Dungeons and Animals
Female | Snowshoe Hare | Druid | Neutral Good
Solstice is a small, slender rabbit with large alert ears and bright green eyes. In the warmer months her fur is thinner and light tan in color, with white covering her chest and stomach, as well as her paws and feet. In colder months, she grows a thicker coat of fur that is almost entirely white, with black fur on just the tips of her ears.
She wears sturdy clothing that provides protection from the elements (and from any attacks that might come her way), and carries her wooden staff with her at all times. She also keeps a scimitar at her hip.
Solstice is a tough rabbit with the wit and determination to make it through any challenge she faces. What she lacks in size she makes up for in knowledge and cleverness, and she uses her skills to survive her harsh and frigid homeland, and to help those around her do the same. She takes it upon herself to tend to those she finds sick and wounded, and takes great pride in her medicinal and magical skill. In fact, her skill is a main point of pride with her, along with her intelligence and sense of morality, and to her these are about the only things worth taking pride in. She does not approve of taking pride in wealth or possessions, and lives quite simply as a result.
Though sweet and kind, Solstice is also quiet and reserved. When those traits are combined with what remains of the sense of Belfrost superiority she was brought up with, and the fact that she grew up in one town never having to meet new people, they can cause Solstice to seem aloof or even standoffish. For this reason she has a hard time interacting with others, and especially with making friends. It’s when someone is in need of her help, especially if they need her medical assistance, that her kindness is best able to shine through.
Solstice Brambleden was born in the small northern town of Belfrost to Aspen Bramble and Meadow Snowden. While most hares are born in the spring and summer months, Solstice’s three-bunny litter was born on the winter solstice, right in the middle of Belfrost’s most brutal season. Between the frigid cold and the low supply of food, she was the only one to survive long enough to be given a name. Her parents always swore it was her spirit and will that allowed her to survive, but she’s always been quick to shift praise to the care they gave her, the same care they gave every following litter of siblings.
Being the oldest of her siblings, Solstice took on the role of caretaker at a young age. She did everything she could for her family, preserving their survival through each year no matter how harsh of a winter they faced or how low their food supply became. Though her town provided no shortage of challenges for her, she loved where she grew up. She felt that the harshness of her surroundings made her strong, and that it strengthened the bonds she shared with those around her. She took in what the older villagers said about other towns, about places with warmer winters that proved less challenging to one’s survival, and she adopted the commonly held belief that living somewhere that affords a more comfortable lifestyle leads to weakness, greed, and frivolity, and that it weakens the bonds between family and neighbors.
Solstice grew up learning the ways of her small town, and as she entered adulthood proved to be a fine addition to her community. With the particular interest she had taken in herbal medicine, owing to having so many ailing siblings to care for over the years, she became known throughout Belfrost as a very competent medic. She was the sort of animal her town could be proud of, and she was proud of herself as well.
Not long after her nineteenth birthday, a visitor showed up in Belfrost. While visitors were unusual in her town, they were not unheard of, and never considered to be terribly noteworthy. To most of the townsfolk, this visitor was not considered noteworthy either, but after a simple question about where to find a place to stay for the night turned into a long conversation between the two, Solstice became fascinated with her. She was a grizzly bear named Greta, rugged from years of travelling, but not much older than Solstice herself. She said she had left her life as an adventurer to wander for a while and that she had been part of a guild, though she would not give the guild’s name or explain why she had left it. It seemed to be the one thing that she was tight-lipped about, as on any other subject she was extremely talkative. She had a wealth of information to share with Solstice on the world outside of Belfrost and the skills she had acquired as an adventurer. Seeing how Solstice worked with the natural world around her to provide for her family, Greta even agreed to share her knowledge as a druid, teaching Solstice the basics of spellcasting. Given that there were no magic users in Belfrost, Solstice was especially awed by Greta’s magical abilities.
Where she had once believed that there was nothing she needed from the outside world, Greta had shown her just how much she could learn from it. She was shocked by how little she really knew, when not so long ago she felt as if she had all the answers. She knew that the other townspeople didn’t think they needed help from “know-it-all strangers”, and in truth, maybe they didn’t. Maybe what they really needed was to learn from one of their own, someone who would take what the world had to offer and understand how to use it to make their lives better. Someone like her.
When Greta decided it was time for her to leave, Solstice begged her to let her go with her. Greta refused, saying that she needed to continue travelling alone for a while, but that she hoped their paths would cross again someday. Solstice reluctantly relented, and said a tearful goodbye to the new friend who had taught her so much, unsure if she would ever see her again.
After Greta left, Solstice found that she could not return to her life exactly as it was before she met the druid traveler. While she used to be perfectly content with her life, she now saw it as limited and with no room for growth or change, for her or for her town. Difficult a choice as it was, she eventually decided to set out on her own and travel like Greta was. Her parents worried for her and were sad to hear that their daughter wanted to leave, but they trusted Solstice and supported her in her decision. She left home with her cloak and a small pack of supplies, as well as a gift from each of her parents. She received a walking stick from her mother, sturdy and practical but with a bit of ornate flourish in the spiral at the top, and a necklace with a carved crescent moon pendant from her father. These were to remind her of them, they said, but also to ensure she would always remember who she was and where she came from.
Solstice realized soon after she left that the path she had chosen was going to be a difficult one, more difficult than she had really expected or prepared herself for. The first few weeks of acclimating to so much walking, sleeping outside, and foraging for the majority of her meals took their toll on both her body and her willpower. After travelling through two nearby towns and feeling like she wasn’t accomplishing anything besides exhausting herself, she was nearly ready to give up and go home. Had she not bumped into another traveller, a markhor who called himself “B”, she may have done just that. Her and B easily agreed to travel together after coming across each other on a road between towns, after all they were both going in the same direction and were both competent at fending for themselves. She did find B’s whole magic object quest or whatever he was doing exactly to be odd, but he was pleasant and nice to have as a travelling companion. She found that she could sleep better at night and spend her waking hours walking more easily with another animal by her side.
Solstice and B eventually came to a town where they found themselves working together with three other animals; Kijani, Fern, and Flamantha. Whether joining a party will aid Solstice in her quest for knowledge or set her horribly off course is yet to be seen, but from what the young rabbit has seen so far, she’s sure that the experience will at least be an interesting one.
B – While a bit odd, B has proven to be both a pleasant and helpful travelling companion. We work well together, and I’d like to think that I could even consider this magic-obsessed markhor a friend. I really admire his skill as an archer, but not as much as I admire his ability to keep the rest of our makeshift group relatively in check.
Kijani – Kijani seems like a nice enough animal, and I admire her strength and bravery, though I’ll admit I’m also worried that her bravery borders on self-destructive. In the brief time I’ve known her I’ve already lost track of how many times she’s been knocked unconscious, yet every time she comes to, dusts herself off, and runs right back into the fight. I still haven’t decided if that’s a mark of valor or foolishness.
Fern – Fern seems to march to the beat of her own drum, or, perhaps more accurately the tune of her own lute. While this makes being around her an… interesting experience at times, it also makes her rather endearing, as does the fact that she doesn’t seem to have a mean bone in her body.
Flamantha – I can’t say that I trust Flamantha, especially with that fishy name, but oddly enough I can’t exactly say that I distrust her either. I steer clear of most animals like her, animals that my dad would describe as “tricksters”, but something about this trickster suggests that there’s more to her than I can see on the surface. I’ll be curious to see if my suspicions are proven to be right.