The Matter of the North
Naivara Andraste of the Blue Wolf (formerly Andraste Naïlo)
Sun-Elf-gone-Farang-barbarian/paladin with a propensity for transformations
Barbarian Level: 3
Path: Totem Warrior (wolf)
Paladin Level: 1
Oath (lvl 3): TBD
Rage [friends receive advantage on attacks against beings hostile to me within 5ft of me]
Lay on Hands
- light and medium armor
- simple and martial weapons
Speak with Animals
I was born among the elves, to the Naïlo family. My parents named me Rinn. I’m sure they hoped I would be a scholar like the rest of the family, but it was not to be. I was a slow learner, with a memory for languages and nothing else. I was an alien among my own people, unintelligent for a human, much less an elf. I might have been the village idiot if my people were kind, but our fools are meant to be clever, cleverer even than those around them. Instead, no one spoke to me save to mock me, and eventually I ran away. I was barely into adulthood by human standards, but I took my adult name anyway. I needed a new start, and I was living on my own; it felt right.
I wandered for a long time. All I had was what I wore, a few coins, a coat for the winter, and a knife. Instinct took over. If I saw a plant eaten by someone else, I ate it and shied away from the rest. I hunted as best I could, small things I could kill with just my knife. I barely remembered who I had been; that self was buried deep beneath the animal who survives. I don’t even know how long I wandered, with Nowhere my kingdom and No One my family. Eventually I arrived in Farang. Later I learned that I came not long after they did, settling in the little-known eastern lands.
The Kireng tribe took me in; I think they felt sorry for me, half-starved and still clearly a child, though I called myself Andraste. Our tribe’s symbol was a wolf. No one told me why, and I never asked. We talked little; I merely watched and followed. I learned to ride, to hunt with a bow, to use a sword. I learned their native tongue and half forgot my own. I felt at home in the vast expanse of Farang territory. It didn’t matter that I could barely read or do figures. I could hunt and I could fight, like any good barbarian.
When I finally reached adulthood by right of years, I underwent their initiation rites, the ones that made the boys and girls into men and women. The last step was to leave the tribe for a time and seek your fate. It was eerily similar to what I’d done as a child, leaving the elves; this time, however, there was a real home waiting for me when I returned. No one talked much about what happened on initiation journeys. It was vaguely known that some found renown as warriors, some found more existential or spiritual success. There were even rumors that the gods appeared to their chosen ones during this journey, but it had been long enough since anyone claimed such an experience that the stories had passed into legend.
When the initiates return to their tribe, it is traditional to choose a new name to mark their entrance into the next stage of life. Just like the elves. I could never quite get all the way away from the elves….
Race: High Elf
god: Tengri, the Eternal Blue Sky
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Age: 120 years old
Height/Weight: 5’4", 105 lbs.
Personality Traits: I place no stock in wealthy or well-mannered folk.
Ideals: The responsibility of each is first and foremost to the whole tribe.
Bonds: I have visions of coming disaster.
Flaws: Violence is the answer to any challenge.
I met them in a tavern, the ragtag bunch of uncharismatic elves and a single human cleric whose god seemed entirely too fickle to be worth worshipping. They adopted me as some sort of overgrown child. I think they felt sorry for me much like the Kireng had. But they were kind, and they never left me behind, even when I destroyed half the human’s city with some sort of giant balloon ship. Even their eccentric king took pity on me and let my lute playing and a promise of some sort of research adventure be our payment for the damages.
It wasn’t long after that that it happened. We were in a library, which is really a very boring place when your reading vocabulary consists entirely of words like “pie.” We were supposed to copy a few books, and so I did, not knowing what I was copying except that it had to do with pie. And Celestial, which I knew fairly well but could read even less of than Elvish. When I was done with my mindless copying, I wandered off, glad to have my watchful companions distracted for once and unable to stop me, which they’d learned very quickly to do.
Deep in the shelves of the library, I looked up and I saw him. A wolf, unlike any other wolf I had seen, standing on top of one of the shelves. Evidently the legends in Farang were true—the gods did appear to humans during their initiation rites. The wolf spoke to me and claimed me, and it was that day that I became a paladin.
Not long after I managed to find myself turned into a monkey by virtue of touching a certain statue. It was the third of a series of ill-planned transformations—the first being a potion which made me 6" tall and the second being another potion which made me look like a gnome (of normal height). This transformation was apparently far more permanent than the last two, and no one could work out how to help me. Tired of not being an elf anymore, I called on the wolf-god and asked him to take me to the Hag of the Waste to transform me back. The first place we went, however, was not the Hag’s home, but a shining tent city in the sky, like some celestial version of the camps I had lived in among the Kireng. I drank lemonade from a magical fountain that made every drink imaginable, and I sparred with the Sky Wolf’s servants. The wolf and the elephants’ ancestors we saw later, after the Hag could not help me, changed the mind that had led me away from my people so many years ago.
That was the day I decided my initiation was complete. I stepped onto the Path of the Totem Warrior and took my new name, Naivara Andraste of the Blue Wolf. As the Kireng’s totem, the Blue Wolf was their mythic ancestor. I had a sneaking suspicion that ancestor was the Sky Wolf.