Rumena the Tomb-Maker is a ancient drow old enough to remember the time before the Night. It serves as Catherine Foundling's general in her drow army.
Background[edit | edit source]
Rumena served as a general back before the Tenets of Night, and had been honoured by the Twilight Sages for two victories on the surface, one of them against the Deoraithe in the Golden Bloom. Komena served as a high-ranking officer under it during this time.
Rumena later protested the kidnapping of dwarves for ritual fodder by the Twilight Sages, though was ignored. It later led the defence against the dwarves in the colonies of the Empire Ever Dark, though it was defeated. When Sve Noc slayed the Twilight Sages and raised the Gloom, Rumena became the sigil-holder of the Rumena Sigil, which was made up of it's old army. Though by the time of the Uncivil Wars, none of the original army were still alive.
The Rumena Sigil would eventually become the strongest sigil in Great Strycht, claiming five wealthy islands of the city. They were mentioned to have grown to twice the size of the Jindrich sigil (the second most powerful sigil in Strycht), their Rylleh were as strong as sigil-holders and there was a cabal dedicated solely to keeping them from conquering the rest of Great Strycht, of which virtually every other Strycht Mighty was a part of.
Rumena has it's own sigil, recognised by a golden sunflower on ochre background. Often, drow in Rumena's sigil will tattoo this sigil-symbol onto their cheeks or necks.
During the Battle of Great Strycht, the Rumena Sigil made plans to conquer the entire city while everyone else was distracted by the reborn Winter Court led by Catherine. Malcontent Rylleh were approached, and Rumena Mighty searched for weaknesses in other Sigils. When the Battle began in earnest, Mighty Rumena led it's Sigil into taking the center of Great Strycht, sending a detachment led by three lesser Rylleh against the other Sigils in the northern front.
After the northern front was ended, Mighty Rumena personally confronted Queen Catherine, throwing a javelin to get her attention. It distracted her by talking about the Night, Everdark and Sve Noc long enough for her to be ambushed by the Longstride Cabal. Although the Longstride Cabal offered not to kill Rumena should it not interfere with their battle against Catherine, Rumena declined and joined the battle. Notably, it was the only Mighty to survive the ensuing melee, retrieving the wounded Queen Catherine, intending to bring her to Sve Noc for the ritual sacrifice needed to fully claim Winter.
Rumena carried Catherine through the ruins of Strycht, ignoring her attempts to kill or bribe it, taking great pleasure in tormenting her throughout the ordeal. When it brought Catherine before Sve Noc, Cat ordered it to stuff her pipe and light it for her, which Rumena complied. When Catherine attempted to bluff her way out of the situation, Rumena silenced her with a punch, but was thrown aside by the Longstride Cabal. Once again, it was the only Mighty to survive the situation.
After the rebirth of the Empire Ever Dark, Rumena was promoted to a General and was given command of the fifty thousand strong Southern Expedition. General Rumena and Catherine spent most of the month before the Isseran Campaign trying to assemble the Southern Expedition from a gaggle of tribes into a functioning army, with some success.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Rumena has a very sarcastic and sardonic personality, frequently mocking it's opponents and Catherine, making contemptuous remarks about situations and Catherine's orders and treating it's inferiors and Catherine somewhat poorly. In fact, Catherine was rather alarmed when Rumena made a polite request, as it never treated anyone, especially her, nicely unless the situation was serious. Catherine even heavily suspects that Rumena learns new languages solely to find new ways to mock it's opponents.
Catherine mentions that Rumena thinks that almost every drow in the Empire Ever Dark was beneath it, seeing them as children putting on the regalia of the original Empire without any knowledge of the history and customs behind them. This extends to it's generalship, where Rumena was mentioned to treat it's subordinates with weary contempt and was very disappointed on the tribal nature of the army as compared to the profession armies it once led. That is not to say that Rumena is incompetent, as it has led the Southern Expedition through the Battle of Sarcella and the Prince's Graveyard with only minimal losses.
As someone that saw the Everdark before the Night and was once the superior of one of the Sisters, Rumena is not as religious as most other drow, treating Sve Noc more as a superior than a deity. That being said, it does quote the Tenets of Night from time to time, implying that it does still pay heed to them anyway.
Despite it's crabby nature, Rumena is rather brave and patriotic, facing the Saint of Swords in single combat twice under Catherine's orders despite her being the most dangerous heroine alive. It also fearlessly swore an oath in front of the entire Southern Expedition to destroy Keter, despite most drow being utterly terrified of the Dead King.
Rumena is also a cunning fighter, cautiously keeping it's distance while calmly provoking it's opponent. The Tomb-Maker also believes that it does not need to draw a weapon, due to it's extreme age, regarding all that fight it as children, and that children are disciplined by hand.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Rumena was mentioned to be an ancient drow, with extremely wrinkled and leathery grey skin, visibly ridged, thick black veins, waist-lenght snow-white hair and unblinking silver-blue eyes. It was bent and stooped, implied to be due to when another Mighty broke it's spine and nearly killed it, but still taller than Catherine. When Rumena straightened itself up, it's back made a nasty crack. It normally wore a long tunic of obsidian rings, similar to mail, belted at the hip, with ochre and gold face paint in the style of a sunflower.
Back before the Empire Ever Dark fell, Rumena wore ornate steel armour befitting it's rank as an honoured general of the Empire. It's voice was guttural, though serene and unruffled.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
An ancient and powerful drow, Rumena the Tomb-Maker is the single most powerful Mighty in Great Strycht and the Southern Expedition. It's power was such that it was able to defeat the Saint of Swords in an ambush and fight her evenly the second time, nearly killing the strongest heroine alive in single combat more than once. That being said, Catherine estimates that the Saint is ultimately the superior combatant and would kill Rumena eventually.
Rumena possesses great strength, speed and durability, even without the Night. It could one handedly hold up a fully armed and armoured Robber by the scruff of his neck, as well as catch the veteran guerrilla specialist, despite being in the day. When night fell, Rumena's strength increased greatly, being able to hold the Saint of Swords up one handedly for a prolonged period of time without showing exhaustion. It also grew faster than the Saint of Swords, with superior reflexes as well. When the two of them began fighting, Moro Ifriqui, a veteran warrior, could not follow their movements. It also had great pain tolerance, not flinching despite the Saint cutting it's eye out or when it had to tear the wounded flesh around it's eye out. It could also leap great distances with precise coordination, such as over the ruined canals of Great Strycht, even while carrying Catherine over a shoulder. It's eyesight was also extremely sharp, capable of seeing Catherine clearly despite them being a long distance apart.
Over the millennia, Rumena has gained many Secrets from the Night, displaying the widest array of Night powers than any save First Under the Night Catherine herself. It could generate black flames, create large amounts of corrosive Night from the ground or even the air within a person's lungs, cause explosions of shadow with a few gestures, inject poisonous Night that would melt even the Saint into a pile of bile and blight as well as regenerate from it's injuries, regrowing it's eye when the Saint cut it out. it could cast illusions, cloaking itself under a veil of shadows or even having the illusions turn solid to fight it's opponents as a decoy. Even then, it displayed great control over it's powers, skilfully suppressing them to the extent that even Catherine's fae senses could not pick up any mote of power from it.
It is also a very skilled hand-to-hand combatant, believing that all that fight it are children due to it's great age and that all children are disciplined by hand. It could swat aside the Saint of Swords' blows barehanded and fight her to a standstill. As a veteran fighter, Rumena fought cautiously and cunningly, conservatively fighting from a distance with decoys and ambushes while provoking it's opponent. Despite Rumena's preference for barehanded combat, it could throw a javelin with remarkable power and accuracy.
As it was once a general, Rumena is a good tactician and commander, being trusted by Sve Noc and Catherine to lead the Southern Expedition of the reborn Empire Ever Dark. It knew how to compensate for the tribal nature of the army and take advantage of the unique traits of the Mighty and the other armies it fought alongside, such as ordering goblin sappers to fire Mighty Jindrich past the enemy frontlines with a trebuchet, knowing that the other sigil-holder could not only survive the ordeal unscathed but continue fighting unimpeded.
It also speaks several languages, including it's native Crepsular, Lower Miezan, Chantant and some Tradertalk. Catherine heavily suspects that Rumena learns them solely to insult it's foes.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Catherine: Even after she became it's superior, Rumena treats Catherine with little to no respect, frequently mocking her, attempting to sneak up on her and making a point of looming over her whenever it could. In fact, Rumena treats Catherine so poorly that she was rather alarmed when it made a polite request to her. It thinks that Catherine is the single most aggressively ignorant creature that it ever met, feeling surprise at how she survived for so long and gained so much power. That being said, Rumena obeys Catherine's orders and follows her battle plans even when they are dangerous or it expresses doubts about them and is considered one of Catherine's key allies in the Southern Expedition, being trusted to keep the drow in line with fear and respect.
Komena: As she was once a high-ranking officer, perhaps even second-in-command, in Rumena's old army, Rumena and Komena have a good relationship. They treat each other with mutual respect and although Komena became less close to Rumena after Night fell, she still has a certain fondness for the Tomb-Maker, treating it as her favourite champion, insisting that Catherine address Rumena by it's proper title and is one of the few, if not only, drow that the crows perch on. She shares Rumena's liking of insulting Catherine, being frequently amused at it. That being said, she seriously contemplated giving Catherine the power to expel all drow, including Rumena, from the Faith.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Rumena is actually even older than the Sisters, being at least 3000 years old.
- Rumena was granted titles by the Twilight Sages, with the first part of it being 'Great General Who Shook The --', though it later claimed that they sounded like mockery after it lost the war against the Kingdom Under.
- Before Cat met Rumena, she was considering Larat to be the commanding officer of the drow.
- Catherine has sworn to write an entire hymn about Rumena being a prick in her future holy book of Night. In turn, Rumena does not think that Catherine has the ability to make a purposeful rhyme for the hymn.
References[edit | edit source]