Tepet Ejava is also known as The Roseblack.
Tepet Ejava was born while her mother, Tepet Ellora, was on campaign. When her unit was delayed in returning home by a protracted siege, she refused to retire to the baggage train or accept an escort home. Her armorers rigged the best protection they could for her swollen belly in the last months of her pregnancy, and she continued to lead her troops from the front ranks, as is the Tepet way. Ejava was born between sorties, and her mother bound her to her own breast and returned to the command tent. In the few short months Ejava spent at her mother's breast, she drank in the voice of command with her mother's milk.
The unusual circumstances of her birth brought her to the attention of many, including her grandfather, Tepet Arada. He had largely retired himself from the affairs of the house, as was his earned right. He made the trip to Ellora's home to excoriate her risk-taking with his bloodline, but once confronted with his granddaughter in the flesh, he could not entirely extricate himself from the process of raising her. She saw him rarely, but a word from Tepet Arada was still potent enough to bring the best tutors to her home and to open the doors to the best militarily oriented primary schools.
Tepet Ejava's Exaltation came upon her on a hunt in her eleventh year, mere weeks before Calibration. She had returned to her family's country home to learn proper manners and was sent out into the wild to hunt and bring back fresh meat. She had armed men with her, cloaked in spells of green and brown, willing to kill or die to protect her. On the hunt, she came across a great cat, dappled and tawny. Her instincts took over and she pulled her bow in one fluid motion. As the deer bounded into the small clearing, the great cat leapt at its flank, one massive paw wrenching the deer's head and neck around while the momentum of the strike carried them both to the ground. The cat's eyes met hers after a short, suffocating silence, and there was a flicker of recognition, a spark that kindled her soul. By the light of that fire, she saw the forest and the creatures around her in a whole new way. When a second deer bounded into the clearing, driven by the servants, she dropped her bow and bolted after it, maddened by the flood of primal urges. They found her, many minutes later after what was apparently quite a chase, curled next to the cooling body of the deer.
Ejava was terrified of her new life at first. In the fog that surrounds the piercing moment of Exaltation, she feared she had become Anathema, one of the animalistic, barbaric killers that roam the edges of the Realm, and that she would be hunted by her own family—her life short and brutal. She was not Anathema, however, but kissed by the Wood Dragon, and in the time it took her to come to her senses, she did an extraordinary amount of damage to the gardens around her family's manor, and later, to the headmistress's floral plantings when she returned to school. It was there that she earned the name "Roseblack", the Headmistress's lovely rosebushes withering and dying at the roots. Afterward, she was enrolled in the House of Bells, so that she could take her place in the Tepet legions, like so many others of her family.
Since her Exaltation
Three months after her graduation from the House of Bells, Tepet Ejava entered the legions, much to her grandfather's consternation. What he didn't seem to understand was that it was her decision to see the world in the service of the Empress. Her first command was that of a scale of recruits, putting down a peasant uprising in Chanos Prefecture. Afterward, the local prefect held a gala in honor of the victory, although the honor was all his. There were only two other Dragon-Blooded in the place: a pompous, arrogant boy and his shrew of a mother. The boy made ridiculous attempts at assignation, but Tepet Ejava managed to extricate herself without killing him. They met again, many years later, and fortunately for him, she did not remember him—she now has dinner with Ragara Nova every now and again, as he has grown much more smooth over the years and he sees a great deal more than he lets on. Ejava now considers him a friend.
The uprising taught Tepet Ejava something, though—that men and women fighting for their homes, their mates or their children are the match of any soldier. From there, she went on to see the world as planned, spending a year in the West chasing pirates, three months in Gem reminding Rankar IV that the Empress had not forgotten their arrangement, hunting heretics in the north, and barbarians and Raksha in the East. She's been nearly everywhere at one point or another. From time to time, she would return to the Blessed Isle. Each time she did, it was with another promotion under her belt.
Ejava's rise through the ranks was not swift, but it was steady. In time, she had risen to the rank of winglord, with 250 soldiers under her command. Then came the Battle of Tamrin Plain. Her command had been sent north to protect some investments of House Nellens, and they fought against bandits. The Anathema came down upon them, a towering, beastly creature. It had the arms and torso of a man and the head of a great stag with a rack of twisted antlers a spear's length to either side. With it came 500 of its howling, twisted thralls. Ejava had them beat until the Raksha host came down on them. Ground between the Anathema and the Raksha, 900 legionnaires died that night, among them General Sesus Fallot and three of his dragonlords—Ejava's commander among them. Ejava rallied the troops and turned the blood-maddened barbarians onto the Raksha long enough to attack. The Anathema escaped that day, but his slaves died to a man. The Raksha vanished with the morning mist and the bandits were slain.
Her next promotion made Tepet Ejava a dragonlord in the service of General Cathak Tilis Mallon—a commander that she is reluctant to praise. Mallon sent Ejava away to petition the Regent for funds and fresh troops as she was preparing for a hard fight in the Varajtul. She traveled to the Imperial City three days after news of the Battle of Futile Blood, coming to beg for jade a dragonlord and leaving a beggared general of a tattered legion in the service of a shattered house. People lined the streets as she left the Imperial Manse for the docks and watched her take her leave of the Isle. It was the first and last time Ejava ever felt ashamed.
The time since has been hard, but Ejava has been rebuilding the legion she now commands—the Vermillion, also known as the Red-Piss Legion.
Other notes on Tepet Ejava
- She is a legion general and an architect by nature.
- She owns a green jade daiklave named Thorn.
- She also possesses a Freedom Stone, a Salt-Gem of the Spirit's Eye, a Stone of Healing, a jade Mask, and green jade Articulated Plate.
- She commands the Vermillion Legion, also known as the Red-Piss Legion, and is proud of it.
- She is reputed to be one of the most famous contemporary heroes of the Realm.