Spiritual Wunderkind of the Olman, Tanaroan Princess
Description: At just over thirteen years old, T’lali is a pretty but harsh-looking young Olman woman. Given to being stern and serious, T’lali rarely laughs, or succumbs to any mirth at all, and in spite of her young age, seemed to carry herself with the poise and confidence of a woman much older. A hard-nosed academic, T’lali seems to bear a tremendous weight upon her slender shoulders (it was eventually found that there was good reason for this), and she treats every endeavor with a sort of calculating curiosity about what she encountered that it would be termed ‘greed’ if it was money, rather than information and experience, that she was after.
Her long, dark hair framed well her sun-warmed skin, and she preferred to dress in traditional Olman garb, mostly simple cloth that would not prove obstructive to her casting and rituals. Eschewing finery, T’lali was most commonly seen carrying around functional trappings such as books, bags, and a litany of components required for her spells.
Biography: T’lali was recruited from the Olman village of Tanaroa, the matriarchal tribe comprised of powerful shamans and those most attuned to the spirit world of the Olman people. Originally the prized student of Matron Itzam-Ye, the spiritual leader of the Olman, T’lali was persuaded into the service of the group by Othar Torr, who after arriving in Farshore to see the destruction of the Crimson Fleet, decided it would be in the best interests of their continued survival if he were to recruit a healer. Known for having some of the best available among their people, Othar inquired among the Tanaroans, and it was the quiet, youthful T’lali who volunteered.
Matron Izam-Ye was furious with Othar’s acceptance of her pupil into his party, and scorned Othar, vowing that if any harm befell the young woman that she would revisit it upon he and his family for generations yet unknown. Othar assumed, rightly, that the woman was unwilling to part with a student of such skill, and undesirous of seeing her come to harm. In this, it was eventually revealed, he was only partially correct.
An academic second only to Tobin in breadth and depth of knowledge, T’lali served the party as researcher, expert on Olman culture and cosmology, healer, and enemy control throughout their travels to the island interior, Golismorga, Thanaclan, and even to Scuttlecove, where it was determined that T’lali may be best left on the boat for the sake of her own safety. Kind, temperate, and wise, T’lali endured the madness her protectors thrust her into, carefully and ponderously absorbing all her senses experienced and her mind was able to catch. While obviously much too young to be of romantic interest to anyone she traveled with, T’lali nevertheless became fast friends with most of the party and the crew of the Sea Wyvern, who viewed the curiously quiet young lady as a little sister, though not as one to be protected.
T’lali was also present during the attempted resurrection of Tobin by the Tanaroan Matron that had occurred many months before they first met, though at the time none of the men assembled were aware of it. On their prompting, she clarified for them some of the Matron’s more muddied portents: specifically, she was unsure what had happened to Tobin, but T’lali confirmed that he was either unable or unwilling to return, and she elaborated on the reasons for this: most involved Tobin either being or becoming an agent of his deity, but the most terrifying possibility meant that Tobin’s soul was being held captive by some dark force, possibly to be used as bait or a bargaining chip later on. While the truth of this was ultimately revealed, the threat was enough to rattle them for a time.
When at last the party resolved to travel to the Abyss to rescue Lavinia, T’lali, given the option of returning to her people, decided that the Abyss was beyond the scope of her education, and Othar, not willing to subject a soul so young to the depredations of the hells, agreed. Having returning to Farshore after routing the Crimson Fleet on their home turf, T’lali made her fond farewells, thanking Othar for the education and all of her companions for their friendship and for showing them what it was to be a hero, to persevere against incredible odds, and to show true courage in the face of mortal terror.
Before she finally left, T’lali intimated to Othar that she had deceived him slightly when they first met: the reason that she had been able to come along in spite of her mentor and spiritual superior’s wishes and the reason she believed it so essential to come along, to see the world outside of her people and to understand the nature of the threats the world faces, is that she was not merely the Matron’s prize pupil, but that she, T’lali of Tanaroa, was the hereditary ruler of the Tanaroan people, functionally a princess, and one day bound to lead her people and serve as the chief conduit between her people and the spirit realm. Stunned and humbled, Othar thanked her for her help. As she said goodbye, she slipped onto Othar’s wrist a humble bracelet made of feathers, cord, and bone, a traditional Olman charm, and then returned to her people to rule them.
As the savage tide now ebbs and the Prince of Demons’ machinations lay in ruin, T’lali remains a strong, wise leader of her people and an eternal friend of the group.
When T’lali became aware of the Sea Wyvern having returned to Farshore, she made haste to meet her friends and congratulate them on their victory and to thank them for all they had done for the Olman people. It was Skald who made the decision to tell T’lali of all they had learned about the history of the Olman people, most especially their exodus from their home plane and the betrayal they suffered at the hands of the madman Nulonga, and of the war with the aboleths and the diaspora they suffered as a result of Demogorgon’s plans to create the savage tide. The information horrified T’lali, but she vowed that with the defeat of the Prince of Demons, her people would have a new beginning, a second chance, and that it would begin with the reclaiming of their ancestral home of Thanaclan.
In the years to follow, T’lali would make good on her intentions, and in a few short years, she lead forays into the central caldera of the Isle to clear out what taint remained from Demogorgon’s shadow pearl production chain, sealing off the lava tube to Golismorga forever.
Though it took many years, the Olman tribes were brought together again and reunified in their ancestral home, and after over a millennium of darkness, the Olman people at last began to flourish and prosper. With their relationship with the people of Farshore still strong and the wise and benevolent leadership of Queen T’lali, the Isle of Dread shed its fearful reputation and name within a few generations, and as the sun set on T’lali’s long and accomplished life, travelers from around the world would come to what came to be known as the ‘Olman Isles’ for trade, for its beauty and hospitality and warmth, for its exotic climes, and to share in brotherhood with the wise and kind Olman people.