Rama was born in a Korthai home port, and has never known any life but that of the Korthai. By dint of being born the daughter of a rather successful merchant captain, Rama’s path in life was a remarkably clear one. While not favored beyond her adopted and birth siblings, she was given access to an education in numbers and the ways of trade that many would envy, and she took to both readily. This is not to say that she was an entirely bookish child, for like many of the Korthai she freely engaged in bluntness and the occasional brawl. So it was that she developed both mind and body in accordance with the Korthai ways, and one day took command of a ship of her own. In time, she even married two husbands, both of the original Korthai blood, and discovered in herself some innate talent for minor feats of magic. And then came the plague. Rama’s ship had been at sea for some time when her husband’s health began to fail him, and not long after that many of her crew fell victim to the same illness. In a chance meeting with another merchant ship bearing a cargo of coral, her own ship had inadvertently doomed itself. Though she leveraged every bit of her magical talent, Rama was not able to save even a single one of those born of the original Korthai blood aboard her vessel. She watched her husbands die as their own blood pooled around their eyes and their muscles spasmed uncontrollably, sickly and helpless before the ravages of this strange new plague. The loss of the loves of her life might have been enough to break another woman, but what set Rama on her path was what came after. For without enough hands aboard to steer and maintain it, her ship and all those aboard it would surely perish. All Korthai know that to die is simply to be born again, but that did little to lessen the horror of a slow death adrift in the sea. Nor did it soothe the aching of Rama’s heart, having lost those most important to her in this life. Her desire to bring them, and her fear that the Korthai as a whole might cease to function as a culture should the Lantya fall victim to the coral-sickness, stirred something within her. Her magic, always so weak as to be but a footnote, raged to the fore of her mind. With movements that were half instinct and half ritual, she raised the fallen and set sail for home on a ship crewed by empty husks and broken men and women. Much of her crew abandoned her when they reached the port, for even the ultimately pragmatic Korthai have their taboos. For the ship full of corpses and gold she sailed home with, Rama Narmvak and her vessel became known as the Goldgrave. For the terror-born goal of preserving herself to act as an eternal keeper of the Korthai ways, for she saw all too clearly the fragility of their people, she was mockingly titled Korthenn Muran-Mash, or “she of the Korthai who cannot die”. Scorned by former friends, Rama buried those who had served as her corpse crew, sold her ship, and purchased passage to Drache, the closest nation where she might find the beginnings of an arcane education without being hindered by her newfound reputation as a necromancer.
Rama is driven by fear and heartbreak, but she is still Korthai, and still a merchant. She is blunt without being cruel, and diplomatic without being kind. She is confident in her appearance and in her skills, but retains the core pragmatism her culture taught her and is thus not above making concessions to get what she wants.
Rama is a rather physically imposing woman, having enough muscle and height to stand out from a crowd. Her nose is slightly crooked after having been broken and healed poorly, and her right arm bears scars from raids and brawls turned deadly. Rama is typically garbed in fine clothing of a practical cut, to preserve both freedom of movement and to make a good impression on those who respect wealth. Her darker skin marks her as not sharing the blood of Korthai by ancestry.
Abilities & Skills
Rama lacks any supernatural enhancements to her body, but she is physically fit and rather strong.
- Brawler: Rama’s main experience with combat comes from port-city brawls and the occasional pirate attack, and as a result she’s light on her feet and able to take a punch. She can also hit back just as hard as one might expect, and her gold bangles add weight to her punches.
- Trader-Captain: Rama has proficiency in the many skills necessary for running a trade ship, including literacy, some degree of mathematical education, diplomacy, sailing, knowledge of the law, and navigation.
- A footnote, at best: Rama’s magic is severely limited in scope when applied to subjects other than necromancy. She is capable mostly of cantrips such as lighting a pipe or levitating small objects, though not with enough power or speed for it to be practical in combat. She can accelerate the body's natural healing by twofold, but this requires sustained contact throughout the duration and is thus impractical for most situations.
- Necromantic Talent: Though she is untrained, Rama is capable of animating enough corpses to crew a small ship, and can set them to tasks she is proficient in with only minimal supervision. The corpses in question have no trace of the person they once were, acting only as empty husks to carry out her will. Though she has little practice with this ability, Rama can also speak to the spirits of the recently deceased, though those spirits are not compelled to speak truly or at all.
- A long curved dagger, concealed under her sash.
- Rama’s golden bracers have a minor enchantment to turn blades and projectiles away from her. A well-aimed shot will still hit, but the enchantment assists in parrying and dodging what might otherwise be practical. More than one pirate has been surprised to find their sword knocked aside by what should be simple jewelry.
- Compass, maps, ledger, and the assorted tools of the merchant’s trade.
- A newly-purchased donkey with saddlebags.
Immortality, that the Korthai might always return by means of fresh converts even if all those Korthai who lived should perish.