|Professions||Cat burglar, courtesan, hired blade|
|Height||5 feet, 7 inches|
|Build||Slim, well-toned, athletic|
An incredibly gifted athlete, Naiyana is lithe and well-toned from years of extensive physical training in many areas of endeavor. Her skin is bronzed from the sun, though it retains a supple tawniness that speaks to her obsession with lotions and oils. A lustrous mane of white-blonde hair crowns her head, cascading in tumbling locks over smooth shoulders. Her face traces her Zingaran ancestry, with a gentle jawline running under her delicate cheekbones and full, sensual lips contrasting against the frosty, grey eyes and angular nose of her Aquilonian heritage. Her hands and feet are small, almost dainty, yet a closer examination reveals the hardened callouses formed under a strict regimen of exercise and martial training. Her nails, always brightly painted and impeccably filed, are cut short in a style most would consider ill-suited to an Aquilonian maiden, though most men are too captivated by the allure of her predatory grace and beauty to give them more than a passing thought.
Naiyana is watchful and quiet by nature. Impassive grey eyes shield her emotions behind an icy gaze that hints at the calculating ruthlessness that is her hallmark as both a thief and a fighter. Her patience is nearly inexhaustible and she retains a calm air of detachment even while under duress. As an assassin, this patient resolve serves her very well; she can bide her time for days on end as she waits for an opportunity to strike. Unlike most others in her profession, Naiyana takes a morbid interest in those she is contracted to slay, studying her mark for days or even weeks before she maneuvers for the kill. She takes a cruel pleasure in drawing out the deaths of those she finds particularly loathsome, prefering to dispatch them with excruciating poisons or debilitatingly agonizing knife strokes. Those victims who evoke her sympathies die quickly and painlessly, often in their sleep and without an inkling of their doom. Her stunning good looks and magnificent figure make her an alluring courtesan, and in this capacity she is gracious and unassuming, with a bent toward leading her paramours to lower their guards. While playing the courtesan, she is demure, flattering, and submissive -- every inch the docile goddess men so wish to wear on their arms or possess in their bed chambers.
The wiry old devil had had his eye on the girl since her arrival at the secluded monastery a decade before. He didn't bother taking note of most of the new arrivals, as he knew quite well that a good half of them wouldn't see out the end of winter; fewer still would survive their first year. Still, something had drawn his cold, black eyes to her all those seasons past, and time and again he would reflect on what it might have been. Oh, there was little doubt that she would grow to become a beauty, but that in itself didn't set her apart. No, indeed. Many were the girls who flowered into sublime young creatures under his ruthless tutelage. Her eyes, perhaps? Her silence? His thoughts, like darkened wraiths, drifted once more to that blustery November day...
The first snow of the season already lay upon the ground as the new cadre of trainees shuffled apprehensively through the weathered gate, escorted by their dark-garbed keepers. He stood, as he always did, stooped with menace, raven-eyes looming under the black cowl he was never seen without, watching as the frightened procession passed before him. And there she had been, long hair white as the fresh-fallen snow, oddly graceful despite her waifishness, tight-lipped mouth neither whimpering nor whispering anxiously to those children near her. Yet it wasn't until she shifted her grey-eyed gaze onto his that he realized he'd been staring. It was then he felt it, a sensation like that of looking into a clear, placid lake just after the spring thaw. He knew that he saw something of himself reflected back in those steel-grey eyes, and the thing he saw was as hollow and cruel as it was blazingly brilliant.
Did she feel it, too? His consciousness refocused itself as the question turned over in his mind, as it had countless times over the years since that fateful day. Was it real? Or merely the imaginings of a lonely, old monster? This year, her tenth in the monastery, was also her last. And it was quickly drawing to a close. That she had survived to see this day at all made her remarkable, but to him she was all the more for the manner in which she had done so. She had bested all the others, though her methods were unorthodox. A ruthlessly cunning guile had merged with the quiet, steadfast fearlessness inside her, making her formidable even against those sharper of wit, quicker of hand, or stronger of arm than she. He liked that she killed only when necessary, even though he saw clearly how much she enjoyed the taking of life. She was brutal, efficient, and utterly without remorse, yet she was no sadist. And she understood well the value of cooperation and discipline. These were important traits, for he did not train animals. No, he forged weapons of mind and sinew, of muscle and will. And as a weapon, she was as sharp, balanced, and keen of edge as the stiletto he kept sheathed inside his vest, just above his heart. Her creativity with poisons was artistry itself, her knowledge of the ancient blade lore impeccable. He had tested her himself, watching with prideful pleasure as she demonstrated her lethal skills upon the condemned curs sent to him from the prisons of Aquilonia.
Now, she would come to him. He would take her at last, a night of release and passion when he would stare once more into her eyes. He would seek his reflection again this night, her last under his malign watch.
And come she did, radiant in her simple elegance. She needed no gaudy jewels or ornate clothing to enhance herself. If anything, such trappings would only have served to mar the cold perfection that he had driven her so callously to achieve. The leering sneer he favored her with was as close to a smile of welcome as he was capable of, and she responded with a respectful curtsy. Surely even the daughter of a Tarantian count could not be as graceful. Nodding, he beckoned her forward and she drifted toward him, as silent as she ever was on that first, long ago day. His ebon eyes bored into her grey as he searched for that long-lost reflection he had seen so long ago, when in a sudden instant her hand flashed out, the razor-knife in it seeking his throat. His gaze never left hers as he intercepted her wrist and with a fluid movement twisted it harshly behind her back. No sound escaped her, nor did her eyes deviate from his, though her lips twitched as the rush of pain and danger flowed through her. Roughly, he pulled her close to him, still seeking for that horridly cruel other that marked her soul as it marked his. He sought, but could not find it within her weirdly tranquil eyes.
Undaunted, his lips joined to hers as the knife slipped from her grasp and clattered to the stone floor. His kiss was frigidly grotesque, as she had expected, and she found it simple to rouse the dark passions within her, returning his attentions fully as she readied herself for the kill. When the opportune moment arose, she slipped a tiny glass vial out from under her tongue, thrusting it deep into his open mouth as she bit down with savage fierceness on his lower lip. Reflexively, his jaw snapped closed, shattering the fragile vial and coating his mouth with the black vitriol inside... and it was then that he saw it; the cold, empty, curious intelligence that he'd never marked in another until her. She studied him in detached fascination as the poison paralyzed, sending macabre spasms wracking through him. On he stared into those emotionless eyes as she lowered him gently to the cold stone. "You made me in your image, sire. Tell me, do you like what you see?" Her voice gentle and lilting, so different from her fiendish gaze. He could no longer speak, yet she nodded as if she'd heard the question that haunted him. "Yes, sire, I saw it, too. That is why I send you to your death." The final agonies were upon him now, nerve endings shrieking in raw anguish as the poison consumed them one by one. Her smile was tender as she cradled his head in her arms. "How could I live with the knowledge that another like me lurked in this world? It simply would not do, sire." A last choking gasp and it ended. She lowered his head slowly to the floor, her reflection clear in the glassy emptiness of his eyes.