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She without Kin
Elysia was born on the 7th day of the 7th month of the 7th year(20 AF). She lived with her mother and father in a small house on the end of a quiet street. Her family was very close-knit, and worked together to keep a roof over their heads. As a young girl she would follow her mother to market and help her sell the goods she’d collected. When they were finished Elysia would hold her mother’s hand and walk with her to the store to get groceries for dinner and pick her older sister up from school.
Her parents, though they were far from rich, provided her with much more: stability. From the day she was born she was always encouraged, and told how special she was, and while she was often confused about her 11th toe, her parents told her it was just part of what made her unique, and that she got the extra toe because she was the lucky one. And she was, certainly, unique. Even when she kept a dead bird beneath her bed until it filled with bugs, her mother would send her kind words.
“Why did you put the bird under your bed?” she’d asked.
“Because I thought if I kept it close by and I wished really, really hard I’d be able to make it come back” Elysia had replied. Her mother had hugged her and told her she was a good girl, and explained to her as gently as possible why the bird had to go back outside.
Just after her 5th birthday Elysia’s mother announced that they would be taking a trip to go “hunt treasure”. She was excited because she’d always liked to go on adventures, and this time she would go with her whole family. They set out with another merchant’s family towards the Berezin desert.
On the second day, while the party had stopped for lunch, Elysia and her sister, Lia, who was then 12, went out into the woods for a much needed restroom trip. Ever-caring, their mother had asked them to stay where she could see them. They did, but they also took a few extra minutes to pick wildflowers to put together to show her mom and dad. While they were searching for the flowers, they heard some noises back at the camp, and when they turned around they saw a group of men attacking. Elysia caught her mother’s eyes from afar, and could just make out her mouthing the words “stay where you are”. She was frozen in shock, and could clearly see the bandits slash the throat of their neighbor, and she caught a glimpse of an arrow sticking out of their 10 year old son’s chest.
Lia knelt down before her.
“Elysia. I’m going to go back and fight for our family,” she said, and pointed in the direction of West End. “I want you to run in that direction until you see home.”
Elysia nodded, and watched her sister run back to the caravan, pulling her tiny dagger from her shoe and trying to attack a particularly tall man who had hold of her mother.
Elysia watched for a few more moments as Lia was backhanded and sent flailing to the ground. She turned and ran as fast as she could, lower lip quivering as she tried to hold back her tears.
Perhaps by miracle, the little girl actually made it back to West End in one piece. She tried to describe what had happened, but no one really wanted to go that far out of West End, and no one thought there would be anything left to find if they did. Elysia was left an orphan. She spent a few days with a close family friend, sobbing for most of it. The family couldn’t take her in permanently, however, and rather than become an orphan, she went to Tavian’s Aidman Academy of Alchemy and the Arcane, and asked if she could study there. She was admitted to the school and studied there for years.
The lifestyle change was drastic. Although the townspeople tried to provide her with food and clothing, there was only so much help they could bring, and Elysia had to teach herself how to cook, sew, and every other normal everyday activity that a 5 year old probably shouldn’t have to know.
Although she’d been brought up understanding that she was special, and had a unique birthday and a lucky toe, school children aren’t so kind, and where she was used to receiving praise she was now made fun of. Her clothes were never new, her toe was “ugly”, and she was the unlucky girl with the dead parents. She tried to tell herself that her mother had been right, and that she wasn’t ugly, and even that her parents weren’t dead. The criticism angered her, but also caused her to study harder, sure that she would be able to go find her family again one day.
Though she was very smart, and tried to be friendly, she ended up as more of a loner. Some would speculate that she would have been such anyway, because she’d always had a fascination with mysteries, puzzles, and “treasure hunts” like her mom had told her about, and did strange things like keep dead birds under her bed hoping to resurrect them. It’s not that she didn’t get along with people, but that over the years she’d grown accustomed to being laughed at, and had built up a defense that would be expected of any parent-less child. She was hard to break through to, and almost too smart for her own good, so she often preferred to do things on her own, without help. That is, after all, the way she’d lived her life. She was relatively cynical, and having witnessed such death and destruction at such an early age, was a little more vindictive than most, but mostly just where it came to her family. She could take a lot of negative things and find a place to store them in her brain to use later. She was a lover and a fighter in extremes, most likely due to the loss of everyone she loved at such an early age. In other words, if you’re a friend, she’ll fight to the death for you, but if you’re an enemy, stay out of her way. Those holding points of neutrality needn’t worry.
Having spent her childhood altering her clothes to try to fit in the best she could, when she left Tavian’s school, Elysia offered tailoring services to make money. She kept a one-room apartment over a small pub (the Jennings Tavern), and spent most of her time fixing clothes, and the rest of it studying magic on her own. She knew that she was saving up her money for a last big “Adventure” but she never told anyone what that would be. She spent about 4 years gathering up the things she’d need, and this morning, packed everything in her backpack. She carried 2 spears, 5 days worth of food, a spell book, a spell component’s pouch, a scroll case, a full waterskin, a few odds and ends, and a ring the family friend had given her, citing that it had been her mother’s. She wore it religiously, and thought that it would guide her on her way. Rather like the bird from her childhood, she almost felt like holding the ring close could resurrect her family, or at least let her find them.
She is determined to find and/or avenge her family, which brings her into today, walking towards the gates out of West End….
Quotes of others
"I don't usually trust people easily, but there is something about her that drew me to help her out. She seems so deeply troubled about the disappearance of her family, who couldn't say yes to that, well okay so I was the only one. She does seem rather knowledgeable about the arcane arts though, I'm sure she is more than capable of handling things on her own. But being alone does have it's disadvantages. " -Ellenore
"I don't trust her, and I don't like her. Ok, I don't trust her. She seems nice enough, though, but she really set me on edge at first. Just so... intent. The magic is worrisome, too. Maybe she just doesn't realize how bad it is. I'll need to look into this more to convince her. She needs to put aside this magic, though, for her own good. Nevertheless, she's pleasant enough, and seems bright and knowledgeable. She'll listen to reason." -Ryak
"Beautiful White-hair is sister to Nakhara. Call her Stands-with-lightning. Power of White-hair make Tomorrow shake with fear. Always feel ready to defeat all enemies with power of White-hair's lightning. Powerful spirits flock near. Seem sad-sad, but Nakhara do what can to help. Only woman-woman Nakhara meet who Vihamga and Ayasa both see as sister." -Nakhara