Tia
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Name Tia De'Marco
AKA Gypsy
Nationality Rom
Metatype Human
Archetype Moon Shaman
Age =88 moon cycles
rating: 0+x

"Every one is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody." Mark Twain

Appearance

This human woman is stooped with long years, eighty to ninety of them at your best guess. Her olive toned skin is weathered like a gnarled oak and lined with age. She has chocolate brown eyes that seem to be filled with gold, and they shine often with an easy humor. Her front teeth are missing, but she doesn't seem at all self conscious about smiling. She's diminutive in size, slender, and her stooped posture makes her seem even smaller than her five foot two inch tall frame - she seems fragile on the surface, but still quite spry for her age. Her steel gray hair still carries some hints of the raven black it must have been when she was young. She wears it long and braided down one side or up into a conservative bun and covered by a black headscarf or diklo which marks her as Rom.

She is currently dressed in a long patched and frayed pleated skirt that falls just above her ankles, a faded blue flowered shirt hangs loosely on her frame. She wears a plethora of bangles around her wrists and beaded necklaces draped around her neck. She carries a tall slender hand-carved walking stick that is probably as old as she is. She wears oversized mismatched boots on her feet and both are missing laces. She smells strongly of cats and garlic most of the time.

She can usually be found muttering to herself in unknown tongues. Her mood is as changeable as Denver's weather, blunt and forceful one moment, childlike with wonder the next.

Distinguishing Features

She's OLD!

Mannerisms and Habits

She is often accompanied by at least one cat. She lives in a beat up VW Bus that barely runs in the Renz, often near the SouK where she can be found working the crowd telling fortunes for cat food. She is sometimes confused and isn't always sure 'When' it is but seems to have a knack for survival! She's got a soft spot children and animals and lost souls.

Associations

Tinker's, Gypsy's, SINless, Hopeless, Hungry, Homeless, Vagabonds, Smugglers. Her main contacts are Tinker Town Elder "Mother" (bb 18/11) one of her dearest friends, and Whistler - A young bike messenger/smuggler.

Capabilities

Shape-changing and Spirit Thwacking, Talismongering, Scrounging and Gypsy Seer!

Background

"Happy Birthday to me…Happy Birthday to me… Happy…" The old gypsy walks slowly down the street as she sings. Her joints ache, but it's not too bad in the summer. Winter though.. She dreads the cold when it seeps into her bones and sets her joints on fire. She's diminutive, and so so very old. Eighty-Eight years have bent her frame and wizened her features but her eyes are filled with an eager light. Time has turned her hair from raven black to steel gray and robbed the luster from it's strands. Her footsteps are heavy and some of that might have to do with the fact that she wears mismatched boots that are several sizes too big, making her steps seem clunky and awkward. A hand-carved walking stick almost as tall and much older than herself is held firmly in her hand. She relishes its familiarity, and runs her hands over the time-worn grain like nun worries her fingers over her rosary beads. She leans heavily against it for a long silent moment, listening to the sounds of the city around her.

The furtive sounds of nocturnal people (Sinless and hopeless for the most part in this part of town), animals and other… 'Things' filter through the night to her still keen ears. She stands like a sentinel at the mouth of an dark alley. She looks upwards and see's a sliver of silvery moonlight playing peekaboo with whisper-thin clouds. She welcomes the sight of her totem with a glad heart. She soaks in the nights power as if it alone provides oxygen for her blood. Nearly toothless she still smiles and laughs. A sound like dry rustling leaves. She glances down and watches a cat slink out of the shadows to crouch almost protectively at her feet. It's yellow-eyed somber gaze glows in the dark up at her. "No you don't need to worry…" She mutters softly. "Its just a rat. You are a cat." She keeps walking… Shuffling forward, the walking stick tapping rhythmically against the broken pavement. Her mind wanders as aimlessly as her feet. Remembering the years in flashes of memory. Touching upon the milestones of her long life.

She was born Rom. Where? On the road of course, but no one in her clan could ever tell her exactly where. Guesses have put her birth place somewhere in the Ukraine. Her clan, like most of her kin were nomadic, constantly migrating in a pattern dictated as much by DNA as by tradition. She was born during the full moon - moonstruck her grandmother called her. Hers was a difficult birth, and her mother died a few days later. Regardless of that tragic beginning, hers was a carefree childhood. Filled with laughter and dancing and learning her place in Rom society.

Her people were artisans and her grandmother was a seer. She learned at her grandmother's knee all the skills that a wise woman needed. Herbalism, healing, how to read runes and and tarot, break and cast curses, brew potions and other important hedge crafts important to the role of a seer. But true sight and power eluded her and it was expected that the gift would pass her by. When she turned sixteen, her father arranged for her betrothal to a beautiful boy from his sisters husbands clan. His name was Michael D'Marcos. Not all matches are love matches but hers was. She still remembered the betrothal feast. Days and days of music and food. A good party! She danced and danced beneath the open sky in his arms. Theirs was a true love match.

And then during the summer solstice everything changed. She became awakened to the powers within her. Not one more full moon would pass her by without her intimate knowledge of it's gifts. It was a confusing and difficult time for her. She wasn't ostracized, but still her people, those who had known her their whole lives began to treat her differently. There was a new caution in their attitude towards her. They thought her strange and different. She cried herself to sleep a lot back then, until her grandmother beat her with a stick.

The old woman remembers the young woman she was back then and she chuckles fondly at her younger self, remembering how much it hurt getting whacked across the backside and how dearly she wanted to break the dreadful thing in half with her bare hands. But her grandmother forced her to accept what was. Stupid to fret over what you can't change. Her hand grips the wood of the very same stick that she hated so much back then with a firmer grip, as if reinforcing the pact she made all those many many years ago.

Her 'Spirit Thwacker' she called it. Just as her grandmother called it, and her Grandmother's mother… handed down from mother to eldest daughter, from seer to seer for untold generations. Her grandmother was fond of telling her that it had once belonged to Ceddiwen, a goddess better known as the Maiden, Warrior and Crone. She ponders the implications for a moment…

Her wedding day heralded another wild party that lasted for days. She smiles at the memory. The dancing, the music, the euphoria of finally becoming one with the man her father had chosen for her. It was a wonderful time. Filled with simple joys. She had her clan, her husband, and later even children. Three of them. All strong healthy boys. She smiled as she remembers them. Full of life!

But like all wonderful lives…tragedy can strike and take everything away! The VITAS plague wiped out hundreds of thousands, and no community in the world was completely spared. Her clans people were not exceptions. When it was done ravaging her people all her children had been burried, her father and mother her husbands family as well. So many lives cut short.

The grim memories force the old woman's progress to halt. Racked by a guilt so sharp that it takes her breath away. She wishes she could have saved them. Wishes she could have died in their place. Her husband's voice chastises her quietly. 'Come now Tia. None of that. You did what you could.' "Not enough. Not enough!" The old woman croaks angrily causing a homeless man huddled in a doorway to grunt in displeasure. Hesitantly she moves on. Tapping her way almost blindly across the deserted street and sinking down onto a sun bleached bench.

Shortly after this, a relative invited her husband and herself to join them in Denver. She wasn't afraid of change, but embraced it. Welcomed the opportunity to leave behind the graves of so many loved ones.

Denver was different from the old world. Different and exciting. Her family had joined with the Tinkers in a place called Tinker Town, a labyrinth of tunnels built beneath the landfill. They literally carved out a life for themselves. They weren't rich by any means…but they were at least together and happy. Her husband was a wonderful artist. Creating something out of nothing…and she spent her time earning a decent living as a healer. Then the world came crashing down around them… again.

The quake of '64 didn't just bury tinker town, but it buried Michael as well. She herself had not been home when Tinker Town collapsed. So many people lost that day. So many lives buried and gone. Gone.

She sighs and looks beside her and fancies she sees her dear husband sitting beside her on the bench. He smiles and winks playfully, looking just like he did the very last time he was alive. An elderly and handsome devil. He slowly takes her hand in his and brings it up to his lips and kisses it tenderly. She giggles like a school girl at his flirtatious manner. She long since stopped questioning his presence, weather he is real or just a wishful figment of her imagination.

She scraped what she could together and bought an old VW bus. Turned it into her home. It doesn't even go much, not that she ever learned to drive or at least not well. It was only supposed to be for a little while really…but days turned into months and years. She didn't mind. Luxury wasn't something she needed for happiness. But now… She shakes her head sadly. Time is running out she thinks. Time… How much time does she have? What is left for her?

She glances back the way she came. A furtive dark creature shambles from the depths of the alleyway… A flesh eater? Blood drinker? She narrows her eyes and watches for a moment letting her senses expand and watches his progress with magical sight as the creature slinks towards the homeless man she passed earlier. His intent fills her with dread. "No. No. no." She stands almost painfully aware of how breakable she is and hobbles forward. "Get you gone you foul thing!" She cries out in Rom raising her stick as if she is about to charge. The creature hisses as suddenly moonlight bright mana spins brightly along the surface of her walking stick. She directs a blinding bolt of pure mana into his body. The creature is lifted from his feet and flung backwards with the arcane blast and lands with a sickening crunch into the side of a building. The gypsy cries out in triumph as he crawls back the way it came with a bewildered and angry hiss. His meal interrupted.

She looks down at the cat beside her, its fur standing on end and its ears flattened. "See I told you it was just a rat." She tells it patiently and then turns and continues her walk… singing. "Happy birthday dear Tia…. Happy Birthday to me."

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