Signs and portents
Aandin of Elast
An alchemist with a long and interesting history
Born on-board an Orbaalese vessel, she was never sure of her parentage. Ojarl of Betorn claimed to be her father, but her mother (he said), died in childbirth. Ojarl was a cook and vassal to a high Orbalese lord who was somewhat taken with Aandin; and treated her as a distant cousin to his own children. She learned the Orbaleese ways long before discovering that she was not fully human. Her childhood stretched into her 20s and many of her kin thought her touched for, while she was smarter than most of her kin, she kept to childish ways far longer than was considered proper.
Ojarl was the only one who never questioned this. At the age of 25, Ojarl travelled overland with his daughter into the edge of the Shava forest. There he left her with supplies for a fortnight and little explanation. She was told this had to happen as some part of her coming of age ceremony; but it caused Ojarl such pain to explain it that Aandin never pushed for more information. She was met by Sindarin when she breached the forest on the first night and welcomed among them. She stayed with them only for a decade before returning to her kin. But in that time, Ojarl had died and while her kin welcomed her back, few could completely accept her. Many still called her touched, while others whispered she was cursed.
She took to the seas as a practised alchemist and medic. Most crews welcomed her aboard, for her fighting skills were formidable and many had friends or family that her medicines had already saved. Sometimes she would dock with a crew and disappear for five or six years before finding the crew again and resuming her travels with the wandering Orbaaleses; other times she would pass from ship to ship like a rain cloud; never staying long anywhere but touching the lives of all she visited.
When serving on a prison ship, she became the midwife to a dying woman. The child was born without family or father; so Aandin took the child as her own. No longer considered a maiden, the Orbaalese pleaded with her to make landfall with the babe. For fear that Sarajin would be angered. They promised her money and protection wherever she chose to land. By fate of wind and tide, the boat set down in Selvos; and there she stayed. She made her own way into the local guild of the Arcane Lore, becoming their chief herbalist and loremaster (alchemist) for all things dealing with the sea and the Orbaalese. Local Orbaalese sailors refer to her kindly as a weather witch, although few know if she is either a witch or has any impact on the weather.
She keep close ties with her son, now a knight in the Order of the Checkered Shield in Selvos; and welcomes his visits when they happen. She rarely speaks of her past, but tries to answer Kjarri’s questions when he asks them. She loves her adopted son, and uses the Orbaalese tradition to keep the sin of Bastiditly from him. Since she was the boy’s defacto guardian, her claim of him counts as the claim of both a man and a woman. While this grants him full acceptance among the Orbaalese, it typically causes confusion when explained to anyone else.
Upon seeing the body of Andrain of Chahryn, she admitted to knowing him. Having met him some 50 years ago on Orbaaleese ships, Andran was a black market runner; never enough to get chastised officially, but his rudder included land routes.