tinturesofwhitewillow: (Healer's Hands)
Setting

Leofrun is from a historical fiction story, so her world is our world, but about 1,549 years ago. It is the fifth century, Late Antiquity according to historians. The story takes place in the Sub-Roman Britannia in the province Flavia Caesariensis. Leofrun is living in a post Roman Britain, but not by very much. The political leaders and legionaries withdrew in 410 ce. The story starts in 472 ce. During this time, not only is Britannia adjusting to life without Roman administration and military protection, but this time is also known as the Age of Immigration due to the movements of “barbarian” groups, such as the Huns, Goths, Visigoths, and (of direct importance to Britannia) the Saxons, Angles and Jutes. The Jutes, Angles and Saxons are later known under the umbrella name of the Anglo-Saxons, when they become the cultural/ethnic majority. The Age of Immigration led the Jutes, Angles and Saxons to invade Britannia due to encroachment of other tribal groups and possibly the encroachment of the sea causing loss of arable farmland.

This period of the “Dark Ages” has also been called the Heroic Age, which I believe draws the formation of warbands around a charismatic war leader. Due to population and mobilizing ability, armies rarely grew over 100 men, making the trained and veteran team of warriors the most effective choice. A number of historians looking at this period have began to label it Sub-Roman Britain. Looking at the time period and how I’m interpreting it for this story and as a history student I agree with the label, as it is not a fully roman dominant culture anymore, but much of the trappings are still there, while there are also features like the the warband, which are more British and or early medieval like in spirit it’s a growth and blending of cultures. A meeting point between Pagan Saxons and Christian Romanized Britons in a time of population change and social upheaval, a cusp in time, Late Antiquity and into the early Medieval period.

History

The age I'm playing Leofrun as 24.

Leofrun's ethnicity is Saxon, specifically Angle from what is now Northern Germany/Denmark. She was born in 466 ce. It is unclear whether or not she was born on the continent or within the Angle-Saxon settlement within Flavia Caesariensis, so she may be a first generation Anglo-Saxon or she is an immigrant of the Age of Migration. Her mother died when she was about two, her father didn't have any other close family members so he really bonded to Leofrun, she became his little shadow. He was the bone-setter and general healer of their village (called a Læce in their language). He felt a strong desire to pass on his knowledge and so he taught her as much as he could and she assisted him in his work as soon as she had the dexterity and strength to do so. In her canon we first meet Leofrun working with her father on a young Briton slave. She asks him his name (Riodan). On Riodan’s end this is the first time someone has treated him like a person in years.

When Leofrun was 13. Her father met a lovely woman and he courts her. By the time Leofrun is 14 he has married his sweetheart and she is expecting his child. He feels stretched to care for the growing family. Leofrun has also been companionate to her father, but with remarrying he has that need filled. Leofrun by 14 has also come to adulthood so her father arranged a marriage for her. The marriage was to the surgeon of the Local Warlord's (Senorix) warband. The surgeon (Rubeus)was at first reluctant, as Leofrun is Saxon and the warband is defending the territory from the most recent Angle and Saxon incursions. She tells him she's willing to adapt to Briton culture. This causes her internal conflict. She was brought up believing in the Saxon Gods and Goddesses she also was raised as the head of her father's house and holder of his house's keys. Saxon men also show their wealth and success through adorning the women in their families. Leofrun had long worn a peplos style dress clasped with broaches with colorful strung between them, which is definitive of Pagan Saxon women's dress. However, when she married Rubeus she married into Briton society and it was implied she would give up all these things become a Christian and dress as a Christian Briton might. She claims she is Christian and dresses in the Briton fashion. However the truth of the matter is more complicated. Her beliefs take on a sort of syncretic mixture of her Pagan beliefs and the newly introduced Christianity. Her father was insistent that Rubeus must carry on Leofrun's training and work as his assistant in times of peace. However this extended to times of war as Rubeus wanted his wife with him and though he might not admit it he has gotten accustomed to working with her, even in the thick of it.

Personality

Leofrun is unafraid this can also manifest in confidence and she throws herself into her work. She's a fast learner and has excellent retention of what she's learned. She will soak up all the information given to her like a sponge. She doesn't dwell on her past experiences, so she might forget some things or mistakes. She's very warmhearted, and the role of doctor comes very naturally to her. She loves to build up others to encourage and love them. She makes friends for life if allowed to. Her introduction to the story is through a hug. She's generous with her time, energy, and belongs. She is loyal even if she knows it may not be in her best interest.

She's not all hearts and rainbows though. Her loyalty can morph into stubbornness. She is also insecure often. In part due to her having to leave her community and father, and her stressful marriage to Rubeus. She can lie quite well. Love and support are keystones to her being, but she also has an undercurrent of anger. As a woman, and her status being in question for a good chunk of her canon, she isn’t credited for her service as a medic. Everyone knows of her skills and all the work she puts it, but officially the credit goes to her husband or others. Her insecurities cause this to not bother her as much as it should, and later it bothers others on her behalf much more. She constantly struggles with an idea that there’s more she should do, that if she could get to pinnacle of service given then she would feel secure in her position and truly wanted there.

A deep part of her is the need to be needed. She feels best helping the warriors of the warband supporting and caring for them as her new family. Her identity self-understanding is intimately tied to her ability to help heal and what she can offer to others, especially those she loves. Without feeling she is needed and can help she likely to feel a great deal of fear and despair. She holds on hard to friends and would to a lover as her need to be needed can also manifest in a fear of being abandoned aka part of the insecurities. The fear of abandonment and need to be needed are entwined. Her arc in the story is to come to an understanding if the she can be a part of the warband as a member of the "enemy" group, as woman, and in general as herself. Thereby find out that she is needed and will not be left, or if she will.

Appearance

Her PB for RP is: Mageina Tovah

Leofrun is tall for a woman of her time (5'10") and stands at a similar height to many of the warband's soldiers. She's long and lanky, but surprisingly strong for her wiry build. Her tummy is a bit potted. Her eyes are a slate gray with highlights of light blue in direct sun. Riodan describes them as sunny eyes in the way they smile. She has light brown hair and lots of it in body and length. She keeps it braided and her head covered with a little scarf both as a married woman and to keep it out of the way while she works. She has a ready smile when times are calmer, but given the war her expression is often a pensive one.

Abilities

Leofrun is a medic for Senorix's warband, before this she assisted her father as the village's healer. She has extensive knowledge of making herbal tinctures, poultices for healing. She also has lots of experience with bone-setting as well. Joining Rubeus's to help treat the soldiers of the warband, Leofrun has gained years of experience in stitching wounds, bandaging wounds, surgery even cauterization of arteries.

As part of her use of herbs Leofrun is also very good at identifying wild plants. Also as a young Angle-Saxon girl Leofrun was taught to spin, weave and sew by an adult female friend of she and her father, so in future she would be able to make her family's clothing. Leofrun is also multi-lingual, she fluently speak Saxon and Angle language and dialect. In marrying Rubeus she also learned the language of the Britons, Brythonic.

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tinturesofwhitewillow

March 2016

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