|Katarina "Kitty" Rosenberg|
|Occupation||"Business woman", she often takes prompts from the Chanters board bu most of her income comes from various business investments.|
|Gear||She carries on her person an Orlesian style rapier and a dagger hidden in her boot. She uses leather armor over her clothes.|
|Behind the Mask|
To describe Katarina's appearance in one word would be simple: clean. Her clothes are always pressed and tidy. She keeps her hair and nails neat and trimmed and carries herself in a way the puts off an air of both feminine dignity and authority Her deep red hair falls just below her shoulders. Her skin is pale white, a true blue blood complexion sans the heavy freckles across her cheeks, chest, legs and arms. (Just about the only place with no freckles would be her stomach, palms, feet and lower back.) She has deep set, heavy lidded hazel eyes which gives her facial expression a constant serenity that Katarina herself may or may not actually have. Katarina, while not vain, is quite proud of her fine Orlesian bone structure; with her high cheekbones, full lips and a generous bust size, she had a certain aristocratic air to her visage when not in armor. Don't mistake that for being weak though. Underneath her clothes is a full six pack! She's a lean, mean evil fighting machine!
Katarina is very modest. When in times of relaxation and recreation her wardrobe consists of long dresses in browns and greens that accentuate her feminine form. They tend to be rather simple, but they are of expensive make and properly display the wealth Katarina has sustained. She is often practicing her swordsmanship or some other form of combat, however, and therefore keeps her breasts taped down to near inversion under a simple tunic. Leather armor on top and men's trousers beneath. When she's out as a woman she has simple, slipper style shoes matching whatever dress she's wearing that day. When she's in combat-mode it's combat boots all the way.
Katarina is a very sweet and sincere person who has, for most of her life, been "love starved". To the current observer it would be very difficult to believe that she had ever been a very expressive child. While she is still plenty happy, she is not as outwardly affectionate as she once was. She does not smile, except for in very special circumstances, nor does she cry or outwardly get angry. She is almost always neutral in behavior and expression. The most common of the few changes in expression she has is a frown and a furrowing of the brow in confusion. Either that or a very serious look.
Katarina has shut herself up emotionally all for the sake of accomplishing a very unrealistic goal. Although that goal is beyond her ability to accomplish, she has been this way for so long she doesn't know the first thing about changing herself. She's starting to take the steps, one inch at a time, but it will still be a long time before Katarina can smile with all her heart. For the time being Katarina's personality and bearing are all about control. She will flawlessly control her emotions, she will control her circumstance, she will control anything related to her person that is in her power to control. She will be serve others with honor and conviction to the best of her ability, but only because she chooses to do this and because her sense of self-respect depends upon being useful to others. Everything she does she will put 110% of all her effort into it. Failure is not an option. But she will do all this with the measured calm she has perfected over the years.
Surprisingly, Katarina is actually a mage sympathizer. While she abhors Bloodmages and Malifecarum, she believes that everyone has the right to prove their worth. The circle mages deserve more freedom, if not freedom outright. Also, she has a thick (German? Anders?) accent.
Katarina comes from a long line of soldiers. The eldest boy in the family was always in some way part of the military. They had more than one Grey Warden among their kin, and those that weren't were always part of some kind of town militia. They are one of the Anderfels' older families and they also have some cousins that live in Orlais. In Orlais they are actually very wealthy, however this came more from savvy business investments than it did honors in the military. Despite their pedigree, the Rosenbergs are still relatively unknown in Anderfels. They generally don't bring much attention to their name, they are usually subordinate officers not leaders, and they pride themselves on dedication and duty. However, the current Rosenberg family has fallen into dysfunctional shambles and exists in the Anderfels no more.
We begin our story with Gregory Rosenberg, Katarina's grandfather. Gregory, a member of Kassel's militia, married his childhood sweetheart and were soon expecting. Nine months later, Arthur Rosenberg was born. In the years that followed so came Josefine and Dietrich Rosenberg; all normal, healthy children. Or so they thought. At the age of 7 Arthur came across some sort of grievous disease that kept him from the eyes of society for the rest of his childhood. While Josefine went on to join the Chantry as a Templar and Dietrich became a member of the City Guard, Arthur moved to Hossberg when he came of age.
Here Arthur remained rather reclusive. His odd habits and strange quirks were mostly ignored. He was a scholar, and spent most of his time outside his home searching for more tomes of knowledge. He tutored the neighborhood children for the coin he need to get by. His life continued this way until he was invited to Orlais to study for a year by one of his Orleisan cousins. It was during his stay in Orlais that he would meet Camilla De Croix, Katarina's mother and invariably the only woman that ever got through the layers of books Arthur put between himself and others. They were married before the year was out and she returned with him to Hossberg.
Perhaps it was because Camilla was merely unprepared to see how Arthur lived in Hossberg when compared to his affluent cousins. Perhaps it was because they had rushed into the marriage, silly young things, heedless of the consequences. Perhaps it was because, and only because, Camilla was used to a lifestyle which Arther's reclusive ways did not cater to. While she could still claim the eye of every man walking down the streets, Camilla did not have social calls or any of the like. Arthur would not have people in his home, looking at him.
Whatever the reason, it was not long before marital strife followed. Katarina's elder sisters Annike and Magdelena were born before their first anniversary, but the lack of happiness in the marriage would lead to large gap in years between their birth and Katarina's. As Arther and Camilla grew further apart, they began to use their children as fuel for their fights. Annike was put to work by her father to train for the honor of calling herself a Grey Warden. Camilla took the other twin and ordained that she would do whatever she had to, to make Magdelena a lady of society. It became a battle of Team Mother and Team Father, with Katarina stuck in the middle. Annike and Magdalena had the unenviable role of the favorites, whereas Katarina seemed to sink into the background.
Camilla kept in correspondence with her Orlesian family and would often leave on long trips to the country whenever she could. She made no qualms about stating that there was nothing beautiful or entertaining in the Anderfels, and the constant attacks by Darkspawn were enough to set her teeth grinding. These trips, she claimed, were a necessary touch of society once in awhile to keep her from going mad. She often took Magdalena and Katarina with her. Katarina was, therefore, well acquainted with her Orlesian family, and also well acquainted with the dangers of traveling, especially in the Anderfels. She never did come to like the trips. Being in Orlais felt strange to her, as it was a far cry from the difficulties of the Anderfels. A warrior at heart, the privilege of Orlais and wealth felt like decadence and robbery to Katarina. Magdelena, of course, took to it just fine. Something about the family though, it just seemed strange...
Eventually Annike got fed up with her father. She left Hossberg to stay in Wiesshaupt on her own before undertaking the Joining. She did not speak to her family once, the next they heard of her was that she failed her Joining. Katarina began training with her father in Annike's stead at that point, effectively keeping the attention the people focused on Katarina. Perhaps he couldn't take the sympathies expressed by neighbors, Annike was his designated favorite. For whatever reason, any attention from the neighbors seemed to put Arthur on edge. Katarina had no real drive to become a member of the Gray Wardens but she saw this training it as a means to an end. No matter how hard her father drove her and no matter how unforgiving he was when she didn't meet his expectations, she still persevered. She had a goal, and she intended to reach it.
She didn't remember any point in time when she had a functional family but she did remember a certain degree of warmth when she visited her relatives in Orlais. It was retrieving at least that that drove her onward. At first she had found it strange before realizing it was exactly that missing warmth that made her so uncomfortable in Orlais. Once she had come to that realization she began to wish for it.
Her goal was not to be a Grey Warden. Keeping in contact with her family in Orlais, she had every intention of becoming a Chevalier. If she could do that it would mean that Magdelena and Camilla could go back to Orlais, where they clearly preferred living, and Camilla could return to the lifestyle to which she was accustomed. It would please her father to see her in a respectable military position. With Camilla happier the strife in the family would at least be significantly lessened. In the space where all that animosity once resided, they could fill it with the warmth that Katarina sought. Unfortunately this was the musings of a 14 year old girl and perhaps not the most reliable source of logic.
It came as a complete shock when Camilla committed suicide. Surely she was distraught over the loss of Annike but it didn't come as such a shock to her that she would do this, did it? Magdelena and Arthur were never the same after that. The family was irreversibly shattered. Both Team Mom and Team Dad has been dealt a fatal blow, and without that conflict Arthur and Magdelena knew not how to interact with one another. Magdelena could not forget years of being compared to Annike and Arthur wasn't ready to deal with another "spoiled Orlesian woman".
Katarina continued in her earnest effort to make everyone in her family happy, and in her childish way she believed that this would foster the togetherness that she longed for. A longing that had only increased in intensity with the loss of not only her older sister but her mother as well. What she didn't realize was that her father was using her, Magdelena was too self-centered to concern herself with Katarina's doings, and there was no way she could ever get Annike or Camilla back. Her dream, in short, would never come true. Things had already been to far broken; this fragmented family of hers would never be whole.
Despite Katarina's best efforts things didn't get better. Magdelena left to go live in Orlais with Camilla's family, leaving Katarina alone with her overbearing father. At times Katarina was tempted to leave herself, but something always held her back. Her father had become more ill-tempered than ever, but she couldn't bring herself to leave him. Perhaps she worried at what he father would do without her to make sure he ate or bathed. Sometimes he would stay in his study for days at a time and berate her for interrupting. He stopped training Katarina and instead hired, who seemed at the time to be a drunkard from the streets, Sigmund to continue her training. He forgot about everything, sealing himself up like a hermit, away from the prodding eyes of even his own family.
Sigmund became Katarina's closest friend, although their relationship consisted mostly of Katarina stopping Sigmund from dribbling all over himself when he was drunk and the occasional brother-sisterly exchange. It was from Sigmund where Katarina got the nickname "Kitty", although it's not a name she'd let you call her by. They had a strange relationship, the roles of mentor and student were constantly shifting and changing. this was where Katarina learned more of her ability to express herself, although it would severely stunt itself later.
It was a comment that Sigmund made one night while he was drunk that started Katarina's suspicions on just what her father was studying. Why would a man with access to such considerable resources insist upon keeping to himself? Why would this man hire a worthless drunk from a street corner to train his daughter if he wanted her to be a respectable warrior? Why would a man that came from a family priding itself on duty and honor allow his home life to fall apart the way it did? Why was he so damn reclusive int he first place? Always shifting the attention to his wife or his children; Arthur seemed to never want any human contact outside of them. Most importantly though, something that Katarina had not noticed herself: Why didn't Camilla's suicide effect Arthur?
And so Katarina began to watch her father closely...
Long story short, Katarina found that Arthur was a blood mage. He used blood magic to convince his parents to let him go to Hossberg. He used it to get Camilla Rosenberg to kill herself after Camilla had learned this fact for herself. She wasn't sure how Arthur was able to avoid templar detection for so long, but Katarina had the feeling that there were many, many Camillas. That maybe that was the reason Magdelena left, and that maybe she might be the next name on Arthur's list. So she called the Templars before he could do her the same way he did her mother.
Katarina came to live with her relations in Orlais. She was now sixteen and had begun her training in earnest. Magdelena could care less if Katarina became a Chevalier, but she still wanted to try. Old habits die hard, she had convinced herself so long that this was what she needed to do to foster closeness with her family. Magdelena was all that was left. She didn't have the patience or the temperament to pursue the frivolous things that Magdelena did, but at least she could become a respected warrior that Magdelena could say she was related to with absolute pride.
She never did get her wish. Perhaps she might have made it all the way to becoming a Chevlier if she had kept up with it, but she was simply unhappy in Orlais. It did not suit her, and she missed Sigmund something fierce. She was no 18 and thought that perhaps she might look for him. When she eventually found him he was slopping around Darktown, his usual drunk self. Katarina picked him up, lead him out, and from there it was history. Forget the Rosenbergs, forget the family pride. What mattered was what she wanted to do, for herself. It was one of the most basic things Sigmund had tried to teach her and yet it had taken this long to settle in her mind.
With a small (read, all of it) contribution from her family, Katarina purchased a modest, or at least as modest as was possible in Hightown, estate and used the remaining funds to invest in some promising business ventures to make sure the wealth kept flooding in. She might not wish to be filthy rich but hell if she was going to live in crime infested Lowtown. (little does she know, Hightown is infested with malificarum). She and Sigmund currently live there with two other maids. Katarina is now trying to figure out what she wants to do for herself, considering she now has the option and her whole life set out before her.