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Name: Maya Carminatti
Age: 35(looks), 200(actual)
Rank: Historian/Record Keeper
Face Claim: Michaela Conlin
Studious || Observant || Compassionate
Tentative || Brooding || Guarded
The Phoenix have always been an enigmatic and secretive species, whether born from jealousy of their powers or the prejudices and persecution that was heaped on them from the outset, the Fire Lords have spread themselves out in tucked away locations across the globe. Keeping their numbers small, they learned how to keep their communities hidden within pockets of humanity in outlying provinces in an effort to avoid drawing attention. Their only guard against the constant wars and bloodshed were keeping to themselves and being cautious to the point of paranoia.
Born into a close-knit tribe in Ireland Maya learned discretion and secrecy from the cradle, a necessary and important life lesson for any that would carry the Phoenix markings. Raised by the entire community she was a bright and vivacious little girl with miles of curiosity and a mind that wouldn’t quit. It took many people throughout the day to keep her busy, and her powers over the element of fire manifested early. By the time Maya was 7 she could hold a flame in both palms for an extended amount of time and wrap her entire body in flames. The markings on her back began showing, proud dark lines that clearly marked her as a Fire Lord.
Maya’s tribe was one of the few with Ireland, though they had deep and sure connections with many across the globe. The Irish tribe was deeply rooted in traditions, taking enormous pride in keeping meticulous notes of their lineages and histories. The pride of their species ran deep, and Maya was no less dignified and even more attached to her heritage. The Phoenix took great care to teach their young ones how they had come to be, along with the wars with the Initia that had caused them to go into hiding. The fear and jealousy that had driven the elementalists to attempt to wipe out their kind and the subsequent struggle for survival the Phoenix had since embarked on.
As Maya hit the age of 15 it became apparent that her intelligence and attention to detail could be put to good use. She was offered a position, taking over as the Historian and record keeper of the tribe, a position of distinction she readily accepted. It was rare for one as young as her to be appointed to such a prestigious position, let alone be responsible for being the living memory of her people. Her training began with familiarizing herself with the history of her own tribe, diving into the genealogies of every member as well as those who had come before. That part was fun, learning of the connections that had forged each of the people she knew well. Even her own genealogy was laid out before her and surprisingly connected her to the founder of their community.
It took several years to understand how the records had been kept, the meticulous attention to detail that each historian before her had implemented. Once she had a handle on that Maya took the time and effort to implement her own system that would mesh with all of her predecessor’s work. By the time she reached the age of 25, she had fully taken on recording the births and deaths, marriages and other accomplishments of many tribes of Phoenix across the globe. Noting who then traveled where for many Phoenix left their birth tribe in order to bolster the numbers at others and often married into those other tribes. She had begun traveling, collecting more information as she went and working on locating and amassing the histories of her species.
It was hard and tedious work, though incredibly important to the preservation of the Fire Lord's history. Turning 26 was a hard year, for it was her first real taste of the war that raged between her people and the Initia. Upon a visit to a rather large tribe in Europe she arrived upon a scene of death and carnage that not even her imagination could have cooked up. Tears streamed down her face as she helped pick through the bodies, making note of who among them had died. Those who were injured were treated immediately, the last remaining members of the tribe coming together to save everyone they could. Her tender heart lurched and ached within her chest as she took down the accounts of the attacks and the events leading up to it. When at last she left Europe Maya felt 1,000 years old and infinitely bitter at the loss of life at the hands of the elemental monsters.
The young woman became incensed with each new attack, the deaths, and accounts weighing heavily upon her soul. Around the time she hit 29 however her perusal of the histories began to nag at her mind, little discrepancies appearing before her that caused great confusion within her heart. Even the accounting that the Phoenix was imparting to her seemed farfetched, kindling a spark of suspicion that grew to a full-on flame the more she dug into the past. For centuries the picture painted in flames was of a war waged by the Initia in order to wipe out the species they considered abominations. The Phoenix was always depicted as the victims, a face of survivors valiantly struggling to preserve their right to exist.
Maya slowly uncovered the truth, her sense of betrayal and disgust prompting her to return home and confront those who had appointed her to the task. Right in front of the Elders of her own community, with her parents in attendance, she threw down the histories with a contemptuous flourish. Lies, they were all lies. For years the Phoenix had been willing, even zealous participants in the war not the hapless victims of prejudice but bloodthirsty dogs promoting the violence. Half the battles she had recorded throughout her life had been fabrications and the truth was, Phoenix were just as guilty as the Initia. The supposed missions for peace had actually been missions of butchery and ruination furthering the drawing out the conflict.
The Elders were cold and calculating, the once warm and encouraging individuals who had helped her grow into herself and her position were now strangers protecting a grave secret. They refused to admit any responsibility and chastised her for bringing the truth to light. For centuries the Phoenix leaders had been nourishing the violence and hatred just as surely as the Initia shamelessly. Their animosity was an ugly and terrifying thing to behold yet Maya tried to reason with them. All the Historians before her had seen the same and yet no one before her had been brave enough to confront the truth. She was ignored however and told to grow up and swallow reality. Even her parents were participants in the fictitious story that was being created and it left her feeling disgraced.
Maya was then assigned a taskmaster, a member of the Elders circle who looked over her shoulder to ensure she was preserving the so-called integrity of the histories. In quiet defiance the young woman kept a separate history, detailing the actual events in vivid detail. Most of the time she was recording things that had already happened, feeling helpless to stop the false propaganda that was ripping not only her species but another apart. By some small chance of fate, she finally came across some Intel, a snippet of a plan to rain fire and death upon a small village of earth wielding Initia who by all accounts had stayed clear of the war. The Elders saw it as an opportunity to send a message, to clear the world of more Initia and slick their lust for violence.
Maya could not abide the outright murder of innocence and had grown tired of sitting on the sidelines. In the dark of night she flew to the village and roused the Earth elementalists, it took some time to convince them she was genuine in her fear for them. Maya was a woman of great compassion and charm, her words carrying weight with the villagers and convincing them at last to flee. By the time the contingent on Phoenix arrived the village was empty and their plans foiled. Bolstered by her small victory Maya began playing along, giving the outward appearance of coming around the Elders way of thinking. In the face of her attitude change, the Elders began speaking more freely in front of her and the information imparted helped her to save more lives.
Among the Initia she became known as the Fiery Angel of Mercy, and the word of her deeds to protect and preserve life became whispered among the Shadows. Her run as a defender was short-lived, however, as the Elder became suspicious. Maya knew they would find out sooner or later and when they did the consequences were dire. They had set her up, caught her red-handed and at her tribunal the sentence for her treachery was death. The brunette stood tall and proud, though tears of fear fell down her cheeks she was defiant and unapologetic in the face of their rage. Her parents stood by and watched with impassioned expressions as she was put to death, the silver knife lancing straight through her heart. Instead of burning her body with all the honor of a Phoenix her people disgraced her, throwing her body off the mountain for the elements and the beasts.
Lurking in the shadows a pair of dark hazel eyes had watched the entire thing unfold with sadness in his heart. The strength of the young woman’s conviction moved him, her steadfast certainty that what she had done was right even in the face of death was something he admired. Managing to control his anger at seeing her body treated with such deplorable disrespect the male climbed down and retrieved her with little effort. Once in a safe location, he turned her, feeding her his shadow infused blood to bring her back as a reborn entity. Maya came to with an enormous thirst and confusion uppermost in her mind, the flames from a funeral pyre drawing her attention. Rising she went to the lone figure standing vigil, a male who introduced himself as Gideon.
Slowly he explained what had happened to her, prompting her memories to flood back into her mind as she sipped from a flask he gave to her. A profound feeling of grief settled over her as she realized the body upon the pyre had been hers, that her family had stood by and done nothing as she had been sentenced to death, and most notably she was no longer a Phoenix. Try as she might her wings and the fire that had once coursed through her blood was no more, leaving her an earthbound shadow. A Valkyr as she learned her species was now called. As much as she missed being a Fire Lord she was infinitely grateful to Gideon for giving her new life and allowing her a second chance to help people.
Maya adjusted relatively slowly, struggling with her radical change in nature and diet. It took even more time for her to master the new abilities that were inherent to a Valkyr, and coupled with the fear that she might one day become addicted to blood her acceptance of her new situation was gradual. Gideon was patient and gentle, guiding her through all of the transitions with the wisdom of a sage and understanding of a friend. He even found a place for her among her new people, as Historian, a role she had been born for. From the on her loyalty to the Valkyrie was unwavering and without question. Luna traveled everywhere Gideon went, recording the vast history of the Valkyr.
The move to Evermore and establishment of a home base of a new and interesting chapter, one she was enjoying immensely. The new surroundings and presence of so many species gave her a whole lot to write and research about and an opportunity to broaden her horizons.