Played by: Shelly Sonsalla
Name: Azra Steelfang
Hair: dark blonde
Relationships: Dria Northwind– traveling companion
Ulven are warriors from the day they are born. They fight coming into this world, and they most definitely fight going out. That is, if the Great Wolf wills it. And my only wish is to join the Wolf—after taking out as many as I can of the Mordok who inhabit our lands.
I was born in the spring of 18 years past. My parents, Crewger and Rasaleane Steelfang, and my brother Sathenus, welcomed me into this world, vowing to make me the greatest female warrior in our small but very fighting-oriented village. I did not disappoint them. As soon as I could walk, I began to train, first by just going on long hikes with my brother in the mountainous terrain surrounding our home. Then, once my coordination improved, I began to fight. In the beginning, I was only allowed a small, wooden dagger that I could spar with. And although my father and brother were very patient with me, I did occasionally end up with minor injuries from our sparring sessions. These bruises, scrapes, and the occasional broken finger were treated by my mother, who was so skilled in medicinal herbs and procedures that most of the village turned to her for help with their ailments. Mother always got annoyed at me though, for no sooner would she get me bandaged up and I would be back at it, fighting with all my might against my older and far more skilled opponents.
Over the years, I graduated from my wooden sparring sword to a cheap steel sword. This sword wasn’t the best of quality, but being such, it helped me be able to overcome any barriers I may face in my battles. It wasn’t long before my father and brother had to use their full skill to keep me from defeating them in our mock battles. It was around this time that I earned the weapons I carry today—a silver shield with a golden dagger etched onto its surface and my mother’s sword.
The shield was made for me by my brother, who spent countless hours forging it in secrecy so that it would be ready to give to me on the day that I became the strongest female warrior in the village. That day happened to be only a week after my 15th birthday. It was a tradition in my village that any child must challenge the town’s strongest fighters as soon as he or she reaches 15 years. This was used to evaluate the child’s fighting prowess and to try and find who the strongest fighters are.
My first fight was against a boy I grew up with. He was but 5 years older than me. As I readied myself for battle with him, my hands shook with anticipation as they gripped my unbalanced sword and small, buckler style shield. I knew I had it in me to beat him, the only question was if I could focus or not. I took a few calming breaths to steady my nerves and stepped up to him. We saluted each other, grim faced, stood ready. He was dual wielding, so I held my shield at the ready, prepared to block an attack from any direction. He struck, rattling my shield with his left hand sword while striking with the right. I blocked the sword and used the momentum it gave me to swing for his arm. He twisted out of the way just in time so my slice fell short. At this point, adrenaline was pumping through both our bodies, sharpening our vision as well as our reflexes. I could see every minute change in his body’s position before he attacked. And he could read me just as well. It became a game of trying to fake the other out, trying to get them to lower their guard. And he won. I had been watching him closely, intent on every movement, when I was blinded. He had used the edge of his sword to reflect the sunlight into my eyes. My temporary confusion created an opening for him; he sliced with both swords. I was able to block the first with my shield, but the second sliced open the skin on my leg. I hissed with pain. He had gotten first blood. That meant that I had to land two hits on him before he touched me again. Otherwise, it was all over. I lunged forward with an overhead strike, changing my direction of attack at the last moment with a flick of my wrist. The feint worked and he blocked with both weapons, leaving himself open for my blade to flick in and slice the front of his shirt. A thin trail of blood made his way down his chest as he glared at me between long black bangs. The pressure was on now—whoever landed the next hit would be victorious. My next attack was parried by one of his swords, and while he had my sword trapped out of the way, he struck. My only option to escape the attack was to react in a way he would never expect. So instead of blocking and dodging back, I pushed his sword away with my shield before dropping my still entrapped sword and quickly reaching into my sword belt for the small dagger I always kept hidden there. One quick swish of my wrist opened a shallow cut on his cheek. We stood there for a few seconds, unable to believe the battle was really over, before stepping away and saluting each other. Only then did I hear my family screaming their praise for me. Only then did I realize that I had actually won.
The next few hours were a frenzy of activity, of fighting, blocking, dodging, and lunging. I couldn’t even begin to tell how long I was fighting–all I knew is that Ihad been fighting for a long time….and it was beginning to take a toll on me. I felt my attacks becoming sloppier, my blocks coming up slower and slower, until it got to the point that they barely managed to block the oncoming sword.
Finally, I turned to meet my enemy and found none other than my brother, his 6 foot, heavily armored frame seeming to take up all of the space. I took a deep breath before letting it out in a snarl—a snarl he eagerly returned. Then, just like that, it was on, and the adrenaline coursing through my veins gave me a new-found energy.. Unafraid, Sath charged toward me, slashing viciously. I dodged nimbly back, avoiding every one of his slices. But he gave me no time to counter, lunging forward to bash me in the face with his shield. My head snapped back, my ears ringing in my head. Before I could recover, his blade slashed out once more and sliced open my upper armor. I hissed with pain before launching a fury of attacks, using my light weight and slender build to my advantage. And finally, finally, I landed a hit on his leg, opening a cut barely big enough to bleed. But it did, so we were tied. Before that thought could even fully enter my head, he feinted high before smashing me with his shield and full weight, knocking me back and off balance for a millisecond. It’s the only time he needed to slice open my calf. I hissed, knowing that that cut will scar, adding to the dozens of small scars I already owned. I bowed before he pulled me into a hug and half-carried me over to where our parents were waiting.
As I neared them, I was surprised when Sath picked up a small shield—silver, with a golden dagger inlaid in it—as his shield already works so well. My confusion was soon answered when he held it out to me. “good fighting, sister.” He told me before turning to Rasaleane, who I saw was holding her sword before her. I took it and looked at her questioningly. She nodded and smiled, so I stepped back and swung it a few times. The balance was amazing. I quickly dropped my old sword and shield, sheathed my sword, and slung my new shield on my back.
After that, life went mostly back to normal, except that Sathenus left a few weeks later without a word and that now I was allowed on the front lines if there were any mordok attacks or if we wanted to go scouting for mordok. Once I even led a scouting party that found a mordok camp. We decimated them and brought their heads back to camp for all to see.
And so continued daily life until 3 weeks ago, when word reached our village of the missing caravan and Daven’s Reach. Seizing this opportunity to explore Mardrun, I went straight to my father and requested his permission as clan leader to leave. He granted it without a second thought and I headed off the very next day, without my mother and father giving me blessings of fortune and their word that they would let my brother know where I went.
My journey was mostly uneventful, besides acquiring a companion at one of the taverns I stopped in on my way. I had walked into the tavern in the dead of night, and much to my surprise, there was a Mordok hunting party just leaving. Realizing that I would have plenty of opportunities to kill Mordok when I wasn’t hungry and tired from travel, I let them go on their own. Instead I stepped up to the bar and ordered some mead, soup, and bread with venison. I glanced around the tavern and chose the table in the farthest, darkest corner. I sat with my back against the wall, watching the crowd warily. The majority of the tavern’s patrons were men—extremely intoxicated men. But sitting at another table, quietly drinking her mead was an ulven who appeared to be not much older than i. The next time she glanced up, I nodded to her, then waved her over. She looked hesitant for a moment before coming to sit across from me.
“my name is Azra Steelfang,” I told her.
“Dria Northwind of the Beothunk Clan,” she replied, before telling me her story. Her village had been destroyed by the Mordok, so she was searching for a new hope. She believed that Daven’s Reach was the place where she could find that hope, so I invited her to travel there with me. She accepted, and so after a partial night of sleep, we left early the next morning to continue our journey.
And now I’m about to arrive at Daven’s reach. The party lead by Kragen Bloodmoon had already left for the outpost, but there were rumors of a Mordok camp nearby. So Dria and I decided to meet up with the party of adventurers now residing at Daven’s Reach. Who knows what monsters we’ll encounter after we arrive….