Sanction of the Athar
A warlock seeking to break the bonds chaining her to a god of the Far Realms
In most cases Ellicia is seen wrapped head to toe. The wrappings, similar to long, wide bandages, are well made and reusable with visible runes sewn in at various points. A pale tan color, they can appear almost like skin if seen from far enough away. Though they cover much of her skin, they do not mask her figure. On top of the wrappings she wears more traditional clothing, including soft leather boots and gloves. What’s more unusual is the simple ivory mask she wears under a thin veil, one that conceals her entire face.
Those that find a way to view the woman beneath the wrappings quickly discover why she goes to so much trouble to conceal herself. Her eyes are a milky white, with hints of blue on her barely visible irides. Her black hair looks unusually thin, seeming to float just a bit (this is the result of the outside of her hair being partially transparent, giving it the illusion of resting on air). More shocking is that her skin is also partially transparent. Organs are not visible, yet, but without the wrapping she looks like a wisp of a woman, veins tracing barely visible lines all across her body.
On some occasions Ellicia simply cannot just hide her face behind a mask. In those instances she uses a combination of face makeup and hair dye to try to at least conceal her condition. Over the years she has managed to become quite adept at it, but will often still use the veil to try to mask the false pigment. Applying all of this takes time, and only maintains an effective illusion for a few hours.
Fragments of the Past
Ellicia lay curled up in a ball on the rough straw mattress. At only thirteen she was still a slip of a girl, and wrapped in upon herself like she was she looked even smaller. The room was empty beyond the mattress, and she was constantly being told how lucky she was to have even that. But the truth of the matter was that the mattress wasn’t for her, it was for the patrons. One such patron had left her in this state. When the owner of the Verdant Hearth had first found her like this, complaining of abdomen pains, he has assumed the worse. A pregnant girl was useless to him. Not only would the men not pay for her, but the child was an extra mouth to feed. But, a quick examination showed that not to be the case. It was only a broken rib. Relieved, he generously offered her the day off. Besides, the men were more likely to pay when the bruises around her face started to heal anyway…
As she was lead deeper into the secret chamber Ellicia reflexively pulled tighter against her escort, both of her arms wrapped around one of his. For a moment he stopped and with a soft smile looked down at the nineteen year old woman with him. Suddenly very self conscious Ellicia relaxed her hold and blushed, leaving only her hand in his as he started walking again. When they reached their destination even that contact was broken as her mouth fell open. The room she found herself in was a wonder; expensive drapery, thousands of candles and a large elaborate statue of a wyrm of some kind; but that was not the source of her awe. No, it was the people she shared the chamber with: city councilmen, town guard, wealthy merchants and more. These were powerful people, people whose lives were their own. Loren has told her he could set her free, and as she returned her gaze to his handsome face he was smiling so much he almost laughed.
“Come.” He began simply. “Let us meet your new family.”
Turning (not yet written)
Inner Circle (not yet written)
The seal broken (not yet written)
Within the dark alleyways of aNef’Holom a lone merchant found himself surrounded. Directly in front of him stood the Ivory Serpent, watching him silently from behind her white mask, arms folded. To his right a dark skinned human leaned close, his eyes darting between the merchant and the serpent as he hastily tried to convince the man that it would be a very bad idea if he didn’t come up with his monthly payment… now. To his left a goliath woman towered over him, her hands wrapped around the hilt of a massive sword resting point down in front of her. Above him and unseen was the fourth, a half elf roof runner that would make sure the merchant didn’t make it very far if he refused to cooperate.
Ellicia and her small band were very effective at the protection racket, and after only a few minutes the merchant had handed over his money pouch before stumbling out of the alley. After a quick check to make sure there was enough coin to cover his payment Ellicia nodded to the others and they began to disperse, disappearing into the city before making their way back to a small building they all called home.
As Ellicia began walking her own path, her hood drawn tight around her face, she considered that it might be time to move on. For almost 20 years she had been doing this same thing (Leviathan’s “gift” gave her few options). Drift into a city, recruit a small band of locals, offer their “services” to a select class of merchants (typically those with a reputation for shady business practices themselves) and then disband when they finally drew the attention of the town guard. It was a fine line to walk, making sure that the merchants knew to fear the Ivory Serpent, but also staying relatively unnoticed by the local authorities. And after almost three years in aNef’Holom, Ellicia was starting to feel like it she was about to overstay her welcome.
Though she was the last to leave the alleyway, she was the first to arrive home. The same physical features that made her an excellent “face” for the operation also made her the easiest to identify. So no matter what it was they were doing, of the four, Ellicia always spent the least amount of time on the streets. And by the time the others made it back they found the Ivory Serpent sitting at a table with an open lock box in front of her, four evenly sized bags bulging with coin inside.
No one had to say anything. They all knew that this day would come. One by one, each took their share of 3 years of profit, gathered their things and vanished into the city. There were no tears, no hugs. These were not good people even though they only harassed those the warlock found deserving. But there was respect, approval and trust. If nothing else they were allies.
After the last had taken his share and gone, Ellicia gathered her own things and walked out into the streets. First she deposited her share of the profit on the steps of the local temple to the Three Fathers before heading to the west, towards Amnor and the docks there. Maybe she would try Nenoria next. The gods seemed to have few allies there these days…