Lady Kiera

The roaring water echoes like a living, breathing creature as turbulents rush over a natural jetty of slate rock. The waterfall pools here, content to shimmer and dance through the channels of the Lysierian Hills after making its descent over another outcropping, this perhaps shale or limestone. Lapping at the sides of the fish-laden pond, it burbles and trickles before flashing over a final series of tiers and spreading out to a wide curtain that descends into the valley below. Many of Imaera’s creatures come here to feast and drink, but today, a woman stands waist-high in tall, cool grass reeds beside the falls. -A woman with marble violette eyes and skin a hue to rival the sheen of the finest white opal. You have heard her called many things over the years you have known her as: Lady, Kitten, Lover, Flirt, Legend, Sister, Mother, Wife, Keeper of the Cats, Bitch, ...Friend.

She smiles at you in the way that she has; her teeth are all perfectly straight with canines that have grown slightly elongated behind a purse of full off-rose lips. “I come ‘ere when I need du get back to my roots.” She states quite plainly and gestures around her. Everywhere beside the falls, pumas gaze up at you, their sleek backs slightly arched. It is an eerie feeling. -A warm home-coming on a crisp day coupled with a scene befitting of an ancient tome of Andelas, though it is well-known that Kiera herself worships Leya.

“Zey will not harm you.” She nods toward the animals and speaks something in a dialect you have heard her use before. The pumas crouch low in the grass, stretching their massive front limbs before them. Kiera sits, gesturing that you should follow suit.

“Zey get nervous when people stand above zem.”

About this time, you’re thinking, I get nervous around snarling animals with flesh-ripping canines. I’m glad I brought my sword, But you smile politely, and listen as your friend slowly begins to tell her tale.

“When I was a very small girl,” she mutters, then stops. The wind rustles the reeds beside the pond, and that smile appears again as Kiera tilts her head back, gazing up at the sky, the ends of her long sunlit-spun tresses just barely floating in the water. There is something unhurried about her, something beautiful and leisurely in her posture and drawl that even the warrior guild trainers have tried vainly to immitate. “When I was a child,” she repeats, I was found in zis pool by the pumas. Ze last zing I remember was zere was fire and people screaming... -a war. I was knocked indu ze river and washed downstream for what felt like an eternity. Ze water was cold.”

Her voice couples with the lilt of the falls beside you, and you lean closer an eyebrow etching up. “I was raised by ze pumas. I learned du stalk and chase. I also learned zeir language and etiquette. I ate what ze pumas ate, drank what ze pumas drank... Hunters were rare in zese lands then.” Kiera picks a blade of grass from the others and draws in the water with it as she speaks, glancing back over her shoulder at you. “...And life was good for me ‘ere.”

The obvious question- “What changed these things? How did you end up in Wehnimers?”

Slim flesh-reeds of chorded ivory stretch and retract as Kiera slowly moves her neck in circles, scratching the ears of a puma that has come to rest its head on her lap. “A hunting party came zrough one day, a massive hunting party. Zey mortally wounded my mother puma, and I put myself between them and her, snarling as any puma-daughterling would and etching my face up in a mournful cry. Lady Kiora was in zat hunting party. A mage with her cast a spell on me, and immediately I fell asleep, my head resting on my mother, her blood tangling in my hair.”

“When I woke, I was in ze town I now know as Wehnimers Landing. Zey ‘ad skinned my mother, and in a desperate attempt du keep her with me, I coveted the skin, refusing to let Kiora or any of her friends near me. Perhaps it was better zat way, as eons past, I ‘ad long outgrown ze mortal clothes I fell indu ze stream with, and was walking about naked.” Kiera’s cheeks turn a faint glow under their usual alabaster pallor, but it is gone almost before recognition. “I did not know common, but had its knowledge imparted in me by Kux, my mother’s lover at ze time.” Those off-rose lips turn again, in something near a malicious smirk, yet one that more borders on mischievous. “I will forego ze pleasure of telling you what my first words were exactly. I will simply say, zey made ze angels cry...

Kiora, always being fair and responsible took me as her daughter and began teaching me ze ways of Leya. People whispered she must ‘ave caught ze craziness of Fash’lo’nae to attempt such a feat as raising a feral child. Perhaps zey were correct as my first days in Wehnimers were fraught with dramatic mood swings and disrespectful tangents. However, I grew out of zis, and Kiora surprised me many eons later with a veniom-bound puma sheath made from ze hide of my mother, so I might always carry her with me.” A faint moisture pools in Kiera’s eyes, whether from the mist of the falls or other origins, you cannot tell, and a gentle smile curls the tiers of her flesh. -A smile that makes it quite simple to see why she’s reputed as one of the biggest flirts in Elanthia.

“And that my Lady Jypsie is ‘ow I came du Wehnimers. I will honestly attach my flirting skills du running about ze town naked for a good portion of my life.” Mirth reflects in her human features as she gestures and calls what you imagine to be a farewell greeting to her first surrogate family, the pumas. Kiera stands, her form straightening as elegantly as a ripple of water. For a woman in her eighties, that may be considered quite a feat (thank the Arkati for mages!). She offers you a cool alabaster hand up, then brushes away her slightly-damp golden tresses.

“Shall we go ‘ave a drink at Wayside? I hear zey ‘ave some lovely orange juice zis morning.”

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