dungeonS & draGoNs: The Curse of Strahd
Death Cleric fighting against the fate of her heritage
Mara is a young, idealistic girl of 17. She is inexperienced in the ways of the world but the world doesn’t see her that way. She is naive, gullible and often narrow minded. Complexity and nuance often escape her if her manner of thinking clashes with minutiae and details. Always one for binaries, Mara is constantly making black and white of the moral grey.
Mara was raised in a family of death priests who worship the old gods of deaths. They followed Jergal, Myrkul and Cyric. Everyone knows this type of occult evil-doer, the type that think death means being mean, killing and purple energy bolts from skull headed scepters. Mara is the youngest of 7 siblings, each who studied and trained in the dark arts. Though she was the youngest she was always precocious and athletic and quickly grew to be one of the largest of her family. She was always very protective of the youngest sibling (aside from her), her brother Kelvyn and did her best to keep him safe from her parent’s short tempered glares.
Her parents were a cruel and unloving type, and they encouraged competition and betrayal amongst the seven siblings. One day, Kelvyn was doing his chores, polishing an ornate statue of a lion’s skeleton that his father had brought back from the far northern wastelands. Kelvyn was never the talented or smart one of the flock, nor was he terribly deft and in his ineptitude, he snapped a tooth from the lion’s maw. At once, their father flew into a rage and decided that it was time to revisit the blood duels of old, throwing Kelvyn and Menlos—the eldest, the prodigial, the ruthless—to duel at magiks. Menlos, seeing an opportunity to thin the herd of potential heirs to the family’s blood-right with the gods of Death, held back not an ounce of his strength, reanimating the same enormous lion skeleton that Kelvyn had been polishing and urging it forward to kill his younger sibling. Mara sprinted towards Menlos to try to break his concentration and save Kelvyn from the undead beastial horror that now stalked him, but the other four siblings restrained her. They made her watch as the beast tore her brother—and best friend—to a bloody pulp. From that day on Mara’s remorse and outrage engendered resentment for her parents and rejection of their teachings.
Years later, when a party of priests of Kelemvor arrived to root out your family’s cult, Mara was instrumental in her family’s downfall. Mara took no pleasure in watching the executioner behead her family one by one, merely wished that they would have met the old gods of Death they had prayed to. Though distracted by her kin’s slaughter, she felt a distinct power begin to stir within her. It felt familiar, and as each family member was slain in turn, she felt that power grow stronger. After enacting justice upon her ruthless and cruel family, the priests of Kelemvor inducted her into their ranks— and because of her unique training, she was brought into an even deeper sect of the priesthood that uses undeath as a tool to maintain the balance.
Mara seeks to keep death holy and fight the undead who wreck the beautiful balance of life and death, but her family has in its blood serious death magic and she will be fighting an internal battle to control the necromancer’s nature in her.