From the Stars Came Ashtariel

Strange sights in the sky above the Skarch during the month of Estar, 456, brought adventurers far and wide to investigate – and though this desert, the place where Lord-and-Lady Mysrai first descended into the Basin of Life, has seen many a bizarre event, those that unfolded this day were of a kind unprecedented. Those gathered bore witness to an intensely poised Mysrai as the Harlot of Revolutions, Their Hands outstretched and grasping something through a violent rift near a broken spire. They called out in agonized hope only to be answered by a weak voice that echoed with fear beyond the Basin, and though weary beyond imagining, managed to pull something – Someone – through before the rift snapped shut with a roar that shook the earth.

Huddled in the sand beside the prone Mysrai, a slight figure peered at everyone with large, multihued eyes. “Sister!” She cried, embracing the Thousandfold with enthusiasm that would surely see any other dead by Their Hand. Much to the surprise of all, the Lord-and-Lady reciprocated, starry tears falling from Their eyes in a joyful deluge as They embraced
the strange Goddess in turn. “Hare Ashtariel” were the murmured words amongst the Beloved followers of Mysrai as they gazed on in awe, perhaps the only ones present who had any inkling of what was transpiring. While the rest of the onlookers watched with varying mixtures of curiosity, trepidation, fear, and excitement, the youthful-appearing Goddess rose, Her kaleidoscopic skin and hair of phosphorescent white made striking against Her banal surroundings.

Bombarded with questions, requests, introductions, the Goddess was soon overwhelmed, looking frightfully to Her Sibling Mysrai as She retreated further into Herself with a demeanor that spoke of much hurt and many soul-deep wounds. Concern an alien expression on Their ever-shifting face, the Lord-and-Lady tenderly gathered Lady Ashtariel into Their arms, spiriting Her away to a sanctuary beyond the reach of mortalkind. Days after Their departure, the quiet desert filled once more with disturbing sounds – horrid screeches and cries that filled the night in a hair-raising litany. It was then that eerie, star-made things appeared: on the highways, in cities and communes, villages, rivers and

Highly aggressive, these creatures poured in a sea of starry black into the Basin, a tide that seems unending, much to the annoyance of many. What are these strange beings? Where do they come from? How can they be stopped? More pressing, where is the Elder Ashtariel and what are Her intentions? Those best poised to answer these questions, Lord Zvoltz and Lord-and-Lady Mysrai, have yet to offer Their guidance and knowledge – one tight-lipped and known for Their secretiveness, the other conspicuously absent.

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