Character Notes for Mariah Larke

Hooks and Info

  • Mariah's former occupation put her in contact with many people. Man or woman, some out there in Dornie have partaken of the trade and are likely to know her through that connection. Let me know if you want to have been a client. Or if you want to be disapproving! There's plenty of that, too, especially now that she's quit to pursue less ignoble ambitions.
  • Her family were up and coming merchants who were murdered by bandits on a supply run. She's kept in contact with her father's contacts, as many of them that would still talk to her after. Also, it was a fairly public business just a few years ago (130) when they died and she took up with the Dovetail, so it's likely people who lived in town at the time know the story and her by association. (While no one really knows what day they died on, Mariah treats the day they left on their trip, March 2nd, as an anniversary. There's a burial date, but as she wasn't there, she doesn't tend to mention that one.)
  • Some Like It Hot is her favorite movie. Those closest to her know she takes a lot of inspiration from Marilyn.
  • But, she's also an avid reader, so those with books, willing to lend or sell or trade books, probably know her well enough.
  • Her birthday is May 29th. (Mostly noted for myself because I will totally forget, but if you've a character that cares! There it is.)
  • For other girls and those who dig for gossip around the Dovetail: When Mariah still worked there, she was known to take on rougher customers and was a favorite among soldiers and sailors until just before she retired. Rumors of her turning away the soldiers spread, and that there have been several of the militia unhappy with her seems to lend credibility to it. The girls of the Dovetail know that in those weeks before she left, she had a certain stablehand to her rooms far more often than he would be able to pay for.
  • She quit the Dovetail in late May of 135, when she was offered an apprenticeship by Sorcha at her seamstressing shop. It took her a bit to decide, but ultimately, she took the offer, often citing that it was a chance to leave the Dovetail on a high note, instead of lingering there until her looks went and she fell out of favor. Whether this is the real reason or a cover is anyone's guess.
  • Even after quitting, though, she can still be seen around the cottage, coming to visit the girls there and even sometimes supporting the ones she likes the most by purchasing an hour or so to use for socializing and catching up on the gossip. She left, but didn't leave them behind.
  • Now she rents the top floor of a small home in town with Cas and is seen far more often around the town. They keep the room in exchange for housekeeping, running errands, fixing up the place and generally looking after the elderly couple that live there. Barbara and Ernie McKay, the former of which is known for her quilts and the latter as a retired gardener-turned-fisherman. Although, they do still keep lovely plants.

Skills

  • Business: She was once learning the merchant trade from her family, things like… spotting a pliable mark, negotiation, salesmanship, all just part of the lessons. She isn’t a merchant now, but she’s carried what she learned to her years of prostitution and beyond them as well. So not only is she good at the hands on part of her various jobs (past and present), but she’s a decent businesswoman as well.
  • Contacts: Another thing she carried over from her former life, Mariah made contacts through the clients and vendors her family interacted with. Not only did she carry over some when she took up at the Dovetail, but she gathered a much wider sampling of contacts. They like her, she likes them and most are more comfortable with a public business relationship now that she's moved on from the House.
  • Horse Riding/Carriage Driving: She’s had practice at both. Her father made sure she knew how to ride and how to handle any carts or carriages they might be driving back and forth.
  • Languages: Her mother taught the children how to read and write, as well as dipping into other languages. Mariah didn’t take to many, but she has a soft spot for French and dove into learning as much of the language as her mother would teach her.
  • Herbology: One thing she particularly liked about her merchant life was a general knowledge of what sort of things people really wanted. She paid close attention to what herbs and plants people asked for or bought and eventually began studying what was what in the plant world. As well as what sort of concoctions can be made. It’s a rough knowledge, but she knows some homeopathic type cures for common symptoms. But after her family was killed, she started looking into more sinister uses. Like poisons.
  • Seamstressing: A skill she is learning under Sorcha's tutelage while she works at Pins & Needles in town.

Relationships

  • Algernon: For all that he's quite terse, Mariah finds herself liking him all the same. As far as militiamen go, she ranks him higher than most in her own estimation. Even with the mystery that surrounds him, it doesn't seem to have caused her to think him any less a gentleman or decent fellow all around. But he does make her curious.
  • Beisdean: While the pair knew one another when they were younger, Mariah is keenly aware that she was something of a brat in those days, and in trusting her younger self's judgement not a bit, opted for a fresh slate with him coming back into town. She finds his wit both challenging and refreshing and fell into friendship much easier this time around. He's obviously handsome and charming, if troubled, but her flirtations with him have always been just part of the fun. Of course, the fun seemed to cut off when he found out she'd been keeping her magic a secret from him, which lead into a fight between the two. Given that he left town just after, sorting things out seems a bit beyond them at the moment.
  • Cas: Possibly her favorite client from the moment she met him, Mariah finds Cas endearing and adorable and he is one of the few customers she genuinely looked forward to spending time with. He is the cutest cutie to ever cute. At least in her book. It took a rather unfortunate and upsetting incident for her to notice that she feels more than simple affection for him, and nearly losing him made her realize there may be more to life than just survival. Or given her a new theory on what 'survival' entails. Even Mariah's familiar seems to like him, going so far as taking a special form solely for the stablehand's company and taking to watching over him along with Mariah. She isn't seen without the necklace and pendant he gave her, even when she still worked at the Dovetail. It is possible her feelings for him made her job slowly more difficult for her to perform. Lately he did this thing, where he told her he just might love her and then got himself dragged off by magical beasties. It wasn't the most ideal moment of declaration, but it left her plenty of time to think about it while she worried over him. She might not say exactly what she feels about him, but she has to admit to herself that she was never happier than when she saw him alive after all that and outside her door. She hasn't brought up that moment to him just yet, but still asked him to move in with her when she left the Dovetail.
  • Duncan: Oddly enough, as much as she used to service the servicemen, the leader of the militia was not among her clientele. However, after a chance encounter, she has a (tentatively) good opinion of him, finding him good company, entertaining conversationalist, and generous drinking partner. That he seems to be taking Luna away from the Dovetail sits as a knot in the back of her mind, as after the death of Slàinte Skye, Luna was her one friend in the house. She finds Duncan responsible for that lack, but isn't necessarily holding a grudge. Especially when she left the house as well.
  • Jain: One of her regulars and the first client she ever had. At least as far as prostitution goes. She finds him odd and blunt, but his willingness to take care of the house put him in her good graces for many years. The other girls wonder about how she can stand it, since the rumors are that he's one of the rough customers, but whatever she feels about it, she doesn't explain herself. And she doesn't tell them what he's like behind the closed doors. It's only been recently, when he's been cruel to people she actually cares for, that her opinion of him has started to change.
  • Jørn: Unexpectedly, Mariah has found the bear-man easy to talk to and a fairly good listener as well. It may help that he already knew enough about her situation than she didn't feel the necessity of being secretive, but she has been grateful for his ear to bend. And he seems to be a good friend to Cas, and all things considered, she appreciates that there's someone looking out for him.
  • Luna: A friend from her youth who she was glad to find already working at the Dovetail when she joined up. She knows Luna's… quirks and Luna knows hers, but they get along anyway. She tends not to advise anyone else on how to get her to stop bullying them; it's their own problem. When Luna announced an intention to leave the Dovetail, it hit Mariah a little harder than she expected it to, as well as putting the thought in her mind to worm around that there may be some worth to ambitions beyond the whorehouse.
  • Niall: Mariah's favorite blacksmith. She likes him! If she weren't in the business, she suspects he'd be a decent friend to have. As it is, she likes to play her games around him, since he's always so appreciative and plays along well enough. He's strong, and often sweaty and dirty. What? He makes it look good. He's one of the few customers she has who she's frank to about payment arrangements without dancing around the matter. She might be a little worried about what turn their friendship will take now that she's not a lady of the evening, but playing it by ear for now.
  • Sorcha: The woman who offered her a way out. Mariah had long been thinking about what was to come after the Dovetail, and if there could even be an after for a woman with no family, no property and not much wealth either. She had always assumed the various jobs around Dornie wouldn't want to be dirtied with an ex-prostitute manning their stalls, and was far too reluctant to settle for the factory for work, so lingered at the Dovetail even as her satisfaction for the job waned. But it was a moment's kindness from the town seamstress that changed everything. Sorcha gave her a respectable job and took her under her wing to teach her a useful skill. It would be a lie to say she wasn't afraid when she retired from the Dovetail and struck out into a new life, but she will always be grateful for the woman who took her hand to lead her that way.

Inspiration

"There were always in me, two women at least, one woman desperate and bewildered, who felt she was drowning and another who would leap into a scene, as upon a stage, conceal her true emotions because they were weaknesses, helplessness, despair, and present to the world only a smile, an eagerness, curiosity, enthusiasm, interest."
— Anaïs Nin

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Gallery

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