Category Archives: History

Of Fayan and the End Times

From Talbot Derin, Malan Cleric of Tarasmur and Magistrate of the Khadra’khal Bazaar to gathered parties on Fayan and her “children”:

“Medres is a child goddess.  Indeed, she and her sibllings, Zelres and Urthes, are the children of Fayan, the Elder Goddess of Murderous Death, an evil if there was any.

This is where it gets complicated and if you hunt undead you will want to know the whole story.

Before Fayan existed, there was no murder.  Not per se, though I’m certain Sythlia would disagree.  See, when her consort, Evin, was slain, she begged the concept of Death — not yet a fully formed god which is nothing more than a sphere of conceptual possibility given form and independent thought — for control over Death in her newly created realm, the Material Plane.

This proves deities have their weaknesses; Sythlia had to bargain for control over how life ended in a plane she crafted from the energy of the universe but death — or the concept of it — preexisted even her.

Moving on.  When she made that request, Death literally was torn in two.  A child of the Tirsar ‘requesting’ something is akin to us giving birth.  It’s not a question, it’s an act of creation.  Make sense so far?  Good.

Death had to continue to exist otherwise Life would be out of balance.  So it split from a parent, Death, into a brother and sister: Fayer and Fayan.

Fayer, the brother, is as neutral and uncaring as a god could be.  He serves the original function of balance to Life but now ensures that those that possess material bodies — like you and I — have those bodies return to the earth to provide nutrients so that life may continue elsewhere.  In the Fayerite religion, some sects hold it forbidden to ever be resurrected or reincarnated and likewise, to ever murder or bring premature death to someone or something.  They do not eat meat and only consume portions of plants so that nothing may intentionally die.  This is why there are not many of those sects around: they… tend to pass out from starvation.

Other Fayerite sects believes theirs is to prevent unlife — which cheats the natural process — in its entirety and enter the world fully capable of destroying undead.

Other sects still will kill anything for food but make sure each and every single bit of the creature that sacrificed itself so another may live is used in a productive and recycled fashion.

Now enter Fayan, the sister to Death.  See, Evin was murdered, the first murder, and Death became divided.  Evin was not killed for food as would occur in a natural setting.  No, no… Evin was slain out of a desire to change the course of events, a selfish act.  This, my friends, was murder.  Death couldn’t resolve this so it split.

Fayan, a creature born from selfishness and greed, from lust and wrath, came to Sythlia in her grieving state and was the one Sythlia wished to see.  For though her wish for control over death in her realm was presented, it was wrapped in deceit fueled by selfishness.

Sythlia was now able to restore life: the revenants were created, Sythlia’s stay of death to the deserving.  But with that came an alteration of the magic that had slipped into the world by Evin’s spilled blood: resurrection and reincarnation were now possible but since Fayan was involved, so was the creation of undead made possible and manifest.

Fayan had her hands full.  People and creatures started murdering each other now that knowledge of it was released in the world.  Some say evil didn’t truly exist until that very moment but Fayan was yet done.

Again, selfishness ruled her actions.  Evin was an elf and the reason why she existed in the first place.  Remember, his murder caused Sythlia to unwittingly divide Death.  Or perhaps it was part of ‘Her Plan’.  Either way, Fayan visited each of the three kings of the race of elves, the most established of all the races and from whence Evin had come.

She slew each of them and their blood was poured into what we call the ‘Pond of Lament’.  From the Slindar’il’s blood, the purest life of them all, was fashioned an unliving female child of perverted innocence: Medres.  From the blood of the Myrad’il, the most noble of all elves, was fashioned a corrupted male child that knew only of lies and deceit: Urthes.  And from the focused and skilled Adri’il, an androgynous child representing neither male nor female and yet both was fashioned: Zelres who is utter chaos brought to life.

Medres is cold and calculating just like the one that created her.  Her only motive is not to destroy life but to bring about death in any form.  Fayan gave her the ability to raise the dead so the process (and balance) of life would be upset.  A direct fly in the face of her brother, a selfish and evil act.

Some believe the mere presence of the undead in the world in some way prevents the thriving of life.  That is to say a day may come when all children by living creatures will be stillborn.  That is when the power of the undead balance the power of the living and neither of which may be created or born until the balance is shifted once more.  And by that time, the world will be a place of nightmare.”

The Caldra’fa Helix

The noted scribe Aristos ri Culstir (Epoch of Creation II) made mention of objects from the Epoch of Creation that were the precursor to the material plane, physical objects that contain a form of pure elemental essence.  It was said these objects evolved into their current state on their own before the necessary elements gathered to create what is now the material place.

Like water on curved piece of oiled parchment, the Caldra’fa Elements would soon be drawn to the worlds created.  As Evindale was declared home to its Creator, the Elements would also make this their home.  When placed end-to-end they form a single spiraling tower in and through which all communication with the Elder Gods is permissible; this is their gateway to the Realm of Sythlia.  Through it also their power may be used in their name.

Nine of the Caldra’fa Elements were known to exist during the founding of Prundem by the Myrad’il.  During the Prunish Wars, three of the Elements (Dren’al-bath, Oerst’al-neh, Sret’al-bah) were used to annihilate 45,000 humanoids who assaulted the city by binding them to the area (Dren’al-bath; control), turning the land to boiling blood (Oerst’al-neh; transmutate), and finally removing the bond between life and body (Sret’al-bah; the scythe).

Each Element may be used independently as was reported by Emperor Ghal of Talais wherein a servant’s body was “changed in frame [form?] to create a gorajish (ceremonial vase) for his new bride.  Like liquid he flowed to become a gift.”  Compare to the Annuls of the Grandastium which states “sevenfold did Alin flow into new form, each in accordance with Worit’s words as held held aloft the gem and commanded him as thus.”

Worit may refer to War’it of Talais who was said to gift his Emporer with the Horet’al-roh (change of state).

Only five of the Elements have been named by Aristos though he died before his work was complete.  Seekers of ancient lore have made the completion of the scribe’s work their life’s mission though none over the past 600 years have succeeded entirely.

Rabek of Staabri, a noted warrior-poet in his lands, tells a story of a great wizard-king from “between where the sky and earth meet, where the foot of the gods lays its final rest” who has in his possession a “pale stone, like one used for grinding” which “when held to the head made man capable of commanding and bending steel to his whim”.  This ‘wizard-king’ is believed to be fictional given the Staabri have had no such being in their history and instead was a king who used the stone to produce effects and was thereby labeled a calliacde, or wizard.  One leader, Balinek Twvidol, is noted for having mastered the sword to such a degree that he could “split the hair of a child’s head with a blade he did not wield nor watch yet commanded with great efficiency.  This he did from his stead whilst the child be a league away.”  He stated his power was in the blood of his line, meaning royal line of family which to the Staabri at that time was anyone who sat on the throne; any who sat upon it were called Astir-Dol, or “kin of kings” until their coronation.  Aristos believed it was literally in his throne, meaning the throne contained a piece of an Element and whosoever sat in it would gain its power.

From his writings in Gr 5:3:225,

“Behold,” the servant claimed of his king, “the power of the Steelwarden.”  And Rjokenthir’s head separated from his shoulders and spoke the Truths unto those gathered.  This the Steelwarden did from his high seat, such was the power of the Steelwarden.”

If Steelwarden were to be translated to the Celestial, it’s name would be byr’taalto, or ‘seat of steel’.  For some scholars this is a near match to an artifact known as the Sar’al-bir, or Master of Steel*.  The Sar’al-bir is the name of a throne constructed from a single crystal upon which sits the ruler of the Slindari folk.

*Bir (Ma.) — byr (Cel.): fired iron, or steel.  Ex., byr’xi, sword (steel edge).
Sar (Ma.) — taalto (Cel.): a) one who sits in a high position, b) a throne and its occupant, c) the position one holds that would require a throne, d) master

Sa’Jai the Beautiful

The smell of rare spices, the trumpet of exotic birds, the call of the auctioneer at the Slave Blocks, the promise of long life and prosperity if you only buy this lucky trinket.

No where in all of Erinnal is the traveller more accosted than here, the Khadra’khal Bazaar.  However, it is this same bustling environment that lures these travellers for fortunes fantastic and untold glory.  While it is true that many come to gain wealth through adventure or to challenge others in the Pit, the Bazaar is also a place of great danger… and some are brought to the Bazaar for other reasons.

Sa’Jai the Beautiful, Sa’jai the Agile, the Delicate, the Deadly.  Sa’Jai, the one woman about whom many true stories are told and even more fabricated, the greatest dancer ever known and the personal property of Cerl Hamad, the head of the Bazaar.

Rumors over the past years have circulated about Hamad and his Deh’nari slave, the devastatingly beautiful Sa’Jai.  The story goes he wanted to take a wife and hired thugs to search Erinnal for her.  For twelve years they returned with hundreds of women captured from neighboring nations.  None would sate Hamad’s desire for nothing less than perfection but those captured would be the basis of the Deh’nari.  So much so, he agreed with a deadaly smirk when the Captain of Guards made a sarcastic remark that Cerl wouldn’t be pleased unless a goddess were captured.

No more than one month passed before a new search was assembled.  Clerics and Inquisitors were released into Erinnal in search of a goddess.  Given instructions to not return untill she was found, they returned almost one year later with one woman: a Staabri seeress called Sa’Jai.

Hamad was smitten upon first glance.  She was immediately taken in to Hamad’s compound and not seen again for some time.

Cerl, in the meantime, had undergone some changes.  No longer was he morbidly obese, his horseshoe of graying hair came in thicker, his skin grew tighter, his mood was happier.  Rumors flew of Sa’Jai’s power to return some to youth that others came for her.  Hamad slew any individual who would dare to speak her name in his presence, let alone wish her for themselves.

While youth and strength came to Hamad, rabid jealousy and paranoia did as well.

Hamad single-handedly slew his entire guardsmen ranks because their captain, the one who originally made the goddess comment, had a wife whom someone had compared to Sa’Jai in beauty.

For five years no one saw Cerl and his enslaved “goddess”.  Word spread of his misdeeds with her, her screams of pain rang out through the night, his wicked laugh filled with torturous delight bounced off the city walls.  No one knew what was happening but no one dared to do a thing.

During the annual Festival of Faiths five years ago, the crowd parted and the cheers stopped.  Sermons ceased, idols were dropped.  Sa’Jai, wrapped in beautiful flowing Deh’nari silks, walked silently down from Hamad’s compound, smiled at each person she passed and stopped before the southern entrance to the Alleys.  There she performed a dance that enthralled all who watched: men remained silent, women were inspired, the sick returned to health.

When the morning sun shone down on Sa’Jai after a full night of dancing, she stopped and bowed to her audience.  With a graceful turn of her heel, she walked toward the western gate of the Bazaar and left, the glowing tattoo on her left ankle that bound her to the Bazaar faded into nothing.

Someone looked up toward the eastern gate, where the high arch was crowned by the single pennant of House Hamad.  All noticed the broken (but youthful) figure of Cerl impaled.

While no one has seen Sa’Jai since, rumor states she returned to her tribe in Staabri and was a remarkable woman, but a mortal nonetheless.  Others believed she was indeed a goddess for no other could make men silent for so long.

Whatever she was, the Bazaar was never the same.  Sickness returned five fold, death hovers in the air and the Hamad compound, once her prison, has now become a fortress filled with the undead captain of the guard, his family and all the guardsmen.

The citizens have reached out to any who listen to find Sa’Jai or else somehow end the curse inflicted on the Bazaar of Hamad.

I. The Epoch of Creation

From the lessons of the Malan Denath Re`Gren, Myrad`il Cleric of Sythlia to his student Aron of Katak:

“It was during this next period in time that many of the so-called intelligent races came into being.  However you must first understand that not all races are created equal.  There are the Natural, the Touched and the Born.

The Dreg`n evolved naturally. They came from whatever existed before them and are the natural conclusion of time and evolution.  It is also natural that they perish and die off as a species.  But many believe they continue to exist as my story to you will show.

The Tengu were the most intelligent of birds before Sythlia wished them to gain independent thought. She altered their course of being and are now called `Touched`.

The `Born` is admittedly a poor choice of wording but the term existed long before I and therefore is used out of convention. These are the creatures born from a mating of a god and a material life. In the present, such creatures would be called demi-gods but in the Epoch of Creation, mortals didn`t exist as you and I know them.   For everything was born of gods.

Sythlia loved the flora that had sprung up around her world.  She saw in it possibility but wanted more.  She imbued one kind of tree with life so it may act as a shepherd to all others. But it was so tall it only saw the other trees (horribly far-sighted they were). Sythlia noticed other creatures starting to form and married the spirit of life with physical form from nature.   Thus the fae were born.

These nature spirits performed their single-minded mission of tending to Sythlia`s creation. Sythlia enjoyed their company but she wanted to see them be free of mind and not be a servitor race.  They quickly adapted to their varied regions and to this day the fae live a life very close to nature in all its varied conditions. In Evindale, the fae are very active but do remain very much out of sight.

One particular fae grew apart from the others and Sythlia noticed. It grew taller, stronger and more defined, more physical like Sythlia herself. She felt a distinct love for this creature — whatever its name is/was — and gave some of her soul to create more like it. From this the elves were created.  This is the beginning of the `Born`.  You can see now why the term can be confusing.

With heavy ties to the nature spirits, these first elves remained loyal to nature in some fashion. Some darted into the forests (Adri`il, wood elves). Others made their way to the southern sands on Erinnal and became the desert-based Myrad`il, such as myself. Others dug deep into the hills and mountains and became like their habitat, squat and powerful; these became tirfolk (halflings) and dwarves.  Of course, no dwarf will admit their life and mine are bound by common blood.  They believe they were formed from the very rocks themselves but as you will soon hear, this was not the case.  After all, The Spine of the World, that great expanse of mountains from which they claim their bones were first formed, did not yet exist.  No, my dear Aron, they were once elves.

The dragon-kin that had lived in these mountains found their millennial homes now invaded by dwarves.  These ancestors of the dreg`n petitioned Sythlia, claiming theirs was the right to these underground passages. Sythlia refused to get involved, allowing Her Plan (Nature) to take its course. Some dragon-kin went to the surface and adapted, they became the orcs and goblins over time.  They, too, are `Natural` creatures.

Those that remained under the earth fought against the dwarves.  With captives on both sides, new breeds were created.  The Slindar`il, or “black elves of the deep” are ashen gray dwarves mixed with dragon-kin blood. They retain characteristics of both races but are taller, more muscular.

War broke out. Nature was fighting itself. Sythlia viewed this war as no different than any other facet of nature conflicting and destroying all around it so something new may come of it.Volcanos erupted and destroyed with no more anger than an ant who carved tunnels and spew the contents of the earth around its mound. To her, the War of the Races changed the face of the land in the same fashion.

Her consort, the first elf, though he knew of the dangers.   He felt his kin dying in rage.   He claimed Her Plan had gone awry, that hatred and greed were not a part of nature. She nodded and allowed one of the sleeping Dreg`n (“First Born”, or dragon) to arise once more. N`galir stood as tall as the continent is wide. With one step it crossed half the distance of Erinnal and crushed much of the surface dwellers. Fearing for their lives, all manner of creatures banded together to fight against N`galir but it was futile.

One enterprising dragon-kin lord knew no weapon of stone or wood could defeat N`galir. He petitioned Sythlia to stop the world from being destroyed and allowed her consort to go with the dragon-kin lord for a great meeting of all races.  Sythlia commanded N`galir to stand by and wait.

All the races gathered, all were present except Sythlia who kept N`galir at bay. Her consort (now simply called Evin by we Myrad`li, or `beloved host`) attended and asked representatives to ponder their actions, to compare what they had done to how the rest of nature resolves its conflicts through selfless action, through give and take. It was the lord of the dragon-kin who took action first and foremost, however, and had the Lord of the Slindar`il craft from the bowels of the land a weapon of mortal-fashioned metal, the first iron weapon. Tired of the lack of action Evin had taken he slew the great consort. Evin`s blood was the essence of natural magic and seeped into the ground, imbuing all natural life with it. His breath was the essence of creation magic and imbued all intelligent creatures with the power of molding it to its will.  This is how magic came into being; we each have a touch of Sythlia within us.  She created Evin.  From him magic was made available to us.  This is why some exclaim, `Bloenbreth!` when they see something extraordinary.  It means, `the Blood and Breath of Evin` or `all that is possible`.

Nonetheless, when Evin was murdered Sythlia immediately felt the disconnect. She released N`galir to destroy everything but the newly created metal and magic wielders focused their efforts on the ancient Dreg`n. It fell and crushed the ground beneath, forcing up huge mountains. Where its body lay, a great depression was formed and the ocean to the south poured in.  Thus was The Spine of the World created.  Back then, however, it was called the Spine of the Wyrm and time (or some fool) changed it to Spine of the World.

Where was I?   Ah, yes.

Gone was Evin and Sythlia mourned his loss. She created Evin`dale, or `Home of the Beloved Consort`, a group of islands to the west where she would keep her memories of Evin. She asked Death for control over that natural process within her realm. Death knew this was for selfish ends for she wanted to reverse Evin`s murder. The neutrally-aligned Death was now divided and so divided it became: Fayan and Fayer, sister and brother, murder and natural death. Fayan spoke quickly to Sythlia and took advantage of her grief. She granted Sythlia the ability to grant the dead life once more in exchange for allowing others to do so as well. Sythlia didn`t care and agreed. Evin rose from the dead and joined his beloved in Evin`dale. But now those so imbued with magic could also raise the dead. For the selfless, they could Raise Dead or Resurrect. For the selfish, they could create the Undead. For Sythlia, a new race was born, the Revenant. But Sythlia`s sacrifice for this was that her newly created Evin`dale could only be reached by the dead; no living mortal will ever see its lands.

Fayan saw the possibility of cults within all of Sythlila`s land, now inappropriately (and possibly mockingly) called Evindale. The goddess of murderous death slew three kings of each of the elven races. Their blood dripped in the Pond of Lament. Medres, goddess of plague and the undead, crept from the blood of the Slindar`il; Urthes, goddess of perverted truth and lies, grew from the blood of the noble Myrad`il; Zelres, goddess of insanity, was born from the pure blood of the Adri`il.   Into the mouths of scavanger animals did Fayan pour these vile liquids. Thus was born the harpies, the children of the Sister of Discord.

So it continues to this day that Death is split, the dragon-kin and Slindar`il remain at war with the living, the Cults of Discord worship the three Harpies, and Sythlia remains in Evin`dale awaiting the arrival of her recently demised children, the mortals of her world.

Where did the humans come from you ask?  True, I did not mention them.

All of the races — the tengu, elves, tirfolk, dwarves, dreg`n and their dragon-kin offspring and their orc and goblin cousins — existed before humans came to be.  Even the revenant existed before humans.  As a matter of fact, the other races evolved according to Her Plan long before the Children of Desire came to be.

Do you remember your first lesson?  When the Tirsar created and became the Adrihar?  Drenathis was the first of the gods, the will of creation itself made into entity.  A deity of New Beginnings.  Right, keep that in mind.

Soon after the clans of dwarves united into the Empire of the Spine in 243 DA (Dwarven Annal) under the great King Ekli they encountered a new breed of dragon-kin, the Strin`gith.  The baleful creatures were of demonic origin, products of unholy unions between the Sisters of Discord and mortal dragon-kin or worse, Slindar`il.  War erupted once more and the lands of Sythlia were once again in chaos.

Enter the next age, the Epoch of Desire, which I will save for our next lesson but I will give you this:  Drenathis had a strong following in those days and Drenathis was powerful because of it.  The desire for a New Beginning was strong in Sythlia and this was made manifest: one human — born of all the races in all of Sythlia and neither male nor female — stopped the war.  Humans were created to bring balance to the chaos that existed.

But this was before the reawakening of the Great Lich.”