Wisp Character in Tarantellia | World Anvil

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(a.k.a. Mortal's Delight, The Ageless Beauty, Alluring Shadow, Tarantellia's Lost Wonder, The Phoenix)

Much of Wisp's life is speculated upon and details vary depending on the region. However, much of it can be distilled down into a tenuous narrative. Wanderer to Seamstress to Burlesque Star to Adventuring Bard Extraordinaire. Then, poof, into nowhere. It's impossible that she's still alive... Isn't it?
It's unclear exactly when she began her life as a burlesque dancer and starlet but it all comes back to her life as a seamstress.   Wisp began her life on Tarantellia walking down a mountain in the snow. Barely clothed and needing comfort, she found shelter in a nearby village. Chivalry was not found there and she was soon on her way again.   Town after town and village after village, Wisp became disheartened. Until she met a kind woman, Dri'tell who gave her room and space to grow.   Her time was not easy. Hidden memories from a buried past rushed to the surface, causing her to gasp for air and wait until her next moment of safety.   In her moments of clarity and freedom, Dri'tell would bring Wisp to the local markets and fairs. Wisp became enamored with the bright colors and fabrics that livened the new world around her.   Eventually, Wisp began to sew outfits for herself. Soon, she was receiving requests from local court ladies, dancers, and courtesans.   Wisp only desired payment so she could continue her craft. So, when someone couldn't afford her wares, she'd make a trade: dance lessons in exchange for a new showpiece.
Wisp, the burlesque starlet, ignited a new era of fashion in Tarantellia that still echo in Bardway today.   Unfortunately, her light was quickly possessed by another soon after her flight began. It's said that he's the reason she gave up on dancing.   We know he blacklisted her across The Claw Continent. The rumors on why are too entangled to separate and dubious at best. Some claim it was a love affair gone wrong, however, Wisp openly and singularly dated women. Others believe she had information that would tarnish his reputation and destroy his family, though Wisp never treated another soul with that level of malice or calculation.   Regardless, it was his actions that brought her out of the limelight and into the world of adventure.

Origins of her Titles

Mortal's Delight

It was said that a performance by Wisp was the closest you could get to a moment of pure bliss.  Surely, anything better is reserved for the gods.

The Ageless Beauty

Wisp's age is more or less unknown.  Her hair has always been white and her skin was always clear despite showing signs of age.  If she's still alive, she'd be at least a century and a half old, a rare feat for a sylph.

Alluring Shadow

This moniker represents Wisp's ability to inflame the hearts of those around her and disappear without a trace.

Tarantellia's Lost Wonder

The name Tarantellia's Lost Wonder began to circulate during Wisp's adventuring days.  When she retired from adventuring, she took to the stage again and erased the name of the man who tarnished her reputation. Her regained limelight erased this title temporarily.   However, when she seemingly disappeared from Tarantellia without a trace, this moniker resurfaced and persists to this day.

The Phoenix

Wisp gained the ability to cast Fly, symbolized by her wing tattoo that stretches from her collar bone to her lower back.  During her first public performance with this new ability, Wisp fell while her party watched on, horrified.     Just before her collision with the ground, her wings emerged and swept up dirt.  The on-lookers believed she looked like a phoenix emerging from a pile of ashes.
Golden Honey, keen, & alert
Crisp White
Skin Tone/Pigmentation
Pale purple skin that shimmers under light
5' 8"

Cover image: Golden Clouds, speckled by Lauren Nelson


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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
12 Feb, 2022 11:58

Nice character : D I'm curious about the people who taught her how to dance since you said they did that when they could not pay for her clothes. Was there a lot of nobles who could not afford to pay for their clothes but still wanted to pretend they were rich / had no choice but to wear nice clothes to go to court etc, or was it more social climbers who wanted clothes they couldn't afford, unless you mean that she also made simpler clothes for poorer people?

To see what I am up to: SC list of articles and goals.
17 Feb, 2022 19:03

Thanks for your feedback, Amélie! ^_^ That's a good point to clarify. Wisp would create deals for nobles in exchange for court dances, etiquette, and/or information, if the need arose. That said, she avoided that for a long time.   I was mostly considering courtesans and people who dance for a living. Those clothes wouldn't necessarily be simpler but the style and materials would vary from the court garb. I don't know really know how to compare them. Eventually, I'll probably make and add watercolor fashion sketches to show what I mean.   In the dancing communities, Wisp found her people. Sometimes watching them, it was like they were floating on air. During her seamstress days, that was her inspiration. I add this to emphasize that she was getting something invaluable to her out of these exchanges.   All of that said, I'm going to wait until later to make those edits. I don't want to miss out on the participation badge by making too many edits.   Thanks again! Looking forward to reading your article, too!

"If we wait until we're ready, we'll be waiting the rest of our lives." -Lemony Snicket
13 Feb, 2022 02:44

As such an important character in her life, we could have used a name for the person who blacklisted her, or at least an alias. Other than that, It was good to see another bard who's medium was dance, as there were not many in the competition. I liked that you explain where her titles all came from, and that she is a seamstress, as a friend of people who cosplay, making the clothes and costumes that many bards or adventurers have is no joke and something i think far too many people take too lightly.

17 Feb, 2022 19:04

Thanks, drunkenpanda951! ^_^ I see what you mean about giving him a name or alias. I hoped that saying she erased his name would be enough but structurally it was probably a mistake to leave him without some kind of reference. I'll have to think on that a little bit. I was trying to avoid it because I didn't want her article to be about the person who ruined her, albiet temporarily.   Dancing bards unite! I'm excited to check out your article, too! ^_^ I absolutely agree, sewing is a huge time and labor commitment that too often gets minimized. A number of my relatives worked in sewing factories, as seamstresses, or as show wardrobe designers.

"If we wait until we're ready, we'll be waiting the rest of our lives." -Lemony Snicket
13 Feb, 2022 20:57

Nice read! Interesting how she changed her career over time. Did she also use her skills as a seamstress to create great outfits for her burlesque career. Also what did she do if a person could not pay and also not give lessons?

Feel free to check out my Orena 'Raitin Bane' page and my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
17 Feb, 2022 19:04

Thanks for your questions, Kefkejaco! ^_^ She absolutely created her own outfits. Some of her designs are still inspiring sewists for Bardway. It's not included in this article because I didn't want her to feel too much like a Mary Sue.   Unfortunately, if someone couldn't pay or provide something of equivalent exchange, her hands were tied. The only exception that I can see is if she had enough scraps lying around, spare time, and inspiration to the point where she couldn't not make it. The problem is the cost of materials and the sustainability of that.

"If we wait until we're ready, we'll be waiting the rest of our lives." -Lemony Snicket
17 Feb, 2022 09:45

I am intrigued /what/ exactly Wisp was. She shows some traits that make me think of Fey (she is called a sylph one time in the text). It would fit with both her need for human interaction and her difficulties with the man who attempted to ruin her. She seems both haunting (in a tempative way) and haunted herself. As well, she seems to desire change (as shown in her picking up sewing to make new clothes) and her constant attempts to reinvent herself in various lifestyles. A haunted fey is indeed a very interesting concept - I would have loved to learn more! Great article.

If you have some time, I would much appreciate your feedback on my entry for Adventure April: Carbon Copy Paradise
17 Feb, 2022 19:04

Thanks for sharing your curiosities, mashd! ^_^ I'll have to think about how much I want to expand on her background. Since I plan on sharing articles with my players, I wanted to focus this version of the article on what they can see.   I can say that she has Fey and Air Elemental roots but her exact heritage is largely unknown by tarants (sentient beings on Tarantellia). At this point, she's legend enough that people tell stories about her but tarant enough to still exist in living memory. Her story hasn't had the time to form into something more consistent yet.

"If we wait until we're ready, we'll be waiting the rest of our lives." -Lemony Snicket
17 Feb, 2022 23:19

Oo, there's still so much mystery surrounding this character. I love the idea that she was both seamstress and dancer though, and I'm intrigued about what actually happened between her and the nameless man. Great article! :)

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
18 Feb, 2022 00:26

A nice and interesting character! I wondered where she came from a few times and who was she? At the end of the article, it is mentioned that her age was a rare feat for a sylph, but it's not specified in the bio on the sidebar, so I assume that's a guess of the bystanders?   You get additional points for writing about a bard that specialises in dancing and not singing. It's on the rare side and on a good one, too! :D

What are passions if not the high times we enjoy life?
— Tílíâr the Lark of Summer
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