Name: Aelitae (A-leet-ah) Gysse'lyth
Title: Lady Aelitae Gysse'lyth, heir to the noble House of Gysse'lyth, Knight-Commander of the Queen's Own
Standing at five foot ten, with toned muscles and a sturdy build, Aelitae can be a threatening sight on or off of the battlefield. Every movement, every step she takes, betrays an almost foolhardy confidence reserved usually for those either too young to know the dangers of the world or old enough to be one of them. Most would fit her in that latter category. Members of the house of Gysse'lyth tend to have skin that borders between a creamy peach shade and porcelain white, with Aelitae's fair skin being about as tan as they come. Even her countless hours spent outside have done little to darken her complexion. Despite the natural quality of skin that most elves are born with, Aelitae's is not something to be admired. Most of her body is marred with the scars that tell of a life spent at war. Among her scars, the most notable are a partially healed gash stretching from her right temple to her left jawbone, and a burn that covers much of her upper back and shoulders. She wears them all proudly, as physical proof of her loyalty to her people and to the crown.
A knight to her very core, Aelitae will only go without her armor when strictly necessary. When she does, though, her figure can come as something of a surprise. Though her build is strong, armor or no, she also has long legs, womanly hips, and a chest that usually requires binding, lest it get in the way. On those occasions when she is not in her platemail, she tends towards simpler outfits of elven leather, their fine quality being the only indicator to her family's wealth. Her long mane of hair -a deep crimson in color, threaded through with strands of gold and reds of a more orange hue- is generally worn in a braid, with how tight and how intricate it is varying by situation.
Though she is hardly a beauty to be praised by poets and bards, Aelitae is at least interesting to look on. Along with her scars, she has features as sharp as the blade she wields. Her red lips are generally pulled down into a scowl, when she is angry or annoyed, or pressed into a tight line, when she is deep in thought. When she smiles it is like she is a different person, but that will only happen on two occasions; when she is the midst of battle, in which case it will be a grin bordering on predatory, or when she is having a particularly good time with one of the few who she regards as a friend, in which case it will be fleeting at best. Her eyes are some mix between gold and amber, comparable in color to a glass of whiskey. They are also a very good indicator as to her current state of mind; in fact, she generally has a very poor time of keeping her emotion from her face. Another reason why she is more suited for the battlefield than the ballroom.
Armor- The armor worn by the knights of the Queen's Own is specially made for each individual. They are designed with protection, ease of movement, and intimidation in mind. Each piece of armor is etched with intricate designs that, upon further inspection, are actually a series of interconnected runes symbolizing strength, honor, loyalty, and all other qualities expected of a knight. As commander of the group, Aelitae's armor has the additions of the runes being lined with gold and her armor being inlaid with several of the same common stone that the queen has on her circlet.
Long Sword- Ever at Aelitae's side is her sword. It is a relatively new one, a reward from the crown for her performance during the battles at Temperance. Like most elvish weapons, it is enchanted to prevent the usual wear that would otherwise happen over time. Inlaid on the hilt are stones to match those on her armor, as well as several precious gems.
Knives- Aelitae generally carries on her two ordinary knives. One with a blade of nine inches, mostly decorative. It was a gift from her younger sister, so she does her best to wear it when possible. The other has a blade of four inches, and is generally tucked away in her boot. She isn't the best at fighting with knives and she has little talent in throwing them, but she likes to keep them both with her for her own reasons.
Bow- Despite her inability to shoot with any real accuracy, Aelitae always carries a bow with her into battle. It is a standard issue bow for members of the Queen's Own, and thus of excellent quality. Note that this is the only weapon she will elect not to carry when possible.
Warhorse- Almost six feet at the shoulder, the dappled stallion Aelitae refers to simply as 'Horse' is a magnificent beast indeed. He is very hard to spook in battle, but unfortunately has a mind of his own and can be very obstinate at times. When going into battle the horse is generally armored. When out of it, he often carries Aelitae's traveling packs. In these packs are a few essentials; a bedroll, a wineskin, a change of clothing, etc.
Among the more notable of the elven houses is that of Gysse'lyth. It is among the more wealthy and, while its influence has declined a bit over the centuries, it remains among the more respected. Historically speaking, its main influence on elven society has been the powerful mages it has produced for as long as it has existed. A good amount of the more prominent mages in elven history have been of the house. Very, very many have existed outside of it, and many members have been born with only the slightest bit of magic in them at all, but it is simply something that they are known for.
The most recent head of the family is one Jarvanna Gysse'lyth, a powerful mage who trained young elves in magic so that they may protect their people. Her late husband is Uthavel Gysse'lyth, a talented healer who generally busied himself with running the household. The two were married from a very young age, but both would be over four hundred before either had any desire for children. It was another fifty years before Jarvanna was with child. The pregnancy was a difficult one, for good reason; when she was several months along, they realized that she was having not one but two children.
She was in labor for almost a full day before giving birth to two young girls. The first came easily enough, but she was kicking and screaming from the moment that her near golden eyes locked with her father's. The second child was a different matter entirely. She was a deathly pale, and did not cry. The only sound she ever seemed to make was the occasional weak mewing. No one expected this second child, with her sad silver eyes and frail body, to survive. But survive she did.
Aelitae was her sister's elder by only ten minutes. But she was fiercely protective of young Nyonna all the same. Where you saw one, you always saw the other. They were very different, even as children, but that did nothing to hamper their strong relationship. When Aelitae wanted to go tromping through the forest, Nyonna would always stumble after her, and when Nyonna was too sick to rise from bed, Aelitae was ever at her side, speaking to her softly and fetching her anything she asked. Nyonna strengthened as they aged, a fact that Aelitae met with unbridled joy. But everything changed soon after they hit adolescence.
Both received, for the most part, the same lessons. While Aelitae performed better in all things physical and military related, Nyonna excelled at academics, particularly theoretical magic, the only magic they were allowed to learn as young children. Both girls were usually very good about accepting their limitations in those subjects that they had little interest in anyways. After adolescence, their mother began to teach them real magic. Not history, not theory, but real magic. Nyonna took to it well; it soon became apparent that she was an absolute prodigy. And, as in all things, Aelitae was her sister's direct opposite. In fact, she seemed to be one of the few members of the Gysse'lyth household born with no magic whatsoever.
It killed her. For nearly twenty years, she tried and tried to learn the art of manipulation. As time went on, her mother labeled her hopeless, eventually focusing her attentions exclusively on nurturing Nyonna's rapidly maturing talent. After her mother gave up on her, Aelitae's father tried teaching her for a time, but his trip to visit his sister's home turned deadly after a bandit attack on his caravan. For a while, Aelitae was very lost. Though she had very little interest in magic itself, she had no idea how she could be the Gysse'lyth heir without it. What interested her most was swordplay, but it would surely be irresponsible of her to put her life in jeopardy by going to war.
If only because it was all that she seemed to be good at, Aelitae continued her lessons in swordplay, riding, combat, and military tactics. It was uncommon for a noble parent to allow the heir of the family to pursue such a path, but her mother had made it clear who her priority was. At first, her mother's indifference made Aelitae feel lonely and worthless. However, those feelings soon turned to anger. This anger only fueled her in her training. She mastered the use of swords of all sizes, hand to hand combat, and learned strategy at a rate that shocked her tutors in other subjects. At the age of ninety, with the mentality of a very young adult, she approached her mother and declared her interest in becoming a knight. They reached a mostly unspoken conclusion that, if she did so, she would be heir only in name. Feeling that this was already the case, Aelitae accepted this condition and was shipped off to the castle to begin her knight's training.
Most other young elves sent forth to become knights were nobility, like her. Unlike her, most were second or third children. She rose above her peers in sword combat and hand to hand combat, and rode with the very best of them. These successes made her failures all the more prominent. She was the very worst among her fellow trainees when it came to archery, and despite her efforts she has scarcely improved to a sub par level of skill, annoying her greatly. Then, there was of course magic, a skill that she would come to find was almost expected of a knight-in-training. She worked in the areas even though she knew that she simply had no skill at them, and worked even harder to improve those that she knew she could.
Her training lasted for a good twenty years before she and her fellows were knighted. Most were given smaller groups of soldiers, sent to patrol the borders of their territories until called back for war. But Aelitae and three others were offered membership to the Queen's Own, an elite group of some thirty knights whose leader reported to the elven queen herself. This group could mobilize much more quickly than a normal calvary group, and had a variety of functions. Sometimes they were the Queen's personal guard, sometimes they were sent to handle conflicts too large for closer but less skilled groups to handle. And sometimes they were sent along with the normal army, providing assistance and raising morale by rallying the troops.
For much of her time with the group, they handled smaller missions. Fighting wild elves who attacked their settlements, groups of demons lost from the main hordes who entertained themselves by pillaging the land. But them came the oracle, confusion, war. Aelitae took her vow of loyalty to the queen very seriously, as did the rest of the knights of the Own, and they did not question their orders when they were sent against races they had been at peace with for generations. First they were sent against the dwarves, going to each city after the initial waves to squash any further resistance. It was the last Knight-Commander of the Own, one Terhel Dryearee, who struck the final blow against the dwarven queen. Soon after that battle, the Queen's Own were ordered to ride for Temperance.
The seige started soon after their arrival. By this time Aelitae was the second in command of the group. For three months the Own tested various methods of getting past the city's walls, when it was finally the normal army who broke through by sheer force. The city was theirs. On this last day of battle Terhel was fallen by the arrow of a dwarf, getting revenge for the death of the queen. Aelitae took his place as the Knight-Commander. An uneasy peace had returned, and the Own busied themselves in the following months with patrolling the city and its surrounding areas. It was a very stressful time for all who lived within the city's walls. Every day, they expected retaliation, someone to take the city back by force. Aelitae was almost glad when their queen sounded the retreat.
As it was part of her duties to attend audiences with the Queen when possible, Aelitae was the first to hear of the new treaties being forged. However, it still came as a surprise when the Queen revealed her plans to send the Own to the new city to add to its new joint guard, as a sign of goodwill. She also told Aelitae that she would be on this city's new council, her reasons being Aelitae's unquestionable loyalty to her people, her knowledge of the city, and her military history that even their old enemies would have to respect. Though she had never seen herself as the politician sort, Aelitae did as she was bid, and readied herself to ride with her knights and the other representative to what would be their new home.
Aelitae views herself as, first and foremost, a knight. She strives towards the virtues that she swore to uphold that day, so long ago. Patience, humility, loyalty, perseverance. Some she near embodies. Others, not so much. Those who know her personally know that she is easily annoyed and has a temper that can damn near take hold of her. Many smaller things get on her nerves; from smaller actions of her doing, such as missing a parry when sparring, to bigger things, like one of her men doing something that she views as terribly stupid. Her full anger is a bit harder to provoke, but there are a few things that get her almost every time. Mentioning her lack of ability in magic or archery, for one. She will also not tolerate any insults towards her Queen or towards her race. She is very proud of her elvish heritage, and can border on racist when around dwarves or humans. This is one aspect in which her experience in war does not help.
Humility is another trait she can have trouble with. While she lacks talent in many areas, those she does do well in she is usually at master level, and it is those traits she seems to place her focus on. She has a problem when it comes to her pride in her own abilities, to the point that she has nearly lost life and limb from underestimating worthy opponents in battle. These experiences have done nothing to change her attitude. Those who are familiar with her generally arrogant persona would be surprised to learn of the insecurities she does have, but they most certainly exist. If someone notices and comments on these insecurities, she'll generally cover them up with a boast rather than actually talk about them.
Despite her flaws and the sometimes questionable things she's done while at war, Aelitae is, at her core, a good enough person. She honestly cares for her men and her people, and she's risked her life more than once to help innocents to belong to neither group. Though she can be brash and aggressive, speaking to her in a calm situation reveals that she can be a very agreeable person. All she wants at this point is to serve well on this new council, so that she may do her Queen and the Alliance proud.
Other: None at the moment.