Appearance and Personality
Faen'arae Val'Sullisin'rune (often abbreviated to Faen) is the youngest daughter of Ill'haress Ash'waren Val'Sullisin'rune. She is a few years older than Ariel Val'Sarghress and attended Orthorbbae previous to her exile to the surface. As a member of the Val house and descendant of Ash'waren, Faen shows a proficiency in empathy, and also sports the family's mis-matched "devil eyes" trait. She seems to be of average "early-teen" (or for Drow, mid-twenties) height and has long hair which is a bluish silver, possibly a natural hair color given her relation to Ash'waren, with bangs. Her left eye is blue while her right eye is violet, which contributes the nickname "Mad Eyes" among the girls she studies with. As a Drowolath, she is dark-skinned. With Ash'waren as her mother, she is technically either Second Generation, depending on who you talk to as to Ash'waren's own race.
Faen is a complete opposite of what is seen most of the time in Drow society. While Drow emotions and feelings have a great range and they can be kind and generous, Faen seems to be much more "softer" than others, as Chrys'tel Vel'Sharen would put it. She acts out of desire to help, even at the risk of herself. She is also very shy and introverted, which often leads her to be picked on by others.
Faen's eyes going blank during her empathic fits is to demonstrate the loss of control over herself, as done in many comics and manga. It isn't a stretch that in cases like her trance in Orthorbbae that her eyes are rolling back, however this may or may not be the case, nor would it be seen with the stylized expression of her mental state.
Biography - Arc I
While Chrys'tel, her roommate, often protects her from the jeering of the other girls, she does not see Chrys'tel as a friend, and feels the Sharen girl is merely acting out of a desire for the Sharen clan to gain more alliances with the Sullisin'rune. According to Faen in her first conversation with Ariel, she has no friends, though she cuts herself off before stating the fact. Whether or not Chrys'tel or any of the other girls she spent time with saw her in a friendly light is unknown, and can only be inferred from their comments.
Faen's first encounter with Ariel occurred at the bottom of the Davya tower shaft, where Faen healed Ariel, patching together the broken bones enough for Ariel to move about. The two strike up a friendship after this. The time they spend together is not recorded in the comic, though it is about four years that the girls visit, on and off, since Ariel is stuck in the Legs for that time period before she is allowed breaks. During that time Ariel sees Faen as a comfort, but it appears she knows little of what Faen is truly experiencing…
While there is not a lot of sign that this is happening at the time of her meeting with Ariel , by the fourth year Faen has grown more troubled. Her empathic ability is manifesting faster than her ability to train to control it, and she seems to be keeping most of her troubles to herself. It hits a threshold around the time when the girls of a generation of Beldrobbaen Vals are all devoured by a demon that took over a lecturing teacher. Only one girl survived – Chrys'tel's friend Naal'suul, who was so heavily tainted her personality changed and she began to appear emotionless as well as incapable of feeling pain. While others treated Naal normally, Faen's empathy connected to the turmoil of the demon within Naal. This caused the young empath much stress, and soon she could feel even the small seeds in every tainted girl around her. She also senses something "sinister" in the depths of Orthorbbae, which did little to help with her deteriorating state.
As Faen's nightmares increased along with the number of Velnari she met, as she came to the conclusion that every tainted person would end up like Naal'suul, they just didn't realize it yet. Paranoia began to take over every waking moment for her. People around her started to refer to her as "Mad Eyes" at this point, due to her family’s classic mis-matched eyes and the famed empathic "insanity" of her mother that they teased she was inheriting.
After Ariel is forced to leave Orthorbbae and challenged to prove her worth, Faen arrives to assist her in finding a fighting slave. She attempts to convince Ariel to return to Orthorbbae with her. Ariel is torn about this, but eventually declines, stating she cannot let her brother or clan down. Faen accepts this with obvious, yet quiet, regret. They leave to find a slave, and Ariel witnesses a display of Faen's empathy when an attacker is mauled by the wolf mount they bring with them after Faen directs it to from loss of control over her emotions. This episode is only the beginning of Faen's final breakdown.
While Ariel was dealing with Mir'kiin, Faen returned to school to find Chrys'tel had set up a tainting ceremony in an attempt to help the empath get over her fears of demons. Faen agreed to it at first, but went into a panic on the way to the ceremony chamber. Her empathic fit left a Sullisin'rune teacher brain dead and destroyed Nihi'liir Vel'Sharen's arm. She escaped to Davya, where Tralyn the Clanless helped her to escape the Orthorbbae cavern and head for a far away town on the Surface. She was able to leave a note behind to explain what happened to Ariel, and the account is confirmed and elaborated upon by Chrys'tel when Ariel interrogated her later.
The Search for Faen
Faen is later discovered to have been captured by Halmes, and was brought to Nagyescsed to be sacrificed to the king of the city. With the help of Ariel and her party, as well as the Highland Raiders that tailed them, Faen was rescued along with several others such as Freya and Myou Kyorl'solenurn. However, the damage had been done: Myou explains that Faen has suffered greatly via her empathy, feeling each and every one of the deaths of the elves at the hands of the halmes.
With a newly reborn Diva, Ariel and Faen travel back to Machike (along the way, Diva manages to elicit a reaction out of the near vegetative Faen) and then returning home to Chel.
At this time, Ariel is given the responsibility of caring for Faen. This was solidified when Ariel had the chance to meet Ash'waren Val'Sullisin'rune and Salan'dara Val'Sullisin'rune during the Moon's End Festival. The meeting between mother, daughter and sister did not go well, as Ash was unable to remember who Faen even was. Luckily, Salan'dara suggested that Faen stay with the Sarghress to recuperate, indicating that bringing Faen back to the Sul dome would be detrimental to her health.
Biography - Arc II
Faen has recovered from her ordeal on the surface in a span of 15 years, but still remains at Ariel's side, giving advice and being the voice of reason. She rooms with Ariel and Diva in Ariel's quarters, and often encourages Diva to tell stories to the two. However, Faen has developed nervous reactions that involve scratching her shoulders to the point of drawing blood.
In the Home Guard
Faen was placed into Sar'nel's squad, where their first task was to patrol a route starting from the Sullisin'rune dome to the North Cliff district, east of Vloz'ress lands. When the squad reaches the dome they discover that supplies funneling from the Suls to the Sarghress had all but halted, and Faen takes it upon herself to investigate. She heads for the central tower of the Ill'haress to look for Salan'dara, but Ba'Dal states that she had gone to the Sul colonies to find out why they had gone mysteriously silent. Instead the Naga slave suggests speaking directly to Ash'waren, but Faen couldn't have been more adverse to seeing her mother and is clearly frightened of her.
On meeting Ash'waren, Faen is subjected to intense mental probing by her mother that causes the girl to collapse into a crying heap, but fortunately Ash'waren sees that Faen is honest with her thoughts of her mother's well being. Faen is confused when the Ill'haress does not recognize her, even when explaining how she killed her teacher at Orthor, but Ash'waren has trouble recalling who she is because she has birthed so many daughters in her lifetime. Ash'waren asks for her name and she gives her full name of Faen'arae, and then Ash'waren warns the girl to trust no Sullisin'rune for fear of traitors within the clan. Faen is also told to seek Salan'dara in Machike'Shikumo should anything happen to her.
Faen next goes to report to Sar'nel of what she learned, meanwhile visiting a pregnant Mel'arnach and having a discussion about her relationship with Ariel and her usefulness to Quain'tana. Upon being asked to feel Mel's belly, Faen announces that Mel will give birth to a baby girl.
Attack on North Cliff
When the Squad reaches the North Cliff, they are attacked by Vel'Vloz'ress scourges; here Faen is knocked out of the fight by another empath named Tsuris'lok. Later on after the battle, Ariel is visited by Brandy and asked for the leader of the remaining troops in the district (Sar'nel had been knocked out during the battle), but Ariel is hesitant to speak up and expects Xtka'en to say something instead. However, Faen gives Ariel the confidence boost she needed to step up and be a leader.
"I was going crazy I think, little by little. I saw things, horrible things in Orthorbbae. Even when I slept I couldn’t escape them." – a section of Faen's letter to Ariel, left with Tralyn the Clanless, explaining what had transpired in the Crescent the day of her exile.
Outside of Moonless Age
Other appearances: Daydream (all Archives), Ariel's First Love (contest), Chibi Age, Evil in the Depths (discontinued side story)
This article reflects events up to Chapter 38.