The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

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The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Post by Vain_Duplicity » Sat May 29, 2021 10:59 pm

The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Where to begin?

Chenizra was my first ever drow and Underdark character; she had an awesome career and story as Matron, to councillor, to High Priestess and then Dread-Matron Chancellor. It is always hard to move on from a heavily invested character, but I truly believe there is nothing more to achieve on Chenizra and I would simply be traversing the same ground. I am still delighted to this day that Xel'vraxa was involved in the progressive political shift in dynamic from a three-way councillor system to that of autocratic system; what an EPIC legacy and historical moment to be involved in on the server and it is a proud achievement well deserved to all that made it happen. So big thanks to the Devs for valuing the IG efforts and having the faith in the players for making this change for the better that really led to more efficiency, less stagnation and enabled more RP.

I am traditionally a surface player, and I wanted a new challenge prior to creating her. The word 'challenge' is certainly not adequate to describe my experience, but it was one heck of a ride from start to finish. Drow politics, or drowatics and the idea of the Houses really appealed to me - Game of Thrones very much comes to mind; it is certainly very hard to navigate, and even harder to do well. I certainly recommend it if you are willing to come out of your comfort zone! But the Underdark certainly offered me what I was looking for; an amazing and supportive community that is very invested in the narrative. I very much perceived Chenzira as a traditional and orthodox Matron of Lolth - sometimes that was hard to apply practically; especially in a diverse, complex and compact settlement like Andunor. Though the biggest challenge, it was still insanely enjoyable.

I will be sad to not be playing with my friends so regularly (at least for the foreseeable future). It is with regret to acknowledge that toward the end of Chenizra's era, my playing time was simply not sufficient - the truth is that over the past few months I have been incredibly busy raising a litter of puppies (and finally) getting a new full time job after finishing University. I love how rewarding it can be to run a faction and a settlement, but it would simply be irresponsible of me and unfair to others to deprive them of the opportunity to step up. This is the best outcome for all involved, however sad it might be! In a BST timezone, and a majority being in EST and beyond also makes it even harder to be heavily involved in the game; sadly, no more 4-6AM gaming sessions for me! I had not expected Chenizra to go as long as she did, and subconsciously I had hoped that someone would step up to usurp her! Unfortunately I do not have the time to see if that would ever pan out. I am not sure how to envisage Chenizra's end, but it will not conclude on Arelith; she will at the very least provide an IC explanation, but I did not want to do anything that was 'clearly forced', or not organic.

It is hard to believe that I have been playing Chenizra for just over a year; it is rare that my character ever exceeds that time length. But why not end your character whilst she is still on a high? I just want to say a massive and general thank you to the Arelith devs, the DM's and the community as a whole. I have been playing Arelith for a decade now and it is remarkable that it not only continues to endure, but that I have witnessed an incredible transformation and growth in the playerbase from then till now on the server itself in which its development continues. I am very grateful to have had Arelith as a great distraction throughout the global pandemic in which there was little to no work and so on; I am sure many of you can resonate with this. I suspect I will be rolling a new character soon, but I could not tell you when and where; I will be looking for a new place to hang my hat, that will be less intensive and time consuming.

The Arelith team especially require a round of applauds - this group is clearly wholly invested to creativity, story and welfare of narrative; as volunteers, you have my respect for the dedication and time spent (we know it's significant, and so we love you). Arelith has a special place in my heart, that's for certain.

I will list a number of shout-outs to players and factions, but please do not be disheartened if you have not been mentioned. Chenizra has had a great many meaningful interactions and I have thoroughly enjoyed them all. Truthfully, nothing negative comes to mind. Please post any screenshots you might have of the times as I sadly do not have many on hand.


House Xel'vraxa

The number ones. You all deserve an individual kudos, but over the course of Xel'vraxa's existence there has been an obscene amount of characters within the faction. I just want to say thank you for the times, the roleplay and the experience. I know that Chenizra was a very busy character, and it is a shame I could not devote more of her time to you individually. But it was great to play with you all, and I hope we run into each other again soon. Thank you for believing in the project; especially what remains of the Old Guard from start to finish - Commander Yaszh'rae to Second and First Daughter Imri and Malrik (Chenizra's most loyal and unassuming gem and bad-Snuggybear wizard) who logistically got it all done.

T'rissolin Xel'vraxa

Not Chenizra's named successor, per se, but the one who naturally began to replace Chenizra and her role from First Daughter to now Dread-Chancellor and presumably Matron over the passing of time. Well done for making Chenizra less and less significant, and I look forward to see where you take things from here on out from afar. I did not know you as a player before T'rissolin, but I was pleased for the albeit limited interaction. I hope I run into you again sometime. All I can say is it's a shame that I will not get a front seat view. If you haven't played with this guy yet? Do so. Heavy lies the crown, though, so Lolth Zud'dar Dos! ;)


How could I forget Chenizra's faithful Fiend-retainer? Chenizra genuinely missed this unassuming servant; Zhegota's pillow, and precious plant remains beside her throne awaiting her return that never came. Still, what a character!

Ardul'ala Dro'Vaalvaz

Chenizra's Councilor-partner in crime. Great player and character - once again, it was great playing with you.

Vri'l and Welverin Xel'vraxa

Once again, I just wish I had more time to develop stories with these guys. I really enjoyed the Xel'vraxa-Z'ress wedding, and the intrigue and roleplay involved. It is a pity I did not see the conclusion of Welverin's ambitions, but I hope it persists.

The Devil's Table/Chamberlain Alirios Freth/Minister Synk

Every resident, every citizen, every minister and every faction - I just want to say how terrific you all are and the role that you each played. Deep down, you were all part of mine and Chenizra's big Snuggybear family.

The Temple of Lolth

The soul of the Devil's Table - this is where all devious plans start and finish. The most distinguishing aspect that I like about this faction is how tradition was always 'respected' despite mechanics and leases, and especially among the clergy; narrative and the environment dictated outcomes above all. My one regret is that Chenizra did not become Archpriestess as part of her story, but I never wanted Chenizra to 'have it all'. Besides, there have been quite a few Arch priestesses in that time and each brought its own success and identity who certainly did it better than I could have done. Thank you to the Killian and the Clergy - you have been fantastic.

Nazara/Neph'Tys Mori'hyanda

These guys introduced me to the world of the Underdark, and drow RP more generally. The guidance they provided, the plotting and the detail that went into their character's was absolutely terrific. Chenizra had many mentors, but Nazara/Neph'Tys was certainly where it all started. I thoroughly enjoyed roleplaying with these guys, and I was disappointed when the roleplay cut short. I was pleased I got to roleplay with Neph'Tys after the betrayal, but I had always wondered what the interaction would have been like with Nazara.

House Dro'Vaalvaz

Again, another House that was there during the origins and rise of House Xel'vraxa. Dro'Vaalvaz are a very interesting House, that was once all male as an unorthodox House to a now transformed orthodox House. Very much involved in how Xel'vraxa and the Table became what it was - it was always a pleasure to roleplay with these guys.

O'annir Z'ress

Chenizra's Matron-partner in crime. The changes they helped each other make to the Devil's Table and the Temple was more than I could ever had imagined. It was a shame to see it end, but O'annir achieved so much in so little time.

Aly'arra and House Z'ress

There were two generations of House Z'ress, and I sadly did not get enough time with the new Matron and House. As mentioned before, the Xel'vraxa/Z'ress arranged wedding was fantastic and the meetings were always superb.

Uyr Xel'vraxa

A terrific player and character. It was a shame to see you go, but I was very pleased when you decided to join the faction. You were wholly dedicated to the project and the vision for the Table, and it was great to have your help and support in developing all that was developed.

Elvanshalee Dalael/Aunrae Hlairyn

Wow - just wow. This player probably had the biggest impact on Chenizra over the course of her two characters; more so on the former, of course. The Killian Commander was Chenizra's greatest ally during her rise - the plotting that went on for several IRL months was terrific. Elvanshalee was a very remarkable character as a commoner whom achieved so much. The player is quite literally a drow-encyclopedia - Chenizra would not have been the same if I did not have the opportunity to roleplay with this player, whom is well and truly dedicated to helping the noobie on the server time and time again.

House Rilyn'ervs

You are doing yourself a disservice if you have not roleplayed with these guys. Not always allies ;) but once enemies, House Rilyn'ervs has been on both sides. They are always keen to facilitate great roleplay and help out the new guys on the block. House Rilyn'ervs have become so integral and essential to the Devil's Table over the months, and they are always willing to let others have the spotlight. Thank you for the times.

House Tanor'Thal

Another historic faction that has been there since the start of Xel'vraxa. From allies, to enemies, to just bitter neighbours - it had always been an interesting story line. There is no story without an antagonist, and Tanor'Thal certainly kept flames high. Thanks again for the times!

Tribe Shadowclaw

The non-drow underdogs of the Table, and remarkably, the oldest faction within the District; these guys are awesome, and dedicated to facilitating great roleplay. These guys are just involved in absolutely everything, and they really are a big aspect of Andunor more generally. Once again, thank you for the times.

House Xun'viir

There are a great many players that I have roleplayed with from Xun'viir, and every experience is a rich one. I thoroughly enjoyed all the plotting with the great many character's in this faction. It is hard to explain, but uniquely, Chenizra's roleplay with this faction had so much depth and variety that it is a pity there was not time for more. I can only say major shout outs to Ilphaeryl, Lavok, Zelos, Vierna and Nas'lhoah. You just knew with every different character the dynamic would always be different. I was pleased to become more involved with this camp with the passing of time, and ever grateful with the support from the player of the Matron Ilphaeryl: she really knows her stuff and the detail she puts into her characters is to be envied!

Gareth Trahern/Schezalle and the Erudite Arcanum

Absolute boss. A lot of FOIG, but these guys were very much (subtly involved) in the development of Chenizra and Xel'vraxa within the Table. It was a pleasure to roleplay with these guys, and they are wholly dedicated to seeing great potential and great characters flourish. After the shock departure of Gareth Trahern, it felt like a piece of Chenizra's story just died - it was a real shame. The Erudite Arcanum is a very attractive faction to me and I have always wanted to play there - perhaps sometime in the future!

Emily Bitterbloom/Chrollo Xel'vraxa

My best friend. This guy is one of the most creative people I know - wholly dedicated to supporting the faction, and creating an insane amount of plots. It was never the same without you.

Umrae Tor'ani

Unassuming, though significant, this character and player was always an absolute joy to play with. As Chenizra's best friend, she certainly added more depth to the mix. If you have not played with this player, go out of your way to do so - you will not regret it.

Ikarus - Shaman of the Sharps

If a Matron wants to plot with you, consider it a compliment; the only problem is, plotting is not necessarily compatible with Ogres as Ikarus' frequently commented. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this guy and the roleplay shared. It was very sad to see Ikarus depart from the server, and even harder to find a way to express that from a callous drow Matron. But Chenizra respected Ikarus big time and Andunor was not the same without him.

Roselyn Kingsley and John Salamander

These guys are great, and I highly recommend you seek them out. It was always a pleasure to plot and interact with you guys and it was a shame there was not time to see where things go next.


This guy is really important to the Sharps, and he was always a joy to roleplay with. Big thanks for the times and the political fun and games!


This guy is just a Titan. It is always nice to see gnolls about Andunor and Gorehound was a really good representation of one. He was certainly someone you wanted at your side when it all goes wrong.


What could you want from a duergar sellsword? Humour, violence, and some more humour. Great value for money, even if you do not get some blood ;) This guy is all around great and you always find yourself laughing at the keyboard after a few moments with this guy.

Cypher and The Abyssal Citadel

Again, all around awesome. The Abyssal Citadel is where Chenizra's world started to get bigger outside of the Devil's Table.

Zaisha Khalid

Everyone's favourite Andunorian slave - the torment she endured made me feel guilty, but this character and player was absolutely terrific.

Ovvar Gravelgut

Once again, everything you want in a duergar: humour, violent and completely insane; Ovvarr is the one Chenizra wanted in her Vanguard. Everytime I played with this guy, there was always something to chuckle about.

Prath Armgo

This guy was also very much involved in the rise of Chenizra Xel'vraxa. Your dedication and inclusion of the Sorcere was fantastic, and it's a pity you did not get more time with Xel'vraxa.

The Black Host

Big shout out to these guys - I always loved my meetings with Ceska, and my RP with them certainly made me reminisce about my own Banite days. I really hope to see more from this faction!


I very much viewed Chenizra as a Palpatine. Drow are strange creatures, and direct conflict/war is something I perceive to be incredibly rare among them. There were a great many subterfuge efforts, proxy wars, raid coordination, war councils and assassinations; if you were involved in them, thank you for the experience.

The rescue of Ikarus at Guldorand

This event was one of the more memorable ones for me. From start to finish, every aspect was fantastic. The roleplay it incited on both sides, to the amount of people involved and the general impact it had in the aftermath could not be understated. Big shout out to the Shields and all those that were involved - the opportunity was just all around awesome and it does not happen frequently. It was just absolutely epic to watch the whole of Andunor rally to save their favourite Andunorian bro big-ogre Ikarus.

Markus Hawkwinter

This guy made the raid and the subsequent capture RP all the more worth it with Guldorand. I won't go into much detail due to a lot of FOIG, but the plots and the roleplay with this guy was great.

The Gauntlet and Denny Walvish

Enemies, allies of convenience? Who knows. All I can say is, you were comfortable in being enemies or friends with these guys. They were always tasteful, and it was always a pleasure to play with them. There is a lot of FOIG, of course, but I really enjoyed the plotting, the distrust, and exploring new aspects of Chenizra's character. There was certainly an 'arc' involved here, and it added more depth to her as a individual.

Void Cult

The conflict with this faction was one of my more unique experiences. There remains a lot of unknowns, but I particularly liked the Cold War aspect of the roleplay, the infiltrations and the plotting that went on for a long period of time. This faction was very mysterious at the beginning for Chenizra- you always heard about them and the huge impact they had - but it was great to find out more with their increased involvement in The Sharps. These guys are very much dedicated to offering villainy to the server and that is never easy; especially when there are always two sides to every story. Big thanks for the times and the antagonism - there is no story without your villains on Arelith.

Myon and Karathas

I shall confess I did not have much interaction with these guys, but I wanted to make sure I at least had one interaction with Karathas. I wish there was more, but all I can say is this guy really knows his stuff. I really enjoyed the interaction, and learning more about an otherwise enigmatic character and settlement. Conflict against Myon was very important to Chenizra, and I really wanted to drive it tastefully. Big thanks.

Tebryn Ssambra and the Civil War

This was Chenizra's first major conflict, and it was the catalyst to so much change. I did not have much interaction with Tebryn, but it really was impressive as to how much of an impact he had. Thank you for the chaos - and the ladder that came with it ;)

Xel'vraxa certainly had more enemies over the year, but most of them are amusingly listed under 'allies'; that's the funny part about drow. One day its smiles, the next it's daggers at the throat - and then it's smiles again - but you know it's not personal. It's just drow being drow.

Six pages and 3,000 words is likely obscene for a kudos so I'll shut up now. Still, no amount of words can justify just how great it's been.

Lolth tlu Malla, and Darkest Cycles!
Last edited by Vain_Duplicity on Sun May 30, 2021 12:20 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Post by Zan » Sat May 29, 2021 11:07 pm

We'll miss you Chenizra!

Though congratulations on your job!! Was a thorough pleasure RPing with you when our timezones aligned.
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Re: The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Post by Snake2512 » Sat May 29, 2021 11:09 pm

I adored Chenizra as a character and I enjoyed every single interaction with them. You're a very talented faction leader
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Re: The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Post by SilverSnake » Sat May 29, 2021 11:14 pm

It was an honor to be with Chenizra for all those events . Her rise to power was filled with terrific RP. I dont think i will ever forget some of the things i got to witness while staying by Chenizra's side. Kudos!

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Re: The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Post by MrHishprung » Sat May 29, 2021 11:15 pm

It was a pleasure, even if we didn't have superior interactions over the months especially when Lyne took over the House. Slight grudges of Lyne's past - from Mori'hyanda and Tanor'Thal times made it even harder to come over. Ultimately Chenizra was a great character, enemy, matron and leader of the district. Hope to see your other character, on "our" or "their" side of the barricade. :)

Lolth tlu malla, May Lolth watch over you.
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Re: The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Post by Darker_Thought » Sat May 29, 2021 11:15 pm

It's been an absolute pleasure to have rp'ed with you Chen with Neph'tys. While we did not always see eye to eye IC, I really enjoyed our rp interactions. The challenging and intellectually demanding discussions with you gave a lot of immersion to my time with Neph in the UD.

There are few players such as you who can turn a phrase and handle politics to such a degree as what I saw with Chenizra when Xel'vraxa took over the District. You will be remembered well ^^
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Re: The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Post by Itikar » Sat May 29, 2021 11:25 pm

Thank you so much for these compliments. I am really honored and flattered by having been allowed to play with you through all these adventures and through two different characters.

Chenizra has been a wonderful example of Matron, duplicitous and cunning from the start, always showing the opposite of what she was planning. You showed everybody how the drow game should be played, from the small beginnings as a minor House till the very top. And showing different facets of the character's personality while doing all this. She was truly a masterpiece.

She will be missed and her influence on the stories of those around her will last long after she left. Thank for weaving these wonderful stories of intrigue with all of us. <3

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Re: The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Post by Drowboy » Sat May 29, 2021 11:37 pm

Archnon wrote: I like the idea of slaves and slavery.

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Re: The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Post by Aradin » Sun May 30, 2021 12:33 am

I think I mentioned it in character, but I was always wowed by your ability to manage playing such a central figure in Andunor. I can't imagine the time you must have put in playing Chenizra - terrific job. Part of me wishes Ikarus and Chenizra had gotten to do more together, but in the end I'm satisfied that we stayed true to our characters; we were two *very* different people!

Well done on all counts. Take a break, you've earned it! :mrgreen:
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Re: The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Post by Kaeldre » Sun May 30, 2021 1:09 am

When I met you for the first time I knew you were going somewhere. You immediately inserted yourself into the world, and before I knew it you had immersed yourself in mine as well. You brought initiative and change, and I think it would be difficult to imagine my routines in retrospect without Chenizra at the same table.

If there is one thing I regret, then it is not letting you topple my empire before making your own. I feel like that should have been our final interaction as the student becomes the master. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed what we built during our time. Good luck with everything moving forward!
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Re: The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Post by Taerl » Sun May 30, 2021 1:42 am

Zes'dril Rilyn'ervs here........Yea Chenizra was something else and I had a crap ton of fun meeting with her so often and our discussions. I was very much impressed with your character and how you played her. At one point I was going to up and give up on the House when we had repeated Matron issues but you gave me a push and After a short stent of Ardul'ala being Matron, I decided to give it a go as patron and was very much happy I did. So thank you for that and all the fun. Xel'vraxa's were a good bunch of fun folks.


Long live House Rilyn'ervs :)

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Re: The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Post by LichBait » Sun May 30, 2021 1:47 am

I'm horrible at kudos, so I'll keep it simple. Chenizra was great! She will be quite sorely missed. And thank you for the mention. Hope you enjoy your next endeavor. :D
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Re: The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Post by I will never sleep » Sun May 30, 2021 11:50 am

I could tell you put a lot of effort into ensuring people had fun regardless of what happened. Faction leadership is certainly not easy, but I think you did a good job. I hope we will one day get to interact as friends, and not on opposing sides. Kudos to you.

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Re: The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Post by Bunnysmack » Sun Jun 06, 2021 5:48 am

Haven't been checking kudos as much of late so sorry for the belated reply! Chen was starting to wax right as I was getting done waning on Tebryn, but though our interactions were limited, I saw a memorable character in the making. Too bad we didn't get to cross paths much, but I'm happy the conflict I caused lit a fire for RP to come in the Devil's Table. You held the district a REALLY long time, and even after I was playing on other areas of the server I kept hearing about the dark dealings of Xel'vraxa now and again. Well done!
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Re: The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Post by Drowble Oh Seven » Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:40 am

I also missed this thread; so jumping in a little late. I had a heap of fun playing with Chenizra across way too many characters. Best of luck with everything, and I'll look forward to next time - Whenever that is!

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Re: The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Post by innerbloom » Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:17 pm

Loved Chenizra and always wished Nevve could have had more time to develop something with her.

Kudos! Thanks for the fun.

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Re: The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Post by Turn the Tide » Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:16 am

I enjoyed the RP with you, however brief it were at times- across several characters,
Namely Maddie Ayloud, at the diplomacy table, to that of Xadrin Ssambra during the whole Andunorian Civil War.

Thank you for all you have done for Andunor and the legacy that you leave behind! What you have done for your house is invaluable, and I wish you all the success in life! Give those puppies a lot of hugs and kisses for me :lol: :lol: :D
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Re: The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Post by Inkish » Fri Jun 11, 2021 1:18 am

Speaking of Andunorian Civil War!

ICly, Zith had an interesting life under Chenizra, and I'm saddened that the fallout caused us to interact less and less. She was kept busy, and kept on her toes by her Matron, and then former Matron. Chenizra was able to challenge her House members, keep them growing, and was a truly powerful woman through her rule in the Table. And phew, that war, right?

OOCly, I wanna thank you as a player too. You were great to us who joined your House, you were professional, kind, and patient to those who became enemies to the House, and as a leader, you helped new players like me have a footing and find enjoyment in the server. While Chenizra's story is coming to an end, I won't be forgetting how you helped so many of us have great enjoyment In the House, politics, wars, and underdark as a whole. Please as you read through these comments, I hope they confirm that you really did have a positive impact on this server with Chenizra, and that while she will be missed, she most certainly will be remembered.

Cheers <3

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Re: The Rise and Fall of Dread-Matron Chenizra Xel'vraxa

Post by The_Queen~s_Rebuke » Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:25 pm

It's been a little bit since this and I wanted to extend my gratitude for playing with me. I remember when Schezalle came upon Chenizra for the first time in the Slave Pits - they went through a good little bit together, despite my generally being on an outside orbit. Given that my character ran in different circles, it really goes to show how extensive Chenizra's reach was as a character to affect others. Having terse standoffs, having helped her bring Xel'vraxa to First House status, having advised on the sidelines and our chats, I have always really enjoyed seeing Chenizra on the playerlist - and I'll admit, it's a little bittersweet, knowing I won't see her again.

Even so, I just wanted to put a note here that this player goes above and beyond for the narrative, while also preserving others' fun. Just an excellent player all around. Can't wait for the next one. 👍
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