13. Clarricie Quo Priscus
- • Waste the Rainbow (24, 17)
- • Unicorn Flakes (31, 17)
- • CE: Kill it WIth Fire (17, 26)
Notorious among both friend and foe for her ostentatious presence on the battlefield, the true nature of this centurion of the IVth Imperial Legion's contingent of beasts remains shrouded in mystery.
Two facts are certain: Clarricie joined the ranks of the IVth Imperial Legion some ten years ago, and is one of the few beastmasters recognized for her talents by the “Beast King” Lyon rem Helsos. Beyond this, countless stories are told. Some call her a witch, saying they have observed her speaking to her pets in unholy, bestial tongues the likes of which have never been uttered by mortal mouths─indeed, that the monstrosities in her charge obey her every command because she herself is one of them. Others claim this is but a lie spread by those looking to smear her name, and that Clarricie is rather a saint, a figure of surpassing compassion and charity who tends to her wounded pets and comrades with self-sacrificing love and devotion, fighting to protect them as if she were the warrior goddess Gradia herself.
Perhaps both tales are true, and whether Clarricie appears as a witch or a saint depends only on the eye of the beholder. What cannot be denied are the nigh-countless triumphs she has claimed in war, and the profound fear she strikes into the heart of any foe unfortunate enough to meet her dangerously alluring gaze on the battlefield.
Little is known about her origins, save that she was born as one of the Eschva, a nomadic people that wandered across borders in the olden days. When the Empire came, they refused to settle, leading Legatus Gabranth to propose a compromise: they could maintain their itinerant lifestyle on the condition that they volunteered a dictated number of their strongest men to serve in the imperial army for a fixed period of time. The Eschva accepted these terms, and Clarricie's newlywed husband was one of those chosen to serve. A formidable beastmaster in his own right, he was recruited into Lyon's contingent, but tragically and suddenly lost his life on his very first mission─just months after he and Clarricie swore their vows. Feeling a strong sense of responsibility and pity for the poor girl, Lyon personally paid her a visit in Gabranth's stead, apologizing for causing her beloved's death under his watch. Lamenting the thought of any other Eschva women being widowed as she had been, she entreated Lyon to accept her into his ranks in her husband's place, a petition which the Beast King was all too happy to accept. Since that day, Clarricie wears the masks of both a witch and a saint, fighting for her husband's honor and memory, and to achieve an era of peace for her people that her beloved will never see...