Meet Zahra. She’s a Redguard healing Templar in the Ebonheart Pact. I have always enjoyed playing nature-type characters, usually druids, but there isn’t a playable class like this in the Elder Scrolls Online (ESO). There are NPCs—The Wyresses—who seem to be nature-type characters, but the abilities they display aren’t available to players. So I’m creating my own, using the skills available to me. Interestingly, there are skills similar to a balance druid in World of Warcraft; celestial type skills from the sun and stars.
Using character sheets from The ESO Roleplay Community, I came up with some basic information about Zahra. This is the first time I have developed an online character in this way and I’m really quite excited about it. While I don’t plan to openly roleplay (RP), thinking about and developing WHO my character is has added depth and meaning. This is certainly nothing new to experienced RPers. For me, choosing to focus on one character brought out the desire to make playing the character more meaningful.
Zahra is tall and thin. Her dark reddish-skin easily identifies her as a Redguard. Her broad shoulders and the black body paint on her neck creates the illusion of enhanced height and portrays a quiet strength. Her long limbs are often dusty and dirt can usually be seen under her fingernails.
Having spent some time with the Nords, she incorporated their way of dress (fur-lined clothing for warmth). I like to think of her gear looking something like this:
Her kind eyes are bright and smile at others on their own. Set against her dark skin, they can sometimes look like twin setting suns. Zahra’s dark reddish brown hair is shaved on each side to lighten the load of bearing heavy long dreads that are gathered down the middle of her head and upper back. Beads and leather ties are scattered down the length of each dread to help keep them in place.
Zahra wears loose-fitting clothing for ease of movement as she spends most of her time outside. Comfort and functionality is of the utmost importance and she can often appear a little messy. Visible to onlookers are several pouches in which she carries gathered plants. A small fox is seen trailing behind her.
A collection of images I put together on Pinterest when thinking about what Zahra might look like. Some of the images represent how her younger self, varied methods of dress, and even her older self might look.
While appearing quiet, or even shy to some, Zahra’s mind is constantly at work observing and perceiving her surroundings and those around her. She listens, and learns more about others than they may know of themselves.
Zahra relishes being alone, especially in the wilderness amongst the varied natural settings of Tamriel. She doesn’t go out of her way to avoid being around others as it’s required to learn and do the things she wants. In fact, she offers help and support to those in need, whether it’s the sick and dying or a group of adventurers on a mission. She simply requires time alone to recharge after expending her mental, and magical, energies in the company of others.
She manages close relationships with a handful of people, wherever she happens to be when she’s staying somewhere for a long period of time. She doesn’t care to be known and purposely maintains a low profile wherever she goes… as best she can, that is. Zahra can’t help but stand out in some places, attracting the curiosity of locals. She does her best to minimize her presence when visiting new places.
Zahra’s father died in Wayrest when she was young. Her mother returned Zahra and her twin sister, Zoraya, to Hammerfell. Her mother used her knowledge of plants to make a living travelling the desert in search of water bearing plants or potential oases and returning/reporting her finds to interested parties in the cities. The three would often travel alone or join up with other nomadic families and groups.
Their mother shared with them the basics of knowing what plants to look for, how to read the shifting sandy landscape, and the secrets different plant formations told the trained eye. Zahra loved bringing the plants she collected to the mages and tailors when they’d stop and stay at the cities. While her mother taught her the basics of identifying plants, the mages taught her a few of their magical properties and how they could be combined to create powerful potions.
Desert life was rough, although Zahra didn’t appreciate this as a child. It was always a special treat when they encountered Dwemer ruins—all those strange gears and little pots containing surprises for the twin girls! The sand was mesmerizing, shifting in whichever direction the wind blew. The stars at night were beautiful and served as a source of many bedtime stories. Fascinated by the many different types of people they’d come across, Zahra developed a deep respect for their different ways of living. Especially those suffering from hardship; she became drawn to them.
In their late teens, Zoraya fell ill (affected by the Knahaten Flu, but they didn’t know at the time) and as they were heading to a city to find a healer they were caught in a sandstorm. The minor healing potions Zahra had made did not help and her twin sister died. Zahra chose to believe that if she had known healing magic she could have saved Zoraya. She vowed to learn from the mage’s in the cities.
Zahra continued travelling the desert with her mother and when in the cities she spent time training with the mages, learning the schools of restoration and illusion, and practicing by mending and healing the sick in the infirmaries and temples. Illusion was practiced in the city streets, usually to hide and be unseen… and pick the occasional pocket.
During her mage guild visits, Zahra would sometimes overhear discussions about relics and tomes scattered throughout the land. Sometimes she’d witness guild expeditions being sent off to find one. She was most interested in learning more about Dwemer ruins and surmised that Morrowind had a good amount of them and determined that when her mother passed she would make her way there.
Zahra is now in Morrowind, having spent some time with the Nords in Bleakrock. She loved the snow as it reminded her of the sands back home. Eventually, she’d like to settle down in a Nord village. Until then, the mushrooms of Morrowind call, the fascinating cultures and stories of the Ebonheart Pact beckon, and the Dwemer ruins await her discovery.
Nickname: She uses her deceased twin sister’s nickname—Aya, modified from Zoraya—in impermanent situations where she doesn’t want to reveal her own name, but perceives others require an assurance of familiarity.
Age: Unknown. Judging by the few wrinkles on her face, she’s in her late 30s or early 40s.
Profession: Alchemist, Enchanter, Cook