shifter - australian shepard dog
Olwena, like her family before her, had worked on a farm in Emeraude. As Australian Shepard shifters, they were adept at herding animals. Olwena's grandfather had been a terrible gambler and had become greatly indebted to the man who owned the farms and he did everything in his power to keep the Manderly's indebted to him. Thus Olwena, her siblings and her parents worked day and night. Olwena was in charge of the sheep, her parents the cattle. Her older brother helped with the horses, and her younger sister dealt with the unsavory task of catching the chickens when they got loose. If any of the animals got injured or lost, it was their responsibility to pay for the damages.
At first none of them really noticed that every time they worked off some of the debt, something bad would happen to one of the animals that would cancel out their progress. Bad things happened, it wasn't anything unusual. Horses sometimes spook and in their fear they hurt themselves. On nights with a full moon, a prowling werewolf might slaughter some sheep. Dragons could swoop down and take a full grown heifer and really there was nothing to be done. They weren't even suspicious. Not until Olwena finished her chores early one day and went to help Carina with the chickens. Olwena found her asleep, but before she could rouse her, she heard something strange. Crawling on her stomach, she got as close to the sound as she dared. It was the Earl, and he had a cage with him and a shovel. Olwena watched curiously as the man dug out some of the dirt under the fence of the chicken coop. He then put the cage down and opened it. Much to her horror, two foxes worked their way out of the cage and into the coop, wreaking havoc as they went. The chickens were so loud, surely they would wake up her sister, but when Olwena turned back to look at her, she was still sound asleep.
Olwena was extremely confused by the whole thing, and kept quiet about it until dinner with her family. They were all greatly confused as well, especially when it was taken into consideration that Carina was having trouble staying awake. They decided to wait and see what would happen. It was the next day that her father met with the Earl, who was insistent on charging them for the lost chickens. He claimed that if Carina had been doing her duty, the foxes would not have killed so much of his flock. Her father tried to argue, and it ended in an altercation that saw her father being taken off to stand trial for attacking and biting the Earl.
The trial did not go in their favor. With no real evidence and only Olwena having seen the incident, it was a matter of the Earl's word against hers. Her father was fined, and the judge told them that they should be grateful that that was all it was. Olwena had stormed out when the Earl 'graciously' offered to pay the fine and simply add it to the family's debts. She was so frustrated with the whole thing she barely noticed the man who had come to stand beside her.
"It's a real shame how these things turn out."
"It's not fair, he's lying!" Olwena shouted, only half replying to the man. She was more focused on venting her anger.
"If you want to see justice...proper justice. I believe I know some people who could help you folks."
At this Olwena turned, eyes narrowed as she looked at the man.
"Aye, proper justice." He said, his face stern. "Just say the word miss. We'll get you and your family out of this mess and see the Earl punished for what he's done. Not just to you today, but for all the rest."
"And what will it cost?"
"Oh nothing. What we do is for the good of us all." He tapped the side of his nose knowingly. It was then she realized who the 'people' were he spoke of.
"Alright. Proper justice." Her answer was resolute.
"Tomorrow night." He said. Then he was gone, as if he had never been there to begin with.
After the vidrohan rescued them from their debts and destroyed the farm, the Manderly family joined them and helped where they could. Before the war started in earnest, they would sneak onto farms and herd the animals away to help feed those who couldn't get food for themselves. It was only once they realized the family's abilities to train animals as well that they started doing more. Her parents worked on training a herd of sheep to stay relatively nearby the soldiers, especially once the war started. Her brother was often at the head of raids for supplies, and her sister helped to guard and take care of the baby shadows that were popping up left and right.
Olwena hadn't quite found her niche when she was approached by the man who had been at the trial that day. He introduced himself as Castor Driscoll, and he believed that she could be a great asset in his 'side project'. She found the circus strange at first. It was vidrohan through and through, but the people who came to it were oblivious. Not only that, but it was full of magic, yet Castor permitted no one to use their true magic. He had fae costumed as mermaids and mermaids costumed as fae. Though there was a real dragon in the circus, he was in charge of the ticket booth and the dragon head in one of the sideshow tents was paper mache with a carefully controlled fire within to provide smoke out of the nostrils. Olwena found herself in the tent with the animals, and it was there she finally found something useful she could do for the vidrohan. She trained the horses for the show they put on, practicing for hours on end. There was a werewolf in charge of the lions and tigers, but over time he trained her to work with them as well, so she could stand in for him during the full moon.
Throughout the war the show went on, helping to move vidrohan spies and resources for them without suspicion throughout Lairea, and even now as they travel they help pass along information to the scattered forces and bring resources back to where those in the Vault can come get them.