Mariel Hougen         

A Tamarian Intelligence Analyst 

Mariel Hougen

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Name: Mariel Hougen

Birthplace: Sharp Talon Ridge, District of Southwestern Broken Wing Lake, Republic of Tamaria

Height: 180 cm (5 feet, 11 inches)

Weight: 64 kg (142 pounds)

Hair color: Red

Eye color: Brown

Ethnic Origin: Tamarian

Position in family: Youngest child, only daughter

Handedness: Right exclusively

Talents: Fluent in seven languages, holds a doctorate in linguistics and exhibits exceptional skill as an intelligence analysis


Initially, no one expected great things from Mariel.  She’d been born as kind of an afterthought, an unexpected gift from the spirits, following five brothers who exceeded her in age by no less than ten years.  Growing up in the rarified milieu of wealthy, established families who owned property on Sharp Talon Ridge, Mariel seemed destined to live a life of ease and luxury.  Most Tamarian girls of her status married into other wealthy families, had children whom they paid less affluent women to raise, and spent their time either  focused on socializing, or in devotion to noble charities worthy of their esteemed attention.

Because she didn’t look like her citizen sisters, having inherited the ruddy complexion and lovely red hair of her Parsinnian mother, Mariel didn’t fit well into the rarified social strata beyond the tightly-knit Sharp Talon community.  Instead, as a young girl Mariel lingered in the orchards with workers from Kameron and their Vatheran supervisors.  She picked up their languages as quickly as she’d learned Parsinnian from her mother, and Tamarian from her father, bu t to her parents’ dismay, the content of Mariel’s foreign vocabulary frequently reflected decidedly unladylike influences.  Mariel knew every slang term for male genitalia in Vath and Northern Kamerese before she was four years old.  She had a disturbingly precocious attitude toward human sexuality that motivated her father to save her from his orchard workers.  He sent her up to Burning Tree, where she attended an exclusive private school.

At the request of her parents, who figured she would benefit from spiritual study, Mariel learned to read, write and speak Lithian.  Since Northern and Southern Kamerese were nothing more than variations on a theme, she picked up the latter language from classmates, and studied the Azgaril Vulgate, as this tongue was a required subject in all Tamarian schools.  Thus, by the time she’d become a teenager, Mariel could read, write and speak in seven different languages.

Though her father wanted Mariel to use this linguistic knowledge to help open new markets for his fruit in Kameron, the young woman quickly learned that Kamerese society sustained a negative, oppressive attitude toward women.  The orchard workers, who treated her kindly because her family supported them, warned the fifteen-year-old Mariel that she would not be well received among the Kamerese.

 Her initial exposure as an emissary in Kameron went badly.  Mariel had an affair with an older, married Kamerese man who promised a big order for her family’s fruit.  After he’d had his way with her, this man unceremoniously dumped her and tore up his contract.  Mariel left Kameron after several weeks, and in her bitterness, returned to Tamaria and promptly signed up for the Junior Guides–a military training program that was the girl’s equivalent of Junior Scouts–in order to fulfill her requirements for national service.

In the Junior Guides, Mariel attracted the attention of an officer with whom she fell in love.  This relationship created many tensions, yet as Mariel began reasserting herself and grew in confidence again, the man who said he loved her began exerting control to keep her to himself.  After graduating from the program, Mariel took a job with the Intelligence Service and ended, what was from her point of view, a dead-end relationship.  She sustained no long-term love interests after this.

After she turned sixteen, Mariel went to Marvic under an army contract that paid for her post-secondary education in return for a ten-year enlistment.  She spent seven years at the university, earned a doctorate in linguistics and successfully completed officer training, but her years of schooling limited her rise in rank.

Mariel had been deployed to Burning Tree during the war with the Azgaril, where she distinguished herself as an analyst.  Senior officers in the Tamarian military, anticipating a need for linguists, selected her to assist the newly formed Expeditionary Forces in Kameron.

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