Songs of Varen
Ezdelyria "Edda" Telmidhyde
A scion of dwarven nobility, raised and trained in a bardic caravan.
Edda has long hair that falls to her shoulder blades in russet brown curls and waves woven through with lighter auburn highlights. Her tan skin is lightly freckled and deeply sun-kissed and her honey and hazel colored eyes bespeak her depth of warmth and determination. About her upper arms she wears polished bands, created at her mother’s forge and formed from the polished iron of the Telmidhyde family. Small twin bands of leather clasp the single specific braid that identifies her as a merchant and artisan of the Meyhar and in her ears she wears two earrings of metal with magical resonance, given to her by her bardic master. Tall for a dwarf, Edda is 4’7’’ and has the bearing and appearance of a mature dwarven woman.
Edda wears a suit of half-plate that she maintains and repairs with meticulous care and detail, bringing it to a shine each night in the manner of an adept blacksmith. Accented with silver, the armor is characterized by bands of steel covering Edda’s arms, legs, chest, back, and neck atop a chain tunic and gloves with gauntlets and pauldrons made from the same patterns of steel banding. Her boots are well-worn, tough leather with steel bands about her toes and heels. Edda carries a rounded kite shield decorated with the combined symbol of the Telmidhyde family and the Meyhar, with the boss rendered as a shining golden sun. The enarmes are made of an exceedingly strong leather dyed blue and green.
Carried in her belt, Edda carries a silvered war hammer. The war hammer has an oaken shaft and an iron head, broad and blunt on one side, with dwarvish knots; sharp, keen, and pointed on the other woven through with elven filigree. The shaft is well fortified and carved with elegant curving designs. Her hand axes she forged for herself: light-weight and well-balanced, with beautifully curved and wickedly sharp blades. Like her armor and shield, Edda keeps her war hammer and hand axes exquisitely clean and well maintained.
Most precious to Edda among her possessions, is her lyre. Made for her by her family, her father-in-law carved the body of the lyre from sycamore and cherry in the shape of a songbird called the vahl’e-zir, (“song of the dawn” in elvish) which is believed to sing the most beautiful song in the natural world. Across the bird’s chest, the words: “Courage Resonates” are carved and inlaid in a gleaming silver in a circle: first in dwarvish, then in elvish, then in halfling. The beak, made of gold, and eye, a single stone of opal bounded with iron, along with the lyre’s 8 strings were made by her mother. Into this lyre, Edda was able to coax a will-o’-wisp which now resides in the lyre, imbuing the lyre with magical power and making it glow when she strums its strings. Since capturing the will-o’-wisp therein, Edda has restrung the lyre with a string from the web of Ninasa, a string of well-o’-wisp memories, and a string from the elves of Fathenwrothe Grove imbued with the power to cast the spell spirit guardians once per week.
Born to the son of an ancient dwarven house and the daughter of a far-ranging and prosperous merchant caravan, Edda learned from a young age to walk with her head held high.
Born to Therus Telmidhyde (the youngest son of the Telmidhyde family from Hrokilnn) and Phadraena Wratheborr (a traveling blacksmith and merchant), Edda was raised among the nomads of one branch of the Borgina Meyharen.
The Borgina Meyharen or “Wandering Fortress” consists of a group of traveling entertainers—called the Meyhar—of many races, ages, backgrounds, and specialities. Beyond their abundant talents in entertaining (ranging from singers, actors, and dancers, to sword swallowers, fire dancers, and trick shooters) the Meyhar are known for their skill in combat: every child born to the Meyhar and all who come into their midst to stay are trained to defend themselves. Although they try to avoid violence, if threatened in their travels they will fight fiercely to defend their own and many a brigand has lost his life by underestimating this highly trained group of entertainers. Founded by and largely populated with elves, the Meyhar have been lead by Zhonil Rhinerain and Thiralana Burnmantle, a high elf husband and wife, since long before Edda’s birth. Zhonil and Thiralana’s leadership has helped to separate the Meyhar from the mercenary bands that roam the Splintered Kingdoms, securing their reputation as performers and traders and politely declining the occasional offer of mercenary work. “We Roam, at Home” is a common phrase spoken among the Meyhar, who fall asleep counting the stars between the roofs of their wagons and wake each day to the winding road.
In her travels with the Meyhar troupe, Edda became a pupil of Wersby Gunderdell, a halfling bard who is famous for having plied his trade in nearly every royal court in the Splintered Kingdoms. It was from Wersby that Edda learned of the Vahl’rham Nos (“The Echo Eternal”) [The “Vahlos” for short] which is said to reverberate through all living things, originating from the second great song that created the universe. It is said among bards that the Vahl’rham Nos is the life force of the cosmos: the energy that enables the use of magic and the creation of life in all things and that as of late, the echo has grown fainter.