- 1 Appearance and Personality
- 2 Biography - Arc I
- 3 Biography - Arc II
- 4 Babytastic Interlude
- 5 Sarghress Civil War
- 6 Interlude
- 7 Biography - Arc III
- 8 Notable Quotes
- 9 Outside of Moonless Age
- 10 Character Concept
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 heterochromia genetics--often called the "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.
Battle for Darya Lake
Faen is healing the wounded as arguments erupt about soldier behavior. She is concerned for the condition of troop morale as they fight over looting and killing a Sharen-affiliated slaver. Ariel steps in and increases the stress around the room, but Faen can only watch and hope Ariel makes the right choices. Later during the assault on the Sharen base in the region, it is Faen who finds the severely injured Ariel lying broken on the floor.
To the Surface: Ys
While laying in bed with Ariel, who was recovering from her injuries, they recieved a visit from Chirinide and Shan'naal, requesting permission to come with them to the surface and fulfill the drowussu's personal goals. Ariel was 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, Faen and Ariel began to take their relationship to the next level and assisted in defending Ys when they were invaded by hermionne warriors seeking to free some of their comrades. Faen stayed behind with Ariel, who had been ordered by Turgeis to remain close to the Sarghress quarters and act as a lookout. After growing tired of standing by and doing nothing, Ariel attempted to take the fight to the enemy invaders, with Faen providing a distraction for Ariel's attack. The hermionne was then reinforced by multiple comrades, who began to overwhelm the pair of drow. Assistance came in the form of Chiri'nide, who had collected a massive fireball which she used to bring down the hermionnes. Faen watched as one surviving warrior managed to rejoin the fight, and when he began to gain the upper hand against her teammates, the empath used a powerful empathic burst to incapacitate him - unfortunately catching Ariel and Chiri'nide in the crossfire.
Picking up her shield, Faen stood against the hermionne, who had managed to resist the empathic attack. Standing over her fallen comrades, she defended them long enough to be assisted by Die'tra, who finished off the invader before complimenting her on a job well done. As the rest of the Sarghress team regrouped, their attention was drawn by the passing of an airship over the colony.
The next day, Ariel and Tur'geis Am'saag Sarghress argued over whether to stay in Ys or follow the airship, but it was ultimately rendered moot when the council of Ys kicked the Sarghress force for reasons they found suspicious. Faen chose to go with Ariel and several others in the direction deduced by Sarnel to be the likely destination of the airship - Felde.
Investigation of Felde
As the team heading for Felde traveled, they came across a Val'Sullisinrune plantation that had been ravaged by unknown forces. Ariel noted that they were moving further and further away from Chiri'nide and Shan'naal's monastery, and asked if they were okay with that. Chirinide commented that they had some time before the Vanir delegation was set to arrive. Surmising that the best place for survivors of the plantation ransacking to flee to would be Felde, they decided to press on.
Arriving at the port near Felde, they discovered that the tower at the center of the city was controlled by Snadhya'rune Vel'Sharen. Riz'ria immediately ordered them to return to Chel, unwilling to take on one of the "three dragons" and feeling that it was their duty to inform the clan and return with an army. Ariel and Syrak favored trying to gather more information about the airship, as it was the reason that they had come to Felde in the first place. Hoping to come to a compromise, Faen proposed going to Felde and simply asking to see the airship, as she had brought along the invitation that Lulianne had given Ariel. The others agreed, particularly after encountering Kyo'nne Val'Illhar'dro. As they followed her into the tower, she warned them not to stray.
After taking advantage of the over-sized bath, Faen tried on a dress that had been left in their room for her, and was complimented by a newly arrived Kyo'nne. Faen happily told her friend that she hadn't had a chance to play dress-up in years. Afterwards, Kyo told Faen and Ariel that she had found someone who could provide access to the airship, and asked them to come with her. They agreed to follow the singer, leaving their gear behind on her recommendation. After checking in with the rest of their team and noting a bit of hesitance in their guide, Ariel and Faen attempted to draw out from Kyo the reason for her nervousness, but their attempt was shrugged off and denied by the Illhar'dro.
To their shock, Kyo'nne led them to a private dining area, where they were greeted by Snadhya'rune, who was preparing to share a "family dinner" with Mel'arnach, Zhor, Kalki, and Sasi. Kalki quickly mistook Faen for Ariel, commenting that she was "endowed." Snadhya corrected Kalki, telling her that the one wearing their colors in her hair was her sibling.
After urging Ariel to leave, they were stopped by Snadhya, who asked what news they brought from Chel. Ariel confidently told Snadhya that her clan was losing the war; the First Daughter seemed surprisingly satisfied by the news. Snadhya'rune continued to speak of her wish that Chel be led by a strong leader, and complimented Faen and Ariel's clans on their ability to breed strong women in an effort to sway them. Mel'arnach pleaded with Ariel to listen to Snadhya'rune, saying that she wasn't like the other Sharen. After offering to set aside her crown if it would put them at ease, Snadhya'rune convinced Ariel and Faen to stay long enough for cake to arrive.
During the dinner, Snadhya'rune shifted the conversation to what their aspirations were; Faen admitted that hers were the same as they had always been, and that she had no ambitions at all. Later, when asked if she would like to rule her clan, the empath quickly stated that it would never happen, as she had many dozens of older sisters. When Mel'arnach later told Ariel that she had a younger sister, Faen excitedly congratulated her, and expressed her hope that Mel would eventually get her children back.
Ariel attempted again to leave with Faen, stating that they had to leave in the morning. Hoping to convince her to stay, Mel'arnach pleaded with her to listen to Snadhya'rune, and that Quain'tana was tearing them apart. As mother and daughter argued, Kalki stabbed Ariel's hand with a knife, pinning it to the table and telling the younger drow that she was stuck with them. Faen attempted to help her remove the knife as Snadhya reprimanded Kalki, warning her not to push her patience. Kalki responded by snatching Lulianne's sword and severing Ariel's arm.
As Zhor tackled Kalki in order to protect Ariel, Faen attempted to help Ariel, telling her to close the wound. Ariel appeared to cycle through multiple forms in a sort of fit, finally settling on a smaller form from her youth as she closed the wound where her arm had been. As the First Daughter approached, offering to help her, Faen refused to let her come any closer, preparing to use her powers on the older drow. Snadhya, backed by the Sul trio, quickly convinced the hesitant Faen to allow her to assist the fallen Ariel, assuring her that it would cause her no further harm. 
With Snadhya'rune's assistance, Ariel was brought out of her stupor as a pair of guards brought Riz'riia into the room, claiming that they had caught her sneaking about. Snadhya attempted to convince Ariel to absorb Riz'riia's arm, reasoning that it would be too late to reattach her original arm - especially since Kalki had left the room with it. Ariel refused, however, stating that a Sarghress didn't steal from her comrades. Snadhya commented that it was disappointing, and that she sensed Zhor's blood in her as Zhor looked on proudly.
Escape From Felde
Mel'arnach, Lulianne, Zhor and several guards escorted Ariel and Faen to their rooms; along the way, Zhor complimented Ariel, telling her that he was proud that she had refused to take her fellow soldier's arm. Upon arrival at the guest quarters, they found that the room had been set on fire - assumably by Kalki. After finding her severed arm on the ground, Ariel lamented it's condition, as Faen continued to try to console her.
They were then interrupted by the arrival of a member of the Kavahini clan, who proceeded to evade the guards and headed down the hallway. When Lulianne left to give chase, Ariel and Faen took advantage of the distraction to slip away, despite Mel'arnach's protests. As they turned to go, Ariel told Zhor that it was nice talking to him, at long last, telling him to take care of Mel. Mel'arnach attempted to stop them, desperate to see her family reunited after so long, but was stopped by Zhor, who told her that she needed to learn to let go.
During their escape, Ariel and Faen sensed the presence of a nether gate, spurring them to move faster. They stumbled across Shan'naal and an unconscious Chiri'nide, who appeared to be under attack by a drowussu empath. As Faen intercepted the empath's empathy attack, Ariel charged forward, knocking her down with a punch and following up with a stomp. Faen managed to stabilize Chiri'nide, brushing off Shan'naal's attempts to profusely thank her. Despite her claims that she hadn't done much, Shan insisted that her actions had saved the warden's life. After realizing they couldn't help Riz'riia due to the raider being taken by Snadhya'rune, Ariel resolved to find the rest of their squad while Shan'naal and Faen carried Chiri'nide out of the tower.
Return To Chel
While the giant turtle summon traveled, Ariel and Chrys'tel discussed the recent events. Ariel told the young Sharen that Quain'tana knew that the Vel'Sharen clan was responsible for the recent mess - if she could convince the Sharen to give up, then the Sarghress would deal with Snadyha'rune. As they continued their debate, Kharla'ggen began to collapse, having used up a majority of her vast mana supply. Acting quickly, Ariel caught on to Chrys'tel, who caught Faen, who had managed to catch hold of Kharla'ggen, and together they were able to keep the Ill'haress from falling off of the great turtle.
Ariel and her squadmates returned to Val'Sarghress territory, where they attempted to recuperate after their harsh trip. Other Sarghress warriors began swapping stories of their war experiences; with enough prodding, Ariel was convinced to tell them a brief recounting of their recent adventure to Felde. When asked where they were going to be sent next, Faen became upset, insisting that Ariel stop volunteering for missions. After sitting down, they noticed Sarn'el sitting alone, picking at his food instead of eating, and moved closer to check on how he was holding up. Later that night, Faen joined Sarn'el, Kau, Chiri'nide, Shan'naal and Ariel as they cremated Shala's body; Ariel lamented that Shala had been Sharen and Sarghress both, and was sorry that she hadn't taken the time to get to know her better.
Following the Puppeteer Incident, Ariel checked in on Faen, who was still somewhat upset about what had happened. While everyone had been controlled, she had been left conscious, unable to move. In an effort to lift her spirits, Ariel offered to take her to see the "babies" - her younger siblings.
Upon arrival at the children's room, they noticed an exhausted Jiv'kyn, who appeared to be sleeping in a chair outside the door. As the entered the room, they heard a barely noticeable comment - "Beware the beasts." Ariel and Faen were met with the sight of two small boys and a baby girl. Vene, the oldest, was the most vocal, challenging them before allowing them into "Fort Kick Butt." When Faen asked what the names of the other two children were, Ariel commented that Quain'tana had no imagination - the younger boy was still nicknamed "Pup," while the baby girl was still completely unnamed.
The boys continued to defend their fort from the perceived invaders, calling Ariel and Faen "giants." After throwing a loaf of bread at Ariel's head, her hair began to writhe as she yelled in outrage, prompting the boys to re-label her as a kraken. Seeing that Ariel was about to lose her temper, Faen intervened, telling Ariel to let her deal with the boys. Taking a closer look at Pup, Faen noted that he had the same eyes that she did - the heterochromic eyes found commonly amongst the Sullisin. Pup panicked, thinking that she was attempting to steal his eyes for herself.
Ariel watched in amusement as Faen failed to gain entry to the "fort," due to the boys feeling that her butt was too big. Picking up her little sister, she wondered if she was ever that small. The moment of wonder was interrupted as the baby began to soil her diaper, causing her to begin crying. Unsure what to do, Ariel turned to Faen, only to find the empath struck by the baby's strong emotions and weeping as well.
Quain'tana arrived shortly afterwards, drawn by the noise. Faen swooped in with a towel, taking the baby from the Ill'haress so that she could be cleaned and changed. Instead of being infuriated by their presence as Ariel feared, Quain'tana merely told them to keep the noise to a minimum if they wished to keep access to the floor. Before she left, Ariel caught her attention, saying that they should spar again sometime. Quain'tana gave her a small smile before agreeing, and instructed her to be at the Alliance dinner the next day.
Breathing a sigh of relief, Ariel turned her attention back to Faen, who was admiring the baby. Faen commented that she looked a lot like Ariel, and wondered if they would be able to name her. Ariel shrugged, telling her it might be possible if they took care of her.
Sarghress Civil War
Observing the Homecoming of the Clan
Days after the Puppeteer incident, Faen stood on an upper balcony with Ariel, observing the return of the legions to the Sarghress Fortress. Upon noticing the Val'Sharen contingent returning from their failed mission to Felde and Mimaneid, she noted that their hearts felt full of sorrow, and spoke of feeling sorry for them.
Gathering of the Clans
The day after the Sarghress' attempt to assault Snadhya'rune's tower in Chel failed, Ariel and Faen brought the baby with them as they walked through the fortress. Along the way, they met Quill'yate, who was exiting Quain'tana's room with a grim expression. Quill greeted them, brightening up at their appearance and commenting that Ariel had grown taller again. Noticing the baby, she asked if that was all that she had missed, and whether the baby was theirs. Ariel sheepishly admitted that the baby was actually her little sister. Before leaving again for the surface, Quill'yate advised Ariel against getting into politics, and if she ever got burned by them, Ariel would know where to find her people.
Noting how upset Quill'yate appeared to be, Ariel decided to check on Quain'tana to find out what had happened. Locating her in a break room, she was stopped by Zith, who advised her that the Ill'haress didn't want to speak to anyone. Faen used the baby to distract Zith, begging for assistance with a soiled diaper as Ariel was passed through by Angjss'stra. 
Faen, Slyand'iss and another unnamed empath were later recruited in an attempt to assist a Sullissin'rune healer's attempts to remove decayed tissue from Quain'tana's face. Their abilities proved to be insufficient to control the Ill'haress's pain, and they were sent away from the healing room. Ariel hugged Faen, attempting to comfort her, and suggested that they visit the children. They were intercepted by Sang, however, who pulled Ariel aside to assist with locating Laele'aell.
Faen continued on alone, and approached the children's quarters to find Jiv'kyn absent and the door guarded by an unknown soldier, who ordered her to leave. After hearing a suspicious sound coming from inside the room, she was allowed in, only to find Vene being held by another masked Sarghress soldier, who had just cut the boy's throat. As she reached out for the boy, the soldier who had allowed her in struck her down, attempting to silence her.
As the soldiers moved to finish off the other two children, her protective instincts rose, and her empathy began to lash out at the attackers. Along with holding off the two soldiers physically, her abilities allowed her to reach out to Jiv'kyn, who had been ordered out of the room by an officer in order to lure him away from his post. The Fallen legionnaire returned to the room in time to assist her with subduing the assassins, who argued that they were following orders. As Jiv'kyn demanded to know who had issued the order, Faen picked up a shield and used it to strike down the other attacker. Jiv'kyn realized that targeting the children hadnot been a random act, but the order to do so had to have come from someone with a high level of authority. 
After defeating both assassins, the two moved to check on the children, finding that Vene was dead. Pup appeared to be in shock, while the baby could do little more than cry at the disturbance. Realizing that more soldiers were on the way, Jiv'kyn made a dash towards the oncoming squad, drawing their attention long enough for Faen to slip out with the remaining two children. Once the newcomers realized who had the children, she sprinted away from the room, with Jiv'kyn ordering her to keep running.
Before they could make it further down the hall, however, they stumbled across Quain'tana, who had begun to have a stand-off with the Home Guard. After calling out to the Ill'haress that someone was trying to kill her grandchildren, Faen could only watch as Quain'tana turned back to Suu'be and confronted her about the new turn of events, blaming all of the recent misfortunes on the Home Guard commander.  Faen then took cover with the children behind a nearby column, attempting to wait out confrontation between commanders. A crossbow bolt flew past her, barely missing them, enraging Quain'tana further. After ordering Faen to stay put, the Ill'haress charged forward, attempting to cut down anyone in between her and Suu'be.
As she waited with the children for Ariel and their escorts to join them, Faen was met by Kau, who informed her of his intentions to track down and attempt to make peace with Sil'lice. Turning down her offer to accompany him, he commented that he felt it would be safer if he went alone; she then replied that she didn't want to lose any more friends before wishing him a safe journey.
Faen and Octarya went looking for Ariel and Pup, finding them on a mountaintop just outside of Machike, yelling into the wind. After scaring a local Emberi boy, Ariel and Pup attempted to call out to him to tell him that he had dropped his catch - a rabbit that was likely his dinner. Following his tracks, they located his home, and were greeted warmly by Vaelia. Ariel and Faen were introduced to her former guardian's son Kenro and daughter Esuni, and welcomed into her home. Vaelia, not remembering Faen, asked her name, and commented with amusement at the drow tendency towards using long names. Spotting an earth locust fae lounging in a table nearby, Faen told the Emberi that she hadn't seen one in many years.
When the drow children were introduced to Vaelia's family as Pup and Octobear, the warrior expressed surprise, asking why the they didn't have proper names yet. After deciding to name them right then and there, Ariel's first instinct was to name her Vaelia, but was rejected by both Faen and Vaelia herself. Ariel and Faen discussed several possible names, declining the option to name them after Quain'tana or even after themselves. After several more failed attempts to pick a name, Vaelia asked Pup what he wanted for his name. Pup was initially surprised at being allowed to choose his own name, but took it in stride, and finally settled on the name Pelan. Vaelia, seeing the continued struggle to pick a name for the baby, suggested the name Octarya, which Ariel and Faen gladly accepted.
Ariel and Faen pondered how something so simple as naming a baby could turn out to be so hard; Vaelia replied that everything was challenging when you were a new parent. After Ariel commented on the changes made to Machike, including the difference in the current section of the colony, Vaelia explained that many of her kin had found their way to the colony and found a place there. She also mentioned that Ariel had been largely responsible for the freedoms that the Emberi enjoyed at Machike, surprising Kenro at the revelation that his mother had once been a slave. Ariel insisted she hadn't done anything, but Vaelia disagreed - her freeing of Vaelia had influenced the clan's attitudes towards slaves, as well as the Highland Raiders who she had served with.
Ariel was moved by the Emberi's optimism, and asked her for a much needed hug. Vaelia obliged, telling her that everything would be alright - spring would come, and with it, better days.
Biography - Arc III
The Hermionne Invasion of Machike
Three years after the death of Quain'tana and the Sarghress mutiny, the colony of Machike was invaded by hermionne warriors, forcing the drow and Emberi residents to fight to protect their home. Faen caught on to Ariel's intentions of joining their fellow defenders out on the battlefield, despite being ordered to stay behind at the command center. After admitting that she couldn't stay out of the battle, she attempted to convince the empath to remain behind with the children. Faen refused, insisting that Ariel wouldn't be going out to fight without her.
Out on the battlefield, Faen used her empathy to drive fear into the enemy and their mounts, creating confusion and chaos on the battlefield which helped to turn the tide of the battle in the colonists' favor. When Zair praised her abilities, remarking on the sudden turnaround, Faen merely commented that the invaders hated them because they were fearful, especially for their leader.
After the colonists achieved victory, the mist revealed the drow casualties and heavy destruction of the colony itself, showing the heavy cost of the battle.
Kyo'nne's Offer of Peace
The following day, a familiar airship docked next to the main tower of the colony, delivering Ariel's old friend Kyo'nne with a message bearing peace and goodwill.
Though her friends openly slung accusations, bringing up Kyo's previous betrayal in Felde, Ariel listened to Kyo'nne's summary of political shifts in Chel over the last three years: there had been a Gathering of the Clans, and the Sarghress had sent someone who clearly was not Koil'dorath. The young leader was highly suspicious of the proposal to bring Ariel to Felde for a new Gathering of current clan leaders: the requirement was to declare allegiance to the questionable Alliance flag, in order to receive aid and supplies. Kyo'nne's comment about Kalki's attack and Shala's death prompted Ariel to grill the Illhar'dro in the number of troops on that ship.
Faen sensed fear coming from their supposed friend, and whispered a comment to Ariel. This only increased their suspicion about the proposal, leading them to believe that the invitation to Felde could only be a trap laid by Snadhya's minions to separate Ariel from her clan. Sar'nel then escorted the singer out at swordpoint, forcing her to return to the airship. As she crossed the gangplank and pleaded for them to see reason, Ariel continued to refuse, telling her old friend to return to her mistress with her answer: the Sarghress clan would remain independent.
As they watched the airship leave, Faen spoke again to Ariel, telling her that she had a bad feeling about the situation.
Another Attack On Machike
Faen's dire feelings proved to be true, as the airship responded to their decision to reject Snadhya'rune's proposal by firing the ship's mana cannons on the already broken colony. She could only sit silently and holding onto the children as Kel'noz returned to find their home a smoking ruin as Ariel cried out that it was all her fault for making the decision. He quickly took control of the situation, ordering Nomine to find Quill'yate, and organizing a retreat to the Fustin'darun with the surviving colonists.
In the city of Fustin'darun, Faen and Ariel met with Kel'noz and Ash'waren Val'Sullisin'rune regarding the situation. Before speaking, Ash'waren again tested Faen's resolve with an empathic push, smiling as her daughter stood firm and held her gaze instead of crumbling as she had before and admitting that she had grown strong. Though the Sullisin leader felt trapped in a corner by her enemies, she spoke of having great faith in Kel'noz and Ariel's determination to recoup losses.
Suspecting that the airship might return for another attempt to destroy Machike, the colonists set to work placing traps as a stalling tactic. When the flying vessel indeed returned, following the retreating colonists, they quickly became ensnared by wires that had been strung across the crevice that led to Fustin'darun. As the crew attempted to free the ship, the colonial defenders took action, sniping at the crew on the main deck from the cavern walls. Along with crossbow fire, the Sarghress then followed it up by firing a blast from the giant bombard cannon that they had taken from the Hermionne army. The defenders then cheered as the airship was forced to retreat.
While the colonists continued to arm and prepare for yet another attack, the airship returned again, this time bearing a payload of giant boulders and rock chunks that they began to drop onto the civilian population and buildings below. Ariel and Faen were able to escape the bombardment, shielding Pelan and Octarya until they were able to find cover.
Ariel and Faen watched as their defenses were decimated yet again by the Nidraa'chal airship's mana cannons, until they were found by Durlyn and Zair. After watching the ship continue to batter Fustin'darun's dwellings, Faen advised her that they seemed to be searching for someone - most likely Ash'waren. As she spoke, the Sullissin'rune clan leader's home was bombarded by the mana cannons, and seemingly destroyed.
Forming a desperate plan, she quickly asked Durlyn and Zair if they would assist her, though it might get them killed. After they agreed, she ordered Faen to locate Kel'noz, and for the other two to follow her. The small group scattered, launching flares into the sky, signaling a retreat, which drew the airship's attention away from the civilian population and further into the underworld.
A short time later, Faen and the other remaining defenders waited on Ariel's return, and with them, an unconscious Kel'noz. He remained unconscious during the defenders' next encounter, where they witnessed an ambush on an Alliance traveling group by the Kavahini clan, with Faen attempting to use her abilities to hide them from detection. They laid low, not interfering with the attack, as they did not know where the allegiances of either party lay. As the Nidraa'chal had been claiming to be operating under the purview of the Sharen Alliance prior to attacking Machike, the defenders opted to side with the Kavahini, rescuing one of their Koubagia from her Alliance pursuers and accepting a challenge from Chakri Kavahini to prove themselves. Faen treated the owl warrior's wounds as the others spoke with Chakri, guessing that her patient appeared to be unable to speak.
While they discussed their next move, Kel'noz woke, and was helped back to Ariel's side by Vara'nin. After chiding her for not following his earlier advice, he instructed them to head further inward to the underworld to the outpost of Sha'shi.
The group of defenders moved further into the underworld, surviving on hidden caches of rations and supplies that Kel'noz had secretly placed in the event of an emergency. Faen praised Kel'noz's foresight, commenting that many would not have had the instinct to hide supplies as he had. When Ariel noticed Kau's melancholy, Faen explained that he had been feeling useless due to the loss of his golem armor. When Sar'nel asked her if her empathy could assist Kau with getting over his problems, she refused, stating that it would be best for their friend to find his purpose on his own. As they traveled, they continued to play a game of cat and mouse with the Nidraa'chal airship, drawing fire by leaving dummies and decoys along the trail. Eventually, they arrived at Sha'shi, where Kel'noz continued to act as teacher, explaining the history of the outpost and the nearby moon fragments to Ariel and Faen.
Shortly after their arrival, Kel'noz was greeted amicably by the outpost's leader - a light elf who was known by the nickname of Zy'ezra. The two appeared to have a history together, as they bantered flirtatiously before coming to an agreement that would allow the weary travelers a chance to shelter and rest.
While most of the defenders rested, the engineers introduced Kau to their experimental golem workshop, as well as their most recent golem armor prototype. He agreed to pilot the armor for their next test flight, and challenged Ariel to a race to the top of the town. Ever up for a challenge, Ariel readily agreed - her wind affinity versus his golem technology.
Ariel, being unarmored and lighter, was able to use her mana arts to boost herself quickly, gaining an early lead on the heavier, more armored Kau. As her friend began to falter, she stopped, turning around to check on him. Frustrated by what was beginning to look like another defeat, Kau became determined that he would not fall behind again, and that he would find his own power. They continued the race, until both reaching the top. Ariel won readily, but the victory was quickly ignored as they realized with wonder that they were standing on top of a piece of the fallen moon. As they realized they were in the very center of the underworld, the airship finally reappeared overhead.
After witnessing the successful testing and realizing the potential capabilities of the golem armor, Kel'noz formed a plan to take control of the Nidraa'chal airship. Forming an alliance with the outpost of engineers, he agreed that in exchange for their assistance in capturing the airship, the Sha'shi engineers would have full access to study the ancient flying machine. Ariel backed up the promise, saying that they had her word as well.
A Desperate Gamble
The boarding party made an attempt to infiltrate the airship initially, with Kau and Slyand'iss piloting their golems and acting as standard work golems. Their ruse was soon exposed, however, when Da'xia caught a glimpse of Ariel and sounded an alert to the airship crew. With little other choice, the defenders scrambled to get as many of the boarding party onto the deck as possible. Ariel found herself confronting Sasi'rael, who was acting as the airship's captain, as well as Kyo'nne.
Kyo'nne interposed herself between Sasi and Ariel, asking her former friend to back down and get out while they still could. As she did so, Ariel was attacked by Ji'aan, who taunted her about being a pale shadow of Quain'tana. The two fought furiously until Kyo'nne used her spellsong, knocking her off of the side of the ship with a powerful blast. The young Sarghress was able to barely catch hold of the edge of the ship, holding on for dear life as the rest of the boarding party fought on.
Soon, the airship became its own worst enemy, as the mana blasts fired from the ship at the defenders still on the ground were caught in the mana vortex surrounding the colony and turned back on itself. Shortly afterwards, the ship began to list, until it came close enough for the rest of the boarding party to gain access to the ship. The boarding party was delayed, however, as Bae'rali Sullissin'rune's formidable abilities pinned them down while Sasi'rael and her followers attempted to regain control of the ship. Her control over the Sarghress defenders was short-lived, however, as Faen intervened, countering Bae'rali's empathy with her own. User her own history of fear and self-doubt, she overwhelmed the other empath, leaving Bae a crumpled heap on the floor. Instead of finishing her off, however, Faen showed mercy towards her former clanswoman, telling her that she hoped they would have time to sit down and talk without fighting someday.
The fight was soon halted as the engines began to lose power, causing the flying vessel to head on an uncorrectable course towards the ground. Faen was able to leave the ship relatively unscathed, with Sar'nel acting as her protector while Sal'bara Val'Chai'toc to activate her war golem, furious at the destruction of the airship. The defenders engaged the enraged engineer while the remaining Nidraa'chal crew members fled on floaters.
The fight grew fierce, with several defenders swarming the war golem and fending off the mana blasts. Kel'noz continued to shield himself, taking cover on the ship's deck. The tide of the battle was turned when Kyo'nne had a change of heart, and turned on her fellow Nidraa'chal. Using her spellsong, she fired a blast at the levitating Sal'bara, destroying her mana foci and causing her golem armor to crash. With its controller taken out of the battle and unable to provide commands, the war golem was quickly dispatched.
Return To Machike
Having won a hard-fought victory over the Nidraa'chal and gaining control of a now-ruined airship, Kel'noz convinced Lady Z that the ship was in fact salvagable, challenging her and her outpost of engineers to inspect and repair it. After the ship became flightworthy again, the defenders took to the air, heading back to Machike and Fustin'darun. As they traveled, Ariel and Faen spotted a figure landing on the main deck - Chakri Kavahini. The owl warrior gave them a silent bow of respect for their success, and flew away.
After reaching the colony, Ariel and Faen were happily reunited with Octarya and Pelan.
Seeking More Allies
Having gained control of the airship, Kel'noz and Ariel sought aid from Ys against Felde, but were met with resistance. Councillor Kane'ohe did not see a reason to rebel against the colony's protectors, and instead proposed that the airship be returned to Felde in exchange for aid. The offer was refused, and the two Sarghress envoys signalled to the waiting airship that the negotiations had failed.
Hoping to avoid a bloody conflict, Faen teamed up with Ash'waren and Bae'rali to empathically subdue the Ys colonists, keeping them pacified and unaware of the takeover. When Pelan tugged on her robes, Faen became startled, passing the sensation on to one of the colonists as Ash'waren looked on with annoyance. Their attempts were successful, and the leadership change was met with minimum resistance.
Crashing Chiri's Wedding
After instilling a small occupation force to keep Ys from reporting to Felde and retaking control, the airship crew moved on to the next colony along their course - Shikomei. Mistaking the fire lit below for a welcoming fire, Faen cheerfully waved at the drowussu gathered on the ground while the ship landed, unaware that they were interrupting Chiri'nide and Shan'naal's vow's night. When Chiri'nide confronted them on their interruption, Ariel quietly asked what a vow's night was, which Faen explained briefly.
The meeting with the Shikomei administrators was cut short as howls filled the air, and a monstrous pack of Sarghress dire wolves descended on the colony. Ariel, Sar'nel, Kau and Faen jumped into action as Kel'noz attempted to turn the negotiations to their favor, and the small squad engaged the wolves in battle in an effort to defend the Kyorl'solenurn colonists.
Faen uses her empathy again in an effort to pacify the wolves, sending them feelings of safety and peace. The training of the war animals manages to overpower her efforts, however, and they quickly swarm the empath, forcing her to retreat.
"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.
"Fear. They hate because they fear. Their leader is among them. They fear for him too. They'll run." - To Zair, while watching the Hermionne invaders scatter due to her empathic abilities during the invasion of Machike.
"I know how it is to feel weak. I spent years alone, fearing everything...I hope we get the chance to talk without fighting each other someday." - To Bae'rali Val'Sullisin'rune, after soundly defeating her in an empathic duel.
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 42.
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