the valsharess

Queen of Sivaraus, the Davrin City

When She speaks, it is formal and carries the weight of Her station and aura with it.  When She moves, it is with deliberate purpose and unreal grace.  She wastes not breath nor gesture nor step. 

She is always watching, listening to the heartbeat of Her City, encouraging in Her People as much change in status and wealth and appearance as possible.  There is no need to seek change from outside of the Deepearth.  Sivaraus provides all that could be needed, and they provide all that She requires..

Yet new visions coupled with ancient memories preoccupy Her more often these days, rooted in a time long buried in sand, Her history dispersed upon a surging wind. 

These premonitions happen more than She is willing to let any know, not even the Prime--though She will use Her Sisterhood as needed to discover more about who or what troubles Her most.


Elder Red Sister

Rausery never had any other name; she was a street urchin surviving on her own for a time.  She was a natural leader and could draw other orphans or runaways to her as they sought protection and safety in numbers in some of the darkest nooks of the City.

When the reports of organized, and very young, thieves, traders, and mercenaries were finally traced back to Rausery, the Red Sister Prime did not want her followers,  only their leader.  In claiming the Davrin "troublemaker," who at the time was nearly too young for the blind tests of the Red Sisters, the Prime effectively cut the head from the beast, and established merchants had no further cause for complaint.

The Prime put Rausery's strong tactical talents and inspirational draw to work for the Sisterhood, and none were surprised when the nameless, Houseless youth earned rank upon rank.  Long before Elder D'Shea, Rauery became both Elder and the Prime's Left Hand.  For centuries she has been one of the most stabilizing presences for the Sisterhood, and one of the primary reasons the Priestesses have not yet caused lasting splinters within their ranks.


Noble, First Daughter of House Itlaun 

Curgia is the First Daughter of her middle-power, merchant-based House, and yet she is the fifth daughter born.  The offspring of a paranoid Matron, she never knew her older siblings, as they had been purged from the House before she was ever born.  She had heard the stories, though, and has tried hard to please her mother and Matron for the whole of her life.

When she and her younger sister, Tulia, both came of breeding age, her Matron made it clear that she wanted Curgia's generation to be granted a Consort from the Sanctuary, to sire at least one child of the House, if not more.  She gave this task to Curgia, and eventually sent her to Court to seek the proper connections.

This quest would eventually see Curgia negotiating with the Priestess Wilsirathon in a small, private room within the Sanctuary, with only Kerse present to bear witness...

Wilsira tachnathon

Priestess of Braqth, Breeding Mistress 

Wilsira was born a First Daughter to her House, with all theaccompanying privileges.  Any hesitation at her calling was lifted after her first witnessing of a demonic summoning ritual by a new Priestess her same age.

When it came time for her own initiation upon the altar, she remembered the demon's true name beyond the ritual, and did not recollect much of the pain,  even  seeing how much of her blood had been spilt.  Any elder Priestess would have said this was a call for concern, but Wilsira knew enough to take extra steps to hide these facts as her half-blood son grew her in womb.

Scarred and barren after the birth, as all Priestesses are, Wilsira always kept her male, Kerse, closer than most mothers, as she survived deadly intrigue and gained rank in the Sanctuary.  She came to understand well the general envy and hatred toward the fertile Sisterhood, who were at that time free to breed and accept their own talented daughters into their Cloister. 

It was a power imbalance, a threat to the queen, Wilsira convinced certain minds.  Males knowing of their mothers in the Sisterhood had caused problems before, and if an "inbred" line of daughters remained within the Sisterhood without ever having lived outside of it, how could they be trusted to understand what the queen's City needed to flourish?  The queen easily granted the sons of the Red Sisters to the Priestesses to raise, and with enough time, that came to include even the daughters, and the Sisterhood was forced to seek their talent entirely outside of their Cloister. 

Inspired further by dreams from her demons, Wilsira would never give up seeking a way to bear "custom" children of Braqth.  Whatever the cost.  

"Treasure revealed" & The Daedal Pit

Where the web starts to build in earnest.

Will you be spun into a trap or sliced open struggling upon the strands?


Lead Red Sister

Jaunda is Elder D'Shea's Left Hand.  She is more muscular than most Davrin females, even among the Red Sisters, and is crass, forceful, and intimidating to any who might consider getting into a wrestling match with her.  She rarely loses, and always takes advantage of one defeated, to have them feel the thrust of her Feldeu. 

She is the tactician and the sergeant who does what needs to be done, sometimes when she sees it, but most times when she is given the order.  In contrast to her fellow Lead Qivni, however, Jaunda has an impressive sense of humor, and is not easy to get riled.  Those who know her a bit better might consider her "laid back" and she is easy to laugh when she's comfortable. 

Her loyalty to D'Shea and her sense of responsibility toward those on her teams is oddly strong, born out of the desire to keep what she's found in the Red Sisters.  She seems to have let go of her past and her origins entirely as she lives purely in the moment.  Where she comes from almost never comes up in conversation.


Tragar, psionicist

This Grey Dwarf was out scouting in a promising area for his Stronghold, a bit too close to Davrin territory.  His knowledge of some far outer areas, coupled with his less common ability to sense a rare element within the rock (used in psionic weaponry) formed the crux of his function within his community.  The Tragar did not send more than one scout if one would do.

Kain had left behind a fairly new Tugren (wife) on his last journey out, merely because he had always gone scouting alone before, and he had refused her request to tend to him out in the wilderness.

the Royal consort

"Grandson of Braqth," divine mage 

A Consort has many names; he is known by one "given" name by one Priestess within the Sanctuary, but he is also assigned a new one every time he is given to a Noble House to serve.

Every once in a while, a Matron may grant a Royal Consort some time for solitary worship of Braqth and of fertile females.  This can be done as a means to rejuvenate his sex and fertility magic, as he meditates without the female company to which he may have become too accustomed.  He always wears the "round belly" version of a House's sigil, as a collar around his neck and as a warning to others of his "restricted" availability and relatively high status among males.

One particular Royal Consort has recently attained a new name.  He is the only one to possess a name by which the Red Sisters call him, one that not even the Priestesses know.

REd Sister Prime

Name unknown

The oldest Red Sister and the founding leader.

The Prime answers only to the Valsharess, and she enforces her own chain of command below her, directing her two Elders, who each direct their Leads, who each direct their teams.  She is not a heavy magic-user--this is in keeping the balance 0f divine magic in the High Priestess of the Sanctuary and the Valsharess herself being both arcane and divine--but the Prime's freedom of initiative and access to information goes well beyond any Priestess kept within the Sanctuary.

Tarra of House Leluin (Lelinahdara)

Priestess of Braqth, arcane sorceress

One of the younger Priestesses, but the only one in recent memory who began her early career as a trained sorceress.  Her calling to serve Braqth occurred much later than average, when it reached the ear of the Valsharess that she had once dreamed of a dagger with red runes.

This dream has never been discussed, nor does the young Priestess know why the queen has favored her, but Tara has been in position to influence many of the politics within the Sanctuary and the Palace.  Her strong talents and flexible mind have served her well as she does not shy away from these opportunities to follow her ambition.

She is an ally to Elder D'Shea, and together they work to strengthen both the Sisterhood and the Sanctuary, by the blessing of the queen.  


Red Sister, arcane mage

She was the youngest Red Sister before Sirana's initiation, and the more honorary Right-Hand to Elder D'Shea. 

Gaelan had also been vulnerable to a culling as a member of an unimportant merchant family within the City, found to be selling compulsion potions from an previously unknown origin.  Only the fact that the spells were too powerful to be from the family itself spared this magically-gifted daughter from immediate death.

Unlike her mother and siblings, hauled away by the Red Sisters, Gaelan was inexplicably given a choice:  the dungeon or a blind test. She chose the test.  


Sathoet, son of Wilsira

The oldest living Sathoet of the Priestesses at nearly 500 years.  Like all of his kind, he is trained to be devoted and obedient to the Valsaress and his mother-Priestess.  Unlike most of his kind, he is in turn jealously cherished by his mother, serving her in ways most would consider undesirable. 

As an only child and the fruit of the ritual that fulfilled Wilsira's full initiation into the Priesthood, his demonic bond with her enhances her abilities.  Despite being so old, Kerse is still like all Sathoet in that he does not seem to have well-developed speech or much awareness beyond his more bestial and immediate wants or desires.  He can, when it suits him, bend energy to become invisible. 

Varessa D'Shea

Elder Red Sister, arcane sorceress

Sirana's sponsor into the Sisterhood.  She has been watching the young Noble ever since the death of her older sister.  Seeing an intelligent and resilient problem-solver---one probably guilty of sororicide and, in rejecting female allies, vulnerable to inevitable execution---Elder D'Shea wishes to collect and test the young Davrin as a potential recruit for the Sisterhood.  If she tests well, D'Shea only has further plans for a new Red Sister.

Elder D'Shea is known as a powerful arcane sorceress and ambitious, ruthless Red Sister.  She has a talent for navigating the politics between the queen, the Priesthood, and the Red Sisters.  Many of the current methods for gathering and controlling information are either the work of D'Shea or her and the Priestess liaison, Tarra.  On all sides, D'Shea's abstract foresight is the perfect compliment to Elder Rausery's more direct, physical competence.

"No demons but us"

Where it all starts.


Lead Red Sister, Collector

The humorless and exceedingly loyal Left-Hand Lead to Elder Rausery.  Qivni prides herself on self-discipline more than most Davrin, and she does not tolerate flippancy or lack of focus in others.  She is the "Collector" who arrives to make a claim on a new recruit for the Sisterhood.

Her origins are unknown to most, even within the Sisterhood.

cast (in order of appearance)

Latest update: December, 2019, Contains minor spoilers..

This lists select important characters them in order of their first appearance and their basic relationship to the story at that point.  This isn't a full reference page, but you may still pick up some juicy bits about a character that play in the background of the action.

Sirana Thallensareci

Noble, Red Sister

The main character of the story; most of the events are told through her eyes.

Sirana was born a Noble, Third Daughter of House Thalluen, in the Deepearth City of the Davrin, called Sivaraus.  Though possessed of mild magical potential, she developed an unexplained resistance to learning magic and a barely-respectful attitude toward Braqth and her Priestesses.  She preferred to develop her martial skills instead, strengthening her body and her wit.

After the suspicious (but alibied) death of Jilrina, the First Daughter, and a subsequent attempt on Sirana's life by Kaltra, the Second Daughter, their mother and Matron learned in questioning that her youngest daughter was barren.  With no choice but to keep Kaltra alive as her only fertile heiress, the Matron ordered her third-born to live at the Palace Court as a permanent representative of her House.

Sirana spent more than fifteen years primarily coupling with as many males as she could get into her bed as she played games of intrigue at Court against other females for fun, seeming to reject all potential female companions, including any Priestess' interest, and repeatedly drawing the attention of a certain group always looking for recruits among the more alienated female Davrin. 


Headmaster of the Wizard's Tower

Phaelous is the oldest living male in the City.  Only the Prime and the Valsharess have lived longer.  There is a notable gap between his apparent age of perhaps nine or ten centuries and the ageless guess that many have about the Valsharess Herself.  Though the Prime and a few other females now passed have lived to be over one thousand years old, no males to common knowledge have ever reached that age.

The Headmaster is always exceedingly polite and has not been seen to become outwardly angry to anyone.  Few of his pupils require more than one demonstration of discipline as his everlasting calm and high competency leaves him difficult to predict and few males are willing to test his boundaries on a regular basis. 

Given as the example of the ultimate favored male to which one may aspire, Phaelous at this point need only obey the Valsharess in directly given tasks, and the Prime in all matters of protecting the City; all others including Priestesses are at his pleasure.  Though granted many opportunities to become obstructive and petty with females asking for his services and students, he remains the Valsharess's favored male and generally cooperates.  If he does not, he always has a good reason.


Matron of House Thalluen, Sirana's mother

Rohenvi is a Matron who has climbed as high as she can, and is now only trying not to slip.  Once highly active in the politics of Court and dealings of Houses, she displayed an intelligence and shrewdness during her first decades in full status of her inheritance that many thought would become something of note in the coming decades.  It was shortly after the birth of her third daughter, however, that she became more a tender of the garden than a competitor in the ranks.

Court gossip says this was the result of three growing daughters of very dangerous and demanding natures and too much leniency on consorts and commoners.  Rohevni spent most of her time fulfilling trades and trying to produce enough wealth to maintain her lands and family while sleeping with the proverbial dagger beneath her pillow.

Rohenvi seemed to recognize her own faded youth in her Third Daughter only once the First born was dead.  The questions of possible sororicide were secondary as she had long accepted the enmity between her daughters.

After Kaltra's failed attempt on Sirana's life, Rohenvi sent her youngest daughter to live at Court, thinking the angry youth could learn much more simply by doing.  It would not harm House Thalluen more than the elder daughters and her own complacency already had.

Shortly after being informed by a Red Sister of Sirana's new fate, Rohevni became pregnant once again.  Uncertain she or the baby would survive, Rohenvi would see her disinherited Third Daughter again, and the Red Sisters may reset a tentative  balance, giving the yet-unborn Fourth Daughter of House Thalluen one last chance to save their bloodline from oblivion.


Wizard of the Tower

Callitro is a young Noble who went willingly to the Tower when his magical talents became clear to his Matron.  His obedience and intelligent observance of ways specifically to avoid irritating his female superiors has served him well, and he has been granted his true desire to become a Battle Mage.

The young wizard has heard many whispered tales of the Red Sisters, some incredibly unflattering from a few males who seemed to fear them more than anything.  The one exception, everyone knew, being Shyntre, an older mage dragged to the Tower long after he should have been.  His hatred for the Sisterhood seemed personal.

The chief Red Sister rumor of interest to Callitro, however, says that plenty of these queen's elite have come to the Tower in the past to slake their lust when their duties have built up too much tension, and that pleasing one of the Sisterhood not only built connections but their intensity in pleasure was unmatched.

Callitro would like nothing better than to see that tale come true in his small dorm room.

JAel Aurenthietti

Fourth Daughter of House Aurenthin

House Aurenthin has long seemed to be cursed.  That it still exists is a surprise to all of the top Houses looking down at them over the balcony of societal status.

The Matron and her daughters are barely considered Nobles to many, and they are only barely above "grey sludge" status.  Their manners are brusque and inelegant at times, and they have never been favored to keep a Bred Consort to strengthen their House magic and refine the features of their offspring.

Unknown to most, House Aurenthin has also suffered centuries of harassment from the Sathoet.  Every daughter of this House has known hot breath on the back of her neck as she dines, or has sensed looming shadows at the foot of her bed as she tries to rest.

There is very little actual in-fighting between family members; none see where they might rise in status and only the stubborn streak that seems to be a family trait has kept the successive Matrons from giving up entirely.  It is pointless to fight among themselves, and this mentality is almost unique in the City, leaving very little actual fear of the queen, her Priestesses, or the Red Sisters.  Let them come, let them do their best, they say; House Aurenthin would take as many right along with them if it came down to an attack, to be wiped out for good.

Jael herself is very young,  preoccupied by her roiling adolescence, filled mostly with too many visits from the Priestess's Sathoet, no answers or place in the current status quo.  Overflowing with energy and troubled by her dreams, the young Davrin joins the military to release her rage out on anything to be targeted by her blade.

Her viciousness and complete lack of fear, combined with a noteworthy talent for one so young catches the eye of at least one Red Sister, and opportunity no daughter of the House has ever had before may be within reach.  If she can survive her trials.


Wizard of the Tower, former Sanctuary servant 

Shyntre was raised within the Sanctuary.  He has a working knowledge of the Priestesses who first taught him of magic, as well as of their Sathoet and their Royal Consorts.  He has not had an easy time of things as he proved willful and difficult to break when obedience and complacency would have been preferred.  He heard much gossip early on that he was the unwanted and abandoned son of one of the Red Sisters, and his primary sponsor, Priestess Wilsirathon, encouraged his belief in this.

The young male would prove to have too much arcane potential, too much will and yet not enough talent for intrigue to stay serving the Sanctuary.  The powers that be would move him next to the Wizard's Tower under Headmaster Phaelous for far more formal teaching. 

Once standing side-by-side, few would miss the physical likeness between the Headmaster and the Sanctuary son, thus it was no mystery from where Shyntre had inherited his magical potential.  Phaelous never openly acknowledged their exact relation, and any favoritism he may have shown was not in public view; neither did the old mage become an obstacle to Shyntre's education.

A voracious and studious learner in this environment, Shyntre would throw himself into his tasks and tests, sometimes without the caution more of his mage-brothers would show in similar circumstances.  He seemed to be trying to prove something, either to himself or to someone else.

Anchorless and an ill-fit even in a fraternity of mages, Shyntre does not make allies easily.  Upon reaching a higher level of mastery than those his same age, it was whispered that Shyntre tried to take a female-only path, that he tried to gain the Sisterhood's attention.  And that he may have succeeded.

Those who connected the dots would have said that the young wizard deeply regretted his choice.