Vera Ryker

Vera Ryker was born into a once affluent merchant family in the city’s prosperous Emerald District. As a young woman, she defied her wealthy parents’ wishes by falling in love with Abel, a charismatic but rough-around-the-edges artifact hunter from the lower tiers.

Against their objections, Vera eloped with Abel, leaving the comfort of the family business behind to strike out and make a life with the man she loved in the gritty underlevels. For a few years, they seemed to make it work – Abel’s expeditions bringing in enough artifact salvage to supplement Vera’s odd jobs.

But then Abel got lured by the promises of bigger scores by joining one of the major artifact running syndicates. At first the enhanced payouts allowed Vera and Abel to move into a decent flat and provide for their newborn son Kalen. However, Abel’s work for the syndicate grew increasingly dangerous and his stints away from home became longer.

When Kalen was 8, Abel failed to return from a major artifact heist in the Brimrock Mines. No trace of him was ever found, leaving a devastated Vera alone as a single mother struggling to provide for Kalen. She had to let go of any lingering upper-class pretenses to take whatever labor jobs she could in the harsh undercity.

Despite their poverty, Vera refused to let her son be raised in the thieving world of artifact running that ultimately took his father from them. She managed to get Kalen into one of the few decent underlevel charter schools, pushing him to pursue an education and legitimate life she was denied.

Though she carries the emotional scars of Abel’s disappearance, Vera is enduring and protective of Kalen – her one treasured ray of hope for their future. She both warns him against following his father’s footsteps into the bloody artifact trade, while also understanding his youthful compulsion to change their circumstances. Whatever path he chooses, she’ll support him until her last breath.