The Coming of the Zioth


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zioth:pc:ardith [2012-11-07 13:25]
zioth:pc:ardith [2018-12-23 17:25]
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 ====== Ardith ====== ====== Ardith ======
-==== Description ==== 
 Ardith'​s long hair is tied in a bun with cords dyed with berry juice, two each of red, blue and black. She wears an unbleached linen shift and bodice, a deerskin jerkin, and low brown boots. Ardith always wears the Sign of Andritha on a chain around her neck. The Sign is a three inch circle of copper with a large onyx in the center, obviously quite heavy, but Ardith wears it with the ease of one long accustomed to the burden. Ardith'​s long hair is tied in a bun with cords dyed with berry juice, two each of red, blue and black. She wears an unbleached linen shift and bodice, a deerskin jerkin, and low brown boots. Ardith always wears the Sign of Andritha on a chain around her neck. The Sign is a three inch circle of copper with a large onyx in the center, obviously quite heavy, but Ardith wears it with the ease of one long accustomed to the burden.
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 Ardith is a Priestess of Andritha the Mother. She is also one of an exceedingly rare few with access to Andrithan magic. Ardith is a Priestess of Andritha the Mother. She is also one of an exceedingly rare few with access to Andrithan magic.
 +// This is Ardith'​s original character history, written before the game became low-magic, and before certain things were solidified. For example, Andrithanism doesn'​t have an "order of the Ortilauf,"​ and the person Ardith fell in love with probably wasn't really a wizard.//
 +Ardith was born and raised in a mid-sized village in southern Rang,
 +on the knees of the Koril Mountains. The principal occupation in the
 +region is black-dirt farming in the valley and sheep herding on the
 +mountain slopes. (Koril is like the Foothills of the Alps: Broad,
 +fertile valleys between mountains gradually getting bigger as you go
 +south. Rocky slopes). Her father, Torvad, was the village carpenter
 +and general fixit-man. She was the second youngest with two older
 +brothers, Gan and Will, and an older sister Diana. Torvad was a good,
 +hard-working father, teaching his trade to his sons, but leaving his
 +daughters mostly to their mother until she died bringing the youngest
 +brother, Dirnwald, into the world. Ardith was seven at the time. Ardith
 +had learned some lore of herbs and mushrooms from her mother, and with
 +or without her mother often visited the village "​hexe,"​ Varnis, an old
 +spinster wise in healing, herb-lore and the casting of minor clerical
 +spells. The old woman was pleased at Ardith'​s interest in her wisdom,
 +and taught her much.
 +With the death of her mother, Ardith spent more and more time with
 +old Varnis, until that woman finally began to teach her the secret arts
 +of clerical concentration Two years after the death of his wife,
 +Torvad decided to re-marry, and chose Puline, the beautiful but spoiled
 +daughter of the blacksmith, just fifteen years old, and barely a year
 +older than her brother, Gan. This did not please Ardith at all.
 +Puline'​s superior attitude and her demands of Ardith and Diana to do
 +all of the work around the house, tending not only to the cleaning, the
 +chickens and the goat, but tending to her, Puline as well, while Puline
 +sat and drank Brandwine, drove Ardith further from her family.
 +Diana, now eleven, was becoming plump & attractive in the eyes of
 +the village'​s young men, and Ardith, scrawny in their eyes, and still
 +only nine, grew jealous of her sister. She resolved to learn all she
 +could from old Varnis. The "​hexe"​ taught Ardith the Basic Rites of
 +Meditation, concentrating on the reputed acts of Andritha.
 +Clearly the old woman still believed the old legends of the gods and
 +godesses, but she taught well. After another year, Ardith could heal
 +minor animal and human injuries. When the Gitane came through the
 +village that summer, Puline was pregnant, and Ardith told Varnis that
 +she was determined to go with the Gitane and leave the village forever.
 +Varnis tried to convince her to stay, warning her of the dangers of
 +travel, but Ardith was adamant. Finally, Varnis spoke to the wife of
 +the leader of the Gitane, and asked her to take Ardith under wing until
 +they reached Zadothar, the next town of any size, and there to deliver
 +her to the Chief Adept atthe Temple of Andritha. Some silver passed
 +Her adventures and misadventures getting to, and living in Zadothar
 +could make a short story, but in the end, Ardith became a Cleric of
 +Andritha, of the order of the Ortilauf.
 +== Later additions ==
 +After their show no longer produced enough revenue, the Gitane broke
 +camp and moved out of the village, richer by a small sack of silver
 +gleaned from  their entertainment of the villagers, and one young
 +healer. Keja, the leader'​s chief wife, guarded her young charge out of
 +respect for Varnis, the "​hexe,"​ and out of honor for the few silvers
 +she had given her. Yet,  Laetshi, her husband, felt differently.  ​
 +"Keep the silver, my love, and dump the Gorgio (pronounced Gah-joe)
 +girl at the next village. She is too skinny for child-bearing,​ and has
 +not the cunning to '​chor'​ even a chicken!"​ he proclaimed. ​
 +"Hold thy tongue, you old horse. Was not this girl put into our
 +hands by Varnis, the conjuror of that village? ​ And did that woman not
 +cross my palms with silver? Would you chance the displeasure of the Old
 +gods? And what is this talk of child-bearing?​ She has only nine
 +Laetshi backed off, grumbling.  ​
 +So it went, from village to village, while Ardith learned. She
 +learned a bit of the Romany language, the "old Tongue"​ of the Gitane,
 +she learned the "​Patteran"​ - the signs made with sticks and small
 +stones by which bands of Gitane left messages to be read by other
 +Gitane, about friendly and hostile villages, when they last passed,
 +and which way they were going.
 +Until, as the small caravan of '​vardos,'​ brightly colored live-in
 +wagons, was attacked by a band of orcs as they crossed a pass. The
 +Gitane easily beat off the attackers, but Laetshi and his brother Janos
 +took wounds from arrows. Keja removed the arrows and bathed their
 +wounds in herbal teas, but the wounds continued to fester.  ​
 +"​Ayee!"​ she cried. "There is poison or evil magik here!" ​
 +Ardith said, "Keja, let me see the wounds." ​
 +Keja allowed her, and Ardith concentrated her powers, and cured both
 +Laetshi and Janos. The Gitane leader changed his tune after that. He
 +even offered her the honor, in his sight, of becoming his youngest
 +wife, but Ardith demurred, saying it was not for lack of love for the
 +Gitane leader, but that she wished to follow the advice of her teacher,
 +Varnis, and go to Zadothar to study her craft.  ​
 +Eventually, the caravan arrived at Zadothar, there to spend the
 +winter away from the deep snows of the mountains. ​ Several bands of the
 +Gitane gathered there, in an open square not far from the market.
 +They celebrated their reunion, and offered their attractions to the
 +"​Gorgio,"​ telling fortunes, making music and other merriment, all for a
 +few coppers or silvers.
 +Laetshi was unwilling to let Ardith go to the Temple - he wanted her
 +healing powers in his band.  But at last, with Keja's help, she went
 +off to the Temple. There she met the Abess, Gutrin, and presented the
 +letter Varnis had written. Gutrin welcomed her. 
 +Ardith was given her own cell, with a clean bed, a desk and a bowl
 +of clean water. As good as she had at home. For the first time in the
 +two years since her mother died, Ardith felt safe and at home. Gutrin
 +seemed just like Varnis, just as kind, but wiser.  ​
 +Ardith proved to be an able student. She did well in all her studies
 +of concentration,​ of the ancient language, Sarnam, and learned her
 +letters and numbers. But she was less successful with the martial arts,
 +showing ability only with the quarterstaff.  ​
 +Ardith'​s life in the Seminary was comfortable,​ she enjoyed her
 +studies, made friends among both the young men and women students.  ​
 +That is, until Ardith was raped. ​
 +She and three other students went to town to shop for the upcoming
 +Feast. It was Market Day, and the square was even more crowded than
 +usual with visitors there for the Feast. The students separated to find
 +the things they would buy for the Feast. Ardith was looking for bright
 +cloth to use to make a costume. She was now thirteen and it was to be
 +the first year she would be allowed to dance in the streets on Feast
 +As she was examining the wares of a toothless old woman, a burly,
 +dirty man with rotting teeth came up behind her and caught her by the
 +wrists. Forcing them up behind her back, he marched her into a crooked
 +Fortunately,​ one of the other students, Saul, saw it happen and
 +marshalled the rest of the students to run to help her. By the time
 +they arrived, however, the attacker had bent Ardith face down over a
 +watering trough, lifted her robe over her back, kicked her feet apart,
 +and with her wrists still clamped behind her back, had roughly and
 +painfully taken her virginity.
 +Her friends knocked the attacker down and pummeled him with their
 +staves, cudgels and fists. They meant to take him back to the Temple to
 +the Abbot and Abess for punishment, but before they reached the
 +seminary he managed to give them the slip and was gone into the crowd.
 +The Abess took the weeping Ardith to the bath and let her soak in
 +hot herbal water. While Ardith'​s body recovered, Gutrin explained to
 +her about the difference between love and lust, and about the herbs
 +that prevent pregnancy. She was going to administer some, but when she
 +examined Ardith she determined that the man had not inseminated her.  ​
 +Thanks to the Abess, her student friends and the Abbot, Ardith
 +recovered quickly -- physically at least. She resolved that she would
 +no longer allow  herself to be so helpless, and made great progress in
 +her ability with the quarterstaff,​ and for the first time showed an
 +interest in the martial spells. She also learned to be an excellent
 +markswoman with the sling.
 +Ardith did not dance at the Feast that year, nor for three years 
 +thereafter. As eager to do so as she had been before, she was equally ​
 +reluctant thereafter.
 +At sixteen, she was already the best healer in the Temple after
 +Gutrin herself. One day, a badly injured Wizard was brought to the
 +Temple. He was close to death. The man had been stabbed by an orc-blade
 +and been badly burned. He had lost much blood. Gutrin had the
 +unconscious mage carried to an empty cell and called Ardith to assist
 +The most urgent matter was to stop the blood loss, clean and close
 +the stab wound, then to clean and seal the worst of the burns. Ardith
 +and the Abess had to cut the charred tatters of his robes from his body
 +and peel strips of partly burned cloth from his flesh before they could
 +begin their healing. His hair and beard had been singed all but off,
 +and they cut away what was left and washed away the soot. His face had
 +not been too badly burned, and Ardith noticed that he was a good-
 +looking man in his early thirties, younger than she had first thought.
 +They worked for hours to heal the worst of his wounds. They didn't
 +cover him for fear the linens would irritate the burns, instead they
 +lit a fire to warm the cell. Despite their healing spells, his hands
 +were still bad, so they wrapped them up in herbs. Ardith remained in
 +the cell to watch over her charge while Gutrin arranged for food to be
 +brought to her.  ​
 +During the night the mage regained consciousness and Ardith got some
 +herb tea into him, to replenish his fluids and also to ease the pain.
 +She learned that his name was Orodin.  ​
 +Ardith kept a round-the-clock vigil, eating and sleeping in the 
 +convalescent'​s cell and applying her healing spells and skills for an
 +entire week while Orodin slowly recovered. Since his hands had been so
 +very badly burned, she had to do everything for him. Yes, everything.
 +She bathed the wounds with healing potions. She fed him hand to mouth,
 +mostly bread, broth and herbal infusions to aid the healing. And, she
 +had to assist him in relieving himself.  ​
 +This last was a stuggle for Ardith. Not only did it bring back
 +memories of her rape, but also it was the first time in her life that
 +she had touched a man's privates. But somehow she managed, and actually
 +the experience helped to defuse some of the hurt and anger she still
 +They became friends. Orodin was much taken with the young Ardith,
 +and, though embarassed at his total helplessness,​ was grateful of her
 +healing and welcomed her presence, her company and intelligent
 +conversation.  ​
 +It was on the day the bandages came off his hands that Ardith told
 +Orodin of her having been raped. She broke down and cried about it for
 +the first time since the day it had happened. Now it was the patient'​s
 +turn to comfort the healer. He held her in his arms and stroked her
 +hair with his still painful hands while Ardith wept.  ​
 +When Gutrin stopped by a bit later to relieve Ardith for a few
 +minutes, Orodin spoke to her in the Old Tongue.  ​
 +"​Gutrin,​ knowest thou that thy student suffereth anguish in her soul
 +from the rape she endured? Her body is healed, but her soul remains in
 +torment. Cast thou, please, thy best spell of healing upon her instead
 +of on me. If it mean longer suffering for me, so be it. I will heal.
 +But yonder young woman may not." ​
 +Gutrin replied, "​Orodin,​ thou speaketh well. We are too close to her
 +and did not see her anguish. It has been three years since she was old
 +enough to dance at the Feasts, yet at Feast Days she sulks in her
 +rooms. She needs not only healing, which I shall give her, but also a
 +gentle man so that she know that all men are not beasts. I see that you
 +are such. Be good to her, Orodin."  ​
 +The mage merely nodded.  ​
 +When Ardith returned, Gutrin applied her spell. Ardith blinked
 +twice and staggered a bit, but showed no other sign of anything having
 +Despite that Orodin was nearly healed, Ardith kept visiting his
 +cell, spending her spare time from her studies and duties looking over
 +the mage, bringing him herbs, poultices and extra food. They talked
 +long and far into the night.  ​
 +One day, Gutrin found Ardith in the herb pantry, mixing a
 +contraceptive potion. She made no remark, but after a few minutes she
 +went to Orodin'​s cell and peered between the cracks in the ancient
 +door. She smiled when she saw Ardith, naked, squatting over the equally
 +naked mage's hips, her body undulating slowly, and both of them
 +uttering moans and groans of pleasure.
 +Gutrin smiled, knowing that Ardith was healed of her hurt from the
 +rape, and had learned the pleasure of her womanhood.  ​
 +When, at last, Orodin was completely healed, he called for Ardith.  ​
 +"My young and beautiful healer,"​ he said, "it is time for me to go,
 +go and resume my battle against the forces of evil." ​
 +"​Orodil,​ no," Ardith cried. "No, you are not yet strong. Stay. Stay
 +and grow stronger."​
 +Orodil smiled and lapsed into Sarnam, "Thou sayest not, but I hear
 +thee say, 'stay and love me more.' My love, my very dear love, know
 +that thou art my heart'​s fondest desire. Thou hast healed my body, thou
 +hast comforted my soul. Thou hast been healer, friend, lover. But my
 +quest calls unto me. I must go to meet Evil. Were I but a farmer or
 +smith, I could -- and would -- stay with thee in bliss forever. But I
 +am sworn to my quest. Know that I love thee. Fare thee well." ​
 +"​Orodil,​ my love," Ardith said, also in Sarnam, "I understand. I,
 +too  have a mission. I shall miss thee. I love thee with all my heart."​
 +They made love for the last time that night, for Orodil returned to 
 +battle, and was killed while thwarting an evil spell, thereby saving
 +the army of the King.  ​
 +==== Notes ====
 +Stops to pick herbs when in medows.
 +Aristocratic she isn't, however, as she has been with the order
 +for eight years, I think we can consider her educated. Unlike most
 +people of her background, she can read and write, and knows Sarnam.