| Nalia is quiet and stern, always dressed in a formal black pant suit, her hair neatly slicked back from her face, and just enough makeup to make her look professional. Her nails are always neatly clipped, her shoes brightly shined, and there is rarely a day anything is out of place. (It often drives Ari the aide a little mad, that a human could appear to be so well presented and collected at all times.) |
During the Death Court wars, Nalia was never seen without a well worn leather satchel. It held her notes, her books, and her itemized lists: since the Scientist’s return, the well worn leather satchel remains in her private quarters, and now she is never seen without a slim black tablet that matches Ari’s.
|Where her father is stern and foreboding, her mother vivacious and full of zeal, Nalia takes a little bit of both her parent’s traits and makes them into her own. She is quiet, but full of fire and amusement; people are not always so sure if she is laughing with them or at time. Nalia has her own sense of humour, and enjoys her work. There is something to be said about being able to manage the minutae of the Vella Crean, and also boss everyone else around. |
Where the eldest boy is sly and flirtatious, the youngest sweet and innocent, Nalia takes on the role of a mother bear. She coddles and spoils both her brothers, and is the lynchpin that keeps the siblings together and prevents infighting (which, with Navir’s personality would be no surprise).
|Nalia is human. Ari swears she isn’t.|
- When Nalia was born, her parents were in love. They were fiery and passionate and although Navir swears there is no way in sharding hell that their father is capable of such emotion, Nalia almost remembers this, and so she chooses to believe that they were in love.
- It is not to say that her parents are not in love any more; no, they continue to have a quiet strength, but the fire is gone, simmering as low embers, and they work together in a peaceful and calm harmony that Nalia hopes one day she might be able to achieve
- (“Not with me” Ari says, squinting and side eyeing the young woman who might have walked out of a certain aide’s quarters a few times)
- When Nalia was young, she had a choice. Remain with the other young children in the ward where all the young children were kept, babble after her mother who would be delighted to have her precious daughter by her side, or remain quiet and stoic, watching from under her father’s desk as he handled the daily errands of the Vella Crean
- Nalia chose the latter; she has a quiet fascination of smoothing out the intricate web of errands and tasks, communications between the three courts, the political infighting, supply chain management (where does everything think the water and electricity comes from?), and also bossing around those who are technically higher on the hierarchy than a Steward. She chose to stay by her fathers side and watch, quietly, helping with errands when she was able to walk, carrying messages between the courts, missives to the kitchens, and sitting by the Empress’ side.
- When Navir was born, little Nalia was not old enough to be left caring for her brother, but she tried. He was different. So sneaky, with bright, smart eyes that caught everything. He was going to be trouble in the sweetest way, and Nalia delighted at making sure her brother had all the knowledge he needed.
- Nadio was different. The baby of the three was a little bit sweeter, a little bit slower, happy simply left by their mother’s side. It was a different pace of life, and one that Nalia did not understand.
- Why would anyone want to work outside of the council? Where there was chaos to be turned into order, power and information to be brokered and traded?
The Death Court Wars
- The Death Court wars caught her father by surprise, and where she saw disgust and superiority in Navir’s eyes, Nalia only felt pity.
- She loved the council, she adored the Empress: but this was a well functioning machine that functioned because of the people. She could not afford to let her father freeze in the middle of a war. They were trapped in the world with spiky dragons that breathed blue fire.
- They could not freeze.
- Nalia smoothly took over what her father couldn’t. She made sure that there was a new supply network set up, assigned healers and medics to wings that were being formed just for the Death Court wars. She overhauled communications to ensure that the riders in the fray of battle could sound the alarm, and the wounded could be rescued.
- Not enough of the wounded were rescued in time, and Nalia continues to hurt, thinking of the riders that she might have been able to save, had she been a little faster.
- Her father stood quietly by the bedside of a woman who slept the long sleep, and Nalia lead the council: she was the new Steward, and she would make sure to help hold the tide at bay, until help came.
The Return of the Scientist
- Nalia did not expect help to come in the form of golden eyed projects.
- First there were only three, two bronzed fighters who chittered like hyenas and took to the skies, laughing as they jumped through dragons and tore at flesh. A little boy who seemed far too innocent, bursting into tentacles that would wrench horned dragons from the sky and towards a sentient island that seemed to delight in chewing and spitting them out.
- It was quite horrific, really.
- More came, an innocent looking enough man who spoken to marble and stone, caused buildings to grow and heal themselves. A tall and stoic bearded warrior (he claimed to be a cleric, Nalia knew otherwise) who woke the Empress.
- Nalia stepped aside once the Empress was awake; her Father had aged, but he had purpose now, and Nalia took a step back, knowing that eventually the work would come to her, and with the past five years having been a blur, it was high time she took a small vacation.
- The vacation took the form of a tall and well groomed, prissy woman named Ari. Never without a hair out of place, an entire closet full of the exact same sheath dress in multiple colors and fabrics. Her eyes never glinted gold, and try as she might, Nalia could not get the Aide to explain why.
- Sometimes, when the Scientist angered her enough, Nalia could see something oily and slick crawl across her eyes; and it made her wonder what the Aide was hiding.
- Their relationship was no secret, although Nalia wasn’t so sure this was a “relationship”. The two were seen together often enough, for one was the Steward (in training) and the other the Aide, and where the Empress and the Scientist were, surely trouble followed.
- Sometimes, trouble crept up in the dark of the night, a bottle of fine vintage wine (imported delicacies! hurrah!) and music. Othertimes, maybe as they butted heads over the best way to allocate specific resources (re: the architect who was needed to rebuild the Vella Crean, the Embassy at the Refugium, and the Residences at Isla.) Nalia just enjoyed seeing someone who did everything so flawlessly.
- One day, she would have the Aide explode, and it would be a delight to watch.
The Checkerboard Ball
- The invitation to the Checkerboard Ball was the latest in a series of new Nexus events: and one that the cleric really couldn’t stop the Empress from attending. All of her friends were going to be there! Surely with the Cleric, the Steward, and a few more associates in tow, they would be able to attend safely, and the Empress promised not to try to get out of her chair.
- (Nalia wondered if it would be a good time to inform the cleric that the Scientist was working on a new chair for her, one that would move like a pair of legs. The Empress had demanded hoofed legs, so that she would appear like a mechanical dryad).
- Her Father was going, and naturally, Nalia was not going to miss such an event.
- “Will you be attending?” she asked the Aide, who blinked nonplussed gray eyes at her.
- “Baeris Kshau will be in attendance. Of course I must be there.” she answered archly.
- Nalia decided not to examine the fizzle of annoyance that sparked her blood. “And old lover?”
- Those gray eyes blinked at her with confusion, and then with amusement. “Do you not know of Shy’s fascination with the Sangers? Baeris will be the death of him, and the Scientist still has a few good years left. I need to go and run interference.”
- The fizzle and spark in her blood cooled.