Clad in furs and leather, a pale Elven druid crouches among the stones of the mountain. Her pale skin and white hair blend with the bone of the elk skull she wears as a helm.
Jane spent her early life in the Elven sanctuary of Kyonin. Her family, and a few others, resided in a hidden village comprised mainly of Druids at the base of the Five Kings Mountains near the southern border of the Fierani Forest. It was here she began her Druid training for the day when she might someday strike out on her own and become nature’s protector in a land that needed her.
She enjoyed a happy early youth and eagerly soaked up the combined knowledge of her mother and father during their rambles through wood and mountain. It was during one such lesson that she learned of her grandfather, her mother’s father, the old Druid Silvermane, guardian of the Hopespring in the far-away city of Trunau, who had been there since before the city was founded. They could not tell her much, only that they had assumed him dead in the face of an unstoppable Orc horde, but that soon they would journey to Trunau when Jane was deemed old enough for the way was hard. They hoped he would nurture and guide the power they saw in their daughter and reunite with their family.
It was on this journey over the Five Kings Mountains Janekfan became separated from her family. A storm rose up, a hard wall of white and whirling snow and cutting wind that both blinded and deafened the travelers. They passed a time huddled together in the lee of some larger stones, tied together with course hemp rope, but the elements became so strong, it was so cold and fierce, they had no choice but to attempt to strike out for better protection. They knew that what would become of them depended on the mercy of the mountain.
The inevitable happened, her father, leading the way over a ridge was blown over by the gusting surge. His weight, tied to them as it was, hurtled them down the cliffs and would have sent them all over the edge of a deep chasm had Janekfan’s body not collided with a jutting stone. She wrapped herself around it, the combined burden of her parents threatening to break her in half. Her last memory of her parents was the hopeful look in her mother’s eyes as she dangled above her unconscious father and cut the rope that sent them plunging into darkness.
Janekfan lay there, pained with grief and crushing injury. She asked, begged the mountain for answers, but received only the moan of the storm in reply. Gradually, she became aware of a presence, looming and tall behind her, and turned her face into the snow. At first there was only white, she was half a step from snow-blind already, but gradually the furred bulk of a Yeti coalesced.
Prone, frozen by unaccustomed fear and cold, Janekfan looked up into the fierce eyes of the beast. She tried hard to swallow her dread, to make her peace and face death with strength in her heart but the terror that gripped her solidly in its icy claws gave her no quarter. She fell unconscious, overcome.
Jane does not remember much from those first early days in the Yeti’s cave, only the press of other small, furry creatures against her own body and the pain from the fall. She remembers a guttural language, more gestures and pounding on stones than real words, but she became able to decipher some meaning after a time. When she was able to wake without pain Jane saw there were others, it was some kind of family unit complete with children and they did not seem interested in killing her and eating her as she had first assumed. Days passed, the blizzard, a freak occurrence this late in the season, raged unchecked for weeks. The cave was full of the feeling of worry.
When peace did descend over the mountain Jane stepped out into a foreign world blanketed in soft, glistening white and silence. She thought of her parents, tucked in under the calm, and swallowed past the sorrow in her throat. Behind her the Yeti, now known to her as a female, followed into brisk air shimmering with tiny crystals and handed Jane her pack. She gestured for Jane to follow and the pair set out through the drifts. Jane, still not yet fully grown, struggled through snowfall as high as her chest. The Yeti, not unkindly, swept her into strong arms and set off over the surface, buoyed by her large feet. Lulled to sleep by the warmth and rhythm, Jane drifted into dream.
When at last she woke it was to utter stillness. Her companion, noting Jane’s wakefulness, set her on her feet. Jane followed the Yeti’s gaze to an ornate door set into the very stone of the mountain. Squaring her shoulders, she prepared herself to walk into another unknown. She knew not who or what waited beyond the door but the message was clear. “This is where you must go.” Jane bid her savior farewell, first with a bow, and then with an almost desperate embrace. Jane would remember that in times of darkness and death, there would always be the opportunity for hope and life.
After obtaining entry into Highhelm Jane’s future became less clear. Even among such isolationists as the Dwarves, she would not be cast out due to her youth and inexperience. Their leaders listened carefully to her tale and at great length discussed what should be done. Would an Elf ever be able to live in the underground as a Dwarf? What kind of life could she hope to have? Were these two races yet too different? A request was placed for a family. Who would house this Elf until she came of age?
Here, under the same mountain that took her family, Jane found her second.
Jane and her Dwarven Brother Draken became fast friends, nigh inseparable. It was together they set off towards Trunua, dreams of vanquishing Orc hordes held in their hearts.