Some people buckle and fold when under pressure. Others hold and hold until they break, mentally and physically. There are a rare few, though, that keep fighting. They push, and struggle, and trash, and kick, and bite, just to hold onto life, to defy those that try to crush them under heel. Among those, there is even a rarer breed that do not wail against their misfortune. They do not complain, they do not wallow in self pity, or scream in defiance. They simply exist.
And it's those that slavers hate the most.
So it was with a young girl, taken from her mother at the age of five. She was pretty, and may have even been beautiful when she was grown. The slavers of Katapesh sold her as a future harem girl. The house of pleasure that took her found the child to be stubborn, so they beat her and used ever more creative punishments until the madame gave up in disgust. She sold the girl, who now had no name she could remember, to a wealthy merchant looking to build a harem. He thought he could succeed in breaking the stubborn child's will. He earned a stinging slap for his trouble after an attempted object lesson in how she should behave. Fed up with her, he decided to earn at least some of the gold he had spent back and put her in the fighter pits.
The merchant bet against the girl, hoping that she would die in an at least somewhat entertaining way. The out come of the fight broke him when the slave girl he tried to have killed instead won the fight in a spectacular display. Ruined, the merchant slit his throat rather than admit he could no longer met his financial obligations. The girl went to a new master, one of the men and women who owned the many pit-fighters and gladiators in Katapesh. She won fights, but refused to slay any of the opponents she defeated, leaving them beaten, battered, and bloodied, but alive. This infuriated her new owner, so he tried to do the same as her last master, beginning her constant change of ownership as new owners tried to break her, or kill her, and failing. They couldn't kill her outright, she was too popular among the rabble, and would probably riot at the news she was attacked. It was them that finally gave her a name, Khatijah, premature child, or sword in the older dialect. Her last fight ruined her owner, unable to pay her debts, she sold everything to the Pactmasters. The mysterious figures wished to open old trade routes, so they offered Khatijah her freedom as payment for aiding that endeavor.
She didn't hesitate to accept.
She would have been quite beautiful if her life had taken a different course. Numerous scars, both large and small cover her body, mostly on her arms and sides. A few nasty scars from a harrowing fight against a skilled fighter almost twice her age and size stand out from the rest of the white, crisscrossing lines of scars. One crosses her belly just above the navel, another two run diagonally across her back, and a forth on her shoulder. Her hair is often bound up in a messy bun, with a few loose strands covering and framing her face. A scar runs vertically over her left eye, which is fairly shallow. Another two run across her right cheek, and a last one sits just above her right eye-brow. She wears loose, light clothing with a steel chain shirt over padding that helps keep the armor from getting too uncomfortable. She carries her scimitar in a wide sturdy sash, she also hides two daggers and a kerambit in the sash. The other two daggers are in plain sight and the second kerambit is tucked away in the back of the sash, but isn't hidden. She almost always carries a sturdy oak stave that she keeps just in case she needs a weapon in hand and can't draw one of her blades. She often wears a cestus on her left arm that she uses with her scimitar.
Hard as iron is a good way to describe Khatijah. She has no friends, and doesn't even remember her mother and father. Eleven years in slavery, including four years as a pit-fighter has forged a weapon that is as dangerous as any battle-hardened dervish. She isn't cruel, she's seen too much of that to want to add to it. She helps in the only ways she knows, stubborn defiance, which has helped others get past hard times as their master focused more and more on trying to break her. She speaks softly and only when she believes it necessary. Her laconic manner of speaking isn't exactly welcoming, and her experiences have caused her to become very hostile with slavers and slave-owners. She believes that one of the first things that needs to be gotten rid of for humanity to move ahead is slavery. Although she has been described as ruthless, she is actually quite merciful. Those that she has cut down, have been either too stubborn or too stupid to surrender and yield once she gained a decisive upper-hand.