The tragedy of Rusilika

According to legend, an elven prince in the Second Age once had an illicit affair with a beautiful peasant maiden named Rusalika. She became pregnant and Rusalika was eager to share the good news with her lover as soon as she found out. They met at their favorite spot in a beautiful meadow by a river.     To Rusalika’s surprise and dismay, her lover was not happy about this and did not want the scandal of him fathering a bastard be known in his court. He pretended to embrace her, but instead carried her to the river and coldly drowned her. He lashed rocks to her corpse to make it sink and left her there.     Rusalika came back as a vengeance driven ghost. Versions of the stories differ on what she did next. Some story tellers say she never saw her former lover ever again. Some say she eventually managed to drown him. Others say she drowned his pregnant high born wife. Others say she slew his sole heir generations later.   Regardless of the details of her former lover, Rusalika’s desire for vengeance was never sated and she drowned many people, more often than not men.   Many centuries later ghosts of young drowned women who followed in Rusalika’s footsteps. Some say that Rusalika trained other young female ghosts in her power set. Others believe that drowned ghosts have somehow accessed the universal memory of Rusalika’s story and reenact it over and over again. These ghost women are now known as the Rusalka.   It is rumored that Rusalika herself was never destroyed and never made peace with her death. If this is the case she is easily one of the most powerful ghosts in Scarterra assuming she hasn’t evolved/devolved into something else.
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Cover image: Symbol of the Nine by Pendrake


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