Character Name: Emilia Sötbeck
Player: Sadie Raab
Traits: Blue eyes, naturally brown hair, though it changes sometimes when she has a mind to. Shaggy and short at the present, but she is growing it out
Born: July 14, 243
Birthplace: Farfield Village, Vandregon
Family: Biologically, none she is aware of. Considers Uthrid Cameburland to be an older brother
Known Skills: First Aid, Blacksmithing and Field Repairs
My early life, or what I can remember of it, was influenced heavily by the Vandregonian military. My father worked as a smith for them, keeping their swords sharp and their hammers heavy. My mother was a triage nurse, gentle as they come, always there to save the lives she could and to comfort the ones she could not. As a young girl, I would listen with astonishment to the men and women who would come through my father’s forge, telling their tales of honor and glory on the battlefield. My father insisted that if I wanted to be in the smithy and distracting his customers, I could at least learn how to swing a hammer. I started watching him work, though I was still too young to be much good at anything. Still, the kindling had been lit.
I must have been just seven years old when I knew something was wrong: both of my parents were trying not to act weird, as though the happiness on their faces was just a mask. Soon I found out why. News had reached them that the unit they both worked closely with was going to be dispatched soon, near to the front lines, and my parents alongside them. I was too young to come with, and without relatives nearby to look after me, my parents sought an alternative. About a week before they departed, my father repaired the shield of a man named Sir Theobald Jarnson. He was as tall as a tree, and just as broad. His shoulders were heavy with age, but his pride kept them up. A graying beard hinted at his true age, though the fire in his eyes and spring in his step would have you convinced he was a young man. His stories enthralled me from the first time I met him, his voice booming and enthusiastic. He and my dad talked for a while, looking back at me frequently. They both looked sad. They were talking about me. Finally, Sir Theobald stood up and came over to me. Kneeling to meet my gaze, he asked me if I wanted to come with him. Not as a squire, of course; he already had one of those. I was to take what my parents had showed me of field repairs, both of equipment and of flesh, and use them to keep him and his squire, Uthrid, as healthy as I could. I couldn’t believe my ears: I was going to get to travel with a knight! Stories from soldiers are great and all, but the knights were a cut above: chivalrous and noble, with glimmering armor and swords as sharp as they come. They were more than warriors; they were heroes.
We set off soon after that day, and I promised my parents that I would learn everything that I could, and that I would make them proud. I practiced fixing Sir Theobald’s armor when he would let me, but it was mostly repairing Uthrid’s chain. I would also pick up any tricks I could from local healers about how to clean and dress wounds, though I could never quite grasp the more intricate, delicate work. I could keep a man from dying from his wounds, but actually fixing them was beyond my skill. Then there was the combat. Gods, how I loved watching those two spar. Uthrid was getting older and stronger, probably fourteen years by now, compared to my nine. He was quick and tenacious, but it was clear that Sir Theobald’s patience and experience were more than a match for the young man. Still, they could spar for what seemed like hours, and I could watch them for just as long.
The next year, we heard about the Fall of Aldoria, and Uthrid grew nervous. His parents lived close to the Aldorian border, and he feared for their safety. After a few days of pestering Sir Theobald (and a disgraceful number of puppy eyes from me), our mentor agreed to go check on his squire’s family. When we got to the village, we were moments too late. Undead shambled throughout the square. Uthrid drew his sword and rushed in, connecting quickly with the remaining town guards and fighting by their side. Afraid of losing his squire, Sir Theobald followed shortly behind him, cursing at him for his recklessness the whole way. I kept pace with Sir Theobald, believing that by his side was the safest place to be. He had given me a practice mace for the rare instances when I would be allowed to spar with Uthrid, though it was little more than a club. Still, it was my weapon, and I told myself I would use if for great deeds. When we got closer to the melee swirling around the village, I felt a cold hand on my arm pulling me away from Sir Theobald. I screamed. He turned. Lowering his shoulder, the man who had become like a surrogate father to me barreled into the husk that had grabbed me, wrenching my arm free from its grasp and falling to the ground beside it. The fight turned deadly in a hurry, and Sir Theobald managed to drag a furious Uthrid away from his hometown. We had survived, but only barely.
Sir Theobald urged us towards the coast, paying a small fortune to secure our places on a ship away from Faedrun. He looked…unwell, though I was scared to say something and anger him. I was already ashamed that I was unable to defend myself and that he had to come to my rescue. Eventually, I worked up the courage to ask him if he was injured at all, and that I could try to patch him back up if he was. Reluctantly, he removed his gambeson to expose his tunic, stained with blood along his left arm. I gently rolled up his sleeve and gasped at the wound: a large chunk of flesh had been bitten out of his forearm, and blood and pus coagulated in a putrid slime oozing from within. He must have sustained it during his fight with the zombie that tried to take me. This was my fault: I insisted on coming with him but couldn’t defend myself, and now he had come down with a serious infection and fever. I tried to recall everything my mother had taught me about treating illnesses, but nothing worked. Some days he was worse than others, but he and I both realized soon that if he was lucky, he would only lose his arm.
He was not lucky.
Uthrid ended up saving me from myself. He was the one to take charge after Sir Theobald passed, trying to convince me that crying about what had happened wouldn’t bring Sir Theobald back, nor would it keep it from happening to anyone else. We were still young and now we were alone in the new world, but at least we had each other. I would work odd jobs trying to make ends meet, while Uthrid looked for work more suited to his skills. He worked as a bodyguard mostly, convincing clients of his worth despite his age. I was always there to clean up his mistakes, whether they were dents in his armor or wounds on his body. We continued to grow up together, earning our keep during the civil war and taking a break in the months that followed. During this break, Uthrid began to encourage me to spar with him, and I reluctantly obliged. I focused mostly on my shield work, and at the risk of sounding vain, I got pretty good. I’m not keen on the idea of hurting people, so using a weapon is still somewhat foreign to me, but I’ve learned the hard way that if I want to save those that I love, I can’t just wait around for them to come back.
Uthrid brought me word of a new initiative recently called the “Shield of Mardrun”. It sounds ambitious, so it’s right up his alley. I’ll be coming along, too; someone has to make sure he comes home.