It had been another long night slaving away in the forges. The heat of Saun was taking its time leaving the Ridge and it's surrounding forests to the cool breeze of Vhalar, but at least the second sun had parted and night turned over the world once more. Erigor let out a sigh and kicked back his waterskin. He was outside his shop, settled off on the outer rim of the town of Ironridge, and taking a break from his work order of three hundred short swords to be made for the town's military. For what purpose? They would not say. Instead, a hefty bag of gold was thrown into his hands, a high price for hard work with no questions asked.
Three hundred short swords was a task that any smithy would have declined, aware that they would be doing the work by themselves. However, Erigor was prideful (or a fool) and took it upon himself to hammer out the weapons, one after another after another. He was overcome with work, practically living day in and day out in the hot forges, burning and injuring himself from lack of sleep, pounding and flattening, heating and cooling metal, sweating and working till his arms felt as if they would fall off.
It was this night where he decided to rest. Taking in the Vhalar night and the moons that floated and danced with the stars above. They were glorious, such as they should be, and Erigor couldn't help but miss company gazing upon their clusters. He was a quite man and being so was a good thing in his early days. It kept him from trouble. But now he was alone and his only company were the many weapons settled and polished in racks upon racks back in the shop.
The mortal man felt a twinge of loneliness, but this was suddenly forgotten upon the sudden and yet odd appearance of a woman. Her pale, sun stained hair curled around her shoulders while her cloak hide her rather well dressed attire. She looked like she was a woman of fine birth, but she carried herself in a way that called authority and for some reason, Erigor couldn't help but retract a bit even though the woman said nothing.
Finally, he spoke. "Sorry, lassy. Can I help you?"
She smiled and nodded, requesting that a sword was to be made for her, one of the finest he could make. Erigor quirked a brow, his suspicions rose as she approached him at the doorway. The woman was oddly beautiful and enchanting. "You want a sword? At this time of night? For what purpose?"
Explaining to him that it was for battle purposes, as she would need it in a fortnight, she presented to him a broken weapon. It was the reason why she needed another sword. The weapon was snapped in half, the break being caused by relentless clashing as Erigor could see from the bend and break of the weapon. Though it was broken, it was an easy fix given the right materials. "A fortnight, you say?" He scratched his beard. "I can repair this weapon for you, since a new one will cost just as much... It would be better this way. Plus I doubt I could make you anything like this."
He grasped the hilt and lifted the broken blade. The sword was a masterpiece, accented by rubies and a golden handle carved in the shape of a dragon. Mulling over the price for such work, Erigor decided to take on the project.
The strange woman left, soon becoming a fleeting memory as the breaks and trials passed. Erigor was intensely focused on repairing the blade, crafting it with a rare metal he had bought from a backwater black market dealer off near the Mines of Ironridge. He was so focused on his project that he didn't hear it when a person came into his shop until a pint of ale was placed on his workstation.
His blue eyes snapped up to look upon the strangely beautiful woman from nights before. She seemed intrigued and curious by his focus but he paid it no attention, thanking her for the ale and asking why she had visited. To check on the progress, she had stated calmly, her own eyes looking to yet more racks of swords on the walls for the military of Ironridge. They were all crafted with such care, sharpened, polished, and put away. He was still maintaining his workload of crafting short swords while working on the repairs of the woman's sword. Erigor wasn't sure how he did it, but as exhausted as he was, he took pride in accomplishing such a feat. It's exactly what he told the woman.
They struck up a conversation while he work and suddenly, he found that he was truly starting to enjoy the strange woman's company. Her approval pleased him and Erigor couldn't help be entertained by her attention and attracted to her affection.
So the trials passed, each day she would bring an ale to him while he work and each night, they would entertain eachother with stories, some of her stories so outlandish that he wondered if they were dreams till the morning came where, even before dawn, he'd finished her weapon in time to see her off with it.
But as the birds chirped their songs around them, Erigor couldn't allow her to leave. The way she looked upon him was enough to cause his very heart to ache. Bringing her close, he shared with her a kiss that became intensely heated while the dawn broke across the horizon. Callused hands brought her back into the shop, back to where he made his bed, and they shared in a passionate exchange before he awoke later in the afternoon, his only company being that of the empty bed he laid upon.
Born And Raised
Life wasn't so hard for Dionysia. She has always known the family she lives with currently to be her true one, though her mother did admit to her when Dia was younger that she was adopted. Such a thing upset her at the time, a constant whisper of a truth in the back of her mind as she grew older. This didn't deter her from her goals though and gave her more of a reason to make her mother and father proud, to honor them with her accomplishments even though she wasn't their's by blood.
Dia was an energetic youngster. She was always running off into the forests seeking adventure and finding danger with it. One afternoon, she ventured too far from the path and became lost in the dense hilltops of Falcon Haven Forest. The young girl didn't know such a place was notorious for smugglers and bandits, but she found them soon enough, smuggling shipments of animals out of the region. It was a type of tiger that was disappearing from the forest for unknown reasons and she had just stumbled onto the cause.
Instead of running from the scene, Dia decided to set the place ablaze, distracting the smugglers long enough to release their kidnapped cargo. However, she got caught up in the chaos and wounded; a deep slash mark marred the skin of her back. They threw her in the nearly empty cage that housed the tiger cubs and took her with them, most likely to sell. Dionysia was aware she was losing blood, going in and out of consciousness while a single tiger cub bounced its way over to meet her. She vaguely remembers its paws or its tongue licking at the blood, or its fur when it settled down beside her head.
The next intense of time happened so suddenly that Dionysia wasn't sure what had happened. Between the bloodloss and sleep, her awareness was dampened. All she could remember in the darkness of night was a sudden beam of light like the golden sun, the sound of metal clashing against metal, screams, and iron breaking. The ground trembled as a female voice, authority echoing in the undertones amplified the power in the air so much that if felt electric. Then the cage was broken open and her wounded form carried out to be held by a woman shimmering under the moonlight. Her hair was so blond, it looked white and her eyes, simply captivating.
But Dia couldn't focus on them. Darkness was taking her vision and the only thing she could grasp from the conscious world was the woman saying. "You're safe now, my love..."
When Dia awoke, she was back home, bandaged up and tucked in bed with a fur ball cuddled next to her. As her parents had explained it, the smugglers were just about to cross into Yurrova territory when they were confronted by someone, maybe another group. They said a group of travelers had found Dionysia among the bloody massacre and brought her to the closest ranger outpost. The rest of the details regarding the incident were kept from her, apart from the tiger pup the refused to leave her side the entire journey back and thereafter.
So she grew, marked by this memory and befriended by a tiger that soon became her trusted companion and mount, Yuharu. She learned etiquette from her mother and defensive and unarmed combat from her father, should anyone ever try to hurt her again. She became invested in fighting and battle, sparring each day with the town boys, clashing sticks together till either one would fall from the lashings or the stick would break.
During this time, more talk of Ne'haer's take over made its way through Ironridge and, soon after, Ironridge began calling its citizens to arms. Dionysia enlisted, joining to help fight for control of her homelands even as Ironridge watched their oldest ally, Yurrova, fall into the crooked hands of Ne'haer.
Now Dionysia travels to and from the battlefield, moving up in ranks and fighting for a cause she feels is a just one.