Lady’s Second, Tore

ToreName: Tore Freyardottir
Age:  623
Height: 5′ 11″
Weight: 148 lbs
Swan Type: Trumpeter
Weapon Specialty: Dual broadswords
Home Region: Alaska
Parents: Frey and Astrid
Personality: Very cold and traditional, Tore is the resident joy-killer…and glorifies in it. While Eira is the final word on discipline, Tore considers it her duty to keep it from getting that far, as well as keeping the Guard at the top of their game (when Eira isn’t chasing them in circles in the practice grounds, anyway). Duty is important to Tore; she is teaching the traditions associated with the Guard to both Eira and Rowen, and reminds Eira of them whenever they are relevant. She is quick and brutal in combat, though she is capable of mercy and has more honor than any other member of the Guard. She doesn’t have the same graceful freedom of movement outside of combat that she has with her swords, so she doesn’t dance, but she has a beautiful singing voice. Her food is near inedible, so she’s never on cooking duty, but she is capable of beautiful embroidery—she is responsible for Eira’s Champion underdress (it’s more than a skirt, and the sleeves and collar have the same designs as the skirt hem).
Bio: Born among humans, Tore was the result of a swan maiden losing her swan skin to a mortal man…for a time. It’s why her eyes are an uncharacteristic (for swan maidens) blue. When Tore was ten, she led her mother to the hidden swan skin (as the story dictated), and the two returned to her mother’s home settlement where they were welcomed with open arms into their family. However, her mother wasn’t able to live with Tore as a reminder of her past. Thankfully, her older brother and his wife, unable to have children of their own, formally adopted Tore, making her his daughter in every sense of the word as far as their culture is concerned. Tore was terrified she wasn’t going to get a swanskin, but her first transformation at the next full moon put that fear away.

A very serious and quiet child, Tore was content to spend her first couple of decades in the small village, learning very slowly and carefully how to fight to the best of her ability. But her eyes set her apart, and she knew it made some of the others uncomfortable. Rather than go first through her own, local squad to wet her feet, she went straight for the Guard. Kari admired her spunk, and rather than putting her through the normal challenge-process when she feared Tore wasn’t ready, she took Tore on as an eleventh member of her Guard, with no authority until she ousted another member of the Guard.

Tore took the opportunity for what it was, and spent about five years traveling with the Guard, discovering the weaknesses of the various members and making her challenge when she thought the timing was right. Kari was so impressed by her careful planning that she bullied the then-second to start immediately training Tore to follow in her place as second only a century later.

Maybe it was gratitude that blinded her, or maybe Tore was just naïve that others of her kind weren’t quite as honorable. She served alongside Kari for centuries, yet when Kari began to be corrupted by the power, Tore didn’t try and rein her in. It wasn’t until confronted by the other squad leaders and seconds that Tore realized how bad the situation was…and it felt like they were holding knives to her heart, as her precious honor came into question. She wanted to offer Eira help with Kari, but tradition insisted that she serve quietly as Kari’s second. However, she was the one who took Kari’s cape and handed it to Eira to do what she willed, and would have killed the former Champion if Eira had ordered it so.

Tore has found a home in the Lake, where traders, other Solifidians, and swan people live side-by-side. She is getting tired of traveling, especially with how much Eira insists on being on the road, but isn’t quite ready to settle yet (though maybe in the next few decades, once she gets Rowen properly trained by her mindset). A local of the Lake, a male swan of a similar background as her and serving as part of the male-squad that guards the settlement, has been quietly courting her when she is around.

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