Esha Raine, the Death Singer
Esha Raine is a Death Singer, a title that has a literal meaning among the Ashleen as “one who sings for those who have been killed”. She is also a well-regarded elder of the clans, a keeper of the Ashleen’s oral history and a highly skilled folk healer. Her title is an unusual one and accords her a measure of respect and protection, even on unforgiving Iocanthos. Some would hold that her various herbal cures, chanting rites and soothsaying are the works of a witch, but to the Ashleen it is simply a time-honoured tradition.

Raine herself has genuine faith in the Emperor, although like many of her people she doesn’t regard Him as an omnipotent being, but rather as a powerful ancestor-spirit and guiding light for all. She hopes by encouraging her people to follow the God-Emperor, the Imperium will eventually step in and help the Ashleen against some of the more “heretical” warlords on Iocanthos and bring some semblance of peace. To this end she has become a tentative ally of Abbot Skae and his great plan, though she finds the site he has picked for it very troublesome. She also has some dim folk knowledge of a Daemon, a being she knows in myth as the Crow Father, a fact that marks her for death.

Raine is swathed head to foot in a widow’s weavings of black gauze shot through with flashes of crimson, and cuts a striking figure. She keeps a small steading in a gorge connected to a main mountain pass a few hours distant, and is an infrequent but honored visitor to Stern Hope.

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