Land of Jynko
Irina Origin Story
You were born Irina Gertrude Blanderhoff Komarovskegba. You were born the 3rd child of 5, but the only daughter to your two loving parents in the Mazul community. Mazul is a large community of gnomes that live in the burrows inside the Muir woods in the human County of Galean.
Mazul is the largest gnome community in the Kingdom of Hollister and acts as the central hub of gnomish culture. There are 5 great merchant lords that represent the aristocratic elite, whose counsel leadership is tempered by the 3 Grand Maesters of Mazul that also run their workshop/laboratories out of the central district of Mazul. These 8 figure head families form the central core of Mazul. And their close proximity to each other create a central district buried in the earth, but the community of gnomes that support these families stretch far and wide. Greater Mazul is a network of tunnels and above ground hovels covering many miles of woods and subterranean high ways.
The Komarovskegba clan lives in one of the suburbs outside of the central district. The Komarovskegbas have deep roots in the Mazul community as they have been one of the chief mining labor families for generations. Your family is proud of the hard working tradition that they stand for.Your father, besides being an extremely popular crew leader amongst the miners and steam-fitters union, has been a voice for fair labor practices and regulated wages. A force to reckon with both inside the quarry shaft and at the negotiating table with the merchant lords, your father, Olaf Komarovskegba has always been larger than life. Living far enough out from the central district, he has always inspired a certain level of self-reliance amongst you and your siblings. Home burrow defense was one of the things that he drilled into you children at a young age, and you’ve been a crack shot with the family crossbows since you could lift the damn thing. You strived as a young girl to garner favor with your father, by being a crackshot during these practice sessions, while your brothers were goofing off and pranking each other. Your family did send you for schooling in the central district as they wanted you to get a good education. As the only daughter, your father wanted more for you then breaking rocks in the quarry. You never fully understood why. If it was good enough for your brothers, it was good enough for you. But you didn’t disobey his wishes, you hiked to central district for school every day for 20 years, from the age of 15 to 35. There was always a distance between you and the central district children. Most of their families were inventors, or artists; the middle class that was the support pillow around the “8 greats.” There was also the fact that you didn’t have any particular aptitude for arts or sciences. You were a fair student, but you weren’t especially talented in the sciences or arts, magical or otherwise. You were more at home, amongst your brothers deep in the caves, roughing it on excavation trips, or taking overnight camping trips to the forest to sleep under the stars. When it was obvious that you weren’t destined for higher education even with one of the minor Maesters, you began to work part time with the family in the mines. You learned the operations of a mine from top to bottom; the accounting, and logistics as well as the actual rock breaking. Your mother who worked in quality mineral control tried to get you to work with her in the office, but you were happier out on the floor amongst the others. Sitting in the office felt too much like school. Your family made one last effort to try and elevate you out of the mines. Just as you were entering adulthood at the bright young age of 40 the family decided that it was in everyone’s interest to marry you off. Your mother had been working with a match-maker who had arranged to have you court a son of a reasonably well off family in the central district: one Nikolas Spanderbliff. He was the third son, and was making his living as a tunnel guide, but everyone knew that eventually he would join the family business of brandy making which was a profitable venture in Mazul. You did as asked, put on the fancy clothes required of you, and attended the social engagements, despite the fact that you felt incredibly awkward at them, and didn’t really know how to act. It didn’t help that Nikolas didn’t seem to know how to act around you either. When you saw him from a far, he was the life of the party, a deep laugher who could hold a conversation with anyone, but as soon as the two of you were together he clammed up. You awkwardly courted Nikolas for 6 months. At the end of that time, he confessed that he was going to have to break off the engagement as he was planning on leaving Mazul to expand his families trade network. It was obvious that the two of you had never quite hit it off, but you were mostly embarrassed. You knew your family would be disappointed, and you wondered about yourself and what you had done to drive off this potential suitor. You had liked Nikolas, enjoyed his company, and were frustrated that he was always so awkward and uptight around. After the engagement was broken off, you threw yourself wholly into the work at the mines. You worked there for 2 more years. You had always been a pretty good worker, it was in your blood, but what you excelled at in the mine was keeping everyone working, knowing who was slacking, who was hung over, and settling disputes between the other miners. You had a good ear to hear people, and understood the workers, and their frustrations and motivations. They also listened to you when you talked. In this way you took after your father. You were never one to start the arguments amongst the workers, but you were certainly the one to finish them. It looked like you were on your way to become some sort of forman or floor boss. Until one day “the Grey Badger” came looking for you. Dmitri Vangleheim, or the “Grey Badger” was a warden. Warden is a difficult job to describe. The gnomish community is very much self regulated as far the rule of law is concerned. Even their military as sparse as it is,,isn’t very heavily regulated, and looks more like a militia. Warden’s are equal part park ranger, and small town police. There is no formal office that they answer to besides each other. There is no paperwork to file. There are maybe 20 of them for the entire greater Mazul area. They are responsible for the policing of their district both from exterior threats as well as internal struggles. The Grey Badger was by far one of the best known and well liked. He had also been doing the job for longer than most people remembered. Whenever you ask him how long he has been doing this he laughs and tells you, “longer than you’ve been alive.” From what you’ve been able to piece together it’s well over 200 years. The Grey Badger came into the mine one day and offered you a job. He said that one of the Warden’s was retiring their post to take over a mushroom farm out in the Trozneck district and that his post would need to be filled. You had shown up on his radar when you had had to call him in to incarcerate one of the workers who had stolen from the company till a few months earlier. You had sorted the whole mess out before the Grey Badger had arrived and had even subdued the idiot in your office. The cool headed way that you handled the situation and the respect that the had garnered amongst your fellow workers by being a straight shooter and no nonsense were all the traits that the Grey Badger was looking for in a new recruit. For the next year, you followed the Grey Badger and the two of you wardened over both his sector as well as the sector that would become yours. You were no stranger to living outside of the warmth of a family den, but he taught you all the tricks of the trade of being one with the tunnels. You learned to pass freely not just through the main underground highways but all the nooks and crannies of the underground that were part of your new district. He also made you closer to the forest above, which was yours to patrol. There were fewer gnomes, on the surface, but they were still part of your community and needed checking in on. He was very impressed at how good you were with the crossbow already and told you he had little to teach you in that sense. Over your year with him, you met all the family’s and became acquainted with all the business that were run out of your district; the various mushroom farmers, miners, and craftsmen who were more interested in a quite place to work rather than proximity to the bustle of the central district. They were pleasant enough, folks similar to your clan and you understood their way of life: gnomes that lived far enough away from the big city to be a little more on edge about strangers, a little less free with a laugh and a joke. You ingratiated yourself to them quickly. The district that you were inheriting was far from your family home and mine, a two-day travel easily. At first it worried you to be so far from home, but you liked the work and found that the solitude that the job provided was very refreshing. You have been the warden of Cherozni district now for 27 years by yourself. You know this land like the back of your hand both above ground and under. You spend your days traveling the land, making sure the traffic is normal and all is well. When you first started the job, things were generally pretty calm, just the occasional dispute between neighbors to solve or a stray monitor lizard that wandered into some gnomes property. But in the last 15 years the territory has started to get a little more tense. Kobolds have been spotted in all of the border districts of Mazul. The Grey Badger warns that “a fire is rising.” The details aren’t certain but there is certainly gossip amongst the farm folks that a foul wind is brewing underground of Muir woods. Anxiety is getting higher and you can feel it in the still air of the tunnels. Either that, or you are finally getting old enough to tell, it’s hard to say. You’ve chased off or killed more than your share of kobold sneak thieves and intruders in the past, and tracked larger patrols of them long enough to send word to the milita. Your not a soldier, you would never engage large groups of them yourself, that’s what the militia is for. But this is your district, these are your people and you will use your means to defend it.