Ezra Rashka, Historian

Ezra Rashka was a historian and anthropologist during the Age of Legends who specialised in the study of vanished cultures. He worked in the grand city of M’Jinn, at an institute of higher learning, but never earned the prestige of a third name. Amidst his leanings was an interest in mysticism and the turning of the Ages, with a great fascination for world-ending events. He worked hard and was a talented scholar, but rarely focused on one thing for long. There was a frenetic nature to his interests, and he was led by passion and whim, rarely seeing projects and papers through to completion once his mind raced ahead to the conclusion. Once that hyper focus was released, the wild energy otherwise kept in control often burst forth. It had no place or natural outlet in the peaceful and altruistic society of the Second Age. For every ounce of dedication to his studies, Ezra plied an equal amount into the pursuit of a wild and hedonistic lifestyle.

Amongst his peers he was perceived as suave, cultured and sophisticated, with a grinning penchant for vice and excess. Possessed of dark hair, piercing eyes and rakish smile, Ezra had a well known reputation as a womaniser. Outwardly he was handsome and debonair, the quintessential charming rogue. Yet he was also a violent man with a terrible temper, and was nearly bound against doing violence several times during his career. His retained freedoms were owed to the defences of Durrick Ladei Chamora.

At the height of his manic phases, Ezra was insatiable and utterly reckless. He enjoyed cavorting with the roughest members of society, including criminals and prostitutes, and was often found in taverns and gambling houses. It is widely claimed that the only reason that he was not dismissed from his position was his considerable strength in the One Power.

After an assessment by the famed psychologist Kamaris Maladon Daenar claimed his derangement was beyond redemption, the courts had no choice but to place him under the care of the mindhealer Alethea Sayre Maelsouvra, the only Aes Sedai who would agree to work with him. Ezra continued to see her regularly in a professional capacity right up until the moment he swore his soul to the Dark One. He developed a fondness for the way her attention made him feel important, and it is likely he attempted to retain contact after.

The Shadow

Ezra journeyed to Shayol Ghul during the middle years of the Collapse, drawn by the lure of immortality.

During the War of Power he headed an intelligence network that rivalled Merihem’s, and also took on responsibilities of governorship. He had less of a thirst for power than a vested interest in shaping a world more to his liking. In particular his charm persuaded many to join the Shadow’s cause; he was a natural orator, with a flair for winning hearts and minds. It made him perfect for counter-espionage, as did a Talent for Travelling and Gateways, which he could create at speed and almost anywhere. The stimulation of his work for the Shadow thrilled and focused him far more than the life of a scholar ever had. He bounced from one task to another, always with something to keep him busy, and was adept at managing a vast workload.

And when he let loose, there were no consequences.

When Merihem suggested targeting Alethea in order to lure the capture of Asristin, Ezra was the first to tear her viciously down and level the angry accusation of cowardice. But it was out of selfishness not cunning, for all that it irreparably damaged her standing amongst the other Chosen. Truth was, despite all danger and risk, Alethea continued to use the Dream to urge him back towards the Light, even after he sold his soul, and Ezra coveted the secret attempts. He enjoyed her attention — both her wide-eyed horror at the things he did in service of the Dark, and her fervent belief that he was still redeemable. He did not want to give that up by ushering her to their side. And certainly not for Asristin.

As one of the Chosen Ezra committed several atrocities, the foremost among them being the setting up and running of human breeding camps to provide fodder for the Trollocs.

The Forsaken, Belshazzar

Though he tried to escape the moment he realised what was happening, Ezra was sealed alongside the other Chosen at the Bore. 

Along with the brutally transformed Amogorath, he was the first to be freed from the Dark One’s prison three thousand years later. However being caught so close to the surface had similarly devastating consequences on the once handsome man. His face was withered beyond recognition, and even his tongue eroded away, leaving him unable to speak.

Both self-conscious and enraged by his new deformities, he took to wearing an elaborate mask over his face.

He embraced his new name of Belshazzar.

However, the first of his undertakings in this new Age was also his last. He aided Amogorath in searching out evidence of his old laboratory and tools in the Blight, and was killed by the Dragon when they were confronted after discovering the last Nym, giving Amogorath time to escape.

Rebirth: La’rahien

Some time later, the Dark Lord gifted Belshazzar a new body – albeit one of a woman. 

Her new body is strikingly beautiful, with dark hair and eyes, pouty lips, and a luscious figure. Though initially outraged at this insult, Belshazzar adapted quickly, and came to revel in the power of her new allure — and her newly bestowed name amongst the Chosen of La’rahien. In fact she once remarked that her new body was the kind of mouth-watering perfection she would have sold her soul twice over for the chance to bed in the previous Age.

She dresses to accentuate herself, and is shamelessly confident and provocative in her charms. She retains a marked interest in women, including renewed attempts to seduce her fellow female Chosen, yet is equally a temptress of men.

Following her resurrection she became a long standing associate of Gaemori, and frequently joined her for the parties and debauchery she hosted in the fallen city of Bandar Eban. She appeared to bear no grudges for the condemnation Kamaris had once made of Ezra’s character in the previous Age.

After Gaemori’s fall from grace and punishment to become the disgusting creature Hessalam, however, she abandoned the alliance entirely. Cautious of the rotten association, and secretly afraid the Great Lord might have cause to doubt the loyalty of the male Chosen after saidin’s cleansing, she has always answered summons, and is faithful to orders given to her. Though secretly she believes herself to be Nae’blis’ favourite. Her sacrifice at the Eye meant Amogorath survived and has had decades of time to experiment and create in the Blight, after all.

She only came to remain permanently in Arad Doman after the Asha’man Daryen Daimon forced his way to the throne, whereupon she used her skills to infiltrate her way into the Council of Merchants under the identity of Nisele Kedar.

The Lady Nisele Kedar

As Nisele she has made open attempts to seduce the King, as well as his Asha’man protector, using Domani seductions in order to obscure her true purpose. Though frankly, she enjoys the attention and the challenge of such an elaborate game around the mystery of Daryen’s own preferences. Meanwhile she has used her influence to push Councilman Imaad Suaya further into his hatred of channelers — undermining Daryen’s authority while advocating for the Seanchan treaty in one fell swoop. He cares only about the bottom line of his bank balance, and is not a darkfriend, though it would likely take but a push upon his greed and prejudices to seal his loyalty permanently.

Notably, Nisele secretly encouraged the resentments of the House of Shaheen, who suffered great losses via convenient Seanchan attacks two years prior, and clung to prestige only at the discretion of the King. As a result the indomitable and trusted general Antony Sadiq hired a contract of assassination upon Daryen’s head. Or so it was discovered. The conspiracy first played out during the celebratory hunt called by the King, in which Nisele was present and numbered among the suspects.

When some time later Daryen finally got to the root of the plot, he lost a trusted and valued ally in Sadiq, and Nisele’s shocking strawman helped elevate her trustworthiness, for she had been proven innocent despite close scrutiny as to her political motivations concerning the king.

While Samóch oversees the Seanchan invasion, she oversees the readiness of the Domani welcome. She revels in a public role maintained right under the Light’s nose. Daryen is clever, astute, and a difficult challenge; she will seek to use his virtues against him.

Jadis Astarte

Amongst the Chosen she generally takes the name of Jadis Astarte, her most common identity before Nisele. Some conjecture that this is because Evelara outright refuses to acknowledge the insult of Jadis’s Chosen name — for in the Old Tongue, it means ‘daughter of the new dawn.’

After the promotion of the Turned Aes Sedai Lythia Krean, Jadis was instructed to assist the newly named Sylvena in the further fragmentation of the White Tower, as well as support her work to raise the new dark cities of the Blight. She will maintain her influence in Bandar Eban while she does this. She often juggles numerous plots and roles, in part to keep her occupied and out of the sort of trouble which might draw the wrong eyes. The number and manner of her labyrinthine and layered machinations is mind-boggling; it’s any wonder she can remember who she is manipulating and to what end in any one moment. With her Talent for gateways she flits across the world on the breath of a whim, and does not mind serving as messenger. If there is a whisper of a rumour on the wind, she is usually among the first to hear. And unlike Merihem, she is also usually the first to share.

She continues to wield saidin.

Other Lives

This restless soul can go two ways: he can be seen as a drifter, thief and liar, or may delve into spiritual, philosophical or psychological interests. With the right boundaries and guidance he may flourish. Yet his is a soul that truly believes he does not have to live by the same rules as everyone else. His brightness and ambition make him want to strive to have more in life, for he is confident in his abilities, and usually gets what he wants, although he may not use the traditional route to get there.



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