As the first child of Voana and Selno, Ralia was showered with love and affection. Both of them took care to make sure that she was loved, appreciated – and supported, to better carry the burden she bore as first child. Ralia knew that she was literally born to rule Slumber’s Grasp. She tried to lead her siblings, with as much success as one can have when one is a child leading toddlers. Her mother’s death was painful to her, but even at nine years old Ralia knew that the other children needed her comfort and help. She tried to be a model of good behavior, and to take care of her brother and sisters as her mother would have.
In her fifteenth year, traveling through the countryside with her father Selno, Ralia was buried under twenty feet of snow. Her father was killed instantly by debris from the carriage. Twenty soldiers suffocated and froze. Ralia struggled to reach the fading light above for nearly an hour, but her strength gave out. As night fell and the full moon rose, a strong, pale hand reached down and pulled Ralia from the snow. Thin, strong arms embraced her and held her as she cried. When Ralia looked up, she was alone, looking upon a city she had never seen before. Her hair had turned silver-white, and her eyes, the same.
Ralia spent over two years in the city called Crystal. The kindness of strangers and the offhand cruelty of the uncaring both taught her much about life outside of a royal family. She became stoic, secretive, hardworking, daring – all the things she admired in her younger siblings. She let her memories of their gifts lead her as she had tried to lead them, and grew in both wisdom and gratitude.
When Ralia left Crystal, she vowed to return to her home. This has proven more difficult than she hoped. No one she spoke with had even heard of Slumber’s Grasp, let alone knew where it was. Her tutors had shown her nearby kingdoms on maps, but not the full shape of Creation. Ralia wandered, exploring the North, for nearly ten years. She hunted on instinct, walked the tundra, swam the White Sea as a seal. She met a handful of others like herself, but carefully refused their fearsome company. She hid from the Wyld Hunt. She sought refuge in ruined castles and empty towers, many of which held magics from long ago. She helped travelers along the way. In her wake, the story has spread of a white-haired woman who aids the needy.
Finally, instinct and prophecy have guided Ralia back to Slumber’s Grasp. She knows nothing of the current situation, only that this is a time when she is needed – when her presence could tip the balance one way or another. She fears what a meeting with her siblings will mean for her.
Ralia’s thick hair is silver, and her eyes are grey. Her soft white skin bears light scars beneath her eyes – a reminder of the tears that froze on her face as she clawed her way toward freedom. She is garbed in the magical artifacts of past ages. Her expression is often turned inward.
Those familiar with the Lunars may be horrified to see that Ralia has no tattoos.
Introverted, furtive, and uncertain. Freed from responsibility, Ralia has now become somewhat averse to it. She commits herself to things, then hesitates to complete them. She has difficulty watching loving parents with their children. Her voice is clear but soft, and she stutters occasionally.
Intimacies: “I won’t let someone die next time” (Defining), “I will see my family again” (Major), “Stay away from those with power” (Negative), “Those who seek to aid others” (Positive)
Ralia was trained for leadership as a young woman, but much of that has atrophied over the past twelve years. She is more skilled now at survival than statecraft. She is fast and strong, used to extreme cold and howling winds. She speaks Skytongue, Rivertongue, and Low Realm. She hunts with snares, but also with bursts of speed that allow her to catch larger prey and kill them with her blade.
Ralia’s totem animal is the arctic seal. Her white hair is her tell; one simultaneously obvious and easily missed among the people of the North. As she typically has little reason to take a seal’s form, she makes little use of her shapeshifting powers, relying on other expressions of her essence. Her breath hardens her muscles, deflecting tooth and blade. She can walk through blizzards atop the snow, and smell water or blood from miles away. She can become faster, stronger, tougher, more keen-eyed and sharp-nosed, and can maintain these changes for long stretches of time when circumstances demand it. She also recognizes boundaries in Creation, such as shadowlands, borderlands, and the influence of manses. Most of these she skirts instinctively.
Ralia wields a curved moonsilver sword taken from a tomb decorated with owl’s feathers. She wears a cloak of purple and silver that helps her to breathe in essence more quickly, and a suit of moonsilver plate that flows around her body as she moves. The hearthstone of a distant undersea manse is set into the clasp of her cloak. It keeps the water for miles around her pure and healthy, though it does not remove salt.
- Feros Irontooth, the Lunar whose invitation to the Silver Pact she declined. Intense, ferocious, predatory.
- Lio, traveling merchant who recently guided her back toward Slumber’s Grasp. Comfortable, huffy, irresponsible.
- Kati, a childhood friend who remembers her fondly. Gregarious, prudent, remorseful.
- Why was Selno out with his daughter in treacherous territory? What drove him to such travel?
- Why was Ralia transported across the North when she was Chosen? Whose prophecies guided Ralia back here?
- How will Ralia’s siblings react to her presence? To the simple fact that she’s alive?