Dame Leona Thrax
Duty for some is just a word, and honor just a notion that guides the movements of inscrutable pieces on the chessboard. They will never understand what it is that makes us knights. For us, we do what we must, never less than that, though the heavens fall.
Social Rank: 3
Concept: Dauntless Knight
Hair Color: Wheat Brown
Eye Color: Storm Blue
Description: Agile and undeniably strong, Leona nonetheless presents a striking and lovely figure; the lines of her limbs and angles of her face are graceful - even elegant. Her hair is a soft brown that shades towards wheat, her eyes the grey-blue of a stormy sky. Strong, straight brows and a generously expressive mouth tend to give away what she is feeling, flashes of amusement and irritation breaking like waves across her face. She has a force of presence, of intense focus and power, and it isn't all due to her height.
Personality: Strength is the word most often associated with Dame Leona Thrax. A warrior of few peers, her physical strength is undoubted, but even more than that, her strength of character makes her one of the more formidible women in the whole of the Compact. Never one to allow abuse in any form, she adheres to social constructs, but the spirit of them even more than the letter. A champion of the less fortunate and the downtrodden, she's as quick with kindness and compassion as she is to fight for the King of the Compact. For a lost child or washerwoman, her quick defense and tender mercy is no less than for royal or noble. But when a kind word is insufficient, she is sharp of tongue and swift of sword and will not stand for cruelty or oppression. She can navigate the courtly waters with ease if she must, and knows how to keep her temper in check, but often she finds her way back to the training grounds to clear her mind after a long day of balls and political maneuverings.
Leona didn't want to be a rebellious young lady, but she just could not abide by the demure expectations of a proper princess of House Thrax. When her younger brother was bullied, it was the infuriated Princess Leona that leapt to his defense and bloodied the noses of older children to the shocked horror of her extremely proper and conservative mother. When a house thrall was abused, it was Leona who argued loudly and stubbornly to see justice done. When the young noblewomen were given courtly lessons on the proper behavior and decorum expected of a princess of the great house Thrax, it was Leona who would pointedly ask about Queen Alarice the Great's feats in battle and why House Thrax alone refused to allow women to rule. The spirited young woman was the bane of her tutors, often skipping lessons on courtly etiquette so she could practice (and handily beat) her male cousins at swordplay - despite never having a single lesson.
Acts of rebellion aside, doubtless she would have been married off to firm up a political alliance if not for the Great Tournament of 998 AR. The princess traveled to Arx along with many young, unpromised nobles of the great houses, doubtless so her grandfather could negotiate a suitable match for her and hoping that the sight of so many refined ladies of the court could restrain the young woman's enthuasism. If that was the hope, it was a catastrophic failure as Leona watched the greatest knights in Arvum compete at the melee and joust, steadily building the young woman's dreams of competing at that level no matter what a proper princess of Thrax might do.
As a gesture of hospitality by House Grayson to House Thrax, Leona was the lone companion to Crown Prince Alaric in his carriage returning to the palace from the Tournament, after Lord Commander Dayne Valardin's victory at the tournament melee. On the ride back to the palace, the carriage and the escort was stopped by an overturned cart on the road and a tense crowd surrounded the royal carriage, but Leona wasn't worried... until she heard a scream and saw the escort of the King's Own being felled by arrows and cloaked figures drawing swords as they rushed the carriage.
Crown Prince Alaric was in a panic, but Leona felt calm as she grabbed the crown prince's sword and positioned herself in front of himat the door of the carriage. It was madness, one barely trained, unarmored teenage princess against unknown attackers, but Leona never learned how to back away from a fight. The shock of facing any resistance at all once the King's Own were down likely saved Leona's life, her ferocious attack catching the assailants off guard when they threw open the carriage to retrieve the prince. Her fight felt like an eternity, though she knows it couldn't have been more than a few minutes, and left her badly wounded... but it bought time for Lord Commander Dayne Valardin to arrive, charging down on his horse as he cut down every last attacker. The Lord Commander had the Thrax princess treated by the personal healer of the King's Own, and the man who had a reputation as the greatest knight in all of Arvum personally thanked the young woman for saving the future king of the Compact. "You saved one young man, your highness, but you did more than that. If he had been taken, it would have been a war, as we already suspect who was behind it. Kidnapped or dead, armies would have marched. If you had not acted, the Realm would have bled and thousands would have perished. You have a talent for saving kings, your highness, and if you would ever consider squiring for an old knight I know that the King's Own would be proud to have you." It was not an offer to take lightly, considering all she would give up if she took the vows.
In the end, being allowed a choice compared to being told what to do made her path obvious. Her family was furious, of course, it was unheard of for a noblewoman of House Thrax - let alone the grand daughter of the current high lord! The young woman is shunned by an entire great house and all she knew when she was young. But when it comes to honor, no cost is too high for Dame Leona.