Saria Illisan, better known as The Maiden of the West, is the 23-year-old Baroness of the Illessian Hills, better known for various heroic quests throughout the rural areas of the Kingdom of Daggerfall than for her rulership of her native land.
AppearanceEditA strikingly beautiful young woman, Saria Illisan, the Maiden of the West, is perhaps one of the better examples of a stereotypical Bretic beauty, with features that seem halfway between human and elven. She has a long face, with high cheekbones, large, expressive eyes, full lips, and an endearing smile. Her hair is golden (and usually kept out of her face by a leather headband), and her eyes are a pale violet. She is fairly tall - standing at five feet, ten inches tall - and while her physique is undeniably feminine, it is also clearly the physique of a woman who is in the prime of her life and makes her living off of physical activity. Similarly, she has several scars across her arms and torso (and one on her temple) that betray her occupation.Saria arms herself with equipment fitting for one of her background. Making her living as a traveling heroine in the same vein as the countless heroes and heroines of Tamriel's past, Saria's most important pieces of equipment are, first and foremost, her sword, and as a close second, her armor. Her hand-and-a-half sword is a finely-crafted masterpiece of steel and silver, perfectly balanced for her. The blade is long and lightweight, and the hilt is wrapped with leather; the pommel is a unicorn's head - reminiscent of her family's coat of arms.
Her armor is similarly well-crafted, lightweight, and kept meticulously shined. It is a bright shade of silver, almost white, and ornately designed. She typically wears a lilac cloak lined with fur (from the She-Wolf of Dirkmoar, her first great victory) with the armor. In addition, Saria carries a war-horn made of ivory and silver, and a short spear tipped with silver. Her horse is a palfrey, a four year old stallion named Percival.
Growing up, Saria was constantly moving, always searching for adventure, and so she put her time into learning the skill perhaps best suited to adventure: swordsmanship. And she went beyond merely learning ... she excelled at it, despite her mother's complaints of it being "unladylike." She also excelled in horseback riding and jousting, all in the pursuit of becoming an adventurer knight like those in the stories she read as a child. However, her mother and father also urged her to be a well-rounded individual, and so she also received an education in magic. She proved to be a decent mage, particularly in Restoration and Destruction, and practices the blend of swordsmanship and magic use unique to Bretic spellswords. Able to use magic and might in equal measure, Saria tends to lean toward defeating her foes in fair, non-magical combat, though she's not afraid to use her magical gift if need be. In addition, Saria is fairly well-read, particularly of tales of adventurers, and on matters of the many dangerous beasts of High Rock.
However, Saria has no talent for ruling, nor any desire to rule at all. Therefore it was a surprise to few when she left almost immediately after inheriting the barony, though it was a surprise as far as who she left in charge.
Life Thus FarEdit
Most Notable VictoriesEdit
- The She-Wolf of Dirkmoar: The She-Wolf of Dirkmoar was Saria's first, and perhaps most famous, act of heroism. Saria spent the first couple months after leaving her home in the Illesian Hills wandering through the countryside aimlessly, looking for adventure, and she soon found it upon wandering into Dirkmoar, a small farming village on the border of Daggerfall Proper, one afternoon. Talking to the villagers, she learned that they had spent the last two months being terrorized every night by a werewolf - who was a former member of the community, a woman named Fasette - and Saria offered to help save them from the monsterous creature. She waited until the evening, when the She-Wolf came to feed, and engaged the creature, wounding it and driving it away, though not without getting injured herself. She followed the bleeding Fasette throughout the surrounding forests, to a cave, where she again engaged the She-Wolf. The fight lasted for hours, and the villagers later told her that they could hear the howls from the werewolf, even as far away as the cave was, until Saria finally managed to put the monster down. She, despite being injured and exhausted, took the time to bury the remains of the She-Wolf's victims that she found in the cave, and skinned the creature as proof of her deed. The relieved villagers celebrated Saria's victory, and showered her with as many gifts as they could in thanks; out of the gifts they gave her, the most notable is the cloak that the local tailor made out of the She-Wolf's pelt.
- The Oakside Hollow Brigands: A short time after the incident in Dirkmoar, Saria heard talk of a bandit group operating out of a cavern/abandoned fort called Oakside Hollow, and after hearing how they had ransacked a travelling caravan she decided to force them out of their hole. However, when scouting the area, Saria realized that there were far too many bandits for her to deal with alone, and thus needed help to take out the group. She hired a sellsword, Ducard du Evarfort, to watch her back - he decided to travel with her afterwards - and took on the bandits. Saria and Ducard managed to deal with the brigands, and Saria personally managed to kill the group's leader; in addition, she freed several hostages that the bandits had taken, including a merchant and a local farmer's daughter.
- The Necromancer of Daenia: Saria heard word of a Necromancer who had taken over a tower in the Daenian countryside and was terrorizing the surrounding commoners, and so she set out to investigate the rumors and cleanse the area if they were true. As it turns out, the rumors were true, and Saria and Ducard found themselves fighting against a small horde of risen skeletons and zombies after staying in a nearby village. They followed the undead to their source, the tower, where they found the Necromancer - they never found out what the true name of the man was, only that he was an Altmer who was apparently on the verge of turning himself into a lich - draining the life of another mage, Claire Fairbaine. Saria managed to save Claire, who helped her defeat the Necromancer and end the threat he had posed to the region. Claire traveled with Saria for a short time afterwards, before returning to Daggerfall.
- Sir Trenton Caramir, the Boar of Shalgora: As the name of the Maiden of the West began to spread and become more notable, Saria found herself challenged by other knights, wishing to earn their own legend by beating her in a duel. The most challenging of these knights was the man known as the Boar of Shalgora, Sir Trenton Caramir. Larger, faster, stronger, and more experienced than Saria, Sir Trenton seemed to many to be the one to finally end the Maiden of the West's growing fame. And, indeed, Saria spent most of their long duel on the defensive, barely avoiding Sir Trenton's powerful swings of his mace, any of which could have spelt her end. Luckily, however, Saria was more mobile than Sir Trenton, and after an extended period of time dodging or blocking his attack, she finally managed to get behind him, and though a series of quick attacks, managed to seriously injure him enough to win the duel (Sir Trenton was blinded in his left eye after Saria hit him in the face with the hilt of her sword, and his right leg later had to be amputated due to Saria attacking his legs), winning not only money, but a great deal of respect in the process.
The late Baron Bryce Illisan and his wife Eileen had six children, and Saria was the youngest. Because she was so far removed from inheriting the Barony, Bryce wound up spending very little time with Saria, spending most of his time either running the Barony or grooming her older siblings for marriage and power. When he was able to interact with Saria, he encouraged her dreams of adventure, and in fact arranged for her to recieve personal training from some of the most skilled warriors in the land. His encouraging of Saria's dreams created a close bond beyond the two that he didn't have with any other of his children, even though he spent more time with them. His death greatly affected Saria, and most of her mourning after the death of her family was dedicated to him.
In contrast, Saria's relationship with her mother was always strained at best, as Eileen wished for Saria to be a proper lady like her older sisters, while Saria was more comfortable sparring in the mud with the men-at-arms and squires of the castle. Saria often found her mother to be uptight and stifling, and the two rarely had positive interactions when Saria was growing up. Despite that, when her mother came down with the plague that caused the death of several of her siblings and her parents, Saria made up with Eileen and even promised to be a proper lady like she had always wanted - a promise that Saria obviously didn't keep, but one that helped to give the two closure.
Saria was never close with any of her siblings, separated as she was from them by several years, and she was not particularly affected when they passed.
Cynthia Ashcroft Edit
Currently acting as the Steward of the Ilessian Hills, Cynthia appeared in Chateau Ilessian shortly after the death of Saria's family and quickly became Saria's closest advisor - and according to some slanderous rumors, more - teaching her magical secrets and encouraging her dream of being a great questing hero. When Saria left, she left Cynthia as the Steward of her land, with all of the powers and responsibilities of Saria herself. Little is known of Cynthia's past before she arrived at the Chateau, only that she is a powerful practitioner of ancient magic
Ducard du Evarfort Edit
Ducard du Evarfort was once a incredibly skilled chevalier, one whom seemed set to improve his family's lot in life merely through his martial skill. However, Ducard was also extremely prideful and prone to drunkeness; those two attributes formed a dangerous combination, one that resulted in him killing the son of an influential noble family in a duel. He lost his title and his path to the upper echelons of Daggerfall society that night, and was banished. He spent the next decade drifting from tavern to tavern, getting work as a sellsword, until he was hired by Saria Illisan one fateful night. He stayed on with her as her assistant and man-servant, realizing that though his chance at success in life at passed, Saria's future was bright, and he could be a part of it. Over time, though, he has developed an almost fatherly affection for the Maiden of the West, and continues to travel with her out of genuine loyalty.