The Call of our Forefathers
Former Lover of Andrew Hellnor and close friend to Hose Melindor
I laughed and shook my head at that. “Oh Lavonne,” I remarked, “How you’ve changed since I first knew you.”
“It was your brother’s love that changed me.” She answered simply.
“Ha! While I will credit my brother with many things, possessing transformative power of love is not one of them.”
She smiled sadly, then said, “The first words I spoke to him were, ‘You dare to touch me, male?’ The last, ‘Come home soon, love. I don’t wish to imagine a life without you.”
“That is very sweet, but you do yourself too little credit.”
“Perhaps,” she answered, then raised the hood on her cloak and was gone.
- From the notes of Aurora Melinor, Marquise of Avondale
Pheadra DeGhym is a close friend and confidant of Aurora Melindor and former lover of Andrew Hellnor, last of the Hellnor Kings. She is better known by the alias Lavonne and has shared her given name with few people, preferring to leave her name and her heritage behind her. She has no place she calls home but she spends most of her time in Avondale as a guest of Lady Aurora Melindor.
A dark elf two generations removed from the traditions of her people, she found herself the subject of unwanted attentions, both physical and verbal, from a persistent smuggler named Koda. After repeated attempts to verbally convey her lack of desire to have anything to do with him failed to halt his affections, she conveyed her intentions instead by driving a bolt through his right hand. While effective, it later resulted in her finding herself drugged and bound in a wagon being, she presumed, smuggled as goods herself. Unfortunately for Koda, her being conscious enough to find herself in that situation meant he hadn’t used a sufficient dose, a mistake he soon regretted.
Withing minutes of waking she was free of her bonds. Shortly afterward she had ransacked the boxes she found in the back of the wagon with her. Not long after that the wagon she had been in was on its side, the horses who had been pulling it run off, the guards unconscious, and Koda literally under Phaedra’s boot, a hand crossbow pointed at his chest as riders approached from the distance. She held until they slowed and dismounted. A young man approached from their center, a bemused smile on his face.
“Koda. I’m glad to see you well, given the circumstances.”
“Good that you arrived when you did. The loss to your people at the hands of this impetuous woman would have been a tragedy. If you would only be so kind as to…” Koda began and gestured to her as best he could. Phaedra glared at the young man as he looked from Koda to her.
A customer? She wondered as she studied them. He could be trouble, if so.
The young man nodded. “Of course.” He said. She tensed, preparing to reach for her dagger.1 He displayed his empty hands, then slowly reached toward her.
“Good woman,” he began and put his hand on her shoulder. Her eyes flashed as she swatted it away.
“You dare to touch me, male?” She challenged. Her response stunned the man for a moment, but his response quickly changed to amusement. She wondered at this when one of the soldiers with him advanced, hand on his hilt.
“Churl!” He barked. “You will show respect to the heir of House Hellnor!”
Hellnor? She thought, her breath suddenly catching in fear. But they wear no colors! Was this one of his men? Sahanine shelter me. She reached for the edge of her cloak, preparing to flee when the young man interjected.
“Stand down, Marius.” He said, simply.
“She seems to have been under some duress. Given her circumstances I believe a bit of impertinence can be forgiven.” At his word Marius stepped back and bowed his head. Phaedra breathed a low sigh of relief.
“As you say my lord.” He said. He eyed Phaedra uneasily for a moment then turned to the overturned wagon. “By your leave, then, I will take the men and survey the damage.”
“Granted. I would not worry. I should be quite safe.” He said as he studied her. “She’s no brigand.” He motioned to the side and slowly began walking in the indicated direction. Phaedra considered for a moment, then reluctantly let Koda go to follow him.
“May I ask,” he began after they had walked for some time, “What grudge you bore the wagon?” She paused, uncertain how to answer. Finally, she chose the truth.
“He had me bound to be taken abroad and sold as a slave.” A pained expression came across his face at her answer. He glanced toward the wagon briefly then walked in silence for a few moments before speaking.
“He said this was his plan? Did you see other slaves? A manifest, perhaps?”
“How dare you? What other reason would he have for handling me so?”
“I don’t make it a habit to divine why a man might tie a woman up under any circumstances. It runs the risk of very awkward conversation. Certainly, though, binding a woman against her will is not allowed in Tyria, and that he will answer for.” He said, then glanced to the shadows in front of them. Phaedra then noticed they were walking away from the evening sun, the shadows of the others stretching out before them. After walking a few moments more in silence, he spoke again, “Tyria needs her smugglers, ones who deal in his sort of non-slave goods especially. If you are correct, he deserved everything you were prepared to pay him and more, but I cannot allow it. He will be fined, he will be watched closely, but he will live and go free.”
She stopped, then, and glared at him in incoherent rage. He noticed her expression, and stood waiting next to her. She said nothing and instead stood seething. “I am sorry.” He said after some time, then turned to head back. After his first step, he paused. “We will be dining at Embouchure this night, in the estates of House Kellindore. You are free to join us. If there is anything I can offer by way of reparation for what you have suffered at Koda’s hands, you need only let me know, if not tonight, then any time thereafter. I will not forget your plight. You have my word.”
Phaedra stood there in silence for some time as they righted the wagon and hunted down the horses. One of Koda’s guards approached as though to say something, but thought better of it,2 and left. She thought, perhaps, she detected the prince linger, watching her as if waiting for something. She ignored him. It was nearly dark after they left, however, and she realized then she had not stopped them to secure her possessions. The prince would not have known what was hers, and Koda, she imagined, would not have cared. She turned, and to her surprise saw her pack sitting where the wagon had been. She collected it, considered it, and went to the the estates of House Kellindore that evening.
She would follow Andrew Hellnor back to the capitol on his invitation and there, to the scandal of the court, they fell in love. She also grew to be great friends with Princess Aurora; however, she refused to be made queen. She had no desire for power or responsibility and worried what effect her race and long life would have on the court and the line of succession. Over time Andrew’s coronation and willingness to face down the court softened her stance, and she had begun to seriously consider accepting his hand when he was slain in the War of Medarrion. When the news of his death reached her, she fled the capitol fearing for her safety.
In the coming months she sided with the Lion of the South during in his revolt, repeatedly asking for permission to assassinate the new king. After the loss at Harrow’s Peak, she was taken prisoner and eventually granted pardon along with The Lion. She spent some time wandering across Tyria, before finally turning west, reuniting with Aurora at Avondale, and and accepting her invitation to stay. She presently bears no ill will against House Medarrion, her wrath having been solely for the one who slew the man she loved. She similarly holds no loyalty to house Hellnor, saying, as she always said to Andrew when demurring the throne, “My love is for a man, not a birthright.” She frequently spends time training Aurora’s daughter, Lavonne Melindor, against her father’s protests.
1 The dagger, strictly speaking, was not hers, she having taken it from the body of a guard not long before. She considered it hers by right at the time, however.
2 He wanted to know if he could have his dagger back, actually, but he, upon seeing the expression on her face, decided to just let her keep it.