Almost from her earliest memories Kalira can recall learning how to walk quietly, to move silently, to be as the wind in the meadow or a leaf in the forest, to be her father's shadow in all things. For a child, quietness is NOT a gods given skill, but she learned it, along with the countless things that a woodsman teaches to his apprentice. For Quietness was one thing, but learning how to be still, so still that a bird could - and would - alight upon her hand, was another skill she would master. Mimicry, to hear the song of a bird and perfectly repeat it in the many beautiful variations, to be able to so lightly whistle as to call a bird from a bush? A highly valuable skill, indeed, when hunting. For hunting is what her father did, as master Huntsman for the Erenford family it was his responsibility to know all the game, all the beasts of burden, all the herds and wild animals that made the Heronhurst lands their home.
Being able to move silently, to be as still as a rock when need be, learning how to listen for the smallest of sounds - and the absence of sound - were key facets of learning how to track, how to hunt, how to sneak up on the most flighty of animal and make the shot when it counted. Though tracking and hunting were just the tip of the ice burg, so to speak. Learning how to properly dress and skin her kills, to prepare the hide so that it can best be used by the tanner for any number of profitable purposes. By the time she was in her teens she could ride and handle animals equal to any boy her age, could track and kill any animal to be found in the Erenford lands. She could read the weather, see the storms coming and feel the changes in seasons almost before the first leaves began to turn. Reading a map, knowing the lay of the land, being able to read the stars and name all of the constellations - all the fanciful pictures painted by the stars - became something that she enjoyed doing, a love of the stars that she shared with her father. All skills that were not normally taught to a young woman, of course, but as her father's daughter she excelled at all these things.
However, all of her hunting skills were just one facet of her training. It's one thing to be able to hunt and ride with the best of them, but a woman - alone - and she would grow into a very tall young woman - would need more skills than just those of a hunter. Alongside her cousins - after months of discussion - she learned how to use blades not just for hunting but for defense as well. Not, of course, without earning countless little cuts and nicks in the process, but that was to be expected. Learning how to fall, without hurting herself, another skill which would come in handy much later in another skill set entirely. Learning how to fight, if and as needed, was perhaps the most challenging skill for her to master in her youth. All of which she learned in addition to all of the usual set of skills, reading - writing - being able to do her sums, sewing a fine straight stitch or even the most basic embroidery, skills that she learned from her aunts and grandmother. Dancing was the single most difficult thing for her to learn, chiefly because she wasn't good at surrendering the lead, but - like many things - if it had to be learned, she learned it.
It wasn't until her 14th name day that the collective weight of the determination of the women of the Valen household was sufficient to add a few more 'refined' skills to Kalira's education. To say that she'd become something of a rough and tumble tomboy would have been a understatement of the most extreme sort. Sleeping in the tall grass while on a extended hunting expedition was not at all uncommon, swimming fully clothed to clean off after a successful hunting party was - also - not uncommon to her. To say that her protests were a bit vocal also is not a understatement. But no one argues with grandmother Valen and wins, not even her grandfather, certainly not herself. Eventually she would learn how to use her voice to sing, not just to whistle birds down out of the sky. To learn to dance, instead of just how to avoid a wrist lock or a stiff armed jab. To write, and not just legibly, but to be able to write beautifully, to create pictures with her words and to recognize the Heraldry of all of the neighboring houses and then all of the major houses as well.
She would learn a bit of diplomacy, a bit more of tact, but ultimately it would be discretion and loyalty that would prove to be the defining traits of her friendship - and ultimately her service - to the Erenford household. She takes up the position as courier for the Erenford family in her 20th year and continues in her service to this day. In short: Kalira is a Erenford household retainer and courier, often on the move carrying messages and parcels that cannot be weighed upon the wing of raven. Think EPPS (Erenford Postal & Parcel Service)
Twins run in the Valen family. In fact, as far back as anyone can recall (those who are mindful of such things) there have always been Valen twins. Bonny fighters, to the last, canny hunters and woodsmen, clever marksmen and craftsmen alike. Kalira's father Markus and uncle Lukas were just most recent bearers of the name, though the members of the Valen family numbers into the dozens at this point, and long have they been loyal household retainers of the Erenford family.
Kalira is the daughter of Markus Valen, Huntsmaster for the Erenford family of Heronhurst. Trained by her father to have all the skills to be formidibal woodsman in her own right, Kalira is equally at home in the heart of a forest tracking game as she is in the middle of a large city hunting down the recipient of any message she's carrying. Self reliant and calmly self possessed she takes her duties seriously and her loyalty to the Erenford family comes first and foremost in all of her dealings with the world at large.
Dark red hair of a shade so deep to almost be auburn is bound back from her face in a sleek queue with a flexible length of leather cording, the thick tail of her hair reaches her shoulders and frames a face that is only unique in how extraordinarily average she looks. Dark eyebrows arch in a barely perceptible curve over widely set pale green eyes that are framed by nearly invisible eyelashes. Well proportioned nose and mouth are set in the usual symmetrical positions. Her face is a bit to long for the classic heart-shape, and even with a delicate jaw line the bold cheekbones and a sun warmed complexion marks her as someone who spends much of her time in the out of doors. At 5'10" she is tall, almost shockingly, with a wiry and lean build that is only subtly softened by the gentle curves at hip and chest, she is long waisted and long legged, the sure strength of her hands and shoulders suggest athleticism instead of delicate grace.
A long tunic of fine, though plainly woven, wool that is dyed a pale cream color is fitted to her tall lean frame, a wide leather belt cinches around her waist and buckles to the side with a cleverly fashioned clasp that appears to be a Heron in flight. The long tunic reaches nearly to her knees, the sides dagged nearly to her hips to allow for ease of movement and for access to the many pockets that are sewn into the trousers that she wears with the tunic. The trousers are cut from a darker shade of wool, a muted brown earthen tone that blends well with the cloak that she often wears pinned to her shoulders, the cut of the trousers is loose to avoid any real definition to the shape of legs except for simply displaying that she has the requisite pair to work with. The cleverly concealed pockets sewn into the trousers allow her to carry the useful odds and ends that she employs in her daily work, the lean pouch of undyed leather that sits above her left hip is the ideal storage space for other useful items. Soft leather boots, hand tooled and the only aspect of her attire that is tailored, lace nearly to her knees, the flat sole of the boots add nothing to her height, but at her height she needs nothing so impractical. A courier pouch is often worn at her side, the leather case water treated and stamped with the emblem of the Erenford family, the buckles being cleverly fashioned Herons.