V’neef Kharavi, Chosen of Wood


House V’neef is young, as Great Houses go. Kharavi is actually older than the house itself. She descends not from its founder, but from the older House Cynis. Over her hundred and fifty years of life she became utterly disgusted by her own house’s debauchery. When the Empress formally raised the young matriarch V’neef and her descendants to the status of a Great House, Kharavi petitioned for adoption. Kharavi is by far the oldest “child” of this young house – and legally, last in line for inheritance. She doesn’t mind.

Thanks to the wide influence of Kharavi’s birth house, she is no longer welcome across much of the Blessed Isle. No mortal establishment would dare turn her aside; no Great House patrician would dare speak with her. She has been traveling in River Province and the Lakes District for most of the time since then. She prefers the less sophisticated brigandry and strongarming of Nexus and Great Forks to the more elegant and self-absorbed vipers who surrounded her in the Realm. Her matriarch sent her to make deals that solidified the house’s trade agreements, and to diplomatically remove obstacles to their progress.

Despite having many years ahead of her, Kharavi knows that her life is finite. When she was given the opportunity to run the Pearl of the Realm, she accepted, hoping to build a new legacy here. Between her bureaucratic expertise, her medical talents, and the secluded location of the Pearl, she has turned it into a secret safehouse for Dragon-Blooded in need of convalescence. Most people think that there have been few other Dragon-Blooded here for the past twenty years. There have been dozens. Rather than admitting their weakness to their enemies, they turn to House V’neef and spend a few weeks or months with Kharavi, recovering from the most horrible of wounds. The favors they are called on to provide seem small in comparison.

Recently, there was one, an outcaste, whom Kharavi could not save. When she died, she left behind her daughter, Detla. Kharavi could not find it in herself to turn Detla aside. She has adopted the young savant, and the two of them live in Sandpiper Fortress on the Pearl’s western edge.

Kharavi has been married twice, both times to patricians. The first was on the Blessed Isle. The second was in Thorns, before the events that currently make it such an unpleasant place to live. She has six children, twenty-eight grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren, and a veritable army of little ones scattered across both the East and the Blessed Isle. Those descendant from her first marriage are still of House Cynis (except the few who deserted with her). Those of the second are officially of House V’neef.


Vneef Kharavi 500

Despite her age, Kharavi looks young, perhaps in her mid-twenties. She is very thin, and moves with both grace and poise. Her voice is strong and mature. Her eyes are dark, as is her hair, except where the green-blue betrays the touch of the dragons. She wears spectacles that seem more fashion than corrective lens.


Poised, calm, and in control. Kharavi is used to being obeyed. When she encounters resistance, she is generally reasonable, though she may fume underneath. Her outward emotional state is a bad measure of how she feels beneath. If she sends a visitor out of her house and locks the door behind him, she will be as gracious and calm as when she took him in. When someone threatens one of her patients, she will be calm and reasonable as she tells him that he should expect poison in his every meal if he says another word. She rarely smiles – except on the rare occasion when she sees one of her descendants.

Kharavi is not a nursemaid. She does not coddle her patients. She has servants for that. Kharavi herself performs surgery, applies acupuncture, prescribes foul medicine. Her bedside manner is direct and unyielding.

Intimacies: “My legacy will be untainted” (Defining), “My descendants” (Defining), “House V’neef” (Major, Positive), “House Cynis” (Major, Negative), “Heal the needy”, “Detla” (Positive)


Trained at the Spiral Academy, Kharavi is an expert in managing people and moving supplies to the right place at the right time. She knows how much tax will be accepted by the people, and where it can be spent to keep the populace healthy while delivering the Realm its due. She realizes that there is a criminal underground in the Pearl, and has heard the King of Kindness‘ name. Like most dynastic children, she was also trained in a dozen different areas: archery, horsemanship, calligraphy, poetry, dance, manners, command, tactics, and more. Her citizens are constantly amazed by the talent she shows for every noble activity. If she cooks terribly, becomes ill on even a rowboat, and cannot hold her liquor, no one mentions it.

Kharavi has learned many ways to use her essence in her hundred and fifty years of life. Most of the things she does are helped along in subtle ways by the world and by the living, growing things upon it. However, her greatest gift turned out to be seeing the flows of life essence within living creatures and plants. She is an excellent doctor and pharmacist. If there is something snarling her patient’s essence, her careful hands can cut it out and sew up the wound. If her patient’s meridians are blocked, resulting in lethargy or paralysis, she can relieve them with teas or needles. If humors are imbalanced, she knows what will restore them. While she cannot instantly cure the injured, she can ensure that their wounds are merely painful rather than fatal. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, her direct manner seems to act as a bulwark of sanity for those whose minds have been damaged. Those who suffer from mental illness recover much more swiftly with her words and ministrations urging them onward.

Unlike many physicians, she can as easily operate on herself as on others. This has kept her spry and young-looking well into middle age.

She is a master Gateway player and despairs of finding anyone in the Pearl who can play at her level. She often uses the game to gauge how well her patients are recovering – the worse they lose, the more work she has left to do.

When she travels or expects trouble, Kharavi brings along an ornate green jade powerbow named Moonpiercer. Her grandfather was a member of the Wyld Hunt, and she wields his bow proudly and expertly. Anyone who closes on her will find himself vomiting up a week’s worth of meals as she releases the poison of the wood dragon. She relies on an honor guard to keep people at bay while she picks them off. She knows a bit of martial arts, but only for chi-health and meditation.

Supporting Characters

  • V’neef Ethaa, a young sorceress who changed her body and face to look like Kharavi. Powerful, obsessed, perfectionist.
  • Tlatok Rato, a servant who acts as nursemaid to Kharavi’s patients. Patient, loving, slow.
  • Atlach Okka, the leader of her personal guard. Sharp-eyed, suspicious, demonstrative.
  • V’neef Vwatli, her personal butler and medicine bag carrier. Unflappable, wry, Immaculate-trained.
  • V’neef Utor, the eldest patrician on the Pearl’s ruling council. No blood relation to Kharavi. Impatient, irritated, charismatic.


  • How much has Kharavi done to investigate the missing tribute? Has she taken a personal hand in this, or has she delegated it?
  • How does Kharavi feel about the potential civil war in the Realm? How far might she go to protect her children from it?
  • Who knows about Kharavi’s visiting patients? Does she keep them secret from Detla? Does the King of Kindness know? Are there any here right now?



7 thoughts on “V’neef Kharavi, Chosen of Wood

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