Althea Dec 19, 2016 16:25:36 GMT -6
Post by Althea on Dec 19, 2016 16:25:36 GMT -6
Personality: Fairly reserved and prone to tempering her reactions, Althea is far from emotionless but not exceptionally good at emoting with the intensity that she once was. While she doesn't dwell on what came before, she still bears the scars of her past, and they do serve to keep her at arm's length in some ways. Still, there is a sweet girl in there, truly well-meaning and kind; her heart still beats with passion and love. It is darkened somewhat by the realities of life, which leads to a somewhat less optimistic outlook than she once possessed, but by and large she does not dwell on it. The past is the past after all, a monolithic existence that cannot be changed, and so she sees more the future. But, that does not dampen the loneliness of an only child bereft of even that at a young age, though that too cannot be changed.
While she comes across as infinitely patient, she isn't by any means. What actually affords her that appearance is her discipline, which stretches across multiple areas of her life with varying levels of effect. It could be said that Althea takes it TOO far, overly used to relying on it for strength when her own gives out; she isn't especially weak willed but neither is she naturally strong. It does come with downsides though, her dedication mixed with her attention makes it very easy to lose track of everything else around her or focus overly on one thing at a time. But neither is it purely a weakness; her intellect combined with her focus can allow her to quickly and successively dissect individual events in a larger tapestry and make connections that would be otherwise obtuse, or prioritize targets in a battle based on myriad factors. As an aside, this does lead to a surprising amount of snarkiness at times.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, this does mean that she gets carried away with her research... a lot. Considering that much of it started as an escape mechanism to deal with her loss and her genuine affection for the subject, it's the exception rather than the rule for her to be distracted by it to some degree, and she has certainly gone long periods of time with little to no human contact when completely absorbed in her work. It also leads to a certain lack of danger sense when involved in her work, tending to focus entirely on the goal and the trials on the way there as simply trivialities to be solved when necessary. Althea was always a bright child and age has only sharpened her intellect, matching her natural curiosity with an incisive mind to tear through and solve problems as efficiently as possible.
That said, her recent accident has proven somewhat straining on her mind and admittedly slowed her processes down somewhat. It didn't turn her into a drooling buffoon or anything of the sort, but the distraction of having a second mental process running on and off does drain her faculties somewhat at times, and Althea has yet to be able to deal with it effectively.
History: Althea's family were early, easy victims of Kraft's rise - known practitioners of dark magic, they were an obvious target for the rising tide of divine justice. She escaped the purges; her family did not. She never went back.
Life alone at the ripe old age of 15 was certainly a challenge, but she was not just some orphaned pauper or spoiled noble. She was Althea El-Melloi, scholar and shaman, honed from an early age and determined to survive. But not all of her did. The sweet (albeit proud) young girl, still reeling from the loss of what she had known, was forced to rely more on what she had learned than on who she wanted to be. To do what to took to survive. She did not lose herself, though. Her interest in magic continued unabated - to learn what manner of crime the unfettered pursuit of magic was, to gain knowledge to understand it, and in doing so, to understand why she had lost so much.
As she grew in age and intellect that pursuit became more and more of a focus, even as the flames of obsession died down. Her love of knowledge drew her into archaeology and the study of the history of magic rather than simply its current form, and she matured alongside the evolution of her goals, still chasing similar ideals but no longer bound by the past so severely. There were still scars, but somewhere along the way her journey changed its fuel from a child's broken ideals to an honest love of what she did, though it might be more fair to say that it had always contained that element, only it had before been warped by her weakness. The loneliness never truly went away, her damaged self still struggling to re-form the bonds she had once understood so well, but she survived nonetheless.
Perhaps she never truly stopped being weak, but discipline and determination were a strength all their own, and the obedient child slowly became an independent woman - not forgetting where she had come from but no longer bound by it. But as her horizons expanded, it became more difficult to learn all that she wished to know. Books could only provide so much, and so much more knowledge had been lost to history. Her expeditions ranged farther and farther into the wilderness, from the frozen crags of Ilia to the sandy tombs of Nabata. It was in the latter that she found something new, in some forgotten ruin that had been unearthed by the fury of a great sandstorm. A temple of sorts, forgotten by time; unlooted but ravaged by the world that had consumed it. And perhaps something more, though she knew not what. She pressed on nonetheless, ignoring the faint tinges of the Nether, and in its inner sanctum found a grimoire so old, so alien, that none of her education availed her in the least to understand its strange runes. It also didn't grant her phenomenal cosmic power, but that was of no great concern. It was untapped knowledge. That alone was enough.
Several months later, the unfortunate realities of Elibe struck harder than they had in some time, dark forces converging on the small Lycian hamlet she was using as a temporary base for her studies. While she was a practitioner of elder magics, yes, Althea had never been as interested in them as in knowledge of magic in general, and not used a great deal of it in some time. She alone did not possess the strength to protect the people there, nor even herself.
Perhaps it was fatalistic hubris. Perhaps she simply recognized that she was dead anyways if she did not act. Perhaps it was fate. Whatever the case, Althea did that which no dark mage should; she gave herself to the Nether entirely, desperate to survive. To live. She had far too much left to do to give up now; for her life to end here would make it entirely meaningless. She would leave behind no heirs, no real record of her knowledge, no truth of her existence.
She came back.
And she was no longer alone.
Althea woke up amidst a festering hellscape, presumably the ruins of the village, obliterated beyond any record of its existence. The Nether still hung thinly in the air in the wake of some great occurrence, but she was alive and more or less unharmed - though apparently unhinged, considering that now there was another voice in her head. Another girl, who sounded much like her, but... wasn't. Who claimed to have helped her. Who had few answers as to who she was or what she wanted. Who, most oddly of all, she found that she... trusted, in her own way, at least as much as she would able. The attack was hazy in her mind, but somehow Althea knew that at least in that one aspect, her new companion was telling the truth. A spirit of the Nether, she said. The shaman didn't much remember reading about anything good coming from the Nether, especially not nice ladies who saved you for free and didn't ask for anything in return, but she WAS admittedly curious as to what the hell had actually happened, and more practically, she didn't actually know any exorcists. So they were kinda stuck together for the time being anyways. At least it was good for some occasional conversation.
It did bother her that some of the runes in that damn book were starting to make sense, though.