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Azura

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Who Am I...

Azura

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Unattached.

My Story Is...

 

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Everything You Need to Know about the 5th Edition D&D Player's Handbook

 

The Akaari

 

Azura was born in the isolated and remote village of the Akaari, an ancient and rumoured to be mythological and predominately female tribe whose community was nestled within a deep valley wedged between two impassable mountains. The Akaari lived simple and peaceful lives which were interwoven with their belief and worship of the water goddess Melusine whom they believed made her home in the healing sacred mountain springs and channels known only to their people. Believed to speak through a High Priestess each generation which was selected from the celestial blood line of the Goddess herself and chosen to lead, the holy vessel chosen was given divine powers of protection and healing.

 

Although much of their language and culture remains a mystery to the outside world stories began to circulate that due to the ancient tribes loyalty and devotion, they were said to have been gifted by their Goddess the power of second sight, an affinity to heal the injured and harness the element of water although in reality it was rare that those outside the direct line of priestesses be gifted these skills. It was these these rumours and the greed of men that caused the destruction and obliteration of this peaceful tribe as many tried in desperation in locate the hidden city until one group finally succeeded.

 

The Akaari believe that water is the life force that connects all things living and is the sister of death, the two so closely connected that they can not be separated or survive without one another’s existence. Whilst a peaceful tribe that has a natural aversion of violence, there are many dark and secretive aspects to their religion and way of life. Their culture revolved heavily around keeping the land of the Goddess pure from the influence and destruction of man and outside forces who might seek to manipulate or corrupt Melusine’s divinity. The only time the women left their isolated mountain was for the purpose of travelling to the nearby scattered collection of tribes situated on the other side of the slopes that enclosed their home to engage in pre-arranged fertility festivals designed to produce further offspring however they are forbidden from forming emotional attachments and love is a concept that is preached against since childhood. Whilst there is no such thing as a male Akaari and whilst most children born of these unions are female, sons are produced from time to time however it is rare. Traditionally, these infants were drowned at birth but this custom has since been replaced with a more merciful course of action although the more fervent followers are not forbidden from practising such a ritual. In more recent times, male children were allowed to live amongst the Akaari, although not with their biological family unit, until an appropriate age is reached where upon they are abandoned in a basket of reeds and sent down river which under the influence and direction of Melusine leads them safely to a new home and family. Before they are sent away, males are marked with two thick blue tattooed horizontal lines across one wrist to be used as an identifying mark as those chosen worthy by the Goddess in their final years can be called home to their birth land to await death and be reunited with their lost family. As such, the only males within the community were young infants and elderly men.

 

Azura’s story & the destruction of the Akaari

 

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Name: Azura
Age: 21 years
Powers: Water manipulation and manifestation. Second sight. Animal manipulation. Ability to self-heal and heal others.
 

Azura was born the eldest of the four daughters of the Akaari High Priestess, Seraphina. However, from the moment she came hurtling into the world amongst a bed of vines and wild flowers, Azura was marked as different amongst her people. Traditionally, all those born within the ancestral blood line of Melusine possessed striking silver golden tinted hair inherited from the goddess, unnaturally straight and sleek. But after labouring for many hours, Azura was born under the light of a full moon with wide green eyes and a fine layer of dark fuzz upon her head. As she grew, she turned into a inquisitive but unruly child whose curiosity often saw her punished and harshly reprimanded as she favoured solitary adventures, climbing the mountain ranges and diving from the tops of waterfalls into bottomless watery pools, to long hours spent on aching knees pressed against stone temple floors as the dangers of the outside world were preached and whispers of prayer mumbled in chants around her.

 

Even stranger was the fact that as she grew older, her dark hair grew tangled in impossible to tame curls that were slashed with streaks of white as pure and as light as snow. Such a thing was unheard of amongst her people let alone those whose veins flowed with the blood of divinity. Odder still was the birth of her three sisters who in comparison all contained flowing manes of flaxen silver tinged blonde marking her as the literal black sheep of the family. However, she was still the eldest and expected to lead one day, a thought that filled her with dread and suffocation as Azura, unlike any Akaari before her, craved knowledge and adventure, a chance to step outside the restriction of her secluded world.

 

The ancient and secret community had existed for hundreds of years without interaction from the outside world until the day Azura turned 16 years old. On that day, she had risen early before even the sun had a chance to do so and had gone roaming alone along the mountain ranges contemplating the rite of passage she was to undergo that day. As she began the long walk back to her village, the sky was a dark blue threaded with pink, the beginning of a new day. By the time she neared the border, the streaks of pink in the sky were burning to red and although she could not see the rise of stone and rock, her senses were already invaded by the thick scent of smoke and blood as her ears began to fill with screams of pain and fear, growing increasingly louder as she descended into the clearing.

 

A group of unknown men, foreign men, had attacked in the early hours of the morning whilst the village slept intent on discovering the secrets of Melusine and her followers. When Azura stepped into the clearing, the village was bathed in an eerie glow of orange and red, and she struggled to adjust her eyes to the scene of horror and violence erupting in front of her. Two of her sisters, the youngest who were named Lyra and Ilna and only aged ten and eight, lay dead at her feet, mutilated and staring up at her with blank eyes. They must have tried to run for the safety of the forest as their faces were turned towards the trees beseechingly.

 

Men in strange brightly coloured garments of materials she had never seen before were methodically setting each home alight and forcing the panicked occupants back inside at random to be burnt alive, beating at them savagely with weapons when they tried to escape. Elderly men, women and children ran for their lives but were pursued and clubbed to death, raped or tortured right beside their fallen family members. Mothers screamed as infants were ripped from their arms and thrown carelessly into the dirt or else their small skulls were dashed against stones. And whilst their sacred idols and temples began to burn to the ground, in the centre of all of the chaos and violence was a man who stood out as the leader of the group, shouting demands and issuing orders.

 

Azura watched in horror as her mother was dragged unresistant by her long pale hair and thrown at the leaders feet. She was easily identifiable as the High Priestess and someone of importance by the elaborate headdress adorned upon her head. Azura watched as the leader, with his dark unkempt hair and calculating stormy grey eyes forced Seraphina to look at him by gripping her chin between his fingers roughly before pulling the woman up by her hair. He indicated in rudimentary body language that she take he and his men to their most sacred spring but Seraphina and the others remained defiant and mute.

 

Overcome with grief and rage, Azura flung herself at the man who held her mother, barrelling toward him and striking uselessly with her small fists before she was dragged, kicking and hissing, away. Her arms were pulled behind her and wrists bound with rope, as those blank apathetic grey eyes darted between mother and daughter, registering the emotion on each face and smiled. With one nod, two men gripped her by her elbows and began pulling her away although she heard the man mutter a simple command. “Kill them all. No need to waste time with the old bitch when this one will be easier to break.” Just as the cold edge of the knife was pressed against Seraphina’s throat she called out to her daughter. “You are the last. Keep Melusine aliv..” The words were cut off with a choked gurgle and Azura glanced over one tattooed shoulder as just in time to catch a brief glimpse of blood running down her mother’s dusty brown dress before she collapsed in a crumpled heap.

 

Azura was kept captive until night-fall when she managed to evade the men as they slept after having been beaten and tortured for several hours. As news of the massacre spread to the rest of the civilised world, people continued to insist that the Akaari never existed to begin with as the alleged invaders were never identified nor had any of the secrets they may have learned been exposed. Those that do believe the myths are of the opinion that there were no survivors to the slaughter.

 

 

As the years swept by, Azura was left to survive alone in the rough wilderness of the mountains she called home whilst avoiding capture from the men who continued to pursue her and the secrets of her people. With the death of her people looming over her, Azura felt she had no choice but to stay and protect the secrets of her Goddess but it was a lonely and endless existence, one that she had never desired in the first place and her lust for freedom and knowledge began to whisper to her at night. The sacred energy that once filled the forest had begun to wane, she could feel it like splinters forming in her bones and in her heart, Azura knew that her Goddess was growing weaker without the worship of her decimated people to keep her alive. One night, after the mountains had been battered by a vicious storm, Azura woke abruptly to a melodic, haunting voice drifting through her mind and she knew almost instantly that it belonged to Melusine.

 

The shock of being chosen as a holy vessel took her much time to accept but when she finally chose to listen, the Goddess whispered to her that she was dying, at risk of fading from existence completely. Azura’s heart ached at the thought and it was soon explained to her that in order to save the celestial being, she must leave the mountain and find a way to reunite Melusine’s spirit with the sea from whence she came and from which she had been ripped away upon her banishment to the lonely Mountain streams and rivers. Azura was reluctant to leave her home undefended to the invaders that soiled the very earth with their presence but her heart lured her to the unknown, as did the Goddess herself, and so she accepted the call with little idea on how to achieve such an overwhelming seemingly impossible feat. Stumbling into a foreign world, Azura soon discovered that the men who sought the magic of the mountain would not give up the hunt so easily and so, she wanders. Searching for salvation, hope and wonder whilst avoiding capture and detection from the forces that seek to corrupt and manipulate her world.

 

I love this image, and the idea of the crow mage. I think I would recreate it with the shadow sorcerer.

 

Personality
-Skilled at wildness survival, Azura is agile and graceful with quick reflexes, but can often appear awkward and clumsy when out of her natural element.
-Can be naive and childish at times as due to her isolated upbringing and peaceful nature she often lacks appropriate social skills.
-Often mistrustful and guarded especially around men.
-Can be quick to strong emotion, usually anger, due to the trauma and violence she has experienced.
-Outwardly perception that she is weak or easily manipulated however she has a keen intuition that she relies on to keep safe and others misguided in their assumptions of her.
-Possesses a natural aversion to violence.

The Legend of Melusine & creation of Akaari

 

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In the beginning, many generations ago, a grand city was perched amongst the cliff tops of the Akaari mountain ranges against a backdrop of an immense plummeting waterfall and was  was ruled over by an ancient royal line whose sons inherited the crown and power which they wielded with the savagery of man.  The city maintained contact with the outside world through only one winding trail which was cut through the thick landscape of the mountains, a strategic tactic which limited the risk of attack making the city virtually an impenetrable fortress whose natural resources helped it flourish with wealth created from trade.

 

 

All was as it had always been until the day the eldest prince became lost on his daily horse ride. He had stumbled into a wild and strange section of the mountain that he had never come across before. When he returned, days later, he brought with him an eerily beautiful, silver haired girl whom he declared to all had saved his life yet he would tell no one how or where he had come to find the exotic girl who barely spoke, whose pale blue eyes were too large and too bright.  Melusine, she said her name was although she would reveal nothing else not even to the Prince who slowly became more and more entranced by her eccentric ways and primal nature.

 

Her appearance within the palace walls caused chaos and conflict amongst the royal family and the city in general. She was considered too wild, too uncivilised, her breeding too poor to ever be accepted. By the time he proposed to her, rumours had already begun to circulate that she had bewitched the young man with magic. Melusine accepted the proposal on one condition; that a private oasis be built for her use alone, away from the palace, nestled amongst vines and nature and that no one, even her husband, should ever be allowed to enter whilst she bathed which the Prince accepted gladly, with little thought or question, so enamoured was he. The King flew into a rage upon hearing the news and forbid the union from taking place however the love struck young couple wed in secret, leaving the Royal family with little choice other then to accept the odd new princess.

 

Over the years, the couple only fell more deeply in love and were blessed with three daughters however Melusine struggled to fit into her new life and began to spend greater lengths of time roaming the mountainside alone or with her daughters whispering to them secrets that she could tell no one else or closeted away in her private oasis.

 

Taking advantage of her distance, the King whispered poisonous words into his son’s ears, year in and year out as his daughters grew more and more beautiful and increasingly like their mother, always running wild and incapable of keeping themselves dry. Finally, with suspicion and paranoia in his heart, the Prince secretly followed his wife to the pool where she bathed and watched as her pale legs transformed into scales the moment she plunged into the water, her skin taking on a shimmer of blue. Shocked, angered and disgusted by the transformation, he leapt from his hiding place to confront her but the moment he did, she looked upon his face and he turned to stone right before her eyes, such was the curse of her affliction.

 

Melusine wailed in grief at the loss of her lover and the betrayal of his actions but soon turned to rage as she thought of the way the city and the King had manipulated, mistreated and judged her and their love. The skies above opened, a bellowing storm arising from thick grey clouds as bolts of lightening and thunder rained down alongside sheets of pounding violent rain. The city trembled as the water of the river that snaked through it’s centre began to rise, flooding over banks turned to mud and obliterating anything in it’s path. Her daughters, the three princesses, fled the palace walls, skirts drenched as they ran through the storm to find their mother in the one place they knew she would be. Rocks began to fall, crashing down from mountains above, landing with purpose onto turrets and towers as stone walls came crumbling down, reduced to nothing more then rubble.

 

A mob of frightened and angry villagers accompanied by the royal guard found Melusine just as her daughter’s did. Lost in her grief and rage, she appeared more demon then human as her clouded eyes and pale arms raised towards the heavens. Though they crowded around her protectively, the three young girls could do nothing to stop the sea of angered faces which circled their mother as heavily armoured soldiers dragged her with little resistance to the shadow of a large sweeping willow tree from the branch of which they strung a thick corded rope, the other end they looped tightly around her neck. As her feet lifted from the ground and the breath escaped her body in choked gasps, her daughters screamed, held back by strong hands, as they lost both parents in one day. A priest, specially selected for the task, murmured an ancient prayer of banishment and exile as the life seeped from her body, the words designed to trap and bind the witch’s soul to the water of the mountain. As a final act of revenge, the ritual specified that her form be limited to half woman, half fish so that she would remain cursed to belong to neither land nor sea.

 

The city all but destroyed and the spirit of the woman who had caused it lurking around them, it’s people began to flee. The King’s body lay crushed and forgotten beneath stone. Amongst the ruins and rubble, Melusine’s three daughters stayed to form their own world, one without the corruption of men, creating a safe haven of specially chosen women. The old paths travelled were destroyed, blocked by boulders and new ones were made, kept hidden and secret to only those who knew where to tread. And so the tribe of the Akaari were born, Melusine’s blood line kept alive through her daughters and their daughters and so on with one female in each generation chosen to act as High Priestess.

 

 

My Appearance

General appearance: Azure has long velvet black hair streaked with strips of snow white which is almost always tangled falling in messy waves half way down her back and bangs that often fall into her face. She has extremely pale porcelain like skin and large emerald coloured eyes which increase in luminescence and intensity when accessing her magical energy. Small in stature and with a natural curved figure, Azura only stands to a height of 5’2.

Tattoos and Piercings- Azura has a variety of elaborate and beautifully designed tribal tattoos, given to her at a young age, which are significant to her Akaari culture and are considered a rite of passage for all females born into the ancestral blood line of the Goddess. These markings cover the majority of her body and wind across her arms, legs and back in the form of blue or black ink shaped into an array of ancient symbols and patterns. On her left arm, the tail end of three entwined sea serpents snake up her arm along her shoulder disappearing over the curve where there bodies twist, interlocking together before ending at the small of her back where three fanged heads rest, waiting to strike. Azura wears a row of piercings that form a metallic necklace at the base of her throat.

Attire- Azura is usually dressed in shades of midnight blue, violet or green and sometimes a mixture of all three. She most often wears a traditional style of dress which rests just above her knees, limited to her people and made of a thin gauzy almost transparent fabric which shimmers under certain lighting and clings snugly to her curvaceous figure although the way the material folds into itself in layers prevents her body from being visible apart from a slight sheen of silver skin. She usually travels barefoot as she is most comfortable and agile when she is connected to the earth and water by skin contact but if necessary, she wears a pair of stolen boots that are too large for her and often hinder her movement making her appear clumsy and awkward. If feeling threatened, Azura wears a long ankle length hooded dark blue satin coat to conceal her identity especially her obvious tattoos that mark as an Akaari.

Jewellery- Around her slender neck, Azura wears upon a silver chain upon which hangs glimmering pendant of light blue Aquamarine which to the naked eye appears nothing more then a sparkling gemstone however a secret mechanism conceals a clasp which opens a hollow locket in which is stored a tiny vial of magical mountain water from her home and a lock of silver blonde hair that once belonged to her mother.

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Inventory

As she is usually avoiding detection, Azura travels light so that she is able to flee at any time. She carried with her a rucksack which is often filled with stolen supplies as well as the blue covered Akaari book which details the legend of creation. She also carries with her a small emerald encrusted dagger often concealed in the folds of her clothing or wedged into one boot.

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My Secrets Are...

Intricate and sacred knowledge and secrets of the Akaari and the legend of Melusine
Rumoured to possess the power to heal and see into the future. Last of her kind.
Can call on the Goddess Melusine to harness control of the element of water.

Azura also harbours a secret that she has yet to fully process or accept though it weighs heavily on her mind. Could she have been the one that started a chain of events that eventually led to the genocide of her people?
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I Believe...

in the legend of Melusine, the healing properties of water, nature and the natural order.

Species

Magical