"Peace to you, small lady. You've won a twisted poor modern knight, to wear your favor on his sleeve. But it's a twisted poor world we were born into, that rejects us without mercy and ejects us without consultation. At least I won't just tilt at windmills for you. I'll send sappers to mine the twirling suckers, and blast them into the sky..."
Miles Vorkosigan[src]
Raina Csurik (RAY-nuh SHUH-rihk) was the daughter of Lem Csurik and Harra Csurik of Silvy Vale. She was murdered days after her birth by Mara Mattulich, Harra's mother, when it was discovered she was born with a cleft palate, a minor disfigurement that could be fixed with normal surgery. However, in the superstitious and mutant-phobic Dendarii Mountains village, it was seen as a mutation. Mara killed the infant by breaking her neck; she made no attempt to correct others' claims that Harra had accidentally killed her.[1]

Harra, thinking her husband had slain her child, sought her liege lord, Count Vorkosigan's aid. Vorkosigan sent his demi-mutant son Miles as his Voice and to conduct the investigation. Miles eventually solved the murder mystery and cleared Lem's name.[1]

Miles suggested Harra, along with Lem, go to Hassadar, where she could receive education in teaching, and suggested creating a school to be named The Raina Csurik School in tribute and memorial. Harra fulfilled his wish, and indeed founded that school. Miles realized himself that his true purpose in serving the Barrayaran Imperial Service was for people like Raina, and she became his personal symbol of Barrayar, not Emperor Gregor.[1]

After being discharged from Barrayaran Imperial Security, Miles attempted to give Raina a death offering at her grave, to remind himself what mattered most, but discovered the graveyard she had been buried in had been flooded due to a new hydroelectric dam.[2] Harra informed him that most of the graves had been moved, but not Raina's, due to the size of her miniscule coffin. Harra felt it was best she remained where she was:

"She's gone back to the soil, I guess. I didn't mind. It seemed right, when I thought about it. I really think this school is her best memorial anyway. Every day I come here to teach is like burning an offering, only better. Because it makes, instead of destroys."
―Harra's epitaph for Raina[src]

Notes and referencesEdit

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