Never let your head hang down.
Description: With a distant gaze softened by a well-arranged, amiable smile, Bethany is a strikingly pretty girl. A well-proportioned and willowy figure, carried with a practiced grace. A flawless complexion. She's the kind of young woman who is the product of a well-bred, well-lived life in the merchant class. Befitting that class, her clothing is of fine quality, but reserved -- she dresses older than she is -- and her tawny blonde hair is of indeterminate length, worn in a complicated coiled updo secured by a few fancy pins. Even though her demeanor is welcoming, there's always a sense that she holds something in reserve; her steel blue eyes are those of a woman whose soul is not easily touched.
Personality:     Bethany has a mind like a steel trap, capable of understanding a situation before it fully unfolds. Being curious is her first nature, so this is partly a defense mechanism she's developed to avoid getting in trouble. Her skills in planning and accounting are noteworthy, which makes her a good fit for her career path, and trusted by her merchant father when it comes to managing her finances.
While on the surface she is affable, Bethany tends to establish emotional boundaries between herself and her friends and acquaintances. She fears being hurt and feels safe only when she has control of the relationship.
Background: Bethany is the youngest child and only daughter of Adlai Mercier, a Grayson wine merchant of increasing wealth and repute. While most in the Borough scrape by, Bethany and her siblings enjoyed a childhood within the comfort of a large mansion in the Upper Borough.
A great part of her early education came from her mother, who consulted Archscholar Aldwin Aurum for advice and hired a skilled Scholar of Vellichor to regularly tutor her children. In these studies she excelled: by the age of nine, Bethany could read and write three languages. Though he was often away from home, Master Adlai doted on his daughter and frequently boasted about her intellect to his social betters. Through her close relationship with her knightly brother, Bethany has even acquired knowledge of the basics of swordplay, though she lacks the physical strength needed to wield blades larger than a rapier.
As a teenager, Bethany attended a noble wedding and impressed Lady Alarys Grayson with a performance on the piano. Upon being informed of Bethany's many talents and her father's desire to see her in high places in society, Alarys secured a position for Bethany within the royal household, if only as a servant. She was initially lukewarm towards the idea - though serving the Graysons was an honor, it hardly seemed to make use of her talents - until she met the young king in the Palace, and his Majesty Alaric Grayson IV seemed so shockingly indifferent to matters of economic policy that he actually asked the brand new young servant's opinion out of the blue on a matter of finance for the entire court. She quickly learned that most important matters were handled by his ministers and particularly the Voice of House Grayson, Lady Dawn, and that provided all the motivation she needed to know that even as a minor servant, her voice and talent could be meaningful at court.