Path of the Burning Sky
Arrie is a half-elven paladin from the nation of Shahalesti. She’s of average height and weight, with fair skin, blue eyes and blonde hair. She is an idealistic young woman who follows Torag.
Her mother was a human servant in the care of Granwen Faranae, a minor noble elevated during recent upheaval. Olesia served Granwen for several years, receiving her dismissal after she became visibly pregnant.
Arrie was originally named Arynka. She lived with Olesia until she was about eight years old. Granwen had been relatively old when he fathered Arrie, and he had no other children that he could be sure were his. After visits to sages, mystics, clerics, and quacks, Granwen eventually accepted that he was unable to sire any more offspring. Desperate to keep the house and line that he had gone to so much trouble to secure, he took in Arrie and made her his heir.
It was not an easy transition. Granwen did not readily warm to his half-elven daughter, and Arrie, of course, missed her home and family. Her new home, her new name, everything was overwhelming. Arrie was trained as an heir should be, in education, etiquette, and arms. Though he would never admit to such a thing, Granwen was a lonely man. As Arrie became more comfortable in her home—and as she grew older, as Granwen had no idea what to do with young children—they developed a fond, though not close, relationship.
Arrie was forbidden from seeing her mother. (Granwen’s motives here were not solely those of pride. He also believed that things would be easiest for the young half-elf if her move from commoner to gentry were as complete as it was sudden.) Through some miracle of fate, Olesia was literate.
Arrie had been living with Granwen for two years before she found the courage to try to communicate with Olesia. Her caretaker was a human woman, Elspeth, whom Arrie knew lived in the same part of town as her mother. Arrie applied all of her newly-learned lessons in manners and persuasion, all but begging Elspeth to bring a note to her mother. Elspeth agreed.
Olesia and Arrie did not use Elspeth as a messenger for long, fearing for Elspeth’s job if she were ever discovered. Instead, mother and daughter used secret places to hide their correspondence.
So things went until Arrie was about 18. She never could describe the one moment that took away her blinders. It just seemed that one day, she was content to live as a daughter of privilege, and the next she could not ignore the plight of others. It started, naturally enough, with sympathy towards the humans, and gradually expanded to cover even the half-orcs, whom both the elves and humans disdained.
Arrie was a follower of Torag, who valued tradition. She also felt deeply that this level of injustice could not be what any deity devoted to good would condone. There were few fellow worshippers for her to turn to for doctrinal advice. So Arrie made her own way, gradually coming to believe that major reforms to the treatment and care of non-elves was needed in Shahalesti.
Her radicalization on the issue caused a rift with Granwen. He saw her departure from conventional thought with much alarm, afraid for what it would mean for his house and their standing. Arrie was already suspect as a half-elf, and her only guarantee of acceptance into Shahalesti society was marriage to a suitable elf, the bringing forth of children who would also be married to suitable full-blooded elves, and after three or four generations, the stain of Arrie’s human origins might be forgiven. To take a stand on behalf of the lesser races seemed a betrayal of the life he had sought to give his daughter.
They quarreled. Arrie refused to renounce her view or her god. Granwan had never experienced anything but obedience from her before. He was outraged. He shouted that he would prefer his house to die with him, than to be sullied with such a person as Arrie had become. Arrie went quiet and cold at that. She bid her father a formal farewell and returned to her rooms. She packed her things, leaving behind the newly created “ancestral” arms and armor she had so proudly been given only a year before. Determined to seek counsel and training from those who followed Torag, she departed Shahalesti for Dassan.