Reposited in the Great Library of Karakulthar. 12-04-1321 AK
It shall bear the tale of her heroic deeds on our long quest…
Herein lies the tale of Ilyana Datum
1)Kulag and Kom knew her story better, having known Ilyana from when she still dwelt solely with the Sisterhood. As fate would have it, of our original four, I alone, who knew her least, remain to tell her tale. It was Kom who saved her from a cloistered fate, convincing her to leave the Sisterhood and assist him and his comrade, Thibid in attempting to rescue the Philter of Light from the Brass Fortress in the Toadad Valley, deep in the Tanarii Hills. They failed in that quest and Thibid fell. Perhaps, had they been accompanied by Kulag, the venom of the red Tanarii shafts may not have chilled his heart. Many a time in later years, Kulaq would cleanse that poison from our wounds.
2)But it was on that errand that Ilyana met and tamed her feline pet, “friend” she would say, Theia. The great running cat and she were ever after closer companions than any, save on occasion when Ilyana chose Kom’s counsel, for he was always without doubt and clearest of mind in choosing what he saw as the straight path. Ilyana was often troubled with the manners of men, and felt strong anger at the misdeeds of men, especially the busy residents of crowded Na’Batum. She found her way and happiness in studying and learning about all manners of wild beauty. As time went, she gained great control of all living things, and was friend to all bird and beast dwelling in the great forest between the western mountains and the eastern plains. But I get ahead of myself.
3)Kom and Ilyana returned to the City of Batum, and spent a while recovering from their journey. I gather that there, as a favor and in subtle mockery, Kulag hired the two to accompany him on an errand of diplomacy to the Borgomagian King. On their journey, it is here where Ilyana first demonstrated her mastery of plants in thwarting the advance of a group of bandits, calling her green allies to coil about them and root them in their tracks. When they arrived finally at Batamagia…
9)And so, after defeating the nine headed serpent of Sir’Nagh Stren (which was mostly my doing, no thanks to Kulag and Kom who fell victim to its hypnotic glare) we at last recovered the Book of Thalaian. This book helped me greatly in my studies and from it I learned much about how to tap into the strong currents of magic which flow naturally through my body, currents that were unavailable to me through more traditional methods of learning, repetitious memorization and study. Ilyana sought to read the work herself but it was too difficult for her, her ways coming from the living things around her. Yet even without written guidance, she continued to grow in understanding and in power, her mastery spread to winds and she began dabbling with the living earth itself.
11)In the autum of the year thirteen hundred and six (as reckoned by the Joronen Calendar, not the Sphaloon by which I have come to conduct my own life) Ilyana surprised us all one day with the revelation that she could control her form, shaping it at will and that in her travels from the copper city, she had heard of the rise of a great shadow in the south. She learned that all good and kind creatures of the forests flee before it and aberrations and abominations of the deep are its kin. Of course, we did not know it at the time, but it was the darkness Zaghlool that was then rising. Taking the form again of a great eagle, and bearing with her only the Philter of Light around her neck she flew far to the south, where the world falls away and saw for herself the growing shadow and felt it’s stale hot breath. I still can recall the first glimmer of her Light high in the southern sky as she returned.
13)After several more days at sea we finally came to the barren island known as Lornen Thirnon to the sea peoples of the western ocean and as the legendary Oracle of Twilight to the Maya Kulhar. Though the landing cost us greatly, the gatekeeper was calmed by Ilyana’s ways. Inside the great hall, Haarkun called upon all the guidance of Ioweh to help us rid the world of this growing shadow. The oracle spoke these three answers that we now know so damnably well:
Only through mankind shall the shadow be revealed
With the Light of Eleya, truth shall conquer darkness
Darkness spreads on a lie, and yet fears deceit most of all
16)Without Ilyana’s quick thinking, (for at the time, I was too troubled with riddles to think ably enough in the face of ambush) we would likely have been late in our arrival to Kom’s wedding to the sisters of Tharbatha, Mathia, and Sarlilia. As it was, we were cleaned from our battle and ready at dawn. It was a beautiful day with the sun hailing from the heavens and Kulag had many of his younger followers singing a great balad to our ‘hero’, though we three had at times seen him in lights less than heroic. The Lord Klibreck had the tower painted white and the battlements sheathed in gold, with banners flying and the voices of the faithful raising a radiance in return to the sun. We presented his wedding gifts, the arrows of course, Ilyana gave him the golden helm, and Kulag his golden shirt of mail. There was a good laugh as we said goodbye to our golden friend. It would be some time before Kom would return from his nuptial suite, Ilyana, Haarkun and I kept busy in the study given to me by Lord Klibreck high in the now white and gold tower.
17)Ilyana and Kulag knew of a reference to Eleya in the Tale of Joronen. Of course everyone knows that Joronen avenged his sister against the Lord of Darkness, but we had obtained a Borogomagian copy of this tale from the blind priesthood in Batamgia and from that copy we learned that Joronen himself sought and obtained something called the ‘Heart’ of Eleya from the Lord of Darkness himself when he wrought his revenge. What Joronen did with this became our obsession. It is an understatement to say that at this time we were all shaken at the thought that the dark god from the dawn of mankind himself actually walked the earth and in dark alliance, sent his minions, and lords with evil purposes, to eliminate the children of Ioweh
19) At this time, after the fall of Theia and before the battle at the pit of the world, Ilyana spoke of her destiny and that she must turn Zaghlool’s alliances against him. That she must speak with the atrocious creatures of the earth that Zaghlool allied himself with. She thought to play upon their own greed and thirst for power. Ilyana was repulsed by the hearts of most men, yet she knew the fell hearts of the aberrations that crawled beneath the earth were far worse. If she could have had it that the creatures of the forests and meadows, mountains and valleys could survive and only mankind were to lose, then I believe she would have acted differently. As it was, she decided that man the creature would decide the future of the world, and that in men, lay the hopes of all life and light. She hardly fought at the battle of the pit of the world, knowing I think before it began that it was futile. Yet it was there that she learned that the Spider Queen, Chechelon herself was in alliance with Zaghlool, and there I think that she knew her end.
20)It was with more valor and courage that I have ever before seen that she said her goodbye’s to Kom, Kulag, and I. We would hear none of it, making plans to recover her after her audience with the dark queen. Yet she knew better than we how terrible the Queen was and how horribly spiteful she was. She would not let us see her final form, but was in one moment a raven and then gone into the coming wall of darkness. I suspect she took the form of some vile many legged thing to gain access to the Queen and to whisper to her the idea of betrayal. Of course it worked and the seeds of deceit she carried grew inside Chechelon. The battle of Karakulthar saw the end of Zaghlool. Ilyana Batum saved mankind and all living things from the Lord of Darkness. Her remains and effects, I sent to her childhood home to lay with and inspire her Sisters of Eleya. There she lies buried now beneath Eleya’s Dome. Her works and the tales of her deeds, great and small have inspired a new generation of followers who will practice and teach her ways, make offerings to her spirit and carry on her memory. Ilyana who fought the great blasphemy. An unlikely hero of mankind, but perhaps the greatest of our age.