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Tale of the Lone Lyrebird

A dark day it was in late Urlachmar, though the brilliant radiance emanating from Avechna’s Teeth did little to underscore the fact. Marani Veloske, White Priestess of the Shallamurine Cathedral, declared that the Basin of Life had too long been subject to the filth and debauchery of life, and with her fellow priestesses and countless undead beauties in tow, she descended into the Basin proper, magnanimously electing to rid the people of the Basin of their troubles and return the glory of Shallamar at once.

Marani took arms before the Silent Cathedral in Magnagora, while her sisters spread across the remainder of the continent. Neinrin Tivreau descended into the Ellindel Arboretum of Serenwilde, while Shihami Aerlon stood before the Deep Blue Cathedral of New Celest. Ephrani Xala basked within the lava gardens of Gaudiguch and Muut Nosherom bowed her head before Glomdoring’s Black Tower. Erigili Sunfar, proud as ever, stood atop the Spire of the Lawgivers in Hallifax, each offering dire portents of the Basin’s so-called ‘salvation’ before raising their voices in a combined song.

This song was more powerful than Veloske’s single note, beautiful and terrifying, slaying many who heard it and grievously wounding more besides. Where or how or from whom Marani acquired this song was unknown, but whatever the case, it gave her power unprecedented before.

Serenwilde was the first to oust the undead from their quarters, dispatching the beauties and their leader, Neinrin, with ease. Hallifax followed suit, with Glomdoring, Celest, and Gaudiguch respectively dispatching Marani’s priestesses amid grievous battles and the raging song that threatened to lead all who heard it into death. At last, the warriors of the Basin confronted Marani herself before the Silent Cathedral. The White Priestess used every bit of cunning and strength she possessed, yet fell still to the might of those she sought to subjugate in her renewal of the lost plane of Shallamar.

Upon the demise of those controlling it, the song began to diminish. However, instead of fading, it redoubled its own efforts, swelling without any external source until it deafened those who heard it with its vicious disharmonies. The guardians of the cities and communes cried out in pain and faltered, though this was eclipsed by the pain of even the Elder Gods themselves, whose injuries and irritation became known to all as the song ran rampant.

In an effort to stem the effects of the berserk composition begun by Marani Veloske, Lyreth, the Sidereal Prince, appeared, harp in hand, to turn His own Song against it. Though the contest was close beyond compare, the Sidereal Lord was soon divested of His harp and fell to the earth, encased in a bubble of the berserk music kept at bay only by His own voice, while His harp was cast to the Inner Sea, upon the Isle of
Light.

It soon became apparent, thanks to a despairing Auguste L’Fevre, that the Lord’s instrument had grown dim, and required essence of light in order to restore it to its former power. Many set out to accomplish this goal, trekking across planes to recover the energy needed to save Lord Lyreth. In the end, it was Xenthos An’Ryshe of the Glomdoring who came into possession of the Elder God’s harp, though in a gesture of kindness he returned it to Shulamit Lunarose, who played it before the trapped Lyreth. The music freed Him, and He took up His harp once more, though
the malevolent music of the deadly song remained unabated, threatening all Creation.

With a parting word to Shulamit, and to those gathered, Lyreth took to the skies a final time. Armed once more with the Divine instrument, His aria tore the song to shreds, though not without a cost of its own. Following the song’s dispersal, the exhausted God became surrounded by infinite lights before breaking apart as a flock of lyrebirds, those creatures that once marked the form of His Voice. To the despair of those gathered, the lyrebirds winged about and soon vanished from sight,
sped onward by the distraught cries of the Lord Exalted.

Some days later, a lone lyrebird returned to the Basin of Life, alighting at the entrance to the Temple of Lyreth. This serves as a painful reminder of the absence of the Sidereal Prince, though some say that a certain sparkle in the bird’s eye offers hope for the future to those who keep Him in their hearts.

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