Childhood in Anheim
Deren Beq grew up in the underground city of Anheim. As a young girl, she was quite fond of Turos and Ideria of Meridian, and they treated her like their own daughter. Deren aspired to be an artist like Ideria, and was given the gift of a sketchbook and art supplies before the young couple departed Anheim.
Ideria was pregnant with Sephie, and departed from Anheim for Meridian. Ideria passed away before she was ever able to visit Anheim again, and Turos himself never returned after the passing of his wife.
Over the years, Deren entered the rough and tumble world of the mining community that existed above the underground city. In time, she rose to be the owner and bartender of the community's tavern, *The Lair.* In her late teens and early twenties, she was a bright and happy young woman, and stole the heart of every man who met her. One day she met a boy who finally stole hers, and she thought her life complete. She was happier than she had ever been, until he flew away on an airship to find adventure. In her pain and anger, Deren destroyed her sketchbook, and vowed to never give herself to another man for the rest of her life.
Adulthood in The Lair
Hardened by her failed romance, Deren threw herself into learning how to fight, quickly becoming the most skilled brawler in the mining community. As owner of the *The Lair,* Deren often allow bar fights to break out, so that she could prove and assert her prowess by clearing the floor all by herself. Being a citizen of the secret city of Anheim below, Deren also became their liaison to the surface world, and protector of access to its hidden entrance.
Members of the surrounding logging communities often came to Deren's tavern for refreshment after a long week of working the forest. One day, the logger Cotson and his friends Hondell and Daneyn come to the community, bringing a new acquaintance along with them, Sephie of Meridian.
Sephie enters The Lair in the midst of yet another tavern brawl, but this is one that Deren seems to actually have a bit of trouble controlling. Sephie literally flies into action, using her powers to surprise and separate the mob. Sephie immediately becomes an inspiring figure, and many who see and listen to her come to believe that they can shake the chains of Ilahn of Cadador control.
Deren, for her part, is also intrigued, and so are the members of Anheim's city council. Deren arranges for Sephie to be "kidnapped" to the city below, and introduced to Geres, the city's Minister. While Sephie and her logger friends travel below and learn of the wonders of Anheim, Deren clean up her tavern and follows soon after.
Once below, Deren learns more about Sephie's powers and her quest to free Meridian and the rest of Demetria from Ilahn's clutches. Deren is also fascinated to learn that Sephie is the daughter of her long-lost friends Turos and Ideria. Along with Geres of Anheim, his grandson Crenner, and Deren, Sephie makes plans to move back into the surface world and begin loosening Ilahn's control. Meanwhile, the loggers and miners Sephie has met and inspired have been working alongside the citizens of Anheim to construct a beautiful airship, one designed by Sephie's own father.
Pirates of the Wind
Taking the ship, Sephie is joined by Deren and some of the logger and miners as they begin to take on Ilahn's forces directly. They soon take Sephie's symbol (her Sigil
mixed with Meridian's crest), as their own, and proclaim themselves the Pirates of the Wind.
Sephie, Deren, and crew begin boarding and commandeering Cadadorian ship in true pirate style. Many of the Cadadorian soldiers join with Sephie in her fight, and stay on as crew of the newly acquired ships. Sephie's crusade takes her from island to island, meeting with Ministers and asking them to join in her new vision of trade.
Unbeknownst to Sephie, Ilahn has returned from Elysia with Rhorf as his somewhat unwilling servant. A servant who he unleashes on the inhabitants of Torbel.
Jad Takarty is finally reunited with Sephie, and the two childhood friends pick up right where they left off. Crenner sees the relationship between the two, but does not act on his jealousy. Deren Beq, along with Cotson and the others, confront Jad and warn him off from distracting Sephie from her destiny.
While the Pirates of the Wind are instituting their blockade, Ilahn and Rho Rhustane hold the embargo on Torbel. Torbel is a huge, and mostly artificial island (the largest on Demetria
) which is in need of a constant supply of ore to keep it in the air. Without the much needed ore, Torbel begins to plummet into the ocean below. The Pirates of the Wind show up too late, and are held off by the fiercest Cadadorian forces they have yet faced.
After a battle with against the Cadadorians (which they are aided against by Samandahl Rey), and after defeating Rho Rhustane, the Pirates race to Torbel and begin evacuating its inhabitants. Deren works tirelessly to protect Sephie as she strives to keep the massive island afloat. When Torbel falls from the sky, Sephie begins to heal her crew members. When she comes to Deren, Deren tells her to forget about her and move on to the inhabitants of Torbel, many of whom are near death. As Jad Takarty ironically points out, "Deren is always right," and encourages her to look to the needs of the Torbelites.
Deren stands by and watches as Sephie later takes on Ilahn in one-on-one combat. Deren trusts that Sephie has learned her lessons well, and is satisfied when it seems that Ilahn is killed at Sephie's hands.
Sephie's Mission of Unity
Over the next few months, Sephie moves on, first to become Minister of Cadador for a short while, then later on a mission to unify Demetria against further aggression by Reesha Teramu. When Sephie takes over Cadador, Deren begins to allow herself to fade into the background, pushing Sephie to assert herself and grow in her confidence.
The Pirates of the Wind reach the quiet city of Nescoan in her sunship. This island prides itself on its etiquette and excellence. Nearly the entire city is a place of peace, with even the "bad" part of town being far better than most of Demetria's other larger cities. While Sephie meets with the city's Minister, Deren and the crew look for a bit of excitement. Not finding their type of people very easily, they are finally directed to the only bar in town with a somewhat rough reputation. They soon find that even this place is a bit to refined and cultured for their tastes, and quickly fix this by instigating a wonderful bar fight, the best this quiet island had ever seen. Near the end of the bar fight, Deren is confronted with a ghost of her past, Renni, the boy (now a man) who broke her heart and turned her into the woman she is today. She asserts herself once and for all and reclaims a bit of herself she had set aside in spite so long ago. Deren tells her former love off, and leaves him standing alone in the bar. The next morning, as Sephie and crew are loading onto the airship, Deren runs to an art shop and buys anew what she had destroyed years before. Deren Beq takes it upon herself to become the chronicler of Sephie's story.
Deren follows Sephie to their discovery of the lost city of Sheristan, and then back to Meridian as they seek to further make enroads against Ilahn. Very soon, Deren must stand back and watch as Sephie is yet again attacked ferociously, this time by a quartet of Sigil-bearers from different worlds, recruited by Ilahn. Sephie successfully defeats the new attackers, and drains Ilahn as well. Ilahn escapes in the hopes of regaining his power.
The remaining Pirates of the Wind watch as Sephie literally flies off into the sunset, ostensibly to fight in the coming war for the fate of the universe against the forces of the Negation.
Note on CrossGen Comics
Meridian was one of the few CrossGen comics titles to come fully to a close before the company went bankrupt and ceased publishing. It is believed that Sephie would have played a major role in the Negation War title if the company had survived. The fate of Deren Beq and the crew of the Pirates of the Wind remains unknown.