I like your story telling style.
Character fiction for Kalindi, a Night Caste assassin (how original, I know) from the Exalted setting (by White Wolf). Looking back at this, I realize how similar she is to a signature character named Harmonious Jade. This was not my intention at all. Kalindi was raised in a region that is very Eastern/Indian influenced.
Kalindi’s first memories were of Father’s voice, his words scoring his values deeply onto her soul. The emphasis in his words played in her young mind. “The World is not a Righteous place, Kalindi, and neither are The People. The People are like a Tree, growing wildly in every direction. The Tree can overextend itself and perish under the weight of its own foolishness. It is the purpose of the Righteous to care and tend The Tree using the proper Tools to prune it back safely so that it will grow straight and tall, realizing its Destiny.” Kalindi did not have any memory of being orphaned. Father had raised her and taught her for as long as she could remember. Father was a Righteous man.
Father kept a vegetable garden in the atrium of the big house. Here, in the dappled sunlight where she liked to play her hiding game, he raised roots, grains, and the spiders. “The spiders,” he told her, “are not Righteous creatures. They kill, they take Life, and they show no Remorse or Regret. It is not in the nature of spiders to Regret, because it is not in their nature to be Righteous. However, spiders are different from other things that are unRighteous for they can be trained to become proper Tools for the use of Righteous men. That is their Soul’s Reward.” Kalindi loved the spiders because they were Father’s Tools and because Father loved them, too.
“Can I be Righteous, too, Father?”
“No, Kalindi. It is not in your nature to be Righteous. You have no Remorse or Regret in your Heart. Someday, though, if you obey me, you may become a wonderful Tool. You can become like the shears I use to prune The Tree, sharp, powerful and deadly.” His voice conveyed how wondrous that Someday would be, how proud of her he would be. Kalindi longed to be a Tool for Father, longed to be like the spiders in his esteem.
Kalindi grew. She began to learn about The People, the Unrighteous. She learned their ways, their manners. She spoke their languages, ate their impure food, and listened to their music. Father allowed her to walk among them, to learn their languages and attitudes, to analyze their motives. She gained the ability to look, speak, and act like the unRighteous about her, and then Kalindi learned to disappear. She learned what the Unrighteous would not look at, what they did not see even though they looked at it, and what they chose not to see, and Kalindi could become all of these things at will. Kalindi grew beautiful, sharp, and deadly, and when Father said she was ready at last, Kalindi learned to Kill.
In the garden one day, Father showed Kalindi how he tied back a young branch so that its growth would be in a proper direction and would not hinder the tree’s progress. “Sometimes,” he intoned, “it is not necessary to cut off an offending branch. It can be beneficial to simply secure it into its proper place. Like the spiders use their webs to hold their prey, one can hold an unRighteous person to a more proper course of action. This skill is much harder to learn, but its effect can easily be one hundred times more desirable and favorable to the Destiny of The People. You must learn to use the actions and the words of the unRighteous against themselves. You will make them fear the consequences of their foolishness, consequences for both themselves and for those they hold precious in their covetous hearts. You will find the secrets that they hide and, as the rope does to the branch, you will make sure that they cooperate with their true Destiny.” And so she learned to hear beyond what was said, to see beyond what was hidden, to pull the truth into the light, and to put it to Righteous use.
Later, in the season of the beginning of her fifteenth year, Father had Kalindi dress in fine silks and presented her to The People she had been observing, but not to all of them. To those who called themselves by the names of “wealthy” and “privileged”, Father declared her his Daughter. Then the suitors came. They named her “beautiful”, ”stunning”, ”exquisite.” They wrote poems of their helplessness and undying affection for her, left tokens and gifts at Father’s door. Kalindi did not fully understand what the point of it was. She had watched the men and women at their courting, seen them couple, and had come to understand that somehow children were born because of it. She did not understand, however, why the men should court her. She asked Father why he encouraged them to pursue her while she was so busy training.
“Because, little one, your instruction has proven so fruitful that I have chosen to teach you a new skill.” He guided her to look into a mirror, saying, “Do you see what they see? They see that you are what they call ‘beautiful.’ The parts of you they talk about in the poems they write, these parts are very fine. This is because you have striven very hard to achieve your Destiny, and your beauty is the result of it. The Unrighteous see only the end result, only the beauty. They do not know that it is a sign that you are becoming more and more perfect in your Purpose. They see this, and their souls crave the perfection, too. It is like a lure to a fish, a flame to a moth. You can use it to ensnare those you seek, to bring them closer to you so that, when the time is right, you can kill them. They will not see the danger, only the beauty, and their blindness can be your greatest asset if you apply yourself.”
Kalindi took to her new training with great anticipation. At Father’s bidding she watched whores and concubines, learning their posture and arts. She studied the noblewomen and learned their grace and their allure. She learned to feign indifference, sensuality, and innocence, practicing these new skills on the suitors that Father selected. By the age of eighteen she had seduced them all to varying degrees.
In all things, Kalindi obeyed Father well. At twenty years of age, Kalindi was a proper tool for righteous use. At twenty years of age, Father let her loose upon The People.
I like your story telling style.
Thanks I've got a second piece to this, but it's full of details that you have to know about the setting to fully grasp it so I've been holding off on posting it. It's essentially her exaltation and an encounter with someone who knew her in a past life. I wanted to write something where you could see her personality working, rather than just know about her generally. I'll probably post it after I've cleaned it up a bit.