My second-oldest character, Ceridwen was created in 1995, as I was persuaded by a player on Tales of Ta’veren to check out Elendor, still the largest Tolkien MUSH around. Like all crazy newbies, I had some outrageous ideas about what I wanted to be, like a Noldor or a Dunadan (both are restricted to experienced players). Fortunately, a recruiter for Rohan found me, and really, I don’t know why I didn’t go for it from the start. I mean, me and horses? It ought to have been obvious and, once someone suggested it to me, it really was as well.
Fiery tresses, a riotous cascade of burnished copper and warmly reddish gold which seems to glow in even the most meagre of lights, spill in abundant, unfettered waves over her shoulders and to well past her waist. A myriad of silken locks frame her face, softening the edges of features too bold and angular for mere beauty, yet with a charm and attraction all of their own. From prominent cheekbones, both high and wide, smooth cheeks slant steeply down towards a sharply marked jawline and a narrow, firmly set chin—seemingly forever stubbornly tilted—and the final result is distinctly triangular and quite unmistakable. Set above a smallish nose and a generous mouth, often caught in a wickedly reckless smile, are eyes like fiery emeralds, bright and brazen behind lengthy lashes of tarnished gold. They reflect a passionate, even fiercely volatile disposition and provide a first warning of her frequent and rapid shifts of mood; one moment they may sparkle with mischief and laughter, the next blaze dark and dangerous with fury. While slight of stature her build is strong, shaped by a life spent as much in the saddle as out of it, and although lithely toned and supple hers is not the maid’s willowy slenderness but the lush curves of a woman grown. And what she may lack in height, she amply makes up for in presence; every movement betrays a hint of barely restrained intensity and her demeanour speaks of wilful confidence and near-haughty pride, her nature plainly one of undauntable, defiant determination.
A short-sleeved tunic of light and fine-combed wool, its colour that of a rain-grey sky, falls to just above her knees, its hemline as well as its rounded neckline trimmed in a broad band of white embroideries. Over it she wears a long vest of supple, red-brown leather which, when laced about her form, is rather more snugly fitted to the curving lines of her figure than the loose and flowing tunic. Close-fitted breeches made to match are also worn, and like the vest these are finely decorated with intricate patterns, running horses entwined with complex knotwork, yet it is plain that her garb is made with hard work and long hours in the saddle in mind. Boots of ebon leather, lacing up to just below her knees, fit this pattern as well, being light and supple yet sturdy and comfortable, suitable whether walking or riding. Completing her attire is the finely tooled belt which girds her waist, a scabbard of leather and bronze which holds well-crafted if only modestly ornate sword strapped to it, and a light cloak dyed the same grey as her tunic, fastened upon her right shoulder with a golden brooch that is the only jewellery she wears save for the wedding band glinting upon her left hand.
On the whole, Ceridwen is a fairly uncomplicated character who first and foremost is a typical Rohirrim. She greatly loves her family—which naturally includes all of her horses—and in defense of them she is bold to the verge of recklessness. She is forthright, even blunt at times, and has little liking for intrigue and politics. Like most of her culture and clan, she is also quite prickly about her honour and it is relatively easy to rouse her rather formidable temper, even if she has learned to restrained herself somewhat better over the years.
As her mother died in childbed, Ceridwen was raised entirely by her father, a somewhat reclusive Eomaegister (horse breeder/trainer) of clan Eowain, and as a result she grew up to be something of a tomboy. That she was raised to follow in her father’s footsteps as a trainer and breeder of horses was not in itself strange for a woman of her clan, but her father did allow her more weapons training than most Eowain girls tend to receive, and he focused her training on the sword rather than on the bow or the spear, weapons commonly taught to both male and female herders as defence from raiding orcs. When Ceridwen was in her late teens, her father died in an accident, forcing the young girl to replace him as Eomaegister before she was quite ready to do so. But she was not about to let her father down, and refused to be daunted by the task ahead. And so, when the newly elected Maegtheow (clan master) called upon her in her capacity of one of the clan’s Eomaegister, she was more than eager to show everyone her skill and dedication, for pride and confidence she had never lacked at all.