|Affiliation||The Black Hoods|
|Occupation||Leader of the Black Hoods|
“I have so much to do... and so few I can trust.
Avra Darkos is the spymaster of the lethal Black Hoods, the covert intelligent, espionage, and assassination network that protects the Exiles from the Dominion's better-equipped Imperial Corps of Intelligence (ICI). Driven by a visceral hatred of the Dominion, the Mordesh spymistress manages agents all over the planet via couriers, hirelings, and other operatives who use any means necessary to keep Exile secrets safe for enemy.
Her official title as a Mordesh noble is Lady Darkos, and this is the name used in her presence by those who wish to be polite... but both Black Hood agents and those who fear her machinations call her simply The Widow. She is indeed the Widow Darkos (the Dominion assassinated her husband during a diplomatic mission) but the name has taken on more spider-like connotations over the years.
Avra Darkos has been living with the Contagion for much of her life, and it has left her with typical Mordesh skin tone and bodily features. Having been affected at a much younger age that Mordesh like Victor Lazarin, however, she maintains a relative young appearance.
Her face is hidden by a mask; few have seen her without it. The secrecy is so great that a portrait of her has had its face ripped off to preserve her identity. (Why she does not use any form of voice modulation, or maintains such an iconic look, is never explained.)
Avra Darkos is called "The Widow" with good reason: she is cold, unfeeling, and manipulative, preferring to maintain a gigantic web of information and contacts to trap her enemies than eliminate them herself. The Black Hoods are at her every beck and call, willing to enact her will and accept whatever fate she deems appropriate for them.
Failing the Widow is not an option, as she will gladly execute or punish anyone who proves to be a liability more than an asset.
A meticulous plotter and brilliant manipulator, Avra Darkos trusts no one. She doesn’t even trust her Black Hoods, and she monitors the members of her spy organization just as she monitors all of her enemies and allies. She shares very few of her secrets, and never without reason. A patient observer, she seeks to equal the manipulations of the Dominion and exact revenge on those who destroyed her life—no matter what the cost.
This does not mean Avra Darkos is without humor, style, or sex appeal. She uses all three to manipulate those around her, to avoid those who would see her dead, and to infiltrate places her enemies do not want her to be—something she's very good at it.
Before the Fall of Grismara, Avra Darkos was kind, and well-loved, and happily married. She was still a young newlywed when Victor Lazarin unleashed the Contagion upon the Mordesh homeworld of Grismara. As the scion of an old and venerated Mordesh noble family, she was born into a luxurious, comfortable life of aristocracy, but had been raised to believe a noble put the people's safety before her own. Together with her husband—Lord Kuryin Darkos—she helped save thousands of Mordesh from transforming into Ravenous monsters.
During that dark time, the two used the family's personal wealth and transportation to distribute Contagion-inhibiting Vitalus serum to everyone they could reach, becoming heroes to the Mordesh people and the de facto leaders of plague-ravaged Grismara. Avra is also the reason Victor Lazarin wasn't torn apart by an angry mob. She was quick to inform him that he would continue to work on a cure for as long as he lived, or else she would hand him over to the vengeful survivors.
After the Contagion’s initial outbreak, a Dominion fleet appeared in the skies of Grismara without warning. Lord Darkos led an ambassadorial delegation to the newcomers while Avra stayed behind, assuming the mighty empire had sent the fleet to help them fight the disease and rescue survivors. None of the Mordesh realized the fleet was to be the backbone of the Dominion's quarantine blockade.
The unarmed diplomatic vessel of Lord Darkos approached while broadcasting a distress call on all frequencies. Instead of responding with a signal, the Dominion fleet answered with a deadly barrage—one that annihilated Lord Darkos and everyone on board his vessel. Avra Darkos was devastated, and swore total revenge on the Dominion.
While the Widow Darkos had no armies, no warships, and little in the way of numbers, she had already helped create an extensive network of contacts and information brokers that, before Kuryin's death, was used to coordinate rescue efforts and oversee Lazarin's search for a cure. Her first order of business was arranging for evacuation with the Exile fleet, going so far as to obtain security codes to bypass the Grismaran Blockade. But, traumatized by the loss of her family, the chaos in the streets, and being abandoned by the Dominion, she turned into the cold, unfeeling spy-mistress she is today. Now she turns to that network with a new purpose—the annihilation of the empire that could have saved the Mordesh, but instead assassinated a good man and left the rest of her kind to their fate.
- Loremageddon, as preserved on the Internet Archive