PLAYED BY: Kallie Bain
CHARACTER NAME: Ara Vorimund
HAIR: Brown and wavy
OCCUPATION: Beggar/wanderer, sells what she can get her hands on
BIRTHPLACE: New Aldoria
NOTABLE TRAITS: small scar on forehead
RELATIONSHIPS: A family she tries to forget, and a million friends she’s met along the way. She’s willing to strike up a conversation with just about anyone, and counts them as a friend after the first word.
Ara was huddled in the corner again, watching her father shout while her little sister pressed against her side. She couldn’t see her mother at all, but knew she was cowering on the floor just around the corner of the huge brick chimney against which Ara now leaned. This time it was because the washing hadn’t been done to his satisfaction, from what Ara gathered between the blows aimed at her mother. Most of them missed; he was almost blind with a combination of rage and alcohol. Still, the cries of her mother only feet away brought tears into Ara’s own eyes. She wiped them away before her sister could notice and bowed her head over the little girl, praying it would stop soon.
She sat at the table hours later with her mother and her older brother, Eron, listening to them argue in hushed tones about her father. They had this discussion after every incident, and neither ever gave way. Eron would start every night, saying he would fight back next time, and their mother would look up wearily from wrapping up a cut or sponging off a scrape and forbid him from saying a word against his father. It wasn’t their place, she insisted, to rebel against his wishes or his actions. The word “old-fashioned” would crop up soon, and probably something about standing up for oneself, and Ara would watch, and listen, and hope her mother would give in this time.
Everyone in the town agreed that their shop sold the best shoes in New Aldoria. Sometimes, when Ara got bored or lonely, she would sit and watch people come and go from their shop, hoping one of them would notice her. Her brother, working with the customers, certainly never did.
Caught again. The little girl rounded the corner just as Ara was trying to duck out of sight, and spotted her. The piercing voice shrieked Ara’s name once more and the pudgy hand grabbed hold of her sleeve, pulling her backwards. Ara insisted again that she did not want to participate in her little sister’s games, the inventions of a child of only seven years failing to amuse her much. The girl persisted, though. Endlessly.
She wandered out into the city, looking for excitement. That day, she saw a soldier on patrol, many people out buying food and cloth, and a rich woman inspecting a rare jewel a merchant showed her. Ara liked her walks through the market, looking at all the wares and all the people selling them. One large salesman looked interesting, so she started a conversation. He talked a lot, and she listened and complimented his skill in carpet-making. She spent the rest of the day watching, listening, wandering. Anything to stay out of that house.
She was sitting in the garden with her little sister, having given in at last to the constant pleading. The two of them were playing with dolls that Ara vaguely recognised as her own, but had evidently been passed on once she grew bored of them. In fact, they didn’t seem to have gotten much more exciting in the years since she had them. Her little brother toddled up to her, laughing, shrieked “catch!” and threw a stone straight at her head. This was usual behavior, but most of the time he missed. Her mother had to stitch up the cut, which left a scar there as a slightly itchy reminder of what a little shit that kid was.
In the relative safety of her room this time, Ara listened to her father’s roars and her mother’s whimpering cries. She lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, refusing to allow herself the tears this time. There was no use in them, and no one to comfort her. No one to make things better for her. This was how things were: her brother a coward, her mother submissive, her father shouting, and Ara left alone. But she was getting used to that feeling by now.
She didn’t exactly run away from home, she just…left. At age 17, she went away. She made no secret of it, just packed up her things, said goodbye to her mother on her way out the door, and wandered out of the city to make her own way. No one noticed, she told herself as she walked. No one cared.