"My eyes are up here, darling."
|Hometown||Afsaana, Rivain/Antiva borderland|
|Residence||Currently wandering, taking up a passing interest in Kirkwall.|
|Behind the Mask|
Roxanne is a tall woman - she’s never measured for sure, but she approximates that she must be about 5’9” (175cm) or so. Her most striking feature is her head of long, curling red hair, which she usually keeps down and tucked over one shoulder or another, or in a half-updo. She never worries overmuch about ‘keeping it out of the way’ for a fight. Her eyes are green, and coupled with her red hair, almost make it guaranteed that she should have a smattering of light freckles dusting her cheeks. Naturally light-complexioned, she spends so much time in the sun that her skin has gained a semi-permanent tan. Coupled with her beloved coat, Roxanne usually wears a white poet shirt that is more than usually undone to reveal a healthy portion of her bosom, and it is tucked into a pair of fitting black pants that are in turn tucked into a set of leather bracers and boots. Naturally, every article of her clothing is of the highest quality, despite her outfit’s simplicity. Roxanne prides herself on her beauty, and rather than appearing ‘youthful,’ she has a face which suggests, quite loudly, that, no matter how old she is or gets, she’ll always be ‘damn foxy.’
This pirate’s trusty weapon is her crossbow, affectionately nicknamed ‘Juliet.’ An ironbark frame and a variety of elemental bolts make it a perfect melee weapon, but in the event that a fight turns to close-quarters, Roxanne is never without a blade by her side, and anyone who thinks that her skill lies only with a crossbow is a little closer to a world of pain than they might hope. As for armor, Roxanne wears a set of light, tempered leather bracers, greaves, and corset to keep her adequately protected, but prefers the maneuverability of simple cloth too much to overdo it with armor. No matter what she is wearing under it (or not wearing under it), though, she is never seen without her ankle-length, fur-collared frock coat. With an ermine collar and cuffs, and thick, black wooled fabric, this coat is her prized possession.
In a single word, Roxanne would be 'confident.' She makes a point to never doubt herself, and takes care with everything she does so that it can be done once and done right. Her sense of self-worth is only outmatched by her sense of duty to the people under her care - namely, her crew. She would do and die for her ladies, and though she doesn’t demand as much from them, she knows that they would return in kind. With them, she is her most at ease; she can be the woman that loves a drink and a rowdy tale, who likes nothing more than to hear a good joke so that she can return with one of her own, and even after dropping-dead to sleep naked in her cabin with a bottle in her hand, they can still trust her to ignore the morning-after hangover to run her ship smoothly. She’s their mother, boss, and best friend all rolled into one ‘Captain.’ To a certain extent, she’s like this with almost all other women, though of course she’s not nearly as free with strangers as she is with her crew.
She does, however, have one major personality road-bump - she can’t stand men. She tolerates younger boys to a civil level, but she is openly hostile to any other man who doesn’t go out of his way to prove his worth to her (the only current exception to this rule is the Chef on her ship, who was a dear friend of hers before her male-phobia cropped up). She can’t bring herself to trust them, so she doesn’t bother to even try to like them. Out of necessity, she can sometimes manage a cold politeness with some men, but some biting or sarcastic comment is likely to slip past her wall sooner or later. Men beware - expect verbal lashings and scowls galore.
Roxanne was born in the coastal city of Afsaana, near the border between Rivain and Antiva (there has always been debate among the citizens as to which country the City actually belongs). Her father was an Antivan merchant, wealthy and well-known in the area, and her mother was a Ravaini dancer, which was a purportedly famous occupation for the area. Between two dark-skinned, dark-haired parents, Roxanne’s father assumed light-skinned, red-haired Roxanne to be the product of infidelity, not genetic anomaly, and left Roxanne’s mother. Her mother, who had liked her husband but was not overly attached to him, took the separation well, and continued on with her dancing, which earned her a steady income. So, Roxanne lived in comfort with her mother, who went on to keep a string of lovers until she died prematurely of a stroke.
One of her mother’s previous lovers took the recently orphaned girl into his home on charity. A wealthy young-ish merchant for whom the economic tensions and threat of Crow assassination had been to much, Gianni Lucio had come Afsaana and had instantly favored Roxanne’s mother, and thought it only proper to take care of her daughter after her death. But a Roxanne who already had one foot firmly set into adulthood was a strong temptation, and he eventually asked if she would become his mistress just as her mother had been. Roxanne, who’d never seen the problems posed by consorting with a married man, agreed - the wife was back in Antiva City, after all, and Gianni had promised to pamper her if she accepted.
So Roxanne lived an indulgent life for many years. She’s liked Gianni enough when he’d been her mother’s lover, and began to feel strongly for him as she came to live in his coastal manor. When she finally realized she was in love with him, though, it was already too late.
Around the time Roxanne turned twenty-four, Gianni had begun to act strangely. He’d always been private, even from her, but he began to grow excessively paranoid about his privacy, and would become furious with any servant that he suspected of poking their nose where it didn’t belong. Roxanne was worried by his erratic behavior, but she didn’t have any ability to change it, or ask why it was happening. Her dear friend, the manor’s cook Adriano, who’d come with Gianni to Afsaana from Antiva City, cryptically suggested once or twice that his ‘past was catching up with him,’ but he admitted afterwards that he couldn’t guess what it might be, beyond that.
After five months of fretting about Gianni’s mental state and safety, a visitor arrived at the manor. He was clearly Antivan, and he was clearly bearing bad news, if Gianni’s reaction to his arrival was anything to go by. Both men locked themselves in the study for hours, and Roxanne was left to her room to pace around and fret. Finally, in the middle of the night, Gianni came to her room. He sounded almost as exhausted as he looked, but he sat down to tell her what was going on at last. She listened with a drawn look about how he’d had debts in Antiva, and how he’d had to leave in a hurry some years ago because one creditor had finally had enough, and had hired the Crows to make him pay, or else. He had escaped their notice for a long time, but they’d finally picked back up on his scent, and the man who’d arrived that night had come to warn Gianni, to tell him that he’d better pack his bags and leave within the week, or he’d be dead. And here was the hard part, Gianni had regretfully continued - the man who’d come to warn him, an old associate of his, had had his own counter deal. He wouldn’t sell Gianni’s location out to the Crows if only Gianni let him have a night with his beautiful mistress.
Roxanne was stunned. She asked Gianni if he was sure, if it was the only way, and he assured her that it was. And so, because it would save Gianni’s life, she agreed. What was one night with another man if it meant the one she loved could be kept safe?
He left, thanking her graciously, and she sat alone, in the dark, letting her mind run through the revelation over and over again as she waited. As time ticked on, however, she began to wonder where her one-shot paramour was, and she went to leave her room to look for him. Just before she could, though, Adriano burst in, and motioned for her to be quiet, closing the door behind him. He started explaining everything before she’d even had a chance to ask; Gianni was lying - Adriano had overheard the entire conversation between the men. The Crows were indeed on Gianni’s trail, but they’d be at the manor within the day, not within the week. The man who’d come to warn Gianni had been just that, a messenger, and he had never had any intention of sleeping with Roxanne. The messenger had been tricked too - they’d all almost been made the unwitting pawns in Gianni’s scramble to save his own life. The former merchant planned to set the entire manor on fire, destroying everything that could let the Crows in on his plan. If he could get the messenger into Roxanne’s room, the charred remains of a man and a woman after a fire would naturally be assumed to be of Gianni and his mistress, and the Crows would then call the case closed, and Gianni would escape with his life.
They had no time to waste, though - Gianni didn’t know that Adriano had heard, which gave them a chance to get away. Adriano had already secured a boat by the dock, and he’d be able to get him and Roxanne to safety. Too stunned to even move, Adriano packed whatever essential belongings Roxanne would need, and hurried her out of the house. They were already out at sea when they saw the smoke rising from the manor.
Roxanne never remembered what happened as Adriano rowed them to the nearest port, to safety. She was numbed by the shock of the betrayal, to know that her life was worth so little to the man she thought she’d loved that he would burn it away at a moment’s notice only to save his own. The shock turn to hurt and, eventually, to anger. By the time Adriano finally helped her out of the boat in a port three miles down the coast, she’d resolved to hate Gianni’s memory for the rest of her life. From that seed of distrust, a distrust of all men (apart from Adriano) grew until it was firmly planted in her heart.
Now with no money and less idea of what to do, Roxanne turned her eyes to the sea. It had brought her away from Gianni’s manor, maybe it could save her again. Her and Adriano worked in the town they’d landed in, and sold the possessions they’d managed to take with them, until they had enough money to buy a boat of decent size. After that, Roxanne only needed a crew. She couldn’t trust another man, of course, so it had to be women. Unfortunately, there was a sad lack of women available who were looking to lead a life on the high seas. For a while, it was just her and Adriano, making money doing odd jobs, offering to transport people and goods, learning to handle themselves in a fight. It was slow going, but go it did, and Roxanne was finally able to do what she’d been planning since she’d bought her boat - free other women from the men who obviously cared nothing for them. She started in brothels, buying the contracts of any woman she could afford. It didn’t matter if they had never worked on the sea before in their lives - most of them learned quickly, and were happy to do so. Some women only stayed with the crew for a time before deciding it wasn’t for them, leaving to make a living on land, but she never regretted freeing any of them. After at time, and a few run-ins with the law, Roxanne found herself with a steady crew of women (and Adriano) who worked hard and fought harder, and it only dawned on her then that she was the captain of a pirate ship. When that realization hit her, she smiled, and never looked back.