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Kalika at a glance
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Pronunciation

'kɑːlikɑː diː'ʋɑːn̪

Demographic

Young adult female worgen

Work

Warlock, enchanter, tailor

Alignment

Lawful Evil, but is striving for Lawful Neutral

Motivation

Liberation

Disposition

Calm, but increasingly unhinged

Comportment

Charming

Family

Tejomay (father); Kerani (mother); Mohan (brother)

Cognomina

the Insane


Kalika Diwan (कालिका दीवान) is a worgen witch and self-styled demon hunter presenting herself as a wandering, Wodin-like wizard and archaeologist.

Unfortunately, she is also a fel blood addict — a condition she inherited from her earlier days in Gilneas as a demon-worshipping highwayman — and a lovesick manic depressive. While she’s a recognized hero of the Alliance, those that watch her closely sense that she’s in a losing battle for her sanity and soul, and tend to give her a wide berth.

Background

The Thuggee Life

From the time of the Third War, there existed in Gilneas a secretive, paramilitary order of berserking worgen that attacked Burning Legion and Forsaken targets beyond the Greymane Wall.

The order comprised an ethnic minority in Gilneas; in addition to its Gilnean identity, it had its own language (Ramasee), its own religion and customs — and its own elixir for making worgenism more manageable. Each member was both Gilnean and bhuttote (“worg”, literally “strangler”, in reference to a worg’s tendency to crush its victims’ throats with its jaws), and had both public and private names; Kalika Diwan was publicly called Callista or “Cally” Duane.

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Cally Duane about town / Kalika Diwan at home

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Kalika Diwan, bhuttote

But the order also had a growing weakness: The practice of eating demonic targets led to widespread addiction to fel blood. And the more demons it killed in Silverpine, the fewer sources of fel blood it had.

As a solution, the bhuttotes captured a demonic shivarra named Cavzabal. From then on, after they attacked their victims with their signature gory savagery, they invoked Cavzabal to let her feed on the dead, after which they would bite on her wrists and drink their fill of her blood.

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Over time, the bhuttotes came to see Cavzabal as the source of all their power, and to maintain that power they committed ever greater atrocities to keep Cavzabal’s thirst for blood quenched.

Over time, they stopped attacking undead, demons, or anything else that Cavzabal didn’t normally eat, and concentrated on mortal targets whose loot became the real goal of all their assaults.

Over time, they forgot that Cavzabal was a demon at all, but regarded her as the order’s patron goddess, and while they kept her imprisoned in Gilneas, they had for all practical purposes become her minions.

Kalika, the youngest of the order, was also the last true believer in the justness of the order’s religious pretensions, and an enthusiastic soldier in its murderous extra-mural activities.


Alas for Kalika, her brother Mohan (मोहन) was inadvertently killed when friend of the family and Kalika’s secret crush Ulvin botched the worgenism treatment he was entrusted with stirring, and her mother Kerani (केरानी) was inadvertently killed soon after by the same friend when he shapeshifted back into human form after being swallowed whole as a grain of corn.

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The ugly pharmaceutical death of Mohan

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The ugly gastronomical death of Kerani

Kerani was the only person in the order who had control over Cavzabal, and when she died, the demon goddess disappeared back into the Twisting Nether whence she came. The rest of the clan, not yet knowing about Kerani’s death, took Cavzabal’s sudden abandonment as a sign of their disfavor with her — and as the reason for the howling doom now waiting to burst through the Greymane Gate. It was karma rearing its ugly head at last, the only thing the bhuttotes feared in this world or the next, and thus it was that the bhuttotes, long the fearsome terror of Gilneas and abroad, stoically laid down and accepted their fates.

Except for Kalika. This fate was not the order’s fault, she felt. If it had fallen into wickedness, as the other bhuttotes were now saying, it was because it had been tricked by Cavzabal. The fall of the bhuttotes — and the fall of Gilneas — were Cavzabal’s doing, and it was Cavzabal who must be hunted down and made to answer for them.

Kalika vowed her revenge on the former family goddess — and on all demonkind — and slipped out of Gilneas on a pirate ship while the rest of the city made its desperate last stand.

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Farewell to Gilneas

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The worgen take Gilneas City...

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...followed by the Horde

A Bet with the Goddess

Sometime during the journey from Southshore to Stormwind, Kalika’s dreams of revenge and redemption came to an abrupt halt as she was suddenly seized by an inexplicable torpor.

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The priests of the Cathedral of Light puzzled over her condition, but could find no cause for it — until, in her growing delirium, Kalika called out “Cavzabal!”, and the fearsome demon goddess appeared.

Kalika was not a warlock, but she knew Cavzabal’s name, which entitled her to summon the demon at will — but not to control her.

Cavzabal was enraged by this unexpected invocation, and cleaved through the terrified priests in the room. She raised a sword over Kalika’s prone form — thought better of it, and cut her own wrist instead, holding the dripping green wound over Kalika’s mouth.

Kalika sat up with a start.

Cavzabal then grabbed her by the throat and lifted her up into the air.

“I should have known that you wouldn’t accept your karma, my little imp,” Cavzabal grinned, and as Kalika turned blue from asphyxiation, Cavzabal explained that Kalika’s acute lethargy was a symptom of her dependence on Cavzabal’s blood, but that instead of killing Kalika, Cavzabal would now use her as her minion inside Stormwind.

The demon spoke with a maniacal, panting half-laugh, her body lurching menacingly forward slightly with every exhalation. Kalika remembered now that this is how the demon always spoke, and wondered how her family ever mistook this flesh-hungry madwoman for a goddess.

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Kalika spat at her, for which she was hurled against the wall.

By now the stairs were echoing with the feet of rushing priests and paladins.

Cavzabal again seized Kalika by the throat, hoisted her into the air, and whispered that if Kalika can bring herself to spit at her again after five days without her blood, Cavzabal would let her go; if not, Kalika would belong to Cavzabal forever as her minion and agent of doom. And then Cavzabal vanished, leaving only the echo of her peculiar panting, laughing snarl.

Kalika’s condition became very apparent to the Cathedral priests after that, and she was expelled from Stormwind as a menace to the city.


Four days later, Kalika had become very desperate.

She had sought the aid of a local witch, who summoned a demon for her and commanded it to yield some of its blood. But the demon, sensing Kalika’s vulnerability, refused to cooperate unless she returned the favor and gave it an innocent to devour — specifically, a baby.

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The impish blood barterer and the irresistible taste of baby flesh

Kalika refused, but the demon explained that whatever blood she took from him, she would have to put back — that’s how the fel blood got made. This is not how Kalika wanted to begin her path to restored righteousness, but not being a witch herself, she couldn’t command the demon to do what she wanted, and had to either accept its terms or accept enslavement by Cavzabal.

Reluctantly, she chose the former, and at length procured a newborn infant and presented it to the witch’s demon. “Just this once,” she told herself as the imp tore through the screaming baby’s flesh. But unless she could beat this dependency on fel blood, there would always be a next time. And a next.

The fifth day came, and with it came Cavzabal. Predictably enough, she was furious at the sight of an undesperate Kalika, who strode up to her confidently and spat into the demon’s face.

Cavzabal responded with an almost instant flurry of blows that left the witch and his imp decapitated.

“Five days without demon’s blood, I said,” Cavzabal growled. “This was not our agreement.”

“Five days without your blood, you said,” Kalika retorted. “That was our agreement.”

Cavzabal stared hard into the fel-charged eyes of the defiant insect before her. “So you’re going to come after me now, is that it?” she laughed.

Kalika spat at her once more.

Cavzabal bent down low in an exaggerated motion to underscore their considerable difference in height, lifted Kalika’s chin with a finger. “You can fight me for now, but you’ll always be my creature, just as your mother was, just as your whole greedy family was,” she said, almost whispering. “You want to play this game?” She flicked her finger back, and blood welled up in the furrow she left under Kalika’s chin. “The next time you speak my name,” she hissed, “You had better be ready for me.”

And then she vanished once more.


On that day, Kalika gave up her former calling of mage and took up instead the clandestine mantle of witchcraft, for only by mastering the dark arts that once mastered Cavzabal could she hope to make it through another week, let alone defeat the demon goddess and evade an eternity as her servant.

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Rise of the demon hunter: Kalika takes up the black arts

But vanquishing Cavzabal was not Kalika’s goal — a force that powerful, dangerous demon or not, could do far more good alive than dead if pressed into service, she later reasoned. So the shivarra must be the slave of the bhuttote once more — but this time, where Kalika’s family had failed to remain the masters, Kalika felt sure that as long as she remembered what happened to them, she could avoid sharing their fate.

In the meantime, Kalika took to putting a gag over her mouth whenever she lied down to sleep, lest she accidentally invoke the demon again before she was ready.

Facing the Goddess

Years passed. The threat posed by the re-ascendant Deathwing had come and gone, and Kalika’s mastery of the black arts was complete.

More than complete, even — it was visible. And more so the more agitated she became:

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The felblood in her veins, the shadowy wings, the horns — Kalika was becoming the thing she had set out to destroy.

And it cost her what she had built up to be the one great love of her life — her childhood friend Ulvin, whom she had run into in the Twilight Highlands and briefly courted before her deteriorating condition drove him away.

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Still, she was in control of it, she told herself. And now she was more than ready to face Cavzabal at last.

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A shivarra killing spree in Hellfire Peninsula

Indeed, the confrontation would be more formality than actual conflict.

Kalika traveled back to the ghost town that was Gilneas for the occasion, where she carried a black hen by the neck to a crossroads near her family’s former home. At midnight she traced a circle on the ground with a cypress wand, stepped into the circle, and cut the body of the hen in half, saying Sic volo, divido et impero! three times[1]. Then she turned, faced east, and cried in the eredar tongue:

ISS KAVZABAL SHA MUSHI LIPSHURU RUXISHA LIMNUTI!
IZIZANIMMA ILANI RABUTI SHIM YA DABABI!
DINI DINA ALAKTI LIMDA!
ALSI KU NUSHI ILANI MUSHITI!
KAVZABAL GASHRU UMUNA YANDURU
TUSHTE YESH SHIR ILANI U MA YALKI!
GISHBAR IA ZI IA
IA ZI DINGIR KAVZABAL KANPA!
KAKKAMMANUNU![2]

The air shimmered and hissed as the fearsome form of the demon goddess began to materialize in the circle, whereupon Kalika stepped out of it.

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Final showdown with Cavzabal

Cavzabal took quick stock of her surroundings, recognized Kalika — and lunged.

But the circle’s invisible wall halted the shivarra’s assault. Snarling and frantically flailing at the unseen barrier, Cavzabal at long last gave a horrifying screech at the heavens before slumping down to her knees in defeat.

Sic volo et impero! Kalika whispered, stepping closer to the circle. This was the moment her life since Gilneas had been leading up to, the vindication she had sought, the revenge for generations of duping her family into demonic service.

“Well congratulations to you, Kalika,” Cavzabal offered glibly. “What is your will?”

“I want my family back, you treacherous monster!” Kalika growled. Years of daydreaming took over as she began the opening gestures and incantations for a long night of unprintable tortures.

Cavzabal recoiled in panic, but something in Kalika’s face caught her attention then, and as she studied it a moment, a broad grin wiped away the dejection of her defeat and the horror of Kalika’s impending retribution.

“You forget that we’re not strangers, Kalika,” Cavzabal said in her customary half-laugh. “You’ve waited a long time to reproach me for what I did, but your heart has moved on since then, and your mouth no longer speaks for it.”

“What are you babbling about?” Kalika demanded, pausing the fury she was about to unleash.

Cavzabal regained her composure. “Your family back is not what you want most now — in your heart of hearts, you’re glad they’re gone,” she said. “Now you look to the future. Well, here it is. You want me to serve you? To kill your enemies? Just point. I kill people daily, greedily, convulsively, and I don’t care for whom.” She leaned forward as far as the circle allowed her, then whispered: “But when you find the courage to ask me for what you really want, know that I’ll deliver him to you only if you give something to me.”

“I don’t know who you’re talking about,” Kalika snapped. “And that’s not how this works, anyway. You belong to me now, and must oblige me in all things.”

“As you say,” Cavzabal grinned, “But for things like that — things like your druid — this is exactly how it works.” She bowed exaggeratedly low. Do ut des ... domina.”

“We’ll see about that,” said Kalika.

“We certainly shall,” said Cavzabal.

It was a gruesome night of elaborate, long imagined retribution after that, but what satisfaction Kalika hoped to gain from it was undermined at every turn by Cavzabal’s smug, maniacal chortle, until Kalika found herself frantically scourging the demon not to punish her for consigning Kalika’s family to Shadow, but for peering into the walled garden of Kalika’s most secret and embarrasing desires — and seeing just how frail and stunted her psyche was. And for making Kalika’s victory a hollow one. And for laughing at it.

Personality

You can take the girl out of the murder cult, but you can’t take the murder cult out of the girl.

During her younger days in Gilneas as a member of the Diwan clan of worgen highwaymen (which notoriously killed its victims and fed their flesh to the clan’s demon goddess), Kalika was always in “hustle” mode, viewing anyone not in the clan as either targets or marks. They were all her real or potential enemies in her eyes, and all enemies were loot for the clan and food for its bloodthirsty goddess.

The one exception was her childhood friend Ulvin, a young harvest witch whose disarming frankness was the loose thread that threatened to undo the entire garment of her world view. His outspokenness made him alluringly free in a way her circumstances did not allow, and subsequently he, more than her own family at times, became her one connection to humanity, her one occasion for genuineness; her own personality was entirely deception-based, and changed according to her situation — she might be the obedient daughter on one occasion, the coquettish nymphet on another, the fearsome harpy on yet another. And with her family gone and her directive for perpetual grifting gone with it, she now has to figure out just what her “real” personality should be — and had pinned all her hopes on Ulvin to guide her.

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Kalika and Ulvin in Gilneas

Alas for Kalika, Ulvin, the only person outside her family to ever be trusted with her given name (publicly she goes by Callista or “Cally”) or the name of her family’s goddess (Cavzabal, often substituted by “Bhowanee” and other names to guard against it becoming common knowledge), has largely distanced himself from her after she confessed her whole ugly history to him.

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The problem wasn’t her murderous past per se. Or the bloodthirsty savagery of worgenism which her disciplined family had learned to control well before the rest of Gilneas had. These things actually fascinated him. It was her blood elf-like craving for fel energy and the growing submission of all other aspects of her personality to this one irrepressible need that eventually drove Ulvin away.

But despite his physical absence, Ulvin continues to play a large role in Kalika’s life as confessor, guide, and even romantic interest — though only in her head. (More and more she seems unable to distinguish real Ulvin from imagined Ulvin; her calm demeanor masks a spiritual unravelling that has left her teetering between euphoric delusion and bedridden depression ever since she left Gilneas, when control of her own mind and body first began to slip away from her.)

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In all fairness to Kalika, she’s labored hard since her flight from Gilneas to remake her view of the world in which everyone is little more than a prop in her family’s saga. She may catch herself sizing people up in terms of their worth in loot, for example, but repeats to herself that other people are entitled to their lives just as she is — even if she doesn’t always believe it.

And where she was once motivated by the thrill of the hunt, of elaborate plans laid down and executed to capture and kill numerically superior prey, she is now just as motivated by fear — fear of being lost to Shadow when she dies, fear of her family languishing in Shadow even now until she can repair its tarnished karma, but most especially fear of becoming Cavzabal’s minion. The delight in killing and robbing is still there, but redirected against the Burning Legion and Horde (which she sees as the instrument of the Legion) where it once was before her family lost its way behind the walls of Gilneas.

Unfortunately, Kalika’s hopes for living openly now that she’s out of the murder cult have had to be suspended indefinitely on account of her new profession of witchcraft — indeed, she’s had to become even more secretive and duplicitous than before, creating a false public persona to hide her dabbling in the black arts on the one hand, and on the other a false private persona to guard against the incessant psychological inroads from her own demonic minions.

Not that Kalika sees herself as a witch, but rather a demon hunter; just as a hunter uses animals to hunt other animals, so she uses demons to hunt other demons.

Of course, her dependence on demon blood and the dark arts is slowly changing her into a demonic creature herself, something she remains publicly in denial of — but privately hopes that Ulvin will yet step in and save her.

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Gear

References

  1. From “The mystery of the black hen for making a demon obedient” in Grimorium Verum (2007)
  2. Adapted from The Necronomicon (1977)

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