age: 245 at start of campaign
Burr is tall for a wolfrider, with a soft, full figure. This contrasts sharply with her facial features, which seem to aim to be unnoticeable or withdrawn. She views the world through narrow eyes of a brilliant baby blue. Her nose turns downward, and her mouth is very small. Her hair is a light brown which glitters with golden highlights in the sun. She keeps it roughly shoulder length, just long enough to pull it back into a simple ponytail.
She wears pants of beaten leather, dyed a dark blue, with a fur halter and belt. Her boots are cut to cover up to her knees. This wardrobe suits her year round, as she is the last elf affected by either cold or heat. The pants and boots suit her need to wander the underbrush, while the halter allows her to cool off.
Burr affects two items of adornment. The first is a bracelet around her right upper arm. This is made of dyed leather strips and long, carved wooden beads. The other is a medallion of a howling wolf-head.
Burr is possessed of a stone mace and a sling. She does not wear them unless she is on the move, hunting, or wary of danger.
Stillspear was a huntress renowned for her calm in a hunt. She would raise her spear when prey was sighted and hold her arm patiently until a solid shot presented itself. Dryfall was the healer of the tribe, surly and impatient. His foul temper was well known and tolerated only because of his invaluable service.
The second child of the recognition of Stillspear and Dryfall was named Thistle for the plain but durable beauty her parents saw within her.
Thistle took after both of her parents. From her mother she learned the intimacy of the hunt and the subtlety of silence. Her father passed on his skill in healing. Unfortunately, both of them gave her something else; their frequent and bitter fighting left her unable to cope with any level of dissent or conflict.
As a cub, Thistle was a happy elf, though quiet. She seemed content to watch the others tussle and run around. Quickly, though, she developed a reputation for her aversion to conflict. Whenever a fight or argument broke out amongst the children, Thistle would curl up on the ground, closing her eyes tightly and covering her ears. If the disruption continued, she would begin to cry and shriek. Because of this behavior, she was renamed Burr, a balled, piercing pest that you can never really avoid.
The other children learned to avoid her, and she in turn withdrew into a private serenity. She learned to find solace in the company of the forest, its plants and creatures. Burr studied her new friends intently, gleaning knowledge which would later serve her well. She also took to following her parents and watching their every move. Stillspear would occasionally take her hunting, and Burr loved the art of stalking and the long waits and silences. She never did develop a taste for the kill, however. Having too much love for the animals, she could not bear to slay them at an easy distance. She insisted that if she had to do it, she would face the prey personally, that it might see its attacker and understand. For her, it was a sign of respect, as were the tears which flowed from her eyes upon a successful hunt. This approach to hunting left her frequently injured, and she gained an appreciation of her father's art which encouraged her to develop her own talent for healing. Dryfall's screaming accusations at his lifemate often involved the danger for Burr in following her mother's path. She loved both of them dearly, and it hurt her to know that she was a cause for friction between them.
The other joy Burr's young life was the social bonding which occurred during activities such as feasts or dreamberry tales. This was an opportunity for her to feel a part of the community which had so often rejected her. Here she would absorb the sense of belonging, memorizing every detail that she could, from the interplay of the others to the words of knowledge and history.
Over the years of her young adulthood, Burr's anxiety began to lessen as she noticed that her own behavior affected that of others toward herself. She began to grow calm, like her mother, although she still had none of the assurance of either parent. Though she still could not tolerate dissent, she merely maintained her silence rather than withdrawing more physically. Some of the younger elves never even knew of the fits to which she had been subject.
The tribe accepted her at last, and though they only sought her of necessity (for it was admitted that she "knew things"), they no longer shunned her. On the rare occasions when her opinion was asked, she would go along with the majority view or decline to give her thoughts. It became known that her silence was dissent, and the clever elves would try to dig deeper to see what she wasn't saying about the issue.
The very youngest members of the tribe learned to come to Burr when they had erred, for she would go easy on them while still satisfying "adult responsibilities."
She became comfortable with her place in the tribe, content to have a small part in their society.
Burr is a mine of untapped potential. Circumstance will have to determine whether her resources are realized or buried deeper under fear and self-doubt.
A description of Burr would be incomplete without a discussion of Dreamrunner. Her latest wolf-friend, he assumes the role of closest friend and confidante. Dreamrunner hears everything, although Burr often suspects that he's not listening. She tells him about the plants he snuffles and the animals he eats. When he lies beside her under trees she recites dreamberry tales for his edification. He is the target of all her chatty, gossiping, social urges: sort of a sleepy, be-furred safety valve.
Although exuberant, Dreamrunner is perhaps too active for his own good. He takes frequent naps, during which Burr is convinced that he still bounds about the forest.
The standing portrait of Burr is the work of Wendi Strang-Frost layed over a body and facial template by Wendy Pini (from the second edition of Elfquest, the Official Roleplaying Game, copywrite 1989 Chaosium). It is not my intent to violate anybody's rights of ownership.