About Mera Wist-Thrune
Mera is in the flower of her youth. She has the black hair, black eyes and light skin common to Chelaxians, combined with the carefully cultivated beauty of a daughter of a lesser house. While she is comfortable enough wearing normal clothes, she tends to default to wearing her entertainer's outfit; a dress befitting an aspiring Chelish diva of the opera. This is part habit, and part cold calculation. Mera knows she looks stunning in the dress, and she will use any advantage she can get.
In Cheliax, the House of Thrune rules. It is a mighty house, a dark house, an evil house of many scions, and it was such even before the death of Aroden. The Wist-Thrunes are probably an unavoidable result of having so many noble youngsters running around at the same time. To put it kindly, the first Wist-Thrune was born on the wrong side of the sheets.
Since the founding of this lesser 'House', the Wist-Thrunes have been struggling to get in good with their mightier cousins. The occasional intermarriage has occurred, but mostly the Wist-Thrunes have lent their full support to whatever the House of Thrune was doing, hoping to benefit from their cousins' largesse afterwards. By and large, the family has prospered; they have never been recognized as a major noble house, but they have grown wealthy from business contracts handed down to them as a reward for their loyalty, and they have gained a modest claim to fame by becoming sponsors of the arts, especially the Opera.
Mera Wist-Thrune is the fifth daughter born to her parents; she is the youngest and last child, having four older sisters and five brothers. After all of that, her mother had a quiet word with her father, and they agreed to have no more offspring. Mera is not from a prominent branch of the Wist-Thrunes, but she distinguished herself in early childhood with her talent for singing and her keen interest in her studies. Her parents set her up with the best teachers they could afford, and were delighted to see her singing talent improve year after year. As elder Wist-Thrunes took note, the quality of Mera's teachers improved and so did her singing, until she was formally apprenticed to the Opera at the tender age of fourteen. The Wist-Thrunes were expecting great things from her, and congratulated themselves on producing another fine little gem to shine in their crown. They were mistaken, however.
Mera had always enjoyed the luxuries afforded to her as a member of her House. Being able to grow up in a palace, wearing beautiful clothes and having all the fine food and drink she needed was nice. Having access to such fine education was even better! She genuinely likes to sing, and was flattered and thrilled by all the attention she received for this talent. While she did not care too much for the hard discipline required of her as she grew older and her teachers grew more and more famous, she kept up her training to win her family's approval and to bring a bit more honour and glory to their noble name.
Mera enjoyed the other aspects of her education - swordsmanship, magic, and studies of various subjects - a great deal as well, and wished sometimes that she might be allowed to focus on other subjects as strongly as her parents were pushing her to do with her music. Still, she persevered, using her free time to learn about such wonderful, distant places as the Mwangi Expanse, the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, Tien Xia and others. Perhaps someday, she would be allowed to travel and sing in one of those far-flung locales for the glory of her house!
The day Mera was first sent from home to apprentice at the Opera was both thrilling and saddening. She had been a pampered little princess in some ways, a child playing games and studying, and she keenly felt the separation from her family and her old life. Still, she persevered, excited by the prospect of the wider world opening up before her. At first, life at the Opera was a new, grand adventure. Mera learned the art of stealth so she could spy and listen in on the lives of the other performers; she made friends and enemies, and enjoyed the social whirl of her new life.
Then she had her first role in a major performance, one attended by some members of the House of Thrune, and her new world came crashing down around her feet. The Wist-Thrunes are a minor House, completely loyal to the House of Thrune. Mera had never seen a devil before; there was no need for her family to be intimidated by her cousins. Any 'special' visitors that were sent as envoys took on pleasing guises, and all were kept away from the house's children to prevent "misunderstandings" from occurring.
When Mera saw the unearthly creatures sitting in the Opera house's boxes as honored guests, some of them mingling with her distant Thrune cousins, she was afraid she might vomit with fear and loathing. It was a minor miracle that she managed to sing as well as she did. After the performance and the encore, Mera hid in the deepest, darkest corner of the Opera House that she could find and curled up into a ball, shivering in a blind panic until dawn came.
Mera resolved to grow stronger. She was a representative of her family, after all; she must bring honor to the family name and make her relatives proud of her. She trained hard, and trained herself not to pay attention to the leering visages and glowing eyes in the boxes during performances. Her teachers were well-pleased with her progress and she was given progressively more prestigious roles.
Then the letter came for her, the letter whose envelope was sealed with the seal of the thrice-cursed house of Thrune. A lesser scion of that house, one Tertius Thrune, had seen her perform, had heard her perform. He honored her by addressing her as 'cousin' and was inviting her for a private party at his mansion! It should have been Mera's finest moment.
It really should have been.
When Mera arrived at Tertius' manor-house, she was introduced to some of the finest, richest people of Cheliax -- and to Tertius' good friend, Seoghal, a famous composer and tutor in the musical arts. From the moment the man kissed her fingertips, Mera knew Seoghal for what he was, deeply tainted somehow by the evil that the House of Thrune had embraced. When Tertius 'kindly' offered to have Seoghal teach her, in order to refine her voice and increase her chances of success, Mera's blood ran cold; she could see things in Seoghal's eyes, unspeakable things... For her family's sake, however, she dared not refuse. The party passed in a haze of growing fear and the need for pretense; a fake smile, pleasant words murmured in response to compliments and questions.
Mera returned to the Opera House, but things just weren't the same. Seoghal really did come to tutor her, and while Mera's superiors in the Opera House were all aflutter with joy, she dreaded each meeting with the tainted man. He was forever touching her; her hands, her face, and her waist. Quick, fleeting touches that put her in mind of a man acclimatizing a horse to his physical presence before breaking it to the saddle and bridle.His smiles and glances left no question in her mind as to what Seoghal's feelings for her were. He was forever inviting her to this or those functions; services in the church of dread Asmodeus, private dinners, fox hunting... It was increasingly difficult to put him off without insulting him outright. Then came the final blow; Seoghal slyly informed her that he had gotten wind of a wonderful business opportunity, one which could make some lucky minor noble house wealthy enough to rise to the middle nobility, and he was quite willing to share his knowledge with the family of...
…his future bride.
Quite a few possibilities here, leaving this up to the GM. The ones that are obvious are ones in the operatic scene, Tertius, Seoghal, various minor house members she would have acquaintances with all the way up to people she may have performed for in House Thrune itself.
Her current motivation is to find a way to get away from Seoghal. Disgusted and appalled by the thought of becoming his wife, she is looking for any way out of her current predicament. She is considering leaving town and running away, but she is having a hard time thinking of giving up the good life that she has been living up until now. Having finally reached the breaking point, she is ready to jump at the first opportunity that comes her way that looks like it will save her future.
Divine Favor (Anvengen's edge): 2/3 remaining
Bardic Performance: 13/17 remaining
Loremaster - 1/1 remaining
Spells - 2nd: 3/3 remaining
Spells - 1st: 5/6 remaining [Ear-Piercing Scream]