This is a lot more exciting than any circus!
Aerie is an Elven Mage/Cleric in Baldur's Gate II. She can be found inside a circus tent in Waukeen's Promenade, the first accessible area of Athkatla. The tent and everyone inside it have been transformed by an evil illusionist, and Aerie first appears as an ogre. Once her illusion has been dispelled, she can join the party in confronting the illusionist, and when he is defeated, her mentor Quayle suggests that she leave the circus and travel with the group to experience more of the world.
Aerie is one of the Avariel, a race of winged Elves, and was born and raised in the Avariel city of Faenya-Dail. She was kidnapped by slavers when she tried to rescue a fleeing child, and was sold to a circus. Aerie was kept in a small cage with no room to stand, much less exercise her wings, which eventually became diseased and were forcefully amputated. Without her wings, the circus owner no longer had use for Aerie, and sold her to the kindly Gnome Quayle. Quayle became her surrogate father and raised Aerie as his own daughter as they traveled with the circus, and also instructed her in the teachings of the Gnomish god Baervan, whom Aerie came to worship just as much as the Elven goddess Aerdrie Faenya. When the circus arrived in Athkatla and set up a tent in Waukeen's Promenade, a disgruntled illusionist named Kalah transformed the tent to a hold of deadly illusions. The spell transformed Aerie's appearance to that of an ogre, and put invisible shackles on her. It is up to the player character to decide whether or not to trust the transformed Aerie and seek her release.
Personality and Abilities
Aerie starts out as a rather shy and timid person. She stammers quite often in conversation with others, and seems a bit afraid to make herself heard. This changes remarkably over the course of the game, and by the Throne of Bhaal
expansion, her battle cry has morphed into a bold "This will hurt you a lot more than me!". As a mage/cleric, she may start on the weak side (especially with her low constitution and meager starting hitpoints), but she has the potential to become one of the most powerful characters in the entire game.
RomanceAerie is a romance option for a male protagonist. The romance starts slow and rather depressing, with Aerie having nightmares, lamenting the loss of her wings, mourning the fact that she will never fly again, and worrying that the stumpy scars on her back make her ugly. It is up to the protagonist to reassure and comfort her, and eventually teach her to accept his love.
A simultaneous romance may begin between Aerie and Haer'Dalis. That romance is based upon Haer'Dalis teaching her to assert herself more, and can culminate in Haer'Dalis challenging the protagonist to a duel for Aerie's affection. Based on the player's response choice, Aerie will choose the protagonist, Haer'Dalis, or neither of them. Her romance with Haer'Dalis will burn out in the end due to the strong incompatibilities between the usually bright and optimistic Aerie, and Haer'Dalis's Doomguard talk of entropy.
Aerie's romance with the protagonist in Shadows of Amn carries through into Throne of Bhaal, where she will have the protagonist's child.