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Captain Doña Sir Kestrel of Avalon

No one knows where the now-legendary Captain Kestrel came from. Her exquisite features (what can be seen of them behind her mask) and her cultured accent mark her as Avalon, and most likely one of some noble blood, but only her heritage as a citizen of the Triple Kingdoms is certain.

In Quartus of 1668, Kestrel reportedly appeared in Cardican, offering her ship - the Ladyhawk - and her services to the Sea Dogs. Her ship is widely believed to be the former Dark Hawk, a ship captained by a former Rilasciare named Rufier du Sanz who became a petty tyrant. This belief is reinforced by the emergence of what was for a time Kestrel's greatest enemy...but that was yet to come.

Her first adventure was an effort to prove the Ladyhawk's fitness as a Sea Dog ship, in a quest for an artifact held by a Captain Blake. Successfully completing her assignment won the Ladyhawk her Letter of Marque, and a place in the company of heroes. From there, she was given a certain amount of free reign. Curiously, she chose to travel to Castille, where she became entangled with Los Vagos, where she helped them rescue a Grand Master of the Aldana and Gallegos Swordsman Schools. From there, the Ladyhawk had several less epic adventures on her way back to Avalon. There, she became entangled in court intrigue and battled an incursion of undead sailors marching out of the ocean, fighting with Lawrence Lugh and El Vago (again), her Thomas sorcery serving her in good stead during the battle. This cemented her reputation as a hero of Avalon, though her story was just beginning.

Once more, she returned to Castille, raiding Buche and helping Allende liberate San Juan. The latter made the city a major landing point for the Castillian offensive that turned the tide of the war. With Montegue in Ussura, there was no one in the Montaigne chain of command to counter this unusual tactic. For her help, Kestrel became nearly as beloved in Castillo as she is in Avalon. As an Avalon Traditionalist, she is not well liked by ultra-conservative Vaticines, which has pitted her against the Inquisition on several occasions, but most Castillians are not bothered by her beliefs.

During the celebration, a half-Syrneth madman calling himself Rufier kidnapped the popular bullfighter Alicia de Lazaro, threatening Kestrel as he did. After a running battle with this mechanical menace, Kestrel once again returned to Avalon, dealing with some lesser difficulties in her homeland before traveling to Montaigne (and from there, to Ussura) to deal with the threat of L'Empereur for Elaine...and to help a princess contact her beloved. Braving many dangers and an extremely stubborn Musketeer Captain, they reached Montegue with Dominique's letter, turning the great General back towards Montaigne.

From there, a mystery appears in Kestrel's legend. For reasons unknown to most, she and her senior officers travelled into Eisen, where they became entangled in a plot involving the Syrneth machine-man Rufier, Heilgrund, and Posen. Riding across Eisen at night, they confronted and defeated the Rufier-thing, though his Syrneth limbs remained with Heilgrund in exchange for his help in dealing with the monster. Tales have also spread of a final confrontation on L'il du Bete, against a Villain said to have the power to control Syrneth forces and terrible Ruin Beasts. After further adventures against Kheired-Din and another influential incident during an enormous naval engagement off San Juan (Orduño won the decisive naval victory of the war at that time), the heroes of the Ladyhawk engaged in a final battle on Villanova land, rumored to involve a Syrneth device. What is known for certain is that she spared the leader of her opponents, one Alfredo Caligari, in defiance of Giovanni Villanova's wishes. That earned her an immediate enemy, but later it would win her a devoted friend when 'Fredo' reformed and joined her crew. That act cemented her legend across Théah as one of the world's greatest heroes. Indeed, not long afterwards, Glamour mages began developing a sorcerous ability based on her exploits (the Kestrel Knack).

From there, her importance only grew. She ended 1668 by rescuing Cardinal D'Argenau and the Montaigne archbishops right from under the noses of Captain Chevalier (again) and a previously unknown order, the Garde Noire, and its leader Dominique du Charouse. She dealt with an impostor ship that was damaging their reputation, making friends on both sides of the Vendel-Vesten divide and "adopting" a young copycat, "Lady Merlin," an orphan girl who idolized her to the point of buckling swashes on the Carleon docks behind a bird-motif mask of her own. Afterward, she was inducted into the Twelve upon the retirement of Elaine's stepfather, helped settle the O'Toole tensions in Inismore, helped El Vago save King Sandoval from El Camaleon, rescued dozens from the collapsing Caligari Island, including Allende and Juliette, and battled with El Malvado and Grand Knight Inquisitor Malaca across Castille. Verdugo captured her beloved Vago, one of El Corazon (whom Verdugo believed to be the one, true Vago), and in a final confrontation in Chamber of El Fuego Sagrado, was cleansed by the holy flame while Kestrel held off the half-mad Malaca.

Most recently, Kestrel has returned her focus to her beloved seas. Most famously, she went on an epic quest to recover the Cutlass of Command before the Crimson Rogers could. During this adventure, Fredo sabotaged an ambush and swore utter loyalty to Kestrel. In the Mirror, she battled Reis/Gaucher in a duel to the death and defeated him, stripping him of his coat and wig and sending the Rogers to the bottom. She has also rescued the son of Montegue and Dominique from the Garde Noire (and the other Dominique), raided the secret treasure of the Crimson Rogers (only to discover during their narrow escape that the Black Freighter and the Crimson Roger have...merged, with the true Reis in command), and sailed across the Midnight Archipelago in search of joy and adventure. All that is known of her exploits in the Archipelago is that she brought Verdugo, now Hierophant Matteus IX, to Marcina via Porte to deal with the Black Bishop.

Widely renowned as the "Masked Knight of Avalon" and "the Golden Phantom" (among other nicknames), granted land and title in Castille and respected by leaders ranging from the Revolutionary Council to Prince Falisci to Eisenfurst Posen, the heroine is now one of the most famous in the known world. Most recently, she has returned to Théah, the Ladyhawk in Insel and Kestrel herself rumored to be headed for Ussura. Why, no one is certain, but given the storms that have cut the enormous nation off from the rest of Théah, if it's Kestrel, it must be adventure.

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