Dantia/Projects/Visions/Empath and Alfar Warrior

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Caution.png The following article contains player-created lore or theories.

It is not necessarily an accurate reflection of official game lore.


Version History

12/20/2020 - v3.0, updated research to reflect three new visions, rearranged content to better reflect story arc, updated conclusions.
10/13/2020 - v2.0, updated research to reflect two new visions.
05/10/2020 - v1.0, added first round of research and notes.


Notes

In an effort to keep my notes as concise as possible, all Moon Mage visions used here have been given a reference name and are reprinted at the bottom of this article for review.

The majority of this research was done assuming that these visions are literal events that have happened or will happen. There is a definite possibility that these visions are not literal representations of actual events, but metaphors on topics that we yet do not understand.


Location

One consistent element between the beginning visions is that they all reference a "windswept mountain steppe," which can help us start to narrow down where the combat portion of these visions take place. There are only two known "steppe" areas, the Gilen Otso Steppes, a Ranger housing community in Shard (unlikely), and the Arid Steppe in Forfedhdar. From the visions, we know that the area has a "chill air" and is "bone dry", which matches the description of the Arid Steppe. There are also two mountain ranges in close proximity, the Tivshowldh Mountains which form a crescent to the south, and the Himineldar Shel, a mountain range to the east.

See the official map. The Arid Steppe is, assumedly, underneath the "Beyond the Barrier" label on the western side of the map, the Tivshowldh Mountains form the crescent range to the south, and the Himineldar Shel are the series of mountains between Ain Ghazal and Boar Clan.

I am confident that the steppe referenced is the Arid Steppe because of a separate vision that does not mention the Empath, which I’ve noted below as the "Barrier Horses" vision. This vision again references a steppe, along with other vague geographies such as winding valleys and broken forests, all of which could be theoretically seen from above if one were approaching the Arid Steppe from the East. In the "Barrier Horses" vision, the horses are spooked and run west (implying that the viewer is coming from the East), running until they physically slam into an “unseen barrier” which injures the lead horses. Traveling west across the Arid Steppe would bring you to the previous location of the Great Barrier. Could this imply the timeline for this set of visions is placed before the Barrier fell?

My first assumption had been that the mountains mentioned were the Tivshowldh Mountains, which are thought to be cursed, "perhaps due to being barren of gem and ore mines or rock quarries"[1]. However, the mountain does have salt mines[2] where "innumerable lives have... been lost"[3]. At first, this brought to mind another vision, referenced as the "Mines" vision, because of the statement "Anything goes in, but nothing comes back." However, I have made no progress in connecting the glowing crystals to salt mines, nor have I found anything else to support that the mountains are the Tivshowldh Mountains, so this connection seems tenuous at best.

Alternatively, the mountains referenced could be the Himineldar Shel (Mountains) that lay to the northeast of the Tivshowldh Mountains, upon which Hibarnhvidar was built. These mountains are known to "yield some of the most expansive mines of gems and ores"[4]. Further discussion on this location can be found under the What is Being Guarded section.

Later visions feature various locations that range from a desert to a swamp, but it is my belief that these locations are just used to signify that the Alfar is traveling far and wide to in an effort to track the soldiers down.

In "Weeping", the Alfar is on a "mountain cliff" with "the wind howling" that "[overlooks] a distant city twinkling in the sunset." The story arc of these visions coupled with the similarity of the Alfar sharpening its blade with a whetstone in "An Hour or Less" (the first vision) strongly implies that this is a return to the original mountain range. This would make it more likely that the mountain range is the Himineldar Shel, as there are several cities that could be seen from a distance: Raven's Point, Hibarnhvidar, Ain Ghazal and Boar Clan. Given the proximity and arrangement of these cities, the first city that would be visible on the horizon (when looking north / northwest) would be Raven's Point.


Empath and Alfar

We know for certain that the thin, grey-haired, Elothean woman featured is an Empath, as Empaths are the only Guild able to summon an Alfar Warrior using their Guardian Spirit spell. This is confirmed by her self-healing in the "Battle is Lost" vision.

Elotheans, as a race, generally "prefer to go the route of peace rather than force"[5], and can live to be 350 years old, with "visible aging slow[ing] considerably once they reach their physical prime"[6]. An Elothean with grey hair and wrinkles may be assumed to be at least middle-aged, which would put her at at least 100 years old. However, since we know Elotheans age visibly slower once they reach prime, we may be able to assume her age is at least 150 years old. If these visions are from our present, this would put her birth around the Year 284. If, however, these visions are from our past (as possibly suggested by the "Barrier Horses" vision, in that the Great Barrier has not yet fallen), she could have been born around Year 234. These ages are, however, pure guesstimates and should not be taken as fact.

What I find of particular note is the Alfar's continued presence and strength, even after the Empath's death. The Alfar are a type of fae that most likely come from another plane[7]. Although most fae we know serve one Immortal or another, the Alfar are not known for serving a particular Immortal[8], but instead are honoring some debt they feel they owe to Empaths for an event that has been lost to the passage of time[9]. Seeing an Alfar without an Empath is a fairly rare occurrence[10], and we do not know under what circumstances this summoning can be maintained even after the death of the summoning Empath. When an Empath summons a warrior to defend them, the strength of the warrior is proportional to the Empath's skill with targeted magic - but the Empath's summoning ability may not determine the Alfar's strength in so much as how much of that strength is manifested upon summoning[11]. It is also quite likely that the strength of the warrior, when separated from the Empath, would be "something else entirely"[12]. Lastly, an Alfar speaking is not a common occurrence[13], so what we we may be able to take from these visions is that this Empath and her Alfar have a very unique or deep-seeded bond with one another. Or, these visions may be from a time long past when the bond between Empaths and Alfars was stronger or more unique, perhaps because the debt between the two was a more recent occurrence.

In one of the most recent visions, another Empath says of this one, "You can't stop your best -- they find their own trouble." This implies that this Empath is of strong talent, or is in someway superior to the others of this group. There have been many noteworthy Empath's over the years, but there is not enough defining information in these visions to pin down one specifically.


Affiliation

From the first visions, it was unclear if the Empath belonged to a specific affiliation or not.

The "Just Some Horses" vision showed that "the mountain air and sun [had] left their mark on her," which implies that she is from, orLitt has been in the area of, this mountain and/or the Arid Steppe for a large portion of her life. Also known to reside in this area are the Nomads of the Arid Steppe, a Moon Mage guild sect, but I have not been able to connect this Empath with that sect, beyond physical location, in any meaningful way.

I originally attempted to link this Empath with an Elothean House, perhaps the House of the Gilded Longleaf (known affinity for Empaths, Traders and Bards), or the House of the Silver Star (known to have silver hair and grey eyes, with the official colors of blue and silver - see discussion on her clothing below).

Of the Houses, the strongest connection I could form was with the House of the Rowan Branch, who's children are "invariably silver-haired and gray-eyed; solemn colors for a solemn house"[14]. This House "live[s] in a monastery"[15][16] (see further discussion of martial arts below), and initiates must undertake a year long vow of silence[17][18], which may explain the Empaths silence in each vision. The leader of the House, Ithna Avoinasako, also implied that even after joining some House members may speak very little[19].

In the "An Hour or Less" vision, it is explicitly stated that the Empath is "holding herself in a statue-still martial pose," and further visions have shown her fighting against soldiers using decidedly martial-arts like abilities, such as catching a crossbow bolt mid-air in the "Battle is Lost" vision. Under what circumstances would an Empath come to learn martial arts? It's assumed that brawling, which many Empaths are skilled in, is not considered to have has fine of a technique or discipline as martial arts, so this is probably a different skill set that she has come to learn. Monks, those most typically associated with the martial arts techniques, are usually relegated to Clerics or Moon Mages, especially the Monks of the Crystal Hand, but I cannot find a connection to any of these groups. I think it would be natural for martial arts to be an art learned by those of the House of the Rowan Branch, but I have been unable to confirm that suspicion.

The Empath wears a faded ("Just Some Horses" vision) "simple sapphire blue linen robe and thick canvas sandals" ("An Hour or Less" vision), which also evoke the idea of a monk. The blue color may be a reference to the Elothean House of the Silver Star, or it could be just an unimportant choice of fashion.

In "She Had Her Reasons", it is made much more clear that the Empath is part of some sort of affilitation, as the two women are also both wearing "sapphire blue linen robes". These women appear to use either Manipulation or Innocence to calm the onrushing horses, which tells us that they, too, are Empaths. This leads me to believe the affiliation is "simply" that of the Empath Guild, as the official Empath Guild color is sapphire blue[20].

This information is outdated as of 12/20/2020, but is retained for posterity.

The last potential affiliation, but my strongest opinion at this time, is the Sisterhood of the Rose, the governing body of Ain Ghazal, located to the east of the Arid Steppes. The Sisters "mediate disputes between the various political entities of Forfedhdar and in return are able to dispense justice anywhere in the province to those who have broken Ain Ghazal's laws"[21]. These Sisters are known to "dress in a humble style"[22], although that is usually "a simply white [robe] and one carefully chosen piece of jewelry adorned with a rose emblem"[23], and dispense their own "distinct version of justice for criminals -- that of a painful and unforgettable sort"[24]. Each Sister is expected to learn to "focus herself using intense, powerful meditation techniques in an attempt to achieve perfect mastery of body and mind"[25] and "are required to be exceptionally disciplined and strong both mentally and physically"[26]. This could mean that the Empaths martial arts training were learned through the Sisterhood.

Leaders of the Sisterhood become known simply as "Lyba Khalo" upon their ascension, and can can be of any race, as evident by the busts on display in the Ain Ghazal Chateau's main foyer[27]. One of these, the Lyba Khalo XLI, was an Elothean, but I have been unable to find any additional details that may suggest this Elothean Empath is one and the same.


Soldiers

We are given very little to help determine the identity or intent of the soldiers. However, based on what we are shown we can conclude that they are at least two, possibly three, different groups of soldiers. It's unknown if these groups are all from within the same army.

The first time we see the soldiers ("Spears" vision), they number about half a dozen, are "brandishing long spears", and are standing in a semi-circle before the Empath. In a blur of motion, the Empath snaps a spear in two and sends one of the soldiers sprawling to the ground. The next vision ("Guard These Mountains") may be a continuation of the first vision, as it again calls out half a dozen soldiers, all of who are now lying on the ground, "groaning as they rub bruised ribs or cradle dislocated soldiers, their weapons shattered round them and their armor torn from their bodies." In the third vision featuring the soldiers ("Battle is Lost") we now have a "double ring of soldiers -- shield wardens in the middle, crossbowmen on the outside." The Empath is surrounded by "over a dozen unconscious soldiers", which implies that this is a much larger party of soldiers, by at least three times, than the first two visions.

It is well known that to kill a trained battle Empath is no easy feat. For her to ultimately face her death, she must have been overwhelmed by a company of impressive size, especially given the forces that she and the Alfar had already repulsed. The progression of these visions leads me to believe that the first band of soldiers vastly underestimated her capabilities, retreated to their larger regiment or home land, and later returned with a larger force that overwhelmed her.

The closest we get to a description of the soldiers themselves is from the "Guard These Mountains" vision, where we are told that one soldier is tall with a broad frame and wears a pauldron bearing the emblem of a captain. Elotheans average 5.25' to 6' in height for a female, so a "tall" soldier would most likely be in the 6'+ height range, limiting the soldiers' race (potentially) down to Elf, Kaldar, Gor'Tog, Elothean or S'kra Mur. The mention of "broad frame" would most likely rule out Elves and Elotheans, leaving us with Kaldar, Gor'Tog or S'kra Mur. If we can assume that by not mentioning any defining racial features, the viewer meant there were none, then it is most likely that the soldiers are Kaldar. However, this is wild conjecture for the sake of discussion, and should not be taken as firm fact.

In "Retribution," the soldiers are again described as having shields, spears and crossbows. In my research, I have not been able to identify a particular race or company of soldiers that are particular to these specific armaments. In "Desert Column", he specifically killed a female soldier, but I have not been able to identify any fighting forces or provinces that specifically exclude females from fighting roles, for the purpose of narrowing down who the soldiers may be.

In "Guard These Mountains", there is the specific mention of a "pauldron". A pauldron is a piece of plate armor that is worn over the shoulder. In these days, it's not unusual for adventurers of all guilds to wear plate armor, at least for training purposes, and given that we know these are soldiers, their choice of armor is not unusual. The notation of captain does, however, indicate that this is an organized group of fighters from a single source/army. Otherwise, I can find no real meaning behind the mention of this particular piece of armor.

In "Desert Column" the soldiers seemed to have experience with traveling through a desert; they are prepared with scarves to protect their faces, they travel in a line with one hand placed on another's shoulder, and through the use of hand signals for communication. The only specific references I can find in regards to hand signals are Rangers and Thieves, neither of which I can specifically tie to these visions.


What is Being Guarded

In the "Spears" vision, a soldier "demands passage, but the woman does not react." In a future vision, "Guard These Mountains", the Alfar says to the group of soldiers, "Turn back. There is nothing for you here. Do not return. We will always guard these mountains." What could these two be guarding passage to within the mountain?

In "She Had Her Reasons", it's implied that the action she is taking is for her own purpose - not that of the Empath Guild as a whole. This leads me to believe that her actions are something of a personal nature - perhaps guarding something she valued as a child, her homeland, etc.

Since the soldiers do not appear to be able to go around the Empath, and are requesting "passage", it sounds like whatever is being guarded has a singular point of access - a door, a cave opening, an otherwise inaccessible trail, etc. This leads me to believe the Empath is not providing border protection or guarding something transitory like a camp of adventurers. Since the soldiers are shown in a variety of other locations as the visions have progressed (a thick jungle followed by a desert), the soldiers may be traveling across the lands in search of something, and not after something specific at this exact location.

The below information is outdated as of 12/20/2020, but is retained for posterity.

If the Empath has an affiliation with the Sisterhood of the Rose, she may be guarding access to the Rose Maiden's Caverns, which is where the Kwarlog Dwarves discovered the body of a dead maiden holding a perfectly carved white stone rose. Although these tunnels collapsed and buried the maiden, her legacy lived on as the basis for the Rose Clan, which eventually became known as the Sisterhood of the Rose [28]. In my research, I was unable to determine specifically which mountain or mountain range contained the Rose Maiden's Caverns. However, since we know it was located by the Kwarlog Dwarves (who's nation spanned the Arncharn Shel and Himineldar Shel), we may be able to infer that the caverns can be found within the Himineldar Shel, which coincides with our conclusion that the location for this vision is the Arid Steppe.

In Dec 2019, there was an auction material design contest, where one of the player-submitted materials, irinai, was said to be mined in small quantities by the Kaldar in the Himineldar Shel. If these are Kaldar soldiers, they may be trying to gain access to that mine. However, their negotiations to acquire mining rights had been made with the local Dwarves, so it seems unlikely that an Elothean Empath would be their guard.


Horses

Through many of these visions, there is a recurring theme of racing horses. Although I have not pursued this line of research, there may be underlying themes related to this.


Aftermath

In more recent visions ("Retribution" and "Desert Column"), the Alfar's location has progressed to a "thick jungle" and then a desert. However, we can infer that significant time has passed between the "Death" scene and these two additional visions, since the blue strip around the Alfar's bicep has faded, presumably with time. There are many jungles spread out through the lands, which doesn't point us in any solid direction, but there are far fewer dune-filled deserts: Dunes of Despair (M'Riss), Hidisharon Desert (M'Riss), Pokekehekepi (Reshalia), or the Velaka Desert (Muspar'i). The only thing that can really be determined from this information is that the Alfar seems to be traveling at great lengths, over a decent amount of time, to track down the members of this company of soldiers - whether he's specifically tracking down the soldiers who played a role in the murder of the Empath, or whether he's tracking down anyone associated with the company.

We can also assume enough time has passed between "Death" and future visions because the Alfar is described as now being "gaunt" (versus "muscular"), as having "scarred wrists" (instead of the wounds being fresh), and because the blue strip he had tied around his bicep is now "faded". By definition, his gaunt nature may imply that he is lean and haggard especially because of suffering, hunger, or age, which would make sense if he is living his life with the singular goal of hunting down those who were responsible for the Empath's death.

In the most recent vision, "Weeping", I find the use of the word "incarnadines" particularly interesting. This literally means "to make the color of flesh." It's as if the Alfar, who is usually a pale creature summoned forth for combat and who seems to have been living with a single purpose (to exact revenge), has this beautiful moment where he returns to just being someone who has lost someone he cares deeply for. The story arcs from spilling blood, to the warrior having the blood return to him, while he sits in the blood-red sunlight.


Conclusion

It's hard to make any firm conclusions from these types of visions. What could be literal might be interpreted as symbolic, and vice versa.

At the moment, it's my belief that this Empath was one of particular skill and talent and that that was reflected in the deep bond she had with her Alfar. That would, most likely, place the timeline of this vision to be very far in our past, when Empaths were much stronger than they are now, and would better explain this extraordinary bond.

I believe that whatever the Empath was guarding was something personal to her - a personal mission or vendetta, which means the details may never be known to us.

The following is outdated information as of 12/20/2020, which I have retained for posterity.

As of my most recent round of research, it's my belief that this Empath and her Alfar were set to guard a passage into the Himineldar Shel mountains, perhaps the location of the original Rose Maiden's Caverns. A company of soldiers in search of something, perhaps the caverns or their contents, demanded passage and were denied. They continued to return with a larger number of soldiers until they were able to overwhelm the Empath and her Alfar, killing the Empath and maiming the Alfar in the process. The soldiers most likely found what they were looking for and left.

The Alfar is now traveling the lands seeking out soldiers who were involved either in retribution or perhaps to reclaim whatever has has been taken that he had been guarding.

Should there be any additional visions related to the Empath, I will continue to update these research notes and my conclusions.


Visions Referenced in this Research

Vision Reference Name Vision Date Vision
"Weeping" 12/18/2020

You find yourself atop a mountain cliff, the wind howling. A gaunt alfar warrior stands still and silent, overlooking a distant city twinkling in the sunset. Holding a dented and notched black blade, the warrior stares at the weapon for a long moment before reaching for a whetstone. The warrior drags the stone across the blades edge with a loud rasping ring before stopping and taking a deep and shuddering breath. The sun continues to set, and the warrior does not move.

Its face contorting in fury, the warrior throws the blade into the distance, a spinning circle of dark metal that vanishes into the forest. Falling to its knees, the alfar begins to weep, copious tears falling between calloused fingers and dripping along scarred wrists. The blood-red sunlight incarnadines the warrior, and it unties a faded strip of blue cloth tied to its bicep. The vision fades.

"She Had Her Reasons" 11/18/2020

Two women stand in a wide open field, their sapphire blue linen robes billowing in the whipping winds as a wild storm builds in the distance, crackling ominously. A massive bolt of lightning rends the sky, spooking a herd of horses along the steppe, a cloud of dust billowing in their wake. As the horses approach, the women raise their hands before them, and with a slow exhalation, lower their hands back to their sides. The stampeding horses slow to a gentle walk, calm and docile.

One woman looks to the other and remarks, "It could have been that easy for her as well."

The other nods, and replies, "She had her reasons. You can't stop your best -- they find their own trouble."

The horses walk around the women, unperturbed, and the vision fades.

"Rowboat" 10/20/2020

You find yourself on a long rowboat, a dozen soldiers intently peering into the gloom, the riverbank and forest barely visible from the light of flickering torches. The soldiers breathe heavily, clearly terrified. Suddenly, the water explodes into a column of spray and with a startled scream, two of the soldiers disappear into the murky river. The rest of the soldiers alternate between firing crossbow bolts into the water and shouting at the oarsmen to row faster, and in the confusion, another column of water explodes and two more soldiers disappear. Chaos ensues, and a strange black blade wielded by a pale arm slashes from out of the water, hamstringing and gutting the remaining soldiers. Some supplies catch on fire, and the boat begins to burn.

Rising from the waters, a gaunt alfar warrior slowly strides into the forest, snapping the blade to dry it, and touching a faded blue strip of cloth tied to its bicep. The vision fades.

"Desert Column" 7/25/2020

The hot sun blazes above in a muted desert sky, the dry air buzzing with an enveloping sandstorm. Several soldiers clutch scarves to their faces and lean low as they cross between the dunes, communicating via hand signals. One soldier climbs to the ridge and peeks over, gasping in surprise as he is jerked over the edge. His screams are choked short in moments, and with a howl of whipping sand and hissing winds, the storm intensifies.

The other soldiers form a line, each with hands on the shoulder of the ally before them as they continue forward, heads bowed against the onslaught. Behind them, a gaunt alfar with scarred wrists and a faded blue strip of cloth tied to its bicep rises from the sands, a long black blade held at the ready. The alfar grabs the last soldier in the column, muffling her cries and slitting her throat, and then instantly disappears into the storm. The vision fades.

"Retribution" 7/1/2020

You find yourself enveloped by the scent of rich vegetation and the sound of competing bird calls. A thick jungle stretches around you, sunlight trickling through tiny gaps the dense canopy. A gaunt alfar with scarred wrists and broken wings walks along a stream, wide eyes scanning the area. The alfar spots something and leaps to a nearby tree, scampering up the trunk and silently leaping from branch to branch before crouching low.

Observing a small encampment of soldiers as they clean their shields, spears, and crossbows, the alfar's eyes narrow in contempt. Silently touching a faded blue strip of cloth tied above its bicep, the alfar draws a long black blade and leaps from the tree. The sound of battle continues for some time, the screams pleading for mercy that the alfar callously withholds. After some time, the alfar stands amidst the corpses of the camp, calm and impassive, and the vision fades.

"Death" 5/27/2020

A windswept mountain steppe unfolds around you, the air chill and bone-dry. A muscular alfar is chained to a rock face, bruised and battered, vestigial wings broken and mutilated. Straining against the manacles and screaming obscenities at the sky, the alfar leans forward, and as the irons cut into the creature's wrists, its arms and shoulders ripple as it howls. The piton securing the chain begins to flex. Long cracks begin to stretch outward from where it was hammered into the stone wall, blood flowing across the alfar's fists.

With a screech of tortured metal and the splintering of rock, the alfar lurches forward, racing to a prone figure nearby. Tears streaming from its enormous eyes, the alfar turns over the body of an Elothean woman and gently cradles her in its bloodied arms. Her eyes stare at the sky lifelessly, her face pale above a deep gouge that nearly severs her head from her body. The alfar continues to scream, and the vision fades.

"Battle is Lost" 5/3/2020

A windswept mountain steppe unfolds around you, the air chill and bone dry. You see a double ring of soldiers -- shield wardens in the middle, crossbowmen on the outside -- their attention focused inward. At the center of the ring kneels a thin Elothean woman with greying hair, bleeding heavily but surrounded by over a dozen unconscious soldiers. An alfar warrior stands next to her brandishing a blade, turning to keep an eye on the encroaching ring, one hand protectively on her shoulder.

"We must flee," the alfar hisses. "The battle is lost."

The woman takes a long breath, and stands. Her wounds knit, and she assumes a rigid pose. A dozen crossbows sing, and her form blurs as she catches a bolt in mid air, dancing away from the rest, the alfar snapping the sword to parry the remainder. Another volley flies, and several bolts bury themselves in the woman's chest and back. The alfar shouts in rage, the woman sinks to her knees, and the vision fades.

"Mines" 3/30/2020

You are surrounded by darkness, able to make out only a faint dripping and the scent of damp stone. A light bobbles in the distance, and as it approaches, a voice shouts out, "Hey! Over here! This way!". You find yourself being led by strong calloused hands through an array of tunnels. After some time, you enter a large open chamber, and the miner leads you to the far wall. The rock is speckled with softly glowing crystal, flickering with light other than the miner's headlamp. The miner nudges you to get your attention and flips a small rock into the wall, which is slowly absorbed and vanishes without a trace.

"Yup. Anything goes in, but nothing comes back," the miner says. "And here we wait."

The miner shrugs, though their eyes begin to glow softly, like the crystal in the wall, and the vision fades.

"Just Some Horses" 3/1/2020

A windswept mountain steppe unfolds around you, the air chill and bone dry. A thin Elothean woman stands atop a boulder, her graying hair and fading robes a sign of the time that has passed. Her posture is unchanged -- rigid and impassive, she watches the distance. At her side, a muscular alfar warrior sits cross-legged, casually sharpening a long black blade with a whetstone. The woman leans forward and frowns, the wrinkles of her face -- evidence of the mountain air and sun having left their mark on her -- deepening as she squints and peers into the distance. The warrior pauses and without looking up says, "Just some horses. Come, lets get some tea?"

The woman blinks a moment, shakes her head slightly, and stands tall again as the vision fades.

"Guard These Mountains" 2/2/2020

A windswept mountain steppe unfolds around you, the air chill and bone dry. Half a dozen soldiers lie on the ground, groaning as they rub bruised ribs or cradle dislocated shoulders, their weapons shattered around them and their armor torn from their bodies. A thin Elothean woman stands rigidly next to a muscular alfar warrior, and together they look down at a tall man with a broad frame. A bruise is slowly blossoming across his eye, and his pauldron bears the emblem of a captain.

"Turn back. There is nothing for you here," the alfar warrior states. "Do not return. We will always guard these mountains."

The captain stands with a groan, turns to help his soldiers, and they begin limping back down the steppe. The woman and the alfar warrior watch them go, and after a long while, the alfar begins to snicker as it playfully shoves at the woman. She does not yield, though the corner of her mouth betrays the barest hint of a smile. The vision fades.

"Spears" 12/9/2019

A windswept mountain steppe unfolds around you, the air chill and bone dry. Half a dozen soldiers brandishing long spears stand in a semi-circle before a thin Elothean woman. A muscular alfar warrior stands at her side, casually holding a long black blade and spiked shield. One of the soldiers demands passage, but the woman does not react. Taking a single step forward and extending the spear until it is mere feet from the woman's face, the soldier repeats the demand. The woman takes a long, slow intake of breath, and explodes into action, stepping past the weapon's point and grabbing it with a twist, snapping the spearhead from the shaft. The soldier is pulled off balance and loses control of the spear. The woman suddenly appears at his side, and grasping his forearm and turning slightly, sends him sprawling. The alfar warrior smirks, the remaining soldiers begin to shout, and the woman takes a long, slow breath. The vision fades.

"Barrier Horses" 11/10/2019

You find yourself flying along a vast steppe, winding valleys and broken forests splayed beneath as you exuberantly coast on rising thermals and building storms. A river winds between broken rocks, and a herd of horses spooks at nothing and begins to race to the west, the poetry of their stride and evident joy of their movement breathtaking to behold. They race along the grassland and suddenly smash into an unseen barrier, those leading the herd squealing with broken legs while those following are able to stagger to a fearful stop. A strange shimmer marks a long oval on the steppe, and -- as if between gaps in a mirage -- you catch a glimpse of a farmstead, a single hunched figure tilling the soil of a small rectangular plot. The figure pauses and looks up directly at you. Your prophetic senses chaotically howl with a deafening wrongness, and the vision fades.

"An Hour or Less" 09/21/2019

A windswept mountain steppe unfolds around you, the air chill and bone dry. A thin Elothean woman wearing a simple sapphire blue linen robe and thick canvas sandals stands proudly, holding herself in a statue-still martial pose, one hand a clenched fist, the other a rigid open palm, her feet spread wide. Sitting cross-legged at her side, a muscular alfar warrior slowly sweeps a whetstone across a long black blade, the harsh ringing of stone on metal punctuating the air at unwaveringly methodic intervals. The woman narrows her eyes, focusing on something in the distance, and without looking up, the Fae remarks, "An hour or less. They're making steady progress."

The woman does not seem to react, and the vision fades.

  1. Tivshowldh Mountains
  2. Guide to Mining (book)
  3. Tivshowldh Mountains
  4. Himineldar Shel
  5. Elothean
  6. Age
  7. Post:Your_Guardian_Spirit_and_you!_-_05/11/2016_-_02:22
  8. Post:Your_Guardian_Spirit_and_you!_-_05/11/2016_-_02:22
  9. Post:Your_Guardian_Spirit_and_you!_-_05/11/2016_-_02:22
  10. Post:Your_Guardian_Spirit_and_you!_-_05/11/2016_-_02:22
  11. Post:Your_Guardian_Spirit_and_you!_-_05/11/2016_-_02:22
  12. Post:Your_Guardian_Spirit_and_you!_-_05/11/2016_-_02:22
  13. Post:Your_Guardian_Spirit_and_you!_-_05/11/2016_-_02:22
  14. House of the Rowan Branch (group)
  15. Post:Elothean_Culture_Faire_-_04/30/2013_-_22:05
  16. House of the Rowan Branch (group)
  17. Post:Elothean_Culture_Faire_-_04/30/2013_-_22:05
  18. House of the Rowan Branch (group)
  19. Post:Elothean_Culture_Faire_-_04/30/2013_-_22:05
  20. Empath
  21. Sisterhood of the Rose
  22. Sisters of Ain Ghazal (book)
  23. Sisters of Ain Ghazal (book)
  24. Sisters of Ain Ghazal (book)
  25. Sisters of Ain Ghazal (book)
  26. Sisters of Ain Ghazal (book)
  27. Lyba Khalo
  28. Dwarven Timeline