Dokani the Necromancer
- "Martyrs accomplish little in the grand scheme of things, even if people so love them. Tyrants, on the other hand, may be despised, but they make their mark on the world."
Born to royalty and called by a distant star, Dokani the Necromancer's future held great promise; her stark white hair and eyes indicated an unusual potential for necromancy, a rare gift even among the most prestigious of mages in the kingdom of Ores. It was thought that, even though her brother would be the one to take the throne, Dokani would someday bring about a new age of prosperity to Ores. In time, however, she aspired for nothing less than its downfall and complete ruin.
The Fall of the Ealdremen Galaxy
During the events of The Fall of the Ealdremen Galaxy, Dokani appears on several separate occasions throughout Mioura: The Forgotten Past. Initially in the present-day, she is typically seen as a colossus that closely resembles her living body, going by either the title of Queen or First Colossus. In reality, this colossus is the possessed and mind-dominated body of her daughter, Felaji, who in the distant past was commanded to perform a certain ritual that would bring forth the colossi and give Dokani another opportunity for life. Although time magic is normally destructive towards inheritors of al-Kaniali's power, this colossus is powerful enough to traverse the time portal located within the castle that bears Dokani's name and attempt to keep history on its course, if the timeways deviate too far from their original path.
In Mioura's past, Dokani has long since been executed, typically making it difficult to eventually identify her as the mastermind behind the actions of Felaji and her brother, Thorn. From behind the scenes, she manipulates her living children into creating the circumstances she needs to enact her plans of creating the colossi and to return to the world of the living. Though she initially may seem to be little more than someone fixated on getting revenge on the kingdom that executed her, Dokani's connections to al-Kaniali, eventually revealed to be the Grand Dreamer and creator of Ealdremen, Eht Kerleraph, cast her actions in a markedly different light.
The Final Nightmare of Arplakoon
Dokani's sole appearance during Shadow of Mioura, a twisted parallel of Mioura: The Forgotten Past, is within the Corona of the Final Nightmare. Unlike Mioura: The Forgotten Past, where a time portal brings travelers to just before the ritual, Shadow of Mioura's Corona leads to thirty years before the ritual -- when Dokani was still a child and before much of her life's course had truly been set.
At the same time, the Corona's delvers are not the only time-lost individuals there. From behind the scenes, even as the young Dokani is manipulated by the likes of her mother, Iladami the Eagle-Eye, the Dokani left behind when the worlds were destroyed has found her place back in her old home and given the same opportunity to change the outcome of history -- not as herself, but as Falthori the Lion-Caller, the man who fueled her parents' hatred for each other and directed it against Dokani for his own ends. Using magic to conceal her identity and utilizing her knowledge of the future to claim divine foresight, this older Dokani manipulates the people that abused her as a child, all while attempting to steer the future towards a time where she can return to al-Kaniali and be liberated from the shadows that have consumed her body.
As the secondborn child of Dasedrak the Conqueror and Iladami the Eagle-Eye, Dokani's life would always be under careful scrutiny. Rumors circulated within the courts as to the nature of her birth; some believed that someone with such potential for magic couldn't possibly have come from Dasedrak's bloodline, as Dokani's older brother, Deioros, was just as magically inert as his father. More sinister claims believed that either of Dokani's parents had threatened the other into trying again for a more suitable heir than their son. However, in spite of her grand potential for magic, Dokani was denied inheriting the throne, as Falthori the Lion-Caller claimed to have had a vision and future knowledge that Dokani would lead the kingdom to ruin if she became Queen.
Regardless of the circumstances that led to Dokani being born, or why she was never given the throne, she soon became a pawn in her parents' elaborate schemes against both each other and their enemies within Ores. At the same time, her dreams became elaborate, yet repetitively simple; a dreaming god called al-Kaniali had chosen her to be its heir where her kingdom would not, and that dreaming god called her its child when her parents denied her a family. With little recourse but to follow and hope she would find somewhere she belonged, Dokani followed her namesake with a loyalty that would waver in her youth, but eventually become a point of obsessive fixation in adulthood.
Thirty years before the ritual, a war march from the neighboring kingdom of Shekzard managed to reach the castle's capital, aided with spells likely granted to them by the Orian Queen, Iladami. With the full might of the Shekzardi upon them, the Orians struggled to push back the siege, and Dokani soon found herself, her brother, and her father staring down the blades of their country's greatest enemies. Thanks to the timely intervention of Nomori the Planes-Adept and her eidolon, Parshard, they were saved from certain death, but Nomori suffered mortal wounds doing so. Desperate, and knowing that she held divine potential, Dokani attempted to heal her, only for the manifestation of divine energy to appear not as healing, but as necromantic and antithetical to life itself. It siphoned the last of her life, killing her, and changing the course of Dokani's life thereafter.
Nomori's death was kept a secret, as suggested by Falthori the Lion-Caller, a cleric of the lion goddess Ria and royal advisor at the time. Calling upon a different source of power, Falthori was able to use a counter-ritual to necromancy that undid Dokani's spell and brought Nomori back to life, albeit severely weakened. The official account of the Shekzardi siege became that there was never a siege at all, but rather, select assassins that snuck into the castle and attempted to kill Deioros and Dokani to cut off the royal bloodline. Nomori, ever valiant, saved them, but over-relied on her summoning arts and drained herself of the ability to call upon them ever again. Only a few people knew the truth, and Dokani's dreams, when they were not visions of al-Kaniali, became fixated on Nomori and the moment where she died.
For several years following Nomori's death and resurrection, Dokani strayed as far as she could from the castle and its people; in some situations, she gained a bit of a reputation for appearing disguised in even distant villages only to vanish the next day. Only as a young adult did she finally seem to accept her reality and remain in the castle as a member of the royal family. She spent little time at formal events except to have a token presence, withdrawing more and more from the social landscape that was becoming increasingly hostile towards her. For reasons unknown, as at the time there had been little social pressure for her to have children, Dokani eventually married Renaldi the Alchemist, a mild-mannered physician that she hardly knew. Shortly after, it became increasingly clear that the odds of Nomori, now Queen to Deioros' King, having children were slim to none. Desperate for the royal line to continue in some way, the royal family and their advisors collectively decided that Dokani and Renaldi would have a child, and that child would inherit the throne that Dokani had been denied.
With the assistance of alchemy, Dokani and Renaldi had a daughter that they named Felaji. Shortly after Felaji was born, Nomori miraculously conceived a child -- she and Deioros would eventually name their daughter Ainori. Though there was initial confusion and dispute over who held the right to the throne, the title of Heir eventually went to Ainori. Felaji would be like Dokani -- inheritor of a grand divine legacy, but never heir to the throne.
Around four or so years after Felaji's birth, and within a year of the birth of Dokani's then-unnamed son, Falthori the Lion-Caller indicted Dokani and Renaldi in a plot to plague the castle waters and turn its inhabitants into mindless undead that would obey Dokani without question; speculation from Delzed the Songstress suggests that in reality, Dokani had been goaded into killing her long-held enemy, Falnrent the Diviner, who had been puppeteering others for his own ambitions for years. Though Falnrent's death was never publicly revealed, nor were his malevolent desires for Ores, it is possible that he had set up contingency plans so that even if he died, Dokani would face greater retribution. Under Orian tradition, the traitors Dokani and Renaldi were ordered executed, as were continuations of their bloodline; Dokani's son was spared only for his young age rendering it possible to raise him away from his royal heritage, but Felaji was slated for execution along with her mother.
Witnesses to the event claim that the rope meant to hang Felaji snapped after she was strung up, and this was taken as a sign from the gods that Felaji was to be spared while her parents were hanged. Visions experienced by Delzed the Songstress, corroborated by an account from Delzed's mother, Thaltrazd the Virtuoso, indicate a slightly different story -- that without anyone realizing it and before she died, Dokani used one simple spell to singe the rope holding Felaji just enough so that it would break. Furthermore, these visions and accounts suggest that Renaldi was never hanged and had been killed before his supposed execution; his body was merely hanged to make it seem as if he were executed in a way befitting his crimes.
One thing that all who witnessed the Necromancer's demise can agree on, however, is how it began; when Dokani the Necromancer was brought to the bridge she would be hanged from, the noose tight around her neck, she stepped off the edge herself.
The specifics of what Dokani experienced after death are unclear and vague, not at all helped by Dokani's own reluctance to speak of what she experienced. Psychopomp eidolons such as Dunse were, by his own admission, sent to hunt down Dokani at the behest of gods such as Alvarus the Netherlord, believing Dokani to have cheated death in some way and evaded the afterlife Alvarus had created for all spirits. Because Dokani was never a denizen of Alvarus' underworld, she was never subjected to the spirit amnesia that is endemic among those who die.
While fleeing the grasp of the Netherlord, Dokani orchestrated a scheme to continue what she had left behind. When her daughter Felaji, heir to the same necromantic powers that Dokani herself held, eventually was able to contact Dokani's bygone spirit in a longing bid to know her lost mother, the pieces were set in stone. At Dokani's behest, Felaji managed to relocate her lost brother, now named Thorn, and the two were guided into a years-long machination that would not only mirror the false crime Dokani had been executed for, but that would also further Dokani's own agendas left behind in her soon-to-be-undone death.
At the time of the ritual, Ores was different from how Dokani had left it. Nomori had died, leaving the widower Deioros and their sole daughter Ainori as the only true keepers of the royal bloodline. The kingdom was gradually losing its power as its mourning King spent more time on petty shows of might than on worthwhile conquests that would further Ores' power. Amid this chaos, however, was a single ray of hope; according to the Callers, who could speak to the gods, Ainori the Heir would usher in a new age by performing a ritual that could ascend the Orians unto the godhood they craved.
Under Dokani's command, Felaji and Thorn sought to use the ritual for both their own revenge against Ores and for someone else's agenda -- one they never understood. Thorn plagued the castle waters to turn its inhabitants into undead that would ascend into proper colossus forms at the time of the ritual; Felaji killed Ainori and took her place when it came time to usher in the ritual. With the ritual completed, the colossi were unleashed upon Ores, destroying it in days and scattering the survivors. The colossi were led by a cloaked figure called the Queen of the ruined kingdom, where she directed her stone armies from afar as she had commanded her children for years. She sat upon the broken throne of her dead brother, and she gazed out upon the castle courtyard where she died long ago; there she hanged the corpses of her enemies, so that for centuries to come, all of Ores would remember the tyranny of Dokani the Necromancer.