"I trust him more than I trust you, afterall he's the villain. I trust him to stay that way." - Tamora Erhelnes
Tamora is a middle-aged elf with dark Auburn hair and light coloured skin that has been worn by starvation, harsh weather and exhaustion over her life. She is also smaller than other elves, being about the same height as the average human male.
She wears soft leather armour that she has kept in working condition from her time with the mercenaries, including a hooded cloak with 7 hidden pockets inside, hidden inside these pockets is her purse, a water skin, a pocket mirror, a tinder box, a set of skeleton keys and lockpicks. She has a good pair of working boots, a belt and a pair of frayed soft leather fingerless gloves that hides a simple silver wedding band.
Tamora was born to loving parents, who lived in a peaceful little village in the south of the Eastern Territories. Her father was a healer of moderate ability, who usually tended to the villages sick or injured, treating person and animal alike; he never turned away someone that needed his aid even when they were not able to pay him. Her mother worked along side him as an aid. They were well liked by their fellows in their village and in the neighbouring villages and were thought of as ‘good, honest folks’. This early childhood was a happy time in her life, and she was just as kind and loving as her parents.
The family celebrated life with wild abandon, spending a great deal of time at local festivals and parties. They had an exuberance and energy that most others could not understand, were rarely serious unless it came to their work and took joy from all things, no matter how small. People enjoyed being around them, just for the company and the small cottage often had people coming and going. The door was never locked and people were free to come and go during the day.
When she was 10, she found an injured hawk, it’s wing had been broken. She took it home and, with the help of her parents, nursed the creature back to health, releasing it when she found it flying around her bedroom. She had mixed feelings about the experience, both a great deal of happiness knowing that she had made a difference in the bird’s life and a quiet sadness that she had to release it back into the wild; part of her wanted to keep it as a pet.
When she was aged 13, a neighbouring village had an epidemic of mold-rot by their sheep’s ankles, causing them a great deal of pain and discomfort and had asked her parents to aid in their healing. They never gave it a second thought and, after leaving Tamora with a neighbour, they set out to travel to the village. They never made it.
On the second day of their trip, they were set upon by a tribe of Orcs looking for easy prey. Her father was murdered on the battle-field having maimed one of the Orcs (cutting his face and blinding one eye) before succumbing to their greater strength, ability and numbers. He had fought to the end to try and save her mother who, unknown to him, had taken a cut to her stomach and was already dying. She managed to get to the village but collapsed in a nearby field. She died before she could tell anyone what had happened and was found by a wandering clothier (specializing in socks). He brought her to the village to be laid to rest. Word returned to the village where Tamora was and it was decided that after the funeral, she would live with her grandfather on her mother’s side.
Her grandfather was a miserable old man that seemed to have all the joy of life beaten out of him by age and arthritis. She used her as a servant, forcing her to cook all of the meals, doing all of the chores and beating her whenever he thought that she was doing something wrong or if she was too slow or just because he thought she deserved a beating.
The death of her parents and the abuse that she received from her grandfather caused Tamora to view the world with an ‘everything changes’ attitude that was unhealthy for a girl of her age. The other people her age considered her to be peculiar and disturbing, and didn’t want to get close to her, so she learned that relying on others was a mistake; people would leave you, abuse you or just plain not care about you. It soon became clear that she was not going to find anywhere to fit in in the village where she spent those few years in naive bliss with her parents and so it was decided that she should be sent to an aunt in another village not a days walk from her home, but the same problems with the other children arose and she was packed off again. She had two years of constant change as she was moved from place to place.
She finally found a place that she might have called home with her father’s brother. He was just as kind as her father, relaxed and funny, but he was also a sickly man. They spent almost a year together, she as his sick-nurse, aiding him when his sickness was particularly severe, doing the chores around the house and cooking all the meals. She found her self smiling around him and wanted to live in his house for the rest of her life. The other people her age still treated her as an outcast, but for once it did not matter, because she had found someone that she could respect and, in time, came to love. She thought that life would not be so bad.
Her uncle died shortly after her sixteenth birthday, causing her world to fall apart and she could not bear the talks that had started up again about who would take her in, Tamora packed some clothes, food and what little money that her uncle had managed to save and left for some larger towns where people might not look at her as an outcast. She soon returned to her old way of thinking and tried to develop as few relationships, professional or otherwise, as she could get away with.
Lost and alone, Tamora packed some clothes, food and what little money that her uncle had managed to save, she left for some of the larger towns or possibly cities where she maybe able to earn some money and not have people look at her as an outcast.
For the next couple of years, she worked as a waitress in small, dirty inns and taverns where she frequently got into fights with lecherous old men or she stole food to survive, and, although she was never a tall person, the poor care and unhealthy lifestyle caused her to be less developed that she would have been otherwise, which often caused some confusion when it came to her age.
Her abrasive demeanor and lack of regard for anyone besides herself cause others to be mistrustful of her and she often found herself unwelcome in the smaller places of the Eastern Kingdom and so took to traveling, sometimes for or with others but more often on her own. She maintained that she never needed anyone else, but she would always come back to civilization, staying for days or months at a time but she was always aware of the looks she got from people that she spoke to or the people that come to learn of her. She never really felt welcome anywhere she went.
She decided to travel on her own, gaining experience in the wider world and also trying to stay away from gaining any lasting relationships.
On her travels, she joined up with a small band of mercenaries, who taught her as a scout instead of just a thief; they taught her how to use the daggers and longsword that she carried, and had taken her out on several missions; the first being the hunting and capture of a young aristocrat that had offended the mercenaries then current employers. She acted as the rear-scout to make sure that nobody took them from behind. She found the mix of company and solitude pleasing and decided to stay with the group for as long as possible and as such she tried to make herself as useful as she could, although she still maintained a distance from all of her colleagues, she never joined in when they were telling stories about their lives in and out of the troupe although she always listened intently when they told them, she rarely ate her meals with them and would often be found during camp scouting the area or sitting on watch.
The troupe often boasted that they had a strict code of honour, and that they would never leave a member behind, nor would they abandon anyone for the guards unless they had no other choice. They had a close family-like relationship with each other and would often treat each other as brothers or sisters.
She spent several years with the troupe, gaining a wider range of skills and worked ceaselessly to improve her sneaking and assassination techniques but she never felt particularly comfortable about killing people for money and, although she never mentioned her misgivings to the others, the rest of the mercenaries gradually became discontent with her solitary nature and devised a way that they could remove her without having too many consequences for the rest of them. They selected an appropriate mission and set her up as a person on the inside.
The final mission she went on with the troupe was to assassinate a paranoid but very wealthy merchant with several bodyguards. Before the mission, they took out a couple of the merchant’s guards and replaced them with their own operatives, this group included Tamora. She had been given strict instruction to not draw any attention to herself until the signal was given to let the others into the compound. She was then told to aid them and follow any order that she was given. She figured that something was wrong when they set her up in a position that she had very little experience in.
The night started with everything going exactly as planned, the troupe entered undetected and Tamora lead the assassins to the merchant’s bedroom, killing the two guards quickly and quietly before opening the door and letting her colleagues inside with the key stolen from the merchant by one of the other imposters.
After the deed, a shout arose outside in the hall, calling out about murder and to send for guards, Tamora instantly recognised the voice as the newest recruit and swore under her death, thinking her a spy. Then a blinding pain cut through all of her thoughts and her head swam. She vaguely felt someone pull her to the floor and scrabble around her waist.
After her mind cleared of the fog, she realised that the mercenaries had taken all of her equipment and locked her in the room with the corpses of the two guards and the merchant. She tried the windows, but found herself three stories up with no clear route down. As she was looking out of the window, the door opened and several guards entered. She was arrested on the spot. She was locked up and her fate was decided. She had been condemned to death by hanging for the murder of several high-ranking officials, kidnap, theft, extortion and blackmail. When she learned what was in store for her, she used the lock-pick that she always kept stashed in her top to pick the lock of her cell door, stole some weapons and set out to escape. On her route out, she stumbled into a few of guards, two of which promptly attacked, while the other ran off to raise the alarm. She dealt with the fleeing man first, throwing a dagger at him, which buried itself in the back of his neck and then dealt with the other two, knocking one unconscious and killing the other. She was badly injured in the exchange and found herself losing a lot of blood. She slowly orientated herself with the layout of the prison and escaped with no further incidents, all-the-while fighting to stay conscious.
The betrayal of the mercenaries stayed with her for a long time after as she remembered their supposed loyalty to their troupe members and their stories of brotherhood and friendship. She kept thinking about her position in their society, or if she was even a part of it. She just couldn’t get the betrayal out of her thoughts and so finally she decided to confront them, although she convinced herself that she was only going so that she could get her revenge.
I took her almost four months to locate the troupe and catch them up on the border of the Eastern territories and the Great Northern Wilderness. They group had taken more members and they promptly found her as she breached the perimeter of their guards. She was taken to the leaders of the mercenaries where they confirmed her fears; they had not left a member of the troupe behind as she had never been a part of the group. Down-hearted, she left them, realising that, no matter how much she might want to kill them for the injustice, she would never survive a confrontation.
Over the next few of years, she spent most of her time in and out of jails for various petty crimes and finally she could not take being shunned from every population center that she entered, and so she finally decided to make a new life in another part of the continent. She planned her trip carefully, relying on the hope that her crimes, or her association with the mercenary band would go unknown when she signed on with a merchant caravan to the Northern Wilderness. Once she got there, she worked for a time as a caravan guard, trying to make an honest living but she never felt at home with any of them and so the partnerships never lasted very long.
Between jobs, Tamora was found sleeping rough in a old barn that she thought abandoned by Calen, the son of a farmer who lived about four days away from the city of Falcon’s Hollow. Instead of running her off of their farm, the woman of the house (a warm, matronly woman that brooked no argument with the way that she ran her house, who was called Anges) took her into her home on the condition that she would help in the household chores. She spent the next eighteen months, working in the home and learning how to be a farmer along side them. The family respected that she sometimes needed time on her own and was likely to leave for days at a time, but she found herself going back after shorter and shorter amounts of time. It was the first time, that she could remember, she was felt like she was home.
In the autumn of Tamora’s second consistant year with the farmers that had taken her in after finding her in their barn. She was out with Calen’s father, Garrett and his two brothers, in the fields working when she is called back up to the farm house where she found Calen and nobody else in the kitchen. She was confused for a little while, until he lead her to the table and sat her down. He seemed a little uneasy and she started thinking that it was going to be another time that she was going to be abandoned again and started to prepare herself for what was to come. She stayed very quiet as Calen wandered around the kitchen; he started to speak several times but stopped himself each time. In the end, he just turned around, put a simple silver ring on the table and ran out as fast as he could.
She was incredibly confused for a little while and after a couple of hours thinking about what had just happened; she decided to go talk to his mother, Agnes, about it. Agnes just smiled at her and asked her how she felt about Calen, to which she replied that she really cared about him, but she was still confused about the ring. She understood it’s meaning, but she didn’t know whether he was being truthful or just leading her on because she had spent very little time with him and had spoken to him even less. In the end, Agnes told her that he would never be so creul and to tell him that she wanted to marry him. Which she did the next day at the breakfast table. The rest of the family, apart from Agnes – who knew her choice the day before, were stunned and Calen just sat there in silence for a few moments, before laughing. Tamora freaked out, thinking that he really was taking her for a ride. She ran from the room and disappeared into the barn. After about ten minutes, Calen followed her in and told her that he really did care for her, he was just so relieve that she said yes that he couldn’t help but laugh.
She returned to the house and the family had taken the day of so that they could celebrate the impending wedding. They had a feast, and the day was spent dancing and enjoying themselves.
Over then next couple of months; Tamora, Calen and Agnes planned the wedding, from selecting appropriate attire to finding a priest that would conduct the ceremony to what they were going to eat.
After what seems like a year, to Tamora at least, the day finally arrived and she started to get pre-wedding jitters. Finally, she realised that everyone at the wedding was going to be from Calen’s side of the family, having spent no time gaining friends in the community and so having no-one that she was close to. She started to dread walking down the isle with everyone looking at her as a lonely stranger to the community. She spend most of the fine spring morning pacing her room, all the while wondering what the locals were going to think of her. When Agnes, whom she elected as her bridesmaid due to the fact that her parents-in-law to be had no daughters, came to collect her. She was in a state, fearing everything that could go wrong, from her history catching up with her, to Calen not being there and she wanted to call the whole thing off. Agnes, seeing how worked up she was, tried to calm her, telling her that Calen is already at the lake where they planned to wed and after a few minutes, she did calm. Thay made their way to the lake.
As she walked up the isle to Calen, she held her long, pale green cotton dress aloft by an inch or so and had white wild flowers and pale green leaves in her bouquet. She became very aware of the corset, who’s braiding rubbed her arms and pinched her waist. She became aware that she was wearing green, not white. She became aware that there was people on both sides of the isle, including some of Calen’s cousins and their spouses that she was sure she had never spoken to before. And she became aware that Calen was standing at the end of the isle like the dream she had had every night for the past week, only this time, she was not sleeping and he really was stood waiting for her. Tears of joy misted her eyes for the first time in her memory.
The ceremony was a simple exchange of vows and the giving of the rings and for the first time in her life, Tamora felt like she was truly home. She was so thankful to the family and to Calen, she was unable speak. The couple spent the day not far from each other, and she constantly touched his hand, just to reassure herself that he was indeed real and that she was not in some kind of fever.
After almost a year of living as the wife of Calen the farm boy, they had finally raised enough money to buy a small farm of their own and with the aid of the family, managed to set up on a small farm outside of Falcon’s Hollow. They lived happily for several months, tending the land and raising a few sheep in a nearby field that had been rented to them for a very reasonable rate by Calen’s cousin.
Tamora had never been happier in her life, and thanked the Gods for bringing them together. She was a dutiful wife, the farmhouse was always clean and food was always cooked by the time Calen came in from the fields, where they spent most of the day.
After a few months, she heard of strange goings on in Falcon’s Hollow itself, tales of illness that could not be cured and, after another month, of strange beings out at night and graves that had had their occupants removed.
Calen started to get sick and she confined him to the house, and only allowed him to work in the fields when he promised to only do light work, nothing too taxing. She made him drink more water and cooked meals that would help him to recover. His condition quickly degenerated and she was forced to confine him to their bed. She would often go to Falcon’s Hollow in search of tonics and potions that might be able to help him and she called on a priest that would pray over him, beseeching the Gods for aid.
Nothing she done seemed to help and he died a few days later. She was wrought with grief and could not bare to live stay in the house on her own and decided to return to his parents house for a while, until she had got her mind back to normal.
She had buried his body in the small garden outside of the house, requesting that he find peace herself as she no longer believed that the Gods would aid her as they had betrayed her so often in her life.
She retuned inside and while she packed the things that she thought she would need, she found her old armour, her long sword and thief kit. Thinking that they might come in handy, after hearing all the rumours about walking corpses in the area, she put on her armour and sword and placed the thief tools in her cupboard. She was now ready to leave.
As she exited the house, she heard the soft moan, much like the sound that the wind makes when it travels down a faulty flume. It was coming from where Calen hand been buried, so she decided to check it out.
Pulling himself out of the loose earth was Calen, only his skin had turned black and his eyes burned a dull red. A shiver ran down her spine as she drew her long sword. Calen’s corpse lunged towards her in an attack, but she easily deflected the weak attack. Tears burned in her eyes as it lunged at her again, clawed hand outstretched. It raked down her arm. She felt the blow but her armour absorbed the damage, finger marks became visable but the leather looked like it hadn’t sustained any real damage. She side stepped back away from the thing, looking for another alternative to what it was; she could not abide the idea that it was indeed her husband.
Looking around for an answer, hoping that what her eyes were telling her was not true, she saw the lantern that she had lit to help guide her out on to the road beyond.
The zombie, she could no longer lie to herself, stumbled forwards, aiming to attack her again, but she side stepped and came down with her own blade cutting deep into it’s flesh until she felt her blade meet bone. It reeled back, pulling the blade from her hand and then came on again. This time, it looked like it was getting it’s bearings, it was becoming a little more co-ordinated and stable, holding it’s self hunched over, all-the-while, it’s red eyes never leaving Tamora’s face.
She glanced around, looking for a new weapon and remembered the lantern. The wood that she had chopped for the stove was stacked against the wall and there were several branches that she had yet to cut down to size. She picked one up and pushed the thing back towards the gate. As she got to the lantern, she gave the zombie one last push and grabbed the lantern, holding it above her ready to strike when it got close to her again. Looking back at the zombie, she found that it had caught it’s foot on a stone as she had pushed it and had fallen. She moved quickly, smashing the lantern over it’s head and allowing the oil and fire to spread over it’s body. She watched as the zombie covulsed and twitched, burning to dust, only turning away when she was convinced that it was not getting back up.
She then returned to the house, vowing that she would find the cause of the Plague and try to stop it, dealing with any people of problems she found along the way. She picked up a few more choice items, including a couple of daggers and her thief kit. She then left for the south, thinking to find anyone that might know anything about what caused the plague to start.