Valcarnum: Drums of War
The Legend of Auria
“From her eyes a stream of tears descended like pearls from a broken necklace, we wept with her at first, but soon after, we wept for her.” ~ Excerpt taken from “Fairytales and Fables” Author unknown
Auria was a Truebreed commoner from the peaceful city of Willowdale. She lived there happily with her father, mother, and three sisters. Her father Tomus, tended the stables of Lord and Lady Fourthwind, Willowdale’s noble ruling family. One day as a reward to Tomus for his dedication and servitude, Lady Forthwind selected Auria to be one of her ladies-in-waiting. A commoner joining the noble court was an unheard of occurrence and Tomus was greatly humbled by his Lady’s kindness. Over the years, Tomus witnessed Auria blossom into an elegant lady, her transformation filled his heart with pride and satisfaction. Tomus could not help but imagine that one day Auria would be a noble in these lands and that he might have his own small legacy as her father.
In the height of their elation the first of many tragedies would befall Auria and her family. That summer rot fever descended upon Willowdale. This vile sickness decimated the city claiming many members of the noble court, outlying settlements and even part of Auria’s family. Her mother and three older sisters would all succumb to the fever. Her father would survive but at a great price. His legs were infected with the decay that accompanies rot fever and had to be amputated, leaving him crippled.
During the outbreak Aegisborn healers were sent to Willowdale to help combat the disease and stop it from spreading. Auria would assist them in the healing, vowing to fight the illness with everything she had. She worked very closely with a handsome young Aegisborn named Lanthien. Over the long days she watched Lanthien care for the sickly. She observed the compassion and empathy he exuded despite being surrounded by death and dismay. This display would mend her broken spirit and for the first time she would know how it felt to fall in love. Lanthien too became enamored with Auria, eventually falling in love with her and the strength she exhibited while facing unrelenting tragedy. They professed there love for one another and began planning a future together as husband and wife.
In the years that followed life slowly returned back to normal in Willowdale. However, Auria was unable to escape further heartbreak. Lord Forthwind had arranged for her, as a lady within his court, to be married to a powerful foreign lord. Confronted with this new announcement, Auria confided in her father and told him of her plans to marry Lanthien. Tomus loved his daughter dearly and wished for nothing more than her happiness, he told her to follow her heart and choose true love. In this moment, Tomus’ eyes glistened with sadness. He had had aspirations for a patrician future for Auria and had long taken solace in the thought that his name would live on in a noble lineage. When Auria looked into her father’s eyes she could tell she had crushed his spirit and the guilt was to much for her to bear. With a heavy heart and tears in her eyes Auria told Lanthien they could never be together. Lanthien pled with Auria but was unable to change her mind. The next morning he would leave both Willowdale and his true love behind.
A week before the marriage tragedy would strike again. Auria was thrown from her horse while on a ride through the countryside, she struck her head hard on a rock and was left in a coma. Auria’s soon to be lord husband visited her in her incapacitated state and told Tomus that he had no obligation to his daughter as of yet and did not want to burden himself with a possibly crippled wife. The lord renounced the marriage and left her to her fate.
When word reached Lanthien of Auria’s accident he immediately returned to Willowdale to be by her side. After days of hope and prayer Auria took her last labored breath and died quietly in her sleep. Lanthien, refusing to let her go, summoned all of his Aegisborn power and performed the ritual of “Iuara duilan”. This ritual which means “my life for another” in ancient Aegisborn tongue, returns a person to life at the cost of the life of the caster.
Auria awoke to the lifeless face of her lover and could do nothing but hold him in her arms and cry. They say that she cried so much her tears created the lake that now borders Willowdale. She spent the remainder of her days weeping, lamenting over the sacrifice her true love made for her and how she broke his heart.