|Alys Lancaster (The Bamboo Grove Swaying in the Wind)|
|"I don't know if I'm strong enough yet, but I'll give it all I've got!"|
Alys Lancaster had never thought of herself as particularly special, just an ordinary girl with a passion for delving into the past and breeding plants, especially fining ways to adapt tropical plants to hardier climates like those of her native Montana. Due to her studious nature, tomboyish ways, and general awkwardness, she was ostracised and frequently bullied as a child, forcing the soft-hearted and otherwise cheerful girl her to retreat into the worlds of her family and her studies. But her life in general was pleasant, if unremarkable and occasionally difficult.
All of that changed when she discovered a long-buried Grand Grimscythe while planting an experimental redwood specimen. The moment her hand touched the dirt-encrusted orichalcum blade, Alys Exalted and was transformed into the Bamboo Grove Swaying in the Wind. Now, while she remains committed to her studies, as well as discovering and recreating the ancient flora of the past, Alys has a newfound mission: help others and discover more about her new reality.
Outwardly, Alys is a cheerful, lively, optimistic, adventurous, compassionate, and endlessly curious young woman with a pronounced girlish, even naive streak. However, she continues to struggle with the hardship she's been dealt with in her life and hides whatever pain she experiences behind a smile. Yet, she copes with it by learning how to control and use her newly-granted abilities as a Solar Exalt of the Twilight Caste, as well as exploring the new realities that have opened up to her as well as helping others.
Alys's Compassion and Valor are far stronger than her senses of Temperance and Conviction, and continues to struggle with the restless and impatient parts of her personality. She is quite aware of these flaws and continues to work on improving herself through her studies, but from time to time she forgets herself and rushes headlong into situations, though many times she later regrets it. If she doesn't understand something, she will keep pursuing the answer and can become frustrated if the answer doesn't present itself soon after she meditates on it. She can also become frustrated if she's not taken seriously or feels as if she's being treated like a child, becoming sullen at her worst moments.
Somewhat awkward in her interactions, she occasionally has difficulty expressing herself well. At times she will try to phrase something in a certain way, yet mean something else. Conscientious about avoiding hurt feelings, she might not always say precisely what she really means and will struggle to make herself clearer. Because she dislikes lies, this is entirely unintentional on her part.
She despises cruelty of any sort, and can occasionally become overzealous in fighting those who engage in it without considering the circumstances. Much of her past being bullied influenced her natural soft-heartedness, and she can easily put herself in the shoes of the victimised. Unfortunately, the darker side to her Compassion arises when Alys is pushed too far, and she will not hesitate to attack a person she witnesses committing an atrocity. "No one else, never again," is her motto during such moments.
Alys has never been away from her home, even attending the university where her father has tenure. Now surrounded by new cultures and worlds outside Creation, she is eager to learn as much as she can. With the almost endless curiosity, she pursues learning about each new world and culture to its fullest. But even as she loves experiencing things first-hand, she maintains the bibliophilia she inherited from her father and can easily idle away a day in a bookstore or library. Even now when she is upset or emotionally-troubled, she will sometimes hide herself away in a place with enough books to keep her distracted.
Chosen of the Unconquered Sun: A Solar Exalted of the Twilight Caste, Alys possesses a natural affinity for crafts, medicine, investigation, lore, and occult, granting her nearly perfect health and augmenting her skills as a plant breeder to recreate long-extinct species of flora. Similarly, her research skills have also been elevated to a supernatural degree, allowing her to find information within a library quickly and effortlessly. Like all Arrows of Heaven, she is able to use her anima as a shield in a last-ditch protective effort.
Favored Skills: In addition to her inherent skills of the Twilight Caste, Alys is skilled in melee (polearms), athletics, dodge, performance (ballet), and linguistics. While she has formally learned Latin, much to her surprise she seems to understand whatever language the plant life thinks in.
Charms: Alys possesses several supernatural abilities manifesting as Charms, which she must employ Essence to activate. These include releasing a flurry of lightning-quick melee strikes, leaping otherwise impossible distances, balancing on a line no wider or stronger than a human hair, dodging with impossible speed, and healing herself and others. Alys is able to strengthen the composition of raw materials, removing many of their natural flaws. She can recreate certain types of flora which have been extinct for millennia, such as Venus fly trap-like carnivorous plants or great thorny vines, which she can even use at certain points in battle.
Sorcery: Alys is not only able to sense the presence of ethereal beings such as spirits and ghosts, but she is also able to speak with the previously silent flora.
Artefacts: What triggered Alys's Exaltation - besides the sudden release of the Shards - was a strange artefact she found; a gold-coloured Great Grimscythe coincidentally buried beneath the grounds of her home. A symbol of her Exaltation's agricultural background, it allows for strong yet rapid attacks, yet is weak on defence.
Manse: Professor Lancaster's backyard/open-air laboratory quite fortunately sits on a minor Wood-attuned manse — which is how some of his otherwise failed experiments happen to thrive — allowing Alys to recover faster than otherwise normal. A Hearthstone named the Stone of Healing is set into her Grand Grimscythe, allowing her to perform healing well beyond her basic abilities.
Impatient: She tries, but Alys struggles with waiting on things and becomes frustrated when she can't see the long-term results. After years of being bullied, the Solar has finally been granted the opportunity to prove herself and save others from what she endured, but unfortunately, she takes this to an extreme. While she eventually regrets acting in haste, she occasionally speaks or acts before she thinks, particularly when she has an emotional investment in something.
Naive: Other than being bullied as a child, or in part perhaps because of it, Alys has led a largely sheltered life. Idealistic and dedicated to helping those in need, she sometimes misses the more subtle machinations of more cunning foes. Moreover, should she witness an apparent cruelty, she can't help but step in even when she might not be wanted. She hardly ever acts against her key Virtue of Compassion because it never occurs for her to do so.
Inexperienced: Alys lacks the fine control over her abilities necessary to make her completely effective. She struggles with the patience necessary to become more powerful, and her powers are still wild and largely uncontrolled, even for a recent Exalt. In social matters, her sheltered and withdrawn life has made her awkward when dealing with people. Though generally cheerful and friendly, Alys struggles with expressing herself well and is sometimes prone to babbling when she doesn't feel she's getting her point across.
The Great Curse (Red Rage of Compassion): When Alys surpasses her breaking point and witnesses an act of cruelty, her weaknesses and virtues condense into a berserker rage where she will attack the transgressor. While under normal circumstances she might be overzealous in her protective nature, when she enters this rage she is unable to temper it with her otherwise normal common sense.