The undisputed leader of the Scorched Hand, Velriana Hypaxes is a woman of brains, beauty, and unwavering faith offset only by her ruthless ambition and determination.
Velriana eschews court gowns in favor of a Taldan dandy’s idea of an adventurer’s outfit. Of average height, Velriana is the fairest member of the Scorched Hand, but even her skin is burnished a light bronze by the Osirian sun. She tucks her long, light brown hair under a flamboyant floppy hat, complete with a long feather. Velriana favors the dagger and light crossbow, but her true weapon of choice is her bonded wand of scorching ray, carved and painted to resemble the head of a cobra.
She is the leader of the Scorched Hand
Velriana Hypaxes is one of countless minor aristocrats who choke the upper echelons of Taldan society, but rather than give in to the ennui that now mires that once-great empire, she came up with a new maxim for herself: “Better to seize life by the throat than surrender willingly to obscurity.” When she came of age, Velriana demanded that her family send her to the Arcanamirium in Absalom, where she could study the magical arts. There she was exposed to the worship of Nethys, whose tenets spoke to her on a personal level. The All-Seeing Eye exalts the use of magic, but underlying that is an element of meritocracy. Power is not given, but taken—by those with the strength and resolve to do so, regardless of gender or background. This was a completely different outlook from how Velriana was raised, but given Taldor’s decline, it made a great deal of sense to her as a person of intelligence and determination.
After her graduation from the Arcanamirium, Velriana became intrigued with the history of Ancient Osirion and its early meteoric rise to power, and was disappointed that she’d already missed joining the first wave of explorers, who plumbed the country’s ancient tombs when they were opened by the Ruby Prince 7 years ago. Recently, through her family’s wealth and political connections, she caught wind of a rumor: another set of Osirian tombs was soon to be opened to foreign explorers. Velriana immediately began researching Wati’s history, and in doing so made the acquaintance of the Osirian priest Khelru. By that time, Osirion’s tombs had been open for exploration for some time—with the exception of the necropolis of Wati, which remained closed due to local politics with the Temple of Pharasma. Velriana shared the rumor that the Ruby Prince intended to correct the oversight soon, and suggested she and Khelru work together. Khelru introduced her to Azaz and the three traveled to Sothis. There they discovered the existence of Wati’s original temple to Nethys, forgotten inside the necropolis and likely never explored. They decided to be the first to explore the lost temple, and the company of the Scorched Hand was formed.