Ven'ndia Vel'Vloz'ress

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Ven'nedia is the deceased former leader of the Vloz'ress nether cult, ruling it before its accession to the Great Clans following Kharla'ggen's succession. It isn't appropriate to describe Ven'nedia as an "Ilhar", because during her life the Vloz'ress community was ostracised from the remainder of Chel'el'sussoloth and not formally recognised, neither as a minor clan nor even an unaligned House.

The peculiar isolation of the Vloz'ress nether cult also rendered Ven'nedia a distinct figure among drow leaders. Lacking any noble styles, she was bereft of the sumptuous regalia in which authority is normally invested - her halls were bare, her furniture functional and her dress conservative. However, the Vloz'ress's isolation also meant that Ven'nedia was not embittered, jaded or fatigued by the incessant squabbling and fractious discordance that was entrenched between the other clans. As such, quite unlike the typical drow characteristics of petulance and proud self-conceit, Ven'nedia demonstrated a genuinely gentle temperament and a serene contentment with her lot that would certainly confound any other political figure, accustomed as they are to the exhausting struggle up the greasy pole of heriarchy and the crushing treadmill of grudges, debts and vendettas renewed and revenged. She was also by all accounts a loving mother with a personal interest in her children rather than the sense of detachment and obligation borne by other noble females.

The above could be seen as a detriment as well. Ven'nedia was not naively oblivious to threats; her stern rebuff to the first overture of alliance from Snadhya'runes Val'Sharen demonstrates some mettle, and while the specific content of their meeting is unknown, the fact that Ven'nedia was sufficiently disconcerted to show a rare flash of anger and try to dispatch letters of caution to other clan leaders indicates that it was by no means casual or idle. However, she was perhaps too trusting and ready to accept friends - this is evidenced by her apparently being unaware of Sene'kha's machinations of usurpation until it was too late to halt them. Ven'nedia's character was very much unique - so few drow shared it or had qualms in taking advantage of it.

Being leader of a nether cult, Ven'nedia was a practicing velnari and was herself tainted. In keeping with her less confrontational character, though, her doctrine was conceived more as a method of moving along the path of least resistance - the knowledge acquired from consorting with demons being less a weapon for acquiring temporal power in Chel'el'sussoloth but rather a way of ensuring her and her followers' survival from their (possibly defeatist) assumption that the demons would inevitably re-invade the material world.

Ven'nedia took a great interest in the young Kharla'ggen when Sene'kha presented the unhinged urchin to her, both through the natural compassion of a maternal instinct not to see a child suffer, but also through the compulsions of her nether cult philosophy - Kharla'ggen was inconceivably heavily tainted and it was hoped that valuable information would yield from the study of her seemingly impossible survival. In the process of caring for Kharla'ggen Ven'nedia introduced two elements that would later become the future Ilharess's trademarks - the face mask designed to prevent her from impulsively chewing off her fingers, and being surrounded by plush dolls and soft toys - originally to soothe Kharla'ggen's troubled self, but what would later become warped into the singular torture of Living dolls. It is possible that Ven'nedia was aware of the black coil twisted inside Kharla'ggen's heart - Ven'nedia seemed to have a premontion of the fate being lined up for her when she espied Kharla'ggen carrying a doll of Ven'nedia herself - but her less forthright character meant that she was unwilling to accept Kharla'ggen as a lost cause until Kharla'ggen deemed her to be a lost cause.

Ven'nedia was killed by Kharla'ggen by being petrified (turned to stone) as she attempted to escape the Vloz'ress tower - and the baleful presence of that unearthly child, whom Ven'nedia had finally conceded was "unstable" following Sene'kha's suggestion that the girl become Ilharess - with Kiel'ndia. Ven'nedia's corpse was subsequently altered into a golem attached to a snaking body which to this day holds guard above and controls the doors of the main entrance to the Vel'Vloz'ress tower - it is powered by her own former aura, encased in a crystal battery, as Kharla'ggen demonstrated an ability to consume fae auras in a manner not unlike a demon. Ven'nedia's ignoble legacy is to be a chilling commissionaire to a hall reveberating to the music of madness.

Kiel'ndia Vel'Vloz'ress - Blood daughter.
Kharla'ggen Vel'Vloz'ress - Adopted daughter.

"It's okay! There now, don't hurt yourself!"
First words to Kharla'ggen.

First appearance: Chapter 11, Page 7

Appears in chapter(s): 11