"I'm no longer just the weak Healer you left behind!"
Ilysa (alias Karere) Farell is the High Ambassador of Zerua. Her main responsibility is peaceable negotiation with other nations to avoid fighting. Her father, Elra, was the lord of the small House Farell. Several years after the death of King Neven, Ilysa’s father married Queen Ellin. Ilysa is the child of the Queen’s second marriage. She grew up in the Court of Zerua, learning about nobility and royalty. More often than not, she would sneak out of the castle to interact with the common folk and learn of their needs and desires. She believed that in order to be a good noble, you needed to understand the people. While a daughter of the Queen, she is not daughter-heir to the throne, that honor belongs to Adena. Instead, showing a natural proclivity for politics and diplomacy, Ilysa was selected as a diplomat. Within a few years, Ilysa showed great progress and soon became the High Ambassador.
On most of her missions, she would put on a disguise to protect her identity. There were several aliases that Ilysa would cycle through, each with a different appearance in order to remove unwanted attention. Common attempts at disguise include dying her hair and changing her accent.
A Fateful Night
Ilysa was traveling under the guise of Karere, a low court attendant sent away as a political punishment to Ragnis, a diplomatic gift. Her true goal was to meet with the king to discuss the current tensions that have been rising on the border between Zerua and Ragnis. One a fateful night, she decided to stop in at the Golden Bard, a tavern on the far outskirts of Erumen, a large city in Zerua. It was not long since the start of her journey and she still had several weeks of travel ahead of her.
In the dead of night, two men stole into Ilysa’s room to assassinate her. The attempt failed due to a split second error made by the assassin. The wound was fatal, but left her long enough to scream for help. A door slammed as Aren, Lorcran, and Lancas fought their way to get into the room. The assassin’s, more acclimated to sneaking than fighting, were no match for Aren’s sheer strength. One assassin was left alive for interrogation, but he managed to slit his throat with a hidden dagger before the party could gain any useful information. Upon searching the bodies, they find that each has a tattoo on a hidden part of their body. It depicted a hand with a dagger outlined in the center. This was the symbol of the elusive Order of the Shadow Blades.
Alive and potentially in the company of more spies, Ilysa decided to maintain her alias, referring to herself as Karere. She asked the men who helped her if they would be able to escort her back to Etzel, as the Court should hear of this. She promises a large award for helping her get back to her home safely.
A Slight Detour
On their way back to Etzel, Aren found new information about the bandits that raided and attacked his village. Reluctant to abandon their escort duty, they turn to Ilysa to ask her advice. She quickly finds a private room to send a short message to the Court, explaining what happened and her lateness. Ilysa is more than happy to take a detour to save Aren’s mother and the rest of the survivors from his village.
Over the course of their journey, Ilysa and the others begin to feel like a team. They grow used to each other’s company and enjoy their presence. While her disguise of Karere was necessary for her survival, Ilysa began to harbor guilt over hiding her true identity from her new friends, always waiting for the opportune moment that never came.
It was at this point that Ilysa began to train her healing skills in secret, hoping to one day be of use to her new friends.
A few weeks after sending her message, the party finds the bandit hideout. After a fierce battle, Aren kills the leader of the bandits, a Crusader from his martial school.
High Ambassador Ilysa Farell
Two weeks after finding and freeing the captives, Ilysa finally arrives back at Etzel, the capital of Zerua. She gives Aren and Co. a slip of paper with instructions and a seal from her signet ring. She quickly leaves the party to go find her mother and update her on what has happened.
Ilysa leaves the others in the care of The Queen’s Grace, a large tavern in the upper ring of Etzel. The owner and Ilysa have been friends since childhood, often getting into mischief and trouble together. The owner, Hanlon, was also nobly born but decided to forgo the ordeal and instead became a simple tavern master.
After a few days of meetings and deliberation with royal advisors, Ilysa returns to the tavern to see her friends. She informs them that they will be meeting with the Queen. It is then that she confesses her true identity to the party. She tells them that she is not a simple court employee, but High Ambassador of Zerua, on a sensitive mission to Ragnis. Somehow, someone knew about her identity and wanted her dead.
A meeting with her mother ends with the decision to go to Valtir. They will raise the issue of the assassinations to the council members and request a formal investigation into the Order of the Shadow Blades. Reluctantly, Queen Ellin agrees to let Ilysa travel with her new companions for this journey.
The Journey to Valtir
Over the course of a few weeks, Ilysa was able to finish her training formally and becoming a full-fledged Healer. She kept this information hidden as a surprise for the others. It was not long before she decided to use her skills. The company took a small detour to help a village with a monster problem. They left Ilysa behind, but she followed them anyway, remaining hidden until the situation looked bad.
Surprised at her new skills, the company was impressed at her healing ability and remarked at how Lancas never seemed to want to step up to the front lines to heal Aren when needed.
After several weeks, the company reaches Valtir in high hopes of remedying the problems they have come to face with Ragnis. Ilysa is hopeful that the Council will be able to help lead an investigation to get to the bottom of the mystery.
The meeting with the council ends productively, with the council agreeing to send an official informal investigation to Ragnis. The same company is selected as they have no official ties to Ragnis. It is at this point that Ilysa learns of the death of Salzen, the king of Ragnis. Jahal is the heir-apparent and hopes to gain the favor of Valtir to succeed the throne.
Later that same night, a mysterious figure stops their path through the streets. Without a word he begins to mercilessly attack the company, attempting to kill all of them. Ilysa grew desperate as her spells rapidly depleted. Just as all hope seemed lost, Jahal rushed in to save the day. He stalled the mysterious man long enough to allow the company to escape. They left the next day.
A Change in Plans
The road and journey to Ragnis was faster with their horses than it was on foot. Over the course of their journey, they managed to help a few villages with any monsters that were harassing them. The journey to Ragnis for the most part was relatively calm.
Upon reaching Fahrel, the capital of Ragnis, Ilysa notices that there is an unusual amount of traffic given the time of day. After asking around, they realize find that the mass of the traffic is directed toward the inner city wall, right before the castle. Hanging from the wall were the bodies of Adena and Roderick Arafel, Ilysa’s half siblings.
Shaken, Ilysa numbly tells the others that they must get back to Etzel as soon as possible. On their way out of the city, a shady Halfling offers them a quite route back near the city of Etzel. They decide to take him up on his offer, desperate to get back. They are teleported to a field several days away from Etzel.
Upon reaching the city, Ilysa went to the Queen immediately. She informed the Queen of the deaths of her children and apologized for not being able to save them. Queen Ellin then makes her declaration of war, destroying the Gift of Ragnis and breaking the Hadin Mer.
Death is Lighter than a Feather, Duty is Heaver than a Mountain
After the declaration of war, Aren and Co. are tasked with sending a large stack of documents to Ellumina, asking for aid. Ilysa informed the company that she will be unable to join them as she has to remain at Court. Despite the danger, she must present a strong front for Zerua in order to gain the favor of their allies. She left them, determined to fulfill her role as the new daughter-heir of Zerua.
Soon after their departure, Queen Ellin requested that Ilysa try out for a spot as a Pegasus Knight. The Zeruan army was famed for its elite band of flying knights. Determined to make a difference, Ilysa picked up a lance and began training intensely. She would be useful as both a healer and a fighter. A princess that could heal, fight, and perform great acts of diplomacy would give Zerua a very sharp edge indeed.
The training was harsh, but Ilysa showed a natural aptitude for combat despite her more reserved nature. Within three months of training, she was accepted into the Feathered Knights, the order of Pegasus Knights in Zerua. For the next several months, Ilysa stretched herself as thin as she dared. She continued with her royal duties: going to meetings, meeting with diplomats, and her regular diplomatic duties. She also trained. Ilysa was constantly exhausted on the brink of completely passing out, but she was determined to do her duty and help her country and her people.
After several more months as an initiate in the Feathered Knights, Ilysa rose to the rank of an Officer. She was able to perform solo missions, without the need of another superior’s guidance. It had been roughly six to seven months since the breaking of the Hadin Mer. Armies were being completed and troops were moving more rapidly towards military targets.
The Zeruan army, in response to Ragnis, marches to Valtir to prevent Ragnis from seizing the city.
Ilysa’s job was to scout ahead of the Zeruan armies to prevent monsters from sneaking into camps. She and her team would deal with the most dangerous monsters so the army would not need to expend more resources to defend themselves.
Upon one such scouting trip, Ilysa met familiar friends being harassed by a pair of Remorhaz. Being showy to her friends as usual, Ilysa speared into a perfectly fine Remorhaz, killing it in one fell swoop. She then requested their help with a more dangerous monster that even some Feathered Knights could not handle.
The group, reunited once more, is able to easily dispatch an unusually hardy Red Drake. They laugh and reminisce about their old adventures together as they continue to march towards Valtir.