Serenitia Canatella Rodus Benesarum
Age: 27 apparent
Alignment: Lawful Good
Serenitia Canatella Rodus Benesarum
Rode decided to maintain a certain degree of anonymity when she moved to the south though this did not last very long. She introduces herself only with a contraction of her confirmation-of-faith name, and rarely including the Andarran contraction of her family name, Benneseph. Only once has she given her full name to anyone in southern Negaria, to a dwarf after she participated in the defense of Southhampton contracting for Layten's Ireegulars.
Rode is the daughter her father never wanted, whom her mother remains uninspired to fight for. Bright, fit but plain she seemed like bad luck to her eternally social climbing father who was still reeling from the loss of his son sired in his previous marriage. As the years passed the pangs in him continued and she was raised feeling cared for only through the expert attentions of the family governess, châtelaine, servants and tutors. Truly wanting a son and having taken more strongly from her human fathers side, Rode was corralled into fencing with an emphasis on heavy weapons for the majority of her ladyship training. Two years guitar, five piano, yet no musical theory. Rhetoric, geography, history, yet no sums nor logic. Her education was paid for and biased by her father who was paralyzed to do anything other than what he still pined for. The end of all pretense came with her younger sister Pranti, a musical prodigy, richly blessed with kindness, wit, delicate and masterful in domestic arts and the very picture of elven beauty enriched with a splash of human hardiness. Her parents saw hope for a prosperous marriage and simply claimed their expenditures were too great to keep Rode on and encouraged her to strike out on her own, hope to translate that into a martial career and should she be successful, think of them should Pranti somehow remain unwed.
When Rode arrived in the south she did whatever work she could find by asking people she met. Upon encountering Fletcher Millstone he gave her a magical ring. The first of many following experiences of kindness from the people around Zvidureth. Ultimately Rode decided the peacefulness, sense of community and responsibility for their home that seemed evident in Zvidureth appealed to her most and she decided to stay there. Fond of and protective of the area and her friends her story continues.
Rode is about as tall as you may expect of a half-elf and perhaps a bit more on top of that. She is very well conditioned and while maintaining a womanly figure a brush of her skin would likely suggest she is a person of considerable physical strength. She possesses the fair colorations of many in the Kurathene, dresses in a highly conservative manner underscoring the sense of dignity and self respect she was raised with. Her mannerisms tend be polite and restrained approaching the aloof. She is plain of face but carries herself with a sense of irrelevance to the fact.
Despite the incredible fortune that has showered upon Rode since her arrival in the south her surviving family saw fit to send her a family heirloom upon the passing of her father. A grand, ancient greatsword suffused with a feathery glowing red enchantment which constantly exudes a strong, yet cool and never cloying, scent of strawberries in peak freshness. The large bright weapon does tend to be intimidating from a distance however a brief explanation of the nature of the enchantment usually calms most concerns.
Lenofaythen and a new name
Bound by duty to her home and affection to her friends Rode joined Lenofaythen T'Nanshi 6th Division and fought in several engagements during the war with Drotid. These battles took place in every theatre of war from M'Chek to Elysia, to T'Nanshi and into Drotid itself. She was present for the death of the Voivode and the retaking of the Hel'Byssian peninsula. After the war she, like all members of the 6th, were thanked and awarded for their service by the council of nine. A party was held and she revealed herself as Serenity Bennesarum, using a modern variation of her first name and the Kurathene pronunciation of her last name. At this party she spoke privately with her warmaster and friend Thorfin Hauselkiff and resigned from the T'Nanshi army to pursue further training and fortune with Layten's Irregular brigade in the hopes that should T'Nanshi need her again she will be even better prepared than before.
In consideration of her capabilities Serenity was assigned the rank of leftenant under command of first captain Manfred Layten and awarded command of a platoon of fifty mercenaries. After several missions she has been promoted to brevet company leftenant and her platoon has been reinforced to an assault detachment. Several people from the southern nations have signed on to join this assault detachment of the Wild Geese company, designated as Serenity's Swords. The achievements and members of which, should be noted elsewhere.
Character Journal Entries
The smell was terrible. It was sharp and stung the nose like a smashed lemon and that surprised him because he had always imagined, and usually experienced, the smell of a battlefield as a softer, funkier, more insidious stench. Like a bad egg or the uniform of some filthy mercenary from Malekia. Not today, he couldn't find its source but oh how he wished he could so he could try to make himself clear of it.
Balthus Septimus Benneserum was practically choking on the stink as his mouth grasped frantic for purchase on the tenuous limbs of breathable air that threaded around the battlefield. He gulped and gagged as he ran, his lantern jaw split wide open to accommodate the nearly futile search, he ran. A black shafted bolt screamed through the sharp fetid gasses and struck his throat. He felt his windpipe compress, he ran. A joke of a Dubnati soldier entered his direct path and hence his field of vision. The orc was laughable, small, light featured. Had someone's damned daughter decided to play soldier today? With a smooth, greasy twist Balthus spun on his heel, deflecting the haft of the greataxe with his shoulder and bringing his elbow a half inch deeper into the orcs face than his (her?) skin just had been.
A smoldering chain of light exploded through his eyes. At the same moment he was struck by some explosion in the front, sundering the bolt, twisting free the steel of his helm, a sizeable portion of his right cheek and piercing that eye. He was knocked forward by the leaden, wet, kick of a thick, barbed throwing axe neatly nestling down into the flesh of his right kidney.
It was the girly little orc he had dropped fifteen paces earlier. His Centurions greatsword held aloft, the momentum of his movement, his falling, his duty and of course, the thrown axe bore down on the corwn of the orc about to run through his commander...
And thus the winds of fortune on the house of Bennesarum blew warm for several generations, or so the family told one another. Scrupulous readings of what scant actual information that could be found seemed to indicate that Scipius Treminae, son of Balthus Septimus, actually was the most accomplished member of the line who served with distinction as a Justicar. The rumor being that the greatest accomplishment of Balthus was organizing the competent defense of an area besieged by the orcs until a company of Imperium soldiers could relieve him, but not before he'd sired a son bred of that strong willed and devestatingly attractive fey stock amassing their own assaults and defenses in the region.
And so as the years wear away the sharp edges of a statue, so too is diminished its crisp wonder to the eye. So the sayings always go, and always have, since the dawn of time till its end. Things were better back then...
The Bennesarum line was not blessed with land it could hold it turned out, and lean on business acumen the Patriarch moved to Andarr and sank, too often literally, the families remaining fortunes into shipping concerns, contracting the meaningless familial name to something more accessible and acceptable to the locals, Benneseph.
Without a remaining interest in a core lineage the maintenance of the branches swiftly became a perceived joyless labor, and atrophied. Within two generations most of the remaining family had taken on dashing contemporary surnames or deigned to eschew surnames entirely as was fashionable for certain youth in Crosstreams at some point.
Before oblivion though there was a stirring. One man, willful and deluded moved his clan back to Kuras, knowing the families heritage but incapable of proving it so remained Mister Benneseph, foreigner, in society. He craved dignity and the chance to reinstate his name. He passed these cravings on to his children, and they to their own, down to Sertius who wed Ratiae Vincorum, to lead his line back on the path, who bore him a son, Chryses Anconae, who died too young in military service. She was a terrible shrew, he a terrible fool and the divorce was bitter and he was broken for the loss of his dreams, child and wife.
In time he rewed, wisened by life a bit, but not enough. Not yet. This time he wed for love a nanshin called Muenit B'le'te who bore him two girls. Rode, the elder, took after her father and was as tall, rosy cheeked but plain she nonetheless was a woman of Kuras and as it should be, was raised with a proper education in music, literature, and other practical crafts to secure a husband of quality.
Showing skill in fencing, Sertius could not resist the thread that still wound over his heart, braided from his dreams for his son and his vanity and so pressed his daughter more stridently to pursue fencing with heavy weapons. And so they lived until the younger, Pranti, came of age and was clearly a singular beauty, well armed with wit and charm and so, feeling secure, Sertius lost interest in his import trade of textiles, his export trade of kitsch copper curios and even his dockside Khanjar cuisine resturant which practically ran itself as he was old and his wife already had her next husband picked out, as well as some fine prospects for young Pranti.
Too poor to throw good money after bad, but far from destitute, Sertius wrung his hands and told Rode of his misfortune in business, and the necessity, regrettable as it was, for her to strike forth on her own with just this travel money to the south to make her fortunes for herself and should she, by grace, find it in spades, could she pray remember her loving family at home in dear old Kuras.
The fencer Serenitia Canatella Rodus Benesarum, all her life called Rode Benneseph, sat in front of the Leaping Stag in Zvidureth and watched the wind blow snow devils around daydreaming. An eddy of shattered snow crystals staggered toward her and in mirthless inevitability crashed into her, covering her in their rude, failed form. Save one.
One feathery, perfect crystal adorned a fold of fabric that formed at the bend of her knee as she sat there, legs crossed. Its six crossmembers supporting gossamer interconnects which radiated out filling the expanse the crossmembers provided.
She smirked inwardly at the metaphor, not amused enough to show any visible emotion and twisted an uncomfortable ring on her left hand. The ring was heavy, spotted with slivered gems with recesses in the gold where some of the slivers had broken free exposing the setting, like pock marks on a lovely face.
She thought about people, and herself. She wondered how her family was doing and remained hopeful for a letter soon, perhaps her sister would be wed and then all would be well. She thought about the uncomfortable necessity to be away from kind society and to keep company with such often rude, even urbane folk who were driven by appetite and impulse with no sense of duty, dignity, class...
It wasn't true, it really wasn't and that's been the mystifying factor. The duty, dignity and class so many of these people show. The generosity and kindness of Mr. Millstone, oh and Pan. One simply cannot fake that sort of kindness as she displays it. The logical razor simply precludes it!
The mages she's met, such absolutely earth rending power at their command and yet they make time to take her by the hand, alone, in groups of holy warriors and mead belching, whoremongering, docksbred ruffians alike, contributing to some vague cloud of security against all manner and stripe of threat to society, indulging her elder sisterly impulse to show something fantastic to that girl Nina, barely less worldly than she herself is. Vintrinia the flame elemental, Fergus the unmaker of the undead, Thienna the seer duchess of the avariel, the rest...
The thinnest structures of the snowflake retreat from the periphery of its structure. Thickening the crossmembers with a diminutive layer of water.
She twists the patrician ring more, its soft gold having become bent between her grip and the handle of her greatsword. Its smooth polished exterior roughening, scratched. Another ring would suit here, she thought. Would have. Once. A glimmer of thought to a man of Mikona dressed in black finery. A man. An actual man, not some parody of masculinity but a man. With manners, wit, style, aplomb...*sigh* and no station. But neither has she. She knows this should be good enough, and knows that since it is not by now, she shall not earn its joys. She sets the ring back on her finger with finality. It is not ideal, its symbolism as an analog is even marred and growing ugly but she is not quite ready to let this hand walk proudly naked yet. Though knowing it is a permanent eventuality.
The thicker layers of the snowflake follow their junior members to the core of the once perfect crystal.
She thinks with some envy of the warm smooth limpid friendships between Fergus, Arania, Delurion, Raine... more, more, even that dimwitted lout that was nearly concussed by that northwoman...
The crossmembers alone remain of the snowflake..
Rash, Rokai, Lomak. She fell into their midst and in a cold panic took charge and thank gods they let her..they let her maintain some sense of control in her panicked state and thanked them, heaping praise upon praise on them for their achievement in the elemental cavern but really it was gratitude that they suffered her need to feel in control. So suddenly faced with mortal peril with no clear rescuer in sight. They had been tested, her nerve had never been placed in such peril of breaking and she stood fast. Oh she had complained richly and thoroughly in M'chek when the expedition to recover some romini artefact or something was thrust upon her. That northwoman Silver was civil enough. Fergus was there..
Hert telling her tales, offering advice, watching his genuine joy at meeting his former comrade in arms..
Then just last night, between Thaylis the soldier of M'Chek and some stranger, a press of stout people at her back she stood at the line as waves of Malekian mercenaries poured in, she offered ideas, some even agreed they were good, or not and implemented them, or not. Correct, incorrect did it matter? No one blamed her, only support.
She saw the actual Gaius Varnum, she rolled for and won or was given in the recent weeks a mix of items with no unified style, origin or theme other than pragmatic excellence..
The crossmembers withdraw into themselves leaving a molten drop in what once was their center, slowly it distributes itself into the fabric. It is not lost upon her that as the perfect snowflake disappears the shattered snow crystals elsewhere yet remain.
Wolf hired me for ten thousand coins to seek a meaningful spiritual imperative rather than just idly accepting what I had inherited by birth, she thought. Senath's mantle of strategy and tactics doesn't have to just embrace the battlefield does it? Could it not also teach to plan and prepare for all things in life? Is that not similar to how the Pelarites live the Hunt? Or the Hurinites live prosperity?
The warrior rose and walked inside the inn for some cocoa. The shattered imperfect snowflakes fell off of her as she walked and remained on the ground in one form or another for the rest of the cold season.
The perfect snowflake, and the fencer, were nowhere to be found.