Leather armor, explorer's pack, Druidic focus (dead scarab tied to a painted rock), small knife, map of Calimshan (heavily featuring back alleys and the Undercity sewer system), common clothes, pet locust, belt pouch, thieves' tools. Rations primarily include smoked rats and a bag of various (mostly) dead insects.
Background and Personality
-------------------- Background: Urchin
Personality Trait: I like to squeeze into small places where no one else can get to me.
Ideal: Aspiration - I'm going to prove that I'm worthy of a better life.
Bond: I owe a debt I can never repay to the person who took pity on me.
Flaw: It's not stealing if I need it more than someone else
Arda's earliest memories are of struggling for survival on the streets of Calimport (or other setting appropriate city). Her early years are a blur of endless scavenging with each day a repeat of the last. All this changed when she was found by Bashir the Elder, Archdruid of Calimport. Mocked by many as a vagrant beggar, Bashir was actually a powerful druid and self-appointed protector of the city, especially the destitute masses living on the streets. Bashir initially taught her the basics of surviving - how to steal enough to not rise the ire of the merchants, which inns provided the best cast off scraps, and where to hide from city guards and those who would prey on the street urchins.
Soon, however, Bashir began to notice Arda mirroring him as he patrolled the city. In particular, her unnatural ability to move about the city in ways that often left him unable to find her impressed the ancient druid. Studying her closer, he realized that she was touched by the dao, and that perhaps even genie blood ran through her veins. Taking her as his apprentice, he began to teach her how to listen to the city as a living thing. Its health could be measured in the vitality of its vermin, as they were first to show signs of infection. The lowest merchants were its pulse, showing signs of oncoming hardship long before it strikes the nobility. Urchins like her were the nerves sensing all aspects of the city and only needing a central spirit to gather that information. Bashir had been that spirit, and now he trained Arda to be so as well. Arda learned quickly and became a devoted apprentice, carrying out his work throughout the city.
Just over a year ago, Bashir informed Arda that he had received a summons to assist former companions of his in the North. Arda could tell the threat was dire if Bashir was willing to leave the city he protected. Arda continued his work, but soon found she felt more concern for her mentor than for the city. Over the months, she found herself realizing that it was Bashir alone who has cared for her, and the city had left her to starve and die. As it came to the first anniversary of Bashir's departure with still no word from him, Arda turned her back on the only city she ever knew. After stealing a sword from a drunken guard, she left and traveled north to search for word of her mentor and learn of the world beyond Calimport's walls.
Despite her harsh childhood, Arda is quite kind to others and especially looks after the downtrodden, trying to help anyone she finds in need. She is always direct and honest - almost to a fault, but does so out of a simple purity in her demeanor. However, those who do get on her bad side face the cold spite of a person comfortable as an unrelenting swarm of crawling insects.
She does try to hide it, but Arda is constantly amazed by the wide world with sights far different from the city in a desert she grew up in, and the wide range of cultures and races is even more astonishing. In the back of her mind, she constantly wonders why she deserves to see all these wonders, and why is she so special to be able to travel as they do.
In addition to her directness, Arda has next to no knowledge of social grace, and understands most cultural norms through the model of a large colony. Social strata only make sense to her based on function within a community - not wealth or upbringing. Those in authority doing their jobs are accorded respect as portion of the community as a whole. But those who abuse or fail in their duties require swift removal from their positions of power. For Arda, it has nothing to do with greed or evilness. They are simply an infection harming the community ecology, and that ecology needs protecting.
Although she will hold a grudge uncomfortably long, those who have shown loyalty to her will be rewarded with her loyalty back towards them. This grows out of her simple outlook on life, and directness in thought. Those who cross her are enemies, those who ignore her aren't worth her time in return, and those who help her deserve her devotion. This is leading to a potential conflict as she fears having to decide between continuing on with her newfound companions or leaving to follow a lead on Bashir's whereabouts.
Wild Shape Forms:
Level 2: Crab, spider, giant centipede, giant crab, giant fire beetle, giant wolf spider, swarm of insects/beetles/centipedes/spiders