Birth and Childhood
Nithlara Treadlight was born Donata Marcellio, daughter of Helena Marcellio and her illicit elven lover, on a frontier homestead in southern Brevoy. Upon discovery that Donata was not, in fact, his own child, Helena’s husband, Luccius Marcellio, grew first enraged and then cold and distant. He began to take long leaves of absence from the farm (Helena suspected drinking and gambling), and when Donata was four he disappeared for good. The elven lover, meanwhile, was long gone; Donata never even knew his name.
Helena, too proud to return to family in the north, raised Donata and her older half brothers Ido and Perseo (Luccius’s sons) alone for nearly a decade, somehow scraping out a living farming, herding, and bartering. During this time, Donata learned to support the family via hunting and fishing. By her preteen years, she was spending multiple nights out on hunting expeditions. On far-flung exploration, she met a wandering band of elves, who befriended her. With the elves, she found a familial acceptance never offered by her half-brothers; she returned to visit multiple times.
When Donata was 13, a deranged kobold raiding party burned the farm and murdered Helena. Ido and Perseo escaped as their mother delayed the invaders. Donata, who had been hunting, returned to charred ruins and uncaring brothers. Rather than return northward with Ido and Perseo to rejoin a family that she believed held her in contempt, Donata instead fled on horseback and joined the elf band. There, she took the name Nithlara and left her old life behind.
Nithlara, given the surname Treadlight by her adoptive elven family, spent her teen years learning to live off the forest’s bounty. At age 22, bored with the slow pace of change and lack of adventure in her elven band, Nith left the band and found employment as a wilderness guide for a southern Brevoy militia in exchange for martial training. For the next thirty years, Nith rotated between scouting other contracted mercenary positions, freelance work eliminating dangerous magical beasts or other individual frontier threats, and solo exploration of the wilds of southern and eastern Brevoy.
Nith prides herself on her professionalism, honesty, quality of work, and loyalty once hired. In addition, she is often an outspoken advocate of environmental stewardship and learning to live with the land, rather than exploiting it. She dislikes the hunting and killing of animals deemed a threat to human settlements, preferring instead to relocate predators further away from human contact. As her reputation for effective wildlife management has grown, Nith has found herself in many discussions with local town leaders, advising them on how better to manage the natural resources surrounding their towns (or, as often as not, berating them for failing to steward their lands).
The following occurs just prior to Nith’s entrance into the campaign. Following the abrupt end of her previous mercenary contract, Nith decided to try her luck in the River Kingdoms to the south. (Nith had shot a senior officer through the throat. In fairness to Nith, he had unjustly accused her of thievery and was drunkenly threatening her with a greataxe at the time.) Nith had heard of good work available for rangers in the new kingdom of Arboria and the surrounding lands. Upon arrival in Bandit’s Rest, Nith found an open contract for the position of head scout and explorer, offered by the Lord Maegar Varn for the burgeoning nation of Varynhold to the east. After some negotiation with Varynhold’s emissaries, Nith set out to accept the position, but when she reached Varynhold she did not find what she expected…