The Lyras Cycle were the events which took place on the mainland provinces of Kermoria after the breaching of the Great Barrier from 393 to 397. The events pitched Lyras the Devourer against all of creation and the Immortals, and also reinforced the importance of the gods and the position of the Cleric's Guild.
Lyras, whose mistreatment as a child led her to become a necromancer, razed the Prydaen and Rakash homelands but was sealed behind the Great Barrier until its fall. Wielding her dark powers she marched a vast army of various mindless undead creations across the fallen Barrier as well as specially powerful Risen. The governments of Forfedhdar, Ilithi, Zoluren, and Therengia all reacted to this threat with force while Qi mostly remained silent; however, many of their warriors struck out on their own.
- 1 Breaching of the Great Barrier
- 2 Risen
- 3 Mindless Minions
- 4 Undead Threat
- 5 Temple's Response to Necromancy
- 6 Meraud's Blessing
- 7 The Barbarian Controversy
- 8 The Zoluren Letter
- 9 The Final Battle - Lyras' Demise
- 10 See Also
- 11 Related forum posts
Breaching of the Great Barrier
Unable to find a method of passing the Barrier herself Lyras accepted a deal from an extra-planar demon, and became something more than a necromancer after accepting this power and wished to destroy everything, including the very Plane of Abiding. On 22 Dolefaren (day 271) 393, the Prydaen elders Balam and Felinda returned to the Wheel (a Prydaen euphemism for death), and the Barrier was greatly weakened. In this state, Lyras was apparently able to corrupt the Barrier and break through. Visions of undead streaming through this breach were seen by moon mages, and a month later her presence was first felt by attacks on the Great Salt Road near Hibarnhvidar. These initial volleys of undead were launched from a war camp that was setup not far on the Kermorian side of the Barrier. Of note among these waves were the lost L'Karm members who ventured with Ralel to the Barrier years before. These elves were quickly slain and some were able to obtain rings bearing their mark.
Acting as Lyras' generals the risen Tachid, Klusarlaik, Gurglesnout, and Sahfra were far more potent then similar creations. Often times they would attack in pairs, commanding the movements of the lesser minions and killing those who proved far too powerful for the standard undead with necromantic magics. Each of these risen seemed to have their own personality and purpose, often hunting down their favorite play-toy or providing ominous warnings. It is said that the creation and control of a single risen is an arduous task, and that no previous necromancer was able to control more then one or two at a time; however, Lyras commanded four whose power and finesse were beyond any ever known.
When she first crossed the Barrier into Kermoria Tachid, Klusarlaik, and Gurglesnout accompanied her. Savage in animated life, only Klusarlaik spoke in more then threats or taunts, and even then only when fallen. She claimed that her will was able to assert itself and she would hastily provide information before Lyras recalled her corpse for reconstruction. One expert on necromancy did not believe that this was the case due to risen having no soul, and said that it was merely Lyras toying with them. Whatever was the case things she spoke of often happened such as Lyras' search for a "weapon", and various methods of defeating her. These brief moments endeared many adventurers to her suffering and many began trying to free her.
On 13 Shorka 394 Sahfra, an elven child from Leth Deriel, was abducted and turned into a risen. Her power was greater then that of the other risen and it was believed that she was the weapon which Klusarlaik spoke of. She often cast blame upon her victims for her own death and killed mercilessly.
The last deaths of Lyras' risen:
Klusarlaik, unlike Lyras' other risen, was released from her state of unlife after dying on 30 Uthmor 394 AV. An offering of her items was later presented on the main altar of the Crossing High Temple which the gods accepted.
Gurglesnout was obliterated with little fanfare at the Battle of Darkstone on 25 Moliko 394.
Tachid was slain in the final battle 38 Shorka, 397.
Sahfra as slain in the final battle 38 Shorka, 397.
Lyras' mundane creations were primarily reanimated Prydaen and Rakash, but some were vicious machinations of many bits and pieces of flesh. The following are a small sampling of her army.
Elongated, blood-tainted bones bound with a lattice of resinous ligament concoct what appears to be a horrific hybrid of canine and feline forms. Most lethal attributes of both have been picked out and combined into an indefatigable killing machine, replete with scythe-like claws and razor teeth. The abomination stands seven-feet tall and moves bipedally with some degree of cunning, slinking from shadow to shadow. Its Necromantic animating force has manifested as a bilious green phosphorescence which gleams from within its bones.
A hideous amalgam of shattered, twisted, and fused bone, the fearsome hulk before you rises to the height of several Gor'Togs. Clearly no natural beast possesses a skeletal structure as horrific as this - with uneven limbs formed of irregular, contorted lengths of flesh-stripped bone. Its claws are incongruent and jagged, bearing the unmistakable crimson stain of dried blood. Only a Necromancer of considerable power and vileness could meld the deceased bodies of so many beasts into such a horrific construct.
Mangy skin covers the Rakash zombie, tightly stretched over bone and rotting sinew. Despite the fact that its features are badly distended and bloated, the lupine nature of its former race in moonskin is evident. A stench of decay rises from the zombie, and flies swarm about every oozing orifice.
Mangy skin covers the zombified Prydaen, tightly stretched over bone and rotting sinew. Despite the fact that its features are badly distended and bloated, the feline nature of its former race is evident. A stench of decay rises from the Prydaen, and flies swarm about every oozing orifice.
After the weakening of the Barrier many areas of the mainland were taken over by lesser creations. All of the great cities were besieged by the never ending flow of the undead and brave adventurers were often seen fighting in single combat versus up to a dozen at once. These peoples' vigilance helped clear the way for some travel and trade even during war despite this constant state of invasion.
Temple's Response to Necromancy
Having decided that necromancy was on the rise combined with the fears of collusion with Lyras the Cleric High Council appointed Inquisitor Khurek to scourge the taint from the lands. Once permission was secured from the provincial leaders he detained and questioned individuals from lowly citizens to members of court throughout the lands. While few questioned his motives, many found his means distasteful and quickly landed themselves in jail at best or were sent to his dungeon where they were tortured. Those that survived the ordeal were often times left with a magical brand that defied conventional empathic healing.
Undoubtedly the temple will remain vigilant for necromancy many years after the fall of Lyras so as to avoid another such occurrence.
On 8 Moliko (day 247) 394 AV Khurek was sent to Shard by High Priestess Tallis to deliver a holy relic, a pearly alabaster unicorn. He used this journey to interrogate members of the guard including Captain Cierzen and Commander Jairem. A fight ensued between the locals and Khurek over this and many found themselves jailed. Later they petitioned Guildmistress Sothavi over his actions who commented on his brutal, but efficient nature. She warned all those present to not give him reason to return.
Tachid sieged the city on 32 Moliko (day 271) 394 AV and the unicorn relic was invoked by Amaldriel. Many gathered around it in the Temple of Light and offered prayers to Hodierna until it came to life. The avatar easily defeated lesser undead minions and then speared Tachid on its horn, reducing his body to goo. Amaldriel took the remains and sealed them in a sana'ati urn filled with holy water so that Lyras would not retrieve and rebuild the risen. Unfortunately on the 15th of Skullcleaver while transporting the urn to the safety of the High Temple Sahfra was able to overpower Amaldriel and her guard. Tachid's remains were brought to Lyras' war camp and he began the transition back to his former state.
The unicorn is stunning to behold, with a coat of pure white that is impeccably groomed. Hooves of flashing steel combined with a spiraling pearlescent horn around which a thin strand of gold has been wrapped flash in the motes of rainbowed light that swirl around the creature, commanding a stern and beautiful look at this creature's combat potential. A mane the color of spun glass sweeps in fine, silken waves down the graceful lines of its neck, and bright blue eyes through which shines a gentle, intelligent warmth stare penetratingly into you, seeing through skin, flesh, bone and soul.
After an evening of prayer Prince Vorclaf received a vision of what was to come. He quickly sent Princess Arilana and his children, Belirendrick IV and Inavia, along with Brigadier General Zukir to the safety of the island Andreshlew and awaited the sign of Meraud. Once received Vorclaf was blessed with the power of Meraud and a magical aura resembling a wolf encompassed his face. Over time this blessing strengthened and Vorclaf's powers grew, but channeling this tired him greatly and some speculated that if this did not end the aged leader would perish.
Battle of Darkstone
The first usage of the Blessing's power came at the Battle of Darkstone against Gurglesnout and his forces on 25 Moliko 394. The Prince took the field and was easily able to dispatch the underlings in great number and inevitably the risen appeared. Gurglesnout began to taunt Vorclaf; however, he quickly fell to Malzard as seen in a vision by the Prince and was obliterated with Meraud's power.
Battle of Sorvendig's Stand
Main article: Battle of Sorvendig's Stand
The Battle of Sorvendig's Stand took place on 37 Moliko (day 276) 394 AV north of Hibarnhvidar between Lyras the Devourer and Prince Vorclaf of Zoluren. A vision was received by the Prince and he along with Guardsman Burarm and a group of fighters headed south. They engaged her in a hidden clearing near the Hawstkaal road containing an altar. Lyras was pressed during the battle that ensued and fell upon a usage of blood magic. This spell ripped a hole in the Plane of Abiding and the extra-planar demon behind her was felt by those present. With her power increased she directly battled Meraud through Vorclaf and was able to cause the god to retreat from his body. Left alone and powerless the Prince was slain with a stab to the heart. Lyras attempted to consume Vorclaf's soul, but the god was unwilling to allow her to have his champion and he returned to carry it to the Starry Road.
The Barbarian Controversy
Not long after the coming of Lyras, the guildleaders of the Barbarian guild became evenly split over what actions to take. The more active side composed of Anhh'shre and T'Kiel, and lead by Mo, advocated directly leading in the fights. The more conservative portion, composed of Stumara, Tusfaov, and led by Agonar, held that the best work they could do would be to remain and train warriors to continue the fight. As they were evenly split, Agonar's vote was considered to be tie breaking, and the guildleaders stayed in their halls.
During one of the conversations, Agonar commented that if Mo could located Telfogli Aldergold, the second guildleader of the Steelclaw Clan, then he would be willing to revisit the topic. Unsurprisingly, on 368th day of the year of the Golden Panther, 394, Mo left to begin his search, leaving his brother Les in charge of the Riverhaven guild.
The Zoluren Letter
Main article: Necromantic symbols#The Zoluren Letter
A set of necromantic symbols were discovered in the Crossing on 4 Nissa (day 364) 394 containing a message meant for aspiring necromancers to understand. The famed necromancer expert Zamidren Book studied the symbols to discern their meaning and came to the conclusion that they read like a letter, one which would direct the aspirant to the Dirge crematorium for further training. He asked those in attendance to find Khurek and investigate the area along with him. Upon arrival a similar symbol to those in the Crossing was found along with a man named Kalavuul. Aglow with reddish-black lines and a green eye, there was no doubt that he was the necromancer behind the symbols. Khurek quickly fell him with his axe and took his body back to the High Temple for interrogation.
The Final Battle - Lyras' Demise
After Sorvendig's Stand, Lyras and her risen became somewhat dormant, though the undead remained upon the roads. Around the month of Shorka the Cobra, 397 AV, there was an awakening and resurgence of the undead hordes and her risen, Tachid and Sahfra, began raids up and down the mainland.
Meanwhile, the Temple Clerics and Empaths had been busy on a plan to bring about the end to the Lyras threat, and unveiled it to the people late in the month. It involved special rituals tapping the power of the orbs in the temple, and a fighting force to strike down the risen and then Lyras.
At the appointed time, the people gathered together, some charging the orbs, others doing triage work, and an armed force to locate Lyras and her risen, engage them, and strike them down so that the rituals could be completed. The fighting forces met near Hibarnhvidar, and Tachid was slain in the outer portions of the city, while Lyras was struck down near the ferry to Ain Ghazal. Sahfra mounted a foray on Crossing, and there was slain. Once they were all on the ground, the rituals began, and ended in success.
Just after dawn on the 38th day of Shorka the Cobra in the year of the Emerald Dolphin 397, The parted clouds became 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 appeared noticeably brighter.