Name: Cacia Gladwen
Age: 63 (Half-Elf) [DM Note: It’s like Dog years but way more L’Oreal]
Eye colour: Green (flecks of golden hazel in left iris)
Skin colour: Fair
Hair colour: Blonde
Alignment: Lawful Good
Additional Notes: Her elven blood gives her an almost angelic appearance; her blonde hair is smooth as silk, and her skin remains soft and supple despite the harsh conditions of a battlefield, and her eyes almost glitter in the sunlight. A long scar extending from below her right eye to below her right ear breaks this illusion of perfection. Cacia’s hair remains cropped tactically short to accommodate the helmet she wears into battle. Never has she let it grow past her ears, which are notably pointed like an elf but not quite as long. Her expression is often serious to reflect her personality.
Cacia is nothing if not succinct in her interactions with others, yet she still maintains an acceptable level of sincerity and politeness. She prefers to tackle any problem head-on and rely on her quick thinking, a skill that makes her a deadly opponent on the battlefield. However, she is known to be exceptionally good at planning ahead strategically and earning her place as a high-ranking general. While she can be a ruthless warrior, she also possesses a heart of gold and the compassion to match. Her view of herself is dismal at best, even after redeeming herself to others as a bringer of peace she never forgets the things she had done. Her loyalty to anyone is unwavering.
Bonds, Allies, and Organizations:
She would shrug if you asked her.
Peace must prevail, even if battles must be fought to bring it.
Her loyalty can sometimes get the better of her judgement. She is generally not willing to harm anyone as long as another option exists. Reckless heroism can, at times, create trouble for Cacia.
Weapon of Choice: Athilrad and Calinos
An anointed sword of immense power and piercing ability, possessing no physical blade. It was made from the same strange ferromagnetic metal of unknown origin and enduring contruction as the rest of Cacia’s Adaran armor, but had one sloping edge, shaped like a sharp diamond, and bore a foreign set of symbols inlaid between the ornate engraving Athilrad: Bringer of the Ending Light. When activated by Cacia’s will and Adara’s promise, a single thin blade blade of pure light springs from the end of the hilt and ripples like lightning with a sound like a bonfire in the wind.
1d12 slashing damage (if slash strike) and 1d8 + 1d6 piercing damage (if piercing strike). All enemies vulnerable to radiant damage take an additionsl 1d6 radiant damage. Roll with advantage against all enemies of Adara (corrupt, dark, undead, and possessed).
7 Platinum. 5 Pounds, well-balanced. Light, versatile strike patterns.
Grapple-Kick (Passive and Active Ability) – Fire the unlit sword from the right hand of Adara’s Magan Armor to attach to a target and climb quickly using the Magan engine on the right forearm. Can be used to climb structures up to 70 feet, or grapple an enemy into a kick-strike from up to 30 feet away for a maximum damage of 1d4 force damage (25% chance of knocking the enemy out if the full 4 dmg is acheived) and 2d6 bludgeoning damage. No limit on uses per day. Subject to DM’s approval for usage as a grappling hook if the surface is too hard to penetrate. Rolls required to use the grapple passively, at your own risk. Should the combat target have more than twice the body mass as Cacia with her armor on, roll with disadvantage. Should the combat target make its saving throw regardless of other status, the effect will depend on the roll, DM discretion.
Adara’s Mist – The sword emits a blinding extension of Adara’s will, stunning all enemies within 30 feet for 1 turn. Dependent on the enemies making a saving throw to avoid. If the enemies are undead, dark, corrupt, or possessed, roll with advantage and give an additional 1d4 radiant damage—-if the full 4 damage is acheived, roll 1d2 to determine if all enemies of this type below half health die immediately (must be a 2) after the radiant mist is released. Can only be used once a day.
A special shield connected to Cacia’s Adaran armor via a magan engine on the left forearm (Cacia’s artificial side). It is made from a series of interlocking plates bound together almost magnetically by the magan engine. It is able to change shape into various shield types (kite, escutcheon, buckler, tower) but the argument could be made that it could be formed into any shape within the size constraints of the plates. It glows with a series of symbols as of yet unknown to Cacia, and some are as of yet unlit.
4 Platinum. Armor Class +3 (When in use and not collapsed). 27 pounds (feels like 12).
Adara’s Tower – After forming the shield’s plates into a tower shield format, detach the shield from Cacia’s armor, and shove it into the ground for temporary cover for anyone within a rear cone of 10 feet behind it (roughly 3 people). An additional magan field stretches from it for additional space. Projectiles can fire through the aft of the field, but not towards those behind it. Can only be used like this for 2 turns before it returns to Cacia’s arm. Can only be used once a day.
In the land of Thallon, where a war of five kingdoms has waged since the realm separated from Therratallen, Cacia was born in the kingdom of Vetakal and raised from childhood to be a soldier like her parents before her, and their parents before them. Not many memories of her parents exist as they were absent for most of her life and eventually dying on the battlefield together. War has been her life from the time she was old enough to walk, and she was good at it. Hundreds had fallen victim to her blade and more had fallen victim to her strategic mind. Cacia had become a decorated soldier in the service of Bakal and given the rank of Speaker for the Altarblade.
One would expect her to have become accustomed to the horrors that came with war, but it started to weigh on Gladwen bit by bit. There came a point where she decided to defect and fight for Haramid, and Bakal was understanding, releasing her from the eternal bloodlust that was wrought upon his disciples. The vain hope persisted with her that perhaps the others were more reasonable in their pacts, but no matter which of the five nations she could have represented, it always ended in the same fashion: she would be ordered to do something terrible, and whether she knew it was terrible or not, she did her duty.
Havenad was enacting a war of subterfuge and trickery against his brother, Darogul of Altarskoll. She’d already defied his word twice before, yet was still able to complete her mission that still accomplished his goal. However, he’d sent her deep behind the lines of the black Titans—-large hulking sentinels made entirely out of stone and darkness—-to set a camp of soldiers alight with casks of ashen oil before they could make it across the main line. She and a small detachment of soldiers began lining the edges of the sleeping camp with the casks and ensuring they were in the spots which would cause the most damage. However, Cacia noticed that being quite far back behind enemy lines, she’d never noticed carts and wagons with covered roofs scattered amongst the normal barrack tents. She ignored her instincts. Her duty was to her God. She kept laying the casks until the very last one, but saw something very strange just after giving the order to her lieutenant to go and light the fuses in the front line of the camp so she could continue to drive into the back: a tiny line of clothes hanging from a covered cart. A child’s clothes.
Sure enough, a Drow not more than 3 quietly clambered out of the cart and rubbed his eyes. He didn’t see her.
Cacia’s stomach dropped into Hell. She couldn’t move.
She looked to her right and only saw a faint shimmer of her lieutenant as he snuck away, into the distance.
The frontal army of Drow had been aboveground for so long, fighting Havenad back out of the Darkened Plains, they’d taken their families with them to the rear lines. Likely for support staff.
Havenad knew. And he didn’t care. None of them cared.
The Drow child looked across the firelight and sat down next to it, warming his hands, which were no bigger than a plum per hand.
She couldn’t scream or shout. She’d be killed, alerting the whole forward army to her presence.
Just as that last thought completed in her mind, an explosion went off in the distance. Fire so hot it was nearly white lit up the smoky sky like phosphor. Screams erupted and earthshattering rumbles came from beneath her feet.
She dashed for the child as his sister, perhaps 4 years his elder, stepped from the cart to see the commotion. Drow began to erupt from their tents. She grabbed both children, tears in her eyes, and put them under each arm.
A Drow officer darted over to her, seeing her Haramidian helmet shining faintly in the firelight, and two more surrounded her, shouting in a language she did not understand. She froze, holding the shocked, but quiet children. Explosions continued to ring out, closer.
The officer, a seasoned male, took his spear and gently poked the helmet from her head, sending it clattering to the ground. Her pale face and short blonde hair glowed in the dim light.
He started to take a more defensive stance, but saw the tears down her cheeks, from red eyes and an expression of hollow guilt. He looked at the children in her arms, and back to her face.
She shook her head. “I’m sorry,” she said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t know. Havenad—-”
He flinched when an explosion got nearer. She looked behind her and back to him. He realized what had happened. His eyes filled with horror.
“Run!” she screamed, sobbing, “Please! All of you, run!”
The officer lowered his spear and grabbed the front of her cuirass, starting to run and make a dash. He and the small crowd who gathered began to pick up children, families in tow, dashing for the Hall of Eternal Night.
The explosions got nearer, and nearer. The cluster was worst towards the center.
Something came roaring in from the sky, like a flaming star from the heavens, only to hit the ground in front of her and the Drow that had ahold of her armor.
She was too late.
A tall, slender noble, in blue and gold caped armor with a golden mail tasset and cape stood glowing furiously in front of them. His hair was long and brown, and a bright golden circlet kept it in place. In his hand was a massive warhammer—-a long scaled rod with two engraved golden anvils of equal size forged at the end.
The hammer swung swiftly, decisively. Everything went black, but she felt air sliding beneath her. An explosive thud rang in her ears.
Then pain. Blinding. Suffocating.
Her legs were dangling. Everything felt wet.
She opened her eyes a crack, only to see horror before her as the blood burning her eyes was blinked out of view.
Drow were running, frantic. People were sobbing, screaming. Mothers keened, holding limp children in their arms, not bothering to flee.
Blood stained her arms, and what remained of two Drow children were on the ground, nearly a fathom beneath her.
She could not move her left arm. A long silver blade was lodged between her shoulder and her bicep, the only thing pinning her to a mountainous outcropping.
“And here for a flickering moment, I thought a mortal could subvert the will of a God,” Havenad said, “Silly me.”
He kicked the blade in her shoulder, coldly. She hadn’t the strength left to cry out from the deep, squelching pain that rippled through between the bones of her arm and shoulder. It was beginning to separate under her weight and the blade.
“But not as silly as you, she-elf. No. You defied me thrice, going against the natural order of the world. A God cries, and the mortals bow. That’s the way of things,” he explained, kneeling down from atop the outcropping and picking up her limp head, “And look at the glory of my will. Darogul is a fool. And I have shamed him with your hands. To think you could have helmed my army. Poor Darogul. His children, and his children’s children—-they look up at you with dead eyes, and laugh at your misfortune. They received quick deaths. But you, ohhh, you…I will leave you here to bleed. My bad little investment.”
He let go of her head, letting it loll back to her right side.
Havenad gave a curt, mirthless laugh. “I no longer require your services,” he decreed.
He raised his golden greave and brought his heel down onto Cacia’s left shoulder, cleaving it from her body entirely.
And She flew. Sailed, down deep, passing by the bodies of the Drow, and the smoke that burned her feeble lungs. The hemorrhage.
She hit water, hard. Enough to knock a lesser person unconscious, but the lack of weight from the left arm softened the blow.
She had no strength left to breathe, or swim. Water filled her mouth, and nose.
Facedown, she began to drown. With what little strength she had, she found herself filled with horror and pain, wishing in her final moments that she could end the tumult above.
The sound of a horse plodding through water echoed in the cave, while light softly glowed above the surface. Cacia felt a gentle nip at the back of her neck, which startled her, filling her with one last bit of adrenaline as her lifeblood drained from her, finding the strength to stand up and shield herself with her remaining arm.
A massive black horse with eyes made of pure gold orbs and golden hooves stood before her. A great and imposing woman sat atop the horse, holding a long ornate spear and wearing armor made almost entirely of black plate, scaled, and gold engravings that glowed in the dim cave.
Cacia became acutely aware that she was no longer in the cave she fell into. The water she stood in was deep black, and torches lined the walls of the room.
“You bleed, warrioress,” said the mysterious woman in a voice like a budding storm, “For having such little life left, there is so much strength in you. I have not yet known a mortal who could stand and suffer so, child.”
The glowing crown made from onyx and light shone brightly above the woman’s beautiful face. Something about it was serious, but calming.
Cacia’s strength failed her as she calmed. The adrenaline was leaving, and so was her blood.
She stumbled to her knees and nearly fell back into the water—-but a soft, but firm and strong hand took her by her chin and raised her head upward. Her face was not far from Cacia’s as she looked her over.
“My lady of loss. Look at what they have done to you. The corrupted saviors of Thallon. They take from you and offer empty gifts,” she said, softly but with a tone of unsettling power, “I should weep for you if I were not so angry on your behalf. Alone, you cannot find victory. They have kept you in solitude these long years, without end.”
Cacia groaned, panting slightly. She was losing far too much blood. Shock was coming over her.
“Wh…who…” Cacia struggled to ask.
The woman had a look of pity, smiling faintly.
“I am Adara. Mother of the Noble Dead and Bringer of the War’s End,” she replied, leaning down to touch Cacia’s forehead with the centerpiece of her crown, “Hush. Let your mouth be quiet, and your heart be loud. This is the way me fight. This is the way we live.”
Cacia closed her mouth, struggling to breathe through her nose as the Goddess Adara shushed her comfortingly.
“I have waited for you so long, she-elf. Longer than the first breath of Thallon,” she said, her face so close her lips nearly touched Cacia as she spoke, “I have been waiting for the end. Will you not help me, ender?”
Cacia opened her eyes to find golden eyes staring back, soft and honeyed…but power lay only just beneath.
“Such boldness, even without words. I hear the fear in your soul. There is no trap awaiting you, my warrior. No feeble curse that only slowed you down. No. You have been on your way to my breast since the void first drew breath, and you first drew yours. Thallon weeps, high above us. Even the Gods, though they hide it. My lost and falling kin. This is not their fault, though the corruption within them stems from their flawed little souls—-this is not their fault. I have been waiting in the throes of time, and living within every good thing in this world. I have been there at every victory, and every sacrifice.”
Adara waved her hand over Cacia’s shoulder, bleeding profusely. Cacia grew whiter by the second.
“Even yours, sweet soldier,” she said, softening and laying a single kiss on Cacia’s shoulder, “Please, my she-elf. Make one more sacrifice of blood and pain and screams…and with me, you will see the End of Wars. Take my gift. Wield my power. Don my armor. Strike with my sword. Spread my love, and end this madness. For this is why you were made, strong one…this is why you are here.”
Cacia feebly opened her eyes, not realizing she’d closed them. Adara looked back, putting her hand over Cacia’s shoulder wound, and touching the skin around it.
“Please. One more scream, my love. And I will lead you to the end of wars,” Adara whispered, putting her forehead against Cacia’s.
Cacia braced herself, and took in what she felt could be her final breath…and nodded to Adara.
“I’m ready,” Cacia managed, in something less than a whisper.
Pure, visceral pain. As if someone had rooted their fingers inside of her wound, and began to drill into her bones. Her shoulder and the middle of her back were blazing with agony. It was so severe, she was in disbelief that she hadn’t died and been cast into the flames. She didn’t realize how loud she screamed, and how the blood vessels in her cheeks had burst, pink tears flowing down her cheeks. The sharp smell of fresh-forged metal and the sickly sweet scent of burning flesh were the only senses she knew. Everything was hot. Everything was white hot.
Then…water. The ringing in her ears was so loud, she could swear it was coursing through her skeleton. But the pain began to subside. The water around her shoulder boiled and heated through her, but cooled within a short moment or two.
Soft, powerful hands raised her from the depths, and helped her catch her breath while she voided her lungs of salt and water.
When she was able to open her eyes, she saw Adara standing before her, glowing with a faint smile and her hand outstretched.
Cacia felt safety, and despite her bodily exhaustion—-power. Unlike anything she’d felt before. None of the Gods of Thallon could compare. She reached out her right hand to take ahold of Adara’s but Adara shook her head.
“No, child. Your other hand,” she said, smiling a little wider.
Cacia looked down and saw, instead of an empty void where her arm had once been—-a steel-gray and gold arm of a strange metal, yet it responded to her mind and body. It was hers. Her own.
She took Adara’s hand, who raised her from the water. When she moved out of the way, behind Adara was a single ray of light coming from an unknown source above, shining upon a pedestal made of deep black onyx that slowly emerged from the cave lake. Adara leapt atop her horse and rode over to it, tossing her spear into the ground and beckoning Cacia forward.
Cacia walked over and saw that there were strange folds and segments of strong, sharp metal, arranged in a peculiar shape and apparently attached to one another beneath a covering of larger segments of the same metal. The symbol of a kite shield beneath a cross and a seven-pointed star emblazoned the gray-black metal on top and glowed as gold as Adara’s crown. In fact, all the engravings pulsed with glowing gold.
Cacia, on instinct, set her feet within two imprints on the segments of metal, and grabbed two holes that seemed to be the size of her hands, and stood up.
The segments of metal sequentially began to clink and clank into place, surrounding her feet, legs, arms, chest, hands, and finally her back. When the final pieces reached her lower back, she heard a significant clank and felt it in her spine, as if her back had cracked.
Armor, she thought. Magan technology not even a God of Thallon would be worthy of…yet it was hers.
More segments of metal gathered on her left arm, forming a massive shield of excellent weight.
Adara chuckled kindly from atop her horse, and handed Cacia a final item. It appeared to be the hilt of a sword, with no blade. It was made from the same strange metal as the rest of the armor, but had one sloping edge, shaped like a sharp diamond, and bore a foreign set of symbols inlaid between the ornate engraving.
“Athilrad,” Adara proclaimed, “Bringer of the Ending Light.”
Cacia took it from Adara’s loving hands, and held it out to her side, as if she would a blade. A single thin blade of pure light sprang from the end of the hilt of Athilrad, and rippled like lightning with a sound like a bonfire in the wind.
When Cacia turned left in disbelief, she found Adara standing next to her, very close.
“You will find me everywhere, my Victor, my End. Even inside you,” Adara said, softly, giving Cacia a soft kiss on her lips that filled her with foreign warmth, “You need but look ahead.”
When she opened her eyes, the cave was gone, and Adara’s words were like an echo in her mind. The armor remained, and she found herself on a lonely mountain within view of the Scrollspire. A purpose filled her head and heart. She knew where she should begin.
For the next long while, Cacia traveled Thallon, becoming a great and mysterious figure that ended battles quickly after they began, and disappeared as quickly as she’d come.
She would begin to learn of her budding power and that of her new gifts, and come to command them as if she would an army: with frightening, victorious, and righteous intent.