|Religion||Open To Listen|
|Authored By / Featured In|
She moves with artistry, each flow and sway of her dainty form born on a freedom from within. The full, luxuriant curls of her raven hair, spun as if from silk and velvet, cascade down around her in a wild sea to flare with the swell of her hips. A few ringlets tickle the shell of her pointed ear and settle against her round cheek. She is touched angelic, from the brushstroke arch of her brows, to the elegant upturn of her button nose, to the soft, sumptuous carmine of her heart-shaped lips that part with a glimmer of ivory fangs. Azure eyes, immense with a feline tilt, hold the depth and intensity of an ocean beneath dark, endless lashes, her pupils ringed in pools of fiery gold. Fragile as snow, her porcelain skin blooms with an inner light, rosed across her high cheekbones and flushed warmly at the column of her throat. Barely a memory of pain lingers as a tracery of silver along her collarbone and her left palm. A petite slip of a woman, her delicacy sets off every luscious curve, defined throughout the slenderness of her waist and limbs with the lithe grace of a huntress.
Ilira is inclined to skew first impressions. Despite a common status, she comports with a grace and manner that navigates her through the upper echelons. Diplomacy suits her, though a rich wit and authenticity underlies her veneer of eloquent subtlety. While the company of nobles suits her fine, she enjoys equally the grit and revelry of the lower boroughs, known to linger in taverns and wax philosophical until closing time. She is the watchful type at bars, but when a mood strikes, she'll be ready with her lute and her voice, a moment in which she truly comes to life. Her esoteric way rarely fades, save in her three favored elements of music, dance, and sea, in which a goofball whimsy and vivacity emerges to full effect.
A shav scout discovered baby Ilira abandoned, well-swaddled and tucked against the base of a tree. She was carried home with him, to a small tribal village by the coast. Situated within a forestal patch on the southernmost island of the Saffron Chain, the people thrived through nature, their structures built from and on the boughs. At campfire that night, the infant was presented, and elders agreed to adopt her as the tribe's own, if a search for parentage came to nothing. In the next days, speculation on her origins buzzed: the product of a broken fidelity contract? A change of mind? Perhaps she was lost, or stolen? Meanwhile, word of her was spread without answer; none knew of or claimed the child. Thus, at one of their nightly fires, a call was made to name her as their own. Ilira bloomed into an absolute ball of energy, under the care of Healers Lilia and Ahria Starling.
She learned quick, became a deft hand at the bedside of the sick, and developed repute for her wit and sweetness. Her affinity for animals drew rebuke when once, in the village's makeshift library, she gathered a menagerie of bunny, mouse, and chipmunk to read with her. It baffled grownups how she managed to catch them, and more so when she began to teach other children.
Her other keen talent, as evinced at each campfire, was her musical inclination. She had babbled along to the villagers songs before she could speak, and at four-years-old, stole a lute from an elder to strum. Her voice always carried a force and soul, powerful beyond her age, and her way with words translated to clever lyricism. She picked up a myriad of instruments--flute, lyre, fiddle--but lute became her favored. That fire in her music reflected throughout her personality, in her vivacious demeanor, the quirk and whimsy of her manner, and her propensity for goofy shenanigans.
Throughout her childhood, Ilira grew curiouser of references to the world beyond the forest, to a silken city, to the Pravus, the Thrax. Upon request, she was told of the Thrax Dynasty and their sovereignty over the Saffron, of Pravus wiles and custom, of a luxurious city called Setarco that dripped with silk and scandal. She wanted to go. Thus, when a pair of traders mentioned a trip to Setarco that would fall close to her tenth name-day, she requested that she might accompany them and potentially linger there for a while. When she arrived, the city intoxicated her in color, fragrance, chic, and culture alien to her. At a garden party, her mischief drew the attention of the Radiant of the Whispers. Ilira expressed her love of art, music, and described her roots, which endeared the Whisper, who offered to take her in as a protege.
Interspersed with visits to her village, the following three years refined Ilira's every grace and talent. Her Radiant mentor trained her to weave and sew fine materials, set her hands on new instruments, and supplied her with a range of books, as well as lessons in etiquette and finesse. On spare days, also, Ilira would join the sailors on the docks and learn of the boats and the sea. It all mesmerized her. After a while, she began to catch eyes and attentions with her ability, and as she grew, her budding beauty. She contrasted those around her with her delicately pale skin and wild dark hair, but worth more remark was the way her ears curved to fine points, the tilt of her eyes and gold within the blue. Her beauty struck, strange and increasingly luminous.
On her thirteenth name-day, she returned to her village in the forest and remained for the next few years, though a restlessness built in her. She would go on explorations by herself, often for days at a time. While as spirited as before, she developed a reserve, and many suspected there to be a paramour she kept to herself. At 16, she decided to act upon her desires, and obtained her own sailboat. She said she would return after a few months, and wished warm farewells to her tribe with one last song around the campfire. She never did.
Until now, Ilira has been away and seems somewhat reticent to speak on all those years. She is different, keened and refined by her experiences, with a competence in combat unafforded by her upbringing. Despite this, there is a warmth and deep joy evident in her return, and she faces Arx with fresh intentions and two swords at her back.