Name: Selinde al'djinn
Physical Description: Oval face with pointy chin, shoulder-length, wavy brown hair, dark brown eyes with visible rings, and lightly tanned skin. Simple dark robes, unassuming if there ever were any, serve as her everyday clothing, as she prefers practicality over pomp and glamorous dress, and relies on her staff as a mark of her arcane craft. For those who are interested, the epiphet "al'djinn" can be read to mean either "the crafty" or "the powerful".
Her clothes and hair are usually only superficially cared for, and often a little dismayed from lack of interest in such trite details, but magically kept in prime condition. Interestingly, she still bears the mark of a particularly gifted Razmah transmuter, though slightly altered, magically imprinted in her right eyeball: The open set of dividers, now situated not above a book, but instead above a coiled serpent, symbolize magic, transformative skill, and the transition from life to death.
Mental Description: Selinde is not perfectly polite, but an energetic and captivating conversationalist, shamelessly entertained by her own occasional bouts of slapstick humor and rarely, if ever, devoid of enthusiasm about anything she does. While she can be quite greedy, she is quick to excuse it as pure neccessity for a "mage in my particular situation" and certainly not likely to be ashamed about any subtle misbehavoirs that a polished diplomat might point out. Indeed, she is very rarely afraid, and getting her hands dirty almost never makes it on that list if there is sufficient reason.
If given the opportunity to talk about her own interests, she can go on and on about technical details of alteration magic and construction and architecture, and is obviously sincere about it - she will usually wait some time before revealing that her current interest lies in another area of alteration, usually when she has reason to believe that she is dealing with someone who could be helpful. If this sounds remarkably sincere and open for a powerful mage, then, well, she is - she appreciates the use of deception, but is quite frugal in applying it herself. She reasons that her skill in Divination is sufficient to ensure survival against assassinations and similar extremes of intrigue.
Politics in general tend to annoy her - she considers the triumvirate the biggest waste of magical ability in all time, locking the most gifted mages of the country in the pointless to-and-fro of everyday intrigues. And most noble houses don't fare any better in her judgment, the reasons for which are easy to guess. At the same time, she recognizes she needs to do some amount of politicking if her goals are ever to be fulfilled, and tackles the problem enthusiastically - perhaps a little too enthusiastically - with her unusual approach of slipping in the occasional deception between largely honest behavoir. Given the political climate of the realm, that could actually work.
History: Entering the arcane libraries, laboratories and workshops of House Razmah as a magical homo novus can be tough, but for the daughter of humble carpet traders, Selinde did remarkably well within remarkably short time, achieving the rank of court maga by the age of twenty-three and sucessfully defending it against more privileged aspirants, while simultaneously furthering research in the nature of life, hoping to isolate the curious spark upon which bioturgy acted directly, but regular alteration did not. Sadly, though, she was a little too absorbed with and to open about her project - rivals began spreading word to her superiors that she was siphoning away valuable Razmah resources for what seemed to be a mere flight of fantasy, not serious, prestigeous research. After a heated argument with the enclave master, she left the house in disappointment, taking with her her research.
At the moment, she has found the position of freelance mage rather unconducive to prolonged, expensive research, and is - with some reluctance - trying to establish connections with another noble house to support her research.
House Razmah is a group of architects, scholars, and merchants of knowledge, their status and reputation earned by magical construction, investigation and research at the behalf of others. Specialising in the schools of divination and alteration, Razmah magi tend to be shrewd merchants and crafty transmuters and reducers of the natural world, always looking for profitable ways to turn one thing into another - and, ultimately, into growing status and power for the house. They are credited with major alteration breakthroughs throughout the realm, called upon when lesser magi fail to work the transmutations desired, and have shaped many a landscape with their arcane genius. Still, they will not limit themselves to the task of construction - new ways of synthesizing arcane ingredients and resources of all sorts are constantly sought, and divinatory magic works to give the Razmah an edge in business and foraging for those few things they did not (yet!) manage to create out of something else. It is also commonly considered the highest form of magic in the house, as it deals with increasing knowledge - and thus, the Razmah reason, power! - directly rather than through intermediate steps. Due to this emphasis on divination, Razmah seers are also sought after to unearth different information, on whatever it is their employer might desire. Of course, the house profits even more from such a deal: learning both the information in question, and that someone is willing to pay handily for it.
The house is of a deeply mercantile disposition, and organized similarly to a guild - which would draw the ire of many old aristocratic houses, if the Razmah wouldn't rank among the oldest houses of magi themselves, building on a rich tradition of magical teaching prominent in the whole southern region of the continent. Their grand master is elected for life by the thirteen masters of the different enclaves, who themselves are put in power for a default of ten years by the grand master.
A traditional crest of the Razmah is an open pair of dividers, seated above an open book seen from the front, and most mages of the house bear it either on their clothing or tattooed directly onto their body. Elder magi will only create standard markings on the forehead, an article of clothing, or in the palm of one hand - more extraordinary crests have to be created by the aspiring mage himself.
School: Alteration (Mastery), Divination(Expert)
Razmah transmuters have been (and are) primarily interested in altering the properties of dead matter to further construction and landscaping, and Selinde knows spells to reshape and move it, as well as individual transmutations, such as from sand to rock or even glass. Of more interest to her, however, is magic that blurs the line between living and unliving matter - spells to imbue a human with skin of durable, yet supple metal, include mechanomagical contraptions in the body, turn hair to chains or feet to clay that subsequently fuses with the ground. A particular enthusiasm of hers are the ancient spells that transform whole living beings into dead matter, and she hopes that by collecting them and studying their effects, she can deduce something about what defines the living state - and makes bioturgy as a seperate school of magic at all possible, something she is quite confused by.
Divination is not quite as emphazised by house Razmah as alteration is, for the reason that knowledge all by itself is neither powerful nor protective.
"A popular saying among the Razmah is this: Knowledge in a book will rot and vanish. Knowledge in a mind will grow and prosper. Knowledge in a mage will be put to use and may change the world."
While Selinde has her own take on alteration, she shares the stance of the house as far as divination is concerned, viewing it as a school that is theoretically the most powerful, but must be backed up by already existing power to be useful. Her divinations are largely practical, and she is best when finding out about nonliving matter - in a way, she channels her powers of seeing though her knowledge of transmutations. Therefore, she has no trouble at all picking out a needle from a haystack, but locating a person becomes a little trickier. Of course, she is quick to point out that most people do not walk around naked - there is usually one or two things they will have on their person all the time, and can thus be found out with relative ease. Likewise, a spell to sniff out poison is not only helpful when analyzing one's dinner, but can also tell an assassin from a harmless party guest.
Like most Razmah mages, she has some skill in divining the general whereabouts of magical items and tomes, but such queries become more precise the more information one has, and, therefore, are most effective when performed multiple times in succession.
Magus Rank: B 8