Lady Laverna, better known as the Dawn Light (or in her local island as “Pride of Touqeer“), was a famous female warrior and general during the Succession Wars of the Thorian Empire. Born in the city of Touqeer, north-northeast of Maakaan, her early days were spent helping her parents Juuso and Evela at their inn, the Black Elk and Ale, located at the waterfront of the city. For the young rebellious girl, her infancy was rather simple and boresome, always looking for a way out into a more exciting avenue. It eventually arrived at Touqeer via a Valaran survivor. Through the soldier, Laverna had her first contact with weapons and warfare at age eleven. Despite the father’s complaints, the young girl practiced bow and arrow and quickly became an expert markswoman. Her hunting skills granted her a good bargaining chip with the fidgety Juuso, and Laverna spent as much time out in the wild as she did helping out at the inn. The soldier would eventually teach her how to use a sword, and fight on horseback.
Archer3 by Kseniya Sibileva
The innocence of younger years turned to ash in Laverna’s mouth one very sour day. A vicious pirate attack put most of the city to the torch and left Touqeer a graveyard. Among the lives reaped too early, Laverna could include her loving parents. At the time, Maakaan was quite autonomous, but still under the Thorian Empire’s influence. The great fortress of Araadur was still under construction, a critical project for the Empire’s ambition. The expectations were for the locals to fend for themselves against unaligned threats and local insurrections. Most of the local guards were deployed to ensure nothing disturbed the castle’s erection. No help came to assist the populace, as the pillaging and murder repeated itself all across the Northeastern shores of Maakaan. Brewing anger grew in Laverna’s heart, a fiery wish for retribution, to see her kin out of harm’s way. Having heard many tales at her parents’ inn, Laverna gathered a group of soldiers and peasants and laid the bait for the corsairs. Using the local Festival of Inciio (the God of Feast, Festivities, Music, and Trickery) at the city of Elaqeer, a rumor was spread that, for that year’s prize for the bard’s competition would be a solid-gold lute. Having grown too bold and arrogant, the pirates ventured far from their waters and found themselves surrounded and outnumbered. Laverna and her band slew all of them and returned the region to peace.
The years leading to adulthood saw her more and more involved in the military and civil guard of Maakaan. But things were not going well in the Thorian Empire, with the War of Succession raging on, and the mounting pressure of military movements of Niqessi armies in the southern border. With a reputation that preceded her, Laverna was drafted quickly into the Malapernsa (a noble family supporting one of the warring Thorian factions) army. Her credentials granted her the rank of officer, but quite low, as her superiors mocked the competence of a woman and, worse, a Maakaanite woman. Her company was given menial tasks, away from the frontlines, to “put her in her place”. Yet all would change soon. A couple of months into the war, while the dead King’s cousin (the faction the Malapersna supported) was trashing the other rivals up north and west, the southern border was invaded by Niqessi forces, supported by Makavali mercenaries. These raced towards the important bastion of Tirina, which guarded the river Azzopardi. The attack was lightning fast, with the enemies laying siege across the river in less than a fortnight. The troops on the south bank scattered to the four winds before the fighting. Their numbers were not enough to contend with the invaders and being surrounded and trapped between enemy spears and the wide river would have been fatal. using her Maakaanite soldiers, experienced sailors, Lady Laverna cruised around the river and disembarked southeast to the siege forces. She rallied a group of surviving soldiers under her command. Legends say she rode all throughout the night from the North, personally saving and healing downtrodden defenders, and recruiting them for one final push. Then, at dawn, the ragtag band charged against the flank of the besiegers.
With the glorious sun rising behind them, the now legendary Charge of the Scarlet Dawn surprised the enemy and broke their eastern lines. But Laverna’s foes were not yet vanquished; reorganizing their troops, they would have been quickly overrun due to the number difference. Yet fortune smiled to the defenders, as the dispersed troops that had fled Northwest were reinforced and charged the western flank. This pincer move squashed the center of the troops, where the Makavali mercenaries were, pinning them down and not really enabling them to maneuver and counter. Aghast, the Niqessi forces dropped their weapons and ran south without ever looking back, turning the odds entirely and giving the Thorian forces an overwhelming victory. The Makavali forces surrendered and were later ransomed, to their great shame. And thus, the Siege of Tirina was lifted, and Laverna cemented her status of living legend. The Dawn Light, the Maiden of the Morning, as she was now known as, was honored a few weeks later by the new Thorian King Faero Alloriel as General Protector of the Empire. This displeased King Faero’s generals, so as a compromise Laverna was offered to commander the forces in Maakaan, which suited her well, as she longed for home. Laverna lived a long life, away from the spotlight, having wed, raised a family, and dying of old age in her rebuilt hometown of Touqeer. While the details after her returned are scarce, it his said she married a local boy named Aldar Agante, son of a local merchant, and popular belief states that the Agante family still carry Laverna’s heroic blood.
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