was a Skald now and nothing would change that for her as she was no longer that young obedient girl anymore. This led to a fight with her uncle, which she bested as she had faced worse in her travels. She would stay away from them for a while while she stay in camp and would just entertain the camp while reconnecting with them. After seeing her skill they became more accepting of her and would be on good terms when she finally left to roam the land and perform to the masses.
Time of WarWhen the Northern Wars of Unification broke out, Masha would return to the side of the Storm Guard to help them as best she could. She was not the most skilled warrior, but she had better uses. She would become a spy for the King’s Pact and would infiltrate True Norrian groups using her skill and charm to gather information. A skill she was not new to as she did it many times in her travels with the guard when she was small and hard to find. She, of course, went under aliases such as Hilda Hetendres or Jusedi Finehair with very few people suspecting her as she performed in their camps and halls. It was because of this she managed to return much need intelligence that would help with turning the war. She would often move from place to place however to avoid being discovered and had watched her back at every turn. It was at this that she began to see the true horrors of war as the land was covered in dead in many places she went and often asked if the conflict was at all worth it. But when war finally ended she knew she made the right choice as with Darius as High King of the Kingdom of Norria she saw changes being made for a better future. But she wanted to leave her homeland once more as the horrors of the conflict still plagued her and once she said her farewells, she traveled to Kinath and began resumed her career there.
Song and DutyShe would spend the next few years on the Thundering Coast where she would perform anywhere she could find among the many crowds of taverns and inns from the smallest villages to the largest cities. Her skill allowed her to gain quite the following amongst many circles and earned a decent living from it. Things were going well but would change when Thorvid the Red showed up at the inn was staying in. This was not a courtesy call either as she was requested by the High King to act as a spy once more for him. Which she refused at first until she learned that the Vatian Empire could possibly declare war on the kingdom any time now. Which she could not allow her homeland to be invaded. Now she has set out in search of information of the coming war to aid her king and the possible invasion of empire if it comes to it and ensures that an invasion is possible.
The horrors of war still haunt her dreams and the dead amongst them.
To carve out her destiny her way with no one to stop her as life without making one's own choices is not a life at all and only those who wish to be puppets are willing to accept it.
Preforming in a mead hall
Year of Birth
1512 CA 20 Years old
Quotes & Catchphrases
No one has the right to force a fate upon another.
The winds howl upon the mountain of old Challenging all who dared to ascend it But it claimed all who were foolish or bold
Old Montain Excerpt
- Becoming a Skald
- Joining the Storm Guard
- Traveling the world
- Recording many adventures
- Becoming a skilled entertainer
- Getting in trouble to prove herself
- Becoming a runaway and a stowaway
Morality & PhilosophyMasha wants to prove herself that she is more than just a woman that can have her fate decided by others. To forge her path the way she wants and not allow anyone to say otherwise. It has gotten her in trouble many times, but it has also allowed her to become what she is now. Which makes her willing to help others who shared a past just like her own. But her freedom is what she truly cherishes as she can do whatever she wants. However, when past loyalties are called upon her she is willing to do what she must to aid those who had helped her in the past until her duty is done.
Religious ViewsShe follows the ways of the Ruskev gods of the land and the sky. Though she is not as devoted to them as most of her people are the gods often fickled when it comes to aiding their followers.
- Never letting anyone decided what she wants in life
What a sad and oppressive early life for Masha :( The bit about her not believing there was anything else for her in life was heartbreaking. It led really nicely into the joy of discovery of music, and I like how that feeling ran throughout the rest of her story! If there's one thing I'd love to see, it's some quotes that help add a bit more flavour to some of the sections! I think in particular, under the header of 'On A New Path', it'd be great to see some dialogue between Masha and her family, after finally returning. I loved how she didn't get the reaction she expected (sounds about right!), and I think adding some more detail and depth there would be great. :D