The Everbright cult is a small, but growing, group of people who revere who they believe to be the most powerful fire mage who ever lived. Known as Anilya the Everbright, she lived in approximately 2200 b.S. The following myth is one of many told about her. Mar'malog was a great sea dragon who terrorized the coast of what is now known as the province of Manthria. When Anilya heard of the people's plight, she wasted no time in confronting the dragon in a contest of wits and magic.

Prevalence. The myth is known throughout mostly the western coasts provinces of Southern Santharia, primarily Manthria, Sanguia and Xaramon. Active Everbright cults preach the story as a means of converting new converts to follow Anilya's teachings. Return to the top

History/Origin/Purpose. The myth of the dragon's destruction by Anilya probably originated centuries after her death. It is believed the story began to be told in the years afterwards by her cult of followers. There was a vaguely documented instance of Anilya battling and defeating a group of lesser drakes who had drawn too close to Ximax. Sages agree that the incident probably grew larger in scope upon retelling. Anilya also is said to have made many journeys throughout the western half of the Santharian kingdom during her lifetime. She taught and attracted many followers, so her cult claims. Lastly, the elves in Manthria have a folktale about a sea dragon who lived in the Gulf of Maraya. However, legend tells that it was slain by a group of elven archers and mages, not Anilya. Some accounts say that Anilya assisted the elves, but did not destroy the dragon alone. Despite this, the Everbright cult claims that Anilya slew the dragon alone using her extraordinary powers. Return to the top

Importance. The myth is one of the most important ones that are taught to all who venerate Anilya. It is a story that demonstrates her power, courage and compassion. The story is one of the most popular about Anilya as her cult speaks of it often. After all, there are not many heroes who can claim that they faced down a dragon and lived to tell about it.
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Story. The story of the Sundering of Mar'malog the Sea Dragon is told as follows:

The Sundering of Mar'malog the Sea Dragon. Word reached Ximax that a great blue dragon of old was terrorizing the Gulf of Maraya in a land far to the south. This beast, a grand blue and black drake, came from below the deep waves and burst forth, spewing wave upon wave of water crashing along the coast. Fishing boats were lost and coastal towns drowned beneath the drake's onslaught. Many lives were claimed as the dragon feasted on men, women and children for many days. The people gave name to this beast, "Mar'malog" (Styrash lit. "Beast Water").

The people of the land cried a loud voice. "Who shall save us!" and "The Beast Water will devour us all!" Ships filled of great warriors sailed across the gulf looking to slay the beast to no avail. Mar'malog devoured them also with his great waves of water that overturned the ships. The hapless warriors were swallowed by the sea and eaten by the dragon.

Anilya the Everbright heard their pleas. She mustered her fellow magi to assist in aiding the foreign land to rid them of this fell beast. The magi heard the stories. They would not venture out to face a beast such as Mar'malog. His power over water was too great. Who can stand against him? Anilya rebuked them saying that fire can overcome the beast. Flame can counter the waves and dominate the beast. Anilya would show that the power of fire would overcome all.

It is said that Anilya had power over even the otherworldly beasts of flame. She had to reach the distant land quickly and travel by caravan simply would not do. She brought about her staff of power and shouted in a loud voice. A pillar of flame erupted from the ground before her. Perched atop the pillar was a bird, also made of fire, who spoke to Anilya.

"What do you wish of me, Everbright?" the phoenix asked.

"Take me far away to a distant land where I may slay a dragon of old," Anilya replied.

Great wings spread from the bird's back and it stepped off the pillar. Anilya grasped the bird's flaming body and hopped atop its back. The phoenix flapped its mighty wings and took to the skies. Those below later said that a light could be seen streaking through the clouds faster than a blink.

When the phoenix landed on the shores of the Gulf of Maraya, Anilya stepped off to face the water dragon, who stood waiting.

"I knew you would come," the dragon spoke. "Impudent magess. Come, display your might and drown in my wake."

Immediately, Anilya cast and an army of fiery minions burst from the air surrounding the dragon. The beast roared and splashed his tail sending high water to engulf the flaming creatures. They vanished in a hiss and only steam was left of them.

The magess shouted sending a fireball the size of a house roaring towards the drake. The dragon opened its mouth spewing water from it, engulfing the fireball in loud sizzle. Once more, Mar'malog had overcome and chuckled in victory.

"Enough of this, woman," the drake rumbled. "Your bloated body shall taste good to me. Or will you sizzle away like your power did?"

Mar'malog approached, his jaws open, ready to snap up Anilaya in one gulp. The magess waited, unmoving, as her death came near. The dragon stepped on the dry land. He was as big as a mountain with a tail that stretched many strals distant. Its head blotted out the Injera and the magess appeared so small and puny in comparison.

The dragon bent down and suddenly stopped. Anilya was well within the beast's jaws but the beast did not snap them closed. Its eyes widened and its mouth became suddenly dry and cracked. Mar'malog reared up, angry and afraid, as its body erupted in boils. The creature's blue skin turned red and rancid smoke erupted from every pore of its body. The drake's blood boiled hot and leaked from its eyes and mouth like a river, pouring over coast where it steamed and melted the stones. With one last look of horror, Mar'malog's great body dried up and shriveled away. Anilya's magic had cooked the beast from the inside, drying it up, leaving it a burnt husk upon the shore.

As if in response to the death of the great beast, the sea itself roared up in anger. Anilya watched as a wave many peds high crashed ashore. The wave embraced the burnt remains of Mar'malog as if clutching a prized possession. The sea fell back taking the dragon's remains with it. The furious sea rumbled and roiled for many days afterwards, mourning the death of the dragon who swam its waters for many centuries. The local people gave praises to Anilya. She cautioned that the sea may forevermore be angry because of her actions. Nevertheless, the people were grateful and have a reminder of Anilya's deed. For on a clear day, one can look down into the gulf's waters and see a large blackened pit on the ocean floor where it is said Mar'malog rests eternally.
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 Date of last edit 12th Frozen Rivers 1669 a.S.

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