Goldie is a warrior from a village in Norsca, where half the inhabitants are humans turned into bears.
Name: Golden Locks Kittlebee
Race: Human (Norscan origin)
Goldie is a short, thick woman with bright yellow hair. While not quite of dwarven proportions, she is slightly shorter than the average human woman. She’s very stocky, and has impressively muscled thighs. Most of her body, in fact, is muscled from years of physical conditioning and weapons training. She isn’t slender by any stretch of the imagination, but her fitness is never in doubt. Her skin is the typically pale shade of most Norscans, and her eyes are an average blue. She keeps her namesake hair cropped just below her chin, with blunt bangs coming to her brows.
Generally, Goldie wears her armor. She prefers leather studded with rings, which is both lighter weight than mail and much more comfortable. It’s a soft medium brown, worn shiny in places of constant friction, with rings of tarnished brass sewn into the bodice. Instead of trousers, Goldie wears a kilt-like green tartan wrapped around her hips. It gives more freedom of movement and proudly displays her clan’s ancient colors. She has leg and arm greaves, with furs tied around her limbs when it gets colder. She has a higher tolerance for cold than most, being Norscan, so usually only resorts to wearing furs when it is actively snowing.
She is never found without her great axe strapped to her back or in her hand, at the ready. When fighting, it is a two-handed weapon, but during travel Goldie often holds it over her shoulder in one hand rather than strapping it on.
When choosing a name for their young daughter (at six months old, as is the custom in a place where infants often don’t live past birth), Cheff Sigmundson and Myrna Lefsdottir considered both her personality and her appearance. Following beastman tradition, which most of their village had adopted, they named her Golden Locks. Her hair was an unusually bright yellow, but her smile, as her father said, “lit up the room brighter nor any candle ever could.” That smile has stayed with Goldie throughout her life, and she is rarely found without it. It echoes the sunny personality that she has never bothered to hide, even though it irritates more than a few of the people she travels with. “No one should be that chipper this early in the morning!” is something that she hears quite often.
She’s an average-looking woman, cute rather than pretty, but her bubbly nature attracts more suitors than she ever expected as a child. More suitors than she wants, to be truthful, since Goldie has never really had much time for flirtation. Sure, she enjoys a good tumble as much as the next girl, but she wants to be a great warrior and have grand adventures, and being saddled with babes and a man isn’t conducive to that lifestyle.
Goldie gives her friendship easily, and once it is given, she’s loyal to the bone (barring anything to break her trust, of course). She trusts perhaps too much, and seems naïve to most people. Truly, she has never had anything happen to her to change that. Her family’s experiences (see History) are far enough removed that she is largely immune to any trust issues stemming from them.
The one place that Goldie is less than sweetness and light is in her temper. Being raised with and by bears, Goldie was taught that it is okay to get angry about things, as long as you move past them. While she is slow to anger, once Goldie is riled up, she usually reacts in ways that bears do. For example, she may growl while irritated, and roar her frustration. Rather than attack with an axe, when caught off guard and angry she is likely to slap an opponent with an open fist, much like a bear would.
Also, because of what happened to her village, Goldie does not like or trust Jotuns, changelings, or those affiliated with them. She will go out of her way to be rude to them, which often surprises people since she is almost never surly. It will take a lot for her to learn to trust someone who is Jotun.
The village of Kittlebee (previously known as Amar’s Torch, changed when it was discovered that the near-mythical Amar didn’t actually lose his torch there…long story) used to be located right up near the top of Norsca, almost to the Ice Desert. It was the last safe station before entering Jotun territory, and as a result the inhabitants were mostly hardy warriors, or people too stubborn to move when the Jotun threat became greater. Goldie’s family (including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and parents who were still small children) and the rest of the village were captured, almost to the last person, by Jotun “scientists,” who were known to perform horrific experiments on those they took. Strangely, no one that was taken has any recollection of their incarceration, but when they were returned to the village some weeks (or months? No one really knows, and the seasons are hard to tell in the far North) later, every last one of the captured was a bear.
Over the course of the next two years, everyone under the age of twelve turned back into a human. “It was as if,” Goldie’s father, Cheff, told her, “there was a bear part of me, and a boy part of me, and the boy part wanted out so bad that the bear just couldn’t keep the body anymore. And it really hurt to change back, like we sort of… vibrated right out of our bear skins and back into our human ones. But only the children changed back.” Village elders, who (as bears) developed a sign language to communicate, hypothesized that the Jotuns had been experimenting with creating beastmen, but that it failed for some reason on the young. Perhaps because their bodies had so much growing to do, and didn’t know how to grow as bears. Cheff’s older brother, Sigmund, was trapped as a bear and eventually became the Headman of the village. His son, Scratch, was Goldie’s playmate.
After a few years in the village of Kittlebee, the people couldn’t survive up there anymore. There just wasn’t enough food to sustain the omnivorous bears, and no warriors to train the young humans in weaponry. As a group, the villagers changed their surnames to Kittlebee and moved to a new settlement. This one was far to the south, near Lovis. Over time, beastmen joined the community, and it became known as a tolerant haven in which beast people and humans could co-exist.
Goldie trained from a young age as a warrior, and when she was eight she also began to learn a special sort of magic. An old crow woman taught her how to share her magic with others, to make them stronger. She didn’t gain much from this, but it did make her very popular in hunting parties. Now, Goldie uses that talent to empower her fellow warriors. Things just seem to go better when she uses that magic.
At about 21 years, Goldie set out for her grand adventure. Her cousin Scratch wasn’t deemed ready by his magical tutors, so they bid farewell to one another as the girl headed south. Once she’d reached the Tagliari Pass, she wasn’t sure where to go. Her thought was to keep heading south into Vulcanica, but something made her wait for a few weeks in town. That instinct served her well, for two weeks after she arrived, a strange woman arrived and was seen ordering various supplies in huge quantities from the merchants. She was a curiously shaped person, and was obviously one of those Turathi devils that Goldie had heard about. How exciting! People around town were whispering about her, too, and calling her “Sissy” or something like that. How she could be everyone’s sister didn’t make any sense, but Goldie was never what you’d call a deep thinker.
One day, in the market, some ruffians decided to rob the demon lady, who was clearly rich with all the things she’d been ordering. Without thinking about it, Goldie leapt to defend the woman, flailing about with the flat of her axe blade and bruising more than a few heads. The woman wasn’t alarmed at the attack at all, and actually seemed amused that Goldie had thought she needed protection. She introduced herself as Cerlissa, and said that she was getting some supplies for her mountain home. She offered Goldie an employment contract (mostly working with her greathorses) in exchange for regular meals, lodging, and physicking if it were needed. Goldie happily signed her X on the line (for she couldn’t write or read), and was delighted when it magically made a longer word that Cerlissa said spelled out “Golden Locks Kittlebee.” Staring at the demon woman in awe, Goldie said, “You must have some powerful magic, Lady Cerlissa! I’ve never known someone who could write, or make other people write things!” She never could figure out why Cerlissa laughed hard enough that she caused all the merchants to make the sign against evil on their chests.