Vigressa of Strasenau Edlena of Kassel
The Spark of Strasenau
The Spark of Strasenau
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Vigressa of Strasenau Edlena of Kassel
The Spark of Strasenau
Goals & MotivationHad she been born sooner, had her sister not been chosen above her, had her elder siblings not all thrived, had a dozen or so things been different - Ava might feel a stronger urge to push herself ahead of her siblings and take her place in the spotlight than she does. As things stand she has come to accept she will never outshine her sister with a crown on her head and babes in the nursery (though her envy endures, waxing and waning as it does) or match Cedric's prestige as a student of the Gran Schecole. Instead the younger Aldel has turned her eye to what she does excel at: academia. Blessed with a quick mind that found all manner of ways to incite mischief as a child, Ava has spent countless hours with tutors bettering her knowledge of everything from philosophy to theology to magic.
While she remains unmarried after the death of her husband, she admittedly has not pushed the issue with her father, preferring, as she sees it, to wait until she finds her match. An equal who will not reduce her status or diminish her accomplishments. In short: her own union of Mekhr.
ReligiosityAva's belief in the gods is secondary only to her belief in herself. She is a strange mixture of intellect and devotion, of reverence and superiority. Simultaneously humbled and proud of the supremacy of the Pantheon and the Reiux above all, she is equally as driven by a desire to prove that despite being born as a bound caster who found her enlightenment through source rather than the favor of the gods, she can become a favored child in their eyes. She is a conscious observer of all holidays and festivities and often demonstrates her favor for Sjay and Mekhr, the former to appease her unwed state and foster the mother's blessing and the latter to appease her craving for knowledge. Ava also has a long standing reverence for the Lady of Death, Vyr and is known to make offerings for the keeper of the afterlife.
appearanceSlim, with prominent cheekbones, the same fiery red hair as her elder sister and a full, expressive mouth. Ava is a slight, waifish creature with a figure she self appoints as something of a boyish disappointment. Small even as a babe, her tiny frame contributed to concerns she was a sickly, underweight child that would not long survive infancy but she surprised many - including her parents - by surviving not only her first year of life but all those to come after. She will never be an imposing figure physically, barely reaching 5'2 barefoot and her body is, while not malnourished, sylphlike and naturally lean. A lover of fashion and most particularly silks, it is rare to see Ava draped in anything but the newest trends, she favors shimmering gowns accented in golds and has been known, on occasion, to don dresses displaying generous swaths of it inlaid with darker blacks and browns to stand out among the other nobles at court.
personalityPlayful, passionate, elegant and mercurial. At her worst she is manipulative, stubborn, petty and vain, at her best she can be decisive, clear-headed, generous and unflinchingly loyal. To those with close association, she is known to be quick of wit, sharp of tongue and generally engaging company. A renown music-lover, she takes great pride in her accomplishments in song and is often seen in attendance at the theater. She has a reputation as an indulgent hostess who showers her nieces and nephews with any small number of trinkets and other curiosities that flow through her family’s estate. Ava has a contrary temper that can be as quick to ignite as diminish and her resolve, once her mind has been set, can border on a kind of arrogant willfulness.
strengths & weaknesses
Always a bright, inquisitive child, if one prone to uncovering less than sterling uses for her desire to know and experience that which she had not yet, Ava took to her lessons with ease. Her mind sharpened by extensive reading on everything from the Pantheon and its deities to the finer points put down by the greatest philosophers in all Tnarem. When Ava experienced her first Awakening, she turned to her beloved books and the guidance of a tutor to help hone and develop what small power was hers to wield.
A child of an edlenal House, Ava is familiar with members of the royal family, other edlenal Houses and the gentry of Lornesse as they enter her sphere of association. While she is versed enough to conduct herself as suits her station as a Vigressa at court, she does struggle to keep her temper in check, often avoiding large gatherings for fear she'll neglect to bite her tongue. As much as Ava enjoys the goings on at court, she has never professed or attempted to truly master what it is to be a player of the jeu de tanz, preferring to spend what time of hers is not given to academic, or, more recently, magically inclined pursuits to patronizing the theater and championing whatever newest sensations are setting foot upon the stage. However, when she does appear at court, she is often seen accompanying her brother Cedric or sister Melisandre, occasionally lending her voice to her brother's musical inclinations in more intimate gatherings.
Physically, she's foreign to weaponry, its necessary uses or what to make of most of it. On a scholarly level, she is aware of the uses of things such as wartime tactics and strategy as they pertain to Lornesse's history. A sickly child for a time and one that has irregularly had to deal with the impact of source withdrawal, Ava has never and likely will never be a woman that favors or comprehends much of the martial arts or its uses.
Magical AbilitiesThere are two schools of magic that Ava is able to cast with and have been her focus of study since she awakened (both initially in her youth and again, later, as an adult). These are Thermomany, that being the ability to freeze and heat, or ignite and Kinemancy, or the ability to move items with her mind. The former was her first school of magic that she was able to harness and continues to be her primary focus for magical studies. Ava has been able to harness enough control to ignite balls of fires and smaller, far more parlour-esque tricks such as igniting candles or fireplaces. The latter she has developed more recently, since experiencing a second awakening. Her talents in as far as shifting small items, far inferior to her body weight are improving with practice, but she struggles to keep her will focused long enough to exact long lasting effects.
She is working toward having a firmer grasp of her abilities, however the degree that source withdrawal exhausts her has slowed her progress substantially.
Consequences of Being AwakeThe Song: (Severe) It is the Song that calls the clearest to Ava. The first occasion she had to hear it, it filled her with such immense joy and fear that she almost fainted where she stood. Joy that she too had felt the touch of the gods and fear at the potency of that touch, at these voices whispering to her, singing of things she might never quite understand. Harmonies distant and distorted as if coming from far, far away. The yearning to know more, to understand their words, to find some tangible proof of what she feels when Source is rampant in her blood makes the Song all but irresistible to her. The fact it was the Song that almost caused her brother's death when she was nine, coupled with the strength of its sway over her, causes Ava no small amount of anxiety when it is at its strongest. She is all too aware of its potential to lead to disaster. It is in the lullaby she hums, or the chords her brother strums on his guitar. It is the cries of children she will never know.
The Dream: (Moderate) The curling mists and strange, transient voices of the Dream do not trouble Ava as potently as they do other Awakened. She occasionally suffers restless nights where everything seems to cause her distress and any small event that transpires seems to fashion itself as an augural sign of a haunting, suffocating dream yet to come.
The Pull (Moderate) The yearning for the Pale, that innate need to discover the nearest weakening of the Mete is a consequence that ebbs and flows for Ava. She feels it sometimes, like the Dream, the sensation of something, like spiderwebs against her skin, a slow chill that creeps down her spine. A sudden urgency for places, to wander and find a place she cannot recall but feels an occasional, profound longing for.
Relationship with HouseIf there is a single member of House Aldel that takes the motto of 'truth in life' to heart it is undoubtedly Ava.
While fundamentally supportive and proud of all that the Aldel name has achieved and stands for, she has never been afraid to be the voice of dissent behind closed doors when it's called for (and sometimes when it's not). One of the last children born to the Edlens of Kassel, Ava's place in her family (and the rather large shadow cast by a sister married to the Roiphin himself) remains the source of many of her frustrations and, when it flares, a temper that is best evidenced in turns of peevishness and deception. While she enjoys mostly positive relationships with her siblings, Ava harbors lingering feelings of jealousy and resentment over her elder sister Melisande's successes within her marriage and can be something of a nuisance when she sets her mind to be.
However, her natural vivacity and high-spiritedness, coupled with a quick mind and an eagerness to prove her worth, have gifted her with the affectionate moniker of 'the Spark of Strasenau', the nickname handed to her by a father who, if not wholly approving of his daughter's propensity for mischief, finds her spark for life difficult to ignore.
Public KnowledgeShe enjoys the extravagances of court life from time to time, the never-ending jeu de tanz and all of its subtle flavors of deception, bribery and sabotage, it is a welcome distraction for a mind often caught up in academic pursuits. Her sister's connection with the royal family alone means she is never far from the most opulent gatherings of fashion, glamor and political slights of hand. Ava is known to be a frequent attendee of the theater, often seen in the company of the younger Prinz, Conrad Caemire and known to give generously as a patron and supporter of the arts. She is also known to possess an appreciation for any who will engage her in scholarly discussion, with a veracious appetite for knowledge.
While her elder brother possesses significant magical talents, Ava awakened with a much weaker capacity to cast as a bound witch. Instead, she was taught to harness what magic was hers by means of a mageir.
Ava's late husband was killed during the invasion of Meis and subsequently, the former Heuressa has returned to her family's estate in Kassel.
RumorsAva is infertile, which is why she bore no children during her marriage to Rolant Opel
Ava was rejected from the Gran Schecole and had to beg her father to allow her to be taught by a mageir
Ava only spends time with Conrad Caemire in the hopes she'll be able to marry into the Caemires to infuriate her sister
She is addicted to source and partakes of it regularly for more than simply magic
She was a sickly baby and they had not long expected her to live. Born with a fine lick of flame-kissed hair, she barely cried her first few hours in the world. Wait and see, they advised. Time will tell if Vyr shall claim her. As it turned out, lady death had no need for the young Aldel and Ava recovered from an uncertain beginning to flower into a precocious child who, paired with an older brother with no small penchant for mischief himself, often found herself caught up in all manner of situation that drew the dismay of no few nursemaids charged with rounding up the Aldel children. At age six, while Cedric was sent to the Gran Schecole in Strasenau, Ava began instruction with her own tutors.
She took to her lessons with ease, but her attention was quick to wander and proved a challenge for her tutors to hold to task much of the time. When her brother returned from his training a year later, Ava was overjoyed. The Aldels were together once more and the children romped in the woods surrounding the castle whenever they were given the chance. When Cedric fell through a patch of thin ice when Ava was nine and he eleven, she feared that the gods would take her brother from her and spent time, alternately weeping and imploring Vyr to show mercy.
Vyr took pity and Cedric recovered. Ava felt vindicated. Seen by the lady of death, herself. So began a reverence for Vyr that persists to this day.
It would not be until Ava was eleven that she experienced her first true awakening. Ingesting a tea laden with the substance, the young Vigressa was awakened by a strange, unsettling dream. She was beset by whispering, urgent voices. Felt a phantom string tied below her navel, tugging her toward an unknown, but strangely familiar places. But it was the voices that undid her most. That caused her enough distress that the Alden's elderly mageir was consulted. It was magic, he confirmed. Ava had been exposed to Source and she too now possessed the capacity to cast.
But weaker, the elderly mageir cautioned. She would never be the equal of a caster born awake but if she was prepared to hone her talents, she could, perhaps, in time, accomplish wondrous things. So magic was incorporated into her studies. She learned to focus her mind until she could ignite small tinders, until she could urge quills to slide across desks. Although she showed promise, it was decided she would not attend the Gran Schecole. Her gifts were newborn, still being teethed. And Ava's future had long since been decided.
“Ava.” Her mother’s reproach was immediate, the Margressa stood beside her husband’s chair; frowning hard at her younger daughter’s display of wilfulness. The fifteen-year old’s cheeks flushed and she withdrew into silence for a long moment as her father studied her. The Margrave was waiting, she knew, for her to speak. “I’m sorry, Papa,” the apology was sincere, but it did not taste any less bitter for it. “I understand that I must marry and I know House Opel are loyal to us,” she went on, drawing the edges of her courage around her like a cloak; shoring up her resolve against the tide of her father’s disapproval. “But surely, with Melisandre’s marriage to the Roiphin there is no need for -”
Her father held up his hand and she immediately lapsed again into silence, biting hard on the inside of her cheek. Her mother’s lips drew into a line.
Ishilde Aldel would break a storm over her head later, Ava had little doubt of it.
She knew better than to rail against her father’s word, it had never yet gotten her a result that that she desired. “Your sister’s marriage was indeed a great honor. It has brought prestige to our house. But there is more to consider, my daughter, than your sense of entitlement.” He gave her a hard, measuring look and she dropped her gaze, studying instead her hands, clasped together in her lap. “Or your pride. House Opel are, as you put it, loyal. As their liege House, it is our duty to see they remain so. By marrying my daughter to one of their sons, I strengthen that bond.”
The Margrave’s expression softened. “You’re a good girl, Ava. You are a test to my patience at times,” Ava made as if to interrupt, but her father continued undeterred: “But I have never truly had reason to question your loyalty to our family. I trust that will continue to be the case when you become the Heuressa of House Opel come the Spring.”
She lifted her chin, rose from the chair and promptly dipped into a straight backed curtsy.
Ava’s time as a Heuressa was not altogether unsatisfying. She was pleased at the idea of running her own household, even if it was not as grand as she had in mind for herself (even if the awareness of her sister’s far grander match prickled at her like a splinter that would not come free), her husband’s library afforded her access to many new volumes she had yet to peruse. But for all her sources of satisfaction, there were also disappointments. A miscarriage a year into their marriage. Another that quickened but later arrived, small and stillborn. Nothing for two long years during which distant affection quickly turned to disappointed resentment. Finally, in late 1446, another child took in Ava’s womb and she was certain, this time, that it would be different. As she was different. Stronger.
You will ignite, she thought furiously. Her mind suddenly nothing but fire, licking, burning, devouring. There was a low puff, and flames began to lick within the hearth. Ava's expression brightened, her hand strayed once again to her belly, but the mageier beside her frowned and shook his head. When Ava looked again, the flames had leapt higher and were melting the candles stationed on the mantle, having risen far too high, too quick.
"Impossible." She groused, her low flare of temper so like the fire itself.
"Practice," the mageier corrected.
The child was lost, but Ava had re-awakened once more.
She did not shy from her abilities this time, seeking to foster rather than endure the agony when the Source first began to diminish from her system. She sought out and heeded the Song when it came and dosed her teas with a lacing of it. What had previously been a juvenile grasp of casting began, at last, to manifest into more than just tiny balls of conjured flame in her palm. Her time to focus on her study was limited by the demands of being a wife, first. Then, two years after her last and final, miscarriage, another loss. Her husband fell. She was a widow. A childless widow with no recourse but to return once again to Kassel.
Since her return, Ava has devoted herself to her magical studies. She belongs in what feels, at times, like a strange holding pattern. Waiting to marry again, waiting to discover some new dimension of her power as a caster. Waiting for the fracture in Dubhion to devour them all.
Threads: Ongoing♚ A Meeting of the Minds: December 15, 1448
♚ Parlor Tricks: December 23, 1448
♚ Follow the White Rabbit: February 14, 1449
Threads: Completed♚ Link: Date
Threads: Correspondence♚ Sisterly Confessions: December 1, 1448
♚ A Letter For His Right Honorable Vigrave Aldel: December 16, 1448
01.Last seen Mar 8 2018, 03:49 AM 02.Created on September 25th, 2016 03.has made 32 posts 04.played by Jacqui
01.Last seen Mar 8 2018, 03:49 AM 02.Joined on September 25th, 2016 03.has made 32 posts 04.plays