Standing at the prow of the ship, Ashala rejoiced at the strong winds catching her midnight-black hair - flapping it like a pennant. The dark clouds ahead would have filled other seafarers with dread. Not Ashala. The dark clouds and wicked winds were an invitation, a challenge.
'Steady as she goes!' she shouted over her shoulder to the shipmaster, 'To the Eye!'
Ashala is the model of Elven beauty with ivory skin, sea-blue eyes and long, raven-black hair. Her figure is lith to humans, but somewhat plump to Elven eyes. That and her hands showing signs of hard labour indicates what she has gone through.
Ashala was very beautiful, headstrong and vain elvish maiden. She also loved the sea and delighted especially in stormy seas. One voyage encountered especially violent weather - an unexpected hurricane. Undeterred, she made no effort to avoid it - in fact she relished the challenge! Unfortunately, though her spirit was strong, spar and stave were weak and the ship was lost. Perhaps through the intervention of some maritime Power that instead of becoming beautiful fish-food, she found herself unharmed and washed ashore on an uncharted island.
The island was inhabited by tribes of humans, and the first that found her were enraptured by her beauty.
She quickly found herself captured and forced into being a wife of the current chief, and eventually children were born of the forced marriage. When the chief died (through battle with another tribe), the new chieftan made her his wife. This established a tradition.
Ashala found out that the long elvish lifespan and resistance to disease came with its own disadvantages, as she became the official wife for many generations of tribal chieftans. Her daughters were favoured over sons by the tribe - they become the wives of lesser chieftains. The sons were denied mates within the tribe and treated poorly. Suitably bitter, the sons tended to meet their ends in the frequent inter-tribal warfare.
The end result of this is that the population on the island now has a large population related to Ashala. The half-elves are longer-lived then the pure humans and so given time, they will become the majority, even should Ashala die or make her escape.
Ashala herself has powerful mixed feelings over her situation. She has come to accept her fate - for the moment - and has gained insight into human behavior that no other elf can match. She will, however, seize nearly any opportunity to escape the island. Although she hates the people for their treatment of her, being the mother of so many of them has colored her view to the point where any violent solution is to her unthinkable. Now she serves as the wife of the current chieftain and reserves her love for her many,many children.
Regardless of other things, Ashala has been horrified by the continual warfare on the island and would not resort to violence except in extremis, and generally only to defend non-adult children. While suffering an indignity that other elves would find intolerable, her strong spirit has sustained her. She has even found it within her to feel some sorrow at the passing of her many ‘husbands’. She sees them grow old - but not too old. The requirements of the chiefs job exclude frail old men from holding it - trial by combat a typical ‘election’ method.
Ashala the Captive
Encountering Ashala’s human captors could be very interesting indeed, especially if there are any female elves in the party. The tribe may decide they need a fresh All-Mother(Ashala is showing _some_ signs of age) or they may view it simply as a right - it has been something they have done for generations. If the PC’s attempt to rescue her, they had best do it without violence or she will refuse to cooperate.
Ashala the Crusading
Having gained insight into human behavior during her centuries-long captivity, she now uses it to help wrest wealth from them. She intends to gather enough wealth to equip an expedition to rescue her descendants from the island and bring them back to her people. As a result, she is willing to entertain even risky business propositions, as she has plenty of time left to recoup losses.
Ashala the Vengeful
Although possessing a great deal of knowledge of humans, she has seen too much of their darker side to ever forgive them. Having been of high birth, she now holds an important political post and is intractably isolationist and anti-human in her outlook. While this will not extend to violence, she is not above allowing violence to happen if this is the result of inaction. PC’s attempting to gain passage through Elvan lands had best hope she has no say in the matter.
Ashala the Discarded
After returning to her people, at first they are joyous. However, when they learn what she has done (no matter that it was forced), she is considered ‘unclean’ and rejected.
Denied her birthright, and ostracized, she now resides in a human city, in a similar role to that she had on the island. That elvish courtesan you see on the street has a much bigger story behind her then you would think. Perhaps she would choose to go back to the island, and so would hire a party to bring her there.
Ashala the Mature
Ashala has by and large regulated that period of her life into a hidden corner, and now lives the life of a normal adult elvish woman. Wise beyond even normal elvish years, she holds no regrets and is starting to look back on her years as the All Mother with fondness. Maybe she walks to the beach, looks out over the waters and wonders how her children are doing? Perhaps she may charter a ship to visit that lost island to see, and perhaps drop off a few gifts.
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? Responses (11)
The proud and independent elf maiden, forced into quite a different mold by the vagaries of Fate.
An interesting character, she could pose a variety of dilemmas for adventurers, depending on how the GM wanted to incorporate her into a campaign. If encountered while the is the 'All-mother' of the tribe, many groups would hope to rescue her: Her refusal to cooperate with the violence that most adventurers rely upon might come as a frustrating surprise to them.
What happens after the leaves the islands could be even more sad, depending on her people's reaction to her return. I could picture her becoming a victim of her own success: She returns to her people, bitter and victimized. Once there she draws upon her vast experience of humanity to counsel withdrawal and isolation, but once those Elvish leaders who are most isolationist gain power, they reject her as 'tainted' by her centuries of dwelling among humans.
On a side note: The islanders would need to practice strict exogamy (marriage/mating outside their own tribe) or would soon face the consequences of inbreeding, as Ashala's myriad descendants became common within the population.
Wow. I absolutely love it because I happen to have an interest in geneology and tracing bloodlines in a game setting. The idea of a lone elf serving as the wife of a tribe through the current chieftan is superb. It is both touching in it's ability to evoke a certain sentimentality and brutal in it's treatment of a single person.
Ashla the Manipulator
Through her time studying her captors and their ability to somehow trump her every escape attempt, Ashla has learned how to adapt to and manipulate her 'suitors.' Over time, through each successive chief she has slowly and methodically bent them to her will and has changed their entire culture. Using this technique she had them finally convinced that she was there of her own free will. She has them build her a ship and uses it to depart the island. She soon hits the 'Ashla the Discarded' scenerio and returns to the island and continues to shape it in her vision.
Is it bad that I can't stop thinking of this sub? She would probably resort to piracy at this point. Turns them into raiders of human villages. Both killing off her human 'captors' while also exacting a revenge on the human race in general. She would probably take even more risks and probably pretty brutal to any human ships while probably ignoring or allowing safe passage to any other race. Would impact the rest of the world to a point with the unsafe trade routes to humans putting them at a disadvantage. Of course she would return to the sea...wouldn't she? Where no where else that she can call home, she has the sense of freedom and memory of how it used to be.
I agree with Scras's comment. The idea of a single wife for all the chieftens and then doing this throughout many lifetimes is an awesome idea. My imagination can't even come up with what she may be able to accomplish over that time, which is what prompted my humble addition.
When she entered my head, I had to put it here. Not entirely sure where she came from.
I like your addition, even though in my mind she would not resort to direct violence. But then again, people change!
I agree with Strolens comment, and therefore Scras's comment :)
wow, gives a certain popular two-worded curse a WHOLE new meaning!
wow!(again) This is such a great idea...wow! mind spinning...more ideas fomenting...wow.
(HoH and further thoughts will come tomorrow)
Is it me? Or is your stuff just getting better and better val? ;)
I will give this the Dragon Lord patented...wish I thought of it award!
wow..what an absolutely intriguing concept!
Yup, those elven lasses are made for life! Eh, lives!
What else does have a 500-year warranty?
In a campaign of mine, it was quite common for nobles to have elven courtesans give birth to their children, as most of the offspring show signs of the elven talent for magic, and enjoy a long life.
This really is nice, and is currently acting as a muse for me to go back on some stuff I have written. Well done.
Good stuff. I like how she's in a bit of a box as what she might do next.