Dreams of Ice and Madness
A tribal shaman, pressed to worship a fierce deity of ice and death for the good of their clan.
Like a tall tree with branches free of leaves, Naidora stands above most humans, her build wiry, skin whitened by icy temperatures with all the blood used in compact muscles below to keep her moving. Blonde hair seems similarly bleached near white, and blue eyes seem too pale, like summer skies. Fur of gold and black is expertly worked into a suit of hide that seems to warm as well as protect, and baubles, totems, pendants and pouches hang prominently across her equipment, interspersed with soft caribou leathers. Crooked white and huge black wolf tails swing from the point of an iron-tipped shortspear and a bow that seems more rabbit fur than wood and horn offer but two examples of the shaman’s equipment.
The worship of Auril has placed great power in the hands of this young shaman, her experiences in the natural world and devotion to nature only bolstered by the gifts that Auril has bestowed. Divine spellcasting to influence the world outside, blessings to protect herself and allies from Auril’s wrath, and ancient connections to past druids make for a potent divine spellcaster focused on ritualized magic, powerful summons and personal transformation. Play Naidora if you want to be able to heal your allies, conjure powerful animals or spirits, and eventually transform yourself into a paragon of nature’s wrath.
The Howling Cliffs, a passage out of the south of The Vale, is a gateway to an even harsher world. Few leave, and none return, for through the southern pass lies a world of even lower temperatures, less food, and more dangerous wildlife. Even at the edge, Humans only survive by one key virtue – reverence of the ice goddess Auril. Born into one of these harsh settlements, Naidora has lived her whole life with a deserved respect for the heartless danger of the natural world. Pressed to aid the tribe from the earliest possible age, she knew only too well what was meant when giant red-eyed wolves assaulted her camp, murdered the current shaman in her sleep, and then dragged her out into the waste.
Naidora met the ferocity of a vengeful ice goddess, and left exposed in the wastes, managed to limp back to her people with a mixture of luck, ingenuity, and, she supposed, reverent prayer to Auril. She returned to become the youngest spiritual leader any in the tribe’s history could recall, and found at her disposal the resources of the entire settlement. Having survived the trial of initiation, she was vouched for, tough enough to brave monsters and magic of the snow to commune with Auril on the tribe’s behalf.
The position required sacrifices – Of food, luxuries, and life itself – and distance from those she spoke for, but for a long time, ‘Brightcedar’ accepted her place and did what needed to be done for the best of her tribe. Yet, of late, she has heard something else on the winds that give the pass its name. Another voice echoes somewhere out there, and bolsters her doubts that the only way forward is to acquiesce to the dark goddess of ice. Her devotion remains, for fear of retribution, but she must journey after the voice on the howling winds, to the north, before the sense that something more natural than Auril can exist eats out her heart for the harm she has been made to do for Auril and that maybe, there can be some way to release the southern tribes from the tyranny of their vicious, indifferent deity.
Goals, Choices, Questions
Fear of Auril and the burden of uncomfortable acts performed against her people trouble Naidora, but the hope of a new way forward helps melt the fear of the Ice Goddess in her heart. Until she is sure there is another way, she won’t provoke any trouble from Auril, and won’t let others disparage her patron either. The whitening is a troubling reminder of Auril’s indifference to humans, and an unnatural warping of animals she would rather protect. Somehow, Brightcedar must answer her crisis of faith in a hostile goddess with the need to be protected from the world she truly reveres, out in the wild wastes.
Know the Wyld