Miri Ellend: Female Wood Elf Monk
Miri was born in the east of Stayvern, in a village of wood elves tucked among the glades. It was a peaceful and prosperous settlement, and largely self-sufficient, though several skilled crafters lived there and the village was known for trading beautifully crafted and enchanted jewelry to local communities.
Miri’s parents were jewelers. Her father cut and polished precious stones, and her mother forged intricate metal settings for them. Their pieces were well known, valuable, and their fame eventually drew the attention of Syndam Carric, a notorious bandit. Miri was hunting in the woods with her brother, Bryn, when Syndam came calling. He broke into the home and took Miri’s parents by surprise. He knocked both unconscious and had loaded his bags with jewelry and precious stones when the children returned. They spied him through a window, and they saw their parents, seemingly dead, at his feet. Miri and Bryn both rushed through the doors, bows drawn. Both let fly, and both struck him mortal wounds.
In the weeks and months that followed, Miri grew more distant from her family. She and her brother coped in different ways with the knowledge that they had killed a man. She began to suspect that what she felt wasn’t right.
Eventually, Miri realized that she couldn’t stay with her family any longer. She was old enough to take the journey outside the homestead as most young elves did, and she felt a stranger in her own home. She slipped away in the night, sold a few of the jewels given to her by her parents, and traveled cross country to Deildara, where she bought passage to Calais.
She spent the next few years in Rouen. Her time there left her with a few new skills, which included the ability to look at a crowded room and determine which of the occupants had connections to the criminal underground.
She doesn’t talk much about her time in Rouen. But the last time she set foot there was a clear spring day, when she boarded a ship bound for Aneurin. Not long after the ship embarked, the weather began to turn, and it worsened the closer they came to their destination. But the storm held off until the fourth day, when the voyage was nearing its end. And when it came, it was unlike anything Miri had ever seen—the sky was black even in the daytime, lightning crackled deafeningly overhead, and the ocean rolled in swells the size of buildings. The crew had just caught sight of land in the distance, heavily obscured by the pouring rain, when the overstressed timbers of the ship stopped groaning and began snapping.
A sinking ship is a ship in chaos. The crew was shouting, terrified. The passengers were trying to rush to the upper decks, choking the passageways as they tried to escape the water surging up from the bilge. And Miri clung to the balustrade, watching the world end, and knew she would die. She closed her eyes and offered up a prayer.
Some hours later Miri washed ashore, having clung to refuse from the ship as the brutal weather broke it apart. Weakened and exhausted, she crawled her way as far up the shoreline as she could, barely past the surf and onto the rocky expanse above, and fell into a stupor. She awoke to sunshine, a warm bed, and a smiling, robed monk.
She had been rescued by the monks of Cynwy, a small enclave in the northern reach of Aneurin. They nursed her back to health using a strange sort of magic that Miri had never seen in Rouen. It was the elemental force of Ki, and the monks dedicated their lives to learning to harness its power.
Three days into her stay at Cynwy Miri learned that the monk who had found her on the shore was Ilis, a recluse even amongst the secluded colony. Most of the monks of Cynwy studied the ways of Pelor, but he had dedicated his life to Sehanine.
Miri walked to the hutch where Ilis lived, determined to thank him before she left. But when Ilis greeted her at the door, the somber old man she expected turned out to be a young human with eyes the color of pitch, his face streaked with fearsome tattoos. He looked her in the eye, smiled, and held the door ajar.
Miri stayed for another seven years.
Eventually, however, Miri became restless. She left Cynwy so that she could immerse herself in the world again.
It isn’t easy for her. She’s wary of strangers and slow to form attachments. She has a quirky sense of humor and finds etiquette—or attempts to impose strict rules on naturally chaotic things—stupid and laughable. Like Ilis, she is heavily tattooed, and some find her off-putting.