Adelaida Delice

Census


Full Name. Adelaida L. Delice

Race. Sunborn

Sex. Female

Age. Twenty-Seven

Occupation. Leader of the Liesdron Forces

Traits

Genius. This character has a brain unmatched by most. Though sharpened with skill and study, this character is naturally brilliant.

Determined. This character is not the kind to give up. No matter what roadblocks are in their way, they will continue to push until they find success.

Flaws

Arrogant. This character can often let their ego get ahead of them in social situations or otherwise.

Overprotective. This character has something, or someone, that they care about deeply. So deeply, in fact, that if anything were to happen to it, or them, this character could find themselves broken.

Flavour

Nobody really quite understood Adelaida. Her family, her friends, her teachers - they thought vastly different things about her, but all of them were wrong. Adelaida herself had chalked it up to them projecting what they wanted her to be, and not ever taking time to understand what she really was. Her family thought of her as a beautiful, charming young woman with a bright personality who would easily nab a noble husband and take them out of the hole - but she wasn’t; Adelaida found it impossible to charm men and gave no attention to beauty, money or their meaning in her world. Her friends thought she was supportive, attentive, cared deeply for them and their thoughts and feelings - but she didn’t; Adelaida would oft pretend to listen to her ‘friends’ complain about the dreadfulness of their lives, and she would offer them meaningless platitudes when they finished, but she never felt connected to them. Her instructors thought she was stupid, unteachable, that she couldn’t pay attention to their lessons and thus had no reason to be there, and they were partially correct; Adelaida was unteachable, and she had no reason to be there - for she was far advanced from what they had to offer, and couldn’t bring herself to pretend they were actually teaching her a thing.

Her parents were distraught when their daughter told them she had dropped out of school - she was only fifteen - Liesdro was so centered on scholastic achievement that their only daughter dropping out caused them to lose all hope for their future, for their social standing. They practically disowned her for shaming them, but it wasn’t that Adelaida couldn’t complete it - it was that she didn’t want to. It was killing her soul to sit there when she could be out in the world accomplishing... Something. Going on adventures. She didn’t know exactly what was out there... But she knew it was something worth seeing. So she packed her bags and disappeared into the night and up to the north.

It is difficult to say which of her much-lauded adventures she truly had, as they have become close to legend for many. All that is known is that she traveled across the treacherous deserts and mountains of Muerte to enter into Dirys, where she continued her trek, working odd jobs in various cities to make enough for food and shelter. Only one tale is certainly true: Adelaida made it to northern Dirys, past Dimant and into the wintry mountains. She was a survivalist by this point, eight years having gone by since her departure from Liesdro. The world experience had made her everything but weary, and she was finally prepared for her final test.

In traveling through Dirys, Adelaida heard tell of a powerful item belonging to a god, one that was hidden up and away in the most dangerous parts of the Diryn mountains. She knew immediately that she needed it - whatever it was, like it was meant for her her. It was the reason she had been on this adventure for so long. It was the end to her story. She knew that this would either end in glory or death, and it was the exact adventure she wanted to have. She was prepared for everything... Everything except what truly happened.

She climbed the mountains for weeks, hiding in caves and fending off the fauna that did not wish for her to be there. She went through hell and high-water and finally... She reached the peak. It was there she knew she would find the item. There it would be hidden under rocks and snow and priceless gems. She dug. Dug until her hands bled from the cold, from the unrelenting edges of mystical diamonds in the veins there. She dug until she came to an unimpressive box made of driftwood. A small copper lock held the lid of the box in place, but the hinges threatened to abandon their post, the wood rotten from the snow. It was this. She put a trembling hand to the lock and cast a spell that caused it to click audibly. And as she prepared to open the box... An arrow flew past her head. It landed square on the lid, shocking it back into place and sending Adelaida's hands to her weapons. She pulled her sword and left the box on the ground, turning to the arrow's source before another flew in from behind. She turned again, trying to see through the blowing cold who was there. How many were there.

"We have you surrounded," Called a rough, female voice from the emptiness. Another arrow flew from the side and Adelaida blocked it with a spell, disintegrating the wood and rock it was made from. "What do you want?" Adelaida asked in response, her ear straining for details on her attacker. She heard... Bustling. Feathers brushing up against one another as strong muscles worked a wing. But only one.

"To leave this place. We are the protectors of this mountain. You should not be here." Another arrow was loosed, and this time Adelaida knew where it was coming from. She ignored the arrow, casting a spell that sent her to her assailant's edge of the mountain, directly in front of them. Now face-to-face, Adelaida ripped the bow from her hands and sent it hurtling down the steep face. "Why do you keep saying we, when you and I are the only ones present?" Adelaida asked, gripping the winged one's wrist. It was a woman, young, with a bird’s features. Adelaida immediately recognized her as an Avian.

The bird-woman grimaced, looking down to her long-gone bow and to the wrist that Adelaida was cutting into with the simple power of her fingers. She looked Adelaida in the eyes, hardened, unrelenting... And then she smiled. "I should have assumed that you would be strong, having made it here in the first place... But I cannot allow you to open that box."

Adelaida shook her head: "I've proven you can't stop me. This is my destiny, I am to find the legendary item hidden in that box, I am to return with it to my country and..."

"And what? Kill everyone? Get revenge for some misdeed they placed against you?"

"No. Never. I... For the glory, I suppose. For the adventure? To be the one to wield a weapon crafted by Gods, to have a legacy."

"What in Felana’s name do you believe is in that box?" Asked the Avian, wrenching her wrist from Adelaida's grip. She did not fly away, did not move, but Adelaida watched her closely before speaking, "A weapon, a weapon of legend made by a god."

The Avian smiled at this, though the smile only touched her eyes with sadness and not joy or excitement. A bad memory. "You have heard the same legends me and the others were told. Please, before you open it, listen to me. Hear this, and then let me leave you be to make your decision."

Adelaida agreed, learning that the Avian's name was Zira. The two went to a cave, sitting by a fire to keep their bodies from shutting down from cold. And it was there that Zira told Adelaida her story. About how she and others from the Vieri Guard were sent to this mountain by their leader in search of the legendary weapon that they believed belonged to the Vieri people. They found the box made of driftwood after days of digging, and the Captain decided to open it to see the weapon with his own two eyes. When he opened the box, a harsh light and wind exploded in the area, burning their eyes out of their skulls and freezing the skin from their bones... Zira and two other men had not been in close enough proximity, and watched their colleagues die torturous deaths... And then the box shut itself, locking tight.

"You saw it come from the box? It wasn't anything else?" Adelaida questioned, unhappy with the idea her journey was for naught, but Zira told her that she had watched the events with her own eyes. Adelaida wouldn’t know she was lying. So Zira continued to tell, how afterwards, her and the other men argued over what to do. To bring the box to Vieri to lock it away in the royal museum? Or to leave it here, buried, in the hopes it would never be touched again? There was disagreement, dissent. One of the men was in favour of returning the box to Vieri as they had been commanded, but Zira felt it should stay here where no one would find it, where they could also stay and protect the spot out of duty. It was the final man who would make the decision... He said he wished to take the box to Vieri, and it was decided, Zira was outvoted. What she wished she had known was that he wanted the box for himself, as a tool of war, and was planning on using it to murder both her and their fellow guard. She escaped... Neither of them did. She washed their blood from her hands and returned to the mountain-top, burying the box and swearing to remain there and protect it until the day she died.

"Why not destroy it?" Adelaida asked her.

Zira thought about this for a moment before answering, "What happens when you break a box, Adelaida? It's contents spill out into the world."

“And what happens when you die? When you can’t find food, or you freeze, or you hurt yourself and can’t get help? What happens when no one is here to protect the box and your Queen sends another team to retrieve it?”

This was not something Zira could answer easily. “I have never thought of myself as dying,” She shrugged.

“Not once? You don’t wonder how it will happen? When?”

“No.”

“Are you immortal?”

“No.”

“Then how do you not fear death? There is nothing in the world living things fear more... Being wiped from the planet. It’s why they birth children and make discoveries. To leave behind a legacy. Death… Is an erasure of us, of who we were and what we meant. If your meaning is to protect that box, what happens when that meaning is simply erased?”

“What would you suggest then, Miss Adelaida? That I give up my purpose now and live to see a day where this box can be used as a weapon? Where more of my friends can die at the hands of their curiosities?”

“Well, why not… Why not put it in another world?” Adelaida suggested, receiving a look that could only be described as the judgement of someone truly insane, “Look, Zira, it’s possible. Haven’t you wondered how conjuration works? Where things come from, how they are moved over long distances? Conjurers slide it into another dimension. Not one we can visit, but one that can be like… A storage unit, of sorts.”

“Can you do this? Do you have that power?”

“No, I’m… I’m not a conjurer.”

“Then why suggest it?” Zira huffed, straightening up and facing away from Adelaida, “It is fruitless to waste time on suggestions that have no practical application.” Zira began to walk away, pausing only to give Adelaida advice: “You should make yourself a camp. here tonight, Miss Adelaida. The sun is setting and the next unoccupied cave is several hours down the face.” With that, Zira began her departure.

“Whoa, Zira, wait, hold on!” The Avian stopped, “I can’t do it, no. But I know someone who can. Someone I trust completely. Someone you can trust.”

“How can I trust a complete stranger?”

“You have trusted me enough to share your horrors and misdeeds. You have trusted me enough to accompany me unarmed, whilst I carry weapons. I am still a complete stranger to you.”

Silence fell between them as Zira considered this.

“Do you feel like you trust me?”

After far too long of a moment, Zira: “...Yes. I do not understand why, but… I do.”

“Maybe it’s because your kind have strong instincts.” Zira scoffed at the suggestion, but Adelaida continued, “So, will you come with me? We will bind the box, contain it. And then we can send it off for good. You and I... Together.”

Zira shifted, suddenly seeming vulnerable… And in a flash it was gone again and she was her threatening self, decided, strong. She made her demands, “I shall carry the box, and you will give me one of your weapons. We do not talk to anyone. Not a word.”

“Deal.”

“And you must tell me, who is this magic-user?”

“My grandmother.”




When the two arrived at their destination, they had bonded. The trek had taken many months and suddenly it was as if they were old friends. Their conversations were varied and exciting, personal in a way that made others feel the bond was impenetrable. They even held hands as they approached the place they would find Adelaida’s grandmother.. It was a cemetery.

“We’re here,” Adelaida spoke, a little solemnly.

“Is… She the groundskeeper?”

“No, no she’s not.”

Adelaida felt the warmth of the other woman’s hand disappear as Zira mulled over the possibilities. “Is she--”

“She’s not dead, Zira, she’s just… It’s a long story, okay? I promise I’ll tell you another time. Essentially, something bad happened to her because of magic. Now she has to hide. When you see her, it may be shocking or scary. But she’s still capable of doing what we need… And even though she wouldn’t anyways, she won’t be able to tell anyone, and--” The warm hand returned.

“Addie… I’ve been with this burden for very long. I think… That I am finally ready to be released of it.”

Adelaida smiled, took a deep breath, and lead Zira to a deserted, cobwebbed mausoleum. Though everything in the Liesdron graveyard was bright, vividly flowered and well-kempt, this single piece was dark, out of place. “Why do they not care for it?” Zira asked.

“I don’t know,” Was the only reason Adelaida could define, “I suppose that they fear what lies inside.” With a powerful shove, the door came loose from it’s mouldy jam and cracked against the walls. The inside smelled of urine and death, but both women seemed unfazed. They continued into the mausoleum where Adelaida began counting the stones on the side walls, tapping them as she did. As she found what she was looking for, she pulled it loose with a mighty heave and as it came free, a cellar door appeared beneath her feet, as if by magic… Which was, of course, indeed the cause.

Adelaida lifted the door, the heavy weight of it banging as it came crashing down to the other side of the floor. She put a foot down the step and felt Zira grab her arm. “A smart person would see this as a trap. The heavy door would be to keep something inside. I just--”

“Zira… My grandmother, she built that door to keep herself in. When she doesn’t have things to remind her of who she is, she loses control. So when I visit, she maintains the door, updates the spells; she keeps this place safe.”

“What is she, Addie?”

“Zira, do you still trust me?”

Zira didn’t answer, simply nodded her head. “Then trust me.” Adelaida didn’t wait for a response and instead began stepping down to the cellar, where a humid vapour fell upon their skin. As they continued down, their heads were made dizzy with the smell of waste. In fact, the only thing that permeated the thick, sewage-like odors was a strong jolt of peppermint and oranges.

They hit the floor of the cellar and Zira noticed something moving from the corner of her eye. “Addie…”

“It’s alright, Zira.”

Zira saw the thing again, her sharp Avian eyes being able to catch things that Adelaida would miss. The glinting of teeth. A hunched back. Sweat glistening on it’s forehead - or was that piss? “Adelaida.”

“It’s al--” At that moment, the thing lunged, crashing into Adelaida. The magical girl cast of a series of sparkling lights in response, the jets bouncing off the walls and causing a strobe that made Zira’s eyes sore. Still, she wouldn’t let that stop her from protecting her friend. Rushing at the creature, Zira yanked it away from Adelaida’s prone body. Holding a dagger overhead, she prepared to slice into the creature’s eye, into it’s brain, wanting only to kill it.

“Zira, stop!” As Adelaida cried out, one of her jets of light hit the dagger, causing it to shine brilliantly and light the room. The creature hissed and shaded it’s eyes, turning away from Zira. Turning back towards Adelaida. Zira sliced, catching the creature’s arm, but it ran towards Adelaida as if it hadn’t been touched. It lunged towards Adelaida, Zira trying to stop it, and just as it’s massive maw came close to her face - it stopped.

“...A...Ad…” The creature huffed out, it’s deformed face changing under the light of the dagger. It looked as if skin and bones moved like a stormy sea. The bulging eye seemed to shrink and move, the sharp teeth jutting back inside of their gums, the face becoming encased by wrinkles. “Ah...dee...”

Adelaida caressed the creatures face, looking at the deformed features with love and pity: “Hello grandmama.”

“This is your grandmother? This is the woman we are entrusting the box to?”

The creature - Adelaida’s grandmother - growled. Her eyes flashed and she turned towards Zira.

“Grandmama! Look!” Adelaida took out a small chain with a pendant attached. She grabbed the creature’s face and forced it to stare at the thing. The thing struggled, bones crunching and skin sloughing off in sick piles. “Grandmama - remember.” Adelaida was stern, and finally the creature looked. It stared. It touched the thing with black claws. And then the claws became calloused fingers. And the face became the weathered, leathery face of a humanoid creature. Tears crawled from it’s eyes.

“Adelaida, my dear sweet… Adelaida. How many years has it been?”

“Too many. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I should have come. I was on a quest, and I didn’t come… And it’s my fault--”

“How bad was I?”

“Pretty damned terrible! Veira have mercy on your soul, you old bag,” Zira seethed, “You tried to kill us. Tried to snack on your own granddaughter. You’re an honest-to-Goddess monster.”

The old woman flinched, and Adelaida scowled. “Back off, Zira. She doesn’t control it. She can’t. That’s why she hides herself away here. She protects everyone, even in her suffering!”

“Maybe you should just put her out of her suffering, Addie!”

“Are you serious, Zira? We need her. Zira,” She held out her hand, “The box.”

“No.”

“Young woman,” Adelaida’s grandfather wheezed at Zira, “I understand your distrust of me. You have solely seen me at my worst, and for that I have a heavy heart and deep regret. I wish you had not witnessed that dark moment… But if my dear Adelaida brought you here, there is something important you need done. And if my dreams have told me the truth… It is a box of legend. One that will bring only destruction to our world if it falls into the wrong hands.”

“...How did you know that?” Zira questioned, suspicious.

“I saw this day… I saw it long ago. When I first ventured into the place no creature belongs. The place that box belongs. I saw it when I became… This.”

“Did you know this, Adelaida?”

Adelaida shook her head, looking at her grandmother’s feeble form. “Zira, she can hide it away. Forever.”

“What else did you see?”

Grandmother smiled knowingly, “Nothing else. Just that I was to deposit the box into the other world, hide it away where it could not be found - and that was all I was supposed to do.”

“And no one will ever find it?”

“Not many have the power and the foolishness I was cursed with.”

“Someone still could, then.”

“It is possible, just as it is possible that your leader discovered that you were alive, and had the box he so desired. Just as it is possible there are men with swords and spears and maces coming down here to get you.”

“Grandmama! Did you see that?” Adelaida prepared her weapons, shooting sparks to see the entry way.

“No, she’s just pointing out the possibility,” Zira guessed. The old woman nodded. “Fine,” She continued, digging into her bag for the destructive item, “I will trust you. But if you have lied to me, it will be Adelaida who will pay the price.”

“Understood.”

The box exchanged hands, and the two exchanged looks. An accord had been struck, a connection had been made. Adelaida was a little jealous.

“Addie, hand me the pendant.”

It took an hour before anything happened. An hour that was spent in silence listening to Grandmother’s chanting. Zira was impatiently tapping her foot. Pacing. She didn’t like being in a closed space for so long, especially with the stench. Adelaida was more patient, she was accustomed to magic. Used to the lengths one had to go for spells beyond normal comprehension.

When the spell finally took effect, neither girl was ready for it. Grandmother’s eyes, her mouth, the ends of her fingers, shot off a black nothingness that seemed to eat away at the world around it; melting the walls, curdling the light that dared to brush the stone.

“What’s happening?!” Zira dodged the hungry beams of nothingness, having to yell over an incessant buzzing that began to fill their ears.

“She’s travelling!” Adelaida called back, casting some light magic over herself and Zira in a weak attempt to protect them. They would have to keep moving around, avoiding the beams of nothing that ate up everything. This continued for several minutes before all at once… It stopped. The beams disappeared; the world around them returned to it’s normal state; the buzzing ceased.

“Grandmama?” Adelaida knelt down next to the bag of a woman, whose face once again began to shift and move about. Her eyes did not open at first, her breath seemed slowed to a deathly quiet. Adelaida cast a spell over her grandmother, hoping to heal her from whatever had taken over inside. Midway through casting, a gasp sounded in the empty chamber. Grandmother’s eyes shot open - though they were black pits full of anguish.

“It’s safe,” She managed to force out in the one breath she had left in her. And then she lifted an arm and pointed at Zira, who had stayed back, away from both Adelaida and her grandmother. The slender, bone-like finger beckoned her forth, and she listened to the unheard call. When Zira was close enough, Grandmother reached out, grasping the girl’s wrist tightly and putting the pendant in her hand. The two remained like that for a time, Adelaida looking on in shock, in envy. When they broke apart, Grandmother laughed a hoarse and almost monstrous laugh that died too soon in her lungs - as she died with it.

“Grandmama?!” Adelaida tried to heal her again. And again. And again she tried. Nothing would help. Death couldn’t be reversed by Evocation, and she was no necromancer.

The girls sealed the tomb’s entrance, leaving Grandmother’s body to rest. They set off, no longer with any quest to complete. “What did she say to you?” Adelaida asked, after they had walked for hours in silence. She couldn’t hold it in any longer, and suddenly felt far enough from her grandmother that she wouldn’t be overheard.

“Nothing,” Zira told her, shrugging slightly and shoving her hands into her pockets.

“Zira. She was my Grandmother--”

“She said nothing, Adelaida!” Zira stopped and faced the girl she had called her only friend, “She put that stupid pendant in my hand and then stared at me with a toothless smile and black pits in her eyes. It’s nothing to be jealous of, okay?”

“...Why would she give you the pendant? It’s a family heirloom, it’s rightfully mine!”

“To protect you, you stupid idiot! Okay? I’m with you now. For better or worse or whatever other stupid shit because that’s how it’s supposed to happen. I’m your protector. And we have work to do.”

Adelaida would never realize what Zira truly meant in saying this… But the thought of having Zira with her for good… It gave her a strength she had been lacking. It gave her the thing she had gone searching for on her long quest. And now, she was ready to go home.




The two had heard about the discovery of a new land, about every country’s rush to get their and claim it as their own. Zira had even made herself privy to the treason Liesdro would suffer if the Warlord of Adelaida’s land were permitted to keep his post… Adelaida would never question how she came across this information, or how she seemed to know where all of the incriminating documents were located, but together they would uncover the schemes to Walherich Khul and Ruiha Maytal in secret.

The traitorous Warlord would be taken into custody by federal forces, and no one would even remember his existence when they were done…

Now, the problem was that the country lacked a representative in the Battle for Atton. Walherich was firm on the point that the country needed to show strength in the endeavour - and more importantly that the resources in Atton could spell danger if in the hands of more radical countries like Malscure or Artavia. So, they organized a private competition. The best men in each sector of the Liesdro Military, Public Service and Police Force were gathered for a week long intensive training session.

Of course Adelaida had to be there. However she had no permission to even be viewing it, and so she certainly would not be allowed to compete… But that wouldn’t stop her. She expected for Zira to step in and tell her the idea was ridiculous, but the other girl merely stayed back and allowed for Adelaida to plan an outrageous interruption of the Captain’s Ceremony.

The plan was simple. Wait for the winner to be announced and begin to walk on stage. Enter in a flash of bright lights. Challenge his wits, challenge his strength, challenge his nerve… Walk away as a Warlord. She was always ambitious.

The plan went over well… The chosen middle-aged Lieutenant not able to take down a prodigal twenty-six year old with fate solidly on her side… Though there was one hitch. Walherich Khul was furious. He commanded her sternly into his quarters, questioned her for hours, ridiculed her, threatened to send her away with a bag over her head, never to be heard from again. She did not budge. She did not cry. She did not admit her fault, or any weakness, or permit him to weasel his way into her head. When he finally addressed her, when he finally asked her to speak? All she had to say was: “Is that all, Sir? I’m afraid I have a mite of strategy to go over, troops to meet, you know… Warlord stuff.”

He laughed, twirling his mustache as he thought. “I will give you one chance, Lady Delice. You will follow every order I send to you to the very dot of my every ‘I’. A single misstep, and you will greatly wish you had never crossed paths with me. I have all the power in the world to ruin your life. And not just your’s. Your family’s lives. Your childhood friends. Even your pets. I will destroy everything, because my everything is at stake in this War. We will win.”

“Yes sir.” She knew she wouldn’t fail… Not with Zira by her side.