Name: Arvena, though she cannot remember her surname. She goes by the nickname Shade normally
Birthplace: Balmora, Morrowind
Physical appearance: Possessing the grey skin and red eyes typical to her race, Arvena appears to be just a normal Dark Elf. Her long hair is so dark a brown as to be almost black and normally bound back so as to not impede her vision though when in safety she sometimes releases it, allowing it to fall freely. She is lithe but not muscular, slim at the waste and the shoulders. A few scars decorate her torso, none of them deep enough to have cut muscle and so impede movement. They are the scars of a swordswoman whose mistakes have been infrequent and small. Her face could be termed beautiful, if her eyes were not so hard. She wears her ebony sword, the Liche Blade in a scabbard at her left hip and a dagger at her right. Her armour is black died leather, the joints softened to allow silent movement. The gauntlets of her armour are fingerless to allow greater dexterity and also to allow her ring to touch the skin and thus convey its enchantment. Over her armour she wears a hooded black cloak, though normally she does not use the hood. She walks with the predatory grace shared by skilled assassins and Blademasters alike
Religious Beliefs: Traditional Dunmeri ancestor and Daedra worship
Personality: Similar to Dreyva, when Arvena is sober she tends to be friendly and approachable, if more wary than her lover about what she says when others might be listening. But when given a task she is serious and focussed on it, whatever it may be and she expects others to be just as focussed. This makes her a demanding leader, but it is also reassuring. It is the leaders who don’t focus that miss details and it is the leaders that miss details that die and get their followers killed into the bargain. She is not above drinking with other of the smuggling crew; indeed sometimes she is the one to suggest doing so. When drunk her mood can swing from jovial to bitter in a heartbeat. Such is the suddenness that experienced members of the crew tend to avoid her when she’s drunk, all save Dreyva for he alone shares her bitterness. She is the only person to see when he breaks down in tears at his loss and even had the others seen it, there is no doubt that she is the only one who has the courage to comfort him. She is the only person in the crew to know of Dreyvan’s ordeal and she shares his hatred of the undead. She loves him fiercely and wishes she could rid him of the nightmares that wake him close to screaming.
Background: Born into a relatively rich family of nobles in Balmora, I was taught the honour and respect for life, the Daedra and the ancestors that watched over my family. My main interest was in swordplay, an interest my family were happy to endorse. So I trained, trained long and hard until I could cross blades with the finest and come out on top. The sword was my weapon of choice and still is, though I was capable of wielding maces and axes in equal measure. Through the many years needed to reach such a high level of skill I dabbled in the magics, but found that though I did have talent in magic I did not have the patience to learn to wield the powers of Aetherius.
Also, something quite apart from my official training, I learned the ways of the smuggler, the thief and the outlaw. I could cross the rooftops with the best of them, pass unnoticed by the wider world with barely a thought and slip items past even the most astute of guards. All this I learned, but not to break the law. To hunt those that did. At that time, I believed in the law above all. In the death of the criminal. So I hunted them across Vvardenfell. I was a bounty hunter, one of the most feared by criminals. I refused to give a name and it was those I hunted who bestowed upon me the name Shade. For I was one with the shadows and those I hunted never survived for long.
But tragedy can change even the purest, and I was never pure to begin with. The destruction of Vvardenfell while I watched from the far shore shattered me.
There are no words to describe the anguish that seized my heart as she watched the red mountain erupt, raining fire over the isle. For the next fifty years I wandered, my soul shattered and my mind half crazed by grief. I butchered all who got in her way, not caring whether they were human, Mer, Khajiit or Argonian. All died before her blade. It was the Thalmor who first found me and at first, they were pleased. That was until I killed the men sent to bring me back with them. But through all this, I did not grow stronger. I wasted away, losing all that was left of what once I had held dear. It was during this time that I came upon the Liche Blade, before I became wholly crazed. It was the possession of a vampire whom I deprived of Undeath. I took his weapon as my own and continued my wanderings.
It was Dreyva Arrivayn who healed me. He was the one person I never beat, but then I never wanted to. He came upon me in the dark of night, stumbling into her camp in hope of a place to sleep. There we fought, the fire shining upon our spinning blades. I took apart his defence and stood over him, sword tip at his throat. But I never drove the blade home.
He was at my mercy but for all I wanted to do it, I could not be the one to place the killing blow that took Dreyva from this life.
And it was he who won, magic crackling around his palms. The lightning leapt to my sword and from there rocketed into me, throwing her back across the clearing to land dazed and nearing unconsciousness. Dreyva’s face was the last thing I remembered from that night before darkness took me to a place where all the horrors in my life had never taken place, a place where I could have been married and had children and the red mountain would never erupt.
Surprisingly, I woke up and when I did I gazed upon the world with new eyes. Dreyva’s explanation was simple. It had not been grief that had driven me insane, or at least not only grief. The Liche Blade had been slowly feeding on me, taking away all positive emotions and leaving only mistrust, hatred and grief. My memories of the time since even before I first picked up the weapon are hazy still, a bi-product of the weapon’s ancient curse. Dreyva had cleansed my soul of the curse, but if she was ever to wield the Liche Blade again then more permanent measures would have to be taken to protect me from the arcane energies that coursed through it.
It took years of travelling together and more than a few narrow escapes to amass the materials needed to create such an item but eventually it was all gathered.
Being both a better enchanter and the man who had cured me of the curse in the first place, it was Dreyva who worked magic to create the blocker. A ring, forged of silver and yet the colour of polished ebony, was what he produced. Upon slipping it over my finger I felt a searing heat emanating from it and what was once black now shone with light. But the flare of ethereal light lasted only a moment. Upon picking up the Liche Blade however, the ring shone like a firebrand. But it was a firebrand in the face of a thunderstorm and the blinding brightness slowly diminished until it was only a faint glow.
Dreyva explained it that night while I gazed at the ring. It would hold back the curse, prevent it from touching me. However it would take a much more powerful mage to cleanse the sword entirely, the ring only halted its progression. This also caused a build up of the curse and Dreyva was very clear on the fact that should an unprotected person attempt to wield the sword, their minds would be gone in an instant.
I stayed with him and followed him into smuggling. I was in love with him, even then. The smuggling ring we built up relied no small part on trust but while Dreyva was the subject of our fellows admiration, there is little doubt that I was the one they feared. Particularly after a fool tried to steal the Liche Blade and, driven insane by its curse, slaughtered half the smugglers in our camp before I met him blade to blade before the fireside. I knew that sword better than he ever got the chance too and I knocked it from his hand with a few carefully placed blows. He died with a blade through his head and I was feared ever after, more because of the way the sword had driven the thief insane than my swordplay. I didn’t care. I loved Dreyva and he loved me and there would be more smugglers and always more thieves. Better they fear me and the sword and avoid both than fear me and be driven insane by the sword.
The history of the Liche Blade is a long and grim one, but it is too long to tell here. Settle for my tale...
Master of Three
Dance of Death
Storm of Blades
Wall of Blades
Light as a Feather, Hard as Steel
The Liche Blade: An incredibly ancient weapon, forged of ebony and bound with a terrible curse. Those struck feel their very vitality slipping away from them and fear freezes their hearts, turning even the bravest into a coward
Amulet of Kynareth: An amulet blessed by a priest of Kynareth, it conveys increased speed and stamina to the wearer
Leather armour: Lightweight, form-fitting and black leather armour, the joints of which have been oiled so that they make no sound as she moves
Dagger: Made of steel and sharpened to a razor sharp edge
Cloak: Hooded and black, falling to her ankles. When infiltrating she discards it so that the cloth does not rustle on the floor as she moves
Dunmer Blood: Her Dunmer Blood gives her a resistance to fire
The Void: When fighting Arvena can push aside all emotion, becoming untouched by anger or fear. She thinks faster and clearer and it is her mind that dictates her actions, not her emotions.
Soul Guardian: The ring forged by Dreyva to protect Arvena from the curse of the Liche blade. It also cleanses poisons and diseases from the wearer and prevents Sanguinare Vampiris from taking root
We stand upon the precipice of change. The world fears the inevitable plummet into the abyss. Watch for that moment - and when it comes, do not hesitate to leap. It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly.
The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.
Last edited by Santaire; 01-15-13 at 07:49 PM.