Name - Vasilisa, the Beautiful
Meaning - "Queen"
Species - Siberian Flying Squirrel
Gender - Female
Relationship Status - Single as a leaf in the wind(Better sweep her off her feet before someone else does!)
Vasilisa was a one in a hundred child. Born in the early winter, her parents were true-blooded humans. Her birth was, to little surprise, a great shock to her parents, who promptly decided- living in the wilds of Russia- they had been cursed by Baba Yaga, the witch in the wood. It was lucky for Vasilisa that her parents decided that simply killing their child, or leaving her to starve and freeze in the snow, was too much of a risk to take. It might have angered Baba Yaga, who surely cursed them to carry her familiar to term, and so in the dead of night they traveled deep into the wood where the woman who preyed on their village lived- to the house of Baba Yaga herself- and left the newborn Beeguh there, to rid themselves of their curse and appease the witch who laid it.
The woman who raised her wasn't truly Baba Yaga, of course- she was an old goat beeguh, too old and frail to care for herself properly anymore, and in lieu of any family to care for her, she had settled into a routine of convincing the locals she was the old witch and goddess of legend.... It worked well, when you acted well. The pair had everything they needed, and Baba took care of her young Vasilisa near well as she possibly could, for all her roughness and tough love.
Vasilisa was happy, too- allowed her freedom from the day she could glide ten feet in a single bound, and since that day she was near unmanageable. Not that her Baba would try to manage the young thing, regardless. It was important for a young woman to stretch her wings without clipping, provided she followed rules, and Vasilisa was quite possibly the perfect child. Perhaps life was a bit lonesome- as was a given, living alone in the woods with none but a grumpy old witch for company- but perfect nonetheless. What child could complain when they had anything they could ever think to ask for?
At least, this was life until her eighteenth year. Gifted a lovely hand-woven coat- for, Baba was careful to note, a special sect of humans put a great amount of stock in cloaks, and taking the care to weave it just so, with the proper care and attention, for protection and guidance- and her hat, and sent her young squirrel child out into the world, alone. She had had her chance to make her fortune, and it was Vasilisa's turn- as much as it broke the old beeguh's heart, it was no life for a young woman, sitting and vegetating with an old woman, alone for the rest of her days.
And make her fortune she did. Vasilisa flew across the frozen landscape when the white horseman rode, and when the black horseman took his place, she recited stories to the stars of all the wondrous places Baba Yaga had told her of, places where sand stretched like stone and great tombs were erected- places with animals taller than the very trees.... Places that were ruled by water rather than land, foul and undrinkable and hiding unspeakable horrors in its depths.
What she found, however, was much more exciting.
Vasilisa was far, far from home when she found another of her own kind. She'd long since learned and accepted that Beeguh were a rarity in the world- and didn't rightly expect to find another until she herself was an old, wrinkled crone like Baba Yaga. That she didn't have to wait near so long to find one of her kind- better yet, her own age!- was a minor miracle in and of itself... Unfortunately, had there been any confusion into what his captors planned for the poor stag, it was not confused for long. Luckily for Cernos, the stag, squirrels were small... And the flying variety were quick.
With the story of a grand rescue and escape under her belt, Vasilisa was content to tag along with Cernos where he might wander- he certainly wasn't going back to where Baba Yaga remained, and that was good enough for her- longer legs made for faster travel, arguably, and her eyes in the sky steered them clear of most danger. Most, that is, until Vasilisa grew overconfident.
She'd never been captured like her friend- never grew a healthy respect for caution, either, as Cernos shied from sharing his own experiences and Baba Yaga always stressed that cleverness and cunning would always win the day, no matter the odds. With such a naive, headstrong view, it was little wonder that Vasilisa was caught by a poacher rather easily- it is not hard to outwit ego.
And so, Vasilisa was trapped in the dark, in a cage.... Left with the hope that her friend would come to return the favor, jumping each time the door opened- only to reveal the poacher who captured her. Oh, she was troublesome enough- bit fingers when she could, spewed Russian curses, never let the fire or the hope die, not to the very end... And kept telling herself Baba Yaga's stories of courage, wit and adventure, until the day Jackenote came.
It was the first time she saw a true 'folk hero' in action, though in truth... she was swept up in such a hurry that she barely remembers more than the blur of it all.... Still, there was no mistaking it. Her rescuer wasn't her friend Cernos, but instead, this capable jackelope... And she's been enraptured ever since, though the standoffish thing only checked in to make sure her recovery went well, since only Boursin spoke either of her languages, and was able to discuss with her.
The camp was a safe place to make home- at least for now- that much was certain, but her work was hardly done... As soon as she was well enough to walk on her own, she set out. Home simple would not be home without a familiar pair of antlers....
Yeah.... Friends only, I suppose...