This is my entry for the Character Tournament.
20 years old
Although she's spent most of her life traveling back and forth across trade routes, Besa is a devout patriot of Mabetha. She is eager to see other lands, make contact with other cultures, but has never once doubted the certainty that Mabetha is in most ways superior to other kingdoms.
Besa is very good at making friends on the road, instigating games and wild escapades before she's inevitably called back by her father to keep moving on. It's important for her to be as reckless as possible with people so that she'll make a lasting impression on their minds, so that they'll remember her next she sees them.
It isn't until she gets pregnant that Besa immediately calms down, grounded by her son's presence. Although she has a general air of confidence about her, believing herself to be capable in many ways, and sometimes often forgetting that she is in fact mortal, Besa feels rather unworthy, like she's really not meant for much, but believes that her son is meant for greatness and is eager to devote her life to his happiness.
Besa is no great reader, largely illiterate, except when it comes to maps. She was taught by her father how to read signs on the road, and how to set up a safe camp in the wilderness. Sometimes Besa wishes she could read a book, she's heard firsthand accounts from travelers about beautiful, looming libraries, but she is content to simply settle around the fire and listen to stories. Sometimes she thinks about sharing some of her own, but she feels she has nothing worthy to tell.
Her greatest pleasure lies in dance. That is when all self doubt and unworthiness completely flees her body. The effect lingers for a few hours after she's ended the hypnotic movements, but always eventually fades until the next dance.
Her best friend Elsian lives on a farm, and Besa enjoys visiting her there, helping milk cows and herd sheep, raise up the scarecrows, and mount the horses, grinning and laughing as they raced one another, Elsian always winning.
Besa has long dark curls she mostly keeps tied in a braid reaching down to her waist. She has soft chocolate eyes that brighten with happiness and flash in anger. Her face is very expressive, unable not to reveal her emotions on public display. Due to living most of her life on the road with her merchant father, her skin is usually a light bronze from all the sun she soaks up, resting atop the merchant's caravan. When she was younger, her body was rather lean and athletic, due to her climbing trees whenever she had the chance, and racing kids down the road near every town she and her father passed through. After the birth of her son, Besa's body filled out a little more. She's stronger and faster than she looks, muscles hidden beneath the curvaceous flesh.
Besa wears a simple tan colored tunic dress with a belt circling her hips. Strapped to her belt is a small dagger, a small pouch of medical herbs, a smaller pouch of coins, and her son's favorite toy horse which serves as her good luck charm. She wears practical shoes for hiking and travel, and a large, dark hooded cloak that blends in with the night. She has a bag full of fancier clothes for just in case; a dress, expensive shawl, jewelry, and heels.
Lord Adalsa: Biological father, Dolmar royalty
Sarase: Mother, former servant-mistress of Lord Adalsa, Dolmar native, currently manages her husband's Inn & Pub in Mabetha.
The Merchant: Adoptive father, wealthy merchant, owns Inn & Pub, Mabetha native
Belastar: Three year old son, fatally ill
The Dolmar Soldier: Belastar's biological father
Elsian: Best friend, farmer's daughter
Blanket: Black stallion with white rectangular patch on his back, borrowed from Elsian's family
Besa was born out of wedlock to Lord Adalsa, a Dolmar royal, and one of his servants. Promising to provide for them, Lord Adalsa married his servant-mistress off to a respectable merchant passing through the land. Besa grew up on the road, traveling with her father back and forth across all trade routes, while her mother, Sarase, took care of the inn the merchant owned back in Mabetha. Besa never knew of her true parentage, believing the merchant to be her biological father, and he never saw the need to tell her the truth, genuinely loving her in his own gruff, passive way.
A few days after Besa turned seventeen, she and the merchant began to head back home to Mabetha, when they stopped to rest in a Dolmar town. Seduced by a Dolmar soldier, Besa followed him into the woods and went missing for two days. When she finally reappeared, the frantic merchant demanded to know what had happened but Besa refused to talk about it. She had no physical scars, so the merchant packed up their caravan and they continued onto Mabetha.
Nine months later, Besa gave birth to a son, and the merchant disowned her, declaring he'd never allow Besa back into his sight until she had found herself a husband. Besa went to live with a girlfriend's family, but when the merchant took to the road again, her mother called her back to the inn. Whenever the merchant was due back, Besa would be sent away and then called back by Sarase when it was safe.
In the same year that the Mabetha royal children fell violently ill, so did Besa's son, Belastar. Although the merchant had come back, a desperate Besa went to the inn and saw her father for the first time in two years. She begged him to use his influence and get the best healers in the land to care for Belastar. The merchant agreed, but all the healers who came to the inn came to the same determination; Belastar didn't have long to live and there was no successful treatment they could give him.
For a few weeks, Besa mourned the impending death of her son, until she heard King Larsald of Mabetha's reward for the retrieval of the Chalice of Novorti. When she learned that the Chalice of Novorti could prevent physical harm, Besa realized this might be her only chance for Belastar to live. Although she was a proud patriot of Mabetha, her home, and would never want to commit treason against the king, she figured it would not be a betrayal of the royal family if she retrieved the chalice and just borrowed it for a little bit, until she was certain her son would be cured, and then hand the chalice over to the king. Besa doesn't know that the chalice only works until the next moonless night.
On Belastar's third birthday, Besa kissed him goodbye, left him with her mother, and set off on her own to find the chalice.