Name: Gersemi Nikolassdottir
Swan Type: Tundra, subspecies Bewick’s
Weapon Specialty: Battle Axe
Home Region: Russia/China (migrant)
Parents: Nikolas and Disa
Personality: Brash and bold on a good day, Gersemi is full of cheer and song (though they are usually of the dirty variety). She doesn’t hesitate to let her opinion known, though she is easily overruled by logic. She is a friend of everybody, and it takes effort to make her angry at you for longer than a few minutes. But on the bad days? She takes everything as a provocation to fight, and will gladly take up the challenge with a smile on her face. She will remind you of every time you’ve offended her over the last week, and it takes physical force to make her realize that her (often aggressive) actions are far from the best idea. Thankfully, her bad days are few and far between. In battle, she has berserker tendencies, which is why she wears so little armor beyond her body suit and chainmail. As a result, she is usually placed with the archers to watch their backs or in the front, depending on the strategy at the time.
Bio: Born in one of the few migrant groups of swan people, though she swears during her childhood they weren’t nearly as rare, Gersemi was raised in parts of Russia and China, depending on the time of year. Her parents were weavers and traders, specializing in silks of rare hues. As a result, her childhood was very privileged, and very different from the normal swan maiden mythos. Unlike with the normal village, all the warriors of her village stuck to the caravan for protection, and valkyries were rare instead of normal. She should have been the perfect lady, and for most of her early years she was, though it itched her personality something fierce.
Then their family was attacked on the road one winter. Gersemi was being led off to be protected with the other maidens when the bandits attacked her older brother and herself. Her brother was killed in front of her, and in a desperate move to save her own life, she picked up his axe. What happened next is a blank in her memory, but the evidence spoke for itself. Three of their attackers died at her hands.
Her berserker state couldn’t be ignored. Her parents turned to one of the few valkyries in the caravan, who took Gersemi under her wing. It wasn’t quite the place her parents intended for her, but it made due.
The Lightbringer Wars wiped most of Gersemi’s traveling village out. One of the survivors led them to the Lake, where the others found new lives…but not her, at least not at first. Before she could fall too far into a barrel of ale, she was found by the then-second to the Lady Champion, Kari, and invited to try for the guard. While her berserker state made them wary, the Guard couldn’t deny both her skill and her need and drew her into the fold. Gersemi began to think of the Guard as her new family, the Lake her home, and thought herself happy, especially when her friend became the new Lady Champion.
The Shadow War are a hazy blur of battle after battle in her mind. Kari relied a little too heavily on her berserker rage to get the Guard through its worse fights, and while Gersemi is glad she doesn’t have the memories to weigh on her soul, she does feel incredible guilt. She attempts to hide that guilt, but on some days, she can’t help it, and lashes out. It’s only gotten worse as all this new (and needed, if you force her to admit it) blood has come into the Guard, including a new Lady Champion.
But one time testing Eira’s calm nature too many showed her that she couldn’t bully her way around anymore, and on the Champion’s orders, she’s being very carefully watched by the second. As a result, Iduna and Tore have become her confidants, and her sources of comfort on the bad days. When she is feeling okay, though, she spends her time with the twins, training them up.