Faydra Withersnap


Born to the Bright Shadows tribe, of the Razorclaw Shifters, she was given the name of Morning Echo. She did not long live among that tribe, nor keep that name. While she was but a child, there was a schism in the tribe, which culminated in a bloody conflict, before the tribe was splintered. It was the last she saw of her father, as she and her mother joined with others of the tribe who sought a new life in the closest major city, Kharod. They forsook the identity of their old tribe, and she adopted the name Faydra Withersnap.

Life was hard, in the city of Kharod; there were many who had little tolerance for Shifters. Her mother constantly urged her to suppress her feral heritage, as it would always stand in the way of their acceptance in the city. They had no choice but to live in poverty. Many of those with whom they had traveled to the city resorted to crime, in order to get by. Leading the crime was her uncle, who insisted on retaining his tribal name, Broken Tower. Although her mother disapproved, Faydra was often party to their crimes. As a child, she found such activities to be fun; in addition to that, it was just about the only way she could get the coin to buy a decent meal. Over the years, she became well versed in thievery.

In time, her kin became involved in bigger crimes; organized crimes. Other shifters, seeking a new life in the city, were brought into the fold, and before long, a formidable gang had been formed, taking on the name of their old tribe, the Bright Shadows. Broken Tower led the gang, and Faydra, having been along from the beginning, was one of his top lieutenants. As it gave them an edge, in their criminal activities, she was encouraged to embrace her savage heritage, which they had for so long tried to hide. Her mother never approved, and many times tried to convince Faydra to end her association with the Bright Shadows, and their wild blood. Faydra never listened; her mother was a fool to turn her back on the power that was their birthright.

There came a day when Faydra wished she had heeded the admonitions of her mother.

A job had gone south, and a former ally became an enemy to the Bright Shadows, with a personal vendetta against Faydra and Broken Tower. Hitmen were sent to take them out, and they struck at Faydra while she was visiting her mother. Faydra and Broken Tower, both, let their primal heritage overcome them, and fought back in a feral rage. In the end, the assailants were all slain, but in her bloodlust, Faydra was unable to prevent a terrible tragedy. In his bloodrage, Broken Tower had lost the ability to discern friend from foe, and his claws had torn through her mother’s throat. Faydra watched as her mother bled out in her own arms, while her uncle simply turned and walked away.

That fateful night was a turning point for Faydra. Her mother had been right, all along; their shifter heritage was a curse, from which only sorrow would come. Faydra left the Bright Shadows, and she left the city of Kharod. She needed to find a new life, and escape the bonds of her feral nature.

She ended up in another big city, working for a merchant house. She did all that she could to suppress her wild side; the intellectual nature of her work for the merchant house, reviewing trade documents, helped her to maintain civilized composure. So long as she avoided the intensity and thrill of the sort of criminal activities she engaged in with the Bright Shadows, she could keep the beast locked within her.

While working for the merchant house, she became enamored with one Artero Maenasi, nephew to one of the prominent members of the merchant house. Faydra was elated when he responded in kind, and began to court her. Their relationship was not so wonderful as Faydra thought it to be, however. He took advantage of her access to documents with information sensitive to the merchant house. From her, he obtained documents which he would sell to competitors. Eventually, Artero went so far as to have her altering documents, and even planting incriminating documents with certian members of the merchant house. Faydra recognized what was going on, but wouldn’t believe that Artero could use her like that.

One night, Artero had Faydra sneak into the chambers of one of the higher ranking members in the merchant house, Gustav Bale, to steal a parcel of great value. Faydra was noticed by Gustav, and the guards were called. Cornered, Faydra had no choice but to unleash her Shifter heritage.

This time, however, it was unlike anything Faydra had experienced before. For so long she had repressed the feral side of her, bottling it up, that what she now unleashed was a ferocity and savagery beyond what she even thought possible. All semblance of civility was lost, as she became a raging beast.The guards were slaughtered, and she turned her claws onto Gustav. She would have torn the man limb from limb, but he possessed some enchanted artifact that protected him from her powers. In spite of this, she still managed to leave the man heavily wounded.

As the bloodlust faded, she realized, with horror, what she had done.

So great was her shame, at her actions, that she was prepared to turn herself in, and suffer the price for her crimes. To her surprise, Gustav never said a word. He had looked directly at her, stared her in the eyes as she clawed at his magical defenses, but in the aftermath he never revealed to anyone who it was that had attacked him.

This vexed Faydra even more. Why would this man let her get away with her actions? No one would question his word. He could have her executed for what she did, but he did not. Why? Was it out of fear, that Faydra would seek to finish him off should he speak? Did he have something to hide, which he feared Faydra may somehow have discovered? Was he just a man of such character that he had the capacity to forgive her?

Faydra reflected, often, on extremity of the transformation she had experienced that night. She had worked so hard to keep her savage blood at bay, but on that night it was so far worse than it had ever been. Was it because she had kept it inside? Had the pressure built until it could not be contained, and was released in a violent explosion? She had to find a way to balance her nature. She had to find a way to acknowledge the beast inside of her, while retaining that spark of civilization. Most of all, she had to find a way to prevent herself from hurting anyone else.

At length, she decided on a course of action. If the beast was a part of her, she had to embrace it. Beyond that, she had to control it. To learn how to do so, she embarked along the path of the druid. By channeling primal power, she would will herself into the form of a beast, and just as easily will herself out of the form of a beast. She would learn to control her druidic beast forms, and by extension, learn to control the beast that had brought her so much pain and sorrow.

When, not long after, the merchant house fell apart, Faydra was left with little other than her new path to guide her. She had lost everything, but she would not lose herself. She would master the beast.

Faydra Withersnap

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