The Many Forms and Faces of Cazella

The Many Forms and Faces of Cazella

Since I started posting the writing prompts I’ve been doing for fun and practice, I’ve tried to introduce all the main characters who appear in them. So far we’ve talked about Domerin, Rose and Zita, three of my oldest and most prominent characters. Another character that crops up quite often is Cazella (in fact she was the subject of the first prompt I posted).

Like many of the characters I’ve introduced so far, I created Cazella in high school (Domerin is actually the newest of the bunch). In fact I recall vividly the conversation that brought her to life. My husband had recently created a character for a forum. I read his description and mused that he sounded like the kind of man who would be followed by some sort of slave in chains. But Cazella wasn’t just some downtrodden sod he’d dragged off the street and forced to do his cooking and cleaning. No; she was clever and resourceful. She only played the role of beaten slave to fool the unwary into fulfilling her master’s desires.

As time went on, the relationship between Cazella and her master, known only as The Warden, changed. They fell in love, eventually married and had somewhere in the area of seven children. At least one of which eventually adopted a life of space piracy. (They were never exactly the ‘good guys’ to begin with.)

While many of the other characters I’ve introduced come from largely positive backgrounds and are working toward largely positive goals, Cazella’s history is somewhat darker. It has varied across her numerous incarnations, but usually involves abuse; often her father treated her as a commodity to be used or sold. And this after his abuse resulted in her mother’s death. Cazella has spent much of her life on the run, sometimes having to work the street corner in order to survive, and usually only so long as she can fly under the radar of those who believe they should be able to own her.

In her original incarnation, Cazella sold herself into slavery because she knew she was too weak to protect herself from the people who would use and abuse her. The laws of her people allowed a slave to have some say in who owned them (so long as she was involved with someone who acknowledged the rules – many simply ignored them) and she hoped to find someone powerful enough to protect her from the rest. Looking back, much of her original narrative probably wouldn’t translate well into a novel, despite my early convictions. But Cazella does have a story to tell, it’s simply a matter of finding which form it will take.

In fantasy settings, Cazella is of demonic descent, which accounts for her white skin, gold eyes and blue hair. In other settings, when Cazella is human, she’s albino but wears contacts and dyes her hair to make herself look more exotic (and also to make it easier to hide when she needs to run). It’s hard to pin down who Cazella really is, as she tends to shape herself to the person she is with, adjusting her personality, mode of conversation and even sometimes her opinion to match her company. She isn’t necessarily manipulative; making people like her has long been the only way to ensure her survival. Her truest passion is dance, most specifically ballet.

COMISSION__Waiting_by_grayscaled
(Art by Greyscaled)

Much of Cazella’s story, whatever form it eventually takes, revolves around her struggle to define and accept her own self-worth. She has spent so much of her life being used and manipulated, and allowing herself to seem docile and dominated in order to survive, that she has come to believe she really has no place, and no worth, in the world save for how she relates to others (another reason for her tendency to remake herself depending on who she’s interacting with). I don’t know yet whether I will use her original, demonic incarnation or one of her more human ones to tell her eventual story. For now she’s sort of in limbo, floating on the edge of a few worlds until I decide what to do with her. But she’s a joy to write, despite her dark past, and I’m looking forward to doing something more concrete with her in the future.

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