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Appeared in chapters 0 3 4 6 9 11 12 13 14 15 16 20 21 22 23 25 30 31 32 35 39* 43 45 50 55 56 57 58
Appeared in side stories The Longest Wait , Thalamani
Val'Sharess Diva'ratrika Val'Sharen was the empress of Chel'el'Sussoloth and the Ill'haress of the Vel'Sharen clan. After her rebirth, she became known as Diva, servant of Ariel and later Sil'lice.
Diva'ratrika has ruled Chel'el'Sussoloth for centuries. She has five daughters, Snadhya'rune, Sarv'swati, Sil'lice, Nishi'kanta, and Zala'ess. Snadhya'rune, Sar'swati and Zala'ess organized a coup against her in 1082 of the Moonless Age. They imprisoned her within her throneroom and left her for dead while spinning a lie to the public that she was merely in recluse due to the dangers of the Nidraa'chal uprising. The traitorous sisters took control of the Vel'Sharen clan while the rest of Chel'el'Sussoloth went on believing in Diva'ratrika's rule.
Unbeknownst to the daughters that overthrew her, she escaped this fate by detaching her aura from her body and possessing a slave girl, Ragini. The end result of this possession is Diva. This merged amalgamation is the product of the aura of the Empress being implanted in the body of her slave. Immediately following the initial possession, she entered a fusion state of the two clashing auras who named herself "Liriel". Liriel had features of both Liriel and Diva, but due to the constant struggle between the two aura, she drank liberally. Upon following Ariel to the surface and seeing the old country, Liriel regained all of Diva'ratrika's memories and metamorphosed (physically and mentally) to take the form of Diva.
Appearance and Personality
Diva'ratrika is a dark elf and was among the oldest living fae in Chel'el'Sussoloth. The Empress has incredibly long purple hair that is streaked with deep blue. She wears a large nine-eyed crown and a decorative purple veil when in public. Her public dress is an intricate mix of teal metal plates, vibrant gemstones, and sheer purple fabric. She has the lighter skintone of a dark elf and bright purple eyes. She is a skilled magic user, as is befitting a high-ranking dark elf. Her natural affinities are unknown, though the range of High Arts she is capable of may be inferred by the fact that her daughters show a wide array of specific affinities.
She is of regal bearing and rules the Chelian empire with an iron fist, but is known to be distant from the public. Having lived her childhood on the surface during the Moons Age, Diva'ratrika saw what horrors demons were capable of wreaking. She sees demons as abominations and tainted drow as weaklings, which allowed groups such as the Kyorl'solenurn to take more radical approaches to the threat. She was known to have had a strained relationship with her children--particularly her eldest daughter, Snadhya'rune, who refused for centuries to produce heirs to her line<ref>Chapter 25, page 08</ref>. The controlling nature not only was reflected in her duties as empress but in the lives of Snadhya<ref>Chapter 27, page 06</ref>, Sarv'swati and Zala'ess<ref>Chapter 34, page 40</ref> as well.
Appearance and Personality after Death
"Diva" is the product of the aura of Diva'ratrika being implanted in the body of her slave, Ragini. Immediately following the initial possession, she entered a fusion state of the two clashing auras who named herself Liriel. Liriel had features of both Liriel and Diva, but due to the constant struggle between the two aura, she drank liberally. Upon following Ariel to the surface and seeing the old country, Liriel regained all of Diva'ratrika's memories and metamorphosed (physically and mentally) to take the form of Diva.
Due to her transformative nature, she has shown drastically different appearances and personalities after performing the spirit transfer:
Until she experienced the Overworld with Ariel, Diva was a combination of Diva'ratrika (the dark elf Val'Sharess of Chel) and Ragini (a drowolath slave) that named herself Liriel. Her hair was pale blue and cut short, and her eyes were a light purple. Her skintone was similar to that of a dark elf, but her pupils had the red glow unique to a drow. She wore simple dresses and a slave collar around her neck.
Due to the clash of auras in her mind, Liriel was often confused and in pain. She dulled this by drinking large amounts of beer, making her silly, outspoken, and immature. She was a carefree trickster who stuck by Ariel's side even after Ariel insisted she leave.
When Diva'ratirka's aura took over Ragini's body completely, her appearance and personality drastically changed. Her eyes and hair turned deep purple, and though her body stayed young she took on the manner and memories of Diva'ratrika. She renamed herself Diva began to wear more Val'Sharen inspired clothing.
Diva is much more mature than her Liriel persona. Without the constant pain of two auras competing for control over her body, she did not need to intoxicate herself with beer. She became wise, polite, and respectful to her masters. Though she exhibits frustration with her situation, she is generally patient and tactful.
Because Diva'ratrika chose to inhabit her grand-aunt's body, physical changes were minor. The only major difference was a clear, bright purple glow present in her pupils indicating the success of the spirit transference.
At first, Diva struggled with sorting out the river of memories lingering within Sharess' body, to the point where she did not even know who she was. Upon given time to reorganize her hold on the body, Diva became more aware of the power of her abilities, amplified by Sharess' legendary mana reserves.
Biography - Background
Ruling the Empire
Val of Sharess' Royal House, Diva'ratrika Val'Sharen was ruler of Chel'el'Sussoloth for majority of the city's history in the Moonless Age. She ascended the throne early in Chel'el'Sussoloth's history, possibly close to the year 250 of the Moonless Age, a position her mother held briefly before her. She is one of the last Moons Age dark elves alive and in (relatively) public view.
As Val'Sharess, Diva'ratrika arbitrates all Council meetings. Another member of the Val'Sharen, usually the head ambassador, takes the Sharen seat on the council to address specific Clan interests. While she keeps in mind the position of the leading clan – the Sharen – she is to act impartial in meetings and has major swaying power on various inter-clan and city-affecting matters. She also rallies protective measures for the city, and the main city guard is made up of members of her clan plus any volunteers of other clans. In a sense, the Val'Sharess is the will of the Goddess in the city.
Rise of the Nidraa'chal
Over time, Diva'ratrika became reclusive. As she enjoyed her solitude, she allowed her daughters to take larger roles in positions that they took interest in for the clan, possibly because she felt it increased their loyalty to be part of major workings. She'd leave Council meetings after obligatory visits, leaving the clans to work out their issues for themselves. As the threat the Nidraa'chal posed became clear to the lesser clans, they found their words falling deaf on the ears of the Val'Sharess.
As Diva'ratrika lost support from the clans, the Nidraa'chal steadily rose to power. She was disgusted by the growing rise in tainting practices and began to hunt down tainted summoners, but her daughter, Snadhya'rune, stayed her hand. By the time the Nidraa'chal attacked the Orthorbbae and initiated open war in the streets, it was too late.
The Val'Sharess watched helplessly as three of her daughters, Snadya'rune, Sarv'swati, and Zala'ess, tainted themselves for power. It wasn't long before Diva'ratrika found her support base fracturing. With the Nidraa'chal clan causing civil unrest and the Val'Dutan'vir's Ill'haress being assassinated, she attempted to go to the Council for help.
She quickly put out a call to the clans for support in fighting the Nidraa'chal menace, but her neglect of their earlier quarrels had taken its toll. Instead of seeing it as a nation-wide security issue, the other Il'haresses viewed Diva'ratirka's concerns as an inter-clan matter between a new minor clan and the ruling Val'Sharen.
Diva'ratrika was forced to announce a forward Vel'Sharen movement in the areas of the city devastated by the Nidraa'chal.
While the majority of the Val'Sharen army was pushing away from the Val'Sharen fortress to combat the Nidraa'chal, Diva'ratrika found herself relatively unguarded. Her three tainted daughters unexpectedly attacked her in the solitude of the empty palace, leaving Diva'ratrika with no choice but to defend herself. It slowly dawned on her that this was their plan from the start.
Though immensely powerful, Diva'ratrika was ill-equipped to handle her children's new nether-enhanced combat techniques. She retreated to her throne room where the girls prepared to kill her once and for all. They blasted the hallways surrounding the only entrance to the chamber, sealing Diva'ratrika inside with no hope of escape.
She would have died within those walls were it not for Ragini, who could slip through the chamber's air vents. Ragini brought food and supplies for Diva'ratrika for at least a year until the Empress was able to form an escape plan. She gave Ragini explicit instructions to set up half of a spell that would allow Diva'ratrika to possess her. The Empress then used ancient techniques to separate her aura from her body, referred to as a "transfer of the spirit".
The spell was a success, and the resulting fusion of Diva'ratrika named herself Liriel. Eventually, Diva'ratrika's aura overpowered Ragini's entirely, allowing her to live anew in the the form of Diva.
Biography - Arc I
Liriel the Slave
Around the year 1098 of the Moonless Age, Diva first appeared as Liriel with her origins unknown. She met Ariel and Faen after her previous master, who attempted to rob the girls, was killed by a wolf under Faen's empathic control. She insisted on following them as her new masters. She quickly showed an insatiable appetite for mushroom beer and one of her first actions as the pair's slave is to offer to guide them to the Black Dragon Tavern in payment for a beer. She helps the pair buy a gladiator slave, Vaelia, to fight on their behalf.
She followed Ariel everywhere, even when her "master" ordered her to leave her alone. She gave Ariel un-asked for advice at every turn until she finally followed Ariel up to the surface to help find Faen<ref>Chapter 11, page 47</ref>.
Upon leaving the underworld, Liriel slowly sobered away from the mushroom beer she constantly drank. She began to provide strange bits of knowledge that she was far too young to know and her ramblings became increasingly incoherent. Upon reaching the Halme castle, she experienced severe flashbacks from the memories of Diva'ratrika, triggering a metamorphosis in which she became Diva'ratirka reborn.
As she adapted to this change, she cut her bangs short and decided to make amends with Ariel. She told Ariel her story, and though Ariel was dubious, she agreed to begin calling her Diva.<ref>Chapter 23, page 15</ref>
She remained Ariel's servant as she gathered information at the Val'Sarghress Fortress. Eventually, she discovered that her "daughter," Sil'lice Val'Sharen, had survived and was hiding with the Val'Sarghress<ref>Chapter 30, page 11</ref>. She made the journey to approach Sil'lice, meeting the young Vel'Sharen siblings Chrys'tel and Nau'kheol along the way<ref>Chapter 31, page 39</ref>. She told the present Sharen that she used to work as a personal servant for Diva'ratrika, and offered her services when they would not interfere with her duties to Ariel. She was assigned to tutor the young Kau and Shala Val'Sharen in exchange.
Biography - Arc II
Journey to Mimaneid
Diva remained with the Val'Sarghress, serving not only Kau and Shala, but Ariel and Faen as a tutor. She told them stories about the history of Chel'el'Sussoloth and the legend of Blossom, and taught them about the politics ruling the city.
Diva used this as an opportunity to install herself in Sil'lice's path of vengeance, and eventually found herself on the trail to Mimaneid with Sil'lice and Nishi'kanta Vel'Sharen--who had recently come out of hiding to support her sister's cause during the District War in Year 1114 of the Moonless Age. Diva's role in the renegade group was unknown, but she serves as a source of information for Nishi'kanta's children when they reach their hosts<ref>Chapter 43, page 50</ref>, the Mimian clan called Kavahini. With Sil'lice gaining an alliance with the minor clan to strike Felde, Diva's hope in setting things right is renewed, and she is seen on top of the Mimian World Tree thinking of her third daughter's accomplishments.
Around three years later in year 1117, Sarghress forces invade the Val'Sharess' tower in search of Sarv'swati, and discover Diva'ratrika's mummified body still seated on her throne. <ref>http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9941</ref>
Assault on Orthorbbae
Diva is there for Kau to comfort the young male, after Sil'lice rejects him for being tainted<ref>Chapter 50, page 42</ref>. Some time later, Diva decided to see where the Saghress stored looted items from her tower, guarded by Tebryn. She has a moment of doubt as the merged dark elf goes over her life decisions while looking at her corpse<ref>Chapter 50, page 80</ref>. Teb'ryn doesn't believe Diva's story of aura transposition, however Diva is unconcerned, knowing nobody would really believe her anyhow.
Even though she wishes to try again with both Sil'lice and Nishi'kanta after Snadhya is confirmed dead, Sil'lice's attitude creates a rift between Diva and her third daughter: The two arrive in the Ninth Tower with Sil'lice's family and Sarghress soldiers, only for Sil'lice to impale Sha'sana before the dark elf could address Diva<ref>Chapter 50, page 160</ref>.
As Sha'sana lay dying on the floor, Diva speaks to her old friend: the former Headmistress immediately discern's Diva's true nature but chooses not to transfer her aura as the Empress did. Instead, Diva comforts Sha'sana in her final moments, recalling old memories of the time before the Moonles Age, and telling her a story of how the surface world they knew is recovering once more<ref>Chapter 50, page 163</ref>. Among Sha'sana's last words were directions about a particular book, with research notes documenting her quest to find Sharess' spiritual self in the nether worlds.
When Sil'lice wakes up to a tainted aura within her, Diva is less than impressed with her daughter's antics. Leaving her to deal with the new condition, Diva heads for Sha'sana's personal library, but not before visiting Sharess' body to reaffirm her purpose<ref>Chapter 50, page 166</ref>.
Biography - Arc III
Three years into living in the now-abandoned Orthorbbae, Diva had been tasked with raising the rambunctious child of Kiel and Nau<ref>Chapter 55, page 9</ref>.
Intruders in the Sanctum
While watching the child in the ninth tower, she is taken surprise by a fast-moving figure in all white armor<ref>Chapter 55, page 17</ref>.
Diva then gave chase and witnessed two intruders attempting to break the foundation holding Sharess' corpse in place. The now caretaker of the display tried to defend both the child and her charge, but meager earth sorcery was no match for the silent drow's swords. Diva was able to determine that the two masked women were minions of Snadhya'rune--cursing her firstborn daughter as the silent intruder stabs Diva in the abdomen. Matters worsened when the assailant dropped the infant over the balcony despite Diva's desperate protests.
The other masked woman ordered her companion to drag Diva towards Sharess to force cooperation in breaking the display--the process had proven to be quite difficult, and the former Empress flatly refused to help.
At that moment, Sil'lice and her children Kadara and Sil'nua arrived to deal with the threat<ref>Chapter 55, page 23</ref>. The intruders threw Diva aside and were promptly slaughtered, and a heavily injured Diva dragged herself towards Sharess' tank to lament how she failed to emulate Sha'sana's vigil. After a while, she was tended to by Sil'nua with the grim prospect that Diva may not survive--the decision was made to attempt the spirit transfer method once more<ref>Chapter 55, page 31</ref>. But, for all of her desperation to return to glory, the young woman couldn't go through with the act of suicide.
Diva'ratrika then made the journey to face her monstrous daughter alone--she broke into the Val'Sharess Council Dome through secret pathways unknown to most, and barricaded herself in the Empress' throne room<ref>Chapter 56, page 100</ref>. At first, Snadhya's had no idea how to deal with the lone intrusion, until their mistress was informed and personally wheeled herself to her mother's tomb. Despite visibly struggling to maintain herself due to the injuries, the young servant allowed herself to become the Empress once again. She recalled moments of Snadhya'rune's defiance with the Feldian takeover, her failures to usurp Sha'sana in the past, and even the moment her daughter begged forgiveness at Diva'ratrika's feet for being tainted.
What triggered the First Daughter the most was the bold declaration of matricide, right in front of the Nidraa'chal minions<ref>Chapter 56, page 101</ref>.
At once, the minions were dismissed. To verify the young dokkalfar's claims, Snadhya examined the nature of her aura... And laughed hysterically that the truth was laid bare. The reason was that Diva'ratrika had gone through with an ancient technique known as 'transfer of the spirit' to survive the assassination attempt.
The two exchanged heated words; Diva blamed her daughter's insanity on the fall of her clan, while Snadhya threw back that her mother's hunger for immortality and rigidness prevented the Sharen from advancing. She claimed if only Diva had abdicated centuries ago, none of these events would have happened. As her fury exploded, a dark cloud of nether energy emerged from Snadhya'rune's body to creep closer to the young girl. Diva fled for the top of the throne, dropping her bag in the process--the creeping shadow engulfed the bag, and its contents reacted with a flash of light drawing the nether into it. Immediately recognized as an old project she and Sha'sana worked on, Snadhya paused for a moment to gloat at her mother's lack of defense and impending doom. Diva responded with a massive blast of mana that fizzled out against her daughter's demonic shield.
Then, the First Daughter unleashed her earth summons on Diva'ratrika--though, the unruly Koil'dorath summon attacked her mistress instead. Diva used the arts of wind, earth, and fire to block the other drow summon, but was too slow to stop Snadhya'rune from summoning her great dragon summon. As the dragon raised a claw to crush the dokkalfar underfoot, Diva taunted one last time with a warning that someone will always stand against her daughter, and she will be taken out eventually. Furious, Snadhya'rune crushed her mother at the foot of the throne, only to then realize Diva wanted to die at that spot for a reason--it was the pattern she drew thirty years ago to escape death, and once more, Diva'ratrika slipped out of her mad daughter's grasp<ref>Chapter 56, page 108</ref>.
A Legendary Return
Her mana essence shot forth through the darkess to return to the other pattern carved at Sharess' feet. The body within the preservation tank then twitched, and Diva opened her eyes once more inside her grand aunt's form.
Sil'lice and two of her children appeared later to 'Sharess' emerging from the ancient preservation tank, after a millennium of dormancy. Cal'idan helped 'Sharess' to her knees while musing on the historic moment, but Kadara sees opportunity in using Sharess' authority to reclaim Sil'lice's honor<ref>Chapter 57, page 01</ref>. Sil'lice herself held doubts about the legitimacy of who inhabited their ancestor's body, and pointed a sword at the elder dokkalfar's neck.
Diva only shook her head and relayed that she could not remember, even with Cal'idan's excited questions. What surprised everyone was when the woman called to Sil'lice as a mother would her daughter. In truth, Diva was struggling with the surge of memories within her grand aunt's body, and could not grasp her true self. Sil'lice understood immediately that this woman was truly her Empress mother's soul, transposed onto Sharess' flesh and came to her aid. The four of them are then interrupted by her other son Kismel, warning of the Sarghress army marching on the Vel'Sharen council dome. Sil'lice knew that they had little time to act, if this sudden troop movement was because of her assumptions<ref>Chapter 57, page 03</ref>.
"You are in the presence of Queen Blueberry the Third!" - Liriel to Rik about being placed in a bag if she causes to much trouble.
"Sharess, if only you could see this. The world we knew passed away, but the seeds we gave our lives to protect is bringing new life. All it needs now, in order to thrive, is the right guide to ensure my elder daughter does not extinguish it." - Diva, watching Kavahini forces take off for Felde.
- Diva trika by drowtales.jpg
Early concept art of Diva'ratrika
- Concept Diva50.png
Official concept art of Diva, Chapter 50.
- Concept Diva55.png
Concept sketches of Diva, Chapter 55.
- Concept DivaSharess.png
Official concept art of Diva'ratrika in the body of Sharess, Chapter 57.