Joja of Dhaes Drae Aesilon

 

Areas of Influence: Love, Loyalty, Diplomacy and Nature

Symbol: A Deep Blue Rose Whose Green Thorny Stem

Ends in a Quill Tip

Alignment: True Neutral

Race: Grey-Elf

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Born the daughter of half-giant, half-grey-elven Crown Prince Calcyr of Dhaes Drae Aesilon and his grey-elven wife-princess Aesidel, Jojain of Dhaes Drae Aesilon was second in line to the throne of DDA. Called Joja by her father, she spent most of her childhood with him, traveling throughout the Southern Continent, visiting all the royal courts and learning to be a proper elvish princess. A quiet child, she spent many of her days quietly playing in the same rooms which were used for diplomatic negotiations, and she listened to such deliberations and learned from them. Shortly before attaining her majority, she was sent north to Thera while her father went on a secret diplomatic mission. For a time she studied enchanting magic in the channelers guild, to the great disapproval of her paternal grandfather Lord Darkwood, Guardian of Honor. She put her diplomatic training to use for the Golden Leaf Society, becoming Keeper of Diplomacy. Before she attained the highest ranking in the guild for her studies, she renounced magic for the tainted and imperfect power it was, and sought purification. Her purification took place the night Empress Yukino breathed her last, having distracted Lord Darkwood in his labors and ruined the great work. Bravely, Joja faced a second purification at the hands of her grandfather, and learned from him the lore of the woodlands. She later specialized within the guild to work with the beasts. Her quiet and mostly peaceful nature seemed at odds with the Steel Clan, yet she was invited to apply for membership and accepted, swearing the blood oath and giving her full loyalty to the Never ending Crusades a celestial week before the death of Leader Jord Roshnak. She approached the goals of the House differently from the rest of the Clan, seeking to bring mages and others who used magic to purity, rather than to a horrible, bloody death. Swiftly she rose in the ranks, from Dagger to Broadsword to Warhammer, and then to Envoy of the Crusades serving under Nixalis n'Gorlas the Leader and alongside Bradwarden the Warlord then proudly wearing the Living Battleaxe as a chosen follower of her grandfather, Lord Darkwood. At the deaths of both Nixalis and Bradwarden, Joja gathered the support of the Clan behind her and took the leadership, shedding her reputation as a merely peaceful diplomat. Her tenure as Leader lasted a few celestial months, and ended with a ceremonial Seppuku to regain her personal honor, her family's honor, and the honor of the Steel Clan, an act which turned out to be unnecessary because she had not acted dishonorably as accused. Brought up to believe the fairy tales told her by her father, the elvish princess trusted that her father would keep his promise to her and choose for her a fitting elvish prince. But as time went on and her father did not return from his secret mission, Joja realized she would have to ensure the succession on her own. Unfortunately, while the fairy tales always ended with the elvish princess living happily ever after with her elvish prince, Joja found reality a harsh mentor. Her first two loves died from battle, and her grandfather taught her some important lessons in the virtue of love. After having been courted and dumped by a large number of suitors, and having lost her third love to the corruption of the Brethren, the second heir to the throne of DDA closed her eyes to the fair visages of men and looked more deeply into their hearts, finding herself marrying not a handsome elvish prince but a rough, common-born troll who, through his honor and ability, rose to Warlord in the Steel Clan. Six children were born to the union, and grew learning of their heritage and the importance of the work of the Steel Clan. Those six children provided a means for the Warlord to betray Joja, falsely accusing her of infidelity before the Clan, and pushing her to take her life in such a way as to regain honor for the Clan and her family.

 

Part 2:

Surrounded by repeated accusations of dishonor and infidelity, Joja's spirit floated in an endless plane of nightmare, seeing replays of her last days alive in Thera, the images seeming all the more real than her memories. Most of her memories slipped away. She concentrated on that which she felt were most important. Grandfather Darkwood. Father Calcyr. Daughter Burthain. Sons Kalkyr, Dalvimyr, Trevyr, Agharil, and Jyracyl. Occasionally she focused upon the lemniscate branded Maladorn. She focused mostly on her childhood, on her happier times with her children, watching them grow, teaching them love and honor, loyalty and diplomacy, caring for nature, turning away from the temptation of the godly magical powers. All the while she concentrated on the happier memories, the accusations interfered, the images of the betrayal, the sounds of the dishonorable voices, overrode her thoughts. All she was, now, was a mass of thoughts, disjointed memories, and even those happier ones were slipping. Were those children hers by her husband? Or were his accusations against her correct? Who could have possibly joined with her to produce so many half-trollkin babies? She could not remember, and she knew deep down that she could not have mated with a troll she did not love. A fiery ring opened up, and a pair of huge hands reached through, approaching what wispy spirit was left of Joja. Fascinated with the new image, she allowed the very solid hands to grasp her spirit and pull her through the ring of fire. She stood naked, and without physical substance, before a group of strangers. Only the huge giant surrounded by a whirlwind of tornadic air, leaves, dust, twigs, and other flotsam looked familiar. Forgetting herself, she hugged the giant, and went through him, for all she was, was a wisp of spirit, thought, disjointed memories. He welcomed her with a booming voice, calling her 'Granddaughter' in the presence of a number of strangers. But he was unhappy. He had only partially succeeded, setting her free of her prison, but failing to return her to solid form. Ethereal, troll, halfling, human, elf, the strangers stood staring at her. Unclothed, she kept her 'body' from forming any recognizable shape, but they only saw through her, for she was almost transparent. They welcomed her, too, smiling. She floated behind some of them into the great Castle, and there she listened to their stories, occasionally interrupting to gain reassurance from the tornadic giant that she had never been dishonorable, that the accusations had been false, that her death had been unnecessary. She learned that her body had never burned in the funeral pyre, though it was surrounded by the hottest of flames. That the head had remained attached by a sliver of skin. Then she focused upon learning the most important thing of all: Who was Joja of Dhaes Drae Aesilon?

 

They filled her mind with memories, and as their stories unlocked her own memories, her spirit strengthened and formed a corporeal shell. Long it took to solidify, during which time she remained with the Steel Clan, haunting their Castle Balkra, visiting with old friends. Some of the memories she regained were her own. Some were the memories of others, explaining events in her life which had been unexplained at her death. Learning that there had been a chance, perhaps two chances, at dishonor did not deter her from learning the truth as those who knew her reminded her of what they thought best to remind her. She knew, from deep inside, that while the temptations had presented themselves, she had remained loyal to her love and to her duty. As she approached solidity, she was refused every time she sought to remember that one Warlord. Nobody would share memories of him. Joja began to fear that the loss of those memories, for good or ill, would keep her ghostly. However, there was one who had joined the Clan at about the same time as the Betrayer, who helped her overcome her greatest fear, and brought her to solidity through love. But with the gaining of a fleshly form, Joja paid a price. She could never be reminded of the Betrayer without suffering tremendous pain and anguish. Any small remembrance would swiftly be buried again, to quell the pain.

 

Part 3:

As she grew in power, Joja learned to control the forces of nature, though not as powerfully as Lord Darkwood. She aided those who sought purification, learning to grant it on her own. Occasionally people sought to follow her, but they knew little of her or what she represented. Joja herself knew little of it, and sought the counsel of rangers and warriors to learn of how she was perceived. At last she spoke with a young swashbuckling thief who helped her focus upon the main perceptions. Joja found herself more and more embodying the virtues of love, loyalty, and diplomacy, virtues which had been strongly present in her mortal life. The mortal perception of her as a nature goddess persisted, however. After being struck by a great power from the heavens, Joja was infused with greater power herself, some of which manifested itself into a pair of enormous, white, feathery wings, wings which she stumbled under, for they were more giant-sized than elf-sized. As she aided one supplicant to purification, she found her control of the power manifest itself not in the green aura of nature, but a blue aura. She brought many to purity, continuing her life work in the afterlife.

 

With the help of Crusader Leader Tyberius, who pledged his soul to her as a follower in full understanding of her chosen virtues, Joja chose her symbol: a deep blue rose whose green thorny stem ended in a quill tip. It embodied all her virtues at one time.

 

While Joja dearly loves her Krull children, she prefers not to be reminded of her marriage to the Betrayer, and rather the word Krull be used only to denote the herb of healing. All memory of the Betrayer was denied her while she sought to solidify with renewed memories, and now such memory causes her intense pain and anguish. The BloodKnight who helped her solidify through love, Bludgwuar Stregheria, gave her one last child, Agryr, before he expired, his soul joining Lord Darkwood in his afterlife. Shortly before his passing, Joja became close with another young BloodKnight, Krazar Lechium, counseling him as he rose from warhammer to Leader. His mortal leadership came to an end when the Genocide Axe, which had been in his possession for a very long
time, finally took his life in Glyndane. Through an accident, Joja's attempt to revive him from the death, sharing her soul to pull his back, went beyond her intent, bringing him back as immortal, and falling lifeless herself. Krazar's first act was to take her to a private place away from the crowds, and share his soul and hers back with her, reviving her. By so doing, the two had shared souls with each other, binding each to the other.

 

Joja ignores those who do not greet her properly, and rarely honors any requests for favors unless from those who have proven themselves to be courteous and mannerly. Those who have incurred her wrath find themselves excommunicated. She will not acknowledge their existence with more than a nod. Retaining a strong conviction that the use of magic by mortals is wrong, she still tries to preach purity to those who will listen, though her time is often taken with other matters,and she will refer most to her book on the subject for a more complete discussion. Among her favorite sayings is, 'Elvish men are flakes,' and she finds herself smiling more upon trolls and giants than upon her own kind, although she is a quarter part giant. She takes little joy in dealing with pushy people and will more often ignore them.

 

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