- Name: Ravenyth de Vaen (pronounced rah-VEN-ith)
- Gender Identity: Female
- Pronouns: she/her/herself
- Species: Human
- Class: Necromancer/Reaper
- Guild(s): Legendfire
- Order: Durmand Priory
PART 1 – Origins and Early Adventures
I was born among the nobility of Divinity’s Reach, but I am not noble myself. My father was an importer of the finest goods Tyria had to offer—and a moneylender to many of the noble families, those same nobles who would have snubbed us had Father not wagged the IOU’s over their heads. He added the “de” to our name to help legitimize us among finer society.
My mother was cut from a different cloth. Elegant and soft-spoken, she was formerly a priestess of Grenth and distantly connected to the royal family, some fourth cousin twice removed, or something or other. I could never remember, and she never laid claim to it. Her devotion to the God of Ice and Death blessed her with certain … gifts … which she tried to pass on to her daughters. My younger sister, Deborah, had no taste for such arts and pursued the sword, which led her eventually to a career among the Seraph.
I, however, reveled in discovering whatever Grenth could teach me. Though the six gods had abandoned humanity, I managed to glean much about the ways of life, death, and reanimation from old tomes that my mother had … pilfered … from the mouldering libraries under Grenth’s icy mausoleums.
By the time I was nine, I could reanimate the rats caught in the kitchen traps. They scampered through the corridors, skipping along with me, until their little legs fell off. My father hated it, decrying the stink of rotten things in his house, but my mother insisted he let me practice. One day, such skills would burgeon into something useful.
How right she was. If only she had lived to see it. How proud she would have been. But that’s a story for another time, when I can stand to tell it.
Some years later, the centaurs rose in arms against Kryta’s defenseless villages. The Seraph were spread thin and were forced to recruit help wherever they could find it. It was at this time that I met Captain Logan Thackery. Together we pushed the centaurs out of Shaemor and defeated what, at the time, was the most horrific monster I could imagine: a giant earth elemental. I look back and laugh at my innocence, my naivte.
Shortly after, it was I who called upon the Seraph for aid. My friend, Lord Faren, was taken hostage by bandits, who had the audacity to crash MY party. Poor choice on their part. In short order, I rescued Faren and together we ran to the Seraph with information. An organization of bandits, hired by persons unknown, planned to poison the city’s water supply.
Logan helped us track the source, uncovering that it was none other than a minister of Queen Jennah’s council. We gathered evidence and brought the minister to trial, but he invoked the right of trial by combat. Again, poor choice. My mother had trained me well, and the traitor was defeated.
We became skilled at rooting out traitors. I received word that my sister had been killed in action. She and her entire company had been wiped out, but for some reason none of the bodies had been returned. One clue led to another, and I learned that the Seraph of Falcon Company had been betrayed by yet another of the Queen’s ministers. Anything to weaken her rule and strengthen themselves. Most of Falcon Company had indeed been slaughtered, but a few remained. We rescued survivors who told me that my sister had been sold to bandits. I didn’t take kindly to that.
Suffice to say, Debs is back home, safe and sound.
PART 2 – Friends and Elder Dragons
Because I had experience tracking down family feared dead, Logan introduced me to a young man named Trynden, a promising tinkerer who understood gadgets and fuses, and who had grown up among thieves and beggars in the backwater allies of Divinity’s Reach. Logan explained that while I had been helping above ground to thwart the minister’s attempt to poison the city’s water, Trynden had been helping underground. But now, Tryn had a personal problem that I might be able to assist with.
Seemed he had been lured into an ambush. Someone knew something about him that he didn’t, and the Shining Blade had contacted him to explain exactly what that something was. The Countess Anise told Tryn that his parents, whom he had never known, had been agents for the Shining Blade, murdered while gathering intel about the nefarious White Mantle.
At Logan’s urging, Tryn agreed to let me help him follow clues into the ghostly ruins of the Harathi Hinterlands. I’d never had dealings with someone who had grown up in squalor, fighting for food and a safe place to sleep, for shelter from the cold and a fearsome reputation that might protect him like armor. At first, we didn’t see eye to eye, much less get along. But once the truth of his parents’ deaths lifted the unspeakable burden from his shoulders, he seemed to warm to, well, everything, including me. Moreover, Logan saw his talent with machinery and explosives and gave him a permanent position as a useful auxiliary to the Seraph, which set Tryn up nicely as a full-fledged Engineer, and finally removed the burden of poverty as well.
We parted ways for a while, as we pursued different kinds of training, he with the Vigil, I with the Priory.
I met Aiven Dawnsight shortly after. My friendship with the sylvari bloomed quickly. She too was a member of the Priory and with fervor, we took up the task of exploring every corner of Tyria for the glory of the Priory, and to sate our own shared curiosity.
Out of our friendship grew the LegendFire Guild. We were soon recruiting new fighters, exuberant and gifted. Brilyana and Annilya, Saptah, Jib, Toriad, Pelidrathi, Rayna and Sorel, and Alesha…
…and then there is the “de Vaen kindred.”
Sunslayn, the lighthearted, reckless Elementalist, whom I met trying to make his mark in a traveling circus, which he’ll admit wasn’t going well, likely because the ringmasters were corrupt. The circus is a bit … low for my tastes, but Logan and I were pursuing White Mantle recruiters. Sunslayn inadvertently helped with the investigation, then promptly fled the Big Top to make his name among the upstanding fighters standing against Zhaitan’s corruption. He likes to cause trouble and dive into it and have a big laugh afterward.
Lord Sapphyrion, a surprise. I remembered him from my childhood. His full name is an exotic mouthful: Kazander Sapphyrion. His family calls him Zan. I call him Sapph, because he hates it. He is Faren’s cousin and, back then, was my old nemesis. He despised my family, claiming we were interlopers, though even then I understood that he resented us for having more than enough coin to go around, while his own family struggled to make ends meet. Decadent, penniless nobles. Yes, his father was in debt to mine, a debt he was never able to repay. Sapph fled Divinity’s Reach as soon as he was old enough. Faren told me he went to Ebonhawke to fight charr separatists, and later reported that he’d been killed in action. So, yes, I was surprised when ol’ Sapph turned up at Fort Trinity, assigned to my unit. His eyes were covered, like the blind, yet he saw clearly through the voices speaking in his head. He’d not been killed in action; Faren had heard wrongly. Sapph had been taken body and soul into the Mists, the result of some evil incantation. He had returned, changed.
Most importantly, it’s nice to see that he no longer holds a grudge, that his experiences humbled him to become someone I can actually call a trustworthy friend.
Arexa Night-Render, the fierce charr who rebelled against her own kind to become a gentle-pawed healer and Guardian. Lirrah, the sensitive moon-loving sylvari Ranger. The asura Soffi Sprockets, an elusive, resourceful Thief, about whom I still know little. Velvet, the anything-but-elusive, audacious, showboating Mesmer who left the circus with Sunslayn to “pursue prodigiously more significant endeavors and avenge her people by slaughtering Elder Dragons.” And Trynden, of course. When I sent him the invitation to join the guild, he jumped at the chance. We were happy to see one another again.
After months of incursions and setbacks, we of LegendFire joined forces with the Pact and Destiny’s Edge and managed to defeat Zhaitan, only to have the Pact nearly destroyed by Mordremoth. We have lost much. Caithe has betrayed us. Eir is dead. The rest of Destiny’s Edge is still missing. I fear the worst.
Sapph is currently scouting ahead into the Heart of Maguuma with Rox and little Taimi and the others. Only recently he sent a report in which he concluded that “Mordremoth is more powerful than Zhaitan.” How is that possible?
Zhaitan was a power of death; Mordremoth a power of green growing things, of life. In my studies of the forces of life and death, in order to harness both to my will, I have learned that in so many ways, life is far more powerful than death. This may help explain the dragon we are facing, but it does not lead us closer to an answer that will help us defeat it.
I’ve worried about my four sylvari friends. Lirrah has all but disappeared into the jungle, taking her tortured mind far away where she cannot be a threat to us. I do not know if she has fallen to the dragon’s Call. Jib takes refuge in her moa, and I suspect Wanda anchors her safely from the dragon’s voice. Saptah doesn’t speak of it. I think he staunchly ignores the Call, as much as Canach does. But Aiven is clearly tortured, fiercely denying the lure. And so, just when we thought we might find peace and a chance to lick our wounds, we discover we must face this most dire threat. And fight for the freedom of our friends.