Early Life Edit
Morovin was born to a family of peasants on Del'Mar, one of the outlying Fialta worlds. Her childhood was that of a peasant — she lived in isolation with her family and rarely talked to much of anyone. Unusually tall and strong even in her childhood, she found herself well enough suited to the quiet life of a farmer.
One day, however, she returned from a brief journey to find that a band of Fialta mercenaries were lounging around her porch. Her male family members hung from the great oak tree, the female ones she preferred not to look at. Realizing that she too was in danger, she fell back on her Fialta instincts. She shouted, the mercenaries raising their weapons, challenging the leader of the mercenaries to a duel. As she emerged from the bushes, unarmored and unarmed, a large woman, but still a woman, the mercenary leader decided that he would prove his manhood and wrestle with this woman, defeating her in the most humiliating way possible.
Unfortunately for this captain's libido, and for his life, Morovin overpowered him with ease. With a swift knee to the groin and a boot to the head, she sent the lecherous mercenary to a place where he would no longer be a threat.
Taken completely off guard, the remainder of the mercenaries dazedly accepted when she asked them to train her as a warrior. Morovin quickly proved herself a worthy companion and incredible fighter. With her strength and rapidly growing sword-skill, she claimed the falchion of the mercenary whom she had slain and wielded it to deadly effect. She became renowned as the captain's executioner, the woman who appeared as if the shadow of Zulkir himself reached out to the tents of the disloyal and the inconvenient. She always slept alone, and though a few fools challenged her in anger, or attempted an assassination, none lived to regret their mistake.
Meeting the Professor Edit
For five years this continued, until one fateful meeting changed her course. She had been deployed in one of the many inter-Fialta struggles, one not unlike the war which had claimed the lives of her family. Morovin, as usual, kept to herself and had taken up residence in a small cabin far from the front lines. She was on leave there from her mercenary company, the Alexandros Brigade, when a strange man staggered, badly wounded, into her home. Against every instinct she had ground into her, she took him in and laid him out on her bed. He was practically defenseless, she told herself. Maybe he could be useful as a prisoner. As she fed, cleaned, and bandaged him, he began to deliriously say things that didn't make any sense. Names, odds, gambling winnings, a jumbled mess of his previous lives came out. He made promises of weapons, of stunning success, of glory. Most frequently, he made a repeated wish that he could see “Molly” again. Palia noted these things down and considered herself vindicated.
As she sat beside this curious man, she felt strange notions returning to her. The last five years had been ones of murder, of cold-blooded slaughter, of sitting alone surrounded by corpses. But as she looked at this man, handsome now that he was no longer bloody, something in her was rekindled. Though she had killed every man who had entered her den since she took up the sword, this one, she felt, might be worth keeping, worth bringing back. And she felt a little bit of her humanity returning to her, a little bit of emotion, as a day, then two, then three passed.
When he finally awoke, the man introduced himself as Eddie Irving, a professor of business management from the Texas Agricultural and Mining University. Supposedly, he was caught in a skirmish while observing one of the mercenary companies. Morovin, having mostly reconstructed his real line of business from his fevered musings, laughed at him and asked whether he had learned much about selling weapons in school. “Irving,” deciding to take a gamble, admitted to her his true intentions. He told her that he was being paid a hefty price not only to supply her mercenary companions, but to supply them with faulty equipment, things which will fail them in a crucial operation and lead to their deaths.
It was not an uninformed gamble — he had learned many things about Morovin from a mixture of rumor and personal questioning: She was standoffish with her fellow mercenaries. She had a history of murdering members of her company. And most importantly, she had kept track of members of the company who had participated in the rape and murder of her family. There were quite a number of them — an entire platoon. And he noticed something rather interesting about their fates when he glanced through the company's logbook, something that defied random chance. About a third of the original perpetrators were still a part of the company. Of the other two thirds, there was the usual smattering of combat deaths, retirements, and transfers. But a far larger proportion of them than was reasonable had been reported as “disciplinary discharge.” A little bit of poking around revealed almost immediately that this was a euphemism for execution, usually for suspected disloyalty. A disproportionate number of the “disciplinary discharges” had been from that specific platoon. And practically all of those executions had been carried out one Palia Morovin. It did not take a great leap of logic to connect these things together. Perhaps as a favor to her for her loyalty, perhaps because each successive captain really didn't care, they had allowed her to use the charge of disloyalty to begin cleaning house.
So Irving made Palia a promise. If she would help him, he would use his influence to make sure that her family's killers would all suffer the same unfortunate fate. It took her five years to kill less than half of them, and some had slipped beyond her reach in that time. The last remaining among them could die within the span of five minutes.
Surprised for a moment that this seemingly random stranger knew so much about her, but sensing that he was deadly serious, she agreed. And as she tended to him, she found herself more and more, well, charmed. It was as if that teenage farmgirl who she had thought long dead had merely been sleeping off a heady night at a festival. Here, far from the fighting, far from her past, it felt like she could at last be free of death and fear and sorrow.
They talked for hours, through the day and into the night. Knowing how much at her mercy he was, yet finding that irresistibly alluring, Irving used all his wits and talents to seduce this young woman. But, the more he found out about her, the more he began to feel for Palia Morovin. As he had with Molly before her, he saw in her a woman who had suffered greatly, yet was strong enough to bear the pain without it crushing her completely. He admired that quality in people, and, knowing her skill, found that he not only wanted her, but he needed her to stay with him.
About a day later, several of Morovin's own company arrived, claiming that they were pursuing the arms dealer. Was the man sleeping in her bed worth killing three men for? The answer came as the swipe of her falchion parted these men's backs more cleanly than any sea that Moses touched. She had spilled blood for this “professor.” But already she felt different. Now she had not killed for vengeance. She killed for a man she had given her loyalty. Simple as it might seem to most, to the uneducated peasant girl thrust into war, this was a great revelation.
Seeing the blood on her hands, the Professor felt a little ashamed of himself. How mistreated this woman must truly be to dedicate herself to him so quickly. He did his best to fill Palia with the wonder for the cosmos that she had been missing. He told tales which he had gathered on his journeys, described the vast array of strange creatures and people whom he had met, and recounted his own adventures (which, Morovin later noted, were the least aggrandized of all his stories).
It was not long after "Eddie" was recovered enough to be moving about on his own that Morovin, in the grand Fialta tradition of women making the first move, giddily slipped into his bed. Though by all accounts physically mismatched, she enjoyed the experience enough to repeat it. Multiple times.
Revenge, At Last Edit
A week later, reality returned once again. The Alexandros' Captain, Theobold Arras, arrived, with Molly in tow. He was rather impatient about the weapons he was going to receive — his timetable had been moved up by over a week and he needed the weapons now. Eddie seemed rather pleased with this development and hopped right in the captain's staff car to drive all the way to his supplier to rush the (defective) explosives, heavy weaponry, and especially the flamethrowers to the regiment.
Patsy, settling very nicely into her new role as bodyguard, rode on the back of the car with her feet on the seats, her staunch legs shielding the professor on either side. Her hands itched at the handle of her falchion. But she trusted that her revenge would come soon, as they picked up the weapons and headed back into camp.
Molly, of course, had been shooting needles at Palia every time their eyes met until the Professor took her aside and explained things to her. She didn't necessarily like it, but he convinced her to at least try to get along. So, Molly visited Patsy that night to see if they could work out their differences. The Professor had promised to spend the night with Molly to make it up to her, but strangely he found himself drifting off to sleep alone. He awoke in the morning to the sight of both women sitting beside him. When he asked what the matter was, the only response was a conspiratorial glance from one woman to the other and two pairs of hands dragging him from the bed.
A week later, the Alexandrians launched their attack. First, the sappers went forward under heavy fire. They reached the walls of the fortifications and set their dynamite. But alas, to their horror, the sappers found that their dynamite was worse than a dud – instead of sending the fortifications sky high, they merely lit the entire area on fire, dousing the sappers in napalm and letting out a large fiery cloud, but not significantly damaging the field works.
Then the mercenary pioneers attacked, but their flamethrowers also exploded in all directions, quickly killing them and their nearby comrades. With a sickening cry, their enemies fell upon the remains of the Alexandros Brigade in a furious counter-charge. The mercenaries' machineguns jammed, their rounds went astray or failed to penetrate their enemy's armor, and the ensuing melee was a horrifying slaughter.
As this was happening, Palia made her way to complete her revenge. Theobold and his staff were going crazy trying to figure out what had just happened. In the confusion, they were not prepared for this sword wielding demon to barge into their headquarters and begin dicing the occupants into fine pieces. Meanwhile, the Professor had a little chat with the quartermaster, and he and Molly absconded neatly with the company's entire treasury and this month's payroll. Near death experiences aside, this trip had been extremely profitable for the Professor, who was paid quite handily by the opposing Menaleans in addition to his arms profits and the stolen treasury. Naturally, he invited Patsy to join him on his next escapade, Their next destination: A city on the relatively minor planet of Genoa, one where the mafia held a strong sway, ripe for a good, old-fashioned turf war.
On Genoa Edit
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Later Life Edit
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Palia was a strong and silent woman, fierce and very proud of her Fialta lineage. She killed many men without a shred of remorse, both in the service of her own revenge and in the defense of the Professor. Though much of her empathy was beaten out of her as a young woman, Palia loved both Molly and The Professor dearly, as she did her children by him.
Her relationship with Molly was initially fraught - Palia's first instinct was to jealously hoard the Professor to herself. However, once she got to know her, Patsy decided that she liked Molly's irrepressible spunk and grew quickly to like having a 'girlfriend' to confide in - it also helped that they had come out of similarly adverse circumstances into their life of crime.
By her later years, Palia had regained some sense of humanity - enough to take a kind of motherly liking to Phil DeVille when she met him on Genoa. Though he was also cruelly taken from her, it put in her mind the possibility of raising a family - she was the first of the three to bring up the possibility of retiring from their life of crime to do so. She enjoyed her relationship with her children, and taught them well in the spirit and skills of a Fialta warrior; even when they died, as she knew they might, she did as the Fialta always did for those who died in battle - added them to the family plinth and carried their names with her for the rest of her days.
- ↑ Such was the key to the Professor's success: Despite his pathological lying, he could be honest to a fault if it were something important to him. To those whom he trusted and relied upon the most, he would never lie, and he would carry out their wishes as best as he could. Only Patsy and Molly ever knew the Professor's true nature; they never told anyone.
- ↑ The Professor always felt a bit ashamed about his near automatic habit of seducing women, especially powerful ones; he often apologized profusely to Patsy and Molly afterwords. Like many outwardly confident people, the Professor was a very insecure man, perpetually afraid that the women whom he relied on and could genuinely say that he loved would finally leave him for his transgressions. Emotionally, he never quite allowed himself to realize that he had bonded these two women to him far more powerfully than his womanizing could break. He told them the truth. That was all they needed to see where his true loyalties lay.
- ↑ The Professor never found out what exactly had happened that night, though he tried many times to get the girls to confess. That same conspiratorial look rebuffed every attempt, leaving the dirtier parts of his imagination to wonder at how those women managed to bond so damn quickly.
- ↑ Most Fialta Clans are named after their (often mythic) progenitor – the oldest come from the age of Dres'Fialt himself. His descendants are the "Fialta" clan, leading to some confusion among those attempting to learn of Fialta culture. New clans are created on a quite regular basis, compounding the problem. Members of all clans are often named after their clan's ancestor or some variation thereof.