“I am the master of my own self.”
Nicknames/Titles: Mina, Malik
Date of Birth: The last day of Gai’s Seed (April 30)
Appearance: Mina is a Duslander with dark brown skin and short black hair. However, she has silver eyes instead of normal dark ones due to her Lunei heritage. At 5 ft 4in, Mina has a short and stocky build. She has a scar on her left cheek in the shape of a crescent moon. Mina typically wears boys clothes and likes to emulate Talin by wearing black leather armour and her purple sash.
Home: Khalbad, north-east Duslands in the Crystal Sands, and then later Arlent
Job Role: Street Rat turned Academy Student
Story Role: The main character of Sand Dancer. The story is told through her eyes!
Motivations: Honour is important to Mina. She grew up on the tales of Malik the Merciless and is inspired to follow his example; by becoming a hero who saves the day and helps the downtrodden. After spending time with the street rats of Khalbad, she saw for herself just how the poorest people of society were treated by the richest – the Housemen. Mina dislikes bullies and snobs and anyone who acts without honour. She values fairness and looks for a “cause” she can help.
Mina also has a strong need to prove herself, especially to her new adoptive family. She views Talin as a hero/mentor figure and tries to follow his brand of honour.
Though her main goal in life is to become a warrior like Malik the Merciless, she also wants revenge on her father’s killer – and after meeting him again, she realises that gaining revenge would be her way of helping the downtrodden and becoming the hero she always dreamed.
Personality: Mina has a fiery personality, and like most Sandarian, she’s passionate. She can be impulsive, reckless, and allow her temper to get the best of her. She is both emotional whilst also being reserved about her emotions. She doesn’t always understand her emotions and therefore struggles to control them, but she’s also a private person and hates sharing them with others. Sometimes she can be a bit uptight and struggles to relax. Exercising or sword dancing can help her calm down and focus her emotions.
She hates being controlled and values her freedom. She’s stubborn, and certainly wouldn’t listen to an opinion unless she respected the speaker. Often it’s her friends and family who need to reign her in.
Quirks: Mina has masculine mannerisms which she picked up from her life with the street rats, and from learning to disguise herself as a male. She feels more comfortable in male clothing but hasn’t yet stopped to think about what that means to her.
She has a bit of a temper and sometimes that will flare into fire magic. She uses sword dancing to help control her temper, and will also recite Talin’s mantra to herself as a reminder that she is in charge of her own emotions and destiny. She fully believes in Talin’s lessons; that she is the master of her own self and no one else can or should have power over her.
Due to her need for privacy, she can be paranoid about people watching her, and she is more cautious with her private life than she is in battle. For example, she’ll triple-check her doors are locked!
She’s a light sleeper and sneaks out at night to sword dance under the moon with Talin, or on her own.
She also hates fish and can’t stand being on a boat.
Abilities: Mins is a talented sword dancer. She was shown the initial techniques by her father Dustan, and then later developed these in late-night training sessions with Talin. To sword dance comes naturally to her. Talin and Iman tried to teach her the Solaran style of sword fighting, but she didn’t get much time to master this and struggles with the stances. She’s much happier dancing and uses her smaller size and stamina to her advantage.
Mina also has a few other secret abilities; she has blood fire and her blood sings to the shadows.
She has a good eye, keen observation skills, and loves to ride her horse which makes her a good scout, but she’s slow at picking up other skills such as archery. She’s not academically minded unless the subject interests her. Sitting still and studying is difficult for her, especially if it’s math!
Secrets: Mina is a woman of many secrets, and not just her male disguise or fire magic. She keeps her innermost thoughts and feelings private, including her desire to seek revenge for her father’s death. She feels guilty for keeping so many secrets, especially from her friends Alistar and Raj, but she sees such secrets as a necessary evil.
Though she won’t admit it out loud, she would love to explore more feminine hobbies but she worries it will make her look weak. She detests the thought of settling down and getting married or having children and does everything in her power to escape such a fate. Besides being a warrior, her dream is to explore the world and perform heroic deeds.
Family: Mina’s father Dustan is a Lunei who raised her as a single-dad on the streets of Khalbad. Though Mina resented her life of being poor and struggling for food, she never blamed it on Dustan; instead she blamed the Housemen. She always felt that their tribal blood made them destined for more, but she never met any other Lunei and relied on Dustan’s tales to learn more about them. They didn’t have an affectionate relationship, but instead supported each other to survive.
Mina was told that her mother was a Green Hand who died in childbirth. Dustan refused to say much more about her mother, deeming the conversation too painful to have, and the Green Hands of Khalbad didn’t have much to say about her either.
Later on, Mina is adopted into a new family who she comes to love and care for deeply. She views Talin as a mentor, and Iman as the aunt and mother figure she never had. Jonan is Jonan.
Mina also has a “pet” fennec fox called Fez. She refuses to call him a pet as she dislikes the thought of her being his master, and for him being owned by her, but Fez acts the role of pampered pet and she ends up chasing after him anyway.
Favourite Food: Cinnamon rolls
Favourite Colour: Purple (She dislikes red!)
Favourite Place: Arlent
Favourite Hobbies: Sword training, dancing, horse racing, and generally being active
Mina grew up on the streets of Khalbad, a poor fishing village in the Dusland desert. There she lived with her father in a wooden shack at the bottom of a pier beside the Giant Tail’s river. She spent her early years within Khalbad’s Temple of Gai as an orphaned baby whilst Dustan was called away to fight in the war before Mina was born. She doesn’t remember these years as Dustan returned back from the war to claim her. He discovered Mina’s mother had died giving birth to her, forcing the Green Hands to take her in as they do with all orphaned children. When Dustan returned to Khalbad, he argued with the Housemen for the right to raise her as her father. Since they both had the same rare silver eyes of the Lunei tribe, a colour no one else possessed, he was able to prove he was her father, though the Green Hand priests weren’t happy about handing Mina over; Dustan had received a war injury which made it impossible for him to work and provide for her.
Dustan used the last of his gold to buy a small fishing boat and supplies to allow them to fish on the river. Mina would help out, but after an incident where she fell off the boat and into the river, she refused to ever step foot in the boat again. The fish they caught wasn’t enough to feed them or provide gold, and during one summer their boat was destroyed in a storm. Dustan resorted to pick-pocketing and earned himself a reputation for being a thief and a drunkard. To help them out, he encouraged Mina to volunteer at the Temple of Gai where she cleaned out bed pans and prepared poultices in exchange for food and the odd gold coin. She hated this, and felt that her Lunei heritage meant she was destined for more.
Though Dustan liked to drink, he was a cheerful drunk and would regale Mina with tails of their Lunei heritage and heroes like Malik the Merciless. She begged him to train her to sword fight, and he did for a time, until she began to grow into a woman and he thought it was no longer appropriate.
However, this desire to learn the sword and become a hero only grew stronger as she aged…