Article written by Nancy Varian Berberick & Darcwulf
A woman of conflicts and contradictions, Usha Majere (Born: 365 AC) has become one of the more controversial figures in the Dragonlance saga. In her middle age and as the mother of two grown children, Ulin Majere and Linsha Majere, she possesses an ageless beauty that astounds the beholder. An artist of exceptional talent, she creates more than a visual artifact on her canvas -- she creates visions to reveal hidden truth as well as images of what can be, what once was, and what should be. All this she creates drawing upon some indescribable source that she, least of all people, understands. While Usha herself has no idea how she creates her wondrous paintings or from what mysterious well her talent springs, she takes great delight in the mysteries and subtleties of a process she cannot explain or even call upon at will. Some whisper that magic might be the source, though they wonder how this can be in an age when magic is gone from Krynn. However, they hold no doubt that this woman can work wonders.
Perhaps those who whisper about magic are right, for Usha's childhood was no normal one.
In the years before the Chaos War, Usha was an orphan, nameless but for the one given her by the mysterious Irda who had adopted her after the deaths of her human parents. She lived among the fair Irda, creatures of astounding beauty, believing herself to be the ugliest of creatures. In her fifteenth year, the Irda cast Usha out from her island home. This they did for her well being. They knew that the events about to unfold – and which would become a mighty conflict of gods known as the Chaos War – would result in the destruction of their home. They sent Usha forth with love and with the hope that she would find her way in the world. Usha wept and sorrowed – and then with characteristic impetuosity, she decided that she would survive on her wits No Matter What.
Steeled by determination, Usha crossed the sea in a little boat, alone. Not knowing who she was or who her parents had been, Usha was again an orphan. From the strands of rumor and legend that surrounded her, she wove the idea that she was the natural daughter of Raistlin Majere and an Irda woman. She found the idea thrilling until she met and fell in love Raistlin's nephew, the handsome young mage Palin Majere. Heartbroken, Usha knew she couldn't marry a man who seemed to be close kin to her, yet she couldn't help loving him.
During the War, Usha travelled many place, especially in the company of a Kender named Tasslehoff Burrfoot who she met in Palanthas's jail. Together they travelled down into the Abyss and while Tas drew a drop of blood from Chaos, Usha was able to capture the blood in the broken halves of the Greygem.
The resolution of their comedy of kinship errors was a happy one. Raistlin Majere showed to Usha that infact her family was captured by Minotaur slavers, and when they had a chance jumped from the ship to escape. They called out who Zeboim who gave them ship wreckage to float on to the Irda's island. While there, her father was accidently killed while being taught a lesson, and her pregnant mother walked into the sea and drowned following her birth.
From all this Raistlin learned that she was no way his daughter. The lovers married knowing they weren't related and in good time gave a son and a daughter to the worthy clan Majere.
Age of Mortals
Palin and Usha lived happily . . . for a while. But another war came – one more terrible than the war that had thrown them into each other's arms – the War of Souls.
Palin, like all mages, lost the magic that had been so much a part of his life and the rule by which he measured himself. Usha knew he'd lost more than magic; he'd lost his heart and his soul. Confused and in pain, Palin drew away from Usha, rebuffing her attempts to help him until she found herself withdrawing from him. The two who had famously loved one another now quarreled, often wielding bitter recriminations like weapons to wound. To those who loved them it seemed that each clash caused another rent in the fabric of their marriage until no healing was possible.
War of Souls
In despair for his lost magic, Palin heeded the clarion call of war, turning his back on their wounded marriage. Usha closed up their house and went to Solace to be with the only family she knew – her husband's. Finding no refuge from her hurt and anger, Usha accompanied Palin's sister Dezra Majere on her annual trip to purchase supplies for the Inn of the Last Home. On the night they arrived, the rich merchant city fell to Beryl's forces. Sisters-in-law, though not necessarily friends, Usha and Dez learned to respect and trust each other during the occupation of Haven – though this new facet of their relationship got off to a rocky start!
Enmeshed in webs of intrigue and espionage, Usha and Dez joined Qui'thonas, an underground resistance force dedicated to helping citizens – and operatives – leave the besieged city. Grieving the death of her lover at the hands of the occupying army, Dezra threw herself into the effort. Usha, an artist of renown whose work was in demand, began to move among the wealthy citizens of the city where she encountered turncoats and the leaders of the occupation. In the gardens and salons of the wealthy, she listened for any word that would help Qui'thonas. Among those she met was the handsome, wealthy merchant Loren Halgard. Left by her husband in the ashes of their marriage, Usha came to know that her heart was not dead. Loren Halgard sparked an ember that flared into love.
On the blade-edge of life in occupied Haven, where Dragons patrolled the sky and any misstep could result in her own death or the death of dear friends, Usha took Loren for a lover and became a spy. She braved Dezra's disgust and anger, but in the end the two women worked together to keep Qui'thonas – and the hopes of Haven – alive through the dark months of siege. That deadly time forged in the heart of each woman a new respect for the other.
Post War of Souls
Though she would not repent of her love for Loren Halgard, Usha never forgot her first, truest love, Palin Majere. The story is not yet told of how the two reconciled, it's only known that they did and that their life together in Solace has become one of tranquil domesticity treasured by each. On the subject of reconciliation, however, the two are quiet. So is a third party, Dezra Majere who saw her brother's wife take a lover, and saw her bid him farewell on the outskirts of a burning city. When asked how her brother and Usha came to reconcile, Dezra always answers with characteristic bluntness:
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