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Sken

Sken, as seen in the 1733 Christmas Card.

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Nuori Sken was the mad mother of the Ministry of War. Known to some simply as "War", Sken was a beast to fear indeed.

From the BunkEdit

Status: DECEASED (1706 - 1734)

Species Pine Marten

Gender Female

Weapon Broadsword

Nameday Macabre 10, 1706 (26)

Appearance Edit

Nuori Sken (previously Nuori Sken Freemont) is generally an inconspicuous looking marteness of average height and strong build. Though she is twenty six years old, Sken looks to be ten years older, her bright blue eyes carrying the depth of a beast who has experienced much heartbreak and seen more bloodshed than most beasts have in all their seasons. Her right ear has a notch taken out of it, and her right palm and left forearm both have large scars from being sliced by a sword. Her left arm also bends at a slightly odd but almost unnoticeable angle, having been broken in years past. Sken’s voice is somewhat husky, sounding almost like she has a mild sore throat, the result of damage to her larynx from inhaling a large quantity of smoke during a fire on board the Hide when she was Captain of the ship.

She wears simple buttoned shirt and trousers, and wears boots upon her footpaws only when on land or in cooler weather. Two brass loop earrings don each ear. Often she can be seen with a tricorn hat upon her head.

Though much pain resides in her past, Sken has moved on as best she can, with the help of a good dose of alcohol perhaps a bit too frequently. However, what she has done in her past often haunts her when she allows her mind to wander. The blood of hundreds, if not thousands of beasts are on her paws in one way or another, many dealt death by her personally. She has tortured beasts, torn apart families, killed beasts in front of their loved ones, given orders to have entire villages and armies slaughtered, sought to destroy the lives of the beasts she once called friends, all in the name of the Empire. Even several shots of whiskey can't quell such nightmares.

She has a quick temper, though is still a competent commander for the most part. Despite her temper, she is just as quick to laugh and be merry.

The ranks she has held in her life, reaching to Minister of War, tell not just of her commanding prowess, but also of her martial skills. Sken is not a beast one would wish to cross blades with, nor grapple with. Despite her innocuous looks, the marteness is a deadly beast, not one to cross in a fight.

BiographyEdit

Her life began in the Insanely Rich Area of Bully Harbor, the youngest of three children, two brothers preceding her. The eldest, Vingo, eight years older than her, left their home to go roaming when Sken was eight (much against their father's wishes), and was never seen again. Harbrow, five years Sken's elder, was a thorn in her side for most of their childhood, and proved to be even worse into their adulthood.

Only months before her eighteenth birthday, in early fall of 1724, Sken left home under the cover of darkness, taking Harbrow's sword and only the clothes upon her back. She did not wish to live the life planned for her by her father, and the only way she could figure to get away from him was to join up on a vessel that spent much of its time far at sea. Sken became a crewbeast aboard the Skeered of Nothing, though eventually transferred to The Golden Hide when her father determined her whereabouts and sent beasts to claim her.

Life was well for her in the Navy. She proved to be a competent crewbeast and began to move up in rank on the ship, soon becoming First Mate of the Hide, serving beneath the fox Valdrisk Half-Ear.

Early in 1725, she heard of the news that her father had been killed and all the family's wealth was stolen by none other than her brother, Harbrow. Sken went in pursuit of him, eventually killing her brother and returning the family's fortune.

Later that year, Half-Ear met his demise by his own paw, leaving Sken in command of the ship. She Captained the ship successfully through many adventures and perils. Life was good for Sken, even better when she was married in 1726 to Gordon Freemont, a noblebeast to whom she had been arranged to be married in her childhood. Though not sure about the arrangement at first, she quickly warmed to the beast, as he was kind and genial and allowed her to continue on with her command.

Sken gained the Admiralty in Thermidor of 1726, and in Humidor of the same year gave birth to her and Gordon's albino son, Caden Enzo Freemont. Everything seemed to be falling into place for the marteness. She was content where she was in her life, though perhaps missing the sea somewhat, as her duties as Admiral often kept her ashore.

In Primary of 1727, her life came crashing down upon her. By decree of the Emperor, Gordon was assassinated by IceRain Sleet, Minister of War, Sken's superior and once a friendly acquaintance. Gordon had been working to subvert the Emperor, unknown to Sken at the time. He was killed at their home, with Sken and Caden present. Tanya Rainblade, Sken's close friend and Last Quartermaster at the time, watched from afar to make sure the assassination was carried out. When Sken found out of her friend's betrayal, her relationship with the vixen was never the same again. A long, downward spiral of grief-becoming-rage-becoming-destruction began for the marteness.

IceRain resigned from Minister of War in Bugs of 1727, and Sken was promoted to the position. The same night of the party in honor of her promotion, the Emperor's flagship, Mark'an's Glory was stolen by an organized band of Turncoats. It was the beginning of an infuriating chain of events for the new Minister of War, that eventually led to the unhinging of her mind, already damaged from the death of her husband and betrayal of her friends.

That same year, Sken took on the dark vigilante persona of the Indigo Platycodon. She had no qualms about killing her targets, typically those who society would do well without, but the Fogeys and Guard were not happy that somebeast was going beyond the law. In her continued maddened descent, she lost the ability to know her alter-ego, becoming the Platycodon while she slept, unaware of her activities. Thus, she found herself chasing a shadow, giving the Guard orders to take her own head without knowing it.

Her ultimate failure as Minister of War occurred in late spring of 1728 during what became known simply as the "Revolution", in which a group of students, backed by the Turncoats, barricaded off a section of Bully Harbor, declaring the area a Republic. Sken, reacting the only way she knew how, marched the Guard upon them. The result was a rolling, flaming barricade careening through the streets to crash into the harbor. Indeed, if it had ended there, Sken would merely have been a murderer of protesting students. However, she failed in protecting the Emperor that night. For a one Etienne Combe, while the Ministry of War was distracted fighting with the rioters in Bully Harbor, went into Amarone and assassinated the Emperor.

In the resulting power vacuum, Sken was forced to face the betrayal of yet another friend. Vladimir Ullyanov, once a shipmate and the beast who offered her sanctuary when Gordon was killed, had become Minister of Misanthropy during Sken's Admiralty. Now, with the Emperor gone, the cat sought the throne for himself. Sken, loyal to the death to the reign of Mark'an, drew up the entirety of War's forces against the sizeable force conjured by Ullyanov. They battled in Bully Harbor, Sken and Ullyanov dueling through the streets as beasts writhed in the chaotic battle around them. Their fight led them to the beach where Vlad stabbed Sken with a poisoned dagger, assuming to have killed her. The Emperor's brother, known previously as Phil the Hobo, claimed the throne. It was late 1728.

Her body was whisked away by Ministry officials. She remembered waking some time later in a strange place with no memory of who she was. The marteness escaped into the forest, and found herself wandering until she came to a town. Bully Harbor. There she found herself wandering towards the Navy ships . It seemed a good idea to join one. She stepped aboard the Skeered of Nothing in early 1730, using the name Kanima, for she knew not what she was supposed to be called.

Slowly her memory returned to her. With each passing day, more things became familiar. She remembered faces and names, and soon events of her past were clear. Sken knew who she was and what she had to do. Vlad had finally achieved his goal of rising to the throne in 1730, and Sken was aware of the danger she was in with him in power. She lay low as best she could while making plans to escape from the Imperium for good.

It took another year before her plans were complete. With the help of her newfound friend, the ferret Torrent Antonius, she had acquired a ship, The Blue Rogue, and a crew. Together with Caden, Sken set sail on Thermidor 28, 1731 for adventures and waters unknown.

With one more raid in Imperium waters in Notempre of 1731 to gain enough loot to give them trading capital, the Rogue encountered the Hide, a ship Sken never thought she would set footpaw on again. Though she traveled in Imperial waters under the pseudonym of Captain Enzia, she made her identity known to Armina Rogue, the Hide's Captain during their brief meeting.

Since leaving the Hide in her wake, Sken and her crew have been outside of Imperium waters, trading goods and exploring for profit.

Likely no one is concerned, but her mother went insane and currently resides in the psych ward of Pyrostoat Memorial Hospital in Bully Harbor.


Death Post Edit

((The following is a snippet from the Author's death post. If you would like to read the entire thing, it is on Page 4 of the Thoroughfare thread "Winter War: The Harbour"))

Once again, she could see the Minister of Niceties. He was clutching something to him and staring at her, his single eye piercing her with anguish. Sken’s view was obscured by attackers once more, and once more she cut through the beasts without so much as a thought. She had to reach him. He was beyond saving, she knew, but she needed to speak to him one last time, needed him to hear her words. He ought not die alone. He was too great a beast, had done too much for her, for the Imperium, for the world.

Sken roared in frustration as she was halted yet again by foebeasts. Her roar turned to a scream of agony, a spear thrust taking her in the thigh. She battered the spear away with her blade and ducked into sword range to dispatch the beast. Then she was at Marquo’s side. The life was gone from him, spilled out in the pool of blood at her footpaws. His expression was that of misery, of regret. In his arms was the head of a vixen. Kaiea. The marteness felt the pain of loss, worse than that which throbbed from the wound in her leg, stab through her chest. She clung to it and allowed it to fester there and become anger, then rage.

The Minister of War stepped back from the remains of the Minister of Niceties and the Blademaster.

In front of her the street was littered with bodies, and over them her forces fought to push back the enemy. A cold wind swept through the street, and gulls wheeled and cried overhead. The Imperial line broke, and Coaltion and Verfolger beasts flooded toward her. In moments they were upon the marteness and the few Guard, Army, and Varangian beasts that had fallen back from the main line.

Something broke within the marteness then. A barrier she had built to control that which sought to overcome her day after day came crumbling down with the shattering of her soul, and her demons screamed free from their confines. She welcomed them, and she fed them with the blood and pain of her enemies, with the agony of each wound inflicted upon her body. Red filled her vision. Screams and the sound of steel plunging through flesh and scraping on bone were a symphony that only encouraged her to strike faster and harder. She fought over Marquo, over Kaiea, over the blood and bodies of those under her command. She fought for her son and for Kaden. She fought for a city that would end that day when she fell. Tears of rage coursed down her cheeks to mingle with the blood soaking her fur. In the small corner of her brain where reason still lived, Sken only hoped the Imperium would not fall due to her failure.

There were few allies around the Minister any longer. And though she fought with strength and stamina born from rage, she could not defend herself from a score of attackers. A sword thrust caught her in the side. She stabbed at the beast who had struck her, but her attack was disrupted as a spear took her through the middle. Sken looked down at the blade protruding from her gut. Another beast came toward her, his strike aiming for her neck. She swerved away from the blow and brought her shield up to smash into his face. He fell back, only to be replaced by another who took hold of her shield and wrenched it to the side, snapping her arm. Sken surged forward at him with a feral snarl. Her teeth sunk deep into the side of his neck. She ground down to pierce his jugular as he screamed. Blood surged into her mouth and down her front, warm and metallic. Another spear drove through her. She opened her jaws. The beast fell away, gurgling as his blood continued to spill onto the street.

Sken felt another blade sink into her, then another. The ground surged up at her, and her knees hit the cobblestones. She could not fall forward or back for the broken spearhafts jutting from her body, and so she knelt as her anger faded with the realization that she was finished. Marquo lay ten feet in front of her, and she met his dead, staring gaze. A flicker of light from above her brought her attention to the sky. Shining bright against the cold, steely skies was a single arrow, burning phosphorescent green. It arched high above the city before burning out.

“The green arrow flies, Senderjay,” she murmured. “I only wish you were here to die with me.”

She still gripped her sword in her left paw, but no longer did she have the strength to lift it. As her life fled from her, so did the madness that had consumed her for the last time. For her last several moments, Sken was free.

The sound of the sea descended upon her. Though blades clashed around her and beasts screamed in death, all the marteness could hear was the coursing of waves past a ship’s bow. All she could feel was the gentle rolling of the sea as she passed into darkness.

AlternatesEdit

Mint Imp[deceased],  Zakim Malik [deceased],  Ladan Vorius[deceased],  Aleyah Malik [deceased],  Imoris Kerim[deceased],  Egrinn Tael[deceased],  Caden Enzo Freemont[deceased]