Moon’s Tear - an amulet of warding made of pale gold and a single blue-shimmering gem. It is meant to hold Anrathi’s little secret dormant.
Elstera semi-sentient guitar that, while it looks like it could not produce any sound (it is almost flat, just an adorned piece of wood), it can be tuned to sound like a guitar, an organ, chimes or a plethora of other intruments.
Certainly an uncommon sight, Antrathi stands over six feet tall, yet slender and gracious. While walking on two legs, she resembles a fox more than anything else, with scintilliating red fur, a scarlet tail that appears to be dipped in cream, and foxy ears and muzzle. Her mane (I would not call it hair) is a ruddy gold, long and adorned with lots of silver coins with holes bored in them.
Her eyes are very observant and lively, always searching hence and forth to find the muses.
She’ll dress in greens and browns as well as leather, suitable for a life on the road, and carry a stave and a bow for hunting. As well as that, she will carry a guitar a flute, a drum and a pet parrot, Knight.
Wars happen, and he who does not live by the sword may still die by it. So did the family of a farmer’s lass called Lily. Some face their loss, and live on, but this one could not. Thus, she fled, away from the society of man that caused her so much harm, into the woods, where beasts kill for food, not for riches or amusement.
There, she dwelt, more beast than woman in her madness, until a fox spirit strolled by, and took pity of her, feeding her and fending off beasts she had to hide from. Two summers passed, and she gave him a child. The rest of their tale is not our concern, for they gave the childe into the care of a travelling singer - while the parents were to stay in the woods until death them parted, the spirit chose not to deny his daughter the company of man.
Thus, Anrathi was rased as a daughter of humans, always on the road, always searching, challenging horizons and braving new worlds.
Keen of mind, and congenial of spirit, she liked joy and amusement most, little to wonder there, as she spent her youth amongst humans amusing themselves. In time, she became a competent singer of her own, but also more than that… with seeing how the people suffer, she tried to ease their pain, either through cheering them up, or placing a well-aimed comment on the deeds of those in seats of power. Being a bard, she was free to go hence and forth, with little concern for borders, and felt little restricted by the laws of man, as while she was welcome for the joy she brought, she was shunned for the mystery that was her heritage.
So it was untila young lord rose to the duchal seat of Renrak, Christian by name, a wizard by trade, open-minded, and great of spirit. Anrathi first sought his company to aid his subjects, to teach him wisdom, but then, it became more - his mere presence sparked the ideas for new songs in Anrathi’s spirit, while her art led him to excel. Thus, they went from being a personal entertainer and his liege to being lovers, later husband and wife.
Can happiness last forever? Those two will never learn that. Envious of their prosperity, a neighbor, lord laRochelle, revealed himself as an enemy and sought to claim their lands and lives.
His campaign was short-lived though, for in the very first battle, he fell by the blades of troops exceptionally led by Christian and Anrathi, and only his daughter was to mourn his death, but she did so with great fervor. Such was her hatred that she called names forbiiden to man, cast spells meant to be locked away, and called upon forces darker than a murderer’s heart. And she was heard.
Ahra-Sityah was the name of the beast that rose from the very bottom of the abyss, and first it claimed the life of young lady laRochelle, then her people. Andthen it went to do the same to Anrathi and her love, the former deaths being just a sacrifice, a payment, though an involuntary one, for the deed to come.
Christian was not ill-prepared, and the wizards of academies he founded stood at his side. Still, the beast seemed to have no flaws in its blood-encrusted hide. Only Anrathi’s song kept it at bay, and all began to tire. Christian and Anrathi looked into their eyes, a lovers’ glance meeting, and they understood. While Anrathi sung, all the wizards shielded themselves, and left her vulnerable. The demon closed in for the kill, but then , her melody was no longer one of refusal and defiance, but one of lure and promises. Thing that the bard was offering cooperation seeing as how ‘cowardly’ her comrades left her unguarded, the demon leapt forward to find a new home within her form ... only to be bound by gossamer chains of magic later, thread upon thread, while Anrathi did not cease to sing.As a key to the threads, Christian used his family amulet that he gave to Anrathi after this, a seal to contain what only a spirit good and ingenious could face.
Since that day, Anrathi’s fur was not brick-red but rather carmine, and her amber eyes a rather blazing orange, and time seemed to pass her by, all while deep within her a presence dark gnawed at her will. She did not have to eat, and sleep seemed but a distant unnecessary memory, but she would have exchanged all the boons for being free of the dark presence still. Her song though, and radiant spirit, keep the beast chained.
To Christian she gave half a dozen healthy children, but her love aged, and the Reaper took him, as it is the way of things, while Anrathi was like the day she chose to be a cage for the beast. With her children being self-reliant, she left for the road again.
Anrathi knows that out there, there are her offsping and their children, and the kids of those, as well as many an innocent, and does wrestle with the beast night and day. In the presence of revlry and joy, the beast is weakend, and thus she seeks to bring music and song to as many as possible. Ahra-Sitya knows her strength, and seeks to taint her art, because of this, some of her songs will be so tragic that even stones weep, while at other times, her merry tune becomes such a wild crescendo that not even the best dancer can keep pace. She, untiring, travels from realm to realm, carefully avoiding danger, for when she dies, the demon will claim her shell. Thus, the beast has been urging her to aid tose in need when the threat is great, and, to say the truth, she cannot simply stand by and watch. It has been using her fear of something happening to her offspring as a way of putting herself in danger furthermore, and its influence over the vile and depraved to add substance and steel to fear and threat.
She might have the strength of a bull, the fires of Acheron and the frost of the Abyss at her disposal to aid the needy, but drawing upon these gifts would mean surrendering pieces of her soul to the shadow within.
Whether she can win is uncertain - she is resourceful and unyielding, but so is her adversary, and the eternity is long.
Outwardly, Anrathi will seem all well - a renowned bard of legendary skill, great diplomat and idol and ray of hope for many a common man, excellent storyteller and even better lover, but one who oberves carefully and empathically could notice the struggle.
While she can give comfort, she sure needs some as well. Anrathi finds solace in her art, but that might be not enough in the long run.
the PCs could for example learn of her secret, and try to keep her safe or help defeat the beast. Or they could be unwitting pawns of someone intent on setting the demon free… they could be concurring bards intent on finding her secret, or a PC could try to become an apprentice.
They could try to persuade her to intervent somewhere, only then finding out her secret and realizing HOW much is at stake…
The possibilites are many.
The guitar is the last gift from Christian. She will be very attached to it.