Priestess of Erastil and Baroness of Lariveth
Falca is a woman of average height and slight build. She wears a hand-carved wooden mask, stylized as a fierce hawk, to conceal her facial features. She also normally wears light hunting leathers and firm, reliable boots. From her neck, a wooden holy symbol of Erastil can always be seen hanging. Falca’s forearms are ritually tattooed with images of twisting ivy creepers.
Allied Characters: Madina (stolen horse animal companion), Thalian Shadoweye(deceased) (husband), Krom, Vic, and Dodrick (companions and close friends), Eliath (new found ally)
Potential NPC hooks: Ex-lord/lover; Willian Cullen, son
Nysisa Bowmark was born to parents of minor noble status. Her mother died in childbirth, and before Nysisa could even walk, her father was gored by a boar while hunting. The wound became infected, and he died too, leaving young Nysisa all alone.
Had Nysisa been of common blood, that may have been the end of her story. However, her blood was noble (albeit very minorly), so [insert local lord’s name here] took the young child in as a ward. Noble enough to be saved, but not noble enough to be raised as a lady, Nysisa was put under the care of [local lord]’s huntmaster. In this manner, Nysisa grew up: hunting, tracking, and foresting. The huntmaster was an avid follower of Erastil, and Nysisa picked this up from him as well. Just before Nysisa turned fourteen, the huntermaster died, and with no other noble trained, Nysisa was put into the position. Plus, she was tough shit.
Three years later, [lord] began to take special interest in Nysisa. They began having trysts; such a relationship would be scandalous: Nysisa was not only of lower status than [lord], but she was also his ward [may have been married depending on the lord?]. This relationship continued for several months, until Nysisa became pregnant.
Nysisa was able to keep quiet for a while, but not forever. Furious at the damage this would bring his reputation (and possibly an unwanted heir), [lord] began planning to assassinate Nysisa. Luckily, Nysisa received a tip, and she fled the castle, taking one of [lord]’s best horses, whose saddlebags she later found out contained a hefty sum of money.
When the child was born, Nysisa left him with a temple of Erastil, partly to save him of his identity, and partly to save herself from raising a child.
After this incident, Nysisa took the name “Falca” to help her avoid suspicion. She cut her once long hair short. To provide for herself, Nysisa began working as a guide, leading patrons through the local wilderness, or showing them good hunting locales.
Nysisa had always had a strong relationship with Erastil, but it was mostly one-sided until she met Strax. Nysisa had been leading a group of men through a particularly woody area of a forest. As was usual, Nysisa slept at a separate campsite, to avoid all the possibly gruesome fates that could befall one woman in a party of men, alone in the woods. She awoke that night to hear whoops and hollers from the other camp. Concerned, she mounted Madina (the lord’s horse), and rode over to the other camp. She stopped outside their firelight when she saw the horrible scene.
In the middle of the camp, a stag was sprawled on the ground. Its two hind legs were stuck in a bear trap, and from the bruised grass and rutted soil, it looked as if the men had dragged it there. The men had long, wicked, hunting knives in their hands as they danced about the dying stag. Every other beat, one would run his blade along the beast’s flank, then cackle madly, enjoying the torture. The stag kept trying, weakly, to stand, but every time it did, one of the men kicked it back down.
This sickened Nysisa like no other. She had no problem with hunters, but this was not hunting. This was cruel and wicked. Nysisa drew her bow, and fired a shot in a tree, only inches from one of the hunters. As they reacted (like deer themselves), Nysisa fired another arrow. This one was aimed to land near one of the men’s feet, but as it was fired, another man bolted across the arrow’s path. The arrow struck the man in the fleshy neck, and fell him into the fire. The other three men fled for their lives.
Nysisa vomited. She had never killed a human being before, and it was not what she had hoped to do. She ran to the man, hoping to save him, but it was too late. Crying madly, Nysisa freed the stag from the traps. She hadn’t noticed how enormous the deer was when it was laying down, but now that it stood, its shoulder was a good foot higher than Nysisa’s own. The stag stared at her for a few seconds, before bolting into the forest.
Nysisa began to dig a grave for the man she had killed. She did not get far before the men returned, armed. Before she could get back to Madina, the men hit her with two crossbow bolts, one in the arm, and the other in the torso. Nysisa mounted Madina, then rode as hard as she could until she fell from the saddle. As soon as she awoke, Nysisa knew she was dying. She was burning up, and she didn’t have the strength to move her body. She awaited death, what she thought as a fitting punishment for the man’s death.
She didn’t die, however. That afternoon, the stag returned. It stared at Nysisa for a while, then approached her, and passed a chewed ball of herbs into her mouth, then ran off. This continued for several days, until Nysisa was able to move herself. The stag began staying. Nysisa would speak to the deer, and she swore that it understood what she was saying. The name Strax came to her, so she began calling him by this name (later, when she learned Celestial, she would learn it meant ‘to be free of debt’, quite fitting’.
When she was well enough to leave the forest, she reluctantly said goodbye to Strax and began to ride off on Madina, but Strax followed. Strax and Nysisa became inseparable. Nysisa began to realize this giant stag was very unnormal. It understood her speech, and seemed to possess a near human-like intelligence. Knowing her god favored hoofed animals, she took Strax as a sign. She also noticed something had changed within herself: her magic had begun to blossom. Erastil now worked through her.