Parama Shakka

Name: Parama Shakka (pah-RAH-mah SHAHK-kah)

Age: 22 (at the start of Goda’s Slave)

Ethnicity: Middlelander

Native Tongue: Middlelander (Southern Dialect)

First Appearance

Parama first appears in Goda’s Slave (Chapter 4: Serpents), shortly after Kanna and Goda have secured primitive housing from the innkeeper, Jaya Hadd. Kanna learns that he is a slave who has been given the position of a temple scribe. He is the first male Middlelander that Kanna ever meets.

Because of his short stature and his “feminine” demeanor (but mostly due to Kanna’s own bias, having been brought up in a culture that values hypermasculinity), Kanna is unsure of his gender when she first sees him. For similar reasons, she also misinterprets Parama’s age, guessing that he is a teenager, when he is in fact older than Kanna herself.

Slowly, Kanna begins to realize that sexual dimorphism developed differently in Middlelanders, and that the men are typically shorter and less physically built than the women (whom Kanna sees as giants).


Parama was born in the South-Eastern edge of the Middleland, between the Outerland border and the city of Karo. Growing up, his mothers ran an import business that transported goods from the Outerland desert, especially construction materials to fuel the quickly-industrializing Middleland capital. He was raised in relative wealth.

His mothers were less traditional than most Middlelander parents, in part because they were influenced by cultural exchange with Outerlanders. As a result, they allowed him to work in the family business from an early age, alongside his sisters, an unusual arrangement for a young man. During this time, he picked up an obscure dialect of Outerlander that is spoken near the Outerland-Lowerland border, which would later prove useful to the Middlelander government.

Parama chose to leave his family home with one of his sisters during his late teenage years to live independently from his (still living) mothers, also an atypical choice for a Middlelander male. However, shortly after he turned nineteen (which is the age of majority in the Middleland), his sister was arrested for storing Samma Flower in their shared home. As part of the household, Parama was punished for his association, though charged with a lesser crime. He was sentenced to seven years of servitude.

Forced to work in a textile mill that produced clothes out of various kinds of animal hair imported from the Upperland, Parama suffered repetitive motion injuries in both his wrists. With his grip now weakened, he suffered an accident and cut open his hand one day while carding wool.

On this same day, Goda Brahm was casually stealing a crate of supplies from the mill’s warehouse and noticed him shuffling to the infirmary. Upon spotting Goda, Parama stopped dead in his tracks to admonish her. Though she brushed him aside easily, Goda was impressed by his fearlessness, and came back to visit him multiple times. They discovered that they had a mutual interest in ancient Outerlander religion, and an odd friendship was born between them. As their physical attraction towards each other became more obvious, however, the friendship grew more distant and awkward.

Eventually, Goda recommended Parama to Lila Hadd–a junior bureaucrat who worked in job placement for slaves–when a translation position opened up in a distant monastery.

Physical Appearance and Size

Parama has hazel eyes and brown, curly hair that is cut short. He is slightly taller than average for a Middlelander male, at around 1.57 meters (5′ 2″) in height. His frame is slight and thin, which is also typical, making him about half as massive as the largest robust women.

He is physically stronger than average for his gender due to family genetics, a fact he conceals around women. Besides hiding his muscularity, he also closely shaves his face. Unusual for a Middlelander (as members of all sexes tend to have thin, translucent body hair), Parama can grow a small goatee.


Parama is friends with both Goda Brahm and her cousin Jaya Hadd, the latter of whom is his discreet lover. As is typical for the culture, however, he views Jaya as little more than a friend. He is openly flirtatious with Goda, who is mutually attracted, but wishes to remain celibate for spiritual purposes and so continually brushes off his playful advances.