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Meryl Stormsong

"All things must eventually end and fade away."

0 · 218 views · located in Valon

a character in “Magefire”, as played by Lifecharacter

Description

Meryl Stormsong
"The storm strikes as the Empress commands it."



Image



Full Name: Meryl Stormsong

Nicknames/Aliases: Kinslayer, Tempest

Age: 174

Gender: Female

Species: Half-elf

Occupation: Imperial Guard Captain

Description: Meryl is someone who looks rather young for someone her age, lacking any of the severe wrinkles and sags one would expect to find. Her body, though beginning to lose the tone that rigorous daily exercises had given her for years on end, still looks somewhat athletic, only softer. This is all very likely due to being a Half-elf, though her rounded ears and lack of any real "Elvish" features, has led to some confusion amongst people when they first meet her and learn her age. Even so, her pale gray hair, loose posture, tired eyes, and dark bags under said eyes give enough hints to lead someone to conclude that she may not be as young and healthy as she wants everyone to think she is.

Other than details used in discerning, or, in this case, masking, her age, the two defining features that draw the eyes the moment one looks upon her are the scars littering her face and the very unnatural set of eyes she has looking back at you. The former are mostly the result of her making mistakes with her magic and causing the electrical discharge to use her as its grounding rod, leaving numerous burn marks along the left side of her face. These scars, through their sheer number appear to be one complicated, meaningful marking, simply due to the fact that only three of them don't overlap with the others. As for her eyes, most people either avoid looking at them, or stare, as one can reasonably expected to do when faced with a pair of black sclera and vibrant blue irises, an indication that she is, in fact, a mage and something that has made numerous people very nervous around her.

Personality: Meryl, after discovering her inherent power and being told from a very young age how valuable she was because of them, has grown up to be a very confident, almost arrogant, woman. Whenever she would enter a new type of situation such as becoming a soldier or an Imperial Guard, there would be some grace period where she tried to not appear so, but she occasionally let her sense of superiority slip out. Once she became comfortable with these new situations, though, this feigned humility all but shattered as she let her confidence filled every word she spoke and every action she took, only attempting humility in the presence of a select few who had earned it. Some took offense to this attitude of hers, but a few sparks of electricity and a rush of wind generally made them back down, which only served to reinforce her perception of herself.

After many years of service to the imperial family, though, the humble facade that barely anyone actually believed became somewhat genuine in the face of her imperial wards as she watched the children age and become her rulers. She became gentler to them instead of the being disinterested and ignoring them whenever they came near her. This fondness for the people she was watching over grew into a strict loyalty to them, making the Imperial family the only ones she would ever receive commands from in a sincere, subservient manner.

And, with the years going by and the end approaching faster and faster, a tiredness has begun to take hold of Meryl. No longer does she take every opportunity she can to show others how beneath her they are or make an example out of someone who dared to act as her equal. Now, she just avoids putting on the displays of power that reminded everyone and ignores anything that can't be taken as an actual insult against her, where she would have torn into anyone who gave her anything less than praise in her youth. Her sighing and annoyance at those around her have replaced the boisterous cries and localized storms that made her infamous around the palace and the city. The recent advancements in technology have only furthered this aged feeling, as new, confusing objects have begun to make her not only feel out of place, but unneeded as well.

Skills:
Storm Magic: Meryl has been trained for over a century in the use of magic, focusing the majority of that time on wielding lightning bolts as strong as those that strike from the sky, winds that could knock an armored man off his feet, and storms that can cripple an army's march.

Battlemaster: While she focused more on her magic than on the use of a sword, a long life gave her plenty of time to become more than adept in the use of a sword and the numerous battles, skirmishes, and tournaments she has taken part in have made her a veteran in combat and a dangerous foe even without her magic.

Weaknesses:
Age: Her Elvish blood may provide her with a longer life than a human, but she doesn't have near as much time left as she'd like everyone to think. They see her athletic appearance that lacks signs of a dying elderly person, but she assumes she has, at most, twenty years left and its starting to affect her physical capabilities and her armor just feels heavier and heavier as the days go by.

Loyalty: She is a sworn servant of the Imperial throne, and that means that any order given by the current Empress, whatever it is, will be carried out. Other than the official and honorable loyalty that comes with being an Imperial Guard, she is fiercely loyal on a personal level as the Empire brought her and her mother out of a life of poverty and provided for them for many years, meaning any perceived insult or attack against the Empress is met with a very angry mage.

History: Meryl was born as the daughter of an Elvish tavern girl by the name of Llian and a human father whose name she never knew and who she'd likely never meet. A few months after she was born, when her eyes were fully opened while she was awake, people began to notice her off-putting eyes. Eventually, word of a black and blue eyed baby reached Imperial authorities, who came to the tavern her mother worked at and took the both of them into custody, relocating them to another part of the city. While they were confined to a room, a hallway, and a small garden, Llian never had to work during their time in the Empire's custody and the two were provided with a life more comfortable than any Llian could have provided. At first she was a bit worried, recalling many stories of children being taken away from their parents on the suspicion of being mages, but the only complaint she had about her treatment was that she couldn't see her family or friends, though healthy food, a warm bed, and not being a servant to anyone who walked through the door made it worth the isolation.

When she was about four and capable of speaking and, more importantly, learning, Meryl spent a good amount of the day away from her mother while they attempted to elicit some sort of magical response from her and gave her a light amount of tutelage in academia. This went on for two years before her tutor received a light shock when he surprised a studious Meryl as she was learned a new set of words.

Once this small display of power and potential was reported, tutoring was set aside while they tried to get her to create a similar charge consciously. At first, they were able to get the desired effect when she was startled or excited, but, after several weeks, she was able to fire small amounts of electricity out of her fingers at will. With this hurdle conquered, Meryl's days were now split between continuing her normal education where it had left off, practicing her magic, and, when she had grown older, the training in the use of a sword. She managed to increase the amount of power behind each little jolt, as well as aim them to some degree, but it was a slow process and the mere training would go on for over a decade. After this decade of basic training, when she was seventeen, she had become very adept at controlling relatively powerful bolts of lightning (though nowhere close to those produced in nature) and developed secondary abilities involving the manipulation of wind, which gave her a promising future as someone possibly capable of manipulating the weather as well. Her academic knowledge was also above far above those of common birth, though still lower than most of those born into wealthy families, and her skill with a sword was rather good for her age and level of practice.

After the taking of a fortress that opened up a path directly to the capital, and both retreat and reinforcements deemed impossible due to recent defeats along the border, the decision was made that the survivors of this battle would set fire to the fortress and make their way to the capital in an attempt to do as much damage as possible. Knowing they didn't have the time or the resources to lay siege to the capital, every member of the unit with noticeable Elvish features were gathered up and ordered to infiltrate the capital, where they would attempt to sabotage their defenses as best they could.

With Meryl and roughly thirty other Elves and Half-elves cloaked, coordinated, and ready to infiltrate, two groups were formed. One would try their best to open the main gates to allow more men inside, while the other would make an attempt on the palace, the latter of which Meryl was a part of. While the group tasked with opening the gates was discovered and executed, those making their way to the palace managed to take out the guards and make it inside. There they split off to hunt down as many of the occupants as possible. It was here that Meryl received the first of her nicknames, Kinslayer, as she was the one who found the majority of the royal family eating in their dining hall, and immediately swept through the unarmed family and their guards with a combination of swordplay and lightning. Only four infiltrators managed to escape the palace after the guards were made aware of the intruders, and only two of them managed to escape the city and meet back with their commander, reporting the failings of the other group.

Reportedly, during this mission a storm formed over the city within moments. Lightning set several buildings, including the palace, alight, near constant thunder drowned out the alarms and the shouting of guards causing confusion amongst the enemy, and heavy winds and rain made chasing after them through the muck difficult. Even though Meryl had nothing to do with it and made sure to repeat that fact every time someone mentioned the storm near her, the army she was stationed with wouldn't let the idea die that she caused it and that, if it weren't for her, they wouldn't have made it out.

With their royal family reduced to only a select few children who had been sick during the incident, and another attempt deemed impossible, the commander ordered his army to split into five groups and make for the border. Meryl's group, though it suffered heavy losses, was the only one to actually make it back. Only a few months of fighting remained, after which every member of the army that both took the fortress and attacked the capital had their names etched into a monument celebrating the victory, and the surviving members were knighted and some would go on to receive lands in the newly conquered Elvish kingdom. Since only a few were from families that actually had names attributed to them, most had to now choose the names both they and their children would bear from now on. The story of the storm had, as expected, continued being told and, as stories often are, was severely exaggerated to the point where it now tells of her felling the entire city with her lightning and casting men and beasts aside with her wind, all while singing some ballad, though which one it was always varies. Before she could personally decide upon a name, everyone else around her had chosen one for her and so, much to her chagrin, she was given the name of Stormsong.

After attaining knighthood, Meryl's life was relatively uneventful. She continued service in the military as well as her training in both the use of her magic and the use of a sword, but, other than cleaning up after the war with the Elves, there wasn't much real fighting going on. There was a skirmish here and word of bandits there, but nothing really comparable to the war Meryl had fought in, though that is likely only due to the fact that she was never really assigned to any of the units that were involved in the battles. Even so, the renown from her initial moment in the military as well as her performance in several tournaments that he knightly status now qualified her for led to her being offered a position in the Imperial Guard, something which she immediately accepted. She spent over a century as an Imperial Guard without major incident; emperors came, lived, and died, and had their child ascend the throne.

In recent years though, this peaceful time was slightly disrupted by the Emperor's growing suspicion of the pompous dragons, leading to a few instances of angry (or drunken) riders thinking that they could start flexing their power around the palace. That only accomplished furthering the divide between the Empire and the Order, which was finally solidified when Empress Oriena took the throne and disbanded them. Meryl was actually rather glad the dragons and their holier than thou riders were gone, but their replacements, scientists and engineers, weren't too much better. Still, they lacked the false sense of superiority in the face of a person who could crush all their technology with a flick of their wrist, and that was nice.

So begins...

Meryl Stormsong's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Winterborn Character Portrait: Meryl Stormsong
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Today was going to be horrible. Most days, the Guard Captain awoke much closer to noon than to dawn, relishing in the slight abuse of power magic and status had given her, but today... today was special, and required her to arise before even the sun. It was all due to this ridiculous event the Empress had planned, giving the rabble a sight of the inside of their betters' venerate home and forcing a major security and logistical nightmare upon those who would have to keep this rabble in line. The day before had seen most of the actual planning for where each guard would be stationed, what their patrols would be, when they were to be relieved, and what would happen to them if they deviated from this plan and something happened in their absence.

And so, there, in the main hall, where thousands would soon be gathering in dangerous proximity to the Empress, she stood, wearing the outdated armor she had worn for decades, with all its dents, scratches, weight, and faded colors, watching her subordinates get into their position and evaluating how effective it all seemed. When each of the guards who would be tasked with overseeing this floor were in their positions, their captain dismissed them so they could be attentive for the event. With the main floor secured, and other officers tending to most of the other major areas that were collectively being known as the greatest security risk the Empire has ever known, Meryl set to making sure that the less obvious areas were properly tended to.

There was checking each of the hallways that were to be used by the servants, each of which had a golem or a guard to ensure any harassment ended either peacefully or with a dead commoner, and the paths to the palace's depths. This is where the most annoying of orders were to be found, as the unsightly source of all this technological greatness that Meryl could outmatch over a century ago was being left open to the public. Now, she understood the concept behind today's events; the Empress wanted the people to see her as magnanimous and her governance transparent, but there were precautions that could easily be taken that no one would be bothered by. The most important of which was access to that disheveled dragon girl and her indisposed pet, something no one needs to see and something that could easily be kept out of the public mind with nothing but a locked door and any number of excuses as to why it was so. As she walked down the corridor to the place she rarely visited–for why would anyone who wasn't one of those incredibly odd Technologists ever want to see what was down there–she passed by several golems, placed there to look intimidating and indirectly keep the people away.

When she came within sight of the chamber door, she hesitated to go further; the dragon girl would be inside and the dragon girl was never one to be quiet, agreeable, and stress free. Still it wasn't like it wasn't easily understandable why she was such, what with her great beast reduced to a battery and her revered order scattered like the fools they were. And, with a heavy sigh and her hesitation overcome, Meryl took those extra few steps necessary to notice that the dark outline of the chamber doors was slightly askew. Someone, most likely one of the Technologists with his mind too consumed by thoughts of Magefire to worry about common courtesies, seemed to have left the doors open. As she moved closer to shut them so as to not attract the curious eyes that weren't discouraged by the hallway full of staring, eyeless golems, she noticed something of a more fleshy shape and color. She stopped and squinted to see who it was peering out into the empty corridor, only to see the distinctly ragged looks of the one who spent the most time in that dreary place.

She resumed her march towards the door, but slowed the pace in an attempt to not make the girl adjust her temperament to her appearance and go rabid. "What are you doing, girl?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Winterborn Character Portrait: Meryl Stormsong
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Maeve Winterborn was snapped out of her reverie as she heard someone's voice addressing her. Her attention was pulled to the individual who'd approached. The clunky old armour, the strange inhuman eyes, the impression of irritation upon seeing Maeve. It was Meryl Stormsong. The woman could not say she had any love for the woman, but then that was less out of any personal vendetta and more due to the fact that in her eyes all those who served the empire in complete knowledge of what they had done to her companion was as good as showing their approval of the Empress and VEGA ruining her life, and the Winterborn heir treated them accordingly..

"I am allowed to stand here, am I not?" the woman responded icily.

"Or is that another right I am to be denied? I have already been stripped of my status, my career, my property and any say in what becomes of my dragon. Am I to perhaps be locked in here as well?

Maeve could be an imperious creature. Possibly it came down to having been raised to consider herself to be a person of status. Some attributed it to inherent elven arrogance (though such topics were rarely brought up within earshot of Meryl Stormsong, in fear of reprisal). For the most part however, Maeve was seen as being self-important due to being a member of the Order. Many had regarded them to be a somewhat self-superior folks during their period of influence, though it appeared that old habits died hard in the case of Winterborn, who while as she was she better resembled a vagrant that had wandered in from the gutter she still carried herself like a noble woman.

"No sanctions have been placed upon me that I'm aware of though people scarcely see fit to even speak to me now." the former rider added. She had little exchange with the staff of the palace. Most of those who worked there had little reason to enter the magefire chamber, and those that did were the Esoteric Technologists who ran the project. Those were people whom Maeve resented and held unmasked contempt for. They were always the same. They would stride in, push her to one side and start doing things to her Rah'von as if he were some piece of machinery. How she loathed them.

She was about to speak again when a low groaning noise caused her gaze to snap round, breaking the eye contact she'd maintained with the woman since the conversation had begun to look to the enormous form of the dragon. The drake shook and struggled to lift its head up, tail sweeping across the tiled floor.

"Rah'von!" Maeve called, rushing over to the great beast and wrapping her arms around its head, speaking to the creature in some sort of dialect long forgotten by the majority of people, and most likely dismissed as useless anyway. This seemed to have completely stolen her attention away from attempting to argue with the Guard Captain, as it was wont to do. In regards to her dragon the woman appeared to had a one track mind.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Winterborn Character Portrait: Adion Volf Character Portrait: Meryl Stormsong
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Adion stood, watching Maeve Winterborn and Meryl Stormsong talk. Adion simply stood absolutely still in a shadow, the only differences between him and the shadow was his eyes and the shininess of his scales and armor. When the dragon made the low groan, Adion had to hold back from rushing to help. If this were a mammal, Adion would not have shown so much care. That was a trait about mammals, they had a nice, cut-throat society.

Adion stood still until Meryl left, only then approaching the great beast in the chamber, rubbing his hand across the dragon's scales.