How does one describe a foreigner in strange lands that she neither wishes to be there nor has a choice? Frightened, perhaps, but she was raised stronger than that in a culture of independent Gaels, free of Roman yoke and egalitarian with gender. While it would be accurate to describe her as strong, it would be false to build only on that. She is complex, scared and brave at the same time, warrior and young girl, goldsmith and slave. But to but it in as simplest terms as possible, she knows who she is and is proud of her identity while at the same time aware of being so far from home in a place that puts her value as little better than cattle. She is frightened, yes... The voice inside screaming to run, or submit... But she is determined to her goals and smothering that voice with pride in herself and hope of freedom.
Ailbhe is generally a outspoken girl, she was raised by her Father as his only child (At least until her little brother was born) and thus was took upon as his apprentice, she was taught to fend for herself both against others, who with arrogance believing themselves better than a girl would make her a victim if she didn't know how to fight for herself, thus she was raised a warrior in addition to being a Goldsmith, wife and mother, with the accompanying characteristics of strength, bravery, patience and compassion, though these characteristics are infantile in their development, as she was and still is young.
Ailbhe stands proudly at 5'7" and will likely grow a couple more inches before she's done, she is taller than average with the average man of her people standing typically around 5'9" she has long arms and legs, which would give her a lanky look if she wasn't rounded in the hips and her muscles toned from the labors of her professions, which make her body proportions quite pleasing to the eye despite her height and the length of her limbs. Her facial features are rounded, with plumb cheeks, button nose and full lips, her eyes are slightly almond shape and dark green in color, so that without closer inspection appear to be brown or black from a distance. Her hair is likely the most defining trait of her, it is exceptionally long, falling almost to her waist, it is curly and a bright red in coloration. She has faint freckles across her nose and on some parts of her body (Mainly thighs and chest).
Ailbhe keeps a strong posture, she may be a slave but she isn't meek and thus holds her head high, her gaze fierce and her back straight. Some may take it as a point of arrogance or impudent behaviour in a slave, whilst others may feel a sense of admiration for her dignity. Though young, she carries herself much more mature than her actual age and is always eager to prove herself the equal or better of others.
Father: Cuchullain (Deceased, 34)
Mother: Scathah (Alive, 28)
Siblings: Cormac (Alive, 5)
Extended family: Ugaine Mor ceannaire Iwernoi (Uncle, Chief. Alive at 45)
Born to the Iwernoi, a confederation of various Gaelic tribes and villages, Ailbhe was the first child of Cuchullain and Scathah. She grew up, in the south-eastern parts of Eire, known as Hibernia to the Romans and was taught the trades of her Father, which was goldsmithing and other general metalwork. She lived an average lifestyle for one in her village, she would help her Father and Mother in their chores and professions, learning from them and maturing as both a woman and daughter.
From an early age, boys would compete for her attention as she was considered to be desirable, with her Uncle considered to be the general leader of the confederation, the wealth of her Fathers inheritance as well as her own budding beauty, boys her own age and some older would compete in games for her attention, to impress her. Though she was often the sort to participate in these game rather than deciding upon a winner. Eventually, around eight years of age the boys began to get physical, they would throw stones and run away, clearly frustrated at her lack of interest in them and at her own competitiveness, fearing what would happen when she - and those boys - got older, Cuchullain decided to teach her how to fight with help from his Brother, an accomplished warrior. They drilled her, teaching her to wrestle and what the proper grip on a spear or sword was. They would train in sword and spear fighting with bundles of sticks or staffs and they would beat her with them so she would get used to pain, the muscles in her arms were built by gradually using heavier training weapons and mock shields. Always the competitive type, she eagerly devoured every lesson, every bruise and humiliation as her body became hard, her reflexes quick and her mind focused.
Eventually the boys stopped pestering her, though they would still try to woo her at times by presenting gifts or demonstrating their own feats, but now she presented herself as intimidating and with the stern gaze of her Father watching over her, the other children knew she wasn't to be mocked any longer.
Around the age of nine, her Uncle became more militaristic, he would often give speeches of war, wealth and glory to be had, whenever the question arose as too who he meant he always referred to Albion and the foreign invaders who set up great houses of stone filled with gold, silver and beautiful stones. Other times he took a more religious route, that the morrigna calls to him in his dreams, telling him of the Romans fat and lazy lifestyle, with their legions cowering along the walls to the North against the Picts.
It took a year, and while many young warriors (many untested in a real battle) supported her Uncle, most of the veterans were coming around as well, with their seed sown and the future generation secured for their people they no longer feared untimely death in battle. It was at this time, when the horns of war were calling that her baby brother was born.
Now, Uncle Ugaine wouldn't stand to see his Brother left behind, have begging and have forcing he took Ailbhe's Father away and for the first time in her life she felt an anxiety that she would never see him again. Even at eleven, she refused to remain behind but knew her Father would forbid her coming along, so she nestled into the camp followers and remained a spectator, out of the gaze of her Father and Uncle or anyone she knew would recognize her from her village.
With the Druids completing their rituals and the boats loaded with resources, weapons and people the war party led onwards, landing somewhere in Cymru before striking eastward into more fertile Roman lands. The initial success of the raid emboldened the Gaels, and they pushed harder against their Roman foes, the local garrisons of villas and small towns seemingly melting away from the sudden force of Celtic raiders.
With winter approaching, the raiders turned back to attempt another crossing back home but where stymied by the appearance of a Roman army reacting to them. Largely equal in numbers the two forces did battle, yet despite their determination the Gaels could not defeat the discipline, armor and training of the Roman Legionary, with the camp followers watching from a hill, including Ailbhe, they watched as their family was butchered or scattered by the Romans and with great horror became to scatter themselves as the Romans swung to charge against the Gaels carts and tent homes. Of this, only Ailbhe remembers running and the sound of screaming, shouting and sporadic fighting before hearing the thunder of hooves behind her and then darkness...
Waking up half-carried she immediately thrashed, scratched and bit at her captor despite the pain in her body from the force that took her down in the first place. She didn't know what they were saying, but by the tone of their speech it was a combination of frustration and jesting. Returning to the Roman camp, they put Ailbhe into what was essentially a livestock pen with other captives, much of them young or wounded as all the fighters, male and female were killed. The army returned to Londinium and here the captives were split apart and sold to different slave merchants. Some, remained in Albion and the Roman city but most were hoarded onto ships and carried across the channel to Roman controlled Gaul.
Ailbhe remained in Gaul for about a year, for the winter, spring and some of the summer. Now eleven she was led to Raetia and then to Italia.
It was clear from the very beginning that the slave merchant intended to sell her in Rome as an exotic, along the way she learned some Latin mostly picked up from other slaves in their company who, would gesture to something and indicate what it was called in the Romans tongue. A road. Some water. Tunics and Togas. Sandals, a city, a forum and so on. Ailbhe learned quickly and though she was unable to fully hold a conversation some measure of communication was now possible.
Her whole experience in Roman lands, was a combination of awe, hate and fear. She was amazed at their creations from something as simple as a road to the massive cities they had built with high walls, triumphs and grand forums.
But nothing compared to Rome. The sheer size of it, built from the whitest marble and shining with life was the single most remarkable thing she had seen, and a traitorous thought entered her mind that of course they were beaten, who could stand against city-builders such as this? She was fourteen when she entered Rome for the first time, and who knows what her future will hold from there?
Mord | Central Time +6:00 | Discord, message here or MordredCC@gmail.com