One of the most sought after artists in Waterdeep
Kerymara is one of the most renowned artists in Faerûn. Her pale elven face is covered in a symmetrical tribal tattoo from her mother. Kerymara’s hair is naturally as black as obsidian but through magical dyes, she often colours it depending on her mood or the season. Despite her wealth and fame, Kerymara usually wears simple elven robes.
Kerymara is humble and modest at heart, having been raised by a library-bound father and forest-dwelling mother. Although Kerymara can afford to charge large fees for her art, she will occasionally paint portraits of people for free if she sees them in the street and thinks they are interesting.
Kerymara’s father Aerystar, was a humble elven priest of Oghma (the god of knowledge and books). Aerystar served his god by travelling to isolated villages along eastern Faerun and sharing books and teachings to the inhabitants. It was on the road between villages that Aerystar met and fell in love with a wild elf from Ardeep Forest named Fethe.
Aerystar decided to settle down in the nearby city of Waterdeep working as a librarian in a small Oghma temple. He would often go on excursions to Ardeep Forest, sometimes for months at a time. His superiors at the temple allowed it as he would always return with carefully written tomes of learning that he complied about the elves of the forest. The real reason for the extended trips was of course to see Fethe. Once Fethe fell pregnant she moved away from the forest and lived with Aerystar in the city until their daughter was born. They named her Kerymara (an amalgamation of the elven words for wood and blade, hoping their daughter would use nature and knowledge as her weapon – not steel). Fethe soon moved back to the forest after struggling to adapt to the city but visited her family several times a year.
Kerymara was raised in the city by her father who soon became the lead priest in the library/temple. Being surrounded by this environment of learning and literature, combined with frequent visits from her spiritual and creative mother moulded Kerymara into a keen artisan.
When she came of age, Fethe adorned her daughter in the spiritual tattoos of her wild elven tribe and continued to teach Kerymara the magic of runes and nature. Kerymara slowly moved away from worshipping Oghma and sought guidance from Deneir (a lesser deity who was often considered the creative cousin of Oghma – dedicated to art, runes and cartography).
Kerymara helped her father’s temple by illustrating several tomes and adorning the temple in beautiful murals. Word soon spread of her skill and other temples in the city sought her out. She soon gained the attention of a master artisan who requested her as their apprentice. In the years that followed, Kerymara was trained in fine art and learnt a great deal about the artistic styles of the many cultures across the realm.
As he aged, Aerystar began to yearn for the forest once more and left the hustle and bustle of Waterdeep to finally spend his life in Ardeep Forest with Fethe and her tribe. This left Kerymara thirsting for a deeper understanding of her own identity. To explore this and expand herself as an artist, Kerymara went travelling for a number of years. It was during these years that Kerymara learnt the arcane skills of the Rune Priest, weaving magic into her creations and wielding potent energy through her artistic expression. For a time, Kerymara travelled with a group of adventurers exploring ruined caverns, helping those in need and purging foul beasts from the land.
After the half-death of one of their companions, most of the group retired from adventuring and Kerymara returned to Waterdeep to pursue her art once more. Over the next few years Kerymara artistic ability gained her considerable fame and wealth. Kerymara moved into a large but modest studio on the edge of the Northern Ward of the city.
Having now lived and worked out of that studio for almost 40 years, Kerymara been responsible for murals in the city’s largest cathedrals, created portraits of royalty from across the realm and even been personally invited to Candlekeep to restore the illustrations of ancient texts.
Other than her exquisite skills as an artist, writer and sculptor, Kerymara has acquired a number of other skills over her long life time;
- Having been raised by priests of Oghma and spending years on the road. Kerymara speaks several different languages with perfect fluidity and is adept at numerous dialects of elven.
- Rune magic was a hobby of Kerymara’s which became a huge part of her life when she was adventuring. Kerymara can command great defensive and healing power through runes and by imbuing objects with arcane energy.
- Dealing with the aristocracy has taught Kerymara to be a skilled diplomat. She can comfortably socialize with royalty and nobility and is not daunted by wealth or authority.
- Kerymara has spent many many nights gazing at the stars. Her knowledge of astrology was born from marvelling at the beauty of the nights sky.
- Creating the perfect portrait requires an intimate understanding of the subjects personality. Kerymara has always been skilled at reading people and often sees through deception with ease.
Refreshingly humble, Kerymara has very few possessions other than what she needs to live and work. Having been raised in a library/temple, Kerymara learnt to live without luxuries. Although her home is towards the richer side of the city, the spacious studio is surprisingly minimal once you get inside. The large open space is filled with plinths, canvases and various artistic equipment and projects. Much of Kerymara’s wealth goes straight back into the temples and centres of learning in the city with a small portion going to establishments outside the city like the Hall of Wonders in Baldur’s Gate and the libraries of Candlekeep.
Kerymara does keep a handful of items from her adventuring days locked in a trunk. These items are each instilled with potent magic and when wielded by Kerymara become powerful tools of healing or weapons of battle.
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