Age of Ascension
Character Background for Khalidah Athar, known as Lidya Alesser
The Stolvani, Khalidah, was born to a merchant couple traveling the Empire of Avencia, mainly around the Statelands. Her parents were, and still are, a part of a traveling caravan group with various skills and interests – not to mention entertainment.
Khalidah’s mother, Tahirah, made a decent bit of coin with her enchanting tarot card readings as well as selling “traditional Stolvani love potions” and the like. Her father, Aleser, on the other hand made a decent living as a tailor, but he earned some extra by evaluating the worth of various items, mainly jewelry, for a price.
Khalidah also has two older brothers, Sadik, who left the caravan at a young age in search for his own adventure, possibly as a mercenary, and Cemal, who married one of the caravan girls. Cemal continues to travel with the group, taking care of the horses as well as raising his own family.
Khalidah has always been closest to her grandmother, however, rather than to her more immediate family. Her grandmother, Hayfa, is responsible for her more adventurous and mysterious streak by far, having been quite the explorer in her younger days as well. It was Hayfa who thought young Khalidah how to read tarot cards and palms, something she has later used as a way of making a bit of extra money. It was also through her grandmother that Khalidah first learned anything about the spirits and their realm. So far, she has used her knowledge of the supernatural more for entertainment purposes, but it may well be that those skills will come in handy on her adventures…
As long as she can remember, Khalidah has found herself fascinated with other cultures, their history, mythology and possessions. As a child, she used to lay awake at night, dreaming about the day when she’d be old enough to leave the caravan for search of adventure and fortune. The day finally came, when she turned eighteen – and she hasn’t looked back since.
Quickly, Khalidah realized that the world out there wasn’t nearly as romantic as she had thought it to be. A young, Stolvani traveler on her own didn’t earn many kind words or positive attention. She was welcome to join other traveling caravans for periods of time, perform with them, do little jobs for them and such, but she still felt like an outsider.
She had watched the women of Valcora come to see the Stolvani perform and she had taken notes of how they dressed, acted and even how they wore their hair. She had decided that she could pass as one, in hopes of gaining access to an easier, less complicated life. With the talents picked up from her father, she quickly learned to craft the most basic of those elaborate garments she had seen the Valcoran women wear. She would practice on how to style her hair in that fashion and purchase, or steal, the sort of perfumes the Valcoran used. With her natural charisma and quick tongue, she was eventually able to pass for a Valcoran – if maybe not in front of the other Stolvani.
Khalidah has always had the means of acquiring what she needs, either through using her charm, good contacts or simply by taking what she wanted when nobody was looking. She became quite good at understanding how locks and traps work and how to make herself unseen and unheard. One could say she lived a bit of a double life during her time in Valcora – a sophisticated Valcoran woman by day… and a shadowy Stolvani thief by night.
Walking the streets of Valcora and keeping her eyes and ears open often provided to be quite fruitful. People wouldn’t know to watch their words in her company and she’d gladly reap the benefits at a later time. It was also in Valcora where she learned more about the fascinating and adventure-filling life of those who were called archaelogists. The thought of discovering valuable items of ancient cultures that had been hidden for perhaps hundreds of years, sounded just like what she had dreamed of doing as a child. And that… is how she decided to start seeking ways to get her slice of that life.
She has rented herself a nice little room, or more like two rooms in the same building as a local tailor’s shop on the trade district of Valcora.