Unexpected Inspiration Character: Blythe Bladedancer

"I'm a Protectorate. What little I have in me of Artisan isn't even worth talking about." Wysta already knew this and Blythe was getting fed up with the insistence that she was something she wasn't.

As much protector as healer, Blythe is strong-willed, quick at making decisions, and just as quick to speak her mind. She has a soft spot for those in need and will defend and help anyone who looks like they might need it, even if they insist they don’t. She's a blade performer and assistant healer working with a troupe of traveling carnival performers, but technically there's no reason for her to still be an assistant. With the equivalent of several medical degrees and a rank as a Protectorate, Concordia's guards of art and artists, she could have a much more prestigious position. She's at a crossroads in her life where she hasn't yet decided which path to take. Part of this reason is that she feels duty-bound to stay with the carnies who took her in and taught her healing. Partly she suspects that her long-held desire to be a Protectorate no longer fits. Mostly, though she wouldn't admit it, she stays with the troupe because she lost one person she loved by stepping away. She doesn't want to turn around and find another gone.

Blythe lost her mother soon after her birth and her father when she was in her early teens. Prior to this, she was training to follow in his footsteps as a Protectorate, but when he passed away, she was sent to live with her aunt and uncle in a different country. She wasn't there more than a few months before her uncle lost his fight with a long-term illness and passed away. She was left with an aunt she despised and spent months angry and contentious, disobeying her aunt as much as she could get away with. While she was wandering the streets to avoid going home, she came across a few medics helping people in the less prosperous section of the city. A purpose sprung to mind. If she couldn't be the guard she wanted to be, she would learn to be a medic. It took some convincing to get the medics to take on a teenager as an apprentice, but her stubbornness, determination, and willingness to work hard won them over. After a few years of studying in secret so her aunt wouldn't find out, they advised her to return to Concordia as soon as she could so she could further her training under an arcane healer. Not having the patience to wait until she was of age and could reclaim her citizenship in Concordia, she joined up with a Concordian carnival troupe passing through. There she met Dray who, after a short conflict where they both thought they were competing for the same act, became her performance partner and sibling-by-choice. She apprenticed to the troupe's healer shortly after joining and once she finished her basic healer training, she moved to the capital city to continue her medical study.

While she was gone, Dray left the troupe to perform on their own. Blythe had once again lost someone she cared about. She kept mostly to herself for a while, focusing all of her attention on her medical studies and getting the rank as a Protectorate she had wanted since childhood. Her life was lonely, although her denial would have called it peaceful, until Etri and Sol joined up with her troupe. Against her better judgment, they became her closest friends. A few months later Adair bumbled his way into the performer's campsite and Dray entered her life again, which pulled her organized, calm life into chaos and forced her to realize that there was more to her magical abilities than she'd previously thought. Her life is no longer lonely and the others are unlikely to leave her... but now her path is uncertain. Protectorate, healer, medic, sentinel, carnival performer, Artisan... all parts of her past and identity have caught up to her and she has to decide which one she wants most.

Blythe is one of the main point-of-view characters in the first trilogy of the Unexpected Inspiration series. You can find her bio page here and her backstory moodboard/post here.



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