|Hair Color||Raven Black|
|Eye Color||Dark Brown|
|Authored By / Featured In|
Tendrils of dark hair fall from the crown of this young woman's head to her hips, drifting gracefully with her movements. Untamed, they tumble about her face and shoulders freely, an inky black curtain. She seems complimented best by spring and autumn, dusk and dawn; those twilight places in between where flights of fancy take wing, and frolic within dream and whimsy. Her features are what one might consider beautiful, with elegantly-arched dark eyebrows over a pair of smoldering dark eyes, a delicate nose, and shapely lips. One might more accurately call her features interesting, with a strong bone structure, and an intense, piercing gaze beneath long dark lashes.
Tall and lithe, the woman's figure is pleasing, movements guided by a serpentine grace and precision marked by a dancer's awareness. She tends to favor bright colors and strange adornments, designed to draw the eye, making her seem perhaps a little eccentric. She often wears flowers, feathers or other ornaments in her hair, and jewelry to compliment any whimiscal costume she might be wearing on a given day. Colorful tattoos in the shapes of flowers, delicate vines and swirling leaves twine their way up from the right side of her waist, around her back, to her left shoulder. She displays these tattoos prominently whenever she can with her choice of costume while entertaining.
There is an odd mix of naivete and wisdom in this young woman, a sense that she has seen too much, yet also not enough, of the world around her. There is a whismsical, wide-eyed curiosity about her at times, while at other times, she can become somewhat aloof and withdrawn, mysteriously retreating into herself where none may reach her. Yet, when she is performing, she seems to come to life, a smoldering light of awareness shining in her eyes beneath dark lashes. Most within the Compact might consider her to be somewhat eccentric. She does, however, have a presence well-suited for the stage, a larger-than-life personality and charm designed to draw the eye.
The Anadalashari clan of the nomadic, free Ravashari people, traveled long ago from the far northern reaches of the Red Mountains, down into the more fertile valleys below the mountains of Graypeak. After their people took up the Pact, it was the horses that led them southward, the wild and beautiful animals that seemed to lead their people to where they eventually found a home within the plains and foothills of Graypeak. A home, of a sort, at least, for they could not remain in one place. The horses moved about often, grazing here and there, and then running with wild abandon across waving fields of tall grasses, to find another place to settle for a time. So, too, did the Anadalashari, who chose to follow the horses, that they might form a kinship with them. They learned the art of carrying their encampment with them wherever they went, following the grazing patterns of the wild horses that led them first to these lands to begin with. For the Anadalashari were known to have a knack and a way with horses, and such became their primary trade - the training and breeding of these fine steeds, and trading them, very selectively, only to those who would honor these noble steeds as friends, rather than use them solely as beasts of burden.
However, as the influence of the Compact grew, the Andalashari found themselves with a difficult choice to make. They found themselves being chased from place to place by those who did not want them in lands they were attempting to conquer in the name of the Compact. The Faith had little love for their shamanistic ways, and they found themselves driven further and further from civilization, while their wild horses were systematically captured and tamed and taken away by these invaders. They were considered an Abandoned clan, and therefore, to be conquered or driven away. They were told they must bend the knee, or leave the land they had come to love.
Forced to interact with the encroaching civilization of the Compact, the Andalashari did make a choice - they made a bargain with House Shepherd, and only House Shepherd - to trade with them exclusively the wild horses that they trained and bred, in exchange for safe passage within the open plains and foothills beneath Graypeak. It was a tenuous relationship at first, for the people of House Shepherd had to be made to understand that these wild horses were free spirits, and they could not be fully tamed. That they were a symbol of freedom for the Anadalashari people, and must be treated with respect and friendship. There was much bargaining to be done, and the Andalashari were shrewd bargainers. In time, they reached an agreement, and eventually they agreed to bend the knee, in exchange for their freedom to roam Shepherd lands. They became prodigals, though they did not want any part of forming a noble house, or joining civilization. All they wanted was freedom to roam, and to choose. Always. In time, a permanent village was set aside for them, to always return to should they choose to do so, though they rarely settled there for long, save in the cold winter months, where even the Andalashari could not pass up the warmth of hearth and home.
It was to these Andalashari that Vashtlalyn was born. Her mother gave birth to her in a field of tall grasses, while they were traveling from one place to another, and there was much joy, for she was born under an auspicious sign - one of the Andalashari mares was foaling at the same time. There was much celebration, and many offerings of thanks wer given unto the spirits. The clan traveled onward. Vashtalyn's mother was a dancer of some renown among the Ravashari, and her father was one of the clan elders, and a shrewd merchant. They lived free, one of the many Ravashari clans that roamed the world. As Vashtalyn grew, she developed an affinity for her mother's dance craft, and during the great Andalashari horse fairs, as she grew older still, she learned the arts of performance and entertainment that would draw the curious to their Anadalashari stock and trade, as well as the skill of bartering and trade.
As the years drifted by, the Andalashari became aware of dangers roaming the world. Strange cultists hidden in the secret places, called to mind stories of their long ago ancestors, and the shaman of Vashtalyn's clan began to see the signs of something greater afoot. The construction of the Great Road was a great devastation for the Andalashari, for it cut a path straight through the lands their horses depended upon. This also displaced numerous other shav'arvani tribes, driving them higher into the foothills. Here, the Andalashari encountered a number of unsavory peoples, and they found it necessary to defend their families and loved ones. Their encampments were attacked more frequently, until one day, one devastating attack by these opposing shav'arvani tribes took the life of Vashtalyn's father, her older brother, and two of her uncles, among many others.
Knowing that they must do something to preserve their way of life, the Andalashari found themselves retreating to the village that had been set side for them, and built up its defenses, seeking the promised protection of House Shepherd. Here now they linger, and some have been sent off into the world, to roam it freely, and bring back news of what is transpiring. For never again do the Andalashari wish to be caught unawares. At age twenty two, Vashtalyn was one of those sent forth into the world, to gather news, and bring it back to her clan. Bringing with her only her talent, her fellow entertainers, and her skills as a merchant, Vashtalyn arrives in the strange and vast city of Arx, to see what she can learn of current happenings. Her first order of business is to find a place to settle in and venue in which to perform. When not performing, she plans to set up her own business as a tailor, for performing alone will not provide much of a living, after all. Skill with needle and thread is prized among her people, and experience making her own costumes and jewelry may lend her somewhat of an edge in this competitive market.