Ophelia grew up in the borderlands with her mother, father, and big brother, Loraine. Her parents had come to the edge of the wilderness to carve out a homestead with the little money they had. Very protective of Loraine, they moved knowing it would be dangerous, but less dangerous than sending their son off to fight in the army, the only real choice for a poor boy with little talent or teaching. They loved Ophelia, but found her a little odd. Being simple folk, they were more interested in the daily life that a farm had to offer, while Ophelia constantly asked questions about how the world worked. She rarely did chores around the farm, and was often found wandering just inside the woods, staring at mushrooms, picking flowers, or just sitting, eyes closed, listening to the wind.
After many attempts to get her to work, her parents mostly left her alone. It was no surprise that they didn’t notice her missing for almost three days. They called and called for her, but after a few days, they stopped looking. They were secretly relieved to be rid of the odd creature that was their daughter.
Six months later, Ophelia was found curled up in the barn. She was a dirty and ragged ball, clutching on with dear life to her own body even in sleep. When they finally woke her, they were startled to see her once dark brown eyes were jewel green.
Ophelia lived in nightmares for a while, knowing that something had happened to her, but unable to remember. Only in her dreams did she see flashes of things: bright colors, beautiful music, and horrible pain. Her only souvenir from the experience, besides her unnerving eyes, was a small silver ring encircling her ring finger on her left hand. She tried again and again to rid herself of the ring, throwing it in the fire, dropping it into the river, burying it, but each morning she awoke to it still there on her finger.
Her family avoided her most of the time. They found being near her strange and uncomfortable. Things seemed to move by themselves in her presence, and she would sometimes just stop in the middle of whatever she was doing, eyes glazing over, as if seeing things not quite there. At night, she cried out in her sleep, moaning and screaming, clawing at things unseen. The only thing that seemed to help was when she discovered her ability to heal the small animals she found around the farm. She grew repelled by the idea of eating animal flesh, and often chided her parents for the barbaric practice.
After a passerby witnessed her healing a seemingly dead bird, the more superstitious people began to avoid the homestead, making trade hard for her parents. A few desperate people approached Ophelia, begging her to heal them. The strain of the situation began to wear away at the little family ties there were between Ophelia and her parents.
That spring, a foal was born with an extra leg and Loraine grabbed an axe, ready to put it down. Ophelia screamed at him, placing herself between him and the newborn foal. Loraine continued to swing the axe, uncaring as to where it landed. In a moment of reflex, Ophelia felt a bolt of energy leave her fingertips, throwing Loraine to the ground unconscious.
Ophelia knew that was the end of her time on the farm. She rushed to the house before Loraine could rise from the ground and hurriedly gathered some items. She came back to find the foal climbing to its feet and Loraine still lying on the ground. She coaxed the foal with some milk to follow her and they both fled deeper into the woods.
She lived in the woods for five years, foraging for herself and the horse. She braved town only when it was absolutely necessary always listening for news of her family, but no one seemed to know what had happened to them. Sometimes nearby homesteaders – at least the brave ones – would bring her food and other items in exchange for the little bits of healing she could do. She grew to love her solitude, only begrudgingly speaking with other beings. In the back of her mind, however, was a growing curiosity that she could not shake: what had they done to her? She itched to find out despite the bouts of unreasoning terror she faced periodically, but she knew she was not brave enough to delve into the wilderness too deeply on her own.
After a particularly vivid dream, she knew it was time to re-enter society . She started slowly, going to market, sitting alone in an inn at a nearby crossroads. People stared at her woad-dyed hair and lips and sparkling green eyes, but mostly left her alone. Despite the stares and occasional signs against evil that were directed against her, something compelled her to stay. She knew that out there somewhere was someone who would be able to help her find the answers she needed if she only waited long enough.
Finally, she read the postings about bands traveling to the Lost Lands and knew this was her opportunity to get closer to the truth. She tried to focus in her mind that she would be asked to kill and that this was okay since these might be some of the creatures that haunted her dreams. Gathering her few items and her horse, she reported to the assigned meeting place feeling scared, but hopeful for the first time in her life.
Adventure Trait: Pioneer