Mariha Feral is a young (~18 human equivalent) dark-skinned sylvan elf woman of roughly average height, though her weight is below average even taking into account her build - thin, wiry and small-breasted. She would likely be considered plain or even unattractive by most people; she has an angular sharp-featured face, the lines etched thereon by a harsh existence making her seem older than she actually is. Her black hair is styled into many long thin spikes, like the quills of a porcupine, which bob about when she moves her head. Into the flesh of her back has been carved the symbol of the Horde, leaving an ugly pattern of badly healed scars.
Though Mariha is of average intelligence, she speaks several languages; however, most of her learning is from books and scrolls, so she tends to use long words or archaic turns of phrase, lapsing only occasionally into cruder speech patterns. She has a harsh voice with a strong Chultan accent when she speaks elven or sylvan, though less so when using the Common tongue. Her reading skill is adequate but she cannot write very well. While she tries to be logical and rational, she is often moody and can be very emotional; typically surly and reticent with strangers, those who know her see her for the loving person she truly is.
An only child, Mariha learned the basics of druid lore from her parents in the steaming jungles of Chult, where they had gone at the request of their ArchDruid. Living deep in the rain forest, they were feared by the primitive human tribes of the area as evil spirits and sorcerors, though they tried to avoid contact whenever possible. One day in her teens, her family was ambushed by the tribesmen, her parents slain and she herself assaulted and left for dead. She managed to make contact with a pride of jungle panthers and, with her rudimentary knowledge of shape shifting, lived with them for a number of years, essentially as a wild animal.
Eventually she left the jungle, accompanied by her "sister" and companion, the black panther Khouria, and over many years made her way to Amia. Distrustful of people in general and humans in particular, she was able with the help of some friendly elves to flee the city of Cordor via the sewers and eventually reach the Druid Grove at Oakmist Vale in the western part of the Amia Forest.
After several years of study as a Druid, Mariha was accepted into the Grove's Council, though she participated only rarely. She also studied archery with Gillaria Avares. For several months during the Horde conflict she lived with the minotaurs of the 'evil' side, learning of them and their ways, and participated in the freeing of one of the Horde's 'Generals', the gigantic umber hulk Guthma. Later, she travelled with Wiggan, Valkirya and Chiania Windleaf to the heartland of the Axis Empire, a one-time ally of Amia during the Horde wars, and met with the Emperor, a lich.
Eventually, as a result of disillusionment with the Grove leadership and a series of life events including the stillbirth of her daughter Mathair and her own (temporary) death, she retired from active participation in the affairs of the world. She has now returned to an isolated, wild life deep within the Amia forest in the company of her elven-bonded lover and wife, Elishia, emerging only rarely. Having largely turned her back on everyone except her spouse, she typically avoids contact with people and is most likely to be curt, abrupt, or downright rude to those whom she does encounter.
Mariha is a druid and believes in maintaining the Balance of Nature, though her personal experiences and the many years spent without formal training have given her a slightly different outlook than most of her colleagues - in fact, many would consider her a heretic were she to make her opinions widely known.
To Mari, the Balance of Nature is essentially what the world would do if left to itself. In other words, sentient beings disturb the balance by acting upon nature rather than being acted upon. The purpose of the druid, she believes, is to protect the natural world against disturbances, particularly those caused by sentient beings. That being said, natural disasters (storms, fire, earthquakes, even disease) are part of the cycle of life and death and must be accepted. A druid may act in a limited fashion to ease the passing of those animals affected by such calamities, or to help a few survive that might otherwise die, but to intervene in any major way is to upset the Balance. To a druid, a city is a carbuncle on the face of the natural world, an anti-natural creation of sentient minds ignorant of natural cycles. Mari prefers to avoid cities, seeing them as an unfortunate (but somewhat necessary) evil; she would vigorously oppose the expansion of any of Amia's towns or cities.
Mariha takes a wider view of Nature than most of her colleagues. Energy flows between the various planes of existence in great cycles and so necessarily affects the natural world. For example, she believes that elemental energy seeps into the prime material plane in eruptions, storms, at the bottom of the ocean or in the depths of the earth. Similarly, mana (magical force), negative and positive energy, and even various spirits may occasionally move between the planes without the active intervention of any sentient being.
On occasion, such energies or spirits may spontaneously act to animate dead bodies or create other undead manifestations - for example, in areas where great natural disasters have occurred or where the planes are somehow rifted or otherwise out of alignment. This sort of occurrence is to Mari little different from an outbreak of disease and is usually self-limiting, though if it gets out of hand it threatens the natural order and so must be contained. Vampirism and lycanthropy are "diseases" and will always exist as part of the world, though she would act vigorously against someone who spread them deliberately. Undead that are created by the agency of a sentient mind under great stress (such as ghosts) are also "normal" occurrences (in that it happens by natural processes) and, as with other types of undead, need only be destroyed if they pose a threat (or if they wish to be). Finally, sentient beings who deliberately become undead are to her little different from those who extend natural life by various means or who choose to transfer their souls to inanimate objects (golems or constructs) - all are equally "guilty" of disrupting the normal flows of energy, and as long as it does not threaten the integrity of the natural world, the lich is no different from an adventurer seeking the Fountain of Youth (in fact, it could be argued, a lich that consumes no resources and does no harm otherwise has little impact on the world and so can in practice be ignored). That being said, the person who deliberately creates undead (especially those that are unwilling) for purposes of doing evil or harm, disrupts the Balance of Nature and must be prevented from doing so.
Please note. Mariha has articulated this position to very few people, and mainly as a set of hypotheses rather than an actual belief. Further, this is not an airtight philosophy - it contains holes and inconsistencies, as does the belief structure of any person forced to live in the real world. Feel free to engage Mariha in debate, but do not use this information for metagaming purposes. DMs may act on this as they see fit, but I'd rather not see an instant and total loss of all Mari's druid powers by DM fiat - please RP it.
Mirhûn Thinker. They met shortly after Mariha joined the Grove and were together for over a year. Mari broke off their engagement after falling in love with Alanna Molov, at which point she was unknowingly pregnant with his daughter Mathair (who later died at birth).
Alanna Molov. A brief relationship ended as soon as it began when Alanna was kidnapped by drow & disappeared for ~6 months. Based on Mariha's behaviour toward her since her return, Alanna (mistakenly) believes that Mari never really cared about her and so generally doesn't talk about what happened between them.
Jazzhara. A half-drow sorceress, Mariha fell for her while pining for Alanna. Despite a proposal of marriage from Mari, Jazz went off to rescue her (male) fiance, who had disappeared. By the time she returned several months later, Mariha was involved with Elishia. (Note: this is not the character 'Jazzeira Blackhand').
Wiggan Claddath. A brief relationship ensued when Mariha sought Wiggan's help to deal with Jazz's departure. Not truly understanding the nature of Wiggan's feelings for her, Mari left her to pursue a long-term relationship with Elishia. The friendship that remained cooled somewhat when Mariha was hurt by Wiggan's apparent trust in Alicera Ve'heer's words over hers in regard to her relations with Jaqueline Fend.
Elishia. Introduced by Shania & Clasah Wolfpaw, Elishia and Mariha quickly become lovers. They were together when Mathair was born and when Mariha died a few days after. When Mari was resurrected about 6 months later they resumed their relationship and were subsequently married. They have formed an elven bond and are together to this day, though Mariha's intense feelings for several other women (particularly Jaqueline) have jeopardized their relationship on more than one occasion.
Malak Blackheart. He fell in love with Mariha about the time she was with Mirhûn Thinker but never said anything until years later, not revealing his feelings for her after she had pledged herself to Elishia. She turned him down and he left Amia shortly afterward.
Jaqueline Fend. Lover of Alicera Ve'heer, Mariha and Mirhûn worked loosely together to free her from Alicera's clutches. Mariha was tempted by Jaqueline, who tried to seduce her in order to break up her marriage with Elishia so as to please Alicera. However, Mariha fell in love with her and by her love was eventually able to help her turn her back on Alicera; in the process, she had both hands cut off and was also slain by the latter. Jaq and Mari loved each other at a distance for a while afterward, but did not commit to each other to avoid completely breaking up Mariha's marriage and destroying what was left of Jaq's morality.
Each entry within a section is bulletted to indicate Mariha's thoughts about the people in her life at three different points in time (thus far):
- shortly before she passed away due to complications of childbirth (early May/06)
- after her resurrection (June 23/06)
- around the time of the drow plague (Aug 9/06)
Entries within each of the following sections are ordered alphabetically by first name
Events in the Life of Mariha Feral
Tales of Mariha Feral, Elven Druidess.
Character Stats & Abilities
Attributes, Skills & Feats
Ability scores and selected Feats and Skills for Mariha Feral. In general, "Equip" refers to the ability or skill score when fully armoured but unbuffed. Standard racial or class feats are not included.
|Weapon Focus||Called Shot||Brew Potion|
|Improved Critical||Point Blank Shot||Combat Casting|
|-||Zen Archery||Epic Animal Empathy|
In combat, Mariha wears Ironwood Bear armour, a Greater Nature's belt, Cloak of the Druid and Boots of the Stag, along with a specially-enchanted Thayvian helm. A Druidic Periapt hangs around her neck and her fingers bear a Pearl of the Desert and either a Ring of Chauntea or a Lesser Ring of Power. In addition, she wears leather Animal Handler's Gloves further magicked to enhance her strength and discipline. Against weak opponents she uses a Lightning Strike bow, against stronger ones an Elite Nature Bow with Forest Defender arrows (her second choice, following that of her mentor Gillaria Avares, is the divinely-imbued arrow). In extremis she will use her Greater Magical Scimitar and Shield of Nature in hand to hand combat, though she is trained to fire her bow in melee and will almost always do so in preference to drawing a blade.
Despite her experience and special training with various bows, Mariha is a poor fighter. Her prefered position is at the back of a group, supporting an attack with large-area elemental spells and selective targeting with her accurate arrow fire. As she is not physically tough and is easily flustered by close-in combat, Mari tends to fall quickly to opponents in melee once her magical defences have been overcome.
As noted above, Mariha favours missile to melee combat. However, arrows do relatively little damage, and as the foes she has been called upon to face have become fiercer, her ability to fight them has not kept pace. Mariha has spent the last year or so working hard to improve her skill under Gillaria's tutelage, even at the expense of her druidic duties. Though her accuracy and rate of fire have improved, they are insufficient to give her the edge she needs in combat. She has prayed to her gods for their blessing and their aid, that she might be better able to defend herself, her friends and her charges, and they have blessed her.
|Add WIS modifier to arrow damage|
|Duration 1 rnd x WIS modifier|
|Useable 3x day|
Note: This ability was requested as a Dream Coin item and approved but never purchased. If the character ever returns to play on a regular basis, this ability may be enabled.