Full Name: Jojari
Species: Least Weasel
Description: A short weasel so thin he almost looks malnourished. He is young and looks quite childlike, especially in comparison with Sanjay. He has an inquisitive looking face with bright eyes and a grin usually tugging at the corners of his mouth. He has nimble paws, a short brown tail and his fur is scruffy and unkempt. He wears frayed, roughly woven rags. He has worn and patched trousers, and a filthy, roughly woven shirt that used to be an off-white colour. There's a frayed and ragged old cloak flung over his shoulders, and he has a neckcloth wrapped around his neck to keep out the chill and rain.
Possessions: Apart from the clothes on his back, Jojari has a blunt old knife with a bone handle and a chipped blade. His most valued and important possessions are a small collection of books, which he keeps firmly wrapped in a thick cloth to keep out the rain.
Strengths: Jojari is the brains and the voice of the duo. He decides where they go and does nearly all the talking when they come across any other beast. His light, piping voice possesses a certain charismatic quality that can defuse a tense situation. One of Jojari's core strengths is his kindness, which resonates deeper within beasts than threats or bribes. He does not always do what is bravest, or the most intelligent, but he never marks himself out for vengeance, and on occasion, his tendency to do right by others is well repaid. Jojari can also read, an uncommon gift in the wilderness.
Weaknesses: Jojari has no use of his legs and has to be carried by Sanjay wherever they go. Due to their nomadic lifestyle and the inherent dangers of living in the wilderness, Jojari is more defenceless than most, especially with his small frame, lack of weapons or any martial training. In a confrontation, the weasel only has his wits and his fast talking. There are things in the dark woods that no amount of talking can placate.
Jojari has a few insecurities which mostly stem from his early experiences as a kit. He recoils from armed beasts, since most of the torment directed at him early on came from hordebeasts. He has a deep abiding fear that the most precious thing that he has in his life, that is Sanjay, will be taken away from him. Therefore he would rather have Sanjay run away or hide if there are strangers nearby, rather than confront anybeast. Jojari often suffers from nightmares, some of which he believes are prophetic. The weasel guides Sanjay by his intuition only, and deciding on which way to go based on a weasel's dreams is not always the most practical way for the duo to travel.
Personality: Jojari is talkative, inquisitive and can be very forward. He asks personal questions without any sense of being intrusive, and tends to speak whatever is on his mind. Since he has very little to do during the day other than thinking, he is often occupied by daydreams and fanciful ponderings. He is very bright, quick-witted and eager to learn. He enjoys lengthy discussions about subjects that unfortunately his closest companion, Sanjay, knows nothing about. As such, he can often be heard talking to himself out loud, musing on how far the seas stretch or how high the stars hang, with only the occasional interruption from Sanjay asking if they can stop for lunch soon.
Jojari has a very spiritual side, and believes in things like fate, fortune and foresight. In his own life he has narrowly avoided abandonment and death on a few occasions, and has been used as mere property. Despite all that however, he has found the one beast among hundreds that would not either scorn him or just pity him, but be his true friend for no other reason than they both felt a connection beyond any selfish need for protection. When the duo has any spare time, Jojari reads his books aloud to Sanjay, or listens to the fox play his lute.
Background: Jojari was born mostly by accident to a mateless weasel who spent her days following a horde of vermin and doing their washing and sewing, and her nights wandering from tent to tent in search of company. Jojari's mother was never pleased with the idea of bearing a kit, and only kept the wailing infant because she thought he might come in useful as a kind of slave to help her with her tedious work.
Though nobeast really took much interest in young Jojari, it became more obvious as the seasons passed that the weasel kit could not walk, not even when even the slowest horde-whelp his age had finally learned to stagger along upright. His mother unfortunately attributed this to Jojari being either stupid or lazy, of which he was neither, and regularly beat him.
Jojari therefore was growing more and more a burden to bear. Nobeast could say for sure who his father was, and there were few that took pity on the crawling child. Eventually the idea of killing him was discussed, or abandoning him in the woods for the birds to find him. However, his mother was determined to find some reward for all her trouble, and managed to sell Jojari to a passing caravan group from the East, in exchange for a silk neckcloth.
The young weasel was bought by a vixen in the caravan, who liked the idea of having a crippled kit who could mind her wares without being able to run away as she traded up and down the roads of Mossflower. Jojari's job was to watch for thieves and yell if there was any trouble. The caravan group soon discovered the weasel had other uses, with a bit of tuition. They could sit him on top of the cart by day to keep an eye out for trouble, then they could put him by the fire at night to cook them a meal. This was also the first time in Jojari's life he saw writing, in the scrolls and books transported by the caravan for trade. The vixen taught him to read, the greatest gift she ever gave him.
Though the threat of abandonment had begun to fade from Jojari's mind, he was still aware that he was still property of the vixen; he had been sold, not adopted. The weasel began to plan his escape. He was not chained, or even guarded well, since he could hardly run away. Jojari realised that he would have to wait for an opportunity. Some day, fortune would remember the little weasel again.
**Full Name:** Sanjay **Species:** Red Fox **Description:** A tall fox with a sturdy, wiry build. He is only a little older than Jojari, but the scars on his body and his stiff, faded fur make him look like a fox many seasons his senior. He has a harsh looking face, especially as he is usually out of breath and panting, which shows off his sharp, menacing teeth. His eyes are clouded and never seem to be looking at anything directly, for Sanjay is blind. Sanjay only has frayed and holed trousers to wear, held up by a length of cord. **Possessions:** Sanjay carries the duo's assorted bits and pieces in his pack, things like a cooking pot, blankets and a pair of roughly hewn wooden bowls and spoons. His most valuable possession is a lute which was once finely crafted and lacquered, but has since taken on that chipped and rough look that everything seems to get on the course of a journey through the wilderness. **Strengths:** Sanjay has complete trust in his companion, Jojari. However difficult the lives of the duo get, the fox knows that he can rely on the weasel to guide him and protect him from harm, even if it's just running and hiding from danger. The fox has his natural wits and low cunning to keep him alive, and his other senses such as keen hearing and smell are often able to give him early warning of danger. **Weaknesses:** Sanjay is blind. He can tell the difference between light and dark, but needs the constant guidance of Jojari to avoid obstacles. As such he is always at a disadvantage if he needs to defend the duo in a bad situation. Sanjay can never lend a second pair of eyes to any problem Jojari encounters, he can never look his friend in the face, and he can never experience the unique sights that other travellers of the wild and beautiful lands take for granted. **Personality:** Sanjay is often a melancholy and cynical fox. He is clever in the sense that he knows dishonesty when he hears it. He is the most assertive of the pair and will stand up for them when he feels Jojari's eloquence is not prevailing. There is kindness and respect in him, but it has to be well earned. He is always eager to find out as much about other beasts, always keeping their quirks and secrets in mind for later use. Sanjay can be a compulsive worrier, and is always planning for the immediate future. He has a constant sense of fear of the distant future, because it is not in his control and he cannot clearly foresee how the duo will survive in the long term. Whilst the fox does believe in supernatural forces like Vulpuz, he views such entities as yet more malevolent powers that will seek to drag him down further until they break him. Whilst Sanjay is not really sure if there is such a thing as fate or destiny, he is sure that he is paying in some way for whatever wrongs his mother committed in the service of the wildcat lord. Yet he believes there is a ray of hope for him still, and that is Jojari. The fox does not think their meeting was a mere coincidence, and that he is somehow meant to be with Jojari, and that only together they will overcome the difficulties they face. **Background:** Sanjay was born in the court of a wildcat lord far to the north of Mossflower. The fox's mother was the master of spies, a clandestine position that the wildcat nobility avoided for obvious political reasons. Sanjay was educated as a kit alongside far wealthier and more powerful sons and daughters of wildcats, who constantly reminded him of his place in the great scheme of things. Sanjay never found out why exactly, after a day of lessons in everything from music to martial skills, he came back to the castle gates to see his mother's head mounted on a spike above the archway. He ran, but was quickly captured and thrown into prison. Whilst the fox kit clearly presented no imminent threat, lords can be quite paranoid about children returning to avenge their parents. Instead of just killing the fox, Sanjay was subjected to abacination, the process of blinding by holding a red-hot metal plate near the victim's eyes. He was then cast out of the lands of his former lord, to fend for himself in one of the harshest wilderness regions known to beasts. Most beasts in Sanjay's position would have died, but the son of the master of spies knew a thing or two about avoiding an unscheduled meeting with Lord Vulpuz. The fox could not use his wiles on the unthinking fish or predatory birds though, and instead relied on begging for scraps and shelter. However, Sanjay's fortunes took another terrible turn. If one will wander the land with no sight, one will eventually attract the attention of slavers, eager to capture any young fresh meat that can serve as a labourer for a good fifteen seasons or so. The young fox was captured, beaten, and chained up with an entire gang of slaves being transported from the Northlands into the South. Foxes typically grow larger than most other slave species, which makes them ideal for heavy lifting and pulling. Pulling carts was a favoured use for foxes and particularly for Sanjay since he was blind to more complicated tasks. It was the greatest fortune Sanjay had since being born that he was sold to the same caravan that owned Jojari. Had the two missed each other, it is hard to see how either would have survived for very long thereafter. Two things of importance came of Sanjay pulling the cart that Jojari lived on. The first was that Jojari quickly befriended the blinded fox and the two learned of each other's lives. On a drowsy summer's evening, when the insects chirped and the rag-tag collection of travellers were fast asleep from a day's travel and trade, Jojari stole a lute from the pack of a traveller stopping by and secretly gave it to Sanjay, who had told him of his former life at the noble wildcat's court. The second moment of importance came when Sanjay decided, against the natural instinct of a fox and his own cynicism, to give his trust to Jojari, who had come to trust him. It was only then the two could plan their escape. The opportunity came when the caravan was moving through a difficult mountain pass, full of boulders and snow and dense, dark pine trees. Jojari had spotted a curious tunnel into the mountains, and the young weasel could think of no better way to lose a trail then going into pitch blackness. After all, Sanjay did not need light to find his way. The light-pawed little slave stole the bundle of torches the caravan had in the cart, clambered onto Sanjay's shoulders, and the two crept away from camp into the darkness of the mountains.