Tara Kazaku

Her Most Graceful Tara Kazaku Skala Bashnina

Brothers lend ears and sisters draw swords
We came here to fight the empress's hordes
We fight not for glory, but right to be free
A war for the future of Skala Bashni
Finish your meals and pray to your god
This war has just started and our journy is hard
And speaking of hard things, this might be obscene
You should drink blood, because we're fucking a queen
— Tara declaring the dracunyer's allegiance to Arvernfel.
Tara Kazaku is the Grand Duchess of Skala Bashni. Known for her political skills and combat prowess, she's the ruler Skala Bashni for the past four centuries, following her brother's death in 1174. She supports artistic individuals, and is also a talented performer in her own right, posessing a unique vocal range that allows her to perform both contralto and mezzo-soprano roles; though proficient in virtually every musical instrument, her favorite is the harp, or lyre if performing where a harp isn't available.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Early Life

Tara was born to a noble Skalani family, to a formerly human mother and a dracunyer father; her older brother, Costache, soon replaced their father as the lord of Kazaku Keep, following the latter's death in a duel. Tara, however, was guided towards a less political path; she was sent to ACU, Caeris, where she studied art, philosophy, and majored in music.   She greduated in 1117 Virtuoso, and a year later she relocated to Akidos, where she sang in a tavern in return for lodging. Word of her outstanding performances spread fast, even when compared to the fast paced life in the city state, and eventually drew the attention of Raxis himself; less than a month after her arrival in the city, she was offered, and accepted, to permanently stay as a guest within his lair. In 1173 AC, her brother was ordered to join the war against the Hegemony of Xesian with a contigent of 450 soldiers, by empress Veronica Dislerf's decree. As he departed, he sent Tara a letter, informing her of the increased levies and appointing her as his successor should he fall in battle.   In 1174 Costache was killed in an ambush that supposedly could have been prevented had his retinue of dracunyer was with him, and not assigned to seperate units by an incompetent relative of Veronica. The same day word of Costache's death reached Akidos, Tara made all of the necessary arrangements and departed back to her home, where she was entrusted with the role of duchess.  

General of the Dracunyer

As tensions in Osternfel grew, Tara swore allegiance to the grand duchy of Mirkas in 1199, whose arch-duchess, Regina I Mirkasna, later joined the eastern rebellion. The arch dukes recognized the immense advantage Tara and her kin provided, and she was assigned as a military general under Shvat the Great during the Osternfel Civil War of 1201.   Even though in practice there were at most three hundred soldiers under her command, her presence on the battlefield accompanied by a detachment of the legendary dracunyer, provided morale support to such an extent that many victories are attributed mostly to her. As a combatant in her own right she is arguably even deadlier: she won every duel she ever fought, with some estimates claiming that she has personally killed over a thousand combatants in varying circumstances; her long lifespan and eternal youth help her to further capitalize on her experience, rendering her increasingly deadlier as the years go on.  

Tour of Triumph

When the war was over in 1206, Tara began traveling throught the new nation in celebration of the victory and performed in a variety of venues, from local taverns and up to amphitheaters; people flocked to hear her singing and playing, though more than likely most of them just wanted a glimpse of the usually reclusive denizens of Skala Bashni. Prior to the tour, dracunyer were regarded as a rumor and Tara herself was sometimes dismissed is a fictional character created for war propagenda; by some accounts, her old friend Raxis even appeared in several performance, further increasing the popular appeal.   The tour took a dramatic turn when inequitars sent by Veronica Dislerf attempted to assasinate her following a performance. Unarmed and unarmorded, she killed an assailant by punching his throat after deflecting a blow with her forearm, grabbed his heavy two-handed sword with her uninjured right hand and proceeded to kill all remaining three; needless to say, this injury ended the tour, though the show of strength gave it a somewhat positive note.  

By Blade and String

Nowdays, Tara is regarded as a living legend; the public image of her is that of an immortal general-musician that befriends dragons and beats all odds, wether as a commander or as warrior. In addition to her responsibilities and duties as a grand duchess, in 1345 she established the Concertivish Ostigi, an academy dedicated to the teaching of music. In stark contrast to the reclusive nature of her kin, Tara is often found on the conservatorium's grounds, where she serves as the dean.
Current Location
Species
Conditions
Ethnicity
Honorary & Occupational Titles
Virtuoso (ACU, 1117)
Duchess (1174)
General (1201)
Grand Duchess (1206)
Dean (1483)
Year of Birth
1091 AC 481 Years old
Children
Presented Sex
Female
A portrait of Tara during the war.

Character Portrait image: by AI

Comments

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10 Feb, 2022 16:29

Nice article! She seems like quite a talented individual, no wonder she became the stuff of legends. I am wondering if a dracunyer is somewhat like a vampire, that is the vibe that I am getting? Also pretty interesting how she fought for the other side after losing her brother to the incompetence of the queen. After the war she went on to perform but was she not expected to return to rule at that time?

Feel free to check out my latest challenge article the Avaronian Empire if you want to see what I am up to!
10 Feb, 2022 16:45

Dracunyer are exactly that - vampiric vibes, but as a subspecies of humans instead of evil undead creatures; I'm so happy you picked up on it, I was worried it wouldn't be similar enough. She never really liked politics, that's why currently she spends more time in the academy than in her home. Luckily for her, there's a rather small populace under her direct authority, and most serfs answer to a dracunyer that answers to her. It's a sort of a feudal system. I'm really glad you liked it! <3

17 Feb, 2022 14:06

Oh nice I love that idea of them not necessarily being evil! Great work ^^

Feel free to check out my latest challenge article the Avaronian Empire if you want to see what I am up to!
14 Feb, 2022 06:42

Great character - love the mix of political intrigue, violence and celebrity that make up her life, while her creative outlet and support of other artists underlies it all.

Check out my world Shadowfire and my Summer Camp progress
16 Feb, 2022 18:37

Thank you so much! <3

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
15 Feb, 2022 14:06

Nice article and character :D She seems like an impressive warrior! Did she get much training in fighting before succeeding her brother? Since you only mentioned the artistic studies, I was surprised she was able to fight so well so quickly. I was also surprised that a noble would just play music in taverns. Is it normal in your world, or something people also commented on?

To see what I am up to, here is my civilisation challenge article.
16 Feb, 2022 18:34

Well, that's a period of 27 years between her succession and the war, so I wouldn't say it was "quickly" haha   And I haven't actually thought of how weird that would be, a noble playing in taverns. But since she's of a relatively minor noble family, at the time at least, it wasn't as weird; additionally, Akidos is a city who's taverns are quite famous (I'd recommend looking it up while you're at it), so even the worst among them are pretty good.   Thank you for your comment! <3

15 Feb, 2022 19:24

A well written article featuring a very powerful woman. It took me a little to realize why the rebellion was keen on making her a general - likely because she is a dracunyer? Does she have any ambitions to make more of her position, or is she content where she is?

If you have some time, I would much appreciate your feedback on my entry for Adventure April: Carbon Copy Paradise
16 Feb, 2022 18:36

For now I guess she's quite content, but in a few decades she will probably be doing something extraordinary :D

16 Feb, 2022 05:42

You start off strong with your quote/song and just keep going from there. It is an enjoyable read about an intriguing character. Definitely got vampire vibes, which i guess looking at the other comments I was supposed to. Good job.

As always, it would be appreciated if you would stop by my challenge article The Storm Giant Empire and leave some feedback.   If you are looking for things to read from summer camp there is also my Summer Camp 2022 Reading Challenge.. Happy worldbuilding.
16 Feb, 2022 18:37

Thank you so much! It feels great reading a comment like that <3

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