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by Sharon Dornhoff

(Mother Fire, Mother of Islands)

Alignment: Chaotic (not evil, but grumpy and capricious)
Sphere: Matter
Rank: Eternal (formerly Hierarch)
Worshippers' alignment: Any. Clerics must be Chaotic or Neutral.

History: Though originally one of the Sollux, an ancient race of humanlike creatures from the Elemental Plane of Fire, Kikianu was a rebellious and contrary sort who resented her subordinate place in the male-dominated society of "Sun Brothers". Constantly out to shock her stiff-necked relatives, she flaunted tradition by becoming close friends with an earth-elemental cleric of Terra, only to be disowned as an embarrassment. Feeling justifiably snubbed, she abandoned her people to become a swordswoman and adventuress on the Prime and other planes, eventually attaining Immortality under the sponsorship of her friend's patron. As she had lived out her Polymath's lives as both earth-based and fire-based creatures, Terra shrewdly assigned Kikianu to have dominion over volcanism and molten lava ... a portfolio which suited her volatile personality, and fierce, uncompromising determination, quite admirably. At first on other planes, then on her home plane of Fire, and finally -- once she'd become a Hierarch in her own right -- on Mystara, Kikianu made a name for herself as one of Matter's few genuinely-unpredictable Immortals, as well as one of its most aggressive adherents.

At Pandius, the Immortal Sollux fiercely defended her claim upon volcanoes' primordial power from attempts by the Sphere of Energy -- Rathanos, in particular -- to wheedle it away from her. She also became the chief patron of the Makai, in their peaceful days before Nithian colonialism, and of the Thanegioth isles' native peoples. But her zealous efforts to raise up many new islands for her human worshippers trespassed on Protius' simultaneous plan to create advanced nations of tritons (Undersea) and merrow (Twaelar) in the same regions. The two Immortals clashed in a duel of wits and the forces of nature, and Protius -- bolstered by his far great number and variety of worshippers, on the Prime Plane; Kikianu's followers were mostly extraplanar -- came out the victor, with devastating consequences for the Ierendi islands and his humiliated opponent. Fuming and embittered, Mother Fire had to accept demotion to an Eternal and the loss of her previous seat on Mystara's Council of Intrusion (where her battle-ready, confrontational temperament was much missed). It was a shameful setback which she's never really recovered from, emotionally; and it cost her far more, as a blow to her self-esteem -- once rock-solid, now fragile -- than to her Immortal power.

After her demotion, the previously-extroverted Kikianu grew moody and withdrawn, sulking over her disgrace and the way males -- be they Sollux or Immortal -- always seemed to be conspiring to ruin her life. Her clerics' rituals, once colourful and celebratory, grew darker and more misanthropic, frightening the usually-cheerful Makai and shrinking her followers' numbers. Terrible reports of priests' hurling handsome young virgins into volcanoes, in the attempt to placate her fury, began circulating among Ierendi's inhabitants, irrevocably staining her erstwhile reputation as a protective Mother-figure. Even today, in the modern, laid-back "People's Temple" of Ierendi, Kikianu's name is invoked only reluctantly and with great discretion, for her image as an untrustworthy, bad-tempered Immortal who may lash out with errant lava-flows and destroy even her own followers has never entirely faded.

When a group of other female Immortals left Pandius, in protest over the "Gentle Folk" controversy, Kikianu joined them. It's not that she really cares, one way or another, about the issue of Immortals' intervention -- though the prospect of having more of a free hand in mortal affairs appeals to her -- so much as her being sick to death of the way Pandius and the Council-system is run: all talking, no Doing! If she had her way, there'd be more freedom of action for lesser Immortals (Eternals like herself, especially) and less waiting for Hierarchs to vote on everything. She'd also like to see a number of the male Immortals -- Protius in particular; but also Rathanos and that full-of-himself Ixion (who reminds her of her overbearing Sollux father) -- get cut down to size, if only verbally or in the political arena.

Personality: Kikianu is a man-hater in embryo; at this stage, her views could go either way, depending on whether or not any male Immortals she encounters, in the next few years, opt to treat her with the honest respect she craves. If they do so, her present sour, "chip-on-the-shoulder" attitude may turn out to be only a passing phase, and her old self as a hot-tempered-yet-dependable warrior may return. If not, Mystara may find it's stuck with the perfect foil for Rathanos' chauvinism -- a spiteful, vindictive, "hunk"-eating volcano goddess, who's every bit as blindly-hateful of men as he is, contemptuous of women's potential.

Allies: The other Immortal "feminists" sense Kikianu's joined up with them for her own reasons, not because she actually believes in what they're trying to achieve. Thus, although they'll gladly work with her and will make good use of her massive Eternal's firepower, in a pinch, they don't trust Kikianu to show a lasting commitment to the group; she'll never be placed in a position as their chief representative or leader, even though she's one of the highest-ranking Immortals in the faction. Besides Terra, she was an occasional ally of Diulanna in times past, both of them being the patrons of Neolithic (or pseudo-Neolithic, for modern Ierendi) cultures.

Enemies: While Protius holds no grudge against her, Kikianu felt terribly humiliated by her trouncing at the hands/flippers of the Old-Whatsis-In-The-Sea, and feels she MUST come up with some way to even the score (a Stroke against him would do it, but nothing less), if she's ever to regain her pride entirely. Besides that, she has a variety of grudges against Rathanos and (to a lesser extent) Ixion -- for trying to wrest away her dominion over lava; for not respecting her because she's a woman; for being arrogant and self-centred -- basically for "acting like men", as she sees it! She's previously feuded with Loki, in her capacity as patron of the Makai (the trickster-Immortal had hoped to turn these kindly, albeit theft-prone people towards evil, and she stopped him); and, like most fire-Immortals, she's endured Ordana's petty hassling only within limits: the fact the Immortal treant didn't join the "feminists", herself, may have more to do with Kikianu's volatile presence among them, than with any lack of sympathy for their goals, on Ordana's part.

Appearance: To Immortals, Kikianu appears as a tall, well-muscled Sollux female in partial plate mail -- definitely NOT the "chain-mail bikini" style -- with a broadsword sheathed at her back and her long, sun-yellow hair tied back severely. Her strong crimson features have appeared far too cross to be beautiful, since her present moodiness settled upon her. Kikianu paces up and down like a caged leopard, when she's impatiently waiting for action, and she grinds her teeth -- a sound like brittle, igneous rocks crumbling -- when she's about to blow her top. When manifesting to the Makai in times past, she favoured the guise of a stout, but sturdy native woman in her early forties: young enough to still be physically imposing; old enough to make even the cockiest village chieftain fear she'll turn him over her knee, and spank him. In this form, she'd typically carry a lit torch and a drum, and be adorned with berry-covered twigs and sharp-edged obsidian jewellery.

Symbol: Fruit-bearing twig from a tropical berry bush which grows only along the rims of Ierendian or Thanegioth volcanoes.