|Klusarlaik, Tachid, Gurglesnout, Sahfra
Lyras was a Necromancer with an enchanted staff who raised the Prydaen and Rakash dead in their Western homelands as to create an undead army. As a mortal she was killed by Vael, but took the opportunity to Descend into Undeath and transformed into an even more powerful lich. The Prydaen and Rakash fled to the eastern lands of Kermoria and sealed the way behind them by erecting the Great Barrier. Lyras and her army remained trapped behind this Barrier for about four decades before breaking free and waging a bloody war on the provinces of Kermoria.
(at time of death)
You see Devourer Lyras Maorgwelder, an undead Human Necromancer.
The white glimmer of bone blends with ragged, pale flesh stretched across this tall creature's face. Tattered remnants of white hair, marred by a single streak of black, cling desperately to her scalp as they dangle down past her shoulders. Tendrils of red writhe around grey irises in her eyes, which sweep constantly across the area to survey all with a dreadful countenance. Concealed from neck down by a many-layered deep purple cloak, she almost seems to float around as she moves.
Lyras is clearly an ambulatory corpse, making her age somewhat irrelevant.
She is wearing a voluminous deep purple cloak arrayed with myriad folds and inscribed with a single stark-white sigil across its back.
You see Devourer Lyras Maorgwelder, a Human Necromancer.
Severe features highlight this tall woman's face. Thick strands of ash-blond hair, marred by a single streak of black, hang behind her and reach just below her shoulders. She appears as neither beauty nor beast, yet her gray eyes sweep constantly across the area to survey all with a frozen gaze and pursed frown.
Concealed from neck down by a many-layered deep purple cloak, she almost seems to float around as she moves.
Lyras appears to be of middle-age for a Human.
She is in good shape.
She is holding an ebony-hafted scythe of polished steel inset with a deep red blood ruby in her right hand.
She is wearing a voluminous deep purple cloak arrayed with myriad folds and inscribed with a single stark-white sigil across its back.
Lyras originally hailed from the West as part of a small group of Humans and Olvi living in the same region as the Prydaen and Rakash. She was trained at some point as a Warrior Mage, but eventually became a Necromancer later in her life, and was said to possess unusual cunning and skill. Her specific reasons for pursuing necromancy so are uncertain, but it is thought to be either due to conflicts with the Prydaen and Rakash over resources (the Prydaen and Rakash controlling the best lands in the region) or an unspecified conflict between her people and something that was hunting them, and it is known that she experienced some kind of abuse in her life that may have spurred her on.
Regardless of the reason, once she became a Necromancer she began recruiting other Humans and Olvi from among her tribe to be her followers, and they set out to wage war on the Prydaen and Rakash, using the fallen on both sides of the conflict to bolster her army. She waged a successful campaign of extermination on both races, whittling them down to a fraction of their former population before being killed by Vael and forced to Descend into Undeath, raising herself as an undead lich. Unusual even for a Necrolord, she apparently retained whole or part of her soul through this process.
Finally, the Prydaen and Rakash sealed her behind the Great Barrier, where she remained for several decades, bolstering her armies and biding her time until she had the strength to break free.
Prydaen and Rakash Lore
It took much reconnaissance to know that our enemy did in fact have a name. Some of the Humans knew of her, a Warrior Mage with dark powers...a necromancer, they said, and our own eyes perceived her as the only living creature at the center of an army of dead things. They described her as pale and tall, white skinned and black-haired and Human. She had a staff of gold tipped with what the Human Warrior Mages confirmed was a gem called a bloodruby. They also disclosed to us that this staff was the focus of her power, and was likely the means by which she was commanding all the undead.
Vael was the one who came up with the idea of killing her, and it seemed like a good idea. Very obvious. Big army. One leader. Kill leader. No army. Right?
It should have worked. He beats himself over the fact that he didn't think it through enough, and I feel sorry for him sometimes. He feels responsible for so many things, including Sharlir's death. I was with him when we crept into the camp -- do you have any idea what it is like to creep through rank upon rank of dead, smelly corpses that are staring RIGHT AT YOU with only an invisibility spell standing between you and certain, hideous undeath? I don't think you do.
Lyras was alone when we slit her throat. She had become too careless and fell for old tactics. While we snuck up on her, Prydaen and Rakash fighters launched a flash attack on the north flank of her army. The Human Warrior Mages who remained had constructed special poison pills of some magical liquid -- I think they called it naphtha? -- that we had all been fitted with in false teeth...crush the tooth and the liquid ignites inside and immolates the person. The fighters threw vials of the stuff, coated their blessed weapons with it. And in the end, less than a third made it out alive.
Lyras had all of her attention on the fight rather than the shadows creeping up behind her. She was casting spells from a great distance away and laughing. She was LAUGHING as my people died.
It was Vael who grabbed her by the hair and yanked his claws across her throat. And she died...I SAW her die....
But you never get used to seeing someone jump back from the dead, and the moment she sprang to her feet, screaming and cursing us, we thought we were dead. I don't often thank Demrris for magicians, but I did then. The Moon Mages who had been cloaking us in invisibility teleported us back to safety. And things got worse from there.
Felinda says, "We came to this new hub to escape the undead armies raised up by Lyras, driven from our hubs which were destroyed we came here seeking a new place to seek food and shelter"
Felinda says, "The undead armies are being held back by the great barrier, it blocks them from coming here in full force"
Felinda says, "Vael, the one that led us here infiltrated Lyras' camp and killed her. Unfortunately she did rise up as undead and is now more powerful than before"
The Lyras War
In order to end her imprisonment, Lyras made a dangerous gambit and accepted the power of an extraplanar demon in order to corrupt the life-force of the Elders that were tied to the Barrier. On 22 Dolefaren 393, Balam and Felinda returned to the Wheel (a Prydaen euphemism for death) after weeks of intense pain and torment caused by the corruption, and the Barrier was greatly weakened as a result. In its weakened state, Lyras was finally able to corrupt the Barrier and break through into western Forfedhdar, transforming the Barrier itself into a stronghold for her undead army in the process by using her mages to take total control of it. However, unknown to her, the properties of the Barrier caused it to rip out what remained of her soul, leaving the barest remnants of her psyche behind and leading to her near-total possession by the demon granting her powers.
The first direct encounter with Lyras following the corruption of the Barrier occurred on 1 Ka'len 394 on the Great Salt Road. Though she typically left invasions to her Risen minions, she was also sighted in Shard and Leth Deriel, in the latter case using the invasion as a means of kidnapping citizens for use in rituals or for personal pleasure. It was from these victims she created Sahfra.
In 394 AV she fought toe-to-toe with Prince Vorclaf, who was channeling the avatar of the god Meraud, and Burarm. Performing a ritual that required blood from her heart among the components, she opened a wider conduit to the demonic force fueling her powers, leading to a massive planar incursion that permanently altered the Plane of Abiding. This force and the avatar of Meraud clashed, and Meraud withdrew, leaving Vorclaf and Burarm to be murdered by Lyras. Following her clash with Meraud, Lyras rested in stasis for a full two years while her armies continued to march across Kermoria, occasionally lead by Tachid and Sahfra.
All told, Lyras's bloody campaign and the resulting famines and plagues due to the destruction of farmland and other resources lead to the death of a full third of the population of mainland Kermoria.
The Barrier and Lyras's Warcamp
Dolefaren 393 is when Lyras was first located on the eastern side of the Barrier. She later moved to the warcamp. Using Locate to test for relative proximity from various locations, the approximate location of Lyras's warcamp is guessed to be in southwestern Forfedhdar, assuming nothing is disrupting Locate. She uses an arisen magus to Moongate her troops to various locations in Kermoria.
[Wilderness, Near the Barrier]
Lush vegetation fills most of the area and green forests and plains are easily visible to the east. A blackened line is carved into the ground, everything west of it dead or withering, forming a stark contrast as verdant green stands opposed to dull gray and brown. Shortly past the dead zone, an oily wall of black energy rises from the ground, stretching as far as the eye can see. Streaks of ominous red power crackle across it constantly, its makeup just opaque enough to bar any ability to see beyond. You also see an arisen magus, a red Moongate and rotting figures continuously emerging from the surface of the oily wall and beginning to march east.
Also here: Devourer Lyras.
Obvious exits: none.
Command tents and structures set up to protect against the elements provide a defensible perimeter, showing clear signs of intelligence and tactical prowess by the camp's creators. Orderly piles of weaponry and armor lay outside tents, and shambling creatures, both zombified and skeletal, continually prowl the grounds. The very ground underneath shows signs of having once been lush, vibrant wilderness, but has now been stripped of all but the faintest hint of its former life. You also see a gestalt draugen, an arisen magus, a black Moongate, a necrotic warrior, a stark white skeletal archer and a patchwork abomination.
Also here: Arisen Sahfra.
Obvious exits: north.
Corpses of every race, gender, and size litter the ground of this putridly smelling building, stacking up to make piles several feet high. Trinkets and bits of clothing, barely visible amidst the morass of death, identify most individuals as obviously having been harvested from each of the four mainland provinces. Despite the fact that the cadavers can't all be fresh, no signs of decay beyond that of the manner of their deaths is visible. You also see a polished marble altar marred by dull red stains with an array of sharp knives, scalpels, and other assorted cutting tools on it.
Also here: Devourer Lyras.
Obvious exits: south.
Lyras is without peer in the practice of necromancy, being one of the most powerful Necromancers in recorded history. She obtained this power by dealing with an extraplanar demon recently known as the Hunger that uses her as an anchor to the Plane of Abiding. In addition to a suite of Necromancer spells she possesses several special abilities, including a third arm necromantically grafted onto her body.
Moon Mages and Clerics experience special visions when they attempt to PERCEIVE Lyras. These visions grant them glimpses into both Lyras's destiny and the extraplanar entity that is using her.
You sense massive amounts of Arcane energy clinging to Lyras.
The maelstrom of myriad manas swirling around her makes detecting any singular spell impossible.
However, you are able to discern immensely powerful Corruption and Transcendental energies constantly ebbing and flowing around her.
Roundtime: 4 sec.
Your unconscious mind screams out a warning, interrupting your examination of Lyras's aura! The threads of her fate are clear and highly archetypal in nature. You understand what you see with the same immediacy and shock as a punch to the gut: the End. Lyras's destiny is not tied to the death of individuals or even whole nations, but to the inevitable death that waits at the end of time.
The intensity of this symbolism is absurd and easily beyond mortal limits. There is something beyond Lyras's mortal shell, perceivable only by its influence, that has the potential to break the universe.
As you attempt to extend your senses towards Lyras, you feel darkness drag upon your soul, chill like the touch of the very Void itself!
Though you do your best to struggle, she feels like a walking mass of hunger, trying to inexorably draw you and the deities you serve into her maw.
Mercifully, the connection snaps, though you feel a large part of yourself lost with it!
- Without warning, an appendage made of sharp bones held together by disgusting rotting ligaments and tendons shoots out from somewhere amidst the voluminous folds of Lyras's cloak. After a moment, you can see it is some form of hideous arm that is unwrapping tipped with dull metal claws completing the limb.
- Driven with a sense of purpose, the bony limb shoots straight for you!
- You are unable to evade the necromantically grafted limb, and the clawed hand grabs you by the neck, lifting you mercilessly into the air.
- Despite your struggles, you are unable to break free from the tight grip of the bizarre necromantic limb extended from Lyras. You can sense the limb tense before a sharp SNAP echoes throughout your ears and your mind goes blank.
She is completely or partially immune to naphtha.
- As soon as you throw your naphtha at Lyras, its container explodes in a flurry of shards as if severed by a sharp knife. The sticky mixture flies backwards and envelops you liberally.
- Lyras snaps a finger and suddenly you burst into flames!
The Death of Lyras
Lyras was defeated moments after dawn on the 38th day of the 4th month of Shorka the Cobra in the year of the Emerald Dolphin, 397 years, 157 days since the Victory of Lanival the Redeemer.
Lyras was ultimately brought down due to the combined efforts of the Empaths, the Immortals, and (secretly) the Necromancer cult known as the Philosophers of the Knife. The Handmaiden Amaldriel, shortly before Walking, told fighters that when both of Lyras's remaining Risen Tachid and Sahfra were dead and Lyras fell that they would need to Empathically link with her to complete the ritual the Khalaen were performing with the Temple. After she fell and Asrea established a link with Lyras, the Empaths enacted their ritual, doing something to disrupt Lyras's Thanatology using secret knowledge handed down by their guild. The Necromancers acted independently using an alchemical solution of unknown composition. Finally, Lyras's lich body was obliterated with divine fire, and Moon Mages experienced a final vision of the last shreds of Lyras being consumed by the Hunger her husk had been possessed by.
Asrea's Point of View.
Malzard gestures at Lyras.
A crackling stream of energy flies at Lyras.
Purple and white energy flickers around Lyras, blunting the assault.
A single ugly blister appears in the dead center of her left arm.
- Lyras was just struck down!
- Lyras is slain before your eyes!
Lyras's steel scythe falls to the ground.
Sebastienne picks up an ebony-hafted scythe of polished steel inset with a deep red blood ruby.
You quickly kneel down and touch Lyras.
There is an abrupt, terrifying moment of disassociation as another Self takes over. You sense K'Eksharo in your flesh with you. Your own identity is pushed aside firmly as he stretches outward, using your body as an eleventh finger.
You find it hard to put into words what happens next. K'Eksharo "pushes" with his Empathy in a way which you were taught cannot be done. It is a wrenching, violent act of will surrounded by a nimbus of pain. There is no way to stop the oncoming moment of pain, and the act hits Lyras like a fist slamming a glass pane. Lyras shatters; the fist shatters; you shatter.
You find yourself face-first on the ground, your Empathy ravaged by the transmission of K'Eksharo's Shock. But, if nothing else, you reckon that he suffered far more than you did.
You collapse from an excruciating pain deep in your soul that has shattered the delicate balance of your empathic skills.
You go into extreme shock!
The whirlwind of eerie purple and black mist pulses hard before expanding in size, lashing out at everything within reach!
Without warning, a great wind surges through the area.
(People are blown out of the area)
A titanic cascade of blazing golden lights streaks down from the heavens, striking the ground and arcing toward the corpse of Lyras from every direction! As her broken body is lit up with holy light and fire, the rest of the world around you is cast into a black-and-white shadowland.
The body of Lyras spasms again and again, her torso rising and falling violently, as though the relentless heavenly blaze is pounding breath into the unliving creature. A dark red-tinged fluid drips from the pores on her skin.
With a final spasm, Lyras opens her eyes! The glassy black, pupilless, unseeing orbs manage to glare defiance for one moment before the maelstrom of light raging around her tightens like a closing fist. Defiled flesh and bone become unraveled swiftly and melt into nothingness!
The parted clouds become whole once again in the sky, and no remnant of Lyras lies where the holy blaze has died down. Despite the departure of the lights, the world appears noticeably brighter.
The Remnant of Lyras