Meet the Character: Nahlia

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Published 09/09/24. Original article can be found here.

Let’s get to know Votary Nahlia, a proud Knight sworn to the Order of the Lamp, in this new Meet the Character!

Deliver to Warlock Larenthia, in care of the Elden Root Mages Guild

Personal Correspondence–Not to Be Opened

* * *

Mother. I cannot believe you’ve done this to me. Again!

I’m sitting here in my chambers trying to make heads or tails of what I’m sure is a very thoughtful gift. Imagine my surprise when I returned from patrol to find this handmade and rune-scribed oaken chest sitting on my bed. It’s quite lovely, really. You’ve outdone yourself.

Except, dear mother, you know the enchantments you’ve put in place here are beyond my skill level. This thing you and dad keep doing where you send me magical tests. I know you think you’re helping. I really do.

But I’m a knight, through and through. A Votary in the Order of the Lamp. I stood before the Votary Commander and swore my oath. You were there. We had pie. It’s what I’m meant to do.

I love swinging my sword to keep adepts safe. I love poking through old ruins and bashing down magical threats. I do not love trying to squint at a wall and remember the basics of inter-evocative hermetic harmonic resonance theory so I can pop open a birthday gift from my parents.

Do you remember that year for New Life when you two sent me those baked pastries using grammy’s old recipes? They were fouler than a barrack’s midden by the time I got the damned box open!

Don’t worry. The puzzle I figured out straight away. I haven’t lost my touch there. I think. I picked up all your little clues from the symbols on the corner of the box. And the solution was actually a very sweet message. Thank you. I hope you know I love you, too.

It was also a cheat! Pop the locks with a portal here, a portal there? Mom, I’m trying to convince the guild that I’m more than just a utility mage. I can hear your voice now. “Be good at what you do, even if it’s not your calling.” I know, I know.

Being a Votary Knight is my calling. It’s what I’m good at. And I know someday I’m going to be the right person, in the right place, at the right time to really make a difference. And not because of what I can do, but because of who I am. In other words, I’m going to make a difference because of what I learned from you and dad. What you taught me about how to be a decent, caring person. Not all the spell theory.

Right. I suppose that gets that off my chest. Thank you, as always, for listening. Send my love to dad. It’ll be his turn for chess next time I’m home.

If you’ll excuse me, I have to go stare at these runes you so lovingly put in place and try to remember the archmagister’s lessons from when I was twelve. Are the sigils around the eye of Magnus left-hand facing or right?

Oh, I’ll figure it out.

With love and devotion,

Your daughter, Nahlia

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