Life On the Run
Wilhelmina was born on an Autumnal evening to a happy family in Greece. Young Wilhelmina, nicknamed Willa from a young age, was brought into the world to a family considered one of the most influential and well known Nephilim families in history. From the moment the little girl was born, she was doted on by her family and there was much of it. Young Willa had both a mother and father for company, along with an older brother by six years, aunts and uncles a plenty and even grandparents.
The early years in Willa’s life were blissful, she was a playful and curious child who wasn’t afraid to go further than others dared to and often caused mischief doing so. Willa enjoyed climbing and playfighting and could more than hold her ground against the other nephilim children in the village around her age. More than anything, Willa was stubbornly brave and wouldn’t dare back down from a challenge. She caused her parents no end of worry, but she was her own person and there was no changing that.
Despite being split in age by six years, Willa always looked up to and adored her older brother Aeryn, he would always cheer her up when she was down by sharing his food with her or telling her stories, when other children would say something mean he would always be the one to stand up for her and try to make things right. Willa could always rely on Aeryn to be there to take care of her and she tried her best to impress him and make him proud.
As Willa had been born into a Nephilim community, she was raised and taught amongst other Nephilim children, they rarely had exposure to humans or other supernatural species, though she was taught about them from her grandmother who loved to share stories with her about all the wonderful creatures that were out there beyond village. Of course that wasn’t a place she was allowed to venture to alone, not until she reached age and could make her own decisions about her safety and the risks she wanted to take.
Whilst some of the learning material was shared with the human ways of teaching, being a Nephilim meant that as soon as you were able to wield a weapon safely, you were trained in combat to become a warrior. Willa enjoyed this kind of learning, she was very much a practical person, she enjoyed things she could do, such as learning to wield swords and to spar against other young nephilim from the village. Willa also found some talent in drawing and carving, a pastime that through her life became a good outlet for her emotions and to express the things she couldn’t put into words.
Growing up into her teens and early 20s, Willa had become and strong and independent person, she did however remain less sociable than most of her peers, Willa enjoyed her alone time, she sometimes came off a little standoffish to others, namely because she was impatient and didn’t have time for their small talk and the way that people tended to fill the silence with the noise for fear of the silence itself. Willa was content with silence, silence helped her to think clearly and made it easier to breathe, easier to understand.
For the most part, Willa’s childhood had been a happy and fulfilling one, she had a father and mother who loved one another, a brother who protected her and cared for her, she had passions and things that made her enthusiastic, especially combat skills and reading literature. A perfect life however was simply an impossible feat. The change to her life came to slowly that at first she barely even noticed it, her father had always been a kind leader of their people, she had seen him and Aeryn talking about the politics of their village many times, it wasn’t something that interested her, but she could respect the ability to lead and make decisions for the best of the people.
It slowly became more and more evident however that her father was avoiding her, he would spend long days away from home, go on hunting trips and make any excuse to not be where he should be, with his family. Despite the fact that her father was pulling further and further away from her and her mother, he seemed to pull Aeryn closer, like he was the only person that mattered to him anymore. It hurt to watch as her father gave Aeryn all of his attention and love while he left her and her mother out in the cold but she didn’t know what she could do to change that, perhaps he simply hadn’t wanted a daughter and wished that she had been born a son.
Willa and her mother grew closer in the absence of her father and her brother, her mother taught her to cook and how to sew, she showed her the basics on how to make clothes and even some survival skills such as how to find food in the wild and how to create a fire to cook it. After a while, her father barely came home at all, she felt disconnected from him, like she had done something wrong except she didn’t know what it was. Willa did everything she could to improve herself so that he would notice her feats, she trained for hours to become strong like Aeryn was, hoping that her father would see how hard she was working and bring her into the loop like he had done with Aeryn.
It didn’t matter how hard she worked however, her father would simply bat away her achievements away with a wave of his hand. His tone of voice when speaking to her became colder and more distant. Willa had heard the rumours around the village when it came to her father, he was turning made they would all whisper when they thought she wasn’t listening. She heard their talk about his obsession with stockpiling weapons and searching for mystical objects. Willa had heard similar words when she heard her brother whispering with her uncle around the village, thinking that she didn’t notice their words.
Willa had the feeling that something bad would come of all of this but she didn’t know how she could stop it nor what she should do. Willa confided in Aeryn her feelings on what was happening and he assured her that he had a plan to make their father see sense again, Aeryn was sure that their uncle could get through to him and that he could bring their father back to the person he used to be, the kind and gentle leader who everyone looked up to and respected, no one moreso than his daughter.
Willa had agreed to let Aeryn try and handle the situation, it wasn’t like she had enough pull in the village to get anyone to help her and even if she did, she wasn’t sure that anyone would be willing to go behind the back of their leader, even if they disagreed with some of his choices. Things started to fall apart however after her father and uncle had left for a hunting trip as planned. They were supposed to return in 2 days, but a week had passed and no one had seen nor heard from either of them. Willa began to fear the worst about what had happened to them, despite her father’s coldness over the past few years, she still cared for his safety and she knew her mother felt the same way.
Willa knew that Aeryn was afraid too, he had scoured the village for help to go out and search for them however everyone seemed to have a reason why they couldn’t help, it only made the feeling in the pit of her stomach feel worse as she started to question the what could have happened’s in her mind. The same feelings she could see echoed in her brother’s eyes as she watched him determined to not let the village fall apart in the absence of a constant leader.
Willa was awoken in the middle of the night by a loud shout. She had quickly sat straight up in bed grabbing her knife as she had done so for fear of some danger around. By the time she had blinked the sleep out of her eyes and tried to comprehend what was happened her brother had already darted out of the door and into the clearing that centered the houses in the village. Despite her fear of what could be out there, Willa had silently moved through the hut to the doorway. The moment that she stepped out of the door however, her brother had moved to shield her view. Regardless of her brother’s efforts to protect her from seeing such horrors, a gut wrenching cry escaped the nephilim’s lips when her eyes fell on the lifeless corpse of her uncle.
Her cry however had been nothing compared to the sound which escaped her mother’s lips as she joined the scene. Willa felt numb, she didn’t know how to react or what she could do, her father had become a monster, he had lost his mind entirely and now she feared that he was going to kill every last person in the village. The words that came from her father’s mouth she was barely able to comprehend as she looked between her uncle and then to her mother. The shock washed over her like a stab in the heart, she didn’t know how to make her legs work, all she could do was stare forward like she was set in stone, frozen in time.
Willa watched as her father pulled Aeryn over to the rocks in the center of the village, in the middle laid a stone which was glowing brightly, she didn’t know what it was but everything about it screamed dangerous in her mind. Willa wanted to run over and destroy the thing, try and prevent everyone from the harm it was sure to bring but her mind couldn’t seem to tell her body to move, everything felt overwhelming, she was scared, she felt betrayed but most of all she felt grief for losing someone she hadn’t even known meant everything to her.
The moment that Aeryn has struck the man she had believed to be her father for her whole life was the moment that she felt the strength to move again. She ran to her brother as quickly as she could, blinking the tears that she hadn’t noticed were there out of her eyes so she could get a good look at him. It was evident that the stone wasn’t going to be able to be destroyed, at least not in the time they had before the light it was glowing with got to it’s brightest and whatever evils it was able to enact were brought.
A look of goodbye was shared between the two siblings before Aeryn took off running into the woods, trying to get the stone as far from the village as he could before it went off. Willa knew she should have let him go and stayed where she was, but she couldn’t stand the idea of him being alone when he died, even if it was to save everyone. She had taken off running after him without really thinking her actions through. She following him as they both ran as fast as they could. The brighter the light got the slower that Aeryn became until eventually he collapsed to the ground.
“Aeryn!!” she had shouted through the night before she had fallen to her knees by his side. Taking a hold of his hand she instantly felt dizziness overcame her and quickly her body became tired. Collapsing next to him her brother’s face was the last thing she had seen before the darkness had taken over and her body fell limp.
Willa had woken a few hours later. Sitting up abruptly her eyes had fallen upon Aeryn laying unconscious on the ground. She had tried to wake him but no matter what she did his eyes wouldn’t open. Willa knew that something was extremely wrong. Remembering a book she had read about mystical objects, she knew where she needed to go in order to get answers. It’s author, a powerful necromancer who lived in a village not too far from where she was. She would go there and get the answers she needed.
It took several days of trekking before Willa had managed to bring her brother’s sleeping body to the necromancer, whom she would come to know as Lucinda. During the trek, Willa had brought the small stone with her, much to her relief, it wasn’t glowing any longer but she didn’t trust it not to fall into the wrong hands and until she knew what it had done to her brother, she wasn’t going to let anyone near it.
Lucinda had taken one look at the stone before her eyes had filled with recognition “The stone of El’Ar” she had spoken the words like Willa was supposed to know what it was. Lucinda had explained that the stone was a mystical dark object designed to take power from souls recently departed and infuse it into a single soul. It’s purpose was to grant invincibility when it was used at it’s most powerful.
The explanation of the stone’s strength was followed by the stone’s curse. Anyone who used the stone or was in contact with it when it was activated would receive the curse of El’Ar. The curse was harmless to most, as it simply prevented two souls with the same gifts from the stone from being within close proximity to one another. In this case however, as Willa had been in contact with her brother who had been holding the stone when it activated, it meant that the moment that Aeryn woke up, if she was within 100 miles of him, they would both die.
It took a few hours for the realization of what had happen to settle in Willa’s mind, not only had she lost the man whom she believed to be her father and her real father, she had been hit with the realization that her mother had lied to her about who her father was her whole life and betrayed her trust and the only person she still trusted she could never talk to again, at least not face to face. The grief that came over the girl was crippling, she didn’t understand what she had done to deserve so much misery and to lose every person she loved, she couldn’t breath, she couldn’t think, she felt like she would break into pieces on that very spot.
And then eventually, she felt the strength inside her slowly return. Her tears started to dry and the determination to live her life kicked in. Getting advice from Lucinda on how to keep the stone deactivated, Willa made the decision to take it with her. The stone would be the cause of her misery and due to the fact that it had not activated at full strength, she didn’t even know what ‘gift’ it had given her. On that day Willa decided she would devote whatever life she had to ensuring the stone didn’t ruin another’s and find a way to destroy it if she could.
Lucinda couldn’t tell Willa how long it would take for Aeryn to wake but she warned her that she needed to be long gone when he did. Standing at her unconscious brother’s side she had pressed a kiss to his cheek “We will meet again, my protector” she made the promise out loud, even though he couldn’t hear her before she headed to Lucinda’s desk and penned a letter to him telling him not to blame himself for what happened and that she was proud of him for protecting so many people, she explained where she intended to go so that if he so wished, he could return the message to her, she told him that she would always miss and love him and wished him the best for his life.
Leaving her brother’s recovery into the hands of the kind old Necromancer whom had showed her so much kindness, she had set off for the next chapter of her life. The thought of going home never crossed her mind, she didn’t want to face her mother nor the sadness that home now reminded her of, she wanted a new chapter where she could start over. She feared it was the only way she was going to make it through the idea of a life without her brother.
Without another word, Willa had made her way to coast and then boarded a boat out of Greece and into Italy where she would begin the next part of her life. It was about a month later that she received her first letter in return from her brother, ensuring her that he was safe and that Lucinda had made good on her promise to care for him. He expressed his sadness for the situation they both had been placed in and asked her to send regular letters about her life so that he may feel as though he was there too.
Keeping the stone of El’Ar however had proved to be more of a fateful decision for Willa than she had realized. The stone was a thing of legends and many people had read about it and sought its power. This power lead to Willa being followed and ambushed by several greedy people throughout her years. Luckily Willa was prepared and she was smart, she knew how to keep on the move, she knew how to cover her tracks and when it came down to it, she knew how to fight if she had to. Whilst she dodged those who seeked to take the stone and it’s power for their own, she travelled the world to seek out every text and legend which mentioned the stone.
With each text that she would find, she would read it in the hopes of finding out the stone’s weakness and a way she could destroy it for good, secretly she hoped that destroying the stone could also lift the curse which had been placed on her. But each text came and each was destroyed without any further knowledge, slowly she worked on erasing the existence of the object from the world, for if people didn’t know that it existed, they would not be able to seek it or recognize it.
Between her life mission to destroy all evidence of the stone of El’Ar and prevent it from falling into the wrong hands, Willa exchanged letters with her brother throughout the centuries, they were a constant for her in a world which had become constant travelling and running for her. She was happy that her brother had made peace with the decision he had made and what it had meant for them. They had learned that the ‘gift’ the stone had left them with was the blessing of immortality, meaning that Willa no longer grew older.
Eventually, Willa reconnected contact with her mother, at first with letters and then later with visits back home to the see the woman who had given her life. While she had been angry that her mother had betrayed and lied to her, she was still her mother after all. When she eventually passed of old age, Willa had been there to see her off in a beautiful funeral ceremony. Willa wished that Aeryn could have been there to comfort her as she cried for her mother but he had been gracious enough to give her this moment, choosing to stay away instead.
After the funeral there was no more reason for Willa to remain in Greece. She was however tired of the constant running, of never being able to settle and enjoy her life, she was exhausted and she didn’t know how much longer she could bear the life she was leading. She managed to bring up the strength to keep moving however, resuming her mission and continuing the dialogue between herself and her brother.
After a full 200 years of running and moving, she penned a letter to Aeryn asking for his help. After a near miss with a group of greedy phoenixes trying to get their hands on the stone she needed to take a break to allow herself to heal and to allow her to continue her fight as the stone’s protector. Willa arranged a central trusted mutual friend to complete the handover of the stone from her to her brother and for the first time in 2 centuries, Willa had the freedom to do what she wanted with her life.
Willa had promised Aeryn that she would honor the freedom he had allowed her to have and she began to build lives of her own just like he had. Willa worked different jobs throughout her lives which she started, lived for 10 or so years and then moved to the next place to continue. In her time she worked as a teacher, a doctor, a painter and many other things. She read a lot and she thirsted constantly to learn new things. Willa however found herself most in being a silent protector for those who were in trouble, the humans even had a nickname for her as she went through the shadows saving those who were threatened and killing those who did unforgivable and disgusting things, she was the “Angel of the Shadows” to them and she was held a silent hero.
Tragedy had struck however when Aeryn’s letters had come to an abrupt and unexpected stop. At first Willa had simply believed that it was a slow delivery but as the months passed and received nothing from her brother, she slowly came to the realization that his message was never going to come. Willa became overcome with worry for the fate of her brother and she feared the worst, she knew that he would write if he could and so the lack of communication spoke volumes. Afraid for what had happened, Willa had packed up her particular life a few years early to search for answers.
The last letter from her brother had spoken of a woman he had fallen in love with. Tracing the woman’s roots she found her way to the port where her brother had met the love of his life. As she hadn’t fallen ill the moment she had approached the port, she knew that her brother was no longer there. Meeting with Marie’s father she would discover that the young woman’s body had been found washed up on the shore. She was buried alone and hers was the only body that was found, Aeryn was nowhere to be found and they presumed he had died at sea.
The news was almost crippling for Willa who couldn’t believe that she had lost the only person she had left, she was alone now, she had no one to share her troubles with, no one she could tell about her bad days and her good, no one. Though she knew they could never be received, Willa continued to write her letters to Aeryn, at first it took her weeks to pen them without bursting into tears and smudging all the writing but with time, it felt easier to talk to him, to tell him about the life she had been building that decade and what she hoped to do with the next. The letters became her only source of sanity, her only solace in a very lonely world.
Willa had become colder than she used to be, more used to be alone than she should have and her life felt like a routine, she had given up on the idea of being happy because she knew that happiness would be short lived because everyone she cared for eventually left her. Letting people in meant letting them hurt you.
It was a few years later that Willa had heard about Evermore City. The place promised a life where she didn’t have to run because it was a supernatural haven, it was where people went when they wanted to start and continue their lives in peace and after her all her fighting and grief, peace sounded like something she wanted to buy into. Willa found herself in Evermore Colorado a month later, the place was beautiful and spacious, she couldn’t believe the sheer amount of supernatural beings in the city and the way the laws protected everyone who lived within in.
Willa had found her new home, a place to pick up the pieces of a shattered and broken life and perhaps seek some sort of happiness that life had never let her see before. It was an optimistic look on the future but it was the one she had decided to go with. She was pretty sure that the only thing that could be worse than the past she had endured was death and it was easier said than done to kill a nephilim. Especially one with immortality.
Fast forward to 2015 and Willa was continuing to grow with the time. She had learned and adapted herself to modern life as the years came and went and she had found a life for herself in Evermore, she had joined the nephilim community and eventually formed a close friendship with both the Nephilim ambassadors who had been in power during her time there. She was with them the night that the comet had hit Evermore city and everything had changed for the nephilim species.
It was weird to get used to the idea of having wings like a real angel but it was a welcome change and one she didn’t waste as she had always idolized the idea of flying and the freedom that came with it. What brought questions for her however, was not that the Nephilim were all immortal, what did that mean for her and the curse of El’Ar.