The Feyerlin Five
Barbarian-Fighter from the lost lands to the far north.
Far in the distant north, where the wind blows endlessly through snow-covered mountains and forested vales, hardy men with ice in their veins, an ancient civilization that society has long since forgotten, live off the land. Theirs is a culture grounded as much in the berserker’s axe as it is in a great reverence for nature, a people with both honor and strength aplenty.
The Kalevala, strongest of these men, settled in the valleys and fjords of Kaleva, from which they took their name, in epochs past, and have since remained in their ancestral lands. For as long as their land has existed, they have been surrounded by enemies; wyrms and other fearsome beasts to the north, barbarian kingdoms to the east and west, hags and other supernatural menaces from within, and the Sylvanni tribe of wild elves who reside in the great forest to the south.
From this age-old conflict, many bastard half-elven children were born, and nearly all of their fates have been tragic. Haleakhala was no different. Her father Kvalnir, a great and respected Kalevalan berserker, fathered her in a moment of drunken weakness with an elven house slave he had captured in the border wars. After her birth, her mother promptly slit her wrists from the shame of bearing a human’s offspring and departed for whatever mystical realm elves enter when they die. For his part, though, her father was good to her. He raised her as best he could in a difficult environment, until finally the frigid North claimed his life, too, when she had just come of age. From the beginning, she was considered a second-class citizen because of her blood and her gender. To prove herself, Khala sought from a young age to become a Wise Woman, one of the shamanistic witches who advised the berserker-lords, a position of great respect. However, her elven blood and fiery, unpredictable temper prevented her from achieving that dream, so she decided to instead stick to what she was good at (violence) and train her body for war at one of the great berserker lodges, Snow Tiger Lodge.
It was all for naught. The Kalevalans are a highly traditional people, with clearly demarcated gender roles, and the words “woman” and “warrior” did not often appear next to each other. She quickly found that without her influential father’s valorous reputation to open doors for her, a career as a warrior wasn’t possible; in fact, she had very few options open to her that weren’t “housewife of some drunken raider or some drunken tradesman”. After a group of young warriors who paid court to her, some of them scions of influential families who sought a beautiful and submissive wife to bear children, were put to the sword after attempting to prevent her departure, she fled south to escape justice.
Haleakhala sought succor in the greatwoods of the Sylvanni, who were infamous among the Kalevala for allowing their fiercest women onto the battlefield, but was refused entry (not to mention nearly killed) on the grounds that those with the blood of humans had no place among the Sylvanni. She was reluctantly allowed passage through the forest, whereupon she found passage south at a frontier trading post on a ship bound for Calen Sanye. For nearly a decade, she’s sold her sword to the highest bidder, doing bodyguard work and guarding caravans from bandits. Without a goal in life other than to locate the next potential roof over her head and fill her belly with mead, she waxes philosophical and seeks a sign from the spirits of a greater purpose in her life.