In the first age, when the Son of the Void sought to undo our world, Monurga, birthed in the shadow of the Divine Remnant, stood against oblivion. Scarred by darkness, his wrath was unending, his spirit unbreakable. His sword sharpened by the indominable will to survive tore Versa armies asunder, his shield a ward that kept the darkness at bay. As the armies of the void laid broken beneath Monurga's heel, the Darron Omin challenged the defender on Rosbanda Ilse to a duel of word and sword. They battled for three days and nights, never stopping or resting until Monurga tore the heart of the Darron Omin from his chest and crushed it within his hands. The defender had ended the advance of the void on our world, but was mortally wounded in the battle. As he laid dying, his blood pooled in a lake, turning it red as he slowly died. When he drew his last breath, his soul became one with the water, insuring he could eternally be one with the world he died to protect. His soul remains in the lake to this day, blessing those who drink from the lake's waters with divine strength. - Epic of the Blood Lake
Ritual of the Blood Lake
When the Roctane
of Rosbanda Isle discovered the lake in 1082 AE, they are in awe of its red color. Word spread to the Orkina Temple, which ordered the Shrine of the Blood Lake to be built on the lake's shores. The Orkina Temple ordered a wall to be built around the lake and a constant watch from guards to prevent intruders from drinking from it. Warriors serving the temple who had proven themselves would be sent to the shrine to drink from its waters and be given the Monurga's Mark. This mark, a black tattoo on the warrior's forehead, signifies those who have dedicated their lives to the Orkina Faith. The marked warriors are considered to be the best fighters in all of Stelwen, blessed with the same ferocity as Monurga before them.
Those who have received the Monurga's Mark are known as Marked Defenders. Adorned in personalized silver armor, they are some of the most ferocious and dedicated warriors in all of Stelwen. They follow the orders of the Orkina Temple without question, often taking on the most dangerous tasks that would be suicidal for ordinary Roctane. Whenever a Marked Defender falls, whether it be in battle or natural means, the Orkina Temple will construct an ornate tomb near their home to honor the fallen warrior. The Marked Defenders are legends among the Roctane, whose feats inspired young warriors to attempt to join their ranks. Notable Marked Defenders include Yullder the Bane of All Beasts, Burrkar the Drake-Master, and the most recently marked warrior, Linyarra, the swordswoman who defeated Calvila Dreddar in honorable combat.
In recent years, a few visitors to Rosbanda Isle have theorized that the lake's red coloration may not, in fact, be the blood of Monurga but rather be caused to the presence of a creature or creatures within the water. These outsiders have claimed that the Orkina Temple is hiding something within the walls of the shrine. Some claim that the shrine's priests are secretly sacrificing individuals to an entity in the lake, with what returns only being a husk that serves their new master's bidding. Another theory is that something in the lake calls to people and tries to draw them in with the faces of loved ones, believing that the warriors and saints that come to the lake are there to study and guard the lake from anyone getting close. These theories have been causes of major upset among both the shrine priests and the locals of Rosbanda isle; even mentioning these ideas will lead to hostility.