Dark Sun: North & South Tablelands Games
Shanav has the lean limbs and angular features of an elf, combined with the toughness of a human. She has long blonde hair usually kept in a braid, glittering green eyes, and a fair (though suntanned) complexion. She has the long legs of a runner and dancer, a pleasing form and a dulcet voice. She doesn’t hesitate to use these as an entertainer.
Shanav usually wears a cropped threadbare cotton halter and skirt, simple fingerless gloves, and foot-hugging suede boots designed for running over sand or gravel. She wears a simple leather thong around her neck with a few small beads tied to it as a memento. She carries a short bow and arrows for hunting and defense, as well as a pair of long, hardwood sticks that she uses in a pinch to fight. She also carries a collection of smaller notched sticks with which she plays gambling games… and prepares preserver spells.
While most half-elves have trouble fitting into any part of society, Shanav’s powerful natural charisma makes it easy for her to make friends, and while she doesn’t run as well as an elf she still has good long-distance endurance. She has had a few lovers, generally short flings, nothing serious.
Shanav is the result of a simple moonlight tryst; a month of passion, ended when an elf tribe raced away on a windy day and her human mother was left behind. These situations are not uncommon and she was raised in a raucous neighborhood in Nibenay, where she grew slowly into a dazzling young woman who was friends with everyone in the area. She developed her talents to sing, learned to dance from street performers, and dabbled in various musical and performance arts, finding that her natural grace and magnetism made her a natural in these areas.
Of course, life in the city-states is always on the edge, and on a hot summer night a food riot broke out among hungry laborers pushed to the brink of exhaustion. Templars and soldiers cracked down on the riot, killing many and burning several homes in her neighborhood. Her mother was killed and her tiny home destroyed; she barely fled with her few possessions in a bag. Hiding in the crumbling remains of the city’s slums, she evaded notice for a few days until the matter died down as the city’s guards crushed dissent. She took up hiding with a small group of day laborers and entertainers, fitting easily into their troupe, and while there she quickly won their trust. Helping the group to earn a living day to day, she eked out sustenance and learned that each member had some secret: some were escaped slaves, a few were heretics, one was a delusional hermit, and one was a member of the Veiled Alliance.
Hungry for knowledge—with a sharp mind that immediately grasped many puzzles and problems—she learned a few meager scraps of magic from her sorcerous companion, and also learned how dangerous such knowledge was. She devised the means to carve special grooves onto sticks as a mnemonic aid, then hid them among her possessions as simple gambling sticks. She learned to conceal her spellcasting as part of a tribal dance. She learned the basics of reading and writing, and then practiced the discipline necessary to shield her mind against intrusion so that these secrets could not be stolen from her.
Now she is trying to find a way to get by in the forbidding city of Nibenay, but it’s probably just a matter of time until she crosses the wrong person…