I’m rushing headlong into the second year of writing Coldforged Material, and this year I hope to cover enough topics in preparation to print as is possible. I hope we’re in the home stretch. This week we’re going continue with the last of the legendary Levishan Bloodlines
Continuing on the topic from last week, we have a few more legendary figures from the past who the important Levishans tie to their heritage back to in order to legitimize their legacy and actions.
Peshira, Who Broke the Mountain
The legends state that Peshira was born from the forest themselves, birthed from an oak, emerging from a gall at the base of the tree. She spoke with the trees, knew their names, and grew up among them. She had no family to feed and protect her, spare the trees and shrubs. It was a surprise to her, then, when she met an elf who trespassed within the forest. She ambushed them and, unkindly, imprisoned them for days, forcing out the existence of other elves, beings, and people within the world. She then forced them to lead her to their town, where, aghast she fled back into the woods.
Years later, when she had gathered her courage and learned all she could from the woods and spying on those other people, she emerged, to a different town at a different place. These people accepted her as one of their own and welcomed her into the town. Her strange habits, from living with trees for years, got her odd stares and looks, but she paid them no mind.
Her adopted town grew in size and power with her knowledge of the wilderness and nature. She was able to nurture both plants and people to health with ease, predict the seasons, aid crop growth and find water for wells. But, then catastrophe struck. The drought came, and the river feeding the town dried up. A year passed, and the wells began to dry, and the people called out to her to save them.
She told them to begin digging, westward from the town, and not to stop until she returned. Then, she left. For months, she was absent, but the town dug the trench, exactly as commanded. 6 feet wide, 4 feet deep, directly west towards the peaks of Tashala. One day, after nearly six months of absence, she returned, disheveled and gaunt. The town had suffered in her absence, the rain had not come and many wells had gone completely dry. They were days from revolting. Come with me, she told them, and they walked a short distance to the foot of an unnamed mountain.
There, she spoke to them, and apologized for her long absence, as she had communed with the spirits of the world and the trees, the mountains. Here, she said, she had located their salvation. She turned and touched her hand to a giant boulder sticking out from the ground, from the foot of the mountain. It groaned, split and cracked. Water began to flow. It did not stop there. From the crack, a rumbling came, so intense that it echoed through the valley and onwards. Locals called it the Earth’s Groan and there are festivals to this day around the event. Then, not only the boulder, but the whole mountain cracked in two, creating a small side and a large side, two distinct mountains from where there was once one, and the life-giving water poured out and continues to this day. Peshira was never seen from again after the water cascaded out from the stones, and it is believed that she sacrificed herself and her spirit to save the town, which eventually grew and became a small city in Hyran, and later the capital of Levisha.
Asthala, The Princess of Wisdom
Asthala was the ruler of the kingdom of Pash, a close ally of the first kingdom. They had grown up together, and though there was conflict from time to time, it never caused deep and permanent enmity. Asthala’s Father was the king of the kingdom, and was known as a drunk and impetuous fool. He fought with the southern guardians, sent absurd demands to his neighbors, and participated in a number of endeavors that bankrupt the kingdom and disgruntled the commoners. Asthala looked on in horror as she grew up amid these events. She knew she had to do something about all of this. Her father was unfit to rule.
With her brothers and sister, she made a plan, one that would require devious cunning and guile to pull off and dethrone the king. It was no less than seven simultaneous subplots that involved specific betrayals of both her side and her fathers, of well-timed revolts and masterful reading of the character. In the end, it was successful, and her father was deposed and slain, her elder brother seated on the throne, and the people cheered at her name.
Her brother, though, was a fairly inept king, though nothing as bad as her father, and when he showed his true aptitude, Asthala was there to advise. The King took her advice, and the ruling family quickly became renowned for its wise judgment and cool justice. When the king’s son was born and raised and succeeded his father to the throne, Asthala was there to advise and keep the kingdom in wise hands. Through five generations of Kings, Asthala advised and kept the kingdom under a wise and beneficial rule, never taking the crown herself, though it was understood who held the true power of the throne. Through wars and peace, diplomacy, disaster, and unrest, Asthala maintained a steady and reasoned hand until she died of old age, will into her 9th century. The kingdom she ruled soon followed.
The oldest of the legends speak of the dead gods of the elves, their creators and guides, the divine beings who brought them into this world and guided them. Among the first created was Tailan.
When the godswar began, Tailan fought alongside the elven gods, most of whom fought with the younger gods to overthrow the older. He was given a greatsword – Soulbreaker – and unleashed on the enemies of the gods under their protection. He was an unrelenting destroyer of forces, a living, breathing avatar of the elven god’s fury. The elven gods, though, fell one by one, slain by the paltonarchs for revolting. However, the four elven gods left were appalled at the signing of the black pact, and left the younger God’s alliance, refusing the Demon Queens power and avoided becoming one of the accursed. Their forces, too, including Tailan, followed, and though they were greeted with hostility and suspicion at first, over the course of time, they proved their loyalty as, one by one, the remaining elven gods were slain. The last remaining elven god, Jalraq God of Stars, was ordered to take his forces, and combined with a number of other gods, halt the progress of Menagara, Accursed of Malice and Necromancy.
The battle of Myasha Ridge is Legendary. Of the seven gods to confront the accursed, each was cut down, though they fatigued her and she began to tire. When Jalraq, the seventh and final god to confront Menagara was slain, it sent Tailan into a rage, and he charged in suicidal desperation to fight the beleaguered Accursed. Menagara dismissive of the mortal elf charging and sent their minions to finish him. Tailan cleaved through them like so much grass, pushing forward until he locked Menagara themselves into mortal combat. Surprised, they swung at him with their massive glaive, but his god-forged armor shrugged off the blows as if it was but a child’s toy. Disbelief flowed through Menagara, and Tailan pushed his advantage, raining blows with Soulbreaker at an impossible speed, spurred on by his anger and loss at the death of his god. The attacks were unrelenting, and Mengara could neither disengage, nor fend them off, and Tailan landed blow after blow until at long last and with a great swing of his sword he separated the gods head from their shoulders.
Though the gods were lost, the battle was won, and an accursed was slain. Tailan lived through the rest of the war, fighting on with a fervor matched by few, and played a key part in the final battle against the Accursed as they were pushed to the iron marches. After dying of old age centuries later, it is said he continues to fight against the accursed in the godswar even today, a trusted and revered general of their forces, second only to the other gods as the only known mortal to strike the killing blow against an accursed.
Ulashtur, son of Ulashtur
Ulashtur participated in the battles alongside Wyialii in the demonsgate wars and assisted in pushing back demons and being defeated by them. He was at the battle where Kamak was slain, but his exploits are less impressive there as he held a hill against a legion of demons with his sworn men, and did not defeat a rampaging archdemon.
Instead, it is his travels after the war that garnered him fame and legend, as he traveled home with his band of followers, he encountered trial after trial, losing followers and picking up new ones as he made his trip. He encountered dragons and sphinx, spoke with oracles and drank from wildflowers made from pure sunlight. He sailed the seas, experiencing storms of unprecedented power, and he traveled the land, seeing cities and meeting people that no one to this day has reported encountering again. Many are said to have died off after the sundering, and others are said to be legends themselves. Though the sundering of the world made his travels long and arduous, he eventually arrived home to find his husband had long abandoned him as lost and had married another. In about of rage, Ulashtur slew them both, and flung their bodies from the walls, for the vultures and wolves to feast on. Shamed, he locked himself in the highest tower of the city, refusing to come out, existing only on wind and sea breeze until an ocean titan threatened the city. He wearily pulled himself out of the tower, donned his old armor and picked up his maces, and met the Giant in single combat.
The giant made quick work of the exhausted and malnourished King, scooping him up and swallowing him whole. The horrified defenders then assaulted the titan, defeating it after massive losses, and cut open the monster’s stomach. They pulled out their king, whole and rather unharmed. Seeing their devotion to him, and the damage his many actions had caused, he rededicated himself to being the best king he could. Though he carried the weight of his deeds until the end of his days, he became a humble individual after the events, leading Hyran to a prosperous age, and died only a few years before the cold became too much for the Hyrans, forcing them from their homes and abandoning the city he’d fought for.