|Class||4 Rogue / 10 Cleric|
was the leader of the Onrarch Landing Halflings, as well as the Main Cleric of the church there. She died of a combination of filth fever and slimy doom acquired from plague clouds during the Odessan invasion of Wydmoor. She died on ?? Verdant, 1401.
From email to Wydmoor group.
On Bethanalay and her History
Over your many nights convalescence with Bethanalay, before the fateful second expedition to the tomb, you sup with Bethanalay, herself strained to exhaustion dealing with the refugees. Watching her in action the day after she healed the mummy rotters, you begin to realize what a great sacrifice was made on your behalf, (6-8 of her highest level spells in a single day) as every day she rides around the camp with the dog rider Maggr and expends the whole of her magical abilities dealing with hunger and sickness among the refugee population, though the aid of her and her associates never comes close to meeting the needs of the camp.
On the subsequent days of your convalescence, you learn more about the Lady of the Landing.
It comes as some surprise, but despite being the nominal leader of a riverboat landing, Bethanalay is actually born to a road halfling tribe that rode a wide circuit between Odessa, Alexia, Wydmoor, and Ubrekt. She spent her first two decades living a very unexceptional life, until the Hearthwarming of 1331 when she met Maggr, a flamboyant and charming dog rider from a rival tribe. A love quickly blossomed, and by the end of the Hearthwarming Bethanalay was pregnant, ostrisized by her tribe, and married to Maggr. (In that order) She joined his tribe, which was much smaller than her own. The rumormongering and insularity of the community grated on her nerves, and when her child was stillborn, the women of the tribe began to supersticiously shun her outright. It did not take long for the couple's life to become unbearable, and within two summers time they had left the tribe for a life of travel and adventure.
She speaks fondly of that time, fifteen years worth, that seemed to pass in a season. Maggr, master of the dog and lance. Bethanaly, who no trap or ambush could touch. Two more children stillborn, but by and large the times were happy. Even now, almost sixty years later, she cannot hide her emotions as she describes their final hours together. How Maggr and Haldrot (his dog) were struck down Battle Herding a pair of trolls allowing for the escape of Bethanalay and her unborn child. (Later also stillborn, naturally.)
Miserable and feeling herself cursed, Bethanalay gave up the lifestyle of the road and dedicated herself to Alexandria's service. She admits that desperation and depression led her to the decision far more than piety or compassion, but does not seem bitter or resentful about the events that set her on her life of service, though she clearly recalls them with sadness. She sold her belongings, and added to the small fortune the pair had made adventuring, was able to attend University Wtherias in Alexia. It was difficult adapting from a life of adventure to a life of study, but her mind had always been sharp and she was a quick learner.
At 44, most halflings would be settling down for their Long Autumn, but Bethanalay was entering into a life among the bottom rung of the Church hierarchy, serving mostly with peers twenty or more years her junior. It was difficult and often galling, and she continually found herself in conflicts with her fellow clergy, leading to many long years of half of transfers and bottom tier assignments. Until, finally she came to Onararch Landing, as Fourth Cleric for Mother Clearwyd, the former Main Cleric of the Onararch tribe. She'd visited the town in her youth, of course, but was essentially a stranger in a strange land, despite being surrounded by halflings. For, after all, these were boat halflings, unacquainted with the ways of the road or life on dogback. Strange customs, odd idioms, bizarre rituals all lead to a great deal of culture shock. Despite, or perhaps because of, that sense of alienation, she did not find herself in the conflicts that up until then haunted her career. She managed, in fact, to go a good five or six years without stirring up any trouble.
Then the Grenwindle, Bethanalay's tribe, returned to the Landing. She made a point of laying low, but for Bethanalay lightning struck twice. Despite her best efforts, she met and fell in love with Framm, a Grenwindle dog rider twenty years her junior. When news of the affair reached the Grenwindle elders, memories of Bethanalay's destructive affair decades ago was rekindled and the fallout was severe. Angry words exchanged, fists thrown. She does not go into great detail about the disturbances, but points out that they were widespread enough to warrant Bog Wrath peacekeeping and intervention. Finally, Mother Clearwyd expelled the entire of the Grenwindle tribe, and forced the reassignment of the second and third clerics of Onararch who dissented with her actions and siding against Bethanalay.
As peace returned to the landing, Bethanalay and Framm were wed. This is how, incidentally, dog riding came to be common among the boat halflings of the Onararch. Bethanalay, the new second cleric of Onararch, worked tirelessly, as replacements for the relocated clerics did not arrive for some time. Bethanalay recalls with good humor that Mother Clearwyd made every effort not to increase her own workload, choosing intending the extra labor as a bit of punishment and moral education for Bethanalay. As her story continues, it's clear why Bethanalay can recall her mentor with such fondness. When Bethanalay, against all odds and reason, became pregnant, the aged Mother forbade Beth from all but the most simple of chores, and leaning heavily on the church to send replacements. Indeed, to this day, Bethanalay is not entirely sure that Mother Clearwyd ever *actually* called for replacements the first time - third and forth clerics appeared in the landing within a fortnight of the announcement of her pregnancy. (She was 66, Framm was 48)
When her son was born, alive and healthy, she named him Maggr. [Whom you've met already, it turns out!] The small family lived simply but happily for many years. Over that time, incursions from the hobgoblins of Jonvranth Canyon had increased in number across the region, until twenty years ago, when there was an all out assault on the landing. Framm, who was by that time the leader of the Onararch defenses, and Clearwyd were both killed in the effort, though they were ultimately successful in driving off the attack. It was in that tragic manner that Bethanalay became the spiritual and political leader of the Onararch halflings.
Since that time, the landing and the region generally have prospered, though she feels the full effect of the most recent troubles have yet to be felt fully.
On Life at the Landing
Life at the landing is currently very difficult. Sanitation is poor to non-existant, and the population has swelled ten- or twenty-fold with the influx of refugees, who live in a huge tent city sprawling out from the north and west of the camp. Deaths from hunger, exposure, and disease are now daily occurances, despite the best efforts of Bethanalay and her clerics, as little to no help has been forthcoming from Wydmoor City. The greater part of the landing-proper is locked in several feet of ice, as the deepening winter has frozen the flooded areas of the river. The few permenant structures of the landing are all but inaccessable from the first floor.
On The Away Team's Return From the Tomb
Sitting down again to eat with Bethanalay, you inform her of your intention to eventually inspect Iros Forge, despite the dissipation of the storm. [Well, some people suggest it, at any rate, over dinner] In the manner you have learned is typical of the woman, Bethanalay does not give you advice or instruction outright. Instead, she spends the evening regaling you with stories of those desperate and/or foolish men and women who attempted to assault Idryll Peak in deep winter. Of Timjim the Gnomeish Mountaineer, who was found in spring devoured by wolves. Of Met the Barbarian, who fell down a crevice and was later encountered as a frost zombie. Grand Master Thedros and his company, who sought to catch a good price on Red Iron barganing in the off season. No one is sure what happened to them. As five or six other such tales come, with no sign of respite, it becomes clear that such a journey would be clear suicide in present conditions. You could spend the winter comfortably at Yalmrinth, of course, but Germain is quick to point out that the administratiors of that particular town are appointed by the Mayor, and it is all but completely under his control. She invites you to spend the winter offering aid to the camp, where the need is most dire.