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 Akharamar clan. Known as the dreaded Iron Hag, Ramaður-shi see only extinction in clinging to Dhanû's traditions and intends to fight it, no matter who her enemies may be. Strife looms as the Exarch grows old and feeble, and each clan gathers their forces for the inevitable fight for the throne, and many eyes turn to the Hag of Dhanû and wait for her to strike.   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
  Through a long and bloody life, Ramaður-shi has been the leader of her clan for over two decades and a warrior for two more. In that time, she has seen the creeping corruption in Sheoin draw closer to Dhanû, like a noose around a condemned. She has seen entire clans slaughtered, once by her own hand, survived famine and plague, and outlived most of her family. Where there once was glory in war, its allure has considerably dimmed with every corpse. Once eagerly sought at every turn, the Hag has come to see it as a necessary evil at best and self-destructive arrogance at worse. Where annihilation was once her goal in every conflict, the Hag has become a cunning diplomat and mediator, pulling strings in ways that few appreciate.  
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 her ability as a leader to wage a brutal, uncompromising war.   Since then, Ramaður-shi has been able to use the threat of her displeasure to avoid conflict.
 
  Ramaður-shi is tall and wiry, with a strength not yet robbed by age. Her black hair has begun to streak with grey, and she does little to tame the wild mane beyond keeping it out of her iron-grey eyes. Beyond that, she wears her age well, though she eschews luxuries such as fine clothing or jewelry. Nobles of the Akharamar follow her lead, with some grumbling, giving them a stern and spartan look.   Her mask is that of a monstrous demon's maw of Chitin and horn, covering the lower half of her face and wrapping around her head. Rumor claims that she is horribly scarred beneath it or that the mask has become part of her. Though she wears many scars from her long years of fighting and surviving, that one remains a rumor.
 
Of the Hag's many past injuries, the most noticable are two missing fingers from her left hand, lost in a raid on Dūbavum
  Although she is not as young as she once was and age has begun to slow her strikes, she is no less lethal. Where she once used sheer ferocity, Ramaður-shi has become famous for her skill and killer instinct, able to exploit even the slightest mistake or lapse of concentration.   Though "Hag" is often used when speaking of her, no one utters it in her presence.      

Behind The Mask

It is the most simple fact about this war - we are losing.  
— Ramaður-shi
  Behind the masquerade as a murderous brute, the Iron Hag is a shrewd politician and has used her infamy to gather influence and information. She has watched the cold conquer more of the Sheoin Region every year, turning caves into arctic wastelands. For every monster slain, another seems ready to take its place. Outside of Dhanû, forces are gathering to punish them for their raids.    
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by Dive Store Exile
    Ramaður-shi believes that if Dhanû continues as it has, it is doomed. It may take a decade or a century, but doomed. Every year and every inch of land lost to the growing blight, it is a fate that seems more and more certain. She seeks to break Dhanû's isolation from the rest of the Inner Shell. Raids may bring glory, but trade brings wealth, food, and allies that can help turn the tide. The Hag is the first Dhanû warlord to employ foreign mercenaries, and not even her infamy has stemmed the outrage that has followed.   If Ramaður-shi succeeds, Dhanû will become a very different place. But she has a difficult task ahead of her, opposed by forces both within and without.
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 Akharamar Clan

Ramaður-shi leads the Akharamar Clan, an old and venerable clan in the heart of Dhanû. Its position inside the city-state means their fight against the blight claiming Sheoin have been by choice rather than necessity, and they have been able to dedicate themselves to raids and building their fortunes.   Other clans sometimes accuse the Akharamar of complacency as a result, though the clan has entered a period of frantic activity at Ramaður-shi's command that has thrust them into the heart of politics.  
The Akharamar hold the Suryō Spider as their symbol and is often depicted with their Masks.
 

The Names of the Hag

Dhanû places 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's fierce temper has evened out... To an extend.   Her reputation for a fierce temper is not entirely undeserved, and when faced with stupidity, her foul mood lasting.   The Hag will not compromise with those who offend her or prove themselves fools.
   

Friends & Family

Ramaður-shi has no partner or children, and expressed little interest in either since her son and husband died decades earlier. Instead, Ramaður-shi has many friends both inside and outside of her clan. This includes, rumors insist, outsiders and mercenaries from far away.
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 speculation.   Their role in her plan is 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.
 

 
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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!


Can I have a cookie? | Come and snoop around Melyria
19 Jun, 2020 09:41

Whooops.. Fixed that! :D   And thank you very much for your comment and for reading <3   I just did an edit pass (much delayed) and I'll think about how I can add the appearance/mask stuff! :D

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!

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19 Jun, 2020 21:20

Thank you very much for reading and commenting :D I will think about what I want to do with the history part

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."

19 Jun, 2020 09:44

Thanks for the comment and the read! I'll have a ponder about the history bit.   I've updated the part. It's kinda like with mob nicknames - every mobster seems to have a name under which they are widely known, but you never call them that to their face. :D

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.

19 Jun, 2020 09:43

Thanks for the comment and the read! :D   Hmm... I'll think about the history part. A side panel item about a rival/enemy sounds like a great idea, so I am going to see what I can concoct to put there! Thank you :D

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
1 Dec, 2020 20:57

Well... she sounds like an absolutely terrifying lady. I wouldn't want to get on her bad side! D: I hope the Dhanû will be okay.

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
3 Dec, 2020 09:09

That might be up to some PCs (or a novel protagonist) to ensure! :D