Name: Olivier Ava Huntingrath
Age: 18 (born 763)
Weight: 127 lbs
Olivier is daughter of a knight of King Charlemagne named Roland(Hruodland) and his fiancée, Alda. Because he held a high position in the military and chief paladin, seeing her father was a rare occurrence. At home with her mother, she was constantly bored. Unlike typical girls, who remained uneducated and learned only to be a housewife, she idolized her father, wanting to be just like him. Whenever he was home, she made sure she was right there with him. To get over her boredom, she exercised daily and trained herself like a warrior. She spent much time in Byzantium with her cousin and best friend, Galien. Galien was the son of Oliver, Roland's best friend, Alda's brother, and the man for whom Olivier was named. Galien was a bit older than Olivier, and more mature and wise, much like his father. His mother was Jacqueline, a Byzantine princess. Olivier, like her father, was more headstrong, recklessly courageous. She often called him cowardly, while he called her on foolishness. In spite of himself, Galien often found himself caught in Olivier's troubles, all the while trying to dissuade her from going any further, though never to any avail. Once, while traveling through a forest, Olivier happened across a lion cub and got the bright idea to keep it as a pet. Galien accompanied and tried, harder than ever before, to get her to abandon her endeavor. As usual, Olivier paid him no mind, knowing he'd do just the same as always. Except this time, fearing more than ever that her life was in danger, he tried to use physical force to restrain her. For this he received a busted lip and a bloody nose. Their tussle did not go unnoticed; they were interrupted, set upon by a full grown male lion. Rather than try to run, Olivier faced the lion head-on. Within five minutes, she had wrestled it to the ground in a chokehold, asphyxiated it, and stood triumphantly over the beast, declaring herself King of the Jungle. She scooped up the cub and headed home, but during the struggle, she sustained injuries on the head, back, her left arm and both legs, and on the way back, she got dizzy, on the verge of passing out from blood loss. She fell once on the way back and the cub escaped. Though Olivier insisted on going back for it, she was in no condition to resist and Galien carried her the rest of the way. Somehow, she managed a quick recovery. The one small mishap did nothing to deter the girl's sense of adventure or her training.
There came a time when their fathers were feuding because Olivier's father Roland deceived Galien's father to gain favor with a princess, and Oliver almost left Roland to die, beset upon by a group of Saracens and only helping at the last moment. Their children also came into conflict, Olivier believing her father was wronged, Galien believing his father rightfully justified.
"Ha! If anything maybe he'll stop being such a pompous fool. You know, you could learn from this as well."
Upon hearing this, Olivier promptly punched him in the eye. What nerve he had, to disrespect her father like that! Her father, chief paladin of King Charlemagne's court. Tempers flaring, neither held much of anything back. Olivier was good; almost a hundred pounds, all lean muscle. But Galien was no slouch either, and as a boy, received aid in training from others, compounded by the fact that he remained calm and a thinker in the thick of the fight. Olivier trained almost exclusively by herself, and she became hotheaded; she rushed in and received a stern beatdown. Stubborn as ever, she kept trying. His right eye was swollen shut. She got a swollen right eye, a broken rib, and dislocated her shoulder when she fell on a jagged rock. He almost left her there on the ground, but decided he had made his point and later turned back for her. They didn't talk for a long time after that, even when their fathers made amends. When she felt well enough, Olivier decided it was time to go back and see her father. A group of 3 was sent to travel with her to ensure she made it back safely. Olivier doubted she would need them, but she accepted them. Their names were Julian, Euthysmius, and Asylaion, and they weren't thrilled to be under orders by a child. A girl, no less.
Somewhere along the way, slinking along in the wilderness, Olivier overheard a band of rogues who had kidnapped two little girls. Deeply disturbed by this, she expressed a desire to deal out justice herself.
Four bandits sat near a river, smoking opium, joking, and drinking wine for entertainment. One man heard a sound in the distance and hushed the others. Upon further investigation, he saw in the clearing a lone girl, staring hatefully. "Hey there little girl. Why the evil stare? I've got—" He was cut off by an axe, thrown and embedded in his skull. "What is it, another wild animal? Stop messing with beasts and get back here!" a comrade shouted, laughing. No answer came and he sensed something was wrong. They all went to look, together, and saw the girl with the same hateful stare standing over their friend. They were momentarily still with disbelief, then with a casual nod from the man in the middle, they moved briskly toward her. It was then that three men with swords of their own came from the bushes and surrounded them. Distracted by this, no one noticed the girl run up from behind and grab what seemed to be their leader by the neck, which in turn created a distraction for the other two to be dealt with quickly. Olivier held her man a while longer, staring coldly as she snapped his neck. Back where the bandits had set up camp, their possessions were stolen, captives were freed, bodies left exactly where they were. Olivier and her men headed home.
To her disappointment, Olivier arrived to hear from her mother that her father had gone some time before to fight on behalf of the empire at Roncevaux Pass. Not one to be deterred, she sent the three who had been traveling with her back to Byzantium and silently decided to make off for Roncevaux Pass.
When she actually did arrive at Roncevaux Pass, Olivier found but corpses, dead bodies everywhere. She was mostly unaffected by the sight. She expected bodies. It was a battlefield. However, in the distance, a little ways off from most of them, she saw one man kneeling. From the back, she thought she recognized it and ventured closer. It was Galien, also come out this way to see his father, who lay, dying, in his arms. Oliver had been stabbed and was dying, though not before sharing last words with his son. Giving them a moment, Olivier started off, looking around once more. But what she saw made her start to quiver and falter, because she was staring at the body of her own father. He was already dead; his temples had burst. She got no final words with him. No "at least I got to see you one more time," or "It's okay. I go in peace." No "I'm proud of how you've grown." She got shock and silence. Her father, and she felt like she barely knew him. And still, she wanted to be like him, a fearless warrior. She had pride because of what he was, but the same thing that made her proud was also the cause of her grief.
After a moment of grieving, Olivier felt something, a presence, like someone was there, and a hand on her shoulder. She looked up and around, but Galien still sat at his father's side. There was no other living person around. Then she heard a voice in her head that was not her own, nor one she even faintly recognized at all. It urged her to search her father's body. Strange voices giving out strange commands, and yet she felt she couldn't refuse. Turning his body over, Olivier found a sword and a horn. Confusion was apparent, and whatever it was spoke once more.
"This sword is Durandal, a peerless blade once bestowed upon King Charlemagne and granted to Roland. It is indestructible and will always remain sharpened to a fine edge. Take it, along with the olifant, the last and greatest treasures of your father in this world. They are yours now."
Olivier took the sword and the horn in her hands, feeling slightly better than she did before, and moved to meet with Galien, who had been approaching. They hadn't spoken since he'd beaten her and the air was tense. Without words, they embraced in a hearty hug before heading back. Galien took up Hauteclere and accompanied Olivier back to Francia to deliver the news to Alda, then to Jacqueline.
King Charlemagne made it back before the two, and when they arrived, only Olivier was allowed to enter the home. They said when the king gave word of Roland, Alda collapsed at his feet and died of grief. She'd already been worried about her missing child. At the age of fifteen, Olivier became an orphan. The king offered to take her as one of his own daughters, feed her, educate her. Olivier promptly refused. Instead, she would go back with Galien. Charles consented, but let her know that she was always welcome in his kingdom.
That same day, the two set off for Constantinople. They caught up, reconciled (formally), and there were talks of a third match between the two to settle the tie.
The news at Constantinople didn't get better. they arrived to find out Galien's uncles had murdered his grandfather, the emperor and their own father, and planned to divide the empire amongst themselves. Together, the two stormed the capital and challenged them to battle. They slaughtered the treacherous men and Galien took his place as emperor. He asked Olivier to be his empress. She agreed, under one condition: that she be allowed to head his army. And so it would be, as soon as she proved herself against the standing general, Himerius.
The terms were accepted and it began. The first competition involved archery, which Himerius excelled at. Franks didn't put as much focus into arrows, and Olivier failed miserably, unable to even string the bow, let alone draw and shoot one. Second, they were tested on horseback with spears. Olivier could ride, but that was it. She could mount no offense and was knocked off time after time. So far, Himerius' background and training proved superior to the self-taught Frankish girl. Next, they were tested on ability from the standing position. He defeated her once again with pole weapons, though she won victories in unarmed combat, short weapons, and with heavy weapons. At the end of the day, both were exhausted and tied in scoring. they retired for the day.
Everyone awoke early the next day for the conclusion of the trials. Each was given six men to command, and were to lead them to victory in real combat in a part of the city specially set aside for it. Olivier took Julian, Euthysmius, and Asylaion (they'd grown on each other) and sent the other three with her to the front to meet with Himerius' men. When they reached the center, she cut down all three of her men where they stood, baffling the opposition. As they stood surprised, her men flanked them and attacked them from behind, holding their captain at knifepoint. This display was not only to show her superiority in leading, but also her willingness to sacrifice to win. It is also where she derived her favorite approach to dealing with enemy forces. A large group, most often prisoners, criminals, or captives of war, marched ahead of the army and committed suicide right in front of the enemy, leaving them stunned and allowing her army to attack, often on multiple sides, up close and from afar with arrows.
First order of business, Julian, Euthysmius, and Asylaion were promoted to serve directly under her. As general of the army, with Durandal, Olivier led the Byzantines to many victories and, over time, gained a reputation much like her father; one that reached all the way home and beyond. She herself was called a weapon of war and an instrument of destruction. One of the most distinguishing features of the tales was her ruthlessness, and many were unable to think of her as a human, a girl, or a child at all. Some said she was a child of the gods or a goddess indeed, with the beauty of an angel and the ferocity of a demon. Again, Olivier did not care. It mattered not if she could be a fighter like her father; thoughts like this consumed her, though in truth her reputation was much worse. It took on more of a negative tone, although if she was aware of this or not, she never showed. She commanded respect wherever she went, despite being a female and not fully grown. Most used masculine honorifics when referring to her, such as a "sir" when receiving a command. Olivier didn't mind this one bit.
Her greatest failure, or perhaps her greatest challenge and triumph, came after two years. They had been fighting with an army of Arabs along the border to the east and their forces were pushed back to the Taurus Mountains. Effort and morale were lacking, getting worse each day with soldier losses. Olivier took her own force of 2,000 to face what some said was an army of five thousand. Others said ten or fifteen thousand. Her response was simple:
"So be it. Our men are superiorly trained and superiorly armed. Any number of us would be superior to any number of those filthy desert rats."
Olivier rode on horseback with her men to the mountains where the two armies clashed. Still preferring to fight on foot, she dismounted and calmly stepped forward, blowing the olifant to signal her arrival, which seemed to have a negative effect on both ally and enemy alike. It is not half as bad as everyone has said, she thought upon seeing it in person. Disappointed, she was, to find the enemy numbers barely a fraction of what she was told; even more disappointed that her own allies were having a hard time with them.
Arriving with her men to join the fight, Olivier ordered the weary men to fall to the rear. She and her men took up the front, containing the enemy, but never able to completely overwhelm them. Both sides suffered losses, though for them, each loss counted as more. Eventually, though, the enemy started retreating, allowing for a rest. After a brief respite, however, a scout stumbled forward from the west. He reported that the enemy was advancing once more. At the same time, another reported that another force seemed to have flanked around and was enclosing from the north. A sense of dread fell over everyone.
As first priority, Olivier sent a small group back to give word on the situation to the emperor and to return with reinforcements as soon as possible Then she got her men ready to take up arms once more. In a two-front battle, they fought hard, their numbers dwindling under the full might of their enemies. In time, only Olivier herself remained, while her enemies still numbered greatly. Even Julian, Euthysmius, and Asylaion had fallen. Though weary, she knew not surrender.
Olivier knelt and said a short prayer to her sword, pressed against her forehead. To be granted the strength of her father, just a little more, to fight a little longer. Perhaps just for comfort. In truth, she expected nothing, but it seems her prayer did not fall on deaf ears. Time seemed to freeze around her, every person around completely still. She saw in front of her, the silhouette of a figure, obscured by a blinding light, but that appeared to be a woman of divine origin. In that time, between them a pact was formed and Olivier was granted her strength. With a few practice swings, she faced the daunting task. all that mattered was that she lived.
They surrounded her and sent one man forward. Toying with her, it seemed. She would not allow them the satisfaction. She dashed at the man in front of her, cutting his head clean off his shoulders and onto the man behind him, running him along with the one behind him through. She doubled back and jumped up, her steel boot heel crashing down on someone's face. They'd had enough and the army charged her, every man trying to land a good hit, each wanting to be the one to kill the infamous general and empress. They were so busy trying for the glory, they became reckless and crashed over each other. Olivier used this to turn their blades on each other. She ducked and dodged so ally hit ally, cutting them down herself as well. Their numbers dwindled, but it could not last forever, however, and after a time, her armor and sword grew heavy. Still, she fought continuously, but the enemy wore on. At one point, they almost completely overwhelmed her. That she fought them off was nothing short of a miracle and proved that she hadn't been dreaming. With a mighty swing, Durandal unleashed a great luminescent wave of power upon the enemy, severely cutting their numbers, though at a heavy physical cost for Olivier. So tired was she that she didn't see the man approaching right in front of her, who struck her over the head, knocking her to the ground.
Olivier stood again and swung upward, dividing him up the middle. Several more came out from behind the rocks. four, or maybe eight, she couldn't tell. Stragglers, leftovers of the army, just coming out after the display that crippled their forces. Bruised, exhausted, her armor almost completely broken so that she was reduced to the cloth underneath, save her boots and greaves. Leaning on the sword, Olivier spoke to Durandal one more time. Blood from the head wound poured over her right eye, stinging it shut. Vision in her left eye was blurry. She limped to meet the enemy. Still wary of another attack, they inched slowly closer, until one of them said angrily, "There is only one of her, and she is broken. I don't care who she is, she can be hurt and she can be killed."
The four spread out in front, back, and both sides, and moved as one. They got close and charged. At the same time as they started moving, Olivier tackled left, causing two of the men to hit each other. The one she hit, she then stood over and stabbed through the heart. One more. Olivier turned around to face him and was met with the blade of his sword, gone through her abdomen. A second aimed for her heart, but she moved sideways, narrowly avoiding the fatal blow, instead suffering a shoulder wound. Her sword was brought up through his jaw and exited through the top of his skull, then she kicked him over.
Olivier smiled, exhausted beyond belief, silently reveling in her victory. She found a spot at the side of the mountain, away from all the death and bodies, and lay down, Durandal clasped firmly in her hands, and faded away.
Her death was not complete, however. There was still the pact. In exchange for a miracle, to circumvent destiny, Olivier would serve as a counter guardian to all things. A balancing force, used to protect the equilibrium between good and evil, to help prevent disasters that would mean the destruction of all life. She made this deal in order to be given the strength needed to defeat her enemies. And so she would serve after her supposed death.
Durandal - Bestowed upon King Charlemagne by an angel and granted to Roland, head of the paladins, Durandal is indestructible and will always remain sharpened to a fine edge, the sharpest blade in existence. It is said that with it, Roland once held off a hundred thousand strong Basque army long enough for King Charlemagne to retreat into France, which led many to believe it had some hidden power. Olivier has but once seen a special power from the sword, but she has only tried once, so it is unknown if she could reproduce the effect at will. Whether or not it does possess such power does not matter in how she views it. She values it greatly; as much as she does her own life, possibly more. At times, she is seen speaking to it as if it were alive, or as if she was speaking directly to her father. A Holy item itself, it contains within its hilt one tooth of Saint Peter, blood of Saint Basil, hair of Saint Denis, and a piece of the raiment of the Blessed Virgin Mary (the exact purpose of these items remains unknown). The scabbard of Durandal is likewise indestructible and makes a fine shield or offensive tool when required. It holds the special property of stopping all incoming momentum and attacks in their tracks immediately upon contact. This applies to any touch anywhere on the scabbard.
Olifant - An olifant that belonged to her father. Made from an elephant's tusk. Olivier mostly used it to announce her presence on a battlefield, or as a signal for something, determined beforehand. However, when she blows it, it produces a deeply unpleasant sound, overwhelming for all in the immediate vicinity, including the person blowing the horn.
Olivier also carries an axe, with a small handle and a sharp iron head, mostly used for throwing. Back in her time, iron would still be a pretty effective tool.
Armor - Being itself woven by prana, the armor provides defense to mystical forces in addition to those afforded her already, with the exception that it may still be damaged by sufficient physical force. Olivier seems to have little trouble moving around in it at all. Once damaged, it can only be repaired by proper additional flooding of prana into the armor to fill the broken spots. Any attempt to mend in another way, i.e., having other bits of metal melded in, wouldn't work and would actually cause an unnatural deterioration in the armor as a whole over time, until it is restored properly.
Incendie: The Embryonic Flame - An enchanted blade claimed on the field of battle with a group of people who practiced an art called "blast fencing," formerly the ancestral sword of the ruling family. Bladed somewhat like a flamberge, Incendie is hot to the touch and is fueled by the fighting spirit of the wielder. The sword itself grants the wielder divine right over heat and fire, with an unprecedented degree of pyrokinetic abilities. When it was being used against Olivier, it bwas used to cause massive eruptions of lava and fire from the ground. It recognizes and matches the spirit and strength of will of the wielder, growing proportionately hot to the touch. Because of this, it will always remain scalding hot to the one holding, but if facing one whose resistance is greater than the spirit, it would place Incendie's wielder at a disadvantage. To be able to hold the sword at all would be too great a task for many, but Olivier seems to have mastered it well. As Durandal's scabbard is made especially for Durandal, the same is true for Incendie. In order that the sword not melt through the sheathe, it was crafted with properties to absorb ambient and incoming energies, dispersing them elsewhere. The scabbard itself is a contrasting cold to the sword.
A jewel-encrusted diamond necklace. The diamond contains a perfectly preserved snowflake, given by Andres Knightfall from a time spent with his father in the Arctic. It holds sentimental value.
Gaelin - A gift from Andres Knightfall, to whom she'd been engaged for time. A perfectly crafted Japanese nihonto-katana, concealed by an artistically prepared sheathe, her initials carved in the hilt. The ivory blade is constructed of a Beta-Trion metal, nearly unbreakable and almost infinitely sharp. It holds a certain energy-amplifying property, that any energy projected into the blade would be stored, and can then be released in greater quantities, or used to enhance cutting power. Having used European style swords her entire life, this one doesn't feel quite as natural in her hands, though most would have no idea, by the way it is used. There is no particular reason for the name, save that it is an anagram of Galien, the name of her childhood friend and former husband.
It is supposed by some that her sword possesses magical abilities, or that she is a goddess or a blessed descendant of the gods. Whether or not this is true is a mystery to most, but she does appear to be far beyond the physical limits naturally placed on humanity. Strength at its base allots roughly 40 tons lifting strength, and she is capable of lightspeed movements. She is able to exist throughout time because of a pact with a divine spirit, and she has trained since a very young age, and in life, as a child, she was able to wrestle an adult male lion into submission. She is very skilled with light, heavy, and short weapons, or no weapons at all, but not with pole weapons. Unable to use a bow, she usually carries around a small axe, which she throws at enemies. She can ride on horseback, but she is by and large unable to fight as such. Also, after her passing, she was granted a few new "gifts" to aid in her endeavors, but with no one to teach, it's up to her to learn how to use them herself.
Illumination - Olivier can generate, bend, shift, focus, scatter and generally manipulate light to various degrees and effects. Could be anything from a simple night light in the darkness, to a blinding spectacle, or an offensive burst used to inflict damage.
Divine Winds - Gifted with the ability of manipulation of winds and the air around her, limited in scope and power but by what she can conceive.
At times, she may be bestowed flashes of visions of happenings in the past, elsewhere in the present, or the possible future, in order to show something important or guide toward a particular goal or need.
As necessary, when normal speed is not enough, or when conventional means of travel will not suffice for making an intended goal, she may be known to teleport, able to cross vast distances, times, or dimensions.
Divine Blessing - Part of the pact that allowed for the miracle that allowed her to defy fate and crush her enemies one last time. Manifests itself in different ways, often an enhancement or a second wind in battle which allows her a fresh start once again. Also has a way of working with luck, that at times, for reasons inexplicable by conventional means, things seem to work out for the best results for Olivier. Once, it allowed her to make a seemingly impossible throw in order to strike down a flying opponent when she would have had no other way to reach him. Because of general rules regarding variability of the causality and variability of the future this effect may not manifest itself at all in the way she expects.
There exists about her a protective aura, which provides absolute protection against conventional forms of harm (concussive force & blunt physical trauma, heat, etc), and fairly strong resistance to outside mystical forces (e.g., magic, cosmic powered attacks, pure elementals and gods). Though it can still be somewhat disrupted and a sufficiently powered user of these mystical forces could manage to still do harm, it significantly dampens the effect of such things on her, any lesser attacks being completely nullified. At the same time, it prevents her from being affected by internal manipulations, distortions and manipulations in things such as reality and time. The only true way for it to dissipate would be through her own will or the one who bestowed the gifts upon her in the first place.
Inside her body, Olivier is filled with a radically high amount of raw energy, good for any number of uses, be it boosting her own physicality or infusing it into a weapon. Even infused into normal materials, they could become a dangerous weapon. In her hands, a simple stick could be made as dangerous as a masterfully crafted and enhanced club, a mere rock more destructive than a cannonball. Though because these objects were not built to withstand such energies, they would be destroyed after a single use. Durandal's indestructibility makes it the perfect weapon for these energy-infused attacks, as she can go as hard as she wishes without fear of damaging it in any way.
It is possible, through "bargaining," for her to receive further benefits (further strength increase, additional healing, energy boost, etc), though always at a cost considered equivalent to that which is being asked. She possesses the capacity to practice in the mystic arts, but even she has professed herself that she lacks the patience to learn magecraft.