Adventuring through twisted time.
She fucked up.No, she really fucked up.Her job and carelessness don’t go hand in hand, she knows that, and she let herself get careless anyway. Now there’s a whole fucking mob after her and she can…Continue
― Trust is a fragile thing. But i am not fragile.
Those who are heartless,
Elyssa was born the final child to Lady Melia Frostmourne, the youngest with two older brothers, in the dead of night. One would think being born into a position of privilege as she was would mean she grew up spoiled, with a proverbial silver spoon in her mouth, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Lady Melia was a firm believer in ruthlessness and power getting you places in life and this was a belief that she pushed onto her children, fostering a sense of competitiveness that was, frankly, unhealthy. Cyprus, the oldest of the three, was never that big of a deal to young Elyssa. He thought any kind of competitiveness with a literal child to be a ridiculous notion and was far more interested in focusing on training with weapons than he was in any sort of fae politics, leading to Elyssa not actually seeing much of her eldest brother. While Melia did not entirely approve of Cyprus’s disinterest in the workings of the court, she couldn’t entirely disapprove either as he proved himself to be a remarkable swordsman with almost prodigal abilities with their family’s control over ice.
Everest was an entirely different story. From the very beginning, Elyssa had to learn to shelter herself from him as he was prone to jealous rages over their mother’s affection. With no idea who their fathers were, it fostered in him the desire to prove himself better by any means necessary. He’d take any leverage against Elyssa that he could, any sign of emotion was a weakness in his eyes, one that could be exploited. Naturally, Lady Melia did nothing to discourage Everest’s antics, claiming that Elyssa needed to learn to grow up to be strong. In her mother’s eyes, strength was showing no emotion other than what would get you what you wanted. Foolish ideals such as joy or love were simply the ramblings of mortals, strings meant to be pulled to manipulate people to your own advantage.
As Elyssa grew she became accustomed to the games her family played. Everest’s fiery temper proved to be his very undoing as Elyssa got older, learning to show complete disinterest in anything that managed to work Everest into a rage. Elyssa did not compete with Everest over their mother’s attention, or at least she certainly didn’t appear to be to anyone except him. She focused her time on her studies into becoming a perfect lady of the court, smiling when she needed to and shutting the loud noblemen up with an icy glare that even Lady Melia was proud of. Over time she became the very study of visible disinterest in the way her family treated those ‘below’ them, though it seemed that her own cruel streak perhaps didn’t run quite as deep as she never took part in their punishments herself. Everest would often tease her about never taking part. Her only response was that he obviously cared more about how he looked to other people, so she was fine letting him have that credit.
In the time that she didn’t spend at home, she would often go out hunting through the forest. Quite the talented archer, Elyssa enjoyed the quiet time on her own with no one around to judge her every expression, every twitch, and she was free to practice anything she pleased so long as she remained away from home. The sense of freedom helped her better understand her elusive eldest brother, where he only confused her when she was younger. Of course, the forest surrounding her family’s home has never been incredibly safe, favoring a more wild nature, and so the more time she spent exploring the more deadly she grew in turn.
As she grew more confident she wandered ever farther from the relative safety of their home, and it was on one of these trips that she began to feel like she was being followed. Immediately she quieted her footsteps, practically creeping through the undergrowth as the feeling of eyes on her back grew ever stronger. With her bow already in hand, it wasn’t particularly suspicious as she nocked an arrow, eyes carefully scanning the surrounding area for prey of a different type than she had originally intended. It took a while for the person to give themselves away, but eventually, they made the mistake of stepping wrong and the resulting noise clued her in immediately. She turned and in the blink of an eye loosed the arrow, the thud of it sinking into the tree bringing a smile to her face.
“Hey! You about took my head off!” The hidden fae finally made himself known and Elyssa put her bow away as she recognized him. Aeden, the son of a member of the court, had made quite the reputation for himself and though they’d never met Elyssa knew immediately that he was no real danger to her. He’s a jokester but is very unlikely to actually attack. “If you didn’t want an arrow fired at you, you shouldn’t have been following me,” finally came her reply.
She turned, prepared to walk away from this strange encounter entirely, but it seems her stalker has no plans to just let her go off in peace. She makes no effort to hide the glare she shoots at her sudden tag along as the sound of his footsteps simply trail her, seemingly determined to warn everything in proximity to their whereabouts. She’s about to tell him to shut his mouth when a low growl in front of her completely steals her words. The creature is too close for her bow to be of any use and so instead she draws her daggers from her belts, slowly backing away from the sharp set of teeth that are creeping out from the underbrush. Before it can manage to lunge at her, Aeden does the insanely stupid and lunges at the beast first. Sword in hand, she watches as the idiot leaps at the mass of fur and sharp fangs, only to inevitably be swiped down and roll like a ragdoll to the side. This gives Elyssa a chance to take control of the bushes that still mostly surround the creature, sharp and thorny branches wrapping around its body in a vice grip that immediately starts crushing it. The sound it makes is almost pitiful she thinks, but honestly can’t find it in herself to care, not between her life or death. The whines the beast makes drown out the sound of another, somewhat bigger, hunter of its kind creeping up beside her. She turns as it snarls, just in time to see a shadow drop from the trees above and land squarely on it’s back, a pair of swords lodged deep into the beast’s torso.
Aeden’s grin as he cleans his blades is strangely unsettling, even to Elyssa. Even so, knowing that he was smarter than he first gave the impression of was enough for her to not mind his tagging along… quite as much. Aeden started hanging around Elyssa more often after that day, somehow always catching her when she went out to wander, and as the months passed the two became friends. He told her of his stuffy family who he had no use for, who “always complained” he was “squandering his talents” and of the various problems he’d managed to get himself involved with. She noted with a wry smile that his problems were almost always of his own making, which prompted a less-than-serious brawl between the two. Eventually, they grew accustomed to fighting together and discovered that they made quite the dangerous pair, Aeden taking on the role of the older brother that Elyssa had always wanted from her own brothers but never had. Aeden meanwhile took to treating her just like the younger “sister” that she was, constantly teasing her but never in the mean-spirited way she had come to expect from Everest.
After some time, Aeden mentioned that he wanted to introduce Elyssa to someone. Fully expecting this to be one of his pranks, she had gone along with more than a little teasing about him introducing her to a lady friend for her approval. What she did not expect was to meet one of Aeden’s old friends, a fae named Galan. Galan came from a much lower status than either Elyssa or Aeden, but had a quiet charm about him that she had not experienced from any of the fae in the circles she frequented. Unlike all of them, he seemed sincere and genuine, and much like Elyssa, he boasted a love of exploration. Just like Aeden had expected the pair became fast friends, his quiet and more earnest nature balancing the extremes of the other two.
Galan’s presence began to slowly bring out the best in Elyssa, thawing a heart that she had long thought frosted over in all but the most private of circumstances. She had never thought anyone could teach her values such as kindness and compassion, yet she found herself relearning those very qualities that had been quashed in her since she was a child. Knowing that a union between the pair would never be approved, especially with her mother’s constant search for more influence, Elyssa started spending ever more time away from home. The less time she spent there, the more time she could spend where she was truly happy, and it seemed that no one honestly cared that much. Everest was happy to have his competition gone and Lady Melia honestly didn’t care so long as she had someone to carry on her legacy, fully confident in the fact that she still had all her children under her thumb should she wish to exercise that control.
Together the three started challenging ever-tougher beasts, honing their skills and getting into ever more dangerous situations. Galan and Aeden were more than willing to charge headlong into whatever awaited them next with Elyssa starting to take a more measured approach to slow them down. Generally, it was Aeden egging them on but truly it took little convincing on his part. That’s why it was no surprise when he showed up one day talking excitedly about a strange creature that had been spotted making a nest about two day’s journey away. Not something commonly found in the forest or near the mountains, the creature was large and reportedly quite dangerous, from what he had heard it was venomous with wicked fangs. Immediately Elyssa was against this idea, for the first time vehemently putting her foot down. Though Aeden and Galan both were excellent warriors in their own regard, Elyssa couldn’t shake the feeling that this was going to go incredibly badly if she gave in. Under pressure from both of them to bag such a dangerous beast though, give in she did. Galan did his best to reassure her during the journey there but, though she smiled and eventually agreed, she just couldn’t shake that feeling of dread that had made itself a pit in her stomach.
The creature, reptilian in nature and just as large as the rumor suggested, had made itself a nest nestled into the surrounding rock and camouflaged so well that, were it not for Elyssa’s excellent scouting skills, they would have missed it entirely. The three spent some time readying themselves for the assault and Elyssa noted with great pleasure that there was a water source very nearby for her to take advantage of.
True to Elyssa’s initial worry, the giant beast fought back against them with great ferocity. Not only was the creature just as powerful as she had feared, but far more cunning than any of them had given it credit for. It took longer than any of them would’ve liked and none of them escaped without burns, but they did eventually fell it, Elyssa freezing the body in the nearby watering hole.
As she joined the others, all tired and somewhat hurt but delighted in their victory, she missed the twitching of the beast. They all did. She hadn’t thought to freeze the head over, figuring that in its death it would be little danger, and unable to do much more due to the fatigue using so much ice had put on her. It had other plans, it’s teeth snapping forward.
Galan’s whole body jerked as the fangs of the creature sank deep into his side, the strange creature’s last act of defiance before it sagged lifeless to the ground. Elyssa’s whole world seems to slow as Galan staggers, clutching the new wounds in his side. Sheer panic grabs at her throat as she rushes to him before he can hit the ground, catching him and lowering him gently to the ground. The sound of her racing heartbeat drowns out Aeden’s shout. She doesn’t even realize that one scream that pierces the air is her own.
“No! No no no no, hang on. You’re gonna be fine, okay?” Part of her doesn’t recognize her own voice, wrecked as it is. She cradles his head in her lap, closing her hand over the deep gashes in his side and using the water from nearby to freeze over the wounds. The venom isn’t as fast-acting as bleeding out but she knows it still works fast. Elyssa feels the warmth of his hand as he takes hers, somehow managing to smile up at her with those bright green eyes that she loves so much. “Take care of yourself Lyssa..” In that moment she could punch him. “Don’t you dare! Don’t close your eyes, please!” The ice is no longer stopping the bleeding, the drake’s venom already taking effect, and Elyssa presses harder against the wound, hand trembling from the effort, in a vain attempt to slow the bleeding despite having virtually no medical experience. It means nothing. His breaths are already ragged, rattling in his chest as he struggles for air. “Hey… don’t cry... At least let me see your beautiful smile one last time..” She tries to do just that, to do as he asks, and though her whole body shakes from the pain she manages to smile through the tears. He closes his eyes and slowly his hand relaxes, letting go of her own and falling to the ground. In that moment her resolve crumbles and she clutches him, sobbing, pain like she’s never felt before ripping through her chest.
It’s several minutes, but what feels like hours, before she feels a hand touch her shoulder. She turns to see Aeden standing over her, his own expression sorrowful, and in an instant, all that pain turns to white-hot rage. She lunges to her feet, bloody hands clenched into fists as she resists every urge she has to bash his face in. “This is your fault! You and your stupid addiction to fighting things like this! I told you to leave it alone but you didn’t and now Galan-” she chokes before she can finish, not able to get the words out. She takes no small amount of satisfaction in watching Aeden stumbling away from her. “Elyssa, I-”
“Get the hell away from him! Leave!” She doesn’t watch to see if he listened. Part of her didn’t expect him to, so when she turns again to see that he’s gone, she’s not sure whether to be relieved or curse him.
It’s a long trek home and she remembers almost none of it. When she arrived back at the forest surrounding her home she wondered distantly how she even managed to make it back at all. Normally this is when she’d take the time to slip back into the mask that she wears around her family, but as she walks to her home she finds she can’t muster up enough energy to care. It feels like some piece of her is broken, forever shattered beyond repair and left to rot somewhere. It speaks volumes that her family barely notices the change in her over the weeks that follow, with Elyssa only leaving her room because she absolutely had to. She does her duties and then immediately retires and this cycle continues for months until her mother stops her one day.
It’s then that Lady Melia gives her daughter a job. After all, Elyssa is skilled enough now to begin to help the family in more noticeable and important ways. Cyprus mostly does his own thing, returning home so rarely that he can’t be sidelined like this. Everest is the showboat of the children, his sadistic streak making him perfect for making examples out of the enemies of their mother that she wants visibly handled and he has been doing so for a short time. Elyssa, however, is perfect for the more… secret matters that their mother needs taken care of. Elyssa’s quiet nature makes her the perfect assassin for her mother’s schemes.
Targets that needed to be handled quietly, especially those that needed to be taken care of quietly outside the forest, were now Elyssa’s job to handle. It took a couple of trips to that world for Elyssa to begin to understand it but once she did she accomplished her duties beyond anything her mother could have hoped. Even so, Elyssa found that she wasn’t a big fan of the work. She pitied mortals more than she despised them and that made her methods incredibly efficient. She was never one for undue cruelty in the first place and, though it would be easy to do so, she refused to let go of the qualities that Galan taught her. She would not become like her family, callous and sadistic, and so every target that she took down she did so swiftly, be it by dagger, arrow, or some other means.
Now, despite being given even more rank among her family by her mother, Elyssa remains distant from others. She’s completely cut off contact with Aeden and won’t allow anyone close to her. That does mean that she’s become even better at putting on airs though, doubting that anyone will breakthrough that mask again.