Spymaster Amara Voltreffer, of the Shadows
Always lingering in the darkness, that one. You'll know she's there only by the holes left by her gun.Amara Voltreffer, spy and sniper extraordinaire, is a long-standing member of the Eagle's Shadows and the long-term partner of Azyel Lathronon. Raised in the slums of Undria, Amara's innate skill with stealth would have always lead her to a life in the shadows - but perhaps not so literally, had her circumstances been better. Left to her own devices for the most part, she took every advantage she got and weaponised them all, shooting down every obstacle that got in her way. Unlike her partner, Amara is not a Champion of the Divine. This, she is glad for. She is clever with her words and deadly with her gun, and prefers to interact with strangers through battle or subterfuge rather than the direct, helter-skelter chaos that Azyel and the rest of the bring with them. Currently, Amara maintains a permanent residence in Ironfalls for the first time in her life, having preferred to never remain pinned down prior. She is one of Emperor Aneirin 'Cyne' of Aletheia's chief advisors in the War of Empires, and when not spending time assisting in tactics or carrying out clandestine plans on his behalf, can regularly be found in the shadows of the battlefield - behind the enemy's own front line. There, she takes every chance she has to land her bullets through the skulls of Medimia's captains and generals. The footsoldiers flail and blunder as their chain of command collapses, and their flight grants her the drive to continue on.
From the darkest corners come the most unsuspecting of lights. In her case, that's the flare of her gun. Bloody terrifying woman when she wants to be.Amara's memories of her earliest years are hazy at best. She remembers the hazy grass and looming trees of fields and winding roads. She remembers resting on her father's lap, his face lost to her, as a wagon rumbled. She remembers her mother hugging her. She remembers her mother pushing her away, towards an aunt who promised her care. The aunt, she doesn't remember much of at all. Her aunt was gone within the year, victim of a plague that had haunted the streets of Undria, and nobody else had taken much of a look at the small slip of a girl crying on the streets.
Nobody would notice much of her for years. In a strange turn of fate, the one to eventually pay attention would be her eventual friend, Cyne. Then just the black sheep of his family, with no burdens of leadership weighing overly heavy on his shoulders, the tiefling enjoyed sneaking out of his family's palace to explore the streets. He found Amara on one of the girl's worst nights, when she was barely eight years old and the little food she had managed to scrounge for herself had run out days prior. Naturally, that was a pivotal moment. Though unable and unwilling to adopt her, Cyne saw her to a healer and spoke intently with her when she awoke. Eight years old and full of defiant fire, Amara rejected his offers of help, and so he slipped away to check in on her every now and then instead. When he wasn't around, he sent others instead. Not nobles - but Shadows.
It is not the night itself that should be feared - nay, it is those who lurk in its shadows.The Eagle's Shadows were a new start for her. She wasn't their youngest member but she didn't care; she rarely spoke to the others of her age. She took to training with weaponry like a true natural, practiced her skill with stealth until only the sharpest of eyes could see her, and then set to work on understanding and predicting others. Still so angry at the world and looking for something to give her an edge, the lessons she was offered gave her two things: targets, and reason.
If she'd stayed like that, if she'd continued on with that singular sharp focus, she'd undoubtedly have ended up a far colder person. Fortunately, the Shadows could see her spiral beginning. She found herself assigned on missions with others, and though she noticed the way her missions tended to be light-hearted and calm compared to some of those she heard about, she put that down to her age for the most part. On these, she began to make friends. When Amara finally stepped into adulthood, her missions turned harder. She traded the bow she'd been so proficient with for a gun, finding the role of a sniper suited her well. To align with her new choice was her assignment to a specific group. It would not be her permanent group, for that was not the Shadows' way, but they would be her long-term allies. She noticed Cyne's smirk first, and that of the elf she'd seen long ago second: Azyel, the wild, chaotic mage who shot lightning through his bow. Amara out-shot him in their first friendly competition. He pushed her into a nearby river. She dragged him in after her. Their bond was pretty solid after that.
She is one of the only two woman I fear, and I absolutely love her.The years passed. Her ledger filled with red. Her weapons got larger, her stealth grew better, and the deeds she could perform grew ever deadlier. On missions, she was a weapon - and yet away from them, she could relax.
Her allies-- no, her friends were sometimes ridiculous in how they behaved, but they brought a smile to her face - especially when they tried to beat her at her own game. Some taught her about make-up, others introduced her to books, and both Azyel and Cyne introduced her to sneaking into everyone's rooms to play pranks on them. The times her group, its name too secretive for these pages, found themselves clustered together in Impossibility were the wildest and best of them. Until 5621. The year an assassin broke into the home of the Aletheian Empire's Crown Prince and his family, and had left only the Prince's wife alive. The laws of succession would skip Lord Andron Undria for crimes he had committed - something that Amara found ridiculous, considering one such crime was marrying his wife - and land firmly on the shoulders of Cyne.
The AdventurersIt was when Amara was on one of her own missions that Azyel caused things to change again. She returned from a noble's manor, her fingers rubbed raw to remove the blood trapped beneath her nails, to hear that things had changed again. This time, fundamentally.
Azyel had been swept up in an adventuring group with a friend of his, and in the few weeks Amara was gone, he and Cyne had realised that the group's bard was a long-lost Aletheian princess and had uncovered some sort of magic-twisting plot sweeping across Aletheia. Worse: Azyel had joined a magic school, then left said school to head back to Cyne to investigate aforementioned magical plot, and had been made a bloody Champion! Of Nethys! She really couldn't leave them alone for a second. Unable to join them so immediately, with the consequences of her own mission needing to be dealt with, she sent word through their friend group that they'd need to regroup in Undria. When the time eventually came, around the time of the Undrian Ball, it was only Cyne who arrived. He spoke quickly and quietly, updating them on what he could. Azyel had apparently fallen ill with a deeply magical affliction that left him near-comatose. His estranged sister - Liese - had ferried him to Celesthem Temple in hopes of salvation. Amara was furious.
Unexpected DevelopmentsWar broke out. The vague sense of peace Amara had been building collapsed. A number of Shadows defected, some of her friends among them. With Azyel still working with the adventurers at first, she pulled back to assist in initial spy efforts. When he joined her, the two ventured onto the battlefields together. Cyne could rarely be there too, he was far too important now, but the deadly duo had gotten closer after Azyel's return from the temple. The realisation on just how close they'd come happened during a particularly terrifying mission mid-war. The two of them had teleported deep into Ordan to deal with a noble family that the Shadows had proven responsible for a recent series of violent attacks on Aletheia's trade routes, and their mansion had been prepared beyond what either human or elf had expected. It was a deathtrap. Between dodging fireballs and ducking under blades, Azyel began to banter back and forth with her.
Amara! Hey, Amara! When we get outta here, we should go on a date!
If you'd stop thinking about dates for six seconds, you might be able to turn off the fucking alarm!
Things weren't easy after that - they never would be, not with Azyel's role. Both took more active roles in fighting and strategy, as and when they could, and Cyne offered them both permanent positions at his side when he finally ascended to Emperor. Though they stayed in the shadows - literally and figuratively - their impact was felt throughout the war, as other spymasters, tacticians, and strategists joined Cyne's table. Amara and Azyel stayed close to Cyne's side until the death of his father, Lord Andron Undria, at the hands of Riven Drast - and more importantly, the kidnapping of his mother. Though Azyel did not leave at first to aid the adventurers in their attempt to fulfil the ransom that would see Ceridwen returned, Amara knew that he would. She was proven right when Burdyr Donderiall, Talindë Ae'tharis, Syrin Elathien, and Azsire spoke with them. The adventurers, the Lost Ones, couldn't do it alone: the ransom involved a Shard. She bid Azyel farewell with a kiss, but knew she'd stay behind. Someone had to.
Peace, one day, would be nice.
C L A S S I F I E D
Assisting in the War
Year of Birth
5594 EA 32 Years old
Uncertain Village, Undric Region
Long, straight, jet black hair often braided back
Light tan, gold undertones
General Physical ConditionAmara stands at approximately 5'8 even before she puts on the usual gear she wears, which often gives her a bit of a height boost. She is muscled like an archer, her build tough and hardy yet not the best at strongwoman activities, and she wears a number of scars underneath the thick protective leathers. She generally keeps her long black hair pulled back in a braid, where it can't possibly get in her way. Though she uses a gun, and a rather oversized one at that, Amara still carries a number of daggers and other backup weapons (including poisons and alchemist's fire) on her in various compartments. It is generally a good bet to assume that if you need a highly specific item to get out of a situation, she'll have it - or something else that will work.
WeaponryAmara's training has lead her down the path of a gunsmith and gunslinger both. Her day-to-day weapon of choice is a double hackbut, which is a double-length rifle mounted to a carriage; due to the impracticality of this in close-quarters combat, she relies on a musket as her secondary weapon and, if all else fails on her well-stocked supply of blades and trickery.
ReligionAmara has never been particularly devout. Churches were one of the few places that helped her when she was young, yes, but their teachings always seemed to speak of a different world to the one she lived in. Always a much cleaner world than hers. Faith made a lot more sense when she learnt about the Shadows and their deities. Nethys, who granted magic and experimentation. The Lost Prince, who offered solace in solitude. Norgorber, who gifted aid in the worst of times. There were countless deities less pure than virtuous Iomedae and brilliant Sarenrae, and finally finding a chance to search through the libraries of Impossibility, Amara sought her own. She landed on Calistria. The Savoured Sting offered her trickery and revenge, and in her line of work, that was often all she needed. Plus, she liked the freedom.
...Honestly I'm just relieved his girlfriend isn't more, um, wild than he is.