- 4 Chapter Posts
Sat Jun 10th, 2017 @ 12:01am
Name Anastasiya Valeria Windwalker
Position Seneschal of Cymeria
|Date of Birth||1 January 3513|
|Trade||Soldier, Commander of the Cymerian Guard|
|Other Titles||Lady Eyrie, Lady of Eyriekeep (Titles that Anastasiya inherited from her marriage to Hawke Windwalker)
Lady of the Hearth (Eyriekeep)
|Aliases / Nicknames||Tâneira (Snowfire): Tâneira means Snowfire in the Cymry Old Tongue and is the name that Kerowyn, Stasya’s grandmother, gives to her wolf form.
Stasya: Diminutive of Anastasiya; used by friends and family.
Stas: Even more diminutive of Anastasiya; used almost exclusively by her brother, Mikhael.
Anastasiya Valeria Stormdanovich (Maiden Name)
|Craft / Trade||Seneschal of Cymeria: The Seneschal is the highest ranking military officer in Cymeria. Duties include overseeing training, planning training with the Training Officer, overseeing the oaths of service, general command duties, acting as the High Lord’s military advisor, and maintaining Cymeria’s forces in fighting trim and readiness.|
Home & Residence
|Estate / Hold / Farm||Stormholm Caer|
|Region / Province||Harkania|
|Country of Residence||Cymeria|
|Town / Village||Duskhallow|
|Residence / Lodging||Stormholm Caer
Harkania March is the oldest settled region of what is now Cymeria. According to legend, it is where the Chimera landed at the end of their thousand years of exile in the wake of the fall of Atlantis. Harkania holds many hidden secrets and wonders waiting for the unwary to stumble upon them. There is a feeling of great age and wonder about the land of Harkania which is transmitted to all that dwell there and even visitors to the region sense something of its great age.
The region is mountainous and rugged. Dinas Ulchedir, the largest city in Cymeria, lies at the heart of the area called the Highlands and sits at the convergence of the two main tributaries of the Gwyfal River. The Chimera and the Celts are a strong people, able to survive the harshness of their environment.
Holm: (Old English) an islet, especially in a river or near a mainland.
Caer: (Welsh) a placename element in the Cymry Old Tongue meaning "stronghold", "fortress", or "citadel".
Stormholm Caer is a rocky promontory formed from a massive volcanic plug. Over thousands of years, glacial and climatic erosion led to exposure of the plug on one side, while a long slope of material remains on the opposite side. Such landforms are called crag and tail. Continued erosion removed the surrounding rock while the erosion-resistant plug remained, producing a distinctive upstanding landform and forming a holm in the middle of the powerful river now known as Daranau Afon (Thunder River). Eventually, the level of the river fell creating the craggy outcrop as it is today.
Note: Daranau and taranau both mean thunder in the Cymry Old Tongue. Daranau normally refers to place names while taranau literally means the thunder one hears.
While being built, the massive castle-fortress that seems embedded in the very rock of the promontory took its name from its location and became Stormholm Caer, though often simply referred to as Stormholm.
Stormholm is the hereditary seat of House Stormdanovich. It has stood watch over Harkania for just over 2000 years. The formation on which it rests is impervious to erosion and riddled with caverns and tunnels that were once lava tubes. The land beneath is still geothermally active and the caves are host to a myriad of hot springs and mudpots. The hot springs provide a steady source of hot water to the castle and the volcanic mudpots harden into a nearly impervious material used for facing the stones of the buildings and can be kilned into pots, pans, drinkware and dinnerware. Stormholm Caer also sits above a vast and perennial source of fresh water. A massive river flows through one of the main caverns that sits beneath the castle, is split by a massive granite formation and leaps from the cliffs to fall to Daranau Afon far below. Archways were built over the falls and parts of the keep sits directly over the waterfalls making it appear as if they spring from the very castle. The higher and larger waterfall is called the Great Thunder and the lower one is Quiet Thunder.
The only access and egress from the keep itself is via a series of tunnels, ancient volcanic lava tubes. The keep’s stable and barn complexes take advantage of the massive caverns. There are also numerous hideouts, secret passages and storerooms hidden in Stormholm Caer Caverns. Stormholm Caer uses the caverns for year round storage because of their steady and stable climate.
Stormholm Caer is considered virtually impregnable due to its physical and arcane protections. It has only been taken once in its history and that was from within when House Azarov overthrew House Tsarimov and restored the right rule of the country.
The keep literally watches over the valley below and beyond the foothills, one can faintly see Harkania's capital city, Dinas Ulchedir (Highland City). On very clear days, the spires and towers of Stormholm Caer can be seen from the northern reaches of the city and appears to float above the land. This is actually an optical illusion, a trick of the light and the eye. On the days the hold cannot be seen at a distance, most people believe the High Lord has cloaked it from sight with his powers.
Upon his Quickening to Ryndar, Anastasiya’s husband, Hawke, received the same land and materials as did all of the Thanes brought into service in the Morrighan (High Guard). Hawke’s Eyrie is located in a pristine mountain valley not far from Stormholm. The valley contains a deep lake and several rills running from the surrounding mountains. The access can be easily defended and reaching it with a large enough force to be threatening by other routes would be difficult to impossible.
Summerhold is a secondary residence for House Stormdanovich. It is also located in Harkania on a sizable island in Lake Gwynedd. It is the family’s vacation home. The island is the crest of a mountain worn down by eons of erosion and the action of the river and lake on its flanks. As is the predilection of many Cymry, Summerhold is built into the side of a cliff over running water.
There is a roadway to the island, but at a casual glance no one would see it. It lies just beneath the surface of the lake and is the remnants of what was a natural game trail before the waters of the lake rose to cover it. There is also stabling for horses on the shore and several boats. All can be easily secured by the High Guard and a small company of Light Cavalry.
Caer Arcanus is the citadel built around and in front of the entrance to the Cavern of Light high up on Mt. Arcanus. Its function is to provide protection and security for Cymeria’s Heartstone that lies within a great cylch (Cylcharcanus) deep inside the mountain in the Cavern of Light. The Heartstone also serves as an arcane throne earning it the second name of Seat Perilous.
Cylcharcanus sets on an island of solid stone in the center of a massive underground lake. For size comparisons, see Stonehenge.
|Hair||Red with natural copper and gold highlights. Hair is normally worn long and pulled back in a severe single braid.
Anastasiya is supremely unconcerned about hair styles. If she is going mailed and armed, her braid is normally tucked down the back of her tunic for ease of taking off and putting on her helmet. She has been known to have her hair cropped very short during the summer months, even having gotten frustrated with it in the field and hacked it off with her dagger.
On the rare occasions that Stasya wears her hair loose, it tumbles in thick curls and waves to her waist.
|Eyes||Dark Blue: Her eyes are slightly almond shaped, large and wide set. They are a very dark shade of blue, sometimes appearing black. The eyelashes are very long, rather thick, and reddish brown in color.|
|Build / Stature||Anastasiya Windwalker is of medium height and build with long, strong limbs. Her face is oval, her nose slender and aquiline. Most describe her mouth as generous, neither too large nor too small for her face. Her lips are well shaped and tend to carry a natural blush. She is medium framed, very slender and very, very toned from years of training with sword and being in the saddle. She carries herself proudly and confidently, a product of her working her way up through the ranks of the Cymerian Guard as well as her heritage as a Cymry.|
|Marks / Scars||Anastasiya does bear a few scars from her years in the Guard. The most prominent scar is shaped like the imprint of a horse's hoof and is on the upper back of her lift hip. It was received when her younger brother's fractious war stallion lashed out during a training exercise and caught her in a vicious kick. On that day, Anastasiya had been lightly clad. The kick was powerful enough to leave a scar.|
|Style||Anastasiya has little time or use for frills. She is a warrior and is most often clad the Guard’s standard uniform or breeches and tunic. She can bedeck herself in robes and gowns and manage not trip on the long skirts but usually, that is because if she lifts the skirts, one will see her boots instead of a lady's dainty slippers,|
|Character Looks Like||Sophia Myles as the character of Freya in the SyFy Channel movie, Outlander (2008)|
|Personality Traits||- Strong leader
- Even tempered
- Quick to judge
- Good sense of humor
- Direct, forthright
|Personality||Anastasiya Windwalker has the strong charismatic personality of a good leader. In demeanor, she generally seems more serious than her younger brother, however, a look into her dark blue eyes shows the wit and intelligence lurking there. She is also very protective by nature, another asset as Seneschal. Anastasiya is first a professional and a warrior, but she does not sacrifice being a woman for it. Stasya sees no reason why she cannot be a superb military officer as well as a woman and wife. As either Seneschal or family member, Anastasiya never hesitates to speak her mind, often earning her sighs and looks of annoyance from her sisters.
Anastasiya is surprisingly even tempered and rarely gets truly angry although she can snap out commands when there is a need. She has a strength of will that is the equal of most men.
Stasya’s first and foremost concern is the protection of Cymeria from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Although he is her younger brother, she considers the safety of the High Lord to be the Morrighan’s responsibility leaving her to deal with the security and safety of the Land. Her devotion to her duty is second only to her devotion to the men and women that serve under her command. She will not ask anyone to do something that she is unwilling to undertake herself yet she understands the value and importance of delegating assignments and tasks to those with more expertise. In her opinion, leading is as much about giving the right orders as being in a position to give orders.
Despite being highly trained and spending many years under the former Seneschal's tutelage, she often seeks out her former mentor for advice and to just talk. She knows that her father-by-marriage, Thoreson Windwalker, has forgotten more about military tactics and commanding a military force than she could ever learn. Stasya will also not hesitate to seek the advice of others she trusts although, in the end, she realizes that the decision is most often going to be hers and hers alone.
Anastasiya feels her biggest flaw is that she can be very hasty in her judgements and sometimes jumps to conclusions. Once she has done so, it is next to impossible for her to back down or change her mind. One of the things that she is most prone to do is feel that men look at her and judge her ability based on her gender. This leads her into situations where she feels she has to prove herself over and over again leaving her with a feeling of frustration and that she does not measure up.
|Mannerisms||Anastasiya appears somewhat aloof and cold due to her very quiet and calm demeanor. She is not given to idle chatter and prefers to quietly observe the people around. While quiet, Anastasiya is quite direct and forthright when speaking or making a point. Her seemingly cool demeanor overlays a strong and passionate nature that she tends to only display when with close family members or friends.
Her voice is lilting and beautifully modulated. She rarely has to shout orders for them to be heard clearly as she has studied how to speak in such situations. In tone, it is a clear contralto and lightly accented with a trace of the Highland lilt and burr native to Harkania March. When she does give in to it, she has a beautiful bell-like laugh that has been likened to the chime of bells.
Stasya is not prone to lots of body movement or gestures when speaking to her troops or even in private conversation.
|Education||Anastasiya is well-educated. She can read, write and do sums although she avoids the latter whenever possible.|
- Saesneg (Common Trade Tongue)
- Drukar (Dwarrow)
- Vanisk Tunga (Vanir)
Has a good understanding of...
- Luminar (Aquitaine)
- Xian (Learning)
|Dexterity & Mobility||Anastasiya has no detrimental issues with dexterity or mobility. She is quick, agile, economic and quite graceful in her movements. She suffered an injury to her right knee during a fall at the Battle of D’hassa in 3539 that has left that knee prone to more injuries although to date none have been detrimental to her mobility.|
|Expertise||While High Lord Kimber did not encourage his children to pursue the arcane arts, he did encourage them (even if it was through their primary caregivers) to be very active and athletic. Anastasiya is an accomplished horsewoman and trainer, can swim and even herd wild Dikaya and cattle from horseback. She actually enjoys a good run over an obstacle course.
Unfortunately, Anastasiya is hopeless as a cook, cannot sew beyond rudimentary mending of her own clothes, and would not know an embroidery needle if one bit her. On the other hand, she is a skilled tracker and hunter.
Combat & Weapons
|Training & Skills||From an early age, Anastasiya preferred playing swords and soldiers with her younger brother and his best friend to any of the more acceptable feminine pursuits. She excelled at her training during her mandatory service and once her father was persuaded to allow her to remain in the Guard, she quickly rose through the ranks, ultimately becoming Seneschal Thoreson Windwalker's senior aide and protege. She also served as First Marshal for a period after her brother, the Heir, was exiled.
Stasya's biggest weakness is that, as a woman, no matter how hard she trains, she will not be as strong as most equally adept and well trained men. What she lacks in physical strength, she makes up for in agility and speed.
In recent years, like many in her family, Anastasiya has been training with Song Xiang Chai who is an expert in the Xian martial arts particularly one known as The Way of the Fox. As a woman, Song has been able to help Anastasiya improve her balance and speed making her a lethal warrior.
Swords: Anastasiya is a master swordswoman with very few her equal. In fact, her true weapons’ affinity lies with the sword.
Carries: Arthes (Heniaith for she-bear). Her primary sword is an elegant double-handed sword with a single-edged blade that curves very slightly. The blade and hilt are gleaming black. Mikhael brought the sword back from a trip to Tynar-Dazûr as a gift for her when she took her oath to the Cymerian Guard.
Arthes: Full Length: 38” | Blade Length: 27” | Grip: 6.6” | Blade Width: 4” | Weight: 4.2 lbs. | Blade Thickness: .25”
Shields: Sword and shield are standard weapons of war. Stasya is proficient in the use of the shield for defense and offense.
Carries: A small shield that has a patina that matches Arthes.
Daggers / Knives: Less proficient than with a sword, but her speed and dexterity makes her lethal with any type of bladed weapon.
Carries: Long dagger in sheath on belt, short dagger in boot sheath, stiletto in special spring loaded wrist sheath. Occasionally changes out the long belt dagger for a slender short sword.
Archery: Stasya knows how to use several types of bows, but her skill is only average. She can efficiently bring home dinner and put meat on the table, but in a melee, she would not rely on her archery skills.
Carries: Stasya only carries a bow if she knows she will be hunting or is training with the Guard’s archers.
Spear: Quite proficient but rarely carries one as there are those with more training and aptitude amongst her troops.
Anastasiya has studied all of the war machines in use and routinely reads up or goes to demonstrations of those being designed. She has little experience with their actual use beyond training exercises and demonstrations, however, and beyond having a good tactical knowledge of what to do with them. As Seneschal, Anastasiya's primary job is to know when to order a particular war machine into battle and how it should be used.
Arcane Skills & Abilities
|Arcane Source||Arcane Race|
|Affinity / Nature||Wind; Stasya has a demonstrated affinity for the wind although she is untrained, therefore, any use of this affinity is limited to her unconscious bidding such as wishing for a cool breeze and one appearing.
Wolves: Anastasiya’s grandmother is a Wyr of the Ghostwalker Pack. Stasya has always been fascinated with the Dire Wolves and Highland wolves of her homeland and refuses to allow them to be hunted or trapped unless they present a danger to the human population.
|Shape Shifting||Dire Wolf: In mid-3551, Anastasiya’s latent Wyr ability to shapeshift was triggered. It is surmised that a combination of pregnancy and an incident where she was set upon by Apostates of y Carthu was the catalyst.
Her grandmother’s clan, the Ghostwalkers, are Dire Wolves, a larger and heavier species of wolf native to Aereth. The pack have been predominately white or gray, but Anastasiya’s wolf form has a deep red top coat over a dark cream undercoat. In another variation, when Stasya shifts to wolf form, her eyes change to a deep gold whereas the majority of the rest of her Wyr clan keep their human form eye color after shifting.
Like all Dire Wolves of Aereth, Snowfire has the double canines (upper and lower) which is a distinguishing difference between them and other wolf species.
Although the manifestation of Snowfire was unexpected, Anastasiya adapted quickly after the initial shock wore off. With the help of her grandmother, Kerowyn, as well as Gero Dawnrunner - a lifelong friend and her father-of-the-heart - Stasya is quickly learning to enjoy the wolf part of her nature.
|Arcane Abilities||Anastasiya never felt a strong calling or even curiosity in regard to the Cymry’s arcane abilities. She had even less interest in training to use hers. Anastasiya's training never advanced beyond basic instruction in what a Cymry's powers were and the Arcane Laws (Rule of Three). She would be considered at the Passive level because she has no conscious control over her ability.
Arcane Sensitivity (low-level)
This is the most basic and most intrinsic ability all Cymry are born with. They can sense, on a psychic level, anything or anyone of an arcane. Those with a stronger ability can detect the nature of the arcane person or object (i.e. whether it is benign or evil). Like all other abilities, training can enhance the use and control of this ability.
Anastasiya’s sensitivity to the arcane is on a low level and generally manifests as just a feeling that someone or something is different in some manner.
|Arcane Defenses||Anastasiya has no actual arcane defenses beyond Snowfire’s natural weaponry and heightened senses. In fact, as she has integrated more closely with her wolf form, her human senses have become heightened (not to the level of being superhuman) and her arcane sensitivity has somewhat diminished.
|Weaknesses / Limitations||In both Wyr and human form, Anastasiya is as vulnerable as anyone else to injury and illness. She is still learning how to shift from human to Snowfire and back more seamlessly.
|Spouse, Mate or Partner||Ryndar Hawke Windwalker (m. September 11, 3550): Anastasiya married her long time best friend during the week of the Ceremony of Oaths in D’hassa. Their long relationship has grown from childhood friends and playmates, to comrades-in-arms (Cymbrogi is what Stasya calls them, companions of the heart) and on to falling deeply in love. They tend to reserve this part of their relationship for the private times although affection is always present as they tease one another or work together.
Hawke is Anastasiya’s soulmate and best friend, her confidant, playmate and lover. He embodies all the characteristics that she cherishes in those close to her: honor, courage, physical strength and strength of character. He is also one of the very few, though he jokes and teases her about being a Valkyrie, that will not back down from her...in a discussion or a fight.
Merlin Windwalker: A merlin is a type of small falcon noted as a swift flier and skilled hunter of small birds that it can take on the wing. The name was chosen because at the moment of the boy’s birth, a merlin lighted on the window ledge and did not leave until the following morning.
Rhiannon Windwalker (p. ree-an-on, m. Great Queen)
Anastasiya will give birth to twins on 13 October 3551.
|Father||Kimber Alwyn Stormdanovich
Born: 25 December 3383; Crossed: 13 October 3539 (a. 156 yrs.)
Ruled: 3399 - 3539
High Lord Kimber Stormdanovich was grievously wounded during the Battle of D’hassa (13 September 3539). He chose to take the White Road a month later at Stormholm Caer in Harkania. Note: Alwyn means great white in Heniaith and was chosen as Kimber already had the fair complexion and near white hair peculiar to his mother’s bloodline.
|Mother||Sonja Ivanova Stormdanovich
Born: 21 March 3480; Crossed: 21 December 3539 (59 yrs.)
Sonja Stormdanovich, former High Lady, survived her husband only long enough to see her son confirmed as High Lord. The loss of her husband, Kimber, devastated Sonja and the pull of her marriage bond to Kimber was too strong.
|Brother(s)||Mikhael Stormdanovich (2 years younger)
Mikhael is the reigning High Lord of Cymeria and the sibling that Anastasiya is closest to. She was always escaping the confines of the Ladies’ Quarters to join Mika and his friend, Hawke Windwalker, in their adventures. As they grew to adulthood, while still close as brother and sister, their relationship has matured into that of friends and comrades-in-arms due to shared experiences in battle.
Oksana Stormdanovich D’Corwyn (4 years older)
Oksana is the eldest of the Stormdanovich children and married to Gareth D'Corwyn of K’harsten March. They have three children (2 boys and a daughter). Oksana and her husband took charge of the younger siblings when Kimber, and soon after, Sonja, both died. Gareth has K'harstenian estates, but they are well-managed, allowing him to spend a good amount of time in Harkania with his wife.
Oksana is also the Chatelaine of Stormholm Caer and has been the maternal guardian of Mikhael’s son, Vasily. Along with Hawke and Anastasiya Windwalker, Oksana and Gareth would serve as Vasily’s regents should the need arise.
Oksana and Gareth's Children
Arwyn D’Corwyn (son, a. 10, b. January 3540)
Alwena D’Corwyn (daughter, a. 10, b. January 3540)
Cai D’Corwyn (son, a. 4, b. March 3547 )
Aneira D’Corwyn (daughter, b. 31 March 3551; Aneira means snow and is fitting for Oksana’s youngest and final daughter who was born during a violent blizzard).
Darya Stormdanovich Wyncett (2 years older)
Married to a younger son (Liam Wyncett) of the Warder of Torrenth and resides in Mawrth Torrenth near the capital city of Dinas O'aur. Darya and Liam have five children (three boys and two girls).
Ekaterina Stormdanovich Karamanova ( 4 years younger)
Married to William Karamanov and resides in Coedwig March. William is a Cymry shipbuilder and designer. William also inherited a large merchant marine fleet from his father and spends a portion of his time at sea. Katya has developed a deep love of the ocean. Their home is in Dinas Afon. Katya is expecting her first child in 3550.
Elyana Stormdanovich (13 years younger)
Training to be a Mage of the Theurgy. She is a natural scholar and scribe and a wealth of arcane knowledge. She is betrothed to a young lieutenant in the Guard who now serves as a Sentry for the Theurgy Guild (Darren Bledri, age 27).
Laryn Stormdanovich (18 years younger): Cymerian Guard, High-Level Courier; recently attached to the High Lord’s service.
|Other Family||Paternal Grandparents
Kerowyn Snowspirit of Ghostwalker Pack
Born: 14 January 3405, 1st Year of the Deep Kraken (a. 145)
Kerowyn is the dowager High Lady of Cymeria, wife to High Lord Mathias Stormdanovich. Upon his Crossing, she chose to abdicate her title and live with the other Wyr in Caer Draenár. She is an independent woman and not the cuddly grandmother type although she is passing fond of her offspring.
Highlord Mathias Stormdanovich
Born: 21 June 3220; Crossed: 12 November 3398 (a. 178)
Anastasiya only knows her grandfather from the tales she has heard about him and the rare occasions that her grandmother has spoken of him. Stasya was not very close to her grandmother as a child because Kerowyn chose to leave Stormholm in favor of living with the Wyr in Caer Draenár. Once her wolf form manifested, Stasya sought out her grandmother for advice and training. Kerowyn also remained with her granddaughter for the birth of her twins.
Maternal Grandfather: Garth of Ghostwalker Pack (Crossed 3539, Battle of D’hassa)
Maternal Grandmother: Ceridwen of Bloodfang Pack (Crossed 3539, Battle of D’hassa)
Vasily Tregarth Stormdanovich (nephew)
Born: 19 February 3545
Parents: Mikhael Stormdanovich, Morgelyn Tregarth
Renestrae tyr Vashti (cousin): Daughter of Lorcan who has recently discovered her kinship to House Stormdanovich.
Lorcan up Gwychellian (paternal uncle)
Born: 1 August 3363; Crossed: 13 September 3539 (176 yrs.)
Lorcan, High Lord Kimber’s brother, was killed at the Battle of D’hassa in the same engagement where Kimber was wounded. Lorcan was a member of Ryndar Gero’s High Guard. Despite the sorrow over his father’s death, Mikhael also felt the loss of his outgoing and high-spirited uncle.
Parents by Marriage: Rhyfel Thoreson Windwalker, Irina Windwalker
|Family Relationships||Like most of the Stormdanovich clan, Anastasiya is more likely to form strong bonds with those she spends time with daily. In her youth, she was fairly close to her older sisters. She outright avoided her younger brother until he came of an age to be somewhat interesting. Now, although her sisters and the other ladies of the household will never find her gowned, bejeweled and joining their needlepoint circles, she is friendly with her family.
Anastasiya has developed an ongoing, easy relationship with her brother. It has strengthened since he ascended to the rank of High Lord and she to Seneschal. It is based on respect and their time of shared service.
As a child, Anastasiya was considered by her parents to be quite unruly and hard to discipline. Despite that, Stasya was Daddy’s Girl. From the time she could walk and could manage to escape her minders, she would track Kimber down and stay as near to him as possible. Once she grew older, trailing in her father’s footsteps gave way to escaping to share in her younger brother’s adventures and hijinks making for a tense relationship with her rather formal and socially correct mother.
By the time Anastasiya reported for her two and half years of mandatory service to the High Guard, she knew that was the life she wanted for herself. She found the feminine pursuits that High Lady insisted her daughter learn to be tedious and boring. Stasya preferred a good sword in her hand and a fast horse to embroidery or playing the harp. This came to a head when she announced her intention to take the full Oath of Service at the end of her two. This time it was her father, High Lord Kimber, that was just short of apoplectic. It was the reasoned arguments of both Ryndar Gero and Seneschal Thoreson Windwalker that finally persuaded Kimber to allow his daughter to remain in the Cymerian Guard.
Moving up through the ranks to serve as the Seneschal’s chief aide and then as First Marshal after the exile of her brother, brought Stasya closer to her father due to regular contact. Her adoration of him had never diminished and only increased as he came to respect her as a military officer.
|The bloodline of House Stormdanovich traces in an unbroken line to the ancient and noble House Azarov. The Azarov could trace their line back to Atlantis - so the legends say. Throughout the millennia, the bloodline has been very powerful and genetically true. Despite intermarrying with other races, the Cymry arcane traits dominated in the offspring. It has only been in the last two generations that Wyr traits have manifested (Kimber Stormdanovich and Anastasiya Stormdanovich, although it appears that Kimber’s ability to shift to the form of a white Dire Wolf (his mother’s pack) was released by his Ddyrchafael).
High Lords of Cymeria
Since the age of Matvei, approximately 1300 years ago, the Stormdanovich have held the High Lordship of Cymeria. While others have challenged for the throne on occasion, the Land has, to date, rejected all others in favor of the Stormdanovich.
2070 - 2145 (75 years): Matvei Azarov
Matvei challenges his insane brother, Valentin, to a Duel Arcane and defeats him. Matvei then retired the name Azarov that, until Valentin, had been untainted by the excesses that marked many other Cymry bloodlines. As the bloodline seemed particularly aligned with the power of weather and storms, he chose the name Stormdanovich thus establishing the current bloodline.
2145 - 2435 (290 years): Rhys Mikhael Stormdanovich
2435 - 2645 (210 years): Oksana Stormdanovich
The only High Lady to assume full power due to no male heir. She took a consort to sire an heir but never married keeping the Stormdanovich name-line unbroken. High Lady Oksana was much loved and almost every generation gives her name to the eldest born daughter.
2645 - 3000 (355 years): Rhys Kanan Stormdanovich
Died on the day the Age of Iron ended. There was a regency for one year due to the Heir (Garth Kanan Stormdanovich) being too young to ascend to the throne.
3001 - 3220 (219 years): Garth Kanan Stormdanovich
3220 - 3398 (178 years): Mathias Stormdanovich
Wed to Kerowyn of Ghostwalker Pack of the Wyr. Mathias Stormdanovich was reigning High Lord when Gero of Dawnrunner Clan brought the surviving Wyr to Harkania and gave them the large alpine valley of Caer Draenár on Daranau Eira to settle.
3399 - 3539 (140 years): Kimber Stormdanovich
(b. 25 December 3383, c. 13 October 3539; 156 years old at time of Crossing.)
Mathias Stormdanovich crossed a year prior to Kimber’s 16th birthday. For the year from his father’s passing until age sixteen when he could legally ascend the throne, Lady Kerowyn Stormdanovich and Rytsar Gero of Dawnrunner Clan shared guardianship and regency. Upon his coming of age, Kimber named Gero as his Ryndar. Kimber died of wounds received at the Battle of D’hassa (13 September 3539) although he lingered for some weeks before succumbing and Crossing.
Kimber also has the distinction of being the first known Stormdanovich to carry the arcane abilities of both his mother’s Wyr race and his father’s Cymry race.
31 October 3539 - Present (11 years): Mikhael Stormdanovich
Heir: Vasily Morgan Stormdanovich (b. 3545); cannot assume rule until age 16 (19 February 3561).
Highlord Kimber Stormdanovich evaded matrimony and his dynastic duties until the hundredth anniversary of his ascension to rule. During those years, while not celibate, he did not sire any children. By 3483, advisors and friends alike were adamant that he needed to wed and provide the Land with an Heir to the Land. In 3504, Kimber agreed to an arranged marriage with a Cymry noble from K’harsten. With considerable reluctance, the High Lord agreed to start vetting potential candidates for the role of High Lady of Cymeria.
The search for a prospective bride did not yield immediate results. While many of the noble ladies brought forward for Kimber’s consideration were lovely and intelligent women, none of them appealed to his deeper senses. If he were going to spend the rest of his life bonded to a mate, he needed for her to really connect with him. More than that, she needed to be connected to the Land. At last, feeling the search to be futile, Kimber agreed to an arranged marriage. All he requested that it not be too any of the women that had been presented to him to date - and that Gero of Dawnrunner Clan, his Ryndar, make the final choice. By mid-summer of 3500, a name had been put forward, an agreements made and Kimber prepared to meet his bride to be.
On Samhain’s Eve, 3500, Kimber put on a smile and descended to the Great Hall to meet his soon-to-be wife only to fall instantly and irrevocably in love. Sonja Ivanova was a vibrant and startling beautiful woman with hair the color of flame and emerald eyes. For the first two hours after being introduced, the usually glib and debonair High Lord was tongue tied and almost shy. Sonja was barely twenty, eighty years Kimber’s junior, but the age difference soon ceased to matter. The couple wed on Yule’s eve of that year.
The first few years of their marriage was kept exclusively for themselves and for Sonja to settle into the role of High Lady. The Cymry were graced with longer childbearing years than Menfolk races and they fault no urgency in the matter. In 3508, amidst rumors of the High Lady being barren, Sonja presented Kimber with the first of his children. Oksana was a bundle of creamy pale skin, flashing emerald eyes and red-gold hair. Her resemblance to her mother left Kimber speechless. Two years after the birth of Oksana, the pale haired Darya was born followed two years later by Anastasiya Valeria, whose hair wove strands of gold and near white in with sparks of flame.
In 3515, two years after the birth of Anastasiya, Mikhael Kanan Stormdanovich, the Heir was born, followed two years later by Ekaterina. Nine years later, Elyana was born and five years after the birth of Elyana, Sonja gave birth to her final child, Laryn.
Kimber and Sonja were devoted to one another almost to the exclusion of everything else in their lives. The only exception was Kimber’s undying devotion to Cymeria and his duties to the Land. Sonja, while a good and loving mother, was enough like Kimber for her to feel estranged from her two most difficult children, Anastasiya and Mikhael.
|1 January 3513: Born
Stasya was the third born of the Stormdanovich clan with two older sisters and, now, a younger brother and three younger sisters. Like all of the Stormdanovich children, she was raised with care and kindness, but taught the necessity of hard work to maintain their privileged lifestyle.
3513 - 3529 (a. 0 - 16)
Early in life, Stasya developed a natural aptitude for strategy and a love of military tactics. She loved nothing better than sitting at her father's knee and listening to him and the Seneschal discuss tactics. Rather than playing with dolls, she joined her younger brother and his best friend in their war games, often besting them in some make-believe campaign or another. When she could not be outside playing at war games, she was curled up in the great library reading military histories of the world.
Had her father had his way, Anastasiya's military training would have never gone beyond children's games and her mandatory two and a half years Guard training and service. Fortunately for her, her father's Ryndar was able to understand her nature and desires a bit better than her father did. Gero of the Dawnrunner Clan intervened on her behalf, pointing out to his friend that his daughter has the fierce spirit of the warrior. To deny her that, was to take away some of her spirit. It was a friendly agreement to disagree between the two men, but Kimber, ever fair, reluctantly allowed his beloved third daughter to take up sword and shield. High Lord Kimber made it clear, however, that it was Gero she needed to thank for his lenience. Later, Stasya tracked down the Ryndar and did just that, thanked him for seeing what her father was reluctant to see. From there, when time permitted, she would seek out the Ryndar and over time a friendship developed with Gero teaching her games that would enhance her natural strategic abilities, such as Crown and Lions, the Wyr version of chess but with three levels and more pieces.
At age sixteen, like all Cymerians, noble or otherwise, Anastasiya reported to the Seneschal to begin her Guard training. Determined to excel, Anastasiya practiced for hours each day. She was brilliant at her lessons in tactics and strategy. Recognizing a certain spirit in the young girl, Seneschal Windwalker took her under his wing. At the end of her mandatory service, Anastasiya petitioned the High Lord, her father, to remain in the Guard. At first reluctant, he capitulated when his old friends, Gero and the Seneschal spoke up for her. In time, Anastasiya worked her way up to the position of the Seneschal's senior aide and rank of 2nd Marshal, often handling the military briefings for the High Lord.
Spring 3532 (a. 18): Massacre of High Hallack
After an early thaw, Anastasiya was tasked with leading a patrol to the Harkanian Valley, High Hallack. This was a standard mission as patrols checked on the populaces that had been cut off from contact during the winter months. Her patrol included both Mikhael and Hawke. The patrol was geared for possible battle as rumors of bandits and raiders harassing the residents of High Hallack had been received. High Hallack’s population was made up primarily of Cymry along with a small scattering of Sidhe.
Before reaching the main settlement, they were set upon by the raiders. After a brief but fierce battle, the surviving raiders retreated while the patrol rode on into the valley. The horrors they found in the settlement and estate after estate would remain with them for the rest of their lives. Every living thing, including domestic animals, had been tortured and slaughtered. Further investigation showed that nothing had been taken although at first glance the properties appeared to have been ransacked.
For reasons that she could not understand at the time, a majority of the Cymry had not Crossed. Instead, their horribly mutilated bodies were found with those of the Celts and Sidhe residing in High Hallack. Later, she would learn from her brother, Mikhael, that the Cymry had been ritually spirit bound to their bodies and thus could not Cross. In fact, though dead and decomposing, most were still tied to their body.
Within a week after reporting the massacre, Anastasiya and Mikhael both led patrols back to High Hallack to begin the unpleasant task of searching for survivors and dealing with the slain.
3533 - 3539 (a. 20 - 26): Mikhael exiled, Anastasiya promoted
In 3533, the ongoing contention between Mikhael and Kimber over the subject of his continued interest and pursuit of training in the arcane came to a head. Although High Lord Kimber may not have intentionally exiled his son, for all intents and purposes that is what occurred. Having been told to get out of his father’s sight, Mikhael packed a few belongings and left. For the next six years, Anastasiya had no direct contact with Mikhael only receiving short missives from him via Hawke or Gero. However, as she continued her work in the Cymerian Guard, she would hear tales of a powerful swordsman by the name of Brynmor ap Caerwyn. That her brother was taking on work as a sword-for-hire did not surprise her in the least. Using her carefully built network of eyes and ears within the Guard, she was able to keep tabs on her brother’s whereabouts except when he left Cymeria entirely.
Shortly after Mikhael left Stormholm Caer, Anastasiya was promoted to First Marshal and began serving as the liaison between the High Lord of Cymeria and the Seneschal. This vital position normally held by the Heir but in Mikhael’s absence it devolved to Anastasiya. Fortunately, Kimber made no mention of actually disinheriting Mikhael and Stasya was content to serve in his stead for the interim.
3538 (a. 25): Hawke
Absence makes the heart grow fonder was never more true than the growth of the relationship between Anastasiya and childhood best friend, Hawke Windwalker. From 3533 to 3538, Hawke was mostly absent from Stormholm either on assignment to other posts or working with his somewhat disreputable uncle, Dougal. Contact during those years was sporadic and brief, usually the result of Anastasiya being temporarily on assignment to the region where Hawke was at.
When Hawke returned to Stormholm in 3538, their friendship was renewed through their mutual concern regarding Mikhael’s continued absence. As time went on, both recognized a change in their feelings for one another and in due course they announced to their families that they considered themselves promised.
3539 (a. 26): Battle of D’hassa
As as senior aide, Anastasiya had not expected to find herself in the thick of the fighting during the Battle of D'hassa and, initially, she was not. She acted as the Seneschal's coordinator, making sure his orders were sent to the right person as the right time. When it was time to deploy her brother's reserve cavalry troop, Anastasiya was dispatched with the message whereupon she found herself told to stay, they would need every sword.
When the High Lord Kimber was mortally wounded in the Battle of D'hassa and her brother ascended to the position of High Lord, Stasya was at first concerned she would once again face an argument in order to remain in the Guard. Instead, when Mikhael chose Hawke as his Ryndar, the man she assumed would become the next Seneschal, Thoreson Windwalker proposed her as his replacement. With Mikhael's agreement, the Seneschal spent the next three years honing Anastasiya to take his place.
3540 (a. 27): Becomes betrothed to Hawke Windwalker. In the spring of 3540, with the land seemingly settled, Hawke formally requests Anastasiya’s hand in marriage and with the High Lord’s blessing, the two become formally betrothed.
3542 (a. 29): Anastasiya becomes Seneschal of Cymeria
3550 (a. 37)
Currently, Anastasiya has been Seneschal for nine years. She has broadened her experience in battle in dealing with raiders and border skirmishes.
During the Ceremony of Oaths held each year on the anniversary of the Battle of D’hassa, Stasya finally wed Hawke in a handfasting ceremony officiated by High Lord Mikhael Stormdanovich and the Chatelaine of Stormholm Caer, Oksana D’Corwyn. Along with the happy occasion of her marriage, Stasya found herself briefly the focus of an assassination attempt by the Black Templars that resulted in Hawke being wounded while protecting her. Fortunately, the injury was not severe and he recovered with no issues.
In October, Anastasiya began to suspect she was pregnant but was not sure. On Yule, she finally told Hawke and, later, Mikhael, the happy news.
3551 (a. 38): Present Day - WIP
Friends & Foes
|Family of the Heart||Gero of Dawnrunner Clan: Gero was Anastasiya's father's Ryndar and one of his two dearest friends and confidantes. As such, he knew most of Kimber's children on some level. Stasya's fierce devotion to her father and her desire to become a warrior to defend him and Cymeria, brought her more into his orbit. It was the Ryndar who helped Kimber see his daughter's spirit and guide the concerned father into letting her spread her wings as a warrior. He also had a hand in honing her tactical strengths by teaching her games that emphasized those skills.
After Kimber's Crossing, a devastated Anastasiya slipped away to grieve on her own. It was not seemly to make a scene of grief at the Crossing itself. It was Gero that found the sobbing Stasya and the two of them shared their grief as a friendship deepened. Today, Anastasiya has the pleasure of working closely with the retired Ryndar as he coordinates and commands Cymeria's Ravens, a network of spies and intelligence gatherers. She enjoys a pleasantly close friendship with the man, their old bond and love for her father still strong between them as well as a shared bond in their love for her brother Mikhael.
Thoreson and Irina Windwalker: Both of the Windwalkers, her parents-by-marriage, are adored by Stasya. As children, she and her brother, Mikhael, often slipped away to their home. They craved the less formal and more loving atmosphere that Irina Windwalker brought to her home.