The World of Asselin
Clarissa Wellington ('Rissa)
Brought up as a pampered young lady of a royal house as a political pawn to be used in marriage into another family, she was taught her letters, sums, courtly graces, manners, and the conduct of a young lady. As part of her training to function as a courtesan, she was taught etiquette and court-dancing and could sing to entertain the court. She hated every bit of it. She prefers being called ’Rissa and never mentions her last name or her family. Her preferred outfit is peasant clothes and barefoot. With her hair up under a hat and her slight build, she looks like a young boy, more at home in the stables or the kennels helping a mare or a bitch give birth. She was often found wandering the woodlands outside the castle grounds help heal injured animals.
Several years ago she met an elderly lady in the woods. The locals said she was a witch but ’Rissa knew she was too nice to be a witch. The old lady was tough and not above swatting ’Rissa with a willow branch if she became too lax in her studies of the wild. ’Rissa was like a wild thing herself, running through the woods with no concerns. Quick to laugh watching the kits and cubs learning to hunt from their parents or quiet and respectful when watching others hunt and make their kills, she was always interested when observing who ate first from the kills. ’Rissa was at home in the brutality and beauty of the wild but felt trapped and confined when at home or just being around many people. Quick to anger when she hears what she perceives as threats to what she considers her animals and forests, she has had to be forcibly removed from more than three court functions and asked to leave several others. When the old lady of the forest told Rissa that there was no more that she could teach Rissa and feeling alone at home (with the possible exception of her father),
‘Rissa decided it was time to leave the nest (so to speak). Rissa had been collecting gear to leave for a while. She decided that the best time to leave was when the whole family was to go visit the King. Rissa threw such a fuss and caused so much trouble that her parents figured it would make for a better trip to just leave her home (which was ‘Rissa’s plan all along). After ‘Rissa’s family had left, it was easy to to evade the nursemaids and the majordomo. To collect her gear and to cut her pretty strawberry blonde hair to boys length (in a ragged cut) and dressed as a peasant carrying a bag of scraps and the heels of bread, it was easy to pass the keeps guards. It wasn’t until the next day that anyone noticed she was gone.
The majordomo sent a rider after the family but Lord Callville and his family could not turn back as their visit was a command from the king. Lord Callville sent most of his guard back to assist in looking for his daughter. She was never found. But every once in a while a family of farmers shows up to see Lord Callville with a note that says these are good farmers and people and there is a lock of strawberry blonde hair in the note.