|The Grey Tower
For 32 years Minako has wondered about her heritage, who her parents were and where they came from. She lived with an old Shienaran soldier until the age of fifteen when he was tragically lost in a blizzard. Minako has raven black hair which ends roughly below her ears and has a fringe which very nearly hides her icy-blue eyes. She is fair to gaze upon, though she doesn't think highly of herself, be it on the outside or on the inside. Her lips are small and rosebud shaped, but she never allows herself to smile.
Years of grief have left their mark on the beautiful woman, scars, a face that never smiles and a voice that is rarely heard. One scar starts at her right temple and goes all the way to her cheek; another is just above her left eyebrow. Several other similar scars appear all over her body, but her facial scars are the only ones that are always visible.
At 5'1, Minako is a very short woman. Her body is heavy with muscles, but despite this, she moves with a feline grace. As a person Minako is about as joyful and as high-spirited as a block of ice. And though she seems introverted and aloof most of the time she is a good listener and always has a look in her cold eyes that says she knows something you do not.
On the few occasions when she speaks it is likelier that she does so at her own assent, and not because she was asked to. Thus, it is rather hard to get any kind of answer out of the woman since she will only answer if she feels it's necessary. However, the answers she does give are often questions of her own (that are sometimes impolitely personal) or vaguely rude comments.
But do not mistake Minako as a disrespectful person, she will give respect to those that deserve it and she does not speak in an openly impolite way; her evil words are never bluntly outspoken but always woven into a complex sentence. All in all, it is important for Minako to show that none of her actions are taken because someone told her to do so.
The heat from the fireplace lay thick in the air of the small smithy. Minako stared intently into the flames, her calloused hands hidden in a thick glove that was tightly closed around the black iron bar that stuck out between the dancing blue flames and the red and orange coal. In her other hand she was loosely holding a heavy hammer, ready to strike against the anvil.
Her lips were pursed into a thin line as she patiently waited for the iron bar to heat up, her eyes ready for any sign that alerted her that the iron was turning white. Then all her work could be ruined as the iron would most certainly melt, albeit in a beautiful shower of burning sparks.
-…16, 17, 18, 19, 20! With a jerk she drew out the bar from the flames and casually moved over to the anvil, her eyes resting on the yellow metal for a few seconds before striking it with the hammer. The sound of the hammer against the iron rung almost painfully in her ears, warning her that it was thinning out too much. The feel as she forged comprehended with the warning as the hammer begun ricocheting in a way that made her bones tremble and ache.
Just a little more. With the last strike the metal darkened into deep red once more and Minako watched the oncoming candlestick with a blank expression before thrusting it aside on her working table.
The hammer thumped violently beside the iron bar and with a tug she pulled off her glove and ran one hand through her sweaty black hair. The two other smiths glanced once at her and gave her each a polite nod. No words were uttered as Minako left the smithy, her naked sweaty lower-arms displaying several small burns caused by flying sparks. The freezing wind caught her as the woman opened the door, closing it quickly behind her before too much snow swirled into the smithy. Moaning the wind tore at her, the pain comparable to a thousand sharp daggers stabbing into her skin and flesh. Minako wrapped her arms around her and put her hands as far as they would go into her armpits before quickly walking over the street.
The fortress' banners fluttered violently in the storm, the Black Hawk hardly visible in the mass of thick white snowflakes that crashed mercilessly down at the city and the people below. The sky looked white only because the darkness was obscured by the snow, and somewhere between the blinding white shone a full moon, a silver sphere hanging adamant against the blizzard.
Minako reached out towards a door and pushed it open with one last glance at the fluttering banners. With a groan she closed the door against the wind and wiped away cold sweat from her forehead. The house was warm and just a little bit smoky, somewhere deeper inside she heard footsteps. Boots against the floor.
"Who's there?" She called in a dark voice, her hand on the dagger on her belt. There was movement in the far end of the house and the familiar face of Chaena. The Shienaran soldier gave her an unreadable look, almost as though he had recognized an old friend. Minako made nothing out his glance; she had met the man hundreds of times. "Heikanu and Karnem are dead."
The Trolloc fell with a bestial scream, blood flying in every direction. Minako stared coldly as it fell to the ground, the dagger in her hand streaming with the red substance that had coloured the woman's very skin into the shade of rubies. Pain seared through her leg but she remained standing, her teeth tightly clenched as she struggled against the throbbing agony in her leg. Anger pulsated through her every vein, anger and hate as she bent over the vile creature and stuck out its eyes, her face as emotionless as a rock.
The Trollocs had taken Karnem and Heikanu two years earlier. Karnem, her best friend. He had saved her on countless occasions when they had traveled the Blight and killed shadowspan with Dilk, Keiko and Heikanu. Dilk had been one of the best archers this world had ever seen, he had been killed by a bear four years earlier; his faithful hunting dog had gone along with him. Keiko, a woman with the tongue of a Tanchican rogue had gone through the ice a few months before Dilk's death. She had had a great sense of humour and Minako had yet to find someone as skilled with an axe as she.
And Heikanu, he had been with Karnem that horrible night. They had been ambushed by Trollocs out in the mountains. Karnem's severed body had been all over the area, but only Heikanu's sword and boot had been found. The Trollocs had taken him with them, and everyone in the Borderlands knew what Trollocs did with when they caught people. Heikanu had been the kindest man she had ever met, and he would have been her husband if the Trollocs had not taken him.
And so, Minako had spent the two years after their death killing every Trolloc she could get her hands on, vowing that all would be killed until she found one sign of Heikanu's death. She would not rest until she saw just one thing that told her what had happened to her betrothed. The dark sky of the Blight stared back at her as she cried out like a wounded wolf, blood running down her mouth. The bloody Trolloc had managed to scratch her with its sword. Damn.
Without warning the world suddenly swerved as though someone had hit Minako in the head with a hammer. Her leg was throbbing even worse and she had the most peculiar taste in her mouth. Staggering the woman fell on her knees, her mouth wide-open as she struggled for breath, panting and convulsing as her lungs emptied of air. Darkness fell before her eyes and with a relieved sigh Minako fell limply to the ground, a small smile of relief touching her lips.
When Minako stood on the brink of death an Aes Sedai named Felora Taioro found her and with the means of a gateway Minako was brought back to the Tower to be Healed.