Adventuring through twisted time.
The body in front of her falls just like the others sharing the field with them in that moment. Well, she amends as thunder cracks viciously across the sky, not quite like the others. Celica…Continue
― What would you do if your life's on the line?
Who are you to change this world?
What is one to do when a mistake ends even worse than you anticipated? A norse god and a greek goddess having a secret tryst was uncommon but even more than that was the child that resulted. Wanting to keep the baby safe from the war, her mother left her in what she hoped would be a safe place, unaware that neither she or her lover would escape Zeus’s wrath, leaving their poor child orphaned.
An abandoned baby isn’t exactly a rarity. In this child’s case however, it struck her finder oddly, hearing such a little thing wailing in the midst of the storm. The abandoned child was taken in by Andreas and his family, believing her to be a blessing from the gods and as such they named her Celica. He had no idea just how correct that would turn out to be.
She was an incredibly observant child, even from the time she could sit up, and she’d be constantly found staring at her new family. It disconcerted Nefeli, her mother, but her new brother Leonidas, only a few years older than her, seemed to enjoy having a little sibling around. That observance would lead to her realizing the truth of the situation she was taken into sooner than most children.
Her new family was the head of a temple, dedicated to a dragon god, with all the power and prestige that entailed. At least that’s how it appeared from the outside. Though her father never exposed her to it she gathered the small hints through the years, the coming and going through the night, the people that disappeared from the villages nearby every so often, the places she wasn’t allowed to venture, eventually culminating in seeing her father come back late one night covered in blood not his own. Though something pulled at her conscience that the dealings here were wrong, so long as she wasn’t pulled into it herself she found she could ignore it as her mother and brother did. It helped that they were always there to help guide her on a slightly different path, despite her father’s best efforts.
It’s thanks to him that she received her training. Her father began her combat training from a young age, noticing quickly how well she performed at it and not wanting this gift to go to waste. Celica took to the activity with a natural ease, quickly overtaking her older brother in prowess with a blade and martial skills and eventually surpassing the other warriors that stayed in the compound as well. Her life wasn’t all rainbows though. Though Nefeli was always sickly, her death hit young Celica hard. It was truly only thanks to the support of her brother that she got through it with any semblance of composure. Andreas put on airs of grieving but both children knew that he’d been waiting for her to die for years now and sure enough it was less than a year before he had a new bride. Younger, healthier, nastier. Almost the exact opposite of the woman Celica still considered a mother and the young girl refused to accept the new woman in her life. This wasn’t much of a problem for her, but for Leon it presented a real challenge. He knows better than his sister how much his father views him as a failure.
An assassin sneaking into their home one night managed to alert Celica to their presence. It resulted in a fight that destroyed a good deal of the furnishings in the home, ending only when Celica managed to get her hands on the intruder. With the figure’s blade coming for her stomach she reacted on instinct, heat rushing through her body and exploding through the man’s, lightning frying him from the inside. She hears her father come running in as the body hits the floor, still sparking, and a few questions later she’s heading back to her room to silently shake over what had just happened.
Things changed for Celica again after that. The realization that she possessed powers only served to further convince Andreas that she was a sign that he was doing right in the world and he focused even more on unlocking and training them. Only a teenager, and quite used to the violence that her father had instilled in her life, Celica found it incredibly hard to control her powers often finding that she’d fumble in her movements. The worst was the lightning. It felt like it was always bubbling close to the surface, wild, incapable of being tamed. The worse her fear, the more uncontrollable her lightning, until she finally refused to unleash it.
It was only made worse by how miserable she was there, every day feeling as though she had to be on constant guard. Not for her own safety, but for the safety of her brother. Neither of them were foolish and despite their age, Celica realized that the assassin came from within the dragon god’s cult and that she had to get her brother to safety. She wouldn’t always be able to protect him. She planned in secret while keeping up appearances, waiting for the chance to at least save Leon, at least save her brother. When that night came and she bid him goodbye she did so with a smile, despite knowing that she’d probably never see him again, that in order to keep him safe she had to stay. The cult valued her presence after all, if she’d gone with him they would have never stopped hunting him.
Things were lonely for her after that. She played her part, made her appearances, but she made it a point to never grow close to anyone there. Preferred sticking to the shadows where she could observe but not be noticed. Perhaps she got too good at it or perhaps they grew comfortable enough with her obedience that they grew sloppy. Either way, on the stormy night when they were celebrating the day she was found, Celica overheard the conversation between her father and one of his priests. How they’d found Leon and how Andreas intended to finish the sacrifice of his old family as it was his duty.
Celica saw red. She’d been disillusioned with this place and it’s horrors for too long and knowing that it intended to rip the only person she had from her yet again, it was her breaking point. The priest didn’t see her coming before her sword was through his neck and when those eyes turned to her father he saw in them the storm that raged outside and no mercy to be had. When she attacked him he fought back, age and experience on the now 18 year old allowing him to hold his own against her. That night he saw the god’s favor stripped from him as the blessing he took from others cut him down, lightning exploding forth from her body for the first time in months, bleeding from her own wounds, but standing over him victorious. She took only enough time to roughly bandage the deepest wounds, leaving her cut lips alone, before she wandered out into the stormy night.
She could feel the storm around her giving her strength, every crack of lightning seeming to feed the rage she felt. This place would burn before she was done. Retribution for all the innocent lives it had stolen over the years, recompense for those she failed to save in a vain attempt to protect herself.
The sun was beginning to rise, the squall reduced to a drizzle, before she left the temple behind. She’d ensured she was the only survivor and, true to her promise, had set the entire place alight. The smoldering remains fizzled in the morning rain as she set off, finally leaving this horrid place behind her.
But what is one who has only known fighting and death all their life to do once they’re out among regular people? Finding work for herself was difficult, the people often jeering at even the thought of a female warrior but slowly, with a lot of work and managing to find the right contacts, her reputation as a mercenary for hire began to grow. It was enough at least to put food on the table and maintain her weapons and, though she wasn’t happy, she was content. This at least was better than the life she’d lived before.
It was thanks to this growing reputation that she was approached one day by a small company of traveling mercenaries. Their leader, a man named Dagdar, had heard of the female sell-sword and was interested in what she was capable of. It didn’t take long before Celica had a new place in the world, keeping the company of the 8 other mercenaries. She was awkward at first, not certain how to interact with them, but over the months she settled into a dynamic. Most of them, though young and rambunctious, were also friendly and enjoyed competition. Lyra was different. The group’s medicine woman, always there to patch up wounds after a rough spar or a hard won fight, took to Celica’s company faster than the others. To Celica, Lyra was a calming presence and, eventually, a wonderful friend.
For years she moved with them, fighting at their sides. Dagdar became much like a father to her and she finally felt that she had a family, a true family, to support her. They never knew the truth of her powers though, no matter the time she spent with them. Her experience with them had bittered the taste in her mouth when she used them, their wild and uncontrollable nature causing her to prefer to use more traditional forms of combat over all else. Any time she did use those abilities it was always in secret, always where the others couldn’t see. She wasn’t about to be used for them again but more than that she feared seeing the scorn or fear in their eyes if they knew the truth.
Their home in Syracuse was no stranger to invasions and wars. This was to be no different, Dagdar contacted for the company’s help in driving off what was supposed to be a smaller fighting force from outside the territory. Knowing that it was in service of their home, Dagdar agreed and none from the company objected. Had Celica known what was to come from this… but there was no way to.
The enemy was ready for them. True, Celica’s band was far from the only people that went out to meet them, but against a foe that had prepared for your plan it went exactly how one would expect. Celica watched as soldier after soldier alighted over the hill, the small force they’d amassed to deal with such a “small” threat steadily growing paler as the true size of the enemy force revealed itself. The sound of the crows overhead was the last normal sound before the battle overwhelmed them.
All around her she watched her allies fall and it seemed that no matter how many she cut down there were always more to take their place. She’s quite impressed with how valiantly they fight on, fortunate that their knowledge of the terrain helps them. At one point she even thinks they might be able to push through. Of course she was mistaken. She knows they’ve lost when Dagdar falls beneath their blades and she’s left standing, back pressed against a tree, awaiting her turn. It doesn’t come. Instead she watches as a familiar robed figure goes rushing through the sea of blood, throwing herself at the enemy commander.
Lyra offers her a deal. She never wanted to hurt Celica, so she’d asked that Celica not be killed in this. Now all she has to do is join with them. She’ll have a place, a family, a home. Celica’s no longer listening, staring at who she thought was her best friend, the sister she’d never had, hearing the cries of the people she’d led to their deaths. She screams, a sound that seems to rip up from her very soul, eyes closed. No one knows where the lightning storm blew in from and while Syracuse is no stranger to sudden storms, this one was a freak of nature if ever there was one. The sounds of her screams are drowned out by the explosive thunder, by the enemy soldiers joining her in her screams as the lightning ravages the field.
Celica has eyes only for Lyra though, marching toward her with murder in her eyes. The smaller woman stands no chance and Celica has no mercy left to spare for her. Unlike the enemy soldiers Lyra dies on a sword and finally, completely drained of everything, Celica collapses on the field.
She drifts in blackness for what feels like forever and also no time at all. It’s peaceful here, where she doesn’t have to worry about betrayal and fear and emotion. And so, she drifts.
When her eyes open again it’s sluggish, with all the force of a snail in the winter. She’s fighting her body to go back to sleep but losing the battle until finally her eyes open all the way. She doesn’t recognize where she is, only that it’s not that bloody field surrounded by bodies.
The person who greets her as she sits up is unfamiliar, but for some strange reason she doesn’t feel uncomfortable around him like she thought she would. He introduces himself as Dimitri and finally, after years of wondering what sort of freak of nature she is, she has an explanation as to her strange abilities. An Eternal. Basically a goddess he explains, but a very new one who needs to undergo training. At first she’s resistant to the idea. All her powers have ever done is harm people and lash out uncontrollably, but eventually she begins to come around. Even with the specific instruction it’s difficult for Celica to start to learn to be comfortable with her powers and there’s more than a few times when she accidentally electrocutes something she shouldn’t have, but if there’s one thing she’s always been it’s a hard worker. She throws herself into her training, doing her best not to grow frustrated when she fails and failing at that too, but slowly she starts to notice improvement. The first time Dimitri sees her smile is when she manages to teleport correctly and from there things start to look up, with Celica growing to trust Dimitri and even beginning to consider him like a family member.
Her training continues until finally the day comes where he believes she’s ready for her Olympic trials. Those she faces with a combination of excitement and determination that she’d always had when facing down a large battle and, due entirely to Dimitri’s coaching, or at least so she’ll claim, she passes.
Afterward, her original instruction done, Celica went back to the world. She was determined to continue to practice and improve in all aspects. She still enjoys a good fight and can often be found in a bar or participating in a brawl. She also still takes on mercenary work, relying more heavily on her physical training than her powers. But all of this is in service to a goal, a hunt more important to her than any mercenary contract. She knows there are other branches of the cult she was raised in out there. They’re still hurting people for the sake of that nameless evil and she fully intends to cut them out at the root whenever and wherever she can find them. It’s while hunting them that she had an encounter with a fisherman in a tavern that managed to quickly snare her attention. Though she had to leave after a brief time with him on her own mission, she still remembers him quite fondly and honestly hopes he’s doing well.
Fated Encounter - Dimitri