Ypolita

Champion Ypolita of Iomedae's Valor

It is a shame history has stolen away so many of Ypolita's acts - from all accounts, she was a hero long before her final sacrifice.
— Influences of the Past, chapter 8
  Hailed as the Inheritor-Goddess Iomedae's Champion during the War of Magic, Ypolita was potentially one of the most powerful and influential heroes to walk the surface of Istralar prior to her decision to make the ultimate sacrifice for the world's safety. She personally led the Iomedaean Church throughout the War, and maintained close friendships with her fellow Champions and their respective churches - the ties she established with Sarenrae's Champion at the time have lasted through to the modern-day Aletheian Empire.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Early History

I wish we knew more of what those champions of old had been like. It's all very well and good to hear that they were brilliant warriors, but wouldn't it be more inspiring to know what led them there?
— Unnamed scholar at Celesthem Temple
In the earliest scriptures referencing her, a large family is mentioned: a warrior mother and trading father, and Ypolita's alleged five siblings. She stood out from birth: Iomedae favoured her with Her light, and Ypolita grew up finding it natural to keep a longsword at her side. At some point in her early life, Ypolita trained under the guidance of Iomedaean paladins to master their techniques before moving on to travelling with a group of fellow adherents of good. Unfortunately, few records remain of her adventures at this point - and fewer still provide detail on her personal life in any greater detail than this.  

The War of Magic

As arcane magic descended on Istralar and plunged the world into the first stages of the War on Magic - a conflict that would come to span centuries - Ypolita gathered strength and recognition upon the battlefield. It was during the early days of the conflict that Iomedae chose her for Her champion, and this early act allowed Ypolita to position herself perfectly to combat her deity's enemies as they flooded the lands.   She slaughtered demons before they had a chance to react to her presence, captured enemy Champions and assisted in the extraction of the crucial knowledge they held - even redeeming them and aiding her deity in convincing them to join Her side, and battled devil-like entities that should by all rights have slain her: entities that almost did. All had heard of the times she'd fallen, only for sheer determination and force of will to drag her back to her feet. Even the potent mind-control abilities wielded by her enemies weren't enough to stop her: her forward march would not be stopped, and her forces followed her wherever she went.  

Terra Arcana

Fighting for so long without break or rest - is it any wonder she couldn't rest easy? I'm not sure she knew how to live without fighting. War and death became her constant companions, far past what a mortal should endure.
— Influences of the Past, page 9
The creation of Terra Arcana presented Ypolita with a moment of peace; centuries where the near-immortal Champion, raised higher than any human, could settle down into a more normal life for a time. Though her communications with her goddess and herald decreased, her devotion to her deity remained absolute: it was in this time that Ypolita turned her focus to her church's actions. The Iomedaean Order had, in her opinion, lost its focus. They concerned themselves too much with single-minded obliteration of the arcane, and with the creation of Terra Arcana and the compromises their deity had come to, Ypolita saw a need to instil knowledge of their true purpose: the extinguishing of evil.   She led the Order into a crusade: under her banners, they marched north through Entius and its surrounding countries to carve a blazing pathway of light through the demons that had used the War of Magic as a cover for their dark activities. Despite the area's later conquering by the Medimian Empire, signs of the Inheritor's Crusade still linger five millennia into the future, such as:
  • The Archway of Light, where the Champion reforged the shards of Iomedae's blade into a weapon of her own, still radiates a memory of Iomedae's power and has become a secret bastion of freedom for Medimia's oppressed.
  • Demonblight, where Ypolita joined forces with the unlikely ally of Asmodeus's champion, remains scarred with the crossed symbols of their respective deities. Its remote location means few - even of the Medimian Empire - have studied the powers lingering there.
  • Desiderium, where a fellow Champion - formerly of Pulura - betrayed the Inheritor's Crusade. To this day, no life or magic functions in the crater left behind.
  The Inheritor's Crusade ended when the warning signs of The Worldrend began. Despite this, the Iomedaean Order - and many other branches of Iomedae's worship - still follow the edicts and virtues that Ypolita established, whether her name is attached to them or not, with the encouragement of Iomedae herself.  

The Sealing of Tenaerul

The Worldrend shattered the fledgling planet of Terra Arcana, leaving the sky bereft of its second moon and allowing an influx of chaotic magic to sweep across Istralar. It also served to restart the War of Magic: the new threat was more dangerous than anticipated, and the destruction of the previous deific compromise angered many. Though few mortals know what stopped the War the second time, all know of its consequences.   The Sunari Wilderness and Iskaldhal feel some of the heaviest consequences of the War's two halves, both regularly plagued by twisted magic, but it is Tenaerul that caused Ypolita - and her patron - the most concern. The twisted realm of Tenaerul began with a single spark of corruption that rapidly spread; by the end of a single day, it had captured an area larger than most towns. Ypolita could not allow this to stand.   Knowing the risks inherent in her decision, and knowing the danger Tenaerul presented, Ypolita called out for her deity's full power - at great cost. She erected a permanent golden shield around the borders of Tenaerul, containing the dark influences that were beginning to emerge, at the cost of her life. A flood of light swept across the continent, hundreds of shields and prayers knitting around the Champion's fallen body - and when it faded, when her shield was complete, there was no body to mourn. Instead, a white marble statue - a perfect replica of the Champion in life - stood, sword aloft, prepared to defend the shield against whatever might come.  
Ypolita's life was one full of honour, death, valour, and war - with little room for anything but. She'd been placed on a pedestal from a young age and never found the time to step off it. There are no records of her lovers, and few of her friends: she had many allies on the battlefield, yes, but no tale tells of the person she was at rest. Quite simply, this is because she never did stop to enjoy the simpler times.
— Influences of the Past, page 10

Intellectual Characteristics

Ypolita's fame on the battlefield was not due to her skill at fighting alone - she possessed a great mind, one that both knew how to put together deadly tactical formations and how to recruit those needed to put her plans into practice. She was never one for getting lost in repositories of knowledge like some - there was always a wrong to be righted, a sinner to be redeemed - but that didn't mean her wit was any less sharp.   In conversation, she was often described as being a bold but gentle individual who enjoyed the company of fellow warriors and devotees alike. She could hold her own in discussions with kings, her brave speeches tempered with kindness and honour, and rarely gave quarter to fools.

Morality & Philosophy

Possibly the most famously devout Champion, Ypolita's morals had reflected the will of Iomedae even since before the mark appeared on her wrist. She stood for righteous justice and honour, and was always willing to step into a courtroom to ensure justice found the correct course. Her dedication to the law did not outpace her dedication to do good, however: there are a number of tales of her intervention in unfair trials, and few could ever defy her will to pursue a satisfactory conclusion.   Again following in her patron's footsteps, Ypolita refused to work with the servant of any evil deity unless the need was truly great - with the notable exclusion of Asmodeus's Champion, who worked alongside her in the War of Magic after his patron switched side. This extended to mortals with evil alignment as well: unless they showed great attempts to overcome their evil instincts, they were to be put to the sword.   This valorous philosophy did not extend to tieflings, drow, or any other species typically seen as 'evil' unless the individual in question proved their morality in front of her, and prejudice against said races in front of Iomedae's Champion was not tolerated.

Personality Characteristics

Motivation

I have rarely seen such a fire in one woman... Ypolita stood for honour with more vigour than most before her, swearing to carry Iomedae's will as if the goddess herself walked the land. And oh, did she manage that!
— Deific Influences on Istralar, page 378
  Whatever Ypolita's personal motivations were for following Iomedae and spreading her teachings, they have long since been lost - but the devotion and joy she drew from the task has lasted through time. She truly believed in her deity's edicts, and served her both loyally and honestly.

Social

Religious Views

As the Champion of Iomedae, Ypolita was both Iomedae's greatest worshipper and the leader of her church - not only did she lead significant reform in the Church's goals, but she is often credited with creating the Festival of Sword's Light celebrated throughout Valathe, and is remembered on the 1st of Rova - one month after her deity's own day - for her sacrifice.

Alignment
Lawful Good
Current Location
Ironfalls
Species
Human
Date of Birth
Lost to the sands of time.
Year of Death
15 EA
Circumstances of Birth
Born with Iomedae's light watching over her.
Circumstances of Death
Sacrificed herself to seal the lands of Tenaerul.
Biological Sex
Female
Sexuality
Bisexual
Gender Identity
Female
Eyes
Deep brown at first; burning silver later on.
Hair
Jet-black, kept back in a secured ponytail.
Skin Tone
Warm medium-brown.
Height
6'5 (varies)
Known Languages
Though Ypolita was initially only proficient with Common, her grasp of languages grew greatly with her adventures: it is said that eventually, she possessed an angel's truespeech.

Iomedae

Iomedae is the (allegedly former) goddess of righteous valour, justice, and honour who rose to godhood following her completion of the mythical Test of the Starstone. She served as another deity's herald before coming into her full powers, and fights for the triumph of good over evil in all things. Despite being younger than many other gods, Iomedae is held in high esteem and has become a household name across all of Istralar, with her paladins and clerics being some of the most plentiful.   Iomedae fell from deity status due to the impact of a Shard entering the goddess of Fate's domain; an incident brought about unintentionally by The Lost Ones. Despite her lack of power at the moment, Iomedae is still globally revered and still fights to regain her powers from the entity that snatched them from her.
 

Current Circumstances

The shield Ypolita erected to protect Tenaerul was first weakened by Eskandar Nerezan and outright shattered by the fall of Iomedae from Heaven. It took the sacrifice of Alysia Undria, sister of Emperor Aneirin 'Cyne' of Aletheia and briefly champion of Asmodeus, to restore the lost shield and prevent Tenaerul's corruption from spreading.   Some months after this, the Lost Ones seemingly encountered Ypolita in a time-displaced event brought about by the Harp of Virtue, one of the Shards of the Void. She came to their aid in a devastating battle against deific figures, but the unpredictable self-sacrifice of one evil foe would have obliterated the famed champion - if it were not for the intervention of her newest allies. Through some strain of magic, champions across the planes were given a choice: save her, or let her die?   Almost unanimously, the champions sought to save her: and now despite her death, despite her final sacrifice and the five-thousand odd years that separate her from her time, Ypolita lives. She knows little, and remembers less - but her life is once again her own, and even with her deity fallen from Heaven, she prepares to again ignite the beacon of Iomedae's light.


Cover image: by Hanhula, Beastysakura/Paizo, and Rochelle Haines on Unsplash
Character Portrait image: by Hanhula (via Heroforge) & Paizo

Comments

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Forgemaster Dimitris
Dimitris Havlidis
7 Jul, 2020 04:45

Absolutely awesome character - you got me reading to the last word.

7 Jul, 2020 11:18

Neat article and incredible character! I do wish there were a few more tooltips or excerpts on key terms/pages like "Terra Arcana" or "The Worldrend", so as to understand her background (or the historical background) better.

30 Jul, 2020 01:25

That's wholly fair - they're very big elements within the lore so I haven't properly addressed them on WA yet. Can't let people see TOO much, and those will take a whiiile!