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Radija ibn-Zia

by Mischa E Gelman

History: Radija ibn-Zia was born 39 years ago in a small tribe, the Duru, in the Emirates of Ylaruam. She was married off to another member of her tribe at age 17 and suffered through eight years of a loveless marriage, forced by law to follow her husband's will. Then one day another member of the tribe handed her a small pamphlet which changed her life. It was the teachings of the clerics of Vanya, who had come into the desert during the Thyatian colonisation many decades earlier. She learned of a new way of life, wherein she was the equal of men and need not follow their orders. She surprised herself when she found the courage to flee her marriage and her tribe, dropping her father's name from her own according to the customs of the Thyatians and wandering off into the wilderness.
While the Duru have almost forgotten about her, she has continued to spread the word of Vanya, angering the Kin of the north who adhere to the strict teachings of al-Kalim and winning herself numerous followers among the women of the desert. She has become fairly famous in her own right in her tasks to correct the inequalities of her culture, wandering in disguise from town to town and teaching the ways of Vanya.
Personality: Radija is wholly committed to her cause, to showing the Ylari peoples that women can be at least equal, if not superior, to men. She is not a mean person nor an especially kind one, neither overly aggressive nor overly passive. She simply wishes to see justice and equality come to be and will do anything she can to make this the case.
Appearance: Radija always travels in disguise, so her actual appearance is questionable. She is rumoured to be of great beauty and also rumoured to be an ugly hag. She is rumoured to be a tall, strong warrior and also a short, frail lady full of inner strength. Many of her opponents think her a demoness of some sort while some of her supporters may look up to her as close to an immortal in stature and worth. Most who have met her describe her as pretty normal-looking, though she often goes without the veil of the women of the Emirates and has come by a medallion of Vanya somehow. If she wishes to mix into a group of the desert nomads, it is obviously well within her abilities.
Combat Notes: She is a 21st-level cleric of Vanya. AC 6 (ring of protection+3); hp 44; at 0; d by spell (Radija does not like having to harm any of her kinfolk and prefers to simply use spells such as Hold Person and escape if danger threatens. She will cause harm to those who have consistently shown themselves to be opposed to the cause of women); S 8, I 11, W 14, D 11, Co 14, Ch 11. Languages: Thyatian, Ylari, Common.
General Skills: Honour Vanya (W+2), Persuasion (Ch+1), Codes of Law and Justice (W), Desert Stealth (D), Disguise (I), Knowledge (Theology of Vanya) (I) Other eqp: Radija has come across a number of magical items in her travels, has received several gifts from Vanya and picked up a number of useful goods in her stays among the Thyatians a few years back studying the laws and philosophy of Vanya. Anything the DM wishes to give her can conceivably have come into her possession.
DMing notes: Radija obviously presents a complex situation to loyal Ylari. She wishes the best for her people and is trying to empower half their number yet is going up against the historical teaches of her nation and its rulership, highly criticised by the Sultan himself one time. Does a loyal desert dweller support her egalitarian cause? Or do they follow the orders of the al-Kalim followers who have done so much for the nation?