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Maya was a Light Elf slave initially purchased by Faen to help Ariel fight Mir'kiin, then passed into Yafein's possession as her lack of combat ability became apparent. Ultimately, she was slain by Ariel while protecting Yafein during a confrontation between the two young drow.
Appearance & Personality
Maya was a tall and thin female vanir with yellow eyes and blonde hair. Likely owing to her status as a slave, she was a very meek and timid individual. She seemed to have an innately maternal and protective disposition, as she appeared to take on a role as a sort surrogate mother to Yafein. Even in her last moments, she lamented that she had only sought to help.
Biography - Arc I
Anta Streets Market
Maya first appeared as Ariel, Faen, and Yafein searched for suitable aid in Ariel's goal of defeating and capturing Mir'kiin. As her lack of combat prowess became apparent, Faen quickly bemoaned her idea to purchase a slave to fight for Ariel. Yafein, who had been the most insistent on purchasing her specifically, asked Ariel and Faen if he could keep her. Having little need for a Vanir slave capable of cooking, the two readily agreed to allow Yafein to take ownership of Maya.
She would continue to accompany the young Val children as they continued to peruse the Anta Street market. The group would soon run afoul of a would-be mugger, the owner of a young slave named Liriel. Maya watched in horror as the man placed a blade at Ariel's neck and demanded their ada. However, the stress of the attack triggered one of Faen's empathic meltdowns, and she threw the group's wolf mount into a brutal rage. As the frenzied beast mauled the hapless mugger to death, Maya moved quickly to shield Yafein from the carnage. Afterwards, Maya could only look on with confusion as Liriel professed her loyalty to the children, declaring them to be her new masters.
Biography - Deprecated
Not much else is known about Maya previous to the purchase. When the children were attacked by Liriel’s old master, Maya seemed to place herself protectively in front of Yafein, and also attempted to shelter him from the view of Jer’kol’s wolf mount killing the attacker when Faen’s empathy directed it to do so. She seems to show some sensitivity to the boy over the girls. This may be because of her captors or what she learned of the Drow previous to coming to the Underworld, or it could be Yafein’s disposition made him appear to require protection. Her proximity to the girls and the way the attack separated them may also figure in though. After the situation was resolved and Liriel offered to take the girls to the Black Dragon Tavern, Yafein took Maya home with him, and not much is known about what happened over the next day or two while Yafein is home on school break.
Maya accompanies Yafein to the Val’Sarghress fortress when he goes to confront Ariel over her accusations of him being worthless. When Ariel shows little reaction to his demands for her to take back her words, Maya is seen kneeling beside Yafein and speaking to him in a consoling manner, which prompts Liriel to warn Ariel that the “white worm” is giving Yafein instructions. What she says to Yafein, and if she still speaks in broken Drow, is unknown. However, in some ways it does mirror Vaelia’s support to Ariel in the young heir’s encounter with Mir’kiin.
After Yafein’s attack to prove his worth fails, and Ariel uses her High Sorcery to escape his feeble stone entrapment, he gasps, “What are you, a monster?” This angers the already upset Ariel, who launches herself at Yafein and prepares a spell. Maya, who appeared shocked by the technique that Ariel uses, recovers from her surprise and puts herself between Ariel and the escaping Yafein with a determined look. Ariel unleashes her spell, which hits Maya squarely in the chest. Yafein is hauled from the room thinking Maya dead, but she lives a few moments more to gasp at Ariel in Light Elven, stating she only wanted to help and begging for help before she dies (this is understandable to the readers, however Ariel could not understand the words but perhaps understood the intent).
It appears Maya’s death will have an affect on Ariel’s view on herself and cause some degree of remorse and self loathing over how quickly it is to kill. Due to her short appearance and quick death, her motivations and personality beyond her motherly protection of Yafein are unknown. As of the events of Chapter 6, nothing further is revealed about her. She is briefly “seen” again in Chapter 8 when Ariel has a nightmare while waiting for Quain’tana to possibly call her into the meeting with Zala’ess disguised as Chrys’tel. In the dream, similar to the older chapters, Yafein walks up to Ariel (who is kneeling over a “dead” but speaking Mir’kiin) holding Maya’s severed head. He accusingly tells Ariel she killed Maya and the head grows an arm that grabs Ariel’s face, holding her down as her enemies rise from a pool of blood and Ariel becomes deformed. The scene is to reflect on Ariel’s guilt and fear of the bloody path she is on, and perhaps her worries that her actions will come back to harm her.
This differs quite a bit on the original Maya and her death in the older chapters. The Maya we first see is bought by Ariel and Yafein, who use magic together to confuse her seller. She apparently could speak Drow without difficulty, or there was a common language spoken by all. She also was naked upon purchase in the originals; where-as in the remake she’s given rag coverings. She often laments being trapped in the Underworld and longs for the surface. She shows a motherly affection for Yafein after Chrinide prompts her in a "chance" meeting at the Black Dragon Tavern and warned away from Ariel. However, she accompanies Yafein to confront Ariel over the girl's lax effort in finding Faen over gaining status with Quain'tana (and appearing to enjoy it). She similarly acts as a supporter to Yafein, and when the boy's efforts go awry, she attempts to block Drider Ariel from chasing down Yafein. She is rewarded with a mind stun spell and dragged off to a temple of Sharess to be sacrificed in exchange for clues to help Ariel find Faen. She dies gasping that she only wished to help, only this time Ariel can both understand her words and see the affects. She appears also as a head in Ariel's nightmare, which Yafein tosses before a badly deformed Ariel and replies to Ariel's plea of "I don't want to die" with "Neither did she."
There was some lamentation from fans about how Maya’s character was reduced in the remake. In the originals she appeared a strong character but seemed to represent from Ariel’s view what the Light Elves were to the Drow – underhanded, vain, and weak-willed, as Maya complained of her predicament but never did anything to get out of it. Maya was also seen eventually as a rival for Yafein’s attention, however Yafein in the originals was a slightly stronger character with real concerns over how Ariel was acting. In the remakes, Maya’s character plays a different yet important role. She may be seen as weak as well, putting off the vibe that the Light Elves are weak, but she is representative of the same “commoner” position that even Drow can hold – not all fae are great magic users. She seems a simple slave who lacks real personality or usefulness, but her death has a profound affect on Ariel. She stood up in strength for a moment only to be brought down as a reward in an attack that was completely unnecessary. She most likely had started Ariel down the path of realizing how easy and terrible it is to take a life, which better explains Ariel’s reasoning in the remake for not killing Chrys’tel – given the praise she got for taking down Mir’kiin she possibly could have convinced herself that Chrys’tel was no different. Ariel's thoughts on how Chrys’tel had done little wrong that would justify murder – the lack of caring from Chrys’tel when she was injured is a common trait in Drow society, and anger at that would be fruitless given Quain’tana’s expectations of the Sarghress heir – could be linked to her experience with Maya.
"Keep elf? Drow keep Maya?" - As Ariel, Faen, and Yafein begin to question her purchase.