Accipitridae (pronounced AK-sip-IT-rih-DIE) is a female Mahjarrat character belonging to the user SsVivid. She is the Gielinor-born daughter of the Mahjarrat couple Marethyu and Scorpiana. At present day, she had lived for sixty years, born near the Fremmenik settlements at the edge of the troll mountains but raised in a dozen cities across the known map. She has traveled to most places in the known world under a wide array of personas and was trained by her parents to be skillful with ice and shadow magic.
She is most known to the world public as her alias Priestess Erisali, a recognized advocate for Zamorakianism and how the chaotic religion is about more than murdering your enemies and practicing dark magic. Erisali has a small fanbase and often travels between cities to give individual-celebrating speeches about her cause.
- The tribal markings on her face are a dark lavendar, mixed roughly in the middle of the colors that mark her parents' faces.
- In all forms she takes, she wears some sort of band around her head, whether it be a headband, a circlet, a tiara, or even just markings.
- Regarding her facial structure, she has a oval-shaped face with a thin nose. Her cheek bones are sharp and bold, with small but not slender lips.
- As a female Mahjarrat, the ridges that crown her head are not especially pronounced.
- Like her father, her natural flesh is a very pale beige, practically white. She bares no visible blemishes or scars.
- In her full form, her physique stands at about 7'2", just below dead average for an adult Mahjarrat.
- She has a fairly typical female body shape, with regular proportions and an otherwise unremarkable hourglass silhouette.
- Her typical garments in her true form are a set of ornate red-and-gold robes with fierce structural details on the shoulders, fitting to her abdomen and falling into a thigh-length skirt over leggings.
As a Mahjarrat born to a coupling of Mahjarrat parents and raised to a point by those parents, Accipitridae's instruction in many skills normally reserved for more mature individuals started very early in her life. These are noteworthy skills she developed as a result of direct instruction from one or both of her parents.
- She has been educated in all the basics of being a Mahjarrat. She is capable of shapeshifting, using telepathy, short-distance teleporting, conjuring magic without runes, hibernating to heal, and all such talents that come innate to members of her race.
- She can perform low level necromancy. She has a steady grasp on the foundations of necromantic magic and can perform simple rituals, but is not equipped to raise armies of undead minions or safely resurrect a member of the deceased.
- She has been introduced to ancient magic, and has been trained to have practical combative ability using both ice and shadow magic.
- She has been taught to read, speak and write common.
- She has been taught to speak in the Ancient language.
- She can communicate in broken Freneskaen.
Accipitridae has spent many years, decades even, working and learning outside of the direct care of her parental figures. With that time, she has had opportunity to nurture additional abilities in herself. These are noteworthy skills she developed as a result of independent, intentional practice and education of her own accord.
- She has nurtured her hand-eye coordination, and has developed a strong ability with thrown ranged combat.
- She had a brief apprenticeship with an apothecary and can brew simpler potions with her knowledge of herblore.
- She had an apprenticeship with a blacksmith and can work well with iron and steel, such that she can create most tools, forge basic weapons, and put together chainmail. She has not, however, tried to create platemail.
- She made sure that she learned a good grasp on basic survival skills, like lighting small fires, pitching tents, bandaging wounds, and skinning animals in the wild.
- She has learned to speak semi-fluently in both Elvish and Kharidan languages after spending extended periods living in Sophanem and the Iorwerth Elf Camp.
- With the turn of the sixth age and the discovery of divination, she has spent a small amount of time exploring the strange new art of weaving divine energies.
Accipitreidae values freedom for everyone, though most importantly for herself. Creativity, progress, and personal strength are high virtues in her mind, whereas stagnation, ineptitude, and self-doubt resonate with her as cardinal sins. She values cleverness and controllable power in others as well as herself - though in contrast she finds senseless, devastating destruction to be stupid and wasteful. She feels that, as a member of the Mahjarrat race, she has an obligation to be or do something significant on the world scale. In general, Accipitridae is comfortable with violence and gore and believes that sacrifices are worth making for great large-scale benefits.
Accipitridae, like her mother Scorpiana, is prone to speaking her mind freely. She thinks and expresses her logical thought before she bothers to consider her feelings, emotions, or intuitions. In general, she could be considered calculating. Accipitridae will deal with humans and other inferior creatures, but doesn't regard them with a lot of gravity unless they prove themselves to her somehow and claim her respect. She is good at pretending she's doing what people want her to do while simultaneously working on her own secret agenda. Perhaps surprisingly, is patient with people who have difficulty relating socially - especially if she suspects there is useful information underneath that person's poor tools for expression.
Over the years, Accipitridae has developed long-standing or significant relationships with a handful of people.
- Mother: Scorpiana. Accipitridae resents her mother for her manipulative scheming and complete lack of respect for anyone but herself, but also idolizes Scorpiana as someone who can get things done under any circumstances.
- Father: Marethyu. She feels a more natural familial bond with her father compared to her mother, though she disagrees with his ethical perspective often and feels that he is not as useful overall as a tool.
- Mentor: Father Seithre. This man, in her youth, was an inspiration who drove her to discover herself and become her own person. He was there for her in ways that she never before understood someone could be there. She believes that he is one of the crowning reasons that she has grown into the kind of individual that she is.
Accipitridae was raised in large part in the troll mountains near Fremmenik mountain camps. Her parents are two Mahjarrat, Marethyu and Scorpiana, who were politico-religiously unaligned through her youth shortly following the blunder that led to the death of the Mahjarrat Ptolemos, who had been an ally of the couple. In the troll mountains, the family of three manipulated native Fremmenik nomads into worshipping them as minor members of the many Fremmenik Idols.
Accipitridae spent most of her early youth completely isolated from outside interaction, exposed only to her two parents and occasional Fremmenik humans who treated her with reverence. There were even times when Accipitridae would be left with only one parent or completely alone for extended periods while Marethyu and Scorpiana travelled to unknown destinations for unexplained reasons - as Mahjarrat tend to do when participating in grand schemes. During these periods, she frequently tried to sneak away and interact with young humans that seemed her age, and on occation she would succeed, but for the most part locals treated her with too much fear or awe to interact with her as a friend.
It was during this time of social isolation that her parents taught her the basics of being a Mahjarrat; she was educated in shapeshifting, magical concepts heavily biased towards ancient magical practices, reading, writing, and multiple languages including Freneskaen and the Ancient Tongue. Accipitridae's parents also began introducing her to necromancy, though she wouldn't fully grasp the basics of the art until she matured further.
Once Accipitridae was no longer a small child, she was taken to live for periods as long as years at a time in major human cities to help her figure out how to mimick and impersonate humans. She was enrolled into human scholastic institutions, submitted as apprentices, and tossed around as farm hands. She took on dozens of personas, many of which had to suddenly disappear or pretend to die because she made glaring mistakes that exposed her as an abnormal member of the community. It turned out that Accipitridae's isolated childhood had turned her into something of a social pariah with very little grasp on how to interact with other people, and this did not work well with Scorpiana's instruction tactics, which were to throw Accipitridae into the deep end over and over again until she figured out how to get it right on her own.
Eventually, the tasks and aliases she needed to master became more complex and dangerous. Even though she never fully grasped social interaction and the nuances of human relationships during this process, she did over time become good at faking her humanity and picking out subtleties in personalities and exchanges that made them believable. She developed a healthy understanding of subterfuge and, though she did still have to abscond aliases at times, she failed much less often and developed a few altar egoes she could rely on.
In addition to practice blending in with society, Accipitridae's instruction with arcane arts continued. Her parents taught her to take after them and specialized in ancient magical spells focused in ice and shadow, with which she gradually began to develop her own personal style. She was also pushed slowly into understanding the ways of necromancy; her parents helped her to grasp the underlying concepts to the art, its practical applications, and practices. As a young mage, Accipitridae was far from reaching mastery of the craft, but did reach a level wherein she could perform the simplest of necromantic rituals.
The Dark Wizards' Tower
This lifestyle, full to the brim with subterfuge and magical arts and strict expectations, located spottily across the map for as little as days and as long as years, continued on for at least a decade. She obediently and thoughtlessly served as her parents' humble puppet for well into her young adulthood. Accipitridae's thoughts rarely, if ever, strayed into territory where it wasn't guided by the two who had been grooming her for the past many years. Between her four favorite human aliases - Sarah Wayland, an unassuming blacksmith; Igraine Sweetwater, a wise old noblewoman; Socks, a black-and-white cat; and Sylva "Cottonmouth" Black, a grungy hitgirl - she was able to work through most anything they wanted her to accomplish.
She was twenty before any concrete thoughts of straying from their will first came to her. She, like any young humanoid, had her fair share of resentments against her parents, but in the long run it had never amounted to much other than the occasional natural argument. This time, they had moved to Taverley where she was expected to study both druid culture and the socio-financial economics of a warzone. While she was carrying on and fulfilling her task under the guise of Sarah, she slowly took notice of the mysterious tower to the south of the quiet settlement. It was a dark tower with gristly walls and an eerie magical aura resonating out of its structure. Rarely did she see anyone go in or out, but occasionally she spotted dark, cloaked figures looming atop its roofs or hear long, wailing howls echo out of it under the dark of night. Something about it enticed her, but it had nothing to do with her instructions or training, so she was slow to consider pursuing her fascination.
They had been disguised inside of the city for six months before Accipitridae fully resolved to investigate the strange structure south of Taverley. Under the shroud of night, she disguised herself as Cottonmouth and veiled her figure under a mottled grey cloak, creeping through the darkness as the tower came closer and grew larger. She found the entrance, grown over by knots of dead and gnarled trees and indicated only by a hard-beaten footpath winding through the dirt. She peered carefully in through doorway, slinking further inch by inch, senses hyper-aware and ready for any cause of alarm. There was a large, round, stone chamber inside, poorly lit and seemingly empty. Her first guess was wrong, though, because as she crept further into the vicinity, she began to notice dark, cloaked figures watching her from the shadows. Quickly, she was surrounded by these strangers and had a sinking feeling that she was unwelcome.
The silent tension in the room built exponentially, but was finally broken when a man behind her emerged into the dim moonlight that shone through the tower's open doorway. He wasn't cloaked in dark robes like the others, but rather wore a priest's gown in a rich shade of red, a heavy steel chain hanging around his neck with a large Zamorakian symbol resting against his chest. He seemed to be in his forties, some of his hair beginning to gray and he had faint wrinkles on his face. As the attitude around the room changed, she suspected that while this person wasn't their leader, he held respect among them.
Accipitridae was guided away from the croud by this priest, up a stairwell, and into a quiet torchlit library where they sat together. The priest was surprisingly gentle - he asked her why she, a stranger, had come, what she wanted, who she was. When she answered, he listened. It was a confusing, unreal experience for her to have someone interested in anything other than what she had accomplished or failed. Soon, they began to speak about Zamorakianism . Accipitridae had, of course, learned about Zamorak; her parents had explained who he was and what he had done. However, from the priest, she learned his creed. She learned that he taught his followers individual strength, taking what you deserve. His creed celebrated creativity and progress, not being afraid to make sacrifices in order to achieve greatness.
Accipitridae had never heard someone speak passionately about the Zamorakian religion before. She had heard of the practices and seen followers, but they had always been adolescent children shouting about killing stupid Saradominists in the streets or creepy cultists trying to perform blood rituals in dirty sewers. In this new light, there was something entrancing and romantic about Zamorak's religion that enticed her. She had spent her life being a puppet, dependent on her parents, relying on them completely for guidance and purpose and growth. Here was a man telling her she could be a great person of her own making and that beauty pride came from breaking down the barriers that restrained us so that we could be free to reach for the stars. It resonated with her in ways that she didn't fully understand.
Becoming an Adult
She left the tower freely that night, her absence seemingly undetected by her parents. She continued her work studying the druids and the war refugees, reporting to her parents, and completing tasks as her parents demanded them. However, she also took to periodically sneaking out, like she had that first night, to go visit the priest - Father Seithre was his name, and at the time he was the head chaos druid in the Dark Wizards' Tower where he tended to the dark wizards' religious needs while they studied and practiced their crafts.
She continued visiting him and soaking in the strange new messages his world had for her. Accipitridae came to understand that Father Seithre, even though he thought she was a dirty, adolescent killer who called herself "Cottonmouth," sensed potential in her and so continued to provide her with his company, therapy, and advice free of strings. Even when she was taken away from Taverley to pursue a new lesson and a new project, she would take chances to sneak away and visit Father Seithre. This went on for five years, Accipitridae slowly embracing the Zamorakian creed and reaching further for new freedoms and personal achievements that she won independent of her parents' influences.
It was when she was twenty-six that she made her move. She had been aware now for five years of the possibilities beyond their clutches, and it was time for her to free herself. She wanted, she demanded her independence and was prepared to take it without permission. If she couldn't claim an identity on her own, if she couldn't achieve something without her millenia-ancient parents leading her straight to it like a thirsty horse, she was worthless. It would be better to die disobedient than to serve as a puppet for her entire life and amount to nothing but a loyal servant. This was her decision and, though Scorpiana and Marethyu objected, Accipitridae left them, fleeing to forge her own path in her own way.
Exploring the World
Accipitridae's first act as an independent woman was to express her freedom in the most instinctual way there is: by travelling. She embarked on a nine-year-long trip exploring the world. First, she began making her way across the mainland, touring up through Misthalin, down through Asgarnia and back up into the troll mountains, then down again into the wealth of Kandarin until she found herself in the thick of the Feldip hills, relaxing in a steaming salt water bath in the middle of an ogre spa, a rich mud facial cooling on her skin. From there, she went on more exotic trips.
For an entire year, she stayed in Tirannwn - she had taken on the visage of a clanless roving elf named Efa and encountered the Iowerthian elf settlement. She learned that they were a clan of elves who had abandoned their native goddess for the empowering religion of chaos, and quickly learned to enjoy their company. The next year was spent in Sophanem's rich desert culture where she learned a good deal more about Icthlarin, the god who allegedly had introduced her race to this Gielinorian world, and later in the wilderness, where she found remnants of Zamorak's great battles. She spent yet another year sinking herself into Morytanian culture, where she impersonated a number of creatures - a human, a werewolf, a juvenile, a vyrelord, and a cat - to experience the full froth of Morytania's deepy Zamorakian culture. She had to admit, though, she was not a fan of vampyric culture in the same way that she was a fan of elven, given how many painfully constricting idiosyncrasies were present in the vampyre hierarchy. She even took a chance to travel into the eastern seas, where she encountered the island culture and had a chance to challenge a fearsome sea monster with her ever-growing magical talents.
Over all of this time, one thing remained true: she saw the glory of chaos and freedom everywhere she went. It resonated with her even more as she experienced it than it had when she felt imprisoned and useless. She would make occasional visits to Taverley, visiting her old friend, Father Seithre. Every time, Cottonmouth had new stories for him and thrilling new experiences to share. Over the years, it must have become glaringly clear that she was more than some dirty gang-runner, but if Seithre had noticed, he didn't care. He saw that she was growing into a strong individual who was carving out her own success no matter who got in her way, and he helped her every step of the experience to better grasp the social nuances around her in way that she could more easily relate, despite her lonesome childhood.
Finding Her Life Goal
Accipitridae was thirty-five before she was ready to finally settle somewhere for a while. She felt that the whole of the beautiful, free, thrilling life that she had grasped onto nine years ago was thanks to Father Seithre and his liberating religion. One day after her long years of world exploration, she returned to him in his house built in the no-man's land south of Taverley but north of Rimmington. She came to him in private and explained her passionate love of chaos. Then, carefully, she told him that she wasn't a human, but a shapeshifter. She told him that she was a member of the race from which Zamorak himself had been born, showed him how she truly appeared as a fleshed Mahjarrat, shared her real name, and explained her love for him as a mentor.
She also told him about the deeply rooted drive she felt as a Mahjarrat to be a part of something great and world-changing, and that she now knew what exactly it was that this great task would be. In the time of his absence, Zamorak's reputation as a god had sunken into floundering depths, his followers painting him like the playground bully who would grind your skull into the sandbox just because it tickled his sick sense of humor. Young Zamorakians would stand in the streets, she remembered as a child, shouting senseless, pointless death threats at Saradominists just to look tough. No wonder it was an ostracized religion.
"And so," she told him, "what I want is to become a religious figure. I want to be like you, but bigger and greater. I want to bring revolution to the world of Zamorakianism and share the beauty of chaos with the misled masses." Accipitridae asked him to leave the Dark Wizards' Tower and help her to begin on the pathway to becoming one of Zamorak's greatest messengers. He agreed, and it wasn't long before they left the small house to begin Accipitridae on her quest.
Becoming a Priestess
The first step was to create her new persona, the one who would present herself to the masses in Accipitridae's intimidating place. So it was that Erisali was born; the new alias was a young woman (made young and attractive so as to allow her to age over the years in the public eye) with hair and skin as pale as the moon and a love for Zamorak as fierce as her magic. She was a young woman born to the Fremmenik who resented their hatred of magic and self-inflicted limitations, who abandoned her mother culture to become an outspoken priestess.
With Father Seithre at her side, this Erisali began to get her footing as a woman of religion in small towns. She tried out her role in small town Lumbridge and Draynor, Hemenster, Seer's Village, and other unintimidating cities. The mysterious Erisali slowly began to take a hold of her role. Her mentor always a few steps back, she found after a while that her charisma was improving. She could attract small crouds to speeches about the glory of chaos and its true meaning, about what it meant for a real person instead of a killer in the shadows or a rebellious child on the streets.
The cities they were visiting and the crowds she was drawing were growing steadily as the years passed. However, one day she returned to the inn where she was staying with Seithre to find that he had fallen ill. He was old now, into his sixties, and a fever had left him bedridden and racked with chills. Though she attempted to nurse him through the sickness, his condition quickly downspiraled and it became clear to both of them what would come next. Between the fever dreams that soon followed, Father Seithre managed to give comfort to his protege. He told her that, though he was dying now, he was satisfied; he felt as if he had played an important part in making a great change for the future of Zamorakianism and hoped that she would make him more proud than he already was in her centuries to come.
Though she was sore from losing him and the burial in the molten earth guarded by the Zamorakian Magical Institute was bittersweet, Accipitridae only took a short period of mourning before returning to her work as Erisali. It was how he would have wanted it, she thought, and once again pursued her blooming role.
Growing in Renown
The crowds Erisali called forth when she spoke and the cities she reached steadily grew. Over time, she began to notice that people knew her name and recognized her face. Occasionally, Accipitridae would meet someone who spoke about chaos in the same ways that she preached about it, recognizing it as a love of freedom and a fight against repression and stagnation instead of a morbidly comedic series of hostile blood rituals.
Years passed. Priestess Erisali, in Zamorakian circles, became a familiar name. Accipitridae developed a positive relationship with the Kinshra organization and even earned herself a few fans. She would be invited to speak at Zamorakian churches or to inspire troops before important challenges. She hadn't spurred the entire religious revolution she had first dreamed of yet, but there was plenty of time.
Shortly before Accipitridae's 60th birthday, Gielinor saw the turn of the 6th age and the outbreak of the Battle of Lumbridge. Her natural first reaction was to travel on pilgrimage to the small farming town and witness her god's glory in its entirety with her own eyes. She even dared to challenge the battlefield herself for a time. It was important for the priestess to show the world that she, too, was a strong and independant worshipper of the chaotic god. Erisali's teachings would be more important than ever in the coming days.
Sarah is an unassuming blacksmith. She's in her late twenties and has mid-level ability when working with metal. She has never encountered metal more advanced with steel and tends to avoid making platemail instead of chainmail where possible. Sarah was born in Yanille and moved to Ardougne to apprentice with a blacksmith there. She now works as a journeywoman, mostly following tournaments and other knightly events around the kingdoms to keep herself in work.
Igraine is a wise old noblewoman. Her hair is a full mop of silver, as she is in her early seventies. Her husband, Baron Sweetwater, passed away many years ago. She is a calm old woman who can be relied upon for measured advice; very little gets past her. Many claim that she stares into their souls. Most of her life has been spent on the Sweetwater estate near the Seers' Village.
Socks is a stray black-and-white cat, named because she has white feet. She's juvenile, appearing to be about a year old. Her demeanor is usually fairly friendly, which is good at coercing unsuspecting humans into welcoming her into their presence while they discuss private things. Also, Socks is great at getting free back rubs.
Sylva "Cottonmouth" Black
Cottonmouth is a grungy hitgirl who runs with gangs and will prostitute her services to just about anyone for the right amount of money. She's young, probably not even twenty, and usually looks pretty scruffy or uncleaned. She speaks likes she's from the slums and doesn't understand her "place" very well, especially when she has a knife and you don't.
Efa is a roving elf. She appears to be in the prime of her youth - so, roughly 250 - and was born to a pair of easternized elves who raised her on the human mainland. She didn't know much about her native culture or the Elven lands to the west, and so she travelled into Tirannwn where she met the Iorwerth clan, who she stayed with for about a year.
Erisali is a Zamorakian priestess. She was a young woman born as Erlis Ironhand to the Fremmenik who resented their hatred of magic and self-inflicted limitations. She abandoned her mother culture to become an outspoken member of the Zamorakian clergy. When she was barely eighteen, she began to make appearances around small towns, trying to spread her word on religion with the help of a strange elderly mentor. In the present day, she is a well-recognized woman of the Dark Lord, aged into her early forties (though the years have been good to her) who often gathers crowds when she arrives in a city to make a speech.
Lucius is the second son of Duke Beaufort, the noble patriarch of House Beaufort in Ardougne. Lucius moved around age 14, after completing all of his primary education, to Yanille where he lived as a ward to another family from Kandarin gentry. He grew up as a quiet young man in Yanille, mostly keeping to the quiet security of the estate and rarely interacting with outsiders. In recent times, he courted a princess named Helena and became engaged to marry her shortly after she was coronated as queen.
- It isn't uncommon for Accipitridae to shapeshift into a feline, especially a domestic cat, when attempting to be inconspicuous.
- Her true name, Accipitridae, is a reference to a family of avians that includes many diurnal birds of prey. Indirectly, this is a reference to the eagle as a symbol of freedom and this character's philosophical views which place a great deal of emphasis on that value.
- The name of her primary alias, Erisali, is a shameless mash-up of the names Eris and Kali, a Greek goddess of chaos and Hindu goddess of destruction respectively.
- Accipitridae is a Mahjarrat defined under the terms of the divisional split theory.