Aaaaand – we’re back!
Sorry for the huge delay in updating our ‘Character’s Showcase’ project – and be sure we haven’t forgotten it
Our next lovely and (trust me
) intriguing lady is Melyanna, who belongs to it’s owner
Actually, Becky is not only a wonderful artist, but a great writer, too – so my job was a minor one, since she mostly done all the work with the interview on her own
Name: Melyanna Shadowbreath (nee' Salkyassemcorm.
Name change: Esmerelle. Changed after she fell out of favor with Nasher Alagongar and left Neverwinter.
Age: 120 at appearance, 123 @ Death.
Race: Wild Elf.
Weapon of Choice: Spellwork/Quarterstaff.
Personality: Grounded, Flirtatious, Cheeky, Sarcastic, Confident in her abilities, Easy to please and wants to please. Will stand up for what she believe no matter who she is with.
Hobbies: Reading, Gardening, Sketching, Alchemy.
Past: Student of Neverwinter academy, Hero of Neverwinter (Time of the Wailing Death), Student of Drogans School of adventuring, Hero of Waterdeep (Time of Underdark Inserection).
Spouse: Velen Shadowbreath (Husband).
Children: Alasse’lina Aminran’aya (nee' Shadowbreath)Knock, Knock.
Melyanna opened the door to reveal the well known Swordcoast current affairs bard. “Welcome…” Melyanna quietly spoke. “Come in.” Smiling slightly.
Melyanna lead the bard through to the Starling’s living room where Retta was just placing a tea tray with tea and scones.
Retta straitened up from the tray, walked over to where Melyanna had stopped in front of a bassinette. She placed a hand on Melyanna’s shoulder “Pavel and I will just be in the kitchen if you need anything.” Retta then left the room after giving Melyanna a fleeting small sad smile.
The bard had watched with interest at the interlude between the two women wondering how much of her interviewees life the sword coast really knew “Not much more than the eccentric stories about her heroism I’d wager.”
Melyanna turned around to face the bard with her back to the bassinette, her startling green eyes boring deep into the bard’s, feeling the bard’s aura. She sat on the worn comfortable chair next to it and gestured to the bard to do the same.
The bard sat and retrieved parchment, quill and ink from their satchel, which they set up on the table between them and Melyanna. “Thank you for agreeing to this Miss Salkyassencorm.” The bard noticed the air in the room take on an almost electric feel as Melyanna’s aura spiked rapidly then diminished again.
Melyanna smiled sadly and ruffled her wings in a slightly nervous but irritated way. “It’s Mrs Shadowbreath but you can call me ‘Anna, everyone does. As Pavel keeps telling me, it is about time all the rumors about my life come to an end. Though to be perfectly honest if it wasn’t for Alisse’lina…” Melyanna gestured towards the bassinette. “I would quite happily let the rumor of my death run wild till all believed it, so that I could disappear once and for all. ‘lina is the thing that keeps me going, keeps me wanting to be around people and help people as I always have. With her, I have not lost my husband entirely. She is my reason for living now and I will do all I can that is within my power to keep her safe and make sure that she grows up happy and healthy.” Melyanna gazed lovingly towards the small infant girl with the bright vermilion hair, small horn nubs and freckles before returning her focus to the bard sitting across from her.
“Well shall we begin?” the bard shifted in their seat to a more comfortable position and dipped their quill in the ink.
“One moment, if you are going to interview me then there is someone else that needs to be here.” Before the bard had the chance to look surprised Melyanna called for Narinn. “Narinn, this is the bard from Neverwinter-Tales, here to interview me.”
Narinn looked around to see the bard staring open-mouthed at her and she toothily grinned as she settled herself into Melyanna’s lap. “A pleasure.”
“If you don’t mind me asking but wha… what are you Narinn?”
Narinn’s smile grew wider. “A Fearie Dragon, a smaller cousin to the more common dragons you know of.”
After regaining their composure the bard said “I suppose we should start. Could you begin by telling our readers your name and age and family?”
Melyanna let out a bark of laughter. “Well that depends where and when you met me. The name people knew me as in Neverwinter was Melyanna Salkyassencorm, However when I married my late husband Valen Shadowbreath my name changed reflect the union. But many people since my departure of Neverwinter know me as Esmerelle.” Melyanna sat up straighter in her chair and stretched her large deep olive wings then let them fall lazily into their natural folds as she relaxed into speaking to the eager looking bard. “My husband was a 2nd generation Teifling that I managed to cure of his cursed blood. We have a daughter Alisse’lina, who thankfully has decided that she will sleep for once just at the moment.” Melyanna gave the bassinette a slide long glance and an ironic lift to the corners of her mouth. “She is now 8 months old but sadly her father never got to meet her. I was born in a small Wild-Elf Village of I'Helin Haudh 123 years ago, a day or so north of Neverwinter.
The bard smiled at Melyanna genually “Tell us a bit about your childhood? Where you were born? Your parents and people closest to you.”
Melyanna sat for a moment thinking on the question. “My father is Vakha Calenoio, a Ranger by trade and my mother Merende Calenoio (nee’ Mir) is a Spirit Shaman who specializes in dreams. As strict as they were when it came to our customs, religion and house rules, they were always supportive of my siblings and me. I am the youngest of four children. The eldest (a sister) Ayala is a cleric of Sune and a Harper Agent. Next is my brother Cynan, a Druid. My second brother, Cynan’s twin Ramus was a gifted Ranger. We lost him to an illness 54 years ago during the cold season. For the most part, the only ‘outsiders’ the village ever saw were the seasonal traders that would come in spring and autumn for our furs, bones and textiles. On the whole it was a quiet and secluded village. Though I was considered a bit of an oddity, Wild-Elf arcane mages of any sort are extremely rare. While I was not shunned, the village was still a little wary of me. That could have been of course because my pool of raw magic even at a very early age was immense and I had difficulty controlling it.”
Narinn tried her best but could not hold back her raucous laughter at Melyanna’s statement. “That is an understatement, bonded.” She moved to perch on the arm rest of Melyanna’s chair. “I know that while I knew her as a child she set her house, another 2 houses, 1 barn and several carts alight. All by accident of course, but all of that doesn’t count all the ‘accidents’ I’m sure she would have had before we met when she was only 10. It also doesn’t count all the times since her childhood that she has lost control of her emotions and her raw arcanic power exploding out of her like an erupting volcano.” Narinn finished saying with a cheeky smirk.
“Perhaps I should have left you in limbo during this ‘rin?” Melyanna said with her own cheeky grin. “As Narinn said I met her –my familiar- when I was 10. I had gone out on the trap-lines with my father as part of my early schooling. We were on our way home after almost a week out in the wilds when I saw something like a rock sparkling in hues of blue, purple and green. My father warned me not to get too close but I ignored him and I’m glad I did. It was in fact Narinn; she was only a child herself and had been buffeted harshly by the winds that plague our villages region at that time of the year. She had broken both wings on one side; something told me that I couldn’t leave her like that. I needed to help her. So my father helped me bandage her wings so they wouldn’t get any worse and made a sledge for me to pull her on back to the village. He said that if I wanted to heal and care for her then it started now. I could ask for help but I had to do most of the work myself and to consider it as more of my schooling. As long as she lived and got better I didn’t care.
When my mother saw her she just smiled at me and guided me in how to heal her. She knew that if I was going to make anything out of my arcane gifts than I needed to bond with a magical creature. She said herself that there was no greater magical creature as a familiar than a Faerie Dragon and that very few had such companions as they were extremely rare outside of their own society, there were said to be very particular about who if any they bonded with. We have been together ever since.”“How did you end up in Neverwinter Academy? Did it provide you the education or the tutoring you were expecting?”
“My sister was the one that had heard of the academy through her extensive travels. I was coming up to my first century birthday when she came back from one of her travels. She told us about the academy and both my parents, while cautious thought it was a good idea, as did I. As I said before, Wild-elfs are not known as arcane mages –there was no one that could train me in such things in the village- and so the only real mage training I was able to get was from my mother on controlling my power and aura, So I at least was not destroying anything when I lost control of my emotions.” Melyanna let out a little sheepish giggle at the memories of such occurrences. “But they wouldn’t pursue anything about it for another 10 years. My Father and brother -who still lived in the village and was part of the surrounding lands druid circle- decided to go and visit this academy around my 110th birthday, to determine if it was what I needed and if it would be safe for me to attend, having gotten to the age that I could now actively seek out a profession in my life.
One thing, you should understand is that any elf under 100 years is still considered a child, a juvenile in the eyes of elven society. When they arrived back home 5 days later my brother was enthusiastic about the prospects and my father was guardedly impressed with the academy. My brother took me to the city of Neverwinter and to the academy. At first it was daunting, with all the other races there, especially the humans. I had grown up being told to always be wary of such beings but I made three extremely good friends there. Pavel –the man who’s house this is- and his twin brother Bim as well as another Wild-elf by the name of Halya who ended up courting me for a time before his death in the attack that happened at our graduation a few years ago. In answer to its education it provided me, yes. It was extremely hard work and my senior instructor at the academy made sure that even his most gifted and talented students were stretched to their limits. As hard as it was on both Narinn and I, we found it exciting and completely enthralling.”What drew you to being not only a Sorceress but also a Dragon Disciple? I also hear that you have had a little cleric training, correct?”
At the mention of being a dragon disciple Melyanna unconsciously ruffled her wings and glow that hadn’t been there before emerged on her face. “To say that I chose my profession first as a sorceress or a dragon disciple I think would be inaccurate, though I defiantly chose to have at least basic training as a cleric.
When I was an extremely small child I have a few memories of making things catch fire when I was angry or almost drowning myself in a rain puddle when I was upset and other similar things. I think that a lot of people forget that a sorcerer’s power is a natural thing that the person is born with. Unlike a wizard that has to study and learn through books, though don’t get me wrong I love to read. Master Jaroo had the ongoing joke about knowing the ONLY sorceress on Faerun-Toril that not only knew how to read but enjoyed the activity!” Melyanna let a small laugh leave her lips. “Having arcane abilities is like another limb. It’s something I’ve always had, even if I haven’t always had control over it.
As for being a dragon disciple, my mother said that it was enviable once she saw that I had natural arcane abilities. It was just as I got Beorunna's Well to start looking for the ‘Words of Power’ that I received a letter from her telling me that she believed that my training may not yet be complete. She said that she knew that there was dragon blood running through her family line, which meant that I had dragon blood and as a sorceress it was inevitable that I would tap that power eventually. From other people I’ve talked to about this they believe that I had always, at least a little been tapping into it the whole time and that was a reason why I’m more powerful than an average sorceress.””You hide your power well.”
Melyanna smiled. “That is one of the first things that I was taught at the academy, to control my aura. My teachers believed that if people could see how powerful I was I would either be taken advantage of or been seen as a threat that needed to remove. So my first instructor taught me how to lower my aura so that people would still feel my magic but only enough for them to know that I was a mage.
I decided to seek cleric training after master Drogan (at Dragan’s Adventuring School) suggested seeking answers for my dreams that I had started having 6 moons into my senior year at Neverwinter Academy. I had been having dreams about a female Tiefling child and woman as well as the odd scattered dream about an extremely handsome male Tiefling. I was a devout worshiper of Sune as was the rest of my family but I had never had an urge to enter into a priests life. Drogan knew of a close village that had a Sune cleric that would be able to guide me, which just happened to be the home village of a good friend of mine, Shayla Farlong. There I studied for several months and I was ‘shown’ in my meditations that it was Sune that had sent them to me. Though for what purpose I still didn’t know at that time.”Let’s continue with your faith. You said that you and your family worship Sune, Why is this your chosen faith?.”
“When I was a child, it had more to do with loyalty to my family than much else but since the time of my cleric training I came to realize that without even realizing it, the values that I admired the most in myself and others were those of Sune. Since then it has become an even stronger part of who I am. She has gifted me with immense foresight about certain people in my life and has always guided me on the right path, difficult but right path. I had met my husband in dreams before I met him in reality, had met my closest of friends before I met them on this mortal plane. She even granted me and through me, my late husband the knowledge of our daughter and how she will grow up. Once we knew who she was in my dreams and that we did not feature in them…” Melyanna stopped mid sentence, her eyes wet and throat tight. She took a deep breath before continuing. “and that we did not feature in them, we knew that we must have both died while she was still very young. The first dream I had of her was around her first birthday I have concluded… This is why I agreed to the interview in the first place, I don’t know how much time I have left.”
After the bard had come to their senses after being taken aback for a moment at Melyanna’s last comment they posed their next question. ”What is your strongest points, skills or abilities that you know will never fail you?”
While Melyanna was thinking Narinn answered. “She has always been able to talk anyone into anything she wishes.”
“Narinn!” Melyanna replied indignantly, and then smiled. “Though she is right, I have always been able to talk my way into or out of any situation but a shower of magic missiles or a good’ol fire ball never seems to hurt, on a more serious note. The ability, that I can show as much of my aura as I want, when I want, can have the desired effect that is needed at the time. But also being an alchemist is also useful.”No one is perfect, though. What drawbacks or habits would you like to get rid of?”
Narinn gave a cough that sounded very much like ‘Temper’, which earned her a severe gaze from Melyanna. “I can’t deny that even though I do not intentionally go looking for trouble, my temper will find any trouble lurking in the shadows. And for me, if I lose my temper, things tend to explode or shatter.” Melyanna said while a hint of a sheepish embarrassed smile crept across her face.”If you were to name the people who have had the most influence on your life now, who would those be? What do you value or despise in those around you?”
“There are a lot of people in the last few years that have had a significant influence in my life. First and foremost my parents, who have always encouraged me be myself and use my talents in a way that helps others. They also taught me to appreciate the land we live on and the abundance of creatures and plants.
Master Jaroo, my last instructor at the Neverwinter academy earned not only my respect as a mage but as a friend. He taught me not just about the arcane arts but different cultures, literature, art, music. He also made me laugh every time he would remark about my love of books and the written word.
I know a lot of people might be surprised to hear this but Aribeth has been, is and always will be my very dear friend. She has taught me a lot about the good and the bad in life, faith in your god or goddess and that as long as you believe in something, anything; you have the power to change the things that surround you.
Nasher Alagondar has taught me to be tolerant of circumstances and not to bow down to pressure. I cannot forgive him for what he has done to several of my friends. He showed his weakness when he –A cities Lord- bowed to the public pressure to hang both Fenthick and Aribeth instead of doing what was right. He lost my respect when he hanged Fenthick but I continued with the mission he had sent me on because I wanted justice for all the people that suffered during the Wailing Death. But he lost my loyalty and any further use of my skills and abilities when he hanged Aribeth after she had surrendered and was willing to atone by service for her bad judgment.
Daeghun and Shyla Farlong showed me that some connections are always there if you are only willing to look for them, and that you don’t need to know someone long to have a strong bond with them. Though Daeghun has also taught me that being too cautious can be just as detrimental to one’s health as being reckless.
Master Drogan reminded me so much of my father. Saw things and ideas where most people would not. It opened my eyes to so many more skills, abilities and ways of thinking. I miss his council terribly and hope that he found rest in the next life.
When I first met Elletrixia under Undermountain in the Underdark she was certainly NOT what I expected a Drow woman to be like. She showed me that even in the darkest of places there is always light. One cannot live without the other. She also reaffirmed my belief that what really counts in a person is what is on the inside not the outside. It doesn’t matter what race you are, what color your skin is, just what your heart, soul and spirit are like.
Valen. My beloved Valen, he had all the strength of 10 oxen but was as gentle as a lamb. He fought so valiantly against his own blood to be a good, sweet, loving man. He fought for what he believed in and rigorously fought to protect those he loved and those who were not strong enough to protect themselves, no matter what his blood was trying to persuade him to do. I only hope that I have half as much physical and character strength as he did.”
I was never one to dream about having a family of my own or to settle down but every time I look at my beautiful Alisse’lina, I feel a contentment that I have never known. Like this is where I belong, here with her. She has taught me how to be a loving parent and so many other things but more than anything else…” Melyanna paused as Alisse’lina started to grizzle. She smiled widely as she got up and picked the small child up out of the bassinette and reseated herself in her chair, placing the child in her lap for a naturally comfortable cuddle. “is patients and LOTS of it. Narinn will attest that before Alisse’lina I had no patients for anything.”
“Your daughter is beautiful ‘Anna!” The bard exclaimed as they watched Melyanna look down lovingly at her infant daughter.
“Thank you.””What is the most remarkable of your adventures that comes to mind?”
“Hm… that’s hard. It was extraordinary to not only see but be on a flying city such as Undrentide, even in its disrepair. It was also fascinating to live amongst some unconventional Drow but I think finding Aribeth in Cania and helping her to find her path and her true life mate while traveling through Cania with Valen would be one of the top events. There we met two special beings by the names of ‘The knower of places’ and ‘The knower of names’. They are remarkable beings; they taught me how names of places or people are more than just words. They are the essence of what they are. It was through this adventure that I was able to lift the compulsions that Valen’s blood had impressed upon him his entire life.“During the plague, when everyone around suffered and endured much hardships, what was the hardest thing for you personally?”
“In a word… Aribeth. Our first meeting was just after my final exam. I hadn’t realized that she had been watching. I got to know her quite well while I hunted for the cure within Neverwinter. She became my trusted and good friend.
Seeing her be tortured over Fenthick’s death internally. She never showed it on her outward appearance but I knew her well enough that she was holding herself together by only a thread. Hearing that she had betrayed Neverwinter and sided with the enemy. While I didn’t condone it I certainly understood and sympathized.
I was glad however when we met again in Neverwinter when I was looking for the last ‘Word of Power’. Our talk was just like old times, only our positions were reversed.” Melyanna let a small mirthless laugh escape from her. “It was me who was trying to console her, trying to bring her around to our superiors thinking. It worked, she agreed to come with me and turn herself in. To share all her knowledge of the enemy with Neverwinter so we could finish this hostility as quick as possible. She even helped me killed Maugrim before we headed back to the castle.” Melyanna shook her head sadly. “And then of course none of it mattered, Nasher hanged her anyway. Her previous service, her willingness to atone for her betrayal with service… None of it mattered in the end.” Melyanna looked away for a moment to wipe a stray tear while the bard watched on in avid interest in Melyanna’s recollections. “I’m happy though.” She continued. “That after all she has gone through in this life and her next that she has finally come to terms with who she truly is and completely happy with herself.” She smiled at the memory of the last time she had seen her friend with her lover, just before Melyanna and Valen left Waterdeep.”Did you see Aribeth’s betrayal coming?”
“In hindsight, I can pinpoint moments and signs of her turning away from her faith and Neverwinter but at the time…” Melyanna looked down and smiled at Alisse’lina tugging on her bracelet. She looked back up and shook her head. “No, I didn’t see it. I think I was blinded by how busy we all were during the time we were in Port Llast and the surrounding lands.”
Narinn snorted and snickered. “Not to mention your interludes with the Spymaster Aarin Gend.”
“Yes well he did prove to be quite the distraction when we were in town and not traveling” Melyanna added in a considering tone.“Who was your best friend during these hard times?”
"I had many close friends during this time. My companions that I traveled with during my missions for Neverwinter, Daelan, Linu, Sharwyn, Tomi. After Neverwinter during my training with Drogan and the following ‘adventure’ it was Dorna and Deekin. Later on in the Underdark it was Valen and Nathyrra. I can’t forget the friends I had made amongst the Neverwinter Nine, Navelle, Melia and Aribeth. Drogan before he died and Elletrixia that had forfeited her life in normal Drow society to start a rebellion against those of her race that wanted to rule over what wasn’t theirs and worshiped an evil god. But my best friend… That is easy, Narinn. She was there when I was just ‘Anna, the daughter of a talented and fair Ranger and trader and an unparalleled Spirit Shaman, through everything I have been through and will go through till my last day, there will be Narinn.
“As it should be bonded.” Narinn smiled and rubbed her head against Melyanna’s shoulder in a gesture of affection.”How did you feel, being proclaimed the Hero of Neverwinter? Why did you leave it behind?”
“The simplest answer would be differing views from the Lord of the city. In my mind he left me no choice. I had seen him hang to good –misguided maybe- but good people nonetheless. He made me a member of the Nine for my services to the city, and I tried, I really did try to make it work. Work side by side with a man that I loathed, trying to get him to understand my stance but in the end it was a waste of my breath and energy. So I invited all the Nine including Aarin and told them that I intended to leave. Just disappear, they weren’t surprised by this or my reasons and said that they felt as I did but there were other things holding them to the city. Aarin stayed behind, pleaded with me to stay, I gave him an ultimatum, come with me or not. He decided not to, to begin with. He caught up with me about a month later, saying he was sorry and that he wanted to come with me, be with me. While he was talking all I could think of were the last words my father gave me before I left for Neverwinter Academy. ‘Don’t hesitate! It will get you or someone you care about dead.’ Since leaving my home village I’ve lived by that and that is when I realized outright that we were not meant to be together. From all my contacts no one has seen or heard from him since.”The wisest piece of advice you ever received from anyone?”
“Another thing that my father once told me, ‘if you over specialize, you show your enemy your weakness.’ That is the reason he taught me how to fight with a Quarterstaff. He knew as a pure mage I would be far too vulnerable to melee attack. Always have a plan B and C. very few times plan A will completely work or accomplish what you intended… no matter how well planned out it is.”What are your intentions for the future?”
At this Melyanna grinned. “To take life day by day and raise my daughter with all the love and encouragement I can.”
The bard couldn’t help but smile at Melyanna’s comment. “I wish you all the luck in this world for that Melyanna, you deserve it.” The bard sighed with a content smile on their lips. “I think that’s all, I’ll send you a copy of the story when it’s complete.” The bard said as they stood up and offered their hand to Melyanna.
Melyanna repositioned Alisse’lina in her arms so that she could shake the Bards hand. “Thank you, I enjoyed telling my story.”
As the bard left the house Narinn looked up to Melyanna. “I get the feeling that it was more for ‘Lina’s benefit than anyone else’s.”
“Your right, I don’t know everything that will happen to my daughter in the coming years but she will at least not be plagued by rumors of her mother.By *TheWildGrape and *BeckyDStudio specially for ‘Neverwinter Tales’.
- By the way, Becky has a fanfic about Anna - [link] - so if you are qurious, go and read it immediately, I dare you
Don’t miss our next special!
Character’s Showcase project – [link]
#1 Innogen Moonstar - [link]
#2 Thalia Dawnbringer – [link]
#3 Rhaine Alcinea - [link]
#4 Vanya Altea - [link]
#5 Rustyn Khelba - [link]
Showcase to come:
- Ashni Stayer by *WaterdragonTonx94
- Orta by *Rui-Shi
- Kesh by =shoughad
…and others whose answers I’ll get. Yep, I’m an optimist and believe you remember I sent them to you