Allies (White Handed Wanderer?) ***
What does one do with thousands of freed slaves, with no gainful method of employment or hope of bettering their position in life? Why, you put them to work, that's what you do. The idea was Merayen's, the organization was mostly Skyla and Menedraile's, and both Randall and Amanan ponied up most of the cash to pay the workers. The project itself? Roadwork. More specifically, repairs and expansion on the road that was known in the First Age as the Eastern Provincial Tradeway. Once people, thousands of people, began focusing their attention on his little part of Creation the effect on the Wanderer was effectively instanteous. As larger and larger swaths of the road were repaired (the repairs on the Madaan/Mar route are about halfway complete, and work is underway on a Madaan/Ironguard route), the effect upon the God's standing in the Eastern Court of the Ordered Lane was simply astounding.
It's important to realize that the White-Handed Wanderer was never a weak god. In the First Age, he'd been in charge of a vast and important trade route, whose very existence served to empower Creation and hold at bay the Wyld. Now, alone of the Road Gods of the East, he's the Master of a First Age Road that's seeing active expansion. Nor is this expansion a hollow act; Skyla found the art of road-making rather pedestrian though the full power of the art still eludes her. Then, a season ago, the informal alliance between the Sarine Valley, Madaan and Budan Mar decided to name itself the East Provincial Alliance and the White Handed Wanderer found himself the de facto head of his Spirit Court.
Contacts (Seventh Legion) *
Most of the people you knew in Lookshy died in the Battle of Mishaka, or now consider you one of the Anathema as a matter of Immaculate Dogma. Even so, you know there are a few people you can look up in various Redoubts if you need information, and ever since the binding of Sabbadhine you've kept in very loose contact with one of the Rangers who fought beside you: Karal Malaku. He doesn't trust you, but he's willing to talk to you and exchange information.
Contacts (Hundred Kingdoms) ***
Since working to form and stabilize the East Provincial Alliance, you've become quite knowledgeable in the ways of the Hundred Kingdoms and have managed to loose confederation of knowledgeable individuals who are able to keep you informed of what's going on in the region. The most notable of your contacts was also your first, Randal Saeris III, the Bandit Prince of Madaan. He knows more about the larger region than you'd have imagined. You've also managed to develop a cozy relationship with Gleam of Emerald, the proprietor of a trade house in Budan, who knows more people from more places in the Scavenger Lands than anyone you've ever met. You've even earned the ear of Laughing Tigress, the eldest daughter of the Queen of Terisia and a notable scholar of the regions history. Even when these contacts fail you, you've managed to meet a great number of people in your travels around the region, and the odds are someone knows what you need to know.
More people know of and listen to Menedraile, but more important people listen to you. Since the Exodus of the Five Peoples, you've spent your time trying to keep the Alliance stable and alert the other nations of the many threats that lurk just beyond the light cast by their fires. You've entered the halls of many Kings, Bandit Princes and Warlords and many of them respect you for your insight and keen eye. When you speak, you audience often listens, and as you've shown yourself surprisingly impartial in matters of state (often on the advice of Menedraile, when you don't want to be), these leaders often heed you as well.
You could have made a tidy fortune in the past year, if you'd desired to do so. You have not done so, however. Instead, when others offer you gratis, you either turn them down or offer them another place to spend their money. You live very simply, in a small dwelling nestled in with the rest of Nulam (simple necessity finally convinced you to stop staying in the Inne all the time), eating much as you did when you still had the Aegis Implants. Your only luxuries are relics of your time of service to Lookshy. Though, recently, you did accept a gift of a Horse from a Madaanese Rancher who you saved from a Hungry Ghost. The horse's name is Blackfire, for the flame-like black patch on the face on his otherwise white body.
Try though you do to avoid it, you've become the Maimed Goddess. You've two temples, one in the small town you lived in after your retirement (as you've heard) and another in a small niche of Madaan. You've had arguments about your own divinity, and why they shouldn't worship you, with your own priests. The longest and most passionate are with Faded Morning, who runs your Shrine in Madaan. Thousands whisper your name daily, saying prayers, and you sometimes imagine you can hear them in your sleep or in the quiet moments. So far, the best you've been able to do is ensure that prayers to you also end up being prayers to the sun.
You can regain 1 temporary Willpower point every 24 hours as a reflexive action, and gain 3 additional motes per hour from ambient worship.
Kodo, and Podo, your two pet Ferrets.
- 8 motes - Thrice Blessed
- Level Four -- Earth Commanding Stone
- My Circle, especially Misati (Platonic Love)
- Meek and defenseless (Fiercely Protective)
- Lookshy (Patriotic Pride)
- May Blossom (Romantic Love)
- Peace (Faith)
- Avilar Topeka (Hidden Romance)
- We with power, especially the Exalted, must work together in peace and crisis. ***
- I should not be Worshiped. **
- Always offer mercy, and a chance for Redemption. **
Merits & Flaws
Disfigured (3pt flaw)
A member of the Zenith Caste, Merayen was one of the first of the Circle to Exalt, tracing her Exaltation back a little over a year and a half ago. She had only recently been retired from the Seventh Legion, where she had served for a full decade as a Gunzosha in the First Field Force and risen all the way to the rank of Taizei (Captain). Even coming up on the forced age of retirement for all Gunzosha, as more than a decade in the life-draining armor is considered cruel and an unnecessarily traumatic experience, Merayen was ready to leave the world of war behind her. She had gone into the service full of vigor and humor, but constant warfare and the death of those around her chipped away at her defenses leaving little more than a facade. Yet it was her last campaign that truely tested her.
The initial attack on Thorns by the dead was largely unnoticed by Lookshy, which adopted the position of "let the Realm take care of it," until it became very apparent that this was a very real threat. Due to the overwhelming power thrown at Thorns and level of organization involved, the city had fallen by the time Lookshy decided to mobilize to protect its interests in the Scavenger Lands. Even so, a sizable contingent of the First and Second Field Forces moved to secure the areas north and northeast of Thorns.
Merayen's unit was one of those called into action, positioned fairly close to the growing shadowlands with orders to hold their ground and gather what intelligence they could on the enemy. What followed was a week of boredom, involving nothing more than paranoia and the occasional short encounter with a stray zombie, followed by two days of absolute terror as the dead moved to consolidate their territory. The advance of the dead began suddenly, signaled by the whine of shock pikes, and didn't really let up until the commander called a general retreat two days later. The forces of the Deathlord seemed greatly varied- a great mass of zombies, abominations formed of multiple corpses sewn together and animated with some foul sorcery, spectral armies, nemissaries, and less explainable things.
Then there was the woman, a beautiful figure on the edge of the battlefield, draped in black and with long flowing hair that billowed out in the wind, She never really saw her in much detail; always in the distance, on the very edge of her vision. The unit certainly tried to get a closer look, but was never able to push through. Merayen never really knew who she was, though after the campaign had ended ((in what was optimistically called "a limited success", despite the casualities suffered, due to the information gathered) she began to hear rumors.
It was amidst all the initial panic that she finally retired. The Deathlord eventually stopped his advance, consildating his newborn shadowlands and sending out emissaries to his new neighbors, but nobody really knew what to make of it. In a way, she understood the threat, but more than anything else she was tired -- even if she'd wanted to continue to serve, her time was rapidly coming up, and the choice was very much out of her hands. She was somewhat numb after the armor came off, and not just because of the surgery to remove the implanted amulets. Merayen'd never be able to rest in Lookshy itself, so she arranged for a "transfer" to a small village not far from Nasaru Redoubt in the Hundred Kingdoms and planned to live the rest of her life there.
It took her a long while to adjust to "civilian" life. She'd earned her citzenship and a fair amount of silver over the course of her military career, and that had afforded her a chance at some happiness. She didn't really have many suitors worth mentioning; only a few were willing to look past her scarred pitted body, and those that did were pretty obviously over interested in either money or land. The local children were kind enough and always appreciated a good story, while the local tavern was run by a fellow retired Lookshy soldier who treated her like royalty due to her service among the Gunzosha and (tried to) give her free drinks whenever she came in. Still, though; you can't really escape war totally.
She'd still get news, from home or just of some fresh conflict brewing somewhere in the kingdoms. Few people started trouble in the Western Hundred Kingdoms, especially so near the Redoubt, but you couldn't really escape the rumors. Old departed friends haunted her memories, and the lonliness began to creep in as well. She was making the adjustments but maybe it was a little harder than she'd first thought. If given more time, well... She probably never would have been entirely comfortable but she were getting "old" regardless...
That's about when the Sun found Merayen, two years after she'd finally retired and "settled down". Or, more accurately, that's when she found the Sun. She can still remember it with perfect clarity. She'd walked into the village in the midmorning, just a bit of cloud-cover leaving the sun bright in the sky. "You who seeks solace, and yet finds no peace." That was when she first heard the voice, ringing out clearly like a bell. She glanced up into the sky, toward the shining disc of the sun. "I offer you shelter under my warmth and light. You who have set down your weapons of war, I ask to pick them up again."
Tears filled her eyes, and a light seemed to blossom around her, but she could pay little attention to such things for the voice continued its words. "In anger, I once turned my face from Creation, but I shall do such no longer. You are among my priests, a daughter blessed in my light, charged with bringing peace and rest to the weary people of the lands of men and striking down those that would abuse and corrupt your world. Take my light, and bring it into the dark places, and do what you know is right and just." Slowly, the awareness of the voice began to fade and Merayen Firryen lowered her gaze from the sky. A crowd had gathered around her, fear and awe in their faces.