Laksha Kulasekaran is a witch who was born in the city of Madurai, in southern India, in the year 1277 A.D, during the reign of Panyan King Maravaramban Kulasekaran, whose name she sought to honor by making it her own. When she was sixteen years old she met Venetian merchant traveler Marco Polo, and "realized how large the world must be to contain people like him in it."
Seeking to free herself from the confines of a misogynistic caste system, she began learning magic from various Vedic demons like rakshasas and vetalas. Most of the skills she learned were "horrible - rakshasas have nothing delightful to share", and among the skills she learned was the trick of transferring one's soul from place to place, including to the bodies of others and gems.
After nearly six hundred years, Laksha sought a new life outside India, and bought passage on a sea vessel that was heading for China, and later America. However the ship foundered off the coast of San Francisco, and Laksha was forced to transfer her soul into a the largest ruby of a golden necklace. There she remained, under about fifty feet of sand and water, for 160 years, until Atticus O'Sullivan was hired to retrieve the necklace by The Sisters of the Three Auroras, a coven of Polish witches residing in Tempe, Arizona. Radomila, the head of the coven, exorcised Laksha from the gem, forcing her to take refuge in the nearest habitable body, that of Granuaile MacTiernan.
Eventually Laksha convinced Granuaile to seek out Atticus and enlist his aid in returning the ruby to Laksha. By the beginning of the second novel, Hexed, Laksha, having retrieved the ruby, has taken up residence in a new body, one formerly belonging to a young Pashtun woman named Selai who had been a coma for a year, following a car accident. As per her agreement with Atticus, Laksha could only take the body of a soul willing to vacate it for the afterlife, and must remain east of the Mississippi and never enter Arizona again without first notifying Atticus. Laksha now spends her time trying to pay off the karmic debt she accrued throughout her long life.