Name: Ruena of the Open Water
Gender: Sleepy. (she/her)
Favorite Scent: Tar on a hot day, gasoline, the burnt ozone smell that magic can leave in the air
Magic: Fire and Water
-Bubbling small bean crest
-Small deer horns
Ruena's fur is kinked and curly, though in contrast her hair is fairly straight. Have you ever run your hands along a poodle? Her fur feels kind of like that, springy and soft but somewhat unyielding. Her hair, again contrarily, is somewhat coarse and resists attempts to control it. She keeps it fairly short for that reason, as if it gets any longer she completely loses control of it and it knots and mats. At one point when she was younger, her hair was such a mess that they just had to shave it all off! (Not the eyebrows, of course. Ruena takes better care of her brows than any of her other fur.)
There are two main forms of dress for Ruena-- the stuff she wears in the city and the stuff she wears at home. Her city clothes are outspoken, torn with wear and tear (they don't get replaced very often!), and always include the same pair of fingerless gloves and goggles. She primarily wears shorts and croptops into the city, dinged up and greasy as they might be. At home, Ruena wears soft and breathable garb, almost silken in nature. It's actually made of a fairly common material for the planet, and is generally left in its un-dyed off-white form. Ruena has stitched small patterns on the hems of hers with permission of her teachers. Those patterns are primarily meant to look like waves, though some of them are just small fish.
On the subject of fish! Ruena has a fish magically imprinted on her fur along her ribcage. It's a tattoo that holds a great deal of meaning to her and where she lives. Though she got it in the city, she was very happy to show it to her instructors. At first she wanted the fish to be able to swim around on her body by use of magic, but unfortunately such a spell would have to draw on her own magic to continue to work. For various reasons, then, she could not get a moving tattoo. :C
As expected for someone with a crest like Ruena's, she generally looks very tired. Her eyes are large and owlish, but often watery and with deep sleep-deprived bruises underneath them. Her hands shake often and her posture is generally terrible.
Her Crest and What it's Given Her
(AKA, where Ruena lives and why she lives there.)
As you may have noticed, Ruena's crest is both small and bubbling! This is... a less than ideal combination. Ruena's magic is weak and flickers in and out of usefulness, and being that a browbird's magic is very important to them, her energy levels are always low. She tires easily, sleeps poorly, and shakes frequently. It's sort of as if she's consistently suffering from a vitamin deficiency, you know?
That's why she meditates! She meditates quite frequently and for long periods of time to prevent too much of her magic from escaping. Ruena practices this extraordinary self-control in the Monastery of the Open Water, a little-known church some distance from many known cities. Upon the settling of Ruena's crest, her caretakers were worried for her-- she was not only sickly, but magically-deprived. Though they wouldn't force Ruena to do anything (no, of course not!), they did gently supply some places where she might go if she wanted some sort of instruction in coping skills. It's an enormous universe, and there were lots of options! But for some reason, whether because of the fact that her first magical element was water or some sort of intuition, Ruena was drawn to the Monastery. Being that she was twenty and had lived with this exhausting weight on her chest for all those years, Ruena went eagerly to a place where she might find some relief.
And find some relief she did! It was hard at first, but those at the Monastery of Open Water were friendly and welcoming. Not all of them were browbirds, but many of them were familiar with the concept of magic and how Ruena's crest could be a problem for her. Ruena and some of her instructors worked together to create a sort of schedule that would help Ruena through the next few years. It consisted of a lot of meditation, careful reading of calming texts, and a sort of unofficial Monastery therapy! This went on for about three years before Ruena really gained some sort of physical strength and magical constitution. One of her regular exercises was-- and still is --to summon small amounts of fire and water and combine them into steam, allowing the heat to fill the room and clear her sinuses. It's both extremely relaxing and carefully stretching Ruena's control of her magic further.
After her training kicked in in earnest, Ruena's whole world opened up a little bit. She realized she wanted to explore the world some and, with the help of her instructor, found a way to get back to the city. It's not that it was incredibly difficult, but the Monastery is far away from all of that city hustle-and-bustle! The route to New Centuary involves taking a small sailboat on half a day's trip to a small town with stargates!
Ruena spent a few days in the city at age 24 and realized she loved it there. She also realized it was hugely exhausting for both her body and her magic levels, and that if she ignored her meditations she would never be able to live in a city permanently. She returned to the Monastery of Open Water, redoubled on her training, and from that point on spent a few days in New Centuary every month or so. Currently? Ruena is a few years into rigorous meditation and careful training to ready herself for a move to the city-- she spends longer and longer there every time she goes, testing her limits.
When she goes to the city, Ruena likes to spend time in garages. She really likes working with vehicles of all sorts and ends up covered in grease and oil stains quickly. She's made a few friends in New Centuary who've offered her apprenticeships working on certain kinds of cars. She may or may not be trying to rush herself a little bit because apprenticeships are not positions that stay open forever. Who knows how that's going to work out, honestly. I guess we'll have to wait and see!
On the Monastery
The Monastery of Open Water is a small place on a fragment of planet floating in the Celestial Seas. It is, as one might expect, on open water! There is also a lot of freshwater on the land itself in oxbow lakes. At some point there may have been a celestial river running across the island, or perhaps there was one on the planet before it split apart and formed the chain of spacial islands on which the Monastery now stands. Strange fish creatures live in the lakes, having grown fat and peaceful in their years being fed by monks. More wild are the sea serpents that occasionally swim through the Celestial Seas nearby on their way to and from mating pools. They're massive, many-patterned creatures with iridescent scales, long tendrils, and floating fins. Beautiful and dangerous, Ruena draws much inspiration from them and sits to watch them when they go by.
Dedicated to a peaceful way of life, the monks of the Monastery of Open Water strive to be level-headed about all things. They cherish life above all else and often take people on the fringe of society under their wings to give them a home. There are very few rules so long as everyone is doing their fair share of work. The monks themselves are pacifists and minimalist, but their wards are under no such stipulations. Ruena, as a ward rather than a monk, is allowed to have any sort of luxuries she desires. That being said, Ruena often takes the task of feeding the many fish to be found on the grounds, or-- on particularly good days, when her energy levels are right --feeding the feistier creatures found in the Seas themselves.
Anyone can seek refuge at the Monastery so long as they harm no one while they are there. More often than not it's a passing traveler who stops by seeking food or water, but sometimes there are exiles from society or escaped convicts claiming sanctuary. All are welcome until they've broken one of the Monastery's rules and hurt someone. In that case? Well, many of the Monastery are well-versed in containment magic. They won't hurt you, but they sure as heck will catch you and wait for authorities to take you off the premises.
Having spent much of her life literally sick and tired, Ruena is filled with sublime wonder at all things in life. She wants to live life to the best of her ability, experiencing great and beautiful things. For some people that would mean traveling, but Ruena only wants to be able to move freely. She's fascinated by vehicles of all sorts to that end-- particular those that are mechanical, from steel ships to cars to intergalactic subways. Stargates are also of great interest to her! It makes sense that one of her ideal jobs would be something of a mechanic.
She considers all life precious and is a pacifist by nature. Nevermind that any attempts to fight on her end would be sort of sad, but fighting strikes her as pointless. It's a depressing way to celebrate existence. She'd much rather go to a festival or sail happily between the Monastery and the small city near it or work in the garage to help people move where they want to be. If confronted violently, Ruena turns steely. She doesn't have much in the way of means of defending herself, but she refuses to give anyone the satisfaction of truly hurting her.
Ruena gets something of a delirious rush from going fast. It's not always the best for her health and it often leaves her dizzy, but by the Seas she is so enamored with the adrenaline. It feels so good to be able to run and rev and dance. She enjoys rollercoasters, motorcycles, subways, speedboats, intergalactic trains, hover cars-- anything that can go quick and let her see the world moving around her. If she's controlling it and can feel the wind whipping across her face? All the better. I have no doubt that when Ruena does at last make the city her main place of residence and has a steady income, she's going to get something so speedy it'll tear your hat off and ride it around everywhere. There's a lot of things to experience, and Ruena thinks she ought to get a move on trying to do so! Two hundred years is hardly enough, right?
Socially, Ruena has come a long way. Before she came to the Monastery, she was quiet and sickly, afraid to meet anyone's eyes for fear they'd judge her. That has changed a lot! She's now happier as a person and more capable of expressing her excitement and desires, albeit in a sort of roundabout stuttering way. It's not the nervous sort of stuttering, though, but the stuttering of someone who has trouble reaching for words and figuring out how to phrase things in ways that make sense. That's Ruena's general manner of speech. It leads many to believe she's either daft or dumb, but she is neither. Just a bit verbally confused! She does sometimes get flustered if she's been stuttering for awhile and still can't get her point across, but in general Ruena is not hugely embarrassed about herself. There's not enough time for that. She's already got a speech impediment and a body working against her. Getting shy about things now is just a waste.
All in all? Ruena's a pretty cool birb.