Gehygda Areleins ex Bjornaer
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ehygda Areleins ex Bjornaer, called the One-Eyed, is a maga of Alerock in the Loch Leglean Tribunal. She is a scryer, diviner and seeress of rare ability, but the overwhelming strength of her Gift makes her all but unendurable company. This is not helped by her inability to keep silent when the foresight for which she is named takes hold of her, telling anyone she might meet of their fate, for weal or woe.

Gehygda appears as a mature woman, though not yet truly old. Although her hands constantly shake, her gaze is unsettlingly piercing. She takes little care with her appearance, often going for weeks without changing her clothes or brushing her hair. This scruffiness carries over when she takes the form of her heartbeast - a raven with disordered feathers but bright, steady eyes. Though the spells of Alerock keep the effect under control, vermin tend to gather about her whenever she is abroad - a lingering scar of wizard's twilight.

Early Life

Unlike her sodales at Alerock, Gehygda is forthcoming about her childhood to the point of uncomfortable bluntness. She was christened Elmira, daughter of Gilda in anno domini 1195, in a village named Fest Inning on the edge of Romney Marsh. Her Gift manifested at the age of nine, with a suddenness that caused her kin to drive her from their home, fearing demonic influence. She fled into the marsh, and lived for several months on what she could steal from the fields. Slowly starving, she was saved from a lonely death in the winter by Daimon ex Bjornaer.

Daimon, who had spent some time in the marsh in the form of a heron, observed the treatment the girl faced whenever she was seen, and made her an offer: leave the family that scorns you and join one that will treasure you. Unsettled by Daimon's own Gift, but with no other prospects, Elmira accepted. She spent the next 15 years as Daimon's apprentice at Nigrasaxa. There, the two unlocked her heartbeast and explored her gift for prophecy. Her apprenticeship at Nigrasaxa had a long overlap with that of Annaeus Aurelian, and the two forged a bond of trust that continues to this day.

From Nigrasaxa to Alerock

Recognised as a maga by the Stonehenge Tribunal in anno domini 1220, Gehygda spent the next two decades at the covenant of Voluntas in Yorkshire. There, she pursued her research into the ancestors, prophecised and kept records of the doings of her House- and clan-mates. She was instructed in the lore of her House by Corvus ex Bjornaer, who she is rumoured to have taken from time to time as a lover.

Although her life at Voluntas was a happy one, she was once more compelled to leave her home, this time by her gift of prophecy. At the Stonehenge Tribunal of 1235, she was overcome with a vision in the midst of a debate, and loudly proclaimed to all present that she would bring war and great destruction to the Order of Hermes. Her political opponents in the Tribunal immediately seized upon this as grounds for her exile, and while nothing came of their efforts, her political and social standing among English magi began to crumble.

The second prophecy was a dream in the winter of 1239, which she recounts thus:

I saw a blade of ice, shot through with frozen blood, as it slew a black eagle, then three blue lions. A great wind began to blow, and I was chilled through. The wind blew upon a vast river, and the lillies upon it all burst into flame. By the light of the flames, the blade slew a red lion, then three golden lions. Then came three great ships, and for a moment I rejoiced, but by the wind and the blade they were wracked and ruined. All was lost… all was lost.

Spurred on by the dream, Gehygda moved from Voluntas to Alerock, and keeps watch for the great wars and destruction that she knows must soon come.

Magic

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As could be expected of a seeress, Gehygda has superlative knowledge of the technique of intellego, which she applies across a wide variety of forms, though with particular skill to auram, imaginem and mentem. While she is fully capable of using spontaneous magic, she prefers to formularise her magic, and has invented two dozen formulaic spells (though only a handful of these are truly original creations).

While Gehygda's own coordination and dexterity are no worse than average, her magic has proven decidedly clumsy. She has almost no ability to move or manipulate objects precisely except by hand, and tends to avoid doing attempting to do so except under the worst conditions.

Sigil

Gehygda's appelation 'the One-Eyed' is frequently thought to be an allusion to Odin's sacrifice for the gift of prophecy. In fact, when it was given to her by Corvus it originally referred to her wizard's sigil. For a few moments, every time Gehygda's magic is invoked, her left eye becomes blind. More powerful magics necessiate a longer recovery time, up to a minute for truly powerful spells.

Creations

As mentioned above, Gehygda has not devoted much time to inventing truly novel effects. Those she has created are:

In addition, she has created two enchanted items:

Sanctum

Gehygda's eyrie is high on the outer edge of Ailsa Craig, with a large window open to the sky above the Firth of Clyde. The only access to the rest of the covenant for those without the luxury of wings is through a long, winding, frequently pitch-dark tunnel through the rock to the central well. Although she has resided at Alerock for a decade, the distaste of the covenfolk for her does not appear to have lessened in the slightest, so neither side is displeased with this arrangement.

Within her sanctum, much space is given over to a large scrying pool set into the floor. Many of the tapestries lining the walls are maps, the largest and best-executed showing the entire kingdom of Scotland.

Notable Activities

From early in her career as a maga, Gehygda has pursued the mysteries of her House. She underwent the Trial of the Tree in October of anno domini 1221, hanging from an oak tree for four days and nights to gain strength of will.

She spent the summer of 1223 trekking across Ireland, charting the travels of one of her Hermetic ancestors from the time of Damhan-Allaidh. Following this, she and Corvus participated in a ritual in the Kerry Mountains, where her thoughts were made clear and resistant to falsehood.

A laboratory accident the following year would likely have killed her, had a premonition not warned her of the ghostly presence her workings had called up. To this day, Gehygda tries to ensure the safety of her laboratory above almost all other things.

Her most recent mystery initiation was in the cruel winter of 1226, where she swore the Oath of the Empty Hand, vowing never to raise a weapon against another being. Her dedication to this oath was tested in conflict with the local faeries, and it was not until the spring of 1228 that Corvus declared her initiation truly complete. The faeries quickly learned that conflict with her would not bring mortal consequences, and she was forced to contend with them several more times before departing from Voluntas.

She met a Gifted boy named Osred in Bury St. Edmunds in 1235, and returned with him to Voluntas, though she did not formally claim him as her apprentice until Christmas of 1236. She guided Osred through the Ritual of the Twelve Years at Cintera in July of 1239, making him a fully-fledged magus in the eyes of his fellows in House Bjornaer, although he will not be acknowledged as such by the broader Order until 1252.

Her dedication to her oath was further tested in the spring of 1245, when she helped the men of Clan Mac Domhnall defend their lands against a raid by faeries in the form of dead viking warriors. While Gehygda did not fight in the skirmish, her magic was able to provide critical information, such as the preference of the dead men for personal challenges over massed combat.

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