Jump to content



Approved WK bio- Sha -- FL CC'd!

Guest Estel

Recommended Posts

Guest Estel

Character's name: Sha'halea Mercandes (is also called "Sha" or "Halea")




Division: Wolfkin


Age: 16


Place of birth: Tear


Physical description:  A little smaller then what is considered average height for a Tairen, Sha'halea is of fairly slender build. However, it is unlikely that she would be mistaken for a boy even if her long brown hair would be hidden. Her hips are too curved, and her shoulders to narrow for anyone to make that mistake. Not that her face leaves much doubt about her sex. Huge dark brown eyes dominate perfect, elegantly smooth features and there are not many young men that would not want to kiss her lush lips. But what Sha'halea likes most about herself is her slender, delicately arched neck. Sha'halea strives to keep her complexion as pale as possible, for the least amount of sun is enough to give her skin an olive tinge.






She is the very image of decadent Tairen nobility. Conceited and overtly proud, she is certain that her noble blood elevates her far above the rest. Sha'halea has never worked a single day in her life. She has been raised to manage the hidden daggers and pitfalls awaiting a woman of her position at court, but she is ill prepared to manage life should she get ever ripped out of her known world.




Sha'halea was still feeling tired. Holding the coach's curtains open she watched the walls of Caemlyn disappear. She was eager to get home to her native Tear, but she had enjoyed the months she had stayed in Andor and she doubted she would return here any time soon. The distance was just too great and the effort of travelling too high for a lady like her. Already now she was not able to make out individual persons on the town's walls, but she thought she saw someone wave from one of the towers. Was that the young lord she had danced with last night?




Her pleasant thoughts were interrupted by peasants lining the side of the road as they made way for her coach to pass. Andor was different to her native Tear in many ways, but one thing the countries seemed to have in common: peasants always seemed to be dirty, ugly creatures. Even from where she sat behind the closed glass window of her coach she thought she could smell their stench. And the garments they wore? Did they have no sense of beauty? They appeared to only know shades of grey and brown. Not one wore silk or brocade. Not one had golden rings or chains. Why would they prefer linen or coarse wool to finer garments? And just what did they do all day digging in the dirt as if it hid some treasure? Sha'halea's education was broad, but not once had her parents or tutors taken the time to show her the life of the poor. She did not even realise the word "poor" implied one lacked gold. To her it just meat they were not gifted with blood as fine as hers. And not once did it come to her mind that these people had no choice. Grimacing she pulled the curtains shut. She disliked sunlight. She disliked nature. She disliked smelly people like those waiting on the road outside. The wild seemed to affront her and on their way back to Tear they would have to cross many forests. If it was upon her, she would send out men to burn the woods. What did they need them for? It was not as if one could eat wood.




But there were further reasons for her to dread the wild. There were wolves in the wild, and while she did not fully comprehend the connection, she knew if she could hear wolves howl during the day or evening, her nights would be filled with horrid dreams. She would dream of wolves visiting her in her sleep and of these wild creatures trying to talk to her. She knew it was absurd, and she was so embarrassed about these dreams that she did not dare to mention them. But mostly she was scared. It appeared the wolves in her dreams sensed that, for they called her something like: The scared, big eyed pup with the soft, smooth fur.




The sunlight glowing through the dense fabric of the curtain was well muted, but when the coach bobbed on some hole in the road the curtains regularly swayed open and the blaze of the bright day filling the interior then was almost too much for her eyes. With her maid Asine the coach was a little crowded, but she would not miss the skilled fingers or the company of the woman, even if she annoyed her to no end in many occasions. Resting her head against the lush padding she closed her eyes. But she did not try to sleep. The ball in honour of her leaving Caemlyn had been grand and the night's events were still vivid in her mind.




There had to be as many gleaming candles as there were stars in the night, and mounted in gilded chandeliers they provided rich, warm light. Intricate tapestries and vases decorated the walls, while fine fabrics had been hung across the ceilings to create a more intimate atmosphere. Of course the queen and the princess of Andor had not come even though they had been invited. It seemed they did not deem her that important, but Sha'halea did feel irritated about their ignorance. She was not in direct ascendance to one of the houses ruling Tear, but her family were important names and had been part of the council in the past. They had connections to many minor houses and great wealth at their disposal.




"If you ask me, that woman on the lion throne is far too conceited." Her maid had been dozing, but that made her sit upright. "She is the queen after all, Lady Sha'halea. I am sure she had to attend to important matters. Otherwise she would have come. Did your great-grandmother not mention that there were some affairs of state she had to attend to?" Closing her eyes again, Sha'halea suppressed a sigh. It was pointless to argue with Asine. She had been her mother's lady's maid before her, and if anything, her mother would support Asine in her favour, rather then the other way round. One day she would slip poison in the woman's wine. Something that would kill slowly and painfully. Frowning Sha decided she would probably hand the woman the antidote the last moment. She needed Asine to get dressed. And occasionally the older woman had a point in what she said.




"So, milady, how did you like your time in Andor? Was there anything that surprised you?"


"It was a surprise to see Lady Iradelle. I had not thought my great-grandmother was that old." Her maid did not care to suppress the amused laughter pearling over her lips. Only when the curtains opened again and she could catch the expression her mistress bore on her slender face did the mirth cease. "I am sorry, milady. I forgot that you have never met your grandmother. But how did you think she would look? She has lived for more then eight decades. I think only Aes Sedai get older then that." Iradelle had been the reason for her visiting Andor. Iradelle's daughter Camea, her grandmother had been marred to a Tairen Lord, but unfortunately died in childbed after giving life to her mother. It had taken Sha'halea a long time to understand that her great-grandmother and grandmother were of pure Andoran blood and that she carried the best of two nations in her veins. 




But there was something else she could not quite understand. Once she was back home she would have to question her mother about it. Lady Iradelle had implied she and her mother did no longer get on well. It appeared, some years back, on her mother's last visit to Andor something had happened. Iradelle seemed to think that had tarnished her too, although Sha'halea failed to see how one of her mother's shortcomings would reflect on her. But far more irritated her that the old woman would not tell her what it was, acting as if she was just a child that could not understand adult matters. And that really had infuriated Sha'halea. She was sixteen years old now. She was growing into a beautiful young woman. But that woman acted as if she still wore nappies! Sha pushed those irritating thoughts aside. She would question her mother about it when she was back home, and she would get answers! 




"Wasn't last night wonderful?" her maid suddenly signed. "Your dress was so lovely. I heard some of the guest ask if you were a Tairen princess." Those words wiped the frown from her slender, perfect face. Her ball gown had been fashioned of rich, deep green silk. The bodice was tailored tight enough to nearly suit a Domani, but had a neckline just high enough to not shock her Andoran hosts overtly, and besides, an ocean of lace prevented to much skin to show. A few years back her dresses might have featured bows and ribbons, but now she preferred lace and embroidery. Both had been made of black thread to contrast slightly on the green silk. It had been a delight. In Andor she still had been one of those dressing most daring. It had been fun to watch the eyes of the male nobility grow wide in excitement upon her entering the ball room. At the same time, a number of girls had been clearly envious and some women in dresses with tightly closed neck had gone as far as to whisper behind their delicate hands, the shocked expression in their eyes and the barely hidden stares making it clear she was the source of their irritation.  That had amused her even more then the men's greedy stares.




In any event, the night had been a great pleasure. Starting with formal, slow dances, the musicians had increased the pace of the peaces as soon as the older men and women had left and she had danced her feet sore and until she was out of breath and dizzy. She was smaller then most Andorans and wearing heels only did so much to compensate her lack of altitude, but that had not stopped them wanting to dance with her.




She was just remembering a slow dance with a tall, broad shouldered Andoran that was hardly two or three years older then her but had calluses on his hands like a seasoned warrior and scars in his face to prove it. She was certain that young man had been determined to kiss her and it had only been her maids watching eyes that had held him back. She was just remembering the words he had whispered into her ears, some nearly had made her blush,  when something else popped into Sha'halea's mind.


"How come Lady Iradelle knows you?"


It appeared her maid had been dozing off again. But the answer came quickly. "I was with your mother when she visited Caemlyn last."


"I though mum was already married when she came here."


Asine straightened and smoothed her skirts, as if she anticipated this would take longer to explain. "She was married already then. It was before you were born. I was still with her though as her maid. Your older brother was still a baby and since your father could not leave Tear that long, I was chosen to accompany her."


Sha'halea nodded, but that answer brought the next question. "So, if you were with my mother, you must know what Lady Iradelle was talking about."


Her maid had many qualities, but she wasn't a good liar. Even though in the currently gloom she could not make out her face - for once the road seemed to be even - she could hear in her voice that she was lying: "I am not sure what you mean, Milady." A viperous smile played on Sha's lips. "Lady Iradelle was standing right next to you when she said something about my mother being such a disappointment and that she hoped I would not deepen the ill repute of that branch of our family. She seemed to think just my presence had been like a sore tooth one could not pull, remember? Even this morning she implied she had been delighted by my visit, but would not mind if she would not see me again. Why?"


There was only the sound of a skirt being smoothed. Her maid remained silent. "Did you loose your voice?" She requested, her voice as cold as it could be.




"So, tell me, what was she referring to?"


Again there was a moment of silence. Slowly Sha'halea was growing worried. First she had taken it for some matter of lacking obedience. But for her maid to act this troubled was out of character for the woman. Just what had her mother done? "Milady, I strongly believe your mother should tell you herself, if she deems the time is right."


That had been the wrong thing to say. "If she deems the time is right?" she hissed. "I am sixteen! Mother was already married at that age. You know I am no longer a girl. I am a young woman! So tell me what it is, or..." Grinding her teeth she realised she had no threat suitable at her disposal.


"Sha'halea..." her maid whispered. "... I fear there are things I can not and should not comment on. There surely is a reason why your mother has not told you yet. And it is upon her to say it."




She had not realised, but her little hands had clenched into fists. Had she been a boy she would have forced the truth out of the woman. But as matters were, she had to resume the possibilities she had at her disposal. "It will take us three months to reach home. You realise I will not give you one free moment until we get there?" Again the woman sighed. "I do realise."


"So just tell me."




"I feel you lack the right attitude. Soon I will be adult and I will have you punished for being so horrid."


"And I think you are too spoiled for your own good, milady. If you were as mature as you think you are you would not try to force me to undisclose something I have sworn to keep a secret."


The anger growing in her belly fled at hearing the oath. "If you had to swear, it has to be a serious transgression. What did she do? Kill someone?"


"Oh, by the light, no!"


"Did she lie? To an Aes Sedai?"


"Mylady, please..."


"Did she insult the queen?"


"No, she did not! Stop asking. I told you I will not answer!"


But that did not stop the flood of questions. Halea was like a bloodhound that had picked up a peculiar scent.


"Has she kissed someone?"


"Of course not."


The question had been so absurd that Sha'halea had been inclined to go on, but then something in the tone of her maid made her hesitate. There had been a rasping undertone as if she had hit a sore spot.


"Has she kissed someone?" She repeated the question.




"No!" She brought her long fingers before her mouth to cover it in amazement. Her mother had always been too modest, even for a Tairen. She had always been known as one of the shyest women at court. And she had been utterly devoted to her father. She could not imagine that her mother could even look at another man.


"I did not say she has!" her maid protested, but had there been any doubt, it vanished hearing the clear ring of a lie in the other's words.


"What happened?"




"Did my mother and that Andoran just kiss, or did they do more?"

It seemed her maid still tried to lie her way out. "I can not believe you really think so little about your dear mother. I will tell her about this and I can promise you that she will have means to bring you to reason!"


Only then the full impact, full meaning of this hit her. 


"Oh by the light! You mean my mother had an affair while she was married? Does my father know about it?"


"No!" Her maid exclaimed. "I don't want to know what he would do, would he know about it. He is a jealous man and..."


As the curtains shifted a pleased and victorious smile because obvious on her smooth features. Only then her maid realised what she had said. Part of her felt sorry for her maid. But the desire to hear all of it was stronger. "Asine? Why don't you just tell me about it?"


"You little brat..." the woman began, but then her spirits seemed to leave her. "One day the weave will punish you for being naughty and for not showing respect."


Sha'halea preferred to believe that one day the weave would punish her maid for the very same reasons, but right now she was too nervous and exited.


"Tell me all. In detail."


"Huh... where should I start?"


"Was he handsome? Was he strong? What did he offer that my father lacked?"


Even in the gloom she could tell that the other woman grimaced.


"I don't really know. I would not call him pretty. He was what some might call a real man. I don't think he was very well educated and his manners were also not the best."


Sha was inclined to believe her maid was lying again, but her heart was telling her she had told the truth. Still, it made no sense. What woman would want a man like that?


"Oh well... so, did they just kiss?"



"Don't tell me they..."


She did not end the question. She was still young. She had been the subject of a few shy kisses exchanged in the dark when the woman opposite her had been not watching for once. But that was as far as her share of tenderness had gone so far and she knew no more about the subject then what she had been told by other women, friends, that were already married. Strange tales in her opinion, and she thought half was made up. So while her juvenile mind was still wondering on which relatively innocent delights her mother might have indulged in, she suddenly had a gloomy vision.


"Say, they haven't... surely they haven't been rutting like dog?"


"Milady! How come you know such words? I will wash you mouth with soap tonight!" Her maids shock was not acted, and yet there was the ring of truth in her voice.


"But they have, haven't they?" She realised she was silently crying, so big was the shock. It was as if part of her world was collapsing. Compared to other nobles her family had appeared to be perfect.


"Sha'halea... milady... I am sorry."


"But how? Where were you? Why did you not watch her like you are watching me now?"

As the curtains flapped she could see the other woman was crying too.


"I was ill. I could not leave the bed for a week."


Sha'halea hit hear had roughly an the side of the coach as it hit a particularly deep hole in the road. Just then something else occurred to her. "When was that exactly? When did my mother betray my father?"

"Please, milady, let us not talk about this any further."


Her tears subsided. Her voice was ice cold now, and strangely mature for once.


"No, I want to know. When? When exactly?"


"Milady, please, I don't think you should continue with these questions."


"Answer me."


"It was one year and two months after your brother being born."


"And how long did this... relationship last?"


The other woman was by now hiding her face. But she would not stop now. She wanted to know it all.


"Just a single night. Just one night."


Quickly she counted backwards, subtracted her age and added nine months. Blinking she sat there silently for a long moment. She felt like she had been pushed off a cliff and was prepared to hit the rocks at the bottom, but for some reason she was still floating.


"It doesn't add up." She mumbled in wonder. "If what you say is true, my mother was already pregnant with me, when she had this affair." Relieve washed over her, but as her maid did not say a thing, that sensation faded again.


"Woman, speak up! Why are you silent?"


The other's sobbing became louder. "Milady... you are not as old as you think. You were born three months later... truth to be told, you will only turn sixteen in three days."


Her mind did crash then. Her body slumped back into the padded seat of the coach. Her life had been a lie. Her father was not her father. She was not even born on the day she had thought was her birthday.




"Why?" she asked weakly.


"So that your... father... would not suspect anything. When it became clear your mother had gone with child from this man, your great-grandmother decided to send a message to Tear telling your father that his wife was pregnant, probably from the love-making of their last night together and that in her condition it was better for her to stay in Caemlyn until the child was born. Then, three months before you were born another message was sent to advise you were a weak newborn and that a few months should be taken to nurture you to strength. That way he never wondered why you were small for your age and he never suspected."


Slowly she nodded. She felt sick.


"Tell me about my real father."


Sha'halea felt numb. She hardly noticed that her maid was still very hesitant to explain this further.


"I know very little about him. I was too ill to see much. He was Ebou Dari by the looks of him and not the type I would like to meet at nights in a lone alley."


"Was he of royal blood? A prince or some such?"


"That one? Never! He had as much noble blood in his veins as a goat."


For a moment her mind pondered those words. Then she shot back upright.


"Are you saying my father was a dirty common born? Are you saying my mother shared her bed with..." She couldn't talk on. She was shuddering with disgust. And her maid confirming her worst worries did not ease the sensation of utter abhorrence. She could have suffered through the knowledge she was a bastard. She could come to accept her claimed birthday was not her real birthday. But that her blood was not as pure and clean as she had been taught to believe, was an insult she could not live with. Before she knew it she had slapped her maid once, and then a second time.


"You lie! Stop lying!"


Retreating into the furthest corner of the coach away from the woman she sobbed until no more tear would come. Every now and then a "Stop lying." Would leave her lips. Evening was falling outside by the time she had herself back under control. Silently she stared at her maid even though she could only make out the other's rough shape in the dark. In her mind a plan had formed. Tonight she would pack her things. She would take two horses and as much of the gold they had with them as she could gather. And then she would leave. She would go to find her father, her real father, and she would find out who he really was.




Sha'halea was certain: He was an Altaran prince that had fallen on rough times. She could see him mounted on a proud white stallion as he lead the charge on an army of whitecloaks that intended to reduce Ebou Dar to another town where they could do as they wished. In her mind, he had been betrayed, and no matter how bravely he fought, his army finally disintegrated and his only choice was to flee and hide undercover to not draw the attention of whitecloak questioners. "Yes." She mumbled silent. "That is the truth." Tonight, she would set out to find her father, and once she had and once she knew the truth, she would return with him to Ebou Dar and reside there in the palace. Once she was officially a proper princess, she might even visit her mother and ask her to explain herself.




The broad grin on her face vanished as she heard the wolves howl outside.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...
  • Create New...