Wrath of the Righteous
Flame haired like her patron deity, this beautiful elf moves with grace and power.
Aleanora was one of twin elven children born to priests at the Temple of Desna in Iadara. She and her brother Variel were raised by their father in the Temple of Desna, after their mother left to travel the starry road in Desna’s footsteps. Both children were dedicated to Desna, and were destined to become clerics devoted to the stars as their parents were. They were allowed free reign over the temple grounds and were favourites among the worshippers, clerics and lay priests alike.
While Variel joined the journeymen travelling the Elven lands from a very young age, and showed great promise with the Star Knife and the sword, Aleanora was not really interested in following the ways of Desna, preferring to stay with the Temple healers and learn about the healing ways. The temple healers found Aleanora to be a willing student and a tireless worker. She loved to tend the gardens where the healing herbs were grown. The temple healers often sent her in search of herbs in the forests. She would wander the hills and forests alone in search of the common and the rare herbs that would assist with disease, fever and pain.
The forests around the elven capitol were mostly safe but it was never far from all the residents’ minds the threat of Treerazor and his minions. Aleanora listened to the stories told by the Desnan journeyman, but was never concerned. It was a surprise then the day she encountered her first demon. She was returning from the forest when she met a beautiful woman asking for directions to the Temple of Desna. Most of the elves coming and going from the temple temple were known to her, either temple priests or worshippers. It was not uncommon for elven travellers from far and wide to visit the Iadaran temple, after all travel was sacred to Desna. Aleanora felt uneasy was an innocent elven child who had never known real danger so she began to lead the woman to the Temple. It was under the statue of Sarenrae in the avenue of the gods that the woman grabbed the child and began to feed off her innocence.
The temple priests, concerned at her failure to return, arrived just in time to see the woman kissing the child. They were familiar with the wiles of the succubi in Treerazor’s service, and knew they had to act quickly. They banded together to kill the succubus, but she had already drained the energy of the child. Aleanora was unconscious at the foot of the statue but unmarked otherwise. When she awoke four days later, she seemed unmarked after her ideal.
In accordance with her father’s wishes, Variel and Aleanora were sent to train with the holy warriors of Desna as soon as they were old enough. Variel excelled as a Warrior for Desna, but to Aleanora, Desna’s teachings just didn’t feel right. Even though she had grown up in the temple, Desna’s teachings did not come easily. She focussed on learning healing and the care of armour and animals as that was the only thing that really felt right. She took to walking the avenue of Gods to assist in her mediations. One morning she was mediating under the statue of
Sarenrae, when the first rays of Dawn illuminated the statue’s wings. Aleanora saw a visage of a beautiful woman on the stone statue. The visage spoke to her of Sarenrae and of the teachings of the Dawnflower. She believed she had found the answer to her question.
Taken by the glory of the herald of Sarenrae, Aleanora immediately told her father of her plan to seek the teachings of the Dawnflower. Her father was less than pleased at her decision. He was angry that she should choose another deity over Desna. He was the head priest of Desna, how could his own flesh and blood be called by another god. Aleanora was steadfast in her decision and despite her father’s pleas, left later that day.
Sarenrites in Kyonin were uncommon. Luckily Aleanora had grown up in the temple world of Iadara. She had heard the Knights of Desna talking about the other orders, even about a special kind of knight, the Paladin. The Sarenrite training temple was small but the battalion of Paladins and clerics who trained within its walls were dedicated. Aleanora knocked at the door to the temple and offered her services as a lay priest. A battalion was just returning from a pitched battle in the forest, and her skill in healing was immediately put to the test.
Once all the knights and paladins were healed and resting comfortably, Aleanora was approached by the Sunmother, head of the Temple of Sarenrae. She told the Sunmother of her former training, the visit in the Avenue of Gods, and her desire to one day be a warrior for Sarenrae. The Sunmother, having recently lost a number of warriors in an incursion against Treerazor as well as many earlier skirmishes, agreed to allow Aleanora to join as a squire. She was assigned to a team of Paladins and set about caring for their weaponry, armour and horses.
For twenty years Aleanora worked as a squire, training, caring for horses, cleaning weapons, studying tactics and learning the art of battle. She showed great prowess with the bow and the elven curve blade. While not a powerful warrior, she was agile and shrewd. She showed intense dedication to the care of the knights under her care. The Knights looked resplendent in their gold and blue armour, and the horses were the picture of health. Sarenrae had truly shone on Aleanora in a way that Desna never did.
Study and hard work paid off and eventually, she was assigned to one of the Sarenrite lieutenants as his personal squire. Seraniel was the most powerfully built elf she had ever seen, and he practically glowed with Sarenrae’s favour. Aleanora was fascinated by this powerful man and made sure his armour gleamed and his curve blade was polished and sharp.
Seraniel was a kind master and treated Aleanora with respect. He helped her with her swordplay and worked through Sarenrae’s teachings. He became her sponsor for entry into the Paladin order. After many years of hard work, first as a squire and then as an apprentice Paladin, Aleanora was finally ready to be ordained. Aleanora returned to the Temple of Desna to speak with her father and brother. Variel was now a true Knight of Desna and had joined their father’s personal guard. Her father refused to see her, still angry at her “betrayal” of Desna and all her teachings. Variel, however, knew how much work Aleanora had put into becoming a Paladin and came to see the ceremony.
After her Ordaining, Aleanora was placed in Seraniel’s team. They had become good friends while she was his squire. They were sent to the borders of Tanglebriar to make sure that none of Treerazor’s minions infiltrated the forest and made their way to Iadara. Seraniel and Aleanora continued to grow closer and despite the imbalance in their ranks, began a relationship. They kept this a secret from their fellow paladins and only consorted when they were not on duty.
One day when both were not supposed to be on guard, they had arranged a meeting in the forest at a hidden glade not far from camp. They had taken some supplies and spent the day together. They were sleeping wrapped in each other’s arms in the warm afternoon sun, when the other members of their platoon entered the glade. They appeared fresh from a recent battle, their armour was scratched and bloodied. Aleanora and Seraniel leaped to their feet. Seraniel’s second in command spoke quietly to him and placed a pair of manacles around his wrists. The same was done to Aleanora, although without the words. They were led back to their encampment. They saw the shrouded bodies of two of their companions and immediately realised what had happened. They were placed in makeshift cells and remained there until a new battalion arrived to take their place. They were transported to Iadara and brought in chains before the Sunmother.
The Sunmother’s voice held disappointment as she spoke to Aleanora.
“You have brought great dishonour on the Church of Sarenrae. Your thoughtlessness in leaving your outpost and spending the day with your commanding officer in a show of hedonism directly resulted in the death of two of your companions. This is one of the church’s greatest sins and as a result you will be banished from Iadara, and in fact Kyonin, for the rest of your days. You will atone by going to the Worldwound and fighting the demons there. May Sarenrae forgive your thoughtlessness and grant you redemption.” She was instructed to gather her belongings and be gone by the dawn light.
She penned a quick letter of apology to her brother and begged the guard to deliver it to the church of Desna. She wanted him and her father to know that she would seek redemption and atone for her actions. As she sat in her cell awaiting the dawn, she saw Seraniel being led in chains past her. His gaze was frightening. He looked a shattered man. They were not allowed to speak as he was led to his fate.
The next morning she left Iadara and later Kyonin to begin her banishment and atonement in the Worldwound.