Maristella'rhe

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Maristella’rhe, known as Maris to her colleagues and affectionately as Rhe to close friends and family, is an elven alchemist and mage from the Iron Empire.

One of the first to sign up to the Outriders, she has not been on hires in some time, spending much of her time brewing potions and intoxicants for sale to the populace. Living at the Gatehouse, she still spends a good deal of time around the other Outriders, selling them potions cheaper than can be obtained on the general market.

Early Life

Born in 80PF as the middle child of an elven noble family, she enjoyed a privileged life in the Iron Empire. While her older brother, Duname, was raised to be the new head of the house, her younger sister, Callianthae, had a head for business and foreign matters and worked on establishing trade relationships with neighbouring human kingdoms.

After showing an aptitude for magic, Maris studied at one of the Iron Empire’s arcane universities. It was during this time that she discovered her affinity for brewing potions and liquids of various other effects, and some of her more exotic alcohol-based concoctions proved very popular with her fellow students. Some of her more ‘challenging’ inventions are generally only drunk on a bet, and her speciality, Mind Frost, is claimed by some to be as effective at producing brain-freeze as an Ice Lance to the roof of the mouth. She was also one of the first ports-of-call when it came to recovering from hangovers, and those times when you need to drink something to keep you awake and studying for a day or two solid.

She threw herself readily into the wilder side of student life, the piercings along the length of her elven ears being a testament to her many deviances. Nevertheless, she performed well in her studies, in no small part due to the extensive and often experimental alchemy practice she gained outside of classes. In her magical studies she specialised in water elementalism, and also learned the art of channelling power through staves.

The Fall

Callianthae had been travelling into the more central human kingdoms to establish further trade relationships. When her family had heard nothing from her for a while, Maris was sent to check on her. It was during her visit to the human kingdoms that the Legion’s march across the Iron Empire began. Like most other elves, she at first believed that the Empire would defend itself, and when the Iron Tower of Leyroth finally fell, she was in shock. Having heard of the total destruction wrought by the Legion, she dared not hope that her family had survived. From then on, she moved with the civilian evacuations, mentally detached from her body by the various alchemical mixtures she had taken. She didn’t want to regret, didn’t want to remember, didn’t want to think.

Eventually she sobered up long enough to take a good look around her, and realised that this was now the world she lived in, full of humans, broken families, fear, desperation and loss. While many still retained surviving family members, there were many more who had lost just as much as her, and seen far worse than she had. It was at this point that she turned her mind away from what she had lost, and resolved to live for the now, so that there might be a tomorrow. She helped the evacuation in what little ways she could, and any group she travelled with would not be short of fresh water. Other elves began to appear among the refugees, but none that she recognised, or that brought news of any survivors other than themselves.

As the refugees reached the westernmost regions of Andermark, she was fully expecting to have to step off the continent itself in the flight from the Legion. She was not part of the battle at the Last Stand, but she saw the clouds part, and when she heard that the Legion had fallen, she knew there would be a future, and a future more different from the past than she could ever have imagined.

Present day

Without confirmation, Maris could not know that none of her family hand survived too, her sister being the most likely survivor in her eyes. She initially joined Ascher’s Outriders to pay for a Seer to locate any surviving family members. Now knowing that neither her sister nor any of her family from the Empire had survived, she continues to work to increase her lot in this new world. Her alchemy provides additional income from her sale of potions to the other Outriders (which she always sells below market price, and has even made losses buying in additional potions when her own supplies proved insufficient), and her living conditions are further improved by her sales of various recreational potions to the general populace. She currently resides, and brews potions, in one of the largest guest rooms at the Gatehouse Inn.

She is still trying to find her combat niche amongst the Outriders. At the mage academy she learned to use staves as a magical conduit with melee combat uses, but since most of the practice consisted of duelling she is having trouble applying this to the chaotic mass combat of a mercenary group. Her magic however has often proved useful in a pinch, and a different way of thinking is often handy.

While the elf struggles with some aspects of human culture, she often finds herself drawn to the enthusiasm of the ephemeral humans and beastkin. In her own words: “These people are all crazy - no wonder I love them so much.”

One of the more puzzling acquaintances she has made is with a Fringe-born, feline beastkin of unpronounceable name whom she has taken to calling Khan. Having heard only the vaguest of stories of beastkin and never seeing one close-up before, when she spotted Khan she was far more curious than fearful. Nowadays, they are often seen together (insofar as Khan is seen at all), and Maris is one of the few individuals who seems capable of controlling Khan without physical intimidation. Why this should be the case is a source of speculation and confusion for any who care to notice such things. Theories range from magical or alchemical control to a natural beastkin and wild elf alliance for those unable to distinguish between the high elves and their fringewarped counterparts. If questioned on the subject, she simply puts their alliance down to mutual respect and complementary skills and resources.