Wednesday, 2 July 2014

'Aenghus'

Svetlana’s mother has appeared at various points in the campaign so far, but you may have noticed a certain silence about her father. If you’ve read the character background I shared a while ago, you will know why, but here’s some more detail into the man himself. (Svetlana only knows him by the name ‘Aenghus’ so that is how I will refer to him, although it’s probably not his real name.) 

Aenghus was born a long, long time ago to an isolated elven tribe in a particularly wild part of the world. I have to admit to a lack of knowledge on the geography of Golarion, but I picture somewhere mountainous (or at least craggy and hilly) and coastal (or criss-crossed with lakes and streams). Definitely heavily wooded. Fey blood ran strong within the tribe so it is no surprise he is a powerful sorcerer, but his interest in magic and the fey ran even deeper than most of his fellows. He has been accepted into the ranks of the fey, their power filling him and enabling him to have lived far beyond what is normal even for an elf. His own capabilities and control over magic have granted him the position of a Lord and have extended his life far beyond what is normal for an elf (I imagine him being hundreds of years old, possibly well into 4 digits).

After a time (I’m thinking 200 or 300 years), Aenghus decided he wanted an heir. Being good-looking and having magic to enhance his natural charm, it didn’t take him long to seduce a string of elven women but so far he has only managed to produce daughters and not the son he craves. Although most of his lovers have been elven, Svetlana may not be his only half-breed daughter.

When Natasha Chekhov caught his attention, she was in her mid-teens; happy and lively, with long ash-blonde hair and bright blue eyes. He used his control over dreams to seduce her, coming to her in her sleep on 3 consecutive nights. As was his wont, he waited until his offspring was turning 7 before coming to the village so until her 7th birthday all Svetlana had of her father was her pointy ears, some barely-controlled magic and the middle name ‘Liann’, which her mother had learnt was elven for beer*.

Svetlana loved birthday. The sun shone brightly and everyone clubbed together to make it feel special for her. Around lunchtime, a hunched man arrived in the village – a wandering tinker with a laden donkey. He gave his name as Finlay and quickly won over the villagers… with the exception of Svetlana. Perhaps it was her awareness of magic or perhaps it was their shared blood, but she knew this ‘wondering tinker’ was no such thing.

She confronted him that evening by the bonfire. The villagers, under his charismatic spell, rose in horror to defend him; he waved them back and agreed to speak with her in private. He then explained he was her father and this is when he told her his name was Aenghus (although she doesn’t believe him).

He stayed in the village a total of 3 days and in that time taught her simple tricks to help control and develop her wild magic, but refused to reveal himself to anyone else; when she tried to tell her family who he was, he made them forget again as easily as breathing. This made her feel helpless, which she did not like. After he left, she tried again but his human disguise was convincing enough that everyone dismissed it as foolish wishful thinking.

Svetlana hasn’t sought her father since**, having found the whole encounter too frustrating. She was particularly upset with the way he treated her mother because Natasha had, in their 3 dream-nights together, fallen strangely in love with Aenghus such that she never married: not only was Natasha hurt, but Svetlana would like to have had siblings. It doesn’t occur to her how many she may have on the other side of her family. She doesn’t think of her father often; tries not to think of him at all.

If Aenghus was impressed with his (presumably) youngest daughter’s skill or potential, he didn’t show it. Whether he keeps an eye on her progress or not is also unknown. Why does he have this pressing need for an heir he cannot produce – fulfilment of prophecy? some kind of curse? a need to have someone to hand things to before finally seeking death? boredom? mere whim? Only the GM can tell.

I like to give my GM things to play with.




*Growing up, my little sister had a friend called Liann whose parents ran the pub at the end of our road. They’d called her Liann because it’s Scottish for beer. Or so the story went, anyway. I’ve had trouble finding corroboration on the internet but possibly because I was spelling it Leanne initially.

**but there is a moment when she may have seen him. When Svetlana earned her mythic powers, Erastil pulled her out of normal time and space and with him was another person; as I recall it, a powerful-seeming elf unknown to Svetlana. Svetlana hasn’t dwelt much on this, but out-of-character I wonder if it was her father. After all, she doesn’t know what he looks like (beyond him being an elf and presumably having dark honey-blonde hair and storm-grey eyes; these being the features that distinguish her from her mother), so she wouldn’t necessarily know.

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