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Qara was a sorceress from Neverwinter who once attended the Neverwinter Academy, where she received some small amount of wizard training that she ultimately disregarded. She was best known for her travels with the Kalach-Cha.
Described as physically attractive by many around her, Qara had a comely figure with refined tastes in dress, though her hair, which was commonly ruffled and unkempt due to Qara's tugging at it in frustration, detracted slightly from her appearance.White cheeks, green eyes, and bright Auburn/Chestnut hair, Qara was of a notably northern stock, possibly Illuskan. As in all other things, Qara's disposition and attitude shone through her appearance as well, as she would tend to blush brightly when enraged, roll her eyes when irritated, or move her hands excitedly when enticed.
Qara, like many people of her age, was impatient and rebellious, though to an extent far more than typical. Proud and stubborn, Qara liked to do things her way or not at all and found it difficult to concede her will to another's, though, if she could be convinced of the right behind that way, she would yield. More often, however, Qara proved insubordinate and hot tempered to a fault, resulting in her expulsion from the very Academy that her own father had founded, though this may have had more to do with her generally disdainful attitude towards wizards, who learned their magic rather than coming to it naturally as she and other sorcerers did. These qualities would often put her at odds with Sand, with whom she shared a deep enmity that was worsened by their headstrong attitudes.
Though quick to anger, eager to insult, which she was quite good at, or intimidate, and given to dangerous shows of power, Qara was not wholly selfish. For example, although often dismissive of her fellow students at the Academy, she would later pity them when encountering their twisted, undead forms near Old Owl Well. In other cases, Qara showed a great deal of sympathy for others who she saw as trapped or constrained by tyranny or otherwise obtrusive authority.
Of Qara's early life little is known. She is known to have been the child of a powerful mage of some sort, who founded the Academy in Neverwinter and preceded over it in an authoritative position. Other than this, however, not much can be determined.
Studies at Neverwinter AcademyEdit
At some point, Qara was enrolled in the Neverwinter Academy. Comments she made to the Kalach-Cha suggested that she felt as though it was her father's way of "getting her out of the way" though others suggest that Qara only stayed in the Academy so long because of her father's favoritism. Whatever the case, Qara was indisputably talented, possessing a great deal of power from the beginning of her entrance all the way through her time there.
Qara was also aware of her talent for magic and as a result was derisive of her fellow students, though this may have been a reaction to insults from jealous peers, who claimed, along with her instructors, that she exhibited extreme lack of control with her power. This appears to have been more than supposition, as Qara reputably set the Academy stables on fire by accident. This would result in further derision from the students as well as more condemnations from her teachers, eventually culminating in Qara's conscious decision to leave the Academy, following in her subsequent expulsion.
Qara would not look back fondly on her Academy days, seeing them as both boring and fruitless. This is understandable, given Qara's powers as a sorceress and lack of need to study magic with the same diligence and effort as a wizard, though her rational complaints gradually turned into a snide derision of wizards as a whole, whom she, more often than not, saw as weak and deserving of her scorn and wrath.
The Shadow WarEdit
It was shortly after her expulsion from the Academy that the Kalach-Cha first encountered Qara. As the hero was carrying out an attempt to gain entrance into Blacklake in order to meet with Aldanon, they encountered Qara outside of their "uncle" Duncan Farlong's tavern, the Sunken Flagon, about to start a fight with two of her former classmates, one of whom of was Glina, the daughter of Academy Magister Johcris. The Kalach-Cha may have prevented the fight or joined in, but regardless, the incident would reflect badly on Qara who, for her near destruction of the Flagon, was pressed into work as a barmaid by Duncan, who also pushed her on to the Kalach-Cha to keep her out of the way. Qara would initially resent this, though she may have, in time, come to appreciate the opportunity to use her powers without the restrictions of the Academy.
The incident would also cement Qara's expulsion from the Academy, though it would also lead to Glina and her friends' expulsion as well, causing her father Johcris to fall into a rage. The students would once again attempt to take their revenge on Qara, though this time they would be soundly defeated by the sorceress and her new allies. Enraged, Johcris would try to intimidate Qara into apologizing, while warning her that her recklessness would lead to her end. Disdainfully, Qara threw his demand back at him, which caused the wizard to become further incensed.
In the end, out of spite Johcris would rashly form an agreement with Sydney Natale of the Hosttower, promising her with open access to Neverwinter for students, disciples, and slaves, in exchange for Qara's eradication. In exchange, Syndey offered to create an animus elemental, a creature formed from the animus or "life force" of Qara, for which she would require some fragment of Qara's body, which Johcris thereafter recovered. From this, a strand of hair, Sydney created Qara's nemesis, which would continue to stalk her throughout the sorceress' travels along the Sword Coast, weakening the sorceress during their many encounters.
While this was happening, Qara would prove useful in many ways. While argumentative and insubordinate, Qara was truly powerful and was eager to demonstrate her abilities whenever possible, making her an excellent help against the various enemies the Kalach-Cha would soon face. She may have also offered to fight in the Kalach-Cha's place during the Trial by Combat against Lorne Starling, though this offer may not have been accepted.
Eventually, Qara's past would catch up with her. During the Kalach-Cha's attempts to uncover a way to defeat the seemingly immortal shadow reavers, Sydney Natale would lay a trap, claiming to have the Tome of Iltkazar which contained the reavers' true names and offering it in exchange for the Kalach-Cha coming with only Qara and the githzerai Zhjaeve. With little choice but to hope Sydney was telling the truth, the Kalach-Cha agreed, where it was revealed that Sydney had been telling the truth, but that she was also bound by contract to kill Qara and any who protect her. She unleashed the animus once again, though this time Qara, Zhjaeve, and the Kalach-Cha were able to together kill both Sydney and the summoned animus, though Jalboun of the Two Blade would surrender.
Qara would continue to travel with the Kalach-Cha until the hero's assault on the King of Shadows fortress within the Vale of the Mere. During that assault both her loyalty and Sand's would come in to question, the animosity between them driving them as much as their loyalty to the Kalach-Cha. Ultimately, one would choose to follow the Kalach-Cha based upon their treatment while the other, more out of spite or fear than anything else, would leave and join Black Garius at the last moment, betraying the rest.
Whether Qara was the one to betray the Kalach-Cha or Sand is unclear. However, according to Ammon Jerro she did not survive either way, being ill-prepared for the collapse of the King of Shadows' fortress after his death. As the members of the party fled from the ruin, Qara, if not already killed in the battle between the group and Garius, was crushed by a falling piece of rock, dying instantly.
Behind the ScenesEdit
Qara was voiced by Jenna Lamia in Neverwinter Nights 2. According to the game's dialogue files as well as a few NPCs her name is properly pronounced "KAR-ah" which would be appropriate for standard English pronunciation of a hard "q." However, most NPCs pronounced Qara's name as "QWOR-ah", likely due to the fact that few words in English actually use this pronunciation, most instead using the "soft q" pronunciation (such as in "queen").
Like many of the characters in Neverwinter Nights 2 Qara suffered from a great deal of cut content, many of which resolved around her backstory and hints of greater power. One scene included Praven and Ashni from the Academy discussing in the Moonstone Mask how to deal with Qara's new allies, deciding to take them on individually rather than as a group, with Praven commenting that he wouldn't mind "tackling" the wood elf.
Another indicated that Qara was far more powerful than she appears to be, where, shortly before the fall of Highcliff, she is visited by Sand who tries to talk her down, only for her to effortlessly cause several barrels around her to burst into flame, while her voice changed. This would, along with Sand's reaction, which he related to Bishop as her "needing to be stopped" was probably to hint at the reasons for Sand's possible betrayal of the group later on, where he indicated she was a greater threat than the King of Shadows.
Others focused around Sand and Qara's complicated relationship. One scene elaborated that part of Sand's animosity was not directly due to Qara but due to her father, having been removed from the Academy as a teacher by her father and holding a grudge against her for it. Sand would also, in one scene, determine a possible method for destroying the animus, demonstrating he had some concern for Qara's welfare. He postulated that it was possible to cut the animus off from its power source by Qara holding her power back and controlling it and this, along with Qara's going berserk and overloading the animus, was one of two methods the player (the Kalach-Cha) could attempt. Sand would also relate that Qara had a unique opportunity to change the world due to her power, but that if she continued on her path, this change would not be good.
- Obsidian Entertainment (2006). Chris Avellone, Ferret Baudoin, J.E. Sawyer. Neverwinter Nights 2. Atari.
- Obsidian Entertainment (2007). Kevin D. Saunders. Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer. Atari.
Amie Fern • Bevil Starling • Kipp
During the Shadow War
Ammon Jerro • Bishop • Casavir • The Construct • Elanee • Grobnar Gnomehands • Khelgar Ironfist • Neeshka • Qara • Sand • Shandra Jerro • Zhjaeve
During the Spirit Eater Curse
Ammon Jerro • Gannayev-of-Dreams • The Imaskari Golem • Kaelyn the Dove • Okku the Bear King • One of Many • Safiya