Ramaður-shi, Iron Hag of Dhanû

I am the spider in the web.  
— Ramaður-shi
  Few names are as feared in Dhanû as that of Ramaður-shi, leader of the Omotahi clan. The Iron Hag is a fearsome presence in the city-state and she has a vision for its future. As the Exarch grows old and feeble, each clan begin to gather their forces for the inevitable fight for the throne. Few know what the Hag of Dhanû has planned, but many believe that she will be the one who rises above the mass of corpses to claim victory.   Ramaður-shi no longer removes her mask when holding court or meeting others. War is coming.      

Iron Hag of Dhanû

 
Time is precious. Do not suffer fools - there is work to be done.  
— Ramaður-shi
  A fearsome warrior that have slain both beast and men, Ramaður-shi has been the leader of her clan for over two decades now. In that time, she has seen the creeping corruption in Sheoin draw closer to Dhanû. She has seen entire clans slaughtered, once by her own hand, and survived famine. Although she is not as young as she once was and age has begun to slow her swing, she is no less lethal than in her youth. Where she once used sheer ferocity, Ramaður-shi has become infamous for her skill and killer instinct, able to exploit even the slightest lapse of concentration or mistake.  


  Ramaður-shi's most infamous act comes from the name of Hag - once leveled at her as an insult by another clan. In the conflict that followed, Ramaður-shi demonstrated not only personal prowess but tactical cunning and a brutal, uncompromising way of waging war.   Her warriors struck the other clan's farms and exposed assets, then picked them off as they scrambled to protect them. In the end, only a few clanless survivors remained.   Since than, Ramaður-shi has been able to use the mere threat of her displeasure to avoid large-scale conflict.
No one calls her "Hag" in her presence.  

         

Behind The Mask

 
It is the most simple fact about this war - we are losing.  
— Ramaður-shi
  Few realize the true extent of Ramaður-shi's vision. The Iron Hag is a shrewd politician behind the masquerade as a murderous brute and has used her fearsome reputation to gather forces and information. She has watched the cold-spreading monsters in the Sheoin Region conquer more land every year by turning the caves into arctic wastelands. For every monster slain, another seem ready to take its place. Outside of Dhanû, forces are gathering to punish them for their raids.   Ramaður-shi believes that if Dhanû continues as it has, it is doomed. It may take a decade or a century, but doomed. With age, ferocity have given way to a more pragmatic out look on life and Ramaður-shi seek to break Dhanû's isolation from the rest of the Inner Shell. Raids may bring glory, but trade bring wealth, food and allies that can help turn the tide. The Hag is the first Dhanû warlord to ever bring mercenaries from afar into her employ and not even her infamy can stem the gossip.   If Ramaður-shi should succeed, Dhanû will become a very different place. But she has a difficult task ahead of her, opposed by forced both within and without.      
The Spider-Eaters   From far away Mharaji, the Spider-Eaters are a veteran band of mercenaries and former Kaia now employed by Ramaður-shi. Exactly how she came to know of them is subject of much debate and gossip.   Their role in her plan are threefold: to show the people of Dhanû that outsiders can be just as tough as they are, to gather information and make contacts outside of Dhanû, and to crack skulls. Ramaður-shi pays them well, for they excel at all three.

Dhanû   The city-state of Dhanû is home to proud warriors and skilled poets. They live in the harsh Sheoin Region and their struggles have made them a tough, dangerous folk. Ramaður-shi's clan is one of many in the city-state   Read More About Dhanû
 

The Names of the Hag

  Dhanû place great value in deeds of glory and award elaborate titles to those who perform them. Ramaður-shi has several, such as Clan-Slayer, Lotus-Breaker and Iron Hag. What started as an attempt of derision has become one of her more notable sobriquets, though one never uttered in her presence.  
In her old age, Ramaður-shi have mood has even out... To an extend.   Her reputation for a fierce temper is not entirely undeserved and when faced with stupidity, her grudges and reactions are lasting.
The Hag will not compromise with those who offend her or prove themselves fools.
   

Family

  Ramaður-shi has taken no wife or husband, and has no children. Her sole son has long since perished and she has shown no interest in taking another lover. The clan nobles fret over her decision to chose the next leader based on merit rather than bloodline.   Unlike what her public appearance would suggest, Ramaður-shi has a number friends both inside and outside of her clan. This includes, rumors insist, outsiders and mercenaries from far away.  



Cover image: by Gabriel Carrasquillo

Comments

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23 Jul, 2019 16:44

First the boring grammatical stuff: there is title on the side of the article: "The Names Names of the Hag". I doubt this is liberate? xD   But on to the text! Wow, I already respect this lady. The article is great and has a really exciting mood, I love it. There is few things I'm missing here, personally:   1. few words about that mask she wears. I bet I can picture from the lovely images what this mask would look like, but it would be amazing to have couple of words about it in this article. With little bit explanation of the significance or link to it   2. what happened to the son of this iron lady? and who fathered them? Is it a mystery? I would love to know, since it seems to be important that she has no kids, it would be nice to a a sentence or two about how things ended up like they did.   3. I do not get a sense of Ramaður-shi's appearance, article gives sense of her presence and age, but I would think that since she is clearly warrior leader to get little more physicality. There is about ferocity and such, but it think with warriors you kinda want to get a sense how much they can "lift" so to say. Is she muscular or more acrobatic in her build? Her sword is slowing down but was the speed ever important to her fighting style? Of course that is metaphor, but I think you get the point. Sense of physicality in the article would really compliment her role.   But all and all, text is very gripping, makes you anticipate what comes next and you want to know what will happen to the Iron Hag and her people! Well done as always!

23 Jul, 2019 20:27

Well, I have to say this article is as usual a wonderful piece of writing with good sentences, amazing pictures and so much more. I do love how you can almost immediately get the feeling she means business, especially that she caused a war solely because someone insulted her.   My gripe however is, I do wish to know a bit more about her past since you seem to skip some of her history: her famine, her son, her training as a clan leader, etc. I want to know this woman's background and how she rose to her position and her struggles to maintain it. Or even if there are things she does beyond just being a clan leader.   Beyond that, it's a really well-done article with proper formatting, excellent imagery and a character that immediately screams "warrior lady". Keep on writing!

23 Jul, 2019 23:45

This was a really neat article about a really cool woman. There was little present in her background, which I wish you had expanded on a bit more. Particularly to understand why she has this insight in regards to the need to keep Dhanû connected to the rest of the Inner Shell. What events in her life led her to this realisation? Has she ever been to other parts of the world?   I was about confused about her feelings towards the nickname of "hag". At one point it says that "No one calls her "Hag" in her presence." but later on it says "What started as an attempt of derision has become one of her more notable sobriquets." Does this mean that people respect the name, even though she does not tolerate it? Or not? I'm not quite sure, I think it may be worth to reword either sentence to clarify her stance towards the name "hag",   I love the "Read More About Dhanû" section at the beginning. I also really liked the last quote/section about the spider-eaters. There was a minor spelling mistake on it though: "Ramaður-shi pays them well, for they excel at all three."

23 Jul, 2019 23:59

She sounds like a very fascinating character and the amount of detail is very impressive. You also left quite a bit of intriguing story that makes you want to read about the rest of the world.   So I would like to see a bit of history from about her before she came to power. You did a small hint at a child, but it felt like an afterthought.   A nice sidebar on a clan that could be a potential threat might be interesting, even if it is a small blurb that links to another article. Overall, it is a great article that has a lot of details and creates a fantastic experience in your world.