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Mario Vetere

Mara the Blessed


Mara the Blessed at the Church of the Defending Mage

Original name is Maragold Shebari Ridley

Female Human Priest of Belinos

  • 5' 3''
  • 145 lbs
  • Dark brown eyes
  • Dark brown hair
  • Olive complexion

Mara the Blessed began life as Maragold Shebari, the younger of two daughters born to Pesha Shebari and Derrick Ridley. Raised in the farming district of Vilmar Estates, the Ridley’s meager home was a small plot of land nestled between other larger farms. Her father acted as the area’s blacksmith; his forge was seldom quiet, as there was never a shortage of iron work, repairing damaged tools and making new equipment. Their meager plot of dirt was tended by the ladies, and their laborious efforts yielded enough to keep the family fed. Maragold and Violet would spend the day in the soil with their mother, who would sing them cheery songs and occasionally take a break to whirl in the shade. Maragold wasn't afraid of hard work, and the time would pass quickly while she sang the day away. The girls would look forward to the evening time the most, as every night they would dance and sing, and wrap up with a reading of a poem from their mother's book.

As an early age, Maragold showed an interest in creating with fire and force, much like her father. Reasoning that iron was too difficult and unruly to be wielded in her small hands, Derrick taught his daughter how to gently heat soft metals and transform them into decorative art and jewelry. He forged a set of hammers, pliers, and dies perfect suited for her size, which she continues to use regularly. Her inspired crafting has made Maragold a master of filigree, metallic lacework, and ornamental decoration. Her art was well known in the area, and she accepted small commission work for the local elites to help support the family.

Maragold inherited her mother's genuine aptitude for expressive arts. An accomplished entertainer in her time, Pesha Shebari passed her knowledge of dance, song, and music to both her daughters. Maragold took very easily to the recorder, and can play a song almost perfectly after just one listen. And when the music moved her, Maragold could dance like a leaf on a breeze. Her inherent rhythm made her motions and voice appear effortless. Poetry filled her childhood, and Maragold loved to escape into the feelings and moods she read in her few books.

Maragold had no lack of confidence, as growing up she was always told she was beautiful. Her large chestnut eyes set in a distinct olive complected face, framed by waves of raven locks, were sure to turn more than a few heads. As she grew into her adult form, Maragold found she could usually get her way or what she wanted with a well-composed innuendo, a not-so-innocent graze of an arm, or the flirtatious batting of her lashes. A flash of her radiant smile would rarely fail to seal the deal.

The Ascension of Maragold Shebari to Mara the Blessed

When she was 25, Maragold received a message from Father Wilkorn, Head Priest of the newly built Church of the Defending Faith in Jistille Estates. The message was soliciting local artisans to create the interior decorations for the newly opened building. He had decided to use local artisans from Drillian to provide the art and ornamentation for the church, to instill a local look and feel. Maragold penned some preliminary drawings, but was not satisfied with her work. Without seeing the space where the art would reside made it difficult for her. After days of frustration, Maragold decided to make a pilgrimage to the new church for inspiration.

She cleaned up and dressed in her best linens (which weren't more than a clean set of work clothes) and set off. In the very early hours, as she walked into the nave of the Church of the Defending Mage, the angle of the newborn sun radiating over her shoulders cast her silhouette perfectly framed on the front of the pulpit. Instantly, an overwhelming sense of peace enveloped her. Maragold felt a calling, a desire, a feeling of belonging. She knew instantly she was home. She listened to the morning sermon with intense fervor, absorbing every word of kindness, feeling the overflowing abundance of love. She knew her purpose, her life's calling: to serve Belinos.

Maragold was mentored by Aeiria, a senior priestess in the church, who personally led her down her path of spirituality. Late nights of study and long hours of prayer strengthened Maragold's relationship with Belinos. She was surprised how the simple word of the Kayugan faith could cause her to grow as a person, not only spiritually, but morally as well. Gone were her tendencies to manipulate others, to use her physicality for personal gain. It wasn't long before Maragold achieved her Rite of Ordination. During the ceremony, to demonstrate her disfavor for her past ways, Maragold chose to shed her previous name and became known simply as Mara the Blessed.

Mara is beloved by her fellow clergy. Her warm smile and genuine sympathy provides inspiration to everyone she contacts. Her daily routine involves completing the simple tasks of the church; offering healing and aid to those in need, and words of comfort and counsel to those who seek it. Mara's ultimate goal is to spread the word of Belinos across the land, and one day found a church of her own.

Mara was recommended by Aeiria to join the attachment to assist Princess Anastacia and her party to the wedding of the D'Ambrevilles.

Family:

  • Derrick Ridley, father
  • Pesha Shebari, mother
  • Violet Lochner, sister