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Xanthe Shroudweaver – elf grave cleric

Although putting together Xanthe’s robe, cowl, and poncho took more finagling than I might have expected, all of the elements came together relatively quickly on this one. Not having to worry about limbs might have had something to do with that, and it was nice having a ready-made background for someone who hangs out in graveyards a lot. Then I got to the shading… and confirmed that backlighting is not the easiest thing to work with. I think it came out okay, although I worry about some of the details being obscured (her hair? the Morticia Addams dress bottom? ah well, at least I know they’re there…). It gets the idea across, which is all I really need with this one.

Xanthe is the latest in a long line of caretakers of a certain region’s cemetery. Devout followers of the death god Kelemvor, her family has tended to the end-of-life needs of the surrounding towns and settlements for countless generations. Having been raised within the nurturing environment of the graveyard, Xanthe fully accepted the teachings of her faith and the role of death as an inevitable part of life. Along with her daughter and successor, Serafine, Xanthe has been a familiar face in her community and a stalwart protector of the graveyard and its residents.

The two of them were joined by another apprentice, but they discovered too late that the newcomer had come to them with the intention of biding her time until she could perform a ritual to raise a long-slumbering denizen of the burial ground. It seemed that the dead man had been a powerful lord in his day, and the girl claimed that as the only heir to his bloodline she would harness his power to reclaim her rightful place in the world. Unfortunately for everyone involved, upon tearing his way up from the ground, the “lord” proceeded to rampage through the nearby town before disappearing into the night. Xanthe wasted no time in striking down the perfidious necromancer, but it was too late to stop the undead monster she had unleashed. All Xanthe and Serafine could do in the aftermath was bring what comfort they could both to the victims of his frenzy and to the remains that had been disturbed by his eruption from the ground.

During this months-long recovery period, Xanthe also prepared herself for the inevitable responsibilities left by the calamity that had occurred under her watch. She left Serafine in charge of the cemetery and set out to track down the undead lord, clean up after whatever damage he had left in his wake, and send him back underground permanently. As she goes, she is continuing to do her duty for Kelemvor and provide aid to the dead and dying wherever she finds herself.