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In spending long stretches of time at sea, Scylla's umber hair has become dull and unruly, chafed by dry, salty winds and exposure to the elements. It is nothing that a mirror and a brush can't remedy, though it would seem she owns neither. Years spent swabbing decks beneath the blistering sun have had their way with her fair skin, punctuated cheekbones and forehead dusted with numerous freckles and a permanent rosy flush. More often than not, the woman dons a wide-brimmed leather flop hat, though whether its purpose is to protect her face from further damage or conceal the prominent scar above her right eyebrow is anyone's guess. Some wounds cannot be so easily obfuscated no matter the choice in attire. Skin the consistency of melted wax stretches from the left side of her neck across the same shoulder, runs the length of her right arm to the wrist, and materializes in uneven, circular blemishes covering both lithe legs. Betimes, fingers idly agitate the raised tissue, as though the recurring touch can somehow rub the ugliness away.
It stands to reason that a woman of few memories is a woman of equally few words. Because what strong stances can one take without experiences to draw upon? Scylla is not unintelligent by any means, simply an empty vessel seeking to be refilled. She often lurks in silence, allowing others to carry the burden of conversation while she observes and assimilates. In time, and with each new lesson, she stands to gain confidence and conversational skills that make her more approachable. The same cannot be said for her innate knowledge of ships. Mysteriously and rather helpfully, from the very moment she joined the crew of the Black Tide, its captain has been fluent in the language of seafaring, lending credence to the crew's notion that she was likely a sailor in her former life. Scylla bears up these and other anecdotes about her past with barbed wit and sarcasm, defensive measures she employs to evade deep topics or probing questions. Though her true past remains a mystery, whether by accident or by choice, those inclined to forgive her evasive and ambiguous nature might consider her, if not a friend to be loved, a loyal ally deserving of respect.
A pile of debris floated lazily over the ocean's roiling waves. It took nearly an hour for the crew of the Black Tide, a Blackshore merchant vessel, to fish the mass up, hoist it onto the deck, and discover the lifeless body of a salt-stained woman crumpled within a pile of wood that was once a functional rowboat. She was not dressed as most other shipwrecked persons usually are, funereal garb often consisting of uniforms worn by sailors of various navies belonging to noble houses of the Compact. This woman wore the remains of a black linen dress, tattered, distressed and covered in holes featuring scorch marks where flames had burned through. The skin of her neck, arms, and legs suffered the same fate. Her forehead had been split open, the blood from the gash tinting her face blood red. She was immediately declared dead, evidenced by the absence of a pulse. The ship's captain ordered his crew to wrap her in sailcloth and tie her ankles to an iron weight. Too far from the nearest port to return the body, she was to receive a respectable burial at sea.
At the very moment the woman was rolled to rest atop the flax fabric, she sat upright and regurgitated an unhealthy amount of seawater upon the deck. Gasps and murmurs resounded from the crew, not a one among them unfazed by her sudden revival. When asked what her name was, the anonymous woman could not remember. When asked where she came from, the homeless woman could not remember. When asked how she came to be burned and left for dead at sea, the living woman, again, could not remember. The captain considered the situation carefully, then made the determination that she posed no threat to him or his crew. By his orders, the woman was to be fed, clothed, and assigned a cot to sleep on until they made for port at New Hope, where she would then be required to make a choice: stay on the ship and learn to sail, or disembark and find her own way. It did not take long for her to choose the path of least resistance, and so the crew gave her all the tools and training to earn an honest living. Soon after, the crew gifted the mysterious woman with two names: the one that they would speak to her face: Scylla; and an epithet to gossip surreptitiously at eventide: the Omen. They were not wrong to speculate and dredge up wild theories. After all, she was gifted with a second chance at life while so many others were irrevocably lost. What purpose, then, did this anomalous amnesiac serve to receive the favor of the gods, or perhaps some other mysterious force? Was she a boon to the crew, or a curse? To the superstitious lot, the miracle of her immediate rebirth could not be reconciled by practical medicine alone. Therefore, it must have otherworldly implications, ones that spurned a select few to fear her very presence, despite any other affection she might inspire otherwise. At every turn, Scylla managed to surpass the expectations of captain and crew alike, and climbed the ranks from swabbie to deckhand to first mate after only three years of service.
Near the end of 1012 AR, the captain made for the port of New Hope and expressed to the crew that House Blackshore would be repurposing the merchant ship for the coming war with Eurus. Those who would remain aboard would join or otherwise support the house navy. Scylla opted to swear fealty to the family and help them achieve their goals and win the war. In return for her loyalty and hard work, she was promptly rewarded with a promotion to captain of the Black Tide.
Returning to port for a stretch of time spurs within Scylla the sense that something doesn't feel right. It was so easy while simply living day-to-day to forget that the whole of her life before the Black Tide is a mystery, perhaps lost forever. With the spare time she contrives between preparations for war and honing her personal skills, Scylla begins to explore who she really is, or who she used to be.