Yhrra the Savior Chapter One In the village of Ingal, some 35 years before this writing, an unwanted child was born to parents at odds. The two, faithful to their own people, begot a daughter with no thought spared for the union they might have. The father, Giulle of Nirto, was human and a proud follower of Torkalath; the mother, Senatha, an elf that knelt at the feet of Felewyn. While the family was briefly whole, Yhrra was shown the follies of both philosophies. Her mother kept a strict dwelling under the premise that being respectable might win them favor with those who still turn up their noses. Her father endeavored to instill strength bordering on domination, convinced as he was that being outcast was more a test than a punishment. Unable to cope with each other, Giulle of Nirto and Senatha separated. Yhrra, given the choice of whom to leave with, struck out on her own instead. Aged fourteen at this time, she turned from society and lived amongst nature for twelve years. Chapter Two During the celebration of first hunt, in Yhrra's 27th year, she entered the Deralia and laid her first Condemnation before the temple steps. An excerpt: Two moons passed before she arrived in Gyun to affix her second Condemnation to the door of the temple therein. An excerpt: I had but a moment to see the Condemnations of Felewyn before they were snatched by the priests. They tried desperately to corral those of us touched by the words, screams of "blasphemy" and "heretics", but we fled, no longer bound by their lies. We abandoned the village, not even stopping for our homes, desperate to catch up with the author. Chapter Three One year we lived in the gentle valley of Yhrra's words before the offer was made. Her teachings, now spread through all the lands, drew new followers ever towards her. The Condemnations were outlawed by those who still follow the Deceivers, afraid as they were of the truths within. Her sermons all but paralyzed us each morning, none willing to move or speak lest we break the spell. On one morning, though, a few days before High Solstice, a man approached her, cloaked in gray and gentle of face. She greeted him with a smile as between friends, such was her way, though he had never been in our encampment before. He spoke to her as he approached, though even those nearest her were unable to hear a sound. When he reached her, she nodded and they embraced, whereupon stranger and Yhrra disappeared. For three days we waited, all remaining where she left us, content knowing she would not abandon us. On the third day she returned to us, more radiant than before. "Father Urdual is pleased with our workings here," she said in voice of grandeur. "He brought me to his realm and requested I take my place as his apostle." There came a susurration as we collectively sighed. I admit that my eyes glazed with thoughts of true harmony being brought to the land. Yhrra smiled gently, for she was not tempted from the path as we were. "Children," she continued peacefully, "Would not a servant of Felewyn gladly accept an offer from the false god with thoughts of subjugation ringing their mind? Would not a thrall of Torkalath, drunk with power, take up the mantle with domination in their heart? "I thanked the Father for his kind words and trust, but I will remain as I am, for no high power is needed to make this world fit for him." All present bowed at her words, ashamed in our greed and awed at her wisdom. Chapter Four The whole of the land we walked, spreading the good news of Yhrra the Savior. After a time we came upon a shrine to her, burned to the ground by disciples of Torkalath. Yhrra asked us to join as one. Hands clasped shoulders, connecting us all with her at our head. "Return from dust and become what you once were. You are in me and I in you. Never shall you fall again, for their atrophied might cannot stay our resolve." Before our eyes, the shrine raised itself from the ground, the wood uncharring as it lifted. Yhrra had used no magick, simply willed the shrine to obey. We came again to the village of Gyun, still beheld to Felewyn. Yhrra saw as a tax collector beat a man unable to pay until he moved no more. The Savior beseeched us again to join as one. "This man you have killed was guilty of nothing. Your laws are unjust and do not belong to this world. You thought his life belonged to you, but I say to you your life belongs to him." As she spoke, the tax collector cowered on the path next to the man he had slain until he, too, was still. The dead man rose and thanked Yhrra before joining our fold. Even necromancy is unable to return a soul from the soulwell, but Yhrra is beyond such simple magicks. Five days after we went from that place, a great storm threatened our camp, the sky as ink and the wind coming from all directions. As Yhrra emerged from her tent we joined with her once more. "Away with you! We who have come together shall not be torn apart. Turn from us, obey, or be dashed upon our soul." A swirling vortex of dirt and rain bore down on us, but we were not afraid. Tents and packs were thrown across the fields as it approached, but when it reached us it drew back in fear. The clouds parted to reveal the sun beyond. Even the most powerful of mages would require days of preparation to bend such nature to their will. Chapter Five Few villages remained unsworn to Yhrra. We were met with violence whenever we approached, though we were forbidden from raising arms ourselves. When asked how we would win them over, the Savior replied, "They will join us or destroy themselves. It's not for us to choose which." Not including resisters, a peace existed through the land which had never been seen before or since. The anointed races ceased their fighting, through Yhrra there was only harmony. All desire faded; through Yhrra all needs were met. All struggle ceased; through Yhrra all was possible. But those with eyes still hidden from the truth held a hatred for Yhrra. At the celebration of her 33rd year of life, two cloaked figures, unknown to us, approached our Savior. Drawing blades, they slashed their way through the remaining followers who would not part. Those of us closest to Yhrra reached out for her, but she stayed our hands and addressed the crowd. "Children, fear not," she said. "These two have been sent by the deceivers, conspiring to shatter our unity, but they will fail. I shall go with them now, but I reject the judgment they seek to bring on me. I will destroy the triad of false gods that this world may truly belong to us. When my work is done I will return and paradise will ride with me." She stood now before the would-be assassins. Though their blades struck true to her heart, no blood was spilled. Yhrra and the attackers disappeared, leaving nothing but their footprints in dirt. Two years have passed and only the most loyal of us remain where she last stood. The world may crumble around us, but we shall not abandon her, nor her us. We will be rewarded in her kingdom, while those who faltered will be cast out with the worshipers of dead gods to live in the strife outside her glow. Until then we wait. Yhrra the Deceiver Chapter One Yhrra was born to parents with differing ideologies, this much is true, but her early life being a war between the two trying to force their religion onto an innocent child are a complete fabrication. Giulle of Nirto and Senatha were respected among their people, helping to bridge a gap between two groups that held an uneasy truce. Yes, they shared their cultures with their daughter - as any would - but this story of her throwing off bonds of cruelty and oppression to find "the true path" of harmony is just that, a story. The truth of her first disappearance from the world was not family squabbles causing each to go their own way. Her mother and father were found dead in their dwelling, supposedly by each other's hands, though I've always been skeptical. Watching your parents murder each other in a fit of rage would surely create a monster, true, but a monster whose greatest achievement was the mass manipulation of the world would surely start with her parents. We will never know for sure which the case is. Abandoning home and society, her stay in the wilderness began, lasting nearly twelve years. Chapter Two Yhrra returned to civilization to deliver her "Condemnations" of Felewyn and Torkalath, which inexplicably proved to be powerful recruitment tools. Though the originals were destroyed, I have studied, what I am assured are, complete copies. I confess I don't see the appeal. Oh, at first brush they are grandiose, yes, but those initial followers who read them were overtaken with such vehement doubt about their old ways that they fled villages immediately, seeking Yhrra. Drivel. Absolute drivel. If these words were booming down from a mountaintop they might give pause or inspire wonder, but anyone seeing them as simple words on a page will see they are, indeed, simple. And yet these honeyed words nearly broke our lands and caused further divide between the enlightened races. Chapter Three Over the next year, Yhrra walked Leann, swaying hearts and gathering followers. While many stayed behind, few were unaffected when her band passed through a village. A plague of the mind was being spread to all, an existential boredom bringing the whole of the land to a crawl. Abandon duty and society no longer drives you. Reject the heart of innovation and you no longer drive yourself. All that remains is a desire to sustain life, and sometimes not even that; a stagnation of life in the guise of balance. And still, Urdual sought more. Blind to what was happening, or perhaps seeking it, the Loreldian took Yhrra as his apostle. Now with powers incomprehensible, Yhrra convinced her flock they were helping her perform "miracles" outside of the realm of normal magick across the lands. In doing so, she not only increased her hold on the land but their belief in her. With each act they believed her to be less a conduit of Urdual and more a divine power in her own right. Chapter Four Most of the map now laid tainted with Yhrra's blight. Now accompanying her diatribes in each village were the testimonies from witnesses to her miracles. Even those with strength of will to remain skeptical in the face of her glamour were taken in by her powers. The few remaining holdouts prayed to their gods for salvation, but were left wanting for years. The whole of Ingal, site of Yhrra's first casualties, symbol of racial unity, quietly laid down in bloodless death. Few would discover the ghost town until after, trade being as scarce as it was during the stagnation, but we believe now that it was the final spurring the Loreldians needed to act. It's difficult to get an accurate account of Yhrra's death, being that the only witnesses were the assassin, who never revealed his identity, and her most loyal followers, who either remained under her spell or whose minds were so affected they cannot be considered reliable. A hooded man approached the deceiver in the midst of her worshippers, this much is known. Her words are transcribed as closely as possible: "You presume yourself worthy of leveling iron against me?" she asked of her executioner with utter scorn. "I who saved this land from suffering and strife? I who performed miracles and rose above the gods? Remove yourself from my presence, from this world." When the man made no such movements, she beckoned others forward to dispatch him, but they all fell on his blade. Panicked now, she attempted to strike him down herself with her own power, but found it failing. The assassin strode steadily towards her as she attempted to flee, smiting all who tried to interfere, and ultimately driving his sword through her heart. Upon Yhrra's death, all but her most fervent believers awoke slowly from their stupor. None could find Yhrra or her killer, though this may be due to the general daze they all experienced. In the years since, elves, dwarves, and men found themselves wary of outsiders, and thus closed themselves off from each other. We are well beyond her reign now and still the relations between enlightened races are strained. Lord Alu-deral is making progress, and I do believe we can unite once more with his help, but it will be long before the damages of a dominant Loreldian can be reversed.