A holy warrior who has all but destroyed herself for the purposes of her goddess.
Str 10 +0
Con 13 +1
Dex 18 +4
Int 10 +0
Wis 19 +4
Cha 10 +0
Weapon: Executioner’s Axe
BioSandra was a cleric in the Great Elf War, healing the brave warriors as they came. Her goddess Sidiair ruled over the domain of War, so battle was no stranger to Sandra’s magic. Valiman was a paladin of Sidiair, valiantly smiting those who stood in the way of justice. When the war ended, the two found that they still craved each other, so they were wed even before the battlefields cleared. They moved to a small village where Sandra worked as a healer and Valiman invoked the justice of the people, acting as the official executioner carrying out the orders of those above him.
Valiman and Sandra live peacefully among the village, despite Valiman’s chosen career. Often he would leave the village though to enact justice in nearby settlements. Many times he was not paid in gold but in food or other gifts, one such price was a crystal axe, carved for him from the rock the Dwarves mined to trade with the larger cities. The axe’s likeness had never before been seen by the common folk of the humble village.
Not long after they settled in the village, their first son was born, Carsein. The second son Teletian was not far behind. Mystaria was the last, Sandra’s only daughter. They raised all of their children to embrace Sidiair’s love but found their efforts less than rewarding with their youngest. She was one to work harder than pray, apparently in an attempt to make up for her gender.
She trained harder than they did with the axe; she studied longer the ancient tomes of the gods; and she dared herself to take chances even the boys of the village would not. Every time they asked her to do something she felt was out of her ability, she would take a deep breath, whisper a quick prayer to Sidiair and power through. As a great judge of her skill, she often failed these tasks; this brought on more hesitation to embrace the love of a god who seemingly did not love her.
One cool afternoon in early Spring when Mystaria was still quite young, her brothers decided to put her to the ultimate test. A creek, hardly more than a wide stream wove its way through the village. When it was only just shaking off the last of the ice that had held it still through the winter, they challenged her to swim across it: a feat neither of them dare try. Never one to give up an opportunity, she boldly moved toward the edge. She steeled her nerves, took a deep breath, and considered the wording of her prayer. Taking into account the situation, Mystaria instead turned her thoughts to Salyan, goddess of Good, Healing, and currently most relevant, Water. Mystaria vowed to do the work of Salyan for the rest of her life if only she could do this one task.
Whether the goddess heard her prayer or Mystaria had an unknown strength, she fought the swift current, endured the icy cold, and she crossed the stream. Upon reaching the other side, she whispered a thanks to her new goddess. Years later she forgot the circumstances of her oath, but as the daughter of a cleric and a paladin, she knew the power of such a promise. She obeyed her parents’ wishes of going to the temple of Sidiair, but secretly also frequented that of Salyan.
For years she carried on this charade. Just before she came of age, she told her parents of her intention of joining the other church. Neither of them took the news well. They cast her into her room and forbade her to come out until she had seen the error of her ways. Seeing this as a new challenge, this time issued by her parents as opposed to her brothers, she found a way out of her room. She knew her parents would not allow her to return, knowing her allegiance, so she took the only course of action she saw that she had.
Though the people of the village searched long and hard, they never found Mystaria’s body. Knowing her to be dead, Valiman offered his crystal axe to hold her place in her grave. It hurt Mystaria to see the suffering in her mother’s eyes, but whether to live a lie or disappoint everyone she ever loved, she found this was the least painful course of action. Days after the funeral, she returned to the grave site, retrieved the axe, and began her journey to Quivarra, hurt, hungry, and for the first time, truly alone with herself and her goddess.
Along the way, where the path got dangerous, she joined the company of a travelling merchant. His name was Vrok, a human, but the kindest man she had ever known. He and his companions were also travelling to Quivarra and they offered her protection along the way. The first batch of bandits to attack the convoy were just as surprised as her travel companions to see this woman’s proficiency with the large axe. Only Vrok treated her with the same kindness with which he started; the other men of the company avoided her, fearing her speed and strength. Mystaria soon came to love this man.
Once they reached the outer edge of Quivarra, the band of merchants broke apart, each going their separate ways. Mystaria continued with Vrok, who led her to the home of his family. He had brought rare herbs from the Heartlands that proved useful in creating their only stock: ink. His family had a unique formula for ink that was known for not smudging, not fading, and in general being more permanent than any other ink available. It was this formula that had made Vrok’s family wealthy. Vrok’s personal fortune came from what he did with the ink.
He had a process of lightly carving into flesh, painting it with his family’s famous ink, and then smearing it with a special salve he purchased from the alchemist. After three days, the excess ink and any remaining cream was removed, but the outline of the carving was still there, as it would be forever. To this medieval tattoo artist, Mystaria was married a year later.
Mystaria herself found a church of Salyan. Not wanting to waste her training with the axe, she began additional training to become an avenger for the church. Before long, she was sent on missions by the priests to right wrongs and destroy evil-doers. She was exceptionally good at what she did.
After a particularly grueling assignment, Mystaria dragged herself home one evening. Vrok, still covered with ink from his trade, moved to clean up before he touched her. After such a difficult day, “being the world’s guardian angel,” Vrok would say, she had no patience for his cleaning. She was in his arms even before he could stop her. They craved each other’s touch and before long, they were immersed as one.
After they were through, Mystaria stood to clean, but Vrok just gazed at his wife. Smudges of black and silver marked her entire body, no doubt they did his too. “It looks good on you,” he commented, seeing her inked for the first time. She smiled and crawled back into his arms. “Tattoo me.”
Vrok was taken aback by this request. Never before had she given any hint of interest in wanting a tattoo. He warned her that it was a very painful procedure. When she still gave him full reign to draw on her whatever he wanted, he took careful consideration before beginning.
After a full hour of working, he finally put his knives and brushes away. In the mirror Mystaria saw on her back a set of unfinished feathered wings. “For the world’s guardian angel,” he said. “I’ll give you another feather every time you save the world.” And that’s exactly what he did.
Months later, with her wings still unfinished, she received an unsettling job. There was a slave ring in Quivarra, and she was to murder its leaders. Without question she followed her orders. In an abandoned warehouse on the south end of town, she found the perpetrators. With her elven eyes she had little need for extra light, so she began her craft in the dim light of a candle. The slavers put up a fight. Each one made a pass at her with a dagger, but only the last one made any contact with her body. He had stabbed her in the back, but only a shallow, superficial wound. Just after dealing the killing blow to her attacker, he turned his face to the light, letting her look upon it for the first time. She stopped her strike, but too late. Shock lit her face as she looked into the dying face of her husband.
She returned to the temple to have her wound treated. Her deed done, but her heart felt empty. The cut scarred, forming what would be the last feather she would ever receive. The realization of her situation sank in: she was alone again. This time rather than killing herself, she had killed the man she loved. Rather than weeping however, her face grew hard. She did not feel sadness over her sin. She did not feel relief for her good deed. She did not feel anything. Nor would she ever again.