Iconic - Raia (the lashunta technomancer)
Raia Danviri was born and raised in the lashunta city-state of Komena, near the southern tip of the continent of Asana on Castrovel. Komena's proximity to the formian-inhabited continent of the Colonies has made it a center of military activity for millennia, but to the Danviris, it was a home filled with hope and promise. Raia's parents were diplomats, and devoted their lives to brokering a peace between the lashuntas and the formians, a goal that spanned decades. They taught their daughter the value of all sentient life, for even among creatures like the insectile formians, who were so unlike lashuntas and had been enemies for so long, one can find similarities like culture, society, and civilization. But even more important are the differences. The details that separate one species from another are not only what make them interesting, but also teach one new things, and inspire one to question and re-examine one's own assumptions and beliefs.
The fact that Raia's parents actually succeeded in helping to negotiate peace with the Colonies only reinforced their teachings in the young lashunta's mind. Raia became almost obsessed with alien life forms. She devoured any texts she could find that described the myriad species that inhabited the worlds beyond Castrovel, and dreamed of someday traveling among the stars and meeting new species. When she reached puberty, Raia chose to develop into the tall, intellectual damaya subspecies, following the example of her parents, both of whom are damaya.
When she was old enough, Raia applied to and was accepted into one of Qabarat's famed universities. Her aptitude exams showed a talent for both technology and spellcasting, so she studied the discipline of technomancy, using experimentation to blend science and magic together. At the same time, however, she also excelled in xenobiology and xenoanthropology, applying academic rigor to her childhood passion. During this time, Raia discovered Yaraesa, the lashunta goddess of knowledge and wisdom, whose faith was more akin to the scientific method. Raia wholeheartedly embraced Yaraesa's teachings, seeking self-perfection through the acquisition of knowledge and the development of one's mind and intellect.
It was also at university that Raia met Danese, an exchange student from Triaxus. Raia was immediately enthralled with the exotic ryphorian and his silky white fur, but it was Danese's quick wit and keen intellect that turned the initial attraction into something more. Danese was the first real "alien” that Raia befriended, and their friendship eventually blossomed into love. Raia and Danese were inseparable during their time at university, but knew they would need to reassess their relationship when their studies were complete. Danese had already accepted a commission in the Skyfire Legion and had to return to Triaxus after graduation, while Raia had been accepted into a graduate program on Absalom Station. Danese offered to resign his commission, but Raia refused. In her opinion, neither of them should have to sacrifice their own advancement and improvement for the sake of the other; instead, each of them should follow Yaraesa's example and figure things out for themselves—intellectually and spiritually, as well as romantically. They bid each other a tearful farewell, and promised to reunite whenever circumstances allowed.
After completing her studies, Raia realized that her passion for studying alien life-forms was actually a calling, and her technomantic abilities were the currency she could use to fund her life's work, exchanging her skills as a scientist and technomancer for berths on ships heading out to undiscovered regions of the Vast. Raia believes there is a certain nobility in contacting an alien species for the first time and working to ensure that both they and the peoples of the Pact Worlds advance and improve from the relationship. She seeks out new technology and alternative magical techniques from the aliens she encounters, trading her own knowledge in exchange. Raia doesn't hold to any unrealistic expectation of non-interference in alien cultures, but believes strongly in doing the right thing, and in always striving for honor, compassion, and justice.
Despite her love of exploration, Raia remains firmly tied to the Pact Worlds. Besides her parents and friends on Castrovel, Raia still loves Danese, and the two remain committed to one another, even across the vast distances involved in interstellar travel. They stay in regular communication, and treasure the infrequent times when their paths bring them physically close to one another. Some day, they might choose to settle down and build a life together, but for now Raia is content. She knows love, her life has purpose and meaning, and the galaxy is filled with an endless number of aliens to discover, befriend, and study—one species at a time.