Ayla is a Gridanian hyur, trained in the art of bow and song. Daughter of two Serpent Lieutenants, Ayla grew up just outside the city of Gridania on a failing farm.
After the Calamity struck and severely injured her father, Ayla took up adventuring to fund the farm and Keiran's recovery, as well as sate her wanderlust. The bard befriended a couple who helped her into the adventuring business. Since then, Ayla has grown as an adventurer and as a person. Inspired by someone very close to her, the bard has also trained in lance combat, in the hopes that she can continue doing good work in his name.
Confidence is something Ayla is hardly ever short of, but it is tempered by Gridanian humbleness, and a genuine need to protect even people she’s just met.
Ayla is modestly attractive, and stands at a short stature compared to most midlander women, but with great posture and poise. Her carroty red hair is shorn short and her head is very rarely seen without a hat of some kind - usually highly decorated and adorned with feathers. Over the last few years, her training with a lance has afforded her more muscle tone. Her most distinctive feature seems to be her eyes, oftentimes described by others as striking or piercing in how blue they are. They never seem to be cold, always holding a friendly, gentle warmth to them that makes them less intimidating.
Scars & Markings: Ayla has a distinctive scar that cuts across the bridge of her nose, interrupting a smattering of freckles that cover her nose and cheeks. The bard also has small scars along her hands and her bow arm from archery practice over the years.
Voice: Ayla has a noticeable Gridanian accent coloring her voice. The bard could be considered a lyric mezzo-soprano - her voice has a smooth and sensitive tone. Ayla’s speaking voice is clear and resonant, often as melodic as her singing. (Headcanon voice is Sara Bareilles)
Clothing: Ayla’s casual attire usually matches her headgear, ornate and complex with many patterns and designs, and has a tendency to either show a little skin and/or be flowing and loose. Her adventuring gear consists of leathers and sturdier cloth for the most part. When she carries her lance, she wears light armor to protect herself.
Compassionate, Kind, Humorous, Smart, Charismatic, Melancholy
- Stars and Space
- Clear night skies
- Nice clothing
- Cloudy nights
- Loud discordant sounds/intensely bright colors
- Flashing lights
- Being left behind
- Intense heat
- Death of loved ones
- Favorite food: Tomato Pie
- Favorite drink: Tawny port wine
- Favorite colour: Othard Blue
- Vices: Drinking, risk-taking, insatiable curiosity
- Possible alignment: Neutral good
Ayla's life thus far has been filled with love and acceptance. Thus, she shows the same to most everyone she meets. The bard almost always has a smile on her face and a cheerful attitude. She has a tendency to wear her heart on her sleeve; most people can figure out how she feels at any given moment. To those who know her well, there seems to be a small, lingering sadness in her eyes that never seems to shake even when she's at her happiest. Despite this, she is always optimistic.
Ayla has a deeply curious side - a side that her tail bearing friends know quite too well. Despite being an extroverted entertainer at heart, she is also pretty content to sit quietly and ponder, do research, or pursue other academic interests. She has bonded with a few friends over trivial facts of the universe and favorite books. Ayla is often approached by friends as something of a problem solver - she’s always willing to give advice, or listen to friends, as well as try to help them through their dilemmas.
Ayla is verbose and well-spoken, owing to her educated background and charisma. Though she tries to fight it, she sometimes shows off in typical bardly fashion. She sometimes feels it’s her responsibility to entertain others and make them happy. It’s a way she feels she can make a positive difference in the world.
For as friendly as she is, however, she purposefully doesn’t let others get too close to her. Very few of her acquaintances know what’s underneath the cheerful exterior of the bard, and she likes it that way. It takes a special sort of person to get underneath her skin and make her spill the things she hides from others.
Skills & Abilities
|| Martial Prowess
|| Magic Affinity
Ayla seems to have innate dexterity, well suited to her preferred weapon. Years of archery training has made her aim swift and true. Over the last few years, she’s supplemented her martial arsenal with lance training. While she may lack some of the requisite strength needed for lancing, she makes up for it with speed and dexterity. The bard has also been trained in basic soldiery - some light conjury, pugilism, and swordplay - at the insistence of her father. When Ayla made the decision to begin adventuring to help her family’s farm, Keiran wanted to ensure she would be safe, and made sure she had the tools she needed to do so.
Often utilizing the resourcefulness and quick thinking of her hyuran heritage, Ayla is intelligent and shrewd in engagements of martial might or mental acuity. While she may not be more intelligent than her opponents, she uses her natural charisma and confidence to her advantage. She is, more often than not, able to get inside her opponent’s head and use what she hears from them against them.
A bard wouldn’t be quite so bardly without a voice and a song to sing with it. Ayla’s voice is an asset to those around her. She knows the traditional songs of bardic power - those that empower and aid her comrades on the battlefield - and has composed a few of her own. She’s still working out the kinks in how they’re helpful.
💗 Romantic Relationship
♥ Romantic Interest
💖 Platonic Love
★ Trusted Friend
⧖ Lost contact
The Thatcher Family (♥ ● )
Keiran Thatcher: Father, family head.
Sharlene Thatcher: Mother, family head. Deceased.
Valencia Thatcher: Elder sister.
Drake Thatcher: Elder brother.
Stefan Arkwright ♥ 💗♥★ ●☠
Order of the Twin Adder
Arguably the most important person in Ayla’s life when it comes to her decision to begin adventuring and to take up the lance. The half-elezen was her steadfast companion up until the Calamity that wiped him out, along with countless other loved ones. Their love never made it very far, but Stefan still has a hold on Ayla’s heart. She still dwells on him, and still beats herself up over his death to this day. His memory inspired her to become the Gridanian equivalent of a dragoon, and he yet inspires her to be a better person - to live courageously and to defend and help the people in need of it
Albanaux Arkwright ♥★ ●N/A
Albanaux is Stefan's older brother, and was a constant mentor and watchguard over the kids of the area. Ayla knows Alban very well through her time meeting the Arkwrights that lived around her family's farm. Over the years, he has been a constant source of support for Ayla in the time after Stefan's passing, and the half-elezen has come to be something of an older brother to her. Not that she needed any more, but he is definitely part of her family for better or worse.
Avery Weaver 💖 ★ ●
Avery and Ayla grew up together in Gridania, and caused all sorts of trouble together. Their bond is practically unbreakable, as time and distance still has yet to shatter it. Avery travels constantly, her attention span not long enough to keep her interested in one place for too long, and is often away from Ayla. Ayla sends letters to her often, accompanied by some of Avery’s favorite things (and some of Ayla’s, like cool rocks and flowers). The two meet up when they can to catch up.
Natsumi Yatsurugi 💖 ★ ●N/A
Ayla met Natsumi in the Shroud, when the hyur was freshly off the boat from Doma. The two grew to be quick friends, and Ayla considers Natsumi one of her very best friends. Ayla would do literally anything for Natsumi and vice versa, to the point where both of them have pledged to help the other out whenever, and both have spaces made out for the other in their respective free company rooms.
Fhilwyda Eyrihaerzwyn ★ ●Might and Magitek
A roegadyn warrior that met Ayla in the Forgotten Knight, sharing a table and polite conversation with her in the cold of Ishgard. Since then, the warrior has fast become a friend of Ayla's and a frequent travel companion. Ayla considers Fhil one of her best friends.
Tajih Yatko ★ ●N/A
Ayla met Tajih at the Sword and Skillet and took part in the miqo'te's wild drink experiments. Ayla ran into her yet again in the Drowned Wench and got to know her a little better, through conversation with Elise and Fhilwyda. The bard found a new friend in this creative and slightly socially awkward thaumaturge. Currently, Tajih and Ayla are housemates in the Lavender Beds - the thaumaturge needed help maintaining her garden for her research, and offered Ayla a place to stay in exchange for her farming expertise.
Aysa Farland ★●White Turtle Trading
Aysa was security detail for Starvault Exchange, and someone Ayla met while settling in at work. Ayla found what the highlander had to say very interesting! She has also watched Aysa fight in - and win! - the Grindstone Tournament. The bard regards Aysa as a trusted friend.
Elise Blackheart ★●Hemlock
Ayla met Elise in the Quicksand and immediately bonded with the woman over books of fiction. Since then, the bard has invited Elise over for book swaps and chats over wine and chocolate. Ayla has run into Elise in other places as well, including the Drowned Wench meeting with Fhilwyda and Tajih. After their adventure saving Fhil's dad, and Elise's assistance in helping Ayla with her feelings, Ayla considers Elise a trusted friend who is always willing to look out for her well-being.
Wandering Heart ★●Might and Magitek
Ayla met Fhilwyda's
father when she helped liberate a fiery village from the grasp of voidsent along with Elise
. They unfroze him from a block of ice and fought back a cult summoning a giant voidsent. Later, Ayla invited the man over for tea. She's come to know the big, burly man as a second father and enjoys his company all the time.
Khyra Luriihn ★ ●N/A
One of Ayla's first friends when the bard had just begun adventuring. Khyra and her former-friend-turned-husband Talon Weaver met her and her brother just outside Ul'dah and soon after, Ayla became Talon and Khyra's free company-mate. Since that first meeting, Khyra and Ayla have become very good friends. The two of them bonded through their love of books and information, and Khyra is Ayla's #1 star studying companion. Ayla occasionally comes over to help the couple with their twin babies.
Talon Weaver ★ ●The Adventure League of Eorzea
One of Ayla's first friends when the bard had just begun adventuring. Talon and his former-friend-turned-wife Khyra Luriihn met her and her brother just outside Ul'dah and soon after, Ayla became Talon and Khyra's free company-mate. Ayla somewhat idolizes Talon as a legendary adventurer. The man has a penchant of talking himself up - and usually people aren't quite as starstruck as Ayla is - which led to her becoming a little bit of a sidekick to him. Talon is her role-model and a mentor in her lancer training. Ayla occasionally comes over to help the couple with their twin babies.
Eira Carter ✔●N/A
Eira is Ayla's new boss! She ran Starvault Exchange and recruited Ayla while navigating Gridania and the Shroud. The two get along well, until Ayla gets sassy. Boss-lady has pulled a few frights on Ayla to intimidate her back into conformity. Despite that, their relationship is amiable. Ayla has learned a little about her boss, and a chat with Eira helped Ayla understand more about herself, which counts her as a friend.
Ambaghai Iriq ●N/A
Ayla met Ambaghai at Starvault Exchange, as a new hire. While she doesn't know a whole lot about this tall, quiet Xaela, she does get along with him, and doesn't seem to annoy him too much! She hopes to learn more about him as they search for a new free company together.
Zigovali Rigovali ●Rusted Sigil
A lalafellin arcanist that started out as a tagalong to Ayla and her roommate Natsumi's adventures, but ended up becoming a friend to the bard. Zigo frequently comes to Ayla in need of advice, and though he sometimes tests her legendary patience, her biggest hope is that he one day learns and grows the way he should. In that way, she looks after him as though he’s a little brother.
Reinard Ackerman ●N/A
Reinard the pilot is a new acquaintance Ayla has met while settling into work at Starvault Exchange. She doesn't know much about the man, but she has carried on a few conversations with him about plants. She hopes to talk to him more as the team gets to know one another better!
Ozhurok Olkund ●N/A
Ozhurok is a fellow co-worker at Starvault Exchange. Ayla finds him to be very shy, as he doesn't speak very much. She hopes to learn more about this mysterious au ra as time goes on!
Common rumours & quotes
- ■ "She might seem nice, but I hear she's an ice queen. Won't give anyone the time of day, if you know what I mean." -- a Young Man in New Gridania
- ■ "I think they gave her the worst chocobo of the bunch..." -- A Serpent Requisition Officer
- ■ "Such a pretty girl with a pretty voice! But she always sings the saddest songs!" -- A Wood Wailer in Bentbranch Meadows
- ■ "That bard's head is in the clouds every night; all she does is stare at the sky." -- A passerby in the Goblet
Rare rumours & quotes
- ■ "They say she's not really happy. She plays at being happy because she's lonely. I would be too if a giant rock killed my lover." -- A former instructor at the Archer's Guild'
- ■ "She's kind of a horrible spectator. I was playing a set and as soon as I reached the big crescendo, she yelled, covered her eyes and ran out. The hells is her deal? My music is KILLER!" -- A bard in the Quicksand
Players rumours & quotes
- ■ "Ayla Thatcher! A woman of many talents and qualities, yes? A fine archer and lancer, a finer author and bard, and the finest of friends. She iz ever a voice of reazon and confidence. Yet there iz an underlying sadness to her, a certain tragic tale. It iz perhaps the one tale she will not tell eazily; I will not be the one to request it." -- Zigovali Rigovali, Lalafellin arcanist
- ■ "She's grown so far over the year. And obviously, still my best friend. I'd rather die than lose her.." - Natsumi Yatsurugi
- ■ "Ayla is a wonderful person; one of the most kindhearted that I've had the pleasure of meeting. I think she might have an identity issue, though... she has an odd interest in asking everyone what it's like to have a tail..." -- Khyra Luriihn, Miqo'te scholar
- ■ "There are many facets to Ayla. The one you'll see is a cheerful, friendly Bard. Don't mistake it for naivety." -- Elise Blackheart, Hyur Adventurer
Ayla was born to Keiran and Sharlene Thatcher in the Fifth Umbral Moon, a little over two decades ago. Sharlene, unfortunately, died while giving birth to Ayla, leaving Keiran to raise her and juggle his position in the Order of the Twin Adders. She grew up in Gridania with older sister Valencia and older brothers Anselm and Drake, and never had a shortage of people there for her. As she grew up, she helped out around the farm and met several other children. She eventually befriended several other kids in the city, but her best friends included a little, punch-happy girl named Avery Weaver, and one little boy about 3 years older than her, named Stefan Arkwright.
Ayla began training as an archer as soon as she was able to hold a bow. She was Keiran's pride and joy, and he hoped as she grew older she would continue her archery study. With every passing year, Ayla's voice developed and her interest in music grew - her mother Sharlene's influence working on her even in death. It seemed the girl was born with a great potential to be a bard, judging from her easy grasp on melody and harmony at such a young age. At first, she resisted it - she didn't want to sit in Gridania singing for people. When she learned what it really meant to be a bard, and that her mother was one of the best in the city, she took her talents to heart.
Ayla continued running around with Avery, unintentionally leaving havoc in their wake. Though she was great friends with the girl, she didn't quite know who her family was. Avery helped Ayla learn how to fight without weapons, using her fists and feet to defend herself should she get into trouble wandering around Bentbranch Meadows alone - which Keiran didn't allow her to do specifically for safety reasons.
The girl's friendship with Stefan slowly turned into something deeper in their teens. Neither really knew what those feelings were, or when they crossed from friendship to love, but the two decided that they couldn't quite live without each other. The two struck out on adventures together in the Black Shroud - a lancer and an archer solving minor issues in the little villages around Gridania. When they were of age, they joined the Order of the Twin Adders together.
Calamity to Present Day
When Eorzea's Grand Companies came together to fight at Carteneau, the battle called Ayla's father and Stefan away. Ayla had been completely prepared to go along - she was an Adder after all. However, Keiran begged her to stay home. She wasn't ready. There was no need for her to go out and risk her life. Ayla begged Stefan to stay as well, but that was a lost cause as his mother Célestine pledged to help fight and he wasn't going to let her go alone. But unbeknownst to the three, Ayla had tailed them with bow equipped. The fledgling archer managed to fight her way through the stragglers to a spot where she could watch from a distance. She watched as her father was mowed down by Garlean forces, and she lost sight of Stefan. She could easily see Célestine's well-practiced lancing from where she hid. It was then that Ayla decided she needed to help her father out; the moon was glowing a brighter, ominous red with every second that passed. Célestine had intercepted Ayla, and the two helped Keiran out of thick of it. As Ayla escaped on the family draught chocobo with Keiran in tow, Célestine went back to find Stefan. Neither were seen afterward - and Célestine wasn't seen again until five years later. Only days after the battle, when survivors were finally accounted for, did Ayla and Keiran realize they left Célestine and Stefan behind to die.
Life immediately after the Calamity was rough on every Thatcher at the farm. Keiran could barely walk, still recovering from near-fatal injuries from the fighting. All of the children took taking care of the farm into their own hands and, though it was failing, they tried their best. Ayla suffered from not knowing Stefan's fate for five years, thinking him dead, until Célestine came back. The Arkwright matriarch finally let Ayla know for sure that the love of her young life had perished - burned to death by fire before the remaining adventurers were sent forward in time, and before his mother could reach him. To this day, Ayla still tears herself up over not finding him and saving him.
With Keiran still recovering from his injuries even five years later, the Thatchers made money the best they could. Valencia's talent in botany helped the family farm, but not by much. Anselm began work in the auction house and Drake decided to go adventuring, in the hopes that his talent for identifying ore would help keep the family afloat. Ayla decided she would accompany her older brother on his adventures, until she ran into Khyra Luriihn and Talon Weaver. Once she befriended them, and through them was able to join The Adventure League of Eorzea, she left her brother to his ore expeditions. Drake later found a place with Amaljina and Sons, mining ore. Anselm, and later her father when he felt recovered enough to work again, became Ayla's retainers.
Ayla's time spent in TALE and accompanying Talon and Khyra on their adventures helped her grow as an archer and bard, and prepared her for the fighting to come in Coerthas. She fought alongside other adventurers and militiamen in the weeks leading up to Ishgard opening its gates to the world. The bard continued to help keep the city and surrounding areas safe - as well as found time to explore and meet new people.
Spending two years adventuring gave Ayla many connections. So much so that she seemed better suited joining a free company where she had access to them all. Recently, Ayla stepped down from her tenure in TALE to join a new free company called Might and Magitek. After a year with that company, she was hired as a courier for Starvault Exchange by Eira Carter.
Stances on RP: I would prefer RP with a focus on mutual character development - an even give and take. I don’t mind mature or light-hearted RP. Long lasting plots and relationships are also welcome. I am looking for compelling and epic stories to help me build and grow my character!
Character Romance: I will not police the way you RP your character! My character is still hurting from a past love - and is fairly non-sexual. You are free to flirt or otherwise (I don't mind, and it makes for some great comedic moments with Ayla), but please understand that nothing may come of it. I am not open to any forced romance or intimacy. Any character wishing to start a romantic relationship with Ayla must already have a good friendship with her, and the player must be open to communication and collaboration with me. Due to past bad experiences, I have to be very picky and make sure I trust the other player well before romance RP is an option.
Character Injuries: I am typically open to character injury, but I usually like to be either able to decide the extent of such or agree upon the severity prior - I am usually okay with injuries and have a tendency to push the envelope a bit, however. Anything super disabling will need to be discussed. I will not participate in any event that will permanently damage my character or results in her death without my consent.
IC Frequency: I am, more often than not, OOC. If it seems like I'm OOC, shoot me a /tell to get my attention! If I'm not busy at the moment, we'll RP! If I am busy, I will make time for you! Though I don't usually like walk-up RP, I will probably respond if I'm not super OOC or on a class that isn't IC. The best, surefire way to tell if I am IC is to see if I'm wearing the RP tag. If I am, I'm IC and you should come RP with me!
Miscellaneous: The information provided in this wiki (excluding rumors) is not considered public knowledge. Please do not approach me assuming you know things about my character that have been found here without actually obtaining information legitimately through RP. If there is something you'd like to possibly have heard of or read somewhere, please contact me and ask for permission prior. Depending on what it is, I may work with you to create hooks!
Important! If anything that my character does or says unsettles you in an OOC manner, or if suddenly you are not okay with something in my RP, please let me know right away! Communication is key!
Server and Timezone
Player Info: US player, CST. Usually around for a few hours later in the evening, and even later on the weekends.