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Vaelia is an Emberi soldier of the Val'Sarghress clan and an important friend of Ariel Val'Sarghress. She is currently working with the Highland Raiders and is notable for being one of the only non-drow members of that legion.
Vaelia was purchased by Ariel from the Black Dragon Tavern, where she was forced to fight as a gladiator. Even after being freed by Ariel, she persists in being a loyal ally to the young drow. She comforts Ariel in times of need and fights by her side to protect her from harm. Though she is slowly learning the customs and language of the drow, she does not let her outsider status stop her from doing what she must to care for Ariel.
After escorting Ariel to the Overworld, Ariel makes Vaelia a soldier in the Highland Raiders. With the raiders, she struggles to adhere to drow standards without sacrificing her human values as she quests to restore balance to her karma.
Appearance and Personality
Vaelia is a member of a goblin race named the Emberi. She is stubborn and proud, but is exceptionally caring for those she feels deserves it. Though she can barely speak their language and is constantly belittled for being of a "lesser" species, Vaelia has no problem standing up to drow she feels are in the wrong.
She is tall for a human female and has black hair that she ties back in a ponytail with a red ribbon. She has three long scars down the middle of her face. She commonly carries a Ji as her weapon of choice.
Biography - Arc I
The Black Dragon
Vaelia first appeared as a gladiator at the Black Dragon Tavern. After winning a fight that caused her grave personal injury, she was purchased by Ariel Val'Sarghress who at the time was seeking some assistance in capturing a rival classmate. Later, she was joined by a disguised Ariel in an inconclusive gladiatorial match. She went on that day to rescue Ariel twice - once from Rikshakar's lust through verbal means, and again from Jer'kol's assassination attempt at the cost of another injury to herself. Ariel responded by granting her freedom. From this point on, she seemed to be chiefly concerned with encouraging and protecting Ariel.
Protecting the Heir
During the operation to kill Mir'kiin Vel'Vloz'ress, Vaelia displayed a keen distrust of Rikshakar. During the fight itself, she played the role of Ariel's coach. Through her efforts, Ariel's confidence in herself grew and she was able to defeat her enemy.
In the wake of Faen's exile, it was Vaelia who remained at the young heir's side and tried to help her. Despite her broken grasp of Ariel's language, she discovered what was troubling her and suggested the solution - a quest to find and recover the heir's friend Faen.
Journey to the Surface
Vaelia left with Ariel's party to find Faen. During this time, Vaelia made it clear that she had her eyes on Rik and that he was not to pursue any of the young ladies. Before reaching the surface outpost, she helped protect Ariel when the Sarghress caravan was attacked. During the confusion, she was grievously wounded by Jer'kol - again. She recovered, and the group set out for the Overworld.
While making camp, Ariel asked about Vaelia's past. Vaelia told the young drow that she had aspired to be a warrior in her hometown, but was ridiculed and refused by the men of her village. Females in martial pursuits were viewed as unacceptable by the Emberi. Motivated by revenge, she led slavers to her hidden village. She realized her error but it was too late; she was enslaved as well. This is how she ended up as a gladiator in the pit of the Black Dragon Tavern. Her goals in protecting Ariel are part admiration of the young lady and part atonement for the bad karma of her past.
Vaelia kept Ariel safe until she was able to find Faen. During the return trip, Ariel saw how much Vaelia longed to stay on the surface and made her a member of the Highland Raiders.
In the Highland Raiders
Vaelia was recruited begrudgingly into the Raiders and was tasked with clearing out a Sarghress storage cache. Inside, Vaelia found a small fae that was hiding from the soldiers. The Sarghress attempted to murder the pest, but Vaelia protected it, claiming that it was a holy creature. The Sarghress troops mocked her and locked her within the hut. Without being able to use mana to open the lock, Vaelia would have been trapped were it not for the grateful fae. Vaelia secreted the fae away in her pocket and named her Chu.
Vaelia joined up with a squad lead by Iwan Sarghress that was investigating ruins on nearby Emberi islands. Chu helped her to navigate the varying obsticles, and in turn Vaelia kept her safe. Upon nearing an Emberi village, one of Vaelia's squadmates discovered Chu and insisted that Vaelia be punished. Vaelia instead proved herself by entering the village alone.
She returned successfully with a collection of amber gems that held mana exceptionally well. Iwan, impressed with Vaelia's find, allowed Chu to live. Vaelia set Chu free and returned to the Raider outpost with her squad.
Biography - Arc II
Siege of Dariya'ko
Vaelia is part of an assignment of Highland Raiders who scout the Vel'Sharen and Beldrobbaen penal colony of Dariya'ko. She has had three children over the past 15 years, and has gained a new locus queen to aid her named Akhkhazu "Skwerk".
- Concept Vaelia.jpeg
Concept art of Vaelia and her children in Arc II.
- Concept VaeliaColonies.png
Concept art of Vaelia for A Tale of Colonies, by Felix "Firefox" Novara.