WorldEmber2018

Lyadrí An'thimael

Commander Lyadrí Ilye An'thimael

There is a reason no unwanted drow has been seen within the borders of Galasthin for over a decade. That reason has a name despised within the Underdark, one whispered with caution and hatred. That reason is one person alone, and her name is Lyadrí.
  Elves have long held a reputation for being free spirits with their talents lying in artwork, archery, and acts of passion. They are forces of lighthearted chaos and good, values exemplified in their pantheon of gods, without much stock held in the rigidity of law - but for a precious few. Lyadrí An'thimael is part of the latter group. With her family destroyed by the ravages of war, she threw herself into a militaristic life that sought to reign in that which had harmed her and bring peace to her land, all the while studying as a powerful mage.   Her life was further shattered when her beloved husband was also lost, and only temporary banishment could save her from the despair that threatened to break her. She was sent forth as part of an adventuring group that would never reach fame; the secrets they uncovered and events they solved would need to remain hidden to protect the world at large. Even so, the relationships she built with her former party have helped anchor her and show her more of the life beyond Galasthin - before her travels with them, she was near-unbearable around anyone not elven. Of particular note is her friendship with Daeris, one of the drow she despises, as their alliance shortly after the end of their adventures helped bring about the Purge of all dark-aligned drow within Galasthin's borders.   The Purge cemented her place in the military and earnt her fame and respect at the cost of her reputation. Whereas before she'd been known as an intimidating soldier and mage, the betrayal of a number of elves in the Purge and the subsequent murders of some surprisingly-innocent groups of drow and their children was attributed to her by many outside of Galasthin, and she began to be known as a ruthless military captain with an overreaching arm of justice - or, in the shadows of the world, a xenophobic murderess. She stepped back from acting in the field due to this and her growing daughter's needs, and was instead offered the post of Commander of the Alu'thaniel, the magical branch of Galasthin's military. There, she utilises her knowledge of tactics to help without needing to be in the public eye.   Shortly after taking the role of Commander, the former Archmage passed away in a violent magical accident that left the city scarred and smelling faintly of peach soap. Lyadrí's assistance was vital in maintaining order through use of her summoned creatures, and she spent that week helping with the clean up. As a reward, and in understanding that she would not be attempting similar, she was bestowed the title of Archmage.   In the year 5623, now fully settled into both roles and juggling their responsibilities with those of being a mother, Lyadrí was summoned to the High Court and ordered to investigate a magical anomaly within the south of the country as leader of a squadron of similarly-powerful mages. She is currently still absent on this mission. Thus far, she has encountered the Heijian Tribe and endured torture at their hands after suffering the negative effects of channelling a ley-line through herself. Despite the preferential treatment and interest in her from the tribe's Khan, Qaragan, Lyadrí and her compatriots have made their escape as the conclusion to a powerful ritual invoking the Avatar of the land. This ritual seems to have had unforeseen consequences; a silver scar now runs through Lyadrí's left eye, and she now carries a blessing of fire.   Her group - known as the Starcrowned - are currently located within Liangxin, evidently closing in on the location of the anomaly's source. Due to their extended period of absence without communication, the Lost Ones have been requested to locate them by Galasthin officials in return for Talindë Ae'tharis's continued freedom.

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

Tall, thin, and lightly muscled, Lyadrí's body largely fits the elven stereotype of a lithe and dexterous figure. The marks of war are obvious upon her - deep scars litter her arms and back, with the most visible being the mass of scar tissue upon both her stomach and back from where she was previously impaled. More recently, however, a flame-like tattoo has begun to twirl around her spine, and her eye has been run through by a strange silver mark.

Apparel & Accessories

Tends to wear a simple green Galasthin military uniform and hat if it's safe to do so; if not, she dons comfortable forest-green robes that mark her as a mage. For formal occasions, she has a set of Archmage regalia decorated in deep purples and silvers. She wears Sleeves of Many Garments at all times to ensure her clothing is both fashionable and appropriate to the locale, wherever said locale is.

Specialized Equipment

Carries a variety of equipment in addition to her spellbook. A spear, a crossbow, a number of magical items - however, if her former teammate Thorid Valenn were to have any say, he'd declare that her proficiency with the common newspaper is perhaps the riskiest part of getting on her bad side.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Thus, I would see ancient magic used to mete out your punishment. As you were born from the Steppe, so too will you be returned to it in body and soul. It shall consume you in entirety, erasing all that was you from this mortal coil. There shall be no reincarnation. There shall be no judgement from high. Let the Tulaant Steppe take you and leave no mortal remains of the being that once was.
— Lyadrí, dispensing justice.
 

Early Life

As a child, Lyadrí was lucky enough to have two parents that loved her. Her mother was an accomplished mage and her father a master with the sword, and both hoped that she would eventually turn to their path - or combine them - and join them in Galasthin's military. When her accidental magic began destroying anything unprotected in the house, her father sighed good-naturedly and admitted that his wife had won for now, promising to try and convert her into a magus later on in life.   She was quite young - not even 30 - when her burgeoning magical curiosity was piqued for the first time in the direction of the extraplanar. Her parents were on a mission, and her guardian - a younger member of House An'dare - thought it a good idea to let her explore some of the forests surrounding Melaeden, Galasthin's capital and their home. She set out on a journey, staying as close to the walls as she could, with some books on local flora in hand - and proceeded to end up completely lost as the sun was setting. Even at this young age, she'd been told of the terrors lurking in the night: drow, demons, hags, wolves, and the like. Before she could work herself into a panic, a figure with golden wings descended from high, and she could feel herself calm. The angel guided her back to the pathway, and she spent the next years researching as much as she could about beings from other realms. It was an encounter that would forever impact the course of her magic.   It was at 70 years of age, 40 away from elven maturity, that her life changed for the worse. Her mother disappeared in the deep forests to the north on a mission, and her father went near-mad from grief. Even decades later, the glint of despair in his eyes as he bid Lyadrí farewell was etched into her memory. He left her alone to fend for herself, disappearing into the forests to find his wife, and never returned. House An'dare, at her begging, scried on their locations and saw nothing but shadow; Lyadrí took this to mean that the drow, shadow-dwelling scum they were, had taken them. A decade of intense training and study later, despite still being a child, she went after them.   Her attempt ended in misery. Though she'd located an entrance to the Underdark within a cave, it was not abandoned, and the teenage drow lurking within overpowered her with ease. By all rights, she should have died there, but a stroke of luck let her magic manifest in the form of a summoned bird that drew an elven patrol to the dim cave. She escaped with blood on her hands, deep wounds marring her arm and back, and a deep-seated mixture of hatred and fear of the drow that she would never be able to lose. For years afterwards, Lyadrí would refuse to let any close to her both out of shame of the scars adorning her body, and out of fear that they would place yet more upon her.   Life moved on, and she found it easy to convince House An'dare to allow her to join the military even before she became of age. There, she met Ryséon, a paladin, in the midst of a mission - he deflected a sword that a necromancer's pet zombie had thrust towards her, and she'd blasted a skeleton away from his back in response. They'd thrown teasing barbs at each other and before either had truly realised it, they'd fallen in love. He asked her to be his at her coming of age, and the two were married four years later in what was considered a whirlwind romance by elven standards. Two years later, a bout of morning sickness alerted Lyadrí to her sudden pregnancy; neither had considered the possibility becoming real, as elves had difficulties with such things, but both were overjoyed - until Lyadrí realised this meant a break from physical missions, at which point Ryséon began dodging fireballs.  

Challenges of Adulthood

You can't order your body to behave. It's not one of your soldiers. You have to take a break, Lyadrí, or you'll be the one who breaks.
— Sirivel Lu'nastreia
  Their daughter, Ilurae, was born perfect. Her eyes were Ryséon's bright cerulean, but she'd taken Lyadrí's honey-blonde hair - a mixture of them both. Lyadrí would spend two further years taking care of her until Ryséon fell sick after a long mission. He recovered well, but it had already begun a tradition of them trading off shifts to ensure they could both aid Galasthin in its wars. On rare occasions where both were required, Ilurae was at least able to be cared for by House An'dare and their other friends.   Soon after Ilurae's 6th birthday, everything changed. Ryséon failed to return home from the day's battle, and Lyadrí tried to ignore the ball of worry within her chest. Setbacks were usual. But as an hour turned into a day, and the next three spun by in a blur, she could ignore her fear no longer. Her fears were confirmed when a knock at her door revealed the solemn faces of their squadron, carrying between them his longsword and shield. Their condolences were not enough. Nothing but his return would be. It was all she could do not to break down there and then.   She assumed his position barely a week later, to the concern of those around her, and channelled her anger into her duties. The drow would pay for her lover's life with their own, she'd declared to her squadron. Over the next decade, her sheer mercilessness towards her foes would grant her a menacing reputation within Galasthin as her personal shields grew stronger. Ilurae was one of few people who she'd lower them for, and the girl flourished under her mother's attentions when Lyadrí wasn't on the field of battle. Had it not been for her, Lyadrí's inevitable burnout would have come far sooner.   Instead, it hit shortly after she'd hit 130 years of age. She'd fought too hard for too long, and the battles had begun to blur together. It was in the middle of combat that she realised her men were in danger - and it was entirely her fault, for she'd been the one who'd led them there. In desperation, she threw out a summoned creature to protect them. The act left her open and undefended, and a blade slid home through her back. She woke up weeks later to the soft crying of her daughter and knew that this was it: she had to stop. She needed to grow stronger, both mentally and physically. Her friends and superiors rapidly agreed, and before she knew it, she'd been given the next few years to take care of Ilurae and relax. After two years of homebound studying and the beginnings of Ilurae's magical study, Sirivel Lu'nastreia, one of Lyadrí's childhood friends, stepped in and insisted that Lyadrí leave Galasthin for a while; she'd take care of Ilurae, and Lyadrí could perhaps meet with some scholars and have herself a magical adventure.   The military leadership were all-too-quick to agree, and Lyadrí found herself travelling across both Xin Jiyu and Valathe for the next while. It was on these travels that a mysterious letter led to the formation of her adventuring party.   The rest of Lyadrí's history can be found in the Synopsis section above.

Education

Studied under the strict tutelage of her mother, a powerful mage in her own right, up until her mother was taken by the drow. Later continued her studies with the Alu'thaniel during her time in the military, quickly becoming known as an oddity for her strange use of arcane magic. Her interest lay in the summoning of extraplanar beings, and so she made contact with the few summoners of Galasthin. With their guidance, and written correspondence with arcanists elsewhere, she learnt to walk the uneasy path of an occultist arcanist - a wielder of chaotic magic and a summoner of creatures from the great beyond.

Employment

As detailed above, Lyadrí is currently employed as Commander of the Alu'thaniel and Archmage of Galasthin.   Prior to this, she was largely a soldier on the frontlines of battle. Much of her training as a child was in the Alu'thaniel's schools, and she met her husband in one of the many fights she participated in. After his death, she took over his rank as captain of a patrol squadron until a debilitating injury nearly killed her, at which point she stepped back from the military until her adventuring days were through. She then rejoined as a temporary assistant Captain of the Galasthin Armed Forces to lead the Purge, for which she received direct permission from the High Courts, stepping down once the Purge was confirmed to have ended.

Failures & Embarrassment

Too many for her to think about. Most notably, her worst injury (a poisoned spear through her midsection) was caused by a moment of bad planning and inaction during combat. Her worst personal failure would be the death of so many innocents during the Purge despite her careful collaboration with Daeris and the extensive surveying they carried out upon any considered 'uncertain', though she also remembers well all of those who she was unable to save in battle.   She also loathes thinking of the times she has been helpless at an enemy's grasp, seeing it as a fault that someone else had to step in to rescue her. This includes her latest capture by the Heijian, caused by magical restraints and drow poison.

Personality Characteristics

Motivation

Wishes to see her country remain free and at peace, and to raise her daughter to be far more carefree and happy than she could ever be. Also cannot hide the fact that she's an arcane scholar who would like nothing more than to understand the fabric of the universe; it's not hard to attract her interest with unsolved mysteries and obscure magics.

Likes & Dislikes

Likes wine, cheese, forests, libraries, justice, new information, well-written books of any kind, sleeping in, and spending time with her daughter. Dislikes drow, war, idiocy, ignorance, and people trying to get on her good side.

Virtues & Personality perks

Confident and self-assured, Lyadrí will always be there for the innocent and downtrodden if they should need her. Her focus is near-perfect when she's interested in a topic, and her more gentle side is easily brought out in times of peace and relaxation.

Vices & Personality flaws

Despite her confidence being a virtue, her pride is also one of her most serious flaws, along with her lingering xenophobia and quick temper. She disregards those who she views as beneath her, and provoking her can almost be too easy at times. In addition, her cool attitude often sets people at odds with her - she finds it hard to make new friends.

Hygiene

Immaculate. Always. Anything less would be a crime.

Social

Family Ties

Formerly married to Ryséon An'thimael until his untimely death at the hands of a drow military squadron. Has one child, Ilurae An'thimael, who she considers the most precious thing in the world.   Cousin to Aurelie An'dare and thus affiliated with House An'dare of Galasthin. House An'dare helped house and raise her once her parents were killed, and she has since worked closely with them in her time over the military as they oversee much of Galasthin's day-to-day policing. Since the occurrence of the Purge, members of the House have found her more intimidating to speak with, and her relations with them have suffered accordingly.

Religious Views

Devout worshipper of the Elven Pantheon, though also venerates the ideals of Iomedae and wishes there was a mainline elven goddess representing the virtues of law and good.

Social Aptitude

Very cold to those she sees as lesser (i.e. anyone not elven, especially the drow, for whom she shows exceptional dislike), but can fake her personality scarily well to those unfamiliar with her. Is extremely confident and prideful. Even when she's being insulting to someone ignorant or stupid, she maintains an aloof attitude and upholds all standards of etiquette, though excessive anger (usually caused by threats to her family) can push her over the edge.

Speech

Is incredibly proper about how she speaks, maintaining a clear and high-class accent at all times.

Alignment
Lawful Good
Current Location
Liangxin
Species
Elf
Honorary & Occupational Titles
Archmage of the Kingdom of the Galasthin Elves; Commander of the Alu'thaniel; Tuya of the Heijian Tribe (unwanted Bearer of Flame
Year of Birth
5464 (159 years old)
Birthplace
Melaeden
Current Residence
Melaeden
Biological sex
Female
Sexuality
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Gender Identity
Female.
Eyes
Emerald green; generally accompanied by raised eyebrows.
Hair
Yellow-blonde and mostly kept back in a low ponytail aside from her fringe.
Height
6'2
Weight
120lbs
Aligned organization
The Starcrowned
Other Affiliations
Associated Element Fire

Comments

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2 Dec, 2018 16:06

Snap, that's one incredibly detailed character. Lyadr certainly lived an interesting life. Also maybe I missed it, but was there a reason her mom got lost in the deep forest? Just as a random accident of life, or is there something more?   An excellent article all around. I'd like a few more tags to help explain some things, especially coming in a bit new to the world.

2 Dec, 2018 16:13

It's hinted at in the paragraph, but I could definitely stand to make it more clear - Lyadrí's parents were both military, and her mother went missing during a mission in the forest. As she and Lyadrí's father were never found, there's never been any proof of what actually took them both - but Lyadrí's assumption has always been that it was the fault of the drow.   I'm glad you enjoyed it! Were there any specific parts that stuck out as needing tags? I know there are a few things I've neglected to tag as I've not made articles for them yet and I couldn't think of their exact types at that moment (e.g. the Purge).

2 Dec, 2018 16:19

Haha, the Purge was one of the one's I was going to mention. You can always do an manual excerpt, it'll look like an article but not be clickable.   The Underdark as well is one that I would have loved to have an excerpt.

2 Dec, 2018 16:59

...you've brought to mind that I haven't actually thought up an Underdark article yet. Huh. Yeah, I need to get on that!

2 Dec, 2018 17:07

Very good article Han!! I found one spelling error in the 3rd paragraf: --> earnt (should be earned)   I love the small funny details like the peach soap, it makes the article a bit lighter though she has been through a lot.   I'm not confused at any point during the article, amazing work. I'm often left with questions regarding what the different things mean but I'm not in doubt because of the way you slowly but surely introduce terms.   I love the details, it doesn't seem like it's dragged out at all and you don't write more than needed. She is very fleshed out and I feel as if I almost know her.

2 Dec, 2018 17:11

Actually, 'earnt' is an okay spelling! 'Earned' is just Americans being American again... or something of the sort ;)   I'm glad you liked it! Lyadrí is one of my favourite characters, and I'm so relieved that my way of introducing things worked well enough. I don't get to test that one on many people!

2 Dec, 2018 17:16

Oh whoops, sorry Han :D   I can definitely see how much love was put into this!

2 Dec, 2018 17:17

Oh whoops, sorry Han :D   I can definitely see how much love was put into this!

2 Dec, 2018 18:04

This is great! She's a really strong character with a rich life that you've brought to the page in a way that makes her interesting. There's a nice little thread of humor winding here and there through a pretty gritty character, which helps ground her from being angsty to being very human (though I'm sure she'd be mad at me for calling her that!).   I particularly liked the line her proficiency with the common newspaper is perhaps the riskiest part of getting on her bad side but there's nothing to set it apart. That's something that would be fun in a quote, imho!   Early Life > Paragraph 5 is probably the most humanizing part of the whole article. Nothing makes it feel like a real world like whirlwind love and an unexpected pregnancy!  

Critiques

Some of these are just nitpicks!
  • Of particular note is her friendship with Daeris, one of the drow she despises—the phrasing here implies he despises
  • Vignette > Para 3 > Sen 3: You introduce a daughter I haven't heard of before this.
  • Vignette > Para 3 > Sen 3/4: You're alternating between present and past tense a bit here. I assume it means that she's there to this day but a specifier might help concrete that.
  • Vignette > P1 > S1: The peach soap thing raises questions! Good questions! But enough to break my flow and make me say "wait, what?" A tool tip or an article link would be perfect here so I can be in on the joke as well. :)
  • Vignette overall: Given that this is basically her life history you might put a History header up top and maybe a smaller title every couple paragraphs to help break it up and intrigue eyes which glance over an article before reading it (like I do > .>)
  • You've generally got a better grasp of grammar than I do but I think you're using hyphens where you're supposed to be using em-dashes?
  • Throughout the article at a couple points you detail that there's more to be read in a previous passage, which lends to the feeling of reading things out of order. Anchor links or scooting sections around would help with this, I think.
  • Sidebar: I don't know elf anatomy but 6'2" and 120 pounds is very, very thin, especially if she has muscle. I weight twice that. I would've guessed closer to 190 in her case.

A great article! A bit dense at first glance but easy reading once I settled into it! I feel like quotes and headers might make things feel a bit more approachable.

2 Dec, 2018 18:22

Oop, didn't finish my thought on the first.   the phrasing here implies she despises him, but the fact that they are friends suggests not. It makes it a bit paradoxical and confusing.