|Class||Priest of Mitra|
|Professions||Heroine-to-be, Healer, Alchemist|
This Aquilonian girl has surrounded herself in light leathers, including a reinforced cloth skirt and knee-high travelling boots. She has carries a pack on her back and appears ready for swift mountain travel. A mace is strapped to one side of her slim waist, and a miniscule buckler – if it really is a shield – is strapped to her left arm. Aeterna doesn’t appear to have any jewelry, at least not for show. A necklace is found around her neck, with the symbol of Mitra carved in silver. The braid it is on is of cheap quality.
Aeterna stands 5'6" (167cm) off the ground, her brilliant blonde hair kept in maiden-braids that sit gently on the edge of her shoulder armour. She is a pretty girl, not overly so but she is definitely not a half-pict. The girl priest is not overly athletic, but she is slim. She must not be active unless a situation forces her to be. Her skin has spent a few years in the sun; a few freckles fortify her forearms when they are bare. Her posture looks practiced. Aeterna’s face is full of warmth and she carries a visage of determination when amongst allies. She doesn’t look over 20.
Aeterna Firmoare was born on a wealthy settlement between the hillscape of the Wildlands and the great Aquilonian city, Old Tarantia.
Her parents, who had been obedient and respectful followers of Mitra for the majority of their life – as with the rest of Aquilonia – were developed livestock and wheat farmers. Years under the sun had brought the Firmoare’s a slim wealth. For where they lived, at least. If they moved to Old Tarantia, it was sure they would be as common as the grass around them now. Of course, Aeterna was born at one point, at least 19 summers ago.
Her upbringing was not as simple as the folks. Any travelling pious scholar or votary would see young Aeterna’s open mind, free for the taking by any deity. The parents caught sight of this, and the daily dawn and dusk prayers became a push for the young girl to study under a Mitran priest in Old Tarantia. They would not have it any other way, as Mitra was the one and only.
With no siblings and other children few and far, poor Aeterna suffered the company of her parents most her early years, apart from the travelers. She had other ideas about her life. Her parents may be Mitrans and they may feed her prayers of His great deeds and ends to others suffering, but her life was unwritten and she would not have another’s hand scribe it. With her parents being the wealthier of peasants in the settlement they often had visitors staying overnight or for a meal - bards, priests, merchants. Often they would entertain her with stories of heroic barbarians, nomads and thieves of times past. She was impressed, to say the least. It sounded like they had fine lives, not one of boredom and prayers.
During her fourteenth winter her mother became ill with a fever, eventually making mother Firmoare bed-ridden. For the first few weeks Aeterna seemed to be the only soul who was worried for her mother. Her father kept working with the farmhands and would pray to Mitra with her mother in the evenings. All he told Aeterna was that; ‘…The priest will come, sweety. Worry not of your mother’s illhealth.’
Sure enough, the priest came two days later, and three days later her mother returned from the depths of bed. Aeterna was impressed. Moreso than last time. ‘Why hadn’t the travelers spoke of the glorious powers of the servants of Mitra?’ thought she. She began to rethink her future. Perhaps she would learn some more, at least.
The next four years saw Aeterna travelling between her home settlement and Old Tarantia - every season visiting her parents for a few days. The rest of her time was spent performing churchly activities. She learned some basic healing prayers, making wounds heal faster than normal, but no miracle cure like that priest who did to her mother. Some of the meaner (and mostly older) priests told her she was not very exceptional, and that she should rethink her choice. But no, Aeterna’s mind was set. She finally knew what she wanted to do with her life. The high priest had faith in her too, and told the girl that, ‘Mitra has faith in you, and always will.’ She liked that guy, he always knew what to say.
Aeterna’s parents were proud of her recent achievements, and although they had trust and faith in Mitra, they always had a friend of theirs escort her when she was travelling from Old Tarantia to their farmstead. She was fine with the arrangement, and was glad it was no hired bodyguard who may be more interested in stealing her maidenhead than in protecting her from the beasts and bandits of the road. Well, she hoped for the best. The next winter came and went, and in the spring Aeterna marked a journey to her parents.
The girl acolyte met Hermiryn – the previously mentioned parent’s friend – at the same spot in Old Tarantia, just outside the inner east gate, just after midday or lunch – whichever came last. And the journey went well for the first few hours. As the sun was settling, Aeterna’s Wildlands-born instinct told her something was following them. For the most part, she ignored it and kept close to Hermiryn.
But Hermiryn was acting strange. He kept making sure she was there out of the corner of his eye, and was not making his usual gay conversation. Then, as the darkness buried the light on the hillscape, Hermiryn, the great friend of her parents, swiftly took hold of her neck in an attempted strangle, his forearm across her throat and left arm grabbing the back of her head. Initial shock lasted but a second before Aeterna screamed to the heavens. But nothing came out – of course, because she was being strangled. After choking down a breath she frantically thought of her Mitra – if anyone was going to save her from this horrible fate, let it be Him… and just before she unconsciousness took over her, Mitra let forth a powerful burst of energy around his little subject, knocking back the attacker and now dead Hermiryn. His light armor was ripped apart in the blast, and easily seen on his right shoulder was a newly seared mark from an unknown source. He was dead now, so that didn’t matter.
What mattered were the men who had been following them, also with marks on their shoulders. They ignored their dead comrade and took the unconscious girl.