Arradeth was never an exceptional fighter in any right, most of her life was very humble and uncaring. She hunted when needed to, and gathered supplies just enough to help herself and maybe one other. It wasn't till an Elven commander noticed her potential as a Ranger that she lived this life style. By the time she was found by the commander, she was about 180 years old, but that didn't deter the commander at all.
The only reason Commander Ranun noticed her at all was because the commander himself was hunting around the forest Ithilyn. When Ranun was about ready to kill a buck an arrow whizzed by his head, tearing through the air and finding it's mark perfectly at the neck of the buck. The commander looked to see where the arrow came from, he didn't even see Arradeth yet. So he looked carefully towards the general direction, and saw an outline of someone walking away. When he called out, Arradeth turned real quick before running, but in that split second he caught her face. Later on, Commander Ranun came to her home with the buck and gave it to her, telling Arradeth that it was her kill and therefore her's to keep. Arradeth graciously accepted the buck, and was about to excuse the commander before he offered her the job of a Ranger. Arradeth said she'd consider it and told him to leave, seemingly uninterested. For two years, Arradeth thought the commander forgot about the offer, or at least picked up her disinterest. After a while though she felt it was boring living the same life over and over again, and right when she was ready to go to the Elven stronghold to find Ranun, the commander came with a group of people. Ranun told her to come with them to help with a Rakshasa that has been terrorizing towns south of Ithilyn, near the forest Barvost. The commander also offered the training of being a Ranger on the way. Arradeth accepted, thinking it might benefit her to have some adventure of her own, just like her mother and father.
On their way to Barvost, Arradeth showed great potential in archery and throwing weapons. So good was she, many considered her already a Ranger. The Ranger in their party that was training Arradeth said she'd pick up some of the true skills that came with being a Ranger in no time flat. Despite all that latent skill though, she didn't receive proper training before entering the forest of Barvost, where they met a powerful Rakshasa. The Rakshasa was a humanoid feline that could bend people's will with magic and controlled a small army. Each Rakshasa was generally the same, but they unknowingly attacked one of the stronger ones. The entire party struggled to get through to the stronghold the Rakshasa was in, tearing through all the enslaved and enhanced beings the Rakshasa controlled. By the time they reached the Rakshasa, about half their party was dead, and the only reason why Arradeth wasn't was because of the commander protecting her.
The battle with the Rakshasa proved too much for the commander, Arradeth, and the Ranger. None of Arradeth's arrows were hitting their mark, and the commander was the only one seemingly doing anything against the beast. The Rakshasa simply deflected the arrows that the Ranger and Arradeth threw at it with some sort of magic. After some time, the Ranger was hit with a strong spell before Ranun could do anything to help him. The Rakshasa took a serious blow from the commander's rage, getting slashed across the left shoulder all the way down to the right leg. The Rakshasa didn't give up though, pushing the commander back with all it's strength. The Rakshasa took notice to a cowering Arradeth though, and smiled at the advantage. Casting the spell magic missiles, the Rakshasa aimed directly at Arradeth. The commander noticed quickly, and jumped in the way before Arradeth could be hit. Unfortunately, despite the effort, Arradeth was still hit by 3 of the 8 missiles. The blow stunned Arradeth more than anything, and by the time she got off the ground, the commander was getting executed by the Rakshasa. Before he died, he simply yelled "RUN!" to Arradeth. Arradeth blinked away from the execution and ran as far and fast as she could, when she determined her safety, she looked back at the top of the stronghold tower to see the Rakshasa looking down at her. She memorized every feature in that one second they shared eye contact, and she vowed to come back some day and end that Rakshasa herself. It took everything she had to get out of that forest alive, even after escaping the Rakshasa.
After that day, Arradeth had frequent nightmares of the assault. She couldn't help but remember the face of the commander before getting obliterated, but since she didn't see the actual execution her imagination filled the blanks. Every time the nightmare came into her dreams, the commander died in a new creative way. One time he was destroyed by getting his head torn apart by the Rakshasa's bear hands. Another time he was executed by a point blank magic missile, and another time he had his mind shattered before being beheaded by a cleaver. She tortured herself mentally like this for years, refusing to return back home in such shambles. She roamed the outskirts of the Ithilyn forest, trying to find a purpose. For the long years of her life after that incident, she found herself at the bottom of a mug more times than she can count. She coped with the stress like this, drinking and drinking away her problems until the drunken habits washed over her and made the pain go away, although the anger stayed. She cursed herself for being weak at the time, and not being able to do anything. There was even a point in time she considered taking her own life, but whenever she held the knife in her hand to do it, all she can manage is a cut. She's since had those scars healed.
Her days continued like that until one day a bard entered into a tavern alone with nothing but a violin in his hand and a pouch of gold around his waist. He yelled to everyone "Who wants free drinks!?" Everyone immediately cheered for the bard, except Arradeth who just acknowledged him with a look. After everyone got their rounds of drinks from the bard, everyone gave their attention to him and his performance. The melodic music he played started out as a sad tune, slowly with the violin and letting every note sink into the room. It seems it wasn't only Arradeth that felt the weight that the song brought to the room. Arradeth huddled over and tried to hide her face from everyone as she began to cry. Then the beat went through a transition that sounded like something curious, like someone looking for something. The bard made smooth, fast, and long notes now, giving more energy to the song, until finally the notes exploded into fast moving and energetic beat. Arradeth wiped away her tears as fast as she could and looked up to see everyone starting to clap to the beat and having fun.
"Fun?" She whispered to herself, it has been years since she has last been happy. The feeling she got from the music was disorienting and strange. She smiled at the weird feeling that washed upon her and began to clap lightly. The bard kept playing, but noticed Arradeth in the corner of the room struggling to feel the song completely. The bard smiled and sped up the beat, giving a look that told Arradeth "I'm sure you can do better than that." People started saying sentences, one after another, never interrupting each other. It was like they were making a song together. Arradeth struggled, but eventually gave in to the good feeling and started having a good time herself. The festivities lasted the rest of the night.
Afterwards, the bard took donations and was about to leave when Arradeth stopped him. "I-" She struggled to say, her mouth seemingly dry. The bard smiled and asked "You?" Arradeth swallowed and said "I can't thank you enough, this is the first time I've seen someone like you. May you tell me how to do something like that?" The bard raised an eyebrow. "You mean to tell you how to play music? I don't think I know how to answer that." The bard said honestly.
"Just tell me something, I wouldn't want to waste such an experience by not learning how to remake it." Arradeth pleaded. The bard scratched his side burn and appeared to think. The bard was a white human with black hair and eyes. He had a small nose and a pronounced jawline, and wore worn down noble-esque clothes. "I can give you a flute and you can see how to use it, I always carry it just in case my violin breaks but I'd be more than happy to give it to you. Plus I can just make another one." The bard told Arradeth while taking out a metallic stick of some kind. The stick had multiple holes in it, and an ornate design of a branch twirling around with a leaf at the tip. "Here." He told Arredeth while giving it to her. She didn't grab it right away, but asked "How do I use it?"
The bard laughed, "Ah foolish me, I forgot you are asking me for help not just an instrument. Come walk with me for a while and I'll show you." They walked through the small town they were in as he held the flute to his mouth, and put his hands to hold it at the base while keeping the flute perpendicular to his body. Arradeth watched his actions carefully to try and learn what was about to happen. She took mental notes of the position he was holding it in and all. Then he blew into the flute lightly and a whistling sound shot out of the flute. He turned to Arradeth so she can see better, and moved his hands across the holes just so Arradeth could see how the movements change the sounds. Arradeth was impressed with how simple the instrument looked. After he was done playing, and Arradeth observing, they reached the outskirts of the village and he gave her the flute. The bard stopped before reaching the edge of the village. "Now, it's your turn." He said to her with a smile. Arradeth took a deep breath and cleared her throat before putting her mouth to the flute.
And music was actually coming out, on her first time. It appeared that Arradeth's observation skills paid off as she started to play simple melodies. The bard was impressed and smiled genuinely at her. "If you'd like, we can travel together and I can teach you much more than how to play an instrument." He told her, Arradeth tried to read his eyes to sense what he really wanted. Unfortunately, she didn't know who he was at all yet, which made it hard to read what he'd do as a person. "Yes, I'd like that very much." Arradeth said with a shy smile. The bard looked back to the tavern, "Did you have anything to bring?" He asked her. "No, I...I don't carry alot. Only daggers and a sickle from my days of farming." Arradeth answered plainly. She remembered the time during her two years of wallowing that she refused to look at her bow. Eventually she just broke it in two and threw it as far as she could.
"Very well, shall we be off?" The bard asked Arradeth, she nodded and they moved out into the wilderness together. During their travels together the bard, whom she found out was named Daren, taught her how to be a bard rather than just a simple musician. She picked up quickly though and managed to learn some early spells without any problem, Daren blamed her elven heritage on that one. After a year of traveling together, Daren and Arradeth started to become more than friends. Although Arradeth tried to control herself, she cherished Daren's companionship too much to reject him. They saw many lands together in their two and a half years of travel, and it wasn't till Daren got injured when traversing the northern mountains that he wanted to settle down.
Arradeth and Daren stayed together at a village in the mountains, with majority humans, for quite some time. Before Arradeth or Daren even knew it, another year passed, but Arradeth was getting impatient and wanted to continue her travels. Before she could tell Daren that she wanted to leave, Daren proposed to her with the same song he played when they first met. Arradeth was shocked, didn't know what to say even. After a long pause, Arradeth realized she couldn't say it to his face. Arradeth turned away and started crying. Her voice came out clearly still, as she told Daren in a slightly broken voice "No." With that single word, Arradeth broke his heart. She told Daren that she'd be leaving, but clarified that it was because of her want to leave and not his actions. Arradeth figured he didn't believe her, but that didn't matter. She slept with him for one more night, as a way of apologizing. In the morning, Arradeth was going to leave without a word to try and avoid anymore pleading or heartbreak. Unfortunately for her, Daren woke up first and was waiting for her. She apologized to him for the last time, he simply nodded his head and told her it was alright. Before she left, Arradeth kissed him one more time and promised to visit often. Daren forced a smile to see her off.
Arradeth moved south, heading towards the Underkeep, considering heading back home after all these years. After a month or so however, she started feeling strange. She felt sick, but didn't really look the part. After another month of on and off awkward feelings, Arradeth noticed what was happening. She was pregnant. Arradeth considered her options, return to Daren and start a family, raise the child by herself on the road, or simply birth the child in a safe environment and leave Daren to take care of their child. She decided to go with the latter, and went into labor in the Underkeep. After she bore the child, she took care of her son in the Underkeep for a year. Arradeth decided to go with the name Ranun, as she remembers that being one of her close friends that died during the Barvost assault. She watched Ranun grow, noticing the parts that came from Daren, like the nose and jaw structure. Ranun's eyes, however, were Arradeth; they gleamed a bright emerald color. Arradeth didn't know why, but holding the child alone calmed her down tremendously; she supposed this is what it meant to be a mother.
Once Arradeth felt like Ranun would survive the trip to Daren, she packed her bags and left the Underkeep and made it to Daren within the month. To her surprise, Daren still lived alone there, she thought he'd have found someone else by now. Daren was delighted to see her, and was pleasantly surprised to see Ranun. For a week, Arradeth stayed with Daren again, living with Ranun as a family. Daren asked her one night over a few mugs of ale and when Ranun was asleep, "Does this not feel natural?" Arradeth smiled, "I wouldn't say that, just different." "But imagine having a family like this, surely you must think marriage not a worse option over traveling now." Daren told her. Arradeth sighed, "I can't settled down yet, I have plenty of years to go, and so do you. We should be experiencing the world not staying in a small part of it." Arradeth told him with a half smile. "Perhaps, but this little bit is enough for me, especially if you are with me." Daren told her. Arradeth chuckled, "Such a foolish romantic you are, it's one of the things I've grown to love about you. Still, think of how much we have left to explore. Aster is but one of the lands, imagine the others!" Daren grumbled, "It's not fair that you get to run around while I now have a child to take care of." He told her. Arradeth looked deep into his onyx colored eyes. "You could come with me you know? Me, Ranun, and you, a wandering bard family." Arradeth offered. Daren rubbed his neck, "I can't travel that much because of my injury, if I'm moving somewhere it's going to be me staying at the destination for good." Daren told her with a sort of puzzled frown. Arradeth gave him a sad look, "Then I am truly sorry, but I will be leaving again." She told him.
They talked a bit longer, about smaller things and what to do during the rest of the week. Arradeth made sure this time to not sleep with Daren, but instead her baby. During the week, Arradeth helped the village like she used to, gathering a hunting party to get the most food for everyone. She'd always be back by evening to take care of Ranun though. After the week of calm was over, Arradeth again declared she was leaving Daren. This time Daren didn't see the parting as somber, and hugged her before parting ways. Arradeth kissed Ranun goodbye, and continues to visit them every year or so.
It was after this that Arradeth met Neznik, Svaty's father. It was also the time where Neznik received Svaty from a human woman that called herself Mara. Neznik and Arradeth met the day prior to Neznik getting Svaty, they became quick friends over massive mugs of ale. Unfortunately, Arradeth couldn't hold a candle to Neznik's drinking skills. When Arradeth meant to leave the Underkeep alone, Neznik found her again and pleaded to help him with his newly discovered Half-Dwarf son. It was then that Arradeth became the caretaker for Svaty for about a year. After a year of on and off annoyance of Neznik and Svaty, she told Neznik "I'm leaving, so you either leave too and take care of your son, or you continue your chores here and abandon him entirely." Neznik understood, and told her that she was sort of fed up with the place too. It was then that Arradeth parted ways for the first time.
After that, Arradeth went to Daren and Ranun to see how they were doing, spent another week there, and then left to Ithilyn this time. For the first time in almost 10 years, Arradeth returned home. Everyone was surprised to see her, and asked where everyone else was. Arradeth explained that she was the only survivor and that she was too ashamed of her lack of experience to return. They understood, and offered her another chance to become a Ranger like she once trained for. Arradeth refused though, and instead thought it better to keep wandering. Some of her old elvish associates begged for her to stay a little longer though, so she decided to stay there for a year or so; helping with local farms and tavern entertainment. In that year, Neznik came by to repay the debt he felt he owed. So Neznik helped around the farms and hunting game with Arradeth. They shared stories that would later on shape Neznik's adventures. This included stories of dragons and the Rakshasa of Barvost from Arradeth, and from Neznik were the stories of Caius; a long since dead evil. They parted ways after about 6 months or so, Arradeth telling Neznik he repaid his debt, and warned him to never pursue the stories she shared. Neznik laughed off the warnings though, and went down to Barvost. Arradeth assumed he died there, but hopes Svaty survived some how.
Then, about 23 years later to present day, Arradeth still roamed the lands and visited her son and Daren. Daren was much older now, reaching his mid life. Daren and Ranun moved down to be closer to Daren's familiar grounds, the northern territories of the Gap that were just inside of Mundus' lands. By this point, Ranun was about 26 years old, a year older than Svaty, and learned how to be a bard just like his parents. Ranun roams the territories of that area, although Arradeth told him a million times to stay away from Barvost at all cost. Ranun listened reluctantly, until hearing the story that Arradeth had to share, among other gruesome ones. Now Ranun stays away from that forest like the plague, but is still very much like Arradeth when it comes to wandering around. Ranun even has a little bit of a name going for himself in the area, being such a ladies man and all. Almost every woman in nearby villages know of him, all the younger ones fall for him immediately when they hear his impeccable voice. Daren on the other hand prefers to wait at his home for Arradeth to come, as he feels that his days of looking for women are over. No matter how hard Daren tried, he couldn't find a woman that made him as happy as Arradeth did. He still proposes to her every other year, but never expects a yes; nor does he get one. Arradeth, as of now, is leaving the Underkeep to see exactly what her family is up to again, since it's been almost a year since they last saw each other. Although it might take a month or so to get there, she doesn't mind the trip.