Lílýáshn Áérálvr (4.633-4.585 b.S.) was the High Queen of the Twin Kingdom of southwestern Nybelmar for the short period between 4.604-4.585 b.S. Oftentimes referred to as the Ash Queen, the Lady of the Ashes, Queen Lílýáshn the Gory or Lílýáshn the Dark, she was perhaps the leading revolutionary and possibly the strongest black sorcerer of the Twin Realm’s history. She was the first and possibly the only person to wear the Double Crown and the first royalty to be incinerated upon her death. Beside her exhilarating life story, Lílýáshn is known for her legal reforms and celebrated as the saviour of the two tribes during the ghastly War of the Boar.
Image description. The Kreankra High Queen Lílýáshn Áérálvr in her reigning years, already being afflicted by heavy eating disorders. Picture by Fiorellina Mangiacore.
With shimmering dark brown hair, oftentimes adorned with freshly picked
exquisite flowers, flowing all the way down to her slender hips, and always
simply the right choice of garments Queen Lílýáshn marked the fashion trends of
her time. Long, graceful dresses almost always accompanied by an eccentric
ornament, oftentimes weird and wonderful fans and blossoms that matched with her
clothes, gave the legendary queen a secretive, shadowy splendor unsurpassed by
any of the era.
Although her fondness of peculiar and exotic jewelry was renowned, especially in the later stages of her life, she would not get closer than a ped to anything made out of gold.
During her Years of Mourning, she lost an incredible amount of weight, almost to the edge of starvation. Some blame the feared Lillivear disease kílárk, literally translated as “Life Devourer”, while others credit her profound grief for the pains the Twin Kingdom had to endure for this dangerous loss of weight. In less than a decade, little of her former good looks were left; with her ribs showing and her delicate face now long and bony like a famished horse’s muzzle few who had known High Queen Lílýáshn in her glorious years could look at her face and not weep after the demise of beauty. Even her once dárkqúán (named after a fabulous Aesteran gem) blue eyes wilted into a sick mingle of muddied brown and pallid grey.
Personality. Queen Lílýáshn was rumoured to be charming when she was a little girl with always a smile ready to turn into silvery laughter. However, her people – especially the members of any of the higher councils – never saw any of this cheerful spirit. Even before she became the High Queen, Lílýáshn was recognized as a somber and strict senator. Oftentimes she was spiteful and sharp while dealing with people opposing her views.
Her keenness to be the center of attention is probably only surpassed by her cruel and fruitless seduction. However, there are no known records of Lílýáshn’s love life. Some have derided the long dead queen by asserting that she was too absorbed in her own charm to see beauty elsewhere. Despite her stinging comments and aloofness, men - as obstinate as they are - never seemed to cease pursuing the Lady of Ashes. Apparently how harsh the response they got from Lílýáshn did not trouble them.
Once Lílýáshn’s mind was set to something “T’is easier to move a mountain than dissuade the Ash Lady” as the old Lillivear saying goes. As a stern and a very hardworking Queen she would ask the same enthusiasm from those in her service. “As demanding as serving the Double Crown” was probably devised by one of the High Queen’s personal maids. One of her chamberlain’s had once said:
"She would work for days without a morsel of rest or nourishment, buried in maps and dusty tomes stretched all across her chambers till she would collapse on those thick volumes from exhaustion. Thank Aniss that even Lillivear candles need to be refreshed every so often; else all the Council would have in their hands in the morning would be her very corpse burned from the inside out, Earth forbid! All that time studying and mulling over some ancient texts did her no good…"
Even in times of great distress once the
strategy has been laid out, she would carry her decisions with an icy accuracy.
It was perhaps this efficiency and decisiveness that saved the Twin Kingdom from
years of annihilation. Once she locked herself in the library not even the
Senators could dare to disrupt her studies and face her icy wrath unless they
had a very good and pressing reason to do so.
She would often venture alone into the forest when the night was thickest to practice the arts that would serve her well on the battlefield the next day and sing as she combed her hair under the silver light facing the cold waters of the Great River. Her voice itself is a legend among the Aestera, with an unmatched mysterious, touching quality to her tone as the Aestaran Song Master Trólth’stá had once claimed.
No matter how arrogant and demanding Lílýáshn was, few could deny the deep love she had for her people and country. No matter how hard the people had criticized Queen Lílýáshn during her reign there were hardly any that could resist the surfacing tears at her funeral in 4.585 b.S.
Biography. Mysterious Birth (4.633 b.S.). Lílýáshn Áérálvr was conceived in the winter palace of the Twin Kingdom in the Month of the Singing Bird in 4.634 b.S. only to be born on the ninth of the Month of the Turning Star 4.633 b.S. on the edge of the Howling Woods (north west of the capital Rháásthár) to the Aesteran Senator Lady Xaríál and the Lillivear Senator Lord Rhúhán.
Image description. A very early portrait of Lílýáshn Áérálvr showing her fondness of music of her teens years. Picture drawn by Fiorellina Mangiacore.
Lílýáshn’s Childhood (4.627-4.620 b.S.). Racing
from one meeting to another and traveling all across the realms of the Twin
Kingdom to ensure the execution of the High Council’s verdicts none of
Lílýáshn’s parents had much time to offer her. Instead she spent most of her
childhood years with her nanny Hérmáz and studying with the best tutors the
country had to offer. Before the age of nine she was fluent in Lvár, the ancient
tongue of the Aestera, Háráth, the ancient tongue of the Lillivear and
Krath'mélár'ián, the common tongue of the kingdom. Little Lílýáshn had
diminutive time left solely to herself: In the mornings she would learn the lore
of the ancients, the geography of Nybelmar
and the art of persuasion and rhetoric; after lunch she would have a small break
before continuing with the Way of the Snake and the Panther - an offensive
martial arts system, study with a mentor from the House of Earth Magics and
train with the local Aesteran priestesses. And at lunch of course, she would
have to practice table manners and ‘light talk’ every lady should be qualified
at with the mansion’s butler so she could dine properly with her parents in the
evening. After dinner only the three hour long session of dressing, make-up and
beautification schooling was left. Lílýáshn also had a great musical talent and
is said to have played various instruments.
A Lonely Adolescence (4.620-4.614 b.S.). When Lílýáshn's mother was appointed to the eastern border to oversee the construction of the Blue Tower in 4.648 b.S. the gap between Lílýáshn and the rest of her family grew. Since she was not allowed to visit anybody outside the mansion without an escort and a multitude of guards, for fear of assassination, she had few friends. Most of these companions were the proud daughters and sons of the aristocracy whose company Lílýáshn never really enjoyed. Thus, she focused intensely on her astronomy and divination training. On the other hand, she started paying little heed to the never-ending lessons of herbiology. As hectic as they always were her parents never really noticed her poor attendance. It was in the fall of 4.617 b.S., at the age of sixteen, that she began her first lessons in weapons training - mainly the bow and the quarter staff. Later in 4.613 b.S. she abandoned the training of both for the katana and the throwing dagger. All through this period (4.620-4.614 b.S.) she took extensive schooling in governmental procedures and administration.
In the year of 4.614 b.S. she secretly started training herself in the forbidden arcane arts, a practice only death, if at all, could halt.
First Legislative Experiences (4.614-4.611 b.S.). After passing the exceedingly hard Test of the Councils, as did her ancestors for generations, Lílýáshn entered the Assembly of Finances in 4.614 b.S. She dropped out from the assembly to become the apprentice of the judge of the Congress of Security later in 4.611. It was there that she got the nickname “Ashen Lady” for the colour her countenance took when she coldly reprimanded her colleagues – sometimes even the members of the Inner Council of Defense in the annual meetings – for most of the unwise decisions they would make. It was only her growing power in the forbidden arts, her escalating influence within the councils, and of course the position of her parents that saved her from an untimely death or some serious penalty.
Apprentice to the Opposing Council (4.611-4.610 b.S.). Fierce arguments raged in the Áérálvr mansion when her parents found out – quite a startling surprise to find their daughter sitting next to Lord Horowítz one morning in the High Council – that Lílýáshn had secretly applied for and won the apprenticeship of the one man her parents detested most in the entire world. During that one rough year the family, at least Lílýáshn and her parents, would not even speak in case the other side may acquire information detrimental to their case.
Member of the Twin Council (4.609-4.604 b.S.). When it became clear that Lílýáshn could not be dissuaded from her cause and that the situation between the two families would only worsen, Lílýáshn Áérálvr, Lílýáshn the Dark as called by her own parents, Lílýáshn the Lady of Ashes as her friends in the military named her, applied for Senate Membership in 4.610 b.S. with the support of both Lord Horowítz and her parents. Three months later in the Month of the Molten Ice her submission was recognized by the High King and she was enrolled in the High Council by mid Avénni'modía, the month of the Awakening Earth.
The Assassination of Lady Xaríál and Lord Rhúhán (4.606 b.S.). On the eleventh day of the Month of the Rising Sun Lílýáshn’s parents were victims of an ambitious scheme. Till this day neither the assassin nor the ones behind the murder are found. Later on the very first day of her reign in 4.604 b.S., Queen Lílýáshn ordered the execution of every possible suspect she could lay her hands on. It was through this act that she acquired the name “Lílýáshn the Gory”.
The Ash Lady Becomes the High Queen (4604 b.S.). When Queen Iláríyá the Fervent (a.k.a. the Glaring Mistress) passed away with the Fallen Leaf – the exact date was sadly lost to our records - Senator Lílýáshn was elected to High Queen. This happened with a distinct fraction of the votes - mainly through the support of the friends of her family, the Guild of the Secret Arts, the military and the Coven of the Skies. Celebrations proceeded for thirty seven days till the existing High King, Yárí-ark, gave his last breath – “supposedly” from old age – sleeping after a month of insomnia.
Lílýáshn the Dark wears the Double Crown (4603 b.S.). Arguments regarding Yárí-ark’s successor stormed the Twin Council for approximately three full months till the puppets of the High Queen Lílýáshn finally stepped in without much ado. A match for Queen Lílýáshn was not needed because she already represented both ends of the society within her being; as the daughter of a greatly treasured Lillivear father and a highly esteemed Aesteran mother who but the current Queen could embody the will of the two tribes? Plus, she had already demonstrated the full extent of her ruling abilities within the last three months. There was no point in risking the stability of the kingdom. To tie up the argument the Ruling Committee, which is the congress responsible for all the lawmaking procedures in the kingdom – led by the High King and the High Queen during times of war – pointed out the overlooked fact that the Matching would only take place when the presence of one of the tribes was unfilled on the throne. However, Queen Lílýáshn’s birth records clearly marked her both as an Aesteran and a Lillivear. Consequently further discussion was worthless and would only harm the state.
Most of the Senators were too frightened to protest, and the hands of those that weren’t were already tied by the gap in their ancestor’s law. Thus, the ninth of the Month of the Turning Star marked yet another day of rebirth in Lílýáshn’s life. In the first month of 4.603 b.S. Lílýáshn Áérálvr became the first - and will probably end up as the last – person to wear the double crown of the Twin Kingdom.
Legatee Vzárhk’s Frenzy (4603 b.S.). Lílýáshn’s crowning annihilated the hopes of Vzárhk, the expected successor to the High King, to seize the throne. The night of Lílýáshn’s crowning, Senator Vzárhk stormed out of the capital’s gates with fury, vowing to reclaim the throne that was rightfully his. For almost five months he traveled the Krant realms, searching for support against the Ash Queen. The Clan of the Boar, the ruling clan of the five tribes that made up the Earth League’s northern border at the time, seized this long sought opportunity to lay siege to the beautiful lands of the Krean. Since they were not permanent members of the Krath High Senate, the Senators of the Twin Council could not overrule the ally nations’ decision “to remain neutral in case conflict occurred”. This meant no help would come from the other nations of the Earth League once the war started.
Understanding the political connections is vital to get a full grasp of what was going on in the Krath High Senate. Many of the ally nations were already antagonistic to the Twin Kingdom, sick of being treated as inferiors and tired of the Lillivear monopoly on flora trade. They could not risk a confrontation with the two tribes due to the terrible economic consequences. No matter how much the ally nations hated the Twin Kingdom the fact they desperately needed the two tribes’ products lingered. Thus, although they would not declare war on the Twin Kingdom themselves, they certainly weren’t going to hinder others from doing the dirty work for them.
If it were any other tribe that opposed the Twin Kingdom, the debates would probably take only an hour before the Senate sealed the Krean’s doom. However, the five nomadic clans weren’t particularly favoured at the time. The instability of their actions and their earlier raids had gained the Boar Rule strong adversaries. As it can be seen, it truly was a double-edged sword situation for many of the ally nations. Even those that truly loathed the Boar Clan, such as the westernmost kingdom of Sávérá, could not risk precious resources and men for such an unpredictable battle. Going to war for many of the tribes would mean an invitation to bankruptcy, it had been an extraordinarily arid year and many of the kingdoms could not attain a third of the usual harvest. Only the Twin Kingdom, due to the magic of the Aesteran priestesses and their advanced water channeling systems, was as frolic as ever. Regrettably, this meant an incredible rise of prices on the League’s market and still a great profit for the Two Tribes. Consequently, abhorrence towards the Twin Kingdom grew to extreme measures.
Thus, even the tribes that preferred the Two Tribes against the Clans of the Boar, had no choice but to choose the worse of the two demons. The Boar Rule was a lot easier to manipulate, through gifts and if need be through a trade embargo. Conversely, with the Krean Senators active in the Earth League, the ally nations could barely decide what was best for them without the Twin Kingdom’s considerate “recommendation”. Furthermore, the nomadic clans would not be able to run all the complicated manufacturing systems on their own, and would turn to the Krath Senate for counsel. Inevitably, this would cause the import of the Two Tribe’s goods to become considerably cheaper. With all these schemes in mind, the only remaining ally of the Twin Kingdom, Sávérá changed to the winning side.
However, although the clans’ military power far surpassed by the Kreans, the Twin Kingdom was infamous for producing last minute “miracles”. Therefore, the High Senate could not vote to justify the actions of the Boar King. They did not want to be on the bad side of the Kreanmen in case the Twin Kingdom – against all odds – somehow managed to survive again. As they said those days, the people of the two tribes had the “feather of a zhárhk” (a bird) - no matter what happened to it - that would always land on its feet. All the ally nations could afford to do, for doing nothing would mean trouble from both sides, was to “condemn the Clans of the Boar” – for their actions were “false to the spirit of the Alliance” and to proclaim that the remaining nations would “by no means partake in this barbaric mission”. That also meant that the Krean would receive no help from the Earth League either. Thus the dreadful War of the Boar began.
The War of the Boar (4.601-4.588 b.S.). After two years of preparations, the five clans waged war on their prosperous southern neighbor. The small army of the Twin Kingdom was no match to the numerous troops of the Clans, especially to the Golden Boar – an elite group of sturdy axemen riding oversized mountain boars specially bred and armored for war. The jealousy of the clans grew with each city they conquered. Soon they started the dreadful “Burning March”; setting ablaze every town, every village, every house, every woman, every child… they could lay their hands on lying on the way to the capital. High Queen Lílýáshn herself rode to save her people from the fiery wrath of the Golden Boar. It was during these horrible years that she began losing tremendous weight.
The Roasted Boar (4.588 b.S.). During these years of war, during a night’s ambush, Lílýáshn fell captive to the Boar’s Tusk, the advance guard of the Chief’s army. Unfortunately the exact day is lost to our records. At midnight, just as they had gathered the whole army to watch the execution of the High Queen, Lílýáshn used her dark powers for possibly the first time in public. Although we have no evidence to retell what really happened that very night, it is a known fact that the war ended by mid afternoon the next day when High Queen Lílýáshn rode her black stallion alone through the gigantic gates of the capital with the decapitated heads of the five clan chiefs dragging behind.
The Entrustment (4.586 b.S). With the vote of the Twin Council, all the authority and legislative rights the High Queen had over her cities were passed on to the Krath High Council. In exchange, three senators from the Twin Council plus the Rulers could become permanent members of the Krath Senate. Queen Lílýáshn was not able to veto the ruling since she was not able to “voice Her concerns in front of the General Assembly” due to a sudden and curious cold that inflicted her three days prior to the decision.
Even before 4.586 b.S., the aristocrats in the Twin Kingdom were beginning to see the true potential of their “lovely” Queen. Each of the guilds and families had their own reason to both fear and conspire behind Lílýáshn’s back. The magically inclined feared that their beloved Queen was more into the Dark Arts than they had thought, and her recent demonstration of the full extent of her powers did not soothe their minds. The Masters of the Mage’s Guild both dreaded and grudged the Ash Lady for her skill. Yet they simply could not accept the idea of such a power sorcerer to go unnoticed for years. Worse was the thought of what she could do if her power was set loose again. The Senators, needless to say, did not enjoy her spreading influence and political force as much as they claimed in the mornings. They too started searching for a solution to the growing threat of the Dark Queen. Whatever they did was done in secluded hills and temples – the one adversary Lílýáshn could not dare to eradicate, for it was too deeply rooted within the society – away from the Queen’s awareness. For if their plans went to the High Queen’s ears, an untimely and monstrous death would surely await them.
They could not simply dare to unleash her wrath, and now that she was a victor and hero in the nation’s eye, no one really wanted to mess with her. In a period of paranoia and apprehension the conspirers started to doubt and fear even their own shadows. These were the conditions that led to the Senate’s decision to transfer as much power from the grasp of Lílýáshn the Dark to the hands of the council. They planned to distribute in as many hands as possible to prevent a future domination of the assemblies. The Senate in search of safe deposit, away from the reach of the Queen’s influence, turned to the only structure that was strong enough to withstand the Ash Lady: the High Council of the Earth League. Thus, in 4.586 b.S., the Entrustment was initiated.
The Ashes of the High Queen (4.585 b.S.). Quite unfortunately for High Queen Lílýáshn, her reign lasted a mere nineteen years before she passed away on the very same day of her crowning. It is said that the grief she felt for her suffering country bit off chunks of her life; first with the advancing eating disorders and then months of restlessness that consumed the sparse remnants of her loveliness. She had tumbled over the same gap that crowned her seventeen and a half years ago: The ambiguous wording of the kingdom’s law. She would remain a hero in the eyes of her people, yet she was a puppet in the hands of the Krath councils. She was a hero among her people, and “just another Senator” in either of the High Councils. By involuntarily giving up all the rights she had over her cities, she had handed the kingdom she had given a life to save and flourish to the ambitious Ally Senators. Sometimes one vote did not make a difference… Sometimes a solitary tear would be swallowed by the ocean and lost within the blue profoundness…
Therefore, some assert that it was not the disease that burned her up from within but the bitter resentment of having her hands tied behind her with a most devious scheme.
Lílýáshn was the only queen that was incinerated – quite ironically, if one was to take her military name into consideration, upon her own will – in the entire history of the Twin Kingdom. Some claim her remnants were preserved to this day in an urn provided as an acknowledgement of her courage and affection for her people by the Earth League in the sacred vaults of the High Temple while others would assert that her ashes, upon her testament, were secretly dedicated to the Nameless One of the Silent Night. How this was accomplished or what it means is lost to our scholars' knowledge. With the High Temple still refusing to respond, our means to decipher the secrets of Queen Lílýáshn’s lost memories is very close to nothing.
Importance. Queen Lílýáshn, as stated before, was the first and – up to this date – the only person to wear the Double Crown of the once-glorious Twin Kingdom. Her life, as was her arduous reign, was one of defiance and caution – even before the days of her reign. As a Senator, she was the first person to acknowledge the emotional needs of a child, and their rights to seek and pursue happiness. When she endorsed the proposition and sentenced many aristocrats to community service starting from the third month of her reign, she was harshly criticized and ridiculed by the majority of the Senate for “almost legalizing the suing of a flying mosquito”. Although the declaration is true to a certain degree, Queen Lílýáshn’s role in reforming Twin Law is undeniable. Even today, in the law of the Grand Earth Empire of Krath, clauses added during her reign are present.
Unfortunately, even the influence of a woman like High Queen Lílýáshn is limited after some point. By pursuing social reforms and refusing to continue the ancient practice of “bribe and grin” she alienated a lot of aristocrats. Thus she grew such an opposition that she simply was not able to have all of her decisions carried out at times.
However not all of her reforms were beneficial. By extending the government funds to support the arcane schooling of the youth, and reducing the penalty of the dark arts, she provided the basis on which the Death Kiss, a group of black mages that later supported the riot of 3.890b.S, and the mystical Order of Ashalon, believed to be an extension of the Murmillion’s Arkhaeon Guild that were one of the principal forces leading to the Breaking, operated centuries later.
It is not known whether Lílýáshn chose or had to spare the lives of the Boar’s troops but it certainly was a wise decision. Instead of saving them from the citizens’ rage, providing stocks – for a price of course – for the return journey and helping their retreat if Queen Lílýáshn had chosen to permit a massacre, it is very unlikely that the Twin Kingdom would have survived the times in its weakened state. By lending a helping hand to the people of the five clans (temporary refugee rights were bestowed to them) the Ash Queen demonstrated that the Twin Kingdom’s fury was only towards hostile leaders. Through these aids she strived to uplift the perception of the Two Tribes among the ally nations – for she knew that not even Queen Lílýáshn the Gory could wipe out the heads of five fellow clans without consequence.
Even Lílýáshn's death defies the unbending rituals of the Kreankra. As the first celebrity and furthermore the first and with our sincere prayers the last royalty to be incinerated, High Queen Lílýáshn Áérálvr was indeed a deviation of her time.
Information provided by Coren FrozenZephyr