Chronicles of Severance II - The Lost Heralds
A young mage from an ancient, cursed, line. Obsessed with learning the true secrets of magic, she wears her families curse clearly apon her features.
The once-regal doublet, breeches and cloak on this young woman are tattered and ragged and in need of repair, barely concealing the bulging pockets at her belt. Her skin appears to be made of grey-lavender scales, shot through with veins of red and blue and stretched over an angular skeleton. Her eyes, by contrast, seem leached of colour but otherwise normal, save for the uncanny void… or perhaps vastness that moves in her pupils.
Ylith never gives her family name, but it is clear from her accent and bearing that she must have been highborn in the scheming nobility of the Grand Duchy of Ihreia – one of the small, post-imperial states to the east of Shallow – but her appearance, in contrast with her plain-looking but devious countrymen, looks diseased at best and wildly alien at worst. In truth, she is human, or at least nearly human: generations ago, a matriarch of the family called Eiluthta made some terrible pact with an extraplanar entity or force, granting Eiluthta the power she needed to make her family great, but marking their bodies with eldritch hide and condemning their souls to be playthings and sustenance to some malevolent Otherness.
Despite a brief moment of supremacy, Eiluthta eventually disappeared suddenly, leaving the family to begin a long, slow downward spiral, torn apart from within and without. Ylith’s parents were the last generation to own the ancestral estate, which was eventually sold to and claimed by a rival Iherian family. Ylith grew up working in what should have been her home by birthright as an assistant to the guild alchemist, sneaking away at night to search for Eiluthta’s hidden libraries and workshops, piece by piece teaching herself the fundamentals of magic.
Eventually, however, she was discovered and had to flee, but the common people reacted poorly to her as they had to her family. Ylith watched as the torch-brandishing mob burned her brother, her sister-in-law, and their children to death, and only narrowly escaped when a hideous apparition appeared to claim their souls. The ensuing panic allowed her to slip away unseen.
She made a living in a port town for a while, using her magic to keep the citizens away and at least tolerant of her presence, but when she had saved up enough gold, she bought passage to Shallow, seeking access to the great libraries of the west, for Ylith knows that only true understanding of her art will save her and her entire lineage from eternal suffering, for only an understanding of the magic used to lay the curse can hope to break it. Ylith has no interest in wealth or power or even knowledge, save as tools to achieve this single goal, a goal which others may view as unreasonable to the point of insanity, but Ylith knows that she is damned: she feels the curse oozing through her veins, and the whispers of cosmic horrors in her dreams. Ylith has but a single purpose from which she cannot be turned, for she cannot afford to fail.