Meet Shalate (SHA-layt), a human paladin, worshiper of the Raven Queen. Shalate was the youngest of 9 children, and her parents dropped her at the first religious order they could find. Illiterate and ignorant as they were, they had no idea they were giving their daughter to the followers of the goddess of death, but were merely grateful that the small group of fighters was willing to feed their latest, unexpected mouth. Shalate grew up with few other children in the small order, and spent much time on her own, entertaining herself as the older paladins trained. When she came of the age to trade her slop bucket for a sword, she quickly demonstrated her natural skill at warfare. She dominated at the lists, but Shalate’s elders found the girl had a sense of humor that did not sit with their serious, undead-hating order. (In one particularly notorious incident, after finding a recently-expired calf in a field, Shalate rigged the calf’s corpse onto a puppet contraption and staggered the stinking thing into the doorway of the order’s dining room. She sat on the roof, controlling the strings, and stifling her belly-laughs, while her comrades launched radiant prayer after radiant prayer against the smoking, yet still dancing, calf.) When the letter inviting Shalate to the Famous Adventurers’ Correspondence School arrived, her superiors, while having no idea what the school was, were happy to notify the young woman. “May you do the Raven Queen great honor,” they intoned as they sent her on her way. To themselves (never in public), many admitted they would miss their charming acolyte. Shalate was happy to begin her own adventure, glorying in the companionship the Raven Queen provided to her, and certain that the members of her order had misinterpreted the goddess of death.