|Languages||Common, Sylvan, Giant, plants|
|Affiliations||Brightwater Adventuring Team|
|Date of Birth||162 BR|
|Place of Birth||Pteris|
Noktily Nyvyne, known as “Tily” for short, is a Half-Dryad fighter from south-central Pteris who travels as part of the Brightwater adventuring party. Tily’s mother Sague is a Dryad from an isolated grove in the Kharmaja desert while Tily’s father Jacul is human and a former bandit. Dryad lineage is rare on the Pteran continent; those that belong to it exhibit a unique trait: cactus spines and flowers jutting from their plant-like skin. Tily typically dresses in a dark-colored jacket or short duster overtop a dyed tunic and plain pants. Her feminine and nymphal appearance tends to obscure her muscular, boxer-like build, often to her enemies detriment. In battle, she comfortably wields a greataxe for melee and carries both handaxes and javelins for ranged attacks, though she is adept with other martial weapons and can adapt to what the situation demands.
Background[edit | edit source]
Family and Upbringing[edit | edit source]
Tily’s story begins years before her birth in the vast Sea of Dunes, the Kharmaja, where Jacul and his band of raiders met Sague and the two fell in love. Sague convinced her Dryad clan to shield the raiders whenever they passed by while a grateful Jacul began stealing jewels and other items of beauty for her. Though it was forbidden by the Dryads the two decided to wed, and Sague traveled with the human band for a time until, reluctantly, she agreed with Jacul to settle down upon the birth of their first child, Noktily. The trio left the desert and put down roots in the badlands trading outpost of Farena. Jacul made a living as an artisan and appraiser in town while Sague earned a wage doing physical labor and the occasional odd job & mission.
Young Noktily’s upbringing hung in the uncertain space between her parents’ old life of adventure and her present, tethered to the trappings of settled human society. It was Jacul’s belief that bandits should only steal to survive (a few gifted gems notwithstanding) and with that no longer a necessity felt the family should put those days fully behind them. Thus, he encouraged Tily to embrace the community of Farena and to integrate into human culture. Her mother on the other hand, still longing for their old days of derring-do, slowly and quietly exposed Tily to such things through stories, training and, eventually, actual raiding trips. Tily became versed in all manner of weapon use as well as tactics: how to defend herself and how to strike first, how to analyze an opponent for their weaknesses, where and on whose person to seek valuable items. Sague also instructed her daughter on the basics of survival in the wild, as well as how to use her innate Dryad charisma to deceive and persuade others. Tily became enamored with these lessons and the possible adventures they represented, and she was a quick learner to boot. It wasn’t long before she begged to go on a real “mission” with her mother.
Sague would occasionally leave Farena for weeks at a time under the guise of a posted mission; this was usually cover for her to join up with a new band she formed and conduct a raid. At the age of fourteen, Tily earned her own place among this new crew. Of all the skills she was tutored in she exhibited the sharpest specialty in thrown weaponry and as such usually worked the perimeter during raids. This role consisted of circling around the target area on horseback, ready to strike from a distance any foes that tried to approach -- or tried to escape. Tily relished these experiences and delighted in contributing to the group’s preparation and strategy sessions. Sague’s band, for their part, quickly embraced Tily once she demonstrated how well she could handle herself in and out of combat. From these outings she also gained a number of keepsakes: items that could not easily be sold off or pawned for profit. Her favorite among these was an ornate carved sunstone charm speckled with red gemstones, which to this day she wears hidden around her neck as it reminds her of her bond with her mother.
Jacul was grudgingly permissive of this activity when it was just Sague, but involving their daughter in such a bloody business was something he could not abide, leading to many fights between the two. Tily often intervened by pleading with her father to keep going on missions, naturally always taking the side of her mother. This finally led to a compromise that was (mostly) kept: Tily would only travel with her mother to fulfill actual posted missions, i.e. no raids.
The Botched Raid, Aftermath and New Purpose[edit | edit source]
On the eve of her 16th birthday Sague (unbeknownst to Jacul) surprised Tily by planning a large raiding mission for her to tag along with. The raid would target an unusually large caravan rumored to be carrying some exotic treasures east out of the desert. Supposedly, the caravan held dozens of Orbs of Plenty crafted by the mysterious Dark Fathers. With so large a target Sague even enlisted the help of some members from Jacul’s old band. However, at some point during this process communication broke down and tipped off the caravan, as when the raiding party arrived their target was fully prepared for the attack. What followed was a slaughter: several members of the party were killed and, among those who escaped, those who had been identified had a substantial bounty put on their heads. Back in Farena there was no hiding from Jacul that something had gone terribly wrong. He demanded that Sague leave for good and Tily stay in the town with him. Sague, in response, planned to steal away in the night with their daughter -- that was until she overheard her once again pleading for her own autonomy with her father. Shaken, Sague realized that her influence had grown so strong over Tily throughout her upbringing that she had deprived her daughter of the one thing she herself most treasured: the chance to choose her own path. So it was that the two parents reached another agreement: Sague would spend some months away taking labor jobs across the badlands, giving Jacul a chance to truly bond with their eldest daughter. Upon her return, if they both agreed, she would stay with them once more but sacrifice her old adventuring ways. Tily would be granted the chance to choose the life she wanted for herself -- without her mother's ongoing exploits as an easy springboard to professional banditry.
Initially at least, the intent of Sague’s departure was achieved. Tily, though she at first resented Jacul for causing said departure, began to open up to her father and the two grew close again, though she still struggled to understand why he ever gave up his old exciting life for such a mundane existence. Things changed, however, when Sague failed to return after three months, then four, then five. Rumors eventually reached Farena that Sague and other members of the botched raid had been captured or otherwise gone missing. Things became rocky between Tily and her father as she once again laid the blame on him. And neither could she shake her own feelings of guilt for not going with her mother when she left, or better preparing for the raid, or doing something to prevent what happened. The one person she assigned no blame to was, of course, her idol: Sague herself.
Once it became obvious her mother wasn’t returning, Tily made it her singular focus to locate her mother, alive or dead. She criss-crossed the badlands and skirted the desert’s edges, asking anyone and everyone for leads including the few members of her old band she could track down along with other knowledgeable folks she encountered such as a pair of nomad guides. She even made the journey to Sague’s old Dryad grove to the southwest, though found no answers there either. Tily eventually resigned herself to the fact that Sague was gone: either dead, captured and taken somewhere unreachable, or perhaps hiding away somewhere she didn’t want to be found. Adrift, Tily considered returning to Farena before building herself back up with a new purpose: to make a name for herself as her own person and as a feared raider and adventurer in her own right. She began seeking out other raiding groups and offering her considerable services for a cut of the haul. She even tried her hand at building a few parties of her own, though these tended to lose cohesion after a single mission. Finally, an old family friend came to her with the golden ticket: an ancient treasure ripe for the stealing and a crew of experienced adventurers with the same goal in mind. This was her chance: her opportunity to prove herself as one of the greats, as great as her mother… or maybe even better.
Personality and Motivations[edit | edit source]
Tily continues to show prowess as a fighter and loves nothing more than outwitting an enemy in a fair contest -- except maybe outwitting them all-together to get the jump on them. Naturally, her superiority with these skills is tied closely with her sense of self-worth. She is very headstrong and confident, and often finds herself taking the lead and making decisions within small groups. As a result, she often butts heads with others who possess a self-assurance similar to hers. She can be quite cunning and uses her natural Dryad-born charm to talk her way in and out of sticky situations, especially with some strategically subtle lying. She succeeds in deceiving not just with her words but also with nonverbal cues and disguising her intentions to outsiders. Her mannerisms, which naturally differ a bit from the common humanoid races in Pteris, aid this. At times, however, her temper gets the best of her and her mind skips straight to the combat phase. Admittedly, she is still emotionally immature in significant ways. For your own safety, don’t point this out to her.
Tily's deep desire to prove herself and live up to her mother’s exploits (and even her father’s, as much as he downplays them) are ever-present in her actions. However, when she fails at something Tily feels the weight of her own expectations of living up to Sague’s example, even if Sague would never actually put that pressure on her daughter. To help compensate Tily obsessively prepares herself for missions, fearing another deadly ambush or other disaster. Her high expectations of herself extend to those she fights with; when others fail to display tactical and combat excellence she quickly becomes annoyed, believing that any “weak link” puts the entire party at risk. Because she approaches everything in adversarial terms she often misses opportunities to avoid conflict or to win a foe to her side. When her hot-headed disposition feeds into this tendency it can lead to unnecessarily dangerous situations.
Though she was raised in a place with a fairly conventional human culture for the time, Tily’s outlook on morality remains strongly rooted in a Dryad outsider perspective. She doesn’t go out of her way to flaunt laws/rules but has no problem doing so when she feels it is practical. She takes pleasure in defeating enemies but not killing them though sometimes, she admits, it’s clearly the most effective way to do a job and won’t “fleshling out” of doing so. As one would expect, she has no qualms with the principle of Finders Keepers -- after all, stealing often presents a great opportunity to outduel or outwit an opponent! As long as you’re not stealing food from poor people or something thoughtless like that there’s no real reason not to. To Tily, life is ultimately about proving yourself and conquering challenges whether they are set by your circumstances or chosen for yourself.