Berkana LeJardine Faendryl, the Enigma, is a dark elven sorceress and devout follower of Eorgina. She resides mainly at House Brigatta in Wehnimer's Landing, where she serves as Luminary. She also maintains a small tower in Ravenswood and a studio at Villa Brigatta on Teras Isle. She has a fondness for chocolate and bad men (and it seems most of them are rogues). During a two-year turn as shira'qa to Talinvor Vorrith, she learned how to master her psaltery, compose songs and prose, dance to delight the eyes, tantalize the senses, and perform with aerial silks. Sometimes, you can catch her entertaining at the tavern of the Black Iron Chalice, or baking fresh apricot tarts in the kitchen with Brigatta's cook.
Superficially seemingly pleasant, Berkana does carry a quiet reputation for having a sharp tongue and being intolerant of fools. Despite her general indifference, she does often travel to the Rift, Old Ta'Faendryl, and Sanctum of Scales to take pity on the dead and animate them. Roses and the hue of nightshade are often two primary themes that identity much of her wardrobe, which she frequently changes.
Born in Eorgaen 4623, Berkana escaped from indentured servitude with an Eorgina caravan, a band of gypsies that had kidnapped her when she was five-years-old. She took up residence in Wehnimer's Landing in 5096, and has been a member of House Brigatta since. She has never been married, and has had a scant handful of long-term relationships, including her two years as shira'qa (pet). She often shied away from centrist politics and shunned some of the zealots, like Chaston Griffin, and other nefarious denizens, save for a moment in 5117 when she was a link to the mind of a girl, one of three Ithzir-touched children, the most infamous of whom was named Rodnay. The memory of that incident still lives within her, surfacing at times in restless dreams.
Berkana was high priestess of a cult called the Circle of the Grey Moon, loyal to Eorgina, around 5100. During that tenure, she discovered the writings of High Priestess Moriane saVere, and inspired by them, created three rites she continues to perform, most notably, the annual Rite of Dedication. One day, after a particular egregious acolyte once again had disrupted a rite with demands to be elevated, Berkana gathered up her ceremonial items, handed them off to a promising initiate (Naessi) and inducted her as a high priestess, shot one last glare at the offending disruptor, and wandered off for a period of seclusion and worship. The acolyte had a major break with reality and was never seen again — something that likely highly pleased Eorgina. During an invasion of vathor in Ta'Illistim, she watched dispassionately as the city burned while she sipped wine, a small smile playing upon her lips, knowing that her Queen would delight in this turn of events.
There are very few men that have kept Berkana interested. She was in the company of Cosgrave Temaraire for about two-and-a-half years, which ended in 5106. There was a very brief fling of a few weeks with Picler Ralduvian before his untimely disappearance in 5112. She engaged in some mild flirtations since that time, until she met Faendryl Aurach Moonshadew in 5114. Their two-year relationship ended in the spring of 5116, and she left his home in Ta'Illistim to return to the Landing, where she met Talinvor Vorrith, a Dhe'nar. After several weeks of trying to tempt him, she asked to become his shira'qa, and spent another two years by his side until he released her in Fashanos 5118. In Koaratos of 5119, Berkana reacquainted socially with Blades Clanners, and they kept company often for several months... until he wandered off.
There is only one man who has ever captured her heart completely, and he's been in and out of her life since late 5097. Beyond that, casual encounters are exceedingly rare, as delight without some lasting affection is unrewarding and unsatisfying.
Few women can get past their envy and jealousy to become friends with Berkana, but those who do find they have a very loyal and trusted friend. Many find her risqué wardrobe, cunning wit, brazen forwardness, and fierce attitude intimidating — though she'll cloak her demeanor in a veil of politeness while assessing weaknesses — much like a cat watching her prey.
Berkana considers herself to be highly intuitive, with a good ability to assess people for their honesty and genuineness. If she finds someone is a liar or insincere, she'll either outwardly continue to be polite, yet keep a safe distance between them, or she'll excise them out of her life without a word. To engage in deception, unless by devious plan, would otherwise be a waste of time.
As of the 4th day of Ivastaen in the year 5120:
- She has very long, luminous frost white hair pulled up into a slick ponytail and spilling from a topknot to cascade down her back (and currently dyed hellebore red). She has a high-cheekboned oval face and delicate upswept pointed ears. She has a curvaceous figure, sultry kohl-lashed silver-limned venom green eyes, and flawless ivory skin. She has full, sensuous lips tinted a pale rose hue. She has a nacreous pale silver glaze brushed onto her perfectly manicured fingernails.
- She is wearing a pair of oval black vaalin spectacles with flame-hued lenses, a long shadow black leather jacket with a carved obsidian wild rose clasp, a thigh-length sheer black rose-patterned lace chemise cinched with cinereous silk below the deeply cut neckline, a thin black leather thighband, and a pair of sheer thigh-high silk stockings faintly patterned with twining rosebuds, and a pair of night black raw silk shoes with tall ebonwood spike heels.
At the 5120 Greystorm Manor Spring Enlightenment Ball, Berkana recited an impromptu sestina called "Vernal Light" — a sestina is a complex, thirty-nine-line poem featuring the intricate repetition of end-words in six stanzas and ending in an envoi.
Gone the snow of wintry days when rises the sun,
And bleak paleness becomes a rosy imbue in the sky,
Stark somber grey is now dressed in buds of pale green.
As lacy white petals herald the sturdy boughs of apple trees.
Soft scent on the zephyr teases as it wafts by with a caress,
Tousled tendrils of silken locks rising in a gentle dance.
Together, moth and butterfly flit in a swirling dance,
Glassine wings of dragonflies reflect the brilliant sun,
Bright yellow blossoms of dandelion offer soft caress,
And tickle the nose when sniffed and raised to the sky,
Sheltering, as clouds close in, amid the orchard trees,
Low rumbles and a clash of light against angry green.
Spring rains give birth to grass and leaves a lush green,
Sparkling droplets shiver upon laden leaves as they dance,
Darkened bark nearly black on the damp fruit-baring trees,
Slowly drying as they are warmed by the reappearing sun.
Clouds part to reveal perfect blue in a clearing sky,
Golden light touching flesh, to warm it like a lover’s caress.
Oh, wrap me, surround me in this gently sweet caress,
Tumble with me in spring grass, fragrant and green,
Lift my imaginary wings and let me fly this deep blue sky,
Light as a feather, on gentle wind do I play and dance.
Laughter echoes as it surrounds, buoyed by the sun,
Carefree, swaying with the breeze as we dance among trees.
Shadows grow longer, patterns cast by the trunks of trees,
Coolness of the afternoon swirls a shivered caress,
Lower dips the reddening orb of the setting sun.
Pale and bright, the birth of Spring turns dark green,
And all that turned and twirled disperse, end their dance,
Streaked with carmine, no longer the once unfettered sky.
Slumber casts its pall over the land, the sleeping sky,
Slender trunks like thin dark ghosts, these lined trees,
Ghostly moonlight shivers through leaves in a flirting dance,
Casting lighted patterns all around in illusory caress.
Hours pass, and then, black fades to become again green,
With the reappearance of the vernal light and morning sun.
Another day and dance, another brilliant golden sun.
Gather me sweet sky, that I might soar above the trees,
That I indulge in your stroking caress, amid the pale green.