The 9th World
Yearthiel was born one of twin girls—the first to fill her lungs and squall—to a halfling couple well past their expected child bearing years. Having given up on the hope of offspring long before the arrival of first one and then a second child. Yearthiel and her sister’s parents were loving but neglectful—too old to chase their rambunctious girls and keep them in order; too weary from the toils of their long lives to care much at all. While their father shambled over the hills surround Fen, guiding a small and undernourished flock from one inadequate grazing pasture to another, their mother worked at her loom creating unimpressive shawls, blankets, and rugs that consistently failed to bring the family much income.
Thus, ignored but their mother and father and surrounded by the drab realities of a pauper’s existence, the two girls sought entertainment outside the thin walls of their mud brick home.
Thin and tall for a halfling, she is gangly and wiry with thick red hair that she lets fall, gnarled and untamed, to her knees. Usually never without at least two day’s worth of dirt and grime caked on to her skin, her natural olive skin tone is hard to make out. Her eyes, however, are a rich green and shine intelligently from behind long lashes.
With sallow cheeks, a strong nose, and a stubborn chin, Yearthiel is not what anyone would call a beauty. She recalls with only mild pain the first time that reality imprinted upon her—the first time she became aware of the snickering of her peers, and the pitying look of her elders. But as those laughs and turned down eyes pushed the young girl away from the socialization offered by town, they pushed her out into the woods and forest that would become her home more so than the dirt floor she was born upon ever was.
At home most under an open sky, or perhaps the gentle swaying of a forest canopy, Yearthiel developed independently into a fine woodsman. Able to track a hare across a pebbled brook; able to traverse a wood at midnight and make no sound nor leave no footprint; able to comfortably live off the land—she grew more adventurous in her wanderings and more confident in her independence.
Thus, it was without even so much as a farewell that she wandered far enough one day that returning seemed unnecessary. Never close with her sister, nor any other speaking creature, it did not occur to Yearthiel that she would be missed.
Years passed. Yearthiel wandered farther and farther, never comfortable staying even one night on the same patch of ground. By that time she believed herself to be invisible to anyone but the forest itself; able to vanish into the underbrush or canopy. She was therefore rather alarmed one day when she was rudely poked away by a gnarled staff being held by a wizened dwarf. The old one, who called himself Grond, told her he was a druid—and she took his slow turn away as an invitation to follow.
That encounter, which she initially considered chance but in hindsight seems anything but, embarked her on a new path towards learning the magic and wisdom of the druids. She studied under the dwarf, and others who crossed their path, for enough seasons that a count was lost. Moons passed over head night after night and Yearthiel grew in her knowledge and power—even as her memory of her childhood and birthplace faded like a winter’s snow come spring.
That is, until her practice of mediation and self-centering brought her to a place so calm and quiet that she felt the tug from a string she had never known existed: Her sister was calling her home.
As was her way, she left in the night without farewells and over long days and nights, made her way back to Fen. There she found her parents long deceased and the town ruined by Blight. And her sister, just as much changed as she herself was, and therefore just as much a stranger. But that thread between them, now awakened, could not be ignored. Yearthiel felt it, always.
Adrift and without purpose, Yearthiel walks along with the caravan from Fen but not out of need for companionship nor desire for society. Rather, she walks out a need she is not yet able to express; a need to follow the sister she once left.