Mara Danesti van Rijn, The Half-Sister
“I thought I was cursed. Turns out I’m just a van Rijn.” The long-lost half-sister of Torix and Constantine. Mara grew up in the city of Artagnan, working as a personal servant to parliamentarian Jacques Danesti. Although he told Mara that she was an orphan found at a slave market and brought into the household by one of his servants, Jacques cared for her as if she was his own child. Being the personal assistant of Jacques Danesti, Mara was often sent to run errands and deliver messages between the Danesti and the Calugaru households. While she seldom spoke to others, she always listened, and it wasn’t long before she pieced together the history of her master’s family. The Danesti and Calugaru households were noble and influential bloodlines in Artagnan politics, and the two families had once competed for power before an intermarriage between the houses bound them together. Unfortunately, the union ended in tragedy, with the murders of Vlad Calugaru, head of the Calugaru household, and his wife Tara Calugaru, sister to Jacques—— each by the hands of the other. Now Jacques was trying to rebuild relations between the shattered houses by appealing to parliamentarian Mircea Calugaru, the lone inheritor of Vlad’s name and wealth.
Mara led a happy enough life in Artagnan. Jacques was like a father to her, and being a servant to a wealthy parliamentarian came with plenty of perks. It was a comfortable existence. However, Mara could not shake the feeling that she didn’t quite belong. She was also curious about the murders of Vlad and Tara Calugaru, and was beginning to sense that it might be related to her feeling of estrangement. For years she probed various servants and family members of both the Calugaru and Danesti households for answers, but she only hit dead ends. Frustration and curiosity bottled up within her until she finally asked Jacques Danesti up-front about the murder of his sister. He refused to tell her anything, and forbade her from speaking about the murders to anyone. Of course, this only made Mara more motivated to find out, so she decided to speak to the only person that might have the answers: Mircea Calugaru. When she confronted him, Mircea told her he was sorry for keeping the truth from her, but both he and Jacques thought it would be best if she didn’t know. However, as the years went by, Mircea began to feel it was cruel to keep Mara in the dark, and wanted to tell her the truth. Now that she had confronted him about it, there was no reason to hide it anymore. Mircea had been a child when it happened. His mother Tara was giving birth to her second child. Only Mircea and the midwife were supposed to be present, but Vlad Calugaru caught wind and showed up for the birth. When the baby arrived, Vlad saw that it had stunted ears and dark hair—— the father was a human. In a fit of rage, Vlad tried to kill the baby, but was stopped by Tara, who, even after giving birth, still had strength enough to defend her child. In the scuffle, Tara killed Vlad, but was mortally wounded in the process. She charged Mircea with taking the baby to her brother Jacques. With her last breath, Tara named her baby daughter Mara.
With the truth finally out, Mara took her leave of the Calugaru household, unsure of what to do now. As she made her way down the moonlit streets, she realized that Jacques had lied to her, and, deciding that there was no place for her in Artagnan, fled the city.
Boss Dmitri Zaitsev and Igor Zaitsev
“She will not be punished for this. But you will.”
Finally free, she took on a series of odd jobs and mercenary work, while always keeping an ear open for any information on her human father. She eventually wound up in Bhangra Baba, where a chance meeting turned into a family reunion.