Ariadne Dikaian
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  • Race: Aasimar
  • Cloistered Cleric 1/Bard 1/Paladin 4
  • Deity: Athena
  • Nationality: Makarios
  • Profession: Headmistress/instructor of military history/tactics at her own academy in Shieldmeet; part-time singer.

Physical Description and Personality

Ariadne is a tall, athletic young woman with sharp features, long, dark red hair that she commonly wears in braids, golden skin and wide, intensely bright green eyes that seem to look past the physical plane into another world. (She actually has rather poor eyesight.) These last two traits mark her identity as an Aasimar, a human with a Celestial ancestor in her past.

In contrast to her beauty Ariadne prefers very plain, loose robes, heavy shirts and long skirts, usually favoring the gray colors of her order except when giving singing performances. She often wears a breastplate and helmet, armed with both a large round steel shield (emblazoned with the sign of the owl, the holy symbol of Athena) and a shortspear.

Ariadne usually has a calm but serious look about her, reflecting her own inner peace. She is polite and formal but in a genuinely diplomatic way, not because she's stiff or detached—she is actually kind and compassionate, believing justice must be tempered with mercy, and also humble as one who knows where her gifts come from.

Background

What is publicly known about Ariadne's background is that she came to Shieldmeet several months ago from the Makarios city-state of Golisu with her attendant Kalla Alexia (technically a slave, but more like a sister) in tow. Since then the two have built up a small school of arms, battle tactics and leadership for would-be warriors and commanders. The Battle Academy is actually a warehouse that's been converted into a classroom, training facility and workshop located a short distance from the Shieldmeet Arena, which is an important part of the academy's training.

Ariadne makes no secret of her membership in the Spears of the Owl, an order of Paladins devoted to Athena. Though her academy is open to other (non-Evil) faiths and followers its formal name, "Maxe Academia Neon Strategon Athenas" or "Battle Academy of Athena's New Generals" is an indication that she, and her church and paladin order, believe it exists to serve the goddess' work: to train sound minds and bodies in intelligent war for the sake of Good.

The story of how Ariadne became a paladin and entered into the service of the Spears of the Owl as a rare female member is better known in the Golisu capitol of Kelosia where it took place, but she shares it often enough with her students. She had grown up away from her upper-caste family without their knowledge in the Temple of Athena Parthenos, the largest temple to Athena in the world, until one of her relatives recognized her there and tried to abduct her from the temple—the family believed she owed them a large sum of money. This was of course sacrilege and, in her moment of need she released a blinding light from her eyes that dazzled her assailant long enough to grab a spear, burning with divine might in her hand, and impale him on it.

Though her eyesight never recovered it affirmed her identity as an Aasimar and, as a result of her display of holy strength and Athena's favor, she was eventually chosen for the knighthood. The leadership of the Order intended for her to become an inspirational figure for the army rather than an actual soldier, while the priestesses wished for her to learn not only to fight smartly and for the good of the people but also to teach that to other warriors. She has fought in an ongoing campaign against the rival city-state of Ertheurtha and was expected to be a part of her mentor Demosthenes' upcoming naval expedition, but instead received her commission to start a school in Shieldmeet.

Equipment

Shortspear +1
Breastplate +1; bronzed, includes open-faced helm (decorated with an owl motif), shin- and armguards.
Large Steel Shield +1; round, bronzed and decorated with a perched owl symbol identical to her Holy Symbol (see below).
Light Mace
Dagger
Amulet of Health +2; a silver Caduceus.
Gloves of Dexterity +2; brown suede.
Silver Holy Symbol; a silver perched owl with face turned forward.
Spell Component Pouch (Copper wire, half-dozen mini-cloaks, bits of parchment with holy writing, bits of wool and wax).
Outfits for light traveling, combat/exercising and everyday use, heavy-duty traveling, cold weather, temple functions, working at the loom and performing (the only outfit with jewelry):

  • Light travel/combat/exercising clothes include knee-length gray cloth skirt with blue fringe, brown leather ankle-length boots, thigh-length blue cloth tunic with white trim belted at the sternum, gray cloth sash with blue trim worn over armor if equipped.
  • Heavy travel clothes are the same style as the light ones but include gray wool leggings and cloak.
  • Cold weather clothes are the same as heavy travel but everything is woolen.
  • Temple vestments are full-length, loose, monochrome gray cloth robes fastened over the left shoulder, and sandals instead of boots.
  • Work clothes are full-length, loose, monochrome gray wool dress tied at the sternum, and sandals.
  • Performing clothes are stylistically similar to her vestments (long robes fastened over one shoulder) but form-fitting and low-cut at the sides, are made of white silk and include a silver circlet gemmed with lapis lazuli (50gp total) and blue silk drape.

Tools and materials for weaving and other mundane items, including weapons and training dummies, stored in the academythe upstairs workshop and training room.
Four lacquered olive wood scroll cases containing parchment scrolls (see below), as well as four writing quills and inkwells.

Character Sheet

The Education of Ariadne Dikaian

Kalla Alexia

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  • Race: Human
  • Class: Swordsage/Illusionist
  • Deity: Athena
  • Nationality: Makarios
  • Profession: Slave (see below)

Kalla is Ariadne's cohort, handmaiden, protector, assistant academy instructor and personal wizard. Although she is a slave, she is like a sister to Ariadne and they are almost never apart.

Despite her name Kalla is rather ordinary in her appearance, of average height and slim build, light brown skin and dark brown hair that she usually keeps tied back. Though she is still youthful her care-worn features and detached bearing show an age beyond her years, while her bright eyes betray an intelligence that her demure manner cannot conceal. She has been known to enhance her appearance with illusions on occasion however, usually when giving musical or magical performances. Otherwise she favors Soroush-style loose dark red or dark gray robes, tunics and pants.

Kalla is quiet and shy as befitting her station as a slave and a bookish scholar. She is extremly bright but also extremely dutiful, taking her cues from her mistress Ariadne whom she is extremely protective and in awe of. However she has been known to speak her mind in situations of moral and ethical seriousness—or when her mistress or her goddess are insulted, which can lead to her twin short blades being drawn or, worse, illusions being used against the offender in humiliating ways.

(Note: Kalla manages all the everyday living necessities of herself and her master, so she possesses such supplies for both of them.)

Character Sheet

Academy Students

  • Aristeus, Male Human (Makarios), Paladin 2
  • Artakala, Female Human (Basira), Swordsage 1
  • Artamanah, Male Human (Basira), Bard 1
  • Astrid, Female Half-elf (Amareth), Warmage 1
  • Chrystiania, Female Halfling (Makarios), Cleric 1
  • Cornelius, Male Dwarf (Dwarven Lands/Makarios), Warblade 1
  • Diomedon, Male Human (Makarios), Warblade 1
  • Glaucon, Male Human (Makarios), Paladin 1
  • Helene, Female Human (Makarios), Paladin 1
  • Kambei, Male Human (Tatsuo), Swordsage 1
  • Madhae, Female Human (Righnach), Ranger 1
  • Polemarchus, Male Human (Makarios), Swordsage 1
  • Sarka, Female Human (Sclavini), Fighter 1
  • Skuld, Female Half-elf (Falkor), Barbarian 1
  • Tomoe, Female Human (Tatsuo), Monk 1
  • Valerian, Male Human (Makarios), Warblade 1

The knights Aristeus, Glaucon and Helene (all of them Spears of the Owl), Chrystiania priestess of Athena, the twin Basira scholars Artakala and Artamanah, the soldiers Cornelius, Diomedon and Valerian, and the gladiator Polemarchus were the first to join Ariadne's school, arriving with her from Makarios. Over time in Shieldmeet, due to Ariadne's reputation they were joined by female warriors of various nationalities and styles, Astrid, Madhae, Sarka, Skuld and Tomoe, as well as the ronin Kambei.

In addition to their academy training they have been assigned to live-in guard duty at Aben's House. Instruction is largely co-ed though living arrangements of course are not (which hasn't entirely prevented fraternization even though Ariadne regards it as bad for morale). The 16 students are further divided into groups of two with each pair responsible for their partner's following the training regimen and helping each other with the exercises.

The partnerships, intended to complement each other's styles, are: Aristeus/Valerian (sword and board), Diomedon/Glaucon (spear and shield), Artakala/Tomoe (unarmed/fist weapons), Cornelius/Polemarchus (dual-wielders), Artamanah/Kambei (two-handers), Helene/Skuld (polearms), Astrid/Chrystiania (armored casters) and Madhae/Sarka (archers). Generally speaking all groups get along well though the groups with similar styles tend to stick together, and there's a rivalry between the casters and the archers that has more to do with politics than competing skills.

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