- Shapechanging high sorcery
- Air affinity
- Quain'tana - Grandmother
- Mel'arnach - Mother
- Zhor - Father
- Kel'noz - Uncle
- Laele'aell - Aunt
- Syphile - Adoptive Sister
- Koil'dorath - Adoptive Sister
- Kalki - Half-Sister
- Vene - Brother
- Pup - brother
- Likes cats
Arc I of Moonless age is by in large about Ariel coming of age. Until the age of 10 she was raised by an abusive Syphile under the pretense of being Quain'tana's daughter by blood. She was removed from Syphile's care and sent to Orthorbbae disguised as a male. School was difficult, but she became close friends with Faen'arae Val'Sullisin'rune. Eventually her cover was blown and she left Orthorbbae.
When Faen fled to the Overworld for safety, Ariel left home to look for her. She found Faen trapped in a halme prison and brought her back to the Sarghress to recover from the traumatic experience. Upon her return, she found out that Mel'arnach was her true mother. Ariel was torn between her two "mothers," and maintained allegiance to both in different ways.
In Arc II, Ariel is part of Sar'nel's squad of Home Guard soldiers. She took command of the squad when Sar'nel was injured during the battle for the North Cliff and is now fighting against the Vel'Sharen in the Sarghress war effort.
- 1 Appearance and Personality
- 2 Ariel's High Sorcery
- 3 Biography - Arc I
- 4 Biography - Arc II
- 5 Character Concept
Appearance and Personality
Ariel is typically a light-spirited and kind drow. She has a lot of responsibility resting on her shoulders as heir to one of the 9 Great Clans, but she does her best to make her mother and Ill'haress proud. Though she sometimes exhibits child-like behavior, she is fiercely loyal to her clan, her family, and her friends.
Ariel cares deeply for those in her inner circle and shows her affection for them openly. She always tries to repay kindnesses that are shown to her, but is likewise capable of holding long-term grudges against those that have wronged her. Her temper sometimes flares in defense of her loved ones or clan, but she generally possesses a friendly calm even in the heat of battle.
Ariel, like her mother and grandmother, is exceptionally tall for her age. She has long white hair with long bangs that she has colored purple. Her eyes are purple.
Ariel's High Sorcery
Ariel possesses a rare and dangerous high sorcery that allows her to change the shape, color, and texture of her body parts at will. Since she is still a drow and needs her vital organs in the correct places to work, this craft can be incredibly dangerous if Ariel is not careful. It hurts her to shift around her bones and flesh too much, so she will often use her long hair to form additional the parts she may need.
She can absorb objects into her body to provide additional matter for her transformations, but she can't shift into something that exceeds the combined mass of herself and these objects. If injured while shifted, the material used to create that part of her will suffer the injury. This is another reason Ariel often chooses to use her hair to create extraneous body parts to protect herself.
She can move her skin and muscle to physically close wounds, but this process does not properly heal her injuries.
Though Ariel is still learning to use this ability to its fullest extent, she seems to intuitively know how to shift herself when she is in danger. It is likely that she inherited this ability in part from her biological mother, Mel'arnach, who possesses a similar high sorcery.
While her flavor of high sorcery is extremely useful, it is not without consequences. Blood and bone, and other biological elements are a hazard to Ariel.
Biography - Arc I
Ariel Val'Sarghress was born one year after the Nidraa'chal War. She is believed by many to be the youngest daughter of Quain'tana Val'Sarghress. Only a few individuals within the clan know the truth - she was born to Mel'arnach, eldest daughter of Quain'tana, and Zhor, an Aware. Ariel was told from birth that Quain'tana was her biological mother, but was given to her sister Syphile to be raised.
Ariel spent the majority of her childhood under slave-like conditions, kept by Syphile in a lonely cell with bare furnishings. For the first decade of her life, she was abused and bullied by Syphile, never treated with kindness or love. Restricted to a few areas within the central tower and kept from Quain'tana herself, she had no companions or friends. She would escape into books, reading about Quain'tana's exploits and fantasy stories. She grew up hoping and dreaming of the day she would meet Quain'tana and be freed from Syphile's harsh care.
Her tenth birthday marked the first time she would meet her mother. As the date neared, Ariel sneaked out of her allowed zone to seek help from her brother Kel'noz. Syphile had demanded she read a dictionary from beginning to end, a task Kel'noz found little value in. Instead, he read her stories of the clan's history until she fell asleep. When she awoke, he gave her a small gray kitten as an early birthday present. She would name this kitten Fuzzy.
Ariel was ecstatic. After exploring with her kitten, she ran back to her room where she found Syphile looking sadly at an angry, ugly doll Ariel had made of her. Syphile beat Ariel for ignoring her lessons and locked both her and Fuzzy in her room. Without proper food or a way to clean up after the cat, Fuzzy grew sick and angry. Syphile was upset by the mess and grabbed Fuzzy by the tail before smashing the helpless cat's brains against the wall.
Fuzzy's death only further cemented her hate for her caretaker. After Syphile left, Ariel threw a tantrum and destroyed much of her cruel caretaker's room. Some days later, Syphile came to bring her before Quain'tana. Ariel stubbornly refused to fix her hair up the way Syphile wanted and spent the walk to the throne room glaring at her spitefully.
The moment of Ariel's dreams had arrived, and she was presented to her mother, Quain'tana. Quain proved to be cold and distant - nothing like the warm hero Ariel and imagined she would be. Quain'tana asked her daughter what her greatest goal would be. Ariel told her mother the truth: she wanted to kill Syphile. Quain'tana grinned and requested she do so on the spot. Afraid, Ariel said she couldn't do that because she was too young. Quain'tana took this as a sign of weakness and said that she had no use for Ariel like that. With her dreams crushed, Kel'noz dismissed the terrified Ariel, who ran from the room bawling.
Kel'noz sympathetically hatched a plan with Quain'tana on Ariel's behalf. He suggested Ariel be taught within the towers of the Orthorbbae. Quain'tana was afraid of Vel'Sharen influence and agreed on the condition that she be disguised as a male within the boys' school. Ariel did not initially know of this caveat, but eagerly agreed to go away to school and be free of Syphile forever. While gathering her things to leave, she briefly encountered Mel'arnach, who had been described by Syphile to be the boogeyman of the Sarghress clan. Mistaking Mel'arnach's genuine attempts at comforting kindness to be a desire to eat her, Ariel screamed until the guards came to restrain Mel.
Kel'noz found and comforted her, and they left for school. On their way out, Ariel watched a duel between her adopted sister Koil'dorath and the leader of the Highland Raiders, Quill'yate. Quill'yate spoke with her after the fight to explain that sometimes mothers are harsh so that their children can learn to grow up strong. Ariel took these words to heart, though she didn't understand their full meaning.
Life at Orthorbbae
When Ariel finally arrived at school, she was asked by Kel'noz to pretend to be a boy. Ariel had been sheltered from the politics of Chel'el'Sussoloth and couldn't understand why, but did as her brother asked so she could stay at the Orthorbbae.
School would prove to be rather hazardous for Ariel. While the first day was full of excitement, the next day Ariel ran into trouble in physical education class. During what was supposed to be a friendly sparing session, Ariel's true gender was discovered by Mir'kiin Vel'Vloz'ress through a rather unconventional combat move. As class ended, Ariel found herself confronted by her classmates Mir'kiin, Khal'harror Val'Beldrobbaen and Nau'kheol Vel'Sharen. After being abandoned by Yafein Val'Sullisin'rune, a boy she had befriended the day before, Ariel had to stand up to the three boys alone.
Khal gave Mir'kiin a knife, and the boy quickly stabbed Ariel. She began to panic and fled as fast as she could on one of the school's hover-platforms. Mir'kiin gave chase and as they reached the shaft of the tower, he stole her keystone, causing her to fall into the depths of the school. Through a miraculous and instinctive use of wind sorcery, Ariel managed to survive the fall though she was badly wounded both physically and mentally from the incident. She might have died down at the bottom of the tower if she had not been found by Faen Val'Sullisin'rune.
Faen's warmth was something new and foreign to Ariel, but she welcomed the kind girl as a friend. Over the next few weeks, Ariel's physical wounds would heal but the emotional scars left her fearful and timid around the boys in her class. Her only comfort came from sneaking down into the female section of the school to see Faen. During this time, Kel'noz offered to help Ariel learn how to control the shapeshifting ability that she had begun to show signs of. He offered to help train Ariel personally so she could become stronger, hoping this would lessen the fears that made her weak.
At the end of the fourth year, the boys' towers held a competition. During this challenge, Ariel would meet another Val'Sarghress, Sar'nel, who told her that the Clan comes before everything. Even though he was from another tower, he defended her during the competition. Unfortunately, Headmistress Snadhya'rune Vel'Sharen was watching the battle and took notice of Ariel, the "son" of Quain'tana. Khaless, her protector twin, reported that there were rumors of Ariel being a female hidden within the towers. After the competition, Ariel was notified that she must transfer to the female school if she wished to remain at Orthorbbae. At first, Ariel was thrilled to join Faen and be free of the male students that attacked her, but Kel'noz explained that if she did this, Quain'tana would disown her for repeating Syphile's mistakes. She ultimately decided she would not go back to school.
When she arrived home, Quain'tana commanded that she prove her worth by defeating the bully, Mir'kiin, and bringing him to her. Kel'noz recommended she seek out help, new allies to aid her in her goal. With Faen and Yafein's help, Ariel went out into Chel'el'sussoloth to get help. They first purchased a light elf slave named Maya. They soon found that all Maya knew was housework, so Ariel gave her to Yafein as she continued to look for a suitable slave for fighting.Liriel. Her master attempted to rob and murder Ariel and Faen, but Faen inadvertently rescued everyone when her empathy took over the riding wolf they had borrowed and the wolf killed the man. Liriel proclaimed the bewildered girls her new masters and offered to help for a beer. She led them to the Black Dragon Tavern which held local gladiator fights.
Here, Ariel purchased Vaelia, an emberi gladiator. Unfortunately, Vaelia was badly hurt in the fight and was likely to be of little help. After watching Rikshakar, a half-dragon/half-drow win his fight, Ariel decided to ask for his help instead. She was denied access to him by herself, so she disguised herself as a warrior and entered a fight alongside Vaelia to gain access to the gladiator's quarters.
There she met Rikshakar and asked for his help. Initially rejected, Ariel attempted to gain his trust by taking the form of a young half-dragon. He asked for a kiss, and the young girl reluctantly agreed to secure his help. However, he attempted to take more than a kiss from her and may have succeeded had Vaelia not started causing a scene. Instead Rikshakar made Ariel prove she had dragon blood like him, kicking her down into the dragon pit where a winged dragon rested. Again, wind sorcery saved Ariel and it gained Rikshakar's word that he would help her.
Leaving Faen, Ariel returned to the Sarghress fortress with Vaelia and Liriel, although the latter slipped out of her sight upon arrival. On her way inside, Ariel was confronted by Jer'kol, the soldier who had loaned her the riding wolf. He claimed to be her father and tried to hold her close. She quickly realized he was trying to suffocate her and began to struggle. Vaelia saved her life by attacking Jer'kol and causing enough of a commotion to draw commander Kor'maril Val'Sarghress to the area. He intervened on Ariel's behalf, and Ariel used her shapeshifting powers to grow claws to scratch out one of Jer'kol's eyes. She freed Vaelia in thanks, but the injured Vaelia chose to stay by Ariel's side.
The next day, Ariel went with Rikshakar and Vaelia to face Mir'kiin. After Rikshakar made quick work of Mir'kiin's body guard, he told Ariel she'd have to deal with Mir'kiin herself. Afraid, Vaelia comforted Ariel and she soon defeated Mir'kiin easily, discovering that for all her fears, she was actually much stronger than he was.
Heir to the Clan
Her new title came with several benefits. She was given new guards from the Fallen Legion and lands that used to belong to Syphile. Vaelia was allowed to remain with her as a personal guard, and she had finally won the approval of her mother, Quain'tana. She quickly sought to find Faen at the Orthorbbae to tell her the wonderful news.
Arriving at the school, Ariel overheard the students talking about someone killing a teacher. She learned from Chrys'tel Vel'Sharen that Faen went looking for her at the towers. She ran to the tower where she found Tralyn, one of her teachers. It seemed that Faen was guilty of accidentally murdering one of her teachers, so Tralyn advised she flee to the overworld, leaving only a note for Ariel behind.
Ariel was crushed and returned to the Sarghress fortress. Yafein came to demand she apologize for earlier remarks that he was useless. Ariel refused and called him a coward when he trapped her feet with earth sorcery. She used her shapeshifting powers to free her feet and grew angry in her depressed state. The startled Yafein called her a monster, prompting her to attack him with a mana blast. However, Maya moved between them as Yafein fled, killing the light elf on the spot. Shocked that she could kill so easily, Ariel left her room to wander and clear her inconsolable mind.
The Black Dragon
She received an invitation to a fight at the Black Dragon Tavern, so she left with her guards. They watched Rikshakar win his fight, but her guards noted a tension in the air. As Ariel was about to leave, Rikshakar ran to her, asking for her to return the favor and save him after he failed to intentionally lose in the last fight.
Ariel commanded her guards to help Rikshakar, a move she quickly regretted. However, Ariel was being secretly tailed by her elder sister, Laele'aell. Laele was a mindless killing machine, slaughtering everyone in her path. Even demons stood no chance as Ariel watched her consume the freed nether beings with ease. Ariel had been told that Laele had once been the pride and joy of Quain'tana, and she grew afraid she might end up like Laele'aell as she followed her sister's bloodbath through the tavern.
She returned home victorious. A month passed, and Ariel remained despondent and weak. However, some encouraging words from Vaelia awoke a desire to go find Faen on the surface.
Ariel quickly devised a plan to seek out Chrys'tel, who had been Faen's roommate, and interrogate her about what had really happened. Disguising herself as Faen, Ariel lured Chrys'tel into an alley and confronted her about Faen's true reasons for leaving. She learned the truth: that Faen had accidentally killed their teacher by falling into empathetic shock when Chrys'tel tried to bring her to a tainting ceremony. Ariel took Chrys'tel captive and brought her back to Quain'tana to be judged. During this time she also met Chirinide Val'Kyorl'solenurn, a girl her age who claimed it was her holy duty to protect Ariel based on a vision had by her Ill'haress Shimilande. Ariel didn't know what to think of this, but accepted her help for the time being.
Ariel then confronted Kel'noz and Tralyn. She displayed the first real act of anger against Kel'noz, accusing him of treating her like an adult only when it suited the clan's need and demanded to know why she should serve the clan at all. This resonated with her brother, who agreed to allow her audience with Quain'tana to ask for permission to go to the surface.
Before her meeting was arranged, Ariel went for a walk after awaking from terrible nightmares. She ran into Syphile in the hall, who was sobbing quietly after an altercation with Quain'tana. Ariel stood up to her old caretaker, and Syphile attacked her with a snake-shaped blood-drinking biogolem. Ariel held her ground, but was ultimately saved by a strange shadowy being and whisked away. She awoke within the spidery lair of Mel'arnach.
Mel'arnach proved to be a kind and caring individual, nothing like what Ariel had assumed. Mel'arnach gave Ariel a dragon biogolem as a gift and told her a story about a Sarghress rite of passage to help gain Quain'tana's permission to go to the surface. This story would help, and Ariel soon prepared for her journey with Quain'tana's approval. Vaelia, Rikshakar and Liriel all agreed to accompany Ariel on her way.
Preparing to Leave
While purchasing supplies for her trip, Ariel bought a feral that she named Melodia. Her group was also joined by warden Chirinide Val'Kyorl'solenurn, her blade Shan'naal Kyorl'solenurn, and a prisoner they had with them Kyo'nne Val'Illhar'dro.
On the way to the outpost leading above ground, Ariel's trip was delayed when the Sarghress caravan was attacked unexpectedly by duergar. While Rikshakar helped fight off the attackers, Vaelia and a masked Highland Raider brought Ariel and her group to a save cavern. The Raider turned out to be Jer'kol, the same man that had tried to smother Ariel months prior. He knocked Vaelia unconscious but was eventually killed by Ariel and her allies.
Ariel barely had time to react when she was attacked by Kiel'ndia Vel'Vloz'ress and Naal'suul Val'Beldrobbaen, friends of Kyo'nne and Chrys'tel. Kyo'nne convinced everyone to back down peacefully, and together they returned to the caravan. Kiel and Naal parted on strained, but generally good terms with Ariel.
Arriving at Machike'Shikumo, Ariel's journey finally began.
Journey to the Old World
Exploring The Surface
The now-smaller group explored the route shown by the tracker Ariel had been given to follow Faen's aura. They saw the devastation of some of the human settlements on the surface before they were attacked by a group of hostile Halme and defended Chirinide, Shan, and Kyo'nne from a similar group. They tracked Faen's aura to their castle where Ariel led the assault on the castle. With some surprise help from a squad of Sarghress Highland Raiders they found Faen traumatized in the prisons. Ariel dipped her hair in the blood of the fallen king of the castle, thus completing the Sarghress rite of passage Quain'tana had requested.
During the raid, Liriel wandered off on her own. When Ariel found her, her hair, eyes and skin had changed color and her behavior had drastically changed. Liriel confessed that she had undergone a transformation and was actually carrying the aura of the Val'Sharess Diva'ratrika. Ariel did not believe her slave, but agreed to indulge her by calling her Diva. With Diva's new mature personality showing, Ariel began to take her a little more seriously as a companion.
Ariel returned to the Val'Sarghress fortress with Faen in tow. Before leaving the surface behind, she allowed Vaelia to join the Highland Raiders so that she might explore more of the Overworld.
Upon meeting with Quain'tana to discuss her trip, Ariel requested that Faen be able to stay with the Sarghress to recover. Quain'tana allowed this, making Faen Ariel's responsibility. Quain'tana praised Ariel's conquests on her journey and expressed her pride in the strong heir Ariel was becoming. Ariel was comforted by this as a small portion of the dream she once held was made reality.
Shortly after this ride, Kel'noz told Ariel that he wished for her to meet with Mel'arnach. He took her to Mel, who was being held in the depths of the Sarghress prisons after having her arms brutally broken by Quain'tana. Mel'arnach took the opportunity to tell Ariel about her true parentage and expressed hope that Ariel would forsake Quain'tana entirely. Ariel, though sympathetic to Mel'arnach's plight, could not immediately accept that Mel was her true mother. She instead ran to Quain'tana and convinced her to free Mel from the prison. Quain'tana allowed this so long as Mel'arnach agreed to begin bearing children for the clan. Crushed, Mel accepted these conditions.
Biography - Arc II
In the Home Guard
15 years later in the midst of war between the Val'Sarghress and the Vel'Sharen, Ariel started her climb through the Sarghress ranks as a grunt in the Home Guard. Her squad leader was Sar'nel and she was joined by Faen and the twins Kau and Shala Val'Sharen.
During training before their first mission, Ariel was called away to speak with a young Val'Jaal'darya ambassador. The girl told Ariel that there was Nidraa'chal treachery within the Jaal'darya clan and pleaded with Ariel to investigate for a high price. Ariel diplomatically declined the offer but allowed the girl to stay with the clan until Quain'tana herself returned.
The squad set off shortly after this. They met briefly with Mel'arnach at the Sullisin'rune dome. Despite her acceptance of the truth, Ariel still publicly held her position as daughter of Quain'tana, even going so far as to snap at Mel'arnach for her disrespect towards Quain. Before they left, Mel'arnach's guard, Lulianne, gave Ariel an invitation to a gathering in Felde on behalf of Snadhya'rune Vel'Sharen. Ariel set this aside, and resumed her duties with the Home Guard.
The group made a stop at a concert held by Kyo'nne in the rebuilt district. After the show, Ariel and her squad met with Kyo'nne to discuss politics and the state of affairs in Chel. She reminded Ariel to be mindful of what she fought for, and Ariel suggested Kyo write a song to inspire the Sarghress troops in the war effort. They left on good terms and the squad set out for the North Cliff.
Attack on the North Cliff
After tracking down the leader of the invasion, Maki, Ariel successfully rallied the commoners of the district against those that would open gates in their streets. After the battle was over, Ariel accepted a message that Commander Koil'dorath needed assistance at Darya Lake. With Sar'nel in no position to lead the squad, she easily took command of the remaining Sarghress soldiers at the North Cliff and began the march to First Landing.
Battle of Darya Lake
Upon her arrival, Ariel met with Koil'dorath to discuss tactics. Koil'dorath was equally surprised to see Ariel arrive as she was to see her leading troops; Unbeknownst to Ariel herself, Quain'tana had apparently mandated that Ariel not be promoted until after the war was over. Regardless, Koil'dorath agreed to allow Ariel to fight if she felt she was ready, so Ariel and the soldiers from the North Cliff were placed on the field.
Ariel was placed in a line of shield-bearers and marched on the frontlines of the assault. After a nearby Vel'Sharen tower was taken by her allies, Ariel argued with several of the Sarghress soldiers who were behaving dishonorably. She freed any Vel'Sharen slaves that were willing to fight, and brought them to Commander Sang Niz'zre Sarghress. However, the building is blown up by Malag'nafein resulting in many deaths--Ariel, Faen, and several others survive, only to crawl into the hands of Nihi'liir Vel'Sharen, Shinae Vel'Sharen and Black Sun troops waiting for them. Through use of clever shapeshifting and confusing the black sun jailors, Ariel and her group escape and manage to cause a riot within the slaver compound. Meanwhile, Sarghress troops are launching an assault on the Sharen base.
Ariel then moves to assassinate Nihi'liir, and later encounters Shinae on the rooftops of the compound, testing her mentally and physically by trying to parlay with the Sharen, then slandering Chrys'tel. This causes Shinae to overact and blast Ariel several times with her pressure sorcery--the Sarghress heir is blown off the ledge and is unable to recover due to the shredding of her hair wings, and falls to the ground sustaining severe injuries. Looking up at the ceiling of the Chelian cavern sparks a memory in the injured girl, and she wonders why the ceiling no longer sparkles as it once did.
To the Surface: Ys
While laying in bed recovering from her injuries, Ariel recieves a visit from Chirinide and Shan'naal, requesting permission to come with her to the surface and fulfill the drowussu's personal goals. Ariel is slightly surprised, wondering how they could have known she was to be sent to the surface as an assignment. The trail would take them through the captured First Landing fortress, then onward to Ys on an additional order.
While at Ys, she and Faen take their relationship to the next level and assisted in defending Ys before an airship appears over the colony. The next day, she and Tur'geis Am'saag Sarghress have an argument over whether to stay in Ys or follow the airship but it was ultimately rendered moot when the council of Ys kicks the Sarghress force for reasons they find suspicious. Ariel and those who are going with her then go in the direction deduced by Sarnel to be the likely destination of the airship, Felde.
This article reflects events up to chapter 39.