The Khul, The Keeper and the Sundering in Arclands | World Anvil

The Khul, The Keeper and the Sundering



This article is the fourth part in a series which includes The Story of the Keeper, The Keeper and Levanto and The Creation of the Mortal Fiefdoms in the Celestial Realm. Towards the end of the Keeper's rule, one Grace longed for freedom from the emptiness of immortality and her desire for truth, which could only be found in the bitter pain of mortality and death, eventually ripped the Celestial Realm apart. She is known now in the Mortal Realm as the queen of Mordikhaan, the Khul.  

Y'Tran A Khul

  Following the purge of the Graces, the Keeper’s remaining loyal Tralanvannir believed that they were the chosen among his children, as they had been spared from slaughter in Damnation. Many assumed that those who had been left to die had defied the Keeper or been revealed as traitors, and few wished to believe that the Keeper’s judgement was anything other than righteous and just. Some Graces hoped that the Keeper would replace their fallen brethren with new Graces, but they learned quickly that their master would not. Other Graces saw opportunities to earn the Keeper’s favour and become his indispensable servants. The Keeper, now wounded and diminished in his power, relied on the Shuravai and a group of five Graces from the Phalanx who stepped forward to be the Keeper’s personal servants. The Keeper, exhausted by the strain of his own flaws, retreated into the hidden depths of Celestium, to places where the Graces would fear to tread, had they the power and knowledge to find them, along with a handful of his most trusted Shuruvai in great secrecy. Unable to feel his presence, for the first time, The Phalanx felt abandoned by The Keeper.  

The Khul and the Sundering

  Y’Tran took the avatar of a tall beautiful young woman with flowing raven hair and the light of stars behind her searching dark eyes. Y’Tran believed that she was closest to the Keeper and most favoured by him. When he became the star Empyrus and Y’Tran found herself drawn to Levanto, a hunger for mortality grew within her. She believed that the realm of the Keeper was one based on complete artifice and lies, that the supposed perfection that the Keeper tried to create was nothing but a sham. Only a mortal life could offer any real truth, as it was defined by death, the ultimate truth of all. At first, the yearning within her was bearable, a silent ache for freedom from the gilded prison of Celestium, but the Shuravai knew her deepest desires.   When they eventually came for her at the Keeper’s behest, she put into motion the events that changed the Mortal Realm and Celestium forever. Her desire to taste mortality didn’t extend to being torn apart by the Keeper and his henchmen, but her desperate attempts to hide and ultimately flee to the Mortal Realm were thwarted. Following the breaking of the Empyrus illusion by Levanto, the Keeper resumed his tired mortal form one last time. She was dragged in chains to the Keeper’s feet and, fearing all was lost, prepared for her death. As she knelt before him, she finally saw the Keeper for what he was, an exhausted shell on the brink of collapse and in that moment of realisation she saw the opportunity she had long been waiting for; her freedom. She cried out to the remaining Athervannir and her comrades in the Phalanx to help her and finally overthrow the tyrant of Celestium.   The Athervannir turned their all powerful gaze on the Keeper, knowing that the disorder that he had tasked them with eradicating had infested him for many millennia. The shock of this onslaught and the wounds the Keeper had sustained in the battle with the Devourer finally destroyed his mortal form, which had held most of the magic in the universe in place. Y’Tran was rescued by her closest friend Y’Kantu, a Grace who had loved her deeply and secretly since they were both created by the Athervannir. Y’Kantu led his brethren in the Phalanx to fight the Shuravai and together he and Y’Tran witnessed the final moments of the Keeper. As the lord of Celestium tore apart a terrible wind blew through the Celestial Realm, ushering in the Sundering and the time of miseries. The Khul, as she became known once she had renounced her celestial name, and Y’Kantu, fell to the Mortal Realm. The two were separated as they fell and the Khul, sensing her immense power in this new world, established herself as the ruler of the north of Aestis, a land known as Mordikhaan.  


  She realised that the Athervannir had freed her from immortality and understood that she was entirely unique in the universe, a former Grace that could now map her own destiny. As a Grace, she had never felt a desire for power or dominion, but now, as a mortal she acquired mortal failings and desires and a thirst for war and conquest. Y’Kantu, broken hearted, watched the Khul from afar; he had remained an immortal Grace but could not bring himself to destroy her, remembering the deep love he had felt. However, he knew deep within him that she must be slain and, unable to strike the blow himself, he sacrificed himself, taking out his own immortal heart, which lit the forges of the great Firg swordsmith Grodan. He used it to craft the sword Y’Kantulis, which contained part of the Grace’s essence. The Firg Prince Sayadundarou in the Year 13 at the battle of Wardenhal , armed with Y’Kantulis, cleaved the Khul from her head to her chest, but the power that remained within her despite her mortal status kept her alive.   In unbearable agony, but also feeling a strange ecstasy from unquenchable pain, the Khul vowed to find the sword born of her former comrade’s heart and wield it for herself, forcing it to drink the blood of the innocent as punishment for the Khul’s wound. The sword vanished some 282 years ago and is now little more than a rumour. After her devastating defeat at the battle of Wardenhal, the Khul took a fateful decision and after years of searching, found a doorway from the Mortal Realm into Damnation.   Finding in the infernal realm some of the Graces who had survived through joining with the Legion, she sailed with them through the depths of Damnation’s black oceans to the roiling mists at the very edge of the realm, a place that the Legion themselves feared. Behind the great curtain of grey toxic smog, a terrible and monstrous shadow rose to greet her and listen to her offer. The Khul offered the creature a safe home in the kingdoms to the east of her realm, and in return the creature would grant her the power to conquer the rest of Hermia. A bargain that the queen of Mordikhaan would one day come to deeply regret was born.

A Fire in the Heart of Knowing

  Our debut Arclands novel is available here. Read A Fire In the Heart of Knowing, a story of desperate power struggles and a battle for survival in the dark lands of Mordikhaan. 


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