The Heroes of Tolmurr
Kuvera Lakshmi, the Lynx
By day, a scout and explorer for the nomadic Shibi people. At night, a daring thief who uses magic to 'redistribute' wealth.
Kuvera has become hardened by cataclysm and tragedy in body, mind, and soul. The philosophies she once loathed to learn now keep her sane as she scouts further and further ahead of the Shibi caravans. Pointed ears, dark hair, and dark skin display her elven and Shibi heritage. Once she had her father’s blue eyes, exotic to her people, but these are now scarred and milky in her head, hidden by a black strip of cloth. Her loyal falcon Roc serves as her eyes now.
The Lynx is clad in dark robes, white furs, and bronze plates. A cracked bronze mask sits on their face, forged in a realistic feminine visage. Hollow eyes stare out at nothingness and the slight unmoving smile seems amused at some small joke.
Born to House Lakshmi, Kuvera was a minor princess in the Shibi Citadel – but royalty meant little in the Citadel. This hidden land was a place of quiet peace and plenty for all. Removed from the outside world, their culture was based on ancient philosophy kept by the Shadow Temple and the magic of the gifted sorcerers.
Life in the Citadel may have been simple, but for many it was utopia. The sorcerors who ensured this were revered as selfless heroes; the burden placed on them helped the Citadel thrive in its lonely place near the bottom of the void.
Kuvera was jealous when her twin sister, Ravana, displayed the gift of vis crystals; for not only did she crave the fame and skills of a sorcerer, but in a culture as old and ordered as the Shibi, there were many traditions of unclear heritage taken very seriously.
As the closest blood relative to a sorcerer, Kuvera would be sent to the Shadow Temple; there she spent her childhood training in the philosophy and spiritual practices that would prepare her to be Ravana’s advisor. Under the gaze of a Goddess whom she didn’t truly believe in, she toiled for a sibling she was jealous of. She stewed with envy and bitterness then, but those memories seem almost childish now.
Her new Goddess was Tiamat the Destroyer – though a more accurate translation may be the Transformer. The Shadow Temple revered her as one of the three great gods, who would destroy the old to make room for new creation. They were, in Kuvera’s own words, “the chillest doomsday-sayers ever.” But wrapped deep in mysticisms and tradition, they went to extremes of devotion. Self-mutilation was common among initiates. Removing your senses was said to bring you closer to the abstract understanding of their universe, philosophy, and goddess. Kuvera lost her eyes when she was thirteen as part of a coming of age ritual, another act she blamed on her sister and circumstance.
And still they were blindsided when the apocalypse actually happened. The Shadow Temple was the first destroyed; a mighty beam of pure white light carved through it. Kuvera was thought dead.
The sorcerers saved who they could with magic, but that was few; most chose to sacrifice themselves to save more. The lucky ones climbed out of the edge of the Void, finding themselves in the world so different from their own, homeless and broken. In those early days, Ravana and the scant few other sorcerers left kept everyone together. Powers that once brought prosperity now barely kept them protected.
Then Kuvera wandered into camp, injured and confused; she told the tribe that something had saved her – but with her eyes given to Tiamat, she did not know what. However, when she was nursed back to health, she revealed to her sister in secret that it was an aspect of Tiamat that had saved her. Still she hears the whispers of words to save their people. But Kuvera was too scared to be a prophet. Instead, her sister took the burden of leadership onto herself. Kuvera delivers the words and dreams to Ravana, and with that council she leads the now nomadic Shibi people to survive and perhaps, one day, thrive again.
As the Shibi people look to her sister as a spiritual figure, Kuvera explores the new world. She sees a world of wonder, but a place so different from the utopia she once knew.
The philosophies seem to have no place here. Equality and division of wealth and prosperity are naive concepts. Even the gift of magic is hoarded or outright feared through the countries they’ve traveled. She knows she can’t change this, and confides in her sister that much. What she doesn’t say it that she tries anyway.
Is it recklessness or religion, then, that drives her to don a mask and correct the imbalance a little bit? The Lynx, a thief in an ornate bronze mask, travels across the countryside, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. At first the crimes were small acts of banditry and minor theft – but with each success she grows more daring. Perhaps one day she will have the power to change things; she wonders if spreading wealth or spreading magic would aid that task better.