From the Bunk:Edit
Karath is a tan-white ferret who is on the thin side, but quite muscular nonetheless. He nearly always wears a dark green jacket which he always keeps buttoned, as there are several scars hidden under it that he intends to keep secret, for the scars would raise questions which he would not want to answer. Some have seen that there is always a small dagger kept in a silver sheath hidden within his jacket, but if pressed, Karath will not provide any explanation on his reasons for carrying the dagger, even though it appears to serve no practical purpose. Karath nearly always has some injury or another.
Seems to always be happy, a bit self-assured. Always puts his ship, and by extension, his crew first, even at the expense of his own happiness/well being/sleep. He is quite talkative, though most of his words are adressed to nobeast in particular, rather, the crew as a whole. It takes a perceptive beast indeed to recognize that Karath isn't quite as he seems. He is friends with everybeast, but, in a way, he is friends with nobeast, distancing himself in his own way.
Very few beasts have noticed, or even caught a hint of what is really going on with the ferret. They all assume that when he stays up through the night fishing, he is simply looking for a meal other than stale bread, rather than the reality. The reality is that he is haunted by every single death or hurt that has befallen anybeast he has been near. He worries abou the crew constantly, afraid that the home he has found in the Blackship for so many years could come apart if he doesn't go well beyond his duty. But most of all, he is haunted by a broken promise, and the sight of somebeast close to him lying in bloodied snow in a land far to the Northeast.
But when morning comes, and the crew is awake, he is Karath, the first mate of the Blackship.
Also, he doesn't drink. Much.
Karath, then Andrei, was born in a country far to the north, in a small village in an icy valley. He and his mother lived in a tiny cottage, the warmth of the fireplace the only comfort from the deathly cold. He never knew his father, though it was told he had been killed in a raid. Karath always had a bit of a longing for the sea when he was young, even though he had never seen it.
When Andrei was thirteen, an illness struck the village. It struck his mother, who died a week later, leaving Andrei with nobeast. While he stood outside the cottage with a sack of what food they had and a few belongings, beasts torched the dwelling, in an attempt to stop disease from spreading further.
Andrei might have frozen to death or been doomed to a (short) life of Serfdom if it weren't for a stoat by the name of Varsk, the commander of a band of adventurer-mercs who happened to be passing through the village. Varsk saw Andrei sitting on the frozen ground while the snow fell on the ashes of his mother's dwelling and presented him with a new life.
It wouldn't be easy, Varsk had said. Not that his life before had been much easier. It would be a life of hardship, a day to day struggle to survive. But it was a life, and better than the alternative of dying of the cold. Andrei wiped the quickly-freezing tears from his eyes and accepted the offer.
Before they set off with the small band of cold-hardened beasts, Vrask had presented Karath with a gift, a tool for survival that he would need. It was a dagger, long enough that it could almost act as a short sword in Andrei's small paws. It had an amethyst pommel stone and a silver scabbard. He was told he would have to use it soon.
Andrei ventured with Vrask's band far and wide across the snowy north, fending off attacks from villages, searching for ancient relics, and generally trying to survive. They generally tried to do what was right, but failed as often as they suceeded.
One day, when Andrei wasn't much older than seventeen, Varsk was shot by an arrow in a dark mountain pass. Beasts stood around him, knowing he didn't have long. He had called Andrei over to his side, telling him he was the closest thing he had ever had to a son of his own. Then he said "Lead us onward, Andrei." As Varsk took his last breath, Andrei became the leader of the group. They came to be called the Northland Raiders, eventually coming to serve as scouts in the country's army.
((More to come))