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Image:Scroll2.png "She wore her chains like glittering jewelry, her eyes eager and willing. Every move calculated; every glance assessing. She was worth her weight in Mizas or more so, and every man in the room knew it. It was not because of her beauty, though she was pretty enough. It was because of Nikali’s Mark on her breast and the Ranuri it gave her. She would make anyone’s dream come true, assuming it as her own."
- Ikoan Sikin, Slave Monger of Ravok

I see your needs. I want to fulfill them. I need to fulfill them.
Granted byNikali
Positive marksIdentification of pleasure and other needs
Negative marksInability to feel pleasure.
Pos. mark appearanceScarlet of Wine Stain Usually in the Shape of a Chain
Neg. mark appearanceGrey or Sepia Chain Links
Mark locationBreast, Buttock, or near Pubic Area
First markAny Age after Puberty

Ranuri is the gnosis that Nikali grants her followers (which are usually slaves, prostitutes, and companions) that allows them to easily identify and expand upon the needs or desires of those they serve. In exchange, those external needs become their own so that in identifying and providing what others require, the followers of Nikali in return receive the same pleasure they give out. The needs of others can encompass anything, because people and their pleasures are widely diverse. However, Nikali’s followers that are gifted with Ranuri often find themselves terribly addicted to providing for these needs and often have little or no control over the ability to say no. Ranuri is a dark and dangerous gift, one fraught with addiction and the mindless acceptance of other’s needs as ones own.

Because Nikali’s servants are incredibly skilled at being whatever their owners or customers want, they are highly sought after and prized. Selling for thousands of Mizas, when these people are slaves, they are given the best treatment, kept well fed, and often cherished by their owners and patrons.


The Breakdown

Nikali is the dark side of sensual pleasure and addiction. She is everything her twin sister Cheva (the goddess of love) is not. While not always about sex, Ranuri is easily and usually applied towards such uses; identifying and incredibly augmenting the pleasure that can be generated by such activities. Ranuri (a word in the ancient tongue that means need, desire or addiction) offers those that are thusly marked an unusual insight into the needs and desires of others. If a person desires strong wine, a Nikali follower bearing her marks will be well able to identify this need and will feel compelled to provide the drink for the person. As they move up the ranks in terms of marks, they will be able to clearly identify what type, vintage, and amount that person will find the most pleasure in, even if the individual themselves has no idea exactly. Ranuri bearers make excellent body slaves – providing bathing, massages, and dressing services. They make particularly good companions for the interests and hobbies of those they are with often become their own.

Someone marked and gifted with Ranuri, when viewed by an outsider not interested in exploiting them, is often seen as horribly cursed. They wear the stigma of the mark for all their life, because once Nikali marks someone, she rarely changes her mind. Ranuri is a twisted gift, the darkest side of divinity. Viewed from the outside, one cannot but look upon those bearing Nikali's marks with a sense of horror, but to those on the inside, Nikali's favor can be the best of blessings. For example, a slave working a mine has nothing but the worst sort of conditions to face. Their owner needs the mine worked and whatever it produces to be extracted. If the slave of a mine owner is suddenly marked, the desires of the owner become the desires of the slave. Unbearable grueling work suddenly becomes the finest form of pleasure. Backbreaking mind-numbing work suddenly becomes stimulating and exciting. A formerly unbearable existence suddenly becomes bearable. Health improves, both physically and mentally, and those marked fine themselves existing in a whole new state of being.

There is a qualifier, however. Nikali is the Goddess of servants and slaves. So whenever a Ranuri bearer is owned or attached, their compulsion to serve becomes more narrowly focused and they loose the overwhelming desire to provide for everyone’s needs. Thus, bearing a Ranuri means that being a free agent that is completely unattached has a significant negative side in that the gnosis bearer will desire to please everyone around them no matter what their relationship to them is. It is also fairly hard to hide the fact one is marked by Nikali. Ranuri gifts also give the bearer of the marks certain allure and appeal. People tend to trust them, open up to them, and spill secrets far more easily than they normally would. For this reason, Nikali followers also make excellent spies and are easily planted (by opposing factions) into organizations or households that might contain sensitive information.

The Ranuri often find the word ‘No’ impossible. When they are under the influence of their mark or marks, there is no such thing as revulsion or distaste in their experience. They are who they are, and in the slave’s case, if they had not been marked by Nikali, their lives would have long been forfeit to Dira. Many men and women, especially those gifted in a multitude of skills or beauty, have been saved by Nikali playing her hand.

This compulsion at times can be controlled, but there are circumstances where the Ranuri will have no choice but to serve. This is due to the fact that the needs of those outside of the mark bearer become the needs of the mark bearer themselves. Thus, it by and large extremely important that a Ranuri be owned (though ownership can change frequently) or otherwise attached to someone, for their life as a free person will be extremely difficult as their mark or marks drive them to more and more addictive behavior. Such attachments can be anywhere from marriage, ownership, to even an oath of fidelity to a liege lord or another God/dess. This ownership, however, can put the owners at extreme risk for death if the Ranuri is discovered since they are often coveted and claimed for their extreme value.

Being Marked

Nikali marks a person with stains upon their flesh. Positive marks appear as stains the color of scarlet or wine that take the shape of a chain. For those acquiring negative marks, gray or sepia colored stains in the shape of links of chain appear instead. These marks usually appear on the breast, buttocks or near the pubic area. Nikali will almost never mark someone who is free and happy. She is notorious for picking out individuals in the direst of circumstances and then granting them her gnosis in order to elevate them up to a higher status. She seems to only favor those with extreme personality traits or those that have physical characteristics that are all but flawless. Nikali rarely if ever grants more than two gnosis marks. Times would have to be extraordinary and disastrous in order for Nikali to grant a third or fourth gnosis. It is said that leaders directly after the Valterrian were often marked with third gnosis marks from Nikali in order to aid society in surviving. These granted Ranuri powers allowed certain leaders to see the broader picture and the whole of their followers needs in order to smooth over the transition from decadent to survival living; saving hundreds of lives and paving the way for society to go underground and survive the incredible harsh conditions and confined spaces.

She never grants marks to those that appeal to her asking for this honor. And she never, ever, marks children or those with meek or feeble minds. Without exception, those Nikali favors with Ranuri are adults, normally highly intelligent, and most especially otherwise gifted.

Mark Progression

Marked [Cursed] - 1 Gnosis Mark
A person marked by Nikali is granted the first level of Ranuri. This gnosis gives them a unique appeal or allure that people (of either sex) are drawn to inexplicably. They tend to be trusted more easily than others would be. People find them good listeners, while they have the ability to pick out the actual ‘trouble’ when someone confides a problem to them. Their gift, Ranuri, allows them to have a sense what the other person needs are regardless of what sort of need it is. This can be something as simple as a few hours of helping an elderly woman plant her spring flowers to knowing exactly what a partner’s preference is in a physical relationship. Above that, they can augment the pleasure a person feels in preforming a needed task, be it the same planting or mutual physical contact. Ranuri have a knack for being excellent salesmen because they tend to know immediately upon a handshake what a customer is looking for (whether the customer knows it or not). And they have a knack for making mutually profitable trades and arrangements of all kinds. At this level, Ranuri only works when the mark bearer is in direct contact (as in touching skin to skin) with the person who’s needs they seek to know. Casual contact, such as being brushed accidentally in a crowded market can be agony to a Ranuri because they are hit with wave upon wave of needs they feel compelled to preform. A Ranuri can resist these urges, but it takes a strong mental capacity. A Ranuri who is marked is restricted to providing for the needs of one individual at a time.

Cursed Ranuri find no pleasure in fulfilling the wishes of others.

Favored [Despised] - 2 Gnosis Marks
Favored Ranuri have taken their instinctual knowledge to a new level. They no longer need to touch the person to understand their needs. If they identify, for example, someone’s need for chocolate - not only can they tell what type of chocolate, what form, and in what quantity their patron or owner will require - but they assume that need for themselves as well. They are compelled heavily to provide that chocolate for the other person, and desire it for themselves as well. They can resist this urge, but have a hard time doing so. At this level, the Ranuri starts to loose their sense of ‘self’ and can grow confused as to what their own core needs are because the needs of their owners, partners etc have begin to eclipse their own. The Ranuri who are favored are still restricted to serving small groups at a time. They can sometimes turn off this ability to feel the needs of others, but not for longer than a few hours at a time.

Despised Ranuri have a hard time finding pleasure in life at all. Food might nourish them but will never taste satisfying. Water will keep them alive, but their thirst will never be quenched. They tend to need the inexplicable with a fierceness that causes deep and profound suffering within them.

Priest/Priestess [Adversary] - 3 Gnosis Marks
At this level, the Ranuri has definitely become a priest or priestess of Nikali. And accordingly, their gnosis ability has broadened out. They begin to expand their views, making their Ranuri well able to start identifying the needs of things that are less associated with individuals and more associated with groups. Groups can be loose gatherings such as a circle of friends, a faction, or even an entire section city. Still focused around pleasure and servitude, at these higher levels, Ranuri can begin to unravel the needs of the whole of a group. For example, a Ranuri can easily move into a market area and clearly see the best way to arrange the booths so that crowds and traffic flow move far more smoothly and comfortable through the market. They can, for example, peer into the kitchen of a busy tavern and study the cooks and helpers for a few minutes and can easily recommend changes to make their jobs easier both physically and mentally - perhaps by rearranging workstations, counter heights where people have to bend too much and strain their backs, or floor surfaces where people stand long periods of time and get sore feet. The Ranuri, at this level, are able to control their need to serve to a far greater extent. They can more actively turn it off and on for upwards of a day or so, though they still have a hard time defining their needs over the needs of others. Ranuri are still interested in individuals, but their gifts at this stage are far more expansive. And much like at fewer marks, priests and priestesses of Nikali are compelled to serve larger and larger groups. It is for this reason that there are very few third marked individuals. If one was to achieve this status, they would most likely be serving as a high adviser or city planner.

There are no Adversaries of Nikali. People thusly marked have long since found release from their suffering through death.

Champion [Nemesis] - 4 Gnosis Marks
Forth marked Champions of Nikali are truly impressive individuals. They are unrivaled in their ability to identify both individual and group needs. It is said that Nikali was perhaps the only Goddess to mark more than one champion at a time during the deadly events of the past. In the times just beyond the Valterrian, chroniclers documenting the time people were underground often reported Nikali becoming far more active than ever, marking exceptional people to both serve Her and society to do all they could to perpetuate its existence in the light of Sylir's death. Perhaps if more documentation from those dark ages survived post-Vatlerrian, Nikali's champions true powers would be more clearly understood. It is almost certain that Champions sacrifice their sense of self plus their own personal needs to see to the needs of society around them both on an individual basis and a nationwide level. It is rumored that a champion of Nikali could know desires so secret, so buried, that they belonged perhaps to the very gods themselves. Because of this ability, it is thought a champion of Nakali would be very ill tolerated in the modern world.

There is no Champion of Nikali. If there were, however, this person would be a concubine or consort to the very Gods and Goddesses themselves.

Mark acquisition threads

First mark
heightA Bit Of Summer In SpringFirst mark acquisition for Jaeden.
Second mar
Third mark
Fourth mark