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Murgen by Didier Graffet

Kina, with the Daughter of Night on her shoulder, confronts Murgen in a vision. Art by Didier Graffet

Kina was a vastly powerful female entity who was imprisoned beneath the fortress with no name for millennia. Despite being trapped, her influence and the activities of her fanatical worshippers the Stranglers were the driving forces for many of the events of the Books of the South and the Books of Glittering Stone. Kina and her adherents – including Narayan Singh, the Daughter of Night, and the Khadidas – were some of the most dangerous enemies of the Black Company in the later Annals.

Among Kina's labels are: Dark Mother, Mother of Deceit, Mother of Night, Queen of Darkness, and Mother of Deceivers; and other names include Khat-hi, Patwa, Kompara, Bhomahna, Devourer, and Destructor. A huge variety of myths about her permeated the 3 major religions of the south. In Gunni and Shadar myths, Kina has Destroyer avatars. Among some cults of the Shadar, she is worshipped in the form of Deceits like Khadi and Hada. The ancestors of the Nyueng Bao De Duang were originally Kina-worshippers. The Radisha Drah claimed that even the Vehdna, a fiercely monotheistic religious group, recognized Kina in their own ways.


The reality[]

Kina figured into a wide variety of myths from many cultures, and each attempts to explain her origins. Regardless of the myths, however, it is certain that she was a powerful, immortal entity who waged war on the glittering plain. Murgen asserted positively that she was a human at first, but one with the sorcerous magnitude akin to the Dominator. Her power was augmented by a cabal of other sorcerers, giving her godlike abilities. After turning on them, she was eventually overcome by them at great cost, and trapped in a tomb-like state far beneath the nameless fortress at the center of the plain. Before they faded away, her captors saddled a number of golems, including Shivetya, with the new responsibility of guarding the entrance to her chamber of imprisonment. Eventually, Shivetya's companions nailed him to his wooden throne and deserted their duty.

Slowly but ceaselessly plotting her return since her prehistoric entombment, Kina mentally reached out to countless individuals across many (or perhaps all) of the 16 worlds linked by the plain. She had the ability to orchestrate and subtly manipulate mortals by appealing to their inner weaknesses, like Mogaba's ambition to be Captain of the Black Company.

The myths, cults, and worship[]

Kina origin cycles / creation myths are mentioned in the Annals in the following locations:

  1. Dreams of Steel, chapter 10
  2. Bleak Seasons, chapter 42
  3. She Is the Darkness, chapter 107
  4. Soldiers Live, chapter 76 (the origin cycle of historic Khatovar)

In the homeworld[]

In the deep south of the southern continent of the homeworld, Kina's most secretive worshipers were the Deceivers, a hidden cult consisting of traveling bands of Stranglers and their priests. Membership in this tiny minority cult was proscribed – punishable by execution – as their central activity was human sacrifice.

Kina was also recognized as a goddess by the mainstream religions of the Gunni and the Shadar, albeit in various different aspects and avatars. One such avatar, Khadi, was decidedly less grim than the Deceivers' goddess. Another was Hada.

The final known groups of Kina-cultists in the homeworld were the Free Companies of Khatovar. However they were not native to the homeworld, and only one of them – the Black Company – would fail to return to Khatovar.

In Hsien[]

In the world called Hsien, a community of Kina-cultists was targeted by the Shadowmasters who arrived and conquered there. A sizable portion of this community fled Hsien, crossed the glittering plain, and escaped into the homeworld. There, they eventually settled into the swamps of the great river delta west of Taglios. They became known as the Nyueng Bao De Duang, a detested minority group. Because of their proximity to the Vinh Gao Ghang Temple of Ghanghesha, they eventually forgot Kina and adopted Ghanghesha as their deity.

In Khatovar[]

In the ancient history of the Voroshk world, hundreds of years before Croaker's Annals, the civilization called Khatovar dedicated itself to Kina but had a separate mythology about her, calling her Khat-hi. These were the people who organized and sent out the Free Companies of Khatovar, including the original Black Company. They were sent out to choose the location of her return during the prophesied Year of the Skulls. (It was eventually discovered that Khatovar was not the only place which created such movements. Throughout the millennia, her cultists in some or all of the other 15 worlds also sent groups like the Company out across the plain.) All pre-Voroshk history and myths were suppressed by the Voroshk after they took control of that world. In the myths that survived, she was always described as living in a cemetery. The Voroshk patriarchs First Father and Nashun the Researcher only reluctantly shared the origin story of Khat-hi with Baladitya in Soldiers Live.


Kina by Didier Graffett

Kina, by Didier Graffet

In the dreams that Murgen and Lady had about Kina, she looked like a dark-skinned colossus with four arms and a demonic face. Lady described her as having four arms, eight breasts, a necklace of baby skulls, and a belt of male genitals. Her head was ovular and her eyes were filled with fire. Very few people saw Kina in her actual tomb-like place of imprisonment beneath the nameless fortress. Of those who did, she appeared in different ways depending upon who was observing her. In one moment, she was a giant woman with perfect proportions, sleeping naked but covered in scars; a moment later, she changed into a hideous demon.

Events of the modern Annals[]

Kina's "Foretold" messiah was the Daughter of Night, who was protected by Narayan Singh, the "living saint" of her cult. They both worked tirelessly to transcribe the Books of the Dead with the goal of bringing about the Year of the Skulls. Kina was able to project her power in physical form outside her subterranean tomb only rarely, and apparently at great expense. In She Is the Darkness, she manifested physically in Longshadow's uppermost tower in Overlook. There, she encased the Daughter in a protective "eggplant black" magic bubble; she also effortlessly swatted Soulcatcher and the Howler aside, wounding the powerful sorcerers.

Water Sleeps[]

Kina, in her genuine physical form, was wounded by Goblin, who pierced her with the Lance of Passion at the end of Water Sleeps. She used this event as an opportunity, however, to have a loyal demon, the Khadidas, take possession of Goblin's body.

Soldiers Live[]

Kina by Виталий Стрелец

In Soldiers Live, Kina's servant the Khadidas (still disguised inside Goblin's body) escaped with the Daughter and attempted to transcribe the Books of the Dead in the homeworld. They failed, and were eventually recaptured by the Black Company inside the Palace of Taglios. The Khadidas was suppressed with the aid of the complex of spells inside One-Eye's hat. Kina was soon attacked in her chamber again by Goblin, who this time pierced her skull with One-Eye's spear. An instant later, she was disintegrated by Croaker when he detonated Goblin's rheitgeistide. Her evil influence was finally wiped out from all 16 worlds. Even in the Grove of Doom, the goddess's overhanging sense of psychic menace, which had hung in the air of that place for centuries, was gone at last.