Shadows of Gold
Aislinn (Ash) Maresbreath
"Have you ever smelled a mare's breath? Not as nice as it sounds."
Aislinn (ASH-lin), or Ash to those who know her, is a tall halfling with thick, black curls that frames a face full of concern. She is quiet, except when she is playing her pan flute or humming. Even then, her music is slow and directionless, as if it were only for her. She doesn’t talk about herself much, except to confess a love of horses, and she will occasionally talk about being a stablehand before she signed on with Elian. She’ll joke about the absurdity of a halfling taking care of horses, but it’s clear that this can be a sore spot with her if pressed. When you do get her talking, though, she can be jovial, joking and a kind ear. All the while, one can always tell that she has something on her mind, and occasionally she’ll seem like a thousand miles away.
If one manages to get her to talk about her past, she will take on a sad countenance, but will talk about her family and the town where she is from, Tullochmore (though she rarely names the town). When she does, she focuses on the stables and her parents, Neve and Felim Maresbreath. Every once in a while, Ash might mention the town’s elder, Ciannait, but will quickly change the subject when she realizes who she is talking about.
She has a farmer’s build, with an all-over strength gained from working with horses and other pack animals. For a halfling, she is about as nimble as any other, which is to say that she is a bit quick on her feet, but not exceptionally so. She is also fairly alert and somewhat hearty. Ash spends a lot of time with her white pony, Edelweiss, and she can often be found talking quietly to her companion. As can be expected, Ash takes very good care of Edelweiss, washing, brushing her coat and picking her feet daily.
As for her training, she focuses on fighting with a pair of small axes or a spear up close, and with javelins at range. Not surprisingly, she trains in fighting both on the ground and in the saddle, and she always seems fairly in tune with whatever beast she is riding (usually Edelweiss). She isn’t what anyone would call naturally good at fighting, but she is capable enough, though a skilled fighter might notice that she has a bit of trouble getting out of the way of blows, at least for someone training for martial combat, and the leathers she trains in won’t mitigate much.
Her relationship with Elian is a bit different than others’. He seems a bit more yielding with Ash, and even holds private training sessions that neither one talks about. Ash will take a fearful look when asked, but will brush it off. Elian will seem like he wants to say something, but will dismiss it. Ash was one of the earliest pupils, but those who were there near to when she began instruction might remember her having terrible nightmares that have subsided with time. There’s definitely more than Ash and Elian is letting on, but neither one are talking about it.
Just so that there is no confusion, Aislinn is a warlock, but due to reasons none of the other characters know about, she refuses to use any of her patron-granted power, and she won’t talk about it directly with anyone. Other characters will likely guess that there’s something going on, but for the most part, they should approach her like an agile fighter. That’s the only kind of training they would have seen her take up (unless someone managed to sneak in on a training session or something, which we can coordinate). Feel free to contact me and we can discuss what your character might know about the mysterious part of her.
“This power inside me has no place being loosed on this world; I must sever myself from it or else become consumed by it.”
“People cannot know that I possess this power; it will only lead to questions I do not want to answer and requests I must not complete.”
Neve and Felim Maresbreath—Aislinn’s parents. Ash was raised to care strongly for family and the home, and she shares a strong bond with them through the horses. Ash had always been a homebody, preferring the company of her parents and the animals, so she was always closer to her parents than to others in the community. Having left home has weighed heavily on her heart, but she knows that leaving was better than remaining.
Ciannait Cloudheart—Tullochmore town elder. Other than her parents back home, Ciannait is the member of the community she is closest with. Among her many responsibilities, Ciannait teaches the children of the community. As it happened, Ash was the only child near her age in the town, so the lessons were very private. Unlike other children, Ciannait spent time with Ash, imparting her wisdom and way of seeing the world. As a result, Ash learned a lot about judgment and taking the practical approach to things, as well as being a good citizen and important part of the community. Like all others in Tullochmore, Ash respects and reveres Ciannait, but she feels closer because of the amount of time they have spent together one on one.
Even after becoming an adult, Ash and Ciannait could still be seen together. Some said that Ciannait was to Ash what her grandmother might have been, had she been alive when Ash was born. Others say that Ciannait was grooming Ash to take on her role in the community, but Ash would always dismiss this speculation, stating that there were much better people who could lead the town. It is because of Ciannait’s judgment and wisdom that Ash left her home. It is also because of her influence that Ash sought out a teacher, to have an experience similar to her childhood.