I LARP as an elf. It is an interesting experience as my interpretation of the species is very much coloured by Tolkien and more recent showings of elves in the media. The first time I played Trya live was September 2009 (can hardly believe it was that long ago!) but I had played her before that on my online RPG the Ice Wolf Tavern.
When I went to Herofest for the first time, given that my RP background was DnD and play-by-post, message board based games, I found it important to have a background for her. So . . . I wrote one.
I want to share it with you because I find it interesting and it’s also a keen indicator of how my writing has evolved over the six years (!!!) since I wrote it.
I loved a man and I lost him; my father made sure of this. And yet, I cannot hate him, though all the free peoples of Orin Rakatha would not spurn me for it. I cannot hate him, I love him still, as I love my lost soul mate; my lost Solen.
Trya was born the youngest daughter of Aranthar, self-proclaimed Elven lord. While Aranthar was undoubtedly powerful and strong, his desire for power and far-reaching relations with other lands and other towers, led to a vast rift between himself and his youngest born.
Aranthar wished for Trya to learn the ways of healing and song and dance, much like her mother had done and like her older sisters had before her. For this was the very thing which had attracted Aranthar to Ereniel in the first place; causing him to hunt her, woe her, marry her and finally, with much bragging and pompous ceremony, bed her.
While Ereniel was overjoyed at the births of her twelve daughters, Aranthar, who had always wished for a son was once more disappointed when Trya was born. Some believe, this is why he protested, so adamantly to her learning the ways of the bow and the sword, rather than healing and song. There are also rumours that Aranthar simply believed his youngest daughter to be unlucky, as she was the thirteenth of his children. Whatever the case, when Trya first expressed a desire to learn the same skills as her father’s guards and soldiers, she was denied.
So, Trya learned in secret. While in the open, she would pander to the will of her father and learn whatever he wished, at night, she would slip out into the training grounds and learn the art of swordplay. It was something she had a natural knack for, a gift which was marvelled at by her teacher, a human man named Solen. Solen was a man she had seen grow from a child, for Trya was present when he arrived lost, cold and dying on Aranthar’s doorstep. It was she who bathed his many hurts and sat by his bed until the fever lifted from his body. It was also Trya who watched him grow, watched him become a fine, strong, smart and skilled grown man. Though it was a strange thing, Trya grew to love Solen and spent more and more time with him out on the training grounds.
Solen had reached his thirty-eighth year when Aranthar finally found out what was happening. He locked Trya away, keeping her away from all eyes in a small room with no windows and but a single door through which food would be passed three times a day. Though she begged and pleaded for forgiveness and freedom, Aranthar would hear none of it. Instead, he told Trya, in a fit of malicious spite, that her Solen would be sent away on a trade mission, one that would take him very many months to complete. In that time, Aranthar would find a ‘suitable match’ for his youngest born, who was ‘worth more’ than the unflattering attentions of some brutish human soldier.
Trya’s entreaties fell on deaf ears. Though her sisters would come to see her on occasion, none of them would go against the will of their father; more than happy to enjoy the luxuries brought on by his elevated status and lucrative trade agreements with other towers. Thus, Trya was trapped in her prison for almost six months.
During these six months, Aranthar was most busy. He fell into talks with the Dai-Fah-Dyne convinced that he would be able to arrange mutually agreeable terms between them and himself. Aranthar arranged a marriage. Through this marriage, he secured favourable rates and unlimited, uninhibited travel of his own people through Dai-Fah-Dyne lands. All he needed, to seal this deal, was to offer his daughter’s hand in marriage to one of the more notable names within the tower. Well, his other twelve daughters were fair and obedient and, frankly put, better suited to Elven suitors. Trya however, coarse at times, boorish at times, and certainly not as feminine as her sisters, would perhaps suit these predominantly human traders very well. Aranthar was quick to arrange the marriage, offering up Trya with no word to her or consideration for her feelings. Solen, after all, was gone, and with this marriage, soon she too would be out of his hair.
News of the marriage began to spread and all of Aranthar’s people prepared for the wedding.
Very many miles away, the news even reached the ears of Solen, who, fearful for his Elven love – for he felt for her, as strongly as she felt for him – left his mission to return to Aranthar’s Estate.
Weeks passed. The wedding drew closer, and Trya, hearing the rejoicing outside her room fell further and further into despair. She stopped allowing visits from her sisters and refused to eat, claiming that she would rather die than betray Solen. When the lack of food began to tell on her and show on her weakening body, she was tied to a chair, by a knot of her sisters and force-fed, while her father watched, smiling.
It was only Ereniel who finally took pity on her daughter. She remembered well the joy of being in love and the agony that could come of being separated from that love – you see, Aranthar was not her first choice of husband either.
She crept into Trya’s room in the dead of night, gave her a single sword, two daggers and a cloak. In a bag was a small supply of food and directions to a place where she might hide and escape the attentions of Aranthar and, hopefully, meet up with Solen. Ereneil arranged for separate messages to be sent to Solen advising him meet up with Trya at the Recruitment. Gratefully Trya took these things, kissed her mother goodbye, and made her way from Aranthar’s vast estate. She crept stealthily past his guards, briskly knocking the heads of those who came too close to discovering her escape.
Ereniel, however, had not accounted for the cunning nature of her husband. Using his own trusted men, Aranthar intercepted Ereniel’s messengers and set his own people in their place. As soon as Solen came close to Aranthar’s land, he was captured, brutally beaten and finally killed.
Trya blissfully unaware of what has happened to her human love, makes her way to the recruitment, as per her mother’s instruction. There she waits for Solen to arrive, hoping that, together, they will be able to join another faction and stay well, well away from Aranthar, the Dai-Fah-Dyne and anybody else who means to get in the way . . .
That background gave me six wonderful years of fabulous roleplay with some huge highlights that actually stretched beyond me to the game plot itself. I’m pleased that the game writers were able to take my words and have fun with them and, as a result give other people a chance to play around.
I’m also glad that I’ve been able to play Trya live and get a sense of how she feels, thinks and acts. It means, when I finally come to write her story—not this one, the original story from The Ice Wolf Tavern—I’ll have a much easier time of staying true to her story.