Eilin Tyrsson
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Eilin Tyrsson is one of the leaders of a small, rural community based around a crumbling monastery in the mountains north of Dornie. Her desire to protect her people by any means necessary has brought her into direct conflict with Duncan Rowntree after she tried to arm the settlement with weapons assembled at Dornie's munitions factory by kidnapping his niece, Cordelia Ross, and demanding firearms and bullets in exchange for her safe return.

Her skinwalking form is a pale-coloured wolf dubbed "Ylva" by Jørn Wartooth — the man who she believes is responsible for the death of her father.

Info

Full Name: Eilin Tyrsson
Age: 28
Hair: Dark Brown
Eyes: Green

Status: Alive
Occupation: Outlander
Origin: Norway
Allegiance: Independent

First Seen: The Wolf
Last Seen: —

Description: Eilin is a small, wiry woman of Nordic descent with snow-fair skin and a wild nimbus of brown-black hair that she tames with an arrangement of plaits gathered loosely at the back of her head. Smudged kohl emphasizes the paleness of her complexion and eyes, but also lends her an air of female sexuality that is at odds with her otherwise androgynous appearance.

She favours a combination of wool, fur and leathers, and dresses heavily regardless of the season to compensate for her slight build and the fact she has not grown much taller than a young boy. A primitive tattoo depicting a wolf curves around the right side of her throat, symbolic of her status as a skinwalker.

Family:

  • Ulrik Tyrsson † - father
  • Sohvi Ruuska - mother
  • Nikolai Ruuska - brother
  • Hannele Ruuska - grandmother
  • Leif Ruuska - grandfather
  • Oona Ruuska † - great-grandmother

Portrayed by: Olga Kurylenko


History

Eilin was born into a community of Norwegian travellers, a proud, nomadic people who traveled in large caravans primarily as reindeer herders, moving continually from one place to another in search of grazing lands. Her particular tribe, more than one hundred strong, and in control of over a thousand deer, was also one of the largest in the region, and as a child her extended family took as much a part in raising her as her own mother, who instilled in her the importance of loyalty, hard work and being closed-lipped, though not necessarily in that order.

Fashioning herself into an image of the community's pragmatic philosophy came easily to Eilin; she was so quiet and sensitive that her mother and grandparents were convinced there was something wrong with her when she did not start speaking until more than a year after other infants her age, and although she displayed a remarkable degree of intelligence and aptitude, her detached demeanor and difficulty communicating her very strong emotions had other families blaming her apparent deficiencies on her father, a man not of the tribe but a mercenary who Eilin's mother claimed had raped her. The name Ulrik Tyrsson was whispered around the camp, although not very softly or with much care, and so she did not discover the truth of her parentage so much as she was raised around it.

The family's frustration with Eilin resulted in her mother treating her with less affection than she might have shown another child, and using abusive forms of discipline supported by her grandparents, which led to her leaving the tribe as soon as a good opportunity presented itself in the form of a port with which they were trading furs, meat, and the items produced by their blacksmiths and iron forgers. She took with her a knife, the clothes on her back, and a necklace given to her by her great-grandmother — the family member to which she was closest — when she confronted Eilin as she was stealing away into the night.

It was a great gift, for although the tribe had no mages, the necklace itself was a magical heirloom with an ability to give its user — if female and from the same bloodline as its previous owner — the power to communicate with birds and see through the eyes of birds. Eilin then stowed aboard a ship headed across the Baltic Sea. She was twelve.

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"Ylva" patrolling her territory.

Cutting her hair short and dressing as a boy, Eilin traveled with other caravans, offering the skills she'd learned in return for safety and shelter, though never staying with one group for too long. She had the misfortune of being caught alone in the wilderness when a river crossing went awry, sweeping most of the members of the caravan to their deaths, and after several weeks of surviving on edible plants and small game caught in primitive snares, she began to worry that winter would set in before she found another human being.

What she found instead was a wolf caught in a steep trap. Eilin took pity on the wounded animal and, in spite of the danger, set it free in an act that ultimately saved not only the wolf's life, but Eilin's as well. Although she had grown up with stories of skinwalkers and had been told that her father wore a pelt that allowed him to take the form of a great white bear, she had never met one before and was surprised when she learned that the wolf was a Spaniard named Caballero. In between lessons on how to survive in the wild and how to kill a man with a bow, he taught Eilin how to speak English and brought her into his pack. Eilin was even able to keep up the pretense of being a boy for several years until her first menstrual cycle betrayed her shortly before her first wolf hunt on which she intended to earn her skin, and although the women of the pack were not traditionally allowed to wear skins, Eilin defied the spirit that granted the skinwalkers their powers and went through with the ritual regardless, becoming the first female skinwalker in the pack's recent memory. That the spirit deemed her worthy enough to wear the pelt prevented her from being attacked outright, but the pack was split on whether or not to accept her until Caballero settled the matter by supporting her claim.

The force that brought about the end of civilization more than a century before began intensifying its hold on Eastern and Central Europe in the years that followed, unleashing new terrors on its scattered populace and pushing the pack further west as people became less and less tolerant of those who worshiped what they did; hunters thinned their numbers, reducing the pack to only a few individuals, including Eilin and Caballero, who bought passage to the United Kingdom as soon as they reached the ocean. There, Eilin had the fortune of encountering a group of mercenaries who had belonged to the same band as her father, Ulrik. When asked about his whereabouts, they claimed he had been betrayed and killed by his right hand, a man they called Jørn Wartooth.

Eilin set her sights on the north, intent on finding Wartooth and avenging Ulrik, whose fearsome reputation fueled her growth into the fierce young woman she now was. She and Caballero settled in a small village in the mountains surrounding Dornie, using their magic to protect its people from other groups who might prey on their vulnerability, including Dornie's own militia. She has since watched Wartooth from afar and continues to wait for the most appropriate moment to strike.


Personality


For more, see: Character Notes for Eilin Tyrsson