The Long Marches
Shyla The Lighthearted
A small drow dressed in bright colorful dresses with ribbons in her hair.
Shyla is a particularly small boned and dainty Drow. She likes to wear brightly colored dresses and do her pristine-white hair in curls which she threads or braids ribbons into.
Sometimes parents just know when something is wrong with their child. Shyntala’urden’s (invisible,skilled,unseen – healer,priestess – the darkness) mother knew and she knew something had to be done. The child was weak. She was more like a High Elf than a Drow. She did things such as give other children her toys and she would hide or cry when startled. It was an embarrassment.
Others were beginning to suspect the weakness was in her and not in the child’s sire. Every time she went to abandon the child or otherwise take care of the situation it would look at her with those strangely large eyes and that quivering lip and the weirdest sensation would overcome her and she would be unable to do it. If she had to guess she’d have called it pity or guilt, but those were not feelings she was familiar with nor ones she was inclined to admit to. When war broke out she saw yet another opportunity to rid herself of the burden that was this child.
In the shadow of a rather bloody battle a contingent of healers comprised of servants of The Priestess, set up a Temple. She waited until the last of the sunlight had bled out of the sky and then she carried the sleeping child to the steps of the newly erected temple. She left her on the edge of the woods nearby before slipping away into the welcoming night free of the weight she had carried for nearly two years.
The child woke from her nap to the cold darkness surrounding her and a low growling coming from the depths of it. The smallest amount of light peaked out from the doors of the temple casting shadows and pushing a small amount of the darkness back. When one of the shadows moved she, like most frightened children, began crying.
A servant of The Priestess heard the cries, found her, and quickly dispatched the creature forever sealing the ideas that darkness was scary and light was safety.
Orphans were commonplace and the temple had nearly a dozen as it was, however despite being somewhat deep in the Spiderwood none were of Drow lineage. They kept their own unless they proved to be somehow malformed in which case those children were killed off to preserve the fierce race’s strength so the small Drow girl was something of an oddity in and of herself. A few days into her residence at the temple proved that it extended beyond her race.
She cried when candles were extinguished in the sleeping quarters and would not stop until at least one was re-lit. Members of the temple would be eating some sweet and find her at their elbow staring intently at them with pleading eyes until they relinquished a portion of it to her, which inevitably led to her becoming a grinning, giggling, sticky mess. The Temple’s Guardian Priestess found that some days she couldn’t turn around without tripping over the child and many of the other members of staff found it equally difficult to rid themselves of the somewhat clingy child. It was strangely uncomfortable to turn and find the little girl staring up at them with those giant waif eyes.
After one of the accolytes yelled at her in frustration and scared her near senseless older children began to make a game of it. They would wait until she was following them and then turn and shout at her, startling her and sending her running in terror while they themselves laughed hysterically.
Despite her somewhat strange and unnerving nature the residents of the temple liked her. When no one came searching for her and the local Drow refused to acknowledge the existence of any “missing” offspring the Guardian gave her the name Shyla The Lighthearted and added her to the Temple’s official registry.
When she was only just into her adolescence a girl named Eden joined the temple as a Companion of the Light. Shyla found her and her brashness immediately fascinating and began following her around. When a few new acolytes to the temple decided it would be amusing to frighten her by snuffing out all of the candles in the great hall, Eden tracked them all down and ‘persuaded’ them to apologize. After that Shyla rarely left her side when Eden was not engaged in her duties as a Companion of the Light which were, she knew, incredibly personal matters and as such private.
Eden left when she was fifteen and while Shyla wanted to follow her she was too intimidated to do so. When she was eighteen The Guardian very gently encouraged her move beyond the walls of the temple by setting her up as a healer in a local village and quietly arranging for that to continue to another town. Between Eden’s fights they would meet up and when Eden finally left the pit fighting all-together to go adventuring Shyla joined her, occasionally taking on jobs as a healer when they were not otherwise hired-on.