Serenity Walker. Bounty Hunter. Runeweaver. Witch.
Having studied runic magic since her earliest years, Serenity's always known she would one day use her talents to do amazing things. Once upon a time, her fondest wish was to take up the sheriff's star, like her hero and mentor, Jack Chamberlain. Like Jack, she would use runes to keep the peace and settle brawls, always mindful of her obligation, as a weaver, to show benevolence. The world has enough distrust of those who twist the runes, without giving them one more witch to burn.
But things never go to plan, do they?
Born to an itinerant clan of people known as the Northern Wanders (also sometimes the Winter Nomads), Serenity was left with the proprietress of local inn when her people couldn't keep her. She grew up at the Wolf's Den Tavern, under the care of the matron, Magda, who fostered many young women and girls and gave them respectable work. As a child, Serenity served food and cleaned tables, and caught the attention of her hometown's resident magicians, called runeweavers. While most weavers simply had fun entertaining the wide-eyed youngster, the town's lawman Jack Chamberlain noticed Serenity's own potential for magic. He took her on as a student and started her lessons in calling the runes.
Serenity studied the arcane arts with Sheriff Chamberlain until age sixteen, when Jack was gunned down in an attempt to stop a crime. After his death, Serenity continued her studies alone. At the weaver's school she discovered a secret, darker side of their art, a clandestine society known as the Black Guild.
Soon after discovering the existence of the Guild, Serenity sought out a second mentor to continue her studies, and met Rook, a tribal runeweaver from the ranks of the cabal. Rook made Serenity his apprentice not only in the ways of runeweaving but in a career as a bounty hunter, and began preparing her for the ultimate test: binding a dark spirit to her body—and soul—permanently.
The First and Most Oft-Repeated Lesson
Serenity is self-assured and confident, many times over-confident, which can get her into trouble. She has a particularly fierce sarcastic streak and loves taunting her darkling partner.
Serenity started out with high ideals and a dream of following in Jack's footsteps to become a law dog and a hero. After striking her deal with D'aej, she's taken on a darker sense of humor and a more dubious moral outlook. She's warier of others and of the world in general, cognizant that most cultures and communities outside her hometown would view her magic with suspicion, and do her harm if they discovered how deeply she's gone into arcane studies. She dislikes churches and church-going communities, seeing them as close-minded and belligerent towards the pursuit of arcane wisdom. All the same, she tries to get along peaceably and avoid notice wherever she goes...a plan which almost inevitably goes awry.
Being a bounty hunter means being a quick and creative thinker, and Serenity—usually—is both. She can be hot-headed, though, and provoked into losing her temper. This is a strategy D'aej likes to employ when he feels Serenity isn't cooperating enough with is goals.
Overall, Serenity still wholeheartedly believes in the rightness and justice Jack Chamberlain embodied. Time, grief, and experience have taken their toll on her, however, and while she is determined still to do great things with her talent, she's possibly lost sight of her own capability for goodness.
Traits and Talents
Serenity has a great deal of magical strength, but can sometimes lack finesse and particularly forethought. Her third teacher, Eliza, points this out in Into Nostra, and repeatedly reminds Serenity that if she cannot adapt and cultivate her technique, there is no point in Eliza even attempting to train her. Serenity excels at elemental magic, favoring fire (the kenaz rune) and lightning (the thurisaz rune). She also commonly invokes the rune isa for ice.
Though unable to invoke it at will, Serenity exhibits a strong talent for attracting visions. These visions, while not prophecy or future sight, draw attention to things unseen or secrets influencing Serenity and others around her. Even though her mind and magic make her open to seeing beyond the veil, however, it is still left to Serenity to interpret and glean the significance of her visions for herself.
While skilled with most aspects of the runes, Serenity is nearly totally unable to call on magic to heal. Her second teacher, Rook, comments on the the oddness of this deficiency in her learning, to which Serenity replies she has simply never had luck with healing magic. Though she knows the importance of developing the skillset, she chooses to ignore it, perhaps to avoid the disappointment of failure.
Besides magic, Serenity has cultivated skills in her wilderness survival and tracking. She's especially good at handling horses despite her unnatural passenger; horses seem to share a natural affinity with her.