Adisa Nannier

Adisa was discovered, newly born, under several inches of snow in the ice wind dales. She was found beneath the cloak of her mother who had evidentially been traveling toward a Tethyrian city and found herself and three companions (there may have been more, but scouts only ever found the three) stuck in a sudden vicious summer blizzard, one that she is often told took everyone by surprise, having not a cloud in the sky a mere half hour before it began, the temperature dropping rapidly. The group seemed not to have had any idea how to survive in the cold, and died one by one of exposure over the course of the next day or so. Fortunately for Adisa, her mother collapsed directly in the middle of a popular trade route and a Caravan damn near ran the pair of them over. The Traders braving the freshly powder coated roads were kind enough to bring them into the city, although Adisa’s mother died not long after their arrival. They’re still not sure where they were coming from or why. The group seemed to carry no culturally identifying objects or any traveling papers of any kind. Everything found on them seemed to be, almost purposefully, as bland, generic and universal as possible. The best guess they could make was that they hailed from Shurima, due to the dark hue of their skin and dark hair tones, though what anyone from there needed in the wintery ice lands was anyone’s guess Adisa herself was in surprisingly good health, albeit very hungry. Those that took the baby in were amazed that she bore no signs of illness or frostbite. Given the various unusual circumstances surrounding her and this strange good fortune of well being, Adisa was decided to have been given some favor of the gods and the local sages requested she be given into their care. And so she grew. Even as a babbling toddler she needed little persuasion to involve herself in the learning and practice of the faith, although this did lead to many accidentally torn tomes (over enthusiastic pointing and smacking), chewed on religious symbols and stolen ceremonial pieces and fabrics. Her proxy parents were the four sages who took turns raising her, whom she refered to respectively as Father Dagfinn, Father Arnhalder, Father Bosir and Mother Eola (these are not religious titles, but familial ones). As Adisa grew she exhibited some strange physical features, such as a set of gray streaks that were evident in her dark hair as it became longer and her eyes, gray as many babies are at birth, never changed their hue to the brown they would have suspected. Many shrugged and chalked it up to her time in the snow so early in life, or to some odd blood lineage since they didn’t know for sure where she hailed from. Adisa was not much a people person. In her youth, though always respectful, she shunned strangers that she was not being forced to interact with and the shield of childhood innocence could not defend her blunt tongue forever. Her demeanor was always harsh, suspicious, and not allowing for imperfections. It was not to say she didn’t harbor kindness or good intentions, she simply never grasped social niceties and could not help her need for high standards. In a society that already treated her differently, though not neccesarily cruely, for not truly being one of them these character flaws seemed crippling and insurmountable to her and therefore ‘a waste of time’. She threw any energy she could have put into practicing social etiquette into the continued and fevered study of her faith in all its intricacies and details. So dedicated and devout was she that she earned the consideration of a holy order in her city.

For within the limits of the place she had grown was an artifact, a statuette ancient beyond telling, known as The Still Mother. Sealed within this woman shaped idol were several Disir – female spirits of death and fortune that could be either benevolent or wicked. With spirits of both alignments bound together within one vessel their powers became fused, warped and multiplied many times over what each individual spirit could accomplish. It’s power unleashed could cover three cities and would trap it’s victims in a state of limbo, stuck in neither life nor death. How it was created or to what purpose was left out of the teachings, lest anyone get any ideas. What is known is that the Order of the EverPresent was established by the will of Odin to hide and safeguard this powerful item. The order is made up solely of Paladins and Clerics who are expected to serve the whole of their lives.

Adisa was taken under the wing of the order at 14 and sworn to silence, though not truly understanding what the order did or stood for until she became a full member of it’s ranks at age 22. Life within the order was, outside of your brothers and sisters in arms, solitary. The entire purpose of your every breath was in dedication to the cause, one was expected to distance themselves from all other things and as such people who became members of the order were usually taken from other towns or cities – people didn’t question why you stopped being friends or what you were doing so much when you moved miles away. Adisa was an easy exception, she had never made friends outside the order to begin with and her only family were the Sages of the city who knew full and well what was going on.

Adisa was 23 when an Elderly Professor came to town and sought out her order directly, which caused all kinds of upheaval on it’s own, seeing as to how they were meant to be sort of a secret. This landed the man very quickly into an Order controlled prison in the basement of a basement beneath a cover tavern on the outskirts of the city. According to him, this Professor Petros lorrimor, someone was coming to take the Still Mother. When asked who he informed them that it was the unfortunately named Cult of the Whispering Way. While they were all rather skeptical, shifts and patrols were doubled. The thing was, though, that the professor insisted the idol needed to be moved, and quickly. The idol had not moved in centuries and no one was keen to do it now, and the instance by some stranger who knew to much only served to dig them into their stance on the matter. The most damaging part of Iorrimor’s words, however, was the suggestion that one of their own had turned on them, though he didn’t know which one.

The Order of the EverPresent was, by necessity, small. The less who knew of the Still Mother the better. With a grand total of 60 members ranging from Adisa’s 23 years to the eldest member, Honear’s 66. And do to their general isolation from people not of the order they became a family, tight knit and fiercely loyal. Suggesting any one of them would act against the others was damn near heretical, and it caused many of the group to shut the Professor’s warnings out entirely, instead deciding he must be there to steal it himself or to help someone else do it.

Adisa, being the most junior member, was assigned to keep an eye on the aged professor while the other’s busied themselves on the alert. Adisa cell sat him for several days, only getting brief brakes when he was in questioning and when she was relieved at night to sleep. Naturally suspicious of others, and not at all enamored with this mans wild claims of betrayal, Adisa felt little sorrow in his caged plight, though she could not help taking some pity on the man once the wear and tear of his interviews began to pile up. From what she understood his answers had been fairly forthcoming and she saw little need to enact violence on an old and apparently accommodating man. She got him a decent blanket, and begrudgingly tossed him some bark to chew on for the discomfort, even if she did shoot him dirty looks every time he tried to strike up a conversation. The looks never did stop him talking though, he seemed to find serenity in the sound of his own voice talking, even if it grated Adisa’s nerves. Once she asked him about the places he’d been. She was always curious as to where she might have come from, but it was an interest she never dared express to her peers or proxy parents. He’d indulged her a bit, but just a bit. He repeatedly insisted that they needed to move the relic, though no one listened.

Later they would really wish they had. Or at least Adisa would, as no one can really tell what the dead regret.

It was just as Adisa was about to be relieved when it happened. Fasti, Chisel faced and only a few years her senior, came down take her watch. He was in the middle of a polite smile and a greeting when a sword collided with the side of his head from behind. The murderer that wrenched his blade from Fasti’s skull was Moror a fatherly man of forty and a third tier member of the order. Adisa was shell shocked and she might have done nothing but stare at him as she approached her, weapon at the ready had the Professor not shouted her into movement. She rose out of her chair scrambling for her hammer and shield and only barely deflecting his attack. They scuffled a moment and things did not look good for the dark skinned woman until she managed to force him back a moment with her shield, close to the bars of lorrimor’s cell. Iorrimor grabbed Moror’s ankle as he charged forward, causing him to stumble and allowing Adisa to slam her hammer down upon his head. Which she did, several times, screaming the whole while. The world came tumbling down then – the stranger had been right and trustworthy. Her brother in arms had not. She freed lorrimor and rushed upstairs, now hearing the calls of the warning horns each of the EverPresent carried. That sound was dim over the sounds of shouting, screaming, fighting. The inn was empty of all but the dead – five of them, caught off guard, sitting at tables, lying on the floor, sprawled on the stairs. Adisa tore herself away from the scene, running full tilt toward the entrance of the Still Mother’s maze, a secret passage in a dead end alley. The EverPresnt had always dominated the area surrounding that alley way, maintaining homes and the occasional cover store. Now all of that was on fire, and then some. Adisa couldn’t fathom then how so many cultists slipped into the city unnoticed and uncatalogued by the order, though she knows now the extent of inside help they received. They seemed to emerge from the wood work, from beneath stairways and sewage grates, from nowhere at all. The last she can remember seeing the Professor was turning to him, wide eye’d but determined, and telling him to get out of there before plunging into the fray.

Adisa was winded and bloody by the time she reached the entrance, in time to witness another betrayal. Olief, the second in command of the order, running from the entrance, his ex peer’s chasing after him as he kept an ornate box tucked beneath his arm. He cut down two order members as he moved, though one person sliced into him, their blade sparking against the stone box and slicing off his pinky and a healthy chunk of his hand. Adisa, knowing full well that she had no hope against the likes of Olief moved forward to engage him, hoping her inevitable demise would slow him down long enough for one of her betters to attack. She never got the chance to engage him, a crushing blow caught her on the side, crushing her ribs and a blow to the head shortly there after took her out. She survived by a hairs breadth, which was more than most of her order could say.

They had been exterminated. She understood as much. The traitors could have waited until they were on the same watch, for everyone took a watch, regardless of rank, dispatched the three others on guard with them, used their knowledge of the maze and left without all this commotion. But then the Order would have swollen their ranks and hunted them to the ends of the earth and made damn sure every man woman and child they could extend their influence to hunted them as well.

She found herself with the chunk of Olief’s hand clutched in her own when she woke, still on the field and with people running around trying to put out the fire. She has no idea how she managed to pick it up, but she later had it pickled in a small Jar, to carry with her in her travels. Never was she so grateful to be a healer. She was able to patch herself up enough to slink out of the city, which was not all that hard in the chaos, with the fire spreading and her knowledge of secretive ways in and out. It was another blow when she discovered that The city’s sages had been slain. She would later find that many sages had perished in the Icewind dales, as at least one sage in every town or city knew of the order, and helped them pick the right people to join them. Killing them was evidentially part of the eradication process.

She’s searching now, for the cult and the item, determined to retrieve it under any circumstances and at all costs. Revenge, she says, is not on her list of goals, but if it should happen to come with the task, well……

Adisa Nannier

The Realms of Doremval Adisa_Nanieer