Princess Marian Redrain
I'm still here.
Description: Marian is a striking, if hard-looking woman that has seen much in her life. Lean and long of leg, 'sinewy' is a better descriptor of her build than 'lithe'. Marian is strong, and tough, and resilient enough to take anything thrown at her. Her hair borders on sinister, with long, thick locks shaded so deeply red as to look burgundy. A thin scar bisects one eyebrow, continuing down over a sharp, high cheekbone. It calls attention to those flashing eyes, venom green and almond-shaped. When she smiles, it's most often a crooked affair, curling up just at one corner of her wide mouth. Her chin is strong, her hands and arms (and the rest of her, besides) crisscrossed with the faint scars that often decorate a knife-fighter. On clothes that show her midriff, she has two tribal tattoos, dragon and bear to commemorate her two marriages. A tiny little bear cub sleeps at the foot of the roaring bear tattoo.
Personality: Marian Redrain, formerly Marian of the Green March and Valardin, is not a complainer. She endured much during her life as a prodigal from an Abandoned tribe, raids and battles with other tribes, Valardin knights, demonic hordes and once she even managed to tumble down a steep embankment while running drunk. She yanked out the branch that had stabbed into her thigh, dragged herself back up to the path (leaving a bloody trail behind for the joy of forest predators), and said fiercely to whomever or whatever might be listening, "I'm still here." A dozen times, she should have died. A dozen times, she refused. Despite her eventful life, and her personal sorrows, she maintains a surprisingly gentle manner. She doesn't pick fights, but she's more than willing to end them - though any youthful delight she felt in the display of her superior fighting skills has faded to weariness, and regret in the years after Valen's death. Her personal code of honor was perhaps a touch more wild and ferocious than what House Valardin at times was comfortable with, but her new House, Redrain, embraces this fierce warrior. Since the marriage to her new husband, Fergus, there is light back in her eyes and a smile on her face. Many remark she is the Marian of old, before the Tragedy of Sanctum struck.
Background: Marian was a member of the Green March Abandoned, a chieftan's daughter with several raids and duels under her belt (literally! She liked to hang trophies from her belt) when peace was brokered between their tribe and the Valardin of Sanctum. Of course, that's not the whole story. In truth, Valen, son of Radley and Prince of Valardin, was part of a hunting expedition that was captured by the Green March. Marian's father was determined to murder off the party and ransom the young prince back to his family. Fate had other plans. Marian found she admired the young man's bravery in the face of his captivity. He argued passionately for the lives of his men, and stated he could make sure the Green March, so close to Sanctum lands, could coexist in peace if he were released and allowed to make the case to the High Lord. Marian's father scoffed at this, but in secret, with his advisers and his daughter, he couldn't help but consider it. Other tribes of Abandoned had been growing withdrawn and strangely quarrelsome, and an offer of peace and inclusion couldn't be dismissed outright.
Some of the knights with Prince Valen were less than thrilled with his proposed truce, and when the Chieftan brought them before him, a particularly gruff man insisted on fighting the tribe's champion for the freedom of his comrades. Amused, the chief looked towards his daughter. . .who nodded her agreement and drew her two swords, the Twin Fangs. The battle looked close, at first. The Valardin knight was much taller and stronger than Marian, and had been given his shield, but she fought like a dervish, dancing around him and flicking her short swords out to sting at any exposed flesh. It was clear that he was tiring faster than she, and the outcome seemed all but decided in Marian's favor, when the man she was fighting broke away and lunged for her father. In the resulting scuffle, Marian took a wound in the side, and was shocked to look up and find Prince Valen standing over her, protecting her from further harm as the tribe subdued the wayward Knight. When all was said and done, the knight was dead from a half dozen wounds, Marian was bleeding, and Valen had no objections to the fate of the attacker. He helped Marian to her feet, tenderly, and soothed her embarrassment by voicing aloud his own shock at the dishonorable conduct of his knight. His apology was so genuine, the Chieftan didn't even object when Marian came to him later and begged for the chance to see if the Prince really /could/ negotiate peace for their tribe. He knew, even if she didn't, that her heart had already been lost to the fair young heir.
So it was that the Green March tribe became the Greenmarch family, vassals to House Valardin. For her part, Marian married Prince Valen in that forest, and though Radley was adamantly opposed at first, his son eventually won him over, too. They were happy together for several years before the fateful massacre at Sanctum. Having lost her husband, the former Sword of Valardin, she was given the title herself. She came to Arx because her still-keen instincts told her a storm was coming, so she must be near to her High Lord. She did not fail her family, when the hordes of Brand came to Arx and tried to take the city. She protected Prince Edain's back and saw to his safety the entire time she held the mantle of Sword of Sanctum.
Duty can be a cold bed fellow. Without even knowing it, she was hollow as she moved about House Valardin, serving her High Lord. A duel with the arrogant Sword of the North woke her up when their fight sparked more than victory when she defeated him in battle. She might have won the fight but lost the battle of her heart when she got to know the reluctant champion, Prince Fergus Redrain. Like a spark that quickly fanned into fire, their attraction drew these two forces of nature together. Prince Edain and Prince Darren saw no reason to hold these two apart. So after some swift negotiations, their marriage contract was set. After a dazzling battle with Sir Roland that almost killed her, she handed over the mantle of Sword of Sanctum so she could be free to marry her second love. Now she starts this new life in House Redrain, wife to Prince Fergus. Where the story goes next? Only the Gods and Spirits know.