Persons of Note from the Sword Coast
Friends and Allies:
Telia Santraeger, formerly Navra
, a former assistant director of the White Mask Theatre and former Lord Magus of the Zhentarim. Telia is one of Ameris' oldest friends on the coast, him having met her in his first months in Baldur's Gate. Back then, she was an aspiring actress and him a humble priest, although they seemed to recognise in each other an internal struggle which, it transpired, they dealt with radically differently. Their friendship, its intensity long denied, was a secret thing, and indeed was Ameris' main bulwark in the closing months of 1349. Yet the priest always kept a distance between himself and the actress, thinking himself a former sinner unworthy of the affections of what he thought to be a virtuous woman. Indeed he sought affection elsewhere, something he knows now caused great pain to Telia due to what she perceived as rejection. Thanks to this the woman fell farther and faster than she otherwise would have, something for which Ameris blames himself.
The early months of 1350 divided them both in loyalties when Ameris was captured, tortured by Telia herself, and then executed by the Zhentarim. In the aftermath of this their trust fell short of either of them doing the right thing; yet still, when Telia revealed herself to be a member of the Zhentarim, Ameris was devastated - and enraged, a fury and bitterness fed by an underlying affection. In time though, Ameris gained a greater understanding of his own role in Telia's choices - and a greater understanding of what led her to those choices, including the repeated blows life had dealt to her. He refused to let the matter stand, and was one of those who urged her to depart form her evil path.
In the winter of 1350 Telia abandoned the employ of her former masters and went on the run. Ameris made a fateful decision to find her and protect her during this time, lending his support to her efforts to find a place for herself, despite the uncertainty about any change in her morals - a decision made at no small personal and reputational cost to the priest. During this time Ameris and Telia expressed their feelings for one another, declarations clouded by uncertainty and clear differences in outlook. The priest suffered much criticism for doing this from former friends and allies, who considered him to have been corrupted, particularly when their romantic relation came to light. Even after Telia found sanctuary in Baldur's Gate, Ameris and Telia's relationship was fraught and strained, her finding the change to a better path difficult, and him finding true closeness to another hard to achieve. In the end, the support the woman provided Ameris during the plague, her resolute belief that Ameris deserves happiness, and then his grief at her fall at the hands of Thayans pushed the priest to greater warmth and cemented his loyalty to her. It is fair to say that Telia's relationship with Ameris has healed him, just as it has healed her.
Their recent trip to Tethyr, and the suffering she took on for him there, only cemented Ameris' love for Telia. They were wed in Elesias in 1351 by Revered Sister Dethliss, before riding off to events that bore noticeable risk of death. Upon return to Baldur's Gate the pair embark upon a new life, one in which Telia attempted to make her mark in her own right and show the world her change in heart. The first steps in this included continuing editing the Herald and becoming Steward of the Order of Lions, where she spearheaded efforts to see to the safety of three dozen orphans. It is fair to say that Telia has surprised her husband with her positive actions, given they came from her own initiative, especially as he grew to understand at the same time just how damaged she was by her past, including his own rejection of her.
The couple's adoption of two orphans from Baldur's Gate and one from Athkatla marked an evolution of their relationship, exemplified by Telia's willingness to let Ameris follow his beliefs during the Barber crisis, and accepting his decision to spend more time in the city in 1353 following the Zhentarim treaty. Ameris looks upon Telia with pride, these days, seeing now that her changes are not just for him, and nor are they surface only. Indeed, his main worry now is that his own driven faith will make him an unfit husband in the long run - work is never done.
Laitae Lafreth, Great Reader of Candlekeep
Laitae was a reader when Ameris met her, some time ago now. Her learning, and her merciful outlook on matters, did much to set Ameris at his ease and allow him to lessen his prior, well hidden, mistrust of elves. He remains awed by her intellect and learning, and beyond that, her brave decision to choose to embrace her role as a Mystran in the face of the expectations placed upon her by her birth. This is a thing that echoes with him.
Laitae and Ameris find much common ground, and Laitae often speaks of her peception that Mystran and Ilmatari faith have some echoes of each other. Laitae is a well trained healer, having studied under one of the greatest practioners of the healing arts Ameris has ever seen, Sister Louise de la Valliere, who first fostered links between Candlekeep and the Adorned. Laitae's rigorous experimentation on poxes and advice on statistical analysis of disease has been of great significance for the fight against suffering on the Sword Coast, and in the Temple of Ilmater specifically. Ameris may occasionally tease Laitae's bookishness, but his respect for her is significant.
It is from Laitae that Ameris has learned of the elven people and it can be said that it was these lessons that planted a seed in his heart, that has blossomed into a love of harmony and peace for all, beyond the narrow duties he set before himself as Ilmatari. Indeed, his patriotism is now well tempered by a thought towards the common good. Perhaps, in that regard, she set him on the path to the ideals that he now promotes, although no doubt many other experiences and persons contribute to the same.
Neschera, Morninglord of Lathander and Vicar of the Song of Morning temple in Beregost.
Ameris and Neschera met in unfortunate circumstances, after she was attacked by goblins on the road north of Beregost. From that meeting, a firm friendship grew, and Ameris considers Neschera the one of the most wise and holy of priests on the coast. He enjoys their philosophical discourses a great deal. She has been, in many ways, a spritual counsellor, and has done much to help Ameris focus on his duties in the present rather than dwelling on the pains of the past. Its no exaggeration to say that when he seeks moral guidance or wise counsel, it is Neschera he goes to. There are few of his problems she does not hear of and they share many of the same values. Many, but not all; his allegiance to the Harp is something that she, perhaps, struggles to understand.
Neschera has been very supportive of Ameris and truly he places her on a pedestal; a golden pedestal, no less. He has reason, as she forgave him in the face of horrors which she suffered on his behalf. She was a target for torment at the hands of a Loviataran priestess who sought to cripple Ameris' faith at a time when it had already weakened. It was the victim, Neschera's, wise and well applied words which saved him from what should have been a shattering of his faith - as he came to see that allowing his faith to break in the face of this crime would only be a dishonour to the Lathanderite priestess.
Neschera has known further hardships in the years since they met; her arrest, then the loss of the Amnian captain she was courting to shadow thief blades being one; her own capture and binding as a death knight being the other. It was Ameris' old blade, Unyielding
, that ended her undeath, one of the hardest duties he has ever had to face, and caused him to set aside the blade for a time. Ameris bears guilt at being unable to support Neschera in the aftermath of her pains as much as she deserved. He remains committed to doing what he can should their paths cross again, insofar as she needs.
Cecilia Lafayette, Purple Dragon Knight of Cormyr, Templar of Lathander
, formerly a paladin of the Radiant Heart. Despite the fact neither serve in the Radiant Heart Auxiliary anymore, Ameris calls her and considers her a younger sister and cherishes the blade she gifted him, christened Unyielding
by Sister Reine.
Cecilia has always represented hope to Ameris and her attempts to balance innocence of heart with a will to see justice done in the service of Tyr represented, for him, an opportunity to help re-juvinate the Order of the Radiant Heart and the righteous on the Sword Coast. In the event, it was Ameris' own misjudgment that was to expose Cecilia to capture and torture at the hands of the Zhentarim, and Telia Navra specifically.
Ameris bears guilt for this, and for being unable to counteract the false tutelage of Eliphas Valkarian while he was Grandmaster of the Radiant Heart, which for a time clad Cecilia's heart in steel. In truth the guilt is deepened by his awareness that he has offered forgiveness to one who did Cecilia such harm; and it is a dear hope of his that those of his extended family can reach harmony; he is glad that steps have been made in that regard.
Ameris admires Cecilia's strength in the face of suffering and is proud of how she has learned from her own mistakes and conquered her own pain. Her rebirth in Lathanderite faith and her service to Cormyr is something he is very heartened by, and he is resolved to support her, as and when he may, should they meet again.
Eldarian Al'maire, Dawnknight of Lathander and Commander of the Templars of the Song of Morning Temple.
A surrogate brother; Eldarian at first reminded Ameris a lot of his own dead brother Errilar. He has taken the place of brother, but also the place of a true friend and Councillor, not as some revenant of fallen kin. Indeed, there is little Ameris would not do for Eldarian, and this goes beyond matters of faith, and righteousness.
Both Ameris and Eldarian have known pain and suffering since they met and their friendship has been tested by the need for mutual support: Ameris' struggles with loss and his failures regarding the Bardess, his failure and death at Triel and the collapse of his knighthood following, the loss of Telia and the failures with the Shadow Beast on the one hand; Eldarian's death at the hands of the Red Wizard Kahanak, his self doubts and the possession of the Shadow Demon, his pained relationship with Cecilia and Berea, and the battles with shadows of a more human sort in Beregost on the other. That said, there do remain matters which could test their friendship; the Harp, and the balance between redemption and the combat of evil; and lastly, nobility.
Early in their friendship, Eldarian did much to encourage Ameris to come out of his shell and consider that his life is not a sin; indeed he did more in this regard than any except Telia. The Dawnknight was younger and less troubled in those times, and the irony of the fact that Eldarian's duty has begun weighing him down just as the lessons he taught the Ilmatari have finally begun to bear fruit are not lost on Ameris. It is the priest's intention to remain someone that Eldarian can speak to as a comrade, rather than as a paladin, as the Dawnknight struggles with the wounds of a difficult few years on the coast.
Arkaine Halforken, former Knight Paragon and current Grandmaster of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.
Ameris met Arkaine Halforken early in his time on the Sword Coast. Ameris and Arkaine share a homeland, although their relationship with their places of birth are wildly different. Arkaine's half-orcish nature was a surprise to Ameris in a knight of such renown, although he learned to accept it quickly. The Knight Paragon was a distant figure, however, as the walls of his duty, and the many years of self sacrifice and pained service rendered the man focused in a way that is hard to understand for those outside a paladin order. Ameris saw his role at first in the Radiant Heart as a helper and supporter to the paladins, and he is aware that he failed in this mission, directly, when it comes to Arkaine.
It was no secret in the Order that Ameris' peaceful ways, and the increasing voice he found during his service, led him to pursue different methods than some of his brothers; exemplifying perhaps the differences between priest and paladin; or between Ilmater, Helm and Torm. That said, Ameris' love of the Order and his respect for the ideals of paladinhood extended to all his brothers, and while he counselled against paladins presenting themselves as infallible, he also spent much time explaining the actions and defending the reputations of the Radiant Heart; something he has continued to do since leaving the Order.
It is true to say that Ameris' relations with Arkaine are strained, although Ameris regrets that and is of the belief that so does Arkaine; and they remain respectful and able to cooperate when tempers do not run hot. Ameris is aware he let Arkaine down by seeking aid from the Harpers; and it was Ameris who was the bearer of the bad news that the Order had been corrupted from within. They have frequently debated over the topic of mercy as against righteous wrath, with Ameris' aid to various sinners a cause of tension. That said, the truth is that Ameris believes he understands well the burden of paladinhood, and the respective roles of healer, counsellor, warrior, defender, and agents of holy wrath. He might disagree with Arkaine's fervour at times, but he is the first to say that at other times, it is precisely what is needed.
Alexander Marshall, Paladin of Torm, Prelate of the Order of the Radiant Heart and Triadic Knight.
Ameris met Alexander when the priest had recently broken his vow of peace, and was close to falling in faith. Their first meeting consisted of Alexander sharing of his own past fall from grace; and reaching out to Ameris' own lack of self worth. That someone would speak in such open terms to a relative stranger did much to win Ameris' loyalty and from then on Alexander, first as Brother, then as Prelate, was a mentor to Ameris. He was supportive of Ameris' work with the Bardess, while counselling caution. Indeed it was he who counselled caution within the Order
, as well, due to the sad truths he had uncovered.
Both Katarina and Ameris explored Triadic worship at Alexander's behest and the trio were a common sight on the Sword Coast during the summer months of 1349. Together, the trio each represented one of the Triad, and faced many evils together. Alas, they were unable to defeat the evil within the order itself.
When Alexander sought to bring the Radiant Heart into Triel to inspire hope in the people there that they had not been abandoned, Ameris spoke forcefully in support of him both within the Order and outside of it. Alas, Eliphas Valkarian, secretly the Dreadlord of Darkhold at that point, spoke for inaction and overruled such plans. Sadly, although Alexander found out that a spy was within the Order, he was unable to find out who; although he was thorough enough to put Ameris and Katarina to the test. In the end, it became clear that there was not one spy, but three.
It was a great sadness for Ameris when Alexander departed to other duties; in part of necessity, and in part over his disagreement with the direction of the Order under Grandmaster Arkaine. They have remained in intermittent contact since, although their closeness was tested by Alexander's fall his work around Soubar. Nevertheless, the two men were reconciled when Alexander set out to travel with the Santraegers south, so as to keep them safe while travelling to undo the Barber's work and while they settled in Berdusk.
Katarina of Tyr, Divine Champion and Knight of the Order of the Radiant Heart.
Katarina, a former squire to Jonas Rokranon, was an early confidante of Ameris on the coast. She came to knew him when he kept a vow of peace and served the Order of the Radiant Heart as a healer. She counselled him through his breaking of his vow, and his request for forgiveness over his past misdeeds, which had been hidden from the Order; sternly demanding his atonement and compassionately reminding him that such was possible. Katarina helped Ameris a great deal in training with him while he tried to recover his skill at arms after years of disuse, and together with Alexander Marshall the trio spent much time restoring order and fighting evil on the coast.
Katarina supported Ameris when he came under suspicion for his aid to the Bardess, and he supported her when her belief in mercy caused her to allow herself to be a vessel for the spirit of a Netherese ghost, the wife of the lich Bazu who was plaguing the coast, leading to his abandonment of his crusade and his eventual defeat. Her departure after this traumatic experience to a Tyrran retreat was a loss to Ameris, although he understood her need for rest.
Gaervin Goldenshield, Paladin of Gaerdal Ironhand Senior Knight of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.
Sir Gaervin is, to Ameris, something akin to the model paladin-soldier. Unwavering, unyielding, stern, reserved, righteous and fair, his faith in his gnomish god reminds Ameris much of Helmite faith; and thus accords closely with the chilvaric ideal Ameris was raised with himself.
While Sir Gaervin has what could be called a quiet charisma compared to some other paladins, his indefatigable and well mannered service of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, and the people of Baldur's Gate, has won him high respect for Ameris and has made Sir Gaervin the model of knightly virtue for the priest.
Indeed, of all of his former Brothers, it is Sir Gaervin's disapproval that Ameris most fears; because it would not be given without reason.
Captain Reine Arlynson of the Everwatch Knights
A paladin, yet drawn from the background of a common soldier, Sister Reine (as Ameris calls her) manifests little of the chivalric grace that many who hear the call do. Indeed, she is proud of her gruff exterior, although Ameris believes she belittles her skills at diplomacy and charisma. That said, without doubt Reine is common
and she has rightly identified that Ameris will never shake off the air of the nobility within which he was raised. In this regard, Ameris' friendship with Reine has been educational to him; as her honesty and perspective help him amend his own, and cast off some of his more patronising behaviours. Ameris takes what Reine has to say very seriously.
Reine and Ameris have a very different approach to Ilmater and his war on suffering. One the healing hand, one the clenched fist. Yet, they have both spoken of being complimentary; one's duty starts where the other ends. Despite their differences in approach, in birth, and in life, there is remarkably little tension between the two; especially considering the tension that does subsist between the paladin and Telia.
Reine arrived in the city in 1351, just as the plague from the Warlock's Crypt was about to bloom. Focused, disciplined, modest, a workaholic, she was a blessing from Ilmater during that busy time; Reine is, to Ameris, solid, dependable and a true comrade when it comes to devotion to duty; they have collaborated much on Ilmatari matters. It is a matter of regret to Ameris that he has seen shards of the pain that lays underneath, something which in happier times Ameris would have sought out and tried to ease. Yet theirs is a friendship based on a working relationship, and Ameris has contented himself with stating to Reine that his door is open.
Ameris has seen Reine rise from being a Knight of Mops, to a leader of men, with her custodianship of her Kheldrivver recruits, her leadership in the war against the Blight, and her captaincy in the Everwatch. His role as counsellor to her during the war, in the limited extent she needed it, reminded him much of his early time in the Order of the Radiant Heart; it brought him much satisfaction, and indeed is one of the things that helps him settle into his role as priest.
Nëa the Dancer
A little shadow. Nëa is, by now, one of Ameris' oldest friends on the Sword Coast who still remains. Her and Ameris might be an unusual pair at first glance, particularly when they first met. He, then, a Brother of the Radiant Heart, stiff and reserved, and her a playful and mischievous dancer in the shadows. Yet each perceived a kindly heart in the other, and a firm friendship grew. This friendship did become a topic of gentle teasing from Ameris' brothers in the Radiant Heart!
Ameris is one of those who has seen the will to do good beneath Nëa's playful exterior, and indeed they have cooperated on doing the same often. Ameris trusts Nëa implicitly, and it is returned. When threats against Ameris' life began to grow, Nëa took it upon herself to be a guardian for Ameris - of course, without Ameris realising at first. Ameris remains very grateful for this altruistic aid, and indeed for Nëa's words of support over the past few years. He has been unable to repay such to the same degree, sadly.
Nëa and Ameris' friendship has not been without its trials. The little shadow once had a dim view of paladins, for example, and Ameris' reserved nature can sometimes hurt the very elven Nëa. Nëa and Ameris do differ on their approach to laws, rules and oaths and the like, which can cause discord.
The greatest falling out they have had was when Ameris went to the aid of Telia Navra, after she fled Darkhold, without telling Nëa. This caused conflict between the two, as Nëa felt betrayed, and indeed feared Ameris had deceived her all along as an agent of the Zhentarim for a time. Nëa's grudges are legendary, but Ameris' own hurt played its part and he did not try and mend the friendship as he should. In due course, however, both came to their senses and their friendship has been restored. Ameris has, since then, realised he might have taken Nëa for granted and has tried to afford her more consideration and respect. Alas, tension lingers between Nëa and Telia, despite both working to bridge it out of their regard for Ameris.
Mendel, Villi of En Dharasha Everae
Mendel is a man Ameris met through the Harp, an allegiance they both share. Its fair to say that Mendel and Ameris come from radically different worlds, and Ameris is well aware that had they both grown up in Tethyr, they would likely have been enemies. Indeed they have many differences still: Ameris uses 10 words where Mendel would use one; Ameris is hesitant to strike where Mendel is swift; Ameris is plain in approach where Mendel is cunning; Ameris has become an animal of the cities, wheras Mendel is one of the wilds; Ameris fights in heavy armour whereas Mendel relies on speed and skill. Off course, on the other hand, they also share a mutual love of wine! And both have a fierce love of their people that co-exists with their commitment to the Harpers.
The fact that they are firm comrades and brothers brought together under the Code just reinforces Ameris' belief that the ideal of the Harp is something worth fighting for. In having comrades such as Mendel, Ameris has come to understand the Harp better, and how the harmony they work for is not about uniformity, but instead bringing those who are each different together for a common goal.
Ameris is in many ways a student in meddling compared to Mendel. Beyond this, Ameris and Mendel have shed blood for freedom alongside each other several times, both their own and their enemies, and so Ameris has had direct experience of Mendel's strength of will and battle-prowess. Indeed, Ameris considers the wood elf one of the most dangerous men on the coast, and is certainly glad he fights on the side of freedom.
Ayla Elidole, Seeker of Candlekeep
Ayla and Ameris met in unusual circumstances; when he helped pull her broken body from the depths of a lizard infested cavern and restore her to health and vitality. The pair seemed to have an immediate connection, although one might have described Ayla as being like a cat with a new toy. Her forward nature came at a time when Ameris' own faith wavered in a very real way, and he had near given up on the thought of himself as a pure and proper servant of Ilmater. Ayla seemed to recognise, at least, the pain Ameris walked in, and sought to alleviate it.
Their brief affair brought much of the priest's old noble nature out and in many senses his role was something of a performance or re-enactment, a mark of his growing jadedness with life. Yet, after the horrific events surrounding Neraline's betrayal, Ameris brought the affair to an end, as part of a rejection of all physical contact of any kind, from any source. Surprisingly, this allowed a deep friendship to blossom and be revealed. The Sharessan scholar had a keen mind, and seemed resolved to use that
to tend to Ameris' hurts instead. Indeed the pair became regular discussion partners and Ameris still retains the first editions of Ayla's philosophical works she gifted him as treasured possessions.
Since Ayla's retirement to Candlekeep, (the membership of which was something Ameris had encouraged in the otherwise carefree sorceress), Ameris has indeed missed her dearly.
When Ameris learned of the death of his family at the hands of rebel peasants, his reaction was an insurmountable grief and rage that nearly broke his faith, and his belief in his service to Ilmater - and did break his Vow of Peace. Following guidance (some well meaning, some malicious) he reaffirmed his faith after a night long vigil within the chapel of the Order of the Radiant Heart. Within he had begged Ilmater to set him to a task, and vowed all of his skills and talents to the Broken God's service, meaning, of course, his sword.
The next day, on the Tradeway, he met the Bardess
. A sinner, a creature of dark deeds, she carried secrets of an artefact from a great distance, an artefact which she meant to place in the hands of those who would hide it away, rather than for ill; a noble intent which she herself seemed not to fully understand. She came marked by suffering and the whip of the Maiden of Pain, and Ameris, in his fervour, believed he saw in her Ilmater's mission.
It is hard to overestimate the impact this meeting had on the young Ilmatari, and from an early point Ameris had the Bardess on a silver pedestal.
The young priest set about helping the Bardess and protecting her from forces both malign and without understanding; and from her own reckless sense of entropy. As he did so, his own guilt and grief - and the woman's manipulations of him - brought him to an ardent admiration of her; a forbidden longing. Indeed when the Bardess proved as good as her word, and her burden was delivered safely (Ameris' first contact with the Harp), Ameris was adamant to both heal her wounds, and find her sanctuary; regarding such as his first
duty. He was distraught when first her safety was threatened, and then, later, when she abandoned his company and counsel.
This loss brewed in Ameris' heart, along with guilt at knowing that his offered affection had been inappropriate
from a priest to what amounted to a patient. The ennui resulting caused him to reject Telia's companionship, to loose himself in jaded vices, and to fall for Neraline's subversion. On the verge of breaking, Ameris was buoyed up by the slimmest threads: promises to Neschera, the expectations of others, the support of the Harp and other friends, and, finally, the return of the Bardess.
From then on, Ameris and the Bardess were intermittent comrades, and he would visit her infrequently as time would allow, to ease her hardship and so that they could share council. His obesession remained as a distant longing, and indeed he had begun to realise the selfishness that underpinned it - and how, to the contrary, it was altruism that underpinned his friendship for her, and that his gift to her was stability.
Ameris' death at the Zhentarim's hands drove the Bardess into a bloody flood of grief, and it was months before she would believe Ameris was not some demonic spectre; or indeed, before she would let him back into her friendship and risk being hurt again, Ameris suspects. From then on, the priest set aside his desires and focused on helping the Bardess find faith and purpose; something she often resisted. It had mixed results, and indeed his hopes to see her find such purpose caused the Ilmatari to make a terrible mistake and inadvertently release a shadow beast that cost innocent lives. Hard won lessons, the forgiveness of those closest to him, and the trust his god placed in him, helped Ameris to make the right
decision next time.
Its only then that Ameris came to understand that his emotional investment had made him fail to see the difference between providing support to help someone choose, and choosing for them. A re-evaluation of his actions in the past year made him realise that he had been friend when he should have been lover, and sought to have been lover when he should have been friend; and so he sought to set things right. Ameris' support for Telia caused a rift with the Bardess, as she viewed the deserting Magus as dangerous and, seemingly, had felt a certain ownership over the priest.
While, once again, the Bardess and he are comrades, Ameris is well aware that his duties and vows to others fetter his ability to be the support he promised. He perceives a distance between them for this reason, and it feeds a secret guilt that is an itchy scar still.
Layana of the Greyfox, born Mordiggian, Adorned of Ilmater
Ameris met Layana when she arrived in the Baldur's Gate region and took up service in the Temple of Ilmater as a Sister of the Adorned. A gentle and peaceful woman, she kept a vow of peace and, while Ameris persuaded her to join the Order of the Radiant Heart at first, she eventually refocused upon her duties to Ilmater.
Layana is one of the most gifted healers Ameris knows, her surgical skills exceeding his own considerably. Her gentle nature, though, seemed dismayed at the brutality of the world, and the hardships that she encountered on the coast only worsened this. Ameris' own cruel background (and cruel nature, at times) means he has often been the type to react with anger where Layana reacted with sadness, but both seemed to understand the other's sense of powerlessness against a hostile existence.
Such was the trust between the pair, Layana was the one Ameris turned to when first aiding the Bardess, and indeed the pair did much to keep the woman safe in the early days of such contact. He even confided some of his concerns as to how other members of the Order of the Radiant Heart were bidding him handle the matter. However, in time, the lengths to which Ameris was prepared to go and the amount he was prepared to risk alienated even Layana, who was questioning her service in Baldur's Gate after falling in love with the barbarian skald Nerys, of the Greyfox tribe.
There was danger of a rift forming, and indeed at first Ameris took Layana's relucatance and doubts as betrayal. However, the pair managed to heal that rift and remain close. Acceptance of Layana's decision to practice her ministry amidst the Greyfox of the north (where she ended up as the second wife of the tribe's chief) was a moment of growth for Ameris, in accepting others having different needs, manners of living and ways to do good. He has grown to much admire her choice to focus on creating life as well as sustaining it, and is glad of her influence, and through her Ilmater's, among the northmen.
Ameris instantly felt an urge to safeguard the quiet and traumatised Tethyrian shaman when he first met her, finding her employment and shelter. His reaction was clearly impelled by their shared homeland. Indeed, Ameris wears his heart on his sleeve in this regard, and the canny recognise that Ameris' drive to aid Tarina began psychologically as a form of atonement for his sins in Tethyr. Many of those close to him regard Ameris as being blind to any of Tarina's flaws.
Since then though, a genuine familial bond has grown. With Tarina, Ameris is akin to a stern older relative, and Tarina is a recalcitrant youth, yet this is rooted in a firm affection. Ameris sees Tarina as possessed of loyalty at her core, something she displays to to him and his family among others, and he sees a vast untapped reservoir of empathy and compassion. Signs of it have manifested at various times, not least during the risks Tarina took for the child Amanda.
Alas, Tarina and Ameris do clash over some of Tarina's more pragmatic choices, including a notable one that Tarina now tells him was a grave mistake. He is forgiving, though, as while he idealises the good that is in Tarina, he is conscious that the sufferings of Tarina's past have taught her bitterness and fear as a way of life, and made her view the pursuit of power as a necessity for survival. Since they first met he has viewed his role as being of a counterbalance to that darkness, not as a judge of it, although his sternness does sometimes arise to frustrate that intention, as does the opprobrium of others. No doubt the future holds much for the pair.