|Full Name:||Siraz’jah Av’Zathrak, Arch Priestess of the Dual Faced Lady, Matron of House Av’Zathrak, and Ambassador to Drache|
|Country of Origin:||Gulanadur|
|Eye Color:||Blue, with gold flecks|
|Religion:||Faith of the Dual Faced Lady|
|Creed:||Follow one’s passions to their fullest|
|Marital Status:||Available, in a committed relationship|
Siraz’jah is the first of three children, born to the previous Matron of House Av’Zathrak, Jezzara. Raised with a number of cousins at the house on the Second Tier of Gulanadur, Siraz was never lacking company or associates. She became lifelong friends with a slightly older child of a nearby house named Szin'ilzt Vyz'crul. The two girls made a blood pact to always have the other’s back, and to share their dual ambitions of ascending to the Crown, in Szin’s part, and to the head of the Temple, in Siraz’s dreams.
House Av’Zathrak was a mercantile business, dealing with the products used most in the city’s many vices. Alcohol and narcotics were their bread and butter, and they bought and sold opium and booze with impunity. This led to trouble with a competing house, Elam’shin. A clandestine attempt to rid Elam’shin of their matron, undertaken by Siraz’s younger brother, Jadmai, was botched. As a result, Jadmai was exiled from Gulanadur, and the Av’Zathrak house fell in regard.
Siraz had visions of Asherta and Anasati as an adolescent. She knew that when she was fifty, she would commit to the Temple as an acolyte. This was something of a disappointment to Jezzara, but service to the Lady was an honour, so she began to groom Siraz’s younger sister, Mizzra’lier to take over the house. Dedicating herself to the Faith, Siraz became a novice acolyte as soon as she was able.
Her duties as an acolyte kept Siraz away from home. While she was allowed to visit her mother and family, she eventually stopped so that she could focus her attention on the clergy. The calling by Asherta was strong. She became a full priestess at the age of one hundred, and with all of its attending duties.
Meanwhile, her family struggled to maintain their business in the wake of losing its first heir, and its only son. Szin’ilzt began the long climb of the Spire, seeking ascension to the Crown. Fully supported by the young cleric Siraz had become, the two counseled one another in their moves. Their bond grew, considering themselves like sisters, but lovingly devoted. This mainstay of Siraz’s life steadied her when all else was strange and shaken.
Years passed. Szin made her slow way up the Spire. Siraz served as a cleric, devoting herself to both aspects of the Dual Faced Lady. She underwent several trials, and had the Litany of Asherta tattooed on her body in a ritual that embedded the words of the Faith in her flesh forever.
In her four hundredth year, now a high priestess of the Faith, Siraz considered the deadliest ritual the clerics held dear, a means to become the living Voice of the Lady in Gulanadur. Only a handful of priests before Siraz survived the ritual, the others had gone mad or died. It was not something that was undertaken lightly and the material components were scattered across the face of Siveth. Making her farewells to the temple, to Szin’ilzt and her family, Siraz made her way to the surface and began a long sojourn to collect the reagents of the ritual.
During her travels on the surface world, Siraz bargained, bought and stole the ingredients she needed. Exotic items were the hardest to find, the most powerful and difficult to obtain. She made allies and acquaintances of those on the surface, enlisting their assistance in finding these objects. She paid them in whatever currency they accepted, sometimes bargaining for far more than she should have.
Eventually, these travels brought her to an infant Drache, still an expanding fishing hamlet, and not yet fully a city. The oddities and strangeness she found in Drache were just the beginning for the town. Promising to return one day, she collected what reagents she had located in the area, and made her way back to Gulanadur after several years.
Reunited with Szin, now very near the top of the Spire and still scheming for the Crown, the two celebrated Siraz’s success at obtaining the ingredients of the ritual for weeks. It wasn’t that Siraz was delaying performing the ritual, it was more that she wanted time with her companion after so many years away. She announced her intentions to become the Voice of the Lady to the Arch Priest. While he might not have been entirely encouraging, given the mortality of the ritual, and that perhaps he would be displaced as the head of the priesthood, he allowed her to undertake the ritual.
What happened to Siraz when she sought out the Dual Faced Lady is something that she never speaks of. What is known is that she survived, and has channeled the Lady on multiple occasions, speaking with the Lady’s Voice at times of need. The only outward sign of these immense changes were the gold flecks in Siraz’s irises, and the divine aura that envelopes her.
Now made the Arch Priestess of the Dual Faced Lady, Siraz took control of the priesthood. Guided by Asherta, she led the Faith to a resurgence in Gulanadur. With her help, Szin ascended the Crown, and became the First Matron, realizing all of their childhood dreams. The two led their people with a steadiness, each balanced by the other.
Her mother, Jezzara, had grown ill during Siraz’s journeys on the surface. In one, final desperate act, finding that Mizzra’lier was a lazy, uninspired layabout who was unfit to lead House Av’Zathrak, Jezzara named Siraz her heir on her deathbed. Not long after, Jezzara died, leaving Siraz as the new Matron, and Mizzra’lier practically disinherited.
Mizzra’lier’s jealousy undid her. Her failed attempt to assassinate her sister left the family with little recourse for the action. Before they could deal with Mizzra’lier, she escaped their custody and presumably fled for the surface. In recent years, rumors circulate that she has allied herself with the Vuulari in an attempt to bring down both House Av’Zathrak, and the Crown.
Wanderlust struck Siraz at random intervals, despite her duties to the priesthood. She would abscond to the surface to renew her friendships there. On one such occasion, in Drache, she stumbled upon a human man who fascinated her to no end. Despite their differences, and all the numerous ways that they were unmatched, they struck up a romance that lasted several years, and resulted in Siraz’s pregnancy with her half breed daughter, Phae’ira in 482. Their idyll lasted as long as it could before duties to their people called them home. As it stands currently, Phae'ira is Siraz's intended heir, despite her half breed status. Definite paternity of Phae'ira has never been confirmed publicly in Drache or Gulanadur. It has been strongly speculated that Phae'ira's heavily touched, in some manner, by the goddess, Anasati, to whom Siraz has dedicated her life serving as priestess.
Now that Gulanadur is open for trade with the surface world, Siraz serves as the Ambassador to Drache, and oversees the Av’Zathrak interests in the city. The House has a thriving export business, bringing in premium opium and alcohol to the city. It has become something of a fashion in Drache to dare someone to drink a full tankard of Coalwater. Siraz divides her time between Gulanadur and Drache, utilizing a portal located in the Gulanadurian embassy in Drache.
Siraz is a sensual woman who is guided by her passionate nature. She is tempestuous, and sometimes very reckless in her behaviour, though this has been tempered somewhat by the birth of her daughter. Naturally drawn to other people with strong passions, drive or ambition, Siraz gravitates towards these people easily. Not known for her adherence to rules or restrictions, she is something of a troublemaker, and enjoys annoying other people for her own amusement. Despite all this, she is a caring and attentive mother with a vision to guide both her people and her daughter in the Lady’s name.
Siraz is a buxom, curvaceous woman with dark bluish-charcoal coloured skin, and white hair. Her eyes are a clear blue with flecks of gold. She has been tattooed with the Litany of Asherta, beginning at the tops of her feet, climbing up the sides of her legs and torso, from her middle finger tips to along her arms, shoulders, the sides of her neck and up to the crest of her cheekbones. This tattoo of scripture has been adorned with tiny scarification in decoration, so the inscription is both slightly raised and white in colour. She has a full figure, slender waist and an assortment of scars from the trials of life, and her only pregnancy. During an assault, the tip of her left ear was removed, usually hidden by a golden cap due to vanity.
Her choice of clothing is mixed. While in her priestly vestments of a red spider silk robe and golden girdle, she is usually barefoot with her hair dressed simply. Other rituals call for the use of only a white skirt. She prefers soft textures and bold colours, usually in red, white, black, and sometimes deep blue. In nearly all occasions, she wears a king’s ransom worth of gold jewelry and is rarely ever seen without her collection of rings, finger armour or various ear pieces.
In Drache, she prefers flamboyant displays in her clothing, usually of silk or leather. She is known to style herself specifically to display herself well, and less for function. The winter and times of inclement weather are the only notable exceptions when she begrudgingly wears cloaks and closed toed shoes or boots.
Abilities & Skills
Siraz is a dark elf and has all of the race’s natural grace, agility and dexterity, strength, the ability to see in semi-darkness or total darkness, and heightened sense of hearing.
- Combat: Siraz is an average knife fighter. She learned the basics of combat, keeps herself in trim, and utilizes her natural advantages with a pair of daggers, using her superior speed and agility against her opponents. While she is not a devotee of martial arts, she is often pitted against the Crownsblade, Lassk when in Gulanadur to help keep her edge.
- Dance: A graceful and practiced dancer, Siraz knows many of the Gulanadurian dances, and a scattering of others elsewhere. She is attempting to acquaint herself with Drachean customs.
- Herblore: Siraz is extremely knowledgeable of the native plants of Gulanadur, and how to concoct them into potions and poisons. She has adequate knowledge of the local Transdarianian fauna to achieve most of the desired results. Her knowledge of other varieties of plants outside of her two main locations is passable, but incomplete.
- Linguistics: Siraz’s travels have granted her the time and need to acquire different languages on the surface of Drache. Depending on her length of stay in a given region, she is anywhere from barely conversant to adept speaker on many languages. She has not been given much opportunity to learn to write any other languages besides Gulanadurian and Common, though she is making an effort to earn literacy in Arangothek due to her responsibilities as Ambassador to Drache.
- Rites & Rituals: Siraz has the knowledge and skills to perform the various rites and rituals in the Faith of the Dual Faced Lady. Most of these rituals will only test patience, endurance and privation, but there are some more vigorous than others.
- Grace of the Goddess: Due to the ritual that enabled her to become the Voice of the Asherta, Siraz gained a number of enhancements or abilities:
- Channeling the Divine: She is able to become the living vessel of her deity, allowing Asherta or her darker aspect, Anasati to walk on the mortal plane. While she can pray and appeal to her goddess to come to Siveth, it is always at the goddess’s discretion. In this aspect, she is able to magically heal grave wounds, and sometimes breathe life back into the recently deceased. There seems to be a limit to how long she can manifest her deity and never longer than ten minutes.
- Divine Aura: The touch of the divine clings to Siraz’s aura, and those that are able to sense it can identify her as god touched, and a believer with true faith in her goddess.
- Empathy: Siraz is able to sense the intensity of emotions in others. While she cannot identify specific emotions, she is able to detect the passion and ambition another has in any given topic. She can sometimes sense hostile intent, if it is intense enough.
- Heightened Agility & Movement: She has the ability to move faster than the average person, able to cross a distance of fifteen feet in a second without expending effort. Her agility allows greater flexibility and reaction times.
- Ritual Magic: As a cleric of the Dual Faced Lady, Siraz is able to perform magical rituals of her faith. Outside rituals require grimoires to study from, and are usually successful, though not always.
- Scrying: Using a flat, reflective surface like a mirror or bowl of water, Siraz is able to scry for the locations of people or items that are not protected by magical words. She is sometimes able to use this to see into the past, but requires something with a psychometric imprint in which to focus on.
- Daggers: Siraz and sometimes equips a pair of six inch long black steel daggers of Gulanadurian make. There is a thin channel along the center of each blade that poison can be applied to. The hilts are wrapped with mithril threads with a piece of ruby in the pommels.
- Ritual Knife: A small, mithril sickle knife with a black leather wrapped handle is usually worn while in temple regalia on her hip.
- Scalemail: The custom made cuirass of black steel scales with modest pauldrons and a matching skirt is usually stored in Gulanadur and very rarely seen or used.
- Av’Zathrak Houses: As the Matron of House Av’Zathrak, Siraz has a handful of homes that are used in Gulanadur and Drache. In Gulanadur, there is the family house on the Second Tier, as well as the modestly located apartment on the Spire. In Drache, there is a house in the Merchant District that the Av’Zathrak cousins use as a place to operate their business. The upper floor is used primarily by Siraz.
- Drachean Embassy: As the Gulanadurian Ambassador to Drache, Siraz is allowed to use the embassy for governmental business. There is a small temple space where she conducts services for those Gulanadurians that work at the embassy. She has a well appointed office.
- Temple of the Dual Faced Lady: The main temple of the faith is located on the Floor in Gulanadur. As the Arch Priestess, Siraz has access to all areas of the temple, as well as a small suite of rooms used as her personal accommodations. Her daughter lives there.
- Tools of the Faith: Siraz has an assortment of ritual accoutrements that are used to conduct the various ceremonies and rites of temple services.