Lady Sinopa Falkenraithe
Lady of Valhame / Fox-folk Bard
Sinopa is the Noblewoman of House Falkenraithe of Valhame. Although she grew up as a Noble, Sinopa doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with the society she is part of. She plays the political game well at times and without tact at others. She is more at home in the wild than confined within the walls of a keep or castle.
Sinopa has wild and untamed bright orange/red hair, dark skin, high cheek bones, and orange-brown eyes. There is something underneath that is not quick human, her mannerisms and facial expression suggest something more animalistic about her nature.
Background: The Story of Pakuna (Sinopa’s Mother)
Elders would tell their children and they would tell their children and on and on the cycle went until the stories of the missing became legion. It was whispered and wondered at but many of the tribe believed the old legions to be just that, legions. If a child went missing these days it was more likely due to a war-hungry tyrant or a creature more wild than natural and not because the citizens of the Fey Realm stole them away.
Pakuna’s family was different. They still believed the stories were true. Pakuna and her little brother Misun would listen to their Grandfather Nektosha while he told them why they should never trust an outsider. The Fey would trick you with tales of wonder or promises of love then lure the poor child into the Fey Realm where they were to serve their life away. Pakuna and Misun were told to never trust an unknown face and never accept a fruit out of season.
While Misun listened intently to Nektosha’s tales, Pakuna daydreamed of another life outside of the tribe. She dreamed of life in the city surrounded by people who wore extravagant clothing, women who smelled like flowers and wore fine gems in their hair in place of feathers, and families that feast upon exotic foods and spices.
And one day, while gathering berries, it seemed all her dreams could come true. A stranger passed her by. If it had been Misun, he would have ignored the stranger, gathered up the berries and made his way back to the tribe. But it was Pakuna and Pakuna’s spirit lived in her world of dreams. Her heart could not believe her Grandfather’s stories, so she smiled kindly at the stranger as he approached. After all, he was only a child like her.
The first thing he said to her way, “I could not help but notice but you have the most beautiful hair.”
She was only twelve but she knew her hair was a shocking mess of bright orange-red, the same color of the fur on the foxes that inhabited the woods. No one had ever paid her such a compliment. And as easy as that Pakuna was lured into his spell.
It took him a week and a bit of goblin fruit to get Pakuna to “take a walk” with him and be lead into the Fey Realm. Here, all pretense was lost and Pakuna was “thrown to the wolves” or his people. His debt was fulfilled. He would think of the human girl no more.
Pakuna was enslaved to a wolf-like race of Fey with dark hair and icy blue eyes. Their leader, the most beautiful woman Pakuna had ever seen, was able to possess her body by simply looking into her eyes. Years went by and Pakuna was subject to all horrors of abuse from the leader. Then her first blood came and she could sense a change in the Fey that guarded her.
Weeks went by where she was mostly left alone. Perhaps, she thought, her life would be better now. Perhaps they had forgotten her and she could escape. She was wrong. Instead, they had brought another human into their mix. He was about Pakuna’s age with the same fair skin and bright orange-red hair.
Pakuna, to her dismay, discovered what he was for later that night. A
male wolfen-fey took over the boy’s body and the leader female took
over Pakuna’s and made them do things she was only starting to
understand. This was how Sinopa was conceived.
When Pakuna’s roundness was discovered, the boy was taken away and she was left to herself. She knew she was pregnant and she knew she had to escape or her baby would be subject to the same horrors as her own. So, in her desperation she made a deal with one of the fey and he agreed to take the child out of the Fey Realm once they were born. In exchange, Pakuna would be his slave until she died.
The Beginning: How Sinopa was a Noble then a Thief
As a baby Sinopa was left on the steps of the Graystone’s home in Valham. The only indication of her heritage was a scrawled note tucked under her wriggling body that said, “Her name is Sinopa”.
Sinopa was a blessing and she was loved well by her adopted parents. Other noble family’s whispered of her origin, but her parents refused to admit that she wasn’t their natural born child. Circumstances worked in their favor, for the mother was absent from society for some time and they informed friends and neighbors that they did not share news of the pregnancy because she had lost children in the past. Some believed this tale, other’s wondered if the family had made a deal with the Fey. For, as the child grew, it was clear their was something other-worldly about her. Sinopa had wild orange-red hair and bright orange eyes and was short and thin like an elf. All-in-all, Sinopa looked nothing like her parents.
As the years went by, Sinopa was accepted in but did not feel like she belonged in the upper-class society. But she did her best, suppressing her wild nature by taking up music and archery. Her skills in music made her a favorite among the courters and she was soon engaged then married to Lord Elon Falkenraithe.
She kept her secret from her husband, sneaking out at midnight and running in the woods, taking the form of a fox and letting herself be free. As time went by, these little midnight outings were not enough and she felt herself become restless to explore the world around her and to discover why she had this strange gift.
She eventually got her wish, though not in the way she had imagined. It happened the night she went into labor with their first child. She felt the pain of the child leaving her womb then heard the scream of terror from her midwife as she caught the baby.
“An abomination!” The women cried and fled the room.
Sinopa struggled to pull herself up and found, not a human child lying on the bed, but a fox kit. The tears came to her eyes as she drew her child against her chest. He was still her child. He was her Nastas.
Her husband appeared at the door, his eyes full of worry. He looked at her, the fox in her arms and cried out in alarm, “Are you okay? Where’s our child.”
Sinopa looked down at the fox in her arms as an answer and saw comprehension then disgust then anger play out on her husband’s face.
“Get out,” he said quietly, “just get out.”
Sinopa looked at him sadly and said, “He’s your child, I swear it.”
“Get out,” he said, his voice getting louder.
She did the only thing she could think of, turned into a fox herself, grabbed the child in her teeth and ran for the safety of the forest.
The next day her husband left a pack in her favorite sitting place by the same river in the woods that bordered their one. The pack was filled with essentials – traveling clothes, food, money, her hand harp, and most importantly a note.
I am not sure what you are or if I ever truly knew you. All I know is
that I loved you and believed you loved me. For the happiness you gave
me, I owe you this much. Please, leave and do not venture back here, I
am sure the whole city will soon know of your shame.”
Sinopa did just that, silently promising the man she loved to never come back again. It was the hardest thing she had ever done. She shouldered the pack and took off into the world, the fox kit in her arms.
For whatever reason, Nastas was unable to change out of his fox form, so Sinopa had to change back and forth more often than she was used to. Life without a home was tough on Sinopa who had had everything she had ever wanted handed to her on a shinning plate. She had to learn the ways of the streets, stealing to feed herself and her child, and performing for rough crowds at run-down taverns for a few pieces of copper. But it was all for Nastas. It was all for the silent promise she had let the wind carry to her husband.