Compassionate · Optimistic · Shy
Layla is an altruistic busybody, and as a Dawnbringer—a cleric of Lathander—she aspires to bring hope to the Realms and rout out evil along her adventures.
Layla's physique is a testament to her dedication to her craft. She spends countless hours training and perfecting her combat skills, pushing herself to be the best warrior she can be. She has an otherwise socially awkward, mousy personality, struggling to assert herself in social situations and often second-guessing her decisions. However, beneath her timid exterior lies a fierce determination and a belief in doing what is right. Her selflessness leads her to prioritizing the needs of others over her own.
Unofficially, she serves the Order of the Radiant Heart as she journeys with her husband Keldorn, a paladin of Torm and senior knight of the Radiant. Layla and Keldorn Firecam are both workaholic adventurers, but they are learning to prioritize themselves and each other.
- She loves to gossip, but would never say it aloud.
- She's always adding to the unreasonably large collection of useless items she has picked up on her adventures.
- Helmets necessitate her short cropped hair, but she would love to grow her hair out as it was when she was younger.
Layla spent most of her life within the library fortress of Candlekeep, under the guardianship of her foster-father Gorion. Children were an oddity at the keep, though she found a friend in Imoen, who she viewed as her adoptive sister. She marveled at the tales read to her by her father and the monks, many gathered from the various holy books on the shelves of Candlekeep. The strength and power of faith inspired her. Some of the brethren, perhaps responding to Gorion's subtle urging, graciously taught her much about the meaning and role of the priesthood. These lessons followed her into adulthood where she dedicated herself as a fighter and protector, a priest of Lathander.
Baldur's Gate 1/2
ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC OR PESSIMISTIC?
"I endeavor to see the best in people and the world at large, even if it is difficult at times... Lathander loves to test me, it seems. I find remembering what good I've encountered in the world helps me remain positive."
WHAT SMELLS DO YOU ASSOCIATE WITH YOUR CHILDHOOD, AND WHY?
"The smell of musty, old books! To this day, I love that smell, even if it seems unappealing. (she laughs) I remember days when I was small, I would huddle into a corner in the library with my father and he would read me these ancient texts that I couldn't even begin to comprehend. Still, the sound of his voice was a comfort, and I'd almost always fall asleep there in his arms... I miss him..."
Do you have a spouse or significant other? If so, describe this person in some rough strokes.
“I do, although I pray not to come off as some love-stricken maiden. He is a man of great integrity and someone I respect deeply. He is quite charming... I believe his scars give him quite an, ah... ruggedly handsome appearance. (she clears her throat, a blush upon her cheek) He always seems to know what to say when I need it. I had never imagined I would find a man such as him, and I have been immensely blessed to share in such a cherished love."
ARE YOU A VIRGIN? IF NOT, WHEN AND WITH WHOM DID YOU LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY?
"There wasn't much opportunity for such things at Candlekeep, with all of the old monks and Imoen as company. No offense to the lovely monks and my even lovelier sister... Anyway, I hadn't the chance to... participate in activities like romance or... or romance-related activities, and I wished to wait for the right person, you see. Presently... I am not, but this is a fairly recent development... a very private development so I'm going to stop talking about this now, if you don't mind."
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENT OF YOUR LIFE SO FAR?
"I suppose it would be choosing not to accept the blood of my regrettable blood-father, Lord of Murder. Now that the taint is gone, I feel that my life can truly begin. I miss my time spent at Candlekeep and the days of travelling with with all of my wonderful friends, but I'm also thankful for the renewed life I have now, travelling with my husband to serve the greater good. It's the life I've envisioned for myself since I was small and to have that finally come to fruition makes me so incredibly happy. Although, I hadn't imagined the being married part. That came as a pleasant surprise."
Are you spontaneous, or do you always need to have a plan?
"Always, I prefer to be overprepared if possible. My pack is filled with all sorts of supplies and tools for any occasion. Oft Keldorn tells me I don't really need all of these things crowding my pack, but what if one day I'm in dire need of a broken Netherese magnifying glass and I've left it behind?"
Where would you like to live? Why?
"Oh, I prefer to stay active and travel. Many beautiful locations I've travelled to, and there are so many more to discover. I cannot do the work of Lathander and aid my husband in spreading Torm's justice if I am sedentary."
Have you started your own family? If not, do you want to start a family? Why or why not?
"When I was younger, I imagined starting a family, but this was not Lathander's path for me. There are so many mothers and fathers to-be, children and parents who need aid. I decided I would give them the second chance they deserved, focus on helping those who couldn't help themselves. I've had made peace with this—chosen this life—and vowed to carry out Lathander's wishes long ago. Besides, Keldorn and I, our lifestyle… it is not one fit for a child, and he it is a bit late in his life for another, he says. He is more than enough."
Gorion [ foster-father ]
The man who raised Layla from infancy until his untimely death in her adulthood. Gorion carefully kept her divine heritage a secret, raising her as a normal little girl. He was a good father to Layla, attentive and loving, always encouraging her dream to become a priest. Layla was devastated after his death and, still, she misses him dearly. She avenged the death of her father by killing Sarevok, but gave him a second chance at life when given the opportunity, feeling Gorion may have shown compassion if he were in her place. She takes the lessons the old sage taught her wherever she goes and they have had a significant, lasting impact on her life philosophy.
Keldorn Firecam [ husband ]
When Layla met Keldorn in those dank sewers in Athkatla, it was far from love at first sight. She recognized his name. Keldorn Firecam, the man who was mentor to Ajantis and an illustrious veteran paladin of Radiant Heart. Keldorn was a comrade. He was just though compassionate. He was a virtuous if flawed man who was steadfast in his duty to a fault. He loves his family and his lord, but couldn't balance two forces which were in such opposition. His daughters and wife saw little of him, and upon a visit home, his wife revealed her long-time affair. In the end, he lost his family and, with a heavy heart, carried on with his duty.
He and Layla first bonded over their shared ideals, having both dedicated themselves to serving their gods. After his divorce, Layla found a friend in him as she tried to lift his spirits. To her, it seemed many paladins she met were either disappointingly overserious, or bursting with a grating fervor, but Keldorn would jest in good humor and tell enthralling tales of his time as a young knight around the campfire. He was a different sort of man that she came to admire for more than his virtuous spirit.
But Keldorn thought himself unworthy of her affections because of their age difference, even after the heartfelt kiss they shared. They remained on a painfully delicate precipice of friendship and something more for months until they were thrust into the depths of hell itself. He came to realize that regardless of age, he deeply cared for her and he was unable to deny the bond they share.
After the events at the Throne of Bhaal, they went on to be wed and adventure together, going wherever help is needed or where evil lies. Occasionally, they return to Athkatla, be it for official business or to visit family.
Leona & Vesper [ step-daughters ]
The daughters of Keldorn— Leona the eldest, Vesper the younger— now step-daughters to Layla. Instead of encroaching on their mother Maria’s role, Layla acts as a friend to them. Keldorn himself isn’t in good standing with his children, having been away serving the Order for most of their lives. They view him as a near stranger, although he is trying to make up for lost time. Neither of the girls care for Layla at all, going as far as disliking her and citing her as a catalyst for their mother’s infidelity and subsequent divorce from their father. Although hurt by the accusations, Layla doesn’t fault them for their incorrect assumptions, she merely corrects them and works to aid in mending the family relationship.
Ajantis Ilvastarr [ ex-boyfriend ]
In her days on the Sword Coast, she met the sort of strapping young fellow she had imagined would come along and take her breathe away. Ajantis Ilvastarr, a squire of Radiant Heart striving to become a fully-fledged knight. He was a devoted sort, doing the work of Helm, the guardian and vigilant. Perhaps he was a bit overzealous at times, but his heart was in the right place, and she respected him for his passion. He had taken a shine to Layla's kindly demeanor and her standing as a woman of faith. They shared a kiss. Her first kiss.
Ajantis was sweet and meant well but had a way of coddling her, as if afraid she were made of glass. He would take the lead in battle, foolishly keeping an eye on her instead of his surroundings. More than once that had her patching up his wounds or healing him in the aftermath. He would jump to defend her honor against less than savory characters of which she was more than capable of handling herself. It was suffocating. More than that, she hated how he couldn't see she was capable in her own right. She was skilled on the battlefield, and she may not have been the most adept conversationalist but she knew to hold her head high and push back when it counted.
"Why must I be a damsel and not a capable warrior, fighting by my valiant knight's side as an equal?"
Imoen [ step-sister ]
Layla's childhood friend, raised with her at Candlekeep. Although they weren't aware they were related by Bhaal's blood in childhood, both still saw one another as a siblings. Imoen drew Layla out of her shell, convincing her to strive for and achieve things Layla herself lacked the confidence to do without her. Layla's sister has stayed by her side through the death of Gorion, her journey to rescue Baldur's Gate, and through her hardships in Athkatla. She is Layla's confidant and best friend, one of the few beacons of light in her life. Layla always strives to keep Imoen smiling, and if she is not, to support and comfort her.
Sarevok Anchev [ step-brother ]
He was given a second chance at life by Layla during the events in Saradush. He was very much her opposite, with a proclivity for chaos and violence. She struggled to get through to him, to convince him that, with his new life, he could reform and become a force of good in the world despite his past. At the end of it all, he chose the path of redemption, swayed by his conversations with Layla. Regardless, this change didn't stop him from being blunt and harsh in his interactions, which never fails to amuse his sister.
Jaheira [ friend ]
In Gorion's stead, Jaheira became Layla's parental figure. Jaheira is fiercely protective towards her and takes upon the role of a tough-loving mother. Like Imoen, she has traveled with Layla through her time at Baldur's Gate and Athkatla, and she remains a pillar in Layla's life. Jaheira, although defensive and callous on the topic of her late-husband, found some comfort in she and Layla's shared mourning.