|Portrayed by||Ruby Rose|
|Affiliation||The Grey Tower|
Paks carries herself with pride, almost never without a mischievous smirk and sparkle in her eye. Sure of herself, the woman stands tall, letting her lithe build speak for itself. She is easy going, quick to laugh and far from shy. Those who know her might think she is aloof, and to some degree, she is, though there have been a fair few who have underestimated her.
Paks prefers to wear her hair short, and while she is very much a woman, she could be mistaken for a young man if she so desired. It is a feature she has used to her advantage on numerous occasions, and it is not uncommon for her to take on other disguises as certain situations might dictate. Becoming a young man is easy, taking on the role of an old hag is more of a challenge, but one she’s been known to pull off many times.
Dresses are not a trademark for Paks, as few have seen her in anything other than breeches, riding boots, a top with a vest, and some sort of cloak or overcoat. Each boot conceals a dagger, her weapon of choice, though she’d rather flee than fight.
Her father doesn’t believe Paks knows what a hard day of honest work is like, and doubts she has the strength of character to find out. She likes her drink, likes her. . .playmates. . .and never says no to a night at the pub. After all, who would want to work hard, when you could play hard?
Born to Anastasia and Tomas Liard, Paks was the youngest of three children. It was not an easy birth, and Tomas lost his beloved Anastasia due to complications. Perhaps because of this, he seemed more distant with Paks than he did with her oldest brother, Gareth, and her older sister, Cynnara. Paks was originally named after her mother, but her father couldn't bring himself to say the name after his wife’s passing, and took to calling his newborn Paks. When asked about the nickname, he never gave an explanation to its origin.
Tomas Liard was a silversmith and Jewelry Maker and considered an expert in his profession for creating some of the finest pendants, rings and necklaces anywhere. As each of his children grew older, he introduced them to the art, and took Gareth on as an apprentice. Cyn married young, and did not wish to follow in her father's footsteps. Paks was initially very eager to learn her father’s craft, but he seemed unmotivated to engage her as he did her brother. One afternoon, Paks made a simple mistake, but it ruined a commissioned piece for a local nobleman. From that day on, Tomas forbade her from working in his shop.
With little else to fill her time, Paks found a group of friends who tended to provide live entertainment at many of the inns in the region. The troop were a mix of musicians and jesters who put on a comical show for the inn patrons. Paks could carry a tune, and found she could get a laugh with outrageous acts. The group became her second family, and they all had a reputation for enjoying their drink and pulling whatever men and women they could pull for the night.
When not on stage or providing entertainment, some in the group would supplement their income by using quick hands and distraction. While Paks wasn't a big fan of their extra-curricular activities, it was clear the small troupe struggled to make ends meet with just providing nightly entertainment. She learned the art of pick-pocketing, and was not afraid to take advantage of those who might invite her to their beds at the end of the night.
Paks tended to live life on the edge, taking risks as they presented themselves, and often, those risks bordered on outrageous. In one particular town, at the largest, and most popular inn, the group were providing entertainment for several weeks. Two of the patrons of the inn were a regional magistrate and his young, gorgeous wife. Paks was smitten, and set her sites on an evening of bliss with the woman, but. . .the magistrate was known to be protective and jealous.
Not one to turn down such a challenge, Paks would find the young woman during the day, while her husband was busy with his duty, and simply talk with her. . .joke with her and make her laugh. The talking turned to flirting, and when the woman simply blushed without turning Paks away, she let the flirting get more suggestive. One afternoon, Paks stole a kiss, and the following day, the woman gave Paks much more than a simple kiss.
With the magistrate busy until early evening, the two women would spend their time in the rooms he shared with his wife. One afternoon, the pair were taking a bath when the magistrate came home early. The man went into a blind rage and launched himself at Paks, who was halfway to the window before the man managed to reach the tub. With no shame, Paks climbed out the window to make her escape. Her friends happened to witness this, and roared with laughter as she slipped into the woods.
One of the troop brought Paks clothes and news that there was now a price on her head. Apparently, the magistrate’s wife was the victim of some sick con, and Paks the con artist. Finding the charges hilarious, Paks was not about to turn herself in or change her ways. In fact, Paks returned to the town disguised as an old woman, and waited for the magistrate to leave before slipping up to his rooms and knocking on the door.
The magistrate’s wife was in shock when, on answering the door, was immediately snogged by an old woman, though it did not take her long to realize it was her lover. She invited Paks in, though both women got careless as the magistrate had eyes watching his rooms. When he returned, he made sure Paks had no route for escape.
Enough had gone missing from patrons of the inn, and others around town, that Paks was brought up on a number of charges, including multiple assault charges resulting from her affair with the magistrate’s wife. With the magistrate himself sitting as the judge for her hearing, Paks realized her future was no longer in her hands. The magistrate had enough to suggest she is beyond rehabilitating and could send her to the gallows.
When brought before him, the Magistrate went through the motions and asked for character witnesses to speak on behalf of, or against Paks Liard. Her troupe spoke for her, as did some of one or two men and women who made it clear they would be happy to spend time with her to keep her on the straight and narrow (to Paks’ horror). There was a glimmer of hope when Paks’ father was brought before the magistrate, but the hope was short lived.
“My daughter has been drifting since she ran from home. She has shown no desire to learn a skill and become a contributing member of society. She deserves nothing less than incarceration. . . And if she does not turn around, I would not be surprised to see her sent to the gallows. . .it is the path she is currently on,” her father testified without remorse. He did not even look her in the eye as he testified.
Paks’ father was the last to testify, and once he stepped down, the magistrate turned his hard gaze on her. “I have heard little to suggest you deserve a second chance. I should send you straight to the gallows,” he began, causing Paks to pale as her heart sunk to the pit of her stomach.
The magistrate looked to his right as he took a deep breath, then looked back to Paks, “But someone has begged for mercy towards you, thus I give you a choice.” He cleared his throat, “You can go to jail, with little hope for release. . .or you can join the Warder Yards at the Grey Tower.”
Paks snorted, “Join the Warder Yards and become an Aes Sedai’s servant to kiss her arse and lick her shoes? Cater to her every whim?” She shook her head, “No thanks! You give me no real choice, as I lose my freedom either way!”
The Magistrate smirked, “Then I will make the choice for you. You will go to the Yards. The Mistress of Arms will not tolerate your flippancy. . .her Master of Training will whip you into shape, and if that doesn't work, I am sure she will see to it herself.” Nodding towards the exit, he addressed the guards, “Get her out of here.” In shackles at her ankles and wrists, Paks was taken from the room, and unceremoniously tossed into a cage on the back of a cart.
As the guard locked the cafe, he smirked, “Best get comfortable. . .ye have a three day journey ahead of ye, and ye ain't gunna see the inside of any inn.”
Three days later, just before high, the horses came to a halt, and the guard came around to unlock and open the cage before tossing a bucket of cold water on Paks, “Wakey Wakey! Welcome to yer new home.” He stepped up, reached in and grabbed her by the collar before tossing her out and to the ground. . .at the feet of the Master of Training.
- Drin (28/03/2016)
- Ji'val (1 August 2017)