"Jael'"Mène'lon (or Astan Mènelón-Cochrán-Idaín, 242 b.S - 14 a.S.) was a Maeverhim elf of questionable lineage, and lost affections of the tribe before departing with her human spouse on the first of many trading expeditions. The fleet she began with her first human husband was well known in trading, and only became more wealthy and known throughout the lands as her second elven husband directed her ships to the continent of Nybelmar. Though the tribe looks down upon those Maeverhim that touch the earth, Jael was still welcomed by her mother, and was only called Mód'hál'eferán (Styrásh: Mód'hál'eferán, "earth-burned") by the elderly, young and ignorant.
Picture description: The elven trader "Jael" Mènelón. Image drawn by Faugar.
Jael, born Astan, was the only child to a single mother of the Maeverhim
named Ranell. Ranell was a cultivator among the Maeverhim,
her particular skill was with birds. She would gather what young birds she
could and trade them in the Seraia
Astan's father no one seemed to know. Some debated he was a Tethinrhim, others claim an Eophyrhim. There is no debate however that she is of full-blooded elf, as many of her elven characteristics are strong. From what could be gathered, a dalliance in Seraia with the mysterious elf conceived Astan.
Astan was a tough birth; her mother struggled for 13 hours to expel her. It was as if Astan did not want to leave. Once removed from her mother's womb, Astan was a handful. She would constantly scamper from her mother's arms while she sold her birds in Seraia, and cause a racket among traders as snatching, inquisitive hands grasped at all manners of armor and weapons. Ranell assumed it to be the shiny metal that attracted Astan, and gave her the nickname "Jael" after her quick, snatching hands.
As Jael grew, the warrior blood her absentee father had given her stirred in her veins. Her fiery temper and fondness of wrestling and fighting scared many of her peers. At 5, she lingered near elder elves, watching them as they played Capture the Wind; mimicking their moves with a stray vine and a twig. They were amused with her and taught her how to use the real thing.
By the age of 20, Jael rivaled the elder elves in her shooting prowess. She became more visible in the community; and therefore more people became wary of her. She noticed this and began to spend more time in Seraia and less in the Sharadon colonies. By 45, she was the owner of her own weapons stand in Seraia, living in the upper-story of a shop set up in the city. Her prices were a bit high for being a local elf, but the weapons and armor she sold and traded were of high quality.
At the still young age of 60 for an elf, Jael traded the first of many unique weapons with a human traveler named Durath Cochran. Durath was about 23 and a Voldarian by birth. He found the city of Voldar too crowded and traveled extensively. Durath's first trade to Jael is reported to have been a Kasumarii moonblade. The markings along the heft noted it to be crafted by the sly mercenaries; and he practically gave the sword to Jael. She was grateful and tried to trade evenly, but Durath had none of it and departed into the crowds. Jael eagerly wanted to trade the sword; to give it to someone that really would appreciate it. But she kept it, wrapping it in soft linen and stowing it under the pillows she slept upon.
Over the next ten years Jael received a good deal of unique weapons from Durath including three crossbows of Jhehellrhim make, two rubit-encrusted cáeh-fish rapier from the Sanhorrhim, a set of arm blades in excellent condition, a small array of armoured fans, an efryst in need of repair, and most unique; a replica of a whirlwind from Yamalquain. Most of these Jael sold, save for an armoured fan and a cáeh-fish rapier.
By the time she was 70, Durath and Jael had become great friends. They often spent weeks together in her Seraia home, staying up late at night, sipping aohu'o mead and talking; Durath telling stories of lands far away and Jael spinning tales of her home and their antics. She was surprised that Durath was so interested. One such visit ended on an odd note, Durath stated that he cared for Jael very much and wanted her to come with him to Strata.
Jael was stunned. Though she too cared for Durath, leaving Seraia scared her immensely and she was not sure if she wished to go. She told Durath to go to Strata without her, and when he came back, she would have an answer. Durath agreed and departed the next day.
For the next six months Jael debated the pros and cons of leaving. Several times she visited her mother Ranell; who told her only daughter that if she felt anything for Durath, then she should depart with him and make him happy; humans live a short time and their lives are so full of change, if she pleased him for that small time, she would still have a long elven span to find another after Durath passed. Jael found this true. She did care for him and if leaving made her and him happy then she should do so. Durath returned in the spring, and Jael left for Voldar with him; leaving her trade to Ranell. They were blessed in their love in the Temple of Grothar in Seraia, and then left on horseback. The ride was difficult for Jael, she rode along with Durath for most of the trip; until she was capable of riding alone.
In Voldar, Jael and Durath were presented to his merchant parents; they found Jael odd, but were happy that their son had found a love. Durath quickly left town with Jael, and he took her on a whirlwind trip through Southern Sarvonia; from Nyermersys to Carmalad, to Horth for the Xara Horse Auction, and down to Strata by boat. Jael loved every moment, for all that she had been told by Durath she now lived. Jael fell in love with the sea, and her allegiance began to shift from Grothar to a divided worship of Baveras and the Dancing God. She was awed by the sunsets and the dolpholk that played in the wake of the ship, ad how Grothar filled the sails of the boat and pushed them along.
When they reached Strata, Jael told Durath of her love for the sea, and Durath was surprised. From that time on Durath and his business became very sea-oriented, settling in a comfortable home in Thalambath. They traded to other colonies and lands by boat, garnering exquisite and rare items for trade, beginning to gain a large amount of wealth; which was used to further expand their trading fleet. Every 5 years Jael mounted a horse and rode to Seraia, where she visited her mother Ranell.
Ranell did not shun her daughter, though all those that knew Jael and what she had done called her Mód'hál'eferán (Styrásh: Mód'hál'eferán, "earth-burned"), usually to her face. Jael tried with great difficulty to shrug it off, but it affected her very much. When her mother finally passed into the Dream in 142 b.S., Jael's visits to the Sharadon stopped.
Roughly 5 years after the incident, Durath had an injury on his flagship upon return from Chylikis. He had tangled his leg in an anchor-line and fallen hard upon the deck, breaking his leg. When Durath returned to Strata the leg had healed very badly; he was unable to stand upon that leg and his travels on the sea were past.
Jael noticed that Durath was aging, and that he would need to be taken care of. Instead of taking to the sea to take ownership of the fleet, she allowed a well-trusted boatswain to take control of the fleets until she could do so. Jael explained to Durath that though his time was ending, she would stay and take care of his trading company. Durath was very happy about the idea. He himself passed into the Dream 10 years later.
Once Durath had passed, Jael took a few years away from the sea. She traveled to the Sharadon, and was still called Mód'hál'eferán, which caused her to pass through quickly. In 124 b.S. Jael visited Carmalad and paid homage to Grothar; asking what she should do. She stood waiting and was just about to leave when a strong gust of wind caused Jael's light Maeverhim garments to billow gently. As if on cue, a cheer erupted from outside the temple as a parade of people ran to the shore; a ship had just come to dock, returning the relatives of resident families. Jael looked outside to discover it was the flagship of her own fleet.
At that moment she realized that Grothar had given her an answer. She quickly called to the captain and identified herself, and demanded that the ship should hurry to Thalambath; there were duties to be taken care of. Jael was 118.
For the next 60 years Jael sailed endlessly on the high seas. She managed her business alongside several trusted human shipmen; as they passed on, she would appoint another. She stayed away from land, for it reminded her of the home she left for Durath, as well as her longing for him to still be near. She would only stop momentarily in Thalambath to visit Durath's grave and take care of trading and accounting business before she was off again.
In 58 b.S. Jael acquired an unusual member of her crew, a Sanhorrhim sea guide named Kardion Idain. He was 160, nearly the same age as Jael, who was 178. Kardion had grown up on the shores of Cyan Sola Bay and was born with the sounds of the sea in his ears. Jael admired his skills immensely; his ability to read the water, and how he talked to the merfolk. Over the course of 30 years, they fell for one another.
By 28 b.S., trade was slowly opening up to Nybelmar, despite the dangerous route through the Crimson Isles. Under the urge to see new things and travel upon the sea, Jael planned a shipment of goods to the island continent. With Kardion at her side and a large, assorted fleet at her command she braved the open sea and arrived in Aca-Santerra roughly 2 months after leaving shore in Thalambath. While the trip was long and difficult the prices they received for their goods, as well as the goods they purchased were well worth the trip. They stayed in Nybelmar for a month before they left for Thalambath.
The trip renewed Jael somehow, her mind and spirit once again seemed to be aloft on the wind. When they arrived back after a shorter trip home she quickly dragged Kardion onto another ship and back toward Nybelmar. The two became inseparable as they jumped from one ship of her fleet to another as they rode the open trade route to Nybelmar. During the 25 years of ship-hopping she and Kardion enjoyed; she only stayed in Thalambath in accumulation of a month; though the two survived a pirate-raid and two wreckings upon the Crimson Isle's nasty reefs.
Finally at peace with herself and her emotions, Jael decided to return back to the Sharadon in 4 b.S., with gifts of weapons, materials, and trinkets in hand. The craftsmanship and artistry no Maeverhim or human had ever seen, and they sold for such high prices that Jael was able to buy another two boats for her fleet; Sanhorrhim boats by Kardion's request.
After the trip to the Sharadon, Jael finally settled down again, as she had not done in almost 100 years. She allowed Kardion to captain the ships as she stayed in Thalambath, watching the books that she had not tended to in earlier years. Her life became less eventful and she slowed down herself.
In 14 a.S. Jael boarded one of her Sanhorrhim boats and told Kardion to watch the books as she joined a run to Nybelmar. Much to Kardion's grief, that boat never reached its destination; a few surviving sailors claimed that Grothar blew the ship into the reefs of the Crimson Isles, and Jael was not among the survivors.
Importance. Jael was a proud Maeverhim who allowed her heart to decide her fate. Her fleet was well known in its day, and with some help from her, the trading route to Nybelmar is now well-established.
Information provided by Viresse