The gypsies of Ustalov are clans of free-spirited roamers who make their living trading their wares and fleecing rubes in their carnivals. They were often looked upon with suspicion or disgust, and accused of mischief and witchery, but it mattered little. They simply moved on.
Yet the truth behind one the clans was even darker than most good folk suspected. They were lycanthropes, cursed by blood to change into the forms of animals. In this case, the members of the clan had the ability to change into hounds of all sorts, from ragged mutts to wolf-blooded curs. They had sworn a blood oath to fight the werewolves that were endemic to the land.
Gweyn’s mother was a young witch of the clan whose oath was more personal than most. Her younger brother had been killed by werewolves, and she had sworn revenge. Though the elders of the clan warned her against it, she hunted the wolves on her own, at times ranging far from the gypsy caravan.
It was one of these times that Gweyn’s mother came across a pitched battle, three werewolves against a young man in heavy armor. The witch leapt into the fray and saved the young knight’s life. He was shocked to see the young woman transform. She explained that she was a werehound, not an evil lycanthrope. The young knight, who had been sheltered and insulated from much of the world, had previously thought all shapeshifters were evil.
The young witch tended to the knight’s wounds for several days while they talked about their respective cultures. A true friendship began which eventually led to more. When the witch brought the newly-healed knight back to her caravan, the clan disapproved. They could not trust a follower of the Citadel of Light. They considered killing him so that he would not betray their secret. Eventually, they told Gweyn’s mother to send him away.
Rather than be parted, the young couple decided to elope.
The knight knew that the Citadel would not accept his lover due to her lycanthropic heritage. They decided to roam the lands and help others in need, doing good works throughout the land, as well as fighting werewolves. Their legend spread.
The knight was somewhat surprised to discover that he retained his paladin abilities even though he had left the church. This caused something of a crisis of faith for the knight, who eventually decided that Iomedae approved of his path, even though he no longer was part of the organized religion.
Soon the couple had a daughter, who they loved and cherished. What the happy family did not know was that the knight had been branded a traitor by the Citadel, and there were knights actively hunting him. Additionally, there was a bounty for the head of the witch who had corrupted him. In truth, the church simply could not accept the blasphemy of the good works that the knight was committing in Iomedae’s name without the permission of the church.
The family’s happy existence was shattered when knights caught up to them and tried to arrest the paladin and his family. He pleaded with his former friends to listen to reason, but they would have none of it. The knight sacrificed himself to let his wife and daughter escape.
Utterly devastated, Gweyn’s mother returned to her people. They accepted her back into their ranks, but not without a fair share of disapproval over what she had done.
Gweyn grew up to be a bitter young woman, her father’s dead forever seared in her mind. She felt like an outsider to the clan, both with her internal moral compass, and her appearance was well. Unlike the dusky-skinned, dark-haired gypsies, Gweyn had fair skin and auburn hair.
However, the clan was able to help Gwyen through her first lycanthropic transformation, and helped her master the art of changing her form.
She left the caravan when she was 16, declaring that she would make her fortune elsewhere. She had seemingly inherited the magical affinity of her mother, and her father’s fighting skill, though instead of doing “good works” like her parents had, she decided to become a mercenary.
For several years, Gweyn roamed the lands, eventually leaving Ustalov altogether and ranging further afield. She had a few encounters with members of the Citadel of Light, and found they were as narrow-minded and judgmental as she remembered. Secretly, Gweyn began to carry out vengeance against any knights she found, murdering them in cold blood.
Gweyn’s latest victim was a young paladin that she had knocked out and dragged away from the city to murder. As the young man came to, he was terrified, but instead of condemning and cursing her, as the others had, he asked her why. Gweyn hesitated, but the knight asked again, assuring her that he really wanted to know.
She ended up telling him her story, and in the end, he expressed sympathy. He told her she did not have to go to such measures, and that there was another way to find justice for the loss of her father. The knight was strangely fearless and compassionate, and it unnerved Gweyn more than anything else ever had. She ended up letting him go, unable to kill him in spite of his affiliation, because his ideals reminded her of her father’s.
Then she moved on. What Gweyn did not realize was that the paladin followed her, hunting her not to bring her to justice, but rather, to save her.
Gweyn encountered Sir Reynard several times after that, and each time, he pleaded with her to give up her vengeful quest, yet Gweyn could neither give up her mission of vengeance nor kill the paladin who would turn her from it. So he continues to chase her and intervenes in her murders as often as he can.
Description: Gweyn is tall and stately, with a strong, lithe build. Her straight hair is flaxen, and her eyes are grey. Her face is strong and angular, with a too-thick jaw, giving her an aggressive mien. As a hound, her coat is deep rusty red, with long silky ears and a gleaming coat.
Personality: Gweyn is distant and aloof, still wounded by her father’s murder so many years before. She does not make friends easily, but once she does, she is very loyal. She is capable of acts of kindness and mercy to all but her sworn foes, the paladins and clerics of the Citadel of Light.