Name: Eira Egosdottir
Height: 5′ 7″
Weight: 140 lbs
Swan Type: Tundra, subspecies Whistling
Weapon Specialty: Jack of All Trades; trained in broadsword, dagger, hand axe, shield, and bow and arrow
Home Region: Scandinavia
Parents: Egor and Senta
Personality: A bit on the overly serious side, she doesn’t relax easily and only with people she knows well. To compound the issue, she’s a little stand-offish and hard to get to know. That said, once you have her loyalty, she will stand beside you through fire and water. Very practical, she dislikes the full-champion garb that’s traditional, so she tends to wear a simpler version of it for every day. She doesn’t sing, mostly because she’s a very mellow alto that has the embarrassing tendency to go flat, but she is a very graceful dancer. She can be seen dancing with her friends among her Guard when they force her to relax. She’s a mediocre housewife—her food is simple but edible, both in a kitchen and over a campfire, and her sewing is great for mending but awful for anything fancy, but she does well with kids…now if only she had the desire to have any. More than any of her other troops, she has an itchy traveling foot.
The first-born to a young couple who had a farm outside of a small swan people (their preferred term) village, she was definitely a daddy’s girl. But her parents drilled the need for responsibility into her head, so she was always helping in the house and fields as much as she could. Her parents carefully spaced out their children, so she grew up alongside the oldest three of her younger siblings, looking after them whenever their parents were distracted or out of the house.
In her mid-teens, she started begging her father for battle training early, and Egor didn’t see any reason to deny her. Eira quickly showed an aptitude for weapon work and the drive to improve beyond what her father could teach her. He trained her in every weapon he knew, and sought out the aid of the village’s wandering female squad for techniques he wasn’t familiar with. As a result, Eira was very familiar with the members of the squad growing up.
The fourth of Eira’s younger siblings was born about midway through her twenties, and the first married a couple of years later, giving Eira the beginning of many nieces and nephews. The new couple settled just next door, and her family made plans to continue to settle in the same area. By this point, the small farm was beginning to feel like a small village to Eira. It didn’t help that she was hearing stories from the same swan maidens who helped teach her weapon work. Finally, she appealed to her parents for permission to join the squad. Her mother had qualms, but eventually gave in. Eira was the youngest to join the squad in their records, but she passed the physical trial, and had several current members to vouch for her, including the “retiring” maiden who was leaving the squad to start a family.
The fifth and sixth of Eira’s younger siblings were born, twins, early in Eira’s thirties. Unlike with her other siblings, she wasn’t anywhere near the family farm at the time, but rather off with the squad exploring places she’d never even heard of, even seeing her first humans. She made friends with two other swan maidens, one close to her age, Rowen, and the other a bit older, Jordis. The three decided that they wanted to become the best fighters they could, and started sparring and practicing together every chance they could. Nothing either of the two could do would get Eira to learn the songs the squad sang around campfires or in taverns, but they did eventually get her to learn and participate in the circle dances.
Sadly, this wasn’t all happy-times for Eira. One night, while she and Rowen were taking their turn for the nightly baths (white hair=twice daily baths MINIMUM just to keep it cleanish), two young noble brothers decided to try and steal their swan skins, left on the bank. The mythos of the swan maidens helped them, since the story does give them just enough of an edge to sneak to the lake edge. However, Eira used the dual nature of the all Solifidians to her advantage, preventing her from becoming the helpless maiden from the traditional story and instead aspects of the Valkyries mixed with her own nature. She was able to retrieve her swan skin without any real damage, and Rowen’s as well, cementing the bond between them.
The leader of the squad retired, and surprised everyone (including Eira) by naming her the new leader rather than her current second. But then, the two were the same age, and the second also retired a scant year later for the same reason as the previous leader—to have a family. Eira struggled at first to adjust to her change in status, and then had to train Rowen in second-duties, wanting to insure her back is always safe by someone she trusted to guard it and yank her chain if she’s being stupid. The seventh (and last, so-swears Senta) of Eira’s younger siblings was born, but she for the first time Eira wasn’t there until months after the babe was born, and she would have no part in helping with raising the child, thanks to her duties.
As the new leader, Eira had to start visiting the Lake once every three years to pay homage to Kari, the then-Lunar-Champion, and the Champion’s Guard. As a normal squad member, she merely hung out with other swan maidens and her squad while the leader and second were in council meetings, but that couldn’t be the case anymore. Eira had to face Kari herself, and prove that she and Rowen were capable of handling the duties given to them. Kari rubbed Eira the wrong way, just from her base manner, but Eira tried to shrug it aside as just a duty to be suffered every three years. It was particularly distressing for her and the other swan maidens when Kari started refusing to let her Guard be challenged for their positions, but they didn’t dare challenge her themselves.
Trade at the Lake took a sudden dip that frightened all the villages, even Eira’s home one far from it. Eira volunteered her squad to serve as a representative of Scandinavia, and the others agreed since, despite her still-considered youth, Eira was well-known for both her fighting skills and keeping a level, diplomatic head. Along with several other squads to represent the other regions where the swan maidens had carved out territories, Eira and the other leaders traveled to the lake to confront Kari about what was happening.
Kari had begun to place unfair taxes on trades within the Lake’s walls, and demanding gifts from the merchants. Some of her Guard also were milking this to their advantage, though it was known that Tore, the second, took it out on them in training if she caught them. Kari mocked the other squad leaders and seconds, demanding to know what any of them could do.
Eira was the one who opened her mouth and declared a challenge on Kari for her title as Lunar Champion, though she barely remembers doing it—the result of one of the rare times her temper got away from her.
Needless to say, Eira won, though she will swear to this day that the Archetype stepped in at the end to insure that Eira won, She was that fed up with Kari Herself. The last five years have been spent getting everything back in order that it belongs in, moving to the Lake, and letting the challenges among her Guard settle down after years of being blocked. Much like her initial leadership role, Eira left Tore in place, partly because Tore was an excellent fighter, mostly because she was familiar with the traditions and necessities of being Lunar Champion. Rowen has yet to complain about the situation to Eira’s knowledge.
Within her first year as Champion, Rowen and Jordis joined her Guard. The members of her old squad who didn’t try to challenge into her new Guard chipped in to commission her Champion armor, and her mother dug out the over-robe she’d been saving for Eira’s wedding (now a distinct impossibility). They were gifted to her at her first Winter Solstice celebration as Champion, with other bits and pieces added to her Champion garb by Tore, Gersemi, and Iduna, the three who ended up wanting to stay on her Guard. It let her personalize her role as Champion, solidifying her change in status in her own mind.
She met the Archetype the first full-moon after her “promotion,” via a dedication ceremony, and provided she is near a still enough body of water, she can still communicate with Her at night through serious meditation. Though Eira will be the first to admit it’s a stupid idea to do it any other time than the full moon or close to it, due to the darker nature of some of the moon god/goddess/spirit mythos and their added strength the closer it is to a new moon. She would add that the times in-between, particularly the half-moons, are even worse due to the fact the two sides of the mythos are of equal strength and sometimes with opposite goals, all within the same Archetype.
On paper, Eira is the perfect champion for her particular race and Archetype. She has no desire to settle down in life and raise a family, nor does she have family pressure to do so because of her numerous siblings do it for her. Her love of travel insures that she’ll be able to check on the status of villages for herself, as well as stay abridged with what the humans are doing (even if it means trying to catch up with her for a decision is difficult). It might annoy some people that she isn’t always at the Lake, but since she checks in routinely, it isn’t as bad as it could be. Her Guard likes to tease her about her cold bed, but Eira acts painfully shy about it for reasons that has Rowen and Jordis at least a little suspicious about whether maybe she does have her eye on someone, she just won’t approach whoever it is.