Serena
Serena.jpg
Name Serena Teresa Fernandez de Uribe
Nationality Pueblo Corporate Council
Metatype Elf (subspecies Dryad)
Archetype Shaman (Magical Adept)
Birthdate sometime in August 2040

"Have you met my bear, Tibbers?"


BACKGROUND
Springtime, an elven woman sits on a treebranch, an elven girl who is clearly her daughter sitting next to her.

"Mija, you need to remember", she said to the girl, "when we go into the town, you need to always stay where I can see you and where you can see me. The only reason we are going is because we need some things that are easier for us to get in the town than to find or make for ourselves."

"Si, Mami", replied the little girl. "I will stay where you can see me." The younger of the two, only having seen two handfuls of summers in her life, actually understood the gravity of her mother's decision to go into the town - in her ten years, her mother'd never taken her there, and had always cautioned her that going into the town was a very dangerous thing to do.

So, the two elves made their way down out of the tree and walked into the small town, deep in the woodlands, in the Pueblo Corporate Council lands. All the people of the town towered over the two elves as they walked hand-in-hand, their hair the color of the newest leaves on the trees… the elder of the two, the mother, standing a meter tall, her daughter chest-high to her. They were looked at often, of course - for their height, for their hair color, for that they were 'strangers' in town, that they were wearing leather clothing that's clearly hand-made, that they both carried bows and quivers of arrows made for their small stature, and because, save for their height, they looked like otherwise normal elves.

The pair entered the town's general store, named 'Hierberia del Sol', which also doubled as a talismongery. "Buenos dias, Maria", said the elder of the two little elf-women to the old human woman sitting at the counter, while her children and grandchildren actually tended the rest of the store. "Buenos dias, Magdalena", replied the old woman. "It has been a long, long time since I have seen you… and, what is this! You have a daughter! Ay, que preciosa! Buenos dias, querida! How are you? What is your name?", she said, leaning forward to look down at the tiny elven girl.

The little elf-girl looked up at her mother, who simply nodded… and released the girl's hand to move off and do her shopping, the simple nod of her head all she needed to do to let her daughter know that this woman was someone she trusted and that the girl could also trust. "I'm Serena", she replied. When Maria held her hands down, offering to lift the little elf, Serena allowed it. "You look just like your mother… except for your chin. That must be your father's chin", the old woman said with a smile as she settled the tiny girl in her lap. Serena studied the woman's face, with her pronounced nose and tall forehead and wrinkled skin. "You look like a funny old bird!", she declared.

"I must give to you a gift", declared the old woman with a smile, after laughing for a few moments at the child's words. "Magdalena!", she called, getting the attention of Serena's mother. "May I take your daughter with me to my room? I wish to give her a gift", she queried. Magdalena, as she placed an item into the little shopping basket she'd taken from where they were stacked, looked at her daughter and said, "Mija, I trust Maria with you… but I need to know you won't be scared to go with her." Serena looked at the old woman's face and then to her mother, saying, "Mami, I like the old Bird Woman."

Magdalena merely smiled and nodded her head to Maria, the old Owl shamaness who served her community as not only the owner of her store and a talismonger, but also as a healer and teacher in the ways of magic. The old woman carefully set the little elf girl on the ground and stood with the help of her cane. "I would carry you with me, mi preciosa", she said to Serena, "but I am not as strong as I once was - I fear I might drop you!" Serena merely smiled up at the old woman, much taller than her mother, as she took hold of the hem of Maria's skirt. "It's okay. I can walk with you", she replied.

The old woman led her to the back of the store and up a short flight of stairs, all at a slow pace dictated by her age. Her room was a small place, but the walls were lined by shelves overflowing with small nick-knacks of all sorts. Reaching up to one shelf, the old woman pulled down a small stuffed animal, a teddybear with one missing eye and some of its fur worn off by the passage of time. Sitting herself on the quilt-covered bed, Maria patted the spot next to herself, prompting Serena to put down her bow to free her hands to jump and clamber up onto the bed next to the old woman.

"Preciosa", Maria said to the girl, "this little osito was given to me by my grandfather. I called him 'Tiburon', because I pretended he was fierce, like a shark. I have already given gifts to my children and to my grandchildren… but there are no new young ones in my family for me to make him a gift to… so I gift him to you. You will take good care of him for me, si?" The little elven girl nodded solemnly, replying, "Si, Maria… I will take good care of Tibbers for you", making the old woman smile, yet again.

The two made their slow way back down to the store to find Serena's mother waiting patiently at the counter for Maria's return, rather than have one of the old woman's children handle the purchase of the goods in the basket. As the old woman settled herself in the chair and Serena moved to stand next to her mother, Magdalena set the basket down and pulled a bundle of herbs and roots from the knapsack that hung at her side, saying, "I have brought a collection of herbs and roots for you to use in your work, Maria, to trade for these items, if it's enough."

"What you bring me is always worth more than the few things you take with you, Magdalena", Maria replied, waving over her granddaughter. "This is Cecilia, my granddaughter… she will be taking over the work I once did, in fact she already has begun to serve as the pueblo's medicine woman in my place. Ceci, this is Magdalena, an old and trusted friend. She will bring to you many rare things for you to use in your work", the old woman said, introducing the elves to the town's new medicine woman. After greeting and handing over the talismongering supplies to the girl, Magdalena looked at her old friend, saying, "Maria, you are not so old that I will not see you again…?"

Maria merely smiled. "I am an old woman, Magdalena… I will probably not be here when you next come to town to shop. I have told Ceci of our adventures together in the forest, and of all the things you taught me and that I taught you in exchange. She will treat you fairly and treat you well, as I always have… both you and your daughter", she said, glancing to the little elf girl, quietly standing next to her mother with her new toy hugged against her chest.

The mother and daughter duo left the store, and left the town, after farewells shared by Maria and Magdalena, the two elves returning to the woodlands and to where they had a little home set up in the branches of one of the larger trees, deep in one of the more remote areas of the woodlands that are part of the Ostara National Park. Over the next two days, Serena fashioned a little backpack for her new toy and playmate, Tibbers, to wear, filling it with small items that she'd collected for herself through her life. It was when Serena took a little of the sap from the tree in which their home was built and touched it to the teddy bear's forehead, then to the backpack she'd made for it to wear, that Magadlena saw, for the first time, the magic of her daughter's blood Awakening to its potential - and inwardly thanked her old friend for the wisdom Owl had given her, and the gift that had brought to life Serena's magic.

Serena and her mother lived many more years in the happy and safe solitude of the woodlands of the Ostara Forest, moving their home from one tree to another every few years. Serena learned much of the ways of magic, and of Father Tree, her mother's totem, over the years. It was a peaceful and happy time for the two, even with the one visit they eventually made back to Maria's store nearly a decade after their last visit, to find that the old Bird Woman had died of old age and that her granddaughter had truly taken over the shop. Serena cried over the old woman's grave, and left, on the grave, a little heart-shaped rock from Tibber's backpack before returning to the woods with her mother.

Several more years went by in peaceful solitude, until the one fateful day when the spirits of the woods came to life all at once… and they were angry! Neither Serena or her mother knew what had riled the spirits so, but even they were suddenly not welcome among the trees, and they fled their home, taking only what they could carry with themselves. They ran through the forest, evading and having to fight to escape from several spirits over the next few days, until they found themselves trapped in a tree, with a large, very angry, and VERY dangerous spirit stalking them.

"Mija, listen to me", Magdalena said to her daughter. "I will go down and confront this evil spirit… when I do, you must run."

Serena, of course, shook her head, "Mami! I won't leave you alone against that thing!"

"If you do not run when I distract it, we will both die here, today, Mija… go to Maria's store, ask Cecilia if she will let you stay until the spirits are no longer so angry. Let us hope that, there, you will be safe", Magdalena said, hugging her daughter, handing her her own bow and arrows - ones she'd gotten through Maria's store many years ago.

Saddened, Serena could only nod to her mother's words, seeing the wisdom of what needed to be done. "I will wait for you there, Mami", she said, hoping that her mother would find a way to survive the battle.

Serena watched as her mother leapt out of the tree and to the ground, calling up her most powerful magicks against the spirit… then turned and fled the area. She ran all through the night until she reached the town, collapsing as she entered the store. Recognized immediately by Cecilia, she was taken immediately in to the back of the store, where the family who lived there made their home.

When she awoke, she explained to the medicine woman about the spirits in the woods, to which Cecilia could only nod, having already heard about the nastiness going on in Ostara. She agreed to let Serena stay a until it all blew over, letting the elf-girl stay in her grandmother's old room. Tibbers got to sit on his old spot on the shelf again.

The nastiness in Ostara Shamanic Park ended a few days later… but Serena's mother never arrived at the store to meet with her daughter, and everyone there knew what that meant. Though, with the help of Cecilia's brothers and nephews, Serena hunted for her mother's body over the next week, they ended up digging a grave and burying only the bow and arrows Magdalena'd given to her daughter before sacrificing herself to save Serena.

So, now Serena's back in the woods of Ostara Shamanic Park… and looking for a new place to make a home. She also finds herself, for the first time in her life, to be truly alone (except of course for Tibbers, although he's usually a very silent companion). This lonliness has driven her to stray closer to the more often populated and busy part of the park - the parts closest to the city of Denver - just so that she can see people's faces, hear their voices.


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