Her story began as many others: with a mother’s screams. She came into the world with more grace than others, however, and her mother lived through the ordeal. She was not even dropped in shock when the midwives saw the strange markings, like tattoos, that covered her frail little body, and her mother’s love saw not these differences where others may not have been so blind. This love filled her mother’s voice as she looked into her blue eyes and sighed, “Aeris.”
In short, Aeris Faulkner was born lucky, for had she not been, she would not have made it past her first waking moment.
Neither her hunter and leatherworker father nor her shopkeeper mother knew what to make of her strange appearances, but Corwick’s people did. She was different, and that singled her out. For the most part, that difference meant only distance placed between herself and anyone else, and only occasionally did it come to violence. But through their mocking, she learned what she was: a sylph, born of human origins yet with elemental ancestry, able to utilize the winds to her advantage. The people made their point with their cold stares and hushed voices: she did not belong and she never would. And so, Aeris stuck to the back corners and side streets, learning how to remain unnoticed, how to use the winds to aid her stealth, for they could not deny her if they did not see her; their staring eyes would find no purchase.
Finally, it became too much for her, and she left her hometown Corwick when humans would come of age. She sought a band of ne’er-do-wells about whom she heard whispered rumors, who lived in a giant cave and lived by their own law, that of thieves and mercenaries. She discovered on her trek a clay that could hide her swirling marks, the hints of abnormality. She practiced remaining stoic so as to keep the winds calm as well. And so she approached the cave with confidence, determined to fit in, eager to be known as something other than the freak, and, most of all, afraid of rejection.
She should not have feared so, for outside her isolationist human hometown, there awaited a world full of creatures much more strange and frightening than herself.