Salome was once the leader of the Axe Knights. They chose the axe as their symbol and their weapon because it divided the good wood from the bad, the useful from the useless, the healthy from the rotten. The Axe Knights fought creatures of the Wyld, chased them from the land, and made it safe for the people to live in the open.
Such warriors rarely meet a peaceful end. So it was with Salome’s entire order. Even with some of their longstanding enemies allying with them, nearly all of the Axe Knights perished in the Great Battle against the Raksha. Salome is the only remaining Knight of her order. She seeks new warriors to train in the way of her order, and hopes to keep its memory alive until a new order of knights can be born.
Salome believes that guarding the people of the Glen against the Wyld is her highest duty and calling as the last of the Axe Knights. This is partially because the souls of her valiant and true-hearted knights have reincarnated here, in the Glen. Some are merely children; others were born many years ago. She has worked out an arrangement with the elders of Stonewall Township to train their guards in the ways of battle, so long as she can also decide which of the township’s people needs to join the guard. Salome can feel the pull of her old soldiers, tugging at her soul, waiting for her to reunite them.
This duty also includes cleansing the Glen of Wyld-tainted people and animals. The influence of the Fair Folk can be pervasive and subtle, and to use the word “dangerous” would be underselling it. A den of potential Raksha must be rooted out, no matter how difficult it may be.
Salome has pale skin with freckles and a certain natural blush to the face. Her hair is dark brown. She wears it coiled and braided up on her head. Her eyes are a dark blue. Her clothing is typically utilitarian: armored shirts and long cloaks, in greys and browns. She dresses in a manner considered fairly traditional and modest for the northeast.
Pragmatic, intense, and strategically-minded. Salome is at her best when she must be an example to others – as she was with the Axe Knights, and as she is now with Flam and Siean. When she is on her own, or with people who do not see her as a leader (like Ishowo’s people), she becomes more reckless and hot-tempered.
Salome also holds long grudges. She won’t forget an insult. She remembers praise and aid, too, but gives more weight to the negative. After all, heaping praise on someone is how the Fair Folk lure in the unwary. Best to be cautious and watch for betrayal.
Intimacies: The Axe Knights will rise again (defining), Those tainted by the Wyld must be purged (defining), Flam and Siean are useful allies (major), Ishowo is my enemy (major), Don’t Lose My Axe
As one-time captain of the Axe Knights, Salome is proficient with all manner of war axes and throwing hatchets. She knows how to turn an incoming blow, cut through armor, slice beneath an opponent’s guard, and how to wield her weapon as a mundane implement as well. She’s not the fastest warrior, but she’s very strong. When she connects, iron crumples and bone splits.
Salome is also an excellent tactician. She knows how to train and lead troops. Under her command, a bunch of untrained villagers could become skilled mounted cavalry in just a few weeks. (It’s happening right now.) She’s particularly effective against the Fair Folk. Rather than trying to out-guess her opponents, Salome builds powerful strategies that take advantage of the terrain and let her forces work to their strengths. In the glen she’s likely to take the high ground and rain arrows and avalanches on her opponents. She is also a compelling speaker, and gives wonderful rousing speeches.
She’s not, however, the kind of person you’d like to relax with. Salome has few social graces beyond a clear voice and solid discipline. When there’s a gala or a dance, she’ll be the one giving the introductions and then quietly ducking out – or perhaps talking more serious business in the back room. She’s graceful in armor and clumsy without it.
- Rutro Towner, alderman of Stonewall Township. Land-hungry, scheming, cautious.
- Arkea Sharpaxe, her lieutenant amongst the militia. Sassy, sanctimonious, disciplined.
- Orenda Hardeye, the ruler of the township. Careful, intolerant, civilized.
- Fret Hatsmith, who fears Salome may go too far in her quest. Sagely, imaginative, congenial.
- How far will Salome go to clean the Wyld from the Glen? Does she merely wish to drive out those who are dangerous, or does she intend to burn villages to the ground?
- How long will it take for the Axe Knights to reform? Will Salome recruit child soldiers if they bear the proper souls, or will she decide to strike the villages with a smaller force?
- How long ago was the Great Battle? Did it really happen? How many of the Fair Folk survived?