Ainori the Heir

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"Oh... I... I see. I think... I'm needed somewhere else, now..."

Timid and soft-spoken yet ultimately incredibly powerful, Ainori the Heir is the only child of Deioros the King and Nomori the Queen. When she was chosen to be the heir, it was known that she would be the one to perform the ritual and usher in a new age for her people. Although she was forever daunted by the huge responsibilities set on her from a young age, Ainori's love for her people and desire to help them gave her courage to serve her nation in any way she could.

O child of a shattered bloodline...
You are not yet ready
to know what lies ahead.

Background

On account of Nomori's fragile disposition and being prone to illness, it was assumed that she and Deioros would not have any direct descendants and that one of Deioros' sister's children would be given the title of Heir. Even when Nomori recovered and was well, it appeared that either she or Deioros -- or even both -- could have been infertile, for they went years without managing to conceive. However, shortly after Dokani safely gave birth to her first child, Felaji, Nomori was found to be pregnant. Perhaps to avoid causing trouble in the royal court with prematurely naming one child Heir over the other, the decision was delayed even after Ainori was born and found to be healthy.

Waiting turned out to be pointless, for Dokani and her family were executed or disowned before a decision was made. Without any competition, the young Ainori was deemed to be the last Heir of Dasedrak Castle. She was educated from a young age, taught how to read and write, instructed in the ways of magic, and, above all else, told all there was to know about the ritual she would someday have to perform.

When Ainori didn't have lessons to tend to, she frequently visited the servants' quarters. She found it barbaric that they were treated as lesser, and she told them hopeful speculation from her four-fingered teachers that the ritual would restore their hands and remove all castes from precursor society. And, if the ritual didn't, then Ainori would institutionalize equality once she took the throne. Even as she grew older, Ainori never lost that youthful idealism. She regularly tried to befriend Felaji the Servant, quietly apologizing to her for Deioros' mistreatment of Felaji. To her, it didn't matter that Felaji had been "disgraced"; family was still family. Although it wasn't certain how good of a ruler Ainori would be, few faulted her for how she treated those beneath her status.

First Dream of Arplakoon

Ainori's powers were always unusual, even for someone from a family of such high potential for magical ability. She was trained in the traditional schools of magic, but she displayed powers that nobody had ever seen before -- spells that generated black auras. This was taken to be a sign that the ritual was nigh and that Ainori was, effectively, the last Heir. However, they struggled to understand her powers completely, and the best theory they could come up with was that Ainori's powers could tap into others' dreams; if someone dreamed of an invention to purify water, Ainori's powers could make it real. She could not do this with her own dreams, and Ainori's own sleep was noticeably dreamless, perhaps on account of her powers.

It is through this power to make others' dreams reality that Ainori was able to create a time portal -- tapping into the first dream of Arplakoon, she witnessed firsthand what would occur if the ritual happened. In the future, she saw the desolate Dokani Castle patrolled by undead and colossi. She initially intended to explain to others what she had seen, but she feared nobody would believe her, or that her actions would inadvertently lead to the future see saw. When she expressed a desire to not go through with the ritual to Felaji, Felaji panicked at the thought of Ainori doing something to stop the ritual entirely, which would ruin Dokani's plans. That fear in conjunction with Felaji's built-up resentment towards Ainori's father and Dokani's urging that Ainori be killed made Felaji feel justified in killing Ainori just a few days prior to the ritual.

Ainori was raised from the dead by Thorn after the ritual, though her memories were not intact, and she did not remember who she was, what she had done, or much of anything. She still had her powers, however, and she remained in Dokani Castle and the surrounding area, hiding from Dokani's undead minions as best she could.

Second Dream of Arplakoon

Mioura: The Forgotten Past

Ainori first appears in the Mioura campaign as "the nameless girl". In Arplakoon's second dream, Thorn had been captured and killed before he could explain who Ainori was to the player characters; because Ainori herself did not know, Ainori's entire purpose was a mystery to the player group. Isaak, knowing Ancient Precursor, was able to communicate with her and convince her to go with them, since it wasn't safe there. The time portal that was in the castle had inadvertently been created by Ainori tapping into one of the dreams of Arplakoon, but it had been further modified by Dokani herself. It was through this time portal that the players returned to the past with Ainori in tow. Dermazd the Eagle-Caller used a mass Comprehend Languages spell on them so that they could speak with the natives of the castle, and further conversations with the other precursors in the rebellion group -- such as Fanred the Past-Seer -- revealed that Ainori was indeed the missing Heir... but had died a few days before, known only to Fanred and Goluragg the Snake-Bearer, as Fanred had stumbled upon her body. This also revealed that the Ainori with them was undead, a fact she had concealed out of shame and worry for how the others would respond.

To keep Ainori safe and undiscovered by whoever had killed her to begin with, she mostly stayed behind with Isaak. Eventually, they had to move, as Throntuk the Lionhearted discovered their location and assumed that the Heir was collaborating with some kind of sinister plot or had been captured by the players. After Fanred was found to be dead, Ainori was also missing, though they soon found that this was because Ainori had been preemptively moved to a safer location, as they knew someone definitely sought to keep Ainori dead, no matter the cost.

While the players were searching for Fanred's killer, Ainori encountered Felaji again, but Felaji had broken into her room and tried to kill her. The ensuing scuffle had triggered Ainori's memories, and she remembered that Felaji had been the one to murder her to begin with. The trauma of remembering caused Ainori to be reduced to a terrified, self-isolating state; even as the Callers moved her to a safer location, she wouldn't talk to anyone. Eventually, Cameo was able to convince her to still follow through with the ritual and that they would protect her.

During the ritual, Ainori being undead meant that Dokani was able to take over her body and turn her into the First Colossus. Forced to fight against her friends, Ainori tried to break free of Dokani's control unsuccessfully, at best only managing to halt the necromancer's assault long enough for the players to kill her. Dokani's spirit left Ainori's body, and Ainori realized that as a colossus, she would not die despite her wounds, but the agony was overwhelming, and in their hearts, they all knew that one of Dokani's colossi should not survive into the modern-day. As the dawn sun rose, Ainori saw how many people had been saved. With the colossi dead, there were very few casualties this time around. With that realization, Ainori allowed herself to be killed by Cameo.

In the Altar of the New Gods found in the present-day, the inscriptions indicate that Ainori was given a new title by the precursor historians in honor of her great sacrifice: Dawn's Light.

Alti Maru: The Last Stand

Along with the other colossi, Ainori's lifeless form was found once again in Dai Lhan. According to Fanred the Past-Seer and some documents found in the facility, Ainori was the main focus of the Veriol Alliance's projects due to her unusual powers, and her DNA had been used to create the kid. However, reviving her had been ultimately unsuccessful due to the severity of the wounds on her body -- most notably the slit in her throat from when Cameo mercy-killed her.

Like Thorn and the other colossi, a device that allowed her body to be remotely controlled had been attached to her as part of the facility's security system. After Cameo, Ddremmu, and Isaak triggered the alarm, Ainori was forced to pursue and attack them, though after dealing with Set Sietsan, they destroyed the device.

Ainori's inanimate form was found by Zervat Aniklý when he went to examine the Dai Lhan Weapons Facility himself. Using a spell, he caused her to follow him -- though she was still dead, for all intents and purposes. Eventually, she was revived -- wearily, she told her friends that she had known all along that they would meet again, just as she told them before her death.

After her revival, Zervat's conversation with her revealed some aspects of Ainori's life before the events that led to her initial death. Ainori had the same powers as Zervat himself, as well as the same strange black markings. She also revealed that she had never dreamed in her life, just as Zervat had. Nonetheless, Ainori promised to stay behind and help fix whatever she could now that she had been brought back to life so they could make the most of their situation. After all, if they hadn't been turned into colossi in the first place, then they wouldn't be able to help now in the time they were needed most.

Interim: The Dreamer's Children

While about in Dai Lhan, Ainori -- disguised -- found a wayward Rokordi, who was searching for Cameo. She convinced Rokordi to come with her, as she knew Cameo as well and recognized that Rokordi was likely a precursor or colossus. After some talking, Ainori and Rokordi came to the Dai Lhan Weapons Facility, and Ainori brought Rokordi to a makeshift guest room to rest, realizing that Rokordi was likely exhausted and overwhelmed.

Third Dream of Arplakoon

Mioura: The Forgotten Past

In Arplakoon's third dream, the amnesiac Ainori was found by Aydin after the latter's death and subsequent revival by Dokani the Necromancer. On account of his previous hostility with Thorn, Aydin was at first angry to hear that Ainori knew Thorn and thought of him as kind. Nonetheless, he convinced her that Thorn was only nice to those he had a reason to be nice to, and he promised to protect her from the things he had warned her of. Encouraged by his promise, Ainori decided to accompany him.

Eventually, Aydin brought Ainori through the portal that led to the past, back when Dokani Castle was known as Dasedrak Castle. There, they encountered Felaji the Servant, who recognized Ainori and eventually asked if Ainori had dreamed at all as a test to see if it was truly her or not. With her memory slowly coming back, having been triggered by the past she was reliving, Ainori realized that she hadn't. Felaji revealed that Ainori was the Heir to "the nation and the protogods' future," and told them to follow her to discuss what was going on further.

Fourth Dream of Arplakoon

Mioura: The Forgotten Past

During Arplakoon's fourth dream, Ainori was found hiding in the prison depths of Dokani Castle. The group quickly introduced themselves as friends and allies of Thorn, but Absinthe was quickest to assuage her fears and hesitations about these strangers. They quickly convinced her to come with them through the portal, although Ainori was clearly hesitant at points due to the Mark of the Queen that several of them bore. Due to being undead herself, however, Ainori was hesitant to make physical contact with any of them, but her trust in Absinthe led her to briefly hold her hand as they crossed over the portal to the past -- Absinthe noticing the coldness of Ainori's hand but choosing not to react or say anything about it.

Ainori's identity was quickly discovered through a chance encounter with Felaji the Servant, who indicated her as the beloved Heir of Dasedrak Castle. However, Ainori herself was disbelieving and taken aback, insisting that her powers were "just ordinary spells" (which she had used to help up a fallen Raanya).

Image Gallery (Ainori Shrine)

Meta

In her native story, Ainori did know who she was, but she kept it secret from that story's Thorn (who was unrelated to her) because she knew Felaji despised her for her identity and she didn't want anything to do with it.