Rise of the Thrall Lord
The daughter of Alburg Dunamal, of House Dunamal.
A striking young woman, approximately eighteen years old, with bright reddish hair, faint freckles and green eyes that sparkled like emeralds. She is a tenacious, strong willed young woman with a fiery temper. Once she sets her sights on something, she will not rest until she achieves that goal. And woe be the person who gets in her way. When Alice is mad, the entire world trembles around her. For Alice is the famous Diva, Angel Flame, with the “voice of an angel” and “a fiery disposition.” As a renown performer and the daughter of one of the richest merchants in Penwick, Alice is always dressed in finery and appears quite the lady in public. However she was not always that way.
Alice was a very curious, impetuous, temperamental child. She loved the outdoors and excitement; the thrill of adventure. However, she was raised in an austere environment, by her very demanding, distant father.
Her mother, Lelita, had died a few months after she was born. Her father was almost never around, either running his merchant business, in council meetings, or on some trip. Thus from a very young age, Alice was mostly left to her array of private tutors, a stuffy, pompous lot who schooled her in music, art, literature and history.
The only nurturing influence in the young girl’s life was her nanny, Meithrin. This loving woman cared for Alice as if she were her own daughter; telling her stories of the world outside the walls of their family estate on the small isle just outside of Penwick. Alice in particular loved the tales of the Protectors of Penwick, the Knights of the Rose, and the Legendary Heroes who defeated the Thrall Lord. She was enthralled by those fairy tales of princesses in peril and princes coming to their rescue.
The young Alice longed for a life outside of the stuffy walls of her confines. The only time she was ever allowed out was at boring social functions where she would be required to sing, or occasional when her father brought her on a trip.
Thus when she got older, the red-headed, freckled, gangly young girl would slip out of her house and away from her tutors to roam the streets of Penwick. Dressed as a boy she quickly was drawn to the Stealle School of the Sword. Thus she met Thea Stealle. The two were of a very similar temperament in those days, both craving adventure. And when Alice realized who Thea’s father was, she was enthralled. Kratos Stealle, Protector of Penwick; a real live adventuring legend!
The two girls became inseparable, spending much of their time at the school. Thea even showed Alice a bit about using knives, something Thea’s father was training her in, but her own father would never let her do. Young Alice also became aware of Thea’s older brother, Pallas. He was 4 years her senior at the time, and although still young himself, had an air about him that reminded her of his father.
Thus Alice developed her first crush. She would forever be dragging Thea down to the docks, ostensibly to watch the ships, but mostly to follow her older brother who was a young Lieutenant in the Penwick Navy.
The school and the docks quickly became mundane for the young girls. Thea in particular seemed obsessed with Eboneye and rumors of the Pirate Lord’s hidden treasure. And Alice was equally obsessed with escaping her dungeon, craving excitement and adventure. When she is with Thea, it is truly the only time she feels alive.
Thus, the two of them, with a handful of others, begin on a series of escapades together, searching for Eboneye’s treasure. They have a number of adventures until the last one, with a strange young girl from the Thunderspire Islands named Ruka. After what turned out to be a disastrous, fatal encounter at the old watchtower south of town, Alice’s father denounced the Steele’s for putting his daughter in harm’s way. Alburg then dragged Alice away and a few weeks later shipped her off to school in Lukescros.
Alice was devastated to be sent away from her friends. However, she quickly became aware of the new freedom she had at the school, and met a few girls like herself, adventurous, and craving excitement. They quickly banded together and would sneak out at night to the more seedy sides of Lukescros, getting into a bit of trouble from time to time.
However, Alice’s voice is soon recognized at the school and she quickly rose to the top of her class, despite her less than studious nature and penchant for slipping out at night to party with her friends. The young Alice came to love the attention and adoration she received, having never gotten it from anyone other than Meithrin or Thea. So she finally learned to appreciate her voice, something she heretofore looked at as merely another means for her father to increase his “social standing”.
Four years later, Alice was “discovered” by Cassilla Nightbird, the most famous songstress in the world. Cassilla, a former graduate of the Bardic College of Lukescros, had in fact received a letter from the Dean of that school about this up and coming star, Alice. The songstress attended graduation that year and introduced herself to the young woman. Alice, impetuous as ever though, did not believe this woman was indeed Cassilla and challenged her to a sing off in front of the entire class.
Cassilla decidedly out sang the young Alice, giving the red-headed young lass a much needed lesson in humility. Then she floored her by inviting Alice on tour with her, as an opening act.
The excitement of it all swept Alice away; it sounded like a great adventure. The young girl took on the stage name of Angel Flame and began her travels with Cassilla and her entourage. Alice soon found out what hard work it was to put on a show; but she loved the crowds, and the costumes and the applause. Thus she thrived in the spotlight. After a year of touring however, she was finally to head home; famous in her own right now, but travel weary.
Alice had mixed emotions about heading home to her stern father. Thus, when things went awry, and they were waylaid by pirates, Alice was strangely relieved. She was not scared at all, despite the veiled threats the pirates made towards her.
Her heart really skipped a beat though when of all folks Pallas Stealle came to her rescue. In his Penwick uniform, he is nearly the spitting image of a young Kratos. Old emotions came rushing forth and she was immediately smitten, her whole world flipped upside down. Fame was indeed wonderful, but also hard work. And she had always had fortune. Here, however, was her first crush, now a man of adventure, and a good looking one too, right before her eyes. What more is he saved her like a princess in one of the fairy tales her nanny raised her on. Her old longings once again surfaced to the forefront. The young woman found herself wanting adventure once again, to have a hero on her arm, and be one herself.
When they arrived back in Penwick, Alice finds her father has strangely “mellowed.” He actually hugged and kissed her; glad she was safe. And he was even grateful to Pallas, inviting the young man to their home. Things were indeed finally falling into place for the young lady. She was no longer cooped up in her home. She was famous now and treated like a celebrity around town. And her father even condoned an affiliation between her and young Pallas. She was allowed to frequent the Stealle abode which she immediately began to do. However, older and a bit wiser now, she avoided the Stealle schools and the docks as that would be unbecoming of a “young lady.” Thus Alice has learned to keep up a ladylike facade when necessary.
Alice tried to rekindle her old friendship with Thea, but sadly found her old friend had changed. Thea was now pious and stuffy, not at all the young adventurous girl she used to know. Alice found she had far more in common with Lloyd now, the youngest son of the Stealles. She continued her campaign to win the heart of Pallas, but the older Stealle son was frequently out to sea, and when he was around, he seemed to be quite shy and downright dense about how Alice felt about him.
So in the meantime, the young songstress found herself spending time with young Lloyd. She soon discovered he craved adventure as much as she did. Thus, a couple of months later, when Lloyd finished his training, Alice convinced the young spiritblade to go out adventuring on his own, secretly wishing she could go with him, but not having the guts to do so herself.
With Lloyd gone, Alice’s resolve began to waver. Her campaign to win over Pallas was not quite going as she planned, the young man being quite dense as to her intentions. She also knew she could not stay in Penwick too much longer. She had a reputation to keep up and could really only do so by performing in public.
Yet Alburg convinced her to stay in town a bit longer; he had petitioned the Baron to build an ampitheater in the city and said her presence was vital to pushing it through. Alice needs to attend the Faire in Lukescros, but agrees to return to Penwick afterwards.
In Lukescros Alice meets up with Cassilla again, staying with her at the Bright Angel Inn. The town is alive that year, a number of crazy incidents occurring including a wayward behemoth at that very inn tavern, a dragon attack in the center of town, and a three way battle with drow at the end of the parade!
Alice was in fact a spectator to the large three way battle, and even caught sight of her old friend Lloyd in the midst of it all. She marveled as she watched him soar through the sky like some majestic sky knight, sending goosebumps up and down her skin! Oh what she wouldn’t have given to join him.
She was quite proud of the young man, thinking of him as her own brother. She had heard the tales of his exploits and wistfully wished she had left with him when he set out adventuring not so long ago. Lloyd, however, disappeared after the battle, and Alice could not find him. So she threw herself into the singing contest, and actually won second place, only losing to Cassilla.
When Alice returned home she was lauded over by the townsfolk. The Baron is now indeed considering Alburg’s amphitheater proposal, but is claiming a lack of proper funding for the endeavour.
Alice revisited the Stealle ranch, but Pallas is gone once again, this time to a blockade out at sea. Laura, Kratos and Thea however welcomed her into their home. Thea was finally begining to thaw and the two started reliving their old adventures. And shortly thereafter Lloyd reappeared in Penwick with his band of adventuring friends.
Alice was positively thrilled! She wanted to hear all about his adventures, but Lloyd had little time for her. There was much going on in the world; the threat of Dunwynn incursion into their waters, an undead uprising in the surrounding area, a huge dragon spotted in the mountains to the west, and even rumors of demons to the north.
When she spotted Ruka among Lloyd’s group, Alice determined she would get to the bottom of all this. She and Thea pulled their old cohort aside and dragged her to a girl’s night out where they plied her for information. They were joined by of all people, the Lady Andrella Avernos; niece of the Baron and heir to the Dunwynn throne! The girls are amazed when the rumors proved to be true. Andrella is indeed engaged to Lloyd!
Ruka and Andrella proceeded to enlighten Alice and Thea to their escapades. The young redhead found herself on the edge of her seat through all of it. She noticed the gleam in Thea’s eye as well.
Alice and Andrella found they have a lot in common, being of similar temperament and social upbringing; not to mentioned loving Stealle men! Love is in the air, and since Alice couldn’t seem to have Pallas, she was determined to set up Thea with Elvisda. The famous young elven bard had been caught eyeing Thea from afar, and according to Ruka, the elf was not normally shy about his interest in the ladies.
Andrella seemed to find this intriguing as well and joined Alice in convincing Thea to give the young handsome elf a chance. Thea finally capitulated, quite obviously captivated by the handsome bard’s attention. And although this worked out well for Thea, it backfired somewhat on poor Alice. Pallas upon his return seemed obsessed with the elven bard dating his sister and all his attention went to keeping an eye on the two.
Alice took to bonding with Andrella. When the young heiress, budding wizard, was not studying with Lara Stealle, or adventuring around town with Lloyd and the others, the two were inseparable. Thus when Pallas and Thea left for Lanfar, the girls had grown into best friends.
Andrella promised to help Alice win Pallas over once and for all. At Andrella’s urging, Alice secretly began boning up on her bardic studies. It was the young heiress’s intention to take her new friend with her when they finally left the city.
Andrella and Alice had the entire thing planned out. Alburg was thrilled to find his daughter suddenly best friends with the heir to the Dunwynn throne. Andrella had already casually mentioned her desire to have Alice accompany her when she eventually leaves the city; leaving out the part about adventuring and danger of course. Alburg fervently agrees, too enthralled by this new, unexpected connection to the Dunnwyn throne and never expecting his daughter to be put in danger while traveling with the Dunnwyn heir.
So now their plans are all set; Alice is both excited but somewhat scared as well. Is she indeed good enough to pull this off? Would she be putting them and herself in danger by tagging along? The young girl pushes down her nerves like Cassilla taught her to do before a big performance. She can handle it she tells herself. She is Angel Flame after all!