|Elaine grew up in Jarviksholm, a fair-sized town in the province of Astoria of her homeland Borellia, situated at the outskirts of a huge and dense boreal forest that covered the bulk of the province. Youngest in a family of 8 children, Elaine grew up with tales of combat and valor singing in her blood, as her family had a long tradition of prowess as warriors. Most of the men were hunters of one stripe or another, while the Sisterhood of the Spear counted her family as one of the oldest and most prestigious of its Astorian members. Elaine had plenty of role models to follow, as her grandmother, mother, and more than one older sister were all members of the elite fighting organization.
When Elaine came of age, she naturally joined the ranks of the initiates into the Sisterhood. She soon realized that the training would be even more gruelling than she had anticipated, and her family history began to weigh on her. She felt tremendous pressure to live up to the high standards her siblings and ancestors had set for themselves, and much of the time she felt inadequate to the task. She knew she had done as well as or better than most of her trainee colleagues in their courses of instruction in the healing arts, and the time spent on the hunt with her older brothers had certainly left her much better at quiet movement than they. But, when it came to what she perceived as the meat and bones of the matter -- combat -- she felt hopelessly behind. No matter how well she did against her peers, whenever she fought one of the older girls, her skill never seemed to be sufficient to the task.
In point of fact, Elaine was actually doing passably well in her training; she was by no means exceptionally gifted, but it was clear to her instructors that, given time, she would come to be quite a capable young woman. Still, no matter how often this was impressed upon her, or how often her mother approved of the progress she had made, the message didn't seem to sink in. Her instructors realized that this problem was one that Elaine could and eventually would cure on her own, given time, so they resolved to do nothing about it but simply wait for Elaine to come to the same realization on her own. Ultimately, though, events conspired to rob her of that opportunity.
One afternoon, Elaine was surprised when her instructors informed her that classes would end early that day, on account of a meeting of the Sisterhood. Such meetings were normally held outside of regular class hours, so this was a matter of some note. Even more disturbing, when Elaine arrived home, neither her mother nor father were present, and she wound up eating a dinner prepared by an older sister and going to bed even more puzzled as to the strange goings on. The next morning when Elaine awoke, her mother told her that Elaine's elderly great-grandmother, who lived in Fierenhavn on the other side of the forest near the southern border of Astoria, was quite ill and had requested that the youngest member of the family come to visit her. Elaine's mother asked her to go, but warned her that no-one could be spared to escort her on the trip; if she stayed on the main road she ought to be safe, but said she would understand if the trip was too long for her to go unaccompanied. Elaine was a bit nervous about the long journey ahead, but agreed to go nonetheless. Elaine had met the elderly matriarch a number of times previously and had always liked her so Elaine felt obligated to provide what comfort she could, especially when specifically requested.
Fortunately the trip to Fierenhavn was long but uneventful. When she arrived, however, things started getting a bit more unusual once again. When Elaine arrived she was greeted by her great-grandmother Aliza, a bright-eyed old woman of about Elaine's size with silvery hair and a jewel-bright crystal pendant of a bird about her neck. The old woman appeared quite spry and not at all ill. Moreover, she had another visitor, a young man not more than a couple years her elder, who she assumed was another relative, perhaps a second or third cousin of hers she didn't know. After a few moments exchanging pleasantries with Aliza and the young man, who turned out to be named Dreval and who seemed quite taciturn, Aliza revealed the real reason for inviting the pair of them to her house. She told them that she believed something evil was lairing southeast of the town in unclaimed land on the other side of the Astorian border, and she wanted them to root it out. Outwardly, Elaine tried to remain calm, while inwardly she panicked, and most of the rest of Aliza's explanation went in one ear and out the other. All too soon, it seemed, Dreval was nodding in acceptance, and went outside to prepare for the journey, while Elaine remained frozen to her chair, too numb to move.
Aliza seemed to recognize her plight. "You think this is too much for you, don't you?" she said, smiling gently. "After all, this is a job some fully trained Sisters would think twice about accepting, fighting an evil magician, and here you are, not even finished your training. How can I possibly ask you to go?"."Well, I can't go myself, that much is plain. Though I may not look it, I really am quite ill; I am just well-practiced at hiding the signs. Besides which, though I was once quite the adventurer in my youth, I'm far too old for this sort of thing now. So, I must use proxies like yourself and young Dreval."
"But why you, and not, say, your mother, or one of your sisters who has completed their training, or one of my many other descendents and colleagues? Any of those would seem to be more suitable choices, at least on the surface. And yet, none of them would be suitable to receive the gift I am about to offer you. Please, come with me."
Aliza led Elaine into a back room, where a rack held a set of blood-red leather armour, the hallmark of a full-fledged Spearmaiden, as well as a double-bladed spear and various other accoutrements. All looked to be in perfect condition. As Elaine looked closer to appreciate the craftsmanship, Aliza muttered a few words of ritual unheard by her granddaughter, then spoke again. "It is a tradition among the Sisterhood that upon the completion of a new Sister's training, an elder member of her clan should provide suitable fighting gear for her descendent. It seems to me that this time, you will have need of this gift a little earlier than normal. This was once my own fighting gear; it is now yours.".
As Elaine whirled to stare at her in shock, feeling that she had more to live up to than ever, Aliza smiled once more. "Don't look so surprised. This armour and weaponry are serviceable, to be sure, but not out of the ordinary for any experienced Sister; in fact, I believe your mother has quite a bit better equipment herself, and I expect that in time your sisters will acquire armament at least equal to my own. The least I can do is set you out on this mission with decent gear." As Elaine nodded mutely, Aliza continued. "I think you'll find, however, that this last gift will be, for you, the most precious." And with that, Aliza unclasped the crystal bird-pendant and placed it around Elaine's neck. Elaine's puzzled look begged for further explanation, but Aliza merely smiled cryptically and indicated that she should put on the armour.
The next few days of travel passed in a blur as a still-dazed Elaine tried to sort out why she was 20 leagues away from the closest outpost of civilization, travelling with a man she barely knew, on a mission to confront an evil she knew practically nothing about and which terrified her, and not safely back on the road home to her family. On the morning of the fifth day, however, when she awoke, she immediately realized that something had changed. For one thing, she knew that Aliza had died during the night. For another, her gear seemed much more intimately familiar to her than it had before. She hadn't previously known that her gear was enchanted, but now she knew exactly what were the properties of the boots that she wore, how to command the spear she carried so that it could fly swift and true to its mark and yet return instantly afterwards, and how to use it to summon aid from the spirit realm. Finally, she seemed to sense a presence in her mind she hadn't felt before, a youthful, confident, female presence -- the presence of her great-grandmother as she had been, 50 years ago, full of adventurous spirit and ready to tackle anything. That spirit overlaid her own, helping her take in, analyze, and react to her environment quicker and with more skill than ever before, and giving her the confidence she needed to tackle the challenge that lay ahead. She now understood Aliza's cryptic comment concerning how valuable the crystal pendant would prove to be.
That morning Elaine broke camp first and set off, following the river as they had been doing, and taking the lead for the first time. Dreval could not help but notice the change, but said nothing. At midday they left the river and headed for a hilly crag, atop which a set of standing stones were dimly visible in the distance. They arrived just as the sun was about to set and the moon to rise; unfortunately, however, the only viable approach to the hill was from the east, so as they crested the hill they had no choice but to look into the glare of the setting sun for their quarry. He had been waiting for them.
Dreval was quickly assaulted by a brace of skeletal warriors the corrupt priest had summoned, and Elaine barely had time to summon her own spirit allies before she too was swept into the fray. A desperate battle ensued as Elaine and Dreval, who to her surprise had shapechanged into a polar bear, fought to get to the priest, while the priest stood on the altar at the center of the standing stones and threw elemental blasts of dark magic at them, knocking them away if they got too close. Ultimately the pair realized that the priest was protecting a lens that he had emplaced on the altar, and, knocking the last skeletal warriors aside, they charged the altar, jumping up on it with the priest just as the moon peeked above the horizon and its light brushed the lens. The priest shouted shrilly, seemingly in pain, and then suddenly everything went black.
Elaine and Dreval woke some indeterminate amount of time later. The priest was nowhere in sight. Nor, for that matter, were the altar, the standing stones, the hill, or even the surrounding countryside. Instead they were in some kind of forest composed of stone and metal structures. Only one thing was certain: they weren't in Astoria any more. Rather, as the two would find out over the following surreal months, they were in fact in another world, or perhaps the far future of their own world; a world of strange "technology", and powerful superhumans with vast powers.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, an Elder Worm known as The Slug has uncovered evidence pointing to the arrival of the two interlopers from the distant past and it has concluded that it is possible that one or both of them has the ability to open a rift to an earlier time, perhaps as far back as the age of the Elder Worm. Failing that, perhaps they know of an object of power that might have survived the ages and be waiting, buried somewhere in a relic collection or an archaeological dig, for him to uncover.
The two stranded time travelers originally worked together to survive and learn more of the new land they were forced into, but eventually parted company as they never could quite get along. Dreval became the superhero known as Beast Warden, but Glaive drifted onto a different path.
Originally Glaive found work as a bodyguard to what she thought was a powerful merchant, but who turned out to be a vice lord whose operation was eventually tossed by a team of superheroes, whom Glaive fought to protect her employer, not understanding the true nature of what was occuring. She narrowly escaped capture when that went south, and landed in another job of a similar sort. A few years later she is still heading down the left hand path and becoming more entrenched in the shadowy world of a super mercenary.
Glaive typically takes bodygaurd assignments, but has turned her hand at other less lawful pursuits as well. She has recently started turning contracts for a firm called Enforcers, Inc which approached her as her reputation improved. To Glaive's perspective they are like a guild or society, which is something she can understand and approves of, and her career with the firm has thus far been favorable.