Atish is on the short side of the Kishargal's height spectrum, the top of her head barely reaching seven and a half feet, discounting her crowning curling horns. Her skin is a pale lavender, standing in contrast to the darker coloration of most of her warmer-climated compatriots. She has a healthy dusting of glowing green dots across her body, a pattern common to those hailing from Ersetu's dark side.
Her pupils are a matching green-yellow, with tight spiraling patterns. Her hair is a darker shade of purple, though she dyes it darker to contrast more strongly with her skin color.
Atish is a supremely phlegmatic woman, nearing middle age, she is starting to feel like she has seen it all in her country's service. It is really little more then a shell. When sufficiently pushed, and it takes very little, Atish unsheathes a vicious wit on unsuspecting fellow officers or particularly unlucky ratings. This tendency in particular is a sign of why she has yet to make Surgeon despite her years of service.
Her habits are practically ascetic in comparison to her fellow officers. She seldom drinks anything stronger then her evening port, has never been known to take a lover, and is excellent company only if the topics stray to medicine, art, or music. She does not enjoy sports or gambling.
Atish Ur-Nungal was born in 1766.
Atish comes from a small, poor family of herders living almost totally in the shadowy dark side of Ersetu. Part of clan Quarrie, she grew up without their famed good-natured hospitality in an icy plain where her stubborn parents eked a subsistence life selling the wool from the large, shaggy, native sheep. Little of the planet's growing technology base was present in the low stone hovel where Atish spent her formative years.
Although she doesn't remember, or claims not to remember, the day it happened, that way of life came to a chill end in the winter of her seventh year. The young girl was found nearly frozen to death with the sheep by visiting kinsmen, both of her parents stiff and icy in the house as a result of a sudden roof collapse that had buried all three. Atish said little, and in fact when her cousins took her in, they remained unsure whether the girl could speak for several weeks.
The warmth of the plains, and the tender embrace of her family, helped her recover. She would never possess their easy charm and good-natured hospitality, but would prize such wholehearted inclusion the rest of her life. No matter how welcome she felt, however, Atish could not bear the additional strain that was being put on her equally poor relatives… At the same time, the Royal Navy had a recruiting drive going, especially targeted at bringing bright youngsters in with the intent of going into one of the trades.
Atish stood for her enlistment examination at the clan seat in her best suit of clothes before a board of bored half-pay officers drawing special duty pay, having spent four days travel to make it to the county seat from the hinterlands. Despite limited, less then seven years, schooling, the girl showed a certain flexibility of thought and home-taught knowledge of science that earned her a recommendation for space service.
She was three years before the mast aboard the brig Solemn Bay before striking for Surgeon's Mate. In that time, a cool, quiet youth saw the stars, the other planets and far asteroids of the Empire. It left her feeling even more humble, that, in all the universe, she had grown around a lot of people. A loblolly girl first, doing odd jobs in sickbay, attending to all the nasty duties the Assistant Surgeon could come up with, Atish started to pick up the duties of a surgeon afloat from the bottom up.
By 20 she was a Surgeon's Mate. First on the old Solemn Bay, then, when she was laid up, on the 28-gun frigate Alert. Alert was a new ship, but her master had overloaded the gun deck bad enough the poor vessel was starting to hog, affecting her sailing qualities. She, and most of the crew with time left in their enlistments, were put ashore on Fonn Station to be broken up as replacements. Surgeon's Mate Ur-Nungal quickly found a berth, well qualified personnel in her rate being hard to find out in the Northern Fleet.
She reported aboard the small cutter Grace to serve as that vessel's medical boarding officer. Her commander was five years younger and already a Lieutenant, daughter of a peer, and an irrepressibly energetic spirit that nearly terrorized her new crew with her forceful personality, until they discovered just how much goodwill was behind that manic smile.
As a cutter, Lt. Kanath Qin-sharri was the only officer, and usually ate with the “wardroom” consisting of her Master and Surgeon's Mate. It was her “Captain” that drove the uninspired low-class Atish to apply herself to studying for the Assistant Surgeon's exam. When the crew was broken up yet again, qin-Sharri moving on to greater things, she herself reported to Fonn Royal Naval Hospital to take the Assistant Surgeon's exam.
She was kept at menial duties around the hospital for a few weeks, before the demand for personnel to fill out the thin compliment of the old fourth rate Starfire put her aboard ship again. It was while on a distant patrol station in the rotting old tub that a dispatch boat brought orders and a parchment appointment from the Sick and Hurt Board for Assistant Surgeon Ur-Nungal to report to Home Fleet for reassignment.
It was a long trip home to Ersetu, one that the Navy thankfully paid for. The same couldn't be said once she got home. Atish managed to purchase at an attractive rate the uniform of an Acting Assistant Surgeon that was quitting the service, and had it modified to suit her new rank. Her new post was prestigious, the fresh-from-the-ways first rate Emperor Gael, a sign that the Board of Surgeons meant great things for her.
Now, though, that she dined in a real wardroom, with real officers, the young Surgeon felt a cool prickliness return. Few line officers were as welcoming or good willed as her old commander on the Grace. Distinctly ostracized by everyone outside her immediate circle in sickbay, Atish lashed out, wit stabbing in and out like duelist's blade to prick those that dared snub her.
The reliable Navy rumor machine ground on… She was rotated off the Gael before her tour was up, banished back to the sixth rate Quick as its sole Surgeon. Quick was engaged in rigorous anti-piracy and anti-slavery patrols on the border, the tempo was quick and she was often called upon to inspect merchant crews, tend wounds, enforce quarantine regulations, preventative medicinal measures.
In 1795 when Quick was decommissioned, she was put ashore. Atish took the next Surgeon's exam and received notice she had passed while an attending physician at Royal Naval Hospital Frontier Station. Despite the pay increase and her new title, she has languished in various shore stations, and intermittent bouts of half-pay, for about five years. In 1800, she was posted to the brig Lebia, which didn't last as her Commander put her aground on an asteroid and it had to be dry docked.
The circumstances were more fortuitous then she expected; 1st Lieutenant qin-Sharri came calling at her rooms, offering a Surgeon's billet on the third rate De la Warre. She took it and outlasted her now-close friend, who was promoted off the ship to take the sixth rate Hussar. Atish has recently finished her tour; this time there was no time ashore, as she has transferred her possessions and gear directly across to Nemesis.
Atish Ur-Nungal has the following items: