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O victorious one!
Purifier, destroyer, liberator!
Sublime enabler of men!
Cleanse me of my wickedness
For my weakness is unworthy
Of your mercies!

  - Excerpt from Mother of Victories, A. Bhattacharya

Among the elements, Fire serves as a welcome and simple introduction into elemental magic.  Unlike Earth and Wood, which requires the knowledge of the myriad varieties, Fire has but a few forms varying only by intensity.  Unlike Air, Fire is tangible and present, graspable.  Between Fire and Water, Fire more readily displays success and failure to the Initiate, making their weaknesses obvious and available for correction.  Fire is the initiates’ friend.

Elementals of Flame are among the first summoned by the fledgling elementalist, depending on elemental aptitude.  Care must be taken to avoid flammable structures in the summoning arena.  The lack of control by initiates can lead to costly repairs and compensation.

Speaking to a Fire Elemental should be approached with caution.  Irritable and ill-mannered when provoked, it is best to speak in Flametongue to appease their tempers.  A campfire or other medium sized sort of flame also dissuades misbehavior.  Maestro Bhattacharya also recommends singing or movement, as well as the application of volatile compounds such as those found in Sandalwood and Frankincense.
Fire purifies.  She reduces all that is not worthy to cinder and cares not for weakness.  Fire provides.  She is the light of the hearth and the heat of the forge.  Fire defends.  She is the torch in the darkness, the courage in the hearts of men.  Fire beautifies.  She creates thick ash to strength the fields and renders sweet smoke from incense.  Fire lives and dances.  Even from damp cinders, the smallest ember remaining will spark her anew.  She is undefeatable, untamable, and unquenchable.  Her generosity to provide soothes the hearts of men, and her fierce judgement terrifies his enemies.

(Editor’s Note:  While I am embarrassed at the lack of rigor displayed by the Maestro of Fire, I would be remiss to exclude his statement from this discourse.)
An Unpublished Treatise, excerpt one (Fire)
The full title of the work seems to be:

An Unpublished Treatise on the Elements, or Elemental Spheres and the Spirits that Inhabit Them
Spoken by the Six Maestros of the Wheel
And Collected For Study by Initiates of Elemental Magic and Instructors
by
Benedict Forester, et al.

Pompous sounding gent, isn't he?  Well, he has been working hard to find out from the Maestros themselves what the elements are.  Luckily, the Fire Maestro seemed willing to speak, for better or worse.  Maybe the Water Maestro will be more accommodating.

Part of a six part series on each of the elements as well as properties of their elementals!

To learn more about her appearance and abilities, check out her character description here!

If you'd like to know more about her background, see her biography here!

To learn more about her specific abilities as an elementalist or more about the elements themselves, choose from the topics below!
[More on Akasha] [Spell List]
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Elemental magic, despite its rigor, takes a shamanistic approach to magic; learning ‘spells’ is a matter of garnering the favor of the elements and attuning to them.  Specialized maestros have an easier time maintaining their abilities, as they are likely beholden to only one section of the wheel.

Neraia, as a maestra of the wheel, has a diverse tool-kit of magic at her disposal but must constantly keep them in balance in order to maintain her ability.  While improvisational magic is possible with her skillset, she has a well-developed arsenal of spells, both offensive and supportive, that she can cast at-will.


Fire
Current Maestro:  Ananta Bhattacharya


Heat Food
The use of elementally pure fire for cooking has beneficial effects for diners.  Food heated in this way is more nutritive and delicious, causing a small burst of healing as well as increased natural regeneration for a time.  Nothing beats a home-cooked meal.

Flameshaw
A fiery carriage drawn by a feline beast of flames, Flameshaw transports the caster and a few passengers through the air faster than ground transport.  Flameshaw is ideal for winter transport, naturally protecting passengers from cold.  However, the spell emits light, making it unsuited for stealthy approaches.

Boil Water
What it says on the box.  Despite its limited use (as it can literally only boil water and no other liquids), it is a first spell for many the elementalist initiate.


Water
Current Maestros:  Falk Njordsson (ice), Argyros Marinos (sea)


(Note: Water combines water, ice, and sea-based magic.  The Water Maestros follow two different traditions that were unified at the time of Neraia’s initiation into elemental magic.  However, the death of the previous water maestra, Abeni Afolayan, left her most recent protégés to continue the tradition in each of their specialties.)

Purify Water
Water maestros know what elementally pure water is, and as a result, they can separate harmful impurities or bacterial bloom from isolated quantities of water.  Purify Water also removes poisons, venoms, heavy metal contaminations, and waste material.

Ice Mace and Chain
A spiked flail composed entirely of ice, Ice Mace and Chain encumbers anyone unlucky enough to be struck.  The flail can wrap around limbs, and the spikes explode to embed in limbs, causing slowed movement.

Icy Surface
Any flat surface can become a hazard.  Icy Surface essentially removes the coefficient of friction on any surface, making it unnavigable and bitter cold.


Air
Current Maestro:  Fikri Nejem


(Note: Air combines air and lightning magic.  As a general rule, air magic is used either defensively or for support while lightning magic can be used offensively as well.)

Air Mattress
A company’s morale largely depends on its resting conditions.  Air Mattress creates a cushion of air that lifts a target slightly off the sleeping surface.  The form fitting cushion provides comfortable sleep, increasing natural healing and providing an excellent night’s sleep in a shorter period.

Air Fortress
A floating citadel against the sky, Air Fortress creates a mobile, airborne fortress capable of transporting a considerable number of troops, horses, and provisions at its largest.  The walls are naturally transparent, but the fortress can be reinforced with other materials once created.  The size is largely determined by the time and magic devoted to its casting.

Throne of Air
A personal sized Air Fortress, Throne of Air moves at ground speed over land and through the air.  A Throne of Air forms to the body of its occupant, maximizing comfort.  Thrones of Air can also serve as mobile gurneys for the sick or injured.  Naturally silent, Throne of Air can make night approaches and stealthy attacks simpler.

Air Armor
Air maestros can create a cushion of air between the body and armor, wrapping an additional layer of protection around a targeted individual.  Air Armor is effective for all armor types from cloth to full plate, helping to cushion and absorb impacts.  Neraia specifically has a variation for multiple targets within an area (Mass Air Armor).

Billowing Cloak
For when you have to rule of cool, Billowing Cloak creates a breeze of just the right intensity to heroically rustle capes, cloaks, skirt hems, ruffled blouses, and flowing manes.  Those under the effects of Billowing Cloak seem more naturally confident and charismatic, inspiring awe in onlookers.

Lightning Step
For fast movement, nothing beats Lightning Step.  An individual affected can travel great distances in an instant, accompanied by the roaring boom of thunder.  For a flashy entrance, riding the lightning certainly fits the bill, and its combat uses for strategic placement as well as enemy dispersal are myriad.


Earth/Metal
Current Maestro:  Berengar Rothbarth


(Note:  Earth/Metal is specifically a union of Earth magic from the Western Elemental tradition and Metal magic from the Eastern Elemental tradition.  The elemental differences were so minute that most maestros of one become maestros of the other through demonstration.  The current Earth/Metal maestro, Berengar Rothbarth, is among the first of the maestros to teach a unified discourse on both.)

Earthblend
Stationary objects affected by Earthblend do just that: blend into the surrounding geological landscape.  Be it mossy rocks, jagged peaks, or shifting sand, Earthblend disguises it from view.  Earthblend can work on sentient targets, but they must remain motionless for the spell to remain active.

Earth Shield
An improvised shield of earth or stone can deflect blows and projectiles in a pinch.  Earth Shield is capable of encapsulating an area in a sphere of stone for protection.

Earth Darts
One of the first offensive spells an initiate learns is Earth Darts.  Practical and effective, Earth Darts creates multiple projectiles out of any earth available, be it sharpened rock or kicked sand.

Swim Through Earth
To the Earth maestro, earth is like water.  Swim Through Earth allows an affected target to move unhindered through earth, rock, and sand.  The earth obeys fluid physics to the swimmer, allowing diving and surfacing.  Stealthy approaches over short distances are ideal for this ability.

Metal Wings
Metal maestros, often teased for their plodding natures, devised a flashier way to fast travel.  Metal Wings enables the maestro to fly considerable distances with little to no fatigue, and each maestro designs his wings to suit his needs and personality.  Neraia has her wings bound to an iron pendant that she wears under her robes, allowing her quick access to personal travel.

Magnetize
More of a hindrance than purely offensive magic, Magnetize can make any piece of metal behave like a strong rare earth magnet.  Be it metal weapons stuck to the barding of a charging horse or pieces of armor preventing an arrow from leaving it sheath, Magnetize has the potential to be rather annoying to its victims.


Wood
Current Maestra:  Andraste Ó Ciardha


(Note: Wood combines wood, plant, and poison-based magic.  Wood is unique in that the nature of Wood magic intrinsically changes with region, reflecting the native population of flora and fauna.)

Animal Shape
Wood maestros use the most natural shapes to navigate the wilds.  With a small bit of plant material and a bit of feather or fur, the elementalist can take a temporary animal form, capable of communicating in that animal’s tongue.  Industrious maestros have often used it to tame and employ messengers such as ravens.  Wood maestros often make excellent apiarists; it is easy to keep the bees happy and fed when you can act as their queen.

Plant Feast
A meal is never far from the elementalist versed in wood magic.  Using three scraps of plant material, an adept can create a number of large, three course meals, including dessert and beverages.  The elementalist can replicate any food or drink consumed within a year and a day, and any unconsumed meals revert to their original form.  With blood magic, large feasts are within the purview of a maestro.  Some endeavoring adepts have thought to consume poisons or live insects as a way of weaponizing this supportive ability.

Accelerate Growth
Initiates to the wood path first learn how to foster the growth of plant life, capable of speeding growth and harvest yields for crops as well as regrowing destroyed forest habitats.

Thorny Retreat
Defensive in nature, the wood adept makes a path unnavigable with the help of thick, sharp brambles.  The thorns impede movement and cause severe pain, and variations that envenom the thorns can harbor caustic or toxic substances.


Akasha
Current Maestra:  Dionisia Caelestis


(Note: Akasha includes blood, causality, and void magic.)

Walk the Wheel
Unspecialized elementalists toe a difficult line.  Because they are beholden to the entire elemental wheel, they must keep the usage of their spells in balance.  Walk the Wheel is a ritual that, when performed weekly, helps to keep the elementalist balanced.  By opening herself as an Akashic vessel, the maestro becomes a conduit of each of the elements in turn.  The ritual takes several hours and requires total secrecy, as to avoid unwanted exposure to Akashic magic.

Sing the Blood
The blood of an Akashic maestro contains power, and sacrificing that power pleases the elemental spirits.  An elementalist can sacrifice her blood to boost the effectiveness of her magic.  Pain and intent are requirements for the spell to take hold, and the blood of the unwilling has little to no power.

Access the Record
An Akashic maestro’s mark is that of the Akashic seal, a runed circle unique to every maestro that acts as authentication and identification in the Akashic Record.  The Akashic Record acts as a compendium of possibility; it contains all that is, is not, was, was not, will, and will not.  Access to the Record grants objective oracular ability but at steep cost.  Accessing the Record is physically exhausting, and six seconds of access in the Record costs a year of life.  At their initiation, an Akashic maestro must stay in the Record for at least a minute.  Contact with the subject or a personal belonging can reduce the amount of time needed in the Record.

Rend the Sky
Powerful and exceptionally dangerous, Rend the Sky tears a temporary hole in reality that leads into absolute void.  The tear creates a vacuum effect, drawing nearby pockets of reality into it.  The effects are devastating; not only is reality itself ripped apart, but any uninitiated exposed to the void can cause psychological and physical trauma.



Additionally, Neraia has ‘template’ spells: spells that she attune to an element on the fly.  In most cases, Akashic versions of these spells are impractical for combat use or too detrimental to allies to consider.

Summon Elemental
While elemental maestros use the word ‘summon’ to describe their dealings with elemental spirits, the act of summoning itself is an entreaty more than a command.

Neraia can summon elementals from all elements, including Akashic elementals.  However, due to the nature of Akasha, Akashic elementals are limited in use and inadvisable due to the large adverse effects upon uninitiated witnesses.

Basic elementals representative of their constituent elements are possible, as are specialized elementals (e.g. a Mithril elemental for earth/metal, a Birch elemental for wood, etc.).  However, based upon the rarity of material, these elementals vary in size widely.

Larger elemental spirits, often called “foundational spirits,” are also available, but summoning one requires the use of blood magic to make an attempt.  

Great Spirits, elemental spirits that fully embody the elemental character of larger regions such as mountain ranges or large seas, are even more difficult to summon due to their intrinsic link to their seats of power, but they will hear the impassioned pleas of maestros willing to pay the cost.


Spear
Spear magic has the narrowest targeting of the template spells.  Having little to no spread, spears are for long-distance sniping or single, small targets.
     Flamespear
     Icespear
     Lightningspear
     Earthshard
     Poisonthorn
     Bloodlance


Ball
Ball magic occupies the middle range of template spells.  With a cone spread and shortened range, balls favor for small groups or controlled splash damage.
     Fireball
     Iceball
     Wave of Force/Ball Lightning
     Stonethrow
     Deathsphere
     Voidsphere


Shower
Shower magic is, by far, the most destructive of the templates.  Cast as a targeted or caster-centered area of effect spell, it creates a cylinder of elemental rain capable of great destruction and collateral damage.  However, Neraia can protect allies by calling out their names in the Akashic language, protecting their place in the Akashic Record from harm.  Destruction on this scale is massive with rumor that the fire version can glass desert sand.
     Embershower
     Deluge
     Whirlwind/Lightning Storm
     Earthshatter (unique in that it comes from below rather than above)
     Death Rain
     Bloodshower


Source Casting
Neraia can cast elemental magic from sources of the element in question (e.g. a gout of flame from a campfire, an ensnaring vine from the trees, etc.) if available.  While air magic should be viable anywhere due to the presence of air, source casting requires a more tangible elemental source, such as lightning.
     Flamestrike
     Crashing Wave/Icestrike
     Lightning Burst
     Earth Wave
     Vinestrike
     Bloodspray
Knight #86: Neraia Aikaterine Lysand - Spell List
Here is a write up on the spells of Knight #86, Neraia!

This was work!  It's been a while since I thought about the number and scope of spells she has at her disposal, but 25+ years of training really expands the toolkit.  This was for you, :icondas-dynamo: .  Hope it's helpful!

To learn more about her appearance and abilities, check out her character description here!

If you'd like to know more about her background, see her biography here!

To learn more about her specific abilities as an elementalist, choose from the topics below!
[More on Akasha]

EDIT: 24 June 2015 - Updated Air magic with Throne of Air and Billowing Cloak!
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To call Akasha the 'life' element is intensely reductive; Akasha represents the void/all duality present in the workings of the world.  Akasha is the nothingness between atoms.  Akasha is the infinite possibility within the void.  

Access to the Akasha taps into the Akashic record, the record of all that is, isn't, was, wasn't, will, and won't.  The task of accessing it is only open to those who have Akashic seals, runic circles that act as identification and authorization.  Neraia’s current level of mastery allows her access to the record for limited short periods of time, giving her oracular ability.  The cost, however, is high; accessing the Akashic record removes a year of life for every six seconds of access.  Maestros limit their usage of the ability, but longer-lived races enjoy longer periods of Akashic access.

Akashic magic, because of how essential it is to the conditions that constitute life, is the broadest of all the elements.  Its uses are, quite literally, infinite.  However, prolonged exposure to the Akasha can cause reality warping effects, often driving unguarded or unprepared adepts to madness.  This holds true for the summoning of higher level Akashic elementals as well, which in no way should be undertaken in the presence of the uninitiated.

Blood is a good medium for the Akashic initiate to study because it contains portions of all the others, allowing for unification of the adept’s previous skills as a gateway to understanding Akasha.  As a result, blood magic—i.e. the boosting of magical ability via a personal sacrifice of blood—is a natural continuation of the practice.  The Akashic adept endeavors to use only her own blood as it possesses her Akashic seal.  Other blood can be used, but the potency difference is so marked that it would take two orders of magnitude more blood to enact the same magical effects; it’s largely impractical to do so.  Blood elementals are, by necessity, tiny creatures; the summoning of a large enough elemental would likely kill the adept.

Neraia's current level of mastery has her manipulate causality, i.e. the probabilities of occurrences.  The manipulations themselves are subtle and minute, but they can greatly change outcomes.  She uses it for her most high-end of crafts, masterwork-level trinkets and weaponry; a nudge here or there can change the quench of the metal, altering the atomic structure to properties of her choosing.  While in theory, Causality elementals can be summoned, the act of it is catastrophic to those unversed in Akashic magic, including onlookers.

Beyond, maestros of Akasha all pursue individual paths.  Akasha’s ties to the foundation of life make it an extremely personal journey, one inextricably linked to the practitioner; each individual life pursues Akasha differently.

Rune work with Akasha is notably difficult, due to the lack of physicality of the element; the closest physical aspect of Akasha is that of willingly spilt blood, but the intent is hard to encapsulate.  However, imbuement is possible; Neraia must assign her Akashic seal as a part of the rune.  The intimacy of it causes most elemental maestros (Neraia included) to limit Akashic runes to only the most trusted of allies.
Knight #86: Neraia Aikaterine Lysand - Akasha
Here is the elemental write-up on Akasha!  Seeing as it is the least tangible of the elements, explaining more about it and how Neraia wields it seemed fitting to lead the discussion.  Let me know what you think!

To learn more about her appearance and abilities, check out her character description here!

If you'd like to know more about her background, see her biography here!

To learn more about her specific abilities as an elementalist, choose from the topics below!
[Spell List]
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Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: sexual themes)
The only child of semi-nomadic metalworkers, Neraia’s early childhood was one of movement and tumult.  The late-blooming child often found her desires rubbing against her responsibilities.  Happy with only a book for company, the constantly social, unfailingly moral environment of her youth was taxing.  The life was hard and lean in many ways, but she had as good a childhood as any amongst the caravans did.  She happily took up the arts of her family at a young age, learning weapon and armor forging from her father and housewares and jewelry from her mother.  Her father was seemingly thrilled to have an heir to his art, despite it not being a son; he often bragged that as a toddler, Neraia had singed her ears from standing to close to the forge.

Her family’s nomadic roots brought her into contact with many cultures, typified by her adopted uncle, a nomadic elven bard.  He came to visit whenever he could, bringing Neraia scraps from his journeys, new books, and musical lessons.  Neraia, enamored by her uncle’s skill at the lute, learned musical theory at his side by firelight, and as soon as she was large enough to hold a lute, she endeavored to learn the instrument, much to her father’s chagrin.  When she showed interest in the small magical abilities he wielded, the books he brought changed from tales to magical theory.

Smith by morning, musician by evening, and reading by low lamplight at night, Neraia wore herself thin quickly.  In her thirteenth year, she collapsed from exhaustion at the forge, earning disdain from her father in the process.  Upset that he had ignored the prospects of her value, he set Neraia to a new task: preparing her dowry.

“It was folly, pure and simple.  My father could only see tradition; the idea of his daughter taking his forge must have terrified him, but dishonoring his family’s name was anathema, disgrace.  So he got rid of me in the only honorable way possible.”


Neraia’s father secured her betrothal to the sickly second son of the Damiani merchant family, a nouveau riche household that had recently bought its nobility from a defunct family.  Despite her father’s protests, the Damiani refused to accept Neraia until she reached her menarche.  Neraia, unhappy with her station, had thought to run away, but on the discovery of her plans, her father placed her on house arrest.

“I had never seen such a fury in him before than moment—not when innkeepers refused us, not when gadze children stole our food, not when a town guard struck my mother with a gauntlet.  If Uncle had not been staying with us that night, he would have killed me.  The luck of it still terrifies me.”


In the time before her wedding, Neraia’s extended maternal family saw to her preparations.  Her mother personally pierced her nose and ears, threading them with jewelry of her own creation.  She oversaw Neraia creating housewares for her soon-to-be family.  She learned much at their laps as they meticulously twisted her hair into the thin locks of a married woman: the rearing of children, the running of a household, and the honeyed wiles of the bedroom.  Neraia was appalled, but she resolved to endure for her father’s honor.

Finally, in her fifteenth year, Neraia reached menarche.  The Damiani accepted her as daughter-in-law, and the wedding commenced at the summer solstice.

“It was a poor match, but my father must have been desperate to be rid of me, to rid himself of the burden of my sex.  He painted it in such beautiful colors.  ‘You will be gadze, escape this life.  You won’t have to work yourself to death.’  He never mentioned that I would have to give up my pride.

“My husband was all too enamored with his ‘exotic’ bride to care.  He was obsessed to claim me as his own, and by my trough, he did just that.”


Neraia’s days with the Damiani were largely unhappy.  As the wife of the second son, she held little sway in the decisions of her life, acting as little more than a gloried house servant.  She felt idle learning the etiquette of nobility, aching to take up her books and hammer again, and the passions of her all-too-eager husband consumed her nights.  It was hardly any surprise at all when she found herself with child only a few months after her marriage.

Being with child was a new challenge for Neraia, especially with the other duties of maintaining her home.  With some relief, she found her husband turning to housemaids or to the night to sate his desires, giving her a welcome respite that allowed her to return to her studies.  However, her peace was not to last; she miscarried and would miscarry again two years later.

“That man burned white hot.  There were scant few restful nights in our marriage bed.  But two bad wombs later, for all his exertion, he had nothing to show for it.  Maybe he had always known his time would be short.”


In her nineteenth year, Neraia’s husband grew ill and died before year’s end.  Now, a childless widow, Neraia faced return to her birth household.  However, her father would not have her; in the time since her marriage, her father sired another daughter and abandoned both mother and new sister to find a wife to give him a son.  With few other options, Neraia petitioned to stay with the Damiani, offering her dowry to earn her keep.  They agreed, all too eager to relieve Neraia of her handiwork.

Financially stable and social untethered, Neraia found herself returning to her passions: the forge, music, and her studies.  She earned her place in a church forgeworks, donating the majority of her creations to the church to pay for her material costs and the use of their forge.  The Damiani family largely overlooked her frequent church visits as a show of piety in her widowhood.

In her twenty-second year, her elven uncle re-entered her life, contacting her through a series of letters.  Feeling that she was wasting her potential as an educated woman, he arranged for her training as an elementalist initiate.  She split her time between the church forge and her initiate’s training, paying for her training with pieces sold through merchant channels.  Because of the secrecy of her training, progress went very slowly, but three years later, at the age of twenty-five, she finally became an elementalist adept.  Her master gave his glowing recommendations to maestros, specialists of individual elements, and with his word, she had the approval to walk the wheel, learning from them each in turn.  Neraia saw her opportunity and began to assemble her nest egg, a cache of crafted work that would buy her freedom.  With the help of her uncle, she began gathering supplies and arranging the caravans for her travel.

However, the Damiani tracked the merchant channels back to the church forgeworks, discovering the money that Neraia had been saving.  Her father-in-law threatened suit against her for the money that she could have been using to fill the Damiani coffers, and Neraia felt trapped.  She turned to the church for legal sanctuary, and they happily provided it, given how much she had contributed to their prosperity.  Thanks to the intercession of the church, an ecclesiastical court saw the case, and their ruling protected the original contract of Neraia's marriage, requiring that only her dowry belonged to the Damiani.

With her freedom secured, Neraia left the country of her birth and took to the caravans, traveling the world to hone her art.  She instructed her uncle to use some of the cache she had left behind to help her mother and sister survive, sending letters to him along her journey.  She trained under seven maestros in total over the course of nearly two decades, winding her way across the world by land and sea.  Along the way, she endeared herself with smiths wherever she could, sharing her knowledge and her work to learn at their anvils.  She learned much from the Earth maestro, Berengar Rothbarth, a smith himself who also taught her of metals and enchanting them.

In her thirty-eighth year, while finishing her studies under Berengar, she received a letter from her uncle; her mother was dead.  Mourning a world away, she sent back correspondence and continued onward to Andraste Ó Ciardha, the Wood Maestra.  Upon their meeting, the elven woman looked at Neraia with surprise.  She lifted the hair from Neraia’s ears and shook her head; Neraia was half-elven, hidden from her by her mother and “uncle.”  In a letter from her “uncle,” he detailed the affair and the cover-up, surgery as a babe to round her ears to a more human shape.  Her father had known for her entire life.  Neraia was shocked, but between her grief and the tasks before her, she did not allow herself time to parse her emotions, instead throwing herself whole-heartedly at learning the Wooden path and of her heretofore unknown heritage.

After leaving Andraste, Neraia made the journey to the Akashic maestra, Dionisia Caelestis, to complete the circle of her training.  Five years later, at the age of forty-five, Neraia became a maestra in her own right, able to wield both elemental circles with mastery and access the Akashic record.  As proof of her accomplishment, Dionisia gifted two items of power: the obsidian casting dagger Hrodheid and the ring Jocosa, a union of the six elements in stone form.  She then directed Neraia to the ailing land of Lustra, seeing in the record of the hardship they faced and the need for Neraia to help aid it.  Armed with her knowledge, Neraia began the year’s journey, making a stop along the way to reconcile with her family by marriage, her sister, and her ‘uncle.’

Neraia arrived in Lustra at the height of the tumult.  Without a king and ruled by coin and the sword, she found many families destitute in the wake of the chaos.  After buying some abandoned property, Neraia found a contractor willing to work for her, and with their agreement, she set to work designing and building her home and forge.  Pulling artisans from amongst Lustra’s working class, she used the savings from her journey to inject circulating currency into the market.  The economic conditions around her began steadily improving.  Her merchant marriage gave her the acumen and connections to start trade routes for metals and woods.  A tenuous stability began to spread around her, but Neraia knew that Lustra would need a more permanent solution to its problems.  As Princess Heart rose to prominence, Neraia saw her answer; a unifying leader would help to centralize and expand the trade markets for all of Lustra, and the diplomatic improvements would cement its borders.  Neraia knew that the people she had personally touched would follow Princess Heart if she herself pledged her service, so pledge her service she did.

Now just shy of fifty, Neraia felt content.  For the first time in her life, she had purpose of her own design, and with the space to create and work, she began turning to her inner life, truly honing her craft.  It was at this point that she met Nikara Ereatha on a rare night drinking, and the two, with time, became good friends.  Inspired by Nikara’s story, she set to work on creating something that would test her abilities as a smith and maestra: creating a magical prosthetic.
Knight #86: Neraia Aikaterine Lysand - Biography
Here is the character biography for #86, Neraia!

I had a lot of fun writing this one!  Admittedly, many details of her story haven't been completely fleshed out, but I think this will do for now.  I definitely will be writing on more of her background in the future.

Thanks for the read, and feel free to leave your thoughts.

To learn more about her appearance and abilities, check out her character description here!

To learn more about her specific abilities as an elementalist, choose from the topics below!
[Spell List] [More on Akasha]

For more about :iconambiguous-apathy: 's Knight #57, Nikara Kalga Ereatha, head over to her character description here!

EDIT: 23 June 2015 - Grammatical corrections and names of a few of the maestros.  More names coming soon as they are hammered out!
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Name:  Neraia (Aikaterine) Lysand
Alias:  Forgemistress, Maestra Lysand, The Widow Damiani
Rank:  Magistrix
Role:  Forgemistress, Metalsmith/Engineer, Artisan, Diplomatic Entity


Appearance:  

Neraia is a taller woman, standing at a tiptoeing 5’9” at a weight she refuses to reveal.  The most curious among the knights can hazard a guess, and a number between 125lbs and 140lbs prevents her from threatening a wallop with a forging hammer.  She is sinewy and well-built for a magistrix, due in large part to her choice of profession.  Her facial features are slender and well formed, high cheekbones shaping a naturally severe expression.  Her large eyes are a slightly preternatural light grey, fluorescing faintly in low light and framed by long lashes.  

Her hair is brown-black shot through with sparse strands of silvery-grey and easily waist-length, if not longer; she keeps it woven into pin-thin dreadlocks through the full length of the hair, giving the illusion of a wavy curl pattern.  While working, she piles her hair into a large, loose bun tied tightly with a scarf; in her off hours, she largely wears her hair back in a low, loose, and rather messy ponytail though she can preen for special occasions.  Despite working the forge, her nut-brown skin is remarkably supple (she refuses to give up her secrets), though dotted here and there with small, stubborn burn scars from her apprenticeship.  She has little in the way of unusual body modification—at least anything easily visible; she sports a row of three piercings in each earlobe, usually threaded with small thin hoops of silver, and a tiny silver nose stud in her left nostril.


Personality:

While friendly, Neraia is professional, almost to a fault, in most social situations, largely because it has proven to be the least inflammatory route.  As a result, she gets along with most people, but many see her as distant and a bit guarded due to her general avoidance of personal questions and quiet nature.  She can work alongside “colleagues,” fight alongside “comrades,” and have many “friendly acquaintances,” caring for all of them, but she has few people that she considers “friends,” people who have managed to navigate past her professional self to her interior life.  Usually, friendship takes persistence, patience, and her trust, as well as her piqued curiosity, but Neraia is unfailingly loyal, cherishing her true friendships dearly.

She prefers to spend her time between her duties and her craft, ignoring most non-mandatory social interactions.  However, when she walks willingly into a social or diplomatic situation, she can display a honey-tongued, charming personality, her erudite speech smattered with a blush-drawing touch of ribaldry.  As an introvert, the expenditure of her diplomatic prowess emotionally (and in many ways, physically) exhausts her.  

Neraia has a bit of a proud streak; garnering praise for her abilities or her artisanship pleases her greatly, even though she endeavors not to show it.  Still, it is hard to her to mask her pride, especially in her body language.  She carries herself with a raised head and an even, graceful gait.  Her personality most shifts on the rare occasion that she shares her musical gifts.  For the layperson, it is the most impassioned she will ever appear in anything close to a public setting.

Neraia endeavors to be largely collected, choosing the weather the storm and only allowing emotional fatigue once the stress dies down.  The closest thing to an obsession is her love of music; she does not travel without her baroque lute in tow.  Her greatest annoyances are wastefulness and purposeless sloth; the wasteful disrespect the elemental wheel and do not know true poverty, and purposeless sloth is wasteful of talent and potential.


Skills:

Neraia’s odd path of magistrix and smith falls nicely into her worldview; as a largely elemental caster, she views smithing and magic as an entwined route to the same end—a union of the elements that allows the maestra to cause change in the world.  Through her studies, she has gained mastery of both Western and Eastern elemental circles, combining them into six greater elements for her use: fire, water, air, earth/metal, wood, and Akasha.  

She has a skillset comprised of supportive adaptations of her elemental skill as well as raw offensive application of all six elements.  She can command elementals of each type with varying degrees of success, but the true nuance in her craft comes from an Akashic-based technique to sacrifice her own life essence to augment and strengthen her abilities.

Neraia occupies an odd place in battle.  As an elemental caster, much of her location in the fight depends on where she can maximize her effectiveness.  If the battle calls for an offensive caster, she stays at mid-range to protect herself from attack or at long range to cast area-of-effect magic.  As a support caster, she stays central to combat, using the surrounding forces to defend her from attack.  Additionally, her summoned elementals can take melee or ranged field positions depending upon their type and the strategic needs of the moment.

Off the battlefield, she does supportive casting to provide for basic needs; as an elemental caster, she can provide most provisions on her own, able to produce food, water, and shelter to improve morale and keep the regiment well fed and well-rested.  She also does her own preparatory casting and offerings to the elemental wheel to maintain her abilities.  With minimal equipment, she can also perform repairs on metal or wooden weaponry.  Her air mastery allows her to cushion weight on carts and pack animals, improving travel time and fatigue.  She also uses air mastery for cloud flight, not needing a transport animal for herself and her belongings.

She tries her best to make up for her lack of expertise in combat with her skill at the forge.  She is devoted heart and soul to arming and maintaining the ranks of the 101 Knights and the Second Contingent, working for mostly material costs.  While she can (and does) forge larger pieces such as plate/chain armor, shields, and large weapons (hammers, greatswords, bastard swords, lances/pikes, greataxes), her expertise lies with smaller weapons (daggers, short swords, curved swords, blades for halberd and naginata, hand axes), ammunition (arrow heads, crossbow bolts), staves, and jewelry.  As forgemistress and magistrix, she can imbue any of her forged creations with elemental enchantments.  Though she has limited biological experience, she has also designed magically augmented prosthetics for the replacement of lost organs.  She creates housewares (silverware, goblets, etc.) and fine crafts by commission to pay for the maintenance of her forge.  She can also construct rudimentary stoneware but does so primarily for self-use.

Neraia’s most secret passion is her lifelong love of music.  Having taken up the baroque lute in her childhood, she has spent the vast majority of her life playing music, using it as rare supplemental income or a private treat for those closest to her.  While owning a 13-course baroque lute, an oud, and a bell-strung sitar, she can adeptly play a wide range of plucked string instruments from several cultural backgrounds.


Equipment:

Neraia wears a modified version of the standard Magistrix’s robes in dark grey and black with white trim.  On either side, she has cut slits for mobility, also allowing access to a thigh-hilt for a casting dagger.  She also keeps a second dagger in case of emergencies, tucked in her left boot.  At each of the ‘points’ and in the center of the eye on her tabard, she has sewn tiny silver medallions imbued with pre-selected spells—a failsafe to prevent herself from ever being caught unaware.  She also wears leather gloves outside of combat.

Her primary weapon is Athanasia’s Eye, an ornately filigreed silver staff topped with a crescent supporting a large, spherical quartz crystal, used as a focus for her support-based spellcasting.  Secondarily, she uses an obsidian casting dagger, Hrodheid, as a focus for her offensive-based casting, dual wielding during combat.  The obsidian dagger also acts as her access to her akashic abilities; augmenting her elemental magic requires her to shed blood.

She also uses a set of enchanted jewelry to augment each of her elemental abilities: a left helix earring with a fire opal stud (fire), a right helix earring with a hoop of polished oak and ash secured by thorn (wood), a cast iron pendant shaped into a rune (earth/metal), a silver diadem with an inset celestite cabochon (air), a silver ring set with chrysocolla cabochon (water), and a polished ebony wood ring set with five stones (Akasha).
Knight #86: Neraia Aikaterine Lysand - Description
Here is the character description for #86, Neraia!  I'll be writing more in-depth about stories from her past as well as present soon.

Thanks for the read, and feel free to leave your thoughts.

If you'd like to know more about her background, see her biography here!

To learn more about her specific abilities as an elementalist, choose from the topics below!
[Spell List] [More on Akasha]

For more about :iconambiguous-apathy: 's Knight #57, Nikara Kalga Ereatha, head over to her character description here!
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deviantID

mme-enigmatique
some kind of wannabe lovestar
United States
i write things.

Current Residence: pittsburgh.

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:iconvulgarxsxdxr:
VulgarxSxDxR Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2010
Thank you for the waaaatch~!! <3
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:iconmme-enigmatique:
mme-enigmatique Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2010
bwee, ofcourse <3
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spare-bibo Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2009
many thanks for watching!..... :)
ciao
bibo...... :)
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bigskystudio Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2009   Photographer
many thanks for the add
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:iconkaliannameyron:
kaliannameyron Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2009
Bwahahaha, a found you, I has done it.

Also: /fuss for not telling people that would have cared that you got a DD! I'm an art nerd, too, dammit!

~Possibly a Lia
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:iconjvg246:
jvg246 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congrats on the DD ^^
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:iconmolesgallus:
molesgallus Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008
you remind me of someone who is about to get hit by a wall of faves and watches :) enjoy :)

Stunning, honest, powerful, amazing work. keep it up :)
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:iconabbey-termeer:
Abbey-TerMeer Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2008
thank you so much for the watch!
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raithesheep Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2008
Thank you for the watch! I appreciate it!
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