A new age dawns
Looks like a she could kill you, is actually a cinnamon roll
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Good
MANNERISMS AND APPEARANCE
Bryseis stands at over six foot tall, a regular height for Tieflings, but she has a tendency to hunch her shoulders when in company in an attempt to make herself seem smaller, less threatening- a habit she picked up from an early age in the misguided opinion that it would help her stand out less. She wears her hair up in braids for the most part, the style of which changes almost daily depending on her mood and the task at hand. Though not averse to a softer style, she often adopts what she calls ‘war braids’, knotted tight against her head, held back from her face whilst the lengths are left to fall loose and often waved from the days they spend plaited. She is blonde, a colour which itself ranges from soft bright corn to a murky almost-brown at the roots, and which contrasts greatly with the soft red hue of her skin. Out of context, her facial features are soft, almost delicate- were she human she would even be beautiful. Unfortunately, it is often difficult for people to look past the polished black horns curling delicately from her skull, bled through with molten gold- though a natural colour or bled through from her hair only she could tell you. Her tail is long and slender, though still thickly muscled, and the same deep red as the rest of her. She had a tendency to coil the end around her wrist, or hold it loosely in her hand when in crowded spaces. This she picked up from years in close proximity to people who- not having tails themselves- tend to forget about the existence of hers and thus often stand on her.
Never having access to disposable income and a decent market at the same time, her clothes are often worn and patched. She tends to stick to leathers over semi-shapeless tunics- when without armour, cinched with a wide belt- in terms of garments, as it’s difficult to get decent clothes to fit her; in fact all her trousers have to be self-tailored to accommodate her tail. The only garment she truly cares about- aside from her magic rod- is a heavy woollen travelling cloak, fastened with a solid metal clasp that she’d been given in payment once when she had first started trying to find work for herself.
Brys is a lone wolf type, used to having to fend for herself and having her own back at all times. Although people are disinclined to strike up a friendship with her- more so if they know she is a warlock- if someone were to get past her initial reticence, they would find her a loyal and somewhat trustworthy friend. She can be shy at times, with a tendency toward self-deprecation, especially when faced with overt confrontation. This more than likely comes from a childhood spent trying desperately to not be who she was; an unlovable child hated by her mother and abandoned by a father she never knew.
However, she is also proud of her ancestry and unafraid of who she is. If the insight she gained from her pact taught her anything it was that she is more powerful than she could ever have dreamed of; nothing could hurt her again, not if she didn’t want it to. She’s quick to sarcasm, always ready to joke, but she tries to be a good friend regardless of her hang-ups.
Bryseis had always assumed her father left when she was a baby- practically before her birth- because he had never wanted a child in the first place. Maybe he had hordes of children and scorned ex-lovers in his wake, she didn’t know. All she knew was that she grew up with a mother who barely tolerated her existence and little else. She was an outcast in the village, too big, too different, too there. The children were forbidden to play with her, always. She made friends with a half-elf girl, Faeanys, when they were seven years old. Fae was an adventurous girl, and being mixed-race herself, she understood a little of what it was to feel like she didn’t belong. They had seven years of friendship, despite what most of the people in their village wanted, growing ever closer as each year passed. Until one day Fae up and disappeared. Bryseis was blamed for it; no matter how much she pleaded her innocence, it was assumed that she was responsible. For little over a year she put up with the aura of hate that seemed to follow her every footstep, the casual dismissal that seemed her status quo from then on. It wasn’t long after she turned 15 that she felt she couldn’t just sit back and take it anymore, so she left. Initially she stuck to the trees near her house, mistakenly thinking that maybe someone would go look for her, that her disappearance would be treated much the same as Fae. Instead, all she witnessed was her best friends’ triumphant return from her elven family, where she had spent the past year or so learning about the other side of her heritage. That was when she decided to strike out on her own.
She wanted to stay by herself at first, she couldn’t stand people rejecting her the rest of her life because of something she couldn’t control. She had decided long ago that she would embrace the good in her, the human side, out of spite if nothing else- a way to get back at the people who thought of her as little more than demon spawn. It isn’t uncommon for Tieflings to feel the pull of magic, and Brys had long decided that was something she wanted to explore- goaded on by her best friend’s natural attraction toward it. Though there was no one to teach her what is was to forge a pact, she embraced the ability as a gift of her inheritance, something she became convinced her absentee father would help her with. By the time she hit sixteen years old she found her way into the labyrinthine Upperdark, completely lost but sure that he had to have been somewhere there. Most of the cities she’d heard were more than treacherous, but somehow she found herself in Deep Shanatar, in the somewhat reclusive city of Iltkazar; home mostly to shield Dwarves. Over time she came to the slow realisation that her father had never been there, or if he had, he was long gone, so she changed track. Instead of trying to bury it, she learned to channel her rage into more lucrative pursuits- which included striking the infernal pact that would give her the powers she would come to yield. She took to providing protection to whoever would pay her; traders mostly when they weren’t happy with who they were dealing with. She was nothing of a fighter, used more to hurling books than punches, but there was something naturally intimidating about a Tiefling even here- already six foot tall and not quite grown into her appendages, which gave her a strange air.
Deep down of course she’d always known that she would be alone in that place, too different even there. She learned valuable life lessons in her time spent working, if nothing else. Deep Speech was the common tongue amongst the people she interacted with, so in a trial by fire she’d learned the language and learned it well. It also reinforced to her that she should always watch her back, and place her trust in no one she didn’t fully believe would hold her life to the same value as their own. She was happy there for a while, picking up more about life than she would ever have learned if she had stayed in her village, such as a wider knowledge of her magic, and what the pact she had struck would truly mean for her. She was deeply unhappy in many ways, but contented for the most part, even close to happy, and that’s all she was looking for at the time.
She was ready to move on by the time she was nineteen, learn more about magic and what it was to be a warlock. She spent the next three years travelling, picking up work here and there, her magic as much as a commodity to sell as her image. It was hardly a spiritual journey, but she did use the time to find out as much about herself and who she had become, who she wanted to be. She spent more time than not in libraries, anywhere she could devour knowledge, finishing and supplementing an education long since abandoned.
Bryseis isn’t quick to make friends with anyone, not since she was scorned so badly as a child. She’s estranged from her parents, would hope to never see Faeanys again in her life if she could help it.
Her closest relationships lie in the band of misfits she found herself fallen in with. She finds the Halfling Shaena amusing, and is often bemused by the spirit such a tiny person could have. She isn’t sure about the Dwarf Riswynn, although she seems nice enough- if not a wholly competent fighter- her being a Paladin sits oddly, unsurprising considering their powers come from opposing sides. She liked Lyn although she was unsurprised to see her go, in her experience people never stick around for long. The human Amelie is an oddity, often more cagey than anyone she had known back in the Upperdark, she isn’t sure how trusted she could be. Ill-feeling aside, their friendships had been forged in battle and blood and Brys respects that above all else. They had held each other’s lives in their hands, nothing could forge a closer bond.
Outside of her battle-born attachments, she isn’t quick to trust, and is unlikely to forge any lasting bonds.
SKILLS AND POSSESSIONS
For what felt like the longest time, Brys had nothing to rely on but her wits. She was not bad at brawling, but when it came to a fight she wouldn’t want to pit herself against an equal opponent. Given her size and race, she finds intimidation easy, though she would rather she were more diplomatic at times. Her nomadic lifestyle makes her streetwise, a skill honed to perfection from living in unsavoury places, which comes in useful when she needs to make a quick getaway. Her real strengths lie in her knowledge of history and the arcane, perhaps not the most marketable of skills, but useful all the same.
Though her combat leaves much to be desired, she is skilled in her magic, strictly maintaining the delicate balance of her pact as best she can. She’s also found that her rod can be used as a remarkably useful club when in a pinch.
Though her possessions are always fluctuating- a side-effect of her chosen lifestyle- there are a few things she is always sure to have on her. These include
• Her magic rod- a way to channel her magic in battle, and also, she’s found, useful as both a good- if small- walking stick and an improvised bludgeon.
• Her light leather armour- often a part of her daily wear.
• A journal, more scraps of paper than an actual book, filled with phrases and observations she’s picked up along the way.
• Rocks/Stones- not that they have any specific value, she just feels like they’ll come in handy. She tries to make sure she has at least a few at the bottom of her pack just in case. If nothing else they can be sharpened into improvised weapons in a pinch.
• A well-thumbed book- the actual book itself changes depending on where she can find someone to trade it for something new, she just enjoys having a book on her in case of emergencies.