Arianna grew up in Aldertown, a place full of peace, prayer and divinity. All her life she knew she would train as a paladin and faithfully serve and protect her people. She never needed to venture too far from this idyllic little heaven of hers, until it all changed drastically, destroying the serenity of her home and her soul.
Aldertown was a lively home for the half-elfs who worshipped the tree-godess Druantia. This town prized itself on its displays of faith and rituals of prayer which took place everyday in the Soul Garden. This area was treated as holy ground which grew a single tree for every member of the town. Each tree represented a half-elf's soul and families tended to have the same tree type. The people believed that after death, the soul returned to the tree it came from and lived on, watching over the town and blessing it with wisdom. Arianna grew up meditating before her soul-tree, a tall White Oak and in times of stress listening to the silence of the Soul Garden to give her strength and assurance.
Finally the time came for Arianna to begin her training at the Acolyte college and she left her home and friends behind for the first time in her life. She was eager to learn how to use her prayers and devotion to become a strong protector and fighter. During her training she met an elf named Tam, who became her closest friend. Over the years they came to trust each other more and more and eventually Arianna allowed him the highest honour of teaching him about Aldertown's sacred Soul Garden and her own White Oak tree.
Their friendship grew ever-stronger until a new student, a dwarf called Boderick, arrived and very quickly befriended Tam. The dwarf was bad news for them, as it soon became clear that he was not truly interested in studying or in learning about mastering the powers of pure faith, as he brought with him dark magic, illegally practising it at night and slowly teacing Tam to worship Arawn, the god of Terror. Arianna tried desperately to stop Tam from swerving down this dangerous path, however the more she begged him to stop, the more defiant he became and he slipped further towards Boderick and Arawn, and away from her. Arianna was distraught as she saw him losing all the purity of mind and body that he had worked so hard to control and so one week, when Tam was absent from all classes, she chose to try to save him by informing her guardian of the dark magic.
The college took the matter more seriously than she had imagined and immediately expelled Tam and Boderick from the school and from ever becoming recognised servants of the gods. Arianna tracked down her friend to apologise and to explain what she had done, but on finding him, it was clear that she was too late. She found him alone in the cave they used to travel to together and she saw that his arms were shaking with fury and his eyes were tar-black. Before she could speak he was preparing to send a dark curse her way. She quickly dodged as a stream of black mist hurtled towards her. At that point Arianna knew that there was no hope for him, their friendship was over. She left the cave as fast as she could, Tam screaming and cursing after her, daring her to return and fight him, but she knew he was too strong for her now.
Although she had lost her closest friend, she was not defeated, and she had the resolve to continue her study and to move on without him. Firstly however, she returned home to Aldertown to meditate and reflect on these events. Strangely the town was silent, all curtains drawn, no signs of life anywhere. She went straight to the Soul Garden to calm her nerves, but as she approached, to her horror she realised that every single tree that once stood so majestically side by side was dead. Some were burnt to ash, some slashed into many crumbling pieces. Barely able to stand, Arianna dragged herself towards the place her soul-tree once stood and sank to the ground in front of it. All around her was a trail of chipped pieces of bark and a roughly hacked stump in the middle. She brushed the top with her hand and noticed a deeply cut letter 'T'. This brutal act fired up a deep hatred and disgust as she had never felt before in her life. How could someone who had been so pure destroy something so sacred and good?
At that moment she vowed to Druantia that she would hunt down her old friend and make him pay for the pain he had caused to her home, her family, friends and all the souls in Aldertown. So she packed her belongings and set off, promising never to return until she had succeeded in finding the elf who broke her spirit and her home. She knew that she would not find an elf, but a cold monster possessing dark magic and ability. She knew he would be growing stronger by the day and hoped she would find a group of travellers strong enough to support her in repaying the unforgivable actions of her new-sworn enemy.